Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pick up Your Chair...

By the way, that IS the original chair we used.
The sound was clear - at the close of Revolution Church's services at H.B. Williams Elementary School, the noise echoed through the gym as dozens of people turned and began stacking the hard plastic chairs we used each week for service.

For 70 weeks, we set up and tore down, every week. In January of 2012, we were blessed to move into a permanent facility. And though many of us don't miss the eight-hour Saturdays when sometimes things would all go wrong, and the late Sunday afternoons making sure the building was cleaned right, I certainly do miss hearing the sounds of the "stair chackers."

Funny thing. That's a transposed way of saying "chair stackers" but I can't tell you how many times I screwed that up on stage trying to say it right. Be my guest, you'll do it too. But that's not the point of today's blog.

Sunday began "Sun Stand Still" at Revolution Church. We challenged our church to own the vision and dream for God to do the impossible. Reaching the impossible requires a full reliance upon the Holy Spirit, and a simple obedience. Quit trying to change the world - just simply change your next step. And that means picking up your chair.

Now that we are settled in a building, the vision certainly has different ways to carry itself out. I want to offer THREE SIMPLE WAYS to "pick up your chair" at Revolution Church. Together, we CAN change the world, and together with God, we CAN do the impossible.

Pick up your chair by:

1. Serving like you worship. During Sunday's music time, Philip Gorodetzky was playing the djembe (pronounced "gym-bay") with his left hand, while his eyes were closed and his right hand was in the air. He was serving as he was worshipping, and do it with the same hands. When you serve like you worship, you are as passionate about serving others as you are about praising the name of Jesus. Because serving IS worship.

Serving happens in systems, but using those systems is a productive way to carry out what God has for you. In a church, find a system and get plugged in to serve - setup, small groups, greeters, ushers, maintenance, kids, cleaning, tech, teens, admin, leadership - or simply see a need and be a part of the system to meet the need by creating ministry.

The key to serving is sacrifice. Make a difference.

2. Praying like you preach. We have called our church to a seven-day prayer fast. Each day from 6-7 a.m. or 6-7 p.m., take an hour to pray for your family, your self, your church, your leaders and your calling/ministry.

Followers of Christ do a lot of talking. We fill Facebook, T-shirts and text messages with constant billboards of who we are in Christ. But when we do not translate our talk into an open communication with God, we are missing the biggest piece of how He works in us.

Pick up your chair by owning the vision in prayer. Call out to God, and intercede for your church and those around you. Step up by kneeling. Get connected with God.

The key to prayer can also be in how well we listen. It's not always about what we say.

3. Finding like you follow. Christians abuse statistics, so without throwing a number at you, I can instead verify that the large majority of people who come to church do so because someone invited them to the Gospel, to a service, or give church a try.

We are in a community with 58 churches, yet 70 percent of the people around us on a given Sunday (whoops, there's a stat) are not in church, and therefore most likely not following Christ. Church membership is not a precursor to salvation, but if a person is not connected to a local church, it is a fair question of how connected they are to the Gospel of Christ which called us to work together.

You are at Revolution Church because you chose to follow - hopefully Christ above all. You responded to an invitation, mailer, outreach event, serve project, buzz in the community - there is a channel which brought you. That channel likely had a person connected to it.

Saved people SAVE people. Served people SERVE people. Found people FIND people. The centrality of the Gospel is to tell the world about the Good News of Christ.

So pick up your chair so someone else can sit.

Today's blog is simple. It's probably not going to change your life.

Funny thing, it might change someone else's life. And if we all pick up our chair, it will definitely change our church.

Don't get comfortable. We haven't even started yet.

I love you, and these are my thoughts.

Pastor Kris

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Dropped My Arms...

Dear church and dear friends: what you are about to read is the most transparent writing I have ever put on paper. It's my Sun Stand Still prayer, and confession of a leader desperately seeking to be found in the will of God. At times, you may find it challenging, and other times uncomfortable. But the anointing of the Spirit has been quenched in my life for so long that it about cost me my church, my ministry and my ability to live in God's calling. My desire to write and my heart to flow the words of God onto paper has been silenced for so long that I worried I would never hear from Him in power again. He has lifted this burden, but it is up to me to lift His Word. So it begins. This will take a while.

I don't actually need you to read it. I need to say it.

And I hope you will be there Sunday to hold up my arms.

Pastor Kris


While the people of the Lord were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, "choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding my staff of God in my hand."

So Joshua did what Moses had commanded, and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.

After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, "write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: "I will erase the memory of Amalek under heaven." Moses built an altar there, and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means the Lord is my Banner). Exodus 17:8-15

I am not Moses, and in no way claim to be of his leadership ability, albeit flawed. I am stubborn, at times insecure, and have a poor habit of caring so much about people that I equate their voice in importance of time often to the voice of the Holy Spirit inside of me. I can tend to be aggressive, I certainly argue with God on many things in my personal prayer time though he always wins. And yes, my arms get much more tired that the Lord's when He holds up my banner, than when I try to hold up His.

I identify with Moses. I don't pretend to be him.

The journey to plant a church has been filled with ups and downs. Church planting is not always what you read on Twitter, or the marketing success it's portrayed in social networking and mass mailers. With church planting there is great spiritual battle, to fight against the forces of Satan and intercede for the lives of many people who can be transformed by the message - and life-changing power - of Jesus Christ.

There are broken pieces, shattered glass, and the edges cut. The thorns pierce harder than the roses smell sweet. Failure is trumpeted by temptation to give up; success is wallowed in a constant ego battle to disengage your pride.

Alright, fair point. You are lost. What is this about?

Moses led God's people out of Egypt. It was with his staff that he performed incredible miracles, instructing the people to stand still and wait on the provision of God while an oncoming army charged them to the bank of the Red Sea. Then in miraculous fashion, God parted the water, and the enemy was swallowed whole by its rush.

Yet time after time, the people (including Moses), disobeyed God, complained against God and the leaders, and constantly found themselves bickering about missing the "goodness" of slavery in Egypt. They actually liked it better when they were broken and held in captivity because in their freedom they abused the blessing.

