Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are You Really that busy You don’t have Time to Pray?

Prayer is our means of communication with God, and it is only through God that we have the strength, abilities and wisdom we need to face this busy day. But when we’re so busy, when is there time to pray? My answer may surprise you pray now.

Start with

1. Thank you for this day.

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV)

Glad to wake up!

Glad you have give me a mind to pray!

Glad that I am as we as I am!

Glad to be your child!

2. You are so good.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

3. Protect me.

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19)

You gave me Wisdom!

You gave me Strength!

You gave me Authority over my enemies!

Stop right now and take time to pray!

HAVING YOUR PRAYERS PERSONALIZED

1 Samuel 1:9–10 (NLT)

9 Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.

This was no ordinary prayer!

This was a prayer of pain!

This prayer was personal!

Living by Sound Teaching

Titus 2

Living By Faith Not Feelings

Our thoughts are what trigger our feelings.

Our feelings are very real but can be based or triggered by a negative, overthinking, thought process instead of the truth.  

When we find ourselves going through a hard time and the walls are closing in with no light at the end of the tunnel. Anxiety. Fear. Grief. Anger.

All those emotions can be overwhelming.

Crashing in on us.

Those are the moments when God reminds us to not be afraid, focus on His truth, and rest in Him. Sound Doctrine!

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WAYS THE CURRENT APPROACH TO CHURCH SEEMS BADLY OUTDATED TO ME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.

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

Beyond the Walls

Mark 1:41 (KJV)
41  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

If we are going to help someone who is suffering we need to get beyond the 4 walls of the church.

Jesus went where the hurting lived, worked, and socialized. Jesus understood their pain.

people today need a touch from another brother or sister!

Changes are Coming

William Thompson Ministries will be making a directional change.

For the past two years the ministry has been reaching out to churches and other groups. The new direction of this ministry will be reaching out to individuals to help them better their lives and their individual ministry.

Our goals will be to Equip believer on how to be effective with an active ministry, that is result driven with measurable results. A ministry that will Engage with people.

1 Samuel 2:35 (KJV)
35  And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

What is the new approach: William Thompson Ministries will now be a mentorship program. A person’s mentor is someone who gives them help and advice over a period of time, especially help and advice related to their calling to serve our God.

  • Principle 1: Consultant. This is the most obvious role for a mentor to play.
  • Principle 2: Counselor. Listen. …
  • principle 3: Cheerleader. In addition to giving constructive feedback and advice that a mentor can give, I will also provide support and enthusiasm.

In other words I got your back if you need a mentor.