Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.




I’m not a big numbers guy as a means of success, so chalk it up to whatever you want, but last weekend set a new regular Sunday record in just people showing up to our high school program. There were 157 people in there! We had been hovering around 130 during our 10:45am service for about the last 4 weeks which was really good for us. But then yesterday, I spent most of the morning adding chairs. The first year I was here at Journey the attendance at this service hovered between 15 and 30! What a different feel. I had to ask kids to move over one and make room for more. I had some leaders sitting on the floor in the back. A visiting friend had to stand all morning.

Crazy I tell you. Crazy.

It’s been a long time coming. It was overwhelming in a good way. I was so proud of our team. They are so many who deserve the credit for this. Our students are in the band, the tech, the producers, sending visitor cards… our leaders are showing up. It was simply a great thing to watch.

2. VIBE.

There is a great vibe in Encounter right now. Not sure totally how to explain it, but it just feels right.

This was the second week in a series we’re doing on reaching out to your friends called “everyone matters”. Maybe it’s working. Yesterday I met one freshman who brought 3 friends with him. I met another gal who was visiting for the first time because she ran into one of ours students at the mall who invited her and she showed on her own! Amazing.

Then we had a great student leader meeting at my house after church. About 30 students showed up for a BBQ and a chance to dive into the behind the scenes leadership of our student ministries team. We had a pretty even mix of gender, grade, and school environments which was encouraging. We talked about our vision. We talked about our calendar. We made some new friends. Some of us even sorted cans and bottles we’ve been collecting from church to help sponsor world vision kids. I ended by telling these students that I was so proud and honored to be working with them. I really meant that.


Sunday capped off with the fall launch of New Format- our college ministry. In the 3 1/2 years I’ve been here, the college ministry has had 3 different part-time leaders, 2 group names, several logos, 2 rooms on campus, and at least 3 changes in “style”. So, as you can imagine, it’s been hard to build momentum.

Anyway, last May the church made some decisions to move Sarah Merk into the newest of the part-time leadership roles with college. That culminated last night with their first meeting. There was excitement and desire and passion and ownership and 65ish people. It was great. I loved seeing former students in leadership. I loved watching our college ministry get off to a good start this school year. I loved what God is doing and has done in this space. Oh… and Sarah’s message on our innate God made desire for community was spot on for my life too. I was so stoked for this team today. It was an encouragement to the leaders of today and a great thing for the history of those who helped it stay alive and breathed new life into it through the years.


  1. This is great to read Brian. It encourages me to see ministries thriving and the design looks great for both highschool and college.

    Great job.

  2. Pretty awesome stuff Brian! I know when Letty and I were walking by before the 9 am service I heard the band doing an awesome version of “Hosannah”. I really wanted to walk in and check it out. Sometimes I hate being old, lol. Thanks for all the great work you are doing!

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