Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekend Highlights

It was another great weekend at PCC. I feel like a broken record but I just can't believe what God is doing in and through this great church. Here are some of the highlights:

+We wrapped up the End of the World message series with a special illustrated message that included a funeral, coffin, and hearse. The Creative Worship Arts team did an amazing job!

+The reality is that our world will never end. We will all live forever in one of two places - heaven or hell. Many chose life this weekend at PCC.

+Thank you Lori and Derek who wrote and produced a special song for the funeral performance today. Crazy good. Can't wait for you guys to record it.

+My friend gave his heart to Christ today! I've prayed for and invited him to come to PCC for the past 5 years. God is faithful if we do not give up!

+We had over 2000 people in attendance this weekend - that's almost 1000 more people than this time last year!

+Our PCC Kids Team did an awesome job with the PCC Kids Fall Bash. They gave away bikes, candy, Nintendo DS's, and most importantly - Jesus.

+Alexis, thanks for singing "People Get Ready" at the end of all 4 services this weekend. It was awesome. I couldn't think of a better way to wrap up the series than that.

+I can't wait for next week for our new series, "Blessed". I'm kicking off the series with a special message titled "The Church God Blesses."

+This week is First Tuesday - a night of prayer, worship and communion. God's really given me an encouraging message for the service. Can't wait to share it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PCC Kids Fall Bash

This weekend @ PCC we are celebrating Children with our PCC Kids Fall Bash. During each of our weekend services there will be:
* Candy
* Games
* Bounce Houses
* Prizes
* Music
* Bible Story
and much more. So don't miss this opportunity for your kids. Bring your friends too!

I will also be wrapping up our End of the World Series with an illustrated message. This is perhaps one of the most creative and important services of the year. If you have friends that are far from God - this is a great weekend to bring them to church!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Politically Speaking

Since the political season is in full swing (I received like 10 flyers in the mail yesterday alone!), I thought I'd share some of my current thoughts on politics:
  • I'm not called to follow a blue donkey or a red elephant, but a white Lamb.
  • Do you really believe if you could get more donkey's or elephants in Washington DC that we would have revival in America? Seriously?
  • Jesus didn't commission 12 politicians, he commissioned 12 disciples.
  • Real change comes from a radical follower of Christ who serves their community with sacrificial love.
  • The answer for America lies not in the white house but in the church house.
  • Since Christians do hold a dual citizenship, we should be involved in politics. But the local church should not be campaign headquarters.
  • Base your vote one the values of the Bible.
  • Christians are called to carry the cross of Christ, not the sword of Caesar. Let's not give a first class allegiance to a second class cause.
  • America's problems will not be solved by a politician or a political party, but by a local church that is filled with the love of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
  • If we spent more time praying for our elected leaders instead of criticizing them we would probably have better leaders and more righteous decisions.
  • I would rather be known for what I'm for rather than what I'm against. I'm for Jesus!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend Highlights

Here are some highlights from this past weekend at PCC.

+I gotta give it up for the PCC Dance Team! They blew it up! Thanks so much to the team and the team leaders. Your creativity, innovation and commitment to excellence is greatly appreciated!

+The Saturday evening service was one of the best ever. We were just at 500 in attendance and the night was filled with great energy and enthusiasm. Thanks to all you PCCers who come out every Saturday to worship and serve.

+Overall the attendance was close to 1900 people. We had lots of first time guests and the message seemed to be received very well. Lots of people made commitments to Christ. Can't wait to get the final number of salvations tomorrow.

+We had a new bass player and drummer on the worship team on Saturday night. They were awesome musicians. Thanks guys! Welcome to the PCC family.

+I'm really looking forward to this coming weekend where we will wrap up the End of the World series with perhaps the most creative service we've ever done. If there was ever a weekend to bring your unchurched friend - this is it!

+The PCC Kids Fall Bash is this weekend during all our services too. There will be lots of games, prizes, candy and fun for everyone during each of the weekend services.

Friday, October 22, 2010

This Weekend @ PCC

This weekend we continue our series, End of the World with a special, first-of-its-kind, hip hop dance routine by PCC's very own! You do NOT want to miss this weekend. This is going to blow your mind!

Also, I'll be preaching through the ENTIRE book of Revelation. It should only take me 2 hours : ) Just kidding. Seriously, if you've ever wanted to know more about the book of Revelation and what the end of the world will be like, then come out this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eat The Frog

This week I've been listening to "Time Management Principles For Busy Pastors" produced by my friend, Nelson Searcy. Nelson delivers some practical ways to save time and thus get more done. One principle in particular that really caught my attention was "Eat the Frog."

It goes like this: if you knew that you had to eat a frog, you would most likely delay that task on your to-do list until the end of the day. However, you would be filled with frustration, anxiety and distraction as you worked on your other tasks rendering you less productive.

The solution: eat the frog first. Deal with what you don't want to deal with on the front end and get it out of the way. Once its checked off the list, you will be more effective and productive throughout the day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tony Campolo

Listen to this amazing story told by Sociologist/Preacher Tony Campolo.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekend Highlights

We had a great weekend at PCC. Here are some of the highlights.

+Hip Hop Artists Exodus Movement performed in all of our services. They were so good. Thanks guys for being here this weekend.

+Our worship team introduced a new song today called The Stand. They put their own PCC flavor to it and tore it up. They also did an cool arrangement of Sing Sing Sing with an old hymn "When we all get to heaven". Very cool.

+While I was preaching in the second service a fly was buzzing me. I went to swat it away and I actually caught the crazy fly in my fingers. It was hilarious and bar far the funniest thing that ever happened to me when I was preaching. Mr. Miagi has nothing on this preacher!

+I met so many people this weekend going through a world of hurt. One woman told me her husband was just diagnosed with cancer and only given two months to live. Another teenage girl came up to me after the Saturday night service and asked to pray for her because she can't shake off severe sadness. Another man asked to pray for him as he was just diagnosed with global cognitive impairment as a result military service.

+Lots of people committed their heart to Christ this weekend. It always amazes me at how the simple preaching of the gospel plus the work of the Holy Spirit yields a life forever changed.

+I can't wait until next weekend when the PCC Dance Team will be performing in all the services. It's going to be awesome.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Weekend @ PCC

This weekend PCC welcomes hip hop artist, Exodus. They will be performing in all of our english speaking services. Exodus is a Christian rap group that actually wrote a special song for our series, End of the World.

You don't want to miss this weekend. Be sure to bring a friend with you!

I'll be finishing up last weeks message "How to Survive the End of the World." We'll be looking at what Jesus said to the 7 churches in Revelation chapters 2-3. It will prove to be a practical and powerful word to prepare our hearts for the second coming of Christ.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Night Reflections

Below are some highlights from another great weekend at PCC.

*Buzz and Woody showed up at PCC this weekend and made many little kids extremely happy. A huge THANKS to all our dedicated PCC Kids volunteers that make the weekends a fun place to learn about Jesus and make new friends.

*The PCC worship team did an amazing job with the special song "End of the World" by P.O.D. They totally rocked it! And the video was awesome too. Thanks CWA Team. You guys are amazing!

*Tons of people committed their life to Christ this weekend - including this 13 year old girl and her mom who came up to me after the 11:30am Sunday service with tears in their eyes and asked me, "What can we do to be saved?" Dude, that's like totally NT kind of stuff. I led them in the sinners prayer at the altar and the peace of God just flooded their hearts. It was so humbling to do God's bidding.

*The Parking Lot Team did an extraordinary job this weekend and were able to move lots of cars in and out of the lot 4 times without any major traffic jams. Thanks for tweaking the system and your relentless pursuit of constant and never ending improvement.

*We introduced Pastor Brad Wick's family this weekend and Brad hosted all the services. He did a great job.

*Looking forward to next weekend at PCC with special guest, Exodus. Exodus is a hip hop group that is going to blow it up next weekend. Start inviting your friends now!

Friday, October 08, 2010

This Weekend @ PCC

This weekend Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story 3 will be at PCC. All you moms and dads out there don't want to miss all the fun and excitement. Make sure you bring the kids and a camera.

Also we continue our new series, End of the World. This week we begin to look at the Book of Revelation and what Jesus has to say to people in order to get them ready for his soon coming return. We will be studying Revelation chapters 1 -3 if you want to read them in advance.

This weekend is a great opportunity to bring your friends. So be sure to invite everyone you know.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Leaders Constant Companion - Pt. 3

3. Embrace your threshold for the pain of pruning.
  • Elijah was pruned prior to his Mt. Carmel experience. God was preparing him by cutting stuff out of his life that would slow him down on the day of battle.
  • It's painful when God cuts or prunes things from our lives and ministries.
  • Sometimes it's a relationship that isn't healthy. Sometimes it's a time-consuming hobby that's not necessarily bad - it's just not what's best for my life and ministry in this season.
  • When attendance dips and I lose people in the church because they no longer jive with the vision. I need to remember that sometimes I have to go backward in order to move forward. This is the "Gift of Gideon."
  • Don't blame yourself for the declines because if you do you will be tempted to take credit for the increases.
  • Everyone leader needs to "push through the pain."
  • The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be is the pain you are unwilling to endure. Never give up.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Leaders Constant Companion - Pt. 2

