Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 - a Great Year at Rock Point!

This morning I'm reflecting on the past year at Rock Point. This has been an absolutely amazing year as we have experienced God's blessing in so many ways. Here are just a few of the thoughts I have been reflecting on...

* In January we were given the opportunity of meeting in the Chattanooga Christian School Fine Arts building. Wow! What an amazing opportunity that has been! This facility has been a true God-send as it has met all of our needs being a start up church. Thank you so much administration at CCS! We appreciate your willingness to let a small start up church invade your facility one day a week. We hope we have been as much of a blessing to you as you have been to us.

* At the end of 2007 we had almost 95 people involved in small groups. Today we have right at 175. I'm no math whiz, but I believe that is about 80 new people in groups! If you believe that life change happens best in a place like small group, this number should get you pretty excited!

* Our Sunday worship service attendance has grown 15% from January to December. Our children's areas have grown almost 35% in the same time frame! Many of those new faces have expressed that they weren't interested at all in church until attending Rock Point. Goes to show that people are investing...inviting...and asking people to attend church with them. As a pastor this is so encouraging!

* We began our first Starting Point in Fall of 2008 and already have interest in another group beginning early 2009. Some great stories of life change have come out of that group.

This is only a snapshot of the exciting things that have taken place at Rock Point this year. I am so grateful for every moment that God has given us in 2008; the good...and the bad. Sometimes you have growing pains along the way, but as a church we are learning and growing. I am so excited to see what God does in 2009 as we partner with Him. He is always faithful and it is my prayer that we continue to be faithful to the mission of leading the people of the Chattanooga area into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Thank you for being a part of this endeavor with us.

Have a Happy New Year and I can't wait to see you this Sunday at Rock Point!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Intersect Project

Recently about a dozen people from Rock Point joined Habitat for Humanity to assist in finishing up a home to be moved in that day! The team touched up paint inside the house, constructed a storage shed in the backyard, as well as hung some shutters and siding. The cool thing was they also helped the lady move into her house that was provided by HFH.

Here is a quote from the Volunteer Coordinator from HFH:
"I know your group got a LOT done and our construction crew was really
pleased – look forward to having you back with us week after next!"

It's so exciting to be part of a church where those who attend are active in making a difference in their community. Thanks to those who participated on this day and we look forward to hearing stories in the future about various service teams and small groups who jump in on the Intersect Project.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turkey Day here we come...

I don't know about you, but it's rare that any Holiday really has a significant impact on my life. For some reason, we in America see Holidays as merely a day off from school, a day off from work, and reason to eat a lot of food. For me, Thanksgiving has become this. I actually often call it "Turkey Day" instead of Thanksgiving. Of course having a day off from school...work...spending time with family...experiencing a great feast...is all fine and dandy. But this Thanksgiving I wanted to stop and reflect on what I am truly thankful for. So, here is the beginning of my "Thanksgiving list 2008".

* I am thankful for my family. Sounds very cliche', but it is so true. I often don't let them know how thankful I am for them. I have the best wife and kids in the world. I love you guys!!

* I am so thankful for my church. Recently I was thinking to myself, "If I wasn't pastor at Rock Point, would I still go here?" I had to honestly say that I would! That is an incredible feeling to have as Lead Pastor. The staff and volunteer teams create such awesome environments and we have some of the greatest people in the world at Rock Point. I am truly grateful to serve with you.

* I am thankful for my small group. My wife and I have been involved with many small groups over the past 10 years of marriage, but this group is absolutely one of the best. I so much appreciate each and every person in that group.

* I am thankful for our new home. Moving from another city was definitely a transition, but our family is so grateful to be living in Chattanooga. What a great town to live in!

* Finally, I am grateful for my relationship with God. Once again, can sound very cliche', especially for a pastor, but this is so true. It's probably the relationship I most take for granted, but it is the relationship that is the most valuable. My Heavenly Father loved me enough that He sent His Son to die for me...in my place. "Thank You!" does not even come close to truly expressing this kind of gratitude. But sometimes that's all I can utter. So God...THANK YOU!

The list could go on, but I don't want to bore you. So how about you? What are you truly thankful for this year? Pause...think...reflect...make the list. Make this Thanksgiving more than just "Turkey Day"...



