|Posted by Connect on May 24, 2016 at 12:55 AM||comments (2)|
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23 NIV
|Posted by Connect on May 16, 2016 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
We should expect that everything will not go smooth in life. It's not that we have to worry or fear the challenges that we face. We should just not be surprised that challenges arise. It holds true if you have served God in ministry for any length of time. After spiritual growth and increased understanding, the enemy and the things of this world drag us away from our focus. Life can challenge and detour us, while Satan is looking to devour us.
In Mark 4:18-19, we learn that distractions in life will prevent the seeds of the Gospel from taking root because of all the thorns that challenges and distractions represent. In Mark 9:34, after witnessing the tranfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop, a powerful miracle that Peter, James, and John experienced, these disciples were focused on who was the greatest among them! What?! Jesus has just shown them His glory, and they were worried about their own greatness?!
I am challenging people to use social media with the hashtag #connectchallenge. With the hashtag, post pictures of the challenges you face along with any Scripture that you find applies well to understanding or overcoming that challenge!
|Posted by Connect on May 11, 2016 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
Is church dead?
Programs, building funds, country club mentality, empty self-serving rituals. Is that really what church has become? We, who make up the church were created for the purpose of telling others about Christ but have we lost our purpose?
In Matthew 22:26(b)-27 Jesus talked of a conversation God had with Moses saying ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? Then Jesus made it very clear for us that God “is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And that if you don’t see it that way “You are badly mistaken.
We might occasionally go to a cemetery to pay our respects or place flowers on a grave but we don’t hang out there. The people in that graveyard are dead and so totally consumed with being dead that they can’t respond to our voice or interact with us.
Maybe in the same way the church has become so consumed with their dead and useless activities that God is scratching his head with a bewildered look and saying “what are they doing?”
If we are doing church each week and God isn’t showing up it’s time to rethink what, why and who we are doing it for.
You see, God is not a God of the dead but of the living.
|Posted by Connect on May 7, 2016 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
I am not an avid fisherman, but I understand these general concepts:
- You cannot catch fish if you are not fishing.
- You need a hook on the end of your line.
- The hook needs to be baited with something that the fish is drawn to and hungry for.
- Certain places in the water are better for finding certain fish.
- Fish will sometimes fight hard to stay in the water when you are reeling them in.
- Pro fishermen know a lot more about fishing than I do. Many advanced and commercial fishermen use nets or multiple lines.
Jesus said he would make His disciples fishers of men. Here are some tips for us to get hooks in the water. Each number above corresponds to an action below:
- Actively look for people who need Jesus.
- Once you find people who need Jesus, you need to be equipped to interact with them. (Good conversation, helping serve them, etc.)
- People are hungry for being loved and accepted, not looked down on and warned they are wrong. Do you know what that person really needs? Starting a non-judgmental conversation can help!
- God designed each of us with the ability to reach certain types of people. Discover who you are to look for.
- Don't worry or give up when you get resistance. God is in control.
- Jesus said He would make His disciples fishers of men. We need to spend time with Jesus in order to discover the many ways we can effectively fish with more hooks and bigger nets.
|Posted by Connect on May 5, 2016 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
Snoopy is one of my childhood favorites. There’s a Peanuts cartoon where Lucy (the bossy, grumpy girl) demanded that Linus change the TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn’t. "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus. "These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold." "Which channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can’t you guys get organized like that?"
I think God doesn’t want us to use violence, but He does want us to come together. He wants us to join together and use our talents to do His work! He wants us to get organized and work together for His good purposes. God expects us to function together as one body. In Romans 12:6-10, we are told that God gives us gifts so that each of us do certain things well. The Bible (1 Corinthians 12:14-27) also tells us that everyone in the body is indispensable and valuable! At Connect, we believe that everyone has at least one role, and often multiple roles and functions, that God has designed specifically for that person. One of the best parts of pastoring is to see people find purpose and to discover what they are designed to do!
We need to come together like Lucy's fist and fight together so that everyone in the body grows. After all, we'd look weird with a 35 year old body and the legs of a six year. Here's the challenge for me as a pastor, I see the body as all the Jesus following churches on earth, not just the people who come to Connect so I can help lead and equip them for God's work. We need to find ways to come together with the rest of the body, too.
Pastor Cory Potter
|Posted by Connect on May 5, 2016 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
People are walking away daily and it’s the churches fault!!!! Were tired of sittitng in a building every Sunday being lectured, pumped up for a building program and then talked at about what we are going to do but never actually doing it. The church is frozen in its tracks by lack of funds and as people leave, the problem only gets worse. In Mark 12:15-17 Jesus points out that it is Caesar’s image on a coin Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Jesus is saying that a coin only has the value that man puts on it. Give it away, pay it back, do what you have got to do but give to God what is Gods. Churches need to listen up. Your value isn’t in your building, your savings account or worship service. Your value is in your people. They were created with the image of God carved into them. Perfect in his eyes and engraved with the blood of Jesus Christ. We need to quit looking back to what Church used to be and begin to understand the value God puts on us. Focus forward on what we can do to join in with him, shut the back door, walk people out the side door and give them the freedom to serve.
Pastor Carl Kadolph
|Posted by Connect on May 4, 2016 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
The disciples were handpicked by Jesus himself, immediately thrown into an intense 3 year training program where they enjoyed daily one on one conversation with the ultimate teacher himself.
They experienced wonders and miracles as Jesus walked the streets and healed and taught.
They were even sent out in pairs for a type of “on the job” training and saw God work through them as they prayed, called for healing and witnessed the power of God.
They must have begun making plans for their lives.
Some might have planned to go back to their families and to work as disciples in their home towns. Others may have had a desire to travel and thought of the freedom that they were going to have once they were set loose to minster on their own. Still others might have been content right where they were and thought they might stay under the wing of Jesus and work with him forever.
It’s our nature to plan and you can be sure the disciples did.
But the detours began......
Some never found their way back to their families, freedom to travel became persecution and hiding and Jesus ascended to heaven.
Despite the detours from their best possible plans, the disciples focused not on the past but on what was ahead and they continued their work.
We plan, but there are detours in life and we need to always focus forward.
Sometimes the detour is part of the plan.
Gods plan is always greater.
Pastor Carl Kadolph