Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Goodbye Life & Times

August 27, 2010

I pretty sure nobody reads this weblog anymore, but if you do, I have moved. Please check out ChrisGep.com for all of the latest and greatest happenings in my life!
Peace out.

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Ready and foolish.

March 3, 2010

I can’t imagine that I will learn and grow in any season of my life more than I am now. As a church planter my life is flipped turned upside down and I feel like I am in 1st grade. You remember when you were in Phonics class and you were just picking up the language? Or when you first got that math principle down? Thats me these days. I’m a sponge and when a sponge is saturated it is ready for use because no more came be soaked up. I’m ready to Launch this church. I know there is ton’s to learn but I’m ready. I’m ready for Sundays to come. I’m ready for small groups to form, I’m ready for our systems to take root. I’m ready to launch more churches. I’m ready. I love the promise of scripture “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” I’m ready and foolish. God use me.

The latest…..

February 20, 2010

I can’t believe that we have been in the Upper Valley for well over a month! I know it’s cliche’ but my how time flies! We are very much established in our

apartment and the sting of living in close quarters with lots of other people is pretty much run it’s course and we are used to it. We have had incredible opportunities to meet new people and get the word out about our new church. So as is the norm here are a few items for you to consider praying for…… Pray that the Lord will continue to enrich our relationship as husband and wife. We are making it a point to have a family fun day every Friday. The boys count on it for sure. Pray that this commitment never waivers, that we make family a priority especially as we get closer to Launch Day. As the family leader I need to set the example and not over commit to other things leaving family in the dust. Please pray for the people that we meet. There are neighbors and people the we bump into that we need to be a shining light and flavor to. Pray for lots of opportunities to connect with people. It’s definitely tough here to connect with people, pray that the Lord gives us thick skin and tender hearts! Pray that we will have wisdom with all of our decisions. Whether financial, relational, facilities or whatever, we need wisdom! Roman and Jadon are doing great. They are finally starting to make some friends and are participating in local activities. Roman is snowboarding and Jadon loves running on the ice. Pray for their protection from injuries and that the Lord will give them great friendships up here.

Our Launch Team is coming together. We have had 4 Launch Team Gatherings in which we have communicated the vision of Riverbank Church. As of 2/16/10 we have 21 people on our Launch Team almost reaching our goal of 30! Please pray for continued understanding and grasp of the vision and that each of the team will identify their role.

The 74,000+ unreached people of the Upper Valley. We must reach them!

Dylan and Amy Nicholas have found jobs and the Lord is blessing them. Pray that the Lord gives them rest as they work their day jobs and do ministry with Riverbank during their off hours. They have been such a blessing!

Craig and Zoe Skirvin are moving to the Upper Valley on March 1st. Please pray that the Lord provides an amazing house/apartment to rent. It’s very difficult to find 3 bedroom places here. Also pray for their house in Florida to be rented and that their move here will be amazing and smooth.

PRAISE! We have secured our meeting place, The Lebanon Opera House in downtown Lebanon. It really is an answer to our prayers. Please pray for our Kids Ministry area to be clarified soon.

PRAISE! We had our first Community Outreach this past Saturday. We gave out over 300 granola bars at the Dartmouth Winter Carnival. We had a great response from the people there. Pray for results from this outreach!

PRAISE! We have become members of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce. This marks the first time in their history that a church has become a member. It allows us an amazing opportunity to connect with the movers and shakers of the community.

Pray for unity among Christians in the Valley.

Please pray against the spirits that have bound this region.

What’s happening….

February 14, 2010

Wow, things are crazy. Penny and the boys are really doing well and we are really enjoying our new lives here in northern New England. We have settled into apartment life (it isn’t so bad!), found the good eateries, adjusted to winding roads, cold weather and layered clothing. The Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont is truly an amazing place! As for church stuff it’s hard to believe that our first preview service will be in just 2 weeks!! Tonight we will have our 4th Launch Team Gathering. The team is coming together nicely and the people that make up the team are amazing! We have been talking about our church vision and how the key elements of the church fit into of this vision (Worship, Outreach and Kids Ministries). It has been great getting know our new friends during our Gatherings as we talk, share and of course, eat. Today held our first Community Outreach as a Launch Team. We went to a local favorite, Dartmouth Winter Carnival, and handed out granola bars at the annual Occum Pond Party. There were hundreds of people skating, sledding, hanging and we were able to connect with people by just being kind. Our granola bars had a label that read “Courtesy of Riverbank Church”. People responded so positive, it was encouraging to have conversations with people about our upcoming launch on April 4th. At the end of the day, we handed out over 300 granolas bars and had countless conversations birthed out of kindness. We only have 2 more Launch Team Gatherings before our first pre-Launch Experience (February 28th) so we have a lot of work to do. By God’s grace we can do it!!

