Coffee with the Preacher

God Favored Me!

Hezekiah Walker – wrote a song God Favored Me

He said,

This is my testimony everybody, how God favored me in spite
Of my enemies, and if God did it for me he’ll do the same thing for you.

Don’t worry about your haters your haters can’t do nothing with you.

Listen to these words
Love is patient, caring.

Love is Kind.

Love is felt most when It’s genuine, but I’ve had my share of love abused, manipulated And it’s strength misused, and I can’t help but give you glory

When I think about my story, and I know you favored me

Because my enemies did try but couldn’t triumph over me
Yes they did try but couldn’t triumph over me.

I’m still here, I’m still alive, I’m still blessed, on my way to
My destiny
, because the favor of God is on my life. Let me
Tell you about love.

***This is Hezekiah Walker’s song that speaks to the heart but my life and testimony speaks truth and realness.

I was born into a sharecroppers family. I was born to a single mother. I was raised by grandparents.

We had many difficult days of cotton fields, no running water, outdoor bathrooms, and cold nights. We walked to school on cold days and worked in the fields on hot days.

We went without. I saw my friends placed in jail while others died too soon.

Yet God favored Me!

Exodus 3:21-22 (KJV)
21  And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
22  But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

Favor is also a spiritual law and just as you can expect the law of gravity to work and the law of lift to work when you need it; when you are in a difficult situation is when you need the law of the favor of God to work for you and bring you out and it will work for you when you expect it.

Favor [N]

Finding favor means gaining approval, acceptance, or special benefits or blessings.

There is also a close association among favor, grace, and mercy, which are sometimes used to translate the same Hebrew and Greek words.  

Psalm 84:11 (KJV)
11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Genesis 6:8
8  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Exodus 33:12-13 (KJV)
12  And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
13  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

Luke 2:52 (KJV)
52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (For Jesus this was at the age of 12)

1 Samuel 2:26 (KJV)
26  And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.

God grants his favor at an early age for a purpose. The purpose is that we will grow up with a Favor-Mind-set.

Favor just doesn’t happen.

THERE ARE WAYS TO EXPERIENCE GOD FAVOR.

(Faith Change) 2 Peter 1:2 (KJV)
2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

(Attitude Change) Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
5   Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

(Thought Change) 1 Peter 5:5b (KJV)
for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

When you live with a favor-mind-set you begin to understand.

  1. When certain things happen its God.
  2. You begin to expect God to get involved.
  3. You begin to see the hand of God in the details.

If you want to experience more of the favor of God, then embrace these (2) truths:

Truth #1: God’s Favor is God’s grace.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” –Ephesians 2:8, NKJV

God’s favor, aka God’s grace, is the reason you are saved. You are saved by His favor.

Every part of your life is impacted by the grace and favor of God.

It means you are delivered, protected, preserved, healed and made whole by God’s Grace and favor.

Truth #2: God’s favor surrounds you continually.

 “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12, NKJV

As a born-again child of God, you have been made righteous by Jesus and that righteousness came with the favor of God, which surrounds you constantly!

I know that many people seek riches and success not truly understanding that if you have God favor you have success and riches.

Proverbs 3:4 (KJV)
4  So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

THE QUESTION IS HOW DOES ONE GET FAVOR FROM GOD AND MAN?

Proverbs 8:35 (KJV)
35  For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

Esther 2:15 (KJV)
15  Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.

Genesis 39:4 (KJV)
4  And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

Daniel 1:9 (KJV)
9  Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

1.         When you Praising are God you move into His favor.

 Acts 2:47 which says:

“Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

2.         When you accept a difficult assignment you move in His favor.

Luke 1:30 (KJV)
30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

4.         His Favor will flow through you to connect with others.

Genesis 39:21 says:

“But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

5.         Never leave home without it.

Years ago, American Express had an ad campaign which suggested we “Never leave home without their credit card.”

Deuteronomy 28:2 (KJV)
2  And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

6.         Favor is recognizable by others on you.

Genesis 30:27 says:

“And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.”

7.         It is the Lord that grants favor.

Exodus 12:36 (NLT2)
36  The LORD caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth!

The Lord Favored Me!

Genesis 18:3 (KJV)
3  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

Ruth 2:13 (KJV)
13  Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.

GOD TOLD MOSES TO TELL THE PEOPLE THEY WOULD HAVE FAVOR IN THEIR DEPARTURE.

If it was not for favor where would I be?

  1. Homeless
  2. In Prison
  3. In the Grave
  4. Damaged beyond Repair

People said I didn’t have the Education to make it – But Favor

People said I didn’t have the Physical appearance to make it – But Favor

People said I didn’t have the right family backing – But favor

People said my family was dysfunctional – But Favor

GOD FAVORED ME!

The Clark Sisters had a song…

He brought me through hard trials
He brought me through tribulations
Never let a day go by and not realize
Had not been for the Lord who was on my side
Back was against the wall
He looked out for me
He heard my cry and rescued me
Never let a day go by and not realize we are blessed

Don’t take it for granted that we are here today
Just know that we’re blessed and highly favored

Coffee with the Preacher

What the Devil don’t want you to Know.

Exodus 3:5-10;18-19 (KJV)
5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6  Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
7  And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8  And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9  Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
10  Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Exodus 3:18-19 (KJV)
18  And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
19  And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.

Exodus 3:20 (KJV)
20  And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.

John 10:10 (KJV)
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

It is Satan’s job to hold us down so that we will not have a full life.

The one thing Satan wants is for God’s people to live in bondage. When we live in bondage for a long period of time we become hopeless, dreamless, and visionless.

Bondage will suck the life out of you. Whether it is:

  1. Financially
  2. Relationally
  3. Sickness
  4. Fear
  5. Crisis’s

Satan doesn’t want you to know that if you are to overcome anything in this world there are 2 things that are a must:

  1. Getting Motivated
  2. Staying Motivated

Just being a good starter is not the same as being a good finisher.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (KJV)
11  I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

The challenge is not to get stuck in any giving situation regardless how real or hurtful it might be.

Dreamers don’t focus on what is

Dreamers focus on what could be

Romans 4:17 (KJV)
17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

When people lose their freedom it will place you in a life rute.

  1. Give up
  2. Lose energy
  3. Lose excitement for life

God has given us freedom.

John 8:36 (KJV)
36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Listen beloved. Matthew 28:19 (KJV)
19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mission is Go ye

Freedom is come up with your own methods.

The mission has been defined, but the method you need to design.

Faith is not in the where we go, but faith is in the how we are goin to get there.

430 years Israel had been in Egypt.

430 years earlier Israel had a vision of having their own land and occupying it.

From the time God called Abraham to leave Ur that had been wandering. Now they were God’s people but they were in bondage.

The situation seems without hope!

They were crying unto the Lord for help!

They had lost the ability to dream or have visions.

God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to let them go 3 days into the wilderness to worship.

To go and re-kindle the passion, to re-gain the vision, to dream again, and get a hope.

Pharaoh said no!

If the people Re-kindled the dream they could pass it on to their children and their children children.

Pharaoh replied no!

See this was before Jeremiah had prophesied.

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)
11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

God told Moses Pharaoh would in time let the people Go!

There was a reason Satan or Pharaoh didn’t want to let the people go. If they went they would gain hope, vision, and a dream.

What Satan don’t want you to Know

  1. God is always with you. Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)
    5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
  2. God loves you. Romans 8:15-16 (KJV)
    15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
  3. God uses trials to produce. Philippians 2:15 (KJV)
    15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
  4. God’s power is available Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
    13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
  5. God uses trials to produce. James 1:2-4 (KJV)
    2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
    3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
    4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
  6. God will supply your needs. Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
    19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  7. God will exceed your highest expectation. Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)
    20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
  8. God’s grace is sufficient. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
    9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
  9. All things work for your good. Romans 8:28 (KJV)
    28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

No Satan don’t want to let you Go!

Satan is using that situation to choke the seed of Increase out of you.

Satan wants you to be:

  1. Disappointed
  2. Discouraged
  3. Angry
  4. Feeling empty
  5. Feeling alone
  6. Feeling like a failure

God has a better Place for you!

