You’re doing it wrong…


This week, in part three of the “Bro-Code” sermon series, we talked about how to “judge your bro”.  I won’t attempt to recap the sermon here (podcast available here), but in short, even though Jesus warned us about judging others, he also laid out a plan and procedure for properly dealing with a bro (or sister) that has wronged us.   Here it is:

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.- Jesus   (Matthew 18:15-16)

I wouldn’t think of modifying Jesus’ words. I think his plan still works just fine.  I do think I probably should add these warnings/suggestions as it seems that over the years church folks have REALLY struggled to get this right.

If you feel the need to “point out the fault” of someone you barely know…someone you have NO relationship with-  YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

If you find yourself “pointing out the faults” of those OUTSIDE of the church, and ignoring the faults of those INSIDE-  YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

If you find yourself ENJOYING “pointing out faults” instead of recognizing it for the grave and painful RESPONSIBILITY for those we LOVE-  YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

If you don’t have the err…guts…to “point out the fault” of someone personally (one on one), but jump directly to Facebook or twitter- YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

If you notice tiny “specks” in everyone else’s eye, yet fail to recognize the giant 2×4 sticking out of your own skull…yeah…Jesus Said it-  YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

If your “pointing out the faults” activity is causing shame and resentment from those OUTSIDE of the church, instead of lovingly helping to create an attractive, loving, and accountable community INSIDE the church-  YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

Hope that clears up any confusion.  :-)


“Great Joy in that City”


This morning while reading from Acts Chapter 8, I happened on an amazing verse that reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about.   This chapter begins the description of how a terrible villain (later to become a follower of Christ himself) named Saul, was wreaking havoc on the church at Jerusalem.  Because of his persecution, arrests, and murders, the first church was ripped apart and scattered across the entire region.  It COULD have been the end.  The first church could have been the LAST church…but something amazing then happened.

Everywhere the scattered Christians went, they began to tell others about Jesus and care for others needs.  Instead of destroying the church, the actions of Saul actually SPREAD the church like pouring water on a grease fire.  One of the examples given is a man named Philip who went to the city of Samaria and “proclaimed the Messiah there”.   It’s an amazing story…you should check it out…but one tiny verse caught my eye in particular.  Verse 8 simply says this:

 “So there was great joy in that city.”  (Acts 8:8)

Because of Phillip…because of the Gospel…because of his care and healing…IN SPITE of the terrible circumstances that brought him there: there was “great joy” in Samaria!

What a great thing to be said about a ministry…about a church.  I ALWAYS want that to be said about actionchurch and it’s people.  It has to remain part of our “BRO CODE”.  We’re filled with joy, we bring the party, even in the most difficult times we still manage to be filled with joy and fun.  AND because of that…because of Jesus…because of the way we “Love God, Love People, and Take action” we BRING JOY to the city around us that we serve.


Love that story.  Love the legacy left by a guy named Phillip.  Love the possibilities.  Most of all, I Love being part of a church that is not stuffy and sour…but is instead filled with laughter and Joy.

It matters.



Everything possible

So inspired by these words from the Apostle Paul this morning:

19 Even thoughI am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. 22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.   

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

So grateful that Paul was willing to do EVERYTHING possible to spread the good news.

If you are a follower of Jesus and did not come from a Jewish heritage…you should be also.

We are followers of Jesus today because he let NOTHING stop him from sharing the good news of Jesus with those outside the Jewish faith.

Humbling…and inspiring.



What actionchurch is NOT…

card and donuts
This Sunday, Steve Warrington used an old “Who” tune and the 105th psalm to ask us all a very important question:  “Who are you?”   I LOVE the answer he provided to that question:  “In the end, we are dumb, dirty, defenseless sheep…who follow an awesome Shepherd!”   I couldn’t be happier with that description of the growing numbers of people who invest so much of their time, resources, and talents into making this thing we call actionchurch a reality.

