Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's happened . . . What will

A short video talking about what's happened so far and what we're working toward!

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Grand Opening - Freedom Valley Church from freedomvalleytulsa on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Highlight Video

The last few weeks have been pretty cool at Freedom Valley Church.  Here is a 2-minute video showing some highlights of our first water baptism and a cool service thing we did out at the Cinemark last Saturday.  Our next service is August 1 and I hope you'll consider being with us that morning.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big Weekend!

This weekend is gonna be BIG!  Mark your calendars for Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, July 10 - The Freeze Pop Giveaway!  Yeah, we went ahead and bought and froze 5000 Flavor-Ice pops and we want to give every last one of them away!  Our team will be outside the Cinemark Theater from noon - 8pm giving away as many pops as we can to whoever wants one.  Just because.  Hope to see you there.

Sunday, July 10 - It's Freedom Valley Church's next monthly service!  We start at 10am at the Cinemark.   Our momentum and our crowds are growing.  I hope you'll come be part of an exciting movement to reach people who have given up on church here in Tulsa!  I will be teaching Part 4 of the Primal Series.  You can see a very short explanation here on our website.  I will also be introducing you to Brandon.  He's thirteen years old and is actually saving lives in the Dominican Republic by purchasing water filters for people who don't have clean water to drink.  You can see his story here and meet him in person this Sunday at Freedom Valley.  See you this weekend at the Cinemark on 71st and 169.  It's gonna be great!

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Thursday, June 24, 2010

blessing from a friend

I picked up 8 portable church cases today.  They are huge and wonderful and they were a gift from a great new friend.  Brad Jenkins at The Gathering offered them to us last week and I was not about to refuse.  These will really change the way we pack, load and unload our equipment for church in the theater.  I can hardly wait to figure out how to pack them and start using them! 

You know, before I moved to Tulsa, everyone warned me how competitive and unloving the pastors of other churches would be.  My experience over the last six months has been the exact opposite.  We have been welcomed with open arms.  Thank you Tulsa pastors, for that.  Thank you, Brad, for those awesome cases today.  And if you're looking for a great church, try out The Gathering.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Free Ice Cream for Dads Today!

Hey dads, the ice cream is on us today.  Visit Freckles on 71st and Mingo today (June 19) from 1pm-3pm and get a free ice cream cone.  Compliments of Freedom Valley Church.  Just because dads are cool and it's hot outside today.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big Opportunity = Big God

Last week I posted a blog about the big opportunities ahead to open the church debt free. This week, God has helped us with some big progress. Our team conceived a plan we are beginning work on and I connected with several people this week who may be helpful toward our financial goals! I also met with a pastor this morning who's church has several portable church cases that he is going to give us! I continue to be amazed by God!

If you want to read a more detailed update on the church, click here for our latest e-newsletter, which just came out today.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BIG opportunity

I've had a sense, as of late, that I should run the numbers and see just how much God has blessed us to date. I knew it was big, but didn't realize how big. Since December 1, 2009, God has brought over $85,000 in cash into our church! That is absolutely huge and if you were part of that, I want to say THANK YOU!!

Even more exciting than that, I have figured that if God blesses us with another $35,000 in the next 3 months, we can reach our grand opening absolutely debt-free! In real terms, that means that all the money we have been and will continue to put aside for future church planting efforts can immediately go toward church planting instead of paying back money we would have borrowed to open this church!

I am asking for your help in reaching this goal. Perhaps you will consider praying, fasting and even giving a special gift toward our goal of opening debt free. You click here to give a financial gift and I would love to hear from you if you are praying or fasting with us!

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Church is on tomorrow!

Freedom Valley Church will be having it's third monthly service tomorrow morning at 10 am at the Tulsa Cinemark on 71st and 169.  You can get all the info on our website.  I will be continuing our "Primal" series.  Tomorrow we talk about the lost soul of Christianity.  Hope you're there with us!

Jason Fitch - lead pastor

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

School's Out Party was great!

Last Saturday Freedom Valley Church sponsored the School's Out Party @ LaFortune Park.  If you weren't there, you missed a great day.  The weather was beautiful, the food was good and there were new friends everywhere. 

