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?

ADOPTION UPDATE: OUR LIVES JUST CHANGED IN A MATTER OF HOURS

GUEST BLOG ADOPTION UPDATE FROM KRISTIN ARTRIP:

Mercy Marie Artrip born 10-28-2012 8:02pm

Wow, I cannot believe that I am sitting here in our hospital room writing this blog entry! This day has been a whirlwind and here is the story…

Today is Monday October 29, 2012. It is Mark’s day off and we did our normal routine of going to the Y in the morning. We came home and made lunch and the boys played around the house. I had this crazy desire to reorganize the boys’ toy room and clean the whole house.  So, that’s what I did. The boys went down for nap and I was checking my email and it was 3:30. My phone rang and I saw that it was our adoption agency calling. So, I answered and the conversation went something like this… “Hi Kristin are you and Mark still interested in pursuing adoption with us?” I said “yes, we are just waiting for the call” and she said “this is your call. Your daughter was born last night at 8pm. The birth mom just went through the profile books and picked you. I need you to come to Dayton right now to pick up your baby girl! She is 6lbs 13oz healthy and beautiful”.

So we kind of of went into crazy mode and woke the boys up from nap, and threw together three overnight bags, gathered the insurance papers, and got in the car and headed for Dayton at 4:30.  The great thing is that my parents live in Dayton so my mom was able to meet us at the hospital to pick up the boys. We met the birth mom very briefly and then within minutes of that we went to the nursery and they said, “here is your room and here is your daughter”.

So, wow I am in sitting here and Mercy is such a sweet baby. She is very calm and hasn’t cried at all. She is a great eater and is coming through all her test with flying colors! She is with us here at the hospital in our room and we will go home tomorrow. We are amazed at the moment and know that God knew all of this was going to happen even though we didn’t have a clue! Thank you for all the prayers and financial support over the last year as we raised money in anticipation of this day! We will do our best to keep facebook/twitter/instagram updated so you can all share in this with us!

Lots of love,

Mark, Kristin, Malachi, Canaan and Mercy

THE DISCIPLINE OF FAITH VS THE NECESSITY OF FAITH

The most common question I get the last couple months is “So how’s the church plant going?”  The other day I was sharing with a friend what our calling, transition, and first few months in church planting have looked like. As I verbalized it to him, I realized it was a blog post in the making and actually proclaimed to him “I have to blog about this”.

One of my biggest lessons in life that others have invested in me is that people need to continually do things that make us depend on God and require faith, because when we do we are forced to see and depend on Him in new ways and that grows us. 

I often bring this concept up when people ask me questions about what they should do or what decision is the best. When I was a student pastor I would always tell students they should go on one of our summer ministry training trips for this reason. Sometimes it was freshmen going away from home for the first time and other times it was juniors and seniors going away for a month or more on other trips and taking intentional steps to trust God more.  The process is the same for adults venturing into ministry for the first time or pushing their leadership and comfort.

What I have appreciated about the journey of my family over the last year is the necessity of faith for what we are doing right now. I wish I could say that I always live by faith and I trust God in all I do. It would sound awesome to say I don’t get comfortable but that isn’t reality. I think this has been a great season of depending on God continually because the situations and circumstances continually require it in one way or another.

For some faith can be a discipline while for others they may need to put themselves in a situation that makes it a necessity. That is where we are right now and I am loving it.

SIX WEEKS OLD: SUNDAY NIGHT MIND DUMP

We are 6 weeks into planting Movement Church. Its been a wonderful faith walk watching what God is doing through our team.  There are so many things going on, so many thoughts in my head, and so many things I am excited about.  It must be time for a mind dump.

  • Today was our 6th Sunday as a launch team. We have met 4 times at Encounter church and visited two other churches.
  • I love Sundays with Movement Church.
  • I know I do this for a job, and it sounds like propaganda, but trust me when I say I love that I get to do this.  It honestly makes me hyper.
  • Our Sunday gatherings are always exciting and new because we have seen so many first time guests. Today almost 1/3 of the people in the room were visitors.
  • We have seen an increase in our Sundays each week.
  • We are small and numbers and growth are very exciting right now. The best part is that we know the story and connection behind every person and numbers so it’s a special time.
  • Don’t worry we haven’t broken 35 yet so we aren’t numbers crazy, we just like to know how many chairs to set up.
  • Next week our full band gets the chance to do their thing for the first time plugged in.  Our band is leading worship at Encounter so we will start together in their service and after that.
  • I am excited for our musicians because some of them have been smothering their gifting while we meet in a small room, as a small group, with a small band.
  • Also next week we are talking about our DNA and some things that we want to keep as guidelines for the church we want to be. These things aren’t new additions to the Ten Commandments, but they are things that we want to keep in our vision and let them steer us.
  • Our movement groups are meeting and still in start up mode but we are already talking multiplication for next session.
  • Multiplication isn’t always easy or comfortable but we want to keep it happening when we can.
  • Our website is up. You can find it if you are really smart, but we aren’t really taking the training wheels off just yet. We wanted to put it on our flyers that are going out.  Mostly social media will suffice for now.
  • I am excited for Trunk or Treat on October 31st.
  • We went door to door tonight with flyers. It rained and wasn’t perfect by any stretch, but I was so encouraged just by the amount of families we ran in to.
  • We’ve known from the beginning there are so many people in Hilliard and so many people who need Jesus, I can’t wait to be able to get our name out there and be the church to Hilliard.

MOVEMENT CHURCH LAUNCH TEAM WORLD TOUR: MARYSVILLE GRACE

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 LAUNCH TEAM WORLD TOUR: GRACE FELLOWSHIP PICKERINGTON

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.

Examples…

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.

http://vimeo.com/50560602

and a video interview they did of us last spring

http://vimeo.com/42519478

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.

A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN

The digital era is great because you can expand your platform for influence, ministry, friendship, and impact in so many avenues. Between websites (blogs), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and countless others you can communicate as much or little as you want to.  I’ve heard it said before that the trap in this is still being authentic. We all want to put our best foot forward, but at what point are we being fake and not admitting our humanity?  You use the best pictures of yourself and throw away the rest; you put only your good ideas on your blog, you tweet and Instagram moments when you are a good dad and husband leaving out the rest.

I admit I am as guilty as anyone at this. It got me thinking, I should make a list of areas that I have messed up or need some work in.  Might be a little weird, but I figure it’s at least a step towards balance and provides a look at the real me.

  1. I AM NOT GOOD AT CONFRONTING PEOPLE. I have gotten better at this the older I have gotten as it becomes more and more necessary, but it does not and will not ever come naturally for me. I like people to like me and if that means letting them tell me what to do or hijack my vision I have been known to let that happen. I still remember this whole concept being so foreign to me when I first encountered it in a memorable way on Operation Barnabas as a 17 year old.  Its not always easy or comfortable, but sometimes the most loving thing, best thing you can do is to confront someone.
  2. I AM STILL LEARNING TO MANAGE PEOPLE –  I like to delegate but after that as it relates to working with people, bringing out the best in them and pushing them to be great, I don’t know that I have it figured out yet. I think in my years in ministry I have put people on an island with some food and water and said “good luck” without coming back to check or teaching them to make a fire.
  3. I HAVE ELEVATED PEOPLE TO LEADERSHIP TO QUICKLY – Normally I am intuitive but there have been times I have put people in positions they didn’t need to be in just yet. It might be because there was a need and the spot had to be filled, or it could have been that I wanted to believe the best in them.  If I am being honest sometimes elevating someone you have worked with can even validate your own ministry and impact for those looking on.  Whatever the reason I haven’t fallen victim to this a time or too.

I am not trying to throw a pity party and I am not looking for you affirm me in all the areas I just named. I just think it is healthy to be self-aware so you can get better at what you do. So lets be honest, what are you not too hot at or still working on in your leadership?

 

WHY HILLIARD?

We are 3 weeks into the launch of Movement Church.  I have wanted to share more about our DNA and where we are headed so I thought I would start a series of posts taken from the proposal we used to fundraise and gather our launch team.

Post 2: Why Hilliard is ripe for the gospel and a new church.

People ask me all the time “Why Hilliard?”

I don’t have permission to publish the maps and research we studied, but in short there are many people in Hilliard who do not know Jesus. I don’t mean that there are not great churches in town, but just that the faith involvement in this area is some of the lowest in central Ohio.  We are here because we want to be apart of the solution.  We want Hilliard to know Jesus.

Here are some other bullet points that caught my attention during the research phase…

ACTIVE FAITH?

The large majority of Hilliard describes themselves as uninvolved in their faith.

SPIRITUAL INTEREST?

In the last ten years Hilliard residents are above the national average in showing a growing interest in their faith.

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP?

Hilliard residents say they want to be lead by someone who knows them and works with them.

INVESTMENT POTENTIAL?

Hilliard residents are above the national averages in their desire and proven track record to invest in and give to churches.

HILLIARD IS EAGER TO KNOW AND LEARN MORE ABOUT…

Life direction

Balance in job/career/life/family/leisure

Achieving a fulfilling marriage

Parenting skills

Spiritual issues

Dealing with stress

Family outings

Local missions and support of causes