If you have hung out with me for more than one hour, I have probably told you that you or someone close by reminds me of a celebrity. Sometimes it’s the laugh or the eyes and not everyone agrees with me every time. My success rate hasn’t stopped me from making comparisons often and even keeping a list and posting them on this blog.

So here goes the fifth edition. Check out these links to the first, second, third, and fourth edition.

Don’t be offended, just humor me.

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Today at Movement Church we made a big announcement that I am personally very excited about…


Movement Church started in 2012 with a vision to be a movement of people finding their way back to God. In our short history we have seen that vision happen in the lives of individuals and families as God has built a new church in Hilliard, Ohio.

One consistent, foundational prayer among our leadership team has been to create a wake of church plants; not a one time event, but rather a continuous rhythm of planting churches that in turn plant others..

From the advent of Movement Church, we have commissioned 5% of our collected funds along with additional, privately raised money for church planting initiatives. We do this not knowing the time, location, or individual but because we feel called to multiply in the pattern shown in the New Testament.

We are not ready to pull the trigger and plant a church this week, but it is time to take steps and prepare our people and our leadership pipeline. We recently extended an offer to Joel and Morgan Trainer to come on pastoral staff in a one-year, self-supporting church planting resident role.

The Trainers are currently on staff at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri, one of the largest and most influential Christian camps in America with 13 campuses and over 20,000 visitors each year. They are both graduates of Indiana Wesleyan University and have ties to Ohio. Morgan grew up on the north side of Columbus and Joel’s parents live in Vermilion.

The Trainers have watched Movement Church from a distance and are close friends with many members of our original launch team. We are confident in their abilities and calling and trust that God is going to use them in great ways to plant a reproducing church in central Ohio.

The vision of this residency is to provide experience in church planting, portable church, local church ministry, teaching, administration, leading teams, casting vision and fund-raising. No program can perfectly equip and prepare an individual for planting a church but our desire is to impart to them everything we have and know.

The goal of this residency is that we (in partnership with Encounter Church) will be able to confidently commission The Trainers and a launch team of church planters on a three-year plan in the greater Columbus area. The Trainers are currently raising funds for their residency with the goal of joining our team September 1st, 2016.

If you have questions or would like to give toward the Church planting resident fund please contact our office or visit movementcolumbus.com.




That was the official press release that we wrote so that we could use common language in many venues, but I want you to hear from me in a way that is not canned. From my heart I want you to know that I believe in the Trainers so much and I am ecstatic to have them in our network and on our team. Joel is a great leader who I think has the perfect mix of leadership, humility, fun, and an entrepreneurial spirit to plant a church. Morgan is the perfect compliment and has a heart for people and the local church that I look up to. I have known them for years and have watched them in many different stages of life and ministry. I think they are the perfect candidates to help us truly become a church planting movement.

I have seen them step in faith toward this calling with wisdom and humility that confirmed they are the ones God has for us. Please be in prayer for them as they transition from their jobs after a busy summer camp season, sell a house, have a baby, and move to Ohio. They are now family and we want to serve and honor them from day one. At a later date I will ask who wants to drive to Missouri and help them move, but for now just pray for the sale of their house and the fundraising process.



When planting a church was just a dream in my heart, I strategically chose the word movement because I wanted to start something that would not just be a one time local event, but something that would multiply exponentially. Movement Church is the first wave of that dream, and this is the second wave. My prayer is that Movement Church will be able to plant 25 churches in my lifetime and that the churches we plant will plant another 25. At the end of my life and ministry career I want to be able to look back and say that God used us to plant 50 life giving churches in Columbus, Ohio and all over America.

I told someone this dream recently and they said “so you don’t want Movement Church to get any bigger?” and I laughed. Growth and multiplication are not mutually exclusive; in fact I think that continually tuning our church’s heart for multiplication will help us be a thriving church with a vacuum for discipleship and mobilization.

