April 2010


I got Chavonda’s permission to post this. Be encouraged that God DOES still heal and deliver!!! Oh, what ONE prayer can do! so more than counselors, Dr.s and medications!!! Praise God!

Hi Pastor Jeremy,

This is Chavonda, you prayed for me Wednesday night after service. Words could not express how I am feeling right now. I have been on a spiritual high ever since Wednesday. I would like to confess and testify that I have been healed and set free from depression. I was so distraught that night that I knew that I really needed prayer. My depression seemed to have been getting worse and I could no longer relate or identify with myself. I felt as if someone else had taken control of my body and mind and I was a robot or a foreigner to my own body. The prayer that you prayed over me was so powerful. The enemy chains have been broken in my life. Like the Bible says he come to steal, kill, and destroy. But God is all Powerful and Mighty and He broke that spirit of depression and set me free. I have not felt this good in awhile. It feels as if I could run a marathon, I am so overflowed with Love and the sense and presence of God around me right now I feel like my heart is about to explode with the power of his love right now. It is a feeling beyond words. Thank you so much Pastor Jeremy for prayer and holding my hand when I was on the floor crying my heart out to God in joy because I knew that it (spirit of depression) was broken and I was going to be alright. IT IS BROKEN!!!!!! HALLELUJAH. PRAISE TO THE MOST HIGH GOD. I HAVE BEEN SET FREE AND HEALED. THANK YOU, THANK YOU , THANK YOU. I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAISE HIM.

-Sincerely,

Chavonda

(By the way, in her follow-up email-she walked two miles, feels even better, praising God all the louder—well you just read it for yourselves 🙂

Pastor Jeremy,

I just got back from a 2 mile walk have not had the strength to do that in awhile it really felt good, but of course you are more than welcome to use my testimony on your blog and you don’t have to remove my name if you want to use my name, then do so. Again, thank you… and like you said many people do need deliverance and I realized that there is a real war in the spiritual realm that’s taking place this very moment, a battle over our souls, between good and evil. But we worship a real God and He is All Powerful. Jeremy you have no idea how I feel right now. I could not even put it in words, for words would not express or do it justice the power of Love that God is showing me, my heart is overflowed with joy and feels though I cannot contain it, its just that powerful. Again, thank you for being a great and anointed man of God and for obeying the calling on your life to be a pastor. God has some great things in store for you and He is going to use you and continue to use you mightly to advance His kingdom. Stay strong in Christ.

-Chavonda

Notes from Lit Conference 2010

 (Rough draft of notes and thoughts from yesterday’s leadership conference..will be posting thoughts next week from Andy Stanley’s conference too) Let me know what you think!!!

Pat Summitt

Make Hard work your passion…its called hard work for a reason.

Learn to empower people—give responsibility and authority away. Risk it. When we empower people powerful things happen.

Most important leadership principle—lead by example

Know when to call timeouts. Huddles are powerful. Her huddles are first allowing the PLAYERS to share what they see. Then the staff talks.

Questions leaders must ask:

                Could you work for you?

                What kind of teammate would you be on your staff?

                Are you passionate?

                Are you raising the bar?

                Do you truly listen?

                Your staff are smart, God speaks to them (after all they do work for you!!)—listen!

Role players are important—Pat was a role player on Olympic Team. (But you can change your role if you are passionate and work hard enough)

Embrace discipline-make winning an attitude. Positive is contagious.

Keep score—its important. Basketball is a game and they keep score..we should be able to measure and critique our ministries.

“I will help you; but you have to start your own engine” Pat Summitt telling her son she would help me make the team he just got cut from.

Demonstrate loyalty. Her secretary has been with her 28 years…loyalty and secure identity. She knows her role.

Used to be “My way or the highway, not anymore….I listen.” Pat Summitt

Team 1st then self.  

Pete Wilson

Has God ever called anyone to do something easy and quick?

God requires us to lead with faith. Task is always impossible, scary, difficult. Causes us to trust.

What would you do if you were ABSOLUTELY convinced that God was with you?

Don’t abandon values to pursue vision. Don’t pursue vision ahead of God.  

Where does your sense of security come from? Attendance? Or God?

Dr. Johnny Hunt

Passion draws and repels people at the same time. Know who God is calling you to be, then please Him.

Problem: our church members are UNDER CHALLENGED! Studies show 20 something’s don’t attend congregations because they are not challenged. (They are spiritual-not churched)

Dr. Chris Stevens

Momentum is a leader’s best friend.

3 kinds of momentum.

Structural momentum. Numbers 3:36-37 Moses dictated the structure. Does your structure hold back ministry or hold it up?

If you are going to build anything that lasts; it must have structure. Lack of structure (nice nurseries etc) will keep you from growing. Parking lot, not preaching may be your biggest obstacle.

Systematic momentum. Numbers 3:25-26 Moses developed a system. What systems help you flow?

                Two momentum killers—indecision and procrastination

Set goals—WHOLE congregation must know yearly goals. (baptize #, launch # groups, # of mission trips, support # of missionaries)

Systems must be obvious, easy, quick. Someone volunteers Sunday, what do you do?

What natural barriers are keeping you from growing?

Spiritual momentum. Numbers 4:4

If an organization grows by 35% it must be totally reorganized. Ken Blanchard.

