My random, sometimes insightful thoughts on life, God, family, and everything else

Church

Our Newest Staff Member, Sarah Pead!

Sarah-webA Little Bit About Sarah:

I’m so excited to announce to you that Sarah Pead will be joining the Friendship Church staff beginning Monday, September 9th.  Sarah will become our Arts & Communications Director.  Sarah has been working for the last 5 years as a Graphic Design and Marketing Consultant for Willow Marketing on the Northside of Indianapolis.  Willow is one of the top design firms that works with non-profit agencies in the entire Midwest.  Her invaluable experience in the design field, marketing, advertising, social media, and print media will become an unbelievable asset to us as we continue to grow as a church.

Sarah has actually been serving in a volunteer role at Friendship for 6 years as our Lead Graphic Designer.  In that role she has created all of our graphics for every series that we have done at Friendship, created our church logo, the Friendship Kids logo and branding, Fusion, Man Stuff, Shape, and well, just about every other logo we’ve got out there.  Sarah’s guiding hand has allowed us to do things that churches three times our size cannot even do.

What Sarah Will Be Doing:

As our new Arts & Communications Director, Sarah will now be overseeing the following areas:

  • All physical print pieces including the Worship Guide, posters, handouts, etc
  • Continue to act as our Lead Graphic Designer
  • Wed Design & Social Media Team
  • Photography & Video Team
  • All digital media pieces including e-mail communications, registration forms, event forms, video pieces, etc
  • All areas of communications whether print, digital, or video

Why Is This The Right Time For Sarah To Come On?

Man, I am so glad you asked that question!  As our church has grown Traci, Dustin, and I have had to increase our areas of responsibility, sometimes even beyond our particular area of expertise.  All of the areas listed above are items that one of us is currently doing to varying degrees of success.  With Sarah coming on staff it relieves significant pressure from each of us and allows us to focus better on our ‘sweet spots’ in ministry.  Below is a snippet of what I shared with the Elders when we first talked about this several months ago:

  • With the continued growth of the Shape Women’s Ministry (145 ladies at Rejuvenate…that’s just crazy) and requests for her to counsel ladies; with the continued growth of the church and the increasing time it takes to manage my schedule, requests for meetings, and communications on my behalf, Traci is not able to spend the time needed to continue to grow Women’s Ministry.  By removing her media and communication responsibilities it allows her to redeem and re-purpose that time for greater effectiveness and growth for Friendship.
  • With our continued growth as a church, our print, digital, photographic, and web media needs continue to grow.  This growth is becoming increasingly difficult for Dustin to manage effectively and is beginning to demand more time than can adequately be given without negatively affecting his main responsibilities.  Bringing in Sarah will free him up to spend more time and energy in developing the creative arts ministry while at the same time allowing the communications/media areas to continue to grow.

I can’t hardly believe that we were able to get someone of this caliber with this much experience.  This will allow us to continue to grow as we grow as a church and relieve a significant bottleneck of time, resources, energy, talents, and people.  I’m really looking forward to the many things that God is going to allow us to do through Sarah’s expertise and incredible work ethic!

Send your congratulations and prayers to her new e-mail: sarah@experiencefriendship.com


Zimmerman, Trayvon, and Jesus!

For some the decision was abominable.

For others it was justice.

Some believe that the whole event was simply and completely about race.

Others see it as a bad circumstance gone awful.

Here are the indisputable facts as we stand here today.  A young man is now in eternity.  Another man’s life is altered forever.  A set of parents will never see their boy again.  Justified or unjustified, Zimmerman will forever live with the weight of having taken another man’s life.  People on both sides of the issue, who do not have all the information (no one does, we weren’t there) are throwing out accusations at those who are on the opposite side of the issue.  The media, as always, are doing their best to profit from the lives that have been lost and altered.  And, criminals (yes they are criminals) are attacking innocent people in the name of someone they never met or knew.

Regardless of what you think about the event, the trial, and the verdict, I’d like to share a few things with you that, if you truly believe the Bible, we should all agree on.

Racism is a sin.  Did you know that the term ‘races’ is a modern word, and in the original language it isn’t even used in the Bible? Now, our modern Bibles have indeed used the word ‘race’ because it is commonly used today, but the best, most accurate translation would simply be ‘peoples’.  The Bible teaches very clearly that God created one man and on woman(Gen 2:20-25), and that from their seed every human being on the planet has their existence, and their sinful nature (Romans 5:12-13).  One of the largest reason I verbally, strongly, and vehemently resist evolution, is that at its core is racism.  Evolution teaches that the different ‘races’ are at different levels of the evolutionary development (Great article laying this out: http://www.icr.org/article/55/).  To discriminate against anyone because of the color of their skin is not only stupid, but it is outright sin.  The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world (Rom 5:8ff), that all mankind is loved by God (John 3:16), and that we are to treat everyone that we meet as ‘better than ourselves’ (Phil 2:3).  And I want to be VERY clear here, I have seen massive racism since this verdict was announced, and it wasn’t just from ‘white’ people.  Yes, racism is a two way street that is walked by all shades of skin pigmentation!

