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Archive for January, 2007

Where to Begin?

I know that this may suprise you but…

I’M SO EXCITED!!!

Yesterday was an awesome day! The 1st day of our "Desperate Households" Series began with a Home Run – We were challenged by an awesome drama by some of our talented actors and our Pastor hit us where it really hurts most of us – in the "priorities". Having the best priorities in life is so important and he did an outstanding job breaking them down for us. I hope that you’ll get a copy of the message from Guest Services If you didn’t make the services yesterday because you really NEED TO HEAR THIS MESSAGE!

And this series promises to get better and better by the week. If you have a friend, co-worker, family member (mailman, trash collector, waitress. you get the picture – this is for everyone), anyone who doesn’t attend church somewhere and you’ve been hoping to reach them, remember, this is exactly the series you’ve been waiting for. These messages apply to everyone – so invite, invite, invite.

This weekend’s message is titled, "Partners: Desperate Homes, Desperate Relationships." I’ll just go ahead and warn you: this series is going to get edgier and edgier, with the last week having a drama that goes beyond anything that YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN CHURCH BEFORE! Got your curiosity up? I hope so; invite those friends that don’t yet live 4 God. Remember, most of them have never seen church the way that Hyde Park does it!

Last time I talked about how excited that i am that Laura Sampson has agreed to be our F.I.T. (First Impressions Team) Coordinator. You can find out exactly what this is about here. Once you’ve read it, If you would like to become a part of our F.I.T. ministries you can contact Laura here. (By the way, this Sunday night I will be speaking to the church about WHERE we are in the process of preparing for the big LAUNCH – all the excitement, all the plans – so make plans to be there!)

I said last time I would talk about our communications. (Communications being everything that has to do with the web, our print work, newspaper; everything you see on the screen and hopefully in the near future, our expansion into video ministry.) Last year I developed the Creative Communications Team (CCT), but starting a ministry like this is harder than it would seem. Truthfully, it seems that i’m sometimes hard to decifer (and picky at the same time). What I am out for is a "look" – a "look" that when people see it they think "that’s Hyde Park" – this dream is easier to desire than it is to create. This is why you’ve not heard much about the CCT, but…

Since the end of last Summer, Sebrina Harris has faithfully been serving as an "unofficial" leader of the CCT. For the past few months she has been capably handling the "lovinglumberton.com" duties for us (she has been doing an excellent job). Sebrina has a depth in the way she sees things artistically, and is also a great writer. (Check out her blog – you’ll love the way she bares her soul). Anyway, I am ready to release her to "do her thang" with HP communications, but check this out…

SEBRINA NEEDS HELP! ANYONE WITH INTEREST IN GRAPHIC ART AND LAYOUT NEEDS TO CONTACT HER – SHE WILL SEE IF YOU’RE A "FIT" FOR THE CCT.

We are also looking for people interested in the video side of things – filming / editing / creating in a creative way. In the next few months I would love to see us using video more in the way that we communicate. Rather than "speak and tell" the announcements, wouldn’t it be cool to hear, "check out what’s coming up in the next couple weeks at Hyde Park" and the lights go down and a commercial (created, filmed and edited by our crew) begins to run telling you about a new opportunity for you and your family – or the launching of a new session of DIVORCECARE (beginning January 31st @ 6:45) or the special Casting Crowns concert coming up @ HP (in my dreams!).

ARE YOU SEEING THIS? A better, more creative way to communicate the most important stuff to our congregation. I have seen this in other churches and it is a very effective way to make something "BIGGER" – to add emphasis to it’s importance. So, the question is…

What do you do 2 make Hyde Park happen on Sunday?????? What part of "the body" are you?????? Have you thought lately about HOW the church actually operates (see this passage).

Did you know:

  • that we really want you to become an integral part of what happens week after week to make peoples experience at HP an unbelievable one?
  • We are always looking for people to smile, to welcome, to make people "happy" the moment they get out of their cars?
  • We’re always looking for good musicians to help us take our music to the next level?
  • We need people with experience with theatrical lighting and sound to help us look and sound good week after week?
  • Whatever it is that you really love to do could probably be "harnessed" to serve Jesus (take FAITHTrac 301 next time it comes around – we’ll help you discover your S.H.A.P.E.)

That is a challenge to you – to all of you who read - if all you do is attend, it’s time to step up and help someone to see Jesus through you. Find your place in the Hyde Park body – you will never be the same!

