A Couple Thoughts From The Big Apple

I've been in New York City for a couple days doing some training and learning myself for Rocky River Church. I love coming to the Big Apple because being here always stirs new and bigger thoughts inside me. Thought I would share a few tonight/this morning. Here goes:

- The Church - the larger body of Christ - thinks WAY too small! The "world" spares NO expense to reach people with it's message. But the Church is often SO cheap. The "world" goes all out and plans and prepares and works so hard to communicate it's message - yet pastors and church leaders treat the message of Christ like it is no big deal. We don't care enough to do our best to communicate the message of Jesus which is the message of hope.

- Christians reach too small. Years ago I worked with Nelson Searcy and a group of guys that eventually planted The Journey Church (www.JourneyMetro.com) here in NYC. I'll never forget sitting in a NY diner with denominational leaders that said, "Don't come to NY. This is the graveyard for church planters." He told us that while millions of people all over this area are lost without Christ and on their way to hell. And can I tell you what the major dilemma is - the reason so many don't make it? Money! The church can't figure out how to make things work here financially. Why? Because we think to small and we reach too small. Thank God Nelson and "the boys" at The Journey didn't let money, or anything else for that matter, stop them from bringing the Gospel to NYC.

This makes me ask myself, "Are we reaching too small at Rocky River Church?" If we are, why? Is it money? Is it vision? Rocky River Church - we need to reach bigger!

- Christians need to be BIG dream chasers. People come to New York to chase BIG dreams. They dream of making it big in business or on the stage, etc. Sure, lots of them go back home, dream unmet, but at least they chased it.

Question: What is holding you back from chasing the dream God has placed in your heart? What are you doing right now to prepare you to reach that dream? What obstacles need to be removed so that you reach your dreams? What is your NEXT STEP in reaching your dream?

- Making it big takes sacrifice. Through the years of coming to NYC I've met people who have made BIG sacrifices to be here and live out their dreams. It's funny though, some people come up here and think they are going to live like the cast on Friends. They expect to run into Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross at Starbucks (okay, The Central Perk) and become best "friends." In reality, this place can beat your brains out. And if you're not willing to sacrifice A LOT this place will send you home with your head tucked between your legs.

Lesson: NOTHING worthwhile - wherever you live - happens without making great sacrifices. You have to be willing to pay the price for what you want. Your dreams and vision comes with a price. Are you willing to pay it?

- People are people. My dad taught me years ago that every man puts his pants on one leg at a time now matter how much his trausers cost. People everywhere have money problems, relationship problems, etc. Everyone needs encouragement. Everyone needs a friend. Everyone is sometimes insecure. And everyone needs Jesus.

I am so thankful I get to be able to come up here every now and again just to have a change of pace and scenery and to look around and consider my own dreams and hopes and wants.

Oh yeah, one more things I'm reminded of in NYC - there's NO place like home! I'll be back in the 'Burg (Harrisburg that is) Saturday evening. Can't wait to see Karen, Annie and James!!!