Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Legacy Church”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we interrupted our series at Kfirst to do our first Partnership Summit.

Last fall, we made a huge shift in the structure of our congregation. We moved from the terminology of “Membership” to “Partnership.” This was more than a shift of verbiage but a shift of philosophy and heart. We discovered an “issue” with membership. Membership was misunderstood, misapplied, or not applied at all. Because of a variety of church experiences, it made some want to avoid it all together.

It took quite a few years of prayer, research, and conversationWe landed on biblical term out of the book of Philemon that not only identified what it meant to be the core of our church community but also described our role.

The term we landed on: PARTNER

A Partner is more than an attender but someone who identifies and participates in the heart and vision of Kfirst. And we Partners, meet 3 times a year to celebrate God’s goodness, own the vision, and to pray together.

Last Sunday, was our introduction to Partnership by holding our first Partnership Summit on a Sunday morning.

Check out the message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Celebration is the reminder that every success happens by the grace of God.
  • Partners are key to the atmosphere of Kfirst: CELEBRATION
  • Partners are key to the heart and vision of Kfirst:
    • Why? Partners carry the vision
  • You will find what you think you’re going to find.
  • God doesn’t bless you instead of someone else. He blesses you for the sake of someone else.
  • “If you don’t reinvest your miracles, you will see the end of them.” Levi Lusko
  • When we give what we have, our obedience becomes the conduit for miracles.
  • God’s gifts get multiplied with their use.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: #MYCHURCH week 2 “Better Together”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

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January is about “newness.” Whether we are talking about a new start, new life, new opportunities, or just new vision, a new year naturally directs our focus forward into endless possibilities.

And its every January where we celebrate the newness of what God has in store for Kfirst  community as we kickoff our annual #MYCHURCH series. (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

Yesterday, we looked at Paul’s admonishment in 1 Corinthians 12 to work together to be the body of Christ.  And our heart is to for everyone to see THREE important facts:

  1. You are gifted (by the Holy Spirit).
  2. You are important (because of the cross).
  3. We can do more than ME.

At Kfirst, it’s our desire to see everyone find their fit to serve because, I believe, serving is both the best way to connect as well as the best road to discipleship. Advancing the kingdom of God is NOT about what pastors can do; it’s about what we can all do together.  And when the body of Christ is working together, there’s nothing quite like it.

So yesterday, I gave a list of some of the dream serve opportunities for people to engage in. If you want to check out the list, here it is:

volunteer-still-psd
Our messages are for Monday and we need to put action to what the Lord is speaking. So your next steps this week are:

  1. Ask yourself: What breaks (touches) my heart?”
    • God doesn’t give you a burden to do nothing about it.
  2. Make the move to engage. 
    • Contact us at info@kfirst.org or call the church office and let us help you find your fit in ministry. Maybe it’s to be a part of something. Perhaps it’s to lead or pioneer a ministry. The goal isn’t just to volunteer, it’s to find your ministry “fit.”

Also, if you’re looking for a scripture reading plan to go along with our message, check out this one.

Love you all.  See you this Sunday as we continue our series.

BTW: Here’s a song for your week’s playlist.

What my parents didn’t teach me about marriage – Part 2

Last week, we started this new blog series that focused upon the things my parents didn’t teach me based upon some of the issues we see today.  Again, please don’t take any of the following blogs as a guilt trip to those who have struggled or have made mistakes.  I do not elevate anyone above Christ. But I do obey scripture to “give honor to whom honor is due.”

To catch up, read Part 1 of the series here.

Part 2…what didn’t my parents teach me?  They didn’t teach me to operate separate from my spouse.  They showed a unified front

When I think of the definition of “oneness”, I think of my parents.  As stated in Part 1, I don’t think they’re perfect in the least bit, but I’m grateful for them NOT teaching me certain things.

One of things they NEVER taught me was “disunity.”

When I saw them make decisions, I heard discussions.  They both gave input.  Sometimes they asked us kids what we thought (even thought our opinions probably had no baring on a decision). But nevertheless, we (Rach and I) felt a part of things.  When dad and mom made the decision to go into ministry, tons of changes were coming to our lives.  They told me of the news together.

To take this unity thing further, never once did I feel they vied for the position of “favorite parent.”  I never heard language or saw actions in which one was trying to be the “nice parent” and the other would be the “disciplinarian.”  It wasn’t about “wait till ___________ gets home.”  When it came to encouragement AND discipline, both parents shared the roles and walked in unity with those roles.   If they disagreed on how the other one parented (which probably happened as I know it happens to me and Anne), I, as their child, never saw it and assumed it happened out of earshot of us kids.

