- Another good day.
- Started out this morning not being able to open my car doors because they were froze shut. Once I did get the rear door open, then I couldn’t get it shut.
- Made for a late start with Mike getting the signs out…and oh wow was it cold.
- Set-up went pretty smoothly…although after last week’s “No Show Sunday” seemed like we had some missing and out of place stuff, but we figured it all out.
- Bill is always really creative and came up with a boxing ring for the set piece today…it was cool how he made it.
- Had a decent size crowd show-up at 9:10 to share in communion with us.
- The theater is such a hard place to pull it off (logistics) and with our large amount of unbelievers that attend, for some theological reasons its difficult as well.
- This will be a good solution to use from time to time to supplement the times we do it other ways.
- After communion we had a lot of new people come in to observe our team meeting and then get a behind the scenes tour of the areas they are interested in serving in.
- If you’re interested in serving, please start the process by choosing the appropriate link and then filling out the form. For set-up, tear down, or any First Impressions role, click here.
- For any Children’s Ministry role, click here.
- As a reminder, to incorporate some new stuff we want to do, we also need those currently serving to fill out the appropriate forms as well.
- As for the Experience itself, it was a small yet fairly enthusiastic crowd today.
- Bill and the team did a great job covering “Ladies and Gentlemen”.
- Andy and Cris did a great job as well creating the tech side of things for it.
- I shot a video but it didn’t come out great but here it is anyway so you can get a sense of what we did.
- That led into Chad’s message which we called, “All Show Sunday”.
- He did a great job sharing why you need to serve with others in the area that you not only have a passion for, but are also gifted to serve in.
- I was able to walk around today and see some of our other ministries in action.
- So thankful for all that God allows us to do!
- Again we’d love to see you begin serving if you’re not already…click the links above to get started.
- One cool up-date…
- I announced at the end that we fell about 500 cans short of our goal to collect 2012 food items for Isaiah 61 Ministries.
- After the Experience was over, a very generous lady said she’s buy the difference!
- Love to see people being radically generous!
- Had about 70 people come out to lunch at Infinito’s with us.
- Always good to be able to spend time with getting to know people better.
- Pretty awesome to see how many people from my couple of blocks are now attending…some that I didn’t even know lived nearby.
- Next week we begin a new series called, “Sun Stand Still”.
- I can’t stress this enough…THIS WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT SERIES WE’VE EVER DONE…DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO INVITE PEOPLE TO COME WITH YOU.
- If you need more of the invite cards, please email me and we’ll get them to you.
NOTE FROM GILBERT: In yesterday’s message and then again in the “Inside Today’s Experience” I made the announcement that Chelsea Miller will be leaving our staff. Today I want to share with you a letter from Chelsea to you her church family at ExponentialChurch.tv. Tomorrow then I’ll do some FAQ’s, followed by the plan for Children’s Ministry, as we go forward, on Wednesday.
Scott Adams once wrote, “You don’t have to be a “person of influence” to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they’ve taught me.”
At a time like this a letter seems so insignificant, but a way I can share my deep appreciation for the influence you have all had in my life. I wouldn’t even know where to start. It goes without saying, that this has been the greatest growing and learning experience of my life, and without the help and support of my church family, I probably wouldn’t still be here today. God has given me the privilege of serving at Exponential and some of you have entrusted me with the care and education of your most precious gift; your children.
I love each of them and am thankful for the time I’ve had to share Christ with them. They mean the world to me and nothing brings me greater joy than seeing your children walk with Jesus hidden deep within their hearts, yet with a great desire to share that love with others. They have reminded me what having a child-like faith is really all about, and have helped me grow closer to Christ. I only hope I’ve helped them do the same.
Making this decision was one of the hardest, that I’ve ever had to make, but I feel as though God is leading me in another direction. I am thankful for the staff and the friendships that have been established. For their encouragement, love and support they’ve given me since day one on August 17th, 2010. The day I moved to Harrisburg. They’ve challenged me to grow deeper in my faith and knowledge of leadership and ministry. They’ve offered help, not only in areas of ministry, but on a personal level and for that I’m truly thankful.
Since I’ve lived here, I’ve learned more what it means to fully give my life to Christ and put daily dependence in Him. I’ve learned what it means to really pray and have seen God move in mighty ways. I’m learning about myself and who I am in Christ. It’s my hearts desire to serve God in everything I do, and so I will continue to serve qualitatively. With Christ at the center of my life, I will strive to become the disciple of God He has called me to be.
Although this is a challenging time in my life, I look up! The maker of the universe, the former of our hearts, the Lord and Savior who cares about every detail of our lives, He is in control.
- What a great day!
- Last week I told everyone NOT TO invite anyone today but didn’t tell them why.
- It immediately became clear today why I said that…for some it happened sooner than it did for others…more on that in a second.
- So what did we do? Well it was called “No Show Sunday” and the premise was this…
- What would church be like if none of our normal 43 volunteers on a Sunday morning showed up.
- In other words, without telling them why, I gave everyone who serves the week off and then between myself, Bill and Chelsea (all staff)…we did everything (Chad our other staff person was away).
- But when I say everything, we only did the very minimum’s.
- What this meant was no signs, nobody opening doors, no greeters, no ushers, no children’s ministry (yep that was interesting have all the kids in with us), no cafe, none of the little extra touches we normally do to spruce up the theater, no lights, no projection (ok we did use an old transparency projector. You can see what it looks like here on the blog…wow it was horrible!), no full worship team (just Bill on keys), no stage set, no bulletin…well you get the idea.
- There were multiple goals for the day…
- First that people realize what we do and the incredible things that God is doing in our midst is not a 1-man show. As I said, “Yes I may be the big mouth but it takes dozens of people doing their part to pull off all God wants us to do”.
- Second that those already serving would realize how valuable they are and would be honored.
- It was awesome the ovation they got and we were honored to treat them all to lunch afterward at a local restaurant. It was expensive but they are worth 100’s of times what it cost…it truly is a team effort at ECTV.
- In total 56 of our people who serve showed up and it was my honor to be able to personally go around and thank each of them for the various things they do.
- Third that those not already serving would be inspired to start. As I also said, “It’s not that we NEED you to, it’s that we WANT you to so you can experience what all the rest of us are”.
- I think all of the goals were achieved!
- You can listen to my message here.
- Really though this was a message that was more felt than heard.
- I was amazed how many people picked up on no directional signs being anywhere on Valley Road.
- It was almost comical watching people come in the wrong doors from the outside. Our team does such a great job of welcoming and then directing traffic that most people don’t even realize it. It was funny time after time watching people come through the center doors and then looking around like, “Where am I?”
- For those that did come in the usual set of doors it was also funny to see them immediately turn left to go get something to eat in the Cafe and then the shocked look on their face when they realized nothing was there.
- Another big shocker was how many people later commented to me how much they miss the little touches we do in the restrooms to make it first class.
- Some of the things I didn’t even know we do, but again it just proved that it’s not all about me and the staff and that the “little things” sometimes make the biggest difference.
- Ok let’s cover some other quick stuff from the day.
- It was nice being able to sleep in a little later than normal.
- I busted my head on one of the railings this morning and was pretty woozy…as I write this at 5:30 in the evening I still have a headache.
- Bill and I decided to set things up early to make sure we had all our bases covered since we weren’t using our normal equipment.
- Everything set-up quickly which meant we had 1 1/2 hours to kill.
- Nice of Andy to bring us some coffee cake.
- We sat around waiting for Chelsea to come in and then the 3 of us just sat there taking turns going, “This is so weird”.
- We always start the Expereinces with a countdown and today was no different…except it was my fingers shining a shadow on the overhead projector.
- Bill did a great job leading worship by himself…it was hilarious when he played and sang the beginning of the old, cheesy Eric Carmen song, “All By Myself”. His wife Meghan gave him the idea which was awesome!
- All in all the worship time was pretty good energy and participation.
- My message was the longest I’ve done at ECTV but there was a lot that needed to be said…and also included something I would rather not have had to announce…
- Effective March 11th, Chelsea will be leaving our staff.
- Please check back on the blog tomorrow and I’ll be posting much more about this.
- Until then know that while this was sad to announce, Chelsea and I are both excited about the future of ECTV and our Children’s Ministry.
- It was so great the sustained standing ovation that Chelsea got from everyone…it was well deserved!
- Having been in her shoes a couple of times, I know how draining of a day the announcement of your departure can be, but she did great.
- Again check back tomorrow for more from me and a letter from Chelsea as well.
- Then on Tuesday I’ll post more info on what the plan is from here on out.
- If you’re dying to know I did talk about it in the message so again here is the link.
- Speaking of kids, all of them were in the Worship Experience with us and it was basically what I figured it would be…controlled chaos.
- We had more people up and down today than we’ve had in the previous 15 months combined…a lot of that I could tell was kid related.
- For the most part I was able to block out the crying and other general noises from the kids as I was speaking but I could see that others were being distracted by their own kids or others.
- So thankful for those that serve our kids each week in a fun environment that allows them to learn about Jesus in age appropriate ways…it’s not only good for the kids but also for the adults so they can worship and learn without distraction.
- I haven’t gotten the final count yet but it would appear that a couple dozen people signed up to begin serving in various roles we have both on Sunday’s and during the week.
- Doing what we did was a big risk but it would appear well worth it.
- Oh yeah forgot to mention we had one of our largest crowds ever. Add on top of that all the kids in with us and the theater really felt full.
- I kept apologizing to guests afterwards but they all said they understood the point and would be back during one of our “normal” weeks.
- Next week things will be back to normal…but two things will be a bit different.
- First for anyone interested, we’ll be sharing communion together at 9:10am in the lobby.
- Afterward you’ll be able to see what one of our normal team meetings is like.
- Second, all are invited to Infinito’s on Union Deposit Road at noon for a chance to eat and hang out with one another.
