Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Website and More...

It has been a while since our last post, but things keep moving quickly as we continue to dream, plan, and pray about the new church starting in Downers Grove in the spring of 2010. Some days it feels like a long time until we start and on other days, it feels like the new church is coming quickly. Please continue to pray for the team, I am so excited about the people who are joining us in this adventure.

As we think about the team, it is great to be able to talk about another very important piece to the puzzle. After much prayer and discussion, the elders have decided to send Dave Schubert as the second pastor at the new church and as you can guess, I am very excited about this. Dave and Katie add a great amount to the team, it is fun to see their excitement for the opportunity. Be praying for Dave and Katie and the team as a whole as Dave comes on board.

Also, we have launched a new website http://www.nonamechurch.org/. As you are talking to people about the new church, this website will be a great resource to point them to. In the coming weeks, we will be adding stories from the people on the launch team as they share why they have made the decision to join the church plant effort. It will also be the place to find out new information with the new church as over the coming months, things will be moving quickly.

Please keep praying for the new church and all the decisions that need to be made in the coming months. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or want to talk further about the new church coming to Downers Grove.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Team

Last Thursday was an exciting night that we have been looking forward to for a long time. It was our final Vision meeting at which time we asked those considering being a part of the team to make their decision. There was excitement for this day but also fearful thought, "what if no one joins us?". At the beginning of the meeting, we had those that were deciding to be a part of the new church walk to the white board and write their names. It was emotional for me as a line of people waited their turn to write their names. Some of these people I have known for a while and others I have only met in the recent weeks. As we talked about why people were committing, the common theme was "we believe in the vision." There was a heaviness to the room as we realized that we are really going to do this, but also a sweet sense of community and celebration. I look forward to seeing who else joins us as we continue towards beginning this new church. I am excited to continue on this journey and I couldn't be more excited than to go to battle with the team that God has brought together.

The Team
Brian From
Carrie From
Ben Frey
Sarah Hendriksen
John Bolthouse
Jessica Bolthouse
Justin Langley
Tamara Langley
Jonathan Jackson
Christina Jackson
Jess Gaylord
Kirk Tate
Wes From
Jan From
Glenn Willims
Terri Williams
Josiah Williams
Allison Williams
John Pack
Rebecca Pack
Ried Jacobsen
Kathy Jacobsen
Gary Nation
Dolly Nation
Matt Schaubroeck
Dean Ashton
Mary Ashton
Christina Pyche
Charles Hicks
Melissa Schipper
Mike Byers
Karen Byers
Danielle Krieg
Matt Alley
Jaimie Alley
Eric Klamm
Hannah Klamm

If you are still thinking about joining the new church or if you want to get more info, let's get together to talk. We are praying that God grows the number consistently, using those that have already committed to the new church to reach people. Our God is good and we are excited to see how he uses us going forward!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Can I Offer?

As we prepare to launch a new church in Downers Grove, I am really enjoying the time I get to spend talking to those people who are considering being a part of the team. As I have these meetings, there is one question or statement that comes up almost every time..."I don't think I have much to offer." I have heard from many whose main worry about joining the team is a belief that they do not have much to offer by way of gifts and abilities and that somehow, they may serve as a detriment to the team. I want to address this belief because it, quite frankly, is a lie that causes great damage. God has gifted each one of us differently, therefore each person has a unique role that they can play in the church. I am excited to see how people's unique gifts and passions are able to be used to help build this new church. Beyond that, the most important thing we are forgetting when we doubt our abilities to contribute and make a difference is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Not one of us has the ability to change lives, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, God uses us to make eternal differences. He doesn't just use a certain type of person, but uses all of our unique abilities, gifts, and passions. The best example of this is straight out of the book of Acts. What was it about the apostles that would lead you to believe that they would start a movement that would literally change the world? But that is what happened because the Holy Spirit came upon them in power and lives were changed and a movement was begun. So the question is this: do you believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit, God can use you in mighty ways? If we did believe it, what difference would it make for how we live our lives? That is the only hope we have as we start a new church, that God will work powerfully through His followers to reach individuals and the community. Don't believe the lie, but instead embrace the truth that you are a mighty instrument in the hands of a powerful God!

If you are new to this and would like more information about the new church we are hoping to launch in Downers Grove in the spring of 2010, I would love to talk to you. We are praying for people to join us and I would be excited to talk to you about it. Whether you are a Christian or not, let's get together and talk...I'll even buy the coffee!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 7th Meeting

This Thursday (May 7) at 7:00 PM is our fourth Vision and Prayer Meeting. It is exciting that this one will take place in Downers Grove, it is going to be great to talk and pray together again. Feel free to be inviting others who are interested in hearing more about the new church, it will be exciting to see this team continue to grow. We will be meeting at the Campus Life warehouse, here are the directions:

Go East on Butterfield to Highland Avenue. Go South on Highland past Ogden Avenue into Downtown DG. Before you get to the tracks (across from the White Hen) take a left on Rogers Street. Go down about 1/2 a mile and the Campus Life warehouse is on the right hand side behind the 607 building.

If you get lost, feel free to call me at 630.235.7030. If you have any interest in the new church, please do your best to make this meeting. We will not have childcare provided, so be sure to arrange childcare if necessary. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday as we continue to dream and pray together.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Be Strong and Courageous

Last night, I had the opportunity to spend time praying with a friend from church and another pastor friend of his. They wanted to specifically pray with me about the church plant, it was such an encouraging and powerful time of prayer. It reminded me again that apart from consistent and focused prayer, this effort of starting a new church in Downers Grove will fail. While together, we spent time talking about the story of Joshua. Joshua was given a charge by God, "be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged", and was given a promise by God, "for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." These words from God provided Joshua with the courage to lead the people and take the land.

As we continue to dream about the new church in Downers Grove, there is a lot for us to be fearful about. Where will we meet, when will the money come in, who is going to come, how will we be received...these and many other questions are ones that can paralyze us with fear. But if we believe that God has called us to be a light in an area that needs the light of the gospel, and if we believe the promise of Scripture that He is with us, then we do not need to fear. The charge to Joshua is the charge to us, "be strong and courageous". We can go talk to people about Jesus and about the new church with strength and courage, not with fear. It does not mean that it will be easy, just continue reading the book of Joshua and you will see that truth. But we can continue moving forward with peace and confidence because we know that God has called us to be a light in darkness and that God has promised to be with us. And in the end, if God is for us, who can be against us.

So I encourage you, no I plead with you, to be committed to praying for the new church and all it's details. I am not just talking about short, two minute prayers (although those are great too), but will you spend significant amounts of time on your knees on behalf of the church plant? Do we believe that prayer makes a difference? And continue to be in the town of Downers Grove, sharing about Jesus and about the new church that is coming. As you do that, remember the charge to be strong and courageous for the Lord is with you!

Lastly, a reminder to all who are interested in the church plant that we will be having another Vision and Prayer Meeting on Thursday, May 7th at 7:00 PM. This meeting will be in Downers Grove, the details of exactly where will be finalized today so be sure to check the blog over the next few days. We will not have childcare, so be thinking about securing a babysitter. I am so excited for this meeting and what we will be talking about, please make it a priority to be there.

The journey continues...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Like Drinking From a Fire Hose

I have spent this past week at the Exponential Conference, which is the largest church planting conference in the country. Our days have been full of inspiring teaching as well as hours of practical church planting workshops taught by people who have planted before. I am here with Dave Schubert and when talking about all that we were learning and hearing, Dave said, "it's like drinking from a fire hose". It certainly has been a great week that will bear fruit as we move closer and closer to planting the church in Downers Grove.

Reflecting on the conference, I want to pass on two things that have struck me this week. The first is that there is a movement of church planting going on in the country and around the world that is exciting to be a part of. There are over 3000 people here this week to talk about church planting, we are not at this alone but are part of something bigger going on that God is using to change lives. Secondly, being away and thinking only about the church plant has given me a chance to do a lot of dreaming. Are you dreaming about what can happen? Are you dreaming about the lives that will be affected by the new church coming to Downers Grove? We serve a God that Scripture says can do more than we can ever ask or imagine. So as we plan and continue to take care of details, don't lose sight of the dreams for the new church. As we step out in obedience and plant this church, we just might see some of those dreams realized through the unimaginable power of our God.

Remember, for those interested, our next Vision and Prayer Meeting will be on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 PM. During that time, we will continue to flesh out the vision, discuss details, and pray together. If you are considering the church plant, please make this meeting a priority. We are working on the location, it will be in Downers Grove. Keep checking the blog for information. For so many reasons, I am increasingly excited about the Downers Grove church plant and can't wait to share this excitement with you on May 7.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here We Go...

With this being the first blog post for the upcoming church plant, it feels like we have reached another milestone! The goal of this blog is to provide another venue for those interested in being a part of the Downers Grove church plant to gather information and dialogue. It is my goal to write somewhat regularly, especially since things are changing and taking shape on almost a daily basis. But let's start by reminding ourselves why we are planting a church.

The short answer as to why we are planting a church is that people need to hear about Jesus and be connected into meaningful, Christ-centered community. All the details we are figuring out, all the time we are spending praying, all the money we are trying to raise, and all the dreaming we are doing goes back to that vision of seeing people meet Jesus, grow in their faith, and get connected with other believers. Over the past few months, it has been amazing to me the doors that God has been opening and the confirmation that we keep receiving that we are doing the right thing. Maybe the greatest confirmation is the interest from so many people in being a part of the church plant and the step that many are taking of moving out to Downers Grove. To see people rallying behind the vision of what God can do is so energizing for me and makes me excited to see what happens through this church plant in the coming years. If you are one of those people, continue to bathe your decision in prayer, continue to connect with others going on the church plant, and continue to dream about how you can be used. If you are not sure about joining us, then consider letting us talk to you further about it. We'd love to buy you coffee and share our heart for planting a church in Downers Grove.

So here we go, we don't have a name yet, we don't have a location to meet, but we do have a big vision for what God can do in us and through us as we take this step. Who knows what exactly the future holds, but I do know that it is going to be one crazy ride. Keep checking the blog for new information and feel free to comment, I look forward to hearing from you.