Encouragement: Soak it Up
As a church starter (or human being) you have to balance out genuine encouragement and people who are overly flattering. You get both. It is important however when you get the genuine to stop and soak it up. You never know the next time you'll receive positive, Holy Spirit induced encouragement. I'm telling ya... soak it up because it just may be the refreshment you need when you're in the desert of life.
Today I spent some time checking on a particular product we may need. What I got in an email this afternoon I just had to stop and soak up. I also emailed this to our team and asked them to soak it in. I believe as the Pastor I tend to get a feel for what God's doing and it's important for me to share these things with our team (who make nearly everything happen anyway).
I'm very thankful for the encouragement God sends our way and this was one example from today. It was kindness about our site- CaptivateChurch.com - The thing is that I didn't ask this person to look at our site. They simply took it upon themselves to look from the domain at the end of the email address I gave.
"Hi Tally, Thank You for your time today, I enjoyed talking with you! Please let me know how I can be of assistance. I just got through looking at your website and praying over your church launch. I spend every work day talking to churches all over the country and looking at thousands of church websites every year. Your site looks very, very good, such an excellent look for such a new church. You did something that I often find churches miss the mark on, and that is the way you broke down videos by topics. When a seeker goes to a church website they are hungry for answers. Your format lays it out in a way that by topic you can get to what you are looking for.
God has impressed it upon my heart to continue to pray for your church launch. I am praying for God’s continued Favor and Blessing for you, your staff, Captivate Church and the many, many people that will be touched by your ministry. "
So if you wrote us today. Thank you. If you think to encourage someone, please do. If you receive encouragement and you have a team around you, share it with them. It's our spiritual responsibility to take a moment and enjoy a win.
Another win was this group from Wake Forest, NC who came to visit us just about a week ago. It was great to have them here to serve. Check out a video they put together of their time with us.
To Pastor the City
I believe God brought me back to Baltimore to be a Pastor to this city. The entire place. The entire people.
I think in our modern day missiology we may be unintentionally killing fruit on the vine. In my heart of hearts I believe if you are a Pastor with a heart for those far from God you should want every type of person to experience a saving relationship of faith in Jesus Christ. As we look at a culture divided into every conceivable demographic, educational background and native tongue we can rightly aim our focus to take root in the culture in a particular demographic only to wrongly ignore those who are outside of our chosen area of expertise.
Baltimore is an amazing place filled with people from every walk of life you can imagine. There are rich and poor, black and white, Asian and Latino, Italian and German... everyone is here. I can't help but to want to create compelling environments to draw each of these population segments to the King.
I believe in a Captivating God!
I believe in a God who - in his divine nature, power and glory - transcends every imaginable man-made road block.
Now I certainly know that we are finite and we have our own limitations but if we point to HIM and we think with HIS ends in mind we can become cultural caretakers whereby we do not just build churches that take on our own personalities but rather we build churches that take on the personalities of the community in which they rest. Connecting those congregations together at the footstep of fellowship (The genuine definition of fellowship: I digress, I don't have time to talk about that in this post) we can show the community that God indeed is a captivating God and no matter who you are or where you're from, there is a place for you with the King.
This is my passion, to Pastor the City. Part of that passion means that I do not make every environment compelling to me, it's to make every environment compelling to those we're trying to reach. As I look at what God has done through us in our inner city facility as well as our Timonium location I believe we're seeing this passion come to life. We have worked hard to create environments where the Gospel can be shared in a relevant way to the culture in which those facilities rest.
I cannot wait to share with you all that God does to bring people to Him from every part of this city!
Somethin' for your Friday
At Captivate Church we put a lot of stock into stories. So much so that if you visit our site at CaptivateChurch.com you will be able to scroll down a list of struggles that people go through and find stories that match each one.
Today Tony Morgan shares a link on his blog to a story that you must watch. It's worth an hour of your time but it only lasts 5 minutes.
File Under: Very Cool
I love the creativity and audience participation used by Bobby McFerrin. Amazing.
"Bobby McFerrin uses the pentatonic scale and audience participation to highlight how our brains expect and anticipate logical progressions. Also, I love him and how joyful he is when he sings." via http://joshuablankenship.com/blog/