Oct 072011
 

We set out as a church over 5 years ago to be intentional in our efforts to reach people disconnected from God and the church.

We know that most people come to Christ on the arm of a trusted friend.

How are you doing at investing in people and inviting them to join you at Church at the Grove?

Remember, you gotta come yourself if you are going to bring somebody with you or have them meet you at the school!

Who are you investing in?

Here is the concept behind our Core Value “Missional Responsibility”:

We desire to fulfill the mission God has given the Church.  In both Old and New Testaments we encounter a God who is on a redemptive mission in the world.  In fact, we are astounded at the lengths to which God will go in pursuit of his mission to redeem the crowning achievement of his creation – people.  In North America, the term “mission” has been associated with either sending called people to other parts of the world or giving financially toward reaching others around the world.  With the United States now being among the largest mission fields in the world, and the fact that there are now multiple generations born and raised in a post-Christian culture, we must address the need for churches to think “missionally” in a local context.

What if each individual believer and household could see their home as a “base” for missional operations to reach the entire neighborhood for Jesus?

This is a core desire for Church at the Grove.

 Posted by at 2:41 pm
Aug 172011
 

My son Caleb played tee ball/coach pitch baseball this past Spring and it was a hoot to watch these little 5 & 6 year old boys play baseball and interact with one another! We were constantly laughing watching these boys play.

There was one little boy that particularly caught my attention (and everyone) each time he rounded third base!

Each child is greeted with the crazy applause of parents, grandparents and other attendees as if it was the seventh game of the world series as they round third base on their way to home plate.  One little boy would round third base every time with a huge smile on his face and he would maintain eye contact with the fans in the stands the whole way across home plate.  Often, he would actually miss home-plate because he was so focused on the fan support. He was absolutely enthralled with the encouragement from the fans as he made his way down the third-base line to cross home plate.

This is a great picture of how important “community-life” is to the individual Christian as they “run the base paths” of life in the world.  We are not meant to live our Christian lives alone.  It is the encouragement of others that offer Christ’s strength and support as we travel through life.

Remember that you can run farther when others are watching!  That is why you should not neglect being involved with other believers in small groups or teams that serve together.

Here are a few things going on at The Grove this week:

Volunteer Appreciation Night August 28 6:30pm-8:30pm at Lenora Water Park
Make sure you get your reservation in for this fun night for you and your family!

5 year anniversary!
On September 11 we will celebrate an incredible 5 years as Church at the Grove! (Insert applause & cheers) These 5 years have been significant in seeing many people turn to follow Jesus & seeing lives transformed as we have impacted our local community and even touched lives around the world.  September 11 will be a big day and we want everyone who calls Church at the Grove home to be there and to bring your family and friends to join you!

Two Services on September 11
We have continued to see our CATGrove family grow and as a result, we need to create more space for new people.  On September 11 we will launch with 2 Sunday morning gatherings at 9:30 & 11am.  This is to create another opportunity for you to invite your family and friends that you have been praying for and investing in!

Community Groups begin September 11
Our new Community Group semester will begin Sunday September 11! I am convinced that one of the important elements to our growth this past year (God gets the credit, of course) was our Community Groups this past year.  We had more groups and more people connected to groups than ever before!  Please choose a group over this next month and get connected to other people in the church!

Church at the Grove Social Circle
This coming January we will launch a 2nd location gathering in Social Circle.  God has called us since before we ever launched our 1st gathering to be aggressive in ADVANCING the gospel through planting new churches and new locations of CATGrove!  I am asking everyone to please pray about being a part of this launch team that will help get this new gathering started.  It will be one of the most exciting things you have ever been a part of.  Consider making this your campus, consider giving one year or six months to help get Social Circle started.  We can’t do without people like you.

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Aug 112011
 

We have had record breaking attendance this Summer at Church at the Grove!  That is exciting!  We have had a ton of guests coming through our doors this Summer and I had a recent experience and conversation with a couple of our guests that made me think about encouraging our church to be early for our Sunday gatherings.

One particular Sunday recently I greeted some guests and walked them through the building and into our auditorium at Walnut Grove High School where we gather for worship.  As we walked into the auditorium there were only a few people  that had already arrived and it was only a few minutes before the scheduled start of our gathering.  The couple asked if this was a normal occurrence to have only a few people there on Sunday mornings and I was actually a little embarrassed trying to explain that a few would come in on time and the majority would come in during the first ten to fifteen minutes of our worship gathering.  I really wish that I could have introduced this couple to a few more people before the gathering started.

We will have even more guests coming through our doors over the next few weeks as we move into the fall with school starting back and people settling in following busy summers!

1 Thessalonians 2:7–8 (ESV)
7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

Please be early!

We tend to be a little more relaxed than many churches and we have been cruising through the summer schedule with people traveling and enjoying family.  It seems on many Sundays if our crowd arrives later and later & it is a bit deflating for our worship leaders when there are only a few people sitting in the auditorium at 10am. My primary concern is guests showing up early or on time and we do not have CATGrovers to welcome them, speak to them and make them feel they are part of something exciting.  PLEASE use this fall as an opportunity to start fresh with showing up early or on time and look for opportunities to make guests feel welcome and let’s begin our gathering on time and together.

