It was an interesting week and just what I needed. Since it was just what I needed, I will try not to come across as negative and mean, while being truthful at the same time.
Let me start with the positive. The conference was held at the Mecklenberg Community Church http://www.mecklenburg.org/ in Charlotte North Carolina. The pastor is James Emery White. In honesty the fact that the conference was being held at this church and the fact that I follow James on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite and have read some of his books, which are outstanding, I wanted to go to this conference. White spoke twice at the conference and his two messages spoke volumes to me and most likely to all who were there. The other speaker that I was anxious to hear was former Bishop, Will Willimon. He too did a great job and brought a great message.
The theme of the week was “Vision.” Each speaker was to talk about preaching and vision and most did. There were some great moments and some really good messages and God spoke to me through the event. This is an inter denominational or non denominational event, there were Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist preachers who spoke and I know there were some Charismatic churches represented as participants.
There were a lot of references to Matthew 28 and that being Gods vision for His church, that we would tell the world about Jesus Christ, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I agree, this is Gods overriding vision for His church, along with some other things that we are to do in the process. James Emery White had the best message about this and you can find notes here on my blog about the message he brought on the final day.
The problem is and this may be where some think that I am being mean. There were lots of references to certain types of music not being the right style for church or not Gods music, there were several references to churches entertaining people, i.e. contemporary style worship services, there were some puns toward particular denominations. To be honest with you, I wanted to throw up part of the time. I felt like I was with a group of people who felt they had God figured out and they were doing it his way and everyone else was wrong. I was questioning after the first night whether I would go back and the Holy Spirit encouraged me to go back. The second day I didn’t find much encouragement from the conference speakers but I did find lots of encouragement from God.
I came away from this conference with a renewed vision for introducing people to Jesus Christ. I cam away with a renewed understanding of why so many people don’t like church. I came away with a renewed gratefulness for church that I serve. Where the music wouldn’t be the choice of a lot of church people, where the dress wouldn’t be appropriate for a lot of church people, where the preaching style would be considered elementary to many church people, where the place we meet would be seen as not a church building or not suitable for many. A church where we would be seen as out of the “norm” a church that doesn’t follow man’s rules, a church that has decided to be out of the box.
The church I pastor would have no doubt been frowned upon by many that I met this week but it is smiled upon by Jesus. I know that because I see lives being changed every week. I see people being the hands and feet of Jesus. People don’t walk the isle at Out Of The Box very much to make a profession of faith but they walk the community sharing the Good News and that my friends is the true test of faith.
The church you serve may not do things like we do, our music style may be different, we dress in jeans, shorts, flip flops, t-shirts, and you may dress in suit and tie. It doesn’t matter, those things are outside the heart and what Jesus is interested in is what is on the inside of the heart.
I am glad that I went this week to this conference, the two messages I heard by James Emery White were worth the trip each time. I won’t plan to attend next year but I won’t tell others they shouldn’t. These folks are all my brothers and sisters. We don’t agree on some things but we agree that Jesus is the only way to heaven. We can agree to disagree on the unimportant matters. I hope I don’t come across as mean, it is not my intent.
I came away with exactly what I needed, a renewed VISION for God’s Church.
Notes from our time with Will Willimon at NCP this morning.
It really is about Vision in the church.
Vision is Selective. It isn’t just about what you will do but also about what you Refuse to do.
We are a product of how much we can see. You can only be as much of a church as you are able to see.
John 9 – Jesus saw a blind man.
The story isn’t really about the healing of a blind man. The story is about religious leaders who are blind.
The church people in this story break up into a fight and have a theological fight. This is a very typical reaction to Jesus.
People say they want to see God come down and save us, hey want to see a miracle. They’re lying!
It is shocking to see people who we don’t like get saved. We say we want them to be saved but when they get saved, people don’t like it.
The gospels focus on the people around Jesus. You can’t gaze directly into the sun, you have to look at it reflected in those around Jesus.
The religious people are offended that Jesus light is shining in places they didn’t want it to shine. Jesus is disbursing freedom, healing, and release, outside he Proper channels.
What kind of Messiah would heal this man born blind and not us religious people.
