Category Archive: church

Praise the Lord for a Breakthrough!

Hey Friends,

If you read this blog very often then it means you are either my mom or you care deeply for the Church of the living God! That means for most of us we care for the Church. We want it to be healthy, grow, and see major life transformation. I truly believe this about you. My question is, “How deeply are we looking into the spiritual side of the Church?”

For several months some people I trust at Faith Promise had told me something was wrong. We  prayed, studied, brought in consultants, and did everything we could to find the problem. We probably spent more time in the natural than the spiritual. In the natural we had plateaued. Our growth was stagnant at best. When the Church is not growing I am not a happy camper. Healthy things grow, especially the Church. We looked at every system and strategy we had. Nothing seemed to help.

Then out of nowhere God broke through! We lurched forward by hundreds and are 25% over the same time last year. What happened? God happened! We had a breakthrough in the heavenlies. Spiritual war is real and hell is out to stop all of our ministries. Hell hates the Church. We must destroy the works of the devil.

What happened? I wish I knew what the Lord did, but I don’t. I’m so excited that He did! The Church is moving forward. People are being saved. There is a new excitement in the air. That cannot be produced by our clever planning or promotion. Only God can create revival, save souls, and heal broken hearts and lives. He is at work and I just want to join Him in His marvelous ministry. He can do more in five minutes in His power than we can do in a lifetime without Him.

Where do you need a breakthrough? Our God can! I pray He moves on your behalf in any area you or your ministry is blocked. It is the devil’s job to dam up our lives and ministries. We have greater power than he does. Let’s ask the Lord to send revival and break the devil’s dam in your life and for the Holy Spirit to flow freely. Praying for your victory in Jesus’ name.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Are You The Right Person To Ask?

 

Hey Friends,

Hope you had a great Memorial Day holiday. My family and I had a great day and some fun in the sun.

Something I have learned over 30 years of ministry is, ask the right people the right questions and you get the right answers. Some of that can be hard; I know it is for me.

Something I just realized is that I seem to ask the right questions at the wrong time. I have lived with an assumption and I’m not sure it is right. If the numbers are going up and to the right and we are baptizing people, I think all is well at the Church.  I love riding the wave that God creates. I love when the Church is growing and people are being saved. So, I rarely ask questions like: are we healthy, is everything OK, are we doing the right things in the ministry…?

When all is well (Church attendance increasing) I live at 5,000 ft., pray,  preach and cast vision. When the wave crests and we slow in our growth I get out of the plane and start kicking the tires and asking questions. Somehow I think the questions need to be asked sooner! What do you think?

Can the Church be healthy and not grow? Can the Church be growing and not be healthy? Before you say, “numbers don’t matter,” read the book of Numbers and the book of Acts. Numbers matter! As a matter of fact, everyone counts and should be counted. That is how I read the Word.

With that said, numbers are not the only thing that matter! What do you think are the marks of a healthy Church? I would love some input. I guess you can tell I’ve gotten out of the plane and I’m asking questions.

At Faith Promise we have had some serious space limitations for the last few years. We are now doing 13 services in 5 locations. We now are expanding our Pellissippi Campus and in January we will have more seats.  In preparation I am asking questions about health so we can be ready for the next wave that Jesus generates for His Church.

I love Church growth. I love to win souls. I love life transformation and restoration. Is that not the reason Jesus came? How do you see it?

I think I’m asking the right questions. Are you the right person to ask?

Just a thought…

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Questions I Asked the Lord

Hey Friends,

First let me thank you for all the great feedback on Monday’s blog. I was not bummed out, just wondering out loud. In my blogs I try to deal with some things that people think but never say out loud. Thanks for the calls and concern though. I am greatly loved by friends and I really appreciate it. With all that said, let me let you in on my Journal of Thursday morning and some more wondering or questions I asked the Lord:

