Archive for the ‘church’ Category

Catalyst Week

Posted: October 6, 2008 in church, conference, Leadership, road trip, staff


I have officially dubed October 5th through October 12th:
Catalyst Week.

I (along with Matt T., AA, P.C. and Raburn) will be headed to Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon to join of 12,000 ministers and church leaders for the Catalyst ’08 Leadership Conference .
P.C. and Raburn are flying but Matt, AA and I thought it would be way more fun to do a road trip. So tomorrow afternoon we will be heading out on a 14 hour drive to the ATL to see and hear from some of the most influential church leaders of our time. And of course, I will be sharing the event with you right here. I plan to blog about the trip every day this week so check in periodically to catch up on our adventure to Catalyst. I know will be an incredible trip.

Advertisements

Friday is Mad Prop’s Day! This is the day I give my “Prop’s” to someone who has done something outstanding during the week. Feel free to leave your own “prop’s”, “atta boy’s”, or whatever it is you happen say to let someone know they are friggin awesome.

For months I have watched our congregation go through various transition for various reasons. We literally re-located from a building we had worshiped in for over 30 years, We have had to re-think major ministries like VBS, we’ve even had to make some really difficult decisions like ending long term ministries such as our preschool program of twenty-seven years. 2008 has been the year of change for First Christian Church Owasso. There have been literally hundreds of changes to our growing church and all indications point to more on the horizon.

One of the biggest moves we have made was due in large part to the rapid growth of our congregation. Our leadership made the conscious decision to shepherd through small groups. This has been a major transition because we have always used our Sunday School program to care for the majority of church members. There were several problems with this model but the biggest was that it didn’t cover the large majority of our membership. At one point there were over six hundred members who were not involved in anything other than our Sunday morning services. As a result, the leadership determined there was a better way to shepherd our congregation and they tasked our Associate Minister, Matt Thomason, with developing a small group program.

After months of hard work and planning we launched our small group program on September 7th. In just five short weeks we have seen a radical change in our church. We are hearing stories every week about small groups engaging in the lives of people who are going through divorces, people who have lost loved ones, providing financial assistance to people who have lost their jobs and people who need to know Christ on a deeper level. There are now less than two hundred people that have yet to plug in to a group of some sort and as a result, the life change that we have witnessed has been extraordinary.

This week I want to give my Mad Prop’s to Matt Thomason. This was probably the biggest and most difficult transition we have had to make in the life of our congregation. Matt and his team have done an outstanding job of helping our church better shepherd and care for each other through small groups. The task has not been an easy one and Matt would tell you there is still a lot to be done, never the less “Mad Prop’s” to Matt T. and his leadership in our new groups initiative!

Leave “Mad Prop’s” for Matt T. and comment about your small group experience over the past five weeks.

I have watched it on youtube least 50 times. The first time was moving, the second time I noticed some things I missed the first time and so on. So when my production team talked about the Cardboard Testimony video and possibly using it in one of our services, I wasn’t sure it would work. We talked around it for several minutes. We discussed several ways to keep it fresh and unique to our congregation. Once we landed on an idea we sold out to it. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I hoped it would be a good thing for our people and really felt it would have some amount of success. But what we experienced Sunday far surpassed anything I could have ever imagined. What we witnessed was one of the most powerful events in the 100 year history of our congregation. God showed up in a way that had our church completely in awe of His saving grace and power.

It happened because people were courageous enough to bear their souls to their church family. It is truly amazing when we see God’s power change someone from the inside out. This leads me to my question of the week:

In a few simple words, how has God changed you?

Healing Rain

Posted: September 29, 2008 in church, emotion, FCC Owasso, Jesus, sunday morning, worship

We got this idea from Hillside Christian Church in Amarillo, TX. This ended up being a powerful way of communicating how far God is willing to go to change lives.

I was moved to tears… made it very difficult to sing. God is incredible!

If you were a part of this group of people, what would you have written on your cardboard?

Here at romanstwelveone we are always looking for ways to be “Living Sacrifices”. As a part of that effort Mondays are “Make a Difference Day”. This is an effort that goes beyond giving our used items to Goodwill or dropping money in the plate each week. While those things are important it is equally important that we allow God to use us to impact the lives of those around us in real and tangible ways. This is your day to share and brainstorm ideas on how we can live out our worship in a way that is “holy and pleasing to God”.

Sunday, my small group was informed of a woman who is going through an incredibly difficult divorce. Not only does she need your prayer and spiritual help she has now found herself in desperate need of physical help. While I cannot print her name here, I can tell you she has just a few days left to move out of her house and has literally no where to go. This week a few of the ladies in our group are helping find a place for her (and her kids) to live and this weekend several of us are getting together to help her pack and move her stuff into wherever that may be. All of us have been effected (either directly or indirectly) by broken marriages. We can all relate to the difficulties this woman and her family are facing at this very moment. The needs here are great and if you feel that God is leading you to help please let me know and I can fill you in. This is where the church shines and where lives are impacted. Please pray about how you can join us and help this family in their time of need.

