Pastor Chad Everson of Trinity Baptist Church is now posting through the Trinity website. To find his blog from here on out, please link to
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Leading up to our Grand Opening and celebrating our building renovation (even though there is a lot more to do and our Children’s area will not be done for a few more months as far as the décor goes), I have had the opportunity to reminisce a little bit... to think about how far God has brought us. I think about what I walked into at Trinity versus where we are now, how for the first time in 6 years we have church that is unified and healthy (or much healthier). We have direction and a passion! I must confess to you that there genuinely is no where I would rather be and I have never had more joy being a Pastor than right now. But, I also must confess that prior to this period in our fellowship I had never suffered in any ministry like this (and that is saying quite a bit). From the depths of despair, doubt, anger, sin, and you fill in any other blank you desire, it has been a long and tiresome time. Early on it was like we, as a church, were in a place so dark and ugly, with so much division that, because I was unaware of the history of it, I didn’t even know where to start. I have said many times that one of the turning points for our fellowship was a “Repentance Service” we had my first year or so. God was working in lives but, we also had some get mad and leave because we were focusing on repentance. I have reread some journal entries from that period and just reading them blew me away.
All of this to say, the song below sums up where are have come from and where we are on this journey. It is an older song, but one I have listened to time and time again. I am reminded that God has been faithful in spite of me. He has loved me even when I doubted His love. Trinity, I love you. I am blessed to be your Pastor and you have loved me through tough days in our fellowship. Who would have thought, that after 6 years, much prayer, tears, sermons and meetings we would be here! Truly He was in it after all.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
As we prepare to celebrate our Kick-Off Sunday in our new building at the end of this month, I began looking back over the last year and a half and thought of all the people God has used to help our church body in this transition and to help me personally. There are numerous flaws that I have, and many areas that God is working to sanctify me in, but the one area that I seem to “hit” way above average in, is the people that the Lord has allowed me to bring in on staff. Being a Sr. Pastor now for almost 20 years I certainly have hired some men on staff that were strike outs (just to keep the baseball theme) but more often than not, God has blessed me by placing men around me that are full of grace, integrity and faithfulness. I am blessed to serve with the men the Lord has brought to Trinity. This transition and vision would not have been possible without them serving and leading. But as much as I appreciate them and as much as I appreciate the overall leadership of the men and ladies in our church family, they are not my MVP.
My MVP is the lady that I live with and love, with whom I will celebrate her birthday this week and who will forever be my Valentine. I could again, tell you the many flaws I have and sins I struggle with...and some of them you know and others you don’t. But my bride lives with me and sees them in HD. Many of the weaknesses in my life she has as her strengths, many of the sins that God works out of my life, He uses her to aid in that. She is full of grace and God has allowed her to help and love me during some of the craziest times of this process. She has prayed for me and with me, she has listened to my frustrations, doubts, excitement (many times all happening in the same hour). God has called me to preach the Word of God and for that I am blessed, but He has given me a jewel who few, if any, will know how God has used her to strengthen me, encourage me and even rebuke me. She is my MVP, God has put her by my side to get me through some of the most difficult days in my life and to celebrate some of the greatest days in my life. Thank you Trinity, for loving her and my family. Thank you Michele, and know that I love you and you are the most amazing soon to be 23 year old lady I know. J Happy Birthday and thank you.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Well this is the month! I will blog multiple times I am sure, about our official Kickoff Celebration on February 22, 2015 at 10:30 am. This is not just another day in Trinity’s history... it might be considered the most important day in Trinity’s history.
