Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
- this blog
- local tv (especially channels 12 and 8)
- the website
- the church phone voicemail message
- an email to everyone in our database
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
You do NOT want to miss the VERY special Christmas Eve service we have planned, called God with Us. I'm really excited about how moving this special evening will be. And, for the first year ever, we have 3 services (the first 2 offer childcare).
Sunday, December 19, 2010
- After reading Luke 1-2, name the things you know about:
- Which characters in the Christmas story are NOT in Luke's account (who is usually in the nativity scene that is not mentioned by Luke)?
- Why was Zechariah unable to speak?
- There are 2 songs in Luke 1 sung by 2 different people. Who are they? Why are they singing? What is their message?
- John has a unique way of greeting Jesus the first time he 'meets' Jesus (from his mother's womb). What does he do?
- Elizabeth and Mary were both unlikely candidates for motherhood. Why?
- How are you making the paths straight for Jesus to be in your life?
- Is there someone around you to whom you can give some time, and help fill in their valley this Christmas?
- Is God calling you to give to families in need this year - helping level their mountain of need or hunger or pain? Where should you give? There are lots of options - from individual families to the Salvation Army. You can also give to those folks through PCC. Click here to give through our website. There is an option for 'help others in need' and 100% of your donation would be given to a family in need of help.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
What were the really memorable moments? I need more than just a particular Sunday, but something specific. So far, I've thought of things like:
When I taught from the cage on the final Sunday of Wild Goose Chase
When we had the service 'in the round'
Our first Sunday in the Building
We helped some new, upcoming artists this year - like Nathan Wheeler and Alex Sabatini.
John Ivins and Beth Brawley Stoddard both did some teaching
The pastor swap in August (which included 'coffin' Sunday)
Tell me about the cool, memorable, or even the 'bad' moments we may have had. Tell me about a particular song, drama, video, teaching, etc. This will help us choose the right moments to highlight as we pause to look back before we turn the page and look forward. Last year, this was a really cool service, and -with your help - it will be again this year.
Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply post a comment on this blog.
Thanks for your help!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
- Today, I taught about prayer in a tongue-and-cheek way, by teaching 'How to NOT hear God speak.' 3 things: Do all the talking (see Rom 8:26-27, Matt 6:7-8; Be a spoiled brat (see 1 Sam 8, Phil 4:6, Ps 37:4); and Maximize the Distractions.
- This coming week, we are having our Blue Christmas services. You don't want to miss this special service, offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For more details, see our website www.pccwired.net.
- Plan to spend Christmas Eve at PCC! Come to one of THREE services offered that evening.
- Get involved! For our church to keep growing and reaching people, we need everyone to get in the game! Sunday mornings are exciting at PCC. We need folks to help at Westchester, and if you live on that end of town, consider going to that Campus. At least check it out if you've never been. At Powhatan, we need shuttle drivers and folks who like working with kids from infants through 6th grade.
- Finally, a way you can pray for us. We're now seriously considering what the time slot of the 3rd service should be and the format. We're also starting to seriously pray about our next campus. While launching that campus would still be months (or years) away, the Spirit is moving us today. Pray that we would clearly hear God speak, and have the courage to move when He says.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Hi Everyone -
Thank you all for helping support the building fund by taking a book or two of tickets to sell to your friends and coworkers for the Browning Shotgun. You are helping to bring in funds for our building and are putting your face on our church name and some will see that as a direct invitation to come check us out. Not to mention, in Powhatan, some think that a church that raffles off a shotgun is just the kind of church they will fit in.
There are still 33 books of unsold tickets in our possession. Our small but mighty team needs your help! If you know of someone in our church that can take a book or two, please encourage them to see us on Sunday. If 33 people took a book of tickets to sell over the upcoming week, that's $1,650 for the building fund.
The gun retails for $1,400 so a $5 donation to the church is a great deal!
Thank you for your help with this fundraiser!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Here are the tools I discussed:
- Scripture. As you read, some verses will jump out at you. Write those verses down or some key words, etc.
- Observation. Write down your questions. Ex. "God, why would you want the entire town wiped out? Why did you tell them not to eat... Where did David go... How did Peter feel..." I write down my questions. I also write down my observations. "That's odd... Wow - look at how God provided for them... I never saw that promise before... "
- Application. How does this text apply to my life. Some days, this is easier than others. But there is always an application. Sometimes it's direct. Proverbs 12:18 says, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." I can apply that directly. Other text have to interpreted through time. But I'm not doing this on my own. All the while, I'm asking, "God, how do YOU want me to apply this to my life?" I'm hearing God speak through the pages, words, story, and teaching of the Bible."
