A Personal Update on Church Planting

personalupdatecp

How are things going?

I am asked that a lot right now. We are in a unique time right now as we prepare to start New City Church. There is a lot to prepare for; things that are exciting and things that make you anxious. You feel pretty much every emotion when planting a church.

I have been hesitant to write about how I have been feeling and how things have been going because I fear how it may come across. There have been times in the past where I read posts by others planting churches, and though I know they didn’t mean it, to me they came across as either one or two ways.

There Is Nothing Fun About It

DYLAN BLOG Template Graphic

Patience is hard. I’m not sure I know anyone who would say “patience” is one of their strengths. There’s nothing fun about it.

It’s not like being generous, because it does warm our hearts to know we helped another. Or being someone who serves others well. Even when it is hard or inconvenient, you still feel the joy of blessing someone else. List any of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (queue the “fruits of the spirit song” that is now going through your heard if you grew up a part of a youth group).

Do You Have a Social Media Policy for Your Kids?

Social Media BANNER graphic (1)

What do you do when someone posts something online of one of your kids that you don’t like? Do you ask them to take it down? Just untag yourself from it and hope no one really sees it? Do nothing and hope it doesn’t happen again?

Maybe you’re afraid if you say something it will cause tension between you and the person who posted it? What if it’s your spouse who posts something you aren’t comfortable with? Yet they think it is perfectly fine.

More than ever, I think it is important to have a social media policy in place concerning what you will and will not allow to be posted online.

Questions for God

Questions for God Graphic_Facebook Header

This summer we are doing a different an exciting bible study/summer teaching series on some of the most asked questions many today have for God. Below are our topics and schedule, everything is on Tuesday nights at 7 PM. We would love to have you join us!

Questions for God

6/21 – What is God’s design for sex?

6/28 – What does God want with my money?

7/5 – Hangout night

7/12 – How does my faith intersect with my work?

7/19 – How should I handle doubts about God?

7/26 – Why does God allow so much suffering?

8/2 – Week off

8/9 – Aren’t all religions basically the same?

8/16 – Can a loving God really send people to hell?

8/23 – How would God want me to vote?

8/30 – How does God view suicide?

9/6 – If God loves me unconditionally, does it matter how I live my life?

How God Can Use Me

how-god (1)

Let’s revisit the quote we used at the beginning of all of this.

God has given you everything you need to reach the people God has called you to reach. (Craig Groeschel)

As the objections begin to roll in about all the ways that statement isn’t true, remember, God hasn’t called you to reach everybody. God hasn’t given you everything you need to reach everyone, but rather he has given you everything you need for the few in your life you can impact.

But remember, God uses the humble and the faithful. Being used by God requires you doing things before you know the end result, which is why so many stop before they ever start. Thinking “I’ll do whatever God wants me to do, as long as I know the end result beforehand.” Unfortunately, that’s not how faith works.

Want to be used by God? Ask yourself these three simple questions:

I Think God Could Use Me

i-think

Not only am I about to share what you need to do for God to use you, I’ll also show you his will for your life. I know I know, you’re really excited now. Two questions you’ve wanted to know all your life are about to get answered. You’re welcome. Here’s how…

We’ve seen that God uses ordinary people to work through. It’s God who makes them great, not their own doing.

So how can God use you?

Why Would God Use Me?

why-would

Growing up I can remember my dad taking my older brother and I to work on “take you child to work day.” He worked at IBM back when IBM was like the Duke basketball of computer companies (because obviously Duke is the best team ever).

We would go with him, and walk around a bit in the morning and meet some of his coworkers. He had a L-shaped desk, where my brother and I would then play some computer game as he tried to get some work done.

Can God Really Use Me?

can-god (1)

God has given you everything you need to reach the people God has called you to reach. (Craig Groeschel)

Very inspiring. At least that’s how that quote sounds. God has given you everything you need to make a difference in the lives of every single person he has called you to impact.

But here’s the problem, you don’t really believe that, do you? That right now, this very second, you can close your computer or put your phone back in your pocket, and change the world. Maybe not change the world in the sense that the whole world will literally shift because of you, but at least change the world of someone around you. That because of you, they not only change, but also change for the better.

Let’s be honest, you’ve got enough issues of your own. Surely you need to get yourself together a little bit more before you can help someone else. Right? Not to mention the possibility of God himself actually using you.

That’s funny right.

God.

God using you.

God using you to change the world.

It’s getting more and more unrealistic each time you think about it. God using me. Before you get tired of reading that let’s do a quick Bible quiz (sorry, no gold star if you the right answer).

In the entire Bible, how many people do you think God used because of their faithfulness or goodness or because they were really gifted?

Now I don’t know what you’re guess is, but I’m fairly confident you’re wrong. You’re thinking too high. Here’s the answer:

Maybe one.

As far as we can tell, God only used one person because he was an all around good dude. His name was Noah from Noah from the story of Noah’s Ark. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord and was a righteous man. Although if you read the whole story even he made some questionable decisions.

Here’s the thing, most of the time when God moves, he does it through ordinary people. Sure we look back on the things that Abraham, Moses, or king David did and they did some pretty impressive things. Yet at the same time when you read their stories, you find times of cowardice, dishonesty, even murder.

Jesus’ disciples were no different. They were all average guys with average lives. In fact, some were the worst of the worst.

One of his disciples, Matthew, was a tax collector. Which in that time meant that he stole from his own Jewish people to give money to the government so that they could oppress and rule over his family and those he grew up with. Why would God use him? It certainly was not because he deserved it.

Then there is the apostle Paul who killed Christians before he became one. He only went on to write two-thirds of the New Testament.

God used all of them.

Why? Because God uses ordinary people to accomplish his mission. He doesn’t have to, and he certainly doesn’t need to. But he does.

But why would God use you?


Check back tomorrow to find the answer to that question. This is part one of a four part series looking at the question of whether or not God can use you. I’ll be posting one part a day everyday this week. Or if is more convenient for you, you can go ahead download the whole series in a PDF here.

You’re Not Doing God Any Favors

Favors (1)

There’s a big difference between doing something out of obligation, and doing something because you want to do it.

When we do something out of obligation, two things are true. One we don’t really want to do it, and two, it’s not something we would normally choose to do on our own.

Here’s what I mean. I make the bed every most mornings. If I were a single man, this would not be the case. But I’m not a single man, and my wife likes things to be neat and clean. So I make the bed not because I want to, but because I love my wife and it makes her happy.

The Real Reason You May Not Believe in God

THE REASON YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE IN GOD

Well that’s a pretty bold title. There are billions of people on this planet with all sorts of different backgrounds and beliefs, and here I am claiming to know the real reason why you don’t believe in God.

You’re right, I can’t know if this is the real reason, but I really do think it is. If not, it’s got to be one of the main reasons.

But here’s the thing, I could just come out and say what the reason is, but I don’t think you’ll believe me. So let me try and convince you first.