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Liberty keeps expanding

Liberty University opened a brand new ice rink this weekend. LU has a very competitive club ice hockey team and now has the rink to match.

Thanks to generous donations by Tim and Bev LeHaye, LU will not have to make the 45 minute drive to Roanoke for practices and games.

I remember making that drive with friends a few times... this will be such a benefit to the current students and entire Lynchburg community. Liberty is opening this rink to the public daily for 3 hour skates and charging a modest $5 for the time and rental. Liberty is also hoping to use the rink to develop a positve relationship with the community.

No matter what you think of Dr. Falwell with regard to his political involvement, one this is for sure... he is a visionary that God has used in amazing ways to expand the Kingdom.

Thomas Road Baptist Church moves to the mountain (where the school is located) by July of this upcoming year as TRBC is building a brand new 6,000 seat sanctuary to bring the church and University together. Liberty is truly a place of vision. If you ever want to see what God can do with one man who seeks his face... take a trip to LU.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, December 31, 2005

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Leadership Levels

"Discouragement is the result of failed expectations."

Last night I think I realized one of the things that has bothered me.

I've been trying to get people to lead who are simply not natural leaders.

I've always partially observed people based on their chosen profession or hobbies. I've found that as long as the person is doing the job they enjoy, it's usually a good evaluator of their experience and usefulness in future projects.

In starting a church you have to find the right people to plug in the right place to get things moving. In my previous church planting experience (as a YP) this hasn't been as big of a deal. I've always had enough people around when I needed to choose. The problem is that with starting a church I haven't had as broad of a base as I've had in every other ministry opportunity I've been a part of. In my previous ministry experience I worked at a mega church and then two other church plants.

In the other plants however we grew so quickly that by the time I NEEDED others, they were around. In addition to good staff, the other church plants were the first 'contemporary' (I hate that word) church around so they grew from the quality but they also grew from some level of what I call (and have heard called) 'dumb growth'.

Where Iam now there are church plants springing up and dying all over the place. Dumb growth doesn't work here anymore. You can't stick a sign in the ground saying "We wear jeans just like you!" and get a couple of hundred people to show up right away.

Anyway, back to my origional thought:
I've tried to get people who aren't leaders in any other part of life to become leaders in the church world... guess what? It doesn't work. People don't follow and the newly knighted 'Sir Leader' feels frustrated and finds a way to resign without being mean.

I aim to think the best of people and as a part of my personality I really want to see everyone succeed in leading others... the reality is though I think I've had people in leadership positions clogging the way and quite possibly lost out on leaders who come to our church for a little while only to leave feeling that they may not have been needed. That's pure speculation but I'm assuming for a second...

Last night I came to the realization that for some of my team I've had a fuzzy white-cloud type of view of them. I've wanted so much for them to be something that they naturally weren't that I pulled the wool over my own eyes just to 'make do'. I'm done with that. I'm going to narrow down my focus again to the very few people who show a passion for the church and who have demonstrated themselves as leaders inside and/or outside the church.

I took evaluation in my own mind last night and sure enough....no one follows my 'leaders'. In the everyday work world THEY ARE GREAT at what they do but what they do doesn't involve leading other adults. This presents a small problem when the major reason I have them around me is to lead a bunch of adults :)

By the way, the way you correct the quote about discouragement above is to change the expectations. So I will. It's not a knock on anyone but myself. People are willing and ready but if you have someone in the wrong position or without the proper training, you set them up to do poorly. What's worse than that is if you get mad at them (even privately) if they were in the wrong position to begin with.

Imagine if we went to the airport today and I showed you around. You began to see pilots carrying luggage and bag handlers in the cockpit and the flight crew was working on the fuel lines... you'd think you were in the twilight zone!