2. Embrace your pain threshold for making difficult decisions
  • If you are a leader, you have to make difficult, painful and often times unpopular decisions
  • Perhaps it's killing a ministry that is no longer effective at accomplishing the vision of the organization but still enjoyed by only a few.
  • Or maybe it's confronting, rebuking or even removing someone in a leadership position and you will have to deal with major flack and even risk the possibility of them leaving the church and taking people with them.
  • Sometimes it requires the leader to even change an employees portfolio that is in the wrong position.
  • One of the most painful decisions is having to fire someone for insubordination, character issues, or flat out laziness.
  • When you are unwilling to make the tough call you always end up causing more damage to people and the church in the long run.
  • Sometimes leaders wait to pull the trigger on painful decisions until the pain of the present situation becomes greater than the pain of making the decision. That's been my achilles heel for far too long. You always end up in more pain.
  • The key to making painful decision is to always do what's right in the eyes of God and trust him with the outcome.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Leader's Constant Companion

I just finished listening to a leadership talk by Craig Groeschel at the Hillsong Conference in Australia. Craig titled the talk, "A Leaders Constant Companion" which he defined as pain. Instead of running from your pain, Craig encouraged leaders to embrace it and increase your capacity or threshold for more pain.

Pain is a constant companion in ministry. In fact, if you aren't experiencing pain, than you probably aren't really leading anyone. It's also true that the difference of where you are and where God wants you to be may be the pain you are unwilling to endure.

Craig encouraged me to do three things with my pain. I'll share them with you this week:

1. Embrace your pain threshold for unjustified criticism and the desire to please people.
  • I've realized that the more our church has grown the more I have been personally criticized as a leader.
  • This week I've been called "a blasphemer", "a false teacher", "one who speaks with a forked tongue", that I have "the spirit of lucifer", "that we have en graven images in our church", that "I'm a deceiving shepherd", that we use propaganda and marketing to increase our attendance", that we aren't a deep church, ad nauseum - and that was just this week :)
  • Paul endured ridiculous amounts of pain to promote the gospel. Read 2 Corinthians 11:16ff.
  • If you aren't hurting then you aren't leading.
  • If you aren't experiencing criticism than you aren't preaching the Gospel because the Gospel if offensive - especially to those with a self-righteous, Pharisaical spirit.
  • The reality is that you can't please everybody.
  • The quickest way to forget what God thinks about you is to be consumed with what others think of you.
  • I can't please everyone, but I can please God.
More tomorrow...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Weekend Highlights

We had a great great weekend at PCC. Here are some of the highlights.

*Amena Brown's poetry was AWESOME. So looking forward to having her come back to PCC again in thefuture.
*Saturday night service was packed with over 500 in attendance.
*We had tons of first time guests this weekend. I'll get the actual number tomorrow. I heard that we had 31 first time guest in our kids ministry alone. Thanks for inviting your friends PCCers.
*We kicked off our new message series, End of the World. It's a a study on eschatology and it was really well received. I want to thank my friend Herbert Cooper and Peoples Church for hooking me up with some of the creative elements for the series. Thanks bro!
*We got some hate mail and phone calls from people who didn't like our advertising campaign for the new series. That's fine with me. If you aren't offending Pharisees and religious folks than you probably aren't doing the ministry of Jesus.
*The parking lot was packed this weekend at all of our services. We have to fix that problem quickly.
*The worship and creative arts team did an amazing job this weekend.
*I said the word "Schmuck" from the pulpit in the Saturday evening service. I was searching for the world "charlatan" and somehow my brain defaulted to schmuck. I feel really bad I used that kind of a word from the pulpit and I certainly apologize. No one told me they were offended but nonetheless I wouldn't want to do anything to tarnish the reputation of Christ or His pulpit at PCC.
*We welcomed new staff member Brad Wicks to the church family this weekend. Brad is going to lead the spiritual development ministries of the church. His wife, Denise, and their children are driving 18 hours this week to Pocono from the midwest. Please pray for their safe arrival.
*Super excited about First Tuesday Prayer meeting this week. Pastor Brad and Denise will be sharing their story of how God worked a miracle in their marriage and family. You don't want to miss it.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Big Weekend

With the kickoff of our new series this weekend, PCC welcomes special guest Amena Brown. Amena is nationally acclaimed poet and she has a special way with words. Below is a sample of Amena's ministry. Please INVITE ALL YOUR FRIENDS to be at PCC this weekend. Remember we have service on Saturday at 6pm, Sunday at 9:30, 11am and 12:30pm (Spanish). Don't you dare miss this weekend. Its' going to be awesome.

End of the World

This weekend we kick off our new fall series, End of the World. For the entire month of October, we are going to take an in depth look at what the Bible says about the end times. This series is going to be full of practical Biblical insights as well as creative elements every weekend.

This weekend we will be studying what Jesus had to say about the end of the world in Matthew 24.

You don't want to miss one weekend. Please continue to invite your friends and I'll see you this weekend.