Category Archives: CityLife Church
We’re getting ready to kickoff year number two at CityLife Church, and I’m excited about the start of a brand new series this Sunday. We’re going to lose those love handles!
Actually, this is a series about something that is a major part of every person’s life. Relationships. God designed you to experience significant, lasting, life-giving relationships. He designed you to know and be known. He designed you to laugh, love, forgive, and live in community. There’s nothing more important to the quality of our lives, and nothing quite as challenging to get right.
I believe this series will be a breath of fresh air, and a spark of hope for you. If you are single and wish you were married–there’s hope! If you are married and wish you were single–there’s hope! If you are grieving the loss of a relationship, or craving the start of one–there’s hope! This series will be fun, challenging, practical and inspiring. In the end, my goal is that we can all “get a handle” on the most important relationships in our lives.
Join us Sunday–and bring a friend. God is going to accomplish some relational miracles in our city!
We’re just about ten days away from an inspirational baptism experience at CityLife Church!
Baptism will propel you forward in God. I haven’t seen anything that has more of an impact in catapulting someone forward in their walk with God than baptism. Being baptized is a step of obedience that is a lot like being shot from a spiritual rocket. You will immediately gain incredible momentum in following Jesus.
Baptism is also a misunderstood experience, mainly because different religious traditions practice it in different ways. It may even be an emotional thought for you, because of the way your parents raised you or an experience you had as a child.
That being said, here are three simple truths the Bible teaches us about baptism.
1. Baptism is a public declaration of a new association. It is the most basic and Biblical way to say to your family and friends, “I’m all in with Jesus!”
2. Baptism is a personal declaration of a new association. Simply put, it’s not a decision a parent or anyone else can make for you. Every baptism in the New Testament was for people who made a personal decision to follow Jesus and be baptized.
3. Baptism is evidence of salvation, not a condition for it. Salvation comes to us as a gift of grace from God. There’s nothing we can do to deserve or earn it. Baptism is the way we memorialize and celebrate what God has done.
You can read more about what the Bible says about baptism by downloading this PDF.
Many people have already signed up to be baptized at CityLife on June 3. Why not join them? You can sign up right now by visiting this page on our website.
Invite your family and friends. It’s going to be an unforgettable God party!
This Sunday we’re starting a new series at CityLife that I’ve been eagerly anticipating since the day the church started. The series is named after the third step in our church’s discipleship process, which is to equip followers of Jesus to radically love God, love people, and PROVE IT!
During his life and ministry, Jesus simplified religion to one basic premise.
Love God, and love people.
He lived his life centered on those two core values and disciplines. Then, after his resurrection, He set out to PROVE that He was still committed to the same radical love. Here’s how Luke, one of his biographers put it.
He presented himself alive after his suffering by many PROOFS, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
For forty days after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to hundreds of eye-witnesses, providing undeniable evidence that He still lives to love. We don’t have to wonder whether God loves us, or our world, or our city, or our neighbors.
Jesus proved it!
We’ll be exploring this thought for the next five weeks as a church. During that time, we’ll be having a lot of fun!
- We’ll be introducing our church’s first two community outreach partners!
- We’ll be introducing our church’s first missionary!
- We’ll be introducing some exciting plans for summer outreach in our neighborhood!
- We’ll be having our first ever water baptism celebration!!!
If you’re a CityLifer, I want to challenge you to make this series a priority! God is doing something special through us, and the best is still to come!!!
I just finished my message for Easter Sunday morning, and can’t wait to preach it! I wish Easter was tomorrow!
I was struck again today by something Jesus said just before he raised Lazarus from the dead.
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die (John 11.25-26).
The resurrection is more than an event that happened 2000 years ago. Resurrection is a person. Resurrection is Jesus. That means that if Jesus lives in you, you become a walking, breathing, billboard of resurrection and LIFE!
This Sunday we’re kicking off a brand new series at CityLife Church simply called LIFE IS HERE! If you’re in Philly, I hope you’ll join us for a fun, inspiring God-party. Here are a few of the special things we’ll be doing on Sunday to celebrate Easter.
- An inspiring worship service focused on the resurrection of Jesus!
- Free, professional pictures for you and your family!
- Fun gifts for everybody who attends!
- Faith, hope, love, and LIFE!!!
And if you’re a CityLifer, here’s one more challenge to do everything you can over the next four days to invite your friends and family to experience Easter at CityLife this weekend!
Jesus is alive! Let’s get the word out!!!
Almost six months have passed since CityLife Church was born, and I couldn’t be more excited about what God is doing through our new church in Philly! We are growing every month. People continue to commit their lives to Jesus every week. And my anticipation for what God is going to do builds every day. And this journey is about to go to the next level!
