Friday, January 9, 2009

Why talk about giving...

This week I am doing a first. I am doing an entire sermon series around giving. I've haven't done tis in my preaching career and I'm doing it in the middle of this economic crisis. But I really led by God to go through with this and so I shall. Why talk about money in the church?

Well the obvious reason is the church needs to pay the bills. Duh? But the church does not exist to sustain itself. It exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ. And to that end money gives the church ability to function towards it's purpose. We should never lose focus of that.

And thn secondly, it really is a discipleship issue. Where your money foes so ogoes your attention. God wants your heart so he has to get the money under control so it will not control your heart. (As often it does.)

That's a big reason. So I am praying that the next few weeks will be a time of incredible spiritual growth in the church as we learn how to let go of our money and let in God.


Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year!

The New Year.... holds so many possibilities for our church! Just look at the goals we have laid out for ourselves. 150 in Attendance by March and 300 by September. I must confess i feel the pressure to "produce the numbers." It comes witht he territory of being the minister of the church. Plus, I am very goal oriented person and I face the danger of feeling like a failure if we don't reach those numbers and the other goals.

I shouldn't, but I know the temptation is there. How can I, and more importnatly, the churchh avoid this temptation. I have a few suggestions. I just hope I can follow my own advice.

First, I need to pray, and pray even more. I must lean on God like I have never before done. These goals will not be accomplished by him. For this purpose I have decided to schedule prayer retreats each month. I need to be with God for power, wisdom, and confidence. For my confidence will not come from me, but from God! I need to be like John in the Bible.

Secondly, I need to do my part. That means I need to work hard, and to work smart. I need to place my energies into what will bring about the results God wants. I am part f god's plan to bring heaven to earth.

Thirdly, I must let God do his part. I can't do the miracles. God is in the miracle business. I must also be open to when God interupts what I am doing too! Jesus makes the food. i just pass it out.

Fourthly, the goals are not about reaching them as much as the journey of getting there. Yes, we might have to revise them over time, but the vision will remain the same. 10,000 disciples. We are now in the process of thinking ow to reach 300 people. For example, how are we going to have 30 small groups? Right now we don't have enough chairs to seat 300 people. How will we serve communion? Things will change! The process of thinking this way helps our church keep moving forward!

Lastly, I ask you to pray for me and the leaders of our church. We need it! i know the leaders and I are praying for you too. We are in this together.

Looking forward to an incredible year!