Monday Evening Catch-up

I intended to get around to this a whole lot earlier, like last Monday, but here’s what’s been going on lately.

  • Taylor headed to 1st grade on Thursday! Wow, I am feeling quite old now! He had a great time. (He didn’t want to go this morning, but didn’t want to leave this afternoon–go figure.)sunday-best.jpg
  • The ol’ alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is back in the embarrassing news–again. There was a segment on the Today Show on Friday telling about the new “homemaker” degree Paige and Dorothy Patterson instituted. Fellas–need not apply. Unbelievable. And we wonder why people don’t want to come to our churches anymore. Just google “Southwestern homemaker” and look at all of the blog discussions. A really funny post on the degree program here (ladies need not apply for this one). Someone needs to get the idea that it isn’t 1955 like this picture. . .
  • The cable internet is in at the church!! It is WAY faster than the poor DSL. The manager/installer of the contracting company was an awesome guy that really displayed some great customer service after the mother company dropped the ball big-time! Thanks Jason!
  • We gave out journals to everyone this Sunday! I am really excited to see what can happen in our entire church family decides to get on board with God and meet with Him daily to have devotions!!
  • The band was really awesome on Sunday! Great time of worship!
  • KidStuf is really looking great! I’m in on anything with a “dance team”(Kris Schawo included) and a “comedic host.” September 16th is going to be AWESOME!!
  • It was really great to see everyone having a great time hanging out before and after church . . . reminds me of the “old days.”
  • I think I have some guests coming on Sunday!! I am really excited to see them at CFC! They are perfect people for our church–unchurched and overchurched!

Raving Fans

I got the book Raving Fans, by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles at our garage sale atraving-fans.jpg church this weekend. It is all about customer service. One of the ideas in the book is that “satisfied customers are not enough.” Basically, you don’t want people to be satisfied, but to be more than satisfied–to be “raving fans” for your organization.

It seems that true customer service is really a thing of the past. Case in point is our internet service provider(s) (both our current and future ISPs). Our internet access has been really pretty poor for quite some time, but we always got the “better check your equipment on your end” line when you call for help. Come to find out, the service we had been charged for was literally impossible for them to provide as we are too far away from the “central hub.” In getting down to the bottom of the problem, a guy in St. Louis was totally dumbfounded that they “sold” us the service. He said we need to call and get a refund on the several years of bad service. Of course I called to get the refund to no avail. Nobody ever wants to admit that there might be a problem that needs to be fixed. I have really been working on this in my own life lately, so I guess I am more sensitive to it.

So we decided we needed to make a change in services. The second company couldn’t make it until Monday “morning.” The guy shows up at about 12:30 p.m. to hook it up, but needs another guy to help him install it, so he said he would be back in the morning. Of course morning comes and goes . . . as does the afternoon. Calling the office is useless as they are scheduled to come “any time from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.” Who else could get away with that big of window of time than the cable company? Plus the irony of a “communications company” that can’t (or won’t) simply pick up the phone and call us to let us know they are stuck at another call, need to move the appointment, etc. Customer service matters! It really matters in ministry too! Because eternity hangs in the balance!

Makes me think of our website hosting company, but don’t get me started on that rant!

Friday Night Family Film Fest

Just got finished with our Friday Night Family Film Festival. We watched high-school-musical-2.jpgHigh School Musical 2 on Disney. I think there was a whole lot of people who were watching it too. You know who you are . . . Heather! Jenny and I were talking about it on the way to get junk food at the grocery store that most parents of kids our age were watching it along with their kids. They advertised the crap out of the thing and it will run all weekend long.? Taylor really loved it. He loves sports and also the dancing and music as well. It is really fun to watch things through his filter.

We had a hodgepodge dinner complete with lots of movie junk food. We had some fettuccine alfredo (Taylor’s favorite), Rotel dip, guacamole, popcorn and Chips Ahoy cookies (again Taylor’s pick). Pretty much not healthy at all, but we all had a lot of fun together. . . cause “we’re all in this together”–couldn’t resist!

“You think it’s hot here!”

