The Blog of Gordon Pruitt the Pastor of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Richmond Virginia

Monday, December 07, 2009

Need Help With Stewardship?

I went to Kansas City back in October for the Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute with my annual stewardship sermon series already planned out. It was 3 weeks and was going to be from the book of Acts and was going to be titled "Enough." I had also written the fist letter to be mailed out to the members of the church. While I was at COR (short for Church of the Resurrection) I was told of a new resource put out by the church called, Enough, Experiencing Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity. This included a book by Adam Hamiltion which basically is his sermons on stewardship written out, and a workbook that included a timeline, letters, emails, sermon outlines, print pieces and a bunch of other stuff plus a DVD with videos and electronic copies of everything. This was a small church pastor's dream! On the plane ride home I was able to read the small book and it contained some of the best stewardship sermons and illustrations that i have read. If you are looking for a stewardship campaign and could use some help consider using Enough.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Funny Moment on House

When I started watching House two years ago I was amazed by how much Foreman (Omar Epps) looked like Pittsburg Steelers' coach Mike Tomlin. Last night this was referenced. I wonder if anyone has ever seen them in the same room?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Kingdom Possibilities

Rereading a Devotional guide to Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard and the first chapter is titled Kingdom Possibilities. When we read certain parts of scripture its as if we are looking into another world, a world that many professing Christians do not believe can be entered into. Willard believes as i do that this world is possible and is promised. Ephesians 3:19-20, 1 Peter 1:8,22, 2:1, 2:15, and 5:17 are some of the scriptures, (look them up)!

Jan Johnson who also helps with this devotional, writes the following which I think is awesome.

Is it possible we rush to say, "nobody's perfect" because we've met so few people who show genuine love and move through life without superiority, insensitivity or gossip? Mayb ewe have met a few but didn't notice the beauty of their Christlikeness. Instead, we were impressed by other things--their ability to quote Bible verses or answer questions about world religions. Those who speak articulately about the Bible may draw our attention more than those who live a transformed life.

Try picturing this hypothetical moment of dwelling on the beauty of God and the kingdom life: Let's say i confessed to you my disgust with someone who annoyed me and how hopeless I felt about ever loving this person. What if instead of trying to make me feel better by saying, "Nobody's perfect," you said you believed in God's power to transform me into a radical person who pays loving attention to those who annoy me? What if you prayed for me about this? What if later that day you encountered an annoying person and, without thinking, treated that person with kindness and attentiveness--partly because of the transforming effect of our conversation about the kingdom personality?
I don't know about you but that is the kind of life I want to live.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Remembering Jesus

A few weeks ago we had a new family attend our church. I sent a thank you for coming email and below is part of the response I received.

Also, my children are still growing from their communion experience! Our
background is Baptist and while my kids have witnessed and heard about
this ceremony they so enjoyed the action. My middle daughter asked if we
were going to go back to 'that church to remember Jesus next Sunday'.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Read a great article byJohn Ortberg in Leadership Journal titled The Sin Tamer (don't think the article is online yet). Here are a few quotes.
Sin is both the overstepping of a line and the failure to reach it-both transgression and shortcoming. Sin is a missing of the mark, a spoiling of goods, a staining of garments, a hitch in one's gait, a wandering from the path, a fragmenting of the whole. Sin is what culpably disturbs shalom. Sinful human life is a caricature of proper human life.

Under the heading Does God tire of forgiving the same sins?
"The problem is that, eventually, i become as used to my sin as i am to the watch on my wrist. I habituate. It doesn't other me any more. I stop even wanting to be rid of it."

So the questions isn't 'how much sin am i allowed?" The question is "Am i moving toward the darkness or toward the light? Am i growing toward God, or away from him? Am I becoming ore sensitive and responsive to Jesus?"

Under Awakening Healthy guilt,
As a leader I have to ask myself, "what are the sins in my congregation (and my life) that no one feels guilty over?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Church Statistics 1

I was watching 60 Minutes on Sunday night and they had a great story about a guy named Bill James, (view video here). Bill James is a former security guard whose love of baseball and statistics helped change the way we view what is important in baseball. One example.
Batting average used to be one of the key stats when looking at the effectiveness of a hitter. James came up the On Base Percentage which gives batters credit for walks as well as hits. This he believes better reflects a batter effectiveness more so than batting average. An example of this, Ichiro Suzuki has a batting average of .320 which means he gets a hit about %32 of the time. This is very good. Adam Dunn has a batting average of .297, which means he gets a hit about %30 percent of the time. Looking at this stat you would assume that Suzuki is the more effetive hitter.
When you look at the OBP you get a different picture. Suzuki has been walked 5 times and has an OBP of .358. Dunn has been walked 27 times and has an OBP of .445, almost 90 point higher than Suzuki. As a result of the walks that Dunn draws, he puts much more stress on the pitcher than Suzuki even though his batting average is 23 points below Suzuki. Would you rather have Suzuki who gets on base about %36 of the time or Dunn who gets on about %45 of the time?

This got me thinking, when it comes to church what are the important statistics that maybe are not that important and what are some other statistics we should be looking at if any?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wesley Junia Pruitt

Wesley Junia Pruitt born May 6 at 4:14 PM.
7 pounds 9 ounces
20 inches long

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tenth Avenue North can sing but can't ball

I just heard that Tenth Avenue North won the best new artist award at the Dove awards. I was fortunate to be part of an event with them and got to spend some time with them, including lots of basketball. Needless to say i tore them apart and gave them some lessons. Congrats to Tenth Avenue North! This is my favorite song of theirs.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Operation Sharehouse Event

On March 22nd we had one of the best days that we have had at St. Matthew's in the 4 years that I have been here, when we hosted a Stop Hunger Now, Operation Sharehouse packaging event. It rocked! Here is a video that my friend Kirk Andrews put together of the event.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This is why i haven't been blogging

i've been reading instead! These were the books i had to read for my dr. of ministry classes that just ended. I plan to get back to blogging in the next couple of days.