- Prayer. I write out my prayer. This is a short prayer, sometimes a list of people I'm praying for, and often includes the scripture and application for the day.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
As part of Middle District Baptist Association’s “Christmas Store”, PCC has been assigned to help 15 children and we need you or your Small Group to adopt them. Please consider helping a child in need.
Each child that is adopted will need to be provided:
- one outfit per child consisting of a top, pants, socks and underwear
- one age appropriate toy
- a Christmas stocking (filled)
If your small group would like to adopt a child, please contact Angela Meadows at email@example.com or look for the small Christmas tree next Sunday.
There is not much time to shop…..all donations must be received by Sunday, November 28th so let Angela know as soon as possible and she will assign you a child and you can start shopping!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
- One of the things I love most about our church is our ability to be authentic. My cage is Fear. Fear of being left. Fear of rejection. Fear of being hurt. For folks who think it unspiritual, un-pastor-like, or inappropriate for me to talk so openly about my struggles, all I can say is that I'm me, and I'm just going to be me. And here's my statement on the subject: I don't like being afraid, but I do like being able to talk about it.
- This was one of the BEST series' we've ever done. I just can't say enough about Wild Goose Chase. Hundreds of hours went into it, but we really helped some people. I'm so proud of all the folks who poured their hearts and souls into these past 6 weeks!
- I've not heard the final count, but we had to be around 1200 people today, between both campuses. At Westchester, there were 130 people! At Powhatan, we ran out of parking spaces at 11am...and almost ran out of chairs in the big room. And the early service is really filling up, too. (tomorrow, I'll make a BIG announcement about a change in service times!)
- PCC's Westchester Campus launched PowerJAM today, the ministry for elementary aged kids, and it was a great success!
- It was windy and cold. I would go out and greet folks under the Portico, and then come back inside to warm up. Once, I noticed the parking crew...and the thought occurred to me, "I bet they want to come in, but they don't." Those folks stand out in the freezing cold, smiles on their faces and gloves on their hands, greeting and parking because they believe in what we do and because they care about people! I hope you thank them. You might also consider serving with them! (Call our office or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested)
- The ending to the service at the Powhatan Campus today was a great moment. Building the cross with those cages was a really awesome experience, and I think God spoke to hearts and changed lives. I'm so glad to be a part of PCC. Today's service was truly a team effort. God gets every ounce of the credit, of course, and I'm glad He is doing His good work through the people of our church.
- We had a PCC101 class today and I got to spend some great time with folks who are excited about our church and want to know more.
- The PCC Membership Banquet was last night. I had to miss it because of a death in our family and we had to travel to South Carolina. It was the only one I've ever missed. But I heard that it was very inspiring and a really unifying time, with great food, great music and a great vision casting message from Dennis Green, our Executive Pastor.
- We had a defining moment with our Creative Arts team this week - which includes the technical crews, support folks, band members, leaders, etc. This defining moment led us to remind ourselves that God sees the best in us, so we're going to believe the best in each other! The spirit of our team today - the attitudes and the teamwork - were at an all-time high, and God honored that to make for a compelling hour.
- My week had some unexpected hiccups in it, so I didn't get to blog about the marriage retreat. But let me say here that last weekend's marriage retreat was the best one I think we've ever had. It was unbelievable, and it was a first time experience for many of the couples who went.
- Finally, let me tell you that the next series is really going to be a great 'next step' for so many folks who have broken from their cages and are now ready to do whatever God tells them to do. You won't want to miss being...'Called'!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
- I strongly encourage you to read Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro.
- Get back to Scripture. Read it every day. Pray until God is finished speaking.
- Take a Sabbath. Not just this week, but Every Week. Exceptions happen, but they should be rare.
- Take ALL of your vacation. Don't leave a single day unused or given up.
- If you've been in ministry for more than 6 years, take a Sabbatical (6 weeks to 3 months). Don't say it cannot happen. Don't say the church cannot live without you. They can. Even if they don't know it...they need to learn how, and they will if you'll let them.
- Get with some other people who really 'get' you...where you can vent, unload, and let your hair down (for me, that's strictly figurative). If you don't have any idea who that might be, email me at email@example.com
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sara Wagner grew up in Powhatan, and starting attending PCC in 2002. Sara serves in First Steps (with some of the cutest kids in Powhatan), and helps with drama stuff, and sometimes leads small group. She likes to do active/outdoorsy stuff, and she loves ZUMBA! Currently, Sara is at MCV in Nursing School, hoping to eventually work in pediatrics. She grew up in church, and says "God has always been a truth in my life" - but she is discovering more deeply what a relationship with Jesus looks like. We baptized Sara in September, 2009.
