Tag Archives: ministry

Community

IMG_3431FullSizeRender 4

Community is one of those buzz words churches use today. I believe with all my heart many churches do want to do church as community, but really don’t know how to do it. We are by no means experts at it, but as we continue to seek opportunities to be the presence of Christ, this was one of those times. We partnered together with the community man himself, Mr. Hector Guerra in the 10th annual Back to School Health fair and backpack giveaway. Over 2,400 people came through and to our table.

One question I asked as the families came through was this: Do you currently go to church? If they answered yes, then I encouraged them to keep on going. I never want other churches to think we want them to come to our church instead. There are plenty of non-church going people in our community that we can invite to church. As I would ask that question, I did receive some expressions indicating why I wouldn’t invite them or talk about City Church if they indeed were going to a church already.

I am friends and co-laborers with many of the pastors at our sister churches. We are all doing the same work. We are all in the same business. We are all on the same team. We are all trying to figure out how to make church relevant to a current generation that sees church as irrelevant. that is why we need to be out in the community among the people.

Thom Rainer recently posted on his blog:

The nine signs of a community-focused church are:

  1. Reaches out to community leaders
  2. Intentionality about being where the people are
  3. The community of eating out and coffee houses
  4. Helping where the community says they need it
  5. Intentionally evangelistic
  6. Intentionally invitational
  7. In the key civic groups
  8. In key political meetings
  9. In the schools

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Acuna, Mexico, 1 year after the tornado of 2015

IMG_3018 2

On May 24, 2016, A small team from Texas Tech University traveled to Acuna with our Missions Pastor, Shon Young, my family, and Arvin Mendez, the Pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista Acuna, MX. We are photographed here standing one on of the devastated areas, but now it is a beautiful park area.

We haven’t forgotten the people or the community of Acuna. We have continued to be in prayer and give support to those in need.

Monday, May 25, 2015 was not your typical Monday. The day began with heavy thunderstorms with a magnificent lightning show. The smell of coffee began to permeate the house, and breakfast was about to begin, when I was asked from a friend via text if we had power on at our house, since they had not. I said we did and we invited them over for coffee and breakfast. As we finished up around 9 am, I received notice if I seen the pictures of the tornado damage in Acuna, Mexico which is 6 miles to the south of us. I had not, so we started an internet search and the pictures were very alarming.

13 people had been confirmed dead, and many more hundreds were injured. Reports were coming in and there were missing people. As I was there I was interviewed by a Mexican news station. I was able to speak with a few of those who lost everything and they conveyed to me that the tornado lasted a brief 10 seconds. I later found out that it was only 6 seconds, and it was in fact an F5 magnitude.

Here are some pictures from that day:

May Jesus be the King of Acuna, as recovery is still taking place.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Marriage and Ministry

I am posting a recent blog post from Ed Stetzer. Enjoy.

Marriage and Ministry

Ministry marriages don’t succeed by accident. It takes effort. |
Marriage and Ministry

Marriage advice can be a bit overwhelming. But, you need it. Although most of the doomsday stats about pastors are not true (that they all hate the ministry and want to quit), ministry does put stress on a marriage.

In my most stream-of-consciousness column ever, allow my to share a few things that Donna and I have seen after almost thirty years of a ministry marriage.

1. Marriage is worth the investment.

Yes, it is an investment. I know that it is not always easy, but it is always worth it. I’m thankful for a strong marriage.

Ironically, you have to invest in a marriage for it to be worth the investment. It sounds strange, but it’s true—it takes continual investment on the investment.

I’ve seen “perfect” couples—like some we knew in high school and college—get married, drift apart, and end up divorced. We have not. It’s not because we are perfect, it’s because we work hard.

You have to make investments while serving in ministry to get the return on investment you want.

2. Choosing your marriage partner is the most important human decision you will ever make. 

Not to go all Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on you, but you must choose wisely in marriage. That begins with who you marry, if you in fact get married.

I’ve seen many miserable ministry marriages. A big part of that misery relates to bad marriage choices. My wife was/is beautiful, but that’s a really bad foundation upon which to build a marriage.

