Sunday, December 25, 2011
Thank you for your tireless effort and commitment to reaching our community for Jesus.
Because of your ministry, about 2100 people attended our 5 Christmas Eve services where over 200 people made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Also, hundreds of pounds of food was donated through our "Canning Christmas" outreach to help those in need.
I pray you have peaceful time with friends and family this Christmas. Thank you again for your commitment to changed lives!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
- A merciful and forgiving God
- A Savior who came full of grace and full of truth
- A purpose and vision to give my life to
- A wife who is my absolute best friend
- Four children that are the center of my joy
- Supportive and encouraging parents
- A loving grandfather that prays for me everyday
- A great brother and sister
- An exciting church to lead that loves the lost more than anything else
- Church volunteers that are willing to sacrifice and serve despite the cost
- A truly phenomenal staff that gives 100% every day
- Trusted friends who tell me the truth, see me at my worst, and love me in spite of it all
- A great coach who challenges my thinking and effectiveness
- The great outdoors where I like to spend time away from the office
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
- For clarity of vision in life and ministry
- For a successful Unstoppable Initiative, including clarity on what Bekah and I are to give financially over the next 3 years
- For my family and their health and for the development and growth in wisdom for my kids
- For the church elders, staff and their families
- For unity in the church and commitment to the vision
- For the lost in our community. That we may reach more for Jesus in the next year than ever before.
- For a spiritual hunger to be awakened in our church that we may go to a new level of faith and growth.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
God promises to bless the person who does two things:
1) Stay in the Word.
In other words, don't be distracted by the things of this world. Stay in the Word of God. Keep His testimonies. Don't let your faith be derailed by the cares of this world and the pursuits of the flesh. Refuse to jettison your faith and chunk your character for the pleasures or possessions of this momentary life.
2) Seek Jesus with passion.
The Bible says God will bless you if you seek him with your whole heart. Jesus said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." (Mt. 6:34) Make my relationship with God through faith in Jesus the top priority of my life. The ability to cultivate spiritual intimacy with Christ will provide the pathway to blessings in this life and the next.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
You’ve heard of the “seven last words of the church” before, haven’t you?
If not, here they are, tongue firmly in cheek: “We’ve never done it that way before.”
There’s a lot of truth in that. When a church gives way to an attitude that says things must be done the way they have been done, and anything new is to be met with skepticism and even rejection, its days are numbered.
It got me thinking to some other lines that are killers, yet sound so good on the surface. But if you’ve been around a while, and know the real translation, you know how deadly they can be.
So instead of the seven last words of the church, let’s call them the seven last phrases of the church:
“I need to be fed.”
Translation: I am a spiritual infant and need to be spoon-fed because I’m not mature enough to open up the Bible and dig into it for myself. Nor do I want to be. And since the church exists for me and my needs, this is my rightful expectation. And if you want the last 5%, I’m mad about something that didn’t go my way, or you asked me to die to myself for the cause, so I have to find a spiritual-sounding excuse that makes it seem like the church is beneath my level of advanced maturity as I make my way out the door. So it’s not just “I need to be fed,” but now, “I need to go where I can be fed.”
“I didn’t get anything out of it.”
Translation: The worship service is all about me, which means I am the object of worship. Forget that this is idolatry at its worst; I mustn’t be worried about such things. It also doesn’t enter my mind that the important thing isn’t what I get out of it, but what God gets out of it. I am a consumer, and my needs drive me and should drive the church. And I’ll keep church hopping and shopping – and evaluating – until I find what does meet my personal tastes and current desires.
“The music is too loud.”
Translation: I don’t like the style of music. It’s too “rock.” Too contemporary. I came here liking a certain kind of music, and now you’re changing it in the name of reaching the young and disaffected. So now I am going to be disaffected until you change it back. And don’t offer me any of those blasted ear-plugs; I shouldn’t have to wear earplugs in church! I should just like what is being played and how it’s being played. When you talked about dying to ourselves in order to reach the unchurched, you never mentioned music. I don’t die to myself there.
“You talk about money too much.”
Translation: I don’t give, don’t plan on giving, and certainly don’t want to be challenged to give. And if you mention it even once a year I’m going to cry foul and pull this self-righteous phrase out as a way of making you the bad guy. My money is my god, it’s not for God, which is why I’m hyper-sensitive about it. I have to find a spiritual-sounding reason for exiting out from the challenge so that it’s about you and the evils of organized religion, and not me and my consumptive lifestyle.