Politics, government, rallies, and benefit concerts will never end racism.  If racism is a sin you cannot legislate it away.  You cannot elect a politician who gives great and rousing speeches who will convince people to stop being racist.  I don’t care if you have a million people at a rally shouting “Racism is evil!”, you’ll have 10 million thinking racist thoughts as they watch them do it on the tv.  And, personally, if one more self-appointed, self-important, alcoholic, drug induced, narcistic, actress/actor/singer/songwriter/musician/entertainer gives their ignorant opinion on this I just might barf…was that too much?

The hope and freedom that Jesus offers is the only hope and true freedom!  You want to stop racism, to end violence, to shut the human trafficking and sex slave industries down, to end abortions, and every other hot button issue you can think of?  Then my friend, you need to start living like and start sharing Jesus Christ.  Jesus can take the grand marshal/pubah, whatever, of the KKK and turn him into an inter-city missionary married to a girl from South-Central Philly!  Jesus can transform a Black Panther into a suburban pastor married to a girl from Minnesota!  You don’t believe me, look at the Apostle Paul.  He had more hate in his heart for Christian and Gentiles than Farrakhan has for ‘white people’.  In Paul’s own words he called himself the ‘worst of sinners’ yet Jesus not only saved him, but made him THE missionary/apostle to the Gentile world.

My friends, our world will never change because sin reigns here.  Until the day that Jesus returns and restores, this world will continue to careen towards the abyss.  But that doesn’t mean we cannot be an influence for change in the lives around us.  Look at the people around you, who needs Jesus?  What role does Christ want you to play in their lives?  Your story is powerful, tell it!  Your life speaks of Jesus, let Him be heard!  You want to change the world?  Well, you can’t……But Jesus can!


Building Update #2

Several weeks ago I shared with you that we were in the process of working through the initial phases of the building process.  We have been diligently working with our site engineer to determine exactly what kind of space we have to work with, and the exact amount of square footage we can actually build within the limits that we have.  It’s been a very exciting but taxing process and I deeply appreciate your prayers as we continue to look at design concepts and begin getting an idea of how much it will cost us to take the next step in fulfilling the vision that God has given us to “Glorify God as an effective and influential church!

I am so excited about this process and I am amazed at the incredibly smart and helpful outside people that God has surrounded us with to guide us on this momentous journey of faith!  We’ve got some awesome things planned for this Fall as we begin to unveil what God is calling us to do.  I’ve already seen God work in some amazing ways and move some mountains that we weren’t sure how to overcome.  Each of these ‘obstacles’ have been moments that have tested our resolve, our faith, and to be quite honest…our patience!

Although most of these stories will have to wait until the Fall I’d like to share one exciting obstacle that we’ve already found our way around.  As we delved deeper and deeper into this process we realized that it was going to take us much longer than we anticipated to complete all the pre-construction and the construction phase.  This in itself was a little discouraging, because we are so excited about this next phase, but it was also causing us to have a little concern because we are continuing to grow at such a rapid rate that we very well might outgrow our building before our new building was finished.  Our biggest concern was our children’s ministry which is already operating at about 90% capacity.  Considering that we’ve been consistently growing by about 25-30% over the last two years, the likelihood that we would more than max out our available space was very real.  Especially in our back room where we are averaging over 30 kids in the 10:30 service…process that for a moment: 30 K – 5th graders in the same room for an hour!

So, late last week we made a pretty significant decision that will allow us to continue grow.  We will be converting the current office space on the right side of the foyer back into kid’s space for Sunday morning ministry and for our preschool and childcare.  This move allows us to split the back room into older and younger kids and allow us to do ministry to them more effectively since it will be a smaller age bracket.  It also gives Friendship Kids Childcare additional space to grow by another 20 or so kids.  By the way, they are already at capacity this Summer and at about 90% for the Fall, how cool is that!

The biggest change will be with us as a staff.  Since our office space will be gone, Dustin, Traci, and myself will be going mobile.  Essentially, we will be working either in our home offices or at various locations when we meet with people.  This will not be an easy transition, but we believe that if we do it right it will be a smooth one, and give us the necessary room to continue to reach people for Jesus Christ; which is what it’s all about!

Over the next couple of weeks as you stop by the church building you’ll notice that we are cleaning out our offices and beginning to move furniture into storage.  As a part of that move Dustin and I have been going through our libraries and setting aside books that we have read or we now have in digital format and set them out on a table in the back of the auditorium.  As you can see we have well over 100 copies of books and we are giving them away to you our church.  If you see a book you would like to read, take it!  We want you to use them as a tool to help you grow spiritually mature as a follower of Jesus Christ.

