You’re probably just about ready for some sun. Have you considered Granger, Indiana, as your next vacation destination? Perhaps you’ve always longed to see the cornfields of Northern Indiana. No?

Hmm. How about considering Granger as a learning destination then? Wednesday and Thursday, May 18 and 19, will be hosting a variety of workshops at Granger Community Church, just 90 miles east of Chicago.

It’s easy. Pick one of the following workshops to attend all day. Come for one day or stay for two. Your materials and lunch are included. The experience? It will be packed with real-life examples of what works and what doesn’t, with space for questions and interaction.

The cost? Right now it’s just $99 per person, per day. Or $89 for groups of 2–5, or $79 for groups of 6 or more. Attend both days of workshops and get a further discount: $20 off per day!

Wednesday, May 18

Thursday, May 19

  • Creative & Communication Arts: Learn about Granger’s process for planning, promoting and executing weekend series.
  • Groups: Facilitate a working strategy to keep people engaged and discipled.
  • Kids: Learn about environments, curriculum and utilizing volunteers to help kids meet Jesus.

We get a lot of questions. “How does Granger do small-group ministries?” “What do you give (if anything) to first-time guests?” “How do you handle parking?” “Where do you start when you want to build or redo your church website?”

To address these and many other excellent questions, is offering several one-day workshops this May. These one-day events offer an overview of a variety of ministry areas and how those ministries function at Granger. They’re practical and laser-focused. You’ll also get a chance to rub elbows with other ministry leaders from churches all across the country who are asking the same questions.


If you’re wanting to learn more about how to launch and sustain effective group ministry, join us on Thursday, May 19. We’ll be talking about:

  • The role groups play in discipleship
  • Understanding group structure
  • Recruiting and training healthy group leaders
  • Organizing group curricula and yearly schedules
  • Overseeing group growth (numerically and spiritually)

Registration is simple: pick one workshop or event, register through, download your Welcome Packet (full of all kinds of helpful information about your visit to Granger) and hop on the road. We’ll be waiting to say hi and shake hands!

by Executive Pastor Mark Waltz

I’ve been trying to find the rhythm that honors the way God wired me. I’m an introvert. But I like people. Love people. There’s nothing fake in the way I interact with people, particularly around our gatherings as a church.

But as an introvert, I need down time. Alone time. Time to be, to think, to create, to rest. (Of course we all need this time—it’s what Sabbath is about—even for extroverts.) I refuel by being away from people, especially lots of people. And it’s helpful to my spiritual maturity thermometer to see my inclination toward introversion as contemplative. It is what it is, I suppose.

In addition to the challenge of intentionally focusing our quiet on God, I’m realizing there are a couple other cautions for those of us who find meditation to be a comfortable and engaging connection with God.

First of all, we must be careful to not continually be seeking one more experience. One more time of feeling spiritual. One more time of feeling. We must remember that it is God we seek, not merely an emotional experience.

Secondly, we must not love the monastery so much—wherever that is for us—that we neglect experiencing relationships with those around us. God created us for each other. There is a sacred experience, a holy exchange between two or more Christ followers who lean into each other’s lives—calling out the image of God, the formation of Christ in our lifestyle.

Relationships are an encounter with God that must not be missed—even for the contemplative seeker.

I want to create space and time for God’s Spirit to work deeply and gently within me. How about you?

by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

“Discipleship” is the new rage. Every church conference seems to be focused on discipleship. Every leader is trying to figure it out. Every church member is asking, “What does this church offer for discipleship?” And every pastor is leaning in to figure out what it is, how to measure it, and what they are responsible for. And I’m included in that list. I’m joining more than 5,000 leaders in a few weeks at the Exponential Conference called “DiscipleShift.” The topic is so popular that the conference sold out weeks ago (you can still tune in to the free webcast).

I wonder if sometimes we over-complicate the issue. Have you seen the new AT&T ad campaign where a bunch of little kids sit in a circle and answer questions? They say something crazy or off-the-wall, and the narrator follows up, “It’s not complicated.” I think we need a little dose of childlike thinking regarding discipleship.

Sometimes we get so mired in the nuances of our argument that it paralyzes us from getting anything done. We sit around arguing the when, where, how and what–and we fail to inspire people to get on the path and start moving.

I’ll admit that sometimes I’m pretty simple, but this is how I look at it:

  • A disciple has his feet pointed toward Jesus and is moving.
  • A disciple-maker is intentionally taking someone else along for the journey.
  • A mature disciple doesn’t require anyone else to continue taking steps with and toward Jesus.

Continue reading on Tim's Blog...