Monday, August 10, 2009
Change To Reap The Harvest - Happy 6th Year Anniversary
Dear Fellow Citadelians and Visitors,
I can't believe that it's yet another year that the Lord has so graciously allowed me, Nancy and Tiffany to serve here in Detroit at Citadel. It seemed like only yesterday that I was packing boxes and saying my farewells making our way to Detroit from Chicago. Days followed and we were sitting in a living room with some new friends who seemed to have interest in this "idea" called Citadel. Well, to God be the glory for the things that He has done. Several hundred souls later and hundreds of members later, God has proven Himself to show us His unbelievable faithfulness. For that I'm eternally grateful.
At the beginning of this year, the Lord impressed on my heart that this would be the year that we would need to prepare to Change to reap the harvest. Well, much has changed! We planted our first church, The Bridge Covenant Church pastored by our own very capable, Pastor Janine Simpson. We also hired our outstanding Minister of music, Adrian B. King. And lately we've added to our full time staff, Pastor Shaun Marshall as our Executive Pastor. Much is changing and we're seeing God do some amazing things. We have a goal of adding to our church family 5oo new members by year end and we are well on our way with over 270 plus new members already. But most importantly, we're seeing some changes in the way our membership is viewing stewardship, involvement and ownership. God is up to something and it's thrilling.
I have had the privilege of sharing with leaders from across America and around the world at this years Leadership Summit out of the Chicagoland area. An estimated 100,000 people viewed this event, and the message was really about YOU Citadel. Your courage, willingness to "get out of the boat", and unwavering love for God's Word has made it quite easy to share the Lord's work here in Detroit, because you are allowing Him to use YOU! Thanks for being the best flock a pastor could dream of serving!
I want to encourage each of you who read this blog to allow yourselves to not be boxed in to your own limitations and self-imposed reasons for not dreaming big. What are your dreams? What is it that God has shown you about your destiny that you've allowed circumstances to derail? I want to admonish you to get back on track and believe again. This is the greatest tool of the believer....faith. As a matter of fact this is the name of our church Citadel (Fortress) of FAITH! Believe!!!!! That might be all you have, but it's all that you need. Not money, friends, influence...faith. Faith can move mountains. Faith can uproot past failures and disappointments. Allow this season to be the one that you choose God over your own failures. This is the season where the promises of God should be held onto. Dream...come on what to do you have to lose? Indeed you have EVERYTHING to gain! Go for it!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Happy New Year
Can you believe that it's already 2009? Well, I want to begin by wishing you and yours a very happy, prosperous and healthy new year. During one of our worship services, God spoke very specifically to me regarding this upcoming year. As many of you know who have attended our church, my heart is for God's Word to be first and foremost. Very rarely are there "special words from the Lord" and the like. However, I know what I heard and felt in my spirit. This is going to be a year of harvest. This seems so against EVERYTHING the media is telling us this year is going to be. But how fitting that God would take an impossible scenario and make it work together for the good of the kingdom!
I think all of us set goals. There seems to be something especially exciting about setting goals in the beginning of a new year. A new year means in many aspects a new start. I think that's why there is so much excitement around the ending of one year and the beginning of another. The last minute of 2008 saw people literally counting down 'till midnight. What did 60 seconds actually do? Well, in the natural, it just meant the beginning of January 1st, but spiritually and emotionally most people around the world, believe it's a new beginning. Why don't you position yourself for a new beginning? Why don't you allow God to take all of the drama, heartaches and disappointments of 2008 and let them melt away into the promises of God for your life in the new year.
In addition to your personal goals and desires, its' even more important that you realize that God wants you to connect your goals and aspirations to Him and His kingdom purposes. God loves His children, but everyone wants more money, a nicer house or car and more relationships, but what makes your request any more important than the millions around the world asking God for even more important things? what moves God is when we seek to align our lives with His will and purposes. I will share more with you about some of the the things that we will be doing this year, but one of them is believing God for 500 new members at Citadel. We also will endeavor to grow deeper in discipleship and relationships. It's going to be a busy year, but a great one! Embrace it, love it and live it! Happy New Year Citadel (and on-line friends!)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Nights of Terror and Thanksgiving
Have you ever had one of those "deep tissue" massages? I mean where they seem as though they are pounding out every area pain in your body? Well, I walked away (barely) with spots that were healed I did not even know I had! Well, this is kinda how I felt at the end of what was one of our year's most successful events, Nights of Terror. God blessed beyond our wildest imaginations. We saw well over 110 people give their lives to Christ. (I think what was really exciting was some of the youth from the community who were a part of the production gave their lives to Christ as well!). We saw over 350 people come through our 1st year production and it was nothing short of phenomenal! I was blessed beyond belief to see a cast of almost 100 people acting, doing makeup, designing sets, doing security, etc. etc. etc. This was the body of Christ at work.
I just want to say to you, Citadel, thanks for believing in vision that goes way beyond the average. Citadel does things that don't always seem to make sense on the surface, but when you get underneath, you see the power of God move and change lives. To God be the glory!
As we approach yet another Thanksgiving season, let's be mindful of how much we indeed have to be grateful For health and strength; for our children's health and protection, for food to eat, for shelter and most importantly, for salvation! God has been good to all of us. So before you pick up ONE turkey leg or reach for one helping of stuffing, pause and publicly thank God. After all that's what this season is for right? Thanks giving?
Friday, September 26, 2008
The Economic Crisis and The Believer's Response
Dear Blogger and Citadel Member,
These are some of the most challenging economic times that we've ever seen. It's amazing to see so many things happening seemingly at once! The collapse of major banking systems; storms which have crippled entire municipal budgets and good people losing their jobs and homes. These are very dire times. Yet in the midst of that, God calls us to have a very different outlook as believers. We're not encouraged to "put our heads in the sand" and ignore what's happening in the world around us. Yet, we are encouraged to think on the things that are pure, lovely and of a good report. Phillipians 4:8 states that if there be any virtue or if there be any praise, think on these things! Where are your thoughts today? As you read this blog, are you thinking of calamity or God's promise? Are you so overwhelmed that it's causing you to have fear and not faith? If this is the case, shift your thoughts away from what you see to what you don't see, but what you KNOW is promised to you by our Lord. God does not promise to give us lives free from adversity, but He does promise us peace in the midst of adversity!!!!
One of my favorite seasons of the year is Christmas. One of the highlights of that season is haring Handel's Messiah. Handel refers to the book of Revleation 11:15 when he triumphantly and musically proclaims, "The Kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. These words always stir me because it reminds me of the finality of this life and planet. Our world will always change. Kingdoms will rise and fall, but the kingdom of God will always remain. Therefore, where is the true retirement plan? Is it in markets that shift and change, or is it in eternal things that remain forever. I'm not fostering fiscal nor personal financial irresponsibility, however, I am encouraging every believer who reads this to prioritize. Give to kingdom of God causes. Sow into things that will not perish or shift.
May the peace of God rest on you as we whether yet another storm in our world and in our nation. God is sovereign and Jesus is LORD!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The BIG DAY and a New Season
Much has happened in Detroit this week. For that matter, much has happened this summer in our City. Citadel has been faithful in executing some exciting things with our summer initiatives. We have seen hundreds attend our Summer Movie Nights. We also had one of our most successful community and church picnics ever. As we do every summer, we went out in our community and shared the gospel with our Thursday night Bible Class and studies. We had one of our biggest and most spiritually impacting Summer Revivals. Finally, we saw well over 1700 people at the Back To School Rally that Citadel partners with Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp. It's been a busy but fruitful summer. To God be the glory.