How many of our churches are this way? As a result we end up trying to pretend (most of the time not intentionally) that everything is fine and that it's okay for the pilot to load bags and for the crew to fix fuel lines. We wonder however why many ministries don't soar to their fullest potential or even why some crash and burn. This is one of those leadership lessons that the leader has to take on the chin and move on. We've got to be honest with everyone we have on our team and evaluate people truthfully. Otherwise we're just delaying the inevitable.

It's funny but for a while now I've found that my intuition has a far greater batting average than my desires.

Oversight detected and deleted. I will now carry on with the regularly scheduled church plant.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, December 28, 2005

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Great Job Perry

Check out Perry Noble's post from today... here.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, December 28, 2005

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On my brain

I'm still alive. Figured I'd dump out a few random thoughts from my brain. It's kinda like a salad right now... lots of different stuff mixed together.

- Christmas was nice. Spent time with Caleb and Kristy and then joined a few other families from church for dinner.

- Took down the tree already. We're moving some stuff from the office back into my house this week so I wanted to get that out of the way.

- Got sick yesterday. I'm a big baby when I'm sick (not really a baby, but I'm never sick so I hate it). I think I've been really sick only about twice in the going on 8 years Kristy has known me.

- As mentioned above, we're moving out of the church office (YIPPIE!). This is big for us, I'm so thankful.

- We got the deal done with the movie theater last week. I'm still pumped about that. Today I'll be trying to brainstorm about all sorts of cross-pollination I can work out with the GM. We talked about a few, I just have to solidify them and think of others. I think a solid relationship with the managers can help us both. I'll share more later.

- I'm looking for revenue streams for the church. That has been on my mind for a few weeks. (As a Pastor it's always on your mind... but the last few weeks it's been more prevelant)

- I started writing two weeks ago. I'll update more on that later as well.

- Picked up the computer game "Red Alert 2" again yesterday. I took the day off [along with most Americans] and after cleaning, loaded up this game I haven't played in years. Tons of fun but addicting and a time-killer. I'm not a 'gamer' by any stretch of the imagination. I almost never play video games and practically never play board games. A few weeks ago however I was introduced to 'Risk'. Yes I know how out of the loop I've been. I enjoyed it. Come to think of it, Red Alert is a lot like Risk. Something about taking over the entire world must grab my attention.... hmm... I need to pray more.

- I'm home with Caleb today. Kristy is doing a 'test run' as she prepares to go back to work next week. We're going to experiment with me watching him in the morning and then get a sitter in the afternoons. We haven't fully decided yet. So far so good, he's been sleeping :)

- I'm getting older. I find myself thinking about it a little more these days.

- I think I need to grow my hair out some.

- I have to work out more often.

- I'm coaching a kids Basketball team at my local YMCA. My team is the Heat and I don't know any of them yet. I'll meet them in about 2 weeks. I coached basketball during my college days. They gave college students free memberships if you helped with kids programs. So I coached and ref'd games. (They paid for refs) I'm coaching now not for the membership but for relationships. This will give me an intentional few nights a week where I'll be in public away from 'churched' people. I hope to develop relationships within the community and genuinely give of myself to people who don't expect a thing from me. It should be fun.

- We have a busy month ahead for the church.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Tuesday, December 27, 2005

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Authentic Happiness Strengths

I don't normally take surveys but I do take an interest when it seems like something I can use in my everyday life. I enjoy personality surveys or strength surveys.

I'm an ENTP in the Myers Briggs deal. I think I have a pretty good sense of what it means but I'm ever-learning how it interacts with everyone else. Today I bumped into another survey about 'strengths' from a book called "Authentic Happiness" via: The Practice of Leadership blog (a business blog from S. Africa). -Survey is here-

According to this survey/book... my "Authentic Happiness" strengths are...

1. Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you.

2. Perspective (wisdom) Although you may not think of yourself as wise, your friends hold this view of you. They value your perspective on matters and turn to you for advice. You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and to yourself.

3. Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.

