Tuesday, September 28, 2010

anybody ready?

So we've got folks driving to GraceSLO from as far away as San Miguel and Santa Maria.

Check out this awesome conversation between Mark Driscoll, Mark Dever and James MacDonald on the pros and cons of multi-site churches and church planting.



Might this work on the Central Coast? Should it work on the Central Coast? Maybe we're thinking too small?

It challenges me and overwhelms me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

2 Timothy Mind Map

Sunday we kicked off our Fall Preaching Series, The Gospel is Worth It: Studies in 2 Timothy. (listen here!) As a fun intro, we worked on a "mind map". Here's a quick run through of the slide deck, for those of you who missed it . . . .especially helpful for missing Growth Group Shepherds.


video

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last Call for Growth Group Shepherds

The GOOD NEWS is people are understanding the priority of Growth Groups in our life together. So many who have never been involved before are jumping into Growth Groups this fall. It's exciting and encouraging.

The BAD NEWS is we don't have enough Shepherds. Groups are too full and there aren't enough of them. Here's a slice of our reality.

  • We have lots of people expressing an interest in groups, but our current times and locations don't work for them.

  • Despite our concerted efforts, we have only one North County Group that just got added this week. We see that as a major loss for many who live in the North, but call GraceSLO their home.

  • We need more SLO Growth Groups. Many of our groups are busting at the seams and are too big. When a group gets too big, connection breaks down and connection is a top priority in our church right now.

  • We need at least one more South County Group. We've got 4 vibrant and healthy groups down south, but simply need more.

Some of you have told us "maybe", but we haven't heard from you. Some of you have said "no" this quarter. We want to respect you and don't want to pressure you, but we do want to challenge you by letting you know we have a real need and there is a great opportunity to impact some lives, help some folks grow in grace, and help folks connect in our church.

Believe me, I know how busy life is, but Susie and I are making time to lead a Growth Group this fall, because we're convinced sharing our lives with others is essential and what the Christian life is all about!

Thanks for considering my challenge. Please know, our love and commitment to you is sure and unwavering, whether or not you are able to pull it off. We're just trying to do the best we can to shepherd, care and connect the family here at GraceSLO.

If you'e interested or want to talk about it a bit, contact Tim Arlen at 543.2358 or tima@graceslo.org.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. --Matthew 9:37

Connect 09.23.10

Here's my email today to the list of men on Thursday Morning Men's Study list. . . . Consider it an invite for all men at GraceSLO. I'm dying to see some older men join me in investing their lives in some younger men. Now is the time for men to step up into the roles to which God calls them! . . . .


Hey Men,

I'm looking forward to being with you Thursday morning.

Its a transitional morning, as we both wrap up our "Spiritual Leadership" study and lean into our new book, "The Reason for God" by Tim Keller. If you took the summer off and you're still getting these emails, I want to encourage you to jump back in for the spiritual encouragement, the accountability and the leadership challenge. I need it and so do you.

A reminder for the consistent crew: Finish those remaining Spiritual Leadership chapters and come ready to share 3 crisp takeaways from the those chapters or the book as a whole. We'll spend the first half sharing what we've learned and capping off Spiritual Leadership and spend the second half reading the intro to The Reason for God.

I know of at least one new guy who will be there. I hope there will be others. If you think of others who need the fellowship of men (who doesn't?) forward this email or give them a call and invite them.

See you tomorrow. . . . Tim

Friday, September 17, 2010

use the image to invite a friend

Life @ Grace Fall Kick Off Edition!

1001st post here! Wow! Here's all info you need to know about this Sunday's Fall Kick-Off in case it didn't show up in your inbox. See you Sunday!



Celebrating, proclaiming & Living the Gospel together

Dear Friends,

Our 2010 Fall Kickoff is here and happening this Sunday, September 19 at 10:00 AM! Its going to be great to turn "the inside out to bring the outside in." Here are a few reminders as we look forward to the day together . . .

  • PRAY for safety, all the logistics, a warm welcome for visitors and, most of all, for the unleashing of the Gospel.