I remember years ago having an interest in church planting and not knowing what the avenue was for that call. If you or someone you know has an interest in church planting I want a residency with Movement Church to be on their radar. We are a certain kind of church and I am a certain kind of leader with a certain vision so I don’t want to pretend to be perfect for everyone or that we have unlimited resources, but we are one option that will be a fit for some in God’s timing. We were planted out of Encounter Church and alongside them want to see a network of like-minded reproducing churches emerge so the prayer is that long-term there will be multiple venues to host residents and church personalities to emulate.

If you want to talk about church planting or think you may have an interest in doing a residency at Movement Church lets talk…. today…. or in 5 years.


Three years ago in 2012, my family moved to Hilliard to plant Movement church. Our launch team started with 16 adults and 5 kids. Some were already situated on the west side and others sold their homes or moved to new apartments to that we could make our homes and have an impact around Hilliard.

Our vision was the same in those early days to be “A movement of people finding their way back to God”, but it started small as we talked about the church we wanted to be and how we would accomplish that. I remember many steps along the way and the excitement that came when the first person gave their life to Jesus, the first person was baptized, and the launch of our first worship experience.

Yesterday came and went without much fanfare, because it’s the middle of the week and the 4th of July is coming up, but I wanted to take a moment and talk about the significance of July 1st, 2015. Movement Church was planted with a 3-year startup plan so we have had many churches and individuals who have supported us through prayer, finances, and volunteer hours to get started and be self-sufficient.

We have seen God add to our numbers, our influence and our body as a church. We have gone from a small group with a big vision to developed group able to stand on our own. It’s time for us to leave the official title of church plant behind. We want to always have the heart and feel of a church plant and be involved in the multiplication of churches, but we are shifting gears.

July 1st, 2015 Movement Church became a self-supporting church. This means that our budget is now entirely dependent on the giving and investment of the people who make up our body. Our direction, the care of our staff, and our future ministry will all be written by those who believe in and are involved in seeing our vision happen.

Movement Church isn’t perfect and we are still a very young group of people. We will grow in size, maturity, and our ability to lead and navigate where our vision takes us, but I am excited for this next phase. We are doing a series as a church this summer in the book of Exodus and I have always loved the parallels to us of watching Israel trust God to provide for them and guide them. No matter our size or the look and feel of our church, we can never lose site of our need to follow God as he builds us into the church He wants.

This fall we are kicking off the school year with a series called ownership. This will be a vision series, but will take us deeper than we have gone as we explore some key areas to our vision like owning our personal faith, Sunday mornings, groups, serving, and outreach. As part of this series we will begin the process to name elders from our group. We will be doing this under the guidance of the elders at Encounter church our sending church. This will be one final step, as we become a self-sufficient, self-leading church.

This step is just a chance to pause and thank God for the way he has provided for us and kept his promises as we stepped out on faith. Our vision doesn’t stop or have en expiration date, so we will continue to work hard to be intentional and contagious to help people find their way back to God.

In the coming month, we will be rolling out some videos and a final prayer letter to celebrate, but I wanted to take a moment and just say a personal thank you on behalf of my family and myself. Thank you to each person and church who has prayed for us, invested in us, given time, donated money and been apart of the startup of Movement Church. I pray that you see the exponential value in you young kingdom minded investment and that the example of Movement Church gives you an enthusiasm for a role in starting more new churches.

Movement Church, I love you! I am grateful for each one of you from the first people on the launch team to those who have recently found their church home. The best is yet to come and I am excited to see God do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.


Movement Church,

I wanted to write you a letter and let you know I am so proud of what God did through you on Easter Sunday as we celebrated life in Jesus.


We had a simple vision to see our normal church numbers double and to see every person bring a friend. Not JUST because numbers are important, but because each one of those numbers represents a person that you have relationship who needs to know the gospel.

We equipped you with flyer invites and sent one to every home in Hilliard and prayerfully gave it to God.

Sunday we had 296 people!!!

God far exceeded our expectations and gave us a vision for the church He wants us to be and where we can go as we develop a heart for our city.

Just two Easters ago, we were launching publically and look what God has done in a few short years.

Sunday was a success for all of our volunteer teams.

For the creative arts team, you made many upgrades and seamlessly communicated the gospel through our worship experience to the most adults we have ever stuffed in a room!

