No ONE measly post couldn’t hope to contain last weekend.
The series we are in on the weekends is called SHIFT – it’s about hitting another gear, gaining some momentum. Honestly, I kind of felt like after the JESUS CREED series we’d pretty much peaked out for the year, which is pretty sad since it was only February. But this SHIFT series has had a life of it’s own. YOU JOURNEY PEEPS have amazed and encouraged me. Clearly God is at work. There is such responsiveness. I feel like a guy running fast yelling, “wait for me, I’m your leader!”
PARENT SUMMIT – Hundreds of parents gave up the better part of a Saturday to stack hands and say, we’re in this together. It was a great morning – part training, part ministry overview, part connection and bridge building and A LOT of vision casting.
Mark Oestreicher did an amazing Job of talking about our cultures problem with extended adolescence.
I did a couple of sessions on helping our kids OWN our faith and the non-negotiable that is personal focused time with our kids.
But I was most stoked about the various members of our generations’ team sharing their heart, laying out their plan and encouraging each parent.
One of the changes around Journey is moving all of our children and youth ministry (birth – college age) under a new umbrella called “GENERATIONS” MINISTRY. Brian Berry is overseeing this whole area. I love the continuity he is providing. You can see his post on the Parent summit here and here.
It’s been pretty cool to see how many people have stepped up and stepped into volunteering with to impact across generational lines. I got this email from Christina Robertson who pastors our Middle School ministry:
I can’t contain my excitement and needed to express what is on my heart about our church! The Shift series is really transforming our church. I have been seeing it first hand in the middle school ministry the last three weeks. High quality people are coming forward and charging it on Sunday Mornings! We are talking professional adults that have a desire to give back to students. Today, I had a total of 15 adults helping between both services! Just two months ago I found myself being the only adult in the room with 50 kids in each service on one Sunday morning.
This morning we did a messy game and asked the leaders if they would be willing to be the ones who got dirty. They all said yes! We even had a woman who used to be a teacher, come for the first time to check out the ministry. Because of the game, she left at the end of the service with chocolate syrup in her hair. I got home to find this email:
Here’s my email address. Today was great for me. I like the flow of the space you’ve created for the kids. You do a wonderful job of relating to them on their level. You can attach the app to this email if you want to.” She is asking for an official application to be on the team!!
I posted a picture on my Facebook page with a caption saying that the adult leaders made it a fun morning. I had five middle schoolers give the status a thumbs up! This is how I know there is not only a shift the adults in our church but it is trickling down to our students. Having such enthusiastic and involved leaders in the room definitely influenced the middle schoolers in big ways. They participated in the games, participated in the singing, and engaged in the talk.
Ian and I still can’t stop talking about how encouraging this is. I am just blown away by how this church is moving. It really is taking a genuine shift to actively serving God in passionate ways all over the campus! Thank you so much for listening to God’s call and leading the way. I could not be more thankful, humbled, and excited to be on such a great team!
TAKE CHARGE TEAMS – So back to the weekend services. We get done with the service and it’s obvious that most of us percentage wise will never go to Haiti. But we need to take a step we need to start where we are and find a way to “lamp our light” to bless them so they will bless God! We had an opportunity to use WHATEVER you can do, whatever skill or training you have to TAKE CHARGE! “How’d that go?” you ask. Our volunteers are trying to get back to over 400 people saying – “put me in coach, I’m ready to play.”
O.k. THIS IS CHURCH!