Archives For mentors

Holy Week is supposed to be an emotional roller coaster. I mean, it’s the week Jesus entered into Jerusalem triumphantly, had an epic meal with his best friends, was betrayed with a kiss, put on trial and executed by the Romans by the pressure of the Jewish leaders and some of the people who were praising him, just one week earlier. That’s a roller coaster.

Add to that the sixth-monthiversary of Two Cities Church and our very first Easter service! There’s some emotion there too.

But this year, Easter weekend was marked by a life-event I never wanted to experience.

Easter Sunday I preached a message about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and how that’s the first-fruit of the resurrection of all of God’s adopted children. But what made that so extremely personal was that as I was preaching, my mom was on her death bed and hardly responsive. She had spent the previous 2-weeks in the hospital and at one point we thought she made a turn and was in recovery mode, but then took another turn.

On Thursday night, the night before Good Friday, I got a call from my sister saying, “You’ve got to come back to the hospital. She’s ready to go home.” Which you’ve got to understand home was not her house. Home meant heaven. So Erica and I rushed over to the hospital and all I could think was, “Of course. She’ll probably wait until 12:01am on Good Friday to go home.” But she didn’t, she hung on. She hung on for my brother to fly in, for my uncle Larry, my aunt Melody, my grandma Dessa and a whole host of others to come say good-bye.

One of the most heart-breaking and memorable things I’ve ever heard was my grandma walking into my parent’s house, seeing my mom on hospice, sitting by her side and saying, “I came to go with you the rest of the way. We started this journey together, just the two of us, long ago and we can finish it together.”

Two days after Easter, on April 7, 2015 Cheryl “Mots” Foster died. My biggest cheer-leader. My go-to person for some encouragement or wisdom. My spiritual role-model. My Mots. But not just my Mots, my dad’s wife, my brother’s mother, my sister’s mother, my wife’s mother-in-law, my kid’s grandma. Our Mots and maybe even your Mots.

The last thing I ever said to her was, “I’ll either see you tomorrow or in heaven. I love you Mots.” And I really do believe that I will see her again.

I could write volumes upon volumes on my mom. Maybe one day I will. But for now, I’ll leave you with this… a video of the celebration we had in her honor this past Saturday. Here are some details.

  • I had the honor to officiating and planning the Celebration.
  • My sister read the obituary.
  • My Uncle Larry told some great stories.
  • My Dad told the story about how they met in Yosemite.
  • My brother talked about her legacy.
  • Around 300 people from all over California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Texas came out to celebrate her life.
  • The majority of us wore RED because that was her favorite color.
  • She had one request in relation to her celebration… she wanted Jill Douty to sing ROAR by Katy Perry. It was her life anthem this past year.
  • We didn’t have a traditional guest book, because that just wasn’t her style. So I had asked my friend’s Josh and Hilary Dildine to create a thumbprint tree for our guest book (pictured below).
  • And we feasted on some great food after the celebration.

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Entire Celebration:

Starting at the eulogy and to the end:

Thank you to all of you who have provided meals, support, love, lent your talent, given hugs and prayed for our family. We have felt your love and will continue on with the mission of Jesus Christ. We love you all.

Volunteer Staff

July 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

volunteer
Before we began the journey of church-planting, Paul Haugen and I met with Steve Davidson, Co-Lead Pastor of Clovis Hills Community Church. I wanted to let him know that we appreciate the work he and Clovis Hills has done in our community and in many ways we “stand on the shoulders” of him and several other pastors in town who have paved the way for church-planting in our two cities. While picking his brain on the experience he had in church planting he told me to get as many qualified volunteer staff as possible to take on certain tasks and departments.

In that spirit and following my previous post Who is our Customer, I thought it would be fitting to introduce our volunteer staff at Two Cities Church. So here’s a snapshot of our volunteer staff positions. These are people who have decided they want to be a part of this to the point where they will put in extra time and use the talents they have to further the mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. There are four main departments in terms of staff structure at Two Cities. Those are: Service Programming, Family Ministry, Group Life, and Ministry Services. Many of use wear multiple hats and in some cases, in multiple departments. Over the long haul that won’t work, but we will always be working to replace ourselves. In no particular order…

(the following pictures were taken from their twitter profiles, so that’s why paul looks like a little girl… lol)

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Paul Haugen, Service Programming Director [In 2014, Paul became a part-time staff member, while holding down two other jobs.]
@haugenpaul

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Erica Foster, Children’s Ministry Director, Waumba Land Director
@ericafoster

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Erika Loach, UpStreet Director
@erikaloach

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Chris Loach, Director of Ministry Services, UpStreet Large Group Coordinator, Student Ministry Director
@chrisloach

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Darren Grubel, Production Director, Media Director
@darrengrubel

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Thilani Grubel, Media Director, Production Vol. Coordinator, Graphic Designer
@thilanigrubel

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Tim Douty, Music Director
@timdouty

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Jill Douty, Vocal Director
@jilldouty

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Brian Weber, Guest Services Director
@BrianDoesn’tTweet

I imagine that in the coming months we will discover amongst our team a great Group Life Director, team captains for many strategic service teams and lots of fantastic volunteers! The people listed above are just the volunteer STAFF, not all of the volunteers, but the ones specific asked to fill a role that in the future, may be full-time, part-time or contract work. Every one of these people has filled these rolls before at different churches,

[Last updated on July 11, 2014]

From the very beginning Two Cities Church sought to partner with two organizations that have unique ways to help us have a successful launch. Both organizations have helped us wade through a lot of legal and leadership details. These organizations are North Point Ministries and Growing Healthy Churches.

