God of This City
April 1, 2009, 12:05 pm
Filed under: church, outreach, sports outreach

“Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city.” The words of the song, “God of This City”, filled the sanctuary on Sunday, March 1st, 2009. The church together in one voice declared these words to the Lord as our outreach anthem for the new building. Then on that day and the following weekend, we made our way to the DLC for “Sharpie Sunday” and over 400 people added their prayers, favorite Scriptures, and words of blessing for the future of the DLC to the floor of the gymnasium. We are literally laying a foundation and preparing our hearts for the amazing impact that this ministry is going to have in this city. Check out the following short video and witness my vision for Sports Outreach in our city:

What is God doing in your city? Are you committed to venturing beyond the walls of your church and reaching into the community with the Good News? The signature of irrelevance is a church that is inwardly focused. Think outside the box. Push the envelope. Be a catalyst for change in your congregation to be involved in “greater things”. And if you are already engaged in community outreach – keep up the good work!


Catalyst ’08 Conference – Live Blogging Guide

Catalyst is all about shaping leaders in the Church, presenting the next big ideas, practices and content. Catalyst exists to ignite passion for Christ and develop leadership potential in the Next Generation, equipping them to engage and impact their world. Every year 12,000 next generation leaders converge on Atlanta in October for the Catalyst Conference, the leadership experience of the year. But Catalyst is more than a conference – it purposes to serve as a leadership filter, continually providing relevant training, innovative events, and cutting edge resources for leaders in the Church.

If you are like me and did not have an opportunity to make it this year check out these blogs for a brief report or even notes from the conference. We must start with Tony Morgan’s updates. Tony Morgan is a pastor and the Chief Strategic Officer at NewSpring Church where he develops creative solutions for communications, technology and NewSpring Ministries–the church’s ministry that equips other church leaders. The following is a list of his notes on some of the featured speakers.

Perry Noble
Andy Stanley
Jim Collins
Steven Furtick
Seth Godin
Craig Groeschel

Two other blogs that are doing a great job at live blogging the Catalyst Conference are Coffee Shop Journal and Ross Middleton’s Blog – Collide Leadership You can also check out Catalyst Backstage with Anne Jackson.

Tangible Love
September 25, 2008, 11:11 am
Filed under: church, evangelism, Life and Leadership, outreach, servanthood, service | Tags: , ,

As you have probably noticed I am working my way through Geore Barna’s book, Revolution. Having graduated from Baylor University with a B.A. in Religion and Sociology, I enjoy the process of evaluating Barna’s data and applying the truth in the context of ministry. Today I want to focus on one of Barna’s reports regarding servanthood.

Are you involved in acts of selfless service? Did you know that there is a better distraction from your daily grind than the television? Love becomes tangible when the people of God reach out to the hurting and needy people in their church and community. Notice I said church and community. Even though a person may look like they have it all together on Sunday morning, they are most likely struggling and hurting about someone or something. Minister to them. God wants us to go the extra mile to help those in need. Now about the city – think about the first church as described in the book of Acts. It says that they praised God and enjoyed the favor of all the people and as a result, “each day, the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)

Too many Christians come to church for themselves. I call this “menu-mentality” – what is on the menu of programming for my family and myself? Barna reports that only one out of every four believers will spend time in a given week serving others. Most people would rather give money to an organization that serves instead of rolling up their sleeves and truly being the hands and feet, the beautiful hands and feet that bring the Good News (Isaiah 52:7).

Evangelism Goes Beyond the Pulpit
September 17, 2008, 10:54 am
Filed under: christian living, Christianity, Christians, church, evangelism, Life and Leadership, ministry, pastor | Tags:

Did you know that the typical churched believer will go their entire life without having the privilege of being involved in the process of leading someone to place their trust in Christ. I believe that this is due to the fact that they are overwhelmed by the task of evangelism. We are called to share the love of Christ with those who are lost and in need of a Savior, yet many are intimidated by this daunting task. If you dig deeper you will find that they have a fear of rejection by friends and family if they even ventured into the realm of evangelism. In fact, many believe that sharing the gospel is the job of the pastor on Sunday mornings at the end of the sermon.

