Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twitter Lesson

If you ever asked, "What is Twitter?" than check out this hilarious video. 

Monday, March 30, 2009

He's All We Have

On their way to a prayer meeting (Acts 3), Peter and John came across a crippled man begging for money on the church steps. 

Peter looked him in they eye and said, "I don't have any money, but what I do have I give you ... in Jesus' Name get up and walk" (my interpretation).

Instantly the man was healed and got up and ran into the church jumping and praising God.

Here's the point: the only thing we really have to give people is JESUS. He's all we really have. Sure, I thank God for creative communication, technological tools, great programming and facilities - but none of those things sans JESUS will change a human life.

All we have is Jesus. And thank God that is all we need.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting Ready For Easter - Pt. 5

Good Friday Communion
This Easter PCC will celebrate our first-ever Good Friday "come and go" communion. The communion will be held at the church auditorium from 5 to 7pm. Whether you come alone, come with friends or with your family - you will have the opportunity to remember the greatest sacrifice of all - the death of our Savior Jesus Christ for our sins.

Here a few tips on how to make the most out of this communion service:

1. Come at a convenient time for you and your family. We will have 6 communion tables at the front of the auditorium where you and your friends or family will be personally served by our pastors, elders and staff. It's going to be a unique and special time of worship.

2. Upon entering the auditorium, take a few moments to reflect on your relationship with Christ, what He's done for you, and to simply inspect your soul. You can spend some time listening to the spiritual music that will be playing, enjoy the candlelight atmosphere and prayerfully contemplate.

3. The Apostle Paul refers to the communion cup as a cup of blessing. Spend some time giving thanks to God on Good Friday through Easter for the many blessings in your life. Try to list 100 blessings in 3 days. Think of everything - nothing is too small to give God thanks.

4. Go out to dinner with friends and family before/after communion and talk about what you are thankful for this Easter season.

5. Make a commitment to pray for and invite your friends to Easter Services at PCC. If you sense the need God's help and grace in their lives - be the one to make a bold move and invite them. If you are worried they might say no, that's okay. Never say someone's "no" for them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting Ready For Easter - Pt. 4

Reading Through The Bible
Beginning Palm Sunday, April 5th, at 9pm, the PCC church family is going to read through the entire Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book until we are done. That's right - we are going to read 24/7 until we have read through the entire Bible.

Here's why:

#1 - Because Together Is Better: This will give the entire church family an opportunity to participate in the dedication of our new church facility. We had an amazing grand opening, but this is the real dedication - the reading of God's Word.

#2 - Because The Word of God is Powerful: We are going to set up a desk on the stage in the auditorium and place on it a Bible and a microphone. One by one we will sit at the desk and read the Word for one hour increments. The only thing that can change a human heart is the Word of God which is alive and active and never returns void. So we are going to saturate every square foot of that building with God's truth. From that moment forward, including our Easter Celebration, the building will be covered in God's presence and His Word.

SO, here are a few tips to get involved:

Call the church office to sign up for your one hour time slot. 570-839-3459

There will be security at the church 24/7 so you will not be alone.

Come 15 minutes prior to your session so you can sit in the auditorium and listen to the other reader and pray for the church and our upcoming outreaches.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Getting Ready For Easter - Pt. 3

Adding an Additional 3rd Sunday
Service at 12:30PM

To accommodate our growing church family, we will add a third service on Sunday morning. Our new service schedule will begin on Palm Sunday, April 5th with services at 9am, 10:45am and 12:30pm.

Here's the deal: the majority of people who don't regularly attend church will most likely come to the 10:45am service, which is already our largest service. We need 300 regular attenders at PCC that currently attend the 10:45am service to commit to attending either the 9am or 12:30pm service for the next 6 months in order to free up seats for people who don't know Jesus.

I know this might seem like a lot to ask, but it's really nothing compared to the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. Or, think of those believers living in countries where it is illegal to even convene a church service in public. They are actually thrown in jail for their faith and consider it an honor to serve Christ.