I hear God telling Satan to Let you go but I hear Satan saying No!

Psalm 30:5 (KJV)
5  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Coffee with the Preacher

Life Decisions

Exodus 2:12-15 (KJV)
12  And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
13  And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?
14  And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.
15  Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

Decision making is sometimes a hard difficult process.

One decision can change the course of your life and that of your family for every.

There are choices that we are force to make and there are choices that we choose to make by a given situation.

In my first pastoral charge I was forced to leave but the second one I prayed about moving to a place where I believed I could do more ministries.

The decision I made to retire from my day job and go into full time ministry affected my family livelihood and well being.

That decision also affect me spiritually for I believed that God was calling me to full time ministry and the other factors weigh less than being obedient to God.

Well since we are that road let’s talk about the decision to retire wow. That was a big one. I had to seek God for timing and permission.

I had a deep feeling that my time for pastoral ministries was done. I had completed 47 years and three churches with hundreds of revivals.

I had witness 53 young ministers called to serve but a voice was saying it was time to step aside.

What was important about walking away?

  1. I didn’t want to be stuck in a bad place.
  2. I didn’t want to live with a bad attitude.
  3. I did want to be responsible for a toxic situation.

How did I know it was time to make the decision?

  1. When sometime causes you to compromise your faith.
  2. When your integrity is at stake.
  3. When you have lost the fire/passion.
  4. When you hear the inner voice.
  5. When it is confirmed by the voice of the Lord.

7 Steps to Effective Decision Making

Decision making is the process of making choices by identifying a decision, gathering information, and assessing alternatives resolutions.

Using a step-by-step decision-making process can help you make more deliberate, thoughtful, and defining alternatives for life that you will feel align with God and your best future.

There was a time you could take forever to resolve a life matter but the world today changes by the hour and not by the years.

We had the opportunity to listen to four young pastors on Saturday and they all agreed that these new times with new norms.

The challenges of the new norms will make separate leaders.

The greatest of these new times is we all are being forced to make Quicker decisions and Good decisions.

Now how do we accomplish just that? By developing a Process to making decisions.

Step one, Identify the Decision you need to make.

Step Two, Gather information only related to the decision.

Step Three,  Identify alternatives to the decision

Step Four, Weigh the facts and not your feeling.

Step Five, Choose among the alternatives.

Step Six, Take action.

Step Seven, Review and not be afraid to change

Are you ready for the new norms?

Are you prepared for the new norms?

Are you prepared to keep up with the new norms?

Are you prepared to change for the world has already changed?

Ok the text this morning is about a prince in Egypt named Moses. Moses was born a Hebrew but raised an Egyptian.

The voice in him told him he had to do something to make a difference in the lives of His birth people.

Moses held a high position in the court of Pharaoh.

But the inner voice was press him to do something.

The inner voice had spoken, but remember I said God needed to confirm what the inner voice was saying.

Moses acted out of the plan and timing of God by killing an Egyptian and burying him in the sand.

Moses was out of the will and plan of God.

Here is where God is leading me to today.

Moses is now faced with new norms and new decision with time being sensitive to his survival.

Ya’ll need to pray with me.

We don’t always have all the information needed to make that just right decision so we have to evaluate what we have.

Moses is not the only person in the scriptures who had to make a quick decision to Flee.

Genesis 16:6 (KJV)
6  But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

Genesis 27:41-42 (KJV)
41  And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
42  And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.

Hosea 12:12 (KJV)
12  And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.

Genesis 31:24-26 (KJV)
24  And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
25  Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.
26  And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

Genesis 39:12 (KJV)
12  And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

Judges 11:3 (KJV)
3  Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.

2 Chronicles 10:2 (KJV)
2  And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.

Acts 7:29 (KJV)
29  Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.

Matthew 2:13 (KJV)
13  And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

Matthew 24:16 (KJV)
16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Each of these moves required a change in new norms.

Are you preparing to think new thoughts?

Are you preparing to choose new words?

Are you preparing to make new alternative?

Are you preparing to take new actions?

Are you preparing to have new habits?

