Monday, September 29

Gupdate is Moving!

Thanks for following me on blogger for the past couple of years! It's time to retire blogger and move on to a much better program. Make a couple of clicks and add me to your favorites @

Friday, September 26


Something you wouldn't have heard a pastor mention a few years back...

"Let me grab my blackberry and sms text a tweet to twitter to go on my blog about the groove series."

That's just funny :-)

2 Offerings?? What?!

This Sunday we are going to show our appreciation to our 6-month intern John Sherwood!!

John has been doing an amazing job with music, youth, and anything else we throw at him. Though he's working full-time with us as an intern, it's a semester @ college that comes with all the associated costs.

We'll take our regular offering, a very groovy one, and we'll also take a 'love offering' for John.

Way cool.

More Teens = Less Hair

Heads were shaved last night! Mark Brewer, John Sherwood, and Jesse Reid are looking a little different today and we're all pretty stoked about it!

There were 100 teenagers @ the Shakedown last night! Woo Hoo! Drop your computer and run around the room!

Mark challenged the teens last week and they obviously rose to the challenge. Out came the clippers and off went the hair.

Hmmmm, what if we hit 400 on a Sunday morning?? I'll gladly shave my head! Who's with me?

Thursday, September 25

Just thinking...

There's a lot of energy around this place right now...

We're ramping up for Sunday...
Ramping up for 1st Wednesday next week...
Amping up for Youth tonight...

We love this church. Seriously, our family loves Fredericton and I love being your Pastor.

I just picked up "Axiom", by Bill Hybels. I love leadership books and I'm already enjoying this one.

God is good.

Thursday Thoughts

We hosted our home group bible study last night. Great coffee, strawberry shortcake, apple crumble, great people, great leader (Stephen Woodworth), etc. Everyone should be in a group where they can learn more about God's Word and who God is. A small group should be a safe place of love and encouragement where people can be real with one another about real life. I'm thankful for my group and every small group that Crosspoint has.

Are you thinking about Sunday??!! We're pretty amped up over week 3 of the Groove series! My side-burns are driving me nuts and I can't wait to shave them off when this series is over. Haha. Who are you inviting this week??

Groove 3 is about getting past your past. Everyone of us has a past. We can't change our past. So, how do we let our past propel us towards a better future? How do we break chains from things in the past that we just can't seem to shake? Have a look at Philippians 3, specifically verses 13 and 14. If you know anyone who needs to experience grace, love and freedom-forgiveness in Jesus, make sure they are here this week!!

Shakedown tonight. Crosspoint's Youth ministry is every Thursday from 6:30 - 8:30. Know anyone with a teenager in the house?? You know the drill, tell them about a youth group that is having a blast, awesome live band, tons of craziness, growing in God's Word and what it means to be a Christian Teen serving Jesus with everything they have!

We're going to Israel. For real. Next April. The 27th to be exact. A bunch of Crosspointers on a tour bus visiting the Holy Land, walk the beach of the Mediterranean, sail across Galilee, walk the stations of the Cross in Jerusalem, see where Jesus worshiped in Capernaum, climb Masada, walk around Jericho, Gethsemane, Armageddon, etc. Come to the Israel meeting this Sunday @ 4.

Keep the coffee strong.

Tuesday, September 23

Quick Stuff

Welcome to 'Autumn'. It's the first full day of Fall and we're expecting this to be an amazing season @ Crosspoint!

Saw 2 Crosspointers getting their coffee @ the Irving this morning. Try the Peruvian, you'll like it!

We have a great church board. That's random, I know, but I thought you should know that there is a group of people behind the scenes that are pretty pumped about the direction of this church.

September seems too early for frost. I'm just saying.

Had a great meeting with Mark first thing this morning. We're working on some in-house tech and productivity stuff. Well, Mark is, and he helps me and the other staff work smarter. BTW, if you are feeling 'swamped', you have paper everywhere, you keep forgetting 'to do's', etc... I highly recommend the book, "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I've recommended it on this blog before.

John Sherwood is speaking and singing to the Tuesday Morning Seniors Group right now. Very cool.

