October 20, 2010

Is it a Job or is it Ministry

I just received a newsletter from a Warwick UMC, the church I was a pastor of before starting LifeSpring Church. In it, the pastor, Rick Hamilton, quoted a devotional that was read on his recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic. As I read it, I thought, WOW! Whoever first wrote these words has given a great description of the difference between “doing a job at church” and “being involved in ministry”. Take a look and see for yourself:

If you’re doing it because no one else will, it’s a job.
If you’re doing it to serve the Lord, it’s a ministry.

If you’re doing it just well enough to get by, it’s a job.
If you’re doing it to the best of your ability, it’s a ministry.

If you’ll do it so long as it doesn’t interfere with other activities, it’s a job.
If you’re committed to staying with it, even when it means letting go of other things, it’s a ministry.

If you quit, because no one praised you or thanked you, it’s a job.
If you stay with it even when no one seems to notice, it’s a ministry.

If you do it because someone else said it needs to be done, it’s a job.
If you do it because you are convinced it needs to be done, it’s a ministry.

It’s hard to get excited about a job.
It’s almost impossible not to get excited about a ministry.

The average church is filled with people doing jobs. A great church is filled with people involved in a ministry.
If God calls you to do a ministry, for heaven’s sake (Literally), don’t treat it like a job. If you have a job in the church, give it up and find a ministry! God doesn’t want us feeling stuck with a job, but excited, fulfilled and faithful in a specific ministry

  • What is God calling you to do?
  • Is God telling you to do a “Job” in the church or to do “Ministry”?
  • Which would of the two would you invite a friend to come join you in doing…a Job or Ministry?
  • Which of the two would a friend be more excited about getting involved in with you… a Job or Ministry?
For me, I’m called to lead and grow a GREAT CHURCH for Jesus Christ, expanding His Kingdom by involving people in MINISTRY not in jobs!

May I never loose or deny doing the ministry God has placed in my heart! ... Nor may you!

Let’s Do Ministry Together,

LifeSpring Church

October 2, 2010

Attitude Reflects Leadership

Ok, so now I’m watching all my favorite clips from Remember the Titans and I am getting ALL FIRED UP!

Today I was watching the clip where Gerry Bertier (played by Ryan Hurst) and Julius Campbell (played by Wood Harris) have, well let’s say it’s a coming together of the minds.

Take a look at the clip here….

First of all, both Gerry and Julius are extremely exhausted, basically because they have not been working together as the leaders of the Titans team to get their teammates to perform to the best of their abilities.  So, the coach has the entire team doing 3 practices a day.  Being an ex-football player and coach, that makes me sweat just typing the words “3-a-day practices.”

Gerry is trying to blame it all on Julius who isn’t doing his assignment.  He is trying to “blow right past ‘em” and is taking the bait of the other team and when he does, he leaves Gerry and the rest of his teammates “hanging out to dry.”

Julius on the other hand is questioning Gerry’s leadership as he is allowing half-hearted effort from his teammates (including from Gerry himself) all because Gerry and some of the teammates don’t like or respect the other teammates. Then he says the crushing line that every leader of a team would hate to hear, “I’m suppose to wear myself out for the team?!   What team?”  Julius is saying that we may look like a team, but we certainly aren’t acting like one.

And finally, Julius delivers the knock out blow that actually stuns both the sender and the receiver…”Attitude reflects leadership.”

The attitude of the team reflects the leadership of the team.

As individual leaders serving on the Leadership Team of LifeSpring Church or as leaders of other ministries in our church, or as leaders in other churches who are also working to expand the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, what attitude are you INTENDING to project to others and what attitudes are being PERCEIVED by those who you are leading?

Are you stepping up to the tough challenges that exist within the church and that exist outside the church and face them head on with the ATTITUDE of EXCELLENCE that  “We are fighting to expand God’s Kingdom, what’s the problem here, have you lost focus of the importance of that!”  It should be more than the exhaustion of the “3-a-day practices” that is driving our ATTITUDE of EXCELLENCE in what we are doing as the leaders of the church.  It should be that people’s LIVES are hanging in the balance of our actions that drives our ATTITUDE of EXCELLENCE!

Remember what Julius said… “Attitude reflects leadership, Captain”

I love you guys.

October 1, 2010

Strive for Excellence, Leave No Doubt

This week I sent the following email to the Leadership Team for LifeSpring Church.  In it I was reminding them of the importance of striving for excellence in all areas of our ministry.  I told them I was not looking for perfection, and I encouraged them to keep improving because there are lives at stake.

Maybe as you read parts of the email, you will be encouraged to strive for excellence when serving as a follower of Jesus Christ…He did!

I want to tell you with all my heart that I believe THIS IS the Leadership Team that God is loving, guiding, & pressing into as individuals and as a team to PROPEL LifeSpring Church to the next level of EXCELLENCE.

YOU ARE NOT HERE BY MISTAKE, BUT BY DIVINE DESIGN!   GOD has SIFTED out those who aren't BOUGHT IN AND SOLD OUT to this VISION... YOU ARE THE 10 that will get it done!... I personally am TRUSTING in you! And I Believe that GOD is ENTRUSTING you! ENTRUSTING you with His CHURCH and His PEOPLE.




We are in a battle with Satan...a War that has costly casualties... but a war that GOD will win through those of us who are loving, obedient followers of Jesus Christ!

This is were we draw the line in the sand and say to Satan... NO MORE... We will stand in the gap for God's children!  We are the warriors Jesus has chosen to lead the way.  Yes, we don't have a lot of money, yes, we don't have a lot of people, yes, there are a lot of uncommitted people hanging around ...


With that said, I want you to watch this clip from Remember the Titans:

When I watch this clip, I can imagine Jesus as the Assistant Coach Bill Yoast (played by Will Patton), who finally takes all he can take of the evil represented in the corrupt referees, and the punishment from the Evil One (the coach of the opposing team) and the Evil One’s followers (the opposing team themselves).

He pulls his team around him, to prepare them for the upcoming battle, having to make some last minute changes to insure that together, the whole team about to step on the battlefield is BOUGHT IN and SOLD OUT to His Vision of what could be.  All this is happening under the watchful eye of God, His Father, as seen in the Head Coach Hermon Boone (played by Denzel Washington).

Listen for two memorable quotes Assistant Coach Yoast says to his players before they take the field.

The first quote: “Alright, now I don’t won’t them to gain another yard. You BLITZ ALL NIGHT!  If they cross the line of scrimmage I’m gonna take every last one of you out! You make sure that they remember forever the night they played the Titans!”

Listen to the second quote that Assistant Coach Yoast yells to the team as they run onto the field, and then later he repeats to the Head Coach after his defensive team has STOPPED THE ENEMY.

“Leave NO DOUBT!”

