Happy New Year! I pray that this year will be filled with an abundance of God’s grace and mercy.
As I start off the new year, I want to introduce you to the purpose of this website.
It was July of 1996. Christina and I left all the comforts and security of family and friends in Chicago, and we stepped out in faith to pursue a dream. It was a dream of starting a church at the University of Michigan. I still remember how a small group of us met in our tiny apartment here in Ann Arbor to pray and plan for this new church plant. They were exciting times.
As I look back at those times, I can’t believe how crazy we were to think that a church could start for the purpose of transforming lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world. It was just a dream, but nine years later we have seen that dream become a reality. For that, we give God all the glory.
Due to our small size in those early years, I was able to invest more personally in all the members of our church. I still remember doing LCGs (Life Change Groups) with some of the brothers. I led the praise band ministry. I spent four hours every week with the small group leaders as we met together on Saturday mornings. In fact, because we were so small, you knew when a person did not come out to church. Following up with people was easy to do.
What I enjoyed about those times was the ability to share my heart with the whole church. Transferring the DNA (the vision and the values) of our church was easy because I could impart it directly to the people. Over the years, though, things have changed.
Hence, the purpose of this website is to regain the DNA of our church, as well as to give you insight on my life. I have broken down the purpose of this blog space into three aspects (I couldn’t resist… please forgive me):
1) Communicate my heart
2) Cast vision
3) Connect with people
I am hoping that the DNA (the ethos) of HMCC will be imparted as I share my heart with you through this new medium. There are times when I am convicted about something, but I might not have an avenue to share with you beyond the pulpit. Therefore, this blog will allow me to share my heart on a broader scale.
Throughout a given week, the Lord sometimes allows me to see things with a long-throw perspective (things related to the future). This is part of my calling to lead this church with a God-given vision. I want to be able to cast a greater vision for our church for the next ten to fifteen years. Therefore, this medium will allow me to share direction as well as discernment regarding the future. In this way, we as a church can be prepared and prayed up for what God has in store for us.
Lastly, as our church continues to grow, it is getting harder to know everybody. People have shared that it is hard to get to know me on a personal level. Practically speaking, it would be difficult to spend one-on-one time with everybody. I realized that an alternate way to build a connection with you is to share various things that are going on in my life. Hopefully, you will gain a better idea of who I am beyond the pulpit. Also, some of our alumni, who are placed all over the world, have expressed their desire to still be connected with us. It is my prayer that ripples can still be sent out from this place to the nations. By staying connected, I believe this can happen.
p.s. I want to publicly recognize Pete Dahlem for helping me out with this website.
It first started out as a fuzzy vision, but he made it become a reality. Thanks bro… I appreciate you!