Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
It's a great feeling to have our first Christmas at Evident! We're not doing any Christmas Eve services or anything like that this year (keeping it simple for now), but we're using the two Sundays surrounding Christmas to celebrate this amazing season.
Larry King, when asked if he could interview anyone from all of history who would it be said, "Jesus Christ." "And what would you like to ask Him?" King replied, 'I would ask Him if He was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.'"
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday we launched a new series "The Life You Were Meant to Live". Here's a quick recap of week 1.
Main Points from Sunday's Message
Genesis 1, 2:4-17
- Life without meaning is empty. Most men lead lives of quiet desperation (Thoreau).
- God "formed" us, special above all creation, no mistakes, no regrets, no oops.
- Then, God gave us physical and moral responsibility. We're accountable to him.
- Simply put, we cannot know who we are apart from knowing who He is.
A few added thoughts from Sunday’s message...
For a bit Sunday, I harped on the idea that our generation (I realize there are several represented and I think this is probably true of all of them) rarely thinks deeply about life. That’s probably not totally true. Many people do think deeply, but their thought lacks guidance. New age thinking would also tell us to think deeply and look inside ourselves (The gospel according to Oprah). The truth is, deep introspection without the guidance of Scripture is dangerous. We cannot find ourselves within ourselves. This merely leads to relativism and hedonism. No, we don’t find ourselves simply by looking within. We find ourselves within the pages of Scripture. It acts as a mirror reveal who we really are (James 1). As I said Sunday, we can only truly know who we are by understanding our creation and our re-creation (second birth). We can only know who we are by knowing who Christ is, and there is no greater more concrete way to know Christ than the pages of God’s Word. So I pray that you think deeply this week, and may your meditation be on the laws and precepts of God as found in His Word.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I love what God is doing and where he is taking Evident. Things are going well and I don't begin to presume upon God, but I believe that this is something special. And as long as we keep our eyes rightly fixed in Christ I believe God will do amazing things through Evident. I'm believing big!
FEEDBACK FROM AN OUT OF STATE DRUMMER:
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
they say never talk about RELIGION or POLITICS... we’re talking about BOTH...
The war, abortion, the economy, gas prices, unemployment... We’re taking a look at what faith has to do with it. Don’t worry, this isn’t about endorsing a candidate or party... In fact, we’ll probably make fun of how the church has historically addressed politics. It should be fun and even a little controversial!
Oct 19 Jesus: Democrat or Republican?
Oct 26 Jesus: Skeletons in the Closet (what they never told you about Jesus)
Nov 2 Jesus on Hot-Button Issues
P.O. Box 380256
Clinton Twp, MI
Meeting, Sundays, 10am
Seneca Middle School
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Thanks for following what's going on. Praise God for all he's done and is going to do!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Words can't express all my thanks to everyone who has supported us and prayed for us so far in this church launch process. I am continually grateful to God, Raelyn (my wife), the pastors and leaders of Evident Church, the LEAD Team churches, and many other partners.
We're praying for an awesome weekend (Grand Opening, September 21, 2008, 10am)! I personally need your prayers more than ever. There is a lot of work to do and there is so much potential in this church and in this community. Pray for strength, pray for protection for me and our team, pray for direction and Godly momentum/influence, pray for God to provide, pray for many people to know and grow in Christ, pray for this to be the beginning of a movement not just the beginning of a new church.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Our 3rd Preview Service was great! It was different than all the rest by design but God was there! We talked about that fact that faith should simplify our lives and that Jesus took a very complicated religious scene and boiled it down to just two things... love God completely and love others correctly (Matthew 22:34-40).
There's one sure and quick way to find out if you're worshipping God or not. Are you living for you? Or are you living for Him?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The graphic says it all and explains where we're at in the launch process. The summer has been interesting, but I think our team is strong and excited for our 3rd and final preview service. We've grown closer together as a team; we've grown spiritually; we've turned some corners. God is good.
Please pray for God to move and give all of us strength this weekend! If you are in the area we'd love to have you join us. We've gotten some great feedback and really like what we're seeing. Again, God is good! What we long for though is for God to fill this weekend with His power! See you on the flip-side (after a short family break)... Love you guys!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
This camp has meant a lot to me. It is here that God has spoken to me and I have made many significant spiritual decisions here. It really is a great place to change your pace and connect with God. There's something neat about it... in a weird cow smell sort of way.
