This Weekend @ Revolution Church: When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned

It is such an exciting time at Revolution Church right now. We had our highest non-holiday attendance this past weekend. We continue to see more and more people take a step of faith and being a relationship with Jesus. So much so, that we are having a baptism on February 11th. If you’d like more information or would like to get baptized, please email Ciara Hull. There will be a baptism class on February 4th after the second service for those who are interested in getting baptized.

We launched our 8th missional community this past weekend. I’m really excited about this MC because it helps us connect with those who live in the northwest side of the city of Tucson. If you’d like more information about this MC or how to join it, please email the leaders Danny and Lauren Watton.

This week we are continuing our brand new series Weird and looking at a topic all of us at some point wrestle with: How do you handle life when it doesn’t go as planned?

At some point in your life, your life will not go as you planned for it to go. It might be in your marriage, health, finances, career, a relationship with a child or a friend. You might find yourself doubting God in ways you never thought possible.

Maybe you even find yourself hanging by a thread right now, that if something doesn’t change in your life, you’re not sure what you will do.

This can very easily lead to a crisis of faith for us. We begin to question if God causes the pain and trials in our lives. Does he care about them? Does he know how much they hurt? If he could stop them, why doesn’t he? Peter hits these questions head on. If you’d like to read ahead, you can read 1 Peter 1:6 – 12 to see where we are headed this weekend.

So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference). An easy to invite someone is to send them an e-vite.

Remember, we meet at our NEW services times at 4 & 5:30pm at 6620 E 22nd. St.
See you Saturday.

This Weekend @ Revolution: The Hope we Long For

This past Saturday was a great night as we kicked off our brand new series Weird on the books of 1 & 2 Peter. I got more comments about this message and what the Holy Spirit was doing in the lives of people than any sermon of recent memory. If you missed it, please check out the podcast. Also, if you didn’t pick up a study guide, you can download it here, along with this week’s personal devotional questions and our family devotional questions found here. Our family is heading out today to do our “weird family activity.” You’ll have to see the devotion questions to see what I’m talking about. But it has been cool talking about the gospel with our kids and seeing how the Holy Spirit is working in their lives.
This week, we are continuing in 1 Peter and looking at 1:3 – 5 and what our hope is, where it comes from, who holds it and what it means for us to build our lives on the only hope we have. Many of us are barely getting by, just trying to catch our breath or get through the trials, pain or hurt that we find ourselves in. Yet, our culture tells us to try harder, have more positive thoughts. But, does that work? Does more work, more positive thinking, will that deal with the pain in my life?
It is going to be a powerful night as we consider what God calls us to in the midst of hard times and how that looks weird in our culture.
On top of that, we will be introducing another missional community this week in our services. If you haven’t gotten plugged into a missional community yet, this is a great week to join one. You can go here and see when and where they all meet.
So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference). An easy to invite someone is to send them an e-vite.
Remember, we meet at our NEW services times at 4 & 5:30pm at 6620 E 22nd. St.
See you Saturday.

What Good is God?: In Search of a Faith that Matters

I’ve always enjoyed Philip Yancey. His book Soul Survivor: How my Faith Survived the Church was unbelievably helpful to me almost 6 years ago when I was in a very dark place in my relationship with God.

His most recent book What Good is God?: In Search of a Faith that Matters was off the charts. I have always resonated with his writing style, his stories and the questions he asks about faith and God. This book set out to answer the question, “What good is God? What does religious faith offer peasants undergoing persecution, or students recovering from a campus massacre, or women who have spent years of virtual slavery in the sex trade? If I can find an answer, or even a clue, to the question of what good is God in situations like these, it will help me with the hard questions of faith that confound all of us at times.”

The book is broken up into 10 parts, with 2 chapters each. Each part is based on a situation or a place he traveled, everything from going to Virginia Tech the week of the campus massacre, going to South Africa, interacting with women rescued from the sex trade. He tells the story, the background, the time of his trip. The other chapter is the talk he gave at a conference, church service or at a dinner.

Often what people are asking when they ask the question this book is based on is, “Why doesn’t God intervene more in life? Why does God allow things to happen that we would stop?” One of the things Yancey shared is that God is everywhere, one of our roles as followers of Jesus is to make him visible in that place. God does intervene in our world, he often chooses to do it through his followers.

This turned out to be a great read, one that goes great with our next series at Revolution Church Hope When Life Hurts the Most. If you are looking for a great book to read that will challenge your thoughts on faith and how God works, this is a book worth picking up.

Preaching a Balanced Diet

One of the dangers of preaching is repetition. Repetition in one sense can be good because people need to hear things several times before they understand it or get it, and a church should have a nice flow of guests coming in that need to hear specific things about Jesus and faith.

