Monday, April 28, 2008

FUSE Preview #1!

It's 11:14pm Sunday night. I should have long since gone to bed, but I can't turn my brain off. What an incredible weekend. Way too much happened to put everything down, so I'll stick to tonight. It was the first preview service of Fuse and God absolutely showed up in an amazing way.

I guess a little background is required. 10 months ago when Kelsey, Steph, and I moved from Blacksburg to VA Beach, we had prayed for a church. Within weeks of arriving God pretty much dropped us on top of Coastal Community Church. I was really looking to help out with a youth group, and they were in desperate need of women youth leaders. We also connected really fast with the other youth leaders (most of which are our age), so Coastal became our church home.

Then, what started as a small band of six new friends, grew into a significant number of youth adults looking for a ministry of our own. So, Wednesday night Bible study began. It was just a group of us, hanging out, doin a little worship, and readin some scripture. Then a small group, became a bigger group, and it became apparent that God was really trying to do something here.

At the same time, Pastor Hank (lead pastor at Coastal) had been praying about reaching out to the 18-30 age group. This is a group that is frequently neglected within church ministry. For one thing, we're very mobile at this age - we change jobs, schools, towns, without much notice or worry because we have had little reason to sink roots anywhere. Also, we tend to be a skeptical age - focused on questioning and challenging the world as we know it - many times the church just doesn't know what to do with this type of questioning. So this means most churches just ignore this age until people get married and have kids and "settle down."

But, Pastor Hank issued a challenge to James (our student minister and now young adult minister) to start looking into the possibility of a venue devoted to our age.

For nearly 6 months we have been planning and praying for something we have named "Fuse". The definition of a fuse is an object "for the purpose of igniting an explosion." The goal of this is to affect this generation - to meet with people our age and seek the truth about this Jesus guy and what affect he might have on our lives.

So tonight was the big night. We had our first preview service. God really blew me away. We had more than 50 people show up. Honestly, where did they all come from? Clearly God was ready for this ministry to happen, he just asked us to show up and watch. That was quite an honor.

We all feel so over our heads with this task, but it has been incredible to see what God will do when we ask him for big things. We don't know what will come of this 6 months from now, or three weeks from now when we have our 2nd preview service, or for that matter tomorrow, but God challenged our faith tonight, and then came through 10 fold when we trusted him.

What an incredible night.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Intro to Freeboard Blogging!

Wow, I guess this makes me a blogger. That's pretty cool. I will explain my draw to this concept of blogging, but first I must state my aversion to the world "blog" or any adjective, verb, or adverb derivative thereof. However, since I have used this term three times in three sentences, I must relinquish my bitterness and acknowledge that even if the word is pretty nerdy, I like what it represents. This is a chance for me to share some of my brilliance with the world (and in case you were unaware the four of you reading this do constitute "the world"). I also happen to have a brain that thinks random things in life are fascinating and incredible. When I relay these random moments of excitement to others, they usually think I'm crazy. So, I will release them here.
That's where the idea for this blog name came from - it's a three-fold answer.
  • "Free Board" because chalkboards in classrooms are constantly used to bring ideas before people for the purpose of discussion. I hope things I will about will ignite debate and open doors for new ideas to be shared and challenged.
  • "Freeboard" is the nautical term for "the vertical distance from the waterline to the top deck." Freeboard is one of the most significant indications of the safety of a boat. A boat without enough freeboard is will likely capsize with the smallest input of instability. I believe there are beliefs, people, and ideas in my life that ensure I stay stable in an unstable world.
  • Lastly, "Freeboard" was what my Ocean Engineering class (VT '07) used as the answer to all questions to which we didn't know the answer. "What is the purpose of the correlation allowance in relation to the eddy-making resistance?" "FREEBOARD!"; "What is the triple integral of the boundary layer at the point of transition?" "FREEBOARD!"; "What was the name of the army that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo?" "FREEBOARD!" (you get the idea).

So that's it, I'll explain more as we go on, but for now - at least this seems like a reasonable way to begin.

**1 warning: I cannot spell to save my life. So I apologize to all you excellent spellers out there for offending you.