Another week has come and gone, but this last Sunday, I felt like I was in nearly full health, and I also felt strong in what I had to say in our service. As a result, even though I went home exhausted after our morning gatherings, I was encouraged by the great things God is doing in our midst.
I had the honor once again of leading the worship band for our music on Sunday, and I must say that it was a real treat to add Joe Schoolcraft to our team. He brought exceptional talent and a great heart to the band, and I hope the people in the congregation felt it as much as I did. It also meant that Jake was able to break out the Phoenix Bass guitar again. I love seeing the reflection from that guitar bounce around the ceiling!
Here was our setlist:
Thanks to Sheri, Jake, Vince, and Joe for making the weekend so much fun for me.
This was the second week of our series on How to Be Rich, and though the first message (last week) was completely original, I admitted on Sunday that much of the next three messages were originally inspired by a series of messages Andy Stanley delivered at North Point Community Church a couple years back. I was challenged to hear Andy talk about how being rich is a topic no one seems to care about even though Paul commands Timothy to give special commands to those who are “rich in this present world.”
The irony is that most of us in America fall in the category of “rich in this present world” whether we feel like it or not. Our homeless in this country often fare better than some full-time employees in other countries.
What was most interesting to me in my study leading up to Sunday, though was some research I found on the relative ranking of income between the U.S.A. and other countries. In fact, when it comes to disposable income, America ranks number one among all countries. Furthermore, when it comes to median household income, America also ranks number one.
I was challenged by this quote:
The average home in the United States has more than 700 square feet per person, which is 50% – 100% more than in other high-income countries. Even in the lowest income percentiles people enjoy more space than middle classes in Europe. Likewise even in the lowest percentiles ownership rates of gadgets and amenities are exceptionally high compared to other countries. Affluence in the United States
I even referenced a quote from Bono on his great wealth compared to the poverty-stricken people of the world.
The bottom line is that I encouraged everyone in the congregation to claim three things for themselves:
- I’m rich.
- I’m rich because God has blessed me.
- I will not trust in my riches but in the One who richly provides.
Aside from the claim that all of us are rich, these principles came directly from 1 Timothy 6:17.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. — 1 Timothy 6:17
This is truly the message I needed to hear. I’m certainly feeling poor right now. I am struggling to just keep my utilities on. I’m only getting part time work. I need prayer. All of the things you said are true of me, and I am rich.
I am rich. I have a home, food, a husband who loves me, healthy kids. So many people don’t have these things. I am learning to be content with what I have, not what I think I need. We might not have a fancy house, a huge bank account or the newest gadgets, but we have each other, and that is the most important thing.
I wonder if part of the way God provides for others is by way of His people giving freely to those in need. If so, we have a tremendous responsibility to the saved and unsaved brothers and sisters in our world. That is a humbling, anxiety-causing and wonderful thing all at once!
I have been taught to stress over money so it has been a continual struggle in my life even though God has never failed to provide and has clearly shown me. Thank you for allowing God to speak to me through the message and through you.
I am RICH–feels odd to say, usually tell myself I’m “just making it”!
It seems like a lot of people are connecting with the concepts of this series so far. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring the lessons that God is laying on my heart to you each week.
As we look forward, there are a few things I want you as leaders to pay specific attention to and to know.
Refresh Event is coming October 20
The first thing I want you to know is that in just a few weeks, we will be doing something we’ve never done before. We will be hosting a gathering specifically for those who serve in some volunteer capacity in the church. Specifically, this is going to be a gathering designed just to inspire, encourage, and refresh you.
You see, I’m convinced of the truth that we are most refreshed when we refresh others. It’s one of the core value statements of our church and it is the basis for our teaching on the Water Element.
I’m convinced that when we are serving others from a right heart we are refreshed by God himself. However, I know that sometimes serving can also feel like a chore, so I believe God is calling ME to be part of the REFRESHMENT he wants to bring to YOU.
Are you tracking with this yet?
I’ll be blunt. I’m inviting you to come to an inspiring and relaxing worship event designed just for volunteers of LCC. During our time together, we will do three things:
- We are going to fellowship over our favorite appetizers brought by all of us to share with each other.
- I’m going to lead us in a time of reflective worship and bring some teaching on leadership.
- We’re going to take some time to break up into ministry groups to reconnect and strategize.
Are you excited?! It’s going to be on October 20 at 6:00pm at the church building, and we will provide childcare for your kids.
I also wanted to officially recognize our three elders-in-training. Billy and I have welcomed Josh Cadwallader, Lorenzo Olivo, and Brian Schoolcraft to join us in a process of leadership development in preparation for possible eldership in the church. Pray for these guys as they seek God’s will for their lives.
Coaching by Skype
I’ve been going through this coaching material with a number of people recently, and it seems to be making quite a difference in people’s lives. In fact, I’ve realized that it’s the kind of thing that can be done really effectively even with short coaching meetings. If you want to be coached, but you don’t think you have the time for it, let me know. We can work something out where we can do a coaching appointment in just 20 minutes over the phone or by Skype.
I’m making myself available to you especially because as leaders and helpers in the ministries of LCC, you are on the front lines and I want you to know you are supported.
Finally, I want to point you toward our experimental online prayer request board. It’s found at http://lafayettecc.org/members. You’ll need an account to log in, and if you aren’t part of our Prayer Team, you’ll only be able to see the public requests and your own requests. Let me know if you have suggestions for how it should work or if you’d like to join our Prayer Team.
I’m so glad to be serving in this church with all of you. You’ll never know the joy I feel when I see someone step up and volunteer to serve others through LCC. It’s a rush, and I thank God for all of you!