What we can learn from Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’

I can’t help but enjoy this song with it’s driving beat and catchy lyrics.  Plus it helps that it’s on iTunes radio all the time!  After having heard it multiple times, I went online to check out the music video.  I found that this video is a beautiful picture of what the Church should be like.

Here’s 3 things we can learn from Avicii and his song Wake Me Up:

1. Come:

Judgement is a relationship killer.  That is one of the fastest ways to make other people feel uncomfortable.  So, if your goal is to push people away, and keep people from coming to your church, work hard at judging them.  People are longing for a place to fit in and be welcomed.  That is where the Church comes in.  The Church should be the place where everyone no matter who they are, or what they’ve done should be accepted and loved.  I love how in the video the woman rides her horse up onto the bridge and looks out over the modern city with a twinkle in her eye as if to say, “Ah… I think I have found home.”  That’s what it should be like for people who walk into our churches for the first time on a Sunday morning.  Make it so that they are not afraid to come in to your church.  Do whatever it takes to break down that barrier.

2. Connect:

People don’t stay in a place because they have cool lighting and an awesome sound system.  People find themselves getting rooted in an environment because of their connection with other people.  I love the scene where they pile into the back of the truck as they head off.  There is something about the smiles and laughter of the few people together.  They have a relationship there that is looking to meet the needs of this confused and searching traveler.  They bring her right in, invite her to do whatever it is that they were already doing, and head off into the sunset together.  How are you at connecting people with your small group of friends?  That’s the power of relationships- connection.

3. Contribute:

Being a part of something, feels way better than watching something.  (Unless it’s an MMA fight)  When you get involved in an organization, church, or any other club your level of buy in goes way up!  People feel a sense of ownership when they move from sitting on the sidelines to being an active participant.  In this video, you see a whole sea of people who are actively engaged in what is happening on stage.  There are not rows of velvet chairs neatly lined up as if you are in a movie theater observing something.  No, these people are participating in the show, they are as much a part of the experience as the lights and sound waves booming from the stage.  How are you at helping people get plugged in to be apart of your churches service projects, or serving teams?  It’s vital!

Why do all this?  Why go to the trouble of helping people through this three step process?  Because you’ll find that there are people who will echo exactly what the woman said at the end of the video:

Get up!  Pack your things…

Where are we going?

Somewhere we belong…

I love hearing people say, AH… I’ve finally found my church home.  Every person has a story, and every story matters to God!  Let’s work hard to help people find home.

~Peter

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Quit Playing the Comparison Game

Romans 12:2Have you ever felt like you just weren’t enough?  I’ll be honest, there are times when I struggle feeling like I am enough.  I wonder am I good enough, am I strong enough, am I smart enough, am I thin enough, am I ______________ enough.  You fill in the adjective, I’ve wondered about it.  Jon Acuff said recently, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”  That’s tough for me.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.  How true is that?

I was reading through Romans 12 the other morning when I came across verse 2 and it struck me in a whole new way.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (the Message)

What a great reminder!  When I begin to play the comparison game and wonder where I am not measuring up I need to remember these few things…

1. Be Unique

Our world loves to put people into little boxes and categories.  If you dress a certain way, that means you are hipster, nerdy, sporty, or chic.  If you like to recycle you are a green tree hugger.  If you are a hunter you clearly don’t love animals.  Come on!  There are so many different pressures that we face.  The media, our peers, and the world around us want to desperately form us into their mold.  You don’t have to fit in that mold.

2. Be Flexible

God wants to transform you into a different person.  You don’t have to be like everyone else because God is in the business of making you, you.  The old me is exactly that- old.  It’s time to bring on the new.  This will happen over time and it will happen because He begins to change your thought process.  There are times when you need to be willing to not always be right, or change the way that you think about things.

3. Be Teachable

When you step back and see what God has been doing in you, the ways that He has been molding and shaping you, all of the experiences that you have had, and all of the pain that you have gone through, it is a little easier to see what God may want to do through you.  The last part of that verse says that you will begin to see what God wants to do through you, in you, and with you.  It will require you to be teachable.

I can easily get caught up in the comparison trap.  It is not a fun place to be.  I’m thankful that God doesn’t want us to stay there and provides a way out of it!

~Peter

Chapters, Journeys, and other such things…

First Baptist Church of Doylestown

For four and a half years I have served as the Student Ministries Pastor at First Baptist Church of Doylestown.  There have been times when we have laughed so hard that I cried.  There have been times when I have flat out just cried.  There have been times when we stayed up all night.  There have been times when we served our community and the communities around us.  We have seen God break through in the lives of countless students and truly be their Lord and savior.  I have been given the privilege to work alongside of some really gifted individuals that love God and love others.  I have had an opportunity to train and mentor others.  I have learned new things about leadership, students, volunteers, myself, and God.  It has been an incredible journey.

