Two Important Days in Utah

I’m sitting in an airport in Salt Lake City about to board Southwest and head home. We were here in Utah visiting the corporate office of Building God’s Way, an organization that partner’s with churches during capital campaign processes. We met some great guys and learned so much about what we are preparing to do at the first of the next year at Faithco.

Here are a few thoughts I’d like to share about why this trip was so worth while:

1. We found out that we may have been planning to build to small:

Since we have about two years before we may occupy our new facility, there is good reason to believe that our church could be 20% larger. We base these increase numbers on our recent years of growth. Also, it is hard to project just how large a church will grow just because it builds a new facility.

Here’s the deal, we want to use our faith and build a facility that will serve as many as God wants to send us. The knowledge we received in these meetings broadened our perspective of what we believe God may do through Faithco in coming years.

2. We learned the benefits of partnering with people who serve God:

Although it resembles a business, church is not necessarily a business. A church has different values and ideas for strategy and growth than other organizations. Its hard to explain this to people who don’t seem to care or understand. The BGW team “got this” even before we walked into the meeting office. It’s hard to explain, but this understand of church values by BGW is critical to our plans.

3. And of course, we found out that building an innovative, statement-making campus facility will cost more than what we expected.

 Actually, it won’t because we can build cheaper in Oklahoma and we will use all the skilled people in our church to do much of the work. We’ll get to that later. This will be the greatest financial endeavor Faithco had ever undergone. It is as scary as it is exciting. We want to do this right. This is why we are talking to experts. The team we are talking to is a one-of-a-kind team who does a unique service for churches who are about to build.

5. Lastly, this will be one of the most important steps of faith we have ever taken. No matter how we do this, we must do this. It must be done. It is time.

…thought you might be interested in what we are doing here…..what we are facing….what we are experiencing…….

…hmm…that’s all I got.

This Past Week…

I’m changing this series of posts from “this past weekend”, to “this past week”.  It seems that wonderful things happen almost daily in our church community.  I want to talk about the week and not just the weekend.  So…..here are some quick thoughts about this past week at Faithco:

1.  I am so excited about the momentum that is going on in Pulse (our youth ministry).  It seems our teens are not only attending youth, but they are also becoming more involved in our weekend worship.  It is happening!  We are growing up the next generation to passionately follow Christ.

2.  I don’t know if you have heard about the women’s bonfire last week, but you can go to facebook to just about any of our women’s profiles and see some great images that Andrea Kidney (our church photographer) snapped during this incredible event.  Man, what a night for our women.  Go check it out.

3.    There were once again, decisions made for Christ in our worship gatherings.  It is always a blessing to be a part of a church where people are constantly coming to know Christ.  Thank you God for trusting us enough to send us the non Christians.

4.  I concluded (again) the Trapped series with what I feel is probably one of the most important messages I have ever preached.  Satan launches his greatest attack on those who have recently been set free.  If you were not at Sunday’s worship gathering, go and watch it…..really: www.faithco.org.  Go to resources, and click on “recent messages”.

5.  Our 11:00am worship gathering is completely packed with people.  This is awesome except for the fact that there is very little room for guests.  If you can, would you consider attending the 9:30am service?  You might like the earlier service time and it would help us deal with the seating and space challenges at 11:00am.   It is encouraging to watch our leadership team give up their seats to make room on Sundays.  Wow, this is a great problem to have.

Okay, I just landed in Salt Lake City.  I will be spending the entire day with a company that specializes in unique church design.  I love the church planning and building process.  I can’t wait until we build our new facility.  

But for now…….that’s all I got.

BTW, do you follow us on facebook?  Look us up as Faith Christian, Pulse, and Faith Kids.

Homes In Haiti

Below is a link that will take you to Jentezen Franklin’s webpage. 

If you scroll down, there is a video you can watch.  The homes that they are raising money to build are the homes we were building when we were there.  The homes by the lake were not yet under water when were we there; however, they told us that the homes would be destroyed because of the flooding of the lake.  Looks like it is happening inch by inch. 

When you watch the video, look for me in shorts on the right holding up a framed wall.  Cool stuff. 

Watching the video takes me back to the place where I remember so many people who need so much help.

We are planning to go back to Haiti soon.  If you’d like to go with us you can contact Landon@faithco.org for information.  The trip will most likely be sometime in spring or early summer.  I warn you, this is not an easy mission trip and the conditions are sometimes a little rough.  However, if you can take the hard work and the sometimes extreme conditions, you will experience an extremely fulfilling and adventurous mission trip.

Here’s the link: http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/outreach/hundredhomes.php

This Past Weekend…

I’m headed to our leadership and planning meeting in about 10 minutes but before I do,  I want to briefly share some thoughts about this past weekend at Faithco:

1.  At least 5 people made decisions for Christ.  Amazing.

2.  Great time of praise and worship.  I liked the new song…..and the old ones.  As a musician, I can’t tell you how important it is in my praise time to hear passionate QUALITY played music. 

3.  We had a full house again for both worship experiences.  I can’t wait to kick off our building campaign in a few months.  Until we build, please be patient with us on some of our space challenges. 

