Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We live and risk all for the King and His Kingdom

Guest Blogger: David Hibiske, Family Pastor, South Bay Church.

One of our core values at South Bay Church is, “We live and risk all for the King and His Kingdom.” We strongly believe that we are to live with a sense of complete abandonment for Jesus. This simply means that we are willing to abandon our comfort, will, and even desires to obediently follow Him. We are willing to lay it all out on the line for Jesus and we seek to expand His Kingdom not just our organization.

This past week I was reading in Luke 9 when I was struck with a verse that immediately brought this value to mind. In Luke 9:23-27, Jesus is describing the cost of being one of His followers. He just told the disciples He will one day be killed and if they want to follow after Him they must even be willing to face death. Jesus literally tells them you must deny yourself and take up your cross daily. In case you don’t know when someone took up their cross it meant they were carrying it to the place where they would be nailed to it and crucified! Can you imagine the weight the disciples must have felt at the words of Jesus?

However, Jesus continues by saying, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” Wow! Think about this… Jesus is saying if you try to save your life you will ultimately lose it! What He is saying is this: If you are trying to save your earthly life by denying Him or seeking to be comfortable then you will end up losing both your earthly life and your eternal life. By seeking to save your life here on earth you forfeit eternal life with Christ in heaven for eternal condemnation in hell! We know this because Jesus goes on to say, “What good is it to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self (soul)? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and in the glory of the holy angels.”

We live and risk all for the King and His Kingdom because that is what Jesus demands from us as His followers. We must not be ashamed or afraid to follow Him, but we must be willing to follow Him even to the point of death. Obeying Jesus, the King, and seeking to advance His Kingdom is so much more important than anything else we could ever give our lives for.

Are you trying to save your life, or are you laying it all out on the line for the King and His Kingdom?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Easy Pill

Do you ever wish you could just swallow a pill to make life a little easier? I'm going to be honest... I do. At times I wish I could swallow a pill and make parenting two young boys a little bit less challenging. I wish I could swallow a pill and all of a sudden become the husband God has made me to be. I'd love to snap my fingers and immediately be the leader that I will one day become. There are moments when I wish I could swallow a pill and make my current challenges and struggles go away, but then I read the bible and I realize... that's pretty stupid!

I ran across this verse in my bible reading time this morning.

Proverbs 12:11, "He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgement."

In other works, there is no easy pill or short cut to a fruitful life. Abundance and effectiveness involves working the difficult soil of our lives, planting seeds that are worth harvesting, praying for rain, plucking out the weeds that cut away at health, waiting for the fruit and then walking through the difficult work of harvesting.

This principle holds true for every area of our lives... marriage, parenting, relationship with God, our career, ministry, and friendships.

When we chase the easy pill we end up making all kinds of dumb decisions. Don't get me wrong... I'm not advocating un-neccessary work. That is just as foolish as chasing fantasies. We must work with wisdom and efficiency, but we must realize there is no short cut to success in fruitfulness in any other area of life or ministry. Water, plant, work, pray, and harvest. Be diligent in these matters and you will have fruit. Swallow the easy pill and you will suffer the consequences.

What "fields" has God called you to work today? Are you sowing seeds of forgiveness or seeds of bitterness in your relationships? Are you investing time and energy into the life of your kids and spouse or are you expecting someone to nurture them to vitality? Are you working faithfully when you clock in, or are checking facebook half of the working day? Pastors are you sowing seeds to reach beyond the walls of your church or are you looking for that next fad you can ride?

Spit out the easy pill and work your fields.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Power of Your Invite!

This Sunday is going to be the greatest day in the history of South Bay Church. We celebrate the fact almost 2,000 years ago Jesus disciples walked up on Easter morn to find an empty tomb. His resurrection gives us hope and forgiveness. We have a great opportunity to spread this good news of God's love this week.

There is no greater way to spread good news than through word of mouth. If you are a part of South Bay Church I want to ask you to join me this week as we spread the word about our Easter Services. (8:30a, 10:00a, 11:30a, 1:00p) Our whole goal is to reach our community with God's love. Would you take a few minutes to invite your friends, a family members, a co-workers, and neighbors! We are prayin that many lives are touched and changed through this Sunday's services.

All the resources you need are right here!

FACEBOOK: Spread the event to your friends. Change your profile picture.
TWITTER: Change your profile picture. Retweet SB's invitation to Easter.
E-VITE: Easter evite | Hunt evite
EMAIL: Easter email invite | Hunt email invite

PS, Here is a short promo video for the message series that kicks off this Sunday.

One Life- No Regrets. from South Bay Church on Vimeo.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do You Have To Let It Linger?

Hey, you remember that song... "Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?" That's about the extent of what I remember, but those words stick, don't they? I was wondering the other day how many unnecessary problems linger around in my life and create extra headaches and weight on my shoulders.

How many things stick around that could be eliminated with just a few seconds or minutes of attention. I had this thought the other day... "Every person and organization has problems, ordinary organizations and leaders let the problems linger, great leaders and great organizations find solutions quickly and do not let problems or headaches linger." I'm not talking about applying the wrong solution to a problem. I'm talking about the fact that most problems in your life and organization can be solved in less than a week! I think that part of the "problem" for most of us lies in the reality that we don't have solid mechanisms for solving problems. We don't evaluate our lives and we don't evaluate our organizations and consequently the problems don't get solved.

Here is an idea: evaluate your life... What's working? What's not working? Then brainstorm... What are 4-5 possible solutions to this problem? What's it going to cost to solve this issue? Then assign responsibility, set a deadline and get cracking.

Here are a few examples... If you have multiple services at your church, evaluate in between services and make changes that can be made before the next service. If we have a microphone cable that keeps cracking on Sundays at church... How long does it take to order a new cable? Another example, we had some wires that weren't getting taped down. Archie our Worship Pastor printed pictures of what it looks like taped down and gave it to the appropriate volunteer. When you have equipment that doesn't work, how long does it take to get a new copier or a new modem? How long does it take to get a new computer? You have an employee that's not showing up on time for work, call them in your office and talk to them about it. You have a communication issue with a spouse or a kid... set aside a few minutes to get to the core of the problem. Ask why is it not working? What do we need to fix that problem. Not rocket science, just mental energy!

Some problems are complex and require laboring over a solution, but the majority of our problems have a simple solution and can be solved within a few hours or days!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Reflections on "Church Planters Think Tank"

Earlier this year our team sensed God leading us to do an event to invest in other new churches. Nothing flashy just a day of pouring in what we've learned and some of the things God has done at South Bay over the last two and a half years. I honestly just wanted to do something Bay Area and was praying that 50 people showed up. We were blown away when we ended up having over 120 kingdom leaders from churches all across the West Coast! Unbelievable. Our staff and some of our key volunteers pulled together in awesome ways. I never cease to be amazed by the capacity and work ethic of our team. They showed their hearts by giving to bless others. It truly was just an opportunity to pour out and be a blessing for others. Also, a special thanks to Westgate Church for hosting the event.

Here are a couple of insights from the event:
* Church leaders need practical ministry training. The day to day nuts and bolts is where most people get stuck!
* Conferences are a lot of work and require a team. More work than I anticipated.
* God is up to something big here on the West Coast and in the SF Bay Area.
* We will do this again!

Here are some pics! Thanks to all of you who came and served at this event!