My side-burns are driving me nuts. I'll be glad when the 'Crosspoint Chops' contest is over. ;-)

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, September 22

Groove Notes 2

We're half way through the Groove Series. Here are your study notes for this week:

Phil 2:1-11

v.1 Notice the key words that Paul uses in verse 1: Encouragement, comfort, fellowship, compassion... These are things that Paul believes a healthy church should be experiencing. We want Crosspoint to be a place where people are encouraged, where people can find comfort, where we grow together in fellowship (good coffee!) and where we are compassionate with one another. You can usually sense in just a couple of minutes whether or not a church is truly living this out. So how about you? Are you an encourager? Who can you encourage today? Don't just think about it, get out a sticky and decide 'who' and 'how' you will do something encouraging today. Go through the other words the same way. Remember, it's not all about me, it's about others!

v.2 You've probably heard it said, "We need to agree to disagree", insinuating that we'll never agree on everything so let's put our disagreements aside. Paul is pulling the church towards unity. He's urging them to see things through a bigger lens. Look at the big picture, God's picture. We need to think about the 'body', the vision, the mission of the church. A church like ours can grow like crazy if we all agree wholeheartedly that we will love one another and work together even if everything isn't done exactly the way we would prefer it to be. My preferences are just that, 'preferences'. Sure, Crosspoint would look different if I had everything my way, but it's not about me and what I want. It's about me working together with other believers to see the greater good accomplished. So, what does this mean to you today? Take a few moments and read this verse over a few times. What comes to mind? What is God saying to you today?

v.3, 4 Do you find yourself asking others how they are or how their day went and before they can hardly say anything you start talking about yourself, your problems and how you got the wrong coffee passed to you in the drive-thru??! We love to talk about ourselves. We want others to listen to us, to hear us and to make us feel as though what we are saying is important. We want to be validated. Hmmm. So if we're always talking about ourselves, how will anyone else be heard? This week, today, make some intentional decisions about who you are going to listen to. If you really want to apply this text, pick someone who annoys the decaf out of you. Someone who you've been avoiding... Look them in the eye, even if it hurts, and listen intently. Don't interrupt. Let them share with you whatever is going on in their lives. Read 3 and 4 over again. Is it starting to sink in?

v.6-11 I mentioned yesterday that Paul takes these verses on 'others' and he runs them straight through the Cross. Jesus died for others. We have to see every 'other' person as a soul destined for eternity needing Jesus Christ. The decrease of the Cross produced the increase. Huh? Whoever wants to be first must become last. I must decrease, Jesus must increase. Put others first. Don't be proud. Don't boast. Be a servant. Be humble.

Let's focus in on Christ's obedience. it was his obedience that led him to the cross. It was a brutal assignment, but he was willing to go and take our punishment. Now, reflect on your own obedience before God. Have you been listening to God? Would you say that your life is in line with God's direction and providence for you? Have you veered? Have you ignored God? What about temptation? Surely Jesus was tempted to bail. What changes do you need to make this week in order to walking in obedience with God? Obedience is where we find the greatest blessing!

Enjoy this text. Pray for others. Invite someone to church!

Groove 2 Recap

OK, I think I have enough coffee in me to get this post out! (That'll only make sense if you were in the second service yesterday).

Yesterday was another awesome day at Crosspoint! Thanks to all who were there, energized, caffeinated, ready to worship and excited about the Groove. We had many new families with us!! Keep coming, make yourself at home, make this your church and be a part of a very exciting future!

No purple suits yesterday but I did see some very Groovy side burns around the church. (Chris Saad!)

We opened with "Happy Day" a song that our Teens do @ the Shakedown on Thursday nights. Great to see Jesse Reid playing the bass. We had a wide variety of worship music yesterday with some very powerful moments. We continued our study in Philippians with 2:1-11, "Unselfish Unity". It's not about me, it's all about others, and it's good to be a part of a church that is determined to do whatever it takes to share the Gospel with others! (your study notes will be in the next post)

We also shared communion together. That's when I told everyone that if you don't take communion and someone looks at you funny or gives you false guilt, tell them to 'Get a life'! That was fun ;-) To help drive home the whole message of the day, we had a fresh-made loaf of bread for every family in the church. Yum!

Alpha got off to a great start last night. It was the initial 'Celebration Supper'. Full turkey dinner with apple crumble pie for dessert! If you'd still like to come, it's not too late. Last night was the 'intro' video and we begin with lesson one this Sunday @ 5. There is child care. Sweet.

