MOVEMENT CHURCH LAUNCH TEAM WORLD TOUR: COVENANT CHURCH

Movement Church is a new church plant, so we are under no impression that we have mastered this church thing.  In our formative launch team meeting phase we have dedicated one weekend a month to visiting churches and learning from them.  Some of them are financial partner churches, while others are area church plants that we respect.  I thought I would take the time to re-cap our times with these churches and share some highlights and things that blessed our team.

  • This past Sunday, we took our team to Covenant Church in Grove City, Ohio.
  • That church was planted and is pastored by my dear friend Travis Davenport who I have known since middle school.
  • Sometime I will dig up some pictures or videos of us in high school, but for now I want to keep my job.
  • My recap and experience of this visit will be way different because more than all the others I have seen inside the engine and know their story.  Travis and his family used to stay at our house in Powell when they would come down and scout the area. I actually told him Hilliard would be a great place to plant. I am not being critical but feel I can be a little more free in describing a church that I consider family.
  • Travis had a launch team that started moving to Grove City in January of 2010 and the church launched in June of that year.
  • I visited Covenant in August of 201 and they have come a long way.
  • They did what I would consider a parachute drop with a team so they have had to find their place in Columbus.
  • 3 years and 4 locations later they have really hit their stride this fall.
  • Hundreds of people most from young families now call Covenant their home.
  • It’s funny because as I took in Covenant church and debriefed with Travis about what they do I realized most churches have holes. Its not that they don’t do things great, but most churches have a gaping hole where something is not going well or leaves a bad taste in someone’s mouth.
  • Simply put Covenant Church doesn’t have any major holes.  Are there things they could do better? Of course, and Travis and the team seem to be aware of those and working on them, but the consensus I got from our team was that they are solid all the way around.
  • They are in a great location at the Rave Cinema off of Stringtown and Buckeye Parkway.
  • First impressions were great including an easy to navigate first time experience and a team eager to help our team.  As many places they have borrowed some elements from Elevations VIP experience because they are good and they work.
  • We felt honored as a host showed us around and helped us check our kids in.
  • The children’s areas were spacious and I felt good about dropping ours off.  The rooms let me know my kids would have fun and be cared for and I can’t say that about every place.
  • As with any theatre church at times looking down to the floor is a little weird and I wondered if they should do more staging or backdrop type stuff but those things would only cut down on the in house projector and screen they have access to. Biggest church screen I have seen outside of Granger Church.
  • The tech wasn’t perfect as they are using new stuff for a new location. Mics cut out, their were hums, and at times the mix of vocals and just overall volume wasn’t perfect but it was coming out of such an impressive in house system it was far above an average church experience.
  • Their worship was solid and they definitely have a look, feel, and culture they are going for. I think they are slightly ahead of their time in Grove City and what your average person (even young family) is looking for so it will only connect even more in the coming 2-3 years.
  • I helped them find their worship leader and am still waiting on my head hunter check.
  • Seth and Travis work well transitioning from hosting, to welcome, to music, offering, and teaching. They are both musical and seem to work together as well as any pastor/worship leader team we have visited.
  • Our team loved Travis’ teaching. I can’t really judge it fair as I wouldn’t be impressed by anything he does. Its just the reality of having spent so much time with someone. I take for granted that he is funny or able to tackle tough subjects with grace and truth, but my team was very impressed and blessed by his time in Matthew 7.
  • It was fun to visit a friend and see what he does before we get into launch phase and never look back. Not sure the next time I will get to be in his church with him but it was fun to celebrate what God is doing.
  • At the end of the service they called our whole team up and prayed over us and celebrated that we are part of the same family and Kingdom. Love their heart for church planting and the gospel.
  • SIDEBAR: Courtesy of my module I teach for The National Institute and Grace College and this launch team world tour I have crossed many locations of my list of places I want to see in greater Columbus.  I still have a few more (Veritas, Scarlet City Church, Harvest Bible chapel, One Church, Life Community Lifepoint Church, Cypress Wesleyan, and maybe a few more).
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I NOW HAVE THREE KIDS – MIND DUMP

It’s been a while. The only way I can get back in the game is with a good ole fashioned Mind Dump.

