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This video has some great insights on how to lead and start a movement… Watch it and share your thoughts as well… Especially your thoughts about Gospel movements…

At Terra Nova Church as we go to the next level this is key… Imagine if each small group leader were willing to do this with those that God brings around them in their circle of influence…

This week during our Supper Six, I was asked how did Terra Nova become a church… Well, this is how…


This past weekend at Terra Nova Church the message was about walking in a God Size Dream. Too often we as believers sell God short and live way below what He truly desires and intends for us… thus, making less impact and not bearing much real fruit. Let me assure you that God wants to use YOU to change YOUR world… the only thing that will make that happen is ACTION and the only thing that will stop it is YOU… So, go ahead and dream a dream so big that if God doesn’t show up… it’s sure to fail.

During the invitation at the close of each worship service people were encouraged to simply write their GOD DREAM on an index card and drop it in a basket… to submit their dream to God. It was overwhelming to see the dreams of Terra Nova Church… it’s exciting to look ahead and watch God develop both people and their God dream! Be encouraged and join me in praying for the following dreams as we continually strive to point people to Jesus!

The following are actual dreams from the people of Terra Nova Church… My God dream is…

  • to start homeless shelters all over the world
  • to develop a local ministry for law enforcement
  • to raise thousands upon thousands of dollars for 3rd World Countries
  • to develop a home for troubled teens
  • to help girls who have been abandoned by their fathers
  • to adopt or find homes for kids who have no chance
  • to be a Christian artist
  • to start a group at school to help lead kids my age to Christ
  • to write Christian Fiction that reaches people with the message of Jesus
  • to help people in this city with drug addiction
  • to start a school for young people to become pastors
  • to own and operate a Christian Sports Camp
  • to proclaim God’s name to the nations through our coffee business
  • to open a hunting camp for kids with disabilities
  • to partner with overseas orphanages by providing workers
  • to sit with and comfort those who are terminally ill and have no family
  • to spend my life leading people in worship
  • to have worship available 24/7 at Terra Nova Church
  • to help hurt or abused women develop self-worth and self-confidence
  • to open a bakery that creates an environment for ministry
  • to create a free multi-media resource online that helps people grow in Jesus
  • to help people with jobs, housing, counseling, and long-term transition
  • to have a realistic ministry where I help people $20 at a time
  • to reach people in jail, prison, and rehabs
  • to make a difference in the lives of the students I teach
  • to develop “Cards for Kids” with proceeds going to ministry
  • to help married people who are having problems
  • to reach those that are overlooked because of their past or appearance
  • to start an after-school ministry for children


These are just a handful of examples… I’m excited to see how God uses these people and their dreams! At Terra Nova Church we do not do permission based ministry… Another words, you don’t need the church’s permission to make a difference or to change a life with the Gospel… In fact, we are ALL commanded to do so in Scripture! However, at the church level we would love to help and equip people to live out the Great Commission. Basically, it comes down to this… and this is a reminder to my Terra Nova Church family… You can NEVER use the excuse that the church just wouldn’t do anything in this area of ministry because YOU are the church and YOU have the command to ACTION… Go live the GOD DREAM!

On Sunday afternoon I drove on to the church parking lot for what I thought would be our regular leadership meeting… However, I would soon discover that it would NOT be a regular meeting… it would be a LIFE-CHANGING meeting! You see, when I arrived there was a lady standing in the lobby having a conversation with one of our church leaders and I thought very little about it… I spoke and continued on to prepare for our meeting. When it was time to start our meeting this lady was seated at the table with a Bible as if she were ready for something other than a leadership meeting about a church that she knew NOTHING about. I took my seat and just trusted that God was up to something.

Once we all sat down, Tim introduced us to our “guest” who had joined us… they had met earlier in the day following our morning worship… she pulled in the parking lot to inquire about evening services. Tim explained that we did not have evening worship, but that she was welcome to come back at 4pm to meet the pastor and our the leadership of the church. To his surprise… SHE CAME BACK!

Over the next few minutes we shared the Terra Nova vision and answered questions about our church. Then something happened… she began to cry… and this was her story…

She had gotten up to go to church… a friend had told her about Terra Nova Church, but she could not remember the name of the church… She went to another local church Sunday morning, but left with the same burden and lack of desire to even live… she left with the same hurt and same pain that she went in with.

