Thursday, February 26, 2009

do you know your purpose?

after reading and reflecting on psalm 139, I am reminded of how great our God is. The fact that he is all-seeing, all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere present. He knows us and He is with us at all times even when we think He is not, and he longs for us to know Him. The psalmist states that the Lord has examined his heart and knows everything about him. He goes on to say that the Lord charts the path ahead of him even telling him where to sit and rest. He speaks of the Lord both preceding him and following him and even placing his hand of blessing upon his head - to the point to say that such knowledge of God is too wonderful for him. How great is our God that He is and does what He says he does. How great is it that no matter where we are or where we go, we are never out of the presence of His Spirit. How great is it to know that He alone is charting my path before me, even to the point of going before me and behind me while at the same time teaching and telling me when to sit down and rest. I have to be honest and say, that I long for those times that He tells me to be still and know that He is God. May you find rest today in your Creator as He calls for you to sit and be still - take a moment today to rest by the quiet waters and know that He has charted the path ahead of you.

~If you want to know more about your purpose in Christ, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday Reflections

This weekend was yet another amazing chapter in the life of Gateway Fellowship. It began on Saturday with Men's Breakfast. We had a great time of fellowship and prayer as well as an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ in the life of a family that lives right next to the church. This families house burned down to the ground early Saturday morning and they lost everything. The men in the church spent some time praying and they collected some monies to be given to this family as a gift. It was a delight to be able to deliver this blessing and pray for this family in the midst of their tragedy. Sunday morning, this family came to the church and brought their daughter and allowed her to stay during services while they began the clean up process on their home. God is good and He continues to open doors to us to chow the love of Christ in this community. Service was good. We spent time in 2 Peter 2:1-3 which is always heavy and the worship was great. God is doing some amazing things in the life of our church and we look forward to what He has in store for us down the road.

We are praying for:
~ the sale of properties
~ the 4th annual Egg Smash (our community Easter Event)
~ the resources that come with the harvest
~ the harvest
~ the opportunity to invest in the community
~ the vision of "doing life together"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Church Stats

Here are some sobering stats, concerning churches:

--- Nationally, roughly 3500 churches close each year.
--- An estimated 2 out of 10 Americans attend church on any given Sunday.
--- There are only enough church plants to keep up with 1/8 of the U.S. population growth.
--- Nationally there are only 100 churches planted for every 1 million people and with an average attendance of 80-90 people, housing a mere total of 8000-9000 people.
--- The church planting rate has been declining throughout the history of our country.

**sources: Barna, George, "Church Attendance", 2005, The Barna Group,
Olson, David T., Ten Fascinating Facts about the American Church. CD-ROM (2004), The American Church:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Sunday was awesome! Worship was great. The whole day was packed with events that show the growth of our church.We installed our Executive Pastor as an elder during our Sunday night worship time as well as ordaining our Community Pastor. He desires to seek vocational ministry as a chaplain in the Navy. We also started a new children's sermon series called "The Bright Knight". It is an amazing story of Christ's love for mankind. We are truly excited about what He is doing in the life of our church. We have some awesome things right around the corner! Please pray for our 4th Annual Egg Smash that we will hold on April 11, 2009 at Royse City Lake Park. This is one of our favorite events throughout the year. It is an awesome opportunity to invest in the life of the community here in Royse City.

~ I love our church
~ I love our people
~ I love what HE is doing
~ I love being a part of it

please pray for:
~ the sale of a few properties
~ the resources that are in the harvest
~ the vision of "doing life together"
~ the possible opening of a second campus
~ the probability of our first "church plant"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Finish Strong

I hope this video will encourage you to finish strong. In light of all of the things that we are seeing take place in our economy and in our world, may we never forget that God is still God and He is still on His throne. He gives us the strength we need to make it through. He tells us in 2 Peter that everything that we need pertaining to life and godliness has been given to us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Watching Nick in this video makes the things that I am struggling with seem to dissipate in light of what he is living with. Take notice, that Nick pushes forward toward the goal, forgetting what lies behind. It is for His glory and fame!

May we rest in the words of the Psalmist "Remember the word to Thy servant, in which Thou hast made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Thy word has revived me" Psalm 119: 49-50

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I am teaching through Steve Shadrach's book called, "The Fuel and The Flame" I am using this book in my Leadership Development class at Greenville Christian School. In chapter 2, he shares 4 things a Christian Leader must posses while at the same time listing 4 other things that a Christian Leader must guard against. Here they are:

4 qualities a Leader must posses:
~ Love
~ Holiness
~ Servanthood
~ Faithfulness

4 areas a Leader must guard against:
~ Fear
~ Sexual Immorality
~ Pride
~ Bitterness

~ Which of the 4 qualities do you feel is your strongest? your weakest?
~ Which of the pitfalls do you feel you are most susceptible to?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gateway Fellowship Prayer

One of my dear friends, who is also a pastor, prays this every week and asks the church to do the same. I wanted to post this and ask you to pray these things specifically for the life of our church.

