Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How To Change The World?


"He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."

Benjamin Franklin 1774

Thoughts? Ideas?

Steve

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Summer Vacation (well, not mine, but Andy's)

Join us this Sunday as Andy Stanley talks about his summer vacation. More importantly, the message has to do with something we've all faced. You've had someone do something against you, I've had someone do something against me.

Essentially we have three options when this happens:
- We can act out of revenge
- We can internalize it and do nothing
- Or, we have another option

As Andy shares the story of his summer vacation, he will tell us what that powerful third option is so we hope to see you Sunday!

Steve Mazac
Lead Pastor

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

n*Rich

Monday and Tuesday we were at North Point for the n*Rich Conference. This is an event that North Point does where they bring in all of the Strategic Partners from around the country to share ideas with us and allow us to learn from what the other partnerships are doing.

Andy Stanley spoke to us during the first session on Monday with a talk titled 'Assuming You Are Right' which was based on some content from an article in Harvard Business Review. He talked about how every organization operates from a list of assumptions; some we're aware of and some we're not, some are true and some are not, and some we have simply forgotten. The biggest thought from the article that Andy and his leadership team are wrestling with is this:

"The assumptions a team has held the longest or the most deeply are the likeliest to be its undoing. Some beliefs have come to appear so obvious that they are off limits for debate".

Wow, I think it's amazing that an organization as successful as North Point is willing to put everything on the table and not be afraid to debate anything.

Steve Mazac
Lead Pastor

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oh, The Memories

Last week, we had the chance to take 25 of our 3rd thru 5th graders to Camp KidJam in Toccoa, GA. As I think back over the week, even now, I can’t help but chuckle at some of the things that happened at camp. As the kids and leaders reminisced about the week, it made me think back to our mission: “Guide each child to experience Christ’s love personally so they will always understand what is really important.” That mission is derived in part from the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. When the son reached his absolutely lowest point, he sat among the pigs and remembered his father’s house. At UpStreet, we want our children to have such a memorable experience that when they are at their lowest point, that they will remember the Father’s love and know there is a place where they can experience that love and acceptance.

Last week, our campers had the chance to experience God’s love in a memorable way as they listened to some of the stories that Jesus told, including the story of the prodigal son. During each session, they were encouraged to “Take it in, Live it out.” Throughout the week of energetic sessions, fun tracks, and team competitions, our children created memories as they learned to let Jesus words penetrate their hearts and impact their lives.

Our small group leaders sent along a few memories from camp:

My favorite moments were learning the dances with the campers and singing and dancing for the Lord. The campers continued singing the worship songs through Upstreet the following Sunday at church.

I was surprised by how deeply some of my 3rd grade campers thought in regards to the complexity of life and God. One camper asked me why God needs to test people's faith by letting bad things happen. This is a question most young children do not ponder... it is fascinating that they are searching for answers to some age-old questions at such a young age.

One night at dinner, one of our 6th graders was hit by another camper. Although the hit was intended to be playful, it ended up being a lot harder and hurt. Despite the other camper not apologizing, our student made the wise choice to forgive the other person. How awesome is that!

Each day, the children had the opportunity to buy snacks. One day, one of our 4th graders thought that the snack shop had given her too much change and wanted to return it.
Although our children had a great time during the large group sessions and during small groups, there was still a bit of time for fun as well.

One night, we were going to paint our fingernails green to show team spirit for the green team. Somehow that evolved into several of the boys painting their nails a variety of colors. Some even added a little extra pizazz with the flower appliqu├ęs.

The 3rd and 4th grade girls played Chubby Bunny one night. Miss Morgan definitely holds the record with 7 marshmallows. I (Wyndi) almost beat her, but the gag reflex kicked in on the 7th marshmallow. No worries, parents, the camp nurse was rooming right next door!

Some of our boys had to attend breakfast in their pajamas after getting locked out of their rooms. I’m sure they won’t be forgetting that adventure any time soon!

All in all, Camp KidJam gave some of our children the opportunity to experience God’s love in a memorable way, which after all is our mission! ~Wyndi Beck, Family Ministry Director

Monday, July 7, 2008

SPOTLIGHT ON: Brett Sharp

An interview with our Director of Group Life

What are you passionate about?
My family and my friends, who are huge influences in all aspects of my life. I am also passionate about relational ministry, and it's something I've grown up in. Right behind all this would be just being outdoors, and of course coca-cola.

What are you learning right now?
How to be a better dad. The older my kids get, the more I realize what a precious and important opportunity he has given me to teach them how to live in Christ and give them a picture of a Godly family.

What is the one thing that has made your job worth it this year?
Seeing a bunch of Watermarke folks working one Saturday on some land that had been greatly damaged by the tornados.

Favorite TV show?
The Office.

What do you do when your not working?
Play with my kids, mountain bike, and try to carve out date-nights for me and Emily. Emily is my wife you'll be happy to know.

Hobbies?
Mountain biking, hiking when I can (which isn't much), teaching my son to hit a ball and my daughter how to kick one.

What book you are reading? Or favorite book?
I'm about to start The Shack, because 37 people in the last week have told me to read it.