Author Archives: dave

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

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

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

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

 

What I Learned from Waiting to Pay for Pizza

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I like being a servant. Until somebody treats me like one.

 

Recently I was waiting in line to pay for my food at a local pizza joint. Suddenly a 2nd cash register opened with the announcement, “I can help the next person in line.” Faster than a speeding bullet, the lady behind me cuts in front of me and over to pay – before I even flinched. At first I was just surprised, maybe even slightly amused by her rudeness. But within about 10 seconds my dominating emotion was anger. I just stood there, continuing to wait in line but I was mad. At the cutting in line lady. At the behind-the-counter pizza lady for allowing such an injustice. At the pizza store manager for not properly training employees in such a manner as to prevent such miscarriages of justice. I almost said something snotty but kept my mouth shut because one of these Cretans might visit my church someday. So I smoldered in silence.

 

In retrospect, I began to analyze my inordinate emotional reaction to the situation. Why did I get so angry??!!!

 

After all – this incident merely resulted in my paying for my pizza about 60 seconds later than otherwise. I wasn’t in a hurry. I still got my food. What was the big deal?

 

The answer? I was treated like a servant. And I didn’t like it. Not one bit.

 

If the lady had asked if she could go in front of me – I would have said, “Yeah, no problem.” And meant it. On one of my better days I might have even gotten the idea myself and invited her to go before me. But that is not what happened.

 

And what happened exposed me for who I am. (Or at least who I was at that moment.)

 

Proud. Easily provoked. Impatient. Uptight.

 

That doesn’t sound like the description of Jesus – does it? Or a servant of Jesus?

 

I know he calls me to be humble. Gentle. Long-suffering. Without anger or malice.

 

So I confess. I acknowledge I still have some growing to do. I need God’s help to keep my spirit in a good place. Especially when I’m in line at the pizza joint.

 

Maybe it would be easier if I just stopped eating pizza…

 

Nah.

 

Peace,

Dave

A NEW MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY

ray demich

 

Today we feature a post from the chairman of our elder team at ACC – Ray Demich:

 

Dear ACC Family,

 

Jamie & I will be moving on to the next phase of our lives up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin beginning sometime in April.  I have accepted a position with the Lake Geneva Youth Camp, which is an organization that we’re passionate about.  We wholly support their mission and vision (www.lgyc.org).  Christian retreats and camping is a life-changing experience and God has used this organization mightily in ministering to churches in the Midwest for over 60 years.  For me personally, many of my greatest spiritual decisions and growth have taken place during times at Lake Geneva Youth Camp and Conference Point Center.  We’re very excited and look forward to being a part of this wonderful ministry!

 

One of the most difficult parts of this decision is moving away from ACC and the many friends we have made over the last 19 years that we’ve been attending the church.  You are precious to us and we’ve gone through good times and difficult times with many of you.  As I step down as an elder, I reflect on the humbling experience to serve God and the people of ACC in this way.  I have been greatly impacted in this role and I’m grateful to the other elders and what I’ve learned from each one of them.

 

Over the years, ACC has been faithful in keeping the focus of all that is said and done, on Jesus — exalting Him, discipling His people and seeking the lost.  Salvation offered through faith in Christ is the only hope of our world, our sin and separation from God is man’s biggest problem and need.  May God continue to richly bless ACC and all that is being done for His glory & kingdom.

 

Please know you will continually be in our thoughts and prayers:

  • To the Elders (1 Peter 5:1-4):  We discussed together on our elders retreat!
  • To the Congregation (1 Cor. 15:58 & Heb. 13:17): “So my dear brothers & sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” and “Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say.  Their work is to watch over your souls and they are accountable to God.  Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow.  That would certainly not be for our benefit.”

 

“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault.  All glory to Him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.  All glory, majesty, power and authority are His before all time and in the present and beyond all time!  Amen.”  (Jude 24-25)

 

Love in Christ,

Ray & Jamie Demich

 

Ray and Jamie have both been so heavily invested in the ministry here and we hate to see them go, yet we are happy for them and know that a new and fruitful ministry adventure waits for them in Lake Geneva. Thanks Demichs for your extraordinary leadership, generosity, hospitality, faithfulness and friendship. We pray God blesses you in every way imaginable in the coming years!

Peace,

Dave

TRANSITION TIME FOR SCOTT!!!

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We are so grateful to announce a new ministry opportunity the Lord is leading Kristen and I into: I have accepted a position in the production department at Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin!  We have many friends at Harvest, and have had the opportunity to watch how God is moving there for a number of years.  I am thrilled to be joining their team!
With all that said, we are thankful for nine amazing years at Arlington Countryside Church.  We have developed so many friendships, have grown in our walk with Christ, and have seen God do incredible things.  It feels bittersweet to be leaving such a great church.

Our last Sunday at ACC will be April 10.  Thanks to all of you who have walked alongside us and our two boys, and shown love to us in so many ways on this journey!  We are so blessed.

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My heart is heavy at the thought of the Williams family moving on. There are so integral to the fabric of ACC that it’s kind of hard to imagine church without them. They have served here so faithfully and effectively. And yet I am excited for them too! As Scott’s responsibilities and influence grows I know God will continue to use him to further the gospel of Christ. Join me in praying that God helps them in this time of transition.

Change is hard. No doubt about it. But God will be with us! As we move ahead we can be confident that God will continue to draw true worshipers to himself at ACC. Please pray for our leadership team as we make plans to carry on in Scott’s absence. Thanks!

Peace,

Dave

CRAZY GENEROSITY MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

IMG_1529 (1)

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