Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gimmick Evangelism

Some pastors and leaders are not fond of using anything which has a gimmick in church ministry or evangelism. I personally think that if it doesn't compromise our values and message, then it is ok. The dictionary defines a gimmick as: an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, esp. one designed to attract attention or increase appeal. (source:

One of the challenges I have found is that of staying on the cutting edge. I don't want to lose the freshness of God, the touch of heaven. Neither me personally, nor the church. And I never want to see the church lose its passion for souls. So I constantly look for ways to stimulate the church to action. There are people in the community who need Jesus! We must reach them.

The church I pastor is small by comparison to many. Our attendance the last quarter of the year averaged around 90. It stayed at about that level through mid February. The first Sunday of the year, I preached a message, "It's Turn Around Time." We began to sense it, first in the Spirit. The winds of God have been blowing on us. Times of refreshing have come. People are crying out to God!

Sensing the stirring, I called for a special attendance day for the last Sunday in March. We advertised it within the church family for about four weeks. I challenged them to invite their family and friends to join us for worship. We planned ministry for the kids, a skit for the youth, and had special guest ministry in to sing and preach. With dinner afterward, it would be a BIG DAY if our people responded. I even put some "gimmicks" out there. Pies in the faces of some leaders, if we reached our goal. We exceeded the goal! Yeah, I got a pie in the face. They posted some pictures on facebook.

You may be thinking we grew the church for only one Sunday. Possibly, but I don't think so. The 30 or so ministry guests will return to their home churches. And some of the family and friends will return back to their church, if they had one. But we have introduced, or reintroduced who we are and what we are about to faces that hadn't been in church for a while. We showed them we cared, have fun, worship God. They had an encounter with Jesus. We accomplished our mission.

Not only that, but the week prior to the big day, we had an attendance of 135. That was on the Sunday we lost an hour, when many churches were down. I think it had something to do with excitement about evangelism, and the fire of God that is burning. And the 210 we had this past Sunday may go back down to half that, but you know what? We can do it!

Let's reach them for Jesus. I'll take a pie in the face anytime!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The controversy resulting from the new health care is causing widespread pandemonium out there! If you are not alarmed by the policy itself, you will probably be so by all the talk and reactions regarding it. Alarmists are spewing the evils of the bill, extremists are attacking homes and offices of people and their families who were linked to its passing.

And the church, for the most part, has gone hysterical. I remember the Y2K hysteria, and I believe this is worse! The church world, for a large part, acted like the world was going to end at the ticking of the clock at midnight. Now the same type fear is being carried through the pulpits, social media, and the market place.

Excuse me. I am a little old fashioned. I am old school. And I don't mean to make light of your concerns, and yes, I believe we should support certain policies, and oppose others. But forgive me if I seem to make light of your concerns. I seldom comment on facebook, twitter, or my blog about politics. I also seldom comment about religion. I am a fan of neither.

What I do believe, however, is that there is a KING who exists, and operates in his kingdom! I believe the rule and reign of God is greater than the failed policies of man. I believe God can turn the king's head, can turn things on a dime.

So, I'm sorry if I don't sign up for your petition. I won't be joining your "let's run and hide in fear" club. But I will join you for some praise... some prayer... some faith.

No pandemonium here. I've been called to the kingdom for such a time as this!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


We had another awesome service tonight at New Harvest! For about a month now the momentum has been building. It is hard to describe to someone who is not familiar with our church. We typically have great services. I cannot count on one hand a dull service in the last year. But this is different. Something special is taking place.

My worship leader posted tonight on Facebook the word "Bam" in describing the service. I agree, it was "bam." It was also "wow!"

I hunger for more!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I see a cloud

I think I see a cloud on the horizon. I am not a meteorologist by any means, and I am not attempting to predict the weather. What I am, however is someone who has been around long enough to see and experience the rain of God. In church life, we often call it revival.

However, I am somewhat hesitant to use that term. It has been overused and abused. Revival has long been used to describe a series of services in which there may have been no real revival at all. The very word defined means to bring back to life, to resurrect, to live again. I am sensing that among us. I know all too well that the church can cut off what God wants to do. Our hunger, our response, our obedience, all have a part in whether this current wave of the Holy Spirit continues. That's the feeling I have this today as I reflect on our time of worship yesterday.

For the church family of New Harvest Church, of which I am pastor, I want to speak directly to you. For others who occasionally read my posts, I want to say that I believe God wants to send a fresh outpouring to everyone. What is going on here locally is not something that God is not initiating in other areas. For the last several weeks our services have been awesome. The presence of the Lord has moved, lives have been touched. Hearts are stirred. Lives are getting saved, changed, renewed, filled, healed, set free!

I am reminded of the scripture where Elijah prophesied the coming rain. The drought would be over, there was coming a deluge. He sent his servant to go to the designated point to see, and then come back with a report. The first response was that there was nothing. Elijah instructed him to go seven times. On the seventh occasion, the servant returned with the word that a small cloud was on the horizon. Elijah knew this was the beginning of the coming downpour.

We don't have the downpour just yet. But I do see a cloud lingering over us. Get ready. It's close!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Too transparent

I am a conversationalist. I love to connect, talk, relate. Sometimes I am too transparent. When my blood pressure shot up yesterday, I posted about it last night on Twitter and Facebook. I frankly was a little afraid (I know I am not supposed to give in to fear), and really just wanted prayer.

Well, in just a few minutes on the Facebook sight, there were comments, scriptures, and prayers. And as I said, my purpose was to get some prayers coming my way. That happened, but something else did, as well. My daughter had been looking in on my facebook post, but never commented. After about 15 minutes or so of my comment, she called her mom. Trish was setting on the couch, I was in the recliner. I had not said anything about what I had done, really hadn't thought anything about it. We were watching TV together, and I generally tend to have the computer in my lap doing something. So Trish didn't expect anything, and I wasn't thinking.

That is, until the call. I knew immediately when Trish looked at me, and I overheard her saying something to our daughter that she didn't know what I had done. Ooops. In my attempt to get some prayers going, I didn't just ask for prayers. I made the statement that my blood pressure was dangerously high. (It was)

I took down the post in the midst of the prayers, scriptures, advice, and conversations. Did so without explanation. Once again, I had done it... too much information.

Ok, so here's the deal: I appreciate all of your prayers. As a matter of fact, I covet them. In the meantime, I have got to get myself on an exercise and diet plan that will reduce some of the affects of my being out of shape has on my body.

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. God bless!!