"I was brought up in a home lead by godly parents who were faithful to take me to church and lived their faith. For me, I never doubted the existence of God – he was just irrelevant to me. Life was all about me, my wants, my pleasure, my career, my everything. There was nothing I withheld from myself and there was no price too high to pay for my success. I was an elder in the church we attended, while just under the surface I was as an alcoholic, destroying my marriage and totally miserable. In 1985, Cheryl and I attended a “spiritual” retreat that I really didn’t want to attend. It was at that retreat that I met Jesus in people that loved me and in the middle of the night I prayed “God, I have made a total mess of everything, please take my life, I give it to you.”
This journey is challenging, never boring and I have so far to go. There have been times of growth and set back, victory over sin and failures and exhilarating highs and discouraging lows. This I know for certain; that God is good and his loving kindness is for ever. One critical thing I am missing and my desire at this time is to develop a true friendship here."
Monday, October 25, 2010
We'd love to hear from you, so we put together a quick survey for your input. If you attended this week's service at the Powhatan campus, you had a chance to fill out the survey; but if you missed it and would like to weigh in, you can!
Click here and follow the directions. The survey will only be open for a few days, so don't delay!
And thanks -your input is very helpful!
Some notes about the 2011 proposed budget:
1. What we sent to the church was a master budget that is based on an increase in attendance and, therefore, giving. In addition to that budget, I have also given to our Staff and Steering team a scaled down version of the budget that we will operate under effective January 1. Attendance and giving has improved in recent weeks, and as that continues, we can move more and more towards the full budget. In the meantime, we’ll operate under an important rule: we don’t spend what we don’t have. If you’d like to see the ‘January 1’ operating budget, you can go to this google doc. I have highlighted in YELLOW the operating January 1 column.
2. I put the 2010 YTD income on that google doc for general offering, as of 10/17/10.
3. The staff expense line is actually not being reduced from what we actually spend today. In fact, there is an increase there. What you see for ‘budget’ was before we made some reductions last year. We are not planning on any cutbacks or salary reductions.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
1. Confess the sin. 1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Psalms 103:12 (NIV) as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our [sins] from us.
2. Commit to God. Romans 6:22-23 (NIV) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3. Claim the New You. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
- Powhatan Campus was different today! It was quite a surprise to most folks who came to Powhatan today. A portable stage was assembled in the middle of the floor, and the chairs were in 'the round'. From my perspective, it was very, very effective. I felt like I was having a great conversation, connected and fully engaged. I thought our music was high energy, the sound was awesome, the lights were cool, the video work was as good as I've ever seen it. I would love to do that arrangement again...but I would also like some feedback. So, let us know what you thought.
- PCC's Westchester Campus continues to really grow and shine. The quality of the picture and sound is exceptional, the band there is very good and has a lot of energy. We have more and more folks who are settling there - many who have only been to that campus and consider it 'home'. It's a good crowd (over 100) and growing. The core team there is especially dedicated and has an incredible attitude. I was at a WC Core Team meeting Thursday evening and I continue to be so impressed by the hunger and tenacity of those leaders.
- Midlothian Festival. I was on a Steering Team retreat Saturday, so I couldn't make the Midlothian Festival. PCC's Westchester Campus had a booth, some games and movie tickets to give away. Dennis Green said that he thinks we must have talked to a thousand people. That will bear fruit in the coming weeks.
- Care Team. Katherine Ramsey, Rachel Huff and I led a Crisis Care Training today for about 20 folks from the Care Team. Rachel started, trained, led, and grew the most effective care ministry of any church I know. Today's training led to fantastic conversations and I'm so impressed by the dedicated and high capacity folks on that team.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
- Fasting. Fasting is a way of focusing on God by not eating or by not doing some kind of activity. People fast from sweets or soft drinks. I've heard of people fasting from sex (though this really needs consent from your husband or wife). But the most effective fasts I've ever done were ones that involved all food of any kind. My fasts have only been 24 hour fasts, but they have been powerful for me spiritually and definitely helped me break from the cage of routine. I highly recommend Bill Bright's tiny booklet on this called 7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting & Prayer. This was the roadmap for me to fasting. You can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.
