Thursday, February 28, 2008

Worship and Sunday School Stats

Here are the statistics for February 2008...

Feb 2/3 (Chris preached - 30 Days to Live Series)
690 in worship (4.4% increase from 2007)
286 in Sunday school (1.1% increase from 2007)

Feb 9/10 (Dave preached - Desperate Households Series)
696 in worship (14.7% increase from 2007)
267 in Sunday school (4.3% decrease from 2007)

Feb 16/17 (Dave preached - Desperate Households Series)
683 in worship (21.1% increase from 2007)
298 in Sunday school (16.9% increase from 2007)

Feb 23/24 (Dave preached - Desperate Households Series)
750 in worship (18.9% increase from 2007)
250 in Sunday school (45.3% increase from 2007)

Book #5 - Going All the Way

As I was traveling to Jamaica I finished reading Craig Groeschel's book Going All the Way: Preparing for a Marriage that Goes the Distance. This is my new source for my pre-marital meetings that I conduct with couples. I require six meetings with couples before I will preform their wedding. I share with them that while they are preparing for one day (their wedding day) by spending a ton of money, energy, and emotions, my job is to prepare them for the rest of their lives together.
I would love to get this book into every college age or even high school aged person's hands. The stuff that Craig shares is critical to a life long marriage and it begins long before a couple says their I do's and I will's.
I also appreciated Craig's honesty about his marriage now. It was good to be reminded about my role as a husband and some of the things that are expected of me that so easily fall through the cracks of life when I am so busy. This is a great book to be given away by pastors and pastors of students to those who are single.

More than Enough

This is a picture of our group at the dedication of one of the houses we built last week. Caleb and I walked into the house and I said, "This is it. This is the house of a family of six. This is it - 12 feet by 16 feet. This is it, a little bit bigger than your bedroom at home. It helps us to put into perspective what we have and what we need." Later I asked Caleb what touched him the most about the trip. He said the house dedication.

This week I have been spending a ton of time and energy getting ready for the launch of our next capital campaign. This weekend we are going to introduce the leadership team to the congregation. I know people will be asking a lot of tough questions about money. They will turn on the television and listen to the media talk about a recession. They will look at their expenses and their debt. The evil one will seek to confuse and will try to deceive.

I am here to tell you this will be a watershed season for the people of Charter Oak Church. Without a doubt this capital campaign will be unlocking the future for us in so many ways. I believe people are going to trust God, many for the first time, with everything that they have. I believe people will give sacrificially because they are putting their faith in the providence of God and not in their possessions. I believe this campaign will grow our faith more than anything else we have ever done. Without God, we will fail. I believe with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We're Back

We are back from our mission trip to Jamaica. For the last week our family has been serving in Harmons, Jamaica. We helped to build two houses and two foundations for the next team to build upon. We built great relationships with some people who need to know the love and grace of Jesus.

It seems strange to me to say that our family went on a mission trip. It says that our every day living here in this region isn't missional when the reality is, we are always on mission - in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. Why does it seem so much more important to say I have been on a mission trip? Yes, I was in my Samaria, but that isn't the only place Jesus calls his disciples to be on mission. We are to be on mission here in the region around Charter Oak Church.

If you are reading this and you are a part of the Charter Oak Church family then you are on mission right where God has you. If you are a student, it is in school. If you work outside the home, it is at your job. If you work inside your home, it is your home. For all of us, it is our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Remember, your life is very short, a breath, a mist, then it's gone. Do what God wants you to do and say what God wants you to say. You are on mission wherever you are.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Missional Work

I am leaving on another mission trip to Jamaica this weekend. This time I have an incredible twist to my trip. I am going with Kelli, Caleb, and Abby. I get to slip on the hands and feet of Jesus with my wife and kids. Wow! This will be Kelli's first trip since the first time she went down to Jamaica when we first met. Caleb and Abby have been saying good bye to me many many times over the years as I left to go to Jamaica. Now they get to go too. I love it!!

If you look at the map on the left, look for the town - May Pen. We will be about 30 minutes away in the middle of the mountains. Please pray for us.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Book #4 - Confessions of a Pastor

Last night before watching Lost, I finished reading my first book by Craig Groeschel, Confessions of a Pastor: Adventures in Dropping the Pose and Getting Real with God. This was an important book for me. I was initially interested in reading this book because of the title and all of the junk that all pastors deal with that just comes along with our jobs. Every pastor deals with it differently, but I find myself wired up very similarly to Craig. He is way ahead of me in every area - especially leadership, but I do think we have many things in common. After reading this book I would say I know we have a lot in common. This should be required reading for all pastors.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Worship and Sunday School Stats

Here are the statistics for worship and Sunday school in January:

January 5/6 (I preached)
641 in worship (.8% decrease from 2007)
257 in Sunday school (7.5% decrease from 2007)

January 12/13 (I preached)
744 in worship (.7% increase from 2007)
279 in Sunday school (11.8% decrease from 2007)

January 19/20 (I preached)
687 in worship (.6% decrease from 2007)
260 in Sunday school (13.1% decrease from 2007)

January 26/27 (I preached)
685 in worship (39.6% decrease - Children's musical in 2007)
283 in Sunday school (17.4% increase from 2007)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Responding to God

I was just doing a little reading and I came across this question that in essence asked, "How do you live out your relationship with Jesus?" There were three options - worship - obey - witness. It was really looking for a singular answer. I know we all live out of each of these at one time or another through the day or week. But if you had to answer that question, what would you say is your primary way of living out your relationship with Jesus: worship, obey, witness?

The 2 Hour Delay

All of the local schools around Charter Oak Church are on a 2 hour delay. Typically, I take that as good news because I go into the office at my regualr time, but I know things are going to be quiet for a little longer. Not today. I'm taking a 2 hour delay also. I have been working such long hours this week that I am just going to read and drink coffee until my wife and kids wake up, then I'm going to have some fun with them. Today I am rejoicing over a 2 hour delay. I'm taking it as a gift from God. Enjoy moments like these.