Since we were starting a series on the DaVinci Code, I went with some staff Friday night to see the movie.Â After reading critics reviews, I had low expectations for the movie.Â Actually, I thought the movie was pretty good.Â It was true to the book, and I enjoyed the actors performance.Â The camera work was excellent, and I stayed engaged throughout.
However, the movie is still based on a fictional book.Â It is a great book, good movie, but horrible history.Â The claims made in the DaVinci Code are laughable when one does any bit of study on the subject. I’ll be writing more on this throughout the week, and giving you some places to begin studying.
Â I actually had some Christians tell me we should boycott the movie, and I shouldn’t be teaching about it. It’s my belief that we should engage the culture in a discussion, and use it to build a bridge, not a wall.Â That’s what we did this weekend at Palm Valley.
I had fun with the message this weekend, and felt our team did a great job of researching and preparing the sevices.Â I’m proud to be in a church family where we can talk about the tough stuff, and not run from it.
I want to sent a huge shout out (thanks) to the men & women in our church who help set-up and tear-down.Â It takes a massive amount of work to pull everything together, and back apart.Â You all do an awesome job! I joke that you know the people who love Jesus, because they do set-up and tear-down during the summer months
Thanks for giving your time and energy to do the job!Â I don’t think most people realize how much work it takes.Â
So…I’m challenging the rest of our body to step up and help do the job.Â Especially as it gets hotter, set-up and tear-down can wear people out.Â I encourage you to get involved, and help with this team.Â To volunteer, call the church office or email Art Day.
Folks, make sure you’re there this weekend as we start our new series, “Unlocking The DaVinci Code”.Â Make sure you bring people with you who don’t know Christ.
Everyone’s talking about this movie, and it’s got people asking questions about the Bible, who Jesus is, etc…Â We couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to share the gospel.Â Let me repeat this, bring people with you this weekend who don’t know Jesus, their eternity may be changed!
You can sent e-invites by clicking here…
I just read a number that really hurts me as a pastor.Â 15,000 pastors leave their churches each year, with no plans to return to ministry. Granted, a lot of pastors leave for reasons such as immorality, infidelity, etc…
However, the #1 reason pastors cited for leaving ministry was “church abuse”.Â The #2 reason was “unrealistic expectations by the church“. Having been in ministry for 14 years, I can say i’ve seen my fair share of both.Â It hurts my heart to see so many people who genuinely love the lord, and want to serve Him, leaving ministry for these reasons.
Truth is, most churches are set up to abuse the pastor.Â He’s paid very little, his wife is expected to work full time for the church for free, and the pastor is expected to do everything everyone wants, be there for everybody who feels they need him, and be still preach great sermons every week.Â It’s just not realistic.
This is the exact reason I felt led to start a church.Â We have established a church where the pastors can have healthy lives, and their families can flourish.Â I love that my kids love that I’m a pastor, not resent it. I believe I’m healthier, my family is healthier, and our church is healthier because of our structure.Â Sure, there are still people who try to control me (they can’t), but they have no avenue to abuse me (or my family), I simply won’t allow it.
Don’t get me wrong; pastors should work hard, and should be accountable for their actions (this will be another post), but they should also feel free to be human. I love pastoring Palm Valley Church.Â I love the people I’m called to shepherd.Â I encourage you tonight to pray that God will encourage the hearts of Pastors, that they might lead a revolution of Christ-followers in building His Kingdom!
One of my values is that all local churches are on the same team.Â I remember how lonely it was when Lori and I started Palm Valley. Some pastors actually viewed, and treated us, as the competition.Â I also remember how encouraging it was when a few local pastors reached out to me and showed me some love.
I’ve tried to pass this on.Â I look for opportunities to build relationships with young pastors/church planters, and try to encourage them.Â Lori and I regularly invite new pastors/church planters to our home for dinner.Â We even paid for one local church plant to send outÂ their firstÂ mailer because they couldn’t afford to do it.
I recently hosted a lunch at our offices, where a bunch of us younger pastors huddled up, prayed for each other, and encouraged one another.
We also decided to do something that would show our commitment to working together to build God’s Kingdom, not our own.Â With the DaVinci Code movie coming out, we thought this would be a great opportunity to reach out to our community together, and let people know that we’re more interested in them knowing Christ than which one of our churches they go to.
So, this Friday in the West Valley View, you will see an ad from 7 local churches inviting anyone seeking answers to questions raised in the DaVinci Code to visit ANY of our local churches. I encourage you to check out the ad in Friday’s paper, and pray that God will bring a harvest of people into His Kingdom through all of the local Bible teaching churches!
It may not be the biggest happening in the world, but i believe this is one way we can knock down the competitive walls and honor God as a true community of followers of Christ.