Archive for July, 2008

30
Jul
08

How will the Live Like You Were Dying Campaign Help Our Church Grow?

That’s a great question!  Our upcoming fall campaign will help our church grow because it is built on the creation of new small groups focused on reaching out.  To make the campaign work small group hosts are incredibly important.

To be a host you don’t need to be a Bible scholar, or have a really large, expensive home.  You just need to have a heart for people, and a desire to help others personally grow in their Christian faith.

Here’s how the growth can happen.  Instead of inviting others already in our church family to join your group, think of those outside our church.  Think about your circles of influence, and invite people from there.  Think about relatives, neighbors, co-workers, neighborhood business owners, sports teams – people you already know that you want to reach for Christ.

Invite the people you already know to be a part of your group.  You could say something like, “I’m starting a four-week discussion group in my home and together we’ll be talking about the gift of life and how we can live for what is most important.  I would love to have you join us.”  Not everyone you invite will come, so to get a good group you need to invite at least 15 to 20 people.  Don’t forget to ask those in our church that already attend our group to invite friends as well.

Once your group meets, take the next step and invite them to experience our Sunday morning worship.  On Sundays we’ll dig deeper into the next subject in the series.  I believe the Holy Spirit will be working drawing people to Him through these groups, and as we are faithful to extend a friendly invitation.

23
Jul
08

Upcoming Fall Church Campaign

Our upcoming fall campaign is going to be something you don’t want to miss.  It’s called Live Like You Were Dying.  It’s based on the Grammy Award winning country song performed by Tim McGraw.  God has given us a wonderful gift called life, and he wants us to make the most of the opportunity to live each and every day.

The campaign will last 5 weeks beginning Sunday, September 14th continuing through Sunday, October 12th.  Each week deals with a major theme that will be communicated and reinforced through the Sunday messages, small groups, weekend worship, daily devotionals, and Bible memory.  This will be a life changing experience that we’ll all walk through together as a church family.

To really make the campaign work we need small group hosts.  What does it take to be a host?  Do you need to be a Bible scholar?  No.  Do you need to have a lot of fancy food prepared every week?  Nope.  Do you need to be married?  No.  Do you need to be a member of Victory’s Crossing Church to be a host for this campaign?  Nope.

To be a host is very simple.  All you have to have is a heart for people, and a DVD player!  Each small group lesson will begin by a segment of Bible teaching pre-recorded on DVD.  We do ask the you attend a one hour small group host orientation meeting on Sunday, September 7th after the morning worship.

How can you draw people to your small group?  By inviting the people you already know.  We each have a circle of influence, people we’re connected with – friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, coaches, and other parents that come to our kid’s sporting events.  Invite a few from each group and you’ll be sure to have a good turn out.  But, even groups as small as 4 and 5 are some of the bests groups because of the freedom and time to share.

Keep our fall campaign in your prayers, and write those dates down on your calendar.  Also, would you consider being a host?

 

16
Jul
08

Teenage Pregnancy – Is It Cool?

It seems to me there is a move in our culture today to glamorize teenage pregnancy.  The recent movie Juno, the story of the hardship endured by a pregnant, unmarried teen, has been a huge hit.  Britney Spears little sister, 16 year old Jamie Lynn Spears, who stars in a show for kids on the Nickelodeon channel – Zoey 101, appeared on the cover of a major magazine with her new baby. 

There was also the high school in Glouchester, Massachusetts where an alarming 17 girls, 16 and under became pregnant.  What was more troubling was the pact they apparently had made.  They all agreed to try and get pregnant so they could raise their babies together.  Most of the fathers were older, and one was a homeless guy.  On hearing the news of their pregnancy instead of embarrassment, regret, confusion, they were slapping high fives.

With all the fantasy of Hollywood set aside, can I tell you the truth about teenage pregnancy? It’s no fun to be a teenager and pregnant.  Labor hurts.  I’ve witnessed four of them.  My wife said some mean things to me that she later apologized for during labor. 

Having a baby radically alters your life.  Little Jamie Lynn Spears may have the bucks to hire a nanny, but none of us have that luxury.  You have to get up at all hours of the night.  There is no sleep.  All the thoughts of you cuddling with a soft baby like its a little doll give you only a fraction of the picture.  You miss out on your teenage years, a time that should be filled with learning, growing, building lifelong friendships, and memories.  While others enjoy their teens you’re forced to stay up all night, get an extra job, and somehow hope to graduate.  You also experience the pain of being rejected by the father, who’s probably to young to step up to the plate and be a real provider and dad.  You’re left holding it on your own.  In short, you’re forced to grow up too soon. 

Recently a new survey was released by Liz Claiborne Inc., showing us how early kids are having sex and the abuse that follows.  About 10 percent of those surveyed said they had sex as early as fourteen.  Sixty-nine percent of the teens who had sex by age 14 said they had endured some type of abuse, some physical, some verbal, and some emotional.  Many said they knew sexually active friends who had been struck in anger, called stupid, worthless, or ugly by their dates.  It seems that kids are having sex at an earlier age and because they’re not ready for that kind of experience it creates a cycle of abuse.

I don’t think teenage pregnancy is cool.  Sexual purity before marriage isn’t old fashioned, and mean.  It’s God’s loving plan for us.  If you’re a teenage and sexually active,  I want to encourage you to reconsider, to repent, receive God’s forgiveness and love, and then change your ways.  You can begin again.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;  4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,  5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;  6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

15
Jul
08

VC Softball

Our softball team is having a great 1st season.  After announcing the start of a team, the athletes, hidden in the Sunday seats, volunteered enthusiastically.  In that group is Rick Long, and his two sons – Scott and Nick.  Rick, who coached little league for some 20 years, stepped up to be our coach.  His sons are the “dynamic duo”.  They give us an extra one two punch at bat and in the field.  With one more game to play and then the playoffs, we’re 11 and 9.

Of course, not all on the team are softball pros, but that’s not what it’s about for us.  We look at our games together as times to fellowship, opportunities for fun, to catch up on life, and hopefully break a sweat.  Our softball team has given our church family another valuable place for people to connect.  It’s also been a place where those who have strayed from church, or have never met Christ could have a chance to be around other Christians.  For us, at least at this point, it’s not about winning, but about being together and enjoying the summer weather. It would be nice to win the championship though! 

1 Timothy 6:17 says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

08
Jul
08

KGB Update

 

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KGB Bus Fun 2008

Kids Going Bananas Day Camp is in full swing and going well.  This is KGB’s second year and it’s encouraging to see how it’s grown.  Our camp has doubled in size, and in the number of counselors.  This group is made up mostly from our church’s youth ministry.  Matt Gallant, our camp director and youth leader, is doing well leading the campers and counselors through the day. 

Each day is packed with fun – creative Bible stories, songs, crafts (led by our own Jim Rodd), horseback riding, swimming (at the large and exciting Bull Run Regional Park), and field day games.  It all comes together to make some wonderful summer memories.

Each Sunday during camp we’ve invited the camp families to attend our worship service.  The campers sing.  We have a slide show, and a time to meet and greet afterward.  It’s proven to be a great outreach for our growing church.

When we started camp in the summer of 2007, we didn’t even know where our camp would meet.  That’s when God opened the door for us to meet in our current location, an old Hollywood Video store.  Looking back it’s been an amazing journey of faith.  We’ve seen God provide more than enough at each and every step of the way.  It just goes to show again, that when we obey God and reach out in faith, he rewards our trust in him.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”