Posts Tagged ‘ Awestruck ’

FAQ’s About our Big Move


In case you missed the news this weekend…Awestruck Church is moving our meeting spot to a Historic movie theater on Main Street in downtown Gibsonville.  As we have been planning this move and talking with people, certain questions have been asked over and over.  From our staff to some first time guests who heard the announcement on Sunday, these are the top questions we have answered.

Why Gibsonville?

Our heart was to plant in and reach Eastern Guilford county when we started meeting in my house almost 8 years ago to plan and dream about starting a church.  8 years ago we looked at meeting locations from Alamance Crossing all the way up to the Mt. Hope Church Road exit on Hwy 85.  Gibsonville is in the perfect location to fulfill the vision that God gave us so many years ago.

Also, when we considered moving closer to Greensboro there were several factors that caused us to stop and say no.  Property in Greensboro is expensive to lease or purchase.  There are so many great churches doing amazing things for the Gospel in Greensboro.  God is calling a large number of church planters into that area that have just recently started or are getting ready to launch.  While there are a some churches in Eastern Guilford County doing big things, we still see the need for a vibrant, gospel centered church in this area.

Downtown Gibsonville is busy and alive with activity.  Great restaurants, parks, a dance studio, and local businesses make this a hot spot for big crowds.  We are moving our incredible church to where the people are instead of hoping they come and find us.  This gives a great opportunity to meet and spread the gospel to a larger new group of people.  We are excited about becoming an active, supportive member of this community.

Why move instead of build?

We are currently meeting on a beautiful piece of property in Mcleansville.  Unfortunately beautiful does not always translate into easy and convenient.  The land does not perk well for extra septic needed to build on our current property.  To build on that property will be extremely expensive because of the septic issue.  We were given an estimated cost of around $100 thousand just to put a septic system in.  That is $100k before we ever break ground on a new building.

Our heartbeat at Awestruck is to be fiscally responsible when it comes to our tithes and offerings.  After meeting with several different contractors, inspectors, engineers, and other pastors about this issue over the past two years, we have decided that it is not a great financial decision to begin construction at this time.  The cost issue combined with a hard to find location are the major factors that led us to decide to make a move.  This does not mean that we will never build on this property.  This simply means that with our budget and the current size of our church it is not our best option.

Are we selling the current property?

The short answer…NO!  (That is the first “no” I’ve been excited about in a long time.)

On a very selfish note, I love our current property on Butler Road.  It is peaceful and a blessed place.  God used that property not only to enhance our church, but also to encourage me at a tough time in my pastoral life.  I believe the gift of that property was God’s way of giving His stamp of approval to the work He has called me to do.

On a church wide not, the property is still an excellent location for us to do ministry.  God did not give it to us to waste or leave empty.  I don’t know exactly what the future holds for that property.  I do know that God has a plan and we are open for wherever He leads us.

Why are we moving so quickly?

The original plan was to start renovations in April and move in when it was ready.  God’s plan was for us to get the keys on March 8.  Our plans to meet, pray and discuss the move with our congregation got expedited when we got a surprise phone call last week informing us that we could move in several weeks earlier than expected.

Easter Sunday will be a great day to launch into the future of Awestruck Church.  People love to come to church on Easter.  For the Lilly and Poinsettia crowd (“ChrEasters”) it is one of the two times they will attend all year.  I can’t think of a better Sunday to introduce the awesome ministry of our church!  We will also be able to host ONE service on Easter Sunday for the first time in many years.

Here are Some Questions I have for you…

What will you be doing to help us get in the building on time?

Who are you planning to bring with you on Easter Sunday?

Where will you be serving on Sunday mornings at Awestruck?

How much could you give to help us achieve the financial increase for our church?

“The Greatest Love” Week 1 Sermon with Notes

Greatest Love Logo

Sermon Notes from “The Greatest Love” Week 1 sermon

preached on 2/1/15

Click RIGHT HERE to watch the video of the sermon.

Think about some events in our history that helped shape mankind

*1440 Gutenberg invented the Printing Press

–Until then copying one book by hand could take years

–Literature became available to everyone … Religious, Political, Educational

*From the 14th to the 17th Century the Renaissance Period

–Enlightenment from math, science, and art changed the way people think

–DaVinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare

–Curiosity was encouraged and People started finding answers

*The Wright Brothers learn to Fly (1903)

*WWI (1914-1918)

–Many historians believe that the unfinished business of this war led to years of anger

–The anger of the Germans led to electing a guy named Hitler in 1933

*WWII (1939-1945)

–There was no main enemy or battleground

–Millions of innocent people lost their lives and their homelands were destroyed

–The United Nations was formed and a Homeland for the Jews was found

–The world changed and so much innocence was lost

*America Sent our first Astronauts to the Moon (1960)

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

*Martin Luther King leads a march and gives a speech (August 1963)

–A march that began a Civil Rights movement that changed our Nation

*Kennedy was Assassinated (November 1963)

*Tearing Down the Berlin Wall (1989)

–This huge barrier that separated the communist government from the more democratic way of governing was finally removed

–This indicated that there would finally be freedom and voice for the people

*Terrorists flew airplanes into the Twin Towers in New York (Sept 11, 2001)

–We can all remember where we were and what we were doing that morning

*Mark Zuckerburg launched TheFacebook (2004)

–Today more than 1.2 Billion people are using it daily!

*First iPhone was released (June 2007)

A Concept dreamed up in 1983 was given to the world as a handheld device

–That has led to way too many phones that are smarter than their users!

What are some of the great words and speeches that have changed our world?

–“The Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

–“I have a dream…”  MLK

–“You want the truth?  You can’t handle the truth!”

Throughout the course of Human History events and words have shaped who and where we are today …  

If we look to God’s word as our One Truth then we see there is one moment that was not only the Greatest event for our present situation … But also our Eternity

Luke 2 : 5  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. 6  And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7  She gave birth to her first child, a son.  She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

He lived a life that was innocent and free from sin

Then He was crucified for our sins and He took our punishment on the cross

Matt 27 : 50  Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51  At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52  and tombs opened.  The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53  They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.  54  The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened.  They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

The Event that had the most radical impact on Human History was Jesus Christ

–He was more than a man, more than a prophet, more than a humanitarian,

He was the Son of God sent to die so that he could give us the opportunity to Know God in an intimate and loving way

He was the one who took our punishment & paid our price so we could have Life

Hebrews 2 : 9  What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.”  Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. 10  God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory.  And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. 11  So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father.  That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. 12  For he said to God, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.  I will praise you among your assembled people.”  13  He also said, “I will put my trust in him,” that is, “I and the children God has given me.” 14   Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood.  For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15  Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. 16  We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. 17  Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God.  Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.

Jesus was the Event that had the power to Change Everything!

–Not only did He change the way we keep our calendars… B.C and A.D.

–He also made a way for all who come through Him to Know God for Eternity

And there is one word that led to this Eternity Changing moment…

I Believe there is One word in the Bible changed the course of all mankind

John 3:16  “God so Loved the world…”

This is not just any love … This is The Greatest Love the world has ever known

You are going to hear this verse over the next few weeks and I want you to let it penetrate your hearts as we try to fully understand what Jesus meant…

John 15 : 13  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends

The Love of God sent Jesus to this earth

The Love of our savior is what motivated Him to hang on a cross

Our love for others is supposed to Imitate the Love of God

This is a love that has the ability to Change Your Life!

This is the Greatest Love and if we allow it to … 

It will Impact us in ways we can’t imagine

Ephesians 3 : 16  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

–When we are rooted in God’s Love then we find strength

–When we Experience God’s Love then we are complete and live life to the fullest

One EventJesus Christ … changed our human existence and our eternal hope

It was motivated by One WordLove

Some of you need to be reminded today of the Fact that God Loves You!

