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Posts Tagged ‘grow’

Just in case there is anyone out there looking for some good tips on how to stagnate, how to maintain a shallow sense of spiritual immaturity, or even how to regress in their journey of faith, I have compiled “Pastor Eric’s Top Six Tools to Not Grow!”

1.     Don’t read your Bible.

Only bring it to church on Sundays.  And then only use it to hold your coffee steady in your seat.  The Bible is God’s primary tool to develop maturity in your life.  It contains the very words of God.  It is a record of God’s amazing love for you and His amazing purpose for your life.  Living your life according to God’s Word is the means by which we live in purity, prosperity, and peace.  Do not open your Bible if you do not want to grow.

2.     Don’t pray.

God is already pretty busy and you don’t want to bother Him any more than necessary.  If you pray you might begin to discover the heart of God — and it may open doors of breakthrough and blessing in your life.  To avoid growth, it is always best to just keep your problems to yourself.

3.     Don’t grow with someone.

Christianity blossoms in relationships.  If you don’t want to grow, don’t find a friend to pray with or talk about life from a Biblical perspective with.  Accountability and encouragement can really mess with the status quo.  Remember: To keep your life small, keep your circle of relationships even smaller.

4.     Don’t tithe.

Generosity is a Biblically guaranteed tool that brings spiritual growth to believers’ lives.  The Bible says that as we honor God with our tithe, He promises to open the storehouses of Heaven and rain down blessings upon us.  You absolutely cannot honor God with your tithe and maintain a small life.  If you want to keep it small, then don’t even think about being generous toward God.

5.     Don’t serve.

Service is like soil to the seeds of our growth.  It provides a place for our roots to take hold and begins to nourish our spiritual walk.  Just remember: “If I no wanna grow, then I no wanna go and serve.”

It is very possible at this point you may be very disappointed because you know that you have already taken some of these growth steps and are afraid you may begin growing.  Don’t worry!  It is still possible to sabotage any potential growth you may have started.  If you happen to accidentally find yourself doing any of these things then:

6.      Don’t be consistent.

Consistency is like a growth hormone.  It multiplies the effects of growth activities and causes them to mature faster.  But inconsistency can quickly uproot any growth before it has a chance to positively impact your life.

So, if you have finished reading the list and think it is the worst advice you have ever heard in your life, then DON’T FOLLOW IT!  Cross out the don’ts, get consistent in your own personal walk with Jesus, and start growing!

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I’ve never been short of new ideas.  In fact, Mindy and I joke that about one out of three of my ideas might actually have some potential.  So, I come up with lots of ideas in order to get to that third one faster!

  • “Wouldn’t it be great if…”
  • “What if we…”
  • “Has anyone ever…”
  • “Just imagine…”

These are some of the phrases you’ll hear around our house or in a staff meeting at church.

One time I had the great idea of designing the entire theme of our church around an “Under Construction” concept.  Some of the highlights of this grand thought included giving a pair of gloves embroidered with an EFC logo to all church members.  I thought we could follow that up by placing every family’s name on a hammer and hanging them up in the church as a demonstration of our common purpose to build together.

I know some of you are wondering why we haven’t implemented such an amazing idea already, but, apparently, some ideas don’t play out in the implementation phase as well as they do in the brainstorm phase.  (Which basically means they don’t pass my wife’s décor standards.)

The point behind the hammer and gloves was to communicate the value of each individual to the vision and ministry of Emmanuel Fellowship.  There is work to do around here — and your hands fit the gloves.

As we continue to grow as a congregation and reach out to our community with the message of the gospel, it is my sincere desire that every member of EFC discovers how their unique gifts connect them to the ministry of the Body of Christ.  And, maybe someday, you’ll have a hammer with your name on it!

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  –1 Peter 4:8-10

 

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Children DancingA key part of starting the new school year is shopping for new school clothes.  Somehow, last year’s pants and shoes just don’t fit anymore.  The start of the new semester is a marker that our children, indeed, are growing, and all of the food we have been shoveling into them must be accomplishing something.

As we begin the 2009 school year, we are discovering as a congregation that we, also, need to make room to grow.  The sanctuary just isn’t fitting us in the way it did last year.  We are considering several possibilities to make room for growth as a church, from enlarging the sanctuary to adding an additional Sunday morning service.

One immediate course we are choosing to follow is the implementation of a Sunday morning “Kids’ Church.”  Following the Kids’ Church model means our children ages four to fifth grade will be able to head to their classes immediately upon arriving to church on Sunday morning.  Our Nursery and Toddler’s class will still be available through the entire service as usual, but the Toddler class will now begin their lesson by 10:30 am.

Pastor Lorin has assembled a team to help her coordinate worship and opening activities for the children during the worship portion of the Sunday service, after which the children will break out into their regular Sunday morning classes for Bible study and learning activities.

Parents will simply need to register their children in the foyer for their classes at the beginning of church, and, at the conclusion of the service, the children will be escorted to the sanctuary during the closing song.

I believe the transition to Kids’ Church will provide a wonderful opportunity for our children to experience church in an age appropriate and exciting environment, and offers a great follow up to our Kids’ School of Worship with a semester of continued hands-on training.  In the process, it allows additional space in the sanctuary to accommodate ministry to more families in our community.  Please join us in prayer as we continue our purpose of bringing life to our city.

Other key transitions occurring during our move to Kids’ Church include:

  • Alignment of age based curriculum.  Our nursery through high school will be following the same scope and sequence of Bible study.  This will allow families an excellent opportunity to review and reinforce the weekly lessons.
  •  Addition of “Home Connection” handouts.  The Home Connection handouts provide a tool for parents to engage their children in Biblical discussion throughout the week.
  • Addition of 2-3 year old “Toddlers” class.  Our nursery will be divided into two spaces, with supervision to separate our crawlers from our walkers.  A new door has been installed to check in each of these age groups to the nursery separately.
  • Sunday morning registration.  All of our children will be registered for Kids’ Church in the foyer before going to their classes.  Registration provides a safe handoff and opportunity for communication with our parents.
  • Kids’ worship team.  Our children will be participating in Kids’ Church as they learn how to minister to God and one another through their own worship band and ministry teams.

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