Mario Andretti and a few of my heroes have good stuff to say about working toward the goal!

11 07 2010

My dad taught me to always be learning. I once heard it said that, “the day you stop learning is the day you start to die.  This means that I’m always trying to learn more from other people.

As we move from Portland OR to Baltimore MD, with the intent to start a church from scratch, we are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime!  Here are a few thoughts in my head as we make this move.

Millions of people don’t know what a difference Jesus Christ can make in their life, TODAY!  Jesus gave us His all, that we can be forgiven, redeemed, and filled with new purpose!  Jesus said, “I will build my church” and he commissioned his followers to “go and make disciples”. We have been given both the “message” and “ministry” of “reconciliation” according to 2 Corinthians 5.  Because God loved us when we were at our worst…we are now able to help others realize that Jesus offers redemption.  The church is the hope of our present/future as it keeps focus on redemption by Jesus and relationship with Jesus.  This is incredibly simple, but also incredibly difficult.  Jesus intended the church to be a movement (believers responding to Him and acting upon their faith) not a monument (building that only house a weekly event).

How should we respond to this challenge?  How do we meet this great opportunity?

1.  We cannot be deterred by obstacles.

2.  We cannot lose sight of the goal.

3.  We should “sell all” and “buy the whole”.

4.  We must “pray and obey”.

5.  We will “live sacrifical love”.


6.  We can live with purpose and direction.


7.  We must serve people with love, connect them to Jesus Christ.


How should we respond to this challenge?  How do we meet this great opportunity?

1.  We cannot be deterred by obstacles.

“Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”

– E. Joseph Cossman

I don’t know much about Cossman, but this is a great quote!

2.  We cannot lose sight of the goal.

Here’s what Mario Andretti, the famous race car driver had to say about motivation and success:

·         Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal.

·         If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.

·         Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

3.  We should “sell all” and “buy the whole”.

4.  We must “pray and obey”.

5.  We will “live sacrifical love”.

Pastor Wendell Smith


Pastor Wendell Smith

Pastor Wendell’s Blog

The City Church

One of my father’s best friends and one of my childhood heroes is Pastor Wendell Smith, founding pastor the The City Church (Seattle).

In reference to building the church Pastor Wendell referred to Matthew 13

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.  Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”

With this story Jesus advises us that we may need to “sell all”, walking away from other pursuits, to “buy the whole field”, own the vision in order to “gain the pearl of great value” and achieve the goal!  It takes complete dedication.

  • Sell all
  • Buy the whole field

In this story you see complete dedication!  This also means that you must accept both the good and the bad of where and to whom you are called.

Pastor Wendell went on to say, “Pray and obey then do whatever he tells you!”

Next he advises us to love our spouses like Christ loves the church…glorious church and this includes advice to live like Jesus – sacrificial love for the church (believers and followers of Christ).  This comes with a purpose, see Ephesians 5:25-27.

Thankfully Pastor Wendell also cautions us that God will find a way for it to grow, describing the spiritual life that is in the seed (Jesus) of the church.

6.  We can live with purpose and direction.


7.  We must serve people with love, connect them to Jesus Christ.


Pastor Frank Damazio


City Bible Church

Pastor Frank Damazio’s blog

Pastor Frank Damazio has been my pastor for years.  For more than 30 years he has greatly influenced leaders across the US and in many other countries.  His writing on leadership has been shaping the development of movements.  He is a hero to us!

Pastor Frank and City Bible Church represent our roots.  The DNA of this church will change the way you look at living the message of Jesus Christ.  It will shape how you look at “HOW” we should be going about building the church.

“This first church of the first century became an unstoppable force that literally turned the world upside-down – or really, right-side-up. Our goal should be to be an A2 church, a local church with a brand new force that changes culture around them; a church that is thriving and alive.”

Pastor Frank’s “A2 – Building an Acts 2 Church” series is among the most practical, insightful, and powerful material available on the subject.

“When we as believers live life, we live with a sense of direction and purpose. We move forward with progressive clarity. We go with what God has done in us and for us to take and give to others. We need to understand what it means to go into the highways and byways, into all places of work and recreation, with the purpose of taking something with us and giving it away.”

“The GO church is a praying and interceding church, one that knows how to stand together in one accord and pray with authority. We cannot shake our cities if we do not first move into a powerful position of prayer as a united church.”

Pastor Frank points out that we must serve people with love, connect them to Jesus Christ, and work together to change culture.  He describes a movement that is alive!  This cannot be something that is dry and only out of obligation.  It also cannot be a weekend event where people come to perform a duty or simply watch other people relate to God.

Remember that people wanted to be around Jesus.  He clearly attracted people with broken lives.  His love and life brought about change.  He shared life with people who became leaders of a movement that changed human history.

He said, “I will build my church.”

We cannot drift from this reality.  It is His church to build.

It’s a thrill that we are able to share in the adventure!

How should we respond to this challenge?  How do we meet this great opportunity?

1.  We cannot be deterred by obstacles.

2.  We cannot lose sight of the goal.

3.  We should “sell all” and “buy the whole”.

4.  We must “pray and obey”.

5.  We will “live sacrifical love”.


6.  We can live with purpose and direction.


7.  We must serve people with love, connect them to Jesus Christ.



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