May 31st: Chuck-E-Cheese Night- We will be hosting another family night/fundraiser. This has been a great way to connect with families from a variety of faith and ethnic backgrounds.
June 14th: Essential Living Room Sessions- 6:30pm- The first of several “Essential Living Room Sessions.” Each night will include a time of sharing a meal, and fellowship, and then will transition into an extended time of worship, Word, and witness.
June 16th: Father’s Day- NO SERVICES/PANCAKE BREAKFAST- We will join hands with the South Bellevue Community Center in offering this special Father’s Day event:
July 7th-21st: Love Bellevue: Stay tuned for a number of events and activities available for you, and your family as we strive to Love Bellevue.
July 21st: Essential Church- Sneak Peek Service- We are praying that God will bring many first time visitors to our next Sneak Peek service. This service will come at the end of two weeks of widespread community service as a part of our Love Bellevue service.
Anyone who asks me how things are going with our young church plant will quickly be asked by me, "What do you know about Jubilee Reach?"
Jubilee Reach is an amazing ministry that is having a tremendous impact in the community in a great number of ways. In our first week that we were on the field, we got connected with the Jubilee Reach Thrift Store and I met Jason. Jason quickly opened up to me about his story and it was not long before he had told me that he and his family would like to be a part of Essential Church. Thus began our relationship with Jubilee.
Here is what Jubilee Reach is all about:
Since getting plugged in with Jubilee Reach through Jason, God has provide jobs for some of our team members and staff with Jubilee, He has given us a number of opportunities to serve in the community through Jubilee, and He has given us some incredible friendships and relationships with team members in Jubilee. Most of all, we are partnering together to help transform lives in our community. In this following video, Jason is just one of three stories of such transformation:
I am blessed to call Jason a friend and I enjoy meeting with Jason each week along with a few other guys who are a part of a faith coaching group that I lead. Each week, we open up the Scripture and we talk honestly about how we are living and growing in our walk with the Lord. It is one of the highlights of my week, because God is working in their lives in a powerful way, both growing them spiritually and using them to be a transformational light to the world around them.
In addition to my friendship with Jason, Darryl, and other church members who are connected with Jubilee, I have also been blessed to build a friendship with the Executive Director Brent Christie. Brent and I meet each week and discuss what we are learning through a study of the workbook, Experiencing God. More than that, it is truly a ministry of mutual encouragement as we share what we are learning about life and ministry.
All of these relationships have created such a beautiful partnership that has included sharing resources, working together to assist people in need, and beginning to have conversations on how we can better Magnify Christ and Multiply His Kingdom.
When we moved out here a few months ago, we had never even heard of Jubilee Reach. It certainly wasn't a part of our plan or strategy to plant a church. However, we have seen God at work in Jubilee and we have tried to join Him in that work. As we continue to grow as a church, we look forward to continuing to develop our friendship with Jubilee Reach.
** Interesting Note: The person who created these videos is Justin Blaney, who is my next door neighbor. I blog on his website- Innovate 4 Jesus
Today I am privileged to conduct our first Essential Church Baptism service! Our prayer is that today's baptisms will be the first of many as we seek to carry out our vision to "Magnify Christ and Multiply His Kingdom."
As one who grew up in the Northwest in a Lutheran tradition, I was baptized as an infant. This is a common practice for many denominations. However, when I rededicated my life to Christ as a teenager and entered into a new church, I was baptized again through what is called, "a believers baptism." While I have no recollection of my infant baptism, I do remember my believers baptism as it came during a point in my life where I truly understood what Christ has done for me and the work He did inside of me through salvation. At Essential Church, we believe and practice believer's baptism. While we respect the ideas of other denominations, we believe that the Bible most clearly teaches a baptism that comes once someone has already placed their faith in Christ. We believe that baptism is not a "pre-requisite" of salvation (a necessary step to becoming a Christian), but a "post-requisite" of salvation (a necessary act of obedience as a Christian.) Baptism does not save us, but it is a command that has been given to those who have been saved.
