- Well this is going to be short and sweet.
- The reason…I can’t remember much of today.
- The last thing I said to Lisa before I went to sleep last night was, “My stomach doesn’t feel right”.
- I’ll spare you all the details…but let’s just say I was right.
- Apparently the milk I had with my cereal last night must have been bad.
- It smelt ok but Lisa this afternoon saw that it was about a week expired.
- So with my energy drained and feeling extremely nnauseous, I made my way to the theater this morning.
- To be honest everything seemed to be going in slow motion.
- Big thanks to the entire team for picking up the slack.
- Basically I sat around the whole time, got up and preached and then went home.
- I’m told the message came out ok.
- I was really excited about this one and can’t imagine it came out nearly the way I had hoped.
- What I do know is that God’s Spirit gave me supernatural strength that I didn’t have.
- Thank you Jesus!
- You can listen to the message here.
- This was the end of the “Just Walk Across the Room” series.
- Today’s message was about how God personally has a vision for your life.
- Hope everyone grasps it and lives it out.
- Next week we start the “Party” series as we celebrate the Christmas season.
- Make sure you’re there and make sure you bring along a bunch of people because we’re going to party hard!
- Also don’t forget to mark your calendars…Christmas and New Year’s weekend we’ll be meeting on Saturday morning at 10am instead of Sunday.
- Let me say that again. Mark your calendar to come to church on Saturday, December 24th and 31st at 10am.
- Sorry I missed out on joining everyone at Infinito’s this afternoon for lunch but I heard another big crowd showed up.
- I got a nap in and I’m keeping food in and down…in fact, I’m really hungry and keep eating which is a good sign!
- Hope everyone has a great week…see you Sunday for the “Party”!
On Sunday at ExponentialChurch.tv I shared a message called, “The Two Stories of a Difference Maker“. One of those is knowing how to tell God’s story in a clear and passionate way. The other story is your story of how you either came into a relationship with Jesus or how a certain aspect of your life has changed as a result of your relationship with Him. I challenged everyone to write out their personal testimony and then email it to me so I could review it and make suggestions.
It’s been awesome over the past 2+ days now to have received so many stories of life change. All but one of them so far though have needed to be tweaked for various reasons. I fault myself for some of this so I wanted to do this post to help those of you who are still working on the assignment. So here are a couple of things that either I failed to say or a reminder of what we’re trying to accomplish.
- Remember who you’re doing this for- This is probably my fault for not making it clear enough but remember not to write it as how you would tell it to me. Think about a neighbor or friend who is far from God…how would you tell it to them.
- Write it conversationally- This is my big regret from Sunday. I should have made it clear that even though you’re writing it down so it will ultimately be easier to memorize, you need to write it the way you talk. So my suggestion is try saying some things out loud and then write down what felt most natural.
- Reminder: Keep it under 3 minutes- Most have done a pretty good job of keeping it short but some have gotten a bit too detailed. Usually where this happens is giving extra travelogue that doesn’t really add to the story for the listener. For example, a few people have mentioned specific people by name and exact locations down to the street address. All this will do is get your listener thinking about “do I know that person” or “do I know where that is” instead of concentrating on the real story, which is how much Jesus has changed your life.
- On the flip side…give some details- Now you’re really confused right? A couple of the emails I have gotten were only bullet points. Again keep in mind the purpose of this exercise is to have written out your full story in the way that you would say it. So for example if I just point the bullet point of “anxious” as one of my before Jesus problems, I still don’t know what I’m going to say in the moment. For each “problem” you should have a 1-2 sentence example of that. Let me give you an example from my own life showing you both the wrong way to do it (#3 above) and the right way to do it (#4 here).
In our hypothetical situation lets say your friend mentions how stressed out and anxious they are. Here’s the wrong way
to do it. “You know before I became a Christian I used to be the same way. I remember back to the spring of 1993. I was
a sophomore in college at Hagerstown Community College. I was in Mr. Baker’s accounting class getting ready to take my
final and was so nervous about it that I literally threw up I was so nervous and anxious about it. But then later that
summer Keith Skidmore and Marvin Bower shared with me…”
Notice all the extra travelogue that doesn’t really help advance the story. I could say the exact same thing this way. “You
know before I became a Christian I used to be the same way. In fact, I remember once being so nervous about taking a
test in school that I threw up beforehand. But then two men shared with me…”
What I’m trying to get you to see is that there is a big difference between the written word, where you want a lot of details,
and the spoken word where you want just enough details to not distract from your main theme.
5. Avoid the Christianese- Think about how you would communicate to someone who has never stepped foot in a church or ever
opened up a bible. Despite my warnings on Sunday about avoiding these, this has been the biggest thing that I keep seeing over
and over. Here are some examples of words and phrases that people have included that I’ve told to go back and fix.
- My repentance prayer
- Watered the seeds my parents had planted
- Jesus lives in my heart
- Asked Jesus into my life
- Been redeemed
- Got saved
- Made Jesus Lord and Savior
- Received salvation
As I said Sunday…all of the above things are true…but just not the best way to say them in a way a person far from God will understand. As a game, try to come up with the better way to say each of the above.If I think of anything else, I’ll put it in another post. In the meantime…happy writing. Can’t wait to hear the stories of how God makes opportunities available for you to share your 3 minute story in a humble, interesting, and clear way!
- Another great day.
- Had another person start a relationship with Jesus today.
- The amazing thing about that is we’re currently doing a series on how to share your faith.
- Amazing how God can speak to people’s hearts even in messages that aren’t necessarily evangelistic in nature.
- In fact, a big misconception of churches like ours is that we must only preach seeker friendly, evangelistic messages every week in order to have as many professions of faith as we do.
- The truth is in now a little over 1 year of existence, I’ve only done 1 message that was strictly the Gospel message and geared for a response at the end.
- Every other week messages are about growing in your faith.
- In other words, I assume that everyone will want to be a follower of Jesus so here’s what it means to follow Him more closely.
- Now of course I present this in such a way that it does make sense to non-followers, but for the most part we tackle some pretty serious discipleship stuff.
- At the end then I usually say something to the effect of, “Ok now the first step to applying today’s message is starting a relationship with Jesus if you don’t already have one”…then I present how to do that.
- Ok didn’t mean to start this with my philosophy of preaching but there it is.
- In any case, nothing out of the ordinary today with set-up.
- Had fun at our team meeting today giving a quiz on our core values.
- During it I said, “We say there are 2 things which we say are not optional, what are they”?
- One of the teens said, “Clothes”?
- Haha…gotta love those teens!
- All in all people did pretty good at least knowing the gist of each value.
- Huge difference though between intellectually knowing these things and living them out.
- Making great progress though!
- Very funny yet potentially embarrassing thing happened to Lisa today in the lobby.
- I went out and her and Meghan were laughing so hard they were in tears.
- I’ll let Lisa decide whether to fess up to what happened.
- Band as always did a great job.
- So interesting watching Jeff use a bow on his electric guitar for the one song.
- I continued the “Just Walk Across the Room” series by talking about the 3 D’s we all need to do to help people who are far from God.
- They are…Develop friendships, Discover their story and Discern appropriate next steps.
- You can listen to the full message here.
- As I mentioned in the message, over 300 names were written on the walls last week.
- I prayed for each one by name before today’s Experience.
- As I mentioned in the message, 3 things happened as I did it.
- First, the reality that these are real people that we know that are bound for hell unless we do something about it.
- Second, that reaching 90% of them is not enough.
- As I said, “That’s 30 people…anyone want to volunteer any of your people for hell?”
- Last thought was actually a feeling of righteous anger that so many people waste their lives on things that don’t really count for eternity while real people, like on these boards, die and enter into a Christ-less eternity.
- Whether you attend Exponential or not, let me ask you a question…What are you investing your life, time and resources in? Is that going to last for eternity?
- If not, then stop wasting this one and only life on things that don’t really matter.
- Ok shifting gears somewhat…one of the best things about Facebook’s new list feature is I can get pretty instant feedback on the Experience.
- Came across this earlier from a 1st time guest of ours…”Had a great morning with family and friends at a new church. Cried the first 3 songs. Praise God! Got my love for Christ back this morning”.
- Awesome…that’s why I love what I do!
- Next week we’ll look at how to verbally share your faith with 2 simple short stories you can tell.
- In the meantime…have a Happy Thanksgiving!
- Wow what an awesome day.
- We have such a great team that sacrifices each week to make sure people have a meaningful Experience with God.
- Today was one of those days where everything fell right into place, despite some out of the ordinary things we were doing.
- Set-up went smooth and I know the band was having fun covering the Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”.
- Bill was pulling off a pretty good Scottish accent…and having fun figuring out what “havering” means.
- Turns out it is nonsensical babbling.
- Guess that explains the one chorus.
- As a reminder, we do current secular songs and classic pop songs like this one in the hopes that a new association will be made in your mind.
- Instead of it just being a catchy tune my hope is that from now on you will think of the principles we’re learning in the “Just Walk Across the Room” series.
- Today’s main point was that the single greatest gift you can give someone else is the gift of Jesus.
- We talked about getting out of our Circles of Comfort and into the Zone of the Unknown….but only as the Spirit prompts us.
