417.881.1316 [email protected]
Just Because It Hasn’t Happened Yet…

Just Because It Hasn’t Happened Yet…

blog

Just Because It Hasn’t Happened Yet . . .

By Greg Perkins, SMDHealthy.Church
Have you ever prayed for something to happen and been disappointed that it hasn’t happened as you hoped?  You’re not alone.  We all have one, two, or fifty things in life that we have been looking forward to happening and have maybe even given up the hope of seeing it come to pass.  We might ask ourselves, “How long should I wait before giving up?”  That is a difficult question to answer.

Several months ago I read an article about a man who had purchased a 1968 Corvette in the summer of 1969.  It was his dream car and he spent ALL he had, to purchase it—to the point that he could not insure it.  Well, three months later, he parked the car in a New York City parking garage only to have it stolen.  He filed all the reports with police and waited for them to find the car.  After a few years, he gave up ever seeing that car again.

Photos: Dave Scavone for CorvetteAmerica.com as presented in Stolen Corvette Now Restored, Ready for New Life on corvetteblogger.com.

 

Fast-forward 37 years.  A shipping container in Long Beach, California on it’s way to Sweden with a 1968 Corvette aboard was routinely checked through U.S. Customs only to find that this particular car had been reported stolen in 1969!  After detectives did several months worth of research, they tracked down the owner who had his car stolen 37 years before and returned it to him.

WOW!  It makes you wonder if maybe we have given up on things that might still be possible, huh?

In Scripture, we see the story of Abraham who received a promise from God that he would be the father of many nations…when he didn’t even have a son.  The years past…5, 10, 15 years…still no child.  Then 20 years…still no child.  It was 25 years later that Isaac (the promised heir) was born to Abraham and Sarah.  Could you have waited that long?

The vision of the Lord directing Abraham to count the stars (woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld from the 1860 Bible in Pictures).

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5469755; cropped for this website by site admin.

 

Romans 4:18-22 (NLT)

18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.

 

What’s the point?  Just because it hasn’t happened yet…doesn’t mean that it won’t happen!  Maybe it just isn’t time for it to happen yet.

 

Is there something you’ve been praying and trusting God to do, but you haven’t seen it happen?  Remember that God is faithful…and He ALWAYS keeps His promises.

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

I Love Change, But . . . Who Moved My Treadmill?

I Love Change, But . . . Who Moved My Treadmill?

blog

I love change, but . . . who moved my treadmill?

By Greg Perkins, SMDHealthy.Church

I have always considered myself as someone that wasn’t afraid of change—in fact, I often boasted that I embraced change.  I have gone so far as to repeat the joke, “a rut (routine) is just the same as a grave, except the ends are kicked out.”   Apparently, when it comes to my affinity for change, the only person I was fooling was me.  This disturbing fact was made clear to me a few years ago when my fitness center moved all it’s equipment to a newly remodeled space.

When I arrived for my Monday morning workout, nothing was where it had been on the previous Friday.  I was immediately unsettled, but reminded myself, “change is good, right?”  I searched until I found my favorite piece of exercise equipment, only to find that it wasn’t working.  I settled for a similar machine, only to discover that it didn’t have a great view of the television…which was not on my favorite channel…and that the sound wasn’t working.  Not to be deterred, I spent the next thirty minutes trying to read the captions and NOT fall off the machine.  Having achieved the appropriate level of fatigue and sweat, I headed to the newly installed water fountain…only to find that it was “out of order.”  Trying to remain positive, I decided that I would complete the rest of my “routine,” but inside, I was anything but positive…I was troubled.  At first, I was troubled that my “routine” had been disrupted—later, I was troubled that this disruption bothered me this way.

 

By the time I arrived home to shower and get ready for the day, I had a good chuckle at my own expense.  I had become comfortable in my routine and it caused me to wonder about other things that I might have allowed to become “routine” in my life as well.   My job?  My marriage?  My relationship with God?

