Category Archives: ministry

Been Quiet…

My blog is a seasonal blog – more of a portal anymore for people to come check up on myself or my family. I have a lot of thoughts – some I share out loud, some I keep to myself, and occasionally I will post them here.

God has really started breaking my heart for those that live in extreme poverty….in my own “backyard”. This weekend I was part of a team that created a project at my church called Servolution – a day of serving our community. God showed up. He helped others in the church understand what He sees when He sees our community. We are hearing countless stories of how God made a difference …

http://codyknutson.com/2009/09/14/you-need-a-james/

God has been doing so much in my life. He is proving Himself faithful to me. I know He is in control, but it doesn’t mean I am not scared. I fear a lot of things. Fear brings doubt. Doubt brings the anxiety. Then I pray that I will be disciplined to take every thought captive and sometimes it is like I just forget about it all.

There is not much to update on Rachel. She still has pain occasionally. She still has weird vision loss. She still struggles with why this has happened. Today we made our 3-month follow-up appointment with the doctor in St. Louis. We were told we would know the research by today, but we don’t. We will be headed back to St. Louis in November. Then and there, we may hear the news. Until then, we will follow-up with a doctor here, and just continue to wait.

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The reason…

This past week my heart and eyes have been open to something that has truly changed my thinking. We have seen something awesome begin to take place at GracePoint that, to me, is truly profound. We have a little over half of our adults that regularly attend GracePoint involved in a 13-week Financial Peace series.  A series that teaches people to handle the money that God has blessed them with in a wise way. I believe God blesses those who are wise with their money and I believe that God is getting ready to do something amazing within the lives and families at GracePoint.

We had a baptism service this past week where we baptized 22 people and a few of those were not planning on doing so when they came to the service.

We are seeing more people attend our services than ever before and dozens of people are making a commitment to follow God for the rest of their life weekly.

We are hearing stories of marriages being restored, people leaving addictions, leaving dark pasts, and becoming fully devoted followers of Christ.

God is doing something at GracePoint and it is unbelievable.

It is these stories that we can use to explain to people the reason we “do church” the way we do. We are creating a relevant environment for people to connect with God on a personal level and that is amazing.

“brighter than any light on a stage – is the illumination of a soul
more beautiful than a harmony sung – is a song placed on a heart in need
more powerful than a message spoken i- s a truth heard
these are the reasons for the lights, for the music, for the message

THIS IS WHY GRACEPOINT EXISTS – TO SEE LIVES COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED BY GOD

AT THE MOVIES…

One of GracePoint’s most anticipated series of the year is starting this week – AT THE MOVIES. We are pumped and have been working hard on some of the different elements surrounding the series. This is a great chance to invite your friends and family to church as we are using pop culture to share timeless truths. If you have invited everyone you possibly know to church already – join us on Friday night at the Wingnuts game for the Edge of Grace concert after the game and tailgate party before the game. Let’s show Wichita love and invite them to a place where they connect to a living and awesome God!

Are you on Facebook?

Check out the GracePoint fan page. We update it regularly with coming events, series information, pictures, and other cool stuff. Also join the community on the Discussion Board. Search for gracepoint.com on Facebook for the page.

Who’s watching us?

Ed, our media pastor, handed me some pretty amazing statistics today. For quite some time, we have been posting our messages online and recently even made the transition into an internet campus where our videos are streaming live on Sunday morning, then archived on our site for about 6 months. So last month who was watching us?

Countries:
15 people from Japan, 13 from New Zealand, 12 from Canada, a couple from Bolivia, Korea, Philippines, and Sweden!

Metro Areas:
66 from Portland, 38 from Topeka, 20 from St. Louis and Denver. People from all over Texas, California, and from about every large metro area in the country checking us out.

Our Love God Love People series was the most watched online last month and our baptism highlight video was also pretty high in views.

This is flippin amazing! As we sit and dream about being a church that reaches Wichita, we are actually becoming a church that is literally reaching the world!

Uncontacted tribe located

The story posted on Survival International‘s website today gives the low-down. Pretty cool for missionaries – but sad for others.

Insights from a dying man (pt.1)

Picked up THE LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch this weekend and finished it a day later. I never read books this fast, but this one was good. I actually cried a bit in it. For those that have never heard of Randy or his lecture check out the site or the video that started this whole thing. Throughout the book, I found some very impressive insights, both in leadership and just plain life. In Seth Godin-esque form, the chapters are very short and I dog-eared many of the pages in the book. It is a not a book of leadership necessarily, not a Christian devotional, and not necessarily heart-warming – but just challenging. Randy was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and, in short, is going to die soon. The lecture was given in September and has created quite the buzz. I would – if I could – copy many of the pages from the book to help highlight what I learned, but that would take forever. I have to admit that dying before I can experience the fullness of my life freaks me out and there are many nights I can’t fall asleep because I think of it…I honestly think this is where my hypochondriac tendencies come from. This book challenged me to make sure everything I do, I do for purpose.

So what are some of the take aways?

Chapter 13 – Be the REAL YOU – ALL THE TIME
Chapter 23 – Manage your time wisely (more on this later)
Chapter 32 – Don’t Complain, Just Work Hard
Chapter 34 – Don’t Obsess Over What People Think
Chapter 44 – Show Gratitude

One Prayer

One of my favorite meetings in the week is when our Creative Team gets together and is given the chance to dream and vision for what’s coming up at GracePoint. This week was no different, except we had made the decision to participate in something that has the potential to be HUGE. I was waiting for Bryson to share it because of its intensity and he did today.

Craig Groeschel and the leadership of LifeChurch.tv have come up with an amazing idea to unite the Body of Christ in the month of June. It’s called One Prayer.

The main idea is to get churches to join together for the same series at the same time. Craig has asked some amazing communicators to take part in this as this will be a video-based series. Bryson will be taking on the first week of the series live and the following weeks we will have pastors from other churches sharing their “one prayer” for the church.

Many of the churches that have inspired us to do what we do at GracePoint are taking part in this awesome series. We haven’t ironed out all of the details specifically for us, but we are pumped. We are planning on preparing a message for other churches to use as we pull from other leaders across the nation. Get ready – GracePoint for a chance to experience something like you have never experienced before. Keep checking back for more updates on this series.

The REVOLUTION

Sitting at home today is kind of like the calm before the Storm. GracePoint is definitely invading the city with outreach and worship for the next 11 days.

  • Starting tonight – anyone with kids HAS GOT to check out LIVEWIRE. If you have never been – it is an amazing event where literally hundreds of families come for FREE PIZZA, HUGE INFLATABLES, and a live drama production aimed at teaching kids (and their families) some amazing truths to apply to their lives. The event is 6:30-8:30 at Maize South Middle School.
  • Tomorrow the preparation for one of the coolest worship experiences in GP history continues with the setup for Sunday morning.
  • SUNDAY – the REVOLUTION continues with ONE SERVICE starting at 10:30am at the GracePoint property on West 21st. NORTH. Parking will begin at 10:00am at the YMCA, Wichita Clinic, Eberly Farms, and the NW campus for those with kids. There will be a shuttle service to transport you to the experience. Kids will be meeting at the NW campus.
  • NEXT SATURDAY the Easter Bunny LITERALLY flies in to the Andover Central Practice Field for an ENORMOUS egg hunt. Invitations have been distributed to almost every kid in Andover, East Wichita, and surrounding neighborhoods. It’s going to be HUGE.
  • NEXT SUNDAY the REVOLUTION is celebrated as we have 3 IDENTICAL worship experiences at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am at Maize South Middle School. We are encouraging EVERYONE to invite at LEAST ONE person to the Easter experiences. This will be a powerful time remembering the event that started it all.

Ed Newby – our in-house STUD – put together a pretty cool promo for all of this. Check it out!

Maybe just a glimpse…

Something finally clicked with me today…The past few weeks at GracePoint have been about UNLEASH. UNLEASH has a few forms it has taken on. One of the most obvious is the building campaign that the church as a whole is kicking off. We need a building bad. UNLEASH, itself, kicked off with a reverse offering. We handed out about $10,000 to the congregation as a way to bless the city of Wichita and to UNLEASH kindness throughout the community. It has been awesome. UNLEASH in “big picture” form has been about REVOLUTION. And today some things finally clicked for me.

Bryson mentioned America’s founding fathers in his message today. I am so grateful for them because I am able to live in literally one of the greatest places on earth. It clicked – while many of us are not the founding members that helped launch GracePoint – we are part of the “founding fathers” that are actively writing the history for our church. People are going to look back on the sacrifice that is taking place now and become so grateful for radical faith we have to see a REVOLUTION of change happen.

While the basic theme to UNLEASH has been about sacrificially giving to the campaign, it has not been its driving force. Have you noticed each week there have been countless stories of people’s lives at GracePoint being radically changed or stories of how God is using our church to bless the lives of people in our community. These stories are shared not necessarily to cause emotion, but to show you the power of what it is like for a church that is sold-out to the vision of God. As Bryson says, “UNLEASH is not about bricks and sticks” and I truly believe that if God told us to stay portable forever we would be committed to doing that. What UNLEASH is about and what GracePoint is about is seeing God’s Kingdom come in our lives and in this city.

While the stories today were powerful and the ones on the unleashwichita.com site are awesome – it hasn’t been one particular story that God used to speak to me. It was, today, the culmination of all that God is doing that showed me what God’s Kingdom looks like. When you hear actual accounts of people’s lives being changed and their needs being met, you start to get a glimpse of what the kingdom of God is really about.

It’s not about money – although that helps. It is not necessarily about sacrifice – although that helps us get out of the way so God can use us. It’s about seeing lives changed. That’s what the Kingdom of God is…transformation.