Whether you came for the free balloons, face painting or the free food served up all afternoon, it was well worth the time.   The team from Freedom Valley worked so hard all day long, not to mention all the preparation they put in ahead of time.  You can watch a short video highlight here.

Overall, we gave away over 200 meals, 300 balloons and many hundreds of invitations to our next monthly service on June 6!  If you or someone you know has given up on church, we are here just for you!  Come on out and spend an hour on June 6 and see if you can find your way back into God's family.  All the info you will need can be found on our website here.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Monday, May 17, 2010

e-newsletter is here

Just click here to view a copy of our May 2010 update.  You can also subscribe via our website.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

new video update

You can watch our new video update here.  Enjoy!

new video coming

I'll be shooting a new little video for the home page of our website this morning.  Hopefully, it will be up later today.  You can look at our website here, even though the welcome video on the home page is old :) 

If you happen to be looking for a way to contribute to the cause, we could really use a small video camera to shoot this kind of stuff.  We're working with borrowed stuff right now and I'd like to do that for as short a term as possible.   $300 will set us up with what we need.  If you would like to help,  just click here.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Monday, May 10, 2010

podcast is up and running

Looks like our podcasting system is up and running.  You can subscribe via RSS or i-Tunes here.  For now, we are only posting audio messages, but may go to video in the future.  Let us know if you would benefit from video podcasts.

Next live service is on Sunday, June 6 at the Cinemark.  Get all the info at our website.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Thursday, April 29, 2010

what a difference a day makes

It's funny how the thing you love can become the thing you hate.  The last few weeks have been very intense.  Mostly planning, meetings, traveling, speaking, raising money . . . all for our new church.  I love this church.  I put my heart and soul into it daily.  But, from time to time, I just get full.  I hit a wall.  I don't want to think, hear or talk about the church.

That's where I got to on Tuesday this week.  It hit me quickly and hard, but by Tuesday evening, I did not want to do one more thing or think one more thought about Freedom Valley Church.  Going to bed on Tuesday, I dreaded Wednesday morning.  The office was a mess and there were 1001 things to do before this weekend's service.

What a difference a day makes; a day with God, that is.  Yesterday morning I knew it was time to disconnect from all the "to dos" and reconnect to the one who can do anything of real value.  I needed a day to live my life and enjoy my God.  I read, I prayed, I wrote some notes in my journal, I got Mexican food, I got ice cream.  Then it happened.  The wall went away.  I felt all my love and vision and energy come back.

As I write this from my messy office, where there are still 1001 things to do, I feel rested and excited about the things I hated yesterday.  What a difference a day makes . . . when you spend it with God.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Sunday, April 11, 2010

first monthly service is in the books

Last Sunday (Easter Sunday - April 4), Freedom Valley Church held our first public monthly service.  Hey, I'm probably biased, but I think it was a great success.  Our team was absolutely outstanding and we even met a few new friends along the way!  You can watch the full-length video of that service here (about 55 minutes).  It's not edited at all and was even compressed some, so it's not the greatest quality you'll ever see, but it is the start of something that God has stirred many a heart toward.  And that's saying something!

Our next monthly service is May 2 - same time, same place.  Cinemark @ 71st and 169 - 10am.  Hope to see you there!

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We're Open This Weekend!

Looking for a place to go to church or invite your friends to this Easter? Come on out to the Cinemark on 71st and 169 this Sunday at 10am and be part of Freedom Valley Church's first public service. You can get more info on the church at www.freedomvalleytulsa.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

service tomorrow morning

Our team is doing our second practice service at my house tomorrow morning.  It's the whole thing . . . worship, connection cards, offering, preaching, children's ministry.  It's not public.  It's just for our team to try out doing what we'll do when we open publicly.  We did it last week and we learned a lot.  Looking forward to learning even more tomorrow. 

It's just two weeks until we hold our first monthly public service at the Cinemark Theaters.  Mark your calender.  Sunday, April 4 @ 10am we officially begin our teaching series entitled "Primal".  It's subtitled "rediscovering your Christianity".  If you want to reexamine your relationship with God or start one new, I would love to talk with you about the primal essence of Christianity.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March Newsletter is out!

Just click here to check out what's happening at Freedom Valley in Tulsa!

