Emmaus, our first service in our new facility is this Sunday! Please join us at our new service time, 10:00am, at 75 Maddox Road Suite 200 in Buford (30518). This is a historic Sunday in the short life of Emmaus and you do not want to miss this! So invite your family, friends, coworkers and anyone else you know to church for the very first Sunday at our new building.
I can’t wait to worship with you on Sunday! See you at 10am!
I hate risk.
There… I said it.
I may as well own up to it.
There are a lot of different reasons why I am tempted to avoid risk like I avoid Atlanta Interstates on Friday afternoons. The first (and most obvious) reason I hate risk is because it’s uncomfortable. It’s easier to feel like I’m in control. It’s easier to sit on the sidelines while I watch someone else take a risk. It’s much easier to live a life of predictability (sitting on my “biscuit” never having to risk it).
But here’s the reality: Control is an illusion.
See, I am a man who believes that there is a God who is absolutely in control of everything; Time. Space. The weather. The wind. How many children my wife and I will have. My heartbeat. The day I will die.
So… while I like to believe that I’m in control of my life, the reality is that God Almighty (Yahweh) is the One who controls my life and my destiny. This popular notion that I am in control of my life is nothing more than an illusion. It isn’t what’s really happening. Much like a magician being sawn in two, it’s a trick. It’s a deception.
One call from the oncologist can prove this to be true.
One pink slip can prove this to be true.
One car accident can prove this to be true.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: To avoid taking risks is to avoid facing the truth about life. The truth that my life on this earth, much like a vapor passing through the air, is temporary. The truth that every single one of my days has been written in God’s Book before one of them even came to pass (Psalm 139:16). The truth that over and over and over again in the scriptures this same God Who I worship calls men and women to take bold, extravagant, often times even life-threatening risks for Him.
“Build an ark”, God said to Noah. Would Noah take the risk?
“Offer your only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to Me”, God said to Abraham. Would Abraham take the risk?
“Tell Pharaoh to let My people go”, God said to Moses. Would Moses take the risk?
“Go present yourself to an evil King who wants to kill you”, God said to Elijah. Would Elijah take the risk?
And then I am reminded of Joshua and Caleb and Rahab and Esther and David and Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego and Daniel and Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Hosea and John the Baptizer and every single one of the Disciples and Paul and Stephen and the early church fathers like Polycarp and all of the early Christians who were slaughtered in the Roman Coliseum and men like the great reformer Martin Luther and Deitrich Bonhoeffer and women like Corrie Ten Boom and missionaries like Jim Elliot.
Each of them with one thing in common; they all walked the plank and took the risk God asked them to take.
And then there is me. Anson McMahon. Living in the 21st Century with more money, resources, tools, communication possibilities, and access to the world than any other generation that came before mine…… refusing to sacrifice my comfort, living in the suburbs complaining about all of my First-World-Problems.
My internet connection is too slow.
The crowd at Whole Foods is too big.
The water from my sink takes way too long to heat up (because who in the world has 20 extra seconds to spare?!).
The neighbor’s bicycle is in my yard – - – and I don’t like that.
The people at my church don’t cater to my every need – - – how dare they.
And all the while the clock goes “tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock” and the opportunities I have to embrace God’s purpose for my life evaporate.
Like vapor in the wind.
So here’s what I know for a fact to be true: I hate taking risks.
And here’s the second thing I know for a fact to be true: God has called me to take bold risks for Him. God’s purpose for my life is not for me to sit on my couch hidden away in the shadow of the suburbs, consuming Cheetos by the pound while I live vicariously through my kid who is a sports star. To believe that my God is ok with this is to ignore both Biblical History and Church History. There is a reason Jesus said to His disciples, “Follow Me”, and then ultimately walked to a cross.
Planting a church has been the scariest thing God has ever asked me to do. My flesh didn’t want to do it 3 years ago. It would have been much easier and far less risky for both myself and my family if I would have just done something else. Something I could control.
But control is an illusion. It is a lie. It is smoke and mirrors. My God is not safe. But my God is good. And He lives at the intersection of Risk and Faith.
Each Sunday morning at the church I pastor we participate in The Lord’s Supper. During that moment men, women, and children who love Jesus walk slowly up to the tables to dip their piece of bread in the cup as an act of worship and reflection upon the gospel.
