q 2009

i’m presently in austin waiting for the q conference to begin tomorrow morning. i left this morning and rushed through the minneapolis airport to just barely make my connecting flight – i literally had to get someone to unlock the door and get a counter worker to check me in because everyone else had already been boarded.

anyhow i heard tapestry was wonderful tonight. pam bragged on mike’s preaching and how all the threads pulled together to make everything happen. as a dad i was pretty proud of my boys jumping in and taking care of things. adam did all the computer stuff by himself and then pam sent me the above photo. turns out that noah played the djembe for the band tonight. this makes me sorry i missed it.

for anyone who is interested i will tweet the conference over the next couple of days.

pam’s statement last night

the terrell family easter finery

last night while pam and i were reading in bed (our nightly prep for sleeping) she rolled over and said “thanks for leading the most meaningful easter day i have ever been a part of.” so basically i couldn’t sleep very well after that.

as a pastor that’s the kind of thing you want to hear from someone but it is on an entirely different level when you spouse says it from out of the blue (a.k.a . not just when she can tell your down and thinks you need to hear something positive). one of the best compliments i have ever received.

especially since i didn’t really do anything. other people did all the real work. all i did was point people in a few directions. the really cool thing was that the painting at the hope center was mostly done by regular old threads (my new favorite name for thus of us involved in tapestry). the cooking and serving of the easter meal at the hope center was done by other threads. the tapestry service that night was lead but eric and brent with me coming in third for a very quick sermon which i can promise you was probably not the most amazing sermon ever- the music was much better. now yes i know that pointing people in the right direction is a part of leading but it’s really easy when you are surround with people like the people of tapestry.

the part that i was personally most proud of was getting people up to dance during tapestry while no parking on the dance floor was playing. yes there was a point to this. i talked out of the lost chapter (luke 15) in which JESUS tells three stories of things that were lost and found (a coin, a sheep, and a son). all i pointed out was that these stories are actually more about the appropriate response to resurrection than they are about anything else. JESUS tells these stories in response to some pharisees questioning him about partying with “sinners” (luke 15:2). JESUS’s answer to them is to tell three stories about people finding things and partying as a result. JESUS was teaching us that when HE defeats death with life (a.k.a. resurrection) one of the appropriate responses is to celebrate. so tapestry cut loose and the goal is to continue to do so all week.

actually all of holy week has been that way. other people have been doing all the cool stuff. i’m usually just buying brushes, paint, and candles. the painting was that way all week long and tenebrae was definitely that way. anyhow, as a proud husband i want to thank everyone at tapestry who helped to make this such a significant easter for pam and i (and hopefully for others too). i can’t wait to see how it gets better and and better over the years through believers like you guys.

SIDE NOTE – i think i just lied a little bit. the part of easter sunday that i am most proud of is that “no parking on the dance floor” is now stuck in pam and the boys’ heads. they were singing it all night long. 🙂 beep, beep … beep, beep … beep, beep!

SIDE SIDE NOTE- i am excited about the fact that tapestry is getting to the point that we can push things further and further. i learned this lesson from ferris bueller. the further you push some things the more fun and effecrtive they become (that is until someone gets hurt and then it’s no longer fun and games – or at least that is what a t-shirt told me). the dancing and music was fun last night and i think they got the message across but everyone got into it better each time i add something to the scene. i pulled out horns for everyone, then peeps, them bubbles, and finally streamers started flying. pretty much everyone was smiling and dancing by the time the streamers were flying. that stuff was easy. what i wish had been available was a disco ball, dance lights, and glow sticks! that’s the type of stuff that will come about for free as more and more people buy into what we are doing as a group. yes, money can buy that stuff but money really is only a poor substitute for time, creativity, and group involvement. as we get better as a group at connecting resources we will be able to push things further and further and thereby make them even more effective … and fun.

employer identification number – complete

i’m posting this for any other church planters who realize they don’t know how to do this stuff. i spent the day trying to get an ein so that tapestry can start the process of getting a checking account. about half this morning was spent going through the online process for acquiring a number. the problem with this was that it requires a physical address. tapestry doesn’t have a physical address – part of the reason for this is because we don’t want the burden and focus removing aspects of a building. the online version requires a physical address. know that we’re not the first church to ever do this i knew there had to be a way so i searched all over the website. i found nothing.

so the second line of attack was to try my bank. i love the workers at our bank (associated bank). they are always very helpful. a fellow kiwanis is the manager of our local bank and i thought she might could help. she said she new exactly what to do because they did the all the time for local small businesses. we hit the same problem. after an hour and a half of trying we all decided to try again later.

the third line of attack was to call the ein phone number. i prefer to do things online whenever possible. i usually find that calling a government bureaucracy just ends up with me being lead through the same website info by someone who doesn’t care. i was wrong with the ein phone line. the representative i spoke with was nice and extremely helpful. 13 minutes and 53 seconds after the i initiated the phone call tapestry had its ein/tax id number.

who would have thought that i would be singing the praises of the irs?

wonder of wonders!

anyhow if you are planting a church, especially one without a physical address, just call the irs phone line for ein’s (1-800-829-4933) and skip the website.

church planting "don't knows"

i love what i am doing. i love getting to be a part of GOD planting tapestry and doing some cool things with and through it. i especially love the way we started and where we are headed as a church.