4/19/2012 “Lord, I need some revelation as to what to do with your Body Faith Promise. 23% of the giving families tithe to you and half of the families do not give at all. 34% of the attenders serve, and 40% of the attenders are in a group for community and spiritual growth. The highest percent is where we staff for… Jesus is our score card, right? It is Your Church. You own it and You are the Lord over it. You matter Most. Holy God of Heaven, I’m asking seeking and knocking at your door. Your Word and will matter more! Jesus, you did not die for a weak apathetic uncommitted church, did You? You said ‘deny self, take up our cross, and follow you.’ We are to live for You and be Your Hands and Feet. The light and salt of the world. Light in darkness. How low is the wattage with a church with such low percentages? We need a Holy Ghost explosion and a revival of love and commitment with the other 70% of attenders. Do they want You? Send the Wind Mighty Lord, Holy God! This weekend I pray for 5,000 in the name of Jesus… You said You would build Your Church and the gates of hell would not prevail over it. You did not set the captives free to be enslaved by the current culture. No, you freed us to love, honor and serve You. Please empower us and bring Holy Ghost conviction. Build an Army of Warriors – sold out radicals. Lord, I’m not giving my life for a country club. It’s not why You died and rose from the grave. Lord, thank you for not giving up on me, please move in on me. I’m not giving up on them…”

His Word to me is to keep on preaching the Word and watch Him work. The battle is the Lord’s and He will win it. I am already a victor and He will move in great power.

Well, you have a window into my heart. My concern for His Church and for the lost. I am committed to seeing transformation and mega-life change. Phil. 1:6 comes to mind. He is not done and we will march on. Not everyone will like it, but we are not called to please people. We are called to honor and please the One who died for us and called us into His Church.

Are you ready? How do you see it? I will not rest until we have a 100% kind of church. Many think mega-churches are watered down and lukewarm. FPC will be a hot bed of commitment and revival.

Just my heart.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Record Attendance and Momentum for 2012

Hey Friends,

I’m so excited! We had just less than 4,500 this weekend at Faith Promise. That is a non-production weekend record! Thank you, Jesus. The pace is set for 2012 at the Church. It will be our best year yet in Jesus Name.

I ask you to pray for the 10 PRAYER GOALS we believe God has given us:

  1. 500 New Core Members. We are going to stop using the word member and use the word Core. The core is who we can count on. Is that you? This question Christ asked often.
  2. 400 Baptisms. This is the greatest miracle we are asking for.
  3. 300 Total Adult Small Groups.
  4. Launching of the North Knox Campus. Pray for Pastor Mike and Kandice and the launch team.
  5. 20/20/20/  = 20,000 hours we are going to give in serving the East TN area for Jesus, 20 mission trips and 20 partners we are going to minister with.
  6. 2,000,000 given in the Miracle Offering
  7. 18% increase in General Budget Giving.
  8. 774 New Servants serving Jesus in His Body the Church. Time for hundreds to step up the the Next Level.
  9. 4700 in Average Attendance for 2012.
  10. Leadership Development Track Initiated.

 

This is a huge list. It will require we all pray and participate. This cannot be done by a few but by our whole body. I am counting on you to do your part. I believe God will use each of us like never before. Faith is a great journey and adventure. I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use you. Stand strong and believe with me for the favor, blessings, and presence of God to cover us like a blanket.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

What A Weekend!

 

 Hey Friends,

Just wanted to celebrate with you all the good things God did this past weekend. The count so far is about 6,700 in attendance. Yet another miracle from the Hand of our God. I still do not have the full account of the decisions and commitments that were made, but there were a lot. Two weekends ago we had 100 professions of faith and 56 baptisms. God is on the move, saving and transforming lives and hearts. It is an exciting time at Faith Promise.

My prayer is that the enemy is not  allowed to steal the seeds we have sown. Pray with me that the new believers allow us to help them take the next steps in following Jesus. I believe that the Lord is using our series on the Second Coming to impact the body. Who knows how much time we have left to witness and serve Him?

I pray you have a great Thanksgiving and this is a week of celebration. God has been good to our church family. I pray as we start the Christmas season, more and more people find their way to Jesus. I believe Revival could be right around the corner.

I love ya and I’m grateful we can do ministry together.

Pastor Chris

 

Faith Promise Launch of UT Campus – Victory!

Hey Friends,

Thank you so much for praying and for inviting college students to the first church meeting every Sunday on the University of Tennessee campus! We had 250 there for the first service, and we are thrilled.

Students will be saved! 

Christs’ Community will be built!

Jesus will be exalted to a new level!

Thank you Faith Promise for you vision and sacrifice to give the gospel in new and fresh ways. I am so grateful to God that I get to lead this amazing church. I have never been more excited about the future and how God will use us to save souls and make it hard to go to hell from East Tennessee! You played a part, and you should be proud of your church.

Pray for the students to invite friends to this weekend’s service at 11:30 in the Alumni Memorial Building.

Pray for Pastor Josh and his team as they work tirelessly to impact UT for Jesus.

Pray for the lost to be open for an invitation.

Pray for revival to rock the campus.

Check out this article that was on the front page of the UT Daily Beacon.

These are difficult times in many ways all over the world, and Jesus may be coming back soon. We only have now to preach and witness of the  love and grace of Jesus. He said: “Let us work while it is day for night comes when no man can work.” I never cease to be amazed that Jesus would use us!

I want to be used. Do you? Time to get into the game.

See ya this weekend as we bring back honor in our series: Debt of Honor

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Church On UT Campus, WHY?

Hey Friends,

I hope by now you have seen the last blog and viewed the picture of the  “Painted Rock”. I couldn’t be more proud of our UT launch team lead by Josh Whitehead our Executive Pastor.

 But, why put a Church on the campus.

That has never been done at UT and for a few exceptions it has not been done across our great nation! Let me attempt to shed some light on our reasoning.

Jesus left us with a Great Commission and the Great Commandment! He gave us great leeway on how to accomplish His mission on winning the lost and discipling them. It seems to me that we are now reading the Bible backwards. We read the Bible with the prism of our past experience and how we have done Church in the last century. I promise you, if you could get into a time machine and go back to the first century and visit a few of the Churches they would look nothing like what you see today. If you buy into this as a possibility, then you can read the Bible with fresh eyes and new possibilities.

Our Commission is to “Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”

Nowhere do I see commanded a red brick building and a steeple. Not that there is anything wrong with the buildings. The Key is His commission not our Church culture.

The Apostle Paul did different things in different cities in an attempt to win the lost and plant life giving Churches everywhere he went. You find him at the lake, under a tree, in a rented building, in homes, Synagogues, and where ever he could meet.

Now think, UT has 30,000 plus students. That is bigger than most towns and cities around us. Oak Ridge has 27,000 people and multitude of Churches. UT has more people and NO Church. How many students are lost and trapped on the campus every Sunday and without transportation to attend a Church even if they wanted to? Imagine the possibilities of salvations, transformations, missions, and Christs’ Church expanding there where the next evolution of culture is created.

Instead of cursing the darkness, we are called to carry the light to the darkness. Jesus never said build a building and wait for the lost to show up. Building are a necessity but the Gospel comes first.

Pray with me for God to explode in revival on the new UT FP campus. Christians, Churches, and Campus Ministries are here to complete each other not to compete with each other. As Christ followers we are better together!

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. I hope we win at football this weekend over Gorgia, but I pray we win for the Father even more.

 

Faith Promise Hits the University of Tennessee!

 

Hey Friends,

This Sunday is the day! Launching our forth campus! This one will be at the University of Tennessee. How cool is that? It will be in the Alumni Memorial Building at 11:30 a.m. and I could not be more excited. This is a dream come true for FPC. We are trying to make it hard to go to hell from East Tennessee. How can we do that in East Tennessee and omit UT? I’m thinking there will be orange in heaven!

This Sunday, our church will be on campus. Imagine how many students are trapped on campus with no way to get to church and how many lost kids there are there. Think of the international students there and the possibilities of getting the gospel around the world from UT. The possibilities are limitless. Think of how many lives and families, even in the future, will be impacted because of a church on campus accessible to the 30,000 students there.

There are so many great student ministries on campus and we are there to be a part of the greater vision of God to change lives.

Pray with us!

Help get the word out!

If you know students at UT then call them and let them know about this weekend.

Imagine the souls snatched out of hell and placed into heaven.

You ask, “Pastor Chris, why put a church on campus? That’s not how it has been done.” You are so right. Let me ask us a question: Is how it has been done, getting it done? Not really! We have to be able to change methods while NEVER changing the message of Jesus and the Bible. Our mission is clear in Mt. 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8, but the way we carry it out is not clear. We are to contextualize the methods while preaching the same gospel.

I bet that the churches of the 1st century looked nothing like our churches today! Our job is to get the gospel out and win as many as we can. At Faith Promise we have chosen to jettison some of the junk that no longer works for that which will work in winning the lost. Our mission is not to defend tradition but to fight the devil for the souls headed to hell. Choose carefully which hill you are willing to die on.

Together we can make a difference.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Living Solo is a No No!

Hey Friends,

Yesterday I sent an email asking for an air strike on heaven! Wow, the prayers flew and I feel better today than I have in two months. Thank you!

What do people do without a church? How do they make it without a community of faith? Sad, that so many saints try to gut it out on their own. That is not how Jesus planned for us to live. He designed the Church, the Body of Christ, as a team. He said it was His family! I get great joy and victory knowing I am not flying solo. Life was never meant to be a solo sport!

We are wired by God for intimacy and relationships with Him and others. Life on your own is just no fun! The Bible says, if you fall into a hole alone there will be no one to pick you up!

 Who are you in community with?

 Who are you walking with?

Pick your traveling companions carefully. You will become like those you hang with. This biblical principal is not just for students or children, it is for all of us. We do what we see!

Faith Promise is a community of committed Christ followers. We are a family that tries to have each others’ backs.

Who has your back?

 Who is praying for you?

 Whose back do you have and who are you praying for?

Remember, you “reap what you sow.” “Treat others like you want to be treated.” Give the benefit of the doubt. Trust until someone proves untrustworthy! Believe the best about others!

Place a 10 on everyone’s forehead and treat them as a 10, and many of them will live up to your faith and belief in them. See in others what others do not see. Give your faith to others and they will rise up on your faith.

Life is better together!

Thanks for your prayers. God answers!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris.

 

Where Are You Going?

Hey Friends,

Let me ask you another question, I love asking questions because questions go deeper than statements. Questions make people think! As leaders we need to help people to think. The only difference between leaders and followers is how they think.

So, the question for the day is WHERE ARE YOU GOING? What is your vision? Where do you think the Lord is directing you and your leadership? VISION is a multifaceted concept. Let me deal with a difficult concept. Vision Vandals! They are everywhere. An effective leader knows there is too much at stake to let vandals derail the vision. That means you will have to deal with difficult issues and head on! Souls weigh in the balance.

Think about it, if your not making some people angry your vision is probabaly too small. Avital vision requires change and sacrifice. Two things most people recoil from. So a natural part of leadership is dealing with the detractors. If this makes your stomach hurt and your palms to sweat you have a critical choice to make: will you please people or please the vision Giver? Placating people, especially the vandals will rob the vision and the morale of the rest of the team.

I love what Bil Cornelius Said in his great book, Go Big, “Never allow problems people to cause you to take your eyes off the priorities God has given you.” Vision vandals will become detours, delays and distractions on the drive to His Vision.

I have found that confronting the detractors will stop the problem very quickly. Most bullies do not want to be exposed to the rest of the Church. Will we really allow a few bullies stop us from reaching the lost? It is your job as the leader to confront them in love and yet very firmly. Leave no room for doubt as to where the Lord is taking the Church. They can get on or they can get off.

As Christ followers we are to follow His lead. He had no problem confronting caustic attitudes. We must grow a spiritual spine and lead the Church to accomplish what the Lord has clearly commanded.

Are you ready? It is your job.

Just a thought.

Love you and praying for you.

Pastor Chris.