So to help new believers or those who may be coming from different denominational backgrounds (like I did), I have put together a brief description as to why we believe baptism is essential.
Why Baptism is Essential
1. We follow Jesus’ example:
"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17
2. We follow Jesus’ command:
"Jesus said, 'Go then, to all the people everywhere and make them disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you" Matthew 28:19
3. We want to show others what Christ has done:
"...those who believed..were baptized and added to the church" (Acts 2:41).
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a SYMBOL or PICTURE of what Christ has done in the hearts and lives of those who have placed their faith in Him.
1. It is a symbol of Christ's burial and resurrection:
2. It is a picture of our new life in Christ:
Why Essential Church baptizes by immersion:
1. The word “baptize” in the New Testament meant “to immerse.”
2. Jesus was baptized by immersion. "As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water." Matthew 3:16
3. All New Testament baptisms were by immersion.
4. It most accurately reflects the symbol of burial and resurrection.
Who should be baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ: "Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized..." Acts 2:41
When should I be baptized?
Baptism should come as soon as a new believer has opportunity.
If you have any questions about baptism or would like to be baptized, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beards, Belief and B.H.A.P.'s by Warren MainardI love inspiration. I love believing that something bigger than me can happen if we take risks, make sacrifices and hold onto hope. Take this morning… I woke up super early to spend time in God's Word and to pray because earlier this year I read a book that inspired me (once again) to believe that God absolutely does great things in us, through us and for us when we are actively engaged in prayer and the study of His Word. I don't get up and do it out of a sense of duty or obligation, but out of a relationship that has been reinvigorated by inspiration.A couple of weeks ago, I heard of a couple of friends of mine on staff at Cornerstone Baptist Church Darlington, SC who agreed to shave their long, trademark beards if the student ministry (and friends and family) would raise money for an organization called Stop Hunger Now that is partnered with a ministry we support in Belize, Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus. The goal was to raise $5,000, which would help provide 20,000 meals in Belize by this Sunday, February 24th. As of a few days ago, they were hovering around under $500. It would be impossible to make up that much ground in less than a week right? Within the last couple of days, Jason and Chris found themselves on the cover of the morning newspaper and on the radio promoting what they were doing, and since then, the money has just rolled in. As I write this, they are over $5,200 with four more days to push that amount even higher! What does this mean? It means that over 20,000 meals will be distributed and 2 guys will sacrifice their facial hair for a great cause. That inspires me!During my time with the Lord this morning, I was going through the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby. This is the fourth time I have done this study, and every time I do, it inspires me to live my faith differently. In today's study, he says, "Our world is not seeing God because we are not attempting anything that only God can do." This has long been my prayer in ministry, "Lord, do things in and through me that only you could receive the credit for… that people would have to look at and say, 'only God could do that!'" For any of us to live this way, we must be inspired. Inspired to believe. Inspired to risk. Inspired to sacrifice. Inspired to hope.This kind of living is not easy… it's not natural. Our natural, default position is to live in fear and unbelief, safety, comfort, and doubt. Living an inspired lifestyle that believes that God can do the unimaginable in their lives is supernatural. This is why I resonate so strongly with the following passage of scripture in Mark 9:21-24 (highlights added), "And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”I can identify with that dad. You know Jesus can help. Jesus can do anything. You have seen what He has done for others… but will it be different with you? Jesus reminded the man, just as He reminds us today, "All things are possible for one who believes." When I hear those words, everything inside