I’m gonna stop here for a second to remind ALL OF US… be on guard… look for hurting people… don’t be so consumed with doing church that we forget to be the church… this lady showed obvious outward signs of struggle… she needed the body of Christ to minister LIFE to her… she was looking for healing and hope! The kind that ONLY comes from Jesus!

Realizing that she probably didn’t attend the church her friend recommended, she called her immediately following her Sunday morning worship experience. Her friend gave her the name, Terra Nova Church. It just so happened that she was driving through town on Malone heading to the store when she saw the Terra Nova Church sign. She pulled in just to see if she could find out about worship… it was then that she met Tim and he invited her to our meeting.

Through the tears she told us that she was a believer and that she had faithfully attended church many years back. She actually worked in the church office and her husband was in leadership. There use to be joy. Then something happened at church (you know… when people take their eyes off Jesus) that created hurt, mistrust, and resentment. In the years that followed she not only stopped going to church, but sought to use alcohol to mask and hide pain. She said, “Today I’m an alcoholic, a raging alcoholic!”

This past weekend she hit rock bottom! She made it very clear that if she didn’t find help and hope she had every intention of taking her life. When she pulled in the parking lot at Terra Nova Church… that was her last-ditch effort. We explained that our church existed for people just like her… all the while she politely tried to let us get on with our meeting. Praise God for men on our team that are more concerned about people than business! For over an hour we encouraged her with the HOPE OF JESUS and just loved her and prayed over her.

Finally, I asked what she was doing on Tuesday evening and asked if she was seriously ready for LIFE-CHANGE… and invited her to attend Celebrate Recovery… I even committed to pick her up and go with her… Again, with tears in her eyes… she said, “YES! I’M READY… Pick me up!”

So, tonight I’m headed to Celebrate Recovery… pray for God to break the stronghold of addiction and to set my new friend FREE tonight! Also, keep your eyes open today… someone’s life may very well be counting on YOU!

BE WATCHING FOR A FUTURE POST — Celebrate Recovery is coming to Terra Nova Church!

The honest truth is that there are countless days that I strive to point people to Jesus with absolutely no evidence that my life is making a real difference. Oh sure, most days I muster up just enough spiritual fortitude and faith to believe that my ministry is changing lives and will eventually bear fruit… obviously this is the reality because I continue on even when things get difficult and it seems that nobody is watching or listening!

However, there are those days when I am without a doubt reminded about the goal of the journey…

Today I received the following text message… I’m sharing it with permission to encourage you that your sacrifices and time spent pouring into the lives of others does NOT go unseen or unheard.

Just wanted to let you know that I feel like a brand new man! There is a passion for Christ burning through me like nothing I have ever felt before! I’m constantly reading the Bible and talking to God. I am so excited about everything He has done for me and will continue to do for me in the future!

You were one of the first to introduce the love of Jesus into my life and I just felt compelled to share my heart with you. I give all glory to God!

It’s just awesome because even though I’m still going through my situation (which hasn’t changed at all), I want to tell anyone who will listen about all the good that God has done in my life… which is actually unexplainable to me!

I actually met this young man around 10pm on a Sunday night… sure I had “other stuff” going on, but that night I was nudged by the goal of the journey. However, little did I know what was in store!

You see, back a few years ago… I went through a spiritual journey that I would not wish upon my worst enemy… a journey that changed my life! It’s simply amazing how God allows events to unfold… this young man was exactly where I was a few years back. Again, I was reminded of the goal of the journey in my own life… to become more like Jesus and be prepared for this late night conversation.

Tonight, I can say with certainty that I better understand the goal of the journey… and despite my pride… it’s NOT about me… it’s ALL about Him!

A Picture of Our City…


Ready for the parade… It was a long wait!

Today was a great day! Several of us loaded up and rode in the Cotton Carnival Parade to distribute flyers for the upcoming Candy Carnival. The Candy Carnival is a Halloween event that Terra Nova Church and the YMCA is putting together for the families of our city on October 31, 2010 from 5pm to 8pm at the YMCA. Our goal is to collect and give away a TON of candy… that’s 2240 lbs. of candy! It’s going to be so much fun… make plans to join us!

As I was driving along the parade route today we had the stereo jamming to “God Of This City” by Chris Tomlin. It was such an appropriate song! I’ve included some of the lyrics below…
You’re the God of this City
You’re the King of these people
You’re the Lord of this nation 


You’re the Light in this darkness
You’re the Hope to the hopeless
You’re the Peace to the restless

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

As I was listening to the words and observing THOUSANDS of people who live and work right here in Sikeston… I was emotionally overwhelmed by God’s presence! He truly wants to transform this city for His good and His glory! Today was just another reminder of why Terra Nova Church is here!

