Tuesday, June 30

Doing Church vs. Being The Church

One of the questions I often get from other leaders is why GRANITE has grown the way she has over the years. One of the keys for us has always been teaching our church what it means to BE THE CHURCH as opposed to simply DOING CHURCH. When a congregation is simply DOING CHURCH they do nothing more than go through the motions each and every Sunday, embracing and clinging to the same ole, same ole. Another thing that becomes "sacred" to congregations that live for DOING CHURCH is clinging to tradition, basking in the successes of the past as opposed to the DREAM JESUS has called them to in the present with eyes focused on the future. So what does it mean to BE THE CHURCH? It's a transformation that takes place in a congregation when the people begin to understand what it means to be the VISIBLE LIVING BODY OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD. It is then when the church goes from doing "JESUS/RELIGIOUS STUFF" to "BEING/LIVING JESUS" in every area of their lives which is brought into their communities. It's been said that people would rather see a sermon than hear a sermon any day, and we believe that happens when we move from DOING CHURCH to BEING THE CHURCH. Let's never forget and commit to teaching our churches that we are the hands, voice box, feet, and extended arms of Jesus in this world. When our churches go beyond learning these facts theologically and we help them make it practical this is the realm where real life change takes place and churches take off!

Monday, June 29

TIME OUT - MY FAMILY...#2


Beyond being blessed with being married to my best friend, Christy and I have been also blessed with three ABSOLUTELY AMAZING BEAUTIFUL AWESOME CRAZY kids! And because inquiring minds want to know, I want to share a little about them.

ASHLEY CHRISTINE - is our oldest, and she has forsaken her father, turned her back on me and went and got married, (okay, so I am still adjusting, lol)! I am so proud of Ashley, she is one of the WORSHIP LEADERS of our church, and has a huge heart for God. Ash married one of the MINISTRY LEADERS of our church Michael Tinney, who happens to be a very nice guy who also loves the Lord and serves God with all his heart. HOWEVER, he will never, oh never mind, lol!

CALEY CHRISTINE - our second daughter, the middle child! Caley just finished a year of Bible college. She is a passionate follower of Jesus and is an AMAZING LEADER in our STUDENT MINISTRY. Caley has promised me that she will never get married and that she will always remain daddy's little girl, or am I just making that up, I'll never tell! Although there is this guy named Tom who seems to be around our place a lot, I am sure he is juts lost.

CODY ANTHONY - aka HEIR TO THE THRONE - Cody is the man, and we enjoy golfing together, playing bball, and wiffleball on the beach. Cody is one of those type of kids that to be around him is to love him, and no I am not biased it's the truth. Unfortunately, about three days ago Cody went missing somewhere in his room. We believe he is still in there, just can't find him in his typical 15 year old guys room, lol! God has a unique plan for Cody's life and I am enjoying watching it unfold.

MY PARENTS - I just want to give an extra shout out to my parents, who are two of the most committed Christ followers I have ever known. They both serve out church full time for the Love of Jesus. Mom works in the office, and dad watches over the building. I am blessed to be able to share ministry with them. My sister and her husband also voluntarily work around the church several days of the week.

Well I hope this gives everybody a little insight into my family. And tomorrow we will continue with more leadership ideas.

Thursday, June 25

TIME OUT - MY FAMILY...


I want to call a time out and talk a little about my family the next few days. I want to start with my beautiful and amazing wife CHRISTY. I can honestly say I am married to my best friend! My wife is not only beautiful but she is an amazing mother of three, impeccable home maker, and she is just cool to hang out with. We love taking the motorcycle out and riding up the coast taking pictures by the ocean and just finding a cool bench to sit and people watch. We have been married now for 23 incredible years. One of the greatest things about CHRISTY is she loves the Lord and loves serving Jesus giving Him her best. It is such a high having my best friend by my side, as together we are living for the DREAM OF JESUS for NEW ENGLAND. I wish everyone could be as blessed as I am. Tomorrow I will tell you a little bit about my oldest daughter, ASHLEY!

Tuesday, June 23

Who's Glory?

In Ephesians 3:20 Paul who was used of God to touch the world realized something that we all struggle with and that's making sure ALL THE GLORY GOES TO GOD. I don't know a single ministry leader who says glorify me, but to some extent we all love to be praise, don't we. I love the first few words of the PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE that remind us, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. Man, they are some challenging words! They are also a good reminder of what Paul was saying as well. I believe God shows up and does His greatest work in places where He knows He will receive the greatest glory. Let's be very intentional in making sure that in private and public all the glory goes to God.

