I have the privaledge of doing the opening set for our churches grand opening with a great band we put together.

The best part is we get to play whatever we want so we pulled out some AMAZING classics..

If you know these then you are sooooo cooool.

Rain Down – (A) Delirious?
Chain Breaker – (E) Charlie Hall
All because of Jesus – (A) Fee
Nod Over Coffee – (D) Mark Heard
To Cover You – (G) The Choir
A Sentimental Song – (C) The Choir
Blister Soul – (G) Vigilantes of Love
Give Me Your Eyes – (E) Brandon Heath
Hookers and Robbers – (D) Charlie Hall
King or Cripple – (C) Delirious?
Strong Hand of Love – (G) Mark Heard
Grace – (G) The Choir
Double Cure – (C) Vigilantes of Love

If you have been reading this site you are probably aware there are some crazy things going on in RI. If you have not been reading this then you need to.

There are two Youth leaders in my cChurch. A woman named Suzanne and I. We have been noticing things as of late that have made us take pause.

I can sum it up with this. “lukewarm Christianity”

There is this sense that we don’t have to be Dangerous Christian’s. We don’t have to have a sense of urgency for the sake of the kingdom.

I could expound on this more, but it would turn into a long sermon and one I have preached 3 times in the last two weeks.

Any way we have been dealing with this in the youth ministry and I have challenged it verbally. However lately it has felt like we are riding a bike thru cement. Meaning we are getting nowhere.

Mark Batterson said “we are educated beyond our obedience”.

Isn’t that so true we are drilled each week with sermon after sermon and we have our heads filled with stuff we won’t even attempt to obey.

So what do we need to counteract lukewarm Christianity? What do we need to break the spirit of apathy?

Do we need another sermon? Do we need more instruction or discussion? Do people need to be smacked in the head?

Lets look at the word for a second. In Acts it was during Pentecost when the presence of God fell on the church like no other time and 3000 people were added to the church in one day. They however had to accept the word and internalize it. They had to ingest it. Something interesting about pentecost that doesn’t get preached much took sacrifice. Sacrifice is kinda scary so we tread lightly with it. Look at this though…the church before pentecost prayed for 50 days and then… Are you with me? And then after 50 days the spirit of God fell.

Check this out:

2nd Chron. 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

There are a few key things in this passage.

  1. “if my PEOPLE..” does it say “if 3 people…”? no it says “MY PEOPLE” who are called by name. That means all of us.
  2. “will humble….and turn….” That sure like like we have to be moving towards changing who we are. It means we need to lose our life so we can find life.
  3. “THEN will I….heal their land” The word then is huge. This is a simple process God gave us and we seem to thing we can bypass the first part.

A pastor of a local church that our church prays with got up at the national day of pray meeting we had and said this: (paraphrased)

“we got it all wrong…We have over 200+ people coming on Sunday mornings for church and less than 10% of that come to prayer…”

I know that is true almost everywhere. This is because we will do what God wants unless it affects what we want. We need a vision for the lost. We need to be urgent for the kingdom. and most of all if we want to see God heal our land we need to be in prayer.

So here comes the announcement part:

After praying and meeting with our church leadership over the youth ministry we decided to cancel all youth meetings and youth services for the next 3 months.

We have instead decided to dedicate these 3 months much like the apostles did before Pentecost. In prayer and fasting for a generation that needs healing.

We were very nervous about this decision and we were worried at first this was maybe out of personal frustration or discouragement.

Then we had a youth prayer meeting with the 6 churches here we pray with and the Spirit of God moved in that meeting and showed all the churches there that not only was this of God, but we all needed to be in.

So now the 4 churches that were present that night have dedicated June-August to pray for healing in the hearts of the young people here and that the presence of God would fall just like it did in Acts.

The numbers don’t lie. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people age 13-25 on the island we are on. If we took the total amount of kids in our groups though we have about 60 kids going to church of the thousands who don’t.

The only way this horrible number can be shifted is by praying for the hand of God to move.

There are a few more things to this that I will discuss later. Some of it is a realization that lukewarm Christians aren’t just those under 25, but we are dedicating to pray for those under 25 for 3 months in our own churches and together with 4-6 other churches as well.

God is going to do something HUGE. We all know it and I can’t wait to see it.

I want to challenge you if you are in ministry to take stock in what you are doing in your church. Does anybody come to prayer? Do you even have prayer? Are people being drilled with knowledge and not ingesting and applying it?

Go back and read acts and let God speak to you about where ministry begins and ends. The most important meeting a hurch has is it’s prayer meeting.