God has blessed me abundantly more than I could have ever dreamed He would.

It is with a contemplative spirit that I write the ending to this chapter in our history.  I am thankful for all that God has done in and through us here at First Baptist.  We are truly excited for the future.  We are excited to dream about what God is going to do in and through us as we follow Him.  The future is filled with unknowns for us.  But whose future isn’t?  So we will walk by faith, knowing that God has never left us hanging, never let us go, or ever turned His back on us.

Some of you have been asking what I will be doing in the future.  I am excited to share with you that I have the opportunity to continue to serve alongside of great men and women.  I will be working at Liquid Church in New Jersey.  I will be working at the Morristown Campus.  For those of you into details, I will be working as an Associate Campus Pastor.  I’m super excited to figure out what that exactly means.  I know one thing, I will be able to continue to lead people to life and growth in Christ and partner with others as they explore their journey of faith.  Stay posted to the blog for more info of what I’m doing in life and in ministry!

Now onto the good stuff:

This past Sunday was my last Sunday here at FBC.  The church was incredibly generous in praying for us, thanking us and being a huge blessing to us.  So to all of you from FBC, THANK YOU!  We love you all dearly.  I had the opportunity to preach, to laugh (thanks Bob Miller), and to pour my heart out.  Then later that day was my last youth group.  What a great night!  There were some highlights for sure.  I loved being able to share with students the one thing I want them to remember: To Love God, and To Love Others.  We concluded the evening and my ministry here at FBC with a baptism service.  I could not be more proud of these six students!  Each of them had a story to tell about what brought them to this point and why they wanted to be baptized.  We cheered, hollered, screamed, and whistled in celebration of our six friends who decided to make a public statement that they are following CHRIST!

The pictures tell it all!

To all of the students at FBC, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your pastor.  Thank you for trusting me.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for partnering in the kingdom mischief, I pray that you will keep it up.  I’m super proud of all of you!  God has great things in store for you.

~Peter

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The Moment Has Come

A while ago I shared about my sister, her husband and their four kids. They are headed over to Bangladesh for two years to serve in the missions work that is taking place there. I arrived here in Texas late Thursday evening and have been trying to help them get ready for this trip.

Their moment has come, their 2 day journey of 8,654 miles is about to begin. It is made up of three flights, with a total of 22 hours in the air! Only to be followed up by a 14 hour bus ride. Did I mention that they were going with four kids?

Tomorrow morning we will head to Dallas Fort Worth Airport to send them on their way.

Would you join me in praying for them? Pray for safety. Pray for their children, Quinton (7), Emma (5), Jack (4), and Addy (2). Pray that God would give them peace and patience as they endure a very stretching experience in these next 48 hours.

You can follow what’s going on in their lives over at their blog: The Long Family

Here’s a few pictures from while I was here…

~Peter

Till 2010

This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to take eight of our youth leaders down to the National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta Georgia.  We heard from some great speakers, (Andy Stanley, Francis Chan, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, Donald Miller and others) all of us were challenged in one way or another.  We learned what it looks like to lead in uncertainty, we were challenged to love the Lord with all that we are, we were asked to commit to leading Godly youth ministries focused on Jesus, and challenged to share the greatest story that has ever been told with an unswerving diligence and dedication.

Over the course of this extended weekend I honestly believe that God has stretched me.  There were times of heartfelt worship, moments of raw emotion, thoughts of missed opportunities, and words of encouragement.  I was challenged to adopt a bigger dream and vision than ever before.  There are many details that I need to work out yet before I share with you and my church body what this means and looks like.  However, I know that this is exciting!  It is big!  It is going to rock our worlds and hopefully the worlds of many around us.

So in preparation for this dream right here at the start of seeing God fulfill it I have decided to quit blogging for a little over a month.  I will resume blogging here at www.thesaltlick.tv on January 1st, 2010.  My desire is to use this time to really focus on listening to God, and following the leading of His spirit.

Others in the blogging world have called what I am doing a “Blogatical”.  That’s a pretty good description…  There is a lot that I don’t know about what’s to come over the course of this next month.  However, here’s what I do know.  I know that God is the God of all things!  I know that I want to hear from God.  I know that I want to rely solely on His Holy Spirit and be led by Him alone.  I know that I want to see God do some amazing things here in this online community as well as the community that I live in.

So until 2010, I’m signing off!

~Peter