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Annette is a powerful story of God meeting us in our darkest moments and raising us from death to life again. I love it when she talks about getting out from under her addiction and asking God to take away her obsession to use. She says, “He did and my life was changed.” Annette is part of our Guest Services team at Two Cities Church, part of my community group and a friend. Watch her story.

Donny is one of our volunteers at Two Cities Church, part of my community group and a friend. He was raised Mormon but didn’t understand who Jesus was or is. Watch his baptism story below.

Step Up[date]

December 15, 2013 — Leave a comment

[Summary of What’s below: Update on our Step Up Campaign, What We Hope for in 2014, How You Can Help Get Push This Vision Forward]step up letterhead
Update
Here’s a quick update last post on our end-of-year Step Up campaign. Let me remind of you our goals for this campaign.

  • $10,000 in one-time gifts
  • $4,000 pledged in increased monthly giving starting in Jan 2014

As of this moment we are still in need of:

  • $8,620.63 in one-time gifts
  • $3,550 pledged in increased monthly giving starting in Jan 2014

What we Hope for in 2014
But here’s the deal. We don’t need the money to sustain what we’ve been doing. We’re not in maintenance mode. We want to step up the implementation of our mission and vision. To lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by creating a church that unchurched people love to attend.

Here’s what the cash from this campaign enables us to do:

  • Hire a Service Programming Director – The person in charge of the adult worship experience from the parking lot to the stage.
  • Increase service frequency from 1x monthly to every 3 weeks, then every other week, then every week. [The rate at which this increases is determined by increasing volunteerism, giving, inviting and involvement with small groups.]
  • Pay off the credit we owe to our credit card, due to the purchase of our equipment and trailer.
  • Pay for our December events (KidStuf Christmas Edition and Christmas Night of Worship).
  • Give us a little margin entering 2014 for the unexpected expenses we’ll face.

In 2014, we will:

  • Open UpStreet (K-6th grade environment) – in January we will have a BETA version open!
  • Continue to grow Waumba Land – it was doubled between our first two services
  • Host every week services by mid fall 2014
  • Increase our engagement with each other through more group opportunities
  • Increase our engagement with each other through our Strategic Service teams

In 2014, we hope to:

  • Hire some of our key volunteer staff
  • Create a Starting Point group for seekers, starters and returners
  • Continue baptizing people
  • Increase our community impact by partnering with local non-profits that are getting it done

*In 2014 we will receive $25,000 in matching funds from Growing Healthy Churches. Some of this end-of-year campaign will qualify us to receive some of those funds*

Push the Vision forward:
So, here’s how you can help us reach our goals for this campaign.

1. Give or increase giving, monthly
2. Give a one-time gift (tax deductible for 2013) online
, by mail (1865 Herndon Ave K304, Clovis, Ca 93611) or in person at our Christmas Night of Worship
3. Invite your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to our events, like these (KidStuf Christmas Edition and Christmas Night of Worship)
4. Join a launch group (small group) in January
5. Join a Strategic Service team, just let us know at our next event

You may think, “I can’t afford much, so it’s not that big of a difference.” Every penny matters, every act of faith is significant. When you give, you’re not just saying, “I want to support this.” You’re saying, “I trust God to do something significant with this.” It’s an opportunity to grow in your relationship with Jesus… which is accomplishing our mission.

Let’s Step Up together so that Two Cities Church can Step it Up!

On Sunday, October 13, 2013 we held our very first service. You can’t redo the first one. The first one will always be the first one. It’s kind of a big deal. And I am very pleased with how well it went. Here are some things I’d like to share from that day:

  • A volunteer’s daughter has been hesitant to attend a children’s environment anywhere, and was hesitant starting out at our service, but by the end she loved it. Someone overheard her ask if she could come back.
  • A one year old made it through the service in the nursery, that has never been away from his parents before! This may seem small, but to his parents this was HUGE. I know that with consistent faces in the nursery, he will continue to do well.
  • Another 2 year old was able to go home and retell the entire story of Joseph in great detail. We may have a future Bible Storyteller!
  • My son (4) prayed the night before “for all of the kids God would bring to Waumba Land.” These kids are being impacted by building this ministry!
  • Several people went to the Connections table after service and asked for big stacks of invites for the November 17 service.
  • We had 130 people in attendance!
  • Many people wrote on the response cards. We had people say they want to know more about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, one person wrote they want to know more about baptism, and several people signed up for launch groups.
  • As a result we have two baptisms scheduled in Novemeber! We will share their stories via video online.
  • We bought a used portable church system from Church on Wheels and everything worked great!
  • We had a new couple come serve all day with us setting up Waumba Land and driving the trailer. They were excited, and said they will continue to come serve and be a part.
  • Several people came who we didn’t expect and came to various people on our team with great feedback. Several of these people heard about TCC through social media.
  • We saw posts and videos posted on social media with positive comments about people’s experience. See sampling here: http://www.micahfoster.net/2013/10/packthevet-video-roundup/
  • Some of the people at our preview have now joined a launch group and are becoming increasingly involved and we are developing relationships with more of them.
  • People who came to “support” us, said they’d return with guests

Were you there?
What was your experience?
Please let me know!