The offering was Groovy yesterday! Thanks. If you would like to have offering envelopes for your giving records just drop us a line.

So, with all these new families, and Crosspoint over 300 for 2 weeks in a row, who are you inviting this Sunday??

Friday, September 19

What a Week!

This week has been a blur. A good blur if you know what I mean!

I did manage to get golfing today (fourth time this year!) with a great group of guys. It was a beautiful day. Had a wedding rehearsal tonight, and then headed out for some nachos with the Woodworths. Yum.

How are you doing with Philippians?
Who are you bringing to church on Sunday?
There are 30 pre-registered for Alpha! You coming?
We have a special 'giveaway' planned for this Sunday. Can't tell you. You have to come!
With a few good invites, we could hit 400 this weekend. No joke! That's crazy!
We need more 10:45'ers to worship with us @ 9:00 to make room in that second service. Try the 9. You'll like it!
Going apple picking in the morning. Fun times.
What was with -4 and two inches of frost this morning??!!
My golf game needs help.

See you Sunday. Phil 2:1-11.

Wednesday, September 17

"Crosspoint" Update

You can make tithing/offering checks out to "Crosspoint Wesleyan".

We're working on the new signage for the outside of the building, it should be up quite soon.

All emails are being switched over. You can now reach us at; mark@...; amy@...; conard@...; ruth@...; connect@... Thanks for taking 22 seconds to go in and change your email address book and deleting the old email addresses ;-)

Most of our in-house printing now reflects 'Crosspoint'.

We value our heritage. We won't forget it. The best way to honor what has been is to press on for a brighter future.

Sunday's a comin'!

Mozambique Team

Obviously, I would go anywhere and do anything with this bunch of guys. It's amazing what a missions trip can do to bring a group of guys together. The next time you hear Crosspoint talking about a missions trip, sign up!

Dream Big

Ephesians 3:20 (New Living Translation)

" Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."

God is up to something BIG in our church!

Tuesday, September 16

Crosspoint Notes

Here is your Sunday message follow up to help you get in the Groove.

Philippians 1:1-11
Author: Paul
Audience: Christians in Philippi
Purpose: To strengthen the believers by reminding them that true joy and purpose comes from Jesus Christ.
Date: A.D. 61, while Paul was imprisoned in Rome.

1:1 Paul is doing time in Rome and refers to himself and Timothy as 'slaves' of Jesus. What do you think he meant by this? What are you a slave to? I know, you think I'm a slave to coffee! What changes do you need to make in your life for others to see that you are 100% sold out to Christ? If he is your Master, are you willing to follow him anywhere at any cost?

1:2 Paul reminds us that God is generous. He is a giving God and two of the greatest things he wants to give us are grace and peace. Are you thankful for grace? Are you living in peace. Write those words down and then make a list beside or underneath them of all the ways you see grace and peace at work in your life. Take a moment of quiet prayer to simply thank God for grace and peace and allow him to speak to you. Very groovy.

1:5 Paul reminds the people in Philippi that they are partners with him in sharing the gospel. All of you need to know that you are partnering with us, the staff @ Crosspoint, in sharing the gospel. We there is a crowd, we can all rejoice. When someone gives their life to Jesus, we can all know that we had a part in it. This is a team effort. We're making Jesus famous in Fredericton and beyond. Think about that for a moment. How are you specifically partnering with us? I can think of a few ways, but I'll leave it between you and the Holy Spirit.

1:9 We talked about this quite a bit on Sunday. Remember the comment, "Holy Hippies"?? If we ain't got love, we ain't got a thing! So, is there anyone in your world that you are finding hard to love? Do you need to take steps to fix this? Have you prayed about it/them? As we love one another more we will also grow in knowledge and understanding. How are you growing in knowledge? Are you studying God's Word? In a group? Home group? Class? What about understanding? Remember, understanding means that you won't always understand everything or everyone so you need to be more understanding! You don't have to like everything or even agree with everything, but you do need to be understanding.

1:10 "...pure" Read Romans 12. You have to daily, or hourly, turn everything over to Christ. Make good decisions. "...blameless" The only way that you and I can ever be blameless is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We're sharing communion together this Sunday and we'll talk more about this. Take some time right now to confess anything that isn't right in your life. What steps do you need to take in order to live a more pure life?

