Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

Launch Cast

March 22, 2010

We have put together a pod cast for those who are interested in the behind the scenes stuff that goes on with a church planting effort. For those that don’t know, we are in the early stages of a church plant in the most un-reached area of the USA, the Upper Valley or New Hampshire/Vermont. We will be putting out a Launch Cast episode 2 times a month so stay tuned!

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The First Month is Down!

February 2, 2010

On January 3rd we landed in the Upper Valley and have enjoyed getting accustomed to our new home and community. Amazingly enough, the weather has been mild (for northern New England) and the people are very welcoming and receptive to our family. As we have made the area home it has become easier to have conversations with neighbors, coffee shoppers and service people (banks, city workers). God is opening doors for us continually and we are so blessed to have had a relatively easy first month. A cool bit of news, Craig and Zoe Skirvin will be joining us up here around the first of month. They have sensed the call to be a part of Riverbank Church and we are thrilled to have them join us!!
Unfortunately we have one bit of concern, we have been unable to secure our meeting place. We thought we had secured the gym and class rooms at one of the local schools but the district came back to us late in the game and upped the price and told us we would not have access to any rooms. Please pray that Lord will reveal our meeting place very soon as we have several potential places in the hopper.
As a new church launch finances are always needed. The Lord has provided up to this point yet there are always more potential needs. Please pray for Riverbank Church finances that all of our initial needs will be provided for and that we will be the best stewards possible with the provided resources. We are still $1,300 under our projected monthly income. Pray the Lord provides.

Pretty much settled in.

January 16, 2010

This week was our first week of getting on with our new lives here in the Upper Valley. I worked on all of the final legal issues, finishing the final touches on getting our 501C3 tax exempt status, working with the church bookkeeper on all of our financials, distributing lots of Riverbank Church announcement flyers, meeting with potential Launch Team members, meeting with School District officials about our meeting place, amongst many others things…. Needless to say the ball is rolling and we are on our way to Launch Day! Saturday (January 16) Dylan and I are going to a local Emerging Artist Showcase in Hartland, Vermont where some of our Launch Team guys band will be playing. It will be a great opportunity to meet some local artists and recruit some Launch Team members. Last but not least, this Sunday I have the tremendous opportunity to join Calvary Fellowship in Hartford, Conn. and share our story of faith and the vision of Riverbank Church. Please pray that God will continue to open doors and bring the right people to our Launch Team.

Week 1 is down!

January 11, 2010

Just a few notes reviewing our first week in northern New England.

Monday January 4 – We just unpacked our boxes and tried to get the “smoke stank” out of our master bathroom. It was real nice having our living room set up, it was kind of an oasis as we unpacked and continued to purge. We had a huge yard sale in December trying to get rid of a lot junk. It wasn’t enough, we had much more junk than we originally thought.

Tuesday January 5 – Took the family around our new town and even went sledding in Hanover. The boys loved it and we enjoyed some great hot chocolate from the Dirt Cowboy. By this time we were starting to settle in a bit. Empty boxes were a-plenty and more space in the new apartment felt great. I must say , apartment life will be an adjustment.

Wednesday January 6 – Bethany (my sis) has been such a huge help and her son Ben, has been amazing keeping the 2 Goeppner boys busy. Their room is pretty close to completion, as is ours. There is light at the end of the tunnel! We went to Hanover again for sledding. This will be a winter staple for us! On a different note, we made our first big purchase for Riverbank Church, a new laser printer extreme. It’s a sweet machine and will be used much! Beth and I put the finishing touches on the boys room late that evening.

Thursday January 7 – We awoke early to take my sister and nephew to Manchester airport. It was a dreaded day for us as we have been so blessed to have them help us get moved in and settled. After dropping them off at the airport we drove down to the seacoast area and visited with my aunt Judy and uncle Chet.  We sipped some tea and caught up after about 10 months of spotty communication. From there we drove to Hampton, NH to meet my other aunts and uncles for lunch at THIS PLACE. Good stuff. We stopped at Target on the way home, the closest is an hour away 😦

Friday January 9 – Growing more and more comfortable in our new apartment we took to the streets of the Upper Valley and explored a bit. We went to Norwich, VT to the King Arthur Flour Bakery and ate some tasty pastries and hot tea. What a cool place, check their site here. Of course, we drove around a bit more, learning new roads and neighborhoods. It was our anniversary this day, but we didn’t celebrate due to the circumstances.

Saturday January 10 – I decided to take the crew out again to another town in the region,

Woodstock, VT. This is the quintessential New England town without a doubt. We walked around a bit and enjoyed a real cool general store. On the way there we saw the east coast Grand Canyon, Quechee Gorge, it’s quite beautiful!  Later our friends Dylan and Aimee Nicholas stopped by to watch the boys while we went out to eat to celebrate our 11th anniversary. There aren’t many restaurants in the area, but there are some very good ones. We ended up going to a Japanese place. Good stuff.

