This Sunday @ Rocky River

If you are anywhere near Concord this weekend I hope you will plan to be at Rocky River Community Church. The message and music are going to be awesome. I am continuing a message series called “The Power of Positive Living.” This Sunday’s message is The Power of Positive Relationships. That’s all I’m going to say about it. Well, maybe one more thing. If you have relationships – and all of us do – you can’t afford to miss being at R2C2 this weekend.


Hey Rocky River. You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for rising to the challenge to give the money we need for our Florida Mission Trip. We are still a little short but things are coming together. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL! Let me tell you why...

God blesses those who are willing to bless others. We are full swing into a building campaign – literally I have a meeting this week with zoning planning to work out some zoning issues, and we have a meeting next week with a bank in our area to try secure financing. [I’ll keep your informed.] Also, we are working with our architect and an engineer to nail down some details so that in the next few weeks we can begin grading for our driveways, parking lots and building pad out on the land. What I’m saying is that we are moving the ball forward BIG TIME!

In the meantime, during our mission trip to Florida we will be helping folks put their lives back together and literally move back onto their property and into FEMA trailers ASAP. GOD WILL HONOR US BY HELPING GET INTO OUR HOME (our Ministry Campus) AS WE HELP OTHERS GET BACK INTO THEIR HOMES. Now is not the time to stop helping others.

And listen, I know that it is February and historically that is a hard month for folks financially. Credit card statements are coming in from Christmas, etc. So thanks for really digging deep. You ALL make me so proud.



My buddy Tony McCollum - Lead Pastor of Millcreek Community Church - does some of the best video stuff I've ever seen. This is a video welcome/intro they did for a message a couple weeks ago. Enjoy! This is so funny!


The first two years of my preaching ministry were given to a small Southern Baptist Church in North Charlotte. It was some good and some bad. There were some good people there and some not so good people in that church. I lost my innocence in that church when it comes to church people and the self-righteous. A couple of the meanest people I’ve ever met in my life were long-time, “God-fearing” members of that church.

I had my faults too. I was new to ministry so I made plenty of mistakes. I also learned some lessons that I carry with me to this day. One of those lessons is that you don't preach to your critics. Why? It doesn't do any good – and it zaps the energy and creativity out of you. Critics in churches are unlike critics in other industries. (I know church is not necessarily thought of as an "industry" but you know what I mean). Other critics are willing to become fans - to change their mind about your art, your business plan, your strategy, your food – whatever your product may be. In church, critics don't change they just get more vicious. And when you preach to them it is like pouring fuel to the fire.

What brought this on is a sermon I listened to today where I know the guy must be under attack from a critic(s). He's an up-and-comer and I wouldn't mention his name for anything less he think I'm one of the guys piling on. I'm not. I enjoy listening to his messages but it bored me to listen to him talk to the people who don't like him, his church and the way he does ministry. I don't know him directly or have access to him so I thought I'd just blog my thoughts. Maybe he'll read this blog but probably he won't but I’m going to talk to his as though he will.

Dude; stop talking to the people who aren't listening! Talk to all the people who are listening! You aren't going to change your critics. They are convinced they are right and you are wrong. And with every word you use to address them it only makes them harder to who you are.

The best thing to do is stop listening to your critics all together. Sure, you need someone(s) close to you who can speak truth into your life that will keep you from becoming a dictator or a jackass that no one can live with. And anyway, who cares what the preacher down the street is saying about you – good or bad? You should read enough of the good press to keep you encouraged and none of the bad. The bad press will get to you eventually - it is like a drug - and it is poisonous. The proof that your bad press is getting to you is when it shows up in your sermons.

If you're not careful you will catch yourself preaching from the Minor Prophets every Sunday and berating everyone in the service. Your fans – those who’s lives are being changed under your ministry – and those who are following your leadership – won't have any idea what's really going on and they will tune you out and will eventually stop listening all together. THEN THE CRITICS WIN!

BRO! Preach on! Pull a Moses. Moses hung with the people just long enough to check their pulse and find out what they were thinking. But once he did that he moved out in front of them - out of earshot of their complaining about how good slavery was back in Egypt. He moved out in front where the critics couldn't have his ear so he could lead his people to the Promised Land. Stay out front man and keep on leading. That's what God has called you to do. That's why your church is booming. That's why lives are being changed. And hey, it won't matter if you baptize every pagan in the Southeast, the critics will still be on the sidelines complaining. Forget them!