May 21, 2009

God Supplies

This morning I was at the City of Monroe Building Permit Office getting paperwork squared away for the new pre-school room we are building. In the process, we decided to add some plumbing for a sink, and I had to alter the permit to include plumbing. The nice lady behind the desk was a great help! She had me sign some things, she printed out some things, she smiled at me and said "That'll be $75..."

I panicked - (mostly on the inside, though I'm sure she could see it in my face). I asked - "Credit card?" "No, cash or check...there is an ATM in the lobby." I normally don't carry cash. Who needs it? Everybody who has caught up with the times can take a credit card. But not the City of Monroe. They haven't caught up with the times yet. Anyway - I remembered that I had some cash in my wallet - cash that I was supposed to deposit, some to turn in to various places for various things - I just happened to have some cash. So I pulled out my wallet - I counted, and I was dumbfounded. I had exactly $75 in cash. No more - no less!

God takes care of us in the smallest ways. How cool is that?

May 18, 2009

Sunday @ Southbrook Monroe 5.17.09

Yesterday was simply amazing! Nancy called it a "day of blessings." We had so many cool things happen, I'm not real sure where to start!

With VBS coming up, we have several needs. People really stepped up! We had someone offer to pay for all of the VBS t-shirts, someone is donating gift cards for the purchase of food items, someone donated a video camera, several people signed up to help with VBS! And who knows what else, I still haven't heard all of the things that went on!

We celebrated the Lord's Supper as a part of our Sunday service. That is always a special time. As I looked out across the people sitting in the chairs, I was blown away. We had brand new baby believers taking communion for the first time as Christ followers. So cool!

Sunday afternoon we offered two connection classes: 101 (church membership) and 301 (spiritual gifts and personality). Again, I was blown away! We had 22 people take 101 and sign the covenant to join Southbrook Church! 4 of those I had just baptized 3 weeks earlier! Most have only been attending Southbrook for less than 2 months!

God is moving. People are getting on board. Amazing things are going to continue to happen. And I am overjoyed to be a part of it!

May 14, 2009

Sticky Church Conference Recap - Part 1

This past Monday I attended a great conference at Mountain Lake Church in Cumming, GA. The purpose was to give church leaders practical ideas on making their church "sticky." What can we do to close the back door? People visit, but to they stay?

Over the next few days I'm going to share some highlights:

Greg Surratt, pastor of Seacoast Church, spoke first -

1. Always preach a sticky message - "Anytime you take your stand on anything other than the gospel, you will shrink your target of who you can reach, or minister to." If you take a political stand, you will shrink your target. If your stand is on being cool and edgy, you will shrink your target. If you take your stand on personal preferences, you will shrink your target. But the gospel crosses all boundaries. Take your stand on the gospel. Reach as many for Christ as you possibly can.

2. Have a sticky confidence - "You have been chosen by God to lead this church." And don't you ever forget it! It's not because of me that things go good. In fact, I am more likely the one messing things up! It is because God called me, and when I faithfully follow him he leads to victory. My confidence must be in God and God alone. Trust him, and him only.

3. Stick to a sticky strategy - "The church is Jesus' girlfriend, he is madly in love with her!" The Bible says that the church is the bride of Christ. Jesus loves the church immensely. He laid down his life for her. In fact, the church is the hope for this world. We need to do everything we can to faithfully lead Christ's bride. As leaders, we must confidently pick the strategy God is leading us to use, and stick with it for a long time. Don't stop and chase after every new idea that comes along. Be who you are, where you are, and faithfully follow the strategy God has led you to follow. He will bless this in the long term.

More later...

May 04, 2009

Sunday @ Southbrook Monroe 5.03.09

Yesterday was our last 11am Sunday morning service. Next week we move back to 10am service time. 10 seems to be a more popular time. This move enables us to add a second service later this year at 11:30.

We've been using the time before our services for volunteer training. Yesterday we had all volunteers come together and watch Seth Godin's talk on "This is Broken." If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching.

Then I asked people to consider areas in our church that are "broken." It was great to hear some folks talk about things that could be done just a little bit differently, that might really make a big difference. Some were worried that they were complaining. It's not complaining when we're working toward a solution.

The rest of the day was great. The worship team did an awesome job. It was great to hear the congregation singing along! The message was great. And then after church we had our Newcomer lunch. 13 people stayed, and several signed up to serve in ministries.

God is continuing to do great things at the Monroe campus. I am humbled and blessed to be a part of it!

Monday Morning Baptism!

I'll admit it. I don't enjoy getting up early. I don't enjoy leaving the house before dark. Once a month a bunch of men from Southbrook gather to hear a challenge from Pastor Rob. Once a month, at 6:30 in the morning.

So this morning was that once a month. I dragged myself out of bed, showered, drove to church, and grabbed a donut and some coffee. Pastor Rob made his challenge.

1. What one small thing are you not doing that you know you should be doing?

2. What God sized thing are you being called to step out in faith and do?

Of course, this is not the exact was early...but the basic intent is there (I think).
Anyway. After we got done Jay came running over to me and said "There's a guy at my table, he wants to be baptized! It's the one small thing for God that he's been putting off! I have secured a swimming pool at Art's house, if you can baptize him, we can go right now!"

So, arrangements were made, a group of guys followed us over, and right then and there, in the early morning, I had the privilege of baptizing 3 men in a backyard swimming pool.

Great way to start the day...great way to start the week!

What have you been putting off?

Here are some pics - enjoy: