Friday, January 30, 2009
Dream it phase. In this phase you get your church leadership together and begin to dream about what your new facility would look like. You put proposal requests together from each ministry team and start writing down the vision/plan. I would highly recommend speaking with Greg Marquart of Capstone Management. Greg will not only walk you through the facility planning, but also the budgeting process and financial proposal to request funding, as well. Having Greg come in and help us was one of the best decisions we made in the whole process. His expertise as an executive pastor and former bank president was invaluable. In fact, Greg will walk you through each of the phases below until completion.
Draw it phase. This is when you hire an architect to help draw the dream. Don't hire the architect first. As a church, you stay in the driver seat and tell the architect what you want. Architects are notorious for telling others what to build and they tend to spare no expense. When it comes to building you get to choose one of three options - cost, quality and square footage. You can choose two, but not three. Most churches go with cost and square footage. We say, "it has to be "X" square footage and we can only afford "X" amount of dollars. Most architects are all about quality. That's why most work on a percentage of the total cost of the project. The average architect costs 7% of the total project cost. The more expensive the building, the higher fee they charge. They also want to design something that looks good on the front cover of a trade magazine. Stay in the driver seat and remind the architect that "this is what we want". We were fortunate enough to work with Michael Campbell . Michael is a phenomenal architect who understands both traditional and contemporary church facilities and design. He's been a gem to work with.
Fund it phase. Once you know what the dream is and what it's going to look like, then you hire a resource development firm to help you raise the faith and finances to fund the project. I made a mistake by hiring a fund raiser too early. But hey, we all live and learn. Typically, most fund raisers have no idea what you need to build, how the building needs to function, etc. They just know how to raise money to underwrite the God-given dream. We worked with Jack Strom of Strom Ministry Concepts. Jack has become a trusted friend and I would highly recommend him to all who need someone to come alongside them and help them fund a God-given vision.
Build it phase. This is the last phase of the process which requires perhaps the most critical decision of all - the firm that's going to oversee the construction of the new facility. We researched dozens of local construction firms and narrowed our interview process to the top three candidates. Greg Marquart helped us choose our local contractor, Spread Eagle Realty. Spread Eagle has been great to work with and they are giving us a quality built building.
Always remember, when it comes to building a building, it will always cost more than you think and take longer than you imagined. Word to the wise.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
For example, our lobby and hallway can be used Sunday mornings to get people from one place in the building to the next; on Sunday afternoons it can be used for membership classes that hold up to 150 people; and it can also be used as a place for volunteers during the week to complete administrative tasks and finally, we can hold community functions/dinners as outreaches. When designing your spaces, always think functionality and flexibility.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
However, when it comes to building a building, it's a huge mistake to build so big that you can house everyone in one service and at one time. You will unintentionally remove the flexibility you have for multiple service options and you also run the risk of overextending the budget with a larger mortgage. So, build smaller with the intent for multiple services and maximize ministry dollars with a lower mortgage.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I recently read Bob Whitesel's book, "Growth By Accident, Death By Planning." It's a basic guide on how not to kill a growing congregation. Bob spends an entire chapter on pitfalls to avoid when moving into a new facility. I thought I would share them with you this week and then give my own comments.
1. Don't build too soon. Most portable churches grow weary of the grueling setup/tear down routine and therefore look to buy land/build a building/renovate an exisitng building within the first couple of years of getting the church off the ground. We know all about this at PCC. We've been at this portable church thing for over 6 years. We made a decision to take our time and keep our focus on people, not buildings or programs. Yeah the portable system requires a lot of blood, sweat and tear equity. But in the long run it has helped us develop ministry, volunteers and a sense of community.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We had a little daughter/daddy date on Saturday morning where we went to breakfast together at Perkins. She is so full of life and love.
Tonight she is going to see her new favorite movie, Hotel for Dogs, and then staying over at a friend's house.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Of course, this comes at the most challenging financial time in our church history as we are now paying nearly the full mortgage on our new facility as well as the fees on our rented facilities.
I'm reminded that God can help us overcome any challenge if we are faithful to put our trust and hope in him. I owe it to you as your pastor to let you know the reality of our financial situation, as well as encourage you (and myself) to continue to put our trust in God. He is the One that will supply all our needs.
This weekend I feel God has led me to do something for many in our church that are hurting financially. You don't want to miss this weekend. As I am submitting to God's leading, I know He will use this weekend to bring breakthrough for many of those in our church.
PS - the latest weather report for this weekend is clear skies and sunshine!!!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Almighty God, our Father:
Everything we see, and everything we can’t see, exists because of you alone.
It all comes from you, it all belongs to you, it all exists for your glory.
History is your story.
The Scripture tells us, "Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one." And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.
Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States.
We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where a son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.
Give to our new president, Barack Obama,
the wisdom to lead us with humility,
the courage to lead us with integrity,
the compassion to lead us with generosity.
Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.
Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans--united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.
When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you--forgive us.
When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone--forgive us.
When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve--forgive us.
And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all.
May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.
And may we never forget that one day, all nations--and all people--will stand accountable before you.
