Monday, February 22, 2010

What a Weekend!

Thanks to all who prayed for our weekend of multiplication. We successfully made it through the weekend with plenty of ups and downs. We can honestly say that God was glorified through it all.

Friday was... interesting. We had about 5 girls who just seemed to come in "ticked off" at the world with a desire to bring all of the rest of us down with them. We definitely battled some spiritual warfare but I'm encouraged that Satan sees what God is doing through The Pathway as something he needs to battle! After a time of praise and worship with the group we split into 2 smaller groups of guys and girls. After just one week I can already tell that God is going to use these smaller groups as an opportunity to dig deeper into the Word in a much more practical and relevant way for these students.

Sunday nights is our new adult gathering and it blew my expectations out of the water! We had old and new faces and the atmosphere was exactly what we prayed it would be... low key, comfortable and more mature than Friday nights. We prayed this would be a time where adults felt welcomed instead of overwhelmed by teenagers. We just sat and chatted for about 15 minutes over a game of "Jenga" and then we opened God's word and studied from John 4 (Jesus and the Samaritan Woman) for 45 minutes or more. We went deep, it hit home, we were able to get some misconceptions out in the open and see what the Bible had to say about them, and the gospel was preached.

Pray that God continues to grow both of these groups. As a side note, God has been doing some other amazing things that has been fun to watch. One of our guys just became homeless and he is staying at one of the local shelters. I have been working with him to find a job and he comes over for lunch every day. This weekend he asked me for some Bibles because he talked to the director of the shelter and got permission to start a Bible study in their conference room... he's going to be leading a few guys through the book of NUMBERS!!! Also-- we're continuing the random group that started last Monday at Antwon's apartment so that we can dig deeper and reach more people. Finally, Tommy has been leading a men's group on Tuesday nights that continues to grow.

Praise Jesus for all he has done and is doing!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Here we go...

This past Friday marked the end of The Pathway chapter 1 and the beginning of chapter 2. We concluded our final combined gathering and are preparing for our first attempt at multiplication. This week our Friday gathering will be for students and our Sunday gathering will be for adults.

One of the issues we face in our particular demographic is a lack of boundaries and separation between age groups. A question I ask myself daily, "Is this wrong, or is it just different?" I'll give you an example. Over the past few months our gathering has added many high school students. These students have been brought by friends and are bringing friends of their own. However, there is an interesting trend developing and that is the age range of these friendships goes from literally 13 years old all the way into their early-mid twenties. I am learning that in urban settings, at least urban Tacoma, the people categorize themselves not by age but by neighborhood.

We literally have 16 year olds hanging out with 22 year olds and 17 year old girls having babies with the Father being unknown or in his early-mid twenties. Obviously there is a problem there but overall it is hard to explain. These people don't even recognize the age difference. They simply grew up together. They played together, went to school together, got in trouble together and often dropped out of school together. They see themselves as family more than friends but the blinders they've placed on their "age" eyes is causing the youth to get involved in issues that are far beyond their maturity level and the young adults are remaining so immature that you have a hard time believing they are not still in high school.

The question for our leadership team is, "what are we going to do about it?" Again, we don't have it figured out but we believe one of the first answers is separating the men from the boys and the women from the girls. For those who have come to our gathering you know we are a pretty laid back church but we feel like Jesus is calling us to be pretty hard nosed on this for the sake of our people & the gospel. We want to see the children grow into godly young adults and the adults to go from spiritual milk to solid food. We've already gotten some kick back from the young adults but we're moving forward. We're just praying and believing that God has a plan.

Please pray for our 2 new gatherings. Specifically that the separation will result in greater spiritual growth and that these new gatherings would grow quickly so we will be able to multiply again for God's glory!

Monday, February 8, 2010


One of the main goals of our church is multiplication. We get excited when a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ and when someone gives their life back to the Lord, but we get even more excited when we see those people begin sharing their faith with others. Once those people begin to respond we've left the realm of simple addition and entered the world of spiritual multiplication!

