Jan 18, 2012

Snowmageddon of 2012

The newest addition to the Kim family
The weather forecasters predicted that this would be one of the worst snow storms in decades. Some places in the area received more than 16 inches of powder! 

I don't know if it was the worst storm, but the kids loved it. 

Thanks to the snow this week, kids have been out of school all week (they will have to make up for these extra days later). 

Here are some pics from the day.

A Texan Snowman in Washington!
Our culdesac - about 6 inches of powder

To be human means that mistakes will be made.

One of the things that makes great churches and great institutions great is that they cultivate an environment where it is safe to make mistakes when attempting great things.

It's not that great churches and great institutions celebrate mistakes. Mistakes are typically costly and messy.

But when attempting great things, finding better solutions to age-old problems, when people are giving their best to do grand things, mistakes will be made.

In order to cultivate an environment and ethos where people are free to try new and different things, there has to be a culture of celebrating people's attempts at trying to do things better. When such mistakes are punished, it will lead to a culture of playing it safe, and in time it will kill creativity and it will kill greatness.

Jan 17, 2012

Audacious Dreams

The only guarantees in life is that we will all die and that God's will will be accomplished.

That's it.

Those are the only sure bets there are in the world.

God has me as the lead pastor at the Little Church on the Prairie.

I believe that God wants to use me so that he can use the ministry of LCOP to fill the church many times over with:

  • Lost people who have found their place in Jesus Christ, 
  • People with hopeless addictions who have been set free by the Spirit of God. 
  • A church filled with people whose marriages were on the rocks and on the verge of divorce who are thriving in marriage because God intervened. 
  • With people, young and old who are becoming fully alive as they discover and live into God's purpose and plan for their lives.
I believe God wants to use LCOP to bring about a radical change in Lakewood, that there would be hundreds and thousands of people who are living their lives with passion and purpose because of what God is doing through the people and the ministry of Jesus Christ through LCOP. 

I believe this is why God's called me. And I will do everything I can to make this belief a reality.

But there's no guarantee that this is what God wants. I only believe it to be so.

The only guarantees in life is that we will all die and that God's will will be accomplished. 

I choose to live my life and lead LCOP as if God's vision for this church is to grow God's kingdom. 

This is my belief because what are my other choices? That God brought me here to lead the church to continued oblivion? That God brought me here to help this church continue to get older and die with dignity?

If that's God's will, it will be accomplished. 

But in the mean time, I will continue to lead and cast vision as if God wants to use LCOP to impact the city of Lakewood. 

I will do this because I would rather fail miserably for having attempted something awesome for God than succeed in accomplishing things that I could have done on my own.

I choose to attempt great things for God.

I choose to see the city of Lakewood changed because of Jesus.

Jan 12, 2012

PC(USA)...Who Really is the PC(USA)?

According to the statistical data of the PC(USA), as of 2010 the PC(USA) was made up of:
  • 10,560 congregations
  • 2,016,091 members
  • 13,264 teaching elders (ordained ministers)
This means that the clergy make up a total of .0667% of the membership of the church. 

Read that again, the clergy make up less than 1% of the membership of the church.
  • Of the teaching elders, there were a total of 2,366 specialized clergy. 
  • The specialized clergy represent 17.8% of all teaching elders.
Why am I telling you all this?

Because when it comes to who the PC(USA) is, the non-clergy members of the church make up more than 99% of the life of the church.

So when you ask the question what does the PC(USA) believe about the authority of scripture, the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ, salvation, sexuality, etc., the non-ordained clergy are much more historically orthodox than both the clergy, and in particular, compared to the specialized clergy.

In 2008 Presbyterian Panel Survey reports the following:
The survey shows what many have already known: that the membership of the church is much more historically orthodox than the clergy, and in particular the specialized clergy.

So who are Presbyterians? What do the Presbyterians believe?

Don't look to the clergy. They represent less than .0667% of the PC(USA). 

And particularly don't look to the specialized clergy to make declarations of what the PC(USA) believes. They represent less than .0012% of the PC(USA).

Ask the people, the members who they believe Jesus is. Ask the members what they believe about the authority of scripture.

The non-clergy members make up more than 99% percent of the church.

More than ever, the PC(USA) needs to claim the priesthood of ALL believers.

Jan 11, 2012

NEXT Church...Fellowship of Presbyterians...Huh?

While reading the Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts from those who are going to Orlando for the Fellowship of Presbyterians gathering and from those who are going to the NEXT conference in Dallas, I can't help but wonder, "Are we even talking about the same church?"

On the one hand, there are folks saying that there is great hope for the future of the PC(USA).

On the other hand, there are folks who can't seem to get out of the PC(USA) fast enough.

