New Blog

March 19, 2009

I have switched to a new blog. Go HERE to check it out and make sure your URL is changed to http://timgrandstaff.com/ if you have linked me from your web site. Thank You.

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Overwhelmed…

March 1, 2009

My wife says it best… (HERE) 

churchplanters.com

February 24, 2009

Here is what has been happening today at churchplanters.com for those you who are missing it.

(YES some things are not worded absolutely correct, but I tried my best to capture it for you – so enjoy)

Main Session #1 – Shawn Lovejoy

(finances during economic times)

 Proverbs 22:3 & Proverbs 27:12

“A prudent person foresees the dangers ahead and takes precautions, the simpleton goes blindly and suffers the consequences”

  • Same word for Satan in Genesis 3 is the same word “prudent” in Proverbs = skill, crafty
  •  We are going to have be more skillful, diligent, crafty and wiser than ever when it come to handling God’s money
  •  God is looking for leaders who are prudent (wise, crafty) to how they handle God’s money.

 

We don’t talk about being prudent.

Most church planters only talk about faith. 

“we are just stepping out in faith and going for broke”

  • Faith is mentioned not one time in proverbs. God does value faith, but has a high value on wisdom.
  • Can’t find anywhere in the bible where faith and money are mentioned together in the bible.
  • However whenever money is mentioned, wisdom and council are attached.

 “Prudent leaders balance faith with wisdom”

“Our problem is that we do what we want to do and then ask God to bless us.”

 

Jesus taught us to count the cost. (Luke 14:28-30)

  • We can get drunk by leaning just on faith. Faith can many times be masked by foolishness.
  • – the Bible does say “without faith it is impossible to please God”

“faith is not presuming on the blessing of God, it is trusting in the sovereignty of God”

 

Prudent Leaders:

  • – recognizes potential danger
  • – slows down
  • – pays attention to surroundings
  • – takes precautions

In our economic times people are not responsible for what they don’t have, just for what they do have.

 Prudent Leadership:

  • – having people whom we seek council from
  • – people from the community whom they live life with

 The Bible tells us “the heart is deceitfully wicket”, so I want to make sure that council is speaking into the details of all our finances.

  •  – Don’t give your leadership away, but seek Godly council.
  • – Proverbs 12:15 “… the wise listen to others”

 

Funding trends:

  • – December is great / January is horrible
  • – minimum 6-8 weeks of money in the bank

We tell our people not to send more than they can make, why does the church?

Being prudent is not just about protecting ourselves, its about positioning ourselves so that when God is ready to do something, we can leap right in and do more for the Kingdom.

 You want people to know that our God is not about more and consumption, that he is different than what they have found themselves caught up in.

– It has huge evangelistic implications!

 

Main Session #2 Ed Stetzer

(Rethinking and redefining discipleship)

 In the past the reality is that the church goes up when the economy goes down.

 You will have less than before, but God is going to do more.

It will only happen with spiritual formation.

4 essentials for spiritual formations in churches:

1. Elementary is a danger and not a goal

  • “we want to be a church for the unchurched”
  • – Yes you do, but the bible says it’s a danger to be elementary

Hebrews 6:1 “…go on toward maturity”

  • – keeping it simple and moving past elementary is a hard balance
  • – the goal is discipling not church planting
  • – church planting will distract you from discipling
  • – discipling stars with the leader
  • – you can not lead people in what you do not know yourself

*How to change it…

  • (a) recognize your business
  • (b) don’t make it a value to say you wont go deep
  • (c) find out how those far from God can join deeper in the journey

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 “…milk not solid food because you can not receive it”

  • – we should not brag that we can’t go deeper

Hebrews 5:11-12 “by this time you ought to be teachers…”

  • – we have not provided a pathway to spiritual maturity
  • – you have a momentum strategy not a church planting strategy

 

2. God wants you and your church on a path to change

Colossians 1:9-10 “…asking you may be filled with the knowledge…”

  •  spiritual maturity is the only thing that keep longevity
  •  develops with exposure to the truth / Romans 12:2 “renew the mind”
  • – You should get people in the word of God and tied to Jesus

“They don’t need to think you are clever, but that God and his word are sufficient… They need to see the word of God more than just on a screen each week”

 

If you don’t have a plan for spiritual growth you are getting too busy

 

3. God involves us in our and our church’s spiritual growth

  • God is the source of power behind it and he grows it.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 “… but God causes the growth”

  • – Most of us do not really believe that!
  • – you have placed your work in the place of God’s faithfulness

 

Philippians 2:12 “…work out faith in fear and trembling”

  • How much energy are you putting into your working out your salvation?
  • It’s not something you get over, but something you live out.

