I needed church today probably more than anyone else who was there.
Listening to the band got me out of my funk. Worship felt good.
Giving was very strong today. Thank you to everyone who is making this happen and keeping us financially strong for the summer.
Attendance was strong too, up by 75 people from the previous Sunday. It was good to see a few people who I have been missing for a while.
The message seemed to go over well. CDs flew off the shelf and we had to duplicate more before we left the building.
We give the CDs away for free. If you would like to donate to help offset the costs, thank you. Otherwise, pick them up for free, pass them out to your friends, and duplicate as many as you like. Or you may listen for free online at PaceCommunityChurch.com
Five people said to me that it felt like somebody had been reading their mail.
I saw a little bit of myself in the parable; in all four types of people.
I probably need to do some weed-pulling in my life.
Always remember, fruit-bearing is the whole point of agriculture. It is also the test of salvation.
Taken at face value, the message of the parable is clear: Of the four soils, only one was good. Only one-out-of-four bore fruit. Only one-out-of-four produced evidence of salvation. 75% of the people who heard the Word didn’t make it.
“Be careful how you listen” – Jesus (Luke 8:8,18)
Does God want the church to grow? Of course He does. The Biblical evidence is clear (1) God’s Word commands it (2) The needs of people demand it (3) Jesus believed in church growth (4) and the New Testament church demonstrated numerical & spiritual church growth.
The church that doesn’t want to grow is basically saying to the rest of the world, “you can go to hell.” We need to confront this mentality right on the nose for what it is; it’s selfish and self-centered.
Let’s suppose I discovered the cure for cancer. How loving would it be if I shared that cure with only a handful of people I happened to like, instead of sharing it with the world? It would be downright criminal! Yet that is exactly what churches are doing when they resist growth by refusing reach out to others, or when they make their smallness a theological issue of superiority over those who are growing.
If you don’t have the leadership skills to lead a growing church, then admit it. Then find somebody who does, and add them to your team.
Next Sunday is baptism Sunday. We are baptizing about 15-18 people. We are having two services and will baptize in both. There will be a song service, a message, and then baptizing at the end. Please join us and help celebrate the goodness of God as these people follow the Lord in the command to publicly confess Christ before men.
July 31st is Newcomers Luncheon. It’s going to be a great day.
I’m conducting a funeral tomorrow. A lot of people in PCC have stepped up to minister to this family. We have a great church.
I dedicated a baby in second service today. It was an honor. The moment felt deeply meaningful. BTW, this particular couple has been a joy to me and Renae, as well as an asset to our church family. I have watched them progress in their spiritual journey; the started attending PCC, committed themselves, took 101 and became members, I baptized them both, and today I had the pleasure of dedicating their newborn. Fills a pastors heart with joy. Congrats Andrew & Trier.
I had a killer workout yesterday.
Renae spent a few hours at a pastry & coffee social Saturday morning with a few ladies from PCC and had a good time.
Saturday evening a group of us (about 27 I think) met at the church and went to the Farmers Opry for dinner together. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the fellowship and hang time with everyone. Would like to do it again soon.
I can’t say this enough: GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT PCC RIGHT NOW. We are really turning a corner. Across the board people are giving us positive feedback and encouragement. Almost all signs indicate that we are on the right track. People are getting connected in a variety of ways. Giving is up. Volunteerism is up. New leader enlistment is up. Morale is up. Momentum is up. And expenses are down!
Now we just have to stay the course.
I really feel like we are going to bust out this fall.
During this course-correction process some people have not responded well. No matter how many questions I answer or how clearly I communicate what we are trying to accomplish, some people take offense, reject me, and our church. I have been trying to be nice about it, hoping to gain their understanding and support, but it doesn't work. Enough is enough.
I almost feel sorry for them. Here we are on the threshold of one of our biggest breakthroughs, and they’re going to miss it.
As churches grow, things change. One of the biggest changes that MUST take place is that the ROLE of the PASTOR must change. One aspect of this change is that he can no longer be the sole decision maker. Other people now make many of the decisions that I formerly used to make. Understand this: I may NOT be the person you need to talk to when you have a question or need a decision. Other people in PCC know more about some things than I do.
is not a family run business and I am not the “owner operator.” This is a New Testament Church and it is governed by New Testament Church Government. Community Church
My primary role now as lead pastor is to be the main teacher of God’s Word and to be the “protector of our church’s vision and mission.” I cannot allow our mission to be high jacked by anyone or sidetracked for any cause. I don’t like conflict and I don’t like to fight. But I will go to the mat with anyone over the mission of PCC.
There was a VBS meeting today after church… and the VBS coordinator led the meeting. I didn’t have to be there.
There was an Ushers meeting today after church… and the head usher (as well as the assistant head usher) led the meeting. I didn’t have to be there.
There is a Nursery workers meeting Tuesday night… and the nursery director is leading the meeting. And guess what? I don’t have to be there.
Do you know what this means? These kind of developments (as well as dozens more) indicate that PCC is a growing church (not just in numbers) but in discipleship and in leadership development. It reveals that I am not the sole “owner operator” – that other people are taking ownership of their own church.
It also means that this church is healthy enough to function without me having to be elbow-deep in every detail.
I am very proud of our people.
God has recently sent some new people to PCC who possess great gifts and talents. These people could be an amazing asset to this church. If they will only hang in there, prove themselves to be steady and reliable, and demonstrate root within themselves, they will be deployed. Their gifts will probably take us up to the next level.
Just so you know, we are doing everything we can (with our current resources and abilities) to invest in the next generation. I believe those people who are 18 AND UNDER are the GREATEST MISSION FIELD on the planet… and in our community.
I enjoyed sitting next to the teenagers in the first service today during music and worship time.
I was invited to a ministers meeting last Thursday but was not able to attend. An emergency call came in that I had to respond to. Too bad. There was a local pastor there that I really wanted to meet. Perhaps next month.
Headed back to the office to prepare for tomorrow’s funeral.
Peace. Out. Be blessed.