Grace Community Church Staff Blog Love

theGbwIn four years God has assembled an incredible team of staff people at Grace Community Church.  I am privileged to work with people I truly enjoy being around (most days)!  I love these people.  Some of them have some great blogs and I thought I would share them with you.

Click on the name to take you to their blog:  (I listed them I alphabetical order as they appear on the Grace website.)

Michael Bayne

Christy Crosby

Karen Grizzard

Rog Hill

Ben Reed

Brandon Reed

Chad Rowland

Katrina Watts

I am hoping this post will put some pressure on those who don’t currently blog…)

From Pastor To Dad (Reflections on A Day)

Today my role very quickly switched from pastor to dad. I was in a meeting preparing for a potential new ministry our church is considering. We were talking about the future, with big dreams of ministry and new ways of helping people. I love thinking Kingdom-building strategy.

I received a call that went straight to my voice mail. In consideration of those I was meeting with, I decided not to be interrupted. Then there was another call; then a text; then another. I decided I needed to figure out what was the urgency. Sadly, the news was tragic. One of my son Nate’s childhood friends had been killed in an auto accident this morning. The girl’s mother was one of Nate’s favorite teachers.

Nate and his friend Kathleen had been together since kindergarten. They were like brother and sister. They had remained in touch over the last month, both attending school away from home, and even talked within the last day or two. At the point when I got the message, my only concern was getting to Nate before he heard the news in passing. At that point, I was no longer a pastor in a meeting. I was a dad hurrying to comfort a son. Nothing else seemed to matter much the rest of the day.

It’s so hard to make sense of death and tragedy. There are more questions than answers tonight in so many minds. The phrase I heard continually today from Nate and others was, “I can’t wrap my mind around this.” There are no words to say. Eighteen is not supposed to be the age of death. I do know one thing, however. The truth of God’s Word is not altered, even after the tragic news of the day. God truly is close to the broken-hearted.

Nate and a large group of friends from his class were extremely close, but recently scattered to many different colleges. They will be home this weekend, for a very sad occasion, and, in many ways, it will be a reunion. Their coming together will honor their friendship, but also be a tribute to the memory of a good friend, who tragically left this earth too soon.

Please join me in praying for this family and the friends who mourn.

4 Ways To Help Win Your Husband To Christ

I am thankful for the women that bring their families to church every Sunday alone, because their husbands will not come.  I know that many of these women have one great prayer request; that their husband will become a believer and/or assume the role of spiritual leadership in the home.  Having walked through this with many families over the years, I would like to share some suggestions of things I have seen that work for wives in helping to win their husband to Christ.

Here are four ways to help win your husband to Christ:

Prayer – Ultimately, your husband needs the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, even more than your encouragement.  In the end, Christ will save him, not you.  He is personally accountable to God.  Bathe him in prayer daily, knowing that God loves him beyond what you can imagine.

Example – Model Christ’s love for him.  Let him see true Christianity first in you.  (1 Peter 3:1-2)

Gentle encouragement – Look for moments where he is open to talk about spiritual things, such as times of crisis, health situations, times when he needs or asks for prayer, etc.  At those moments when he is open, share truth with him in love as much as he is willing to receive, even invite him to church, but back off when he begins to resist again.

Respect – If he senses you do not, he will usually respond opposite of your desired result.

These are my best suggestions.  I have never seen begging, manipulation or even asking the pastor to “drop in on” the husband work effectively.  Certainly, God can and does use other people, situations and circumstances of life to draw a man to Him, but those are hardly ever forced happenings.  As for the wife’s specific role in this process, these four are where I have seen the most results.

Watching the desire of a wife and mother wrestle through this issue is one of the most difficult parts of ministry for me, but I am so encouraged to have seen hundreds of men others had given up on come to know Christ as a personal savior and many of those are now actively serving in our church.  I know it is totally possible and no man is without hope.

What am I missing here?  Are there any testimonies you would like to share?

5 Things Non-Profits and For-Profits Can Learn From Each Other

This Way That Way Which way to turnI spent most of my career in the business world. I was always extremely active and in leadership roles in church and other civic activities, but I earned my living in a for-profit environment. During those years, as an outsider looking in, I believed non-profits had so much to learn from the world of business.

Having spent the last 7 years in full-time ministry, I realize my perception wasn’t completely accurate. I still agree most churches and other non-profits can learn business principles from the corporate world, but now I realize the for-profit world can equally learn from the world of non-profits.