So, now that I've officially removed any excuses and made you feel thoroughly guilty (a lesson I learned from my mother / sorry mom) please help us reach more people for Jesus by making the service switch. God will reward you for it!

BTW - we will have special musical guests "Urbane Gospel Choir" with us on Palm Sunday in each of the three services - you don't want to miss it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting Ready For Easter - Pt. 2

Invest and Invite
At PCC we go to great lengths to reach those who are far from God with the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ. For many of us, that means purposefully building relationships with people who don't know God and inviting them to church so they can experience the life God really intended them to live.

We simply are willing to become a trusted friend for the sake of eternity

Because of the power of the resurrection, people are more likely to be open to your invitation at Easter than at any other time of the year. Who of your relatives, neighbors, and co-workers do you want to see come to Christ this Easter?

For those PCC blog readers, let me encourage you to ask God to show you who to invite? Respond with boldness and hand out the invest/invite cards available at the kiosk in the lobby or in your program. Bring a friend to one of our three weekened services - 9am, 10:45am, and 12:30pm. Better yet, bring a different friend to each of our three services. And let's pray that hundres will commit their lives to Christ this Easter!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Getting Ready For Easter

This Easter promises to be one the greatest ever at PCC. As we prepare to reach more people for Jesus than ever before, I thought I would share with you some of the things we have planned to get ready for this incredible opportunity.

1. Fasting and Prayer Emphasis

Today we kicked off a corporate call to fast and pray for Easter. Next to prayer, fasting is perhaps one of the most powerful, yet most neglected spiritual disciplines in the Church today. 

Fasting is simply abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. 

Yesterday hundreds of those at PCC committed to spend time fasting and praying for spiritual breakthrough this Easter. Springtime usually involves spring cleaning at the Crosby house - a time where we get rid of unwanted junk and freshen up our living space. Fasting is a great opportunity to do a little spiritual spring cleaning too. 

Here are some things we are fasting and praying for here at PCC:

1. For those who are far from God in our community to open their lives to Jesus this Easter.

2. For God to heal hurting marriages, physical and emotional illness, and restore joy to the brokenhearted.

3. To see God do something great at all of our Easter services.

4. For the pastoral staff, administration staff, Elders and volunteers at PCC.

5. For the Holy Spirit to keep us in unity as we serve this Mountain.

6. For a financial miracle for PCC to help pay for the new building and pave the new parking lot. 

7. For employment opportunity and promotion and increase for those working.

8. For deliverance and freedom for those struggling with addictions and life controlling habits.

9. For our special musical guest this Easter, Vicki Yohe. That God would anoint her as she ministers in all three of our services. 

10. For 300 people to commit to attending the 9am or 12:30 services at PCC for the next 6 months so we can free up seats in the 10:45 service. 

PS - For more information on Fasting, read Jantzen Franklin's Fasting or John Piper's Hunger For God. Both are available at PCC's bookstore, The Source. 

PSS - If you would like to join PCCs corporate fast, email me at pastordave@poconocc.com and I'll email you some information on fasting and prayer and include you on our fasting and prayer online community. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hymns For Today

I just came across this his website, Page CXVI, which offers free hymns arranged for contemporary audiences. You should really check it out. 

What a cool mix of great theology that hymns offer in a musical style that fits today's culture. 

Check it out. You might just like it. I'm looking forward to incorporating some of them into our worship services at PCC. 

For the curious minds, I've heard that CXVI is the page number where Aslan sings Narnia into existence. Interesting. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Underground Fellowship

PCC's student ministries, Underground Fellowship, launched their grand opening in the new facility. I want to thank Pastor Matt and the entire team for designing and executing an awesome venue for our teenagers.

Last night they had over 200 show up for the service and better yet - 30 students made a commitment to follow Christ.

Go God and Underground Fellowship!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Church Planters Seminar

Today I'm in Carlisle, PA at a church planters roundtable. There are 60 fired up people in the room that have a passion to plant churches here in Pennsylvania.

