Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Mind Dump - July 4th, 2010

  • Happy 4th of July! Hope you and your family had a good day.

  • After church this afternoon Renae and I had some family and friends over for dinner. We grilled chicken, pork sausage, kabosa sausage, baby back ribs, steak, pineapple, and corn. In addition we had mashed potatoes, creamed corn, strawberries and shortcake, and garlic bread. Pretty fine eating. BTW, I did not eat anything sweet. But it was still a pretty good spread.

  • The month of June has been a very long month for me. Things got pretty hectic and almost spiraled out of control. I couldn’t slow it down and as a result, some other important things have fallen behind. Hope to correct that in July. Time to take the bull by the horns.

  • In the second service today a man YELLED at ME from the congregation. It was his first time at church and was a total stranger to me. I was saying something about “common sense taking flight” in our society today and he yelled out (at me) something about condoms. Okay, this was a freak-out moment. It stunned everyone. I turned to the man, pointed my finger at him and almost yelled back at him. It was very awkward and tense. Instead, I just moved on with my message because he quieted down. I started looking around and could not find an able bodied man to escort this guy out, or even go sit near him. So I kept on going with my message until I finished. After I dismissed service, this guy decides to comes to the font towards me, and he does so very rapidly down the isle as I’m trying to come off the platform. I thought, “Something bad is about to happen.” So instead of waiting for him to get to me, I started towards him just as rapidly and met him in a way that interrupted his pace. He said, “My name is so-and-so.” I said, “I’ve got to tell you something, you were way out of order with your outburst and it startled everyone in the room. We don’t do that here.” He apologized saying, “Yes, I know I should not have said that.” We continued the conversation and it ended well. He said he would be back.

  • This experience UNDERSCORES the point of how quickly THINGS CAN GET OUT OF HAND in a church service. Just when you start relaxing and everybody cuts out for July 4th activities, then BAM! – a stranger shows up in the second service and creates a scene.

  • I also realized something else; if someone is going to get out of hand in a church service, they might be more likely to do it in the second service (like today) because there are fewer people in the building and there is less of a show of force.

  • I’m not crying wolf, here. This really happened, and it happened today.

  • Last Wednesday night we had vandalism at our church. Someone was cutting doughnuts in the parking lot, leaving rubber on the pavement. We could see the numerous skid marks that indicated they were doing it again and again. The car must have eventually spun out of control because it slid sideways into a white rail fence and busted it completely down. Posts, rails, post caps, and bushes were scattered all over the place. Did this vandal leave us a note, offering to pay? No.

  • Yesterday, Saturday, was a good day. Started at 7:00 AM with a 3.5 mile run. Afterwards I did a lot of yard work. Then Renae and I mowed 3 acres of grass on a lot we own (and hope to build on). I then shoveled a half trailer load of dirt, twice; once when I shoved it in, and once as I shoveled it out. I used the dirt to back fill the retaining wall I recently built. Then I went to Home Depot and bought 20 bales of pine straw, came home and spread them in the flowers beds. The day ended at 7:00 PM. I felt like I burned one million calories yesterday.

  • I love the summer because of the long days. And I like doing hard strenuous work outdoors.

  • In the month of July I will be conducting a series of meetings that will include all staff, department heads, and maybe even all-workers. There are some things we need to talk about, some things we need to clean up, some things we need to improve, and some things we need to change.

  • These meetings will include security related issues and background checks for all age-level workers. Some changes in personnel will also take place. There will be changes in some of the schedules and activities we do. There will be time changes for the Sunday services. I’m also going to be giving a talk entitled, “It’s About the Weekend.” I want to be sure that everyone is putting their best effort into the Sunday morning experience first. Otherwise, we will end up spreading ourselves too thin which always results in mediocrity across the board. I also want to talk about our mission because I think some mission drift has set in.

  • Having said that, I also want to add that - RIGHT NOW - Pace Community Church HAS THE BEST TEAM we’ve ever had. The current cadre of leaders, staff members, department heads, and workers are the best that we have had in our twelve year history. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go over the last decade, but this is the best team yet. Some of the people have been with us since the beginning, others are newer. But collectively, this current team represents the best we’ve ever had. They are highly motivated and enthusiastic about their roles. They have a “can do” attitude about getting the job done. Most go above and beyond the call of duty. They serve selflessly and give sacrificially. They love their church, embrace its mission, and are not troublemakers. From my perspective, this is ENORMOUS. Amazing things can be accomplished for the kingdom of God with a team of people like this. The only thing that is needed now is clear decisive leadership. I think people want to know “what are we doing?” and “where are we headed?” I hope to answer those questions very soon.

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