“Who’s holding you accountable?”
Translation: I’m into control and want to find a way to have it. But talking about “accountability” sounds more spiritual. What I’m really after is finding out about boards and committees, councils and business meetings, and then how to get on them. Let church leaders lead? Let pastors pastor? Are you crazy? You don’t send someone to seminary to learn how to lead the church; you send them to seminary to come back and be led by those of us who like to talk about accountability as a euphemism for control. They are our chaplains, to care for us and do our bidding, not decision-makers or leaders. I, of course, can be trusted and don’t need any vocational training whatsoever to lead, much less any…accountability.
“I don’t know everybody anymore.”
Translation: The church is growing, and I don’t want it to grow. At least, not so fast it outgrows me. I don’t find fast growth exhilarating, I find it threatening. My sense of security is tied to feeling like I know everything that’s going on. I’m not even sure I know all the staff anymore! I even have to make an appointment to talk to the pastor, and even then, it might not be the senior pastor who sees me. That’s where all this talk about reaching lost people and growing the church really leads to. I want it to be “us four and no more,” but they want to reach the whole world! Do you know what that would mean? Why, I would have to become less so it can become more! Where do ideas like that even come from?
“Let’s disciple the ones we have.”
Translation: A church can be about evangelism, or it can be about discipleship. Not both. We’re obviously misinterpreting Jesus when He said that it could be. But more to the point, I’m a bit on the spiritually prideful side of things, which means I like to talk about discipleship to remind everyone how discipled I am compared to the rest of the Christian minions. You know, I’m on the meaty, mature, believer-oriented, expositional, go-deep, doctrinally sound side of things. Not the trendy, culturally-hip, Christianity 101, contemporary, church for the unchurched, evangelistic side of things. And don’t bother me with the idea that there is all of eternity to grow in faith and knowledge and worship, and only here and now to evangelize. Or that the first church started with 3,000 converts and no discipleship program except 11 overwhelmed followers of Jesus who had only moments before abandoned and even betrayed Him. That’s Acts, and we all know Acts was written before anybody was, well, discipled.
So there you have it; the seven last phrases of the church.
Or at least seven you might hear very close to its last gasping breath.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Join us at PCC this weekend and bring your kids because The Cat in the Hat will be in PCC Kidz City reading stories and taking pictures with our kids.
I'm also continuing our series, WhyI, with a message on how to trust God during transitions in life. I know this word from God is going to help a ton of people navigating the never-ending change we experience.
Services times are Saturday at 4:30pm and 6pm and Sunday at 9:30am and 11am and 2pm Spanish.
Don't forget to invite your friends!!!
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
By Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer
April 05, 2011
Pocono Community Church's $10,000 donation to this year's Run for the Red has nothing to do with the marathon changing its course from previous years, according to the American Red Cross of the Poconos in Stroudsburg.
"The church's $10,000 donation is not payment to us to change this year's course," Red Cross Stroudsburg Executive Director Jim Rienhardt said Monday after returning from vacation. "It's merely a donation, like all other donations, to benefit Red Cross disaster relief services. Yes, some of it might go to help defray the cost of having the marathon, but the rest goes to disaster relief."
The Rev. David Crosby Jr., Pocono Community pastor, emailed his congregation last week after the Pocono Record raised questions about whether the donation was connected to rerouting the marathon so that it no longer affected the church's heavily attended Sunday services.
"When we were approached last year for a contribution to the American Red Cross, I, along with the rest of the leadership team, thought it presented a great opportunity to share God's blessings with our community," Crosby wrote.
Rienhardt said it's possible one of his volunteers approached the church about making a donation although he couldn't be sure.
Crosby said in his email that while he investigated the possibility of having the route changed a couple of years ago, the $10,000 donation, "like all gifts, was given with no strings attached."
He said the church had contributed to the American Red Cross organization in the past. Crosby said he participated in an American Red Cross telethon the year before last and the church gave $3,000 that year.
Rienhardt said the $10,000 marked the first time the church specifically donated to the Run for the Red.
"I believe we have received donations from other (entities) along the marathon route in the past and will probably receive more from those same sources in the future," Rienhardt said. "I can't, off the top of my head, tell you who along the route has donated to us without looking at a list."
He added: "It saddens me that someone out there apparently is trying to make it out to be something more or something other than what it is."
Whatever money we take in, whether it's a donation to our annual telethon or to Run for the Red, all goes to the same place. It all helps the community, you and your neighbors, in times of trouble."
