by Tiffany Lambert | 08.16.17
When I heard about the picnic in the park for Syrian refugee families that Makers Church was co-hosting, I knew I had to be there. The idea of making these families feel at home and valued in our community really resonated with me and I went into the event, excited to build relationships. We were expecting 200 people, but almost 500 Syrian moms, dads, and kids showed up to the picnic! Volunteers spent time serving food, handing out practical supplies such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, and diapers or playing soccer and doing crafts with the kids.
As a photographer, I wanted to use my gift to bless the families. I have seen the power of a photo, and I knew that many of these families were not able to bring pictures with them when they made the journey. So I packed up my portable printer and my camera and headed to the park. I met two women and some of their children and through translation help from one of the kids I offered to give them photos. As soon as people saw the printer I was surrounded by kids and families wanting their photo done. And for 3 hours, there I was. Up until my printer died I had a steady swarm of people, excitedly asking for their photo.
Afterward, a friend and I went to go sit with the first woman we met and she invited us to come visit her home! We hopped in the car and spent the rest of the afternoon sipping on Arabic coffee and tea. Google Translate became our best friend as it facilitated us to be able to talk about where we come from, our dreams and our families. I was also able to take family portraits of them in their home. After I plugged in my printer and handed over the photos, the oldest daughter ran over and lovingly placed them in their empty photo album. They invited us to come back and visit soon for some home cooked Syrian food, and we excitedly accepted!
There was so much beauty wrapped up in this event- people of different ages, cultures, and faith backgrounds coming together to build community. As I sat in their living room, I could not help but have a huge smile on my face, because these strangers were becoming like family.
*Interested in being a part of our Outreach Team? Sign up HERE.
by Kathryn Schuyler | 08.02.17
I remember as a kid having a constant desire to grow taller. It was a contest - my grandma would line us up with a ruler on the crown of our heads, marking our heights carefully in pencil on her scuffed yellow wall. It wasn’t about who was the tallest (my older cousin had that one in the bag). It was about who had grown the fastest since the last Thanksgiving, last Easter.
When it comes to spiritual growth, measurement should happen pretty much the same way. It’s not about which community group member is the farthest along on their faith journey, or how our spiritual gift stats stack up against the rest of the church. At Makers, and in churches around the world, we’re working on our spiritual elasticity, to stretch the small versions of ourselves into someone deeper and more vast, and to snap closer to Jesus.
Paul teaches in Hebrews 5 about spiritual adulting - “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
By Paul’s definition, there are baby Christians who drink milk, there are grown-up Christians who eat solid food, and by extension, there are probably kiddo Christians who eat Cheetos and teenage Christians who eat Jack-N-The-Box tacos, but Paul didn’t feel the need to delve into that much detail. The point is, the Church, scripture, and Jesus meet everyone exactly where they’re at and grow from there. And that growth, the maturity Paul refers to, comes from “constant use” of these resources. It comes from taking a bite of something you can’t chew and just chewing.
That’s the idea behind Grow Track at Makers. Regardless of your stage of spiritual development, or regardless of if you even know what that means, the leaders at Makers are here to meet you where you’re at. With stories from their own lives, with the living, breathing Word of God that transforms at the touch, with personality tests and reflective questions and discussion opportunities, we know this isn’t where your journey begins or ends. It’s where it continues.
Grow Track is a four-week, low-commitment practice of chewing. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to share your thoughts and questions with people you barely know when you’d rather be brunching. Let’s call those growing pains.
Because growth only comes when you press in, despite the pain it takes to feel your shin bones stretching—you will get taller. This time next year you will look back at your pencil mark on the wall and how far you’ve come, thinking I can’t believe all that I couldn’t see then, that I can see now. Your distance from Jesus will shrink. Your capacity to ask will expand. You will come ever closer to the person God made you to be from the beginning. And you won’t be able to wait for your next bite.
*Join us this Sunday for Grow Track. Directly following the 10 AM gathering at Dana Middle School.
by Sarah Witmer | 7.19.17
photos: Evan Yamada
I want to be around people. I really do. But when it comes to walking out the door to go to an event, I sometimes find myself dreading those same people whose company I crave.
Small talk exhausts me. There are always a few bumps and bruises, awkward moments along the way, especially in large groups, and sometimes I don’t have the energy to wade through a socially painful conversation. I just want to know everyone already, skipping the uncomfortable getting-to-know-you phase.
When I look at some of my closest friends, I can’t remember any of the small talk we had to lumber past in order to get to the good stuff. But we did. And you know where we met? Church events. Volleyball games, summer BBQs, and concerts in the park. Event by event, word by word, we chipped away at each other’s outer walls, earning the right to go deeper with one another.
My life has been transformed by these individuals who gave their time and energy to get to know me. Imagine if they just didn’t feel like it. What if they stuck to the people they already knew because it was easier?
I wouldn’t have met my husband through that girl who was brand new to church at the time. The two women I met at a community group wouldn’t have been my bridesmaids. We wouldn’t live in our house, which was handed down to us by a couple at Maker's. Our yard wouldn’t have been bursting at the seams this past Sunday as we announced that I’m 3 months pregnant with our first child.
This is true community. It takes time to build, and even more time to fight to keep it standing. To give. To show up when you don’t feel like it. To open yourself up to new people who want to belong as much as you do.
I have no doubt that I have yet to meet some of the people who will impact my life the most. My future best friend could be at the next summer event, dreading small talk as much as me. I hope we both push past it, seeking the life God has called us into - one where we get over our need for comfort and try our best to love others day by day.
by Jayna Russel | 7.19.17
I didn’t grow up going to church. At least I should say I didn’t grow up going to church regularly. Being a painfully shy kid, this meant that I was perpetually the new kid, always the odd man out sitting alone at the craft table while the other kids played. As a result, church was a strange experience for me, almost like the proverbial poor kid at Christmas time, peering through the shop windows at all the warmth and magic unfolding before my eyes. On the outside looking in, I couldn’t help but wonder what it might feel like to truly belong.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and I now have a child of my own. She’s a sweet little angel of a kid, with the Hungarian hot-temperedness of her dad and the introverted bookwormy-ness of her mom. Like any parent, I want many things for her. Things like riches, fame, and glory would be nice. Yet what I desire most for her is much more down-to-earth, mainly to be known, valued, and connected to a community that reflects God’s love back to her. I want her to grow and thrive among people who know her name and remind her of her worth, who engage richly in the love and work of God, and urge her on towards her own creative purpose on this earth.
Makers Church is a place where we can do that for each other, where we can know and be known, and where we can reflect God’s love back to one another. We can create a time and a place for engaging in God’s creative work together, and the quality of the community we create will be woven into the fabric of our children’s minds. Our love and respect and kindness will create the inner lining of their souls. And when they embark out into the world on their own, they will never have to doubt that they are known, they are treasured, and they are loved.
When we show up with our daughter on Sunday mornings, this is our hope and our prayer. And this is also our commitment to you and your kids. This is the commitment we make to one another, that we reflect God’s love to one another, and ensure that another generation of amazing kids will live to tell the tale and walk in the footsteps of our Maker.
*Take the next step in your family's journey at Makers Church and join us this Sunday for Child Dedications. RSVP Today.
by Katie Balla | 7.12.17
Over two years ago, brand new to San Diego and knowing hardly a soul, my husband and I found ourselves intensely craving community and friendships. It was intimidating and terrifying to be starting completely over. We found Makers Church and each week we attended gatherings, put our children in Kid’s Ministry, met a few faces here and there, but still hadn’t really created any real relationships. I remember telling my husband that everyone here seemed to be at their “max” on friendships and that there was no room for us.
In hindsight, I can see now that those were little lies and mistruths trying to take root in our heart—to rob us of the abundant community that was right there in front of us.
Thankfully, we kept pressing on despite that feeling. We got invited to a family picnic that some Makers Church people put together at a local park. Everything inside me told me not to go. It would be so awkward! We wouldn’t know anyone. We would totally look like the weird, new people. We’d have no one to talk to. Who would our kids play with? It’d be much easier to just stay home. - But we knew we had to just go. So we did.
I still remember every feeling from that day years later. We pulled up to a park where every family seemed to know one another except for us. We were clearly ‘the new guys’ and although everyone was gracious and kind, there were many first-time conversations and all that awkward getting-to-know-you stuff. We didn’t leave that day with any instant-BFF's, but looking back now I can say with absolute certainty that we were beginning the foundation layer for friendships.
That year we just continued to show up. When there were events, gatherings, and opportunities to get to know people, we were there. And we went again and again. Relationships blossomed out of our faithfulness and you know what we discovered? Everyone’s friendship tank was not maxed out. In fact, there were many people just like us, a little bit on the fringes, needing that push to go fully all-in with the mess and beauty of sharing life with one another.
Just a few weeks ago we went back to that same park where it all started with many of the same people from two years ago. Except now, many of those friends feel like family. Our kids all love and play like cousins. My toddler sits on the laps of my friends. We feel safe to share the good, bad and ugly of our lives. And that day I left with a massive smile on my face and joy in my heart because of how far God brought us.
Showing up to summer events and church outings was undoubtedly the foundation for the life-giving friendships we now have and continue to make. A little bit of awkward small talk turned into the depth and beauty that we always prayed for.