Most church planters are strategy rich and spiritually bankrupt!

4. God calls you and your church to be spiritual learners

1 Timothy 4:16 “..be conscientious about yourself and your teaching … and by doing this you will save yourself and your hearers”

  • -your people will need to be saved from you if you are not spiritually right
  • – if you are always the hero in peoples lives, then Jesus isn’t

 

Acts 17 “…people examined the scriptures daily..”

“You have created a Jesus shaped culture if they welcome the message with eagerness and examine the scriptures to see if it’s true.”

 When we preach against sin in our church its not often the sin of our church. (ie. Drinking, etc.) The real sin is that 80% of the people can’t feed themselves

 

  • Does your church planting  plan include life changing disciples?
  • Maybe what God is doing today to the church that lacks disciples is taking away things that distract us?
  • God is looking for a beautiful bride and she looks ugly right now, because we are not doing our part.

 


 

Glass: Half Empty or Half Full

February 17, 2009

(HALF EMPTY) We arrived in Orlando two days ago. People have begun to tell me to prepare and brace myself as the enemy will do anything to distract us and move us off course during this process. That many circumstances will arise and test me. Well they were all correct. This morning we awoke to this great surprise below…

 

Our friends had around $400.00 stolen from their car. We had around $1400 worth of stuff. We normally never leave anything valuable in the car, and it had to be on this night that we did. A new GPS system and a bunch of Tandy’s photography equipment for her business. Wonderful as insurance is, we have a nice little $500.0o deductible… got to love those. Right at a time when we are trying to get our house on the market to sell it, we have all these things popping up, using up every bit of money we need. Not to mention we had a nice little $150.00 fee of replacing the window this morning.

(HALF FULL) Right after this event we went completely on the other side of Orlando to get our windshield replaced. Upon arriving at some hole-in-the-wall windshield repair shop, we were two of only three people in the place. As we sat and waited a guy began asking me about my iphone. We began to engage in conversation. We told him we were both pastors, in which he began to joke about many stereotypes of church and pastors that he had. He had some very comical assumptions and some even funnier experiences. We talked briefly about those with him and truly enjoyed it. He then told us what he does for a living… he has worked at the University of Central Florida for 18 years! What? Right in the area we are looking at possibly planting. I told him about what we are looking at doing, and by the end of the conversation we had swapped emails and phone numbers! 

James 1:2   2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I awoke this morning with this exact verse in mind. I could choose to get upset (which happens a lot) or I could choose to look at the circumstance through a different perspective. Today I chose the later. Yes, we need money. Yes, we are about to start a church off of support. But I serve a big God, who can do “immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine.” I can’t go to bed tonight without wondering about meeting Greg Mason at the window repair shop. Could God be working even in the midst of a trial? Today I choose to see the glass HALF FULL!

www.genesischurchorlando.com

genesischurchorlando.com

February 11, 2009

It’s time for you take part in a movement!

Check out our brand new info site. 

www.genesischurchorlando.com 

Book: Surprised By Hope / N.T. Wright

February 5, 2009

Many of you have asked that this year I share more insight into some of things I am reading. I am currently close to finishing this book and I have been very pleased with it. I would highly suggest it, because I believe it deals with the core of what we believe and how that effects our way of living. In reading today I came across this portion and thought I would share it with you;surprised_by_hope_by_nt_wright

“The point of this final section of the book is that a proper grasp of the future hope held out to us in Jesus Christ leads directly and, to many people, equally surprisingly, to a vision of the present hope that is the basis of all Christian mission. To hope for a better future in this world – for the poor, the sick, the lonely and depressed, for the slaves, the refugees, the hungry and homeless, for the abused, the paranoid, the downtrodden and despairing, and in fact for the whole wide, wonderful, and wounded world – is not something else, something extra, something tacked on to the gospel as an afterthought. And to work for that intermediate hope, the surprising hope that comes forward from God’s ultimate future into God’s urgent present, is not a distraction from the task of mission and evangelism in the present. It is a central, essential,vital, and life-giving part of it. Mostly, Jesus himself got a hearing from his contemporaries because of what he was doing. They saw him saving people from sickness and death, and they heard him talking about a salvation, the message for which they had longed, that would go beyond the immediate into the ultimate future. But the two were not unrelated, the present one a mere visual aid of the future one. The whole point of what Jesus was up to was that he was doing, close up, in the present, what he was promising long-term, in the future. And what he was promising for the future, and doing in that present, was not saving souls for a disembodied eternity but rescuing people from the corruption and decay of the way the world presently is so they could enjoy, already in the present, that renewal of creation which is God’s ultimate purpose – and so they could thus become colleagues and partners in that larger project.” (page 192)

Don’t Hate… Just enjoy…

February 3, 2009

nba-national-basketball-association-teams-scores-stats-news-standings-rumors-espnLast night Kobe scored 61 points at Madison Square Garden vs. the Knicks. Breaking the all time points record and the most points by an opponent. Which opponent held the record? Jordan 🙂

 Just look at the numbers…

58 points vs. Charlotte Bobcats

60 points vs. Memphis Grizzlies

62 points vs. Dallas Mavericks (in just 3 quarters of play!)

65 points vs. Portland Trailblazers

(24) 50+ point games in his career! (4 straight 50+ point games in a row)

9 straight games he scored 40+ points 

Oh yeah then there is the 81 points vs. Toronto Raptors January 22, 2006. Second highest of All-time!

By the way; He is the reigning 2008 NBA MVP & 2008 Olympic Medalist as he personally (don’t believe watch the game) lead USA to gold.

Yep.

 




Book: Surprised By Hope | N.T. Wright

January 31, 2009

Reading another book by N.T. Wright. This one is about rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church. Thought I would share this thought from it with you; 

“…we (followers of Christ) live between ascension and appearing… the task of the Church between ascension and appearing is therefore set free both from the self-driven energy that imagines it has to build God’s kingdom all by itself and from the despair that supposes it can’t do anything until Jesus comes again. We don’t “build the kingdom” all by ourselves, but we build for the kingdom. All that we do in faith, hope and love in the present, in obedience to our ascended Lord and in the power of his Spirit, will be enhanced and transformed at his appearing.” (page 143)

Obama, the Mall & Church?

January 28, 2009

Last Tuesday January 20th, America and the world stopped to see history take place. The United States swore in the first black President in our Nations history. I gathered like many others to observe this moment and sat in front of my TV with anticipation. As I turned on my television I was amazed and couldn’t help but focus on one thing… people. I watched all morning long as different news stations interviewed them. People who had camped out, people who showed up at 2:00 in the morning, people who flew from all over the country. There were all sorts of people who were layered in clothing because of the temperature outside. They had hand warmers and feet warmers,they were dancing and even snuggling up to TOTAL STRANGERS just to keep warm. In such cold weather there were people everywhere, all ages, all sizes, and all colors. Now, we ‘re not just talking about a few people… one report said;

“More than 1 million people crammed onto the National Mall and along the inauguration parade route Tuesday to celebrate the swearing-in of the nation’s first black president in what was one of the largest-ever gatherings in the nation’s capital… On the National Mall, the crowd stretched nearly two miles — from the Capitol to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial…”- (NBC News and news services updated 10:46 p.m. ET, Tues., Jan. 20, 2009)

crowds-for-inauguration

Television stations even showed video of other countries gathered around televisions and projection screens as they joined with others to observe this moment. It was as if most the world had paused to listen and wait. But wait for what? Most were waiting for one man to step before them and proclaim a message of hope. Was he going to give them hope? See, that’s what grabbed me! This post isn’t about politics and not really what our new President said or has been saying. This post is more about the people. People who gathered through frigid weather, for countless hours to hear someone talk about “change”. Change that they would interpret to be the hope they needed to survive in what some are describing as “desperate times.”

As I sat and watched all the people who gathered around the National Mall, I was taken back at the picture portrayed by how much people will persevere to hear of hope. Distance, weather, packed parking lots, traffic, even close quarters with total strangers. So why doesn’t this happen in the one place they can find true hope… the Church? Why is it that people won’t persevere through these types of things to be in Church? (Disclaimer: Church is not merely a building, because people are the church, but in this post we are talking about gathering together as a body) Think about it; every Sunday we give excuses as to why people won’t come to church… “it’s raining”, “the leafs changed color this weekend”, “its a beautiful day to be on the lake”, “hunting season”, “the big game”, “parking lot was too full”, and on and on the list goes. We often find ourselves giving excuses for people as to why people can’t or would not attend Church. But they do it! They do it in moments like we saw on Tuesday. Why? Because it oozes with passion. You may not like our President, but he surely articulates with passion. Passion is what makes people persevere because if the “messenger” believes it, then it funnels into the audience. Does it sound like passion, when we are quick to excuse?