Let us know how you are impacting your community, school or share an idea you may have that could make a real difference in somone’s life. Your turn…

Donn T. Moore

Posted: September 20, 2008 in church, death, friends, mentor, ministry, mistakes

Have you ever had a person in your life that supported you whether you deserved it or not? Donn Moore was that guy for me. He was an elder for a small church in Skiatook OK and was the one guy who was willing to go through the fire with me as I learned what it meant to lead in a church ministry. It was a really big task. Not only was I immature as a minister but I also thought I knew everything about leading a church… dangerous combination. I think Donn was able to see what no one else was willing to see and he was able to do what no one else was willing to to at that time in my life. He stood by me through every descision I made, big or small, right or wrong. I will always remember him for the long phone conversations and the after- elder- meeting counseling sessions that would last until all hours of the night. He invested in me and if it were not for him I would likely not be who I am today. It’s a shame that I lost touch with him after my wife and I left Skiatook. Every once in a while I would run into him and his wife (Darlene) at the store or at a restaurant but we never got around to that dinner we kept promising each other. Today I regret that more than ever. About 12:00 today I found out that Donn Moore lost his battle to cancer, won his war against Satan and is now cancer free at his new home with Jesus.

Donn Townsend Moore, 66, of Skiatook, Okla., died Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008, at Hospice of Wichita Falls.

Graveside services will be Saturday in Vanderpool, Texas. A celebration of life will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church in Skiatook, Okla., with the Rev. P. J. Stewart and the Rev. David Stephenson, presiding. A reception and visitation will be held immediately following the Skiatook service.

Mr. Moore was employed in the petroleum industry, where he worked until retiring in 1991.

Survivors include wife, Darlene Adair Moore; daughter, Amy Kingston of Mesquite, Texas; sons, David of Wichita, Kan., and Brandon; stepsons, Lee Maxwell of Los Angeles and John Maxwell of Tahlequah, Okla.; father, Oscar Moore of Vanderpool; brothers, Doug of Bedford, Texas, and Dennis of Utopia, Texas; and eight grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Wichita Falls, 4909 Johnson Rd., Wichita Falls, Texas, 76310; the American Cancer Society or the charity of the donor’s choice.

See you when I get home Donn… lets do dinner.

One of the big buzz words in many churches these days is “Community”. It’s always interesting to me that we find new and creative ways to package what God intended for the church to be. When I was growing up it was CARE groups then later it was LIFE groups. It wasn’t much longer we threw away the acronyms and called it Small Groups and of course now its just Groups with an emphasis on “community”. I guess the most surprising part of this is the concept of repackaging is that we have to do it at all. Its almost as if we have to “sell” God’s word to the believers to claim to follow His word.

You don’t have to look very hard to find God’s intention in establishing smaller communities in which to do ministry. When Moses was leading the Israelite people God recognized that it was next to impossible for any one man to lead such a massive amount of people. He had Moses divide his people into smaller groups down to ten per group just so he could lead them effectively. Jesus had a small group who later established small communities around the region and eventually started the greatest small group movement in the history of mankind.
Most of the New Testament was written to small groups of people.

I find it a bit ironic that the larger we get as a congregation the smaller we have to become to shepherd people and do ministry effectively. So here is my question of the week:

Tuesday Question of the Week

Are you in a small group? Why?/Why not?

Emotions

Posted: August 28, 2008 in church, emotion, youth ministry

BLAAAAAHHHH!
I hate them! And yet at the same time… I love them! I feel like this very thing God blessed me with, in order to do His good works, is the very thing Satan uses against me as his weapon of choice. I probably owe big apologies to my coworkers, friends and family for being so emotional the past week or so. I’m sure I’ve left people wondering if “the man” has changed my medication.

Growing up I was a part of the youth group at Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa. My youth minister, Danny Sidders, had this one phrase he would often make us repeat to open up our youth meetings. “I can choose my attitude and I choose to feel great!” he would say. We would all repeat the axiom back and he would say it again only to have us repeat it back again. This would go on until he felt as though everyone was participating. He probably knew that everyone of us were showing up that night dealing with the pressures of school, broken families, addictions and just living a teenage life in a world that was changing before our eyes. At least for me it was unsolicited training for days and weeks like these.

Now when I am overwhelmed with emotion and biting peoples heads off or secluded to the back corner of my desk, I read 2 Timothy 1:6-7 and I repeat the phrase I learned from my youth minister… “I can choose my attitude and I choose to feel great!” when I want to of course.

We all know they are out there. All of us have at least one that comes to mind almost immediately. Some of us can think of several right off the top of our heads. It’s the “celebrity” ministers that just go to far in order to be heard. Most of the criticism is justified. There are those guys out there who cause us to shake our heads and wince because we all know at the end of the day it will have a major impact on Christianity as a whole. They go way to far in their antics and justify it as “spreading the word.”

I’m not talking about leaders that have differing doctrinal beliefs. I think God can sort all that out when we get to heaven. Neither am I talking about pastors who are innovative and creative in the way they bring the message to non-believers. I think there is value in new methods of evangelism. I am referring specifically to people like Michael Guglielmucci.

A FORMER Adelaide pastor who inspired hundreds of thousands of young Christians with his terminal cancer “battle” has been exposed as a fraud.
Read the full article here.

I know this isn’t Tuesday and maybe I should have saved this for next week but I have a question:

How do we as a church respond to people like this?

I came across this article today.

McChurch: I’m Lovin’ It

One pastor believes franchising congregations is the model of the future.

fries.jpg

“Church plants,” “sister churches,” and “satellite congregations” may be a thing of the past. In 2008, the language of missiology is changing, so look for “church franchises” in your town.
click here to read the full article

So here’s the Q’

Tuesday Question of the Week #7

Would you attend a church where the teaching/preaching is done through video broadcast? Have you ever? Why/Why not?