- I loved the Groups Retreat yesterday at Horseshoe Valley. Check out the pics above to grasp the flavour of the experience. In addition to sharing some good food, communion and some teaching on groups, we got out into the woods and did some team building exercise. That's Arnold Nogy jumping an imaginary fence trying not to get electrocuted. Ask him about it. We did some crazy stunts and had a fantastic time together, as you can see. What a great group of leaders!
- The band has been incredible lately. I loved last weekend in Barrie when the band got the crowd whipped up enough to stand and cheer during Cold Play's Viva La Vida. Did that happen in Orillia today? Hope so! Definitely a memory I'll have for a while.
- Today, I decided to spend the first ten minutes of each service in the back row of the theater. Something surprising happened. I got all emotional during worship. It was great to have a band that was so inspiring. So grateful for Andy Walker and the incredible musicians we have.
- Waumba Land and Upstreet people deserve medals. Apparently we were starting to hit group capacities today in certain areas and it is those incredible small group leaders who handle the extra kids. We love you guys!
- Our e-teams in Barrie were over the top today. I don't think we've ever had that many people help before and after service. There must have been over 30 today alone. People who weren't scheduled decided to show up anyway. And you keep smiling. You guys are nuts. Thanks to e-teams on both campuses this weekend!
- The lights are brighter in the theater in Barrie in the last few weeks, which means I can actually see people when I preach. Man, that's been so much fun. Hard to look into stage lights, cameras and darkness.
- I so realize how few people I know. We had the biggest crowd in Barrie we've had since Easter, and as people poured in I realized I know so few of them. Same deal in Orillia. New people show up every weekend! Of course, the goal is not for me or the staff to know everyone, but it is our goal that everyone would connect with someone. I realized the easiest way to get connected is to volunteer or join the group. I know the names of most of our volunteers at both campuses, as do most of our staff and core team. And everyone is a group is known by a dozen or so other people. I'm just hoping that most of our new folks on both campuses get connected soon! If that's you, why don't you jump into serving and join one of our teams next month?
- Gratitude keeps welling up inside of me every weekend. This first year has been so rewarding in some regards and incredibly hard in others. Doing portable church can be a real grind, but the people we have serving make it a joy. Thanks.
- The baptism stories get me every time. Loved Dave's story today. Dave's part of our Orillia campus and an incredible guy!
- We have a big stinking crazy generous Christmas planned. And it's going to last six weeks I think. Fasten your seat belts. You may not have been part of anything quite like it. I'm stoked.
That's it. Time to get on my bike and get some miles in before the sun goes down. It's so gorgeous today. Thanks for being part of a community God is using to change lives.