Dude Share the Food

There is not enough space or time to do justice to the eye-opening experience that we had yesterday as some of us from Velocity Church went to share food with the homeless in downtown Atlanta yesterday. My wife has a great recap of our experience and I wanted to give props to her. The thing that I witnessed that had the greatest impact on me was when I witnessed a man who was living under an overpass, who had just been given a meal from a local mission, took a biscuit from that meal and gave it to the pigeons who had gathered nearby. Here was a man who had nothing and he was willing to give up part of his food to feed some dirty pigeons! I complain that I have to give or sacrifice about anything and this guys just give his food away and to him that is no big deal! O how I wish that I could learn that lesson and apply it.

We have lift off!

lift off

Velocity Church officially launched yesterday with 96 in attendance. It was a very exciting day for everyone inloved. A large majority of the faces that we saw yesterday were first time attenders who either heard about Velocity through our marketing or were invited to attend by someone involved in Velocity. I pray that God will bless our efforts as we move forward and that he begins to build a movement of people in our area who will catch our vision and put in action our desire to reach this community with the love of Jesus Christ. Amen

Be Strong and Courageous

Joshua 1:6-9

“6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Yesterday, Paul and I attended a luncheon of local Douglasville preachers and ministers. A local pastor who served as our host read this passage of scripture from Joshua as a devotional thought to us. I was mediating on this verse this morning and I believe that these words have significance for the leaders of Velocity.

Planting a church is one of the most difficult things to do in ministry. In the same ways that God told Joshua to be “strong and courageous” because the task of leading the people of God into the promise land would be very difficult so it will be for us. I see three keys in this passage:

1)It will take strength and courage if we are to be successful in establishing a church that is concerned about the lost and is outwardly focused. Courage to try something new and out of the ordinary and strength to stick to our convictions and values when we are criticized and challenged.

2) It will force us to “keep the book of the law on our lips; mediating upon it.” Reading and mediating upon scripture is a learned activity and does not come easy. As leaders we must train ourselves to spend time each day connecting with God. I can think of no greater weapon than the Word of God.

3) It will require God to go ahead of us as he did with Joshua. He has already has! Why do we continue to doubt that he is the God who does not go back on his word? Lord I pray that he would increase my faith so that I can pray with confidence that he has given to me all that I ask and require. He has also promised to go with us and tonight at 7pm we will gather as a team to walk and to pray that God will continue to go ahead and with us as we plant Velocity Church. Amen!

Church in a Trailer

On Saturday morning, we gathered as a team for the first time to pack all of our “stuff” into a 24′ Budget Truck for the trip to Baggett Elementary. Upon arriving, the controlled chaos of unpacking things from boxes for the first time in sued. In the end, we ran out of time before everything was set up exactly as we had liked but we were able to come back on Sunday morning and worship together. God is good and I know that he was pleased with our effort and our heartfelt worship of him yesterday.  I am so proud of our team who came together and worked very hard to get everything set up. We learned many lesson yesterday, but the greatest lesson of all that we learned is that the “church” is not a building or the stuff that is in the building, but the people of God coming together in a common purpose of bringing honor and glory to Jesus. May God receive all the glory for what we are doing in our efforts to reach the unchurched of our area and may God gather those whom he wishes to call Velocity Church as we begin this new work. Amen.

Dividing up the work

“The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Col-Hozeh…”

“Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs [b] of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.”

“Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district. 18 Next to him, the repairs were made by their countrymen under Binnui [c] son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah. 19 Next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section, from a point facing the ascent to the armory as far as the angle. 20 Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 Next to him, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired another section, from the entrance of Eliashib’s house to the end of it.”

Nehemiah 3:15-21

In this passage from Nehemiah, we see the work of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem being undertaken by a number of people. In the same way that it takes a team of people to rebuild a city it also takes a team to start a new church.

This week, Velocity has a lot of work to do in preparation for our first trial Sunday. The temptation is to try and do everything yourself and many church planters fall into this trap. I believe the work and blessing of serving should not be limited to the staff but should be extended to everyone. Everyone has gifts, talents, and abilities to serve and should be encouraged, resourced, and trained to serve.

Thank you to our plant team at Velocity! Serving beside you is an encouragement to my faith and what it means to “build up the walls of Zion!”

Agreeing on Furniture

This past weekend, the wife and I continued our tour of furniture stores in the area in a quest for a bedroom set that we could both agree upon. After visiting several furniture stores last weekend, all the stores are starting to look the same and all of the stuff in the stores is also starting to look all the same.

This morning, it struck me in light of the message that I heard preached yesterday by Paul, “Is shopping for furniture like looking for Jesus?” One of the points of Paul’s message from Rev 3:1 was that we often like the church in Sardis are “going through the motions” of our faith. Our cultures often views the church as not relevant, dated, and out-of-touch. They believe that once they have seen one Christ-follower, they have seen them all and in many cases that is true. We often confirm our culture’s beliefs about us by living a “going through the motions faith.”

As we went in and out of various stores, there was something that we were looking for; something that when we found it we new it was what we were looking for. People come in and out of the church as they also come in and out of our lives. let us not be people who look and act like everybody else but we posses the one thing that people are looking for; the message of eternal life and a relationship with Jesus Christ!

P.S. The wife and I are still looking for a bedroom set for our house but we have found a group of Christ-followers who are committed to not living like everyone else. This group of people is called Velocity Church and I am proud to be counted among them.

Sunday Reflections from New Life

Yesterday the plant team of Velocity visited New Life Christian Church. Chase Gentes our Worship Pastor led a combined Velocity & New Life band through a great worship set. Paul preached a great message from Revelation 3:1 titled, “Some Kind of Zombie.” It was a great morning of worship together and our last Sunday of contributing before we begin to lead ourselves. beginning next Sunday, Velocity will begin its preview service at Baggett Elementary. The preview services are practice for our launch Sunday on September 21. We have much to do this week in preparation for our first practice run on Sunday, please pray for Velocity Church this week.

Prayer Walk

last night Melissa and I joined the Velocity plant team at Taylor Farm Park to walk and pray. This is my first experience with walking and praying. I have been on prayer walks before and in those instances, we walked to a particular place and prayed for a particular thing at that location. In the case last night we just walked and prayed. As we walked I was meditating on the cards that were given to me that contained that named of people who were requesting prayer from our church and I was also meditating on the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 which says to, “pray continually.” I had read that scripture many times before but it took on new light last night. I told the wife that we should establish a routine of going on a walk and praying. Not only will this be of benefit to our physical health but will benefit our spiritual health as well.

A Message to Speak

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 1 Corinthians 6, 7
God has called us to speak a message to a world that is becoming less and less aware of who God is. One of the things that I love about Velocity is that we will speak the message of Christ not just in words but in actions that people will understanding; Serving people and extending compassion speaks to our culture more than preaching about doing it. Connecting with people in relationships that are not skin deep but are deep and designed to bring about life change.
Someone once said that I preach everyday and sometimes I use words. Today I am convicted and challenging myself to preach Christ not just with words but with my actions. May God be glorified and the church be strengthened by my message of words and actions. Amen.