Feb 132012
 

Hey Church at the Grove!  I love our church!  I am so thankful for a body of people willing to lay their lives on the line to glorify God and take the gospel to the world.  I am fired up about leading people to follow Jesus and Make Disciples.  Yesterday I preached at our Social Circle location and it was awesome to be there with Nathan and our incredible team that is creating an environment for people to explore faith.  We are consistently having new people show up and now there are families that are coming each week!

Here are a few thoughts for our church:

Let’s keep it all about Jesus!
We live in an increasingly pluralistic culture where it has become a bit taboo to speak the name of Jesus in an exclusive way.  The gospel of Jesus is the ONLY hope we have for having a meaningful, significant and purposeful life!  Let’s keep it ALL ABOUT Jesus!  I don’t mean that we abandon the freedom for people to explore faith at their own pace.  We should be accepting, loving and kind to people from all perspectives and backgrounds BUT it really is ALL ABOUT JESUS!

Keep Praying!
We entered this year with a intensive focus on prayer, especially for our campus launch in Social Circle.  We must continue to depend on God!   Let’s continue to passionately ask God to act on behalf of the mission He has called us to.  Let’s pray that He works in lives to bring people to faith in Jesus.  Let’s pray that God works in father’s hearts and works in families in a way that transforms lives!  Let’s continue to pray that God gives us favor and credibility with our local community and ministry partnerships.  Let’s continue to pray!

I read this recently from Mark Batterson on prayer:
“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.”  “And until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply.”

Ask not what your church can do for you, but what you can do for your church!
Let me be honest!  It’s not about YOU!  We have an incredible group of people that serve and make Church at the Grove a great church BUT we always need more people to simply jump in and find a place to serve.  When people are looking for a church, the prevalent pray should be “God, where do you want my family to partner with you in your mission?” rather than, “God where do you want us to be to have our needs met?”  JUMP IN somewhere and serve!

Encourage Each Other!
Yesterday’s message at both our campuses was about authentic relationships and our need for encouragement and accountability.  Are you engaged in a small group of relationships that encourage you to grow spiritually?  Are you connected in a Community Group?  We will not grow spiritually as God desires until we are connected in meaningful relationships of encouragement.  You cannot grow spiritually the way God intended simply sitting in rows on Sunday staring at the back of other people’s heads.  As we say at The Grove, “Circles are better than rows!”

Give generously!
I have been amazed at how generous Church at the Grove has been especially over the past year or so.  Our financial situation looked pretty dismal two years ago and because of faithful giving and generosity we actually exceeded our budget last year.  I certainly am not in “panic mode” but we are behind our budget so far for 2012.  Please continue your generous giving and if you haven’t stepped out in faith to give, don’t miss out on the blessing that God has in store when we give generously.  You can give on Sundays or on-line at www.churchatthegrove.com

Be a missionary!
See yourself as a missionary to the people in the circles of relationships that you travel!  Who are you praying for and investing in that is a neighbor, family member or co-worker?  Please keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities for CATGrove to invest in our community and then take the initiative yourself to step in and make something happen!  Don’t feel like you have to wait for the church to organize something.  You are commissioned as a missionary!  Go for it!  You have permission!

Easter is coming!
Easter is April 8 and it is a great opportunity to invite someone to join you at CATGrove!  You can read more about how to leverage Easter here!

 

 Posted by at 1:05 pm
Feb 012012
 

The older I get (no jokes, comments, or making fun of me please!) the more gravity wreaks havoc on my body!

Things sag where they didn’t before, clothes don’t fit the same and all of that, BUT the biggest difference is related to exercise and fitness activity. I have never been able to jump extremely high or run exceptionally fast or for extreme long distances, but the older I get, the STINKIN’ less I can do anything without killing me!

I have tried to reverse the process with adding P90x to my regular routine, but it is harder and harder the older I get.

It all comes down to gravity weighing the ole’ body down! I feel the weight more than ever on my body and the body feels good for nothing!!!!!

Isn’t that the way it is with us spiritually? The more weight we carry spiritually, emotionally, and relationally, the less we feel capable of being loved by God and we feel less capable of being used by God.

GOD WANTS US FREE FROM JUNK THAT CONTINUES TO WEIGH US DOWN!

Read Hebrews 12:1-2 here.

I talk to people that have turned to follow Christ and they inevitably say, “Yeah, I trusted Christ to forgive me for my sins, BUT……….THAT IS A BIG BUT! They always refer to something that keeps them from living free!

Either he forgave us or He didn’t. The same work that Christ did on the cross to forgive us from our sins is the same work He did to remove the baggage and free us from the baggage that weighs us down. GRAVITY WREAKS HAVOC ON THE SOUL!

God does not want….nor did He intend for you to carry baggage for the rest of your life! We are not built to carry sin, shame, guilt…..whatever it is, into eternity. I say get rid of it now.

I want to jump higher….run faster….dance more freely! God wants that for me too!

The Body can be good for something!

Jesus came to free us from the baggage…….

 Posted by at 11:37 am
Jan 302012
 

We have experienced enormous blessing over the last year and specifically over this past month as we have launched our new campus in Social Circle!  We continue to see new people added to both our campuses this month!   We are growing and it is exciting!

Here is my BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL and desire for Church at the Grove right now!  Are you ready?!
Let’s keep growing!  Yeah, I said it!  Let’s keep growing and here are the specific areas I want us to focus on growing:
Let’s keep growing numerically!  
  • I will never apologize for wanting and desiring our church to grow numerically.  Do a word study in the book of Acts on the word “numbers” and you will see that Luke records over and over when people were added to the church.  If our mission is to lead people to follow Jesus and Make Disciples then we should be adding people.
  • I want to see 100 people baptized this year!  There, I said it!  I believe it can happen.
  • I believe that we can average over 500 people in attendance by September this year!
Let’s grow spiritually!
  • I want us to have more people reading their Bibles daily.
  • I want to have more people engaged in serving their community.
  • I want to have more people being transformed into the image of Jesus in every area of their life.
  • I want to see more people sharing the gospel with their family and friends.
  • I want to see more people investing in people and inviting them to our Sunday CATGrove gatherings.
  • I want to hear about more families having a nightly family devotional/prayer time.
  • I want more marriages to grow stronger and healthier.
  • I want to see more people involved in Community Group Bible Study.
Let’s grow relationally!
  • I would love to set a record this fall for how many people are involved in Community Groups.
  • I challenge you to make more time to simply develop your friendships and relationships this year.
  • Make time for people.
  • Come early and stay a little late on Sundays so you can have a conversation with some people you don’t know that well.
  • Plan to get to know some of our newer attendees over this next month!
  • Remember, we are about PEOPLE!
I love Jesus!  I love what He is doing.  I love Church at the Grove!
 Posted by at 11:26 pm