Sermons

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    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete… Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Well 2014 is here and for my first post of the year I thought I would let you guys know what I have decided to commit to for the coming year. Rather than doing really specific goals this year I have created some broader guidelines for my life so here goes… I am committed to challenging myself in 2014. This includes  my education and ongoing studies for my doctorate, my physical fitness, and my effectiveness as a disciple.  I am going to push the limits and go further than I ever have before! I am committed to allowing God to change me. As I consider my walk with Christ over the last two decades so much has changed and I have come a really long way.  But there is more to do and I have to be open to the changes I know God wants to make in my life.  Some are going to hurt but it’s now or never. I am committed to counting my blessings each and everyday. This helps me slow down and enjoy life. I don’t want to rush through 2014, instead I want to  embrace every blessing and enjoy every moment.  So I have decided to set aside time at the end of each day to consider the blessings I received over that 24 hour period. That’s it, those are my plans and goals for the next 365 days.  What do you have in mind for 2014? Put your comments below…

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    Beating Burnout Beating Burnout

    Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout

Have you ever felt like the guy in the picture?  Do you feel like that right now?  If so you could be in a phase of life we call burnout.  The good news is burnout does not always have to lead to fallout!  I hear it so frequently in ministry ” I’m burned out!”  Sometimes its a trusted lay leader,  from fellow ministers, or a friend that is just totally zapped from the stress of ministry, work, life or all of the above.  If given the chance to run its course burnout always leads to fallout.  Fallout is when those who are burned out disappear.  In ministry fallout frequently is seen most clearly when a person stops attending church functions.  In other areas of life fallout is expressed when an individual stops showing up for coffee, the weekly staff lunch, or other things they once enjoyed.  Perhaps the most tragic thing about burnout and fallout is that they are totally avoidable.  Doing a few simple things can save the day. Step One: Publicly proclaim your call.  Why did you start this ministry in the first place?  Why did you come to work here twenty years ago?  Why did you pass up other opportunities and chose this path for your life?  Take time to remember the purpose and passion you have for what you are doing.  Then find an appropriate forum to recount you calling to others publicly. Thinking about it is great, saying it verbally to others will do wonders! Step Two: Privately pray! Before, during, and after you do step one you should be in prayer.  Confess your weariness to God.  Ask for help, guidance, comfort, encouragement, and energy.  God already knows whats in […]

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    Unity Assassins Unity Assassins

    Unity Assassins

Unity Assassins

Scripture is right when it says in Psalm 133:1 (ESV) —1Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! [1] If you have every played on a sports team, been in a family, church, or work place with strong unity and harmony you know how good and pleasant it can be.  But Jesus Himself also reminds us that The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…( John 10:10 NET) Our enemy wants to destroy anything that is good and pleasant in our lives including unity.  When the devil attacks a relationship, marriage, church or any other institution or group he frequently attempts to demolish our good and pleasant unity first.  I believe he does this with what I will call “unity assassins.”  In this post I will discuss six of these unity assassins I see at work throughout life and would love for you to add to this list in the comment section. Pride and Arrogance- I have seen this assassin at work in the lives of Pastors, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, Doctors, Lawyers, Housewives, children, adults, the young, and old alike.  I have on more than one occasion seen these assassins at work in my life as well.  Anytime pride and arrogance are allowed to run lose it always leads to diminishing unity. If you don’t believe me read Proverbs 16:18. Un-Forgiveness- Forgiving those who hurt us is never easy so frequently we refuse to forgive.  When we choose this route any unity we have is at risk. Un-Forgiveness will destroy the unity of a family, friendship, for fellowship in a church. Me-itus or selfishness- This deadly unity assassin is easy to spot but often hard to stop. In Philippians […]

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    Can You Really Change The World? Can You Really Change The World?

    Can You Really Change The World?

Can You Really Change The World?