Right now we are talking about "what makes a great church planter" and working through assessment issues.

I'll be speaking in a bit on how to preach to contemporary culture and leverage communications to reach the lost. What a great opportunity to invest in tomorrows leaders. The future of the church is in good hands.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Church Planting

Just a heads up to all my church planting friends/pastors out there who read the blog - tomorrow I'll be speaking at a Church Planters Conference in Carlisle, PA. If you want to sign up (I know it's late - just call Tom Rees at 717-795-5921) and he will do whatever he can to get you in. I heard there were 60 church planters on the RSVP already. It's going to be a great time. Awesome line up of speakers, too.

Also, my friend and coach, Nelson Searcy, will be in Baltimore for 3 big events on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (March 17 and 18). On March 17 he's doing the One Day Launch Conference and on March 18 he'll be leading the Evangelism Seminar in the morning and The Stewardship Seminar in the afternoon. Scrap your schedule and GO!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Meetings

Meetings are a great way to get things done. Here's a look at my Monday schedule.

6:30 - 7:30 - Quiet Time / Devos

7:30 - 8:30 - Personal Planning

8:30 - 10:30 - Strategic Planning with Directional Leadership Team (Direct Reports)

10:30 - 11:00 - All-Staff Meeting (Celebrate the win, Prayer, Church Vital Signs)

11:00 - 1:00 - Pastoral Staff / Logistics (unusually long today b/c of upcoming events)

3:00 - 4:00 - Worship Team Planning

4:00 - 5:00 - FTG Follow Up / Assimilation Planning

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Teaching Series

This weekend we are kicking off our brand new teaching series, "HiStory: Anthology of the Savior."

Jesus. Most of us may know the name but not the story. Who was he? What was he born? Why did he live? Why did he die? Most importantly, why did he rise again?

History hast he power to inform and change how we view our present and future. Join us this weekend and discover how His Story can impact your life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Masquerading Insecurity

Apparently there are some people that aren't very happy with what God is doing at PCC. Unfortunately, I have received quite a bit of criticism from other church leaders in the area regarding the grand opening of our facility. I guess they don't like the exposure our church received, nor do they like the building or our philosophy of ministry, i.e., leveraging technology, etc. for the expansion of God's Kingdom.

I guess criticism is just par for the course when you are leading a growing church. My goal is to simply outlast my critics.

Well, one of my favorite bloggers, Steven Furtick, posted the following word last week. Steven, who pastors the second fastest growing church in America, says...

In Mark 9:28, the disciples tried to cast out a demon. They were unsuccessful, and thoroughly humiliated.

In Mark 9:38, the disciples came to Jesus tattle-tale-ing about a man who was apparently successfully driving out demons.
He was doing good things. But he wasn’t doing it their way.
This guy wasn’t one of them.
Jesus was quick to correct: Whoever is not against us is for us.

Were the disciples really concerned about correct orthodoxy?
Or were they just jealous because this guy was producing results they were unable to achieve?

Usually, when someone is successfully doing what we’ve unsuccessfully attempted to do, we medicate our failure by complaining to God and others about how they’re not doing it right.
And we sincerely believe our motives are pure. Usually they aren’t.

“Yeah, that church is growing, but what are they doing about discipleship?”
Often a pastor who makes this subversive snide remark about another church isn’t motivated by a pure desire for discipleship. There’s a good chance he’s envious of the numerical gains that seem to elude him year after year.

When a mom critiques another mom, it’s often a reflection of her own frustration with her parenting abilities.

When you find yourself spending more time critiquing the methods and motivations of someone who’s doing a good work for God, check yourself.
You might be masquerading your own insecurity.

(Special thanks to Henry Blackaby for the thought behind this post. His little devotional, Experiencing God Day-by-Day , is still my #2 all-time favorite, right behind My Utmost for His Highest).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They Said It Couldn't Be Done

When we started PCC 6 years ago and I began to share my vision for what God was calling us to do so many people told us, "It can't be done ... this isn't going to work .. who do you think you are."