  • we started around a series of tables – tables at emy j’s coffee shop and the terrell family dinner table are where all the initial connections of tapestry where made and strengthened. tables, and the conversations that they engender, are significant to us.
  • we are moving more and more toward our worship gatherings more accurately reflecting in a large group setting what happened and continues to happens at these tables.

what i don’t love is some of the organizational details that i am now having to work through. these are not things within tapestry but rather the workings of the governmental and business bureaucratic mess of creating a legal entity. i’ve found a few helpful written guides but i don’t really have anyone to walk me through these things. that’s actually why i am keeping a list of the things i wish i had known in planting tapestry. on of our goals in tapestry is to plant another church in 5 years. as a group we believe that GOD wants to grow us and keep us small at the same time. the way this will be done is by constantly planting other churches when we hit certain levels. so that’s the plan. when we hit around 150 we try to plant a new church (not another site).

anyhow, here are a few of bureaucratic things that i am trying to discover how to do:

  • obtain a tax id/ein number for tapestry – not even sure if these things are the same or if we need both or not or if we have to be incorporated or not to have one. all i know is that i have to have one to get a checking account for tapestry and it would be nice to have a checking account for tapestry so i’m not having to pay for everything out of our own account and then wait for a month or two to be reimbursed. COMPLETED 2/9/2009
  • open a business checking account with multiple signers – which requires the tax id number
  • obtain non-profit status – i think this actually happens with the completion of one of the other things on this list. all i know is that if people want credit for their gifts to tapestry this is a good thing to have.
  • start the process of incorporating
  • get all the insurance we need – this i actually think i will have a leg up on because of my previous insurance experience. of course, i can’t really start until the above stuff happens and thankfully we are covered by our sponsoring church.

there are other things that also have to be done but i won’t bore you with the details. if any of you are experts in the nature of doing this in wisconsin you are more than welcome to email me. i’m open to all sorts of help and if you don’t turn out to be very helpful i’ll still thank you and pretend like you are. 😉

all of this is really pretty sad because my undergraduate degree is in general business management. i’m sure that at one time in my life i could have told you what was necessary for all these things. that’s just not true now. also, since we are planting tapestry thought relational means i try to let conversations last as long as they possibly can and still be good. this means everything takes a lot of time. not a bad thing, in fact it is a good thing. of course, it often means that by the time i leave a business office i have already forgotten the information that i was hoping to learn, but i can tell you about the person i was talking with.

tapestry in '08

as i write this, instead of doing the studying that i should be doing, ’08 has 10 1/2 hours left in it. before the year ends i wanted to say “THANK YOU” for being a part of what GOD has done this year in and through tapestry. this is what i know HE has done:

  • started a group from scratch that desperately wants to wants, love, and enjoy HIM that didn’t exist before (i.e. tapestry).
  • developed a witness in point of a group that firmly believes in CHRIST and yet demonstrates that belief in a firmness of love and loving acts.
  • provided water to 300 bearers of HIS image in diriamba , nicaragua.
  • changed the way some in point celebrated HIS birth/incarnation.
  • raised just under $800 for clean water through advent conspiracy at tapestry.
  • led one lost sheep publicly back to HIM.
  • established a relationship with forsaken people in nicragua that will lead to them being redeemed by the ONE WHO became forsaken to claim all of us.

and this is just the stuff that i know of. not bad for only 15 weeks of the year. i can’t wait to see what HE will do through all of us in ’09.

later today, just for the fun of it, i’ll write couple of the things that i believe GOD is doing to do in and through tapestry in ’09. but right now i need to get back to studying jeremiah.

missing it

last week after polling everyone who is active in tapestry the group kind of decided that it would be best not to have a gathering today. it made perfect sense because there was a really good chance that eric and natalie were going to be the only people there. so we canceled today’s gathering. of course, that was easy last week, especially when i thought the terrell family would be in alabama anyhow. now it’s reality and therefore my thoughts are a little different. it’s the first sunday night in fifteen weeks that i am not spending the evening worshiping with the wonderful folks of tapestry. makes me a little sad. of course, that sadness will disappear tomorrow as i start work on next sunday’s tapestry.

i am also VERY THANKFUL that my sickness happened on a weekend when we weren’t having tapestry. up to this morning i felt like complete crap. up to three hours ago i felt like i might feel better sometime in january. it’s amazing how fast pam and my recoveries have been. yet there is no way i would have been able to do the setup work necessary for tapestry. there are usually plenty of other people that do everything but that would not have been true tonight. the hardest thing i’ve done today was walk the dogs and that left me needing a nap to recover.