Xcel Darlington: Easter Sunday

Yesterday was how Church should be every week. The atmosphere was fantastic, there was a real celebration feel to the praise & worship and we sang our hearts out, praising God for the resurrection.

I noticed on my twitter feeds that Brian Houston commented why can’t it be Easter every Sunday. To which he obviously got the reply ‘IT IS’. Maybe the challenge for us as Christians is to remember that and live life with the realisation of that fact.

It is incredible that the same power that raised Christ from the dead, lives in us.
If I’m honest, I don’t always live that out. I will always do my best…but contrary to many peoples understanding just because I’m a Pastor doesn’t make me perfect.

My challenge all week has been to do Jesus justice. For all he has done for us. That we would live out the life worthy of the life Jesus gave for me. Yesterday was a great opportunity to remember that, and take up that challenge fresh once more!

Xcel Team…you were incredible.
Great numbers…people bringing people…people taking up the challenge of the Christian faith and committing their lives to him.
There was a lot of emotion in the room as we talked about ALL that Jesus did for us on the CROSS.

Plus…for fun, we collected over 100 Easter Eggs to giveaway to a local hospice.

How was Easter Sunday for you?

This Sunday is Easter: Make the Most of It!!

This Sunday is Easter…let’s make the most of it.

Sat pulling everything together for the preach of my life. Never preached an Easter message before. Mindful of the responsibility. Want to get it right. Could be the difference for someone and help them cross the line of decision. As J Lee Grady says in Charisma ‘It is the church’s responsibility to showcase the glorious Christ to a spiritually desperate multitude. He must be introduced properly. I pray we will be faithful in the way we present Him to our generation’.

We must CELEBRATE the resurrection of Jesus.
We must REMEMBER the Cross.
We must LIVE life with both of these events in mind.
We must do Jesus JUSTICE for all He did for us!!

Too many Christians have forgotten the cross.
Too many Christians take the resurrection forgranted.
Too many Christians live accepting mediocrity, not truly understanding the impact they could make for Jesus.

The CROSS OF CHRIST is the ultimate TURNING POINT…it is the ‘great exchange’ as Martin Luther wrote.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed [1 Peter 2:24]

This Easter…I am excited about the potential for breakthrough. In the words of Perry Noble (Pastor of New Spring Church)…I’m going to do my best to preach like its my last ever preach! If you are in Darlington then come & check Xcel Church out. Dolphin Centre @ 11am.

WHO CAN WE BRING?

[By the way Xcel Darlington: it’s also our Easter Egg Giveaway…an easy way to bless someone. Don’t forget to bring your Egg]

The Leadership Challenge

One of my favourite things is leadership training. For 10 years one of my main roles within the youth programme at Xcel Church was being the Leadership Coach…taking a bunch of would-be leaders, investing in them and providing them with every opportunity to grow.

It is one of the greatest challenges.
It is one of the most frustrating things you can do.
You see the potential in them.
You discover diamonds in the rough.
Then you have to dig it out…it can be messy, hard work and many times, despite your best efforts the rewards are not what you hoped for.

So here’s an open invitation…
This Sunday morning at Xcel Darlington…before the meeting starts…8.45AM. Leadership Training. 30 minutes packed full of leadership wisdom, challenge and ideas.

If you are up for it sign up here!

Ready for a Turning Point

Ready to preach after 5 weeks.
Ready for the new series TURNING POINTS.
Excited by the potential of seeing many lives changed by meeting with Jesus.
Excited that PY in Darlo yesterday already seen 5 young people become Christians with some quite incredible stories.

I am totally overwhelmed by the thought that this weekend is going to be a turning point for Xcel Darlington.

Here’s a glimpse of the message…
There are many things to say about TURNING POINTS.
History is punctuated by them.
Life is punctuated by them.

I am hoping that we all have people in our worlds who we think the best thing that could happen to them is a turning point with Jesus. Here’s my thought…we can be too desperate for our friends and families to have a turning point with Jesus. We can become pushy, almost force feeding them our opinions…which in my opinion, normally doesn’t work. In fact, it can often have the opposite effect making Christians look like something that they are not.

Jesus was not pushy.
In conversations that Jesus had he demonstrated an understanding for where an individual was coming from BUT always made sure that by the end of the conversation they had the potential to be in a different place. Think about the woman at the well in John 4, Nicodemus in John 3, the rich young ruler, the woman caught in adultery…an encounter with Jesus and the opportunity to accept or reject. A turning point?

Everybody has a frame of experience.
That frame of experience is influenced by many things.
The stuff that makes you you!

Jesus had a natural way of taking account of this without smashing them on the head with ‘I’m right, your wrong.’

He was persistent NOT pushy
He was determined NOT desperate
He was fair NOT forceful

We can learn a lot from Jesus and how he helped people enjoy a turning point in their life by meeting him. Come & find out more for the next 3 weeks. Xcel Church Darlington @ the Dolphin Centre. 11am. Every Sunday.

Still Believing For Great Things

I knew that committing to praying and believing for 90 days was going to be hard work. The disciplines can start to loosen a little over time, keeping focus becomes harder, especially as now I am just passing the halfway mark. At the beginning it’s exciting, the end will be too…the middle bit though – that can feel like a slog.

Getting up some mornings isn’t easy. BUT it’s always worthwhile.

Enjoying more than a fleeting moment with God. Standing in the presence of God at the beginning of a new day – it has changed me.

I am becoming more aware of God.
I am becoming more aware of my need for God.
I am becoming more aware of those moments when life distracts me too much.

So I am still standing. Still praying. Still believing. Still actively engaging my faith to see God do great and amazing things, in my life, in my family, in Xcel Church Darlington.

How about you?
What are you praying for at the moment?
What are you believing for in faith?

Psalm 69:9 says ‘…zeal for your house consumes me…’ I think this is probably what gets me up in the morning and drives me on regardless of all else.

The Final Installment

This Sunday we conclude our Team Church series. The Team Church adventure continues.

Calling all Xcel Darlington. We are in Central Hall this week so let’s pack it out. Let’s ALL be there. Ready to break some records, to have some fun, to continue the Xcel Darlington journey.

Winning teams display certain qualities. They cannot be taught. One is a choice. One is created. Together they can keep a team moving forward, overcoming obstacles and collecting victories along the way. Want to know what they are…well I’ll tell you…

…ON SUNDAY!!

Get the message out. Make a call. Tell everyone you know. Let’s get everyone to Xcel Darlington this Sunday and together we can make God famous. It’s going to be fun. Are you in? Who will you bring?

All this talk of team church launches us into MASSIVE MARCH. A month of breakthrough and growth. Of dialogue. Declaring the Gospel. Starting conversations and seeing new people at Xcel Darlington. Together, each one of us playing our small part, we can make a huge difference!!