Saturday, February 28, 2009

Team

There is great value in working with a team. About 1x per month our team of elders gets together and talks through the "state of the church." How are we doing? What is coming up next? What concerns are there? I give a report on our campus...and others share about their ministries...But here is the thing that jumped out at me again this morning...(as we met at 6 a.m. at our Goshen Campus!) We really do love each other and have fun together. This morning in just a couple of hours...we talked through A LOT of stuff...we praised God...called on God...cried...laughed...and it is cool that there is no "posturing" happening in this room...I truly believe that every one of these men have my and the church's best interest in mind. Pastor Jim has developed a team that is rock solid...it's a dream team of sorts! I love these guys and am THANKFUL to be in the middle of what God is doing at Grace!

Then why send Jesus?

I read a quote in the newspaper from a church leader that said close to the following: "I believe that God is going to let a whole lot more people into heaven than some Christians think."

Here is the question that I have wrestled with since I read that...If God is just going to let most if not all people in...especially if that means people who do or don't put Jesus in charge of their lives...then why in the WORLD did he send his son to suffer and die. Really...I'm not going to send my son to suffer for something if I don't think it was necessary to save the world! Right?!?!If we can be "good enough" on our own to get into heaven, then why was Jesus needed?!

Friday, February 27, 2009

What is going on?

I can't explain this to you...but I have this sense that God is up to something...I have had this feeling several times in my life...when I gave my life to Jesus...when I asked this beautiful woman to marry me...when I turned down what I thought was my dream job...when I took a position teaching at LaSalle Academy...when I quit my job to do this church planting thing...when I believed that God wanted us to start a church in South Bend that would love people and love him AND they would reach the community for him...now I have this new pull in my gut. This positive tension...this stirring that I cannot explain or put my finger on...but you know what?! I like it! I like the feeling that God is moving us toward something...I long to know what that looks like and I will continue to BEG God to show me more...Until then...I will keep doing the things he has called me to do...Love Him and Love people...These feeling really amp up my prayer life, because I want what GOD wants for HIS church...Oh, I like what God is doing here at Grace...My prayer is that our church gets to be in the middle of the wave that he is sending our way...that we are prayed up...that our eyes are wide open to what HE wants and who he wants us to encourage...build up...help...reach...whatever..."Hey God...Grace is IN...for whatever it is and whatever it looks like. We're in!" (Ephesians 3: 20-21)

grace...

we don't deserve it...we can't earn it...and yet HE GIVES it to us...FOR FREE...Wow...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Time...so R U In?

That's the question...for the next few weeks, here at Grace SB/Mish we will be talking about R U In? We've said that It's Time...so now the question has to be asked R U In? So...are you?! More details coming soon...

Pastor's Update

Here is my update for this week...tried to go outside to do it, but the rain kinda messes with my laptop! Been talking about grace...man...I can't WAIT for Sunday's message!! BE READY!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ3NXBo6J0Q

Resolve.

Kelsey and I finished watching 24, Season 2 last night. A leadership principle just jumped out at me as we watched the final couple of episodes. President Palmer had conviction and was willing to face losing his presidency to stand by his convictions. The thought hit me..."Tim, are you at a place in the church where you have that much resolve?" Am I prayed up and read up...fasted up and listening enough to God, other leaders and his people...that I would say that God is leading me and our church in a direction...I believe that God speaks through all of his people, so I need to be listening to counsel and how others sense what God is saying...The bottom line though is if God is leading us and showing us the direction to go I MUST be willing to face whatever opposition comes...from whatever direction!

I am seeking God a little harder today...begging and pleading with him a little stronger...I love HIS church and want to do everything that he wants me to do...and to do that by HIS wisdom. That it is HIS Spirit that is guiding me and directing me. I want that kind of resolve for HIS church..."God I beg you for clear direction!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nice!

I love how God is working on his people at the same time...I finished my last post and headed to read a few pastor's blogs. I have about 3-5 guys that I check and read everyday...key leaders in our community and around the U.S. I landed on Mark Batterson's blog...he is a multisite pastor in D.C. and his post "One Day" hits on some of the things I was just talking about...click on the link to read his post...you'll be glad you did!

http://www.evotional.com/

How do you spend your time?

I love how God works...just last week I was talking with a mentor of mine about time...how I spend it...how to have better discipline in my life...am I truly spending my time on the things that really matter? Am I wasting too much time on things that don't!? Am I actually ENGAGING God's Word or just reading it? How often am I on my knees...and how often am I seeking God's heart and talking with him?

Then this week, I'm talking with Jim (our lead guy) and updating him about life at our campus...and he challenged me (and all of the other guys) to track what we are doing...every hour for the next two weeks. To see how we are spending our time...are we making the most of it...are we wasting it away...What are we really doing...What a challenge. To maximize my time for what God wants...for my family...for people...

I went back over my Monday and worked through what I did...I often pray that I will have the chance to impact people...that I will work with God's speed...that he will guard-protect me, my family and my church...that he will give me opportunities to share about him...give me wisdom beyond my years and understanding..."God I long to be used by you...help me to maximize my time for eternal things..."

Could I be that old?!

I walk into Ugly Mugs this morning a little early. Jerimae and I meet for staff meeting there every other week...I see a woman there and recognize her...in fact we tried to figure out where we knew each other from once before. Then it hits me...She went to Bremen High School when I used to teach there...I helped with the band (I was the Elementary Music Teacher) a few times and she was the section leader. BUT NOW...she has been a nurse for 5+ years...YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME...that would make me kinda old then...she must have been a senior at 18 and I was 22 or 23...that has to be it...no way that I'm old enough to have a former student who have been out of school and working for more than 5 years! NO WAY!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Frustrated...

Ever just want some answers and yet you know that you probably won't get them? Tonight is one of those nights! My biggest mentor in the music program at Grace was informed last week that they are eliminating her position. I would like to know how you eliminate YOUR ONLY Full-time OR part-time music ed. prof...and a prof who is OUTSTANDING...PASSIONATE... AND TRULY loves her students and what she teaches. One who has helped to build the program to a very high and respectable level...She has literally given her LIFE to Grace...UNBELIEVABLE.

Now...I'll confess that I don't have all the information, I'm reacting emotionally and the fact that if it wasn't for Ardi Faber I would have NEVER been a music ed. major...and never would have been a teacher...SO I am VERY biased...VERY, VERY biased!! My hope is that within the next 6 months, I'll get to post something about how Grace hired her back full-time...how she will still get to invest in MY alma mater...That is my hope...AND I will tell you though...some school out there is going to get a gem if Grace doesn't hire her back...There is a very blessed school out there...(HEY BETHEL...bring her up here...then she can come to my church!!)

My heart aches tonight for her...she is an amazing woman...woman of God...amazing musician...teacher...conductor...the school will miss her...unfortunately, the students both current and future will miss her as well. Prof...thanks for all that you have done for me, for music students at Grace and for the development of the music program at Grace. We love you!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What a weekend...and I still have small group tonight!

Saturday morning started it off...I met with our team that will be going to China...this is going to be an amazing trip...Not able to go into the details, but would appreciate your prayers...heading out March 23 for 10 days and am rallying my prayer/financial support...GREAT TEAM!

Last night was...fun...great memories...good laughs...renewed friendship...just a great time with Jason and Bill...I hoped that it would be fun...I figured that Bill, Jason and I would share some stories and laughs. I didn't know...that after almost 18 years since the last time all 3 of us were together...if we would really reconnect...would the friendship be renewed or would it just a fun night and see you in another 18 years.

I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THESE GUYS AGAIN! Can't wait to have our families hang out sometime...would love for Kelsey and the kids meet these guys and their families. Just a blast sharing old and new stories and stirring up a friendship with 2 of my closest H.S. buds! Thanks for taking the time guys...it was worth it!

This mornings service was good...the worship time brought me to tears several times...the picks of the orphans that we support in Asia...thinking that these kids now have a home and people that love them...the music was WOW! Jim's message on Grace was powerful...frustrating from a tech point of view because the video would hesitate..........for...............a moment...........every........once.......in a........while. The message came through though and the ending made you forget the faults in the video. We finished with Amazing Grace...beautiful...moving...powerful...

And the weekend isn't over...small group is in a couple hours!

Well we showed up at Frickers in Maumee, OH last night at 5...5:30 and the next thing we knew it was 9:30 and time to hit the road. We talked about our families...jobs...the army...old High School and Middle School stories...might have been a sarcastic comment or 2 mixed in too. Bill still lives around Manchester (that was our town in the Akron area) so it was fun to hear about what other friends were doing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Deutsch & Roth

Leaving in just a couple of minutes to go hang with Jason and Bill...(Deutsch & Roth)...we were buds in High School...I haven't seen Jason since we graduated and Bill only a few times. Jason is in MI, Bill OH, and me IN...3 states...we're meeting half way at a Sports Bar. Looking forward to catching up with these two!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hey Pastors...GET OUT OF THE OFFICE!

I'm sitting here in Ugly Mugs Cafe again today...I've done some reading...plan to work on a few other things before I head down to the office. I love the atmosphere up here. For one...I get to see outside!! (My office doesn't have any windows!) There is another reason why I come up here and work...I get to meet and talk with people. Today, I walked in and Richard was sitting there. Richard is a retired Catholic School teacher. We've had some "light" spiritual conversations and many conversations about life, politics, culture, our community. Today he told me about one of his rentals that is open. This connection may get him to heaven and might get someone a place to live.

THEN, I'm reading my Bible and the newspaper (in that order by the way...) and this young man starts to talk with me. He is new to South Bend...just been traveling around...we talked about some of his travels and about my church and what I do...then came the bridge...I asked him what his spiritual journey has been...he talked a couple of minutes and then "had to go." I could just FEEL The spiritual battle around this guy. I am PRAYING for Ryan!! He needs Jesus and has good questions that he is wrestling through.

MY POINT...PASTORS we HAVE TO get out of the office...out of the comfort of our laptops and Spiritual bubbles and go connect with people. We CANNOT just expect them to come to us...We must go see them. So, join me guys...out at the coffee shops, the bars, the sports complexes, the neighborhoods, the schools, the workplaces...and let's SHARE the love of Jesus with people WHERE THEY ARE.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Proverbs 19: 20-21

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.

Many are the plnas in a mans heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yep...I was "that" guy...

So here I was today...after work...standing in line waiting for Walmart workers to unload their truck so I could HOPE to get a converter box. Yeah...I was that guy...the one that waited until the last minute to get his coupon...the one who waited until the last minute to get his box...the one ALL OF YOU LAUGH AT because he is in line and YOUR NOT! It was an interesting experience for me...there were at least 30 of us procrastinators standing in the Electronics section together...All with that look of..."yeah, we're idiots and should have come weeks ago!" And yeah, I acted like I was looking for a digital camera, TV's, but finally had to stand around like everyone else. I did have visions of sneaking up to the cart when they brought them in and just taking one before anyone else could! AND I'll confess that I ended up leaving before I had one...it was a risk...BUT then I came back an hour later ONLY TO PASS A GUY LEAVING THE STORE THAT I WAS STANDING IN LINE WITH EARLIER! He waited over an hour for one of those babies!

Oh...to answer your question...I did finally get one with my coupon and it is hooked up...Better late than never!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Father in-law


As I just mentioned in my last post, Kelsey's dad just turned 60 this past weekend. I have to say that my passion for Church Planting and the Word of God comes from him. I remember back about 13 or 14 years ago, when he first planted the thought in my head about being involved with a church that plants churches. I still remember my first thought: "ARE YOU CRAZY DAD?!?! WHY WOULDN'T YOU WANT ONE BIG CHURCH?!?!" Now here I am...with a HUGE HEART to see Grace Community Church planting churches all over Michiana...this state...nation and world...AND I want all churches to join us in the process. Because where there are new churches-there are new believers...new life! THANKS DAD for sharing your passion with me.

BUT it doesn't stop there...he has a BIG heart for the Word of God and helping anyone and everyone understand it better. He is an amazing teacher...he brings things out of the Word that no one else sees...he makes Theology come to life. I love that about him! He works for Grace College and Seminary in their prison program and it is not a job for him...he is PASSIONATE about teaching those men about Jesus and his Word and PASSIONATE about investing himself in the lives of those men...


BUT I'M NOT DONE...the best part about this is that I get to be his son in-law! We have had some fun times around the table playing games...talking life-family-church...shedding tears together...long talks about church and family...I have learned so much from him and I love him with my whole heart...(I'm crying as I type this!)...I'm glad God put me in dad's family...I know that dad will one day hear "well done, my good and faithful servant!" Because of how he has lived and how he has invested his life in people...Love you dad...

My wife's new hobby...and I like it!!




Kelsey started taking her first cake decorating class in January and LOVES IT! Guess what?!?! So do I! Lots of cake and icing!! Here are a couple of pics of her cakes from this past weekend...her dad turned the big 6-0 this weekend and she made the Valentine cupcakes for the kid's school...she is getting GOOD!

Monday Reflections...


What a weekend! An amazing Blitz on Saturday as we passed out over 300 Hershey Bars to people on Valentine's Day...The cool part was to do it at a time when so many hard things are happening. There were a lot of smiles on people's faces. (Especially when we gave chocolate to the guys working at Cardinal Fitness! A little junk-food for the healthy ones!) It was sooooooo fun serving people.


Sunday morning was moving for me...Jerimae and Kyle just rocked...it was way more than just rockin' music...it was the heart and passion for Jesus that they both displayed. I was in tears as Kyle prayed over our church. I just love those guys...they love Jesus and show it!


The message was incredible..."It's Time to Out Lead" Just good to hear Jim's heart for leadership and seeing the characteristics that Jesus displayed...he is the perfect example of leadership!! A few things that jumped out at me...

-Greatest leader ever was Jesus Christ

-Jesus hand picked his team...there was no vote...no consensus

-Keys to picking good teams...Character...Competence...AND Chemistry...

-Many leadership teams fail because they only focus on the first 2 and don't focus on Chemistry

-Cast a compelling vision...Jesus did!

-Keep your passion Hot!

-Jesus confronted people

-Jesus continued to learn and grow...so if he did, we better too!

-You will find resistance!

-Jesus refreshed himself...took time to be alone...to pray

-Jesus had lonely times...

-Jesus finished strong...FOLLOW THROUGH!


Something is happening at Grace right now...something that I can't put my finger on...a move of the Spirit...I can't explain it, but I and others feel it...and I have to say...I LIKE IT! "SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD...LEAD US...GUIDE US...POUR OUT YOUR WISDOM ON US...WE NEED YOU!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day


It was 14 years ago that I got to spend my first Valentine's Day with Kelsey...we had been dating for about 3 or 4 days...I was madly in love...dreaming of a wedding and what life would be like to be married to Kelsey. I'll just say...WOW...after 12 years of marriage...3 kids...I am more madly in love with her than ever. There is a beauty that I see in her today, that I didn't see back then...something way beyond her outward beauty...something that I can't put my finger on...something that I can't explain...something down deep inside of me...a mix of admoration for who she is and her love for Jesus, for me and the kids...something...does this make sense to anyone?!?! Cause it does to me!! I SURE LOVE YOU KELSEY LYNN BOUCHER!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunday Service...

I was moved...challenged...encouraged...Jim spoke Sunday on "It's Time to Out Give." I long to be involved in the Acts 2 church and believe that we are starting to taste that. In my small group Sunday night we challenged ourselves to pray about an opportunity to do something our in the community...some way to encourage...build up...just simply touch people...then BAM...right as we were praying an idea popped up to take meals to family that is struggling to make it in our church. It was AWESOME...EVERYONE was on board...Everyone wanted to help this family...we prayed and didn't have to even wait a week.

So, here is something we are wrestling with as a church right now...we are praying about our location...we love the atmosphere of the movie theater and have been praying about other options too...A place that gives us our offices and services in one location...a place where we can still have the atmosphere like the theater...Actually I have been kinda looking for months...praying that God leads us to the spot he wants...Movies 14 or somewhere else. We are in "talks" with a new location (actually old!, but new to us) in a store front...no final details...no definates...just stepping forward as God hasn't closed any doors and just keeps creaping them open!

Here is the deal for me...I DO NOT want a building or location to distract us from what is most important...and that is POURING OUR LIVES INTO PEOPLE...So, we are praying...actually I'm heading over to the location tonight to pray outside the doors...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Savin' $ in '09

Yep...I had a 4 hour dentist appointment today! 4 hours long...you are wondering to yourself..."did he have a major procedure done?" "How many cavities do you have, Boucher?" NONE OF THE ABOVE...just a routine cleaning. I went to the IUSB (Indiana University South Bend) Dental Clinic...had a dental hygienist in-training clean my teeth. Step-by-step-by step...take down your information (45 minutes)...look over your teeth (45 minutes)...wait for the professor (or whatever they call them) to o.k. the next step (15 minutes) and so on! So yep...I was a guinea pig today. She did a good job...it had been 2 years since my last cleaning and no cavities...Flossing does work! So, why did I go there...I would like to say it is because I wanted to be used to help train...blah, blah, blah...BUT I went because it is cheap! Kelsey, Chloe, Jaden and I all went for about what it would cost for only me at the "real" dentist!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Some thoughts on leadership...

I'm reading the book Tribes...GREAT book on leadership. Here are some quotes from my reading today...

"The secret of being wrong isn't to avoid being wrong!"
"The secret is being willing to be wrong."
"The secret is realizing that wrong isn't fatal."

"Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there."

The Church

The church is people...not buildings...not programs...not stuff...The church IS people...there aren't people in the church...People don't come to church...People ARE the church...so how do you think "The church" should spend her time and resources? Ummm...ahhhhhh...well...OH... ON PEOPLE!

I spent part of my morning meeting with Carrie Call a professor at St. Mary's College and former pastor. She has been part of a study on the spiritual climate of this area...I am more in love with our community now than I was before! Our community needs us to LISTEN first...we need to be compassionate to people...Some people in our community STRONGLY disagree with what we, as followers Jesus stand for...so how should we respond to them. How we respond will determine whether they are willing to hear our message and will determine how they view Jesus.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pastor's Update

video

When it hits home...

After 15 years working for the same company, my mom was laid off yesterday...She has done more than punch a time clock...more than just "done her job..." she really loves the people she works with and works for...has invested herself well into people. My heart aches for her...please pray...right now...for her and all of the thousands of people who are looking for work...who have been like my mom and poured themselves into their jobs to not have them anymore. And remember this...God was not surprised by this either...he has not changed...his love has not changed...his compassion has not changed and his COME THROUGH POWER has DEFINATELY not changed!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spiritual Training

Just like an athlete, we have to train our bodies and minds in order to have the spiritual, physical and emotional energy and strength to do what God has called us to...So, how are you doing with this? We're a month into the new year...we've set some goals (and if you haven't...GET BUSY!)...how are the goals going? Some tweaking that needs to take place? What can you celebrate?

These are the questions I asked myself this week...I set personal, family and church goals...and I will be evaluating them at the beginning of every month...I want more this year...I want to have clear direction and goals help me with that...So, set some goals or evaluate where you are...Let's see God do more through us than we have ever realized!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Reflections...

Integrity...what an important-VITAL thing to live out. Pastor Jon spoke yesterday (he's our children's pastor at our Goshen Campus) and MAN...he nailed us...here are some Sunday morning highlights...
-The praise band ROCKED...just amazing time praising God!
-GREAT conversations in the hallways...lots of interaction
-I believe stronger now than ever before that God is about to do something amazing through us
-Quotes from Jon:
"Our word is everything"
"If our actions don't match our faith there is no integrity."
"You will often stand alone (when you walk with integrity)"
"You will have to stand last in line"
"God promises to give us everything we need."
"God gives us resources not to make us comfortable, but to make us more capable!"
"I will stand until the very end."
"Solomon took 7 years to build God's temple and 13 to build his palace." SOMETHING IS WRONG!
"God will give us the strength to stand up under" EVERYTHING in our path.