Reflecting on 2011 — part three

I do hope you’re taking time to reflect on your own life and family during this important week. Obviously, since this is my blog and housed here at the church’s website, I’ve decided to use my reflection posts to talk about the church and how we’re all progressing together.

For my final 2011 reflection (on the blog) I wanted to talk a little about leadership. While we chose “leadership development” as a key initiative in August of 2011 — it didn’t start there. Actually part of it came as we made some major revisions to the constitution this past June. One of those revisions was to ask the elders to play a more active role in the development and presenting of future elders. This was a huge shift in the way things were done. It used to be the elders had very little role in future elders, it was all left to the elder nominating committee. However in our current reality, the elders are being asked to invest in various people throughout the church. And I have to tell you – it’s been going great so far. Many men have been invited to sit in on elder/ staff meetings and then are followed up on for frank discussions and interaction on what we do, how we can do it better and seeking to ascertain how God is working in the lives of the individual men who come. It’s a process where we’re seeking God’s men – inviting many and letting God determine how we’ll proceed.

read more

Reflecting on 2011 — part 2

In part one we looked at the messages God has given us this past year. I invited you to think back and see if there were any messages that God maybe tried to send a few different ways? What was God trying to say to you? What is He still seeking to communicate to you?
Today we think about our church.

It’s been an amazing year. Our focus as leaders has been and continues to be “connection”. We’ve realized that there are lots of people who come to Grace to attend a service, but that is where their connection ends. So we’ve sought to build friendships, create environments like our “welcome desserts”; “catalysts” and “small groups” where natural connections can form. We just felt like we don’t want to go and seek to find others who aren’t here yet before we take care of who is here. And we’ve seen a lot of growth and progress in this area and the plans are continuing.

read more

Reflecting on 2011 — part 1

This is a key time of year for reflection, yet I’m amazed how few of us actually do it. What I mean is pausing to think back over the last 12 months and pull together some themes, trends, reasons to celebrate and areas for growth. So I want to invite you, to join me in some time of reflection. Check back over the next few days as new parts to this will be added including some of my thoughts on the state of Grace Church, and what might be ahead for us all. But for today…

Let’s talk about you. First a few things I’ve noticed about God (don’t worry it will tie in to you in a second, just keep reading). It seems like God tends to speak and work with those who are listening and moving. He is very kind and while I believe He will shake us at points to get our attention, I found He speaks most freely with those who invite Him to do so. Secondly, and maybe this is just me, but I find God repeats Himself — what I mean is I think I’m too dense sometimes to get what He wants me to get and so He needs to say it many times and through various people and circumstances (again maybe it’s just me). So all that being said — take a moment and reflect back on this year. When you were listening, what was God bringing to your attention? Maybe it was a few sermons that connected to a point in your life, maybe it was a small group discussion or a book you read. I’d like to invite you to reply to this blog post and share a few highlights, what were some of those reminders or new thoughts from God this year?

read more

Guest Blog: a better version of you– TJ Addington

Many of you know that one of my coaches lately has been TJ Addington, I love his books and his experience/ wisdom with leadership and ministry has been so helpful. He has given me permission to share thoughts from his blog over here on this blog. So without further ado, here is a recent post from TJ on “a better version of you, courtesy of the holy spirit” :

Most of us would like a better version of us. I grow tired of my impatience with others knowing how patient God is with me. I desire a deeper joy, knowing that God has given me so much. I wish to eradicate unkindness from my vocabulary and attitudes having experienced the kindness of Jesus on a daily basis. I want harshness in any form to give way to gentleness and my tendency to act in ways that hurt myself or others to give way to self control. And, for peace to reign in my heart regardless of my circumstances. Yes, I want a better version of me.

read more

I’m not really into baby Jesus

I really enjoy Christmas. I love seeing my kids smile. I love drinking coffee and talking with my wife. I even enjoy seeing the extended family. But I’m not really into baby Jesus.

Let me explain. The Christmas story is great, I love hearing it. As a pastor I continually face the challenge of finding a new angle or something to pull out of it, but that’s even fine. But for me Christmas and my faith are not really about the baby. For me it’s the baby that was born to grow up to be my Savior that is the real message. Now to be fair, the title of this blog was meant as an attention grabber. And sure the beauty of the incarnation (God becoming man) is pretty powerful and amazing. However, sometimes I think we put so much emphasis on the baby and no room in the inn and a stable and wisemen/ shepherds that we could be danger of forgetting what the story is really about. It’s about a Savior that has been born to us and for us! Jesus came not to lie in swaddling clothes but to die on a cross for the sins of you and me. He came not to receive some frankincense and mir but to receive the worship and commitment of people like you and me.

read more

Participate in Making the Difference THIS SUNDAY!

While we don’t want to be one more voice in a sea of voices asking for money at this time of year. I do believe strongly in the church (generally/ universally) and I do believe strongly in this church, Grace Church Roseville and not only what’s been done but the future before us. God has chosen the church to be His force in the world today — the church represents Jesus to the world and engages in true transformation not just of the temporary needs of real people but the eternal needs as well.

read more

Do Something!

It happens to me all the time: an old friend who I’ve been wanting to call, a letter to write, a task to complete, a conversation to have. They all get delayed. I come up with various excuses. “I don’t have enough time.” “I don’t know exactly what to say.” “I need more facts.” But lately, as I’ve thought about making a difference, I’m realizing that doing something is better than sitting there fretting or coming up with yet more reasons not to do it. So here’s what I’ve tried. When I have 5 minutes before my next appointment I write an email or even part of one. I’ll make a phone call or chip away at a task. I am amazed how many things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time are finally getting done and the only thing that has changed is my desire to do something.

read more