Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What's Your Word?

This past weekend Pastor Dave challenged each of us to write down the one word that it is going to take for each of us to have a serving heart. The words were Listening, Helping and Bearing.

As I have personally thought about each of these three words, for me, it is bearing that I really need to work on in my life as a follower of Jesus.

The one line that really grabbed a hold of me in the message and continues to simmer in the back of my brain is "always be ready to be interrupted by God." Most people do not enjoy being interrupted by anything, or anyone for that matter. But as Pastor Dave reminded us, it is in the interruptions of life that God is seeking to work in and through us. My prayer is that I will have eyes wide open for those moments of interruptions that God gives to me.

What's your word?

Monday, October 30, 2006

What would you do?

I was reading into the mystic blog by Alex McManus this morning and I was struck by this statement and question he posed...

"If you wanted to reach 20-50 people this year or month without reference to your budget, building, membership or staff, how would you do in your context?"

What would you do? This is not a question about numbers. This is about a heart for people who do not know Jesus. Check out Luke 10, Acts 16 and Acts 19.

Do we have the capacity to look beyond the budget and beyond what we want church to look like and feel like for us to be comfortable?

Can we boldly stand up and declare that we are here to let this region know that each person matters to God and therefore we want them to know of the love of Jesus? If we do that I believe that we can reach 20-50 per month for Jesus.

Monday, October 23, 2006

First Night without Soccer

Tonight is the first night without soccer for a couple of months. Wow, what a change! I have started to catch up on my reading. I started reading Compassionate Leadership by Ted Engstrom and Paul Cedar. I really appreciated this quote, "Under normal circumstances, a congregation is the length and shadow of its shepherd. Members reflect the attitude and ministry style of their pastor. When a pastor is eager, so will be the congregation. When the pastor is generous and forward looking, so will his congregation." Good stuff. This isn't a difficult read, but it is a good one to get back in the reading saddle with.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Last night we had our end of the year party for the soccer team. We went to the paintball park and had an awesome time. I can definitely see why paintball has become such a huge industry.

I played three different rounds. The first time I was knocked out by Seth Jonczak and the second time I was knocked out by Tyler Heydorn. Seth hit me in the finger, Tyler hit me in the head. I would give Tyler the "kill". The third round I finally figured out the strategy: stay low, shoot straight. I moved up, bam - I took out one with a shot to the arm. I moved up further, bam - I took out another with a shot to the chest. Finally I am in the other team's side and I take out a third with two shots, one to the chest and one to the neck. It was awesome!! I will not release names in order to protect them from the shame of being shot by their coach.

I will be the first to admit that I was a bit nervous going into this because I knew that I had a bullseye on me because of all the windsprints and running I made the team do. I even had a thought that my own team would turn against me just to get a chance at shooting me. But we stayed together and had a great time.

Fantastic season. We finished 9-6-2. Not bad for our first year together.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


If you follow college football in any way, you know that there was a huge fight on Saturday between the players on the University of Miami and Florida International. There are a ton of suspensions being handed out to the players that are involved. Yesterday the "clean up" began. Players who are hoping to play at the next level are doing everything they can to get television time in order to apologize.

What is interesting to me is that each of these players are saying that their conduct on the field in the heat of the moment of the game did not accurately reflect their character. Really? It is my understanding that our character is revealed in those moments, not hidden. When we are pushed and challenged in our daily lives, how we react is a revealer of who we are and what is truly important to us. For these players to say that their actions on the field did not represent who they are is making what they did on the field even worse.

When we as leaders choose to blame the situation of our behavior we are seeking to take the responsibility for our actions off of us. The truth of the matter is we are all going to fail. We are all going to say things and do things that we know we should have done. We need to take responsibility for what we did, learn from it, repent of it, and walk in the forgiveness of God.

Remember, your character is with you all of the time, whether you want to admit it or not.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blessing of Multiple Voices

As the title of this blog says, I am one of the pastors at Charter Oak Church. I realized for the first time in a while how much of a blessing that is. I didn't preach this weekend, and I am thankful. I have been going fully speed for the last few months. I thank God for Pastor Dave. What a blessing for me and I believe for the people of Charter Oak Church to have multiple voices from our stage.

Words cannot express my appreciation to this church to have the opportunity to sit with my wife and kids and worship and learn. I also think it is a brilliant strategy for having a fresh word from God for the congregation. I can spend these next weeks praying, studying, and preparing for my next series. I also think it raises the bar of the level of preaching for me. After hearing Pastor Dave preach, it inspires me to want to be a better preacher because he is excellent. When I get on stage, I want to make sure what I am saying is totally from God. This time in-between the series allows me to seek God in a deeper way.

Another thing that happens through this model of preaching is a focus on what is truly important for the people of this congregation to hear. If I am only speaking 25 weeks out of the year, I want to be very sure that what I am saying is relevant to the spiritual development of each person here.

I would highly recommend to all of my pastor friends to share your pulpit or stage with someone who is a great communicator like Pastor Dave. You will be better for it. Your congregation will definitely be stronger for it.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

September Worship at a Glance

September 2/3 - I preached
622 in worship (49.2% increase from 2005)
271 in Sunday school (83.1% increase from 2005)

September 10 - Bishop Bickerton preached
765 in worship (48.5% increase from 2005)
No Sunday school stats

September 16/17 - I preached
576 in worship (30% increase from 2005)
264 in Sunday school (9.1% increase from 2005)

September 23/24 - I preached
596 in worship (40.9% increase from 2005)
272 in worship (9.7% increase from 2005)

Monday, October 2, 2006

See the Morning

Last week I picked up Chris Tomlin's new CD "See the Morning." Good stuff. For five straight days it never came out of my CD player in my car. I highly recommend it.

I was totally cracking up when I opened the CD case to find out that I could down load ringtones of Chris Tomlin's songs. One of them is Forever another is How Can I Keep from Singing. Even Christian artists are doing the ringtone thing.

I can assign specific ringtones to people on my cell phone list. If I were to download one of those two songs, I would assign them to my wife, Kelli.

iFear quote

Here's a couple of follow up quotes from the iFear message yesterday.

"Fear is the emotion of conformity.
If Abraham Lincoln was correct that we all come into this world as God's original but usually depart as man's copy, then nothing is more responsible for the erasure of this dignity than fear...
Of all the fears that currently plague our lives – from the fear of terror and death, to aging and illness, to professional setbacks and public humiliation, perhaps none is more tragic than the simple fear of being yourself...
Just take a moment to think about that and to fully grasp how serious that
is: you're afraid just to be yourself... "

The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.
~ Proverbs 29:25 The Message

"I am who I think people think that I am."

Thanks Kelli.