Archive for the ‘Lifepoint’ category

Opportunity of a Lifetime

October 22, 2008

There is so much excitement in my heart as I begin to think about this coming Sunday. I’ve talked to several people who call Lifepoint their home, and they are excited as well. This past Sunday a large vision was cast for a more interactive and integrated 2009. More work with the community; more work with the disenfranchised; more work with the less fortunate and more work to make the community of Middle Georgia a better place to live and make a difference.

The most glaring challenge was to come together and give $75,000 over and above the regular giving, to begin to fund the incredible endeavors of next year. So much is going on in the world and in the church that we need to be more aware than ever before of opportunities to make a difference.

More incredible than anything else is the great knowing that I have of the true impact of our actions – as we give we become a part of the fulfillment of the commandment of Jesus that we “love one another as ourselves”. In the days and months to come, the “change” we’ve heard so much about from both candidates can only truly be realized as each of us look into our heart and see where our “treasure” should be. Then we can and will see palpable change!

Advertisements

What Is Poverty?

October 20, 2008

Sunday night is a time that a group of people from Lifepoint go out to a place in Macon on Cherry Street and 3rd called the Fountain. There is obviously a Fountain there – although it doesn’t work – and it is a time and place for a meal to be given to those who otherwise would likely go to bed hungry. The most incredible thing is that the relationships that have developed are little miracles happening throughout the week.

Previously I posted about Kamara, who is a part of the gathering at the Fountain. This Sunday I was unable to make it to the Fountain and, because he’s my friend, sent word to let Kamara know why I wasn’t there and that I was thinking about him. This kind of consideration is something that I take for granted, but it had a great impact on Kamara. He was blown away that I would be concerned about what he thought and me not showing up on Sunday night. Poverty is living without friendship. When Scripture says for us to love our neighbor as ourselves, it is giving us the opportunity to enrich those around us with the gift of friendship.

This need for friendship is why sites such as Facebook and MySpace are so popular. The currency of friendship never loses value and will withstand any economic crisis. Watch this video and understand that the gift of friendship is the most valuable commodity on the planet.

[this is a repost – the video had problems]

Plans

October 11, 2008

Well, tomorrow the staff will have an opportunity to share some of the ideas that they have for Lifepoint in 2009. For me, the idea of personal development is crucial. I can’t imagine being the point guy for personal development, but it is a concept that has connected with my very core. When I have talked with people over the past year, the one common thread has been a desire to understand their lives better and to make better decisions for it’s future.

In the past twelve months I have read more books than I have been able to post about. Most of those books have had to do with the idea of personal development. Now I’m not talking about Anthony Robbins – although he has made a good living doing his thing – I’m talking about the mechanics and psychological underpinnings of why we do the things we do. From Marcus Buckingham and his putting your strengths first approach, to Robert Torbert and his vision of action logics to Dee Hock and his view of chaordic organizations, I have read and digested and wanted to do something with the information. Now is the time.

In 2009, there will be many opportunities for people n the Middle Georgia area to come to events hosted by Lifepoint Church (that’s right, a church!) to help people in their personal development. From personal mission statements to strengths that will help you find the right job for you, Lifepoint will embark in a new era of facilitating personal growth for Middle Georgia and it’s citizens.

Needless to say, I can’t wait!

Practices of a Generous Heart

October 5, 2008

Today we moved beyond the identification of the Pillars of Generosity, to the practices that accompany a generous heart. A lot was said, but I want to hone into an idea. Generosity, by definition, has to do with giving. Giving of time, money, effort, kindness, empathy, creativity, wisdom, love – and the list could go on. In the discussion today we are talking from a Christian point of view, and more precisely from a Christ/Jesus point of view.

Now, regardless of your take on Biblical interpretation, when the main character, Jesus, does anything, generosity is an integral part of it. There is always more than the original gift (which can certainly be an odd choice): mud leads to restored sight; shame leads to freedom; a happy meal feeds thousands more than it should. The point is not the supernatural healing or multiplying – the point is the modeling of generosity that Jesus exemplifies.

Jesus is speaking volumes with his actions. We can discount mud and fish as cheap, but the essence is not the original supposed value of the items, it is what happens when ordinary items become part of a pattern of giving. When giving becomes a part of your life, your life will change.

