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A Decade of Miracles

Celebrating Radiant Church’s 10th Anniversary

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Disaster-Proof Your Finances Reignite the Fire in Your Marriage

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sept. 07


Be Your Teen’s Dream Parent Bob and Rich - The Men Behind the Videos

Looking Back 2 5 7 8 9 10

A Decade of Miracles Reality Check 10 Years Later… Real Compassion One on One with James Jones To the Ends of the Earth

Just for You 12 14 16 18 20

Disaster-Proofing Your Finances Reignite the Fire in Your Marriage Divinely Inspired 5 Secrets to Being Your Teenager’s Dream Parent Our Picks for Christian Music

Behind the Scenes 22 24 26 27 28 30 32 34

A Clear Future for Children’s Ministry Corn Dog Who? The Face of Radiant Ministry of Tech The Method Behind the Madness Bob & Rich - The Men Behind the Videos Reading Between the Lines Sermon Series Catalog

Ten years is a big deal. When you’re a kid, it’s an important birthday – double digits. When you’re married, it’s a big anniversary. And when you’re a church at its tenth anniversary, it’s the time to take a good hard look at what you are, and what you want to become. No one’s going to question that these last ten years have been full of miracles – the growth, the life change, the unexpectedness of it all. But what’s at the core of this success? What is it about Radiant that allows God to use it so profusely throughout the community? Dozens of strategy sessions on the same topic have repeatedly led us to one answer: Authenticity. Radiant Church is an authentic church. Everything about it is authentic: the people who come each week, the staff and the volunteers who serve, even the messages we send – the ones we send from the pulpit and the ones we send that don’t require words. Why? Because we serve an authentic God. We serve a God who cares about actual people and the actual issues they are facing – no matter how messy. You’ve heard our tagline: “Real Help for Real People”, and in case you thought we were the clever ones who wrote that, you’re wrong – that’s God’s tagline too. Too many people, churches, and even countries are trapped in religions that serve gods that don’t care about them. Maybe that sounds harsh – but it’s true, and devastatingly sad. A gold statue can’t love you back. Neither can any other false idol, image, idea, or obsession. From day one, Radiant has set out to spread the good news of Jesus’ love and sacrifice to the people who need it most: the people who don’t know. The people who have never been told, or think they don’t need God. The people who are turned off by those who set themselves up as the “holy man” with all the answers. The people who are let down when they realize that no person can possibly measure up to that standard. We aggressively market to reach those people – and we exist to speak truth into their lives. Why? Because we believe with every fiber of our being that if we communicate God’s message effectively, there isn’t a person alive who won’t accept it – we were created to crave the kind of love only God can give. In the Bible, God’s pretty clear about what He expects from a church that’s following His example. And just to make sure we got the point, He sent Jesus as the example of “Real Help for Real People”. Help the poor. Spend time with the down-and-outs of society – they matter too. Encourage each other, and hold each other accountable. Sacrifice for each other. Meet together weekly in prayer and worship. Teach from the Word. Give faithfully – both your money and your time. And love like tomorrow isn’t coming, because one of these days, it won’t be. How have we done? Well, in case you weren’t aware, no church is perfect. It’s made up of completely imperfect people, so there will always be areas we need to work on. Accountability? Sure. Tithing? Definitely. But as long as we keep our eyes focused on God, and on the authenticity of His ministry, we know that we’re headed in the right direction.

Radiant’s story doesn’t begin in Arizona, or even a church. Our

the community. You have to coordinate a team of volunteers and secure

story actually begins in an office in Seattle – a luxurious office,

qualified children’s workers to keep the kids safe. You have to figure out

studded with cherry wood furniture, lit with fancy lamps – at the

who’s doing the worship part of the service – and if you can afford to

Microsoft Corporate Headquarters. Lee McFarland was going about

hire the staff you want with the small budget you’ve been given.

his business as the Director of World Wide Operations when God called him into a whole new lifestyle: the ministry. Pastor Lee still claims that the 1st miracle of Radiant was that God chose him to be the Senior Pastor – but like so many great men of the Bible, Pastor Lee was exactly the man God was looking for: young, inexperienced, passionate about Jesus, and willing to make both big sacrifices and big leaps of faith. Meanwhile, far away in Sun City, Arizona, God was also working on the hearts of Pastor Mel & Pat Holmquist of Evangel Church. They had a vision to reach the young families of the area, a demographic their current church wasn’t tapping into. Months after putting out a call for church planters’ resumes, only one

But before all of that, most importantly, you have to decide the identity of your church: Your Purpose. And Pastor Lee did just that a few

“The five purposes clarified what the church is supposed to be doing in such a great way that I really felt I knew what I was supposed to do to start the church.”

came in: Lee McFarland’s. But like all God-orchestrated events, the

—Pastor Lee

months before Radiant began, at the Purpose Driven Conference at Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. It was at one of the church-planting sessions that he first learned about the five purposes of a healthy church, and he instantly knew that it was God’s plan for Radiant. “I can’t tell you how much the switch got thrown,” Pastor Lee said. “It just clicked with me in a thousand different ways. The five purposes clarified what the church is supposed to be doing in such a great way that I really felt I knew what I was supposed to do to start the church.”

timing was perfect, and Pastor Lee was unanimously voted in as the


man for the job.

Radiant’s first service was held on September 7, 1997 in the auditorium

So how do you plant a church? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to scout out a place to meet & rent, and start building interest in

of Kingswood Parke Elementary School. The 147 people who showed up were treated with folding chairs, a pulpit on rollers, and an airconditioning system that had broken the night before. Pastor Lee jokes that, “It’s a miracle anyone came back the next week!”

Water World Baptism Pastor Lee Joel Osteen John Maxwell Bill Hybels

But somehow, Radiant grew. Within six months, over

As Radiant’s notoriety grew, Pastor Lee received an

450 people attended each weekend, and the numbers

increasing number of speaking opportunities. Today,

increased exponentially over the next 10 years – not

he frequently travels to different conferences, teaching

only the weekly attendance numbers, but also the

pastors and new church planters who want to learn

number of baptisms and commitments to Jesus.

how to make their church relevant to their community.

Even today, dozens of people commit their lives to

Last Summer, Pastor Lee traveled with Rick Warren to

Jesus for the first time, or recommit each weekend.

South Korea and Indonesia, preaching the Gospel and

Pastor Lee says “It’s a constant reality check – we

teaching the methods of Purpose Driven to hundreds

can’t let ourselves ignore the miracles that happen

and thousands of people. Later that same year, Pastor

each weekend!”

Lee was among 20 pastors invited to spend a day with Joel & Victoria Osteen. “It stretches your vision,”

As Radiant grew, so did Surprise and the rest Our relationship with

the city continued to develop, as we partnered in numerous outreach efforts such as our Christmas

Pastor Lee later commented. “To spend time with people like John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Joel the future!”

Adopt-a-Family, various Thanksgiving outreaches,


Back-to-School backpack drives, and our continual

Two years ago, ABC News 15 aired a story in which they

benevolence to families in need. Arizona’s local and

dubbed Radiant “the blue jean church”. The nickname

statewide leaders have invited our staff, on numerous

stuck – and appropriately represents the casual

occasions, to participate in discussions about issues

approach to church the weekend services embody. The

affecting Arizona like poverty and immigration.

donuts, coffee shop, bookstore, and mall-type lobby

Over the past ten years, Radiant Church and its

create a very laid-back environment where anyone

surrounding community have become integral parts

could be comfortable. “The atmosphere is by design,”

of one another.

Pastor Lee told Channel 15. “Where do people want

It didn’t take long for people outside our community to start noticing that something special was happening

Class 101: Discovering Membership

helps you see past the ‘now’ and into what God has for

to go and hang out? The mall – the park – the bar. Usually not at a church. But we want to change that.”

in Surprise. Radiant received the Church Health

One approach to reaching the surrounding community

Award from Purpose Driven Ministries, and media

is providing quality family-friendly entertainment on

outlets began to take notice. Various magazine-based

our campus. Radiant has hosted community concerts

publications, like Church Executive, have featured

of all kinds - comedians like Jeff Allen and Tim

Radiant as an example of how to make church out-

Hawkins; speakers like Meadowlark Lemon and Troy

of-the-box. Even the New York Times Magazine put

McClain; and musical groups like Salvador, ZOEgirl,

Radiant on the front cover one Easter Sunday, with

and Tammy Trent. Radiant has hosted Jump5 three

a feature article on how megachurches are changing

times over the past ten years, and now that the group

the face of life in the exurbs.

is on its farewell tour, they will perform a final time at

Get details online:

COMMUNITY TIES of the Northwest Valley.

Make History! Be a part of something big - join Radiant’s powerful ministry to the community. The first step in getting involved is our series of Classes 101 – 401.

Radiant this November. Our most recent New Year’s

Easter ‘07 in the University of Phoenix Stadium 3

Class 201: Discovering Spiritual Maturity

Class 301: Discovering My Ministry

Class 401: Discovering My Life Mission

Eve event featured Living Illusions – a Christian illusionist act – and

full of rapid growth and the difficulties and excitement that growth

was so successful in bringing in new people from the community that

brings. Has it always been an easy road? No way – and as Radiant

the group is booked to return this January.

continues to reach out to its community, we know more obstacles will present themselves. Pastor Lee says, “When you grow this quickly,

Holidays present unique opportunities to reach out to new people, and

you’re constantly running to catch up. It’s inevitable. The important

Radiant has always made the most of them.

“God planted this church – it was His vision long before I ever came on the scene. He has brought us this far, and I know He has big plans for our future.”

thing is to stay focused on God, not the problems

Just two examples are the Alternative, a party

– He will help us through them.”

on Halloween night that gives community families safe options, and annual Christmas

In spite of these obstacles, the growth boom

plays that also provide hundreds of free bikes

is nowhere near over. Three years in a row,

to families in need. At Radiant’s anniversary each September, the church celebrates with a giant picnic at Water World that begins with a massive baptism service in the wave pool. Definitely not your typical baptism setting, but it’s a powerful experience that’s become a favorite tradition within the church family – not to mention a great way to show newcomers how much fun taking

Outreach Magazine has named Radiant the fastest growing Assemblies of God church in the country, and the fourth largest. New projects are on the horizon; new opportunities for growth. So, what’s next?

“Anything God wants!”

Pastor Lee says. “God planted this church – it was His vision long before I ever came on the

scene. He has brought us this far, and I know He has big plans for our

God seriously can be! Perhaps the largest outreach event so far was

future. Surprise is still growing. There are a lot of people out there

last year’s Easter service – held at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

who need a church like Radiant to show them that being a Christian

Nearly 15,000 people joined together in one large service filled with

isn’t boring – that it’s the biggest adventure of all!”

fireworks, guest artists, powerful testimonies, and an altar call that resulted in hundreds coming forward to make a commitment to Jesus.

Whether it’s your tenth year at Radiant or your first day, we invite you to spend the next decade with us and see what new miracles God


has in store!

There’s no question that Radiant has had an action-packed ten years,

Think 10 years isn’t a long time? Think again! God has done amazing things for Radiant, and through Radiant, over the past ten years. It’s easy to forget when you see it on a daily or weekly basis, so let’s take a quick look backwards to put this miracle in perspective!

We held our first service at a rented elementary school facility – 147 people showed up! We used folding chairs and fake plants from Costco, and the pulpit was on rollers! We served free donuts and coffee, and Pastor Lee wore blue jeans. We rocked out as Pastor Lee played piano, and Pastor Travis played drums. We packed the whole church into a 15’ x 15’ closet after it was over.

We were on the South Campus, with standing room only for our 6 services! We were one of the few churches in the country with TWO children’s pastors. We started serving Krispy Kreme donuts and Starbucks coffee (yep, donuts are in our DNA!). We laughed nervously when people started calling us a “mega church”. We set up a huge tent for Easter, and held the first “Alternative” on Halloween night.

We call this beautiful campus our home… We grew 2,000 people in just 12 months after moving in! We enjoy a Prayer Tower that looks out over the entire city. We have the nicest pre-school building in the state of Arizona (according to the state inspector).

We will have the most amazing Children’s Center in the country! We will have a Teen Center that attracts 1,000’s every week! We will have multiple choices of worship music and languages at multiple service times! We will be blessed with over 10,000 attending every weekend! We will provide compassion blessings to hundreds of families in our community every month! We will take a missions trip every month to a foreign country! We will have launched video venues in other towns! We will be planting new churches around the world! Dream Big With Me!


10 Years! WOW!! Needless to say, a lot has happened in 10 years. When we moved here to start Radiant, Josh was 5 and Krissy was 4. Now, I have to look up just to see them - not to mention how they tower over all the other staff pastors! Josh is already driving and both kids are in high school, just a few short years away from

several vacations where we had to wrestle the phone

graduating. Of course Lee & I have both gotten older

out of Lee’s hand! And on Sunday vacations, he was

too, but also better looking!

always very quiet – we knew he was thinking about Radiant, and missing being here. As soon as services

As I look back, I can see how much Radiant has been a

were over, he started calling people to see how it went!

part of our daily lives. One of my favorite things about

On one vacation, we needed the church’s help - Krissy

Radiant is how it feels like family. I remember moving

had a very bad accident and we called to have the

into this building and worrying that it would feel big

whole church pray. Instantly we could feel everyone

and impersonal but God made it a wonderful home

praying and knew she would be alright.

from the start. I love to see everyone talking, eating, laughing, and just hanging out in the lobby.

Conferences have been a good time to let our hair down and really get to know the staff. Before Mikki was Pastor Mikki, she interned during the summer

So Many Wonderful Memories…

as Lee’s assistant. She would come with us to various conferences to help Lee and hang out with the kids.

Did you know that Radiant’s 1st worship team was

One time she took the kids to the beach, and they

made up of Bob Chelpka, a girl named Sarah, me, and

came home with hermit crabs (which died that night

Lee on the piano? It’s true! And Pastor Travis soon

and stunk up the hotel room!) and then she bought

joined us on the drums. I remember all the setting up

chocolate-covered espresso beans for my 7-year old

and tearing down every Sunday at Kingswood Parke

to keep her bouncing off the walls!

Elementary School while all of our kids were playing all around us.

All in all, it has been amazing to watch our church grow up. People tell us how much the church has

Just a few years later, we ended up on the South

taught them to walk with God and how it has helped

Campus, and we had a Building Dedication & Baptism service.

save their families. Really helping people makes all

Both of our kids were baptized, and I

the work worth it! I can’t wait for the next 10 years to

remember that Josh thought he was in a swimming

see what God has in store for all of us!

pool – Lee had to catch Josh as he swam right past him!

Sandy McFarland

Much Love,

Leaving Radiant behind for vacations was always difficult for all of us – especially Lee. There were

department’s impact has been noticed and appreciated by

Real Compassion

members of the community as well. “Compassions has always been willing to assist in times of

Behind the Scenes and Changing Lives

need and encourage community collaboration,” said Linda Melendez, the Program Coordinator of the Surprise Police

Radiant’s Compassions Department has a simple measure

Department’s Victim Advocate Unit. “The City of Surprise is

to determine whether one of its numerous ventures was a

blessed to have Compassions in times of need.”

success— was someone’s life transformed for the better?

Bob Baratko, Human Services Supervisor in the City of

Judging by the changes evident in the lives of the individuals

Surprise’s Community Initiatives Department, echoed

who attend New Believers Class, volunteer with the Prayer

Melendez’s comments. “(Compassions’) donation of time,

Team, or simply seek out the assistance of the Compassions

efforts and funds in providing assistance to the truly deserving

staff, the department has been successful indeed.

is a testimonial to their faith and beliefs. I hope they realize

Gary and Heather Keane are two Compassions success stories.

their positive community participation and impact.”

“We saw amazing things happen,” said Heather Keane.

Compassions partners with Melendez’s and Baratko’s

“(Compassions) brought us in and prayed with us and offered to help us.” Just a few months ago, the Keanes were facing a financial crisis as Gary Keane lost his job and the couple seemingly had no way to pay their bills and repay two huge loans. The Keanes turned to Radiant and were steered to the Compassions Department. Compassions offered both shortterm and long-term solutions to the Keanes. In the short term, the department helped with financial assistance to pay

respective departments at the city, and the city and church

off their utility and water bills. But far more importantly, the

organizations will often refer individuals back and forth to

department’s members equipped the Keanes with the ability

one another, each filling the gaps that the other can’t address.

to deal with their long-term needs by bringing the couple

For instance, Compassions has provided spiritual counseling

back to God. Compassions staff members Adriana Clifton,

and prayer to numerous individuals who first came through

the Director of Compassions, and Nicole Porter, Community

the doors of the Victim’s Advocate Unit or Community

Outreach Coordinator of Compassions, encouraged the Keanes


to resume regular church attendance, to forgive others, to pray

The Compassions team, which includes Adriana Clifton,

to God, and to tithe a portion of their earnings.

Nicole Porter, and Theresa Jones, is guided in its actions by

The Keanes took those steps, and God rewarded them.

Pastor Lee McFarland’s emphasis on prayer and support for those in need.

“We saw amazing things happen,” said Heather Keane. “The money was just there to pay the mortgage. We truly felt the

“We serve up more than community resources; we offer

Holy Spirit; it was the most amazing experience that either

prayer and hope to every person that comes into our church,”

one of us have felt.”

said Nicole Porter.

The Keanes are just two of the many individuals that are

Adriana Clifton echoed those comments.

reached by the Compassions Department each year. In 2006

Radiant’s mission ‘Real Help for Real People.’ We believe

alone the department offered spiritual counseling to more than

it’s only through a commitment to Jesus that Radiant and

“We live by

2,000 individuals and prayed with nearly 3,000 individuals in the Prayer Room at Radiant Church. And Compassion’s influence extends well beyond the doors of the church, as the

by Jim Gruber


rofessional athletes have a unique public platform – and Christian athletes can make a huge impact in their community! Radiant has had the honor this past year of welcoming Phoenix Suns’ James Jones and his family into our church family, and experiencing the impact of his faith. But all good things must come to an

end, and before James heads to Portland to his new team, Pastor Travis, the chaplain for the Phoenix Suns, caught up with him for a few “one on one” questions. Considering the environment you’re in, how do you keep your relationship with God strong? Well, I have to give a lot of credit to my wife and my family for staying close to God, reading the Bible, and for our conversations on spiritual issues in general - it’s just something that’s always present in our household. As for me, I carry my Bible, go to church, and listen to Christian radio as much as possible, just to keep myself thinking on a positive, spiritual level. Basically, I just try to saturate myself with the Word and find ways to make everyday changes. How important is it for you to have a team chaplain and a chapel for every game? It’s very important! With basketball, our schedules are always off. You can never really stop and say “Hey - I’m going to church today” but at least there’s some consistency with every game you play knowing that you’ll get a chance to hear the Word, meditate on it, and fellowship with other guys - it’s incredible. It’s very important. We just got news that you’ve been traded to Portland. What will you miss most about being in Arizona?

Video Game: Halo. They made a #2, but it wasn’t very good. (What? No NBA games? James said: “I don’t play NBA games - they don’t really know how good any of the players are! They keep raising the physical stats - and I understand that. But some players who average 6 points a game end up with 20 points a game in their system.”) Movie: Saving Private Ryan. I have always been drawn to it - the realism, and the appreciation it gives you for what people have done in the name of freedom. Music: R&B music. I like Anthony Hamilton. He’s an R&B artist with a gospel sound and a gospel background. He has a song called “Pass Me Over” on his last album, which I really like. Food: I like all kinds of Caribbean food. I love curried chicken, potatoes... all of it. Living in Miami, we have a lot of Caribbean influence there, and it just so happens that my wife comes from that background and she can cook! Shoe Size: 16. Since I was 16 years old.

My whole life here - the family, the relationship I have with the guys, just everything about it. But God’s always working in my life and putting me in places that I need to be - so I know Portland is going to be a great situation for me, and I’m looking forward to it. There will never be another church like Radiant, but hopefully I can find something similar - because I need it! Radiant was a big part of our lives, and a big part of why our life in Phoenix was so enjoyable. If you could say anything to the people at Radiant Church, what would it be? That God knows best. And regardless of your feelings, your emotions or your thoughts, if you put your trust and your faith in God, He’ll guide you in all the right choices and put you in all the right spots. And don’t fight it! Every stop on the map is just another experience to help build you into the person that God wants you to be.


Yoido Full Gospel Church – Seoul, South Korea (July ’06) to see Last Summer I experienced a miracle. It has always been a dream of mine Church the largest church in the world – Pastor Yonggi Cho’s Yoido Full Gospel platform the on sit to got I , – with over 800,000 attendees! Well last Summer Pastor with Dr. Cho, and Dr. Billy Kim (the Billy Graham of South Korea), and Cho’s at PREACH to get Rick Warren. Rick said, “Did you ever think you would love it church?” And I couldn’t say anything...the tears just came! Don’t ya just when God goes way beyond your wildest dreams? Shangr i-La Hotel - Jakarta, Indonesia (July ’06) different A hotel? It may seem strange, but this was one event I’ll never forget. 14 I got to and ia, Indones English speaking churches came together in Jakarta, preach on “One Shot to Leave a Legacy”. Talk about the experience of a lifetime! Saddleback Church - Lake Forest, CA (June ‘07) speaking Just this last Summer, I enjoyed one of my all time favorite guest Church appearances! Rick Warren asked me to speak in his place at Saddleback behind myself find to for a whole weekend – 6 services! It was almost surreal Radiant the very podium Rick Warren spoke from ten years ago, months before Church began. Church Planters Intensive – Issaquah, WA (not too far from Microsoft!) (November ‘05) Planting My friend, Dave Cole, who is the Northwest Ministry Network’s Church various Director, invited me to speak to a group of church planters who were at r wheneve and – teams great stages of planting their church. I spoke on building Radiant I speak on that topic it reminds me of what an amazing team we have at – both our staff and volunteers! Rocky Mountain Distric t Bootcamp – Colorado Springs, CO (September ‘04) , I taught Who says bigger is always better? At this “bootcamp” for church planters my good a group of six people – and it was amazing! I also got to co-teach with that he here was It D.C. ton friend Mark Batterson, a Senior Pastor in Washing on a asked permission to use my story in his new book: In the Pit With a Lion anyone’s time first the it’s – Snowy Day. It’s a great book! (Check out Chapter 6 ever called me a “lion chaser”!) Georgia Distric t Council of the Assemblies of God – Savannah, GA (May ‘07) to I was in San Diego, speaking at the Church Planters Summit, and was invited the took I – blast a was It speak in Georgia (of all places!) at their District Council. a big whole family so my daughter Krissy could visit Paula Deen’s restaurant (she’s fan!). It was an inspiring and delicious trip!

There’s no question that as a country, we’re in tough financial times right now! There are a lot of indicators that our economy is under stress. If you’ve tried to sell a house or a car recently, you know what I mean! But here’s the good news: You can have all your needs met in the midst of financial disaster! It’s true - God provides for His children, and you will see examples of that all through the Bible. The answer to financial disaster, as strange as it sounds, is being a generous giver. It’s a cycle - giving generously is how God blesses your finances and takes care of the church at the same time. If you study the Bible, you’ll see that it’s actually a book about giving - there’s more in there about giving than nearly any other topic! Over half of Jesus’ parables had to do with money. There are more promises in the Bible related to giving than any other topic. To put it in perspective, the word “pray” is used 371 times, the word “love” is used 714 times, and the word “give” is used 2,162 times! God is a giver, so if we want to be like Him, and do what Jesus would do, it means you have to become a giver. Still not convinced? Here are six great reasons to give!


Giving draws me closer to God. Matthew 6:21 says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” It’s time to take an inventory of your life: Wherever you put your money shows your priorities. By taking a quick look at your bank statement, I could immediately tell what’s important to you. A big payment on an SUV? A large mortgage payment? No church tithe? It means, by definition, that you’re communicating to God that He isn’t important to you. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” He loved, so he gave. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Christians should be the most giving people in the world!


Giving is an anecdote to materialism. Having things is fun! I won’t argue with that! But what I have found is that the minute I start looking to any material possesion to make me happy, it always disappoints me. Doesn’t matter what it is - a jet ski, a car, a house, a boat, a time share, or whatever - it will always let me down. Things will always leave you empty. So what’s the anecdote? Giving! When you have to let go of things, it actually helps you get over that need to acquire. It is such a feeling of freedom! Learn the art of giving things away - it will re-orient your life completely.


Giving strengthens my faith. Faith is like a muscle - the only way to get those muscles stronger is to exercise! You have to use them and push them to their limits. God uses your finances to test your faith. Why? Because if your finances get sideways, it gets your attention. Whatever is going on in your life gets put on hold. You can’t sleep at night, you worry all the time. God uses that to see how you feel about him.


Giving is an investment in eternity. I did a funeral the other day and I have noticed something about all funerals: You can put all the stuff you want around the casket, but it doesn’t go with you. Neither does your checking account. That’s why you shouldn’t just use your money to help people on Earth - it has to go for bringing people to heaven! That’s the eternal bank account and that’s why you put your money in a church that’s actively bringing people into the kingdom - a church like Radiant! It’s the only safe investment for eternity - actually, it’s the only investment, period!


Giving blesses me in return. There are more promise verses in the Bible about giving than anything else. They basically say that if you bless others, you will be blessed too. Just a few of those verses: “A generous man will himself be blessed.” (Prov. 11:25) “A generous man will prosper he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (Prov. 22:9) “Good will come to him who is generous.” (Psalm 112:5).


Giving makes me happy! In the Beatitudes, Jesus said that there is more happiness in giving than receiving. If you’ve ever given little kids presents at Christmas, or even worked hard to pick out the perfect gift for your spouse, then you know that’s true! And here’s the main point of giving: You can trust God with your finances. And actually, you cannot out-give God! I dare you to try. Tithing is giving 10% of your earnings back to God but you’d be amazed at the blessings that will come if you start giving 12, 14, 16 percent! Sandy and I are at 20%! I’m not bragging - I’m telling you to follow me as I follow Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1). You cannot outgive God. If you don’t have it in your finances to tithe, then I want to challenge you that this is the exact moment when you should look very seriously at tithing. There’s something about you saying to God, “This doesn’t work! I can’t pay my bills! But I know you aren’t a liar, God, so I am going to test you in this. I will give beyond my ability.” I couldn’t teach this to you if I didn’t believe it! I know I can promise this to you - because God promises it. The secret to disaster-proofing your finances is to put God in control. And the first step to putting God in control is to become a generous giver.

Get Intimate Well, now I’ve got your attention! In our culture, the word “intimacy” usually connotes sexual intimacy. However, there is so much more to it than that! When I tell you to get intimate, I mean that you should take time to be together, to be emotionally intimate. Have long conversations - get to know each other all over again! I recently heard someone say that they got to know their spouse by waking up every day and asking the question, “Tell me something I don’t know about you.” Statistics say that when people go on walks together they are more likely to open up…so if you have a hard time talking, or don’t know where to start, just put on your tennis shoes and hit the pavement!

Remember When Let’s face it… A vibrant and healthy marriage takes work! No matter what stage of your marriage you are in, whether you are a newlywed or a seasoned couple, here are a few pointers that will keep the fire in your marriage burning strong!

Remember when you saw your spouse for the first time? What did you do to get them to notice you? What did you do to get them to go out on a first date with you? Start there! Write love notes and leave them on their windshield, send them flowers, send an e-card, write them a poem. Do the things you did at the beginning to steal their heart – and steal it all over again! Often we get so caught up in going through the day that we don’t stop to think and appreciate that we have our spouse to come home to. We forget how fun it was to have butterflies in our stomachs when they called us or how we were nervous when we saw them because we didn’t want to say the wrong thing! Have fun again! Get back to the basics and fall in love all over again.

Go Half Way A strong relationship is largely based on compromise. We live in a “me” focused society, but in a relationship, that’s not always the best way to go. Take me up on this challenge: For one whole week, focus entirely on your spouse and see what happens! Do things that your spouse would normally do…just to help out! Take out the trash, get the oil changed, do the laundry, mow the lawn. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do things that will make your spouse’s life easier that week! If you are willing to compromise and help out on a daily or even weekly basis, then when the going gets rough, compromise will be a lot easier to achieve.

Carve Out Time Another key to keeping the fire burning strong in your marriage is to make time for one another. In a go – go – go society, it can be hard to stop. But we need to – weekly! Set a day aside every week where you and your spouse can go out, just the two of you, with no children tugging at your legs. Even if it means you are just going to go for a picnic in the park with food made from home, still make the time. It seems as though we take time for everything else in life, except each other! We take time for sports, TV, exercise, kids, etc., but we don’t take the same amount of time for our spouses. Make your spouse the person that you spend the majority of your time with, it will show them how much they mean to you.

Tune Up!

By Pastor Mikki Garland Counseling Pastor

Quite possibly the MOST important thing you can do for your marriage is to be in tune with Jesus daily by reading your Bible and by praying. Are you praying for your family and your spouse on a daily basis? Are you looking to the Bible for advice on how to be a better husband or wife, father or mother? God lays all of the tools out for us - all we have to do is read and talk! Once you have got the first step down of reading and praying daily on your own, the next step is to read and pray with your spouse.

These verses are all based on three things: love, marriage, and trust!

John 13:34

Romans 12:9-10

1 Timothy 6:17

Colossians 3:18-19

Psalm 28:7

Romans 14:10

John 13:35

Psalm 112:7

1 Peter 1:21

2 Timothy 1:7

John 15:12-13

1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Psalm 28:7

Hebrews 10:24

Proverbs 31:10-12

1 Corinthians 13:7-13

Romans 8:28

1 Peter 4:8

Psalm 34:10

Colossians 3:14

Ephesians 5:25-27

1 John 4:10

Romans 8:35

Psalm 118:8-9

Psalm 37:5

Hebrews 13:4

Ephesians 5:28-33

Proverbs 3:5-6

Psalm 86:2

Psalm 9:10

(These are all from the NLT translation!)

Read one a day for a month – you’ll see a difference by Day 30!

There are devotionals available that are designed just for couples to read and do together. Most of them are very easy and are only one page per day. If you don’t know where to start, just use this list of 30 verses as a jumping off point. Tear out this page – put it on the fridge – read a verse each morning before work for a month and say a quick prayer together. Even just doing that will make you stronger as a family and will set an unforgettable example for your children!


By Carey Bailey “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply working gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (Msg) I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was six and in Mrs. Barr’s first grade class at Saint Michael’s Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas. We had been given an assignment to come to school dressed up as what we wanted to be when we grew up. I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait to get out of my stiff school uniform and into something much more fun. My dream job was to be a fire-fighting ballet-teaching mom. Which means I showed up at school the next day in a leotard, tights, ballet slippers, fire-fighters hat, and a purse! (I also thought that a purse is what made you a mom…!) Mrs. Barr probably got a good laugh out of my get-up, but to me, at six years old, it didn’t seem the slightest bit odd. At six anything seemed possible. Take a moment to think about yourself at the age of six. Can you remember? You probably spent your days learning to form letters that would one day create paragraphs with meaning, designing art projects that held an esteemed place on the family refrigerator, imagining what adventure your toy truck would head off on that day, or dreaming of fascinating lands you could invent with your dolls. The world was filled with such potential! But then, like a red T-shirt after 40 washes, the vibrancy of life begins to fade. And we slowly but surely re-define ourselves by test scores, by designer clothes, by fitting in with the cool kids and eventually by attaining the “perfect job” (which, by the way, looks nothing like a fire-fighting ballet-teaching mom). Somewhere between the ages of 6 and 26, our capacity to create, imagine, dream, and

adventure all become stifled by our society’s expectation of adulthood. So what’s the answer? How do we get back to that younger, more creative us? The answer may surprise you - it’s as easy as following Jesus! Jesus serves as our adult example of how to do life differently. His style and approach to life on Earth was to generate new ideas and associations over existing concepts. And that may just sound like a bunch of big words, but simply put, His job was to be creative and spur others to creativity! Take a look at his resume: Turned water into wine. Used mud and spit for healing. Walked on water. Taught through the use of stories rather than the Torah. Fasted in the desert for forty days. Made a storm stop. Brought a man back to life. Fed five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread. And as if all that wasn’t impressive enough, He finished off His Earthly career by being raising from the dead! Was it easy to be different? No way! In fact, Jesus was at constant odds with his society’s expectations, but He never let it change Him. His everyday eating, breathing, and sleeping life was lived with the utmost creativity. Here’s the cool part. You and I have been invited to live like that – to be Jesus’ hands and feet. In our day to day life, we get to imitate what He did on the earth two thousand and seven years ago – which means you and I are called to be people of creativity! (Which means you are no longer allowed to say “I don’t have one creative bone in my body!”) “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 Did you catch that last part? We are “without excuse”! Creativity is not inherited, learned, or taught. We are creative just by the sheer fact that we know Jesus. Now, just for a second, head back to the world of six year olds. What is it that you loved to do at the age of six that is missing from your present life? How can you wake-up the six year old in you that is napping? Whatever that something is re-discover it! Go buy yourself a Tonka truck, some paper and finger paints, bubbles, or paper dolls. Give yourself permission to return to the land of adventure, imagination, and wild dreams. Why? Because it’s the first step to awakening the creative potential Jesus gave you – the creative potential He’ll use to shape and mold the world for God!


By Pastor Travis Hearn, Youth Pastor You might as well face it – you aren’t the perfect parent! But you could be the parent that every teenager dreams of having. That doesn’t mean letting them do whatever they want, whenever they want - nor does it mean giving them money every time they ask for it! In just a few short years, your teenager will be enrolling in college. That’s right – college. So how can you capitalize on these quickly passing moments and become the parent your teenager needs? Shhh! Don’t tell anyone – but I’ve got 5 secrets I’d like to share with you that just might help!

Secret #1:

BE A PARENT WHO EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATES TO YOUR TEENAGER. Good communication simply means talking and listening. Although teens aren’t the best at expressing themselves, talking and listening will pay off. Have casual conversations with your teens. Talk about their day at school and your day at work. Asking for their opinion about things that will help them realize that they’re important, and increase the likelihood of all around good communication. Oh, and you also want to be positive! Many times much of our conversation with our teenagers is about correcting, teaching, instructing, disciplining, getting a point across, or trying to change an attitude. Parents sometimes pay more attention to their teens’ mistakes than their successes. What happens is when the communication line is always negative and correcting – your child begins to withdraw and shut you out. You would do the same if you had a boss that consistently treated you in a negative way. So talk to your kids, listen to them, be positive and find reasons to praise

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

and encourage your teenager.

Secret #2:


You mean parents can actually enjoy their teenager? Absolutely! It seems as parents we have plenty of time to watch TV, go to the lake, play sports, work extra hours, talk to friends on the phone, and buy new toys. But how much time per day do you spend truly enjoying your teenager? I’m not talking about doing household chores while your teen sits on the couch texting their friends with an IPOD covering their

ears. I’m talking about quality time – enjoying your time together. Try finding something they like to do and do it with them. It could be taking them to a movie, taking them out and letting them drive your car around in the desert, taking them hiking, or simply just sitting down with no distractions and being genuinely interested in their lives.

Secret #3:

BE A PARENT WHO SETS AN EXAMPLE FOR YOUR TEENAGER. The old saying “Do as I say and not as I do” holds absolutely no weight! They will do as you do – and probably much more. As my personal role model Billy Graham stated so well, “Children will invariably talk, eat, walk, think, respond, and act like their parents. Give them a target to shoot at. Give them a goal to work toward. Give them a pattern that they can see clearly, and you give them something that gold and silver cannot buy.” Isn’t that awesome!? Your child is no doubt watching and mimicking every move you make. Let your life be an example. Set the bar high. Live for God! Read your Bible, pray with them and in front of them them, go to church, get involved at church, give, tithe, love people, be kind to

everyone, be positive, be happy, and live out a great example for your teenager to watch. Your teens are going to listen to what you listen to, watch what you watch, and talk like you talk. Your standard in life will become their standard in life! Set an example for your teenager. Let your life’s Godly example set the bar for their lives and then sit back and watch the transformation begin!

Secret #4:



Okay, okay – you can stop laughing now! Trust is a very big deal and just like you want to be trusted – your teenager wants to be trusted too. Without trust, the relationship cannot be healthy – it can’t really even be a relationship. Your teenager wants to know that you believe in them, that you respect them, and that you trust them. Even if they have lost a little bit of your trust (or maybe a lot!), begin looking for ways to trust them again. There is nothing more motivating for a teenager than for them to realize that mom and dad trust them.

Secret #5:

BE A PARENT WHO IS INVOLVED WITH YOUR TEENAGER. Teenagers are starving for attention – your attention. That said, your teenager won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. If you are not already, get involved with their life! Make memories with your teenager. Seize every moment that you do have – and carve out special time every day, every week, and every month to be involved with your teenager. Help them with their homework, coach their basketball team, get involved in their school, take them to work sometime with you, and take them on errands with you. Pray with your teenagers at night time, read the Bible with them and to them, and even ask them to pray and ask for their prayer requests. Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that parent involvement is positively related to a teenager’s achievement.

Well there you have it! Apply these 5 secrets and you will be on your way to being the parent every teenager dreams of! But don’t tell them that I told you – they don’t like parents to know they are human - and most of them don’t realize I’m a parent! Oh – and one last very important thing; you might want to try these secrets out for more than just one day – the results are the best if you give it a lifetime.

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1. Cindy Morgan “The Loving Kind” - This is the best concept album about the Passion week (the week before Easter). 2. PFR “Goldie’s Last Day” - I love listening to the fun harmonies! 3. Natalie Grant “Worship with Natalie Grant & Friends” - The artists featured on this album include some of my favorites, like John Elefante & Isreal Houghton. 4. Joy Williams “By Surprise” - My favorite track is #10 - gorgeous voice, amazing message, soaring music! What’s NOT to love?! 5. Michael W. Smith “Freedom” - A relaxing instrumental album - a reminder of Michael’s ability to create the most beautiful melodies. 20

“Some drenaline A io d u A is 1. bought th I ” ie b m o the Kind of Z had to get d n a te t e been as a cass e tape had h t e s u a c ! CD be f breaking o t in o p e th played to Veggie s Artists “ 2. Variou nd gie Tales a g e V e v lo I e best Rocks” some of th s a h m u e best this alb some of th g in r e v o c n! bands Tons of Fu ! s e n u T Veggie nd rowder Ba C id v a D 3. zing - An ama ” te a in m “Illu ce and erforman p f o e c n g. bala every son in ip h s r o w to sing to! A great CD

1. Switchfoot “Oh Gravity!” - Creative music with meaningful and well-written lyrics - anything from them is great. 2. Warren Barfield “Reach” - Clean, tight rhythms and gutsy vocals. This is a must for your CD collection. 3. Newsboys “Shine - The Hits” - Some of the most clever and fun lyrics come from these guys. I always enjoy their music. 4. Steven Curtis Chapman “All Things New” - I grew up listening to SCC and continue to appreciate the quality of his music and messages. 5. Audio Adrenaline “Bloom” - What can I say about one of the best Christian Rock bands EVER...these guys are great! 2

My family and I are so excited to be back at Radiant as your Children’s Pastors!

The last decade has been an amazing one for Radiant – and at the very core of your church’s success is Pastor Lee’s emphasis (from day one!) on providing great ministry to children. I have heard numerous stories about how families’ lives have changed because of what their kids learn and do here at Radiant. Thank you, Pastor Lee, for caring about our kids!

Radiant’s 10th anniversary is a great opportunity to reflect on the successes of the past, but it’s also the perfect time to anticipate what God has in store for our future. Radiant has already established a great legacy in its progressive emphasis on children’s ministry. Many of you have kids who look forward each week to coming to church, and to inviting their friends. And now we are ready to embark on a new era of even greater vision and purpose in our children’s ministry! In order to reach that next level, we’ll need to build on our current success, using it as a lauchpad into the next era!

Is change really necessary? When I was in elementary school, I lived in northwest Florida. One of my favorite things to do was to play outside with my brothers. As we poked around the pine trees in our backyard, we would find shells of locusts attached to the trees. I loved to pull them off, play with them, crush them, or better yet, put them down my brothers’ shirts! I became 22

intrigued, though, as to why the shells of the locusts were there in the first place. My curiosity inspired me to start researching insects and their exoskeletons. I learned that locust skeletons were on the outside of their bodies and if they were to grow larger in size, they would have to break out of their old shell and harden a new one. In this same way, as we grow, we need to continually break through the things that are constraining our growth without losing the strength of the structure in place. Why?

So we can reach even more kids for Jesus!

Our Goal: To reach even more kids & families! Now your curiosity may be piqued as to what we may be doing or changing about our already great ministry to children. Before you ask what changes are being made or what decisions are currently being decided that will affect your children, allow me take a step back and share with you some guiding thoughts and ideas that are influencing myself and my team.

Instead of deciding what we want to change or think needs to be changed, our team actually has been spending time deciding what is important to our ministry as a whole. Basically, we have been establishing our values.

When values are clear, decisions are easy. When my wife and I moved back to Surprise this summer, we needed to purchase a new washer and dryer. I went to the local home appliance stores to see what I was getting myself into. Our last washer and dryer lasted nine years, so I knew there would be some changes as to what was available. I was immediately overwhelmed by all the choices, sizes, and yes, even colors! I didn’t know what to do, so I took a step back and evaluated what was important to us as a family. I established what our values were for a washer and dryer: size matters for our large family; front-load was the way to go for the future; and value – could we get a deal for our investment? Armed with these three values, it was easy to sift through all the options and narrow down our selection.

Our decision became easy to make because we knew what we were looking for.

What values have we established? After

spending much time praying, observing, researching and dreaming, my amazing ministry team and I have come up with a list of values that are navigating us through upcoming decisions. This list is definitely not allinclusive – it will grow and change as we progress – but here are a few values that are guiding us now:

We are purposeful about seeing lives changed and numerical growth, as growth is a sign of health. Our methods must always change; the message should never change. Safety and security are important to parents and therefore extremely important to us. Resources do not limit vision. Our planning should always be proactive versus reactive. We are strategic about communicating our vision.

By clarifying our values, we are setting

the guidelines for what will or will not be a part of our ministry. In the same way that my wife and I were easily able to make a decision about a washer and dryer, my team and I will be able to decide the direction of Radiant’s ministry to children as we enter our next decade.

When values are clear, decisions truly are easy.


By Fernando Amaro

Three things usually happen when people first hear that our Children’s Ministry has a live worship band named “Corn Dog Bleu”. First, they get a puzzled look on their face. Second, they usually ask us to repeat the name of the band. Finally, the person will usually say something like “Well, that’s cool that you guys sing songs with the kids.” And it’s usually at this point of the conversation that I get overly excited and begin talking way too fast about the importance of kids’ worship! The bottom line is that children’s worship is much, much more than just “singing songs with kids”. Its easy to see Corn Dog Bleu as simply a “wow factor”, designed to convince kids that church can be fun and exciting. While having a live band does create a lot of excitement, that is not our number one purpose. Our purpose is to lead kids in praise and worship and to teach them how to honor God with their lives through that same praise and worship! You may be thinking, “Come on, why do kids need praise and worship, they’re just kids?” Well, in Psalm 8:2 the Bible tells us that there is way more power in the praise and worship of kids than we realize. It says: “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” In this verse, depending on what translation you read, the word “praise” can be interchanged with the word “strength”. From my experience, I truly believe that not only is there strength in the worship of children, but that kids are naturally open to the presence of God (moreso than adults, anyway). In Matthew 21:15-16, it’s the children that recognize who Jesus is and shout out praises to Him, while the older adults of the church question Him! We work hard to give the kids in Elevate a worship experience of their own, tailored specifically to their developmental needs. Which means that it’s going to look and feel completely different than the adults’ worship experience! In fact, this is why it’s important for a church to have separate services for adults and kids – they need different experiences in order to worship to the fullest extent possible. Before coming to work at Radiant, I was a Kindergarten teacher. My training in Elementary Education comes in handy when I’m working at creating the worship experience for Radiant’s kids. For example, did you know that research suggests that a child’s formal attention span (in minutes) is about as long as the age of the child? So a fourth grader has about four minutes before he or she gets tired of one thing and wants to move on to the next. Did you know that the age range in Elevate (3rd-5th grade) spans the Concrete Operational stage of cognitive development? This means that they understand concrete concepts (“I am a friend of God”) but have trouble understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts (“the blood of Jesus”). We take this and much more into consideration when putting together the songs for the weekend. The result is a praise and worship experience that is tailored to meet the spiritual and developmental needs of your children!


By Fernando Amaro

By Fernando Amaro

Once we have the foundations of our praise and worship set, Corn Dog Bleu’s final goal is to compete! That’s right, we compete with all the music your kids listen to during the week. I take the time before service to talk to the kids in Elevate and one of the questions I usually ask is “what is your favorite band/ artist?” It surprises me how many times a child answers with a band/artist whose message is not a positive one. Although they may not understand the lyrics they are singing and simply enjoy the music, kids are extremely susceptible to the messages conveyed in lyrics. Our goal is to give your kids a worship experience that teaches them to honor God with songs that they will be humming the rest of the week. So the next time you see us jumping around on stage in Elevate, rest assured, we are doing it for God and for your kids...and because its just plain fun! Here are a few fun resources to help your kids learn to worship throughout the whole week. They are all available in our bookstore.

The perfect Bible for children and adults who have a hard time paying attention. This Bible has awesome extras on each page, like 3-D images that you decode with the included 3-D glasses!

(Ages 8+) Amazing praise and worship CDs with songs written for and by kids at Hillsong Church with a very cool edge.

(Ages 0-7) This CD has awesome worship songs that younger kids can easily sing too. Plus, kids get to sing along with their favorite veggietales characters.

In order to teach your kids to be worshipers, it’s important that you yourself understand worship and take an active role in it. These books are awesome resources for those of us who want to learn more about worship.

This is an awesome book by a great worship leader that focuses on making praise a lifestyle, not just a Sunday morning event.

In this book, Matt Redman takes a look at the kind of worship in heaven that the bible talks about and how we should worship God with all we have. 25

This book dives into the purpose we were given: to worship God. It’s an awesome look at how we are to be God’s “fame-builders”.

Picture this: It’s Monday morning, around 10:00 a.m. The

of Matthew, Jesus was addressing the disciples and said, “You

office is unusually quiet with only the white noise of the

are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that

air conditioner humming in the background. The front

they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.”

door opens and a woman, covered in tattoos and clearly in

(Matthew 5: 14, 16).

distress, walks through the front door. Her eyes are hidden by her dark sunglasses as she approaches the front desk. 

Often times when people come through our doors, they are in

Seeing that she is in need, I ask her how she is and how I

a very dark place - lost, lonely and tired. Frequently they are

can be of help to her. Trying to fight back the tears (although

physically abused, homeless, addicted to drugs and alcohol,

a few escape, falling down her cheek) she tells me that she

suffering from a tragic death, or unable to pay their bills.   They

could be better.  I offer to pray with her and she immediately

are afraid of God, against God, or just ignorant of God. In these

takes a step back, telling me she has been an atheist for the

situations, the person behind the front desk needs to be a light

past fifteen years and she would not like prayer. I offer once

– to be Jesus!

more, but she declines and quickly walks out the door.

Most people might imagine a front desk job as a monotonous sequence

The first time Pastor Lee called me “The



phones, ordering supplies

Face of Radiant!” I laughed a little, and


took it as a compliment. Now, I take

appointments. While these

that title to heart – being a church

elements are definitely part


receptionist is much more than a day job: It’s a ministry! You

of my job, the most important part is the ministry side! In fact,

might not realize it, but having a pleasant phone voice and

I’m on the front lines of ministry in my day-to-day interaction

greeting people with a smile as they come through the door

with people. Front desk = front lines!

is not only courteous, but a necessity. So, the next time you call the church office, it just might be me I want people to hear the love of Jesus in my voice and see

on the other end of the line! And even if it’s one of our other

Him in my smile. Perhaps the tattooed atheist woman saw

receptionists, say hello! We’d all love to chat with you! I feel

a little glimpse of Jesus in me that day. She was definitely

truly blessed to be a part of this miracle church, especially

searching for God, to turn to a church in a time of sadness.

in a position that’s known as “the Face of Radiant”!

Maybe God used my offers of prayer to speak to her heart. In the book

By Alyssa Peterson, Receptionist




ion Te

rmat of Info

When you think of different types of ministry, technology usually isn’t the first thing to come to mind! But the truth is that churches today are using technological tools to accomplish incredible amounts of ministry. In most cases, it’s a ministry of support – technology departments support the more hands-on ministries by giving them the tools they need to communicate their message.

Here at Radiant we use computer technology to support our pastors, staff, and volunteers. We optimize their efficiency by helping them organize projects, share information with other groups and ministries, and communicate their message to their target. irector

ylor, D

Ta Shawn

Still don’t see how technology is a ministry? Think of it like this: The weekend church services are the main event – the focus of the staff and volunteers each week. The Technology Ministry is the behind the scenes support that allows the main event to take place. When you watch videos during service, or see verses on the big screens, or when your kids dance to a worship music video…we are the silent partner working to make sure the computers that do those things are functional. As parents check-in their kids, glance through email on our WiFi Hot Spot, or even use the digital signage to find their way around campus…they are experiencing the ministry of technology. However, the job of technology begins much earlier in the week, as we assist the receptionist with follow-up e-mail solutions, or repair a video production computer so the weekend videos can be created. Throughout the week, we strive to serve ministries by removing their technical burden – as a result, they can spend their energy focusing on people! We work to serve the pastoral staff by equipping them with inventive ways to prepare sermons and find relevant information. Computer technology allows them the opportunities to access a wide variety of information in a more efficient way. Pastors can now use Bible databases to search multiple translations during sermon preparation. We provide the back-end support to our website, which in turn provides a service to the community. People turn to our website to download a free sermon, check out a testimony by a professional athlete or just see when the next Radiant Riders event will occur. It’s a tool that aids the church in communicating vision, news, and even the message of salvation. We feel honored to be part of a church that sees lives saved weekly and continually expands the kingdom of God! There’s no better place to put the Ministry of Technology to work, helping reach people who need Jesus by supporting Shawn Tal the ministries who do just that.

You can bring your laptop, PDA or smart phone to the Lobby, Worship Center, Patio and Family Room to enjoy internet usage! Just create a wireless Radiant account to access the internet.


Every week we get comments like “Great sermon!” or “That one was meant just for me!” So we took a few minutes to talk to Pastor Lee and find out what steps he takes to prepare each weekend’s message. In his words, here are the four main factors that go into each week’s sermon. The final result? A message that speaks to thousands of people’s hearts and changes lives all over the valley.


everyday life experience – and he used language that they could understand. The message of the

The “Yes, But How?” Factor Let’s dive right in with what’s probably the most important part of the weekend message – the life application part. Rick Warren teaches this concept at his Purpose Driven Life Conferences. The basic idea is that instruction without application is irrelevant! I can put in my outline that you should be a better husband or wife, but unless I follow it up with actual steps to take (the “Yes, But How?” factor), then you leave service not having a clue as to how to do

story was way more important than the actual words. Would he want us to use a verse with archaic language that doesn’t communicate the message? No way – he’d want everybody in the room to understand the point – no matter their education or vocabulary.


Jesus taught everybody. He hung out with the prostitutes, drunks, and the notorious sinners,


and he used language they would understand. The next time you’re at Radiant, check out the outline in your bulletin. You’ll notice one of two things: Either the whole message is nothing but life application, or the back half of the outline is. It’s so important to provide people with simple changes they can start implementing in their life immediately. Something from the Bible that will change their life today – not a year from now, after extensive study of the Greek language. Radiant is about changed lives. And the only way lives change is by applying things from the Bible to our daily situations. If all we

Also, in case you aren’t familiar with all the

do at church is tell you what you’re doing wrong, then we miss the

translations out there, they all have their strengths

point completely. Jesus came to demonstrate the right way – He

and weaknesses.

was the ultimate example of life application. The only way to get

a particular verse, I check it out in at least a

it right is to follow Him, and use His life as our blueprint.

dozen different translations before selecting the


When I want to reference

one that most clearly communicates the point. There’s a big difference between “watering

Different Translations, Same Message

down” the gospel, and “boiling down” to the

Think for a minute about how Jesus taught to the people of

main point.

his time. He told stories (called parables) that related to their



through a specific passage: 2 Samuel 6:13-23. So by the

The Challenge of Topical Expository

end of the sermon, anyone listening had not only learned

There are three basic ways to organize a sermon. The first

specific ways that we’re supposed to worship, but had

is called “expository” preaching, and basically it means that

learned that lesson by the example of David and the not-

you pick a story or section of the Bible and teach through

so-great example of his wife, Michal. After I had finished

it verse by verse. The second method is called “topical” –

preaching that weekend, I realized this was probably one of

Rick Warren is famous for this kind of preaching. To preach

my top favorite outlines/messages I have ever preached.


topically, you select a theme (for example “Forgiveness”) and then you use verses from all over the Bible, in no particular order, to illustrate your points. These are two

Matching Topics to Real Needs

very popular methods of preaching, and neither is wrong,

The last part of the sermon-creation process is actually the

or incorrect.

first step: choosing the topic. There are a number of steps we take to choose our series topics. The first, naturally, is

But my favorite is the third option: “topical expository”,

prayer. I have found that God really speaks to me during

which you can see is a combination of the first two options.

my quiet times with him – sometimes through one word

It means that you do teach verse

or verse that keeps repeating in my head, or sometimes

by verse through a section of the Bible, but you also correlate it with an overarching topic, or theme. This is challenging, and not always possible. But it does two important things: 1) It is topical, which tends to be the most life-application oriented style, and 2) It leaves the verses in context of the greater picture, which cuts down on mis-understanding the meaning of various passages.

just through a gentle “nudging” of my spirit. On more than once occasion, we have changed the sermon on Saturday morning because God spoke to me the night before. The next step in choosing a topic is thinking through

Let me give you an example. I taught earlier this year on the topic of worship: “It’s Hip to be Square”. Instead of just teaching on worship in general, with lots of scattered verses, I decided to teach

our mission: providing “real help for real people”. What are real people going through right now? What kind of information would provide the most help? Last year in a staff meeting, we made a list called “Messed Up” that consisted of 22 things that people needed help with. We thought of our friends, neighbors, families, the evening news…everything we could think of. The list covered everything from marriage issues to addiction to financial stresses. We divided up the list into groups, and planned the year’s message series so it would cover all the big topics. There was something for everyone, no matter their situation.


You see them on the big screen every weekend. They solved crimes during “CSI”, managed to get themselves stranded in the Arizona desert during “LOST” and even hosted an unsuccessful infomercial (anyone remember “Really Neat Stuff”?!) But what are these two clowns like off screen? Recently we got to spend a few minutes hanging out with the dynamic duo, and when we weren’t busy trying to keep them on track, we actually learned a little more about who they are and why they do what they do!

So when did “Bob & Rich” become “Bob & Rich”?

R: First things first, I prefer “Rich & Bob”. B: Ignore him. He’s always cranky in the morning. Three years ago, we were creating welcome videos and special event videos prior to moving into this building. R: Bob was the director of Information Technology and I had just been hired as the web guy. He was also doing the videos, and I offered my services. B: When this building was completed, we looked at our inventory of video equipment and Rich suggested the idea of a video department. R: We have an amazing facility - I didn’t want to see anything go to waste! B: When I started volunteering at Radiant a decade ago… R: Wow, a decade ago I was graduating college! B: Drink your coffee and be quiet! Now, where was I? Oh yes. I initially wanted to help out with music and video. It had always been my dream to work in both. After some analysis and a concrete plan, I pitched the idea of a Multimedia department to Pastor Lee.

When did you start seeing yourself as a duo?

R: The second I donned my Batman costume, Bob insisted on wearing his Robin tights and cape. Our demented duo was born… sorry for that visual. B: What are you talking about? I’m Batman and you’re Robin. R: Whatever! (Laughing) I see how it is! B: I’m just stating the facts! R: The first video we shot together as a “duo” was a bit awkward. Without a script, we began adlibbing lines and creating characters. B: A couple of minutes in, we hit our groove. Rich had created this goofy, hyperactive, Jerry Lewis type character. I ended up being the straight man of the duo, kind of the Dean Martin personality. Without the excessive drinking. R: Wow! And all this time I thought you were the goofy one. B: See what I mean? Maybe he’s NOT acting!

What’s the most challenging part of the job?

B: Working with Rich. R: Working with Bob. R: After three years, I think the hardest part is coming up with original concepts. We sometimes fall back on running gags - we love electrocuting each other.


B: We should a have t-shirts made with that slogan on it. “Radiant Multimedia Dept. – We Love Electrocuting Each Other”. R: It’s really a group effort. We sit and brainstorm until we all begin laughing or nodding our heads. B: It’s all God. We love using what little talent we have to inspire others - and we’re proof that God can use anyone and anything to bring people closer to Him.

You know people want to know...what are your favorite movies?

R: The short list and no particular order --Tombstone, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Psycho, The Usual Suspects, Big, On the Waterfront, The Empire Strikes Back (the only good Star Wars movie), Unforgiven, Rich & Bob’s Greatest Hits, Casablanca, Citizen Kane and anything with Chaplin or Keaton in it. Also, since I have three little girls, let’s not forget any movie with 3D, animated woodland creatures. B: Me too. Except add the movies Airplane, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and The Princess Bride and take out the part about the three little girls. I simply cannot imagine living with three little girls.

A lot of people might not be aware of how much you help other churches. Where do you see that going? B: I get emails almost weekly from pastors and media directors from other churches asking us how they can get started using video in their services. Just recently, a pastor of one of the local churches here brought his entire staff to study Radiant at one of our Saturday evening services. I truly feel that’s the way it should be. We’re all in this together. We all want to see lives changed. Why shouldn’t we help each other?

Any exciting projects on the horizon?

R: There’s been talk of us maybe producing a feature film. B: Right now, it’s just talk. We need money, a lot of help and time to pull it off. R: Who knows, maybe a biblical version of Nutty Professor. B: Wait a minute - Dean Martin wasn’t in the Nutty Professor. R: Exactly!


By Natalie Hearn It’s true that a bookstore can be an amazing asset to a church – it’s a fun place to hang out, a convenient place to buy Bibles and study materials, and a one-stopshop for fun gifts with a positive message. But what a lot of people may not realize is that our bookstore is more than just a convenience – it’s a ministry that changes lives! Here’s how it started. THE DREAM “Are you kidding? Open a bookstore – that fast?” It seems like just yesterday that Pastor Lee began talking about the idea of Radiant Church someday having a bookstore ministry. As we sat listening, I realized he wasn’t talking about a long-term plan – he meant in the next five weeks! It was February of 2005 and our church’s new campus was only five short weeks away from its grand opening. Although I had no clue as to what it would take to open a bookstore from scratch, I did know that with Pastor Lee’s vision and some incredible volunteers, we could certainly pull this off! Over the next few weeks I watched the dream of the bookstore ministry not only become a physical reality – but a supernatural reality as it developed into a ministry tool for God to utilize each week for changing lives! THE STATS I didn’t anticipate the numerous ministry scenarios that would be presented to our team of workers who prayerfully operate the store each week. (I also didn’t expect the incredible impact this ministry would have on us!) There isn’t a week that goes by where our team members aren’t praying with customers and helping them find books and gifts tailored to their specific needs. Every weekend people continue to pour into the bookstore seeking to grow in their relationship with God. Since its inception, Radiant Books & Gifts has sold 6,568 books on Christian living, 3,700 inspirational music CDs & DVDs, 3,560 apparel items, 7,220 items of jewelry, and the most exciting number of all – 3,230 Bibles!


Jessica Jessica

Jessica Hovland

LIFE CHANGE The stories of changed lives are countless, but the thing that stands out most is the incredible honor we have had in helping countless people select their very first Bible. In fact, it’s the most coveted ministry job in the store! Our team recently helped a sweet woman in her late sixties sort through the multiple choices of translations, binding and even color options in the row of available Bibles. She mentioned that she had never owned a Bible before and she was very excited to receive tips on which one to purchase and where to begin in her studies. We were so deeply moved that God allowed us to be a part of this woman’s search for God – and to help her fill a hunger for God that hadn’t been satisfied in over 60 years.

diving accident. At that moment, our eyes filled with tears as the customer shockingly explained that her friend lost her husband in the same exact manner – a scuba diving accident. It was another remarkable piece of evidence that God is using our team and Radiant Books & Gifts to bring comfort to people who are hurting. As the chapters and stories of Radiant Books & Gifts are still being written, we continue to anticipate many more miracles in the future. From a God-given dream to a supernatural reality, Radiant Books & Gifts has developed into an incredible ministry. With a stellar team of staff and volunteers, it is our privilege to serve and assist with the needs of our church every week!

We also have the amazing honor of praying with people for their marriages, children, families, and friends! This past March, we were approached by a woman searching for help for a friend who had just lost her husband. A bookstore team member led her to a book by contemporary Christian artist Tammy Trent titled, “Learning to Breathe Again”. The team member explained that this book was about dealing with the grief Tammy felt after losing her husband to a scuba


Pictured above: Jessica Hovland and Natalie Hearn 33

Here’s your chance to find out the truth about Radiant Church – we’re taking on the five most common myths about Radiant and putting them to the test!

Life is full of painful situations but Jesus offers us a way to overcome the challenges!

You’ll love this hi-tech series on listening for God’s voice amid the chaos of life!

Understanding relationships is tough! Learn how to apply practical advice from the Bible to your everyday relationships.

The one thing you can expect in this life is the unexpected! Be prepared by making solid financial decisions based on Biblical wisdom.

Sometimes we’re left clinging to nothing but a prayer. This short yet powerful series demonstrates Jesus’ power over our heartaches!


God has always used the least likely people to do amazing things! Don’t miss this series based on the hit TV show “Heroes”!

Find out the surprising truth about God’s amazing grace - and how it lets us start each day with a clean slate!

Have you ever felt like your life is a mystery? Open your eyes to the biggest puzzle of all time, and the most surprising solution!

If you want to be “God-Wiser,” watch as Jesus encounters new people and causes radical changes in their lives!

Discover the spiritual technology we need to stay connected to God at home, at work, at play or in motion!

God’s ready to take you on as an apprentice! Don’t miss the chance to learn from the best example in history!


Have you ever started reading the book of Revelation and given up after a few chapters? Learn what the Bible says about the end times, and how it applies to our lives today.

All marriages need a tune-up from time to time – this is a two-week look into what makes great marriages great!

A fun Summer series on how to stay out of trouble (and a modernized look at the 10 Commandments!).

Eight powerful messages about some very controversial topics facing our world.

Other Special Messages Investing in a Legacy What Time is it on God’s Clock? Finding Hope in Crazy Times Crisis in the Middle East What to Say to a Gay Friend The Secret Mother’s Day 2007

So many reality shows, so little time! A light-hearted look at some serious lessons we can learn from what’s on TV!




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CWC Landscaping LLC We treat every yard like our own! Residential & Commercial Lawn Maintenance Licensed & Insured. Mark Chambers, Owner Servicing the West Valley 602-451-5292

StuccoPro LLC Specializing in new custom homes and commercial projects. Proficient in colored, Venetian, and sand finishes. (ROC 185222) Miguel & Patricia Saenz, Owners 11742 W. Electra Lane, Sun City AZ, 85373 623-214-3399

Desert Pool Care, LLC For all your pool care needs, competitive rates & weekly service, honest & very dependable. Joanna Chellew, Owner 16772 W. Bell Rd. Ste 110 #446 Surprise AZ, 85374 623-340-4147

HouSeHoLd ServiCeS Day Stretchers Reliable handyman with flatbed trailer. Can do a variety of jobs plus hauling & running errands. Dick & Mona Wright, Owners 623-204-1105 (o) / 623-556-7573 (c)

Mild 2 Wild Landscapes LLC Installation and Remodeling of Landscapes. Custom Landscape Designs. Matt Hawk, Owner 17119 W. Tara Lane, Surprise AZ, 85388 602-430-1117

60 Sun State Lending Lending with heart – find the perfect loan! Purchase and refinance loans for everyone, from first-time home buyers to investors. Prestamista bilingue. Kelly M. Coats, Loan Consultant 10920 W. Tonto Lane, Sun City AZ, 85373 602-803-1322

mediCAL AcClaim Healthcare Services Medical Billing, Insurance Consulting, Medical Collections, Grievance & Appeal Reconciliation. Doris Hargrove, Owner PO Box 9044, Surprise AZ, 85374 623-547-7155

wells Fargo Home mortgage Homeowner? 62 years or older? Need money? At the close of each loan, Wells Fargo will donate $300 to Radiant Church! Beryl Silvestro, Reverse Mortgage Specialist 10220 W. Bell Rd. Ste 101, Sun City AZ 85351 623-872-4431 / 623-217-8227 (c)

tihur total Skin renewal Medical & Cosmetic Treatments in a Spa Environment Allison Madigan, Cosmetic Supervisor 14420 W. Meeker Blvd. Ste 104 Sun City West AZ, 85375 623-583-5300

moving CmK moving Company LLC Valley & State Wide Moves. Members of the Better Business Bureau, Peoria Chamber. Bonded & Insured. Cleo & Marlene, Owners. 12542 W. Scotts Dr., El Mirage AZ, 85335 623-910-0048

mortgAgeS Arizona mortgage Consultants We are a wholesale mortgage broker, specialized in all mortgage needs. Purchase, Refinance, Commercial, Land, and Lines of Credit. Joshua Jay, Senior Loan Consultant 602-346-2700


House 2 Home Lending, Inc. Wholesale Mortgage Company Doing Business with the Highest Integrity. Cheri Bollinger, Mortgage Specialist 9051 W. Kelton Lane #10, Peoria AZ, 85382 623-209-0102 ext 29 / 623-606-0113

Drum Lessons by Tony Radiant’s Drummer Now Accepting Students – All Styles and Levels. Your Home or Mine. Tony Olguin, Owner 16920 W. Bridlington Ct., Surprise AZ, 85374 623-487-8112 / 623-523-7467

James L. Rathjen, Mortgage Broker Specializing in debt-reduction – pay off your mortgage in as little as 1/3 – 1/2 the time. Jim Rathjen, Owner/Broker 10812 W. Roundelay Circle Sun City AZ, 85351 623-875-8533 Morgan Capital of AZ, Inc. (fn) Who is How can we help you? Joe Herrell, Branch Manager Surprise, AZ 623-206-0713



reAL eStAte

Arizona Video Productions Your Source for Low Cost High Definition Video Productions. Larry Hinson, Owner 6969 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale AZ, 85250 602-820-8096

24/7 Realty Estate Inc. Real Estate in Phoenix – Working For You. Buying or Selling – New Builds. Roger Perkins, Associate Broker 4223 N. Scottsdale Road 480-839-0303 (o) / 623-337-0794 (c)

Sweet Light Photography Portraits, Family Reunions, Group Photos, Graduation, Photo Restoration. Aleck Dabney, Owner Surprise, AZ 623-225-7247, Hal: 623-986-1998

Century 21 Arizona Foothills Representing Buyers, Sellers, Tenants, and Landlords in New Homes, Resales & Rentals! Cheryl Treguboff, REALTOR 13706 W. Bell Rd. Ste 6, Surprise AZ, 85374 623-640-7746 High Profile Realty Advantage Specializing in Residential Home Sales, Experienced (Top 10% Nationally in Sales), Dedicated & Professional, Client Referrals Available. Cindy Shaw, Realtor 14291 W. Grand Ave. Ste 102 Surprise AZ, 85374 623-910-4030

POOL SERVICE (See Landscaping / Pool)

PRInTInG / SIGnAGE D&L Press Inc. Desktop Publishing & Design, 1 – 4 Color Printing, Complete Bindery Services. Mike Pinch, Owner 1219 E. Broadway Rd., Phoenix AZ, 85040 602-276-7692

High Profile Realty Advantage Your Premier Real Estate Company. Loyal, Dependable, and Professional Real Estate Service. Dave Krick, Realtor 18001 N. 79th Ave. Ste. A3 Glendale AZ 85308 480-375-8057 (cell)

FAStSignS - nw valley & Sw valley Vehicle Wraps, Full Color Graphics, Dimensional Letters, Directional Signage, Banners, Magnetics, and Much More! Jerry Hoyler & Deborah Campbell, Owners 6008 W. Bell Road Ste. F101 Glendale AZ 85308 14140 W. McDowell Road B106 Goodyear AZ 86388 602-439-4242, 623-536-0575 (Glendale) (Goodyear)

High Profile Realty Advantage The greatest compliment we could receive is not only your business, but your referrals too! Kate & Marc Thiboutot, Realtor 14291 W. Grand Ave. Ste 102 Surprise AZ, 85374 623-764-4442

PHX: PRInT CO. Your print everything company. T-Shirts, Banners, Signs, Promotional Products, Graphic Design & More. Michelle Alvarez, Owner 17126 W. Post Drive, Surprise AZ, 85374 623-547-7083

High Profile Realty Advantage Buying or Selling? Call Me! Si busca comprar casa o vender, llámame. Carmen Orozco, Realtor 623-670-4330 (c) / 623-214-7063 (o)

62 Keller Williams Professional Partners When Experience Counts…Call Clara! 39 Years Experience in Real Estate. Clara Willis, Realtor, CNE 623-225-9813 direct

Carrabba’s Italian Grill Good things happen around our table. Paul Jonson, Proprietor 14043 W. Bell Rd., Surprise AZ, 85374 623-214-3299

Keller Williams Professional Partners Radiant Friends with the Same Faithful Focus. Residential, Resale, New Homes, Investments, Relocations & Mortgage. Mandi Ross, Kelly Coats, Lucy Stephens, Real Estate Professionals Servicing Phoenix & the West Valley 602-803-1322

Chef dane’s Make and take fresh gourmet. Come in and have a great time assembling fresh gourmet meals. Jack Feiter, Owner 15459 W. Bell Rd. Ste. 105, Surprise AZ, 85374 623-214-1070 Garlic Jim’s Famous Gourmet Pizza Delivery & Carry Out of our World Famous Gourmet Pizza, Salad & Wings Jason Goudie, Owner 15459 W. Bell Road #117, Surprise AZ 623-546-8111

RE/MAX Achievers “…I’m never too busy for your referrals!” Tamara Wilson, ABR, GRI, REALTOR 12211 W. Bell Rd. #107, Surprise AZ, 85374 623-521-1522

Travel Services Sure Will Travel “Sure Will Travel When Fun Comes Runnin’!” Travel prices comparable to Travelocity and Sherri Wagner, Owner 14767 W. Windrose Drive, Surprise AZ 623-537-5372 / 623-256-1386

reCyCLing / wASte removAL Arizona Environmental Recycling, LLC Providing Recycling Services to Arizona Small Businesses and the Public. Matthew Hinson, Owner 3501 NW Grand Ave, Phoenix AZ, 85019 602-246-0923

Travel With Rachel Online Travel Agency Rachel Chavez, Travel Agent 623-221-4890

n-Route, LLC Roll-off Containers for Waste Removal & Interstate Flatbed Hauling Matthew Hinson, Owner 3501 NW Grand Ave, Phoenix AZ, 85019 602-973-1600, 1-877-NROUTE1

Tropical Sails Corp Christian Pilgrimages to Turkey, Churches of Asia Minor & the Voyages of Paul! Daniel Oppliger, President 17977 W. Deneen Way 623-444-8195

reStAurAntS Babbo Italian Eatery Salads, Pasta, Pizza, Italian Sandwiches, Lunch, Dinner, Carry-out & Catering Dolores Shephard, GM 15609 W. Bell Rd. Ste 100, Surprise AZ, 85374 623-825-1919

window CoveringS / BLindS Blinds Plus, LLC Custom Shutters & Blinds, Window Tint & Sunscreens, Security Doors & Custom Tableaux Jason & Wendie Clark, Owners 16572 W. Greenway R. #103 623-546-2938



Authentic is a publication of Radiant Church in Surprise, Arizona. If you’re looking for a down-to-earth place to find real solutions to your life issues, check us out! For service times, driving directions or other information, call our office or visit our website. We’ll see you soon!

2007 Authentic Magazine  

Authentic is a publication of Radiant Church in Surprise, AZ used for both a business directory and ministry spotlight.

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