Blog Archives

What if your church showed up in your neighborhood?

What would happen if several hundred people from Seneca Creek showed up in your neighborhood? Or in the parking lot of your workplace? Or in the cafeteria of your school? And what if we all showed up with our work clothes on, ready to jump in and help? What would you want us to do? Clean up the local park? Paint the home of a single mom? Fill the pantry of an out-of-work family? Feed the homeless guy that stands at the corner?

That’s the question behind Ignite Week (Oct. 16-22). Where can we serve in order to meet a need in our city? And the answer lies in each of us. Maybe you know exactly how you’d answer. If so, be sure to email us ( with your idea, so we can try to make sure it happens during Ignite Week. Then again, maybe you don’t know what you’d want us to do. If that’s your situation, would you please take one minute each day, and ask God to open your eyes to a need that he’d like you to help meet? Then, email us ( to let us know about the project.

Together, we’re attempting to involve 1,000 people during Ignite Week. So far we have about 34 projects. It would be great to get another 46 for a total of 80! Together, we can make it happen. Together we can share the goodness of God, and ignite HOPE the week of October 16-22.

And if you’d like to serve in one of the many projects we already have scheduled, be sure to sign up online .

For more info about WHY we’re doing it this way this year (instead of Ignite Sunday), please see my letter from last week. And then join us Sunday as we continue our series, “Road Signs: Where Is God Leading You?”

-Pastor Mark

Too busy to make a difference? Really?

Okay, I have to start with this. Last Sunday was an explosion of hope! If you were with us you got hope splashed all over you as we watched story after story of people’s lives being changed by God. Like this one…

You also heard us talk about Ignite Week: 1,000 people from Seneca Creek serving during one week. And many of you (163 to be specific) responded. BUT…if you haven’t signed up yet, please read on.

Let’s face it, we’re busy people. Commuting, kids, deadlines, and commitments have us running like crazy. Taking time to serve during Ignite Week (Oct. 16-22) sounds wonderful…and not very realistic. I hear you. Let me offer a solution. Consider how much time you might spend each week watching your favorite sports team, or drama, or streaming movies. Consider how much time you spend on your iPad, Facebook, YouTube, or your fantasy football team. Consider how much time you spend dining out, or enjoying your favorite hobby. Then ask yourself this: for one week, could I take 2 or 3 hours of THAT time, and invest it in igniting hope? I suspect that we could ALL do that. We could say, “I’ll make time for this because it’s important. I’ll make time to spread the goodness of God in our city. I’ll make time to take what I believe, and actually put it into action.”

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18

Are we busy? Certainly. Are we too busy to make a difference during Ignite Week? I certainly hope not! Please take a few minutes today to review the current opportunities, then sign up for Ignite Week. And then take the initiative to invite your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member to join you in serving during Montgomery County’s 25th week of serving.

Finally, if you know of a need (maybe a neighbor struggling with cancer, a family who can’t afford groceries, an organization attempting to meet the desperate needs around us, etc.) then PLEASE contact and help lead a small group of people to ignite HOPE in that way during Ignite Week. That may be exactly why God brought it to your attention in the first place.

I invite you to join us this Sunday as we kick off a new series, “Road Signs: Where Is God Leading You?” See you there!

-Pastor Mark

P.S. We’ll have a brief “family meeting” at the conclusion of Sunday’s morning gatherings for everyone who considers Seneca Creek their “church family.”

How 1 plus 1 can equal 1,000

Did you know that Montgomery County has been running an annual “Community Service Week” for the last 25 years? Here’s my embarrassing confession: I’ve lived in this county for 22 of those 25 years, and I only found out about it a few months ago.

You may be wondering why I thought this was worth writing about. Here’s why. The week of serving happens to coincide with our annual “Ignite Sunday,” when we serve our community because God served us! And this year we’ve decided to expand Ignite Sunday to an entire week. It will be Ignite Week. What’s more, since it’s the 25th year for the county’s program, they’re shooting for 25,000 people to volunteer and serve during the week of October 16 to 22.

In the last couple years we’ve had almost 500 people serve at Ignite Sunday. And that’s during a small, two hour window on Sunday morning. So I believe that since we have an entire week, we can double that. Our goal is to get 1,000 people volunteering to serve in the community during that week. You read that right. One church, one week, 1,000 people. 1 + 1 = 1,000. “But Mark, that’s bigger than our Sunday services combined!” I know that. But you know all those friends you’d like to invite to Seneca Creek, but they’re just not “into church?” Well, here’s your chance. Invite them to serve with you!

Why are we doing this? Because God calls us to serve in the name of Christ. And because when we do, not only do we ignite HOPE, but we experience God’s work in our own lives! We need to do this as much as the community needs people to serve.

We’re obviously going to need everyone’s help on this, including your ideas on where and how we can serve during that week. We’ll be talking more about it in the coming weeks, but start praying and looking for opportunities now. Opportunities to serve. Opportunities to invite. Opportunities to ignite HOPE! It’s gonna’ be a great week!

Footnote: I met with a group of county officials yesterday as they were planning this event. When I told them about our goal, they were ecstatic! They’re hoping that we can inspire other churches to get involved in serving this community as well. Let’s all work together and raise the bar for followers of Christ throughout the county!

Oh, and don’t miss the exciting Baptism Celebration this Sunday during both services! Come early, as seating will be near capacity. See you then.

-Pastor Mark