Just a note of mine here. Willimon took the time to address the group about how as Christians we like to judge each other based on what denomination we are. Based on what label we have, such as fundamental, liberal, conservative. This is exactly what Jesus kept trying to tell the religious people of the Bible, stop the religious garbage and win the lost.
Notes from James Emery White’s message this morning at the National Conference on Preaching.
What set Jesus apart?
John 4:34 The Message
Jesus was sent.
What was Jesus sent for?
Luke 15:1 NIV
Jesus spends time with sinners, people of ill repute. People that lived very far from God. These people were captivated by him and yet he never watered down Gods Word.
At the same time the religious leaders met at the side and said what is wrong with this Guy. He even acts like he likes these people.
Jesus was so ticked off he told three stories to set the religious leaders straight.
The lost sheep.
The lost coin.
The lost son.
All of the stories are about a God who is working so hard to bring his children who are lost, back home.
Jesus mission on this planet was clear, what was lost, mattered! He was here to find the lost. When you love something that is missing, you will do whatever it takes to find it.
Have you ever out a child for a time? Nothing matters more in that moment than finding your child. You are Gods child, He wants to be in relationship with you more than anything else in the world.
This is the heart of God. He is in permanent search mode. Here is nothing more critical in the world and when he finds someone, it is PARTY Mode.
At that moment the angels, all those who have died in Christ go into PARTY Mode.
Jesus was sent on a MISSION!
Then Jesus said this to those who were found.
John 20:21 – Jesus now sends us on the same mission. Wow
Church, you have been called and commissioned for one thing and that is to be SENT!
The church has the curse of knowledge. We have forgotten what it is like to be lost.
Anyone who calls on the name of The Lord will be saved. And they will be saved because of those of us who are sent.
Where is your urgency? God wants us to be aggressive in telling people. Where is your hunger? Where is your passion?
The great danger of our day is Not Caring!
Most people say they believe in hell, but you’re not living like it!
Does your life and the way you live show that you believe in hell?
Is your VISION the same one as Jesus?
I am at a conference this week that has been very beneficial to me. If I am honest and I will be, there are a couple of speakers that have really made it most beneficial as far as the teaching is concerned. But all of the speakers have made this time invaluable. Some have made it valuable by what they have taught me, some by how they have encouraged me, and others by reminding me why I love Out Of The Box Worship Center so much.
I love OOTBWC for a lot of reasons but I would have to say these are top of mind reasons.
#1. Everyone Really is Welcome.
#2. The messages will be for you and not to bash others.
#3. The messages will be from the Bible and explained in a way most anyone can understand.
#4. There won’t be a wardrobe contest. Wear clothing that is appropriate to be worn in public, no matter if it is jeans, suit and tie, or a dress.
#5. The music will be Amazing. It may not be your favorite style but it is the favorite of a lot of people so give it a try. By the way, we do lots of different styles. Music is not Christian or secular, the lyrics are what make it a song that talks about God or glorifies God.
#6. The building is not the church. We use our building, we spill things and we wipe them up, no one will get mad if you have a spill.
#7. Our main reason for being there is to glorify God, to introduce people to Christ, and to help people who are following Christ to fall in love with Him more than anyone or anything else in the world.
Maybe you have been in a church where you felt you were belittled, where you felt you were an outsider, where you felt like you were judged. I have been in those places and many times it was done by well meaning people with good intentions.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
I love Out Of The Box Worship Center, we are not perfect and we know it. We really do want new people to come and experience the love and acceptance that we have found. You don’t have to worry about fitting in, you do.
We were riding the 4 wheeler today and Samuel looked up and said, “Daddy, are the clouds Angels?”
It just so happens the clouds are something better!
He can be seen in storms
and in whirlwinds;
clouds are the dust from his feet.
What an awesome day! We celebrated Mothers Day, Graduation Day, Birthdays, and most of all, we celebrated Jesus. We celebrated a God who Created us, who Loves us, and who has Good plans for us. We celebrated the one and only True God. I am amazed as I walk in Out Of The Box Worship Center week after week and experience the Spirit of God at work.
