Monday Ministry Honors

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It seems these days we only tend to hear about people in ministry who are “Statistics in ministry” Meaning they are no longer serving in ministry due to an affair, addiction, personal issues or just burnt out, etc…

What I do on Mondays is highlight one of my friends who is/has served the ministry faithfully. And honor the individual/couple who are faithful to the calling. Someone you might never hear about but is doing great things for the kingdom!

Today, I would like to honor a good friend Jonathan Watson

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I met Jonathan and Michelle in college at TTU. I remember when these two started dating, got engaged and even their wedding! We had some great times at TTU as Jonathan and I served on the Student Government together. We’ve sat by each other in many classes and have had some great late night conversations. It was evident years ago that God was going to use J-Wat in some mighty ways!

Watching you lead, no matter if it was the Student Body in devotions at chapel, our worship thing we started in the dating parlor in the LRC…”Eleventh Hour Experience” To currently serving as the senior pastor Bible Baptist Church in Appomattox, Virginia. It’s been incredible to watch from the outside how God is using you!

Thank you for your faithfulness to the ministry and always proclaiming the truth! I’m thankful for the time we all got to spend together. I cherish those memories and enjoy keeping up with yall here on social media! Love ya both. Keep up the great work of pointing people to Jesus!

https://bbcappomattox.org/

#MondayMinistryHonor #KingdomWork

Some Pictures from our Student Government Days!

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Monday Ministry Honor

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It seems these days we only tend to hear about people in ministry who are “Statistics in ministry” Meaning they are no longer serving in ministry due to an affair, addiction, personal issues or just burnt out, etc…

What I do on Mondays is to highlight one of my friends who is/has served the ministry faithfully. And honor the individual/couple who are faithful to the calling. Someone you might never hear about but is doing great things for the kingdom!

Today, I would like to honor a good friend Aaron Hampton

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He is the Associate/Administrative Pastor at New Covenant Church in Myrtle Beach, SC. https://newcovenantmb.com/

Arron was the Associate Pastor at my home church growing up here in Chattanooga. Every time I have the honor of baptizing someone who’s said yes to Jesus he comes to my mind. It goes back to that Sunday morning in June many years ago that I showed up to the church after driving all night to tell my church family I gave Jesus the steering wheel of my life… Arron was one of the only ones who I felt genuinely celebrated with me that morning. In fact, he was the one who baptized me! Years later, as a pastor, I’ve baptized hundreds of people and every time you and that moment come to mind brother.

It was great to catch up with you and Shantel a few months ago. So excited to see you still being faithful to the calling God has on your life! Keep preaching, administrating and pointing people to Jesus bro!

#MondayMinistryHonor #KingdomWork

JC

Be Part Of The Movement!

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The growth of any church is determined by the mindset of the people. If we have an attitude of pride, apathy, laziness, negativity or critical attitude, we will never be all that God wants us to be. I believe that’s why God’s favor has been on Rock Bridge Ringgold for the last 6 years, we don’t have this kind of attitude!  Anytime the ask is put out you all respond with amazing understanding and willingness to do “whatever it takes” to connect people to life in Christ!

As I shared in church… In Luke 5 we read of some men who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus.. These guys are an incredible example of the right attitude leading to the right action, resulting in a great move of God!

(Encourage you to read Luke 5:17-25)

I believe that in the example of these men, we see a picture of how we as a campus should be. When it comes to connecting people to life in Christ! It’s by taking on a “whatever it takes attitude.”

So,  If we are to have a “Whatever it Takes” attitude, then …

1.       Agree that we as a campus will do whatever it takes to connect people to Christ.
With this man, it took four unified brothers to get him to Jesus. I pray that we as a campus would be so unified that we come together for the purpose of connecting Ringgold to Jesus!

