“You’re so shallow!” People sometimes say that about me. Actually they don’t say it about me directly, they usually say it about Waters Edge Church. They may say it about my sermons or about our Community Groups. And in all fairness, they don’t say it that way, that’s far too harsh! Instead, they usually talk about themselves needing something “deeper” than Waters Edge Church, my sermons, or our Community Groups. Ummm, what’s the opposite of deep? That’s right, shallow! So, I’m admitting it today on my blog! I’m guilty! I’m so shallow!
I’m so shallow that:
- I believe it’s more important to do what I know rather than strive to know more for knowledge’s sake.
- I choose to preach in a way that common, everyday, ordinary people can understand.
- I find storytelling to be a very effective means of communication.
- I do not engage in theological debates.
- I believe love trumps being right.
- I don’t believe that in-depth Bible studies, expositional preaching, and church softball teams make me deeper.
- I believe spiritual maturity is realizing that “it’s not about me.”
- I believe Jesus was fully focused on His mission of “seeking and saving the lost,” so we should be as well.
- I believe our lives and our churches must be inviting and welcoming to people far from God.
If what I’ve listed above is considered shallow, count me in! I’ll gladly be shallow the rest of my life.
Sunday was so good that I called an impromptu staff meeting today to celebrate! I love hearing about the Sunday experience from others perspective. Here are some of yesterday’s highlights:
- We celebrated communion at the end of the services. We don’t build that into our services very often because I don’t ever want to celebrate communion without having a clear teaching about it. Yesterday, I taught about it and we CELEBRATED it! The response was amazing.
- Loved our guest worship leaders at our Hampton Campus, Mark and Clarissa Gibson fromAtlanta,GA! Grateful that when our guys are away, God sends talented and skilled leaders our way.
- 6:00 PM service inYorktownbrought the heat! Last week, I was a little critical of their energy, but they brought it back this Sunday. As the last service of 5 on that campus for the day, our tech teams and band really love the energetic response from the crowd. Keep it up 6PM!
I asked for a favor: come back next week! I really mean that. I want you to experience the grand finale of our series, “Jesus.” It has the potential to be the most inspiring church service you’ve ever experienced
I shared today with my staff 2 BIGGER THAN LIFE prayers that I’m praying right now. I’m not ready to share them just yet on the blog, but I do want to share with you the context that lead me to pray these prayers. I recently heard a message by Craig Groeschel that really challenged my prayer life. After that message, I started asking this question:
What prayers did I pray today, that if God answered tomorrow, would change the world?
Sadly, most of my prayers had become about me, my kids, my wife, my future, etc… Very few of my prayers, if answered, would be world-changing. That was then…but this is now! I’m praying some bold, audacious, change-the-world kinds of prayers. How about you? Start praying for something bigger than you, for someone other than you, and give God the opportunity to show off His power!
Watch as a fun outdoor Video Update gets a little crazy when the call of a wild animal interrupts the gong.
Sunday was week 2 in our “Jesus” series and it was my favorite so far! I really hope you’re asking Jesus to help you see Him more clearly for who He is throughout this series. One of the ways to do that is to download our webnotes and use them throughout the week for your own personal study in the Bible. Here are a few of Sunday’s highlights:
- Introduced another funny video in our “Police” collection. Jesus Police joins a run-on of very funny videos including Party Police, Movie Police, and Punctuation Police.
- Loved watching our volunteers live it up in the rain at our Tailgate 2011 on Saturday. I think our volunteers excel the most when the odds and the elements are against them! We are SCRAPPY
- I was really moved by your response at the end of the service to the closing song. I believe Jesus was honored greatly in that moment and I hope that you began to see the power in making much of His name.
- I was a little bit hard on the 6:00 pm service because they lacked their usual energy. Maybe it was the rain. Maybe their favorite team was losing. I don’t know! However, I believe that WEC should be the most exciting place on the planet and that Sundays should be the most exciting day of the week!
Two more weeks to go in this series and it’s only going to get better. I’m believing that Jesus is going to do great things in our church and in your life over these next two weeks.
Exclusive is not a term used very much at Waters Edge Church. Exclusion is not really our style (or the style of Jesus). We work incredibly hard to make sure we are inclusive and outward focused in practically everything that we do. However, this Saturday we are hosting a rocking awesome tailgate experience that is for VOLUNTEERS ONLY. It is exclusive! Why would we do that? Here are a few of the reasons:
- Our 1,300+ volunteers create the Waters Edge experience each and every week and without them, there would be no experience for outsiders to enjoy. I want to celebrate their contribution to Waters Edge Church.
- Together, our 1,300+ volunteers make up an incredible team and the body of Christ at Waters Edge. It’s important for individual volunteers to see that they are part of something so much bigger than themselves!
- I want to be able to speak exclusively to our volunteers about our mission and why we must remain inclusive and outward focused.
This Saturday from 4-7 pm is going to be amazing if you’re a volunteer! I hope you’re planning to join us with your own tailgate set-up (simple or elaborate) and that you’re ready for a great event focused on volunteers at WEC.
Stu and Larry sit down with Cara, the winner of the “WEC Bling” for September.
I have this theory. I can’t prove it. There are no studies or surveys to support it. But I believe that “no” is the most underutilized word in the English language. That’s a topic for another post; however, here’s a helpful tip: before you say “yes,” define success.
What are your desired goals and measurable outcomes that you would like to achieve by saying “yes?” For example:
- Before saying “yes” to an extracurricular activity for you or your kids, define success. Are you saying “yes” to improve a skill, meet new friends, or be the star on the team? What is success?
- Before saying “yes” to beginning a blog, define success. Is success a certain number of readers? Is success the daily discipline of writing?
- Before saying “yes” to a new program at church or in your organization, define success. Is success gauged by the number of participants or some measurable means of growth?
By defining success before you say “yes,” it gives you a point of evaluation after you say “yes” to help you know if you should continue saying “yes” to that particular activity in the future and it keeps you focused on the right perspective throughout the experience. One final rule of thumb, if you can’t define success before you say “yes,” try saying “no.”
I LOVE Sundays! There’s no other way to describe it… it’s my favorite day of the week. Here are some of yesterday’s highlights:
- Steven Anderson and Rob Shepherd did the “Hammer Dance.” Yes, it was old school but the crowd went crazy! Those boys can dance!
- We introduced a new song, “Stronger,” which is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I love how it tied into yesterday’s big idea.
- Our series intro video is one of the best we have ever produced. Props to our artist, Angie Mack; for drawing without a single mess-up for two and a half hours straight!
- Jesus is more than a series. The next several weeks will be life-changing. Do not miss a single one!
- We definitely had some challenges with distractions in a few of our services, further convincing me of the importance of our message.
I know it is only Monday, but I can’t wait until Sunday!!