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Category Archives: National Community Church

Good Friday Service

Here are the songs, Scriptures, and readings from our 2014 Good Friday service. Introduction Lights up on table with bread and pitcher. Song: Reconciliation (Chris Douglas) Reading: Matthew 26:26-30 Introduction Video Song: True Love (Phil Wickham) The Passion Journey Matthew … Continue reading

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Another Journey

When you study the Bible in the land where it happened, your surroundings add a new dimensionality to your understanding. The geography itself tells a story. The history and culture give us new frames. And when you go on that … Continue reading

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The Story, Part 3

The third and final installment of The Story is online. Through the New Testament in (a little over) 2 hours. J-Term Small Group: The STORY with Heather Zempel Part 3 from National Community Church on Vimeo.

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The Story, Part 2

Here is the second installment of The Story– covering the Old Testament in 2 hours. J-Term Small Group: The STORY with Heather Zempel Part 2 from National Community Church on Vimeo.

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The Story: Part 1, Exploring the Backlot

Every January, we host a mid-size group experience called The Story. Over the course of 3 nights, we take participants through the chronological story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, from Garden to City. We put the prophets into … Continue reading

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Wilderness

This weekend at NCC, we kick off our new series, Wilderness. Here’s a preview for the short film we will be showing. Wilderness Trailer from National Community Church on Vimeo.

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Be Led. Go Lead.

We are currently accepting applications for our 2013-2014 class of NCC Proteges. The Protege Program was launched 5 years ago to develop the next generation of leaders in the character they need to sustain their calling and in the gifts … Continue reading

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Rules of Engagement

Team D. It’s the group of people I get to serve, lead, and work with every day. Some of us are thinkers; others are feelers. Most are verbal processors; others are internal processors. A few of us engage debate as … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.4- Semester System

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 4: The Semester System. At NCC, we do groups on the semester system. This allows groups to follow the natural rhythm of … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.3- What Are Small Groups?

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 3: What Are Small Groups? This video describes what small groups are and why we do them: God exists in community so … Continue reading

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Geeks and Geese

Looking for a small group? We’ve got one for you! Whether it’s geeking out over a challenging study or building friendships over games, we want to create environments where people can connect and grow. This is Part 2 of our … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.2- NCC Story

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 2: The NCC Story: As a part of NCC, you are a shareholder in our church-wide vision. You are a part of … Continue reading

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Leadership 101.1- Go Make Disciples

I’m posting content, videos, and questions from our online Leadership 101 training for new leaders. This is Part 1: Go Make Disciples.  Leadership is the call to discipleship. In the Great Commission, Jesus commands us to make disciples, not find them. … Continue reading

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Leadership 101

We train our new leaders online. For a few years, I resisted that strategy. I thought it was important for potential leaders to be together in one room, for me to have face-to-face interaction, etc. But it was becoming harder … Continue reading

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Princess Parties and Football Games

Find a small group for you! We believe that community develops best around shared interests and activities– whether you are a princess or a quarterback. This amazing promotional video was developed with Team D Protege Andy Backus, Visual Storyteller Andy … Continue reading

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IF…

When I came on staff at National Community Church in January 2002, my first responsibility was to plan our first ever Leadership Retreat.  A decade later, I am now heading to my eleventh leadership retreat. I’m pretty sure it’s the … Continue reading

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Online Leadership 101

Two years ago, we blew up our small group system in a project called Operation Kaboom. One of the changes we made was in the way we offered initial training to potential small group leaders. Under the old system, potential … Continue reading

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God Anthology Album

The God Anthology Album releases on 11.22.11. I can’t even begin to say how excited I am or how proud I am of our worship and creative arts team. Here’s the back story. At our Annual Staff Planning Retreat in … Continue reading

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Guns and Legos

Yesterday, my schedule included, “Leadership Covenant training, lego construction, gun range.” Yep, I’m a discipleship pastor. Here’s the deal. Our 3-hour Leadership 101, the initial online training that all NCC small group leaders are required to complete, is being updated. … Continue reading

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The Mr. Potato Head Altar

Boxes. Packing tape. Bubble wrap. And files that go back ten years. NCC staff moves into new office space today, and that means I’ve spent the better part of the last 48 hours sorting, sifting, and packing  my stuff. It’s … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Be Healthy

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Live in Rhythm

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Be Present

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Leave a Legacy

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Fail Well

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Leaders Must…Find Gaps and Fill Them

For the past 8 years, I have spoken at every Leadership Summit we’ve hosted at National Community Church. This year, I’ve changed the game. At our last Leadership Summit, we did a series of TED Conference styled talks. Six Leaders. … Continue reading

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Why You Should Be in a Small Group

I can tell someone they should be in a small group until I am blue in the face. I can stand up on a Sunday morning and speak commandingly and convincingly of the theological and sociological need for community. But … Continue reading

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Leadership Summit…TED Style

Once a semester, we host a Leadership Summit at NCC. A gathering of all ministry leaders and small group leaders for the purpose of sharing vision, worshiping together, encouraging one another, and ongoing training and leadership development. Usually, I stand … Continue reading

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God Anthology

We are kicking off a new sermon series, CD project, and small group curriculum at NCC this weekend. The God Anthology. Check it out here.

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Natalia’s Story

“If slavery isn’t wrong, nothing is wrong.” -Abraham Lincoln This is why I am in Greece with 14 NCCers this week. We are joining the new abolitionist movement. These things should not happen.

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Easter Baptisms

This is one of my favorite parts of the job. On the night before Easter, we baptized 18 NCCers. Having the opportunity to walk with them through their preparation and the sharing of their stories is priceless. Easter Baptisms at … Continue reading

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The Story…2

For about six years, I’ve been leading something at NCC called The Story– through the chronological story of the Bible in three nights. Tonight, I’m going to continue The Story with the second part. The Story of the Church. Bruce … Continue reading

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The Preaching Calendar

At NCC, we map out our sermon series in a gathering of the creative and teaching teams at a weekly meeting called Big Idea. We talk about branding, content, music, and other creative ideas. This summer, we are doing a … Continue reading

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The End of Garden to City

This year, NCCers journeyed through the Bible together from Lent to Lent. We called in From Garden to City. I may blog some reflections later, but for now, here is a video I shot for NCCers to close out the … Continue reading

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The Gambler

Our worship team did a little re-mix of “The Gambler” for Leadership Retreat. All. In. NCC’s Gambler Remix from National Community Church on Vimeo.

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When Going All In is Going Too Far

For the Leadership Retreat, Andy Pisciotti and Amanda Giobbi created a series of videos, “When Going All In is Going Too Far.” This one was probably my favorite. Amanda joins the Worship Team from National Community Church on Vimeo. Here … Continue reading

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Poking Fun at Mark Batterson

In the vein of not taking ourselves too seriously, we always like to poke a little fun at our lead pastor, Mark Batterson. Two years ago, we created this little gem. Last year, Amanda Giobbi masterminded this little bit of … Continue reading

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Putting the All In at Leadership Retreat

One of the things that is a huge priority for us at Leadership Retreat is to have fun. We don’t take ourselves seriously. But we do take God seriously. And we are serious about our fun. And when it comes … Continue reading

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Build Momentum For It

The event of Leadership Retreat 2011 may have ended on Saturday night at 8pm, but the work God began there is only beginning. Here is the next in the series of posts about Leadership Retreat. Build momentum for it. We’ve … Continue reading

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Invest In It

The next in the series of blog posts about Leadership Retreat: Invest In It. To steal the theme from this year’s Leadership Retreat, we go All In. We invest in Leadership Retreat in a big way and we spare no … Continue reading

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Leadership Retreat. The Method. The Madness.

Well…in case you’ve missed all the commotion on my Twitter and Facebook, we are in the final sprint to our Annual Leadership Retreat. In 2002, I came on staff “part-time” at NCC (that’s when Mark Batterson’s scheme to trick me … Continue reading

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Spirit of Peace

We’ve entered into a season where we start to feel the “Spirit of Christmas.” For Ryan and me, it started on Thanksgiving night with a family viewing of Elf and continued with a tour of the Christmas lights at the … Continue reading

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Unplugged

I’m getting excited about the upcoming Unplugged event at National Community Church on November 13 and 14 Registration is free. Unplugged is a relaxed no-frills, weekend that will provide an opportunity for church planters and leadership teams to get an … Continue reading

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(re)Vision Recap

Last weekend, we held our first women’s event at NCC- (re)Vision. The name carries with it numerous meanings. We all need to be in a process of revision as God shapes us and forms us. And we want to revise … Continue reading

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(re)Vision

Calling All Girls! This Saturday, we will be hosting our first (re)Vision gathering for women. We will talk about influence, community, and discipleship, but most importantly, it will be a time for connection. Join us at Ebenezers Coffeehouse on Saturday … Continue reading

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Praying and Playing

Each year, the NCC staff goes on two retreats. One is a planning retreat in the fall, where we brainstorm, scheme, and visioneer for the upcoming year. The other is Pray and Play in the summer. Best. Time. Ever. We … Continue reading

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Discerning the Call

Last week, I shared my story of ministry “calling” with about a dozen folks who are discerning God’s call on their own life. We’ve got so many amazingly gifted people at NCC that Mark Batterson and I decided we should … Continue reading

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Operation Kaboom- Connections

We blew up the small group structure at NCC, and when the dust settled, we discovered we had formed three teams– Connections, Coaching, and Training. The Connections Team oversees the logistical operations part of small group ministry. Will Johnston leads … Continue reading

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Operation Kaboom- The New Teams

Okay, back to my Operation Kaboom posts…it’s been a few weeks. So we blew up our small groups at National Community Church. After a process of re-thinking, re-imagining, and re-orienting vision, we decided to split NCC small group efforts, roles, … Continue reading

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Operation Kaboom- The Process

This is Part 2 of a series on NCC’s Operation Kaboom– our systematic dismantling, revisioning, and rebuilding of our small group ministry. The first step was to fire all existing zone leaders and team leaders. That sounds a bit harsh. … Continue reading

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