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing...

Sometimes it's important for me to step back and ask myself the question, "Why?" "Why is it important to exercise?" "Why is it important to spend time with my wife and kids?" "Why should I have this meeting?".

The question, "Why?" either forces us to face up to what we're doing or revisit our original purpose. Often times this question can be a wonderful reminder and a huge motivator in accomplishing a task or mission.

Recently I asked myself this question as it pertains to Rock Point. "Why are we planting a church in Chattanooga?" The Mission of Rock Point is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Sounds pretty simple, but I honestly can get so distracted by other areas that I forget "why" we do what we do every week. This is an unbelievable mission!! God has granted us the opportunity of introducing people who are far away from Him into a relationship with Him...He has granted us the opportunity of helping people redefine the way church looks...He has granted us the opportunity of representing Him in the city of Chattanooga!! What a great privilege! I get so excited thinking about this. When I revisit the "why" of Rock Point, I get a new found enthusiasm and motivation as to what our mission truly is.

So how about you? If you're a part of Rock Point does the thought of this mission fire you up? Often we see the church building/organization as the true "Church". By doing so, we have limited ourselves. The church goes way beyond the walls of the building you meet in on Sunday. The environments are merely the vehicle of presenting the truth of God in a real and relevant way. The mission then falls on the true "Church". Big responsibility...Big deal...Big God!

Thanks for partnering with us in this mission. I can't wait to see you all Sunday.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Church in a tough economy

If you have a 401(k), stock investments, grocery shop or just watch TV, it goes without saying that you are aware of the difficult financial times we are in. Every business, family, and non-profit organization is concerned about our financial future, and rightly so. We at Rock Point are constantly evaluating and reevaluating our financial situation to continue to move forward with excellence while wisely utilizing our resources. We believe that what is happening at Rock Point is as valuable as anything that is taking place in the Chattanooga region. Because of this, we have a commitment to make to those who attend Rock Point:

The Staff, Elders and Leadership at Rock Point are committed to 2 things:

1. Being the best stewards we can be of the resources we have been entrusted with...

2. ...while continuing to create relevant environments to effectively lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

This is not easy as creating engaging environments can be expensive, but in our estimation, life change is worth it.

My family currently sponsors a Compassion child who lives in Africa. If you are not familiar with Compassion, they provide an opportunity for people who have been blessed to "adopt" a child who is less fortunate. For a moderate amount we are able to provide food, school and shelter for a child on the other side of the globe.

Recently at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta GA, a young lady who was a Compassion child and is now receiving her Masters degree here in the states was asked about how difficult it can be for people to give during these tough economic times. The following was her response:

"Changed lives and raising up future leaders with integrity who know God, and creating environments where children and adults can come to know how much God loves them is a guaranteed investment in all economic times."

WOW! Those words echo our desire and as long as the Lord allows Rock Point to exist as a church, we will continue to pursue this with our whole hearts.

As your pastor, I greatly value your continued confidence and support which allows us to respond wisely to the current economic situation but not retreat one inch from leading people into a growing relationship with Christ.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let's Get Started

Do you have questions about the Bible, God or Christianity?
Are you a new Christian or just coming back around to church?
Would you like a safe place to discuss and ask questions about faith?

YES?! Well, at Rock Point we have a great environment for you, Starting Point. Starting Point is a fantastic place to discuss areas of the Christian faith and ask some tough questions that you might have previously felt uneasy asking. Starting Point is a group of 10 people that meet for 10 weeks during our 11:30 service at Rock Point. The group will begin meeting early November.

Our orientation is this week at Rock Point at 11:15 (immediately following our 10am service and right before our 11:30 service), and will last approximately 15 min. We will briefly discuss what Starting Point is all about...introduce the leaders...and give you an opportunity to sign up for the group.

If you are interested or have questions, please shoot an email to startingpoint@rockpointcc.org.

Oh yeah, if you are "on the fence" about signing up, maybe this video will help you out!

Monday, October 6, 2008

What a Story!

What do you get when you have...
audio difficulties...
video difficulties...
a very nervous person...
and an authentic story of life change?

A God moment type of story!

