Mission Milwaukee 3

What an incredible week our youth have had at their mission trip in Milwaukee. It has a been a week that has opened our eyes to some great needs so close to home and has allowed us to generously pour out the love of Jesus to the community we partnered with as well as to each other.
On Thursday, students wrapped up their work sites for the week. They put finishing touches on their projects and prepared their sites for more servants to come in and work next week. Most students had an opportunity to attend a special gathering at Adullam. The worship leader invited students to come and hear about listening to God in prayer, and then students spent some time in prayer on their own. We wrapped up the day with a 2nd cookout at a community closer to the church where we have been staying. So many little kids attended this cookout!  We had a bounce house, face paint, nail polish, stickers, and sidewalk chalk. Partner that with some hot dogs and chips, and we had quite a party! Our mission trip participants had just as much fun as the little kids.
We spent some time enjoying each other and relaxing on Friday. The day began at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee. There we had the chance to hike, relax, and enjoy God's creation. From there we had lunch at Ian's pizza before spending the afternoon at the beach.
Students returned home on Saturday, ready and excited to continue pouring out the love of Jesus in their own neighborhoods! We would love for you to join us at a brunch from 12:15-2 pm on August 23rd. At the brunch you can hear stories and see the pictures of the trip, as well as allow the students to say "Thank You" for all of your love and support.

Mission Milwaukee Day 2

What a great God we serve! On Tuesday night, the mission trip participants were able to see God's love in action at a Community Cookout. We hosted the cookout for the neighborhood around Adullam Outreach. So many people from the community came to enjoy a burger and hot dog, fellowship, and some worship. We had a large number of children join us as well. Our students had a blast playing sidewalk chalk, football, frisbee, blubbles and face painting with the little ones. It was so encouraging to see our students so freely love these kids and their parents. 
That evening, around 10pm, Higher Ground students were able to then continue their worship with a late night jam session at the church we are staying at. They brought out their guitars, and spent an hour just worshipping and praising God. It was so contagious that the Next Step staff members and the other church that has joined us for the trip all came and joined in.
We are continuing to work hard to complete our projects. Yesterday, our team of guys finished digging 22 post holes for a new fence they are building! The
girls continue to paint, install flooring, and work on homes.
Thank you for continuing to keep us in your prayers! 

Mission Milwaukee

On Sunday, 25 high school students, 3 college age students, and 6 adults embarked on a week long mission trip to Milwaukee, WI. So close to home, it is shocking to learn that Milwaukee is the 4th poorest city in the nation and has the highest infant mortality rate in the nation. It is a city that struggles immensely with great needs. Today we also learned that Milwaukee is the only city of it's size and with it's needs that has never experienced a resurgence of faith. We feel honored to bring the love of Jesus to this place!
We are partnering with 2 organizations this week. The first is located in one of the highest need areas in Milwaukee. It is an organization that we first worked with 4 years ago, and those of us who were there for the 2nd time were overwhelmed by the magnitude of what God has done in this organization. Started by a man who had a vision to bring Jesus to Milwaukee, Adullam is a place of refuge in the inner city. Currently they help to meet the felt needs of the community, offer worship and prayer, operate as a bit of a community center, and provide a hot meal once a week. Future plans include hopes to start job training in a workshop and cafe located in the building, internet access and other support for the homeless, and discipleship training and a community living center for missionaries.  You can learn more about this ministry at http://www.adullamoutreach.com/. The second place we are partnering with is House of Love. This ministry provides housing for young adults who are in state custody but don't currently have foster homes. They help prepare young adults to be independent and to live on their own. They also operate homes for those 18+ who need help with housing and independent living as well as the elderly. You can learn more at http://www.house-of-love.org/.
Our students are working hard with these ministries! They are building fences, refinishing and installing flooring, painting, and other remodeling work. As always, we are quite proud of our young people. Their behavior is incredibly respectful and loving. They are immersing themselves in worship and discovering more about their faith. And, they are truly loving the community and each other as Jesus would. 
We look forward to updating you more as the week progresses. Please continue to pray for our students and leaders to have energy, motivation, compassion, and that they would each meet Jesus in a new way this week.

Our New Eastside Location






I’ve been waiting for quite a while to be able to write this update. As many of you know, the Church in East Madison has been looking for a permanent home for quite a while. And now we have one!

258 Corporate Drive, Madison, Suite 262 is the location of the Church in East Madison.

It’s close to the intersection [NE] of Hwy 51 and Milwaukee Street, north of Woodman’s and just behind the main Madison Post Office, in the center of the Office Building.

It was a long process trying to find a place that would work and that we could afford, but God finally led us to this space, and it’s really exciting. We met there for worship the last three Sunday nights at 5PM. And we’re starting to get a feel for what we want to do with the space. Right now it’s just metal folding chairs, sound system and wires, a projector, along with some bean bags in the kids’ room. But we’re making progress.

Our next steps are:

“In East Madison” Launch Plan –Our public launch is scheduled for this December with an Incarnational theme during Advent.

“From Corporate Drive” Facility Use Plan –Aiming to best serve the community.

“Together” lifeGroup Plan – Seeking to multiply to at least 3 groups prior to launch.

“As the Church” Prayer Campaign – Intentionally bringing our Impact Lists and Invitations before God in prayer together.

Over the last few years, we have experienced corporate worship in a YMCA, in our own living rooms, in another church’s build-ing and at the occasional park. We’ve learned a lot, and look forward to continuing to reach East Madison from this new space. Please stop by and check out the Church’s new space sometime. Join us for worship on Sunday nights at 5PM, or call me or shoot me an e-mail and I would be happy to show it off.


Enthusiastically Engaged

What do the following have in common?

discovering a fresh insight… working to build a community garden in a food desert… running… partnering with community service groups that are making a difference… worshipping at church… caring for the homeless… holding babies in the hospital nursery… subscribing to a new reading plan on the You Version Bible app…  dedicating a new business… singing in the worship team… visiting the veterans at the VA… reading the Bible… coloring prayer… writing your 7-year dream… walking in the early morning… joining the altar guild… going on a youth mission trip [for adults and students]… camping… building a house… learning how to create God Space in every conversation [faithBuilders]... biking… learning about preaching… writing a blog post... sharing a story… walking a dog… praying now

All of the above were actual invitations I have personally observed recently.

They were simply and effectively delivered through Facebook, in person, over the phone, with an email, by a hand-written note, or in a letter. Each invitation was extended naturally with eagerness because the inviter was fully and enthusiastically engaged. They loved what they were doing and saw the value in it.

There is something undeniable and unquenchable about a person who possesses a fiery passion for what they are doing. It’s contagious. Duty, obligation, burden, fear, hesitancy, all seem to melt away.

As followers of Jesus I often wonder why that joy and natural effort is so rare. I also wonder what might happen in the lives of our friends and neighbors who don’t follow Jesus if WE were to discover what we fully and enthusiastically loved as we followed Jesus. Do you think our friends and neighbors might be caught off guard and say, “I love it that they LOVE following Jesus”?

As you read this issue of the Good News ask yourself:

  • As I follow Jesus, in what am I enthusiastically and fully engaged?
  • With whom could I share my enthusiasm?

By the way, if you can’t answer these questions, start today by identifying someone who appears to be enthusiastically and fully engaged and ask them to share with you why they do what they do. This could be the first step for you to become part of a growing movement of people who are discovering the joy of an INVITATION MADE SIMPLE.