1:11 The produce that God wants to produce in your life is character! Not just any character, but righteous character that can only come from Jesus. How's your character? Who are you when no one is looking? What are your inner thoughts about others? This is the crux of the matter. This is the groove that we are talking about. We have to be a people that are being transformed into all the God has created us to be. We have to be more like Jesus everyday. As you wrap up today's study, ask God to work on your character. Ask Him to show you anything that needs to change. Start today. Get serious. Go deeper with Christ!

Groove Week 1

Sunday was absolutely amazing!
Thanks to all of you Crosspointers who showed up, brought a friend, and were ready to get back in the Groove! There were 349 of us! 102 in the first service, 241 in the second and 6 guys working on the bbq chicken. Yum. What a blast it was to kickoff the service with the bland laying down some John Mayer groove, daisy go-bo's, purple polyester suits (vintage Conard Symonds circa 1972), a black afro wig, and three pastors in groove attire getting the crowd on their feet and clapping to the music!

The real message is, "Are you in God's groove?" Have you accepted Jesus? Are you growing daily and experiencing all that God has created you to be? If not, you are missing your groove!

Special thanks to Sam and Helen Robinson for bbq'ing the chicken. If it hadn't have been so wet outside, we would've been down to their house (all 349 of us!). Thanks to Joy Cummings and her team for making it work in the fellowship hall on short notice. Great job gang! Also, very special thanks to Gilles Bordage and Victory Meat Market for their assistance. We couldn't do it without you.

Special thanks to Pastor Conard and his painting crew who came in yesterday and painted the office entryway, office hallway and reception office. It really looks great. What an improvement! Thanks guys!

To help you get in the groove, I'm going to post a follow-up study on the text we looked @ Sunday. This will help you get your nose into Philippians and dig in a little deeper.

Who are you inviting this Sunday? It's going to be a great service with a huge crowd!

Keep the coffee strong,

Saturday, September 13

Feelin' Groovy yet?

We're one day away from the Groove @ Crosspoint!

By this time tomorrow morning we will be a few minutes into the second service.

I've already said that you won't want to miss the opening of tomorrow's service. In fact, if you are here for the opening of the first service, you'll probably want to see it again @ 10:45.

Oh yeah, you'll probably want to bring a camera too. Seriously.

We were out for dinner with a gang of Crosspointer's last night and I'm pleased to report that our men are growing their side-burns for the Crosspoint Chops Competition! Haha. It's a riot.

Have a great day. Invite someone to church. See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 12

Who Ya Bringing?

The Groove is only a couple of days away!!

Who are you inviting?

Pick up the phone.
Send an email.
Walk across the room.
Walk across the street.

It could change a life for eternity.

Sunday is going to be awesome!
Let's pack it out!

Thursday, September 11


Hey Crosspointer's! I hope your week is going well. Things are hustlin' around the church as we prepare for our kickoff Sunday and "The Groove".

Have you checked out our new website yet? This Sunday's bulletin is already on there. Very cool. Now you don't need one in your hand on Sunday! Actually, it probably won't be long before we only print a handful of bulletins for those who aren't online. Everyone else will get used to checking the website to see what's happening. Very 'green' don't you think! ;-)

As I mentioned on Sunday, you will want to be in the sanctuary when the countdown hits 0 this Sunday.

Hey guys, how are those side burns coming??! Don't forget to let the chops grow for this series. Haha.

Key verse for this Sunday: Philippians 1:6 God got the groove going inside you. God's plan is for us to stay in the groove so that His work will continue to grow in us making us more like Christ. Some need to find their Groove in Christ for the very first time. Some have the groove but they need to get up and get it going!

Sunday is going to be a spiritual blast!

Praying for you,

Monday, September 8

The Side-Burn Contest

Oh yeah, it's on!

You can't do a series called "The Groove" without having a side-burn growing contest!

We're challenging every guy @ Crosspoint to stop trimming those chops and let them grow baby!

The series is 4 weeks. The winner, with the sweetest chops, will be declared on Oct 5th.
The winner will win, what else, some pork chops! (we'll probably find a few other goodies to throw in)

When someone asks you why you are letting your face get so furry tell them about your church!

