Community Posts

The Problem with One

The above video is me telling a story inspired by a flock of birds at a wedding. You heard me right.


Halloween 2010

Our kids had their first “real” Halloween this year. Gavin was Superman and Madsen was Clark Kent. I may be biased, but they were ridiculously adorable. Gavin even ran from house to house and his cape was blowing behind in the wind. I don’t enjoy what Halloween stands for but it is an incredible time for community with people in your neighborhood. I found out that someone one street over from us goes to Central and one of my neighbors told me that he was my “Bud Man.” (He works for Budweiser and invited me over anytime to hang out with him… and, you know, hydrate). I’d strongly recommend that you take this easy opportunity to connect with those who live near you. Here are some pics of the kids:

Clark Kent

Superman saying “Trick or Treat.”

Clark Kent and Mommy

The superhero duo with Papa and Lisey. Superman is pointing toward a criminal.

Daddy trying to keep up with Superman.

3rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

Our small group hosted our 3rd annual pumpkin carving party to connect with new people. We invite our neighbors, friends, and coworkers with the entire goal to hang out so we can create and build new friendships. It was great to see a bunch of the neighborhood turn out as well as a ton of new people, and repeaters from the last two years as well!

Here are some of the photos of the night:

Michelle with our little pumpkin.

Feeding the pumpkin. He will probably look back on these pictures later and be very angry with me.

Laci modeling her slimy pumpkin hands.

Developing the next generation of pumpkin carvers. This is Melissa and Patrick’s son.

Pumpkin guts.

Surprisingly, this sign actually worked.

The effects of sugar on kids.

Hard at work.

Holli looks a little scary with that knife…

Of course there was food involved.

Pumpkins make people do crazy things. I have no words for this Sara.

The finished products.

UPDATE – The Matthew Party

Well, our experiment paid off and we all had a great time. While not everyone that we invited came, we did have a lot of people there (and a lot of my neighbors!). It was a great time to meet new people and to have a chance to sit down and talk further with people that we’ve never had the chance to talk with.

There were a lot of questions about our small group and about Third Format and we were able to make some great connections. I’m stoked to see what God will do with the seeds that were planted tonight. I would strongly recommend that other small groups try to do their own variation of a Matthew party.

And if you are wondering…I even carved a few pumpkins myself. Go figure.

The Matthew (Pumpkin) Party

Tonight my small group is trying something totally new. In fact, I have no idea how it will actually turn out. About a year ago, we read through Bill Hybels’ book, Just Walk Across the Room. It is a book on relational evangelism and one of the ideas that he presents is what he terms a “Matthew Party,” based off of Luke 5:27-32.

The idea is to take a group from the church (in this case our small group) and host a party focused on people who may not necessarily go to church or believe in God. The idea is to create meaningful friendships outside of the church walls and to focus on other people. My wife had the idea to twist it a bit and make it into a pumpkin carving party.

So tonight, in my driveway, we are hosting our first “Matthew (Pumpkin-Carving) Party.” We’ve invited a whole bunch of people, including all of my immediate neighbors. We’ll have a screen set up on the side and a projector playing the cheesiest old-school horror movie we can find. And we are going to have some fun. Michelle even found some Homestarrunner pumpkin designs! We aren’t going to preach to anybody and there is no pressure to do anything but have fun and get to know some new people, or get to know them better.

My prayer is that God would cause us to go into the “Zone of the Unknown,” (a term from the book referring to the area opposite of our comfort zone) and challenge us to talk with new people and to establish new friendships. My prayer is that we’ll be the Church tonight and that we’ll see God show up in cool and surprising ways. I’ll post an update tomorrow with how it went and hopefully some pictures. Here is a quote from the book that explains why things like tonight can be so valuable:

“The longer a person attends church, the fewer evangelistic discussions they engage in with family members and friends. Fewer presentations of the life-changing plan of salvation are given, and fewer invitations to events that attractively present the message of Christ are offered, mostly because Christ-followers have fewer friends outside the faith to whom to offer them.” – Bill Hybels

Bible Reading Plan

We put together a 90 day Bible Reading plan (spread out between 15 weeks) at for people to read through together. I want to extend the invitation to anyone who wants to read through this with us.

You can download it here.

Also, we created a Google group for people to discuss things as we go. Click here to check it out.