Greg King

Five Stones

The Fragrance

iStock_000001362297SmallJust came across a stat that has me dreaming about what needs to change in the local church to help people become the aroma of Christ. The stat is that 84% of outsiders know a Christian, only 15% of them see a marked change in their lifestyle from the rest of the secular world.

I cannot stop thinking about Mary anointing Jesus with expensive fragrances in John 12:3. While we know that this was an act to prepare Jesus for his death and burial, we can easily miss that the act also meant something to the disciple sand the people of that day. Anointing a guest with oil was a common and even expected act of hospitality. But Mary’s use of the expensive perfumed oil made her action point to the anointing of a King.

The Hebrew word for Messiah literally means “The Anointed One.” Instead of being crowned, Hebrew Kings were anointed with sacred perfume. The beautiful scent that it left behind served as an invisible crown. A King was recognized for his royal aroma. Even the people that the King surrounded himself with would be recognized because they carried with them the aroma of the King. During royal processions etc., the fragrance of expensive perfumes would inform the crowds that a King was passing by. Look at just one example in Psalm 45:7-8.

Now picture the scene in John 12 where Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowd was not greeting just another rabbi. They were identifying with the aroma of a King and shouting Blessed is the King of Israel. Everywhere that Jesus went the final week of his life people were met with the fragrance of royalty. Now draw the parallel to 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 that we are the aroma of God to a lost and dying world. As Christ followers we are to spread the fragrance of Christ everywhere we go.

I know I don’t have all the answers but its time for us to start thinking new thoughts.


May 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Highway to Change

istock_000005461904smallThe fact is I do not know many people that like change. Change takes us out of our comfort zone to the the realm of the unknown. As a leader you are always having to balance when the proper time is to make a change. Make it too soon and no one will follow you, make it too late and it could cost you your organization. I’ve learned over the years that the best time to make a change is at the top of the curve when everything is going at its best. Right now in my church and in my family we are experiencing a lot of change. How does your family respond when change comes knocking on your door?

As Christ Followers we know that one of the Master’s favorite tools for shaping us is by introducing change into our lives. To be quite frank I’m not sure how you can be a growing Christian and not expereicne some sort of change on a regualr basis.  At any moment He may ask me to sacrifice, who I am for who I can become. When those times arrive I so badly want to embrace the change He has placed into motion for my life. One of my favorite qoutes in life is from A.W. Tozer: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So with that thought in mind how do you handle change when it enters into your life? Does your God become small and you find yourself worried and upset thinking everything is out of control or do you recognize that we have a Big Soverign God that is in control of your life? My prayer is that when change comes that I will let go of my plans and trust the plans that my Loving Father has for my life.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Teaching the Elephants to Dance

iStock_000007427599MediumI think one of the qualifications to being an effective leader is if you can lead your people through change. The fact is change is mandatory for any group that wants to make a mark in today’s world. In his book, Teaching the Elephants to Dance, James Belasco uses the analogy of liberating elephants. Trainers shackle young elephants with heavy chains to deeply embedded stakes. In that way the elephant learns to stay in its place. Older, powerful elephants never try to leave-even though they have the strength to pull the stake and free themselves. Their conditioning has limited their movements. With only a small metal bracelet around their foot attatched to nothing, they stand in place. The stakes are actually gone!

Like powerful elephants churches are bound by earlier restraints. The statement “We have always done it this way” is limiting to a churches progress. What happens over time is that church becomes paralyzed to the change that is taken place around them and quickly find themselves no longer being essential to the culture they are called to reach. To the younger generation the church slowly begins to look irrelevant to their lives.

Yet when the circus tent catches fire-and the elephants see the flames with its own eyes and smells the smoke, it forgets its old conditioning and changes. The elephant physically escapes the fire. The leaders task is to Set a Fire.  Point out the fire so the church can see the smoke with their own eyes and smell the smoke with their own noses. In my opinion the fire is the vision that God has for your church. When people begin to embrace the vision things begin to change.

I am sold out to keeping the flame stoked for those that partner with Five Stones Church. Our mission/vision is to Encourage people to know God and to take their next step with Him.
Which will result in: Christ followers that are changing the community and the world by actively living out their faith.

If this fire resonates within your heart then maybe God is leading you to partner with us.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Vision | 1 Comment

The Adventurous Life

iStock_000003644147MediumMatthew 25 recounts a story Jesus told of an Oriental master and his three servants. The generous master gives the servants varying levels of finances (five talents to the first servant, two talents to the second, and one talent to the third) and then leaves on an extended trip. Because of the context in which this story is told (a discussion about the return of Christ and how we are to live in light of his return), its clear that the master represents Christ. The three servants represents his disciples.

But its in the details that Jesus really makes his points.

First, the master gives the servants a lot of money. A talent, translated across cultures, with inflation, could represent as much as two hundred thousand dollars today.
Second the master gives the trust without restrictions. He basically says, “Here’s the money; I’ll be back.” He doesn’t put limitations on the funds. He doesn’t even make suggestions for  the money’s use.
But the master does have some assumptions. While he doesn’t tell his servants what to do with the money, he assumes they’ll do something.

The bottom line of the story is that God wants us to be adventurous. He charges us to be entrepreneurs. He challenges us to be creative. He calls us to be aggressive. He invites us to take risks. Jesus’ answer to how we are to live in light of His return is, “Go for it!” We’re not to wait around. We’re to get busy. We’re to take initiative. We’re not to live in fear. We’re to proceed in faith.

So how does this story apply to those of who are going to be a part of Five Stones Church? We are the servants who are blessed by a generous Master. We are the ones in a position to do something. You know what we are going to do? We’re not going to play it safe. We’re going to try to reach as many people as we possibly can. We’re also going to encourage people to be taking their next spritual step. Whatever has been put at our disposal we are going to put in motion for the salvation of others. While the rsik is great and their is no safety net we recognize that if we aren’t taking steps with Christ then we are not growing in our faith. So while the risk is large the return on the investment is incredible.

May 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment