There’s days where I see God at work in such an incredible way that I can’t believe He’s allowed me to be a part of it. I’ll be the first to admit I’m in way over my head, and that it’s only God’s grace and power that isÂ doing this. I’m so grateful to the Lord for letting me experience this. Today, I was humbled and moved by a number of events…
- Heard some incredible discussions amongst our staff. Our guys and gals are growing in such a great way,Â they’re developing the leadership integrity and skills it’s going toÂ take for PVC to go to the next level. I see our staff thinkingÂ and talking about things at a much higher level than in the past. They’re moving past simple details and into visionary leadership, and it’s exciting me for the coming days. We’ve got a young staff, but they’re hungry for the Lord’s presence and power in our ministry.
- Paul Lewis came and shared with me that 163 people have made decisions for Christ in the past 3 weeks at Palm Valley. I know, I couldn’t believe that number either. I’m also excited because every one of these people who have stepped across the line of faith are being followed up with by our Fresh Start team. I’ve never experienced such a wave of people coming to Jesus, it’s awesome!
- Got to pray with Mark today as he heads for Africa. I hated seeing God lead Mark off our staff, but I’m digging having a front row seat to watch (and be a part of) what He’s going to use Mark to do next. Mark loves Jesus, and he’s going to impact the world (literally) with the love of Christ. Pray for him over the next 3 weeks as he travels Africa discerning his role in helping churches connect with opportunities.
- Had lunch with big-wigs from a bank that’s considering funding our building project. It amazed me today to sit in a meeting that reminds me how close we are to actually seeing a campus for Palm Valley Church became a reality. Thanks to those who were praying, I felt it went incredibly well. In the coming weeks we’ll be making some huge decisions about how we move forward; it’s definitely speeding up. Drove by our land on the way home, all the roads are in and infrastructure is almost all in place. Yeah God!
- Ended the day by celebrating the 80th birthday of Lori’s dad. Hosted the party at our house for Lori’s family, just had a great time celebrating an incredible man. Lori’s dad pastored for 50 years, and has done things for the Kingdom that the rest of us dream of having the faith and courage to do! He took about a 1/2 hour and shared his life story with the kids and grandkids, ending with a special prayer of blessing for us. I was moved to tears thinking about how much his faith has meant to me, and the huge amount he’s poured into me. It meant alot to me to see my kids so intrigued and interested in PaPa’s faith, I know they were processing it. I pray that I will be as faithful to the calling God has placed on my life as this man has been.
- Sitting here tonight thinking about what an encouraging message God has given me to deliver this weekend. We’ll be talking about “Growing Through Failure”, and I believe what I’m going to share will have a huge impact on all of us; since we’ve all failed at different times. I’m so thankful God’s definition of success is far different from ours!
That’s it, what a great day! To top it off, tomorrow I’ll be hanging out and swimming with my kids, then Lori and I are taking our boys to our very first Nascar event at PIR; thanks to a friend who shot us some tickets. We’re fired up to honorary rednecks for the evening!
One of the core values I have is that I want to intentionally investion in the younger generations. I love my years as a youth pastor, and thought I would always be working with young people. Now as a Senior Pastor, I realize that I reach young people through a different conduit; by creating a church atmosphere where young people are valued and invested in. At Palm Valley, we make children and teens a priority in budgeting, scheduling, and space. We seek to make the children’s environments as significant (or better) than the adult worship environment.
This year I’ve really been praying about how I can be more involved directly with the young people of our church. So, I have felt led to get involved this summer directly with the camps for our elementary, jr. high, and high school students. Lori and I will be attending all these camps, hanging out with kids and I will be speaking at each of these. I’m fired up about investing in and pouring my heart into the young people of our church.
Parents: if you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign your children up for camp. I know it takes time, and money; but the investment will be well worth it. We spend money on so many things that don’t really matter. This year send your kids to camp; they will benefit spiritually! Camp registrations are already happening and filling up quickly; don’t let your kid miss out!
