- Another good day.
- Started out this morning not being able to open my car doors because they were froze shut. Once I did get the rear door open, then I couldn’t get it shut.
- Made for a late start with Mike getting the signs out…and oh wow was it cold.
- Set-up went pretty smoothly…although after last week’s “No Show Sunday” seemed like we had some missing and out of place stuff, but we figured it all out.
- Bill is always really creative and came up with a boxing ring for the set piece today…it was cool how he made it.
- Had a decent size crowd show-up at 9:10 to share in communion with us.
- The theater is such a hard place to pull it off (logistics) and with our large amount of unbelievers that attend, for some theological reasons its difficult as well.
- This will be a good solution to use from time to time to supplement the times we do it other ways.
- After communion we had a lot of new people come in to observe our team meeting and then get a behind the scenes tour of the areas they are interested in serving in.
- If you’re interested in serving, please start the process by choosing the appropriate link and then filling out the form. For set-up, tear down, or any First Impressions role, click here.
- For any Children’s Ministry role, click here.
- As a reminder, to incorporate some new stuff we want to do, we also need those currently serving to fill out the appropriate forms as well.
- As for the Experience itself, it was a small yet fairly enthusiastic crowd today.
- Bill and the team did a great job covering “Ladies and Gentlemen”.
- Andy and Cris did a great job as well creating the tech side of things for it.
- I shot a video but it didn’t come out great but here it is anyway so you can get a sense of what we did.
- That led into Chad’s message which we called, “All Show Sunday”.
- He did a great job sharing why you need to serve with others in the area that you not only have a passion for, but are also gifted to serve in.
- I was able to walk around today and see some of our other ministries in action.
- So thankful for all that God allows us to do!
- Again we’d love to see you begin serving if you’re not already…click the links above to get started.
- One cool up-date…
- I announced at the end that we fell about 500 cans short of our goal to collect 2012 food items for Isaiah 61 Ministries.
- After the Experience was over, a very generous lady said she’s buy the difference!
- Love to see people being radically generous!
- Had about 70 people come out to lunch at Infinito’s with us.
- Always good to be able to spend time with getting to know people better.
- Pretty awesome to see how many people from my couple of blocks are now attending…some that I didn’t even know lived nearby.
- Next week we begin a new series called, “Sun Stand Still”.
- I can’t stress this enough…THIS WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT SERIES WE’VE EVER DONE…DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO INVITE PEOPLE TO COME WITH YOU.
- If you need more of the invite cards, please email me and we’ll get them to you.
- Another great day!
- 3 more first time professions of faith!
- One of our highest attendance days ever!
- Some cool stories of how people are applying this series to their lives and getting margin!
- Got to meet the 3 interns we’ll be working with this summer!
- Mike Smith was in the house!
- Lisa, my parents and myself were unexpectedly treated to a free lunch when a great couple from ECTV spotted us and had one of our “You Matter” cards delivered to the table! Problem was the waitress didn’t speak English very well (Japanese restaurant) so we didn’t fully understand what was happening until we went to pay and a waiter finally explained they had picked-up our bill!
- We convinced the theater to turn the AC on which made for a lot cooler Experience!
- Ok I think I’m out of statements that end with an exclamation point. Seriously!
- Ok seriously this time…it was a good day.
- Nothing too out of the ordinary except we again have equipment starting to feel the effects of the wear and tear of getting set-up and torn down each week.
- It was weird…last week I was looking forward to the message but didn’t feel good about it. Today was the opposite…I wasn’t feeling good about it going in but felt really good about it at the end,
- Guess you’ll have to listen for yourself.
- Essentially the message was about the practical steps to achieving financial margin. I think what I liked though were two specific illustrations that I used that when it finally dawned on people where I was going with them, I could audibly hear the “ah-ha” moments coming out of people’s mouths in a variety of ways.
- At the end I was able to share some of the awesome things we’ve been able to do in just 7 short months.
- Things like now 86 first time professions, over $20000 given in a variety of ways to help the community, incredible stories of lives being changed and transformed, etc.
- However, as I said, there are many other things that God has called us to do that we simply can’t yet because of finances.
- We’re not in trouble in any way, but I know God has so much more He wants us to do.
- So if you’d like to contribute financially, we’d greatly appreciate your support.
- I continue to be blown away by the incredible team God has assembled in such a short time and the things He’s allowed us to experience together as a church in only 7 short months…however…listen to me and listen carefully…
- The Best is Yet to Come!
