Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Membership Covenants

Over the next two Sundays I'll be talking about the elders' commitment to move toward Covenant Membership here at GraceSLO. Understandably, after almost 80 years with no consistent membership track, many have questions. I hope to address some of those questions in these messages and then hit it again next fall when we formally and officially roll out covenant membership.

We are talking about a "Membership Covenant" as a part of our membership process. A membership covenant is simply a statement and pledge of our commitments to one another and to our Christian life together before the Lord.

What might be included in a membership covenant? I thought I'd post 4 sample membership covenants used by other churches we know and respect. Each is slightly different and reflects the unique life and character of that particular church, but all contain good stuff.

The first is from Capital Hill Baptist Church, currently pastored by Mark Dever . . .

Having, as we trust, been brought by Divine Grace to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to give up ourselves to Him, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, relying on His gracious aid, solemnly and joyfully renew our covenant with each other.

We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a Christian Church, exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other and faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require.

We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others.

We will endeavor to bring up such as may at any time be under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends.

We will rejoice at each other’s happiness and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.

We will seek, by Divine aid, to live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism and raised again from the symbolic grave, so there is on us a special obligation now to lead a new and holy life.

We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines. We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

We will, when we move from this place, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

The second is from Bethlehem Baptist Church, currently pastored by John Piper. . .

  1. Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive Jesus Christ as the Lord, Savior, and, supreme Treasure of our lives, and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

  2. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and peace; to promote its spirituality and fruitfulness; to sustain its worship, ordinances, and discipline; to welcome, and test biblically, instruction from the Scriptures by the elders of the church which accords with the of Faith contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

  3. We also engage to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the Christian faith; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment, to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to seek God’s help in abstaining from all drugs, food, drink, and practices which bring unwarranted harm to the body or jeopardize our own or another’s faith.

  4. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Elder Affirmation, seeking to grow toward biblical unity in the truth; to courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

  5. We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, if possible, unite with a likeminded church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant.

  6. We acknowledge that implicit within this covenant is the consent to be governed by the Relational Commitments that have been officially adopted by the church and that address peacemaking and reconciliation, accountability and church discipline, marriage and divorce, counseling and confidentiality, and the protection of our children.
(The relational commitments are radical and challenging and worth looking at HERE.)

The third is from Covenant Life Church, formerly pastored by C.J. Mahaney and currently pastored by Joshua Harris. . . .

Our Commitments to One Another in the Sight of God

The basis for our joining together as members is our relationship with God the Father through the work of his son Jesus Christ communicated to us by the Holy Spirit.

As a member, I joyfully agree to walk together with the members of this church by making the following commitments:

• I will rejoice in the grace of God, privately and corporately giving thanks to our heavenly Father for the sacrifice of his son Jesus, for the forgiveness of our sins, and for the gift of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to believe and to live for the glory of God.

• I will live together with my brothers and sisters in love, just as God has loved us. I will seek their good through forming relationships that promote holiness, discipleship, worship, and sound doctrine.

• I will, as God enables me, care for my brothers and sisters in Christ in distress, sickness, and poverty.

• I will not neglect to meet together in corporate worship and in small group fellowship in those settings that the church provides.

• I will devote myself to the study of Scripture and to prayer both privately and through group contexts.

• I will seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through seeking progressive growth in holiness through the application of the means of grace as taught in Scripture.

• I will seek to advance the proclamation of the gospel through those relationships God has afforded me in my family, my workplace, and my community, and support those whom the church sends to proclaim the gospel beyond our locale.

• I will seek to serve the church’s ministries through regular giving of my time, effort, and money.

• I will pursue reconciliation when offense occurs between myself and another member, and I will reject all opportunities to speak or to hear gossip or slander.

• I will watch out for church members and admonish anyone whose practice of sin requires it. If one of our number requires corporate discipline, I will support the efforts and direction of the church, as led by its pastors, to call that member to repent of his sins. I agree with the church’s doctrine and practice of church discipline. I support the church’s teaching on reconciling disputes and agree to abide by the church’s “Statement on Conflict, Disputes, and Lawsuits” (see Appendix E, p. 86).

• I will promote marriage as a reflection of Christ’s relationship with his church and bring up any children God gives me in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I support the church’s understanding of the Bible’s teaching on divorce and remarriage.

• I will, if I move from this place, unite with some other church where I can carry out the spirit of this agreement and the teaching of God’s Word.

The fourth is from Mars Hill Church, currently pastored by Mark Driscoll. . .