This weekend will be a history making weekend for CityLife as we launch our first semester of Life Groups! We have a first class group of leaders, apprentices and hosts who are prepared to launch 10 brand new groups throughout our city. These groups will exist to help people build significant Christ-centered friendships with one another. They will gather weekly, in homes and coffee shops, to study the Bible and BE THE CHURCH!
This first winter semester of groups will run for two months, so you don’t have to sign your life away! Try out a group and see if it fits. What do you have to lose?
If you’re a part of CityLife Church, or longing to connect to authentic community in Philadelphia, then I encourage you to click on this link and register for a group today! We will also be having a launch party this Sunday right after the service where you can meet the leaders and sign up for a group.
God made you for meaningful relationship and community. In fact, there’s no way any of us can realize our full potential alone.
That’s why our dream at CityLife is to be a warm, relational, family of people, from all walks of life, who support each other and fight for each other with faithful devotion. Let’s see that dream become a reality this year!
We’re just a few days away from our first ever Christmas Eve worship experience at CityLife Church! Here are ten reasons you don’t want to miss the God-party!
- Christmas is about Jesus! Together, we’re going to focus on Him.
- Creativity! This service will be different than any we’ve had since CityLife started.
- This is the last opportunity to worship at CityLife in 2011.
- I’ve got an inspiring message I can’t wait to share!
- Christmas cookies! You know you love them.
- We have a special string trio that will be playing during the service.
- I’ll be preaching for less than 30 minutes, which may never happen again.
- Christmas carols! It’s going to be another year before we sing them again.
- Ten years from now, when we’re hosting multiple Christmas Eve services, you’ll be able to say that you were there for the first one!
- Christmas is about Jesus! Just in case you missed it the first time
We’ll be meeting at The Academy at Palumbo in South Philly at 5 pm this Saturday.
See you there!
I love Christmas! Here’s a random list of things that I’m pumped up about this year. (Feel free to respond with your own fist pump when you read something you’re excited about too)!
- Our second Christmas in Philly. We actually have some new family traditions now.
- My Youversion Christmas Bible reading plan. Love reflecting on Jesus birth and ministry.
- Our FIRST CityLife Christmas outreach tomorrow night. We’re throwing a party for about 60 foster care kids and their families!
- Our FIRST CityLife Christmas party on Sunday night–The Christmas Challenge! Bomb Bomb’s Barbecue. New friends. Some Christmas competition. There’s still time to sign up!
- Our Wonder series at CityLife Church. We’re exploring the mind-blowing realities of Christmas.
- A wedding! I get to perform one for a couple in our church next week.
- Family walks through South Philly to look at Christmas lights.
- Finishing our third month of Starting Point. Love helping people get started with discipleship and connect to CityLife!
- Claire’s first Christmas! She looks so cute in her Santa outfit.
- Our FIRST Christmas Eve service at CityLife–5 pm!
- Watching Gabby’s face light up on Christmas morning!
- Spending some time with my family in Michigan the week after Christmas.
- My mom’s cooking!
- A brand new series starting at CityLife on January 8 called “This Year I Finally Will…” We’re expecting lots of guests!
This year CityLife Church has the privilege of sponsoring the annual Christmas party for Philadelphia’s Children’s Choice foster care agency. Children’s Choice has an office in South Philly, and it’s been great to get to know their story and their passion for some awesome kids in our city.
The Christmas party is an opportunity each year to honor the foster care families that they work with. By sponsoring the party, CityLife gets to do a few specific things.
- We’re purchasing the Christmas gifts for each of the foster care kids.
- We’re purchasing the Christmas gifts for the foster family’s biological kids as well.
- We’ll be giving small gift bags to the foster parents.
- We’ll have a presence at the party to make it as memorable and fun as possible!
The party is next Thursday night, at a hotel downtown. Most of the gifts have been claimed by people in our church, but we still have a handful that need to be purchased. If you’re able to participate, please let me know.
One of our values at CityLife is to be compassionate. We want to serve our city in real, meaningful, and transformational ways.
If you have already adopted a child and purchased a gift, THANK YOU! Thanks for being a part of making this party such a highlight for these precious kids and their heroic families.
We’re reaching THE ONE!
You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
In other words, Jesus inspires me to love God with my whole life. Worship isn’t something I do once a week, or even once a day. Worship is my approach to life everyday, all of the time, no matter what I’m doing. Even my work becomes worship when I simply change who I’m working for.
To illustrate the message, Matt Lee, our Guest Services team leader, painted this picture during the service. Matt’s a unique guy. He’s a C on the DISC personality profile–competent, detailed, organized, analytical and task oriented, so it’s not a surprise that he’s a Civil Engineer by day.
But Matt is also a gifted artist and creative thinker. He’s a great example of loving God with your whole mind–with the creative right half and the logical left half.
It’s been rewarding to watch our church take steps forward in our understanding of worship this month. This coming Sunday we’ll be wrapping up the series. Don’t miss it!