Greg King

Five Stones

Where is Your Third Place?

istock_000005053795largeThrough the years the church has lost its place as the community gathering place or the so called “Third Place.” The “third place” term was coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg. The concept of a third place involves a gathering place for people separate from the home (the first place) and work (the second place). The third place is an anchor of the community, which facilitates relational interaction between people in the community. The concept of a third place has become very important for the younger generation. This is obviously one of the reasons why you see a Starbucks or a Panera on almost every corner. You are no longer just paying for a cup of coffee or a sandwich instead you are also paying to be apart of community. If the church desires to become the “third place” in the lives of this younger generation then a lot of the sacred cows in the church are going to need to be removed. The fact is students drop out of church because their church is not essential to them. Lord may we as the church become Essential again in the lives of students.

Where is your Third Place?

If this article peaked your interest, pick up the book where I stole most of my thoughts The Essential Church.


December 6, 2008 Posted by | Church Life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Five Percent Principle

istock_000002143877largeAwhile ago I read the book The Divine Mentor and it has really challenged me on my personal worship times. In fact our family has now begun to journal together. I was reminded of a great truth from this book. It is the principle of the Last Five Percent. Let me explain: about 80 percent of all you do anyone can do. Going to work, attending meetings etc. Additionally about 15 percent of all you do someone with some measure of training could do in your place. But at least 5 percent of what you do, only you can do. no one else can do it for you.

Only I can be a husband to my wife, Rachelle.Only I can be a dad to my three children. Only I can keep my body healthy. And only I can grow spiritually. No one else can do that last 5 percent for me. I alone am responsible for it. When it comes to my relationship with God I am responsible to keep myself spiritually healthy by feeding myself. I think that is a concept that has been lost in the current church culture.

How many times do you hear people complaining that they are not being fed. Imagine this, you begin to notice that your friend has lost a lot of weight. Normally this might be a good thing but then you realize they are actually starving themselves. When you ask your friend why he or she is not eating they say because no one is feeding me. I know corny story but a pretty true portrait of most beleivers in the church today. I think it is time that our churches stopped doing so many programs and taught our people how to feed themselves.

With that challenged I knew it was time to get off of my cofortable spot and press on with the deeper things with God. So while its not time to make New Years Resolutions our family has begun to read the Bible and journal together using a method called the SOAP Process. If you are interested you can visit the following site Life Journal. Make sure to look at the journals for all different ages. I hope your faith grows beyond your expectations as you sit at the Father’s feet. I can’t wait to hear about your new self feeding program.

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Church Life | 1 Comment


This week God has been speaking to my heart on how His Spirit advances the Kingdom through us. That we are literally the hands and feet of Christ according to Galatians 2:20. Because Christ came to rescue the helpless I am now charged to do the same because the very heart of Christ resides inside of me. One easy way our family is making a difference is by sponsoring a child through Compassion International. We have been blessed to sponsor Panyin for the past two years. For the small cost of $32.00 per month or roughly a night at the movies our family is making an impact. Mother Teresa once said If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Where has God led you to make a difference in the life of the helpless? If you are looking for a great organization to support then please take a close look at Compassion International. Click on the logo on the left and begin to pray about sponsoring a child. If you decide to sponsor a child please post a comment with your child’s name.

August 3, 2008 Posted by | Challenge, Church Life | 1 Comment

Woe to the Popular

I have a confession…as a speaker I have always struggled with the applause of people. That sounds pretty bad but its the truth. If I’m not careful I can find myself fishing for a compliment and then other times not knowing how to accept a compliment knowing that God was the one due the credit. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with knowing that people enjoyed hearing you speak. I think everyone enjoys receiving an atta boy every now and again.  The problem is can you still get the applause of man if you are saying all that God wants to say through you? This past year God has been convicting me from Luke 6 that if I truly say all that God wants me to say than the applause meter will rapidly lower. This summer I feel that I have preached harder and more direct than I ever have in my life and while I still receive the thank-you for the challenge pat on the back the applause meter has drastically lowered. However the satisfaction of knowing that I said all that I was supposed to say has been overwhelming. I have found myself walking out to my car alone the past several Sundays in a conversation with God. I’ve found myself saying God thank-you for giving me the courage to say all that you wanted me to say and no matter the reaction I know that I am loved by you, my family, and my close friends. When I read Galatians 6 I can hear the Apostle Paul saying because of the cross my interest in the crowd died long ago. So for those who have the challenge of speaking and explaining God’s Word may we be unpopular.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Church Life, Leadership | 2 Comments

Jamaica :: Day Two

  We have made it here safely and are having a wonderful time!  We had a few snags getting here (passport left on plane . . . some car sickness . . . Keith Jones getting here today . . .) but we are now finally here and doing great. 

Harmons is as we remember and it is so refreshing to come back to a place we all love.  We know that our “first time students” are still taking it all in, but going to love it just the same.

Yesterday night we unloaded and sorted all of the donated items we brought down and we are SO excited to say that we have brought the MOST stuff down of all the groups this summer!  (Last year, we did not have this same result. : ) 

Today, we worked on three house sites, two “pit digs”, a marl haul, and sorting the goods donated for the store.  Tomorrow, we will continue these sites and some students will actually be able to teach in the local school.  Know that we are all doing well and still covet your prayers.