To the LifeSpring Leadership Team… I LOVE YOU!  I don’t want Satan to gain another soul! YOU BLITZ ALL NIGHT!! You make sure they remember forever …JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!!!!


I wonder how they will respond?  How would you respond?

September 10, 2010

Jim Collins Interview

I saw this video and just HAD to share it with you guys.

Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great", discusses six attributes of great employees. But when I heard this, it sounded like key characteristics of effective leaders within the local church.

Jim Collins Interview from LifeSpring Church on Vimeo.

(Credit to for the interview section of this video.)

September 4, 2010

Plodding for God

I'm currently reading Plan B by Pete Wilson, one of the pastors at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. He recently recommended a blog post calling for "fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries." (Which, yes, makes this a blog post recommending a blog post that recommended blog post... but anyway...)

Here is a bit of what he said:

There are times I get so frustrated with the church that I just want to scream and walk away. Generally it’s because I see something in her that reminds me of something glaringly obvious in my own life.  Trying to consistently lead a church to be everything God has called her to be is the biggest challenge of my life. So thankful for all the “plodders” God has put around me.

You can read the rest of the article here.

So often we see people react out of emotion or people who jump in line because of the latest, greatest fad. But following God HAS GOT TO BE MORE THAN THAT! Those things (emotion or the crowd) may get our attention, but those won't last or carry us into discipleship to Jesus. That has to come from a CONVICTION of God working in us and working on us. That has to come from complete TRUST IN JESUS.

Now don't mistake "plodding" for settling for mediocrity or being lazy in our faith. There are times when our faith calls us to sprint! And God ALWAYS deserves our best efforts. This is more about a steady consistency in our willingness and obedience to follow God.

And I am so thankful to have people around me in my life that are willing to "plod" along for God.

August 22, 2010

Sunday Night Musings

A few random thoughts on a terrific day at LifeSpring Church

- Today was the first day @ LifeSpring Church for our new worship team and new worship leader, Rebecca Shealy. They were AWESOME and brought their A-game today. They say they were a little nervous, but I couldn’t tell. I am really FIRED UP about what God is going to do through them each week! I can’t wait for our next week’s service!

- Several more people signed up for LifeGroups this morning. I am so glad we are able to offer a LifeGroup in both Statesboro and Brooklet. This should help ease some of the time constraints for our participants.

- We had one of our biggest crowds in the children and nursery areas today. And Katie’s teams were READY. It is such a blessing to parents of small children to be able to leave their child in a safe, loving, and encouraging place while they are in worship. And we certainly have that at LifeSpring Church.

- I think Jesus was pleased with many people today who are committing to be Bought In and Sold Out for Jesus over the next 40 days.

- I have been reflecting today on a couple of comments that I made this morning in the worship service. God is still working on me about the change I need in my life.

o The American church has abandoned the most simple and obvious truth of what it means to follow Jesus: You actually follow His pattern of life. Francis Chan

o We Love the idea of following Jesus until it disrupts OUR plans and OUR dreams…

o We all want to be changed, but we don’t want to change.

o I believe Jesus is saying to us; “Don’t try to change Me… when you deny yourself, pick up God’s will, and follow my example, THEN I can change you! And then you can join me in changing the world.”

o Who do you say Jesus Is? Our answer to this question is so important, because it sets the foundation of how we live our life day to day.

- We will start planning our first “tail-gate baptism” this week. This service will be TOTS OFF THE CHAIN. We currently have 2 people lined up to be baptized that day (Sept. 12th) and I expect more to join them.

- I exercised early this morning before I got ready for church. I have been preaching for more than 12 years and have NEVER done that before. But that high school reunion is only 40 days away… & I need some PHYSICAL change before then.

Peace-out & Love all


August 21, 2010

Matthew 10 (Part 5 of 6)

Today Matt 10:24-33:

"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Those that seek to harm us are no more powerful than their master. For those who follow Beelzebub (Satan), they are no more powerful than Satan is. With that said, Jesus has power and dominion over Satan. By us following Jesus, rather than Satan, we have power through Jesus to overcome his evil.

Fear can distract us from our focus on following Jesus. Fear can distract us from doing what Jesus has instructed us to do.

Jesus is telling us that God watches over all His creation. Nothing goes unnoticed with God. Our value to God is great enough that he notices us, our actions, and our motives.

Acknowledging Jesus before men (giving witness, testifying about what we know) and not allowing men to dominate us or to instill so much fear that we don’t act, that is what Jesus wants to reward and acknowledge to His Father in Heaven.

Do you need to be reminded that, in Jesus, you have no reason to fear evil?

Are there fears you need to hand over to the God that loves and values you?

What are some ways that you are acknowledging Jesus in front of others?

August 20, 2010

Matthew 10 (Part 4 of 6)

Today Matt 10:17-23:
"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Ok, I have to admit that I have struggled with this passage. On the surface, my mind keeps jumping to all the troubles that are about to happen to these 12 guys who Jesus has empowered and instructed, and the warning he gave them, “be on your guard against men”.

However, there are two other phrases that are critical, and if we read too fast we miss them. They’re in verse 18, “On my account…” and in verse 22 “…because of me…”

Lets start with verse 18. If you read this one sentence only, you see that Jesus is saying that because of Him these 12 guys “will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles”.

What have they witnessed?

What will they witness about?

FYI, verse 19 begins with the conjunction “but.” That means “on the contrary” or maybe “otherwise”. The big difference in verse 18 and verses 19 and 20 is that in verses 19 and 20 they are told that the “Spirit of your Father” will speak through them.

SO, who is speaking through them when they are witnesses before governors & kings?

Being a witness to something is significant in Old Testament writings. I think it is one of the BIG TEN … commandments that is… Exodus 20:16 (NIV) says, "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Oh, that’s right, the word’s different now … yeah, about that …

The Greek word used for “witnesses” in verse 18 is MARTURION (pronounced mar-too'-ree-on). Long story short, its root meaning is translated “be testified, testimony, witness” according to Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.

So I guess my question to you today is, if you were brought before people; friends, leaders, governors, or kings … are you prepared to witness about Jesus to them?

What would you say? Will you speak the truth of Jesus? Even if “all men will hate you because of me (Jesus)?”

I certainly hope the cat doesn’t have your tongue when the time comes to speak up as witnesses for Jesus Christ. Who knows, you may get the opportunity tomorrow! Are you ready?

August 19, 2010

Matthew 10 (Part 3 of 6)

Today Matt 10:11-16:

"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Jesus chooses 12 followers to go out and instructs them to “preach the message” and perform acts of mercy to a “specific group of people” (some worthy person) within the group of “specific people” that is their target audience (the lost sheep Israel - not Gentiles, not Samaritans). Once the person is fnd, spend time with them in their home.

