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An Update on the

Within Reach Movement

Spring & Summer

Series Preview

Jared Kliewer answers the call to plant a church in Aksarben

View the CCC Calendar of Events on the last page




Each week in our services, CCC lights candles on stage to represent people who came to faith in Christ through a CCC event, ministry, attender, or missionary. Join us in celebrating what God's doing here and around the world.






Jared Kliewer



On the Move

An Update on the Within Reach Movement

Be You. Do Good. by Jonathan Golden

A Place to Belong

Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come Alive High School Journey Groups


How One Mom Experienced Community through MOPS

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

by Mark Ashton

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30 32 33 37 38 45

More than a Service CCC Staff Spotlight: Carlos Cruz No Holding Back: Easter at CCC Q&A: Bobbie Jo Johnson History of the Alliance Volunteer Spotlight: Garrett Worner Beyond Words by Skye Jethani Spring & Summer Series Preview Life at CCC: Ministries, Groups, Classes, and Services Events at CCC




Publisher | CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH Editor | JONATHAN NORTON Art Direction | JONATHAN NORTON and JOE JENSEN Copy Editor | RACHEL BEBEE Graphic Design | MARIE DUFOUR Contributing Photographers: Marie Dufour, Austin Asay, Jonathan Norton, Aaron Ang, Gary S. Chapman, Ronaldo Arthur Vidal, Chase Vanderveen, Rachel Bebee Contributing Writers: Joe Jensen, Jonathan Golden, Jonathan Norton, Rachel Bebee, Jed Logue, Brad Mock, Terry Carpenter, Craig Walter, Skye Jethani, Mark Ashton THE HUB MAGAZINE 404 S 108 Ave | Omaha, NE 68154 402.330.3360 | |

The Hub Magazine is published semi-yearly by Christ Community Church. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publisher. Copyright 2017 Christ Community Church. All rights reserved. 6

SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES Old Mill / 404 S 108th Ave / Omaha, NE 68154 / 402.330.3360 /

Traditions / 9 AM / Worship Center Timeless hymns and songs of faith led by a spirited choir and orchestra.

Access / 9 & 10:45 AM / Gym / 10:45 AM / Worship Center Engaging band-led worship evokes a reflec tive and powerful worship experience in a relaxed atmosphere. Online / / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM

Each and every person matters to God. And because of that fact, each and every person matters to us here at CCC. No matter where you are in your life’s journey, we want you to find a home here, free of judgment. Whether you're beginning to explore God or you've been a follower of Jesus your entire life, you belong here. As the Apostle Paul teaches, we want to be a church that surrounds everyone with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We want to be a church that forgives others as the Lord has forgiven us. Most of all, we want to be a church that loves one another, no matter what our backgrounds are, and that shares the hope that is found in Jesus. Whatever you are going through in life—struggles, addictions, sickness—you matter to us. Over the next few months, you’ll see variations of our new tagline, “You matter,” around CCC. As you see these statements, remember to extend the same love and compassion towards others as God does to you. Since the first issue of The Hub Magazine, we have watched God move in our church. In this issue, you’ll read stories of a new church plant in Omaha, stories of CCC having an impact around the world, stories of life change, and stories of people finding a community to share life with. From the beginning, our vision for The Hub Magazine has been to tell real stories from people whose lives have been changed by Jesus. We want to tell the story of our church. Our hope and prayer is that as you read this magazine, you will be encouraged and challenged to live out an authentic life of faith in Jesus, while loving others as He loves you. As always, if you have questions, comments, or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. In Christ, The CCC Hub Magazine Team /



On the Move An Update on the Within Reach Movement by Joe Jensen


ave you ever lost something and found it, but as you reached to get it, discovered that it was just outside of your grasp? Perhaps you’ve dropped some money in your car and it got stuck between the front seat and console. Maybe you dropped an expensive piece of jewelry down the drain. You see it, you can almost feel it as you reach for it, but you just can’t quite grab ahold of it. How did it make you feel? Frustrated? Defeated? Depressed? Or did you become determined, committed, and creative? When I see something valuable of mine is lost but within my reach, I definitely do the latter. When I’m able to see and know that what I’m reaching for is within my reach, I’m encouraged and challenged to keep going, keep trying, and keep working until my hand is holding that which I’ve determined to be so valuable.

This line of thinking went into launching the Within Reach movement of churches last year. Leaders from churches all across the city came together under one common bond and purpose: to reach the Omaha metro with the love of Jesus. At first glance, this seems to be a daunting and almost impossible task. However, when you consider the number of churches and followers of Jesus in the Omaha metro area, along with the fact that we serve a faithful God who has given us the power and strength of His Spirit, you realize that it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s a vision that’s actually within reach. Within Reach churches, including Christ Community Church, are more determined and committed than ever



are scheduled to be planted by december 2018

to fulfilling the movement’s mission. In 2016, Within Reach started with 28 churches. As of January 2017, there are 33 churches in the network. In fact, those churches gathered three different times last year with almost 900 total church and community leaders present to pray, encourage, and challenge each other. In 2016, 26 churches participated in a citywide message series called Everybody Wins. Beginning Easter 2017, 33 churches will be preaching the same messages with the same end goal in a new series called Love Can. Churches participating in Love Can are also committed to unleashing compassion and service in North Omaha in partnership with Abide and Bridge Church, to make a difference in our city’s

most impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Within Reach churches also have a goal of planting 50 churches and/or campuses by the year 2020. In the first year of the movement, 3 churches and campuses have already launched and 17 more are scheduled to launch by the end of 2018. God is on the move in our city! And He’s choosing to move through His Church and through His people, people like you and me who are willing to step out and realize that we’re all part of the movement. But what we’re reaching for is far more valuable that money or jewelry. We’re reaching out to share the

good news of Jesus with people who don’t know it yet. Eternity is in the balance. So may we all be more committed and determined than ever to take the Omaha metro from a city that is within reach to a city that has been reached. And Jesus will get all the glory! § Joe Jensen is the Creative Director for Within Reach. He is also the Executive Director of Ministry Arts at CCC.

• Right: CCC's Lead Pastor Mark Ashton speaking at a Within Reach luncheon in January 2017

• Below: A full room of pastors, church leaders, and community leaders at the Within Reach luncheon in January 2017




Parables Christian Bookstore supports the ministries of Christ Community Church. We’re here to serve you in your Christian walk! Come Visit Us!

11212 Chicago Circle Omaha, NE 68154 Just down the road from CCC via 108th and Dodge Frontage Road. 10


A special offer for Hub Readers! Take 25% off any one non-sale item* Valid now at Parables through May 1, 2017.

*Certain restrictions apply – see store for details. Limit one coupon per person. Not valid with any other offer. In-store only.



by Jonathan Golden

Is something gnawing deep inside of you to make a difference in this world? Are you longing to feel that God created you for and with a purpose? Does the whole idea of calling sound inviting but also confusing? If so, you are like a lot of people I’ve had the privilege of working with through the years. In my experience as a life coach, pastor, and social entrepreneur, I’ve enjoyed the cool gift of listening to folks and leading them as they consider their life callings. Your calling, or life’s work, is what gives you purpose. It is what makes you unique and is your gift to the world. That means that you are a gift to the world. As you start using that gift, you will flourish and experience greater peace. Those around you will too.



Over many cups of coffee on the front porch of my office, exploring the variety of ways people I’ve met have been called, I’ve found a few things: God calls us to himself. Yes, he wants to hang out with you to be in relationship with you. God calls us to be ourselves. He doesn’t want you to be someone else. He wants you to be who he has created you to be. Yes, flaws and all.

God calls us to do good. He wants us to actually do something to make a difference in the world he loves. He wants you to be you, and to do good. It really is that simple. God wants to have a vibrant relationship with you, God wants you to discover who he created you to be, and God wants you to partner with him to accomplish good in the world. In the pages that follow, we’ll explore together twelve adventures that will help you find your calling:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Let go of the myths. We have to start by clearing the air. Be who you are. The first step in living your calling is to simply be your authentic self. Be you. Use what you have. If it’s your calling, you have what you need and can start today. Get what you can. Reach out to others to get more of the resources you’ll need. Follow the inkling. Don’t wait. Follow the inkling by taking the first step. Pursue what makes you come alive. Notice and embrace the kind of work that makes you come alive. Find a people to serve. It’s not all about you. Notice and move toward the people you’ve been called to serve. Do good. Grow little by little. Don’t expect immediate seismic shifts. Plan to keep growing and developing. March through challenges. Expect obstacles and soldier through them. Follow but don’t force. Remember that there is a Caller! Follow God’s leading, but don’t force. Stand back up. When your calling stalls and you feel defeated, stand back up and keep going. Stay open to new possibilities. Though it’s tempting to hope that our callings are discoverable and then stay the same, God continues to call us into fresh expressions of who we were made to be.

Today the company I founded, Land of a Thousand Hills, is a multimillion-dollar coffee venture that is doing cutting-edge community development in Rwanda while providing excellent specialty coffee to churches, coffee shops, and grocery stores in America. We are now franchising and creating coffee-drinking communities across the United States. Maybe you’ve already tasted a good cup of coffee from Rwanda. But the road has not been easy, safe, certain, or straight. I invested my own money to launch the venture. I had years when I didn’t know if we were going to make it. My family has had to navigate a lot of

pressures we would have avoided had I decided only to pastor my church, keep my consulting business, and ignore the inkling I felt God was giving me. Along the way I’ve kept track of the adventure. This book is the result, and I’m confident it can help you. For over ten years now I’ve been working with the Rwandan people to do good, and I’m amazed at what God has accomplished. Every time I sit on one of those Rwandan hills and listen to the sounds of hope, my faith is rekindled and I’m filled with joy. I’ve discovered my calling. Let’s go find yours. §

Purchase Jonathan Golden's book Be You. Do Good. at the Resource Booth in the Atrium or online through Amazon. Bags of whole-bean and ground coffee are available for purchase at the Resource Booth in the Atrium. Land of a Thousand Hills brewed coffee is available at the Coffee Bar in the Atrium or Access Lobby for a suggested donation of $0.75.

Jonathan D. Golden, founder of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company, has discovered and is living out his unique calling to promote social, spiritual, and economic justice while providing a living wage to over 2,500 farmers in Rwanda. Jonathan is also a business coach, a public speaker, an Anglican priest at St. Peter’s Place Anglican Church in Roswell, GA, and the father to two sons. With Jonathan’s extensive business and social entrepreneur experience, along with his coaching and ministry passions, he has spoken and coached at several conferences and events across the nation including Catalyst, Q, Story, Exponential, Velocity, Ignite, Collyde, and Orange. Learn more about Jonathan by visiting



A closer look at the purpose & philosophy of CCC's worship experience by Joe Jensen


Message. Music. Videos. Lights. Sound. A lot of people. A lot of cars. Kids and Students. Busters, Boomers, X’ers, Millennials. Male and Female. Young and old. These are the things one often sees at the surface on a Sunday morning at Christ Community Church, but there’s so much more that goes into the CCC worship experience than what meets the eye.

inspiring videos about life change, and other creative elements, that’s what we’re trying to do: make disciples. We want people to come to follow Jesus and then grow in a deep and thriving relationship with Him. The purpose is complex as well. Why? Well, there are a lot of different people who come to CCC on a given Sunday, people from different backgrounds with different preferences, personalities, and pathways to God. Some people connect

It’s simple yet complex, a paradox that creates a tension that we must manage and steward well as church leaders. It’s simple because the worship experience is really an extension of the greater mission of the church. We’re all about making disciples of Jesus for Kingdom impact. Through a gospel-centered Bible message, engaging music,

with God through traditional hymns and choruses, which is why we offer Traditions. Others prefer modern songs in a modern style of music, which is why we offer Access. All this is ok at a certain level. However, there comes a point when Sunday morning should go beyond preference and transcend into purpose, a purpose that is beyond


our desires and preferences and more about that simple purpose defined in the previous paragraph: making disciples. By making disciples, I’m not necessarily just talking about us reaching those who are not yet following Jesus, although that’s definitely a big part of the equation. I’m also talking about those of us who already know and follow Jesus to be continually made into disciples as an ever-present, ongoing process (also known as sanctification). You may be asking, “What does us being made into disciples have to do with Sunday morning worship services?” Well, the answer is, “Everything!” As you and I become more like Jesus (which is our entire purpose and identity as His disciple), your entire life becomes about God and others. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered, “Love God and love others” (Matthew 22:36–40, paraphrased). If we want to be like Jesus, His priorities and purposes must become ours. We must strive to think and act like Jesus in everything we do, including coming to church on Sunday morning.

If Jesus were to come to a Sunday morning experience at our church, He probably wouldn’t ask, “What will I get out of church today?” More likely, He would ask, “What can I give to the Church today?” He probably wouldn’t expect others to serve Him, but He’d be looking for ways to serve them. For Jesus, it’s less about the style of music, selection of songs, or style of preaching. It’s all about the heart. It’s about our commitment to the Great Commission He challenged us with before He went to be with His Father in heaven. “Go and make disciples…” So that’s what we’re about on a Sunday morning at CCC. In fact, we have a version of that purpose on the conference room wall where we plan worship experiences every week— our goal is for people to experience the living God in such a powerful, life-changing way that they want to come back and bring someone with them. The Sunday morning experience—every sermon, every song, every story—is about becoming disciples so we can go and make disciples. We want to

gather so that we can go. If we come to church for that purpose, then it doesn’t matter so much if the band sings a song we don’t like or the preacher doesn’t deliver to our earthly standards. As long as God’s Word is preached, Jesus is at the center, and we’re committed to

the Great Commission, then our Lord is pleased. That’s what we’re all about because that’s what He’s all about. § Joe Jensen is the Executive Director of Ministry Arts at CCC.

• The programming meeting with members of CCC's Ministry Arts Department. They meet every week to discuss upcoming events, worship/music, & service programming.





Getting connected at Christ Community Church is simple. Visit the Next Steps area in the Atrium on Sunday mornings to get started.

Starting Point

If you're new to CCC, head out to Starting Point in the Atrium to get connected with church staff and volunteers. The Starting Point team is excited to welcome and get to know you. Learn about CCC's vision, values, and history and take an optional tour of the building. Atrium / After 9 & 10:45 AM services

At GroupLink, explore opportunities to connect in a Journey Group where you’ll study the Bible together, pray, and encourage one another. Staff and volunteers will help you find groups in your neighborhood. To find a group, stop at the booth in the Atrium or visit

An interactive three-week course for those new in their faith or to CCC. Learn about CCC and what it means to be a believer and follower of Christ, make new friends, and apply for church membership. To learn more or to sign up, stop at the booth in the Atrium or visit



A conversation with Jared Kliewer about faith, family, and God's call to plant a new church in Aksarben by Jonathan Norton

Making disciples of Jesus for Kingdom impact. This is a familiar statement around Christ Community Church and has served as our mission statement for nearly a decade. CCC exists to further advance the Kingdom through raising up new church leaders and planting new churches around our community. It’s in our DNA as a church. Since 2006, CCC has planted four churches in Omaha: Journey Church, New Life Church, Citylight Church, and New City Church. Beyond our Old Mill campus, there are thriving ministries in North Omaha through our partnership with Bridge Church as well as in the Douglas County Jail. Our strategy to fulfill our mission aligns with the Within Reach movement, which began in 2016. Within Reach is a network of 33 churches in the Omaha metro area that realized that it is impossible for any one church or group to reach the metro area with the good news of Jesus. These churches are locking arms to raise our relational evangelistic temperature, plant churches, launch campuses, extend compassion, and love our neighbors in real and tangible ways. As the next step in fulfilling the mission of CCC and Within Reach, we’re excited to be co-planting a brand-new church

in Omaha with Citylight Church. Citylight Aksarben is set to officially launch in September 2017 with our own Jared Kliewer as the co-lead pastor. Jared has served at CCC in a number of roles including worship leader, College Ministry intern, and most recently as the college pastor. We sat down with Jared to talk about his journey up to this point. TELL US A LITTLE BIT OF YOUR TESTIMONY. HOW DID YOU FIRST COME TO FAITH IN CHRIST? I grew up in the small town of Atkinson, Nebraska, in a strong Christian family. My parents and grandparents were all followers of Jesus. I have somewhat of a typical Christian-kid story where I went to church and Sunday school all the time and became interested in Jesus as I grew older. When I was five years old, I prayed to ask Jesus into my heart as my mom was tucking me into bed. There was a lot more to come after that, a lot of things I didn’t understand. I seemed to operate most of my childhood in a way that was rule-following religion and doing the things that made me appear to be a good person on the outside.



Jared with his wife Kerri and children Wells, Nash, and Liv •

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school, when I went on a week-long mission trip to Mexico, that I was first taken out of my comfort zone and I realized how real Jesus was. The fact that He could speak to me, that we could interact with each other daily, that He was calling me to be more than just a good person but there was actually a mission that He was calling me into: to love people and to serve people. That was a landmark event that I look back to in my testimony where my faith really became real. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET CONNECTED WITH CCC? I had a friend in college who grew up at CCC and was involved in the college group at the time. Not being from Omaha, I didn’t have a church home and didn’t know where to go, so I started coming with him to a college Sunday school class. That led to me attending Sunday services regularly. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. Well, it’s kind of a funny story. My wife’s parents actually set us up. I led worship here at CCC several years ago. One Sunday morning, a couple apparently thought I was a decent guy, noticed I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, and approached me after service to tell me about their daughter who was living in Austin, Texas, at the time.



