Archives For Influence

The VanDyke family — Steve, Tiffany, Kevin and Leigha — is in vocational missions full time, having spent the past two years in Bangkok, Thailand. They also ministered in India for three and a half years before they joined the LifePoint team in Bangkok. Prior to going to India, the VanDykes have been a part of the LifePoint faith family for years, having they served in several ministry areas and experienced wonderful growth in their faith in Jesus.

Van Dykes

“LifePoint Bangkok exists to point Thais, and other internationals, to a Christ-centered life,” Steve says. “We want to see and catalyze a movement of multiplying disciples, leaders and churches among the Thai people. We are trying to accomplish this by building relationships through teaching English and other outreach activities, always being ready to share the Good News with those who need to hear it.”

Steve says his family and the rest of the LifePoint team is working with several Thai believers, pouring into them as potential leaders in the church.

“These are the ones who will really influence other Thais for Christ,” Steve says. “Several LifePoint staff are co-leading small groups with our Thai leaders as well, which gives them the opportunity to lead and teach the Bible.”

Tiffany helps manage the family’s busy schedule, and she also cooks much of the food for the Friday night activities, which the Thai people love.

Children Kevin and Leigha attend an international school, which normally would be expensive, but God has blessed them with scholarships. The financial director of the school is a Christian, and wants to have more Christian children as influences within the school, Steve says.

“So, as a family, we have a responsibility to represent Christ to those who need to know Him that are in our own circles of influence. Many consider our decision to live as overseas missionaries a sacrifice, but we count it as a privilege to be working for the glory of God, and that one day we can see the knowledge of His glory cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

You can follow Steve and Tiffany on Facebook and discover more of their story of how God is using them to send the Church to be the Church. Pray regularly for the Bangkok campus and the VanDykes as they make disciples in our culture void of the Gospel.

Our family moved to Brussels along with three other families to plant a church. We have a meeting place for our Sunday gatherings with LifePoint flags out front. We even have a great website. How do we get people to come inside? Moreover, how do we get French speaking Belgians to come inside?

Scattered and Gathered

Our Campus Pastor, Kyle Goen, recently said that “our gathering time will only be as fruitful as our scattering time“. This has motivated our team from the very beginning to be out in the community. The people of Brussels will not come inside until we go outside.

For each family it looks a little different because—thank God—we are different. Each of our unique abilities and interests make it possible to connect with a variety of people. Angie and I are intentional with leveraging our musical abilities for the gospel. This has opened doors to a new stream of relationships. People in Belgium love American music. It’s what you hear 90% of the time as you make your way through the city on subways or shopping. People are excited when they find out that we musicians from “Music City, USA”!

Late last year Angie and I formed a band. We are performing in restaurants, cafes, and other venues. We are connecting with fellow musicians, people who hire us, workers at the restaurants, and of course, those who come to listen. You see, many people we are in relationship with are not comfortable coming to a church gathering. They have a lack of understanding about a church like LifePoint. Their preconceptions about church and religious people often keep them from venturing out into the unknown. The Catholic church is really all they know. In many cases, there is a great disconnect between their experience at church and the rest of their lives. Our hope is to break down their preconceptions and show them that people of faith can have fun and be relevant to the world around them.

In January, Angie and I played at a restaurant and invited everyone we have relationships with, many of whom had not yet visited the church. It was incredible. I think everyone we invited actually came! They brought their friends, too. Fifty came to hear us in addition to an already full restaurant with their normal customers. We have already seen this event as something that has brought us closer to those who came . We are experiencing an increase in dialog around thing like church and faith. One family recently attended our worship gathering. One of the women who came has started to send her son to our youth events.

We are also leveraging our experience in music is through “meetups”. Meetup.com is a website designed to connect people with one another. In a diverse and transient city like Brussels, there are always people looking to connect. Angie and I recently started a musician’s meetup. We meet monthly at restaurants or cafes. It gives musicians here a chance to meet others like themselves, explore the possibilities of playing together, or at the very least, support each other in their endeavors. Late last year, we had a young man at our meetup named Aaron. He is a bass player who moved here recently from the Philippines. He is a new believer but had not yet connected with a church. After sharing about LifePoint, he attended our worship gathering and is now the bass player on our worship team. He has recently expressed a desire to be baptized and will be part of our very first baptism service later this month!

Of course, not everything we do is related to music. We have formed many relationships at the school that Phoebe and Ruby attend. Angie is teaching conversational English to some of the mothers from our children’s school and for a few the students in her French class. This is strengthening relationships and paving the way for the gospel.

We are privileged to be a part of seeing God’s church established here. We are excited to see lives and families being changed. Brussels is a place that needs to be awakened! Faith in God is not the reality here that we are all accustomed to in the U.S. Please pray that God will use us to share the life-changing, life-giving, and life-saving good news of Christ.

So…how do we get them to come inside? We must go outside!