Check out what recently happened at Buckhead Church in Atlanta GA during one of their baptisms.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Exciting Day at Rock Point

This past Sunday at Rock Point we experienced a first. Every week we plan diligently our service times...worship set list...opening songs...videos...sermon time. We truly want the experience for all who attend to be something they talk about later in the week. After this past Sunday, those who attended the 11:30 service had much more to talk about than the sermon. After an amazing opener by our band and Michael Johnson ("Faceless Man" by Creed), we experienced the perfect storm of a hazer and an A/C unit that wasn't working. That means our haze had no place to go but park itself right up against the fire alarm sensors. The good news for us and CCS is that the fire alarms work and the Fire Department is very quick to respond! (I believe we had 6 trucks arrive.)

Fortunately, we were able to conclude the service, which was part 1 of "Twisted", without any other incident. And hey, after the ear piercing alarms no one commented on the music being too loud!

God definitely has a way of always keeping us on our toes!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Inside Out - Intersect Project

Recently the students from Inside Out went on a service project at the Chattanooga Rescue Mission. We started off the morning by cleaning up around the mission and the surrounding neighborhood as well. The students were great, interacting with all the neighbors and really showing what true Christian service is, love in action. In serving in this way, the reaction was overwhelming. The director of the mission recently called to pass on that he had already gotten a lot of calls and just people stopping by to say how great it was to see young people out serving and reaching out into the community. But the thing that really blew them away was how happy they were while they were doing it, and how encouraging it was to see that.

We ended up the day by helping restock and reorganize the pantries. As soon as they heard what needed to be done everyone grabbed some cans or a box, with some of the boxes weighing nearly as much as the students, and dove right in. We really do have some amazing students with true servants’ hearts.

If you are in the 6-12th grade, don't forget to join us on Sunday morning at 10am at Chattanooga Christian School for Inside Out. We can't wait to see you this Sunday.

Inside Out Director

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To Reach People No One Else is Reaching...

OK, so there's a quote which has been stuck in my head lately. Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of Lifechurch.tv, a multi-site church based in Oklahoma said, "To reach people no one else is reaching, you have to do things no one else is doing." Wow! Pretty challenging statement, but I believe this is very true. Why would we want to copy what others are attempting to do to reach people if it's not working. As Lead Pastor of Rock Point I have to continually keep this thought in front of myself as well as the church as a whole. What does this mean for us? Does it mean we need to be more innovative...creative...out-of-the-box thinking? Or does it mean we need to look at the simple truth of the gospel and identify ways to communicate this life-changing truth clearly? Or all of the above?

Hmmm...something to think about today.

What do you think?


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Baptisms at Rock Point

Recently at RPCC we had the opportunity of celebrating the life change of 2 ladies through baptism. At RPCC we love to celebrate the difference that a life with Jesus can make and one of the coolest ways to do this is through baptism. Check out one of the recent baptisms at Rock Point.

How cool is that! If you would be interested in being baptized at Rock Point, please check out the baptism link on our website or email baptism@rockpointcc.org.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So what are you doing Labor Day Weekend? Hopefully you are hanging out with friends and family and celebrating, "NO WORK!" or "NO SCHOOL!" on Monday. But what about Sunday? We would love to see you at one of the services at Rock Point. (10am & 11:30am) Danny Dukes will be leading us in worship, (one of the coolest guys I know), and I have the privilege of bringing a message entitled, "Run". What is "Run" about? Well, you'll just have to show up Sunday to find out. :)

Oh yeah, don't forget to bring someone with you!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Group Link

Yesterday we had Group Link at Rock Point. Group Link is the environment where we assist people with getting plugged into a small group, plain and simple. We believe that life change doesn't happen sitting in rows, but in circles with other people and sharing life together and after yesterday's turnout, I can't wait to hear some of the stories of the groups that will soon be formed. It's always fun to hear how people's lives are impacted when they have a safe environment to share together, laugh together, cry together...do life together. Thanks so much to the volunteers and staff who assisted in helping pull this off after a very tiring couple of services. You guys are the greatest!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday at Rock Point

Check out the pictures from this past Sunday at Rock Point. Chrystina Fincher came in to lead us in worship with her band. It was amazing! Chrystina truly has a heart for God and a heart for people and it is evident in her leading.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Moment in Beijing

So, I really haven't been to Beijing, but I recently have been totally engrossed in the Olympics. Something about seeing some of the best athletes in the world competing against each other is really amazing to watch. Being on the other side of the world hasn't helped much since all of the great "live" footage takes place late at night, but I guess that's what coffee is for the following morning!

A few nights ago I watched one of the most incredible races I have ever seen. The French were expected to win the men's 4 x 100m relay and they had even been talking some trash about crushing the USA men's team. The commentators kept bragging about the strength of the French team and how if they had the lead, their anchor swimmer would not give it up. As it turned out, that scenario played out perfectly. Coming into the last 50m of the race, the French had a lead and it looked like the USA would come in with a Silver medal. But then something absolutely amazing happened! Jason Lezak, the anchor leg of the USA men's team, began coming from behind and eventually passed the French at the wall for the gold. I leapt into the air and pumped my fist with a resounding, "YES!" I felt like I was right there in the stands cheering them on. What an awesome race!

Why was I so excited with this race and not as much for the other ones? I had watched several races and I loved seeing my team win, but there was something in that come from behind moment...when their back was against the wall...that I rose to my feet yelling, "Go! Go! Go!"

You know, I think that God allows some things to happen like that in our lives as well. That we sometimes are faced with incredibly difficult situations and our backs are against the wall. The easy response in those moments is, "Yeah, this one has definitely defeated me". But I think our Creator, our greatest cheerleader, is saying, "Go! Go! Go! You can do it! I am right there with you!"

Isaiah 41:10
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.

What a big God, huh?!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rock Point Volunteer Party

Rock Point has some of the most incredible volunteers that make our environments work each and every week. They show up...set up...lead small groups...welcome people...push cool buttons...change diapers...help new families get acclimated...the list goes on, and on. Rock Point could not happen every week without them. A few weeks ago, we had a little get together for those who offer their time each week. It was a small token of our appreciation, but also a wonderful opportunity for different service teams to meet each other. Check out the photos above!

If you would like to join one of these amazing teams, please go to our website at: http://www.rockpointcc.org/volunteer.asp

Monday, August 4, 2008

Is a Donut Worth the Wait?

A few weeks back I had the privilege of taking my 6 year old daughter to Krispy Kreme donuts. If you have never had one of these before, it's a must to try sooner than later. Sure, they sell these at your local grocery store, but there is nothing better than getting one fresh at the bakery...especially if the "Hot" sign is on. The "Hot" sign means that the donuts have just come out fresh and absolutely melt in your mouth!!

So here was our dilemma. When we arrived at the Krispy Kreme, the "Hot" sign was not on. So when I asked when they might turn it on again, I was told it would be about 20 minutes. Wow! That's a long time to wait for a donut. So I asked Kailey what she wanted to do, she said, "I want to wait!" They had some older donuts there in the case and we could have gotten one of them easily and hit the road. So much we could do in 20 minutes!...but we waited.

20 minutes later out came the hot donuts and we devoured them! Not only was the donut so amazing, but the expression on my little girls face was so priceless. Was it ever worth the wait!!

I guess this night God taught me a little something about patience. That sometimes the great things in life you have to wait for. This is very difficult in church planting. We want to fill our seats immediately and wonder what's going on when that doesn't happen. We want something to happen now and it if doesn't we take it under our wing and try to get things rolling. But as God reminded me that night, when we are patient and faithful, amazing things can happen. How often I forget to wait on His timing. How about you?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Did that church just GIVE me money!

This past Sunday at Rock Point was one of the coolest Sundays we have ever had. At the conclusion of the service we actually GAVE money away to all who attended. That's right, if you attended Rock Point this week, you walked out with money in hand. There was one catch, though...this money had to be used in some ministry outside the walls of Rock Point. It couldn't go back in the bucket and it can't be used to buy lunch for yourself. (Pretty tempting for some of the college students). It had to be used in some form or fashion to minister to others.

With that, we would love to hear some of the stories of how you used it. Post your stories below and let's share some of the cool things that God does when we just open up our hands and say, "Here"!