This has been a long journey, filled with very difficult questions: questions that led us to discover what kind of church God was really calling us to be. It made us rethink what our expectations should be. This celebration began forming a couple of years ago when we were approached about selling our building and we had to ask what kind of impact we were making on our city, if any. What kind of impact have we ever made in our city? Should we sell? If so, where should we go? How would a building be less of a “temple” and more of a “well", a place used to engage people rather than just meet. How uncomfortable would this make us? (we can answer that now…very uncomfortable at times!). What would this do to our attendance? Would we lose people? Would we gain members? We set up different teams to help us answer these questions and during this process we had team members step up with great ideas and some even leave, but all contributed. Some who didn’t like the direction, helped the majority become more resolute in what we needed to be, while others who stayed sharpened our vision as what we needed to be. No doubt the Lord lit our path and made things crystal clear. We have been able to strengthen our membership and our accountability. God has led new families to our fellowship, and has given our entire church family a new passion and direction... this is worthy of celebration. This gives us opportunity to remind ourselves that He has been faithful. Even when we didn’t see His hand, His heart was working for our good and His glory. We will celebrate this milestone, this shaping period in our church family's life, but we will not attribute it to hard work or give ourselves a pat on the back for enduring through the inconvenience... we will celebrate our Lord who has been faithful regardless of our unfaithfulness. We will celebrate that fact that we have the opportunity to impact our community with the Gospel in a unique way we have never been able to before. This is going to be a great day! A day worthy of celebration and the one true God worthy of all of our adoration! Put it on your calendars now.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
My boys are on Twitter and Instagram. They are aware that we regularly look at their phone and that we have information that will show us the texts they receive and send (even if any are deleted), and information as to where they go on the internet. We do this first because they need accountability, and then also because they need direction as they learn to navigate social media in a world that we all know will change, but not go away. We also do it because they are our children and they are "borrowing" our phones. The phones and plans that we pay for, the electricity that charges those smart phones and everything else. In short, this was explained before they were ever given smart phones and has never caused a single argument or even frustration in our home. Recently, I came across this blog http://lifeasoflate.com/2013/04/parents-a-word-about-instagram.html that I pasted below. I think it is important we spend time talking, teaching and learning about social media. There are some great uses for it, but as with anything it can also be used for evil. This blog was written almost two years ago, and while that is "dated" when you talk about social media, it is not when you talk about the human heart. And this blog is more about “heart issues” than social media issues.
Parents: A Word about Instagram
April 18, 2013
To the parents of middle-schoolers on Instagram:
There is so much information out there about internet safety and you should definitely read up on that, but that’s not what I want to talk about.
Over the past several months, I’ve been noticing some interesting stuff on Instagram from your kids that I want to share with you.
“Hey, weirdo, why are you following my kids?” Good question, and I’ll get to that.
I am 25 years old, which is not just a fun fact, but important in the history of social media. MySpace started during my high school years, and Facebook started the year I went to college (when it was still just a site just for college students). So while my generation didn’t grow up with it, we were the first to use it. We’re bilingual, in a sense.
Your kids, on the other hand, don’t know a life without it and you’re doing your best to learn and keep up with it. So would you mind too terribly much if I acted as a bridge for a second? Give you some thinking material?
Let me back up.
My husband and I, along with our friends Kylie and Trenton, help in the youth ministry at our church. (Shoutout to the GREATEST 6TH GRADERS EVER!)
Several months ago, Kylie and I were asked to talk to the 8th graders at the middle school girls’ sleepover.
The topic was “Finding your identity in Christ“.
I would have much rather talked to them about sex or drugs or something, because those are pretty concrete topics. We’d stand up and say, “Don’t do it.” End of talk. It would be so moving we’d be asked back to speak at every event, naturally.
Instead, we were tasked with talking about something that a lot of adults I know don’t even know how to apply in their own lives.
What even is identity? And how do you talk to a group of middle school girls about finding their identity in an invisible God? And if they aren’t finding their identity in Him, where are they finding it?
After much thought and prayer, we decided to talk about something we know: social media. We talked about Instagram specifically, since a lot of these girls aren’t on Facebook yet and think Twitter is stupid.