Elementary Camp: for those students going into 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Dates are June 15-19th. We have rented out the entire Tonto Rim Camp in Payson to be shared by our elementary and jr. high camps. Cost is $250 (for 1st 100 registered). you can register here… register for elementary camp. Contact Adrienne Nunez for more questions.
Jr. High camp: for those entering 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Dates are June 15-19th. Cost is $250. you can register here… register for jr. high camp. Contact Jeremiah Hann for more questions.
High School Camp (crashing the Rohlinger family vacation): For those entering 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade. Dates are July 21-25th. Cost is $300. We will be heading to Durango, Colorado for a week of hiking, alpine slides, rock climbing, white water rafting, and so much more. Contact Darius Sanders for more questions.
Spent the afternoon on the phone with Gary Lamb talking about Revolution Church’s easter egg drop. They had advertised big, and what happened in return was monumental!
I’ll let Gary share what happened when He’s ready, but let me tell you I’m proud of the risks Gary and Revolution are willing to take to reach people for Christ. When you hear what happened, you’ll know it was an easter egg hunt like no other! Go Gary, and go Revolution!
Warning: honest confession of a pastor contained…
Saturday night the power went out at the school about 5 minutes before service was to begin. It left our team with a dilemna. Much of our service had been planned around video we shot, and of course w/o electricity there would be no band or mic’s.
As we contemplated what to do, I must confess…
- I was tired from the spring carnival that day.
- I had a long list of things on my mind.
- I’ve struggled a bit with my voice lately.
- I secretly liked the idea of getting home early.
- I was disappointed we wouldn’t be able to use the video
- I was really leaning towards just cancelling the service and asking everyone to come back in the morning.
THEN…I looked down at my notes. You see, I was prepared to teach from Luke 5, where friends carry a paralyzed man on a mat to Jesus so that He might be healed. The main point of my message was that we’re to be unstoppable in sharing the gospel of Jesus with people who need to know Him.
It was a great little reminder from God to practice what I preach. After a quick prayer of repentance we went “unplugged” with the service. Derrick improvised on the accoustic and led 2 songs, then I preached w/o a mic. It did strain my voice, and it was tough, but it was honoring to the Lord.
By the way, the service was awesome, and a lot of people commented that we should go “unplugged” more often (I vote against that ).Â It was a great reminder that it is all about God, and we must be preapred to give him everything we have, even when we don’t feel like it!
This closing session was full of worship, and Wayne shared from his heart about what he desires for New Hope Church. It was a great challenge to our team. Some quotes that stood out…
“we’re often more concerned with the absence of problems than we are with the presence of the Lord”.
“we must pray: ‘Lord, please bring your presence to the church.’”
“Lord, our answer is yes! Now, what’s the question”
“a ‘no-heart’ is revealed by a ‘no-face’. What does your face say? Remember, God can do anything!”
The whole DCAT conference was awesome, and very challenging to me both personally and as a pastor. here’s some general observations…
- Wayne Cordeiro is an awesome pastor. He loves the Lord, and he loves his people.
- The people of New Hope have taken on their pastor’s personality.
- New Hope is a generous church.
- Hawaii is beautiful, even when it’s raining
- I love our staff and trustees, they’re a blast to be with.
- Can’t wait to see how God is going to use what we’ve learned at PVC!
This evening’s service started off with incredible worship led by students (and children) of New Hope. It was off the hook. The talent and giftedness amongst young people at New Hope is unrivaled in any church I’ve ever seen. They had multiple bands, singers, dancers, and drama performers.
It’s obvious New Hope has an amazing commitment to develop the next generation. Every young person at New Hope knows they can use their giftedness in the church right now. This was very challenging to our whole team! It was a great reminder that children aren’t the future of the church, they’re part of the church right now.
Wayne talked in this session about the prophet Samuel annointing young David to be the future king of Israel (1 Samuel 15 & 16). He stated that God is annointing young people, and we need to mentor them.
In Psalm 78:70-72 it is stated that David had integrity of heart (character) and skill of hand (competence). We ought to be looking for these two qualities in young people today. David looked for these qualitites and determined his “30 mighty men” who were his closest friends.
Wayne added that we want people around us who hear from God. He stated that people whom God chooses are difficult to defeat!