Movement Kids handled the biggest numbers they’ve ever seen with new volunteers, seamless check-in, and some creative take homes to create memories for every kid.

First Impressions made an environment that was able to handle the large crowds and lines and still let them enjoy our photo booth (pictures on our church Facebook), grab some coffee, and maybe even get a family pic with Elsa and Captain America. We had most VIP cards ever filled out on a Sunday. So thank you for making guests feel welcome and giving them a vision for who we are by helping them find a seat and feel comfortable in every way.

As a leader and your pastor, I love knowing that this morning had some bells and whistles and hype around it but it was anchored in the gospel. Every person in attendance heard the gospel. I love knowing all the conversations that happened before, during, and after in your lives.

Thank you for responding and inviting your friends. Thank you for believing in our vision. Thank you for giving and volunteering your time for setup and to volunteer and make this day happen. I know that God is pleased with your hearts and your sacrifice and I am proud to be apart of this family.


10 things I am excited about at Movement Church right now

1. NEW LIFE – We have recently had some close friends in our Movement group give their lives to Jesus. Some we have lifted up in prayer for two years. I get giddy thinking about their testimonies being shared on Sunday and celebrating new life in Jesus.
2. LARGEST ATTENDANCE EVER – This week we had 171 people attend Movement Church. That’s not gigantic and everything isn’t just about flashing numbers, but I am excited about the church God has slowly built in less than two years. “Every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story matters to God”.
3. NEW ENERGY – As we have recently had an influx of new people it is so exciting to get to meet them and their families and see their gifts being fused into our body. I love seeing the gifts and passions of God’s people.
4. 7 HEALTHY GROUPS – We recently trimmed back from 9 Movement groups to 7. This was necessary pruning and I am really excited about the result. I believe that every one of those groups could potentially multiply in the fall and has a healthy leadership structure. Multiplication gets me excited.
5. LEADERSHIP COMMUNITY – We have one of our all leader gatherings coming up in March. Its not going to be “normal” and we are using this even to take our leaders to the next level as we look for Easter to be a next level season for us.
6. EASTER RAMP UP – We have some great things planned for Easter. Some creative things, some logistic things, some tech things, but all done in the name of Jesus. We want this day to be a big deal because Jesus giving us life is a big deal. We had the best most productive meeting in church history last week and it was all about Easter and using this day to make Jesus famous.
7. MOVEMENT WORSHIP’S FIRST ALBUM – Movement Worship is releasing their album next Sunday. It represents what God has built at our church and is soundtrack of the last year. I am so excited for our people to have something to encourage them in worship throughout the week. I am so proud of our team and especially the work that Josh Howard and Jeremy Noland their team put into this.
8. BAPTISMS – We have a baptism service coming up on February 22nd and it looks like it will be the biggest one we have ever done. We have seen new life in Jesus and I am just as excited to see people taking steps in their faith in obedience.
9. APPRENTICESHIP – We try to apprentice everything we do and multiply our impact so that we can develop our people and the gifts God has given them and so we can plant churches long term. Today we saw some great teaching and worship leading and I love thinking that these young leaders are not only getting experience but are so gifted and want to grow.
10. HAITI – We have had a church-to-church partnership in Haiti for over a year now. As a young church still figuring out many things we have had to grow into this and have been in transition with changing leaders in Haiti. We have three nurses going on a trip with Grace Fellowship in February to learn first hand how we can do medical missions trips and have just been re-partnered with a great pastor and wife. My heart loves Haiti and I am excited about us being able to have a consistent, sustainable impact there through a local church that we get to help grow.


I’ve had people ask me how our adoption is going, what’s up next, how fundraising is going, why we are still raising funds and many other questions so I wanted to put all those thoughts in one spot and give an adoption update to our friends and family.

The process is going quickly and very smooth. It helps when you have been through it all before. Things like writing a 12 page narrative on questions about your family, upbringing and parenting make more sense the second time and the task is not as daunting. As far as a checklist goes, we submitted our application to our agency, had our background checks and fingerprints done, did our online education classes, had a fire inspection of our home, and have done round one of our in-home study with a social worker. We have one more visit with the social worker and we should be completely done with our end of the preparation. Even though we are only 95% done with this portion we are already in the cue of people who are contacted about potential matches.

