Author Archives: Brandon

I love the “C”hurch!

In late Sept of this year, I went to visit a church plant (Sozo Church) in San Francisco.  It was incredible!  The church is about one year old.  Before they gathered at 6 am to transform a middle school into a gathering of the church, they prayed.  When I say they prayed, I don’t mean they said religious words before a church activity because they should.  They asked God to move powerfully in their service.  Many were in tears as they mentioned people by name who needed freedom from addiction or healing from wounds.  They wanted the Holy Spirit to fall not so they had an emotional response but that His Glory would change their city.

I walked the streets for hours and met people.  Some were homeless and some were wealthy.  What they had in common was they were so lost. This city is not just unchurched but it is also anti church. They are about to take the church branding off their trailers to make it safer to store them.  They pay “private” security to guard the trailers at night.  They get hate mail, they get protested, they get blackballed for renting spaces.  Why?  They are a church. 

In their city, if you are a family of 4 and make less that $114,000 a year, you are considered poverty level.  My friend (the church planter) pays $6,000 month for rent for 1,600 sq ft house that will built 80 years ago. Everything costs more!

You might be asking why I say this… 

Matthew 16:15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 

Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus started the “C”hurch.  It was His idea. It is not a building! It is not a religion!  It is a gathering of believers who are called to preach the good news which is Jesus is messiah.  Jesus died not to make bad people good people but dead people alive people.  I love the “C”hurch because this is our calling! This is our message that transforms lives and families!  This is why people move to anti church expensive cities!  This is why we give to local churches.  Our King, our Savior, our Friend entrusted us with the greatest story ever told! 

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
thevibrant.church

 

Worry Killers

Have you ever felt anxious or worried about the future?  I know I tend to.  In high school, I worried about where to go to college and for what.  When I got engaged, I worried about being married and sharing toothpaste. When we got pregnant with our first kids, I worried about finishing college while providing for a family on one income.  Finishing college, I worried about finding the right church to work in.  Taking a job in Alabama as a youth pastor, I worried about connecting with a different culture. Today getting ready for a fourth kid, I worry about all of my kids getting enough attention and dad from me.  

What I have learned about worry, is it consumes my thoughts and causes me to not act myself.  I try to control things I can’t and frustrate people in my worry.  I have learned worry is a killer of my emotions, my creativity, my engagement level, my leadership.  I try to convince myself that worrying is critical thinking toward a solution.  Then I pray.  In prayer, the word, and Godly counsel, the Lord has shaped me.  He has changed the way I have faith, how I think, how I love my wife, how I parent, how I make decision, even how I pray.  Worry kills the good that comes from me. 

Matthew 6:25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 

33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Can it really be that simple… Seek His Kingdom, obey His ways, and he will give you what you need?  YES!!!!!! Some of you get hung up on the word need.  We tend to see “need” in what we think we “need.”  What if we need to fail to stop trusting in ourselves?  What if God allowing us to fail prevented a bigger failure that could cost you even more?  What if God knows you need humbled in front of others to put a lid on your pride?  What if God is letting you miss a payment to find how the borrower is slave to the lender?  What if your perspective of what you need is led by what you see and God’s perspective of what you need is wider than you see?  

I believe God really likes me.  I really believe I am an adopted son in a Kingdom not of this world.  I believe God has a plan for my life and it is a better plan than I could write for myself.  I believe my bent toward worry is based on a false sense that I am in control of the outcome.  When I look at my problem I worry… When I look at Jesus my problem does not seem as big.  I am not saying this is easy or Jesus removes fear.  I believe He give us courage to do it while afraid. So where are you worrying today?  Where are you trying to control the outcome?  Get in prayer, obey God’s ways and trust He knows what you need.

Recklessly, Obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

How to Keep Your Heart Alive… Part 3

There are things in our lives that shape us. They shape how we think, how we act and how we believe. They are the 5 people we spend the most time with, the magazines or news we regularly read, and the places we trust what they say.  For me I want that to be the Word of God.  I aspire to start everyday in the Word.  I want it to shape my thinking, my world view, and what I build my life on.  

Many people build their lives based on what makes the most sense to them.  If they can reason with it they will believe it. If someone can convince them, they will trust it.  This is why who you spend the most time with matters the most.  So what do you build you life on? The opinions of those you work with?  Your parents?  The Word of God?