To me this is saying that a disciple must invest time and energy into those that are worthy, but worthy of what? Worthy of the message they are bringing!

Hold on, my eye catches something else. Oh, I see, Jesus is instructing them to find some worthy people and then if the home is deserving to let their peace rest on it, if not, "let your peace return" he tells them. That must mean that some times the disciples will get it wrong! They will offer peace to those whose home is NOT deserving of the peace that they are offering.

No problemo. Jesus says just move on, there are others who need what you have to offer. God will take care of those who reject the message on the Day of Judgment. Offer peace, preach the message that “the kingdom of heaven is near”, perform acts of mercy, and when your efforts are not welcomed, don’t let that discourage you to the point you quit doing what Jesus has instructed you to do. Just move on to the next place.

How many times have you felt you failed at reaching someone with the Good News of Jesus?

How many times have you wanted to quit because it was tough, or it didn’t go like you wanted it to, or you made a mistake and failed?

Well, Jesus is telling these followers that it is going to be tough, you might make mistakes, and it’s not easy out there. “Like sheep among wolves.” Dude, that’s pretty tough! But, Jesus instructs the disciples to be shrewd as snakes, yet innocent as doves, and he definitely doesn’t tell them to quit because it is tough.

In fact, in a way, Jesus is saying ‘know what you’re getting into’, ‘Get your facts together, do your research, know what you’re talking about’. Jesus doesn’t want these 12 guys to underestimate the degree of evil that is out there where they will be doing their work.

Being sure you understand that shrewd and deceit are not the same, let me ask this question: How have you been shrewd in expanding God’s Kingdom?

August 18, 2010

Matthew 10 (Part 2 of 6)

Today Matt 10:5-10:
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

Previously we saw Jesus call out a small group of men to become an active part of growing the Kingdom of God with Jesus, and they accepted.

Next Jesus gave these 12 guys authority to 1) drive out evil spirits, 2) to heal every disease and sickness.

Notice it wasn’t until after he had given them authority that Jesus gave instructions. What would have happened if they went out with the AUTHORITY but without the INSTRUCTIONS? It could have been a mess. Have you done that before?

Also notice, even though these 12 guys had been with Jesus and previously witnessed first hand Jesus doing these things, he still gave them specific instructions of where & how he wanted THEM to do it.

A lot of people can read books about leading a new church start. They may have been in the congregation of another church start. Some might have witnessed Jesus first hand doing phenomenal things through the leadership of another church. But even with all our life’s experience, we each need to HEAR what Jesus is instructing each of US to do right now where we are!

Are you leaning on your past experiences with Jesus more than what you are currently HEARING Jesus instructing you to do now as the part of the leadership of LifeSpring Church?

Jesus gave SPECIFIC instructions of WHO (the target) he wanted the disciples to reach!

He told them who NOT to go to, and who TO go to. Does this mean that Jesus doesn’t care about the “Gentiles” or the “Samaritans”? Nope, just means it wasn’t who he wanted THESE 12 guys to go to at this time (BTW, later Jesus will give them new instructions of who to go to…so, don’t get ticked when Jesus updates your instructions!). Jesus wanted them to focus on a specific target, not just a general direction.

Who are the people Jesus is instructing LifeSpring Church to go to?

Who are the people that Jesus is instructing you to go to?

Are they the same people?

(Is this a trick question, since LifeSpring Church IS made up of people like you?)

Jesus gave SPECIFIC instructions of WHAT TO DO as the 12 guys go to the specific people (the target). Notice the order of the WHAT TO DO list of instructions they were given. (There is ORDER in what Jesus instructed them to do, matching the authority he gave them to do it -Matt.10:1-4.)

  1. Preach a message. (A specific message that “the kingdom is near." You ask, "Me a preacher?!? I’m in the band, on hospitality team, lead the production team, etc. I’m not a preacher! That’s Dorsia’s job." WRONG… BUSTED… SMELL THE COFFEE!)
  2. Heal the sick. (Cool, he gave them authority to do that earlier.)
  3. Raise the dead. (WHAT?!? Jesus didn’t say anything about giving them the “authority” to raise the dead earlier. I wonder what kind of dead he’s speaking about… physically dead… or spiritually dead… ? The things that make you go hmmm.)
  4. Cleanse those who have leprosy. (Ok, got that, it’s like the disease thing Jesus gave them authority to do.)
  5. Drive out demons. (Yep, same as above.)

To wrap things up here, I’ll ask you a couple of reflective questions…

What has Jesus freely given you that he EXPECTS and INSTRUCTS you to freely give away to a specific group of people?

Jesus refers to “the worker” (Matt. 10:10). Who are you working for?

Are you worth your keep?

August 17, 2010

Matthew 10 (Part 1 of 6)

I'm reading through Matthew 10 this week and posting my thoughts and comments here.

Today: Matt10:1-4:

He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

This passage of scriptures speaks to me a couple of things:

  1. Jesus called (asked) some of his followers, not all, to separate themselves out from all the others, and come to him.
  2. It was only after these 12 men left, or separated themselves out from the others and came to Jesus, that he gave them authority to do specific things.

Jesus gave these guys an opportunity for something more! Something miraculous!! The chance to actively join him in what he was doing!!! To move out from a spectator and be on the field of play!!!!

But it seems to me that it was conditional upon them making a choice to come closer to Jesus. In other words, they had to leave from where they were, step out of the group of people (spectators) they were with and “come to him”.

Now realize that these 12 guys had already left friends, family, and their livelihoods behind to be “Fans” of Jesus. You know the ones. It’s like those fans who are die-hard GSU fans, but who never actually went to school here or even had a kid go here. They just are spectators. (I also include in this “fan” category those who did/do go to school at GSU, but never participated in any extracurricular activity at GSU; just classes, library, exams, diploma, and gone. They’re the ones who only experienced “part” of the “WHOLE” experience of being a student at GSU.)

Some of these guys had been with Jesus for nearly a couple of years. They had witnessed first hand “Jesus teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, healing every disease & sickness” (Matt4:23-25) and even casting out evils spirits. They heard Jesus preach the sermon on the mount (Matt5–7), they saw a man healed of leprosy (Matt8:1-4), and another who was paralyzed was healed (Matt9:1-8). They even saw Jesus bring a dead girl back to life! And all this time Jesus was teaching, training, and loving those devoted “fans”, people who were constantly around Jesus…especially those who left everything behind to be with Jesus, to follow him on this journey.

And now, Jesus is asking them to step out and come to him again!

Have you been hanging around Jesus for a while?

Have you witnessed first hand Jesus’ acts of life changing love, either with yourself or someone close to you?

Have you ever wondered if Jesus has more in store for you?

Have you recently heard Jesus’ familiar voice as he again calls you to him?