of me wants to yell out to God, "I do believe God! But for those dark corners of doubt that still exist, for the lingering questions that still remain, for the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, will you help me with my unbelief?" This is a theologically sound question. I believe that even the ability to believe in God is a gift from God. So, Jesus doesn't say, "come see me when you get more faith." No, what Jesus is saying to you and me is, "when you see me, I will give you more faith." "Keep your eyes on me, and you can walk on the water."So, as I strive to see Him daily, it increases my belief in Him. When God supernaturally infuses us with belief, we become more willing to risk, sacrifice and ask God to do things that only God can do. I heard a few years ago that people in the business world often try to write out their company's "B.H.A.G.'s, which stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals." As a believer, I have changed that a bit to "B.H.A.P.'s- Big Hairy Audacious Prayers." So what are some of my B.H.A.P.'s? These are a few I am praying right now-- For God to transform our student ministry made up of one teenager into a thriving and growing ministry.- For God to provide a secretary so I can stay engaged in personal discipleship, sermon prep, and leadership development.- That God would allow us to send disciple makers to help a local ministry to teenagers that has over 100 students meeting every Friday night.- That God would use our ladies to reach other ladies, beginning Bible studies and discipleship with them.- That each person in our church would be able to find at least one person that they can begin discipling.- That each person in our church would be able to determine one way that they can be used by God to serve others in our community.- That God would provide us with a 15 passenger van and the financial resources we need to sustain the ministry that we are building for a long time.I look at this list and I say to myself, "There is no way I can do this." I think that is exactly the way I am supposed to feel. When we see God move and answer in one or more of theses prayers, it will provide us with ample and repeated opportunity to point people to the God who says, "All things are possible."
Aslan is on the Move
"Aslan is on the move. The Witch's magic is weakening." This is one of my favorite quotes from the Chronicles of Narnia because it describes so well what I see God doing out here in Seattle, WA. Indeed, Jesus is on the move... while there is still much darkness around us, Jesus is alive and He is moving out here. Let me quickly share some awesome ways we are seeing Jesus move out here: * Worship Gatherings: We have begun a worship gathering at South Bellevue Community Center and have had at least one new guest each week. The set up is minimal as it is not a full worship service, but it is providing opportunity to worship and share the vision of Essential Church on a weekly basis. * Ministry Opportunities: We have entered into an amazing ministry connection with a local ministry, Jubilee Reach. They have blessed us by sharing their 15 passenger van with us (more on this below) as well as agreeing to let our Summer Mission teams stay at their center. They are also giving us a number of opportunities to serve our community through the relationships they have already established. In addition, Carie and Tammy have begun working with a local Good News Club and Carie has had the opportunity to lead the group once. James and I are working with a group of middle school students through a local Youth For Christ after school program. Warren has had the opportunity to share the Gospel with the boys and James will be leading a Bible study in a couple of weeks. * Transformed Lives: We are seeing God begin to change people's hearts and lives through prayer, relationships and intentional discipleship. * Baptism: We will have our first Baptism service on Sunday, March 17th! * Unexpected blessings: God is giving our team members special opportunities that we consider a true blessing. Carie received a promotion at the Heart and Home thrift store. Ken has to attend some special Christian business groups. Leah has been given several opportunities in voice and piano lessons as well as Kindermusik. Warren recently won a Toastmaster's speech contest, which will take him to the next level of the competition regionally. Jason has been asked to share his story to a group of several hundred people in April. These are just a few things, but we hope you will celebrate with us as we praise God for His faithfulness in our lives!