My encouragement to you today is to just go. I know it can be awkward the first few times—but go. And show up. And then show up again and again because you are worthy to be seen and to know the depth of love an amazing community can bring. It takes some work but it is oh so worth it.
*Join us at a Summer Event this month and start connecting! Build life-giving friendships and dive deeper into a beautiful community. www.makerschurch.org/summer
Saying "No" to Good, Saying "Yes" to Best
by Marc Wallis | 6.28.17
Many know the story of Martha & Mary, or at least a version of it. It's a tale of two sisters who host Jesus and his followers for a meal.
Martha is busy cooking, cleaning, serving (basically being a good host) while Mary sits listening to Jesus.
Martha complains that Mary isn't pulling her weight and that Jesus should command her sister to help her in the kitchen.
But instead, Jesus gently rebukes Martha and commends Mary.
The typical takeaway is Martha's need for better work / life balance - to be more like Mary who's able to sit and relax and just be with Jesus.
Don't get me wrong - that's super important, but there's a deeper truth we often miss, hidden in the ancient context, that's incredibly powerful for us now...
Two crucial things to know...
1. Scriptures say that Mary... "sat at the Lord’s feet listening." In First Century Israel this was a weighty phrase. Every Jew knew it was reserved specifically to describe a "disciple." An honored student. An apprentice. One who would carry on the work of their Master. "To sit at the feet" of a Rabbi was a mark of honor, and a place, position and power reserved only for chosen followers and leaders-in-training.
2. First Century AD Women were not supposed to "sit at the feet" of Rabbi. Women were not allowed to be anyone's "disciples." In fact, women were not even supposed to be in the same room as men when a Rabbi was teaching.
So if you read Luke 10:38-42 with those two things in mind the narrative takes on a whole new meaning.
Martha isn't mad primarily because she's left alone to do the work - but because her sister is breaking the rules. Mary's not staying within the BOUNDARIES of culture and "good" society. She's not staying in her lane.
When Jesus responds to Martha's complaints he does not reprimand her for working hard or being a dedicated host. Instead he gently corrects her for being "worried and upset." Martha is worried about what people will say, about her sister breaking the rules, about being left out, about so many other things.
But Jesus says... "few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Boom. Mic drop Jesus. Way to focus in on what's really important.
It reminds me of a Steve Jobs' quote that says, "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not it at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas out there. You have to pick carefully...Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things."
Mary demonstrated this fact beautifully. She made healthy boundaries for herself so she could break unhealthy ones. She said NO to letting others’ opinions dictate her actions. NO to letting culture keep her from her Christ. NO to many good things so she could say YES to the best; to sitting at the feet Jesus. YES to pouring all of herself into her goal being a Disciple - to learning from the Master, to experiencing his presence and intimacy so she could grow and develop and do the work that was prepared for her.
In light of this historical context it is utterly fascinating to me, and, frankly, a little scandalous that Jesus did not rebuke Mary for being where she was not “allowed.”
In those days Jesus had the right, and likely the obligation, to correct Mary...to punish her presumptions, to chide her pride (rhyme boom), and make an example of her.
Yet he did none of those things. He did not embarrass, callout, correct, punish or belittle Mary...nor did he remind her that she was in a "man's" place. He didn’t Mansplain and he certainly did not tell her to stay in her lane.
Instead he commended her.
He declared to all present that Mary, the boundary-maker and the boundary-breaker, had chosen what was better, and that that would never be taken from her.
Crazy stuff! Jesus is so compelling to me. Calling him “Progressive” just doesn’t do it justice and misses the point. He goes far beyond the imaginary boundaries we create...and calls us to follow.
I pray that God's Spirit gives us the courage and self-control to create healthy boundaries and say NO...not just to the bad, but to the mediocre - and even the good - so that we can say YES to what is truly important, to what is best - to sitting at the feet of the Master.
by Ozioma Enworom | 6.14.17
As a registered nurse working in the Emergency Department, I had the privilege of joining a diverse team from Makers Church as we launched our first medical clinic in Punta Colonet, Mexico. The purpose of this clinic was to gather general information about the people living in the local community so that we can learn how to better serve them in the future. During our time there, we were able to administer a health survey to assess the medical needs and current resources available to the people in the community; perform a basic physical examination; and hand out vitamins and pain medication according to each individual’s needs. We were very fortunate to have team members and translators who spoke Spanish help us communicate with the native people. After the clinic, we were invited to the Mayor of Colonet’s home for a delicious meal. I am so humbled by the hospitality we received throughout our trip and the potential partnership opportunities for Makers Church in the future.
