Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category
Posted on February 8, 2011 - by admin
This past weekend at Cascade Hills Church we signed on 842 people to the Pastor’s Prayer Partner ministry. What a blessing! I am humbled by the tremendous response of our people. 842 Pastor’s Prayer Partners devoted themselves to praying for me and my family daily. They will then gather in teams to pray each week prior to our 3 weekend services in private rooms on campus. Their teams will also join me publicly on the platform to kneel and pray for me and the church in every service this year. My prayer partners also provide my wife and I a list of their prayer requests and we personally pray for each one of them throughout the year. We take that very serious. Every year our Pastor’s Prayer Partners see the favor of God in their lives. This year, with the increased number of Pastor’s Prayer Partners it should be our greatest advance into the areas of our lives where God can do His best work. I love my prayer partners. We meet quarterly for breakfast or lunch to fellowship to discuss our needs and progress. I attest that my life has been an answer to prayer, our ministry is upheld by prayer, & the highest priority of our marriage has been to seek God through prayer. When I became a new Christian at the age of 18, I read that if I’d enter my prayer closet and pray that my Heavenly Father would meet me there. I began that process back then. When God sent Debbie as my life partner, I discovered her to be more devoted to prayer than I was. Our 3 sons, now grown and married, say the greatest comfort they had growing up was knowing that not one time in their entire life did they ever wake up and not find their mother in her study or the living room praying. Not once! In over 30 years of marriage, I can say the same. Never have I seen her go a morning without serious praying. I have been challenged by the pace she set in prayer more than anything else. We’ve recently assisted 3 other churches in the past 8 weeks to start a Pastor’s Prayer Partner Ministry. We will lead 2 more churches this month to do this. In one church they’d baptized only one person the year prior. After they began a Pastor’s Prayer Partner ministry, they baptized 20 people 2 weeks later. The disciples were taught to pray. Jesus modeled prayer, He said His Fathers house is to be a house of prayer. Ministries built on past traditions or new trends, though opposite in methods and worship, still end up empty in real life transformation. Prayer provides God’s power. Prayer unites the people, prayer opens the heavens with conviction upon the lost and strength for the Christian. Last weekend I met a new convert after our services who had never been in a church in his life. His friends were crying and shocked that he was converted. His words to me were, “I was drawn here, I feel like I’ve been blind all of my life, I’m clean now and at peace with God”. That’s what happens where people pray. I am often asked, if I could start my ministry all over again, what would I do differently? My first response is that I would have begun a Pastor’s Prayer Partner ministry from day one. I’m personally tired of seeing churches up for sale, fighting, splitting, or “new church plants” with gimmicks to attract the already “churched” and “vision” that never builds a holy life or Godly church. There is no substitute for prayer. God can do in 5 seconds what we couldn’t pull off in 50 years. My hope and passion is to kindle a fire in a life that finds the fellowship of God in prayer as rewarding as I have discovered. Pursue Him. He is and can provide all you need.
Posted on December 26, 2009 - by admin
I’m often asked by friends who are moving away, “Is there a church you can recommend in such & such city”? Two of my three sons and their families live in other places and they went through this experience also. For those with such questions, my answers are not always the name of a specific church, but rather the principles that I’d use to guide me in finding a “good church”. Here they are: (1) Doctrine. The content of what you receive is more important than the package it comes in. Now I believe in being relevant, seeker-sensitive, and providing new methods of delivery and presentation as a means to connect with the unchurched & the next generation. It’s highly effective. But at the root, if the doctrine is not Biblical and sound, the end result is a life built on sand. When tough times come, and they will, a life without a Biblical foundation will not survive. (2) Example in Leadership. Check out the personal life of the leaders. How do their children live? How’s their marriage? How do they manage their own finances? Do they pay their bills? How long have they been in this place and how did they leave the last place they were in? Do they seek only those who don’t attend a church or do they attempt to take members from other churches? These are ethical questions. Regardless of talk, remember, “Facts do not lie”. (3) Purpose. What’s the mission of this church? What are they called to do, and are they actually doing it? It’s hard for me to “buy in” to a church that says it cares about people and travels hundreds of miles to do “missions” for those of other races, when those same people would not be accepted in their church if they moved here and wanted to attend. Look at things like how many people are being baptized, are growing in their faith, are serving others, if they give financially (that’s a fact that doesn’t lie). When a church actually knows and does it’s purpose it “weeds” out some and attracts people serious about faith. A mark of a church doing its mission is that it will be a blessed by God and despised by the devil. One of my sons goes to a church that is often criticized for its size. He says, “The devil hates that church so that affirms to me that Gods using it”. Now remember, there’s no perfect church, because there are no perfect people. If you find one, don’t join it because since you are not perfect you’ll mess it up. But that’s not what to look for. Follow those simple guidelines and you’ll narrow your decision toward one that helps you grow and develop.
In closing, here’s our own story. I’ve been pastor at Cascade Hills Church in Columbus Georgia since Easter (April) of 1983. I celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary in July to the one and only woman in my life, Debbie. We raised 3 son, all married, love God, have good careers and know their purpose in life. Cascade Hills Church is devoted to reaching the unchurched for Christ and has been for the 27 years I’ve been there. Not once in 27 years have I ever asked a person attending another church to leave their church for ours. Not once. God loves other churches too and those attending there are needed there. I am a friend to pastors and other churches, not by words but by example here. Every year for the past 18 years we’ve led our city and the region in baptisms of those that come to Christ. We give generously to missions at levels that are surprising and our people serve our local community with genuine care for others. Our church isn’t the church for everyone and it doesn’t have to be. I only say this because that’s our story. I sincerely hope this information helps you in you if you are ever in search for a church.
Posted on February 3, 2009 - by admin
Bill Purvis is living proof that God answers prayer! Having been stabbed three times with a butcher knife and left for dead at the age of 18, God answered his prayer for salvation and spared his life from imminent death. From that day he’s passionate for God and devoted to the practice of prayer.
So many times we imagine that our pastors lead picture-perfect lives…that things always go their way, nothing bad ever happens, and most importantly, that there is nothing they could ever need from us. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Hear first-hand the truth behind the stained-glass and come to a greater understanding of why your pastor needs your prayers.
Discover the blessings that come from God when your pray for your own pastor. It’s a tool for unity and the spiritual advancement of any church.
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