Sunday, September 28, 2008

Launch Team Field Trip to Vista

Over the next five months the Encounter Church Launch Team will be visiting a number of churches in the Columbus area. Some are newer church plants themselves and others are larger and more established. This morning we went to VISTA, a plant in Dublin, OH from Heritage Christian Church in Westerville, OH. I've come to know and appreciate the lead pastor Mike Smith (pictured) over the last eight months. He and I have some similar past ministry experiences and both our wives are very ministry savvy. It was nice for us as a group to experience a worship service as a group. For the last month we've had our meetings but have not been singing or taking an offering. I told the group to really have their eyes open for things they liked or didn't like about the service, the welcome area, children's area, etc. After the service we all headed over to Scioto Park to eat a picnic lunch and debrief the morning. Alot of good discussion came out of our time together about how we would like to see our services done.

VISTA is doing a great job proclaiming the truth about Christ to the people in Dublin. Next Sunday morning's launch team meeting topic is SERVE. This is when we'll begin forming the ministry teams for Encounter Church. Exciting stuff!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dentists Aren't So Bad

I thought I'd send this one out just for fun.
This is Dr. Brad Fulton my dentist of over ten years. The poor man has had to work on twenty-seven of my cavities (yes, I have a rotten mouth) over these years but yesterday was something different. The cap from a root canal I had done sixteen years ago in college came out and I uh...swallowed it while eating supper a few weeks back. Thankfully Brad did not require me or my friend Chuck Taylor to retreive it:-) Anyway, Brad was rebuilding the base of the tooth for a new crown. I should be good to go in just a few more weeks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We Are To GROW

Sunday morning meeting number three was a fun learning time as a group. First we had a little connection with each other over some coffee and rice-crispy treats
and then we heard how Dave and Inga Bodine began their relationship with each other and with Jesus Christ. After they told us their stories I read Ephesians 2:1-6 where the Apostle Paul spoke about what we are before having a relationship with Jesus Christ and then what happens when we do receive Him as Lord of our lives. Check it out for yourself, it's awesome.
The core value we studied this morning was GROW. We spoke of the things that contribute to our growth. i.e. trials, conferences, etc. We learned that God is the one who causes growth in our lives and listed off verses that encouraged us to grow. We also read from Galatians 5:20,21 which is a list of sinful acts. Talking about the things we don't do anymore also helped to show growth in our lives.
Here are some other fun pictures from the morning.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Last Sunday morning the team had its second Sunday morning meeting. There was a little time at the beginning to reconnect with one another and get a cup of coffee.

The first item on the agenda was to hear from a friend of mine, Tyler Flynn, who works with Mission Columbus tutoring in the cities most impoverished neighborhood. I believe the group was touched by the information and some may sign-up to tutor.
Last week Melissa & I shared about how, when and where we came to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Each week one of the other couples will give their testimony as well. I arranged it all alphabetically so that means “A” is for Arena. It was neat to hear how both Mike & Karen came to Christ in their college years, have grown in Christ and now look to be stretched through their experience in helping launch Encounter Church.

The mornings topic of discussion was our core value of CELEBRATE. We spoke about why we celebrate the Lord: 1) b/c He is worthy 2) to fulfill our purpose 3) to remember what He has done 4) and b/c His Word tells us to. It was also said that we are to be seven day worshippers and that there is something special that occurs when we gather as a large group. We also talked about the many “postures” of worship that are found within God’s Word: lifting hands, shouting, bowing down, kneeling, silence, singing, etc. The group interaction was super as people shared the things that draw them into deeper worship and the things that can inhibit worship.
I had also asked Dalan Zartman (pictured) and Rob Dubois to share their thoughts about true worship. Each has been part of worship bands in the past and are the two within our group beginning the leadership in this area. The group benefited from their thoughts.
Next Sunday we talk about the core value GROW.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We've Only Just Begun

Today marked the first Sunday the Encounter Church Launch team started meeting on Sunday mornings. If team members want to they may attend our mother churches 1st service and then after that head over to the YMCA for our 1-2 hr. meeting.
We included the children ages Kindergarten-12th grade as we discussed the meaning of the the churches vision statement: "Seeking HIS Kingdom First". It is based off of Christ's words in Matthew 6:33.
As you will see in the pics. below, most of the team was able to attend. Melissa and I shared with the group our individual stories of asking Jesus to be our Savior.

Then we led in teaching the group how and why to give a personal testimony of their own relationship with Christ. Finally we played the Bible reference game, "Sword Drill" with adults vs. kids. The theme in each passage had to do with the "Kingdom of Heaven". It was a fight but in the end the kids beat us adults fair and square! I had the opportunity to explain what the verses meant with some object lessons and the group added some excellent thoughts as well.
I am a God blessed pastor when you look at the group starting this church.