"Missions Madness" & Summer Interns
March will kick off our first (of hopefully many) special efforts to love and serve our community well. We have 3 Mission teams coming from various parts of the country to come and serve with us from March 5-15th. During this time, these teams will join with Essential Church to serve our community through prayer walking, canvassing our neighborhoods with door hangers, serving as a part of a Saturday clean up day at a local middle school, doing yard clean up for the elderly, serving at a shelter for homeless women, serving kids, and more! This summer, we are anticipating we will have 6 mission teams that will be serving with us between July 7th-22nd! This summer we are planning on having between 4-8 Summer Interns that will be assisting Essential Church in outreach, ministry, planning for mission teams, worship ministry and student ministry. With the Mission teams we have coming in, and the Summer Interns, we have determined it would be good stewardship for us to purchase a 15 passenger van, so that we can use it year round for ministry purposes, and be a blessing to other ministries as well. We currently have approximately $4,000 committed toward the purchase of a van. We are looking to raise a total of $10,000 to pay for the van, tags and taxes. We would love for you, your small group, or your church to consider giving a gift to help us with this need. We would like to purchase the van BEFORE our March Mission teams arrive, so they can benefit from the van and we can use the funds that they would put toward a rental van. If you would like to give toward the van, please click here. If you or your church has a 15 passenger van that could be donated to Essential Church, please contact Warren immediately at email@example.com
Prayer is Essential
We need your prayers! Will you, your small group and church lift up these requests on behalf of Essential church. Please pray for... - Essential Church to Magnify Christ and Multiply His Kingdom - God to provide the resources to purchase a 15 passenger van. - Our incoming mission teams and interns. - Gospel relationships, discipleship, service and worship gatherings to continue to transform lives and our community. - Our Baptism service to be a powerful testimony. That others may sign up between now and then. - Pray for Pre-School workers/leader - Pray for God to begin and grow a student ministry. - Pray for God to bring someone who can relieve Warren from administrative and secretarial duties so he can stay engaged in personal discipleship, sermon prep, and leadership development. - Pray that God would allow us to send disciple makers to help Carlos and his youth group on Friday night. - Pray that God would initiate some ladies discipleship or small groups. - Pray that each person in our young church would be able to find at least one person that they can begin discipling. - Pray that each person in our church would be able to determine one way that they can be used by God to serve others in our community.
Posted by Warren Mainard
Warren Mainard attended King's High School in Shoreline and played tennis for Cascade High School in Everett. He attended every home game during the Washington Huskies' 1991 co-national championship season, including the Rose Bowl victory. He recently returned to the Seattle area after 20 years in the South to serve as the lead pastor of Essential Church in Bellevue.I was born in Edmonds and grew up to be a passionate Seattle sports fan before my family moved to Florida in 1992.
Those were the days in Seattle sports while I was growing up here. The Dawgfather and Steve Emtman for the Washington Huskies. Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez for the Mariners. Downtown Fred Brown and Jack Sikma for the Sonics.
Now that I'm back in town, having returned after 20 years, I'm going to make a crazy, bold prediction: There is going to be a big revival in Seattle sports.
It has already started, in fact. And I'll take some of the credit. But more on that later.
Let's go back to the start of the golden era of Seattle sports. In 1975, the year I was born, the Washington Huskies hired a new coach named Don James, who eventually became the Dawgfather, and started a quarterback who shares my first name. Warren Moon, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer would complete a 78-yard touchdown on a tipped pass to Spider Gaines to win the Apple Cup, 28-27. Coincidence?
In the time I lived in Seattle, the Huskies played in 13 bowl games (in an era when getting to a bowl game meant something) and would be named co-national champions. In 1975, a new NFL expansion team was named the Seahawks, and they would play their first season in 1976. The Sonics, under legendary player-coach Bill Russell, would begin building toward an eight-year stretch that would bring an NBA championship in 1979. As a toddler, the Mariners played their first game in the newly constructed Kingdome, giving the city the Major League Baseball team it had been craving since the departure of the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee.
When I moved away, Seattle was in one of its greatest, most star-studded and exciting periods of this city's sports achievement. The Mariners were blooming with a cadre of talented players led by Randy Johnson, Martinez, Harold Reynolds, Jay Buhner and, of course, the greatest player in Mariners history, Griffey. The Seahawks were struggling, but had just drafted the indomitable Cortez Kennedy, a future Hall of Famer. The SuperSonics featured two of the NBA's most exciting players in Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.
Finally, the Washington Huskies had just shared a national championship under the leadership of James and players like Emtman, Mario Bailey and stellar freshman Napoleon Kaufman. I was fortunate enough to attend the Rose Bowl, where the Huskies defeated Michigan and Bailey struck the Heisman pose in front of 103,000 people and Desmond Howard.