These 12 guys, by moving out from the crowd of people who were following Jesus as “fans” and moving closer to Jesus, were transformed from being “observers” of the kingdom of God, growing by the transforming power of Jesus, to “active participants” with Jesus growing the kingdom of God.

Oh, by the way, LifeSpring Church’s leadership team is looking for "fans of Jesus" who are transformed into “active participants with Jesus”! The choice if yours!

July 24, 2010

Axiom: Found People Find People (Part 3)

If you've followed along with my blog posts earlier this week (Part 1 and Part 2), then I can imagine what some of you are thinking:
Ok, I get it already! I can see that Andrew, Phillip, and the woman at the well all invited someone to come experience time with Jesus. I also get that Jesus is a center of any church, the main dish of the meal, the driving reason behind our love of God and others….
Sidenote: If Jesus isn’t the center of your church…you may want to change locations! Seriously...

So you can put 2 + 2 together and understand that


OK…. But I also know many people think, "This is the real world, over 2000 years after those guys first met Jesus. It's not THAT easy!"

People have lots of reasons for why they can’t share what they have experienced with Jesus, why they have a hard time telling others, why it's difficult to invite people to church. Two of the reasons I hear often are:
  1. "I don't know who to invite!"
  2. "I don't know what to say!"
Ok, well lets look at these stories from the book of John a little further.

In John 1:35-42, Andrew finds his brother Peter and invites him to meet Jesus.

In John 1: 43-49, Phillip finds his friend Nathaniel and, even after receiving some push back, invited Nathaniel to “come and see” Jesus for himself.

And in John 4:7-42, the woman at the well invites a bunch of people from the town.

Even though they invited different people - a brother, a friend, and a bunch of people from the town - they all had something in common.

They each knew people who were searching for something missing in their lives. People looking for something important. Something like hope, freedom, healing, direction, leadership, prosperity, inclusivity, or something else missing from their lives. People, that through previous conversations, it was understood were looking for same type of things that they were looking for.

Who do you invite?
So, who are the first people we should invite? Those we are closest to and share a lot in common, like family, or friends that are so close they are like family.

Then next people we should invite? Someone we know somewhat but we share some things in common, like friend or neighbor or co-worker.

Then next, we should invite someone we have a few things in common with, like those in our neighborhood, those whose kids attend the same school as our own, people who are in the same clubs or civic organizations with us, etc.

Now, what do you say?
In each one of the stories, the person only told what they experienced and found out for themselves when they spent time with Jesus.

When inviting people to church, don’t tell them what other people experienced. Tell what you personally experienced. “I saw this…” “I heard this….” “I did this….” “I learned this…” “I felt like this….”

Basically tell what you understand to date. Even if you have only been there a short time. Because people don’t want to go to a place you suggest, if you haven’t tried it yourself.

Found people find people.

Oh, and one last thing. Make a personal VERBAL invitation and then offer to bring them with you…

Try it and see for yourself.

July 22, 2010

Axiom: Found People Find People (Part 2)

I love the out doors, especially early in the morning or late in the afternoon. (And you’d know why I said those times of the day if you’ve ever lived in south Georgia for even one summer!)

Earlier this spring, Jodi and I decided to put in some new flowers and plants in to help make our backyard more colorful. Off to Lowe's Home and Garden Center we went. Knowing how tight our finances were, we decided to get some things now and then the rest after our next payday.

DUDE! …flowers and plants are EXPENSIVE!

All I wanted was some nice flowers to plant, some colorful hanging baskets, and a few other plants to brighten up the place WITHOUT having to mortgage two of my children, and sell one of my kidneys.

So we picked up a FEW things, and headed home. After our “STICKER SHOCK” we decided it might take several months to do what we wanted in the back yard.

Later that week, though, we came across a fresh seafood business in town that had expanded their business to include, get this, local grown plants and flowers. That’s right; fresh seafood for your grill and fresh flowers and plants for your backyard! (Crazy combinations of product lines seem to do well here in Georgia.)

And get this, the plants were twice as large and more healthy than the plants we had just bought at Lowe's! Oh, and the nail in the coffin… about 35% cheaper. Oh, yeah, we have found our new place to buy ANY plants and flowers from now on! Larger, healthier plants, at two-thirds of the cost!

EVERYBODY wants to save money, right! EVERYBODY wants to get more for what money they do spend RIGHT!

And you know what, I have been sharing this story to anyone who I meet who is about to do some backyard beautification. I mean when you find the answer to a problem or dilemma (over priced, unhealthy plants) that others are looking for too, don’t you want to “help” them out and give them the “inside scoop” on how they can save to?

In the stories I mentioned earlier this week, Andrew, Phillip, and the woman at the well were all looking for something.

Andrew was looking for the Messiah (even following John the Baptist around to learn more about the Messiah that was coming). Phillip was looking for the Messiah written about by Moses and the prophets. The woman was looking for where the right place to worship was- a place where all people could worship in spirit and truth.

In other words, they were looking for what the Messiah, the Christ, represented to each of them! Acceptance, Hope, Forgiveness, Love, Purpose, Freedom, answers to hard questions, and many other things...

Whatever they were looking for, they felt they had FOUND in Jesus, that Jesus was the answer to what they were looking for. And they knew others who were looking for the same thing… so off they go to share with others this great find, this answer to what they had been searching for.

Because found people find people.

Imagine finding larger, healthier, and inexpensive plants for sale at a Fresh Seafood Market??? But I did. I found the answer to what I was looking for in my quest for flowers.

Think about your church. No mater the shape, size, or music style, can people meet Jesus there? I hope so, because I'm SURE He's the answer to what people are looking for! How much greater is the world's need for a Savior than flowers? Isn't that something worth telling others about?!? Isn't that something worth inviting people too?

July 20, 2010

Axiom: Found People Find People (Part 1)

In this past week’s sermon, we began our new message series AXIOM, where we’re looking at five unmistakable signs of a growing relationship with Jesus.

I began this message series by sharing the first axiom we’ll look at…

I think this AXIOM is too often ignored by churches today - and I mean the people who make up the church.

What I am talking about is simply INVITATION!

Invitation to a worship service, invitation to small groups, invitation to volunteer, invitation to a meal, invitation to return again, or an invitation to BE A PART of the body of Jesus Christ, which we call THE CHURCH!

It is ridiculous how people who have encountered Jesus and chose to follow him are reluctant to invite others to experience Jesus too.

I hope you'll take a minute (OK - a FEW minutes) to read three short stories where the Bible emphasizes this axiom - FOUND PEOPLE FIND PEOPLE.

