Archives for September 2008
- Great Experiences today!
- Especially the 9:15…the crowd was really into it this morning.
- Had a lady come up to me afterwards who has absolutely been transformed by this series…yea God!
- Forgot to mention that today was the 2 year anniversary since I first came to United.
- We had some minor technical glitches today but for the most part set-up and execution went well.
- Great to be able to have Aaron play with the team for the first time.
- Sort of neat that Aaron and I will share the same anniversary date.
- He was pumped up beforehand and was even more excited afterwards.
- Can’t wait to see how things will improve with him being able to give us more time in the future.
- As much as we despise the digital drum set, today was a great example of using it for good. We were able to use it to produce some realistic sounds for Viva La Vida.
- Guess not many churches can say that in the same day they had their worship pastor sing the #1 song in the country and then have their pastor sing Snoop Dog in his sermon but yet still have lives radically changed.
- Usually by Friday I feel pretty comfortable with how the delivery of the message will be…this week it just never clicked until during the 9:15…that’s the one we put online.
- We had our 3rd highest attendance ever.
- In fact we finished up today our highest attended quarter of a year ever.
- Should be even more people next week as we begin the Live Like You Were Dying series.
- Don’t forget to attend at 9:15 if you can and to invite as many people as possible.
- Been a very busy weekend…I’ll fill you in more tomorrow.
This Sunday marks the 2 year anniversary since I came to United. Only 2 Sundays before they had a grand total of 37 people in attendance. I was nervous not only because it was my first day, but also because I knew that in order to make a decision whether to stay or not (I was on a 3 month consulting agreement) I would have to make the vision clear and push really hard in a short period of time.
That morning 85 people showed up to hear me talk about no longer having a service on Sunday mornings, but creating an Experience where people who were far from God could come and hear the good news of Jesus Christ in a clear, creative, compelling, and relevant way. I challenged people to realize lost people matter to God and to invite them into our Experiences each and every Sunday morning. I made it clear that no perfect people were allowed and that we would do anything short of sin to help people know that God loves them, wants to forgive them and wants to help them grow to be more like Him.
Little did we realize that in less than 2 years we would grow to nearly 400 people, meeting in 2 seperate Sunday morning Experiences and that over 150 people would make first-time commitments to Christ and many more people who had given up on church would re-dedicate their lives to Him and His mission.
Last night God gave me an anniversary present. Sitting in my office 3 men who are relatively new to the church, without prompting from myself or Terry Betz who was also there, took about 20 minutes sharing their stories of how the Sunday morning Expereinces had radically changed their lives forever.
Each had limited church experience in the past, but they all hated it and had given up on God and the church. That is until a friend invited them to come check out this wild thing called the United Worship Experience. Each talked of how they immediately felt comfortable because of the casual atmosphere, the acceptance of the people, the rock’in music and the creative and practical ways I share God’s Word. Each one talked about how excited they are to come to church on Sunday’s. how they’ve altered schedules to make sure they can be there and how they are not ashamed to invite people to join them.
I looked over at Terry and he had tears in his eyes…I did as well. These were just 3 of now hundreds of stories of lives transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. What an honor it is for all of us to be able to be a part of that. However let’s not get content…there are still approximately 70,000 people in our county who have also given up on God and the church. These people; our friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives will spend eternity seperated from God in hell if we don’t do something about it.
Each of these men were influenced to come to United because someone cared enough to take a risk and invite them to come. Who do you need to take a risk on this weekend? Don’t delay…call them right now…who knows maybe in a few years when we have thousands of people attending, I’ll hear a story of life transformation from someone YOU invited…from someone whom YOU helped to make an eternal difference!
Happy anniversary everyone…buckle your seatbelts…the ride has just begun!
Wow the last 24 hours were intense. My good friend, Chuck Frank was recently hired by our region of the denomination to oversee church planting and he invited me to a retreat to brainstorm how our region can do a better job getting new churches started.
Glenn Smith, Executive Director for New Church Initiatives out of Houston, Texas was our facilitator. Glenn is a great guy and many new ideas were brainstormed and pondered. Please pray for Chuck and the Commission on church Planting that God would continue to lead them in how to plant at least 20 churches by the year 2020. By the way, if you or someone you know is interested in starting or helping with a church plant, please let me know and I’ll put you in contact with Chuck.
As for the time away, here were a couple of personal highlights:
- Always nice to get up to the Doubling Gap Retreat Center which our denomination owns…it was beautiful weather.
- Nice to meet some other pastors from our denomination.
- Monday night we wrapped up our meetings at about 9:30 and then Chuck, Glenn, Matt (pastor at Mercersburg COG) and myself went to the game room to watch MNF, play ping pong, air hockey and shoot some baskets.
- Didn’t hurt that the staff put out some great snacks for us.
- Glenn and Matt beat Chuck and I at table tennis…but we let them…at least that’s our story. 🙂
- Chuck and I stayed up until 1:30am talking and brainstorming.
- Uhhh…7:30 had to be up to get breakfast and then start our 2nd day of meetings.
- At one point we were asked to take 20 minutes to get alone with God to think about some of the stuff we had been talking about.
- I took that opportunity to climb about 1/2 way up the mountain.
- I love being in the woods alone like that…although I was walking at a pretty brisk pace and really got my heart pumping…I thought…”mmmm, I didn’t tell anyone I was coming up here…hope nothing bad happens…they won’t find me for days.”
- The morning sessions were very interactive so I didn’t have problems staying awake.
- After a big lunch, Glenn did his one and only powerpoint presentation for the 2 days.
- While it was great info, I’m sitting there telling myself…”Concentrate…keep your eyes open.”
- Wasn’t long after that that things got interesting as the 7 pastors present were carrying each other, rolling on the floor, doing the crabwalk, hopping on 1 foot, etc.
- Don’t ask it’s a long story, but illustrated a wonderful point…just glad Chuck had put his camera away.
- All in all a productive trip…got to make some new friends and catch up with some old ones…again would appreciate your prayers as Chuck as his team proceed forward.