4. Social intelligence You are aware of the motives and feelings of other people. You know what to do to fit in to different social situations, and you know what to do to put others at ease.

5. Bravery and valor You are a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if there is opposition. You act on your convictions.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, December 24, 2005

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Arment & Franquiz

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to spend time talking with two guys I admire in the church planting world... Ben Arment and Bob Franquiz. Both of these guys are making it happen in their respective areas. Among other things, what I can say about both of them is that they know the landscape of the area they serve.

Ben Arment is just outside of Washington D.C. and has kept steady in spite of the difficulty of breaking into an area as tough as D.C. He's entrenched himself in that community and is beginning to see the major fruit of his efforts. He has a fantastic eye for marketing and a tremendous passion for reproducing reproducers. Ben is a great guy and I've appreciated getting to know him.

Bob Franquiz is someone I've yet to meet in person but someone whom I've come to admire from afar. We've spoken a few times over the phone and each time I walk away with wisdom. He also knows his area of Miami, FL very well and is able to communicate the uniqueness very well. His church is preparing for a move to a more permanent home and has recently undergone a name change. He's a leader of our time and an Author to boot! Bob, thanks for your time and please thank Carey for your time.

Both of these guys gave great insight and sparked many more thoughts to ponder. I appreciate the blog world and the ability to connect with both of these great church planters.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Thursday, December 22, 2005

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We're In

Come February 5th we'll make our move to the Cinema Cafe in the Greenbrier Mall. This is big for us. I'm very excited. This move mixed with some other things are going to add up to growth for our church!

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Thursday, December 22, 2005

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Focal Point THEATER church?

It looks like that may happen!

I'm meeting today with the general manager of Cinema Cafe. It's a movie theater where they serve food and you basically dine-in while watching the show. We're expecting to secure this theater as our new church home. It's in one of the larger malls in our area and would actually give us greater control over our environment then we've ever had up until this point.

Lots of momentum is picking up. It feels good. I'm excited about the next few months and the potential for things to open up for us.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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I'm a Dot Com

It's official. I am now a dot com. TallyWilgis.com now comes to this blog!

In a fit of jealousy over my friends Bob, Ben, and Tadd I went out and bought a Dot com with my name on it.

You may visit these fine sites and learn about interesting people or now you can visit TallyWilgis.com when wanting to check out this site.

Bob- BobFranquiz.com He has his own book!

Ben- BenArment.com He's a wise church planter with a cool family and a great church reaching D.C.

Gary- GaryLamb.org He's the guru on the bloglines account for church planting!

Tadd- TaddGrandstaff.com He is younger than I am and has already worked at 3 church plants!

Jarrett- JarrettFuller.com He's a smart young man who can do your design work on the cheap!

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, December 19, 2005

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Can't keep my mouth shut

Sometimes some things just bug me enough to have to write a response. Most things I see that I dislike I write off and move on. This one gets under my skin.

This blog is basically dedicated to ripping apart anything outside the 'traditional' form of church.

Using terms like 'rebellion' and 'disobedience' and 'worldly' the blog is really a group of people in a holy huddle who like to throw stones and get web traffic for it.

I don't read the blog regularly. Bob Franquiz, a blogging friend from Miami, FL pointed to it. Here is the link to the article in question.

Here is my reply as posted on their site:
Jesus redefined what it was to be 'Godly'. I'm sure his disciples looked at him and then looked at other Rabbis and saw something very different. You don't think they talked about how cool Jesus was? You don't think they said "Man, those other Rabbi are so stuffy. Jesus gets his fingernails dirty." You don't think they ever thought "Jesus is just like us. He doesn't try to put us down but rather build us up. Jesus isn't about the rules as much as he is about love." The Pharasees of his day had a system of expected behavior they defined as 'Godly'. It was turned upside down!

