CELEBRATING THE NEXT PHASE FOR MOVEMENT CHURCH

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.

WHY WE ARE ASKING YOU TO SIGN UP FOR OUR 5K RACE – ADOPTION UPDATE

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.

HOW IS YOUR ADOPTION GOING?
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.

HOW IS FUNDRAISING GOING?
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.

WHY ARE YOU STILL RAISING FUNDS?
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.

SO WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THIS 5K?
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.

HELP THE ARTRIPS ADOPT….AGAIN!

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.

STORY

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.

THE PROCESS

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.

HOW YOU CAN HELP?

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

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.

Blessings,

Mark, Kristin, Malachi, Canaan, and Mercy Artrip

markartrip(at)gmail.com