How Is The Church Going Part 4?

June 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

How Is The Church Going part3?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

June 27, 2010 | How Is The Church Going Part 4 | Sermon | Download Audio

June 27th News

June 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we will conclude our discussion on How Is the Church Going?

For the last 3 weeks, we have been talking about how to evaluate a church. It isn’t as easy as you might expect. Most of the times we will either consciously or subconsciously fall back on these 4 criteria:

1) How many people are coming?

2) What’s happening? (programs/ministries)

3) Are the people happy?

4) Is the church financially stable?

As we studied these things, we discovered that they are not a very good gauge in the spiritual world (they are good for the physical world). In fact, they are not even Biblical!

So, how do we answer the question How Is the Church Going?— because it’s important. What are the things we can look at and think about?

There are probably a lot of  things we could look at, but this week I just want to focus on a couple. I found them in the Gospel of Matthew and they are part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, Jesus covers a lot of territory– but one of the thsaltings he talks about is what his disciples/followers will be like:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

(Matthew 5:13-16)

What does Jesus mean here? And how does that help us answer questions about the effectiveness of  a church?

Good questions– come Sunday and find out!

Check out the “announcements” below…

Grace and peace,

Doug

_________________________________________________________

What’s Happening at Grace2F…

Beach Bashmyrtle-beach-big

Hilltop Community church has invited anyone interested to join them for a day at the beach for a church picnic. Bring games, sunscreen, any food you want, a towel and a smile. There may even be a surf board or two to try out.

When: June 27, 2:00pm–6:00pm

Where: 78th Street beach access.

*********************************************

Russell House Ministry Opportunity

Right across the street from our church is a HUD housing project for Senior Citizens in the Virginia Beach area. It is called Russell House and they are in need of some loving, caring helping hands.

Russell House has received some government stimulus money and are renovating the 112 (ish) apartments in their facility. This will include re-doing all the kitchens.elderly20ladies

As you might guess, as nice as this is, it is a bit of a challenge to prepare the residents for the renovation. Each kitchen must be emptied for the demolition and then items returned after the renovation. The folks there need some help to make this happen.

If you are interested in joining the team from Grace family Fellowship, let me know (doug.haupt@grace2f.org)  Here is the basic information… We will be learning how this will work best as we go.

WHEN:The renovation begins the week of July 12th and will continue through February. Volunteers could help during days or evenings. We have a meeting time scheduled for Wednesday July 7th at  10:00am at Russell House to introduce ourselves and our services (how we can help them) to the first group of residents to get “renovated”.

WHAT: Packing up the kitchen for a resident. Boxes will be provided. The items will need to be placed in another space in the resident’s apartment. You may need to work with the resident to keep necessary items available (the construction will be a 2 day process). After the renovation is complete, you will return and “set-up” the new kitchen.

WHAT DO YOU NEED:Basically a heart to love and serve. I do not believe that this will be physically demanding. A big part of what we are doing is walking with someone through a process that could be a bit confusing or disruptive. You will probably need patience.

WHO: You; your friends; your kids. Any one. Any students will need to have an adult supervising– but I think this is a great opportunity for our kids to brighten a senior’s day/week/month/year.

I don’t know how much we can help– but I do know that this is a way we can impact our community in a very tangible way.

How Is The Church Going part3?

June 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

How Is The Church Going part3?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

June 20, 2010 | How Is The Church Going Part 3 | Sermon | Download Audio

June 20th News

June 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we continue in a series that asks the question:

How Is the Church Going?

We addressed three of the main ways people evaluate a church/ministry over the last two weeks by looking at “How many People Are Coming?” , “Is A lot of Stuff Happening?”, and “Are the People Happy?” (If you haven’t heard the messages, I encourage you to listen to them in the “Messages” section of this site).

This week, we’ll talk about a fourth way to evaluate a church: “Is It Financially Stable?”

rouble coin macroNow I know that you know what that means. It means we will be talking about MONEY. That can be a touchy subject, huh? Well, I did say last week that each of these topics would get more personal, didn’t I?

The truth of the matter is that Jesus (and the Bible) talks a lot about money– and for good reason. He knows that it is a huge topic for human beings. Pastor Tim Keller once said, “If I talked about money as much as Jesus did, I wouldn’t have a church.”

I understand what he’s saying, but I also understand that we can’t ignore something that is also important to our everyday lives– something that occupies so much of our attention and time.

To prepare, read Philippiand 4:10-20 and 2 Corinthians 9:5-15. These passages provide a wonderful glimpse at the joy of giving– and the role of giving in the church.

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

_____________________________________________________________

What’s Happening at Grace2F…

Beach Bashmyrtle-beach-big

Hilltop Community church has invited anyone interested to join them for a day at the beach for a church picnic. Bring games, sunscreen, any food you want, a towel and a smile. There may even be a surf board or two to try out.

