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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depth Perception

Bridge HDR
Image by kendoman26 via Flickr

How good are your eyes?

Can you see clearly? Can you still drive at night? When you read, do you find that your arms seem shorter than they were? Have you noticed that publishers are printing books in smaller print these days???

How are your eyes? If you’re the leader of a church, business or team, you better have good eyes.

Somethings that look good from a distance aren’t that great when you get up close. Some people seem wiser from a distance, when their handlers and editors have a chance to manage their message. Some armchair critics have good advice until they have to strap on the pads. Some people have a deep-looking theology that becomes very shallow when it’s put into practice.

Check your eyes today. Not everything is what it looks like.

Steven Furtick is a guy who is genuine. Read this and think.

Link Love

Here’s some stuff that has me thinking…

Read. Think. Pray. Be encouraged.

God is up to something bigger than you realize. And He wants you to join Him.

Have a SUPERB weekend!

Thursday is for Thinking

Fredericton, New Brunswick City hall
Image via Wikipedia

I love Thursdays!

Tuesday used to be my favourite day of the week, because I could get a Toonie Tuesday combo here (now, my stomach rolls in agony just thinking about it).

Thursdays are cool. Here’s how it works for me: the weekend’s services are really close, and the anticipation of what God is going to do starts to build.

I like to look over my notes for Sunday’s messages on Thursday, tweak them, rework them; service elements like music, announcements, special stuff, bulletins, powerpoints…all get a close look on Thursday.

I’m excited about this weekend’s messages: You’ve Got Mail (Jesus‘ letter to the congregation in ancient Philadelphia–not the home of the Eagles! Revelation 3:7-13), and the launch of a new PM series, Practically Christian (a study of the epistle of James).

I like to think about the direction we’re headed as a congregation, the things God has been doing, and try to grab onto the new thing that He is putting together here in Fredericton. It’s a beautiful city, but a city with many hurting people. The local church is the hope of the world, and God is using His Church (one big, diverse body in the city) to make a difference in these hurting lives.

I’m thinking about how that can happen. I’m thinking about how we can expand our influence. I’m thinking about what it will take for the Church to step fully into her potential to influence the region.

I’m thinking that God is up to something in the Cap City.

From Under the Cedar Tree

Description: Coffee cortado (An latte art exam...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been awhile, and I’ve got lots to say–I feel like I’m going to explode!

Here’s where I’m writing this from. Cedar Tree Cafe. You should stop by and try their lunch! Good coffee too!

The atmosphere is buzzing with politics. I really block out most of the noise around me when I’m writing in a public place like a coffee shop, but I’ve noticed (without eavesdropping?) today that lots of people are talking about the NB provincial election.

Got me thinking:

Is anything I’m doing buzz-worthy? Can a local church create buzz? Is buzz good for a church? Should the church even worry about buzz?

Some churches and church leaders create what I’ll call ‘bad buzz’ by the stupid/sinful things they say/do. People get talking about the church/church leader, but it doesn’t tend to attract people to Jesus. Bad buzz repels people. Or it renders you irrelevant.

Other churches/leaders seem to have a knack for creating the polar opposite of bad buzz. There is somehting happening in their lives that just has people wondering, talking, and investigating, all with a hunger for more.

This little cafe isn’t fancy, and doesn’t have the chic decor of Starbucks. But there’s something attractive about the place. The people who come in seem genuinely glad to be here. They enjoy their time here. They laugh a lot. They smile. The staff are genuine, friendly, and…magnetic.

The local church is the representation of the Kingdom of God in the community. Why can’t and why shouldn’t it be attractive to people? Jesus was/is magnetic.

So I guess things like the size of the building and having trendy decor might not be as important as we thought. Just love what you’re doing enough to do it with excellence, smile a whole lot, and be friendly with friends old and new, and you’re on your way to being buzz-worthy.

Keep On Living

“After the flood Noah lived 350 years.” (Genesis 9:28 ESV)

I’ve been enjoying my slow, determined walk through Genesis (not the band). It’s good to carefully read the Scriptures, and not just burn through them to ‘do your devotions‘.

Sidebar: Selah, a word repeated several times in the Psalms, tells us to slow down, stop and think about what we’ve just heard. Take a Selah moment today.

The story of Noah fascinates me for many reasons. His patience, endurance, and obedience to God’s instructions (even when it didn’t make sense) serve as an inspiration for anyone who wants to walk with God in our postmodern world. Noah was faithful, yet he wasn’t immune from driving into the ditch. He loved and worshiped God, yet his family gave him headaches…

What I’m chewing on today is this: Noah lived 350 years after the flood. ‘So what?’ you say…

Life goes on.

After the storm has passed. When the flood waters have dissipated.

If the grass in your life is just starting to dry out, and even though there’s mud everywhere, keep on living. Life goes on.

  • Even if you never get your name printed in the Bible after you walk off the boat…
  • Even though it seems like you’ve dropped off the radar…
  • Even though you don’t get mentioned again for 350 years…

Keep on living.

  • Though your former and familiar life has been washed away…keep on living.
  • Though you’ve had to say goodbye to neighbours and friends…keep on living.
  • Though you have to start over again, completely from scratch…keep on living.

Life goes on after the flood.