Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Take A Breath

I just got home from a very cool dinner with all of our Dream Team members. This completes an incredibly busy last few weeks. I am kind of glad we only turn 1 once!

Our Senior Pastor (and my brother, in case you hadn't figured it out yet..) Greg Surratt came up and gave a great talk on why he started Seacoast Church, and why we do what we do. Lost people matter to God. It's that simple. We will never deviate from our original focus - to reach lost people and turn them into fully devoted followers of Christ. The methods may have changed a little over the years, but never the message.

It's kind of cool to sit there and know that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. We will never have enough volunteers. We will never have enough children's workers. We will never have enough paid staff; because we are called to win the world. That's something worth signing up for.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I Am Going To Get Fat

My calendar is filling up with guys from other churches that want to meet with me to talk about how we are doing church. I love talking about what God is doing through Seacoast right now. I really think that it is a revolutionary way to spread the Gospel. However, the only problem with all of this is: they always offer to buy me lunch or dinner. I NEVER turn down an offer of food. If you would like to meet with me about anything, make food a part of it. If I am going to continue this Pastor thing - I have to get back in the gym.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Best Laid Plans...

We had our one year anniversary service today. We planned for a month every moment of this service. We tried to do everything the best way that we possibly knew how. The feeling was electric all morning long. There was a big crowd and the music was totally off-the-hook! I got up to look back at all of the incredible things that have happened in the year since we started; and then give my vision of where we are headed from here. It was a message that I was absolutely stoked about giving. Nothing gets me more excited than laying out vision and direction.

That's when it stopped. As I was beginning to speak, I heard a loud thud at the back of the auditorium. I assumed somebody had tripped over a chair on the way to the restroom (I am getting used to distractions when I speak), so I kept going. The next thing I heard was somebody yell from the back "Call 911!!!". What?!? This is not happening. A man had collapsed on his way out of the auditorium and was laying face down in front of our sound booth. It turns out that he has heart trouble and had just recently had heart surgery. We have some incredible hero's in our church that immediately jumped in and knew exactly what to do. When the EMT's arrived, they said that we had done everything exactly right. It took about 20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive and get him loaded up and ready to go.

I should tell you at this point that he is going to be ok. I just got back from the hospital and spoke with him and his wife. They apologized for interrupting our service!

After the ambulance left, we pulled back together, prayed, and I continued my message. I have never done anything harder in my life. I know that God had a reason for allowing all of that - I am not quite sure what it was yet. If nothing else, it shows that He is in control - not me.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

It's Not About You

I think sometimes as pastors, we get so caught up in the whirlwind of making church happen each week, that we never make the time to step back and look at what God is actually doing.

In anticipation of our one year anniversary this Sunday, I have been meeting with a few people in our church to find out what God has done in their lives during their time at Seacoast. It has blown me away. I had no idea how much God has changed their entire existence. We talk about reaching the unchurched, uncommitted, unconvinced; but until you hear the actual stories, I don't think you know the true meaning.

I would encourage every pastor to have at least one conversation this week with someone growing in your church. That's why you're doing what you're doing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This Sunday

I just got back from music rehearsal...and this Sunday is going to rock!!! I cannot wait to get up after what we have planned, to share my vision for Seacoast Greenville. If you are a Seacoaster, this is not a weekend to miss! We are putting everything we can into celebrating our first year and looking forward to what is going to happen in the next. Make sure that you bring someone with you as well!

Monday, August 15, 2005

It's The Little Things

In our quest to reach people with the Gospel at our weekend service, we try to do some creative things to keep people awake and interested in what is coming up next. Some of them are blatant - like special songs that segue perfectly into or out of the message topic. A few of them are more subtle; for instance, we have been playing songs during the greeting time that go along with the topic of that day. This past Sunday's topic was the 9th commandment - "Thou shall not lie", so we played "Lyin' Eyes" by the Eagles. Last week it was "Thou shall not steal", so we played the theme from the TV show Cops - "Bad Boys" (thanks Jeff).

I love doing anything creative to set-up hitting people between the eyes with some Gospel, but I especially dig finding those "covert" ways to get the point across. Does anybody notice? I don't know...but it's a lot of fun!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Live What You Preach

We are in a series at church right now called Ten Simple Rules. We are going through the ten commandments each week and looking at how they apply to our lives today. Sunday was the eighth commandment "Thou shall not steal", so I spoke on the different ways that we steal and how hurt and violated we feel when someone has stolen from us.

Today I found out that someone stole my church credit card number last week, and for the last 4 days has been having an early Christmas on my account. This is not exactly how I expected to practice what I preach. Next week I will be speaking on how God wants to bless us with unexpected gifts of oatmeal cookies. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

On My Mind

I have been inspired by a few other bloggers to share what is on my mind right now. I realize that this is not a place that a lot of you would like to go. Please indulge me on this one:

1. What a cool church we have. I absolutely love showing up on Sunday mornings! Our Dream Team inspires me every week.

2. How did Ty make it into the bottom 3 on Rock Star INXS last week?

3. I can't believe that we are almost to a year of Seacoast Greenville. What an incredible ride this has been!

4. What is it that Taco Casa puts in their food that makes me keep going back?

5. I absolutely love it when my 2 year old girl says "Daddy, pweaze?".

6. What one cool thing can we do this week to reach more lost people on Sundays?

7. How can I love the game of golf so much, when it obviously hates me?

8. I really don't deserve anything that I have. What an incredible God that we have!

9. The local church is the hope of the world.

10. I can't wait to eat lunch at Taco Casa tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Good Night

We just finished the second night of our Nick-At-Night program for kids. We also had our 1st Wednesday service at the same time. I was a little more involved in the 1st Wednesday service (I lead the worship), so that is mostly what I experienced. Wow. God took over tonight and did His thing. I just tried to get out of the way. The kids then came in after our service and finished their night in the auditorium. It was so cool to see my 6 year old on the stage helping lead the worship for the kids. Young and old, worship for a living Savior was brought tonight.