Dave Milam – To Those Who Stole Our Stuff

I just finished speaking to Dave Milam, planting pastor of Kinetic Church in Charlotte, NC. I first came across Kinetic Church’s website a couple of years ago as I was investigating various church websites. It was really intriguing and different and caught my attention. Over the last couple of years, I drop by the site occasionally to see what they’re up to now.

I began blogging in January and recently entered a blogging tournament (which you can click here to vote for me) of which Dave is a participant. I decided to check out the “competition” and dropped by his blog. I then realized that he is the pastor of Kinetic Church, which was pretty cool and ironic. While on his blog, I came across their story of how their church trailer with the church equipment was stolen. Pretty sad and pathetic stuff when people stoop to steal from a church. But what was amazing was their response to this horrible deed. I was so moved by it that I shared the video clip with our own church last Sunday. They in turn were moved by it as well.

I think it’s important that when someone does something that inspires, encourages, or challenges us (or all three in this case), then we need to let them know. We need to speak that to them so that the Spirit works through us to encourage them further. And so I called Dave this morning to do just that.

Sadly, Dave has received far more negative reaction, from hateful emails to calls in the middle of the night. I am deeply saddened to hear of this. Why do certain people within the body of Christ find it their responsibility to correct everyone else, to disrupt and discourage, to bring about turmoil and criticism? That is NOT what Jesus Christ calls us too. That is why it’s so important for us to encourage whenever we can, because you can rest assured that those who do the criticizing will not hesitate to throw their venom.

Dave, for me, and on behalf of The Grove, press on brother! We’re praying for you!

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Blogging Tournament – Round 2

It’s that time again. Last week’s opening round pitted 16 church-planting bloggers against each other blogging about whether the presidential election still matters. Thanks to YOU, I’ve made it to Round 2. This week, the remaining 8 are blogging about the best ideas for marketing and/or outreach for $500 or less. I have decided to run with an idea submitted by Tim M. Make sure you take 2 minutes to drop by to vote. (Here’s the voting link). And here’s the entry below:

Got Excuses?

Five Hundred dollars. It seems like such a large amount to us as individuals, but almost meaningless if you’re limited to it for an outreach/marketing idea. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the combined price of a gallon of gas and a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So how far can $500 take you? About 30 miles or 30 minutes, depending on your personal limits. Which doesn’t give us much wiggle room here.

However, I think I heard Craig Groeschel say that:

“Limited resources + increasing passion = exponential innovation.”

Which means that $500 isn’t the limiting factor, it’s our vision, our creativity. For $500 we have to stretch ourselves and get out of the box of easy and be willing to be “a little different”. But aren’t we anyway?

The suggestion from The Grove (via my blog) is titled “Got Excuses?”

  1. Setup a website or use existing church website.
  2. Have a section where people can post entries or provide an email address where people can send excuses/questions on why they don’t attend church.
  3. Have your car detailed with the website/church/email address with some basic information directing them to said site. Nothing like mobile advertisement. (Will you look a little strange? Yes…but see previous paragraph)
  4. Respond to people’s excuses/questions in video format, utilizing YouTube, in 5 minutes or less.

Will it fill the church? Probably not. Will it create awareness and buzz? Most definitely. Will someone become a guest as a result? Absolutely.

  • Website cost – $195
  • Car Graphics – $300
  • Gas – $1000 (but we’re not really counting that, disregard)
  • Starbucks (While cruising) – $500 (hmmm, let’s not count that either)

Someone walking into your church because you’re willing to be different and meeting Jesus as a result – Priceless!!

Sunday Night Lights

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I absolutely L.O.V.E. Easter….and all that it stands for.  Easter is the reason we even exist as a church and as a ministry.  Without Easter, it would all be pointless.  But Jesus Christ overcame sin, death, and the grave and we can stand in his victory as more than conquerors. 

  • Our service today touched on the “Rescue” element of LOST.  In life, just like the TV show, when rescue is being offered, a voice (Ben from the TV show) calls out that the rescue is risky and dangerous….that accepting “rescue” would be a mistake. 
  • That voice today comes from the sworn enemy of mankind, Satan himself.  And he warns you that accepting the offer of Jesus rescue is too costly..the price is too high… you can make it on your own. 
  • We celebrated the specialness of the day by observing The Lord’s Supper at the conclusion of the service. 
  • Our music was “spot on” for the message content
  • Hannah Huebner returned from her mission trip to France and was in the service this morning.  She was tired…but radiating.
  • Paul and Paula Scott are headed to Dallas to investigate a mission ministry “Shoes for Orphan Souls”
  • We had Scott Campbell, a missionary to the eastern Canadian provinces in the service this morning.  Scott and his family have done marvelous work for the kingdom in Canada.  He is now coordinating church planting efforts there and pastoring/coaching the planters.  What a wonderful ministry.  Thanks Scott for honoring us and worshiping with us this morning.  (Click here to see the churches under his care)
  • We had a larger than expected crowd today and the spirit was good.
  • We had at least one person indicate they invited Christ into their life as Lord.
  • We are unofficially opening a “satellite campus” in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  We had more people leave for there this afternoon….which brings the count for the month up to almost 15 Grovers in Gulf Shores.  I guess we’ll just start renting space. 🙂
  • Lesley hooked us up with an awesome ham and hashbrown casserole for Easter lunch.  Mmmm, Mmmmm good!
  • We had a couple of visits to the blog today from Israel…. which is kinda cool on Easter Sunday. 
  • It’s a good thing Jesus wasn’t crucified in Peoria in 2008…. he would have arisen to snow.  😦    (is that a sign of spring here?)

I hope and pray that your Easter was fulfilling…. and full of power of Jesus Christ. 

Stone Walls

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We’re here in Chicago (Skokie, actually) for our TEAMerica church planters conference.  TEAMerica is the church planting arm of the BGC that emphasizes and commissions church plants and planters.  Lesley and I went through a very demanding week of assessment several years ago to discern our qualifications and ability to plant a church from scratch.  It’s still pretty amazing to me that they took two unknowns, Lesley & I, and saw in us what God saw in us and partnered with us to start The Grove. 

This conference is geared for church planters who face some pretty different dynamics than those guys who lead established churches.  Not only are the dynamics different, but planters as a group tend to be much more entrepreneurial in nature and that leads to its own challenges.  Continue reading

Totally Stoked

It’s late Wednesday night and I have been steady at it all day.  Which means I haven’t had a window to post a blog entry yet today.  But I wanted to share with you that I will be attending a conference tomorrow at Riverside Church here in Peoria.  The guest speaker will be Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

I’ve known a little about Driscoll for a while now, but haven’t REALLY known his story.  Here’s what I have known:

  • that he is hugely controversial
  • he founded and pastors a church that has seen incredible growth in one of the most secular, non-churched areas in America. 

I’ve only recently begun to realize why he’s so controversial, and, in all likelihood, what some of the primary factors are behind his church’s growth. 

The Grove has made a public declaration that we want to create an environment that is conducive to reaching and growing men in their faith.  But we have had no other church that we are aware of to look to for some guidance since so few churches actively attempt to reach men.  But I think that may have just changed.  Take a few minutes (4) to watch this video:

This is who I’m going to listen to tomorrow (Thursday).  This guy is singing a song very few are singing, but God is seriously blessing his ministry.  I am totally amped up to hear what lessons he has learned and how they can help The Grove. 

I would love to hear your reactions to the video so take a few minutes to leave a thought or two.