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

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thoughts on the Ground Breaking by Brian Hughes

I wish that our whole church could have been at the Ground Breaking last Sunday, November 11, 2007. It was a day I will never forget. Several hundred people came - people from our church, people who used to come to our church, people from our community, people from our families. We worshipped together, we thanked the many people who have made it possible for us to get to this place, we ate well.

But the most inspiring moment for me was the moment when we prayed that God would reach hundreds of people that we personally know and we trusted Him to change their lives. We symbollized this by placing flags in the ground - on the very ground that we believed God would meet them. On those flags were written hundreds of names. It was incredibly moving.

I sometimes get the feeling that some folks wonder if I really believe that we will reach 12,000 people who don't go to church. I do. I really believe it. Our building will make us more effective and allow us to reach our fullest potential. We'll do it together as we proclaim with One voice that every life matters, every person is important, and everyone is welcome. And we will reach the multitude, One Life at a Time.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Reach: One Life at a Time

We are now in full swing of the Reach Campaign. During this past week and continuing for the next 3 weeks, I am meeting with groups of people in a variety of venues: my home, other homes where small groups are meeting, the Powhatan Library, after church in the commons, and at the Methodist Church. The goal of this phase is to get in front of every person in the church so that they can have all of the information about our building and how we believe God is leading our church. If you are in a small group, your SG leader has the schedule of when we are hoping to get together. Give them a call if you haven't heard from them. If you are not in a small group, or if you are unable to make your scheduled night, there are several other opportunities. Please give our office a call at 598-1174 or email me at brian at powhatancommunitychurch dot org.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share with you in this exiting moment!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

The effectiveness of our Sunday Services

You probably don't know this, but every Tuesday morning, Beth and I and a small group of other folks who are involved in the planning and execution of Sunday morning services all gather - at the bright and early time of 7 am - to accomplish 2 important tasks. First, we evaluate. We look back at last week and ask 4 questions: What should we celebrate; What touched people; What could we do better; and How did people leave differently from when they came in. We evaluate so that we can learn. We can repeat the things that worked and eliminate the things that didn't. When we do this, we have our mission in mind and our benchmark is about changed lives, creativity, excellence, relevance, helping people encounter God, giving them a chance to worship, and providing Biblical learning opportunities that are able to be grasped by a wide range of listeners. The second thing we do is look to the coming Sunday and the planning that is needed for that.

There is so much work that goes into making a meaningful hour on Sunday morning. Literally scores of hours are spent every week on this service. But we think it's worth every second. Why?

Well, certainly some services are more meaningful than others, depending on where you are in life and the topic we're discussing and the song selections, etc. But after a day like today, it's hard to deny that we're having an impact on people. These were some of my notes about today's service:

What should we celebrate:
  • A dozen people were willing to get up on stage in front of everyone and give the testimony that they wrote with their own words.
  • The lighting was fantastic
  • Jeff did a really great job on the drums during the jazz song, as did Scott on the horn.
  • Regina orchestrated and directed really well – great choreography with the testimonies.
  • Paul did a good job vocally with ‘Here with Me’

What really touched people:

  • I feel change – Beth did an outstanding job on this – it was powerful and people could ‘feel change comin’ Really set up the testimonies well. You were passionate and, vocally, I have never heard you sing better. Way to go!
  • Andy H. was such a potent presence on stage – he’s contagious and influences other band members.
  • Obviously the testimonies were a home run – people were really touched and emotionally engaged. It was one of the most powerful services we’ve done, in my opinion.

The reason I share this with you today is to give you a taste of the kind of things we do to make our Sunday morning experience everything that God intends for it to be - to give it our best effort. If you have a chance on a Sunday morning to thank the lighting folks, the sound gurus, the band members, the ushers or greeters or resource table folks, the hospitality people or security people - whoever it is that's serving - take a minute and thank them. It takes an army of dedicated volunteers to make Sundays happen. And, if you are, just by chance, waiting for someone to ask you to help, consider this your 'ask'. I'm asking you to get on board and help. We need you. God can use you in powerful ways.

See you at the Ground Breaking next Sunday.