5 Essential Dance Moves With the "Monster Mash: Family Friendly Costume Dance" coming up October 27th, I thought I would walk you through a short list of 5 Essential Dance moves for those who are less inclined to break it down on the dance floor.
My name is Warren Mainard and I am a family man. As a family man, I have a job to do… to motivate my family to new heights. What better place to reach new heights than Mt. Rainier? So, a few weeks ago, we took the family to Mt. Rainier for a day of fun and hiking.
A quick survey of Facebook this yesterday morning revealed an interesting theme. The power of personality and how it has impacted the Church. We are obsessed with larger than life personalities. The fact that you are reading this article (based on the title) right now is all the proof we need. In the Miley Cyrus case, we learn that some churches are just like Miley- http://www.outofur.com/archives/2013/08/dont_laugh_your.html We will do "whatever" it takes to get "butts in the seat" and people talking about our church. If it "works," then God must be for it right? Why would we allow talented, gifted, dynamic leaders who are undiscipled and unaccountable with little testing of character to lead large scale ministries of thousands of people? Because they have a "larger than life" personality. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/08/28/when-the-popular-youth-pastor-gets-arrested-again/ No God loving American can resist a good Tim Tebow link as he is still the most popular topic on ESPN articles and episodes despite the fact that it has been 18 months since he last started a meaningful game. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/patriots/2013/08/27/tim-tebow-survives-75-roster-cut/2709393/ If Tim Tebow were to retire today and start a church in a major city in Florida, how long do you think it would take for him to be the pastor of one of the "fastest growing churches in America?" I love Tim Tebow, but I am not sure that he has yet qualified himself for the role of a mega-church pastor. It seems that we Christians can't help ourselves. Despite the fact that first two of the ten commandments instruct us to have "no other God's" before our God and that we shall not bow down to any idols, we have become more fixated on personalities than on the person of God. Our church, has a very simple mission statement- "Magnify Christ, Multiply His Kingdom." It is our desire to be a church that does not get caught up in the personality-driven approach to church growth that has become the norm. Our hope is that when people walk away from an experience with our church, they will not say "that Pastor was so awesome, or, that worship leader was so amazing, but rather, Jesus is Lord!" This does not mean that we need to stay lodged in 1950's church culture- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjmhOkMPbKc. In fact, even these models can be as personality driven as those that filling stadiums right down the road. So, how do we do it? Let's not bash, but build… Here are some ways that we can be less personality-driven and more Christ-focused in church life. 1. Expository Preaching- While it is not impossible to be personality driven with expository preaching, it is much more difficult. The over the top, ludicrous, attractional tactics that specialized and sensationalized topical series contribute to much of the personality mania in church life. The next "series" always must be bigger and better than the last, more controversial, and more mind-blowing than the series before. The question is always, "What will he/they do next?" In the expository format, everyone knows what the preacher will do next… the next verse. Instead of tweeting about the crazy practices of the preacher, people are digging into the upcoming Scripture. 2. Christ-Centered Worship- I LOVE modern worship! I never want to go back to pews, hymnals and choirs. This is not about the style or volume of the worship music we sing. Rather, it has more to do with the way we present ourselves in worship. Do the songs that we sing to God focus on Christ and His sacrifice? Is there any theological substance to what we are singing? Are we more focused on being broken in the presence of Christ and uplifted by His grace than just a core value of excellence? If you watched a video of your worship service with the volume off, what would be the take away? Who is the focus? Make sure that it is pointing to Christ. 3. Social Media- In ministry, "we replicate what we celebrate." If all we celebrate on social media is our leaders accomplishments or the number of people we have at a particular service, the natural focus of the people will turn toward numbers and the popularity of our pastor. We should strive to post and tweet in such a way that it brings glory to God and His accomplishments in our lives. When we see people demonstrating faithfulness to Christ, it is a positive thing to celebrate this with others. We should strive to use discernment in engaging social media so that it is Christ and His Church that receive the glory and the praise. We must always strive to not get carried away by the next big star- In Church or in Pop Culture. This is not healthy for us or for those that are in the spotlight. As Proverbs 29:23 reminds us, "One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor." As a Pastor, I can honestly say that I do not know a single pastor who does not struggle with pride in one form or another. Let's be sure that we encourage our pastors in a healthy way. Also, let's be careful about jumping on the hype train with the next "It" pastor or church in our town. Take time to get to know your pastor. Get to know his family. Seek to understand what kind of accountability he has in place to help him stay on track spiritually. Seek to support your pastor for the role that he fills, but do not place him on a pedestal that is reserved for Christ alone.
View this article on the Seattle Times Website: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/take2/2013/08/27/ken-griffey-jr-making-a-case-for-juniors-greatness/
Warren Mainard attended King's High School in Shoreline and played tennis for Cascade High School in Everett. He recently returned to the Seattle area after 20 years in the South to serve as the lead pastor of Essential Church in Bellevue.
Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Aug. 10. That event spurred me to reflect on the power of Junior's legacy, not only as a Mariner, but also as a future Hall of Famer. Upon further review, I have come to conclude that without a shadow of a doubt, Junior was the greatest player of his generation, and arguably, the greatest baseball player of all time.
Full disclosure: I am a totally biased fan. I grew up in Seattle as a Mariners fan. In my office, I have a signed baseball by Junior as well as the May 7, 1990 Sports Illustrated titled "The Natural."
Whether I'm biased or not, the argument for Griffey's supremacy is still convincing. Let's begin with the numbers - 630 home runs, 1,836 runs batted in and a .284 batting average. "The Kid" was a 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner and seven-time Silver Slugger. He was a regular-season MVP, an All-Star Game MVP and a member of Major League Baseball's All-Century Team. To combine such prodigious power with the slick fielding at a premier position (center field) alone puts Junior in a rarified category. But that is only the beginning of the story.
Griffey's career began just as the steroid era of baseball took flight. In his rookie year, the leading home-run hitter in the American League was Fred McGriff, who hit 36 home runs. The 1990s saw the rise of Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez. All of these prodigious power hitters have now been linked with steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. It seems "The Natural" was one of the few players in the game who had the right to carry that moniker.
If you remove likely or confirmed cheaters from the record books, Griffey is one of only two players to have two of the top eight home-run seasons in baseball history. The other? Babe Ruth. Again, erase the PED users from the all-time home-run leader lists and only Aaron, Ruth, and Mays stand above "The Kid." For these reasons, Griffey can be proclaimed as the greatest player of his generation.
What about the greatest player ever? This is where it gets interesting. Only a handful of players can compare stats and accolades with Griffey. Ruth, Aaron, Mays, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle each can stake a claim as the greatest. However, they did not play in the same era as Griffey, especially when you consider two primary factors - PEDs and specialized pitching.
Hitters were not the only ones using PEDs during Griffey's career. Pitchers were in on the deception as well. Well-known pitchers such as Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Kevin Brown and many others have been linked in a variety of PED-related scandals and reports. So not only was Griffey overshadowed by juiced sluggers, he was also having to bat against illegally pumped-up pitchers. In addition, the modern age of specialized pitching resulted in lower pitch counts for starting pitchers and less-hitter-friendly situations for guys like Griffey. It is impossible to know, but fun to imagine how many home runs Griffey could have hit if he had been playing in a time when PEDs were not rampant.
So, why do more people not include Ken Griffey Jr. in the discussion of greatest player ever? I believe it is for two primary reasons:
1) Griffey's spectacular performance throughout the 1990s was overshadowed by the media mania produced by super-sized sluggers McGwire, Sosa and Bonds. Remove them from the public eye and all eyes would have rested on The Natural's greatness.
2) Griffey's injuries in his 30s caused writers and fans to focus more on what could have been, rather than what he actually accomplished. One can't help but wonder what Griffey would had done if he had stayed healthy from 2001 to 2004, the prime of his career. If he had been healthy, he likely would have eclipsed Ruth and Aaron in home runs, topped 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBI.
He didn't stay healthy, however, and so the debate continues. Yet even with the injuries and the what-if's, the case can be made that no one has played the game any better than the young man with the sweet swing and unforgettable smile.
For this biased fan, there is no greater player than Ken Griffey Jr.
One way that we demonstrated LOVE to the city of Bellevue was to deliver a small thank you gift to some of the key leaders and influencers of our city. Pray that God will use this small gesture as a way to build bridges and relationships that will enhance our city.
"seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you... and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." Jeremiah 29:7
· Offered two weeks of a Free Soccer Camp at Lake Hills Elementary School.
· Hosted three Free Community Block Parties.
· Had a Free Car Wash
· Delivered furniture and house supplies to needy families in our community.
· Painted cabins and chairs at Camp SAMBICA.
· Offered a Free Concert to the community.
· Handed out bottled water at our local parks.
· Hosted a Free Movie Night for the community.
· Worked with children and teenagers at Odle Middle School.
· Offered a Free Pizza party at Lake Hills Elementary School.
