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Before I write this “church thought” out I wanted to celebrate the fact that a dear saint and good friend, Imilse Watts, is now loving life in Heaven today. I am both sad and happy for her at the same time. She will be so missed here by her friends and family. Imilse was one of the most encouraging people I ever met, she was a prayer warrior, she loved people and loved Jesus. Her husband and two daughters Cassandra and Katrina are so amazing and she loved them dearly. Imilse had battled with asthma for years and hated when it kept her from ministering to people. She hated being sick and not feeling well. I con only imagine right now that she is breathing deep and catching up with Cookie Prine! Oh man, Cookie and Imilse together, for those of you how know that combo you can only imagine. Imilse, we love ya and will miss ya.

I had a thought about church life the other day and I wanted to go ahead and write it out. it is not new but I finally grabbed on to it. In my church life I have moved from leading in a church culture that tried to have a “wal-mart” philosophy of ministry (LOTS OF OPTIONS!) to a starbucks way of church (A FEW GREAT OPTIONS). Walmart has everything, tries to sell everything, tries to compete with everyone. Starbucks tries to sell coffee and create an atmosphere for their customers and employees that makes you want to be there. I do not even drink coffee and I love the place. It dawned on my that in my current ministry role I am striving to create an environment that looks a lot more like Starbucks rather than Walmart. At relevant student ministry or Cross Street, or grace Acres, or the gathering at GCC, or community groups at GCC…we just do a few things well. We are trying to focus on just a few things and get those right. Again, new things dawn on me all the time right now, this new way of ministry, new way of church has been amazing but now I am trying to figure out why I am serving, loving, living different in community. It is great to be able to focus…not just talk about it.

I wonder if people are looking for churches that strive for excellence in what they do best, unique, creative places to gather in community. This could be why we need churches to re imagine what they can be as a community of believers. Different churches are going to reach different people looking for different things. No one church has all the answers, all the perfect environments. The one thing that is for sure is that it is a new day in church life for new and established churches. Hopefully we can seize the shift and see God brought greater fame! Our God reigns!