“…Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12: 1-2

As Christians, we are members of God’s household (Eph. 2:19) called to function, participate, and minister in a particular place within the body of Christ. A healthy body requires that each member do its part well. A healthy church requires the same: members who are sacrificially committed and well-equipped to do the works of service that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10; 4:12). Mars Hill Church holds its members in high regard; we expect them to lead as missionaries of the gospel to the culture. God, in his sovereignty, placed us in this city, among these people, in this century, for a reason (Acts 17:26-27).

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” -Romans 12: 3-8

Being a member of Mars Hill Church is really about being part of a family. All members are disciples of Jesus, unified by their identity in Christ. This unity is expressed in the way they collaborate in loving God, loving fellow Christians, and loving non-Christians. Members who enter into a covenant with their local church are called to a higher degree of responsibility and service. At the same time, the elders and deacons are covenanted to assist members first and foremost, to love and lead, provide counsel and aid, and pray for, teach, and guide them.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” -1 Peter 4: 8-10

What is a covenant?

A covenant is a promise by which we obligate ourselves to one another in such a way that the obligation of one party is not dependent on the faithfulness of the other (Ezek. 20:44; 36:22; Ps. 76:11; Hos. 2:19-20; 3:1; 2 Tim. 2:13). The Mars Hill Church covenant includes a statement of faith, a statement of biblical doctrine, the obligations of Mars Hill Church to its members, and the obligations of members to Mars Hill Church. Though the covenant does define the relationship between members and the church, it is first and foremost a promise made to God as a commitment to his glory and his bride, the church (Eph. 5:25).

Statement of faith

Statement of biblical doctrine

  • I agree with the core beliefs of Mars Hill Church, which are founded upon historic creeds (e.g. Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed) and expressed in the doctrinal statement.

  • I understand the importance of submission to church leadership and will be diligent to preserve unity and peace; I will adhere to Mars Hill Church’s position on primary theological issues, and I will not be divisive over secondary issues (Eph. 4:1-3; Heb. 13:7, 17).

  • I agree that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the ultimate doctrinal authority on all matters (Is. 55:11; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:15-16; Heb. 4:12).

  • I understand that Mars Hill Church doctrine is also communicated and specified through various channels, such as sermons, published materials, and other writings distributed by Mars Hill Church.

Obligation of Mars Hill Church to its members

My obligation to Mars Hill Church as a member

  • I have read and understood the Mars Hill doctrinal statement and will not be divisive to its teaching. I also understand the importance of submission to church leadership and will be diligent to preserve unity and peace (Eph. 4:1-3; Heb. 13:7, 17).

  • I covenant to submit to the authority of Scripture as the final arbiter on all issues (Ps. 119; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

  • I will maintain a close relationship with the Lord Jesus through regular Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and practice of spiritual disciplines. My relationship will be evident through my participation in weekly worship services, communion, Mars Hill community, service, and a life that glorifies Jesus (Ps. 105:1-2; Ps. 119:97; Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:23-25; 2 Peter 1:3).

  • I will steward the resources God has given me, including my time, talents, and treasure (Prov. 3:9-10; Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:22-26; Eph. 4:1-16; 5:15-18). This includes regular financial giving, service, and participation in community that is sacrificial, cheerful, and voluntary (Rom. 12:1-8; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:7-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

  • I will not function in leadership or as a member in another church family (Heb. 13:17).

  • I covenant to submit to discipline by God through his Holy Spirit, to follow biblical procedures for church discipline in my relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ, to submit to righteous discipline when approached biblically by brothers and sisters in Christ, and to submit to discipline by church leadership if the need should ever arise (Ps. 141:5; Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 2 Cor. 2:5-8; Gal. 6:1-5 8; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 1:9; 3:10-11; Heb. 12:5-11; Rev. 2:5-7, 14-25).

  • I agree, by God’s grace, to walk in holiness as an act of worship to Jesus Christ, who has saved me from my sin that I could live a new life (2 Cor. 5:17); I will practice complete chastity before marriage and complete fidelity in heterosexual marriage by abstaining from practices such as cohabitation, pornography, and fornication (Job 31:1; Prov. 5; Rom. 13:12-14; 1 Cor. 6:9-7:16; Heb. 13:4); I will refrain from illegal drug use, drunkenness, and other sinful behavior as the Bible, my pastors, and my conscience dictate (1 Cor. 8:7; Gal. 5:19-21). Should I sin in such a manner, I agree to confess my sins to Christian brothers or sisters and seek help to put my sin to death (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5; 1 John 1:6-10).

