Jul 28, 2008

In San Fransico

I am about an hour south of San Fransisco in the Redwood forest speaking this week at a Family Camp. Wow, this is some kind of beautiful weather. I left 90+ degree weather for 50s in the morning and 70s for the high here. The people at the Redwood Christian Camp are really great.

If you think about it pray that God anoints my speaking this week. I want God to move.

I am currently sitting in a coffee House and the 40 year old guy near me just told the owner that he may need to smoke a joint tonight to go to sleep. Welcome to the Redwood Forest area of California.

Reports to come.

Jul 24, 2008

Our Volunteers Rock

PC has the best volunteers. Every church has volunteers but not every church has volunteers that get it. At PC we do!

Last night we had our first volunteer appreciation event called Full Throttle. It was a night to party with and love on our volunteers. It was cool!

Here is how the night went for all you church planters who read blogs like this for ideas
--we had the "Pit Party" from 6-6:30. Chips and salsa
--Dinner started at 6:30
--We had a wii and a xbox360 set up among racing decorations.
--the program started at 7:00
--I welcomed and expressed appreciation
--Greg (worship dude) came and did a version of "don't forget the lyrics" very funny
--then slide/video of where we have come from over the past year -ended with the song God of this City -very moving
--Each staff gave out full throttle awards like the grammys. The award was the energy drink Full Throttle.
--I came up and gave a short vision talk
--We ended by having a drawing for an ipod touch. At the beginning of the night we gave everyone a slip of paper and wrote their name at the top and asked them to write down the name of everyone they talked to. At the end of the night the 20 who had the most names put their slip in a jar and we drew for the ipod. It got people talking to each other. Very cool.

Thanks to my amazing staff for getting it all together.

Jul 22, 2008

brudened but grateful

I often hear of a young pastor being frustrated, hounded, and criticized by a few people of their church. Many of these men were young men in my previous college ministry. They all gave up a lot to lead their church, sacrificed for the church, and worked harder than anyone could imagine. These churches have put an expectation on these men that no one but Christ could live up to, and then sliced them with whispering tongues.

I have seen first hand how people who claim the name of Christ can ignore so much of scripture in how they respond and treat others, especially pastors. It gets me fired up and gets me angry. I am very proud of these men, instead of fighting they resigned so as not to hurt the church. They are left to trust God to take care of them and their family, that is very cool to me. I would love to bring them to Macon to work with me at PC.

I have to say that I don't have this issue at Piedmont. I work along some of the greatest people on the planet. The staff is great, and to my amazement they understand the need to protect the pastor. They are truly the wind beneath my wings and I am so grateful. Thanks guys and keep up the good work!

Jul 18, 2008

Changed lives is the goal

I am getting so excited about our new building and how this fall we are going to call on all who attend PC to commit to make it happen. Our building and the campaign we will have is not about bricks and mortar, it is not buying a building. It is about changing lives.

The building is just a tool to make life change happen. A very big tool, but the building is not the goal...life change is. We must never lose sight of that. We must never become a church that builds or purchases buildings just for our pleasure. Time is too short and our window of opportunity to change lives of those far from God is what is most important.

Yes, I want you to pray about your role in making this building a reality in both your serving and your giving. You guys are the most awesome people who are making PC the most awesome church.

Jul 11, 2008

Holy and Hip

I have a new friend. She is a teenage girl named Kennedy Bruce. She is the daughter of a friend and coach on Colton's All-star team. She told her dad recently that I am "Holy and Hip." I love that. I would hope that by "holy" she means that she sees some of the character of Christ in the way I live (I have so far to go in that) and by "hip" I hope she means relevant.

I think that should be the definition of the church today -Holy and Hip, or said another way...publicly living the character God in a way that seems relevant to those around. It is my passion that Piedmont is passionate about helping people pursue the character of God in a way that is relevant to their everyday life. That is what Jesus did when he was on earth. I guess you can say that Piedmont Church is striving to be like Jesus Christ, to be holy and hip.

Jul 9, 2008

this bothered me

I read something today that bothered me and it should bother you as well.

I read that 50,000 people die each day without a relationship with Jesus.

Read that line again.

Now just think on that a little. Every single day the Kingdom loses 50,000 people.

Imagine if you lost 50,000 dollars a day in your business...What would you do?

I bet you would change some things. I believe that it is time that we change some things.

In Hebrews 9:27 it tell us that we are destine to die and then we face judgment. That is it, Game Over. 50,000 people a day face that judgment without forgiveness.

So what are you going to do about it? You may ask, "I am one person, what can I do?" You help change things one life at a time. It starts with you focusing on the people around you who would be a part of that 50,000 if they died today. Invest in them, serve them, forgive them, and invite them to come with you to Piedmont Church. God wants to use you in their life.

Christianity must not become a self-focused group of people, but a burden people who hurt for the 50,000 everyday and work hard to shrink that number.

It is time for you and me to do our part.

Jul 8, 2008

Things that hit me

--I loved Sunday. I had someone tell me that they had never had the Lord Supper come so alive and mean so much to them. That was our goal.

--The acoustic set Greg and the band did was awesome.

--I met some really cool people

--We did some planning last week and we are making plans to help people in need around the city amongst several other things.

--Greg and Curt are going to be a much needed addition to our team.

--In the last 9 months we have together -given $6,000 to a orphanage in China, twice gathered several hundred pounds of food for the hungry, sent out two teams to help tornado victims, and have more projects in the making. Not Bad for a church that is less than a year old.

--I still can not believe that we are buying a Shopping Center. God is awesome!

--You guys are so cool in your serving, your giving, and you inviting. KEEP INVITING is is our lifeblood.

Jul 2, 2008

Dominate Defined

Over the past few months you have heard me say, "I want to dominate this city with the love and grace of Jesus Christ." But what does that mean? Let me explain.

I remember walking through the ruins of an old city in Israel. We can upon a huge rock formation that looked like the old city gates of Christ's days. During the time of Christ this formation was the hotbed of pagan worship. Thousands of people would come to worship in pagan temples. I remember standing there at the very place where Jesus walked amongst a lot of people who were far from God. Jesus didn't run away from the pagans, prostitutes, murderers, thieves, and irreligious...no, he ran to them. Imagine the disciples standing there looking at all the idol worship, all the prostitution, all the ungodly behavior that was so popular and accepted. They must have been so overwhelmed. It was in this environment that Jesus says, "The gates of Hell will not prevail" against the church.

Now think about that phrase, "Gates of Hell." Gates are a defensive not an offensive weapon. Gates were used to keep a city from being overwhelmed. Jesus tells us that Hell is to be on the defense...his church should be on the offensive. We are not to retreat but to DOMINATE. We are to believe that God longs to do some God-size things in and through us. We are to work hard to find ways to love people, grow people, feed people, heal people, and dominate this city with the best weapons we have...love, grace, and encouragement.

It is my passion for all of us who attend Piedmont to not give up on our families, our office, our friends, and this city. We will "dominate" when we all love like there is no tomorrow, invest in those who are around us, give of ourselves to better someone else, and when we never stop inviting others to come with us to Piedmont. That is what it means to "dominate." It is not about becoming the cool church or the "better" church but it is beating hell in this city and becoming a church where constant life change is a reality.

Jul 1, 2008


I am at Saint Simons on a staff advance (because we never retreat), and some of the things that people wear...it is amazing. I am assuming that most condo must not have mirrors because there is no way they saw themselves before they made all of us see them. I do not know if I should feel sorry for them of admire their self confidence.