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

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Groups for Guys

(Post by Shelton King, Men's Ministry Leader)

To all PCC Men,

If you have attended PCC on any Sunday in May, you know that PCC is in the middle of Small Group Sign Ups for the summer semester. Just wanted you to know that it's not too late to sign up and below is the information on how to do so. Small Groups are starting this week so don't miss out on this opportunity to do church outside of Sunday mornings. Here are the Men's Group offerings....

(1) Friday Morning Group - 2102 Shade Mart Circle, Fridays, 7:00-9:00 a.m., Studying the book of Acts. Winston Jones is the leader of this group.

(2) Tuesday Night Men - 2301 Graceland Drive, First and Third Tuesdays, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Studying the book of 1 Kings. Tom Walthall is the leader of this group.

(3) Men's Monthly Breakfast - County Seat Restaurant, 2nd Saturday, 8:00-9:30 a.m., Bible study by men on various topics affecting men today. Study follows breakfast and fellowship. Approximately $10 for breakfast. Shelton King is the leader of this group.

(4) Wild at Heart Men's Study - Various locations, Thursday, 6-9:00 p.m., WILD, DANGEROUS, ALIVE? Are these the attributes of a Christian man? Do you really have to check your masculinity at the door when you are saved? Come find out what God has to say about the heart of man and discover what adventure He has in mind for you. This group will have weekly activities and a study. $25 for Books + Adventure costs-we will do some activities, but will keep costs as low as possible. Russ Holland is the leader of this group.

(5) Back Country - Lakes, ponds, rivers, and backwoods of Virginia, Saturday, Times vary, Men's group: sportsmen and outdoorsmen, Avid hunters and Enthusiastic fisherman. This semester we will be providing the most irrefutable excuse to hunt and fish every Saturday as the season allows: an outdoorsman small group. Seriously, she can't say you can't go to small group. Must have or be willing to purchase a Virginia State Hunting License and Virginia State Freshwater Fishing License to participate in most group meetings. Myron Shenk is the leader of this group.

Also, please take time to review the "Impact" groups where you can serve in the particular ministry that God is leading you.

If you would like to sign up for any of these groups, then please go to the following website....

or give me a call at 804-677-6527 and I'll help you choose a group that is right for you and get you signed up.

The PCC Men's Leadership team is planning some other activities for the summer months and you'll hear more about that in the month of June.


Shelton King

Sunday, May 30, 2010

No More Free Stuff...

Well...I guess the title of this post is a little ominous. What I'm really talking about is the end of the series that we finished today. Four weeks. Free Stuff.

In 11 years of speaking in churches, this is the first time I think I've done a four week series on giving.

I've done an entire series on stewardship, which included giving but also taught about stewardship of stuff and material possessions, stewardship of time, etc.

This series was four weeks - all on giving. Money. And it was hard. But I think it made a difference. There is some soul searching for me.

1) Do I care that PCC offerings go up? Yes.
What we do matters! And it takes money to do it. We have a mortgage to pay, building to finish, staff to treat fairly, missions to do, equipment, ministry, supplies and materials, etc., etc. Not to mention things like...air conditioning. There is an endless need, but a very finite amount of money. So, if offerings go up, we can do more and be more effective, which will translate into reaching more people and affecting more life change for the better. I’m unashamed in this: I do hope our giving goes up.

2) Was increasing offerings my primary goal for the Free Stuff series? No.
My primary goal was to help people see that they’ll never have the best life God wants for them until they let go of their money. (And see it as belonging to God in the first place). Living generously and giving lavishly is God’s plan for our lives. It makes us more like Him (He loved, so He gave); makes money serve us (instead of the other way around); and is His ‘Plan A’ for funding His work. God doesn’t need your money. But you need to give it. Jesus said that he came for you to have life and have it to the fullest. You can only get there when you live generously. I believe that with all my heart.

In case you want to live like this, but don’t know how to begin, let me offer you some resources:

• Gordon McDonald wrote a 4 week devotional guide called Generosity. You can get a copy at I studied it for this series and it was very compelling. I highly recommend it.
• Ron Blue, Larry Burkett, and Dave Ramsey are all trusted authors when it comes to getting your financial house in order. I would personally read anything they have written.
• Crown Ministries has helpful resources, worksheets, etc, that thousands have utilized to change their lives.

Now onto the next series…"Only If..." more on that this week!

Monday, May 24, 2010

PCC Summer Softball!

Registration is now open for the 2010 PCC Summer Softball League!

There are a few different ways to register:

1) On Sunday mornings at the welcome desk;

2) Contact Gene McFadden at 804-310-5050;


We will start in June with a couple of practices, then we will slot everyone onto the teams and we will play games in July and August. Each team will play approximately 12 games and we will end the season with a one day tournament and cook-out.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail or call Gene at or (804) 310-5050

I hope you sign for this season, and I look forward to seeing you at church and on the ball field.