Outside of our time in the clinic, we worked on basic construction projects. The simple act of staining a door or sanding a staircase may seem trivial, but at the end of every day, each repetitive movement helped contribute to building a beautiful foundation for a future children’s day care center. My favorite part of the trip was getting to know the people from our Makers community. Whether it was sharing silly stories on the road, playing with estranged animals, or shrewdly building allies through the mysterious game of Mafia, we were able to connect with each other on a real level. Although the work we have to do as a movement is still unfinished, it is encouraging to see how God is using the Makers community to cross cultural and spiritual borders in order to make on earth as it is in heaven.
by Makers Team | 5.23.17
Last Sunday, Pastor Derrick shared just a preview of what the Bible teaches about generosity related to money. The bottom line is that Jesus is way more concerned with the posture of our hearts than the amount of our financial giving (Matthew 6:21). He wants to increase our righteousness by releasing us from the grips of debt and the worship of money (Matthew 6:24).
Derrick also challenged all of us to test God in how generosity can transform our lives by giving for 90 days. As he said, we’re not testing God so that He will bless us with material things or more money. We are confronting our own control issues and asking God to set us free from all the baggage that the love of money brings.
Pastor Derrick asked us to start giving somewhere, to something worthy. But what he didn’t have time to go into is the idea that the most important entity you can give to is the local church.
Look, we get it – there is a lot of cynicism about giving to any religious organization, let alone a church. Our history isn’t perfect, but the God we serve is. And He has chosen to use the broken and imperfect church to do his greatest work in this world.
Giving somewhere is better than giving nowhere, because giving nowhere will never teach you how to share. - Pastor Derrick
If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Makers’ values, goals, and plans for the future, you can download the PDF here.
We have 26 new recurring givers since we started talking about giving a few weeks ago, resulting in over $6,000 in new gifts per month. Thank you so much to each of you who are supporting our mission with your finances.
So here’s the challenge: ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom about giving financially to a church. (If Makers isn't where you call home, it doesn't have to be here.) Be open to where you feel compelled to give, and then take a step of faith and give for 90 days.
We can’t wait to hear what God does in your life! (Be sure to share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)Setup Recurring Giving
by Gill Sotu | 5.16.17
Shhh... now don't tell nobody
but I HEAR tell that a mama's kiss don't just die after it's left its mark on your skin
No sir, no ma'am...
I ain't no mama,
But I am told that a mother's kiss can exist years after it's initial creation
It becomes pure energy, building invisibly like Super Mario bricks
to help mothers see over the walls we build when we get a bit too much “TEEN-AGY”
A mother's kiss is verbal and nonverbal
it is physical and spiritual
It tattoos itself upon your being
Its ink becomes a part of your bones, your blood
That is why when you are about to step out of the boundaries of your character,
your mother's voice echoes thick inside of you
(I know ya’ll ignore it, but it’s there!)
Mama, we are ETERNALLY bound together
with rope only God can see
And according to you, none of MY MISTAKES can break
We are both BROKEN but you make the pieces come together beautifully
Like puzzles, of crosses, of a Savior,
washing the feet of those who felt like they didn't deserve it
I never deserved it
I HATED rubbing your feet when you were tired from spending your time protecting mine,
serving my happiness Mama the cook and the waiter/mama the soldier...
Mama the poet, Mama the judge and jury
Mama the silly, Mama the psychic
Mama the prayer warrior, Mama the quiet
Mama the single parent, Mama the lioness
Mama the life tamer, Mama the entrepreneur
Mama the soft strength through hard times
Mama the big smiles dealing with small people
Mama the love, mama the love,
I am SO HONORED to be awarded recipient of your love
A mother’s kiss means PROTECTION
A mother’s kiss means you are probably crying over something that is ultimately not that important,
but we will both PRETEND that it is
A mother's kiss means you have just MISSED the lesson that is SO IMPORTANT,
but we will both PRETEND you are STILL the BRIGHTEST bulb in the Vegas
Scientists are still trying to discover why a mother’s kiss heals an
injured SPIRIT or SCAB 77X faster than the leading brands
A mother’s kiss means there is SO MUCH I want to tell you
It means I want to INTIMATELY know ALL that you are,
From your DISNEY DREAMS to your BEDROOM BOOGEYMEN
A mother’s kiss means GOD will heal all things I can not
It means that it is not always easy,
but I am giving you over to HIM
I only want THE BEST for you…
I want to be MY BEST for you
My kiss is my magnet, bringing out the best IN YOU
Mama the chocolate thief, Mama the constant cuddler
Mama the baker and the candlestick maker
Mama the homework warden, Mama the fun police
Mama the party starter, Mama the embarrassing dancer
Mama the graceful, Mama the maker of feast from famine
Mama the biological, Mama the chosen
Mama the selfless, Mama the underrated
Mama… MY LOUDEST fan in the audience,
I can hear you over EVERYONE,
And I KNOW I am unabashedly yours
Mama the love, Mama the love,
Today I stand SO HONORED to be awarded recipient of your love