Saturday, August 23, 2008


I’ve said before that I am in no way a bible scholar and don’t claim to be, but I do feel like God speaks to me and shows me things through his word. So here goes my blog:
My quiet times have been sporadic at best this summer. Today was my last first day as a college student and I began the day by trying to get my quiet times back into gear. I began with praying that God really show me something and speak to me, and to help me get back on track to keep growing closer to Him. Well what do you know, God answers prayers. I started reading Philippians, Chapter 1, and from the first verse on God spoke. I will skip to the part where I’ve decided to blog on, and you can read the rest for yourself. Verses 12-27 are about Paul’s chains advancing of the Gospel. He is being imprisoned in chains for preaching the Gospel and it has encouraged the brothers to speak God’s Word more courageously and fearlessly. Then you read verse 15-18 which I will post below:
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Paul says there are people preaching out of envy and rivalry, and do so for selfish ambition, not sincerely. He goes on to ask, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false or true, Christ is preached.” Then he rejoices over it.
Who cares what motives Curt had in start this church plant, although I can tell you that it was to reach college and young adults, in a way they could generationally connect to. Oasis is not changing the Word, but just presenting the Word in a non-traditional format. Nothing will be changed from the Word, nothing will anything be added, nor will anything we left out. We just want to reach a generation that we feel is not being reached well by traditional churches in Greenwood. We are teaching and have the same beliefs as all Southern Baptists’. Motives didn’t matter to Paul, he rejoiced over all preaching of Christ, over any Kingdom building. Oasis is preaching Christ! And Oasis is building the Kingdom!
Curt and others have received tons of criticism and persecution about this church plant and about their beliefs or doctrine and many other things. Yet no one has bothered to say anything to me or about me. Why is this I wonder? Anyway that’s for another blog maybe. I would love to be persecuted for Jesus. So bring it on. Yes I am asking that you attack me! This blog is meant to stir up some controversy or maybe to even solve it, which ever will work for me. All that goes to say that my beliefs are the same as Curt’s and everyone else involved in this church plant. Almost all, if not all of us have grown up in Southern Baptist Churches. We would love to be associated with the SCBC, but may not really have the opportunity to do so. We believe the same that is in the Baptist Faith and Message. I follow God as best I can in my own life and in this church planting process. Yes I make mistakes in both, NO ONE is perfect, not one! After God I follow Curt fully in the church plant, I believe in his vision for Oasis, and if I think he is doing something wrong I’m not afraid to tell him and vice versa. So all this stuff about Oasis being a cult, attacks on Curt’s beliefs and his family, attacks on others involved in Oasis is nonsense, because you’re only showing how well you follow God. That has been on my chest all summer and I’m finally able to get it out. So please feel free to leave me your anonymous comments about me or what I’ve said or even about me in general. Let me know how you feel about me and don’t let my “connections” keep you from doing so.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Money, Money, Money

Let me just say first off that I am in no way a bible scholar and I don't profess to be. Even though I have had 2 religion classes from Anderson University. I’ve always been interested in numbers, and in going to college and changing my major to business, I've become really interested and passionate about finances. I just wanted to take a few minutes to share our needs financially as a church and as staff of Oasis Church. We usually explain this at our informational meetings, but I would like for those who can’t attend to have some of our financial information. We currently have 3 areas of financial need.

Launch Fund
Support Funds
General Offering

The Launch Fund is will be used for things leading up to and for launch day of Oasis Church. Our current goal for the Launch fund is $125,000. This will be used for things like advertising and promotions, preview services, and equipment. This goal may decrease as we have found a new and more reasonable business to work with in furnishing our portable church equipment.

Support Funds:
As a staff member of Oasis Church, each person will be required to raise their own finances for the first three years they are on staff. This means that each person will have to get out and ask people to support them financially for 3 years. This could be $1 a month or $10,000 a month depending on what God puts on your heart to give. These funds will go to pay each staff member’s salary. That means that whatever staff member raises goes towards his/her salary. Basically it as if you are self-employed. First you have to take out 10-15% contingency for those that commit but don’t give or for an amount you can’t get and for those that stop giving. From that goal up to another 25% is taken out for taxes, depending on the number of dependents that staff member has. Health insurance and any other benefits are taken out. For example, a staff member that is unmarried sets a goal of $30,000 for his financial needs. After 25% for taxes and $100 per month comes out for health insurance that staff member only pockets 21300/year. That comes out to $1775 per month. Hopefully that makes sense. In saying all of that, Curt needs 56 financial partners at $80 a month to reach his goal.
Matt needs 47 financial partners at $65 a month to reach his goal.
That does not mean you are limited to or required to give that each month. We will gladly accept smaller monthly commitments, or one-time gifts. That just lets you know what it takes. You can do the math.

General Offering:
This fund is only supported by the OC’s core members. This goes towards our basic operating needs. Also a portion of this goes towards the launch fund each month.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or Curt.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chapter 8 of Fresh Wind Fresh Fire

Chapter 8: The ABC's of church
Attendance, Buildings, and Cash appear to have become the main focus of churches today. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with any of those three, to have an actual church entity those three things are very essential. It's when those three things become the main goal that there is a problem. From the very beginning Curt and I have said to each other that our goal is not to have some huge mega church, while yes worldly speaking we love that thought, we have no intention or desire for that. And again yes we do want to do church differently from the aspect of traditional church. We simply want to impact the community of Greenwood and to reach the growing lost and unchurched population of Greenwood. We could careless if that means we simply reach the lost and they go to other churches and we never actually grow as "Oasis Church". We honestly and simply only want to see the Kingdom of God grow. So yes attendance is important to Oasis, if that means that the unchurched and lost population is diminishing and that people are authentically seeking and coming to know Christ. And yes, buildings are important to Oasis, if that means the Kingdom of God is being built up. And yes cash is also important to Oasis, as Curt and I both need support financially in the coming months. We both have faith that God will equip us with what we need for our families and for Oasis Church. We do not want cash in a sense to meet some budget/goal requirements we have set for ourselves or for Oasis. If we don't meet those budgets/goals, then obviously that is not the direction God has for us, but we will continually have faith that he will provide and give us the tools nessecary to reach the lost.

Chapters 6 & 7 of Fresh Wind Fresh Fire

Chapter 6: Charge!
Are we running into the face of danger or are we retreating? On page 98 of Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, Cymbala describes the passage of David and Goliath. Cymbala points out the fact that David doesn't run behind a rock or find cover to buy more time when Goliath advances on him. David ran to meet the GIANT head on! The idea of church planting may seem foolish sometimes, especially when there seems to be a church on every corner, but we have to meet the giant and ever growing unchurched population head on. We can't retreat and think that there are enough churches, we must press onward to reach the lost for Christ. Even when it appears all we have is a sling and five stones. As Cymbala says, " backed by prayer and his power, we can accomplish the unthinkable."

For some personal reflection, take some time to think about what God might be calling you to prayerfully and boldly accomplish for his kingdom. In what ways are you boldly, aggresively, and even militantly standing firm for Jesus?

Chapter 7: Old school vs New school
While I don't agree with some of what pastor Cymbala writes about in chapter 7, there are a few things that no christian should disagree on, THE GOSPEL. We cannot and must not lose sight of God's word. We must always present the Word as the truth and nothing less, no shortcuts and no revisions.

For personal reflection:
Another statement from chapter 7 that I agree with is when Cymbala states: "As a minister I firmly believe that I am not allowed to preach what is not in the bible."

How is this similar or different from the belief of other pastors, as evidenced by their preaching?
Do you believe this completely biblical focus should be an essential part of church life today?