Month: October 2018

When is Renovation Church Getting a Building?

churchbuilding

When people find out that I lead Renovation Church and that we meet at the Garretson School for services, one of the first questions they ask is, “So… when are you guys getting your own building and becoming a ‘real’ church?

It’s a pretty innocent question but the assumptions behind it are fatally flawed.

For those who are curious as to when Renovation Church will get our own building – the answer is probably never… at least not while I am the pastor (unless God clearly makes it known to all of us that He wants us to purchase a building).

There are two primary reasons why our vision is to remain a portable church:

1. Mission Drift
When you purchase a building, the people of the church begin to believe that the church is a building. The truth is, the church is a PEOPLE called by Christ to be on mission with Him to make disciples of all the nations. For the first 300 years of the church, there was no such thing as a church building!

Virtually every church will affirm that the “church” is not a building but rather the people who follow Jesus. Nevertheless, it is clear by the way most churches spend money and by the very language they use, most don’t really believe this. As soon as a congregation purchases their first building, the temptation is to fill it with programs so it does not sit empty the entire week. These programs end up giving everyone a full schedule and destroys their witness to the community.

It’s difficult (impossible?) to be a witness in your family, community, and workplace when you are trapped in a holy huddle at the church building every night of the week.

2. Financial Difficulties
If you have ever attended a church business meeting, you will quickly realize that 99% of the time the members are obsessed with maintaining the church building. They are forced to do bake sales, fundraisers, and other means in order to keep the lights on and pay for the debt the church finds itself in. Even if the building is paid off, maintaining a church building comes with an EXTREMELY high price tag! (The Church and the Government have something in common – both are really good at having expenses  exceed income… which brings devastating debt).

In our first year as a church, we have given over $17,000 to outreach (both locally & internationally). At our last Member Meeting we decided that we would begin giving away our entire offering every 2 months and we voted on who we would give our money to. I do not think fundraisers are always bad but I find it a little silly that the church has to ask for money from the community so that they can use that same money to try to reach the community (or, let’s be real, to pay off the debt they find themselves in due to their building).


Do you disagree with me? Do you think church buildings are something all churches should aim for? Let me know your reasons by leaving a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Q: Does the Holy Spirit still work through supernatural gifts today? (i.e. tongues, prophecy, gifts of healing, exorcisms, working of miracles, etc.)

holyspiritpicture

This past Sunday I had the honor of preaching through John 16:5-15 at Renovation Church. We spent the bulk of our message studying the person and role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. Unfortunately, our live stream stopped working so you are unable to watch the full message online.

That being said, I wrestled with a question that is common to the Christian life – Does the Holy Spirit still work through supernatural gifts today? Check out the video below for an answer that I (hope) is faithful to the Scriptures and applicable to your life:

(If you are reading this in your e-mail, you need to go to the actual page to see the video)

Christians – Learn to FIGHT Tired!

boxingtired

As some of you know, I am a huge fan of combat sports. Not only am I a fan, but I train boxing with a few other boxers – both amateur and professional. I generally go to the boxing gym on Saturdays for sparring and conditioning. Today there was no class due to a competition but another boxer & I met there to work on our conditioning.

I am exhausted.

If you ever visit our gym there is a phrase you will hear continually from Jerry James (our coach) – “If you can’t fight tired, you can’t win fights.”

Suffice it to say, after doing around six 3-minute rounds on the heavy bag and three 3-minute rounds in the ring, I did a conditioning drill which requires me to throw punches continually for 3 minutes while my opponent moves towards me the whole time. (For some perspective, if you have never boxed, I would be willing to bet money that you wouldn’t even last one 3-minute round in the ring… even if you think you are in good shape!)

There’s a few things I began to notice during this last drill as exhaustion set into my body. The first thing I began to lose was the power/snap to my punches. My punches began getting slower and less powerful as my body weakened. Second, I began to drop my hands far from guard. Keeping a good guard is vital in boxing (unless you enjoy getting hit in the face and dazed). Third, I became so exhausted that it seemed as if the floor was moving and I began getting dizzy – going off balance and losing my footing.

Why am I sharing all of this?

Well, what is true in boxing is also true of our spiritual lives. The Apostle Paul wrote the following instruction to a young leader named Timothy:

1 Timothy 6:11-12
11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, uses “fighting” as a metaphor for the faith. The truth is we will all go through seasons when we are absolutely exhausted: the birth of a new baby, conflict in our family/relationships, a diagnosis that is terminal, children rebelling against our authority, the loss of a job – among many other debilitating circumstances.

It’s in this exhaustion that we begin to lose power.

It’s in this exhaustion that we began to drop our guard.

It’s in this exhaustion that we begin to stumble.

It’s in this exhaustion that the enemy of our soul destroys us.

Anyone who has spent time boxing understands that there will always be a time in the fight that you are utterly exhausted. No amount of conditioning will prepare you for the intensity of a boxing match. Instead, you need to learn to fight through the exhaustion by remembering good technique.

Paul, in the passage above, reminds Timothy to “hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you…” One of the ways we do this in our exhaustion is through the spiritual disciplines. These are disciplines we practice in our lives through which the Holy Spirit can teach us and guide us more into God’s truth.

Are you tired today? Are you feeling defeated? The best thing you can do is NOT to try to overcome the exhaustion in your own strength, but rather carve out time to spend alone with God. Below are four suggestions on spiritual disciplines that you will find life-giving and will enable you to fight tired:

  1. Prayer/Bible Reading
  2. Fellowship with other believers
  3. Silence/Solitude
  4. Fasting

If you’re struggling right now and would like prayer or simply someone to talk to, please send me an e-mail. I’d love to connect with you – tyler@renovationchurchsd.com

The Art of Contemplation

fall

(Note from Tyler: One of the disciplines in my life is journaling what I feel the Spirit is teaching me through the Scriptures. I do this daily but rarely share it with others for it is much more of a personal exercise. Nevertheless, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to share my journaling from today so I pray & hope it encourages you in your walk with Christ. Below are the exact words I wrote in my notebook for 10/26/2018)

10/26/2018
Luke 10:39
“She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.”

Father, I thank you for this picture of the contemplative life. Help me remember that what we do should always flow out of who we are before Christ. There are three things I see regarding contemplation here –

1. Contemplation begins with slowing down (“who sat…”)
Father, more often than not, I feel as if I am going at a pace that is both hectic and unsustainable. Teach me to carve out margin in my schedule so I can learn to move at an intentionally slow pace.

2. Contemplation is focused on Christ (“at the Lord’s feet”)
The object of my contemplation and devotion should be the person & work of Jesus Christ. Lead me to live a life that is centered on and consumed by Jesus alone.

3. Contemplation emphasizes listening (“and listened to what he was saying.”) 
O God, I confess that I am often quick to speak, quick to anger, and slow to listen. Teach me the art of simply listening to Your Word without an agenda that I might be formed into the image of Christ.

Amen.

Vineyards & Jesus! (Video Devotional)

Hey everyone!
I wanted to challenge you with a few thoughts from my message yesterday at Renovation Church. Check out the video below to learn what vineyards teach us about following Jesus. I pray this short devotional challenges you in your faith and helps you understand how much God loves you.

If you are ever in the area, I’d be honored to have you join us at Renovation Church. We meet on Sundays at 10am at the Garretson School.

(If you are reading this in your e-mail, you need to go to the actual page to see the video)