Today we started a new 3 week series, “3 Easy Steps To Wreck Your Life,” and the message today was on the subject of worry. By the way, the definition of worry is to be placed in a strangle hold. Worry will spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and eventually strangle the life out of us if we allow it.
There is not one benefit to worry, as a matter of fact the Bible tells us that worry is a sin. It is the sin of not trusting God. Remember the whoa’s of worry…
The more worried you are that you might get sick, the more likely it is that you will, or if you do get sick that you’ll end up sicker, or even dead, from an illness you might have survived if you just didn’t worry so much. The more worried you are about the health of your heart, the more damage you do to your heart. The more worried you are about losing your memory, the more your memory fades.
All kinds of sickness comes from worry, too many to list. I believe the biggest whoa of worry is not trusting God and missing out on His blessings.
Remember the three things that we have to get deep inside of us in order to defeat worry…
I will do what God tells me to do.
I will give to God what I cannot do.
I will trust God, no matter what happens.
I am praying for every person who is part of OOTBWC this week that you will take control of worry. You pray for me.
Here are a few tweets…
RT @brendag074 Love it when my Pastor says he isn’t gonna give us an out. Dont disguise worry under a veil of “concern”. Cast your cares on Him! #ootbwc
RT @brendag074 We CAN’T lay our troubles down and then snatch em back cause He doesn’t microwave an answer. Trust His wisdom and authority #timing #ootbwc
RT @KeithMusser The opposite of worry is faith. Don’t worry about the things to come let everything unfold as God has them already planned for you.
RT @j_holderfield White farm boy from Southwest Va singing reggae in CHURCH! #ootbwc #thatjusthappened #dontworrybehappy
RT @TheGuyOfGod Worry is one of the greatest tools Satan uses to stop you. The opposite of faith is worry.
RT @TheGuyOfGod Worry not only has a negative effect on you physically, it drains you spiritual.
RT @MattColtHall the word worry comes from an old german word that means “to strangle the life out of you.”
I am spending time with God in Matthew 18 this morning. In fact it is where we were in Bible Study last night. It is the account of Jesus comparing forgiveness and heaven.
Let me paraphrase it. Jesus says there is a man who owes someone Millions of dollars. That is a picture of our debt to God. We are sinners and if we ask God for forgiveness we are granted what we ask for. Now, we shouldn’t think we can receive forgiveness if we are not sincere.
When God forgives us it doesn’t mean we will look different.
It doesn’t mean that we will always feel like we have been forgiven, but rest assured if you were sincere it is done for you.
Forgiveness no doubt if one of those things that we have to grow into. Learn to fully understand. I am certainly still doing that.
At any rate the Bible says that our sin debt is HUGE. in the story in Matthew 18 our debt is MILLIONS of dollars.
Then when the man in the story has been forgiven, set free from his load of debt, he goes out and finds someone who essentially owes him pennies compared to the debt he was just released from and he has no mercy on the person. Matter of fact he throws the man in jail until he can pay all the debt.
Here is what we know from Jesus story.
He is willing to forgive our debt if we ask with a sincere heart.
It is a HUGE debt.
It is FREE, once it is forgiven it is done, finished.
However, the Bible teaches throughout, when a man or woman follows God we become like God, not in a way to take over but in a way that we have His heart. If God gives forgiveness to us then we in turn will be so great full that we will offer forgiveness to others.
In the story it is obvious the debt God forgives me for is much larger than any debt I may forgive a fellow human being. I know it may not seem that way to me but God has an eternal perspective. God says if you have been forgiven, you must forgive.
Here is something else I see in this story. The man who had been forgiven but wouldn’t forgive another, he was cast into prison until he could pay his original debt. Which by the way, that is an impossible task, we can’t pay the amount, it’s not possible.
We as humans have a hard time accepting Gods forgiveness and an even harder time forgiving others. In the story we learn when we don’t forgive, we lock ourselves away in our own prisons. The person needing forgiveness will never deserve it, forgive them anyway. Jesus did share in this story the offender asked for time to repay the debt but the person wasn’t willing to let that happen so he himself ended up in prison.
Jesus makes no indication that the offender even has to ask for forgiveness, just that we are to forgive with the forgiveness we have received.