A few weeks ago we took our youth to the “awakening conference” in RI. It was fantastic. Great preaching, great worship and great fellowship. We had a good amount of kids with us and we were very excited about what was to come of this trip.
I have been to many conferences and most are like energy drinks. A quick high. However this one last year was different so we went in with high expectations.

There was some themes that stuck out to me:

  1. You need to have the presence of God in your ministry
  2. You need to be dedicated to prayer
  3. Don’t get discouraged
  4. Let God do His thing

Every bit of that is dead on. I have heard many times in ministry that if the presence of the Lord is there then people will respond. The problem is that we always have this assumption that this means a good response. However there are a few huge things that we have to realize.

  1. Where the presence of the Lord is there will also be conviction of the Holy spirit
  2. The deeper you get into the word and the more challenging the more people have to make choices as to what to do with that info

We stepped up our Youth ministry as of late to challenge the kids beyond just reading the bible. Beyond going through the motions.

If you bite an apple you can choose to spit it out before it nourishes you.

In the same sense if you read the word or hear it you can spit it out before it nourishes your spirit.

I know our kids have been convicted. We have lost many kids since trying to be more real and this has been discouraging. Thing is having 60 kids who come to meetings just to check out the opposite sex and never ever attempt to apply the word is worthless. Having 2 kids who are really trying to see what God can do in their life and affecting others is priceless. This is currently what we are dealing with. We literally went from 60 kids to 5 in 6 months.

Now numbers can be discouraging, but that honestly is not my concern. I don’t care about even having 0 kids coming. What I care about is these kids are hurting. I know they have felt love in the church, but it is so hard to let go of hate, bitterness, sex, drama, baggage, etc and just give it to God. I pray for them daily.

What I have noticed though is this:

We as leaders can go through the motions, but at a certain point we are just casting pearls before swine. That’s when programs and events and misc stuff need to end and prayer needs to be taken to a new level. Because it is only through prayer that God can heal our land.

I have noticed something interesting about free will…
When God convicts we have two choices:

Repent or Run

Right now my youth are turning to run so we are turning to more prayer. This may mean we are putting a halt to our youth meetings to regroup and let God move because the time we put into preparing the word for people who don’t want to hear it can be better served in coming before the throne on behalf of the least, the lost and the lonely in my church.

So in case you haven’t noticed I have been kinda MIA from the site for a few weeks.

It has been almost a forced time of refocus. I did not plan on getting to busy to even blog. Something I really haven’t done before.

But I did kinda just put it out of reach for a few weeks.

God has been doing some things in our church. We have replanted ourselves. We moved and we are having a grand opening in 3 weeks. This has made me quite busy.

I am revamping my design site and attempting to be able to refocus on getting more work.

Last week my wife and I were pretty concerned about money and praying about it. My mens group was praying as well and I got a call out of the blue with 2 design jobs. God is Good. Why do we always forget that?

Last sunday I drove to CT to lead worship and teach at a church. Yes I said teach. This was really out of  my comfort zone to be the sunday AM preacher. I spoke on being a dangerous Christian and it was a fantastic morning. God is continually taking me into areas that I’m not comfortable with so I can see Him move.

My wife and I have had some scary things come up with the new baby due in Sept. Everything “seems” good, but there are no guarantees. I can’t really go into that on the blog, but we really could use your prayer for faith, patience, and peace.

My youth ministry in the church is in a scary spot. The kids here are reading the word and coming to events but they are not ingesting the word and showing fruit of it. This has been very discouraging and while I know to leave these things in God’s hands I am human. I want to see these kids really have the presence of God in thier lives.

I want to join up with the “our creative community” crew, but some reason I haven’t. Why haven’t I? Fear, lazy. what the heck.

I need to get in shape
I need to be a better husband
I need to be a better father
I need to be seeking God more
I need to write more music
I need to finish the 3 childrensbooks I started
I need to finish the coffee table book
I need to….

It’s seems there is so much flying in my brain that I am asking God to declutter. Not trim down the creative but help me get a handle on managing the unmanagable.

So with that said..Im back on the blog. I am excited about THE JOINT reviews. I am stoked beyond belief with my friends on the internet who pray for me when I need it (and if your a blog friend hater…shut up!)

I heard it again this week. people online are not being real…That’s a cop out. There are people online who are and some who are not. But I can say the same for those I meet in real life.

God has been faithful with me and my family and I am praying for the reassurance of that all the time. This blog is just a reminder of how much God works in me and around me.

Cya guys on the next post….

The Joint: Bluetree

May 13, 2009 — 10 Comments

Review: Blue Tree – God of this City

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