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Dear PCC Family:
I am writing to you today to clarify and correct the article in today's Pocono Record regarding our contribution to the American Red Cross's Run for the Red. Though I am not terribly concerned with what the world at large thinks, it is important to me that our church family knows my heart and the truth about what and why we give.
When we were approached last year for a contribution to the American Red Cross, I along with the rest of the leadership team thought it presented a great opportunity to share God's blessings with our community. While I did investigate the possibility of having the route for The Run For The Red changed a couple years ago, the gift, like all gifts was given with no strings attached. Contrary to what the article states, we have given to the American Red Cross in the past and in fact, have a long standing relationship with the American Red Cross. The year before last, I participated in the American Red Cross telethon and our church family gave $3,000 that year.
Furthermore, we've hosted American Red Cross blood drives throughout our church's eight year history. We've reported our gifts to the The American Red Cross in our Annual Report for all to see. We have nothing to hide.
So, while the Pocono Record is attempting to mischaracterize our church and its generosity (even though yesterday's article gave the reasons for the route change), the truth is that our gift is just another example of God using the PCC family to bless the Pocono Mountains.
Let's continue to pray and reach out with Christ's love as we create a culture of generosity in our community.
Together is better,
Monday, March 28, 2011
1. To grow. Leaders are learners. If you are going to grow to the next level in life and leadership, you have to expose yourself to new ideas, new people and new information.
2. To connect. Just getting away with your team creates opportunities to bond with each other and build team chemistry. The travel time and fellowship alone is a valuable investment.
3. To network. Every time I go to a conference I meet new people and make some new friends. These friendships have proved to be valuable assets to both my professional and personal development.
4. To dream. Conferences are like dream releasers. What a great way to catch a vision for what God could do in our church or ministry when visiting other powerful ministries that are full of vision and creativity. That vision is contagious.
5. To unplug. Conferences provide a unique opportunity to switch gears for a few days and be inspired and informed. It's refreshing to unplug from the daily grind of meetings, writing, sermon preparation, responding to email, etc.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Here's a couple thoughts on this Scritpure:
- Authentic worship requires sacrifice. If it doesn't cost you something, it's not real worship. Some scholars say that Mary's expression of worship cost her a years worth of wages. Have you ever given a years worth of your wages in one offering? Crazy, huh. Authentic worship could cost you your reputation, your time, your pride, your money...anything you that could potentially become an idol in your life.
- Authentic worship honors Jesus first. Mary puts Jesus first while simultaneously disregarding the others in the room. Her one act of worship foretells the sacrifice Jesus would soon make on the cross. Often times, we try to create worship experiences that honor the unchurched over Jesus. While we need to make guests feel comfortable in our worship services, our first responsibility is to cultivate an atmosphere that honors Jesus first, thus creating an environment where His Spirit can cultivate life change.
- Authentic worship changes the atmosphere. It releases faith. It compels an audience of spectators to become participators. It captures the attention of Jesus. Real worship changes stuff ... in our hearts, in our church and in our community.
- Authentic worship will always come under criticism. Judas criticizes Mary for waisting money in her expensive display of worship. It's kind of like people who criticize a church for spending lots of money on reaching their community for Jesus with creative outreaches meanwhile they are robbing God by not even honoring him with the tithe.
- Authentic worshippers will always be defended by Jesus. Jesus tells Judas to back off. Jesus knew Judas was a thief. He knew Judas didn't really care about the poor. Jesus also knew the true motivation of Mary's heart. Jesus and Jesus alone will ultimately decide what is pleasing to him.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
- we are starting a second service
- we are going to casual dress
- we are singing contemporary music
- to reach more people for Jesus
- to create an environment where lost people feel welcome
- to connect with people in a relevant style, etc.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Japanese scholar, Fuji Kamiya described Japan's ability to recover from seemingly insurmountable obstacles following WWII with the word sokojikara: a reserve power to overcome threats to sustainability and preeminence. Japan's uncanny knack to demonstrate sokojikara amidst overwhelming odds stacked against them is something to be admired.
Potential threats in life come from a variety of places:
- Uncontrollable situations
- Unaccountable leadership
- Ugly (negative) people
- Unacceptable excuses
- Unexpected problems
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
- Don't date/marry this person.
- Don't take this ministry position/make this career change.
- Don't buy this house?
- Resist God and plow forward and do my own thing
- Run from God and have a pity party
- Realign my plan to fit his plan knowing