Thursday, August 27, 2009


I have read Ephesians 4 on the role of pastors and teachers many times over—in fact I have it memorized. So when I was preparing for last week's sermon and looking at the passage one more time, I got hit with a pretty horrible thought. "We aren't doing this!" Big oops!

We have the iServe ministry that my wife heads up that helps get people connected to their right ministry and it has been very successful. We recently launched a more intentional leadership development plan that is inspiring and equipping current and future leaders. But what about the couple of hundred volunteers that aren't currently interested at leading but just want to do their ministry successfully? We are not doing a good job equipping them. That is about to change.

I had a thought today: what if every volunteer, no matter in what ministry they served, consistently thought, "I can't believe how well my leaders constantly equip me to do my ministry better and better!" I know some feel that way now, but is "some" ever the goal? I think God designed it to be "all." I want all of our volunteers to feel that way which is going to require a massive shift in how we view our ministry.

If we get this right, the sky is the limit for The Pursuit in this valley. Just to make sure we do, got has in the last week been assembling a team of people who just "happen" to be developers and trainers for their occupation. They are passionate about it and are equipped to help people get better at what they do. We're getting them together to get a plan. Look out you volunteers! You are about to feel more loved than ever!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Quite Heaven on Earth...

What an amazing day yesterday. It is such a privilege to do what I do and see what I see. Yesterday could not have been better at The Pursuit in my mind. As I walked out, exhausted after preaching for the last time, I said to a couple who was serving, "It shouldn't be this fun." (I've always said that our worship services should be the closest thing to heaven on earth. I think for many people church feels like 'the other place'!) We talked about how, believe it or not, heaven is going to be so much better.

I told them that the biggest difference for me will be that there won't be any pain between Sundays. This life is filled with trouble. The enemy is relentless in his attack. If you are struggling, know that heaven is coming soon. We will see that day when there will be no more crying or pain or tears. We echo the words of the apostle John closing out the book of Revelation, "Come, Lord Jesus."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deja Vu...

A couple of weeks ago, we had one of those "defining days" at The Pursuit. (I think this Sunday may be one as well for many of us!). We pour our hearts into the summer every year, knowing that our people are out inviting and new people are moving into the valley. It also helps us to hit the ground running for the fall instead of spending September "ramping up."

The discouraging thing is that we realistically are missing 30 to 40% of our attenders any given Sunday because Idaho is apparently too beautiful of state to resist. With the incredible feedback we got from the service from Aug. 2, and the knowledge that so many have missed it, we are doing our first "Deja Vu Service" on September 1 at 6:30 p.m. We are going to do the exact same service, music and all, for all of those that missed it.

I have no idea how many will come but this will be a great experiment for two reasons. One is that we may do these from time to time (or maybe just every fall with the top Sunday of the summer). It could be a great way to get us all on the same page. The other part is that we are fairly confident that we are going to run out of space with four services sometime this fall (in spite of my efforts to use challenging "hypocrite-repellent" messages of late). One of our ideas —to reach those that no one else is reaching, you have to do something that no one else is doing—is to do an additional service time on Tuesday nights.

There are a lot of people that work or are out of town on weekends. Would they come to church on Tuesday nights? Could we get enough volunteers to come back to run our Kidz and hospitality ministry? We have no idea. But, if there was ever a body of believers that would do whatever it takes to reach some more, it is our Pursuit family. We'll know more in a few weeks!