12 Ways to Pray for your Church!

In my sermon this past Sunday I gave 4 suggestions for how to grow in your love for ACC. One of the ideas was to pray for ACC. When we regularly pray for something God draws our heart toward it. We begin to care more because of our praying.

 

Immediately after the 2nd service someone approached me with this excellent question: “How do I pray for our church?” I didn’t have a ready answer at the time. Oops!

 

Since then, I’ve had a chance to think about it and so let me give you 12 ways to pray for ACC (in no particular order):

 

  1. Pray for our leaders – especially the elders and staff. So goes the leaders – so goes the church. Therefore pray they resist temptation – living lives of integrity and devotion to Christ. Pray they would lead with humility and wisdom.
  2. Pray for the preaching of the Word of God each Sunday – that the gospel would be proclaimed clearly and boldly. Pray that the grace and mercy found in Jesus Christ is communicated loud and clear.
  3. Pray our congregation would maintain the unity given to us by the Holy Spirit; that we would refrain from pettiness, gossiping, jealousy and pride. Pray we would humbly serve and encourage each other.
  4. Pray for our giving – that we would develop the habit of tithing. Pray that a lack of money would never get in the way of doing what we feel God has called us to do. Pray that all of our regular attenders would give regularly, generously, sacrificially and cheerfully!
  5. Pray we would be an effective witness to our community – that each of our people would go into their schools, neighborhoods and work places determined to share their faith with others.
  6. Pray we would embrace people different from us, that in the midst of diversity there would be true unity and acceptance.
  7. Pray our worship on Sunday mornings would be vibrant and authentic; that our songs would point us to Christ and give Him all the glory He deserves.
  8. Pray our people would be grow in the habit of reading their bible daily – it’s the most spiritually transformative habit we could possibly develop.
  9. Pray each person at ACC would volunteer to serve at church at least one hour per week. Obviously we are a volunteer organization – we need people to get off the bench and get into the game. Pray that those already serving would be faithful and find great joy in their service.
  10. Pray that our people would be growing in their love for God and for our church – increasingly sold out to both!
  11. Pray we would be protected from Satanic attack and we would actively resist Satan and his schemes. He desires to discredit us and destroy us. We must engage in spiritual warfare.
  12. Pray that God would make us discontent with superficial relationships; that we would be intentional about going deeper with others – forming solid, life-long friendships.

 

No doubt there are many other ways we can pray for our church, these are just some ideas I came up with while eating carrots and hummus at my kitchen table!

 

Peace,

Dave

Kids’ Camp

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Have you heard about our Kids’ Camp???

This year, we’re offering a 1 week camp for elementary school kids that will take place in the evenings. It’ll be very similar to our former Day Camp ministry, just with a new time and without the field trips. The camp will take place Mon – Fri, June 20-24 from 6:30-8:30pm. It’s only $20 to register and you can do so online at http://acchurch.org/grow/children/kidscamp. Please contact the church office with any questions.

I’m excited about this ministry. I’m hopeful that it will allow more children to participate due to the lower cost and the evening format.

Grace,

Chris

The Apostle Peter, Bob Dylan and a Scottish theologian walk into a bar…

They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 2 Peter 2:19

 

Gotta Serve Somebody

WRITTEN BY: BOB DYLAN

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You might be a rock ’n’ roll addict prancing on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage
You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Copyright © 1979 by Special Rider Music

 

 

“The purpose of life is not to find your freedom, but to find your master.” – P.T. Forsyth

 

 

Great thoughts to consider…Who do you serve?

 

Peace,

Dave

2 year program update

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Last weekend, (5/20-22) I was in Colorado for the first of my four weekend retreats in my 2 year leadership development program. We were at a Christian camp up in the mountains. I love the mountains…it was a huge blessing to do this retreat in that setting. The rest of the weekends will be in IL & WI…not as exciting scenery wise, but still equally powerful experiences.

I’m still processing all that I learned on the weekend, but wanted to share with you something that was particularly impactful for me. This retreat was on life mission/purpose. There were 40 participants – various ages and careers. A number of men came into the weekend wondering if they were going to end up changing their careers after discovering their mission/purpose. During the course of the retreat, we discovered that mission and purpose has more to do with what kind of person you are than with what kind of job you have. I think this is an easy mistake to make. We often find our identity in what we do for work. The reality is, that’s something we do, not who we are. Granted, there are times where who we are and what we do are very similar, but even still the job doesn’t define us…we just happen to be in a job that is aligned with our gifting/abilities/passions/etc. What am I getting at??? Understanding who we are, how God has shaped us, and what gifts/abilities He’s given us, provides us with the opportunity to live on mission every moment of every day. Mission is about what kind of person we are at a core level. So, no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we have the opportunity to be that person and as a result to fulfill our mission/purpose.

