Monday, October 31, 2005

really BIG announcement

Hey everybody,

It's been some time since my last blog, largely due to what I am about to share with you. We have been very busy working through the process of the most important decision we've ever made, so here goes...

We are on the verge of a major change in our ministry. I am letting you know first because I will need the prayers and support of our friends and partners through this important transition to an exciting new assignment. It is my hope that perhaps, this step will help our paths to cross in the near future.

In January 2006, I will relinquish my responsibilities at Church On The Move. We will immediately begin to establish two new ministry undertakings that God has been preparing us for the last several years.

I am indebted to my Pastor, Willie George, who has given me one opportunity after another to develop the gifts God has given me to get me to this point. Having served along side him over the course of two decades, I cannot begin to recount all that I have learned under his exceptional leadership. During this decision process, he has given us valuable counsel and unwavering support. In fact, he is sending his son, Gabriel George to join me as one of my key team members in these efforts. Gabriel has served as a department head over creative services at Church On The Move for several years.

Here are the two assignments that I will embark on, beginning in January.

The first part of this transition has been stirring for a good season of time. Several years ago, Pastor George and some of our key ministry leaders brought up the prospect of planting a sister church to Church On The Move in Dallas, Texas. They had no idea that 2 years before, God had spoken to me about this, making it clear to me that a day would come when I would pastor a church in Dallas. I had not shared this with anyone but my wife, Cathy, but that day I told Pastor George. We all knew that God was up to something, even if the details were a little fuzzy at the time. One thing we did know is that the timing wasn’t immediate, so we committed it to prayer and further consideration.

Well, over the past summer, we have all sensed God’s release to move forward with these plans. We have a target launch time set for September of 2006 and will immediately begin to raise up our core staff and volunteer ministry team for a church plant in north Dallas. It brings me great strength to know I am not alone in this venture. Knowing my Pastor and my home church not only believe in us, but are supporting us in the planning, funding, as well as sending support staff and lay people is incredibly heartening! We made the announcement to our church this weekend and we already have a number of people who have committed to relocate to Dallas to be a part!

The second part of this transition will be the introduction of a new ministry tasked to serve and equip local churches and their youth ministries. Thrive Communications will offer a broad range of ministry services and tools designed to propel local church ministries to new levels of growth and impact. Beginning in January, I have cleared my schedule to speak at the churches, events and conferences fulltime. We will also offer other strategic services including seminars, coaching and consulting, graphic design and product resources in hopes of complimenting local churches and ministries.

It is important for me to know that I have friends like you standing with me. I am going to ask you pray for us. Will you? I genuinely believe your prayers will help provide strength, wisdom and the resources we must have to succeed.

Finally, if I can serve you in the months ahead, we would be pleased to assist you in any way possible. Please feel free to call me directly at 918-439-8303 or email me at I look forward to talking to you again soon! I will share more details in the November edition of Thrive.

Thanks and God bless,

Blaine Bartel

Saturday, May 28, 2005

graduation, the daily show and true crime

hey sports fans,

may's been a busy month with some travel, graduations and honing up on my golf game for our first annual church on the move invitational.

i am proud to announce the gradudation of my middle son, dillon, from lincoln christian high school. i was honored to speak at his baccalaureatte last sunday night. dillon is extremely talented in many areas including music production, gymnastics, and making his point, [think he could be a lawyer] but what i am most proud of is his unwavering commitment to Christ in his daily activity. he has refused to compromise when others around him caved in at different times. he plans to work for a year here in tulsa and then attend "full sail" production school in florida to study music. i love you dillon!!

check this out... the daily show with jon stewart called us the other day and wanted to send one of their correspondants to do a "story" on oneighty. although i totally disagree with most of jon's opinions on politics and culture, this show is absolutely hilarious most of the time. [occasionally gets vulgar] whenever they interview people with thier correspondants, they slickly edit the interview to make their "mark" look like a complete idiot. anyways, knowing they were setting us up to be thier next pawn, we politely declined.

now, under the section of youth pastors and true crime. one of the things i've been asked to do a lot lately is to fly into a church and consult with the leadership on how to build a thriving youth ministry. we work through their leadership structure, analyze their meetings, make facility recommendations and deal with any other crisis issues they are tackling. my latest consulting venture was with a large church and growing youth program in washington dc. [must remain anonymous for following reason] the youth pastor is a undercover drug agent!! the guy is amazing. he poses as a major drug buyer in many of the big cities up and down the east coast. he's got some hair raising stories... so in the middle of our consultiing meetings, he's taking calls from snitches who are setting up his next bust which went down as i was on my way to the airport. here's the best part - he shows video of the busts to his kids at youth services to illustrate the wages of sin. i don't know if this is legal, but if i were a teenager, that would definately get my attention.

heard something good from bill hybels a few days ago. get your "greetings and goodbyes" right. when arriving at a home, a meeting, your office, go out of your way to properly greet people and let them know they are important to you. then when leaving, warmly share your goodbyes. he said people remember your hellos and goodbyes more than anything else.

so, let me say warmly, respectfully and cordially... goodbye. i really do appreciate all you are doing to touch the lives of kids and pray your summer is one of both refreshing from a busy spring and preparation for a productive fall.



Wednesday, May 04, 2005

oh canada!

i just returned from my homeland of canada and had a great time. i was on a multi purpose mission including spending time with both my brother-in-law, david and my sister-in-law, joanne. i am sort of like a big brother to them, especially since both of thier parents have passed away. we had good visits.

i also managed to cram in several games of hockey with my canadian comrades, go to a lacrosse game, visit all my old haunts including my old neighbourhood and my high school. i played lacrosse growing up and it is an amazing game to watch. rougher than any sport you've ever seen!! i spent some time with the athletic director of my old high school talking football and he was kind enough to give me one of our old football jerseys - cool! oh yea, the last day i went skiing at sonshine village in banff. for those that don't know i used to compete in freestyle skiing during my teenage years. it was a beautiful spring day and yes, i did attempt some old tricks including a fairly respectable 720... plenty of air, completed both rotatations, off axis by about 10 degrees, took a decent tumble.

i told you in my last post that my son jeremy went to denver with his buddy to see u2. check this out. he had written a note of encouragement with a great scripture from the book of psalms to pass on to bono should the chance arise. of course, it did! [the faith of a child] he had a chance to spend a minute with him before the concert outside the arena. when bono read the note he told jeremy, "i love this translation." [speaking of the message bible translation] anyways, the concert was incredible. i plan to go see them when they come to dallas.

well, gotta go. thought for the day... remember your first love. think back and recall what you were like the first few months after you really gave your life to Christ. how you prayed, read the word. witnessed to friends, looked forward to church... let's get that back! whatever has crept into your life that has tried to steal that passion - get it out!

your friend,


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Blaine bartel: alpha blog

alpha blog

hey everybody, thanks for visiting. i just got back from brandon cameron's student leadership conference in the tri-cities area of washinton state. it's called evoke and it was very well put together. over 800 students and youth pastors and amazing facilities that thier church has recently built. brandon has a great team in that area that he networks with who are very progressive thinkers and love kids. great job guys!

we've got a lot of great feedback on the latest changes in thrive. this month with kevin moore is going to be really good. in fact, since this program was done, we have actually hired kevin and he and his wife are in the process of moving to tulsa. we are so excited to have them! kevin will be re-engineering our team 180 campus program to restart in the fall. it will have a strong discipleship tie this time to insure better discipline and deeper spiritual growth in those that ride our busses. we'll keep you posted as it progresses. it's going to be amazing.

my oldest son jeremy leaves today with a couple friends to check out the u2 concert in denver. he and i went and saw them in dallas on their last tour and it was the best concert i've ever been to. jeremy and i both got to meet and shake hands with bono and the edge afterwards - life could have ended that night and i would have been a happy man!

my new book "the big black book for parents" comes out this month and walmart has placed a pretty big order. yeh! you can check it out at fyi... i will be in my homeland [calgary] next week doing some skiing and seeing cathy's brother and sister for a few days. i love going home and seeing all the old stomping grounds - good memories.

think about this... "volunteers don't volunteer." you have to go out and get them don't you. i thing we should stop calling them volunteers and start calling them "draftees" or "recruits" or "forced spiritual labor." the point is, don't wait for good people to come to you - go out there and get them!!

have a great week.