Category Archive: Commitment

Why Do You Stay?

Hey Friends,

Thanks for the great input to Monday’s question. Today I have another question. If you have been at your Church for 7 years or longer, Why do you stay?  I have come to the conclusion that the average church member stays at a Church for about 6-7 years. This can be a good thing or not so much. This question is for those “Long term” members.

This is a question I have pondered for the last few years. I believe answering this can add great value to Churches adding and keeping key core members that add great value to any ministry.

Maybe 7 is the number of completion? There are many reasons why people leave a Church but only one is the right answer: “God is leading me somewhere else.” There is no doubt He leads us. Strange it is about every 7 years!

As you read this blog, what is your track record at the Church or Churches you have been a part of?

Why have you left?

Or better yet why have you stayed?

Knowing the answer will help me a lot. What do you think?

Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time to leave a local Church. I think some that leave are not being led by the Lord, but there are other reasons. What do you think they are? For a Church to remain strong and vibrant it must be able to keep Core members. They know the vision and the DNA of the Church.

Love so feedback on this issue. I think  this is more important than most people realize.

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

 

An Army vs. An Audience

Hey Friends.

It is Sunday night and I just got home from Discovering Faith Promise Class. It was great. Almost a hundred people showed up to find out about the next step in following Jesus. Too cool!

After a great evening spent with all these people, I have to get the message off my chest. As a senior pastor, the growth of the Church matters to me. I believe it mattered to the Apostles in the first Church. This weekend I had to ask myself, are we building an army or an audience? I have to be honest with you, as we head into each weekend I am always praying for God to move and draw. Probably no one is as concerned as the senior pastor about the growth of the Church. Each weekend I am praying for a great attendance and a major move of God. This weekend was no different.

I was very excited and expected a record attendance. Then when I saw the weather report, my heart sank. Rain all weekend! At that moment I had a battle within myself. Did I have the faith to believe God for a record attendance or would the rain keep the people at home? What would you have thought? That is when the thought of the question hit me: army or audience? An army shows up no matter what. They are totally committed to the cause and will not be stopped. An audience on the other hand, shows up for the experience for themselves – flippant and flighty. They tend to bail at the first sign of trouble or inconvenience.

God has called us to build an army, not an audience. What will the Church do in the face of persecution if rain will stop us from attending? The tally was that we dropped 1,000 in attendance from last weekend. It bothered me most of the day. Then I remembered that about a third of our attendence, as part of our vision, is lost. We can’t expect lost people to be committed. God is building an army and we get to be a part of it. You know, we still had well over 3,000 on a bad weekend.

God is truly building an army and we get to be a part.

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

As Leaders, Let’s Raise the Bar!

 

Hey Friends,

I’m reading a book that many of you are reading right now called, Radical, by David Platt. I am really enjoying it. He is without a doubt, radical! I don’t necessarily agree with everything David says, but he is right on with so many things. In chapter three he tells a story of teaching in a seminary in Indonesia. He spoke at the commencement ceremony and said, “It was very moving.” One of the requirements for graduation is to plant a church there in that country with at least 30 new believers who are baptized at the new church. Sounds pretty easy.

Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. Would you say that is raising the bar? I would! During the ceremony, they remembered two of the students who were killed for the Kingdom of Christ. That was not a requirement for semiary when I went. As Kingdom leaders, we need to raise the bar of what we expect of ourselves and other leaders we help train.

I wonder if we have toned down the radical walk of Jesus and His disciples. He said to, “Deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him daily.” He said, “If you put your hand to the plow and looked back you were not fit for the Kingdom.” What are our requirements for leadership today?

Have we lowered the bar? Have we tried to make it so easy that anybody could do it? Ten of Christ’s disciples were killed for their faith. One, John, died on a prison island. They did not end up with great retirements here. Are you sold out to the Lord? Are you committed to raise up radical followers of the risen Lord? Are we teaching them to observe, “all that I have commanded you?”

Let’s not be afraid to call for commitment for the cause of Christ. He died for us – the least we can do is live for Him to the max.

Just a thought,

Pastor Chris

 

Who Is The Most Committed?

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How Much Do You Love The Lord?

Hey Friends,

Everyone knows that we are called to “Love the Lord our God with our whole heart, soul, and might.” That is a lot of love and a lot of effort – all worth it. When you love something, or someone, or God that much, you use words like: unconditional, extreme, radical, excessive, and crazy. Loving God that much is impractical. That’s O.K. with me.

I love my wife a lot. As I write this blog post it has been over a week since I have seen her. She has been leading a team in South Africa. She is awesome. On our tenth anniversary I had a diamond ring made for her. It was perfect with one stone in the middle and nine stones surrounding it. We went to Cozumel, Mexico and I gave it to her there. Perfect.

For our 25th wedding anniversary we went on a cruise to the Mediterranean. Beyond belief! Why would I lavish such extreme gifts on my wife? Because I love her so much.

Now, think of how much we are supposed to love the Lord! What radical, excessive things are we doing to show Him our love and undying devotion? Do people think you’re crazy because of your giving, worship or serving? Have we grown too reserved in our passion for the Lord? Many churches seem to think not. I disagree!

It is time for those who love the Lord to boldly proclaim it and stand for Him regardless of the cost. Radical love, after all, has a price tag. If you love enough, paying the price is not a problem – it is a labor of love.

Just imagine if His church was filled with people radically in love with God. Do you think church would be different? I do.

This is a post where I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Love You,

Pastor Chris

 

Can You Sign The Card?

Hey Friends,

Over 25 years ago I signed this card.  It was called:

THE COMPANY OF THE COMMITTED

Let me remake it for you and see if you can sign it:

“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go ’til He comes, give ’til I drop, preach ’til all know, and work ’til He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me-my banner of identification with Jesus will be clear.”

Name______________________________________

Date_______________________________________

Can You?

Pastor Chris

 

But, I Filled Out The Card!

Hey Friends,

I hope you read Thursday’s blog. If not, please skip back and read it quickly because today’s piggybacks off of it. We talked about making decisions versus managing decisions. Leaders, we need to know this because at the end of the day we must help the followers manage or follow through with their decisions. Years ago my only concern was how many people found their way down the aisle and to the altar during an invitation. Slowly it dawned on me (I’m not the fastest car on the track) that the number of people at the altar didn’t mean much because most did not follow through on commitments made.

Last weekend we talked about the importance of small group community in personal growth. 250 people signed up for “grouplink” on the following Wednesday night. When Wednesday night came 3 or 4 days after “signing the card” to attend, 150 showed up. Praise God for those who showed up and are connecting in community. What about the other 100 that said they would come?  Making decisions is easy, following through is not.

 As leaders we must understand the concept or risk being discouraged and depressed on a regular basis. It is our job to help people manage the things they really want to do. We are leading people down the “narrow road” and calling them to do what is not easy. So as we are called to make disciples we must help them. We will all fail! We will all drop the ball with the decisions we have made, but we must pick it back up and “run the race that is set before us.”

Am I discouraged because of the 100 that did not show up? NO WAY! They will come next time. We will continue to help people manage spiritual decisions and help grow them to be more like Jesus. As I recall, Jesus had some difficult times with His disciples, didn’t He?  Just a thought.

Yours to count on,

Pastor

P.S. At the end of  the journey it is not about decisions, but about disciples. It is not about how many cards were filled out, but how many Christ- followers we make.