BrownCityCamp.org (they have the messages from just about every service on here, some really good stuff)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
ps - I've noticed that a lot of my posts sound really upbeat and almost too good to be true. This really has been an amazing journey and it really has been this good. Well, and it doesn't hurt that I'm an eternal optimist!
Friday, July 18, 2008
July 20, 10am
Sequoyah Elementary School
18500 24-Mile Rd.
Macomb, MI 48042
A few things to pray for:
- protection for our team (health, sanity, circumcstances)
- the right people to be at our service
- soft and ready hearts to hear from God
- Jesus to be made evident
- people to take steps closer to God
- people to accept Christ
Things we're praising God for:
- an amazing team
- a great and clear vision
- blessings of resources
- life in Christ
- great school to meet in
- grace and favor in the community
- the Spirit of God at work in us and the world
Thanks for all your prayers and support! If you're anywhere in the area it would be awesome to see you Sunday. If you know anyone in the area, you could be their connection to Evident Church... and to Christ.
I'll post again after this weekend to let you know how things go and what God does!
ps - we added a few new things to the site
Sunday, July 06, 2008
One of the things we looked at in Scripture was Acts 1:1-12 where Jesus gives some last instructions to his "launch team". Basically he said to wait for the Spirit, and when the Spirit is present there is power... power to do things you can't normally do. One of the key things the Spirit gives us power for is relationships - power to be one (united in purpose), power to be the body (different but working together), power to bear with one another. What better witness can we be than to show the world that Jesus is alive by how we relate to one another as his followers? Then we spent some time sharing what we appreciate about each other. It was good stuff, we have a great team!
Thanks Matt & Shannon for putting this together! Thanks Matt for not wearing your speedo.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
To give you an update on our 1st Preview Service, I thought I'd just let you in on portions of a team email that was sent out recapping the day.
Email sent to Launch Team, June 15 PM:
Hey Team... or should I say Evident Church!
(Disclaimer: I want to thank God first and foremost. Anything good that happened today is only by and through Him. He has been so good to us!)
Wow! Oh my goodness! What an amazing day! God is so good! You all did an amazing job!
Enough with all the exclamation points but seriously you all did amazing. It was so cool to see the vision in reality. You guys pulled it off, that was it, that was the vision! We have some tweaking to do (and a constant ear to the voice and Spirit of God), but that was it.
Tim... the music, you, and the band were phenominal!
Matt... thanks for reminding us about real man fuel (wings!), seriously great job!
Team Leaders... you all knocked it out of the park!
Every single volunteer did everything with a great attitude and with excellence... what a team! (change of venue? no big deal!)
During several conversations with Matt and Ameen (Portable Church guys), they mentioned how impressed they were with all of you and the team that God has brought together. I couldn't agree more! This is amazing to be a part of.
Here's the run down on the morning:
- 140-people were a part of the day!!!
(that is excellent! don't be discouraged if people you invited didn't come, keep inviting and we'll keep cranking out experiences you'd be proud and excited to bring them to!)
- Every single kid had a blast, many had to be drug away at the end of the morning
- God was worshiped
- The gospel was preached
- Many lives were impacted
- I didn't throw up... it was a good day!
- The plan is to have DVD's of the worship experience for the entire Launch Team this coming Sunday (June 22) at our team meeting.
- You'll want to get familiar with the church's website! We'll be using this as one of our key tools. www.EvidentChurch.com
- Our next Launch Team Meeting is June 22, 5pm, Parkside Community Church (if someone is willing to host this celebration at their house I'd rather do that - let me know!)
We'll officially be celebrating and giving feedback about the day at our next Launch Team Meeting (Team Leaders, don't forget we're meeting early at 4:30pm to debrief), but I'd love to hear your stories and get some dialogue going even now. Feel free to respond back and "reply all" to include the whole team. I'd love to hear what everyone's saying.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is an honor to serve with you guys. Today was so much fun, can't wait to do it again next month! Let me hear from ya.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Honestly, the best way to bring you up to speed would be simply to have you head to namethatchurch.com and look around. We have our first public service this weekend, pray like crazy that God does what only God can do. This is His church and we are looking forward to worshiping Him this weekend! God is good (and our team has been amazing!)!
I'll update you on the flip-side!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Hey, it has been way too long since I've last blogged! Things have been very busy and a lot is happening as we're headed toward our first preview service June 15. Let me just give you a quick update.
