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Monday, December 15, 2008

What is this church gonna be like? Part 2

Read Part 1 first.

Part 2 will be all about worship. The reason the comments are turned off is for posts like this. If you think I'm misguided pray for me if this is what you've always dreamed of ... pray for me. Either way I want to be listening to God for direction instead of criticism or praise.

Worship is very personal! I believe that worship on a corporate level tends to mess up worship. It is more difficult to focus on God in a crowd. For some God is seen and worshiped while observing nature. For others worship is experienced while quoting scripture or singing songs. And others worship best in the dark quiet places - eyes closed with the world turned off. Some worship with loud music because it allows them freedom they don't feel in a quiet reverent chapel. Others worship through dance. I've worshiped in all of these ways but dance.

Some worship tradition. Some worship the absence of tradition. Most don't worship! In our modern world of information at every turn we have often worshiped information and knowledge. Many church attenders leave their respective gathering places more informed about God or some aspect of theology, having never encountered God. By definition, worship requires that our lives intersect with God. Without meeting God in what we have labeled worship, we have only been to a seminar or a refined lecture. More information is not necessarily bad but for our purposes, information will not take the place of worship.

Each week at Threshold we will intentionally create an atmosphere designed to make it easy to encounter God. Sometimes the music will be loud... sometimes it will be soft. We may not always have music. We will use video, games, drama, stories and scripture study. Much of what we will do may not seem like it belongs in church at all. but... Everything we do regardless of how traditional or non-traditional it may seem will be designed to move the worship participant toward an encounter with God. At threshold we believe that our lives intersecting with God will bring about change, adjustments, altered character and the ever unpopular but necessary repentance.

Vandals are at it again!!!

Shortly after I moved to the area we had a traffic circle added in an area where accidents and confusion were quite common. The traffic circle created this wonderful center of green space. Through the eyes of a cynic it looked like mud and grass in the early stages of life until the temp. dropped below 30 then it resorted to this interesting dead color. I knew we were in trouble with the circle if the center was not soon given a purpose. People were spinning out in the area and driving through the middle just for sport. A few plants would have given the space some dignity, but that was likely excluded from the budget in these hard times.

Despite budget constraints, area residents got together and created a holiday display. If you think I meant to say Christmas display just hang in there. The display consisted of a 2 foot Santa, candy canes, Christmas tree, short manger scene, ghost, black cat and jack-o-lantern. I am certain that people went to great legnths including personal sacrifice to prepare this display for public viewing. A fledgling holiday tradition needs some tlc and in this case, a guard.

Two days ago the vandals struck, stealing the ghost, black cat and jack-o-lantern. The worse part is my kids were in the car when this horrible discovery was made. My children were apalled to see that someone would steal a vital component of the hodgepodge display.

In a former life the existence of the ghost would have irritated me as it likely did the person who removed it. What irritates me is not that someone has a sense of humor, instead, I am disturbed that my child can come home with a "holiday tree" to decorate. When did the Christmas tree become a holiday tree? If we are so scared of whoever it is that doesn't like the reality of Christ that we can't even call a Christmas tree by its name, then maybe we should move the tree away from Christmas and focus only on the birth of Jesus. It would be fun to watch that politically correct meeting.

Most likely we would just refer to Him (Jesus) as God's Love Child unless of course you are offended by the existence of God and then we might settle for Mary's Love Child.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What is this church gonna be like? Part 1

I've been getting that question a lot lately and at times I'm not sure how to answer. Sometimes this is a loaded question coming from people who already attend a church so I tend to focus my answer on things that they won't like. This way they will be more likely to remain faithful to their church. I'd love to have the help of people who are currently committed Christians, but that would probably tick off their pastor. Additionally, changing everything you ever thought about how church should be done is very difficult. Statistics tell me that 1 in 5 people now attending church are in the market for a new one. In the Boiling Springs area, that translates to approx. 500 people looking for a church at any given time. There is a pretty good chance that Threshold will not be what current church attenders are looking for. Threshold will be a church for people who have little or no interest in being part of a church. Our goal in each decision is to choose to do things that are geared for people who are not here. We are not interested in doing church better than anyone else. (We don't have that kind of budget) Our goal is to do only three things well. (It's not that we plan to do the other things poorly, we just have no plans to do more than three). The three are; 1) Worship that connects the participant with God. 2) Community service/Missions that impacts the participant and the community. and 3) Small groups "MY GROUPS" that connect people in meaningful relationships with each other while on the spiritual journey.

These three subjects will be given more attention in the next few days in "Parts" 2, 3 & 4. These areas will also be the messages for each of our three preview services.

Click on "statistics" for detailed church hopper info.

As a footnote... What Budget?

The Boiling Springs Parade

This morning we gave out free coffee and balloons at the parade. This event was a great success for us since our goal was to surprise people and make kids smile. We had some friends come from a sponsor church and give us a hand with the balloons. Lots of churches and community groups had floats and parade entries making for a really nice parade. If you found our website and are in need of more information, be sure to give us a call 327-9192.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parade This Saturday (Dec 13)

This Saturday we will be participating in the Boiling Springs area parade...sort of. 
Since we currently have no beauty queens to perch atop a float and we were not sure where to turn to train our group in the art of float waving, we are going a different route. 

