Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all the faithful volunteers and friends of Pocono Community Church.

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

A Pocono Christmas

Join the PCC Church Family this Christmas Eve for an inspiring night of music and hope.

Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies, live music before and after the service, and Christmas carolers. You don't want to miss this exciting night where we celebrate the birth of Christ!



Christmas Eve Eve - Friday, Dec. 23 - 7pm, 8:15pm (Spanish)

Christmas Eve - Saturday, Dec. 24 - 2pm, 4pm, 6pm

Merry Christmas from Pocono Community Church!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Israel

I'm currently making this post from my hotel in Haifa, Israel. This week I'm in the Holy Lands with a small group of pastors touring the land and spending time with Jacob's Hope.

Jacob's Hope provides compassion ministries and outreach to the Jews living around the world. Some of their outreaches include medical supplies and treatment, emergency supplies, food distribution and more.

Specifically, they have 6 warehouses positioned strategically throughout Israel that are designed to meet the physical and spiritual needs of Jewish people. Interestingly, 25% of Jews in Israel live below the poverty line. Another 25% live at or just above the poverty line.

Apparently the lion share of the Israeli governmental expenses go to the national defense and understandably so. Israel is completely surrounded by its enemies. Only last week two missiles launched from Lebanon landed only miles from my hotel.

This is my first time in Israel. It's amazing to be in the land where Jesus' lived and walked. The Bible literally comes to life before your eyes. I'm totally expecting this trip to be a life changing experience.

More to follow ...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Psalm 73:1 says, "Truly God is good..."

Here are some things I'm truly thankful for this Thanksgiving:
  • 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

Weekend Highlights

Here are some of the highlights from the weekend at Pocono Community Church:

*PCC provided almost 150 families with Thanksgiving Baskets and hand delivered them to homes in need. What a demonstration of generosity and kindness. So proud of our staff and the hundreds of volunteers who donated their time and resources for this outreach.

*This past weekend was "Commitment Weekend" at PCC. Hundreds of people gave sacrificially and made three year commitments to our new outreach and develop initiative, Unstoppable.

*Early reports of the Unstoppable Commitments are nothing short of miraculous.

*Our Unstoppable goal was 2 Million to be given over 3 years. Before this weekend, 1.2 million was already given in advanced commitments. God is up to something BIG.

*Eph 3.20 - God is able to do exceeding and abundantly more than we dare ask or think.

*I can't wait to announce the miracle of generosity on Victory Weekend on the December 10/11!

*My wife, Bekah and I were incredibly humbled as we watched so many faithful people in all 5 worship experiences come forward and give their gifts at the altar. I'll never forget that display of generosity...ever.

*God says, "If you can't give willingly, then don't give at all." This weekend was about a "coalition of the willing" not a "coercion of the unwilling."

*God doesn't expect us to all give the same amount. But He does expect us to give with the same attitude.

*Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be." In other words, what's in your heart is more important than what's in your wallet.

*So cool to meet 4 new East Stroudsburg University students in our worship experiences this weekend. They are totally psyched about PCC coming to ESU and want to join the launch team. This is gonna be good.

*Looking forward to next week when we will celebrate Thanksgiving together as a church family with extended time of worship and communion.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Excelerate Leadership Conference








Just wanted to get the word out to pastors and church planters to register for this new leadership conference, Exclerate. It will be held at Glad Tidings Church in Reading, PA.

Looking forward to being there with many of my ministry friends and sharing my heart on reaching the unchurched and hearing from some other great speakers. Don't miss it!

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

8:30 am – 9 am
REGISTRATION | NextGen Center

9 am – 10:30 am
MAIN SESSION | NextGen Center
Structuring Your Church to Reach Lost People
David Crosby, Jr.

10:45 am – noon
BREAKOUT SESSIONS [choose from six]

Topics include:

  • Creating a Missional Church | Eran Holt
  • Accelerating Growth Through Strategic Planning | Bryan Koch
  • “RPM’s” Kids Small Groups are a “Real Powerful Ministry!” | Todd Bube & Andrea Dascalescu
  • Creating a SERVE Culture that Attracts New Volunteers | Deb Bube
  • Developing Group Life in Your Church | Scott Kramer
  • Launching a Multi-Site Campus | Steve DeFrain, Jr.

