- What a day!
- I was just thanking God the other day for how smoothly things have been going.
- Oops spoke too soon.
- Set-up went really well…even have a couple new people helping out which is a huge asset to a team that was already functioning on all cylinders.
- When it came time for the band to do their morning warm-up, we noticed that Bill’s mic was distorting badly.
- I won’t go into all the details, but it spread to Gayle’s mic as well.
- We tried all kinds of things…switching their mics, trying corded mics, switching locations for the wireless receivers, changing channels on the front of house board, changing channels on the back of house board…
- We never did get it completely resolved but finally went with what was the best of the worst.
- I’m not discounting some spiritual warfare going on. I know Satan was not happy that we were going to get serious about some usually not talked about topics so he was doing whatever he could to discourage us.
- Haha jokes on you Satan…goin have to try harder than that.
- Other than that it was a good day…a few minor things here and there but nothing major.
- Of course the big topic of the day was how will Gilbert handle all these questions about marriage, dating, relationships and sex.
- To be honest, I was not nervous at all because I intentionally was keeping it as biblical as possible with very little personal opinion.
- Still…talking about things like porn, masturbation and oral sex is not easy…especially with a bunch of people staring at you…and your wife sitting in the crowd…and the director of church planting and executive director of our region of the denomination in the crowd.
- Still I’m pleased with how it all went.
- Especially proud of the Wordle Picture that is the picture for this post. It shows the amount of times a word was used in the message by size. Notice that even in a message that was pretty edgy, the 4 biggest words are God, Jesus, bible and marriage!
- I knew it was going to be a long message but I wanted to get as many questions answered as possible.
- Unfortunately, the live questions via text never made it to me until after the Experience…luckily the broken crock pot question that came in yesterday was still fresh in my mind.
- So many things I could say about today’s message but you’ll just need to listen for yourself.
- All in all I was pleased with the response afterward.
- Had some guys asking for help and the overall response was thank you for being so open and honest about topics like this and keeping it biblical.
- Honestly I can’t think of any other way to be.
- Why would you want to go to church only to hear something watered down that makes you simply feel good.
- Oh wait I remember.
- Great to have our good friends Bill and Nicole up from WV today to visit and then hang out.
- Next week we begin a new series called ME*TRADE where we’ll look at what to do when life just seems to be in a rut.
- Going to be powerful…make sure you invite a lot of people to come along with you!
- Before getting to today let me quickly thank Chad, Bill, Chelsea and our entire team for doing an awesome job last week while I was away.
- Someone asked me if I was nervous not being at Exponential, considering we’re only a couple of months old. My answer was no because of the incredible team we’ve assembled. While I may have a more visible role than others, I’m just one small component of the team and life goes on without me.
- Was really excited about today…we sent out 60000 mailers advertising the new series called “One” which is about marriage, dating, relationships and sex.
- The phone was blowing up all week long as people called to get more info.
- One thing we learned for the future is to be even clearer that we’re a church. I’m not saying this to brag since I designed it, but many were so impressed with the mailer that they thought it was a seminar or conference on marriage instead of a church service.
- Many called to ask how much it cost to get in. I kept saying nothing and even on the phone had a hard time convincing people that we are a church.
- The other thing that confuses people is meeting in a movie theater…I quite a few conversations about yes you can have church in a movie theater.
- Even with all that, we had tons of first time guests today and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
- Wish so many of our regulars wouldn’t have been absent because it would have been interesting to see how full the theater could have gotten.
- In any case, we had a good sized crowd.
- The day started out early this morning with ice covering everything and I almost took a spill or two getting into my car.
- Set-up went well today even with adding more lighting.
- Slowly but surely we’re starting to get the staging looking better and more like what I’d like.
- Great job by Bill in creating shadow boxes to make the LED strips look even better than they are naturally.
- The band as always did a great job leading worship and I thought they did a really good job covering “Grenade” by Bruno Mars.
- Because of going away, I didn’t have time to create the bumper for the “One” series so I had Brad Miller from my old church in Chambersburg do it for me. He did a great job…if you need video work done, he does a great job and at a reasonable price. Check out his web-site for more info.
- Man I was pumped up for today’s message called, “Finding the One“.
- Had lots of fun presenting it, including an interview with Satan on whether or not single people are losers.
- Big thanks to my former worship pastor Brian Miller (brother of Brad from above) for playing the role. Does it a little too well if you ask me. 🙂
- Best part of the day was that 5 more people made decisions to become followers of Jesus!
- Man that never…ever…gets old!
- If you know someone who is struggling with their love relationships, whether married or not, download today’s message for them to listen to and then do whatever you need to do to have them attend with you next week.
- Next week we’ll take a look at how God says you can improve your love relationship…if you thought this week is good…
- Now getting ready for “The Ultimate Tailgate Party”. For those that don’t know, we’re partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisburg to throw a Super Bowl Party for an estimated 200-300 kids and their families.
- We’ve got 46 people volunteering to serve! Thanks Exponential for BEING the Church in the community. That’s what it’s all about!
As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Facebook and Twitter and other social media networking sites. They allow me to follow some of my favorite pastors to get inside their head today instead of waiting for their next book to come out.
And Facebook to me is one of the best things that ever happened for pastors of larger churches like ours. We’re in the process of implementing some new software for the church and in the gathering of information stage, we’ve discovered that about 1600 people call CFCOG their home church. That’s a lot of people! It’s impossible for Earl and myself to know every single person’s name, much less details about their lives. Facebook however does help in at least getting a brief glimpse into people’s lives.
However, here’s my problem with it all. It has never been easier than today to have “Friends”. Just click the “accept friend” button or “add as friend” button and BOOM there you go, “I have another friend”. But really you don’t…yet many people are today gauging their quality of relationships on the quanity of friends or followers they have on these sites. So with that said, here are a few thoughts:
- People aren’t looking for a friendly church, they are looking for a friend in church.– It’s easy to be friendly, but it takes time and effort to truly be someone’s friend. Just because you “friend” someone on Facebook doesn’t mean they are your actual friend. So when someone new comes in, we must be sure to go beyond the superficial and truly be a friend.
- People don’t need MORE relationships, they need a few DEEPER ones where they give each other refrigerator rights.– Again the quantity of “friends” you have in life or Facebook means squat. My guess is that 99% of the people who are friends with you on Facebook would be irked if you called them during the middle of the night with a problem. A true friend is someone you can call in the middle of the night to say you need help and they just come right on over without asking a billion questions on the phone first. A true friendship is when someone is at your house and they just get in your refridgerator without even asking, because they’ve earned that right. The bible gives us 58 “one anothers” we are to be doing with each other…some of them are quite deep like, “confess your sins to one another”. Posting your deepest, darkest sins on your Facebook wall for all your “friends” to see is not the wise thing to do. So who are you intentionally developing a deeper, personal relationship with so you can pray, encourage and hold each other accountable?
- Proverbs 18:24- “A man with many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend he can have that will stick closer than a brother”.
Note: The Chambersburg Public Opinion is doing an article on how people dress for church. They are interviewing Earl this morning and he asked me to write up something with some of my thoughts. Don’t know if any of this will get used or not, but thought I’d pass along for you to get my 2 cents on the subject.
I always tell people that how they dress is greatly dependent on their primary view of Jesus. If your primary view is that of ruler, King, authority figure, etc., then when you go to his house, you will probably get all dressed up. If however your primary view of Jesus is that of being your best friend, then you’ll probably dress more casual.
For me personally there are two aspects to it…one is personal and the other is professional. From a personal standpoint, if I were to visit with our governor or President I would get dressed up. The reason for that is to be respectful, but mostly I’m doing it for them because that’s what they would expect and possibly require and in some ways I’d be doing it trying to impress. On the other hand, if I go to my best friend Andy or Bill’s house in a suit, they are going to laugh at me. To them it’s not about what I look like, but rather what’s going on inside of me that counts. So for me personally, I don’t get dressed up for church because I choose to see Jesus as my best friend. It was Jesus Himself in Matthew 23 who condemned the “religious leaders” of His day for looking good on the outside, but on the inside being dead. I guess my point is Jesus couldn’t care less what you look like on the outside, it’s what’s going on inside you that He’s most concerned about.
Now from a professional stand point, we have a little joke in United that our dress code is, “Please Do”. One objection that un-churched people often have is, “I don’t have anything to wear so I can’t come to church”. I’ve had quite a few stories from people who said they were able to share, “Well our pastor usually wears jeans and a t-shirt to preach in so as long as you have something like that, you’ll fit right in”. In the same way I’ve had new people tell me how comfortable it made them feel and how much more relatable I was because of the casual environment. The apostle Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some”. So for me if dressing casually will help remove barriers that might be keeping people from coming into a relationship with Jesus then I’m all for it.