Category Archive: evangelism

“And You Shall Be My Witnesses…”

 

Hello Friends,

As I write this blog Michele and I are in London doing mission work with one of our Faith Promise partners, C3 Global. What better time to be here than when so many from across the world have gathered in one place!  Please pray for our team as we serve with area pastors and churches to help spread the Good News to those who so desperately need to hear it. 

I will be praying for all of our campuses this coming weekend as we finish up our Legendary series. You won’t want to miss running a lap with this famous Old Testament hero! 

Look for a new post next week.

Love,

Pastor Chris

 

A Sense of Urgency

 

Hey Friends,

Let me ask you a question: Has the Church lost its sense of urgency? As I read the New Testament I hear a serious sense of urgency from the Apostles and first century saints. They lived and believed Jesus could come back any day. They also cared deeply for the souls of those in their generation. Are we to live and be the same? I think the answer is a resounding YES! Don’t you?

If we live, witness, and talk to nonbelievers without any urgency why should they have any? The Apostle Paul went door to door with tears. The people God has placed around us, our personal mission field, should know without any doubt we are concerned and we are burdened with their salvation.

I try to live with that sense of mega urgency daily. Here is what I do:

  1. I pray daily for a burden for the lost. I ask the Lord to breathe a burden on my heart, the same that He carried.
  2. I ask for a glimpse of hell. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said if his soldiers could see hell for five seconds they would get on fire for souls. We need to remember hell is real and some of our family and friends are going there.
  3. I now realize I won’t live forever here. When we are young we think we will live forever. Now at 51 and after doing more funerals than I care to count, I realize our days are numbered here. So, I have a greater sense of urgency. “Work while it is day for night comes when no man will work.” ~Jesus
  4. Daily I remember the Bema Seat of Judgment. Christ was clear in His teaching that all of His followers will be judged for what we did for Him and with all that He gave us. This knowledge pushed Paul to do more than the rest of the disciples. It does it for me also. I want to hear, “Well done…” I want rewards in heaven and to rule and reign with Him. This requires I live and serve well. The same is true for you.

So, with all that said, how’s your sense of urgency? Ask the Lord to move on your heart and mind. The Church in America has to wake up before it is too late.

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

The Weekend AFTER Easter!

 

Hey Friends,

I love Easter! I love everything about it and this Easter was no exception. It was awesome! We had our second highest attendance ever. Yet, there is always a next weekend. It is usually a letdown. My question for anyone who would like to take a crack at answering is:  Can the attendance not stay up after Easter? Can we not get a boost from a great weekend and a record attendance?

Every year we fast and pray about Easter. We look for record crowds and we expect many to be saved. That is exactly what we get. You might think that the next week the numbers would drop, but not back to pre-Easter attendance. With 7,700 for Easter I was praying for 5,000 the next weekend. We had 4,200. Now, praise the Lord for 4,200 worshipers, but where are the 3,500 others?

This pattern plays out in most churches. We have everyone here for Easter and then some – hundreds of guests and then everyone who calls Faith Promise their home church. Not only is the core there, but everyone else is also. That means the every-other-week people, the every-third-week people, and the casual-drop-by people. The next weekend the only people who come are the core. Praise the Lord for the core! They keep the body alive and moving. Are you a part of the core?

I wonder if this is just a fact of life and I need to quit kicking against the rocks? Some things you can’t change! This is a true statement, but I do not have to like it. So what do you think? How do we get more people to come back the week after Easter?

On Easter weekend almost every tweet from pastors was about attendance and salvation numbers, but the next weekend the tweets went to a deafening silence. What do you think and how do you see it? If we are going to make it hard to go to hell from East Tennessee then we need to find out how to get faithfulness as a priority.

Just a thought.

Love ya,

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

 

A Glorious Day!

Hey Friends,

I have to tell you Sunday was a glorious day in the life of Faith Promise and for me as well. We had been praying and preparing for months for our Fourth of July celebration on the third. Jody Kenyon, a brilliant administrator on our staff, led the charge for the event. As many of you know, we canceled our services on the Pellissippi Campus and moved to Pellissippi State Community College. We had 13,000 hot dogs and everything else that goes with it. It was awesome.

We had over 12,000 people in attendance. We were praying for 100 baptisms. I have to tell you trying to speak to that many people was nerve-racking, especially outside with thousands of kids. I did it anyway. You could see people moving and many of them were far away. I was not sure how many were listening or could even hear. Yet when I gave the invitation for people to come to Jesus, they came from all over the campus. That is a moment burned into my spirit. We are not sure how many were saved but we had over 65 baptisms. We are still working through the cards and decisions.

WBIR covered the event on the eleven o’clock news. I am constantly amazed at how God chooses to show up and move. It was truly a glorious day for thousands.

We also had hundreds of volunteers work in the sweltering heat. The soldiers were sweating for the Savior. I am so grateful. It was too cool to watch people come up out of the water of baptism. Tears and laughter were the order of the day. I saw family members so excited and grateful as their prayers were answered.

When the day was over every hot dog had been eaten. We ran out of popcorn and cotton candy. The worship team did a great job in every way. Oh yea, there was a party in heaven as Jesus recorded new names in His Book of Life.

I am truly blessed to get to be a part of all the Lord is doing at Faith Promise. Lord, build the greatest church since the day of Pentecost. Set the captives free!

Love,

Pastor Chris

 

The Kingdom Moves on the Tracks of Sacrifice!

Hey Friends,

As Christ followers we should be very familiar with sacrifice! Our Lord and Model showed us what it was to give your life away for others. I heard a great definition today of what sacrifice really is:

“Sacrifice is giving up something you love to be about to give to someone you love more.”   ~Bill Price 

He said just ask a grandparent what it is. I love it. I was immediately moved and began to think of what Michele and I could sacrifice in our upcoming MIRACLE OFFERING. After all, Jesus held back nothing for us and gave His all. What can I do in return and in worship?

Often I have said the Kingdom runs on the twin tracks of faith and sacrifice, and I still believe it. Show me a church where the people have faith and they sacrifice for the vision and for the Lord, and I will show you a miraculous ministry! Faith moves God’s heart and the sacrifice of God’s people provides what is needed to reach the Prodigals.

As Christ followers we are called to do what we can do and God will do what He can do. The problem with most churches is that we want God to do His part without us doing our part. If we are serious about the gospel and making it hard to go to hell from our city, then we will be marked by sacrifice. Are you doing your part?

This weekend at Faith Promise we will be giving our community a 4th of July celebration from 5:00 – 10:00 pm on Sunday, July 3rd, at Pellissippi State, Hardin Valley Campus. It will be awesome. We will have 11,000 people there. It will be totally free, just like the gospel. I am praying for 100s to be saved and 100 baptised. I hope to see you there!

Together we can make a mega difference.

Love you and praying for you,

Pastor Chris

 

The Most Important Number for Easter

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The Time Is NOW! Guest Blog from Terry duPont of Open Eyes Ministries

The truth is that we cannot wait till tomorrow to change; the time is now. It is certainly time for all those who claim to be leaders to stand up and lead. I’m tired of talks and promises and tomorrow. “Today is the day of salvation.” Claim the power and authority that is there for us all and let’s go change the world. Stop talking about what you would do or will do and just do it. Rally the troops, put on your military uniform and let’s do battle.

Let’s use every weapon available to fight the enemy. I Chronicles 12:32 says, “We should understand the times and know what to do for our communities.” When we know and understand the times we can better penetrate the enemy’s strongholds. The Word says we have received the power and authority, so what is our problem? We seem to be waiting for another word, another new book, another blog, another person to step out and risk it all.

I hear it all the time – calm down, slow down, what’s the hurry, let others do it – but here is what I think. God gave us power,authority, spiritual gifts, vision, and the Holy Spirit, and tells us to “go” 1,492 times in the Bible. Should we calm down, slow down, do it tomorrow? I do not think so! There is urgency blowing about and the time is today. Let us rise to the challenges before us and actually change the world. It’s there for you and me as leaders to blaze the trail.

God Bless,

Terry duPont, Founder of Open Eyes Ministries

P.S.  I so appreciate my good friend and fellow pastor, Terry duPont, sharing his thoughts with us today.  I agree with him 100%, especially as we enter the Easter season when people are more receptive to the Gospel.  The time really is NOW!  I also encourage you to support his anointed ministry all over Central America through your prayers, your participation and your gifts.