Category Archives: From Sunday

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!




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


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?






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!





Good Friday Reflection

Today is Good Friday. The day that we remember the death of our savior. I hope you’ll join us for our service at 7pm tonight. Here’s a powerful video to help prepare yourself for worship.



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.



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!




Karen and I were married on July 18, 1981 – a scorching hot day in Phoenix, Arizona. When we said our vows I was confident that I knew her well. We had been dating for over 2 ½ years and had spent countless hours together – walking along the lake front, sitting on the floor of the sky deck of the John Hancock overlooking the city, noshing on bagels at a tiny but busy deli on Clark street, studying together in the student lounge at our college, and racking up huge long distance phone bills during summer and Christmas breaks. Lots of time together. Lots of talk. On our wedding day I knew her probably as well as I had ever known anyone.


But now over 34 years later I realize that I really barely knew her. Over the years I have learned so much more about her – through good times and bad, in times of high stress and during relaxed weekends away. Now I know there is always more to know about her. And the bottom line is that as my knowledge of her has grown – so has my love for her. That’s how a committed love relationship works!


When the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers, he gave made this petition:



I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly,  asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Ephesians 1:16-17


It works the same way in our relationship with God: to know Him is to love Him. Our God can be known. He loves to communicate with us and reveal himself to us. To whatever degree you know him now, you could know him even better! And that increased knowledge of God would change your life! You could live for another 1,000 years and not exhaust the riches of growing in your relationship with the Creator of the universe.


So what’s the key to learning more about him?? Well, yesterday in my sermon I stated that if you go home remembering only one thing, it should be this:


The primary manner in which he invites us to know him better is through his word!


Jesus Christ is his primary revelation of self-disclosure to us and the bible is all about Jesus! As we humbly read, study and submit to his word we come to a greater understanding of who He is and we learn to love him more (think heartfelt authentic worship and enthusiastic obedience!).


Reading your bible regularly is by far the most spiritually transformative habit that you can develop. Are you committed to developing this habit? Do you value the word of God and prioritize it in your daily routine?


If not, why not?


It is essential that we become people of the book.


I pray you will!





P.S. Looking for a great resource to help get you started? Explore here:    I and a lot of peeps at ACC use these bible reading plans all the time. I’m currently on day 11 of reading through the bible in 90 days.





This Sunday, January 3 at ACC we begin a new teaching series – BECOMING WHAT YOU BELIEVE. This 11 week study in the book of Ephesians will be a game changer as we learn more fully all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ and the resulting command he gives us to live in a manner worthy of our calling.


How can the maximum out of this new series?


  • Attend regularly. If you must miss – be sure to listen to the podcast.


  • Actively listen. Take notes. Intentionally focus.


  • Discuss it. Whether for 5 minutes or 30, find a friend or family member and interact on each sermon. (Better yet, join a growth group!) What did you learn? What did it get you thinking about? Anything confusing or troubling?


  • Come humbly. Have a teachable spirit; in fact, invite the Holy Spirit to be your teacher.


  • Read it. This week. By this coming Sunday, January 3 make the time to read completely through the book of Ephesians – at least once, maybe a couple times.


I’m praying this study will change our lives – that it will change our church!




Practicing Thanks-living


God is good.

Never was that truth more evident than yesterday in both of our Sunday morning worship services. We had a time for people to step up to the open mic and say what they are thankful for.

It was so encouraging and powerful! A wide variety of people participated: teenagers & senior citizens, recent attenders & long time partners, etc. Some were emotional while others were silly; some were very succinct while others seriously pushed the 1-minute time limit. I sensed that all were sincere.

Giving credit where credit is due. God, our Father, is the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17). It is only right for us to express our thanks.

What do you thank God for? Don’t let this Thanksgiving pass without articulating your gratefulness to God!

I pray you enjoy time with family and friends this Thanksgiving as you practice Thanks-living.


P.S. What am I thankful for?? That’s a no brainer. I am incredibly thankful for my dear wife Karen. In the 7 weeks since my ruptured Achilles tendon and subsequent surgery she has waited on me hand and foot. I’ve been pretty helpless and useless around the house. I know it has been a heavy burden to her but she has cheerfully served me day in and day out. Thanks Kar – I love and appreciate you.






Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.  - Mark 10:21-22
I’ve been reading through Randy Alcorn’s book Managing God’s Money: A Biblical Guide.  In it he talks about this story.  He says, “Jesus did not call each and every disciple to liquidate their possessions, give away all their money, and leave their homes. But Jesus knew that money was the rich young man’s god. The principle is timeless: If Christ is not Lord over our money and possessions, he is not our Lord.”
Are we letting money lead how we approach God, or are we letting God lead how we approach money?
Dave’s messages the past few weeks have been great, but they only scratched the surface on the topic of money. Money plays such a huge role in our daily lives. I think it’s something we all need to learn more about from a biblical perspective.
If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend Alcorn’s book that I mentioned.  It has been great!  Reading it will help you dig deeper into what the God says about money and challenge you to consider how it is impacting your life and the lives of those around you.
Be good at being rich,
Jim Young