Repetition can also be dangerous because communicators can get into the habit of saying the same thing over and over, always finding a way to make a passage about their soapbox, or just repeating sermons. I knew of one church planter that repeated his sermons, really repeated them, every 18 months.

One of my jobs at Revolution is setting the preaching calendar, what topics we will study, what books we will preach through, etc. I submit those ideas to the elders to make sure that we are in agreement on what our church needs to hear, get feedback on topics from them, etc.

Here is what makes me excited about the next 18 months at Revolution, we will study a wide variety of topics. Such as:  Jesus, the trinity, mission, evangelism, community, marriage, dating, being single, heaven, hell, the afterlife, the wrath of God, predestination, free will, election, suffering, does God cause suffering, hospitality, prayer, money, generosity.

We will touch on books like Malachi, Daniel, Jonah, Ephesians, Proverbs. We will preach through Titus, Jude, and Romans.

Pastors, one of your jobs is to make sure your church is getting a balanced diet of Scripture. Do you have a plan for that? Do you know what topics you will cover over the next 12-18 months? What books you will preach through? How will you make sure you don’t just preach from the New Testament or the gospels?

This Weekend @ Revolution: Having Faith When Your World Caves In

Maybe you’ve had a moment in your life, a series of moments when it seemed like your world caved in. God seemed distant and not in control of life. It might be a financial issue, health, family situation, divorce. What do you do in those moments? How do you have faith when faith seems impossible? How do you trust in a God who says He is in control, but life seems like that isn’t true? How do you add Scripture up to real life in those moments?

This will happen to you at some point.

As we continue our series The Story of God this week, we are looking at the book of Job.

It promises to be a powerful night.

So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference). An easy way to invite someone is to send them an e-vite.

Remember, we meet at 4:15 & 6pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you Saturday.

Sunday Night Mind Dump…

  • Last night at Revolution was one of the most spiritually intense nights I’ve had in terms of preaching in a long time
  • I was reminded last night how preaching is spiritual warfare
  • We are going through the Old Testament this summer and last night we did the book of Exodus
  • I preached on how to find freedom from sin, addiction, pain, abuse, the hurt we carry around
  • It was the longest sermon I’ve preached in a long time and afterward saw a number of people on their knees confessing sin, getting prayed for
  • It was incredibly powerful
  • I love sharing my journey and what the gospel has done to bring me freedom
  • For more on that journey, check out this sermon
  • If you missed last night, you can listen to it here
  • Last night was also crazy because we had our highest attendance ever
  • It is crazy to think that 3 years ago there were less than 20 of us with a dream and a lot of prayer and hard work, and now we are a church of almost 300
  • It’s humbling to see how God continues to work and how he uses us
  • Found out this week that we have more kids signed up for day camp than we had last year
  • If you haven’t signed up yet, go here
  • This is a great opportunity for us to serve our community and to invite families to be a part of Revolution
  • We have almost raised all the money we need for our adoption
  • Less than $5,000 to raise
  • Go here to find out how you can help and donate
  • We are having our next baptism on July 2nd
  • That night, we are going to do 1 service at 4:15 with a picnic and baptism afterward
  • It is going to be an awesome night, definitely want to invite someone that night as we will be preaching through the book of Hosea and looking at how God relentless pursues us with his grace
  • So excited for that night
  • If you want to get baptized, email Chuck Tommervik
  • Got to have coffee this past week with a guy that became a Christian recently at Revolution
  • I love the questions and energy that new Christians have, they’re just huge sponges
  • Just got this book to review on my blog and so far, it is awesome
  • It is definitely tracking with what we as leaders have been learning over the last year and where Revolution is headed
  • Can’t wait for September to get here for us to unveil the next chapters in the life of Revolution and how God is going to use as a movement of churches around the city
  • Time to sign off
  • Tonight is homemade pizza and family movie night
  • If you brought someone with you last night to Revolution, invite them back next week
  • A personal invite goes a long way
  • And if you thought last night was powerful, next week is going to be awesome
  • We’re looking at the life of Joshua and how to have freedom from fear, one of the most paralyzing things in many lives
  • You don’t want to miss it!

This Weekend @ Revolution: Wrestling with God

All of us experience dark moments. Sometimes they last an evening, for others, decades. Times where we wrestle, we doubt, we cry out to God, we wonder if he is there, we wonder if anyone is with us. We try to control life, we try to control what others do, we try to control what we do. And all the while, we get deeper and deeper into despair, anger, pain and hurt.

Maybe that is you right now, or recently, or someone you know. What do you do? Does the Bible have anything to say about that?

Glad you asked?

This week, as we continue our series The Story of God we will look at a man, Jacob and how he wrestled with God. It is a powerful, short story in Genesis 32 that will show us why we wrestle, why we doubt, what is the heart of the pain many of us feel and walk around with, but more than that. It will show us the way forward and how the gospel frees us from those doubts, that pain and hurt and ultimately, the desire to be in control of all things.