My commitment to the mission of Mars Hill Church

Mars Hill Mission Statement: Mars Hill Church lives for Jesus as a city within the city: knowing culture, loving people, and seeing lives transformed to live for Jesus.

I have read the mission statement of Mars Hill Church and commit to live out this mission as a diligent, faithful disciple of Jesus, that my identity would be in him, my worship would be for him, my fellowship would be through him, and my interaction with the culture would be for his glory.

I understand that this covenant obligates me to the members of Mars Hill and is an acknowledgement of my submission to the elders of the church. I accept the responsibility to notify Mars Hill leadership if at any time I can no longer commit to this covenant, or if I have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding Mars Hill Church.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Letter from Sandy & Stan

After preaching on encouragement on Sunday, I received this very discouraging letter in the mail on Monday. . . .

Dear Pastor,

My husband and I visited your church two weeks ago. We were disappointed.
Your focus was in reaching out and loving one another especially new people. No one even spoke to us let alone reached out and loved us.

The usher seated us next to a "doctor" like I was supposed to be impressed!!?? He took notes BUT never greeted us at any time. Some kind of love! This is very common in churches today. I experience this all the time. So, if people aren't going to love one another-then stop talking about it.

We now attend a 20% friendly church but no one goes beyond a handshake. You have 1,000 members so you may not need to grow, so stop talking about loving one another unless you demonstrate it.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.
Love, Sandy & Stan

Did these folks come in with a chip on their shoulder? Maybe.

Would their experience have been different if they would have come in assuming the best and actively engaging themselves? Probably.

But the fact remains, we didn't overcome their preconceived notions and chip. We didn't win them over. We let them get away without a warm GraceSLO welcome.

No address or other contact info, no last names, no way to reach out and try and connect.

Sad. I'm bummed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Sermon-Based Growth Groups?

In last Sunday's message, I gave 5 reasons why we at GraceSLO are committed to a sermon-based model of Growth Groups. Here are those 5 reasons again in print so you can continue you thinking about them. . . .

  1. A sermon-based model is a SCALABLE MODEL.

    Remember we’re trying to move 1000 people toward covenant community. We’re trying to help 1000 people grow spiritually. How do we do that? We’ve got 20 groups. We need 50 groups. That means lots and lots of Growth Group shepherds who must be trained and equipped to lead. That’s a lot of work.

    A sermon based model allows us to ramp up Growth Group shepherds quickly because they aren’t responsible for creating their own content, which can be both time consuming and intimidating.

    We would be hard pressed to come up with 50 leaders who’d have the gifts and, especially the time to craft and prepare a weekly bible study for a growth group. I think we’d be hard pressed to find 25 leaders who could do that. But we make it easy and doable for Growth Group shepherds. We provide the content. . . we provide a weekly training audio that’s posted on the web.

    Scalability is vital when you talk about trying spiritually grow 1000 people and more. Growth Groups are Scalable Model.

    And yet. . . .

  2. A sermon-based model is a FLEXIBLE AND OPEN MODEL.

    All we ask is that shepherds use the text of the message as a spring board. If they want to go deeper or in a different direction, that’s fine with us and some leaders do. We see a sermon-based model, not as constraining or constricting or controlling, but rather as providing great freedom for our leaders.


    Most of us are on information overload. The last thing we need is more content. What we really need is to grapple with and apply the content we’ve already received. We need to go deeper, not broader. A sermon based model is a lecture lab model . . . . it’s a hear, discuss, do model.

    After all, God’s Word is relevant and profitable for our lives, according to 2 Timothy 3:16. If what we’re doing on Sunday morning is not relevant to our lives. . .. then I’m in trouble. What am I doing with the great majority of my time? It's my great aim to drive a balanced diet of God’s Word deep into your life.

    We don’t need more. We need deeper. Growth Groups are designed to take us deeper.

    Scalability, Flexibility, Depth.


    We believe there is great value for us all to be grappling and applying the same truths throughout the week, instead of going in 20, 30, 40 different directions. We’ve seen how a sermon based model can unite the church. We think that’s powerful and desirable.

    And yet we’ve also talked about the need to address felt needs, things like marriage and parenting and other vital topics. . . . . so we’re open down the road to a few “tributary” groups that would shoot off the main stream of Growth Groups for a time. . . .

    These groups and their leaders will be individually approved on a case by case basis. . . . and would meet for a limited time after which the members would jump back into the main stream of Growth Groups.

    But again, our priority. . . our main stream will be sermon-based Growth Groups. Why? Because a sermon based model is scalable, it's flexible and open, it’s a model that encourages deep processing and application of spiritual truth, while keeping us united and growing in the same direction.

    And finally. . .

  5. A sermon based model is a MANAGEABLE MODEL.

    The church’s resources are limited and, quite frankly, in these economic times getting more limited. A sermon-based model seeks to make good use of the all the time and effort that is goes into the Sunday morning sermon.

    If everyone does whatever they want in their small groups, we have no idea where that might end up. Our leadership feels a responsibility to know and shepherd what happens in small groups that meet under the umbrella of our ministry. And yet we really don’t want to responsible for approving 20, 30, 50 different curriculums and policing the content of all our small groups.

    A sermon-based model takes the content selection challenge off the table. In other way to think about this. . . A sermon based model has built in quality control. We know what groups are talking about, because we’ve created the content.

    It's simply impossible to shepherd well a model where 20, 30, 50 groups are studying 20, 30, 50 different topics.

So for all these reasons, we’re committed to a sermon based model. We hope that gives you a bit more insight to our perspective and this important decision.

If you're interested in still more reasons for adopting a sermon-based model of small groups, check this out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I was distracted this morning. . .

I got this note last week from a friend, after I compared the menus of In-N-Out Burger and Carl's Jr. . . .

We have the scantily clad women Carl's Jr. has, too, sadly. I wonder if this is a subject the pastor wants to consider's an article about that sort of thing. I was distracted this morning and it irritated me.

The article he references is HERE. (Warning: the article pretty provocative and challenging, but honest and insightful. I think it captures well the real issues men face, but most women are unaware of.)

I thought it was awfully honest for this guy to reach out and share his "distraction." Admittedly, I am a bit busy and preoccupied on Sunday mornings, so this is not something that I've noticed.

But this is a subject "the pastor" is willing to mention. . . .

I think our sisters in Christ have an opportunity to serve and care for their brothers in Christ by dressing modestly when we come to worship the Lord together. I agree that the world gives us enough to deal with in this area. The church should offer men a refuge from the onslaught of overly sexualized culture.

I honestly don't think that Christian women are trying to arouse their brothers in Christ, but they really don't have a clue how the male mind works. Every honest Christian man I know admits struggle in this area. Every one.

Paul's comments about modesty in 1 Timothy 2, while originally intended to address flashy clothing, most certainly apply to scanty or over revealing clothing as well. . . .

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.--1 Timothy 2:9-10

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

FAQ #1: Growth Groups & Covenant Membership

In Sunday's message, we talked some more about "covenant community" and how we move toward it here at GraceSLO.

What is a "covenant"? In its broadest Biblical sense, a "covenant" is a committed and intimate relationship. Jesus makes possible a new "covenant" or committed intimate relationship with God by means of His shed blood. At the same time He calls us into a new "covenant community" called the church.

By "covenant community" I mean the kind of a committed, intimate, relational community which is implied in Acts 2:42, Romans 12:9-13 and numerous other passages which speak of the church's life together.

How do we move toward the kind of community God desires and the Bible describes for God's people in the church?

On Sunday, I highlighted two key commitments that our elders and pastors believe can move us forward in the days ahead. . . .

  1. A commitment to Growth Groups.

  2. A commitment to Covenant Membership.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll say more about each of these, but for now, we've begun the dialogue.

If you haven't listened to the message, do that first.

If you have listened to the message, here's a first round of questions and my answers. That's important! These are my answers at present, and do not reflect the official position of the elders at this time. There is still much that needs to be discussed and decided. And yet, I still think it's helpful to open up the process and encourage the dialogue. On the membership front, very little is set in stone yet. The questions were great questions submitted by one individual in our church. Here goes. . .

  • Do you and the leadership anticipate keeping the growth group model currently being utilized? Are those groups going to continue being sermon based?

    We are committed to a "main stream" of Growth Groups that will be sermon-based, but we've also acknowledged the need for a few short term "tributaries" (working on a better term!) off the "mean stream". These "tributaries" will address felt need topics like parenting and marriage stuff. These groups and their leaders will be approved and the aim will be to get folks back into the "main stream" of the sermon based model as soon as possible. Our focus will continue to be sermon-based groups for a whole host of reasons including quality control, unity, growth in the same direction, leader equipping and training, manageability, maximizing the church's limited resources, and scalability.

  • Do you anticipate groups which will be gender specific, as well as gender specific groups being led by women or men?

    We're open to gender specific groups. We have had some in college for the last three years. But we also believe it's valuable and preferable, whenever possible, to get couples in groups together. Our experience is that couples just don't know how to talk about spiritual things very well and we believe a healthy, vibrant Growth Group can help couples grow in this area. Similarly, we believe couples together in Growth Groups is family-supporting, rather than segmenting the family throughout the week. We're trying to be careful to not undermine the family and its precious time together.

