Monthly Archives: February 2016

CRAZY GENEROSITY MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

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How is God using ACC??? I’m glad you asked!

 

At the close of 2015 our Year End Giving Project was to raise $15,000 over and above our regular giving. We thank God that through your crazy generosity we ended up crushing our goal and raised over $27,000!

 

The money was to be given to two different causes. First, to Zac and Laura O’Leary as they prepare to leave us and go serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papau, New Guinea. (More about that soon!) Secondly, we wanted to help our local community so the not for profit organization WINGS was earmarked for a gift too. WINGS is a powerful advocate for victims of domestic violence.

 

This past week Gail Rothacker, an ACC Operations Task Force member, and I headed over to the WINGS main office. It was our privilege to present the check to Terri Channer, their Sr. Director of Development. (See photo above)

 

Here are Terri’s words to the folks of ACC:

Thank you so much for the very generous $5,000 donation from the parishioners at Arlington Countryside Church.

 

Your contribution will mean that a woman and her children will not have to live in fear with an abuser just to have a roof over their heads.

 

It will provide three meals a day and safe shelter to 100 women and children, and give them the hope for a better, brighter future.

 

And it will mean that those children no longer living in an abusive environment will have a much greater chance of not being abused as an adult.

 

Please know that you, and the parishioners of Arlington Countryside Church, have changed lives forever.

Best Regards,

Terri Channer

Sr. Director of Development

 

To learn more about WINGS go to www.wingsprogram.com. They offer many meaningful volunteer opportunities for any of you who might be looking for a way to get more involved in our community. It is our joy to partner with WINGS.

 

Thanks ACC for giving so generously. Your giving makes a difference!

 

Peace,

Dave

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

The elders of ACC have been engaged in a months long process of recognizing and affirming potential new elders to join our leadership team. This process has included much prayer, many interviews and both formal / informal conversations and meetings, meetings, meetings!

 

As we conclude this journey of determining God’s will, I’d like to introduce to you to two men we anticipate officially commissioning as elders in the very near future:

CHRIS IDE

 

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Family: Chris and his wife Kristen have been married for 9 years and have an almost 3 year old son (Joshua) and a daughter due to arrive in July!

 

Occupation: Water resources engineer – flood control at Stantec in the Loop.

 

Church involvement: Attending ACC since 2008, Chris is currently a leader in our high school youth ministry and has previously served in Awana and as coordinator for Guest Services.

 

Hobbies / fun stuff: Triathlon and marathon running, hanging with the family.

 

Why he desires to be an elder: “I love the people at ACC. My heart is to serve them. I’m looking forward to serving in a leadership capacity and caring for the congregation in this way.”

 

KEN ROTHACKER

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Family: Married 30 years to his wife Gail. They have 2 adult children, Greg (28) and Kim (23).

 

Occupation: Inside salesman at CDW.

 

Church involvement: Attending ACC since 2012, Ken currently serves as a growth group leader and employs his awesome guitar skills on the Sunday morning worship team.

 

Hobbies / fun stuff: Writing music and running.

 

Why he desires to be an elder: “An opportunity to encourage and serve!”

 

 

We are excited about what they each will bring to our team and we are thankful to God for his clear leading. Please pray for God’s blessing on Chris and Ken – that he would equip them to be godly servant leaders at ACC.

 

Peace,

Dave

Belonging before Believing

I was looking back through some old notes and rediscovered a couple quotes from the book The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George C Hunter III. The ACC leadership team read this book several years ago and we recommended it this year as a resource in our Each One Reach One challenge.

“For most people, belonging comes before believing.”

“Recent studies indicate that most people experience the faith [Christianity] through relationships, that they encounter the gospel through a community of faith, [and] that becoming a Christian involves a process that takes time.”

Rereading these quotes reminded me of the importance of my continued efforts to reach the people I listed on my Each One Reach One card. It’s a process that takes time and often they need to experience community and belonging before they’re ready to believe. This tells me that my time spent building relationships, praying, and inviting is well-spent. Progress may be slow, but I’m laying the foundation of relationship and belonging that hopefully paves the way for belief.

I hope you’re encouraged to stay the course and continue your efforts. Easter is just around the corner. Easter provides a great opportunity to invite (or re-invite) someone to church.

Grace,

Chris

BEING A LEADER – TOTALLY WORTH IT!

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I’ve spent the last two Mondays writing about the negatives of being a leader and how to overcome them. While I believe that what I wrote was true and realistic, I also want to acknowledge that there are some tremendous rewards and benefits to being a leader.

 

1. You are forced to develop and grow – that’s a good thing! The demands of leadership will stretch you to grow intellectually, socially and emotionally. You’ll pick up experiences and skills along the way that will last a lifetime.

2. You get to have a lot of influence. Directional, big picture vision casting, creating game-changer policies or procedures / protocols and training others to their betterment. Leaders want to make a difference – and get to everyday!

 

3. You will develop a healthier, more productive lifestyle. The responsibilities of leadership will likely cause you to be more focused, use your time better, and become more disciplined with your sleep, diet and exercise habits.

 

4. You will know the joy of seeing God work in and through you. As a result, your faith will increase as will your desire to serve God and others even more through your leadership gifts. It is extremely rewarding and gratifying.

 

5. You will come to realize that if you treat people with respect and believe in their God-given abilities and creativity –  amazing things will happen. Unleash people and most will respond beyond your expectations.

 

6. You will be drawn closer to and become more reliant upon God – again, that’s another good thing! As you struggle with feelings of incompetency or endure harsh criticism or just feel overwhelmed with the scope of your responsibilities, you will end up leaning hard into God for strength and wisdom. And it is there you will know the truth that his strength is perfected in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). You will come to see that whatever you might accomplish is because of his provision in your life.