Monday, June 22

God's Best Work

I am convinced that God is God and I am not, how's that for a revelation. Our God is AWESOME, His power is limitless and His abilities beyond anything we could wrap our minds around. With that said it blows my mind to think that God has chosen us to do His best work through. It's true, check this out...

Ephesians 3:20, "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." NLT

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible because it reminds us that God, who is God, has chosen to do His best work through us, giving us the ability to change this world through His power. If this is really true then why are so many Churches and Christians barley leaving a mark in this world? What can we do to see the great things of God? Lets talk...see you tomorrow!


Friday, June 19

Every Leader Needs Two "I's"...PART 2

The second "I" every growing leader needs is INTERROGATION. Once we do our INVESTIGATION then we are ready to move on to INTERROGATION. It's the next step in the process of gaining valuable information that will have shape us as leaders. So what exactly does it mean to INTERROGATE a ministry. It's simple really. All it means is that we begin connecting to a person within a certain organization and begin ASKING STRATEGIC QUESTIONS. It's not really complicated especially in the day of technology that we live in. You can begin making connections through TWITTER, EMAIL, and here is a crazy idea, the PHONE! I have discovered that people who are KINGDOM MINDED love investing in other ministers and ministries. Now here is a tip that I have found helpful, when you make the connection, know what you want to ask. So what are the two "I's"? INVESTIGATE and INTERROGATE, so what are you waiting for, don't PROCRASTINATE!

Wednesday, June 17

Every Leader Needs Two "I's"...

I am convinced that if you call yourself a LEADER then you embrace two "I's"! "I" number one stands for INVESTIGATE. This just in, every leader needs to be a learner, and in case you weren't aware of this, we don't know everything, lol! The truth is God is doing some BIG stuff in churches across the country. Because of the awesome day and age we live in we can INVESTIGATE other ministries from our kitchen tables in our pajama's, how cool is that. Now I am talking about recklessly wasting time surfing the net, but purposeful time that is strategically peering into works of God around the country. If we want to become all God created us to become as leaders, then we need to allow other leaders permission to speak into our lives. It's kinda like that iron sharpens iron thing! Let me give you a couple of ideas on how to INVESTIGATE.
  1. If you find an exciting blog from a church leader that speaks to your heart, check out their website
  2. If you receive cool magazines like OUTREACH MAGAZINE always check out the writers websites
  3. Keep a favorites folder of cool websites you find and frequent them often
  4. Ask other leaders what sites they enjoy "stealing" from and learning from
More to come tomorrow, how exciting is this! Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 16

Action Speak...

We have all heard it, and i am sure and one point we have all said it, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDR THAN WORDS. So let me begin the morning with this challenge to us as CURCH LEADERS. Beyond our preaching and teaching on Sundays what do our actions communicate about us and those who need Christ? I'm not trying to minimize what we do on Sundays, I am simply trying to elevate what we do as leaders throughout the week. So what do my actions say about ME and MY desire to reach the lost? Let's be honest, I'm not talking about our church follow up letter, or our token thank you phone call, but a real honest attempt to build a bridge with someone to help them find Christ. Maybe this week we could...
  1. Work on making a friend
  2. Invite a friend to lunch
  3. Join a local community team
These are just some things to think about. After all the ministry really is about PEOPLE isn't it? So what are your actions saying? What are MY actions saying?

Monday, June 15

It's All About Eternity

This week two GSBCers stepped into eternity. The first man Bob 78 years old was a wonderful, faithful member of our church. The other a 36 year old man named Nick. Nick died in his sleep this week. It was just a couple of months ago that Nick walked into our church tattooed from head to toe (which by the way was very cool), and surrendered his life to Jesus as Savior. Although Nicks struggles were intense he had found Jesus and embraced Him as Savior. When Nick took his last breath on planet earth his very next breathe was in the presence of Jesus. That's WHY we do what we do, and Nick is the reason we will not bail on the DREAM of JESUS at GRANITE. We must never ever forget the WHY behind our ministry. We must remember that everyone steps into eternity, and we get the chance to help them spend it with God, by staying true to the mission of Jesus! And WHY do we stay true to the mission and God's calling in our lives?

1 Peter 4:10, “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you.” NLT

You ask WHY do we stay true to the DREAM, the VISION? Because the GENEROSITY and LOVE of God FLOWS THROUGH US. Think about that, what a privilege, what a responsibility we have to show the world how AMAZING the Lord is. We don't "HAVE TO" we "GET TO" invest our lives in others so that when they step into eternity, they are READY! How cool is that! Thank you Jesus for using us to show NICK you GENEROSITY and LOVE, so that now NICK can be with you FOREVER.