- Pray in a different way. For a while, I would walk by myself around the neighborhood and pray while I did. It was fresh and different. Recently, I started writing one prayer every day (see the next item on my list and you'll see what I'm talking about)
- Daily Devotional Time needs a fresh look. I found my daily time with God to be stale recently. So, I adopted a short-term technique that I read about in Wayne Cordeiro's book Leading on Empty. In it, he suggests that - since there are 31 proverbs - You should read one every day, which ever one corresponds to that particular day. Today is the 10th, so I read the 10th proverb. And then I'm journaling using the acrostic SOAP: I write key verses from the Scripture, I write any Observations I note about the scripture, I write the practical application to my life from the Scripture, and I write my prayer - which has to do the Scripture, but also goes beyond that.
- Read a different translation of the Bible. I normally read out of the NIV. Sometimes, when I feel stale, I read the Message, the New Living Translation, or occasionally the NKJV.
- Worship in a different way. When I was in seminary, one of my assignments was to go to some churches outside of the norm for me (I think I had to go to 3) and write a paper on them. It was fascinating. I gleaned a lot about what kind of church I felt called to be a part of. But more than that, I learned to worship in new ways and ways that were even uncomfortable for me. It was a healthy break from the routine. You don't have to go on a Sunday or necessarily miss a PCC service (though I think we could forgive you :-) ) You could find other service times or go to one of the early PCC services and catch an 11am somewhere else. Just a thought.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
So a quick overview of our Thematic Goal's Defining Objectives:
• Defining Objective #1: Answer Interim Financial Questions (team lead: Chauncey Starkey)
• Defining Objective #2: Addressing Critical Building Issues (team lead: Dennis Green)
- Cove base (similar to base boards) are being put down (even as you get this e-mail).
- Ceiling tiles are largely done, though some spaces still need to be finished with cut tiles.
- Interior doors continue to be finished.
- An Atrium Decor Team under the leadership of Lori Wheeler has begun meeting to put together a more welcoming, comfortable, aesthetically-pleasing space.
- New signage is being designed.
- Consultations with PCC Kids is happening to determine additional space for a burgeoning number of kids.
- Additional floor tiles in the stairwells will be laid in October.
- The partitioning of the Multi-Purpose Room has been planned and waits on resources to turn half of it into a family room for Sunday morning services.
- Grass is growing around the building.
- Parking Lot - a plan exists for an additional 80 spaces on site. An estimated $17,000 would enable us to generate those spaces.
- Sound in the Auditorium - our Audio/Technical teams have done a masterful job of providing great sound on Sunday morning, but do not have the necessary equipment to make it the best it can be. An additional front-fill sound system would help us remove the holes and dead spots which currently exist in our sound.
- Landscaping - a good bit of work remains for the Powhatan campus (the Westchester campus has immaculate grounds) including adding trees, additional grass, and mulching. With additional resources we plan to have a volunteer day to work toward making the Powhatan campus more aesthetic.
- Sidewalks and Portico - Driving beneath the front portico remains a priority for our guests and sidewalks helps everyone, especially those who have a handicap. An estimated $12,000 would put a drive beneath the portico and cover the cost of sidewalks on the front of the building.
• Defining Objective #3: Reevalute Services/Scheduling/Programming (team lead: John Starkey)
• Defining Objective #4: Leadership Development (team lead: Beth Brawley)
Small Groups and Guest Services
A couple of hundred PCC’ers gathered together tonight at out Powhatan campus. We had a great time of worship, information and inspiration. (If music at PCC is your main thing, you will want to come to these quarterly meetings!) Brian laid out for us what the next six months will look like and invited Lindsay Harris to the stage to take us through our Thematic Goal. (More on Lindsay and our Thematic Goal below).
In his presentation, Brian talked at length about getting “from here to there”. Maybe that language is familiar to you. We just finished a series by the same name. The premise is simple, but, at the same time, powerful. As an organization- WE ARE HERE and we believe God wants us to GO THERE! Brian asked a compelling question. Why not stay “here”? After all, “here” is good. “Here” is helping some folks. We like “here”.
Circa, Spring 2006. PCC is “here”. Growing like crazy, baptizing people, great music, lots of energy and excitement – Why do we need to leave “here” and go “there”? Yet, that is exactly what Brian was feeling. The need to move PCC “from here to there” became paramount. PCC could provide a powerful and meaningful Sunday morning experience, but there needed to be more.
Enter Sammy Frame. A smart, good-looking (in an Eastern European kind of way) guy PCC hired to bring an effective and vibrant Small Group ministry to PCC. The metamorphosis has been remarkable. PCC went from a church WITH small groups to a church OF small groups. Small Groups permeate every part of who we are at PCC and who we hope to be.