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Meet Dale & Susy

July 15, 2013 — Leave a comment

Dale and Susy found Two Cities Church through our partnership with North Point Ministries. The following Sunday they attended a vision casting event called NEXT and they’ve been a part of our team ever since. They drive every Sunday from Visalia (45 minutes) to be a part of our events and Launch Groups. Please keep Dale in your prayers as we seeks a new job and if you have an opportunity, please let us know so that we can pass that along to him.

There are more of these videos in post-production and still more that are scheduled to shoot. We love telling the stories of the people involved because collectively, it’s the story of Two Cities.

Past #WeAreTwoCities Posts:
Paul & Jenn
Chris & Erika
Don & Cheryl

*If you can’t see the video because it won’t play in your RSS feed or email client, click here*

Facebook recently announced they hit 1 Billion Users with the embedded video below.

There’s a lot of critics out there saying a big percentage of those users are inactive or spam. That may be true, but who cares. 1 Billion is a big number.

But what I’m impressed with is their sense of mission. It’s communicated very clearly in the above video that they exist to CONNECT people, to remind them they are not alone. The universe, the world, your city, your neighborhood, your local Starbucks, your cubicle, your classroom, your car, your bicycle, your mercedes, your local football stadium, your local movie theater, and yes, even your local church can be a lonely place.

At Two Cities Church there are 4 Things we ask our team to commit to involving their selves with and regardless of if it’s 1 Billion people or 2 people, we want these 4 Things for them. (Connect relationally, Give financially, Serve strategically and Invest & Invite)

Like Facebook, one of those things is to CONNECT with others. The difference is, we want our connection to be more than sharing your favorite music and movies, we want our connection to last into eternity. We want our connection to be like family, in the best possible way. We want Real connection, we want real relationships and we encourage people to pursue intimacy with God, connection with other people who are trying to follow Jesus and influence with the world around us.

Facebook is a great tool, that can help accelerate the rate at which you get to know someone’s outer life, but being involved in the local church is a connection that lasts way beyond screen time.

Come connect with us this Sunday, Oct 14th at 6pm. (2080 E. Tollhouse Rd, Clovis, Ca 93611). Click here to RSVP on Facebook, LOL.

It’s worth it.

August 22, 2012 — 7 Comments

If you follow my blog at all, you know very well that I am the Lead Pastor and Church Planter of Two Cities Church.

The other day I was in a Starbucks with a friend. We were talking about life in general and a young woman chimed in from several seats away. She said, “Your conversation is way more interesting than what we’re talking about down here.” Then she moved two seats down and joined in on our conversation. Needless to say, she’s not shy.

As we talked about life and eventually talked about the church plant, she made it very clear that she was uncomfortable with the idea that she just started talking to a pastor. She grew up in a church where you needed to know all the secret handshakes and rituals to interact with a pastor. She’s had her unfair share of interactions with insincere church people. She has no desire to be connected to anyone who is fake or playing church. But she was looking for something authentic. By the end of the conversation she asked us to keep her updated on the church plant, exchanged business cards and went our separate ways.

She wants something real. Something relevant. Something unpretentious. A place that doesn’t pretend to be perfect. And something worth bringing her family to.

That’s why we’re planting this church. I’m coming into contact with more and more people who have similar thoughts and interests. People who are disconnected with church. People who have some sort of faith background, but nobody to process biblical principles with and apply them to their lives. Are there great churches in town? Yes. But the people I’m running into are not in them and all the studies I’ve read on growing the Church, say that the fastest way to grown the Church (the Kingdom of God) is to plant churches. So, there will always be a need for more churches.

The #1 question I get is, “Where do you meet?” I respond by telling them about the process of planting a church, in the way that we’re choosing to do it. It’s not quick. We’re building our Launch Team and asking them to participate in “The 4 Things.” Because we know something from watching other church plants, you need a good foundation in order to sustain a church. So we’re not holding every week services until we know we can sustain it.

The 4 Things Are:

  • Strategic Service: Serve in the church in some way
  • Community Groups: Get involved in a small group
  • Percentage Giving: Determine a percentage you will give financially and give consistently
  • Invest & Invite: Invest in the people around you and invite them along

We feel that if we have 80 people committed to “the 4 things”, $20,000 in monthly giving and $100,000 in the bank for start-up costs that we’ll be in a great position to launch and sustain Two Cities Church. So our team is giving now, starting our first Launch Group (small group) next month, holding monthly informational and connection events and praying like crazy. There’s about 20 people committed to the 4 Things right now and that’s a great start, but that’s just the beginning.

Help us build Two Cities Church and pray about joining our team… It’s worth it.

If you’d like to know more about Two Cities Church, let’s grab a cup of coffee… or you can come to our next event in September (date pending). Comment below for more information.

What do you believe and how will it affect how Two Cities Church functions?

I’m getting some questions like the one above, not stated exactly like that, but in a roundabout way, this is what a few people are asking me. Let me answer that by listing our Core Values and a question that we ask that helps us to think through them:

  • Biblical Authority: Maximum freedom is found under the authority of the principles found in the Bible. Are your priorities consistent with scripture?
  • Intimacy with God: A person who is growing in their intimacy and relationship with God is applying truth rather than simply learning truth. Is your relationship with God growing?
  • Relevant Environments: It is our role to create relevant environments, it is God’s role to change lives. Are our environments appealing, engaging, and helpful?
  • Relational Evangelism: We must break free of the Christian sub-culture to engage with non-believers because God’s message of forgiveness through Christ is most effectively conveyed within the context of personal relationships. We deeply believe in the principle of Invest in people and Inviting them. In whom are you investing?
  • Authentic Community: Sustained life-change as well as accountability, belonging, care and spiritual growth happen most effectively with relationally connected believers. Are you in a small group?
  • Strategic Service: Our spiritual gifts have maximum impact when exercised in support of our strategy. The best way to figure out where to start serving, is to just serve somewhere. Where are you serving?
  • Intentional Apprenticeship: Success is succession. We are responsible to pass along to others the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that have been entrusted to us. Who are you apprenticing?

Each of these values are just words on a screen unless we, Two Cities Church, lives them out.

For more information and to be kept in the loop about what’s going on as we plant this new church in the Fresno/Clovis area, you can Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook.

One Week in Fresno

June 23, 2012 — 1 Comment

We’ve lived in Fresno for one week now. Some notes about the past week:

  • We went swimming last Sunday at Uncle Marc’s house and Josiah immediately got swimmer’s ear. So we’ve been dealing with that all-week, which has made it incredibly difficult to unpack and start meeting with people about Two Cities Church, but we made it. Today he woke up an amazing kid. He’s smiling, playing, laughing and he almost slept through the entire night last night. I feel blessed.
  • I was having lunch with someone at YardHouse (a new restaurant in town) and through the course of the conversation I heard him say something that stuck with me,  “I mean, what does it mean to be a man? A godly man yes, but even beyond that, what does it mean? I’d be interested in learning more about that.” And that gives me a great idea for an Access Group. More on that at a later date.
  • My dad has landed a temporary job in Fresno, which means for a while we get to hang out. So for the first time in probably 10 years, I saw my dad on Father’s Day. That was cool.
  • The house we’re living in is incredible. I don’t want to move for the next 20 years, at least. Our landlord heard what we’re doing and is letting us live here for a couple of months (free) and charging us a very minimal amount after that. I am so amazed at how God has answered that specific prayer.
  • Today as I was getting my haircut, I heard the life-story of the stylist. She told me that when she was 4, her family came to the states after running from the Communist Government in Vietnam. As a 4 year-old, she was put in prison, she had guns held to her head, she was on the run a lot. She also told me that she believes in “The Secret” and that “it really works.” I am heartbroken for her story, her family and I believe that it’s for people like her that we are planting Two Cities Church. She has no relationship with Jesus. She has a painful past and she’s looking for something. I believe Two Cities can be the place where she would love to attend (belong) and find community, that eventually leads her to a relationship with Jesus (believe), who will radically change her from the inside-out (be different).
  • Today I’m headed to the 59DaysofCode gathering. If you don’t know what that is, check out their website. The keynote speaker is the Mayor and I’m excited about that.
  • Brynn turned four weeks old yesterday!
  • I’m looking forward to Forrest and Christy’s wedding next weekend in Sebastopol!
  • That’s it for now!

*I had to add this image for the Fresno City Rams in honor of my father-in-law, Eric. You can’t have an image of Fresno State, without acknowledging City.*

New Vintage,

Thank you for the past three and half years. Thank you for helping to create a foundation for Josiah for us to build upon. Thank you for modeling how to create environments where unchurched and dechurched people can come, feel welcomed and want to come back. Thank you for accepting us in your family. Thank you for coming to support us today at our lunch. Thank you to those of you who have invested in our new church plant. Thank you for committing to praying for us. We will miss you.

We are around for about a month. So, this isn’t good-bye yet. If you weren’t able to make it to our lunch today, we’d love to share the vision of Two Cities Church with you.

If you’d like to partner with us as we plant this new church in the Fresno/Clovis, Ca area we would love your partnership in the mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ!

We are working on a digital giving option, but for now you can send checks payable to Two Cities Church:

Two Cities Church
c/o Micah Foster
1865 Herndon Ave K304
Clovis, Ca 93611

Want to stay informed about Two Cities Church?

TwoCitiesChurch.com
Facebook

Twitter

Here’s a couple of pictures from today’s lunch.