The Road Ahead

Today we begin a new chapter at Creekside Church. This is my first Sunday after as lead pastor of this amazing church. I know that I have a lot to learn as we move forward. I am trusting that Jesus will continue to do the work that he has already started in me.

There will be challenges.

There will be celebrations.

There will be lives changed by the Gospel.

Creekside as we look to the future together I ask that you pray with me. Pray for me and my family. Pray for the people in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools. Pray that we will always say yes to the mission of helping people discover, trust and love Jesus Christ.

As we are launching Creekside Lynnwood, pray for wisdom and favor in the neighborhood. Pray the congregation in Lynnwood that we will build unity around the mission. Pray for the leadership teams in both campuses.

The road ahead of us is exciting and I am looking forward to going on this journey together. Let’s see where Jesus takes us.

Better Together

Last night Creekside Church and the Rock Church celebrated our pending adoption.  God has laid on our hearts the desire to see our mission of helping people discover, trust and love Jesus Christ grow.  We want to see many people in many communities find the grace, love, joy, peace and community that the Gospel provides.

Creekside Church could have just decided to grow by growing bigger and bigger buildings.  That could totally work.  But that’s expensive, takes a lot longer, and centralizes the mission of the gospel in one place.

God has been working on giving us a different vision for how to move the Gospel forward.  Creekside Church is not a huge church, we’ve been consistently growing, we’ve been becoming more healthy as an organization, and we have become more dedicated to our mission.

So we are going multi-site, and we are starting by adopting the Rock Church in Lynnwood.  The Rock Church will become Creekside Lynnwood.  Their pastor Scott Fenton will become a campus pastor of Creekside.  We will share the same mission, purposes, core values, etc.  Scott will preach live at Creekside Lynnwood, Don will preach live at Creekside MLT.

Last night’s celebration was a wonderful time of worship, communion and vision casting as we began to lay out the plans that we currently have for this transition and the public launch on September 16.  This seems like it’s a long way away but there are a lot of details that we have to work through in the transition.  We want to do as much as possible as smoothly as possible so we don’t want to rush into anything.

The founding pastor of the Rock Church, Scott Harris, led us in a kind of adoption ceremony.  It was great to see the founder of the Rock church honor Scott Fenton and celebrate this journey.  The Harrises are currently working through the adoption process as a family and the words that he keeps hearing from others is, “Adoption will change your life.”  Creekside MLT, our lives will be changed.  Creekside Lynnwood, our lives will be changed, and our prayer is that through this adoption that we will continue to see the Family of God grow in both communities.

We are better together than apart.  Looking forward to a pretty exciting at both Creekside Campuses and beyond.

Honduras (better late than never)

On Saturday 3-12-11 at 6:00 am Creekside’s Honduras Home Build Team departed from Seattle, WA. We were traveling to The Island of Roatan, Honduras. A long exhausting Day of travel to be sure. When we landed we were met by Tom Hackett, director of Alternative Missions and Dwellings. This was our second home build with Tom. Last year we built a home in rural Mexico.
We were also met my Carlos, the owner of Casa Isabella, the hotel we stayed at for the duration of our trip.

As the leader of this group I was nervous about how we would all get along, if we would get in each other’s way with the home build, if we would even get the home done, if we were all going to get violently ill with explosive diarrhea. Only one of those things was a problem for our team. I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with iarrhea.

Something that I learned from last years trip was the importance of a daily group times for reflection, prayer, and bible study. This year I came to Roatan with a plan, and I was determined to stick to the plan.

I’m not a builder. I can lift heavy things and that’s what I did on the job site. I don’t have many skills beyond that when it comes to anything construction-y. So I can’t really speak to how quickly and efficiently the house was built. I can say it was quick and efficient and we were able to work on 3 houses in one week which was awesome!

What I can speak to is how well the team related to each other. I’ve been on enough church related trips to know that they don’t always go smoothly.  Some trips have a lot of interpersonal drama. Some trips have individuals who are sent home early. Some trips you come home from committed to never do a trip like that again.

I’m happy to report that this trip was not one of those trips. Our team got along excellently. We all still like each other. And we became better friends in the process. At Creekside I oversee missions, serving, community and spiritual growth. It was amazing to see all of these things happening on this trip. We would have really great conversations at the end of the day about the book of James. We were able to take some time to get to know each other and build community. And we did all of this around a project of serving the poor in another country. It was amazing.
My prayer moving forward is that all of our trips would be experiences where we grow together, serve others, and strengthen community.

