What about Isaac?

I am reading through the Bible in 90 days with a few other people in my life and I have already been blown away by some of the things that I have seen and discovered for the first time, and I am now on Day 2. ūüôā The plan that I am using can be found HERE. As I was reading yesterday and this morning, I came across a new thought that I would like to share.

Last night I spoke to the teenagers about the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. I thought about in a new dimension that I have never thought about before. It is easy to see that God was testing Abraham, after all the Chapter begins by introducing Abraham, and clearly places the main focus on Abraham.

I think that often times our churches tend to do the same thing that we do as we read Genesis 22. We focus on the older people, and the young person who is just as important tends to get overlooked. Have you read this story behind the eyes of Isaac?

God wanted to do great things in the life of Abraham and all of his descendants, and he used Isaac in that test just as much as he used Abraham. Yes, clearly the instructions were given to Abraham, but due to Isaacs respect, obedience, and willingness to surrender, God blessed their family line in greater ways than they could have ever imagined.

I believe that God wants to do something great in our Church, I believe that God wants to do something great in our local schools, in our cities and on and on the list goes, but what if He plans to use our teenagers to do it, like He did with Abraham and Isaac.

We look at the faith of Abraham in this chapter, which is absolutely amazing, but what about the faith of Isaac: the “lad”. Isaac needed more faith than even Abraham, after all, he WAS the sacrifice. (And he was simply trusting in the words of man, not the voice of God directly)

Isaac, a lad (vs.22), was a huge part in the blessings of his family, and the world as we know it. I assure you, had Isaac not responded with obedience, respect, and surrender, the story could have been very different.

How does God want to use our teenagers to accomplish great things? Last night I explained to the teenagers that God wants to do great things in our church and He may very well use them to do it. I explained to them that I want to invest my life into those teenagers that want to grow, that want to make a difference, that want to be used by God, even if it is just a few. The great thing is that there were three teenagers that came up to me after the service and said: Pastor Lee, I want to be one of those teenagers! How exciting!

So I end with this: Pray with me and for me, that I will be the mentor and the leader that these teenagers need to accomplish great things! Pray for these three names: Phillip, Michael, and Jon… Pray that more teenagers will tell God, I want to be used by you to do great things! Pray that these teenagers will be serious about their decisions!

Sorry that my thoughts were so “scatter-brained”, but I just had to share in some way what God has showed me and what he is beginning to do in the hearts and lives of our teenagers!!

I am not sure who you are reading this, but if you know a teenager, or if you are a teenager, you need to get this book: Read it and then come talk to me about it ūüôā

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Word of Life SUPERBOWL 2009

2009superbowl_logoOn Friday, Suncoast Youth Group loaded up the trucks, cars, and vans and headed to Orlando, for one of our favorite activities of the year. Every Fall, Word of Life hosts an incredible activity called the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is an outstanding activity where our students have the opportunity to go to a Professional Sports Game, hear a clear gospel presentation, enjoy a youth rally with great games and prizes and then finish the night off with two great venues.

We have gone 3 years now, and this year I took a moment to stop and appreciate all of the effort that was put into making it such a great event. That is what I want to share on my blog today.

As a youth pastor, with many hats to wear, there is always pressure to come up with great activities. We have done many exciting activities at Suncoast Youth Group, and every single one takes hours and hours of planning and preparation (many of which can go seemingly unnoticed). Generally all that work goes into planning something simple like an Ice Skating Event, or a Scavenger Hunt of some sort. I can barely imagine all of the work that goes into planning the Word of Life Super Bowl.

To imagine an activity with a NBA Basketball Game, an Awesome Youth Rally, Bowling, Wonderworks, the RDV Sportsplex (including: Ice Skating, Broom Ball, Wally-Ball, Basketball, Inflatables, Dodge Ball, and even the Wii), Funspot (including: Go-Carts Everywhere, and every other fair ride that you could imagine), and enough Pizza for thousands of student and chaperones is quite a phenomenal feat!

Our teenagers enjoyed the Word of Life Superbowl this year even more than ever, and I, a busy youth pastor, want to thank you for making my job even more fun, and a little bit easier. Thank you Word of Life, Andy and Nancy Anderson, Chris Finchum, Marge Salemme, and all of the faithful servants and Word of Life students that made the 2009 Super Bowl so great! Thanks a lot! Your work has not gone unnoticed.

Thanks for making such an impressive activity where we can bring students to learn about Christ!

Suncoast Baptist Church

Great Time in Orlando

Today Pastor Chip and I drove to Orlando for the November BBF Meeting at Orlando Baptist Church. It was a great meeting, in fact it was probably the best meeting that I remember going to in quite some time. It was a great encouragement and also a great source of great mission ideas. Here is a summary of some of the information that walked away with. The second speaker was Kirk Nowery, and the information that he shared was fantastic. A few specific quotes that he mentioned are this:

“There has been no great cause ever accomplished by one single person”

“If you want to know what a leader is thinking: Ask him!”

“It has never been about you or I, it has always been about Jesus”

“You will only be as good as the team around you”

“Sacrifice: When you give up something you love for something else that you love more”

“Billy Graham said: The three keys to my success: Prayer, Prayer Prayer”

Kirk Nowery was a great communicator and a true blessing: I am looking forward to checking out a few of his books:

making the most of your life

revolutionary generosity  

After lunch, the youth pastors went into the OBC Solution Youth Room where we were encouraged by OBC youth pastor, Wesley Beacham. He shared a testimony about how God has worked in his life throughout the last few years. Wes shared personal lessons that he had learned about Ministry Success, Ministry Killers, and Ministry Fences. Wes shared how we can kill our ministry when we do not put our family first, and he also told us about a great book he finished reading called: “Running on Empty” by Fil Anderson. I am excited about reading it and learning first hand some of the things that he spoke so passionately about today.