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Thursday, February 25, 2010

basic training update

Jake Lewis and I have been in Ft. Myers, Florida for our Church Planting Basic Training. We're spending seven full days with the staff at Next Level Church and I can't even tell you how much this week is challenging us. Going into this, I was skittish about the $500 price tag. Now that I've experienced it, I would pay $5000 for this week! Some of the areas that God has used this week to challenge me in personally . . .
  • As a leader, I need to make it my business to have my wife, Sara, more involved in leadership in this church. She's just too gifted and too awesome to not be!
  • I'm really challenged about how our church will handle money. Coming in, we had a good plan. I think after this we may have an even better one.
  • I learned how to paint a sunset for my team (more on that in the future)
  • I saw portable church happen in real life and it changed everything about how think about it (for the better)
  • I feel more equipped than ever to build a healthy church, not just have a big grand opening day.
There are a hundred other things and I'll come home with 30 hours or more of recorded audio from this that I'm going to pour over with my leadership team back in Tulsa. Speaking of them, this week has been awesome back in Tulsa too. The team is growing and finding their identity while I'm a thousand miles away. Just goes to show who's really in charge . . . God, not me.

Well, today is our last day and it's 12 hours long. Should be good. After we finish up tonight around 9pm, we make the 2 hour drive up to Tampa and then fly out tomorrow around noon. We'll be back in Tulsa tomorrow afternoon. I can hardly wait to get back!

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Thursday, February 18, 2010

tell em' to come see me

Man, I feel like I'm about to burst. Yesterday was a day when God broke some big things loose.

I had a meeting with Frank Cargill, District Superintendent for the OK District of the AG. Can I just say that I love this guy already! I walked into that meeting not sure what to make of the OKAG. I walked out feeling like I'm at home. I think this district will be a huge force in future church starts in this area and I want to help as much as I can.

As I left the meeting I felt like I was floating a little. I got in the car (the one God told a guy to give us for free) and glanced at my email. The newest email in my inbox started with “Great News!” It was Aaron Carlson telling me that the Cinemark Theater has agreed to our proposal and that will be our church's meeting space! This is huge. Not only is the Cinemark the best space for us, by far. It's also on a discounted and graduated payment schedule for the first year so it more financially feasible than any other place.

I just think back to last October as Sara and I drove by that theater and I said out loud, “Wow, could you imagine if we could get our church into that theater?” I can hardly believe how great God is to make that happen!

I could write all day, but let me finish up by saying a huge THANK YOU for all your prayers, encouragement and giving to Freedom Valley Church. We have so far to go, but these two milestones that both tipped yesterday are big. I want to give God His due praise on this one. He is great!

Oh, and did I mention I'm on a plane with Jake Lewis bound for PA and later in the week to FL where we'll be dreaming with and learning from some of the greatest leaders in the country! If someone tells you living a life following Christ is not an adventure, you tell them to come see me. I'll set them straight.

Jason Fitch – lead pastor

Monday, February 15, 2010

Will you prayer with our new church?

I just sent a special email out to all our prayer and financial partners. I would love to have you join us and them in prayer. You can view the email I sent here. Our dream is getting closer and closer to reality!

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

burning the midnight oil

I'm up with Sara and Matt. We have finally figured out Quick Books and are now entering a month's worth of expenses. These guys are awesome. They have already put in countless hours on this. Check them out here. Yeah, I should have turned my phone over to landscape. This team is so faithful!

Jason Fitch - lead pastor

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

reflections from info night # 1

I'm not sure if it's the coffee I drank or just the experience of tonight, but I'm wired. I'm not sure how to feel. Tonight was a reality check, for sure. But I don't think it was a negative experience.

For sure, we need to keep our collective eyes on meeting and bringing people to future info nights. I think we need to schedule a few more between now an our first monthly service. We also need invite cards. We've been waiting forever to send them to print until we have our location nailed down, but those are for our services. We probably ought to put together an simple invite to our vision nights. I also think we need to have some focused prayer. I felt like we collectively approached tonight's meeting without enough focus and urgency. I want to take full responsibility for that. I did not do a good job preparing our team for tonight.

I don't want to overlook one great connection that was solidified tonight. I really do praise God for that. I also praise Him for such a learning experience.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

reflections from a day of prayer

I spent most of yesterday by myself. No, phone, no computer. Just myself and a small notebook to jot down anything I thought God might be saying to me. It is really difficult for me to disconnect like that. I am glad God is teaching me how to rely on Him more than on my connections to people.

