Last Friday as I was driving up to the Men’s Retreat with some friends I got a voicemail. I had to listen to it twice because I couldn’t quite process the news the first time around. Ron Atchley had died earlier that day. Ron was a longtime volunteer at Flatirons. You may not recognize the name, but I can almost promise that you would recognize his face. It was a very rare occasion that Ron wasn’t the first one to open the doors of the church and the last one out. He served on countless volunteer teams. Ron was a servant leader in every sense of the word. Yesterday I caught a few minutes of one of my favorite movies, “we were soldiers”. In that film a leader is defined as the one who’s feet are first on the battle field and the last off. That was Ron. Ironically Ron was a soldier as well, he fought in the Vietnam war the same one depicted in that film.
It always seems like a no-brainer to me. Why wouldn’t a guy want to go up to the mountains in September, get some rest, hang with other guys, play really hard and be a part of something transformational? Then I remember that for me its a known, I’m a pastor I’ve been on literally hundreds of retreats and honestly had lots of fun at most of them. On top of that, some really life-changing times with God have happened to me while on a retreat. For a lot of guys its the unknowns that make the idea of going on a men’s retreat really unsettling. What are the accommodations going to be like? Are we going to be sleeping in tents or some nasty barracks type set up? Are we going to be forced to hold hands and share our feelings? What kind of guys are going to be there? What are we actually going to be doing? All those questions and more make it easy for a guy to just forego the idea of signing up. So with that in mind I would like to try to address some of those questions. First of all the camp itself is amazing, its been done with excellence and the dorms are spacious, comfortable and clean. Check out some of their videos to get a picture of what the facilities are like here. Like everything else we do at Flatirons we want to have excellent, engaging, Biblical teaching that comes in the context of grace and truth. We will have 3 main sessions with teaching and time of worship. Another thing we are committed to is making sure that we get to spend time playing and enjoying the mountains. The last thing we want to do is make men sit in a room for hours on end without getting to enjoy what God has created and the camp has to offer. Because of that we have lots of free time built in, with a large chunk of it on Saturday. Over the past three years of doing these retreats I’ve been amazed at the diversity of men that attend, we have guys fresh out of high school up to guys who recently attended their 50 year reunion. We won’t force interaction or make anyone “share their feelings”. At the end of the day we are just a bunch of guys trying to take some time to reconnect with God, learn a little bit about how to be better followers of Jesus, husbands, dads, sons, brothers and friends and we have a blast while doing it! Finally, I’ve learned that guys often need a personal invite to be the catalyst to get them to go, so if you are guy who is going this year (and you should!) think about who are the guys you should invite to be a part of “Fire on the Mountain” this year. All the info for signing up is on our website http://www.flatironschurch.com/retreats/
Our creative team director, Chris Coleman wrote the following post:
Most of you only know me from my goofball announcement videos or, lately, the Tad and Radbert videos from our Running series as the vaguely despised director, Crick. Then again, some of you don’t know me at all, which means I’m doing my job well. I’ll explain that in a moment.
As the creative director of flatirons community church, my job—and that of my amazing team—is to guide and craft the weekend experience into one that will seamlessly make the jump from the frenzied life you check at the door to a laser-focused heart punch delivered by God via Jim, Scott, the band, and our countless incredible volunteers. Whether you realize it or not, every step you take within our walls is laced with painstaking intentionality. From the signage to the pre-service music to every single element and transition in the weekend service, down to the minute.
It’s easy to look at this attention to production detail and say, “Oh, it’s all about ‘the show.’” It’s not. It’s all about Jesus. Spreading His name and good news is the most important thing I can possibly think of in this life, so why would I or anyone on my team do anything other than push ourselves to the limit for that end goal? That makes absolutely no sense to me and any Christ-follower or ministry that claims “good enough” is actually good enough is complacently phoning it in and they might as well pack up and call it a day.
You see, my work is indeed pushing and directing the creative efforts of our ministry, but when it comes down to it, my real work is to disarm. If I can get you to put your God gun down for even a brief moment, I’ve got a chance to engage you in ways you never thought possible in a church. Furthermore, if I can play a small part in getting someone to the point where they think, “I never knew church could be like this,” then it’s a short walk to “I never knew God could be like this”…and that’s when people give Him a chance and that’s where life change begins.
At the end of the day (or week, as it were), we do our work and then pray continually for God to move us out of the way. This is His church, not ours. My team and I do our best to lay the groundwork and then we retreat to the shadows, behind the scenes, and point to Him. After all, there is only one person deserving of fame and that is Jesus.Tags: Pointing to Jesus
Our College Pastor Jordan Terrel describes how we point to Jesus in our College Ministry here at Flatirons.
In my opinion, one of the most challenging stages of life is 18-25 years. During these few short years, a young adult will make decisions that will shape the rest of their life. Decisions like who they want be, what they want to do vocationally, what kind of friends they will spend their time with, who they will marry, and ultimately whether or not they will follow Jesus.
In our college ministry the way we point to Jesus is by creating grace filled environments where authentic community can happen, so that we can point to Jesus and truth can be heard. What does that mean?
AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY: In addition it is our hope that in these environments students will have the opportunity to develop real relationships with people who follow Jesus. We call this authentic community. Many times students will meet others and eventually end up in a Bible study on their campus. Other examples of authentic community can include simply bumping into a student on campus or at one of our community groups and exchanging numbers with them. A week or so later, I’ll follow up and invite them out to lunch or coffee. As you might know, college students love to eat! Once again, meeting them where they’re at. Just last week, I took a few students out for a round of golf. Whatever the case may be, this doesn’t just happen once and then end. Our goal is to develop real relationships with students to the point where conversations about life and faith happen naturally.
TRUTH: Individuals in this life stage can be quite skeptical. Why do you want to hang out with me? Are you the real deal? Do you really care about me or are you just looking for your next volunteer recruit? At the end of the day, truth can be spoken freely only if you have earned their trust and there is mutual respect in the relationship. Even then, it can still be difficult for a 19 year-old who is trying to figure out life on their own, to hear it from you. The best example of speaking ‘truth’ to them is by modeling Jesus to them. This happens by allowing students see how I relate to people, love my wife, father my son, or even care for other students.
At the end of the day, pointing to Jesus is a way of life that happens best with people you have developed a real, trusting relationship with. But in order for this to work within the context of a ministry, it has to be repeatable. Paul said to “Follow me as I follow Christ”. If I am going to point someone to Jesus by modeling a “better way to live”, the best way to lead them is to teach them to do it with the people around them too.Tags: college ministry, Pointing to Jesus
How do we point to Jesus in Women’s Ministry?
There must be a statement written somewhere for all women’s ministries in churches all over the world that would be an obviously perfect answer to that question. Maybe something along the lines of “W.W.J.D., if he were a woman?” It sounds nice in theory. I don’t know about you, but for me, it just doesn’t fill the bill of needing a currently flesh and blood person to smack me across the face occasionally and yell “snap out of it.” The cool thing about Jesus is that he was a flesh and blood human who really did experience what we experience. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are . . .,” Hebrews 4:15.
In women’s ministry we obviously look straight at God’s Word for our understanding of who Jesus is, and as our ultimate example of the best way to navigate what are often horrific real life situations. What every woman needs as she tries to do that is the flesh and blood person to scream “snap out of it,” or to sit with her when she’s paralyzed with fear, or to calmly clarify that all children eventually get potty-trained, or to laugh with until you pee your pants at something that would make no sense to a guy, or just to remind you that children grow up and move on and have to deal with their own kids. What every woman needs is another woman (women) to walk alongside her and say “It’ll be okay, and I know that because Jesus already got me through this.” For every situation we encounter, there’s a woman out there who’s already walked through it and will be “Jesus with skin on” for me or for you. It’s what Jesus intended when he left his flesh and blood body and put His message in the hands of the church. Women’s ministry takes the gifts and experiences of every woman in the church and provides a setting and opportunity for us all to put our hand on a shoulder and point towards Jesus.
Dan Foote wrote the following blog on how we point to Jesus in Men’s Ministry here at Flatirons.
I have to admit, when Scott recently sent out the email asking a group of us on staff to fill in the blank, “The way we point to Jesus in our ministry area at Flatirons is: _______________”…my heart immediately jumped into my throat. I can’t help it. Fill in the Blank means TEST and my knee-jerk reaction—born out of years of being a “poor test-taker”—caused this sudden panic.
I’ve asked different leaders of several ministries around here to write a short blog about how they point to Jesus in their ministry. Lisa Brandenburg wrote the following blog about SHIFT.
The way we point to Jesus at Shift is by inviting Him in to the very circumstances that can lead us to feel abandoned or counted out by Him.
Contrary to popular belief God does not owe us anything. Actually, what He does owe us is punishment as Romans 3:23 and 6:23 make clear. So anything that we receive from Him other than that is grace, an undeserved reward. This is what theologians refer to as God’s common grace. Common grace is broad and includes things such as waking up in the morning, seeing the sun (which I would appreciate seeing sometime soon!), having a good day at work, children being born, flowers blooming etc… Jesus talked about this idea in Matthew 5:45 when he talks about God causing the sun to rise on the evil and the good and the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. This was also spoken of in the Psalms in Psalm 145:9. There is a difference between God’s common grace which every human being experiences and God’s saving grace. God’s saving grace is only found in and through Jesus. God’s common grace can and does pave the way for His saving grace and often times that requires a messenger to point out. This is what the apostle Paul did in a town called Lystra in Acts 14:17 and again in Athens in Acts 17:22-34. We should live each day thankful for God’s common grace, but in utter astonishment of His saving grace.Tags: grace
Jim said something this weekend that is very controversial and in fact very Biblical. Jim said that “if Jesus hasn’t risen from the dead then all of this is stupid”. “This”, being a reference to our gathering together as a church. The music the teaching, the kid’s ministry, the sound the lights, the parking lot, the prayer, communion, all of it. Many would say that its good for people to have a dose of “religion” or to “go to church” or to “have faith” even if its all not true. The problem with that is the Bible says exactly the opposite. 1 Corinthians 15:14-19 is clear that “if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men”. In other words if all Jesus does is provide us with some helpful tips on how to live the best life now, and we follow Him then people would be right to look at us with pity for our stupidity. So lets be clear the only reason we gather every week is because of the historical fact that Jesus rose from the dead, and because of that He not only has our attention, but He has our affection, our allegiance and our worship. Our focus is always and only on the cross and Jesus who hung on it, and then conquered death through His resurrection. It is Easter every Sunday…and Saturday!Tags: easter