Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fireproof - Free movie showing at First Congregational Church of Waseca

Sunday, May 31st, 2009 First Congregational Church of Waseca is hosting a FREE showing of the movie "Fireproof" from 6:00-8:00PM in our sanctuary on the big screen. There is no charge. We do request that those attending be at least 13 years old as the movie covers some adult topics and is rated PG. BYOP - Bring your own popcorn!

First Congregational Church
503 2nd Ave. NE
Waseca, MN 56093
Ph. 507-835-4548

We realize that showing a movie called "Fireproof" on Pentecost Sunday is somewhat ironic, but fear not, we desire that the flame of the Holy Spirit come upon all the world! :-)

Up - the movie

Tonight I met my wife in Faribault, MN to go to a movie. We decided "Up" was the best of the available options, and boy were we right!

I had heard it was good, but it far exceeded my expectations. I don't want to give the movie away, but it had romance, drama, tragedy, adventure, fantasy, comedy and has a great redemption story line. Keeping promises is a big theme, as is loyalty, friendship, and creativity.

There are some sad layers early on in the movie, but they are a great set up for the remaining 75% of action packed entertainment.

Disney Pixar has yet again hit a home run. This isn't surprising, but I am joyed that they can keep churning out high quality pictures with great story lines and excellent values - and be rewarded at the box office for those labors.

I would probably put the movie at 8 and above for an age range. There is some sadness and serious issues they address as the movie gets rolling, as well as some animated violence (though NOT graphically animated) that younger kids might be disturbed by.

Two thumbs up!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Churches Decrease Radio, Expand Internet

Many churches are cutting back on their radio broadcasting time to tap into endless opportunities the Internet offers.

Churches seeking to expand their reach are taking advantage of what they already have an abundance of--content. Sermons and other teachings and presentations can be recorded and posted to a church’s website. Web tools and sites are making it easier for ministries to manage their materials at a fraction of what it would cost for a radio broadcast. The Internet allows even small ministries to reach international audiences.

According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey, 19% of all Internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they can listen to it or view it later. This is up from 12% in August 2006, while 17% said they downloaded a podcast in a typical day.

Many churches expect those numbers only to increase as more people use broadband Internet, download more mp3s and buy mobile devices with increased online capabilities.

Some ministries that are already posting audio online are planning to expand to stay on par with technology trends. Nearly 6.9 million iPhones were sold during the last financial quarter, compared to 1.1 million just a year ago, which has more ministries targeting mobile technology.

(HT Leadership Network Advance)

Rick Warren - How Jesus Reached Out to Others

Below are my notes from yesterday's online session with Rick Warren, which was an extension off of Saddleback Church's Purpose Driven Network Summit last week. I was unfortunately unable to participate for the whole event, so my notes are incomplete (missing the last two points and anything Pastor Warren said after that). If you or someone you know have the remain notes, I'd love to get them and would post them here on my blog with full credit to you if you are willing to share.


“How Jesus Reached Out To Others”


Promote reconciliation

Equip servant leaders

Assist the poor

Care for the sick

Educate the next generation

“I have become a servant of everyone so that I can bring them to

Christ… When I am with those who follow Jewish laws, I do the

same, even though I am not subject to the law, so that I can bring

them to Christ. When I am with Gentiles I fit in with them as

much as I can. so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not discard

the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those

who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring

them to Christ. I try to find common ground with everyone so that

I might bring them to Christ. I do all this for the sake of the Good

News, and in doing so I enjoy its blessings. 1 Cor. 9:19-23 (NLT)

Rick's messages on The Jesus Model

- How Jesus Handled Ministry Temptations

- How Jesus Handled Ministry Stress

- How Jesus Made Disciples

- How Jesus Made Disciples - The Laws of Spiritual Growth

- The Ministry Model of Jesus

- The Mission Model of Jesus

Luke 10


The Jesus Model

Rick Warren

“In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them

a mission in the world.” – Jesus John 17:18 (Mes)


Local: Have every member participate in a local PEACE activity.

National: Send members to 1,000 U.S. churches as PD ambassadors.

Global: Send a PEACE Team to every nation in the world.



1. COOPERATION: ________________________________

“The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out two by

two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”

Luke 10:1 (NIV)


The principle of cooperation

-Get a partner

-God didn't intend for you to fulfill your life purpose by doing it yourself

-The first thing Jesus did in ministry was start a small group

-Paul always traveled with a group

-Jesus regularly sent out groups

-More effective and more confident in a group

2. EXPECTATION: ________________________________

“Do not take a purse...” Luke 10:4a (NIV)

“Do not take along any gold or silver or copper.” Matt. 10:9 (NIV)

"Take no money in your pockets.” Mark 6:8 (NCV)

Don’t just give money

-help create jobs

3. SIMPLIFICATION: ________________________________

“Do not take a traveler’s bag or even an extra pair of sandals..”

Luke 10:4b (NLT)

What distracts me?

The principle of keep it simple

-Travel light

-not there to impress people

-it’s not how you look, it is how you love that matters

4. CONCENTRATION: ________________________________

“And don’t stop to great anyone on the road.” Luke 10:4b (NLT)


-Stay focused on your purpose

-not a gospel tourist

-not about you

-don’t waste precious time

- #1 reason don’t fulfill their life mission is because they get distracted.

-what distracts you most from the suffering in your community?

5. AFFIRMATION: ________________________________

"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of

peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.”

Luke 10:5-6 (NIV)


Who could I bless this week?

-Always begin with a blessing

-principle of affirmation

-Who is a person of peace?

-Find the person of peace

-They are open to the gospel

-They are influential

-Respected and receptive

-Offer a blessing and see if they respond

-A look, a word, a touch

6. INCARNATION: ________________________________

“When you enter a town, don't move around from home to home. Stay

in one place…” Luke 10:7 (NLT)

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have

seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the

Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)

-Join in and become part of the local group

-Settle in and don’t move from place to place

-This is how you build relationships

-This is the presence principle

-If you want to affect people you have to show up and stay put

-You have to be with people to win people

-Ministry has to be not just high tech but also high touch

7. ACCOMMODATION: ________________________________

"Eat and drink whatever they give you... When you enter a town and

are welcomed, eat what is set before you.” Luke 10:7-8 (NIV)

“I try to accommodate everybody in everything, not looking for my

own advantage, but for the advantage of everybody else, so that they

may be saved.” 1 Cor. 10:33 (NJB)

-Adapt to local tastes – food, dress

-Muslims find tattoos offensive

-Africans consider tattoos to be an idol

-if Jesus didn’t think it was important, he wouldn’t have told us this.

-Americans do not understand the importance of food in other cultures

-food is a key element in other societies

-if you are poor, when you share your food, you are sharing your life

-fastest way to build a bridge is to eat a meal with someone

-1 Cor 9:19, 22

8 ALLEVIATION: ________________________________

“Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is

near you!'” Luke 10:9 (NIV)

9 MOBILIZATION: ________________________________

“These were his instructions to them: "The harvest is so great, but the

workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest,

and ask him to send out more workers for his fields.” Luke 10:2 (NLT)

“If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who

throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News

will ever know what it means to really live.” Mark 8:35 (LB)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Resurgence Training Center (Re:Train)

Launching Re:Train

Mars Hill Church of Seattle is excited to be opening their new Resurgence Training Center (Re:Train) in Seattle—courses begin this August. Initially, the school will offer a Master in Missional Leadership (36-hour graduate program), with much more to come.

I am pleased to announce here this incredible lineup of instructors: This is a premier opportunity, but enrollment will be limited to 50–60 students during the ‘09–’10 school year. Applications are due July 1 and will be available this Sunday (5/31) at

I'd consider crawling on my knees all the way to Seattle to get into this. Hopefully it'll be at the right price and time, and I will get selected - though I suspect small church & small town pastors might not be high on their priority list. Worst case is they'll say no. I do already have a M.Div. but this quality of instruction cannot be passed up.

Friday, May 22, 2009

God of This City lyrics - Chris Tomlin

“God Of This City” was written by Bluetree during a mission trip and while the band was on stage performing worship songs in the Climax Bar, a club which doubles as a brothel in the Red Light district of Pattaya, Thailand. The song became a message of hope for the people of Pattaya and is now being sung in churches across the world, with the Willow Creek Association recently concluding its worship pastor seminar with the song. It was further recorded and made popular by Chris Tomlin and became the name and theme for the latest Passion project and world tour. This song was performed by the worship team at Eagle Brook Church for the Relevance Conference and brought tears to my eyes - I love this song!

God of This City

[Verse 1]
You're the God of this City
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are

[Verse 2]
You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
You are

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

[Verse 1]

[Verse 2]

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

There is no one like our god
There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Purpose Driven Network Summit - Session 5 Notes

The following notes were taken and generously shared by Phil Wheelehan. I spent the day at Eagle Brook Church's Relevance Conference listening to Bill Hybels and Bob Merritt talk shop, so I didn't get to attend the Purpose Driven Network Summit. Phil also said that next Thursday Rick will be doing 3 more sessions, as he felt the need to extend this event to share more stuff. I will post my notes from the Relevance Conference when I get a few minutes to type them up.

Saddleback Session 5

May 28th Webcast next week…

The Jesus Model more notes for today’s sessions

Session 5

Rick doesn’t respond to criticism anymore… Like Nehemiah said “project is too important for me to come down to your level” they answer them for what he was doing.

Billy Graham said, “if you wrestle with a pig… you are both going to get dirty… but only one of you are going to like it!”

Rick was highly criticized by those on the right and left for accepting the offer to pray the Inaugural Prayer… but he saw it as an opportunity from God… an open door to PEACE Plan because all the world leaders would be watching…

Rick made a commitment not to say a word about it until it was over… no one ever called him personally…. but many commented publicly about it. He didn’t know why, he just figured that, “ they didn’t want to know my motive.

Rick never realized when he wrote the words, “It’s not about you” that he would be tested on it many times. God always test you on what you say… Like praying to be more patient… then God puts you in situations to show your whether you really meant it.

The Christ Like Ministry of Jesus…

Rick is going to do the rest of the messages in regular webcasts… starting next Thursday… 3 more messages in the series he wants to share with us… next week he will share How did Jesus do Missions. Remember He told the disciples… “Don’t take a purse…” in other words don’t throw money at stuff.. we have tried to throw money at everything… even missions, but it doesn’t work that way…

You are going to do in the next life… what you are to do in this life… you will have far more time in eternity… God put the church here to help us do the 5 purposes.

God wants you practice here what you are going to do there…

In heaven you are going to love… God wants you to love in the real not in the ideal… when God wants you to love … he puts you with unlovely people…

Jesus spent a year before he publicly announced his Goals

There were 3 balanced areas to Jesus Ministry

* Proclamation
* Education
* Ministry

Preaching – Teaching - Healing

Jesus said teach them to do… not do it for them… most modern mission projects is in doing it for them…

During the first year of His ministry Jesus is in Galilee and becomes very popular.

Then returns to His hometown… he is now famous… the homeboy coming home…

Goes to home church…

They all know him and have heard about what he had done…

It is in this setting that Jesus decides to announces his goals… to his home church…

This is His inaugural address… 1st sermon

Was his custom… yes you need to go to church… if Jesus did… you sure do.

(Luke 4:18-19)

He takes the scroll and opens to Isaiah 60… “the Spirit of the Lord has anointed me…” if God has appointed… you have been anointed…

1. To preach the gospel to the poor;
2. he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
3. to preach deliverance to the captives,
4. and recovering of sight to the blind,
5. to set at liberty them that are bruised,

(Luke 4:19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus sat down… eyes were fastened on him…

Then he said… Today! This is fulfilled…

Air sucked out of the room…

Jesus is reading the prophecy of the Messiah…. He is announcing his goals… then tells them… you know what you have been looking for… I am it!

Jesus is quoting… 60 but adds in a phrase from Isaiah 58

Announces his goals a year after he had been doing it…

He preached what he already practiced! For a year!

Who Jesus came to minister to… What he came to do… How he did it…

Groups … Goals Focus… Features… Target … Tactics…

He focused on 5 categories of hurting people…

1. The Poor… have-nots
1. Material poverty – half the world (3 billion people) live on less than $2.00 a day. 1billion live on less than 1 dollar a day

i. There are 2000 passages in the Bible about the poor…

ii. Poor people have to pray… the rich don’t think they have to depend on God…

2. Moral poverty… reprobate mind… all about me…
3. Spiritual poverty… most people are spiritually poor… they don’t know God…
1. The Broken hearted… the let down…
1. Broken heart?… psalm 69:20… insults broke my heart

Note: There is a medical condition called, “broken heart syndrome”… major trauma… the brain releases chemicals that weakens the lining of the heart…

2. Rejection causes a broken heart… resentment … and disappointment…
2. Prisoners… the locked up…

Note: In prison rights are taken away… 2.5 million in jail in America… Prisoners once saved seem to become radical disciples

1. Addictions and Compulsions… lock people up and keep them from living free
2. Secrets imprison us… you are only as sick as your secrets…

i. If you can’t talk about it… it is out of control…

ii. Confess… to one another… revealing your feelings is the 1st step to healing

3. Ignorance imprisons us… most of the world is uneducated (illiterate)
4. Fear imprisons us… it is a self imposed prison
3. The Blind… the shut out…

Note: A blind person is shut out of the light… and left out…

1. Physical blindness… 50 million blind in world…
2. Relational blindness… clueless about what is causing the mess in their relationships… you are common denominator in each failed relationship

Note: Women relationally wired… men are achievement wired…Teach men about relationships… husbands don’t get it…

3. Spiritual blindness.. close our eyes to the truth of God…
4. The Oppressed… the kicked around…
1. Political oppression.. much of world struggles with it… 36 million refugees… can’t go home..

Note: 27 mil people who are slaves… in world… today… more now than before the civil war! More slaves now than ever in history in the world… The number one cause… sex slavery! Where are the abolitionist today?

2. Cultural oppression

i. Especially women… 2 million girls a year are forced into the sex trade…

ii. Honor killings.. in some societies where it is ok to kill your wife because you feel she dishonored you. (10.000 killed last year in Pakistan)

iii. Spiritual oppression… comes from Satan… depression… suppression… obsession…

Jesus announces Relief, Release, Recovery… something to Rejoice about…

The year of the Lords favor! Year of jubilee… a law God established… He didn’t want you to be overworked… 6 day work then take a day off… Sabbath year… year of rest… after 50th year… a year of jubilee…

1. every debt is forgiven… 0 balance

2. all slaves are free

3. all prisoners let go completely forgiven

4. every thing reverts back to original owner

a. Why did god do that?

Three reasons…

1. He said, I don’t want you to forget it all belongs to me… not yours.. you get to borrow it… on loan

2. I don’t want you to forget I did all these things for you… what I have done for you … you do for others…

3. I don’t want you to trust in your own ability only…

Note: Israel never practiced the Year of Jubilee! God gets so ticked… He sent Jeremiah to tell them … because you have not done this… you are going back to slavery so you can remember what it was like! They spent 70 years in slavery!

While they were in slavery. Isaiah writes a book and says… one day… a Messiah will come… Isaiah 60… now do you understand the significance of what Jesus did and said when he read that passage… I am it!

What do we learn from Jesus’ Ministry Model?

1. It’s all about helping hurting people… Healing hurts in others…
2. Jesus preached to felt needs… He always began with a hurt…
3. A hurt, a need, a question… everyone came to Jesus through one of these… except the ritualistic religious, they came to trap Him..
1. Some people criticize us for preaching to felt needs… Here are the two words for those people… “ Christ Like” Do you want to be like Jesus or some great theologian or popular preacher?

A list of the type of people who Jesus came for..

Chewed up, crossed out, freaked out, left out, locked up, let down, mixed up, picked on, pinned down, run down, run over, screwed up, shut in, shut out, strung out, turned off, turned out, used up, walked over, washed out, written off, … wow… for you and me…

Evangelism starts with friendship… love doesn’t put down… or criticize the other person

The people out there… are who he came for…

If you want the blessing on your ministry then do it like Jesus and it will be… Follow the ministry of Jesus, He said, I have given you an example… follow it…

Features of Christ like ministry…

He listed the 5 most important things to do in ministry… if there was more… I would have told you…

1. Preach Good News… you don’t have to make people feel guilty… they already feel guilty … they just try to rationalize it… people know it when they are not living right… start with EVANGELISM!!! Good News… their biggest need is a savior! Share the good news…
1. Keys to a person’s heart … their needs, their hurts, their interests.

Note: We are not to put them under conviction that is the job of the Holy Spirit

2. People are most receptive to the gospel when they are:

i. Under Tension or in Transition.

2. Heal broken hearted… ministry is about all 5 of the goals Jesus announced to bring comfort
1. Preaching… Three types of sermons…

i. Build up – fire up – hold up… people need a diet of all three…

1. Edifying messages educate people biblically and doctrinally

Note: Saddlebacks, “Foundation Course”

2. Encouragement messages bring comfort, relief, release, recovery and hope.

3. Fire up messages challenge them… let’s go do it!

4. You can’t shear sheep every week… but must feed them every week…

a. You need balance on all three…

Note: only comfort messages and they will remain weak, only fire up messages and they will burn out, only edifying messages and they will blow up… (with pride)

3. Proclaim freedom… (Do you want to know what to preach on?) Just ask people if they feel trapped? Stuck? Or locked up…
1. What do you do with people locked up in fear… Two things…

i. One teach them to practice presence of Christ… talk to him… his presence and power… you lose your fear when God is near…

ii. Second teach them to move against the fear… do the thing you fear! Step and then it will part… Jordan… different from Red Sea…

1. God does not remove the fear first…

4. Recover sight of blind… how do you help them do this? Offer insight to people… help them see what they are doing…
1. Friends don’t let friends mess up! Or do stupid things… confront…
2. Young people … plan your date… if you don’t let your plan lead you … your glands will!

5. Release the oppressed… those who are taken advantage of… picked on … made fun of … abused…

Our Goal at saddle back to get every one in the Peace plan…

Promote reconciliation… to God and others… it is the Great Commandment…

Equip servant leaders (that is what Jesus did)

Assist the poor (first message of Jesus)

Care for sick (physically, emotionally)

Educate the next generation (so the work can continue)

5 World Problems… PEACE is the solution…

The Spiritual poor… people are without God in their lives

Self centered leadership… little dictators, turf protectors… position seekers… power seekers…

Extreme poverty... the examples mentioned earlier

Pandemic diseases… we still have problems… though we have the solution to many…

Daily 30,000 children die of preventable diseases… we don’t have leaders that say… “We have got to stop this!” Here is where the Church steps up!

Good water would help… Malaria, we solved this a long time ago and the fix is not expensive. No one in America gets malaria, yet 500 million people still get it… again it is not the responsibility of Government… Here is where the Church steps in!

Education… half the people in the world can’t read or write…

Who can make the difference? Ordinary people, empowered by God making a difference where ever they are…

The Peace Plan is a lifestyle… not a program… exact opposite of missionary work today… we do it for them… it should be… how can we help you do it…

Organizations won’t last many won’t be here in 20 years… Nations don’t last, many have come and gone… but as long as there is an Earth there will be the Church! Everything is here for the Church…

We want to get our churches healthy so we can do the ministry of Jesus…

What we need to do … to do what Jesus did… the next generation is the kingdom of God…

Acts 1:8 local, national, global… it is not for you to know when… but You will receive POWER… Evangelism… Jesus said that is your priority…

Note: not sequential but simultaneous…

The only sign… World evangelism… gospel preached to all nations… ethnic groups… people groups… then the end shall come…

The answer is the Church… Don’t Give Up! Treat everyone like Christ… but Move with the Movers…

We are not in Competition… We are in Cooperation…

Rick Prayed for us…

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Purpose Driven Network Summit - Session 4 Notes

Session #4 - Rick Warren

-Spiritual growth is not by imitation but by inhabitation.
“ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I live in my body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and
gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20 (NIV)
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” 1 Cor. 3:6 (NIV)
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Phil. 2:12-13 (NIV)

“COME & SEE” to “COME & DIE”
“Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground and building lives of
obedience into maturity until finally we all believe… and become full-grown in the Lord-- to the point of being filled full with Christ.” ph.. 4:13 (LB)
1. A weekly commitment card - commitment is how people grow – draw the net closed!
-Need a “next step” in every sermon – Will You ______? (application)
2. Covenants – membership, maturity, ministry, mission
“Because of all this, we again promised to serve the Lord! And we, and our princes and Levites and priests al; put our names to this covenant. I, Nehemiah signed this covenant. The others who signed it were...”
Neh. 9:38-10:1 (LB)
3. Message notes – we forget most of what we hear
“The man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25 (NIV)
8 reasons to use an outline/sermon notes in preaching
1- Increases attention
2- Increases retention – the shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory
3- Increases participation
4- You can cover more scripture in less time
5- You can review the message for years to come
6- It can be the basis for small group discussion
7- It allows you to use multiple translations
8- Unbelievers don’t bring Bibles to church

REALITY: WE GROW THROUGH a step by step process
“...our lives are gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” 2 Cor. 3:18 (Mes)
There are developmental stages to spiritual growth too!
Knowing Christ, Loving ,Growing, Serving, & Sharing
-Purpose Driven is a catechism for the 21st century.

Spiritual gifts
1. S.H.A.P.E. interview
2. Spiritual Help Assessment
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves.” 2 Cor. 13:5 (NRSV)

REALITY: WE GROW BY developing good habits
“Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more...” Hebrews 10:25 (TEV)
-Character is the sum total of your habits.
-You must teach them the habits (class 201)
1. Assign homework
2. The Purpose Driven Life and Journal
3. Drive time devotions
4. Email devotions
5. Guide to fasting
6. Podcasts, internet resources etc.

REALITY: WE ONLY GROW in community
-You cannot grow without the church – you can get knowledge, but not maturity.
“Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to
do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing.
Instead, let us encourage one another all the more...” Heb. 10:24-25 (TEV)
-58 One Another’s in the New Testament
1. Small Groups
2. Retreats
“By this time you ought to be teachers!” Heb. 5:12 (NIV)

7. SPIRITUAL GROWTH Multi-dimentional
“Tell believers to live the kind of life that goes along with accurate teachings.”
Titus 2:1 (GW)
-You only believe the part you do.
Warmer through fellowship
Deeper through discipleship
Stronger through worship
Broader through ministry
Larger through mission
“Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” James 1:27 (NLT)

“As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night." Genesis 8:22 (NLT)
REALITY: WE GROW in spurts
THE TOOLS WE USE: Spiritual Growth Campaigns
40 DAYS OF PURPOSE (Personal Renewal)
40 DAYS OF LOVE (Relational Renewal) FALL 08
40 DAYS OF MISSION (Missional Renewal)

Purpose Driven Network Summit - Session 3 Notes

Session #3 - Rick Warren

The hope of the world is the church. It isn’t politics, the media etc. We need to put the church back in its rightful place in the center of society.

How is it someone can be in the church their whole life time and not grow up?
-Eph 4:14
-Every single conflict in your church is caused by spiritual immaturity
-The proof of spiritual maturity is not seen in knowledge but in relationships
-1 Cor 13
-James 3:17-18
-Romans 8:29 –Spiritual maturity is Christ-likeness

There is a retention issue as well as a rebellion issue – people remember only 5-10% of things they hear 72 hours later.

It is a myth you can grow spiritually by just attending church.

Teaching less, but embedding into hearts more.

God has not called me to be original but to be effective.

If you can’t learn from other people you have an ego problem.

1 Peter 5:2
Proverbs 27:12 – know the condition of your flock

Do you know the 3 biggest sins in your church? That is what you should be preaching on.
-Why would God give you a message totally unrelated to the needs of your congregation?

You don’t have to have a perfect congregation to have a mature congregation.

As a pastor you live between the tension of the real and the ideal.

How do you know when a church is spiritually mature?
-mature churches have the same characteristics of a mature plant
– they bear fruit
-having babies – planting other churches
-Matthew 7:17-20
-John 15:7 – bring glory to God by bearing fruit
-God expects more than faithfulness, He expects fruitfulness.
-Jesus cursed the fig tree because it didn’t bear fruit.

How do we produce spiritual fruit in the lives of our church members?
-John 17 – 8 things Jesus did with his disciples to grow them

The Jesus Way
1. Jesus led them to salvation – the starting point of discipleship ministry is evangelism
2. Jesus taught them the Word of God – v. 8, 14 – Word of God is the foundation
3. Jesus prayed for them – Pray with them and for them
4. Jesus checked up on them – kept them accountable
5. Jesus sent them on mission – going on missions changes people
6. Jesus expected reproduction – John 17:20 -
7. Jesus focused on character – after we train them they need to be more like Jesus, otherwise we missed the point
8. Jesus loved them – v. 23 –
9. Jesus gave them an example to follow – model don’t tell
10. Jesus challenged them with a big purpose
11. Jesus encouraged them – a look, a word, a touch
12. Jesus trusted them – he gave them permission to serve
13. Jesus believed in them – I believe you can do this
14. Jesus treated them as equals

Rick Warren’s method on how to talk to anyone:
S – Story – tell me your story
P – Passion – what are you interested in – what gets you up or motivates you – what do you love to do?
E – Encourage – Do you know what you’d be good at?
A – Assistance – How can I help you out? How can I serve you? What can I do for you?
K – Knowledge – who do you know that I need to know, and what do you know that I need to know?

Maturity is always for ministry and mission – not an end to itself.

Most people do not have the faith to believe in the dream God has given them.

The Jesus Model – Part 3
Rick Warren
JOHN 17 and other passages
1. Jesus led them to salvation – the starting point of discipleship ministry is evangelism
“For you granted him authority over all men that he might give eternal life to all those you have given to him.”(v 2)
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.” v6)
2. Jesus taught them the Word of God – v. 8, 14 – Word of God is the foundation
“For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them.” (v. 8)
“I have given them your word…” (vs 14)
3. Jesus prayed for them – Pray with them and for them
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, for they are yours.” (v 9)
“I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail." Luke 22:32 (NIV)
"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe
`in me because of their testimony.” John 17:20 (NLT)
4. Jesus checked up on them – kept them accountable
“While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the child of hell so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” (v 12)
5. . Jesus sent them on mission – going on missions changes people
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (v 18)
6. Jesus expected reproduction – John 17:20 -
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” (v 20)
7. Jesus focused on character – after we train them they need to be more like Jesus, otherwise we missed the point
“I have given them the glory that you gave me…” (v 22)
8. Jesus loved them – v. 23 –
“…you sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.” v 23)
9 Jesus gave them an example to follow – model don’t tell
“I have given you an example to follow. Now do as I have done to you.”
John 13:15 (NLT)
“Don't lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your
good example.” 1 Peter 5:3 (NLT)
“…set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in
purity.” 1 Tim. 4:12 (NIV)
10. Jesus challenged them with a big purpose
“Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you’ll have
treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21b (NJB)
“Jesus sent the disciples out with these instructions… “Go announce the
Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with
leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!”
Matt. 10:58 (NLT)
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I
have commanded you." Matt. 28:19-20 (NIV)
11. Jesus encouraged them – a look, a word, a touch
“Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him.”
Mark 10:21a (NJB)
“Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even
greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12 (NIV)
“A word of encouragement does wonders” Pr. 12:25 (LB)
12. Jesus trusted them – he gave them permission to serve
“I am giving you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on
earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened
in heaven." Matt. 16:19 (NLT)
“Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot.”
Luke 16:10 (NCV)
“If you love someone ... you will always believe in him, and always expect the
best of him...” 1 Cor. 13:7 (LB)
13. Jesus believed in them – I believe you can do this
"It was because you do not have enough faith," answered Jesus. "I assure
you that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed… you could do
anything!" Matt. 17:20 (TEV)
“Don’t use harmful words... Use only helpful words, the kind that build up...”
Eph. 4:29 (GN)
14. Jesus treated them as equals
“I do not call you servants… Instead, I call you friends.” John 15:15 (TEV)
“When Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will
share in all his glory!” Col. 3:4 (NLT)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Purpose Driven Network Summit - Conference notes

Update: These are the new and improved notes with some things I missed added in from Phil Wheelehan's notes for session #1

Session #1
Rick Warren - The Jesus Model
-A crowd is not a church
-It took Rick 30 years to grow a healthy church

Jesus Model
-Consistent growth for year after year
-Rick had an intentional strategy to send those God sent his way into the world to make a difference.
-You measure a Churches size is in its’ sending capacity not seating capacity… not how many you have in the mess hall… but how many you have on the battlefield…
-Growth thru evangelism not from other churches just because you are the hottest show in town…
-Test of ministry… not how big it is but does it last?...
-You cannot surrender the vision of your church to small thinkers or whiners.
-When I wanted to give up, Jesus held on.
-We don’t deserve it - God just does it - no such thing as paying your dues - that is the worlds way.
-Before He began His public ministry, Jesus was sent to the desert - God is more concerned about who you are than what you do - He wants to show you what you really believe because you always behave what you believe
-Many want to be used more - but God is using you all He can - the desert is where you get clear and clean…
-God uses all kinds of vessels - the only vessel God won’t use is a dirty one.
-The dessert makes you decide you want to impress in life…

Growth is Seasonal
-hang on, Spring will come again
-Colossians 2:6 - same way you get saved is the same way you walk in Him - Trust in His Grace

The enemy isn't other believers

People most often come to Christ in times of transition and tension

Too many people are concerned on being cool over effective.

I want God's blessing more than I want to get even.

3 Temptations:
-Passions of Life
-Positions of Life
-Possessions of Life

-Sex/Salary/Status pitfalls (Passion/Possesions/Position)

Jesus' Model - if you do it Jesus’ way, you will be criticized.
-Jesus had to go through the desert first - Matt 4
1. Led by spirit… it is spirit who leads you to the desert
2. God will give you the resources you need, the people you need and the opportunities to get His mission accomplished through you. Devil will tempt you to misuse each!
Note: You can’t lead till you know what is inside of you - your weaknesses - your strengths
3. 1 John 1:5 Love not the world… Lust of the flesh, Lust of eyes, Pride of life.
a. Lust of flesh - temptation to feel
b. Lust of eyes - temptation to have
c. Pride of life - temptation to be noticed
-Advertisers use these three temptation as a strategy to get people to buy things

Adam fell to all 3 temptations. Moses walked away from all 3.
-Note: but when Adam ate, he became unlike God -He hid, He lied, He blamed others.
-He died spiritually and didn’t even know it!
-In the wilderness God allows you to see you from His point of view.

Jesus Tempted:
-Pain & Pleasure test
-Maturity is the ability to endure pain & delay pleasure

If you are a young leader you need a Godly mentor (all leaders need a mentor).

Satan doesn't just tempt us in our weakness, but our strengths as well - he corrupts the good.

I will be tempted where I am gifted.

Temptation to not wait & trust God is one of the easiest temptations.

Praise & Popularity test reveals your integrity
-Jump off the temple Jesus...
-Right thing @ the wrong time in the wrong way.

Jesus' glory was to come on the cross, not through showing off.

Jesus did not come to do the spectacular but to do the sacrificial.

Will I use my ability to serve others or to gain prominence & approval?

Materialism - Lust of the eyes

The Good News is only Good News if it gets there in time!

Antidote to materialism is GIVING.

Integrity, generosity, humility
-your sin ALWAYS hurts other people
-never hurts just you.

I have one motivation in life - to know Christ and to make Him known.

Lust of Flesh - antidote is integrity
Pride of Life - antidote is humility
Lust of Eyes - antidote is generosity

The Temptations…
Lust of Flesh… hedonism
1. If you are Gods man…turn stone to bread… pain and pleasure test… maturity is the ability to endure pain and delay pleasure…
a. Delay is not denial… God is building you…
b. Tempted to use his abilities for personal gain… we are by our tempted with our strengths at a weak moment… You will be tempted where you are gifted…
c. Tempted to not trust God by thinking of yourself first… we are to learn to not meet our needs ourselves…
i. Note: even an Olympic champion needs a coach…
ii. God is testing to see if you really are going to put Him first
iii. Antidote – Integrity – doesn’t mean you are perfect but you are who you appear to be…
1. Living a non compartmental life…
2. Separating the Spiritual from the Secular… this is foreign to God
Pride Of life… humanism
2. If you are… praise and popularity test… integrity… beliefs match behavior… same in private as in public
a. Integrity means wholeness…
b. Temptation to presume upon God’s grace… God you have to do this! God is not a genie… it is not Him serving you… but you serve Him… like kid and bicycle with statue of Mary.
c. Tempted to do right thing in wrong way or time… (God’s glory was to be through suffering not spectacular) pride of life… showing off… do you love the people… or just love a crowd… without the motive of love nothing you say or do counts.
i. Temptation to take a short cut… will I use my abilities to serve others or serve myself…
ii. Antidote – Humility – is understanding your weaknesses and depending on God… do not take offense… at criticism… become dead to it… realize the what you are doing is more important than what people think of you.
Lust of Eyes… materialism
3. If you are Gods man… then shows all the kingdoms… worship me and it is yours… Lust of eyes…
a. Life is about people… not about possessions (Stuff) note: remember: world is passing away…
b. Antidote for materialism – is Generosity - giving yourself, your possessions, your gifts…

Session #2
7 Principles of Leadership based on the model of Jesus
1. Principle of identification
-Know who you are
-Leaders don’t look to other people for validation
-John 8:18

Twin deadly sins of ministry are comparing and copying
-Comparing leads to two dangerous paths – discouragement or pride.
-Don’t copy anybody, but learn from everybody.

2. Principle of Clarification
-Know what you want to accomplish
-John 8:14
-What are we doing by faith? Where are we taking risks?

3. Principle of Motivation
-Who am I trying to please?
-Don’t let others define your ministry, that is for God.
-If you don’t know your calling, others will try to define it for you.

4. Principle of Collaboration
-Build a team
-Matthew 26:8

5. Principle of Importance
-Focus on what is Important
-If Satan can’t get you do wrong, he will just wear you out doing good.
-Jesus was focused like a laser on his calling.
-Simple Church – stay focused, and keep getting better at what you do, not add more.
-When you have focus things continue to get clearer, and you become more effective.
-Know exactly what God has called you do and don’t get distracted from it.
-Luke 9:51

6. Principle of Meditation
-If you want a Christ like ministry, you must listen to God continually
-Mark 1:35
-Spend some time alone with God – put away the Computer/Phone/TV/everything and get with God.

7. Principle of Relaxation
-You need a Sabbath – don’t take a day off, you’ll cheat. Take a Sabbath.
-Divert daily, withdraw weekly, Abandon annually
-need something daily that helps you relax
-Pastors do most of our work with our mind, so do something manually to decompress/de-stress
-Withdraw weekly – take your Sabbath.
-Abandon annually – take vacation and don’t check voicemail/email etc.

Hillsong United - Mighty To Save lyrics

Heard this song today - it's been a while since we last sang it (we used it regularly at our last church - Crossroads Church.). It's so good I figured I should share it here - makes me want to jump up and down in my office and shout it out!

Hillsong United
Songwriters: Fielding, Ben; Morgan, Reuben

Mighty To Save

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus (x2)

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

My Saviour, you can move the mountains,
You are mighty to save,
You are mighty to save.
Forever, Author of Salvation,
You rose and conquered the grave,
Yes you conquered the grave

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hero by Fred Stoeker & Jason Stoeker


by Fred Stoeker & Jason Stoeker

with contributions by Mike Yorkey

Hero is the perfect resource for any male striving to be the relational man God’s calling him to be as well as one anyone who wants to be an encourage to the men in their lives. Fred Stoeker, co-author of the Every Man’s Battle series, elaborates on the struggles men face in the world today, and what exactly they can do about. While explaining what God says about these issues, Fred, along with co-author Jason Stoeker and contributions from Mike Yorkey, get real with readers. Hero offers hard-hitting truth about what makes an ultimate hero to women—men who stand by their convictions and make their world a better place.


You already know it’s not easy being a single man in this culture today. But it is easy to be overwhelmed, to feel helpless and hopeless about living by God’s high standards for singles. It’s easy to cave in to the pressures of this sex-soaked world and accept defeat—blaming the media, the culture, even girlfriends who don’t know how tough it can be.

But many men have read books like Every Young Man’s Battle and Tactics and have committed themselves to stand strong and pure in the power of God, and to go on the offensive against the onslaught of negative stereotypes. Some have suffered. Some have fallen. But many have experienced victory—and you can be among them.

What makes those committed men so desirable to women? Be Her Hero is their motto. From best-selling author Fred Stoeker, along with his son Jasen, come the straightforward insight and real-life examples you’re looking for to help you take personal purity to its logical conclusion. Here’s straight truth with irrefutable evidence of what makes an ultimate hero to women who long for men of faith—men who stand by their convictions and make their world a safer and better place.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

Author Bios:

Fred Stoeker is a best-selling author of several books, including Every Young Man’s Battle and Tactics, the president of Living True Ministries, and a popular conference speaker who challenges men to become sexually pure, to reconnect in true intimate relationship with their wives, and to train their sons to become godly men. A graduate of Stanford University, Fred lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Brenda, and their children.

Mike Yorkey, a writer living in Encinitas, California, has collaborated with Fred Stoeker in all his books for the Every Man’s series.

Jasen Stoeker is a popular conference speaker who challenges young men to be heroic in their relationships with women and to be a Christian, rather than just seem like one. Jasen is a graduate of Iowa State University with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science and now lives in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife Rose.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Christians Unclear About Spiritual Maturity

The results of a new study released this week by the Barna Group reveal that many churchgoers and church leaders find it difficult to define the concept of spiritual maturity.

The research, which was based on 1005 telephone interviews conducted in August of 2008, shows that a large number of church members, and clergy as well, either don't know what spiritual maturity is, or they simply don't know how to define it. Those who took part in the survey were asked such open-ended questions as, "How does your church define a healthy, spiritually mature follower of Jesus?," and "What is your personal definition of what it means to be a healthy, spiritually mature follower of Jesus?"

Barna discovered that:

  • Most Christians equate spiritual maturity with following rules, with 81 percent agreeing that spiritual health means "trying hard to follow the rules described in the Bible."
  • Most churchgoers are not clear about what their church expects in terms of spiritual maturity. Half of respondents said either they were not sure or were unable to venture a guess regarding how their church defines spiritual maturity. Those who did have an answer gave such responses as having a relationship with Jesus, practicing disciplines such as prayer and Bible study, living according to the Bible, being obedient, being involved in the church, or having concern for others.
  • Most Christians are also not clear about their personal views on spiritual maturity. Thirty percent of born-again Christians simply said that having a relationship with Jesus was a sign of spiritual maturity.
  • While nearly nine out of ten pastors said that a lack of spiritual maturity is one of the largest problems facing the nation, less than five out of ten pastors believe that spiritual immaturity is a problem in their church.
  • Less than 50 percent of churches have a written statement expressing the outcomes they are looking for in spiritually mature people.
  • Pastors are surprisingly vague when asked to share the biblical references they use to gauge spiritual maturity in their members. One-third simply said "the whole Bible," while 17 percent said "the gospels," 15 percent said "the New Testament" and 10 percent said "Paul's letters."

For the complete report, visit Barna Research at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lesbians Challenge Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America has provided millions of dollars in improvements to public facilities in exchange for their use, but now faces being banned from them because homosexuals and lesbians who were never even exposed to the organization claim their feelings were hurt. A lawsuit has resulted.

The court case presented to the U.S. Supreme Court developed over leases from the city of San Diego, Calif., allowing the San Diego Boy Scouts to build and operate campgrounds and an aquatic center on city property for both their own use and the public's. The public interest legal groups representing the scouts said that "lesbian and agnostic couples who had never visited the facilities sued the scouts on a claim that they felt offended by the fact that the city leases the public property to a 'morally straight' organization such as the Boy Scouts." There were no religious symbols at the facilities.

The Scout Oath calls for a member "to do [his] duty to God and [his] country ... and to keep [himself] morally straight."

A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint filed by the team of agnostics and lesbians, determining the individuals lacked standing to sue because "offended observers" have sustained no injury. But the decision was reversed by the full 9th Circuit panel. Now, lawyers from the Thomas More Law Center and Alliance Defense Fund are joining forces with the Boy Scouts to contest the decision.

The "Boy Scouts are asking the court to determine whether the plaintiffs have standing to bring an Establishment Clause challenge to San Diego leases of recreational facilities when they have never visited the facilities and the facilities are available for use by the public and display no religious symbols," said an attorney for the Boy Scouts. []

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Out-of-wedlock Births Hit Record High

From the CDC:

Nearly 40 percent of babies born in the United States in 2007 were delivered by unwed mothers, according to data released by the National Center for Health Statistics. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock births, of 4.3 million total births, marked a more than 25% jump from five years before.

Other data released shows the percentage of unwed mothers differs from race to race. While 28% of the white women who gave birth were unmarrried, nearly 72% of black women and more than 51% of Latinos who gave birth were out of wedlock.

The total number of births rose in 2007 to 4,317,119, the highest number of births ever registered in the United States.

(HT Leadership Network)

Pat Robertson Retiring From Virginia College Post

Regent University has announced that its founder, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, will step down next summer as the president. The 79-year-old will retire from the position effective July 1, 2010. Robertson became the university's sixth president in 2000. He will continue to serve as chancellor and on the board of trustees at the Virginia Beach school known for its evangelical Christian perspective. A new president is expected to be named by the fall semester of 2010. [The Associated Press]

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sermon - 1 John 4:7-19 - Fireproof: He first loved us

A teaser from today's sermon:

Most of us grew up in homes where we talked about love. A few of us grew up in homes where we experienced true, deep, unconditional love. As we’ve grown up, what many of us are finding is that it’s really hard to love if we’ve never truly felt loved.

One of the great problems of our world is that many many people are walking around these days trying to give and receive something they’ve never experienced for themselves.

For more check us out at

Southern Baptist Music School Folds

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is folding its decades-old music school into another school because of the sluggish economy and decreasing popularity with students. Seminary President Albert Mohler says the recession forced a sooner-than-planned merger of the school after the seminary laid off 35 non-faculty workers earlier this year. But, Mohler also says the trend of churches moving to guitars and praise choruses has eroded the school's entrants over several years. The seminary will continue to offer some music degrees, but it plans to cut music faculty through attrition. [The Associated Press]

Saturday, May 09, 2009

No White House Observance for National Day of Prayer

There was no White House observance for the National Day of Prayer this year, breaking tradition with many past years. "We are disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration," said Shirley Dobson, chairman of the NDP Task Force. "At this time in our country's history, we would hope our president would recognize more fully the importance of prayer." The White House did eventually release a generic proclamation late in the day Thursday recognizing the National Day of Prayer. []

Friday, May 08, 2009

Teacher Violated First Amendment

A federal judge ruled last week that a public high school history teacher violated the First Amendment when he told his class that creationism was "religious, superstitious nonsense."

U.S. District Judge James Selna stated that the comment made in 2007 by James Corbett, who has taught at Capistrano Valley High School for 20 years, has no "legitimate secular purpose." According to the Orange County Register, Corbett made the "nonsense" remark during a class discussion about a 1993 court case in which former Capistrano Valley High School science teacher John Peloza sued the school district challenging its requirement that Peloza teach evolution. Peloza subsequently lost at both the trial and at the appeal. Referring to his former colleague, Corbett told his class, "I will not leave John Peloza alone to propagandize kids with this religious, superstitious nonsense."

Chad Farnan, who filed the lawsuit, was a student in Corbett's class in 2007, and cited over 20 statements made by the teacher which he believed were comments that were anti-Christian. In a ruling last month, the judge dismissed all but two of the statements and, on Friday, ruled that only the "nonsense" comment violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Corbett remains at Capistrano Valley High School and Farnan, who says he is not interested in monetary damages, is now a junior at the school. [The Associated Press]

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sermon - Ephesians 5:21-33 - Intro to Fireproof and The Love Dare

My sermon from today based on Ephesians 5:21-33 plus the movie Fireproof and the book The Love Dare is now posted on (Direct Link).

Here's a teaser:

Men, imagine what would happen if your wife sat you down at a table tomorrow and said, “Honey, I’ve been making some demands of you, and I’m giving those up. I’m lining up under you. I’m giving up my rights to expect you to be who I think you should be.”

Women, imagine what would happen if your husband sat you down at a table tomorrow and said, “Babe, I know there are some things you’ve needed from me and I haven’t been willing to line up with them. I’m sorry I’ve been selfish, but starting today, I’m going to do my best to meet your needs, as I understand them.”

For some of us, there would be a quiet revolution of joy, which is how marriage was designed in the first place.

I heard some good conversations after church related to this sermon, and am looking forward to the work God will be doing in and through our congregation in the weeks to come.

Mars Hill Church is opening a campus in Albuquerque, NM!

This just posted on the Mars Hill Church web site:

This summer, City on a Hill Church in Albuquerque will become a Mars Hill campus. We will partner together in an effort to reach as many people as possible with the gospel of Jesus. Over the past three months, the Executive Elders of Mars Hill and the pastors of City on a Hill have spent many hours in discussion, prayer, and study in order to reach this unanimous decision.

Dave Bruskas is the lead pastor at City on a Hill, which has been a part of the Acts 29 Network since 2007. He is a proven, seasoned pastor and a gifted teacher. He is a loving husband, and a devoted father to his four daughters. Dave will be the Albuquerque campus pastor and serve as a regional director for both Acts 29 and Mars Hill, starting new campuses, starting new churches, and continuing to lead the local congregation.

The transition from City on a Hill to Mars Hill Church will be official in the next few months, and the new campus will celebrate its grand opening this fall. In the meantime, the local leadership will help shepherd the congregation through the transition, and Mars Hill pastors will spend some time onsite to provide training and fellowship as we get better acquainted with this new extension of our church family (for example, Tim Smith, our lead worship pastor, will visit next weekend, and Pastor Mark will preach live at City on a Hill on May 24).

Getting Acquainted

  • The congregation meets in the Lobo Theater. Built in 1939, it’s the oldest theater still standing along the historic Route 66.
  • At present, City on a Hill’s average attendance ranges between 300 to 400 adults and children.
  • Seven pastors serve the City on a Hill congregation.
  • City on a Hill Church was founded in April 2001, and replanted as an Acts 29 church in July 2007.
  • The vast majority of the church falls within the 24-35 range and mirrors the multicultural make-up of metropolitan Albuquerque.
  • The location is in the cultural heart of Albuquerque, a short distance from the University of New Mexico, which is the largest state campus in the US with a majority minority enrollment.
  • Albuquerque is the #1 “Creative Class” city among medium-sized cities (Seattle is #5 on the large city list).
  • City on a Hill Church shares Mars Hill Church’s commitment to be a “city within the city, living for Jesus.”