We started our formal relationship with GHC in mid January. Here’s a little video about who they are and where they’ve come from.

Who I Learn From

September 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

Leaders need to constantly learn. I’ve often heard it said, “leaders are learners.” I’ve just started a new conference call that I’m really excited about. Through our partnership with North Point Ministries, I get to learn from other guys who are church planting. The best part is, they are further along than I am. I’m the “greenest” planter in the bunch. They challenge me just by telling their story. They inspire me just by telling me their context. Yesterday we told our story in 10 minutes or less each. Next time we meet together we’ll be starting a discussion on the new Andy Stanley book Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. Since that’s exactly what we are all doing, it’s very appropriate.

conf call

So who are you learning from and with? It’s important.

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

I first heard about North Point in the fall of 2006, when Erica and I were taken by a church we worked for to their Drive Conference. It was a game changing experience. I loved working in ministry, but felt like something was missing. What was missing? A clear sense of strategy and a calling for specific way to do ministry. North Point and Andy Stanley gave me words to say what I already felt in my soul. Here are two videos about the history of this great part of the body-of-Christ:

Want to know more about what was so incredible? Here’s a post I wrote a little while back on it.

This post if part of my life mentors blog series. More posts here:
Andy Benton
Cheronn Foster
Jason Foster
Coach Vance Walberg
Westin Noble 

Mentors: Heather Bishop

February 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

This post is part of my Mentors Blog Post Series.

Mid-year, my sophomore year at Buchanan High School, I transferred schools to Clovis West High School. There were several factors, one was that I did not connect with any teacher, staff, or administration. I believe that wherever you are, it’s important to find those who can mentor you. At Buchanan, I had none. I knew the choir program was amazing at Clovis West, because my sister was a part of it and I also knew the German program was good. Since I planned on spending some time in Germany during my college years, I knew that would be a plus.

When I transferred, it was with one of my best friends, Gerald. We both joined choir right away and met Mrs. Heather Bishop. She was a great influence and mentor all through out high school and beyond. She was also a gracious host when a church I worked at was using her rooms while being a portable church. But you don’t have to take my word for it. She’s now at Clovis North and was recently named KSEE 24’s Educator of the Week. Click the image above to watch the video.

One current student says:

She is so amazingly talented and we would be nothing without her coaching. She doesn’t help just the choir sound better, she helps each individual voice, so it’s a great product.

Past Mentors Blog Posts:
Andy Benton
Cheronn Foster
Jason Foster
Coach Vance Walberg
Westin Noble 

Mentors: Westin Noble

February 24, 2012 — Leave a comment

This is the fifth installment in my Mentors Blog Series. Today I honor Westin Noble. I met Westin Noble during a trip to New York to compete in a chorale competition at the Lincoln Center and I’ve only had one email conversation with him since then to thank him for his mentorship. The total sum of his mentoring was in the form of encouragement. He was conducting us and doing a workshop with our choir and he stopped the song in the middle. He walked over to me and he said, “You’re a beautiful man.” I don’t know why, but that stuck with me. Something about the way he noticed me in a crowd of people, stopped everything and chose to recognize me was powerful. It gave me great courage in a time when I was trying to figure some things out.

Later I learned some other interesting tidbits about him. The most notable was his involvement in WWII. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Due largely to the intense patriotism of World War II, and anticipating an eventual call-up, Noble volunteered for military service and was called to active duty in February 1943, in the spring of his senior year. Nevertheless, arrangements were made for him and others to accelerate their studies and complete their final semester prior to commencement. He graduated magna cum laude. Trained as a tank driver, he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and was part of the main Allied thrust into the heart of Nazi Germany in 1945. Noble “liberated” some items from Berlin during the initial stages of the Allied occupation, including a marble bust of Beethoven previously owned by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, which he mailed home among several items.

Pretty amazing right?

Past Mentor Blog Posts:
Andy Benton
Cheronn Foster
Jason Foster
Coach Vance Walberg

This is the fourth installment of my Mentors Blog Series. Today I honor Coach Vance Walberg. He is currently the Assistant Coach at UMASS, but he was the Varsity Boy’s Basketball Coach at Clovis West High School while I was in school there. He was also my PE Coach. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but a PE Coach CAN have a profound impact on someone. I was never a motivated PE student, but there was something about Walberg that motivated and inspired me. One thing you’ve got to know about me is that negative motivators have little-to-no affect on me. Walberg drew it out, he made you believe you could do anything and then you would do it. He was tough on his students, but in a positive way. He made the class come together, cheer each other on and he forced us to know all about Character Counts.

I remember him teaching us about TRRFCC (Terrific). This acronym is what enabled me to remember the 6 Pillars of Character Counts.

  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship

If you dig up the dirt, you know he wasn’t perfect. But looking past anything negative, this guy I respect. He wrote a college recommendation for me to Pepperdine, where he later coached for two years. He was one of my mentors.

Past Mentor Blog Posts:
Andy Benton
Cheronn Foster
Jason Foster

Mentors: Jason Foster

February 22, 2012 — Leave a comment

This is the third installment of my mentors blog series. Today I recognize my brother, Jason, as a mentor. There are really two main reasons I think he’s been a great mentor in my life. 1. He’s shown me a lot about fatherhood. You don’t realize how much you pick up on that stuff, until you have your own kids. 2. He, like my sister, has taken control of his life in the area of physical fitness. I used to be the skinny one in the family. But my siblings are putting me to shame, running all their marathons and for those two reasons. I am proud to say that Jason is one of my mentors.

Past Mentor Blog Posts:
Andy Benton
Cheronn Foster