Our purpose as a church is not to be comfortable. It's not to keep me employed or to make you happy. Our purpose as a church is to creatively reveal something that is world changing and epic-- it is the love of the Father! A love that is the answer to all of the brokenness in this badly broken...
Showing items for 'February 2016'
Shortly after awakening from a restful night’s sleep, Maureen Shannon walked to the window to open the blinds. At the last minute, she changed her mind and turned around. In the very next moment her body broke and her future was dramatically altered. Maureen began playing piano when she...
You might know exactly what talents and abilities God has given you and where you are of most service in the body of Christ. Or, you might like to know where the biggest needs are and step into a serving spot that is desperate to be filled. However, you may have no idea where or even when you...
On Friday, February 18, over 400 people gathered at the Ignition Banquet in the Worship Center that was transformed into a banquet hall to launch our On The Road capital campaign. The evening was filled with fun, food, games and great conversation. A meal of salad, rice, chicken and...
Jesus said that if we found our life and our significance in His love, that we would be then so changed and altered in our heart that we would spend the rest of our lives helping other people find their place in the love of the Father! So if we are not doing the one, then we need to question...
Do you realize that one of the greatest growth industries in modern America is the storage industry? The funny thing is as we gain more and gather more stuff that we don't need, we then have put this 'stuff' in storage. We can't get rid of it or give it to someone who might need it- God forbid!...
Seventeen and a half years ago when God let me have the privilege of becoming the lead pastor at The Church at Severn Run, we had a real decision to make. The decision to make was to stay where we are and ignore the need of the world around us and pretend like somebody else will reach those...
So, we’re already into the second month of 2016! How are your resolutions coming along? If you’re like most people, then it’s possible that you’re finding it difficult to stick with it at this point. Most New Year’s resolutioners (yes, I made up a word there)...
The truth is, God gives everything to those who give everything to Him. The church at Severn Run has to get on the road to impossible in order to live the future of God! We have to make 'impossible' our regular way of living. I'm telling you, 17 years ago when God called me to this church, God...
Over and over in my life, I have looked at what I have and was mad that I didn't have more. We look around at what other people have, and in all of that comparison there is this basic foundational accusation, "God, you are not good. You didn't give me a winning hand, therefore I can't win, so...
Our purpose as a church is not to be comfortable. It's not to keep me employed or to make you happy. Our purpose as a church is to creatively reveal something that is world changing and epic-- it is the love of the Father! A love that is the answer to all of the brokenness in this badly broken world. It is a love that we do not need to leave to the imagination. It is a love that has been given a name, it is a love that had a face. It's a love that had hands and feet. It's a love that touched life and changed it!
And so, we creatively reveal the love of the Father, through the life of the Son, but we don't do that in our own power or our own abilities, it's all in the power of the Holy Spirit! So if we are saved, if we have entered into the life of Christ, then we are sent out by Christ into the world! Every Christ follower is one who is sent, that's our call!
Guys, I'm just telling you, we have so badly distorted discipleship in the modern church, it's not even funny. We've taken people into classrooms, sat them down, and filled their brain with theories and facts that somehow don't seem to be 'dropping' the 18 inches from the 'head to the heart.'
Jesus never led anybody into a classroom.
He led needy people out into a broken world that they might redeem it. Because in this world, everything is broken and everything needs to be redeemed!
We've made knowledge the currency of the Kingdom when faith is always the currency! We have made 'learning more' the quest when it's knowing Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him that is the quest. It's a person, not some body of knowledge or doctrines! It all has to do with faith and believing. Not a doctrine of knowledge, but a person! A being! To understand that we're embracing a heart more than we're embracing some orthodoxy! Guys, if we're saved, then we are sent out into the world to save in the authority of Jesus Christ!
What it means to be saved is to trade a terminal life for an eternal one. It means to acknowledge that in this world, we will never be finally happy, finally complete, that in this world we will never be finally appreciated or loved! There will always be tension, always be pain, always be a level of brokenness in our life, but in the midst of it all, there is a savior who's love will overcome and He will lead you to win the war of your heart and your soul so that you will "struggle" successfully and you will then be sent out "by love" into a broken world to lead others to trade their terminal lives for an eternal one as well!
So go and make disciples, and don't just do it with people that look like you, and live where you live. Go out of your way, bump into other people and as you do, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything (Matthew 28:19).
Don't walk away from them if they are new in the faith. You teach them and you do life with them until they get it. And when they do, then they can share it with somebody else. That's the call of Jesus Christ! -Dr. Drew Shofner
Shortly after awakening from a restful night’s sleep, Maureen Shannon walked to the window to open the blinds. At the last minute, she changed her mind and turned around. In the very next moment her body broke and her future was dramatically altered.
Maureen began playing piano when she was 11 years old. She felt God had gifted her to play and she enjoyed it tremendously. She played in churches both voluntarily and in some paid positions for 36 years. The accident on February 5, 2014 forever changed her ability to use that gift.
A box of pictures had found its home under the window in Maureen’s bedroom for the better part of a year. It sat, totally benign, patiently waiting to be opened up and gone through as soon as time and circumstances would allow. Maureen put it there. She knew she was standing next to it as she debated whether to open or leave the blinds closed. However, as Maureen turned away from the dark window, she tripped over the box of photos. The trajectory of her body and the momentum of her turn carried her down to the floor. Before she landed in a crumpled heap, her shoulder first slammed into her husband’s shoe rack and broke the ball on which her arm rotates inside the shoulder. The rest of the fall shattered the upper part of her humerus in three places.
Even under the circumstances of the four times she gave birth to their daughters, she never called her husband, Steve, at the clinic where he practiced as a physician to request that he come home. On this occasion however, Maureen knew she needed serious and immediate medical attention.
Steve came home. He walked in the door and was met by a dazed Maureen with her arm hanging limply at her side. She was quickly succumbing to shock.
Steve loaded Maureen into the car and drove to Anne Arundel Medical Center. At first glance, the attending physician assumed her injury to be from a fall on the ice as he had seen many such injuries that day. Embarrassed by the seemingly innocent nature of tripping over a box in a bedroom, Maureen jokingly asked if the doctor could record “slipped on the ice” as the cause of injury instead.
As the marrow leaked out of her bones and traveled down her arm increasing the swelling and damage to the entire arm, the diagnosing physician proclaimed that her injury would result in a complete shoulder replacement. They sent her home with medication to try to staunch the blinding pain, but no further action could be taken until the swelling went down.
The nature of their military insurance required Maureen to endure another consultation at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center where again, a shoulder replacement seemed imminent. At their appointment, they learned that by divine providence, there was availability for Maureen to be seen at Walter Reed Medical Center where they got to see God’s hand at work again.
Only upon Maureen’s third evaluation, this time at Walter Reed, did they meet with a surgeon who announced that he could repair and rebuild her shoulder and did not recommend a shoulder replacement.
This surgeon was an expert. He had the honor of addressing hundreds of injuries sustained by soldiers sent home from the Middle East. These soldiers had been involved in assaults and IED explosions. They literally had their limbs blown to pieces. The complexity of Maureen’s shoulder injury was similar these. God had sent her to Walter Reed to have the aid of a surgeon who was experienced and uniquely qualified to bring healing to her body.
Maureen underwent the complex surgery that left her with a seven-inch metal plate and 12, three-inch pins holding her upper arm together. Remarkably, after 17 months of rehabilitation and physical therapy she has recovered 90% use and motion of her arm.
Maureen’s recovery astonished the professionals she came into contact with. The Lord provided her with exactly the right surgeon and team that performed an amazing surgery on her arm. She enjoyed support from her family who cared for her. She had a sweet friend who was the hands and feet of Jesus every Thursday as she ministered to Maureen in her home. Countless friends drove her to appointments from February to November when she was unable to drive herself. Maureen performed her physical therapy exercises faithfully. All of these things worked together to provide recovery above and beyond what any of the doctors dared to hope for.
In spite of such an extraordinary recovery, some things will never be the same. Maureen had to grieve the loss of her ability to play piano as she did before the accident. This was hard because piano had been her gift for decades.
In time, Maureen came to accept that God closed the door on that season. While it seems strange to not have that be a part of her life anymore, she is eager to see where God will have for her in the next season.
God is definitely not done with her yet!
Maureen is a wonderful Bible teacher and has been leading a Tuesday morning Bible study at The Church at Severn Run for 17 years (with the exception of the Spring of 2014 when she was recovering from surgery). She is looking forward to seeing the other places God will use her as she faces a future different than she always imagined.
You might know exactly what talents and abilities God has given you and where you are of most service in the body of Christ. Or, you might like to know where the biggest needs are and step into a serving spot that is desperate to be filled. However, you may have no idea where or even when you would be able to serve, you just know it’s what you need to do.
Guess what! There is most definitely the perfect place for you to volunteer at Severn Run!
Most of the opportunities under the “Serve” include ways to volunteer at The Church at Severn Run and serve your fellow Severn Runners. Examples include serving on the VIP Team, the Hospitality Team, or the Creative Team.
IMPACT Projects consist of opportunities to volunteer in support of the local community. Some projects we've done include helping at Lillie's Place, supporting mission churches, and hosting Winter Relief.
