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Archive for January 2009

The Buzz is over

I’m assuming that the three or four people who read this blog are from Christ Community Church. That being the case, hopefully you knew that Bill Hybels of Willow Creek fame was coming to Accelerate! [that word demands an exclaimation mark] Accelerate! is a Friday night and Saturday morning leadership development opportunity for our church campuses.

Bill came in on time, was a wonderful story teller and left having impressed me with his openness and honesty.

Some thoughts and observations.

Bill isn’t as tall as I expected. For some reason I thought he was taller.

Secondly, I don’t look for opportunities to be used by God. That is because I don’t pray for God to open doors with individuals I come in contact with throughout the day. Bill challenged us to pray for open doors [i.e. spiritual conversations with people], test the door [don’t push on the door] and respect the door [if it doesn’t work to talk with them at the moment, that is OK].

The one phrase that rattles in my brain still is, “be a servant not a salesman.” Meaning, I just need to be used by God in interacting with people and being sensitive to God’s leading. I’m not into closing the deal but just loving people and meeting people where they are at.

Accelerate! was great and I pray that what was taught will become a lifestyle of each person of Sarpy. Feel free to contact me with your thoughts and observations from the weekend.

On the journey,
Steve Walters
CC-Sarpy Campus Pastor
stevew@cccomaha.org

Jesus and a McDonalds Drive Thru

Last week I spoke on evangelism, err…”Initiating interest.” This is the second component of what a Disciple looks like. Here at Christ Community we say a disciple takes RISKS. Relies on God, Initiates interest, Serves others, is a Kingdom Investor and wants to be Shaped into Christ-likeness. You can check it out on the church website.

Anyway, below is an email I received from Julie, an active member and key volunteer [my administrative assistant!] at the Sarpy Campus. In light of what I preached on at the Sarpy Campus on Sunday, this is a great example of how evangelism is relationships and being yourself.

Diane is my McDonalds drive through lady. For years I have been going through the drive through at the McDonalds by my house and talking to Diane. I know about her kids- her daughter moved out of town with her boyfriend, her son is divorced and doesn’t see his son very much and neither does Diane. She has various health problems. I know about her job and what they do there to help her keep warm in the drive through window-installing a heater etc. I know a lot by just my brief minutes of drive through. I have prayed for her and let her know I am and she has given me prayer requests over these years.

I have given her cards and handouts about Christmas and Easter musicals here at CCC. She knows that I pray with some ladies in Prayer Shawl ministry.

I went on a diet and stopped going through for my Coke, but was convicted that I wasn’t seeing her and contacting with her, so now I go through for iced tea. Recently, I have been thinking that I hadn’t had any spiritual conversations with her lately and thought about how to do that….and then today happened.

I drove up and she said “I was hoping you would come through today. I need some special prayers for my mom today. Would you pray for her?” Bingo, Thank you Lord for opening up once again that spiritual conversation, in a few minutes we talked about her mom and the needs there. So I plan to stop in once again tomorrow with a prayer shawl for her mom and a warm scarf for Diane that I have made for her in the cold drive through window.

It proves to me that you don’t need a program, a book, a theory, to share the love of Jesus with everyone we come in contact with. You don’t need a specific amount of time or money, this costs me $1 a day for my drink, but is recouping eternal rewards. I just am who I am-and let Jesus live through me and spill over.

I want to encourage you to start a conversation with one person this week, asking them how you can pray for them. Nothing more.

Email me at: stevew@cccomaha.org and let me know what you experienced and how you saw God work.

On the Journey!
Steve Walters
Campus Pastor

State of the Church in the Omaha Metro

Ugh…technology. I’ve tried for the past 45 minutes to copy and paste a power point slide into this blog. I have given up trying to paste that slide. This was a power point presented by The American Church Research Project.

It was a cool graph that laid out the decline of worship percentage attendance between 1990-2000. Over a ten year period the slide showed that Evangelical attendance has dropped 6.5%, Mainline was down 17.3%, Catholic attendance was 8.1% below the 1990 numbers. This all led to an overall drop in the Omaha Metro area worship attendance of 9.5%.

Whether those statistics are on a graph or in text, the result is the same. Sobering. The reality is, it is not just about us. Yes our overall numbers here at CCC are up, but there are still many and more each day, month and year that don’t attend a life giving church.

A summary slide at the end of this presentation stated:

“A factor in the the decline in the percentage attendance is
the insufficient net gain in the number of churches in the
Omaha metro area. If the present decade is to rectify that in
the metro area, 37 more churched would need to be started than
in the previous decade.”

I believe more passionately than ever before that multi sites can address directly and quickly the need for more life giving churches that offer hope and new life through Jesus Christ.

I look forward in 2009 to see where God leads us to the next multi site.

On the Journey,
Steve Walters
CC-Sarpy Campus Pastor
stevew@cccomaha.org