This story finds the army of Amalek raging against them, and a commanding victory delivered by God when the raising of Moses hands and his staff declared the advantage to the Israelites. The Bible says when Moses hands were raised, the Israelites prevailed. When they lowered, the Israelites were losing. But the magic of the story is found when Moses cracks under human frailty and cannot stand any longer.

His right and left arms are raised up and held up by his men, Aaron and Hur, as Joshua his military commander fights the battle. He sits upon the rock to rest his tired legs. And when there is victory, God says WRITE THIS DOWN AND DON'T FORGET IT. I AM YOUR BANNER. I WIN.

About February of this year, my body got tired and I dropped my arms.

We had momentum, and let me say something about numbers. Numbers without spiritual health are as good as a million dollar home built on a sink hole. It won't stand without foundation. That's in the Bible too, by the way (Matthew 7:28-30).

And then, Satan attacked. He brutalized our momentum. Every month was a different battle. By summer's end, it wasn't about numbers anymore, it was a fight for spiritual survival.

It was hard. I have nothing else to say about that. It. Was. Hard.

Thank you to my friends who were constructive with me, and to others, please pray for my family and I, and I love you and pray for you. I forgive you, and you - I pray - forgive me. If it's not settled, then we need to talk - not to everybody else, to each other.

I was sad, hurt, watching friends leave our church. And it's OK. I accept the consequences of what happens when Satan attacks and people lose sight - and LEADERS lose sight. Let me say something to all of you. I want you to be plugged into another church, for your family to be blessed, and I pray for forgiveness because my leadership was bludgeoned by discouragement and I cowered into a corner of distrust when people began to let me down.

My arms got tired. The problem was, I did not know who was there to hold them up. I told you this was going to be brutally honest - I did not know who I could trust, and I am learning once again how to build those relationships. If I don't yet trust you, be thankful. Hold me accountable. Earn it, and let me earn my trust with you. That is the way it works.

Leaders like Perry Noble and Mark Batterson have learned to celebrate the success of overcoming their trials and their flaws. For me, being a confident leader starts with admitting my year-long battle with depression. I did seek help for it, once very nearly checked myself into a hospital this summer though no one knew about it. I was physically sick. And in this weakness, I needed to break. And I did.

In my brokenness, I need forgiveness. I desire to be the man of God I was called to be. My responsibilities are not to keep people happy. That is neither Biblical, nor responsible. My responsibilities are to shepherd the flock, which means to care for, protect, lead, fight for and seek out the flock God has given me.

I became afraid to speak, afraid to write, afraid to use a staff of correction, for fear of a transparent flaw that was exposed in numbers, and my brokenness to be consumed by it.

Steven Furtick said you cannot hold back on something God has given you say to bless most of the people, for fear that it might offend a few of the people. I did. I settled. I quenched the Holy Spirit.

My prayer life was not for leadership, it was for survival. It was a prayer life seeking a desperate answer from God, not a direction from God.

But despite our circumstances - some of which were not the fault of the church and beyond our control - the blessing fell when the leader let down his arms. A question I have for every leader is will you lead with vision, or will you be confined to managing? And for the people - will you hold up the arms of the leader, or will you surrender to the enemy when the battle gets hard?

A manager ends up wandering in the wilderness, and with all due respect to Moses, the reason Joshua later led the children of Israel into the promised land is because he was one of the original 12 spies that ACTUALLY believed in the vision and provision of God and charged Moses and the people to go to the land despite their enemy.

Joshua was a military commander who became a dynamic leader. And in moments, Moses was a dynamic leader too. So let's focus back on him before we ever find out what Joshua did.

Sunday, we begin a series called Sun Stand Still. It's open comes with a state of the union of sorts, a peeling back of the shades on Revolution Church to expose our broken windows, and have vision enough to see the purity of transparent glass.

By Sunday, I will have prepared for this message over 35 hours this week. I have never put this much preparation into a single message in 15 years of ministry. And I'm tired, but I have one promise. I'm not going to quit. Here's what we're going to do.

1. I am going to lift my arms and lift my voice and proclaim the name of Jesus. Jesus said if he be lifted up, he will draw all men unto him. That's where it begins. The vision of Revolution Church is not mine. It is God's. It is BOLD. It is BIG. It is IMPOSSIBLE. And that's exactly why I believe God can do it. I'm going to share it Sunday.

2. I am going to sit down on the rock. When things get hard, we are going to develop leaders founded upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ and the principles of leadership in God's Word. We are calling upon commitment and dedication from serve team leaders like never before, to "pick up your chair" at every service and invest in the space God has given you to minister like you own that vision so strong you'd fight for it. When Satan attacks, we fall back on Jesus. When we get tired, we fall back on Jesus. When we are overwhelmed, we fall back on Jesus. We are going to build his church upon this rock and dare the gates of Hell to prevail against it.

3. I am going to call on you to carry my arms. The biggest flaw in our church is the development of leadership, and the structure of support systems to follow up and plug-in. Surprisingly, this should be the strength of a church plant. But when the leader is not sharing the burden, his arms, heart, life, abilities are all too weak to do it alone. We are going to do it together. We are going to challenge each other to step to the plate. If you believe in broken people, then serve with excellence to reach them. If you have been blessed beyond measure and trust God with your finances, then give like it. If you have the backs of the people around you, then talk like it - and shut Satan up. And when the leader lets his arms drop, drive accountability in each other that challenges the shepherd to pick up his staff, and the sheep to get their wooly butt in gear (I just added that for effect) and say, "baaa! Let's go!" By the way, there's a Jamaican goat joke in there somewhere from the mission trip but if God's calling you to go then you're going to have to get out of your comfort zone to find out what it means. But together, we're going to drive this herd and find every lost sheep we can get our hands on.

4. I am going to write this day down, and remember it. The late Dr. Calvin Miller once told me there will be watershed moments in ministry where you look back and remember when you took a stand. This is one.

