After a full day of setup and rehearsal on Saturday at Southfield Lathrup High School, Leah and I went to bed quoting Joshua 3.5. Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.
Sunday was a blast! So cool to see all the hard work come together as our church gathered in the school for the first time. The auditorium felt like home as God's Presence filled the room. Many new ministry volunteers got involved to help with the setup and tear down process. And several new guests joined us from the neighborhoods around the school. I haven't seen all the final numbers yet, but I'm pretty sure we had our highest attendance day of the year!
I kicked off the Future of America series with a message about immigration. This is a topic that impacts life in Metro Detroit on a daily basis. I also interviewed Samuel Amanor, a 32 year old friend who moved to the US from Ghana. He has since started his own business and has a dream to move back to Ghana and work toward rebuilding the country. You can check out the message here.
Thanks to everyone who prayed for us this weekend. I'll get some pictures up soon!
Just over seven years ago I graduated from Bible College and moved to Metro Detroit with six of my friends. Together we built a core group of about 25 people and launched Church of the King the Sunday after 9.11. Today we have several mile markers that commemmorate what God has done in our journey.
Our first public service
The first 9 people we baptized in water
Our first service in our current building (the one God graciously gave us)
Our first missionary (Phil and Lisa Dimusto)
The week we launched our small group ministry
The day we blessed and sent the core group for our first church plant (The Oaks)
Every time God leads us to take a step of faith, we change, and hopefully so does our city.
This Sunday will be another mile marker as we gather for the first time at Southfield Lathrup High Scool. The auditorium will give us the capacity to reach twice as many people each week as we do right now. And it will give us a fresh platform from which to continue to launch a movement to serve and transform our city.
If you think of us, please say a prayer on our behalf. It's all about connecting our city to Christ.
I'm back in class this week studying evangelism strategies for the local church. Looking forward to dreaming about inspiring a life-transforming movement in Metro Detroit.
Mark Batterson is teaching our class today and tomorrow. I really respect Mark's passion to pastor one church for life and see Washington DC transformed. He's also the person who inspired me to start blogging. Really appreciate his friendship.
Honestly though, my feelings are mixed. This feels like a tough week for me to be away from home. I miss my wife! This is also a big week for our church since we're launching in our new location this coming Sunday. As tough as it is to feel like I'm away from the action for a few days, I'm really appreciating our solid team of leaders who are back home getting the last minute details nailed down.
I'm also in the home stretch of my Master's Program. Only two classes left!
Spent some time Friday night in the hospital visiting a man who I affectionately refer to as "The Greatest Greeter in the History of Church of the King." He helped us launch the church seven years ago and has been a big part of our journey since then.
Met with our Advisory Committee on Saturday morning. I love this team of leaders in our church. They aren't afraid to go after audacious dreams and interpret facts through a lens of faith!
Met a few of our ministry directors and interns at Southfield Lathrup High School to shoot a video tour of the school. I'll link to the video as soon as we get it on Youtube.
Climbed inside of a locker for the closing scene of the video. Found out I'm bigger than I used to be!
Saturday night several of us went to see Prince Caspian at The Oaks film festival. They had almost five hundred people attend this first annual outreach. Yea God!
I loved preaching through Exodus and encountering the God of the Journey.
Led our church in a time of financial commitments toward the Amplify Campaign. Our goal was $40,000.00 from our church in one time gifts and three-month commitments. We had over $30,000.00 committed yesterday. What a great start!
Combined with the nearly $40,000.00 that's already been given from friends of our church, I feel confident that God's going to help us hit our faith total of $80,000.00!
Today our team will be spending about eight hours with a consultant from Portable Church Industries. On October 19 we will be expanding our church's weekend service into the auditorium at Southfield Lathrup High School. Our vision is to amplify our voice in Metro Detroit this fall, and the consultant is going to help us think through some of the details.
We won't be a true portable church since we'll keep our building as a base of operations during the week (offices, small groups, prayer meetings, etc). But we will be portable again for our weekend gathering.
Fortunately we're only about fifteen minutes away from the premier portalbe church outfitter in the country. I'm looking forward to hanging with the consultant to dream and learn. I'll let you know how it goes.
For several months our church has been setting aside the last full week of each month to emphasize the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting. We call it WOW (week of war). This week is off to a special start.
Our vision to amplify this fall seems to have energized our church to pray with increased faith and passion. Last night I met with our evangelism team. We spent the first half of the meeting praying for our city, and it was hot! One of the team members was actually healed of chronic leg pain in the meeting!
This morning a group of men gathered in the cafe to pray. We lifted our voices together and declared the character of God, then we prayed with intensity for our church, our families, and our city. I love hearing the sound of my brothers crying out to God.
If you are a part of Church of the King and haven't been to a prayer meeting this week, plan to join us tomorrow night at 7.00 pm as all of our Life Groups gather for corporate prayer. If the start of this week is any indication then you're not going to want to miss it!
Amplify is our church's vision to increase the fame of Jesus in Metro Detroit this fall. On October 19 we will be expanding our weekend service into the auditorium at Southfield Lathrup High School. The move will give us the capacity to at least double the size of our church this fall.
It also prompts an important question. How will our relationship continue with our current neighborhood?
God has given us valuable influence with many families in Berkley. This summer through our out of school bash, back to school bash, Tuesdays at the park, and Cruisefest outreach we have established more relationships in our neighborhood than any other summer before. Most of all, our influence grows exponentially as we each love our neighbors in practical ways. All of this will continue.
As we take this step forward it's important to remember that "church" is not just what will happen on Sunday morning at Southfield Lathrup. That is simply the place where we will gather each week. But "church" is what happens seven days a week as the people of God love Him, each other, and the city we live in.
We will continue to do this everywhere we live, play, and work. We will be the church in Berkley, Southfield, Detroit, Royal Oak, Ferndale, and dozens of other neighborhoods throughout Metro Detroit.
We will also continue to invest in Berkley. Our neighborhood outreaches will continue. And we will prayerfully consider even planting another church or campus in Berkley at some point.
Amplify is an opportunity for us to simply expand our influence to some new neighborhoods! More on that tomorrow.