Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Faith: Salvation

This week we will be looking at what it means to have faith. We will look at Ephesians 2.8,9 then also at some general themes through some of the gospels.

There are a lot of things I think of when I think about faith. I think about Indiana Jones, I think about Superman, I think of friends, and I think of my car. It's funny to me how many various meanings we have for such a (supposedly) simple word. I'm reminded of Martin Luther and I'm reminded of my mom. We are going to be looking at the relationship between faith and salvation. What do you think about the two?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Hey team, we are looking at "fellowship" this coming week and we looked at "service" this past week. The challenge for us was to go serve downtown at the shelter, and I appreciated everyone that could make it. I understand we couldn't all do it. The main thing is to begin to think about where and how we can serve in our day-to-day lives. We at church get obsessed with evangelism and sharing the gospel, but I would challenge you to go and serve someone and see if they refuse to listen to stories about Jesus' love.

This coming week we will be looking at fellowship. Of all the topics we have covered with church, I believe this might be the easiest to practice but the hardest to perfect. Fellowship is about love and vulnerability. How can we better practice fellowship? How can we find ways to fellowship together?

As always, I love Refuge and couldn't be happier with what God is doing among us.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Last week we looked at Jesus' words about discipleship. This week we will be looking at a short story about David and worship.

With discipleship, we looked at Jesus' clear expectations. He is asking us to hold nothing back. If our family has been first in our lives, he is saying they aren't any longer. If education was first, or work was first, or our sweet cars were first, they are no longer in that spot. Essentially, discipleship is the decision that God is your first priority.

This coming week, we are looking at an aspect of discipleship. Worship, in my opinion, is sacrifice. It can be corporate and it can be individual. It is essentially our waste of time on God. What do you think about worship?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This week we are going to be looking at what "mission" is. It isn't so much about "missions" or "mission trips" or anything like that. The way I see it, the world is in disarray. People are full of hatred, sadness and pain. God created a good world with good creatures. Somewhere things went wrong.

And this is where the mission of God comes in. God is sad that people are estranged, both to himself and to others. So God continued creating, this time he created a plan to bring his beloved children back to himself. He came up with a way to be a righteous judge and a loving savior all at the same time.

So now, I believe the Mission of God in the world is being manifested in the church. Sometimes we do it well, but most of the time we do it very poorly. We have altar calls and we invited people to "get saved" but then we have very little follow through on what it means to be continually saved. God wants to continue saving us, day by day.

What do you think about the Mission of God? How can we do a better job?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


This week we are starting a series on church, what is it, what should it be, how do we get there? Hopefully we will all take some steps that will make us into a better church, and hopefully we will all learn some about what it means to be the church.

In theology, this is called 'ecclesiology' and in my opinion the American church has a very weak view of what it means to be the church. We really drop the ball on quite a few things, so here is a basic rundown of the areas we will be looking at.

Mission. God's mission, our mission. What does it mean to be church on a mission, what kind of mission are we trying to accomplish, how do we do that? Everything else we say about the church has to do with God's mission in the world.

Discipleship. God's goal for every person is that they become a disciple of Jesus. How can we be good disciples? What separates a good disciple from a bad one?

Service. Can we truly be disciples and not seek to serve? How did Jesus approach leadership? How does this flesh itself out in life?

Worship. What does real worship look like? How can we be a church that celebrates God? Can we truly worship without sacrifice?

Fellowship. Do we have to like one another? What if we don't?

Hopefully this series gets us thinking and doing what it means to really be the church and not act like one. Hopefully we can be a church on the journey, and hopefully we can minister from our brokenness not from pride or anything like that.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So we are full speed ahead. Saturday night was good. It was a real blessing to be worshipping with all of you in that setting for the first time. I look forward to the people we meet, the lives we help change, and the memories we will make. It was pretty great the way everyone spoke with someone they didn't know. Class death-knells for churches are when they start to focus inward instead of outward. The church is called to be missionary by nature, and part of that is being open to new people.
There are a few outstanding things we probably need to start developing. We need to start some dialog about children's ministry. How can we show parents that we care about them and their kids? Do we develop a way to keep children in the main worship service? What should we do with nursery aged children? Is anyone interested in helping develop some of that?
Website. We have a couple people that have spoken with us about potentially doing it. I think we should set a deadline and start working toward that.
Taskforces. I was just thinking about some things that we will need to get started on, and thinking that I don't have to have my hands in everything. What if we started having temporary taskforces to work on certain issues? We could either get volunteers or have it be random. I was thinking we do something like that to come up with a philosophy for chidren's ministry, outreach, things like that. What do you think? Just kind of spitballing here...

Friday, March 26, 2010


What, like, 31 hours? Crazy huh?

Just a few thoughts as we are approaching our first worship service. We should not expect perfect from ourselves (and on this I'm speaking to myself first of all). We will have goof-ups and mess-ups as we go. Those are good opportunities to learn and to get better.

Don't try to meet everyone who comes tomorrow night. Now, it may end up being really nasty weather, so we may end up with only our core. In that case, be sure you know everyone. But if there are others there, let me just encourage you all to have one meaningful conversation/contact with someone there. That is, in my opinion, more important than just meeting everyone.

We need to start thinking about what to do with kids... in a good way. We will have parents come and they will want to know that we are thinking of them. If you are interested in helping me work through that, I need you to let me know soon.

Please be deliberate about maintaining the connections that we established during our home church phase. Invite people to dinner, to watch "The Office", you know, stuff like that. Relationships take work, at least, ones that are worth keeping do. It is ok to be intentional about them.

Looking forward to it, and as always, you guys are great.