If you are part of the Terra Nova family… I want to remind you of the scripture that God gave me while I was wrestling about planting a church here.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19

Today I saw a complete picture of our city… people from all walks of life, multiple races, many social classes, young and old, people who are like me, and people who are very different… However, they ALL have one thing in common… Jesus died for each of them and desires for the Church to impact every single one!

I am confident that God will do His part if we are faithful to simply… GO and TELL… without any judgement or discrimination… seeing every person as a potential child of God. Are you with me?

Buckle up! Greater things are yet to come!

How is Your Worship Today?

As we were preparing for worship at Terra Nova Church we noticed that Jon Luke had grabbed the offering basket and sat in it. Naturally, it made a great photo!

However, the spiritual lesson that he innocently gave was even more remarkable!

Romans 12:1 says, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

God calls us to give ourselves with an all out abandonment as worship to Him! Will you “GIVE YOURSELF” today as an act of worship?

Thanks Jon Luke for the picture of true worship!

A Simple Act of Worship!

This has been another incredible week for Terra Nova Church! This week we’ve seen individuals pray to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior… thus beginning an awesome journey toward life-change!

So, what does LIFE-CHANGE look like? There have been times in ministry that I just wished that I could show a picture of the change that comes from following Jesus. Finally… today I can show you a picture! My new friend, Mitch, is at the center of the most remarkable life-change that I’ve seen in a long time!

With his permission… allow me to introduce you to Mitch Lowe. When I met Mitch a few months back I was told that he’ll never change, let alone attend church. Let me be honest, it broke my heart because “church folk” had given up on Mitch. He was not the picture of a model citizen, however, he was the picture of a life that needed Jesus and the picture of a life that Jesus could transform! That’s the part of the Gospel that I love… IT’S FOR EVERYONE!

Mitch runs a local karoke business that plays at all the bars here in town. If you need to find Mitch on the weekend… chances are that’s where you would find him. However, the reality that this lifestyle was growing less and less appealing and was always coming up short was beginning to weigh on Mitch. It was about this time that through family and Facebook that I met Mitch. We began to talk and even met for lunch a few times. The goal was NOT to get Mitch to Terra Nova Church! The goal WAS to get Mitch to Jesus! Throughout this time I could see God at work in Mitch preparing him to recieve the Gospel. Well, this 4th of July weekend he found REAL freedom!

While on Facebook early Sunday morning (12:55am) I noticed the following status…

“I feel like I’m in a bad horror movie and they forgot to kill me off. Wishing I could’ve enjoyed the company of my friends I aint seen in a while tonight. Depression sucks!! Sorry I took off and came home early, didnt wanna ruin everyone elses night but thanks 4 trying to cheer me up…”

It was at this point that I just began to pray for Mitch and then headed off to bed. Then I was back up early to prepare for our day of worship at Terra Nova Church. At about 6:00am I posted the notes for the day’s message and went on with my morning. In the mean time God was clearly at work. This was Mitch’s status at 6:58am!

“I have tried to fill my life up with busy stuff and working and helping others, but it all just reminds me how much more alone I am when I get home. Getting ready to shower and shave and then off to join the Terra Nova Family for church. After wakeing up and reading Chad’s Message Notes I am very intrigued.”

Well, we start services at 10:00am, but Mitch was there and ready at 9:00am! The entire day was built around being free in Christ and I began a series called “CHANGED” from the book of Philemon.

Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. – Philemon 1:11

formerly: pote (pot-eh’); in the old time, in time past, formerly.

but now: de nuni (deh, noo-nee’); no longer the past, but now.

This was the moment for Mitch! He finally had his own “Pote De Nuni” moment! He discovered that he could be FREE from his past and walk in a new life that comes from Christ! When the invitation was given Mitch responded and gave his life to Christ!

It was interesting because Mitch had taken a few pictures of himself before church and after church and posted them on Facebook. When I looked at them… I just had to create the following side by side because the change was so obvious! What do you think?


Change: [verb] To become different; To be transformed or converted.

