Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The deep wisdom of Gene Simmons


Before I go any further, I want to clarify something. Almost without exception, every quote I have ever heard or read attributed to Gene Simmons would fit into the category of "Things that make you go Eweh!" But this one is really good.

This past Sunday marked the last Sunday C3 would meet as a core group. On Easter Sunday, we officially open our doors to the public -- our "launch" Sunday. We considered an advertising campaign, but decided against it for now. Jeff shared a little about his experiences with the last church plant he was involved in. They had over 200 in attendance at their launch. Which is awesome. Unless, of course your lead guy was expecting 700 or more. At this point, I am tempted to point out the total ineffectiveness of sending out 75,000 mailers on four different occasions with a net return of one visitor, but I digress...

The following Sunday was an even bigger pill to swallow, as they had less than 100. How do you get excited about a measly 90 people when you are expecting 700 or more? The answer came from the drummer, Jason. (Who, I am happy to say, is now the drummer and core group member of C3.) Jason came to Christ as an adult, after living what many would consider a very prodigal son sort of life; and he is a testimony to God's redemptive power through the life of a humble servant. (Sorry - brief explanation tangent.)

As the leadership team gathered before the service in a "group prayer huddle", the funk of sadness and disappointment was visible in the hunched shoulders and downcast faces of those in the circle. The unspoken question on everyone's lips seemed to be, "What now?"

Jason begins, "I've been reading the autobiographical story of KISS..." At this point, Jeff (who is the worship pastor and Jason's best friend) is thinking, "Oooh-Kaaay, where's he going with this?" Jason continues, "When asked what type of audience KISS was hoping to attract at a concert, Gene Simmons said:


'We're not here for the people that aren't here, we're here for the people who are'.

This Easter Sunday, and every gathering thereafter, when we meet together to worship God, pray and fellowship with one another, can we simply remember that thought?

Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. I can't express how much our little ragamuffin body of believers appreciate you all. You da bomb.

17 comments:

jasonS said...

Gene Simmons knows his stuff... I really like that story. It can't be about numbers. We want to see people saved and changed, but we have to trust God. Thanks!

Helen said...

Great story. It would be easy to be dismissive of KISS at Church, yet they were able to find wisdom when it was there. Excellent.

sherri said...

Gene Simmons, a philsopher- Who Knew?

Great wisdom coming from that crazy tongue of his.

God spoke through a donkey, why not KISS?

I can't wait for you guys to actually get your first service underway.

These are Exciting times!

Billy Coffey said...

Anyone who reads an autobiography of KISS is cool in my book! I was raised on Gene Simmons, though some of the things he's said that I thought were awesome then are pretty stupid now.

But I digress. You've all worked hard, you've all prayed hard. You've all given you're 100 percent. Now it's God's turn to give His. In a time where people seem so down and so hopeless, God needs people like you and C3. I have no doubt you'll see amazing things.

jmillerjr said...

Thank's for this post. I love how God uses the foolish things to inspire, encourage and challenge us. I pray you have an amazing and fruitful launch.

"Encouragement is when our belief in ordinary people challenges them to do extraordinary things they never believed they could do." ~ James Miller, Jr.

Beth said...

C'mon, they have the "Beth" song. What's not to like about Kiss? ;)

When we launched we probably had about 80 to 90 people show up.
And then we've been in the 30-50 range ever since. Sometimes it's less than that. And half of our number is kids under age 10! People have come and gone, and we have three families that were a part of our original core group- the pastor's family, us, and the pastor's next door neighbors' family. If you use numbers as a measurement tool, we are a pretty sad little plant in a city of 60,000 plus people.

BUT

We are an integral part of a much bigger body of Christ in our area. And I feel like we're just starting to finally understand who we are as a church and what our role is....we're not the big cool new church in town, and I doubt we ever will be. We're the slightly off kilter in style, but you better believe we follow the Bible and be Jesus to those around us, forerunner church that God's gonna use to His perfect glory. (Lately I've been calling us the spleen of Terre Haute.) I have grown more spiritually in the last 3 years than I had the rest of my adult life. In fact, I don't know an adult in our church whose life HASN'T changed radically since coming our way. Following God's will equals success...whatever that may look like.

Sometimes...it is still easy to play the numbers game and get discouraged. But now I think that mostly comes from a desire to see more people transform their lives. Not a desire to be big and cool and awesome. Cuz at the beginning...yeah, we wanted to serve God, but we also wanted to be big and cool and awesome.

The good thing for you guys is that you pretty much know all this already. The adventure begins! (and continues!)

Annie K said...

Good Luck!

I mean God Blessings!

Wait, Pot Blessings!

Uh, dang...

Anyway, have been and will be praying for a great outreach. ;) (Ok, I had to throw in the smiley face because I couldn't resist. That's how I am.)

lastrow said...

I guess Gene is not a seeker-sensitive bassist.

texasshawn said...

LOL, 90 people would give me heart failure!

“The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26

Brad Brinkley said...

It's also easy to go into a funk when people leave (good people that is). My wife is always reminding me that I'm not the pastor of the people who left - I'm the pastor of the people who stayed,... so start acting like it!

Gene nailed it. Take care of the people who are there, they are the ones who are with you.

Thanks for the post, and thank you Gene for the reminder.

Nick the Geek said...

Funny how we can find wisdom in the most unlikely of places.

My Word Verification is "Sting" looks like blogger is going for a throw down.

Marni said...

You found the wisdom of God in a Gene Simmons quote. That's impressive. Now, if you ever find godly wisdom in an Ozzy Osbourne quote, I'm going to be mega impressed.

I'm praying for the launch. And it's not about the numbers. Joel Osteen already has that covered in your area. It's about loving the broken and modeling to them what redemption and forgiveness really is. And God will move mightily if He sends you 1 or 1,000,000.

I'm with Annie...Good Luck or Godspeed or Vaya con Dios or whatever we decided was appropriate (frickin Jon messing with my head again...)

Tony C said...

I've read Simmons' book, and it's not a bad read. He's not what I expected at all but rather shrewd and cunning as a business man.

Best of luck on the launch and remember...always listen to the drummer.

katdish said...

Jason - growth is a by-product, not the goal. But I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. I'm praying for you guys this week, and will lift y'all up during the "prayer huddle" on Sunday.

Helen - my buddy Jason is very wise, indeed.

Sherri - We've actually been meeting as a church since July. You couldn't even really call them practice services, because...they just weren't. But I am very excited to bring some more people into the fold.

Billy - Thanks. I really appreciate that. And yes, God will lead.

jmillerjr - Wow. Was that your quote? Excellent.

Beth - Healing Pointe: the spleen of Terre Haute (snort!) I consider you, and all my CGPBBs our long distance support team. Your hearts are turned toward Him, and you are already doing great things for Him.

Annie - Yeah...I know how you are. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Laz - I don't know that I would use the word "sensitive" to describe Gene Simmons in any context. Howya doing, anyway?

Shawn - you're just awesome. I'm praying for you, too! You just do what you do, girl.

Brad - Thanks. I really enjoyed your blog, btw.

Nick - "Funny how we can find wisdom in the most unlikely of places." - Yeah, like a certain geeky youth pastor I know.

Marni - You are exactly right about our mission, and it's on like donkey kong! My life is complete. I used that term in a ministry reference.

Tony C - Every drummer I've ever known has told me those exact words. What's up with that?

vanityofvanities said...

Okay, here's what happens when I hear the name "Gene Simmons" without seeing a picture. (Obviously, I saw a picture here, so this did not happen. But, I wanted to share it with you anyway.)

Normally, someone will be going on and on talking about something ridiculous concerning Gene Simmons. The whole time I'm trying to picture the guy with a perm, spandex pants, and fat people all around him also doing or saying whatever it is they're describing, and I just can't get past what they're saying. Then, when the person brings me to my senses and reminds me that I'm thinking of Richard and not Gene, I puke a little in my mouth. That's not very nice, but it's almost true.

Regardless, I like what he said in this one instance. Good illustration.

katdish said...

DANG, Angela!

I am cracking up! I had no idea where you were going with that until I saw "Richard"!

Whew! Thanks for the laugh!

lastrow said...

Been a little busy to the detriment of my blogging duties