How can we be talking about the same church?

Which is it? 

Great hope and a bright future? 

A church to be distanced from as soon as possible?

One of the things that seems clear to me is that there's a massive chasm of misunderstanding. We PC(USA) folk ain't talking to each other. And even when we are, we are not listening to one another. We are talking at each other, and worse yet, we are not hearing one another.

The clearest reality to me is that this connectional idea of a church, a church that is united and one, whatever that might be, PC(USA) is not that church.

As Stan Ott observed, we are more concerned with being right than we are with being reconciled.

And as long as we are unable to agree on what we believe about what constitutes the core essential elements of the Christian faith, we are going to be a confused divided church.

Look, this is what I know and what I hold on to.


Nothing the PC(USA) does or does not do will ever change that reality. 

Jan 10, 2012




Household names for anyone over the age of 30.

Kodak and Polaroid were once giants.

The problem is not that people aren't taking pictures anymore. The problem for Kodak and Polaroid is that the way people take pictures these days. Most of the cameras don't need film anymore, and the problem with Kodak and Polaroid was that they were in the film business.

People will be taking pictures for the foreseeable future. That's not going to change for the time being. But the way people are taking pictures have radically changed.

So what am I getting at with all this picture talk?

People will always need the church. As long as people need the gospel, people will need the church, the body of Christ.

When I think of denominations, they remind me of Kodak and Polaroid. People just aren't doing church the way we used to do church a generation ago.

A generation ago, denominations dominated the church world.

But in this generation, how many people really give a rip what the GA of the PC(USA) will or will not do at the next General Assembly in Pittsburgh?

Or better yet, how many church going folk know what GA is or what the PC(USA) is?

And for how many church going folk and the non-church going neighbors does denominationalism even matter?

Most people in our world today aren't asking, what does the PC(USA) believe compared to what the PCA or the EPC believes?

Most people in our world are asking, "Is Jesus for real? Does God matter?"

Until local churches get better at answering these questions, we along with our denominations, will go the way of Kodak and Polaroid.

You don't see too many people besides Kodak and Polaroid people weeping about that, right?

How many people outside of the PC(USA) will be weeping when the denomination goes away?


Jan 5, 2012

Praying for Success...

I posted a tweet this morning saying, "If you're not praying for success, what then are you praying for? What's the alternative? Praying for failure?"

I've had some interesting comments and conversations since then.

For some, it seems, the concept of success is...well, bad. Almost as if success is an ungodly thing.

But our hangup with success our issue or is it a Biblical issue.

The Bible doesn't have issues with success.

Of course God wants his church to succeed.

Of course God wants his children to be fruitful.

The entire reason why God was angry with the Jews in the Old Testament is that they would not bear fruit.

I'm not talking about God blessing the Seahawks, or helping me win the lottery, etc.

God desires for his children to live in his will. And I believe God wants us to be extraordinarily successful in living out the will of God.

So go ahead, pray for success.

  • Pray that God will allow your ministry to thrive. 
  • Pray that God will help your people to be wildly successful as a Godly dad, mom, husband, wife. 
  • Pray that God will help our children and youth to grow up to be leaders and wildly successful in living out the fulness of life that God offers in his son, Jesus Christ.

Pray for success.

Pray for the success of your church.

What's the alternative?

Praying that our churches fail?

No way!

If we trust that God has a plan and purpose for our churches and our lives, we pray that God's will be successful in our lives.

Jan 3, 2012

Making Resolutions Resolute

This is the time of the year for resolutions.

As you consider what God might have in store for you in the coming year, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. You will never reach a vague goal. The more general the goal is, the less power it has to be a guiding force in your life.

2. You figure out the why. God will show you the how.

In order to get where you want to go, you've got to know two things: where you are, and where you want to go. If you're hazy about either of these two things, you are not likely to get anywhere.

Spend some time reflecting on where you are:

  • How is my physical/emotional/spiritual/relational health?
  • Where do I need improvement?
  • Where am I doing well?
  • Do I like who I am becoming?
Second, spend some time reflecting and praying about where God might want to take you.
  • What does God want to accomplish through me?
  • How has God gifted and positioned me to accomplish his will?
  • What resources/partners/help will I need to accomplish his will?
  • Who can help to keep me accountable?
And here's the most important part: spend time reflecting on the "why" you want to accomplish these things. Be brutally honest. 
  • Why do you want to be healthy?
  • Why do you want to be financially stable?
  • Why do you want to grow spiritually?
  • Why do you want God to grow the church through you? 
Once you've settled on the why questions, God will show you how he wants us to accomplish his will.

I'm going to take some time to reflect and think through these questions. 

Won't you join me?