Sunday, August 31, 2008

Middle Hour Celebration / My Last Sunday at Grace Church

This morning the Spoelstra family arrived nice and early for the 10AM Middle Hour Celebration at Grace Church. The summer is officially over and this day marks the first Sunday back to the three hour morning (8:45-10:00-11:15am). To start the '08-'09 year off Grace has a review of the summer ministries that took place. They kindly allowed me to share about our summer and how things are progressing with the launch team. I also had a few pictures from our meeting last week and the shot of the entire launch team in front of the church from two months ago.
I realized later that this morning just might have been the last Sunday morning service I attend at Grace Church. For the next five months we will either have meetings with the launch team on Sunday mornings at the YMCA or will be visiting a some other church in Columbus. After the five months are over we will begin preview/practice services at Eli Pinney Elementary that role right into our Grand Opening month of April '09.

After church I had the chance to speak with a bunch of people who asked more in depth questions and then we went out to lunch at Bob Evans with Jeremy & Erica Hart and Rob (formerly know as Gordo) & Carolyn Dubois and their boys. It was a fun, loud time as the twelve of us talked and ate.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Full Living Room

The plan for last nights supper/meeting was to be outside on our deck. Plans changed as God brought a much needed heavy rain. The house was full of different conversations as people continued to arrive. I wanted the team to have at least a half hour of connecting with each other before actually having the meeting. I felt good about the things that were communicated i.e. -the five month timeline and topics for meetings, small groups, and a quick recap of the vision statement and core values. We also had a time of group prayer thanking God for His great blessings so far, for specific names of people we know who are not yet followers of Christ, and for team unity.
Click here to see pictures from the meeting.

Our next time to meet is Sept. 7 at the Powell YMCA with our children to speak into their lives about the church plant or as many call it, "The Baby Church" :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

1st Launch Team Meeting This Sunday Night

A meeting I've literally been waiting months for is going to happen in just two days. Six months ago I thought Encounter Church would be holding services this Sept. After some wise council from my pastor, Rick Nuzum and others, we are waiting five or six months. This will allow the team of 13 families time to pray, serve, dream and bond together. Here again is the team minus one family.
Sunday nights meeting will include reminding them why a church is needed in the Dublin-Jerome area and why they are the perfect people to see that Kingdom task accomplished. We'll also look over our calendars for the next year to better plan strategic service events and go over how our small groups will operate. I will also deeply impress the importance of our core value - MULTIPLY. I'd like to see us doing this at every level. i.e. all small groups have a co-leader with the intent on "multiplying" the group so more people can be shepherded. This may be different than many have experienced before b/c so many of our past small groups were already followers of Christ. We will purposely be inviting those who don't yet know Christ so that through their encounter w/ God's people, they may also have an encounter with HIM.
I'll let you know how it goes and hopefully have a few pics. as well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Bud Kary Oberbrunner

For five and a half years Kary Oberbrunner has been my workout buddy at the Powell YMCA. I cancelled my membership in late June knowing I'd be taking a sabbatical for all of July. Soon I will be joining the Dublin Rec. Center for exercise and more connection with Dublin residents. Kary is presently the Discipleship & Leadership Development Pastor at Grace Church. His third book is coming out January 2009. I just watched the promo trailer for it and I've got to say it inspires me.
Watch it for yourself and let me know what you think. Simply click on his name or picture and you'll be taken to his blog.

It's A Beautiful Day

It's still before 9am. The high today is going to be 85F. I got up at 6:25am, woke up the girls and got them going on their morning chores. Zach was already dressed and doing his chores. He's a very disciplined young man. The girls asked me to do their hair this morning so I did. We traditionally take a picture on the first day of school. I took it with my phones camera without enough light but you can still see the excitment on their faces. I took Zach to his bus stop and Melissa left with the girls about 20 mins. ago. I'm going to make a cup of tea and read my Bible now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Day We've All Been Waiting For

That's right...for the first time in the Spoelstra house all four kids are heading off to school. Zach our 11 yr. old into sixth grade, Abby & Sara, our 8 yr. old identical twins into third, and Rachel, our almost six yr. old into Kindergaten. My wife Melissa is giddy with excitment. What will she do with all her free time I wonder? For me it means I can work at home without too much distraction. No I did not just call my wife a distraction. I was talking about Romeo, our Quaker Parrot!
Just watch him in action with my wedding ring.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Whirlwind Trip

This past Thursday, Aug. 14/08, I drove to Naperville, Ill. with Chuck Taylor. He is about to be one of Encounter Churches two small group leaders and is also the one elder from Grace Church (our Mother church)coming on the church plant. We went to meet and ask questions of Jon Ferguson, co-founder of Community Christian Church and Eric Meltcalf, the Adult Ministry Director.
Melissa & I had the pleasure of meeting and being taught by these guys at Exponential '08 in Orlando this past April. They are the ones who put the conference on and are truly committed to multiplying churches. In fact, when I told them I could see Encounter Church planting a new church within five years they came back with, "How about two or three?" Yikes these guys are serious!!!
Anyway, our time together wasn't wasted. Chuck and I barraged them with questions in their church building, the car and at the restaurant we ate at. These guys also have an entire network of churches throughout greater Chicagoland and across the country. They call it the NewThing Network. I find myself drawn to join this movement. Now I just need to spend some more time praying for wisdom and researching their stuff before jumping in with both feet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Here are the pictures from June 29, 2008, when the Launch Team was introduced to the Grace Church congregation for the first time. There are also shots from the picnic at Liberty Park following the church services. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Generous Gift and a Productive Meeting

I got home today from one of my other 210 in Grace Church...and there was a card with my name on it. I opened it up and saw it was from the North Central Ohio (NCO)Women of Grace. There were some encouraging words and a generous gift collected from five different womens groups. What an encouragement! Thank-you Women of Grace.

Last night I had another meeting with my accountability elders. Ron Kuck is front left, Fred Stults back left. Jim Wilson front right and Alan French who chairs our meetings is back right. I'm grateful for these guys. Two of them, Ron & Fred, have church planting experience in their pasts. We quickly overviewed chapters 7-9 of "Planting Missional Churches". The author is Ed Stetzer, an authority on church planting, and speaker at the conference Melissa & I went to called Exponential '08. Then the guys helped walk me through filling out an Employment Identification Number (EIN) form. I need to soon apply to be incorporated with the state of Ohio and open a bank account in Dublin. I forgot to tell you, but two weeks ago I got a PO Box for the church. Here is the address should you want to snail-mail anything:
Encounter Church
PO Box #731
Dublin, OH

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My new office

Well I'm in my new office...Panera Bread in Dublin, Ohio:-) I've made some phone calls and uploaded a bunch of launch team pics. onto my Facebook account b/c I don't really know how to do it right on this blog yet. Soon enough I'll get it. I'm officially a church planter! Yeepie!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Family Fun at Gull Lake Ministries

What a great week at Gull Lake with 10 other families from Grace Church. The staff there served us so well and watched our children for 30+ hours so we could connect as adults. The pic. below shows us dressed for western night. It included a live band with square dance lessons after an outdoor supper. Melissa and I were also "randomly" picked to participate in a blindfold race.

Our Bible teacher for the week, Pastor Larry Kiser, spoke about various times in King David's life and did any excellent job applying them to our lives today.
I also really enjoyed spending time with my buddy Daniel Wallace the director of Gull Lake Ministries.

Here's a pic of Daniel.