April 2, 2015

Are You Praying?

"No man is greater than his prayer life.  The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying.  We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, but few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters.  Failing here, we fail everywhere. If we displease God, does it matter whom we please?  If we please Him does it matter whom we displease?"

-Leonard Ravenhill

December 16, 2014

The Carson Home: Our View on Santa

Tis the season to be jolly, right? Well, maybe... I guess that depends on where you land regarding the mysterious man in the red jumpsuit who drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer delivering presents on Christmas Eve to all the "good" boys and girls.  Who is this man?  Santa Claus, of course.  The all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, giver of gifts who lives in the North Pole.

This year, more than any other, I have had numerous parents ask me about my thoughts regarding Santa and how we handle him in our home.  So, the purpose of this post is to give a thorough answer for anyone wrestling with the question of how to handle Santa with their children around this time of year.  I pray that it will be Christ-honoring and helpful for anyone who reads it.

Before sharing my thoughts, I want to make a couple things clear:
  1. This is a personal post (and blog) and has nothing to do with the beliefs of Mission Community Church.  There is no expectation for the members of MCC to embrace my position on this matter.
  2. We (the Carsons) don't demonize Santa.  As you will see in the rest of this post, we do not tell our kids that Santa is real, but we also don't freak out if someone mentions his name.  We don't tell our kids that Santa has the same letters as Satan.  We don't make it a big deal if other people talk about Santa.  And, we don't look down on other people/families who do choose to allow Santa to be a part of their Christmas celebration.  We let our kids watch movies that include Santa, they wear Christmas PJ's that have Santa on them, and we wear Santa hats as we open presents on Christmas morning.  Honestly, it is just not a big deal in our home.
Having said that, here are the top four reasons why Bethany and I don't tell our kids that Santa Claus is real.  

Santa is too similar to God

Here is a classic understanding of Santa:  "He sees you when you're sleeping.  He knows when you're awake.  He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake."  In other words, Santa is the all-knowing, all-powerful judge, and the giver of good gifts.  Well, we don't agree with that.  The Bible clearly teaches that there is one God.  Psalm 86:10 says, "For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God." and Jeremiah 10:6 says, "There is none like you, O LORD; you are great and your name is great in might." Not to mention, you are encouraged to ask Santa for the things you want. That seems awfully similar to praying if you ask me.  We do not want to confuse our children in any way when it comes to the one, true God. We don't want to teach them to pray to anyone but God.  We want them to know there there is no one like our God and that He is holy, set apart, perfect, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and our final Judge.  James 1:17 says, "Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above..."  We cannot tell our kids the truth about God as He is described in the Bible and tell them that Santa is real.  It is a contradiction and it is confusing.    

Santa's gospel is the exact opposite of Jesus' gospel

The myth of Santa promotes a works-based gospel, which is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you want to get good gifts from Santa, you better be a good boy or girl.  You will be rewarded based on your performance.  This is law, or works-based acceptance. You get what you deserve, so if you aren't good, you don't get good gifts.  Whether we want to admit it or not, this is fear-based, behavior modification.  In fact, most parents unknowingly play the "Santa card" this time of year in order to manipulate their children's behavior (or use the Elf on the shelf).  "You better obey or Santa won't bring you any presents" is a common parenting tactic that might get you a short-term behavior fix, but, sadly enough, it is driving children away from the heart of God; a heart full of grace.

However, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are rewarded with the best Gift (God) even when we are bad.  Romans 5:8 says, "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Isn't that beautiful?!  Doesn't that blow your mind?!  God loves us when we are unlovable!! He gives us a relationship with Him even though we don't deserve it!  That's grace.  We get what we don't deserve.  See the difference?  Santa is fear-based and Jesus is grace-based.  Santa says, "Be good, and you will rewarded."  Jesus says, "Even though you're bad, I love you and I will reward you.  Doesn't that make you want to be good?!?!"  The Bible says, "perfect love casts out all fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" (1 John 4:18).

Only grace can change a heart.  If we want our kids to "behave," we should point them toward the unconditional love of God as seen in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.  Grace motivates lasting change, while law promotes short-term, fear-based, behavior modification.  Grace is love-based.  Law is fear-based.  As for our house, we are choosing grace and love.  We are choosing the better gospel.  The gospel of grace.

We refuse to lie to our children

Pretty simple, really.  If we tell our kids that Santa is real, we are lying.  Please don't excuse it by saying it is "just fun."  No.  It's not.  It's lying.  We cannot lie to our kids and then tell them to tell us the truth.  We cannot expect them to trust us if we lie to them.  Also, if we lie to them about Santa, who is to say they wouldn't wonder if we were lying to them about God?

We want our kids to see us as the source of blessing in their lives

We give our kids three presents at Christmas.  They consist of: a want, a surprise, and an experience.  We enjoy giving our children gifts and seeing their faces light up with excitement and joy.  As parents, and especially me as their father, we are their earthly representation of God.  We want them to recognize us as the source of their blessings so that we can point them to their ultimate source of all blessing, the Triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit.  We want them to appreciate us and be grateful to us so that they might learn to bless the source of their blessing.

In conclusion, here are my suggestions for anyone who asks my opinion on this matter:
  • Don't make Santa a big deal - Don't demonize him and give him more attention than he deserves.  He is really not a big deal.
  • Tell your kids the truth about Santa and the truth about St. Nick -  Santa is not real.  He doesn't fly around in a sleigh with reindeer.  But, there was a great man named St. Nick, who was real and he loved Jesus and loved children.  Santa is just an imaginary St. Nick.  You can read about him by clicking HERE.
  • Stay focused on the meaning of Christmas - This time of year, we focus extensively on the incarnation.  The coming of God in human form in the person of Jesus.  God took on flesh and became like us.  He humbled himself and died in our place for the forgiveness of our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.  He is THE gift.  If we focus on Santa, we will undoubtedly focus on the wrong gifts and commercialism.  As Kasey Carter says, "the greatest gift anyone has ever received wasn't place under a tree, but was nailed onto a tree."

Some may very well be thinking, "Geez, why does it have to be so serious?" Well, here is how I would answer:  It is serious.  Pointing our kids toward the one, true God is serious.  Preaching the true and accurate gospel to our children is serious.  Lying to our children is serious.  Representing God to our children is serious.

Some people might say, "We just want Christmas to be fun."  Well, so do we.  Christmas in our home IS fun.  We do lights.  We do Krispy Kreme donuts.  We do hot chocolate.  We do stockings.  It is fun, and its all because of Jesus.  We think Jesus is fun.  We think He is awesome.  We think He is sufficient.  We think He is all-satisfying.  If Christmas isn't fun without Santa, then my advice would be to reconsider Jesus.  As John Piper says, "If being Jesus-focused is a killjoy for your Christmas, you don't know him well."

I pray this helps you and your family and stirs your affections for King Jesus.

"Joy to the world, the Lord has come.  Let earth receive her King.  Let every heart prepare Him room..."

Further Reading:

May 26, 2014

Why I'm Getting Off Social Media

It is May of 2014 and the social media craze has been around for about 10 years now, give or take a few years.  What started with America Online back in the early 1990's exploded with Facebook in 2004 and has most definitely become America's favorite pastime.  I have certainly taken part in this craze, but now it is time that I "Sign Out" for some very specific reasons.

Before sharing some of my thoughts/convictions I want to say two things up front:
  1. This is not about "right" or "wrong" - I do not think that others must have the same convictions that I do, and I certainly don't think that others are wrong for not seeing this issue the way I see it.  This decision for my life is a personal one and I think the season of life that I am in (church planting and Pastoral leadership) has a lot to do with it.  I am not an extremist.  In fact, I don't like extremes.  I don't see this decision as extreme, but as an urgent matter in my life that has the ability to have an immediate impact on my life for the better.  
  2. Social Media can be good - Many people use social media for a variety of reasons:  keeping up with family, business, marketing, news, etc. All of those reasons can be very good.  I also know that social media, like all things, can be used for the glory of God and the good of others. I am glad to see the Gospel being proclaimed through the Internet in different ways and pray that it will continue.  I do not think that social media, in and of itself, is evil or wrong.  I do, however, question the way that social media is being used by our culture today.  
Having said that, here are the 5 reasons that I will be removing myself from the social media matrix:

1.  Time

Timelines and Status Updates can be very interesting.  For some reason, we are all really interested in what is going on in other people's lives.  The tabloid magazines know this.  In fact, they have been making millions off people's interest in the lives of famous people for years!  Why do we want to know what is going on in the lives of others?   What has it ever done for us other than gives us something superficial to gossip about?

I, too, have given into the temptation to waste countless hours checking my phone just to see what other people were posting about their lives.  I have looked at pictures, read about people's personal lives and been interested in very trivial matters.  But this is the verse that convicted me:  Ephesians 5:15-16 "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." When I gave my life to Christ, I gave Him everything.  I want Him to be Lord over every area of my life and I want my to redeem my time so that it honors Him.

The truth of the matter is this:  Time is not ticking forward, it is counting down.  There is a set day that I will die or Jesus will return.  Until one of those two things happen, I want my life to be used to glorify Him as much as possible.  I have already wasted too much of my life distracting myself reading pointless posts and tweets.  I want to redeem the time the Lord has given me on this earth.

2.  Pride

We all want to be told how great we are.  It feels good.  I don't know about you, but after I post something on Facebook/Twitter, it doesn't take long for me to take out my phone to start checking for how many people have either commented, liked, favorited, or ReTweeted what I wrote.  In other words, I want affirmation from people about how brilliant my thoughts were or how much my words have impacted them.  I want people to tell me how great I am, but when I look for the praise of others to make me feel good about myself and I get it, the only result is pride.  I start thinking that I am really awesome.  But when I don't get the responses I want, I feel rejected.  Neither of these two feelings represent an accurate view of what God thinks about me according to the Bible.  It is only in the Gospel that I am freed from this destructive thinking and leads me into the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

We need to rest in the fact that our significance is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That although we had nothing significant in ourselves that would cause God to look favorably upon us, in Christ, He has given us love, mercy, and adoption.  This alone makes us significant. Nothing that we have done!  The thoughts and opinions of others pale in comparison to the thoughts and opinions of God.  As we understand our identity in Christ, we stop looking for our identity in others.

I pray that as I take a break from social media that God will remind me of His grace and that my significance will be found in Him alone.  I also pray that regardless of the thoughts and opinions of others I will remember that He is pleased with me because of Christ and I don't need to prove myself to others to get their approval.  Proverbs 29:25 says, "The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe."

3.  Comparison

In my short time on this earth I have learned that comparing can only lead to one of two attitudes:  Pride or Envy.  If I compare my life to someone else who is in a worse position than me, it causes me to be prideful.  However, if I compare my life to someone who is in a better position than me, I become envious of that person.  Both are destructive to my heart.

As I have scrolled through Facebook and Twitter, I have had bad thoughts about others.  I have wanted what they had, or I have become prideful of areas in my own life.  This needs to end.

The Gospel frees me from comparison and humbles me under the mighty hand of God.  It reminds me that I don't deserve anything from God and that I have no reason to be proud.  If grace is the reason for anything and everything that I have in my life (and it is), then how could I boast about my life?  Also, if God meets my every need, then what good does it do me to be bitter toward others for what they have? The Gospel frees me to celebrate others without wanting what they have.  1 Timothy 6:6 says, "But Godliness with contentment is great gain."  The abundant joy offered in Christ far exceeds anything that could be found in the things of this world.   In my time away from social media, I pray that I will be content with my life and celebrate the lives of others without comparing my life to theirs.

4.  Lust

God created sex, and it is good.  Really good.  :-) But sadly enough, sex is probably the most misunderstood and abused gift that God has ever given us.  His intentions for sex are to help a married couple (one man and one woman) create a deep intimacy with each other through pleasing each other physically as an act of love that they only share with each other.  But this understanding of sex is not embraced by our culture in general.  So many hate the idea that God should have authority over their sex life.  We want sexual freedom at all costs, but fail to realize that sex outside of God's intentions only leads to captivity.

What we look at on the Internet today is destroying our culture.  The damage of pornography is indisputable, and the scary thing is that even if you are not looking for pornography, the porn industry is looking for you.  The industry is marketing sex and putting it right in front of the eyes of so many in order to hook them at a young age.  I love the old quote that says, "You can't stop a bird from pooping on your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair."  The truth is, social media is getting more and more promiscuous every day.  There are countless temptations and opportunities for lust to grab ahold of our minds, so we have to guard our minds and flee every sexual temptation.  1 Corinthians 6:18 says, "Flee from sexual immorality.  Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins again his own body."  