You think about it, do you want to be free?
In Matthew Chapter 8 we read of Jesus healing many people. Just a point that I want to make. Jesus often told people not to tell others of who had healed them and along with that Jesus never brought attention to healing. Jesus was always healing as he went but his mission in life was to lead people to God. That is a reverse to what we have seen many times throughout history and still today. Many ministries want to focus on healing, for many people their entire ministry focus is on healing and I just don’t see the precedent for such.
#1. Jesus mission for us is to go and make disciples of all people. Baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
#2. Our ultimate healing is in eternity. Yes I believe the gift of healing is still present in the world today, through God’s people. Yes I rejoice when a person is healed in this life. But I also know that ultimately, all of us will die in this life is Jesus tarries. It’s not about the temporary physical healing, that is a blessing when God does so but it is an ultimate blessing when one is healed for eternity.
In Matthew Chapter 9, Jesus shares a message about new wine and new wine skins. this is usually confusing to people as it was to me for many years. Matter of fact I would just skip right over it because I just didn’t understand it. Wine skins or wine bags were what people used to store wine, they didn’t use the glass bottles that are used in our time. When a bag acquired some age it would become set or you might think of brittle and when new wine was poured into a bag it would expand. Well, if you poured new wine into an old bag it would bust and you would lose the goods.
In this passage Jesus is addressing the question of why his disciples did not fast. Jesus says, I, Jesus am still here with them, it is time to feast. They will receive the Holy Spirit when Jesus is killed and that is the new wine that will be poured in, in that time the disciples will be fasting and discerning new things. The spiritual disciplines make us pliable, fasting gets us ready for a new work of God. Maybe you should think about fasting and maybe you will decide to even try it.
In Matthew Chapter 10, Jesus sends out his apostles and he gives them stern truth, fear God and not people. Do not be afraid of people who can kill the body, God has control of the spirit and the spirit is what will live on for eternity. We need to remember this is all circumstances. So many times in life wa want to be people pleasers, we want people to like us. Remember, if people liking you is making you do things that God is not pleased with then you need to focus on pleasing God and not people.
In Matthew Chapter 11, Jesus chastises people who have seen the miracles and heard the truth. He says it will be bad for those who see so much truth and still reject Him. He mentions Sodom and how it will be better for them in the end, even-though they rejected Him too. Sodom had no Bible, what will it be like for those today who have the Bible in multiple translations and more tools than ever before to help us understand what it is we are reading. There really will be no excuse for those who do not believe.
In Matthew Chapter 12, Jesus disciples are questioned because they are picking grain on the Sabbath. Then Jesus heals a mans hand on the Sabbath just to make his point further. What is Jesus point. Throughout the New Testament Jesus and the other Bible writers are trying to get across to the people, the Law will not save anyone. The law was never meant to save anyone. The law is our teacher and the Pharisees in Jesus day were trying to get to heaven by being good enough. Sad fact is, many people are still doing that today. It has never worked and it will never work. If a person could get to heaven by being good enough, how good would that person have to be?
I Love The Book Of Matthew.
I am leading several people through a Discipleship Ministry that we are using at my church and in this weeks Bible Study I was bothered by the fact that several times through life I have started to journal and then stopped, never to pick it back up again. Let me say up front, the Bible does not command us to journal. However, it is a great discipline to begin and carry through on for many reasons. It can serve as a reminder for you to see where you have prayed for things and God has answered those prayers. It can help you to focus on things that often slip through our busy minds. There are many reasons.
In some way my blog has been my journal but that isn’t the only purpose that it serves. That is what I liked when I decided one more time to start the journaling process. This App allows me to journal and then post that journal entry to my Blog if I should choose to do so. I like that. It may just keep me encouraged to finally pick up the journaling process and stick with it. I wish that I had kept a journal all of my Christian life, it would be invaluable to me know if I had the ability to see where I was and how the growth process has taken place.
Maybe you will have an interest as well. MacJournal is easy to use and it was $5.99 on iTunes.
Here is the final installment of our series on Extravagant Generosity.
The only time in the Bible that God tells us to test him is with our finances. Check out Pastor Ronnie’s teaching on tithing from last Sunday.