· Cleaned up every classroom and pressure washed the exterior of Big Picture School.
- Offered a free Ice Cream party for kids at Lake Hills Elementary
- Prayer-walked and canvassed over 1,000 local homes and businesses.
- Held another Essential Sneak Peek Service at the South Bellevue Community Center.
As a part of our LOVE Bellevue emphasis, we also included a special initiative called “Bless the City.” “Bless the City” is our attempt to offer a small gift of gratitude to nearly 50 key leaders and influencers of Bellevue.
One of the highlights of the summer was being able to see so many Gospel conversations take place naturally during many of our times with the community. At one of our block parties, a married couple both prayed to receive Christ! Another highlight was seeing two young people surrender to a call to ministry!
We are so thankful for the relationships that God has blessed us with during our time here in Bellevue! We are looking forward to seeing much more fruit in the days ahead!
Planting in an urban center is not easy. It presents a unique set of challenges to the church planter. The burden and the call are what keep the church planter going when things get tough. This blog is not written by one who has conquered the city, but by one who is fighting for the city every day. In starting Essential Church in Bellevue, WA, God has taught us a few things about planting in an urban center that may helpful and effective for others in the future. Using the teachings and experiences of Jesus, here are four biblical insights that will aid church planters who are serving in the urban context.
1. Be the Good Samaritan- Those that are the most open to the gospel are often the people who are most obviously hurting and least like you. Loving your neighbor, as Jesus commands, takes time, intentionality, and sacrifice. Many of the people that we have been able to reach in our short time here have been those who have found themselves at their lowest point when we stepped into their story. God has allowed us to reach hurting members of our community as we have taken the time to hear and know their needs, struggles and stories. 2. Reach one Leper, one Adulterer, one Demoniac- In a city with over 82 languages represented in the school district, it is easy to get overwhelmed with how to reach our city for Christ. In studying Jesus' ministry in the gospels, we have discovered a unique church planting principle. Often times, Jesus would reach one person and then that one would reach their entire community. Reach one leper, and you reach the lepers. Reach one woman at the well and you reach a whole town. Reach one demoniac on the other side of the sea and reach an entire region. Tax collectors, fisherman, religious leaders, were all impacted by Jesus touching one in their community. We too must pray that Jesus would allow us to reach key people who represent our city and then set them loose to reach their community for Christ. 3. Inspire the Rich Young Ruler- The affluent have no need for our service or ministry. They are driven, materialistic, and very busy. When presented with the sacrificial call of the gospel, most will walk away. Yet, we see that in this "cause" conscious city, the affluent desire significance. Although most have not figured it out yet, something inside them is whispering "the world is not enough." If we are to reach the Rich Young Ruler's of our city, we must invite them to join us in ways that add significance to their lives. 4. Determine your Disciples- Every church plant must have a core group of disciples on whom Jesus can build his church. Jesus invested in a few over the course of 3 years before He left them to launch the church. You cannot build a church on a crowd, you must build it on a core. This takes time, patience, and intentionality as you seek out God's wisdom in discerning who to invest in as a leader in the early days. We should not seek to hurry this process as we prepare to launch a church in an unchurched culture. Fighting for the Gospel in an urban center is a daily battle with countless ups and downs. Yet, if we are to win our cities, our nation, and our world, we must continue to cling to the call that Christ has burdened us with. We must continue to see every person who enters into our path through Christ's eyes and pursue them with Christ's heart. As we see, strive, and serve in our city with a sustained effort, we will see the power of God transform our urban centers with the Gospel.
If you would like to be a part of a church that is striving to impact its city in a Biblical way, please contact email@example.com or join us for one of our Essential Gatherings
‘Love Bellevue’ is coming in July
To tell the city of Bellevue “we love you” in the native tongue of every person in the city, you’d need to learn at least 80 different languages. Or you could do what one new Bellevue church is doing – demonstrating its love with action.
Essential Church is making July “Love Bellevue” month– which will include free events for the community and service projects throughout the month.
“We want to show the people of Bellevue that we care about them,” said Warren Mainard, Essential Church’s lead pastor. “We have a lot planned throughout the month – from block parties to soccer camps to concerts to movie nights and more. We know that when a city experiences love in the context of community, positive things are bound to happen. We love, because God first loved us.”
Here are some of the key elements of “Love Bellevue”:
Essential Church will also host a sneak peak of the church’s worship service at 10:45 a.m. on July 21 at the South Bellevue Community Center. The church will serve a free meal after the service.
For more information about Essential Church’s “Love Bellevue” efforts, visit www.lovebellevue.com
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