Aug 8 2016

Prayer – Day One

Today marks the beginning of a 10 day journey we are going on as a church. Every year in August, we challenge each other to spend 10 days seeking the Lord in prayer. This isn’t to say we don’t seek the Lord in prayer for the rest of the 355 days out of the year. This is simply a way to get all of us as a church focused on and praying for the exact same things.

Being on this journey with you, I want to encourage you with four things.

One, set aside time each day specifically for prayer. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), which means to always be in a state of prayer. I have also learned over the years that if I don’t carve out that time for prayer, my prayers will be more reactionary, rather than intentional and specific. Carve out time every day to spend time in prayer. If that’s in the morning, the evening or every hour on the hour.

Two, write down a few things that you are asking God to do specifically in your life or the life of your family.  Write down these prayers so you won’t forget them and during your prayer time each day, pray specifically for these things, as well as the items we are praying for as a church, which I will post on my blog.  Let’s see how God shows up in our specific and intentional prayers during this time.

Three, share what God does in your life during this time.  Be willing to share with someone, with social media and with the church what God is doing in and through this time of prayer. How is God changing you? What is God saying to you specifically? How has God showed up in your life during these 10 days? Sharing what God is doing in you, will encourage others to pursue Him in their lives.

Four, allow yourself to pursue God through not just prayer, but through reading His Word. When we supplement one with the other, powerful things can happen. If you haven’t already, sign up for the Front Range Reading Plan.

I’m excited to be on this journey with you. Let it begin.

Prayer Focus – Day One: Teachers and Administrators

As classes being in many schools this week, let’s be praying for our administrators and teachers. God has given them a great calling to influence and impact the next generation. Let’s pray God would guide them and direct them over the next school year. In addition, let’s pray for grace and peace as they work hard and invest their lives into new families. To all the teachers and faculty members in our church, THANK YOU!!!

Aug 4 2016

There Is Hope

I remember attending three church planting conferences the year prior to launching Front Range. At two of the three conferences, we heard story after story about how difficult church planting is, how much you will have to sacrifice and how you probably won’t see any substantial growth for years to come, if you were even able to make it past the 80% of church plants that fail in the first 5 years.

I left both of those conferences praying one prayer, “God, use us to write a different story. May our story be filled with growth, with life-change and with you doing what only you can get credit for.”

Two years later, we have seen God do great things. It has been very difficult, we, and so many others, have had to sacrifice a ton personally and as a family, but we have been very blessed and humbled by what God has chosen to do within our community. We have seen God use our story to bring others hope that there can be a different way. Knowing God is using us excites me; however, knowing that there is a greater story being written, is even more exciting.

One of the things that brings me the most hope for the future of the Church and the efforts of church planting is seeing the next generation of guys and how they are making even greater strides than those who went before them.

I look at guys like Robby Emery at One Oak Church in Detroit, MI and Shawn Withy-Allan at Manna Church in Honolulu, HI and I see guys who are leading their teams up to launch day better than most church plants I have seen. I look at guys like Zach Lambart with Restore Austin in Austin, TX and John Mark Redwine at The Gathering in Asheville, NC who are seeing God do incredible things in some of the most difficult places for churches to exist.

Watching these guys and seeing what God is doing in their midst gives me hope for church planting and the global Church. God is writing a new story in our country and in our world. God is doing things that we have never seen with new churches and the best is still yet to come.

God, thank you for the church planters who went before us, so we have some shoulders to stand on. Thank you for healthy church planting organizations like ARC, Strategic Launch Network and CPR who have trained, resourced and equipped church planters all over the world. Thank you for using our story as a small glimpse of hope to future church planters. Thank you God for the story you are unfolding now is so much greater than anything we could have asked or imagined.

Apr 24 2015

Steps of Faith!

Have you ever had a time in your life where you believed God was calling you to step out in faith? Maybe it was to place your trust in His grace and salvation. Maybe it was to end a relationship you cherished. Maybe it was to give generously to a church or a project or a person.

Most of us, if not all of us, have had an experience where God was calling us to step out in faith and all of us know that with any step of faith, we are going to experience trials, hardships and persecution.

The enemy of our souls, Satan, is real and he wants to prevent us from living our lives for God’s glory. He wants to do everything he can to keep us from taking steps of faith, ultimately, proclaiming the goodness and greatness of God in our lives. If you are not living your life for God, then the enemy is content with that and will not see you as a threat, but the moment you start taking steps of faith in obedience to God is the moment Satan will begin to attack you.

How does he attack? Let me just give you three ways.

One, he attacks through personal issues. He will go after your home life, your relationship with your spouse, your kids. He will attack your finances, your workplace, even your animals. Last year, when we launched Front Range Christian Church, we had multiple personal attacks. Our house flooded 3 times, our cars broke multiple times, someone broke into our car, my wife’s workplace was a unique challenge and the list can go on and on. It was hard, but it was expected because that’s one way Satan attacks.

A second way Satan attacks is through the words of outsiders. Anytime we take a step of faith in our journey with God, people will have an opinion. They will either agree or disagree with us whether they are a part of or lives or not. When we announced we were launching a second campus, people who aren’t even a part of our church decided to share with us their opinion. Some were positive and others were…well…attacks of the enemy. It can be frustrating having others who are not a part of your life looking in and making conclusions about your decisions, but instead of getting upset at the person, recognize it as an attack of Satan and fight the real enemy.

A third way the enemy attacks is through the words of those “close” to you. Not only do you hear the conclusions of others outside of your life, but there are those who feel they have an inside track to your life. They may be relatives, people at church, co-workers or neighbors. These are people who feel close to you so they feel they have a responsibility to speak into your life, your family, your beliefs about God. These attacks can hurt the most because they come from people you feel should trust you and believe in you more than most. As with the second type of attacks, we must see these attacks for what they are. These are not mean people voicing their opinion, this is Satan using others to discourage and sidetrack us from the mission God has for us. Stay focused. Don’t give in. Don’t allow the attacks of the enemy from prohibiting you to live out God’s call on your life.

So what happens when you experience Satan’s attacks? How are we to respond?

3 Principles I live by.

1. Focus on what you know not what you don’t know

2. Surround yourself with truth tellers not fortune tellers

3. Be an umpire

Over the next week, I will explore these principles in greater detail. Principles that can help us stand on truth, live in freedom and continue to take the steps of faith God is calling us to take.

Feb 24 2014

The Question

Have you ever asked a question you regretted immediately after it came out of your mouth? Yeah, me too.

The other day I was at a meeting with multiple church planters when a person came up to one of them and asked the unpardonable question…

“How many people come to your church?”

Immediately when it was asked my heart went out to him. The question you should never ask a church planter was asked.

You see, there is rarely, if ever, any good that comes from asking this question and to be completely honest, I want to write an entire blog about how damaging this question can be to the church planter and to the one asking, even with the best intentions. Instead, I am going to give you some encouragement on questions you can….no, you should ask a church planter.

          1.    Ask him “How is your family doing?”

Many times a church planter’s family goes through more spiritual attacks than anyone else. Satan knows if he can destroy the love, the unity, the foundation of the family, then he will destroy the most important ministry the church planter has…his family.

          2.    Ask him “Is there anything I can do to serve the church?”

Many of the challenges a church planter is faced with would be resolved if more people stepped up to serve.  Whether it is in the parking lot, taking care of administrative needs, caring for the kids in the children’s ministry, most of the areas that keep church planters up at night are things that people could help alleviate. Even if you are not a part of the church, think about how you can serve the church in some form or fashion.

          3.    Ask him “How can I pray for you?”

Prayer is our most powerful weapon. The greatest impact you can make in the life of a church planter is to pray for him, his family and the church. Pray against the attacks of the enemy. Pray for his health. Pray for wisdom. Pray for the church to grow in community and in numbers. Pray for the church to have an impact in the world. Pray Jesus would be glorified!

Next time you are thinking about a church planter, ask him one of these questions.  Next time you are talking to a church planter…don’t ask him how many people he has coming to his church, but instead, ask him one of these three questions. You will see him light up as he see people genuinely caring for him, his family and the church.

Jan 5 2014

Launch Team Gathering #11

Join us for our eleventh gathering as a launch team for Front Range Christian Church. We will begin around 6:30 MST (8:30 Eastern, 5:30 Pacific). If the video does not start for you, please refresh and try again.