Next week we begin our new series on “3 Easy Steps To Wreck Your Life”
As always, come join us every Sunday at 9 or 10:30. Until June 2nd when we launch our 3rd service!!
Leonard Sweet is a Master Wordsmith, I love everything that he writes and this book is no exception. The message in this book is Evangelism and that is my favorite topic in the Christian world. The concept of the book is Nudging people toward Christ who is already present within each of us in natural ways that are nothing like what you may have come to believe.
I gave the book 5 stars, like every book that Len writes this one is a masterpiece. There isn’t a lot that I need to say about this book, you should read it, if nothing else to relieve any fears you may have when it comes to sharing your faith in Christ with others.
Another awesome morning at Out Of The Box. 263 people in worship and it just gets better every week. We had the children from both sites this morning who came down and also played the bells, it was GREAT. Thank you to all of the folks who work so hard with our children at both locations of FUMC. The picture above is pretty awesome, baby Kate looking up at her daddy as he leads us in worship.
We finished up our series on Extravagant Generosity this morning and once again I am amazed at how many people God has touched and is touching and moving along in our growth as disciple of Christ. I am blessed to be among a group of people who are so hungry to know God and to make Him known. Amazing…
Here are some of the takeaways from the message this morning.
Tithing is not giving, it is Returning to God a portion of what He has given to us.
Tithing is giving God my First and my Best so that He can Bless the Rest.
Tithing provides for God’s work through the Church.
Tithing teaches me to put God First.
Tithing builds my Faith in God.
I DARE you to take God at His word, I DARE you to test God and see if He won’t take care of your every need. Take the tithing challenge.
I’m excited, God is doing a GREAT work. You and I are blessed to be a part of God making HIStory. Wow
I love you guys a lot and I appreciate you all more than you may understand.
Sunday May 12th “Worry”
Sunday May 19th “Anger”
Sunday May 26th “Bitterness”
Out Of The Box Worship Center
516 N Main St
Hillsville VA 24343
(276) 728 – 0020
- From Galax: Follow Route 58 East into Hillsville; turn LEFT at the first stoplight (Main Street – Rt. 52 North); go approx. 1/3 mile; OOTBWC will be on your LEFT between Dana’s Styling and the Carroll County Dance Center.
- From I-77: Take Exit 14 (Route 58/221); coming from the Wytheville area, turn LEFT through the stoplight at the bottom of the exit ramp; coming from Mt. Airy or Statesville, NC, merge RIGHT at the bottom of the exit ramp; proceed on Route 58 East into Hillsville for about 3 miles; turn LEFT at the first stoplight (Main Street – Rt. 52 North); go approx. 1/3 mile; OOTBWC will be on your LEFT between Dana’s Styling and the Carroll County Dance Center.
- From Floyd/Dugspur: Follow Route 221 South into Hillsville; make a slight RIGHT at the first stoplight; turn RIGHT at the second stoplight (Main Street – Rt. 52 North); go approx. 1/3 mile; OOTBWC will be on your LEFT between Dana’s Styling and the Carroll County Dance Center.
- From Martinsville/Meadows of Dan/Laurel Fork: Follow Route 58 West into Hillsville; proceed STRAIGHT through the first stoplight; turn RIGHT at the second stoplight (Main Street – Rt. 52 North); go approx.. 1/3 mile; OOTBWC will be on your LEFT between Dana’s Styling and the Carroll County Dance Center.
- From Mt. Airy/Fancy Gap: Follow Route 52 North into Hillsville; proceed straight through the first stoplight; go approx. 1/3 mile; OOTBWC will be on your LEFT between Dana’s Styling and the Carroll County Dance Center.
