Blake Thompson daht Net

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Tag: matt williams

Last Day in Greenville

It’s 11:40 pm right now and tomorrow is coming very quickly. Wake up call at 4:30am. Wow. But today and yesterday both have been full.

Yesterday was a church day. Full of it. We got the Grace Church for the first service. Sat through the production meeting to see them run through a few details. When the service started we didn’t go in though. Instead we went to the Fifth and Sixth grade ministry called Fusion. Watched about 73 kids worship and then as teaching began we had to leave. Because as soon as Matt Williams finished the sermon in the 9am service he was leaving in a get away car (or 4 Runner) to rush to a different campus downtown to preach.

So we meet him at the back of the church, jump in the 4 Runner and to go to The Handlebar downtown. We get there as people are still coming in and see the opening worship set and the sermon. And the we repeat the cycle by rushing back to the Pelham road campus for the 11am service there. He gets to the church just in time to get on stage and preach there too.

But again we don’t hear the sermon because we go check out the Seventh & Eighth grade ministry. So we hang, watch for a bit, and see some of the teaching. But then we go back to the main worship service and hear part of the sermon and then the closing worship set. So…that was three main worship services and two children/youth services.

So we go eat at Five Guys and then drive to Clemson and catch part of a baseball game.

Then back to Greenville and go to the satellite campus of Newspring Community Church. A much, much different feel than Grace. And I don’t know if it was because it was the 6pm service or not, but it was a very young crowd. Like over half teenagers probably. The youth ministry meeting was afterward too, so maybe that contributed. But I’ll say that Perry Noble‘s sermon was easily the best sermon I’ve ever heard about marriage and relationships. And..it was the 3rd one of the series. So I have to go and listen to the previous ones.  I’ve read Perry’s blog a bit here and there. And it’s obvious the dude pulls no punches. And he didn’t in this sermon either. I’ll be sure to get a link up for it when it’s ready.

And then a trip back to Grace’s campus to meet with two staff members to go to supper. And that was a full day.

Today has been meeting in really small settings with different staff members of Grace Church. We started around 9am and went through til about 4:30 or 5. I’ve been amazed with the openness and accessibility of the staff. They have gone out of their way to be available for conversation, questions, observation and whatever else we asked of them.

Tomorrow I’ll go through a few things that I learned or caught my attention this weekend. But maybe not til I get some rest. There has been a dare of staying up all night long before the flight. We’ll see!

Greenville, SC :: Day Two

The time change isnt’ a big deal when you don’t change your watch at first. But I guess I should now.

We went back downtown today for lunch today to meet with an Orchard student that goes to Furman. Ate at Sticky Fingers. That is an aptly named restaurant. But then we went to the Discover Class. It is structured for people wanting more info on Grace Church. It was a two hour meeting. But was interesting.During this meeting there was the Saturday night service going on in the next building.

downtown-greenvilleAfterward we got to go to the “debrief” meeting with the pastors after their service. Then a trip to supper with the teaching pastor and worship pastor. Both were really down to earth. Easy to talk with. Funny. But pretty straight on as far as talking Biblical stuff too.

Tomorrow will be a full day. Probably three or four church services. Might even squeeze in a service with Newspring Church too that recently opened up a Greenville campus.

The downtown area of Greenville is interesting. It was revitalized a few years ago, but is full of shops, restaurants, parks, plazas, and landscaping. Lots of unique lighting at night too. There is even a “Mice on Main” scavenger hunt.

And …. we’re back … in Greenville, SC

Seems Carlos is taking a blogatical these days. So since he left I’m back. There wasn’t a planned reason for me to be gone. I thought many times “today I should definitely blog again” but didn’t. Not sure why. But I’m back in the saddle. And I could throw out a few more cliches, but sufice to say I intend to tear it up.

Right now I’m sitting at Spill The Beans in Greenville, SC. Flew up here today for a weekend of meeting with the staff of Grace Church and seeing how their staff is structured. We’d met Matt Williams, the Teaching Pastor and planter of Grace Church a few months ago. He was intriguing as was his story about his church. So @willrambo and @rickpike and I are going to be experiencing their weekend worship service, their “new member” class, and some one on one time with various staff members to look behind the curtain and ask some probing questions.

I’m looking forward to seeing how their church leadership strategy is structured and also how their small group ministry is structured. And a peek at their youth ministry events is going to happen too.

So…Greenville, SC. Here we are.

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