Experience, Grand Point - Ship, Lessons for my crew

Where is Your Faith!?

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It was going to be a brief week. Being that school was going to start soon, I had some plans I wanted to do with the kids, namely get the boat back on the water, just me and them. We also had Austin’s orientation that was at a very strange time, Thursday morning for 2 hours. Because he’s making the entrance into middle school, we wanted to really take some time with him and make this transition thinking it was going to be rough/tough for him.

I was surprised when my boss texted me early on Monday saying that he needed to meet with me about something that day. Those kinds of texts always send my mind reeling with possible content.

Am I in trouble?

Grand Point - Ship

Where Hope Is Found

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My wife arranges all my clothes for me as I am completely crippled when it comes to anything fashionable. You know you have a loving spouse when they do things like that.

Let me really wow you though. Not only does she arrange my clothes for me, but she also pics out sample designs put them into a picture collage and print them out for me to reference so I can feel like I do it myself.

What a wife!

So as part of this style, she started making me sport wristbands, calling them accessories. I didn’t know I needed accessories, but here we are…

Someone gave me the most amazing wristband recently. It’s literally the coolest thing ever. It has coordinates on it. They gave them to me and Crystal together and when we input the coordinates, you’ll never believe what they point to….

Experience, Grand Point - Ship

The Value of Nothing

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Around the end of the year, I always get a bit nostalgic and begin looking back over years gone by at all the Lord has led and accomplished in and around me.

I’ve pulled out several years of journals and started really looking through the mindsets I had as different years began and I’ve come across a place the Lord directed me personally that was into NOTHING.

Grand Point - Ship

Ghost Story

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I’m reading a great book right now, Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala. He’s the Pastor of the renown, Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York. His powerhouse church centers around their Tuesday evening prayer meeting that has taken place for decades and draws thousands every week as people come to seek the Lord.

Grand Point - Ship

Grand Point Ship- 1 Year In

How is it possible that we are already a year into this amazing story?!

I had no idea how emotional we all would get over this amazing weekend looking back over the hundreds of stories we have received since that first weekend. It’s been an amazing journey of life change in so many people’s lives and it’s all just begun.

The stories I didn’t expect to see change were much closer than I could ever have imagined! Four of our five children have all made professions of faith and have accepted Christ. Three of them have done that in the last 12 months as a result of what they are seeing and experiencing in Kids Point as well as our own parenting at home.

The closest change would be in me. I thought I had a good handle on who I was and my own relationship with Christ and then this year He put us through another crisis of faith that has again redefined our trust in this amazing God.

The wonderful thing about that is I am beginning to hear threads of those same stories resounded in so many different people.

On July 28th, which would have been one year to the day of our when Grand Point Ship had its first service, 13 people made a public step of faith and declared their relationship with Jesus through baptism. That was the most thrilling thing I’ve yet to see and be a part of with this little church that’s now becoming a toddler.

What and where the Lord will work next is astounding to me. I simply cannot wait to see and be a part of the What If goals and dreams this church thinks about for it’s future.

Grand Point - Ship, Leadership

The Power of Development

Vacation week and we are loving it. It has been so wonderful to just be with the family for consecutive days without interruption, no distractions or phone calls, no counseling evenings or late meetings. This is the stuff of lifelong memories.

Our kids will forever remember their first fish and jumping into the lake with uncle Kyle, cooking over the fire and so many other things.

But, at this critical time frame, work must still go on. In ministry, the work never ceases, and it’s in times like these that I am most grateful for the people the Lord is calling to help carry the load of ministry along with me. People who are deciding to bear the weight of life change because the Lord is asking them to do so. It’s in that way that ministry can continue to happen regardless of one persons presence or absence.

Over the past years, I’ve spent the majority of my focus not on preaching messages, but on identifying people to develop and in the years that I’ve been here, I’ve come up with a group of about 20 people who are committed, heart and soul. They are the go anywhere, do anything type of people who don’t know when to quit and exhibit extreme ownership on so many levels.

This week our church continues because they are committed and are owners.
Ecclesiastes 9:11, The race is not always to the swift…, our goal here with this church is not to make the most attractive church. That would be fairly easy but in the long run, totally exhausting because it would then all land on the shoulders of either 1 or 2 of those to whom the church could pay. Our goal is to make disciples who are owners and committed propagators of the gospel message. At this point, I’m not sure they all see themselves in that way, but they’re getting there and that’s what I’m praying them to.