  • John 1:35-42 The story of Andrew , meeting Jesus firsthand, then finding his brother Peter and inviting him to come and meet Jesus, too.
    Key verses are John 1:41-42 “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah’(that is, the Christ) and he brought him to Jesus.”
  • John 1: 43-49 The story of Phillip, meeting Jesus 1st hand, then finding his friend Nathaniel and even after inviting him to meet Jesus and receiving some push back, persisted for Nathaniel to “come and see” for himself.
    Key verses are John 1:45-46 “Phillip found Nathaniel and told him ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph’ ”
  • John 4:7-42 The story of the Samaritan Woman meeting Jesus at the well and running back to town to invite all the towns people to “come and see” Jesus .
    Key verses are John 4:28-29 “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ “

What each story has in common is that each person (Andrew, Phillip, & the woman) only encountered Jesus for a VERY brief period of time before they knew they HAD to tell SOMEBODY what they had found for themselves!

Whether it was a conversation at a well, or spending the afternoon talking together, all of these stories show that each person only had a short time with Jesus. Yet this time, as brief as it may have been, had tremendous impact on each one. Nothing replaces a personal, face to face encounter with someone. It’s different than an email, a letter, or even a phone call. You can hear the tone of their voice, watch the body posture and hand gestures as they talk, you can see it in their eyes…what’s that old quote, “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. WOW! Imagine hearing Jesus speak as you are looking him in the eyes. He listens intently as you ask the questions you have been struggling with, as you share with Him about your doubts, fears, dreams, hopes.

Never underestimate the power or change that can occur when a person has an encounter - a personal experience - with Jesus. No mater how long that encounter is, it’s important.

Jesus found these very diverse people, their paths crossed, and Jesus invited them to meet and spend some time with Him. Then they found others.

I was found by Jesus, and that makes me a found person… and it started with an invitation.

Found People Find People

July 7, 2010


Recently, Perry Noble’s blog post "It’s Not the Product… It’s the Service, Part Two of Two" caught my attention. I wrote my thoughts about the INSIDE of the church view. Today, I’m going to speak to the “outside of the church” view, giving my commentary on what he had to say.

OUTSIDE of the Church View
“Nope…it’s not enough to just come to church and then go home…what we do outside the walls of the church in many ways is way more important that what happens on the inside. Saying that here are some ways we can take it to the next level in regards to making Matthew 5:14-16 become a reality.
  • Teach people to read their Bibles…to discover the reality of Hebrews 4:12, the LIVING/ACTIVE Word of God. A person who learns to hear the voice of God through the lens of Scripture is UNSTOPPABLE!
In order to teach people to read their Bibles the LEADERSHIP of the church need to be reading it themselves...REGULARLY…and I don’t mean reading the Bible for information…but TRANSFORMATION!
  • Challenge the church to take care of “one another” instead of hiring professionals to do it all!
  • Treat people outside of the church like they have a heart and soul…for example, being incredible kind to the server at the restaurant, DESPITE the “service” that they give. They might have had the roughest day of their life…and the last thing they need is someone wearing a Christian t-shirt and has a fish on their car being a complete butthole to them because their water glass wasn’t filled!
We teach that we should all be living out EXTRAVAGANT GENEROCITY
  • SERVE the world we live in rather than screaming at it. (The stupidity of some people in the church who believe lost people should act like Christians still blows my mind!)
Plain and simple: saved people serve people!
  • Stop looking down on others who commit “those sins” and realize that, were it not for the grace of God that we would be the very people we criticize!
  • Repent of our own sins before we call out the sins in others! (It blows my mind how an obese person can look at a drunkard and try to point out their sin without addressing their own! Whew…that was tense because FOOD has become the idol in the American church that many pastors are afraid to address.)
Ok, Perry got me with this one! But the truth is the truth.
  • STOP trying to isolate ourselves from the world that God was so desperate for that He sent His Son to LIVE HERE for 33 years and then gave His life for it!
  • Stop trying to win God’s approval through legalistic effort and walk in the incredible grace that HE gives us in Christ.
    The world can try to deny Christ and Christianity all day long…but when a church gets on fire because the people are on fire and we actually do and become what Jesus has called us to do and become…I believe we’ll see an outpouring of God’s favor and anointing like NEVER before.
I'll close with a quote from John Wesley…."Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.”

At LifeSpring Church, we’re trying to love, serve, teach, and develop the “one hundred” men and woman that John Wesley speaks of… disciples of Jesus Christ… are you one of the “one hundred”?

July 1, 2010


In my last post I referenced Perry Noble, the pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, and his comments in “It's Not the Product… It’s the Service, Part One of Two.” In a later post on the same subject ("It's Not the Product… It’s the Service, Part Two of Two"), Perry brought up some interesting perspectives on the church, that I AGREE WITH and I wanted to share with you.

The two perspectives or views that are mentioned are:
  1. The “inside of the church” view.
  2. The “outside of the church” view.
Today, I want to focus on what He had to say about the "inside of the church" perspective. Here are a few of my thoughts on what Perry had to say...
The way many church services are conducted many would conclude that Jesus never rose from the grave!
We do not serve a God who is lifeless, boring and dull…thus our church services should not be either. I DO believe in reverence…yet many have concluded that term with rigor mortis!
This isn’t a “Traditional” vs. “Contemporary” service debate here… it’s a cry for MORE PASSION in worship. This week I was at a worship service for the pastors, spouses, and administrative assistants (That sounds like an odd gathering, doesn’t it?) of the churches of the United Methodist Statesboro District prior to our yearly setup and planning meeting. Dr. Ben Martin, Statesboro District Superintendent, gave an inspirational message on effectiveness in growing the Kingdom of God by our “sharpening our tools” and not “grinding an axe”. Prior to his message, Brandi Womack Harvey, sang Mercy Me’s song “Word of God Speak”.

There was no “big band” playing back up for her; just her and the piano. No production team, lights, cameras, projector screens, no choir robes, pipe organ, hymn book… just the piano, Brandi’s voice, and most importantly Brandi’s PASSIONATE HEART of LOVE for Jesus Christ!

From the first note that she sang, Brandi’s love of Jesus penetrated every heart in the room! This was no performance to her. It was an outward expression of her love for Jesus through this song…

Where is the PASSIONATE HEART OF LOVE FOR JESUS in the church today?