The opportunities listed are always changing and new ways to volunteer arise all the time. You can serve with kids, with adults, behind the scenes, weekly, monthly, daily, or yearly.
Connect Groups are encouraged to volunteer together. Bring up the topic of volunteering with your Connect Group and see where the group’s interests lie.
If you’re asking, “How can I volunteer?” the possibilities are limitless. Step out in faith and be amazed at how God will use you.
You’ll find that when you volunteer with the hope of blessing others, that you may end up feeling the most blessed of all.
On Friday, February 18, over 400 people gathered at the Ignition Banquet in the Worship Center that was transformed into a banquet hall to launch our On The Road capital campaign.
The evening was filled with fun, food, games and great conversation. A meal of salad, rice, chicken and green beans was expertly served by the boys and girls of Club 56 who generously volunteered their time to serve the food and bus the tables.
Pastor John and Bonni Mace hosted a fun game based on The Price is Right where in two rounds five contestants bid on the cost of various items on the Severn Run budget. People were amazed that the yearly toilet paper budget was under $500. Lee Nicholas won the game’s showcase by correctly guessing the monthly budget for the building’s mortgage.
Although the evening was wrought with fun and games and ended with a great time of worship led by the Worship Tribe, the purpose of the evening was to share the vision for the Future of Severn Run.
It is not enough to just be a church; there is a larger purpose—to creatively reveal the love of the Father through the life of the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit to our community until everyone has heard the message of God’s love.
And in order to grow our church community from 1200 to 5000+ disciples, we must first share about Jesus. Second, we must have the kind of space that allows all of those people to have a place to worship, serve and grow. And this is what On The Road is about—to gather the resources to expand ministry and friendships, and to create environments to make room for everyone.
This campaign isn’t just about a building—we are each challenged to give all we can so God can use our investment to reduce our current mortgage, increase our missions and other partnership involvement, reach more people in our community, and plan for future expansion.
There are four specific ways you can get On The Road: Give, Serve, Ask and Pray. When you give an offering (beyond your tithe) designated to On The Road each month for the next two years, you help us get closer to implementing the vision God has given. When you serve by helping with events, or by joining other areas of the On The Road Serve Team, you help make the journey a success. By asking others to help, or inviting them to be a part of Severn Run, you can help others experience the blessing of extravagant giving. And when you pray, you help fuel the journey and guard against mishaps.
And so we ask that you prayerfully consider the role God has for you over the next two years that we are On The Road. Remember that even a small gift is not small at all when you put it into the hands of God.
Jesus said that if we found our life and our significance in His love, that we would be then so changed and altered in our heart that we would spend the rest of our lives helping other people find their place in the love of the Father! So if we are not doing the one, then we need to question the other, because this is a love so great and so powerful that it changes whatever it touches!
If we are truly saved, as the church of the living God, then we have to acknowledge that our purpose is not a country club for consumers. It is not a place for critics to rate. It is not where we get our needs met, that is not what the church is for!
The church is the body of Christ, it is to be in our world, what Christ's body was in His world! The body of Christ served the mind of Christ to do His will to touch the faces of those who are hurting and broken in His day and it's supposed to do the exact same thing in ours!
The flow of the love of God is this--Jesus said, "you come to me, and find in Me your life and the purpose you've been longing for. Everything else that you've tried and broken yourself on, when you come to Me instead of going to 'that', you will find rest! You will find life and you will find joy! But when you come and follow me for life, I'm going to send you out and I'm going to make you 'fishers of men' (Matthew 4:19). That's my purpose, that's my call, that's my love for the world expressed and lived in a way that actually works!" (paraphrased)
Here's the deal, I am so convinced that I (and we), do not believe in the power of the Gospel much anymore. I have been praying for the day when we would see 300 new believers come to Christ and follow Him in baptism every year. In a city of hundreds of thousands, how is that not possible?
There's only one way that's not possible and it's that I'm not doing my job!
I'm not believing my Lord. I'm not going where I should be going.
I'm not speaking how I should be speaking. I'm not letting Jesus make me what He wants to make me!
I want us, as a church, to wake up and opt of out consumerism.
I want us a church to recover our confidence in the Gospel (the good news of Jesus) to change lives and to believe that it's not just preachers who are given the privilege of answering brokenness, but every Christ follower is one who is sent!
If we have entered into the life of Christ, then we are sent out by Christ into the world.
The Gospel isn't an invitation to personal happiness--it's a call to wage and win an eternal war on your heart and your soul! If we're saved, we're sent! -Dr. Drew Shofner
To hear the full message click here to listen to the live recording: http://severnrun.com/resources/past-messages/our-faith-isnt-finished/