Posts Tagged ‘ Guilford County ’

Reflections on Awestruck Church (And a Prayer for our Future)

moveOne thing we can be sure of in life… Things will change! 

Sometimes that is bad, other times that means the situation is improving

 

In 2005 I had one item on my Christmas list…

It was a big ticket item and I just had to have it … It was a game changer!

4G iPod Nano

It did not take very long for my Life Changing Gift to become outdated…

It doesn’t hold many songs, No Touch Screen, No Candy Crush Saga???

This Nano led to other iPods, iPhones, iPads being in my house

Sometimes when things change it means there is an Upgrade in our life

 

Awestruck began in October 2007 with a group of 10 sitting in my living room

–In September 2008 we launched at Eastern Middle School

–In August of 2010 we began renovations on the Butler Rd.  property

And this is where we have been for the last 4 & 1/2 years

 

Since we have been on Butler Rd…

–We have camped out in below freezing weather

–Roasted almost 1000 hot dogs over a big bonfire

–We have hosted 2 Glow in the Dark Egg Hunts…before the sun went down

–We have worked hard together on improvements

–Hosted movie nights

–Served our volunteers breakfast and dinner

–Had some fun small group parties

–Our band has released 3 CD’s… Recorded one in this building

–We hosted a big CD release party right here

–We partnered with “The Patio” at this location

–2 churches became one awesome place for God to do work

–We have formed a great relationship with the Reedy Fork community

–We have celebrated 5 out of 6 of our anniversaries on this property

–We have seen some of our folks move on, but God has added a bunch of new people to our congregation at this property

–We have commissioned 4 people into Christian service and helped launch 5 church plant while in this building

–Tyler was ordained on this stage

–Almost 200 Families in our area have been blessed at Christmas time

–We have watched our children’s ministry become a youth ministry

–Almost 40 children have been dedicated on this stage

–Many people have given their life to Jesus at this property

–21 people have been baptized at this building

God has used this property to do some amazing work and gather some pretty awesome people.

The church is the people of God…Not the building

Over 100 Times in the NT the word Ekklsia is used to describe the Church

This word always means the Assembly or Gathering of people

NEVER the building or house where they met

Awestruck has had 4 Locations in 7 & 1/2 years 

God will move among His people as long as we are following His Plan and Seeking to give Him the Glory.

Here’s the Key to our Future success … We seek to Give Him all the Glory

 

Let’s look at Some things we need to Guard ourselves from in the Move:

1.  Being distracted by the location and the size

–God Grows a church…No matter where it is located

–Bigger does not always mean better … Especially if Christ is not the focus

2.  Letting the Newness Wear off … 

–Eventually the new location will become just the Location

–When that New building smell begins to fade we need to ask God to Refresh our passion for Gibsonville and the surrounding areas

3.  Thinking that the Church is becoming “Too Big”

–I believe we are going to grow in numbers

–You are going to bring friends and the Town is going to Show up

–As we grow bigger in numbers then you need to grow smaller in our community

–Get involved in a small group so that you can maintain intimate relationships

–Get involved with a serving team so you can work to help us reach more people

I Believe this with all my heart … We are moving forward in God’s timing and according to His Purpose for Awestruck

After 2 Frustrating years of waiting to hear clearly from God

He has answered our prayers about the location of our Gatherings

God has Clarified the Vision of our church so we can all move forward under the Heading of “Every Single One”  (Truth / Focus / Heart / Hope)

Our church body feels more Unified than ever before in this move…

-We have come together to work and renovate

-We have Unity in our daily prayers for the future of Awestruck

 

We want to keep our eyes on where God is taking us in the days to come

–Our past will always be a reminder of God’s faithfulness when we seek Him

–Our future is unknown, but We are trusting God to continue to Blow our Minds

 

This verse has always been our prayer…

It seems even more relevant at this time in our Church’s History

Eph 3 : 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. 20  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21  Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

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“Bleep of Faith” Week 2 Sermon

Bleep of FaithHere is week 2 from our series “Bleep of Faith”.

You can click Right Here to watch the video.

Here are my sermon notes if you want to follow along…

All kids reach an age that we both are excited for and dread.

That age when they start saying “I can do it myself”.

This mentality starts at a very early age, 

but unfortunately most of us never out grow it and it causes some issues

–Ball Hogs on the basketball team

–Coworkers who want to take all the credit

–Husbands who pretend they do anything around the house

And Christians who don’t think they need community to grow closer to God

Last week we talked about the Foundational offensive truth… You need Jesus

Titus 3 : 4  But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5  he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6  He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7  Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

According to the Gospel…You cannot find God without Jesus Christ

Today we are talking about a Foundational offensive truth of continued spiritual maturity … You are not capable of doing it on your own

You need other people

You are not strong enough or good enough to grow without spiritual community

God’s plan of salvation was Jesus

God’s plan of growth and advancing His Kingdom is His Body

Romans 12 : 12  The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.  So it is with the body of Christ.

Each of us is part of the Body of Christ…Together it makes something amazing

Separated the body parts become almost useless!