Back to Perry’s comments…
The following are some personal convictions that I really do believe that, if applied, CAN make a difference.
  • When people show up they should be greeted by people who smile, say hello and are actually GLAD that they are there (and not worried about whether or not “those new people” are going to get the seat they’ve had for 20 years!)
  • If we actually believe what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:48, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8 instead of claiming the extremely unbiblical line that “we aren’t one of those church who like to reach people… we just want to love one another.”
  • Jesus did not save us for our glory… He saved us for HIS!
  • If, when people showed up the music was actually good instead of letting the deacons niece sing, which always causes people’s ears to bleed and makes people pray for Jesus to come back at that moment!
  • Actually taking time to PLAN the worship experience (with open hands of course) instead of letting a bunch of really bad things happen in consecutive order and then blaming the entire thing on the Holy Spirit.
  • Begging God for HIS unbelievable power to be demonstrated among us!
  • (BTW…some people say plan, others say pray…I believe the Bible says DO BOTH!!!)
  • Use language that people can actually understand! (I’m all about the blood of Jesus…but if I am an unchurched person and you ask me if I’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb… I am peeing my pants and then running like a bat out of Hades away from you!)
I could go on and on… what I’m really trying to say is that if we spent more time in our church services actually caring about reaching people rather than keeping people… I really do believe we could make a dent in the number of lost and unchurched people on the planet.
I look forward to hearing your comments on this. Later this week, I will be sharing about the “outside of the church” view!

June 22, 2010


Hey Guys,

I love reading other peoples writings on their thoughts about life, God, the future, or whatever. Books, blogs, twitters, Facebook pages, it doesn’t matter. You see, when I read other’s writings about their thoughts, it stimulates my own thinking.

For instance, the United Methodist Church has started a campaign about “RETHINKING CHURCH” . Trying to get people to take a different look, or different perspective when they look at their church and how the church is serving God by serving others.

Then I saw a blog from a new friend of mine, Perry Noble, the pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. Perry was my coach in church planting over the last 6 months, and between him and his wonderful staff, I have been RETHINKING CHURCH. What it means to me, to others, and most especially, what it means to JESUS, as we are beginning our new church LifeSpring.

Take a look at his blog post and let me know what you think about his comments. I will post his next blog on the subject when I get it.

I look forward to seeing you face to face. Until then, we can still "DO LIFE TOGETHER" through Jesus Christ, growing the Kingdom, one person at a time.

May 8, 2010

BOUGHT IN to the vision

“Bought in” is when a person decides to relinquish their old lifestyles and pursue another way. To give up an old way of doing things in exchange for the new.

Though God’s vision for an individual or the church may not be completely clear, it IS clear enough to desire a change in how they have been doing things. Are you BOUGHT IN to God's vision for your local church?

We see the example of being “bought in” in the story of Zacchaeus in the Book of Luke in the Bible. Jesus paid a visit to Zacchaeus' home after Zaaccaeus went to tremendous lengths just to get a glimpse of Jesus, to “see who Jesus was” as he was passing by.

Just by just being in the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus realized enough of God’s purpose for his life to make a bold change in the direction of his life.

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." (Luke19.8)
So, let's do a quick math lesson here. If Zacchaeus' possessions added up to, let's say, $1000, this would mean that he made an immediate contribution of $500 to the poor. That leaves him with $500. If we divide that amount by four, we come up with $125. That means that if Zacchaeus had cheated anybody out of more than $125, in our example, and he paid them back four times that amount, he would be flat broke, and unable to fulfill his commitment to Jesus.

So in order to pay back more than this amount, or any amount, Zacchaeus would have to continue to work to make money to repay his debt to others. A stark contrast to why he was working before meeting Jesus. Before, Zacchaeus' vision was working to build his own personal kingdom. After meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus was repaying others, in order to follow Jesus’ vision of expanding God’s Kingdom.

Yep. I would say that Zacchaeus was “Bought In” to Jesus' vision for his life, wouldn’t you?

May 5, 2010

Sold Out

I recently tweeted an idea I thought I would share here on the blog to help unpack it over the next few days. The statement was:
When your staff's SOLD OUT for Jesus, BOUGHT IN to the vision, PASSIONATELY serving others, & ON FIRE to see life-change, leading is easy!

SOLD OUT for Jesus
For me, the phrase “sold out” means that a person is giving all they have. They have no reserves left. For those of you who are poker players (or watch “Celebrity High Stakes Poker”) a similar term would be ALL IN.

In the Bible, there is a story where Jesus asked a man to “sell everything” and follow him...
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark10.21)
“Everything” for the man in this story was what the man depended on… For him it was his wealth. This is what Jesus asked him to give up, in order to be “sold out”… but the man just couldn’t do it.
At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"(Mark10.22-23)
For some people it’s not wealth they depend on, it’s power. For some, they depend on being accepted by others. Or maybe they depend on being at the center of everything. In fact, for some, they so badly want to be seen as having what others have that they're willing to depend on DEBT…

From this story I have learned that whatever it is you depend on other than Jesus, you need to get rid of it! You need to be SOLD OUT, COMPLETELY, then, and only then, are we able to truly understand what it means to enter into the Kingdom of God, the place where Jesus wants to lead us.

My chips are in the middle of the table. I'm ALL IN! It's your move...

April 29, 2010

What’s behind your Smile?

I married “up”.

I married a FANTASIC woman with brains and wit, whose smile lights up a room. In fact, when Jodi smiles at you, it’s so contagious that you can’t help but to smile back. This week I found one of the sources of Jodi’s smile. It’s something that I am ashamed to say I have overlooked over our 28 years of life together. Shame on me, but hey, now I know!

Several weeks ago, Jodi, who works part-time as the Financial Secretary for one of the local churches (not LifeSpring) here in town, was asked if she was interested in picking up a few more hours of work. That church's current receptionist was leaving soon and they were considering changing the full-time receptionist job into two part-time jobs. Of course, with the economic condition of our country and the financial state of our checkbook (eh... mostly driven by our checkbook), she agreed to interview for one of the part-time receptionist jobs, to go with her part-time Financial Secretary’s job.

This week Jodi had the interview with the church committee responsible for filling the receptionist position. When she got home, I asked her how it went.

After she answered some questions about her current job as the Financial Secretary, the committee began asking questions about the new part-time receptionist position. One question, and Jodi’s response to it, stuck out to me.

The team had asked Jodi how she would feel to be sharing the work and responsibilities with another person who is also part-time? Who would be in charge? Did she foresee any problems?

Jodi responded that she had no problem working with someone in a situation like this. She said typically there could be potential problems with one of them wanting to be in 'charge' or be the 'main' one that people looked to. However, she continued, that wouldn’t be the case with her because she had no desires to be ‘in charge’ of the other person. In fact, she said with a smile, “I have no problem submitting to the other person’s authority. I’m more of a ‘behind-the-scenes support person’ anyway. That’s what makes a difference and that’s what I’m good at.”

WOW! When I heard this I was blown away! That’s the kind of humble, confident attitude and approach to life that Jesus can build a church on. “I don’t need to be in charge or to be seen as being in charge to make a difference in people's lives.”

I now believe Jodi’s confident attitude of knowing who she is in Jesus Christ, and her understanding that humility and a servant's heart is what Jesus desires is the source of her SMILE. A smile that is contagious and brings joy to others.

What’s the source of your smile?

