Posts

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.

New Developments at Faith Promise Church

knoxville-map

This post was written by Josh Whitehead (joshwhitehead.net), Executive Pastor at Faith Promise Church.

This month we will begin working with 3rd Quarter Consulting company to solidify plans to make Faith Promise a multi-site church in the Fall of 2010. Both Jim Tomberlin and Chris Willard of 3rd Quarter will be joining us for the journey. The process will include identifying the first location, creating the time-line for the launch, developing the core team and finding the Campus Pastor. It is going to be an amazing journey.

Although it is still a year off, will you begin to pray for wisdom for our Senior Leadership Team? We have some huge decisions to make in the next few months that will shape the future of FPC and the impact that we have in the future for His Kingdom. Pray specifically for:

  • The Campus Pastor
  • Location, Location, Location
  • Launch Core Team
  • Financial Resources

It is going to be an amazing time and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do! Are you on board?

Church Online

Internet Campus - Faith Promise Church

Starting April 12, 2009, Faith Promise launched a new worship service.  Now, in addition to the five worship times that occur on our physical campus, we now have two online interactive broadcasts of our worship service.  Each Sunday at 10:00 & 11:45 am, people from all over the world gather online at our Internet Campus (iCampus) to worship, chat, share prayer requests, and even do ministry online.

A few cool things we’ve seen happen on the Internet Campus:

  • Family members who are geographically distant from one another can worship together online.
  • People attending the iCampus are inviting their friends and family to attend through Facebook and Twitter.
  • People are requesting one-on-one prayer through online prayer chat with one of our prayer volunteers.
  • Families with new babies or dealing with sickness are able to stay connected from home.
  • People looking for a church in the Knoxville area have been able to get acquainted with the ministry of Faith Promise.