  • Someone asked me how life was the other day and I was telling them how you just kind of go into survival mode when you add a family member.  We have gotten better each time, but its weird knowing that I am not as good of a husband, dad, or pastor, or friend as I was a few weeks ago. The even better part is we love our daughter so the adjustment is totally worth it.
  • I am someone who tries to remember the moments that God answers prayers and I have a long list in my life. I will not forget God blessing us with Mercy in his timing and growing us through the journey of adoption that he put on our hearts.
  • I feel like I am an even bigger fan of adoption than before if that is possible. I have so many friends and family in process to adopt right now and have had so many conversations in the last few weeks. I pray for them all constantly.
  • Things at Movement Church are so great right now. I would be lying if I said we weren’t still in the honeymoon phase, but that doesn’t mean I should appreciate all the good stuff.
  • So proud of our coaches. We had a meeting the other night and I am looking around the table at people who could and should be on staff at big churches getting paid to do what they do.  We have a great team of people who I know are doing to build teams and develop people.
  • Spent some time talking with the team about influence.  It’s the definition of leadership and I want them to use it in a great way to accomplish our vision in their teams.
  • I’m not sure why, but I have been asked to speak at more things in the last 4 months than my almost my entire ministry career combined. I’m excited to continue to develop as a speaker and be in front of new groups of people.
  • Speaking of speaking, I am really getting addicted to teaching at Movement. We have been laying so many foundational bricks and I just now feel like I can put my head up and see where we are going. I am almost hyper to teach on December 2nd and 9th.
  • I am excited to get some new clothes for Christmas. I know that is very American and shallow, but it’s the truth. When you go from established church to church planting your wardrobe changes and I need to play catch up.  I don’t have enough trendy shirts with eagles and crosses on the shouldersJ
  • I stumbled into No shave November and I guess I am participating? I don’t want to commit so in case I shave I am not a quitter, but an over-achiever no one expected anything from.

MOVEMENT CHURCH LAUNCH TEAM WORLD TOUR: NEW ALBANY CHURCH

Movement Church is a new church plant, so we are under no impression that we have mastered this church thing.  In our formative launch team meeting phase we have dedicated one weekend a month to visiting churches and learn from them.  Some of them are financial partner churches, while others are area church plants that we respect.  I thought I would take the time to re-cap our times with these churches and share some highlights and things that blessed our team.

This past Sunday we were busy as a team and put in some miles as we visited two churches. We visited Rock City Church for their 9 am service and New Albany Church for their 11:15 am service.  Today I thought I would give some thoughts and highlights from our time at New Albany Church.

  • New Albany Church is just a few years old but already tapped into the DNA of the city of New Albany.
  • They are around 1,000 people, have 2 services, and 16 staff members.
  • I’m a nerd who loves churches, church planting, and always love to know what is going on in Columbus.
  • A few years ago I heard of something big brewing in New Albany and was even told the pastor had been at a Grace College for a year while I was.
  • Our worship leader Josh Howard was a friend with some of their guys including their worship guy Travis so I have sought them out to learn from them.
  • They have been very handed and blessed us with advice, access, and face time.
  • Their service Sunday was a fun one to take our team to because I think they will have some overlapping DNA with us.
  • They are portable but do many things with tech and atmosphere to make their building their own.
  • They use culture from branding, series elements, and music to cue up a service well.
  • They opened up with a cover of Thriller and a guy who danced like Michael Jackson….come on that is sweet and you know it.
  • Their band is so tight every time I hear them and you can tell they have excellent musicians and are lead well.
  • The sermon for the day was done in a conversational way at a table but also featured two people on stage as props so it wasn’t normal and kept the interest of the room well.
  • New Albany is one of those places that have such a good thing going and such a good facility it makes you wonder why churches even own buildings.
  • Great visit, great church for our team to see.

MOVEMENT CHURCH LAUNCH TEAM WORLD TOUR: ROCK CITY CHURCH

Movement Church is a new church plant, so we are under no impression that we have mastered this church thing.  In our formative launch team meeting phase we have dedicated one weekend a month to visiting churches and learn from them.  Some of them are financial partner churches, while others are area church plants that we respect.  I thought I would take the time to re-cap our times with these churches and share some highlights and things that blessed our team.