Make a difference for Jesus this week wherever it is He takes you. In love…

Exciting Stuff!

F_i_t_1 As we march towards our March 4th new service launch (read about new schedule) we’ve been working, planning and thinking our way through WHAT we have to do to make sure that everything runs smoothly. We expect a lot for our guests – it’s our desire that their Hyde Park visit isn’t "just" a church visit – we literally want their Hyde Park visit to be an EXPERIENCE! The kind of experience that leaves couples looking at each and saying, "WOW! That was even better than I expected it to be…" and children begging their parents to bring them back.

When people visit our church we have ONE CHANCE to impress upon them that this is something worthy of a weekly visit – this is something that they and their family "desperately" need.

Which is why we’re working on improving HOW we do WHAT we do. We (you, our volunteers) do a lot of things good but we also realize (especially me) that we can always stand a little improvement to make sure that we are making a person’s visit meet the requirement stated above. Here’s what I’ve been working on:

  • "FIRST IMPRESSION TEAM" – The first impression we make to our guest is not something that happens on the platform – Pastor’s message (although the most important thing that happens weekly is the explanation of the gospel message) IS NOT our 1st impression.

    Neither is our first impression the music (which I strive to make the best 1st Impression that we can musically). As important as our music is to what we do, it also is not our 1st impression.

    It’s not the KIDZ PLACE, KIDZ KONNECTION, 252 or our adult SS/Small groups (although each one is vitally important to our weekly offering).

    Our "First Impression" is made in our Parking, Greeting and Guest Services. Those who work in these ministries are the front line of Hyde Park – they have the opportunity to prepare people for what will happen in the auditorium in a greater way than I EVER will!

    Those of you who work on these teams are my heroes – I appreciate you so much.

    So here’s some exciting news about your ministry – We are bringing GUEST SERVICES / PARKING / GREETERS AND USHERS under one umbrella (one department, if you will) and naming that ministry our "FIRST IMPRESSION TEAM (F.I.T.)". I have asked Laura Sampson to serve as our F.I.T. coordinator. Laura’s ministry will be working with the leaders of these teams to make sure that you have plenty of people to serve with you when you serve. She will help organize recruiting, training and scheduling with team leaders, hopefully ensuring that we do all that we can to make a Hyde Park visit an "experience". I’m excited that Laura agreed to serve in this capacity with us as I believe that this is something the "FIT’s" her so well.

For those of you who read this but don’t yet have a ministry at Hyde Park, we want you! You can be a part (a HUGE part) of making a persons first experience a great experience. There are so many opportunities for you to be involved with the "First Impressions Team" (F.I.T.). See, you don’t have to be a singer, small group leader, teacher or preacher to be an important part of what happens here on a weekly basis. It takes an enormous amount of people to do what we do every weekend and BEGINNING MARCH 4TH IT WILL TAKE EVEN MORE. This is a great opportunity for you to get connected and use what God has been teaching you in the lives of others. If you’re interested in serving contact Laura here.

Next time we’ll be talking about improving our communications ministry (those of you into graphics and video – this will be 4 you!)

I’m tarred…

Do you know what that means – to be "tarred"?

"Tarred" would be Robeson County speak for the word "tired", but honestly, tired just doesn’t have the ring (nor does it explain my current feeling).

"So Mike p, if you’re so "tarred", why are you on the blog tonite?" Good question.

Answer?

I’m pumped because we had a great day – we serve a great God – we are in the midst of a great move of God – and i’m a blessed man. Today really was great. Music was happenin’. Good crowds. Small groups seemed to do well. Things seemed to run smooth. As Ice Cube said, "Today was a good day…"

Oh yeah, (i almost forgot), the main reason i decided to write was because of an unbelievable statement my Pastor said this morning (please forgive me if I don’t get this totally right – i will get the "spirit" of the statement, even if my wording is a little off.) I just can’t get this thought out of my head. During the 11am service, as I sat on the front row (enjoying a great message I must add), Pastor Harrell said, "God never wastes a "hurt" (or a problem, a challenge, a mistake – it was something like that!).

WOW!

