- From the picture you can see we had another full house!
- To get some perspective, I had my back pressed against the back wall when I took it.
- Glad we are only a few weeks away from moving to 2 Experiences.
- Turns out it wasn’t a record crowd even though it looked like it…oh well that’s coming soon!
- We were unable to have our normal practice on Thursday night so it meant for an even earlier morning than usual.
- As I pulled into the parking lot, Earl and Kim were walking over from their house and Earl just looked at his watch then at me like, “what in the world are you doing here this early?”
- Pretty smooth set-up and practice went well.
- With so much extra stuff going on today and so many people shuttling on and off stage, it made for a tough day to get all of our transitions right.
- Unfortunately it showed…it seemed we were always just a tick off.
- We also had a few technical mistakes which drive me nuts.
- However, with all that being said, I thought Dianna did a tremendous job.
- I was busy running around doing some other stuff so I’ll have to listen more carefully online, but what I heard sounded like good stuff.
- What made it great to me was that Dianna has been sick all week long and even as of last night she was still feeling pretty rough…add in the to be expected nerves and it could have been a disaster…however, God came through for her big-time and she looked relaxed and comfortable.
- Her mic was too close to her mouth at the beginning so Andy asked me to go tell her about it during the first video. She didn’t turn though as the video started and so I had to sneak up, in the dark. I kept getting closer whispering Dianna…then I lightly put a hand on her back…how she kept from jumping I’ll never know…would have scared me half to death.
- As I mentioned, I was running around checking on various things during most of the Experience…wow glad I don’t have to do that every week…in any case, I needed to find Lisa during the message so…
- …I looked to the section where she normally sits, spotted her and walked up to that section, thought hmmm, don’t remember her having a pair of pink pants… bent down and just then she turned…except it wasn’t her. Oops…did I feel like an idiot.
- “Sorry, just looking for my wife.”
- Apparently quite a few people saw it happen and got quite the laugh out of it.
- Glad to provide your comic relief.
- Can’t wait for next week when we look at the values that make United the Experience that it is.
- Tonight is the 7/20 Prayer Gathering at Trojan Stadium…always great to get together with other churches for worship and prayer!
Archives for July 2008
We’re getting ready to head out to the movies…not 1 but 2. As I continue to get ready for the God at the Box Office series ,which launches August 10th as we move to 2 Experiences, I still need to see Get Smart and The Dark Knight. Well today that will happen. Can’t ever remember in my life watching two movies at the theaters on the same day…should be fun.
I haven’t been able to get that phrase out of my mind since I heard it Monday night during the MLB Home-run Derby. In case you missed it, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers put on quite a show and thanked Jesus all along the way.
Now you might be saying, “Yeah but a lot of athletes do that” and you’d be right but Josh is different. Drafted #1 in 1999, he was a can’t miss superstar until injuries started to mount. During his down time he started experimenting with drugs that eventually led to a heroine and cocaine addiction as well as a 2 year suspension by major league baseball.
However, he started a relationship with Christ and was set free from his addictions and slowly but surely he made his way back to the pro’s and now to the All-Star game. In all his interviews he never stops telling people about Jesus and how He has turned his life around.
Monday night as Josh launched 28 home-runs in the first round alone (a record), ESPN’s Rick Reilly said, “It’s a bad night to be an atheist.”
That got me thinking…what would it take for someone to say about Chambersburg, “That’s a bad town to live in if you’re an atheist.” Now not from a mean standpoint…we want United to be a place where everyone is welcome and people can explore the claims of Jesus and the Bible without undo pressure. So what I do mean is…what if we made Jesus name so famous throughout this region that people just couldn’t help but be influenced by all of us? What if like Josh Hamilton we weren’t ashamed to give the credit where credit is really due? What if like Josh we took the money and influence we do have and made sure that more people heard the good news? Mmmm…might be a bad place to live if you’re an atheist.
As I share quite often, I have had the great pleasure to get to know and be influenced by some of the tops churches and pastors all throughout North America.
One of my favorite influencers is Perry Noble from NewSpring church down in South Carolina. Perry was one of our One Prayer speakers and one of the major reasons I like New Spring so much is that they are in a town and county of similar size to ours.
They are a few years further down the road than we are, but they are proof positive that God can use a church to become an Unstoppable force in the community and region in which it resides. This past weekend I announced that we were starting a Experience because of our continued growth…well keep on reading here to find out what NewSpring did this weekend and to be encouraged that if they can do it, we can do it as well!
EXCERPTS FROM PERRY’S BLOG THE LAST FEW DAYS:
I literally don’t know where to begin. I remember standing on stage at NewSpring in 2006 and announcing we were going to begin a Greenville campus. At the time I had no idea how…I just knew it was something that Jesus had placed in my heart.
Today that “dream” became a reality. Here are a few highlights…
- We said if we had 1,000 people at the Greenville campus that we would call it a successful launch–we didn’t quite have 1,000…we actually had 1,710.
- THAT BLOWS ME AWAY! In 1999 when we started NewSpring Church we had no idea this was possible. God’s dreams are always larger than ours!
- What we did not expect is the INCREASE in attendance at the Anderson campus! I literally thought we would be down in A-town…but we had QUITE A FEW first timers.
- Today was the largest non-Easter attendance for the year…and it’s JULY 13th…the majority of our college students aren’t even back yet!!! (We had almost 9,000 people today total! Seriously, I NEVER thought that would happen!)
- Oh yeah…by the way…we saw at least 50 people receive Christ today!
Jesus Is Blowing My Mind!
I didn’t take a nap yesterday afternoon. I tried…but I could not shut it down. All I could keep thinking over and over in my mind is, “Jesus, thank You for allowing me to be a part of this!”
When we started back in a living room in 1999 NONE of us would have ever thought that on Sunday, July 13, 2008 we would launch a NewSpring campus in Greenville that would have 1,710 people in attendance. Heck, we didn’t even think our Anderson campus would have that many people coming to it!
But it happened yesterday…and the thought that I really feel the Lord keeps bringing to my mind is, “This is ONLY the beginning if you will just stay faithful to me!”
I have a confession! I am OBSESSED with reaching people for Christ (read this if you didn’t last week!) AND…I’m obsessed with doing it through the local church. People have accused me in the past of being all about the numbers. Guess what–THEY ARE RIGHT! I am passionately dedicated to seeing LARGE NUMBERS of people step across the line of faith and become fully devoted followers of Christ. If that is what people want to say I am all about…that is AWESOME.
I can’t turn my back on telling people about Jesus. I refuse to reduce HIS church to 10-15 guys sitting in a room, all of them being white and my age, and entering into discussions about meaningless theological issues that will never be settled this side of heaven and then turn my back on people who need Christ the most.
NewSpring, we are not called to play it safe. We MUST be willing to continually passionately obsessed with who we are reaching rather than who we are keeping! We MUST keep in mind that in the NUMBERS I often talk about are people who happen to be near and dear to our hearts…and that seeing them step over the line of faith would be one of the most incredible things we can experience.
I am more committed to the vision of reaching 100k for Christ than I’ve ever been…and with what we saw happen yesterday in Greenville…not only do I now believe it can happen, I believe it WILL happen!
Jesus’ plans for His church are so much larger than ours!!! AND…the only people who get mad at the church for dreaming big are those who think the work of God should remain small and isolated. (hmmm, wonder what spiritual force is behind that line of reasoning!)
Jesus is blowing my mind…and what is coming our way is HUGE. Yesterday was just a taste…like I said back in June, “Hold on to your fork–there’s something sweeter in the kitchen!”
ONE MORE THING – To the pastor/church planter out there who may be reading this–DO NOT EVER APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE FOR DREAMING BIG!!! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about wanting to reach large numbers of people for Christ!!! (Seriously, who is behind that? Jesus or satan?) Do not ever apologize for praying bold prayers, taking God-sized risks and offending those who wear the religious robes.
God is HUGE…and if you have an enormous dream for the church you are serving…guess what, God’s dream is BIGGER! In fact, I would argue that our dreams for His church would be small if He didn’t empower us to dream big simply because we all tend to want to play it safe.
But…if there is a risk you know you should be taking, a move you know you should be making, you know that God has set your heart on FIRE and you can’t keep it in…GO FOR IT! Life is TOO SHORT and hell is TOO HOT for us to worry about who likes us & who doesn’t!
Be who God called you to be–do what He has called you to do! Lift up Jesus, honor Him every single step of the way…walk intimately and passionately with Him and let HIM move your heart to attempt what others have told you is impossible.
Let Jesus blow your mind…and know that because you are willing to follow Him…eternal destinations will be impacted!!!