Noon – 1 pm
LUNCH | Sacred Grounds Grille

1 pm – 2 pm
PANEL DISCUSSION | NextGen Center
Structuring Your Church to Multiply and Plant
Tom Rees, Gerry Stoltzfoos, Jeff Leake, Steve DeFrain

2:15 pm – 3 pm
CLOSING SESSION & PRAYER | NextGen Center
Where Do We Go From Here?
Bryan Koch

3 pm
CONFERENCE CONCLUDES

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Monday, November 07, 2011

Unstoppable

This weekend PCC launched our new initiative, Unstoppable. Here's the video roll in for the series. A huge thanks to the creative guys that made it happen. You guys are amazing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snowtober

Due to the snow storm, we had to cancel our Saturday evening service.

The water baptism service, planned for tonight, has been rescheduled for next Saturday, November 4th.

The MonsterBash will be tomorrow during our regular Sunday worship experiences at 9, 10:30, 12 and 2pm. Don't miss out on all the fun, candy, games and more. Each service will also include an action-packed Gospel presentation.

Please make every effort to attend our 9 and Noon worship experience tomorrow to free up space in the 10:30 worship experience. Thanks again!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daniel Fast Day #11

Psalm 35:13 "I afflicted myself with fasting."

The first time I read this verse written by King David I was like, 'Totally feel ya bro. This fasting thing is tough on the body."

But then I realized that the word "affliction" is best defined as "humility."

To fast is to truly humble yourself. It's amazing how much my body and my physical appetite can control my life. It's humbling to realize that there are things in my life that have been brought to the surface during this season of fasting. It's caused me to deal with certain attitudes, reactions to particular people or just my disposition and general demeanor.

But fasting is bring my flesh under submission to my spirit - or better yet - the Spirit of the Living God inside of me. Fasting will truly position anyone to deal with the junk in their life and obtain victory for the glory of God.

I'm so glad we are half through this fast and I'm excited to see all that God will do in us in the second half. Don't give up!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daniel Fast Day #9

Here are some of the specific things I am fasting for:
  • 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

Daniel Fast Day #6

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 6:5

It's no secret I enjoy a great meal. But after every feast, I'm always hungry again in less than a few hours - never truly satisfied. 

You don't realize how powerful your hunger for food really is until you fast. Simply denying myself the food I eat on a typical day has awakened a giant in my gut. The first few days of the fast my flesh was screaming to be satisfied. 

Interestingly though, the more I've prayed and fasted the quieter those hunger pangs became. Now almost a full week into the fast my insatiable desire for food has almost been tamed. What's more than my appetite being in check is that I have a heightened sense of taste for the food that I do eat.

What's true of my physical nature is also true of my spiritual nature. I sense a renewed desire for God's Word and spending time in his presence. There is a heightened spiritual sense in each moment as I experience the Spirit of God with me through the day in conversations with my wife, as I parent my kids, and go about my work and ministry to others. 

Here's the kicker: at the end of each day there is deep satisfaction with the time I've spent in God's Word and in prayer. God truly does satisfy those who hunger for more of Him and His Word. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Daniel Fast Day #5

My friend Sam died today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daniel Fast Day #4

"Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart." Psalm 119:2

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

Daniel Fast Day #3

Today I'm praying and fasting for my friend Sam. Sam and his wife, Charlotte, are founding members of Pocono Community Church. For the past nine years, Sam has been a faithful friend and source of encouragement. He is the Treasurer of the Elder Team and serves as a part of the Greeter and Prayer Team, as well.

Last week Sam went to the hospital because he had been bleeding internally and experiencing a great deal of pain. In the past week, the doctors have discovered that Sam has Stage IV cancer that has affected his liver, pancreas, lungs and brain. His body showed no sign of cancer only 4 months ago in a CT Scan. Last night Sam's health deteriorated and he was taken into the ICU where he suffered a stroke and further complications.