– Student Staff

(And PS- there was a LOT of dancing going down tonight with all the people of Harmons.  We are still a little sweaty, actually.)

July 16, 2008 Posted by | Church Life, Student Ministry | 3 Comments

The Elephant in the Room

Last night I felt led at the end of our church session to talk about the elephant that is in our student ministry. What led to that talk was how our students have connected with the song by Chris Tomlin called the “God of this City.” It is a song that talks about how God wants to use us to reach our city for His name sake and glory. They came into that meeting wanting to be One and reach our city for Christ.

I said the reality of our camp trip this year is that we are not One. In fact we actually have two churches represented at Carmel’s student camp one church of course being Carmel Baptist and the other Elevation church. Many of our students have chosen to attend Elevation Church on Sunday mornings for worship and then attend Carmel for the things that Elevation does not offer at this time, such as family events, student ministry, mission trips, camp etc. This has caused our student ministry to become fractured and off balanced.

My challenge to the students and to our families is for them to plug into one church and serve her with all their heart. The church is the bride of Christ and I firmly believe that God desires for us to invest in one local church body to make an impact in the lives of others. To me it is like being married but telling your wife that you would rather have dinner next door becasue your neighbors wife is a better cook in regards to a particular dish but that you plan to be back for desert. I’m afraid we are teaching our students to always move to the next best thing instead of making where you are at great. So my personal opinion is if God has led you to Elevation then do all you can to advance the vision and purpose of Elevation church. If God has led you to be at Carmel then serve her with all that you can.

I also told our students that I believe that where they worship should be a family decision and not just an individual decision. Parents I know this is not an easy issue for you to navigate with your teenagers but it is one that needs to be settled for the sake of your family and the church family as a whole. May God continue to bless both of our churches as we run hard after Jesus Christ. As you know I have a particular preference in regards to where our family will worship and serve but I also recognize that Elevation is doing the task that God has laid on their hearts. So my prayer is that God would continue to bless both of our churches as we run hard after Jesus Christ. That His people would not be divided on where they should serve. I would love to hear your comments and what you are experiencing as a family.

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Camp, Church Life, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sinners & Saints

While I was out of church Sunday taking care of Shelly and Piper I drove past a local church with this posted on their sign: “Sinners and Saints Welcome”. That sign struck me as a little odd since the parking lot was almost completely empty during their main worship service. This is a church that is sitting right across the street from a huge subdivision filled with young families and yet the church was practically empty. Sometimes the easiest thing we can do is post a sign to say that people are welcome and neglect the hard work it takes to reach them.

November 26, 2007 Posted by | Church Life | Leave a comment

The Golden Compass

My e-mail has been full this week with people asking questions about the upcoming movie The Golden Compass. If you know me then you know that I rarely critique movies or express my opinion about what your family should see or shouldn’t see at the movies. However, I think this movie has the potential to shipwreck many children and students in their journey with God. Please take the time to research the writer and his agenda before taking your family to see this movie. The Headmaster of Carmel Christian School just posted an excellent article on his blog concerning the The Golden Compass: What Direction Does It Give?

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Church Life, Life | 1 Comment

Missing In Action

Okay so I have been missing in action the past few weeks with my blog site. Let me bring you up to speed on what has been on my mind or just going on.

  • Shelly’s set to deliver our third child on Nov. 20th.
  • I am coming out of my funk of being people fatigued.
  • Small Groups for our HS students was a huge success. I should have done this a long time ago.
  • I’m experiencing preaching with-drawls.
  • God is blowing me away lately in my quiet times on His name the “I Am.”
  • Loving these two new CD’s John Waller “The Blessing” and David Crowder’s CD Remedy.
  • My favorite new song is John Waller’s song about the Prodigal. That song has made me cry twice.
  • Played golf for the first time in 11 years. Actually I didn’t do as bad as I thought. I think I also got the golf bug because all I can think about is getting a new set of clubs.
  • Shelly and I have narrowed the list down to three names for our little girl. Claire, Jossie, or my favorite Eliza (call her Lizzie.) Feel free to place your vote.
  • Steve Fee will be here in two weeks to lead our student worship  service.
  • Chris Seay on ” The Eight Dollar Hotdog “  was one of the most convicting pieces I’ve seen all year.
  • Trying to wrestle with what Andy Stanley said at the Catalyst Conference when he said the following: What do you do, when it dawns on you that you’re the most powerful person in the room? Your answer to that question will determine the character and the legacy of your leadership. Maybe that is the reason I have been people fatigued. need some more time to work this one thru.
  • I am so thankful for the friends that God has brought around me and my family. I am blessed to be doing life with these people.

October 8, 2007 Posted by | Church Life, Personal | 3 Comments

People Fatigue

I was telling my wife the other night how much I love ministry but how people fatigued I am right now.  Without a doubt the fatigue has come because of some of the changes that we have implemented in the student ministry and at our church as a whole. Obviously people do not like change but let’s be brutally honest change is a part of life especially if you want to see growth occur in the church and especially in one’s life. Look at some of the staggering stats below and you’ll see that I’m not the only Pastor feeling a little fatigued right now.

  • Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  • Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
  • Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
  • The majority of pastors’ wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.
  • September 26, 2007 Posted by | Church Life, Leadership, Personal | Leave a comment