You're looking backwards (hindsight is 20/20. You're saying "surely no one saw Jesus as an outlaw or rebel... he couldn't have used words or acted out of line like these heathen church planters!" Are you kidding me? He HEALED on the Sabbath. He fled crowds of people like you who wanted to persecute his behavior (reaching out).

Not only do I see Jesus using words that made him seem cool. I see him ACTING apart from the religious pick-pockets of his day. I see him getting dirty. I see him believing in a group of people who were written off.

I'd love to see stories on this blog about Salvations. I'd love to read how one of these critical Pastors who post here actually give up their lives and move 1500 miles to start a church. I'd love to see you have such a passion for getting the opportunity to share the gospel that you'd try things that your religious "friends" would tar and feather you over. You should try to go out on a limb and start from scratch while the bulk of your 'religious' friends stay comfy in their stone temples and throw rocks at you. You should try it. Try to actually reach the world for Christ and see what these types of blogs do for your Passion to make the name of Jesus famous.

Listen... you may not like the way some people get out there to share Jesus but you should like the fact that it's happening. Jesus was the outcast and the anomaly to the system. He didn't fit with his religious counterparts but he didn't care.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, December 19, 2005

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I hate...

Legalism. I hate legalism.

Where are redemption, grace, mercy, love, compassion, forgiveness, hope, abundant life, peace and passion?

Will I have to scream liberalism to avoid those put off by legalism so I will then have a voice to protest liberalism as well?

It appears to me that legalism binds the heart. Legalism destroys the shackles of bondage to the sinful nature but ducktapes the believer from head to toe and pokes holes for nostrils and the mouth.

When people are faced with the shackles and consequence of sin along side the other option of ducktaped 'freedom' they will choose the shackles every time. If by some chance a person passes on both the shackles and ducktape, they still live lives curled up in the prison cell called 'church' and do not exercise the muscles that God himself has given. We end up with a very weak and tired version of Christianity that does not in it's purest form come close to representing Christ.

I hate legalism. It's liberalism's twin with a disguise. Why does the church protest one so loudly while silently embracing the other. They both bind. Neither bring the abundant life of Jesus Christ.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, December 17, 2005

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Touching Jesus

I want to share this story with you of what God did this week:

Background Info:
We've been trying to get out of our office space for 2-3 months. It costs us almost $1000/mo and is under-utilized.

I purchased a car last week and unfortunately had to take it into the shop early this week. The cost was an estimated $700 for repairs.

Now lets fast forward to Wednesday.

Earlier this week I met with a state denominational leader about Focal Point's need to re-launch well. He offered support and among other things asked me to speak with our 'sponsoring' church's Pastor to express some concerns I had raised. The sponsoring church Pastor and I haven't had a terrific relationship since I left his staff. I've always felt that our initial launch was hastily done without the financial backing necessary to ensure a successful beginning. There have been some hurt feelings on both sides. This conversation wouldn't be comfortable but was necessary.

During this meeting we got past the trivial niceties and moved to serious conversation. We both expressed our difficulty with one another in the past and began to bury the hatchet with some old wounds. He felt like I was a little pushy and arrogant when I left and I felt like he wasn't very supportive. We both apologized and specifically shared ways we're going to improve this relationship.

It was a Godly meeting with two Pastors who love and respect one another. We got brutally honest and made amends all within an hour.When I left the office and headed for my car I felt a huge relief over the conversation that just took place. I believe we will work more effectively with one another in the future and definitely be 'there' for each other much more in the months and years to come.

During the meeting I had received two calls which I ignored. As I got to my car and went ahead and checked my voicemail.

Message number 1:
"Tally this is Amy from the office. Listen, that company that we showed your space to a few weeks ago has now decided to take your space. Congratulations. Give me a call and we'll work out the details."

Message number 2:
"Tally this is Tina from Nissan. We've cleaned the coils and you don't need any repair work after all. I won't have to give you a loaner car. You can come pick up your car today!"