From my experience in the two worlds, here are a few examples where we can learn from each other:

Non-profits can learn from for-profits:

  • Business management
  • Structure and systems
  • Strategy
  • Performance evaluation
  • Marketing

When it comes to making a profit and producing results, the for-profit world has mastered the task…or at least attempts to do so. Survival and success in this world depends on balancing everything from cash flow to employee performance results in an effort to show a profit to the bottom line.

For-profits can learn from non-profits:

  • Purpose
  • Mission
  • Values
  • People-building
  • Social responsibility

In the non-profit world, the emphasis is on achieving the purpose of the organization. The focus of attention is not necessarily (actually not usually) on business principles as much as human principles. Success is determined more in accomplishing a mission than on realizing a financial gain. Non-profits advance people over profit.

I see a win/win situation when these two worlds collide. For-profits can be even more profitable when they invest in people and work towards the vision, even sometimes at the expense of immediate profits. Non-profits can continue their mission more effectively when they practice healthy business principles.

My questions is: How do we get these two worlds together more?

Are you currently in the non-profit or the for-profit world? Have you experienced both? Do you see other ways we can learn from each other?

A New Look At The Prodigal Son

Yesterday I shared a message on a familiar story from Luke 15.  We use Truthcasting to archive our video messages. I’m thankful they no longer require you to login to view.  Watch yesterday’s message here.  Just a program note for those that were present for this message, we used the second service and there was a technical problem that kept us from using my opening illustration.

Everything is Relative to Context

apples-orangesHere is a principle I have learned in years of ministry and life experience.

Everything is relative to the context in which you live.

What I mean is that one person’s experience is unique to them and cannot be understood fully apart from living in that exact set of circumstances and surroundings.  You can’t compare your circumstances to another that easily.

That means that to that person, though the situation may not seem as severe or as important to you:

  • Pain is pain
  • Heartache is heartache
  • Stress is stress
  • Leadership is leadership
  • Trials are trials
  • Pressure is pressure
  • Fun is fun
  • Disappointment is disappointment
  • Fear is fear

That also means that:

A 13-year-old boy trying to balance school, baseball and girlfriends can feel just as overwhelmed as a 42-year-old CEO trying to manage a company and build a family.

And a pastor in a church of 50 people can feel just as much stress as a pastor in a church of 20,000.

That’s a good reminder next time you are tempted to compare your struggles with another.

Every person’s situation is relative to the context in which they live and the experiences they have in life.

Have you been guilty of comparing your situation to another person’s situation?

Operation Serve 2009 Video

Operation Serve! What an experience! I am so thankful to be a part of Grace Community Church and for all that serve! Let’s not allow this to be a once a year experience. Find ways to continue to take Christ’s love to the streets of our community!

Enjoy this video from the 2009 Operation Serve.

What’s Happening In Children’s Ministry?

Adam Bayne is out new children’s pastor at Grace Community Church.  He’s a nut and has added a whole new element to our staff.  Check out his latest video he’s using to inspire children to love church. Crazy!  (Adam’s the pirate BTW.) Keep in mind, the point of this is to gain children’s interest so they will listen to what we ultimately want to teach them. Guess what? It works.

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers Movie

As a church planter concerned about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but consistently meeting people who have no interest in what they believe Christianity to be, this appears to be an important movie. My friend Michael Hyatt was the first to recommend this movie, which would be enough to encourage me to watch it. After watching the trailer, there is no question I will put this movie on my “must see” list.

Have you seen this movie? What do you think after watching the trailer?

I Recommend The Change Group

banner350X250I love big vision. I love those who help accomplish big vision.  Recently I’ve been inspired by the energies of The Change Group.  They are true Kingdom builders.

If your organization needs help with financial management or with bookkeeping services, consider talking about outsourcing those needs with my friends at The Change Group.

For one monthly fee organizations can receive:

  • Quarterly CFO Consulting
  • Monthly Financial Dashboard
  • Weekly Bookkeeping

I posted HERE about two things every organization must have.  The Change Group can completely take care of one of these two needs, allowing you to concentrate on accomplishing your vision without stressing over details that must be done.   This is not only a cost saving, but also an efficient way of handling your church, small business or non-profit’s financial needs.

Check out my friends at The Change Group today by clicking HERE.