I’m sure you’re aware of Instagram if your kids are on it, but if not, here’s a rundown of the app:
1. Your child gets an account and starts following other users.
2. In return, other users follow your child.
3. Your child posts a picture to his or her account.
4. Other users comment or “like” the picture.
5. Repeat. 87 times a day.
2. In return, other users follow your child.
3. Your child posts a picture to his or her account.
4. Other users comment or “like” the picture.
5. Repeat. 87 times a day.
|an example: left is my Instagram profile; right is the photo feed of all posted pictures|
I love the app. It’s a lot of fun, but there are some components to it that I’m not sure we’ve thought all the way through.
Think back to when you were in junior high. How did you know you were “cool”? A popular girl probably wrote you a note and put it in your locker or asked you to sit with her at lunch, right? There were a few eyewitnesses and it was pure joy.
Do you remember back-to-school shopping? You bought the trendiest new shirts and shoes. But how did you know if your new shirt was cute? Someone told you, probably. How did you know if your new shirt was hideous? Again, someone probably told you. Or made fun of you, but luckily it was just between you and that person. Or – worst case scenario – between you and that person and their posse. Still, not life altering.
That was then.
This is now:
Your middle schooler buys a new shirt and what’s the first thing she does? Takes a selfie (self-portrait, for those out of the loop) and posts it on Instagram.
Think I’m joking?
A quick search of Instagram shows us… oh, look! – this was posted 18 minutes ago:
Ok, so not a big deal, this is how the world is. Your kids feel the need to share every single decision they ever make with the world at large. It’s just “kids these days”.
It’s true. It is “kids these days”. But does the feedback they receive on Instagram impact them? Do you think they base their identity in it?
What happens when your daughter’s new shirt picture didn’t get as many “likes” or comments as the picture her friend posted of her new shirt?
Do you think she even cares about that stuff?
Yea, I’d say so. Your sons do, too:
This guy specifically asks for comments AND a certain number of likes. 40, to be exact.
[Side note: don't forget to read what your kids post in the hashtags of their photos. (That's the # sign with a bunch of words crammed after it, like #40likesplease.) They use it as an aside comment, which, parents, is just as important to pay attention to as the photo caption.]
We’re no longer in world of handwritten “circle yes or no” notes between two people; your kids are living social lives on a completely public forum.
This is not new information.
But, taking it a step further: have you considered that your child is given numerical values on which to base his or her social standing? For the first time ever your children can determine their “worth” using actual numbers provided by their peers!
Let me explain…
Your daughter has 139 followers which is 23 less than Jessica, but 56 more than Beau. Your son’s photo had 38 likes which was 14 less than Travis’ photo, but 22 more than Spencer’s.
See what I mean? There’s a number attached to them. A ranking.
And if you think they don’t actually pay attention to this stuff, read the hashtags on these photos:
|sorry for the ghetto circlage, but you get the point.|
Do you see what’s happening? #3newfollowers, #77likes #i#am#so#popular, #morefollowersplease
They’re definitely paying attention. And it’s definitely affecting them.
It’s not just about assumed popularity anymore. It’s explicit. It’s quantifiable.
At arguably the most awkward time in their lives, a crucial time of development when they are trying to figure out who they are and where they belong, this is what they’re up against. A quantifiable popularity ranking.
So, back to the lesson we were supposed to teach. I started thinking about everything I’ve mentioned above and thought, “Maybe our girls are different. Maybe their faith buffers them from being caught up as deeply in this as their friends.”
In talking to our girls, I was blown away by their responses:
They know exactly – to the digit – how many followers they have (and who they follow that isn’t following them back). They get their feelings hurt when the popular kids “like” the pictures above and below theirs on the Instagram newsfeed, but not their picture. They delete pictures of themselves when they don’t get as many likes as they were hoping for. They don’t get invited to parties, but see all the fun they missed out on in every photo posted from it. They post ugly pictures of their friends to get revenge for some heinous act they committed (like saying Louis is their favorite One Direction member).
