5 Practices of Fruitful Congregations - Passionate Worship

I am going to blog on something that I am passionate about - passionate worship! Bishop Schnase wrote a book on the 5 practices of fruitful congregations, I will be blogging on it the next few weeks, starting with worship. The five practices are radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional discipleship, risk-taking mission, and extravagant generosity. When we discuss these five practices, the adjective is as important as the word itself!

To be a radical, world changing church, we must have radical worship. So what is worship? A lot of people think that its about a feeling or emotion that we receive when we sing the songs we like, or hear a sermon that we enjoy. Others say it is where they connect with others on Sundays (or other days of the week). DA Carson says “Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.” So we will feel powerful emotion, and we will e…

Ruining Your Favorite Worship Song, Part 2: Reckless Love

I love the song "Reckless Love" by Corey Asbury, you can listen to it here if you want. The idea that God has this incredible, reckless love for us that seeks us out relentlessly absolutely captures the idea of how God's grace is at work in our lives long before we even know it! Each week in our communion liturgy we are reminded, "Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, that proves God's love toward us (Romans 5:8)!" If you do not yet follow Jesus, know that God is pursuing you. In my life, God was with me through the hardest period of my life, from 3 - 5 years old.  I had just been put in a home, the Pythion Home in Weatherford, and I was broken because my biological parents would give me up for adoption. And yet...God was with me, comforting me! It was only much later that I understood that God was the rock that saved me from despair.  There is a problem with this song, something that I think teaches an unhealthy idea about God's relationship t…

Vision 2030 - A Church Focused on Loving Our Community

Bob Goff, popular Christian author says, "Simply put, love does." We are people of the Great Commandment of Love God, Love others and the Great Commission of making disciple's of Jesus Christ. This is why our mission statement is to make disciple's of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world! 
Our vision is to love our community by helping it heal both spiritually and physically: practicing invitational evangelism and love focused service! By 2030 we believe that God is calling us to spend as much on people outside of the church (through mission and evangelism) as we do on our own church. We also believe that every person should be living out their call by God to serve others. Each and every follower is uniquely gifted and called by God to loving service. We will equip our partners to serve, imagine a community of believers, empowered by God to change the world! We sense a specific calling to help families heal whatever brokenness that they have: fortifying …

Vision 2030: A Leader-Making Church

It is great to be back from all of my travels, after going with our youth on mission trip and then a short journey to Ohio for the Central Texas Conference. It is time to continue to share about our 2030 Vision. Another pillar of the vision is that we will be a leader-making church. I have been impressed with the number and quality of leaders at Rockbridge! God is doing something special with this community. We want to continue that trend and even enhance it! Every follower of Christ is given spiritual gifts, and I believe one of the five spiritual callings from Ephesians 4:11: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, and Teacher. Our goal as the leadership at Rockbridge is to enable each partner and regular attender to find their gifts and to empower our people to lead new ministries and, when the time is right, to even start new campuses and churches. God wants us to make an impact on our community and our world and by empowering every person at Rockbridge to serve in their gifts, th…

Vision 2030 A Disciple-Making Church

Disciple-making is what we are called to do as followers of Jesus. In his earthly mission, Jesus took a unique group of men and women (the twelve disciples plus the other people who followed him) and allowed them to sit at his feet so that they could learn what it meant to be his followers. We are called to be disciples who make more disciples! Throughout my life, I have had person after person share their life with me so that I could learn what it means to follow Jesus. In college, it was a man named Gary who mentored me in my relationship with God. I would not be the man, the pastor, the leader I am today without his guidance in my life at that important stage. That is what we need to do for each other. The first part of our vision is that we will be a Disciple-Making Church. We derive that from Matthew 28:16-20 where Jesus gives the mission of the church to make disciples of all nations! Here is what that looks like Rockbridge will be a disciple-making factory. Our definition of a d…

Vision 2030: Our Mission

This is my second blog on Vision 2030: the vision that God is giving us to fulfill our mission at Rockbridge Church! Before we get into that I wanted to take a moment and look at that mission:

Boom, That's IT! It is simple, to the point, and poignant. This mission statement is one we share with our tribe, the United Methodist Church, the question is where is it's origin and what does it mean? This mission statement is derived from Jesus himself when he addressed the disciples at the end of the Gospel of Matthew before his ascension: "Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20)." 
The disciples' mission given by Jesus is the same one we have today: to be disciples who make more disciples. We are not looking simply to make non-believers into…

Why Vision?

Hello all! Sorry for the brief hiatus on the blog, but life has been crazy lately. Over the next few weeks, I am going share about the visioning journey we are on at Rockbridge church.  Why a vision? Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Simply put: to succeed in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we need a good, clear, concise vision that sets us on the path.  We have seen countless organizations fail to survive when the world changed for one reason or another because they were not able to adjust their vision to a changing landscape. Our landscape is changing, has been for a while. Here are some facts: 1. Fewer and fewer people feel like they should be in worship on a Sunday morning. In the Austin area, 18 percent of people choose to worship each week. We need to be a church that lets people know that the best life lived is one following Jesus. 2. Most churches are in decline because they have no…