Creative Planning Out the Window

Yesterday @ Crosspoint, God showed up and threw our creative planning out the window.

It was awesome.

We spend hours on our services but we are always aware of the need to be flexible and to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I've said this alot, but if you missed yesterday you missed something special.

Here's a run down for those watching on from a distance and a reminder to all who were here:
-Amazing worship, including 'Hosanna'
-We passed around a note card for every Teacher in our church. When the card got to you, you wrote an encouraging note to that teacher. The staff will write on them this week and we'll mail them to the Teachers. Cool.
-The Mozambique Team shared their stories.
-'God of this City' video
-Tim preaching on Raising Kids
-Extended altar/prayer time. A powerful time in God's presence. Wow.

Service length: 1 hour and 45 minutes. No joke.

Now our thoughts turn towards "The Groove". Besides hauling out your wardrobe from the 70's, you might want to take a look at the book of Philippians. It's where we'll be for the entire series.

Off to a funeral in Saint John...

Saturday, September 6

Evangelistic Appetite

People who have an evangelistic appetite that is greater than their preference appetite will be excited to attend a church that is leveraging creativity and innovation to help lost people find Jesus.

Crosspoint Wesleyan Church
September 2008

Black-out Sanctuary

We have a pretty traditional sanctuary set-up. In fact, if you've been in a few Wesleyan churches, chances are you've seen our sanctuary or something very similar. Whoever built these things in the 70's and 80's built a ton of them off a very similar plan.

There are a lot of windows which means there is a lot of natural light. We have some pro blinds, but they are not light-blocking.

Earlier this Spring, when we were planning our kickoff series "The Groove", we knew right away that we would need to black-out the sanctuary for the lighting to have any effect. We went to our 'sewing person extraordinaire' and she created black-outs for each window that are easily fastened with velcro whenever we want.

We used them last Sunday because of a lighting/scripture montage we were doing. The effect was excellent and only could have happened with the sanctuary black. Note: next time our ushers will have flashlights! Apologies to all who came a few minutes late and couldn't see a thing!

This Sunday, no black-out.

Next Sunday, black-out.

So, I'm curious about what your thoughts are on walking in to a dark sanctuary that is using a lot of lighting for effect? Does it take some getting used to? Does it affect your worship? How?

I've been in some 'black box' churches that are built for production, and I really enjoy it. It's easier for the production team to focus my attention (and thoughts) on the message they are proclaiming. I've been to Willow Creek, and it's got tons of natural light, even when they buzz down their very sweet window screens. (one window is probably larger than our sanctuary!)

Either way, the Groove is coming and it is going to be a spiritual blast with a purpose.

Insider Information

Here's a nugget for Crosspointer's who follow my blog.

Expect to see some very nice, fresh paint on the steps/entrance and concrete at the church.

Very cool.

Thursday, September 4

This Sunday

This Sunday is going to be packed! In a lot of ways.

We're pretty much back from summer, but we're not yet back to two services (14th 9:00 and 10:45). So we're expecting to be numerically packed this Sunday. It's a great problem to have!

We're also packed with all that is happening in the service. The Mozambique Team is sharing, we have something special planned for teachers, we have a 'blessing of the school year' for teachers, students, and all who work in the school system, we have worship, we have a message, and we have quick promo spots by each pastor on what is happening this fall! Whew! It's going to be a blast!

If you know any Teachers, invite them this Sunday!! In fact, invite anyone you know. It's going to be a great service.

I'm preaching on, "Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure". The title's been used before, but the material is all new. ;-) I'm really looking forward to sharing some stuff that any parent would find helpful.

The Groove kicks off September 14th. 9:00 and 10:45!! Invite someone. It's going to be a hoot with a solid spiritual message.
All-church Chicken Dinner @ Sam and Helen Robinson's on the 14th after the 10:45 service.

What Do You Do All Day?

I wish I had a coffee for every time someone asked me what I do all day!

Apparently, if you've never studied for or worked in the ministry you cannot comprehend what a minister would possibly do all day. This morning I was reflecting a bit on yesterday and thought, "I bet most of our people would never know what we do all day".

