Church of St Anne 05 2014 Mary’s MotherChurch of Saint Anne, Israel
by Lead Pastor Mark Beeson

After worship last night I spoke with some young adults who asked me if they could ask me something.

“Sure, ask away.”

“Why do you think so many people our parents’ age are here?”

I was their parents’ age, so I replied, “I’m old enough to be your dad. Why do you think I’m here?”

“It’s your job?”

“Besides that.”

“I don’t know,” one said.“It just seems like there are a lot of young people here; and there are a lot of people my mom’s age here; and I don’t get that because people my mom’s age dream about church like it was in the old days.”

“The old days?”

“You know what I mean,” she said, “Old people want the ‘good old days’ more than these days. My mom talks about “the good old days’ like she’d go back there if she could.”

“Does she come to worship here?”

“No. My parents don’t live here.”

I said, “I think a lot of people your parents’ age aren’t old because they’re old; they’re old because they don’t dream anymore. Everyone gets old when they stop dreaming. They don’t stop dreaming when they get old; they get old when they stop dreaming. I think GCC is filled with people your age, and your parents’ age, because we’re all dreaming about doing something great for GOD. Young or old, the people who like GCC tend to be people dreaming GOD’s dream for tomorrow.”

Continue reading on Mark’s Blog...

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.

We've talked a lot about Tim Stevens' newest book, Vision: Lost and Found, so we're not going to remind you again how amazing it is. But we thought you'd want to know that Tim's publisher, Exponential, is giving away a free six-chapter excerpt of the book! So in case you haven't gotten your copy yet, this is your chance. Get a free sample of the book that was recently chosen as part of Leadership Journal's 2012 Leadership Book Awards and we're sure you'll want to buy the whole thing.

Check out Exponential's description:

In this excerpt, Stevens focuses on the evolution in thinking that he and other Granger Community Church leaders went through as they evaluated both missional and attractional approaches to doing and being the church. Stevens shares that in February 2010, Granger leaders looked at each other and asked a hard question: Is the sheer number of “unchurched” people in our area any less than it was 25 years ago before Granger existed? That question–and this excerpt–set the stage for what would eventually define the church’s well-known transition to “both/and,” choosing to be both attractional and missional. Stevens’ story-telling compels readers to download the full book to discover the rest of Granger’s unstuck story still being written today. Stevens offers an in-depth look at both missional and attractional approaches and gives us an insider look at why and how he and Granger leaders wrestled with both. He also includes a mini glossary of terms central to the missional movement. Download the free eBook (excerpt) here.


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.


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!


It can be so easy to forget the power of a first impression. 

Think back to your last job interview, or maybe even your first date: how much time did you invest in making sure your first impression communicated the right message?

First impressions matter! 

We recently hosted men and women for our Summer Coaching Networks who came from all over the country to learn from Mark Waltz, GCC's Pastor of Connection and Multi-Site.

First Impressions ResourcesHere's just a few highlights from the first hour of the session:    

  • With vision, you need to know where you are so that you know where you can go
  • Analogy of being in a shopping mall and planning which stores you want to visit
  • You can’t get where you want to go until you are honest about where you are. What steps are going to be required, how do you take them, and where are they going to lead.
  • You can’t be any other place than where you are because you’ve taken the steps you’ve taken

What one or two words comes to mind when you see these images:

  • Starbucks
  • BMV
  • The person to your right
  • Last hotel stay
  • US Postal Service
  • Your local church
  • Last movie preview you watched
  • A Walmart store

As a true test of first impressions and associations, imagine a photo of a boarded up, run down home. What do you think of? A quick survey of the room, none of the answers were about the structure we were looking at – all of them were judgments about the people (homeowners) we have never seen or met. 

Your first impressions – or associations – with these images matter. 

If you missed this session, get tuned in from more info on the upcoming Fall Coaching Networks sessions.

Pastor Mark Beeson casts  New Normal vision  for Granger Community Church 

How audacious is your vision?

Is it bold? Is it calculated? Is it uncomfortable? Does it challenge the status-quo? Will it force you to make a lot of changes?

Most importantly - is it God-sized?

Change is hard. Change is not popular. But, change often yields much needed renewal and growth.

At Granger, we are in the second year of our 5 year New Normal vision.Part of that vision includes BEING the church in our community, Activating our campus beyond just a place to gather for church services, and Reproducing at every level through missional communities. 

Another part of this vision is to expand our multi-site reach to include a couple more campuses. A few years ago, we expanded to Elkhart, IN - a smaller manufacturing town about 15 minutes East of our Granger campus. We started in a movie theater with a broadcast of an earlier service, then rented space where we could have live worship with video message.

Now the Elkhart campus is in a fully-functional space belonging to the church. It's a great story, and the community at the Elkhart campus is rich. Attendance has grown to more than 400 average each week across multiple services.

Now, we have another opportunity to lean into God and dive deeper into our 2016 vision.

As Pastor Beeson explains, we're asking God if this is a change God is inviting us to make. And, we're trusting he will provide the direction and resources needed to take our next steps.

So, challenge yourself for a minute - how big is your vision? What is changes could God be asking you to make?

 What could happen if we looked at this box we meet in the same way we did when we were kids? What if 'the box' was more than just the place we 'do' church? Ever dream it could be more? 

Outside the Box from on Vimeo.

 Click here to download this video and unleash the 'out of the box' imagination for your church.