Thursday, September 20, 2007

Curacao trip details

The latest details on our mission trip to Curacao are at www.mission-curacao.blogspot.com.

Check out the latest on plane tickets, cost, and more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Are you giving the full story?

I found this analysis of how we share the gospel today pretty on-mark. It's why I like the Dare2Share's gospel journey. It takes into account the full story of the gospel and not just the bottom line. Dare2Share's outline shows that you can be brief without leaving out the full story.

This table came from an article I recently read by Gabe Lyons on Christians and the Church influencing culture. It's not enough to redeem individuals. We are to redeem creation. But what I'm also learning is that when we do a good job redeeming creation, it helps us redeem individuals. It's not an either-or but a both-and.

Where did I come from? Creation: Made in God's image

What went wrong? Fall: Sin enters the world Born a sinner

How do we fix it? Redemption: Life through Jesus Life through Jesus

What is my purpose? Restoration: Renew all things Convert others, separate from this world, wait for heaven

Gabe Lyons, Influencing Culture article

I got to know about Gabe Lyons (not personally) through his co-hosting the Catalyst Podcast, which is my all-time favorite podcast. Every Christian leader ought be listening to it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Second Life

Second Life is an Internet-based virtual world launched in 2003 which came to international attention in late 2006. Second Life users, called residents, interact with each other through cartoon-like characters providing an advanced level of a social networking. Residents can explore, meet other Residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, create and trade items and services from one another. www.Wikipedia.org

What is it that moves people to spend money to interact in a fictional world? Over the next several weeks we'll be talking about "Real Life" at Grace Fellowship as we work through 1 John.

You're homework is to read all five chapters of 1 John this week. Oh, and start memorizing 1 John 5:13, our theme verse for this series.

Get real,

"I write these things...that you may know that you have eternal life."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lead Like Jesus

If you're a leader, here are 4 ways (from Bill Hybel message) to increase your leadership potential:

1. Read, read, read. Read all the leadership books you can find. Secular or sacred. Doesn't matter. Read leadership magazines like Leadership Journal or Willow too. I reading Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham right now. Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels is great too.

I've also found podcasts to be valuable (and free) way to learn from great leaders on the go. I listen to Rick Warren's Ministry Podcast as well as the Catalyst Podcast to hear from great leaders. You don't have to have an iPod to do this either. Just download iTunes to your computer. Then go to the iTunes store and search under podcasts for whoever you're interested in. Then burn the podcasts to CD's like you would songs or just listen right there on your computer. I like to listen to the CD's while driving around town.

2. Go to leadership events and conferences. See below for a great value.

3. Spend time with other leaders who are ahead of you in your area or expertise. I meet with a staff member of a large church in another city about every other month to work on my leadership skills. It has already been worth the time spent.

4. Lead. That's right, don't wait to be a skilled leader. Get in the fray. Start leading. You learn a ton on the job.

Riverbluff Church is hosting a leadership event called Lead Like Jesus. I'm pumped about it!

If you want to go with me, let me know. It's low-cost because it's a simulcast event. But the speakers are top-notch and it's hosted by Ken Blancard and Erwin McManus.

It's Friday, October 19, 11:30-5:30. It's only $25 each. I'm inviting everyone I know!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pics from last few months

Bless a missionary family today

On a dark day in history you have an opportunity to bless someone.

Steve Lindenmeyer is a missionary with his family in Thailand of SE Asia. He is from Summerville and I remember going to church with him when he was in middle school.

Tomorrow is his birthday: 9-11. Think about that. What a bummer. But you can help make his birthday special. I know you probably don't know him. But you can still pray for him.

All I ask you to do is email him a prayer ("Dear God, bless Steve's family...etc.) or a verse that might encourage him (cut and paste from Gospelcom) and help make his birthday special. Just tell him you're a brother or sister in Christ who wants to encourage him and his family today.

His email address is:

Love God. Love People.

Love God. Love People. Our new mission statement at Grace Fellowship.