Dr. Miller shared that on his first trip to The Grand Canyon, his family decided to take a hike through the valley, from one side of the large massive cliffs to the other. The journey would take them through a wilderness of sorts, and the tour guide pointed to the other side of the canyon to a small, faint light. He said, "Do you see that?" They said yes. "That's where we're going." Tired as they were, they trekked across the desert valley for an extended period of time and set up camp.

The guide turned back. "Do you see that light over there?" Strained, they barely caught a glimpse of a flicker in the distance. "That's where we came from. Aren't you glad you didn't quit in the valley?"

This story told sums up the Moses narrative. He held his staff high. It was the light, the miracle, the directive and the hope. But every time Moses got discouraged and listen to people who lost spiritual wisdom, they trekked aimlessly in the valley. For 40 years, many died. Joshua made it.

At the conclusion of Joshua's ministry, I think he figuratively pointed out the faint light to the children of Israel. You see that over there? That's where we came from.

"But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now dwell? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:15

It was once stated that 80 percent of church plants fail. A more recent report by the North American Mission Board now says that 32 percent of church plants fail by year four. That number is better, but still identifies the dangerous pitfalls of losing focus on God's direction.

I do not choose to be a statistic, nor a number Satan can parade against the kingdom. I will not back down, I will not give up, and I will not settle for the wilderness. Let me give you a number that matters.

Joshua once could have quit - facing the trek across the great valley, a wilderness and an enemy. But he declared, with his fellow spy Caleb...

The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land, flowing with milk and honey. Don't rebel against the Lord, and don't be afraid of the people of the land. - Numbers 14:8-9

Moses attempted to intercede as the people railed against the promise of God, and prepared to run out Joshua and Caleb. Moses plight was that of the people, a wander in the wilderness never to see the Promised Land. It would be Joshua and Caleb who would lead the descendants of that remnant of people into the Promised Land. The promise was true, but Moses never saw it.

Perhaps I'm making a spiritual parallel here that a theologian would say is both unconnected and inappropriate. So forgive my naivety, but I have a question.

How would have things been different, if Moses would have held up his staff and led the people according to the promise spoken by Joshua and Caleb? How would it have been different if he held up the arms of Joshua and Caleb instead of allowing the people to turn on them?

It sounds like to me his arms got tired again, and this time the only ones willing to stand up were the cowards of the camp willing to lay down. And they died in the wilderness because of it.

I'm not laying down. I'm not giving up. I'm not letting Satan win.

I've heard there is a promise. My God will supply all our need. So I'm going to lift high the banner of Jesus and let God speak for us.

The question is when my arms get tired, where is Aaron? Where is Hur? Where is Joshua? Who is Caleb?

I am not concerned with numbers. I don't need a measuring stick to know the faults of our church because they have been identified to me spiritually in my prayer time and evaluation with God. I am not going to lose another night's sleep worrying about things I cannot control, and being silenced because I am scared. I am going to lead. Leadership takes courage.

My family's future depends on it. My church depends on it. My serving depends on it. My friends depend on it. My prayer list of lost people depend on it. And as for me and my house, we're in this for a fight. We will serve. Live.Love.Serve.

The victory is won. You just gotta pick which side of the camp you want to be.

I pick God. I lift Him high. Sit me on His rock, and be there to hold up each other's arms.

Let's go, Revolution Church.

Gee whiz. I haven't even gotten to Joshua chapter 10 yet.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Going to Grandpa's House...

(This was written last Wednesday, Sept. 5th...)

Thursday is my grandfather's birthday. What I would give to catch him sitting in that front porch swing in a pair of overalls, long enough for me to sit down and ask him a few questions.

This will be our second year without him. Truth be told, I pretty well ignored it last year. I was still numb from losing him that spring. People mourn in different ways. My grandpa is in Heaven, and I have no doubt about it and it's not an issue for me most days. I got the honor of preaching his funeral, and I am proud that God gave me strength to deliver a message I was proud to stand up for. He taught me to be confident, to stand tall, to fight when it was worth it but to make sure you hit the target with the right heart.

I've been by his gravesite twice since he left. Truthfully, I'm just not much about monuments and with all due respect to those people who grieve by talking to a stone - and that's ok, mind you - it's just not me. Perhaps that is why I write it here instead. Isn't it all the same?

This week is perhaps the most memorable in my life. My birthday is Friday, one day after his. I was born on the Tuesday after Labor Day 1975 and every year following, my family celebrated our birthdays together. I was the first grand-child, so though we're all important I have the longest tenure and that makes me special but he loved us all the same.

But Thursday being my grandfather's birthday, and Friday mine, I somehow picked the following weekend as the launch of Revolution Church and never considered that it would be the same week. September 12, 2010, my grandfather and I were in church - I think - for the last time together until the day his casket sat in front of the pulpit at Halltown General Baptist.

He came to our launch. The music was probably a bit modern for his taste but I guarantee his foot was tapping the whole time. He loved music. He was a bold, deep bass singer and had a group with most of my family out of our home church which traveled many places to sing about Jesus. They had to roll him into the gym at H.B. Williams Elementary School for the opening service with an oxygen tank, but in years past he taught me the poise to stand in front of a crowd. At less than five years old, he allowed me to stand on stage while he was the worship leader at Halltown.

You wouldn't believe it, but grandma actually hid an old microphone in her purse with no cord and when we got home from church every Sunday, she'd hide it on top of the china cabinet in her kitchen which had a groove on the inside edge to keep me from finding it. But on Sunday, she'd let me carry it on stage. Maybe it was childish, but I guarantee you it was the beginning of my ability to stand up for Jesus.

Grandpa was never much on dressing up but he could do it with the best. I still have a few of his ties. But he was as comfortable in a pair of Liberty overalls as he was a suit and tie which my grandmother likely had sewn together by hand. When he came to our launch there he was - dark sunglasses to protect his eyes outside, and button-up shirt with suspenders. He waved at everyone. He even waved at me that day the first time I saw him.

Do you know what I would give to have every Saturday back - those times I spent setting up and tearing down at the elementary school which was the life of our church for 70 weeks before we moved into a facility? I'd just had soon left the curtains down, turned the lights off and let the music be acoustic and instead go sit on the front porch with my grandpa. It's all my fault really when it comes to time - we each make our own and my best wishes can't rewrite history. I don't regret it, but I am learning more about what is actually important.

So here we are, two years later. His second birthday we have celebrated without him. I really don't want to celebrate, mind you. I want Friday to breeze by. I want to work, I want to go to our football game and I want to ignore anything about the day.

What I'd really like to do is go to my grandpa's house.

So posthumously, you're going to have to endure it while I do.

"Grandpa, you got a minute?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

#iamrevolution - Week Three Notes: Difference Maker (August 26, 2012)


Pastor Caleb Hodges
August 26, 2012
Revolution Church

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matthew 5:13


    "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16


About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” Acts 16:26-28


The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household." Acts 16:29-31

Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God — he and his whole family. Acts 16:32-34 

Monday, August 20, 2012

#iamrevolution - Week Two Notes: Overcomer (August 19, 2012)

I Am Revolution
Week Two: Overcomer
Pastor Kris Freeman
August 19, 2012

Text: Romans 8:31-37

With Christ, you are an OVERCOMER .

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one – for God himself has given us right standing with himself.

Who then will condemn us? No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the scriptures say, for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:31-37)

You are hupernikao – to vanquish beyond recognition, gain a decisive victory, exceedingly more than a conqueror!

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here in earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

As an Overcomer…

1.     You fight to overcome with a conquering ATTITUDE .

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

In your strength, I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (Psalm 18:29)

2.     You fight to overcome with SUPERNATURAL weapons.

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds or human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (1 John 4:4)

At Revolution, here is how we overcome:

1.     We LIVE – and celebrate the powerful life change in Jesus Christ.
2.     We LOVE – and grow people in discipleship by loving God and His Word
3.     We SERVE – we get plugged in to give above ourselves and through ourselves to build others, build the church and glorify God!

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God…we serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us imposters. We are ignored even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. (2 Corinthians 6:3-13)

When Jennifer and I shared our vision for Revolution Church for the first time, this was our scripture. What an amazing journey God has blessed us with! We are overcomers and you can overcome in Jesus name!

Monday, August 13, 2012

#iamrevolution Week One Notes: Masterpiece (August 12, 2012)

The following is the message notes from the first week of the #iamrevolution series at Revolution Church in White House, TN. The message video and audio will be up by Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at www.liveloveserve.us

See the message intro video at Revolution Church's page on Vimeo!

I Am Revolution
Week One: Masterpiece
Pastor Kris Freeman
August 12, 2012

Text: Ephesians 2:1-10

Without Christ, there is something WRONG with you.

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil – the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved! (2:1-5)

With Christ, you are God’s MASTERPIECE.

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (2:6-10)

As God’s Masterpiece…

1.     You are created for the master’s PURPOSE .

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life is recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:13-16)

2.     You have EVERYTHING you need to do EVERYTHING God wants you to do.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. (2 Peter 1:3)

3.     God uses ALL THINGS in your life to bring about His purpose.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)

Here’s the key – if you don’t like yourself – Let God REMAKE you.

So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it unto a lump of clay again and started over. (Jeremiah 18:3-4)

At Revolution, this is Who We Are:

1.     We are Authentic.
2.     We are Passionate.
3.     We are Generous.
4.     We are Servants.
5.     We are Family.

He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. (James 1:18)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Break Free from Financial Captivity (notes)

Good morning! The following blog contains sermon notes from Sunday at Revolution Church - featuring week four of the series, Break Free. This week, we dealt with Financial Captivity, and the message contained many scriptural references to help you learn to be both a cheerful and an intentional giver and break free from the financial constraint you may face every day.

In addition, check out the following financial resources from our friends at Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University to help you plan, budget and grow together as a giving family.

Online Budget Tools
Financial Peace University
Budgeting Software
My Total Money Makeover

Budget Tips (free!) from BudgetSimple.com

Check out the message and be blessed!

Pastor Kris

P.S. A video link to this message will be posted here by Tuesday, August 7th.


Break Free: Financial Captivity
August 5, 2012
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church

Scripture: Luke 21:1-4

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. I tell you the truth, Jesus said, this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.

1.     Satan wants you to serve MONEY .
2.     God wants you to serve HIM .

No man can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matt. 6:24)

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)

People who love and trust in money:
1.     Never have enough – Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever has wealth is never satisfied with his income (Eccl. 5:10)
2.     Have money in the bank, but no peace in their hearts – Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil (Proverbs 15:16)
3.     Find it increasingly difficult to give big – Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability (2 Corinthians 8:2-3).

Breaking Free from Financial Captivity starts with the right MASTER .

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11)

You must be an INTENTIONAL giver.

aBegin with thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:14-22)
bRecognize the blessing (2 Corinthians 9:7)
c Put God in the budget (Proverbs 22:7)

1.     I will intentionally return to God what BELONGS to God .

A tithe of everything, from the land, whether grains from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. (Leviticus 27:30).

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. (Malachi 3:10a)

2.     I will Intentionally put God FIRST .

The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives. (Deut. 14:23)

3.     I will intentionally give as an INCREASE of my faith.

Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (Malachi 3:10b)

But just as you excel in everything, see that you also excel in this grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:7).

Note: Resources complied from the New Living Translation of the Bible, and additional resources from Elevation Church (Pastor Steven Furtick, Break Out Series) and LifeChurch.tv (Pastor Craig Groeschel, How to Be Rich series).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This leader needs prayer...

This leader needs prayer. And here are my reasons.

(See the inspiration for this article by reading Thom Rainer's blog)

I am a leader, not by position but by opportunity and most humbly as a servant of God who has been called to carry his Word. I do not take this opportunity lightly, and I am transparent about my walk with God through this journey as I speak and write to others.

I am called first to be a husband to my wife, and a dad to my children. I am called to be a pastor, and I get the opportunity to express this in leadership as the lead and founding pastor of Revolution Church. I am not called to be a coach, or a community volunteer, but I choose to use the gift God has placed in me to serve my community and I always believe in making a difference in those around me.

My Prayer Needs

Allow me to share with you where I need prayer as a leader. This list is not exhaustive but it is authentic and transparent. I am totally dependent on God for leadership because without I am capable of messing this up all by myself and with God, I have been promised to do the impossible, and that He would always lead me.

  • I pray for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge to lead people and cast vision. May my thoughts never be upon material blessings, needs or circumstances except and only when it is necessary for those physical things to carry out the vision God has laid before us. May I always seek God and His wisdom on a level that is authentic and sincere and want nothing that would make me greedy or dependent upon more than I need.
  • I pray I will always lead with integrity and I will always do what is right perhaps even at the cost of what is popular or what is easy.
  • I pray to always be a good steward of what I have been given, and what others have given to grow our church in all ways.
  • I pray my wife will see in her eyes what I see in the mirror, and that my character as a pastor will always reflect the character of Christ as I serve and lead my home.
  • I pray my wife will always know she is the living covenant God has joined within me and that beyond my faith and love for God, she will always know she is first.
  • I pray my children will see their daddy as authentic in ministry but know that my job never comes before my relationship with them.
  • I pray I will always be honest.
  • I pray I will always be transparent.
  • I pray I will always deal with criticism in a Godly manner and I will:
    • Constructively change following those criticisms which are valid
    • Ignore those which have no merit and let integrity speak for me
    • Never be paralyzed by criticism in leadership and lose focus on my calling
  • I pray I will always be accountable, accept Godly correction and let accountability bless my leadership and never curse it.
My Ultimate Need

I pray God will allow me to work through my insecurity, an insecurity that drives me for perfection but collapses my own belief in what God is doing through me. I pray Kris will see the same potential within Kris that God sees in Kris when He looks upon me. 

I pray I will be totally dependent upon God for my strength and security and my validation for who I am in Christ will be secure in Him. I pray I will never be arrogant, never develop an ego that is greater than the my humility. I pray I am reminded daily I can do nothing without him and everything with him.

I pray the success of others will always be an encouragement to me, and my deficiencies as a leader will never be the basis for comparison, but my strengths in Christ will always empower me to press forward by who I am in Christ Jesus.

I love you, and these are my thoughts, and thank you to Thom Rainer of Lifeway for the inspiration.

Pastor K

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Some awesome words on prayer...

As we get ready to finish our six weeks of prayer this Sunday called "Thunder" I want you to hear some awesome words on prayer quoted from S.M. Lockridge.

I will add no comments. It's awesome.

"Now prayer is man's job. That's the only unending obligation that our Lord has given to men. He did not say that men ought to always work, men ought to always play, but men ought to always to pray. Pray for your personal life. Pray when you are successful, lest you become selfish. Pray when you are in sorrow, lest you become cynical. Pray when you are in prosperity, lest you become proud. Pray when you are in material poverty, lest you become spiritually poor, for that is the worst kind of poverty. In sin, man declares his or her independence of God. In prayer, we declare our dependence on God. Now prayer is perplexingly paradoxical. That is, you have to have pray in order to pray. When the disciples saw how lacking they were in prayer, they prayed. Notice that the disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them how to preach, or to teach them how to work miracles or to be wise, they said, Lord, teach us how to pray. Nobody offers a course in prayer, simply because there is only one teacher and that is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Some people think that prayer is a monologue and you do all the talking. Some people talk to the Lord like he has no idea what is happening in this world, we talk to the Lord like we need to tell him what to do, when to do it and Lord, right now, and some people talk to the Lord like they are picketing the throne of grace. Like the Lord is reluctant to answer, and you have to bombard his throne with prayer in order to get in there. We call him loud, and long, Lord, come on now! We want you to go here and go yonder, do this and do this, and on the double. But prayer is not just a monologue where you do all the talking. Prayer has got to be a dialogue. You have to wait and let him talk to you. It is far better for us to hear what the Lord has to say than for Him to hear what he has to say." - S.M. Lockridge from the sermon "That's My King"

Here is the whole sermon - over an hour long:


See you Sunday!

Pastor Kris

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What our church is REALLY all about...

I really just need to take a moment and explain this whole LIVE.LOVE.SERVE. thing. You might want to get some coffee and find a relaxing chair. And don't throw anything until I'm done then you and God can work that out.

I had a phone conversation with a church member today during which we discussed the vision of the church and how our church has morphed from its time at the local elementary school as a church plant, to the permanent facility where we are now located. From 25 people at a preview service almost two years ago, to an average attendance of over 300 in 2012 calendar year.

Come to think of it, I preached a message on this Sunday, how Solomon prayed for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people as Israel prepared for its greatest task, to build the temple for the Almighty God. When Solomon prayed for the right things, he was granted the things he needed and more, as God gave him wisdom and knowledge - plus wealth, health, prosperity, people and providential supply over his enemies.

So it led me to a time of thinking and prayer. During the evening, I was a volunteer at the city park's concession stand, and before I went home, got to share about Jesus and our church to a single mom. Folks, that's how our church was and should be built - telling broken people who do not have a church home about the Savior that can radically change their lives.

So in the next few moments, you are about to read words that are going to fire you up, fire you off, or cool you down. And with all due respect, if these words resonate with you, then let's get side by side serving and change the world. After all, when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, the Bible says they were on their way to the promised land UNTIL the people started murmuring against Moses and Aaron and they WANDERED LOST for 40 years and never made it.

We're not wanderers, we're world changers. Let's get that clear.

I'm not responsive, I am passionate. And under a swarm of paperwork, administration and butt-kicking, agonizing red tape that goes with organizational development, pardon me while I kick down the door and remind us all what Live.Love.Serve. means. Revolution Church is the place where the love of Christ turns lives around.

1. LIVE - We believe in broken people, we are not satisfied for them to stay that way. What that means is that on the seats of our church you will find broken relationships, broken homes, messed up lives, addictions, foul mouths, foul smells (that's just the tech team eating breakfast, mostly), bad attitudes and broken pasts. But in the midst, there is life change. There are drunks who have cast off alcohol and now are sober. There are marriages restored, even one from an affair which turned into forgiveness. There are releases of the bonds of self-esteem failures and self-inflicted sin being set free. There are tragedies turned to triumph and families who don't deserve to be together who were saved by the grace of God together.

Emerging from Egypt, the temptation is then to say - "I remember when it was like that for me" and not realize that empowered in your story is the life-transforming message of Jesus and there is someone sitting where YOU used to sit. You may be that broken person. COME TO CHURCH. I am not your judge, I am the representation of your JESUS who has the power to take away the sins of the world! People can go to Heaven despite the fact that their lives are a living Hell.

The tendency is to move from LIVING at Revolution Church to cruising in ministry without empowering your lives with the next steps. Statistics show that 75-to-80 percent of people who come to church do so through PEOPLE not through preaching, not through music and not through programs.

Moving into a facility changed us - from LIVING to MANAGING and we immediately lost our vision. We became room focused, territorial, stuff oriented. In the name of Jesus, what a GIFT God revealed to us but it's not a monument, it's a MISSION STATION. We are not a country club, everything we do to serve people is with the spiritual gift of hospitality, but our hope is not to feed people, make them happy, rub their belly and pat their head, it's to extend a life-changing moment of Jesus to them in hospitality to lead them to a life-changing moment in forgiveness. And for God to empower their story and it be TOLD.

GET ON STAGE! Tell that story! Shoot a video with our tech team and empower that person who is waiting on your boldness to believe Christ can do it in them.

One day, I hope a new worship center sits on the open lot on the back of our property, but when it does, we are building it for God's honor, not for our comfort.

We're not a rest home for saints, and with respect to the cliche, we are not a hospital for sinners. We are a life-saving mission station where people walk in dead and walk out alive.

Choose life - because Jesus said we could have it more abundantly because HE came. And we're going after it with all we got. So you bring the church full of broken people and I'll get in touch with the Holy Spirit who specializes in the convicting power to bring them to an Almighty God.

P.S. All the complainers in the wilderness? They died. Their children and grand children are the ones who saw the promised land.

2. LOVE - We love God and we love others. Love is also where the growth happens, because as we are made like Christ, we strive to become like him more everyday.

If you are searching for God to speak to you, it happens in an abundance of ways and this is the step of love at Revolution Church. When you love like Christ, you are filling his greatest commandment.

Love means forgiveness. You have to let go.
Love means prayer. You have to talk to God.
Love means praise. You have to shout it out what God has done for you.
Love means reading your Bible. If you want to hear from God, you must read what He gave us and do it often, every day, and grow in your faith.
Love means giving. If you don't tithe, it's not a heaven or hell matter. But it is an obedience matter that was issued in scripture as a challenge from the almighty God.

I have asked God to help me love others unconditionally. Except bad umpires and Cubs fans.

I have asked God to teach me to pray my heart and not my head.

I have asked God to remind me of my thankfulness and not my burdens (Psalm 13).

I have asked God to open his word to me every single day and show me things I have never seen.

I have asked God to honor my budget and teach me to give more than I receive, and live my life in such a way that I can one day live on 10 percent of what I make and give 90 percent of it away. You may think that is crazy, but I have asked God to help me budget faithfully.

And I do give to my church and have since the very beginning and have asked God to honor it.

We as a church have moved from mission status where others supported us to sovereign status financially where we support ourselves. I will not compromise our vision and our outreach and our mission and so at times I have chosen to make sacrifices for the church in my personal life because I believe in what God is doing. It's why my wife is back at work and we are praying for open doors, but we keep loving, we keep giving, and we keep serving.

A sign of a dying church is when people stop investing in vision and start complaining about where the money is being spent. Thank God we do not have a church like that. But for God to open us to the opportunities to serve the world, we must take this step of love seriously so that it burdens us from within to give of ourselves sacrificially - in love, in time, in energy, in money, in serving, in growth, and in blessing.

After all, it was love that motivated God to give his only son.

What about those in the wilderness? When things went bad, they stopped loving. They got selfish. They asked Moses to go back to the captivity of Egypt so they could have it easy and live it up as slaves - but at least they'd have luxury and supply. They complained about freedom for the sake of bad fruit.

Oh yeah, they died.

3. SERVE - Revolution Church is serving God in our community and around the world.

Today, we verbalized an agreement with the chamber of commerce to once again provide the sound stage, live music, some food and all the inflatables for the Americana Celebration on June 30th. Last year, we had 55 adult volunteers at this event. That's incredible!

Saturday, we are serving mothers who have battled cancer and washing their cars, feeding them and doing valet parking. In two weeks, we will have a bottled water bash on the city greenway (more about that later) and a gas buy down in the city on a busy day, spending four hours pumping gas and telling people about Jesus. We're working on a Father's Day event, too, and sending a team to Jamaica in June.

Sunday, we had our largest number of membership lunch attendees EVER, and we had our largest sign up for serve teams EVER and this week we will launch TEAM IMPACT with red shirts showing off our hospitality during services because that's what we do.

We have transitioned the custodial and maintenance position from a paid weekly thing to a serving role and over 12 families signed up to help. That's amazing!

It is our goal that EVERY PERSON SERVES. At one time in our early church days, 70 percent of the adults in our church were active on a serve team. That's AMAZING! But with 300-plus people average attendance and over 450 in our database, that means that we should have around 130-150 adults serving on a regular basis.

Employees are nice. As our church grows, certain things will require more. But when we SERVE together, it allows us to invest our budget in changing the community. Is it worth giving away food at an event? Yep. I'm not serving if I'm fundraising. Is it worth letting kids play on inflatables for free? Yep. I'm not running an entertainment venue. Is it worth it if we knock a quarter off someone's gas for four hours? Yep, because while I'm pumping their gas I get to stand by their car and tell them about the life-changing things happening at our church. Is it worth championing people with challenges, disabilities and special needs? Yep. Because Jesus would make a special place to make them a champion and we will too.

