Why I Need A LifeGroup

This week in homes all across Stephenville and Erath County we will be kicking off our LifeGroups here at Timber Ridge Church!  I just have to admit this: I love my LifeGroup. I absolutely love the people in my LifeGroup. And I need them in my life. In fact, I think we all need a group of people we can do life with. And here are some reasons I believe this:

  • I need real friendship. Never in human history have we had this great of an opportunity for connection. With social media, the internet, and so many other forms of technology that help people connect, the opportunity for connection is everywhere. But in spite of that opportunity, many of us feel as lonely as we've ever felt. Sure we may have a couple hundred "friends" on Facebook, but when we evaluate our real friends in life, we feel isolated and alone. That's where my LifeGroup comes in. Through a group, I have the opportunity to connect in real ways with people who can walk beside me in life.
  • I need support. Each day I wake up and want to be more like Jesus than the day before. But there are days where that goal just isn't reached. There are days when I struggle and when I stumble and need someone there to help me along. That's where my LifeGroup comes in. I have a group of people to do life with who are real and authentic and allow me to be real and authentic (the messiness of life and all!) and have my back when I need it most.
  • I need accountability. I'll gladly be the first to admit that there are days when following Jesus is flat out HARD. There are times when being obedient to God is difficult. Those times are often the most important times to follow Him closely as well. That's where my LifeGroup comes in. Because I'm in a group, I have people who are there to help me and challenge me in my walk with God. They'll pick me up when I stumble, but they'll also challenge me and push me forward when I need that accountability too.
I could easily list 50 other reasons I need and love my LifeGroup. I can't imagine doing life without them!  If you're not in a small group, I encourage you to take that step and get plugged in. And if you attend Timber Ridge Church, there is no better time to get connected than right now.  We really are better together. Find out for yourself and go HERE to register for a LifeGroup! I guarantee you'll be glad you did.


We've Got A Friend In Jesus

This Sunday at Timber Ridge we'll be continuing our Game Changer series by talking asking the question, "Who's in your huddle?"  We'll be looking at what the Bible says about healthy friendships and relationships.

All this thinking about relationships reminded me that we all have a friend in Jesus.  And that reminded me that we should probably get the Timber Ridge Church band working on this classic song for a performance one Sunday. :)


Communicate With Impact

I talk...a lot.  And I'm not just referring to my tendency to be long winded in conversations.  A big part of my job & my ministry is communicating the principles and truths of the Bible in a relevant and meaningful way.  I love what I do and it's a joy to get to use my gifts and abilities to make a difference for Jesus and His kingdom.

From time to time I get asked different questions about preparing and delivering a speech of some kind. So today on the blog I thought I'd share a few brief tips when it comes to communicating with any audience.

When I work on a sermon, speech, or message, I try to remember the 3 S's of A Speech with Impact.  Here you go:

S #1:  Short & Simple:  Too often people confuse impact with length.  The two are not identical.  If you want to communicate with impact, focus on delivering content that is simple and brief and captures the attention span of your intended audience.  Longer is not necessarily better.

S #2:  Share Stories:  People love stories.  There is something about a personal story that gives a message or a speech an added level of authenticity and allows the speaker to connect in a real way to his/her audience.  The more personal stories you can use, the better connected to your audience you will be.

S #3:  Show The Need:  In the past (think back decades & centuries, not just years) attending an event with a speaker or great orator was considered entertainment in our culture.  That's not the case anymore.  People choose movies, television, and youtube over listening to someone verbally communicate a message.  As a speaker, you need to give your audience a reason to listen.  The sooner you can show them the need that you are addressing in their lives, the quicker you will engage your audience & show them that you can add value to where they are in life.  Don't think that just because someone is sitting in the audience that they are dying to hear your message and captivated by your every word.  Truth is, their mind will wander quickly.  So show the need you are addressing early in your communication and remind them of that need often as you continue through your message.

There you have it.  The 3 S's of a message with impact.  Keep it SHORT, share a STORY, and SHOW the need.  Try out these principles the next time you have to share a message or communicate to a group and you'll be on track to not just talk, but to communicate with impact!


The Art of The Invite

A new school year is upon us and that means people are facing new schedules, new opportunities, and new routines.  And as families transition from their typical summer schedule back into a normal school-year routine, this can be a great time to capitalize on an opportunity to invite your unchurched friends, family, & neighbors to church.

At Timber Ridge, we are gearing up for a big Fall Kickoff this Sunday, September 9th.  We'll be celebrating our first birthday, celebrating changed lives with baptisms, as well as kicking off a brand new teaching series called Game Changer.  So Timber Ridgers, let's get our invite on and fill The House so that people far from God might be filled with life in Christ!

Here are some practical ways to practice The Art of The Invite:

  1. Invite a friend to coffee at Starbucks and buy their drink.  As you talk about life, mention how your family benefits from attending church and use the opportunity to invite them to join you on Sunday.
  2. Invite your neighbors over to dinner one night during the week.  Use this as an opportunity to personally invite them to church or to give them an invite card.
  3. Take your child's teacher their favorite soft drink when you go to pick your child up from school one day.  Give them an invite card and ask them to join you at church when you give them the drink.
  4. Bring donuts to leave in the breakroom at your work or office and place invite cards with the box of donuts.
  5. The next time your family goes out to eat, leave a generous tip for your server along with an invite card to the church.
  6. Bake cookies for your neighbors and invite them to church when you drop the cookies off at their house.
  7. The next time you're in a drive thru line, pay for the order of the person behind you and give the cashier 2 invite cards.  Invite the cashier & let them know that one card is for them.  Ask them to give the other card to the car behind you who's meal you just purchased.
  8. Invite the family/couple/people you sit next to at the football game on Friday nights.
However you do it, in the words of Nike, JUST DO IT.  Practice the art of the invite!  A simple invitation can lead to someone's life being changed forever by the hope & love of Jesus.