Two Medicine Lake 090313  1b b&w blog

by Mark Beeson, Lead Pastor

“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela was responsible for much of the success of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He acted on his convictions. He suffered for acting on his convictions. He forgave those who made him suffer for acting on his convictions. He was a truly remarkable man.

Mandela’s death last week seems to have people comparing their lives to his. Nobody wants to be all talk and no action. I’ve heard several say: “I wish I was more like Nelson Mandela.”

No doubt. But nobody ends up “like Nelson Mandela” because they “wish” they were like him. 

Anyone “wishing” to be “like” this man, this symbol of resistance, this world-wide icon of struggle against apartheid, must be willing to suffer – and after suffering, to offer forgiveness, reconciliation and amnesty to your enemies.

Continue reading on Mark’s Blog...

If you have influence over others—as a business professional, a parent, a coach, a teacher—you are a leader!

Whether at church, school, business or home, you are leading people and projects every day. You're leading in a culture that is constantly changing and redefining itself. Leadership takes perseverance, dedication and a commitment to stretch your mind, expand your heart and use your God-given gifts to impact your world in real and powerful ways.

August 8-9, 2013 you're invited to gather with thousands of leaders across North America for The Global Leadership Summit. The Global Leadership Summit exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development, and inspiration for the sake of the local church. The Summit is telecast LIVE from Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago. Commit now to be a part of this annual event designed to stretch and challenge you with world-class speakers, interactive dialogue and practical training.

Register today to attend at Granger Community Church or one of the 230+ host sites in the United States!

by Mark Beeson, Lead Pastor

Squirrels always seem busy to me, scurrying back and forth, searching for seeds or nuts. From time to time they stop briefly, dig furiously, then dart off in their unending quest for more seeds and nuts.

It would probably be a ridiculous notion to suggest a squirrel is aware of its own finitude. I’m pretty sure the limitations of time, energy and resources are inscrutable for most squirrels, but even though they race away from every perceived threat, chase each other and seem erratic in their ways, squirrels always seem to return to their towering incessant preoccupation… searching for food.

In a world of limited time and energy, focus is a good idea, because constant focus gets results. When you direct time, energy and resources in a continuous focused manner, things happen. Drops of water continuously hitting a rock in the exact same spot again-and-again will drill a hole through it. Water dispersed in a scattered spray produces very different outcomes.

Concentrated action gets results.

What are you focused on?

Romans 8:6-8  -  Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

I really enjoy following the blog of David Whiting. He is the pastor of Northridge Church in Rochester, New York. This is a pastor who understands hard work, church growth, discipleship, and leading his family with integrity. I know you’ll enjoy his blog.

Recently he wrote about the burdens of leading a large church. And one of the downsides he has found is having to limit his access. Here is a quote I really appreciated from his post:

I’ve determined at this point of my life to only give up three nights a week for church-related meetings. I am doing all I can to be home four nights a week. I am in the final years of parenting teenagers. I want to do it well. It can’t be done well without presence.

So smart. Many pastors won’t draw this line. They buy in to the lie that the church needs them more than their family does. Nothing could be further from the truth. The strength of your leadership comes from your strength at home.

Continue reading on Tim's Blog...



Tim Stevens' newest book, Vision: Lost and Found, is the behind-the-scenes story of a church that grew from nothing to be labeled as the second most innovative church in the country—and then got stuck. In it, he shares some of the early wins the church experienced, as well as struggles that arose with rapid growth. It reads as partly biographical, telling the story of Granger Community Church from the beginning, and partly as a leadership book, giving insight into how church leaders came together to craft and cast a new vision for the future.

It's the leadership component of the book that landed Vision a spot in Leadership Journal's 2012 Leadership Book Awards! Congratulations, Tim! The award is well-deserved, as this book and the wisdom conveyed in its pages have already helped hundreds of church leaders across the country. As one reader wrote:

"Tim shares step by step the process the Granger leadership team went through to craft the new vision, get feedback from the people and ultimately implement it. Whether or not you agree with their vision, you will discover a lot of transferable principles of how to cast a great vision for your church or organization."

If you could use some inspiration in a tough time, help crafting your organization's vision or just some extra insight into how other leaders are doing it, get your copy of Vision: Lost and Found today!

There's also a chance for a few people to get up-close, practical help for your church with Tim Stevens. Launching this spring, there are still openings for the Communication Strategy network with Kem Meyer, the Connections Strategy network with Mark Waltz and the Executive Pastors network with Tim Stevens.

by Mark Beeson, Founding Pastor

Everyone knows to choose wisely. Some leaders are going nowhere. Others understand what's happening around them and know the best course to take.

Everyone recognizes this fact; only Jesus is infallible, so we've been advised to trust slowly, be cautious and look before we leap. We tend to trust those who've shown themselves to be trustworthy. We think, "Odds are ... they'll know what to do." 

So get this: most of the people around you assume you - follower of Jesus and child of the King - you are the one who "understands what's happening and knows what to do." It's you friend. As you follow Jesus, people are looking to you. They're following you.

Do you know what to do next? 

1 Chronicles 12:32  -  There were from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.


by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

“You have to give up to go up.”

I first heard John Maxwell say this in 1993 in a small leadership conference in Anderson, Indiana. Nearly 20 years later, I couldn’t agree more.

Many of you are pastors, the top dog in your church. You’ve either started the church from scratch, or you’ve come into an existing ministry. You want your church to grow. You may be looking for ideas to give your church a jumpstart. Or perhaps you’ve implemented changes, and the church is starting to grow. Now you want to take it to the next level.

Here’s a startling fact: Many of the things you do to help a small church grow are the very things that will eventually kill the church if you continue doing them.

Continue reading...


At this year's ReInnovate conference, we're challenging the way we all do church in every area. We are building on a vision that reproduces the church.

What we're learning at Granger, and what has drove our 2016 vison, is that if we want to reproduce, we have to change the way we do ministry. Reproducing doesn't just mean growing attendance and starting multi-site; it's about mobilizing people to be on mission - on purpose for a purpose.

In the final Main Session of Day 1 with Tim Stevens, and in the first Main Session of Day 2 with Rob Wegner, the vision of the people of Granger Community Church was laid out. The beauty of the vision is that it wasn't handed down from the top leadership of church; rather, it was born out of the vision of the people of Granger Community Church.

To get people on mission, we have had to challenge our existing beliefs, such as:

  • Name the church you want to be.... by clarifying your vision
  • Name the church you want to be.... by changing your language and metaphors
  • Redefine the location of ministry - what was Granger Community Church is now Granger Commons

In the Day 2 morning session, Rob challenged us to change our view of our local church; see it as an aircraft carrier - a hub for mission - rather than a destination of mission. When you catapult people to be on mission, they carry the vision with them wherever they go. 

This movement is ordinary people doing ordinary life with a God-inspired vision.THAT is reproducing the church - THAT is how mission happens - THAT is how resource and arm people to BE the church!