I’ll take an extreme amount of pride in the fact that in my absence, the work moves on. I’ve taught them over the years that it’s everyone’s responsibility to build the team and essentially the church. Every one of us must take on the mentality that it’s “my” church. It’s not “his” church. It’s not “your” church, no, it’s “my” church. Because when it’s my church than it’s my responsibility. I’ve seen them do this and become owners and when they’re owners, they make the world move.

Grand Point - Ship

Your One Thing

Every Christ followers has a message to share with the World around them, it just takes hearing the voice of the Lord to be able to clearly identify that message.

As I have grown in my relationship with Christ, and in the calling He has given me, I’ve learned to be aware of that One Thing constantly. As a Pastor, my One Thing is always moving. It has to. It is what God has called me to do and as a Shepherd of His People, He always has something He wants to say to them through me, so I’ve learned to listen…intently.

That’s my first encouragement to you. You’ve got to be able to listen intently to the Spirit of God to be able to decipher the One Thing He wants to speak through you.

This is by far, the one aspect growing void in our culture today. It takes so much work to listen and even more to listen intently. There’s just too much noise screaming at us. When was the last time you were painfully aware of the quiet around you? For me, I have to choose quiet on a daily basis. I get up super early in the morning because I crave the quiet and it’s usually in those moments when I can also quiet my mind enough to hear what the Spirit wants to tell me next. But I have to choose it.

I’ve also learned the art of quieting life around me to the point of hearing this voice from the Lord as well.

It’s no surprise to you that I love to work from Starbucks, on Tuesdays. At that time of the morning, Starbucks is usually packed with people and noisy as ever with their frappe machines running, and coffee grinders grinding, but for some strange reason I found that white noise calming and it helps me hear the Lord.

Where do you go where you can hear the voice of God most profoundly? You’ve got to begin choosing that consistently.

The other ways I discover and unpack the One Thing God wants to say next is through the people around me. Culture is always a cue of the Lord’s movement. Just look to the Old Testament for example. When the culture of the people began to move away from the Heart of the Lord, God would place a message on the Shepherds heart to speak to his people. Where do you see the people of your culture moving away from the Lord? When you answer that question, ask God what he wants you to tell them about it, and now you have your One Thing.

So you’re listening intently.

You’re watching the movement of culture carefully.

And you need to read the Word of God consistently.

If it’s not from the Word, it’s not from the Lord. What the Lord says, He will always line up with His Word.

The Word of the Lord is always the place to resort to discover the One Thing He wants to speak.

Now, I know the question soon becomes, but where do I start? Awesome, great question. You should first resort back to listening intently. Ask the Lord where to start and let Him direct you.

Currently, after having done those three things, the Lord is impressing on me the importance of complete God Trust. It’s where I see our culture becoming super self-reliant. They are more self-trusting than God-Trusting and that is a huge problem. That’s the content of the series I just led our Ship Campus through with my series, This is Only a Test.

So what’s your One Thing? It could be a simple message that can be spoken in just a few words. Or maybe it is something that needs to be developed and unpacked in a multi-stage process. Either way, ask the Lord what’s the One Thing He wants to say through you…and then start writing.

Grand Point - Ship

One Thing

Every Christ follower has a message God has placed on their hearts that needs to somehow be shared with the World.

I believe that with every part of who I am.

Some people need some help clarifying what the message is, and how to speak it, but the message is there, it just takes some time to discover and develop.

One of the first messages I heard from the Lord was about leadership. It came when I was just 16 years old. I had this enormous sense from the Lord that he wanted me to tell our youth group to step up their leadership.

So over the course of the summer I worked on a message and worked up my nerve to tell my youth pastor I had a message of the Lord for my youth group. It was one of the most terrible talks I have ever given, but that didn’t matter, what mattered was that I heard from the Lord and I followed through with the message he wanted me to speak. Did it produce any results? Don’t know and don’t care. My part was speaking the word as best I could.

That brings me to our current series, One Thing. In my mind, it’s an opportunity for some people to use our platform to speak the message that God is placing on their hearts, maybe for the first time in their lives. I can’t wait to see what transpires through the voices of these guys who are seeing the One Thing that God wants to speak through them during this season of their lives

So let me ask you, what’s your One Thing? What’s the message that resounds on your heart? Can you identify it? I’ll show you how in my next post.