Now, I know – if you weren’t there, it doesn’t read as much (one of those things that you had to be there, but…)Think about that statement. God never wastes a mistake (yours, by the way – HE makes no mistakes!). God uses all that stuff and uses it to make you into the person He wants you to be…

Made a really bad decision, one that you’ve been paying for a number of years? God is (or will, if you allow Him) using that bad decision to shape who you’ll become…

Did a really stupid thing? Can’t shake the thought? Can can and will use it to change you (after all, some of our greatest lessons happen as a result of learning "the hard way".)

Negative memories from your past haunting you – keeping you from taking that "next step" because you’re afraid that the negativity will come back up and attack when you least expect it? That’s not God, my friend, that’s your spiritual enemy instilling fear into you to keep you from moving on and trusting God (something your enemy hates).

Guys and gals, that is a message that tens of thousands of people in this region need to hear – that JESUS loves them, will forgive them of their sin (if they ask) and will use their mistakes, hurts and challenges to make them the people that He created them to be. (think the story of Joseph – if Joseph could have chosen the route that would get him to the 2nd highest level in Egypt I CAN GUARANTEE that he wouldn’t have chosen the one that God used. As a matter of fact, he probably would not have chosen it even knowing the eventual outcome).

I WANT THE PEOPLE OF OUR REGION TO COME TO JESUS! I WANT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THEIR NEED FOR HIM. I WANT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE WAY THAT THEY COME TO HIM IS BY TURNING FROM THEIR SINS AND RECEIVING HIM (JESUS), THAT HE MIGHT MAKE THEM A NEW CREATION.

I will do anything, try anything and give anything that we might reach a few – that they would TRULY come to Him. In our near future I believe that we will be stretched in our comfort – We will DESTROY the comfort zone for the priviledge of seeing lives changed forever.

What a privilege we have. What humbling responsibilty comes with that priviledge. I want to be found faithful, not only to God, but also to the church He has assigned me to. Thanks for the opportunity to lead you in the greatest (and most rewarding) adventure we’ve ever been on.

Have a great Monday!

From the Inside Out

So, how’s the 40 Days of Prayer going for you? Let me encourage you, no matter what stage that you’re in (that means "on fire" or "i haven’t opened the prayer book once since Sunday" or even "what’s 40 Days of Prayer?") – hang in there and allow God to do an awesome work of renewal.

I wanted to give props to my great, great friend, Eddie D. for putting together and compiling the prayer guide for 40 Days. He works so hard to serve God and it is his sincere desire to help YOU grow in your relationship with JESUS. (and for those of you who prayed for me today – WOW!!! You can’t imagine how awesome it is to think that hundreds of people uttered my name before God, praying for my family and ministry – i love ya’ll. By the way, this week has been UNBELIEVABLE in the area of "breakthrough".)

For me, the following song describes the state and desire of my heart. Read these lyrics from Hillsong’s "From the Inside Out":

"(in) My heart and my soul, i give YOU control, consume me from the inside out, Lord.
Let justice and praise become my embrace – to love YOU from the inside out…"

Jeremiah 29:13 says, "13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Let’s join our hearts together (be unified) and seek Him with all that we are. Worship Him with me as you view this great song of praise.

FREAKIN’ OUT!!!

Well, I AM FREAKING OUT!!! I JUST WROTE A BRAND NEW POST – I FINISHED IT AND BEFORE I GOT IT ACTUALLY PREVIEWED AND POSTED IT JUST DISAPPEARED…

As you can tell, i am not happy. Let’s see if i can make that happen again…

BUT, BEFORE I DO…

I would like to suggest a few things to you (maybe this will do me good as i share some stuff i was wanting to share already.)

I AM LOVING THE BOOK "Confessions of a Pastor". This is one of the most encouraging, honest books i’ve ever read. He destroys the "super-Christian" myth that keeps so many from suceeding in deeply following Christ.

Confessions_1 Confessions of a Pastor: Adventures in Dropping the Pose and Getting Real with God
By Craig Groeschel / Multnomah Pub. Inc. (random)

I am also loving the Hillsong CD "Mighty to Save" – Check out the song "From the Inside Out". WE WILL BE ROCKIN’ THIS ONE IN A MATTER OF WEEKS!

Mighty Mighty to Save: Live CD
By Hillsong / Integrity Music

You can order these online and have them this week – they will encourage you as you strive to seek God in 2007.

OK. I feel much better. Below, you’ll find the post that i’ve had to rewrite because I forgot to save (Sure Glad God doesn’t!)