That is from an actual sign marquee in front of a church in Northern Arkansas that a friend saw earlier this summer. I know that it’s not original at all. Probably got it from some little “Church Marquee Sayings for Dummies” book at the local Christian bookstore. Are you kidding me? Katy, bar the door because people are going to come flocking to your church with an attitude like that! I find it humorous, but also extremely sad when we continue to have this almost weekly text of really bad marquee sayings. They might be funny to someone . . . I guess the guy who puts them up on the marquee, but they continue to send a sad message to the rest of the world. The message is that “we have it all together” and “you are not welcome, unless you straighten up.” We have a statement around here that says “No Perfect People Allowed.” It’s not that we aren’t striving to live holy lives for God. It is just that we want to send a message to those outside of this community of faith that they matter to God and they can come to Him no matter what their condition.

The air conditioning is broken in the sanctuary and won’t be fixed until Monday. That saying of “you think it’s hot in here” has been said several times around here lately, even by me, and is quite funny . . . but it is also quite sad that we sometimes forget what we are about and minimize what Christ did in conquering the grave. I want us to always have a good time, but also always think of what Christ has done for us to keep us out of the eternal fires of hell–separated from Christ for eternity.

See you on Sunday . . . with your shorts and flip flops on . . . cause it’s going to be pretty warm. I think I’ll become a child again on Sunday so I can hang out in the cool air!

Hug a Teacher!!

We have a whole bunch of teachers as a part of our church family. Make sure you pray for our teachers and students as you drive past schools and the School Zone–seriously, don’t get mad that the speed limit is 20 MPH. . . take the time to pray!! Pray that God would be honored with their hard work and love for students!

Here’s the lineup off the top of my head . . . Have a great year!!!

Randy & Marty Towe (Nixa), Kristy Richart (Nixa), Kent & Mindy Doyle (Ozark), Mary Penrod (Evangel), Brad (MSU Graduate Assistant) & Susie Dorris (Sparta); Trevor & Laine Towe (Hurley); Leslie Sallee (Nixa) ; Robert Grant (Forest Institute of Psychology); Faith Chaney (Hickory Hills)

Long Distance faculty–Ross & Dena Frierson (Crowley, TX)

Please make a comment if I have missed someone in our fellowship . . . but also fire up a comment for someone in your life that is a teacher and where they teach so we can celebrate them!

Think of where you might be without that special teacher or coach in your life!

Mad Church Disease

This is an interesting book that is coming out soon on the topic of John’s post yesterday morning on “another one bites the dust.” Burnout is a HUGE problem in the church with leaders. Honestly, if their calling wasn’t so sure, I think there would be many more who decide it is just easier to go get a job in the marketplace.

As the writer of Hebrews says, it ought to be a “joy, not a burden,” but sadly it is often a huge burden that people endure. There comes a point in time when they simply can’t endure it any more and they don’t want to “jump ship” to another church because they were called to that church, so they simply leave the ministry altogether.

Pray for your pastor and staff on this Monday morning, whoever they might be! Mondays are probably the hardest days for many pastors as they sort through the previous day. The majority of resignation letters are written on Mondays after simply being too overburdened.

Sunday Night Ramblings

  • Today at church was great–all day!
  • It is stinkin’ hot out there . . . still at 11:15 at night!
  • Our attendance numbers are really picking up!
  • We had seven people join our church in 101 today!!? It is always good for me to teach 101 to remember why we do what we do!
  • Did I mention that it is stinkin’ hot?
  • Tiger Woods is amazing.? 13 majors under his belt–in the middle of Oklahoma heat.? I sure would love to go to a PGA event again sometime.? I haven’t been since The Colonial and the Byron Nelson in DFW.
  • Rick Ankiel–are you kidding me?? Three home runs so far in the “bigs” again.? What a great story!? I can still remember the playoff run when the wheels fell off.? Much like the movie Major League–“Just a bit outside!”
  • I still don’t know what to think about Barry Bonds.? Kind of like kissing your sister.? I think one pundit said it best a while back . . . “I think baseball just wishes Barry Bonds would just go away.”? I don’t think he is going quietly–he still wants to play a couple more years.
  • I don’t know if I can preach any harder than I did today.? I am really working on my preaching and I feel like I am getting better.? I still have a long way to go, but I felt like the Lord spoke through me this morning.
  • There is a real sense of expectancy around CFC that has been missing for quite some time–even in the midst of some difficult times financially.
  • Tucker threw a fit last night after we forgot to pray at dinner.? I love that kind of stuff!? Isn’t it funny how our children learn the little things and teach us.
  • Taylor and I sat and watched way too much Ice Road Truckers tonight.? “What is all that bleeping daddy?”? I don’t have a ([email protected]*#$&@ clue, son!? Taylor said, “Daddy, they shouldn’t talk like that, should they?”? No buddy, they shouldn’t.
  • KidStuf Kickoff was awesome the other night!? Everyone seemed to have a really fun time gearing up to minister to our children.? I think this has the potential of really revolutionizing our church this fall!? Plus, watching Schawo bust a move is worth the price of admission for sure!!
  • It was cool to see the church in action yesterday at Linda Jones house.? Even on short notice, there was a good crowd there to help spruce the place up for sale.? Way to go, gang!? Everything I know about painting I learned from Gary Daily–my cutting in hero!
  • On that note, the Fantasy Football League is right around the corner.? The Rolling Stones are looking for another stellar effort this year!? I really love the banter back and forth–especially between Brad and Gary Daily!
  • School is starting soon!? Nixa this week and Ozark next week!? Where has the summer gone?
  • Taylor’s teacher thinks he is a girl.? Pretty funny.? And the same day he got a call from her, he got an invitation to join the Girl Scouts.? I don’t think we have EVER had this happen before with his name.
  • It is still hot outside!

