div.domtab{ padding:0; width:100%; font-size:90%; } ul.domtabs{ float:left; width:100%; margin:0; list-style:none; padding-left: 0; } ul.domtabs li{ float:left; padding:0 5px 0 0; text-align: center; width: 110px; } ul.domtabs a:link, ul.domtabs a:visited, ul.domtabs a:active, ul.domtabs a:hover{ padding:.5em 1em 0; display:block; background:#999; color: #333; height:2em; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; } html>body ul.domtabs a:link, html>body ul.domtabs a:visited, html>body ul.domtabs a:active, html>body ul.domtabs a:hover{ height:auto; min-height:2em; } ul.domtabs a:hover{ background:background:#ccc; } div.domtab div{ clear:both; width:auto; color:#ddd; padding:0 5px; margin: 0 0 1em 0; } div.domtab div .sidebar-tab, div.domtab div .sidebar-tab .widget-content { margin: 0 0 0; padding: 0; } ul.domtabs li.active a:link, ul.domtabs li.active a:visited, ul.domtabs li.active a:active, ul.domtabs li.active a:hover{ background:#ccc; color: #333; } div.domtab div .sidebar-tab ul li { list-style: none; padding: 3px 0 5px 0; } div.domtab div .sidebar-tab ul li a { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; } div.domtab div .sidebar-tab ul { width: 100%; margin: 0; padding: 0; } #domtabprintview{ float:right; padding-right:1em; text-align:right; } #domtabprintview a:link, #domtabprintview a:visited, #domtabprintview a:active, #domtabprintview a:hover{ color:#ccc; } div.domtab div a:link, div.domtab div a:visited, div.domtab div a:active{ color:$linkcolor; padding:1em .5em; font:bodyfont; text-decoration: none; } div.domtab div h2 a, div.domtab div h2 a:hover, div.domtab div h2 a:active{ color:#cfc; display:inline; padding:0; font-weight:normal; font-size:1em; } body#layout #sidebar-tabs-1 .widget, body#layout #sidebar-tabs-2 .widget, body#layout #sidebar-tabs-3 .widget { display: block; clear: both; } div.domtab div {display: block; clear: both;}

Monday, December 15, 2008

What is this church gonna be like? Part 2

Read Part 1 first.

Part 2 will be all about worship. The reason the comments are turned off is for posts like this. If you think I'm misguided pray for me if this is what you've always dreamed of ... pray for me. Either way I want to be listening to God for direction instead of criticism or praise.

Worship is very personal! I believe that worship on a corporate level tends to mess up worship. It is more difficult to focus on God in a crowd. For some God is seen and worshiped while observing nature. For others worship is experienced while quoting scripture or singing songs. And others worship best in the dark quiet places - eyes closed with the world turned off. Some worship with loud music because it allows them freedom they don't feel in a quiet reverent chapel. Others worship through dance. I've worshiped in all of these ways but dance.

Some worship tradition. Some worship the absence of tradition. Most don't worship! In our modern world of information at every turn we have often worshiped information and knowledge. Many church attenders leave their respective gathering places more informed about God or some aspect of theology, having never encountered God. By definition, worship requires that our lives intersect with God. Without meeting God in what we have labeled worship, we have only been to a seminar or a refined lecture. More information is not necessarily bad but for our purposes, information will not take the place of worship.

Each week at Threshold we will intentionally create an atmosphere designed to make it easy to encounter God. Sometimes the music will be loud... sometimes it will be soft. We may not always have music. We will use video, games, drama, stories and scripture study. Much of what we will do may not seem like it belongs in church at all. but... Everything we do regardless of how traditional or non-traditional it may seem will be designed to move the worship participant toward an encounter with God. At threshold we believe that our lives intersecting with God will bring about change, adjustments, altered character and the ever unpopular but necessary repentance.

Vandals are at it again!!!

Shortly after I moved to the area we had a traffic circle added in an area where accidents and confusion were quite common. The traffic circle created this wonderful center of green space. Through the eyes of a cynic it looked like mud and grass in the early stages of life until the temp. dropped below 30 then it resorted to this interesting dead color. I knew we were in trouble with the circle if the center was not soon given a purpose. People were spinning out in the area and driving through the middle just for sport. A few plants would have given the space some dignity, but that was likely excluded from the budget in these hard times.

Despite budget constraints, area residents got together and created a holiday display. If you think I meant to say Christmas display just hang in there. The display consisted of a 2 foot Santa, candy canes, Christmas tree, short manger scene, ghost, black cat and jack-o-lantern. I am certain that people went to great legnths including personal sacrifice to prepare this display for public viewing. A fledgling holiday tradition needs some tlc and in this case, a guard.

Two days ago the vandals struck, stealing the ghost, black cat and jack-o-lantern. The worse part is my kids were in the car when this horrible discovery was made. My children were apalled to see that someone would steal a vital component of the hodgepodge display.

In a former life the existence of the ghost would have irritated me as it likely did the person who removed it. What irritates me is not that someone has a sense of humor, instead, I am disturbed that my child can come home with a "holiday tree" to decorate. When did the Christmas tree become a holiday tree? If we are so scared of whoever it is that doesn't like the reality of Christ that we can't even call a Christmas tree by its name, then maybe we should move the tree away from Christmas and focus only on the birth of Jesus. It would be fun to watch that politically correct meeting.