When we wanted to buy 50 acres of land they said "It can't be done. You don't have any money. You don't have many people. There isn't even 50 acres of land for sale in Monroe County. And, by the way, what would a church need 50 acres for in the first place. Who do you think you are?"

Well, one of those naval-gazing, nay-sayers was with us last Sunday morning for the grand opening of our new facility located on a 50-acre plateau in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. He bashfully congratulated me and apologized. I said, no need to apologize, it's a God-thing going on here.

You see, when people tell you that it can't be done - who do you think you are? Tell them, "That's the wrong question. It' not, who do we think we are but who do we think God is that counts." God can do anything. He's a God of miracle. And when He does He gets all the credit. Yeah God.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Grand Opening Update

Yesterday's grand opening was simply amazing. WYOU Channel 16 did a little story on the day. You can see it here. I'll be posting some more pictures soon.

We broke an all-time record attendance with just shy of 2200 people!

I want to thank all of the staff and volunteers for working so hard and for inviting your friends. PCC you are an amazing church and I am so proud of you.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for our future. This is only the beginning!

PS - I closed the office today to give the staff a rest. Please pray for them. They have been working around the clock to get ready for yesterday. Also, please email them or call them or write them personal notes to thank them for all the ministry they do to help us reach this Mountain for Christ. An authentic thank you goes a long way.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Grand Opening Tomorrow!

March 8th is the Grand Opening of Pocono Community Church's new facility.

We've had lots of volunteers working around the clock to put the final touches on the building for all of our guests tomorrow.

I want to thank all of you for serving and inviting your friends and for just making this dream a reality. Also, a special thanks to my staff who have worked tirelessly (ok, maybe they are tired) around the clock to make tomorrow happen.

Please come prayed up tomorrow and expect God to do something great!. It's both an honor and privilege to serve as your pastor. Dave

PS - Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour!

PCC Core Values #5

We believe that serving our community is serving Christ.

A life of service is a natural outflow of a life connected to Christ. In the family of God, no one is just a consumer; we each have a distinctive contribution to make. You can offer your unique gifts to make a difference, and as you do—no matter where you serve—you will be serving Christ. PCC offers every member of the family an opportunity to step in and experience the joy of serving, the joy of reflecting God’s goodness to others. As a community, we can accomplish so much more as we work together, mobilizing as a powerful force for good in the Pocono Mountains. Just imagine what we can accomplish…together.

Friday, March 06, 2009

PCC Core Values #4

We believe truth matters today and it needs a voice.

When many people think of church, they think of an obligation to be fulfilled and vague memories from their childhood of lifeless services that were filled with words they didn’t understand. We believe that the truth of God found in the Bible matters in your life today—right now. So when we talk about God’s truth, it’s always in words that connect with the issues you face everyday, bringing light and hope. This relevant truth will truly make a difference in your life and the lives of others in the Pocono Mountains, but it needs a voice, someone to declare it and share it. We believe God has called us to give a voice to the truth in His Word.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Grand Opening Preparation

This Sunday is the Grand Opening of Pocono Community Church. We have an off-the-charts weekend ahead of us. Here are some practical things you can do over the next couple of days to get ready.

1. Pray. Pray for me as I prepare the message. Pray for the staff as they finalize the details for three identical services. Pray for all of our guests who will be attending.

2. Volunteer. Perhaps you haven't signed up to be on a ministry team to serve at the opening weekend. It's not too late! Call the church office today at 570-839-3459 and volunteer to serve.

3. Invite. Invite your friends, co-workers, neighbors, enemies ... invite everyone you know to come and celebrate what God is doing at PCC.

4. Fast. Perhaps you could fast a meal or two and spend that time interceding and praying for PCC. This is a historic moment in the life of our church and we need God's help big time.

5. Attend. Make sure you plan on attending this weekend. Also, many of you who typically attend the 10:45 am service - can you do me a favor? Please attending either the 9am or Noon service in order to free up seats in the second service.