4.   The Trapped series has been one of the most powerful series of messages I’ve ever done.  If you missed one of the messages, you can go to www.faithco.org and watch online, or you can download any one of the messages from itunes. 

that’s all I got…

Don’t Go to facebook:

A while back, I read a friend’s facebook page that said: “So happy that my divorce is final”.   I’ve read others that said something like “Why are people so crazy, mean, or judgmental, etc…” which was supposedly a reflection of a recent encounter with someone who had offended them.

You’ve seen it – I’ve seen it.  People vent their frustrations with people who have hurt them by announcing that “I’ve found someone or something better” on status updates. 

Why is it that people use facebook to say publicly what they really desire to say privately to those who have offended them personally?  The bible tells us to go to the person who has offended us, and to go to the person we have offended and work things out. 

Why would a person have an  “I’m glad you are no longer in my life” natured status update in a public social network?  Here’s why:  To lash out at the people who have hurt them.  When people have been hurt or offended, facebook is becoming the first place people go to say something to a person without saying it directly to the person. 

It simply does not make sense when people hide behind computers and smart phones and launch passive aggressive statements to others who are supposed to be their brothers and sisters in Christ. 

God’s word stands true before and after technology and social networks.  Look at these words of Christ:

1.      Concerning those who hurt us:

 Pray for those who persecute you.  Matthew 5:44 NLT

 Never attack the person in a public social domain; instead, pray for them.  Yes, I know it doesn’t come easy but it is what is best for you and the person who has done the hurting.  Oh, one more thing…..Christ told us to do it.  I’d say tha is another good reason to do it.

 2.      Concerning those we have somehow hurt knowingly or unknowingly:

 …go to this friend and make things right. Matthew 5:23-24 MSG

 Don’t go to a public domain and play the martyr, go find the person you have hurt or vice versa and say: “Hey, what can we to make things right?”

 So the next time you get angry or hurt by someone, don’t go to facebook.  Instead, go to the person involved and work it out God’s way. 

 As if it weren’t enough….that’s all I got…

This Past Weekend…

Some thoughts concerning this past weekend:

Seven people made decisions for Christ. Wow, heaven celebrates over one soul.

I enjoyed singing about the cross. I think we forget the message of the Cross and leave it our of our churches and dialogue (just my opinion).

I met some new people who recently started attending out church. It amazes me when people come to me and say “We have looked for a church like this for so long”. I am partial to our church and I think it is awesome; still, it is nice to know that we are helping people come home.

I don’t think God has given me a more powerful message series than the one I am preaching right now. The feedback has been astounding. Several people have walked up to me and in tears have either hugged me or shook my hand and said “thank you so much pastor for that message. It was spoken right to me”. It’s know it’s a God thing, and I’m humbled that I can be a part of life change. Here’s and added benefit: God is changing me through this series also.

I talked to some of precious people who work with faith kids. We had a packed house in the kid’s areas and we need more room. I am so looking forward to our trip to Utah where we will review some church designs for our new campus.

Okay, about to head into the office to meet with the dream team. Last weekend is history. Let’s see what God has for our future….

That was cheesy so I’ll stop right here…..that’s all I got.

By the way, if you would like to leave a comment about this or any other of my blogs, you can click on the caption in the top right. 

More Stumbling

You may remember a week or so ago I was talking about “stumbling” and the causes of it.  You may also remember the word translated in the bible for stumbling block was “offence”.  You can scroll down a couple of posts and read the first part of this blog called “Stumbling”.  I’d like to pick up where I left off.

Here is a verse that I’ve been using for this blog topic:

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

In the last blog, we discussed the importance of not being a stumbling block to others.  Today, I want to address those of us who have been offended (stumbled) because of others.  Once again, Christ tells us in his word about stumbling and offences that they are “bound to come” .  In other words, “it happens”.  Yes, woe to the poeple who offend others or cause others to turn from Christ; yet, it is going to happen. 

Here’s my advice:  GET OVER IT!

If you have been offended by someone, you are not the first or the last person to be offended –so get over it.  Don’t let the enemy steal your future by keeping you trapped within the offence.  Get past it and get over it.  Here are a couple of biblical principles to help us deal with and get over an offence:

1.  Go to the offender –although there are exceptions, I believe confrontation is almost always the best way to deal with someone who has hurt us.  I’m not talking about someone who has abused or has the potential to harm you, I’m talking about someone who has offended you over church or with words.

2.  Pray for the offender –(ouch) No, it’s not easy, but it works.  When we pray for people who persecute us, it not only benefits the person who has hurt us, but it also helps us to deal with the pain the person has caused us.  When we pray for someone, it helps us forgive them even if they have not asked for our forgiveness.  Remember, forgiveness is necessary for moving on.

There is so much more to be said.  If you want to hear of watch the message Trapped by Offences, just go to our website: www.faithco.org.  Go to resources and recent messages and scroll down.  I think this is one of the most powerful messages I’ve preached.  The feedback on it was overwhelming.

And…that’s all I got for today.