Monday, October 13, 2014

This is the book to read...probably in the bathroom. #stuffbook

"Stuff You Should Know About Stuff: How to properly behave in certain situations" is definitely a book, and I have read it. If you are not familiar with Tripp and Tyler's work, they are a top-notch comedy duo. This book is filled with practical, yet hilarious tips and observations about life and the situations we all find ourselves in. 

I first encountered Tripp and Tyler's comedy at Catalyst Conference, a conference for church leaders. This book is an accurate reflection of their work. SYSKAS takes it up a notch from the previously, independently, released book Everyday Absurdities by Tyler Stanton. (Though some of the content was familiar to me.) 

If I am going to be honest about Tripp and Tyler's work, this book included, I always leave a little disappointed in certain aspects of what they do. In my context, church leadership, I always think "That would make a great illustration...except for that bleeped out cuss word or the fact that they aren't wearing any pants while they play basketball." It's almost as if they want to take it a step farther or push the envelope a little more. I find some of their videos perfectly clean for my context, but others...not so much. There are parts of the SYSKAS book that are perfectly clean (most all of it, in fact), but then there are a few parts that I really wish they'd left out. 

In my context, I cannot recommend their videos to people because I cannot recommend all of them. I cannot tell a group of kids to check out their YouTube page because I don't want them to think I endorse everything. The same is true in very few part of the book. 

Before you write me off as an old prude and point out the face that I am a total hypocrite, I recognize this book isn't written to a ministry audience. It is not any more offensive than anything I see on network television. I think it would have been just as funny without those passage and would not have diminished anyone’s feelings towards their God-given gift of comedy. 

That being said, if you are cool with mildly offensive language sprinkled through your reading, this is an very funny book, but speaks volumes of truth through simple observations. It communicates perfectly so much of what we were thinking anyway. 



**Full Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from Tripp and Tyler in return for writing an honest book review. The above was exactly that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bill's Legacy in Me


Eighteen years ago I moved onto the campus of Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky. I was almost 5 hours from home, knowing no one. It wasn’t long, however, before my neighbor in the dorm invited me over to the home of Bill and Donnette Bondurant for Sunday evening dinner. Much to my amazement, I entered their home to find somewhere between 20-30 college students eating a homemade dinner (chicken and noodles, if I recall correctly). I soon found out that Bill and Donnette were not only feeding this many college students, but had six children of their own ranging from Kindergarten – High School. Not only was this a regular occurrence, but they served as Sunday School teachers, bringing homemade goodies for the college students in their class, Bill served as an Elder in his home church, and, to top it off, his actual job was overseeing the finances of the university.

I got to know Bill, Donnette, and their family over time and came to understand that their investment in college students went above and beyond a career. You couldn’t be around them without seeing the source of their love of students. Their love was rooted in their deep love for their Savior, Jesus Christ. You could feel their passion for the Word. They loved, not out of obligation, but out of the overflow of their hearts. There was always a hug, and a smile, a listening ear, an open home, and words of wisdom.

Bill passed away suddenly this past weekend. This morning I made my way to my alma mater to pay my respects to a man who has shaped my life, my ministry, and my parenting more than he or Donnette will ever know. While driving home today I was reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy found in 1 Timothy 4:16, NIV:

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Bill and Donnette lived this out. I know, because I watched them closely. I watched their interactions with students they didn’t know. I watched them learn the names of so many students. I watched them play with, love, and discipline their children. I listened to their story of God at work throughout their lives. I listened as they taught God’s Word as well as any Bible professor. Their servant leadership is unparalleled.

Their ministry on and off campus has impacted more people than they could possibly imagine. I imagine Bill in heaven now, barely able to keep his head up straight because of all the jewels in his crown. Bill and Donnette’s legacy will reverberate for years and years to come, to the very ends of the earth as they have invested in business leaders, teachers, ministers, and missionaries who are taking that investment and pouring it out into the lives of those in their own circle of influence. The Bondurant’s legacy will live on because, at their core, they understand something that I often fail to remember:

Your greatest investment in this world will not be what you do, but who you pour your life into.


Well done Bill, good and faithful servant. I will be forever grateful of your investment in me.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer Ministry Environments for Families

We are very excited about what's happening this summer at Campbellsville Christian Church! 


I want to tell you about our Children's and Student Ministry opportunities. Our Student Ministry Environment (for Middle and High School) is called Summer XP: TRIBES. Tribes will meet on Wednesday nights this summer! Check out the video below:




For our Children's Ministry (Preschool - 5th Grade), Sunday nights are all about the family! Everything starts June 1st...



