Christmas Eve Numbers

Here are the numbers for our very first Christmas Eve service at Church of the Suncoast.

153 - Attendance
3 - Received Christ
55,000 - Christmas Offering

God is good. Thank you to everyone that prayed, gave, volunteered, and attended!!! It was an amazing service.

Yard Signs

Since the beginning of Church of the Suncoast we have used cheap corrugated plastic yard signs to promote everything. We used them for our preview services, our grand opening, and now for our first Christmas Eve service. You can get them at almost any sign shop. Most of the time Realtors use them for open house deals. The more you get the cheaper they are. If you are getting over 100 check out this place But, if you are only getting a small run of say 20 like we just did you can find them for about $5 - $7 a piece if you shop around. ALSO, don't expect them to last long. We had some that lasted about 3 hours and some that are still up as of today. That is why I always get enough to do 2 runs. I will replace the ones that were taken down on Friday.

About 1/2 of the people that come for the first time @ the Suncoast say this was how they found out about us!!!

Christmas Eve - Who Are You Inviting?

This past Sunday I challenged the people of Church of the Suncoast to invite 5 people. 5 people that needed to be with them eternally (See the posting below for the "Eternal Card"). 5 people that they can point to Christ this Christmas Eve. It sounds so spiritual... OK, so who am I inviting? Who are you inviting? As church planters and church leaders do we walk the walk or is it just all show and no go? Who are you inviting to your Christmas Eve services? My prayer has been this over the past few weeks and it is my prayer for you:

“Be sure to pray that God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery about Christ…” Colossians 4:2-3

It is amazing to see how God will answer that prayer if we are willing to take a few chances and be uncomfortable for Him. If we will stop long enough to see the doors He has opened. I am pretty sure my waitress from Outback last week is coming. Stay tuned...


For the past few weeks a group of ladies that pray for our church on their own has been asking God to send some sort of major encouragement my way. If you are a church planter then you know why that is so important. We ride a roller coaster of emotions in the first year.

Well, last night my wife Cheryl and I had dinner with a couple. At the end of dinner they gave us a card and said don't open it until later. We got to the parking lot and inside was a check for:


Wow!!! How cool is that. We have been asking God to supply enough cash for us to end the year debt free and this MORE than does that! We will be able to start 2007 in great shape. God is awesome and faithful.

Christmas Eve @ the Suncoast

Next Sunday at 7pm Church of the Suncoast will hold it's very first Christmas Eve service. The theme for the service is "Trees." Each year we go out and search for the perfect tree. We take it home. Decorate it with lights and a star. Then when Christmas is over we take it out and throw it away, or burn it. But, hidden beneath years of tree tradition is an amazingly powerful truth that might just change your life. So, what are you going to do with the tree?

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
7pm // Oakstead Elementary School


This Sunday at Church of the Suncoast we wrap up our series called "The Christmas Circus." We have been looking at how God wants us to manage our time not just during the circus that is the holidays but year round. This week we look at what really matters most. What is it that God thinks is the most valuable use of our time?

During the message we will direct people to the card seen here. It comes in the middle of me talking about how houses, cars, and money are all temporary. But, people are eternal. I will then direct everyone to fill in 5 names on the back of people that they need to invite to our Christmas Eve service. This is a great tool for Christmas and Easter. If you would like this card in a Publisher format just e-mail me at

Numbers (Are You Still Counting?)

As a church planter you live and die by the numbers. Anyone that tells you different is either fooling themselves or trying to make themselves look "spiritual" to impress you. The reason you plant a church, the reason you put your family, health, and mental well-being on the line is because you want to see numbers. It is ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS!

Numbers are people. Numbers are eternities in heaven or hell. Numbers are broken lives that God is mending back together. Numbers are students that might be thinking about ending it all. Numbers are little kids that might only feel unconditional love for this hour a week. So if it is not about numbers then what is it about?

I hope you are still counting. I hope if you have had some disappointment and have given up on counting you will start again. I hope you will trust God to increase your numbers and pray high risk prayers like, "God open doors for our numbers to increase even if it means making some painful adjustments." So, are you still counting? God is! (We had 10 more people this week than last week... praying for 10 more next week)

"Will Not Return Void"

Wow! In the past two weeks we have seen 5 people indicate through their response card that they put out the welcome mat of their heart and invited Jesus in! Why? We gave them an opportunity. I have Baptist roots that I can't deny. Every week there is a time for people to make this most important decision if you are a good Baptist.

BUT, personally there are times when I feel this just does not fit with the message. Their are just some talks that don't readily tie into salvation. The talks a few weeks ago were such talks at Church of the Suncoast. Then for the last two weeks we did have a time for people to make this decision and boom! 5 people accept Christ! My point? I'm not sure. I still believe that there are just some weeks when a speaker led decision time doesn't fit. But, then again the evangelist in me says you might only get one shot with people. The bottom line is God is still working today. He is still in the life saving business. If you haven't led your church in a time of commitment in a few weeks do it. And in the mean time I would love to hear what you think on this.

Does Your Church Plant Tithe *UPDATE*

On Friday I mentioned that our new church plant has been tithing. We have given to other church plants and to local ministries so far. Today we turn over the largest tithe check to date to the local prison ministry. Yesterday (Sunday) we almost doubled the amount of the check in our offering. Our offering was more than two times its average for this fall. It just goes to show that you can't out give God. I dare you to try it!!!

Does Your Church Plant Tithe?

This weekend we are handing over the largest tithe check our baby church has ever done. To date we have given away over $5,000 to other church plants and local ministries in 3 quarters of this year. I don't say that to brag, just to challenge you to tithe as a church. We started the Suncoast on a shoe string budget like many of you out there (Less than $17,000). An extra $5,000 would have been huge. BUT, I firmly believe that God has, and will, bless us for being a river of His blessing instead of a reservoir. So does your church plant tithe?