Friday, February 28, 2014

From Doubter to Believer...

One of the worst feelings in the world would have to be the sensation of losing hope. Everyone needs hope. Once hope is lost, your life, relationships, or circumstances can change and, at times, the joy of living life seems to drain right out of you.

This weekend kicks off a new series, Before & After. We will be looking at five people in scripture who had such dramatic changes in their lives that the Lord actually changed their names, to reflect all that was occurring within them. The battle for change will always be fought internally before victory is externally visible.

This weekend = how do we develop a hope and a faith that sustains…the move from doubter to believer.

See you this weekend,
Pastor Ken

PS. This would be a great weekend to invite a friend!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Look Back at a Year Full of Changes

Guest Post from Mark Knight, Executive Director - Cypress Church

February 18, 2014 was my one year anniversary since joining the Cypress staff team. Wow! If I had to define this first year in one word it would be CHANGE. This past year has been filled with changes at Cypress.

For those of you who do not know my background, I have been attending Cypress for the last forty-seven years. Our family began attending in 1967 as a result of an invitation from a friend. Many things have changed over the years. God has honored the changes with continued growth, which comes in two forms: spiritual and numerical. We have seen countless lives transformed by Christ under the ministries at Cypress. I truly appreciate the fact that most of the frontline ministry is being performed by committed volunteers who Make a Difference in the lives of those they serve.

Some of the changes made over the past twelve to eighteen months to accommodate unprecedented growth:
  • We launched our first multi-site campus in Dublin
  • Transitioned from three worship services to six at our Alton Darby campus
  • Implemented video teaching to maximize the reach of more people in our
    communities around Cypress
Prior to joining the staff in 2013, I spent the last thirty-six years of employment with Big Bear and Kroger. The vast majority of my experiences were in Human Resources and Labor Relations. I’ve witnessed changes that have seen companies thrive with proper execution, and I’ve seen companies fail because of the lack of vision. Every successful business has a compelling vision that drives daily execution for desired results.

I remember hearing an executive once say, “Things are getting stale and we need to mix it up a bit for the sake of change.” Change for the sake of change is often difficult to accept, however, Change for the Kingdom’s Sake is imperative.

After much research, conversation and prayer, we launched the new video teaching concept at the beginning of the year. We determined that this was the most effective way to reach people in our communities. Video teaching provides an opportunity to open additional multi-site locations in the near future. It would be impossible for any pastor to speak live at the same time in multiple locations. This is why the message is presented by video in some services, with one speaker, and one message, across all campuses.

God has blessed Cypress with-
  • Close to 1000 children in Kid’s Ministry each weekend (Infants – 6th grade) where they learn that Jesus is their best forever friend
  • Over 1600 children and adults are participating in our Sports, Health and
    Wellness programs
  • Almost 800 children attend our school, pre-school, and daycare each week
  • Over 200 students are involved in our Middle and High School Ministries (grades
  • Numerous adults are receiving care and counseling through our various Care
    Ministries each week
  • Hundreds of adults meet each week in homes and on The City to dive deeper into
    the Word and live life together
Our Cypress Leadership Team has made a lot of changes this past year and no doubt will make more changes in the future. We will not sit back and grow comfortable, but we will continue to work earnestly to reach the next new family to hear the love of Christ. This next new family could be your neighbor, your co-worker, or maybe a family member who you have been praying about for years to make a significant life-changing decision for Christ.

I remind myself and the staff daily of our purpose. Our primary purpose and mission at Cypress is to reach the lost in our communities. Everything we do is structured around building His Kingdom, one person, one family at a time. Thank you for doing your part to help us Make a Difference, for the kingdom.

We are so glad that you are with us each and every week!

In Him,
Mark Knight
Mark Knight | Executive Director | Cypress Church

Friday, February 14, 2014

Did Someone Say It's Valentine's Day?

Do you remember the phrase from the Hallmark commercial years ago? “When you care enough to send the very best..." Today is Valentine's Day. A day to express love to the ones you cherish while candy, cards, and expressions of love flow freely. Let me remind you of the greatest expression of love you will ever receive…John, Chapters 3 and 14...For God so loved YOU, He gave the very best...Himself, to us and for us, Jesus Christ. But in God's great love, He also provided us with a counselor, the gift of Himself through His spirit, so that we may never be alone and always have the ability to walk with Christ every day.

This weekend, we continue with Week 3 of our series, STRONGER ~ training for the win... The Holy Spirit, our difference maker.

See you soon, Pastor Ken

PS. If you haven't checked out THE CITY yet, don’t wait any longer! There are over 750 people who are in CITY SMALL GROUPS and over 115 small groups started this week! Life is better together and there is a place for you!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Top 10 Things I'm Thinking about and Thankful for Today...

