Archive | April, 2012
To my Cedar Creek Church Family:
One of the things I love best about our church is that it has always been a place where people can be real, open and honest about our lives, our hurts and our struggles. This truly is a safe place. I have always tried to lead with integrity, transparency and honesty about my life, my family and my journey. So today I want to share my heart with you. I wish I could sit down over a cup of coffee with each one of you, but obviously that’s not possible. So this is the best I can do.
For the last few weeks I have been doing a lot of reflecting about the past thirteen years that I’ve been at Cedar Creek and specifically the past five years that I’ve been the senior pastor. I’ve been looking honestly at my life, my family, our church and my leadership as your pastor. There are a few things that God has made very clear to me and I want to share them with you.
First, what God has done in and through our church these last five years has been nothing less than a miracle. We’ve baptized over one-hundred people per year, connected hundreds in Home Group, launched two campuses, developed a strategic partnership with the YMCA (in a way that no other church in the country has done), developed global partnerships in some of the darkest and most difficult places in the world, while continuing to serve and impact our own community. You’ve pledged and given over 18 million dollars in the last five years to make our vision a reality. If you ever wonder, “is Cedar Creek Church really making a difference?” The answer is absolutely YES!
The second thing I’ve realized is that God accomplishing all of this through our church has required a lot of transition and change. We’ve experienced more transitions and changes, in the last five years, than some churches experience in their lifetime. While our mission and vision have remained unchanged, we’ve had changes in our facilities, our strategies, our staff and our style of worship. While change is essential for growth, it is difficult to go through and even harder to lead through. But I am convinced that for us to keep moving forward, change will always be needed and essential.
Through this time of reflection, God has led me to some conclusions that I need to share with you:
First, being your pastor has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Other than Jesus and my family, nothing else compares to the joy I’ve experienced in living out our vision with you.
Second, God has called me to be the pastor of Cedar Creek, so I’m not going anywhere. Aiken is my home, Cedar Creek is my church, and as long as God will let me, I want to live out that call with you.
Finally, as much joy as I’ve experienced in leading you these last five years, I have to tell you honestly that I am drained. Your pastor is empty physically, emotionally and spiritually. After talking with the senior leadership team and the deacons, I have realized that in order for me to honor God’s call I must take some time to recharge and to let God refresh and renew me. I’m not talking about a two week vacation; I’m talking about an extended time completely away from the pressures, demands and stresses that come with this calling. Because I love and care for you so much, this is hard for me to do, but it is something I must do to continue to lead you and to finish well in my life. God has blessed us with an incredible leadership team and staff and I have complete confidence in them and that they will lead and care for you well in my absence.
I also want you to clearly hear me say, there has not been a moral failure on my part, my marriage is not falling apart and my kids are fine. But, they have lived out the joys and challenges of these last five years alongside of me. They need some time with me and I need some time with them. Because of that, some of my time away will be spent here in Aiken with them, some will be spent alone and some will be spent with spiritual mentors that God has placed in my life. I want to honor God, my family and our church by making the most of this gift of time.
I know that you love us and that your heart has always been to do whatever you can to show us your love. The best thing that you can do for me and for my family is to come together in unity as a church, love each other, love your staff, follow their leadership and above all, live out the vision of our church every day of your life.
I love you Cedar Creek!
CENTERPOINT:: Click on image below for our Sunday morning outline for April 15, 2012!
Sunday, April 15, is Cedar Creek Day at the Ballpark. We are partnering with the USC-Aiken Pacers baseball team to give you a free college baseball game, and a free BBQ lunch. So bring your family, and/or some friends, to the USC Aiken baseball field, and don’t forget to bring your church program for free admission to the 1:00 pm game and lunch. Click for directions to USC-Aiken: http://www.usca.edu/directories/driving2.html.
We hope you will join us for one of our celebration services on Easter weekend. Saturday, April 7, 6:00 pm – we will have child care for infants-age 5, and all other age groups are invited to worship with their families. Sunday, April 8, 9:00 am and 11:00 am - Regularly scheduled age appropriate worship will be available for infants – 12th grade during Easter Sunday services.
CENTERPOINT:: Banks Mill announced a new summer schedule beginning June 3, 2012.
Student services will move to Sunday night beginning June 3rd with the following schedule:
Middle School Student Service: 5PM – 6PM
Details: Rising 6th Graders through rising 8th graders are invited to come and have a real, relational, and relevant time of worship from 5PM to 6PM. Doors will open at 4:30PM for students to come and hang out in our new GREEN Room. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase during that time! Also, Middle Schoolers are encouraged to go to our Middle School HOME Groups that will meet on campus following the student service at 6PM (Middle Schoolers can grab dinner from the cafe and then head to their small group).
Details: From 6PM – 7PM all students are invited to come have dinner with us at CENTERPOINT and hang out in the GREEN Room. There will be snacks, drinks, and pizza/hot dogs available. The Sunday Night Special will be $2 for a piece of pizza, drink, and a bag of popcorn. Middle Schoolers are encouraged to grab a bite to eat at 6PM and head directly to a M.S. HOME Group during that hour.
High School Student Service: 7PM – 8PM
Details: Rising 9th Graders through graduates are invited to our High School Student Service from 7PM to 8PM.
What does my student do on Sunday Morning?
There are three options for our students on Sunday morning:
- Worship in the adult service with family and/or friends! We want our students to be a part of what is going on in Cedar Creek Church as a whole, and be introduced to and prepared for when they graduate from high school. For this reason we want our students to be a part of the adult service.
- Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! We also want our students to be involved in our other ministries at Cedar Creek Church – whether that be Kidz Creek, WEE Worship, the Cafe, Greeting, etc. There is a place for each student to volunteer on Sunday morning. We encourage everyone at Cedar Creek to practice “worship one, serve one” – which means students should try to worship and serve each Sunday instead of just doing one!
- We will be offering a “CENTERPOINT: Made New.” class each Sunday morning during the 11AM service in Bulding 4. This will be a small group atmosphere, and will go through the basics of what it means to be a Christian, and what Cedar Creek Church and CENTERPOINT is all about. All rising 6th graders are encouraged to come to this class to prepare for the student ministry, but all students are invited to be a part!
Do you need volunteers?
Yes! We would love for our parents and adults to be a part of what we are doing at Centerpoint. There are places to volunteer, whether it be in the cafe, at the welcome tables, HOME group leaders, or as general greeters. We would love to have you volunteer either once or twice a month! If you are interested, please email us at email@example.com.
I have a middle schooler and a high schooler, and can’t bring them separately. What do I do?
The GREEN Room will be open throughout the night for any student who has to be on campus before or after their scheduled service time. So if a high schooler needs to be on campus during the middle school service hour, they can either be a middle school leader and help lead, or they can stay in the GREEN Room during that time. Similarly, a middle schooler who needs to stay through the high school service can stay in the GREEN Room. No middle schoolers will be allowed in the high school service.
If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!