November 19, 2009

Children's Wing Video Tour

Things are really coming along in the Children's Wing! Check out the video tour. We should be in within a couple of weeks!

Children's Wing Video Tour from Geoffrey Janes on Vimeo.

November 16, 2009

What's Your Excuse?

I am reading through Matthew. I got to chapter 8 last week, and read the story of the man who wanted to follow Jesus:

19 And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." 21 Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 22 And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." - Matthew 8:19-22

At first glance, Jesus sounds like a cold, mean grouch when he tells this man to leave the dead to bury their own dead. But take a moment, let's really try to figure out what's going on here. The first man said he wanted to follow Jesus. Jesus took one look at him and said "Listen, I'm homeless, I don't own a thing. I don't know where I'm sleeping tonight, and I don't where my next meal is coming from." In other words, you need to make sure you know what you're getting into here.

The next man jumps up and says "Pick me! Pick me! I'll follow you! But first, I have to go and take care of my dad. You see, he's getting up there in age, and in the next several years he might die. So I need to take care of the family business until then. But when he's gone, I will follow you!" Jesus was not impressed, at all. Jesus looked him in the eyes and said: "Follow me, and let the dead and dying take care of themselves."

Everyone of us is full of excuses for not doing what we know we should do. We are experts at avoiding obedience. We know deep down when we should say something, do something, but for some reason we come up with our list of logical reasons why we should run the other way.

What is God telling you to do? Are you avoiding His call? I'm not talking about a career change, I'm talking about right now. Is there someone you need to reconcile with? Is there someone you need to forgive? Do you owe someone an apology? Or is there something else? The big question is "What's your excuse?" You know what you are supposed to do, quit making excuses, quit finding your own logical reasons for avoiding whatever it is God is calling you to do right now. Don't waste another minute! Obey today!

November 11, 2009

Celebrate Recovery

Last night I had the honor of visiting our Celebrate Recovery ministry here at Southbrook Church. Wow! They have something special happening there! We enjoyed a spaghetti dinner at 5:30. I enjoyed spending time with people there.

Nathan and Jennifer Campbell lead this group. I am so proud of them. They came to me a couple of years ago...they needed some help and guidance. We met a few times, worked on some things, and now here we are two years later. They are leading a vibrant ministry. It was a joy to see them working together as a team to pull off the entire evening.

I stayed to hear Chad Manus lead the group in worship. Here's another great story of life transformation. Chad started coming to the Monroe campus just about 1 year ago. He was saved. I had the privilege of baptizing Chad. Two of the three songs Chad sang last night were songs he wrote! He did a great job to the glory of God.

I was blown away at what I saw last night. God is doing a mighty work on Tuesday nights at Southbrook Church. You might want to drop in and see what it's all about. I know they would love to have you!

November 09, 2009

Clean My Temple

Saturday we observed 24 hours of prayer for our church. From midnight to midnight people came to church in 30 minute shifts to cover our church and our community with prayer. It was a special time. It was awesome to be reminded throughout the day that someone right now was at church praying. Very cool.

As I was taking my turn, I opened my Bible to the book of John. We've been studying John on Sunday mornings. When I got to chapter 2 I read about Jesus cleaning out the temple. It says that he made a whip of cords, and then went on a rampage, turning over tables, pouring out money, chasing animals and people out! Pretty intense. I finished the chapter and started to pray. I prayed that people would realize their need - that they are all sinners in need of a savior. Then I was reminded that I too am a sinner in need of a savior. In fact, I needed to be cleaned out like the temple!

The Bible says that our body is a temple. The Holy Spirit comes to live within true believers. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit! It struck me that I needed Jesus to make a whip of cords and drive out the evil thoughts, evil actions, pride, lust, anger. I needed Jesus to clean my temple!

At Southbrook we want to help people find Jesus in a personal way. We want to take people to the foot of the cross, and introduce them to the One who can rescue them from themselves. But until we get on our knees and confess our own sins, we will be ineffective. We will be held back from our full potential in Christ.

So let me ask you - do you have unconfessed sin in your life? Is there something in your temple that needs to be driven out? Ask Jesus to deal with your sin. Allow Him the freedom to clean house. We will be amazed at what happens if we do.

November 04, 2009

Monroe Campus - Some Thoughts

It's been one year since Pastor Rob twisted my arm and made me take on the campus pastor job in Monroe. And I haven't regretted it for one minute! I have to say I wasn't to sure about this whole campus pastor thing. I can also say we still have a lot of figuring out to do. We are exploring new territory. And we are seeing God use the people at Southbrook in amazing ways.

I meet once a month with our ministry team leaders. We don't have any paid staff at the Monroe campus yet (besides me). But we have some super-committed volunteers, and as far as I am concerned, they are staff. At our last staff meeting, about a month ago, we were debriefing a joint baptism service we had attended with Weddington. Everyone of these staff volunteers came from Weddington originally. I was pumped when I heard some of their comments! "Monroe is becoming it's own church." "We didn't really know anyone at the Weddington campus." "Weddington didn't feel like our church home anymore." Understand this - none of these comments were meant to be derogatory, they simply drove home the fact that these volunteers believe in and love what we are doing in Monroe. Southbrook Monroe is developing its own personality. It's awesome to watch.

I look forward with anticipation to the next thing God does with us.