Monthly Archives: April 2011

Today is our youth ministry’s two year birthday! It’s hard to believe that in a mere two years that Kris and her amazing team have accomplished such an incredible task. We have 80 people who cram into our building every Thursday night to worship, pray, learn, meet in small groups, and ultimately come face to face with Jesus.

We could not be more proud of the Difference! Our teenagers are not perfect at all…in fact, they are quite far from it. They are a group of teenagers that simply are willing to fight to get there. They know their weaknesses, they fight through their struggles, and they give Jesus the credit for their success. They are a picture of what we all should be…simply on the journey and willing to keep getting back up.

A HUGE shout out to the youth staff! Mark and I intimately know what you pour into the lives of these teens. We know the highs, the lows, and the roller coaster you live on as you invest in young people. Thank you and don’t give up. Don’t ever stop in the midst of discouragement because we know that your voice is getting through. You are making a difference and it will pay off.

We love you all and wish you even more success in our community!

HAPPY EASTER! I love Easter so much! Today sets our God apart from all others. He’s not dead, He’s not gone, He’s ALIVE! Buddha, Mohammed, and all the rest of these “gods” don’t hold a candle to Jesus.

Church was great this weekend! People flooded in the doors to hear about the resurrection of Jesus. What else matters?

We decided to do three back to back services with very little room in between. It was a risk of being chaotic, but it all flowed very smoothly.

The worship team knocked it out of the park! They truly honored Jesus with their music, their hearts, and their lives. One of them said to me after three services, “I love this place so much.” That’s pretty awesome to give all that you have and be glad you did. I think we honor Jesus most when we serve Him alongside others in love.

The kids of North Creek got blessed with sidewalk chalk and goodie bags! Thank you to our Wednesday work team that assembled them all. Lots of smiling faces as the kids got an amazing lesson about Jesus and then a gift as well. Thanks Kim, Vanessa, Rachael, and the FLEET of workers in our classes and nursery!

One of my favorite moments of the morning was watching Josiah haul in a life-sized, balloon-stuffed mummy Jesus in to the church…OK. Why not?

A huge shout out to Ron Steinmann and Tiffany for planting flowers and pulling weeds so that our church looked pretty for Easter.

Our services were full of new guests who blessed us with their visit. I was swimming in a sea of names and although I usually do pretty well on the first introduction, I’m quite sure I’ll need another try next time! We had about 100 more people than normal, so it was a lot to remember in a very short amount of time.

Speaking of short amount of time…we had three services in three 1/2 hours. Seriously NUTS. And yet, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how evenly they divided and we didn’t get flooded at any service. The 10:15 was pretty close to running out of chairs, but we skated through!

I have some inspiring stories for our 19 Cents of Faith Movement that I’ll share this week. Tear jerkers! It’s time to give. Let’s get this done!

We are partnering with the Red Cross to help the families displaced by the Hazel Dell Apartment fire. Awesome to watch our church give and care.

It’s an honor to serve God.

And last, but not least: People heard about a Savior today and were given the chance to know HIM. Make that everyday, not just Easter!

As we prayed over the last several months about our next step in our community for our church, the one thing that was constantly impressed on my heart was that God was writing a story. I felt as if He had a pen, paper, and was scripting a tale that would bring tears to our eyes and glory to His name.

Now I see an interesting pattern and I wonder if what I see before me is the tale. From the beginning, we felt like we needed to tell people about the faith of our six year old to believe that 19 cents could buy a building for our community. The first giver from our church was a seven year old with $15.10. One of our teenagers collected money at her school and layed out the vision for one of her teachers who emptied his wallet. Last night an 11 year old girl showed up at my door with $227 – her entire life savings.

As I hugged that girl in my arms, I thought, “Dear God, don’t let these kids down.” And then it hit me…He’s using these children to teach US the greatest life lessons we will ever be taught – sacrifice, faith, generosity, reckless abandon, and a belief in miracles that gives me chills.

I’m convinced that God will not be letting these kids down at all. I believe He will lift them up. And I believe that if I can model my heart after them, God won’t let me down either.

It’s been an eye-opening month as we have decided to intentionally jump into every networking opportunity that we could find in hopes to figure out how to best partner with our community as we go ahead with our vision. We’ve been to Women in Networking meetings, the Christian Chamber of Commerce, the Non-profit Networking Conference, and Neighborhood Association meetings all within a couple of weeks. One common denominator: we are the only pastors at anything (except for one pastor’s wife who had a jewelry business at the Christian Chamber of Commerce meeting).

Trust me when I say this…we don’t deserve a pat on the back. We haven’t been at many of these type of meetings in 15 years of ministry. We don’t deserve any credit at all for showing up now, but I will say that my perspective has been shifted. What if just a small fraction of pastors shuffled around and showed up to EVERYTHING? What if it was just a common thing for churches to be a functioning part of the workings in our community? This sounds like a no-brainer, but maybe it’s a case where the simple things are the things we don’t do.

I don’t even begin to think that Mark and I can maintain the pace we’ve been going to attend as many things as we have, but we are very convinced to pick a few where we feel we can use our time the best and benefit our particular area (like the Hazel Dell Neighborhood Association). I believe that if every pastor in our city just picked a few community meetings, we’d be well on our way to redefining the purpose of church in our city.

I think maybe we as Christians have bought into the idea of the separation between church and state. We might actually believe that people would like Christians just to stay in their little churches and behave. Here’s a shocker: We’ve been graciously welcomed at every meeting with open arms and excitement. People want their organizations supported and a good supporter is someone with a direct line to God, don’t you think? Whether they agree or disagree with our spiritual beliefs, they are still glad that we are there to listen and help.

I’m picking on pastors first, but I think it really goes for all Christians. What area of our community are you involved in as a representative of Jesus and the Church? Not just as a good citizen, but a proclaimed Christian that wants to help? If you’re not neck deep in something, dive in. You’ll be just as surprised as I am about how warm the water is…