Most likely we would just refer to Him (Jesus) as God's Love Child unless of course you are offended by the existence of God and then we might settle for Mary's Love Child.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What is this church gonna be like? Part 1

I've been getting that question a lot lately and at times I'm not sure how to answer. Sometimes this is a loaded question coming from people who already attend a church so I tend to focus my answer on things that they won't like. This way they will be more likely to remain faithful to their church. I'd love to have the help of people who are currently committed Christians, but that would probably tick off their pastor. Additionally, changing everything you ever thought about how church should be done is very difficult. Statistics tell me that 1 in 5 people now attending church are in the market for a new one. In the Boiling Springs area, that translates to approx. 500 people looking for a church at any given time. There is a pretty good chance that Threshold will not be what current church attenders are looking for. Threshold will be a church for people who have little or no interest in being part of a church. Our goal in each decision is to choose to do things that are geared for people who are not here. We are not interested in doing church better than anyone else. (We don't have that kind of budget) Our goal is to do only three things well. (It's not that we plan to do the other things poorly, we just have no plans to do more than three). The three are; 1) Worship that connects the participant with God. 2) Community service/Missions that impacts the participant and the community. and 3) Small groups "MY GROUPS" that connect people in meaningful relationships with each other while on the spiritual journey.

These three subjects will be given more attention in the next few days in "Parts" 2, 3 & 4. These areas will also be the messages for each of our three preview services.

Click on "statistics" for detailed church hopper info.

As a footnote... What Budget?

The Boiling Springs Parade

This morning we gave out free coffee and balloons at the parade. This event was a great success for us since our goal was to surprise people and make kids smile. We had some friends come from a sponsor church and give us a hand with the balloons. Lots of churches and community groups had floats and parade entries making for a really nice parade. If you found our website and are in need of more information, be sure to give us a call 327-9192.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parade This Saturday (Dec 13)

This Saturday we will be participating in the Boiling Springs area parade...sort of. 
Since we currently have no beauty queens to perch atop a float and we were not sure where to turn to train our group in the art of float waving, we are going a different route. 

We decided to give out free coffee to the grown-ups and balloons to the wee ones.

 If you're too old for balloons and too young for coffee, just ask for a frisbee. We still have a few. 

If you have a church and are uncomfortable having your little ones advertising a new church, just bring a pin. Pop the balloon and blame it on someone standing nearby. Of course be prepared to go to McDonalds to make up for the balloon mishap. 

Want to join us? Of course we can use the help. . . See you there.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Movie Night at Carlisle Fosters Grove Elementary

Yesterday we were able to help the PTA put on their movie night in the Gym. Our 5,000 lumen HD projector made an incredible picture even though it was projected directly on the wall. With only 3500 watts with 6 speakers spread out we had a pretty good sound. (Gyms are notorious for horrible sound) The PTA put on a great event with popcorn snacks and drinks available for sale. The three made for TV classics were a great hit with the kids and of course it was nostalgia for the moms and dads who first saw two of the three movies on the old fashioned reel. (some first saw it in black and white) By the way if we can help you with your event we would love the opportunity to be of service to your school. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Movies In The Park

This morning I was able to temporarily reserve the dates for our Movies in the Park Presentations. The first date will be Friday May 8th with a rain date of Saturday May 9th.  The second date will be Friday June 12th with a rain date of June 13th. We will determine which movies to show after we know which ones will be available at that time. Both events will be free. We will not be collecting any personal information. Community groups and businesses are invited to be co-sponsors and/or give away merchandise. Percent off coupons can not be distributed as part of this event. No political campaigns can be sponsors. Also we will not allow sponsorships from beer joints. It's a family thing! More information here.

Needing some stuff!

So yesterday I was working through our list of things we need and counting down the weeks to our January "Preview Service." The task was overwhelming and a bit discouraging. To summarize, we need more things than we have money for. I was talking through the situation with Lisa and she asked if we should postpone the service until we had enough money to afford everything on the list of needs. Even though it sounded logical, I felt strongly that we shouldn't do that.

So I began to cross things off the list that we were not going to be able to afford. It was a lot of things because we were short a big chunk of change.

Then, God showed up and shamed me (and especially my wife!) for our lack of faith. We had just finished talking when someone came to my house and handed me a check. A really BIG check. That check covered ALMOST EVERYTHING I had crossed off of the list of things we need.

That's not all. I got a phone call from someone else, asking me about their sound board issue and by the end of that phone call I had another item previously marked off the list being donated. Another big ticket item was taken off the list!

By 9:30 at night, there was still one item I had removed from our list not covered by the unexpected generosity and the phone rang. (BY NOW YOU KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING) A friend calls me and donates a brand new amplifier to use for as long as we want!


Seems like somewhere I read "My God will supply all my need." (Phil. 4:19) Didn't even think to pray about it, just crossed it off the list... what a humbling reminder. We are supplied according to His riches... not mine.