Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stop Talking! Start Doing!

Proverbs 14:23, "All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty."

What a challenging statement. So often we as leaders can be found guilty for wanting to talk a subject to death. We think that by talking, talking, and talking we will eventually make progress. Is it possible that part of the reason you have "poverty" in your ministry when it comes to fruitfulness can be traced back to the principle found in this verse? So many in my generation are guilty of spending large chunks of time arguing over theological nuances and philosophical differences. There are so many things in scripture that are clear... love your neighbor as yourself, be wise in the way that you act towards outsiders, don't let the sun go down when you are angry, speak the truth in love, and the list goes on. I am challenged when I read scripture by how often my life falls short of these commands. I find that I am tempted to drown myself in the nuances that are unclear so that I don't have to obey the things that are unquestionable in the scriptures. I think that at times our concern for protecting theology and philosophy actually leads to the greatest heresy of all, which is a failure to obey the truth. I am troubled at times with the verbage used by many of the young leaders in my generation. I hear many conversations about the future of ministry patterns without much clarity on how to implement an effective vision in the now. What about this week? What about the 95% of my community apart from relationship with God... TODAY. Hard work and diligence leads to fruitfulness, talking leads to poverty and a lack of progress. Let's stop talking and start doing!

PS, Am I the only one who has found this to be the case? Is there anyone else out there who is sick of talk with no action?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Morning Download

Easter 2010 will go down as one of the best days of my ministry life. Stacie and I left church with smiles beaming across both of our faces with a true sense that we had experienced something only God could accomplish. 525 people from the Silicon Valley showed up for South Bay Church's Easter services, 18 people made first time decisions to follow Christ, 24 people in all made some sort of a commitment to follow Christ, we had over 80 kids, close to 50 first time guests and that's just the ones who turned in cards, and one incredible worship experience. This is all on top of having our largest outreach of the year on Saturday where 2,500 people from our community rushed Live Oak park for 10,000 Easter eggs.

We kicked off a new series, "Relationship Rescue" and the message was titled, "The Greatest Relationship Rescue." Everything was focused on the Easter message and God's desire to rescue us back into relationship with Himself. We did our best to communicate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus clearly in a relevant way. We said as a team, "we want to make it hard to go to Hell today." We talked about the sacrifice Jesus paid which was motivated by His love for us. The service climaxed as we gave every person the opportunity to respond to this message of His love by placing their faith in Him. Kendall from our team painted a colorful scene of Calvary, at the bottom was painted the phrase, "He is risen! We are rescued!" All of this while the song, "How he loves us" was being sung by the band and scenes from the Passion of the Christ was rolling on 3 huge screens and 2 giant plasmas. When the phrase was revealed the crowd erupted. It was incredible!

This weekend Stacie and I were blown away with the sacrifice and commitment of our staff and volunteers. I am thinking of people who spent all day on Saturday helping with the Hunt, setting up for church and then would spend another 7 hours on Sunday serving. I think of David Dorflinger who spent his whole week building a frame for a piece of glass that would be used as an illustration at the end of the message, and our BayKids volunteers that spent an hour on their knees putting together flooring in our toddler area, and Aimee Kruger our amazing BayKids Director who jumped into a bouncy house on Sunday to clean up puke. Mmm! (you definitely get the "Humble Servant" award!)

I really am so humbled to be your pastor. You inspire me to higher levels of leadership. You make me want to pursue God more. Your enthusiasm for God is amazing and your diligence is unparalleled. In combination with the Holy Spirit, you made this weekend happen. Your prayers and hard work led to over 500 people coming to church 14 months after South Bay opened her doors, your sweat and sacrifice led to 18 people stepping across the line of faith, your smiles and love helped many people who have never been to church experience the love of Christ, your willingness to serve led to 2,500 people experience the serving heart of Jesus through the Hunt. Again, I couldn't be more proud of you. I am excited to continue to serve Jesus as your pastor and I cannot wait to see what He will do in the future as we continue to trust Him to help us reach and love the Silicon Valley and the SF Bay Area.

With love,

PS, as soon as I get some pics I'll put them up. :-)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter is here!!

So Easter weekend is upon us. South Bay Church is hosting a huge Easter Egg Hunt and 2 Easter services. I can hardly wait to see all that God is going to do at South Bay Church this weekend. For all of the details about the weekend you can go to our website by clicking here. Before the weekend hits I just wanted to pause and remind of the power of your influence. There are people in your life that will respond to your invitation to church this weekend. More people go to church on Easter than any other weekend throughout the year. Check out this story below of a person who invited a friend to South Bay last year Easter. This one is amazing! Be bold and courageous. Walk across the room, peer over the cubicle, go next door, spread the word... Don't miss your opportunity.

PS, here are a couple of invitation tools for you to use for Sunday. (facebook invitation) (email invitation) Just include these links in an email and send them to your friends. Can't wait to see what God does this weekend.