As of now, Sam has been taken to hospice where all they can do is make him as comfortable as possible. Please pray with me that God will be merciful and compassionate and that His will be done. Also, please pray for Charlotte and Sam's children and grandchildren. May the God of all comfort be their peace.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daniel Fast Day #2

1 Chronicles 21 tells of a time in King David's life when he was directed to offer a special sacrifice to the Lord. When someone tried to step in a relieve the burden of his sacrifice, King David said, "No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing." 1 Chronicles 21:24

Some have asked me if giving up soda or chocolate was "enough" for God to bless them during this time of fasting and prayer. I think King David makes it clear that whatever we do for the Lord should require significant sacrifice. If it doesn't cost you something, then it's not worth anything.

What are you willing to give up for God?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Daniel Fast Day #1

For the next 21 days Pocono Community Church is participating in the Daniel Fast. I'll be sharing some things that Lord is speaking to my heart during this time of prayer and fasting. If you would like to join us, please go here to download details of the fast and start today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School Kick Off!

This Saturday Pocono Community Church is hosting a Back to School Kick Off event from 10am to 2pm. All family and children are welcome to come celebrate a new school year and receive FREE:

+Bookbag filled with school supplies
+Hair Cuts
+Dental Care Kits
+Eye Exams
+Child ID tags from Pocono Regional Police
+Free fire prevention training with the brand new smoke house by Mount Pocono Fire Company
+A chance to win a Nintendo DS 3D gaming system
+Games and much more!
+We even have free massages for parents!

Hope to see you there! Please bring your friends too! For Directions or more information on Pocono Community Church, please click here.

Pastor Dave

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Off-Site Planning Retreat

Today our staff is participating in an off-site, one-day planning retreat. We are ramping up for the fall and specifically preparing for the implementation of a completely new discipleship and family life ministry system.

It's really exciting to think of all the new changes that we are working on to develop a stronger and healthier church. What an opportunity for growth and more changed lives.

Here are a few reasons why we do off-site planning sessions:

1) Unleash - Often times just a change of scenery helps unleash the creative process. Once you are out of the office and out of the routine you can get in a fresh perspective on challenges and obstacles within the organization.

2) Unplug - We intentionally go to locations where there are limited distractions like this camp that's in a pretty remote place up in the mountains. There are limited phones, wi-fi, email, and a myriad of other hi-tech interruptions that jam up a typical work day.

3) Unwind - Off-sites provide a great opportunity to spend quality time with staff members. We always include some free time where we can just hang out and relax and enjoy one another. This down time does wonders to build team morale and camaraderie.

4) Unpack - An extended meeting time away from the office affords the staff valuable time to really unpack important issues. This additional time spent brainstorming, thinking, discussing and praying produces a solution-oriented plan and God-sized goals.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lesson from Disney #6

Lesson #6 - The Pixar Rule

At Disney, the Pixar Rule is the basic understanding that you cannot offer criticism without offering a suggested solution.

For example, if you work at Disney on the Pixar Team and you view the opening sequence of Cars 2 and you don't like it you wouldn't say: "The opening sequence wasn't as good as the first movie. You better change it."

That's simply offering criticism without focusing on concrete ideas of how to change it for the better.

Instead, you would say, "The opening sequence would be better if you didn't introduce any new characters and had Mater and Lightening zoom onto the screen straight away. The kids will love it. That's what they want to see."

In our church culture, we strive to offer constructive criticism.

Constructive criticism adds value to your feedback and can institute positive change.

Develop a culture that allows for honest criticism but also keeps the focus solution-oriented.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lesson from Disney #5

Lesson #5 - Learn How to Retrain Great Staff Members

+My friend at Disney talked specifically about how to retrain great staff member (emphasis on great). He's got a great team that he manages now and has dealt with plenty of transition in his tenure.

+All great staff members ask these 3 questions:

1. What do I get to do?

2. Who do I get to do it with?

3. Am I a valued contributor?

If the answer is only "yes" to two out of the three, than you will not be able to retain great staff members. In other words, if you get to work on the Cars 2 team and report directly to the director but your job is getting coffee and reviewing scripts for typos you might not want to be on that team because you don't see the value in your contribution.

+I'm learning that great staff members want to work with great people while doing what they are passionate about and add value to others in the process.

+In my experience, building a great staff isn't easy. I've experienced more than my fair share of transition. Sure, I'm not a perfect leader and my organization has plenty of room for growth. But I'm learning that these 3 questions are essential in building a great staff and positive morale.

+I make it a practice to discuss these questions with my staff regularly and if there is an issue I do my best to address it immediately.

+The reality is that if a staff member cannot genuinely answer these 3 questions in a positive and passionate tone than it is best for them and the organization to move on.

+Our organizational culture becomes our currency for retaining great staff.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lesson from Disney #4

Lesson #4 - Don't Even Try to Please Everyone

+Disney understands that they serve a customer that has strong opinions about the products they make

+They use focus-groups to learn, develop and refine different product lines

+However, there are two groups of people they don't even try to please: the hater and the demanding-fan

+A hater is someone who simply criticizes and complains about everything you do. These people hate everything about Disney, including it's core values. They think the world would be a better place without fairy tales and theme parks. Disney simply ignores this type of person because there is no pleasing them.

+A demanding-fan is someone who only likes a very specific type of Disney experience. For example, a demanding fan wants every Disney animated film to have a fairy-tale princess, an evil step-mother, and talking forest creatures. Anything other than that would be classified as "Disney has lost it's way."

+I've learned this lesson the hard-way leading a local church. I've tried to please everyone with how I preached, the style of music we sing, the length of service, the way I dressed in the pulpit, etc. PCC has it's share of haters and demanding fans. It comes with the territory.

+But here's the lesson: you can't please everyone so stop trying.

+It's okay to not please everyone. Instead, focus on pleasing Jesus!

+I'm not totally there yet (because I'm a people pleaser by nature) but when you live your life by being honest and committed to the vision that Jesus puts in your heart (not what a deacon or disgruntled church member wants) it makes ministry a lot more enjoyable and fruitful.

+Don't try to solve the tension that is inherent when you try to please everyone. Simply choose to please Jesus be doing what He's called you to do and then do it to the best of your ability while trusting Him with the results.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lesson from Disney #3

Lesson #3 - Failure Can Be Tolerated, Lack of Judgment Cannot

+There is a huge difference between failure and lack of judgment

+Failure is when I put a plan together, execute it to the best of my ability and then still come up short.

+Failure is actually part of the learning process. If handled correctly, it helps you succeed.

+At Disney, it's ok to fail.

+My friend Brian defines lack of judgment in terms of when you speak negatively about Disney, other staff or departments or even intentionally attempt to sabotage their efforts to succeed.

+Lack of judgment isn't tolerated because the "damage control" simply becomes too high.

+In the local church, I would classify "lack of judgment" as not being "wise." According to Acts 6, one of the essential characteristics for a church-leader was that they be "full of wisdom." Acts 6:3

+At PCC, it's ok to fail.

+In reality, I encourage my team to fail. I say, "if you aren't failing, you aren't taking any risks." It's ok to fail. Just try not to make the same mistake twice. Fail forward.

+In fact, I try to create an environment where it is safe to fail. Instead of flying off the handle at failure we ask questions like: "why did this project/event fail?", "what were the contributing factors?," "where did we go wrong?", "what did we learn?", "what can we do differently next time?"

+Lack of judgment, though, is another issue. Things such as: staff members not valuing volunteers, not having the leadership and emotional intelligence when working with people and delicate situations, losing their temper, speaking negatively against the leadership, unsupportive of the vision, demonstrating a "have to" mentality instead of "I get to" mentality, poor work ethic, etc. These things simply cannot be tolerated. They are a poor representation of Christ and what His Church is all about.

+Brian is right...the damage control for unwise leadership is simply too high of a cost to bear.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Lessons From Disney #2

Lesson #2 - Insane Talent Is Not Enough

+There are a lot of insanely talented people that work at Disney. But when it comes to building a team, ability is not as important as chemistry.