Think about the many things people persevere for stuff they are passionate about. They do it for a Friday night football game or Saturday baseball tournament. They do it for their favorite concert and movie. Cold weather… no problem. Rain… no problem. Walk a few blocks to the ball field… no problem. Cheer, hug, and hi five total strangers… no problem.

Do you see what I am getting at? On Tuesday I realized, people will persevere any obstacle if they truly believe they what is taking place will “change” them. A moment that will force them to walk away and never forget what just took place. Millions of people were brought together by a “message” of change. A man was passionate about the “change” he had to offer. We can blame the media or whom ever, but the truth is that for a moment people thought they were going find the hope that deep down inside their soul craved for. Did they find the True Hope? No, but maybe that’s where the Church should start? Instead of giving excuses for why people won’t get out of bed and go to Church, maybe we should see first if our message of hope actually has a passion that makes others want to follow. Do others feel and realize that we as the “messengers” truly believe in the hope we are offering? If it’s not then it only feels like another Sunday program. Who would want to come to that?

Wayne Coderio once said; “if you bake fresh bread, they will come from miles to eat it”.

Agree with it or not, isn’t that at least the campaign that was told to them during this political season? “A ‘fresh’change is coming”. So what about the Church? Are we making “fresh bread” that oozes with “change”/hope, or are we simply willing to except the excuses?

I heard stories of Billy Graham preaching in places that looked much like the National Mall did last week. Maybe, just maybe because his passion was a clear picture of his hope, and that made people come from all over to hear it.


Orlando Trip Recap

January 20, 2009

mecaydenThis past weekend my family and 14 others drove back down to Orlando. This was one of what I hope to be many “vision trips” over the coming months. I actually can’t believe I took a vision trip 2 months into this new journey! I feel like I am barely grasping all ahead and yet people seem to be already wanting to join what God may be doing. 

We left at different times on Friday and stayed at my boy Chad’s house. Yep. He put us up and found housing for all of us! It is amazing to have people we know who are helping us in anyway during this process. 

Woke up Saturday morning and I got to share my heart and passion for what we believe God is leading us to do in this city. Then we got to tour Chad’s church. They are a church plant in Orlando and have been in their location for somewhere around 3 years. Running 3 services (one on Saturday night) and have around 700 attending. The lead Pastor is Rodney Gage and they have been incredible already during this time. Touring and hearing their story got our thoughts swirling! We look forward to working with them and gleaning from them in the future. 

We spent the afternoon driving around what we believe is the quadrant of the city God is placing us in. We don’t know an exact location right now, and may not for a while. However, we do feel like we keep returning to the same area every time we come back. I saw this area over a year ago as God began to work on me. I love the area, the diversity and the feel of being near the pulse of the city. orlando-quadrant

 

dinnerWe spent Saturday night simply enjoying each other. We had a blast with the group. They were fun to get to know more and it seemed as if we meshed well. Mexican and then to Downtown Disney…

It’s crazy to think that some of the people in this picture will soon be relocating and eventually will be part of the very first stories we tell as the beginning of Genesis Church. Also crazy to think that many of them will find new homes and new careers just to play a part. 

On Sunday we went to Fellowship Orlando where many of us will attend until the launch of our church. Rodney did a great job teaching and really encouraged our team with some of his own personal stories. We look forward to working with them in the city of Orlando. 

As Sunday continued to unfold myself and some drove around more and got a better glimpse of housing and neighborhoods in Orlando, others took the time to just enjoy the many perks of living in a great place. One being the fact that Cocoa Beach is just a 45 minute drive from where we are at. The kids with us had a blast. It was 71 degrees on Sunday in Orlando and 14 back in Atlanta – Crazy!kids-at-beachThis trip was to take those interested and let them get a glimpse of what it means to leave home and sacrifice everything to be a part of this. Myself and my two future staff members have been praying that God would send people not just from here, but all over to play a part in being the core foundation of Genesis Church. What is God up to? I don’t know. But that’s part of the joy in serving a God who is full of mystery, because when it all reveals itself, He gets the glory.

Please pray for those who went that God would give them clarity and truly allow them to see the sacrifice and reward of doing something like this. Pray for us as we continue in the process. I have a house to sell, money to raise and a lot more ahead of me.

May God be made famous through this process and may we stand in amazement of what He does. 

*If you would like to find out more about Genesis Church click HERE.