Sunday, November 30, 2008
- Verse 1 says that we should position ourselves to listen to what God is going to say.
- Verse 2 says that we need to capture and write down what God is saying.
- Verse 3 reminds us of the need to wait....he will not be late.
- Verse 4 reminds us that the righteous will live by faith.
- Verse 6-19 reiterates to us that God will handle his business. Leave his business to him.
- Verse 20 tells us that the Lord is in His temple. Sit silent before Him!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Diverse in age, culture, class and spiritual background, yet loaded with unity and celebrating our uniqueness! We even express incredible diversity in our services, music and ministries.
Flexible enough to embrace change, take risks and experiment! Sometimes the experiments work and become successes and even define our culture. Sometimes the experiments fail and we try new ones. That is the strength! We try! We will not stagnate at CCF!
Authentic…in relationships, faith and community. We are the real deal. You will not come to CCF and sense distance, cold or legalism. You will experience warmth, welcome and that we are real people with real issues who really love God!
Purpose Driven. Our ministry, budget, leadership and discipleship decisions are all driven and informed by our purpose…which is plastered everywhere and becoming cultural language. Loving God, Loving People and Living as Disciples. We live this out through people gathering in large groups and small groups for relationship and discipleship.
Fun and High energy! We do creative and fun stuff on a regular basis. It has become a part of our DNA. You never know what is next. It creates an atmosphere of expectation.
Are you a CCF'r? What do you think of these? Do you have others you would add?
In church life, we are always in a season. A key responsibility of the leader is to know what season the organization is in, to name it, and then to communicate the implications of that season.
Here are a few of the seasons that Bill Hybels defines in his book, Axiom:
An easy season to identify is a season of growth. In a growth season, everything is rosy. Attendance is spiking, giving is on the rise, programs are thriving, and the future looks bright. In seasons like this, leaders have to be organizationally aware enough to say, “Look, everybody, we’re going through a fun growth spurt here. Let’s enjoy this season and play it out for as long as we can. You know as well as I do that it won’t last forever, but while it’s here, let’s thank God for it and see how long we can keep it going!”
Another season might be called consolidation, which usually follows a season of growth. The goal during consolidations is to assimilate and support the people who showed up during all of that growth. Newcomers typically need discipleship and community and care. Investing in your infrastructure and protecting your recent gains proves you can be trusted with the growth God graciously gives. Effective consolidation earns you permission to enter yet another season of growth sometime in the future.
Another season that is familiar to leaders is a season of transition. It might begin when several staff decide to leave all at once, and everything and everyone feels at bit off balance and uncertain. It might be complicated by external factors such as a downturn in the local economy or a major upheaval in the community, and leaders are the ones who must give voice and language to that reality. They must explain why the era is occurring, what it means, and how to navigate through it.
Finally, there’s reinvention. This is when the leader announces that it’s time to put every ministry of the church under the microscope and discern whether it needs a face-lift, an overhaul, or a funeral----a necessary pruning exercise to make room for future growth.
This leadership-seasons idea traces back to Ecclesiastes 3:1, which says that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Do yourself and those you lead the favor of learning to spot your season and give voice to the realities of that season. Assign appropriate language to it, designate helpful parameters to succeeding within it, and confidently offer solutions for moving through it. You’re always in a season! It’s your role to know which it is and what to do about it.
I found this really insightful. I will be writing soon about what season I see CCF in.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
- Had one of the most productive days of my life. Period. No way to explain all that was accomplished. Not sure why. But, wow!
- Wanted to blog. Several things in my heart that I want to share about. Will get to them. I keep good notes. I will never run out of things to blog. I WILL run out of time to do it.
- Was able to slip home for an awesome dinner and time with the family. My sister made yams and greens. Now, we're talking!
- Just had an amazing Executive Board Meeting. Probably the most important meeting of the year. It has taken us a few years, but we are now really functioning like a team. Do due diligence before the meeting. Communication, Communication, Communication. And then, you can pass a budget in 15 minutes. Yes, you read that right.
- Juggling a lot of stuff. Will be working on my day off tomorrow, but Thanksgiving is coming!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
- I grew up 9.2 miles from CCF!
- I forget any joke 60 seconds after I hear it.
- My expectations for myself are pretty high.
- My expectations of others are pretty high.
- I lived in PA for 6 years, and have been back in MD for 4.5 years.
- I had my first car for one week before blowing a head gasket. (86 Ford Escort)
- God literally sent me my Administrative Assistant, Jaye! She is the bomb. I share her with the church for now. :-)
- The only TV I can watch is Football and News....anything else I am asleep or tuning it out.
- My Father was adopted and we have no idea who his family is. We just started searching for them last week. My sister is leading the charge on it...she is good at this kind of stuff. I may meet a Grandparent, Uncle, Aunt or Cousin for the first time if we are successful.
- I love country music! George Straight is my fave.
- My Dad grew up in Japan until he was 6.
- I wrestled for the boys and girls club when I was 12. My boobs hung out the side of my wrestling uniform and I got SPANKED by High School seniors (who weighed what I weighed), so I quit.
- I love change.
- My wife is a treasure. No one knows how wonderful she is!
- I am addicted to accomplishment. Probably why I LOVE to mow, vacuum or paint. They all offer instant gratification for accomplishment.
- I try to listen to rap and hip hop at least twice a month to get an idea of what our youth are hearing.
- I got beat up once in my life.
- I beat someone else up once in my life. (one punch...it was just a real good one)
- I don't read novels.
- I worked for a janitorial company in High School...until I wrecked my boss's car. It was downhill from there.
- I only read church ministry books...need to expand my horizons.
- Would love to Pastor Pastors someday.
- My Mom's family has it's roots in coal mining communities. Learned alot about it last week.
- I have thousands of Baseball Cards...even complete sets that have never been opened.
- My parents thought I was going to be down syndrome. I wasn't.
- I preached my first sermon at 16 years old...at CCF!
- Last Saturday morning, I greeted two CCF members at my house in my underwear. Didn't know they were here. Thankfully, they were guys. If they were women, they may have left the church (after they recovered).
- My family calls me "Nonie".
- I have been to 30 States and 10 countries!
- I just ran out of things to tell you, but this was fun while it lasted! :-)
Monday, November 17, 2008
- Maybe you need some more oxygen...some more of the breath of God in your life to increase your flame and visibility for Him. I know I do.
- Maybe you need the fire to burn up some of the impurities in your life. I know I do.
- Maybe you need the fire to give light to your path and direction.
- Maybe you need the fire to warm up some of the cold areas of your heart.
- Maybe you need the power of the Holy Spirit to come like fire as it did in the early church and revive your passion for God. I know I do!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Here is their website...Click here!
Below is a video. Take the 4 minutes and let this challenge you and bless you in whatever way it will.
"Fill your minds and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." Phil. 4:8
"You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness." Ephesians 4:4-6
Thursday, November 13, 2008
That said, our financial strategy has to undergo some changes this coming year in light of our economic realities. Even so, I am deeply confident and excited about the future. We will be sharing more at the upcoming business meeting.
Well, I really like what I saw on swerve tonight. It captured two principles that I thought were enlightening. Here is what it said:
- Christ’s church is resilient. The church has survived persecution, poverty, terrorism, genocide, and wars. A slow or crippled economy will not destroy the church.
- People will turn to Christ. In our prosperous country, people have rarely had to pray, “Give us today our daily bread…” because our cabinets have always been full of bread. In many ways, our blessings have interfered with a need for the Giver of the blessings. In hard times people will turn to Christ.
Instead of being paralyzed with fear, church leaders should be postured with faith for how God will use these rocky financial times to draw people to himself.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Check out the November Capital by clicking here!
I love Paul's statement in 1 Cor 3:6 on planting and watering. I think that is THE seminal verse for church growth. We are meant to be gardeners. Gardeners don't make things grow, they tend gardens. They do everything they can to make sure that the garden is healthy and then let God do the growing.
I've also seen that growth is not just a one dimensional thing. In any healthy church there will be seasons of growth in width (numbers) as well as in depth (discipleship), often alternating. The only true measure of growth is the area (width times depth).
Numbers is the only growth that is easy to measure so, sadly, it is the one that most of us focus on. This becomes a real problem when we focus on it to the exclusion of more important things, like truth and the Word. Turn on the TV and you'll see that it's really easy to grow in numbers - just sell out the Gospel and tell the people what they want to hear.
Gardening is hard work, but it is the only way to bring healthy growth. It also takes lots of patience. But the good news is that God takes care of the really hard work - changing hearts.
Pastors, don't bear a burden you were never meant to bear. Don't try to grow numbers or change hearts; let God do that. Tend your garden - plant seeds, water liberally and pull weeds (un-Biblical ideas). Free yourself from the burden only God can carry and be free to tend your garden with joy.