George Barna in his book Revolution suggests that the role of evangelism goes beyond the pulpit. He points out that the early church as described in the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 2, carried out their evangelistic efforts through faith-based conversations. They prayed for and embraced opportunities to have “low-key/high impact conversations about truth and purpose in life. When this approach is combined with a life lived in such dedication to the things of God, opportunities will arise to share the joy of your salvation. The greatest witness that a person can have is a lifestyle that creates interest from those searching for meaning and purpose in life. When you find someone questioning your pure motives and inspired perspective you are engaged in the process of evangelism. It is our calling to share the gospel and it is God’s desire to save. I challenge you to redefine evangelism in your own life and “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:20)

Over 900 People Trust Christ at Elevation Church!
September 10, 2008, 10:14 am
Filed under: church, evangelism, Gospel, Life and Leadership, outreach, pastor, sermon | Tags: , ,

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. At a young age, Steven realized God’s plan for him to start a life-changing church in a metropolitan city. Elevation Church was founded on the faith of eight families who risked everything — sold houses, quit jobs and moved to Charlotte believing God would turn their city upside down for His glory through the local church. That risk has resulted in a remarkable return.

At their two-year mark, Elevation grew to more than 3,500 in weekly attendance between its two portable campuses. In 2007, Elevation Church was named one of the 10 Fastest Growing Churches in America. And they are just getting started.

Pastor Steven’s challenging message and passionate desire to see “those far from God filled with life in Christ” has ignited a fire in Charlotte and beyond. Pastor Steven recently preached a three-part series on the gospel that was life-changing for over 900 people that gave their lives to Christ during the 3 weeks of The Gospel series. Visit the Elevation Church website and make time to listen to these sermons. Pastor Steven’s combination of boldness, conviction, and humility make him a gifted communicator that God is using to impact Charlotte in a powerful way. Pastor Steven is an inspiration to me and a constant reminder that the gospel is the power of salvation to all who believe (Romans 1:16)!

Extreme Makeover: Sports Edition

One of my favorite TV shows is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It is rare you will find me watching television that is not sports related, but this reality series has grabbed my heart and attention. Why? Because they provide not only a new home, but a custom home based upon the specific needs of a deserving family. The best part is that the entire community comes together to show love in a tangible way that will make a lasting impact on a family in need.

Last night’s episode hit close to home for me. A blended family of seven were living in a house that was only 600 square feet, because they could not afford anything bigger. The father had grown up on the streets and made costly mistakes that he was determined his children would not make. The part that was special to me is that this family loved sports and both the mom and dad were youth sports coaches who serve the families in their community. They even run the concession stand at the local sports complex. Now the families in their community had a chance to serve them.

So the family goes on vacation to Disney World for 7 days while the builders and volunteers from the community build them a brand new home. When they arrive home to see their new place they are informed that an anonymous donor paid off their mortgage. Wait. It gets better. West Virginia University also committed to cover tuition for all five children when they are ready to attend college.

This is true community. If your church sports program is inward focused you are missing the point. You are missing a opportunity to share the love of Christ in word and deed. Our words alone are not going to change the world. It is when they are accompanied by loving acts of service that the world will stop in their tracks and wonder what motivated such compassion. And I know that for many on Extreme Makeover, they are giving back to their community as a means to reflect the love of Jesus to the world He came to save.

Share the Gospel Using Sports Illustrations

Stonebriar Community Church’s Baseball/Softball Camp was this week and I knew today was the day that the gospel would be presented. I could not wait for the Sports Outreach Director to give me a call. I was the first person he called to tell me all about the exciting events of the day.

First of all, he began the camp day focused on explaining to the campers the concept of sacrifice. As a captivating illustration he told the story of the college softball player who hit a home run recently and tore her ACL while running the bases. The only way for her to get credit for the first home run of her career was for the players on the other team to sacrifice what ended up being their postseason hopes to help the other team score runs by carrying the injured player around the bases lowering her just enough to touch the base until they all reached home.

As Coach C was telling the story two coaches carried a college student around the bases allowing him to touch each base for what was a creative and amazing way to communicate sacrifice. Coach C knew that he would later in the day refer back to that illustration when he spoke of the gospel, the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When it was time to communicate the gospel to the campers, Coach C continued Continue reading