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Beyonce’s Single Ladies Performance

This Sunday, we will have an encore performance of Beyonce’s Single Ladies, and I’ll be teaching a message titled If You Want It. Don’t miss this and be sure to invite your friends!

Single Ladies from People's Church on Vimeo.

WEEDS

I don’t like weeds. Why? I am not a green thumb, and I have a hard time distinguishing the weeds from the plants. Although many weeds are obvious, others are not. They can be sneaky, little things disguising themselves as legitimate plants.

In ministry, we have to learn how to distinguish the real seeds from the weeds. The weed…

• …trying to be our best friend out of selfish ambition.
• …sucking the life out of us.
• …seeking power and influence for bad motives.
• …appearing to be supportive while sneaking around planting negative thoughts.
• …trying to control and manipulate the vision God has given you.

Pulling weeds isn’t fun, whether it’s in the flower bed or in ministry, BUT it is necessary. In The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), Christ tells us to separate the harvest from the weeds. I don’t know about you, but I feel relief knowing that God doesn’t expect me to endure living with weeds. This post was by Tiffany Cooper.

Hurt versus Injured

One of the things that I’ve noticed about the best athletes who have risen to the top of their sports is they have learned the difference between being hurt and being injured. The best athletes know how much pain their bodies can take. They know if their body is just aching and hurting from the wear and tear of a long season or if they really have a serious injury. When an athlete is truly injured, they are forced not to play the game. They have to sit on the sidelines and watch and coach the other players until they heal up. The best athletes who lead their teams to championships learn how to play hurt. They don’t miss games when it really matters because they are hurt. I think about the NBA Finals that just wrapped up a few weeks ago. Both the Lakers and the Celtics played a long season. Both teams had players that had to miss games toward the end of the regular season due to injuries. But when the playoffs started, the best athletes were on the floor and played through their hurts, bruises and pain.

As leaders, we have to know the difference between being hurt versus being injured. When a leader is injured, they need to take time off to get healed up, but when a leader is hurt, they need to learn to push through the pain and lead well. There are many leaders who stop leading well when they are hurt. They easily forget that there are people counting on them and their leadership during difficult times. They easily forget that during hurting times, they are setting the pace and culture of their organizations. They easily forget that if they don’t play when they are hurt, their team won’t play when they are hurt. Your team is watching how you lead and respond during hurting and difficult seasons. Teams that do great things over the long haul have leaders that learn to lead and lead well during hurting and difficult seasons.

My Weekend

1. My mom passed away on Saturday. She was a great woman! She taught me so much about life.

2. I love you, mom, and you will be greatly missed. I’ll see you in heaven one day! Sandra Cooper 6/27/1954-7/10/2010.

3. People’s Church had 150 to 200 people show up and work at Millwood schools from 8AM to 4PM on Saturday. We made a huge impact for this school and in the lives of kids, teenagers, parents and educators. We invested $10,000 into this school (paint, lights, tile, carpet, etc). With all of the labor our church provided, we invested somewhere around $20 to $25k into our community! Thank you, People’s Church! I’m honored to pastor such great people!

4. I didn’t announce my mom’s death to the People’s Church family on Sunday at church. I knew it would already be tough enough to preach, and it would have been even tougher if I had to talk about my mom’s death to everyone at church with it being so close to her passing. People’s Church, thank you for your prayers, love and support during this grieving season. God is so good and faithful!

5. God gave us a great day at PC! Over 3300 in the summer, and many people gave their lives to Christ. God changed lives! This Sunday is Beyonce’s Single Ladies performance, and I will be teaching a message titled If You Want It, Put A Ring On It!

6. This will be a busy week with preparing the funeral, having family coming in from out of state, taking care of the details of all of my mom’s business affairs, having the funeral and preparing to teach God’s Word at PC on Sunday. Greatly appreciate your prayers.

Powerful Life Change Story

You will be inspired as you watch this short life change story! God changes lives! It’s all about MORE changed lives!

Vanessa’s Testimony from People's Church on Vimeo.

Finishing Matters

In football, you can have a 15-play drive and march the ball 99 yards down the field, but if you don’t get any points out of the drive, the big drive was a total letdown. The last yard matters in football. In baseball, you can hit the ball on the ground deep into the outfield, run to first, second and third bases and then sprint to home plate, but if you get tagged out right at home plate, the hit and all of the running around the bases were a letdown. Crossing home plate matters. Finishing matters! In life and ministry, finishing matters. We can’t run 99 yards in life and ministry and not score the touchdown. We can’t drive the baseball deep into the outfield in life and ministry and not cross home plate. Finishing matters!

1. Living for Jesus ALL of your days is crucial. Finishing matters!

2. Staying in love and committed to your spouse until death do you part is crucial. Finishing matters!

3. Raising and investing in your kids until they are ready to fly on their own is crucial to parenting. Finishing matters!

4. Staying committed to the church God has called you to pastor, attend, serve or worship at during good and bad days is crucial. Finishing matters!

5. Working hard and with integrity every day until your career comes to an end is crucial. Finishing matters!

6. Being a godly role model every day for others to follow is crucial. Finishing matters!

7. You need to ____________________________________ (fill in the blank) because FINISHING MATTERS!

Why Northpointnow.org Is A Great Church

I had a great time teaching God’s Word in all 5 weekend experiences for my good friend, Tommy Sparger, at North Point Church in Springfield, MO. I’ve preached 4 or 5 years in a row at North Point Church and have seen God work in an incredible way throughout the years. I want to share with you why I think North Point is a great church.

