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