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Why Gathering with the Church On the Weekend Matters

We need some terminology shifts in our discussion about weekend gatherings of the church. First of all, the word "attendance" implies that church is an event that we support and make happen with our attendance. But church isn't an event. And while the church is "local" in its expression, it isn't defined by a building or a location either. Church is people. The church is a covenant people who are united by our belief in Jesus, our baptism, and by communion, and we commonly …

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Acknowledging the Ultimate Gift Giver

James, the brother of Jesus, once said, "Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father..." (James 1:17 GW) All the stuff we possess is a gift from God, and failing to recognize Him as the Giver is to miss the opportunity to glorify Him in our lives and in the world. Acknowledging and thanking God as the Giver does two things for us. First, it helps us worship. That is, it elevates Him in our minds, causes us to feel dependent upon Him, and …

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When Things Get Real in a Church Plant

A snapshot taken in our first official "second" service, 1/19/2014. I am humbled! Today marked the 2nd anniversary of our launch as Grace Hills Church. Today, we also launched a second morning worship service - something I'll write about later. And today, we began a new teaching series called Healing: Recovering from Life's Hurts, Habits, and Hang-ups. We had a record attendance. 240 people came, 47 of whom were kids, and 2 young adults received Jesus as their Savior. …

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When It Comes to Worship, Don’t Hold Back!

Christians like to talk about church music and call it worship. Church music usually is a means by which Christians worship. But worship is much more than music. We even have our own "worship wars" in which we decide what "style" of worship is right, wrong, or most biblical. I still see the phrases "contemporary worship" and "traditional worship" plastered on church signs, as though worship can be defined by such descriptors. In our debates about the biblical nature of …

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Let’s Fight FOR Worship!

Everybody worships. Not everyone believes in God, or in gods, or in the God of the Bible, but everyone worships. Everybody ascribes worth to something, which is one of the basic definitions of worship. My favorite book about worship, outside the Bible, is Warren Wiersbe's Real Worship: Playground, Battleground, or Holy Ground?. Wiersbe offers this concise definition of worship... Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are—mind, emotions, will, and body—to …

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There Is More to Sunday Than Meets the Eye

Recently, our staff met and talked about what Sunday looks like at Grace Hills. We don't want to be defined by Sundays, but we want to lead people to experience the presence of God in a life-changing way, which requires planning, prayer, and intentionality. As we walked through the average Sunday morning, we began to list out the various elements that are a part of an individual's experience, from pulling into the parking lot to heading for lunch afterward. Here is the …

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Approaching Easter Sunday As a Pastor

Easter Sunday is special. In spite of the competition from little furry bunnies who deliver colored eggs and sugar-induced hyperactive episodes among children, it's still a holiday that is fairly "religious." That is to say, Jesus still gets a fair amount of attention, possibly because it's always on Sunday and churches draw such attention to the resurrection. This is good. As a Pastor, I know that Easter Sunday excites me because I'll see new and unfamiliar faces in our …

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Neil Greenhaw’s Newest Single Is Out

I had the rare privilege of reading the lyrics to Not Holding Back when Neil was writing them, and then heard the song during it's time in production. I can tell you that Neil agonized over this song, making sure its theology was well rooted in Scripture and that its message was needed by today's church. I've watched Neil lead Grace Hills in worship, but I've also had many behind-the-scenes conversations with this genuine, authentic worshipper. I can tell you that he means …

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The Savior-Sensitive, Seeker-Sensitive Church

In 1975, Bill Hybels assumed the leadership of a fledgling church plant that would grow into the rather influential Willow Creek Community Church. Under Bill's leadership, the church pioneered many concepts in the seeker-sensitive strain of worship and ministry. In 1997, Bill and his wife, Lynne, co-wrote Rediscovering Church, an inside look at how the church grew from 100 to 15,000 in weekend attendance. In 1980, Rick and Kay Warren relocated to Orange County, California …

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Who Will Be Our Worship Leader at Grace Hills Church?

The position has been filled. We aren't hiring a Worship Leader. We're offering an opportunity to a pioneer. I recently wrote a story about why you might NOT want to join our new church. In that same vein, let me tell you why you might NOT want to be on staff at Grace Hills Church. We don't have a salary for you. Yet. We'll try to help you as you raise it, but we don't have the budget for multiple full-time salaries. I'm raising the financial support for my own salary, …

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