The number one problem in most organizations is no momentum. John Maxwell

Chris Stevens has PhD in Church Growth—number one element of church growth is keeping momentum. Keep momentum by keeping people excited. Keep people excited by being the most excited person in your congregation. Spend enough time with God that you believe in His vision for your church.

Questions for a Momentum Makeover:

                What is the difference between Big Mo and Status Quo?

                Are YOU motivated?

                Is there any urgency and intensity in your organization?

                What are your momentum killers?

                What is your plan?

                Where are your key leaders?

Dr. Jeremy McGinnis (put in my two cents –I was not a conference speaker–would to be though 🙂 )

                Calling-You are called. If you are saved, then Christ has a mission for you to on. (Great Commission)

                Character-Christ is developing the character (Fruit of the Spirit) within you to accomplish the task. Leadership development begins with personal development. Prayer is the number one leadership tool (I say tool in the most reverent way).

                Competency-you have within you the gifts and skills to lead. God created you in your mother’s womb. Fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the only you in the history of the world. Do what He’s called you to do. You have both natural and supernatural gifts God has placed within you and for you.

                Confidence-it is the missing link between average and great leadership. (faith) Faith without works is dead. Be it unto you according to your faith. I’ve not seen such great faith in all of Israel. Go, your faith has made you whole. It’s ok to be great. Be confident in God’s anointing, calling, Scripture, Spirit and activity in your life. At least commit to failing forward. Calling, character, and competency are all dormant until we are confident enough to act, to step out. At least Peter walked and sunk on the water WITH Christ! I believe but help my unbelief. It’s ok to struggle, but not ok to step!

Yesterday, while reading 2 Corinthians, I thought about the current state of preaching. I tried to read the epistle as a whole (you know, that method they teach you in seminary 🙂 )…I began thinking about the pastoral issues, leadership struggles and spiritual implications Paul was wrestling through in his passionate and urgent tones. Right off the bat, Paul has to justify his ”change of plans” (interesting–verse 17) Chapter 7 really demonstrates Paul’s sternness toward apparent sin within the Corinth church. He continues to weave correction throughout his letter, however, Paul again is explicit in dealing with sin and his authority to address it in chapters 10 and 11. Chapter 12:11-ff, Paul lays out his concern for the corporate body. Chapter 13:10, he states it one last time—‘I am writing this to you before I come, hoping that I won’t need to deal severely with you when I do come. For I want to use the authority the Lord has given me to strengthen you, not to tear you down.’ Wow!!! It’s hard to imagine most contemporary pastors speaking like this to their congregations! Cultural and church trends in leadership tend to downplay confrontation, discipline etc.

Again, I just read this yesterday. I’ve just been thinking about the implications for me and my pastor friends. What do you think? If your pastor spoke harshly from the pulpit about known, current sin in your life and/or church, how would you react? Let me know….

I REALLY don’t want to offend anyone. Especially one who mean well and love me so deeply. I definitely don’t want to offend one that truly senses that they are hearing from God. One that is stepping out in faith to ‘speak a word’. One that prays for me and loves me more than many. One that is spot-on so often. however,…..

Sometimes we encounter bad theology, sometimes we (ministers) even espouse bad theology. Let’s face it, none of us have it ALL figured out. We all see through a glass dimly. We all miss it from time to time. We are continually growing and learning, we must remain teachable and allow for correction. With that said, earlier today I missed a prime opportunity to guide a loving, trust-worthy, well-meaning brother.

There’s a prevailing theological assumption….it may be subconscious or covert, but many believers tend to believe that we must build a testimony to have a testimony. The GREATEST testimony God grants to His followers is the preventative one!! Healing from cancer is great! Restored marriages are awesome! Prodigal children returning are cherished celebrations! But, how much more the miracle of the one who NEVER faces disease!?! The marriage that lives in blissful harmony and holy unity without affairs or fractured intimacy!?! How about the child that never strays but grows mightily in the Lord from an early age and is full of the Holy Spirit and Word!?!

This faulty theology further purports that one must face trials, tribulations and sufferings to truly KNOW that God is a deliverer, healer, savior and friend that sticks closer than a brother. Do you believe this?

To be more than a conqueror in Christ, more than a overcomer; is it necessary to face trials, tribulations and sufferings or does one illustrate Christ’s love, grace and power by ALLOWING and RESTING in God’s preemptive provision/protection? I tend to believe His keeping grace is as glamorous and exotic as is His saving grace. I think He is strong enough to keep one free from sickness, attacks of the enemy and trials as powerfully as He can deliver the child in the midst of the storm. What do you think? Let me know. If I’m wrong, then I won’t address my brother.

Let me know….

I watched more of the NFL draft this year than all other years combined! I really enjoyed it. I posted a silly tweet about wondering if a team might call me on Saturday. I connected it to FB and got a reply…Ron reminded me that I already have lucrative eternal contract since I answered God’s draft into His eternal ministry team. My mind has been spinning ever since I read his comment.

You know, all these 20 somethings were waiting for a call from a coach or front-office rep for an opportunity to play 60 minutes of football 16 weeks of 52 each year for a handful of years. They wait as if their lives depend on it. Each one of us have way more power than any GM, Coach, or any front-office rep in any league. We (all believers) represent Christ and we are to daily be extending God’s draft invitations to all the dormant kingdom-talent around us. Help me re-instate the fire and the enjoyment in God’s powerful draft.

What do you think?….