2.       We believe that there is no hope for humanity but Jesus.
We have to share the Gospel – Live Sent everywhere we go!
– Only Jesus has the power to save sinners
– Only Jesus can forgive sinners
– Only Jesus can heal and set people free!
– We don’t make excuses for others or for ourselves. Instead, we do something. (Our Word for the year)

3.   We don’t give up when it is difficult or uncomfortable.
Instead, we go to extreme measures to make an eternal impact on someone’s life.
– Persistent. We keep evaluating ways to make room to connect new folks.
– Creative Means. Think “outside the box”
– Continue to come up with new methods
Bringing the man through the roof was no ordinary means, yet…They did it!

4. We don’t expect someone else to act. We see the need and take action!
Pastors, Worship leaders, and buildings don’t grow churches, God grows churches and He uses US the church to do it! The attitude I am talking about is one where we are all committed to God and to each other. We are all participating, serving, giving, growing, and going.

Here’s why I say all that…

We have a phenomenal “problem” in Ringgold. WE ARE OUT OF ROOM! We can’t add any more chairs in the auditorium.  Because of this, we have made a partnership with a Rock Bridger who owns the yoga studio at the end of the Remco shops. Starting in April we are asking 75 people who attend the 10:30am service (Most full service and most attractive to guest) to commit to attending service in the yoga studio until we move into our new building in 6 to 8 months.

So the ask is for those attending the 10:30 am service to…

1. Move to the 9:00 am service. (75 to 100 available chairs)
2. Move to the 11:59 am service (50 to 75 available chairs)
3. Move to Rock Bridge Ringgold 2.0 “outside of the box”

Cameras are being put up in the auditorium and we’ve purchased a massive TV. So it will feel like you are right there in the auditorium! You won’t miss out on anything that goes on!

If you are willing to “join the movement” and make a move by attending the 9 am or 11:59 am service. Please reply back to me here.

If you are ready to make the move, text the word MOVE to 888.744.0761 

I love you Rock Bridge Ringgold. I love that we keep having to come up with creative ideas to make room. This is a result of you Loving God. Loving Others and Living Sent. Don’t quit! Keep inviting and being a bringer!

See ya this weekend!

JC
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Relentless Love Of God

So often we sings songs never taking a moment to reflect on what those songs are really saying.

I Know I’m guilty of doing this so many times.. I like the beat, melody, sound etc….

Last night at our ( Rock Bridge Ringgold  ) night of worship we sang a song that I couldn’t sing. I mean I couldn’t make my mouth make a sound… I just stood there captivated by the words of the song. A song taken straight from scripture.

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death,  its jealousy unyielding as the grave.It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” 

Song of Solomon 8:6

This is the kind of Love God wants us to have for Him and He won’t relent in His pursuit of us until He has it!

He want’s to be a fire inside of us, an all-consuming fire. A flam upon our heart until we are at one with Him!

With that being said… Let’s break down some of the lyrics to see what it’s saying.

I set you as a seal upon my heart, as a seal upon my arm

A seal is not something that is put onto documents lightly.

A seal takes the place of a signature, saying, “I take responsibility for this!”

When I king would put His Seal on the letter that meant It’s his words. You’ve all heard “A seal of approval”

Now, setting Jesus as your seal is the same as saying you are representing Jesus, and that what you are doing is on his behalf. Think about the implications of what taking that seal represents!

Setting Jesus as a seal means that everything you do now is not for your own sake, but for Jesus’s sake and the sake of the Gospel. Similar to a brand, a seal is not something that goes away. It is saying that you are Jesus’ representative on earth.

For there is love that is as strong as death, Jealousy demanding as the grave And many waters cannot quench this love

READ Romans 8: 38-39!

Come be the fire inside of me. Come be the flame upon my heart…Until You and I are one

In scripture, Jesus is compared to an eternal fire. 1 Peter 1:6-7 reads,

Being a “fire” isn’t something that we should take lightly. If we want Jesus to be a fire in our souls, it means that he will burn everything but himself. That means you will face many trials, forcing you to choose Jesus or your sin nature.

