Weekend review (4/11/15)

Kill the Monster - Banner 4 - brighter (1)Yesterday was week two of our series called, “Kill The Monster”. We talked about killing the Anger Monster. If you missed it you can watch it here.

This particular monster is a big one for me. I hate it. It surprises me from time to time… and I’m never like, “Oh hey! It’s good to see you!” NO WAY! I hate it! It embarrasses me, shames me, and more often than not makes me look like a fool.

I taught yesterday as one who has been scarred by my own anger. I talked with humility but eagerness, because I believe there is hope for people who struggle with anger!

We looked at three pieces of advice from a man who had struggled with anger… David… the poet/warrior/king. His reflections on anger came as he was being lied about and publicly smeared by jealous, angry enemies. After some reflection he wrote:

Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Offer proper sacrifices, and trust in the LORD. (Psalm 4:4-5 NLT)

Now I don’t want to write out all of the sermon, because you can see it online (right here). I do want to share some “tweetables” from the teaching yesterday…

  • Anger is a signal that a line has been crossed, a boundary violated, or that something is wrong.
  • Anger is a gift from God. The first thing we should do when we get angry is thank Him that our signals work!
  • Every time, in the Bible, that God gets angry, it is in response to a line being crossed… a boundary violated.
  • If we don’t address the problem to which anger is pointing, anger will destroy us.
  • I have a reputation for running out of gas.
  • Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes. (Proverbs 14:29 NLT)
  • When I’m angry, the first thing that comes to mind usually isn’t the right thing.
  • There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot. Plato
  • (too long to be tweeted, but still really good!) “When you have done everything you knew to do, been as creative as possible, received lots of sound advice, gone the third mile, persisted, and prayed then it may be time to move past anger and problem solving.” John Townsend

Again, if you missed this teaching you can catch it here.

So how about you, do you struggle with anger? What’s your plan for destroying that monster?

Re-launching a church

Recently I told a friend of mine that we were re-launching our church. He responded to my e-mail with a few questions:

relaunch? what all does that entail for the church?
changes in programming? ministry? vision etc?

I started to respond to his e-mail and then I thought, “This is good stuff. I think I’ll just blog it and send him a link!”

So here we go…

Hey friend!

It entails a LOT! It is virtually a complete makeover! Thus far we have:

  • Hired staff in preparation for our re-launch
  • Adopted a new set of bylaws that lets the pastor provide leadership to the church
  • Identified and partnered with two community partners (Ebinport Elementary and Pilgrims Inn, a shelter for homeless women and children) This is our organizational way of loving our neighbor like we love ourselves.
  • Rallied around a vision of helping people discover the life Jesus promised and planting churches that will do the same thing
  • Defined what a follower of Jesus looks like:
    • Loving God and others and being loved by God and others (everyone is connected to someone so that no one is lonely)
    • Investing themselves in something bigger than themselves (everyone is giving and serving to expand the influence of Jesus)
    • Focusing on biblical priorities (we’re focused on what matters and moving beyond what doesn’t)
    • Expanding the influence of Jesus (we’re engaged in our community and in the world)
  • Re-writing the budget to reflect the vision

And there are some other goodies coming soon (can’t say what they are just yet).

Really it’s not that complex. It’s just a matter of loving God and loving people, and as my friend Shaun King says, “Proving it.”

We’re simply lining up to expand the influence of Jesus in our community and then plant other churches who will do the same thing!

So that’s what re-launching means.

Are you ready to move here and join us? 😉

I love older men

Oh boy… I can’t wait to see who lands on this blog post because they googled “I love older men”. 😉

OK, seriously, one of the highpoints of my week is our weekly pastor’s meeting. We are a small church. In fact, I rarely call us a church. I most often refer to us as a team getting ready to launch a church. In preparation for our re-launch we have identified key, strategic leaders:

  • Dick Snyder – Pastor of Spiritual Development
  • Virgil Dey – Pastor of Pastoral Care
  • Alex Miranda – Pastor of Family Ministries
  • Chaz Maldonado – Director of Pilgrims Inn ministry
  • Jason Hebert – Worship leader

Every Tuesday morning we have breakfast together. Our ages range from early 70’s to late 20’s. The intermingling of passion, energy and wisdom is absolutely invigorating!

Our older men are wise. They give permission to the younger men’s passion. They don’t squelch dreams. They inspire and guide the dream. They show us how. They reflect and dream with us. They help us. They are a part of the team that is preparing to re-launch our church. They are one of our most valuable assets.

