Church Hopping

In several communities, there is a ‘circulation of the saints’. What I mean is the disturbing trend of some of the followers of Jesus to move from congregation to congregation, never putting their roots down and becoming part of one body of ‘fellow followers’.

Tim Stevens recently had a great post about this on his blog, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s not original with Tim, but as he wrote:

This is an article by Dr. James Emery White from his blog at Christianity.com. It was such a great article, I could find no way to truncate it, so I include it in its’ entirety:

James Emery White’s article contains some wise words about this ‘church-hopping’ habit. Read on with your ears wide-open.

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Spring Ahead 2.0

Insanity has been defined as: doing the same things over and over, while expecting different results.

What happens in some organizations, businesses and churches is that we discover something works well, and then we cast it in stone.

The midnight-madness sale, the rock-a-thon, the phone-tree prayer line.

We tried it out, and it worked great–so we commit resources to do it over and over again. It works for awhile, then eventually starts to lose momentum and fizzle. Old business practice was to simply throw more money at it, add more balloons, put some announcements on the radio, and get ready for the crowds to start rolling in. But it didn’t have the same impact it used to have.

In this transition season at Evangel, we’re closely evaluating the things we’ve been doing. Nothing is off-limits. Everything is negotiable. We’re looking for ways to impact our community that go beyond the tried and true.

Food for thought: sometimes the tried and true is just tired and true.

We’re examining the various ministries/avenues we use to make a difference in our community. We want to bring positive, life-giving change to the people we meet and care for, and we realize that the way we do that has to change. of course we believe that this positive, life-giving change has it’s origin in the Kingdom of God–that the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is the only source of a life the way it’s meant to be lived. And that’s what we want to communicate and point people toward. But old methods aren’t working like they used to, so we’re trying something new.

One example from our student ministry is KD Tuesdays. Students face an avalanche of pressures and need to process a flood of messages every day. They’re told they need to look a certain way, have certain things, and behave in a certain manner in order to fit in with the crowd. They get pressure from teachers, parents, friends, and the ever-present media to live up to society’s ideal of life. But when the kids head down that road, they end up finding it’s hollow, empty, and not at all what they were promised.

So our youth pastor (Landon McAllister) has teamed up with Tony Curtis and some other youth pastors in the city to create KD Tuesdays as an opportunity to give students a safe and fun place to hang out, make friends and experience the accepting love of God…all over a bowl (or two) of Kraft Dinner.

It’s really an awesome spectacle, to see students from Leo Hayes High School flock into the community room of the Willie O’Ree Centre every week to encounter people who really care about them, no matter what they look like or what’s going on in their life. It’s something different. It’s not the same old way of doing ‘ministry’. But it’s changing lives, one bowl of KD at a time.

Spring ahead.

Spring Ahead

Well, we made it. March Break is past, and the first Sunday of Daylight Savings Time came and went. The snow is melting, and it won’t be long before the grass is green and waiting to be mowed.

But first, we’ll go through a season of transition. The weather will be fairly unpredictable: some days you’ll need your winter coat, and other days a jacket will be fine. You’ll look out the window and see the increasing strength of the sun’s rays, but the wind will still bite those who step outside unprepared for its’ teeth. Yes, it will be a few days yet, but summer is on the way. I tried to encourage some UNB students from Nigeria with that hope yesterday. I think my idea of ‘warm’ differs from theirs.

Yes, summer will come, but first the transition of spring.

For as long as I can remember, that’s the way it has worked. To go from one season to another means passing through change. Anniversaries fly past; the calendar turns; and birthdays keep showing up, ignoring our orders to cease and desist. Growth means transition. Growth means change. Spring ahead.

In the next couple of posts I’m going to share with you how we’re walking through the season of growth here at Evangel. Please pray for us and with us as we’re working to tell everyone we know the Good News. Spring ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Your Way

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.’ – anonymous

We’ve had some fun talking about relationships and marriage this month at Evangel. Our Once Upon a Marriage series has produced some interesting conversation. This coming Sunday we’re wrapping up with what might be our most thought-provoking talk yet: Passive Husband, Pushy Wife. Catch it live @ our Maple Street location this Sunday at 10:30am.

Also, I’m pretty stoked about our next series of Sunday talks, Money Myths.  We’re going to examine some of the common ideas about dollars and cents. Stuff like, money brings happiness, money = security, and more money means more value.

A couple of myths can be debunked right now. In case you’re wondering: I’m not going to ask you for money, and if you come, you’re not going to be pressured to give.

Also, Mark & Kim Pope are joining us to share about their vision of reaching people in Thailand. Next Sunday they’ll be with us (along with their cute kids) and you’ll kick yourself if you miss it. Get to know them a little before you meet them by reading this.

