Tag Archives: merge

WE ARE AT PRAIRIE!!!!!!  Whoooo-hooooo!  Jesus is SO good.  Such a great morning as we joined the Battle Ground campus, Hazel Dell campus, and our Deaf Church together for the first time!  I just sense that God is going to pour out His Spirit in a new and powerful way in our church and I come with great anticipation during the next season for North Creek!

Everything was SUPER smooth from start to finish all morning.  Our Leadership and Volunteer team was absolutely outstanding at planning, setting up, problem solving and making a great morning for everybody.  Thank you to all of our volunteers who are bending over backwards all month to re-learn our systems, give it their all, and do it with joyful attitudes.  Everybody was simply awesome on Sunday morning, which made the little challenges completely easy to conquer. I am humbled to be a part of such an amazing group that is focused on the mission of Jesus.

Worship in the main auditorium was off the charts.  I just wept in the presence of God as we corporately lifted up his name!  I’ve been waiting with great expectation to be able to worship with our church as a whole and I soaked in that moment for as long as I could.

Kid’s classes were SLICK!  I was so impressed as to how well run, secure, and fun each environment was.  We learned ALOT when we were at Prairie for Easter service, so we strategized solutions for those issues and NAILED it!  It was such a joy to have our kids learning about Jesus and making some great friends in the process.

Mark spoke on the Holy Spirit and the book of Acts.  Would you take some time this week to read Acts and ask God to help you understand the role of the Holy Spirit in your life?  He is a complex, but inspiring piece of the trinity!

Thank you to Alvina who brought our set up team some muffins.  It was a great treat!  If you’d ever like to drop off some treats early for our workers, just let me know at

We are looking for some new volunteers in these particular areas:  Security team, Hosts/Ushers, Tiny Town, and our Prayer team.  If you are willing to serve on one of these teams, we would love to have you!  Fill out the volunteer form at

We are also needing some childcare workers for the youth ministry.  Our small group leaders bring their amazing kids during youth service and they need to be taken care of while they invest in our teenagers.  If you can do that ministry, email  Thank you so much for seeing needs and meeting them!

We are gearing up for our own small group season.  We will have a shorter session this time to allow our churches an easy opportunity to meet some new people who may have attended the other campus or who are new.  They will only be six weeks long, which is a simpler commitment for most of us to make!  More info coming this weekend!

Our Hazel Dell building is set to close next week.  We are so excited for the new church moving in!  That building served us well when we needed it and we feel like the church moving in will thrive there.  God orchestrated this all so perfectly and it has been incredible to watch and be a part of!  He is so faithful.  We anticipate the same story for our Battle Ground facility as well.

Whew!  It’s been a busy month and we very much look forward to getting into a new normal.  That being said, I am grateful for the hand of God who moves all of the mountains in front of us.  Our job is simply to walk forth in faith and boldness.

Love you, church!

Here are some pictures of Sunday.  We all missed most of the pictures in the foyer, so we’ll have to try again next week!






It was my 18th wedding anniversary this week, so Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!  I say it all the time, but he’s the real deal!

This blog is FULL to the brim of announcements and celebrations, so brace yourself!

Our youth had a BIG week as they merged together on Thursday night with RAVING success!  There was 117 people packed into the Link Church’s building over by Costco and they rose the roof with all the electricity in that place.  It was so amazing to see it all come together in such a phenomenal way.  Below are some pictures for you to see it for yourself.  If you’d like to be a part of our youth, you can contact Kris Gray at

One way you can massively help our youth is to come on one Thursday night every 8 weeks and babysit our youth staff’s children during service.  Especially if you have a teenager that is being loved on every week, I encourage you to give back by watching some incredible kids.  We are looking for 5 people right now who will show up once every two months.  Email to sign up and get background checked.

And our other big news is that we have sold the Hazel Dell building and are planning to move our churches to Prairie High School in the next 5 weeks!  We have a tentative launch date of September 27, which is our 9 year anniversary!  We are excited to celebrate with a fresh start and a new direction.

In preparation for our merge, Hazel Dell will shift to ONE SERVICE at 10:00 am for September 6, 13, and 20th.  That way we can have our volunteer schedule ready to go for the move on the 27th.

IMG_0249My 9 year old Kennedy got to teach KidCity over at Hazel Dell, while 9 year old Isaiah (Pastor Chris’ son) got to teach over at Battle Ground.  Kennedy and Isaiah were the first two infants in our nursery, so it was ironic that they both unveiled their preaching career on the same day! 😉  Kennedy told her dad that he could stop preaching because that was her job now!  We love raising up kids with focus and passion!

We are praying for all of our North Creek students as they gear up for Back to School.  We believe these kids can make a difference at a young age and impact this generation for Jesus.  Please be praying with us!

Do you know of any warehouse space that is available for us to store our entire church while we are mobile?  Let me know!  We need a reasonably priced space.

We also need some new volunteer roles as we go mobile.  If you are interested in any of the following, would you email me at  We only need you to serve one Sunday a month, unless you’d like to do more!  We are excited to begin dreaming, training, and implementing!

  • Sound/media setup – LOTS of equipment to move in early Sunday morning
  • Preservice babysitter – Our worship team and set up team come with children!  We need a babysitter to watch the littlest of them while their parents setup and practice.
  • Greeters/Ushers – We need many more greeters who also help us usher as we will begin passing an offering plate in our new system
  • Parking/Security – We need people who will double as parking attendants and security personnel
  • Prayer Team – We are instituting a new prayer team that prays before service and is available to pray with people after service
  • Kid’s Workers – Check in, Nursery, Tiny Town, KidCity….we are expecting 100 kids to bless us with their presence on Sundays!  While we have a strong team in place, we now need more to accommodate all that awesomeness.

More info to come and ways to help as we get deeper into this transition.  We couldn’t be more excited as we run toward our future with great expectation!  Jesus is our center and our focus, so there is simply an amazing adventure ahead!








Before I dive into the weekend, let me remind you that we have a Sling and Stone concert tonight at the Hazel Dell Campus.  You can get directions at  It’s at 7 pm!  We aren’t providing childcare tonight, but kids are welcome.

So many great things to catch you up on!

First off, our kids got back from camp and had an amazing time with each other and with Jesus.  We are so grateful to our leaders for taking a week of their lives to invest in our children. I could not be more excited about what my kids experience and take with them after a week of camp.  And a HUGE thank you for all of you who gave scholarships and work opportunities to help us get over 61 people to camp from the hearing church this year.  What a blessing!

Our Deaf Church is at camp this week, so please be praying for them as well!  After this camp, we are all done with camps for the summer.  What a year!

It was birthday on Friday!  I’m 39 and loving life!  I look forward to the next year with great expectancy.

We are incrementally in the process of merging our two campuses into one.  This is a big undertaking as we strategize selling property, an alternate location in the middle for our youth ministries and staff shifts to rethink roles that are no longer needed and new roles to accommodate a church of over 300 people.  Honestly, I’m having a blast watching God work in all of this…not always easy, but His hand is heavy on our lives right now and I know it.  There is a new peace, a new determination, and a new resolve in our hearts.

Feel free to ask us ANY question you need to.  We will be having all-church meetings as we go, but in the meantime, we don’t mind the questions.

Our youth ministries will begin the merge process in late August.  Rather than acclimating our new 6th graders into two separate youth ministries, we are working on a better case scenario of them starting together to alleviate one more transition.  All of our youth went to camp together and did activities together this summer, so they are well-acquainted at this juncture.  We’ll keep you posted on the details as we have them.

Sunday was something special.  At Battle Ground, Mark closed up our I am New series, which was such a clear look at who we are in Christ.  To truly understand who Jesus has created us to be, we MUST be Bible readers.

I’ve challenged you to read Romans a couple of weeks ago.  My next challenge for you is to read Acts.  Good luck!  It’s a fun one!

Over at Hazel Dell we kicked off Testify with guest speaker Roberto Brizuela.  What a gift that man is to our church!  He is a mighty prayer warrior who is intimately connected to the Holy Spirit.  He shared stories of the faithfulness of God in his own life, and I cannot really describe the heavy presence of Jesus in that room.  It was literally like a blanket on my heart.

God is taking North Creek on a journey.  My prayer is that with humble hearts, you will come with us.


2 Chronicles 7:14New International Version (NIV)

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

While that title won’t fit on Twitter feeds, it sums up the journey that we have been on as a church in the last six years.  Last Sunday marked our one year anniversary of the day our church plant merged with a turnaround church to become a multisite church.  The amount of risk in any one of those words is enormous, yet we are thrilled with the outcome at this pivotal point in our story!

I thought I would share some of the harder lessons we learned on an adventure that we would never have scripted.

1.  Our Vancouver campus (original site) unexpectedly bore extreme weight in the merge.  We went in thinking that Battle Ground would take the most energy to assimilate into the North Creek structure.  What we didn’t take into accurate account is that pulling 35+ strong leaders out of a church of 200 would cause all systems to be reevaluated and restructured.  Now, a year later, we have grown back to our original numbers and filled in the gaps with new amazing leaders.  It is multiplying at it’s best, but the process was daunting at times because we were faced with rebuilding two churches at the same time.  Battle Ground, on the other hand, had 35+ new leaders dropped into about 40 people that we merged with.  Together they hit the ground running with new help and new direction.

2.  The word “Merge” is not an accurate word for two churches creating two campuses of one church.  In hindsight I think a better word would have assisted the process, but we still haven’t come up with a word that sums it all up!  The dictionary defines “Merge” as: to combine, blend, or unite gradually so as to blur the individuality or individual identity of: They voted to merge the two branch offices into a single unit.  It was never intended by either party to gradually blur the individuality of our churches.  Battle Ground had been in a turnaround for a few years and was looking to redefine it’s DNA.  Vancouver was looking to expand it’s DNA.  The word “merge” gave off the impression that we were taking bits and pieces of DNA to create a new baby.  Our terminology had to be defined at every turn, which created a lot of extra weight.

3.  We ripped the Band-aid off so fast I’m not sure people even had time to gasp in pain (myself included!).  At the request of the leadership and board of the church we merged with, we moved fast…really fast.  Within 35 days of meeting the people of Maple Grove, the church was painted and decorated end to end, the leadership team was nearly completely different, every system was different, and together we launched the first public service with thousands of advertisements.  That wasn’t our original intention.  In our initial thoughts, we planned a much slower approach.  Although there were some difficult parts of this strategy, in hindsight, I think doing things so fast actually helped give clarity.  There was no question about how we were going to do things in the future…the future was staring everybody in the face…at both campuses simultaneously!  That being said, it felt like a whirlwind for the first six months and took a great deal of adjusting to for our leadership team and congregation.

Those are just some of the little bumps along the way, but I do want to reiterate that we LOVED this journey and still do.  It has been fun watching all of the chess pieces move as God directs and guides His people.  I think the bottom line lesson is that in anything that God asks you to do, you’ll find difficult parts or you’ll look back and think about how you might have done it differently.  However, it should never stop you from walking forward in what He has asked you to do!


We’re very retrospective this week as one year ago we were walking through the potential of absorbing Maple Grove Church into our organization as a second campus.  We were just days away from their board voting to merge.  There were so many emotions and questions running through our minds at that juncture about how and if it would work.  Today, I thought I would take some time to tell you what we’ve learned about this adventure.

1.  It takes six months to assimilate.  For the first six months it really felt like there were two churches meeting in the same building.  Although we were all trying to go the same direction, it just takes time to develop relationships and work within the systems of a new church structure.  Now it’s hard to see the line between the two groups.  It is now a healthy mixture of Maple Grove, North Creek, and brand new people who have joined us this year to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.

2.  You love your children equally.  Someone about 4 months in said to me, “Which church do you like the best?”  I chuckled a bit as I pictured all the people I love on both campuses.  It’s very similar to having multiple children.  Which one do you like the best?  Although the answer may feel like “whichever one is behaving best at the moment”, the real answer is “I love all of my children the same.”  It really wasn’t hard to love more people.  There are AMAZING people that became part of our family in the merge.  We get new guests all of the time.  It really wasn’t anything different than our normal routine of expanding our church lines and getting to know more friends.

3.  Our staff  team had several moments of extreme panic.  Oh dear.  It was both hilarious and shocking for us to watch our very tight-knit team walk through the reprocusions of being separated in location and stretched in their abilities.  However, true to their nature, they rose to the occasion and we would clearly say that each one is a better leader than they were a year ago.  We were pushed and we did not give in.

4.  We’re pastoring a Deaf Church?!?!?  We don’t know sign language, so when we first heard that Maple Grove included a Deaf Church, we felt a bit ill-equipped.  Long story short, partnering with our deaf church and their pastor, Jim Smith, has been a JOY!  Such a wonderful group of people that have been a blessing to our church as a whole.  We wouldn’t have seen it coming, but we’re glad it did.

5.  We would do it again in a heartbeat.  Merging is a unique ministry.  I believe it worked because we know who we are as a church and we stick to the plan that God has given us.  It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth it.  Together we are stronger than we were separately!

We have a great future ahead of us and we look forward to watching God unveil His amazing plan!