Posts Tagged ‘church’

It’s been more than a year since I first posted Does Knoxville Need More Churches? Since then, those churches have each continued to grow and mature and even more new startups have joined our group.  (I should explain that our “group” really has no formal structure.  We’re about a dozen guys starting new churches all over Knoxville.  Our stories and our denominational ties are very different, but we are united by a common purpose. And we all care more about building Christ’s kingdom than we do about expanding our brand.)

Last week I introduced you to Matt Peeples of The Point.  Matt comes from a very different background than me, but I love the way that he thinks.  I got such a positive response to last week’s post that I thought I’d tell you a little more about him.  As usual, I asked Matt 4 questions.  Here are his answers.

  1. Why Knoxville? God really pulled me here on this one.  I am a part of a district that is in Arkansas and Tennessee and the southern part of Kentucky.  They want to start churches and are serious about it.  So after my training,  they asked me to come out here to Knoxville.  I really felt God giving me a golden opportunity to make an impact.  It was like he was saying, “you’re  always talking about reaching the disconnected, so I am going to give you an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is.”  I have really fallen in love with this town.
  2. Why did you choose to partner with a rock station like 94.3? It seems like a bold move, but the truth is it was common sense.  My vision is to reach the disconnected.  I knew our message would hit guys in their 20s-30s because that is the station I prefer to listen to.  So I talked to the guys at 94.3 and we worked on some stuff.  Through trial and error we have found a good commercial style that represents our church well and is true to what we deliver.   We see people who have been out of church for years come in and get plugged in.  Starting next week we will be airing some testimonial spots  from people who heard us on the radio, checked it out and have now gotten connected at The Point.  There are some great stories.  To put it simply, most of the people who come from the X have been out of church for years.  They are blown away by our Christian community, the love the experience and that we teach the Bible in a way they understand.  Since we started the ads about 2 months ago we have seen over 20 people come as a result.
  3. In your mind, what does The Point look like 5 years from now? I see us continuing to reach the disconnected in Knoxville, seeing lives changed.  I see us getting into and serving the community.  I see a few satellite campuses in other venues around Knoxville, where campus pastors are leading other disconnected and missional Christians.  I see us training and supporting other church planters to go out and reach the disconnected.
  4. What 4 words would you use to describe The Point? Loving.  Inviting.  People Searching.

marriage care

Posted: January 22, 2011 in Marriage
Tags: , , , ,

I will be honest.  I’ve been avoiding this topic.  I guess mainly because I don’t want anyone to think that I’ve got it figured out.  Maybe we can make this collaborative?

I am concerned and my concern is growing.  It seems I have more and more friends whose families are struggling – families that are involved in church, even in ministry.  As I drive around town, I see more and more churches with banners for Divorce Care.  Don’t get me wrong – I think that’s a great idea.  I think the church ought to be the place where hurting people can go to find acceptance, unconditional grace, and healing.

I guess I just want to see churches doing at least as much – probably more – for marriage care as they do for divorce care.  You know, the whole “ounce of prevention” thing?  I’m sorry, but the annual marriage weekend doesn’t add up to an “ounce of prevention” when it comes to marriage.

Why is the church struggling so much in this area?  I’m not a psychologist or a counselor and I didn’t even sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night.  But I do have a few ideas.

  1. I think it’s obvious that the family is a high priority target for our spiritual enemy.  What quicker way to distract a church – or even destroy a church – than to tear families apart, especially the families of those in leadership.  I have no problem saying that this is a spiritual battle.
  2. All too often, church is a place where we feel like we have to hide our problems and put up a false front.  Nobody is perfect, but for some reason, there is pressure to act like you are.  I heard a speaker recently say that “if the penalty for disclosure is the same as the penalty for getting caught, I will hide until you catch me.”  That’s kind of how it works in church.  The result is that we have no “small” problems in church, only “big” ones.  We don’t hear about the kid struggling with depression, until he takes his own life.  We don’t hear about the girl experimenting with drugs, until she’s an addict.  We don’t hear about the couple struggling to communicate, until they separate.  We’ve got to be able to admit that we’re struggling and ask for help before our problem or weakness takes us over the edge.  And I think it has to start at the top.
  3. Church has become a place where we mind our own business.  It’s not cool to get involved in someone else’s problems.  We’re into the “one another” passages when it comes to loving and serving and encouraging.  But as a church, we’re also instructed to admonish one another, confess our sins to one another and be accountable to one another.  Jesus even gave us instructions to do this correctly.  This can only happen where there is commitment.  When people get “offended” at church, they usually just move to another one. But if I know that I am loved and accepted and that my friends want what is best for me, no matter how badly I screw up, then I can allow others to speak into my life.  That’s dangerous, but it’s the kind of church I want.

So, let’s collaborate.  What will it take to become that kind of church?  What have you tried that worked?  What are your big ideas? Let’s hear it!