When we become self-focused, we are not SERVE-focused.

We don't set up and tear down any more at the school. I'd love to be doing something else with those Saturdays, and our vision is to unleash the love of Jesus on this city.

So what if the church down the road sends their church van to our gas buy down to save money on a few gallons? We'll fill it. Did you know someone got mad at me for that?

Well guess what, that little elderly lady driving that church van later sent a gift to our Jamaica team for our kindness to her church - and it exceeded the money she saved that day.

We serve like Jesus.

And we partner with other churches. We pray for other churches. We serve other churches. WE DON'T spend our time complaining about other churches or comparing to other churches (whoops, guilty, sorry I'm human too) or carrying the baggage of other churches into our worship and expecting Revolution Church to be just like every other place in town.

We serve.

Hardest thing to read on this blog - If you don't like life change, then our church isn't for you. If you don't love people and love God, then our church isn't for you. If you don't like to serve, then our church isn't for you. Now if you don't like all those things because you don't KNOW about them, then by all means, our church IS FOR YOU.

If you're following Christ, but you don't like to LIVE.LOVE.SERVE. then you should probably read your Bible.

It is not responsible, nor Biblical to be a self-focused church.

By the way, remember the wilderness? Yeah, they died.

But Joshua and Caleb were the originals who said "if the Lord delights in us, he will bring us unto that land, a land that is flowing with milk and honey."

Funny thing, Joshua led them to the promised land and then declared...

"Choose you this day whom you will serve...whether it be the gods of the Amorites, or the gods of your fathers in whose land you dwell...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:15

So are you fired up? Let's do this!

I love broken people. And I'm not apologizing for it. Ever again. Let's change the world.

I love you, and these are my thoughts.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Don't Let Competition Compromise your Blessing

My son sat in the back seat of the truck on the way home this morning. He was crying. We just lost 13-1, and he has struck out six of his last seven times after making contact seven of the first 10 times he batted.

"Daddy, I am the worst player on the team. I never make any outs in the field and I don't ever hit the ball any more."

As Noah spoke, all the times this morning I had been hard on him to swing level, watch the ball, hustle and run came crashing down in a moment when my heart just sank. What in the world am I thinking? One year ago, I asked God a simple prayer that needed a big miracle. I asked God to help my son to play baseball. When I told Noah about this prayer, my son said "daddy, if God heals my leg and I can play will you coach my team?"

At the time, I was serving as an assistant coach voluntarily for White House High School. And I walked away from something I love because I was pushing my son onto a practice field every day in a wheelchair. To this day it is so hard to see those young men in the community and feel like I let them down. But with my wife working in another state, my son wearing casts on both legs, and my church growing rapidly, I made the decision to walk away and focus on the right things first.

If you are a White House High School baseball player and reading this - please remember that I never wanted to abandon my responsibility. But this year, I kept my promise.

Noah has Perthes disease. A degenerative bone disease in his pelvic area, leaving his hip joint on one side with just 30 percent of the ball socket completely formed. On February 4th last year, he had hip surgery and was confined to a specialized wheelchair while wearing double casts on his legs with a long bar attached in the middle.

The high school baseball players and coaches were his heroes and they were so awesome to him. They would play catch with him in the wheelchair, and Zac Hasty, another left-hander, let him use his glove. Noah used to tell me that he wanted to be like Zac when he grew up and then I would watch him cry in the truck seat when he said, "Daddy, will I ever be able to play ball like Zac?"

After surgery, Noah's leg improved. The bone started to grow back and his limp reduced and by the end of May last year, he was running. He continued to improve and I agreed to keep my promise. I battled some health issues early this year, and after doing morning workouts in January and February with the high school team, I again placed my focus on my family and agreed to coach Noah's team. I also go to all my daughter's games.

There's a spiritual principle here I want to emphasize. My competition is driving me as a coach to push my son and discipline him (positively) when he does not succeed, so that he learns and develops as a baseball player. The problem is, you could make an argument that all God did was answer exactly what I asked.

Three years ago, I also asked God to give me the blessing of pastoring a church that would reach broken people in our community. The onset of church planting in the modern church world has both advanced the Gospel in ways like never before, and ultimately - and unfortunately - created a competitive mindset among mega churches and their numbers for reaching the lost.

Social networking feeds this monster. Some pastors are humble; they reach people in droves with the Good News of Christ and you will likely never hear a peep out of their numbers. They emphasize life change as a rule, not as a digit. Instead of "five more added to the kingdom today!" we see individual stories of life change promoted and humility and serving in leadership.

Jesus said in scripture that if we want to lead, we must first serve. Competition has driven us to measure churches by the size of the congregation, the numbers of hands raised during a response time, or the offering placed in the baskets. We had 10,000 eggs at Easter, yet I looked around and noticed that Easter egg hunts have suddenly become the measuring stick for community outreach. We have helicopters, massive numbers of eggs and big-time events to draw thousands of people. So to keep up, next year I plan to shoot Easter eggs out of an M1A1 battle tank. See? I'm winning.

And I'm kidding.

But the point is valid. God is doing amazing things in His kingdom through new churches, old churches, established churches and organic churches. He's exploding the Gospel in ways we could never imagine. But be quick to remind each other what the focus really is about!

God did not call us to increase our averages and score runs. He called us to play ball. He answered our prayers to be placed on the team. And YES! We want to win! But in the pursuit of winning, let us not ever forget the true pulse of what we do, and that is celebrate every life change story and every answered prayer, and champion those who are still waiting for their blessing to come.

We have a great church; I have a great son. God answered my prayers and I am challenging God for even bigger things.

Pastors, some of you may have needed to read that you are not inadequate if your church is not reaching the numbers dished out by great men like Perry Noble, Rick Warren and Steven Furtick. Rapidly growing churches and pastors, perhaps you need a reminder that God did not call you to be a competitor with the other people at work in the same mission you are undertaking.