The total needed for our adoption is $21,000 and we hope to raise $15,000 of that. We did a gofundme campaign for $10,000 of that and that was successful and came together very quickly. God showed himself in some big ways through friends, family, acquaintances, and even some people we have never met. We are blessed to have people around us who believe in our heart for adoption and want to help us add to our family.

We are still raising funds, because we hope to raise another $5,000 so we can put as little burden on our finances as possible. Last time we only raised $7,000 of $19,000 (the price has gone up) and while we saved and did our part we would like to avoid dipping into savings since we will have a family of 6 and the ongoing needs on the other side of this adoption.

I believed we could raise 10k with gofundme but I didn’t want to just ask for handouts and put all our eggs in one basket. We had some friends recommend that we do a 5k and we thought it would be a great way to give people a fun event that they could bring friends, family, and co-workers to, that might not even know us and also give them some return on investment. On October 25th we are sponsoring the Heart 4 Adoption 5k in Hilliard at YMCA. You can click on that link to sign up and get all the info. We have contracted a legit racing company so you will have a first class racing experience, be timed, and we have awards and prizes too.
We have had tons of people say they are going to do it, but I haven’t wanted to shamelessly promote it like I probably should and sign ups are slow. If you are interested or already know you are going to participate, can I ask you to sign up today? This is my nice way of asking if you are going to start the wheels in motion so that this thing can snowball. Planning is easier knowing some numbers and there is a deadline for the free t-shirt that comes with registration.

This event should be the thing that takes us across the finish line of the fundraising process and gets us one step closer to hopefully having a baby in the next 6 months. Go sign up right now….please. Spread the word, spread the urgency and if you are planning on joining us put your name down and commit to what we are trying to do.

Thanks for loving our family and helping us walk this journey.


We are asking anyone who wants to invest in us as a family to donate to our adoption fund. Our goal is to raise $10,000 (of the $21,000 total) as soon as possible so that we can be matched with a baby this fall. If every Facebook friend gives $5 we will meet our goal.


4 years ago we wrote this blog entry outlining our heart for adoption and our plan to start the process. We believe that God has a HEART FOR ADOPTION and we want our family to express His heart. With the help of our friends, family, and network of people we were gifted $7,000 that helped us adopt Mercy.

Here is the entry of Mercy’s adoption story and how God brought that day together. You can also read Kristin’s account of the finances and details here. If you haven’t seen a picture of Mercy yet, you clearly don’t follow me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.

I always believed we would adopt again but we wanted to be patient and take it one child at a time and make sure we had clarity as our family changed. In the last two years we have moved, changed jobs, and planted a church. As life has settled down and Mercy has gotten older we have started to have the conversations and pray about this and seek the counsel of close friends and mentors. We know that God wants to add to our family one more time through adoption.


We will again be working with the same organization – Adoption Link. We have already sent in our money and initiated the first phase of background checks and being re-approved. This will take a few months while our books are simultaneously shown to birth moms.


Please pray for us. We knew this before the last time and we know it even more now, adoption is a road with many twists and turns and we want to trust God as he writes this story.

The second major way our friends and family can be involved is in the fundraising process. Even after the thousands of dollars we have already invested this year, the remaining costs are estimated around $19,000.

We thought it would be neat to again leverage our personal network in the most common way it exists: Social Media. Our idea is to ask all of our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram friends to personally donate $5 to our adoption fund. We are also continuing to save our own money and put into this account every month. You may be reading this and not have Facebook, or you may want to give more than $5 and that’s ok too. We just think it will be great to see God use our friends and family who want to invest in a very practical, tangible way.

We are collecting the money through a gofundme page that we have set up. You can access the site here and even donate with a credit card.


Thanks for taking the time to read this and hear our dream. Thank you to those who walked with us as our family grew through adoption last time. If you have any other questions, or want to contact us personally, we would love to talk more and share our hearts.


Mark, Kristin, Malachi, Canaan, and Mercy Artrip