Today, we give thanks for the local church. Scripture compares the church to a body and tonight is attempt to bring that body together. We strive for unity. Not a bunch of churches getting together, but The Church getting together. Many branches but one tree. Many parts but one purpose. We are thankful to God that he has given us this method of establishing His kingdom here on earth. The local church saves the lost, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, visits the imprisoned, heals the sick, rebukes the devourer. Each November those that are involved in the San Marcos Ministers’ Association gather as sort of a heaven practice. All gathered in one place, at one time, in one mind to worship and give thanks to our creator and Savior.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for providing this vehicle called the local church. Where strangers become family and broken are mended. Thank you for the spiritual community of San Marcos, TX. Lord, we are grateful that you have placed us in this place at this time for this moment of your kingdom. We pray that we will take the rightful responsibility as your church and not squander our resources and talents, but we will rise to the great calling you have placed on us. To be the Salt of San Marcos. To be the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden. May your light permeate from your church to the darkest parts of this community. Endue us with power from your Holy Spirit to build your kingdom, we pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Here is a blog from my new friend…Jason Vernon. What a great experience we had.
Once a month, for the past 6 months, I have enjoyed learning from some great pastors. The coaching network was outstanding! As advertised, we prayed together, read books together, learned leadership principles and had many great times of connection. I have to say that I learned something from everyone in our group. Here are a few of my takeaways:
#1 Robin taught me how to be a humble leader. Robin started a church that has grown to nearly 1,000 people. His church just built a beautiful worship center and his ministry is growing at a rapid pace. Despite these great accomplishments, Robin always acted interested in what we were doing at RTPCC. He looked at our website and constantly gave me advice and encouragement.
#2 TJ taught me how to lead with insane passion and determination. He was up at 3AM this past Sunday getting ready for his service. The guy is full throttle all the time. He honestly reminds me of my wife when she drinks sweet tea. I wish I had half of his energy and passion.
#3 Doug Vernon (yes we have decided that we are cousins) taught me the importance of slowing down and enjoying life. Doug is so wise and he always seems to know the right thing to say.
#4 Danny taught me the importance of always staying hungry for more insight and knowledge. He recorded nearly every discussion and I watched him constantly taking notes.
#5 Chris taught me the importance of contemplation. The guy thinks about God all the time. We will be right in the middle of a strategy discussion and he will suddenly come up with an awesome thought that he had about Jesus. Watching him encouraged me to grow deeper in Christ.
#6 Scott taught me how to be a kind pastor (at least i’m trying to learn how). He always made time to listen. You can see the compassion of Christ in his life.
#7 Tony P. taught me the importance of vision. I am amazed by everything that is happening in his local church.
#8 Thomas reminded me of the importance of prayer. I can tell, this man prays ALL THE TIME. He seems to have a close connection with God. I really see the love of Christ in His life.
#9 Emily Morgan and Tony’s kids. In addition to leadership training, I was able to get a close up view of a great family. This family does not just slap up instagram pictures of their kids. You can watch the love of Christ in all that they do. Emily was an OUTSTANDING host. She even took time out of her busy schedule to talk to my wife (Casey). I am encouraged every time I am around these guys.
#10 Tony Morgan. What a great job of coaching! My biggest takeaway from the experience was learning about mission, vision and core values. I felt “stuck” in these areas but now I feel like I can lead with clarity and focus.
I would like to thank RTPCC for making it possible for me to attend the coaching network. I hope it has made me a better pastor. I highly recommend the experience to any pastor or Christian leader.
“Pro-life” and “Pro-choice” both seem to have such a negative connotation. I immediately think of extremists. Why do I think of that? Because when ever pro-lifers are shown on television, they only show the strange, extreme, and often illegal protestors of abortion. I have a negative vibe with pro-choice people, because I completely disagree with them. This has left me and many others in my generation sitting on the sidelines doing…nothing. Saying…nothing.
‘There is nothing we can do.’
‘I don’t want to be associated with those people.’
‘We can’t change the laws.’
Thoughts like these resonate within our minds. I see pastors and leaders around me (that believe abortion is wrong), doing nothing on the topic. It is almost like it is a ‘late 80s/early 90s’ topic. We don’t see it fitting in our glossy sermon series. We don’t want to be controversial. We don’t know how to talk about it in a practical way. We might not even care.
This is an article I wrote for the Destiny’s Magazine
Paul Tweeted About Bad Stuff Too.
I go to conferences, follow high profile ministers on twitter and Facebook, read blogs, and see folks on TV. Yet most of them only give me status updates on the miracles and places where God shows up. Every time I hear from them, it is revival! As much as I want to say it is always encouraging…it is not. The problem is that it doesn’t represent real life. When I look to my life and the ebbs and flows of ministry, there are so many more challenges and simply ordinary scenarios.