Monday, June 29, 2009

Columbus area church planters picnic

Yesterday after our weekend campout, and a nap, we headed out to Blendon Woods metro park and met up with four other families involved in planting churches in the greater Columbus area. There was Andy & Trish Wirt of Clear View GBC planting in New Albany; Shawn & Tracey Kaeser of Darby GBC in Plain City, Larry & Sylvia Totzke with Eric & Julie of Capital City GBC and Ron & Chery Boehm of Vision Ohio. We ate, connected and played some corn hole. I meet with these guys once a month at the Caribou Coffee in Dublin.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Encounter's 1st Campout

Wow. What a great weekend for Encounter Church!

A good number of our families spent part or all of this weekend together at Camp Cotubic in Bellfountaine, OH just 45 minutes west of Dublin. Some tented and others were in the lodge rooms. The central firepit allowed for a super place to connect and eat our meals together. Friday night was kickball and S'mores, Saturday morning the ladies got a break from kid-duty whilst the men fished with the little ones. Saturday all afternoon had us enjoying the awesome beach activities and that night the men played hard at volleyball. Unfortunately for me I blew out my back three weekends ago and had to forgo my favorite sport. But on the brighter side I was able to reconnect with some old WOL Camp friends that lived near by. Saturday night we heard an awesome testimony from the Preininger family and then Sunday morning was super special in that we had a little church service and then a baptism of 10 people down at the beach. Checkout these pics. from the weekend:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vision Trust BBQ and Sunday Service

Yesterday and today there were great events for those of Encounter Church with Matt & Cheryl Storer of Vision Trust International. Saturday was the BBQ in Coffman Park promoting the ministry and a time for the Storer's to connect with new and long time supporters.
There were a number of our people there helping set-up and later tear down. We couldn't have done it without them. Thanks Adam, Michael, Chuck, Luke & Beth, Bill & Janetta, and Melissa:-)
The beef brisket was prepared and served by Art Yoho, a local chef who's been in the business of making great food since 1983. Matt Benefiel with GFS also was involved in donating much of the food for the event.

Then this morning at Encounter Church Matt was given the entire service and spoke to us about the great need to care for orphans around the world. He laid out many different statistics, but most importantly he took us to Scripture and showed us God's heart for those who cannot defend or speak up for themselves. I believe many people were touched by what they heard and some responded by sponsoring a child.
I'm sure I'll speak of it more in future posting, but we've decided to make Guatemala our main focus when partnering with Vision Trust. Lord willing, we may even go there in the summer of 2010.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dessert Night

Tonight we had a meet and greet dessert night for one of Encounter's missionary families: Matt & Cheryl Storer.
It was held at the home of Rex & Laurie Elsass in the heart of Tartan Fields. About 15 of our people were there to hear the Storer's journey from corporate America to full time missionaries needing to raise support.
Here is a short description of Encounter's philosophy on missions: our leadership team decided months ago to have only two missionary families to support through prayer, finances and relationship. Each family is receiving 5% of our church's gross offerings. We are choosing to be different than many other churches in that we want to give much to a few rather than little to a lot. Until we reach our goal of providing the lions share of these two missionary families needed support, we won't officially give to another family. That's not to say that individuals in the church or small groups on their own couldn't give to another family. But for this next year the Storer and McCaman families are who we are supporting directly out of the church's budget.
Tomorrow there is a BBQ to promote VisionTrust to people in Coffman Park from 4-7pm. There will be fun stuff for the kids, live music and really good beef brisket!
Then Sunday Matt is preaching in Encounter's church service at 10:00am at Eli Pinney Elementary School in Tartan Fields, Dublin.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Purposeful time with men

I had the opportunity to be part of two different men's groups today. One was in the morning and was a Bible study that just recently started. The book of James in the Bible is guiding the discussion time. Then later in the day I had my final accountability meeting with our mother church's elder group. I've met monthly with those men since February 2008. It was a night to celebrate the great things God has done through His people at Encounter Church. I was able to play for the men our newest video that shows what a day in the life of Encounter Church looks like.

Watch the video and let me know your thoughts about it.

19 Church Services In

I thought I'd show you a few pics. from this past Sunday morning. It's fun to see our "baby church" grow. How awesome to have new people stepping into leadership roles.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

LC #4

This morning we had our fourth Leadership Community; well third technically since on the date of the last one we served at Eli Pinney Elementary during Dublin's Community Service Day.
Anyway, it was really great to be with the core team of Encounter Church. We were able to celebrate some new leaders, hear from the small group leaders on how they distributed some money to help people in need and find out what ministry opportunities are in store for this summer. We also debuted two videos recently made that will be on our website by the end of next week. The first is about 1min. 30sec. and the other just under five minutes. They basically show what a church plant does on a typical Sunday morning. I'm really happy with how they both turned out.
The thing I wanted to impress on the team was what success looks like at Encounter. I explained that having land and a building are not our goal. Someday we may have those things but their not the things we're striving for. Simply put here's what I told them success at Encounter Church looks like: New Followers - New Leaders - New Churches.
As always, LC ended with each ministry team getting together for their own time to connect, be trained and pray for one another.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Always a good time at the Taylors

Last night after a busy day of e-mails and phone calls the Spoelstra family headed over to Chuck & Deb Taylor's home like we have dozens of times over the last decade. There is always great food and fun waiting there to be had. This time it was a gathering of 20 somethings, most of whom are attending/serving at Encounter. I made the salad and Deb did everything else. The kids had already eaten at home thanks to my sweetheart so we shooed them downstairs where they played Guitar Hero, "till their fingers bled" (yes I'm a child of the 80's).
After much conversation and eating the group of us played a fun new game someone called "Fish Bowl". It's kind of like charades but you use the same words written on slips of paper three different times in three different ways. Anyways, it was cause for much laughter and silliness.
Families like the Taylor's are a great example to our little congregation in that they bring
together large and small groups of people for the purpose of connection and community. Sometimes it's inviting one or two couples to lunch after a Sunday morning service, other times it's a planned event.
Thanks Chuck & Deb.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Way Too Long

Yes...if you've been reading these blogs you would agree that Sean has slacked off way too long! Sorry about that (he said in his Canadian accent).
Here's a quick update on my life since the last time I wrote.
*our twins, Abby & Sara turned 9 on May 19th
*we had my brother & sister-in-law and their 3 kids over for a week
*our kids all had there end of the year concerts
*May 24th we had our first communion service following the morning service which included a meal, foot washing, and the bread & the cup
*I spoke at Worthington Christian Schools 5th grade Over and Out campout (pictured)
*we fed the teachers breakfast at Eli Pinney Elementary for a retirement party
*with Brad Muschotts hard work two videos were made for Encounter Church (first to be shown at the June 6th Leadership Community)
*we had our first "DIVE" baptism class in preparation for our baptism service coming up in a few weeks at the all Encounter Church campout June 26-28
Now of course there are breakfast & lunch appointments, the baseball and softball games of my children and my own sand v-ball games on Sunday nights at a local sports bar. Not to mention putting on and getting ready for a Sunday morning service each week. I do love it all by the way. It just begins to dominate our lives sometimes.
Finally, last night I had the privilege to attend and speak at the Scioto Boys HS v-ball awards banquet. I was an unpaid volunteer for the season mostly b/c I knew I'd miss a bunch of games and practices. It was very rewarding though and I hope to do it next season. Two of the people I'm playing sand ball with I coached alongside at Scioto.
Now you're kinda up to date on the goings on in my life.
This Saturday is another Leadership Community. It should be a very fun time knowing what the agenda has listed.