Monday, February 27, 2012

ONE VOICE: Your Love Never Fails



The Song:
We’ve spent the last three weeks learning a song called “Your Love Never Fails” by Anthony Skinner and Chris McClarney and we’ll sing it again soon. This great worship song draws its powerful lyrics and themes right out of scripture…especially Romans 8.  It’s worth reading the whole chapter but at least check out these passages that provide the foundation of the song:

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  – Romans 8:28 NLT

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39 NLT

Find It:

CLICK HERE to download this song from iTunes.

Lifting my voice with yours, Pastor Neil


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Youth Ministry Home Run...

During our Voltage (CYM's Sunday School) lesson yesterday I asked this question "Who is the brightest, most inspiring Christian you personally know?"

This type of question comes up a ton in youth ministry curriculum and it is always one I am hesitant to ask. It is awkward for me to ask this question...one, because if the answer isn't "Gosh, you are Jon" then I feel like I am not doing a good enough job...and two, because if it is "Gosh, you are Jon" then I feel embarrassed and that the kids are just saying it because I am in the room...

So with the Group Questions yesterday I had to go there and to my surprise...I found an answer that I loved!  Several students shared one name...and this name is one of the volunteers in our Wed. night SURGE CYM ministry. 

Dani Helm!

The reasons were multiple but the main reason was because "she takes the time to stop what she is doing to ask how I'm doing...and then she listens."

Incredible!!!! 

I am so thankful for our Volunteers in CYM who sacrifice a ton of time to pour into students. 

Could you do me a favor?  Would you be able to take some time this week to ask one person under the age of 18 how they are doing...and then listen?


Let us be the church that isn't too busy for our students...


Pastor Jon

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Messing with a Good Thing, Pt. 3


Again, I wanted to take some opportunities to explore a little of the "why" behind some of the changes seen in our worship services over the past several weeks and months.  We've tried to explain it as we go but that doesn't mean that everyone caught it or remembers.  Plus, the conversations & questions that sparked some of these changes would be good thought-prodders for all of us in all areas of life.

As I mentioned in Part 2, our second worship-service-change was to rethink our "response method".  Here's how it used to go: "If you'd like to come down to the altar, you can use the one on the left to pray alone or you can come to the right and the pastor will pray with you."  As we examined this tradition under the light of concern for finding the best ways encourage the church to respond and allow God to move in their lives, we ran across several concerns:
  • Several of us who had grown up in this same tradition admitted feeling uncomfortable with the whole concept.  I will admit to being one of them.  Not that I've never gone to an altar but I have rarely felt comfortable doing so because:
    • I don't want to be a distraction to someone else.
    • I don't want to draw attention to myself.
    • I don't want people excessively speculating about what's going on in my life.
  • We also wondered how many folks today who have not grown up with a familiarity with this altar tradition might feel.  Would it be intimidating to "walk the aisle" down to the altars?  Would they have some of the same concerns that many of us that have grown up with it face?
  • We've felt for a long time that asking the pastor to be the only person to pray with people is limiting and even unhealthy.  Scripture is plain that we are all to lift up and pray for one another!
In response to these concerns:
  • We moved the place of response to the back of our worship center so that people might eventually feel more free to respond without many of the concerns listed above.
  • We recruited and trained a Response Team full of compassionate people who are equipped to pray with folks.  Not only that but we'll now be better equipped to follow-up with people and help encourage them in their journey...not just for a single moment on a Sunday morning.  And isn't that kinda what Church is supposed to be about?
We're excited about the changes being made. This is new territory and we don't suspect that we've landed on all the right answers. But we are committed to gradually shaping the culture of our church so we are increasingly a people that EXPECT & DESIRE to SEE & EXPERIENCE God moving in our lives every Sunday.

Why mess with a good thing?  To seek the best thing!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Messing with a Good Thing, Pt. 2

Again, I wanted to take some opportunities to explore a little of the "why" behind some of the changes seen in our worship services over the past several weeks and months.  We've tried to explain it as we go but that doesn't mean that everyone caught it or remembers.  Plus, the conversations & questions that sparked some of these changes would be good thought-prodders for all of us in all areas of life.

As I mentioned in Part 1, w
e have set out to create space for listening to God in our services...we're not trying to find the latest, greatest worship fad.  Here's a little epiphany I landed on awhile back: The Church is mistaken if it thinks that the entertainment factor will be enough to attract and keep folks.  99.9% of local churches in America will NEVER be able to out-entertain the world.  Just watch the Super Bowl here in a few days and you'll see exactly what I mean.  So what hope do we have of attracting and keeping folks?  HOPEFULLY, we have the Spirit of God at work in our midst.

But unfortunately, we at LifeQuest--like many churches--have appeared more concerned with getting our worship service all polished up each week, complete with media & quality music/message, than with allowing space and time for people to pray and respond to the moving of God in their hearts and lives.  So we've struck out to explore ways to correct that.


Our first change was to create more time after the message so there was no need for anyone to feel so rushed that they might not have adequate time time to respond to what God was doing. 
Our second change was to rethink our "response method".  Here's how it used to go: "If you'd like to come down to the altar, you can use the one on the left to pray alone or you can come to the right and the pastor will pray with you."

That method--or something not too distant from it--has been in use for the past 100+ years in many of our American churches.  So, again, why mess with a good thing?  We'll explore that in the next installment of "Messing with a Good Thing".



CLICK HERE to read part 3....