Gene McFadden

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Promises to count on...

Today, I mentioned some other promises we could count on from God, especially if we trust Him with money, giving, and living a generous life. Here are some that come to mind:

1) A Guaranteed Return (I mentioned this today) 2 Cor 9:6. If you sow generously, you WILL reap generously. In other words, there will be a good Kingdom harvest - lives will be changed, people will come to know Jesus, the poor will get care, etc.

2) Tame the Beast (I mentioned this today) (Matt 6:24) When you serve money, Money is the Master, you are the servant and God is a passive observer. BUT...when you serve God, He is the Master, you are the servant, and money serves YOU. It becomes a tool that you use to serve God.

These were promises I didn't have time to mention today:
  • Clear Focus. Luke 16:13
  • No More Worried. Matthew 6:25
  • Real Prosperity 2 Cor 8-9
  • Faithfulness if you test him. Malachi 3:8-12

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Did Our Concert Dishonor God?

Beth Brawley Stoddard wrote a VERY compelling piece about our concert on her blog. If you don't follow it already, I encourage you to do that. Here is the link to the post.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Are Tattoos Right or Wrong?

I've been asked a few times lately about tattoos - is it OK? Is it NOT ok?

This is not the blog post your Mom wanted me to write, but it IS my opinion of a Biblical perspective on the subject. Let me say it again: this is my interpretation. It is fallible. It is NOT the Word of God. But it's the best I've got, so here goes.

On the one hand, people will passionately refer to Leviticus 19:28 "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD." (NIV)

Sounds very black and white, right? But not so fast. For sure, some people will tell you that you are committing a sin by getting a tattoo, and they'll quote this verse. But they have no problem wearing a cotton/wool blended coat or t-shirt. What does that have to do with anything? Well, look a few verses before the tattoo one:

Leviticus 19:19 (NIV) "...Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material."

It also commands that we aren't to plant 2 different seeds in the same field, but nobody is picketing a farmer who does this.

And verse 13 is very clear that the wages of a hired man should be paid on the same day that he works, but most employers pay once per week, and hold back a week. Nobody is pointing the finger on that. Why not?

Because we understand that some things in the Bible are meant for a particular culture and time. That's what makes Biblical application difficult. Which things apply to the here and now and which ones applied only to the culture in which they were originally written?

What are we to conclude, then, about tatoos?

For me, there are several texts:

1) 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Here, God is saying "YOU care what he looks like, but I care who he IS." God cares about the heart, not the skin.

2) Galatians 3:28-29 (MSG) "In Christ's family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ's family, then you are Abraham's famous "descendant," heirs according to the covenant promises."

Non-Jew was (and still is) a BIG category. It represented a plethora of cultures, a multitude of traditions. Paul is saying that Christ is the one who levels the field for us - that in Him, we're equal.

3) Acts 10. This story is the same one I used when we talked about food laws. But there is a double meaning in the story. God is making Gentiles (non-Jews) clean, not just previously prohibited foods. Again, Gentiles represented a span of cultures and traditions from A to Z.

Is there still a 'right' and 'wrong'? You bet there is. Some things are still crystal clear. Murder and adultery come to mind. Not choosing what God wants for you. Worshiping someone other than Jesus Christ.

But tattoos would belong in another category for me, one that is at least disputable. I would go farther, though. I would say that, under the right set of circumstances, a tattoo could be permissible...even beneficial.

I am not arguing that all tattoos are beneficial. Paul wrote, "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." (1 Corinthians 10:23-24, NIV)

Again, I'm not saying that one SHOULD go get a tattoo. What I'm saying is that the Bible doesn't prohibit it. At least, that's how I read it.

Therefore, this is a question that the follower of Christ should pray about. If they feel led to do it, I think they should do it. I heard an awesome story a couple of weeks ago about a girl who had the Hebrew word for 'belong' tattooed on her ankle, so that every time she removed her shoes, she would be reminded that she belonged to God. I could see myself with a tattoo like that.

The bottom line for me is found in this text:

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God--even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved." (1 Corinthians 10:31-33, NIV)

Can't wait to hear your feedback!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Concert You Don't Want to Miss!

For the past 3 years, PCC has had a concert to help raise money to pay for our building. Though we're in the building, we still have a long way to go to pay for it.

Randy Lawson was a great friend of PCC. He became a great friend to me, too. One of the things that had a lasting impact on me was his serious and sacrificial commitment to make our building happen. As the cancer took its toll and he approached the end of his life, one of the thoughts in the forefront of his mind was that he would be unable to fulfill the commitment he made to our building. This deeply moved me.