I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting today including the speakers, my family (who were visiting Orlando, from Jacksonville) the youth pastor session, and all of the creative aspects of the meeting throughout the day, but more than all that, as usual, I really enjoyed the 5 hours of fellowship, brainstorming, vision casting, and dreaming with my pastor on the way to Orlando and on the way home.

We talked about several important and exciting things, including future staff members, future building projects, upcoming building campaigns, books, preaching styles, upcoming events and lots more. I really enjoy the monthly BBF meetings, but more than anything, I love the travel time with my pastor.

The Best Halloween EVER

ToT%20INFOI am typing this blog on my phone right now, because I am so pumped about this weekend that I don’t even want to wait until tomorrow to post my thoughts about the best weekend I can remember since I have been here at Suncoast Baptist Church.
Saturday, October 31st, we hosted our 4th annual Trunk or Treat event. It was bigger and better than ever. If you are prone to getting bitter when God blesses other people and they share it, you might not want to read this, because God blessed and it was awesome, and I am going to share all about it!

Saturday started at 9:00am. Not the event, but the setup. Pastor Chip was the first one at church on Saturday (and probably the last to leave) and we worked all day setting up bounce houses, running extension cords, testing mics and speakers, setting up the stage, putting up several signs and hooking all of our registration computers up to the wifi network.
By around 3:00 everything was looking good and ready. Our church members began showing up with their trunks as early as 11:00am, but most did not arrive until around 4:00pm. The grills were cooking and the field started getting pretty full between 4:00 and 5:00pm. We had a dedication prayer right around 5:15 and shortly
after that, the crowds arrived!

By 5:30 there were families all over the place, walking around getting candy with their little ones and enjoying small talk with our people. It was great to see how quick the crowds began to form! One change that made this year much better than the past was our registration process. We did two things different from years past. First, we made the registration questionaire as simple as possible. Second, we did all of our registration through an electronic data process. We were able to enter the information onto laptops and they all synced together to make registration more convenient than ever! It also made trunk or treat + alot easier. But I will share more about that in a minute.

Well within the first hour of the event we had several people run out of candy. In fact, in church today¬†Pastor Chip said: “I sat down twice all day, both times were in the van on the way to Sams to buy more candy”. In two trips pastor bought over 150 extra pounds of candy!

We had many exciting events going on throughout the night. Things like bounce houses, obstacle courses, a giant slide, a dunk tank, a hay ride, more candy than you could eat in a lifetime and we even had a martial arts team come out and do two demonstrations! It was great! Just like every year, the time absolutely flew by. One minute it was 5:30, and before I knew it, it was 8:45. Time flys when you are having fun!

As soon as the event was over we were able to tally the registration numbers. Here is what we learned: Over 350 different families registered for the event this year which included over 1600 people. We had over 50 “trunks” set up representing over 200 workers. Those numbers do not count for all of the many cars and people that walked in from the main road without registering. We are pretty confident that there were over 2000 people on our campus during our Trunk or Treat event! God really answered our prayers!

The last hay ride went out around 9:00pm. From 9:00pm-10:00pm our church family worked together to clean the place up. They did a great job getting the place ready for church on Sunday.

In fact, on the inside of our Chrch it looked just as clean as it does every other Sunday, thanks to all of the hard workers that stayed late into the night.

On Sunday we had great services in the morning both in our Bible Fellowship Hour and our Main Worship Service. Attendance was great! There were even a couples visiting our church because of Trunk or Treat just the night before!

But the real fun started as soon as church dismissed. Right after church our Trunk or Treat + plan went into effect. About 13 teenagers and I began going through every familys information that registered and printing up directions to every house on google maps. We ate pizza, printed addresses and organized all of the addresses into packs of 5 houses that were right by each other from 12:00pm – 3:45pm.

perkins logo-standardAt 1:30 I snuck away for 30 minutes to go to Perkins and pick up 125 Pumpkin Pies. We filled the entire church van with pumpkin pie.

By 3:45 we had everything set up and ready to go. We had at least 75 people show up at 3:45 to go pass out pumpkin pies to the closest 125 households that registered for our event. We only did 125 because we had no clue how many people would show up to help and how hard it would be to print out directions for all of those homes. However we were so pleased with all of the help, next year we will definitely get more pies ūüôā

Our people delivered pumpkin pies until 6:00 and then they came back to the church for a great time of food and fellowship. We sat around and listened to some testimonies of the people who delivered pies, and we got to hear some great stories about the shock and appreciation of the recipients.

I have wrote way too much, but I am so excited about the great things that God did at Suncoast Baptist Church over the last two days that I could not hold it in! We did lots of work and GOD TRULEY BLESSED IT!

I am so thankful to be a part of a church where we can do such innovative things to reach our community! I am so excited about this Sunday!

This coming Sunday is Anniversary Sunday! It will be a wonderful relaxing follw-up to such a busy weekend! I am excited about sitting around playing volleyball and eating all of that delicious pot luck food!

If you had any great memories or thoughts about Trunk or Treat that you want to share, PLEASE share them by posting on this blog!

If you are still reading… you are amazing! Thanks! and Thank you Suncoast Baptist Church for working so hard this weekend!¬†and most¬†importantly, Thank you LORD for blessing¬†our efforts so abundantly!