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 on October 7th we visited Marysville Grace.  They are like a big brother church for us in many ways since they were planted out of Grace Church (where I was the student pastor for 7 years) in 2003 and they also were a partner for Encounter Church (our sending church).

As I mentioned, Marysville Grace was planted 9 years ago and has been a portable church meeting in an elementary until they moved into their first permanent location this past July.

Not only are they a financial partner, but also they have invested in other ways.  Because they have the DNA of a plant and until recently were portable it has been natural for them to give advice.  As they have moved into their new building they even ordered some equipment they didn’t need so they could gift us equipment along the way.  Their leaders have even invested in us, as I have known their lead pastor Clancy for a long time and greatly respect him.

Sunday we got to take our entire team up for their services.  They honored us in such a huge way that I still smile talking about it.  Clancy interviewed me and made that the sermon for the day so we could have significant time to really talk about our vision, who we are, and who what we want Movement Church to look like.  At the end of the service they made the application for the day two things…

1)    Committing to pray for Movement Church once a week for one year

2)    Volunteering to host a car and help us with Trunk or Treat this Halloween.

Those are not small things and I can’t even tell you the number of hands that indicated they would pray for us. I may or may not have had a tear in the corner of my eyeJ

The blessings didn’t stop there though, they also didn’t want to take us off of our meeting schedule so they set up a room where they fed our entire team for free, gave us time to meet and watched our kids so we could. They went way above and beyond anything that they had to do and were selfless. I challenged our team to remember the legacy of Marysville Grace and the way that they are giving themselves to multiply the kingdom of God through us. Not because it is easy or convenient but because it’s the right thing to do. I want to honor their investment and pay it forward into many other churches.

One of the biggest blessings to me already in this journey has been seeing our family of churches surround us and take care of us. They have given us everything from money, to advice, to accountability, to resources, and love. We are a blessed church because of the churches investing in us.



Movement Church is a new church plant, so we are under no impression that we have mastered this portable 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.

On Sunday September 30th we visited Grace Fellowship in Pickerington.  They are a thriving church that recently sold there building after maximizing it with 4 services and is in process of building a new one. In the meantime they became portable and meet at Pickerington Central High School.  They were already a church that we respected and were a financial partner of ours so the fact that they went portable is only an extra blessing as they can help us even more.

Our team had the chance to be there early for setup before first service and see things get put in their places and get to know the building.  We sat through first service as a team so we could see what a worship experience looked like and than walked the halls and watched first impressions, children’s ministry, and tech in action during second service.

There have been many ways they have blessed us but here is the one I will camp on – As a staff team they have been 100% accessible to our entire launch team on Sundays, by email, by phone, and by personal appt.


1)    I reached out to Keith Minier last year and basically said I respect you, I would love if Movement could end up like your church and I intend to start bothering you with a lot of questions and he hasn’t flinched once. He has been gracious, humble, wise, transparent and a great guy to lean on.

2)    Their children’s director Erica was telling me last spring that she wanted to be a resource and blessing to our children’s director when and if we even found one.  When Mindy took the job and contacted her Erica was not just up for meeting but was an encyclopedia and really put wind in Mindy’s sail and gave her confidence, encouragement, and a ton of ideas and troubleshooting help. That is priceless.

3)    Grace Fellowship has a dude named Charlie who does their tech. I don’t know what his title is but it might be Super Master of all things. He is the perfect marriage of tech, media, and ministry. He has been so gracious in offering advice and even taking the time to cut down everything he does for their services into snippets so it can also bless us in fundraising and promotion. He also gave our team super in-depth tours and explanations of what they do, why they do it, how we can adapt it, and other ideas that could also save money.  At one point he had roughly 10 guys on our team around him in a semi-circle drooling as he explained his use of Apple TV’s all over the video that were connected to various TV’s and ipads.  Here are a couple videos that Charlie has made available to us. A video of Pastor Keith Minier praying for us in second service.

and a video interview they did of us last spring

4)    Drew Waggoner has helped our team out with first impressions and all the connection stuff that bridges the gap from Sunday morning to groups, serving, and follow up. We picked the brains of their first impressions team for a solid hour because what they do is solid.

One of the biggest blessings to me already in this journey has been seeing our family of churches surround us and take care of us. They have given us everything from money, to advice, to accountability, to resources, and love. We are a blessed church because of the churches investing in us.


