Recap from the road: Jr. High Mission Tour Day 2

  • Yesterday was a great day for our students. They really had a chance to SERVE all day long. Yesterday morning we spent about 3 hours at a food bank. Parents, if your students aren’t really helping out at the house, believe me, they can work! Our team helped sort, label, and move between 15 and 20 TONS of food yesterday. Yes, I said TONS. They definitely made an impact on hungry people.
  • The stats the food bank shared with us are staggering. With prices on the rise, more and more middle class people are coming to the food bank. It takes 87 pounds of food to feed 1 person for a week. The food bank feeds about 120 families A DAY, with 300-400 A DAY around peak times (CHristmas, Thanksgiving, etc.). They really have a great ministry there, and our students showed the attitude of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2).
  • Yesterday evening, we traveled to Florence, SC and ministered at a battered women’s shelter. It was great to shower the love of Jesus on women and children who have knon nothing but hate and anger. In fact, one of the children walked up front and stood with our students in the choir while they sang. It was super cute. And again, our students stepped up to the plate when it came time to serve.
  • Here’s a picture of our team in front of the home:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • It’s now Friday afternoon. We just finished our second performance of the day. Our first stop was to a retirement home and our second stop at a Boys and Girls Club.
  • There’s no telling what tonight holds, so check back often. Tomorow is our fun day at the water park- our students are anxious to get there!
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Recap from Jr. High Mission Tour day one

  • Good morning everyone! It’s 7:15 a.m. and I’m sitting in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Columbia, SC. Just know that I really love Jesus and students to voluntarily go anywhere near Columbia. I saw plenty of Gamecock stuff at the mall last night. It was sickening. 🙂
  • Yesterday afternoon the students performed for the first time. They performed at a Boys and Girls Club. It was neat beacuse it’s not a “Christian organization” per-se, and so many children got to hear the Gospel, hopefully for the first time.
  • AFter the performance was the neatest part. Our students went out in the crowd and loved on the children. We saw lots of hugs and picture taking. Some of the children were even asking our students for autographs, haha! It was like American Idol. They are now famous with the Boys and Girls Club.
  • The Boys and Girls Club director got on the bus before we left and told them what a great job they did and how well they interacted with their kids. I believe our students were really roud that they made a difference.
  • After we were packed up, we went to A MALL! If you’re familiar with mission tour, I’m sure you’re shocked, haha. We spent several hours at the Columbiana mall. One of our students lost a cell phone and another students lost a shirt he bought from Hollister. But fortunately, good hearted people turned those items in to lost and found. They were relieved to say the least.
  • We got checked into the hotel about 9:00 p.m. and then had a share time. It was great to hear students’ comments about the day and see their heart for service. We have a lot of leadership and a lot of love for Jesus in these junior high students. I am grateful to be their youth pastor.
  • We are about to leave to serve at a local food bank. Pray for us as we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus today. We love y’all- check back for an update tonight!

Off To Myrtle Beach With A Bunch of Middle Schoolers

  • We are leaving this morning to go on the junior high mission tour to Myrtle Beach. 5 days with middle schoolers? To most people, that sounds insane. To us, that’s a good time. I’m looking forward to watching my junior high students minister in South Carolina. With all the Gamecock fnas up there, there’s plenty of unsaved people. 🙂
  • Pray for safety and great chances to share our faith this week.
  • Our Wednesday Night Student Worship Service will continue on without me or the junior high students. David Phillips, one of our college students, will be sharing. He just returned home from a mission trip to Kenya and will be sharing about what God did while he was there. I hate that I’m missing it!
  • Katie is going with me this week. I am excited. But we will miss our little boy who is staying with Nee-Nee and Maw Maw. We miss you Charlie!
  • I willl update my blog from Myrtle BEach to let you know how we are doing.

Sheds & New Plans For The Church

  • It was great this morning to have Dr. Baxter share his vision for the future of our church. Now that everything is public, let me tell you- I’m pumped about the new service. It is EXACTLY what our church needs. I think it will bring a breath of fresh air into our church. I think it will bring new people. I think it will bring new volunteers. Most importantly, I think it will bring new people into the kingdom of God.
  • If you haven’t heard, we will be begining a new service in our church on Sept. 7. It will be totally contemporary in style, with it’s heartbeat being engaging the unchurched and disconnected in our community. The service will be at 11:00 in the gym. We will have our own worship band, greeters, av team, etc. The blended service will be happening simultaneously in the gym. We will tivo in Dr. B from the blended service when it comes time for the message. This is going to be great for our church.
  • If you would like to help serve, please let me know ASAP! This will be a very volunteer-heavy service. We need greeters, hospitality people, audio-visual people, etc. Just shoot me an email if you are interested in serving.
  • My father-in law and I put together a 10x8x7 storage building in the backyard this weekend. We started Friday afternoon, worked all day Saturday, and worked after church until about 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening. I knew I was in trouble when I picked the building up Thursday afternoon fom Home Depot. This 10x8x7 building was in a box that was about 6 inches tall and could easily fit in the back of a pickup truck. BUt we got it put together. I am proud. Here’s a picture of the building we put together.