- Been awhile since I’ve been able to do an Inside Today’s Experience blog post and it shows since I’m not almost 36 hours late getting this posted.
- What a weekend…exciting and tiring all at the same time.
- My Dad and Andy traveled out to Troy, Michigan Thursday night into Friday morning, picked up a lot our equipment and then turned right around and drove home.
- Saturday morning everyone gathered at the theater at 7am to unpack and test equipment for the first time.
- We still have a lot of stuff on back order so we were improvising on some things but all in all it went well and we felt confident going into Sunday.
- Before I go further, let me throw in a couple of relevant points.
- Our team is amazing. They have been putting in dozens of hours each week and I’ve hardly heard any complaining at all. Let me say it again…they are amazing and surely God is going to reward them for all the hard work they’ve been doing.
- Other churches are just as amazing. So far over 30 churches now are helping support us in some way. I’ll do a blog post in the future to recognize them all and share some inspiring stories of what can happen when the capital “C” church truly cares about lost people and realizes we’re all on the same team. This past weekend and future weekends wouldn’t be possible without great leaders who are sacrificing time, money, equipment and people to help us.
- One example of the last point is that we went from no lights at all just 2 weeks ago, to two churches donating entire lighting rigs and others financially contributing so we could buy even more , which “just happened” to be on sale for 50% off when we went in to buy them).
- Problem was we couldn’t get everything to work together lighting wise on Saturday morning so Andy I worked at his house until 9pm in his garage and front yard setting up a fake stage.
- Oh the adventures he and I have had together over the past 17 years. Next to God and Lisa, I couldn’t ask for a better friend and partner to do ministry and life together with! And Gayle’s not so bad herself 🙂
- I slept like a baby and then we were all at the theaters again at 7am, but this time to do it for real.
- Everything went fairly smooth with set-up except we couldn’t get some of our signage assembled the right way and even though Andy and I had the lights working, we didn’t have time to write any light scenes so we went with a solid blue look the entire Experience.
- Not bad though…our goal was to by the end of the weekend be at about 80% efficiency and effectiveness…think we did at least that.
- In addition to our team we were joined by volunteers from 5 other churches. Thanks to everyone who came on a short-term missions trip to the deep, dark jungles of Harrisburg to help reach out.
- Again we have some bugs that needs to be worked out but I thought overall our lobby presentation and signage, our kids areas and main adult worship spaces looked amazing.
- As for the Preview itself, it’s sort of one of those catch-22’s. You want enough guests to show up so you can see if the systems we put in place work, but at the same time you don’t want so many people that with everything not being at 100% you make a negative first impression.
- So with all that said, our total attendance for the day including helpers and kids was 86 people!
- I just realized that for this Preview we actually had more people than the average church in America does (72) for one of their regular services.
- Wow God is good and the best is yet to come!
- If you’re interested in getting a taste of what happened yesterday, here is a link to a simple video I put together with some highlights of the Preview.
- In addition to the 86 people we also had some news media folks who showed up.
- Last week I did an interview with the Patriot Newspaper and they sent out one of their photographers to shoot some shots.
- I would expect the article to come out in the next week or two.
- Also ABC27 News sent a film crew out to take some footage and do an interview.
- Funny thing was we had already started the Experience when one of our team members informed me that they were there and wanted to do an interview but couldn’t wait around until the end.
- So I left during the worship set…did a quick interview and then got back just in time to deliver the message.
- The news clip has run a total of 3 different times and we’re appreciative of the nice feature they did on us. You can watch it here if you haven’t yet seen it.
- Bill and the band did an incredible job and every kid I talked to was excited about what Chelsea had to offer in the ECTV Kid’s Theater. Add in Chad running around making sure behind the scenes stuff was happening and our staff did a tremendous job…in fact I gave them all the day off so they could rest and recuperate after weeks on end of hard work. Great job guys…love partnering with you!
- We’re already getting a lot of positive feedback from the weekend and we can’t wait to do it again on September 26th…although it’s nice to have a week here to “breathe”.
- I preached about how none of us grow up wanting to be the guy who cleans port-o-pots or cleans up road kill yet many times the dreams we had for a life of significance gets shot down. The result is we get into survival mode instead of being the community and world-changers God has called us to be. When we occasionally do get a spark to do something great, is when the naysayers come out and start saying things like, “Well perhaps that will happen…I mean maybe you can do it”. These discouraging words cause us to retreat back into our safe, comfortable lives where our biggest goal is winning the rat race. So the big idea from yesterday was that “God’s promise is always bigger than my perhaps”.
