Monday, March 05, 2007


What a weekend!

I’m in Nashville visiting our youngest daughter. I broke the twenty-three day fast with a bowl of vegetable soup and a Diet Coke in a Frisch’s in Louisville. It tasted fabulous! But the sight of hundreds of people coming forward—some coming up as a family, some laughing, some somber, some actually dancing, some stopping and praying—was still buzzing in my head. No kidding. It made me very proud of our church. I love this place.

The most common question I heard was: “Do you think we’ll make it?”…meaning, do you think we’ll actually hit the $12.6 million number? My spiritual history has taken me through lots of different phases, including a time when I was part of the word-of-faith camp. I learned a lot there…but like a lot of our spiritual journey, there is always some unlearning, especially as Jesus continually strips us of our formulaic hearts…because He is all about raw relationship and honesty. Or grace and truth. Always.

Anyway, I never had that “over-the-top” faith-confident “heck-yeah-we’re-going-to-make-it” attitude. I’m not sure if I should have or not. But on the other hand, I haven’t felt anxious either. I guess I just felt like this was God’s idea from the start…and whatever we each sacrificed was just right. And in the end, Jesus can multiply whatever we give.

I had several people tell me they would mail in their commitment card this week…they needed a few more days to make their decision. Plus, in any single weekend we can have up to 25% of our regular attendees missing. That’s probably why our coaches advised us to not make any announcement for another couple of weeks.

One story I wish I could have told was from one of our volunteer teachers who wrote that the kids in her class in Discoveryland were asked to draw a picture of how they imagined the Healing Center. After a while, one little boy named Donavon called her over and said, “I’m trying to draw hope. What do you think it would look like?” How cool is that?

One more: here’s a great picture from a family who adopted a little boy with a missing arm. After the first weekend of the Luke 4 Challenge, he came home, went to his room, and without any prompting wrote this on his blackboard:

Love to you all. Thanks for being the Church.


  1. Good stuff, I can't wait to get back to Cincy in a few weeks and be part of it all.

  2. I am so excited to see God moving in such a powerful way at the Vineyard. I am a faithful member of a new church in Northern Kentucky but I visit with you sometimes on Saturday night and always watch your services on the website. I have found myself in awe of the Lord and reduced to tears and praise numerous times experiencing the Luke 4 challenge. I wish you continued God's favor and pray for the day that God shows my church, Journey, such a God-sized mission. Best wishes!

  3. I also broke my fast sunday after noon. i was fasting from meet and I broke my fast by eating a spicy chicken sandwich from wendies, not so good. Anyways, I was talking with my brother and he never talks to me about his spiritual life, but sunday night he shared with me what he felt this past weekend. He was emotional from the beginning and just broke into tears by the end. I know many others felt the same thing happening. He was telling me how he wants to invest but he has litterally no money as he is trying to support a family at a really young age. But it really doesn't matter how much he gives money wise, he is still sacrificing the equal amount as the rest of us. This weekend as I saw each envelope go into the backet, I was invisioning the ammount of money multiplying more and more than what whas being put in. Kinda like when Jesus took a small amount of fish and bread and multiplied to share with everyone with plenty of left overs. I am invisioning that God is multiplying our equal sacrifices to be able to build the healing center, student building, and trucks with extra money to go beyond what we planned. Maybe expanding the auditorium to be able to fit more people, or even buy more buildings around campus for other purposes.

  4. Dave,

    I only wish I had a church family like the Vineyard. My wife was discipled there (Crescentville Rd) after she was saved. We belong to a place in SE Hamilton County. Large? Yes. Friendly? Yes. Devoid of the Gospel? Yes! Please pray for us. I have failed as the spiritual leader of my home. Shame on me.

  5. There are lots of great churches in Cincy. Go ahead and make a change and find a place that either matches your mission or gives you one. Don't feel shamed...but make a change. I would drive two hours to go somewhere if I sensed God was on the move there and my heart connected with the mission and people.

    And then I'd move closer to the place if it really connected!