 

God is able. So, lead leaders. If God is calling you – answer that call. Step out in faith and see how God can use you!

 

Peace,

Dave

PUSHING PAST THE DARK SIDE

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Last week I wrote about the dark side of leadership  – being honest about the fact that being a leader is often not easy! I cited three specific truths about being a leader:

  1. It can be stressful.
  2. It can be lonely.
  3. It can be frightening.

To my own astonishment, I have been in leadership positions (primarily in a local church) for over 35 years now. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve been the object of gossip, slander and threats. There have been times when I felt beaten up and completely discouraged. Yet after 35 years I am still standing! And I still love God, still love the church and I love being a leader.

 

So even though there are most certainly drawbacks to being a leader – I think it is totally worth it. Whether you are a first year rookie leader or a grizzled veteran, tough times will come your way – fairly regularly. So how do you push past the dark side of being a leader in order to carry on?

 

In no particular order, here are six ideas that I have learned from experience:

1. Have a confidant. Sometimes you just need to vent; someone to whom you can articulate your frustrations, anger, confusion or hurt. Someone you trust implicitly to listen without judging and without blabbing! Often times it’s someone outside of your organization or church. It might be your spouse, or a best friend from your college days or a colleague in the area. But find yourself a confidant. Often just being able to articulate your pressures to someone else is extremely therapeutic.

 

2. Expect critics – even enemies. It always used to surprise me when I met someone who didn’t think I was wonderful! I was stupefied to discover individuals who didn’t think my every idea was golden! Fairly quickly I learned that detractors, subversives and just plain mean people are inevitable in life. The very nature of leadership inevitably means not all will agree with your every decision or be willing to follow you. Even the best leaders face fierce opposition from time to time. Even Jesus had his Judas Iscariot. So, no longer be surprised by such people.

 

3. Be humble and teachable. Sometimes I have deserved the criticism. Sometimes I have been flat out wrong – I deserved to be opposed! A critic can end up helping us identify our blind spots. I am fallible so I must believe I can learn something from anyone. But even if I’m 100% right and innocent – remaining humble allows me to not respond with anger and hatred. Humility is not weakness, quite the opposite – it is strength under control. This is a character quality that God can develop within you.

 

4. Maintain your integrity. There is a stability and an authority that comes from moral leadership. So never lie or cheat. Admit when you are wrong. Don’t be lazy. Refrain from gossiping or slandering. Put the well being of others before your own. Seek to make others successful. Do this – and your mind will be at ease when someone questions your motives or attempts to assassinate your character. And you’ll sleep better at night too!

 

5. Prioritize your health. Because the demands of leadership can be exhausting and taxing on both your body and soul – you must take time for yourself – otherwise your eventual “crash and burn” is as sure as tomorrow’s sunrise. So control your diet. Exercise regularly. Always take your day off. Don’t cheat your sleep time. Spend time with your family. Practice Sabbath. Look for ways to laugh and have fun. Invest heavily in your relationship with God.

 

6. Be sure of your calling. Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Are you following the will of God in your vocation? If so, he will guide you and give you the strength for the task. Carry on. But, if you don’t have the assurance that you are in the center of God’s will then take the time to reassess what you are doing with your life. I think I’m a bit old school but I’m a huge believer in the concept of needing a call. Not like a “burning bush” type call or an “audible whisper of God” type call but rather a simple but deep conviction that you are doing what God wants you to do – where he wants you to do it. If you have that conviction you can weather just about any storm. This truth reminds us that being in the will of God doesn’t mean everything will be easy. The truth is that throughout the Scriptures and every century since, every man and woman marked for leadership has had to be tough. To face adversity with courage and determination. To be resolute in the commitment to fulfill their calling…by the strength of the One who called them.

 

A lot more could be written and with far greater insight. But these thoughts were simply the first that came to my mind.

 

Don’t lose heart leaders! Pushing past the dark side is so worth it.

 

Peace,

Dave

No Longer Slaves

This Sunday we are teaching a new song titled “No Longer Slaves”.

The song is about remembering everything God has done for us, and is a powerful reminder that we are God’s children, His sons and daughters.  In light of that, we have no reason to fear.  Listen to how Romans 8:15-16 puts it:

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”  For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.

This song has been so powerful for myself and my wife Kristen in the season we are in right now.  I hope it grabs you in a fresh way and encourages you just as much as it has us.  Listen to it a few times and learn it so you are ready to sing it this Sunday!

Peace,
~Scott

The Dark Side of Leadership

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Are you a leader? If so, you know there is a dark side to leadership; an underbelly that makes you question the wisdom of ever becoming a leader in the first place!

 

In my experience, I have found these 3 things to be true about being a leader and all 3 are intertwined:

It can be stressful.

Leadership = lots of responsibility and a wide variety of expectations from many different people. Your decisions will sometimes be second-guessed. Your motives will be questioned. The need to produce tangible results can rob you of sleep and ruin your day off (assuming you are taking a regular day off!).

 

It can be lonely.

When you are leading, it seems that no one following you understands the pressure you face, the criticism you endure. As a leader just how vulnerable can you be with your followers? Is it ok if they see you cry, worry, get angry, get discouraged or admit that you’re not sure you know what you’re doing? Often you are left feeling isolated – to whom can I safely vent?

 

 

It can be frightening.

Much is resting upon your competency. People are depending on you – trusting you for their personal well-being and / or for the health of your organization. There can be much to lose if your leadership is found lacking. Self doubt can creep in and self-confidence can slowly erode until you no longer are sure you are the right person for the job.

 

Anything sound familiar? Can you relate? What other dark side truths might you add?

Next week I’ll write about how to push past the dark side. In 2 weeks I’ll address the awesome rewards and benefits of being a leader. I just wanted to deal with the negatives first – got to keep it real!

Peace,

Dave