Recently a friend shared a quote with me (I think it came from Harry Potter). This quote reminds me of what happens every Tuesday morning: “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels, but old men are foolish if they forget what it is to be young.” Our older men have not forgotten what it is to be young. They still dream and because they do they have influence in our lives.

I love our older men.

I love Rock Hill (Part 1)

Yesterday we started a two-week teaching series called, I Love Rock Hill.

Because this is the beginning of a way of life for us we have created three social media sites:

The big idea presented yesterday was that when we “love our neighbor like we love ourselves” we, “make our faith credible and His (Jesus’) influence inevitable.”

Two standout statements from the teaching yesterday:

  • The world isn’t looking for people who “love God” (those are often called “terrorists”). The world is looking for people who love people.
  • People can’t determine how well we “love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.” But they can determine how well we “love our neighbor like we love ourselves” and that’s how we are judged.

During our service yesterday we showed an interview that I did with the mayor of our city, Doug Echols.


Initiative #3 – leadership

I have been discussing some of the changes our church has been experiencing. The first two changes we’ve discussed are Re-launch, and Big Impact offering.

Let’s talk about leadership today.

After several months of discussion we have adopted a set of bylaws that change the roles of several groups in our church. We shared these changes at our last Wednesday Night Live.

The three biggest changes outlined in our bylaws are:

  • The role of pastor = the pastor is given full responsibility of and authority to lead the church. In other words, our church is led by the pastor. This is both a biblical and practical model.

Biblical: Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. (Hebrews 13:17 NLT)

Practical: A pastor goes to school to learn about the church. He studies it, prays for it, thinks about it, talks about it, and is immersed in it daily. So why not let him lead it. Let him lead it based on the vision that God is giving him and the wise counsel that he receives from the leaders around him.  Which leads us to another change:

  • The role of the board. The role of the board is to:

Advise and give consent to the final budget.

Make recommendations on issues of strategy.

Give wise counsel to the Lead Pastor on issues of life, leadership, and vision.

Because we have redefined the role of the board these leaders will no longer be called, “The Board.” Instead, they will be called the “Advisory Team” which reflects the role they will be filling as advisers.

  • Finally, the third significant change made in the by-laws was made after much discussion which included denominational leadership. It has to do with membership. Section 4.04 of our bylaws reads:

As a part of the Membership Covenant, members will agree to a one-year membership covenant in which they will agree to:

  • Love God and others and be loved by God and others in a LIFE Group.
  • Invest themselves in something bigger than themselves through their regular giving and serving.
  • Focus on and live out biblical priorities.
  • Expand the influence of Jesus through regular involvement in world care opportunities.
  • Membership will be renewed annually at a membership class in which members will renew their membership covenant.

    Why are we doing this? Why is membership now an annual agreement rather than a lifetime (or longer) agreement?

  • It provides an opportunity for every member to hear the vision and recommit to it every year.
  • It gives the presenter the opportunity to point out heroes in a room filled with new and potential members!
  • It makes membership a serious matter.
  • Initiative #2 – Big Impact offering

    Yesterday I started discussing four big initiatives that our church is undertaking right now. Yesterday we talked about our re-launch.

    Today, let’s talk about initiative #2.

    Big Impact Offering

    This weekend we will begin a two week teaching series called, I Love Rock Hill. This weekend we will discuss why we love Rock Hill, and next weekend we will talk about how we love Rock Hill.

    On December 13th, when we talk about “How we love Rock Hill” we are going to put our money where our mouth is.

    Our goal is to bring a $10,000 offering to God all of which will be given to loving our city. This offering will be apportioned between three organizations:

    1. The re-launch of our church. We believe that the best gift we can give our city is a healthy church.
    2. Ebinport Elementary. Ebinport is literally in our backyard. Our partnership with them touches children as well as teachers and staff.
    3. Pilgrims Inn. Pilgrims Inn is a local organization that cares for homeless women and children. The Bible says, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles....” (James 1:27 NLT). We’re going to live out real religion!

    This offering will require that our team sacrifice. This offering will make us give something up so that others can pick something up!

    We have been asking this question among ourselves, “If our church closed, would our city cry? Would it make the front page of the Herald (our local paper)?” Our ambition is to answer both questions affirmatively for the honor of our Leader, Jesus!

    We love Rock Hill and plan to show it through our Big Impact offering!