While we are sinners and underserving … God Loves Us

One WordLove

Some of you need to be reminded today of the Fact that God Loves You!

While we are sinners and underserving … God Loves Us

“Conversation” (Week 3 Sermon)

whisperGod is powerful and mighty.  He is worthy of our respect and awe!  This amazingly glorious God is also a very intimate savior.  He wants to be close with us.

The beauty of prayer is that it is the conversation that gives us backstage access to the inner workings of our God.  Prayer is the conversation that takes us from our salvation experience into a relationship with our savior.  He wants to speak to us through the intimacy of a whisper.  

Click HERE to listen to “Backstage Pass”

The Volunteers (Episode 1)

This is a fun video we put together to let people know we need volunteers to help out at Awestruck.  We had a good time filming it…hope you enjoy watching it.  

*The first episode of Awestruck’s “The Volunteers” Series. Josh and the team discuss the need for new volunteers and why we do what we do. Throwing ladders, arguments, and arrests. Awestruck’s people step up.*

“Go” (Week 3 Sermon)

We live in cities that are a smorgasbord of culture, race, sex, religion, and beliefs.  Jesus told the disciples to Go and be a Witness for God in these cities.  We were never saved to just go sit in church with people just like us, who make us comfortable.  Fellowship with other Christians is a necessary part of following Jesus, but it is not ALL we have been commissioned to do!  Jesus instructed us to Go and then gave great examples by spending time with the tax collectors, prostitutes, and all the outcasts of the “Religious” culture.  His time with these folks was intentional and result of His amazing love for all mankind.  Most Christians spend too much time with people that would make “Good Christians” if they would just accept Jesus.  Scripture challenges us to Go into the places that might get us talked about by the church crowd?

Click HERE to listen to “…Into the City”

Monday Download

fantasy-bball-week-4-standings1.  I am #1 in my Fantasy Baseball league!  That’s right…Number 1!  Those guys signed me up because they needed a whipping boy, and right now I’m the one doing all the whooping.  🙂

2.  Enough gloating for now…nope, gotta say it one more time:  I’m #1!

3.  Ryan and Joe took me to Calibers last Thursday for my first experience at the shooting range.  I think I might be addicted.

4.  The Chicago Cubs are only 3.5 games back in the NL Central.  This is good considering the interesting start they’ve had.

5.  Now for Awestruck…We started our new teaching series “Go” yesterday.

6.  I still get excited to see new visitors every week.  God is doing some huge stuff in people’s lives at Awestruck Church.

7.  It’s always interesting when people leave a ministry and they blame it on my character flaws…that I don’t have?  If you need a list of why I’m not perfect I’d be happy to spill my guts (and there are some humdingers on that list), but if you decide to talk about me at least get your facts straight.  🙂

8.  I’m pumped about next weekend at Awestruck…We officially begin our partnership with Land of a Thousand Hills, World Relief, and Ariel Cook will be sharing about her trip to Guatemala.  

9.  It’s going to be insane as we talk about how to make an impact on the world for Christ!

10.  Our church is 8 months old and I love being the pastor more and more every day!

Monday Download

1.  I chose not to Download last week…It was my birthday

Birthday Cake2.  Speaking of my Birthday…Sara Pugh made me one of the coolest Birthday cakes that has ever existed on this planet.  I almost ate the entire thing myself!  🙂

3.  On the topic of Birthdays…Happy Birthday to my wife.  (4/28)

4.  Awestruck Church has blown me away the past few weeks!  I am humbled to be part of such an amazing church.

5.  We have decided to stay in the Multipurpose/junk/trash room for the time being.  It has been a nice change of scenery for our Service.

6.  Last Sunday asked our folks not to give to Awestruck, but to support His Scars to Our Scars, World Relief, and our friend Ariel’s mission trip to Guatemala.

7.  I was amazed!  Ariel’s trip was paid in full and a bunch of folks supported HSTOS and World Relief.  I mean people stepped up and gave big time!

