Author Archives: Brandon

I Love Jesus but hate church…

That was the story of my senior year.  I had an encounter with Jesus the summer before that changed my life. Before then I didn’t believe in Jesus or like church. But the summer of 2003, I met Jesus and He changed my life.  My prayer life was real and God was speaking to me.  The Bible that bored me was now alive.  My burden for my lost friends was deep.  Yet when I brought them to church, they didn’t want to come back and neither did I!  

I loved Jesus and hated church.That year God called me to be a pastor in a church and I was so confused.  I reluctantly said yes.  I thought church was a building and a way of doing ministry.  I was so wrong.  You see I loved people who went to church but did not see people as the church.  Then I came across this verse:

Matthew 16:18 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. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

God began to show me that the Church was actually people and not a building. These people were powerful and carried Kingdom authority. God started to change my heart toward the church.  I saw God was calling me to lead the church (the people) to advance the kingdom of God into enemy territory and together we had guaranteed victory!  Then I began to love Jesus even more and love the church. 

So do you love Jesus? I am not asking if you read the Bible or pray… Do you love (the verb not the feeling) Jesus? By the way action evokes feelings.  If I cut you off in traffic it will evoke a feeling.  I am talking do you with your whole being worship, follow, and obey Jesus? If not I pray you experience Jesus the way I did 15 years ago! I pray your heart would not grow cold but would burn with love for the Savior who purchased your freedom! Worship Him and Serve Him. He is worthy of nothing less!

Do you love the church? Not the building, not the style, not your denomination, not your music preferences, not your preaching preferences… Do you love God’s bride?  If you came to me and said I like you but not your wife, we couldn’t be friends.  Is my wife perfect? Not at all!  Is God’s bride perfect?  Far from! Jesus gave His life for His bride and we are called to love her and serve her.  Remember action evokes feelings.  Where you spend your money and your time, there your love will be.  Love is a verb! Give to your church and serve her and your love for her will grow!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Make a Difference

Many wealthy men when they get older start giving money away in philanthropy.  They spend their lives building wealth and then they begin to give it away.  Maslow was a famous phycologist that says there are 6 layers to the hierarchy of needs. First come things like food, shelter, and warmth.  Second is safety and security.  I will skip a couple layer and get to the last one.  The last one is transcendence. Maslow did not include this one originally.  Transcendence is the desire to be apart of something bigger than ourselves.  It is deep in us to make a difference in someone else’s life.  

I recently moved and I got a new barber.  He shared with me how he went out with a young man to be a blessing to the homeless.  He had a flashlight and some clippers and get several men a haircut. The barber is really good.  So they got a great haircut!  I know churches that give free oil changes for single moms.  I know people who disciple middle schoolers.  They are the real heros!

You see Maslow discovered what God spoke thousands of years before:

Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

A masterpiece is a piece of art that is considered among the best of an artist’s career.  So the God who created the artist has another standard of masterpiece.  Have you seen a sunset lately?  The mountains or ocean?  God says you are His masterpiece. We live in a world that says look at your checking account, your car, or position to find your value.  God says find you value in that He considers you a masterpiece!  He prepared for you in advance good things to do.  These things he has planned are matters of transcendance.  They are to help other people live a better story.  It is to lay down the way of this world that is self gain and self identity. 

So what will you do this week to help someone else live a better story?  What will you give yourself to really make a difference?  It all comes down to serving others.  You have a unique personality and a unique gift set.  I will never give a haircut, sing over a microphone, or fix your car.  It is not my gift.  If you want to grow as a leader, need someone to preach, or fix something in your house I am your guy

So what is your gift set? What is your personality?  A couple resources I recommend is Strength Finders for gift set. Also Meyers Briggs is great for a personality assessment.  These and many others like them are great ways for find how you can “Make a Difference.”

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

Discover Purpose

I met a guy not too long ago, that wrecked me.  He asked me how I was doing.  I gave my usual answer “Living the dream.”  He got really somber, which is not like him.  He said you do not know how lucky you are.  Now this guy has a six figure income and his wife does well.  They drive new cars, have a great house, and live really well.  At the time, I lived in a 2nd story apartment, drove a truck with 180k miles on it, and lived within my means.  He had more money and stuff than I did, but what he longed for was purpose. 

I meet men all the time in this same place.  They make a good living, have toys, but lack purpose.  I believe God designed deep inside of us is a need for transcendence.  I just lost some of you… sorry… Deep in us is a desire to contribute to something greater than us.  We love movies like Braveheart, stories like the firemen on 9/11, and heroes like Martin Luther King Jr. We aspire to be apart of something that really matters.  Because if you kill the massive buck, catch the whopper of a fish, buy that truck, go on that vacation, or have a bank balance of that number, it will be like the quarterback, who after winning the superbowl, in his hotel room says “was that it?”  

