At the beginning of this year I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to the important areas of my life. I made the decision to be disciplined when it comes to my health, my life with Jesus, my wife, my leadership and my writing. (at least this writing) I had come to the realization that over the last couple of years that I had allowed stress, laziness, and other people’s priorities to take over how I was living life. It is amazing how easy this can happen, especially when you have not decided to be disciplined with your life.
So when it comes to my health I have decided to get up every morning and work out. In fact the goal that I have set is to workout at least 4 days a week. I had my son who is a personal trainer (you can hire him fright here on twitter @tjbloyer32) design a workout for me that helps me lose weight and gives me energy. Through this I have realized that when it comes to being a follower of Jesus that when my health gives that my ability to serve Jesus better and stronger. I also understand that when it comes to my health that it is a place that I can worship God.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (NLT) 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
So I have decided to honor God with my body and be disciplined to work out and eat healthy. Being disciplined is a decision and today you to can make the decision to live a disciplined life. It’s not going to be easy and there are going to be those moments where you are going to want to fall back into old habits, (sleep in that’s me) but you have made a decision to be disciplined so work hard.
What are the areas of your life that you need to make a priority and decide to be disciplined in today? What are you going to do to make things change?
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.
Each week I get to be a part of something amazing. I am fortunate that over three years ago this last week that God called us to start Elevation here in Aurora. So this morning just like I have for the last three years I got up and went to a school and helped other Elevation Team-mates get things ready for our experiences. But there was something different about this morning at least for me:
- I saw our band there and excited about the possibilities of the morning with a new song.
- I heard people talking about the friends and family members that they invited to Elevation.
- I met people that had not been to church since they were kids but felt they needed to be at Elevation for something new.
- I spoke with Dream Team members at Elevation that are excited about the part they get to play in reaching people.
- I saw God move on the hearts of people that were able to understand that coming together and worshipping Him is an exciting and powerful thing.
Each week at Mrachek Middle School I get to be a part of something amazing. What if each week you were amazed at being a part of what you do? What if you were confident that what you were doing is what God had called and prepared you to do? Don’t you think that would change your view point?
What do you need to do this week to find out what you can do to make that happen?
A couple of Sunday mornings ago I was just wrecked by what we found on the top of these stairs at Mrachek Middle School. You see it was a typical Sunday morning for me, I got up early. Took out the street signs for the church that morning, praying over each sign as I put it in place. Then I drove back to the school and begin helping the different teams that we have setting up for the experiences that we offer at Mrachek Middle School as a portable church. There was the typical conversations going on over the music that we have playing while things are getting put into place. I have to be honest it is really fun to be with every one while they are setting up. But then Morgan my daughter came over to me and said, “Dad I found something when I was taking out the trash. There are feet sticking out at the top of the stairs outside the school.”
With that comment I immediately went walking very quickly to where she had seen the feet. I told her to stay at the bottom of the stairs and told her if I tell you to get help do it quickly. So as I cautiously walked up the stairs I noticed that it was not just one set of feet but two. I noticed that there was a bike leaning against the wall at the top and that there as I cleared the top stair were two high school aged boys laying there.
My first thought and pray was please God don’t let them be dead, because the way they were laying was very odd. So I quietly as not to startle them said, “Hey Guys are you okay?” There was no movement at all, but by this time I could see there breath coming out as it was one of our first cold nights. I again said the same thing only this time I shook the foot of one of the boys and I spoke a little bit louder. They both moved and looked at me with sleepy and very bloodshot eyes. I asked them if they were okay and if they wanted to come in and get something to eat and drink or to even to just warm up. But they both sheepishly said’ “No”. I asked again and they said, “No”. I then turned and walked down the stairs to see my daughter there standing before me. By the time I had walked back into the school I was overwhelmed with a series of thoughts here are the top three:
- Why didn’t any of us notice that they were there? (Other then my daughter Morgan who came after others were already in the building.)
- Where were their parents? Were they looking for them?
- What could I have done differently?
Then through all that I started thinking about Jesus and how in the bible it shares his perspective on those that are lost:
Luke 19:10 (NLT) 10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
I thought about how every day that you and I walk around our neighborhoods and we don’t notice the feet of those that are missing out on a relationship with Jesus. I thought about how God being the good dad that he is says in Psalm 23 that he is pursing us. I thought about how I need to be more intentional when it comes to not just running through life and that I need to stop and look around for the feet at the top of the stairs.
What are you doing in your life when it comes to looking for the feet at the top of the stairs?
I am so excited about the current series that we are in at Elevation. We are doing a series called “God of the Underdogs”. It is from the book that was written by Pastor Matt Kellar from The Next Level Church in Florida.
Everyone loves a great underdog story. Rocky beating Clubber Lang, the US Hockey Team vs. The Russians, and the Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns (twice). But lets be honest we don’t love the underdog story if it is our own. That means that you are the one that has to come from behind or you are the one that is not the best. So why are underdog stories of other people so great? It is because everyone wants to see something amazing happen. That is what happening at Elevation.
It has been a great beginning to what I believe is going to be one of the most inspirational and challenging series that we are doing as a church. I believe it is because people are going to see that God has a plan for their lives and that he can use them know matter where they have been and what they have done. God loves using the underdog.
What I want to encourage you to do is go and by the book and see exactly how God uses the people of the bible and will use you too. I challenge you, no I dare you to take this step and get out there and be an amazing underdog. “God of the Underdogs” here on Amazon.
Tonight, was a great night as Gregg and I team taught the “Discover Your Church Team” at Elevation. It also aloud me to think about the things that we experienced today as a church team. Especially when I heard people that have been attending for just a short while talk about Elevation and the people that make up our team.
- The people on your Ekidz Team really do a great job of making sure that are kids are safe and have fun.
- We love the music and the band they are really excited about what they are doing and how they do it.
- We had a lady take us to where the coffee and doughnuts were and then made sure we knew where the bathrooms were. I needed to use the bathroom but was embarrassed to ask.
- Had a lady share on FB that she came to church by herself because her husband was working and she let her kids sleep in. But then we she got home and her high school girls let her know that they wanted to go with her. She said, “I love that my girls love our church as much as we do.”
- Had someone share that they feel like that God is talking to them every time they come to an experience.
The awesome thing about this is it is all because of the Dream Team that we have serving at Elevation each week. There is not one person that can take credit for all of this. (Other then Jesus.) We are blessed to have so many talented people serving at Elevation in the place where they feel gifted and created to serve. Just like the 1992 Dream Team that played in the Olympics for the United States. That team was the best of the best and they each new the part that they were to play on the team. Just like the team mates at Elevation. They are not trying to do it all they are just trying to do it well and make sure people know they do it because of Jesus. This is a thank you to all the people that serve at Elevation on the Dream Team you make it possible to do what we do.
If you are a part of a church team what is the best thing that you get to do each week?