Friday night was powerful and encouraging because we saw signs that multiplication can and will happen at The Pathway. Antwon has become a fixture in this blog because of the drastic transformation God has brought in his life and that continues to be the case. I get together with Antwon at least once a week and every time he tells me of someone else he has shared his faith with or invited to our Bible study. This week he told me about his friend Nate who he ran into at the park. Nate is 18 years old and searching for the role God wants to play in his life. He is not yet a believer but he came with Antwon to Bible study on Friday and the three of us are going to be getting together to talk about Jesus this afternoon. I'm praying for and expecting Nate to put his faith in Jesus!

Josh is one of the newest people at our Bible study and he is getting excited about telling others about Jesus. Josh moved to Tacoma from Ohio and has only been in town for a few months. He's been attending The Pathway for about a month and this past week he brought a friend who doesn't know the Lord. It's just amazing to see and I know once these first few begin placing their faith in Jesus, the flood gates will open and spiritual awakening will break out.

Finally, in a little less than 2 weeks we will multiply our Bible study group for the first time. We usually have about 20-25 on Friday nights and we are gaining more students all the time. With that in mind we began praying about what direction God wanted us to go. We felt him calling us to multiply so that's what we are doing. Beginning February 19th Fridays will be a student Bible study and on February 21st we will begin an all adult Bible study. This will shrink our groups back down and we will work to grow them up so we can multiply again.

God is so good and he teaches me so much all the time. We came off a span of about 3 weeks where I was really questioning what God was doing. Friday's were becoming very chaotic and I was wandering if spiritual growth would ever actually occur. It seems that God has been working though and he has taught me the importance of prayer and spiritual warfare. If we're not battling, through prayer daily, then Satan will bring confusion on Friday nights and in the lives of those we are ministering to. However, if we battle, through the power of Jesus, the confusion disappears and the name of Jesus is lifted high.

Please pray for Nate this week. Pray for his salvation. Pray also that I will receive a phone call today from the director of the YMCA allowing us to use their facility on Easter. Pray that we will live intentionally and see Jesus take over our city!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Full, Productive, Up & Down Week...

It's now Monday night and I am just now sitting down to reflect on the week that has already come and gone. It started out with a night of brainstorming with our leadership team about the church, the summer, direction, vision, passion and calling. It was an exciting night that brought to light a desire to have more intimate and biblical community within our leadership team as we take the gospel to Tacoma.

Thursday night was our first "Family Night" at Tyler Square. Thanks to all who prayed-- God was faithful! We had 12 people attend from The Pathway and had over 30 people attend "Family Night" from the Tyler Square Community. It was a great first step into this new relationship with Tyler Square and we were able to meet a whole lot of people. As I began to make new friends I realized their were a whole bunch of mom's and kids but no Dad's. I asked the Tyler Square Youth Services Director about my observation and he said it was not surprising. Out of 27 families living in the Tyler Square Community there are 4 dads... that's right 4. How sad a reality that is but I am so thankful that we have a chance to bring in some Christian men to love on these families. As I sat speaking with one of the moms God gave me the opportunity to share truth with her about the gospel, the Bible, Jesus and her need for a personal relationship with the Lord. Please continue to pray for the people in that community.

Friday night brought another difficult but God honoring Bible study. As the weeks have pressed on our gathering has become decidedly younger. The loud exuberance of the youth has seemed to drive away many of the adults who were previously attending. This Friday night was filled with distractions and I am honestly struggling with knowing how to handle them. The 3rd weekend of this month we will officially be dividing up into two groups so that youth can gather... loud and obnoxiously on Fridays and the adults can gather on Sundays. Please pray for this transition.

Finally, pray for what God has in store for the people of Tacoma this Easter. We are planning something BIG, unique and challenging for our small church so pray that the pieces fall into place, God gets the glory and people join the Kingdom.

Tomorrow is a new day so lets begin investing in the Kingdom!!!