Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings

Grace is Costly

24 Nov , 2014   Gallery

“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer #Grace #CostlyGrace

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Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, Worship & Prayer

The BIG Question: Numbers

29 May , 2013  

I always get asked the question… You know, the “Does Numbers Matter?”, or “How do I increase our SM numbers? or even “Spiritual Growth over Numerical Growth” questions. A few months ago, I address this during a quick Q&A session I did on Twitter and my blog. Decided to repost since these questions are some of the biggest things Youth Pastors are wondering…

Phillip C. from VA asks: “Hi, I am a Youth Pastor in VA. I have a quick question… What do I do when the attendance starts to dwindle down? Like, we usually average about 75 students weekly but our ministry team has notice that has decrease to about 40-45 students. Any suggestions?”


  • PRAY hard & specifically over the youth ministry, the leaders and that the vision goes forth the way God desires. Invite your leaders/staff to Pre-Service prayer to pray over the service and ministry that’s about to go down that night. Often times we neglect the importance on consecrated prayer. The only thing we can control, are the actions that we put forth.
  • COMPEL the students who have frequently missed to come back. Maybe taking time to call them or visit with them would be beneficial. It’s little things like this that make a huge impact. Make adjustments based on feedback, if necessary. This compelling is also and somewhat more important is to COMPEL others (new visitors/guest, and/or lost students) to Jesus and the ministry. I am reminded of the story in Luke 14:15-24 talking about the Master having a banquet and none of the guest he originally invited (students who left) wanted to show up for the party (church). So the Master tells his servant to go out in the streets/city and “compel” the sick/needy/lost (new people) to come in for the party. With this said, have concern about those who are missing, but focus on the ones who are there while compelling the ones who don’t know to join in.
  • PREACH Jesus… Regardless if 1 show up or 1,000s, preach Jesus!!! “Preach to the 12 as you would preach to the multitudes.” This is exactly what Jesus did, faithfully!

Don’t get discouraged if the numbers are low… don’t get cocky/arrogant when the numbers are high. Everything has a divine season.. a time of reaping and of sowing. This maybe your ministry time of sowing… sow well! Praying for you and the ministry as you accomplish the vision set by God. Blessings!

Alex T. from TX asks: “Numerical Growth vs. Spiritually Growth.. What’s your take on it, biblically?”

– BOTH… We need both. Jesus calls us to grow spiritually and numerically. When we grow Spiritually as a church/ministry, we have no choice but to grow numerically. God believes in both wholeheartedly growing together. What good is it to be physically strong (large church/ministry) but mentally (maturity/knowledge) weak/depraved OR to be physically weak and mentally strong. One is the “dumb jock” while the other is the “skinny nerd.” There needs to be balance and this is what it means to have healthy/thriving church/ministry. Regardless if you are called to minister to 15 or to 15k people… you’re still fulfilling your purpose GOD has given you. The reward is equal, the risk is equal, the faith and work is equal. Never allow anyone to diminish what God is doing in your ministry and never try to be something you are not. Jesus preached to the multitudes, then he preach to the 12, then he preached to the 3. He even preached to the 1 at times. If you grow spiritual, you have no choice but to grow numerical. (Luke 2:40,52; Act 2:42-47, 4:4, 5:14, 6:1, 6:7, 9:31, 11:21-24; 3 John 1:2)

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Behold: The Bestowed Beloved

4 Apr , 2010  

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 (NKJV)

This is by far on my favorite scriptures of all time… Just the language will captivate your heart. But there’s more to this scripture beside the language. Beneath all the imagery lies the very heart of God. A perfect picture of grace, desire and destiny. The first word behold means to see with zeal or to stand in awe of. Often times we take for granted what God has given us. This marvelous love that is so beautiful and radiant is something we should not take lightly. We are given the beauty of love so freely by our Father, which is Jesus Christ himself.. the atoning one who redeemed us. (1 John 4:9-10) To simply be accepted as a child of God, even though as Christians we have constantly turned our backs on him, his love was still freely gifted (bestowed) to us.

I love this word Beloved… How awesome is it that God would call us his Beloved. For you and I to be known as his friend, his desire, his love. There’s richness in just being adorned by heaven as the Beloved of Christ. As we await our true calling and destiny, we understand when He (being Jesus) appears – we shall be like him. Seeing ourselves reflecting his heart, his emotions, his lifestyle, his love… We don’t know who we are or what we will become, but our hope is not in ourselves. We eagerly wait for the one who will show us how to be pure, how to be the Beloved. It is Him, who we will be beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, transformed in his image – 2 Cor. 3:18. We who find hope in Christ, will purify ourselves. I relish how the MSG version of verse 3 lays it out there – All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.

We stay ready not get ready when we assume the time is near. We STAY READY, with the GLISTENING PURITY of Jesus’ life as a model or reflection of our own. We are purified through Christ, because he is pure.. Our lives reflects Jesus, and when it does – we glisten. This is hope; this is what we are living for. This is the gift we are to Christ… the Pure Bride. Behold, you and I are the Bestowed Beloved!


| Audio Message | under More About > Messages & Sermons

Behold: The Bestowed Beloved – Awake Conference  (Sunday session) **Was under the weather, but still a great youth conference.

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