The Grove Lays Down Roots, by Pastor Jon Donohue
After many months of planning and preparation, The Grove has officially been “planted” at Monticello Middle School in Longview! Our first gathering was Sunday, October 12 at 10:30a, and we had a great turn out, with lots of visitors, young families, and children.
It’s exciting to see our vision of one church ministering through two campuses come to life. Because we’re in two locations, we can now impact more people and more neighborhoods with the love of Jesus. Maybe you are wondering what it takes to launch a worship service at Monticello?
● It takes dedicated, servant-minded people who give up their leisurely Sunday mornings in order to get up early and haul around tables, chairs, audio gear, pipe and drape, and Kidville equipment in order to create inviting, creative spaces that are both functional and welcoming. Thanks to Loren Portwood’s tremendous leadership and organizational skills, systems are now in place that are streamlining the process.
● It takes audio and video tech team members to set up and run computer equipment, run hundreds of feet of cable, plug in advanced sound gear, and then mix it all so that everything sounds crisp and clear…all in time for worship practice at 9:00 AM. Thanks to Wayne Wrzesinski for leading the charge and playing a vital hand in organizing, leading, and structuring this ministry.
● It takes a dedicated team of talented musicians and vocalists to communicate, plan, and practice through- out the week, and then show up early on Sunday morning ready to help set up their gear, rehearse and then lead us into worship. Thanks to Danny Perez for leading this team with vision, passion, structure, and great skill.
● It takes loving, energetic, and dedicated Kidville teachers and helpers to show up at various times between 8 to 9:30 AM to help get ready to give kids a great structured and Christ-centered experience. On top of that, our dedicated nursery folks currently arrive at 8 AM to care for and organize a good time for the kids of our set up, tech, and worship teams. They play a vital role in all we have going on Sunday mornings. Thanks to Jo-El Perez who has led this ministry with skill, focus, dedication, and great love and passion for both the kids and the advancement of this critical ministry.
● It takes gracious and hospitable welcome team members who arrive early in order to put out signage, help organize the welcome table, and be in place to greet the first people who walk through the doors. Our welcome team members are our first impression, and they take their responsibilities seriously. Thanks to Jim and Denise Cram for their devoted, insightful, and caring leadership of this ministry.
● It takes volunteers who bring treats and snacks each weekend, and other volunteers who set up the coffee and drink station each weekend. Thanks to Katie Sande for organizing a great food and fellowship zone, and for leading the charge for sign-ups of the goodies that keep us rolling through the morning.
● It takes you, to pray and give and serve by filling in the gaps where we still need help. While our team is strong, we still need help in Kidville and the set up/take down ministries. If you can dedicate time once or twice a month (even if only for a season) to care for or help teach kids, or move around gear on a Sunday morning, you will play a vital role in the successful launch of a movement of God. Thank you to everyone who has already served and given in so many wonderful and important ways, from financial gifts, to sewing drapes, to giving supplies, to offering professional wisdom, to extending prayers and words of encouragement. Without you, this would not have been possible.
● And most of all, it takes Jesus, who continually encourages us, leads us, and empowers us along the way. It’s His mission that we’re on, and it’s in His strength that we advance as light into darkness. What a joy to serve our Savior and Lord in this worthwhile and impacting endeavor.
We encourage you to come and visit us on a Sunday morning! Even better, bring a friend from Longview along with you!
May the roots that The Grove lays down in Longview be deep and abiding, and may this fresh movement of God impact many lives for hope, healing, and salvation.