So starting in the month of February I am going to be recording once a month a podcast for dads. Single dads, married dads, divorced dads, future dads, empty nest dads, and mentor dads of kids in your community. So once that I have the podcast location and have the logo I will be posting the information for you start tuning in. But what I want to do is invite you to share with me here in the comments section any questions that you might have about being a dad. It is my hope that we can together discover and recover some of the amazing things that are to be done as a dad with and for our kids.
List below any questions or thought that you think would be good to cover on a podcast for dads. Because we are going to Dare U 2 Dad!
When you get done with being in a church experience or service do you ask yourself the question, “What did I get out of this?” Hope you think about something.
It is my hope that I can help you change your perspective about answering that question. To be honest we should be really asking the question but the idea should be more about “How is Jesus speaking to me and what am I going to do in response to what He is telling me?”
So I want to challenge you with some things that can prepare you to answer that question above:
- Choose to really get into the singing. That’s right really sing out! Don’t worry about what anyone is thinking about your singing if you are seeking to honor God with you singing it shouldn’t matter. You don’t care about it when you are at a concert do you? Well don’t care when you are in service either.
- Come ready to hear and share stories that you have experienced when it comes to be being a part of a church family. This is a chance for encouragement and for life change as you become a healthier follower of Jesus.
- Be hungry to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Because being hungry is your choice as to what you experience! So pray for the person that is speaking, ask God to use them to speak into your life, to those that are sitting around you, and that lives would be changed by the gospel.
- Come prepared to be involved. Make sure you have a bible (paper or digital) get your program ready and make sure you write out notes. The notes will help you through out the week when it comes to working out what Jesus is doing in you and through you. Who knows the Holy Spirit might really use it to nudge in you a specific direction.
- Come expecting to respond to what God is doing that day both during the experience and later as you walk through what you have learned. Be ready to take it back out into life.
- Come knowing that this is not where you are going to have a strong sense of community. Remember that comes through being in a more relational driven group. (Smaller)
- Come knowing that the experience is the beginning of the week and that the experience is not the end of be all to your spiritual health. Take the experience and use it to grow more personally. Spiritual growth happens in many other ways then just on Sunday.
What are some ways that you get ready for a service or experience when you are a part of a church community? Help us see other options that are out there.
We see celebrations happen every weekend. We see football players soak their coaches after a big win. We see college fans rush the court after their basketball team accomplishes a big win. Soccer fans will line the streets of their cities after there is a win at the World Cup. Businesses have a salesman ring a bell once they have made a sale. (Watched this when my daughter bought her first car.) So why is it that the church community does this so poorly? Why is that celebration has been reduced to a simple AMEN? Why is it that when we see God do something amazing in the lives of people that we keep it quiet? Why is it that when the church team accomplishes something together we receive grief from other followers of Jesus for sharing and celebrating?
Well one of the things that I have learned over the last five years of starting a church is that CELEBRATION matters. That is right we need to celebrate more of the things that are happening in and through our church teams. This last weekend some people at Elevation chose to celebrate a great day at Elevation where 15 people said, “Yes to a relationship with Jesus” by dumping confetti over my head. (Thank you for not using Gatorade) over the top of my head. It was something that was really awesome! I was touched as the pastor of Elevation to celebrate what had happened in our church. We all know that God is the one that made the life change happen. But the people (Wendy & Marissa) chose to celebrate that day by doing something that we see every week in sports. We had people watching that were just checking out Jesus and His church, they all cheered and laughed. But then it created conversations about why that happened. We all were able to share with them that we were celebrating what Jesus is doing in the lives of people. To which one man that I talked with said, “I love that you guys have fun celebrating! I have never seen this in a church before.” To which I thought, WHY?
Maybe this week I can challenge you to think about how you celebrate. Maybe it is celebrating something in your marriage. Maybe it is celebrating something that has happened in your kids lives. Maybe it is celebrating something that has happened in your work. Maybe if you are a church volunteer or leader celebrating something in your church. We can throw parties, give gifts, send thank you’s, and maybe dump confetti over someone’s head. But let’s take the challenge this week what and how we celebrate.
Last week we celebrated Christmas all over the world and for many people that meant going to Christmas Eve church services. As a pastor of a church I often think about how important that these services can be for people that during the season will come and check out church. I mean if you are involved with volunteering at a church or on staff you have probably seen the investment that comes with getting ready for Christmas Eve. There are decorations, there is lighting, there is sound, the right songs, cookies, people dressed up for Christmas, and stuff for the kids. All of these things are not bad and they can be important for what you are doing at Christmas time. But this year I saw something that has challenged and changed my heart.
You see this year as we were all getting ready that night for Christmas Eve services at our church in Aurora. There were things that really caught my attention you see we had some places that didn’t have enough volunteers, there were some places that didn’t have the right volunteers, heck can I be honest there were places that didn’t have any volunteers. So as I was trying to figure out how to handle the volunteer issue I do what so many other pastors do in this case, I voluntold my son to help me out. Which he did with out a question, ok maybe with one question. Why? I told him that he is in the best place to make a difference during our Christmas Eve services. These words were so true, more than I would have ever known.
You see we had a man show up right about the time I was getting ready to go on stage to speak that was high and very drunk. We do live in CO so the high part is never a shock but the drunk part well that was hard for us all to see. So I as walked on stage I saw one of our elders, my son along and his college friend start to deal with this man. At least that is what I thought.