+Brian told me that he watched many incredibly talented people get fired at Disney because they didn't get along with coworkers and they were difficult to work with. These were people who lived by the creed "it's my way or the highway." Well, at Disney, they just show those people to the the door.

+At Disney you have to be willing to compromise, collaborate and cooperate.

+There's nothing worse for an organization than someone who is very good at what they do but they create a toxic work environment by they way they interact with others.

+When building a solid team, don't always look for the prima donna franchise player that wants everything to revolve around them. Find solid, talented people with a teachable-spirit, team-oriented mentality and do-whatever-it-takes philosophy.

+My friend Herbert Cooper said it best, "Talented people win games but teams win championships."

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Lessons from Disney #1

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with my friend Brian who is a VP at Disney. Currently he oversees the mobile gaming division. My kids were very excited to know that their dad met the man who oversaw the development of one of their favorite games, Jelly Car. Very cool dad.

Brian taught me some invaluable lessons he has learned over the many years he's been with Disney, especially those related to organizational culture and team building. So this next set of posts I share what I learned from Brian and Disney. Thanks Brian!

#1 - You can't fake enthusiasm.

+The most successful people within Disney maintain a genuine love for what they do.

+They get to put smiles on peoples faces and create memories for families that last a lifetime.

+Enthusiasm for the Disney brand and being part of the Disney staff is all about attitude. Sure, there are good days and bad days but the best of the best always stay positive no matter what's going on in the organization.

+People that work at Disney call this infectious enthusiasm as being "Pixie Dusted."

+For me, working at PCC is a blessing, not a burden. I can't believe I get to do what I do for a living. I'm literally living my dream. Sure there are tough days and disappointments along the way. But I go to work every day with the mentality that I can't believe I get to do this!

+I've found that negative people suck the life out of a church or staff culture. They bring everyone down. If you don't love ministry, then it's best to find something else to do. Life is too short to not love what you do and who you do it with.

+On the flip side, a genuine, enthusiastic spirit is infectious. It creates joy and excitement and permeates every person you encounter and ever project you work on.

+Maintain an enthusiastic attitude and you will last in the ministry and enjoy your life.

+I'm excited about our church and the team that God is raising up to touch this community. The fact that we get to tell people about Jesus and create experiences that help people get right with God and inherit eternal life is almost too good to be true. On top of that I then to get to watch people grow to spiritual maturity. I can't imagine a better investment of my life.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

7 Last Phrases of the Church

I read this post today on the Church and Culture blog by James Emery White. It was too good not to post here. Enjoy. Thanks James.

+++++++++++

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

Father's Day Video

Here's a little Father's Day video I showed in church this past weekend.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Perry Noble on Church Staff

10 Questions Staff Members Should Be AskingJune 2, 2011

#1 – Do I trust the leadership of this church? (If the answer is “no” then there are going to be problems because you will be unable to fulfill what God commands in Hebrews 13:17.)

#2 – Do I find myself attacking other people whom I perceive may be more skilled than me? (If so then you have insecurity issues!)

#3 – Is there anything happening privately in my life that, if it became public, would disqualify me from ministry? (”Your life” is NOT “your life!”)

#4 – Do I value my calling to serve Jesus and His church over my perceived gifting? (If the answer is yes then you will do anything at any time to move His church forward. If the answer is “no” then you will develop a deep sense of entitlement that will cause you to believe that the church should completely be sensitive to your wants and needs above the call to preach the Gospel and reach the world for Christ!)

#5 – Would I attend this church if I were not on staff? (If the answer is no then you need to do yourself, the church and God a favor and resign right now! You cannot serve a church that you do not love–period!)

#6 – Do I always have to be the expert OR am I willing to have others step into my particular area of ministry and point out my blindspots and shortcomings?

#7 – Am I always telling others how tired I am? (If so…SHUT UP! You are IN THE MINISTRY! It’s HARD! Make sure you are taking a day off to rest and relax and then GET ON WITH IT!)

#8 – Do I get angry when I do not receive the recognition and praise that I deserve? (If so…repeat this phrase, “It’s not about me!”)

