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Do groups really matter?

As a pastor in the Groups Ministry, my job often involves convincing people that groups are essential.  And convincing leaders that groups are worth giving their lives for, while waiting for Christ’s return.

But.  Do I believe groups matter?

As a closet-introvert, I prefer solace.  Selfishly, I would never choose to be in a group of people and freely give of myself.  This is obviously not a healthy perspective, but honesty is seldom a healthy dose of reality.  However, my group seems to want to know who I really am and be known in return.

For that, I am grateful.

Without them, an xBox, golf clubs, and a MacBook would be my platonic friends.  An xBox cannot challenge me to become a better husband (a better Jedi perhaps).  Golf clubs do not answer my phone call at 11pm when I must push a car onto a trailer (in the middle of no where).  And a MacBook never needs my encouragement during a difficult time.

Without a group, I could continue practicing my selfish ways uninhibited.  I could shield this practice with smoke screens like, “I’m too busy” or  “I had a bad experience” or “I can study the bible on my own.”  All of which are true for me.

I missed group last night because I was working late.  To my surprise, when I finally did arrive home (~10pm) cars littered my driveway and cul de sac.  My group was still at my house.  Waiting on me.  You know what?  After 3 years together, I would have done the same thing.

What’s happening to me?

Group, community, sharing life, or whatever you want to call it, has changed me.  Without my knowledge and without my permission, others’ needs have become more important than my own.  Their pain, is now my pain. And their victories are mine to celebrate.  And I would wager (were wagering allowed within the unspoken, yet well-codified rules of things pastors are not supposed to do) that I am not the only one.

Have groups (small, cell, life, interest, or on-line) actually made a difference in your life?  Are groups worth the trouble? time? transparency?

If no, why not?  If so, why?  One random commenter will receive a $10 gift card of their choice.

6 billion people.  6 billion stories.  This is just one of those stories.  People.  Life is better together.

Young Adult Super Bowl Party

If you’re 18, 19, or twenty-something, you’re invited to join us for a Super Bowl Party here at Faith Promise Church.  For more information, check out the video below.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9262003[/vimeo]

Blast from the Past

On Wednesday, February 3 at 6:30 p.m., we will have a very special First Wednesday service called Back to the Future! We will have exciting worship music from the different eras of Faith Promise: our original church building in Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Mall, and our current campus on the mountain. We will wrap up with music from our young adults and children – the future leaders of FPC! Let’s fill the Worship Center as we worship, welcome new family members and share in the Lord’s Supper together.

If you can’t make it in person, we’ll also be streaming it live via our Internet Campus. What an evening it will be!

2010 Goals

Here are the goals that have been established for Faith Promise Church for 2010:

What’s In Your Closet?

Did you know that God has a wardrobe designed just for you? Find out what to wear in our new series that begins this weekend.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/8507530[/vimeo]

Online Church: Now on iPhone

apple-iphone-icampus

Yesterday Faith Promise added a new feature to our Internet Campus.  Now, in addition to streaming worship services online at 10:00 & 11:45 am in regular and sign language format, you can now access the video stream on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

If you’re interested, here are some screen captures of the service.

Top 100 Churches

Top 100 Churches

We received notice a couple of days ago that Faith Promise will likely be listed in Outreach Magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Churches which comes out in September.  In 2008, Faith Promise had 360 person increase in average weekend attendance (15% growth over 2007).

May God receive all the glory as he continues to impact lives for His kingdom here in Knoxville!