Volunteer Appreciation Night August 28 6:30pm-8:30pm at Lenora Water Park
Make sure you get your reservation in for this fun night for you and your family!

5 year anniversary!
On September 11 we will celebrate an incredible 5 years as Church at the Grove! (Insert applause & cheers) These 5 years have been significant in seeing many people turn to follow Jesus & seeing lives transformed as we have impacted our local community and even touched lives around the world.  September 11 will be a big day and we want everyone who calls Church at the Grove home to be there and to bring your family and friends to join you!

Two Services on September 11
We have continued to see our CATGrove family grow and as a result, we need to create more space for new people.  On September 11 we will launch with 2 Sunday morning gatherings at 9:30 & 11am.  This is to create another opportunity for you to invite your family and friends that you have been praying for and investing in!

Community Groups begin September 11
Our new Community Group semester will begin Sunday September 11! I am convinced that one of the important elements to our growth this past year (God gets the credit, of course) was our Community Groups this past year.  We had more groups and more people connected to groups than ever before!  Please choose a group over this next month and get connected to other people in the church!

Church at the Grove Social Circle
This coming January we will launch a 2nd location gathering in Social Circle.  God has called us since before we ever launched our 1st gathering to be aggressive in ADVANCING the gospel through planting new churches and new locations of CATGrove!  I am asking everyone to please pray about being a part of this launch team that will help get this new gathering started.  It will be one of the most exciting things you have ever been a part of.  Consider making this your campus, consider giving one year or six months to help get Social Circle started.  We can’t do without people like you.

Continue to financially support God’s Work through Church at the Grove
We have been so blessed by your continued faithful financial support of the ministries of Church at the Grove! Thank you so much! Let’s continue to faithfully give toward the life transformation that takes place through the ministries of Church at the Grove!

Keep Praying, Keep investing, Keep inviting!

 

 Posted by at 9:49 am
Aug 032011
 

I can sometimes get overwhelmed with hearing stories and reports about how people are struggling through life with difficult circumstances.  Many of you are suffering through marriage, financial, health, or a myriad of other crisis circumstances and difficulties.  Life hits us square in the face sometimes and the only thing we can do is trust God and rely on His strength and power to get us through.  I would like to share with you a story I came across recently as we think about how we all live in a “tank of inescapable circumstances.”

In the Northeastern United States, codfish are a big commercial business. (Story via Chuck Swindoll)

There is a market for eastern cod all over, especially in the sections farthest removed from the northeastern coastline. But the public demand posed a problem to the shippers. At first they froze the cod, then shipped them elsewhere, but the freeze took away much of the flavor. So they experimented with shipping them alive, in tanks of seawater, but that proved even worse. Not only was it more expensive, the cod still lost its flavor, and, in addition, became soft and mushy. The texture was seriously affected.

Finally, some creative shipper solved the problem in a most innovative manner. The codfish were placed in the tank of water along with their natural enemy – the catfish. From the time the cod left the East Coast until it arrived at its westernmost destination, those ornery catfish chased the cod all over the tank. And, you guessed it – when the cod arrived at the market, they were as fresh as when they were first caught. There was no loss of flavor nor was the texture affected. If anything, it was better than before.

Each one of us is in a tank of particular inescapable circumstances. It is painful enough to stay in the tank. But in addition, there are God-appointed ‘catfish’ to bring sufficient tension to keep us alive, flavored, alert, fresh, and growing. It’s all a part of God’s project to shape  our character so we will be more like His Son. Understand why the catfish are in your salt-water tank. Understand they are part of God’s method of producing character in your life, and mine. Let’s not lose the flavor or the salt.

Important Things at CATGrove to be aware of:

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT THIS SUNDAY!

Another big announcement this Sunday you don’t want to miss!

Our students are gathering for 2 more Wednesdays at UNITED.  Tonight is at Monroe High School with the CATGrove band leading.  Next week the summer finale will take place at Walnut Grove High School and I will be speaking.  I hope to see your middle school and high school students these next 2 Wednesdays at 7pm.

Be praying for our Social Circle Launch this coming January!  Is God leading you to be a part of that launch team?  Please send me an email, call me or speak to me on Sunday if you are interested.

THANK YOU!

Because we can’t do it without you and to show appreciation for all that you have done and continue to do, we offer our 2nd annual Volunteer Appreciation night!

Sunday night August 28 at Lenora Park @ 6:30 we will gather for a night of fun at the water park.  It will be for the entire family of those that serve in any capacity at Church at the Grove!  Please begin to RSVP to our office by phone or email to let us know you plan to attend.

Group Link is August 7!  Save the date that night so you can connect with one of our Group Link homes and connect relationally with some other people in the Church at the Grove family!

I hope you are having an awesome summer!  Please continue to pray that God will use Church at the Grove to impact this community and the world!  Make it a priority to be at our Sunday gatherings and bring a friend or family-member with you.

Consider where you will connect in a Community Group this fall.  Remember that circles are better than rows when it comes to building relationships in the Body of Believers.

Continue to invest in conversations and relationships with people in your neighborhood, family, and circle of relationships.  These are the best and natural places to invest in people and share the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.

Keep praying, Keep investing, and Keep inviting!

 Posted by at 2:46 pm