Are you preparing to reach a new destiny?

Moses went to Midian and fitted in. Moses got married; Moses didn’t mourn the lost but embraced the new!

Coffee with the Preacher · Uncategorized

Why a digital church makes sense to me?

WAYS THE CURRENT APPROACH TO CHURCH SEEMS BADLY OUTDATED TO ME

You open the doors to your church every weekend hoping more people will come (or in some cases, hoping somebody comes) only to discover that, with few exceptions, more people rarely do.

That appears to be especially true as churches reopen in the midst of the coronavirus.

It can get discouraging, and many leaders wring their hands over what to do and how to respond.

Even once-growing churches hit plateaus and stumble into decline, and we wonder why it’s so hard to gain traction.

One of the reasons so many churches struggle these days is that the way we do church is badly outdated.

Culture is changing rapidly, which means people are changing rapidly. If you want to reach people, that probably also means you need to change your approach rapidly.

There’s a huge difference between changing the message and changing the method.

In the church’s case, the historic message doesn’t change. But the methods have to.

Here’s why: if you don’t change your methods, eventually no one will hear your message.

I have a sinking feeling if we sat down with young adults and asked them why we do things the way we do, we’d hear an earful.

As the pace of change accelerates around us with every passing month, here are ways the way we do church appears ever-more outdated.

If you don’t change your methods, eventually no one will hear your message.

1. MAKING PEOPLE GO TO CHURCH

The idea of only doing church in a ‘box’ on Sundays is an increasingly stale idea.

In the (very near) future, people won’t go to church. The church will go to people.

As desperately as church leaders are trying to encourage people to return to church, the disruption of 2020 has only accelerated that trend.

Not sure what that means?

Think about how much your life has changed in the last 15 years.

Quick example: Let’s say I want to buy a specific wooden monitor stand for my LAPTOP (which I do). I have two options.

Option 1: Travel to store after store looking for what feels like a needle in a haystack (I want a walnut one), realizing, in the end, I likely need to go to a major city to find it) I like, b) fits my particular computer size and c) is in my price range. (Not factoring in, of course, a lot of phone calls, a day of lost travel time and tons of gas money).

Option 2: Browse Amazon and walmart.com from my phone, order the monitor and have it shipped to my house next day.

Which would you choose?

Exactly.

Despite a welcome and thoughtful backlash against technology and what it’s doing to our minds (and souls), the internet is still not going away anytime soon.

There was a day when going to church was the only option you had if you wanted to be part of a local church.

A century or more ago, you lived in a village or city or on a farm, and you made the trek into town or over a few blocks to hear the local preacher. It was also a chance to connect relationally and socially. Honestly, for many people a century ago it was a highlight of their week.

The car gave people mobility, so we created bigger suburban churches to which people drove.

As a result, our entire model for the last century or more has been built on people going to church as though it was a destination and physical place.

But back up the timeline earlier than that, and you realize that the church going to people is not that innovative. Entire denominations and movements were premised on bringing the church to people (think circuit preachers or even the Apostle Paul).

Now, of course, we have the internet. Which most church leaders still seem to ignore as a serious tool for ministry.

So many churches remain stuck in the idea that the only way you can access the Gospel is to come to our building at a set hour every week.

Want access beyond that? Not sure how to help you.

Too many churches operate an analog model in a digital world.

Churches that want to reach people will bring the church to people, through:

This made me smile!

A great social media presence

Messages available anytime, anywhere in multiple formats (web, social, podcast)

In-home gatherings

Practical help/advice/encouragement for everyday life (like the Parenting strategy, spiritual growth, singles, marriage, etc)

Partnerships in the community with other organizations that are making a difference (which not only does good, but takes you out of your box and into where the people you’re trying to reach gather)

Ironically, when churches begin to go to people, it makes people also want to go to church.

Because you went to them, they will want to come to you.

It creates a reciprocal, daily relationship. Whatever you do during the week builds on what happened on the weekend. And whatever you do on the weekend built on what happened during the week.

But most churches still only want people to come to them. That clock is ticking…fast.

When churches begin to go to people, it makes people also want to go to church.