We came home 3-19-11 and I know that this adventure was life changing for all involved. Many are looking forward to the next opportunity to serve like this again. My prayer is that we would not wait for an official opportunity to serve but that we will see the opportunities all around us everyday.

Brea Bursch put together a great slideshow

Links to check out

Groups Launch

We are getting set at Creekside to launch our fall groups. We have a goal of launching 40 groups this Fall. 40 groups is a lot of groups. This us what 40 groups would mean for Creekside:

-40 campuses. Churches are all buzzing about multiple-site ministry. If we are able to launch 40 grouse this fall then we will effectively have 40 campus, or venues, where people are engaged in our mission of helping people discover, trust and love Jesus Christ.

-40 pastors, group leaders may be the strongest examples of the priesthood of all believers. Instead of 400 people looking to a few “professionals” for pastoral support, the groups become the primary support structure, and group leaders are serving as pastors for that community.

– 40 missional communities. We used to believe that community groups were the end goal for Christian discipleship. We now believe that groups also serve as a front door to our larger Creekside community.

– Hundreds of lives impacted because of the relationships and discipleship that happens in the context of groups.

So this is what I need from Creekside people. I need group leaders. If you’ve been in a group you know the basic structure. We offer groups that focus ob the Sunday morning question, we offer groups that study books, we are looking to start groups that simply get together to play and have fun together, we will offer Financial Peace Groups, Divorce Care, etc.

I am looking for people who care about other people and are willing to have conversations and build relationships. I am not looking for experts. I am not looking for gurus.

If you are a Christian, you like people, and are willing to talk to others you already have a lot of the prerequisites for this role. We’d love to get the ball rolling for you if you are interested in Leading a group. We have a quick info meeting this Sunday 8/8/10 in Finch Hall at 10:30. I look forward to seeing you there.

Easter & Partnering with the City

This year, rather than doing our own thing we have decided to partner with the City of Mountlake Terrace  and the business community with their annual Easter Egg Hunt. We donated candy and eggs. Now we are looking for a few folks who would be willing to serve along side the city this Saturday morning.

This is one of the many ways that we get to show our community that we love them and want to do life with them.

Here are the details:

  • When? Saturday April 3rd Events starts at 10:00 so volunteers will need to be there by 9:30.
  • Where? Evergreen Playfield You can get directions by following this link:

  • What is going to be there? If you want to read more about the event you can read this article:
  • How Can I get involved? Please email if you have any questions or would like to be involved.

This is going to be a great event for you and your kids, and a great opportunity to serve the city.

Question From Jonah Sermon

I received this question from Sunday’s teaching

“Where do they think the fish deposited Jonah? Ninevah looks like a landlocked city.”

maybe the best depiction of Jonah being vomited ever

maybe the best depiction of Jonah being vomited ever

It would make sense that since Jonah was sailing on the Mediterranean Sea that he would be deposited on the that coast line.  Nineveh was land locked, so where ever he was deposited he would have most likely have to was to Nineveh.

The Bible doesn’t specify where he was vomited back up so any one who claims to have an answer is speculating.  So allow me to offer a speculation of my own.  When I think about this story I am reminded that God is a God of second chances.  I wonder if the LORD had Jonah vomited up near Joppa, the port from which he sailed in the first place.  God would be presenting Jonah with the exact same choice he had made three days ago, and this time the question is will he truly obey.

Even when repent from our sins we are still tempted and we will face the same options to disobey.  Jonah’s decision to obey is even more powerful when he’s presented with the option to disobey.

Like I said that’s pure speculation on my part, it’s not biblical theology, it’s just how I think about the story.

Thanks for the question.  See you on Sunday.

He Did it! we did it – Reflections on Easter Sunday

Our first Sunday morning gathering at our church’s new campus is behind us.  The exictement of the new campus, Easter Sunday, and neighborhood buzz led to a pretty exciting morning.  I am so blessed to work with the great volunteers that I do.  Every week I am amazed by these teams, and I’m truly humbled to get to work with them.

And today reminds us why we get up early on Sunday, to help park cars, or make coffee, or hand out programs.  We do all of these things, becuase Jesus is alive.  Jesus’ resurrection changes all of history.  It’s the reason we get out of bed in the morning, and the reason that we spent the past four years moving to Mountlake Terrace, to tell more people about Jesus, who has conquered death and has provided a way for us to be freed from sin.  It’s all for Jesus.

What a great day.  We can b e happy for the accomplishment four our church, but ultimately Jesus is the Hero of the Day, of our lives, and of all of history.