The Week In Brief(s) (2/8/09)

Every Sunday I’m sharing a recap on some of what happened that week. It will be quick (in brief) and I’ll write in my underwear (in briefs). Here ya go:

1. Came back from Alabama, where I spoke at a youth convention. I’ve been getting e-mail from some of the kids who were at it, and it’s been amazing to hear about some of the things God did in their hearts and the decisions they’re making…
2. Went to Hope Baptist’s service on Sunday.
3. Had a little Super Bowl party with the three families that have moved here so far. We invited the neighbor family we’ve met but they said, “We don’t like sports.” I didn’t know you had to like sports to go to a Super Bowl party!
4. Met with the director of the Las Vegas chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
5. Had lunch with Benjamin Zimmerman, who works at Central Christian. He instantly became a new favorite of mine. He is such a genuine, straight-forward guy. He’s also a great thinker and had lots of good thoughts for me.
6. Had lunch with Devin Hudson.who is the pastor of Grace Point Church in North Las Vegas. Really enjoyed it, Devin is the real deal. He moved here four years ago from North Carolina to start a church, so he’s been where we’re at…
7. Met with Shane Phillip, the pastor of The Crossing. Shane is awesome and The Crossing is one of the churches supporting us.
8. Met with some guys who lead a local community service organization.
9. Hosted Tommy and Krystal Altman. Tommy is going to do an internship with us. We went down to the Strip a couple times…
10. I am seriously learning so much about the people of Vegas, and life and ministry in Vegas that it’s a little overwhelming right now. I’m just asking TONS of questions and have a bunch of great people who are totally willing to help.
11. Matt, who is a college freshman and is transferring to U.N.L.V. so he can be a part of starting Verve, moved to Vegas on Thursday. He’ll be living with us for awhile, to establish his Nevada residency.
12. We had a little party at our house for the people who have already moved here, or were in town visiting. We had eleven people, plus four kids running around. Fun!
13. Here are just a few of the things I learned this week:

  • Who moves to Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. Most people in Vegas do not plan on staying in Vegas. That seems, understandably, to be a real source of discouragement for some pastors. (Continually investing in people and then having them leave.)
  • Vegas is such a “We’ll serve you!” town (“Oh, you’re gambling, let us give you free drinks.” “You want a massage. Would you like anything else?” “Welcome to Wall Mart, would you like a valet to park your car?”) but it’s always that ‘we’re serving you to get something from you.’ When you serve in this town just to serve, no agenda, it can be powerful.
  • Las Vegas “is a graveyard for church plants.” (That’s the exact sentence I’ve heard several times.) Apparently there’s been a ton of attempts to start new churches in the last six of seven years and close to none have become viable, self-supporting churches.
  • … and tons more.

To Pray About This Week:
1. I am learning a lot of information about Vegas, but still not feeling it. I really want to start feeling connected to life and the people here.
2. That will be difficult this week, since I’ll be out of town all week. I’m teaching a bunch of classes at a college in Kentucky, then flying to New Jersey for my sister-in-law’s wedding. But I am going to have a lot of time to work on my computer and I’m looking forward to getting a ton done.
3. A good start for the three people from our team who moved to Vegas this week: Matt, and a couple from Virginia Beach named Sam and Cherie.