Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sacramento in pictures

On Wednesday of last week, we had a break in the afternoon while the assessment staff evaluated our profiles. We took advantage of the time and took the kids to Old Town Sacramento. We visited Candy Heaven, a costume shop, rode a water taxi, and ended the evening at Joe's Crab Shack, which is right on the water. The kids and Sarah (our nanny!) had a great time. It was the first time that Lizzie and Sarah cracked their own crabs. Joe's is a very fun place where the waiters take time out to dance together for a little entertainment (something akin to doing the Hustle).

It was a fabulous, relaxing time during a very exhausting week. Thank you Karl for helping to make it happen!

Bonus picture, Josh just found these boots in the closet and thought they were perfect for a little baseball practice. By the way, this little stinker can hit a pitch thrown to him...amazing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Church Planter's Assessment Center

Kevin and I just got back from a four day church planter's assessment center. It is hosted by the Growing Healthy Churches Network which seeks to support church planters and leaders for the work God has for them (Acts 13:1-2). One of their key support strategies is the assessing system. They strive to help leaders discover if the lead position in a church plant is a good fit for their next step of ministry.

Wow! What a process! Prior to leaving we took two personality profiles, and the StrengthFinders assessment.

We joined with seven other couples from around the nation to walk through intensive evaluation. Kev had to give a 10 minute sermon for our launch Sunday, 10 minutes on our vision and values, after which he and I were questioned by GHC staffers.

Another project consisted of joining with the other couples to create and pitch to potential investors the concept of a 'mock' launch in West Phoenix. We had to research demography, staffing needs, create vision and values, then present to the investors everything we'd learned and created in 15 minutes. Here's the catch all 14 of us had to have a speaking part...you do the math!

There are three potential outcomes of the assessment, 1. recommended, 2. conditional recommend and 3. not recommended. Kevin and I were being assessed as campus pastors, and were affirmed and recommend to move full-steam ahead!

It was a very exciting, and exhausting experience. But we truly loved every minute of it and are very grateful for the experience. I believe this assessment is a tremendous tool.

Click on the title of this post, or contact me directly if you'd like more info.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baptism revisted...

As promised...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Church in a bar?

Yesterday, our church (Flipside) started three new venues. We have two 'regular' services at Liberty H.S. (9:30 and 11 a.m.). We launched a softer venue (10 a.m.) at our activity center (Kev is the campus pastor there,) a service at the Lucky 13 bar (noon) at Ashlan and 99 in Fresno and another service on Sunday evenings at 5 p.m. (again at our activity center. )

The goal is to make the Ranchos a difficult place to get to hell 'from'.

Here is a link from a news piece that ran last night about our church in a bar

I guess the idea of a church in a bar is radical for some. We figure that these are the places where Jesus would be. So, we want to be there to.

Monday, September 8, 2008

They believed and were baptized

Wow, what a day! For about a year now, Lizzie has been asking to be baptized. We wanted to wait for a couple of reasons.

  1. We wanted to make sure that she fully understood what baptism is (a symbol) and what baptism isn't (does not guarantee salvation).
  2. We wanted her to be of an age that she will remember this day.
  3. We wanted her decision to be based on her desire, not because a friend was doing it
Well, yesterday was that day. She can fully explain the meaning of baptism, just ask her. In our church, we don't do baptism classes. Our pastor sits down with those that want to be baptized (just prior to going into the pool) to talk with them and ask them if they've accepted Jesus as their Savior. In the Bible, over and over in the New Testament when it talks about baptism it says, 'they believed and were baptized.' Not, they believed, took classes, they were a certain age and the pastor said it was okay to be baptized. Nope, that's not it at all. Sometimes, in this day and age, I think we make a big deal out of stuff that really should be simple. They believed and were baptized. (pretty sure there is a sermon in there...) A beautiful picture.

Also, at our church, not only are we able to be in the water with her, but WE baptized her. It was a very sweet and special time. Again, no where in the Bible does it say that you have to be baptized by your pastor. Karl was with us, because we asked him to be.

It was an awesome day. Lizzie was delighted, thrilled, ecstatic, elated...well, you get the picture. We are blessed with a mature, sweet, incredible daughter. Thank you Jesus!
"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth."
III Peter 1:4

I'll post pictures and video soon!