Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spiritual Debt?

This isn’t a popular concept in our culture today, but Scripture teaches us that all of humanity is born into spiritual debt. All of us have sinned against a Holy and Righteous God. It is eternal sin against an eternal God and carries an eternal debt. Colossians 2 describes us as being spiritually dead and having a certificate of debt against us. This is a certificate for a contest that you don’t want to win and yet all of us have excelled in running up an account of spiritual debt.

In our culture today we don’t understand spiritual debt but we understand financial debt. We live in a culture that thrives on debt. 40% of all Americans spend more than they make. Most people who have the new car, new house, new gadgets, also have new letters that come in the mail each week from their debt collectors.

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Self-sufficiency is something that is really sneaky that can creep into our spiritual lives before we even see it coming. It is really sneaky, really subtle, and it could stop us before we start. Typically it will reveal itself in 1 of 2 ways:

Arrogance: We look within ourselves and conclude we can do it. We can get it done. Our childhood idol was G.I. Joe and we can make it happen!

Discouragement: We look within and conclude it is impossible. We can’t do this. Our childhood idol was Eeyor and we are going to mess it up.

Both of those responses are an attack against the gospel because it is looking within and based on our resources determining if we can do something or not. That isn’t the gospel. It isn’t our self-sufficiency that gets us to Jesus and it isn’t our self-sufficiency that keeps us with Jesus. Here are some other characteristics of self-sufficiency:
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Our Strategy As A Church?

When it comes to starting a church today in the United States 95% of them do so with a traditional promotional marketing strategy. Which means they come into an area, study the demographics, and market their church accordingly, just like any business would market its self.

When I speak to other new churches they tell me they spend $30-50K on marketing. They send mailers, door hangers, billboards, radio spots, magazine ads, and they come into a community and blitz the community with marketing. There is nothing wrong with marketing, but if our focus is a traditional marketing strategy it will create two road blocks:

Not Effective: In North Central Austin we called all the churches in a 2-mile radius and of the 200,000 people living in the area less than 10,000 of them are connected to a local church. Many of them have had negative experiences, many of them are jaded, have been hurt, and a door hanger isn’t able to overcome those past experiences. There will be a few, but in our context, it typically won’t work. We have done some traditional marketing, but less than $2K.

Not Reproducible: The second is that strategy isn’t reproducible for the average Christ follower. The average person isn’t going to call up KISS FM and purchase a radio spot for our church. As a result, the traditional marketing strategy removes the Christ follower from the equation and it isn’t reproducible.

So “What is our marketing strategy?”

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Holidays are a great time to connect with family and create some memories. Sure there is some stress, but it is a key time in the family to create traditions and connections with friends and family.

This is a picture from a family outing we had recently. Be sure to take some time around the holidays to create some memories!

A Season Of Hope

Last week I was at Schlotzky’s and I heard this lady next to me talking about her Thanksgiving and she said, ”We spent it with our friends and it was so much fun, because it was with all the people we wanted to be with.”

Sometimes family can make the holidays a little noisy. In every family it is inevitable that there are different expectations around the holidays. Yet, even with all the chaos from traveling, and attending parties, I wish there were a dozen days throughout the year that we would celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because it is a time when we are reminded of a tremendous amount of hope that is provided to all of humanity.

In Micah 5 we see a clearer picture of this hope:

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