FIrst Launch Team Meeting!

January 25, 2010

Today was a monumental day not only in the life our new church, but in my personal life.  9 of us met in our apartment in downtown Lebanon for our first official Riverbank Church Launch Team Meeting. It was an amazing time of just hanging out and more important, vision casting. I shared from the book and life of Nehemiah, and his clear solution to a problem in his hometown of Jerusalem. Thats all vision is, a solution to a problem. In our context at Riverbank Church we recognize the problem locally is the fact that of the 78,000 people who live in the region only 4,000 actually go to church and of those 4,000 only 800 attend an evangelical Christian church. Amazing, staggering, motivating. Our vision is to be a solution to the problem. We will be a church that reaches out to the community with the life changing message and love of Jesus, making disciples. We will create environments where we will be able to reach out affectively. I then challenged the team to jump on board by committing to the vision. The commitment involves being time bound (70 days), attend meetings, invite others to participate, make the launch happen, focus on those outside of the Christian community.  We closed the evening by watching Mute Math videos and talking about the exciting times here in the Upper Valley of NH/VT.

Garage Sale this Saturday.

December 3, 2009

So if you are looking for some bargains, like gently used items such as DVD’s, furniture, tools, books, etc. You should make your way to our crib this Saturday at 7am. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to pick up some bargains. Our address is 303 8th Street in Jupiter. If you are out of state, sorry.

All proceeds go to our cross country move. Don’t be bashful.

Enjoying Thanksgiving.

November 25, 2009

Each year we head up to the mountains of western North Carolina for a little time out and a little time with Penny’s family. It has been beautiful as the air is crisp and the clouds are thick. We have no wi-fi at our cabin but there is a cool little coffee shop at the bottom of the mountain that does. Now time for the things I’m thankful for: Clarity (thank you Jesus!), our call to northern New England to start a church, family, my Penny ;), and of course my boys. I really could go on and on, I won’t bore you.

Too blessed.

November 17, 2009

As we prepare for this new life chapter I am so grateful for the guys who have gone before me as church planters. I have had an amazing opportunity through these early stages of starting a church to glean from a couple. All of the mistakes, the could’a, should’a would’as. They are sharing with me. Encouraging me. Praying for me. It’s like a brotherhood, a fraternity and I’m the nOOb. I have such a great opportunity and I plan on making the most of it.

A lot to do!

November 16, 2009

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When starting a church there is so much to do. My church planting friends have warned me, now I am experiencing this. From the legal stuff, the meeting

place stuff to the family stuff and all the stuff in between, there’s a lot of stuff. Please pray that all will be complete with excellence. If you are a church planter, any advice? I’m all ears 🙂

Whata couple of days!

November 12, 2009

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The past few days have been ridiculous. I have met several pastors, ministry and lay leaders from the Upper Valley region. I have been humbled and I am being crushed. Several weeks ago I heard Chuck Swindoll say that a pastor must be crushed to to be used by God. I am experiencing this first hand.  I came up here with a list of things I would like to accomplish or hear from God about.  The first being a name for this new church launch. After prayer and fasting and of course a lot bad potential names it became very clear what the name is going to be. Each pastor that launches a new church has a story attached to the naming. I have heard various, like they knew the name going into the process (lucky!), a name from a denomination or movement, or like my case, God revealed supernaturally . I stayed with my friends Derek and Laura. They live in the UV and have so for 15 years. He and I had been praying through this together and I had some horrible name suggestions and even had a logo created (stupid me!) . He had some amazing advice for me last week as I shared with him the name I was thinking. He said “Dude just get up here and get a feel for the area. God will give you the right name for the church”. He was right. On Tuesday evening we were both sitting around the house reading, praying journaling. Honestly I was perplexed and exhausted after a day of crazy God stuff. He wasn’t over. Derek came and sat at the table where I was and humbly said, “I got the name”. He could see that I was toast but definitely interested in his thought on this. He had his Bible opened and read from Ezekiel 47:12 “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” After reading he said Riverbank Church. I know right away this was the name. Inside I took a deep breathe and thought to myself “YES!” You must understand that the UV is all about the Connecticutt River. It’s the lifeline of the valley. Towns and cities exist because of the river. It connects with the people. It has a deeper meaning as I wish to see fruit that doesn’t fail come from the life of a regenerate people. Powerful. Riverbank Church. Please pray for us as we move forward now. The name is ready. It has meaning and it speaks to the people of the region.