Instead, I’m thankful that as a ministry marriage, we are in this together. She, and we, have a joy in what we are doing. You simply can’t have a successful ministry marriage if you have not chosen one another wisely.

You have to make investments while serving in ministry to get the return on investment you want.

3. Most fights are over stupid things that don’t matter. 

When I was younger I always wanted to prove my point. It’s more important to prove your love. You do that by not arguing over stupid things. Note: most arguments are from stupid things, over stupid things, and including saying stupid things.

Most arguments are resolved when both people are more concerned with being in a relationship than with being right. I’m amazed at how many times I thought I was right. I had to be right. I had to show her I was right. And, let me say, that’s just wrong. It’s dumb. And it does not work.

In all marriages, you don’t sweat the small stuff. And, it’s mostly small stuff.

4. Sex is essential to a marriage relationship. 

It’s not everything, but when you value and prioritize it, your intimacy impacts your relationship. Sex does not just happen. It, too, is something you work at. It’s fun to do the work, though!

5. Practices (like date nights, long conversations, and trips together) make your marriage stronger. 

Some of these are essential—you need a regular date night if you are married. If you can’t afford dinner, you can walk in a park. You won’t have a strong marriage if you don’t act like you are married. If you’ve forgotten how to be married, then act like your dating until it all comes back to you.

6. Kids are awesome, but they stress your marriage. 

I’m a pretty obsessive parent. I love my kids. I spend time with them. They are a treasure. But they also make marriage more complicated and stressful. Kids should know that your marriage is your first priority. The most important thing you can pass on to your children might be not be what you give them, but the marriage you show them.

7. Never go to bed angry.

Yes, that’s true for everyone according to Ephesians 4:26, but stretching an argument into two days usually leads to stretching it longer. Then bitterness sets in.

You can’t really settle most arguments if you are not willing to just say, “We may not agree, but we can forgive and move on.” (See number 5.)

Kids should know that your marriage is your first priority.

8. You need Jesus. 

I started dating Donna because of her faith. She had shared her faith with the girls in her neighborhood, came to the Bible study I was leading in high school, and loved the Lord deeply. She still does. When we put Jesus at the center, everything else revolved around Him well.

I really love being married. Without a strong marriage, everything else in my life suffers. And I am well aware that such a marriage is not always so easy for many couples.

However, I learned that—in our marriage—I was the cause of many of the challenges and conflicts. Donna was the cure.

Either way, we have learned a lot. We are still learning. But, maybe you can be encouraged by our experience.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

imarriage seminar

Unknown

 

Beginning on Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015, Lucy & I will be leading couples through a new marriage seminar entitled imarriage. I am excited to teach this all important study by Andy Stanley.

Here is a small description: Standing at the altar, we all had a picture of what our marriage would look like. The problem is this picture of marriage results in expectations that we unload on our spouse. The weight of these expectations can rob your marriage of love and joy. As a spouse you never feel like you measure up and you never feel like you are good enough. So what are you to do with your expectations? You can’t deny them, because most expectations started out as God-given desires. This series explains that you must learn to transform your expectations and look to God if you are to experience marriage as it was designed.

Our families are under heavy attack in our culture today. The family nucleus begins with the marriage. Without a covenant marriage, the family suffers. When the family suffers, society in general suffer as well. Confusion sets in over the smallest of all concerns like, “what is the definition of marriage?” It seems pretty simple that a marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. But now with 51 gender options available on Facebook, its no wonder there is so much confusion. Gender is a role, not a sex option, which is what you are at birth. Therefore it is agreed that you are male or female for a question like “what sex are you?”, but when it comes to a gender role, society says you can be anything you want to be.

So, without going further into more details, I think you can see the real issue is the identity of a marriage. We as Christians should hold to the Biblical view of a marriage being exclusive to one male married to one female for life. If we can determine that, then the family has a fighting chance to succeed. That is why my wife and I go to great lengths to do marriage enrichment and marriage coaching whenever we can. It is important!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized