This Past Weekend…

This past weekend was another great weekend at Faithco.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. People made decisions to follow Christ –which is why we do what we do.  What a blessing to be part of a church where people are born again each weekend!
  2. The praise band brought back the old hymn, “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus”.  It is an old favorite of mine.  It is awesome to mix the old with the new and still engage various generations.  This is the essence and the uniqueness of our church.
  3. I believe the message “Trapped by Sin” affected people in all types of ways.  I believe it spoke to everyone and confronted those who needed it (including myself).  We wrap up the “Trapped” series next weekend.  If you haven’t had a chance to be here, you can watch or listen to the messages on line at www.faithco.org.  Go to “resources” and click on “recent messages”.  Bobby posts new messages on Tuesdays because it takes a day to edit them.
  4. A big “THANK YOU” to the Mikles for inviting our youth ministry Pulse to come and raise money by taking over the duties and collecting gate fees for one night.  Pulse was able to raise money and have a lot of fun at the same time.  By the way, if you haven’t been to the Maze, you’ve got to go and take your family; it is a blast!

Okay, I get to meet with our leadership team in about 5 minutes to review all the cool stuff that God is doing at faithco in the upcoming weeks and months.  I’ll keep you informed but for now…..that’s all I got.

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Stumbling

The longer I am in ministry, the more stories I hear about people getting messed over by someone at some church.  Last weekend I spoke about people who offend others and people who have been offended by others, whether in or out of church. 

Jesus said “it happens”.  Look at this verse:

Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes! Matthew 18:7 NRS

The phrase “stumbling blocks” is translated as “offences”.  In other words, it is inevitable that we will be offended at some point in our lives.  It happens.

However, we don’t want to ignore the whole purpose of His words.  He said “Woe”  to the people who causes others to be offended.  If you cause someone to lose faith in God, or His work, “Woe” to you.

Wow.  You know where else I see this word “Woe”?  In the book of Revelation where there are seven “Woe” judgments.  Anytime the Lord says “Woe”, we need to pay attention. 

Do You know who offends most Christians?  Do you know who is the biggest reason for why most new believers get out and away from God and Church?  Do you know the cause of why many non believers will not step into a church?  Here’s the reason: you ready?  Not the Devil, not other religions, nothing but OTHER CHRISTIANS who have been offended. 

Offended Christians offended other Christians; they especially offend the new believers who have just decided to become a part of the body.  I speak from my experience and research, so there may be other opinions; however, this is my honest opinion. 

There will be more on this later but for now….thats all I got.

This Past Weekend…

I am constantly amazed by what God continues to do each weekend at Faithco.  Here are a few things I’ll mention to summarize such an awesome weekend:

1.  Whether by rededication, or for the first time, people came home to Christ.  This is always a big deal.  This is why we do what we do –to reach people.

2.  The G-force kids had a great time with “Slime Sunday”.  I think our kids ministers and volunteers do a great job illustrating the bible to our kids.  You should have seen Ronnie (the lucky volunteer who got slimed both services).  I talked to him; he had fun.

3.  I did not realize just how powerful the message would be yesterday.  Turns out, many people have dealt with being offended some time in their lives.  Using personal stories and simply being transparent is always the best way to teach people the gospel.  I find that when I talk to people about how and where I’ve been hurt, they can identify with me better.  It shocks me how many people have been hurt by other Christians.  However, if we are going to walk in victory, we must “GET OVER IT”

4.  Friends Connect Groups kicked off last night.  I saw all the facebook updates from all the leaders.  I believe this will be the best season yet for our home group teams.  If you are not part of  a Friends Connect Group, now is the time to join.  Get connected.

So much happened yesterday.  God is truly good to His people, and I’m happy to be part of what He is doing in our community. 

um, that’s all I got…

The Most Important Word –guest blog

Craig Groeschel is the pastor of www.lifechurch.tv.   He has a great blog called SWERVE which I read almost daily.  This one stood out as simple and yet profound.  I know you will like it, so go read it now.  It will help you today.  Really.