I first heard this phrase as a youth pastor. The awesome youth ministry called Student Life used this as their theme for their Student Life Tour several years back. They did a terrific job showing us that loving God leads to loving people beyond where we could love them apart from God.

Then I read it in Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life. I don't imagine either of these originated it but they certainly helped popularize it.

This phrase--Love God. Love People--is so simple and so profound. In the words of Rick Warren, it captures the conviction,

"A great commitment to the great commission and the great commandment will build a great church."

This is because "Love God. Love People." is a great summary of Matthew 22:37-39.

So my aim is to lead Grace Fellowship to glorify God by loving Him and loving other people. By God's grace, we'll make Him smile doing just that.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Do Something Now

Inspired in part by Passion '07 and in part by Isaiah 6:1-9, I challenged our church to do something this week. In the next 7 days, do something selfless in the name of Christ. Below is the list of suggested ideas I gave each of them. Perhaps you can be selfless this week as well.

Ideas for doing something now:

  1. Take somebody’s lunch tray for them.
  2. Serve at the local soup kitchen for lunch.
  3. Take a meal to a neighbor for no reason.
  4. Tutor kids after school, at your house or at a community center, for free.
  5. Baby-sit for a single parent for free.
  6. Volunteer at the local food bank.
  7. Have a neighborhood family over for dinner or a cookout.
  8. Volunteer at your local school.
  9. Offer your professional services for free to a needy client or ministry.
  10. Take goodies to a retirement home and sit and chat for a while.
  11. Send a care package to a soldier.
  12. Work on a Habit for Humanity house one day with your kids.
  13. Work on our local ministry blog http://www.summervols.blogspot.com/ to get the word out about local ministries.
  14. By groceries for a needy family.
  15. Sit and talk with someone suffering from an illness.
  16. Take a meal and gift bag to someone home-bound.
  17. Meet an inactive member for lunch.
  18. Begin organizing Operation: Christmas Child for your Home Group or family.
  19. Host a neighborhood yard sale to raise money to go (or send someone else) on a mission trip.
  20. Prepare and send a care package or a card of encouragement to Graham & Ashlei in East Asia, Steve & Marie Lindenmeyer in Thailand, or The P's in Central Asia.
  21. Collect costume and craft beads and send to the Awana club in Curacao.
  22. Help stop human trafficking around the world through the coalition http://www.stopthetraffik.org/
  23. Support families who are suffering because of religious persecution through http://www.rememberthose.org/. “There have been more Christians killed in the 20th century than in the previous nineteen centuries combined.” —U.S. House Resolution. Scripps-Howard News Service, September 28, 1996
  24. Lead your Home Group or family to send Bibles from your home to people being persecuted for their faith who want to share more with others in their country. http://www.biblesunbound.com/ or http://www.persecution.com/.
  25. Lead a team to build a HC ramp for someone locally. Contact: Screven Association of local SBC churches. Contact office at 843-871-2410 to get more information or go to http://www.screvenassoc.org/.
  26. Adopt a needy child for about $1 a day through Compassion International or World Vision. Write and receive letters. http://www.compassion.com/.
  27. Write a letter to a child you already support.
  28. Get your Home Group to build a school in Haiti. Costs about $3,000.
  29. Write a Christian who is imprisoned for their faith in another country. Do so in their own language through http://www.prisoneralert.com/ or http://www.persecution.com/.
  30. Buy a goat for a family. http://www.worldvision.org/ or http://www.samaritanspurse.org/.
  31. Invite your neighbors along with some friends from church to a Labor Day cookout.
  32. Start your own blog and write about your journey with Christ. http://www.blogger.com/, http://www.myspace.com/
  33. Invite a co-worker to meet your family for dinner at Zaxby’s or Moe’s.
  34. Get a group to pledge $3,000 to build one well for clean drinking water in Africa. http://www.bloodwatermission.org/
  35. Organize the collection of socks and towels for low country missions and ministries.
  36. Help translate the New Testament into another language. http://www.oneverse.org/