- I even shared a humorous example of how TV evangelists do their jobs so well sometimes that it intimidates us into thinking we could never do what they do.
- You can listen to all of today’s message here.
- I also showed a video of this summer’s baptisms, which pretty much sums up why we do what we do.
- The biggest highlight though was everyone getting an opportunity to write 5 names on the “Just Walk Across the Room” stage props of the people they are trying to lead to Jesus.
- The logistics of getting each 6X4 foot prop from the stage to the upper walkways and then getting everyone through the line in a timely manner was a massive undertaking but so worth it.
- Last week we talked about the 425000 people in our area who don’t currently know Jesus.
- Now we know about 1000 of their names.
- I will be personally praying for each one and there’s just something powerful about having those names written down and now visible throughout the rest of the series.
- If nothing else it will be a great visual reminder that our work is far from done and each of us has a personal stake in all of this.
- It was great to have Gayle’s parents and other friends from Chambersburg with us today.
- We had lunch with all of them down at Duke’s and caught up.
- Best line of the day came from Gayle’s dad who leads the Traditional service at Chambersburg. “I kept hearing my daughter singing and thinking, ‘A beautiful voice and all that talent wasted on music like this'”.
- Haha…just a reminder of one of our core values…”It takes all types of churches to reach all types of people”.
- Next week we’ll talk about 3 things to do once you walk across the room.
- Can’t wait to share with you how easy and non-threatening sharing your faith can be.
- Had another great day!
- First it never hurts when you get an extra hour of sleep…although as I type this at 5pm it’s already pretty dark outside so I’d rather have stayed on daylight savings time.
- Is it spring yet?
- Actually the weather today wasn’t bad.
- We started a new series today called, Just Walk Across the Room”…which meant the morning started with getting a new stage set up and running.
- Bill did a tremendous job and put tons of time into creating the 2 huge signs you see in this post.
- It’s hard to tell from the pics but the letters light up and then of course we can light the boards any color we want.
- The letters are also raised so it creates a cool drop shadow effect.
- Again the pics don’t do this justice…really cool all the effects that can be created.
- Next week we’ll be using the boards for something special that will make them very personal to every single person in attendance.
- So it’s about to get a lot cooler.
- Despite figuring out how to set up the new set, set-up itself went smoothly…in fact the band had enough time after the warm-up and run through to work on some stuff for next week since they will be out performing this Thursday night and won’t be able to do their normal rehearsal.
- I always love getting to briefly talk with the entire serving team at 9:20 and then having everyone pray for each other and for the day.
- It was great to see another big crowd today.
- It’s been weird over this past year to have really wild swings in attendance from week to week.
- So a pretty steady day was a welcome sight…especially since both days were some of the highest ever.
- Today as the kick-off to the series, I shared the vision of ExponentialChurch.tv.
- IMPORTANT: If you’re a regular attender of Exponential and didn’t hear today’s message, it’s very important that you take the time to listen either online or download it for an MP3 player.
- In the message you’ll learn how to make sure you are “in the right business” and I give a very impactful iillustration to demonstrate how much work we have left to do to reach the 425000 people in the metro area that don’t yet know Jesus.
- God has allowed us to do some pretty awesome things this past year but much more is still expected…Jesus said that when much has been given, much will be required.
- Again it’s important that you listen so you know how together we can partner to make an eternal difference.
- One way as I mentioned is to “Automate the Important”.
- Vision doesn’t come cheap and to be honest the church is really struggling financially right now to survive.
- I don’t for one minute think that it’s God’s will for us to fail.
- So if you are a regular attender of Exponential then I encourage you to begin tithing online and set it up so that your tithe automatically gets debited either monthly, bi-monthly (that’s what I do) or weekly.
- If you’re someone from outside our church yet you believe in what we’re doing I encourage you to give as well whether it be a one-time gift or some sort of ongoing automated contribution.
- Again to be honest, I’m tired of talking about money but the mission and vision are too important.
- I honestly believe that the best is yet to come and as I prayed at the end…I’m not so sure God wasn’t laughing at me today because I dream too small.
- God is a great God, He has given us a great mission and with Him all things are possible…let’s keep thinking exponentially and trust Him to “do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever hope or imagine”.
- After the message and during the announcement time, I was surprised to see Larry Evans and Lorraine Weaver make their way down to the stage and interrupt.
- I normally hate any surprises like that but in this case I’ll forgive them since they wanted to honor myself and the rest of the staff with a gift in honor of Pastor Appreciation Month.
- Thanks to all for the cards and gifts.
- As I said…we’re all a team and while God has given me a unique role to play, I/we can’t do it without you…We are the church and again the best is yet to come!