Archive for June, 2009

Grace Logo 2

Many of the readers of this blog know that I am the Pastor of Grace Foothills, a new congregation of Grace Community Church. We’ve been at it for just over a year now (our first service in the Tryon Theater was in March 2008). It has just occurred to me that Grace Foothills is a church for the un-churched, the de-churched, and the over-churched.

When we were dreaming of planting a new church in Polk County, we wanted to plant a church where believers could bring their unbelieving friends to church and their unbelieving friends would not be freaked out or made to feel uncomfortable during the service. Grace is a “seeker-sensible” church where folks, no matter where they are on the faith spectrum, can sit and process the worship service without the distractions of confusing Christian jargon. The music and the message are relevant to our culture and the goal of the message is to encourage the believer with the gospel and to challenge the unbeliever with the gospel. Both believers and unbelievers are in need of the gospel. Thus, Grace is a church for the un-churched. Someone who has no church background can walk in and comprehend what is being said and what is being lived out.

We also wanted to plant a church for the over-churched. Many churches run on the fuel of programs. Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, Sunday night church, Wednesday night suppers, choir practice, youth groups, VBS, Christian Karate, etc. All of that wears me out. What happens when churches operate under that kind of structure is that everyone, especially the staff, gets tired and they lose sight of the mission of the church that Jesus gave the church, to be a window of grace to the community that the church is in. Grace is a place that is intentionally low on programs. There are just a few things that we do: Sunday morning worship service, Community groups during the school year, discipleship classes in eight to ten week blocks, youth group and random events (we brought U2 to the Tryon Theater this past Spring). Thus, Grace is a church for the over-churched.

In the South, the majority of folks grew up in the church in some way or another. I grew up in a non-Christian home in Charlotte, but we still attended church. There is a huge population of folks who grew up in the church, but as they grew older they left the church all together. These folks are the de-churched. Grace is a church for the de-churched. Matt Chandler, a church re-planter in Dallas, explains the de-churched in this clip from the Advance Conference which myself and a few others attended in Durham a few weeks ago:

Our hope is that Grace Foothills would be a gospel-centered church (focusing on the Person and Work of Jesus and the welcoming heart of God through Christ and the Holy Spirit) and that Grace Foothills would be a blessing to the community, whether someone is un-churched, de-churched, or over-churched.


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Advance Conference Video

I posted the audio a few weeks ago from the Advance Conference that me and 4 of my friends attended in Durham. Now the videos are available by clicking here.

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Grace Foothills Pre-Worship Music

As you walk through the doors of the Tryon Theater on a Sunday morning, you will smell good coffee and hear an eclectic mix of music. Before the service begins at 10:30, you can hear an acoustic blend of musicians who are singing about truth and beauty. Some are asking questions that only the gospel can answer. Truth and beauty can be seen all over and we are saying, “Listen, there’s Jesus, there’s the gospel in that song.” Here is a sampling of what may be heard before tomorrow’s service at Grace Foothills.

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How Tim Keller Found Manhattan


This month’s cover article in CT by Tim Stafford, “How Tim Keller Found Manhattan”

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Audio from the Advance Conference is online. Listen to it by clicking here. Also, photos from the Advance Conference by clicking here.

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Vintage 21, an Acts 29 churchplant in downtown Raleigh, created these videos on how wrong our perceptions of Jesus really are. These videos do not make fun of Jesus, rather they make fun of how we perceive Jesus to be.

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Well, day one at the Advance Conference is over. I am sitting here in our hotel room watching Conan O’brien, reflecting on all the cool things we heard today. I am here in Durham with 4 of my friends from Grace Foothills. This conference is all about God’s love for the local church and how the local church can resurge by looking at Jesus and being on mission for Jesus. The gospel is the center of what God is up to in the church and when a church has no gospel centrality, it ceases being a church and becomes a museum, country club, or a boneyard.

Today we heard from Mark Driscoll, Tyler Jones, Bryan Chapel, and Matt Chandler. All of their talks will be online soon and when they are, I will post the link in this blog.

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