Before you know it, Love Fredericton will be here. Start praying now.

 

So That Others May Hear

Our national fellowship has been suffering a collective heavy heart these past few days.

The PAOC has always been a mission-focused movement. It’s in our DNA. To tell as many people as possible the Good News of God’s love has been our mandate from the beginning. We’ve always encouraged people to be involved in global evangelism, whether as a career or a short term. We’ve raised millions of dollars, trained many workers, and cried many tears as family and friends did the back-breaking, knuckle-scraping, gut-wrenching work of taking the Gospel to places no one else had.

About a week ago, a young man was ushered into eternity while working on the construction of a Bible College building.

Rob, his beautiful wife Kate and their three children, Kathryn, Simeon and Cameron, came to TTC in October of last year.  He came with a vision to teach the vulnerable and poor of Zambia how to use agriculture as a means of sustainability.’ – Don Mann, regional worker in Zambia

Rob’s passing leaves a big hole in the lives and hearts of his family. They need your prayer.

I encourage you to stop by this site to find out how to pray more accurately and intelligently for the Halls. I also encourage you to honour this man who gave his life so that others could hear. We would do well to model his faith and passion. We would do well to pray for his family.

Monday Morning Mind Dump

NB Legislative Building, seat of New Brunswick...
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Hello world!

Quite a bit has transpired since my last post. I apologize for getting out of the routine of regular posting, but figured it’s time to once again post up what’s happening in me, Evangel, Fredericton and my corner of the world.

Here goes the purge of my mind…

  • Thoroughly enjoyed yesterday with my Evangel family. Tackled the topic of marriage by focusing on the idea of TOGETHER. Too many couples have forgotten that the success of their marriage stands on being together. I love how Amos tells it.
  • There are big pressures on relationships today. It’s a different world than the one your grandparents lived in. But the time has never been better to help couples build solid relationships based on the truth of Scripture. I’m really looking forward to next week when we’re looking at Jacob and his two wives–should be interesting!
  • Our Sunday [Night] School is working well. Landon’s small group met in Silverwood, where worship was the topic; our group met on Maple St. to talk about the Holy Spirit. It was a good discussion and time of digging into the Scriptures. We’re planning and praying about how to best expand Sunday [Night] School to train and encourage people to live their life the way they were created.
  • Nahum’s hockey team took home the gold medal from the Tom Hasson tournament in Oromocto. It’s their second gold in as many tournaments, and the team is playing very well! I’m proud of our coaches, players and parents! Being a hockey dad is a lot of fun. The benefits of having kids involved in team sports are well worth the investment of time and money. Co-operation, accountability, responsibility, hard-work, dedication, and trusting one another–you can’t learn these things playing darts. (Not sure what you can learn playing darts–math, maybe??) BONUS: saw some friends from Moncton at the rinks!
  • I’ve been looking for a good CRM tool to help us keep track of everyone as we grow. This has been frustrating for me, because there seems to be such a wide range of options and companies that all promise big things. I’m definitely open to suggestions. If you’re using CRM software for your church/non-profit, and you’re satisfied with it, please tell me about it. Right now we need something inexpensive, easy to update & use, and can grow with us while helping us forecast and plan ahead. Please email me with your ideas.
  • Been reading The Heart Revolution, by Sergio De La Mora. It’s a great and easy read. I was given a copy and asked to write a review for it (coming soon). It’s got some of the fallow ground of my mind turned over–and that’s a good thing if you’re not familiar with agricultural jargon!)
  • Mixed emotions as the first anniversary of Dad’s home-going gets closer. Man, it seems like such a long time ago, and other times it feels like yesterday; but yet there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. Heaven will be a wonderful place. I’ve got some people waiting there for me, and I’m looking forward to catching up with them someday.
  • Interesting times in the Middle East. I think we’ve heard about this happening long before the events that have transpired came to pass. Maybe Jesus knew what He was talking about after all??? He seemed pretty bang on, and I guess I’ll put all my eggs in His basket.
  • This isn’t a time to be afraid or timid–it’s a time of opportunity and the Church needs to get positioned and ready to walk through the doors that are opening right in front of our eyes.
  • What would you do for $150,000? A good friend told me about a job offer he received that guaranteed him that kind of cash for working six months out of the next twelve. It was to drive a bus in Afghanistan. He (wisely) turned it down. Smart man, that friend of mine.
  • Speaking of smart men, check out what Mark Beeson has to say about adapting to reach a changing audience.

That’s all for now. I’m off to do more CRM hunting.