I know that my eyes will impact my heart, and I want to guard my heart at all costs.  I am thankful to the Lord that looking at sexually immoral material on the Internet has never been a problem for me, but I know that my flesh is weak and that I am vulnerable to the attacks of the evil one.  Since I can't control what other people post to their social media, I have to do what is best for my faith, my family, and my future and not put myself in the position to succumb to temptation.  The last thing my family or the church needs is another pastor who falls into sexual immorality.  The Gospel is too precious to be represented in that way.

A quick note to the ladies:  Please be careful about what you post on social media this Summer.  I know that many of you will be at the beach with friends and family, but allow me to speak on behalf of my gender and tell you that when guys see you in a bikini, it can cause us to think about you in ways that you (hopefully) don't intend for us to think about you.  The Word of God says that Christians should be mindful of those who are weak in different areas of life and not to cause others to stumble.  Well, many brothers will stumble if they see you in revealing bathing suits this Summer.  Thanks for being mindful of us, and thanks for allowing your beauty to be displayed with respectable apparel, modesty, self-control, and your gentle and quiet spirit (1 Timothy 2:8 and 1 Peter 3:3-4).

5.  Relationships

I am convinced that if people can keep up with my life at a surface level through social media, they will be less likely to seek me out in order to have a real relationship in person.  The same is true for me.  I can feel like I know what is going on in the lives of my friends if I keep up with them on social media, and as a result many of my relationships have become far less relational.  I would rather have a few close friends than a bunch of acquaintances, so, by unplugging from social media, it will force me and my friends to be intentional with our friendship.  It will cause us to pick up the phone to talk or set up a time to meet in order to catch up on each other's lives.  I will be interested in seeing which of my friendships are actually true friendships.

So, what are my next steps?  After I post this, I will be deleting Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from my phone.  I do not need to be tempted to check them every second that I am "bored."  I will not delete my accounts, but I will not be updating them for at least a year.  If you want to know what is going on in my life, call me. I'd love to chat! :-)  Also, I will be updating this blog occasionally, but the real purpose of that is for me to work on my writing/communication skills.  If you want to read, stop by the blog every now and then.  Lastly, if you want to keep up with Mission Community Church, feel free to follow the Twitter account HERE.

Once again, if this post causes you to re-examine your life in regard to social media, that is fine.  But please don't hear any condemnation in my heart if you disagree with me.  This was not intended to be a judgmental post by any means, but more of an opportunity to share my heart and let you know how the Lord is directing me.  Social media could affect each of us differently, but for me, the dangers of wasting time with distractions, building up my pride, comparing my life to other in unhealthy ways, being tempted to lust sexually, and the possibility of losing closeness in my relationships was enough for me to "Sign Off" for a season and see if God has something better in mind for my life.  

April 6, 2014

Pastoral Letter - April 6th, 2014

Dear MCC Family,

I was so excited about the time we shared together this weekend.  The cookout was a blast (even though Clay beat me twice in Corn Hole), and our Sunday Core Team gathering was a rich time of fellowship and blessing for many.  I pray that what we talked about today will have an impact on eternity in some way because of the grace of God.

We introduces an important theme for our church:  "OUTSIDE THE WALLS!"  This is the mindset that MOST (not all, but most) of what we will do and focus on as a church will happen OUTSIDE THE WALLS of a church building.  We don't want to be a church that focuses on Sunday morning.  We want to focus on the whole life of our people and make disciples, not church attenders.

Today, we talked we showed both of these videos and talked about what it looks like to be a missional church and a community church.  We have a strong desire to be both of those, hence the name, "Mission Community" Church.  Here are the two videos:

We also talked about what success looks like for a missional church and I appreciated your feedback and the heart that each person displayed.  Here is what we defined as "success" for the a missional church: to plant seeds, to be faithful, to develop missional individual and communities, develop a passion for the missional life, to create (by God's grace) a heart and attitude of worship, to be humble and selfless servants who live out of grace, to live in a constant state of brokenness, to have healthy families (marriage and legacy) within our church, to be good listeners, for the leadership of MCC to equip the saints for ministry, to make disciples and see life change (maturity), to see neighborhoods changed, and to plant churches (multiplication).  These are some great ways to measures success for a church body.

As the Lead Pastor, I thought I would briefly share a few things that would delight my heart to see.  In other words, here are a few ways that I would deem my ministry a "success" as a Pastor.  If my people were:  seeking and enjoying Jesus, were operating Biblically within marriage, demonstrating and declaring the Gospel in their homes to their children, living on mission in their community groups, suffering with hope, making disciples, impacting their neighborhoods, being set free from bondage, able to defend their faith, and generous with everything God has given them to steward.

