Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Moving Forward...

It is August 24 and I am sitting here wondering where the summer went.  As you can see, the last blog post was July 25, right after Vacation Bible School (VBS).  A LOT has happened since then, and I am excited about it.

VBS has introduced us to a handful of new families with children and also got the word out that Paragon Church exists.  We have had over 120 each Sunday since VBS and each week we are seeing new faces.   The funny part is, neither Scott nor I really had anything to do with it.  We have been faithful to do what God has led us to do, but the rest has been up to Him.  I wish I could take credit, but I can’t.  As a matter of fact, a prayer I have weekly is “God, please help me so I don’t mess this up.”

Looking back, this time last year I was in the very beginning stages of planning to plant a church.  I was trying to figure out how to make it all happen by Easter of 2010.  I was visiting successful church plants to learn from their successes and their mistakes…. calling companies that specialize in “churches in a box” to see how much money I was going to need to raise… looking at schools to meet in… putting together proposal packets to answer the question “why?” (when in all honesty, at that time I wasn’t even 100% sure of “why” myself).

It amazes me to be able to look back and see God’s hand in all of this.  The people He brought together to support this.  The churches He has partnering with us.  None of this was me, it was all Him.

He is changing me every day and I hope the same for you too.  I hope you are excited about what is to come and that you WANT to be a part of it (not just HAVE TO be a part of it).

Over the next few weeks, I am going to talk about why church is for everyone and why I love this church… and that will carry into our One Month to Live church wide six week event.  As we head into these crucial weeks, I want to encourage you with a few words…

1.     God can and will use you if you are willing and open.  God did not call me alone on this journey to plant a church – you are here for a reason.

2.     There is a difference between following Jesus and merely attending church. 

3.     Followers of Jesus see change taking place in their lives.  Those who follow Jesus NEVER stay the same.

4.     While numbers in the gym where we meet are good, we are not just trying to build up an audience, but rather build up an army that is ready to do what God has called us to do – REACH PEOPLE!

5.     I can see the passion in each and every ordinary person (that is all of us) that sit in the seats.  God isn’t done with any of us yet and the best is yet to come at Paragon Church… so buckle up, hold on, and invite someone else for the ride…

Know that there are hurting people all around you – no matter where you are.  How are you reaching out to them?  At the very least… Invite them to a place where people will love on them with the love of God.  What is the worst thing they can say?