Thursday, December 31, 2009
So here is how we came to this decision: (if you care)
1. We recognize our primary call is to reach people with the good news about Christ. We must give people the very best opportunity to respond to Him. That means that our comfort and convenience as a staff team, and as leaders is no longer our primary aim. Adding a second service actually complicates our lives, requires more out of our team and is not the "easiest" change. Yet, we have such a burning passion to spread the love of God to our community that we are laying our comfort and convenience down for the sake of others having the best opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
2. We averaged over 200 adults in worship during the month of November. Our meeting room seats about 250. This means that we averaged over 80% of our capacity in our current meeting space. In church life when a room is at 80% capacity, growth stops. Why does this happen? I have NO IDEA! It just is the case across the board. We have to figure out a way to add more seats so that space doesn't stop of us from reaching the vision God has for our church.
3. Churches typically grow in spurts. So for example we grew from 125 people to 150 people from March to April, then we held there during May and June. Then we went from 165 in July to close 250 in total attendance in November. (averaging growth of about 20 people per month). Through prayer, planning and projections we anticipate late January through April to be another season of growth. If we don't launch a 2nd at this point, it may not be best until fall 2010 to launch, which with our growth trends could cause us to miss out on over 100 new people God would have for us to reach.
We have huge opportunity on January 31st to reach new people as we head into the Spring. We plan to send out 60,000 mailers to our community and challenge every person to bring a friend or two. What if we tried to reach a bunch of new people and didn't have sits for them? So through God's leading we will be able to create enough seats for all the people who currently come and more! Our children's ministry also has reached capacity. Our second service will free up space for children's ministry and allow our Bay Kids to reach more people.
4. Bay Kids Challenges: Many of our BayKid's workers have been serving on a weekly basis for 8 months now without getting to attend an adult worship service. Adding the 2nd service will give opportunities for these people to participate in one service and serve in another. This is a huge win for our volunteer teams.
5. We have close to 100 people who've started to come to South Bay but have yet to experience the life changing power of serving Jesus on one of our volunteer teams! Adding a second service will open up at least 50 extra spots for people to serve 1-2 times per month. This is a huge win for our regular attenders to get more connected.
What are some of the potential concerns with going to two services:
1. Everyone will no longer know each other. I've had several conversations with people asking me about this. Often people comment on how much they love the warm and inviting atmosphere of South Bay Church. I think that people can fear that as we grow large we will lose that warmth. We often say as a team that we want to grow large and small at the same time. We grow large and reach more people through our Sunday services. We grow smaller and develop community through our small groups that meet throughout the week. Every person knowing every person would be nice, but is not necessary to have healthy biblical relationships. In addition, there are both practical and missional reasons for this. Let's be honest... You can only really maintain relationships with about 65 people. Wouldn't it be a travesty if all of our relational bandwidth was tied up inside our church and we no longer had the capacity to carry out the mission Jesus has given us as a church? Let's develop great relationships with one another AND make room in our lives to meet and love those who've yet to experience God's love! We are finding the "BOTH AND" solution and not the "EITHER OR" solution.
2. We could potentially lose momentum when it comes to critical mass in our services. This is a very valid concern. First off, we must consider the question... "What is critical mass anyways?" Ideally we don't want to have less than 100 people in any one service. When we kick off the second service there is a very strong possibility that one service will be smaller than the other. The great news about this... That gives us additional seats to reach new people QUICKLY! Also, through the set up of our room we will pull the curtains closer together and make the room feel smaller. This will help us gain a better feel and set up a small number of chairs. So in essence in one week will go from 250 chairs in one service to 350 chairs in two service and add more chairs up to 500 as we grow. That will be pretty cool to watch all that unfold. I totally think this is a valid concern, and going to a second service is always a great risk, but not expanding the kingdom and growing is a greater risk for us as a church!!
I'm not sure you really even wanted to know all of this. But I'm sure if you didn't you stopped reading by now. If you did, I'm glad you made it to the end. This is my world and the stuff I think about, pray about, and lose sleep about. At the end of the day, leading in God's Kingdom is kind of an art. You pray, try to hear from God, get wisdom from books mentors and friends, analyze the data and then try to make the best decision possible. We've made the best Spirit led, strategic, wise, vision focused decision possible. I pray that you'll jump on board with us to watch all that God is going to do in 2010.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
8:30- Direct report with Filipe
9:00- Direct report meeting with Archie
9:30- Direct report meeting with Renan
10:00-12:00- All staff meets.
12:00-1:30- We grab lunch together. (sometimes our families join us.)
On thursday at 4pm we do a quick check in for Sunday service to make sure everything is on target for the weekend. We also will do one subject focused meetings throughout the month to plan out message series, events or tackle problems we are facing as a team.
Also, I do a Monday morning 9:00am meeting with Laura who is our Administrative Assistant at South Bay. At that point we talk through my schedule and tasks for the week. She cuts my workload in about half when it comes to admin. This has freed me up tremendously to focus on leading, vision, teaching and preaching. She does a great job keeping everything organized around the office!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Here are just 10!
1. I am grateful first and foremost for my salvation, that Christ would take my sins upon the cross and give His life for me to be free and forgiven!
2. I am grateful for my beautiful family- my wife Stacie and my son Caedmon are two of the biggest gifts in my life.
3. I am grateful for our incredible team here at South Bay Church- our staff and their families have made so many sacrifices for the sake of our church.
4. I am grateful to have parents and siblings that have loved me and believed in me all throughout my life. The encouragement of my father and mother have served as a source of strength and courage.
5. I am grateful for the people who a part of our volunteer team at South Bay Church. Each week so many people make tremendous investments in our church with their time, talents, and resources.
6. I am grateful for our church and each person who has made a decision in the past year to join us for this journey!
7. I am grateful that Stacie and I are privileged to be in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia.
8. I am grateful for the natural beauty of the SF Bay Area including the weather, the water, SF City, and so much more! I could go on and on about this!
9. I am grateful for all of the churches and families that have invested in South Bay over the last 18 months since beginning this journey. We would not be where we are today.
10. I am so grateful for all of the mentors and leaders that have invested in my leadership and in my life!
What are you thankful for today?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
In addition to all of this we had exactly 240 present and 3 people publicly profess their faith in Christ through believers baptism. One of these people made a decision on the spot that morning to get baptized. It was so amazing to me as I watched her respond to God! I am so proud of the three ladies who took the plunge and identified themselves with Jesus. You are an example to so many. BTW, we didn't have any guys take the plunge... I challenged all the men in our church on Sunday saying, "you let the women kick your butt in responsiveness to God!" Next time I think we'll have a few men get baptized!
We're looking forward to the conclusion of the Marriage Redefined series on Sunday looking at "God's Definition" of marriage. We are going to address some very edgy topics. It's going to be great! Looking forward to all that God will do this weekend!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I am so pumped about the Questions for God series beginning this Sunday!!! Do you ever wish you could ask God just one question? At South Bay we acknowledge we don’t have all the answers, but we believe that it is important to address questions we all wrestle with. Bring a friend and join us on Sundays over the next four weeks as we look into some of humanity’s deepest “Questions for God.”
September 27- What is My Purpose in Life?
October 4- Why Are There So Many Religions?
October 11- Why is There So Much Pain and Suffering?
October 18- What Happens When I Die?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Here are just a couple of highlights of yesterday:
* Highest non-Easter attendance to date, 221 people showed up for our church service. There was such a great energy in the service and great number of first time guests.
* We had over 20 people indicate that they were first time guests. A met a ton of people for the very first time! Most of these were from people who had invited their friends. This was so exciting to me to see the numbers of people who are bringing their friends to church!
* 3 people made a first time decision to follow Christ! Best number of the day!!!
* Our volunteers were incredible in creating an environment where people felt welcomed! Our greeters, ushers, hospitality team, Bay Kid's workers and audio tech team all kicked butt and worked with great attitudes!