Let's pray that God would do His work within us and that we would delight in the finished work of Christ and live out of our new identity as children of God who get to display that glory of our God!

Love you guys!


February 4, 2014

Pastoral Letter - My Prayer for our church

Hello MCC Family,

I just wanted to share my prayer for our church from my time with the Lord this morning.

"Lord, may MCC be a God-glorifying, Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered, grace-filled, Biblical, sinner-embracing, Disciple-making, Leader-developing, multiplying church that serves the needs of the poor and the city.  Amen."

As we seek the Lord's will for our church together, lets be active in our obedience personally and corporately.  Let's depend on Him for all that we need.  Let's believe that the Lord is still speaking, moving, healing, empowering, and changing people as He did all throughout the book of Acts.  Let's have faith that God will save people and send people.

I love you all and I am humbled to lead you.  Please pray for me.


Prayer-gram for February 3rd - 9th, 2014

People/Families of MCC:  Cline's, Wright's, Miller's
Elders of MCC:  Ryan, Travis, Kasey, and Brad
Other Churches/Pastors/Ministries: FHC (David Chadwick), First Baptist Matthews, YCI (Youth Commission International)
Government Authorities:  President Obama, The Supreme Court
Ends of the Earth/Missionaries:  Peter and Ashley McKenzie and their family as they prepare for Japan and raise funds.  Also, Mission of Hope in Haiti
Charlotte/Matthews:  For unity amongst churches
World Issues:  The persecuted church all throughout the world
MCC Needs:  Wisdom for decision-making, Marriages to be strengthened through 2B1 Class, Home for MCC, Worship Leader, Love to be the motivation in all that we do.

January 27, 2014

Pastoral Letter - Purity

Hey Everyone!

I am so blessed to be your Pastor.  My heart fills with joy when thinking about the fact that God has given me the opportunity to serve you and to encourage your growth in Christ.  What an honor!

My heart has recently been very burdened for the purity of God's people, and today, I found myself praying for our purity.  Now, when I say purity, most Christians think that topic is reserved for Middle School girls.  Middle school girls have traditionally been the target audience for the concept of purity.  It is good and right that we should help this age group understand the importance of guarding their heart and body and remaining pure, but why is this not a topic of conversation for the rest of the church?  Are we challenging young men to live pure lives?  Not really.  Are we talking about purity with adults?  It doesn't really seem like it.  Also, why have we made the idea of purity one that mostly revolves around sex?  Is this the only area of life that God has in mind when He exhorts us toward a pure lifestyle?  I think not.

One of the most significant verses in all of Scripture regarding purity is Matthew 5:8.  It says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

There is so much truth in this one little verse.  Let's break it down…

  • The main point of this verse is the heart.  Impacting the heart and changing it is the function of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel and it is the primary concern of the Christian faith.  This heart change is not something that man can create in Himself, it is only the work of God, by His grace and mercy.  For someone to be "pure in heart" means for them to have pure (selfless) motives, not just pure actions.  Anyone can modify their behavior in order to act appropriately and be acceptable, but what is rare is for someone's heart to truly desire God and others above themselves.  
  • The word pure here simply means "clean." In other words, our hearts and our motives are unstained and have the absence of impurity or filth.  Having a pure heart involves many areas of life, not just sex.  Purity involves areas of our hearts such as:  greed, revenge, pride, selfish ambition, unforgivness, anger, etc.  God is asking for our hearts to be pure in every area.  In other words, that our hearts be submitted to His will above ours in every way.  If you are a Christian, there should not be one, single area of life that you are in control of.  Every part of our lives is placed under the submission of Christ.  
  • The promise at the end of the verse should be our motivation:  to see God.  I don't know about you, but I want to see God.  I want to know God.  I want to experience God in real, tangible ways, both in this life and in the life to come.  I love the way the Holman New Testament Commentary explains this passage by saying, "Jesus may have had a dual meaning behind the phrase 'see God.'  First, the pure heart is unhindered in its ability to understand the heart and person of God in this life on earth and, in this sense, is better able to see God.  Moreover, only the pure (forgiven) heart is able to enter heaven to enjoy the presence of God for eternity."