 

If we are not careful, we can become so comfortable with our “routines” that we begin to take the important things in life (people, relationships, etc.) for granted.

 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV) says,

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

 

This verse should serve as an encouragement to us, that we shouldn’t ever allow our relationship with God to become routine.  His compassions (mercies) are new EVERY morning—which means there is something NEW and FRESH that we can experience every day in our relationship with Him.  I challenge you to keep things fresh and new in your life each day.

 

Let’s make each day count! 

Greg

 

 

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

So You Think YOU Had A Good Idea?

So You Think YOU Had A Good Idea?

blog

SO YOU THINK YOU HAD A GOOD IDEA?

By Greg Perkins, SMDHealthy.Church

 

Have you ever had an idea that made you think, “Wow, that was a really good idea that I had!”…only to find out that someone else had the idea before you and that it wasn’t only yours?  I read a verse in John 15:16 that made me think of the MANY times this has happened to me.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” – John 15:16 (NIV)

 

Most of us live under the wrong impression that WE made the decision to come to Christ completely on our own, and probably think, “Wow, that was a pretty good idea!”  The fact is, HE CHOSE US FIRST!  When Christ went to the cross to pay the price for our sins, he cleared the way for you to have the choice to come to Him.  If HE hadn’t done what He did, we couldn’t have even made that choice.  The whole thing was HIS idea BEFORE it was yours.

“Most of us live under the wrong impression that WE made the decision to come to Christ completely on our own…”

GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

But why did He choose us?  He chose us and appointed us to bear fruit.  The entire chapter of John 15 talks about this idea of bearing fruit and living a life that is fruitful.  We are reminded that fruit grows on trees as a result of what is INSIDE of them—their DNA if you will.  An apple tree will grow apples because that is what is inside its nature.  In our case, if we are followers of Christ, and His character is being developed INSIDE us, then, His character will grow as the fruit on the OUTSIDE of us.

 

 

What is inside of you?  The quickest way to know is by looking at what is GROWING out of your life (the fruit/produce).  If you are not satisfied with what is growing out of your life, then allow God to transform you on the inside.  The law of sowing and reaping that Paul writes about in Galatians 6:7-9 is a real thing, and if we will sow the seeds of prayer, study of God’s Word, and faithfulness…then the crops that grow from your life and ministry will be just the kind of fruit that is needed for whatever SEASON of life you’re facing!

if we are followers of Christ, and His character is being developed INSIDE us, then His character will grow as the fruit on the OUTSIDE of us..”

GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

 

 

 

Whenever you’re tempted to think this life you’re living was YOUR idea, remember that Christ was thinking of you long BEFORE you ever thought of Him.  Your fruitfulness in life or ministry will be a direct result of HIS life IN you.

Let’s make it count!

 

Greg

Whenever you’re tempted to think this life you’re living was YOUR idea, remember that Christ was thinking of you long BEFORE you ever thought of Him.  Your fruitfulness in life or ministry will be a direct result of HIS life IN you. let’s make it count

GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

3 Factors Your Church Needs To Thrive! Part Four

3 Factors Your Church Needs To Thrive! Part Four

blog

3 Factors Your Church Needs To Thrive! Part four

By Greg Perkins, SMDHealthy.Church

Failure To Thrive (FTT) is a condition where growth has been decelerated, arrested, or considered to be abnormal (in) growth or development.  FTT is most often used to describe children who have failed to show the signs of growth and development in critical areas of health, but also accurately describes a church that is experiencing plateau or decline.  In previous blogs of this series, we have explored the need for Committed Leadership and Biblical Behavior within the church.  In this week’s blog, we will focus on the final factor your church needs to thrive…

Factor 3:  Outward Focus.

Church revitalization specialist and author, Ed Stetzer, said this about the importance of an outward focus, “One of the things you will find in churches that are growing disciples and growing numerically is an emphasis on outward focus. It is so integral that outward focus should be a part of revitalizing a church.”