* Kicked off our Losing My religion series looking at the story of the "2 Lost Sons" - Luke 15
* Talked about how religion blinds us and causes us to think God owes us something.
* You don't have to be a church going person to be blinded by religion!
* Everyone of has been impacted in some way by "religious experiences"
* Jesus wants us to lose our religion to that we can really experience relationship with Him.
* In the story of the 2 lost sons both sons had wronged the father equally, but the older son's pride kept him from receiving the lavish love of the father.
* Does pride in my life keep my from recognizing my need from God's amazing grace?
Thank you to all of you who work so faithfully in this church. Yesterday we had close to 50 volunteers serving in some form or fashion. Some serving all day from 7am-1pm giving their whole day for this vision of reaching the Silicon Valley with the good news about Jesus! Today we have a group of people in the South Bay offices following up with each first time guest! So many of you invited your friends. I am so proud of you! It is a real honor to be your pastor and to be a part of this church. I am more excited now than ever about what God is doing here and what he will continue as we believe Him for even great things!
God is doing so much @ southbaychurch! I can't wait to see what He does as this series continues. I really want to encourage you to bring your friends and make sure you make it for week 2 as we continue the series! Let's see what happens in our lives when religion dies! The best is yet to come!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I want to issue this challenge: don't come alone to South Bay Church this weekend! Will you pray with our team that God would do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine? Will join the vision of expecting BIG things from a BIG GOD? Can't wait to see you this Sunday @ 10:30am.
Remember, "will you go to church with me this Sunday?" Could radically change a friend's life! Go ahead and do it! Can't wait to see you this Sunday!
Go to for more details.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Here are just a few:
1. We always take one day off per week! During the summer we did Mondays due to schedules, starting this week we switch back to Fridays. I don't schedule appointments or answer my cell phone on those days. (except from our staff @ southbay) We go to the park, starbucks, take naps, watch movies and just have some downtime. This is one of my favorite days of the week.
2. We always have one date night each week. We do Thursday or Friday night. The Santos family and us swap babysitting. This is one of the best systems in our lives! I don't talk on my cell phone during that time and Stacie and I focus on our relationship with each other.
3. We operate by a budget. We have predetermined categories and determine how much money money we can spend and in what categories.
4. We set aside time every morning for bible study and prayer. This helps tune our hearts to God.
5. We are currently in the middle of a workout called p90x. This is six days a week in the mornings. It requires us to get up real early!
6. Bedtime- we try to get to bed every night by like 9:30pm. This helps us be able to get a good nights rest and be up by 5:00am for workout.
7. Boy's Club- every Saturday morning Caedmon and I have a time called Boy's Club. We go to Peet's coffee and the playground. It is such a great way for us to connect and build our relationship.
8. Scheduling- I keep a pretty tight schedule each week. I plan my week before it starts and have certain times that I am available to meet with people. If people who want to meet cannot meet during the times that are available we shoot for the next week. This is a great way to help me stay sane!
We believe that these areas of our lives don't happen accidently. I am so thankful for a wife who values being disciplined and having boundaries in her life. When we get off from these boundaries our life tends to become less balanced. We always want to check and make sure that we are on track in these areas!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
* Concluded our Illuminate with a message titled "Radiant Sharing" from Mark 2;1-12.
* Had 217 people in attendance. We were praying for over 200 next Sunday. God answered the prayer early.
* Last Sunday outside, next week we go back into the gym at Don Callejon. So excited about that.
* Had over 40 people busting their tails to make the last day of this series a hit. Our team does such a great job giving of themselves for this vision. I have such deep gratitude to the many hands that make it happen.
* BayKids had a record number of kids... 46: Our BayKids team is doing an incredible job creating a top notch experience for kids. I am proud of you guys!
* We had dozens of people who came for the first time today. Many from mailers, invites and the web. I think that our mailers got there a little early, which hopefully means many people will respond next week when they get the mailer.
* Talked about the 4 friends who carried the paralytic man to Jesus, they showed tremendous levels of urgency! What if we showed that kind of urgency to get our friends to Jesus?