If you pay attention to the latest Twitter brag of mega-church pastors (who are doing awesome things, by the way), you'll miss what God is doing through YOU and HIS CHURCH in you. Just because Joel Osteen has 30,000 in worship Sunday morning doesn't mean that the young man who walked the aisle in your service isn't moving Heaven. In fact, the Bible says angels are throwing a party when that happens in your church.

And for goodness sakes - in Jesus name - STOP criticizing HOW people share the Gospel and calling it preaching. No one called you, or anyone else for that matter, to make fun of the style of others, whether contemporary, traditional, liturgical, ceremonial or grass-roots organic. Do what you do - and do it well - and realize you are called to bloom where you are planted, not be uprooting someone else's tree.

I preach tomorrow. My son plays ball again at 1:30. Amazing things are going to happen both places.

I'm just not sure we need to focus on the score as much as we focus on the story.

I love you, and these are my thoughts.

Pastor K

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thunderstruck...the Prayer version.

As I'm writing this blog, I pictured you sitting on the seat at Revolution Church Sunday listening to us rock it out to Thunderstruck by AC/DC. In fact, you may have just experienced a coronary failure at the very thought of it.

But stay with me (and we're not covering Thunderstruck live just for the record but I can't guarantee the beat won't show up on a video!). Rock guitarist Angus Young struck gold prior to the release of one of the most recognizable rock-n-roll riffs of all time. Regardless of what you think of the band's other selections and their personal convictions and decisions (good thing I'm not blogging about Highway to Hell, right?), this particular one is very important.

It's about power. Though it peaked at No. 5 on the 1990 Billboard chart, it's been made famous as a stadium anthem for sporting events across the country. Countless teams and athletes have emerged onto the field to the hard-core thunder chant. That's where I heard it the first time.

Young was said to have been flying in a plane with the band when it was struck by lightning. Another story says that during a visit to Fort Hood, TX, in the late 1980s, the band saw a demonstration of the Combined Arms Livefire Exercise (CALFEX) featuring the M1A1 tank. Young then began to pick the notes one by one on guitar, and the famous, incredible and powerful song was born. As you listen to the song, it's amazing to know he picks every single note individually using two hands. What an impressive solo.

We are a power-hungry generation. We crave it, desire it and gravitate to it. I could sit adjacent to a military base and watch command post operations for hours, and certainly am humbled at the sight of a C-130 cargo plane slowly descending to its runway. Power is electric.

Young was no different. Awestruck with power, he created an emotional response through music that moves people still 32 years after its release. Football players boil with adrenalin with the horizon-rattling thunder booms of percussion as the song blares in pre-game warmups, and military bases across the world pump it hard through the speakers at rec time. Thunderstruck is undeniable audio power.

But I am a pastor, ironically making it a little weird I'm setting this all up with a blog about AC/DC. Now don't be knocking my roots, I was a child of the 80s and every long-haired electric guitar rock band was bringing it loud out of my speakers. Def Leppard, Guns N'Roses, Poison, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, you name it. My family somehow thought I listened to country music all the time but I think most of them were afraid I would play the lyrics backwards and perform evil rituals if they caught me listening to "that" music. Anyhow, I digress, while humming Welcome to the Jungle.

There is indeed a powerful force working inside of me and it's not through music, it is the living, breathing Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit and His son, Jesus Christ. The words of Jesus were humbling and they were truth; they also had power.

Funny thing, this Jesus who spoke of power also presented his own version of Thunderstruck in regards to our faith. Addressing his followers, Jesus pulled out the electric guitar and ripped every note. Not literally, although I bet he would be better than the guys from the 1980s.

Jesus goes to the high mountain in Matthew 17. Three disciples watched - in awe - as Jesus was presented in his glorified state. It was called the transfiguration. God spoke, confirmed his "beloved son" and the disciples fell to the ground trembling.

They returned to the base of the mountain where a huge gathering of people was waiting for them. A man brought his son, clearly possessed with a demon, and Jesus casts it out, healing the young man. The disciples were amazed at this display of power so they asked a pertinent question. Why can't "we" do that?

Jesus then uttered a very recognizable scripture.

You don't have enough faith. I tell you the truth. If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. - Matthew 17:20 NLT

Christ followers love to throw that verse out like a badge of courage. If only I have faith of a little tiny speck I can move mountains! But are you willing to encounter the life-changing power of God when you do, and are you willing to stand and face the demonic, nasty, evil enemy of God who will discourage and rob you of every opportunity to do so by attacking your faith?

To have our cake and eat it too, our faith must be first as small as a mustard seed, but explosive enough to shake the mountain. When the mountain begins to move, we can't get weak-legged and dodge God just because it ticks Satan off. We must stand our ground, realizing this kind of faith prayer is earth-shaking and will likely move us off our place as God shifts the ground in front of us.

Whether over the mountain, around it, through it or just flat out massively blowing it up, God said our faith is powerful enough to move mountains. My question to you - is our emotional response to this faith one of AWE, one of ACTION, or one of REACTION?

The awe Christian will write a song about it and sing pretty little hymns and write nice little ditty stories but when Satan comes growling like a lion, we'll take our happy face and run for the hills.

The reaction Christian will stand up and yell at the mountain for not moving and then platform every sinful reason it was there in the first place, not ever realizing there are real people being crushed under its power while we point fingers and criticize them.

The action Christian will follow the words of Jesus and command the mountain to be moved in a prayer of faith and a step of thunder so impressively inspiring that when Satan begins to tremble it will cause our feet to dance on the rocks. We'll go kick holes in the sides of the mountain and trample that enemy under our feet. And while God is shaking, we will keep praying, keep believing and keep going. We will not give up just because the mountain is moving; we will be empowered because our faith is proving that it can.

So I'm asking you if you have the courage to join me in a prayer journey this Sunday for the next 40 days - every day, every hour, every scripture we can find and every battle we can encamp.

This is not a rock song. It's a rock movement. Pardon me, while I kick this loose pebble and get motivated.

See you Sunday. Might want to bring a helmet.

Revolution Church meets Sundays at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. at 3644 Highway 31-W in White House, TN. Live.Love.Serve. Find out more... http://liveloveserve.us