- Ok think I’ve said enough…have a great week!
- Just waking up from a 2+ hour nap!
- Very tiring yet productive day.
- Had 5 more people make professions of faith in Jesus!
- That now puts us over 150 since we launched 15 moths ago…amazing…thank you Jesus for allowing us to be a part of building your kingdom!
- For some odd reason I was wide awake this morning at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep.
- It was weird having so much extra time this morning to get ready…sort of cool…but thus the 2 hour nap!
- After a couple of nice warm weather days, I almost left the house with only a hoodie on but then thought better and put my winter jacket on.
- Glad I did…it was freezing setting out signs this morning.
- The technology gremlins were out in full force this morning during set-up.
- Nothing too major but just a lot of little things that were annoying.
- Grateful for Andy, Mike and Cris and their willingness to keep troubleshooting until everything worked perfectly.
- Had a lot of people email/text/call in sick so we were short-staffed for serving but was able to get all the serving roles filled.
- Despite a lot of sick people out, we had a pretty decent size crowd today and they came fired up.
- Love when the crowd is engaged fully in worship!
- I wrapped up the “Little Faither” series by looking at the story of Elijah worrying after Jezebel threatens his life.
- You can listen to today’s message here.
- I really enjoyed preaching this series…in fact one of my favorites since we launched.
- Had so many people say how helpful it’s been.
- Even if for no one else, it’s been helpful to me during some stressful times both personally and professionally the past few months as I prepared for it and now finally delivered it.
- Next week we begin a new series and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s going to happen next week…as a reminder…DO NOT INVITE ANYONE NEXT WEEK!!!!
- That’s right you didn’t read that wrong…do not invite anyone…this will make a lot more sense once you’re there and see the special surprise we have in store for everyone.
- Trust me you’ll be talking about this for a long time.
- So if you’ve ever been to ExponentialChurch.tv, do whatever it takes to be there next week.
- If you’ve never been with us, then hold off until February 12th.
- Speaking of February 12th, don’t forget to mark your calendars that we will be sharing communion together in the lobby at 9:10am that morning and then everyone going out to Infinito’s for lunch at 12pm.
- Should be a great day of sharing life together.
- Hope everyone has a great week…see you Sunday for our special surprise.
I just got an e-mail this morning saying that our domain name, www.ExponentialChurch.tv had automatically renewed as per my contract with the hosting company. What this simply means is that it’s been 2 years to the day since I officially decided on what the church name was going to be.
It was in October of 2009 that God gave me the vision for Exponential. The next few months consisted of making sure this was God’s will for our lives and not just a bad reaction to the pepperoni pizza I had eaten the night before. A part of this process took Lisa and I out to San Diego for a week-long church planter’s assessment. It was a grueling week of assessments, psychological testing, team exercises, quizzes, presentations and constantly having 25+ people evaluate your every move.
Although we had previously discussed names for the potential church, God didn’t confirm any until Lisa and I were back in our hotel room after yet another intense day of evaluation. That was two years ago today and of course the name chosen was Exponential Church.
The reason for this was quite simple. During my years working for Purpose Driven Ministries, part of the teaching I did for pastors was about Exponential Faith Thinking. Essentially this means that you must have a vision, goals and dreams SO BIG that if God doesn’t show up and do something miraculous, those dreams and goals will never come true.
By thinking this big, it does two things for you. First, it will drive you to your knees in prayer begging God to do something great on your behalf. Since you know you can’t do it without Him, this big vision will force you to be utterly and totally dependent on Him. Second, when your dreams and goals are fulfilled, you won’t possibly be able to receive the credit for it…all the praise will go to how great God is, not how smart you are.
This whole line of thinking fit perfectly with the vision God had given me. What I was experiencing in San Diego was only confirming that. It’s a huge vision that I’m not nearly smart enough to accomplish without God doing something great in and on my behalf. The name Exponential also described the type of impact I know God is calling us to have. Yes, we are starting in Harrisburg and that is our primary place God has called us to reach, but I truly believe that we’re going to do things that will make an eternal difference in our state, nation and world.
Now you might be saying, “That’s awesome but what about the .tv part?” Glad you asked. So 2 years ago today as God confirmed the name, I immediately decided to go ahead and buy the domain name. One problem… .com, .org, .net, .info and many of the other common extensions are owned by others. Immediately God reminded me of that a couple of churches that I greatly admire have the .tv extension…in fact some of them even made it a part of their name since it’s still uncommon here in the US. A quick search and sure enough www.ExponentialChurch.tv was available. A month later when we filled out all of our legal paperwork, I included the .tv in the name so people won’t have to guess how to find us on the web.
So now you know. Two challenges for you: First, are you thinking Exponentially in your own life and ministry? Life is too short to waste it on small dreams. Second, if you’re a part of ExponentialChurch.tv are you serving in some way? The vision is too big and the stakes too high for you to simply sit on the sidelines as a spectator. Discover what it is that God is calling you to do to help make this Exponential vision a reality!