Friday, August 29, 2008

Aug 29 Update

Today’s update doesn’t show a lot of major changes, but things are still going well. The drywall crew is getting to the end of their job with only a few small areas left to rock and the south side is getting mud and tape this week. Most of the furnaces are installed and the new wiring is getting pulled through the conduit.

On Saturday, September 6th we’ll be having a church-wide workday where we’ll need a lot of people to help with cleaning and prepping for the painters who will hopefully start painting around Tuesday the 9th. We’ll also need a crew of carpenters to do various construction projects throughout the facility. An announcement will be coming this weekend in services and we’ll also send out an email early in the week.

Below are a few pictures from this morning:

Grass has been seeded on the southwest side of the facility.

Here's the nursery area.

Outside the nursery the main hallway is now lit.

Here's an example of the electrical work that still needs to be done.

In the atrium, the brick columns have now been replaced by drywall air returns.

New furnace units.

A bare spot awaiting a new large electrical panel.

The southeast hallway with wire spools being used by the electrician.

The gym stage now drywalled and ready to be decked.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Facility Update August 22

Here’s my report from this morning's walk-through at 15 Foster Road. Drywall is continuing to go up throughout the facility and the furnaces are starting to be installed. Last week we had a mold test done by an engineering agency that ran analysis on many of the University facilities. Their reports showed the entire facility clean and dry with the exception of the brick pillars in the atrium. Since then the pillars have been completely removed and the church now has a totally clean bill of health!

There will be a need for skilled help in upcoming weeks with some general carpentry. I’ll be putting more information up on that later.

Below are some pictures from this morning!

These first two pics show the top soil and grading work that has been done on the west side of our facility.

In the north wing they are still insulating the ceiling area. This is actually an improvement because our previous set-up had bat insulation laying on top of the ceiling tile. This caused a lot of problems with freezing that we are hoping will be eliminated.

Here's the men's bathroom in the south wing.

Old furnace equipment and electrical panels are now out and new units are being installed.

This pictures shows 108, one of our adult classrooms on the west side of the north wing.

Here's one of the old electrical panels that was removed.

This is the atrium with brick columns removed and new ones being rebuilt.

Putting Faith Into Action

Most of you who attend Parkview will be receiving an email this afternoon with the opportunity to participate in an online survey intent upon gathering information regarding the various gifts and skills of the people who attend.

Our hope is to utilize this database in serving the immediate and long term needs within our church and community. To fill out the survey doesn't obligate you to serve, it merely gives us a means by which to let people know if a specific need matches their skill set. This way people are energized by using their gifts for the Lord and our Church and community is blessed by people living out the Gospel in both word and action.

If you haven't already taken the survey, you can take it by clicking here. Remember this isn't for professionals only. If you have experience and abilities within any of the listed areas, we would love to know about it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fall Growth Issues

Since the flood, Parkview service attendance numbers have been growing. As the Fall academic year draws closer we are seeing our numbers increase, getting us closer to last years attendance statistics. Obviously, this is an exciting trend, but it does create some problems. Here's some statistics...
  • Last weekends attendance was: 1127
  • The total capacity of West's auditorium is: 1500 (80% full is 1200)
  • Peak attendance last September was: 1450 (not including children)
As you can tell from the numbers, combined with the seating challenges of an auditorium with long rows, we are going to need to do something to accommodate growth until we get back into our 15 Foster facility.

The two options we have pursued involve adding a video venue for overflow or going to three services. After a discussion today with the auditorium administrator, we have come to the conclusion that the only feasible option will be to go to three services starting on September 7th at 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 am.

Though this change will require a lot of communication and some really early morning set-ups for numerous teams, it appears to be the best and only option available. Please get the word out to everyone you know. I'll be making an announcement this weekend to make sure everyone begins to pass on the word. In the mean time, let's continue striving on in our mission to see more and more people become passionate followers of Jesus!

Drywall is Flyin’

Things are moving along quickly at our 15 Foster location. As you can see in the pictures below, drywall is getting thrown up on the south side of the facility and Jim Heefner is making good progress on the entryway landscaping.

There are work days scheduled for outside teams on September 6 and 20. We will also be organizing some skilled labor teams from within the church. More will be coming on that in the near future.

A view of the lobby looking from north to south.

The following are a couple of shots of the nursery area on the north side. We've still got quite a bit of wiring and insulating work to do on that side of our facility.

Here's room 106, a classroom on our souths side of the building.

Room 100 where our large group children's programs take place.

The kitchen.

The north side of the main entryway.

Monday, August 11, 2008

JI Packer on Worship Styles

JI Packer is a pastor, author and one of the most influential Evangelical thinkers in America. Here was his response to a question asked by Shane Rosenthal regarding niche marketing in the church. I think good arguments could be made on all sides, but did find his response insightful.

Shane Rosenthal: What do you think about a niche marketing approach that has by virtue of the different worship styles--teen pop, alternative, and adult boomer--created generational segregation?