1 Corinthians 12:6-7 Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful.

God has given you a gift that shows the world who He is. That gift is not benefit you but to benefit others.  The purpose is bigger than you, but is not about you.  I have watched people for the last 15 years discover their purpose and watched their lives get set on fire as they use their gift.  I meet people who are like “where do you need me to serve”, and can I say it is the wrong question.  Now we do need to meet needs, but it is about using your gift to serve God and other people.  If you are not good at it you shouldn’t do it.  I should never sing or play an instrument on stage. I am really bad at it and if I did it I would take away the opportunity from someone who needs to do it.

So how do you discover purpose?  First get in God’s presence, and find conviction.  You might find conviction for kids, single mom, or greeting people at church.  Now some of you are asking is greeting that important.  YES!!!!! People come to our churches all the time broken and do not feel like God loves them and they don’t belong.  I know people whose lives have been transformed by Jesus because their walls came down when someone did not just say welcome as they entered but made them feel like they belonged and mattered to God!  So get in God’s presence and find purpose birthed in conviction.  Then go try something, not where there is the greatest need but where your gifts can show who God is and helps others. 

So right now ask God why you are here and what His purpose is for you!

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

Find Freedom

What do you think of when you think of freedom?  Some might think of the civil war, others William Wallace in Braveheart, and some vacation.  All of us know there are people who are oppressed and are treated as less than.  I was at a pastors conference recently where a black pastor talked about “white privilege.” He shared about how when you a black father and you are teaching your 16 year old son to drive, he will teach him when he gets pulled over to have both hands on the steering wheel and not to make sudden movements.  I won’t have to teach my sons that.  That breaks me to the core.

Jesus died to purchase our freedom.  That freedom is a matter of eternity, spiritual bondage, social equality, and personal. It is bigger than we know and more personal than we realize.  Know this… There is more freedom to possess than you currently do. 

Many of us know…
John 1:If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

This is amazing.  When we confess our sin to God, He forgives us and cleanses us.  If this was all there was, it would be more than we deserve.  But this next one seems to be harder…

James 5:16-17 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.

So if we confess our sin to God we are forgiven, but if we confess them to another person we are healed!  This is way harder but I know first hand this can make all the difference!  This is not confess your sin to everyone!  This is confess your sin to another person so you can experience the healing from the addiction, pain, and struggle.  You see God did not intend for us to do life alone but in community. It is through relationship that we find healing and freedom.

So who do you have in your life to confess to.  I am not referring to a confessional booth with a priest, but a person who is further down the spiritual journey who loves you and can hold you accountable. The Holy Spirit through this person can lead you to freedom you cannot find apart from this person.

So this week what do you need to confess and to who? Don’t wait!  Don’t let fear keep you from doing it!  Trust and find freedom.

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

Know God

Before Jesus, there was a mediator to meet with God.  You could not go to God on your own even to make a sacrifice, but had to go to a priest to stood the gap.  If you were not Jewish or a woman you could only go so far into the temple.  If you were clean, you could go a little further.  If you were a priest but not the high priest, you could not go into the Holy of Holies.  The Holy of Holies was where God’s presence was, and the high priest could go in once a year. 

I am not Jewish and certainly not a high priest. Had I been alive in this time, the presence of God would only be something that I heard about but not experienced. 

Many of us know about what we were saved from.  Because of Jesus, we are forgiven for our sin, saved from it’s power, and saved from an eternity in hell.  That is amazing and if that was all there was, God is worthy of praise, worship, and my life.  We were not just saved from but saved to. 

Philippians 3:Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.

Paul grew up in religion knowing about God, but then he experienced Christ.  That experience changed everything.  I meet christians who know a form of religion but do not know Christ.  They just know about him.  They go to church, they read their bible, but they know God as much as they know the president… from a distance and what others have said.

My life changed when I left religion and began to know God for myself.  Jesus made a way for me to not need the priest to get close to God. His sacrifice made me clean enough to experience the Holy of Holies in my living room in the morning, in my truck on the way to work, and when I get stressed out in a meeting. I know God and I know there is more about Him to know.  Bridging that gap will be my greatest adventure.  By His presence I find hope, joy, and real love!

So do you know God or just about Him?  Do you know religion or Christ? If you do not know Him… I have GREAT NEWS!  You do not have to clean yourself up, but can right now go to Him in prayer and ask Him to speak to you.  He wants you to know Him more than you will ever want to know Him! Right now go spend time with God because Jesus paid the way for you to know Him!

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg

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