10 Things I Really Care About part 3

Hey Discover Church I hope your week has been influential!  Remember you are a leader, the question is will you be a good leader or a bad one?  This blog post comes at a good time in our journey through Nehemiah because a key element in good leadership is the willingness to take off our "crowns" of authority and pick up a "towel" of service.  This is the third thing that I really care about, it is through sacrifice that the Kingdom of God is advanced.  

I am sharing these things with you because I hope that you will:
1.  understand who we are more completely
2.  see this in who we are as a church
3.  work hard to align yourself and your practices around these things
4.  help us improve in these key areas

We need these reminders because it is NOT a natural function of a strong leader to embrace sacrifice and servant-hood.  However, this was one of the reasons that Jesus stated He came to humanity.  He wanted to display what true spiritual-leadership looked like.
Matthew 20:25-28  25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
It is in this sacrificial example that we are too follow and yes to even lead.  One of the reasons that I think the American Church has slowed in its influence today is because we have embraced too much of a CEO mindset.  The teachings of Jesus and the examples displayed by the early Church are anything but hierarchal.  The men and women who sacrificed the most were the ones who had the greatest influence.

Not only as leaders but simply as disciples of Jesus I challenge all Discover Church'ers to not resist sacrificing but to display to the world in the same way that Jesus did that they are worth it.  Let's "pick up our crosses" and thrive through a daily, voluntary, death to self and live for others. 


10 Things I Really Care About part 2

Hey Discover Church, Merry Christmas to you and I look forward to sharing a "Not So Silent Night" with you Saturday night at 6pm!  Here is the second thing that I really really care about.  Remember I am sharing these things with you because I hope that you will:
1.  understand who we are more completely
2.  see this in who we are as a church
3.  work hard to align yourself and your practices around these things
4.  help us improve in these key areas

The second of the "10 Things I Really Care About" is Leading Through Teams.  Ministry in the local church is not intended to be like tennis but rather like baseball; it's a team sport! We are dependent on other team members in order to succeed.  See, God has wired us as relational people and intended us to function in coordination with others.  The apostle Paul described how Christians should function by using the human body as an illustration.  
Ephesians 4
15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Stating the obvious, a body is dependent on the other parts of the body to be healthy and to work properly.  We are able to do far more together than anyone of us could ever accomplish on our own.  Not only can we more done but it will also be far more complete.  

Think of it this way, each of us have unique talents, skills, abilities and spiritual gifts that have been entrusted to us from God. As each of us are involved in the work of the ministry we are able to pool our collective gifts, talents, etc together and present a more complete picture of who God is.  The opposite is also true.  If only a select few are involved in ministry then only a small portion of gifts, talents, etc are visible.  

I intend on leading every Discover Church'er towards discovering God's unique purpose for your life.   I know every one of you desire for your life to matter and to see this world changed by the power of Holy Spirit at work through you.  In order for this to occur you must tap into God's gifting for your life and offer it to the church body.  I believe in leading through teams because it is what is best for you and best for the church!  I do not want you to get involved in ministry to get a job done but rather for the job to get you done!  So what do you say?  If you are interested in getting involved in a deeper way email Leslie Smith, Director of Volunteers at Leslie@DiscoverChurchPBC.com and tell her you're ready to be a contributer and not simply a consumer!

You can click here to read Part 1 Commitment to Strong Biblical Teaching.


Discover Church Gives Back!

Way to go Discover Church!  I am very proud of you and your sacrificial involvement at Grove Park Elementary School.  We are grateful to support the faculty and administration at Grove Park, through Connect Groups you provided Christmas for many families in need!  Thank you Rachel Smith for coordinating our efforts.  You know it's a great haul when it requires a cart on wheels...


10 Things I Really Care About

Hey Discover Church, in reflecting over the last several years of my life and ministry I have compiled a list of practices that I am fully committed to fleshing out.  I have challenged our staff and ministry team leaders to not only agree with them but to also fully commit to them.  Over the next several weeks I will be unpacking them for you here.  I am sharing these with you in the hope that you will:
1.  understand who we are more completely
2.  see this in who we are as a church
3.  work hard to align yourself and your practices around these things
4.  help us improve in these key areas

The first of the "10 Things I Really Care About" is a commitment to strong, biblical teaching.  Simply stated, I really, really trust the Scriptures.  God has provided wonderful promises to us through the Bible.  Here are a few that guide me regularly:

  • The Bible purifies-Psalm 119:11 "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."  
  • The Bible guides-Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."
  • The Bible prepares & equips-2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."
  • The Bible is our offensive weapon-Ephesians 6:17 "Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
  • The Bible is alive & powerful--Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires."
As the Pastor of Discover Church I have a charge to, "Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2).  This is not an easy or light responsibility rather it is one that I take very seriously.  

There are so many life-giving results that come from the Scriptures why would I need to depend on any other source to communicate?  God has promised that His Word will accomplish all He wants it to do (Isaiah 55:11).  It is with full confidence in Him that I stand before you week in and week out.  I promise to not share my thoughts but to speak under the authority of the timeless truth of the Scriptures!


Forgiveness? You, yes I am speaking to you...

So what do we do with where we have been?  How do I process past my past?  Because of the fight within us to journey onward and survive we will find ways (many are unhealthy) to "forget" or "suppress" but what if there was something so much greater available to you? The following thoughts are intended to assist you in experiencing true, biblical forgiveness.

Being sorry does not lead to forgiveness because that originates within us.  The identification with Jesus' death provides my acceptance to God.  Hebrews 10:14, "For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy."  I am not in any way in a position to earn this forgiveness but because of the cross in the perfect place to receive it.  To attempt another way would be like beating on a door right next to the one that Jesus has opened.  As I pass through this door opened by the death of Jesus I am forgiven and this powerful moment is made visible because of the changed man!  "Atonement is a propitiation whereby God, through the death of Jesus, makes an unholy man holy" (Oswald Chambers).

If this seems too good to be true it is because you are seeing this correctly.  Not completely understanding something hasn't prevented us from learning to read, write, ride a bike or operate the smart phone in your purse.  If you have read this, you have enough information and access to truth to respond to it.