I’ve made a point to not become political in my posts – there are much better analysts to discuss such things, but through this election season we have seen something that has largely gone unnoticed. Barack Obama, from the onset, decided to enlist the “average Joe” to contribute five or ten dollars at a time to the campaign. In those small amounts people began to feel that they were a part of something. I don’t have numbers, but I would be willing to guess that if you added up the total contribution of an average Obama supporter, you would find a much larger amount than if they had given just one time. Here is what I think is interesting. Throughout the campaign season a habit of giving has been engendered by the Obama campaign. This is not a small thing.

Think about this – the truth is that the Bible promotes the idea of giving (whether rich or poor), and also promotes the concept of blessing associated with giving. The election will come and go, and someone will be the next President, but the combined effect of hundreds of thousands of people giving (some out of their overflow and some out of their poverty) will be, if we believe the Bible, historical in terms of economic effect.

The practices of a generous heart are not a “Christian only” or “Jewish only” concept. The idea of generosity is waiting for anyone who will embrace the giving of themselves and their “stuff” for someone else. The result of such giving is simply amazing!

Lifegroups

September 24, 2008

I have to say a word about the most important part of Lifepoint Church – Lifegroups. If you want a better explanation you can go here, but for me the experience of group life is one of community and trust unlike anything you will experience anywhere else.

In today’s society the increase in social networking sites has shown that people have a need to connect. A lot of times in church we think that we provide for this need of connecting with the services on Sunday or, in other churches, during a mid-week meeting. These venues are often one sided with communication coming from one person to a crowd and the interaction before and after the service amounting to a few minutes.

Typically, unless there is a previous interaction before the service – as with a friend co-worker or family – little or none is experienced in the service itself. This is where the Lifegroup comes into play. In a group people come together for the sole purpose of getting to know each other and talk about each others lives.

Before you ask, no, you don’t come the first week and divulge your deepest secrets only to be shackled to the group because of black-male. Believe it or not, I have had people – maybe not in those blatant terms – say basically the same thing. Lifegroups are about living life. They are about living life together with other people- not alone. How many times do you think about going out, but don’t because you don’t want to go alone. With a group there is always someone doing something with someone else.

And it’s not just for partying. When you need someone to listen or keep the kids while you go to the hospital or bring you dinner when you come home from the hospital – you’ve got your group. Life with a group is undeniably one of the most rewarding investments you can make for your family’s future and health. Talk to Dan, who heads up our Lifegroups, and start doing life together!

Pillar of Generosity Part One

September 23, 2008

This Sunday we talked about the subject of generosity. This is a topic that is not mentioned in a lot of churches because too frequently we connect it only to money. Churches are afraid to talk about money even though we all have some and use it to live. That failure to connect generosity to a deeper spiritual need is compelling because of Jesus’ pervasive teaching on the subject.

At the essence of generosity is a willingness to give and a refusal to hoard. Love is essentially an act of generosity because we are giving our love to others. In the narrative of the Prodigal Son, the father exercises generosity by not extending wrath and throwing a party. At the heart of the practice of Christian spirituality is the generosity of the One who displays that generosity by giving Man the ability not only to be aware of his need for a more abundant life, but also the ability live out that abundant eternal life – not in the “by and by” but now.

How incredible to be a part of a spiritual discipline that emphasises giving of love and grace instead of the taking of lives and land. Several years ago, we in the established church couldn’t say that. The Crusades had been waged in an onslaught of taking, all in the name of God. Thankfully those times have past, but there are still some who view Christianity as a “war to fight” or a “battle to win”. Jesus told Peter when he tried to take from another that “he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword”.

May we do all that we can to become a community of generous people who live generous lives in generous ways. Only then will people “know us by our love”.

What a Day!

September 14, 2008

First, I have to say thanks to those who responded and brought compact fluorescent light bulbs, we still could use a few more, but we got several thanks to you! Next, I have to say that the energy and interaction was off the chain today. I love what I get to do! You guys at Lifepoint are the reason that the meetings are so memorable. What you bring with you and how you chose to get involved always is the difference maker every time we get together.

I can’t wait to see how things continue to get better as we move forward to the end of this year and the beginning of another.

BTW – please comment with your favorite country song. The next song you hear might just be the one you suggest!