Saturday, August 30, 2014

How to cultivate discontentment towards church in your kids--and leave their faith when they graduate

There are a ton of books out there that deal with the mass exodus when it comes to teens leaving the church.  I come to you not as an expert, but as an observer; one who has been a youth pastor of both successful and unsuccessful youth ministries.  I come to you  as a Senior Pastor of a great church and as an active Children's Pastor of that same church.  I come to you as a father of two children both under the age of 13.

The following are simply things I've learned from experience and what I see that if not checked could, down the road, lead to some unresolved answers.

The following are suggestions to do or to continue to do to make sure your child becomes a teenager who is disinterested in church and apathetic towards their faith in God.

Hopefully you'll do the opposite.

1.) Treat church attendance like a country club function.  You know, go when there's a special event or when it seems like the right thing to do. There is no substitute for a real, growing relationship with God through spending time in daily prayer and reading of His Word, then add going to church to worship and strengthen other believers.  This helps strengthen your growing relationship with God. Whenever the emphasis is to just attend church, then a casual Christianity mindset takes hold and is much harder to shake off the older one gets.

2.) Expose your child to high levels of technology.   I'm all for technology.  I'm young (under 40), so of course I appreciate it.  I find myself telling my kids stories like, "when I was your age we had a box we'd wear on our hip that would beep at us to then go find a phone and call that person who needed us--you and your iPhones...mumble...mumble."  The church I pastor as well as many other wonderful, healthy churches use technology in every aspect of their ministry. Understand I'm not comparing "overhead projectors" to "Nintendo" here.

As much as churches try to stay current and provide environments for your child, churches CAN NOT compete with your 7 year old who walks in with their own personal device playing Minecraft or updating their Facebook status before heading to their Bible class.   Please note, I am not ranting about the "what" they are doing on there, I'm ranting about at what age they are being exposed.   There are literally dozens of articles out there telling about the dangers of early exposure to technology.  Here's a link to a simple article that just address the attention issue.  *How Technology is Changing the Way Kids Focus and Think*

3.) Buy into the hero myth.   There is an alarming mindset growing among parents that believe this, "If it's a movie about heroes then it's totally fine for my 7, 9, 11 year old."   Remember when PG-13 meant....... ok, sure, you and I are the parents.  We ultimately decide what we allow our kids to watch, not some committee of biblical illiterate, unprincipled, godless group who sets the standard for our home. Well?????
If I was to sit with you and outline how many times a particular movie takes God's name in vain, how many times they said s*** or dropped the bomb, told you how many sexual innuendos were made, I believe you'd say something like, "yeah, I think we won't take them to see that just yet."   Sadly the problem is many are not researching beyond the preview.  

Hey, I'll be here along with others who will teach teenagers to respect women, to encourage them to wait to have sex until marriage, to teach and help them follow God's ways of doing life.  Just know it's hard to get the truth across when they've been feed, over many years, a steady steam of ideology like TMNT: Michelangelo makes note of April O'Neals sex appeal, saying, "She's so hot I can feel my shell tightening."
Why would anyone believe God's way is best when they've had their way for so long and they've been told their way is just fine?

If you want to get a head start by researching movies ahead of time before spending good money on something check out,

I wholeheartedly believe God's Word to be true.  Proverbs 22:6 " Direct your children onto the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it."  It's a wonderful promise that requires a TON of HARD work.

It's hard to say no when others say yes.  It's hard (for some) not to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest tech,  it's hard to have daily devotion time with your family.

It's hard ...if you're not focused on the bigger picture.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Find the Egg

I was asked, "As a Pastor, how can you celebrate Easter?"  I responded, "Because the Resurrection of Jesus is the single most important event in life.  Without it, there is no purpose to what we "believe."  They followed up with, "No, I know that, I mean Easter because of where it came from."   I was confused at that point so on to Google I go.

So, I've just read 3 articles of the "origins of Easter" and I'd like to say a few things.
1) Thank you parents for not teaching me all that stuff.  I mean, wow, did you guys even know that stuff???  I assume you did after all we were all lost, never went to church, mom and dad did drugs, cussed like sailors and fought like episodes WWF.  We were what Christians called, "lost people."  It wasn't until I was 8-9 years old that started going to church and my family got saved.  But really, we were just out looking for eggs filled with candy!!! Im so glad to know I didn't go through my childhood with such a warped view of Easter.

2) Thank you to my home church, Harvest Time that instilled in me the virtues of God.  They taught me that He is a redeeming God who we also should take on His business and redeem that which is lost. So Easter, to many (like me growing up) don't know the "history of where it came from" and sadly many churches spend more time teaching pagan history than saving grace.

 3) Thank you to other Christians who like me celebrate Easter as what is means to us personally. "The celebration of a Risen Savior."

4)  Thank you to Christians who don't celebrate Easter and don't look down or differently to Christians that do.   You guys, like me, have your convictions and rather than spout off hate or words of conflict, you simply understand where each group comes from and let that be enough.

I've read the origins of Easter and all it's pagan history, but I have to say I'm going to attempt to be like the Apostle Paul, when he said, " for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.--Acts 17:28’  He uses current culture.  See how he draws them in by saying, "some of your own poets have said"  to bring people to the knowledge of a loving, life giving, redeeming God who loves you so much.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Recap from Sunday, Aug. 25th

Today at church was great!!!  Not only wonderful time together but a lot of little things happened that really just pushed today over the top.  For writing and understanding purposes I'll number the big "wins" and letter the huge details under them.

1.)  We had a total of 5 visiting families today!!!
        A.) One family returned from last weeks visit.  After speaking with several a couple people said, "we heard great things are happening here and wanted to come see."

