Thursday, September 26, 2013

Is Busyness the Same as Effectiveness?

Freshly Bru'd is designed to let you know what I am thinking, reading or questioning during the week. This week is one of those questioning times.

I really have two questions. First of all: when it comes to discipleship, does busyness equal effectiveness? I think not. If that is the case, why is church so busy? We love to boast about what we are doing. We are proud of "all we offer". I heard of one church who has 152 ministries for you and your family. I'm exhausted just thinking about that.

But do these offerings lead to where the people need to be spiritually? Do they move or advance us or just maintain where we already are?

Before you know it, if a church is not careful, to meet the needs of people, it will have its calendar stuffed with dozens of programs offered every day of the week. If we're honest, many of us would believe if this program or that program was making a big difference in the world. Instead of programs, maybe we should think in terms of steps. Maybe we should ask, "How do I move to where I need to be spiritually?"

My second question is: could church busyness actually be hindering the movement of God in our world? Is not the essence of following Jesus leaving the church and going out into the world and being a 'friend of sinners'?

When Jesus said "Go" he added "into the world". He didn't say "Go to the church". How can we make disciples of all peoples if we're down at the church building every day surrounded by other Christians?

Maybe we need to rethink what we think discipleship means. It's not church busyness rather "going" into our sphere of influence and proclaiming, living, and challenging people to follow Jesus.

God Bless,

P.S. We continue on with our new series "Getting from Here to There" this Sunday and will learn "When Walls Need to Fall." Our focus will primarily be in Joshua 6; see you at either our 9am or 10:30am service!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Change. We resist it. It scares us. Change feels like things we cherish are being taken away from us. Change happens too fast. It causes pain. It is emotional.
In the local church - environments change, roles change, strategies/approaches change, systems change, and styles change. But among the constant change of these types of things there are some constants. These constants are good reminders of what really matters in the church.

(1) The Bible is still the word of God; it always has been, always will be.

(2) The Gospel still changes lives - it is the power of God unto salvation - it transforms people from the inside out.

(3) Prayer is still powerful. God still uses praying churches.

(4) God is still in control. Change may confuse us and disorient us while suffering may make us wonder if there is any hope. Remember God is sovereign; always has been, always will be. He is there for you.

(5) Community groups are still vital. In the early church they met in homes. It is the place where relationships are established and deep truths of Scripture are taught. Small groups, life groups, cell groups, shepherd groups, and S.S. groups are just a few of the names we have given them. Whatever the name - community, fellowship, learning, and prayer are all vital to the church.

(6) The mission field still needs workers. Whether it's your backyard or the furthest ends of the earth, God uses us to be his missionaries in our sphere of influence.

(7) Hurting people still need ministry. A church that sees people through the eyes of Jesus will always be effective.

God Bless,

 P.S. Related to the people of Colorado who have been faced with a raging flood in life, this Sunday's theme is responding to the question, "How do you face life's floods?" Don't miss Sunday worship at 9:00am and 10:30am!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The need for encouragement

This last week I found myself in need of some encouragement. As I thought of my need I came to realize there are so many others with the very same need - to be encouraged. God knew that his children would be discouraged at times and feel defeated. That's why he gave a command to his church - to encourage each other and build each other up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11) I need to become a better encourager.

Most people get far more jeers than cheers, far more pokes than strokes. So many people are put down, criticized and maligned. Jesus wants his church to do the exact opposite. He wants us to become and be encouragers.

What steps can you take to become and be an encourager? First, we need to value people. He wants us to value everyone. He wants us to remember that everyone matters to him - that is why he sent his Son to die for them. Second, we need to affirm people. When you appreciate people you raise their value. A few suggestions to affirm people are: notice them, listen to them, applaud their contributions, be interested in their life, include them in your life, pray for them, use positive words and compliment them.

Here are some scriptures that I hope to put into practice that I may be an encourager.

Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2) Genuinely listening to people shows that you care.

Speak only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29) Our words are to be people builders not people users.

You are helping us by praying for us. (2 Corinthians 1:11) Make a prayer list of the people in your life. Pray for them and see what God does.

Lord, who can I encourage this week?

God Bless,

P.S. A new series begins this Sunday entitled, "Getting from Here to There: How to get unstuck when facing life's harsh realities." You won't want to miss it!