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

David and Angie Ebensberger serve as worship leaders at LifePoint Brussels. Prior to the relocating there in late 2011, they both worked in the Christian Music Industry during their twenty years in the Nashville area. For many years. they served as part-time worship leaders at LifePoint, Smyrna. They have four daughters: Abigail, Emily, Phoebe and Ruby. You can connect with David and Angie on Facebook.

clc_320x160The Creative Learning Center in a ministry of LifePoint Church in Smyrna. Simply put, we want to love the kids and families that God brings to us.

Our philosophy maintains that a child should have a safe and nurturing environment in which to grow spiritually, socially, physically and emotionally. While teaching the children is our primary focus, we also seek to minister to the needs of the families.

Preschoolers learn through their five senses and those senses are developed through hands on developmentally appropriate activities. The Creative Learning Center provides a Christ centered atmosphere for children to learn and play. We believe our program is in part building a foundation for faith in preschoolers. We seek to enable them to grow and learn as children of God rooted in Christian values so that one day they can respond to Him in faith and love. Spiritual concepts are woven throughout the day’s instruction in Bible stories, songs and scripture. We strive to have children ready when they move on to “big school.” It is believed that children learn through watching, hearing, and modeling; therefore, every staff member and teacher is aware of the role they play in the Christian development of young children.

The Creative Learning Center also stresses that a child’s work is play. The importance of play and having a good time is at the heart of all teaching and instruction provided in our program.

We offer a 2 day program for 6 months-4 years of age. Children may attend our Monday/Wednesday program OR our Tuesday/Thursday program. We have a 4 day preK program for children who will enter kindergarten the next fall. The preK program is Monday-Thursday.

Registration for Fall 2013 is now open to the public. We fill all spaces on a first come first served basis. Registration fee is $90 for our 2-day program and $100 for our 4-day preK program. Registration fees are due at the time of enrollment and are non- refundable. Tuition is $168 for our 2 day program and $282 for our 4-day program. Tuition is due the first month of school, August – May.

To register, you can come by the Smyrna Campus anytime between 9 and 2 Monday- Thursday and pick up registration forms.

Here’s a great example of the impact CLC has on the kids in the program. This is the baptism video of Bethany Clardy. Notice that she thanks her CLC teachers who helped instill the foundation of Christ in her life while she was still a preschooler. This is what the ministry of CLC is all about.

Post by Becca Wilson, Creative Learning Center Director. Becca and her husband Scott have been key leaders at LifePoint for many years and have a great passion to see people impacted by the Gospel all over the world. They have three active boys and a beautiful baby girl. You can connect with Becca on Twitter and Facebook.

 

LP Kids March 2013

In March, LP Kids is diving into Honesty. As we lead kids to reflect Jesus, we desire them to be boys and girls who are honest and trustworthy. Parents, you can be prepared to point your kids to Jesus this month from this article below provided by the ReThink Group. Be sure to check out more resources as you point your children to Jesus: the Parent Cue App, GodTime Card, and Parent Cue Card.

God told Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation of people—he was. God told the Israelites that He would provide for them in the desert—He did. God told Joshua that the wall of Jericho would fall if the people marched around it for seven days—it did. God told Mary that she would have a baby boy—she did.

Jesus said He would die and rise again three days later—He did!

Honesty is important because it builds trust. Honesty is choosing to be truthful in whatever you say and do. What God says is true; He has shown us that time and time again. And that’s one of the reasons we know we can trust God.

But the same should be true in our own lives. If we want other people to trust us, we need to live honest lives. When we tell the truth and we follow through with our promises, other people learn to trust us. But when we cover up who we are, what we’ve done, or we constantly break our promises, then the people around us stop trusting us. They begin to wonder if, in the Moment of Truth, can you be trusted?

The monthly memory verse is: “An honest person has respect for the Lord,” Proverbs 14:2a, NIrV. Living a life of honesty shows that we respect God and the people we care about. We can find a way to be truthful and still careful of the feelings of those we care about.

In Week One’s Bible story, Jacob’s sons lie to him about what’s happened to Joseph (Genesis 37:17-36; 45:25-28). They broke their father’s heart by telling him Joseph had been attacked by animals. Our Bottom Line is: When you are not truthful, you can hurt the people you care about. Regardless of our reasons for lying, someone eventually gets hurt.

In our Week Two Bible story, we meet Gehazi, Elisha’s trusted servant (2 Kings 5, NIrV). When Gehazi lies about accepting gifts, he can no longer be trusted and suffers a great loss. Our Bottom Line is: When you are not truthful, you lose trust. Honesty is also about consistently speaking and living truthfully and acting on what we say.

In Week Three’s Bible story, Zacchaeus was a thief and considered a traitor to his people (Luke 19:1-10). When he decided to follow Jesus, Zacchaeus worked hard to earn his community’s trust. Our Bottom Line is: When you are truthful and make things right, you build trust. When we admit we have not been truthful, we can earn back other’s trust.