J. I. Packer: We have separated the ages, very much to the loss of each age. In the New Testament, the Christian church is an all-age community, and in real life the experience of the family to look no further should convince us that the interaction of the ages is enriching. The principle is that generations should be mixed up in the church for the glory of God. That doesn't mean we shouldn't disciple groups of people of the same age or the same sex separately from time to time. That's a good thing to do. But for the most part, the right thing is the mixed community in which everybody is making the effort to understand and empathize with all the other people in the other age groups. Make the effort is the key phrase here. Older people tend not to make the effort to understand younger people, and younger people are actually encouraged not to make the effort to understand older people. That's a loss of a crucial Christian value in my judgment. If worship styles are so fixed that what's being offered fits the expectations, the hopes, even the prejudices, of any one of these groups as opposed to the others, I don't believe the worship style glorifies God, and some change, some reformation, some adjustment, and some enlargement of spiritual vision is really called for.

From: "An Interview with J. I. Packer: The State of Evangelicalism" (July/August 2008, pp. 40-42). (Unfortunately, online access to the complete article requires a subscription.)

(HT: Taylor)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

New ESV Study Bible

In recent years I have grown very fond of my ESV Bible. After much anticipation, the new study Bible has been released and promises to be ground breaking in its use of interpretive aids and study resources. If you're ready for a new study Bible, this is the way to go. You can buy it here in hard cover form for just a little over $31. Check out the following video for more information.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Saturday Work Projects

On Saturday two crews will be coming to work at Parkview. If you are one of those coming, please report to the picnic shelter at the church at 8:30 am where one of the deacons will greet you to assign tasks. The present plan is to work at the Parkview facility in the morning and possibly transition to a few community locations in the afternoon. Each group will be responsible for bringing lunches.

The following are the projects that will be performed on site. Please check the equipment lists following each task. We have some equipment on site, but it wouldn't hurt to bring things like rakes, wheel barrows, hand trucks, etc. if possible.
  • Remove all of the furnaces and accompanying debris from the building, placing them in the same area of the parking lot for pick-up and disposal later in the week. Smaller items should be placed in the dumpster. (EQUIPMENT: hand carts, work glove, wheel barrows)
  • Remove the tiles and insulation marked with blue tape on the north side of the building. Stack the tile and insulation neatly to the middle of the room. (EQUIPMENT: masks, gloves, and ladders)
  • Work with Jim Heefner raking and grading the parking islands. (EQUIPMENT: rakes)
  • The metal doors could use some touching up, in particular the light tan color on the interior doors in the south addition (EQUIPMENT: paint and brushes supplied by Parkview)
  • Using bleach from the flood buckets, a rag and twine we need to clean the conduit located in the floor of the atrium spanning from the technology booth to the stage area (east wall). If possible also clean out the conduit connecting the north and south side of the atrium. (EQUIPMENT: bleach from flood buckets, wire puller, rags)
  • Paint the yellow play car on the playground. (EQUIPMENT: spray paint supplied by Parkview)
  • Clean up shower stalls using materials from the flood buckets. (EQUIPMENT: use flood buckets on site. Ask Jim Heefner for water access)
  • Install plastic on doors in gym using heavy plastic and duct tape (leave an entrance slit on the east and west double door and the center north door). (EQUIPMENT: heavy plastic and duct tape provided by Parkview)
  • Clean up the work site. Do some general tidying of material around the work site (sweep up piles, organize cleaning supplies, etc…). (EQUIPMENT: brooms, dust pans, and possibly wheel barrows)
  • Using spray bleach and paper towels, clean off the “low voltage” cabling in the atrium and chapel tech booth area. (EQUIPMENT: spray and paper towels supplied by Parkview)
  • Remove the conduit from the chapel and place it in the dumpster. (EQUIPMENT: work gloves and wheel barrow)
  • Rip out the tile in the game storage closet in the gym. The floor scrapers on site should be used for this job. Debris from this can be placed in the dumpsters. (EQUIPMENT: floor scrapers (on site) and wheel barrow)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Movin Right Along

It has been a very busy week at 15 Foster Road as our electricians, telephone technicians, and plumbers made some good progress. Water service is now restored to the building and insulation will be going up in the exterior walls in the very near future.

This week one of my highlights was giving oversight to one of our guest work teams from Moss Point, Mississippi. This crew of 14 came from Safe Harbor Methodist Church only a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The church and homes of this team were all damaged by Hurricaine Katrina. They were so blessed by the Iowa teams helping them in their restoration that they wanted to come and help us out with our recovery. They were hosted by the Methodist Church in Williamsburg and spent almost four full days working at the church. They were working so fast this week that I felt a bit like a general contractor trying to keep them supplied and working on projects. All I can say is that there must be something to "southern hospitality" because these folks were so kind, caring and a lot of fun to work with.

Below are a few pictures from the week!

Here is an example of the new conduit the electrician has been installing throughout the building.

One of the plumbers capping off our water system.

A few pictures of the Safe Harbor crew at work.

Our telephone and internet lines being installed.

