And finally Part Three…
I really want to move into Your Story and how this ministry is not all about me, Mike, our kids and OUR story, so I’ll skip the details surrounding the big “A-ha” prayer night in Atlanta that birthed this idea. I will bypass the six months of questioning and what we were doing when we made the decision to relocate our family to North Carolina to Love and Serve with the wonderful people here at The Summit Church, and how the love and care shown to us by Jonathan and Donna “won out” over other job offers way on the other side of the American coast. I don’t have time to tell you how LONG we had to wait to finally sell our Atlanta house to a short sale situation, waving “good-bye” to the equity that we thought we had, dipping into savings to get rid of the house and start fresh. I can’t mention how MANY different living scenarios have held the Shroyers in NC, providing us “home” while we got to know so many new friends. Nor can I explain how the long wait showed that God did not intend for us to take on another conventional mortgage, but rather to hold on and wait on Him.
I don’t have time to tell you about the day that I was most discouraged and drove the kids to a property that to us represented the Cre8 dream in order to take some time to “talk to God about it”… and how J. Michael wanted “to talk too,” so pray, he did! I can’t give you all of the details surrounding the IMMEDIATE answer to that boy’s SPECIFIC prayer, and how a relationship began with a couple from Texas who called THAT NIGHT to say that God had laid us on their hearts to give some seed money to in order to help launch a ministry… with the funds arriving in two short weeks!
I can’t share all that went into the making of new music, or of a friendship that began with a beautiful English woman here in Kernersville who owns a small slice of heaven-on-earth… how she has been only a hair’s breadth away from selling that property several times, just to see each sale fall through, all while hoping right along with us that if it could be used to reach people, that the Lord would make it happen.
No, I can’t tell you all of those stories, because it’s time to tell you what this is, and over time those stories will be replaced by many new ones… allowing YOU to become a part of the story.
“Make the MOST of JESUS to the MOST amount of people possible” was hand-written on the donation we received. Through Frosty and Rhonda, God let us know that we are not crazy, and this one act of generosity suddenly placed an URGENCY on us to do all we can to seek the right things! The money went into the bank and we sought wisdom from friends who once had big dreams and now run very large ministries. Our friend Lanny told us how the Lord built BigStuf entirely debt-free and challenged us, “If it were me… i would see if i could begin this thing with no debt to see if your dreams are something that people really want to be a part of.” Lanny’s wife also said, “Go slow with a lot of wise counsel and up-front support… ministry is tough — wear a helmet!”
And she is RIGHT! I want to answer questions about what we’re doing so that no one needs to wonder our intentions. So here goes…
Cre8 is a family ministry that is not meant to replace church, but rather to help revitalize families by offering a shared worship experience alongside personal worship environments, freeing individuals to uniquely connect and celebrate with the Lord and each other in the ways in which they are each one designed to connect.
We’ll dive into this as we go. For this first family night, it just means that together AS A FAMILY you will have the ability to connect and explore a Truth… and there will be hands-on ways to explore it that you can’t do together in a corporate service. If you want to read about worship styles before we dive in, please read Sacred Pathways by Gary Chapman and/or listen to You’ve Got Style, a series by Andy Stanley. If you are the person who loves homework or self-discovery, you can even beat others to the punch and take this fun test: http://common.northpoint.org/sacredpathway.html
WHO IS Cre8 FOR?
Cre8 is for anyone who wants it, and anyone who needs it. Do you need to connect? celebrate? Be celebrated? Are you needing to sit with a journal, walk in the woods, play with your kids, or talk around a fire… all while sharing an experience that has the potential to stir your faith as a family?
(Here’s a doozy) IS MIKE QUITTING HIS JOB?
Hahaha! And no! Certainly not anytime soon! He loves what he does with the kids and families, and for quite some time, Cre8 will pretty much be the occasional glorified family party! The actual time we put into J Michael’s Knights and Princesses party was more time than this gathering will require. So, no worries on the job front.
IS THERE A COST?
No, not now. Eventually, we will activate a very simple plan called NEXXT. For now, we are using money already set aside that has been donated specifically for this ministry to begin.
Let me end by asking you what YOU would do if you had a dream, and then money came to you unexpectedly for that dream as a result of your praying son? How long after that would you sit in wait to do anything? Then, imagine that you had been looking at a property that you cannot afford, and over a year and a half later, the lovely owner offers you the full use of her property while it is not yet sold? What would hold you back from doing something there? And what if simply by dripping these concepts over time with friends, you had people visiting from around the country, excited to experience the possibilities? And what if you wrote a blurb in a blog and already had nearly forty people wanting to join you to worship on a property that you don’t own, in an empty storage barn out in nature? Would you do it, and if not, what would be holding you back?
I hope that now you can see where we are. We’re ready to give this a try. We hope that you will join us. We hope that someday we will look around and say, “What if we had never done this?” I also hope that there is nothing holding you back in YOUR story to “make the most of Jesus to the most amount of people possible” and that we can cheer you on! Because this life is a step-by-step process, we look forward to seeing the dream, and all of us…. grow… develop… connect… celebrate…
(Our first family gathering is happening on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010. We have already heard from enough that we are considering a Friday option as well. Space is limited by the number of cars we can park. To express interest, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org )