If you'd like more information, contact Logan or Kari Jo!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Every Life Has a Story (Inspiration from @chickfila)

Full Disclosure: I love Chick-Fil-A. I love their sandwiches, their nuggets, their sweet tea, biscuits, and their milkshakes are out of this world! I was thrilled when Campbellsville University got a Chick-Fil-A on campus. I love Chick-Fil-A. It's more than just their excellent food that I love about Chick-Fil-A though. I love their approach to customer service; to excellence from the moment you step foot on the parking lot to the time you step back into your car. I love that they give me the impression that they care about my kids while I'm there. (As a parent, ignore me all day long and pay attention to my kids and I'm hooked. If you're a parent, I suspect you know what I mean.) 

I watched this video this week that Chick-Fil-A made for their own team members that was a call to remember who they are there for:

You are probably aware that the people behind Chick-Fil-A are Christians. They don't hide it, nor do they rub it in your face (another reason I love Chick-Fil-A). As I watched this video I wondered if Chick-Fil-A isn't more like the church should be than the church is, at times. Chick-Fil-A strives to make constantly remind their team members of who they are there to serve, that each person is more than an obstacle to the end of your shift, but a human being who has a life experience and a story to tell. That person who is a total grouch and unpleasant has a story behind his grouchiness. In church world we often focus on the other team members, most of the time we focus on one primary team member...ourself. We focus on what we like, what we don't like,  what is inconveniencing us, etc. We, and I mean we because I am included here, often overlook those not on the team when they walk through our doors, when they cross our paths elsewhere, preferring rather to socialize with the other team members. 

Imagine walking into a restaurant where all the staff couldn't pay attention to the customer because they were so busy talking with themselves! I bet you wouldn't come back, would you? Me either. Honestly, I probably wouldn't stick around to see how long it would take for them to notice me. 

You know where I'm going with this don't you? I am reminded of Matthew 9:36:
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

1. Jesus saw the crowds. So often, I don't even notice people.
2. Jesus had compassion on them. 

If we don't keep at the forefront of our minds why we are here (individually, and as a congregation): "to lead people to Jesus Christ and to a growing relationship with Him" we will miss out. Someone will be your mission: others or you. When we lose sight of our mission we turn inward and we no longer see. We no longer see past our own circles, our own desires. 

I don't want to be a restaurant that serves only themselves. I want to be like Chick-Fil-A, a company that sees value in their customers beyond the money they will contribute to the bottom line. I want to be a place where all people, especially "outsiders" feel welcomed, appreciated, encouraged, engaged, and most of all loved. 

I want the Church to be a place unlike any earthy organization. I want us to look at the world, not with disdain and discouragement, but with compassion. I want us to see each individual as a person with a story, realizing that they are part of a larger story that God is telling in their lives; a story they may not even realize that God is telling and that we -- you and I -- get to be a part, even if it is a small part, of that story God is telling through their life. 

That's enough for now...I gotta find some nuggets


One last reason I love Chick-Fil-A...they have a page on their site with free Daddy/Daughter Date Night Ideas. Wow.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Groundbreaking for a new future!

Last week got a little crazy and I failed to post this last Monday...

75ish people gathered on Sunday afternoon, April 27th at the site of the new Habitat for Humanity house. A well-deserving mother and her son broke ground on what will be their new home. 

Habitat for Humanity has an excellent history here in Campbellsville/Taylor County. This is the first house of a total of five new homes on this street.


How is this a "win," you ask? It's not, at least not yet. Here's how you can make it a win...

In a week or so, if you're a member of Campbellsville Christian, you'll be receiving a series of emails as this building project moves forward informing you of opportunities to literally get your hands dirty as you provide not only a home, but hope for a family in this community. You may not be a plumber, electrician; you may not have any business handling power tools at all, but you can serve. I can't wait to see the "wins" that come from this wonderful opportunity! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Opportunities...

Being "rooted" happens through taking advantage of opportunities God gives you as you seek to grow in Study, Prayer, Stewardship, Discipleship, Community, and Service. 


OPPORTUNITIES SEIZED

A few weeks ago I mentioned the power of a dress...as a result of the Prom Dress Giveaway event some of the Campbellsville Christian Church folks had the idea that they would like to offer a free Prom Dinner for the recipients of the dresses. Click here for more photos.



OPPORTUNITIES TO BE TAKEN

Watch for details on being a part of the building of the new Taylor County/Campbellsville Habitat for Humanity House. Around 50 people gathered yesterday to break ground for the new Habitat House on Wickcliffe Ave. We will be using our church email list to alert you of work opportunities. This will be a great chance to get together with your Sunday School class, Small group, or a group of friends to be the hands and feet of Christ in a real, practical way.


White Mills Christian Camp 
Since 1949 thousands of young people have encountered the life changing message of Jesus Christ through the ministry of White Mills Christian Camp. Campbellsville Christian Church will pay 1/2 of your camp registration if you submit it through the church office. Simply download and fill out the registration form below and turn it in to the church office. 




Monday, April 14, 2014

82%

Easter is 6 days away. 82% of people who are invited to church will say yes. Or at least that's what statisticians say...




There's no better time than Easter to invite someone to church. Understand this, church is not the answer...Jesus is. If you're part of Campbellsville Christian Church, we are unashamedly about leading people to Jesus Christ, and a growing relationship with Him. There is nothing better to invite someone to than that!

A couple of notes for our church members:

  • Consider attending the early service as an act of love to make room for the guests who will be attending at 11:00 AM. Our 8:45 & 11:00 services are identical each week.
  • If you are able, consider parking at the back of the parking lot to make room for others. 
  • Scoot in, scoot over, and greet someone with a friendly face and make them feel at home. (It's the worst to have to climb over people you don't know to find a seat.)
  • We will have Children's Worship for the full hour during both services. Children (birth - 5th Grade) will have a special time of worship designed specifically with them in mind. 
We've set the goal at 525 people in attendance...I think we can far exceed that! It's not about a number, but about presenting the hope of the world to every soul. 82% say yes. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rooted & Established


I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Being rooted in God's love: Loving God and Loving Others is an ongoing journey. There is no magic formula that helps you get it right. Becoming rooted, like anything worth having, takes patience and discipline. Quite honestly, it looks different for every person. The reason for this is simple: God made you uniquely with unique gifts for a unique purpose in your unique place for this specific time. The leadership of Campbellsville Christian Church wants to walk alongside you in your journey. We have created personal spiritual development goals based on what we call the 6 Expressions of God's love: Study, Prayer, Stewardship, Discipleship, Community, and Service. 

As a supplement to that, we have created a self-evaluation for you to help you evaluate your progress on your journey. It is completely anonymous, unless you want to receive feedback from myself or one of the staff for input or guidance into your life. If that's the case, simply include your email address. These evaluations are comprised of 7 questions each. You can find the evaluations below by clicking on the corresponding Expression of Love below:


Loving God:
STUDY
PRAYER
STEWARDSHIP

Loving Others:
DISCIPLESHIP
COMMUNITY
SERVICE

We are so excited to see what God will do in the lives of His people who are committed to be "rooted in God's love." Again, we don't strive to be "rooted" to draw attention to ourselves or anything we've done, but to the only One who matters, Jesus Christ. It all rolls back to our mission: to lead people to Jesus Christ, and a growing relationship with Him. 


** Unsure of what I'm talking about? Listen to the April 6th sermon to find out more. 
Listen on the church website.

**Photo Credit

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Alas an Atlas that Outlasts: Essential Atlas of the Bible by Carl Rasmussen

Rasmussen's Atlas is unlike other atlas' filled with maps of places you may or may not understand. Rasmussen has created a Bible atlas that is beautiful, easy-to-read, full of full-color images and uses current mapping technology to create a resource tool for pastors and individuals for personal and congregational Bible study.  

I love this. Honestly, I never thought I would say that about an atlas. This particular one, Essential Atlas of the Bible, provides not only the map, but charts, Biblical references, provides the context of what was going on in the world surrounding the names and places of people you encounter as you read God's Word. 

While most people would not consider sitting down to read an Atlas, with Rasmussen's Essential Atlas you could do just that and enjoy every minute of it. This atlas will prove to be an invaluable resource for me as a minister, but also for me personally as I seek to understand God's Word more fully. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, March 31, 2014

What are we here for?


That is more than a philosophical question, but an imperative question for any organization, church, or individual to answer. What's is my purpose in life? The Campbellsville Christian Church leadership has been wrestling with that very question for a number of months. For years, we've had a beautifully crafted mission statement. The problem was, that no one could remember it, much less recite it or communicate it to someone else.


We've been discussing how to narrow our focus. There are so many wonderful things a church does, but what is most important? Here's where we've landed:
Campbellsville Christian Church exists to lead people to Jesus Christ, and a growing relationship with Him. 
That's it. That's the Great Commission fulfilled. (Matthew 28:19-20) The two most important things a church does is to lead people to Christ (evangelism) and to lead them to grow in that relationship (discipleship). For the church, if something doesn't lead to that end, then it probably isn't worth doing. 

Then I asked myself, "What's is my personal mission statement?" What is my focus? There are many things I hope to do as a Christian, a husband, father, minister, and community member. Ultimately, I hope to leave a legacy that points to Jesus. I don't care if I am remembered; I do care that people remember Jesus. 

If the mission of the church is unequivocally, unwaveringly, unapologectically to lead people to Jesus Christ, and a growing relationship with Him, then shouldn't that be my personal mission as well? After all, I am a branch of the church whether I am in the building or not...and so are you. So, what's your mission? Do your day to day actions and attitudes agree with you? If not, what are you going to do about that?

**Photo credit