These two issues were burdens that I carried going into my meeting. When I humbled myself and sought out the Savior in the situation with my fellow man, God (in a way only he can) reached down into my life and removed my two largest immediate burdens [within 10 minutes of each other].

This yet again reminds me of the value of honoring God. When he tells us to make things right with our brother, HE MEANS IT!

I emplore you, no matter the issue or the person... when you know that you're not right with a Christian brother or sister... take the steps to have the tough conversations.

Remain humble.
Listen without taking things personally.
And forgive in excess.

God will grant you inward peace for obedience but he may, just may, grant you peace from other situations that have nothing to do with the issues at hand.

I told a friend the other day "Today is a day when I feel like I can reach out and touch Jesus."

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, December 16, 2005

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Freedom Turnout

This week in Iraq the first elections for their new government was held. This was the first time the Iraqi people would place representatives in office for a 4 year term. The previous elections were to establish the government in the first place.

The turnout in Iraq this week was reportedly nearly 70%.

Do you know what the turnout was in the great United States of America during our last national election? 55.3%

As I observe this historical moment I cannot help but to think of the apprecation. You see, in Iraq there was a curfew in place for days leading up to the election. Roads were closed and travel was limited. The threat of bombs and gunfire was ever-present. The Iraqi people had to walk (sometimes great distances) to get to a polling place. These people risked death to make their voices heard. They have a thrist for freedom.

By contrast here in America where we can now effectively 'Drive-Thru' our votes, we get barley half of our people to speak up in this democracy. Why is this?

I believe the answer lies in the same theme as in our churches. Many people who have freedom tend to take it for granted. Think about our freedom in Christ. When a person accepts Christ for the first time they will do anything for Him. They thirst for Him and they want to tell everyone. Unfortunately they then begin to meet "Career Christians" who show them that they certainly don't have to sacrafice anything to believe in Jesus and definately don't have to be vulnerable to have 'Christian' relationships. Freedom in Christ becomes a trite phrase and it looses its luster. You see, we in the church suffer the same way as our present-day America. We've lost our first love. We take for granted the Freedom that comes in Christ.

Unfortunately for many of us the only answer to bringing us back to valuing our freedom is a threat to take it away. In our Spiritual lives this is no different. Our Spiritual freedom must be tested or hurt before we respond by going to our knees and seeking out the face of our Father. It is only when we're tested and tried that we turn to Jesus 'The Author and Finisher of our Faith' to get a fresh touch of that Freedom. It has never left us. We just sometimes ignore it.

So today let us recall the days of old when our entire country sacraficed for this thing called freedom. Let us remember those who paid the ultimate price to attain it. Let us also recall with the same spirit the ONE who paid the price for the only true freedom. As we do, let's take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. Let's embrace the freedom we have in the Cross of Christ. Let's live our lives with the purpose freedom brings and let's share that freedom with others.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, December 16, 2005

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Hearing His Voice

Tonight my wife and I were watching video of the first few days of Caleb's life through our handycam.

As we were leaning close to the 2 inch lcd screen, Caleb was sitting on Kristy's lap. We were watching the first moments that Kristy held Caleb. She was repeating his name and talking to him. I looked away from the screen and towards our son as he was smiling so big. I motioned to Kristy to watch. Each time Kristy said his name he would look even more intently at the camera. He knew his mother's voice... he smiled and he looked for her in the camera.

Although to little Caleb I'm sure this was just a freak event that won't mean anything in the big picture of his life, it made a powerful impact on my teary-eyed wife. I then began to think...

"My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me;" (John 10:27)

I don't know about you but I long to hear the voice of God. Sometimes his voice is so crystal clear it's unmistakable. Sometimes it's a little more faint. You know what though... I know it's him. Just like Caleb could identify his mother's voice without 'seeing' her face... I can hear the voice of my father.

Friends.... do we identify his voice no matter where it's coming from?