#9 – Am I honestly giving my best effort? (See II Timothy 2:15!)

#10 – Would the people who are closest to me at work say that I am a walking example ofPhilippians 1:27?

Perry, thanks for posting this today on your blog perrynoble.com. Great stuff we all need to be reminded of as we co-labor together for the Kingdom!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cat in The Hat @ PCC!

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

Weekend Highlights

The week after Easter @ PCC was lots of fun. Here are some of the highlights:

1. We had a special guest, Comedian Michael Jr. He was absolutely hilarious. It was always my dream to own my own comedy club. But alas, I became a pastor. So it was fun to have a Christian comic come to PCC on a weekend where we gave everyone the opportunity to laugh.

2. God created us with the capacity to laugh. Prov. 17:22 says, "Laughter is like a good medicine." Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is laugh. Eccl. 3:1 says, "There is a time to laugh." King David said church should be a place of encouragement and laughter when he said in Psalm 122, "I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord to worship." One of the biggest insults to the Holy Spirit is make church boring and dull.

3. I had so many guests come up and thank me for spending a weekend in our series, "Why I" that focused on "Why I laugh." Many people said they haven't even had a reason to crack a smile in weeks. Life is tough. Sometimes you just have to LOL:) That's why Nehemiah said that "The joy of the Lord is my strength."

4. We had tons and tons of new guests and over 100 second-time guests. Our attendance was just shy of 2400. What a great way to follow up Easter Sunday.

5. Next weekend is Mother's Day weekend. Fellas, don't forget to do something nice for your mom. Also, if you are a dad with small children ... be sure to help your little kiddos honor their mother.

6. My mom and wife are going to be speaking on Mother's Day weekend at PCC. This should be awesome. They are such Godly women of faith and I'm really excited to hear what they have to say. Plus, all the moms that come are going to receive a special gift.

7. This weekend we also have special musical guest and worship leader, Sarah Kelly. You don't want to miss worshipping with her.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Comedy @ PCC This Weekend!

Comedian Michael Jr. will be at PCC this weekend. Be sure to join us:

Saturday - 4:30pm & 6:00pm

Sunday - 9:30am & 11am

Also, special musical guest Metanoiz! This weekend is going to be insanely fun and full of joy.

Bring a friend!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Update

Easter @ PCC this year was crazy. Here are some of the highlights:

1) Easter Egg Drop - Due to heavy fog and rain and the low cloud ceiling we couldn't drop the 100,000 eggs from helicopters as planned. So our team improvised and stuffed the eggs in bags and handed them out to the kids and parents once they arrived. We conservatively estimate 2500 cars came through our parking lot which would represent 6000 people. Thousands toured our newly updated kids ministry area and were totally amazed.

2) Attendance Record Shattered - This year we had 4046 people in our 6 weekend worship experiences. This blew our previous attendance out of the water by more than 1,000 people. We also had a record 715 kids in our worship services. It's crazy to think that 10,000 people were touched with the Gospel in our building in less than 48 hours.

3) Life Change - Each number represents a story. And this year God began writing a new story in hundreds of peoples lives that gave their heart to Jesus Christ. It's so humbling to be part of a church that is reaching out to its community and witnessing entire families come to Christ.

4) Volunteers - On behalf of our entire staff, I want to send out a huge thank you to the 615 volunteers that served this Easter in our outreach and weekend worship experiences. I've never had the opportunity to work with more committed and sacrificial people in all my life. Without each and everyone of you, my prayers would have gone unanswered. I am forever grateful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

100,000 Easter Egg Drop & Hunt















This Saturday PCC is hosting an Easter Egg Drop and Hunt at 10am at the Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport (right next to the church on Rt. 611 N).

We are dropping 100,000 Easter Eggs from helicopters. The eggs are filled with candy and prizes (there are 5,000 prizes).

This is a FREE event and it will be held rain or shine. You don't want to miss it.

