Monday, July 30, 2007

Lion Chasing is the Best Part of Life

I just finished Mark Batterson's book In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. I give my highest recomendation to this book. As someone in the middle of his own lion chase, planting a new church, I resonated with so much of what Mark said. But more than just resonating with it I was challenged to go even deeper with my trust in God and to go even bigger in my leaps of faith. I read alot of really good books but this one has challenged me the most lately. Pick this book up and read it, it may just rock your world. Mark is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., home of an old friend of mine Chad Hayward and what I've heard is the coolest coffee house in D.C.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I See People

In the movie The Sixth Sense (great flick btw) Cole Sear, played stunningly by Haley Joel Osment, sees dead people, he discovers as the movie progresses that they're not there to hurt him, they just need his help. Now i have no desire to see dead people, but my prayer right now is that i would really see live people. i was on the phone with a friend the other day and he told me he was about to order coffee so he would need to call me back in a few minutes. When he called back he explained that after his stint as a barista at Starbucks he's made it a point to get off the phone and pay attention to the person behind the counter whenever ordering anything. He said he was amazed at how often people would come in and order their drinks while in the middle of a phone conversation and that he never felt more invisible. "It was as if it was an inconvienence for them to have to talk to me at all, as though they would prefer to push a button to get their coffee and forego the trouble of exchanging words with me." i have to admit i was fairly convicted, how many times had i done the same thing. In fact i would guess more than half the time i could leave a restaurant and not be able to describe the person who served me, even at a sit down meal.
i'm afraid too many times we as Christ followers either fail to see those who are still missing from the Kingdom at all or if we do we are scared of them. We are worried they may change the culture of our country, or corrupt our children. And so our fear causes the flight or fight response. We either segregate ourselves from them or go on the attack.
Maybe it's time we realize that those who are far from God need what we have. My prayer for myself, my family and the new church we are planting is that we would have not a sixth sense, but a Spirit sense that would cause us to really see everyone we come in contact with and look for opportunities to share (both tangibly and verbally) God's love with them.

(if your not a Christ follower and wonder what I think a Christ follower may have to offer you, or about God's love drop me a comment and we can chat)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Faith vs. Insurance Revisited

I spoke with our insurance agent again this week and we found a work around to make the ministry vehicle available to other organizations. We will have to send a volunteer to drive it, but that in it self could be a ministry to those organizations.
God always finds away, thanks for your prayers about this.
I also heard about another organization that is using a bus to do some great Kingdom work check them out at A very cool ministry.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Faith vs. Insurance

One in a list of many things I wish I didn't have to think about as a church planter but do, is insurance. Specifically insurance on our ice cream truck (see previous post). A friend of mine and church planting supergenius Patrick Furgerson recently blogged at about insurance, churches and bounce houses.
One of our visions for the ice cream truck is to make it available for other churches and community service organizations to use, in fact we're designing it so our name can easily be deleted from the vehicle so no one assumes we're loaning it to them for the free publicity . My hope is that everything our church ever owns will be considered Kingdom property and be made available to Christ followers to use for God's glory. However, after a conversation with our insurance agent and the two Patricks in my life–Furgeson, the afformentioned supergenious and Colaw, my brother the Lawyer and fellow supergenious. It appears that if we choose to allow people outside our church to use our stuff we do so at great peril of having our pants sued off with no coverage from our insurance company. Having no pants and being exposed is apparently a bad thing.
So, what to do? Follow our heart and Kingdom values and make the ice cream truck and everything else available for Kingdom purposes having faith that God will provide all the coverage we need, or, follow the wise counsel of godly insurance agents, lawyers and supergenious'?
I wish it was as funny as it sounds, but it really is a conundrum. God certainly encourages us to seek counsel which we've done, but He also tells us not to live in fear, which lawsuits certainly encourage. Anyway we know that God has the answer already wether it be a step of faith under a heavenly policy or an insurance a company with flexible coverage. Either way we'd appreciate your prayers.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Truckin' for Jesus

One of the out of the box ideas a couple of church planters in our network have used to help promote their churches is to purchase an ice cream truck and take it to community events and give out free ice cream and water. We loved the idea but felt we could do alot more with it. Our vision for this type of vehicle centers on four areas that are high values of our church: incarnational ministry, unity of Christ followers at large, being present where our community gathers and drawing in the young and getting them excited about following Christ.
This vehicle will serve as a rolling billboard, an ice-cream truck, a food/drink distribution center, a mobile movie theater and performance venue. It will be equipped with a freezer and fridge, a retractable awning, a mobile A/V system, an inflatable bounce house and movie screen. It will be wrapped with high impact graphics making it highly visible. It will have one reversible billboard identifying our church and Serve the city that can be swapped when in use by another organization.
In line with this vision, the vehicle will be a centerpiece for Serve the City (our incarnational service ministry which will focus on one week of service to the community each year, but point people to continuing service opportunities). We will make this vehicle available to other Churches and community service organizations for any community service event or outreach event in which two or more churches collaborate in order to encourage unity. We will take it to as many community events as possible distributing free water, popsicles or ice cream depending on the type of event. It will also be used by our youth ministry, childrens ministry and individual small groups for outreach events (block parties, movie nights, VBS alternatives, etc.).

While we were at family camp a couple weeks ago, a family there heard our vision for the truck and volunteered to buy the truck, the graphic wrap (see pic) and the freezer. All we need to round it out is a bounce house, a/v system, and video screen. We can't wait to start using this incredible ministry tool.

BTW the pic is just a mock up of what the vehicle could look like, we are now searching for the right truck.

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