1. They are passionate about reaching people far from God. They don’t just talk about it, but they actually have systems and spend dollars to make this happen.

2. They have great and passionate worship.

3. They have volunteers/lay leaders who love people and serve passionately in the church.

4. They make it clear how people can grow in their relationship with Christ.

5. They have an environment where everyone is welcome.

6. They are teaching the Bible in a way that people can apply it to their daily lives.

7. Lives are being changed on a weekly basis.

8. They have authentic leadership.

9. They have visionary leaders. Tommy is a visionary leader. He is always thinking about where the church is going.

10. They are more excited about their future than they are their past (This church could live in the past because it’s pretty awesome. Running over 4000 in 7 years…WOW)

11. They invest heavily into the next generation. A huge part of North Point’s focus is on kids and students.

12. They invest heavily into the community and missions around the world. Once a month, the church does a community project. This church is constantly making a difference in their community.

13. They are a staff-led church, so when God is speaking to them about change they can make decisions quickly.

14. They have a leadership culture.

15. They are lifting the name of JESUS high! The focus of North Point is Jesus, not religion, denomination, rules or politics.

Weekend Highlights

1. Tiffany and I drove to Springfield, MO on Friday without the kids. We had a great time having three nights away from our precious kids.

2. We got to eat a meal with our good friends, Ralph & Gail Irwin. God is doing some really cool things in their lives. I was blessed listening to how God is working in their lives.

3. We got to hang out with our good friends, Tommy & Rachel Sparger. They are the Senior Pastors of North Point Church. Tommy is one of my closest friends on the entire planet.

4. I taught God’s Word in all 5 weekend services at www.northpointnow.org (2 Saturday & 3 Sunday).

5. North Point is a GREAT church. They baptized 402 people during the 5 services. Unbelievable!

6. Tiffany and I ate at Andy’s Frozen Custard all three days. We love that place.

7. People’s Church had an amazing day. We had a much better attendance than I expected for July 4.

8. The Pyrotechnic Spectacular Explosion and the guitar solo of the Star Spangled Banner by Daniel were awesome. We will for sure have to do something like this next year.

9. Troy, our Executive Director of Ministries, did a great job teaching God’s Word. I’m blessed with a great team.

10. North Point runs over 4000 people. Every week people give their lives to Christ.

11. This coming up Sunday, we are doing a repeat performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and I’m teaching a message called Dancin’ With The Devil. Start inviting now!

12. North Point was the 9th fastest-growing church in America last year, and I can see why. Tomorrow, I’m going to share with you why North Point is a fast-growing church!

Blessing My Team

Today, our Leadership Team will be driving home from our annual staff retreat. This is one of the highlights every year for our leadership staff. This retreat is purely a fun retreat. The Leadership Team brings their whole family, and we stay at the lake for two to three days hanging out, eating good, boating, swimming and sea-dooing it up. Relationships are strengthened, memories are built, kids have fun and our staff relaxes and laughs like crazy. I firmly believe that great teams work hard and play hard. This is one of those times that we play hard. Pastor friends, I encourage you to take some time during the summer when things aren’t as busy at the church to have some fun with your team. I believe one of the reasons that we have staff who have been at People’s Church for years is because we take time to have a blast together. WORK HARD AND PLAY HARD!

6 BIG Mistakes I’ve Made pt. 4

6. Not taking care of myself: The first two to three years of People’s Church were very demanding and exhausting. We began with 65 people on grand opening Sunday. I was on the setup and teardown team every Sunday. Tiffany and I were constantly entertaining new families in our home. I carried a portion of the weekly administrative load. I called every first-time guest. Tiffany and I and the only other staff member we had dropped off a gift to every first-time guest’s home (sometimes this was a 30 to 40 minute drive one way to one home). I taught the new member class once a month. I was studying and preaching every Sunday. I didn’t receive any type of salary from the church for almost a year and didn’t receive a full-time salary for almost two years. On top of starting a new church, I was traveling full-time as an evangelist/speaker around America to make ends meet personally and for the church. The early days of People’s Church were a grueling season for me and my wife. If I had it all over again, here are some things I would do differently to take better care of myself.

1. I would have eaten better: Even though I’ve always worked out consistently, I picked up weight during hectic seasons. At one point, I got to 207 pounds. Today, I’m around 190 pounds. I must admit that I love food and have a tendency to eat unhealthy food when the pressure is on. Now, I’m a lot more aware of what I’m putting into my body and how much I weigh. I realize that I have to take care of my body to make it for the long haul.

2. I would have taken a salary quicker: I made a decision to hire a worship pastor, kid’s pastor, youth pastor and secretary before I received a salary. It was an older and more seasoned local pastor friend who rebuked me and told me to begin receiving a salary from the church. He told me if I would trust God, God would bless the church and finances. He was right, and I wish I would have trusted God earlier. This would have allowed me to spend more time working on People’s Church instead of focusing so much time on the evangelistic ministry. I also would have been more rested!

3. I would have taken more time off in the early days: I was preaching 15 to 20 Sundays in a row at People’s Church on top of all of the traveling I was doing around the United States as an evangelist. I really did think that the church wouldn’t survive or at least thrive unless I preached almost every Sunday. This was faulty and unhealthy thinking on my part. I now realize that I am the primary teacher at People’s Church, but I don’t have to or need to teach every Sunday for the church to survive or thrive.