There are lots of ways to change the world--pick one!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The Sojourn Staff recently spent 3 days praying, dreaming, strategizing and playing together at Smith Mountain Lake.   Smith Mountain is a gorgeous, 40-mile long, 20,600-acre lake, with 500 miles of shoreline, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural southwestern Virginia. It was the perfect setting for our first staff retreat.  Thanks to friends of Sojourn who gave us use of a waterfront home for 3 days.  It was rough, but we managed.  There were a total of 10 of us, including spouses and members of our broader advisory team from the Chicago area.

Our retreat format was built around Thom Rainer’s and Eric Geiger’s helpful text: Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples.  Using that “grid” we wrestled our purpose to the ground in order to get crystal clear on our vision.  Kathy Speight, our Director of Ministries, then led us through a session helping us better understand the way God has wired and gifted each of our staff from which we built job descriptions focusing on the key priority areas of Sojourn’s ministry. 

I loved the prayer time we had together.  Most memorable for me was the team gathering around each staff person to lay hands on them and pray for their role in this new mission to which God is calling us. Next, we began constructing strategies and a calendar that reflected our highest priorities.  Many thanks to Dave and Rennie Garda of Cadre International for taking 3 days out of their very busy training schedule to help us lay the foundations of our growing student ministry.  They are awesome leaders and great friends. 

With three days of hard work in hand, we returned to Greensboro with a renewed sense that God would use us if we surrender ourselves completely to pursuing Jesus and setting aside personal agenda.  Pray that God would persist in our lives to reshape our hearts and those God is calling to the Sojourn Community.  Our prayer is that he would build a fire in our souls as we catch a glimpse of how he sees the world around us.

You can hear more about the mission and vision of Sojourn on Vision Sunday, October 11 starting at 10:00AM. 

Sojourn Team Member

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


A few weeks ago Sojourn marked its sixth month as a community. I have likened church planting to assembling an airplane in the air. We are learning, praying, and working hard at keeping our focus outward and engaged with our community. This summer we celebrated a number of "firsts" for our growing mission.  Our first small groups formed, our first Sunday in the Park, our first missionaries, our first professions of faith and soon we will celebrate our first baptism service. 

Here are a few highlights of the summer. We welcomed Ben Weber as our new Student Ministry Intern and the student ministry has now grown to over 20 kids! Go God! As our attendance has grown each week to an average of over 100, we brought on Leah Cockerham who will be serving 10-15 hours a week as administrative support. Leah brings a complement of gifts in the arts and administration. We also had the joy of welcoming Kathy Speight as our new full-time Director of Ministries. Kathy brings a number of years experience in leadership development, community outreach and small groups. These new staff join Marc Cockerham (our Pastor of Worship & Arts) and me to set the stage for what I believe will be a very exciting fall.

While our staff team is here to serve and equip the people and mission of Sojourn, it is the growing number of front-line volunteers at Sojourn that are impacting the hearts and lives of people in our city. From the international outreach at the Seeds Center, to counseling, community projects, leading small groups, as well as serving on the "red" and "blue" teams (our serving teams), we are seeing people find their place in this new missional community we call Sojourn.  What a joy!

There are many ways to change the world-just pick one! 

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Jeff
Team Member

In Essential beliefs, we have unity.
In Non-essential beliefs, we have diversity.
In all of our beliefs, we promote love.