2.) All of our ministry teams were in peek shape this morning.  The excellence and joy that filled the building today was pure electric.
       B.) I noticed a huge level of ownership in ministry today.  It wasn't just about filling a need but it was genuine joy in serving the God and others.

3.)  Church was just good fun today! People getting back into the swing of things and wanting to be together.
       C.) During the message there were a couple times where one would speak up that just caused the entire place to bust out in laughing.  I don't know how you feel about "feedback" during someone preaching, but I love it!

4.) Today was the Sunday that marks 2 years that we have been pastors of Christ Community Church and it's been amazing to get to be apart of what God is doing.  Last week and this week we have been bumping and waving at that "100" person mark and with so many visiting and being plugged in to the church; I'm excited to see that's the potential of 100 plus people loving God and loving others.
      D.)  Two years ago when I'd invite people to church their response often would be, "where is that church at?"  Today we hear people say, "we hear great things about this church."

5.)  Part 2 of Environments is up, pray you enjoy it as we dive into the whys of what we do.
     E.)  Click HERE to listen.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Celebration Sunday at CCC!

Today was nothing short of an AMAZING day of the church celebrating at church.  I have dreamed of the time when we come to church together and instead of using it as a "refill" gathering (although important) for our gathering to be more of a celebration encounter.  Today was that day.
Not only was the worship anointed and powerful this morning, but God's presence was evident for healing.  We prayed for and laid hands on several who need a touch from God.
Our speaker this morning, Chris Childers delivered a timely message as we concluded our "Faith Catalysts" series, you can listen online by clicking, HERE

All week our church has been, well--- being the church.  We kicked off Monday by delivering school supplies to our neighbors next door, Millbrooke Elementary.

We then continued on Wednesday to provide a fun,safe and meaningful "Wet and Wild Wednesday" to our neighbors with free food, water slides, backpack give-a-ways and just a great time together.

Another monumental thing happened today, before I became Pastor of Christ Community Church they were in a kitchen fundraising program.  Over the last two years we have spent our energy and resources focused on our Children's Ministry and building renovations such as parking lot resurfacing, and general updating.  However over the last few months we have challenged our people to give towards the installing and renovation for a practical and functional kitchen to meet the needs of the various ministries.

It's been a long journey and three weeks ago I shared we were $3000 away from getting it all paid for, then last week because of a "God idea" given to one of our members we only needed $1700.  Well this week another member stopped in before leaving town to make a donation and as of Friday we only needed $1000!!!
Saturday morning our men's ministry hosted a breakfast and they raised $150 to pay off that $1000 and TODAY the remaining $850. came in!!!!!!  Simply amazing what God does when there is unity in His house!

Love God, love others.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Recap from Sunday July 21st

Today was a great day at Christ Community Church.  Here are some quick thoughts from the day.

1) Seems the heat is getting to people.  While we had a solid core group there, you could tell the heat is affecting overall energies.
2)  Our worship team just gets better and better!!!  I'm so impressed with our team and their passion to lead people into the presence of God.  Just fantastic!!!

3) I shared a little about why we do what we do and why we do it that way.  We want to be a church culture that has a high level of both invitation and challenge.
4) There is a lot of excitment in the air for our upcoming Community Service event, "Wet and Wild Wednesday.  Click HERE for details.
5) We are coming to the final stretch as we have launched our much awaited kitchen renovation.  With new ministry groups such as our men and women's ministries, nursery department; this remodel is a real blessing long awaited for.
6)  This morning's message is online, we pray it's a blessing to you just as one lady in service gave a testamony this morning, "I was bound by wrong thinking and after God set me free with new way of thinking I now am able to enjoy the changes in this church and love the people God wants me too."  WOW!!!  Visit us at or click HERE for message.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Recap July 14th

Worship was amazing this morning!  Such an awesome time together and there was an anointing for healing in the place today.

1)  I love what God is doing at Christ Community!  Was so good to see everyone fill the building with a real love for each other.
2) As with anything that grows, one has to put systems and structure in place and today I got to establish three individuals over various departments at the church.  AMAZING people with a heart to serve, very excited for the future!
3) Today I shared the news about the long awaited "kitchen remodel" project that started before I came and that at the end of the month it will be finished!!!
4) Shared updated renovation happening in our nursery department.

5) Hard to imagine that end of August will just be 2 years since we became Pastors of CCC.  I'm so honored to be a small part of God's big picture plan.
6) My wife made roast beef with all the sides and home made blackberry cobbler, so I'm out!!!!

As a church we need to start building circles rather than rows.    Today's Message HERE

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Recap Sunday, July 7th

There are those moments when you stop, pause and thank God for what He has done and is doing.  Today was one of those moments.  Here are some highlights from service today.

1)  Besides the worship team, there were three people on stage today.  The reasons that's a big deal is because I'm all about some Ephesians 4:12--so I love seeing our people take ownership of ministry and challenging others to make it happen.
2) We had a great group there today despite it being a "holiday week."  As I was thanking God for today and thinking about the 75 singles, parents, children, grandparents there today; I thought, "wow, a year ago 75 was a high number for us and today it's a low number."
3) I cast vision for a fun end of the month--right before school starts neighborhood service project called, Wet and Wild Wednesday.
4) Friends bringing friends is an awesome sight to see.  It never gets old!
5) So proud of our ladies and men's ministries as they have worked so hard in providing school supplies for our neighbors next door.  If you feel impressed to help, click here>>> Support Millbrooke
6) I announced today that this week we will start demolition for our new kitchen remodel project.

Exciting things happening here at C.C.C!  Who says you've got to slow down in the summer???

We'd love to have you join what God is doing in us and though us, check us out at