Boy Howdy! FunFest

Just another day until our FunFest A safe place for families on Halloween...

A few weeks ago was talking in prayer about the weather...I sensed 'The weather will be ok." Interesting exercise...thinking you heard something from God...Then checking the weather to see if I heard God...Indian Summer! 64 degrees with sun for Friday I think I heard correctly.

Last night 200 people showed up for our pre-event volunteer meeting... We worshipped, were envisioned, received some instructions, and prayed together. A great Night. We have approx 290 people scheduled to serve to help us love on our community and Experience the Light.

We are expecting a few thousand people from the community to show up.

Also, this year I was able to help two other churches with their fall festivals. Both churches had huge crowds and made an impact on their communities.

Often people ask 'Why would you spend so much energy, resources to throw a party for the community?' We've discovered the people of Dayton enjoy successful, safe, high impact events. They tend to show up when invited. When they come on to our property, they are served, cared for and loved upon. Plus they have a good time with their families.

Secondly, people tend to visit The Vineyard after the FunFest. The last two years we saw a dramatic increase of guests the month of November.

Thirdly, it's huge fun.

It's On Us!

a great Idea by a church, Valleydale Church Birmingham AL, just branching into kindness outreach. I liked the idea so much I decided to use the concept.

It's on us!
People from the Vineyard can now chose how they use this multipurpose connect card. It can be used to buy gas, purchase a meal, pay a bill, give a gift, use at an outreach, or any other service, kindness, or mercy we show toward the people in our community.
That's what I like about Servant Evangelism...the ideas are unlimited to the creative mind. Experimenting also keeps the edge sharp.


my wife Pattie sent this to me from a lady in cyberspace.

my son Bay sent this email to me about a five year old student learning to read. yesterday he pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said, look at this! it's a frickin' elephant! i took a deep breath, then asked...what did you call it? it's a frickin' elephant! it says so on the picture! and so it does...


hooked on phonics! ain't it wonderful?

my wife pattie teaches 5 and 6 year olds great stories...

Reflections on Externally Focused Church Seminar

A good day on Wednesday.
Rusaw Visionary / Practitioner
Eric Swanson Concept / Practitioner

Both Rick and Eric presented Externally Focused thoughts, principles, stories, and how to's. here are some notes from the day.

2 concepts both important...Not either or.

Attractional church...Come and See...attracting not yet believers in creative, sustainable, environmental on campus. Is this a church I would attend? Does it attract? Is the language, vibe and environment attractive?

Missional church...going beyond the 4 walls out into the community. Would our community miss us if we no longer existed? Are we making a difference in our community? Are we salt, leaven and light in our community?

Connecting with
pre-existing community groups, schools, YMCA's, food pantries, health agency's, etc.

Good deeds create good will that opens doors for the good news.

Good Deeds + Good Will + Good News = True Outreach.

Deeds verify our words

Words clarify our deeds

ulterior motives we serve others because we are Believers...Followers of Jesus serve because they are followers of Jesus.

Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.
The Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.

As the Father has sent me so am I sending you...

3 stories

Our story... How did my journey begin? What is my story? Where is my journey heading? How does my story connect?
Their story...What is this persons story? Where are they heading? Discovering a person's spiritual address
God's story... How can I help this person take their next step toward the Good News of God's
redemptive story found in Jesus Christ?

Biblical Thought
Eph 2:8-10 NIV
  • 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Believers believe the two verses above...
We know God, or are known by God by God's grace found in Jesus Christ. He is the grace giver...We are the grace receivers... faith in God's grace,
undeserved, unearned, not worked for... but grace received by faith allow us to become the saved...

vs 10 gives us an indication what we were saved for...
  • For we are God's workmanship,
  • created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
  • which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Externally leaders role: Help people discover the good works that God has prepared for them to do by creating opportunities for service and celebrating the good works they are already doing in our community.

Much more... a good day of training


This is our 6th year for FunFest Experience the Light!

Last year was off the chart with thousands of people attending the event. We were able to secure a Ferris wheel. Needless to say the evening was an exciting time.

This year we are going to have a great time. No Ferris wheel, however we will still have a blast with games, food, hay rides, and bouncy castles.

Volunteer meeting is on Tuesday the 28th at 7pm this hour meeting will be helpful to all volunteers.

We'll be handing out site maps, and selecting our assignments, breaking up into teams, and basically communicating.

Thursday before the event is our set up time we are staging all the games, food, tables, flag, lights, fill gold fish bowls, set up signs, and to set up Tuesday night 6 pm...

On Friday we'll have Chanel 2 pop in at 5am to film a morning show. It is always a fun time with the film crew...

I have a sense this will be a big night and that a lot of people will be attending...

We've planned 3000 hotdogs and drinks to give away and have some other interesting events planned.

A verse: redeem the time for the days are evil...

We are attempting to redeem the time...present an evening that is safe, fun and has a sense of God's presence. Our prayer team has been praying.

prayer is the power house that all we do hinges upon...


We've been using our ABCD pathway for a few years now.

Access Point a lunch for new people to find out about the Vineyard, and Beginnings are two of the components that are creating a great environment for potiential new share-holders.

Beginnings is a 5 part course. We are using the matrix of our four ministry areas.
Each area leader explains their passion for their area and how people can participate.

Loving God: Worship, Prayer, Celebrations, Environment, Vibe

Loving People: First Impressions, Outreach, Congregational Care

Establishing Families: Children, Teens, Nurturing the Family

Discipleship Pathway: Classes, VineyardMen, Women, Small Groups

We also are using the matrix for our downtown campus. It is encouraging to see people begin to understand what and more importantly Who we are about. At the end of Beginnings Doug comes in and shares where we've been and where we are heading as a church and invites the people to become active members.