Posts Tagged ‘ Mcleansville ’

Easter Sunday at Awestruck

Easter was an amazing day at Awestruck Church.  We definitely set an all time attendance record.  We worshiped for the first time in our new location in downtown Gibsonville.  More importantly, many people indicated that they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.

You can click Right Here to watch the video of the Easter sermon.

(Apologies for the sound and image.  We are working out some kinks that come with a new location.)

Here are my sermon notes for anyone who wants to follow along…

As prisoners … People are restricted in their time, conversations, opportunities, thoughts, hopes, dreams, and future

If I was ever really in this situation then all I would dream of is the day that these chains were to come off

If I were locked away my only hopes would be the day that the Prison doors were opened up and I was able to walk away a free man.

In all 4 Gospels of the New Testament we hear about a prisoner by the name of Barabbas

He was locked up and had lost all of his freedom

He was a revolutionary against the Roman government.

Mark 15 : 7  One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising.

Pilate allowed the crowd to choose between two inmates

The “Notorious Prisoner” Barabbas and Jesus of Nazareth

On that day the Crowd shouted “Give us Barabbus”

Pilate argued with them and tried to convince them to take Jesus

Going against his better judgement…Pilate granted the crowd their wish

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus … Barabbas did not have to face his punishment

Barabbas was set free because of the suffering and death of Christ

***Jesus Christ Unlocked the Chains that held Barabbus Captive***

Jesus Christ took the punishment that was intended for the Notorious Prisoner

The name Barabbas appears nowhere else in the New Testament,

All we know is that he was in Prison for murder and…

Barabbas was the first person in History that felt the immediate Freedom From the Sacrifice Jesus made for this world!

And the effects of what Jesus did are still changing the world today!

Hebrews 13 : 8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

John 3 : 16  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Ephesians 1 : 4  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

I am Barabbas!  You are Barabbas!

All of us are made a prisoner and have a death penalty because of our sin…

Romans 6 : 23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus came to set us free and take our punishment!

For many the Easter is about Plastic Eggs, Baskets, and Creepy Bunnies…

Today is a day to celebrate the Resurrection of of a Risen Savior

We don’t just celebrate a man that was brutally beaten and put to death

We have reason to celebrate that His tomb was empty!

The Empty Tomb is our Source of a life that is Full and Abundant!

The resurrection of Jesus means that He conquered death and hell…

We are no longer a prisoner to Sin because Jesus has the power to set us FREE!

Jesus, the Son of God, was sent to earth to take on the sins of the world.

He died a physical death and came back to life!

The Resurrection is the source of our Faith and our only Hope!

The Empty tomb is the hope for all Humanity!

2 Cor 5: 14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.  Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. 15  He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. 16  Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look.  We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know.  We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. 17  Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 18 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. 19 God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.  (Message)

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (KJV)

Just like the freedom and excitement that Barabbas must have felt…

Chains removed, Future Renewed, Hope Restored

Jesus suffered and died so that we could be experience true freedom!

Today we choose to celebrate our Risen Savior who has victory of death.  

The ending of his life was brutal, violent, ruthless, savage, And undeserved.

His flesh was beaten, his blood was shed, His heart was broken

But his capacity to love never surrendered.  

His human body failed him … But his amazing love for you and me carried him all the way to a cross where He was tortured till his death.

But that’s not the end of the story.  

It would be grotesque for us to worship a God who would put His only son through such useless abuse and misery if there were no better conclusion to the story.

–He no longer lays lifeless in a cold tomb.

–He sits and reigns in Heaven, beside His father.

Jesus is the sacrificial lamb that took on our sins so that we could know God personally.  

Jesus is the one who speaks on our behalf, even in the face of our betrayal.

He is the bridge that allows us passage across the great separation from our God.

-It was His humility that put him on the Cross.

-It was His love that brought us Forgiveness.

-It was His sympathy that provides us grace.

-It was His suffering that heals our pain.

-It was His Sacrifice that brought us Freedom from our curse

-It was the empty tomb that assures us of a life on earth that is abundant and overflowing…

And an Eternity full of worship and praise to God in Heaven.

Let us worship the sacrifice and Let us Celebrate the victory of our Savior today!  

We are Free!  He is Alive!

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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.

“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

FAQ’s About our Big Move

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?

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

I am letting the Cat out of the Bag!

I can’t wait any longer!  Everyone seems to have one question on their mind these days and I have the answer.  It would be wrong for me to postpone this announcement one more minute.  We have submitted all the paper work, completed all the details and soon to make final payment; so it is now time to reveal the location for Awestruck’s Sunday morning service.  We will be meeting at…Drum Roll Please… Eastern Guilford Middle School!  Assuming no major catastrophe occurs between now and September 7th, Eastern Middle will be filled with all the energy, passion and excitement that is Awestruck!  After all the rejection and frustration of finding a home for our church, God has provided us with the perfect location.  Just wait until you see this place!  I believe it is the greatest location for a mobile church that I have ever seen.

Tell all your friends, fill up your car with people you don’t know, and come hang out with us on 9/7 for the inaugural service of Awestruck Church.  We start @ 10 am with Coffee and time to hang out.  Layden will kick things off around 10:15 with some of the best worship available anywhere on a Sunday Morning!  340 days of prayer and planning have all led to this moment.  I hope that you will join us.