Thursday, April 18, 2013


Well, 1 year, no posts. I'm working on some things that may be postable, but if you want to see them you will have to go to the new location at See you there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

feeling old.

I'm currently sitting in the local coffee shop doing some work, and have just been surrounded by over a dozen high school students. I remember being that age and doing the "coffee house" thing with friends and feeling so cool as I had my hazelnut steamers (hot milk-no coffee...yet). But every year, when I run into high school students, they look younger, and I feel older. Then I start looking at it from the perspective that if they are 16 years old, my oldest son is closer in age to them than I am. Wow. Then I start to wonder, what are they thinking of the "old" guy writing away on his laptop. I'm pretty sure they may think I'm weird. Not that much has changed since high school.

But then I start to consider the potential in the room around me. I have been set on my path, by God's grace. But they have not. I have a wonderful wife, kids, been to college; I had a family cell phone the size of these impressionable students heads when I was their age, they each have smart phones. While I may be the weird guy in the corner and these students are looking through their phones and socially multi tasking in ways that my mind can't even begin to fathom, I have a better idea of what their potential is than they do (or at least than they care about). I know what they can do with the right instruction and right people to walk along side them. I know that we (as old weird people) can have an impact on students to be the leaders of the church now and in the future. It's where our legacy lies. It's why I'm thankful for Overflow (Riverbend's Youth Ministry) and River Rocks and Stepping Stones. These are being used by God to point our kids and youth toward the mission God invites us all to. Their mission isn't different than ours, its the same. They just have more energy without the caffeine. Think of what these kids will do caffeinated!

Jeremiah 1:7-9

Monday, January 2, 2012

another year of what are we here for?

The new year tends to be a good time to ask this question? I know its fashionable and almost obligatory to look back and ponder this concept of meaning and what we do as we look forward, but it always seems to come back to this same question. Ironically, no matter how many books or talks (or blogs) we read, we never actually answer this question, at least we never remember the answer. As I have started in my new full time position at Riverbend Community Church, part of what I get to do is help people walk the path of answering this question and it starts with asking that same question of us as a collective church. I believe the answer to this question is two words: Proclaim, Respond.

Most evangelical Christian's know the Westminster Catechism says the chief end of man is to Glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But I don't think most know what that actually means in real life. When we try to put that answer into our daily lives of work, family, hobbies, etc. we tend to do those things absent of where God is in those areas. At least, God quickly exits my mind when I am focusing on things of daily living. But what does it mean when we use this two word definition of our purpose? First, proclaim means that we are announcing the Good News of Jesus rescuing us from sin and death. Responding is everything we do BECAUSE Jesus saved us. This is the model we see throughout the Bible. New Testament letters constantly have the format of because Jesus save us, we there for do such and such. It normally then leads back to proclaiming the reason for our actions. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

In proclaiming that good news and responding to it, we fulfill the purpose seen in the Westminster Catechism. But it is still hard to really understand what this looks like in our daily lives. Each of us this will probably look different, but the question to ask is not "what are we here for" but rather, "because Jesus saved me, how do I do ___________ differently?" What do you do differently because of what Jesus has done for you?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I don't watch The Office normally, but one of the funniest lines I have heard from it is when Dwight is talking about the Acronym K.I.S.S and says, "Michael always says ‘K-I-S-S. Keep it simple, stupid.’ Great advice. Hurts my feelings every time." And it's really true.

Riverbend has been blessed by God to see a lot of growth over the last two years. Basically we have gone from 20-30 people each Sunday to 130 or so. When growth happens this quickly things get a bit crazy and our natural inclination is to build programs and systems to cover the growth. These aren't bad things to do, and most of them are probably necessary, but it has a very real potential to not follow the K-I-S-S advice. Next thing we know we end up forgetting what our mission and purpose is.

We have a pretty straight forward mission statement ( but even this can seem intimidating in the midst of a bunch of community groups, events, and gatherings that can vary greatly in feel and context. This got me thinking about what is our purpose as Christians and the Church in simple form.

First off, we know its about Jesus. It's about the Gospel he lived out, died for, and rose again in. It's not about what we have done or what we do, but what he has already done. It's simple, it's radical. We don't have to do anything besides receive it and follow Him. The follow Him is what I get overwhelmed with and try to do things in my own strength. There may be some opportunity for me to elaborate more on this in the coming weeks and months, but for the sake of the Spirit of this blog, I'm going to Keep It Simple:

Following Jesus is like entering a traffic circle. We enter in one side when we start following Jesus and we go around the circle, which has two views, Proclaim and Respond, and then we exit, which is when we die.

That's it, we proclaim Jesus and then we respond to that Gospel, which leads us to proclaim it again. It may look different depending on our culture, context and audience, but to be a follower of Jesus means we are responding to the Gospel of Jesus which in turn should lead us to Proclaiming that Gospel to others. Period.

Keep It Simple.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

seven months of changes.

It has officially been seven months since the last posting on this blog. Oops. In my defense, there has been a lot going on:

1) New job at Guardian Life Insurance- my grant was running out at the Conference, and while I miss the work and the people, I needed to pay the bills. Thankful that God provided a place of employment. This job keeps me very busy with not a whole lot of flexibility- making posting tough.

2) Christmas/Birthday- December is always super busy. Holidays, parties, shopping, decorating, family time.

3) We had a baby! Levi Emory Knepp was born February 26th. Had a lot to do to finish up his room etc. and now that he is here, it has taken a while to adjust to life with 2 boys. He is very laid back and already sleeps better than Jonathan does now, but still does not leave a whole lot of time for posting.

The long and short of it is, that life will hopefully always take priority over this blog. It is not that I don't appreciate all three people who read it, but when it comes down to it, changes are inevitable and sometimes it takes a while to adjust to them. My hope is to be able to post something once a week or so, but I'd wait to see that to believe it. Until next time (maybe).