2. SEPARATING THE ANALOGUE AND DIGITAL WORLDS

If 2020 is the year where (finally) the digital becomes real for church leaders, the question becomes what to do with it.

Strangely, most churches still separate what they do digitally and what they do in the real world.

Most of us weave seamlessly between our digital and real lives, texting someone one minute and sitting down for coffee with them the next, emailing someone to follow up on the meeting we just had, and video chatting someone we’re hanging out with Friday night.

Too many church leaders still think of their:

  • Email list as a ‘newsletter’
  • Social media as an announcement and PR venue
  • The physical world as the ‘real thing’

You know what the digital world is? It’s relationship.

It’s a friendship. And like all good friendships, it doesn’t fit in a programmatic box.

your guest services team should take noticed as to a huge shift in the last year where almost everyone visits in person has watched online for weeks or months before they set foot in a building.

I go to places and people who never set foot in a church tell me they watch messages online.

They don’t see it as separate.

Church leaders who do, lose.

Conversely, leaders who see the analog/digital life as seamless will be in much a better position to reach people who live like it’s seamless, because it is.

As a leader, start to see the analog/digital life as seamless, because for more people.

3. IGNORING TRUE COMMUNITY

Is there any irony in the digital explosion around us? Of course there is.

The more connected we become, the more disconnected we feel.

The church should embrace technology as a way to connect, but also realize that as people connect more digitally, they feel increasingly isolated and removed from each other.

What people hunger for most is community. And no one should be better at community than the local church.

The challenge, of course, is that we’re not all that great at community.

Too often our ‘fellowship’ is shallow, or we fight a lot.

What’s missing in far too many churches is love. The very thing for which we should be known.

Churches that become great at cultivating true community will have a long line of people wanting to be part of it.

The more connected people become, the more disconnected people feel.

4. CREATING A 100% DOWNLOADABLE OR FORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE

Yes, the church will become more digital, more location independent, more remote. Sermons can be consumed on a run, on a commute and while cooking dinner. I get that. That’s a good thing. You should be able to download snippets of what your church does so you can be present in peoples lives.

But you need to facilitate experiences that go beyond that.

If your entire church experience is 100% downloadable, why would you gather? It’s often in the gathering when people move beyond themselves and experience something transcendent and life-changing.

Ironically, the constant consumption of content leaves people hungering for greater community, greater experience and greater transcendence.

Churches that facilitate those kinds of experiences are seeing momentum. Churches that don’t find it far harder to gain momentum.

One of the best questions you can ask as a church leader is “If people show up on a Sunday, have we left enough room for them to encounter God?” That can be done through music, through prayer, through silence and even through the way you preach. It’s a posture as much as it’s programming.

Too often, people show up at church hoping to find God. Instead, they find us.

Don’t let people show up to your church only to find you.

This is one of the highest value points of a church that gathers: you share in something far bigger and far better than any of us and all of us.

And of course, you can create a similar outcome digitally.

5. BEING MEDIOCRE

One of the challenges most leaders face is trying to do a great ministry on limited resources.

Since we’re all hyper-connected, it means many churches try to imitate larger churches in what they do, often with limited success.

While you just don’t have the talent, skill or ability to pull off what a church 10 or 100x your size does, that doesn’t stop many from trying.

The result is usually mediocrity. Add the restrictions in with social distancing, masks and the challenges of coronavirus and that complicates things even more.

Years ago Jim Collins asked a great question that should still haunt every leader: what can you be best in the world at?

How would you answer that?

Just because you can’t be great at everything doesn’t mean you can’t be great at anything.

The key is to isolate the principles or points that resonate most.

You may not be the best preacher in the world, but what aspect of your preaching connects best?

Your stories?

The way you make the complex simple?

How you handle scripture?

Your relatability?

The personal connection you create with your audience?

Discover what connects best and develop that. 

Musically, you may not have a great band…but do you have a

Fantastic vocalist?

Great keyboardist?

Solid guitar player?

Good DJ?

Focus on what makes you great.

And no, you don’t have an unlimited budget, but meaningful connection with other people is free. So is kindness. So is hope.