As I thought about that question after the service Sunday,  I couldn’t help think about a few things that actionchurch is NOT.  Things that many people have thought actionchurch “IS” but have turned out NOT to be true.   I made a little list Sunday…Maybe you can think of more.

actionchurch is NOT a building or location.  When we began, much of our identity as a church came from being “that church that meets in a bar”.   Today, many people get to know us as “that church that meets in a movie theater”.  Many thought that actionchurch wouldn’t be “actionchurch” when we moved from Fat Daddies Nightclub…when we moved from Club 19…when we moved into Frank Theaters.  Over the years it’s become apparent that a building or location is just that…a PLACE to gather…NOT what gives us our identity.

actionchurch is NOT a preacher of leader.   In the first three years of the church, I preached almost every sunday.   When I occasionally…and I mean OCCASIONALLY   was gone for the week, we brought in outside “guest” speakers, attendance dropped dramatically, and church felt VERY different from a “normal” actionchurch service. Today, that has changed completely.  Some of our very BEST sundays are those when members of our leadership team other than me take over the teaching responsibilities.  They all have different styles and personalities…but it’s still 100% actionchurch!  actionchurch has officially moved past being about ONE preacher or leader, in fact, I predict July will be our best month ever…and apparently I’m not scheduled to speak until the 5th Sunday. :-)

actionchurch is NOT about musical style or genre.  Over the years, many people have associated actionchurch with the bands that play on Sunday morning.  We’ve been called “that rock n roll church” and of course “that church that is way tooooo loud”  The truth is, we’ve now covered almost ever Genre of music that Steve mentioned Sunday except for perhaps “stoner rock”.  It can be country.  It can be metal.  It can be quiet.  It can be loud.  It’s still actionchurch.

actionchurch is NOT an “organization”.   …at least not a very “organized” one. actionchurch has no org chart.  The only job titles we use are usually for sarcastic or mocking purposes.  No one gets a salary.  There are no benefits (except for hard work and constant sarcastic comments and jokes about you from your fellow crew members)  We don’t have an office.   We barely maintain an email list.  Somehow though, amazing things happen each week.  People work HARD…really hard.   Tough jobs are tackled and great creativity happens.   It’s the best “unorganized” organization I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be part of…all because of ONE thing.

We are Dumb, Dirty, Defenseless sheep who serve an AWESOME Shepherd, that is where we get our identity as a church. And, because of him, we’re very serious about Loving God, Loving people, and Taking action as he modeled and commanded!

16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.- Jesus   (Matthew 5:16)  



It’s not exactly a positive statement to be called inconsistent.   However, one of the things you may have noticed if you are part of actionchurch…or have even attended actionchurch…we’re pretty inconsistent when it comes to money and finances.

On one hand, actionchurch can be really thrifty.  (that’s a nice word for cheap). We meet in a rented theater instead of purchasing a building.  We buy used equipment.  We build stuff ourselves. We fix stuff.  Most of our church equipment is at least partially built of Gaffer tape and black spray paint.  We haul the stuff we do have around in an ancient converted potato chip truck that we didn’t paint or logo for over a year. We utilize technology, but rely on cheap commercial software instead of expensive church programs. We are a church of volunteers.  We have no paid staff.  We offer very few benefits except a free t-shirt once a year, and all the donuts you can eat.  We’ve been thrifty since our early “broke church start up that meets in a nightclub” days…and we don’t intend to change.

On the other hand, actionchurch can be extravagant.   We own an expensive commercial bounce house…and a shaved ice stand.  (Sometimes I think our equipment would be better suited to a traveling carnival than a church) :-)  And, as Kenna just announced this Sunday,  We are going to provide and serve a free breakfast AND Dinner to 400+ folks at this years Relay for Life.   When we’re not providing food, we’ll be providing free coffee to the participants, and that’s just PART of the expense and effort that we are pouring into this single event as a church.

There’s a reason for our inconsistency.   We are “Thrifty” as an organization SO THAT WE CAN BE extravagantly generous to those outside of our church.   Our intent is never to “save money” so that actionchurch folks don’t have to give money…but instead to be as “tight” as possible as a church so that we can give away more to those outside.

Pastor Mark Driscoll recently said,  “You can either worship Money…or worship God WITH your money”.  That sounds a lot like a Rabbi named Jesus who said “you can’t serve both God and money” so many years ago.

I hope you’ll join us in our extravagant generosity for the people of this years Relay for Life. I hope you’ll worship God WITH your money instead of allowing it to be what you worship. I hope you will be part of our efforts as a church to be CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT when it comes to finances.