Dave Milam – To Those Who Stole Our Stuff

I just finished speaking to Dave Milam, planting pastor of Kinetic Church in Charlotte, NC. I first came across Kinetic Church’s website a couple of years ago as I was investigating various church websites. It was really intriguing and different and caught my attention. Over the last couple of years, I drop by the site occasionally to see what they’re up to now.

I began blogging in January and recently entered a blogging tournament (which you can click here to vote for me) of which Dave is a participant. I decided to check out the “competition” and dropped by his blog. I then realized that he is the pastor of Kinetic Church, which was pretty cool and ironic. While on his blog, I came across their story of how their church trailer with the church equipment was stolen. Pretty sad and pathetic stuff when people stoop to steal from a church. But what was amazing was their response to this horrible deed. I was so moved by it that I shared the video clip with our own church last Sunday. They in turn were moved by it as well.

I think it’s important that when someone does something that inspires, encourages, or challenges us (or all three in this case), then we need to let them know. We need to speak that to them so that the Spirit works through us to encourage them further. And so I called Dave this morning to do just that.

Sadly, Dave has received far more negative reaction, from hateful emails to calls in the middle of the night. I am deeply saddened to hear of this. Why do certain people within the body of Christ find it their responsibility to correct everyone else, to disrupt and discourage, to bring about turmoil and criticism? That is NOT what Jesus Christ calls us too. That is why it’s so important for us to encourage whenever we can, because you can rest assured that those who do the criticizing will not hesitate to throw their venom.

Dave, for me, and on behalf of The Grove, press on brother! We’re praying for you!

Blogging Tournament – Round 2

It’s that time again. Last week’s opening round pitted 16 church-planting bloggers against each other blogging about whether the presidential election still matters. Thanks to YOU, I’ve made it to Round 2. This week, the remaining 8 are blogging about the best ideas for marketing and/or outreach for $500 or less. I have decided to run with an idea submitted by Tim M. Make sure you take 2 minutes to drop by to vote. (Here’s the voting link). And here’s the entry below:

Got Excuses?

Five Hundred dollars. It seems like such a large amount to us as individuals, but almost meaningless if you’re limited to it for an outreach/marketing idea. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the combined price of a gallon of gas and a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So how far can $500 take you? About 30 miles or 30 minutes, depending on your personal limits. Which doesn’t give us much wiggle room here.

However, I think I heard Craig Groeschel say that:

“Limited resources + increasing passion = exponential innovation.”

Which means that $500 isn’t the limiting factor, it’s our vision, our creativity. For $500 we have to stretch ourselves and get out of the box of easy and be willing to be “a little different”. But aren’t we anyway?

The suggestion from The Grove (via my blog) is titled “Got Excuses?”

  1. Setup a website or use existing church website.
  2. Have a section where people can post entries or provide an email address where people can send excuses/questions on why they don’t attend church.
  3. Have your car detailed with the website/church/email address with some basic information directing them to said site. Nothing like mobile advertisement. (Will you look a little strange? Yes…but see previous paragraph)
  4. Respond to people’s excuses/questions in video format, utilizing YouTube, in 5 minutes or less.

Will it fill the church? Probably not. Will it create awareness and buzz? Most definitely. Will someone become a guest as a result? Absolutely.

  • Website cost – $195
  • Car Graphics – $300
  • Gas – $1000 (but we’re not really counting that, disregard)
  • Starbucks (While cruising) – $500 (hmmm, let’s not count that either)

Someone walking into your church because you’re willing to be different and meeting Jesus as a result – Priceless!!

LOST on the Way to Sunday

I can’t wait for Sunday at The Grove.  Here are a few reasons:

  • We had a great crowd for Easter, and will have many of our travelers back home this week.  Add in those who are recovering from illness, we may have our largest Sunday of the year this Sunday.  That would be great. 
  • The music rocks….and it means something.  Which is the perfect combo for me. 
  • Plus………..this is where we’re going –

lost-and-found.jpg

     This series picks up after the Rescue and answers the question “What Now?” 

  •      If you have wondered about what happens after you become a Christian….
  •      If you have wondered about what happens next (or if you’re just curious)…..

Then this series is for you. 

We’ll explore subjects such as:

  • If you’ve become a Christian, why does God leave you here?
  • What’s the strategy that God uses to accomplish the “rescue” of other lost survivors
  • What are these things called “spiritual gifts” and what does that mean?
    • IMPORTANT – You will have an opportunity to plug into a small group of people to explore the question of spiritual gifts and discover your own. 

C o nn e ctio n Pro bl ems

One of my discoveries within the blog world is how much useful ministerial information there is available, and how willing other ministers are to help you.  I recently made the acquaintance of a guy by the name of Bill Reichart, who is the “Connections” Pastor at a church in North Atlanta.  That means his job is to help create opportunities for people to experience community within the life and context of their church. 

More and more, people are just disconnected.  And even though it is a high priority for many churches, including The Grove, it remains a difficult and elusive goal for most churches.  I spoke to Bill by phone last week and they are constantly experimenting with strategies to get people involved in their community of faith in such a way that they will be able to grow.  No easy task.  Their church is larger than ours, but the challenges are similar.   According to him, one of the most frequent complaints within the church, and others, is “I’m not connected.”  The most difficult part of this statement is that there is a requirement on the part of the disconnected member to create space and opportunity to do so. 