One of the things you will find in churches that are growing disciples and growing numerically is an emphasis on outward focus. It is so integral that outward focus should be a part of revitalizing a church.” Ed Stetzer, Ph.D.

EXECUTIVE dIRECTOR, BILLY GRAHAM CENTER FOR EVANGELISM, Wheaton College

 

In the first chapter of Acts, we find Christ’s final instructions to his followers before ascending into heaven.  He told them to wait in Jerusalem to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, but also told them what would and should happen as a result.  What would happen was they would receive POWER after the Holy Spirit came upon them.  What should happen was they would be WITNESSES of Him “in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”   Christ’s words were meant to confirm what He had told them in the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel (promise of the Holy Spirit), but, also, to give them the strategy they needed to accomplish the Great Commission they had just received.  Basically, He told them to start where they were, but not to stay where they were!  I believe Jesus was trying to establish an outward pattern of ministry for the church that would propel their message to those who needed to hear it.   This is essential because the Church has been called to reach “all the world,” not just those on our front porch or in our backyard.

 

He told them to start where they were, but not to stay where they were!  I believe Jesus was trying to establish an outward pattern of ministry for the church that would propel their message to those who needed to hear it.  GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

In an article written for Christianity Today (Revitalizing Church Through an Outward Focus), Ed Stetzer also shared this:  “An outward focus can avert church conflict. Instead of having a room full of customers demanding church their way, the music their way, the pastor their way, you have a room full of co-laborers who are receiving training to live out the mission of God.” Churches that are in decline, or in the final stages of life have almost always become INWARDLY FOCUSED.  Phrases like, “What about us?” are spoken much more often than “How can we reach our neighbors?”  Inwardly focused churches are more attentive to the preferences of church-goers than they are with the needs of the lost.  This does not line up with the example set by the first century church in Acts 2:42-47. 

 

 

But, let’s be clear, they did not ignore the needs of their brothers and sisters in Christ (or anyone else).  The Scripture indicates that they gave to anyone that had need and spent time together.  Looking after one another is part of our responsibility as the Body of Christ, but we must remember that it is not our sole responsibility.  Jesus said that people would know we are His disciples by our love for each other.  In other words, our love and care for each other should equip and enable us to reach those outside the church.  When the people in our community know that we love them in the same way as we love each other, they will be receptive to the message of hope we bring.   In their book, The Externally Focused Church, Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson said, “The success of an externally focused church depends on getting involved in the community, creating authentic relationships, and being truly useful.”  They went on to say, “In the process of SHOWING, externally focused churches have discovered, again and again, that people are more willing to listen to their TELLING.”

“In the process of SHOWING, externally focused churches have discovered, again and again, that people are more willing to listen to their TELLING.” Rick Rusaw & Eric Swanson

authors, the externally focused church

 

A pond that only collects water, but has no means to release it will stagnate and cease to be useful.  The same is true with the church.  If we hold on to the ministry we receive and fail to share it with those outside our walls, we too will stagnate and cease to be useful.

I’ve heard dozens of church leaders make this declaration, “The local church is the hope of the world.”  While I believe that statement to be true, I would offer just two clarifying words – “The OUTWARD FOCUSED local church is the hope of the world.”

“I’ve heard dozens of church leaders make this declaration, ‘The local church is the hope of the world.’  While I believe that statement to be true, I would offer just two clarifying words – ‘The OUTWARD FOCUSED local church is the hope of the world.’” GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

Churches that are plateaued or in decline CAN THRIVE AGAIN, but it will require Committed Leadership, Biblical Behaviors, and an Outward Focus.  Churches that make these factors a priority, will overcome Failure To Thrive and begin their journey to health and vibrancy once again.

To read previously posted blogs in this series, or on other topics, go to SMDHealth.Church and click the BLOG tab on the home page.