PCC Core Values #3

We believe the family of God is open to everyone.
The family of God stretches around the world, across borders, across divides that can bring separation and strife. The power to bridge these divides flows from the love and acceptance we’ve all found in Christ. He accepts us and invites us into His family, and we do the same with every person we meet. At PCC, you’ll feel welcome from the first moment, the first handshake, the first smile. But that’s just the beginning. You’ll discover what family really means at PCC. Family means doing life together, having a place to belong, a place to fit, a place where you’re known and loved. The family of God is represented in all of its richness at PCC—a beautiful patchwork of colors, ages and backgrounds. We’d love for you to add your voice, your heart to the mix. What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

TV News Interview

Check out the this link to see the news story Channel 28 WBRE did on Pocono Community Church in preparation for our grand opening.

Core Values #2

We believe in introducing people to Jesus.
Every one of us is created to have a relationship with God. We’ve all chosen to try life our way, separate from God and His influence in our lives. God has taken the first step to reconnect with us by sending Jesus Christ as a light into our dark world. Through understanding that a real connection with God is available and taking a step to enter that relationship, we discover what life—full and lasting life—is all about. This is why Pocono Community Church exists: to introduce people to Jesus and help them experience life in a dynamic, ongoing connection with the living God.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pocono Record Article: Grand Opening

Our local newspaper, The Pocono Record, ran the following article in today's paper. What a great open door to our community for the message to get out about what God is doing at PCC. Go God!

Pocono Record Writer
March 03, 2009

There is still some work to do this week before Pocono Community Church is able to celebrate its grand opening this weekend at the new worship center in Coolbaugh Township.

The walls are bare, the parking lot is unpaved and some of the floors still need to be installed. The six-year journey that took the church from small prayer group to more than 1,000 people attending every Sunday will begin a new chapter this coming weekend.

"When we started it was me, my wife, a part-time music director and a bunch of friends," said church pastor David Crosby Jr. "There were a lot of really dedicated people and through God we were able to build the church. This is all to God's credit. It's all very humbling."

The church grew over in its first six years while holding services in the auditorium at Pocono Mountain West High School. Construction began in 2007 on a new 30,000-square-foot church that now stands on Route 611 north of Mount Pocono, south of the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport. On Feb. 4, the church moved to its new home and a grand opening is scheduled for March 8.

The building is large but not ornate, which was part of the plan all along, Crosby said. Instead of decoration, the church has several large projection screens and a live band in the 800-seat auditorium to use technology to make worship entertaining.

"We wanted it to be simple and real contemporary," Crosby said. "We use a lot of screens and modern technology in our services. One of the reasons people don't go to church is because they think it's boring or old. We want our worship to be contemporary and fun."

Live music is a big part of the church's philosophy and Grammy Award-winning gospel group Take 6 will be performing Sunday for the grand opening.

Along with the main auditorium, the church features a large youth ministry center, coffee shop, bookstore and office space. The property still has about 35 acres to expand. But those plans are being left to a higher power for now.

"The Bible says the church grows as God wants it to grow," Crosby said. "We will work at doing our best and leave the rest up to him. It's not all about us and our church, it's about God and what we can do for him."

For more on the church and its grand opening:


Monday, March 02, 2009

PCC Core Values Part 1

Yesterday we wrapped up our latest sermon series, "It's A New Day". In essence, it was a series of messages designed to communicate the core values of PCC. Core values are the non-negotiable beliefs of our church. These are the theological and philosophical ministry hills that we are willing to die on. They serve as the grid through which we filter all of our ministry decisions. It defines what we do and why we do it.

This week I will recap the series with some posts that give an overview of each of our values.

Core Value #1: We believe that when people connect with Jesus, things change.

The human soul is created to morph and grow. We aren’t static beings, we develop and change over time. The question is…what are we changing into? When we enter a dynamic relationship with Christ, we will not—we cannot—remain the same. The life of God empowers us, bringing peace and hope we didn’t have before. As we learn to live in this deep connection, we become who God intended us to be: free, secure and loving, the instruments of His presence in this world.