Here’s the link: http://swerve.lifechurch.tv/2010/09/16/the-most-important-word/

This Past Weekend…

Here are some things that stood out this past weekend:

1.  People made decisions for Christ.  I never get used to that.

2.  I had a chance to visit our kids ministry for a brief moment.  I’m so blown away by the great volunteers who work so hard in our Faithkids ministry.  I also enjoyed a back of fresh popped corn from the Little Explorers Circus room (cant’ beat that).

3.  We will continue to Pray for Shawna Pitts and her family.  She approached me after church and thanked me for all the church was doing to support her family at the time.  We are believing for her complete healing. 

4. We kicked off a new series called Trapped.  I got some incredible positive feedback after each worship experience on how people have been trapped by fear.  I think this series will be one of the most powerful we’ve ever done.

5. Sunday was once again a packed house…we need to build.  We are in the planning stages of a capital campaign that will lead to a brand new campus!

I could go on and on about Sunday but for now…that’s all I got.

Watch Out! Part 2

I’ve been out on holiday for the past week but I’ll continue from where I left off on last post:

As we mentioned in last post, the bible tells us in Romans to “watch out” for those in the body who cause division.  The verse goes on to say that such people who cause divisions are serving their own interests and not God’s. 

Hmmm.  Why would anyone’s interest be to cause division in a church?  Anyone….anyone….anyone?  It’s a tough question but I believe that one of the reasons people try to cause division in church is because many people have issues with authority.

It’s true, people in our culture just don’t like to submit to authority (me included); we want to do what WE want to do;  we don’t want to be told what to do; we want to do our own thing and still have God’s blessing.    The Bible tells us in Romans 13 that we are all supposed to be subject to authorities. The message of the gospel is about life change, and life change is sometimes confrontational.  I’ve found that people with authority issues don’t life to be confronted with areas in life where they need to change. 

People have authority issues.  The church is a kingdom and it has people in authority placed there by God (read Romans, actually read the Pauline epistles).  Here’s what happens a lot of the time:  An individual will disagree with the person in authority (let’s say, the pastor for example), and instead of submitting to authority and changing he will surround himself with his friends from the church and talk bad about the church leadership.  

It has always baffled me that a person’s first inclination is to think that I am wrong and he is right.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I am wrong and I have to apologize from time to time.  However, I have had to sit down with young leaders or those who are on staff and tell them: “Hey, if there is an issue with my leadership, first always assume that I am right and you are wrong.  Go home and pray about it.  If you still feel that I am making the wrong move or choice, then approach me respectfully and ask me about the issue. This is how we respect God’s authority.  Never, never, never, discuss issues you have with me to others; this will cause division” 

Yes, I get that clear with our team.  Not because “Travis demands respect”, but because this is how we show the Pastoral office respect.  It is how we understand and submit to authority. 

I believe people with authority issues are the biggest cause for church divisions. 

I could write a book on people with authority issues but for now….that’s all I got…

Watch Out!

WATCH OUT! 

I don’t see these words a lot in the scripture; but when I do, I try to pay attention to what is written next.  Look at this scripture in Romans:

Watch out for people who cause divisions….stay away from them.     Romans 16:17 NLT

This verse was directed towards church people.  Our enemy the devil wants to destroy the church through the division of believers.  What can destroy a church, ministry, or any other work?  Unbelievers can’t; the devil cant; nothing can….except divided believers.   I’ve seen it for years: the enemy causing division through God’s people and destroying lives and ministries.   I believe this is why this verse is so clear on what we should do with people who are being used by the enemy to cause division.   Don’t discuss, don’t explain, don’t empathize.  Just stay away, because people who cause division are serving their own interests and are not concerned about what they are doing to His church. 

I’ll discuss this more later, but for now…..that’s all I got.