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Archive for July, 2009

What’s In-Store

30 Days I am really excited about this weekend as we continue our series, "30 Days to Live". I believe that this series is going to help many of us to live lives that count!

Last week's message, "Passion", was a challenging look at the fact that most of us live our lives as if our days are expendable – we waste days in our lives thinking nothing about it. The Psalmist says to God, "Lord, teach me to number my days"; notice, not my years (as most of us do), but days. Why? Because everyday is precious. If you missed last week's service I WOULD HIGHLY SUGGEST that you check out the free download or podcast here prior to Sunday morning – you won't be sorry!

Also this weekend is the 2nd weekend of our new schedule – just in case you've been in the land of no-communication, here's our schedule:

Where going 2

We have Services and Bible Fellowship Groups at both times. For a complete listing of what time specific classes meet go here.

Lastly, I'm looking forward to once again being part of the "iServe" team this Sunday! "iServe" is our revamped First Impression team – they are headed by Josh Shelley with team leaders Chuck Smith, Travis Pait, Dominique Brooks, Dolly Rhode, Toni Bryan and David Lovett. "iServe" is working hard to make Sunday the Best Day of your week. If you are interested in becoming part of this team you can sign up after worship in room WC101 (the room behind the Worship Center) or contact Josh directly.

See ya Sunday!

Will We Fight It or Fund It?

Elevation ChurchOn Sunday evening, Josh Shelley (our iServe Coordinator) and myself took 11 of hyde park's finest on a vision-building / encouragement trip to Elevation Church, Charlotte. After having an amazing morning at hyde park we all met back at hp for a 2:30 departure time… we were ready; Elevation didn't disappoint.

We were aware of the excellence Elevation Church is known for. I've been following them since their inception thanks to one of my favorite preachers, Clayton King (WHOOOOOOOOOOOOH!). Although I've checked them out very frequently online and through the podcasts and blogs this was my 1st trip to Elevation due to the fact that for a long time all of their services were on Sunday morning. Due to their explosive growth they added a 6pm service at Butler High School (can you say, roadtrip?)

For those who don't know here are the facts:
  • Elevation is 3 years old.
  • They have 3 campuses (all of which are portable – they set up and tear down weekly) 
  • Their regular attendance is now around 5,000 per weekend (across the 3 campuses and multiple services)
  • They have seen over 4,700 professions of faith. 
  • They have baptized over 1,200 people during this 3rd year of ministry. 

With that in mind I wanted to share my experiences: 

  • The moment that we arrived we saw the portable "A-frame" directional signage pointing us into Elevations parking area. The parking team were easily identifiable (parking vests) with Elevation Church tshirts underneath.
  • The Greet team was amazing – they handled getting us everything we needed prior to the service and told us all we needed to know. They also told us if we would fill out the Guest Card and turned it in at the end that we would receive a free tshirt (you might not care but I'm a sucker for a cool tshirt!) 
  • The lobby looked amazing – it didn't look like a school, it looked like a happening church! They utilized pipe and drape and banners excellently.  
  • The lobby staff were friendly and knowledgable. They walked around asking our team question and wondering if they could help us in anyway.  
  • Campus Pastor John Bishop saw our team and quickly engaged, showing them around (and even threatened to break the usher's rules ). 
  • I was amazed that the greet team and lobby team were not all young people. I noticed that many of those serving at this rockin' church were my age and older. 
  • We waited in the lobby until 10 mins before the service – they keep the doors shut until that time and people are escorted in to their seats. 
  • We sat where they told us to. They fill the room up from the front to the back. Don't wanna sit at the front? Don't get there early – hang in the lobby or something. Most church-people would die if you told them where to sit. (I loved this: Elevation understands that too much empty space in a room kills momentum. Kudos to them for sticking to their guns on such an important issue). 
  • The worship team was excellent! One of the best I've heard (and definitely one of the youngest). The music was rockin' and it was ALL ABOUT Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that He made for us. The words were centered on the cross, the blood, life-change, surrender, obedience… you might not like the sound but if you don't like the content you have a problem with God. (I loved the sound).  
  • They offer people earplugs just in case it's too loud for you. It really wasn't that loud – but I thought that the earplugs were great. It was saying, "we respect your hearing, please respect our culture", meaning, the people they're trying to reach like it a little louder than some… let's accomodate them. 
  • The message was in-your-face. Pastor Steven preached from 1Corinthians 5 (the whole chapter) and confronted a lot of issues that most churches won't touch because it makes people uncomfortable.   
  • There were a bunch of 1st time visitors (I'm saying more than 20, maybe in the 30-40 range). Remember, this was a 6pm service. And no, it's not a "Sunday Nite service", it's the Sunday morning service on Sunday nite. The people who attend that service don't go to church on Sunday morning – they attend on Sunday evening.  

Our people loved it! They were excited and pumped by the "Elevators" enthusiasm, they were challenged by the message (many of them said to me, "I really needed to hear THAT message tonite"). I was so proud of what I witnessed there – to see my brothers and sisters in Christ exalting Him so greatly in that city. To me, Elevation does portable church better than 99.9% of churches who have amazing buildings. Why? Because this church is sold-out to the vision of who they are: Elevation exists "so that people far from God will be filled with life in Christ". 

Just thinking out loud: every town in America needs a church like this, a church that dares to be truly different, a church that embraces people who aren't "church-people", a church that understands that they will do anything short of sin to help people far from God be filled with life in Jesus Christ. A church that embraces discomfort for the sake of others comfort, a church.. (LARGE SIGH) 

You know, I understand that everybody doesn't wanna go to a church that has loud, rockin' music; a church that offers earplugs to its attenders and tells them where they have to sit; a church that puts the comfort of those they are trying to reach above the comfort of those that they are trying to keep; I understand that might not be appealing to most WholeHearted readers, but you know, we have ALL KINDS OF CHURCHES that are the opposite of the above… where can someone in our region go to that kind of church?

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" 
      And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8, NIV)

I feel with every ounce of my being that THIS IS the future of the church. Not replicas of Elevation, mind you, but the Spirit of what was happening there. The way that I see it, hyde park can be that church or we can make it happen with someone else but you can MARK MY WORDS, it will happen.

Question is, will we fight it or will we fund it?

Sunday Nite…

I thought that today was just amazing! Our God is amazing so why should our worship of Him be any less? As we entered a new series AND a new era in the life of hyde park I found myself rejoicing at the greatness of God and the privilege that I have been given to serve Him. Where you there this morning? In Jesus' Name I pray that the answer was yes, if not, here's what today looked like to me…

  • We began our day with our first 9am worship experience ever! I totally enjoyed the way that I prepared for that service by standing at the road and saying "Good Morning" to all who passed by. I love sharing the love of Christ anyway that I can – being a part of the iServe team is so important to me personally.
  • Speaking of iServe… DANG!!! I thought that the iServe team was amazing this morning. So proud of all of you serving and the unbelievably fine work that you are doing. We want to do everything possible to make Sunday the best day of everyone's week! Keep it up iServe team because you are well on your way!
  • About the 9am worship experience: it was a mixed bag in the atmosphere of the room. I would say that the extra 40 mins of sleep paid off for some and was not enough for others :). For those who wonder what I'm talking about I would challenge you to check out the last service sometime.  
  • About "the G.A.P." (the Guest Area Point): the G.A.P. is that "gap" between the main building and the Kidz Place. The iServe team did an amazing job making sure that it was unbelievable. When I drove up and saw the new Gazebo in place along with the tables and umbrellas… it made me think, "that's a place that I wanna be!". I look forward to spending much time there meeting people and hangin' out! 
  • Music today was great: And Now My Lifesong Sings (Casting Crowns), Awesome is the Lord (Chris Tomlin), Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone (Tomlin) and From the Inside Out (Hillsong). I was beyond proud of our singers, musicians and tech team!!! 
  • Pastor's message, the 1st in our 4week "30 Days to Live" Series is a must hear! Please make sure that you check out the podcast if you missed it! You brought it today, dude!
  • Lastly, I just gotta say that the 10:30 service was off the chain! Unbelievable… great crowd and they actually seemed to be thrilled to be at church – you GOTTA love that service!  
  • I think that the added fact that many of them just came from a great class was a plus as well. 