Let’s go another step deeper: When dad and mom had disagreements, we (Rach and I) were not pawns in the midst of conflict.  Our heads were not filled with parents wanting us to take sides.  We were not in the awkward position of hearing information that kids should hear.  Our young minds didn’t go through the agonizing conflict that so many parents put their kids through pressuring them to “side with mom/dad”.  We were spared from being a part of the conflict. They kept it between them.

One of my favorite scriptures to quote when talking marriage is Psalm 133.  For where there is unity,

“…there the Lord commands His blessing.”

There wasn’t perfection in our home.  There wasn’t a world with rose-colored glasses (idealism). We lived modestly.  We lived real.  There was laughter and tears;  excitement and disappointment. It was just a real home, with real issues, but approached by a marriage in a unified manner.

And for that reason, I believe the blessing of God was on us.

For that reason, I thank you mom and dad for “one”.

Till next week when we look at Part 3.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devo: What are you thinking Day 10

We’re focusing on what the Bible says about the “mind” and how that affects us.  Spend time on the devo and take a minute or two to ponder what the Word is challenging you to do.

Philippians 2:1-4

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Marriage Blog: The Pre-nup Mind

“It’s mine!”

kids-fighting

It is that familiar phrase yelled by my children.  Every time you hear it, you get annoyed.  The problem is you’re not sure what’s more frustrating: them yelling and screaming or the fact that you remember when you did the same thing.

We were once at the age where we fought with siblings or friends that were invading our space attempting to take something that we felt completely belonged to us.  I can look back and remember my parents responding to the angry rants of me and my sister acting so selfishly.  When you grow up in a mobile home, those fights are hard to keep quiet with such thin walls.

As a parent, we work so hard training our child to learn how to think of others and share what we have.  We want our kids to think of others to respond to the needs of the people in their lives.  At some point, like a snake shedding its skin, we think it is okay to shed what we were raised to do and to live with everything being “mine.” It’s the polar opposite of what we want our children to live. We walk with a sense of entitlement. After all, “it’s mine…I worked hard for it…I earned it…it’s mine.” What we done is we’ve made selfishness acceptable.

What I see in marriages is couples that walk with, what I call, a “pre-nup mind.”

Let me explain.

A “pre-nup” or prenuptial agreement is a contract that a couples agrees to prior to marriage that stipulates who owns what (assets, liabilities) should a divorce occur.  Soon-to-be married couples can outline not only the financial responsibilities of each should there be a divorce, they can also put in writing the expectations of each as far as behavior during the marriage AND what will occur should their expectations not be met.

(Sounds safe doesn’t it? I hate it.  Why? Because a “pre-nup” is a plan for divorce.  It’s getting married with an escape plan.)

Even though couples may have not signed a prenuptial agreement, it doesn’t stop people from walking with a “pre-nup” mindset.

his and hers

“This is MY money.”
“This is MY house.”
“I paid for that.”
“That is MY account.”
“It’s MY business. Why do you care?”
“Don’t worry about it…it’s MY problem?”

When or at what age did selfishness become acceptable?

The “pre-nup mind” creates an atmosphere of selfishness where we lay claim to “stuff.”  We might as well walk around marking our territory.  It can include money (separate accounts for the purpose of MY selfishness), material items (this is YOUR stuff and this is MY stuff), time (this is MY vacation time/day off), emotions/thoughts (I only think/care about ME), and our bodies (it doesn’t matter because I’M not in the mood).  When or at what age did selfishness become acceptable?

There’s a well-known poker term. It’s called “All in.”

All in

To declare “all in” means to bet all of your chips/money on the current hand.  

THIS IS WHAT MARRIAGE IS!!! When I married Anne, I put all of my “chips” in the pot (money, material things, time, thoughts, and affection).  I didn’t keep any “chips” for myself.  Why? Because she’s all in too.   We operate that we because that’s what we see modeled in Christ. 

Philippians 2:5-7 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

Simply said, Christ laid aside what he was entitled to (he is the Son of God) for the sake of serving humanity and giving everything he had WITHOUT holding anything back.  This is how we should approach our marriage; laying aside ourselves for the sake of the one we’ve come together with. 

Living the “pre-nup” mindset does nothing more than fight against the very nature and design of marriage.  It’s like using a wrench as a hammer; you can operate that way for a while but in the end, you’ve never got the effectiveness you could have, you’ve worked harder than you needed to, and you’ve done more damage than necessary. 

Today, lay down your pride…and everything else.  Erase the lines of “mine” and “yours” and take up the mantel of “ours.” Today, maybe for the first time, toss off the “pre-nup” mind and take on the mindset of Jesus. 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Marriage Devo – Day 5

Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos. This month we are in our Annual Marriage Series at Kalamazoo First Assembly of God and we’re going through devotions for couples. Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

2 Corinthians 5:14-18

New International Version (NIV)

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: