Monthly Archives: July 2010

I was recently talking to Rachael Yonko and said, “If North Creek Church didn’t exist, I have NO idea where I would go to church.” I ran across this blog from Steven Furtick that I loved. So thankful that I would raise my hand and say, “I LOVE WHAT WE ARE BUILDING!”

The house you have to live in – Thursday July 22nd, 2010


I once asked a group of fifteen pastors if they would attend the churches they were leading if they were not on staff. In other words, if they were just random people in the community working in different fields and they didn’t have to be there, would they actually want to be a part of their church? Would the programs impress them? Would the culture entice them? Would the vision inspire them?

Only two raised their hands.

Only two wanted to be a part of the church and the culture they themselves were trying to build.

It reminds me of an old illustration about a contractor who had been building houses for a friend. Eventually the friend gave the contractor one last house to build. He provided him with all the dimensions and told him to use the best material. But since it was his last house, the contractor decided to cut some corners thinking he could cover it up and save money. After the house was built, to his surprise his friend tossed him the keys to the house and told him it was his reward for his hard work.

We’re all building something.

Everyone is building their reputation. Their legacy. Their character. Parents are building marriages and families. Business leaders are building corporations. Pastors are building churches.

Whatever you’re building, make sure that it’s something you would actually want to live in yourself. Because you’re going to have to.

The reputation you’re building is the reputation you have to live with. The family you’re building is the family you have to come home to every day. The organization you’re building, whether it’s a business or a church, is the organization you’re going to have to lead.

So build something you would live in, even if you didn’t have to.

This blog is ridiculously late, but I’m on vacation, so as I’ve told my 4 year old many times on this road trip, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!”

On that note, WHAT A WEEKEND!!!!

Happy Birthday to Rachael Yonko on July 24! We are SO blessed to have Rachael’s leadership in our church. She’s a quality woman of God!

We got the honor of being a part of Sam Stringer’s baptism. He’s a teenager in our church and he’s hilarious! Glad to watch him solidify his decision to live for Jesus for the rest of his life. We have another baptism Sunday scheduled for August 14 and 15. I plan to quit ministry when we quit doing baptisms…just so you know. That’s literally the reason I do this – LIVES CHANGED.

We had one of our highest attendances ever…this is CRAZY…it’s July! It’s not normal for a church to peak in the summer. I give God 100% of the credit. He’s up to something and it’s all good! I can’t wait to go into the fall with unstoppable momentum. There’s a world to change.

Jeff and Angela came to visit. They were our first youth pastors at the very beginning and became such an amazing part of our story. They moved to Seattle last December and we’ve missed them everyday since then! Glad to see them back at the Coffee Church!

The Little Adventurers are bursting at the seams again! In August we will be renovating the kitchen, back office, and back bathroom to accomodate our growing toddler and nursery program. We are very much looking forward to an environment that our kids can expand! Especially all of the newborns that are gracing us with their presence!

Our Great Adventurers left for camp on Sunday. Mark and I actually drove up to camp on Monday to hug them and give them sugar. That’s the kind of senior pastors we always dreamed of being and so now we’ve gotta live it. And man, was it worth it! I want our kids to feel important on every level of our church! And I also want our children’s leaders to know that they are our greatest heroes. Sometimes that comes in the form of a 3 hour drive and a box of candy.

We had guests coming out of our ears on Sunday! Everywhere we looked was a new family. Welcome! There’s room for you, friends to meet, ministries to be involved in, and lives to change. Jump in and get connected! We’ve got an agenda to make a difference in our community and everyone is a part of that!

OK, I’ve gotta get back to sitting on the porch, drinking coffee, and watching my kids feed the ducks at Grandma and Grandpa’s house…tough life!

We are very excited about our upcoming sermon series, Stranger Than Fiction. Every August we take our favorite Bible stories and share them again! It’s an amazing reminder of God’s history and the people He used in miraculous ways to change the world. It is truly stranger than fiction.

So, join us on Saturdays or Sundays in August to hear some of the greatest true stories ever told!

You probably don’t know this about me, but I’m an introvert by nature. I like my alone time and I love being at home. I love to garden because of the solice of it all. My computer and I are very close friends. I actually like being in my own little cave.

At this point, you may be laughing about the fact that I’m a pastor and have a very extroverted life. Yeah, I laugh about that a lot, too. I often times wish that I was naturally extroverted because it would make it all a lot easier.

When all is said and done, however, I appreciate the fact that God often times puts us in positions just outside of our comfort zone. It’s not good enough for me to say, “Yeah, well, I’m just this way, so people will just have to be OK with it.” That’s a cop out. I can’t use my DNA as a reason not to be Jesus to people. The same goes for the extrovert who might have a difficult time stopping long enough to experience the stillness of God.

Have you ever wondered if Jesus was an introvert or an extrovert? It’s an interesting thought and there’s definitely points of his life that you could allude to both. He was often in the middle of a crowd, but he also had moments of withdrawing to be by himself. I wonder which one was most comfortable for him? Did he thrive on the social or did he prefer the solitude of his own thoughts and prayers?

The reality is that Jesus’ model was not to do what comes easiest, but to do both. Spend that time alone with yourself being introspective, but get out there and be WITH people. No matter what your personality might lean to, growth comes when you lean the other way!

This week we have to say goodbye to a family that I adore so deeply. Greg, Sharon, Gregory, Robbie, and Erin are moving to California at the end of July. It is bittersweet as we wish them the very best, but dislike saying goodbye.

The Christie family came to our first meeting for people interested in our church startup. Gregory and Robbie had been in our youth ministry before that, but we really hadn’t had the chance to get to know Greg and Sharon, yet. I am so thankful everyday for the opportunity to work alongside such an amazing family and to call them our friends.

They gave 100% of themselves to help get our church on it’s feet. Greg served on the board for three years and the entire family served anywhere and everywhere they were needed. Sometimes it was humbling to watch as they bounced from set up and tear down at the school, to the kid’s area to greeting to counting offerings. They never complained, never flinched, and never quit.

Gregory, Robbie, and Erin were foundational in our youth ministry. They gave up friends and social events to jump into a church plant with very little to offer teenagers. Now, four years later, we have a strong youth ministry in part because of their sacrifice. In fact, when we hired Kris as our youth pastor, Greg was the first one on the phone to tell us how excited they were for her leadership. That validation in her heart was the catalyst to do what God had asked her to do.

Greg is also my husband’s friend. For a pastor, friendship is a little tricky at best, but Greg didn’t let anything stand in the way of BBQ’s, football games, days in the pool, and encouraging phone calls. It has meant the world to us to be “normal”.

As I raise my girls, Sharon is often the woman I watch as an example of motherhood. She’s not too far ahead of me, but just enough to see three amazing young people that make me want to know how they got that way!

The icing on the cake for me was to spend a week in Mexico with Gregory on the missions trip. Now a 20 year old man, I had the privilege of looking back through his entire teen years and the small role that we got to play in who he is…what a great man of God that stood before me.

Robbie has never missed an opportunity to greet me on a Sunday morning. Ironically, our first picture of him is with a bulletin and an outstretched hand. Nothing has changed in all of these years. Sometimes I wondered if it was his church and he was glad that we showed up to celebrate with him.

Erin has been a hero to my girls for as long as they can remember. Neither of them can remember life without her as an integral part of it! She toted my youngest around when Kennedy would go to no one else. Delaney just wants to be like her when she grows up.

So, Christie family, thank you so much for being dream weavers during the most critical time in our lives. I’m not looking forward to facing the next season without you, but nothing can take away my gratitude for our time with you. MANY blessings on your new adventures!