Communion is a physical expression of this spiritual truth: My faith is in Jesus. He is worthy of my obedience. He is worthy of my risk.
This is why we do the hard work of planting churches.
This is why we give a large portion of our monthly finances towards Kingdom purposes.
This is why we get out of bed on Sunday morning to serve others and worship alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ.
This is why we live in gospel-community with other followers of Jesus each week (even though there is often inconvenient baggage included).
This is why we love those who don’t love us back.
This is why we forgive those who refuse to forgive us.
This is why we minister to those who don’t deserve it.
This is why we sacrifice to invest in a new facility in a community that desperately needs the gospel.
It’s because we don’t live for our comfort. We live for our King. And our King invites us to risk everything for Him.
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Last week we finished our study on the book Manhood Restored by Eric Mason and it was awesome! This Wednesday Pastor Anson is going to be teaching a stand-alone lesson and sharing some things on his heart. So make sure you’re here tomorrow morning for that (6:30am at 75 Maddox Road, Buford 30518)!
The following Wednesday, October 16th, we’ll start our new book The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Unfortunately we won’t be able to buy books for anyone, so you will have to purchase your own copy. Last week the Kindle version was free, and there were very cheap paperback versions on Amazon. I recently read this book and it is amazing and should be very beneficial for all of us. I hope all of you are able to come and join us in studying this book!
So go ahead and purchase The Pursuit of God and we’ll see you tomorrow morning!
As we are moving forward with the build out at our new facility, we would like you to join us as we pray about several things. Thank you for your commitment to Jesus Christ and Emmaus Church. Our prayers as a church are being heard by a holy, faithful, and almighty God who sits enthroned over all things. Let us remember this in the days ahead as we lift the following requests up to Him.
Let us pray for…
- The Holy Spirit’s work in our church over the next few weeks as we begin a brand new sermon series this Sunday and seek to minister to our people and reach the lost with the gospel.
- More and more people to commit to serve in Kid’s Ministry, the First Impressions Team, and the Tech Team as we transition to this new facility on Maddox Road. There’s no way we can accomplish the mission Christ has called us to if we aren’t willing to serve this community and our church like Jesus!
- The Block Party on October 26th which we are hosting for the apartment complex right next door to this new facility. Pray that the Lord will use us to reach these folks with the gospel and show them the tangible love of Jesus. Please also pray that our entire church will be here for this special event!
- God’s abundant financial provision for the Emmaus Church building fund. We are still asking the Lord to provide $8,000 (above regular tithes) over the next 4 weeks.
- Salvations! Let us pray that we will see at least 50 people come to know Christ at Emmaus Church over the next 12 months.
- The crews who will be working on this facility. Please pray that we as a church would be able to minister to the construction crews over the next month as they work hard on this brand new facility. Who knows….perhaps some of them will get saved in the very church they helped to build!
- Wisdom for the church’s leaders over the next couple of months.
- That God will do more than we can ask, think, or imagine as we open the doors to this new facility. Pray that we’ll be used mightily by Jesus in this community as we live as ambassadors of Christ.
Our Fall semester of Missional Community Groups is launching next week! Missional Communities are a vital part of Emmaus Church. It is through these groups that people build relationships with one another, grow in faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and serve their community. We have groups scattered across Gwinnett County, and I highly encourage you to join one of these groups. All of the groups are listed below, along with a picture of the leaders and the details for when and where the group meets. If you have any questions about these groups or would like to join one, please email Pastor Travis (email@example.com).
Leaders: Ben and Julie Forkner
When: Sunday night from 6:00-8:00pm
Leaders: Tom and Rachael Watson
When: Sunday night from 6:00-8:00pm
Leaders: Mark and Cheri Ryan
When: Tuesday night from 7:00-8:30pm
Leaders: Matt and Catalina Urbizo
When: Tuesday night from 7:30-9:00pm
Leaders: Brian and Starla Abernathy
When: Wednesday night from 7:00-8:30pm
Leaders: Bill and Leslie Burke
When: Wednesday night from 7:00-9:00pm
Leaders: Brien and Hannah Duke, Kirk and Amy Baggott
When: Wednesday night from 6:30-8:00pm
Leaders: Josh and Heidi Mikulecky
When: Wednesday night from 7:00-8:30pm
Leaders: Jed and Kristy Shorr
When: Wednesday night from 6:30-8:00pm
Leaders: JV and Marcie Miller
When: Friday night from 7:00-9:00pm
“pray without ceasing”
1 Thessalonians 5:17
With just three words, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 presents a truth that can literally change the way you go about your day. If you prayed without ceasing every day it would change the way you interact with your coworkers, spouse, kids, neighbors, and anyone else you may come in contact with. It will change the way you respond to difficult circumstances and days where everything is going right.
I used to read this verse and think Paul was using exaggeration to make a point. He couldn’t really mean to pray out loud or even silently every second of every day. He must mean that we just need to pray a lot, or pray more than we currently are. We should absolutely pray a lot and some of us need to pray more than we currently are, but I think Paul is teaching more than just that. I don’t think he means that for every second of every day we should be saying a prayer, because if we were we wouldn’t be able to have any conversations with anyone or really do much more of anything else throughout the day. So what does he mean in this verse?
There are three things I believe this verse teaches us about prayer. The first I have already mentioned. Pray without ceasing means that we should pray regularly throughout each day. Pray multiple times during the day, not just at meals or when you wake up or right before you go to bed. Do not abandon your prayers. Even if you feel the prayers are not being answered or heard, be relentless in praying.
Second, have a constant spirit or attitude of prayer. During those times that you are not praying, your heart and mind should still be centered on God. This means when you face frustrations, anxiety, stress, anger, temptations or any other difficulties during your day you turn immediately to prayer. You cast all of these things on Jesus and let him give you His peace (Phil. 4:6). It also means when you are having wonderful days and everything seems to be going right, you give thanksgiving to God and praise Him for His good gifts.
Third, praying without ceasing means our actions should be a continuation of our prayers. We should be praying for our lives to glorify God. We should be praying for the well being of our family, friends, and coworkers. As we are praying for these things, our actions should reflect our prayers. Our attitude at work should reflect our desire and prayer to live for Jesus everyday. The way we treat our spouse and kids should reflect our prayer to glorify God in all that we do and see our husband, wife, and/or children grown in their love and devotion to God.
I encourage you to fill each day with prayer. Be constant in your prayers, continue to develop an attitude of prayer, and remember your actions should be a reflection of what you pray. Let’s make today a day of praying without ceasing.
As you’re praying please remember to pray for our church. Pray specifically for our pursuit of a permanent building for Emmaus. Please pray for Anson, our board of overseers, and other key leaders in our church as they are making decisions regarding Emmaus’ future home. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance in this entire process. And ultimately please pray for Emmaus Church to be a church that glorifies the name of Jesus in all that we do no matter where we are meeting.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
As most of you know by now, for months we as a church body have been praying fervently and intentionally searching for a facility to call “home”. Over the recent weeks the Lord has led us to a place where we believe He is showing us where our church will gather for worship, disciple believers, equip the saints, and prayerfully focus on evangelistic outreach long-term. It is now time for all of us to gather so that you can have all the information you need as a vital part of this church family.
For two weeks now we have been telling you to reserve this Sunday evening for a special meeting we will hold as a church. It is now my privilege to announce the details for this incredibly important and exciting meeting!
This Sunday’s ALL-CHURCH MEETING will be held from 6:00-8:00pm and it will be held at the very facility we are looking to lease and build-out to meet our ministry needs at Emmaus Church! No childcare will be provided due to the current facility constraints but children are definitely welcome.
The facility is at 1820 South Lee Ct. in Buford. It is located about 2.5 miles west of the Mall of Georgia extremely close to I-985. The easiest thing to do is to find the directions to the building on MapQuest or Google Maps.
Emmaus, I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for you to attend this all-church meeting. For two-and-a-half years now Emmaus Church has been on this wild journey of church planting and now it appears as if the Lord is about to lead us past a HUGE MILE-MARKER! This meeting is extremely critical since we will be talking about the following items:
- - Our vision as a church and how a 24-7 facility helps us to see that vision become an amazing reality.
- - The increased focus on intentional discipleship and equipping that a facility like this will provide to us as a church body.
- - The plan to build this space out in order to meet our specific ministry needs.
- – The specific prayer needs that must be met in order for this vision to become reality.
- - The specific financial needs that must be met in order for this vision to become reality.
- - The variety of volunteer opportunities for the people of Emmaus Church to serve in during the weeks ahead in order to see this vision become a reality.
Along the journey of planting a new work for the gospel there are defining moments marking the path that the people of that church plant will never forget. This is one of those defining moments, church family. I trust you will make it a priority to come and see what the Lord is doing! This is a wonderful time to invite a friend as well!
Please email me in the coming days if you have any questions whatsoever about this critical all-church meeting. There’s nothing quite like this gospel journey we are on and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than on this road with you right now.
For such a time as this,
We have just found out that there has been some major complications with the Daraja Children’s Choir getting through immigration. Due to these complications, they will not be here on Sunday to perform at Emmaus. We are asking the church to please be praying for the children and the choir leaders as they are trying to get some final paperwork together in the next few days. We are asking the Lord gets everything together and they get through immigration and here in the US with no further issues. Please join us in lifting Daraja up in prayer! You can find more information about this and stay connected with Daraja by viewing their blog.
I am still excited for Sunday and hope you are too! Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to honor all of the mothers in our church, and I hope you join us on Sunday to celebrate all the moms out there. We will have a special sermon devoted to mothers, and we will be honoring all of them in a very special way. Make sure you don’t miss this weekend!
Thank you so much for praying with us, and I look forward to worshipping with you all on Sunday!
I hope you had an amazing weekend despite the rain! I wanted to send out a quick reminder about how incredible this upcoming Sunday is going to be. Not only is it Mother’s Day, which is a wonderful time in and of itself to honor how awesome our Mom’s are, but the Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa is also going to be here! You do not want to miss this Sunday! Invite your family, friends, and neighbors to join you at Emmaus this Sunday.
The choir will start their program at 9:30am, and trust me you will not want to miss a minute of their performance. Now, I know that the walk from the parking lot, through the food court, up the escalators, and into the theater is roughly a mile and half. And I know you probably want to stop and look at all the upcoming movie posters in the Regal lobby as you walk in. Then you have to get your coffee, and it takes a few minutes to recreate your favorite Starbucks drink at our coffee bar. So with all of that, it might be a good idea to get here a little early this Sunday so you can make sure you’re in the theater right at 9:30 to see all of Daraja’s performance. I’m mostly kidding, but I really don’t want you to miss seeing any part of the choir’s program.
We will have our normal Kids Ministry that morning for those of you with kids. However, we will do something a little different with any child in Kindergarden-5th grade. You are welcome to bring them into service with you so they can see the Daraja choir, or we will have one theater available for all K-5th graders.
I hope you have a great rest of the week, and I hope to see you all this Sunday!!
Greetings Emmaus Church!
As most of you know by now, this Sunday we will be ending our 5 month journey through the powerful New Testament book of 1st Timothy. Throughout this series the Lord has been molding and transforming us into the church He wants us to be for the long haul. While I am somewhat saddened that our journey through this incredible book of the Bible is coming to an end this Sunday, I am also extremely excited about where Jesus is leading us next. Honestly I can’t wait!!
Please be sure to be in attendance at Emmaus this Sunday morning as we announce to you what our summer series will be. I am thrilled about where the Lord is leading us! Here’s a hint…. think “Blessed are those who….”
In addition to all of this remember that our Emmaus Community Night is this Sunday evening from 5:00-8:00 at Suwanee Town Center. Join the entire church body as we gather for an afternoon of hanging out, fellowship, competing in ultimate frisbee, playing in the fountains, and eating FREE Rita’s Italian Ice. This is an awesome time for us to celebrate the beginning of the summer season and I hope you’ll make it a priority to be there and to bring someone with you.
Additionally as we have been announcing the past two weeks, the incredible Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa will be joining us on Mother’s Day, May 12th. We will be so blessed that morning as these incredible children from Africa lead us in worshiping Jesus! (For a brief glimpse of the Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa please see this video). They will be followed by a special gospel-centered sermon which will honor all the moms in the house. Be sure to bring your family with you on Mother’s Day, Emmaus. Jesus has some awesome things planned!
In closing, please be praying consistently for the leadership of Emmaus as we plan to update you very soon regarding our search for a permanent facility. This is an exciting season for us as a church as we anticipate God providing us a permanent home where we can both gather for Sunday worship and also intentionally train up disciples and missionaries for Jesus throughout the week. See you this Sunday!
All to Jesus!