Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Define

hey there. without definition, what would anything mean? one of those mind benders... it doesn't take too much thought, though, to figure out that definitions are quite useful. this truth even translates over to different ministries that we may lead, or be part of.

underground fellowship
| uhn-der-ground fel-oh-ship | (noun/verb) : we are growing deeper through Godly relationships, with Him & with each other. ('for the seed that is planted in the good soil represents those who hear the Word, embrace the Word, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.' -mark.4.20)

how would you define the ministry that God has given to you? answering this question might prove to be the most productive thing you do over the extended weekend. happy defining!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Train

hey there.  although the above clip is kind of funny to watch, it is very uncomfortable to experience.  the most unfortunate outcome of a temper tantrum like this is when it is left unchecked, when it is appeased.  we learn most lessons through repetition, and it is very dangerous when we discover that throwing fits will get us what we want.  this is why proverbs 22.6 reminds us to 'train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.'

our children will learn very well how to follow Jesus just like we follow Jesus.  our children will learn very well how to worship God just like we worship God.  our children will learn very well how to be faithful to God's house just like we are faithful to God's house.  our children will learn very well how to have Godly relationships just like we have Godly relationships.  when we train up a child, they will not depart from it.  this truth is either very comforting, or very scary.  when we make sure that basketfootbaseball doesn't get in the way of our child's faithfulness to the house of God, then fishshopcountry clubbing won't get in the way of their faithfulness to the house of God when they're grown.  when we make sure that their seven bucks an hour job doesn't cost them an eternity in heaven, then their six figure career won't cost them an eternity in heaven either.  no question, it is difficult to maintain consistent discipline in how we raise our children...  but they are so worth it!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Momentum

hey there. a few things become important when God allows us to be leaders of ministry... but momentum is not just important, it is EVERYTHING. the biggest, baddest tank is nearly useless if it is stuck in the mud with no ammo. and the biggest, baddest ministry team is nearly useless if it is stuck in neutral with no evidence of God's power. this is why following the voice of God is so crucial. He knows best how to get us around every obstacle, and on to each of our destinations without getting bogged down. one thing i've noticed is that God-given momentum is approximately a billiondy times better than any kind of man-made momentum. sure, we have the ability to stir up excitement... but it will never compare to a true moving of God that comes through obedience to His voice. another great thing about momentum is that even though it is slow to start, it is very difficult to shut down. (of course, this is why the direction of our momentum is so critical.)

we certainly feel God-given momentum in underground fellowship (student ministry of pocono community church). we've made some difficult decisions and some miserab
le mistakes; but we've done our best to follow the voice of God through the 2007-08 school year and summer months. thank you God for getting us moving!!! the following video is a promo for one of our upcoming events. elevate.08 is a back to school retreat at camp watonka with evangelist ron rhoads. if God has His way, our momentum will continue to multiply through this event.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis - Balance

hey there.  balance seems to be so elusive...  unless your name is bill dan.  you can check out more of his rock balancing abilities at  what about us, though?  will we ever be able to correctly live out all of our passionate pursuits?  my answer is simple:  i think so.

many church leaders are hard wired to completely sell out.  the ability to disregard personal comfort is high on God's list when He searches the land for servant leaders.  the history of God's Kingdom is overflowing with individuals who have handily won stare down contests with common sense.  the big but, however, is that God never intended our families or personal faith walks to suffer at the hand of our ministry.  unfortunately,  successfully navigating this issue proves difficult to pull off.  it is not that we don't love our families...  it is that we love Jesus so much that we occasionally leave our families in the dust in order to follow Him.

so here's the deal:  i struggle with this issue myself.  i'm guilty.  maybe you've had difficulty maintaining balance, too.  one solution for us can be to keep each other in check.  lead pastors can encourage staff longevity by watching and coaching the life balance of their team.  ministry partners and friends can offer consistent accountability for each other by watching habits and sharpening one another.  but ultimately, we are responsible for our own life balance.  we must make sure that we aren't quickly saving the world...  but slowly losing ourselves and our family.

balancing life's rocks

Monday, August 25, 2008

Guest Blogger Matthew Davis

hey there.  my name is matthew.  i love jesus.  i love my wife, wendy jo.  i love cooper, ashton, caleb, carter, and our baby girl on the way.  i know it sounds crazy, but i even love my job.  God has not only blessed me with an amazing family, He has also blessed me with the opportunity of a lifetime:  the chance to hang out with teenagers...  and get paid for it.  (i'm the student pastor here @ pocono community church)

even though student ministry sounds like a super easy gig, you need to know that some fairly heavy baggage comes along for the ride...  there were 15 of us moving through airports last week as we made our way home from a mission trip.  when it was my turn for the boarding pass/i.d. check, the agent asked if i was 18 yet.  18?!  i'm 34.  make that 34 1/2!  (i guess i shouldn't be upset that the lines on my face have not yet caught up with my life experience)  and then there is the constant question:  sooo, what do you do for a REAL job?  real job?!  changing the landscape of eternity isn't a real job?  (i guess i should appreciate that i get to do full time what God created me for)  then there is the extra heavy baggage.  is it really possible for our Christ following life, and our family raising life, and our world ministry life to be in balance?  (i guess i should be thankful that God actually gives me just one life to live, and not three to keep in balance)  and how do we sleep at night knowing that people God has entrusted to our care are walking off of really steep cliffs with their life choices?  (i guess i should be grateful that so many are choosing to climb higher than ever before as they serve in God's Kingdom)

i will do my best to tackle a handful of these issues this week from my student pastor perspective.  i'll let you in on a few ways that we are following Jesus here at pcc's student ministry - underground fellowship.  i hope you have time to hang out with me this week while pastor dave takes a much needed break.  that is, of course, if you want to spend time with an 18 year-old in need of a real job...


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Iron Man

Here's the video announcement for our new teaching series beginning in September. I'm totally pumped to teach on God's plan for being a Godly man. Please keep me and the team in prayer as we prepare for this life-changing, family-altering and God-honoring series calling men to step up!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Watch This - Part 1

The video is a clip of a guy reaching the punk rock/anarchist subculture of Europe.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Staying Power

Shawn Johnson finally won gold! Here's why: she never gave up. She never quit. She was faithful to finish what she started.
Faithfulness is being obedient to finish what you start. Too often people give up on dreams due to some frustration, fear or fatigue.

When Nehemiah and his team rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem they were ready to quit half way through the project (Neh. 4). But they remembered the Lord and were faithful to the finish.

If you feel like giving up on something or someone today - remember to be faithful. Persist to the end.

It's always too soon to quit.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Yesterday we baptized 71 people from PCC. What an awesome day! Here are some of the shots from the event.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

10/10 Challenge

Last weekend we looked at the fruit of "goodnesss" in our summer teaching series, Juicy Fruit (a study on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit). We discovered together that part of being good is being generous.

I announced the 10/10 Challenge here at PCC which is a commitment of generosity and obedience. For the next 10 weeks we are all committing to give 10 percent of our income (the tithe) to the work of the Lord here at PCC. God say in Malachi 3:10, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

God says, "Test me in this." So here's the kicker: if you tithe for ten weeks and God doesn't bless you, we'll refund your money. That's the challenge. Step out in faith and trust God with your finances and watch what He does in return.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Questions For a Future President

In a recent blog entry, I mentioned that Pastor Rick Warren will be interviewing both Presidential Candidates at the Saddleback Civil Forum this Saturday at Saddleback Church at 5pm.

Yesterday Pastor Rick emailed me and other pastors that are part of the Purpose Driven Community and requested my thoughts regarding possible questions to ask to Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain. Below are listed the questions I submitted. If you have some good questions, please send them to me and I'll pass them on to Pastor Rick.


Who is Jesus to you? What role, if any, does Jesus play in your everyday life?

What role does your faith play in your decision-making as you pledge to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States?

Name the three leaders that have had the greatest impact on your personal life and leadership? Why?

Describe for me the process that you go through when making important decisions that impact the future course of our nation? (I’d ask this because I’m curious to know if they include prayer and getting wisdom from God as part of their decision making process.)

What are the three biggest challenges facing America today other than health care, the economy and national security? What is your plan to help lead America to overcome those challenges?

What is your understanding of what the founders of this great nation had in mind when it came to the separation of church and state? How does that impact houses of faith in the 21st century?

How can houses of faith and the government partner together to solve America’s biggest problems? The planets biggest problems?

Religious freedom was one of the foundations of our nation’s history. Today, many nations like China and Iran and others do not allow the freedom of religion among their people. Do you believe in religious freedom and freedom in general is an inalienable right given to us by the Creator? If so, how would you try to influence other nations to recognize those rights?

How can I pray for you and your family?

What’s your favorite memory of the 2008 Olympic games thus far?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Team USA

I woke my wife up last night just before midnight when I was screaming my head off watching the US Olympic Mens relay team crush the previous world/Olympic record in their historic win over the French and the rest of the world. What a race!

The best thing about the race was listening to the announcer say over and over prior to the start, "I've looked at this race on paper a dozen different ways and France always comes out on top." It reminded me that statistics and computer programs, as valuable as they are, cannot account for heart and passion.

Team USA won that race because they wanted it more. Yeah, they were outmatched on paper. But passion and teamwork are far greater allies than cold stats.

What are you passionate about? How will that passion help you overcome the naysayers this week?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Gathering Update

The Gathering @ The Wall was most memorable evening for PCC. Over 400 people showed up to pray, celebrate and dedicate the steel structure unto God. I want to personally thank you all for coming and being there for your spiritual family and for the dozens of volunteers who served sacraficially. PCC you rock!

Can't wait to be together again this Sunday as we continue our Juicy Fruit series with a message on goodness.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gathering @ The Wall

Tonight the PCC family is getting together at the construction site of our new facility for a night of celebration and prayer.

When Nehemiah, the great Israeli wall builder, returned to Jerusalem to head up the new construction project, he said, "This is a very big job, we are spreading out along the wall."

We, too, find ourselves with a very big job, so I think it would be fitting for us to spread out along the wall to pray and ask God's blessing for our church.

The first 250 people that show up will receive a free hard hat. As part of the service, we will be writing our names and prayers on the steel beams of the superstructure. Following the prayer gathering, we will be roasting hot dogs and just hanging out with one another to build community.

You don't want to miss this! Bring your friends and come ready to celebrate.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Staff Retreat

This Monday our staff is taking an all-day retreat at The Inn at Pocono Manor. I love our staff retreats. It's vital for our team to get together once a quarter and invest in team building and creating a culture of expectation.

We're going
to talk about the direction for the fall as we plan some really cool sermon series and children and youth ministry
outreaches. This fall is going to be an amazing season for PCC.

I'll also be casting vision and clarifying expectations as we also prepare to move into our new facility this Christmas. Of course, we will also have a good time just hanging out and relaxing. Please keep the PCC staff in prayer today as we plan and prepare for what is shaping up to be an exciting new season of growth and change.