I love this stuff! For me, understanding what kind of person I want to be has an impact on every area of my life. It affects how I interact with my wife and kids. It affects how I interact with my fellow church staff members, lead our student and children’s ministries, teach, etc. I’m excited to continue to unpack this and explore the mission/purpose that God has created me for. Thank you for your financial support that has made this journey possible.

Grace,

Chris

Thank You!

“Thank you!” doesn’t even begin to express it. I’m overwhelmed at the response of our church for the Invest in Pastor Chris special offering. We had a goal of raising $5,400 to fund a 2 year leadership development program that I’m beginning this month. In 1 week, you exceeded that goal! Your generosity has made it possible for me to do this program that I would not be able to afford otherwise. Thank you! Thank you for believing in me and thank you for investing in me.

The program is through a Men’s Ministry called The Crucible Project. I’ll be doing their 2 year transformational program. I’ve been involved with this ministry for 1 year now and I absolutely love it. It’s been life-changing for me! The 2 year program is a choice to intentionally go after my personal growth as a husband, father, and pastor. Here’s what the program involves…

  • 4 Weekend retreats (first one is next weekend, May 20-22)
  • Weekly small group meetings to continue to learn and grow
  • Monthly coaching calls to refine what I’m learning and set goals

I’m excited about the journey ahead and look forward to what God has in store.

Grace,

Chris

 

I AM NOT IN CHURCH

I am not in church.

Sure, I have visited churches several times, but I gave up.

For the most part, the people were unfriendly in the churches. No one greeted me unless it was some contrived greeting time. No one noticed me while they gathered in their holy huddles. One church member sat down by me and told me I was sitting in her pew. I decided to leave right then.

I am not in church.

But I really would like to know more about Christianity. Unfortunately, most of the sermons I hear seem watered down. Too many of the preachers tend to shy away from dealing with the biblical text straight on. I want to learn, but they just seem to want to please.

I am not in church.

I could make you a list of over 100 things churches are against. The topics range from the serious to the ridiculous. I sure would like to find a church that also tells me what they are for.

I am not in church.

But I need help. I know I need help. There are times I hurt badly and seek answers. I was hoping to find some of those answers at church. I was hoping to meet people who cared. I was hoping to be in place where I am treated with dignity and care.

I am not in church.

My co-worker goes to church. I even know where he’s a member. But he’s never invited me. My neighbor goes to church. My children play with her children. I see their family go to church every Sunday. But she’s never invited me. I would go if she did. I would definitely go.

I am not in church.

But church members don’t seem to care. They seem too busy to care. No one speaks to me. No one invites me. No one shows concern for me.

I am not in church.

I am not anti-church. I am not anti-Christian. I am really seeking answers. I am really looking for people who care.

I am not in church.

But I think I would like to be.

 

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As we continue to focus on EACH ONE REACH ONE we need to ask God to help us be the church that we should be!

This compelling post is taken from Thom S. Rainer’s website. (http://thomrainer.com/2016/05/i-am-not-in-church/) You should read him regularly. Great stuff.

Peace,

Dave

I AM WHO I AM

For the past year, I’ve been mentoring a college student from our church. We meet weekly to talk about life, discuss a chapter in a book we’ve chosen to read together, and pray together. I look forward to these meetings every week. It’s exciting to walk alongside someone in their faith development. We’re currently reading through the book Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan and Mark Beuving.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that really stuck out to me this week.

In response to Moses’s second question (“Who are You?”), God said very simply, “I AM WHO I AM.” This is not a dismissive statement. It is very significant, and there’s much to be learned from this declaration. God was explaining that He cannot define Himself by pointing to anyone or anything else. The name I AM speaks of His eternality. Where as an appropriate name to describe us would be “I became” or “I was brought into existence,” God’s name is “I AM” because He has always existed. He is who He is, and that is who He will always be. This is a statement of absolute being, absolute power, absolute importance. God is who He is, and He never changes. (p 177)

So much meaning packed into this short statement. So much that we can easily miss. God cannot define himself by pointing to anyone or anything else. We do this all the time. Consider how you answer the question “Who are you?”…Our family name identifies who we are based on our lineage. Our address identifies us based on where we live. Our career, hobbies, interest, etc are ways of defining ourselves. God doesn’t need to do this. He is the All-powerful creator of the universe who has always existed and always will.