The Mission by Darrin Patrick

Came across this by a fellow planter in St. Louis at The Journey.? We actually went through a church planting “boot camp” together before we planted.? God is really blessing their church and I think it is because of Darrin’s heart and passion for this mission.? Here is a great essay on “the mission” that we are all called to.? He does a much better job of explaining the frustration and the passion that God has put in our hearts as church planters.

“Oh, so you hate the church “

One of the four people that read this thing said that to me in jest the other day. I have read over my entries over the last little bit here and listened (yes, I do do that) to some people close to me in my life about the “tone” of the entries.

If they sound as if they are full of frustration–they are. If they sound as if we are losing the race to reach the world for Christ–I think we are. BUT, I hope you could hear my heart–they are full of passion for the “called out ones,” the Church! I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is THE ONLY way we are going to “fix” our world. If I didn’t believe that, I would be doing something else for a living! As Bill Hybels says in Courageous Leadership and has said for years, the “Church is the hope of the world!”

I am not anti-building or anti-program–unless the building or program draws our eyes and focus off of Jesus! How foolish for us to be anti-building all the while meeting in a building! However, it is also foolish to simply dismiss the lack of focus on Jesus as “just the way it is.” Maybe that is part of the problem. We aren’t concerned that we have lost our focus on Jesus. Read more

Extreme Makeover: Great Aunt Edition

Because of my laying laminate flooring in the motorhome, my mother-in-law has been bragging to everyone about how good it looks.? She has been bragging to her aunt who lives here in Ozark.? She has been wanting to do something with her kitchen and dinning area for many years now and was ready for me to help lay some nice flooring.

Last Saturday, we went out and she picked out some flooring and she left town on Tuesday to help a friend move here mother.? We got a key and are making over here kitchen and dining area while she is gone.? I spent a long time over there yesterday and got the lions share of work done.? I think she is going to LOVE it!!? It looks SO much better!

I was thinking about how many people all around this community need these kinds of things done.? I was thinking about how the Church here in America is sick and dying.? What if part of the problem with the Church is that we are constantly asking FOR something from each person who walks through our doors?? What if all they see is an outstretched hand with an offering plate attached?? Why is it that the world’s largest volunteer force has basically been silent for decades now?? Some would say, “we don’t just feed people, that would be a social gospel.”? Nonsense!? We have been relegated to Sunday morning worship “serve-us” and big Bibles and buildings!? We have been marginalized into simply a voting block!? We have forgotten what it is to simply be salt and light in our communities.

We have some plans for a Sunday coming up where we go out and serve our community.? It can’t come soon enough, honestly!? We have been huddled around each other in our building talking about how great the Shepherd is and we need to go out and show our community how great He is!? Wouldn’t it be great that we would begin to do all kinds of random acts of kindness with “no strings attached?”? As one pastor I listen to a lot says, “we’re not serving because we want you to become saved . . . we’re serving you because WE ARE!

Lord, help us to become the kind of place that moves past coddling insiders and our own agendas and looks to become salt and light in our communities!