Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Danger of Rest...

We returned yesterday from a short family vacation to Reno—not for the gambling, but for the In-N-Out Burger and cheap hotels! It is a perfect drive for our family and the kids love hanging out away from home (I'll tell you a great story from our first night later this week). It was a quick trip, but it accomplished what we hoped it would—a break from the normal pace of life.

Rest is a great thing. I know people who need to get a lot more of it. God made us to include rest in our "diet." It has nothing to do with the Jewish Sabbath, but everything to do with a healthy pace of life, something we talk a lot about on our staff. In a ministry that God seems to always be expanding, it becomes even more essential if we want to be around for the long haul. 

Do you need to take a breather? If you find yourself feeling exhausted, either spiritually, emotionally or physically, maybe it is time to step off the merry-go-round long enough for your head to stop spinning. Do something that fills you, which may be using your vacation home or snow-shoeing or sitting on the couch with a book of fiction. To each his own. The point is that we really don't want you burning out. As I told one friend recently, "You're no good to us dead, you know." Rest really is a great thing.

But rest is also a dangerous thing. Why? Because we may like it too much. We may decide that God made us for resting instead of for laboring. My daughter said on Thursday, "I wish we could live in this hotel forever." How many adults live for the rest instead of for the reward of serving Christ? I know there are many with hearts that aren't with the kingdom of God but are instead with their time share or vacation home or hobbies. It is too bad. They are missing out. 

The big game is this Sunday. I can't imagine any player on either team looking forward the most to their time sitting on the sidelines. Can you imagine any player turning the coach down when he calls their number? "Sorry, Coach. I don't really feel like playing right now." Time on the bench is only to prepare for getting back on the field. If you've been enjoying an extended time on the sidelines, God is calling your number. It is time to get back in the game. After all, isn't that why He put you on the team? 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Still Building His Team.

We had our first church-wide leadership breakfast this morning. I am extremely passionate about finding and developing leaders and see this as a main push for 2009. We have so many gifted leaders at The Pursuit, it is overwhelming. Yes, I really believe God owes every other church in this valley an apology for how He keeps stacking our team with great people.

There were a lot of familiar faces. The staff of course was there to make breakfast for the 45 people that came. We were missing Adam who is now a married man! (We're anxious to have Kara out west to be a part of the team.) Gary was able to fly back to surprise him. We had many of our leaders who have been serving at The Pursuit for a couple of years. But the greatest thing about this morning was the fresh faces, people who are just stepping into leadership at The Pursuit. Even though one griddle broke and one was a no-show which made us a little frantic to start the day, the morning could not have gone better.

I drove away thinking that God is still building His team. He is still positioning us for greater ministry in the future. If God ever stops sending us people with a heart to lead and serve, maybe that will be the beginning signs that things are going to slow down. For now, He simply has brought too many great people under one roof. He is not a poor steward. I can assure you that if He is building this team, He intends to use it. I can't wait to see it all unfold. He is still building the team that He is going to use to change this valley. And yes, I am in total anticipation of what tomorrow is going to be!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So I am sitting here on Saturday night, going over and putting the finishing touches on the sermon for tomorrow. As it has been every Saturday night at The Pursuit, I just can't wait to see what God is going to do tomorrow. Who is He going to bring for the first time? How will they have heard about us? A friend? Car Stickers? The Billboard in Nevada? Who are we going to see that hasn't been in a long time. Who is going to have their life radically changed? What kind of conversations am I going to have with people in the lobby? I can't wait.

And then there's the pressure... Are we going to treat every guest with the love they deserve? Is the band going to be on? Is the equipment going to work properly? Am I going to be so distracted by the details that I forget to acknowledge the volunteers who make it all possible? Am I going to come across too harsh instead of as a loving friend?

I hope that Saturday nights are never too relaxing. I hope that I never feel like we have everything under control. I hope I never lose concern for each individual that comes through the doors. I hope that I never think I can handle it. The stakes are too high. The opportunity is too big. I'm ready to see what God does...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Can't Believe This is Happening...

I never thought I would blog, not because I don't have anything to say (I've never been short on opinions or thoughts), but because I am incredibly fearful of the "celebrity" status that is given to pastors who lead great churches in this day. This is definitely not about me. But through reading "Tribes" by Seth Godin, God convicted me that I should not be shrinking away from the opportunity to influence those that I diligently serve. The apostle Paul also said, "Follow me as I follow Christ."

God is doing something amazing here at The Pursuit. I can't deny it. I certainly don't want to hide it. He continues to assemble an amazing team of people. We have an incredible staff and a growing core of people who seem to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep reaching the Treasure Valley. My desire to "fly under the radar" so to speak has to be set aside in order to be the leader God has made me to be.

So, for the glory of God and the fulfillment of the vision that God has given The Pursuit, here we go...