You may hear the voice of Jesus through your friends. You may hear his voice through critics. You may be able to hear his voice through wise counsel. You may hear his voice through your children or your spouse. You may hear his voice in the calm of the evening or the sound of birds on your back porch.

I don't know where you will hear his voice today... but listen because he is definitely speaking.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, December 12, 2005

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i love my family

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, December 07, 2005

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Accepting Well

I've had to learn how to accept gracefully. I'm okay with giving, I enjoy it. If I'm blessed I want to be a blessing. One of the things I've had to learn however is how to receive.

Receiving a compliment.
Receiving a gift.
Receiving recognition.

These are all areas where I've had to learn how to accept. My problem wasn't greed, it was it's ugly opposite. My problem was deflecting gifts. I wouldn't want the recognition or praise. If it was financial, I wouldn't like to receive things from someone whom I knew I was better off.

I would downplay the receiving. When I did this, I was raining on the giver's parade. I had to learn to just shutup and accept gracefully. After all, isn't that what I wanted from those whom I helped in the past?

Well, with that thought I want to talk about receiving new attendees. Yesterday I spoke about people leaving a church but today is about people (Christians) who come to your church. How should you receive?

I'm speaking from my own mind here not from the red-tape of denominational differences so if I step on your red tape, 'pardon me' as I speak openly.
1. Don't seem desperate- When Pastors get a new guest and you hear they used to attend ____ church, don't turn up the desire quotient. I recall serving under my first Pastor who came to staff meeting all pumped about this one couple that had just come from Fellowship Church in Dallas. Before we went for a visit he was overly excited and basically had his tongue wagging as he said "Now we want this couple. They're the prototype of what were going for!" How lame. People want to be wanted for the church to love them and accept them, baggage and all. Not because they have a big-name dog tag. When you look desperate... well, you look desperate.
2. Ask questions- This is a marriage. Pastors, you're charged with protecting the flock. Ask questions before you jump in bed with these people. Not to interrogate like Abu Ghraib but to get to know this person. When I was young, my home church accepted anyone to just walk the aisle and 'join'. We knew nothing about these people. I don't know about you, but for me it seems that if they're already Christians, they are already saved. They don't need to join your local church for salvation. They are already in the Church. Joining a local congregation should involve a little more than "Hi, I'm Bob, this is my second visit... we like the carpet and the people sure seem like Maybury... we want to join."

Some questions I routinely ask: I'm sure there are others...
- What is your testimony (spiritual story, etc.)?
- How did you hear about us?
- Where did you last attend?
- Why did you leave?
- Do you currently have any unresolved conflict with another believer, church or Pastor? (This one is on our membership covenant as the last box they check before they sign.) I won't let people join our fellowship if they're running from problems elsewhere.
- What made you chose this church to start attending?
- What are your expectations for our church?
3. Give your non-negotiables- As the Pastor, you have to be honest with people and say "This is who we are and this is how we do things." Otherwise, you're misleading people to join your corner of the world. They will naturally try to fit in somewhere and then they'll likely get told how the ship is run. Be up front with people. Treat the time you spend with potential members as courting. As you ask them about their background, give some of yours. It's also wise to tell them where you're going. Don't have people join before they know what they're joining.
4. Offer to help- People need to know that you're their Pastor. Part of that is offering to bring them along spiritually. Find out how you can best serve this family. Do they have needs you can meet, do they know their spiritual gifts... etc. How can this be a two-way street. You don't want them just coming and soaking up a message... you want to be involved in their lives for the next few years. If you're in a larger church, this part can be done by whomever will have the most contact (likely a ministry leader or small group leader).