They gave me permission to contact her on Facebook, so we set up a blind date at Starbucks on Christmas Eve of 2010. So as a worship leader on the clock for CCC, instead of fine-tuning the Christmas Eve services, I was on a two-and-a-half hour blind date. Six months later I left my job and moved down to Texas. We were married in July 2012. Kerri and I have now been married for four and a half years. We have a threeyear-old boy Nash, an almost two-year-old girl Liv, and our baby boy Wells (five weeks old at time of interview in November). WHAT LED YOU TO GET INTO FULL-TIME MINISTRY? When I was attending college at Grace University, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t even have a major for the first three years. Going into full-time ministry or doing missions work was always intriguing to me. I thought to myself, if I only have this one life to live, I should spend the best hours of my day doing Kingdom work. Growing up, I didn’t have many people investing in me spiritually other than my parents, so I didn’t have a very clear picture of what intentional, relational ministry looked like. Some friends at Grace got me connected to an internship at Youth for Christ. Through working at YFC, I started to realize the impact that

a regular guy like me can have on people with the gospel. Eventually, I changed my major to Intercultural Studies and went on a six-month mission trip to Mexico. After that trip, I knew my heart was for serving people, but realized that missions wasn’t what I wanted to do full-time. I worked in part-time ministry for three years after graduating college and worked two years at an elementary school. I felt called into ministry full-time and was getting restless. I was introduced to Gavin Johnson shortly after he was hired at CCC, and then I became the College Ministry intern leading worship, discipling, and teaching. Two weeks before my internship finished with the College Ministry, I was hired as the CCC Sarpy Campus Worship Leader. I also worked in the Missions Department during this time. Then I quit my job and moved to Austin, Texas, to be with Kerri for a few years. While I was there, I sold real estate for rentals. I had a longing to get back into full-time ministry which is why it was such a cool blessing that CCC sought me out while I was still in Texas to potentially come back to Omaha and serve as their College Director. It ended up working out, so a month after Kerri and I were married, we moved back to Omaha and I became the CCC College Director. WHAT’S ONE BIG THING THAT GOD HAS TAUGHT YOU WHILE YOU'VE BEEN ON STAFF AT CCC? I can think of a lot of small lessons that God has taught me, but the thing that God keeps teaching and challenging me with is always rooted in identity—who I am in Christ. When I have been given leadership roles in ministry, my tendency is to trust in my own abilities. As my responsibilities as a leader grow, I’ll have more eyes watching me, more people judging what I’m doing, I’ll have more critics, and more positive and negative feedback. I have the choice to let those voices determine who I am going to be, or use those voices to drive me to a place where I have to trust what God says about me. The last ten years of my life have been about God showing me that I have nothing to prove to anyone, that His promises about me in Scripture are true, and that whether I succeed or fail by the world’s standards, I am a loved child of God. I can rest in His power.

WHEN DID YOU FEEL THAT GOD WAS CALLING YOU TO PLANT A NEW CHURCH? I have wanted to be a part of a church plant ever since I started my college internship at CCC. I have seen how God can use church plants. In the summer of 2015, during my time as the College Director here at CCC, I sensed that God was challenging me to pray hard for six months about whether or not God wanted me to plant a church. Within a couple of weeks of starting my six months of prayer, both Mark Ashton and Citylight’s Gavin Johnson approached me and asked if I had ever considered planting a church. To me that was an answer to prayer that God was affirming this calling. WHAT LED YOU TO DECIDE TO PLANT AS A CITYLIGHT LOCATION INSTEAD OF STARTING A BRANDNEW CHURCH ON YOUR OWN? That's a great question. One thing that people might not know is that Citylight churches are autonomous churches. They’re affiliated with each other simply because they want to be. There’s no overarching governing or leadership structure. So in essence, we are doing both: planting as a Citylight Church but also planting a brand-new autonomous church with a unique vision. In this process, I also wanted to find a co-planter, which led me to Andrew Rutten, who currently serves as the Citylight College Pastor. As we prayed together, we felt God was leading us in the direction of planting with Citylight. Additionally, I first learned how to do ministry alongside Gavin Johnson in the College Ministry at CCC. It just made sense that we work together again since we’ve had such a natural fit. The Citylight family provides a great network of people further down the road in the church-planting process, which I know will be extremely helpful as Andrew and I are learning how to plant a church. When Pastor Mark and I were discussing this idea, he told me that it doesn’t matter what we call ourselves. What matters is that God’s Kingdom is growing. Christ Community Church and Citylight Church are a family together with many other churches in our area. Ultimately we want God to get the glory!

WHY THE AKSARBEN AREA? When my wife and I moved back to Omaha, we settled in Aksarben. We love the area because it’s a mix of young families and people who have lived in their homes for decades. We wanted to plant in an area that we have a natural passion for and love. The other reason is that the Aksarben area doesn’t have many vibrant, life-giving, and growing churches. We want to reach the midtown Omaha area south of Dodge Street. North of Dodge there are several churches that are doing well, growing, and reaching their neighborhoods, but south of Dodge most of the churches seem to be dying. A lot of Omaha’s young culture seems to come from the midtown area. Through UNO, UNMC, and a lot of new

developments and businesses located in the area, that young influence spreads. How cool to plant a church right in the middle of all of that! WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC THINGS PEOPLE HERE AT CCC CAN BE PRAYING ABOUT OVER THE NEXT YEAR? We need people, disciples, and disciple-makers to come be a part of what God is going to do through Citylight Aksarben. Pray for the lost people of Aksarben. Sixty-seven percent of people in the Aksarben area have no religious affiliation, which means that at least two-thirds of people are not living with the reality of the good news that Jesus brings. § Jonathan Norton is the Creative Director at CCC.

• Left: Co-planter Andrew Rutten with his wife Bailey (photo by Chase Vanderveen) • Right: Jared and Kerri Kliewer • Below: Aksarben Village




FAMILY: Rocio (wife), 4 daughters, and 1 grandson PROFESSION: Facilities

ORIGINS: Mexico City, Mexico

LOVES: Traveling with Rocio, experiencing new places and foods

In this second edition of The Hub Magazine, we've added the Christ Community Church Staff Spotlight. The Spotlight is a chance to get to know the staff members you might see around the church building. Each issue, we'll feature a staff member, share a little bit about their life, how they got to CCC, and something you may not know about them. This issue features Carlos Cruz, who has served at CCC for 2 years.

WHAT AREA DO YOU SERVE? I currently serve in Facilities at CCC. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING ON YOUR DAYS OFF? On my days off, I like to try new restaurants, go for a bike ride, or walk in the park. My wife and I also like going to antique shops to look for curiosities. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO IN OMAHA? There's lots of great places here in Omaha. I really enjoy going to movies. There's always a lot of interesting movies out. WHAT MUSIC DO YOU ENJOY? I mostly listen to Christian music in Spanish. I like upbeat, uplifting music that's good for the spirit. I also listen to R&B and oldies, which is the music I grew up listening to.



WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING? I've been reading Good Morning, Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn, which I've read several times. This book has helped my spiritual growth by finding ways to deepen my intimacy with God, new ways of praying to Him. HOW DID YOU GET TO CCC? I moved to Omaha because I have family in this area. My sister Maria lives here and she also works here at CCC. We moved from California to Omaha for a different lifestyle, for better opportunities for our kids. We have four daughters—Cynthia, Caroline, Angela, and Sarah—and one grandson, Anthony. We were getting to the stage where they need to get jobs and do their own things and go out into the world and experience things. After we moved to Omaha, I met Tim Anstead, a wonderful guy, and his wife, and Tim offered me a job working at CCC. I was just going to work at this job for a few months, but after working here, it changed my perspective on what I needed out of life. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THIS MINISTRY? What I like about the job is the way it humbles you, to serve better, to become a better human being. It's hard for me to see myself being somewhere else. When I find a place I like and I love, I enjoy doing the work. To me, working in Facilities is more than just a job. It's great that I get paid, but I really don't do it for the money. §

No Holding Back Easter at CCC by Jed Logue

“Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Growing up, I heard these two phrases every year on Easter Sunday. This declaration would be proclaimed by pastor and congregation alike after singing the glorious hymn, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” I remember it being a grand affair. Our organist, playing as skillfully as ever, would pull out all the stops and fill the entire sanctuary with beautiful booming chords. Actually, the saying "pull out all the stops" originates from the pipe organ. To pull out all the stops engages all of the organ's pipes, producing the biggest sound possible! Things were different on those Sundays. Seats were full, people were dressed nicer than normal, and there was a buzz of excitement in the air. At the time, I really didn’t understand what it all meant. But as I reflect on those past Easter Sundays of my childhood, one thing is certain. This is the day where churches from all over the world gather together to celebrate the single most important event in all of human history—the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Did you catch that? Read it again. Jesus rose from the dead! This is one of those incredible truths that is sometimes viewed by Christians as just normal. Yet it’s anything but normal. Think about it for a moment. Jesus, a man who publicly suffered a humiliating death while nailed to a cross, a dead man who was buried in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers, was raised to new life by the power of God on

the third day. On that day, God pulled out all the stops and held nothing back. He took the power of sin and death and defeated it in one fell swoop by the death and resurrection of His one and only son, Jesus. And in doing so, God paid in full the debt of sin owed by us all, and He opened up an invitation for all mankind to join His eternal family by believing in this work. This is the gospel. This is the good news. And, this is why the message of Easter is so incredible! Jesus is alive! It’s a game changer. That’s why we go to so much effort every Easter at CCC. We know that there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of people who will be attending at one of our services who may not normally attend. We know that many who attend have not fully surrendered their lives to Jesus, and so, just as God has done for us, we don’t hold anything back. We pull out all the stops. As a result, we have the privilege of seeing hundreds of lives changed by the grace and love of Jesus Christ. Last year 689 people surrendered to Jesus by placing a symbolic white flag into a large cross on stage. Some made the decision to surrender their work, their marriage, the way they parent. Others were honest about an addiction, anxiety, a past hurt, or some other stress they had been holding onto. Many made the decision to follow Jesus for the very first time! As we look ahead to this coming Easter, we are filled with anticipation.

