i’m putting this audio file up here because i think it is cool. the ladies and gents who have been leading the music at tapestry have been doing an incredible job. heather has a done an amazing job of getting some very creative and talented people involved in leading worship at tapestry. this past sunday they wanted to start things off with a cellist and a beat boxer. i had no idea what it would be like but it was great. it was a great and unusal way of starting off worship. it just makes me excited for more.
i got the chance to speak at the uwsp chapter of of intervarsity last night. i’m decided to test the new digital recorder we’re using for tapestry and i recorded the message. since i have it recorded i thought i might as well put it up on the blog.
one of the coolest things that pam and i have experience in this little adventure of planting tapestry has been all the unexpected support we have received. we went into this thing believing that GOD would provide and knowing that i do a pretty lousy job of asking for help. we moved up to stevens point with a $100 a month pledge from our former church and a commitment from about 20 people to regularly pray for us and tapestry. apparently we had the right 20 people praying because support has come from unexpected and unasked for sources over the past year. it has been amazing.
without me asking people the prayer group has grown from 20 to 80 people and at least 5 different churches that i know of (there are a couple of more that have discussed it but i don’t know if they have begun or not). this has been huge because they have been an endless source of encouragement. it always seems that on the days that i am down or doubting i receive a card or message from one of the individuals or churches that has committed to praying for us. in fact, the photo above is of an encouragement banner from a group of ra’s in thorndale, texas who have adopted tapestry. it’s quite cool knowing that these little guys are praying for us.
i have also been amazed at the financial support that has come in. i haven’t asked people to give but we have had several people from family to former co-workers to friends send money and resources to be used within tapestry. since, we were starting from "ground zero" this was a huge asset. i hate asking people for help, it really tears my stomach up. yet because of these supportive individuals i haven’t had to ask anyone to support us. don’t get me wrong, we’re not rolling in the dough budget-wise but we do have the funds necessary to do the bare minimum that is necessary without pam and i going into debt. this would not have happened without people and a couple of churches randomly giving to what is happening.
there are people in point who believe in what GOD wants to do through tapestry but many of those people would never had the chance to hear the message if it were not for people outside of point who believed to the point of supporting it.
so what i am trying to say to everyone who has helped is THANKS! i completely recognize that this whole thing is a team effort to glorify GOD. some of the team lives in point and other members of the team aren’t as fortunate. 🙂
i am continually helped in church planting by information designed for small business owners. the two are obviously not the same thing but they do face many of the same challenges. today lifehacker posted a link to their ultimate small business resource guide. some of the things listed are ones that i am already using but i have still found several resources that i will probably start using in the future. it’s well worth a look if your are trying to do impressive things on a small budget.
i love woot. i think i have mentioned that fact before but i thought i would mention it again. it’s just a fun way of doing commerce. anyhow they had the above shirt for sale yesterday and the nerd that is hidden away in me (not very well hidden but still hidden) had to have the shirt. for those of you who are a little slower i’ll point you to the title of this post. hopefully that will help you pick up on the humor.
if you are involved in the church culture at all (sometimes versus CHRISTianity) you know that there are certain words and phrases that come into favor at various times. i assume it’s the same in every other “industry” and/or organizational culture in the world. the phrases are inside words that all those who are a part of the group understand (or at least pretend that they do). it’s probably just because i am a pastor and therefore inherently a part of the church culture that these things bother me so much, but they really do drive me nuts. therefore, i’m going to start listing various church culture words and phrases that drive me nuts. i’ll begin with “vision casting.”
i hear this used all the time. i think some pastors have mental competitions to see who can mention casting a vision more. what i understand this to me is motivating people to follow the vision that has already been established (at least in the pastor’s mind). it’s not really so much throwing a vision out there (or casting hopefully implies some catching) as it is placing emotional “carrots” in front of people to get them to work toward the already established vision (or mission). why can’t we just call it motivation? i have a couple of pastors’ conferences i’m going to over the next few months and i promise this will be one of the big phrases at each one.
anyhow, some wonderful pastors i love and respect use this word so this post isn’t really a gripe about the phrase being wrong as much as it is about being over used (or overthrown as the case may be). i think for the fun of it i will start using the phrase “vision jitterbuging” when other people say “vision casting” because a jitterbug is my favorite lure to cast and quite effective at catching too.
SIDE NOTE – feel free to add your own words that drive you nuts.
when we were dreaming about starting tapestry one of the things that kept popping up into our discussions was that we wanted to be a place that “shows off GOD’s grace.” basically this means that we want to a place that people in our community will be able to see doing things that really convey the love of GOD. words help do this sometime but actions are so much better for doing it.
today the stevens point journal helped us with our goal. if you read my blog regularly then you are probably familiar with tapestry hooking kilumbo up with water. the journal ran a story on the experience. HERE’s a link to the story. hopefully it goes a little way in helping us to achieve our goal of showing off GOD’s grace.