5. Don't be afraid to say "We're probably not the right fit." If you get a feeling in your gut (Holy Spirit) :) , that says "They won't work here." Go with it. Don't try to fix everybody or change the church to suit one family with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. If they don't fit, let them go. Live with your palms open. Not everyone is meant to attend your particular corner of the world. It's okay. Think of yourself as a small group among all of the brother/sister churches in town. I often say to people when I first meet them "If were not the right fit for you, I'd love the opportunity to talk with you about some other great churches in town. The Pastors tend to know each other so if I know what you're looking for, chances are I know what church would fit the bill." Thus far, I've helped several families find other places that fit better. I'm not upset by that. The reality is that if they don't fit, they don't fit. I've had too many experiences where I tried to fit a round peg into a square hole. It doesn't work. They will be a problem sooner or later. Give them to God, love them with all your might, but let them find a better place.

I'm not trying to be mean about this... but you have to know that you can't fix everyone. If they come into your church talking trash about their last Pastor and you think you can fix them... guess what? You're next. If you think they will gossip about their last church to you but somehow stop all gossip once they enter your congregation... You're Next. Take a balanced and slow approach to this. Treat it as courting your mate and you'll end up with a good marriage. Don't justify lying to yourself or others just to get a few more fannies in the seats.

If you blend some of this with some other things that are important to you, you too will learn how to accept people into your church gracefully.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, December 07, 2005

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I've been thinking today about the 'career Christians' that move from church to church and shepard to shepard. I'm coming to a conclusion that the only reason a person should join/leave a church is to be closer to Jesus and his mission for their life.

I want to ask the career Christian...

Will this move bring you closer to Jesus?
Will it draw you into his presence?
Will it make you less about self and more about Him?
Will it cause you to put down your idols and pick up the cross?
Will it bring you closer to following the Holy Spirit when you don't 'feel like it'?
Will changing your location also change your heart? Will it?

Or will a move of venues take you further from Christ?
Will this move reinforce your selfish behavior?
Will it make you less transparent and more anonymous in your personal life?
Will leaving your church provide you more 'cover' from anyone seeing your heart?
Will it take you further away from Christ and closer to the world's view of success and pleasure?
Will leaving your church seal your fate for the next few years to a life of superficial Christianity?
Will going to a new church allow you to lie all over again?
Will a new church pick up on your shallow faith and weak backbone?

Will changing churches draw you closer to Jesus or closer to your sinful nature?

I do believe at times God may move us so that we can take 'the next step forward' in our relationship with Him. I do also believe, however, that the reality is that these moves for the right reason are few and far between.

Most "church hops" are simply horizontal in nature or worse yet, most are steps backwards.

I want to reach people with the gospel of Christ and I want every Christian around me to have that passion. Being reached with the gospel isn't "just salvation". I want Christians to start being "Christ-Followers" and do what HE came to earth to do (i.e. "Seek and to save that which was lost.")

The next time someone church hops out of your church ask them...
"Does this move draw you closer to Jesus or closer to your selfish nature?"

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Tuesday, December 06, 2005

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'O Christmas Tree

Our family after setting up the tree.
I have shoes on, Kristy doesn't :)
Kristy did a wonderful job!

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, December 03, 2005

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Liberty Has a New Coach

Dr. Falwell made the announcement today that Liberty University now has a new head football coach. You may recall the house cleaning I spoke of two weeks ago... now the new furniture is in.

Danny Rocco, the current Associate Head Football Coach at UVA is now at Liberty U. Coach Rocco will be focusing on recruiting and staff during the next two weeks before the moratorium on recruiting goes into play for bowl season. He will then meet back up with UVA and coach in their bowl game. They are expected to play either on December 29 or December 30th.

Overall I'm very pleased with this selection. Coach Rocco has been in many major programs including Penn State, Wake Forest, UVA, UT and Boston College among several others. He's even coached with Al Groah (current UVA coach) at the Pro level with the New York Jets. Danny Rocco is a fine man with the right attitude. He said that while at Boston College (Catholic in nature) he took the approach that he should be able to recruit any Catholic away from their state's big-name school. He said at LU he plans to do the same thing. He will utilize LU's distinctively Christian atmosphere as a benefit and not a deterrent.

You can read more about Coach Rocco from UVA's website here.

- Another news wire story here
- Google search of stories here

Welcome to LU coach Rocco!

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, December 02, 2005

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No 2 for ones here

As I mentioned earlier today, you must visit Perry Noble's post from today.
As Perry said, the following is directed towards Pastors but is vital for everyone.

Here's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

While I was a youth Pastor, my wife and I moved from Texas to Virginia. At about the 3rd staff meeting the issue was raised about the Pastor's wives not helping with the setup of chairs. Apparently some people were whining in the church about the staff wives coming in a little later (still early, just not when the truck pulled up) and not helping with the setup of the main auditorium.

Being new (and in shock) I waited and let everyone else talk. I heard "well, we could spin it this way." or "Maybe our wives could set up some chairs." I heard a serious conversation of people who were perplexed and wanted to keep the peace.

I finally spoke up and said "This is garbage. My name is on the check, not my wife. Number two... if they have a problem with my wife, let them come talk to myself or her." I was quickly assured that we just arrived, and this had nothing to do with Kristy. I said "Yes it does. How you handle this as a staff directly impacts my wife and I'm telling you that this is not up for debate. These people who want to whine need to know that my wife's best ministry is as my wife and whatever she does on Sundays or any other day of the week is out of her own passion and gift-mix. She is not to be held accountable for setting up chairs. We have a church of hundreds... our wives are not the only people who can do some more work around here. This is not up for discussion with me."

Everyone paused and then the room shifted. It was as if everyone was given permission to really share their hearts. Then the men in the room began to say "Yeah, and this guy who's complaining should come to each of us, not talk behind our backs." another said "And in fact, this person is seldom there all of the time anyway." another "And our wives do a lot of stuff that people don't know about."

It was amazing. I didn't realize at that time how many Pastors had this flipped upside down.

My wife is amazing. I love her. She's my partner and my best friend. We are truly ONE at this point in our lives. But we are not ONE when it comes to getting chewed out in a staff meeting. If someone wants to question my 'work' within the church, fine. I took the job. Our churches need to know however that our wives are not a second free employee. We need to be men and seperate the stereotypes from the standards in our families.

Should your wife be active in the church? Yeah. But as any other member.

Since we've started the church Kristy only does what Kristy chooses to do. At times she's done letters, cards, visiting. Other times she's done nursery or helped with setup. Everything she's done has been because she believes in God's calling for this church and her involvement in it as a member. But above all of that do you know where her ministry is? He's typing these words.

My wife is a minister to me. She knows me better than any Pastor I've ever met and you know what? She speaks words of truth into my life. God uses her in ways he could never use a phone call, a televangelist, or podcast to fill my spiritual needs. She keeps our home in order and keeps me grounded. She takes care of our son and has meals ready for me. She encourages me when the world walks out and she tugs at my shirt when I get a little too full of myself. My wife's most valuable ministry time is NOT on Sundays or any day in front of church people. My wife is the most valued to our church when she's alone with me by my side.

Pastors. Please. Do not let your family take the hit for the ministry. The job you have will always be there tomorrow. Ultimately if you really think you're that important to the success of the ministry... you're not. I heard a long time ago "The grave is full of indespensible people."

We will build HIS church, not ours. The funny thing is that one of the qualifications to lead is to be a great husband and to take care of your family.

Are you God's man first in your home? Or do you just play one on Sundays?

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Thursday, December 01, 2005

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye

I'll blog later about some current events and what I'm learning... but if you have a few minutes, you need to visit Perry's blog for today.

Perry doesn't allow comments but if he did I'd be giving hime a huge hi-5 and some props for today's thought!

Wonderful wonderful wonderful thoughts Perry. I have the same frustrations and I'm excited to see a new generation standing up for what's right. I'll share a story similar to this one in a future post. Go check out perry's post.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Thursday, December 01, 2005

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