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ipower-1.jpgOur first Easter morning gathering was amazing!  We truly experienced an encounter with God.  Our praise team truly did a great job of ushering us into God’s presence.  It was even more exciting to see people come to know Christ.  We had quite a number of people that traveled for the Easter holidays.  I’m learning that’s the norm for our fluid urban setting.  Yet, we still had quite a number of first time guest.  Overall, we experienced our highest Sunday morning attendance.   I handed out Panera gift cards to our volunteers to let them know how much they are appreciated.  It was great to see the surprised look on their faces.

I came from John 19, as we launched our new series iPower.  The message was heavily influenced by one I heard from Andy Stanley in a series he did called Power Play.  I’m still blown away by the gigantic iPod that our creative team built.  I thank God constantly for placing me on a winning team.

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tough-love-web.jpgWe had another awesome day yesterday.

1) Our attendance jumped back to over 100. Why? Have no clue. Still learning the patterns of our community.

2) We finished up Part 3 of our Tough Love series, The Art of Confrontation.  When a person sins or commits a trespass we ignore it to avoid causing any “friction” or keep it bottled in for so long that we end up approach the person the wrong way.  It also easy to talk about the situation and person to others than to actually go to the person.  The Art of Confrontation is when we lovingly approach someone who has sinned for the purpose of restoring them.  It’s not to get our feelings off our chest.  It’s not to give them a piece of our minds.  It’s to help them see the error of their ways and reconnect with God.  I gave three stages for confrontation based on Matthew 18.  The podcast message should be available by Wednesday.
2) I followed a “hunch” that I had on Saturday evening and decided to do a First Time Guest Connection Meeting. I’m so glad we did. We had about ten people that came to hear a five minute presentation about The Bridge and how they can get connected. I saw light bulbs turning on above some of their heads.  Good stuff.

3) Our staff was on point. Greeting and seating were awesome. Transitions were smooth. Alex, the worship team, and band were smoking. Glad to see that our systems were flowing smoothly on such a big day.

4) Our Creative Team met yesterday. Jackson is doing a great job leading that team. We did some more brainstorming for our next series called iPower. It will begin on Easter.

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Out of the Loop

I’ve been out of the loop in my blogging this week.  However, I did exercise this week, so I’m pretty excited about that.  We had our monthly church planters network meeting with our convention yesterday.  Bill Wennersen did a session based on the book Breaking the Missional Code.  Great stuff.  Every culture has a code that has to be broken if we are going to effectively reach it.  Breaking the code is going to require leaders having commitment, character, courage, a sense of calling, competence, and comprehension.

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It’s a wrap, ladies and gentleman:

1) We launched our new series Tough Love.  It was a tough message to preach.  We talked about accepting people that are different from us.  When we encounter people that are different from us, we tend to 1) isolate ourselves and drift towards others like us or 2) move towards tolerance, where we embrace anything as acceptable yet never get around to truly loving others.  True acceptance is when we say, “Even though I may not agree with your ideas or lifestyle, I will still love you for who you are.  I’ll accept you just as God accepted me.

2) Toying with the idea of doing some kind of first timers connection on Sunday.  We’ll see…

3) The Open House was awesome.  We had about 40 people who were there to connect with others and learn more about The Bridge.  The venue, Psalm 117, was amazing.  Even though the venue is privately owned, it fits the personality and culture of our church.

4)  Our volunteers were on point yesterday, especially our Connection Team.  They were on the ball setting up food, handing out pamphlets, and making people feel welcomed.

5)  Keep us in your prayers as we seek to impact Greater DC for Christ.

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1.  Things went well this Sunday.  Smooth transitions, felt good about the message, increased attendance from last week, and people continue to serve and participate with enthusiasm.

2.  We had one small blooper.  Jeff began showing a video that I decided not to use again.  However, I forgot to tell him.  All my fault.  He was able to transition out of it smoothly because: a.  He’s just a great guy. b.  He happened to catch my “cut it off signal” from aaallll the way on the top row of the theater. c. ProPresenter allows you to transition from one video to another without any problems or delays whatsoever.  Investing in a MacBook and ProPresenter is probably the best thing we could have done for our Sunday morning environment.  I don’t know how we could do it without them. Seriously.

3.  The band donated danishes on Sunday.  It’s great to see that they feel a part of what we do.  God has blessed us with some great and faithful musicians.

4.  I can’t wait to start Tough Love next week.  The Creative Team and some other committed volunteers participated in a video shooting of improv skits for the series.  For many of them, this will be their “big screen” debut.  I gotta say it.  They held it down like pros!  I’m anxious to see the finished product.

5.  Tons of people have signed up for The Open House!  We surpassed our goal of 20.  Thus far, about 40 people have expressed interest.  Next week, we’ll see how many of those people actually show up! 🙂

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n599351899_917314_2070.jpgYesterday evening, I decided to drop by Mosaic Church DC and surprise my buddy Darren. “D” gave a great message on The Connecting Church.  He did an awesome job.  They are definitely growing in diversity!  Apart from those who were serving, I was the only black guy there!  I snagged this picture off of his Facebook page.  (Don’t sue me, bro.) It’s me and his mom.

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Today was a great day at The Bridge. I left today feeling pumped:

1. We had a great turn out and a record setting offering! Praise God for being our Provider. I thank those of you that have prayed for us in those regards.

2. We are continuing to attract new people and first time guests.

3. I got a lot of great responses from today’s message on Luke 5. The take home point was change when it’s time for a change.

4. More people signed up for Life Groups, The Open House, and Volunteer Staff opportunities. One of our wins on Sunday is when a person takes a next step in experiencing true life in Christ. That can be anything from giving their life to Christ to joining a small group to serving on one of our teams.

5. People are taking the initiative to hang out on Sundays after our gathering. This shows that connecting is becoming part of our culture. You know something becomes part of the culture when it happens naturally. This is starting to become known as, “The After Party.”

6. I’m on my way to pay someone a surprise visit. I’ll tell you about it later.

7. I met with our Creative Team on Saturday. We planned out all of our series between now and the summer. Thanks, Tadd! You really challenged us to step up our game. I am so pumped!

8. We began promoting our new series, Tough Love. It’s going to focus on showing love to others when it’s difficult. Here’s an edited version of the commercial that we showed this Sunday. The version we showed on Sunday had footage of various people. This one only shows the typing of the e-mail message. Enjoy!

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