Tuesday, May 22, 2007

She took the challenge
I received an email from a female in our church named Tonya who took me up on the $5 challenge. She wrote:

"I think it went pretty well. My $5 challenge - actually turned out to be a $15 challenge (my $5, Dad's $5 and Mom's $5). (My kids) and I went to Kids Planet in Greer and handed out $10 worth of sand toys to little children, so they could play in the sand while they were at the park and $5 worth (54) popsicles, napkins and Purell to the other children. I wore a Ridgeview cap and t-shirt, and we had a Ridgeview sign on the outside of our cooler. I gave out all the Ridgeview cards I had. A couple of people actually wanted to give us a donation which I respectfully declined. Several of the parents wanted to know more about Ridgeview. Other parents said they would share the $5 challenge idea with their church. All in all, I think it went pretty well. We did get some strange looks. I've never done anything like that before. (My daughter) was really excited about it, and I think I was more scared or at least nervous. Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone. "
I think that's awesome what she and her kids did. I went to Ingles on Saturday night and had to get some milk. I purposefully went through the no self checkout line and waited for the cashier to ring up my purchase. As she gave me my 19 cents back in change I gave her back a $5 bill with a connection card from Ridgeview Church. She asked, "What's this for?" I said I wanted to bless her in the name of Christ. She remarked, "Thanks!" Off I went.
I read a small excerpt from Dan Kimballs book called "They like Jesus but not the Church." I think that's the right title. Anyway, many who do not call themselves Christians actually admire Jesus and respect His teachings. It's the Christians they can't stand. I'll be honest, sometimes I can't blame them. Not that I'm without blame. My prayer is that we as Christ followers are known more for what we are for than what we are against.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This past Sunday I finished our message series with the movie "Pay it Forward." I laid out a challenge at the end of the message to our church: the Summer of Service 20,000 Touch Challenge. From June 1 to August 12 we want to make 20,000 touches in our community with the love of Christ. I gave everyone a homework assignment that day. I asked everyone to look under their seats. Unbeknownst to them, there was a $5 bill under every metal chair. Nothing original with me, but still something that caught everyone off guard. I asked everyone to take that $5 and use it to bless someone in the name of Jesus. I'm looking forward to hearing the way people used that money. As for me, I'm going to add some money to it and bless one of my neighbors who just moved in with a pizza. Steve Sjogren states, "Small things done with great love will change the world." I believe it. I want to be a world changer!

Anyone from Ridgeview who may read my blog willing to share how they used it this week?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Major Announcement This Sunday!
Ridgeview Church is gaining a reputation. Many churches in our area have a rep, whether that reputation is true or not. One reputation Ridgeview is gaining is we are a church that likes to serve. We were contacted by the Greer Family Festival organizers recently because that's what they heard about us: "we heard you guys like to serve." I would like to qualify that. We like to serve others in the name of Jesus wanting everyone to know God loves them.
Well, this Sunday at Ridgeview I will finish up our message series "God on Film." We will be looking at the movie "Pay it Forward." It will be a message on serving others and fulfilling our purpose as a church to "be a bridge of God's love to all people so they may experience His purpose for their lives." As a way of seeking to fulfill our purpose, I'm going to share some plans for this summer that are bigger than anything we've ever done before. It's a big goal to make a major impact in our community and even make an impact in one of the most influential cities in America. Remember this: "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (Galatians 6:9 NIV). Going to be a lot of sowing this summer from the fine people of Ridgeivew Church!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Some ramblings at 1:50 am as I am about to awake my son for his feeding. I've been told by some friends of mine that I have a striking resemblence to the guy who plays a football coach in the movie "Facing the Giants." I've even been told we have the same type of humor. Well, here's some interesting info. Did you know the movie was shot in Albany, Georgia. Guess where I was born before I moved to G'ville at the ripe age of 1? If you guessed Albany you would be correct. Did you know the movie also had a large participation of folks from Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany. Well, guess what church my dad was on staff on before we moved away from Albany. If you guessed Sherwood Baptist again you again would be correct. Hmmm?

I finished listening to an audio download tonight on "Developing Your Personal Growth Plan." Nelson Searcy hit me between the eyes by stating that some of us are limiting the potential of our church because we are not growing as leaders. I've always been growing as a leader but this resource encouraged me to step it up. One practical way: measure monthly. Each month I need to be mentored by someone who is farther down the road than I am in leading a church. It simply means I seek the counsel of wiser pastors who God is using in great ways. Secondly, I need to have scheduled during the month a time of evaluation/review. Run the tapes of the last 30 days and evaluate. Evaluated experience is the best teacher. Great advice and great resource. It can be purchased at www.churchleaderinsights.com.