P.S.- After the interview, several on the committee told Jodi how nice it was since she had begun work at the church, to come into the office and see a big smile and a person with a willingness to help out anyway they could.

Yep, I married “up”.

April 26, 2010

Monday Morning Reflections 4/26/10

Yesterday, LifeSpring Church took a RADICAL step in being a different kind of church to share Jesus’ love. Instead of GOING TO church and having a "music-and-message" worship service, we decided to BE the church and serve others. We invited our congregation to come to cook and serve hamburgers, baked beans, and "the fixings" to some special people in our community. Those people were the employees of the Statesboro Police & Fire Departments, the Sheriff’s department, the EMS, the residents of the Summit Apartments, and some random people of Statesboro who lived near the Fire Station. Despite some serious early morning thunderstorms and rain most of the morning, we had 61 volunteers to come and serve over 250 plates and give out 30 Bibles! Here are my observations of the day...

Some signs that LifeSpring is on the right track to share Jesus' love:
  • Servants' Hearts
    I was blown away at the way that all the volunteers “jumped in” and helped wherever it was needed. No matter what the task, someone was willing to serve.
  • Inclusiveness of All
    It was good to see so many different ages laughing, fellowshipping, & working together. I realized how close our LifeSpring community has become in this last year as there seemed to be less awkwardness in the conversations as people who may have been just acquaintances realized that we were all here for the same reason… making a difference in our community for Jesus Christ. By the way, that’s a COMMON VISION we all share!
  • Moving Outside Our Comfort Zone
    I went with a group of about 15 people (13 of which were under 20!) to the Summit Apartments to deliver plates to low income families. I was so impressed with how these young people jumped in and over came the feelings of awkwardness and began to knock on doors, introduce themselves to total strangers and offered people a hamburger plate.
  • Fellowship in Community is Important
    There is power in numbers. Despite how much work was involved, for the most part, no one was burdened with TOO much work to do. Everybody just pitched-in and got things done. What a great example of the church family operating as a BODY.
  • Our Connection is Greater Than Our Differences
    As things wound down a basketball came out and several began to play some pick up basketball games. WOW, we have some tremendous athletes in our church family! Conversations began to circulate about future recreational softball & basketball teams. What I loved about this was that our church family began to find out that as different as we all are, there are many things that we have in common. And then they wanted to build on the common things…
And finally, near the end of the afternoon, the church family pulled me to the side and presented me with a birthday card and sang “Happy Birthday” to me and individually wished me a happy birthday. As I looked in the eyes of these once strangers who now care for me and my family, and whom I care for deeply, I realized, THIS IS WHAT JESUS' LOVE LOOKS LIKE IN PERSON.

Thank you Jesus, for allowing me the privilege to serve as LifeSpring’s pastor.

April 22, 2010

Staff Meeting at NewSpring

Really excited about attending the NewSpring Staff meeting with Perry Noble today. Several of the LifeSpring staff are with me. A couple for their first visit @ NewSpring church. It will be great to get feedback from their experience.

Perry has asked us to read 2 Kings 4:38-41 in preparation for the day and for a talk he is giving us. We discussed this as a team driving up here to Anderson, S.C. and had several thoughts on how he will tie this into church leadership.

Here are a couple of those thoughts...
  • People with good intentions will try to help "feed others" by contributing to the meal. In their zeal to help and serve, they mistakenly put "poisonous" food into the mixture and contaminate all of it, making potential "death in the pot" for all.
  • Is there really "death in the pot"? Does Elisha give the group a placebo in response to their fear that the stew is poisonous.
  • No mater what the problem or who the cause behind the problems in the church (death in a pot), the other people in the group (other prophets) will yell at the leader to do something…
What do YOU see when YOU read this selection...

More on this subject after today's meetings.

April 20, 2010

10 Marks of a GREAT Worship Service

Nearly every Sunday afternoon, and definitely by midday on Mondays, I will have someone ask me. “How was your church service?” or “Did you have a good service yesterday?”

As I think about these questions (and others like it), I decided that I would write a few thoughts from my perspective on what constitutes not just a “Good” worship service rather a “Great” worship service.
  1. People who attend feel genuinely welcomed from the time they arrive until they leave.
  2. Volunteers know their actions are significant to helping people feel genuinely welcomed.
  3. Volunteers don’t see what they do as “work”, rather they see it as an exciting & fun way to serve Jesus… by serving others.
  4. We see smiles and hear laughter as people fellowship with one another.
  5. We hear the audience singing and interacting with each other and with the worship team as they participate in worshiping God… in other words, we don’t worship God by OBSERVATION…we worship together by PARTICIPATION.
  6. Songs, prayers, and messages that point people to Jesus’ love for them.
  7. We see people following along in their Bibles and taking notes during the sermon.
  8. People taking the next step of commitment to Jesus.
    (Each person comes into the worship service from different places of commitment in their belief or relationship with Jesus. Each person’s response is based on there starting point when they arrived at church that morning. We don’t want to leave them where we found them that morning.)
  9. People feeling led to join in with one of our LifeGroups, or to help volunteer in some capacity in the weeks that will follow….and they feel comfortable enough to sign up or to get more information about each one.
  10. People speaking to me/others by email, text, facebook, or in person the rest of the week about the things that they took away from the worship service on Sunday Morning.

Do you find it interesting that I said nothing about the number in attendance that day…the amount in the offering plate… the number of baptisms…the number of new members taken in…

You see, I have found that the more successful we are in doing the 10 things listed above, well, the other things will take care of themselves.

"People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."

Mark 10:13-16

April 16, 2010

My Foot Is Killing Me

Last week I was increasing my walking getting prepared to hopefully start jogging again. (OK, when you stop laughing you can continue to read this post!)

Later in the afternoon one day, after I had walked over an hour that morning, my right heel starting hurting. I played it off; "It’s just pain." But by the next morning I could hardly walk across the bedroom floor. It took several hours for my heel muscles to "loosen up". It actually felt like a pulled muscle in my heel...(Oh, stop laughing. I mean it, that sucker hurt.) After several days of 'self diagnosis' I realized that I actually had the continuing heel pain due to my tennis shoes being 'worn out'. The additional walking just made it worse.

Since finances are tight, I have to wear other shoes, so in the mean time I am just minimizing my walking until my heel completely heals. (Heel heals.. get it?!?)

So why am I blogging about this? Well, it's like this. As I continued to walk on my bad heel, I notices that I would turn my foot inward slightly to take some of the pressure off my heel. This helped me minimize the pain to my heel, but later I began to feel some pain in my leg.

It seems that in my efforts to avoid the pain in my heel, the adjustments I made in my walking stride and foot position were actually causing me more pain. It became a domino effect. Next I made adjustments for the pain in my leg, and then my back began to hurt.

