Tag Archives: state of the church

That time I accidentally said “fart” in my State of Faith Church sermon…and some other things as well

20 Nov

As I mentioned last week, this past Sunday I gave my State of the Church address.  As you’ll read below I talked about discipleship and simplicity, but also farts.  Yeah, you read that title right.  Farts.  But I didn’t talk about it on purpose.  Fast forward to minute 19:00, and listen in from there.  Right in the middle of a discussion of discipleship, I let it slip…  Let the hilarity ensue. If only you could have seen how many people were snickering, smiling from ear to ear, red-faced and shaking. It was crazy! Oops

And now back to the State of the Church.  I did say “fart” and a bunch of other things too!

I started by mentioning our church mission statement: Loving God, Loving People, and how we express that four ways: Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship and Outreach.

Notice the logical flow in them? Most people make their point of first contact with the family of Faith Church through worship on Sunday morning. Doesn’t have to be that way, but it usually is. And we would be remiss if all people did was enter our doors, sit in a pew and worship. Instead we desire them to go deeper, to become a part of the family. That requires the next step, Fellowship.   We want to see people build loving relationships in the church. That will happen primarily through Care Groups. But Jesus calls us to go deeper yet, to answer the call to discipleship. That means studying the Bible and learning how to implement it in all parts of our lives. When the Discipleship Commission asks “what does it mean to be a disciple-making church” we’re talking about this. Finally, disciples will want to serve, to reach out, to make more disciples.

Where are you on the four steps? We want to see you progress, grow, mature, moving from a worshipper to a disciple who is reaching out.

I also talked about a couple of our Core Values that we need to focus on: intentional simplicity and passionate spirituality. We need to be a church that practices “less is more” philosophy.  In our society “more is more”.  But maybe there is a scary downside to “more is more” philosophy.  What do you think?  Could it be better to focus on doing a few things well?

What should it look like for Faith Church to simplify?  Feel free to share your thoughts!



The State of Faith Church

14 Nov

state of the church 2014This coming Sunday I give my next State of the Church sermon.  I am excited about 2014, and equally so about 2015!

2014 has been a wonderful year. We have seen attendance increase and giving keep pace with the budget, but numbers don’t always tell us about health. A church might actually get healthier by becoming smaller. And a church might actually grow larger while becoming less healthy. Bigger does not always equal better.

What I love is that Faith Church is getting healthier and healthier. This Sunday I want to look at ways that we have gotten healthier and ways we can get healthier yet!

Areas of health are often hard to see. I think that’s why we love numbers. Numbers are easy to see. Year over year we can talk very specifically about how many people are coming, or how our giving is doing. But what does a healthy church look like?  Bigger is better?

Last week our conference minister Gordy Lewis was with us, and after worship he and I were talking. He made the comment that it was very evident to him that Faith Church is reaching out. He went on to describe how an unhealthy church looks inward, while a healthy church looks outward.

So are we a healthy church? I think we’re getting healthier and healthier! What is healthy? A healthy church focuses, like Gordy said, outwardly on the mission of God.

Our desires for Faith Church should be that Faith Church is a church that is on the Mission of God. Jesus talked about that mission in a couple ways. One way was when he was asked what the greatest commandment of God is. Remember what he said? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and he also mentioned the second. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is the foundation on which Faith Church based on Our Mission: Loving God, Loving People and we accomplish that mission through four main areas. I want to look at each one. Each are incredibly important.

Join us Sunday morning to learn more!

How’s Things Goin’ With The Church?

27 Dec

One of the most frequent questions I receive from people outside the church is  “So how are things going with the church?”   I think most people ask that question from a rather innocent position.  For them it is a simple question. A normal question.  A pastor works with a church, and when you’re talking with a pastor wouldn’t it be normal to ask them how things are going with the church?  Sure.  But here’s where it gets interesting.  The answer!

And the expected answer?  “Good!  Things are good.”

But, oh, there is so much more to that answer.  When they ask me how things are going, I often wonder if they really want to know.  If they have time to have a real conversation.

This coming Sunday we’re going to split the sermon in two.  The first half we’ll take some time to look at how things are going with the church.  Not nearly enough time to dig deeply into the answer.  But I want to spend a few minutes discussing it with you from my perspective.

But to get ready for that, I wonder if you might take a look back at Faith Church’s 2013.  Have you seen how Facebook gives you a year in review?

I looked at mine, and it was interesting how Facebook skipped over stuff.  I wonder what kind of algorithm they used to pick what posts they selected for our year in review.  It is a creative idea and a fun feature.  We are a people who love to look back.  So this time of year there on TV you get a blizzard of Best of 2013 shows.  Maybe your Facebook year in review missed a lot of your special events too.  Ever notice how that happens with people too?  We see things from a certain perspective…our OWN perspective.  But someone else looking at the same situation sees things differently.  Or they remember things we forgot.  Do you remember what 2013 was like for Faith Church?  Maybe you could scroll down through our Facebook page and check it out?  Maybe in the comments section below you could share you favorite memories!