Sunday January 11 – Our first church experience in our

new hometown was at Wellspring Worship Center. We met some great people and I was able to chat with my friend, Pastor Craig Morton. What a great guy! After church we drove north to Fairlee, VT. for the annual Lake Morey Winterfest. It was very wintery day (high of 15 degrees today) and we decided to do as the Romans. There was snowshoe volleyball, ice skating and trails (on the lake), hay rides, dog sleds, snowmobiling….you get the point. So cool was the hospitality area where we were able to warm up with hot chocolate and banana bread. The craziest of all was the fact that Roman taught himself to ice skate today. The kid is a natural.

Tomorrow – Day one on the job at Riverbank Church.

On the ground.

January 8, 2010

On Friday January 1st the Goeppner family hopped in our vehicles and followed friends David, Jodie and Shae James in our moving truck to make our way on our journey to northern New England. We first stopped in Stuart, Florida to have a last family meal at Cracker Barrel. At 7am we hit the road and drove straight through to Staunton, Va. (pronounced Stanton ;). It was there we met up with long time friends Kenny and Esther Warren (and kids). They drove well over an hour from Lynchburg just to see us!! It was great to reconnect with them even if it was only for a quick visit. Early the next morning we took off for the last leg of the journey. Man is Virginia the longest state EVER? It seemed to go on and on. We stopped a few times (including Shartlesville, Pa.)and eventually hit some snow in Vermont (falling heavily at times). By 10pm on January 2, 2010 we arrived in White River Junction, our new area, 10 minutes from our apartment. We settled in for the night at the Hampton Inn (not too shabby!).On Sunday January 3rd we awoke to a fresh snow fall and very ready to begin our move into our apartment. By 9am we were full on lugging our gear up three floors and down to long halls to #312. Our great friend Derek Tsakiris had a crew of peeps ready to unload the Budget truck. By 11:30am all of our stuff was in-house and friends and family had unloaded boxes and pictures were already on the walls! What’a 3 days!! More to come……

I know, it’s been a while.

December 31, 2009

The past few weeks have been crazy. From raising funds for the church launch to saying good byes to packing up our life, it’s literally been a very difficult time. We leave in 34 hours for our new home in northern New England. I can’t believe this chapter of our life is coming to a close. As soon as we know it life will begin in the Upper Valley. Here is a breakdown of the next 4-5 days:

Friday – we leave south Florida at 6am. Our whole family and driving team will eat Cracker Barrell and then off…..we plan on stopping in Staunton, Va. for a nights sleep, thats a 15 hour drive for those interested.

Saturday – we will leave Virginia to drive straight up to NH. This is about another 10 hour drive. We will spend the night in White River, VT.

Sunday – we will go to our apartment to begin unloading our life “stuff”. My prayer is that we will have a team to help in this mass unloading.

Monday – Bethany (my sis) and Ben (my nephew) will be traveling with us so we plan on treating them to the best of the Upper Valley. Possibly a day in the snow or ice skating.

Stay tuned…….

Another last.

December 15, 2009

Yesterday I had the honor and privilege of teaching for the very last time at Calvary Jupiter. It was an amazing opportunity given to me by my pastor and mentor Dan Plourde. I shared our story of faith and challenged the audience to have a “get out of the boat faith”.  I must be honest, the first service was very hard for me as there was so much emotion inside of me and if you were there you witnessed this 🙂 I have been so blessed to be a part of this amazing church for almost 12 years so there is a part of me here and I will miss the work here. On the other hand it is getting closer for us to hit the road for the great northeast. As of today we have  only 17 more wake ups (as Roman says). Crazy. The excitement inside of me is bubbling and I can’t wait to get going with this endeavor! We are still waiting on the Lord to perform some miracles as we take this radical step of faith. Please join us in prayer.

You can listen to yesterdays message here

Student Ministry questions?

April 26, 2009

I have been involved in student ministry in one form or fashion since 1991. My first gig as a leader of students was with a small baptist church in a semi-urban environment. We had about 15 kids in this group and I labored over what I should talk about, what games to play, etc, etc. Forward 17 years later and it seems that I labor over some similar things. Weekly I wonder if “they will show up”, will they participate in worship? Can I communicate this effectively? Will the students be “into it”? On and on. You see, we aren’t a mega-church by the standard of the church guru guys. We are an above average sized church who has been steadily growing for 11 and a half years. Our student ministry pretty much reflects the church as a whole. I am the only paid guy on our ministry team therefore I have to do a lot of the stuff. I labor over the little things. The aforementioned little things. How do I get over this? Will it every go away? What about volunteers? What about facilities? We have to rent from a local school and feel the pressure of the school admin weekly. Will the pressure go away when we have our own building? Will there be a new pressure? How about support staff. Will I ever be able to hire? If so when and who? The questions could keep coming but I will hold back. I’ll be honest, I love what I do. I seriously serve at the greatest local church ever with the greatest team ever, so I’m not disgruntled or frustrated by any means I just think these are some healthy questions. If you can answer feel free to comment.

Just a reminder….

April 11, 2009

In Costa Rica

March 28, 2009

Today I hopped a plane with some some of our Student Ministry leadership team and flew to San Jose, CR. We then took a nice, air conditioned bus 5 hours to our final destination of Puerto Viejo. It is truly the end of the earth here and beautiful! Post pics soon.