We decided to give out free coffee to the grown-ups and balloons to the wee ones.

 If you're too old for balloons and too young for coffee, just ask for a frisbee. We still have a few. 

If you have a church and are uncomfortable having your little ones advertising a new church, just bring a pin. Pop the balloon and blame it on someone standing nearby. Of course be prepared to go to McDonalds to make up for the balloon mishap. 

Want to join us? Of course we can use the help. . . See you there.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Movie Night at Carlisle Fosters Grove Elementary

Yesterday we were able to help the PTA put on their movie night in the Gym. Our 5,000 lumen HD projector made an incredible picture even though it was projected directly on the wall. With only 3500 watts with 6 speakers spread out we had a pretty good sound. (Gyms are notorious for horrible sound) The PTA put on a great event with popcorn snacks and drinks available for sale. The three made for TV classics were a great hit with the kids and of course it was nostalgia for the moms and dads who first saw two of the three movies on the old fashioned reel. (some first saw it in black and white) By the way if we can help you with your event we would love the opportunity to be of service to your school. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Movies In The Park

This morning I was able to temporarily reserve the dates for our Movies in the Park Presentations. The first date will be Friday May 8th with a rain date of Saturday May 9th.  The second date will be Friday June 12th with a rain date of June 13th. We will determine which movies to show after we know which ones will be available at that time. Both events will be free. We will not be collecting any personal information. Community groups and businesses are invited to be co-sponsors and/or give away merchandise. Percent off coupons can not be distributed as part of this event. No political campaigns can be sponsors. Also we will not allow sponsorships from beer joints. It's a family thing! More information here.

Needing some stuff!

So yesterday I was working through our list of things we need and counting down the weeks to our January "Preview Service." The task was overwhelming and a bit discouraging. To summarize, we need more things than we have money for. I was talking through the situation with Lisa and she asked if we should postpone the service until we had enough money to afford everything on the list of needs. Even though it sounded logical, I felt strongly that we shouldn't do that.

So I began to cross things off the list that we were not going to be able to afford. It was a lot of things because we were short a big chunk of change.

Then, God showed up and shamed me (and especially my wife!) for our lack of faith. We had just finished talking when someone came to my house and handed me a check. A really BIG check. That check covered ALMOST EVERYTHING I had crossed off of the list of things we need.

That's not all. I got a phone call from someone else, asking me about their sound board issue and by the end of that phone call I had another item previously marked off the list being donated. Another big ticket item was taken off the list!

By 9:30 at night, there was still one item I had removed from our list not covered by the unexpected generosity and the phone rang. (BY NOW YOU KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING) A friend calls me and donates a brand new amplifier to use for as long as we want!


Seems like somewhere I read "My God will supply all my need." (Phil. 4:19) Didn't even think to pray about it, just crossed it off the list... what a humbling reminder. We are supplied according to His riches... not mine.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Tomorrow (Black Friday) morning, we will be on 3775 Parris Bridge Rd giving out FREE (Dunkin Donuts) COFFEE. We will have a drive-thru due to minimal parking. As with everything that we will ever do, there will be no registration forms, no gotcha's and no showing up at your house because you came to one of our events. We will however, be trying a new tracking program where we take down your tag number and see if we can find your house, but that will only be every 12th car. 

So, your chance of seeing us at your doorstep in your bathrobe is actually quite slim. 

Coffee served very hot in case you are into the lawsuit thing. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

First "My Group" Meeting

Yesterday we had our first My Group meeting. Between the two groups we had 18 in attendance. 
We looked at quite a bit of scripture on the subject of worship and had a great time of interaction and discussion. We had a thought presented after the meeting to give away free coffee on Black Friday. I don't know if we can get all of the things together needed to make this happen, but we are working toward making it happen. The thought just hit me.... can you really give away anything that is not free? Want to join in?  Call 327-9192

Friday, November 21, 2008

Boiling Springs Business Association

Last night I went to the Thanksgiving dinner at BSHS for the business association. It was a nice event with a great meal. Being fairly new to the area, it gave me an opportunity to meet people in business and in particular some people we hope to partner with in the community in the coming year. I did know several people at the dinner but for the most part everyone was new to me. The one observation that was a bit odd to me was the colorless nature of the event. Not sure what to make of that? Me either. If you're reading .... hope to see you Sunday 10:30 Call for directions. 327-9192  Great things planned for Sunday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday Morning "My Groups"

UPDATE Groups now meet at 10:07

My Groups are officially starting this Sunday. All of the groups will meet at 10:07. The purpose of these groups is to go on a spiritual journey together. We will be discussing Bible claims and teachings. All questions, thoughts and opinions will be heard and addressed. These groups do not have a teacher. There is no lecture!!! Also the groups are designed to get to know other group members better. We call that "doing" life together. Call 327-9192 for directions to a My Group near you.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Set in Stone

We finally have a temporary meeting place. Please be sure to check back since this meeting place is only for meetings on Nov 2, 9 and 16.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dates Set In Playdough

We will be having several informational meetings in the near future. (Check back for exact location) The purpose of the informational meeting is to make sure you know the big picture of what we will be doing as a church. This is a time when questions can be answered. All of the meetings will be on Sunday. November. 2nd AM, 9th PM and 16thAM Go ahead and mark your calendars and check back for more information in the future.

We are planning Preview Services Jan 11th, Feb 1st and 22nd
The reason for this is to help us with the logistics of set-up as we will be a mobile church.
Once again we have no clue where we will meet or the exact time, but this will give you an opportunity to plan. During the preview services we will share the vision for a community involved and community reaching church.

Regular Services will begin March 15th

By March 15th we expect to have all aspects of a quality Worship experience and TOP NOTCH children's programming in place.

If you can be of assistance or desire to be part of this new effort, please call today. 327-9192

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hump Day

Well - I'm off to a very busy day today. I'm helping some friends get moved into their new store. (It's Blvd Music btw - you should see their new store) Then, it's back to the soup kitchen for some volunteer hours. We will see if I can make it through without getting emotional - it depends if I see hungry children again or not.

We have some VERY exciting things in the works for Threshold:
* the
website will be up soon. It will be basic to begin with - but should look pretty good. (We need to have information available for the folks we will be advertising to soon.)
* something
exciting is in the works - you need to come Thursday night to find out!
* we are seriously considering signing a lease on a very inexpensive place to house the church offices, store equipment, rehearse, and advertise. It is in a highly visible location so this could be a great advertising opportunity.
* finally - be
in prayer for our church and also for Hub City Church as they reach out to those who are disconnected from God in the Spartanburg area. We should pray constantly!

See you Thursday night!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ready to Roll . . .

We had a great launch team meeting tonight and have lots of things in the works. Here is a bullet list of things we covered:
* We will be advertising for cheap in the ValPak. This will get our name into the hands of 10,000 homes in our area. We think this will be a good "bang for our buck" option of early advertising. 
* We watched The Gospel Blimp . . . sometimes the best intentions can have the worst results. This movie should be called "Evangelism: How to offend your neighbors and turn them against the church.
* We received a thank you note from the assistant principal of the 9th grade campus. We served breakfast to all of the teachers on the teacher workday. They were very appreciative and it was a great opportunity of service. 

NEXT STEP: We will be having several informational meetings at different locations in the community to allow interested folks the opportunity to learn more about Threshold. Start inviting people and pray that we will add to our numbers as we begin this next phase.

That's all for now - check back often as we will be updating a more frequent basis.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Week of August 17-23

This past week was a great week for moving forward with the church. Sunday was spent with North Rock Hill Church helping them and learning from their church. Monday brought two great conversations with local ministries. Miracle Hill Rescue Mission and the Second Pres. Soup Kitchen of Spartanburg. Also a good conversation about a possible partnership with the PTA of a local Boiling Springs School. On Wednesday, Frank Wall and I (Ryan Bishop) went to the Soup Kitchen and served the homeless and needy of our area. I'm not much of an emotional person but when the first mama walked in with two small kids.... I just about lost it! Thursday and Friday was spent in Tennessee with a group from Cincinnati Ohio comparing notes, praying for each other, laughing (mostly at "two dudes billboard") and learning together. For those interested.... one day the sarcasm will return.

Monday, July 14, 2008

PowerPlant Article

Check out the article on PowerPlant in the Spartanburg Herald:


Our first media mention:) We got some more promotional materials in the mail today to hand out, I'm leaving for a 2 day conference to learn how to better communicate, and we have an intern coming in the rest of this week to help with follow through from the door hangers last week.

It's really rollin' now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Backyard Continued . . .

OK - we are extending the event through Thursday. So we hope to have lots of children show up for the fun from 1:00--4:00 Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at 1077 Corie Crest Drive. Call -if you need directions: 864-327-9192

Monday, July 7, 2008

Backyard Bonanza!

We (The PowerPlant team from Lufton) did a lot of work today to get ready for the Backyard Bible Club event tomorrow afternoon. We handed out over 6oo envelopes with a flyer for the event and info about Threshold.

So . . . parents who received a flyer, SEND US YOUR KIDS:) We have a great group of kids here from Texas ready to put on a great event. We will have crafts, a HUMONGOUS inflatable for the big kids, a couple of smaller inflatables for the smaller kids, popcorn, snow cones, snacks, games and a Bible Story. It is totally free. We want to show some love to the area and get our name out there. Feel free to call with any questions.

Come to 1077 Corie Crest Drive which is off of Mountain View Road (turn left off of Parris Bridge Road onto Mountain View or Rt onto Mountain View off of Bible Church Road.)

TOMORROW (7-8-08) from 1:00-4:00.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What to Expect:

Sunday, June 29, 2008 - Ryan Bishop
- Relevant teaching. Real answers to questions that matter to you.
- Ongoing acts of service in the community. We are going to get sweaty.
- Informal, Bible-based discussions... In homes throughout the community.
- Partnerships with civic organizations and schools.
- Current music.
- Acceptance.
- High impact, multimedia children's programming.
- A Pastor led church.


- A permanent location. We will meet in borrowed and leased space.