Stop being mediocre at everything.

Pick a lane, and go deep.

You can branch out from there.

In an age where people create amazing art, design, products and services from home-based businesses, mediocrity is no longer an effective strategy.

If you found this interesting give me shout out as to how we can growth together.

Tip for Today

Moving beyond the familiar- William Thompson

When we first begin to even think about moving beyond the familiar we must start with NEW.

New Problems will surface and New Problems will require New Solutions. Modern day problems will require modern day solutions. If you really have a desire to move beyond.

Deuteronomy 2:1-3 (NLT2)
1  “Then we turned around and headed back across the wilderness toward the Red Sea, just as the LORD had instructed me, and we wandered around in the region of Mount Seir for a long time.
2  “Then at last the LORD said to me,
3  ‘You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north.

Here are seven-steps for an effective problem-solving process.

  1. Identify the issues. Be clear about what the problem is. …
  2. Pray about the Problem
  3. List the possible solutions (options) …
  4. Evaluate the options.
  5. Select an option or options. …
  6. Share the option(s) with anyone involved. …
  7. Start Moving Forward.
Tip for Today

Moving beyond the familiar- William Thompson

If you would like to see a new way then start with setting new boundaries. The old boundaries are your limitations as to how far you might go.

How far you move the boundary lines will be determined by how far you want to see your life change.

I have heard people pray to maximize potential in life, yet they never move the boundary line therefore they never see any change in their lives.

Coffee with the Preacher

“Moving Beyond the Familiar to a New Place”

Genesis 12
1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee:
2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed

It will take faith to surpass the fear in your life to “move beyond the familiar” in order to tackle the NEW.

  1. NEW CHALLENGES
  2. NEW PERSPECTIVES
  3. NEW PEOPLE
  4. NEW PAINS
  5. NEW PRIORITIES
  6. NEW PASSION
  7. NEW POSSIBILITIES
  8. NEW PLACES
  9. NEW BOUNDARIES

In order to reach the new destination that God has assigned you. You might have to disengage from the old destination?

  • Abram disengaged from Ur
  • David had to disengage from the sheep to engage to the kingship.
  • Daniel had to disengage from the high level of government to engage to stand for righteousness.
  • Peter had to disengage from fishing for fish to engage for fishing for men.
Education Matters · Uncategorized

Why Education Matters – “Parents are the Key” Angela Woods

It is an understatement to say that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused us to change many aspects of our daily lives.  These changes are clearly seen in our school systems locally and nationally. Because schools in North Carolina have been closed since early March, parents and other family members have become teachers without the benefit of formal training. Despite the hardships brought about by the physical closings of school so early, the Coronavirus has reminded us that education matters and it starts in the home, not the school system.

Parents may forget how instrumental they are in their children’s education.  I remember as a child seeing my father sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper to stay informed about local, national, and international events. He and my mother would often discuss the articles they read.  Our house was always filled with books including encyclopedias, a thesaurus, and a dictionary.  I recall the excitement of bookfairs in elementary school.  Despite not having a lot of money, my parents made sure we were able to buy a few books.  Saturdays were the best because we had our own library cards and would spend the afternoon finding and reading books.  My parents encouraged us to learn and to excel at learning.  They reminded us that we were smart and could not be held back by race or sex.  Although we played sports, our sports performances were never more important than our academics. 

The expectation and encouragement from my parents propelled me to attend the College of William and Mary and UNC School of Law.  As a licensed attorney, I am required to take continuing legal education classes yearly.  Learning should continually be a part of our lives. Parents/caretakers have an opportunity to make sure their children have a great foundation upon which to build.  Because of my foundation, I am running to be the next district court judge for Cleveland and Lincoln counties in the November 2020 election.  I agree with Marian Wright Edelman that “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”  With so many issues we are facing in the world, parents/caretakers’ roles in the education of their children is an investment for our community and the world.  I encourage parents not to be weary in well doing because in due season you shall reap if you faint not.  Galatians 6:9. Education matters and your role in the education of your child is essential for the success of our community and world.

Attorney Angela Woods