The Orchard Blog

02.23.08 and 02.24.08 – Setlist by Mike Jones
February 27, 2008, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Setlist, The Orchard

The last week in our series Deal or No Deal.
This week was big! What a challenge and what a guarantee!
The cool thing is, this is GOD’s challenge… we’re providing a platform for you to try it.

If you missed it or don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll have to check out the podcast.

Here’s the music setlist from this weekend (with links to iTunes to purchase the original recordings):

Posted by Mike Jones

02.16.08 and 02.17.08 – Setlist by Mike Jones
February 20, 2008, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Setlist, The Orchard


Second week in our series Deal or No Deal. We continued learning about generosity and the chasm that exists between how generous we want to be and how generous we actually are.

We also took the next step in understanding that it’s not our stuff anyway. All the M&M’s (Money and Material possessions) come from God, belong to God and I am a manager of them, not an owner.

God is the source of our M&M’s. When we understand this concept and begin thinking in this regard, it changes our perspective on our M&M’s and how we manage them.

Here’s the music setlist from this weekend (with links to iTunes to purchase the original recordings):

Had a great time with the music this last weekend!

Posted by Mike Jones

*****(Please use discretion when previewing or purchasing other songs by this artist as other songs on this album may contain inappropriate lyrical content.)

Shooting at NIU by orchardblog
February 15, 2008, 11:09 am
Filed under: The Orchard

Like everyone else, I am shocked, saddened and angered over the shootings that took place at Northern Illinois University last night.

These types of things always leave everyone walking away shocked and scratching their heads wondering, “why?!”  Unfortunately, there just aren’t any easy answers.

But let’s not forget that our prayers and support will make a huge difference over these next several days and weeks ahead.  So Orchard Community, let’s join together and commit ourselves to praying for the students, faculty, and loved ones of those who were killed yesterday.  Our neighbors in DeKalb need our prayers.

Also, if YOU have been impacted by the shootings, would you please let us know? We would love to reach out to you through prayer and support.  You can contact our offices at 630-897-8888 or via email.

Love you guys,


Orchard Christmas Eve Video #3 by Mike Jones
February 13, 2008, 10:16 am
Filed under: Christmas Eve, The Orchard, Videos

Third video in a series of four…

Meet Macio and Theresa.  They are a wonderful couple with a great story and some great kids!  We had the privilege of baptizing this family together this last summer at our BBQ and Baptism celebration.  It was amazing to see them commit themselves to God publicly as a family.

Check out this video.

Posted by Mike Jones

02.09.08 and 02.10.08 – Setlist by Mike Jones
February 12, 2008, 11:14 pm
Filed under: Setlist, The Orchard


We started a new series this weekend called Deal or No Deal and it was awesome! With the help of Howie (Chris Bell), our wonderful models (Katie, Heidi, Minga, and Cherie), not to mention the banker (still wondering who the banker was?) – we had our own version of the game and had a lot of fun!

Here’s the music setlist from this weekend (with links to iTunes to purchase the original recordings):

Scott started off this series talking about generosity. What does it mean to be generous? Do you consider yourself generous? Most people like to think they are generous but in reality we aren’t always as giving as we’d like to be.

“If I had a million dollars I would…” How would you finish that statement? The key to generosity is that anyone can be generous and that generosity begins now, regardless of your circumstance.

Posted by Mike Jones

*****(Please use discretion when previewing or purchasing other songs by this artist as other songs on this album may contain inappropriate lyrical content.)

Camp KidJam by orchardblog
February 11, 2008, 11:00 am
Filed under: Christmas Eve, The Orchard

This summer, we are going to spend an incredible week at Camp KidJam!

What’s Camp KidJam?

  • high-energy worship,
  • exciting large group Bible stories,
  • meaningful small group time with adult leaders,
  • outdoor games,
  • lots of fun
  • a time to discover how to TAKE IN God’s truths and LIVE THEM OUT.

Hope you can join us at Camp Kidjam June 16-19, 2008! Check out their website for more info!

Application and $50 deposit due Sunday, Feb. 24th.

For more information, email us here.