Seattle sports were flying high - and I was flying out. My family and I moved to Palm Harbor, Fla., a few months after the 1992 Rose Bowl. The next season I discovered with the rest of the country that Billy Joe Hobert had received a questionable loan that led to an NCAA investigation and the eventual resignation of James. While the Huskies took a hit, in 1994 my Dad and I drove to Miami to watch the Washington Huskies defeat the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl, ending Miami's historic 58-game home win streak. That Miami team featured Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, and a future pro wrestler and actor named Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
From then on, however, the Washington Huskies have had only glimpses of success.
In the time that I was away from Seattle, the Huskies became a conference doormat, the Mariners gave away all of their best talent, the Seahawks were robbed of a Super Bowl, and the Sonics and superstar Kevin Durant were shipped to Oklahoma City and repackaged as the Thunder, becoming one of the most exciting teams in the NBA.
It has been a tough decade to be a Seattle sports fan. But I believe 2013 will be the year that Seattle sports return to a place of national prominence and glory.
I moved back to Seattle just a few months ago. In the short time that I've been back, Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez pitched the first perfect game in franchise history, the Seahawks won their first road playoff game since 1983 under the direction of electrifying rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, and the Washington Huskies beat two top 10 teams and posted a 5-1 record at home. The Huskies' game against Stanford was my first UW game since moving back, and the first game my 7-year-old son had ever attended.
In addition to all of that, it appears that Seattle may once again be the home of an NBA team that will ultimately be renamed the SuperSonics. Heck, there is even talk about Seattle bringing in an NHL team to a new arena that has been proposed by prospective lead owner Chris Hansen.My prediction is that 2013 will be the year that sports in Seattle officially marks its return to glory. Want some specifics? Here goes:
Mariners: Felix Hernandez will finally get enough help from the offense to make good on his record-setting contract and become the first Mariner since Jamie Moyer in 2003 to win 20 games, becoming a consensus pick for the American League Cy Young Award.
Kings/Sonics: David Stern will end his storied career as commissioner by returning the NBA to Seattle. The Sonics will begin building a nucleus for future playoff runs.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson will lead the energized Seahawks to a 13-3 record and an NFC championship, allowing the team to have the 12th Man advantage throughout the playoffs. In the Super Bowl, Wilson will lead a game-winning drive against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots with only three seconds left.
Washington: My beloved Huskies will surprise the nation by proving that their wins over Stanford and Oregon State were not a fluke. With an improved offensive line, a more balanced defense, and a clutch freshman kicker, Keith Price will become the top quarterback in the Pac-12, leading the resurgent Washington Huskies to their first Rose Bowl win since 2001.
Am I really a good-luck charm for Seattle sports? I hope so. Perhaps my presence in Seattle really has nothing to do with all of that, even though I'm more than willing to take some credit.
Regardless, I'll be sitting in the bleachers with the rest of Seattle's sports fans cheering on our teams as the Great Seattle Sports Revival of 2013 begins.
I hope you're there with me.
