Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Service

I must tell you that when I walked into the school this morning and saw the seven members of the worship band practicing I was blown away! That's the most people we've ever had leading on a Sunday morning. I feel that our worship has been led very well by Dalan Zartman, our worship & creative arts coach and also by Rob Dubois his apprentice. But these two are now taking it to another whole level. They are beginning pass on the leading to other faithful men and women and it's exciting to me that the whole congregation gets to witness it. They are living out our core value MULTIPLY, which I spoke about this morning. You can also see Chrissy Jacobs hosting the service and Greg Blatt giving a testimony about his trip to Bulgaria with his sister to rescue a little gal from an orphanage. All together it was a powerful morning.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our core value - MULTIPLY

Tomorrow I'm playing this video in our service to remind our people of the partnership we have with the NewThing Network and to help emphasize the mission we have to see a church born out of Encounter someday.

New Believers
New Leaders
New Churches

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Privileged to teach

This morning I had the privilege of teaching just over 40 Grace College students in the basement of our mother church.
My good friend Mark Artrip asked if I could come and be a guest lecturer and speak on the topic of biblical preaching. I really enjoyed doing it. Many of the students are wanting to go into full time ministry and asked many questions.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My 40th Birthday

Wow! She really did it! My wife totally hood-winked me.
Last Friday night, January 14th was the best party I've ever been too. Melissa invited everyone from Encounter Church, some staff and members from Grace Church, our mother church, our next door and across the street neighbors and my parents from Canada.
How did she do it? Well... Melissa and I have long had a rule in our relationship that we can only lie to each other when it's for the benefit of the other person. (i.e. when I surprised her for our 10 year anniversary with a cruise and had monies slowly taken out of my paycheck for eight months. She does our finances so it was hard to get around her:-).
She kept telling me she was behind the eight ball and was going to do something after my actual birth date. She said it enough times that I really believed her.
The problem with that was that I planned to go on what has been coined as the, "Sean Spoelstra Diet", starting at midnight of my birthday. What's the "Sean Spoelstra Diet" you ask? a nutshell I'm not having any pop, candy, dessert or eating after 8:00pm for a year. Crazy, I know. I'm the guy who's always got candy on him and pop, dessert and eating after 8pm are my specialty. That's why it's gotta stop. See the picture? I'm the candy man:-)
Anyway the party was a blast.My great friend Kyle Mielke out did himself by being the crazy game show host for the Family Feud, with me as the topic. Apparently survey questions had been sent out to dozens of people months ago.
The prize for the winning team got to give me a present...what I didn't know was that present was a cream pie to the face!!! That's Kyle's wife Kristi smashing that pie into my face. She was quick to volunteer for the job. I told her a few days later that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. hehe.
I loved it all. I felt very appreciated and my wife can stop lying to me now:-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Leadership Community - Celebrate

This Saturday, January 15th is the first Leadership Community of the new year. As elders we reviewed last years LC's and decided to stream line our time with leaders into four specific time together in 2011. Each will emphasis one of our four core values.
This first one we'll talk about the leader and our core value CELEBRATE. I've asked my good friend and past church planting coach, Clancy Cruise to be our guest speaker. He is the lead pastor at our sister church Marysville Grace.
We will worship for 10-15mins, our elders have some things to share about a survey that's coming to the congregation, Clancy will speak and then we'll pray in groups. We finish with specific ministry groups gathering to connect, train, share best practices and pray.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Awesome morning service

I mentioned last entry that Dalan Zartman would be preaching on Sunday, January 9th. I gotta tell you, the service was something really special. I can say that because I played virtually no role in it. It started out with Dalan, Rob, Sydney, Dylan and Evan leading us all in worship. I'm so grateful for that team and others who also take part in worship and creative arts. It's such a vital part of the morning. Then Pat Kearney walked us through some announcements, the offering and introduced Lee Gentry. Lee was gave a testimony about what he was celebrating from 2010. He shared about having a brain tumor and how God, his wife Gayle, the kids and friends helped him walk through this trial. He told us that on Monday he would be having an MRI and we prayed for him. (since I'm finishing this entry a few days later I can tell you the MRI came back clear:-). I'm sure you will agree if you listen to the message, but God really used Dalan in the life of the people who were in the service last week. What's amazing to me is that it was just the second time he's preached...ever. The first time was last January on the same subject - Celebrate. It's the first of our four core values at Encounter and I figured the worship and creative arts coach should be the one giving the message:-). Dalan ended the message by giving everyone in the room the opportunity to come up to the front and place a Post It note on the cross. He instructed us to write down things that were "clouds" blocking our relationship with God and then take a knee and pray to the Lord asking for the strength to overcome these clouds. Most of the room responded and it was a very, very powerful moment.
I praise the Lord for men like Dalan who are transparent about their faults and who are capable of leading people and communicating God's truths.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dalan Zartman is preaching this Sunday

I had breakfast this morning with my buddy Dalan Zartman. He's Encounter's worship & creative arts coach and is one of my best friends.
As is the custom, January is the month we re-teach through our core values as a church. Last year Dalan preached about celebrate and this Sunday he's doing it again. I'm excited to hear what God's been teaching him through the Word.