  • SPREAD the news about the event by boldly posting to your blogs, twitter and facebook accounts. Grab the image and text copy on my blog and post it on your stuff. They tell me EVERYONE is using Facebook, so let's use it, too, for the Lord.

    You can link to GraceSLO's new Facebook page HERE.
    You can link to GraceSLO's new Twitter account HERE.

  • INVITE personally your own circle of friends. Bring them if you can. Offer to meet them if you must. Remember, guests eat free. Here's an invite card, email it to a friend.
  • BRING chairs and blankets, if you prefer to sit under the trees rather than in provided seating. I'm not sure what the weather will be like, but come prepared. We'll have lots of water.

  • PARK in the Parking Structure to leave park close spots for visitors.

  • REACH OUT on Sunday to any and all you don't know to help us create a warm, friendly welcome.

Our theme and sermon series this Fall will be "The Gospel is Worth It" rooted in 2 Timothy and this Sunday I'll aim to show the wonder and awe of the Gospel claim from 1 Timothy 1:15-18 in a message I've titled, "Christ Jesus came into the World." As always, I will work hard to respect, but also challenge all who are present with us. Join me in praying expectantly and come ready to be the church "in the the community, serving the community" in Jesus' name.
If my chance you signed up to help and you haven't been contact yet, email Pastor Ken and let him know. Its come to our attention that some of our sign-up tabs have been lost and we can use all the help we can get.
If you happened to miss last Sunday's message, "Soul Thirst" from Psalm 63, I want to urge you to listen HERE. In the message, I addressed the delicate and divisive topic of praise and the current state of praise at GraceSLO.
Below are a few other reminders . . .

See you Sunday!

Because the Gospel changes everything. . . . Pastor Tim

  • Growth Group Open Enrollment, Sundays in the Courtyard: We're reaching for 40 vibrant, alive, warm, relational groups this quarter. Groups begin meeting the week of September 26. Enrollment is happening Sundays in the Courtyard.

  • Pizza in the Park, Sunday, September 26 & October 3: If you are a college student, you are invited for free pizza in Mitchell Park right after the 10:45 service. Come and connect with our college leadership and other college students. For more info email Tim Fox.
  • Open-to-All Sunday Adult Seminars & Bible Fellowships starting Sunday, Sept. 26
  1. Financial Peace University, September 26, 10:45 AM, Founders Hall B: We are once again hosting Dave Ramsey's 13 week Financial Peace University. Cost is $100 and space is limited, so register in the Courtyard on Sunday.

  2. Effective Parenting in a Defective World, 9:00 AM, Fireside Room: Hosted by our 2:42 ABF and facilitated by Donny & Stephanie Valliere, this 12 week class, utilizing a Chip Ingram film series, will tackle the ins and outs of Gospel-centered parenting in a busy, broken world.

  3. Living Out Loud, 9:00 AM Founder's Hall B: We all know we should share our faith in Jesus with others around us, but most of us are scared to death and don't know where to begin. Hosted by the Harvesters ABFs, this seminar co-lead by Ted Malley and Tim Arlen, will provide Biblical training and practical help for effectively sharing your faith in your God-given circle of influence. . . and with perfect strangers.

  4. Living Stones Adult Bible Fellowship, 9:00 AM, Founders Hall A: As the fall gets going, the Living Stones invite you to jump into their ongoing study of Acts. Living Stones are a warm, caring fellowship of adults, between the ages of 40 and 65.

  5. Bereans Senior Adult Bible Fellowship, 10:45 AM, Fireside Room: We love our senior adults here at GraceSLO! If you're a senior adult looking to connect with others your age, the Bereans is the class for you. Join them this fall as they continue in their study of Revelation and Proverbs.
  • Daughters of the King Brunch, Saturday, October 9, 9:00: We'll be celebrating our place as women in God's Kingdom. Come enjoy a delicious breakfast, fun crafts, sweet fellowship and an inspirational talk. Cost is $5/person with a $10/family maximum. Sign up in the Courtyard on Sunday. For more information call Debbi Weeks at 543-2358.
Link to GraceSLO on Facebook
Link to GraceSLO on Twitter
Listen to last week's message, "Psalm 63: Soul Thirst"
Read Pastor Tim's blog
See Grace event pictures
Sign on to our online congregational directory


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Life Together Fall Preview Special Edition

In case you don't read email anymore or it went to junk, here is yesterday's all church email. It contains vital information about the Fall here at GraceSLO. Holler if you have any questions. . . T.





Celebrating, Proclaiming & Living the Gospel Together

WARNING: This one's a bit long, but contains vital info!

Beloved Family of Grace,

Ready or not, the Fall is here! I don't know about you and your family, but we've realized that this quarter is going to be more full and more busy than any we've ever experienced as a family. It's a hard sprint to Thanksgiving for us. How about you?

Because our family is so busy, we've recognized it's even more important to prioritize our spiritual lives and our gathering together with God's people for worship and fellowship. We need to hear the Gospel EVERY WEEK and be with others who believe the Gospel EVERY WEEK. That's why we're committed to worship on Sundays. That's why we're committing to a Growth Group this Fall. That's why we're committed to getting our jr. high student to mid-week youth group. We need these anchors in our lives. We want these rhythms and practices to shape our lives.

We've taken time as a family to sit down and talk about these priorities and our busy schedules. I want to encourage you to do the same as soon as you can. (If it would be helpful to hear what this looks like and how we do this, email me!)

The Fall is always an exciting and vibrant time here at GraceSLO. It's a time when new folks drop in and new things get going. Amidst all the activity, events, ministries and opportunities, we want to help you prioritize your involvement at GraceSLO this Fall. . . .

Priority #1: Come to the Sunday Worship Service. If you've only got time for one thing this fall, choose this. Our worship service is the center of our life as a church, and the thing that drives everything else we do. It's in the worship service, where our diverse inter-generational family of Grace comes to unite and worship the Lord together, hear the preaching of His Word, partake of the Lord's Supper, and cheerfully give to the work of the Lord. These things don't happen anywhere else in our church, like they do in our worship service.

Priority #2: Jump into a Growth Group. Remember, this is our "Big Rock Priority" that we want to stick in our life jars first! (If that doesn't make any sense, listen to this message.) This is where we connect and care for one another. This is where we grapple with and apply the Gospel together. This is where we really can practice all those "one another" commands. . . . not in a group of 400 people on a Sunday morning, or even a group of 40 people, but in a group of 6 - 12 people where we can open up and share our lives. Growth Groups make a big church feel like a small church.

Priority #3: Get Your Students to Wednesday Evening Jr. High and High School stuff. In today's world, we believe Christian students need to be together regularly and often for mutual spiritual encouragement.

Priority #4: Take Your Pick. . . . . from our wide variety of other ministries including Tuesday Evening AWANA Kid's Program, Adult Sunday Seminars and Bible Fellowships, Thursday Morning Pearls of Wisdom Women's Study, Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting, early morning Men's Studies throughout the week and a continual stream of special events.

With those priorities in mind, here are more specifics regarding a number of opportunities starting up in the next couple of weeks. . . .

  • Fall Kick Off, Sunday, September 19, 10:00 AM: Our annual Fall Kick Off in Mitchell Park is a week from this Sunday! We can still use helpers, so email our church office right now, if you can help with set up, food, fun booths, welcome, food or park clean-up. Let us know on the tab this Sunday how many will be joining us for lunch. Please, for the safety and enjoyment of others, do not bring your pets to the park that day. Invite your friends, co-workers, neighbors and family members to join us for this great day. This is the best, most open, inviting, non-threatening event we do every year. So let's make the most of the opportunity!
  • Pearls of Wisdom Women's Bible Study kicks off Tomorrow, Sept. 9, 9:00 AM: All women are welcome to join us as we study, "Meditations on the Person of God." You may register at the first meeting.

  • Growth Group Open Enrollment, Sundays in the Courtyard: We're reaching for 40 vibrant, alive, warm, relational groups this quarter. Groups begin meeting the week of September 26. Enrollment is happening Sundays in the Courtyard.
  • Open-to-All Sunday Adult Seminars & Bible Fellowships starting Sunday, Sept. 26
  1. Financial Peace University, September 26, 10:45 AM, Founders Hall B: We are once again hosting Dave Ramsey's 13 week Financial Peace University. Cost is $100 and space is limited, so register in the Courtyard on Sunday.

  2. Effective Parenting in a Defective World, 9:00 AM, Fireside Room: Hosted by our 2:42 ABF and facilitated by Donny & Stephanie Valliere, this 12 week class, utilizing a Chip Ingram film series, will tackle the ins and outs of Gospel-centered parenting in a busy, broken world.

  3. Living Out Loud, 9:00 AM Founder's Hall B: We all know we should share our faith in Jesus with others around us, but most of us are scared to death and don't know where to begin. Hosted by the Harvesters ABFs, this seminar co-lead by Ted Malley and Tim Arlen, will provide Biblical training and practical help for effectively sharing your faith in your God-given circle of influence. . . and with perfect strangers.

  4. Living Stones Adult Bible Fellowship, 9:00 AM, Founders Hall A: As the fall gets going, the Living Stones invite you to jump into their ongoing study of Acts. Living Stones are a warm, caring fellowship of adults, between the ages of 40 and 65.

  5. Bereans Senior Adult Bible Fellowship, 10:45 AM, Fireside Room: We love our senior adults here at GraceSLO! If you're a senior adult looking to connect with others your age, the Bereans is the class for you. Join them this fall as they continue in their study of Revelation and Proverbs.
  • Daughters of the King Brunch, Saturday, October 9, 9:00: We'll be celebrating our place as women in God's Kingdom. Come enjoy a delicious breakfast, fun crafts, sweet fellowship and an inspirational talk. Cost is $5/person with a $10/family maximum. Sign up in the Courtyard on Sunday. For more information call Debbi Weeks at 543-2358.
It's going to be great Fall together. Let's prioritize and sprint hard toward Thanksgiving together.

I just don't have time or space in this email to tell you about our leadership's Big 5 Priorities this Fall, but I want to and you need to hear them. So I'll save them for a future email. Stay tuned!

Oh yeah. . . also. . . after a few weeks away from preaching, I've got a "burning in my bosom" and I'm fired up to preach the Gospel from Psalm 63 this Sunday morning. A bunch will be away at the Grace Family Campout at Lake San Antonio, but also a number of families will be visiting our church as they drop off their incoming Cal Poly Students. Let's look for them and reach out to them.

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you Sunday.

Because of and for the Gospel . . . Pastor Tim

Listen to last week's message, "A Solitary Savior in the Midst of Misery"
Read Pastor Tim's blog (see what Haaken got for his 5th birthday this week!)
See Grace event pictures
Sign on to our online congregational directory

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

5!

Haak turns 5 today. Precious boy, fearfully and wonderfully made by God in His image.

Since he is absolutely obsessed with farms & animals, he got some bantam chicks for his birthday. . . and that cool hat made by his sister Sage. . . .





One of the neatest things for me to watch is how our 4 kids interact with and care for each other. I never thought about that before we had kids. I thought about the parent-child relationships, but not about their sibling relationships with one another. It brings me much joy to see how they love one another. . . most of the time! Haak loves his brother and sisters and they so love him.

It's a special time in our family. I'm wondering what trials lie around the next corner. . . . Some of you know better than I. I'm trying not to fear, but to trust God today and for tomorrow.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

let's not become a museum

Sent to me by a friend and co-leader in our church. Love it. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

finally

We were in desperate need of an updated congregational directory . . . . Thanks to the hard work of Sharon Ernstrom it's here . . . . finally.

If you haven't picked one up in the Courtyard, get 'em while they're hot!