Posted by Kathryn

The Simple Filter by orchardblog
February 8, 2008, 9:18 am
Filed under: The Orchard

Recently I was asked by another church leader about the “filter” we use at The Orchard to ensure that we keep things simple (see here). What questions do we ask ourselves to ensure that new ideas or intiaitves are really great ideas that will fit in our culture?

First of all, most new “we gotta have this” ministry ideas come from churched people new to The Orchard. “Well at my last church we did….” Of course, this IS the church they just left! 🙂

Anyway, when someone steps forward with the newest “must have” idea (no matter who it is) we as a staff ask the following questions:

1) Will this accomplish our mission? A basic question, but one that surprisingly is skipped if you are not intentional about it. What about the proposed idea will help people take their next step on their journey with God? How specifically will it do that? In other words… is it mission-critical? This question is one that most will easily gloss over if it is not drilled down on specifically. What about it is critical to our mission? Is something else already addressing this need? How will this do it better? Will our job of helping lead people on a growing relationship with Jesus be harmed if we DON’T do this?

2) Is this a step or a program (thanks Andy Stanley!)? A continuation of #1, is this one more train car attaching itself to our locomotive, or is this an engine to help people grow? Is it added weight, sucking up dollar, time, and leader resources, or is it an engine for producing growing Christ followers? If it is a step, where does it fit on our Growth Path? (We have what some would call an Assimilation Path… the idealized road map from first time guest all the way to staff.) Is it a reachable step? Just like a stone footpath has steps that are a reasonable stride-length from each other, each of our steps must be small enough for everyone to reach them. Always think next steps!

3) Is there a leader identified? More than just asking “is there a warm body who says they want to see whatever-it-is happen”… is there a tested leader, whom we have seen undergo some trials, whose character we have already had chance to observe, and whose diligence is documented, ready and passionately willing to lead this new thing into greatness? This is often our single biggest impediment to anything new… we HAVE to have a great leader feel great about it! Of course, this means that a growing number of leaders has to be in development, which we do through monthly FUEL meetings and our recruiting and reproducing efforts. But that’s another blog post entirely!

4) Is it sustainable? So many “great” ideas are flashes in the pan. But if this is really a mission-critical, must-have opportunity, is is sustainable week in and week out for the next year? Five years or longer? Can we afford the time, dollar, and leader resources that it will take to make sure it is done WELL over the long haul. Better to count the cost up front, and leave a good idea on the back burner a bit longer, than launch something prematurely only to have it strangle you in the lean times. A church can only sustain so many “good ideas” before the leaders burn out, the money goes away, and the church people spend all of their time trying to keep all of the church program plates spinning instead of living as Christ followers in their communities. A lot of leaders act as if the church has unlimited leadership resources… we guard our limited resources jealously!

5) Why are we REALLY considering this? Church leaders can fall victim to “us too” pressure. The church down the street offers a great VBS… us too! I hear Rick Warren is going to…. us too! The kindly old matron saint in the third row thinks that all churches should offer… us too! We try to remember that even if every church since Acts 2 has offered a particular program or event, it doesn’t mean that God wants us to do it too! I will often ask staff or volunteers if they are feeling pressure to have a ministry. Most of the time, external, people-originated pressure for an activity or ministry is a recipe for disaster. Lead from freedom, from a God-centered calling, knowing that as church leaders we will answer to God for how we lead… not to anybody in the third row! 🙂


First Wednesday Cancelled Due To Weather by orchardblog
February 6, 2008, 1:48 pm
Filed under: The Orchard


Let’s all take a minute to contemplate winter in Illinois…. YUCK!

Because of the snowstorm, we are canceling First Wednesday. We will see you at our next regularly scheduled First Wednesday on March 5th!

Stay home. Shovel the drive. And pray for Spring!

02.02.08 and 02.03.08 – Setlist by Mike Jones
February 1, 2008, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Setlist, The Orchard

Here’s the music setlist from this weekend (with links to iTunes to purchase the original recordings):

Super Bowl weekend.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers doing the half time show.   Chris spoke about the name we wear on our jersey.  What name does yours have on it?

Posted by Mike Jones