Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This Sunday we start a new message series on membership called, "ALL IN". It's a little longer than most series (10wks.) we do at Encounter but should prove to inform our people about what we believe, what they can expect of the leadership and what the leadership can expect from them. Part of me could give or take even having a formalized membership process. The biggest reasons why I am leading us down this road is so that people may be shepherded better. In order to shepherd, one needs to know the sheep: in this case the sheep choosing to align themselves with the mission and vision of Encounter. The plan is to yearly have everyone inform us of whether they're still, "ALL IN" or not. We're calling it an annual covenant commitment.
The requirement for membership is that a person is a true follower of Christ - having submitted themselves to His love and authority, believing that He died for their sins, was buried,rose again and is coming back for His church. That's the only true requirement.
It makes sense that if someone is wanting to fully join themselves to this body of believers, that they will want to spend time with its people. So we will, as we have from the beginning, stress the importance of joining a small group or Bible study and serving in a ministry at Encounter. i.e. Sunday morning.
Having gone through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) recently and going through the book of Acts in a men's Bible study I attend, it is clear that our Lord's command is for His people to be baptized and to participate in communion. We do both at Encounter Church.
So we will, as we have from the beginning, stress the importance of believers baptism and communion.
Thanks for taking the time to read this pre-Sunday morning message from your pastor:-)

Hope to see you Sunday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teaching alongside my sweetheart

Yesterday was a special privilege for me. Melissa joined me in speaking to the congregation about Crazy Love: basically how a man should love a woman. I figured it would be good to have someone other than me tell men how their wife needs to be loved. Who better than the woman God has given me to love, cherish and care for. We read from Ephesians 5:21-33 about how crazy love is supernatural and expresses itself in action.
I really enjoyed preparing and presenting that message with Melissa. She is one smart lady:-)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Encounter Women's Brunch

This morning while I slept in, my sweetheart was working hard on the last minute details of our second women's brunch. Last year they had approx. 35 in attendance and this year was close to double that. The speaker was Chery Boehm. She has been coaching Melissa for the last two years in light of her being a church planters wife. The ladies used the same location as last year: Bridgewater Banquet & Conf. Center, which did a great job taking care of many of the details so our ladies could connect with the large number of visitors. Melissa read some of the things women wrote on the comment cards and it sounded like they really enjoyed themselves.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

North Central Ohio Pastors Fellowship

This morning I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with a bunch of fellow pastors. We meet once every two months in one of the church buildings. Today was up in Marion, OH. We heard updates on what's going on in a few of the guys lives. It was neat to hear from some of the other church planters that started around the same time Encounter did. There's also a handful of new plants still in the early formation stages. It's exciting to see so many people being on-mission doing Kingdom work. I also got to reconnect with Jeff, Tim, Dustin and Ed, some of my past fellow pastors from Grace Church.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A perfect day for sledding

A three minute drive from our home is Scioto Park, also known as Leather Lips Park. In the summer it's a great place to picnic or have a party under shelter beside the river. In the winter the parks and recreation employees place straw bales up the center and at the bottom of a large hill used for sledding. I went home a little early today so I could take the kids. The conditions were perfect: not too many people, the snow was well packed and it wasn't too cold. Enjoy the video of Rachel and I hitting a big bump.

Snow in Texas

Melissa's long time friend and matron of honor Melanie with her husband Lee Coleman live in Waxahachie, Texas and just got dumped with 14 inches of snow! This is the kind of place with no snow plows or even a plan of how to get rid of it. Why have a plan when it's now over 50 degrees there now. Mr. Sun will take care of it. Here's a pic. of one of their daughters in the front yard.

Lee is the Family Pastor at The Avenue Church in Waxahachie and is a hoot to be with when we visit. Many things in our ministry lives have been similar over the last 15 years, but some of his stories are way better than mine:-)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Labeling all past posts

I've been blogging now since June '08 but only recently began "labeling" the posts under a general topic category. It should have been something I did all along. My bad. so I wanted to give the few of you who are subscribers a heads up that you may be sent a whole lot'a posts as I begin the labeling process.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Perfect day to build a snow fort

Yesterday and early this morning it snowed somewhere between 8-10 inches. Being a lazy Saturday and after sleeping in, having breakfast with my girls and playing a little Wii, Rachel and I decided to build ourselves a snow fort. The snow was perfect for packing and I got out my shovel and began digging. I couldn't have done it without Rachel's help b/c she held up the back of a sled while I dumped snow where the walls and roof were to go. I remember when I was five years old my dad and I (mainly my dad:-) built a snow fort similar to an igloo. This one as you can see is more like a cave. You can't see it, but we used a square Pyrex brownie dish to make a window in one of the side walls.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Tomorrow we start our three week series, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". We will talk about a woman's greatest need - "Love" and a man's greatest need - "Respect". Ephesians 5:33 commands that men are to love their wife as they love themselves and that women are to respect their husbands.