From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Ever feel just ordinary? Ever feel like God couldn't possibly use you for His extraordinary purposes? If so, you are not alone. The truth is, God delights in taking us in our ordinary state, to use us for extraordinary things.

I had the opportunity to preach yesterday and used Exodus 3:11-14; and 4:1-17, the story of Moses, to discover God's heart for using ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary purposes.

I rolled this video at the beginning of my message. It does a great job recounting how God chooses people like you and me to do great things for Him.

video

Hear the message here or on my podcast.
Download the accompanying outline here.

Graduates

It's that time of year! The time of year that we celebrate our graduating students. Each year at this time we put together two videos. One of our graduating seniors, and one of our graduating 8th graders. In each we highlight the time they have been a part of 180 Student Ministries.

It goes without saying that the most rewarding part of student ministry is seeing the spiritual transformation that takes place in many of their lives. Of course it's also a lot of fun seeing the physical changes that take place from the time they enter our ministry in 6th grade, to the time they graduate in 12th.

Here are this year's videos.

Senior Farewell Video:


Eighth Grade Farewell Video:


What a blessing it is to be a part of each of their lives.

Transformed Lives

I love many things about God. Perhaps the greatest thing I love about God is that He is in the business of transforming lives. He loves us and accepts us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.

Hillside Christian Church in Texas made that point very clear recently with their Cardboard Testimonies.



Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29


HT to Adam for the video.

Change or Die

In his recent farewell speech, Rev. Frank Page, the outgoing president of the Southern Baptist Convention, gave a stern warning. A warning that all in the Church would be good to heed....change or die.

"If we don't start paying attention to the realities … by the year 2030, we will be proud to have 20,000 rather than 44,000 Southern Baptist churches,'' Page said.

"You've got massive numbers," he said, "maybe not a majority but massive numbers of evangelical churches out there, yes, Southern Baptists also, who are small groups of older white people holding on till they die."

I applaud Page. Read more about his address at the Tennessean.

Change is difficult, yet so important. All living, growing, organisms change. If there is no change, there is no life. Our culture is changing at a dizzying rate. If the Church does not respond in like manner, and change to meet the growing and increasing needs of our world, we are in trouble.

I am proud of my church. We at Grace Point are in the midst of some major change. Not just for the sake of change, but for the purpose of doing a better job of ministering to our culture (both within and without the church) and for the purpose of creating more mature disciples for Jesus Christ.

As we are finding, change is a slow and sometimes painful process. Do I think we will die if we don't change? Not necessarily. Will we be more effective in living out the mandate God has given us? I believe so.

Don't be afraid of change. Change is good.

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:19-22. Change.