13  Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free.  But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 14  Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15  If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16  And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear?  Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 18  But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.

Each one of us has a very specific role to play in God’s Plan!

19  How strange a body would be if it had only one part!  20  Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21  The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.”  The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”  22  In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23  And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care.  So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24  while the more honorable parts do not require this special care.  So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25  This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.

Not only is your role specific … It is also very Important

All of us together make up the Kingdom of God…The Body of Christ

We all need each other

26  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27  All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

If we are all individual parts of one body then none of us can survive alone and severed from our source of life.

Jesus is our source of salvation … Other believers are our source of health

God created us to live together in Community

So let’s look closer at the reasons we need to be deeply devoted to a group of other believers…

–Learning

Acts 2 :  42  All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43  A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44  And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.  45  They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46  They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47  all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.  And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

In community we learn more about God and we learn from God

We don’t just learn from the teacher … we also learn from each other

In a community of faith you are both a student AND a teacher

–Love

Eph 4 : 2  Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4  For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

The unity of Christ is the source of some of my closest friends and relationships

In the Body of Christ we are Building relationships that will last for an eternity

And the thing that binds us together is Peace!

In a community of faith you both receive love and you give love

–Accountability

Don’t let this word scare you … This shouldn’t be as tough as we make it

“Fruit inspection” in the church should be Helpful … Not dramatic and gossipy

Accountability is when Loving people help point out the things you can’t see 

The reality is that You can’t see what everyone else sees

Galatians 6 : 1  Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.  And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2  Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3  If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself.  You are not that important.

10  Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

It’s like when you have food stuck in you teeth or a booger in your nose

All of us have a spiritual booger!  

We need others to point it out… not pick it out … Point it out.  

It’s our responsibility to deal with it and remove it … But you would never see it without the help of a true friend.

Godly Accountability is when others point out the things in our life that are keeping us from moving closer to God

–Encouragement   (We don’t just point out … we also help them forward)

Scripture says Edify one another…The original language was about building a house

1 Thes 5 : 11  So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Romans 14 : 19  So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

We should be Building each other up and helping each other make it through life

This is with our words, actions, service, and sometimes sacrifice of resources

In a community of faith you are both encouraged and you are an encourager

Eph 4 : 29  Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

We are One body…Many Parts that Need each other for Health and Growth

 

 

21 Days of Prayer for Our Big Move

As we prepare to move the location of our Church Services we are asking you to join us in prayer.  Each day we will be united in prayer about a specific thing that leads us to Easter.  This is a great way for your family to be part of what God is doing through Awestruck.

Let’s pray big prayers and trust Him as we move forward.

1 John 5 : 14  And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15  And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
21 Days of Prayer:

March

16 Pray for at least one lost friend to invite to Easter Sunday

17 Pray for all the work in the theater to be completed on time

18 Pray for all the administrative and financial needs of the renovations to be met

19 Pray for unity and peace among the staff

20 Pray for wisdom and guidance for the staff

21 Pray for the leaders of the ministries of Awestruck Church

22 Pray for the volunteers at Awestruck Church

23 Pray for God to open hearts to the Gospel in the town of Gibsonville

24 Pray for the leaders and public servants of the town of Gibsonville

25 Pray for the business owners in the town of Gibsonville

26 Pray that God will use Awestruck Church in a big way in Gibsonville

27Pray for the new families that God is going to bring to our church

28 Pray for God to give you an opportunity to invite a friend to church

29 Pray for pastor Josh and his family

30 Pray for pastor Mike and his family

31 Pray for Tyler and his family

April

1Pray for Erin and her family

2 Pray for Erin as she leads her team to minister to our children

3 Pray for Tyler and the band who will lead the church in worship

4 Pray for Josh as he prepares to preach to the church

5 Pray that lost people will find the saving grace of Jesus Christ

The Future is so Bright…

moveOn September, 7 2008 Awestruck Church launched at Eastern Guilford middle school.  The location was hard to find and no one found us by accident.  The school was a wonderful venue to host a church service.  We formed a successful partnership with the administration and teachers.  But the location was not ideal.

In July 2010 our church was given an amazing gift!  It was clearly a God sized miracle.  Our church was given 21 acres with an existing building.  It was deeded to us free and clear.  (You can read the story of our current church property RIGHT HERE )  There was only one issue with this amazing gift … the location was hard to find and no one found us by accident.  It was even farther off the road with a long, creepy driveway through the woods to get to the parking lot.  God has a way of keeping us humble and showing that He is in full control of our church health and growth.

Over the past 2 years we have been trying to outgrow the small building on the huge property.  Whenever we reached maximum capacity the crowd would begin to shrink back down because of overcrowding and space issues.  Our church leadership has been exploring as many options as possible over this time period.  We tried to add extra service times without much success.  We attempted to partner/merge with existing churches with dwindling congregations.  We have toured numerous church buildings, warehouses, strip malls, and talked with architects, engineers, contractors, real estate agents, and inspectors.  Every different option came with it’s own set of reasons to say “no”.  Too expensive.  Too small.  Too big.  Bad location.  The land will not perk for additional septic.  Needs too much work.

