Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I am currently reading The Breakthrough Company: How everyday companies become extraordinary performers. Chapter 3 discusses the topic of "Crowning the Company." These are great questions all Pastors must ask themselves: "Is your company building something that is far greater than the leader?" (p. 28) "Visit Roger Staubach in his office and you'll notice that something is missing-practically anything relating to football. Ask him why and he'll tell you, 'It's because we are building something here that is bigger than Roger Staubach.'" The chapter goes on to show keys to crowning the company are 1) Crown the customer first 2) Aim high 3) Avoid the trappings of corporate royalty 4) Shift from commander to coach 5) Don't let loyalty become a liability 6) Encourage chaotic communication (i.e. do you have an open door policy?) 7) Cut people in on the action (i.e. take care of your people).
Ridgeview Church is so much bigger than her Pastor. I want us to speak of the purpose for which we labor and take the focus off of me. John the Baptist said something about that didn't he? "He (Jesus) must increase, I must decrease."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yesterday I spent the day at the Cliff's Valley clubhouse as part of a Pastor's mentoring network I'm a part of led by Dr. Ken Hemphill. Our guest Pastor for the morning was Dr. Don Wilton of First Baptist Church Spartanburg. Don is from South Africa and he has one of those accents that keeps your attention even if he read the back of a cereal box. Fortunately, he gave us something more substantive. Right before lunch Jim Anthony, CEO and founder of the Cliff's, dropped by to say hello and welcome us. Jim is a Christ follower who really wants to help Pastors. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for making this opportunity available to us.
Here are some key thoughts I gathered from Dr. Wilton:
*Preaching is the power of God through an individual personality.
*Your conversion, your call, and your commitment to Christ means when you preach you fear no man but God.
*There is nothing more important than the preaching ministry in your church- a weak pulpit is a weak church.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I just finished the book mentioned above. The premise of this book: "The secret to winning and keeping customers is to reward them." Ok, as a Pastor I don't look at the people in my church as "customers." But, there is much to be applied here. Our staff team and volunteers work hard to reward those who may be first timers or long term attenders at Ridgeview Church. It comes with inspiring worship services, relationship building, opportunities for spiritual growth and service, and events each month to be outward focused in our community. In fact, tonight I received a call from a man in our church who had just come home from one of our Growth Groups led by Rob & Sandra Smith. He was rewarded by going tonight and wanted to call and let me know how much he and his wife enjoyed it. He's one satisfied Christ follower tonight. My goal is for everyone in our church and community to experience the rewards of knowing Christ and serving Him. I believe it don't get no better than that!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Make Us One

This Sunday Pastor Craig Groeschel from will be speaking at Ridgeview by means of video. He will continue the message series begun last week called "One Prayer." Craig is the originator of this campaign that is seeing many churches around the country and world take part. Pastor Craig will deliver a powerful and humorous message. His "one prayer" for the church is that God would "Make us one."

Pastor Craig shared a humorous story about someone telling him they heard their pastor say his church waters down the gospel. I had someone in my church a few years ago tell me a fellow Pastor in our area state that Ridgeview is fine for people if "all they want to do is show up on Sunday morning." This same Pastor stated about my church, "They do things differently over there." He wasn't being complimentary.

We as Christ followers can do so much more when we are united rather than divided. It is my prayer that as a Pastor I will always have a spirit of cooperation and unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ and the sister churches in my area. It isn't about competition; it's about cooperation. We have a common enemy! Imagine what we could do if we Pastors and churches focused on doing battle with him with the full armor of God rather than focusing on lesser issues.

With that thought I'm going to bed. Good night!

Monday, June 02, 2008

O'Neal Village: Future Home of Ridgeview Church

This past Sunday I shared with our people the good news that Ridgeview Church has officially found a home. Jeff Randolph, the developer of O'Neal Village, has graciously agreed to give our church two acres in which to build a church! We will be nestled in a mixed use commerical/residential development known as O'Neal Village. The development will have shops as well as office space. We will build the church basically on the corner of the town center square. I am delighted about this opportunity. One day our church facility will be in the middle of people going about their daily lives playing, eating, shopping, etc. This is exactly where we want to be- among people! I believe we will have an incredible opportunity to splash people everyday by showing people love and sharing how they can experience His purpose for their lives. Thanks Jeff Randolph for giving us a wonderful gift. It is an answer to prayer! Five years ago I had no idea what course Ridgeview would take. It's neat to see the doors God's Hand has opened for us. "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 4:20-21 NIV)