WOW! Twenty-five years, a quarter of a century. When I think about it, it’s really hard to believe. I’m writing this before the appreciation and celebration evening you’ve planned, but let me say in advance, the honor has been all mine. What a privilege it’s been to serve our Lord and His church for these 25 years -- and it’s not over yet!
When my children were born, I thought no matter what I do, it will never be enough. As a pastor, I’ve constantly struggled with the same thought. When I think about all that Christ has done for me and given to me, I’m embarrassed and ashamed of how little I’ve done and accomplished for Him. I’ve been blessed -- especially serving this great church, but when I think about how divided our nation is, how powerless many churches are and how our children are being indoctrinated by perversion masquerading as education, it breaks my heart.
When I arrived in Greensboro 25 years ago, we stretched a gigantic banner across our 1600 seat worship center that said, “Reaching the City for the Savior.” We began to step out by faith, seeing hundreds of people receiving Christ. Times have changed, but God hasn’t. God always has His remnant, and I want to be a part of that remnant. I believe you do, too!
But we can’t be satisfied with the status quo. We must be burdened over a lost world. I don’t want to finish the race where I am right now or where God’s church is right now. I don’t want to leave my children and grandchildren in a crazy, confused culture that says “You can decide whether you’re a boy or a girl, you can love and marry a boy or a girl or you can dress like a boy or girl - it’s your choice."
If you think I’m overreacting, listen to what actress Kate Hudson said when asked if she was raising her three-month old daughter differently than her two sons now 15 and 7. She answered, “I think you just raise your kids individually regardless, like a genderless approach. We still don’t know what she’s going to identify as.”
May we identify as compassionate and courageous followers of Jesus Christ, always respecting others while balancing grace and truth. The future of God’s Church and our nation will be determined by those acting on what they say they believe, boldly stepping out by faith, sharing the love of Christ, and reaching a lost and hurting world through the glorious gospel of our soon returning King!
For the King and His Kingdom,
As we prepare to enjoy the summer season, may we be reminded that just as the seasons change, God expects change in our lives. The Bible says,
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:2)
The Bible says we are to be transformed; we are to be changed. The change God is talking about here can only occur through total surrender to Him.
I mentioned recently in a sermon the difference between commitment and surrender. We talk a lot about commitment, but the Bible talks about surrender. When you make a commitment to someone, you are in control; you decide what you’re going to do. But when you surrender to someone, the other person is in control, and they decide what you’re going to do. If we’re going to be changed and truly transformed by God, we must surrender totally and completely to Him.
We must surrender our minds. That refers not only to what we think but how we think. The Bible says,
“...whatever things are true, honest, just and pure, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)
Our minds are more than computers. Computer programs don’t get stronger the more you use them. That’s not true with our minds. Whatever we see and hear, when it is repeated, it is reinforced in our minds. We must surrender our minds because when our minds are focused on Christ and honoring Him He keeps us and provides a perfect peace. The Bible says,
“You shall keep him in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” (Isa. 26:3)
We must surrender our bodies. The Bible says,
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own.” (I Cor. 6:19)
If you’re a Christian your body belongs to God. It’s not coincidental that Paul said in the previous verse,
“Flee sexual immorality.”
God made us to be sexual human beings, but today, sex is being used in a whole lot of ways God never intended. Sexual perversion has replaced sexual purity. We are to surrender our body which means we’re to pay careful attention to what we put in our bodies and what we do with them.
We must surrender our wills. Our wills are powerful. They determine who we are, where we go and what we do. The cry of our hearts should be the one of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” Our will is a heart matter. Our hearts are changed through prayer, through reading the Bible and through listening with the intention of obeying the Holy Spirit.
God desires and expects change in our lives. Change isn’t our enemy. It’s the pruning tool God carefully and lovingly applies to remove the good and make way for the best. The Christ life is a changed life. For us to decrease and for Christ to increase, there must be change. It’s true: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll keep getting what we’ve been getting. We need change in our lives and God’s church, and it begins with surrender.
Let’s lift up the white flag and surrender our minds, bodies and lives to the only One who can change us!
Change our hearts, O God!
Jesus said “As the Father has sent Me so send I you.” We’ve been sent with the glorious gospel, the good news of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! We’ve been called and commissioned to go into all the world and it begins at home, in the Triad.
As we have launched our “Who’s Your One” emphasis, it is essential that we pray, invite and invest in the lives of others. Many are confused, hurting and don’t understand how much God loves them and the forgiveness that’s available through Him if they’ll turn to Him and trust Him. “Who’s Your One” is not a program but a divine mandate, an eternal reminder to step out by faith and obey God because He loves people more than anything.
If you did not receive a special prayer guide and bookmark on April 28th, please pick one up in the foyer and begin praying daily for at least one person you’ll share the gospel with. Let’s be intentional in turning our everyday conversations into gospel conversations.
May 2nd is National Day of Prayer, a time set aside to pray for our country. Let me ask a few questions. Do you think America is gripped by God or godlessness? Is it united or divided? Is the answer in the White House or the church house? America is a nation that was chosen by God, blessed by God and has prospered because of God. But I’m fearful that we have turned our back on God and we’re reaping the consequences.
On Thursday May 2nd, our prayer room will be available from 11:00am to 1:00pm for everyone who will join us to lift up our leaders, our nation and God’s church in prayer. You are invited to come when you can and leave when you need to. Our pastors will rotate in 30-minute intervals in the prayer room and I would encourage you to join us as we pray for our nation.
On Friday May 3rd we are hosting a high school prom for exceptional students called the “Rainforest Excursion.” It’s going to be an exciting, unforgettable night and we can still use a few volunteers. If you’re available contact Scott and Barb Greene at .
Thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord and His Kingdom. Let’s be intentional while it’s still day because night is coming. I look forward to seeing you Sunday with a Bible in your hand and a friend by your side.
For the King and His Kingdom,
April is going to be an awesome month as we begin our Life Action Summit on April 14th. Some of you may be asking, “What is a Life Action Summit?”
It’s a time set aside for spiritual awakening, a time of seeking God for renewal and refreshing so we might experience a fresh touch from a living God. A Life Action Summit creates an atmosphere for God to work in a unique, powerful, life changing way. It’s designed for the entire church family. An anointed team of young men and ladies will be here to lead our children, our students and our adults in worship.
I believe God has brought us together for such a time as this. I believe He desires to restore our joy, passion, vision and burden for our community. And it all hinges on our obedience. Please pray. Clear your calendars. Prepare your heart, and let’s expect God to move and minister in an unprecedented way! The Summit will begin on April 14th and conclude on Easter Sunday, April 21st.
There is no better time to invite family and friends than Easter Sunday. Easter is the highest attended Sunday in every church, every year. Jesus is alive, and we have the opportunity to lift Him up and see Him do the miraculous in our midst. Let me say it again: please pray, clear your calendars, prepare your heart and let’s expect God to move and minister in an unprecedented way!
Do you know in the state of North Carolina, we have 10.27 million people?
Do you know in our state that we baptized 11.7% less in 2017 than we did in 2016?
Stop and think about that for just a moment. Do you know that in the last year I’ve seen less people saved and baptized than in all of my 36 years of ministry? In fact, it hurts to say this, but I baptized more people in a church with less than 100 in attendance than we have here at LCC this year. Our nation is getting darker and more divided every day and the church is becoming less effective. We can know that’s not the will of the Father.
On April 28th -- the Sunday after Easter -- I’m going to begin a new series. We’re going to begin an emphasis called “Who’s Your ONE?” My goal is to engage every member of LCC in the work of evangelism. I’m going to challenge every one of us to have at least ONE person that we’re going to pray for and share the gospel with as we turn everyday conversations into gospel conversations.
I’ll give you a bookmark on that Sunday and ask you to write down that person’s name on the bookmark and a prayer guide that will encourage you to pray for that ONE person every day by name. In our staff meetings, our deacon meetings, our Life Groups and even in our worship services we’re going to be asking each other, “Who’s your ONE?”
Please begin praying right now concerning who your ONE may be. Choose someone in our area -- not someone in another city or state -- so you can personally and intentionally reach out to them. If Jesus is alive (and He is!), He is perfectly capable of using every one of us to honor Him and reach our ONE for His glory. Let’s make a difference in our state, in the Triad and in the lives of others as we share the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ!
For the King and His Kingdom,
It’s exciting to see the moving of dirt, the digging of foundations and the beginning stages of our new children’s building and the renovation of our existing wing. Now we must prepare our hearts to experience God in such a way that He’ll revive His church, raise up new leaders -- especially in our children’s department -- and fill our new children’s wing with precious little boys and girls. God is going to use you if you’ll allow Him. Don’t miss this moment, this new opportunity!
I’ve been praying for God to add at least one person every week to our church-wide Wednesday prayer time at 6:30am. I’ve been praying for God to not only bring you, but to keep you coming week after week. We desperately need revival in our lives and in our land, and it begins with a bended knee and a broken heart. We must get into the presence of God and cry out to Him! Prayer must become a priority. Is God speaking to you to become one of our prayer warriors?
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chron. 7:14
Later this month, I will be with Dr. Samuel Thomas in South Asia for ten days. I will be speaking three or four times per day to students, pastors, the graduating class in the institute and in various churches. Please pray for my physical health. I still have ongoing problems with my back. Most important, please pray for God’s anointing on the services. If God doesn’t show up and touch down in the hearts and lives of people, it will be just another gathering, another meeting with no spiritual fruit. But our prayers can go where we cannot go and do what we cannot do!
While I’m away, you’ll be in good hands. Dr. John Avant, the President of Life Action Ministries, will be our guest speaker for the weekend. You may remember him being with us last year about this time. On Saturday evening, Feb 23, from 6:30 to 8:00pm, Dr. Avant and his wife Donna will be leading a marriage seminar called “Valiant Marriage.” Childcare will be provided, but we ask that you RSVP ahead of time so we know how to plan. Email us at to let us know how many children you have and what ages they are.
Dr. Avant will also preach in both services on Sunday morning, Feb 24. Later that evening, he and his wife will conclude the marriage seminar at 6:00 pm. I believe God is going to use Dr. Avant to strengthen our families and to prepare us for a very special revival event in April.
The Life Action Ministries team will be with us for a Summit event April 14 – 21. There will be events for everyone - nightly worship services along with special times for our kids and students to gather. Please pray, invite others and make plans to be here. God will honor your faithfulness.
I believe God has brought us together for such a time as this. May we be sensitive to His Spirit and faithful to His divine direction.
For the King and His Kingdom,