Monthly Archives: February 2007

Reaching

This weekend I went to a “Singles” conference in Orlando, Florida called FUSION. It was put on by RightNow.org and Calvary Christian Assembly. We had the privelage of having The David Crowder Band lead worship and mini-concert, while hundreds of people found their calling into various ministries. The event is designed to FUSE your faith in God with your Gift from God to help others. Several pastors came to speak at the event and some authors came.

Upon looking for more information on some of the speakers, I stumbled on a list of the most “emerging churches in my area” made by Relevant Magazine. I just returned from spending at least an hour or so reading info and checking out those various churches. Some are very promising in terms of getting back to what I like to call the “Reach Factor”. They are really working to touch the community. This is something that Justin and I have felt very strong about from the beginning of the idea of LIFE ALIVE CHURCH. However we didn’t get that idea from reading, we just saw a need and felt that as Christ- Followers we should meet it, and train others to meet it. This weekend we are going to be putting that idea into practice. We will be working with FBC of Leesburg, Florida to help with the recovery process of the tornados. We are expecting to grow alot from this experience. So having thought all this and read all that, I leave you with a quote from a article I was reading about churches touching the community. This particular one is from a church in my town of Jacksonville, Florida. So read the quote and ask yourself…“what about the church you are apart of?”

“In 1988 Vaughn and Narlene McLaughlin moved into a depressed area of Jacksonville to begin a church designed to meet the needs of the whole person. Today their converted Bell South building called the “Multiplex” houses nearly 20 for-profit businesses including the Potter’s House Café, a credit union, a beauty salon, a graphic design studio and a Greyhound Bus terminal, all started by church members who lacked capital but had a dream. Another building serves as an incubator for two dozen new businesses. The multiplex also houses a 500-student Christian Academy. In addition to their ministries of economic empowerment and education, they also have nearly 25 other ministries such as a prison and jail ministry, youth ministry, Big and Little Brothers, and free car repair. They also have a team of 250 volunteers who “look after things in the city” even if it means to simply sweep the streets of Jacksonville. Though an outstanding preacher, to Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin, ministry is always what happens outside the church-“If you are not making an impact outside of your four walls, then you are not making an impact at all.” In 1999 Bishop McLaughlin was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Florida State University. Is it any mystery why the city and its leaders have so wholeheartedly embraced Potter’s House? The question he repeatedly asks is the question that churches in all kinds of neighborhoods are increasingly asking themselves: “Would the community weep if your church were to pull out of the city? Would anybody notice if you left? Would anybody care?”

The question, “How big is your church?” should be replaced with “How big is the impact you are having on your community?” Every other measure is interesting but not relevant. Let’s refuse to be impressed by numbers alone. There are many ways to engage the community and make an impact. The only “bad” way to engage the community in service is not to engage at all!”

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Does the world see something we don’t?

While looking for a certain song today I stumbled on a blog post from 2006.  This blog post was titled, “Fantasy Church”.  In this post the author tells his readers how popular fantasy sports have gotten and how this could be the next big thing.  He explains how “Fantasy Church” should be played.  The point system is used to score types of sermons, and style.  As in Exegetical or Topical.  Next the music is measured, Contemporary or Hymns.  You would apparently score a church that uses the same amount of hymns to the same amount of contemporary music a “5”.  Various other ways to earn points are presented including whether or not your preacher sits down while he preaches.  

Now, at first this was funny to me but then I started really thinking about it.  Does the world see The Evangelical churches in this way?  Will someone really give our church more points for playing a U2 song before service starts?  Do I lose points if I sit down while I preach?  Does Andy Stanley lose points?  Where do I rank along the likes of Charles Spurgeon and Rick Warren?  Apparently if your “Fantasy Church” is led by Mr. Warren you can count on winning.  So…this brings me to my rant.

Before you get to upset at the fact that someone would think up this idea of ranking churches, let me share this with you.  Upon further inspection and reading all the comments and checking out the site where the titled blog was posted I discoverd the present author is a member of the body of Christ.  So that calmed me down alot, but It still made me think.

What does the world see?  Do they really rank our services and our music and our teaching methods?  Since when did Christs’ church become about “hitting the mark for people”.  Obviously, this type of “Ranking system game” doesn’t exist, at least I hope. However, it still makes me wonder if the players (pastors and communicators and leaders) in Christs’ REAL church today, including me, realize it.

Does the world look at us like we are competing for the “Best Church of the Year Award” ?  Or, Is it us that keep score, and not even realize it? 

New logo…

Today Justin and I finally decided to create a church logo… here it is… The squares inside the rectangle symbolize the body working together to become the church that points to Christ…after all thats all God desired! And Life Alive speaks for itself!! We are alive in Christ and dead to the old man and our old desires! We have the power from God to live LIFE ALIVE!

lifealive logo

More than you can imagine…

Thats what the song said… “I love you more than you can imagine. I wonder if we ever really think about though. I know I have been lately, but often I have not. Lately songs on the radio on the top christian stations such as Air1.com are screaming it. So what does God say? In John 3:16 he said that he loves this world and the people in it so much that he sent his only uniquely born son (thats what begotten means by the way) so that no one would have to perish but could have everlasting life instead! Thats how much my God loves us! In That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepare for those who love him.” … Now to me…that says alot! God, Thank you and Lord Open my eyes so that I can see all that you have done for me! It is more than I can imagine!