On top of that, we will be celebrating baptism together as a community. I love hearing the stories of how the gospel has changed lives and seeing Revolutionaries take that step and public declare their faith in Jesus and the change the gospel has made in their life. If you’d like to be baptized this week but haven’t signed up yet, email Chuck Tommervik and we will get you the information you need.

So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference). An easy way to invite someone is to send them an e-vite.

Remember, we meet at 4:15 & 6pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you Saturday.

Weekend Mind Dump…

  • I used to do this on Saturday, but now that we have 2 services I find that I am wiped by the time I get home and have very little brain power left
  • So, this will usually be done on Sunday’s
  • Let me start off by saying, I love 2 services
  • The spirit, power, energy and momentum in both services is awesome
  • It has been pretty split as far as attendance goes in each service
  • Last night was crazy, we had so many first time guests, over 20
  • I stood there asking, “Where do all these people come from?”
  • Last night was our 2nd highest attendance ever
  • It was a tough message last night, preaching on the point of pain and suffering is a hard message to give
  • The situations that make us ask that question are real, heart breaking, raw
  • I believe Scripture has a ton to say on how we understand those moments and the nature of God if we are willing to listen, often we aren’t
  • The things people asked for prayer that they are dealing with are enough to make anyone beg for Jesus to come back and right all the wrongs of the world once and for all
  • Maybe that is one of the points, pain and suffering makes us long for Jesus to return
  • If you missed last night, I’d encourage you to listen here
  • I got to speak at Intervarsity on Thursday night
  • Love speaking to college students
  • They really believe that what happened in the book of Acts could actually happen again
  • While some adults have questions about God changing a city or a campus, students don’t see why it can’t happen
  • What was even cooler was seeing a bunch of them at church last night
  • Love when the weekend goes as it has
  • Friday night, Katie and I went out to celebrate our 9 year anniversary
  • It is crazy to think we have together almost a full decade
  • We are blessed to be one of those couples that has done the hard work and is happier today and more in love today than when they got married
  • On our anniversary, I shared some of the things we’ve learned about marriage over the years, you can read them here if you are curious
  • Recently, I’ve been doing a bunch of reading and researching on leadership development, community, discipleship and mission
  • There is a lot going on behind the scenes of our church preparing for the future and how we take everything to the next level
  • I will be sharing some of these things over the coming months, all I can say is:  I and the leaders at Revolution are more excited about what God is doing in and through our church and what he will do in the future than ever before
  • It is awesome
  • Katie and I are heading up to the crossing tonight for their 2nd to last service
  • Really excited for them to join us and be a part of what God is doing in our city and church
  • Last night we announced what Easter weekend will look like at Revolution
  • Good Friday, we are showing the film from Mars Hill called Who Killed God?
  • This is a powerful look at the crucifixion
  • On April 23rd, we are kicking off a brand new series called The Story of God
  • That night, I’ll be talking about how God made us in his image, what that means, how that shapes our identity and how we look at each other and our world
  • We will also be having a baptism that night
  • If you are interested in taking that step, simply email Chuck Tommervik
  • An easy way to stay up to date on what is happening at Revolution is on our Facebook page, if you haven’t “liked” it, go here and do so
  • Next week, I will wrap up our series on James and look at if prayer works, how does it work, how do we handle moments that God says no
  • You don’t want to miss it

This Weekend @ Revolution: The Point of Pain and Suffering

Whenever we talk about pain and suffering and why God allows things to happen, we often talk in big, broad strokes. We ask questions like, “How could God allow the earthquake in Japan? Did he cause it? What about the helpless people who are hurt, abused, killed because of the greed of a few?”

Then, we start to get personal.

Why did God allow that relative to abuse me? Why did God let my spouse walk out on me? Why won’t God allow me to have kids? Why is God making it so difficult for me to find a spouse? To get pregnant?

We all have other pain we didn’t wish was in our lives. It might be relational (parents, siblings, co-workers, kids, spouses), maybe it is health and a nagging ache that won’t go away, it might be emotional stemming from past hurts (some caused by us and some caused by others).

We have all made choices that we wish we could unmake. Things that we have done that if we could do over, we would go in a drastically different direction.

What about choices that others have made that we are stuck with? We have to deal with ramifications of the choices, often not good, that others have made that affect our lives.

So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference).

Remember, we meet at 4:15 & 6pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you Saturday.

When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

Andrew Murray has some great insights about how to handle when life doesn’t make sense:

  1. God brought me here. It’s by His will I am in this straight place. In that fact I will rest.
  2. God will keep me here in His love and give me grace to behave as His child.
  3. Then God will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends for me to learn.
  4. In God’s good time, He will bring me out again – how and when He knows. So let me say:  I am (a) Here by God’s appointment. (b) In His keeping. (c) Under His training. (d) For His time.