But Randy was wrong. His legacy now reminds us that we CAN do it - together.

So, we get together once a year for this concert, displaying the talent and diversity that God has brought to PCC. Beth Brawley Stoddard carefully orchestrates an evening of excellent music that moves us at times and gives us pause to think and pray at others. It is a powerful experience that you won't want to miss. Tickets are on sale now, and our hope is to sell out the big room at the Powhatan Campus.

For more details, you can call our office or contact Kim Wooten (shown with Beth in the picture above) at

See you there!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thanks to the School Board!

(from right to left, Tim Gresham - School Board Chair, Rick Gideons - School Board Member, and Dr. Margaret Meara, Superintendent)

We have been so blessed to have enjoyed such a fantastic working relationship with the Powhatan County School Board these past 7 & 1/2 years. From the time we started thinking about planting a church until this very week, I have constantly heard horror stories from pastors that I know who continue to have trouble renting in other school districts. Powhatan has been very good partners with us.

Dr. Meara, in particular, has created an environment ripe for a win-win situation with another church to use the high school and the other schools on Sunday mornings. By win-win, I mean a scenario where a church could pay enough rent that a needed school salary could actually be covered (for a teacher or aid or whoever), but which would still be low enough to make it worthwhile for the church to rent instead of build.

Over the course of the past seven years, PCC paid the school a growing rental fee, based on the facility we used, how many rooms and which ones, and how often we used it. We grew into larger rent amounts over time.

Without Powhatan being supportive, and especially without Dr. Meara's help, we could never have gotten where we are today. If PCC is a value to you, please go out of your way to thank Dr. Meara and the Powhatan County School Board for making PCC happen!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Treat Your Kids Like They Are Special

In the fall, I was going to lunch with my 8 year old son every month. He treated these 'dates' with great anticipation. (I blogged about it way back then.) But we missed a month and never picked it up again.

When I played in the PCC golf tournament, a very good friend played on my team. He asked me, "So, are you and Joshua still going to lunch once a month?" I hemmed and hawed, gave him some lame excuse that anyone could see through, and changed the subject. My friend was gracious, but a few days later, he sent me an email. He said he hoped he wasn't being too forward, but that those lunches were important and he hoped I'd make time for one again soon.

That's what good friends do: they make us better parents, better husbands and wives, better followers of Christ.

So, this morning, I got up and got ready for another impossibly overloaded day. And out of the blue, Joshua said, "Dad, guess what!? Today, we're having a pizza party to celebrate how much everyone in the class read this year. Can you come?"

My immediate thought was, 'no way'. I thought about my calendar, my important meetings, my inbox, my unreturned calls, my to do list.

And then I thought about my friend - the one who gently nudged me to choose my family. And I decided to cheat the church today.

"You bet, Joshua. I'll be there."

And I was.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Creative Fundraising

Two girls from our church were at a family yardsale last week when they had a brilliant idea: let's set up a lemonade stand and raise money for PCC's building!

They proudly found me yesterday morning and presented me with this bag filled with money. Way to Go, Angelina and Karley! You are making a difference, and I'm so proud of you!

Thanks for your help!

Pastor Brian

p.s. (for the rest of us) Creative ideas from all of us will allow us to finish the building and pay off the debt. So keep thinking! And thanks for your hard work, too!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thoughts about today...

Wow. I am so overwhelmed right now with feelings about today...especially about tonight. The Dedication service for our building was almost beyond words, and God really made a spectacular display among us through music and testimony and video and the presence of friends and special guests. The service was electric. Rarely have I felt the Holy Spirit move so powerfully.

Some special friends were here, making the trip some distance to come. Doug and Betsy Frazier were here. Doug is the interim pastor at Ni River Community Church in Spotsylvania. He was instrumental in planting PCC.

Rick Gideons and Tim Gresham were here from the Powhatan County School Board. And you heard Dr. Meara, the Powhatan School Superintendent speak tonight. She has been gracious to us beyond what we could have expected. We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for her leadership and help.

You may have seen Jeff Boggess, Senior Pastor from Atlee Community Church, in the video where he congratulated us. I didn't know that Jeff and Lanette were here, but I had the chance to talk to them afterward. Susan and I count the Boggess' as close friends - the kind of friends that you do life with. They have been such a blessing to us and I am particularly enjoying partnering our churches for Kingdom-sized work (more on that later). They honored us with their presence tonight, and it was a very nice surprise to see them.

I think about others who came, who have meant so much to me and to our church. Hundreds of folks who have invested in PCC in some way, past or present....everyone recognizing that God is at work right here...among us...through us. It's overwhelming. And I am so grateful.

God is Good. All the time. But sometimes, we see His Goodness more than others. Tonight was one of those times.