The word of God also tells us to guard our heart in Proverbs 4:23.  In other words, we should be diligent not to let ANYTHING come into our hearts that could make them impure.  We are called to do battle against the things of our flesh and the things of this world that will try to block our ability to see God.  We must be diligent.  We must be intentional.  We should guard our eyes from seeing sexually explicit things, violence, abuse, etc.  We should guard our ears from listening to lyrics in music that will damage our heart and mind.  We should take whatever steps necessary to eliminate friendships in our lives that cause our hearts to wander away from the Lord.  And lastly, I would say that we should forgive.  Lack of forgiveness in our hearts will destroy us and our ability to see God.  If you are holding a grudge, forgive.  If you have been wronged, offer grace.  Doing this will not just benefit the other person, but it will set your heart free from the burden of holding onto bitterness.  All of these are examples of ways that we can guard our hearts that they may be pure.

As a church body, let's seek to have pure hearts this week, and always.  Let's do whatever it takes to guard our hearts against the deceitfulness of sin.  Let's long to see God together.

In love,


Prayer-gram for January 27th-February 2nd, 2014

People/Families of MCC:  Schneider's, Carter's, Biller's
Elders of MCC:  Ryan, Travis, Kasey, and Brad
Other Churches/Pastors/Ministries:  Exodus Church (Brian Lowe), WellSpring Church (Dwayne Bond), FCA
Government Authorities:  Mayor of Charlotte Patrick Cannon, Town of Matthews Manager Hazen Blodgett, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr.
Ends of the Earth/Missionaries:  Leo Wurschmidt and family (FHC Family that has been called to Senegal and is moving there in about year).  Pray for financial support, transition, kids education, etc.
Charlotte/Matthews:  That we, as a church, would be able to meet the needs of our city/town effectively and for the sake of the Gospel.
World Issues:  Pornography and Sex Trafficking - link to video:  http://www.unearthedpictures.com
MCC Needs:  Sense of community, effective Gospel witness, Worship Pastor, Building

January 21, 2014

Pastoral Letter - January 21st, 2014

Dear Members of MCC,

Hello Family!  We are so excited about all that God is doing in our midst.  MCC is really coming together and it is humbling to be a part of this body of believers!  The 2 Becoming 1 classes are going great!  God is revealing His plan for marriage to us and how He intends for it to work.  I firmly believe that healthy families are built upon healthy marriages and healthy nations are built upon healthy families.  Let's never forget how important marriage is and nurture our marriages continuously.

I also wanted to tell you all about a new prayer initiative that we will be starting at MCC.  It is a concept that I found in Voddie Baucham's book, "Family Shepherds" and it is called a Prayer-gram.  The idea is to provide some structure for families in regard to prayer.  Hopefully, this tool will prove to help Husbands/Dads lead their families in prayer as well as help the church to be on the same page regarding prayer requests.  Here is a sample of what a Prayer-gram will look like.

Prayer-gram for January 20th-26th, 2014

People/Families of MCC:  Mincey's, Hill's, Carson's
Elders of MCC:  Ryan, Travis, Kasey, and Brad
Other Churches/Pastors/Ministries:  Carmel Baptist (Alex Kennedy), Elevation (Steven Furtick), YoungLife
Government Authorities:  President Obama, Governor Pat McCrory, Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor
Ends of the Earth/Missionaries:  Haiti (Mission of Hope),
Charlotte/Matthews: Pray for the Gospel to be spread in our city
World Issues:  Adoption
MCC Needs:  The Holy Spirit of God to anoint our church body, Building, Worship Pastor, to plant 50 churches in the next 40 years

How to use the Prayer-gram

There is not one specific way to use this tool.  The goal is simply to use it.  Some might use it at the dinner table, some might use it in the mornings, and some might use it at night before bed.  No matter how you use it, we just want to encourage you to use it.  As men, there is almost nothing more important than creating an environment of prayer in our homes.  We hope this tool encourages and empowers you to lead your home effectively and in conjunction with our church family.

One last thing… every Sunday we will pray through the Prayer-gram as a church family.  The idea is that we would pray as individuals/families throughout the week, and then come together as a church family on Sundays to pray together.  Then, we will send out the new Prayer-gram every Monday with new/updated information.  I am excited about this and I hope that it will be utilized in the homes of our families.

Thank you for allowing me to be your Pastor.  Myself, along with the elders feel priviliged and honored to serve you and lead you.

Grace and Peace,