1. I'm thankful for the four people who will be baptized on our Alton Darby Campus this weekend (Adam, Borah, Andrew, and Amanda). We are covering the teen years, the 20's, the 30's, and the 40's! THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE CHANGE!

2. I'm thankful for the 843 people who signed up to be a part of THE CITY and the 620 who joined a CITY SMALL GROUP…all since last weekend!

3. I'm thankful for staff and volunteers who passionately devote themselves to the Lord. They not only devote themselves to loving the Lord, but also to serving the Lord by creating environments where others can connect closer to Christ and one another.

4. I'm thankful for the story of a couple in our Sports Ministry who made a commitment to tithe for the first time in their lives....AND THEY STUCK WITH IT!

5. I'm thankful for the couple who heard times were financially tight for the folks mentioned in #4 and then made an anonymous gift to help meet their needs. Through their giving…THEY WERE BLESSED!

6. I'm thankful for a Kids’ Ministry that LOVES AND TEACHES, as evidenced in this note:

Kathy, I can't tell you enough about how great Children's Ministries has been for our family. When we were new to Cypress, our son would retell the Bible stories he learned that day to us on our drive home. I didn't realize it then but I know now that this was the first time my husband had ever heard them! Last week running late to service, I told my kids in the car that when we got to church we needed to move quickly because we were late. From the back seat, in a sweet innocent voice, I heard my 3 year old say, "Don't worry Mommy, the Bible will always be there." When we arrived to Cypress, we met you in the lobby and you helped walk my son to his class so I could take my daughter to her class and I wouldn't miss service! Thank you! Later this week, my son (6) was writing out Valentine’s Day cards and wrote a letter wrong. He told me he had made a mistake. My 3 year old, without hesitation, said, "God loves us even if we do make mistakes!" I wanted you to know that we appreciate you and the whole team (especially Miss Heidi) for making us feel so welcomed!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

7. I'm thankful for over 200 women who are starting Bible study today. The LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT WILL HELP SHAPE THEIR LIVES.

8. I'm thankful for the Celebrate Recovery ministry that met here last night.

9. I'm thankful my family has the privilege of calling Cypress HOME.

10. I would be thankful if Bradley beats Darby in boys’ basketball tonight! If #15 gets a dunk, that would be icing on the cake:)

Friday, February 7, 2014

How Does God Reveal Himself to Us?

There is one compelling question that has shaped my thoughts for week two of for the win. How does God speak and reveal himself to us? As I've reflected on that question, there are several answers that come to mind, but all seem to be connected to one source. It is one very simple yet, at times, complex answer.

This weekend, we are launching one of the biggest initiatives we have ever undertaken as a church body. I believe what we are rolling out will not only change your life, but I believe it will revolutionize how we connect people closer to one another and to Christ as a church moving forward.

Can't wait to share, Pastor Ken

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Things I'm Thinking About Today...

1. I’m thankful Cypress Church is willing to sacrifice and serve at extraordinary levels.

I was asked recently, "We are three weeks into the video teaching concept at Alton Darby, so how is it working? Are we getting the desired results?" The first part of this question is highly subjective, answered primarily from personal experience. Every response is important, but the overwhelming response has been, “We will do what it takes, and sacrifice what we want, in order to see more people connect closer to Christ and our expanding church family.”

The attitude and desire to be willing to “give up some things we were used to” (set worship service times and set worship service personnel) in order to reach the next family for Christ is what makes this work. In the past year, we have doubled the number of services offered at the Alton Darby Campus…going from three to six! That is a huge initiative in and of itself…SPECIAL THANKS to our amazing staff, all their volunteers, and to you (the church) who have made this new model work!

As far as the desired results are concerned, there are an additional 400+ people worshiping on the Alton Darby Campus each weekend (this year compared to last year). There is no way we would have been able to accommodate everyone without adding the additional Saturday night and Sunday night services. Thank you!

2. I heard yet another “God story” on Monday, related to the distribution of a coat from our recent coat drive.

“Who knew it was going to be one of the coldest winters on record…GOD DID. Thanks for being the church in action.”


This past weekend, at least 1000 hands went up in the air. People taking the challenge to pray 3 times a day - 5 minutes at a time…that equals 15,000 minutes, or 250 hours, of prayer each day, from the Cypress church family!! I know this pleases the Lord and I know it will be helpful for us!

4. I’m thankful Cypress is MAKING A DIFFERENCE in the lives of its people and our community!

5. I'm also thankful for Rooster's chicken salad dipped in Carolina Gold sauce with Red Dressing on the side...

Have a great rest of your week and stay with YOUR 5…3x A DAY,
Pastor Ken