We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life—Yeshua, 'Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus—who taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Another component to worship is that it is a response to the love that God has shown to us. An expressive response. I can express my love and devotion through not only my words and actions but also through art forms such as painting, dancing, music, drama, or through simple obedience. But you see, my worship is the result of the intimate relationship I have with my heavenly Father. The more I understand and experience His love, the deeper my worship becomes, and the more my life actions are expressions to Him. My Praise/thanksgiving gets me into His courts / presence so that I can bow before Him and worship. Its sad that sometimes we limit our worship to just Sundays or prayer meetings. God desires us to worship Him continually. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
One last thing to ponder......your worship on a Sunday (corporate worship) is the result of your worship individually. All I'm saying is please don't rely on Sundays as the only time you praise & worship. Find those times to 'hang out with God' in the quiet places and express your love and devotion to the creator of all things. As you 'respond' to His greatness and love, through worship, it provides an opportunity to know Him more intimately. During those times I can assure you He will show you more than you could ever imagine!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Here's a few thoughts about Praise.
Praise is defined as being the act of expressing approval or admiration. I might also add that it can be giving honor to someone, or a group of people, to someone else. It could even be stating thanks to someone for what they have done. We do this in everyday life...telling someone how great a singer is, praising an athlete for their accomplishments, or telling our wife how great she cooks dinner (hint, hint). To praise someone does not require that you know them in depth, but it does require you to have some type of knowledge about them. I may praise the recordings of The Beetles to some friends as we talk about music. I praise them because I have a knowledge of their music, yet I don't have an intimate relationship or know them on a personal basis. But as I learn more about them my praise and admiration of them deepens and it leads me to want to know more and more.....which increases my praise....and on and on it goes....
When we talk about offering Praise to God, we're talking about a powerful thing. Paul & Silas knew the power of Praise. Check out Acts 16:23-26 if you want to see what I mean. Praise is powerful and God honors it. It is a vehicle by which we can enter the presence of God (Ps. 100:4 - Enter His gate with Thanksgiving; and His courts with Praise...). Praise helps us get in the presence of God so that we can worship him. I believe we can Praise anywhere, not just within the walls of the church. I can show love, adoration, and thanksgiving to God each day in my car, at work, or at home. When we come together our Praise becomes corporate, perhaps even energetic and loud. I'll let you in on a secret......it can even be fun.
David provides a great example of praise in Psalm 145. If you have a chance take a moment or two and read this psalm. Really read the words of David and even try reading them aloud directly to God. One last thought.......Praise can be a lifestyle, an ongoing act from you to God...
We'll look at Worship next time.....be blessed!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I'm privileged to be able to post this week in Pastor Dave's absence. I am excited to join this leadership team and this incredible church family. As Pastor Dave mentioned on Sunday I will be overseeing the Creative Arts & Worship ministries at PCC. I would like to spend the next few days sharing some thoughts with you on worship and hopefully together we can grow our passion for worship.
David lived a life of worship and God considered him "...a man after mine own heart" - Acts 13:22. I want to focus on one of the characteristics David displayed as a worshiper. David was unnoticed as a worshiper. Sometimes we are only interested in others seeing us worship. We've all been there, myself included, in church and making sure we are making a good impression with our worship. David embraced the hidden place where he would 'hang out' with God. It was in that place, a place of isolation / unnoticed, that he sought out the heart of God. David found times to be alone with the creator of the universe and focus on Him in a time of worship.
Matt Redman, a worship leader, defines an unnoticed worshiper as this: "one who is willing, even when things are going well, to step back and check in with God. They realize the key to worship is not what goes on amongst the crowds, but what occurs before the King....God." One of the keys to becoming an unnoticed worshiper is taking ourselves out of the equation and focusing solely on God.
A goal in my life is to make time for those moments when I wholeheartedly worship God in a quiet place, unnoticed and away from the crowds and distractions. I pray that we all find those quiet places and become a people seeking the heart of God.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
What are the different types of fasting?
– absolute fast: no food or water for a period of time (Exodus 34:28; Esther )
– normal fast: only water, but no food or other drink (Nehemiah 1:4)
– partial fast: usually only water, juices, and sometimes fruit (Daniel )
– Lent fast: giving up something specific for the duration of Lent
– other things to fast from: people, media, telephone, certain activities/habits, etc.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Here are some things I'm praying about today during our corporate fast:
1. Thanking God for his goodness and mercy in my life and ministry.
2. For God to give me an increased desire and hunger to grow closer to Him and spend time in His presence. I need a personal revival.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
What is the purpose of fasting?
The primary purpose of fasting is to focus our attention on God. Ultimately, this brings glory God (Zechariah 7:5).
The discipline of denying ourselves the creature comforts such as food, creates opportunity to focus on our true source of strength - God. Jesus said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on the Word of God." Outer fasting is to lead to inner prayer, worship, and devotion. We “fast on food so we can feast on God.”
Fasting is not for personal glory or any other selfish motives (Matthew -18).
– Secondary purposes of fasting: fasting can reveal non-essential things that control us and take precedence in our lives (1 Corinthians 6:12); fasting can increase the effectiveness of prayer (2 Samuel 12:16); fasting can bring guidance from God in decisions (Acts 14:23); fasting can bring revelations (Acts 13:2); fasting can help our physical wellbeing (Daniel 1:12); fasting can aid in concentration; fasting can help bring deliverance for those who are in bondage.
¨ But these benefits come only when fasting is our attempt to diligently seek God.
Monday, January 05, 2009
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm asking the PCC family to participate in a corporate fast every Wednesday for the month of January. This week I want to spend some time talking about the significance of this spiritual discipline.
What is fasting? Fasting is when I abstain from something (usually food) for spiritual purposes.
Perhaps you could spend some time today reviewing these scripture verses and make a commitment to fast this Wednesday.
Tomorrow I'll talk some about the purposes and benefits of fasting.