Moving from head to heart…this truth offers me a tremendous amount of comfort. Knowing that God is constant and unchanging helps me to be at peace in the midst of the unknown. Knowing that I can depend on God to be who He says He will be and to do what He says He will do makes me feel secure. Like a child playing at the playground feels safe knowing that Mom or Dad is there watching over them, I feel safe knowing that my God is who He is, and He never changes.

Grace,

Chris

Teachableness (Is that a word??)

coaching

Think being teachable as a follower of Christ is important?

 

I’d say so! Being a disciple of Christ means you place yourself under the tutelage of our great teacher – Jesus Christ. To be a disciple means to be a learner.

 

And we have a lot to learn.

 

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

 

Have you ever had an unteachable employee or co-worker? It’s miserable!

 

Have you ever witnessed a young athlete with a boatload of talent, yet their promising career fizzles because they were uncoachable?

 

We are charged to constantly grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

 

So how can we develop a teachable / coachable spirit? Let me suggest 5 ideas:

Talk less. It is a known fact – if you’re talking you can’t possibly be learning. A teachable person isn’t always talking; instead they know to…

Listen more. BOOM! That’s when you learn!

Read his Word. Developing such a specific habit indicates you know you don’t know it all and that you do have a lot to learn.

Ask Questions. A teachable person is inquisitive.

Find a mentor. This would not need to be an expert – just someone a little bit further along than you. And then when with them: talk less, listen more and ask questions!

 

What additional ideas do you have for developing a teachable spirit?

Peace,

Dave

 

 

 

Schwarber, Deep teams and Prayer

I’m a HUGE Cubs fan. I have high hopes that this season will be extremely successful!

 

A few weeks ago when their young star slugger catcher / outfielder Kyle Schwarber went down with a season ending knee injury it was a major blow to the team. But pretty much everybody, including me, remained upbeat and optimistic. Why? Because even though Kyle being out was a definite bummer, the team is so deep that the Cubs should be able to carry on just fine! That is real good news.

 

kyle schwarber

 

As you are probably aware, our Worship Arts Pastor Scott Williams recently departed from ACC. A huge loss for our team. We will definitely miss him a lot. Yet I remain excited and upbeat. Why? Because Scott left behind a team of musicians and techies that is deep. Talented. Dedicated. Ready to fill the gap to assure that quality, dynamic worship continues on at ACC! A ton of behind the scenes planning has been taking place to assure just this.

 

Melissa Reddin

 

Melissa Reddin will be serving as our interim Worship Arts Director. Melissa has long been active on the team and just concluded being on staff as our Children’s Ministry Coordinator. I’m confident God will use her in awesome ways!

 

 

Dan Grueber

 

Dan Grueber will be serving as our interim Tech Director. Lights. Sound. Computer stuff. Stage design. Yeah, that’s all Dan! Already serving on the team as both a musician and a techie – Dan is ready to go!

Please pray for Melissa and Dan as they assume their duties.

We have also begun the process of finding our next Worship Arts Pastor. We already have been receiving resumes and initial interviews will begin soon. This search needs to be empowered by your prayers. I know God has someone just right for us!

Peace,

Dave

NEW LIFE!

baptism

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. Romans 6:5

 

In his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote:

 

“I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.”

 

When we cross the line of faith by placing our trust in the saving death of Jesus Christ and his triumphant resurrection we are at that instant identified with his death and resurrection. We die to sin and self and we begin a new life excelling in loving God and loving others (holiness).

 

Yesterday in church we baptized 6 individuals. They all verbalized their love for Christ and the difference He is making in their lives. As they were placed under the water it clearly symbolized their co-death with Christ and their coming up out of the water a second later represented their co-resurrection with Him.

 

A few questions come to mind:

 

  • Have you yet experienced the life changing power of Christ? (Authentic change is possible!)
  • Have you yet been obedient by being baptized as a public profession of your faith? (We’ll be having another baptism Sunday sometime this summer.)
  • Do you see your life steadily increasing in your love for God and others? (It’s not about perfection but progress!)

 

I pray the death and resurrection of Christ changes your eternity as well as you’re here and now!

 

Peace,

Dave