* Amazing to think of the fact that the four friends carried their friend to find Jesus, took him up a ladder and dug through a roof all to get their friend in the presence of Jesus... Our challenge is just to invite our friends to hear about Jesus! Much easier!
* Challenged every person to bring 3 friends next week. Many people took my challenge to heart.
* So excited about "Losing My Religion" starting this Sunday. Can't wait to see what God is going to do. I am praying that God would blow us away with this next series and move tremendously in our midst!
* Lots of work to do this week getting ready for South Bay's Fall Kick off Next Sunday! Don't miss it, bring a friend, it's going to be huge!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Reasons new churches don't succeed:
1. Wiring of the leader planter: often times I meet guys who are trying to lead a church plant and they are not wired to be the lead guy. This is a combination of gifting, character and personality. There are several key gifts I think are absolutely essential: leadership and teaching. When the person in charge can lead and teach the whole organization will fare better. People want to follow a vision and they want to follow someone who is going somewhere. People without the leadership gifting fail to rally the troops and fail to inspire a common vision among people. We've all worked for or been around someone who is trying to lead and isn't wired in that way. It is painful for everyone. Now, I think everyone can become a better leader. In fact, 10 years ago i would not have thought of myself as being a lead pastor especially by age 22 (age I became a lead pastor)...
A couple of questions to determine if you are the lead person:
* Do people typically nominate you to be the leader in group settings. I know a lot of church planters who were presidents of their student government in high school/college or captains of their sports teams growing up.
* Are you comfortable being in charge without allowing it to go to your head? Are you able to cast vision to people and see them get excited?
* Do you find other strong leaders looking to you for wisdom, direction or advice?
* What kind of people naturally follow you? Are they the kind of people that others follow?
On the teaching side of things!! I think it is possible to get a church off the ground by the grace of God and a strong leadership gift. I think that for sustained moment in a new church it is very helpful to have a teaching gift. Let's be honest, most great communicators were pretty rough when they started. One way to identify if you have a teaching gift is to ask others who are developed communicators to listen to you and evaluate if they think you have the ability to teach.
A couple of other questions to think about:
* Do you see life in terms of teaching? When you learn something do you regularly find yourself thinking of sharing that with other people?
* Are you able to sort through lots of information and determine the essentials of that body of information without getting overwhelmed?
* Do people change when you teach/preach? Have you seen God use you through teaching to change people's lives?
* What do other gifted communicators say about your preaching and teaching?
There are several other skills that I find to be present in many good lead guys I interact with:
1. Willingness to go alone. This doesn't mean you aren't a team player, it just means that you are the first one willing to jump!
2. Ability to confront problems and problem people. Do you deal with people who are out of line with the vision or do you brush it under the rug hoping it will go away?
3. Teachability/Humility- are you willing to admit your mistakes, ask questions about things you don't know and confront areas of your life that need to change.
4. Discernment- I find that a lot of strong leaders have a keen ability to know what is going on in every level of their organization in uncanny ways. I think this is a gift and a skill that comes from paying attention to what people say and knowing how to ask probing questions.
These are some things to think about if you sense God leading you to start a church...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
"But, 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.' For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends."
I often have an internal battle when it comes to wanting to boast in my work and what I can produce with my hands. Let's just be real honest, I think this stems from insecurity in our hearts. I want people to think I am bigger than I am, more effective than I am or a better leader than I am. Unfortunately when I boast in myself I am taking away praise for God and revealing my immaturity of character. When God moves through my life and impacts others, I should let my boast be in what he has done through me rather than what I can produce myself. I think that it is a struggle as a young leader to want to commend yourself. I think that this flows from a desire for approval. Paul very clearly says, it is the one the Lord commends who will receive approval. Questions to ponder: what would it look like for me to boast in the Lord today? What things has God done through my life that I need to keep quiet about? What insecurities in my heart manifest themselves as pride and hinder my love for God? How can I honor others and praise God as he moves in and around my life and ministry?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
So here we go:
Reasons I don't blog more than I do:
1. A lot of what I would like to say is being said by other leaders.
2. I have a strong tendency towards being prideful. My flesh really struggles with pride at times and lots of posting can really feed this pride. It makes me feel like I am a lot bigger than I really am.
