Friday, October 9, 2015
Three reasons your church should cancel its fall festival & encourage your members to stay home this Halloween
Thursday, October 8, 2015
"And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare." (Jeremiah 29:7 NLT)
Often when we think about the church & the city, we see the two at odds. Church members are often at odds with outsiders in the community & many non-church goers are at odds with the church. The city's interests normally don't reflect the church & vice versa. Rather than the church being a city on a hill in the city, it's more like a dark building outside of the city. Rather than the church working with the city it's in, the church is often working against its city.
God gives his people a blueprint for impacting their context. God tells his exiled people to work for the good of their city, because it will effect them for good as well. So, there is a way for the church of God to work for the welfare of its city.
First, we have to work. That's what this verse says. Work. Go do something. Get your hands dirty. Be active. Invest. Plug in. Engage. Be a part. Volunteer. Serve your city! The church too are exiles. We don't belong here. But just because we are citizens of another country doesn't mean we should be poor visitors while we are here. We have to get to work. Investing our lives where we live for the good of our city. It takes work. Don't think it's easy.
Second, we have to pray. This may be better as step one. But the passage has it second. Prayer cannot be overemphasized. If we are going to love our city & see its welfare, we must pray for it. We must ask God to change us & use us to change it. We must realize that there are some things that work cannot do. Only prayer can break down some walls. This reminds us that while our city has physical needs that we should be meeting, it also has spiritual needs that we must be actively engaging. For example, it's not enough to serve at Habitat for Humanity & not share the gospel when we have the chance. Because housing for people is good, but houses are temporary. Eternity is forever. We have to work & pray. It's a both/and. Without work, we pray & neglect the obvious things we can be doing for our city now! Without prayer, our work is only physical & lasting change eludes us.
Are we a church for the city? If not, how can we change? What work can we do? How should we pray!?
Monday, September 21, 2015
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you’.” (John 20:21ESV)
God is a missionary God. He has been sending his people since the very beginning. In Genesis 12 God sent out Abraham to go to a country he didn’t know. He didn’t even tell him where he was sending him. Similarly, in Isaiah 6, we see God asking, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
The pinnacle of this sending language is found in the gospel of John in the New Testament. The word is sent used over 40 times. Jesus uses this word of himself to show that he was sent from God. One of the more prominent uses is when Jesus heals a blind man by rubbing dirt on his eyes and telling him to go wash at a pool called Siloam. I’ll give you one guess what the word Siloam means in Aramaic.
So, Jesus heals a blind man by rubbing dirt on his face and telling him to wash at the pool called sent. Jesus was trying to communicate something. He was sent from God to accomplish the mission that God had given him. But he wasn’t just sent from God but John 20:21 tells us that he was now sending his disciples. Just as the father was sending him, he was now sending those that follow him.
If being sent was the primary activity of Jesus while he was on the earth, that activity has now passed to those of us that follow him. In fact, we are following him today because those 11 men were sent out by Jesus. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them taking that sending nature seriously.
But a quick analysis of the church today will show that we have forgotten this sent out identity. Most churches are based on a “come and see” approach to church rather than a “go and tell” approach. We have bought into a “Field of Dreams” methodology for doing church. The classic line from that 1989 film is, “If you build it, they will come.” The main character Ray, played by Kevin Costner, keeps hearing a voice telling him to build a baseball field in the middle of his corn crop in rural Iowa. He thinks he’s crazy, but as soon as he actually builds it, players from old appear to play on it. Eventually, people come from everywhere to see the field and the baseball that is played there.
This Field of Dreams, attractional way of doing church has permeated North America. And the results of this have been devastating. We have lost the sentness (if I can use that word) of the early church. Brad Brisco, a church planting catalyst in Kansas City, says it this way, “If we fail to go to people who don't know Jesus, then we are requiring them to come to us. We are expecting the lost to cross the cultural barriers to come to Jesus. We are expecting them to be the missionary.”
Did you catch that last phrase?
“We are expecting those that don’t know Jesus to be the missionary.”