Along with 33 churches in the Omaha metro, CCC will be launching this year’s coordinated outreach series called Love Can. We trust that as the churches work together to extend unprecedented love and compassion to people all across our cities, that God will move in ways where the good news of Jesus will be received! We need you to help us give it all we’ve got, to bring your best and humbly present it before God. Please, pray for those you know who, for one reason or another, are not connected to God or to His church. Ask God to give you courage to love these people well, for opportunities to talk about faith, and for boldness to invite them to one of our services. Jesus is the hope of the world, and His church is the vehicle through which that hope is being lived out by people just like you and me. “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Let’s pull out all the stops this Easter. § Jed Logue is the Access Worship Leader at CCC.

Good Friday Service 4.14 / 7 PM / Worship Center Easter Services 4.15 / 5 & 7 PM / Gym 4.16 / 7 AM / Worship Center 4.16 / 9 & 10:45 AM / Worship Center & Gym Visit for more details.



by Brad Mock

“I’ve never felt so welcomed. I didn’t know churches were like this!” Connections like this, getting into community, are happening all throughout Journey Groups at Christ Community Church. One group of tenth-grade girls are exceptional at creating connection within their Journey Group. In Brenda Hurt and Crista Jensen’s sophomore Journey Group, almost all the girls come from different high schools, and only four of them grew up at CCC. Through God’s work and the group’s focus on friendships and encouraging one another in their faith, the group has grown to around a dozen students. “I started coming to CCC about a year ago, and I love the focus on Jesus,” said Kaitlyn Bennett. In addition to a strong focus on Jesus, over and over, the leaders and members of this group will tell you that the reason girls keep coming back is because of the relationships they’ve developed with one another. Group member Megan Kallman started coming in the eighth grade during a pretty rough patch in her life, and she was welcomed with open arms. The group not only gave her a warm reception that first time, but week after week, Megan was invited into deeper community by the warm, welcoming girls and leaders. Besides getting together every Sunday throughout the school year for their regular meeting, this group also loves connecting with one another outside of church. They



enjoy attending each other’s sporting events and musical performances, and have a group chat going. Even late at night, if one girl sends a text to ask for prayer, the others answer right away to pray and encourage them. When their Journey Group is together, it’s the perfect mix of encouragement and challenge in their relationship with Jesus, and stomachaches from laughter are a regular occurrence. The girls are currently challenging each other to memorize Scripture. Each one has a set of homemade Scripture note cards on a ring, with each card containing a favorite passage from another student in the group. As a result, the girls have experienced what it’s like to have God remind them of memorized Scripture at just the right moment. Yet the group also enjoys being silly and having fun. Like many groups of high school girls, they love to talk about boys and joke about how Crista, one of their leaders and a self-proclaimed terrible singer, will one day sing at all their weddings. The girls know they can talk to their leaders, Crista and Brenda, about anything. They shared how these two adults have loved them and been amazing examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus, even when it’s difficult. “Brenda and Crista are my ‘church moms,’” Megan shared, “which definitely fits both of them. They are incredibly loving and kind, always wanting to keep me on my toes in my walk with God. They’ve lifted me out

of pretty tough seasons of my life and I know they’ll be here through many more. They show God’s love in their words and actions and make each person in their presence feel welcomed and loved.” As with serving in any ministry, it’s not always super easy. As a Journey Group leader, you sometimes wonder, Am I making a difference? Are they getting anything out of this? Who in their right mind would willfully volunteer to do this? Crista will tell you that there were times when she’d get home after leading the group on Sunday night and she was ready to give up. Yet she continued to come back week after week, and now, four years later, it’s amazing to see the depth, encouragement, and growth in the girls who are a part of this group. While it’s easy to jump into serving

" I've never felt so welcomed. I didn't know churches were like this!" and relationships and then jump back out when it gets tough, staying faithful to the call God has given you and loving others without expecting anything in return will pay off eventually. The girls have shared repeatedly how they look forward to Journey Groups each week because of the sense of community they have, whether they’re together or apart. They love being friends, being crazy, but also learning together what it means to live for Jesus. We talk a lot about Journey Groups here at CCC and the importance of being connected in a group, in a community. I hope that when we see an example like this, of a group that’s encouraging, fun, close-knit, and experiencing growth both in numbers and spiritual depth, that it encourages us to seek that same kind of community in our lives. “God has truly blessed me with some incredible people,” said Megan. I pray that each of us would seek after the same kind of deep connection in our own lives! §

• The High School Ministry Journey Group meeting at Christ Community Church on a Sunday evening.

Brad Mock is the High School Pastor at CCC.

CCC offers Journey Groups for every stage of life. Whether you're checking out faith or have been a Christian for many years, get connected in a Journey Group. For more information or to sign up, stop by GroupLink in the Atrium on Sundays or visit For more information about joining a High School or Middle School Journey Group, visit or THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG


How one mom experienced community through MOPS by Terry Carpenter

It was a simple invite from a friend: “You should join me at MOPS this year.” Jackie was open to the invitation, but a little reluctant. She and her husband, JD, were fairly new to CCC and she wasn’t familiar with MOPS. She agreed to sign up, but little did she know how this group would be her lifeline in the months ahead. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is a ministry for moms of children ages birth through kindergarten. It’s an opportunity for moms to hear from great speakers, connect with friends around their table, have breakfast, do crafts, learn from mentor moms, and grow in leadership, all while being encouraged and recharged. Jackie recalls that first morning at MOPS. Her expectations were exceeded when mentor moms greeted her at the door. They assisted with childcare check-in and directed her to the MOPS meeting room. “It was a fun environment, complete with breakfast,” Jackie shared. She especially noticed the organization of the morning,



as if every little detail was carefully thought through. “It made me feel cared for and valued.” Jackie began to build relationships with the women at her table that first morning. When her table leader asked for prayer requests, Jackie shared that she was having back surgery the following week. Immediately, others signed up to bring her meals and offered to help care for her son. “All of a sudden, we had this community of support.” Jackie’s relationships with the moms at her table began to grow. Soon they were getting together once a week for play dates and other outings with kids. They would talk about the joys and challenges of raising young children, confide in each other, and pray for each other. They also would hold each other accountable for showing themselves grace with parenting. “Parenting is hard, and some days are bad. Having a connection with other moms reminds me that I’m not alone.”

A few months later, Jackie entered into one of the darkest seasons of her life. She experienced her second miscarriage. Jackie had miscarried twins prior to the birth of her now two-year-old son. Reflecting back on that first miscarriage, she shared, “It was devastating not knowing what the future held for me as a mom or my family. I had a lot of fear. Would I ever be a mom? Would I ever be able to fully give myself to another baby?” Jackie's first miscarriage was a difficult season and now those same fears were resurfacing. She knew she couldn’t do this alone again. The first people she wanted to tell were her MOPS friends.

Jackie could rest. One friend cleaned her house and cared for her son, while another drove her to an appointment. Before leaving that day, the women laid hands on her and prayed. The group even purchased Jackie a special necklace, with an inscription that reads, “God has you in His arms, but I have you in my heart.” She had never felt this kind of support. In addition, Jackie’s mentor mom had also experienced multiple miscarriages and was a great support. Jackie reflected on the importance of the mentor mom role in MOPS, “Our mentor moms have been through the season we are currently in. They can relate to everything we are

"Parenting is hard, and some days are bad. Having a connection with other moms reminds me that I’m not alone." During an 8-week period, Jackie experienced the physical and emotional effects of the miscarriage. When she was at her lowest, her MOPS friends showed up, sometimes without calling. They sent texts. They brought meals. They gave her permission to cry and stay in bed if she needed to. They put activities together for her son and took him on outings so

saying. They hold our babies and make us feel loved. We need their voices in our lives.” These relationships have made a profound difference for Jackie. “We do motherhood together, every step of the way, the good and the bad. Whether it’s a miscarriage, or baby showers, or birthday parties, or movie nights, or the challenges of raising our kids, we do it together.