Each “no” led to more frustration within our staff and leadership.  All of us knew that something had to be done.  Each of us was praying hard and putting in work to find the right option.  We were willing to make any move that God would lead us to…but it seemed that the right door had not been opened.

That leads us to the exciting news that has happened faster than we could have expected.  In late January one of our staff made another phone call about an available property.  To our surprise it was not only affordable, it was also in a Perfect location.  As we walked through the property it became obvious that each of our staff was getting excited, but did not want to get our hopes up.   Each of us was protecting ourselves from the disappointment of the unrealistic high hopes that had just been abruptly shut down by all the “no” over the past two years.  For the first time all of us were in unity with a resounding “YES” about a new location.  We invited a group of folks from our church to tour the property and give us their feedback.  A bunch of great questions came out the group.  They gave us good suggestions and helped us think through some issues we had not fully explored.  At the end of the tour we had a unanimous “YES” from our feedback group.

After 2 years of the frustrating “no’s”, could it be that God has finally opened up the right door?  I am willing to say with 100% confidence that God has finally revealed His new plan and direction for Awestruck Church.  We will be moving into a historic theater on main street in Gibsonville, NC.  We will use a dance studio that is next door for our children’s space.  This move will more than double our worship space and almost triple our children’s space.

Please continue to pray for direction and guidance as we make this huge shift for our church.  This seems risky, but God honors our faithfulness when we follow His perfect plans.  I cannot wait to see what our amazing God has in store for His church!

New Headline, but the Same Story

every single oneIn January 2015 Awestruck Church launched a new vision statement for our church.  When we began in 2008 our vision and mission statement was long and wordy…very wordy.  It was well thought out and prayed over.  It was a great description of who we wanted to be as a church.  It was everything I wanted it to be.

The problem…It was also very difficult to remember!  In the fall of 2014 I asked my staff and some key volunteers to recite our vision statement for me.  I caught them off guard and didn’t give them a chance to study.  What caught me off guard was the fact that no one could quote our well thought out, prayed over, descriptive statement.  This was an eye opening experience for me.  If the folks who love and support our church the most could not tell me the vision, then I knew that no one in our community of faith had a clue what our vision statement was.

The good news is that these leaders in our church knew why we existed.  We were on the same page about who we are and where we are going as a church.  We just needed to clarify our wording so we can better communicate this to people in our church and people in our community.  We did not need to change our course, but we definitely needed to get everyone on the same page so we can move forward.

In January we launched a new campaign and vision statement for our church.

“Every Single One”

In Matthew 18 Jesus said this…

“12  “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do?  Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?13  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! 14  In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”

Every Single One matters to Jesus, so Every Single One matters to our church.

We also came up with our “Ones” that will help us stay on track and keep moving forward in unity.  These are the “Ones” that we value.

(Click the “One” for a Video of the sermon that gives a better description for each.)

1.  One Truth :  We are committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as our foundation

2.  One Focus :  We are dedicated to growing faithful followers of Jesus

3.  One Heart :  We are building a community that is leading each other towards Christ

4.  One Hope :  Our community making an impact on the world through the Gospel

Monday Download

1.  Yesterday was an incredible day at Awestruck!  We had tons of folks show up and more new people.

2.  Nothing gets me more excited than seeing our people bring friends with them…well, except when people decide to start a relationship with Jesus Christ!  

3.  It was really cool to have Brandon and Tanah lead our music w/ Layden yesterday…And Big Thanks to Brandon (B-Real) from Mercy Mercedes for playing lead guitar.

4.  Everyone in my house is finally feeling much better, but we can’t get rid of this silly cough.  Sounds like a smoker’s convention at my house every morning when we all wake up?

Daddy's Boots

Daddy's Boots

5.  Our kids are always doing funny/cute things, but this made us laugh Saturday Night.

6.  I am so proud of our folks for stepping up and “Pouring Out” over the last two weeks!  We donated tons of cans last week and really came through for donations for the Street Watch Team last night.

7.  Speaking of Street Watch…Last night’s “Move. Now.” concert was a great success!  Great music and so many supplies were given to benefit the local homeless.

8.  HOWEVER…what was donated doesn’t even begin to make a dent in the real need in Guilford County.  You should check out THIS WEBSITE to see how you can help!

9.  I just gave 3 links to one Website….That must mean I think you should check it out?

Micah's Lip10.  Erica and Joe became my favorite couple of the year by buying me 4 boxes of Christmas Tree Cakes

11.  Micah got his first busted lip at school this week, but he was tough and has recuperated now.

12.  Due to sickness we postponed “The Challenge” at our house…that resumes this week!  🙂

Does anything Scare You?

We are starting a new series called “Phobos” this Sunday at Awestruck.  A Phobia is an intense fear of something that often possesses no real threat of danger.  We will be talking about the fear of Commitment, Death, Intimacy, and Being Alone and we plan to have fun doing it!    

(Big thanks to Ben for the logo artwork and Big Bird for permission to use the song)

 

Do you have any strange phobias?  Share them with us in the comments.