Category Archives: vision

The Vision

The last couple of days I[ve been pondering the importance of keeping the vision out front. Most good workshops or books will reiterate that, but it really hits home when you’re in the trenches. Ephesus Church has launched, seemingly with no hiccups. It almost did seem too easy, then it hit! Our facility that we had been planning in and meeting in for several months went down to an electrical system failure the week after our official launch. Or momentum seemed to come to a grinding, screeching halt. We’ve found a temporary (what I like to call a temporary temporary) location and our original building is under repair and should be available again soon, but it surely brought challenges. Our easy run was over. I struggled with discouragement, even as our launch team rallied and persevered like the incredible folks they are. All the doubts and questions bubbled up into my mind. I was praying through all of this and the vision God originally gave for Ephesus bubbled up in my soul. I went back to the videos we had created to express that vision and was re-inspired! Many times, leadership instruction on vision is geared towards keeping the vision in front of the people (In case you’re wondering, this “leadership-concept” has it’s roots in a book written a few thousand years ago…). But the thing is, I needed to keep the vision out front. About 6 months ago I preached a sermon in our sponsoring church about the need for planting churches and specifically the vision to plant Ephesus in Uptown Charlotte. A couple of months back, Pastor Farrell Lemings, senior pastor at Grace, gave me some advice. He said to get some copies of that message and tuck them away somewhere, because at some point I’m going to need to hear it again myself. Times will come where I’ll get discouraged, and we’ll hit road blocks and I’ll need to be reminded myself about the vision God has planted. I have to be honest, my first thought was “I’m too pumped about this deal! Good advice, but I doubt I’ll need it.” Once again, my arrogance had gotten the best of me. I do need to constantly be reminded of the vision. To be encouraged by the vision. To be shown that it’s God vision, and not my, or anyone else’s, vision. If it’s God it’s gonna happen. My response now has to be that I continually keep the vision out in front of me, and out in front of the team, and ultimately everyone plugging into Ephesus. Loving Jesus, loving people, and loving the city…

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Latest email update from Ephesus

This is an almost weekly update to the friends and folks of Ephesus for March 12, 2008.

An exciting Sunday this week at Ephesus as we dig into the kind of life Jesus has called us to lead in part 2 of “Why Jesus.” In part 2 we’re going to look at Jesus’ words and actions throughout the book of Matthew and the call he has put on all of our lives. We will also hear about how Ephesus is partnering with the Justice Project in living out the life Jesus modeled. Lisa Koons, lead at the Charlotte 24-7 Prayer Room, as well as the Justice Project, will be engaging us in how to be a part of making a difference in the Villa Heights neighborhood just to the northeast of Uptown Charlotte. Ephesus Church and Next Level Church in Matthews will be adopting the Villa Heights neighborhood for the next 9 months. This is truly a part of our DNA as a church and our vision to love Jesus, love people and love the city. I’m excited that so early on in our history we have a very tangible, authentic way to love on our community. I hope you can be at Ephesus Church this Sunday at 6pm in Uptown Charlotte.

Audio podcasts from Ephesus are now available at the iTunes Music Store. Just search for “EphesusChurch.tv” in the iTunes Music Store search bar and you can subscribe to the podcast feed. We are hoping to have video podcasts available very soon.

Finally, this Sunday at Grace Covenant Church, Pastor Farrell and the leadership of GCC will be praying over the entire Ephesus team. They’ve asked for everyone serving at Ephesus or just attending Ephesus to be a part of this prayer time in all 3 services. I’d like to ask all of you that are a part of Ephesus at any level to be a part of this prayer time at GCC by joining us when we are invited forward at the 8, 9:30, and 11:15 services.

Please continue to pray for relationships in the Uptown area of Charlotte to be developed and the word about what is happening at Ephesus to spread. Thanks for your support!

Church Planting 101

Don’t I wish! We’ve had our first service and things went well. We learned some things, but that’s the whole point of having a soft launch, but overall things went really well. You could tell I had been listening to a lot of Mark Driscoll, because my first sermon had a little heft to it. You can head to the iTunes Music store and get the podcast at EphesusChurch.tv if you want to give it a listen. This week I’m starting a 3 parter on “Why Jesus?” Not sure how I’ll get Jesus into 3 weeks, but I had to do something foundational with the 3 weeks leading into Easter. I’m sure the topic will be visited again. At some point here I’m going to start laying out a few lessons learned on this journey of church planting. Hopefully some practical tidbits. There are some great books on the subject so I’m not trying to overshadow those, just some thoughts on our own experience. Something else I’ve really felt strongly this week too is the need to begin work already on planting more churches out of Ephesus. We’ve got one week under our belt what better time to start thinking about planting?

A little more about Facebook and Ephesus

This is a brief description I wrote about what we’re using Facebook for with Ephesus…

We’re a new church that is set to officially launch on Easter of 08 in the Uptown area of Charlotte, NC. I have begun to work on creating an online presence mainly through FB (v.1 of our website is at ephesuschurch.tv. this is mainly a placemark until our full site is up, interestingly my main goal with the web site right now is to drive people to our FB group). I’ve created a group Ephesus Church Charlotte, that has allowed me a place to get information out, post videos, create events and work on building momentum before we have physically launched. I’m working on creating video devos, mini sermons, that will be posted to the Group Page to drive discussion and begin to give people a feel of what Ephesus is about, as well as engage those from around the country who have joined the group. It’s a low cost (free!) way to begin an online church. It’s long term impact? Don’t know yet, but with 5 months still left before our official launch we already have 94 people engaged in what God is wanting to do through Ephesus. A year ago, that wouldn’t have been possible. Yes, FB was here, but people’s engagement in it was not. What a cool and unique opportunity to present Jesus to our community both physical and online!

Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek at my outline for this Sunday. If you’re crazy you’ll cheat and get the fill ins before they come up on the screen and then impress all your friends!

Why Church Planting?                                                  Ben Eige 10 October 2007

Ephesus Church

 

q  Why plant more churches?

Matthew 28.19-20

 

o   Right now there are approximately 180 million Americans who do not have a relationship with Jesus

 

o   There is a lower percentage of Americans in church today than 15 years ago

 

o   80% of new followers of Jesus begin their relationship in a church less than 2 years old

 

 

q  Why the city? Why Uptown Charlotte?

1.    The city/Charlotte is strategic for God’s plan

 

2.    Christians should live in the city/Charlotte

q  Matthew 5.14

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

 

3.    The city/Charlotte is ripe for the harvest

Matthew 9.37-38

 

4.    It’s about Jesus

 

 

A vision for Uptown Charlotte

Acts 17.22-23

 

What does this mean to you?

q  3 Ways to be a part of Ephesus Church

 

1. Pray

 

2. Give

 

3. Go

      Nehemiah 11.1-2

 

EPHESUS CHURCH

Uptown Charlotte

Easter 2008