In Week Four, Judas betrays his Teacher and Friend for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16, 20-25, 45-50; 27:1-5). Judas spent every day with the Truth but still chose dishonesty. Our Bottom Line is: You can lie so much that it’s hard to remember what’s true. So often in our lives, one lie leads to another as we have to cover up the stories we told before.

Week Five is Easter! In this week’s Bible story, we’re examining some of the amazing things Jesus said and the most amazing thing He did (John 3:3, 16; 14:1-6, 28-29; John 18-20). Jesus made some incredible statements about Himself that even some of His followers had trouble believing. But our Bottom Line is: When Jesus came back from the dead, it proved that what He said was true. When we have doubts about God, we can remember He kept the biggest promise of all.

Living an honest life may sometimes be hard. It might mean admitting when we’ve done something wrong or made an embarrassing mistake. It might mean passing up a chance to sneak an extra turn and win the game while your friend isn’t looking. Or it may be as simple as following through on the things we have promised. Whatever the circumstances, this month look for ways to be honest so that others can trust you.

By Daniel Scott ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

Volleyball for Jesus

LifePoint Church —  February 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

Early last summer, Reed Mitchell and Justin Theriot knew they had a large opportunity on their hands. Inspired by a Wednesday night message by R.C. Ford at LifePoint’s Stewarts Creek Campus, the two college students decided to put their heads together to figure out how to be more intentional with their faith.

Image credit: Taylor McBride

Image credit: Taylor McBride

“We had been playing volleyball all summer, in mine or Justin’s yard with neighborhood kids and other friends that we would invite,” Reed said. “Then one Wednesday night, R.C. was speaking about being intentional with whatever you do. What really stood out to me was when he said, ‘When you are hanging out with people who are not Christians, if you are not actively moving towards sharing the gospel with them, or sharing the gospel with them, then you are just wasting time.”

“I remember getting a call from Reed asking me to come over and talk,” said Justin. “One of the first things he said to me was, ‘I just can’t take having all these people over at my house to play volleyball, and knowing that some of them are going to Hell because they don’t know Jesus,’” he said.

“So we started brainstorming about ways to show these people Jesus rather than just telling them about it.” Justin said. “So we decided to not really have a Bible study or small group after our volleyball games, but just a time of fellowship and getting to know each other,” he said. “It started off where 8-10 people would stay, and we would talk…and eventually God would be brought up in conversation. It just turned into this type of ministry where Reed and I could just show love and invest in these students’ lives.”

What started as a ministry to 8-10 people began to grow rapidly. Initially, around 20 people would show for the games, with about half sticking around to talk afterwards. After four weeks, the word began to spread about this “volleyball ministry,” and the numbers grew into the sixties, with 30-40 students from all over Smyrna and Murfreesboro staying to talk about Christ after the games.

“It just started to grow and grow,” Justin said. “We went from having 5-on-5 games of volleyball, to having literally 80 kids show up for volleyball and fellowship afterwards. “We began to have guest speakers come and speak after the games or show Christian movies [on a projection screen].”

“It got to the point where we had too many people for just one person to talk to,” Reed said. “So I began to divide people up into small groups, making balanced groups of believers and non-believers, and just encourage them to talk about Christ and share their testimonies,” he said. “Leaders in those groups really stepped up and really invested in these people.”

“It grew into this weekly event that people were excited about, that was centered on Christ and sharing His love,” he said. “Lives were changed though God working there.”

One life that was changed through God working in this ministry was 18-year-old Joey Zelenak, who was invited to the event by two friends who had been attending regularly throughout the summer.

“My friends Kaitlyn and Kathryn told me about it,” Joey said. “The church thing wasn’t really my scene, but they made this sound fun, so I decided to give it a shot.”

The first night Joey attended, he was one of the students who stayed after the games and participated in the intentional conversations led by Justin, Reed, and the small group leaders.

“Honestly, I stayed because I didn’t have a ride to leave,” Joey recalled with a laugh. “But I was also curious and wanted to see what they had to say. I had never had spiritual conversations before, and I enjoyed it.”

Joey became a regular attendee of the volleyball nights, and was eventually invited to come to church by Justin. After his first Wednesday night at the Stewarts Creek campus, Joey knew that it was the place for him.

“It was very different than any church experience I’d had before,” he said. “The songs were very engaging, which I really liked. I also liked that the message because I could relate to it.”

After his third Wednesday at church, Joey made the decision to follow Christ.

“I just got really pumped about it,” he said. “It just hit me and I knew it was right. I just had this want for more and more knowledge about Christ. I just knew it was right.”

Since becoming a Christ follower, Joey has joined the student worship team at Stewarts Creek, playing electric guitar and leading students in worship every Wednesday night.

After seeing the effects of Reed and Justin’s intentional faith, Joey has developed a similar desire to spread the truth of God’s word among his peers.

“Right now all my friends and people I hang out with are my church family,” he said. “But I promise, when I make new friends, I will be inviting them to church. I will definitely be inviting them.”

Joey was baptized on January 20, 2013. You can watch his baptism video below.