Jackie with her mentor moms, Cheryl and Stephanie, at a MOPS playdate •

• The necklace given to Jackie by the ladies at her MOPS table

We feel things for each other. These are the people in my life that get it.” The friendships these women share have also carried over to their husbands. They recently all gathered for a holiday celebration. Jackie reflected on how this journey has strengthened the faith of her husband as he’s witnessed this community of support. Jackie and JD have grown from this experience. “We know there are things in life that don’t make sense and we won’t understand on this side of heaven. Entrusting our children to God is one of the hardest things to do. We know they belong to Him, yet we so desperately want control. It’s hard, but if something were to happen again, we’ll be okay. We know we have support.” The 2016–2017 theme for MOPS is “We are the Starry Eyed.” The theme is designed to encourage young moms to see light in the darkness and choose to live courageously in both, to open their eyes to wonder and choose hope over fear, and to engage in significant acts of kindness that send ripples of light into the world. This theme reflects Jackie’s experience. “When the darkness comes, it’s an opportunity to also experience the light. I’ve seen God show up in my life through the loving acts of friends in MOPS, and now my faith is bigger than my fears.” § Terry Carpenter is the Director of Women's Ministry at CCC.

CCC hosts two MOPS groups that meet on Friday mornings September through April. Groups meet twice a month, either on the 1st & 3rd week or the 2nd & 4th week. Registration for the 2017– 2018 year will open in May. For more information, contact Rebecca Perry at





obbie Jo and her family moved into an Abide Lighthouse March 6, 2016. Throughout the past year, Bobbie Jo has experienced more life transformation as she has partnered with God in serving her neighbors. Rachel Bebee sat down with Bobbie Jo to discuss the Lighthouse program in North Omaha, living in a Lighthouse, and how all people are called to live on-mission in their neighborhoods. WHEN DID ABIDE START THE LIGHTHOUSES? In 2008–2009, Abide began a grassroots effort to see Omaha transformed. An article came out saying there were 31 shootings in 31 days. This leadership team got around a table and prayed, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Someone asked, “What does heaven look like?” As this team talked, they said, “Heaven is cleaner, there’s no trash on the streets, the houses are bright, the lawns are mowed.” 33rd and Fowler was marked as one of the worst inner-city neighborhoods, and Abide started doing practical things in the neighborhood. The police noticed and came to the Abide building and said, “Crime is down in this neighborhood, what are you doing?” Abide began meeting with the police and shared the strategy and process of what they were doing. This neighborhood started the Lighthouse movement. Because of what God was doing in the city, people got involved and houses were purchased and donated. People would call Ron and say, “I’ve got a house, can I give it to you?” Ron’s vision was to put families into these homes and they would become the lighthouse of the neighborhood. The first Lighthouse on Fowler Avenue, besides the Abide building, was the house right next door that was abandoned for over twelve years. It was covered with gang graffiti, had a hole in the roof, and a caved-in foundation. What a house! DO ALL LIGHTHOUSES HAVE AN EXTERNAL PARTNER? There are 700 targeted neighborhoods in the inner city and 43 Lighthouses. Most of these have a partner; they’ll go door-to-door with the Lighthouse family, talk to their neighbors, and invite them to the event happening that month. The program is projected to grow by 150 houses, so we’re looking for small groups to get involved. WHAT’S THE GOAL OF THE LIGHTHOUSES? The goal is that everyone, in every neighborhood, would have every opportunity to reach their God-given potential. We do that by connecting with neighbors relationally, caring for them tangibly, and calling them higher into a relationship with Jesus through the local church, in this case, Bridge Church. HAVE YOU FACED ANY CHALLENGES LIVING IN A LIGHTHOUSE? We live on a busy street and the noise from the traffic makes my family want to stay in the backyard away from the street and noise. That’s a challenge when we want to be intentional with getting to know our neighbors by being in the front yard.



• Bobbie Jo (center, in red) with her family in front of their home in North Omaha

Another challenge is the number of cultures represented in my neighborhood—there is a huge language barrier. The more personal challenge, however, is how my heart is changing. I know God called our family to move into this neighborhood and His plan is to use us to impact the families around us. I didn’t move into this neighborhood thinking, “We're the family you’ve been waiting for!” But I did wonder how God would use my family and what the results would be. God has changed me more than I’ve changed the neighborhood. To my knowledge, no one was knocking on the doors in this neighborhood before our partners and the my family moved in. HOPE is being established in the neighborhood! The truth is I’ve changed the most. I’ve changed by being challenged to pray for the insane woman who lives next door and to lay my hands on her without her thinking I’m a weirdo (which I am) and run the risk of her attacking me, which is a reality. I’m being changed by learning how to connect with the single mother, a Jehovah's Witness, who lives next door and finding common ground to take her to higher ground. All that to say, the challenges are changing me. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? Everyone lives in a neighborhood, but few live in a neighborhood with purpose. We have an opportunity to live with purpose on purpose. What better way to do that than where we live? Can you imagine your life as a Lighthouse in your very own neighborhood? Can you imagine connecting, caring, and calling your neighbors into a relationship with Jesus? We should all be a Lighthouse! That’s what He’s called us to do. § Rachel Bebee is the Project Coordinator for the Creative / Communications Team at CCC.

If you'd like to learn more about Bridge Church or Abide, visit or

Grades 1--3 Overnighter Camp / 6.15–6.16

Grades 3--5

Mini Camps / 6.11–6.14 & 7.4–7.7

Grades 5 & 6 Junior Camps / 6.18–6.23 & 7.9–7.14 For more information, visit To donate, visit

2840 County Rd 13, Fremont, NE 68025

A brief history of our denomination

A. B. SIMPSON Albert Benjamin Simpson, founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, was born December 15, 1843 in Bayview, Prince Edward Island, Canada. At an early age he felt the call of God on his life to preach and later experienced a dramatic conversion to faith in Jesus Christ. After discovering a line in Walter Marshall’s Gospel Mystery of Salvation, “The first good work you will ever perform is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Simpson committed his life to “Jesus Only”—the anthem that also ignited an unquenchable passion in his heart to reach the lost. He went on to enroll at Knox College (Toronto) for theological training. After graduation in 1865, Simpson accepted a pastorate at Knox Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario, marrying Margaret Henry the same weekend. In 1873, at age 30, Simpson left Canada to pastor the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and later the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York City (NYC). His desire to minister to the flood of immigrants pouring into NYC met with great opposition from the leadership of his church. He eventually resigned his prestigious pastorate and set out to establish the Gospel Tabernacle, a church in the heart of the city, where all—the poor, homeless, sick, and displaced—would be welcome. Simpson’s ministry to New York’s immigrants caused him to wonder about the unreached masses throughout



• Above: Portrait of A. B. Simpson, founder of the C&MA • Title picture: A C&MA church in Africa, featuring the C&MA logo

the world. It was then that he developed an insatiable burden for the worldwide evangelization of lost souls. Single-mindedly focused on this burden, Simpson began assembling like-minded people with a passion for taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. He proceeded to hold evangelistic meetings on Sunday afternoons. These gatherings, which then grew to camp meetings and revivals in

other locations along the East coast, were essentially the beginnings of The Christian and Missionary Alliance—a society fully devoted to experiencing the “deeper life” in Christ and completing the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Having also personally experienced a miraculous physical healing, Simpson would go on to coin the foundation of the Alliance’s doctrine—The Fourfold Gospel: Christ our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. Simpson was a prolific writer from the start of his ministry, having authored 101 books and countless hymns, periodicals, booklets, articles, and curriculums over his lifetime. His influence went on to move the hearts of missionaries, pastors, and people of all denominations towards spreading the gospel in all lands. THEN & NOW When Alliance founder A. B. Simpson left a lucrative pastorate in New York City, he had a call from God to reach the lost masses both in New York and around the world. Prostitutes, longshoremen, and the homeless received the reconciliation message that all people are eligible for Christ’s amazing grace. He established the New York Gospel Tabernacle to bring like-minded people together into an organization that could facilitate outreach ministries. He set up the Missionary Training Institute (MTI) to provide training and resources for men and women God was calling to take the gospel to the world. During that time, Simpson’s group sent out the first team of missionaries to the Congo in 1884. Since then, thousands of people have followed God’s call to serve through The Alliance in the United States and abroad. In 1974, The Christian and Missionary (C&MA) officially became a denomination, but it still had at its core a heart for overseas missions. Past Alliance president Dr. L. L. King said of the C&MA that it “was not established as a mission divorced from the normal activity of a church, but a church which had within it the life and function of a mission…. The mission came first and the church grew out of a mission.” Today, the C&MA focuses on planting churches in the United States and overseas. Alliance international workers minister among the least reached peoples planting churches and training national church leaders, providing relief and development assistance, medical and dental care, and microenterprise projects. More than 2,000 churches in the U.S. minister Christ’s love to their communities and cities. THE FOUNDING YEARS (1887–1919) The C&MA grew out of the vision of Rev. A. B. Simpson, a Presbyterian pastor from Canada. Simpson believed that Christ was not only his Savior, but also his Sanctifier, and Healer through dramatic spiritual encounters that changed the direction of his life. Formed as a missionary society and not a denomination, early Alliance congregations were known as “branches” and were made up of members from most major denominations.