Here's a glimpse:
Normal boatload of email, phone calls, voice mail, etc.
Normal boatload of impromptu "what about..."; "what would you do with..." etc that comes from having an open-door policy.
Prep for Creative Team meeting - I get my head in gear before the team meets on what the major themes are and what I hope we will communicate on each particular Sunday.
2 1/2 hours of creative team planning which produced: good conversation on this past Sunday (what worked, what didn't), knock out of the Groove 1, work on upcoming Groove Sundays, excellent conversation on Sept 21 and 28. Those are going to be huge Sundays in our history.
Prep for Staff Meeting - I keep a to do in iCal for each of these and keep a running list of things we need to discuss. I had points from "One Church Four Generations" (Gary McIntosh), an article from Tony Morgan's blog, Ruthie was going to bring us a summary from the Leadership Summit she attended, and various other in-house things we needed to discuss.
2 1/2 hour staff meeting.
Back into the office to take one last look at email and voice mail before I headed home for Supper.
I was in the office @ 8:30 and left for home @ 5:00 (Amy was still going strong when I left and Mark looked like he was going to pull an all-nighter!)
After a few hours of family time I got out the Mac and typed in some notes from the day. Checked email and Facebook messages.

That's a pretty normal day.

Wednesday, September 3


I know there are a few other Pastors out there who read this blog and some folks from other churches. Hope this helps!

I've been thinking about risk lately. Church growth requires a lot of risk. It simply does. If you aren't risking anything, what are you doing? Are you just doing what you think you are capable of doing without failing or looking foolish?? Agreed, there is a fine line between faith and foolishness. On one hand we should be outside of our comfort zones, but on the other hand we don't want to just jump out and do something careless.

Without risk there is no reward.

Around Crosspoint we will often talk about 'where we want to be' as a church. Getting from where we are now to where the vision is for the future will require some risk. I don't think we have a choice. I think we have to take those risks. Some risks require money. If they fail, people might feel as though the money was not used right. That's a risk. Some risks involve people. There is always a chance that people might react negatively to the risk. Most risks involve change. In fact, if you are talking about changing something we can pretty much guarantee that it involves risk.

We are creating a culture here where risk seems normal.
We want to be a people that can look back someday and say that we have no regrets, we did all we could at the time to reach every possible person we could.
It might not always make sense on paper, but what does that matter? Read through your Bible and you'll see plenty of examples of God asking people to take risks that didn't make much sense.

I think a word that summarizes too many churches is 'safe'.
Where are the risk takers who want there churches to be in the faith zone?

Tuesday, September 2

BBQ Wrap Up Sunday

Wow. We wrapped up the BBQ series this past Sunday. God is good! It was a great series and a great way to keep us focused over the summer. We've had many of you comment positively on the series and on the after-church bbq's. It was really good for all of us to have some time after church to eat, chat, and get to know people better. Thanks again to Pastor Conard and Debbie Symonds for all of their work for the weekly bbq's. Very cool!

Our theme on Sunday was, "What is the Rapture?" Pastor Conard was absolutely the best person to preach this message and he knocked it out of the park! Conard lived through the rapture-hyper days of the 60's and 70's when everytime you heard a large noise you looked in the sky to see if it was Jesus coming back! The main point isn't 'when' will the rapture happen, or even 'how' will the rapture happen. The main point is 'are you ready?'

The service was one of our best, ok, probably our best, tech/media service that we have done. We blacked out the windows (thanks Estella!) and really leveraged our lighting and projection. Thanks to all the gang who worked hard last week on the media.

After Conard's message, the band led us in a song and I gave an invitation to accept Christ. We asked those who were accepting Jesus to take a stand, right where they were. 2 men stood and the church cheered!! What can I say? It was one of those services that will be memorable for a long time for those who were there. Yay God.

We packed up Sunday afternoon and took off for Beulah. I got to re-introduce myself to a bunch of our Crosspointers who were at Beulah for the weekend ;-) Good to see them. There was a good crowd in the tabernacle Sunday night for the last of the summer services in the Tab. Our DS delivered the message. After church we enjoyed some kickback time at Stephen and Ruth's cottage. Great coffee Ruthie!

Great things are happening.
Crosspoint is growing.
Lives are being changed.
Can't wait for Sunday.