What can you do to change the world?  Frequently in the church we speak about changing the world.  We say things like, “God can use you to change the world!”  But can you really do it?  And if you can change the world it’s probably going to be really difficult right?  After all, our world has over seven billion people living on its surface at any one time.  The circumference of the earth is almost 25,000 miles.  And if you put the world on a scale it would weigh about 13,169,533,693,875,800,000,000,000 pounds.  The world is a big place, with lots of people, and lots of space so how can you change the world?  Believe it or not I think it is possible for you to change the world and it may not be as hard as you think.  Let me give you a few quick things you can do to change the world. Read and memorize scripture every  day.  Changing the world is impossible if you try to do it without God’s help.  However if you stay in the word of God daily and commit as much of it to memory as possible, you will be able to stay in the will of God and that is very important if you want to change the world. Pray every day.  And don’t just pray for what you want or what you are thankful for.  Talk to God like you would a friend.  Prayer is not your avenue to get what you want, it’s God’s avenue to direct you to what He wants.  When you get that put in the right perspective your prayer life will become amazing and you will be on your way to changing […]

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    Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

    Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

Church Members, Here Are 10 Ways to KILL Your Church

In the recent past I have not been sharing many post from other bloggers.  But after reading through this one today I felt the urge to pass it on.  The message Dr. Tejado shares here is right on the money.  As a Pastor I have seen each of these ten things at work not only in my own ministry but in many others as well.  These things are not the only things that kill churches but they are certainly some of the main ones and as he mentions in this post the devil has not changed his tactics much over the last generation.  Are you killing your church without even knowing it?  Read below to find out… click here to view the article on churchleaders.com which is where I found it. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ By: Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell (TWH PhD) I have the awesome privilege of serving a church that has been around for over 80 years. In those 80 years, the church has only had four senior pastors. While our congregation has had its share of struggles over the years, we are pleased that we have survived! Considering the staggering statistics on church mortality in America, we are grateful to God for still standing strong. Some researchers suggest that between 3,500-4,500 churches close their doors (or die) each year. That means that in the time since our congregation was founded over 80 years ago, over 300,000 churches have died! I suspect that most church “deaths” occur for a few simple (and oftentimes avoidable) reasons. Recently, one of the senior members of our congregation — who has been there for all 80 plus years — handed me a church newsletter that was written in 1959. As I delicately […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3 The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

    The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

The Purpose Of The Church Pt. 3

Over the last three weeks I have been presenting some of the main purposes of God’s church.  As I travel around and speak about the Uncommon Church I am always surprised to learn how many churches don’t understand what the most basic and fundamental purposes of God’s church are. So these posts have been my effort to share nine of them.  In my first post I talked about the purpose of producing disciple, providing resources, and proclaiming the gospel. In my second post I talked about the church’s responsibility to propel missionaries, present proof, and practice holiness.  Today I would like to briefly discuss the last three. To Pray- Every Christian knows that they are suppose to pray, and most of us do.  But I am talking about focused corporate prayer here in this post.  I believe that God hears all of our prayers but He does something special when a church practices uncommon prayer together. In my book The Uncommon Church I talk in detail about the power of uncommon prayer.  When the body of Christ unites together in prayer many wonderful things happen.  We see this in scripture in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:25 when Paul urged the church to pray for him and his companions.  In Acts 12 we see an amazing miracle in the form of a prison escape for Peter and we learn that the church was gathered in prayer for him during his captivity. As individuals we must pray, and as a church body we must pray as well.  Churches should make it a priority to unite their minds and hearts in prayer! To Protect- 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that our enemy is a predator on the prowl!  Like […]

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    The Purpose Of The Church Part 2 The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

    The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

The Purpose Of The Church Part 2

Last week I posted three things that I believe all churches should be focused on and dedicated to. Over the years I have noticed that almost all churches are full of great people, and lead by very dedicated, and devoted leaders.  However over time it is easy to forget what the purpose of the church actually is.  There are so many good things that churches focus on, that have little or no impact on the Kingdom of God. Why?  Because they are not part of God’s purpose for the church.  The list I am providing here is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and the things mentioned are in no particular order.  I simply feel that churches should carefully consider what their purpose is, and then fulfill that purpose.  If you have other things you feel should be mentioned by all means feel free to make a comment down below.  Here are three more things to think about when it comes to the purpose of the church. The purpose of the church is to… Propel Missionaries –  Throughout the book of Acts and indeed the New Testament we see God using churches to propel missionaries like Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, and many others throughout the world.  This should still be one of the primary purposes of all churches.  We must remain focused on the task to winning the world to Christ.  God calls people to the mission field and he calls churches to equip, support, pray for, and provide for those missionaries needs.  The missionary on the field is far less effective without the support of the local church. Many churches today have elected to only support missions through cooperative giving through their denomination.  This […]

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    What Do We Do Till Then? What Do We Do Till Then?

