Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Share Your Story

The message today emphasized the importance of seeing God in your present circumstances - in the moment. We talked about John Ortberg's concept of 'Reviewing the Dailies' and how we can train ourselves to see God if we will take the time to consider how we encountered Him each day. A sense of your own history helps develop an awareness that God truly is closer than you think.

So - what's your story? What's happened in your life recently that's allowed you to see God's impact on your days? Was there a time when your experience showed you that God was really closer than you thought? We want to know your story! Click on the 'comment' button below and tell us about it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Amelia Community Church

From our very first day, we have been committed to becoming a church planting church. We have felt that the model of the early church was to multiply communities and churches around the region and around the world. That has a nice sound to it, but what has God uniquely equipped us to do that perhaps would allow us to make a specific and tangible contribution to the church planting world? Well, it turns out that we have developed some specific skill in a particular type of church planting. I'm referring to planting a church:

1) In the South
2) In a semi-rural area
3) In a growing community that is changing from rural to suburban
4) Where there is no other church that is specifically designed to reach people who don't go to church.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we know everything there is to know or that we are the best or better than anyone else. But we have learned a thing or two about how to do this (and what not to do). So, instead of just sending money resources, we are partnering with other churches in Chesterfield and Amelia to plant Amelia Community Church - a unique church plant in Amelia with the very specific mission of reaching unchurched people in that community. PCC is the primary sponsor church, and we will provide leadership and oversight to the project and to the church planter until they get going. We have also allocated part of our missions budget to this church (PCC tithes our budget each year).

There is a community meeting on October 7 in Amelia and we have a couple of ads being run in the Amelia paper inviting interested folks to come. I'll be doing a presentation there and trying to get some excitement generated for it, but frankly there is already a good buzz happening.

It's very exciting that we could be a major part of this venture. If you would like to be involved, please call our office and let Lori Wheeler know.

Thanks for praying for what God is doing in Amelia!

Recommended Listening

I listen to music a lot. One of my primary means of expressing myself to God in worship is through music. At PCC, we strive to provide a variety of opportunities and styles for people to experience God on Sundays, and so I try to stay aware of as many different artists and songs as possible.

Often, folks will stop me in the hallway or email me and ask about a particular song or artist; sometimes, folks are just looking for some good music to listen to that might encourage them in their faith. There's a lot of good stuff out there - a lot of mediocre music as well, but if you look carefully you will find music that stands up not only musically and creatively, but also theologically.

Music really matters; for decades now, we have seen generation after generation adopt certain songs or bands as cultural icons. The words shape our thoughts and expressions - the sounds provide the soundtrack for our lives.

What's the soundtrack for your life as a believer? Are there certain songs that really resonate with your particular struggles, or celebrate your sense of gratitude or joy? Do you have all the resources you would like to include relevant, excellent music as part of your faith journey?

There's a new sidebar to the right, along with Brian's 'recommended reading' list. It's a link from a web service called Pandora that lists some of the songs I have bookmarked as being particular relevant to PCC. Some will be familiar to you; others might be new. All of the songs and artists mentioned can get you started in a new direction if you are looking for some fresh music to inspire you and keep you God-focused throughout the day. Click on any song and you'll get a chance to hear a sample or even purchase the song or album. Explore the 'create station' button to create your own personalized radio station that can provide a day-long worship experience for you, no matter where you are!


And while you're at it, leave us a comment and tell us what your favorite worship song is - and why...


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Recommended Reading

I read a lot. In fact, part of doing a good job for me means that I have to read. And I can't just read books that I particularly enjoy or ones that I agree with or authors I like. I have to read various points of view, a variety of styles and genres. This helps me to see the world as it really is and not get boxed into one way of looking at things. I often encounter God in surprising places!

The good news for me is that I enjoy reading. I didn't used to, but I very much enjoy reading now. So I've added an element to this blog so that you can see what I've been reading in the past few months. It's on the right side and it's a link from my Shelfari book list. Check it out. If you read something that is on my list, let me know what you thought of it.

Hope you enjoy some new and different reading!

Today, 18 people went public with their faith in Jesus Christ through believer's baptism. It was an incredible day on a serene part of the James River in historic Cartersville.

Of all the things I enjoy doing, Baptisms are what I enjoy most. When a person is baptized, it is a witness not only to God's work in their life, but also in the life our our church. Many times, we all work so hard, volunteer so many hours, sacrifice so much, that we can sometimes ask, 'is it worth it?' And days like today remind us of the answer: Yes! It is absolutely worth it.

This year, 50 people have given evidence of an inward change through this outward sign. And since our church began, a total of 203 people have been baptized. Every life that is changed is important, and when folks are willing to display their faith this way, it is a strong indication that they are going to be serious about their spiritual lives in the future. We are privileged to be a part of such an awesome thing that God is doing - and it's worth every investment we make!

So, on behalf of every person who's lives are better because of a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, let me say thank you. You work hard. And your work makes a difference! What a great day today just doesn't get any better than this! See you Sunday - Brian

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Next Baptism September 23

Believer's Baptism is one of the most important steps in the life of a Christ follower. I strongly believe that the Bible teaches this as a practice that we should continue. You can find the teaching of this in several places, including:

  • At the end of Peter's message in Acts 2, he calls those who have made a commitment to Christ to be baptized.

  • The Ethiopian Eunich in Acts 8

  • Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus in Acts 9

  • Cornelius in Acts 10

  • Jesus' own baptism

  • Jesus' teaching in Matthew 28:18-20

  • Paul's teaching about baptism in Romans and other letters.

So if you have made a decision to follow Christ and have never been baptized as a believer, you should strongly consider doing so. Baptism doesn't 'save' you, but it is a strong public prounouncement that all believers are called to make.

If you would like to be baptized, our next baptism is on Sunday, 9/23 at 3pm. Give Kevin Salyer a call at Kevin at powhatancommunitychurch dot org.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Upcoming Series

We are really excited about our new series - GOD IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. I really believe that this series will help every person in our church - regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey. I have read the book and found it to be both insightfully personal and entertaining. Be sure to get your book at the resource table this week! If you haven't joined a small group - now is a great time to do that. You can attend Small Group Connect - right after either service on 9/16 or 9/23 or you can email Sammy Frame at Sammy at Powhatancommunitychurch dot org.