- namethatchurch.com has attracted some great media and buzz (several local and even large papers have called for stories)
- our team has been getting more and more prepared for our preview services and launch
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Part of the vision for this church that God has placed in our hearts is that we would launch large. We believe it's not only possible but it would also honor God to launch with 200+ people (large is relative). This would give us tremendous traction and momentum as we begin to impact this community for Christ.
I've shared this with a few people (and I'm sure a few of you might be thinking it) and some have been skeptical. They didn't necessarily think that it couldn't be done but that maybe it shouldn't be done. I even had a church tell me that every church should start small and cozy, like in some guy's basement (like their church did). They didn't think our vision was biblical. Again, they thought it should start small. Sounds nice, right? I had to bite my tongue. I wanted to respond back by saying, "What? Do you mean like Pentecost!?!" I would have definitely said it with too much attitude (like I just did when I typed it).
Can you imagine launching a church with 3,000-people!!! Pentecost, the day when thousands of people attended an impromptu church service and 3,000 of them accepted Christ and were baptized! This "launch" led to the incredibly rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Some scholars estimate that this church numbered somewhere near 25,000-people! While this isn't the norm and isn't what we predict in Macomb, launching large provides great momentum and can prove incredibly effective in many areas. (Not to mention just the shear fact that behind every number is a name, a person's story!)
So, we believe not only would launching with some size be incredibly effective, but it would also be incredibly God-honoring. So, when this is part of the vision, it means different strategies, different plans, different approaches. You either go big or go home!
So, we have posted namethatchurch.com on the biggest billboard we could find on Hall Rd.! That in itself is a God story. (fyi - this billboard is 14' tall and 48' wide, we have the board for a biblical 40-days) Our prayer is that God will use this crazy idea to spark some interest and create some buzz. We've already seen some great response. We believe God is stirring in the hearts of hundreds of people in Macomb Township and preparing them for an encounter with Jesus... an encounter that will change their entire lives!
God, we're giving you everything we have. We trust in the vision you've given us. We know you want to connect with the people of Macomb way more than we do. We know you want to see your church thrive in Macomb way more than we do. It's an honor to be a part of something like this and a privilege to be burdened (in a good way) with a vision like this. Thanks in advance for all you're going to do!
Friday, April 11, 2008
I'm a little angry about vision:
Vision should and does drive everything.
Your lack of vision might be costing you more than you know (What's your vision/dream for your family, faith, future, finances? An even better, what's GOD's vision/dream for these things?).
Vision should cost you something.
If your vision doesn't cost you anything it isn't worth anything.
If the leader you're following isn't challenging you to give everything, he probably isn't taking you anywhere worth going.
If you find something worth following, it's worth giving your life to. If you find something worth giving your life to, it's worth following.
If you aren't having to sacrifice, I guarantee you will not end up where you want to. There is no way you're going to end up where you want to end up by coasting. The only way to coast is down hill.
How much does your vision cost?
How much is it costing you to pursue your dream, the preferred future for your life? What kinds of sacrifices are you having to make to propel you toward your vision (I'm not talking about sacrifices you have to make because you've been lazy and now this is where you find yourself. And I'm not talking about sacrificing the things that matter most (like family and faith) to pursue selfish ends. I'm talking about deliberate choices that will ultimately help catapult you toward your vision.). Are you following someone, something that is challenging you to go to greater levels of sacrifice? If you're not being challenged to give it all, you probably don't have a vision worth following. What's your vision/dream? How much does your vision cost?
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Many of you have been asking, so I thought it was about time to give you an update on namethatchurch.com.
So far it's been going great. It's generated some great interest and low level buzz. It hasn't exactly lit the community on fire yet, but I think there's still some great potential for that. We have some things coming up that I think will really help get this thing rolling in the next few weeks. We'll keep you posted.
Here are a few that won't make it past the panel:
- the two most popular names so far have been Evident Church and Faithbridge Church (you can view an updated list of the names at http://www.namethatchurch.com/)
Feel free to comment and share your stories.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
There are certain parts of the Bible I just don't understand. I've been reading the past few months in the book of Hosea. It is the twisted story of a prophet of God named Hosea who God tells to marry a prostitute (not exactly the kind of girl the parents want you to bring home). She's unfaithful to him, she has several children, most of them probably not Hosea's (some real Jerry Springer material). The whole time, God is using this real life drama as an illustration of his tumultuous relationship with Israel.
What surprises me the most in Hosea is the picture of God you see. Now, remember, the genre of Hosea is prophecy. Imagery is vivid, words are used to paint powerful pictures. And it portrays a side of God not usually seen. It's an up and down story of a God who is being wrenched back and forth (like Hosea) by his love for a women (Israel) who is unfaithful. It can be kind of sappy. And at times, God seems more like a junior high boy than I'm comfortable with.
It is a powerful story of God's unbridled love for... us (let's not get into the whole debate of whether or not we/Christians are the Israel of today). In the middle of it, there are two of the most powerful verses in the entire Bible - Hosea 2:14-15.
"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope."
This is powerful. God doesn't just sit by and wait for his lover, Israel, to return to Him... He makes the first move! He allures her! God, goes after Israel. It says that He will "speak tenderly" to her. God so desires Israel that He woos her! He acts in ways that entice and draw her back to Him!
Now, the implications for this are huge! God acts in ways that entice and draw creation back to Him. This means that God woos me. As I wander and drift, not always on target in my relationship with God through Christ, God doesn't give up on me. Instead, He allures me! This means that God woos (sorry, I can't find a more manly word) those who are far from Him. Right now, God is speaking tenderly to the people we see every day around us. God is wooing and drawing them, tenderly and gently begging them to return to their rightful place as sons and daughters of the King.
Honestly, if I were Hosea/God, I'm done! No more love, no more mercy, no more effort on my part. You/Gomer/Israel have ripped my heart out for the last time! I'm through! But not God. God is ever full of love and mercy and a passion to pursue us.
I love to see then how God is using us, in Macomb, to allure people. Even crazy things like namethatchurh.com God is using to draw people to Him and make them aware of what He's doing around them. I believe God is helping Macomb to see and sense Him in a million different ways and using us to do some of it too.
I tell you what, I am absolutely captivated with a God who is this amazing! I am gripped by this kind of creative love and I am prayig that others all around me can sense the allure of God as well.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
We're excited to be able to announce that Matt & Katie Woodburn will be coming to Macomb to join the team! My connection with Matt began when Matt and I were pk's together at Colonial Woods Missionary Church back in the day. Matt and Katie are also both graduates of Bethel College, Mishawaka, IN and have been serving at Rona Missionary Church in Fairborn, OH for the past several years. I love Matt & Katie's heart for people and their great ability to connect with the unchurched. God has uniquely gifted them and placed a common vision in their hearts. Officially, Matt will be serving as the Pastor of Connections, handling primarily outreach and assimilation (no doubt lots of other things).
As you might be wondering, our new church doesn't have the resources to be able to "hire" additional staff like Matt, even though that has been part of the dream from the beginning. The way it works is that the Michigan District (of the Missionary Church) is kicking in a portion to allow Matt to do a church plant internship with us while Matt also works a part time and raises support to help supplement the rest of his income. Please pray for these areas of transition for the Woodburns (they also have a condo to sell in Ohio).
You have know idea how much of an advantage this gives us as a church plant and we are extremely excited about it. If you would like to be a part of helping Matt & Katie make the transition or would like to contribute to the church plant in general (we still have huge needs!), please email us at email@example.com or call 586.246.0938.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Pray that we'll make great connections. Pray that we will fall more and more in love with the people. Pray that Christ will be exalted.
(I think prayers are retro-active, so even if you didn't get this in time, go ahead and pray :)) Talk with you soon!
Sunday, March 09, 2008
We figured we were designing this church for the community, why not have the community give their input on our name! And this is not so much about coming up with a name as it is we're hoping to peak the interest of our community. At the very least, we're hoping to increase awareness in our community that we're launching a new church!
So jump in - we're going to have some fun with this! Spread the word. We just happen to think God can use it! See ya.
Monday, March 03, 2008
God deserves some serious props (translation: God has blown us away with some amazing things and he deserves proper credit and recognition). Can you really even give God props? Anyway, here's what He's done:
2) God provides great video camera for us to use through one man's generosity
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
"So after they fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off." - Acts 13:3
It's nice to know that even though we go into something risky and something difficult, we don't go alone. We are being sent out with the blessing, prayers, and support of those in authority over us and in ministry around us.