Monthly Archives: March 2012

I’ve been trying to come up with the words to describe our crazy renovation weekend and I’m falling short! It was truly a miracle to watch as people united around a cause that was bigger than them.

We had about 120 people who jumped in one way or another. We had people who started early tearing out walls, drywalling, and prepping. We had stump diggers, painters, sanders, stainers, sprayers, tapers, edgers, floor layers, brickers…it was organized chaos at it’s best! I walked down the hallway at one point and 15 people were prepping and painting simultaneously while a refrigerator made it’s way around them. Electricians were updating lighting and people were staining the old prayer benches an updated color. We had multiple women who cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom throughout the day while it was renovated around them. Art was being hung and signs were being placed.

And then the food would come…one of our small groups had taken an offering to buy food and some volunteered to cook. It was a “Feeding of the 5000” moment as every hungry person ate as much as they needed all day long. Rows of mini-cupcakes graced our day and you would often find paint-covered people congregating around the table for a moment of food and fun.

People were meeting – both from different campuses and also from the different services at Hazel Dell – and enjoying pleasant conversations all day. Some could hear and some were deaf. Some know Jesus and some are still figuring Him out. The teenagers came out in full force and worked with a wreckless abandon. It also seemed like when one crew would need to leave, a fresh batch seemed to instantaneously show up with new enthusiasm and energy. It was as if God was orchestrating His people into a working symphony.

Although it was an exhausting day that wore us out to the core, I left that night completely amazed at what I had just witnessed. All day long I heard laughing, I saw smiles, and people kept taking on jobs that they were ill-equipped to do, but their willingness made a way.

We almost got everything completely done and will easily nail out the last few projects before our launch on April 8! So much accomplished and the best part is yet to come: people!

So, thank you to all of North Creek Church – Battle Ground, Hazel Dell, and the Deaf Church. Mark and I both agree that we might be in the middle of something that will go down in our history as the most amazing thing we have ever seen. My prayer is that you will be blessed 10-fold by what you gave. We love you!

I have A LOT to say about the renovation weekend, but I’ll separate the Sunday highlights and do another post about the renovations! It was a miraculous weekend!

Mark was back at the Hazel Dell campus speaking on Nehemiah. He talked about how each person did their part in rebuilding the wall, which was a funny conclusion to a weekend that was the mirror image to the story of Nehemiah! We didn’t plan that to line up so well, but when God is in control there is a lot of “coincidences!” 😉

I went to the Battle Ground campus for the first time on a Sunday morning. I got to preach on our strategy and volunteering. It was really great to finally get there, meet some more people, and share my heart! We are keenly aware of the massive changes going on around this congregation and we are believing that God will help everyone walk through the changes and stay focused on the purpose behind every change.

Pastors Wayne and Jenny had a great trip and will be home sometime this week! We can’t wait to hear about Haiti!

The Hazel Dell campus said goodbye to Greg and Michelle Fitting as they are moving to the south to be with their son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. Those grandkids have a way of motivating grandparents to move half way across the country… Thank you to Greg and Michelle for helping to start North Creek. You did a great job!

It has been very interesting from our perspective to jump into another church as well. It is a difficult and yet important balance to both honor the past and yet completely be ourselves and do ministry with our DNA. Here’s what I know that I know: we are doing what God asked us to do. We prayed about our strategy, we prayed about the paint color, we prayed about the steps we would take and in what order. Now we just have to walk through it, knowing that God will do what He needs to do in all of our hearts.

I love the people from the Deaf Church! We spent all weekend together and they were AWESOME! They showed up in force, worked like dogs, and had the best attitudes. They made fun of me alot, but I can take it…just be careful because I can also give it!!!!

Our staff meeting was one crying person after another. All of the tears were “good” tears, as God is working on our hearts, helping us with our frustrations, and giving us victories where we need them.

We have been SO encouraged lately with kind and uplifting words from our church! I’m serious when I say that we would not be making it without those heartfelt words. This is hard and exhausting, but everytime someone reminds us of what North Creek means to their lives and family, we press on.

That being said, we sure aren’t doing much today! We are enjoying an easy day with our kids and that beautiful spring sunshine! Be blessed!

We are just a couple of days away from a Ty Pennington style church renovation! In a matter of hours we will begin to put a creative twist and an artistic bent to our second campus and we’ll be nearly finished in 36 hours. We LOVE making church buildings look different, unique, and interesting. We love creating an environment that surprises people when they walk through the door expecting a typical church setting. It ignites us to add a bit of creativity to a blank canvas!

I think that churches have often missed the boat on the importance of esthetics in our culture. Environment clearly matters! Starbucks took a cup of coffee and made it an icon, largely because they partnered that coffee with an environment that encouraged relationships. People wanted to be in their trendy little coffee shops! It’s where they feel welcome, content, and relaxed. Imagine if Starbucks served the same product in a beige, multi-purpose room with outdated furniture. Environment simply matters!

So, as we paint our new church some vibrant color, add some metal, brick, and reclaimed lumber, remember that each piece is placed because we want to create exactly what Starbucks did. The only difference is that our purpose is far greater than a cup of coffee and making a profit. Our purpose is Jesus and our bottom line is eternity.

If you’d like to help, here’s the details:

500 SW Eaton Blvd
Battle Ground, WA 98604

Friday – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday – 9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Bring general tools, work clothes, good paint brushes, electric screw drivers, etc. We also have jobs that require no hard labor as well. See you this weekend!

Here’s the Hazel Dell Highlights:

Great morning with our guest speaker, Jeffery Portmann! He and his wife are long-time friends of ours and we appreciate him coming down to be a part of the Coffee Church for a morning.

Matt lead a great set of worship! Love that new “White Flag” song, don’t you? Although it’s now constantly running in my head…

We had a bunch of people out yesterday running the Shamrock Run. We’re proud of you, but I will never understand running. In Montana we run when bears are chasing us and that’s about it. Although bears only chase tourists, so I guess that means we never run.

We had to say goodbye to Demetri yesterday. He’s moving to Florida, which is a bummer, because he is an amazing servant who knows a lot about how to make things happen at North Creek. We’ll miss you, Demetri!

And here’s some Battle Ground Highlights:

Mark and Chris went to co-teach on our vision and values. I LOVE when the two of them get to share the stage. They are so different in their giftings, but unified in their communication, so they play off of each other really well.

Alissa lead worship with a full band for the first time at BG yesterday. It went off without a hitch, with many thanks to some guys who went late on Saturday to get the system up and running.

From behind the scenes it was a bit of chaos as we began to figure out how things work at Battle Ground. We’re on a learning curve to get to know people and know what needs to be done. Thankfully, everyone seems to be patient and helpful all around, so we’ll get there soon!

Deaf Church had a good service as well! They meet at 11:30 am on Sundays, if you are ever interested in being with them on a Sunday morning. They experienced the death of a friend this week, so would you take some time and pray for that man’s family?

We have our BIG work weekend coming up this Friday and Saturday for people from both campuses. We’re going Ty Pennington style and doing the whole renovation in a matter of days. Someone should get me a bullhorn… We send out details via email, so if you’re missing that information, email me at and we’ll get you signed up.

Happy Birthday to our Preschool Director, Kelly Eldred! If you are looking for a great preschool next fall, North Creek happens to have one in Battle Ground!

Hope you have a very blessed week!