Take as many as you'd like!

Take as many as you’d like!

Well, I think that’s all for this installment!  Keep praying, keep believing, and keep living like Christ!

Dave


Building Update #1

Well, it’s been a busy couple of months around Friendship Church!  For the most part that explains why I took a two month absence from posting another blog post.  Besides all of the normal stuff that happens I’ve been doing a lot of preparation work for our future building project.

To give you a little background on how we got here; two years ago we were looking at our growth and realized that very soon we’d be out of space in our building.  We talked extensively at that time and actually met with a small group of men, all of whom are elders today at Friendship, and prayed through, talked through, and did research on whether or not we should consider building.  At that time we decided that it would be a better use of our resources to begin doing two services, even though all of the “experts” told us we wouldn’t be successful.  We believed that was what God was calling us to do.  It was a HUGE step of faith, and I’ll be very transparent and say, I was nervous!  We launched our two services for the first time in March of last year, a little over a year ago.  Since then we’ve grown by 35% or almost 100 people, we’ve seen over 50 people come to know Christ, disciple over 120 through our Workshops!  Suffice it to say, it was obviously the right decision and God has blessed us beyond measure. 

So far this year we are running just shy of 300 people each weekend, and our kid’s ministry is packed to the gills!  If we continue growing anywhere near our current pace, we will outgrow our facilities in a year or less.  We’ve spent the last several months, praying, talking, and researching all of our options and we are confident that this time we need to build.  Right now we are in the slow, not very exciting, phase of the process.  We’ve been talking with financial people and getting ourselves in the best position possible; we’ve had quite a bit of site engineering done, to make sure we know all the potential “surprises” that may come up; and we’ve met with the City of Greenwood to find out there…um…demands ( I jest of course, they’ve actually been very helpful).  All in all the process is going along very smoothly and we are excited for this next phase to begin!

Here’s how you can be praying:

  • Wisdom: we are going to be making a lot of decisions as we continue to move forward, and we’ve got a tremendous group of elders.  However, you can never, ever pray or have enough wisdom when making decisions that will have such a significant impact as this potentially could.
  • Vision: one of the reasons that I believe God has blessed Friendship is because we are constantly moving forward towards our vision of “Glorifying God as an Effective and Influential Church”. We don’t want to become so bog down in decisions and details that we stop pursuing the vision.
  • Faith: God is doing some pretty amazing things, and I’ve been around long enough to know that when God is moving He’s going to ask us to take some pretty big steps, which means we’ve got to have some pretty deep faith.
  • Focus: All of us elders have full-time jobs where we have responsibilities, and on top of that our families.  Times like this demand a lot of meetings, and extra hours of reading and research.  It can become overwhelming, and cause us to lose focus or get frustrated.  I don’t know about you, but no decisions I’ve ever made when frustrated worked out well!

Thanks for praying for us and for the future of Friendship Church!  That’s all for now, but keep an eye open for the next update…


A New Year Letter To Friendship Church!

Hey Friendship People,

Many of you will be receiving this letter from me, via snail mail, in the next day or two with your year end giving statement for your taxes.  However, I wanted to share it with everyone that calls Friendship home.  I believe God has great things in store for 2013 and I’m looking forward to what God wants to do with you and through you.  Here’s to the year of MORE!

I believe that the hope that comes from knowing Jesus Christ is the seed, the beginning of every good thing in our lives. This hope gives birth to a new way of living. It always believes for the best, even in the face of the worst circumstances.  As we look at our nation, our government, and our economy there are a not a lot of things that we can take hope in, but you can have hope today, no matter what surrounds you, because you serve a mighty God who cares, who knows you by name (Isaiah 45:3), who understands the desires of your heart (1 Chronicles 28:9), who knew you even before you were formed in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5)!

Let me encourage you to look up and keep hope alive in your life for 2013!  If you are facing setbacks that seem overwhelming, you can have hope! God is for you, not against you. His resources are endless, His love knows no bounds,  and no matter what is happening in your life, there is nothing that can ever separate you from Christ (Romans 8:35-39)!

This hope we have cannot be bought or sold, it can only be given away, and each and every weekend that is exactly what we do.  We “give away” the message of hope in Christ to those who need it the most, free of charge!  Your partnership with Friendship through volunteering, participation, prayer, bringing your friends, and financial giving has built a tremendous foundation from which we proclaim the life-giving message of Jesus Christ!  Because of you, and other like you, 2012 was the best year in the life of Friendship Church…THANK YOU, I’m so glad you’re here! 

I believe that 2013 will be the year of “More” for Friendship! 