The truth of the matter is that they took some amazing time to care for this man. What my son shared with me was that this man had just walked in because he saw all the people walking in and heard the music. He told my son that he was feeling lost and so lonely that he thought I might as well walk in there. My son, his friend, and our elder gave him something to eat (cookies are important), then gave him a cup of coffee, and talked with him. Even helped him walk into the auditorium for a chance to hear silent night and watch the candles being lit, after he had fallen twice just trying to sit in a chair in our lobby area.
So when the service was over I came out to meet people and make sure everything was going ok. Well the man had wanted to go have a smoke in the parking lot (nothing new at this church), so my son and his friend went with him. Out there he shared with my son that he had been smoking weed all day and had been drinking with different people he knew all day. That he was lonely and just hurting. Then my son told me the man then proceeded to vomit up the cookies and the coffee. All the while my son stood with him and made sure that he was ok, even patting him on the back as he got sick. The man being very embarrassed, put out his smoke, hugged my son said thank you for listening and caring then walked away towards the street. My son and his friend followed the man to the street making sure that he was safe as he disappeared up the street into the darkness.
My son came back and told me how bad he felt for that man and that he was sorry that they couldn’t have done more.
To be honest as a father and pastor I have never been more proud of my son, our elder, and his friend. Because the truth of the matter is that in many other places and yes churches this man would have been seen as a problem and a nuisance. But on this Christmas Eve he was cared for he was fed and he was invited in to see and hear about the birth of Jesus. So what challenged and changed for me this Christmas Eve? I have always thought about making sure that we are prepared for the people that are coming to check out church. But in all honesty I have never thought about the people that might literally stumble into our church. So it challenged me to start thinking about the people that stumble in that are in need for something other then a church service, especially on Christmas Eve. It has changed me because as I stood on the stage and talked about how the shepherds that came and found Jesus were the outsiders in the community. We had the exact same thing going on right in our lobby. It has changed me because I want us to think about how we can have Christmas Eve services for those that are high, stumbling drunk, and lonely this next year. It changed me because of what an amazing man my son has become and how he cares for the people that no one else wants to care for in this world. It changed me because the elder of our church could have really been more worried about getting the guy out of the building instead of caring for him. He cared for him. It changed me because my sons friend who I know is struggling with the question of faith watched faith in action.
If this would have happened at your church how do you think people would have responded? What can you do next Christmas Eve to make sure that your community of faith is ready for the high, the stumbling drunk, and the lonely that might show up?
At Elevation on October 6th we celebrated our Third Anniversary as a church in Aurora. It was a great day where we talked about what has happened in the life and people of Elevation and what is going to come. It is on that day we revealed the “Advance The Line” campaign. We are preparing and planning to engage 1000 people in the next year. It is a goal that is way above any thing that we could possibly do on our own and is only going to happen because God shows up. Much like when Gideon went into battle, with only a kazoo and a flashlight. (My twist to the story.)
So what does “Advance The Line” mean. When a battle is being fought there is always a line that is to be crossed. That when men used to fight they would draw a line in the sand and then they would be asked to tow the line. The line is a figurative way for us to remember that the kingdom of heaven is forcefully advancing. (Matthew 11:12)
Here is what the “Advance The Line” campaign looks like and then how you can help to be a part of this advancing line:
- The development of storefront or warehouse property where Elevation can be seen as permanent in the community. Unfortunately there are too many church starts that are coming and going in Aurora and people are noticing, especially people that don’t go to church. (Why should I go to your church? You won’t be here in a year any way.)
- We are going to plant a Spanish speaking campus right along with Elevation. We are going to call it Elevation Espanol and it is going to work in conjunction with Elevation to engage people so they experience life change in Jesus. There are currently 70,000 documented Spanish speaking people in Aurora and approximately another 50,000 undocumented Spanish speaking people. They all need to hear about the radical grace of Jesus.
- We want to reach students and their families in a new way. So we are along with the help of another church in the state going to start a driving school. If you want to reach people that no one else is reaching you need to do things that no one else is doing. (Don’t know who said that.)
- It is our hope to have an inflatables business where we are involved in the parties and events of the community. We have already been blessed by a church that is given us four inflatables. We hope to call this business “E-flatables” and use this business to spend time and develop relationships with people all around the city.
- Then finally have in the campaign to begin the process of having a fitness gym. Our hope is to call it “Elevation Fitness”. We want to let people know that we care about them physically, mentally, and spiritually. All with the hope of building a bridge through a relationship with people so they can experience life change in Jesus.
This is the “Advance The Line” campaign and it is an audacious and huge plan to engage people so they experience life change in Jesus. It is our hope that not only will we be able to reach people but that we will see God move through this in such a way that we can help other church planters and plants see the possibilities of reaching people this way. But we are raising support to get all this going. So if you are reading this and this is something that you are interested in supporting financially then here is how you can do that. You can click on the link ADVANCE and it will enable you to give online to the “Advance The Line” campaign. If you would like more information on this courageous endeavor then please feel free to email me here firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to share with you more.
What are some things that you are praying about doing that is going to “Advance The Line” where you are living?
One of the things that we like to do at Elevation is give things away. We also like to challenge creative people to do creative things. So at Elevation this month we are inviting bands and performers to make music videos and share those with us for cash prizes. I would like to encourage you to share with others this website so that they can send us a video for this contest. (Rocktober)
But if you want to really see something that we hope will get you to laughing and encourage others to get in the contest watch the video below. We are ready to ROCK!
“Have a ROCKING good day!” Garth.
Here is a great way that a very creative person put together thoughts about today. Today is the day that Jesus gave His life for us. A day that has changed my life forever, how about you?
Remember life is not about waiting for a funeral but living everyday as it is a PARTY!