• John Stumbo, current president of the C&MA

SACRIFICE AND EXPANSION (1919–1946) After Simpson’s death in 1919, Dr. Paul Rader, a dynamic evangelist and pastor, was chosen to lead the C&MA. During this era the “tabernacle strategy” became popular. C&MA tabernacles sprung up in many U.S. cities and in Canada. The Great Depression and World War II had an impact on The Christian and Missionary Alliance, though it did not deter its expansion to new mission fields. THE EVANGELICAL ERA (1947–1974) Following World War II, many people began moving to the cities, and the C&MA continued to move forward. The tabernacles were exchanged for traditional church buildings and many C&MA churches moved to the suburbs. In 1974 the C&MA officially declared itself to be a denomination, along with a sweeping restructuring of the organization. During this time, Dr. A. W. Tozer and Dr. Louis L. King greatly influenced The Alliance. Dr. King as head of the missionary effort began to implement the indigenous church policy—envisioning each national church of the C&MA as self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing entity. THE MISSIONARY CHURCH ERA (1975–PRESENT) The C&MA in the U.S. and Canada became increasingly multicultural with the influx of refugees from Southeast Asia in the mid-1970s, and immigrants from many parts of the world. As ethnic churches were planted the awareness of a need for mission-sending congregations was never higher. §

For more information about The Christian & Missionary Alliance, visit All information and photographs are © The Christian & Missionary Alliance.



CHILDREN: Keegan (14) and Sabine (11) PROFESSION: Owner of a remodeling company ORIGINS: Born in a Chicago suburb; grew up in Sioux City, IA LOVES: Golfing, sushi, Dominican

coffee, and attending his kids' sporting and extracurricular activities

WHERE DO YOU SERVE? I serve in Kids Connect as a host, story teller, and small group leader for 4th and 5th grade students. I also serve in Village One and went on my first mission trip to the Dominican Republic this year. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN VOLUNTEERING? About 7 or 8 years at CCC. HOW DID YOU GET TO CCC? My mom prayed for me for years, as I had misplaced my walk with Jesus through my twenties. My kids had been attending CCC with my mom for a few years when my son asked me why I never went to church with them. I had been making excuses about getting rest on Sundays. My mom’s prayers and my son’s question opened my eyes, and I attended a service shortly after. Pastor Mark was giving a sermon on the importance of church and growing spiritually from community. I didn’t know exactly what it was then, but something came over me (I know now that it was the Holy Spirit). I started attending regularly after that. WHY DID YOU BEGIN VOLUNTEERING AT CCC? An announcement about Kids Connect needing volunteers caught my attention. I ignored it because I thought, “I know nothing of teaching Sunday School, I couldn’t do that.” Then I overheard Shelley Brooks asking for volunteers while I was dropping off my son one day. It was like God was kicking me in the heart! I thought of all of the reasons why I shouldn’t consider serving. 32


I was definitely not Sunday School teacher material; I didn’t know enough myself, let alone enough to guide a small, living creature. What if I messed them up? What if I answered a question wrong? The next Sunday I heard Shelley again, and the Sunday after that. God kept kicking me in the heart and He finally kicked me in the butt! I asked about volunteering the next Sunday. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT SERVING? There is nothing more amazing then seeing the look in a child’s eyes when they understand something or hear from God for the first time, or when they ask a question because they truly want to know more about Jesus, or when they bring a friend because they have seen God’s true love and they want to share that love with the kids they know. When you see kids you have been sharing God's love with get baptized, such waterworks! Praise God! IF YOU COULD ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TO SERVE, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM? What is God telling you to do? All of those negative thoughts— I am not good enough, I don’t know enough about the Bible thoughts—the devil will work on you. Listen to God instead. §

Interested in serving at CCC? Visit for a list of serving opportunities.

BEYONDWORDS by Skye Jethani

Imagine standing on a shore while God resides on another. Between you and him is a great expanse. If we think of prayer as communication, then we must find some way of passing messages from our shore to God’s. Through some device we might pass a signal from our shore to his, but we will remain apart. The divide itself is never overcome. The sort of prayer Jesus and his followers practiced, however, was different. It was more like a bridge that crosses time and space, it spans heaven and earth, to connect us to our heavenly Father. Messages are still sent and received, but the bridge is intended to connect more than our words and ideas. It is there for God and his children to travel to one another and abide with each other even when no words are spoken. This fuller understanding of prayer is often perplexing to those who have only known prayer as communication. For example, in the 1980s Dan Rather interviewed Mother Teresa. The CBS anchor asked her, “When you pray, what do you say to God?” “I don’t say anything,” she replied. “I listen.” “Okay,” Rather took another shot at it. “When God speaks to you, then, what does he say?” “He doesn’t say anything. He listens.” Rather didn’t know how to continue. He was baffled. “And if you don’t understand that,” Mother Teresa added, “I can’t explain it to you.” Understanding prayer as communion with God is what Paul had in mind when he commanded Christians to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Paul is calling us to live as Jesus did—in constant connection with God even when no words are exchanged. This is only possible by the presence of God’s Spirit within us. In John 14, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to his people. “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). In the same discourse he invites us to “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:4-5). This call to dwell or abide is an ongoing state of being, not an invitation to chat once in a while. We are invited to live in ongoing communion with God. But how? What does this kind of prayer look like? There are an abundance of resources spanning the history of Christianity to aid us in treasuring and communing with Christ. (Some are listed at the end of this guide.) But for those looking for an accessible start, here I’ve included three forms of prayer that can help move us from merely communicating with God toward richly communing with him.

Each of these practices has proven useful in my own spiritual development, and I offer them not as a prescription but merely a recommendation. Remember, a spiritual practice is to be grasped loosely. They are each a means by which we commune with God and should never be seen as an end in themselves. Additionally, no practice comes with a guaranteed outcome, and over time if you find a practice is not fostering your communion with God, modify or exchange it for another. This is best done in consultation with a trusted friend or mentor who can help you discern when a practice should be abandoned and when persevering may be best. § This article is an excerpt from “3 Steps to Pray” written by Skye. To read the rest, visit to download your free copy. Used with permission.

Skye Jethani is an author, speaker, consultant, and ordained pastor. He also serves as the co-host of the popular Phil Vischer Podcast, a weekly show that blends astute cultural and theological insights with comical conversation.





hen he was alive, Jesus claimed not only to be the way and the truth but also the life. His resurrection proves that he holds the power over life and death. Once he said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). In his resurrection he made the way for us to have a fresh start with God. He made it possible for us to experience eternity with God in a resurrected body of our own. Jesus also said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The new life of Jesus is full of forgiveness for personal wrongdoing, knowledge of the truth about who God is and what he desires for us, the hope of spending eternity with him, and the joy of being in a positive relationship with God during our days on earth. The life Jesus offers is far better than anything we could experience without him. The historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection can become a personal reality for you. Unlike most other religions, Jesus’ teaching is that you do not earn God’s favor by doing good deeds. You are not accepted because you are basically a good person. Instead, your eternal life has already been “purchased” by Jesus’ willing death on the cross. Because every person in history has done what is wrong in God’s sight, we all fall short of his standard of personal holiness. Our wrongdoing separates us from a God who is morally perfect. Without some payment for our evil, we will remain separated from God for all of eternity. Living our way instead of God’s way earns us spiritual death. Fortunately, God knew our dilemma and sent his Son to live a perfect life and to die in our place—his death the payment for our sin. He wants us to have eternal life and makes this possible through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we trust in Jesus and his death and resurrection, we enter into a new life with God that will last forever. It is offered to you as a personal gift from God, the most precious gift imaginable. To be in a positive relationship with God, you must be sorry and turn from all of your own personal wrongdoing, admit your need for God, believe the historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection and allow Jesus to be the leader of your life. Jesus is the path to eternal life. You must make a decision about him. You can choose to follow him, reject him, or remain



apathetic. If you choose to reject him or stay uncommitted, you are rejecting all of the love, forgiveness, and truth that God offers you. Jesus’ claims to truth were radical and exclusive. In his mind there was room for no alternate path of truth. He is unique among all major religious leaders in his claims about truth. The Hindu sages claimed to teach the truth. The Buddha claimed the eightfold noble path would lead people to truth. Muhammad claimed that the truth was revealed to him from heaven. But Jesus claimed to be the truth. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The locus of truth, according to Jesus, was not merely what he taught, but who he was. He was the embodiment of truth. Jesus was not tolerant and open-minded about following other religions. He demanded complete and exclusive allegiance of his followers, because he knew all other paths were futile. And still today, the living Christ wants all people to know him and have the incredible life that only he can deliver. I would like to extend an invitation to you to explore the claims of Jesus further. Talk to God with an honest prayer that goes something like this: “Dear God, I don’t know if you’re out there, but if you are, will you show me the truth about who you really are?” Read the firsthand accounts of Jesus’ life by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Talk with Christians about their experiences in knowing the living God. Look at the historical evidence. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). If you are honest with yourself and with God, I am convinced that you will arrive at the conclusion that Jesus is the truth—the only truth. §

Mark Ashton is the Lead Pastor at CCC. If you like to make a decision to follow Jesus, find Mark or another pastor on Sunday morning, or call the church during the week at 402-330-3360.