Here the video we used this morning – to me it really drove the point home: what if you could no longer do what you think you're made to do?  

iServe – WhoServe – UServe

I shared with you yesterday everthing that you needed to know about the Sunday and why it's a weekend full of "Firsts" but I had one more thing I just had to share with you that I didn't yesterday:

I CAN'T WAIT FOR SUNDAY!!! Why?

We have been working hard over the past month on evaluating and revamping the Sunday hyde park experience, mainly our volunteer ministry – iServe. My man, Josh Shelley (iServe Coordinator) has really been working to ensure that Sunday is the best day of everyone who drives on our campus.

With that in mind, I believe that you will notice some great changes / improvements this Sunday as you drive into hyde park – I don't think that you'll find it hard to see all of the hard work that's gone into the planning for this weekend (and every weekend after).

You know what makes iServe so important? You. We believe that every hyde park attender needs a place where they connect, a place where they serve.  iServe is all about "WhoServes" – there is no iServe if there's no uServe. Without you iServe is one volunteer down – it's you that fills a much needed position. If you are interested in being part of making Sunday the best day and want to be an important part of the iServe team, contact Josh.

(and just in case you forgot – new schedule begins Sunday (9 and 10:30am), new classes begin Sunday and our life-changing series, "30 Days to Live" begins Sunday.)

Everything You Need to Know About THIS SUNDAY

This weekend is gonna be a great weekend at hyde park as we see a bunch of firsts…

The First "first": This Sunday will be the first week of our new series, "30 Days to Live"

30 Days graphic
if you found out that you only had 30 days to live how would it change your life? What would you do differently? Would you make major changes to the way that your living? Family? Work? Your relationship with God?

Join us for 4 life-changing weeks as we learn to live life the way that God intends. 

The Second "first": This Sunday will be the first week of our new schedule:

2Services

The Third "first": This Sunday will be the first week of our new Bible Fellowship Group times:

9am classes will meet at 9am and worship at 10:30 service – 9am classes are:

All Kidz 252 Classes meet at 9am
Crossover C-Groups (Middle School) meet 9am in the gym
Adult Groups meeting at 9am:

Doing Life Together One – Room KP 101 
Chris Smith (Couples / Singles 30+) 

Life Together Two – Rm 110 
Joey Bell / Larry Sawyer / Nicky Herring (Couples / Singles 40+)

Fellowship Bible Class Two – Rm 108 
Paul Brooks/Robert Lawson (Couples / Singles)

Young Married – Rm 109 
Don Bullard (Couples)

All 10:30 BFG's will worship at 9am and meet with their groups at 10:30 – they are:

Believing God – Room 113 
Lisa Byrd (Women’s Class)

Golden Rule – Rm 114 
Frances Thorndyke (Women 45 and up)

Willing Workers – Rm 109 
Mary Marshburn (Women 60+)

Good Neighbors – Rm 107 
Wayne Marshburn (Men’s Class)

Being the Church – KP101 
Charles Babson (Couples / Singles)

Pairs & Spares – Rm 111 
Steve Gaskins / Terry Jackson (Couples / Singles 40 +)

40’s & up – Rm 110 
Jerry & Lisa Byrd (Couples)

Senior High Students will meet in the OASIS ROOM at 10:30am

Our Young Singles (Ages 18-30) meet directly after the 10:30 service in the upper room of "2 Guys Grill" (2725 Roberts Avenue) for study and fellowship.

For those of you who have just been attending worship with us I hope that you will use our weekend of "first" to be a first weekend for you and your family. If I can help you in any way please let me know.