Friday, October 28, 2011

Fun time Hosting Real Life

Last night was a blast hosting Real Life down at OSU! Our congregation did a great job making dozens of cookies and veggie trays for us to offer the students as they entered Independence Hall.

As you can see, Brutus the Buckeye showed up to join in the fun:-) Karen Arena and Angie Kelly couldn't help themselves. I know their husbands must be jealeous that Brutus hugged their wives.
Even my good buddy, Bacho Bordjadze, CRU's director at OSU, and I got a pic with Brutus.
Eleven of us from Encounter were there greeting at the doors and I was able to get up in front of the students to tell them a little about our church plant.

I also challenged Bacho to an arm wrestling contest...he won and then I gave him a gift. Yesterday was his birthday:-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Preaching through the book of Daniel

It's been a while since I mentioned what we're going through on Sunday mornings. Yesterday 10/23) I taught through chapter nine of Daniel. It was about how Daniel prayed earnestly to God for himself and Israel b/c of their sins against Him. The second half of the chapter deals with the future prophecy of 70 weeks laid out for Israel. B/c I didn't have time to speak on it, I provided two links to short teachings on the subject. Here they are:
John MacArthur -
Chuck Missler -

This coming Sunday is the seventh and final message in the series on chapters 10-12.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guess What's In My Pocket Right Now

From day one of our church plant we have talked about and dreamed of sending out a church plant from Encounter.

Not surprising, the most asked question I've had in the almost three years we've had services is, "What's your timeline on land and a building?" Here's the thing; it's certainly not that I think owning land and a building is've got to have something to meet in! But we at Encounter just like the flexiblity renting allows us and the ability to be extra generous with the funds that are given by our people.
Again, from day one of having services (Feb. 1/09) we have laid aside 5% of total offerings for a future church plant. The amount as of September 30 is $27,400.00.
So what's in my pocket...a check for $10,000.00 to add to Encounter's future church plant!
Praise the Lord for Kingdom minded people!

Elder / Leader Retreat Update

This past weekend was a bonding time for Encounter's leadership. Once a year all our elders & wives, small group leaders and their wives, ministry coaches and their spouses and all ministry apprentices gather to look back at the past year and look ahead to the year to come.
It was a time of great camaraderie and laughter for the team as we ate sweet and salty snacks together.
First up on Friday night was hearing a report from each ministry coach about their ministry wins, things we could pray for and what they're dreaming about for 2012. After each one shared I asked if people had any questions or words of encouragement for the coach. I took about 10 minutes to remind the team that we serve a good King whose Kingdom is worth looking forward to and read out of Matthew 6:31-34. Then we went over church financials and had an open Q & A time with the elders.
We ended Friday night with a good time of prayer and then some of us stayed later to play Encounter's unofficial cult game: Settlers of Catan. A few of us even slept over b/c we were meeting at 9:00am the next day anyway. (only a few people teased me about wearing the same shirt:-)
Saturday was our time to look back over 2011's calendar and begin planning 2012's calendar of events. Then we spoke a little about the survey we had given to the congregation back in the Spring and that we would like to continue evaluating how we are doing in living out our core values and the metrics we put in place to do so.
The morning ended with a short update on how the elder in-home visits have been going and that Encounter is still more than ever committed to sending out a group of people to plant a church in the near future.
Our time ended with an extended time of prayer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dublin Pastor's Gathering and Tutoring

Today I had the opportunity to hang with about a dozen pastors that shepherd congregations all over Dublin. We got together to share what is working to reach people for Christ and offer resourses to each other.
After my time with the pastors I headed over to Wright Elementary School to read with my second grader. There are five of us from Encounter that are spending our Wednesday lunch hours with these students who need a little help with their reading skills. The four of us in the pic are me, Jean Griffith, Elizabeth Preininger and Greg Blatt. Tanya Heath had left just before we took the picture.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Looking forward to our Elder / Leader Retreat

Once a year our elders and their wives, our ministry coaches and their apprentices, our small group leaders and their apprentices get together to connect, pray, dream and plan for the next year.
We also look back on the past year weighing what we thought was good and what we might discontinue.
I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. It's this Friday night and Saturday morning.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hang'n with my NewThing buds

I'm up in Naperville, Ill. with one of Encounter's elders, Rob Dubois, @ the NewThing lead pastor gathering. This pic is of Dave Fergusen, Lead Pastor of Community Christian Church, welcoming us and setting the tone for our gathering. We get together twice a year to connect relationally, re-align ourselves with the mission of multiplying churches and to meet in our smaller networks for friendship and accountability. There are six other churches in my network. They are as far away as California and as close as Cleveland. Monthly we have a conference call to celebrate ministry wins and to pray for struggles we're going through.
It was Rob's first time to be around these folks and I think it was a really great experience for him. The only elder left to get up here is Luke Fields. Watchout Luke, I'm coming after you:-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Becoming a US citizen

Today, after a long application process, I became a citizen of the United States of America. I've lived in the US for a total of 19 1/2 years and over the years I've had a student visa, a religious workers visa and a 10 year permanent resident card (green card) that expires on Oct. 11/11. I didn't mean to cut it this close but the timing is perfect. I began the application process in May of this year.

I swore allegiance to the US today but am grateful I did not have to give up my Canadian passport, essentially keeping my Canadian citizenship.

I'm so glad the family showed up to see it happen and my buddy Mark Artrip too. By the way, the baby in his arms is the little girl Ellie that Melissa watches.