This past Sunday we were busy as a team and put in some miles as we visited two churches. We visited Rock City Church for their 9 am service and New Albany Church for their 11:15 am service.  Today I thought I would give some thoughts and highlights from our time at Rock City.

  • Rock City church just launched 18 months ago.
  • They launched large and haven’t looked back yet as they are already at 900 people and 3 services.
  • They meet in a movie theatre which has pluses and minuses like any facility.
  • We were greeted at the door, inside the door, in the lobby and at children’s check in.
  • My wife said it was the second best (to Elevation Church) children’s check in she has gone through in the last 4 years of parenting and I would say we have been to a good number of churches.
  • We met the children’s overseers and talked and checked things out. I think they have an excellent team, lots of energy and my kids had fun.
  • Theatre style is set up to have you looking at the screen which is always bigger than any other church, but can make it tough to see the floor or stage area.
  • Their band was very good and even featured a few different song leaders.
  • Their lead pastor still plays in the band, leads worship and teaches. I hope they are paying that guy well J
  • The chairs were so comfortable I saw some of their own people fall asleep and heard some of ours were nodding off.
  • I mentioned the screens in theatres are always impressive. They didn’t use the build in projector, but they still used a portion of the screen that was 15×30 or something crazy big.
  • Everything that went on the screen from slides to the sermon bumper was excellent.

At the end of the service I didn’t know they were going to do this but they asked us to stand and prayed for our team. I had briefly talked to Aaron the executive guy, but hadn’t and still haven’t met Chad their lead guy. That was huge for me and shows the heart of their leadership. They are kingdom minded and remember the phase we were in just a short while back.

LETTING GOD’S WORD SPEAK INTO YOUR LIFE AND EXPERIENCES

I know this what I’m about to say isn’t a new concept. I am sure there have been no less than 10 million sermons, blog posts, and books about it already, but I just want to say this because it has been on my heart through conversations I have recently had and things I have seen over my years in ministry.

The Bible is God’s word to us.  It is God-breathed and inspired.  God always speaks to us through His word. He speaks at life, love, and any other topic, motive, or struggle you can think of.  If you’ve thought it, the Bible references it and that means that God has something to speak into your life through His word.

It still amazes me when people will say something contrary to the consistent messages in the Bible and than saw its what God is telling them. Here are a few examples…

Last night I had a conversation and my friend was telling me that someone had recently told him “I’ve prayed about it and I just feel like God is telling me to leave my wife and go start something new and be happy with this other girl”.  I am not one to put God in a box, but let me just tell you right now that God is not telling you anything like that. I don’t even need to get into all the ins and outs of the “is divorce ok?” discussion. I will just simply say that you will not find any passage in the Bible that says to take your covenant lightly that you made before God, your friends and family and your wife, and to already have a new girlfriend lined up when you leave your wife. That is not consistent with his word.

Another favorite of mine is the family excuse. I had someone tell me “We’ve been so busy with soccer games and practices that we just need to stay home from church some nights so we can be together as a family”.  Again, not to put God in a box, but all through His word he tells us that the local church is His bride. If you love someone you also love what they love. If you love God you will love and value His church.   I don’t doubt that your family needs to slow down, or that you need down time, but its probably soccer you need to cut so you can attend church together as a family.

The last example of this I heard the other day was in reference to someone being challenged to share their faith by a spiritual leader.  This person said that they wouldn’t share their faith because it was expected but they only did this when the Holy Spirit prompted them. I understand that you could read that think its ok because this person wasn’t to live Spirit lead, but they that wasn’t the state of their heart. I wanted to ask them what they thought of the multiple times in scripture where we are told to share our faith or take light to the world.

God does speak to people, every Christ follower has been given the Holy Spirit to indwell them and illuminate things to them as they live a Christ-filled life. I am not saying that we are not lead by the Holy Spirit, I am only saying that often people title the desires of their heart and the things they want to do as the work of God even when it is contradictory to His inspired consistent word He has given us.

Is God asking you to do something through His word that He has given us and you are ignoring it?