- From Roanoke/Christiansburg/Blacksburg/Radford/Dublin/Pulaski: While going south on I-81, take Exit 89-B (Route 100 South) to Hillsville; proceed for approx. 18 miles; then, while in a straight stretch of road, make a RIGHT turn onto Beaver Dam Road (local route 886); at the stop sign (Main Street), turn LEFT; go approx. 1/2 mile; OOTBWC will be on your left between Dana’s Styling and the Carroll County Dance Center. **If you pass the old courthouse on the left, you’ve gone too far!**
***Trouble finding a place to park? There is additional parking behind OOTBWC
- Keep going North on Main Street past OOTBWC and then take a LEFT onto Sprague Street. At the stop sign, proceed LEFT again where there is abundant parking behind the Main Street buildings. OR…if you’re coming from the North, turn RIGHT just BEFORE you pass Gwynn Hardware onto Sprague Street, and proceed LEFT for the additional parking!**
I am a fan of Eric Qualman and his work. I always use his resources because I find they are the best around. Here is the latest video to explain some of where the world stands with the use of Social Media.
Here are Eric’s two books that are very good and beneficial reads.
Digital Leader made the top 3 list of books I read in 2012
This is the only work I have read by Jon and it is a great resource. If you need some encouragement that it’s not too late to become Awesome, this a is good place to start. If you want some help in getting started, then you should read “Start.”
Jon doesn’t pull any punches, he isn’t just trying to please people who don’t want to work and make them believe that without hard work they can do anything. No, this book is about hard work, getting up early, staying up late, and whatever else it takes to life a life that is Awesome. It is a book that will help you to understand that fear is not the voice that you should listen to. It is a book that will help you to understand that fear will fight you from both sides of any argument to try and stop you in your tracks. Start is a book about helping you get to the end of your life and being able to look back and say, I did the things in life that I wanted to do, I did the things in life that I loved, I did the things in life that made a difference for eternity, and I had a lot of fun doing it.
I gave the book 5 of 5 stars and I definitely recommend it, no matter what stage you are in with your career life.
It’s no longer about when you were born but when you begin to live.
I am reading a great new book by some of the guys over at Google. It is all about the NEW DIGITAL AGE, that’s right, you haven’t seen anything yet. The book is available now at Amazon.com and other book sellers but I wanted to share this video with you for a heads up. I will post a blog on the book after I finish reading it.
Exciting and scary times, let’s focus on the GOOD.
I have been waiting for this one to come out in anticipation of reading it. The book is all about being the leader that God has called you to be. By that I mean that we are to be our quirky selves. We are to discover who it is that God has molded us to be, we work on our strengths and lead in our own quirky way. This is not to say that one shouldn’t be a lifelong learner in the area of leadership, we should be. However, there are some things that you do that in many leadership books would be called crazy or impossible as a leader. You have to discover who you are and help those you lead to understand who you are and what they can expect, then lead in that way.
We all know that there really are some things that just will not work when it comes to leadership. We have to recognize what those things are and if they are truly bad things then we need to discipline ourselves to rid ourselves of those habits or quirks and move on.
John has challenged the status quo, he has taken to task those who say there is one way to lead and you can’t be successful any other way and he has done a good job in that challenge. I believe John is right on target for 2013, people are getting better at being themselves. People are looking for REAL and that is what this book is really about.
I like the book. I have learned some things and I consider myself to have enhanced my leadership ability by reading this book.
Now for the one concern that I have.
This is a book about Christians and basically about church leadership. I will be the first to say that I will challenge the status quo of the way we do things in church. I have no concern with that part of the book. What concerns me is John has done what I see a lot of other preachers and authors beginning to do more and more today and that is to use language that in my opinion doesn’t belong with us as Christ Followers. Jesus said that we are to be in the world but not of the world. Now, I am sure that John would defend his way of speaking in the book, his choice of words and that is fine. You will have to decide for yourself.
It is a good book, one that we can learn from and I would recommend it with that one caution. You may be caught off guard with some of the language that is used.
3 out of 5 stars
I am not sure if the message being sent here is for real. Is Larry Flynt really endorsing Mark Sanford?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this one…
I gave this book 3 stars and I need to clarify why. Number one, this is a solid biblical and good book. It is well written and well researched. The reason I gave the book 3 stars is simply because it is written in a style that seems outdated to me. The book is published in 2012 and is written by a seasoned veteran in the field of ministry but it is simply not written in a way that holds my attention. The first quarter of the book held me solid and by half way through I was bored.
