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Never, Never, Never Give Up on Your Dream (Here's Why)!

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin...”

( Zechariah 4:10 )

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6 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, I WAS THE ONLY STAFF MEMBER OF A 9-MONTH-OLD CHURCH START-UP.

My worship pastor had just quit and moved back to Florida.

We were meeting in a local elementary school as a portable church stuck at 60 people.

I was angry, discouraged, and our baby church was homeless.

A phone call completely out-of-the-blue from a Lydia of Thyatira (see Acts 16) led to a walk-thru of this former golf store in the shadow of Freeland, Michigan.

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GOLF MANIA HAD BEEN IN AND OUT OF BANKRUPTCY FOR YEARS.  

The latest owner had grown so frustrated at the lack of customers plus mounting bills that he abruptly locked up the facility one day and walked away, never looking back. 

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Bankruptcy is a funny thing: everything in Golf Mania was frozen in time.

The show room was still stocked with expensive golf gear.  

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Receipts were strewn everywhere from freshly-fired employees who never bothered to clean up.  

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WHEN YOU TRAIN TO BECOME A CHURCH START-UP SPECIALIST, YOU ARE SKILLED AT ALWAYS SEEING THE POTENTIAL IN EVERY PROBLEM.

The facility and furniture were exquisite.   

I couldn’t believe this facility was just sitting here unused! 

This facility was chock full of potential!

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The facility tour was in December of 2013.

It would take eleven long, drawn-out-months before we could begin gathering inside the old Golf Mania.

2014 was a year of vision-casting to a dwindling audience, pleading with the Landlords to take a risk on our church start-up, never taking No for an answer with city officials concerned about Zoning, and intense fundraising.

I could have given up.

I felt like giving up.

Yet I didn’t.

 

Elisha said,
“God’s word:
Dig ditches all over this desert valley. Here’s what will happen—you won’t hear the wind, you won’t see the rain, but this valley is going to fill up with water and your army and your animals will drink their fill. This is easy for God to do!” (2 Kings 3)

THE WORD IMPOSSIBLE IS NOT IN GOD’S VOCABULARY!

If He has called you to it, He will see you through it!

Do not despise the days of small beginnings.
Do not give up when you are in the very situations that are ripe for a miracle of God.

Once we opened the doors on a 24/7 leased facility (it was a huge step of faith; we could not afford the monthly rent at that point and I was scared!), the floodgates of blessings were poured out.

People started showing up.

Lives starting changing.

The facility was simply a tool for ministry… and our perseverance was paying off.

We were praying for God to fill our worship space in 3 years…
…and He literally did it in just 3 months!

Never give up.
Fight tooth-and-nail.
Kill the doubts in your head before the Liar kills the dream in your heart.

In 2008 I attended EntreLeadership for the first time. Dave Ramsey said every time you read the story the turtle always wins. Every time.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL SAID IT BEST…

The great day finally arrived, and after the school's fanfare and acclamation, Sir Winston Churchill stood to his feet, acknowledged the introduction, and gave the following address, which is quoted in full:

'Young men, never give up.
Never give up!
Never give up!!
Never, never, never-never-never-never!'"

 


Merry Christmas from Team Herron

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Christmas was magical at the church I love!  

Sunday we saw 17 new Christ Followers in Midland and Saginaw and celebrated 6 more baptisms... Which puts us at exactly 50 baptisms in 2019!

Christmas Eve we were PACKED at 3pm and saw 20 people respond to the Gospel.  5pm was fun too with more lives transformed by God's grace.

I am so thankful to be part of a healthy, thriving, fun church family!

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Jesus came for you...

A Child has been born for us; a Son has been given to us.

The responsibility of complete dominion will rest on His shoulders, and His Name will be:

The Wonderful One!
The Extraordinary Strategist!
The Mighty God!
The Father of Eternity!
The Prince of Peace!

(Isaiah 9:6, The Passion Translation)

 

As a Christmas BONUS, here is the video we shared Sunday and Monday at Life Church, filmed on-location in Jerusalem!

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Steve Jobs' Secret to Being More Creative

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Creativity is just connecting things.

When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.

And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.

The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

(Steve Jobs in Wired, February, 1995)


Making Heaven Crowded

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Every church leader longs for their people to not just buy into the unique vision God has for their church, but to actually own the vision personally. 

When volunteers choose to make the ministry their ministry, when ordinary people attempt extraordinary steps of faith for the Lord, and when the hearts of people in your church beat faster dreaming about what could be and what should be, the Kingdom of God moves forward faster!

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At Life Church, the vision is to Reach the Lost at Any Cost.

We are all about Jesus - dangerously, obsessively, undeniably Jesus.

Our tribe is willing to do the things nobody else is doing in order to reach the people nobody else is reaching!

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Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 

(Matthew 13:34)

Jesus always taught using stories that people could understand.

The Son of God connected spiritual truths with sticky stories that anyone could remember and connect with.

Since God created us with minds that are hungry for stories, I say why not reach people far from God by leveraging the Star Wars stories with the Christmas story?!

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For example, our current outreach series is Star Wars Christmas - We're sharing the story from a long time ago in a Bethlehem far, far away!

When we first attempted this ambitious approach to sharing the message of Christ back in 2015, God gave us favor with the Associated Press and our reach was extended as far away as Time Magazine's Money, USA Today, and The Washington Times!

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When D.L. Moody was attempting to reach street orphans in Chicago with the Gospel back in the 1800's, he did something extraordinary: He rented a Saloon for Sunday School on Sunday nights!  To get children in the door, he offered free candy, pony rides, and penniesAnd his outreach methods worked! 

The only pushback Moody received was from religious people.  Moody's response is my motto:

"I prefer the way I do evangelism to the way you don't."

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What excites me most is seeing our Lifers own the outreach and running with it!

Nothing brings a bigger smile to my face than hearing stories of Lifers texting friends and talking about Star Wars at work as a bridge toward a Sunday invite.

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Every invitation is an opportunity.

Every opportunity is one step closer toward the Gospel.

And making heaven crowded is our endgame!