We are so thankful for our partners and prayer supporters. If you would like to give a gift to assist us in some critical needs that we have in 2013, I have listed below some opportunities for you, your small group business or church to give toward:* 15 Passenger Van: Approximately $12,000With a consistent number of mission teams, interns and vision/partnership tours coming to support us in the years ahead, it would be of great benefit for us to have a 15 passenger van to use. In addition, it will be a wonderful tool for us in ministry, and to bless other churches and ministries in the area as well. If you, your business or your church would like to donate a van, please contact Warren directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. * Community Center Rental: $1,000 per month.The cost of renting the South Bellevue Community Center is currently $255 per week. If you would like to help us with a Sunday, a month, or give on an ongoing basis, this would allow us to direct our limited resources toward ministry in our community.* Mailers and Outreach: $10,000We have identified 4 key times that we would like to strategically send out a mailer and do increased marketing in our community. Each 10,000 piece mailer is around $2,000, with an additional $500 toward other advertising venues such as newspapers, Facebook, Google Ads, etc. Our 4 target dates are: - March 10th: We will have two mission teams joining us this week, so we will be offering a special preview service, as well as other community outreach and service events. - March 31st: Easter Sunday is a key time to invite people to church and we plan on doing an outreach that weekend in conjunction with the service and mail out. - July 7th: We will have several mission teams joining us between July 7th-21st and we want to promote the outreach events, sports camps and services we will be offering during this time. -September 15th: Early fall is a time of year in which people are more receptive to attending a new church. Please direct all of your giving through our website at www.essentialgiving.com or by mail: Essential Church2020 Maltby Rd #7147Bothell, WA 98021
When you are riding a wave with God, it's difficult to know exactly what the Lord will bring next. So, with open hands, we offer a glimpse of what we believe God is going to do in and through Essential Church in 2013 and beyond.BIG NEWS: We are changing the TIME & LOCATION of our weekly gathering! Starting January 27th, we will begin meeting at the South Bellevue Community Center on Sunday mornings. Our gathering will take place from 10:45-Noon. This consistency will allow us to focus on the mission of building disciples, while giving us an opportunity to meet weekly, worship, encourage one another, and build our core group. This is not our launch, we will call these "gatherings" until God has provided a core group large enough to sustain a larger, more extensive worship service.MISSION TEAMS: We have several mission teams that will be coming to assist us in reaching our community. Pray that God would use these teams as a great supplement to what God is doing in and through us on a weekly basis. We currently have two teams coming in March, with four more coming in July!ESSENTIAL INFLUX: A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a young lady who is a nurse interested in coming out to join us as a part of a temporary nursing position. Laura Beth Cooper spent a week with the December and has begun the process of application to become a travel nurse here in Seattle in 2013. God is working in her life in a powerful way. We continue to pray for the Oliver's and the Perry's as they work toward making their transition out to Seattle this year. These additions will bring countless benefits to the Essential church team!INTERNS: We will begin our first Summer Link intern program this summer through www.generation-link.org. While we are still firming up commitments, we are expecting between 3-6 interns who will be serving with us this summer! These interns will be instrumental in leading and facilitating sport camps, outreaches, and relationship building.LOVE & MARRIAGE: Our worship leader, Jordan Pezzimenti is now engaged to Johnny Kittrell and they are planning on getting married in early August! Johnny is about to graduate from Columbia International University and is currently serving as a Youth Pastor in South Carolina. We are excited to have him in the Essential Mix later this year!TIP OF THE ICEBERG: There are some incredible "what ifs" that seems to be coming into fruition as we serve God faithfully and follow His will for our new church. As these "what ifs" become more certain, I look forward to sharing them and rejoicing with all those who are praying with us!
A Look Around: We have decided to begin a weekly worship gathering on Sunday mornings at 10:45am at the South Bellevue Community Center. While this is not our public launch, we believe that this will give us an opportunity to begin to consistently meet and worship and bring along those whom we are meeting, serving and discipling in the community. It will be an chance for our team to gain experience in a more relaxed environment, involve those whom we are reaching and discipling, and solidify a core team that will be prepared and excited when we are ready to launch. In the meantime, we have three primary goals- 1. Build relationships like crazy, 2. Serve like crazy, and 3. Disciple like crazy. Relationships are critical for us as we strive to know, love and reach our community with the Gospel. Service is our way to tangibly demonstrate and magnify the love of Christ. Discipleship is the "engine" to our "multiplication motor." Warren is currently discipling 5 men who will work toward finding one person that they would be able to disciple at some point during the year. Ken has gotten involved in a Christian business person's Bible study that meets in Bellevue. Leah is serving in a number of ways in the school system and building relationships with neighbors, Carie and Caleb are deepening relationships through their work environments, Tammy is serving with a Good News Club in Bellevue and Jordan is continuing to build a presence at Odle Middle School through the RockStart program. God is moving in these and other areas, and we strongly believe that He will bring spiritual fruit in the days ahead.
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