One of the things that we unashamedly strive for at Terra Nova Church is LIFE-CHANGE. It has been an amazing few weeks as I’m seeing change take place in many of our folks. The changes haven’t been huge, but I would call them everyday life-change. The kind of changes that by themselves may not seem like much, but when they are strung together with other changes over time… WILL REFLECT A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHO THEY WERE AND WHO THEY ARE NOW IN CHRIST!

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

Here are a few of the small changes that I’ve seen that reflect the reality that God is at work in His people…

  • Really placing faith and trust in the Lord to provide for employment… Really counting on Him!
  • Trusting God for healing… not just in word, but really calling fellow believers to agree in prayer for healing!
  • Changing Facebook profile pictures to reflect a more pure lifestyle!
  • Admitting that their marriage could use some Godly counsel and seeking a weekly time of accountability!
  • Seeking reconciliation in past relationships where there was hurt!
  • Forgiving and letting go of the painful past!
  • Trusting God with finances and committing to trust God through tithing!
  • Being intentional about sharing faith and seeking those opportunities!


Each of these descriptions of change can be attached to an individual or couple at Terra Nova Church! These are things that perhaps we would not notice or that we would take for granted… However, because we have placed such a high priority on authentic relationships… we are REALLY doing life together and the changes are very noticable!

Terra Nova Church, I’m proud of you! This is only the beginning of what God really desires to do in us! Keep running hard… I love being on the journey of LIFE-CHANGE with you!

Milestone: a significant event or stage in life… progress… development…

Today marked a significant milestone in the life of Terra Nova Church… As of today, over 100 individuals have walked through our door and engaged in our Sunday morning worship experience!

I’m not a numbers guy just for numbers sake… However, this number represents the lives of those that are being transformed daily and are being invested in by the greater body of Christ at Terra Nova Church!

The vast majority of churches cite numeric growth as their driving evidence of success. Success is measured by quantifiable numbers of weekly attendance, small group attendance, Sunday School attendance, etc.  Achievement is determined by the number of people with whom the message is shared.

At Terra Nova we understand a primary purpose of the local church is to make disciples. Not mere attendees or even converts, but disciples – mature followers of Jesus Christ. 

This excites me because we don’t merely have 100 folks that have attended, but we are carrying out relationships with hundreds that have resulted in over 100 connecting to the body!

God is truly using you Terra Nova Church… keep pressing in… keep running hard… and keep sharing the life-change that you are experiencing! You indeed are fulfilling the vision!

After I finally crawled into bed on Sunday night, I could not sleep! There were a couple of things that just continued to run through my mind and I just could not get past them. The major reoccurring thought was this, “We started a church today!”

I hope you can hear my voice through the typed words on this page… this thought was not a boastful or prideful thought… it was one of being humbled and overwhelmed. I think that I realized for the first time that Terra Nova Church has the possibility to be around until Jesus returns! Trust me, I knew this would be a huge work with eternal results… but God just never let me stop and realize the magnitude of this call until Sunday night. Why? Probably because I would have run from the call like a scared little baby!

It was at this time that I began to think back to the established churches where I’d served on staff previously.  These are churches with a great history that have made a profound impact on their cities. Some of them have celebrated over 100 years of ministry! Wow, one day in the future… if Jesus prolongs His returning… Terra Nova Church could celebrate 100 years of ministry!

Before I got too excited about the reality of 100 years of ministry, God directed my thoughts to this… Do you think that churches today really reflect the heartbeat and vision in which they were birthed? Somehow I doubt that the men who God called to plant churches had programs, buildings, ego-centric philosophy, or numbers in mind when they sacrificed everything to plant a new church. However, I’m certain that the driving force was an unstoppable call from God to bring LIFE-CHANGE to the lost around them!

This is where it got HEAVY for me! I had an overwhelming feeling of responsibility come over me! It’s now my responsibility to lead Terra Nova Church to keep the main thing the main thing. I have the responsibility to instill and entrust this vision and call into the hands of others!

Sunday night it came full circle for me… While on staff at Men at the Cross, I heard the call of God to plant Terra Nova Church and be about making disciples locally… I heard Joe White share the scripture that drove this ministry many times… II Timothy 2:2…

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.   ~ II Timothy 2:2

Now the work of making disciples begins… Oh, that 100 years from now Terra Nova Church will still be about unselfishly doing whatever it takes to share the Gospel with the lost! I appreciate your prayers as we continue on the journey!

Side Note: The first service was absolutely amazing! God began the process of life-change for many!