3. I think about blogging things or tweeting things too far after the fact. I think 2-3 hours too late and think, "I should have tweeted that"
4. I don't get cell phone reception in many places. (yes I have an iPhone, and yes I live in the Silicon Valley)
5. There is something to be said for being shaped in the private places. I am only 28 years old, I am so new in ministry. I don't want to short circuit character training through trying to act more public than I really am.
6. I have a hard time keeping up with my responsibilities as I focus on the church. Sometimes the requirements of the church and being a husband and a father take all of my time and I end up putting this kind of stuff on the "c" list. It doesn't get done and becomes a choice or a discipline.
7. It takes me a really long time to write a blog. I am sure I could get faster if I did it more often!
With that being said I have been challenged by some friends and here are some reasons I need to be more consistent:
1. People in the South Bay area read blogs and tweets.
2. Social media is the future of learning, marketing, communication and much more.
3. God has put things in my heart that need to be shared.
4. I can minister to and help a lot of people just through sharing my life on-line.
5. I live in the technology hub of the world!
I think that is about all I have to say about that!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Here is something I was thinking about after that conversation. Every leader like Ed Young, Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, Craig Groeschel has people who have: been with them from the beginning, jumped on mid train, and left mid train. When I think of Ed Young it is hard to think of him apart from thinking about Fellowship Church. When I think of Bill Hybels I will always simultaneously think of Willow Creek. I think that this is the right way to see these men because what has flowed out of their lives is merely an extension as who they are at their core of their being. Their vision was there in their hearts before it ever became a reality. Often people from the leader's inner circle struggle when things grow and access changes. They would rather have their pastor burnout than lose access. There are other guys on the other hand like the guy from my men's group who is more concerned about building the kingdom and their pastor staying healthy! I want to be surrounded by guys who are excited about our church reaching more people. I want men who can think big enough to allow my leadership style to shift even if that means they don't get to spend as much time with me. These are the kind of people you end up wanting to spend time with because they understand leadership and the kingdom and have a heart for more than just being friends with the pastor!
May God give our team and I the grace to shift our style of operation as He gives us more influence in His Kingdom!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Here are some highlights from the 4th weekend:
* Mission Teams hung 6,000 door hangers in two days.
* Close to 10,000 total evangelistic touches were made.
* Over 50 volunteers representing South Bay served at the City 4th of July festival. The team represented Jesus well by serving with humility and a "happy heart"! Thank you for building a great name for the church and for the gospel in our community.
* Gave away literally thousands of beach balls, balloons, and kids prizes at festival on the 4th! Seemed like people were having a blast! It was a great first connect with South Bay Church.
* We received a personal email from one of our city officials today thanking South Bay for serving at the festival. It is such a great joy to know that God can use us to bless our community!
* Started Life Apps series. Our team did a great job with staging and all the elements that went into the look. I am extremely proud of this series because everything from set elements to publicity was done by our volunteers and staff. Good job gang!
* 185 people in worship today! This includes 28 from Mission Teams. I am still encouraged by the 157 from our community on the 4th weekend. I am praying that God helps us continue to build momentum throughout the rest of the summer.
* Message on peace today. Talked from Philippans 4. It was great to be speaking again after a four week break! Talked about God's desire for us to lay our burdens at His feet. Everybody was given a brick when they walked in. At the end of the service we encouraged everyone to give that brick to God and lay it on the altar.
* We don't experience peace in the big areas of life because we fail trust God in the small things of life. We have to start trusting God with what is in front of us right now.
* Stacie shared about a testimony of our struggles getting pregnant a second time. Stacie did this via video. I am very proud of her for her courage to share her pain and minister through the difficulty our family has been facing! She talked about how God has given her peace in the midst of this!
* We are making tremendous progress as a team and as a church. It is a real honor to serve Jesus and to be a part of His kingdom! We have some areas to really grow and improve, but I must say that I am encouraged by all that God is doing and I am reminded that the best is ahead!
* Looking forward to next week as we talk about courage!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Have you ever wished you could just download certain characteristics into your life? Wouldn't it be nice to have more peace, courage, wisdom, integrity and self-control? You're invited to join us over the next five weeks as we discover practical truths from the Bible for adding desired attributes to our lives.
July 5- The Peace App
July 12- The Courage App
July 19- The Wisdom App
July 26- The Integrity App
Meeting Sunday's @ 10:30am at Don Callejon School. Click here for directions.
Monday, June 29, 2009
* Finished up our one prayer series with a message from Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church. Great message about God's greatness and God's goodness. Had several people in tears after the service telling me how much God spoke to them. I am amazed at how technology and videos can be used to make an impact.
* Summer has hit... Seems like some regulars are becoming irregulars, but I am confident we can still gain momentum during the summer. We had 136 in worship, which is about 40 below where we were 2 weeks before this Sunday.
* Amazed again with our volunteers. I went to church at 7am this sunday to experience our set-up process. Archie has done a great job organizing everything... I am just blown away with our volunteers. They are contagious. I was in tears in my car later that morning thanking God for our team. I love our team! You guys rock.
* Worship set was great- Archie rocked the house. Seems like the band improves every week. it is neat to see God move through the music and touch people's hearts.
* Glad I am preaching this week. The break for a few weeks was nice but I am glad to be back at it. We start the Life Apps series this Sunday, I am talking about downloading peace into our lives!
* Praying that God would make this next series on of our best yet and that next week we would see a ton of new people from all the publicity. We are serving at the 4th of July festival which is a huge opportunity for us as a church. Please keeep taht in your prayers.
* 4 people made a first time decision to follow Christ this Sunday! That is incredible. We now have like over 60 people who have decided to follow Christ in the last year. This is my favorite part of ministry!
* I love South Bay Church! It is an honor to be the pastor of this church. I am excited about what God is going to do through this church in the coming days. The best days are ahead. Let's keep believing God to do great and awesome things in our midst.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Could you just read that one more time. Think about what this verse is actually saying to those who are Christ followers. The Apostle Paul is praying that this group of Christ followers would have opened eyes to understand the power that is theirs. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is available. Think about that for a second... Every moment throughout the day today there is available to you the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. For your relationships, for your confusion, for your pain, for your momentary lapses of weakness with your flesh. The power of the resurrection is there right in front of you... All you have to do was open your eyes to see it! This power is incomparable, it is unmatched! Imagine how this would change our homes, our churches, our cities, our world if we all started living this out and opened our eyes to the truth that God's power is available right now, the power that raised Jesus from the dead! I am really wanting to have such an increased awareness of His presence throughout my day. He is with me as much as the skin on my bones. May I have the eyes to see Him and commune with Him throughout the day!!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
One more thought and I will get off my soapbox for the day, every organization must consistently and constantly be renewed around its mission. The organizational values drive the change of structures and systems, while heading in alignment towards a vision that is God given and centered around the Great Commission given by Jesus to his disciples! Let's renew ourselves to the cause of the gospel and getting this message to the ends of the earth. Let's build our churches, our businesses, our families, and our man made institutions around the cause Jesus has already given to us and not give up and till we finish the call!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
* Today I am as grateful as ever that Jesus made a way for us to know God and crossed the great expanse to take on human flesh. Amazed that he loves me enough to leave his throne in heaven and be born into a virgin's belly.
* Worship attendance was 147 today. Seems like we have leveled out around 150 after Easter. Lots of new faces coming and many people don't normally go to church. We are reaching the people we moved across country to reach. Glad to see people's lives change.
* Met a good number of new people today. We are having a steady flow of first time guests, this is a good healthy thing. Proud of our people for inviting their friends and those who are intentionally spreading the word to our community.