When: June 27, 2:00pm–6:00pm

Where: 78th Steet beach access.

Mark 1 29-39

June 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Book of Mark

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

May 23, 2010 | Mark1:29-398 | Sermon | Download Audio

How Is The Church Going part2?

June 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

How Is The Church Going Part 2

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

June 13, 2010 | How Is The Church Going Part 2 | Sermon | Download Audio

June 13th News

June 11, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Last week we took a break from the Book of Mark to look at a pretty important question together: How is the church going?grace2flogo-300x150

I hear that question a lot because I’m a pastor– so that’s a natural thing to ask. But I wanted to ask you that question… because how you answer it is very important.

I hope you’ve had some time to think about it. Last week I presented 4 of the top things that most people would use to arrive at the answer…

1) How many people are coming?

2) Is a lot of stuff happenening? (Ministries, programs, activities)

3) Are the people happy?

4) Is it financially stable?

Although these seem like logical criteria to use, we discovered that they are not really Biblical. In fact, it appears that the Bible often rejects these for evaluating the effectiveness or success of a church/ministry.

This week we will continue the discussion by looking more deeply at “Are people happy?” and “Is it financially stable?”.

As I mentioned, you can engage in this conversation by e-mailing me, commenting below, or writing a question and putting it in the offering basket. My goal is to communicate what God is telling me about these issues and then to process what he may be telling you.

Looking forward to Sunday!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

________________________________________________________

What’s Happening at Grace2F…

Beach Bashmyrtle-beach-big

Hilltop Community church has invited anyone interested to join them for a day at the beach for a church picnic. Bring games, sunscreen, any food you want, a towel and a smile. There may even be a surf board or two to try out.

When: June 27, 2:00pm–6:00pm

Where: 78th Steet beach access.

Mark 1 21-28

June 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Book of Mark

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

May 23, 2010 | Mark1:21-28 | Sermon | Download Audio

How Is The Church Going part1?

June 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

How Is The Church Going Part 1

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

June 6, 2010 | How Is The Church Going Part 1 | Sermon | Download Audio

Between the Stories

June 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

We have been studying the book of Mark as a church. And I’ve really been enjoying it. It has been amazing to walk with Jesus– to see the things he did and hear the things he said. To see how others reacted and responded (or didn’t react and respond). To allow the Holy Spirit to teach us as we follow Jesus. And Mark is a great book to study because he is a writer of action– he uses the word immediately more than 40 times. Things really clip along at an incredible pace.

But I realized something this morning. I realized that there is a lot of time between the storieswhere Jesus and his disciples are just hanging out. They are eating or walking or resting or washing their clothes. Mark doesn’t write about this, but we can connect the dots. For example, in Mark 1:21 we read,”and they went to Capernaum…” He does some incredible things there and then in Mark 1:39 it says, “And he [Jesus– and we know his disciples were with him] went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues.”  Well, I checked a map. Galilee is approximately 40 miles long and 30 miles wide. That’s almost twice as big as Virginia Beach (now understand, I was measuring with my finger and stuff so these figures are really just estimates).

Let me ask you something. How much time do you think it took Jesus and his crew to go “throughout all Galilee”? And keep in mind, they didn’t hop on a bus, grab a cab, or jump in a Honda (old joke: “What Kind of car did Jesus drive?… The Bible says, Jesus and the disciples were in one accord”). No. You know what they did? They walked. And that took time. Think about it: No agenda; no deadlines; no distractions; no interruptions. Just the disciples and Jesus.NON-walking_thru_desert

And what do you think they were doing while they walked? They talked. They walked and talked. The disciples probably whined a bit (“How much further?!?”), argued a bit (“Thaddaeus keeps burping in my face and it smells like the cabbage we had for lunch!”, and laughed a lot. Come to think of it, they were probably a lot like my family on long car drives.

But something else happens during these times, doesn’t it? You actually have the time to think and reflect on things– and process these thoughts with others. It can be a great time to teach, to learn, to question, and to understand. In other words, there is a ton of time that is not recorded in the gospel where the disciples just get to be with Jesus. And I imagine that they had some great conversations. Many probably began with a disciple saying, “Jesus, why do you…” or “Hey Jesus, what do you think about…” or “Jesus, how come we don’t…” And then Jesus answered.

And even more incredibly, I imagine that many of the conversations began with Jesus asking something ultra- spiritual like, “Everyone give an answer to the question: what’s you favorite food?”

What’s the point of all this? Well, I really believe that the love the disciples had for Jesus was forged as much between the stories as it was in the words of scripture. As they processed their experiences with Jesus and each other, their relationship with Jesus and each other grew.

In John17 Jesus prays that his disciples “may be one”. I have an idea that this happens most often in those precious times of just hanging out and being together. So maybe you and I need to focus more on enjoying the time between the stories with Jesus and each other. After all, God is the one putting the stories together, he won’t forget to get you there in time to do what he wants you to do.