Take a few minutes to drop by one of Bill’s blogs (he has two, one of which is in my blogroll) and read his take on connecting within the church.  It’s a helpful read…I promise. 

I’m Not Connected, by Bill Reichart

Sunday Night Lights

sunday-nite-lights.jpg

I absolutely L.O.V.E. Easter….and all that it stands for.  Easter is the reason we even exist as a church and as a ministry.  Without Easter, it would all be pointless.  But Jesus Christ overcame sin, death, and the grave and we can stand in his victory as more than conquerors. 

  • Our service today touched on the “Rescue” element of LOST.  In life, just like the TV show, when rescue is being offered, a voice (Ben from the TV show) calls out that the rescue is risky and dangerous….that accepting “rescue” would be a mistake. 
  • That voice today comes from the sworn enemy of mankind, Satan himself.  And he warns you that accepting the offer of Jesus rescue is too costly..the price is too high… you can make it on your own. 
  • We celebrated the specialness of the day by observing The Lord’s Supper at the conclusion of the service. 
  • Our music was “spot on” for the message content
  • Hannah Huebner returned from her mission trip to France and was in the service this morning.  She was tired…but radiating.
  • Paul and Paula Scott are headed to Dallas to investigate a mission ministry “Shoes for Orphan Souls”
  • We had Scott Campbell, a missionary to the eastern Canadian provinces in the service this morning.  Scott and his family have done marvelous work for the kingdom in Canada.  He is now coordinating church planting efforts there and pastoring/coaching the planters.  What a wonderful ministry.  Thanks Scott for honoring us and worshiping with us this morning.  (Click here to see the churches under his care)
  • We had a larger than expected crowd today and the spirit was good.
  • We had at least one person indicate they invited Christ into their life as Lord.
  • We are unofficially opening a “satellite campus” in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  We had more people leave for there this afternoon….which brings the count for the month up to almost 15 Grovers in Gulf Shores.  I guess we’ll just start renting space. 🙂
  • Lesley hooked us up with an awesome ham and hashbrown casserole for Easter lunch.  Mmmm, Mmmmm good!
  • We had a couple of visits to the blog today from Israel…. which is kinda cool on Easter Sunday. 
  • It’s a good thing Jesus wasn’t crucified in Peoria in 2008…. he would have arisen to snow.  😦    (is that a sign of spring here?)

I hope and pray that your Easter was fulfilling…. and full of power of Jesus Christ. 

Sunday Night Lights

sunday-nite-lights.jpg

A busy day comes to an end and it’s time to reflect back on what transpired.  Let’s start at The Grove

We continued our series on LOST this morning.  It’s built around the TV show by the same name.  This week we walked into elements of the crash scattered all around the building.  We had suitcases, books, articles of clothing hanging from trees and a “lean-to shelter” on the stage.  It was all to create the idea of the crash that created a new set of realities of the characters of the show.  The “crash” of humanity in Genesis 3 created new realities for mankind that we must also face.  Here are some of the similarities and lessons learned from LOST:

  • The crash resulted in injury and death
    • Our reality is that we live in a broken world.  Nothing is what it should be.  There are many that will look around and blame God for bad things that we experience in this life.  But ever since the “crash”, nothing has been as it was intended.  Sickness, pain, suffering, death are all parts of the curse of sin.  And although God isn’t the cause of the brokenness of our condition, the good news is that he will show up and walk with us through the damage. 
  • There are many things about their circumstances that are mysterious and they don’t understand
    • Our reality is that much of what we experience in life is pretty mysterious to us.  Often when we think we have it figured out, we realize all the questions have changed.  Life can be very random and mysterious.  And if we’re not careful, it can become very frustrating as we try to interpret life from our own point of view.  I am reminded of a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that said “God is God and I am Not”.  That’s a powerful truth.  We need to make peace with the knowledge that if we don’t understand the circumstances, we can at least trust the Creator.  I don’t understand everything about my computer, but I trust that Bill Gates knows how to make it work in ways that absolutely baffle me, and yet arrive at the desired outcome. 

Continue reading

Manhood – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Part 2)

marlbora-man-in-fallujah.jpgATTENTION – This blog has a new home address. All the material below is on the new site plus other material of interest as well. Come on over for a visit. CLICK HERE!

Real men don’t cry! Real men are in touch with their feelings! Real men are tough! Real men are tender! Holy cow…talk about an identity crisis. Men have been receiving conflicting messages about manhood for years now. As a result, most men don’t even know who they are anymore. And the more men become unsure of themselves, their identity and their role, the more they retreat into their own controlled environment. And the more men disappear and retreat, the more everyone suffers. Families are spinning wildly out of control; and, since they are the building block of society, our culture is in crisis. And at the center of it all is the lack of men being men. (And being a male isn’t the same thing as being a man) Think I’m off the mark? Take a look at a few of these stats: Continue reading