HSM has Wednesday night worship as our first step.  Our Grace (small) groups are step two and our discipleship philosophy.  Jim Heffner oversees all those groups, so it seems anymore my biggest involvement is that I happen to be married to one of the girls group leaders.  Kristin’s group started tonight and as she came home and told me the makeup of the night (minus the confidential details no leader should ever share) I was really impressed and asked her to write a guest blog post. I hope this can help someone who reads it and I think I will send it to our adult staff too.


I am in no way an expert Grace Group leader and most of the time I feel I am not sure what I am doing! I do find that making a “lesson plan” helps me to stay on topic and organized so that Grace Group runs smooth and orderly. Otherwise it’s easy to forget important discussion questions or to get off topic.

We had our first group of the year tonight and it was very exciting! I thought I would blog about what was talked about, planned out and laid in front of my students for this year.  I am leading with Katie Rochte this year and it will be great. She brings a fresh perspective as a college student and the girls really love her!

1-    To start we went around the circle and said name, grade and school (each girl had to say everyone else’s name as well as their own). We had a few new girls join so this is an easy icebreaker.

2-    Before I started talking about our vision I told the girls that I was going to ask an important question at the end and I wanted to give them a good hour to come up with an answer so I posed the question at this time: “ what is one thing you want to be held accountable to this group for. We will ask each other publicly every week”

3-    I transitioned into what I call “the business meeting time”.  Here are the first items of business:

  • who is Grace Group for?- GG’s are for Wednesday night HSM attendees who have a relationship with Christ and want to continue growing in their faith. They are not for first time visitors or someone who is not a Christian (we want those students plugged into Wednesday nights first and then after they accept Christ we point them to a GG where they can grow).
  • Why do we have Grace Groups? So we can share life together, grow in our faith, and hold each other accountable in our walk with Christ.
  • Do I need to commit? Yep! I ask that the girls get their homework done and plan their outside activities at other times than 6:30-8:30 on Sundays. They need to commit for the sake of their own personal growth as well as keeping the intimacy created by everyone being there and caring about each other.

4-    The next order of business is talking about the vision of GG. There are four main areas that we want to emphasize and practice every week:

1)    Caring relationships- this happens at the very beginning when everyone arrives and we hang out in the kitchen, eat snacks and catch up with each other

2)    Biblical truth- we are doing a DVD series on Fransis Chan’s book Crazy Love. We will watch the short chapter clip each week and talk through discussion questions at the end.

3)    Accountability- We will all talk about our personal time we have spent in the Bible that week and the things that God is teaching us.  We will also talk through the specific things each girl mentioned as a struggle that needs accountability.

4)    Prayer- simply put we will pray for each other. This may happen in pairs some weeks or corporately. We also would like to have a chair sitting in the middle of the room and if someone feels there is a need beyond what we general pray for then they will sit in the chair and we will come around them and pray for them. It is a new idea that I feel will bring intimacy to the group and create an atmosphere of sharing real life struggles with each other.

5) I thought we needed to lighten the mood in the middle, so we all went around and shared something positive or a praise that happened in the last week.

6) At the end we all shared something that we need to be publicly held accountable for and wrote them down. It was a great time to see girls open up and share things that they really want to see changed in their life.

7) I had them get into pairs and pray for each other and any other request that came to mind from the night.

8) I think we are set to hit the ground running next week!

(Katie also brought up to the girls that everything sounds so serious, and it is but the girls also need to know that beyond the deeper sharing we also need to be sharing the praises in our lives and celebrate the things that God is teaching us. We can grow just as much by seeing that God is alive and active and doing great things in our lives. )


Week #2 of the back to school rush is almost over so here is a little mind dump review of some happenings and thoughts.

  • Awesome week at HSM.  Focused on Growing in Grace Groups and the importance of biblical community.
  • Tons of people wanting connected in a group so now we have to make it happen.
  • Last night I didn’t speak. The only thing I did was freestyle for a game we did….it was fun and it ended up pretty good. I was afraid I would make a fool of myself, but our white kids wouldn’t know if it was bad anyway.
  • I mentioned this a little bit in my last post but Sarah and Stacie were with us last night and spoke on discipleship.  In some ways I shouldn’t be caught off guard since it is their job but holy cow were they good. They had our students attention the whole time. I actually just regurgitated their stuff to my own Grace group last night.  If they are coming to your area, get them with your students.
  • I love the nights where I get to just be in the back.  I am there just to make sure everyone knows their cues.  We had 18 people on stage with the welcome, game, announcements, prayer, testimonies, teaching, and worship.
  • We are doing another HSM shirt, I will have to put that pic up on here next week.
  • In the last week I have had over 20 students in my office for meetings and it has been refreshing.
  • I am learning a ton right now as we transition to having someone over our grace groups.  Transitioning “power” and “authority” is not seamless.  I believe in what we are doing and can’t wait to get there.
  • It is weird how exciting it is when college and pro football startup. These couple months are the only reason I still own a TV.
  • Malachi is spending the night at my parents tonight. Kristin and I don’t even know what to do when he is gone. I mean for a few hours we washed our cars and mowed the yard but after that it is lonely.
  • So maybe it wasn’t a good idea to loosen the light fixture at Mike and Emily’s house as a prank? Just kidding but check out his battle scars.
  • Kary Oberbrunner is speaking this weekend. He is money,  I hope I don’t find out in the future that he has been on HGH this whole time.
  • Spent some time at the Spoelstra’s house last night.  Melissa heard I am doing the shirt interviews and also that HSM is doing a testimony every week now. She asked if I stole those things from her husband and Encounter Church our church plant. OK so maybe I stole the testimony thing, but the interview thing I stole from Nick Cleveland in 2003 and have just had it in my back pocket.

There I got it all off my chest…….Gotta go!


I had a meeting today with my right hand man Jim Heffner.  Jim embodies what an adult volunteer can do when they want to make a difference and devote their life to it.  He has been so instrumental in the momentum of HSM over the last two years.  Jim is not the only adult making a difference in our ministry, but today I had lunch with him to think out loud (like a good extravert) and talk shop.  I have been doing that recently with volunteer staff already thinking and praying toward next year.

Why I am excited about today is because for me to think out loud and work through ideas and concepts I need someone to bounce things off of.  I need Jim to look me in the eye and say “NO”.  I don’t need a yes man, I need someone who will hold his line and stand up for what he thinks no matter how I try to talk him out of or into something.  

If you don’t have people around you that you can talk shop with or “yes men” surround you go find someone who has your back even when you are crazy and will keep you headed straight. 

Thanks Jim.


I got tagged by Brittany so based on the higher power of internet peer pressure I have no choice but to do this. Maybe it will entertain someone?


Four jobs I’ve had:
Semi-trailer repair
Paint brush/roller factory wroker
Tribology lab techinician at an orthopedic company
Youth Ministry

Four places I’ve lived: Well ok, my life is so awesomely stable I only have three unless I count Winona Lake twice
Sterling, OH
Winona Lake, IN-in 2 different college dorms
Winona Lake, IN-in Lampost married housing
Columbus (Ghetto Dublin 43016), OH

Four movies I love:
The Original Will Wonka
Revenge of the Nerds (the made for TV version I grew up on)
Catch Me if You Can
Dirty Work

Four movies I’d like to see:Can you tell I don’t see alot of movies?
The new Die Hard
Oceans 13
Pireates 3
Fantastic Four 2

Four favorite foods
Mashed Potatoes
Pumpkin Pie
Jersey Mike’s subs

Four weird things about me:
I always have gum in my pocket. Usually two packs because when I get down to like 3-4 pieces I feel naked and anxious.
I am a an organized list guy. Everything has its place for me, some would say OCD.
I put painful amounts of salt on steak when I eat it.
My family had a band growing up.

Four places I’d rather be: I like my life but travel is fun
LA-always looking to go back there
New York City-climbing back up the list
London-always wanted to go
Italy-Need to visit my cousin


One thing I want and pray for HSM @ Grace Church is that we will be outward focused. I have had this modeled to me and believe that evangelism has to drive the church. For us to accomplish anything in Christ we have to look outside ourselves and when you do that you are serving and reaching people.

It is so exciting to me that I see our group taking steps. We have had tons of new visitors thus far in the school year, we are developing a healthy group image in our area and high school, and People are sharing their faith.

1) Last night a couple of our guys led a guy to the Lord who has come for the last two weeks. We got him a bible and his small group leader is already setting the pace to make sure he is discipled and followed up on.

2) A girl recently shared a story that her and a friend went and sat with a new girl over lunch who had been sitting alone for the first two weeks of school and have continued to do so getting to know her better.

3) Two other guys in our group have been sharing with a friend who is struggling with mutilation and I really think God is gonna do something big.

You ever feel like you are right on the edge of something big? I can’t wait to see God use our students to draw people to himself and glorfiy His name.