Cleaning out a floor conduit used for sound cable in the chapel.

A view of the chapel from the baptistery.

A picture of "Brother Dave", one of the hosts from the church in Williamsburg.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Reasons People Choose a Church

I just pulled this from and was a little surprised by these statistics. For many years there has been a belief among leaders in the church (nationally speaking) that one of the primary keys to growing your church is great music. I still believe music is very important, but find it interesting that it isn't one of the primary things that brings people to and keeps people in the church.

- - -
Top 13 Reasons that Unchurched People Choose a Church
(research conducted by Ranier)
  1. 90% - Pastor/Preaching
  2. 88% - Doctrines
  3. 49% - Friendliness of Members
  4. 42% - Other Issues
  5. 41% - Someone Church Witnessed to Me
  6. 38% - Family Member
  7. 37% - Sensed God’s Presence/Atmosphere of Church
  8. 25% - Relationship Other than Family Member
  9. 25% - Sunday School Class
  10. 25% - Children’s/Youth Ministry
  11. 12% - Other Groups/Ministries
  12. 11% - Worship Style/Music
  13. 7% - Location

Top 9 Reasons that Church-Attenders Choose a Church
(research conducted by the Barna Group in 1999)

  1. 58% - Doctrine/Theology
  2. 53% - People Caring for Each Other
  3. 52% - Preaching
  4. 45% - Friendliness
  5. 45% - Children’s Programs
  6. 43% - Helping the Poor
  7. 36% - Denomination
  8. 35% - Like the Pastor
  9. 26% - Sunday School

Top 6 Things that Keep the Formerly Unchurched Active in the Church
(research conducted by Ranier)

  1. 62% - Ministry Involvement
  2. 55% - Sunday School
  3. 54% - Obedience to God
  4. 49% - Fellowship of Members
  5. 38% - Pastor/Preaching
  6. 14% - Worship Services

The statistics speak for themselves. Overall, doctrine, the pastor and his preaching, and the friendliness and fellowship of the congregation are the most influential qualities.

Where Are All the Men?

The bloggosphere has been buzzing about this little article for over a week now. The article highlights how churches are starting to target men in the way they structure worship services. Here's the problem they are trying to address:
Women outnumber men in attendance in every major Christian denomination, and they are 20% to 25% more likely to attend worship at least weekly.
Several years ago a producer in the music industry from Southern California told me that Christian radio and churches market themselves to 35 year-old women. When we consider Christian radio I can see why this would be strategic. After all, if you get the mom, you get the family, especially in that stage of family life.

All this to say that churches who try and make their churches a "man-church" in order to reach men are taking this issue too far. The reminder for all of us is to have balance in how we program artistically. As long as we are maintaining diversity in our programming decisions, we can rest assured that we are creating points of engagement for men in our services. The danger is, if we get too obsessed about reaching only one demographic or one gender, we will be catering too strongly to our consumer culture. Breaking consumer mindsets won't come from giving one demographic whatever will make them comfortable.

My wife and I counsel a lot of young married couples and have been around the block with a lot of seasoned married couples. The reality is, since "the fall" men have had an inclination to be passive, particularly in areas of spiritual leadership. I know because I struggle with this daily in my own marriage and family. Men are happy to build a career or hobby, but are hesitant to lead family devotionals or pray with their spouse. This problem goes far deeper than a feminized church service and it has nothing to do with women submitting at home. It has everything to do with men stepping up to the plate to be servant leaders. From my experience, this is what most women want and, no matter how you slice it, stepping up will require men to go against consumerism in how they live. This will require men...

  • To not think, "How can my needs be met?", but to think "How can I love others as Christ loved the church?"
  • To not think, "What will make me comfortable?", but to think "What risks can I take to be a man after God's own heart?"
  • To not think, "I'm too manly to sing out to the Lord with passion and conviction!", but to think "How can I model for my family what it means to give God more affection and enthusiasm than football and hunting?"

I'll close with this reminder from Ephesians 5:25-30 that clearly shows us how it is the husbands responsibility to sanctify or "make more holy" his wife. How does he do this? He does it by doing all he can to create a home environment that will draw his wife and children more closely in their relationship to Christ. This is what it means when Paul says a husband, like Christ for the church, must sanctify his wife, washing her with His Holy Word.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Does God Sing?

Here's a great little video from Bob Kauflin, the director of Sovereign Grace Music answering the question, "Does God sing?". Bob is joining many others for this years Desiring God conference September 26-28.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Renovation Update

Things are progressing nicely in the renovation at 15 Foster. The electricians are making good progress throughout the building and volunteer teams have been working quite a bit on constructing booths for the various technology and lobby areas.

To my knowledge, no workers have been scheduled to work at Parkview tomorrow. If you are an outside team that was planning on coming, please call me at 319-541-1131 ASAP so I can give you a few assignments.

There is a morning opportunity to help others in the city remove sand bags at Idyllwild, so if your up for some morning work, feel free to park on the west side of our lot and walk over to help with that project.