It means you are asking Jesus to put you through many trials until You and I are one. That means you are giving God permission to do anything he wants with your life until you die. That is also not a claim to be taken lightly.

Anyone can see the fire but it’s not SEEING a fire that burns you.

3 area the fire of God works

  1. Fire to you

It’s wonderful to see somebody who is on fire for God, it draws you and creates a hunger in you.

2.  Fire in you

Purging, cleansing, sanctifying, burning up the clutter, the excesses, the selfishness, the sin, habits, addictions, attitudes. (Gold)

3. Fire through you

cleansed and purified vessel fire flow through you to others.

I don’t wanna talk about you like you’re not in the room

Jesus is not just some relic from a past time–he is very much alive! Hebrews 13:8

You won’t relent until you have it all, My heart is yours

The surrendering of our hearts means forfeiting all that we are, and all that we have, to follow Jesus.

We sing in churches every week “I surrender all” when in actuality shouldn’t we really be singing “I Surrender some”

We give Him some… Not all.

What would it look like for a church to surrender there ALL to him! I can tell you… REVIVAL!

My what He would do with a few who would say “Lord here is my all” “I surrender it ALL to you”

Now friends know this, It could cost you, but that is what surrender means.

Are you ready to follow Jesus despite all it may cost you?

 

Surrounded-This is how I fight my battles.

A few months ago I’m on the treadmill getting my cardio in and I can see a person coming up next to me. To be honest I was telling myself not to turn and look because I had just hit my stride and really didn’t want to mess it up. But, sure enough she tap’s me on the shoulder. So I slow it down to a brisk walk, take my earbuds out and she says…

“Hey, You are JC Right? This might be a little strange but I’ve been praying for you for the last few weeks. I don’t know why. I’ve never met you, but I know you are a pastor and I’ve heard you preach… Anyhow, at my church a couple weeks ago we sang this song and  I was worshiping your face came to mind so I begin to pray for you. Well, yesterday it happened again and then you walked into the gym tonight and I really felt like I was suppose to just come tell you there is a song you really need to listen to. Also, Pastor, don’t give up. God is using you.” She told me the name of the song and then walked away…..

I pulled up youtube and typed the song title in and then it happened …. There I ran (more like a slow trot) with tears coming down my face having some church right there in Planet Fitness as I listened to this song on repeat. (Its the no judgment zone so no one said anything. Either that or they were really worried that I should stop running)
WOW WOW WOW! It’s a simple song, but it’s powerful. So many times when I’ve been surrounded by turmoil, heartbreak, setbacks, defeat and relentless attacks. I love that in just the right time God surrounds us with people who will pray for, encourage and help us to stay in the battle! 

Psalm 31:21 says, “Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked!” 

‘The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ Isaiah 61:3 

Here’s what we need to understand about praise and worship.. It doesn’t just happen at church during the music. It can happen anywhere at anytime!

Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be ‘magnified.’ David said it like this, ‘Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears’          Psalm 34:3-4

Praise is one of the best ways to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver and not on the problem at hand.

I love this quote from Charles Spurgeon: “My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God, really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ…In that worship I forget the cares of the church and everything else. To me it is the nearest approach to what it will be in Heaven.’ 

Friends, God has promised us ‘the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ It works like this. When you begin to praise him with a heavy heart, you experience a new sense of hope and joy. Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face; that he’s not only capable of managing your concerns but willing, wanting and waiting to.

Hey friend. Let me encourage you. There are more with you than there are against you. You are not alone in your fight! You are surrounded by the Lord Of Hosts and the armies of Heaven! Don’t quit. Don’t give up! Keep fighting the good fight! HE is with you!

I tried to find the lady after I finished but wasn’t able to locate her. If you are one of my friends on social media or you happen to read this blog, Thank you! Thank you for being used by God to encourage this pastor! 

Go ahead and recall his goodness to you; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise!