Deep Roots New Branches Campaign Kickoff–110,300 pledged! - Granite Springs Church

by  on MAY 7, 2012 for

Friends, we celebrate the generosity of so many.  The response to Deep Roots New Branches is overwhelming!  Many households are participating.  The total pledged today was just over $110,300.  Wow!

If you still hope to participate, gifts and pledges will be received over the next 20 months.  To view a detailed explanation of the Deep Roots New Branches campaign and to view a printable pledge card, click here.

As a community we are grateful for God’s faithfulness over these past 20 years and look forward to the next 20 together.  Here’s a few Deep Roots New Branches FAQ’s and answers…

What if I was not able to be present on May 6, 2012 for Pledge day?  Deep Root New Branches is a 20 month campaign.  Gifts and pledges over and above regular giving can be made at any time in the next 20th months.

What is the Deep Roots New Branches campaign goal?  $120,000.  We will update our progress towards this goal over the 20 month period.  Construction of the playground will begin when funds are in hand.  Outside grants are funding year one of the Hispanic ministry and Church Planting Residency.  Granite Springs’ obligation to these ministries kicks in for year two.

I keep hearing about these outside grants.  Where is this money coming from?  Granite Springs is privileged to be part of a nationwide network of churches that is committed to expanding ministry in North America.  Our denomination, (the Christian Reformed Church), our classis (regional body of churches), a special program called “Kingdom Enterprise Zones” have committed nearly $100,000 combined towards these new ministries.  In addition, Braden Kok is committed to raising another $50,000 over two years to support his residency.  Deep Roots New Branches is an extraordinary bargain for Granite Springs!

Can I set up automatic payments?  Can I give electronically?  Yes.  The simplest way to set up automatic payments is to use your bank’s web billpay system.  Most banks offer web billpay as a free service. Web billpay is convenient for you.  Updates to your scheduled payment can be made at any time on your banks website.  In addition, there are no fees associated with web billpay.  Granite Springs receives the full value of your donation.  You may also use the PayPal button on our website.  PayPal keeps a small percentage of your donation.  Please put DRNB in the memo line.

Our inability to honor Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17 has long been a witness to our lack of sanctification. It may surprise you that Classis can be a particularly good level to attempt to bridge denominational fissures.

Recently my classis celebrated a joint meeting of CRC Classis Central CA and RCA Classis Central CA with a joint educational day and reports from chief executives of the denominations and seminaries. It was a fantastic event.

The CRC’s article on the event featured a photo the two executive directors which tends to focus on the denominational level rather than the classical level. In all fairness it’s not easy to take a picture of a classis. Both Rev. Devries and Rev. Boot spoke about how this project is helping both denominations move closer together, and this I celebrate, but I think it’s also important to see how in many ways classis is a better initial level in which to pursue practical collaboration and unity.

The idea of the joint classis meeting came up rather spontaneously from the stated clerk of the RCA classis who is on our Kingdom Enterprise Zone team. He simply asked “could we have a joint meeting of classis?” We knew there would be come complications and expenses but we figured it was an idea worth exploring. We established a joint committee. They sent invitations to the various special guests all of which accepted. Even though much of the program benefited from these visitors and their presentations a lot of the real work was helping the CRC and the RCA leaders to get to know each other and to create a space where we can work together.

The Kingdom Enterprize Zone project  began in four regions: Wyoming Michigan, Florida, Tucson-Phoenix Arizona, and San Francisco-Sacramento California. Classis is the ideal level to engage in programs like these. If we didn’t have a classis we would have had to invent it to do this work. A classis is the right size to bring missional impact to a city or a region. Classes already know how to help individual churches collaborate. Classes already know how to run leadership training programs. Classes already know how leverage broader communal assets to help local churches plant new churches. Classes have all the skill sets required.

Part of the genius of the Kingdom Enterprize Zone program was to not focus on structural mergers but rather missional collaboration. We knew that if we started the conversation with the RCA at this level the conversation could very quickly fall into the “problem trap“. We knew that being together is better than being alone. We knew that both groups had strengths and opportunities where the other had areas of challenge and need and that perhaps working together could yield greater kingdom impact.

As is the case in any new venture trying something new will reveal unforseen challenges. Both denominations have their own challenges to face. Working together at the classical level, however, can help keep our view of the challenges at a workable size. The groups are small enough that people are knowable. The distances are short enough that a car trip can get us there. The finances aren’t so huge that partners can’t be found. It’s a good place to begin.

Is there an RCA classis near you that you can approach and begin to talk about relating with? Part of the fun of this project has been seeing relationships begin spontaneously in areas where there are no Kingdom Enterprize Zones. All you need to begin is a bit of willingness and a desire to see some of these historical divisions healed.


One Year Ago – Lifespring Church, FL

One year ago we (Pastors Andrea and Nate DeWard) were in Orlando for several days, having been invited by a team of respected church leaders to take part in an intensive interview/assessment/discernment process.  We were asked to consider whether starting a new church in Florida was the right “next step” that God was leading us to take after 8 years of ministry in Michigan.

For several days we and other potential church planters were stretched and challenged as we talked and prayed through the big question, “Are you ready to risk everything and trust God to help you start a new church in a place where you don’t know anybody?”  Big question indeed!