Also, come and see the new PCC Kids Ministry Space in our OPEN HOUSE on Saturday before or after the egg drop. Your kids will absolutely love it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Invitation


Watch this video on how not to invite someone to church this Easter. It's hilarious.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Update

This past weekend was pretty amazing at PCC. Here are some of the highlights.

1. Thanks so much to George Monroy for sharing his story. George is a high school student that just started coming to PCC the past few months and it's been really cool to see him come to faith and get so plugged in to the church family. So proud of you George! God's got BIG PLANS for you bro.

2. The worship experiences were amazing - especially the music. Thanks so much to all the musicians and singers. I loved that song, "Power of the Cross." Crazy anointed people leading us in music.

3. Enjoyed preaching on John 4 and Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well. If we are going to witness the Jesus way we have to 1) Go to the well - places to intentionally connect with lost people, 2) Give them water - truth and life and a new dimension of God through the Holy Spirit (without watering it down), and 3) Get out of the way - let the Holy Spirit work in people's lives.

4. We had almost 80 first time guests! Very cool. We had 2154 people in attendance too. God's given us great momentum as we get ready for Easter.

5. My wife, Bekah, celebrated her birthday on Sunday. I brought her up on stage during the 11am service and we all sang happy birthday to her. It was a lot of fun. My mom and dad and sister and nephew were with us for Sunday and we went out for sushi and hibachi at Desaki's for lunch. Awesome time with my family and a great restaurant.

6. The Spanish ministry celebrated their one year anniversary yesterday at PCC. It was an amazing celebration with salsa music, pinatas, empanadas, dancing and more. I love our Spanish ministry and Pastor Emilio Quinteros.

7. We had 354 kids in church this weekend. That's awesome to see so many young people excited to learn about Jesus. The PCC Kidz City renovation is really coming along. I can't wait to see it all completed.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Invite.Me


This weekend we wrap up our series, Invite.Me with a practical and provocative look at the widely-known story in John 4. In his encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus teaches us to witness His way. Service times this weekend are Sat. 5 and 6:30pm and Sunday 9:30, 11am, 2pm (Spanish).

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

What I Learned at Drive

Drive2011 was an incredible experience for both me and our team.

Here are a 11 huge takeaways:

1. I am inspired more than ever to build a church that unchurched people want to attend.

2. I am motivated to be more intentional in designing weekend experiences that engage, involve and challenge both churched and unchurched people.

3. Clarifying the win at every level and in every ministry environment in the organization is essential for success.

4. I have to push leadership down. That is, empower other great leaders to raise their level of leadership in the organization. I am doing way too much and underutilizing the gifts and talents of the stellar staff within our organization.

5. I have to lean into my strengths and lead from them. I get frustrated when trying to lead outside of my giftings.

6. People resist things they don't understand and cannot control. I need to do a better job communicating the "WHY" as much as the "WHAT" in ministry.

7. The gospel is offensive. It divides because truth divides. The key into designing worship experiences is to not offend someone until the preaching event. In other words, create welcoming and fun environments that prepare the hearer to receive the truth.

8. I need to develop my personal schedule around the age and stage of my life. Your schedule will change with the changing seasons of life, family and ministry.

9. The best thing you can bring to your staff is your energy. Be sure to plan your meetings with your staff at times you have the most energy.

10. Get the best and brightest brains in the room for two hours a week to work on the organization and leadership development. I need a system to get the smartest people in the room.

11. Your approach to communication should be shaped by the goal of your communication. Approach is everything. How you say it is more important than what you say. Make it simple, memorable and portable.

Setting "The Record" Straight

The Pocono Record retracted last week's article regarding our donation to the American Red Cross. I would personally like to thank Andrew Scott and the editorial manager for setting "The Record" straight.

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

A Response to Pocono Record Article

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,

Pastor Dave

Monday, March 28, 2011

Drive 2011

This week some of my staff and key leaders are headed to the Drive 2011 conference in Atlanta, GA. Here are a few reasons why I like to go to conferences:

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

Authentic Worship

In John 12 we get a glimpse of the great cost of worship. While in Bethany, Jesus is at a party thrown in His honor. He was having a great time kickin' back with his friends when Mary interrupts the easy-going evening as she takes a pound of expensive ointment and anoints the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.