King David said, I have hidden your Word in my heart.  Your Word is a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet.  We all would like to live a life like David.  The new testament says he fulfilled the purpose in his generation.  How?  He build His life on the Word of God.  He trusted it even when his circumstances seemed to contradict it. He obeyed it even when it wasn’t popular.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about Word.  Here is the key: It is not about getting in the Word… It is about getting the Word in you.  You could spend an hour in the Word everyday, and if you do not let it transform you then you have missed it.  If you do it out of religious duty because it is what “good christians” do, then you have missed it.  If you read it like a treasure hunt knowing there is a verse in there to chew on for the rest of the day, then over time it will transform what you think, then what you believe, and how you build your life.

So here a couple options:  
1. Get a Bible that is easy to read.  I suggest the NLT.
2. Download the YouVersion Bible App.  It is free and can set you up on a free Bible reading plan
3. Get a one year Bible.  You can read through the whole Bible in one year, with only 15 min a day.

The Word of God will stir your soul, shape your mind, and lead your emotions.  It has the power to change every area of your life from your relationship with God to your finances.  It can be trusted!

So today, get God’s Word in you! Keep your heart alive! 

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

How to Keep Your Heart Alive… Part 2

A couple years ago, I went to a conference.  I go to a couple every year and they are good.  But this one changed things.   Pastor Robert Morris shared how beginning your Jesus time in worship is key.  Doing this the last couple years has changed my intimacy with the Lord in such a rich way.

Psalm 100:Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    Worship the Lord with gladness.
    Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are his.[a]
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about worship.  There are many forms of worship that are valuable.  You can love your family in a way that is worship.  You can work in a way that is worship.  You can sing, kneel, or dance as worship.

Worship means to give worth or value.  Corporate worship is the gathering of believers to collectively declare value and worth to Jesus.  Personal worship is where your heart gets filled and your perspective shifts. 

When we focus on our present struggles our problems look really big.  When we focus on the greatness of God our problems start to look smaller.  Worship here is putting your trust in God who can change your situation or just change your heart toward your situation.  

So here is my rhythm:  
1. 2-3 songs of praise and worship
2. Read the passage from the one year Bible
3. Prayer (1/2 of my time praying through my list, 1/2 listening and praying in the Spirt)

Worship is the fuel for your passion for the Lord and the place your perspective changes.  If you want your faith to be alive… Worship! Seek His Presence!  Seek His Will!  Seek First His Kingdom!

So today, worship! Keep your heart alive! 

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive… part 1

Have you ever fasted?  Day one you are hungry. Day 2 you have headaches and are getting really hungry. Day 3 you would eat anything.  Day 4 hunger is way less.  Day 5-7 energy is low but you are not hungry.  Day 8-whatever… I have no idea what that feels like.  Could you imagine fasting 6 days a week and only eating one meal on the 7th every week?  Sounds terrible and a recipe for death.  

Many Christians eat only one spiritual meal a week and fast the rest of week. Then their pastor does a couple evangelistic series, and they complain about not being fed.  Then many get stuck in a form of religion (going through motions without any transformation happening in them) or just walk away thinking it didn’t work.

All of us have experienced some part of the above!  I know with 4 kids, 2 jobs, and preparing to plant a church, there is so much that pulls on me that will not keep my heart alive.  So how do you keep your heart alive?

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about prayer.  There are many forms of prayer that are valuable. Talking to God and talking with God are very different. Both are valuable but waiting for God to speak is the single most important way to keep your heart alive.  This is my opinion… Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer, but I do not think he gave it to us so we could pray it word for word but to teach us how to pray.

Mark 6:9 Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.

Start by focusing on who God is and telling Him how he alone is worthy of worship and praise.  Relate to Him as a good Father who loves you as a son. Sons are sons by birth not worth.  Some of you need to read that again. Sons are sons by birth not worth. Approach Him boldly as a dad who deeply loves you and has great plans for you.


10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.

Pray that Dad’s will would be done and that you would lay your will before His.  Ask Him to open your eyes to see a bigger picture than the one you see on your own.  Pray the Kingdom of Heaven would be in your home, your church, your work, your world.  This is about aligning your values and vision based on what Dad sees and not just what you see.


11 Give us today the food we need,

Remember who is your provider!  You can plant seed but cant make it rain. All the farmers know something about that this year. You can’t make things grow.  You can apply wisdom, great strategy, and great stewardship but if you add Dad’s blessing to that the results can equal whatever God wants.  We do not worry about tomorrow because God is faithful and His principles true. 

12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

Now confess to your great Dad your failure, your sin, and your shame. He will remove it as far as the east is from the west. 


13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

Remember you have a real enemy.  It is not a boss, a spouse, or a person, but an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy you.  Ask Dad to give you His grace to overcome.  On your own you do not stand a chance to the enemy, but when God surrounds you, we walk in victory and freedom.

So today, pray! Keep your heart alive! Don’t eat one meal a week!

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

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