About eighteen months ago, Lenny Harris began attending a small group. Lenny was struggling in his personal life and in his marriage. He found a safe place with this small group. His small group embraced him, loved him, allowed him to share and ask questions at his own pace. He began to heal. He began to allow God to transform him. Soon, Lenny was not the same person he had been just a few months earlier.
His wife Lindsay noticed.
She came to check out this small group too. Transformed, too, you ask? PCC baptized Lindsay this past June.
Why was Lindsay on stage and what is a thematic goal anyway? Thanks for asking. Thematic goal is a term used in some business circles and describes an overarching corporate theme or goal that is used to help organizations focus and be unified in their efforts. Our staff recently spent some time working together to identify our thematic goal for the next six months. (For more on specifics of what our thematic goal is, click here)
Lindsay was on stage walking us through the details of what we are doing and how we are getting it done because Lindsay is on our staff now. You already know she has been leading Worship at Westchester since our opening Sunday. She still does that. She works closely with Beth Brawley Stoddard each week to develop and deliver excellent worship experiences at both campuses. But she does so much more. Our staff asked her to use her education (MBA) and business experience (Project Manager) to lead us through this thematic goal experience, and she readily agreed. She often says that she will do and serve in anyway she can. Oh yeah, did I mention that Lindsay is UNPAID staff. Working for PCC full-time since March – unpaid. Did I mention that her life was transformed?
Finally…made it to my point. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Lenny works hard every week, sacrificing, so his wife can work persona non grata ( free of charge) at PCC. Brian said tonight that Lindsay was a “gift from heaven”. They both are. It’s a team effort. They are both such a huge blessing, and, they received huge blessings because of…a small group…because of…the work of Sammy Frame and his Small Group Leadership Team…because of…PCC’s willingness to leave the comfort of “here”, and go to “there”.
If experience is any indicator, this journey “from here to there” will be exhilarating and exhausting; maddening and motivating; incredible and indelible. The “Lennys” and “Lindsays” we don’t know yet are counting on us, and they don’t even know it.
Friday, October 1, 2010
- Complete Septic System.
- Additional 80 gravel parking spaces installed on-site.
- Student Trailer handicapped ramp, siding, foundating skirting and sidewalk so that we can get a CO on it and start using it.
- Sound and lighting systems completed.
- Repair lower parking lot.
- Cove Base (trim at the bottom of the sheetrock).
- Concrete Apron and handicapped sidewalk.
- Snow Diverters for roof.
- Wood trim finished in office suite.
- Welcome table finished/coffee table constructed to match.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Ever wonder what is happening in PCC Kids? I just wanted to share some exciting things that have been happening with our kids and their families:
* In June, 7 children were baptized in the James River. 12 more gave their lives to Christ and were baptized in our September baptism - WOW!
* A dad started coming to church because his kids were so excited about being at PCC on Sundays. He said he just had to 'check it out' to see what was so great. AND, since then, his parents have started coming with them too!
* A seven year old went home after hearing a Bible story about peace and proclaimed July 25 as "Brother's Day" in his household (there are all boys in his family).
* A preschooler visited PCC one Sunday, then woke up on Monday and asked his grandma if he could come back to church that day!
* When asked what the Bible verse of the month was, little 5 yr old Sam repeated the verse from this month, then proceeded to state LAST MONTH's verse word for word with the correct reference!
* A four year old went home one Sunday and started 'preaching' to his toys with his Bible in hand (even though he can't read it yet). He told them that God loves them and Jesus wants to be their friend! Could this be a future Brian in the making?!
God is doing some AMAZING things and more are yet to come! And we know that more children will be coming too. We know that by the fact that we have had 5-10 new children each week throughout the summer.
We would love to have you be a part of our growing team (either in Powhatan or at Westchester) and I'm asking you to pray about that opportunity. You can be a part of impacting these kids lives and making a difference in bringing them closer to Christ!
Thanks for praying about it! If you'd like more information, you can contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office, 598-1174.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
- The stage was AWESOME! It's the best the big room has looked since we moved into the building. Debbie and others exerted TONS of energy and SCORES of hours putting all of that together, and it really paid off. Way to go!
- The bands at both of our campuses really ROCKED!
- Ron and Don were BACK!
- We've sold like 250 books! (I'll do a post about Wild Goose Chase this week and why we are doing a book study).
- The worship at our CORE meeting was fantastic, as was the Q & A.
- Lindsay Harris did a GREAT job on the presentation of the Thematic Goal. Just when we think we've discovered all of her gifts...(and she can sing a little, too)