This one act of worship changed the entire atmosphere as the sweet aroma spread throughout the room. Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, rebuked Mary for "waisting" God's money on such frivolous activity. After all, he reasoned, that money could have been used to feed the poor.

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

Why Over What

There's a leadership principle that basically says, "People need to know WHY you are doing something, not just WHAT you are doing."

So, instead of just saying WHAT you are going to do:
  • we are starting a second service
  • we are going to casual dress
  • we are singing contemporary music
Also, tell them WHY you are going to do it:
  • to reach more people for Jesus
  • to create an environment where lost people feel welcome
  • to connect with people in a relevant style, etc.
Here's an example of how we did this last week at PCC. This is a snippet of a video we did to tell people WHY we are pulling out all the stops this Easter with our Easter Outreaches.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Sokojikara

Japan is experiencing the single largest recovery effort in its history since WWII. This country faces daunting challenges with the possibility of burying over 10,000 people lost in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Not to mention the fact that they are working tirelessly to prevent multiple potential nuclear meltdowns, providing food, water, electricity and other basic necessities to tens of thousands still experiencing physical and emotional aftershocks.

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
What do you do in times like these?

Philippians 4:13 reminds me that Jesus is my sokojikara - my reserve power who gives me strength in a time of need. We all need to plug into a power that is far greater than our natural strength. Supernatural power. Jesus is that strength. He's a reservoir of peace in a tumultuous times. A savior who rescues the perishing.

I pray that Japan will cry out to Jesus is their time of need. I pray that churches, pastors and people in need, wherever they might be, will find their strength and solace in Jesus - the sokojikara.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Easter Fast Challenge

Today, March 9th, is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. This next 40 or so days PCC is participating in a church-wide fast in preparation for Easter.

Fasting is simply abstaining from food for spiritual reasons. Jesus expected his followers to fast for a variety of reasons:

1. To give you more time to pray. Acts 13:2-3

2. To demonstrate a depth of desire for breakthrough. Joel 1:14

3. To release supernatural power in your life. Ezra 8:23

We see many Biblical examples of the importance of fasting. Moses fasted before receiving the 10 commandments. Daniel fasted in order to receive guidance from God. Jeremiah fasted before beginning a major building project. Jesus fasted prior to launching into his public ministry.

Fasting is simply carving time out of your busy schedule to feast on the word of God. It's denying oneself food for your body so you can feed your soul. It's getting in the presence of God and spending time realigning your life with His will.

To all those PCCers out there, please join with me as we fast and pray for our church, community and the unchurched this Easter. If you would like to more information on how to fast, please go to our church website.

For some of my favorite books on prayer and fasting, check out our online bookstore here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

When God Says No

King David thought he was going to build a house for God. It bothered him that he was chillin' in his own crib while the presence of the Lord rested in a portable tent. So David shared his plan with prophet Nathan. Initially, Nathan gave the King the green light saying, "Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you." (1 Chronicles 17:2)

But that night God spoke to the prophet and told him that David would not build the temple. Instead, his son, Solomon would carry out the construction project. Nathan delivered the news to David saying, "It is not you ... you are a warrior not a builder ... your son will build the Lord a house."

Has God ever told you no?
  • Don't date/marry this person.
  • Don't take this ministry position/make this career change.
  • Don't buy this house?
Instead of crying and complaining and second-guessing whether or not he heard from God, David simply submitted and surrendered to the Lords will. In fact, he said, "Who am I and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?" In other words, "God, this is your house, this is your dream, this is your plan ... I'm just your humble servant and you know what you need more than I know what you need ... so I will just get out of the way and play whatever role you want me to plan in your great plan."

When God says no I have a couple options:
  • 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
God's plan is always better than your plan. God's plan is always bigger than your plan. The Bible says, "His ways are higher than our ways." God sees life through an eternal, heavenly perspective. He sees the big picture. The next time God tells you know, take a cue from take and simply realign your plan with His and understand that God knows best. He guides the steps of a righteous man. Trust him.