As I set out on my day, I felt pretty certain that God wanted me to do a driving tour of our target area in Tulsa. So, I spent the morning driving and praying between 61st St and 91st and between Memorial and Garnett. Six square miles that I believe God is asking us to target as we begin this church.

As I drove and prayed, I noticed things I've never seen before. I saw new neighborhoods, businesses and churches that just got lost in the shuffle of life. I envisioned our team (many who we don't even know yet) walking these neighborhoods praying over them, meeting people and inviting them to our new church house to house. I noticed that there is land for sale everywhere and new office suites under construction as well. God seemed to be telling me that my vision to plant a church a year is too small. That scares me, because I thought a church a year was big time. I think that God let me in on something specific for the people living in this geographical box in Tulsa; they are lonely.

I ended my day by driving around this target area of Tulsa seven times, claiming it for Jesus. I did under-estimate how long that would take. Traffic picked up and schools let out shortly after I began my 7 laps. I did finally finish it in just over 3 hours.

Three hours well spent. A day well spent. I look forward to my next day disconnecting from people and connecting with God.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Monday, February 1, 2010

Info night this week!

I'm working with Daniel St. Armand right now putting together a presentation and handouts for our first "info night" this week. We will be at the Fresh Roast Coffee House on 81st and Harvard this Wednesday evening at 7pm. The 20-minute presentation will talk about who we are, why we are opening a new church in Tulsa and how anyone can be involved! It will be followed by an informal Q & A if anyone has questions.

Things are coming along, but I'm feeling a little stuck on what to say and how to present it. I don't want to waste people's time, but I don't want to leave important things out. I'd appreciate your prayers on that. I could use some help from God on this one.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Saturday, January 30, 2010

citychurch is having their grand opening in Tulsa tomorrow! Will you join me in praying for them? And if you're looking for a church in the Tulsa area, check out citychurch. www.citychurchtulsa.com

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

wrestling with options

There seems to be an unwritten rule in America. The more options you have, the better. I disagree. I can hardly even process more than 3 at a time. I'm processing some options right now with some great input from our leadership team.

Name. Is it important to have the term "church" in your name? There are some studies and other opinion-driven writings that suggest it is. Last year when we settled on the name "Freedom Valley Tulsa", I was a little concerned that it did not adequately identify who we are. Well, I'm still concerned about that and we are strongly considering a small tweak and changing over to "Freedom Valley Church".

Location. It's down to three; Cinemark Theater, Union Intermediate High, and Union 6th and 7th grade center. The theater just made a huge prices concession, so the prices are all very similar. We have asked the theater management to let us stay in a bit later than they originally proposed. If they go for it, I think the theater will be our home. If they don't, I think we'll be in a school.

Decisions coming soon. Check back often. I'd deeply appreciate your prayers on both fronts. By the way, I'm praying that the theater does work out as our location.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

great new stuff!

There are so many new things happening . . . I'll highlight a few:

  • Sara and I just got back into town after spending a few days in the Atlanta area being assessed by a team from ARC. We got word from them this morning that they would like our church to become an ARC church. That means that significant funding, great coaching, training and networking resources are all available to us.
  • Our team has been praying and fasting together for direction from God on the location for your church. In just the last few days, a new school (much newer and nicer than the others) has opened up. We hope to tour it on Friday if the weather holds. In the meantime, some new possibilities with the movie theater have opened up. Very exciting stuff!
  • We have two information nights planned out in Tulsa. On Feb 3 we will be at Fresh Roast Coffee on 81st and Harvard and on March 16 we will be at Panera Bread at 71st and Garnett. Both are at 7pm. We hope and pray to meet some new Tulsans who would like to help us start the church up this year!
Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Friday, January 22, 2010

final office space update

Our office space is just about complete. You can see the final video update here.

New Location Possibilities

On Wednesday morning Daniel St. Armand and I toured two local schools - Union Intermediate High and McAuliffe Elementary. Surprisingly enough, we are very interested in both, especially the elementary school. It looks like the elementary is where we can do the most excellent ministry to kids and young families and that is really important to us.

