by Heather Stevens, daughter of Executive Pastor Tim Stevens

As a pastor’s kid at Granger Community Church, I have been part of the church my entire life and have grown so much in the time I’ve spent here. I grew up going to class in the Arts Room before it was the Arts Room, waving palm branches up and down the aisles of “big church” on Easter Sunday, and attending the “Fall Festival” on Halloween every year instead of trick-or-treating.

The church helped to raise me and the teaching I learned became the foundation on which I based my faith.

Sometime in high school, however, I started trying to figure out things for myself. People who had never stepped foot in GCC were giving me their negative opinions of it everywhere I turned, and although I’d been hearing them my entire life, I started listening and believing the things they were saying. On top of that, I decided that I didn’t like the “perfect pastor’s kid” title I had created for myself; I didn’t want to be the girl everyone wanted their daughters to grow up to be like, because those expectations felt too high and too impossible for me to reach.

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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.

by Mark Beeson, Founding Pastor

When you feel like you’re done and the buzzards are circling overhead, don’t quit. God is still working, and when the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe reveals to you where He is working, you’re invited to join Him in His activity.

The ignominious end of a wasted life, that offers little more than food for the vultures, is tragic—and unnecessary. Instead of sitting down and waiting for the finale, accept God’s invitation and take action.

You’re not dead and you’re not done.

Respond to God.

Reset your life.


2 Peter 1:3-4a  -  Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God.


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

What would it look like if the Church understood and acted on Her dual role of serving and loving people?

What would it look like if the Church used every tool at Her disposal to feed the hungry, care for the marginalized, bind-up the broken, help struggling families and lift high the ideals of the Good Life?

What would it look like if the church called “Granger Community Church” resolved to activate its campuses for the common good?

It might look something like I’ve pictured in this post.

We hosted Penn High School’s winter dance last weekend. The kids were safe. The parking was secure and the students were well supervised. Penn’s staff was superb. Professional security officers were on duty. GCC volunteers and staff were everywhere: checking coats, registering students, serving refreshments, running lights, monitoring sound, helping young men tie their neckties and young women rearrange their wind-blown locks.

Continue reading and see more pictures on Mark's Blog...


by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor

It could be assumed that a guy who writes a leadership blog has never made any leadership mistakes. And that assumption would be wrong. I am a student of leadership by learning from others, as well as from my own mistakes. Here are a few notable ones:

  • Jumping to a conclusion before waiting for all the information.
  • Not following my gut until it was way too late and I had a big problem on my hands.
  • Skipping the ‘meeting before the meeting’ to help rally the stakeholders.
  • Spent too much time trying to convince people of a direction, and losing the window of opportunity to move forward.
  • Letting other concerns divert my focus from my ministry.
  • Letting ministry become my mistress for a season.
  • Firing too slowly, convincing myself attitudes will improve or capacity and competence will increase.
  • Hiring too quickly. This happens when I’m desperate for a solution and so settle for any person rather than the right person.
  • Allowing misalignment to go unaddressed, or assuming it will get better on its own.
  • Releasing someone for misalignment before giving them an opportunity to improve.
  • Not speaking truth to power when I might have been the only person who could.
  • Speaking truth to power at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
  • Putting progress or projects in front of people.

I hope you can tell by this list two things: First, I’m not a perfect leader. In 27 years of leading as an adult, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. If you are afraid of making mistakes, you should not be a leader. If you fear the day you have to stand in front of others and tell them you were wrong, you should pump gas or sell Cutco. Innate within leadership is the probability that you will make mistakes.

Secondly, leadership is not an exact science. If you do the same thing twice—it can be exactly right in one instance and the absolute wrong action in the next situation. Leadership requires prayer, discernment, collaboration, intuition, research, experience, confidence, self-control and the guts to take risks.

Continue reading on Tim's Blog...
by Kem Meyer, Communications Director

We went live recently with a new Here are three things you may not know about this launch: 

  1. Old friends and the little website that could. We had the same web site for nine years. NINE years. That’s really saying something considering it was built before smart phones, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. And the real miracle is that it was still working—integrating with new technologies and media like a boss. It was the little web site that could. We are so grateful for our partnership and tremendous run with the team at Aspire!One. How did they DO it? Those guys are amazing and we still look to them for counsel, creative approaches and new project ideas. 
  2. New friends and new challenges. The new is not just a new web site. It’s a launch that accelerates our 2016 vision to help our people Be the Church, Activate the Campus and Reproduce at Every Level. First we launched the Early Learning Center, then The Commons, then The Eatery, Reads & Things, then the LaPorte campus and now THIS! We’re changing paradigms and couldn’t do it without the help we’ve received from Plain Joe Studios. We are venturing into places we’ve never been before and they have been like new creative, technology and strategy sherpas. 
  3. We’re live but we’re not done. Just like we started using our physical environments before all construction was 100% complete, we will do the same with our online environment. It’s 80% complete and now it’s time to let traffic start flowing through the space. This last 20% is a crucial step in the development process. We get to see how people use it. If things work like we anticipate. What needs adjusted. What bugs are hiding. We know people are going to find things and we’re loving the feedback already. This is where it gets fun.

If you're looking for practical help with the launch of your own website, or just need to revamp your organization's communication strategies, grab a copy of Kem's book, Less Clutter. Less Noise. If you're not sure, you can download a free chapter—because we believe that when you help clear the path, you help people take their next step toward Christ.

by Kem Meyer, Communications Director

I can’t do it alone and there are times in my life when I need a good coach. I’ve talked about it before. The benefits of an ongoing professional alliance with one person (or a small team) creates unique benefits I can’t get in other learning environments—it’s a challenging, rewarding, provoking, empowering and highly-personalized experience.

Because of coaching networks in various seasons of my journey, I’ve been able to:

  • gain clarity & focus my efforts
  • sharpen my self-awareness & accelerate my personal growth
  • improve my personal effectiveness to positively impact lives around me

Anyone who knew me before and after every coaching season saw the long-term gains of the short season of investment. Not only am I thankful for those opportunities, I’m an advocate for others to find them. I’ve been able to lead several seasons of Communications Coaching over the past couple of years and have always said I’ll make room for more as long as there is a demand. Even with tight budgets and tight schedules, people are still reaching out. So, I’m kicking off a new network starting this spring.

  • Who: It’s for anyone who leads, influences or supports local church communications before, around and after the weekend message. While a coaching network isn’t for everyone, it’s a highly unique and rewarding experience for anyone who is a part of it. Several seasons of coaching networks has produced a diverse alumni list. See for yourself.
  • What: We’ll tackle the challenge of clearly communicating everything happening across departments and campuses without competing against each other and shutting audiences down in the process.
  • Why: Maybe you (or someone you know) is in a season or crossroads and needs customized, focused, up close and personal attention in a safe forum where you can be blunt about the challenges you face and get frank, encouraging insight in return.
  • When: This document holds the rest of the details you might be looking for (including dates, costs, alumni reviews, etc.).
  • How: If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, complete the application by March 7. By design, it’s limited to only 12 participants

I’m looking forward to seeing who shapes this season.

Tip: We’re hosting coaching networks for Executive Pastors and Guest Services at the same time to make it easier for teams to leverage the time and travel investment. That’s how we roll and we thought you might, too. We're also hosting coaching for EnterMission in 2013. See their schedule and info here.