Saturday, June 13

MINISTRY TEAMS


Its been said that great leaders help you go farther faster and I couldn't agree more. At GRANITE I am blessed to have an amazing TEAM made up of passionate followers of Jesus Christ who have bought into the dream of Jesus. If it were not for this TEAM the dream of Jesus who limp along, barley gaining any traction. What I have discovered is that when you have the right leaders in the right chairs around your leadership table God shows up in BIG WAYS! As a pastor I have discovered that the best thing I can do is to give my leaders permission to run! After-all Thoroughbreds are designed to run! As a pastor I know how important TEAM is and I want to encourage every leader to work and building a TEAM around you. Not for the sake of making you look good, or successful, but for the sake of the call of Jesus Christ, for the purpose of producing disciples. There is an old acronym for TEAM that goes like this - Together Everyone Accomplishes More. One of the mindsets behind building TEAMS is to remember it's not about you!

Friday, June 12

The Dream of Jesus is NOT FOR SALE




Years ago we had to make a decision and the decision we made then still navigates our the decisions we make in our church today. What was the decision? We had to choose between SELLING OUT on the dream of Jesus to please people, or BEING SOLD OUT to the dream of Jesus had given to our church, at the cost of losing "christians" at times, which reaching other "christians" was never our mission. So our church of just over 100 committed to BEING SOLD OUT to the dream of Jesus at all costs. Sure we lost some self-centered, all-knowing, what's in it for me "christians" who wanted to be blessed as opposed to being a blessing. But 12 years later at GRANITE, four church plants later, and well over a 1,000 people represented every Sunday I say we made the right GOD HONORING decision. Being SOLD OUT to the dream of Jesus is not always easy, but it is always worth it! To all who read this, know this, THE DREAM OF JESUS AT GRANITE STATE BAPTIST CHURCH IS NOT FOR SALE.

Thursday, June 11

SHEEP SHEEP, REALLY!

So if shepherds shepherd, then it only makes sense that sheep sheep. Now that may sound a little to simple, but if we could just get to the place where we simply embrace the role God has called us to within His body, the church, churches everywhere could accomplish so much more for the glory of God. As shepherds we must never forget it is a privilege not a right to be able to invest in and care for God's flock. I believe when a ministry team is loving the church, the way Christ loved the church, then the church will respond to the vision God places in his leaders. No, not every sheep follows, but we cannot allow the few difficult sheep to rob from the majority of sheep who want to make a difference in this world. There is too much at stake to DO church, God has called us to BE the church. More on that later...

Wednesday, June 10

Shepherds Shepherd!

Now here is a thought that came to me, shepherds should shepherd and sheep should sheep, if that little bit of information doesn't change the church world nothing will. I recently encouraged our leadership team to shepherd the sheep, and not to get put into a position where the sheep shepherd the shepherds, now process that for a moment. I have found that God's plan runs smoother when leaders lead. Does that mean that sheep are any less important? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact when I read my Bible it says that shepherds give their lives for the sheep. Sounds to me that sheep must be pretty special! So let me throw out a few questions to chew on if you are a leader:

1. You call your self a leader but is anyone following you?
2. You call yourself a leader but do you have a clear picture of where JEsus has
called you to lead His flock?
3. You call yourself a leader but are you willing to fight for the sheep and at
times fight with the sheep to keep them on God's path? Remember there are
reasons sheep need shepherds!

Three simple questions but the answers to them, will ultimately determine how effective we will be in accomplishing the DREAM of JESUS in our churches.

Tuesday, June 9

Got Team!

We are in the midst of a HUGE faith step here at GRANITE, believing that this step will help us advance the DREAM of JESUS for New England. One of the coolest things that makes this step exciting is that I get to do this with an amazing leadership team the Lord has blessed us with here at GRANITE. Ever person on our team is committed to seeing the DREAM of JESUS happen and I get so pumped up listening to them share what God has burned in their hearts and then watching them go for broke! So in short one of the greatest leadership lessons I have learned is that we should never do ministry alone. There is nothing like working alongside a team of passionate players. Now its time to get ready for our CREATIVE TEAM MEETING!

Sunday, June 7

It Takes Faith

One of the things I have learned is that it takes FAITH for God to show up. Let me explain. I think far to often there is the temptation to be safe when it comes to ministry. Planning things that we can do, setting goals that we think can manage. Then it occurred to me that if we plan things that we can handle and set goals that we are safe, then why would God even need to show up in our lives or ministries? We all know that without faith it is impossible to please God, I just wonder sometimes if living on the edge of faith scares us more than we want to admit. After all isn't it God's church and His glory at stake? He is the God of Genesis 1:1, so let's dream some dreams this summer that without God showing up, won't happen. Want to take it to another level share those dreams with your church and those around you, now your getting close to the edge.