Well, this coming Sunday is our Big Day. It's where we show the community and city what the Lord has done and is doing with Citadel. We are expecting many visitors to come to our church and are expecting many to accept Christ and then others to become a part of our church family. One of the highlights of this Sunday and the new season that our church is entering is the addition of Adrian B. King (and his lovely wife, Tiffany) moved from Chicago to Detroit to take the leadership of the music ministry here at Citadel. We are excited about the great asset that he brings to our church and ministry. We're expecting God to give us one of the greatest music ministries in the world right here at Citadel. It's exciting.
As we enter into our fifth year of ministry here in Detroit, Nancy, Tiffany and I are incredibly humbled by the great congregation the Lord has allowed us to serve and shepherd. It's nothing short of amazing to see what the Lord has done. Above are some photos of what has happened this summer.
I do pray that God would allow each of you who visit our website and who are interested in our church to keep Citadel lifted up in your prayers. It's amazing to see what the Lord has done in five years. The best is yet to come!!!!
In His Service,
Friday, June 13, 2008
Summer at Citadel
Once again, we hit the streets. When I read the Bible, it's not merely as a book of history (although it its). It's not just something that I can glean information from, but it's even more so a manual for life. It shows me how to live and thus shows the church how to live. Citadel thrives to be a body who Reverences God, Raises Christians, Reaches People and Releases Leaders. With this in mind, it's vital that we don't allow the summer to make us take a break. As we look at the church in America, we notice a disturbing trend. Summer is the time the church takes a break. Well, first of all, how can the body of Christ (Jesus' representative in the earth) take a break? That would be equivalent to to the government or the air traffic controllers taking off because of a seasonal shift. Well, this undergirds the fact that the church is often thinking of its schedule, its plans and not those of the world around them. Please don't get me wrong, vacations are welcomed. Family time should happen. However, it's necessary that we realize that the summer is a time where more people are out in the streets, neighborhoods, etc. It is during this time that we are able to witness, minister to and share and show the love of Christ in very powerful and incredible ways. This is the reason for our initiatives this summer at Citadel.
Our community craves love and things to engage them. In a city that has closed down public parks, recreation centers and, for a myriad of reasons, have very few resources for things to do in the summer. In response to this, we are endeavoring to Reach People as we Raise Christians (all of this bringing glory and Reverence to God). Summer Movies Nights will be a fun filled time where our Citadel family along with our community get a chance to get some popcorn, sodas and sit under the stars watching some of the greatest films made on the big screen. There is no charge for this event. Then we will have our annual picnic on 4th of July weekend. We are having a fellowship for our members as well as all those whom we've made contact with in the community. We then kick off our Annual Summer Revival with an outdoor concert. This will prove to be quite exciting as we lift up the name of the Lord in song with some great artists who are featured to be at this event. Then of course the revival itself is one of the highlights of the summer as we take the Good News to the community "up close and personal". Then of course, we partner with Central Detroit Christian for the "Back To School Rally" where fun is always had as we minister to our community students returning to school. Then there's the Big Day 1,000 people in Church on September 7th. This should be so exciting to see both services full of worship, celebration and people loving God. Our membership has grown greatly and it will be great to see our "family" at it's fullest!!!
While these things are happening at particular points in time, our Bible Study which has grown between 40-60 people, will be "on the road" as we take God's light into the dark crevices of our dear community.
Although October is far from Summer, I must mention the fall alternative to Halloween which we're calling "Nights of Terror". It's a time for those who walk through to experience terror as they look at the lives of some young people who made bad choices on earth and it continued in eternity. It's going to be a great time.
Citadel, how can I say thanks for your incredible commitment to the lost and the least of these. I am glad to see that while other churches are "taking a break", we're turning it up for our Lord!!!! Love you all and look forward to your comments!!!!!!!
- Change To Reap The Harvest - Happy 6th Year Anniv...
- Happy New Year
- Nights of Terror and Thanksgiving
- The Economic Crisis and The Believer's Response
- The BIG DAY and a New Season
- Summer at Citadel