Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

What is Agape Ann Arbor?

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Have you ever spent time thinking about what you’re known for? Joe Montana is know for being an amazing quarterback. Oprah Winfrey is know for being a media mogul. Snooki and the Situation are known for taking themselves way too seriously.

What about Christians? What are Christians known for? In his 2007 book unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity… and Why It Matters David Kinnaman found that in America Christians are known for six things:

1. Hypocrisy
2. Concern for conversion more than the person
3. Antihomosexuality
4. Sheltered
5. Overemphasis on politics
6. Judgmentalism

These are the things the average American ages 16 – 25 thinks about Christians. This is what Christians are known for. It’s a far cry from what Jesus said we should be known for, isn’t it? In John 13:35, Jesus said that the world would know we were His followers, Christians, by our love for one another. There is nothing loving in any of those statements.

This is where Agape Ann Arbor steps in. Agape Ann Arbor is a new community of Christ-follwers. Our goal is to break the stereotype. Our goal is to be a community of people known for our love. We want to be a community where God’s love is experienced and expressed. We want the City of Ann Arbor to see us and know that we love them, God loves them, and Jesus died for them. And God willing, we will break the stereotype in Ann Arbor. Christians won’t be known for their politics or their hypocrisy. We’ll be known for our love and what we do here in Ann Arbor, MI will change the way America and the world views Christians.

Would you like to be a part of this change? Would you like to break the stereotype and be known for what Jesus called us to be known for, our love? There are a couple of ways you can get involved. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can
subscribe to our newsletter
, and receive weekly email updates about how to specifically pray for us. If you’re in Washtenaw County and would like to become part of the team you can contact me and we’ll get together.

Please pray for us. There are 98,000 people in Ann Arbor who don’t know Jesus. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, but we’re excited to be a part of what God’s doing in our city.

Risk & Reward

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

As a guest speaker it’s always tough to choose a topic. This past weekend I felt God leading me to take a more of a risk than I would normally. I was speaking at Bethany Bible Church in Bellville, MI. This was my fourth time speaking there this summer. The church is in the middle of a big transition right now. They’re senior pastor recently resigned and they are now in the middle of a search for a new pastor.

The safe choice of a topic would have been to talk about prayer, or community, or a well-known beloved Bible passage. Originally that was my plan. My original list of topics included all of those. As I prayed over the list asking for wisdom and guidance none of those topics seemed to work.
I felt God guiding me to talk about leadership. I felt that I should give the church tools to help the search committee identify their next pastor, guidance for the church to pray, and a challenge to everyone there on how to be more effective leaders. I shared the Essential Characteristics of Effective Leadership.

So, why was that a risk? Well, it’s not likely that a talk on prayer or community is going to fall flat. Those are easy topics to preach. Everyone likes to say “amen” to a talk like that. Leadership, on the other hand, doesn’t preach as easy. Not everyone gets excited about leadership. Moreover, most people don’t find leadership lessons immediately applicable. It’s really easy for a talk like that to fall flat on a Sunday morning.

Yet, no risk no reward right? God blessed the message and the worship service in huge ways this weekend. The congregation responded incredibly well to the talk. I have several people come up to me and share how God used the talk to impact them. To top that off, one of the members of the search team told me that the team was meeting that night to discuss the position and review resumes. God’s timing is awesome! It’s a privilege to be a part of what God is doing.
Please pray for Bethany Bible Church as the continue they’re search for a new pastor.


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

A lot of people think that connecting with God is like connecting with someone through Facebook. You do a search and find God’s Facebook page. Then request Him as a friend. Facebook sends God an email asking Him whether or not He’ll accept you or not. You presume that He will. But you don’t know. He might block you and you’re never really sure if he’s going to block you or not.

God’s not like Facebook. He’s more like Twitter. You find his Twitter page and start following Him. There’s no waiting for approval. We automatically start hearing from Him as He sends out tweets. He Tweets regularly through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. He’s always communicating, always sharing. We can log on and read His tweets or ignore them.

That’s the way most people treat twitter and the way most people treat God. We log on when we’re bored. Check out what’s going on. Or we just tweet incessantly and ignore what everyone else is saying. We talk at God and call it prayer but don’t take time to listen to Him and hear what He has to say. Like Twitter, to really appreciate God you’ve got to take some time to stop tweeting and start reading, stop talking and start listening.

Take some time today and make a point to listen to God. He’s got a lot to say to you.