* Great worship set today that really fit with the message. Archie did a great job selecting songs that fit the essence of the message I shared today.
* Showed Oprah in church today. Said that we are going to watch Jerry Springer next week. Was just kidding! Looked on five fatal assumptions we make about the questions is Jesus the only way:
1. What the majority believes is truth.
2. All religions are the same.
3. Jesus came to propagate a religion.
4. We can ascend to God.
5. God doesn't care.
When we clear up erroneous conclusion to these statements we find out what Jesus really meant when he said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." Message should be posted in the next few days if you want to listen.
* Was greeted at South Bay by the best parking lot guys in the world. We have some of the best volunteers. They make coming to church a joy. I am really honored to be the pastor and leader of such an amazing team of people.
* Thought a number of times in the last week how grateful I am that God has given us a staff of men and women who believe in the vision God has placed in my heart. I don't have to fight them to take ground for the kingdom. They are all passionate about reaching the SF Bay Area and people who are far from God. This is a real blessing to me.
* Our team laid hands on me this morning during our tech run through, this was a huge boost to me. Felt like God really used people's prayers to strengthen me while teaching this morning.
* Teaching at the Purpose Driven summit church planting breakout session this week. Looking forward to teaching with some great guys: Ron Sylvia, Hal Mayer, and Dave Page. It is my first time doing something like this and a real honor. Please pray for me!
* Glad I have such a wonderful wife who has a heart to build the kingdom of God and loves our church. She amazes me with her support and desire to see God's love extended the ends of the earth.
* Went to Freedom Summit on Friday night, 27 million slaves world wide, half are children. The church must act and get involved in God's work of justice all over the world. I feel like we are seeing God birth a movement of justice in our generation. Don't want to miss what it is that God wants to do in our midst.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This Sunday at South Bay Church we launch a brand new series titled, "Urban Legends." Thanks to Pastor Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv we as a new church plant were able to use their graphics and a ton of their sermon ideas to help us connect with our community.
Here is a short description of the series:
Do you know someone who's seen Bigfoot's tracks? What about Nessie in Loch Ness? Of course, almost every kid has learned that there really are alligators in the sewer. You know how it goes: someone sees something and tells someone who then tells someone else. On and on and on it goes until it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. This doesn't just happen with alligators and Bigfoot... it happens with spiritual truths as well. Join us as we separate fact from fiction and debunk spiritual myths.
I am excited about this Sunday as we deal with the question: "Is Jesus the only way to God?" This is a very controversial topic that I think people want answers for. I hope that you will make sure to join us and not miss out on this exciting new series. I believe God is going to do some incredible things in our midst over the coming weeks.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
* We had our first ever baptism celebration as a church. Everything was built around this celebration from the song choices to the message to the baptisms at the end of the service. We challenged people to step up and be baptized on the spot. 18 people took the plunge!
* It was exciting to me to see people that I have prayed for for months display their faith in Christ. It was so exciting to watch people obey Jesus and respond to him. There were a handful of people in tears as they wrestled with God and then let Him win. This is one of the best things to watch!
* God showed up, I could sense His presence all over the day today from the worship set through the message and during the time of baptism. He flooded the room with a huge sense of His joy. People were clapping and shouting and hollering like the 49ers had just won the super-bowl. It was incredible.
* 169 people total were present, this is the biggest non-easter/non-launch Sunday of local people from our community. It is so exciting to see the church gain momentum coming out of Easter!
* Our staff and volunteer team did a great job planning all of the details of the baptism from purchasing clothes and the transitions during the service. Their hard work made it easy for people to focus on the most important part... changed lives!
* We finished our Upside Down Life series today. My message was strictly about baptism and the change that baptism represents. Next week we will have a special mother's day message and then the following week we will start a series called, "Urban Legends"
* Praise God for all that he did in our midst! I am so proud of the 18 people who responded to God's call to be baptized!! I am attaching a short video with a couple of the stories. There are so many more, but this is just a taste of the lives that are being changed at South Bay!