Before we all freak out and delete Instagram and all other social apps, may I just say (with approximately zero authority or expertise on the subject):
This is no cause for mass hysteria. My intent is not to scare you away from these sites, because I don’t think the solution is to write them off entirely. This is a part of your kids’ communication that is here to stay. (I don’t just mean Instagram – it could die tomorrow. But social media? It’s here for good, in some form or fashion.)
Remember: social media can be SO FUN. (I know you love you some Pinterest, girl.)
Plus, not all kids are the same. Some place an unhealthy amount of self worth in their social media accounts, some could care less about it. Regardless, it’s important to think about no matter where your children fall on the spectrum.
My intent is to dig a little deeper into the impact these sites can have on your kids. To start thinking about how to safeguard childrens’ hearts and minds against what appears to a 12 year old to be concrete numerical evidence about their value and popularity.
How do you regulate activity on these sites while keeping it fun for your kids? How do you talk to them about the numbers (likes, comments, followers) provided by their peers not being an accurate representation of their value and worth? How do you teach them to base their identity solely in Christ – to be confident daughters and sons of the King?
I have no idea.
I can tell you what we talked about with our 8th grade friends:
We talked about posting photos of things other than themselves, to avoid setting themselves up for insecurity about their appearance. We talked about guarding their hearts with scriptures from God’s Word and reminding themselves whose they were. We talked about inner beauty and encouraging their friends’ strengths and…a whole host of other stuff.
What we said isn’t really important. What’s important is where you come in, parents. You know your kids and you know the insecurities they face.
I hope this information is helpful for you, or at least gets you thinking. Or, if all else fails, got you to smile at my own Instagram picture of my son in his Little Tikes truck at Sonic. You know that’s cute.
I love your kids so, so much and I want them to know just how special and wonderful and unique they are. I don’t want a stupid thing like followers and likes to tell them any differently.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Several of you have written me telling me how much RIGHT NOW MEDIA has already helped you. I want to encourage you to sign up for this media resource our church has for you. There are so many ways this can be used to help equip you personally as well as grow your family. Our family is using it right now as we go through a book together in family worship, When Helping Hurts. As we read a chapter and discuss it, we then watch the video specific to this study. We have found that it enhances it significantly. There are marriage videos, children’s videos and so much more.
Our desire at Trinity is that we equip you not only by teaching the Word of God when we gather, we want every member to take responsibility for the discipleship of those in their home. However, we don’t want to simply encourage you to that, we want to offer some tools that will enable you to do that more easily. All of our schedules are hectic, but we make time for what is a real priority - my prayer is that we make discipleship in our church and home a top priority.
If you have any questions about Right Now media feel free to email or go to our church website and register for it if you have not done so already. Under the "Media" drop down menu, there is a label for "Equipping Center." This page is where you will find the link to Right Now Media and, in the days ahead, other resources that you and your family can use. We want to keep content updated and helpful things available to you. Once you are in Right Now Media, check out the different sections available to you - from Bible Study Videos, to Training Library to Conferences that were streamed, to the Kids Section. Let us know your thoughts. There is even an app you can download on your mobile devices and here are a few of the videos you stream.
When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Life On Mission (Youth Edition) by David Platt
You And Me Forever by Fancis and Lisa Chan
Apologetics by Matt Chandler
Raising Kids With A Faith That Lasts by Tim Kimmel
God Is The Gospel by John Piper
Eleminating Debt by Crown Financial Ministries
Stepping Up by Dennis Rainey
A Woman’s Passionate Pursuit of God by Karol Ladd
The Holiness Of God by R.C Sproul
Why We Believe The Bible by John Piper
The Reason For God by Timothy Keller
Trapped: Finding Freedom From Pornography by Mart DeHaan
These are just a few of your choices, but as you can see these cover a variety of topics and it is not including children’s videos and other specific studies. I hope you take advantage of these tools and use them in your home to bring glory to God and spiritual growth to your family.