    We're open to Growth Groups organized around ages and stages of people's lives. (singles, married without kids, divorced, etc) We're fine with gender specific groups being led by leaders of the same gender. We're open to husbands and wives co-leading mixed-gender groups.
  • With the shift of focus at the church, who will be giving over site to this ministry?

    For now, Pastor Steve will continue to give over site to this ministry, though Ken, Steve, and I are working on a lot of this stuff together.
  • I know you just touched on membership and will be flushing that out more in the next few weeks, what will that look like for those wanting to serve at the church? Will membership be required to do so?

    We will tie serving to membership for most serving positions/places, but not all. I don't see membership being required for "entry level" and occasional serving positions like greeting, refreshments or Fall Kick-Off helpers, I'm open when it comes to POW Small Group leaders. Membership will be required for Growth Group Leaders and those who teach Sunday School. Our goal will to encourage all to move toward membership as a way of committing to our covenant community. The staff and elders have got a long way to go in terms of fleshing all this out, but these are my thoughts today. We see membership as a way of building a relational community, being accountable to one another, caring for one another, and shepherding the flock. Those who have a conscience issue with church membership we would work with individually. Those who don't want to become members, will be welcome here and not second class citizens, but limited in the places they can serve.

    We're really aware the church membership will an "uphill swim", in our culture which is increasingly individualistic and non-committal, but our moving forward is driven by a desire to better "be the church" and to better "shepherd the flock." We believe the Lord calls us to commit to one another, even in, or especially in, an age of non-commitment.
  • Are you anticipating a series of classes to instruct in this area?

    We do anticipate membership training classes. Pastor Ken has already begun teaching regular "Getting to Know Grace" classes, which we see morphing into Membership Classes. I expect for the great majority of the congregation, we will devise an initial way for them to become members.
  • Will growth group participation be a requirement of church membership?

    Again, we've got to flesh this out, but I imagine something like this being a part of a membership covenant. . . . .

    "Since the Christian life is not a solo or individual journey, I commit to regularly being involved with others here at GraceSLO in a Growth Group (our preference) or some other type of small group (men's, women's or other)."

    I would define regular as at least one quarter a year.

Again this is a "first blush", but hopefully it's helpful in opening up our evolving thinking on these matters.

I'm throwing it out there and we're inviting your input.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Right around 20 guys showed up for our first men's study this morning at 6:00 AM. I was humbled and encouraged by the turnout. I was hoping for around 10. Men are hungry for more.

If you missed it, it's not too late to jump in. Join us next Thursday. We are reading Piper's "The Pleasures of God" and the first three chapters are available online HERE. We were all challenged by reading the intro together this morning. Read and come prepared to discuss chapter 1 next Thursday.

If you can't make it right now, jump in when we start the next book in a couple of months.

I laid out these expectations for the study this morning . . .

  1. Show up consistently. I'm asking for a "book-long" commitment at minimum. When we finish the book you are free to hop out, but don't quit in the middle.

  2. Be on time. I'm committed to ending our formal discussion no later than 7:00 AM, so our time is short and precious. Let's make the most of it by starting together at 6:00 AM sharp.

  3. Come prepared, having actively read the assigned reading.

It was really too crowded in my office, so we'll meet in the Lower Fireside Room next Thursday (The entrance is just east of the office doors on the Pismo side of the campus.)

Life is short. It is so time to invest in things that matter and things that will last. Relationships, the knowledge of God, and our call to leadership as men are all things that matter.

On a sad note, I was reminded of the brevity and fragility of life last evening as we received news that Berkley Johnston, a family friend, unexpectedly passed away after suffering a heart attack yesterday. Berkley was only 46 years old. He leaves behind a grieving wife and three children. Our family is grieving with them and considering our own lives and all that really matters.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

it's on

Hey Men,

The new year is upon us. So let's jump into this men's study I've been talking about this Thursday, January 7th at 6:00 AM here at my office. Since it's such late notice, we'll call this is a "soft start" and give guys a chance to also jump in next Thursday.

We'll be reading and discussing John Piper's "The Pleasures of God" together, but don't worry if you haven't picked up the book yet. This first week, we'll take care of some introductory logistics and I'll bring some copies of the introduction that we can read together. If it would be helpful, I can order a case of the books for the following Thursday.

Not sure how many guys we'll have, but I'd love to have you. Tell a friend.

See you Thursday. . . Tim