- I truly believe that if Jesus could use 12 ordinary guys to change the world then He can take the people of ExponentialChurch.tv and use us to change Harrisburg and beyond.
- Partnering with other churches and ministries in the city to win it for Christ is not a very popular message as evidenced by the guy who refused to shake my hand on the way out the door.
- Here’s the sad part…I’d almost guarantee he is a part of another church and was there to check out the weird new church in town who doesn’t do things the way his church does. In other words in his mind, the right way. But instead of celebrating that more people will be in heaven one day because of our combined efforts, he instead made it very evident that he was offended. The reason this is so sad is what he doesn’t realize is that it’s attitudes like that actually push people further from Jesus.
- I post this for a reason…ExponentialChurch.tv is not doing church the right way or the only way…just a different way. We desire to be a church for people who don’t like church not just do things because “that’s the way they’ve always been done”.
- Sorry if that sounds like a bit of a rant, but as I said in yesterday’s message, “The church has been called to domination and we’ve become all about conversations about topics that really don’t matter”. Is it any wonder the church in America is on the decline and we are the laughingstock of the world as even they realize how stupid it is for Christians to argue over worship styles?
- Tearing everything down afterward went quicker than I anticipated which is a good thing because when we eventually go to two different Experience times on Sunday mornings it will force us to tear down in only 1/2 hour.
- Even though I was tired, I then went out to lunch with two future church planters who were in town to help and observe everything we were doing.
- Hopefully we showed them more good than bad.
- Great guys and they asked a lot of great questions at lunch.
- After that we hosted our good friends Bill and Nicole Mellott from West Virgina for a couple of hours at the house. They are another couple that we’ve done life deeply together with and we’re still praying that God would somehow make it possible for them to move up here as well.
- After that then we went over to Andy and Gayle’s for dinner with them and the Chute’s. Mmmm grilled chicken kabobs and I even treated myself to a Mellow Yellow which I haven’t had in years.
- It was a long day, but one that I’m extremely excited about and feel the hard work and effort of the entire team will pay-off big time as we move forward!
- Thanks for reading all this…if you’re just checking us out for the first time, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me if you have any questions. Gilbert@ExponentialChurch.tv
Last year we came up with an idea called the Contagious Christmas Challenge (YouTube video with details). All told you were able to help 40 needy families have Christmas meals and gifts that they wouldn’t have otherwise. The letters we received from these families made us cry tears of joy as we realized how desperate they were and how much your generosity was able to make a difference.
Again this year we’re doing the challenge and dozens more families will be helped. However as of today we have 12 more families nominated than we currently have the funds to help. Either we’ll have to pick and choose which families to exclude or we need to raise another $3000 ASAP. This of course is where you come in. If you haven’t already, please consider making a donation this week so that we don’t have to turn anyone away.
So here’s my challenge:
I need 4 of you to commit to making a $250 donation.
I need 10 of you to commit to making a $100 donation.
I need 8 of you to commit to making a $50 donation.
I need 16 of you to commit to making a $25 donation.
I need 20 of you to commit to making a $10 donation.
When all of us pitch in to help those in need, it is easy and rewarding. Maybe you’ll want to take up a collection at your office or in your neighborhood so that others may experience the joy of knowing they made a difference this Christmas season. For those that are a part of the Chambersburg First Church of God, just bring in a check this week with a notation that it’s for the Contagious Christmas Challenge or stop by the You Matter booth. If you’re reading this and would like to mail a check, please mark that it’s for the Contagious Christmas Challenge and then mail it to:
Chambersburg First Church of God
2230 Grand Point Road
Chambersburg, PA 17202
If you have any questions please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance for your help. Many people will experience not only a happy holiday but also the love of Christ through your generosity.
Note: This post is part of the James challenge where I encouraged everyone to read through the book of James (chapter per day) and to summarize each chapter in their own words and then give themselves a personal application step for the day. To follow is what I put. Please feel free to comment with your own summary and application point as well.
7-10-09 James Chapter 5
1. James begins by reminding us not to hoard earthly wealth or resources. He continues then by telling us to persevere, be patient and not grumble in the face of persecution. He concludes by reminding us that prayer should be our first option, not our last resort.
2. Today is my day off which also means it’s the day I sit down to pay the bills. As I’m going through our finances today I’m going to do a check-up on our financial situation. Are we being good stewards of all that God has entrusted us with? Have we found the right balance between saving for the future and being gernerous to others today? I’ll reconfirm to God that it’s all His anyway and that I’m open to what He wants.