    What Do We Do Till Then?

What Do We Do Till Then?

 I recently went on a vacation with my family.  While the vacation was great, the days leading up to the trip were far less enjoyable.  There is so much to do before you leave on a trip.  There are a variety of things at work that must be done.  Your home has to be secured, and prepared for your extended absence.  And many other things get added to your to do list as the day of departure draws near.  All this got me thinking.  What should we be doing right now as we prepare for Jesus’ arrival and our own departure?  I don’t know when Christ will return but I believe that it will be soon.  And the fact remains one way or the other we are all one day closer to our departure from this earth.  So here are the three things I think we should all be doing. We should all be listening and looking for Christ’s arrival.  1 Thessalonians 4:16 says he will arrive with a loud command.  Other places in scripture like Hebrews9:26-28, say that he will appear and we will be able to see him.  So it only makes sense that we would all be both listening and looking for Christ.  Luke 12:40 proclaims that the date and hour is unknown, but if we are watching and listening daily we won’t be surprised. Next we should all continue to labor until he returns.  In 2 Timothy 4 we see the Apostle Paul encourage Timothy to “preach the word” and “be prepared” among other things.  Paul told Timothy to do these things “in view of his appearing” (NIV84). In other words the swift return of Christ should move us to labor […]

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    Why Leaders Fail…Part 2 Why Leaders Fail…Part 2

    Why Leaders Fail…Part 2

Why Leaders Fail…Part 2

I recently posted part 1 of Why Leaders Fail.  Below you will find the final five reasons many leaders experience failure. They fail to prioritize– This is one I have seen destroy leaders from all walks of life.  When I say they fail to prioritize I am speaking of a failure with their families.  Many leaders both inside and outside the church lead at the expense of their children and spouses.  They miss sporting events, cut vacations short, leave before breakfast, and arrive home after dinner.  Failing on the home front leads to more than just leadership failure, it can lead to the collapse of your family as well. Every leader’s family will suffer in some ways, but no family should have to sacrifice their father, mother, or loving spouse for the sake of leadership. Learn to say no to things, so you can say yes to those who love and need you the most.  Make your family a top priority or face the fate of many failed leaders. They fail to communicate– After you have been a leader for some time, it is easy to start to think that everyone knows what you think.  This is especially true when you lead a single organization, company, or department for an extended period of time.  When a leader assumes everyone understands, they tend to start cutting corners when it comes to communication.  The results of poor communication in this scenario are very slow to mature into real problems, but they always do. Eventually things start to breakdown.  People become frustrated, ill informed, and unaware of the leaders expectations.  Clear, constant, communication is essential for any leader who desires to avoid failure. They fail to acknowledge– When […]

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    Tragedy In Boston Tragedy In Boston

    Tragedy In Boston

Tragedy In Boston

Yesterday while on vacation I learned of the massive tragedy at the Boston Marathon.  Immediately I began, like many Americans, to do they only thing I could which was pray.  Late last night I was finally able to watch some news reports from various networks covering the Boston tragedy.  While most of what I initially heard from word of mouth proved to be untrue, the scope of the devastation and loss of life was still heartbreaking.  How should we respond in times like this?  What should we do? As I prayed over this issue and these kinds of questions this morning, I was reminded of several posts on this blog that might prove useful.  Below are the titles and short explanation for each post.  Feel free to click the links and read more.  May God bless those who have been affected by this tragedy! 10 Great Things About God– I wrote this post and scheduled it to be published over two weeks ago.  I had no idea that Monday, April 15th would bring such devastation.  However nothing catches God by surprise and all 10 of the things mentioned in this post about God’s greatness remain true despite any hardship or tragedy we might face. I Will Trust– When tragedy strikes, many ask God “why” and we naturally lose some trust in our Creator. This post addresses such feelings and issues. It’s Good To Know– This short post talks about how wonderful it is that God hears our prayers.  If you are praying for those affected, God will answer and honor those prayers.  Don’t stop praying, it’s not the only thing you can do, but it is the most powerful thing you can do! Help Me […]

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