Finally the team of leaders met for decision time on Wednesday afternoon (March 23, 2011).  While the “interviewers” were sequestered in a room talking and praying, those of us who had been the “interviewees” went out in the Florida sunshine and gathered for our own time of prayer.

It had been an amazing week together, and we had grown to care for one another.  All were keenly aware that in a few short hours some of us would be invited to move to Florida and start one of 5 new churches being planned there.  We also realized that while all of us would be affirmed and encouraged for our gifts in ministry, some of us would hear the team’s discernment that this particular opportunity was not the right fit at this time.  And so, we prayed in love and unity, with passion and some emotion, not knowing who would be moving ahead together in this new adventure, and who would continue to search and be called elsewhere to serve God.

After hugs and goodbyes and well wishes, we each left the conference center to go out to dinner with a member of the team who would tell us the news.  As we drove, we noticed a sky-writer plane leaving white puffs of penmanship in the clear blue canvas above.  J…  We watched in curiosity as each letter slowly formed with every twist and turn of the plane.  J-E-S-U-S.  Oh, how cool is that!  We snapped pics and stared as the trails in the heavens continued to unfold.  Crawling along in rush hour traffic, we craned our necks to see.  L-O-V-E-S   U.  Oh, wow, that’s really neat.  JESUS LOVES U!  We joked with our team member, “How’d you manage that?  You’re REALLY trying to impress us, huh?”

The first words were already floating away when we realized the sky-writer wasn’t done.  Our traveling position had changed such that no good picture angle was available, but each swoop left its carefully choreographed cloud, spelling out T-R-U-S-T.  Never a more fitting word for the present circumstance we found ourselves in.  Finally J-E-S-U-S appeared above us again.  TRUST JESUS!

Seriously?  Yes.  No joke.


How good is God to speak to us in the Florida sky!

One year later, here we are – we’ve moved to Florida, and a new church is growing as we TRUST JESUS.  LifeSpring Church is all about sharing the message JESUS LOVES U and we will Go. Show. Love. in 2012 and beyond!



My First Day at Granite Springs. - Granite Springs Church, CA

Do you remember the first day you walked through the doors of Granite Springs Church?  Perhaps it was quite recently.  Perhaps, it was a long time ago.

My first day at Granite Springs was July 29, 2001.  Sheri and I had been married for just over a year.  We had no kids.  I was a seminary intern about to embark on a twelve month internship.  Granite Springs was meeting in a warehouse on Cincinnati Avenue in Rocklin at the time.

The platform on that first Sunday was full of camping gear.  There was a backpack, some hiking boots, a small fire—well, not a real fire thankfully.  But a mockup of a campfire.  And of course a tent.  The message series centered on the life of David—the future king who often found himself on the run in the wilderness.  As we gathered to pray for that service that day—the musicians, the singers and maybe an usher or two—someone suggested that I hide in that tent.  Well that’s quite an idea!  I had actually thought of it myself, but didn’t really dare suggest it. J  So there it was…I hide in that tent until the time of the children’s message.  Then come out and speak to the kids.  Yes, I had been given the assignment to offer a message to the children the night before.  Say something to introduced yourself, Kevin had said.  And feel free to tie in some of your camping experience too.  Sure, I said.  (We now give children’s message volunteers a couple weeks to prepare.  What a luxury!)  “Well OK”, I thought.  Here we go!

The kids were invited up front to the platform by the music leader.  But when they arrived on stage, there was no one to lead the children’s message.  Then, I started making yawning noises from inside that tent.  And out I popped—like a girl in a birthday cake?  Well not exactly!  But pretty crazy nonetheless.  Sheri and I felt warmly welcomed on that first day.  We received a basket of food as a housewarming gift.  People introduced themselves to us.  Even then, we knew we belonged.

Perhaps the first time you darkened the door of a church—any church, you weren’t looking to make such a conspicuous entrance—by coming out of a tent!  Quite likely you hoped to remain “under the radar.”  Maybe you were looking to meet some friends.  Or perhaps you had unspoken, unarticulated spiritual longings you hoped to fill.  Somewhere along the way something happened and you stuck.  We’re glad you’re here!  We’d love to hear your stories too.  Granite Springs is celebrated 20 years of being church this April.  It’s 20 years full of joy, full of mess, full of life on track and life in the wilderness.  Today or anytime in the next month, tell us your story right here.

Doug Bouws, Pastor of Hospitality, Granite Springs Church

Happy 20th Birthday Granite Springs!  And don’t forget to check out the events below.

This Sunday…Happy Birthday!

Cake Cutting, Stories and Pictures.

April 8  Easter—bring a friend.

April 15  Deep Roots:  Anniversary Lunch— Celebrating 20 years of grace and new churches planted in the Sacramento region.*

April 22  New Branches:  Lincoln hispanic ministry and church planting residency starting this summer!

April 29  A Birthday Present for Granite Springs—new gathering spaces for young and old, play area and patio  landscaping.

May 6  Vision Offering:  Celebration and pledge day.


Another Block Party!  Lifespring Church in Lithia, FL

We had so much fun at our Block Party on Saturday at Valrico Academy that we decided to keep the block party trailer for another week and host another one!

This time we’ll be at the park at the front entrance to Boyette Creek Subdivision for more FREE Spring Break Family Fun! Follow the link to see our block party invitation – please feel free to download and print, or share the link with friends and family!

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