I voted...and a few other midweek thoughts
Well, we got out in the snow this morning and voted in our Super Tuesday primary. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there is not an overly exciting candidate in the race. I voted, and I'm glad I did, but each of the candidates carry substantial questions, in my opinion. It will certainly be interesting to watch the returns and see who carries the day for both major parties. For those of you who have prayed for our church's transition to two services, I'm pumped to let you know that after week 1 we are praising God for wonderful responses! We'll see how this continues to work itself out over the next few weeks, but as of this past week we had very, very few glitches, and nothing that shouldn't be easily handled. We also had a wonderful attendance. We saw a worship increase of around 75 people which equals about 10% additional people. We expected to begin to see that growth right away. What we didn't expect to see, but are very excited about, is a dramatic increase in Sunday School attendance. We already had 2 options for Sunday School and all we adjusted for our SS schedule was timing. Much to our surprise, though, we saw an increased attendance of 125 people this first week! It was amazing to see that many people in our Sunday School, not to mention in our worship experiences. Please continue to pray for our church in the transition.
A couple of other random midweek thoughts. First, not only did we get a bit of snow this morning, according to the National Weather Service, we are in line to get another 8-12 inches tonight. This winter has been remarkably bad for snow and ice and I'm honestly more than tired of it. I'm hoping that we're not going to see much more this winter after this storm passes through but I'm not confident that my hope will come true.
My friend, Tom Brager, authors a good article thinking about our attempts to divide over non-essentials in the church. It was a good read for me. You may be encouraged by it as well. Click here to read it.
Speaking of things to read, I've got two books that I want to recommend that should be coming out soon and I wanted to mention them briefly so that you can be ready when they hit the shelves. One is an outstanding new book by my friend, and uber blogger, Marty Duren. Marty, along with another Georgia pastor, has written an outstanding book about the process of transitioning plateaued or declining churches. I've read a pre-release copy and will be publishing a review when it is available for public consumption. I'll say more at that point, but suffice it to say that it is an excellent book! Secondly though, another friend, Chris Forbes, is putting together a book that will be available for free as an E-Book called "Facebook for Pastors". This is an exciting opportunity for pastors to utilize Web 2.0 technology to connect with people and serve more effectively as pastors in the 21st century. I'm working on a couple of short articles that should be added to the book which has been a bit of a fun project for me. I'll be using the book as a resource to give to attendees at IMPACT 2008 when I speak on "Affordable Technology for the Small Church". By the way, I've got to let Les (founder and director of IMPACT 2008) know that I have a beef with him. According to the schedule, he has me speaking about technology (which is not generally known as pastors' favorite topic) at 8:15pm directly after SBC President Frank Page speaks about the place of the small church in the Southern Baptist Convention. Talk about being impossible to follow. I think he's setting me up to fail since I got onto him for being in a commercial with Tony Stewart. ;-)
I've had a couple of really busy weeks so I'm taking today off to hang out with my girls. We had a blast hanging out at McDonald's this morning, playing on the playground. I'm writing this as they take naps. I think I'll go, though, as they both just walked in from their naps. It's time for me to take a bit of time to go play!