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

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Friday, August 30, 2013

After a long hiatus...

This is the longest I've gone without blogging in a long time.  Not to blame everything on the pinched nerve in my neck, the surgery and long recovery, BUT...the truth is that the whole saga just blew up my whole summer and I had to live into a whole new normal which means my whole routine and rhythm changed.

I hate that.

While I do occasionally like to be spontaneous, I mostly like to live in the steady rhythm of a (relatively) predictable routine.  I like to make a plan, fine tune it until it's operating at a precision level, and ride it out until it has come to the end of its usefulness.  When that happens, I repeat the process.  Note that in this equation, I'm the one controlling most of the operation and changes in my life.

But this summer, I didn't initiate change.  Change came as an unwelcome guest. wasn't a guest.  It was more like an intruder.  Honestly, it resembled a thief, and it had many thief-like qualities - stealing time, strength, resources and energy from me so that I couldn't allocate those things to the people and projects that I had planned on.

Isn't that how we often view change?  Someone or something comes into our lives - completely uninvited - and we grow to resent its presence and the change to our lives it brings.

And yet, we know that this is a basic rule of life:  Life is always changing.  And we are NOT in control of much (or most) of that change, contrary to what we like to think.

But what happens when unwanted or unwelcome change comes?  Honestly, we often get stuck.

  • We glorify the past: "Life was so much better before this happened."  
  • We blame someone else: "My life would be better if my boss wasn't a jerk."
  • We skip today and simply dream about tomorrow:  "When I retire" "When we move" "When I get that promotion" "When the last kid graduates"  "When we pay off our debt"
Frankly, I think that's what happened to me.  I'm not saying I should have ignored my recovery.  There was a time that I needed to sleep for days.  And when I was awake, the pain medicine incapacitated any ability to be productive - personally or professionally.  Yet, when that time was past, I was still a little...stuck.  I kept saying, "When my surgery is over... When I get this collar off...When I can drive... When I can work out... When I fully recover..." 

I think what keeps us from getting stuck is a growing ability to adapt to change.  Sometimes we like the change.  Sometimes we don't.  But for me to live to the highest potential that God intends, I have to learn to adapt to the constantly changing conditions around me - whether they were invited or not.  And to do that, I have to rely on a skill that I've been refining my whole life:  Listening to the voice of God.

Interestingly, this is what I talked about at PCC last Sunday.  Followers of Jesus aren't supposed to focus our lives on everything that is happening around them.  Not that we are oblivious or unaware, but the focus of our lives is on the ONE person who is entirely consistent.  When I Focus on Jesus, I can adapt to any change happening around me and even thrive through it!

So, when I blame my entire upended summer on my injury and start groaning that three months of my life were wasted, I've taken my focus off of the One who redeems all of life - the parts we planned, and the parts we didn't.

I hope I remember that.  I hope you do, too.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Riverside: T-Minus 5 Weeks

I am so excited!! PCC's next campus is about to launch! Here's an UPDATE and some IMPORTANT information.

Even if Riverside isn't the campus you will attend, you need to know what we're doing there!

Susan and I have visited that campus every week for three weeks and what is happening there is amazing! We're in the home stretch to launching now, and it's time for everyone to help.  We need people actively, passionately praying for the Eight Thousand people in that areas who don't go to church anywhere. That's why we're putting a campus in Fork Union.  We're after every one of those people who want to know God, but haven't looked to the church for help in their spiritual journey.  WE KNOW how to reach people like that because many of us WERE people like that.  We found new life in Jesus Christ.  Now we're doing what God called us to do - we're reaching the world on his behalf!

On AUGUST 17, we will have a MAJOR event on that campus.   (you can get directions here) We'll have a 20+ foot Rock Climbing Wall!

We'll also have several inflatable things for kids, and we'll give away hot dogs and drinks, let people tour the building, hand out brochures and answer questions.  Earlier that week, we'll mail to all the homes in a 20 minute drive radius to let them know about our launch date - September 8 - and the August 17 event.  Make plans to come, support what we're doing and get excited about it!  And by the way, we could use some help with traffic control, greeters, hot dog servers, and all kinds of things.  If you'd like to sign up to help, click here.

Here are a few pics for you from our visit yesterday.

This is the auditorium from the platform

This is a view of the platform from the sound booth

A closeup of the platform

The foyer

Riverside will have an auditorium that seats 210 people, a full PCC Kids that includes PowerJam and First Steps.  And, of course, we'll have free gourmet coffee!  The campus will have the look and feel of any PCC Campus, and the Sunday morning experience will be signature PCC, with a smokin' band, killer graphics, video and lighting, and shock-n-awe in the PCC Kids area!  We think we'll fill it fast and hope to go to two services there in a hurry.

(Our Westchester Campus has the luxury of moving into bigger and bigger theaters before we have to launch a second service there.  And, in case you didn't know, Westchester is the fastest growing PCC campus, by far, right now!)

We are going to have to paint the inside of this building ourselves, so if you're willing to help give a few hours, email and let him know.

I'll give you more info in another post, but I wanted you to know that things are really heating up for our new campus that will reach people in Fluvanna and Buckingham.  I'm so excited, and I hope you are too!