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


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.

It’s My Birthday and Here’s What I Want

imgdjd It's my birthday

If you are a Christ follower, how much would it mean to you to know you were making a real difference in someone else’s life? To actually know that God used you to play a part in changing someone’s life, and that your generosity really can have an impact on others. No matter how much you have.

Because no matter how much you have to give, all of it ought to matter. It shouldn’t be that only those that have much can make a difference.

Like you, I’ve wrestled with those same thoughts. When I was in college living off ramen noodles and frozen pizza, I wondered if the churches or organizations I gave to could really use what I had given, and if it was really making much of a difference. But one thing I was sure of, I wanted to see other people’s lives impacted by Jesus the same way Jesus had impacted me.

Which is a driving force behind why we are planting New City Church. In fact, there is no more effective way to make a difference in the lives of those who don’t know the love of Jesus than church planting. Did you know that church plants are six to eight times more likely to reach unchurched people than established churches of the same size?

We are starting New City Church in order to play whatever part we can in seeing lives be changed by Jesus. And I want you to play a part in this as well.

Here is how you can play a big role in impacting people’s lives with the love of Jesus. My birthday is this month (May 14), and I want to give away my birthday to help move things forward in the process of planting New City Church. This month our desire is to raise $30,000 to put us in a position to begin making the necessary purchases and investments that it takes to start a church. Things like sound equipment, kids ministry supplies, and funds we can use to serve our city.

Will you help us reach our goal? If so, our promise to you is threefold.

  • We will keep you up to date on where we are at in the fundraising journey.
  • That nothing makes a bigger difference for God’s kingdom than church planting, and you will be a part of that.
  • We will (always) be completely transparent about the use of our funds. Should you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

So here is what I am asking you. Will you give to make this New City Church a reality? Will you give so that you can make a real difference in people’s lives? Over the years, if you have found my blog or anything I have done helpful to you, will you do the same for someone else? Someone that, because of your generosity, will be impacted by the love of Christ?

Here is what I can promise you when you participate in this goal of raising $30,000 in the month of May. Here’s what you will know:

  • That you played a significant role in changing other people’s lives.
  • That you honored God with what you have
  • That no matter how much you have, you used your resources for good
  • That you made a way for people to meet Jesus
  • That you played a part in something bigger than yourself

Jesus said that he came to give us life and life to the full, but that only happens if we follow him. There is no more effective way to reach people far from God than church planting, and nothing even comes close. So don’t miss out on bringing about life change for others. Don’t miss out in using whatever capacity you have for impacting others.

Will you help us raise $30,000 today?

The below link will take you to Lifepointe Church (where I am completing my church planting residency).

***After clicking the link, please be sure to change the giving reference to “New City Church – Dodson.” For the location, select “North Raleigh.”


4 Reasons It Was Better For Jesus To Leave


If you are a follower of Christ, chances are there have been times you wished Jesus were physically here. That way you could ask him questions and see what exactly he wants you to do in any number of situations or scenarios.

Yet Jesus tells us this in John 16:5-7,

But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

So here is the question that we must ask; how is it better for Jesus to leave?

Why Having Faith May Not Be Enough


There’s a story in John chapter 4 of Jesus meeting and engaging with a Samaritan woman at a well. This is significant because Jews despised Samaritans, and wanted nothing to do with them.

But Jesus being who he is, came to love, serve, and save people. Cultural customs of the day did not stop him from doing just that.

It’s a story about how, in the midst of this woman’s broken and shameful life, he loved her where she was at, in spite of it all. He exposed sin that was in her life, not to judge her, but to show her that what he had to offer was so much greater.

The 86 in 6 Campaign

3It’s been such a privilege to begin planning and preparing for the launch of New City Church. It’s been exciting to see those who have already jumped in wanting to be a part, as well as meeting with and talking to others about what we are doing.

As you probably know, there’s a lot that goes into starting a church, and the financial aspect is a big part of it. There’s simply a lot of up front costs that have to be taken care to get things off the ground. Things like all of the necessary start up equipment, advertising, staffing, etc.

And not only are we planting a church, but our desire is so much larger than New City itself. The vision of New City is huge. Our vision is to start a church planting movement so that we can be actively reaching 50,000 by the year 2040 through New City and the churches we plant. We want 50,000 people to hear and experience the love of Jesus in a local church community.

But we can’t do any of that apart from the help of people like you who can make this dream a reality.

So we are starting our 86 in 6 campaign of raising $86,000 in 6 months (by October).

How to Create God Stories


Everyone loves a good story. Our favorite movies tell good stories. Many of our favorite memories create good stories to tell.

We often judge the fullness of someone’s life based on the stories in their life. Maybe they fought in a war, took a risk to chase a dream and achieved it, have memories to share of things they did with their spouse and family.

These are the things we share at funerals. We share stories of experiences we had with him or her.

We all want to be a part of a good story.

Thoughts On The Road Ahead


Last night was our first interest meeting for New City Church. 37 of us gathered together to learn a little bit more about the vision, mission, and plans that we have. I am truly thankful for everyone who took the time to come out.

In some ways, it felt a bit surreal, we are finally doing this. Years of dreaming, praying, and preparing, and we are now starting on the journey of planting a church.

First New City Church Interest Meeting


I wanted to invite you to a very special and exciting step in the life of New City Church.

For those that follow along on my blog, you know that we are in the beginning stages of planting New City Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.

When is it?

As we begin this process, we are hosting are very first interest meeting for New City Church on Tuesday night,February 23rd, at 7 PM.

Who should come?

How Finley Reminds Me of the Christian Life


Apparently when babies learn to crawl, they start by scooting backwards rather than forwards. I am learning this as our daughter Finley is getting to this stage. So when she is reaching for a toy just out of reach, as she tries to move towards it she actually gets further away.

So goes the life of a baby. Every time they learn new things, it comes through struggle and frustration. I remember when she was learning to put a pacifier in her mouth all by herself; she couldn’t just place it right in her mouth. Instead she would rub it all around the area of her mouth until she got it in. Of course that was only half the battle, as once she got it in she didn’t know how to release her hand from it so when she moved her hand the paci popped out of her mouth, and thus the battle continued.