But we really need your prayers. I've set February 7 as the date we are going to decide on our location. We have invite cards all designed and ready. All they are waiting for is a location to name on the card and we're ready send them to print. Will you pray with me that God will show us which location is the right one for Freedom Valley Tulsa to begin at?

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Update

Last week was a great one. We had the Allder family in town working on housing and employment for their upcoming move. They flew back yesterday, but the whole family will be here for good by the middle of February.

Our office space is nearly finished and is about 80% functional. We had a fantastic staff meeting yesterday and 3 more planning meetings this morning. I just uploaded a video update showing the evolution of the office. You can look at it here. I will upload one more later this week. That will be the final one because we will be finished!

Sara and I will be driving (yes, driving - to save our precious $ we have for starting this church) to Atlanta, GA this Sunday to do our church planting assessment with ARC. I would love to affiliate with ARC. I feel like I think like those guys do. So, I would love your prayers that we would assess favorably.

Jason Fitch - lead pastor

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

video update

Here's a video update on our office space project. It's changed pretty drastically even since we did this one, but enjoy it anyway.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

real work may begin

Real work. I say this tongue in cheek. I know that the team and I have been doing "real work" all along. Moving your life over one thousand miles and reestablishing your identity in a new and strange city is work, but a common feeling is developing among our team. Let's get to work! I sure feel that too. So, here's an update on our work:
  • There are 23 of our 32 team members now living in Tulsa. Everyone is in their home and getting settled.
  • Our office space is almost complete. It is painted, with the exception of a few touch-ups. Derek is hanging the ceiling fan and lighting today and the carpet installer is coming to take measurements today.
  • We have begun regular weekly meetings for our start up staff. (We have dropped the term "launch team". We decided that terminology is way too "churchy")
  • We begin regular finance meetings this evening.
  • Though it still needs some work, our website is up and running.
  • Fund-raising efforts are going slow. Although a good plan is in place to cover my personal salary, there is very little regular funding for our week to week expenses. I have numerous churches and individuals who have given me verbal commitments, but not much has come of that yet. I would appreciate your prayers on that front.
  • I had a very promising lunch with a professor and church planter (same guy) at ORU yesterday. It feels like God is building a church planting movement here in Tulsa!
  • Sara and I go to Atlanta on Jan 25-26 to our assessment with ARC. I'm nervous and excited about that one.
Well, I left some things out, but this is long enough. Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement. I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment here or via our website's contact form.

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor

Friday, January 8, 2010

creating space

Our team is growing day by day. As I write, Daniel St. Armand, Derek Engle and Fred Nimmon are on their way to Tulsa. Please join me in praying for their trip to be safe.

Here in Tulsa, the order of the day is creating workspace. I've included some pictures showing the evolution of our office space and the hard-working people who are making it happen. We got the entire thing primed today. Our goal is to have it completely finished and ready to go by the end of the day next Friday.

I'm very excited about having this space where creativity and hard work can happen by the bucketfull. Hey, I think I just made up a word. My mom gave me a great idea today to use some color I had not considered until today. I'm really glad for that.

Well, my wrist and neck are sore, but we're getting closer and closer to having usable office, meeting and band rehearsal space. I'm signing off from my bedroom now . . . :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The team in Tulsa is growing!

As I write this, 20 of our 32 launch team members have arrived in Tulsa. Today, we have the pleasure of unloading two trucks; one with the Trouts' belongings and one with the Gessers'. Josh and Bekah Ploch are in town for a few days as well. I'm so glad for the time with them.

It feels like we're well into the "just get to Tulsa" season for the team. The next big thing I can feel God pressing on me is "find a location and get the word out". The Tulsa Cinemark is still a very good possibility, but I want to look at more. A few of us toured the convention center wing of the Renaissance Hotel yesterday. It's nice, but pretty expensive. It's perks are balanced by it's drawbacks and I'm not thinking its a very real possibility for us, but I'm open to God's leading. We are also working hard to convert my garage to our office space. It's coming along nicely.

Our team would really appreciate and benefit from you prayers in a few key areas:
  • safety for everyone traveling to and from Tulsa in the next couple weeks
  • direction on a meeting place
  • numerous new relationships to be built in the coming weeks
Well, I better get ready. We do have two trucks to unload today :)

Jason Fitch - Lead Pastor