Please spend a few minutes lifting the following up in prayer this week:

1. ...that the Lord would grant wisdom, discernment, and favor in every decision the church must make in order to find and fulfill His perfect will.
(Joshua 9: 3-14; and Proverbs 2: 1-9)

2. ...that we would all come to know the Lord more intimately, and that nothing would distract us from the hunger and thirst for His presence in our lives.
(Exodus 33: 12-23; and Philippians 3: 7 -14)

3. ...that our church would move from mere belief in the principle of prayer to the practice of prayer in such a manner that we experience the miracle working hand of God. (Isaiah 38: 1-9; Matthew 7: 7-11; and Matthew 17: 14-21)

4. ...that our church would learn to trust the Lord as our source and sustainer of provision for our lives, homes, and church in these uncertain economic times.
(Exodus 15: 22-27; and Matthew 6: 19-34)

5. ...that the Lord would protect our marriages, preserve our children, and provide to our families the necessary ingredients to build enduring homes.
(Genesis 7: 1-7; Psalm 127: 1-5; and Matthew 7: 24-27)

6. ...that we would grow deep spiritual roots of maturity that produce character, composure, and credibility in our testimony to Royse City and surrounding areas.
(Ephesians 4: 11-16; I Peter 2: 1-9; and II Peter 1: 2-10)

Doing Life Together,

Trent Brown / Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

Executive Director
Be The Tree Ministries

"If you're not comfortable getting to the place where it's not about you, you're in the wrong line of work. Humility is seeing God as He is. Pride is seeing ourselves as we're not." (Louie Giglio)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Reflections

I love preaching the text in 2 Peter. We are in the middle of a series called Radical Faith. This morning we covered 2 Peter 1:12-15 and talked about the fact that Peter was diligent in seeing to the fact that they were reminded to "stir up" that which they already knew and had been established. We continue to see people embracing the idea of "doing life together" and are witnessing first hand that very idea playing out in the communal life of the church. These are truly exciting times in the life of Gateway Fellowship

~ I love our church
~ I love the people
~ I love our staff
~ I love what He is doing in and through us

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Be The Tree

~ A book idea on church planting
So I have had a desire to write a book for a long time. Not that I am an expert or a virtuoso in anything but I do think some of the things we have walked through as a church plant can help those out there, who are praying about starting a church or becoming a church planter. Anyway, here are some very preliminary ideas:

Be The Tree
- a church planting experience

possible chapters:

* seed
* water
* nurture
* growth
* blossom
* prunning
* re-growth
* harvesting and replanting?

(c)2009 BeTheTree Ministries

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Are We Risk Takers?

So I just picked up Alan Hirsch's book called, "The Forgotten Ways~ reactivating the missional church". In his introduction he starts with a quotes that says, "A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling... We must play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment" ... Hans Kung, The Church as the People of God

I love the thought that if we, as church planters, leaders and pastors, are not willing to dream big dreams, look beyond today or get out of the seat of mediocrity~ we are not truly living the call that the Lord has put on the church. How often do we, in this life, settle for the mundane? How often to we settle for second best when it comes to the church? should we not be the most creative thing going? Don't get me wrong, I am not implying that we should just become places of lights, loudness and lackadaisical leadership but I am implying that we have to grab the attention of the culture that we have been placed into.

Is it not a part of our calling to exegete the community and see how we can most effectively reach its demographics? Do we not have a calling to do everything with excellence? As a church planter and a pastor, I am always trying to learn from those around me. I do my best to watch and listen and get a feel for the culture of the community. I try to listen and speak only when I need to, but I am becoming more and more convinced that I am supposed to be a change agent. I have to think missionaly and live authentically for the name and renown of Jesus Christ.

So as I reflect on these very things, I can not help but wonder, "am I really taking risks?" Am I dreaming big dreams. Dreams that we could only see come to fruition if HE was the one behind them? Or do I dream dreams that I realistically think we can accomplish in and of ourselves? I know the Lord has given me a vision for Gateway Fellowship and how we are to reach the community that surrounds us. I pray everyday that He would give me the strength to take the risks that will need to be taken in order to see it take place!

Lord, give me your ears, your eyes and your heart so that I can hear, see and love people they way that You do!

Gentlemen, I ask that you pray for us as take risks!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Today was great. We had an awesome time of worship and I really enjoyed preaching the second part of the series in 2 Peter. My context today was chapter 1 verses 5-11. We had a time at the end of the service where we asked them men in the church to go to the back and pray for our witness in the community, our staff and our elders. It was awesome to see men praying together.I really felt the prayers of those who stand in the gap for us and our services.

~I love our church
~I love the people
~I love what HE is doing in and through us
~I love the vision HE has given

~I love the fact that everything we need that pertains to life and godliness has been given to us