8.  Okay, now for the important stuff:  Micah is doing great at Baseball.  He is getting better every game and learning a ton.

9.  Our kickball team is hanging close to the top of the standings and having a blast.

10.  I am currently 2nd in my Fantasy Baseball league.  That’s right, I am doing really well the first 3 weeks of the season.  I am pumped since I had no clue what I was doing in the draft.

“Mysterious” (Week 3 Sermon)

bible-scrollThe Bible is the cause of many debates.  The great mystery of scripture is how many different authors from different geographic locations penned identical stories…and each has been proven historically accurate.  According to the research of Josh McDowell, the amount of copies found within 400 years of the original manuscripts would indicate that the Bible is the most Historically proven book we possess.

Another mystery of scripture is how impacting it remains as times, people, economic conditions, and society changes.  One of the greatest mysteries of Scripture is how relevant it is to our lives in 2009!  If read and applied, the truth contained in the Bible has the ability to change and challenge us.

Click HERE to listen to “The Word of God”

Thoughts from an Easter Rookie…

* Warning: Unorganized ramblings of an honest and transparent heart may appear in this post.  Be forewarned.  🙂 *

rookieAs a new pastor of a new church I didn’t know what to expect on our first Easter Sunday.  To be clear, I have been part of Easter Sundays all my life and on staff at churches for the last 13 of them, but this was my first Easter as an official pastor.  We pride ourselves on being creative and attempt originality at Awestruck Church.  Many hours of planning and prep work went into our service, but we were still in the dark about how our folks would respond and what Easter looked like for us.  The band worked hard and flat brought it with our worship set!  There was a sweet spirit in the room as we sang out our praise!  My greatest frustration in preparing for this big Easter Sunday was getting my message together.  I am usually a few weeks ahead on my sermons, but this one was different.  It was Easter and it had to be “great”!  After all my creative and “relevant” ideas fell useless and shallow, I decided to do what we attempt every week….Preach about Jesus and let the scripture speak for itself!  I read a total of 65 scriptures and tried to expound as little as possible.  (which is hard for me, I really like to hear myself talk sometimes!)  

After service the response was Amazing!  People were truly moved by God’s word and many commented that it was one of the best Easter messages they’ve ever heard.  The best they’ve ever heard?  Let me say it again, I read as much scripture as possible and attempted to keep my explanations to a minimum.  I simply explained the story of Jesus’ love and grace and how it can impact each and every one of us and it was the “best”?  Leads me to ask this question, “What else is being preached?”.  For whatever reason God chose to use me as a mouthpiece and I am humbled by what He accomplished at Awestruck.  Easter was nothing like what we expected, but precisely what God had sculpted out on that day.  

For me it was not just another Sunday where we could fill up our seats b/c people felt guilty about not being in church since last year…there was a big crowd and a ton of visitors…it truly was an eye opening and heart wrenching reminder that God still speaks loudly and clearly when we are faithful to teach His word.  I love being creative with my teaching.  I love using themes and topics when I speak.  I enjoy making people laugh while I’m teaching.  But at the heart of everything we say on Sunday morning needs to be centered in the Gospel of Jesus and not on impressing the crowd with our wit and knowledge.  These are my meditations on the first Easter service as an official pastor.  It’s not at all what I predicted I would gain from the experience, but I’m grateful to God for continually being patient with me as He shows me how to better accomplish what He’s called me to do!

“Mysterious” (Week 1 Sermon)

One of the most dangerous traps of Religion is the tendency to compress God into the mold that fits our personal needs and comprehension.  When we replace the mystery of God with our limitations, we remove the very nature of who He is.  The Heart of God is His Creation.  He is beyond our ability to fully understand, yet He chooses to be intimately involved in our daily life.  A balanced realization of His majestic power and His unconditional love for us is the essence of a fulfilling relationship with our Creator.  

Click HERE to listen to “The Heart of God”