Since I’ve moved from the mountains to flat land, I’ve changed my blog to Surf Pastor. You can read it here: www.surfpastor.com
Yesterday at Life Church Franklin I shared with the church that my family and I will be moving to Orlando, Florida to start a new campus for Real Life Church. This is a exciting and terrifying decision for our family, but we know that God has called us. Because so many people are asking I thought I would share some of our thoughts in leaving Franklin and moving to Orlando.
For several months Laurel and I have felt God asking us to pray some very specific prayers. As we prayed God led us to Real Life Church based out of Clermont, Florida. In the midst of it we never even looked at a job posting site at any church, even this one. But we felt a strange ( in a good way!) connection with RL right away through some relationships with their staff. As we talked and shared we realized their current vision and direction for the church was exactly where God had us. It was really a perfect fit. We felt so called and connected to RL Church that I even turned down unsolicited job interviews with another really great church. We knew this was our calling for a new season of ministry.
As we knew God was calling us we had the stomach churning realization that we would be leaving the church and home we love and have called home for so long. 4 1/2 years ago we started Life Church Franklin not having a clue at all that God was going to do. We’ve seen tons of people give their lives to Christ and be baptized; we’ve seen families and marriages restored; we’ve see the prodigals come home; we seen God heal people emotionally and physically and ALL by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Leaving all of this was one of the toughest things Laurel and I have ever had to do, but we know this is the next step in our journey and that God was just asking us to be obedient to his calling.
Over the next couple months I will be transitioning out as Lead Pastor of Life Church into my Campus Pastor role at Real Life Church. The elders of Life Church and I are committed to prayerfully finding the right pastor to lead our church into this new season. I believe God has already called this pastor and it’s up to us to let God guide us to him. We have an amazingly healthy and vibrant church. I know many pastors would love to be a part of such a great church.
Some people will read this and want there to be some kind of hidden story or gossip. Sorry to leave you hanging, but there’s nothing more to it. God has called us and we must be obedient to go. After talking with so many at Life Church I’m encouraged to know once again that our church really takes “being the church” serious. Everyone is committed to going forward and staying with our vision to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. I know God will honor our church’s desire to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disicples. I can’t wait to hear all the stories of God’s work and faithfulness through the lives of Life Church in the days, months and years to come.
If I can ask something of you it would be to pray for my family in this transition. Laurel, myself and the kids are excited and sad, but we know it will be an amazing journey. Pray for Life Church and the Franklin area. There are still tons of people who don’t know Christ and don’t feel welcomed into most churches in this area. We want Life Church to remain that place where everyone can bring their “junk” and let Jesus bring the life change. Pray for the lives of the people who will continue to be impacted through the ministry of Life Church. Pray for the new pastor of Life Church and his family when God makes it clear who that person is.
Lastly, thank you to all my friends and family for all your love, support and prayers. Now, we go forward and trust in all that God is and will do in the days to come.
As usual, Velocity conference packed in some great speakers who brought some great insight and thoughts about the Church and being a pastor.
I was really struck by the realness of Brian Bloye and Shawn Lovejoy during these sessions.
I think Shawn brings a sense of reality back to many of us pastors who sometimes think we are ahead of where we really are. He was mature enough to admit his mistakes along the way in how he can help us younger pastor catch them before they tear us down.
Brian simply brought a message centered around, “Is Jesus enough?”. If everything was taken away would Jesus still be enough. Is He alone enough? I was immediately hit upside the head. It’s a question I can’t shake for the last 48 hours.
I’d suggest taking time to watch these messages online by visiting the ChurchPlanters.com video page for free.
I’m big about simple. Am I good at it? Not always, but I work hard to do so. I realize it takes more work to be simple than it does to just go crazy and make things more complex. I think the same is true with your church website. It would be so easy to write and list everything under the sun that you do, believe, create, offer, etc… but is that really effective?
I find the most effective church websites make the most important information readily available and easy to find. With one click from the homepage people should be able to find out at least these things:
- Where do you meet?
- What time and when?
- What’s the dress?
- What do my kids do? What do you have (or not have) for them?
- Can I watch or listen to a past message or series?
- If I am new, what is a couple really important things I need to know about your church?
- What do you believe? (How about something direct and simply with the option to dig deeper?)
I think this info needs to be some of the core foundations of your simple site. We are working to trim our site down to make things more direct and easier to find at Life Church Franklin. It takes a lot of work and thought, but for the success and usefulness of your site, make it SIMPLE.
I’ve been working lately to update and freshen up our website at Life Church Franklin. I’ve added new photos (actual people in our church) and updated some of the verbiage and writing.
For the next few posts I thought I’d talk about church websites, especially those of church plants and/or small churches. Let’s talk about:
- Please make it look good
- Keep it simple
- Layout, Graphics, Verbiage
So, lets dig in and talk about church websites! Whop-Hoooo!
I recently completed a short eBook I wrote specifically about the LifeChurch.tv Network. Over 3 years ago we planted our church in Franklin, North Carolina using the free resources and weekly teaching from LifeChurch.tv’s Network. These resources have been a large part of the success of our church as God has used it in ways we never even expected.
I realize the Network is not for every church, but I do know that there are many people like myself and church needing these free resources to take their church to that next place God wants it to go. The great part about the Network is that you can use it in many different environments and settings. LifeChurch.tv has no intention of making the Network a denomination so they leave flexibility to use the resources in just about any environment.
I think the greatest success of the Network lies within church planting. I talk about this in the eBook and many other things from my perspective as a Network church.
Many of the thoughts and ideas in this eBook are based upon how we use the resources at my church. It’s not a “one size fits all”, but I wrote it from what I know of the Network.
I hope it helps, encourages and gives you a greater understanding of what the LifeChurch.tv Network is. Please download and share as you like!
Today I had the great honor of sharing at a friend’s funeral. It was really a celebration of his life because he was a follower of Jesus and he made a lasting impression on others lives.
After reflecting on his life and how God had used him on this earth I closed with the follow notes where the Apostle Paul talks about his last days on earth knowing his time was short.
I pray it encouraged, challenged and gave eternal perspective to what life is really all about.
Here’s my notes:
Paul is at the end of his life as he writes….
2 Timothy 4:6-8
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. (He knows the end of his life on this earth is near.)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (It’s not that Paul was perfect or did it all right, it’s that he finished. He kept the faith. It’s not just how you start, it’s how you finish. Finish strong.)
8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (Paul was speaking of that glorious day when He sees the Father face to face and receive his “crown” which is eternal life with our Creator and our Savior Jesus. (Person) is now experiencing this day of righteousness.)
(Person) would want you to know that this experience is not just for him. If you live your life to run the race…to finish strong for God’s glory and walking in a truly meaningful relationship with Jesus you too will experience as the Apostle Paul and (Person) have, the crown of righteousness.
We planted our church day one as a part of the LifeChurch.tv OPEN and Network resources. It has been an amazing partnership that allows us to be completely autonomous from LifeChurch.tv in every way, but utilize the teaching resources each week for free. This creates a unique and growing approach to the local church that has found great success in our town in leading people to become fully devoted followers of Christ.
I like to simply look at Craig Groeschel and any LifeChurch.tv guest pastor as our church’s free weekly teaching pastor. It’s like I have a very qualified, relevant, gift, Gospel communicator on my staff that I don’t have to pay a thing. It gives me more time to focus on relational ministry with our leaders, volunteers and congregations. Instead of hours preparing a sermon every week I spend those hours in so many other ways.
It’s not for everyone, but it works for me and our church. I like having a free teaching pastor.
If you want any info on the LifeChurch.tv Network be sure and stop by their site.
Last week I spent time with my wife and a great group of pastors on a mission trip to Ecuador with Compassion International. It was an amazing experience and made me an even bigger believer in what Compassion is doing all across the world to release children from poverty in Jesus name.
As we past through the countryside one day we stopped at the equator to do the old tourist thing. Unbeknown to me, you supposedly can stand an egg straight up at the equator. (I must have missed that science lesson.)