The foundations in the book are as follows:
Vision is created from a burden or a Burden for God’s Glory
A Passion for God’s Word
A Heart for God’s World
A Commitment to God’s Grace
A Vision That Is Out Of This World
A Confident Vision For A Great Harvest and
An Optimistic Ministry
Again, it is a good read and I feel it was worth my time just for the portion where the author talked about the burden that burns into us a vision for God’s people.
The BIG announcement for Sunday was the start of our 3rd Sunday Worship Service at OOTBWC. We are really excited to let people know that we are making room for more and more people. Our ultimate goal is to share the Gospel with the 20 thousand plus people in Carroll County who do not go to church anywhere. Not only do we want to share Christ with them, we want to provide a place they can come and get to know Jesus better. No only that, we want them to have a place where they can have a Family Reunion each week with the ones who are part of the Family of God. We know that the day will come when we will need to start another campus but we don’t feel that time is yet. So for now we are adding more worship hours in order to make room. There are also other ways people can connect with us. We have a blog page @ http://fumcoutofthebox.com/ you can connect with us on facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/fumcoutoftheboxworshipcenter you can connect with me on facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/ronnie24317 and twitter @ twitter.com/ronnie24317 you can e-mail me at email@example.com
OOTBWC is designed to make every person feel like you belong, it is our desire that you can come and hear about Jesus and then partner with us to tell the world, starting in our own community. The 3rd service is not the end, it is only the beginning.
Yesterday we had 249 people in worship, we baptized 2 people and received 3 into membership. God is adding to our number and that is biblical. A church is meant to grow. Christianity is a movement and a movement that is stagnant is dead. Our God is not dead, He is surly alive, He is living on the inside but He is also living on the outside and people are being drawn to that.
Things are quite different at OOTBWC, we are not a traditional church but we love the traditional church. When we say we are not traditional that is not a slam on our sister churches where they worship in traditional ways. We are simply saying that we are reaching a group of people who are drawn to doing church in a different way. We are trying hard to be REAL and by real I mean that we are not side stepping anything in the Bible. We are confronting the issues and the day-to-day life that each of us is encountering. If you have a question, you can ask and feel pretty sure that if there is enough time,we will probably cover it in a sermon series. We don’t want to spend a lot of time covering questions that no one is asking. We don’t dress different, we dress just like you dress every day. If you wear jeans then you can feel comfortable wearing jeans to church. If you dress in a suit and tie then you can feel comfortable wearing that to church. If you wear flip-flops and shorts then feel free to wear that. It is not about the clothes that you are wearing, it is a matter of your heart.
If you consider yourself a Jesus Freak, you’re welcome to worship here.
If you consider yourself a skeptic, you’re welcome to come and continue your search here.
If you consider yourself an interested seeker, I think you will love what we have to offer.
If you consider yourself hopeless, I believe you will find hope here.
If you are an addict, you will find love and support here.
If you consider yourself a mess, we serve a God who specializes in fixing messes and we love standing by your side in the process.
If you are struggling with identity issues, come and struggle with the rest of us.
If you consider yourself a pretty good person, we will let you come here anyway.
If you like Country music, Rock and Roll, Rap, Gospel, Cutting Edge, Blue Grass, or just about any other kind of music, I think you will be surprised at what you find.
If you are a Coffee Lover, you’re going to love our coffee. (Don’t tell anybody but you can bring it in where the service is happening) shhh…
If you consider yourself to be perfect, come on and we will prove you’re not.
Everybody really is welcome………………..
So what are you waiting for?
To those who are already part of OOTBWC. There. are a few things that you need to remember. If you want the pastor to come and visit, you gotta let me know. I love to visit with people but I know that people lead busy lives and things are pretty hectic and I don’t usually show up uninvited. Invite me and I will be there.
If you are having surgery and you don’t let me know, I can’t come and I won’t even know to pray for you. So let me know and I will come if you so desire and if it is possible. If I can’t come, we have lots of people who would love to be there with and for you.
If you want to be baptized and no one has asked you, you need to let me know and we will get it done. Jesus said to follow Him in Baptism and we want you to do that, matter of fact we will celebrate with you when you do that.