THE GREAT COMMISSION FUND Your gift to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) supports Alliance ministries around the world. CCC will receivea special in-service offering for the GCF on March 19.You can also give online anytime at

BAPTISMS Express your faith through baptism at CCC. Baptisms happen throughout the year. For more info and to s ign up to be baptized, visit






If you knew you only had more week to live, you probably would choose every word wisely and spend every moment with intentionality and purpose. In the gospel of Luke, we see Jesus do just that. Meaningful encounters and powerful teaching characterized the last seven days of His earthly ministry. Lives were changed and the scene was set for Him to fulfill His purpose. Join us for this 6-week series as we engage in Luke chapters 19–22 and encounter Jesus in a deep and powerful way.


From the Last Supper to the Arrest, Conviction, and Crucifixion, the last hours of Jesus’ life on earth were filled with power and purpose. The encounters and events of His last day would set the stage for the most important event in human history. Take the journey this March and April as we dive into the last couple chapters in Luke’s gospel and encounter The Last 24.


We live in a broken, messed-up world. A quick flick of the thumb through your news feed or a turn of the channel to the local news reveals headlines full of hate, anger, jealousy, and negativity. The only hope to change the narrative and redeem this lost and broken world is love—the love of God through Jesus, the love that we can show to others. We’re joining over 30 other churches across the Omaha metro for this 5-week series, Love Can.


Ephesus—the ancient city important to the Greeks and Romans for its culture, commerce, and religious significance. For the early church, Ephesus was important for different reasons. It would epitomize the mission of the Apostle Paul, to bring the gospel to not only the Jews but to Gentiles (non-Jews) as well. Ephesus was so significant that its biblical chronicle spans three different books of the New Testament, which this 10-week series will cover. On the surface, Ephesus was a city that was lost and defiled, given over to debauchery and immorality. To God, it would serve a special purpose in the advance of the Gospel and His Church. To God, it was a city of hope.





Contact: Jessica Hawley / Looking for information? Stop at one of the Info Centers and pick up a welcome packet. For a complete list of events, ministries, staff listing, and more, visit Old Mill / 404 S 108th Ave / Omaha, NE 68154 / 402-330-3360 Online / / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM


Contact: Kathy McKelvey / Ages birth–Grade 5 / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM Family is Primary God has given parents the incredible responsibility of impressing a love for God on the hearts of their children (Deuteronomy 6:5–7). These impressions best occur as a natural overflow from the lives of parents who are seeking to love the Lord with their own hearts, souls, and strength. Homefront Weekly helps equip parents to lead their children’s spiritual growth. To download Homefront Weekly, visit Sunday Morning Children join a group of kids their age or grade level. Kids from birth– kindergarten may stay for two sessions (9 & 10:45 AM), while students in grades 1–5 attend one session only. This fosters relationships with other kids and allows them to attend worship with parents during the other hour. American Heritage Girls Contact Jenny Lundgren / A Christian scouting organization for girls K–12th grade. Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Mondays / 6:30–8 PM Trail Life USA Contact Chris Brooks / A Christian Scouting organization for boys K–12th grade. Scouting, leadership, and adventure. Mondays / 7–8:30 PM 38


Baby Dedications Contact Kathy / Baby Dedications are held quarterly at Christ Community Church. For more info or to sign up, stop by the nursery any Sunday, contact Kathy, or sign up online at


Contact: Kathy McKelvey / or visit Wednesdays / 6:30–8 PM Kids will learn about God through Bible memorization, lessons, games, crafts, and activities. Kids Clubs meet September to April and are self-funded through annual dues.

Journey Groups Ask honest questions, study Scripture, be invested in by a Christ-following adult, and share life with a small group of peers as you develop deep and lasting friendships (September–April). Grade 6 / Wednesdays / 6:30–8 PM / Gym Grades 7–8 / Sundays / 6–8 PM / Atrium Grades 9–12 / Sundays / 6–8 PM / Student Center Sunday Mornings / 9 AM & 10:45 AM / Worship Center & Gym Develop deep faith and a greater sense of community as you serve and worship alongside Christians of different ages and backgrounds. Opportunities to serve can be found online at

AWANA / CUBBIES (Ages 3–4) Cubbies communicates basic truths about God, Jesus Christ, salvation, and the Bible through Scripture memorization, handbook lessons, awards, games, and activities.

Events and Retreats Visit to discover the life-changing events, trips, and retreats offered by Student Ministry.

AWANA / SPARKS (Grades K–2) Sparks meet in small groups to focus on Scripture memorization. In large group, they experience upbeat music and singing, Bible teaching and instruction, and age-appropriate games.

Contact: Glenn Lawson /

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB (Grades 3–5) Kids gather in small groups where life-long friendships can begin. A club meeting is divided into three segments: Bible teaching, age-appropriate crafts or team games, and small group time. Each Bible lesson is accompanied by a Scripture memory verse.


Contact: Elizabeth Bartz /

Student Ministry exists to help students know Jesus every day and live their lives for Him at home, at school, and in the community. Large Group Gatherings Gather Sundays for music, teaching, games, discussions, friendship, and good food in the café (year-round). Grades 6–8 / Sunday Mornings at the Student Center / 9 AM Grades 9–12 / Sunday Nights at the Student Center / 6–8 PM

8:08 / COLLEGE 8:08 is a community of college-age students (18–24) who are passionate about loving God, each other, and the city. Whether you’re walking intimately with Jesus or just have questions about who God is, get connected in the 8:08 College Community. Thursdays / 8:08 PM / Student Center Facebook 8:08 College Community / Stay in the loop with 8:08 happenings and share with your friends. Journey Groups Various locations & meeting times. Visit for details.


Contact: Lisa Ashton /

Emerge, the CCC ministry for young professionals, engages through authentic community and spiritual growth opportunities to impact the church, city, and world. Comprised of young professionals, typically single or married, no kids. For more info, visit our Facebook page at




Interpreted Service / 10:45 AM Worship Center / Seating is up front and to the right of the center aisle

Contact Reid Brown /

Contact Terry Carpenter /

CCC increases Kingdom impact by engaging, equipping, and encouraging men to discover godly manhood. Men are committed to go all-in alongside other men in Journey Groups, Bible studies, Renewal Groups, and serving.

Women's Ministry at CCC offers small groups, Bible studies, and events that will help you develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and other women.

Deaf Class / 9 AM / C220

For a list of current Women's Bible studies and to sign up, visit

Deaf Women’s Bible Study / Wednesdays / 6:30–8:30 PM

Point of Hope

Do you need an interpreter or are you interested in learning ASL? Contact Jan Ohlsson /

Council Bluffs Group Contact Dave Piercy / or Steve Irwin / Tuesdays / 6–7:30 AM / Panera Bread / 3617 Denmark Dr, Council Bluffs Discuss and study the Bible over coffee weekly. Join if you are in the Council Bluffs area. Journey Men Contact Greg VanderVost / Tuesdays / 7 PM / Porch, P506 Helping men connect with other men through discussion-based learning and solid teaching. Begin the journey anytime. Noble Men Contact Jim Ratte / Fridays / 6:15–7:30 AM / I-188 Noble Men is an ongoing Friday morning group at CCC.

Sundays / 10:45 AM / E240 A positive environment for single moms to grow alongside each other, with encouragement and life-giving discipleship. Women of all ages and stages of spiritual growth are welcome. Let’s enjoy studying God’s Word together and watch Him fill our hearts with hope!


Contact: Milton Cabrera / or visit Deaf Ministry exists to help Deaf people understand Jesus Christ so they can accept Him as Savior and grow in relationship with Him. CCC offers a variety of fellowship options for those with hearing impairments.

Deaf Men’s Bible Study / Wednesdays / 6:30–8:30 PM

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS International Community Contact Mark Carlson / Sundays / 10:45 AM / D226 A community of people who share a love for internationals, diverse cultures, and a desire to grow in their relationship with God. Includes prayer, Bible discussion, and sharing life together.




English Conversation Class Contact Brittni / Wednesdays / 6:30–8 PM Designed to reach out to the international community at UNMC and UNO. This group needs teachers for conversational lessons with 1 to 3 students.


To learn more about Journey Groups or to join a group, visit Journey Groups are where real life happens together. Meet regularly to study, pray, and grow with others. Belong to a community, be transformed by the Gospel, and be on mission for the people in the city. WHY JOIN A JOURNEY GROUP? Develop friendships with others The smaller group of people gives you the opportunity to form genuine friendships and care for others in times of need. Grow in your relationship with God The smaller setting allows you to dig deeper into Scripture and ask questions in a discussion-based format. Interact with and learn from others.

Make an impact for the Kingdom Make a difference by serving together in the city or participating in CCC’s partnerships around the world.

Love and Respect For upcoming class dates, visit or contact Sue /

HOW DO I JOIN A JOURNEY GROUP? Groups are available on Sunday morning during services or in neighborhoods throughout the week.

Biblical teaching for individuals or couples who are married, divorced, single, or engaged to learn to communicate in a manner that builds mutual understanding between genders.

Attend GroupLink Meet staff and volunteers who will help you find Journey Groups in your neighborhood. Atrium / After 9 & 10:45 AM services

Hitched Contact Bill & Teri Meier / 402-556-8468 or 402-677-5888 /

Journey Group Locator Search for groups in your area based on type and meeting time online at


Marriage Matters Visit Planning on engagement or marriage in the next year? Learn how to have a healthy marriage. Marriage Matters is a 6-week session offered throughout the year. Class Date Wedding Date 2017 May–June 2017 Sept–Nov 2017 Sept–Oct 2018 Jan–May 2018 Feb–March 2018 June–Aug

Sundays / 9 AM / Designed to help young married couples by providing tools, support, and connection with other couples to further your relationship.


Contact Paul Gedden /

SUNDAY MORNINGS Dayspring / 7:45 AM Cross-generational class that welcomes singles and couples for challenging teaching, ministry projects, missionary support, and care groups. Kingdom Builders / 9 AM Boomers and up join for prayer, fellowship, biblical teaching, and learning the Word together.

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Thankful Hearts / 9 AM Boomers and up focus on Bible study, friendship, life application, and growing in relationship with Jesus Christ. Ambassadors / 10:45 AM Caring and praying seniors focus on strong biblical teaching with love for Christ, missionaries, and our nation. Ecclesia / 10:45 AM Seniors begin with worship and refreshments, and then move to studying Scripture, with time for discussion. Spiritually Advancing Linked Together (SALT) / 10:45 AM Boomers and seniors are welcome for fellowship, prayer, the study of God’s Word, and class socials.


Contact Sue Beed / 402-938-1570 Senior Lunch & Fellowship First Tuesday of the month 11:30 AM / CCC / $6 Seniors Breakfast Second Tuesday of the month / 8:30 AM The Egg & I / 147th & Maple Enjoy breakfast and encouragement. Super Adults Third Tuesday of the month 9:30 AM / CCC / $6 Coffee over fellowship, a program

featuring a guest speaker, and a delicious meal. Stamp Ministry Fridays / 8–11 AM / D127 Come join in the work and fellowship.


Everyone has defining moments in their lives—challenging circumstances, relational pain, and transitional seasons. How we respond during these times has a direct impact on our futures and the future of those around us. The Care Network at CCC is a multi-disciplinary team of caregivers who are passionate about providing an environment and relationships to help people heal and grow. Developed by pastors, trained counselors, and professional licensed counselors, the Care Network is committed to helping people find healing and wholeness amidst the challenges of life. Professional Counseling Contact Kathy Sell / 402-938-1513 / These services are provided by CityCare Counseling at CCC. CityCare provides access to confidential and private therapy by licensed professional counselors trained to address your needs from a holistic perspective.

Pastoral Counseling Contact Sue Beed / 402-938-1570 / These services are provided by the pastoral staff and pastoral counselors trained to provide biblical advice or spiritual counsel to those in need. Financial counseling is also available. Healing Prayer Contact Sue Beed / 402-938-1570 / Immanuel Prayer is practical training in deepening your intimacy with God so relational barriers and painful life experiences can be resolved. Formational Prayer creates an environment where people find relief from emotional pain through a personal encounter with God. Caring Partners Contact Doni Gregory / 402-938-1512 / Serves those in need of temporary assistance by distributing designated funds as an expression of God’s love. The Oil Change Ministry and on-site food pantry are also part of Caring Partners.

NEED PRAYER? If you need someone to pray for you, stop by our prayer room on Sunday morning or submit a prayer request at and someone will contact you right away.

*The Prayer Room is located near the Worship Center on the lower level.




Silver Tsunami Contact Paul Gedden / 402-938-1574 / Ministry to the elderly, infirm, those with dementia, the sick, and the dying. This training prepares people for talking oneon-one, building a relationship through weekly visits, caring, listening, and sharing the Gospel. Training occurs every fall. Stephen Ministers Contact Paul Gedden / 402-938-1574 / Men and women trained to provide confidential, one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, aging, loneliness, spiritual crisis, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.


The ongoing transformation of your life through experiential discovery. Immanuel Lifestyle Informed by brain research, this highly relational eight-week training fosters your ability to recognize and experience God’s presence, and stimulates on-going healing and spiritual growth. Selah Groups Monthly exposure to various spiritual practices such as solitude and silence, formational approaches to the Word, and group spiritual direction, in a contemplative prayer group for women that facilitates connection with God. Forming Twelve-week training experience to help build a relationship with God that is substantive enough to change you from the inside out. Joyful Journey Eight-week training in interactive journaling (listening to Immanuel) and community spiritual practices to cultivate your own “Jesus Calling”-style intimacy with God. Spiritual Direction Contact Wendell Nelson / 402-938-1573 / A monthly one-on-one meeting to help you notice and savor God’s presence in your life and stimulate on-going growth; nurturing choices that consistently delight God.




Visit or contact Marc M / 402-938-1577 /

Career Omaha Career Networking Provides support, tips, and tactics to help you with your job search.

Experience renewal in your life by connecting with trained volunteers, professional counselors, and others experiencing similar circumstances. All groups meet at Christ Community Church.


Chemical Dependency

DivorceCare A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult challenges.

Addictions Biblically-based curriculum in a non-judgmental environment. Restarting Exposure to the brain science of addiction and the importance of secure attachments, with joy-building and quieting exercises. Sexual Identity & Brokenness Restoration Support and encouragement for those whose loved ones struggle with sexual identity. Hope After Betrayal Support, hope, and healing for those women whose marriages or relationships have been shattered. Seeds of Hope Does your past include sexual abuse that continues to creep into present life and relationships? There is hope. This group for women is a safe place to explore the whats & whys, and how to find freedom from the past. In the Wildflowers A twelve-week course for women about processing and healing from the damage of past sexual abuse. This group is offered to those who have finished Seeds of Hope.

Conquering Codependency A support group for men and women struggling with codependent relationships.

Love and Respect Biblical teaching for individuals or couples who are married, divorced, single, or engaged to learn to communicate in a manner that builds mutual understanding between genders. Relationships 101 for Men Learn how to build and maintain healthy, life-giving relationships. Dude’s Group Face the challenges of life through faith and a deeper understanding of God. GriefShare A support group to foster the journey from mourning to joy amid the chaos of the loss of a loved one. Life Together (LifT) A group of women with the desire to do the everyday joys and sorrows, victories and failures of life together. Find encouragement for ongoing support. Friends of Suicide Loss A group for those recovering from losing a friend of family member to suicide. Physical Wholeness

Bloom A group for women who have completed In the Wildflowers to continue their journey of thriving in Christ.

Fresh Hope A safe setting for people with mood disorders, or their family members, who desire to incorporate faith into the recovery process.

Resolve An entry point for men striving for sexual purity.

NAMI Helps families understand and support individuals with mental illness.

Men of Integrity A grace-filled environment to address lust issues along with honesty with self, others, and God.


CityCare Counseling exists to provide effective professional counseling for those who are seeking excellent care with a distinctly Christian perspective. Visit for more information.




The Porch at Old Mill 10845 Harney St. Omaha, NE 68154

Monday – Friday 9 AM – 8 PM


Saturday & Sunday By appointment only



2017 Calendar of Events 2.18 Broomball / High School*

2.24–25 Thrive: A Conference for Women**

2.26 Annual Business Meeting

3.5 Foundations begins (3 weeks)*

3.10–11 Guys & Girls Weekend / High School & Middle School*

3.12–19 Global Summit

3.22 No Kids Clubs or Grade 6 Journey Groups due to Spring Break


4.16 Easter / Love Can city-wide series

4.23 Foundations begins (3 weeks)*

4.26 Wednesday Evening Ministries Finale

4.30 High School and Middle School Journey Group Finale

5.14 Baby Dedications*

5.21 Kids Takeover


5.3 High School Senior Banquet*

6.11–17 8th Grade Mission Trip*

6.26–30 Summer U & Summer U Jr.**

6.30–7.2 7th Grade Omaha Mission Weekend*

7.1–8 High School Dominican Republic Mission Trip*

7.2 Patriotic Concert / CCC

7.30–8.13 Student Ministry break

8.10–11 Global Leadership Summit**

8.13 Baby Dedications*

8.13 Student & Kids Ministry (Grades 1–5) Training






9.10 Baptism on the Green SEPTEMBER

3.30 Michael W. Smith Concert**

8.20 Promotion Sunday

*Pre-registration is required for these events **Ticketed events

For additional up-to-date information, or to register or buy tickets for events, THE HUB visit MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG 45



The Hub Magazine / Issue 2  
The Hub Magazine / Issue 2