So, today I'm really pumped up about the fact that PCC's parking lot is getting paved. For the past year, we have been in our building and didn't have the money to pave the parking lot. BUT, because of the faithful givers at PCC - we accomplished yet another milestone of our ministry. PCC - I want to thank you for your generosity and continued commitment to reach this community for Jesus. This physical building we have built with God's help is a statement to our community that we are here to stay and that we do things well - all the way to the finish. So, be sure to be here this weekend. But come early, because the paved parking spaces may already be taken. : )
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Typically I don't get too excited when it comes to brick and mortar stuff in ministry - i.e., buildings, parking lots, etc. Why? Because those things are simply tools to reach people. The ministry begins and ends with people. It's all about people. However, like it or not, love it or hate it - it does take money and material assets to do ministry.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
We had another great weekend at PCC. Here are some of the highlights:
*Alvin Slaughter was amazing. What a humble man of God! He operates under a great anointing of God. So great to have him with us for the weekend.
*Each of the services were totally different. Alvin just flowed with the atmosphere which I really appreciated.
*Alvin's son, Sean, did an awesome job ministering through rap. His rap on parenthood was so timely with our series. Thanks Sean. Looking forward to having you back soon.
*The weather was HORRIBLE. It was so foggy you couldn't even see the church building from the parking lot. And it was raining on top of that.
*We still had a great attendance with almost 2000 people and 50 first time guests.
*What's more, almost 50 people made a decision to follow Jesus.
*I'm so totally psyched up about our new teaching series starting in June called, "The Race." I'm actually going to the Pocono Raceway tomorrow on video shoot for the series. It's going to rock.
*We had a great lunch with Alvin after the services on Sunday. Tony, our PCC chef, made some delicious homemade meat loaf and mashed potatoes (Alvin's favorite). Thanks "T". You are da man.
*We had 182 volunteers servine in ministry on Sunday. We were down about 15% but those that were here covered all the bases. Thanks for doing such a great job PCC volunteers!
*This weekend we conclude the Parenthood series with a message entitled, "What Ever Kid Needs From Their Parent." You don't want to miss it. Don't you dare come alone either. Invite your friends.
*I'm so pumped up about the future of our church. This is only the beginning PCC! God is on the move.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Speak the name Alvin Slaughter and visions of dynamic worship songs and lively praise tunes rush to mind. The Dove Award and Stellar Award nominee has been a pivotal part of the growth of praise and worship in the Church. The former lead male vocalist of the multiple Grammy Award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is known for his cross-cultural songs and a smooth blending of gospel and contemporary Christian music, creating a style that's uniquely his own.
You're invited to experience ALVIN SLAUGHTER as he shares his music and talks about his new book, "Reinvent Your Life" at Pocono Community Church. This will be a powerful event for the whole family, so please invite your friends! Space is limited, so please arrive early!
We look forward to seeing you there! Service times are this Saturday @ 6pm, and this Sunday @ 9:30 & 11 AM and 12:30 PM Spanish Service. Alvin will only be ministering in the English speaking services.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
In life, you have to laugh at yourself. If you don't, you'll end up going crazy. To me, this video post is hilarious as it pokes fun at churches like PCC. What makes it so funny is that it was produced by a church that shares a similar ministry style to PCC. So, for all you pastors out there, have a good laugh.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Here are some highlights from PCC this past weekend:
*The "Run for the Red" marathon was Sunday morning which means they shut down the highway in front of our church. So, we had to cancel our 1st Sunday morning worship experience. They had 800 plus runners this year since the race is now a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
*Our 10am service went extremely well considering most of the volunteers couldn't even get into the church until about 20 mins before the service started. It was a herculean effort by our staff and volunteers to pull that service off and I was so proud of how everyone worked together. PCC volunteers rock!
*We had almost 400 people in our Saturday night service. I'm loving Saturday nights at PCC. It's a really laid back vibe - people show up in shorts and sandals and hang out before service in the cafe and lobby. Love it.
*Rachel did an awesome job singing for the first time at PCC. She is a teenager who recently gave her heart to Jesus in our student ministry. She has an amazing story and she has such an amazing voice. Thanks Rachel! God is going to do great things through you!
*The Parenthood series is going well. We've received so many stories of how God is healing entire families and bringing people back together. Go God!
*I preached on Luke 15 and The Prodigal this weekend and there were 48 people who gave their heart to Jesus and decided to come home! That's so cool.
*We've had reports of numerous physical healings take place since our Healer series. In fact, we've had 3 documented reports of cancer patients being declared completely healed. That's a miracle!
*One of the members from the worship team, Lori, led worship Saturday night. Lori, you were great! Thanks so much for letting God use you at PCC. Can't wait to you lead again!
*ALVING SLAUGHTER is coming to PCC next week! He will be ministering at all of our English speaking services. Be sure to bring your friends! Pastor Emilio will be sharing a special message for the Spanish service.
*Our NEW SERVICES TIMES go into effect next weekend - Saturday at 6pm; Sunday at 9:30am, 11am, and 12:30pm (Spanish).