Let that sink in. The church now postures itself to our culture in a way that the culture has to do all the work to come to Christ. What we need is a radical return to the sentness of the church. We need to recapture this missionary nature of God and the church. Where the church doesn’t just send missionaries but where the church IS the missionary. We must recapture the words of Jesus, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
This is life or death stuff we are talking about here. Why? If Jesus hadn’t decided to be sent by God, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Who out there is therefore dependent on our sentness?
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
Based on feedback we have received so far (47 responses), I wanted to try to give some clarification on communication processes at Compass.
The Navigator is Compass' weekly newsletter. We communicate church-wide level upcoming events & activities through the Navigator. We keep a running list of upcoming events & try to highlight the 4 to 5 most important events in the main sections. These are limited to church wide happenings to avoid clutter & an overwhelming amount of information.
You can access the Navigator in several ways. Every week the Navigator is posted on the City, the Compass website, & on the bulletin board in the welcome center. If you want to receive an email about the Navigator, you need to turn on your notifications for the City to send any new information to your email. Here is a link on how to do that:
An email will be sent to you when the Navigator is posted & you can click the link to have access to the Navigator.
Here is a link to the Navigator on the website (it is updated weekly):
The Compass Minute
The Compass Minute is an announcement video that plays during our weekly gatherings. The minute is approximately one minute long. It contains the 4 to 5 most important announcements or events happening that involve Compass Church as a whole. These correspond to the Navigator's top 4-5 announcements as well. If you have seen the Compass Minute, you have seen the most urgent & quickly approaching events at Compass.
The City is Compass' one stop for several things at our church. We needed a church management system at the church & the City offers this to us. It has a backend that operates as a way for us to keep church member contact & family information. It also has a children's check in module that helps us keep things all in one location. It also offers a way for the church to communicate with one another in multiple ways. We can post events, prayer requests, our newsletter, needs, & even personal messages all in one location! You have the option to post items via your missional community group or church wide. It combines so many features in one service.
Instead of sending emails, social media posts, text messages, phone calls, or any other type of media, the City allows us to send information to one location that can be accessible to everyone. Every Missional Community at Compass has their own group on the City for ease of communication, for example. All MC group sponsored events will be posted via the city. Those events can be posted on The Compass Church main group page if you would like to include other groups and individuals or can be posted to your group exclusively. This works two fold to keep the minute/navigator focused solely on Compass sponsored events while still allowing a forum to keep people informed about group sponsored activities.
We are trying to get everyone associated with Compass on the City because of how multifaceted it is. Instead of sending the same information 5 times to 5 different places, we can just send it one place. Instead of your MC using texting, your ministry team using Facebook, & the church using email, all of those groups can post & exchange information in one place. This greatly reduces the need for admin help, which we have little of at Compass. We don't have administrative assistants. Every minister is responsible for their own administration & the City helps us maximize ministry & minimize maintenance. We want to save money on admin costs so that we can use those resources for missions & ministry. The City greatly aids us in this.
In order to help everyone stay connected, we have opted to use the City exclusively. If you can't get all the info you need via email, why do you need the City? If you can get it via text, why do you need the City? If you can get it via Facebook, why do you need the City? So it may be convenient to receive information how & when you want it, but it doesn't streamline the process on the church's side of things. So in order to establish one place we can all go for the information we need, we turned to the City.
If you want to receive information from Compass like a text, you can set your City app to receive notifications just like a text. Just go to the settings on your City app & make sure your notifications are on. If you want to receive Compass info from email, go to the City & make sure that your notifications for email are set to receive everything. This will send you an email every time something new is posted. The City can deliver the information to you however you prefer without even having to log in!
If you haven't signed up for the City, join today! We already have 300 and counting on The City. Simply copy & paste this link into your browser to get connected!
If you are a covenant member & you want info on church budget matters, you can access them anytime through the website at this link:
It is password protected so you will need to email a staff member for the password at email@example.com. They are regularly updated & accessible for you.
If you want any other church information, the Elders & Staff are always available to you if you are a covenant member. If you have questions about the building project, we are available. Because we don't have business meetings, we don't have an open forum for discussing church matters but we do have an open door policy. We will meet with you to discuss anything you want related to Compass Church.
I hope this has been helpful to you in understanding our heart to communicate as best as we can. Thanks so much for your feedback in helping us discern how best to do that. Let us know of anything else you need.