 

 

Wednesday Night Highlights And Church Update (as promised!)

  • Before I get to the “meat” of today’s post, I wanted to post a video of our worship team playing Everlasting God last night. I am so blessed to have a faithful team that is not only committed to leading in worship every week, but they are also really good!
  • Our set list last night was All We Need by Charlie Hall, How Can I Keep From Singing by Chris Tomlin, My Drink by Charlie Hall, Majesty by Charlie Hall, Everlasting God by Brenton Brown/Chris Tomlin, and Forever King by Todd Fields. I just realized we had a very Charlie Hall-heavy set list last  night. That’s interesting, because we don’t play that much Charlie Hall stuff.
  • My message last night was called Together. I talked about the importance and Biblical example of walking through life and the Christian journey “Together” in a small group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • And now, the reason you’re really here. As mentioned yeaterday, it’s been a LONG week. Since I’ve been at First Baptist, I’ve been on 3 staff retreats. We’ve gone away and talked about the health of our church, and things we needed to improve on. And to be honest, we’ve never really done anything about it. That all changed several weeks ago when our staff went to the Drive Conference at NorthPoint Community Church in Alpharetta. My comment to Katie when I got home was, “I think we’ve finally been knocked on the fence.” God began to move among our staff and give us clarity.
  • By that, I mean God made us painfully aware of our shortcomings. The biggest shortcoming being we are not reaching the unchurched, hurting, and disconnected. And because of that, we are not seeing families joining our church. We are not seeing baptisms. We are doing what the church was created to do. Once we had clarity in that area, then God was able to give us clarity of vision.
  • Our staff met Thursday night. After many prayers and discussions, the staff reached an uninanimous decision on the next page in the history of our church. One that hopefully will make an huge impact on the spiritual climate of our city. The Thursday night meeting lasted 3 1/2 hours, by the way. 🙂
  • The staff took the proposal to the deacons on Monday night. Our pastor umcompromisingly shared with the deacons what he thought God’s direction for our church was. And they responded. The positivity and excitement was great. They really seemed to embrace the true Biblical concept of what being a deacon is all about: following the staff’s vision and making ministry happen.
  • There are many proposed changes in this plan. The biggest is adding a third worship service specifically designed to welcome the unchurched and disconnected. I’ll give more detials about the service after Sunday. Dr. Baxter is sharing the vision with the church Sunday morning, so you definitely want to be here. But just know this service is gonna stinkin’ ROCK.
  • According to Thom Rainer in The Bridger Generation, 96% of 13-30 year olds are unchurched. I want to change that. I want you to be a part too- be here Sunday!

Crazy Busy Week

  • Hey yall! Just wanted you to know that this week has been CRAZY busy. There is a lot of church change that we have been planning, and this week has been a zoo. Check in tomorrow morning and I’ll blog about it. You won’t want to miss it FBC LaGrange!

Great Changes Coming & New Charlie Sayings

  • Thanks so much for praying for our staff meeting on Thursday night. After meeting for 3 1/2 hours, I believe that God is truly bringing some GREAT changes to our church. If you’re a deacon, you’ll hear about them Monday night. If you’re not a deacon, then give them $5 and I’m sure they’ll spill their guts. 🙂 Just kidding, the whole church will hear next Sunday.
  • We had a great Sunday afternoon. We had our senior graduate recognition service at 2:00. We had a great group of seniors- sorry to see them go, but excited to see them minister in the new locations where God is sending them.
  • After Charlie got up from his nap, we had a fun afternoon and evening.  Here’s some new Charlie sayings from today:
  • At dinner, Charlie wanted more watermelgon (watermelon).
  • Charlie will scream all of a sudden, then smile and say, “I scream!”
  • Charlie asked for a bicycle (popsicle) after dinner.
  • Charlie was playing in his pool with his toys and called his plastic alligator an alli-duh-gator.
  • What a mess! We had such a great day. I am blessed with a great family!