*I'm totally psyched about our new series starting in June called THE RACE. It's going to awesome.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The power of a leaders presence can never be underestimated. Just showing up and rubbing shoulders with those you lead makes a huge statement. Many leaders want to isolate themselves from their staff or organization and only talk with those they summon. I think that's a huge mistake.
There's a management principle I came across some years ago known as MBWA or Manage By Walking Around. MBWA is an effective way to keep your finger on the pulse of your organization and those you lead by simply cruising through the office and saying "hi".
When you offer your time as the leader to your staff and make yourself accessible, it's one of the greatest gift you can give. Don't wall yourself in. Make time for those you lead - even if it's only a quick stroll.
If you are the key decision maker in your organization and yet remove yourself from the context and community of those that your decisions effect - it will hamper your ability to make wise choices.
As a pastor, this means I walk slowly through the crowd on Sunday mornings and greet people in the lobby and spend as much time with people as possible (of course, this becomes increasingly difficult with 5 services a weekend. So I can't do this every service, but I can do it at least once a week.) As a boss, that means I walk through the office and greet the staff and ask them about their family.
So don't hunker down in your office all week. Get out there and get your MBWA on.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
To all my pastor friends and church planters out there that read my blog, I wanted to let you know about a one-day conference coming up called Ignite 2010.
My friend, Jeff Leake, is hosting this roundtable for young pastors in the NE area. Jeff has done a phenomenal job the past 10 years planting churches and developing the MCM Network of church plants and church planters in the Pittsburgh & Philadelphia area.
If you are thinking about planting a church or going multi-site, you should definitely attend this roundtable.
To register or for more information, go here.
Thanks Jeff for your leadership and vision for the Kingdom.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Mother's Day weekend at PCC was great! Here's some of the highlights from my perspective:
+My wife, Bekah, did an amazing job preaching the Word! I married way over my head. She's not only a great wife and mom but an awesome communicator.
+The 15 year old daughter of our worship leaders (Derek and Nadeen), Kaela, sang an amazing song. What an anointed young woman of God. I'm so proud of you Kaela.
+It was so cute to have my daughter Kate sit with me on the front row during the 4th service as she watched her mom with wide eyes preach the Word.
+We celebrated Mother's Day with sushi and ice cream tonight.
+It was so much fun to give away gifts to moms in each of the 5 services today. The Bible says to "give honor to those whom honor is due." We owe so much to our moms.
+The Spanish service was off the hook today. The worship was so inspired and Marisella did a great job preaching. So excited about what God is doing in our Spanish ministry.
+We had 256 volunteers in ministry today. So thankful for all the volunteers that make PCC such an awesome church!
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I admit it. I don't talk a lot about the denomination that I belong to. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm just not into religious labels and partisan spirituality. In any event, this week I'm attending our District Council meetings in Camp Hill, PA. and I thought it might be interesting if I shared a few reasons I appreciate my denominational affiliation.
1. The Relational Network - many of my best friends in ministry are also part of this denomination.
2. Accountability - my denomination holds me accountable financially, morally, ethically and theologically. That makes me feel safe and secure to know that I don't simply answer to myself. I have protective ally's that are looking out for me.
3. Resources and Support - my denomination loan fund loaned our church lots of money to help us purchase property and build our first building. For that, I am eternally grateful. It makes me also feel good that the minimal interest we are paying on our loan is being redistributed to other churches for future loans. We are using kingdom resources for kingdom purposes. That's way cool.
4. Ancient-Future Connectedness - the fact that I have chosen to align myself with a denomination connects me with almost 100 years of like-minded followers of Christ that have been experiencing a phenomenal move of God's Spirit. It reminds me that God is doing a new thing in my generation but yet connects me to the God of history.
5. Global Expansion - my denomination has missionaries in over 200 nations of the world with tens of millions of adherents. The ability to partner together for a common cause creates exponential growth opportunities.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Here are some of the highlights from this past weekend at PCC:
+We kicked off our new series, Parenthood, with a special message, Parent Traps. Listen here.
+The Creative Arts Team did an amazing job with all the graphics, stage decor, music and video. Thanks so much to that cool team that makes the services so relevant and life-changing.
+Attendance was still near 1800. That's crazy! Lives are being changed and guests continue to come back and bring their friends.
+I loved the new song "Glory To God" that the worship team led. I've been singing it all day.
+Psalm 127:3 says, "Children are a heritage of the Lord." Parents, don't forget your kids are a blessing.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
This weekend we are kicking off a new series at PCC called Parenthood. If you are a parent or you will be one in the future, this series is certainly for you.
We will discuss biblical principles of parenting that will help us make sense of our God given duties as parents... and teach us how to raise our children for success in today's world.
Invite your friends and family for this relevant and practical series. That's this weekend, Saturday, May 1st and Sunday, May 2nd. Our service times are Saturday 6pm, Sunday 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:30am and 1:00pm (Spanish). See you there!