This Easter we did not do a postcard. We did a gas buy down on Saturday (.50 a gallon) and a couple dozen yard signs. But, the biggest promotion piece was we spent the entire service the week before Easter talking about how to ask people to church. MY HOPE in saying all that, is I think we can keep a higher percentage than last year. We will see this Sunday. I am pretending "bomb" Sunday doesn't exists.
Our staff (Management Team) here at Church of the Suncoast has been working on how to effectively lead volunteers. We have been having some small challenges and are trying to figure out all the pieces to this. I think some of it is our problem. If we are leading and casting a big enough vision then people / volunteers should get in line for that. But, still other parts of it leave me uncertain that it is us? I wish there was a book or resource out there that talked honestly about what can be expected from volunteers and how to make it a life-changing experience for them as they make a church go. We love all the people that make our church work and just want them to have the best experience possible... Please let me know if you have any resource ideas or stories from your church leading experience.
I am really excited about wrapping up our Easter talk "Fatal Distractions" this week. We have a cool video planned from the movie "Seven" and some David Crowder "Deliver Me" music. The message came together nice and I think it will really be helpful. I know it has been helpful for me as I have applied some of it this week. I know I have plenty of distractions lurking in my heart that need God's light shined on them. I kind of feel like preaching to the preacher at times.
My friend Hal Mayer posted our Easter video on his blog. That was cool. I hope other churches can use it next year. If you would like a copy send me an e-mail email@example.com
It has been neat to see how our church has bounced back from the forced move last fall. You can read all about it in older postings. Our attendace is back up and we have grown over the last 6 to 7 weeks. Still not sure why God pushed us down their, but He has proven to be faithful once again. I know He has big plans for the Suncoast this spring and summer... maybe two services in the fall???
If you read this blog with any frequency it has been a few days since I last posted something... it's Easter week right? It a crazy, busy week for church leaders. As always things seem to go wrong the week before something like this. This week was no exception. But, as I was getting ready for another day of running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make everything perfect for this week I read this in Matthew 11:27 (Brian's Paraphrase)
"No one knows God except His Son Jesus. And it is Jesus who then reveals the Father to those He chooses."
The reality of what we all believe in some degree or another hit me once again. God's activity in this world is the only way a person will ever cross that line of faith no matter what Sunday it might be.
The application from this few moments with God was this:
1) Ask for God's Activity - Are we asking God for Him to move in our church, our community, and our world?
2) Seek God's Activity - The whole where is God at work and join Him principle.
3) Pre-Pare for God's Activity - That is what most of us have been doing for the past few weeks. I don't know many church planters who are not busy preparing.
4) Pray for God's Activity - Are we praying about what happens when God moves? Are we praying through what it will look like, what we will need to do, what we will need to have ready? Will we be in tune with God when it happens?
I hope this helps you like it helped me this Easter week 2008. Tell me what you think, leave a comment:
A good friend of mine Paul Wirth who started Relevant Church in the night club district of Ybor City, Florida has recently come under fire by some "Christians" who have been acting very Unchristian! They are wrapping up a series called "The 30-day Sex Challenge". The idea behind the series is that married couples would have sex for 30 days and singles would refrain from sex for 30 days. It is a test drive in Biblical sex you could say.
AND, they have received a lot of attention as you can imagine. Several local and national media outlets have featured them. All of which he said treated them with respect and accuracy. But, they have had a flood of down right nasty e-mails and things written about them from churches and "Christian" leaders. Things like they were going to hell for this stuff!!! Ouch! This kind of stuff makes me down right mad when I think about it.
This guy is kicking some serious dents in the size of hell in a totally unchurched area and all these high and mighty church leaders think he is satan himself. Where do they think Jesus would be these days? In the church or on 7th Ave? And, what kind of message does this send to the world around us? Isn't it time we fought the real battles facing our culture instead of this silly stuff? I applaud Paul for having the guts to do this!
This weekend we spring forward by setting our clocks forward one hour on Saturday night... for those of you, like me, who totally didn't see this coming this year you can make a mass phone call using a company called: