The Next Chapter

Earlier this month, the leadership of Westridge Church announced that a decision had been made to cease operating the West Paulding Location where i have served for the past two years as a staff member. When this decision was announced I began to seek counsel as to what God was calling me and my family to do and it appears that God has opened up an amazing opportunity at another church in my area. While I am not ready to make the name of that church public yet I do feel confident in this decision.

I want to take a moment and thank the leaders and staff of Westridge for the amazing opportunity that was offered to me to be a part of the staff at the West Paulding Location. The team of leaders that I served alongside and lead are some of the most dedicated and talents leaders that I have had the privilege of knowing. To my Pastor Brian Bloye and his amazing wife Amy I count it my honor to have been under your leadership for a season.

I look forward to announcing my next ministry opportunity in the coming weeks and for what God is going to accomplish next and I get to witness and participate in.

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Who are healthy?

In the Gospels both Matthew {Matt 9:1-13} and Mark {Mark 2:16-18} record an occasion when Jesus is challenged by the religious leaders as to who he was spending his time with. His response was that he had come to bring health and healing to those who were not receiving it. It is easy for us to look at this incident and cast our agreement with Jesus for calling out the religious leaders while not taking the time to examine our own lives. In the Matthew accounts Jesus, says, “ But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice…” he is speaking in a way that his listeners had forgotten or not understood the phrase “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” which was taken from the book of Hosea. To desire mercy over sacrifice is to understand that we must love and heal before we can instruct and disciple. And so we are left to examine ourselves each and every one of us in the light of what Jesus has said and how he lived. Are you relatively healthy? Do you require the services of the great Physician Jesus? Or perhaps you have simply forgotten who you have been called to reach? A doctor can only help others if he is healthy and the Church Health Partnership exists to help those who are ministering to the unhealthy by helping those who are called to be doctors to be healthy themselves. Are you yourself unhealthy and trying to work among those who are just like you? Consider your own healthy before considering others and make the choice to become healthy.

West Paulding Campus :: Launch Sunday

We had an amazing first Sunday at the West Paulding Campus with over 400 in attendance on the first day. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for our launch. Now the work of broadening our base and getting the word out that we are there begins.

Here are a few pictures that I took on Sunday:

Launch Sunday of the West Paulding Campus of Westridge Church

WestRidge Church Campus Announcement

Today Brian Bloye announced plans for first of five new campus’ of Westridge Church to be started over the next five years. I am very excited to also announce that I will be joining the staff of the new campus as the Director of Group Life on a volunteer basis. The campus is set to launch on August 8th at Poole Elementary. I will post more updates and news as we get closer to launch! Please join me in praying for our team and for the people who we will be reaching at this new campus.

Come Back Tomorrow

I am currently reading the book, “Leading on Empty” by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro and we shared a dream that he had and the insight that he gained from that dream. In the dream a man and his family ran a small farm. Each day the man set up shop to sell various products and consumers would come and buy what he had: one bought a gallon of milk, another a ripe tomatoes, another cheese, others eggs or corn. A lady came and asked for something that the man did not have, but the farmer simply said, “come back tomorrow and I’ll have more.” The lady was upset with the farmer but it did not bother him. He just went back to work and day after day the people would stand in line for products until the farmer sold out for the day. When they had sold out the farmer would announce, “come back tomorrow and I’ll have more.”

Here is the nugget of wisdom that Pastor Wayne pulled from his dream. He writes, “I don’t have to tie myself to an imaginary, unrelenting cycle to produce more, make more, or try to outdo last week’s numbers. I have just so much time in the day, and I want to do what I can with all my heart involved. When the clock runs out, then I say, “come back tomorrow, and I’ll have more.”

As pastors and church leaders we can often feel like the farmer who feels compelled to “feed the masses” each and every day and never has the courage to stand up to the crowd and say “come back tomorrow” because we are scared that they will riot or not come back at all. The trap that we fall into sometime to run ourselves to death, neglect our families, and not feed ourselves is a dangerous gamble that we can fall into very easily unless we learn to steward our energy.

Pastor Wayne goes on to write how as a result of this dream and a breakdown that almost cost him everything, he learned to restructure his day around the following priorities:

1) A daily quiet time with God – it cannot be understated how important fueling our souls by spending time with God, fuels our ministry

2) Message preparation – as a leader in a speaking role in his church, Pastor Wayne devotes a small amount of time to study and preparation each day so as not to be finishing up his message on Saturday night.

3) Pastor & Leading – when it comes to your daily schedule, Pastor Wayne asks:

  • What areas of my life and ministry could benefit the most from an infusion of energy?
  • Which areas will be catalytic and advance the kingdom?
  • What groups of people do I need to energize and inspire?
  • What growth areas require my involvement?
  • Which aspects of ministry by my involvement will result in growth and fruitfulness?
  • What is it around _______ church that needs a burst of my energy to release or unclog it?
  • Where am I going to assign my pockets of energy that will in fact take the ministry to a new level?

4) Marriage & Family – If we use up all of our energy at the office, and we come home completely drained how can we be expected to succeed in this most important role? Saving time and energy that we invest into our marriages and families is one of the best decisions that we can make with our schedules and priorities.

5) Me – Me time includes time for exercise, reflection, fun, rest, and renewal.

Pastor Wayne concludes this section with these words, “Steward your energy well, and in seasons of dismay, you will still have enough of a reservoir to lead” and remember that there is always tomorrow so come back and I’ll have more then! (emphasis mine)

Is Getting God Enough?

In Numbers chapter 18 God says to Aaron in verse 20 “The Lord also said to Aaron, “You will not inherit any of the land, and you will not own any land among the other people. I will be yours. Out of all the Israelites, only you will inherit me.”

I wonder how Aaron must have felt to be told that the land that he had been hearing about for years and was to be flowing with “milk and honey”; he personally would never get to own any of it! This struck me because in essence God was saying to Aaron that he would have to be satisfied with Him and Him only! How many of us when everybody around us is receiving things is left with just God. I detect in the tone of God the idea that “Hey Aaron you get me! Nobody gets just me but you do! And by the way, you have to be ok with that!”

I wonder if we can appreciate what Aaron was to receive from God. Too many of us focus on what we get from God and miss the fact that we just get to be with God. The blessing of not having to farm and take care of land was given to Aaron who was then free to focus on serving God full-time in ministry. Perhaps God was on to something with this arrangement and we have somehow missed it or ignored it?

The greatest inheritance that we can receive is to be adopted into the family of God and may we never take it for granted or feel that it is beneath us to settle for being in the presence of God.

Realizing our Need

The New Century Version of Matthew 5:3 says,

“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”

I was struck by the phrase “who realize their spiritual poverty” as it underscores our blindness from our dependence upon God to meet our needs. It is only when we realize that we need God, that we will open ourselves up to seeking God. I have seen that it is when I declare and acknowledge that I am broken and empty without God that he awakens in me the desire to be filled with more of the things of God. Our church has made it a priority this year to be more focused on God and the health that is found in pursuing him more. I have resolved to fill myself more with the things of God and to that end I have resolved to be a better husband and father, to read God’s word every day, and to place myself into accountability relationships that are grounded in Biblical community. May I be blessed as the Lord has promised as I declare my spiritual poverty before him in this new year.