HUUUUUGGGEEE (Trump Voice) Weekend Announcements

We made 2000 invite cards for this two week vision series and thought as a staff that we would get you guys to give out about 1000 a week. You guys took home 2000 in week 1! I’m so excited to see what God is going to do with your obedience.. as this level of obedience to Jesus screams COMPASSION FOR BR!

With that in mind, I want to leave you with 3 thoughts:

1. Don’t Stop Short: Invite ALL of your 10.

 

I want to encourage you not to stop short here.. not to invite 7 or 8 but at least 10. If you don’t have 10 people in your phone, then invite some people from work/school, the gym, etc or simply finish out your 10 with dropping invite cards on some front doors. I feel that a lot of times we live too safe of a faith and I know that inviting 10 people is a stretch for some of you.. but just do it and see what God will do!

 

2. Prayer Meeting from 9:30-9:50

 

We will have most everything set up so if you want to come and help for the 10:30.. just make sure to be in the worship center by 9:30 for prayer. We are going to pray specifically for the people we invited and for God to do amazing things in our church to finish out this semester.

 

3. Lunch After Worship in the Chapel.

 

Free food after church. Bring a 2 liter if you want to bring something. We wanted to provide this to make it slightly easier for you to possibly get one or some of your ten to say yes!

 

Lastly, I can’t wait to see what God does this weekend and pray w/ me that we are overwhelmed with First Time Guests this weekend and for at least ONE Person to put their faith in Christ!

 

Thanks for Being My Church Family,

 

Brian

#thingsvannysays

This is my daughter, Evangeline. We call her Vanny. She's pretty spectacular. She's also very smart. She started talking pretty early, and has been entertaining ever since. So much so that my wife, Jess, created #thingsvannysays for your reading pleasure.

Here's a small sample of #thingsvannysays:

  1. She calls jelly beans "jimmy jimmies" and lazy rivers "lazy lizards."
  2. She's in the early stages of mastering a odd British-like accent with a hint of country twang.
  3. She's also been known to improvise a Bible verse or two: "For from His fullness we have all received ... COWABUNGA!" (Did I mention she's in a bit of a ninja turtle phase?)

That's just a few of the many entertaining things she has to say, but this one might be my favorite: "That's my house!"

Now, I know it's not flashy, so let me explain. Last I checked, she doesn't pay the mortgage. Technically our house doesn't belong to her, and she has done nothing to earn it. But as her father, I love that she's convinced that it's her house. Those are words are beautiful to me.

Here's why: I love generously giving to her what I know she didn't earn

It reminds me of my relationship with God. He gives to me freely and generously what I don't deserve: access to Him and His Kingdom. That, my friends, is GRACE.

God loves you more than you know, and He desires to give you what you don't deserve. No strings attached. No fine print at the bottom. No hoops to jump through.

It doesn't matter what you've done in the past, what you're doing in your present, or what you're going to do in the future. God, rich in mercy, offers us free access to his Kingdom when we trust in Jesus.

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ ... and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-6

Grace certainly isn't fair, and that's why I love it.

Tomorrow is going to be really cool!

I wanted to drop a simple line today about something to pray for: 

 

Prayer Request: 

That we would reach more families with children. 

We love kids and are ready to pour into more and more of them as the Lord draws families that have them. 

Tomorrow we get to serve our neighborhood by throwing an awesome block party for our HOA. Our neighborhood has 1048 homes. We know out of all of those homes there has to be some families that need to know Jesus and/or need a church family. 

Pray with me that God draws them and we get to love on them tomorrow. 

Pray that God draws some from our neighborhood who need a church family to our church soon. 

Pray that we get to reach more families with kids in our city.. 

If you want to serve with us tomorrow, let Joe Handy or Joe Ashley know (look them up on FB) 

and we will give you the info about the party that we are throwing. 

You guys are the bestest, 

brian

 

Praise God.

Good news!

We had our biggest crowd ever last Sunday morning. 95 people. Several first timers. Great time worshiping. The first time we break the 100 barrier we are going to throw a party of some sort that evening. Maybe go out and eat together or something. It's going to be sweet! It may be this weekend; so invite like crazy and keep your Sunday night open if we are adding chairs again during the songs!

My Simple challenge for us this week is this:

I want to encourage you to take a few moments this evening and thank the Lord. We have talked about the fact that God grows the church. We water and plant but He brings the growth. All glory to Him!

Also, I've learned that people that are used mightily by God and mighty thankful people.

Thank Him for saving your soul through His Son's sacrifice.

Thank Him for giving us the church; people united in faith serving together and trying to love one other like Jesus loves us.

Thank Him for growing our young church this semester in depth & width.. and ask Him to continue to use us for His glory!

This week's text is Ephesians 4:1-6 and we will learn that I AM in the Family.. and how to be a better family member to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

So glad God brought us to Baton Rouge to serve with you guys!

- Brian

 

 

3 Reasons Tomorrow is going to be AWESOME

Tomorrow is going to be a great day for a lot of reasons. 

1) We GET to worship Jesus. 

I'm hoping our study of Ephesians is helping us to know more and more how good our God and Savior is! We get an opportunity to worship together with the church fam! Sundays are my favorite. 

2) We GET to go serve the city. 

Tomorrow is our 2nd opportunity to feed the homeless citizens of Baton Rouge under the bridge. Ryan and Aryel Andress are leading this ministry and are great leaders for this endeavor. We are leaving the church (BCM) at 3:30 tomorrow so make sure to be there on time if you want to come. Also, if you've never done this or haven't been in a while.. come join us. It's a blessing to everyone involved. 

3) Tomorrow is a great day to bring a guest.

Every week is a good week to bring a guest but this week is probably a great one. Our message will be on how to live a powerful life and we are going to have the Saints game on the screens after church and pizza for everyone for lunch. If you want to bring something, bring some chips or a dessert of some kind.

People far from God will sometimes sit through a service that they are unsure of to get to lunch and the Saints game. There is a reason the Varsity shows the game on Sunday mornings; people are looking for a place to watch the game and people (community) to hang out with during the game. Let's take advantage of our culture and invite people like crazy and pray God wrecks their life once they come.

How crazy would it be if someone came tomorrow to watch the Saints beat the Lions and they left being called a Saint by the Father?!

My shortest blog post ever

I'm finishing up my message on Ephesians 2:1-10 today and the inside information I want to pass along to you guys is this: 

 

 

 

Do whatever you have to do to get your lost friends/friends you are unsure where they are with the Lord to worship this week.

Offer to take them to breakfast before.

Lunch after. 

Give them one of your LSU tickets. 

Whatever you have to do. 

And pray that they put their faith in Jesus. 

The message is titled "It's better than you thought."

I don't want anyone I know to miss out on what we will talk about Sunday. 

Love you guys, 

brian

Silver Medal Week @ Progression Church

This week was another good week in our church. Here are some highlights:

+ We had our second highest attended service ever this week (83).

+ We also had our second highest attended week of community groups with one group not meeting (56).

+ We have had someone mark on their card they wanted to join the church the last 4 weeks. + + Our guest preacher Vince did a great job talking to us about being blessed IN HIM.

 + We had 35 undergrad students in the service Sunday morning. That's great news because we really prayed and hoped we would reach more and more students this summer. 

+ We have plans to start our 8th community group on Sunday morning before worship (9:30 a.m.) on October 12th. Dan Herring is going to lead that one. So if you aren't in a community group because your mid-week is crazy, check this one out! 

God is blessing us. 

But I don't want us to be turned off or to enamored with numbers for the the sake of numbers. 

I want us to realize that every number has a name. 

Every number has a story. 

Every number has a soul. 

We celebrate highly attended Sunday mornings & more people choosing to live in Biblical community because more people are putting themselves in the proper context for spiritual growth. Our mission is "to see people put their faith in Christ (lost saved) and become more like Christ (believers to grow). The more people in our city who are progressing in their faith, the better! When people willingly expose themselves to gospel centered churches & ministries crazy things happen: 

Lost people are saved. 

Prodigals come home. 

Sin habits are broken. 

Believers grow in Christ and realize their mission & potential in Christ. 

Families prioritize Christ in their homes & the effects are generation changing. 

Good things happen; and they happen because of HIM!

So keep praying, inviting, and sharing the good news.. living as ambassadors wherever you are. God is using our little church to make a ripple in our city for His glory.

Notes for this weekend:

a) LSU students have Fall break this week/weekend so don't be surprised if 30 or so people who were here last week aren't this week. Pray they have a great break and enjoy some rich time with their families wherever home is for them. 

b) We will be tackling two hot button issues in one sermon Sunday; God's election & can believers lose their salvation. What should you do with this information? Pray for me! (seriously) 

c) If you currently aren't serving but want to.. let a staff member know and we will find you something to do! 

d) As always, invite and pray. Invite people to be a part & pray God does something amazing in us this weekend! 

Your friend, 

brian

Community Group Record!

Gotta start this week's blog with a little praise report. We have tied our community group record several times (55) this Fall but this week we finally broke it. We had 68 in our 7 groups this week! That's fantastic. Also, the last three Sunday mornings have been our highest attended Sundays since we started the church. God is blessing and we need to continue to do what we can to fan the flame.

So how can we fan the flame?

a) Let's keep praying audaciously and with persistence.

Pray for God to do things that we can't. That He would continue to bring numerical and spiritual growth and more people would come to faith in Christ. Pray with faith, boldness, and persistence as these are three ways we are told to pray in the scriptures.

b) Invite friends like crazy.

This week one of my best friends Vince Smith is coming in to preach. You won't see us bring in many outside speakers because of the staff that God has given us but Vince is an exception. He has a great heart for the Lord and is a great and unique communicator. Pray for Vince and Casie (his wife) who will be traveling and coming to pour into our church this weekend. Also, invite like crazy. Send some texts or make a phone call and see if someone who needs a church fam in the city might come with you!

c) Look for new people at worship

Be on the lookout for visitors or second timers at worship and make a point to speak to them and maybe even sit with them/have them sit with you. A lot of times people visit churches and don't return because they simply didn't connect with someone; not because they didn't like the music or the preaching. Our connection team is doing a great job of this but they need our help if we want to knock it out of the park here.

So this weekend, if you don't have a guest coming invest in someone who is a guest and make them feel wanted and welcomed. I know that this is harder for some and is a selfless act but it is also a very Jesus thing to do.

May our mission be: No Visitors Left Behind.

Stole that from President Bush I believe.

Regardless, just know you are prayed for often and I can't wait to see what God may do with us the remainder of 2014.

What is going on?!

Last Sunday we set our attendance record with 94. Our previous was 78 (launch day).

This week we tied our Community Group record again and started our 7th group.

We have had people sign a card indicating they wanted to join the church the last 3 weeks.

What's going on? Welcome to a growth season!

There are a lot of ebbs and flows that come with ministry but what should we do now when we are in a little growth season? How should we process it? I believe it's important to have a healthy and biblical understanding of what is happening because as I've heard many times by a godly leader in my life "momentum is hard to get and easy to lose." The next 3 weeks I will write on this a little so we have a good grasp of what's happening and how to process it and celebrate.

How should we process GROWTH?

1) God brings the growth; not our efforts.

5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Cor 3:5-7)

We have worked hard this fall.

We have tried new things.

But 100 % of the glory for any church growth goes to GOD. He brings the growth. We serve faithfully and pray earnestly like Paul and Apollos but God is the One who draws, changes, and saves! So God brings the growth. Also know this; God opposes the proud.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

So how do we process growth? We bring all the glory to our King! We thank Him for using us and allowing us to have the privilege of serving Him in our city.

100 % glory to God. 0 % glory to us.

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So what should we do this weekend?

1) Invite like crazy!

This weekend would be a great time to get your lost, prodigal, or church-less friend to worship. Growth seasons aren't the time to take a deep breathe; they are the time to water and plant like crazy! I'm inviting, texting, emaliing, and facebooking like a mad man this weekend.

2) Pray like crazy!

My Prayer List for the weekend: (5 things)

a) THANKING God for what He has done recently!

b) Asking God to draw MORE people this weekend.

c) Asking God to save someone THIS WEEKEND!

d) Asking God that many who are church-less would find a church home this weekend all over the city including with us.

e) Asking God that He would speak to us loudly through worship this weekend and we would continue to be effective missionaries to our city.

 

Lastly, I can't wait to worship and serve with YOU this weekend.

Your friend,

brian

 


 

 

Serving Opp: Serve the Campus

We've talked about the three "ponds" that I feel our church is specifically wired to reach in our city and context. This week we have an opportunity to invite a lot of people from one of the ponds; the College Students at LSU. 

Our church has the privilege of serving the campus this Thursday night at the BCM's weekly worship service TNT. We get to serve dinner to them from 6-7 and I get to preach at the worship service from 7-8. We also get to set up a table with info pieces & cups and answer any questions about the church students may have. Other churches in the area will be doing that as well Thursday in hopes that most of the students who show up will find a church home in the city. This is a good strategy and I'm glad we and other gospel centered churches will be there because approximately 85 % of the campus won't be at church this Sunday or any Sunday throughout the semester. 

Details: 

If you can come:

We need people to show up at the BCM around 5:30 to help serve food from 6-6:45 and a few people to man our church booth in the cafe area to greet students, hand out cups and fliers, and answer any questions students may have. Feel fee to come and go as you need to. 5:30-6:30 will be the busiest time serving food and getting ready for that. 6:30-7:00 is probably the best time to interact with students. No pressure to stay for the worship service if you need to get home. I'd love for us to represent well!

If you can't come: 

We need desserts. We will probably order chicken strips, rolls, and chips but I'd love for us to make some desserts. If you can make a dessert, bring it to community group for TNT and maybe we get whoever is going from the group to bring it Thursday.

Also, pray for us that God uses to us to reach many more students who don't know Christ or have a church family yet. 

So if you can come and serve Thursday, great! Let me know so I can know how many to expect. You can just say you are coming in the FB group. 

If you can make a dessert and bring it to group, great! Let me know that as well so we can plan accordingly. 

If you can't come or make a dessert but can pray for us, let us know that as well! 

Thanks a ton! 

Proud to serve with you, 

brian

 

A Praise Report

This week was a great week for our church. We had the second highest attendance we've ever had (74) and tied our community group record (50) and I really believe this is just the beginning of a great growth season for our young church. We had 21 first time guests; many of which loved it and are excited they have found a faith family in BR. We will see a lot of these guests back in two weeks as a lot of them are heading home for Labor Day weekend. Also, we are starting a new community group (Progression university # 2) in the next week or two because of all the students God has brought our way over the last few weeks. This will make our 7th group that we will have going in the Fall and are praying that we finish with 8-10 groups before 2014 is all said and done.

The starting of our 7th group before we finished August is exciting to me because we started our very first two community groups in Baton Rouge a year ago. We started two community groups last August before we launched the church and prayed like crazy that one day we would have more. In one year God took those two groups and has given us seven. Good New Testament Math (Multiplication) right there! Imagine how many groups we may have by the end of next August?! And we are convinced that God will grow us faster for His glory and not ours.. so we could have groups set up all over the city. I would love for there to be a group within five minutes of every person in Baton Rouge one day because BIBLICAL COMMUNITY matters. It is essential for spiritual growth and Hannah and I love being a part of community groups here.

So let's continue to pray like crazy and work like crazy this Fall and see what God may do with us.

It's a win for us when we see people from our church move from rows (worship) to circles (groups) because the New Testament teaches us that the context for sustainable spiritual growth is Biblical community. 

Doing life together.

Confessing sin to each other.

Studying the Word together.

Linking arms to reach a hurting city together.

 

Blessed to be with you on this adventure,

brian.

 

If i could describe our Fall Strategy in two words..

**Our leadership team will sometimes use this blog as a way to communicate vision and information to people who consider Progression their church. This is the first installment. 

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If I could describe our Fall strategy as a church in two words it would be these:

ALL IN. 

All our chips are in the middle, betting that if we pray like crazy and work like crazy our GREAT God would use us to reach this city for His glory and our good. 

We planted the church in January and have seen good, incremental growth since. We have seen people come to faith in Christ, be baptized, join the church, community groups multiply, etc.

And we are thankful. 

But we aren't satisfied. 

There are 230,000 people in Baton Rouge and many of them don't know Christ and don't have a church home. And this Fall we are ALL IN to reach as many of these unchurched Baton Rouge people as we can. We are out of survival mode; just learning how to do church and putting policy and plans together.

We are in desperation mode! We are desperate to reach MORE people because this is the command that our King and Savior Jesus gave us.

So how can you help?

1) Try to invite someone to church every week until Christmas.

That may be a lofty goal but let's go for it! Neighbors, co-workers, friends, family, etc. Whoever we have in our life that doesn't have a church family or know Christ. The worst thing that might happen is they may say no or think you are kind of weird. Honestly, they may already think you are weird. Lol.

The best thing that can happen is they could come to know Christ and spend forever in heaven or join in our mission and find purpose and reach their potential in Christ as a believer!

2) Pray like crazy! 

Let's ask God to do things that we can't accomplish ourselves. Ephesians 3:20 teaches us that He is in fact in this business. 

So, let's pray CRAZY, Sun Stand Still prayers such as: 

      a) That God would grow us to 200 people by the end of 2014. 

      b) That God would use us to lead at least 10 more people to Christ by the end of the 2014. 

      c) That God would raise up many more leaders to help us reach and serve the city.

Would you pray for these things everyday with me the rest of 2014?   

If you could do these two things: Invite someone every week & pray these Sun Stand still prayers for the rest of the year then you are absolutely ALL IN as well!

And I can't wait to see what God may do through you this year! 

So church, let's get after it! 

All in.

For His Kingdom come.

Fall 2014. 

Your friend, 

Brian

 

P.S. most posts will be significantly shorter than this one. haha