I believe God will give us more salvations, more people to minister to, more volunteers, more space, more baptisms, more resources, and more of His overall blessing!  I also believe that God wants to do “More” in your life too, so I’ve enclosed an index card for you (you can pick one up at Traci’s counter). Please share with me a situation in your life that seems hopeless, where you want “More” of God’s intervention in your life. You see, I believe that through prayer, God can take any circumstance and transform it for His glory, and I’d like to pray specifically for that to take place in your life in 2013.  So, first thing every Monday in 2013, I’m going to take every card that I’ve received and pray through each one of them individually and specifically.  As God moves I’d love to hear from you through e-mail, a note, a card, you can even Facebook message me if you like!  You can turn in these cards in one of three ways: give it directly to me, drop it in the box marked “prayer cards” on Traci’s counter, or you can simply place it in the offering plate.  Please make sure to write clearly and to put your name on the bottom so I know who I’m praying for.

As I close, I’d like to ask you to do something this year as well.  Every Monday I send out the Monday Morning Quarterback, when you see it sitting in your inbox would you pause for just a moment and pray for Friendship?  It can be something as simple as, “Lord, please bless Friendship Church!”, or you could pray specifically about the message series or some event coming up.  I believe in the power of prayer, and if all of us are praying for Friendship each and every week, I have no doubt that 2013 will be the year of “More”!

Thank You,

Dave Crandall

A very proud senior pastor!


An Open Letter To My Right-Leaning Friends!

Dear Friend,

I am, the same as you, disappointed at how this election turned out on a national level. I understand your frustration, and I understand your concerns. But, those concerns are only temporary. The Apostle Peter was beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and eventually crucified, yet when he thought about all those things in comparison to all that he had gained in Christ he called them “…light and momentary troubles.”

If tomorrow morning we wake up and a dictator has taken absolute control of America, would God still be God? Is somehow God’s power less effective today because of the result on Tuesday? Of course, his sovereignty and divinity are not decided by minuscule elections of mankind. And, I don’t mean to shock you here, but America isn’t promised anything in Scripture, don’t put your hopes in the USA, put them in Christ!

Finally, I want to challenge you on some things I’ve seen or heard. Where in Scripture does it say that a person’s political affiliation will determine their eternal destiny? Who gave you the authority to question a fellow believers love for Christ based upon who they voted for? Question them as to why, sure! Walk them through why you voted how you did, absolutely! But, to take it to such lengths as I’ve heard and seen on Facebook is shameful. You should look up those fellow Christians you attacked in such a manner and ask for their forgiveness, then you should go to God and ask him to forgive you for attacking one of his children. We are told by Paul to not look out only for our interests but also the interests of others and to consider others as better than ourselves. I fear that many on the right may have violated that very important principle from God.

NOW, let’s work towards seeing more people enter into the Kingdom…Shall We?!


An Open Letter To My Left-Leaning Friends!

Dear Friend,

I am thankful first of all that this election is over, and I hope that the man that you believe in will do all that you had hoped he would do. I do not mean this sarcastically in any way, shape or form, for I know YOUR heart. I know that you truly do want what is best for this country, you believe that your candidate will make things better for the people who call this great nation home, or you would have never voted for him. Even though our votes were not cast for the same candidate, our desire to see our country prosper is identical.

I want to express my deep love for you as a brother and/or sister in Christ. Our differences in this political realm are absolutely minimal in comparison to what we share in Christ. I also ask for you to notice that I have at no time from the pulpit or via social media or un-social media for that matter bashed your candidate. Certainly I disagree with him on a great number of issues that I feel are deeply rooted in Scriptural truth and principle, but he is not your candidate anymore, he is OUR President. I commit myself for praying for him and his family’s well-being, for God’s wisdom to rest upon his shoulders, and for God to correct him whenever he may stray from the path of God’s choosing for him.

Finally, my friends, I ask you to consider this as we move forward. I have heard several of you cast aside the question of abortion as if it wasn’t a significant issue. Even some of you have said that it will never change, so why make it an issue? Did you know that the same thing was said regarding slavery, women’s rights to vote, race equality, and many other issues? Did you also know that it was the church that caused all of these issues to become a reality? Don’t be so quick to abandon such a clear mandate from Scripture simply because to our feeble and finite human eye it looks to be impossible. I believe that Jesus Christ said it most clearly when he said, “With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” If you believe in the economic, foreign, and immigration policy of our President, that is most certainly your right. However, if you are a child of God, where God has clearly spoken, you no longer have ‘rights’. Our sovereign King has declared murder and the abuse of the innocent as evil in his sight, and we as citizens of his kingdom must fight against it with all of our might, whether we see it as a winning battle or not!

Stay tuned for: An Open Letter To My Right-Leaning Friends!