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

3 Factors Your Church Needs To Thrive! Part Three

3 Factors Your Church Needs To Thrive! Part Three

blog

3 Factors Your Church Needs To Thrive! Part three

By Greg Perkins, SMD Healthy.Church
In each part of this series, we are looking at the factors necessary to overcome the condition known as Failure To Thrive (FTT).  In last week’s blog, we considered Committed Leadership as the first of the three factors your church needs to thrive.  In this week’s blog, we will look at the second factor.

 

Factor 2:  Biblical Behavior

As church leaders, we believe and teach that God’s Word is the sole authority for faith and practice, both in life and in the church.  The importance of sound Biblical teaching in every aspect of church life cannot be overstated.  We must make the teaching and preaching of God’s Word a high priority in our groups, our classrooms, and our pulpits.  If we fail in that endeavor, the foundation of our faith will crumble.  “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) 

“The importance of sound Biblical teaching in every aspect of church life cannot be overstated.  We must make the teaching and preaching of God’s Word a high priority in our groups, our classrooms, and our pulpits.  If we fail in that endeavor, the foundation of our faith will crumble.” GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

 

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that the Word of God is “alive and active,” which means that we do not need to make it relevant.   God’s Word REMAINS RELEVANT because the One that inspired it is eternally relevant.  Our only job is to help the church to see how it is relevant to their daily lives.

While I firmly believe we must offer more avenues for people to study, learn, and grow in their knowledge of the Word, I feel the need to make a potentially controversial statement.  Churches rarely die due to a lack of Biblical teaching—they die due to a lack of Biblical behavior! 

Churches rarely die due to a lack of Biblical teaching—

they die due to  a lack of Biblical behavior!

GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

 

I believe that we have been taught far more of the Bible than we are currently applying to daily life.   Our problem in the church isn’t the amount of teaching—our problem is the amount of LIVING OUT what we’ve been taught!

 

In my experience, most pastors are very committed to preach and teach the Bible to their congregations, but we often focus solely on what it says and fail to help our listeners understand what it means to apply it in their daily life.

 

Can you imagine what church life would be like if we actually behaved like the Bible teaches to behave?  What if we managed relational conflict the way God’s Word teaches us?  What if deacons and elders served in the same way it shows us in the New Testament?  I contend that we already know the answers to these powerful questions.  The results would be a healthy and vibrant church in the heart of every community in which they serve. 

 

 

If you want your church to thrive, Biblical Behavior must become a priority.  As teachers and preachers of the Word, we must help our people know how to live (i.e. behave) Biblically at home and in the marketplace.  We must help them know and apply what it means to “live by the Spirit” in the way that Paul teaches in Galatians chapter 5.  It’s not enough to tell them what it says—we must teach them how to apply it to daily life.

In part 4 of this series, we will look at the third factor needed for your church to thrive.  Be sure to share this with a church leader and check out the other blogs and resources available at SMDHealthy.Church.

 

As teachers and preachers of the Word, we must help our people know how to live (i.e. behave) Biblically at home and in the marketplace. GREG PERKINS

DIRECTOR, SMD HEALTHY CHURCH

Greg Perkins

Greg Perkins

Church Development Director

Greg Perkins serves as Church Development Director for the Southern Missouri District. He and his wife Di Ann have always had a passion for the local church as well as a deep desire to see healthy, vibrant churches reach their communities with the Gospel.  They bring this passion and desire to their work in and among the churches of Southern Missouri.  The Perkins’ are former lead pastors of First Family Church in Osage Beach, MO, and have spent over 25 years in full-time church ministry in Southern Missouri and Kansas, serving as lead pastor in Marshfield, Missouri and Derby, Kansas.  Di Ann has worked as an executive secretary in real estate, banking, international missions, and Christian higher education. In addition to church leadership, Greg spent 6 years as a Senior Sales and Business Development Representative for two Fortune 500 companies, as well as Director of Chaplains for police agencies in Kansas and Missouri. The Perkins’ have two sons, Brad and Alex. Greg is also the author of a devotional book entitled, “Moments of Destiny,” He is currently working on a series of book projects and also has a devotional blog site, www.momentsofdestiny.com.

 

Pin It on Pinterest