SO... I just stopped walking as much as possible to let all the parts of me heal up. I got off my feet. I gave up the “1st pain” (by sitting more) which also helped stop the additional pain from the adjustments I was making in my walking strides and how my injured heel impacted the pavement.

As I reflected on these things, I began to wonder, how many times do we make adjustments in our lives because of a little pain, only to cost us or our loved ones more pain. For example, we avoid the "pain" of apologizing, only to have our pain compounded by the pain caused by a damaged relationship... all because we can't just say, "I'm Sorry."

Or, maybe we have some pains in our lives that we just don't take to God and we hold on to them & try to "walk them off" alone, only to find out later that by carrying those pains around, we end up with more pain in other areas of our lives too.

Can you think of some other examples in your life?

I think this has taught me that I need to take my pains and hurts to God at the beginning and not allow them to build up to the point that they cause me to adjust my life, or my morals, leading to more pain, struggling, and bigger adjustments down the road.

April 13, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

Chris Elrod is a friend of Perry Noble (my Coach for church planting this year) and had this post on his blog the other week about 15 random things he was wondering about…I thought this was some good stuff... what do you think....Some GREAT thoughts here…
There is some stuff I just cannot comprehend. Try as I may to get it…it doesn’t make any logical or Scriptural sense. Here is a partial of things I do not understand.
  1. Folks that show up to church only a few times a year but expect the pastor to drop everything to provide them with his undivided attention.
  2. People that put nothing in the offering plate but still have the stones to expect that their opinions on the church should count.
  3. Parents who ground their children from church or the youth group…the very things that could help them with their behavior, future and afterlife.
  4. People that expect the pastor to tolerate their political views…but leave the church because of his.
  5. The occasional volunteer that expects the church to throw a parade in their honor just because they finally did what the Bible commanded.
  6. People that have basked in the grace of God…but fail to give grace to anyone else.
  7. Pastors that leave one church for another…for better pay.
  8. The need for church growth plans, programs, books, conference, seminars and resource kits…when we already have the Bible.
  9. Women that tolerate their husbands having multiple affairs…”for the sake of the kids”.
  10. Pastors that would rather be political pundits or civil rights leaders…instead of just preaching the life-saving message of the Word of God.
  11. People that have one spiritual standard for their pastor…and another for themselves.
  12. Folks that think the word ‘disciple’ is a noun…and not a verb.
  13. People that make comments about needing to go “deeper” in God’s Word…as if there is a Scripture in the Bible that isn’t deep.
  14. Pastors that think accountability means never asking them the tough questions or taking the hard line when it comes to their failure to follow Scripture.
  15. Men that think being the head of the household has something to do with the amount of money they are bringing in or the title they acquire at work.

Monday Morning Reflections 4/11/10

Monday Morning Reflections:

Before our morning worship, Satan threw our LifeSpring Volunteers a “Curve ball” for the first time in our new worship location. It caught us off guard, but the teams did a great job of “putting the ball in play” and we made some tremendous headway in adapting to difficulties that could have created havoc for a lesser talented Worship/Production team. We might not always hit HOMERUNS, but we put the ball in play so that Jesus’ team has an opportunity to score….

….. By the way, I LOVE using COACHING ANALOGIES!

I had the opportunity (along with a couple of my staff) to pray with 5 people who were dealing with some really DIFFICULT stuff in their lives. I was reminded that Satan is really trying to destroy “Christian” people by shaking their confidence in God. Sometimes loving others is no more than helping someone up who has fallen, helping them dust off, and then pointing them in the right direction…which by the way, the right direction is always toward JESUS.

I loved telling the story of Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego! I get so EXCITED when I read Daniel 3:16-18 “…'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'"

Heck, this phrase just resonates with me… WE WON’T BOW DOWN! It’s not about the fiery furnace… it’s ALL about LOVINGLY OBEYING GOD!

Here’s a bit of Preacherman Trivia… Do you know what book of the Bible God was using to influence my life just over 13 years ago during some difficult times in my life? It was a time when nearly everything I read in this book of the Bible was related to what was going on in my life or in my family's life… here’s a hint… the scripture in this book was so influential on me at that time, Jodi and I decided to name one of our children after the name of this book in the Bible (My Children’s names and ages are… Christopher-20…Brian-17… and Danielle-13)… Do you know the answer now?

During my message this Sunday morning, a phrase came to me while on stage…and then I began to act it out or to physically illustrate it… I had no plan or thoughts to do this prior to the time that I did it… it was one of those times when God reminds me HE’s in charge of the message and I need to say what Jesus wants said.

It went something like this… "It’s time that Christians; those who love, follow, and serve Jesus 'STAND UP' while others are bowing down in this world. It’s time we make a DIFFERENCE.”

I LOVED IT! Thank you Jesus!

This was our 4th worship service in the new location and it’s starting to feel like home. I think all our LifeSpring family likes the new location, too. Thank You Lord for providing such an AWESOME place to worship in.

We revealed this weekend that on April 25th, rather than having a “Worship Service” we would be the church that “Serves others as our Worship”. We will be feeding over 300 police, firefighters, EMT, Sheriffs, & also low income families during our regular worship time. THIS IS SOMETHING RADICAL and I LOVE IT.

‘That’s Crazy’, or ‘That’s outside the box thinking’, is what some will say about us

… but for our LifeSpring Staff and leadership, when someone says “outside the box” type comments we just respond


May God keep us all blind to the Box that is trying to contain Jesus’ message of love and redemption!

April 6, 2010

Monday morning "reflections"

  • Thank you to all the volunteers who served to make this the best Easter Service @ LifeSpring ever. The service was AWESOME. A great time of worship, teaching, & meeting new people. WOW!
  • 2 people responded by trading in their “old life” for a “new life” offered by Jesus. I look forward to speaking with them personally this week.
  • 10 people expressed interest in joining one of our LifeGroups, and 6 others asked to help serve on other volunteer teams.
  • We celebrated Jake Palmers 10th birthday by the congregation singing “Happy Birthday” and just celebrating his life. I KNOW this was one of the answers to the WWJD question (What Would Jesus Do?)
  • I was so glad to see so many “LifeSpring” High School & College Students bring their families with them to church. It was good to meet these parents and see the joy on their faces as they worshiped with their children.
  • Our Worship team, Production Team, band, greeters, & hospitality teams all brought their “A game” on Easter. I have got to “step it up” as their pastor… I love the challenge.
  • After declining several offers for Easter lunch, my family – all 5 of us – went out to lunch together for our own “Family Time”, and it was GREAT! I have the most fantastic children. They’re so witty and loving. They are/have grown into some wonderful adults. I look forward to seeing the impact they are making on the Kingdom of God.
  • God had blessed me with a passionate and diverse group of volunteers and staff that are excited about loving and serving others as Jesus did… Thank you God!