We had another great weekend @ South Bay Church. Just wanted to dump my thoughts online.
* 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
Today I was shocked as I read the story of a church planter who fell morally in an extra marital affair. A young guy, probably close to my age, I don't know him personally but know of his church. He started a church successfully that grew to over 1,000 people in just five years. There were literally thousands of lives changed by this man. Right now my heart is breaking for him and his family. It makes tremble and makes me sick to my stomach. It scares me to think that a young pastor with such passion and fire fell so quickly. It scares me as I realize that God doing great things through your life does not make you exempt from grip of temptation. The human heart is deceptive and has the capacity to be lured away from that which is most significant and important in life and in the kingdom of God. I pray almost every day that God would help me finish this race strong. Today my prayer is amplified. I want my zeal and passion for Christ to grow throughout the years, I want my love and commitment to Stacie, Caedmon and our future children to continue to develop each year. At the same time, I realize that none of this is a guarantee for my life. I am not exempt from temptation, I have to consistently make choices to protect my heart, to live with integrity even in the small choices and to honor God when no one else is looking. Here is the other thing... If I have to forgo short term fruit in ministry to finish strong I will choose that. If I am not able to handle great success at this point I would rather have a ministry that builds slow and steady over the years than flash out quickly. I am not at all saying I don't want to be as fruitful as possible and impact as many lives as God will have for me to impact... I am saying that I want my character to be able to sustain whatever blessings of influence God sends my way. I make a fresh commitment to living with teachability, humility, and servant leadership in order that I might finish strong. I recommit myself to the vision of loving my wife and my family so that the kingdom of God deeply impacts my home. I recommit myself to developing my personal life so that I finish the strong. I recommit myself to the vision of reaching the SF Bay for Christ while keeping my soul. I am praying for this man who fell and God's amazing grace to restore him and minister to his family and church. I am praying that God would remind this man of His deep love for us in the midst of our sin. I am praying that God would help this church maintain its vision and find hope for the future.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
We are kicking off a brand new series called "One Prayer" this Sunday June 7 @ 10:30am. We will be joining with over 1,600 churches across the country to do a 4 week series on the character of God. Each week we will look at one expression of who "God is..." I believe this is going to an incredible four weeks for South Bay Church. I would like to ask several huge favors of you... First, please make the extra effort to join us for the kick off the series. I think it will be a huge inspiration and encouragement to your life. Secondly, I would encourage you to bring a friend with you this weekend to experience what God is doing in our midst at South Bay. Finally, please be in prayer with me and for me about this Sunday asking God to move in great ways in our midst!!! We are expecting this to be one of our biggest and best weekends yet!!