If you would like to be a Card Carrying Member of OOTBWC, then you need to let me know. We will get you signed up and we will Celebrate like it’s 1999.
OK, I don’t know where all this came from except that I know God has Called us here for this time to swim in the river of His Blessing and I want you to come swimming with us. We’re not here for any other reason than to Build The Kingdom Of God and to help you get home to eternity more joyfully and with friends who know your name to walk through the difficult times of life and trust me times will get difficult. I have a friend who says, “Life is tough, wear a helmet.” My friend is right. My friend also knows that Eternity in Heaven is going to be GREATER than anything we can imagine and we want you to be part of Eternity.
I love you, even if I don’t know you. And by the way, if I know you and you don’t like me, I love you anyway…
Help Spread The Word…
This is from one of our Praise Team Members at Out Of The Box Worship Center. God is At Work in Hillsville but more than that, God is ALIVE in Caleb’s Life.
More than we imagined..
Are you excited?
Out Of The Box Worship Center is a place for regular people to grow together. For those of us who think church is too boring, intimidating, or irrelevant to our already stressed out lives. Our purpose is to launch personal relationships with Jesus Christ in ways that matter. We don’t care who you voted for in the last election, and please, don’t feel the need to pretend about anything. Come exactly as you are. No matter what your spiritual background or past, we’ll all grow together.
A note from Pastor Ronnie:
It’s our dream to have a church were our guests feel comfortable and attendees don’t have to think twice about inviting a friend. God has blessed us exponentially at Out Of The Box and First Hillsville. We’ve met so many new people and our family has grown tremendously.
We want to make sure there’s always enough room for anyone who wants to attend. After researching options to make more room at OOTBWC for more people to come and worship, we have decided the best way for that to happen at this time is to add a 3rd worship service.
On Sunday June 2nd, 2013 we will move the 1st service to 8:45am, our 2nd service to 10am, and add a third service at 11:15am. That means three services – 8:45, 10:00, and 11:15. We will have children’s programs during the 10:00 and 11:15 service.
We’re also going to start a quarterly “Night of Worship.” This will be on a night during the week where we will gather as a church body for worship, celebrations, baptisms, church memberships, and Holy Communion. I am excited about this fellowship time together.
All of these changes will increase our potential to reach our community for Christ greatly. Not only does this add room for 180 new people in the new service, it is one more opportunity for those who cannot make one of the other services to be more regular in attendance.
I am excited about what God has called us to do. I don’t believe we have just been invited to introduce Christ to our entire community, I believe we have been called to it.
I can’t wait to see you there.
Tell your friends!
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Great, inspirational, challenging. The greatest concept in the book is “God didn’t invite us to this, He Called us to this.” Therefore we fight the never ending battles that confront us.
Shannon O’Dell is changing the face of some rural churches in Arkansas and beyond. He is making a way where there seemed to be no way, or God is making the way and Shannon is following Him. This is a really good book, I really enjoyed the seriousness of the subject, the faithfulness of the witness and the humor of the human. It made me laugh a lot as Shannon has learned to laugh when silly and hurtful things happen. Though it is not easy, it is what he has been called to and so have I.
If you think there is no hope for your church and no possibility of growth, you need to read this book where lots of unexpected things have happened and God gets all the credit.
This book is for those who believe there is no hope for the small rural church steeped in tradition. There just might be a revival about to happen with the removal of some sacred cows.
This is a great book to start with in understanding how and what to teach in regards to giving, stewardship, and generosity. The church doesn’t have a money problem but it does have a heart problem. Jesus essentially said that a persons heart follows their money. This doesn’t mean that only rich people have a problem, a person with only a little bit of money can be hung up on trying to acquire more.
“Stewardship is more than an obligation. It’s an opportunity to witness to the reckless nature of the God who gives the gift of salvation by grace to all who will receive it.”
We serve a God who pulled out all the stops, gave us His best, with an irrevocable promise. It’s time we as Christians understand that God has been generous to us so that we may in turn be generous to others. If we have the nature of Christ, we can’t help but be generous.
Contagious is a tool to help church leadership understand what God has to say about money and the use of and giving of it. This is a great and timely tool.
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