Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Have a Calling

I believe every church should have a calling - a God ordained directive that influences its daily decisions. Without this vision in place, we naturally begin to drift into chaos. It my be well-intentioned chaos; nonetheless, it is still without direction or target.
This coming weekend, I'm excited to remind us, again, of who we are supposed to be. Connections has a specific vision. I'll be breaking it out in detail over the weekend, but I want to lay out the big picture here. This is the most succinct way I know to explain our calling.
--Connections is a Bible based community for your lost friends and family.--

We will probably never put that on our website or in our print material, but it's who we are supposed to be. All of us (and I mean ALL OF US) have friends and family who either don't believe or, more likely, have walked away from God. Maybe they got mad at Him, maybe they just drifted away, either way, we desire to see them have a strong relationship with God. I want CX to be a place where you can bring your friends and you don't have to worry about them being embarrassed or offended. We use phrases like, "Turn to page 89," instead of, "Open to Luke 9." We say things like "Right living" instead of "righteousness" and we focus on being more relevant than simply reverent. We have never taken an offering and rarely talk about finances from the stage.

This doesn't mean that we water down our messages or God's word. We say what needs to be said, but make sure we say it as clearly as possible. And we choose, when possible, to look at the positive side of an issue instead of the negative. Jesus said, "Do to others what you want done to you." Interestingly enough, most religions teach, "Don't do things to people that you don't want done to you." Jesus looks at the positive side of things. We try to do the same. We have a sermon coming soon about life. We'll be talking about the joy of life and value of life. We'll spend 30 minutes talking about it and watching interviews and never once use the word, "abortion." People will get the message.

The term evangelism means good news. Most of us have heard that before, but we need to be reminded that we're bringing people some amazing hope, not eternal judgement. That's what Connections is called to do. If you're around this weekend, we'd love for you to join us. We'll be looking at how these philosophies practically play out at CX. If you can't make it in person, we're live online at 10:30 (another easy way for people to hear about Jesus). Just go to our website and jack in!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cheeseburgers and Christianity

Let's say you're going to start a new church and right before you launch you're given a choice about the future of your church. You can choose one of the following, and only one.
1. Your church is going to make lots of money.
2. Your church is going to be HUGE! So many people you won't know what to do.
3. Your church is going to impact a ton of lives. Everyone will know what you're about.

Which do you choose? Obviously you want all three. Money supports missionaries, people do more ministry and reaching people is what we're all called to do. But if only one...?

We don't have the first two at CX. At least not yet anyway. Maybe one day we will, maybe not, but that shouldn't keep us from number 3. We can do great things with what we have.

This weekend we took over a couple of fast food restaurants, a Jack in the Box and a Burger King down the street. For a few hours we paid for all the meals that came through the line. The cashier would say the total, "That'll be 13.24." and we held out the money and paid. The results were very positive. It's amazing how few people complain about churches when you're buying their lunch. I wish we could do it every weekend. It was a minimal investment and made a great impact.

Lately it's been my goal to try and turn the tide on the reputation of Christians. Let's be honest, right now we're mostly known for hating gays and being hypocritcal. The only way we're going to overcome that is to start loving people and being generous. People in our cities need to see us investing our time and money in the community around us. They need to see us give selflessly without a I'll-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine mentality.

I'm proud of the church I serve with. This summer, we're doing/did free guitar lessons for a week, 2 BBQ's in the park, fixing up housing in the neighborhood behind our church, buying lunches, hosting video game nights and a few other little things. I'm praying that some of the people we hit will get hit twice and realize what we're really about. And maybe we can change a few minds and eventually a few hearts!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Honored today to baptize 6 people. 6 different individuals from 7 to 33 took the plunge and let the whole world know they were followers of Jesus. How amazing is that!

God is moving right now through Connections. This isn't something I'm feeling; it's something I'm hearing about and seeing with my own eyes. I want to overemphasize this point. I'm in no way saying that I feel God stirring in my soul. Nor am I saying that "Great things are about to happen." What I'm saying is that lives are being changed and I'm seeing it with my eyes. What I'm saying is little revivals are happening in homes around Meridian. What I'm saying is that people are changing their habits and chasing after God. I'm honored to be a spectator and see what God is doing!

Last weekend we had a men's retreat. 12 of us invested 48 hours to see if God had something to say. Ended up He did. I believe for many of us, God has left a couple of voice mails on our hearts. And when we're quiet and listen, we can hear what he's trying to say. I was so proud of our men. We had some real heart to heart stuff happening. Guys sharing stuff that "They've never told anyone." Small groups praying together. Grown men crying (I can only confirm that with my group). God was peeling away layers and sometimes years of hurt and confusion. It was an amazing time! I can say that a number of men left the mountain top changed.

I should mention this too. It wasn't all emo. We also shot zombies, played golf, grilled burgers and did the other typical guy stuff. Favorite moment: We packed 7 full sized guys in a hot tub. I was the fifth guy in and it was already spilling over the top before I added my 270lbs. When we all got out, the water level resembled more of a wading pool and less of a hot tub. Good times.

That was last weekend. This weekend, we did baptisms. I'll be posting the videos a little later, on our youtube channel ( but I was proud of our guys sharing their hearts. Being vulnerable is not something very many of us are good at. The world has taught us to build our defenses and not to let anyone in. We had 5 guys get baptized. At the end of service, I offered to baptize anyone who wanted in. No one responded (which is typical). After service, a fellow "Connector" asked if she could be baptized. I asked permission to invite everyone to sit back down and watch. She was courageous and agreed! A few people had slipped out, but 90% found a chair and we baptized one more! Jeans and all! Another revival in another heart!

God is moving. Sometimes I feel it, sometimes it's just happening. I really don't care which way it shakes down. It just feels good to be in a community where people I know and love are changing. I want in! I'm praying God continues to move in the Taylor household too. I want more God! I want more Holy Spirit moments. I want more Jesus singing in my heart all day long!

"GOD! Bring us more of these little revivals! May they stir into something great, something bigger than all of us! May You rise up in this generation, in this time! I AM LISTENING!"