everyday is gameday…

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Varsity update

Posted by slykwyk on April 12, 2010

I figured this past week that it would be good to begin to share weekly what we are up to and how things are going here in Chapel Hill.  This will help keep everyone updated.  So here is where we are up to now…

Varsity Church

Well, we got ourselves a name AND became incorporated as a church here in North Carolina!  Glad to get those two things out of the way.  As I have said before, choosing the name was the hardest part so far!

Community Connection

Savana decided to play baseball this spring and I figured it was a great chance to connect in the community so I am coaching her team.  Our first practice was this week and we had a great time!  Looking forward to enjoying the next few weeks with these players.

Community Impact

If you read my previous post, you know we are moving forward on our Community Needs Assessment.  I had my first meeting with a nurse and social worker from one of the local middle schools.  They passed along some GREAT information and also some GREAT people to connect with later on.  I already have 4 of those on the books for upcoming weeks.


The majority of my time up to Easter was spent fundraising.  I have a LOT more to do.  It’s not the best time to be trying to raise funds, but I believe in our project, this community and what we are doing here that I know God will provide!


Staff handbook, values, beliefs, web sites, craigslist, volunteer roles – I have spent a lot of time writing documents, thinking about our DNA and looking for staff.  There is a lot to do when you plant a church!

The best part is we are having fun, enjoying our time here, and looking forward to our future here in Chapel Hill!


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WOW! Good choice!

Posted by slykwyk on April 9, 2010

Our family moved to Chapel Hill knowing inside that there would be needs in the community.  No community is perfect.  However, a lot of our knowledge came from online research, not personal conversations.  Yesterday I was able to meet with one of the local schools which helped bring to life that there are needs in this community, needs that we take for granted.  Some of the ‘lowlights’ if you will…


This one floored me!  One of the needs in the community are books for students to read at home.  One of the wonderful ladies I met with yesterday said that the amount of books you find in a house correlates with the educational level of kids in the house.  Makes sense.  In under-resourced homes, the educational system used is TV watching not book reading.  Time to get some books!

Single Moms

This one wasn’t unexpected as it seems to be the norm today, but for lack of a better term – it pisses me off.  Dudes get a girl/lady pregnant and move on leaving the mom to work, lead and take care of the kids.  Once again, moms are left to fend for themselves.


I have heard this many times in the past at other schools that the absence of mentoring is an issue.  Especially the absence of men helping in this area.  I guess I am bothered more that we have to go to mentoring because parents aren’t either able or willing to lead in this area.

Here we are in one of the most educated and well-off communities in North Carolina and yet the gap between the haves and have nots is wide.  I believe that is a physical and spiritual issue we hope we can begin to make a dent in here in Chapel Hill.

Seems like Chapel Hill is a good place for a new church to make an impact!

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Holy Hangover!

Posted by slykwyk on April 5, 2010

Wow! Easter is here and gone. An incredible day to say the least and especially for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.

But I have a little problem…

I read over the last two days of churches and their celebrations of Easter. Tons of people showed up to church, many came to know Christ for the first time, special events all over the place, awesome stuff!

Looks like we Christians planned ahead.

But I wonder what would happen if we put this much time and effort into the other 51 weeks or 364 days of the year? I am pretty sure the story of Jesus defeating death carries over into those other days too. I am not knocking what happened at all. In fact, it excites me to hear how God moved this weekend!

I’m just saying – can we keep a Holy Hangover for longer than a day a year?

And guess what, I am sure as Varsity Church gets hopping, we will do similar things focusing on Easter. I just hope we can carry that same passion into ever day of life. Because as I like to say ‘Everyday is Gameday’.

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and the REAL winner is…

Posted by slykwyk on March 18, 2010

Varsity Church

Yep, that’s the name!  Here’s why…

1 – It fits the college culture

This is a college town, and if you live here and don’t know that than you must be from another dimension.  Everywhere you go you see The University of North Carolina – from the names of businesses, to Carolina blue on signs, the firetrucks and buses are blue, people wear UNC colors all over town, to the color of the sky – it is everywhere.  Makes a Wake Forest guy sick to his stomach!  Plus, Varsity is a throw back, a retro word.  Reminds me of the golden days of sports, whatever time period that might have been.  Varsity fits this culture.

2 – Its a sports town

Forbes calls it the #2 BEST college sports town in America.  We can argue that all day.  The point is that sports play a role in shaping this community.  I figure, lets use a name that fits.

3 – It fits our DNA

We are using words like team, action, gameplan, coaching as our lexicon, in our processes, how we disciple.  Varsity fits that well.

4 – URL

And we could get as our URL.  Now that is SWEET!

So there you have it – Varsity Church is on the books!  Enjoy it!

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and the winner is…

Posted by slykwyk on March 18, 2010

So, I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was really struggling with a name for this new church.  I shared some of the names I had

floating around in my head (they didn’t have far to travel) to a group of people and received some great feedback.  I prayed about the name.  Seriously, I have been praying about it.  Naming a church, business, non-profit, your kids, even your stinking dog, you want it to fit and connect.  Well, the time has come to ANNOUNCE the winner.

Before I tell you what it is, here are some things I had to consider…

  • How does the name fit the culture we are in?
  • Is the name too trendy or am I trying hard to be ‘cool’?
  • Is the name too traditional?  Does it just blend into the background?
  • Does it roll off the tongue?  Or is it easy to say?
  • Does it speak to the DNA of the church I feel God is giving us the vision for?
  • And what are the possibilities BEYOND this church?  Does the name allow us to venture into other places as we begin to plant other churches and possibly campuses?

The list could go on, but know that everything listed about (and more) played into the naming of this church.

So are you ready?  Are you excited?  Here you go…

One more thing, I did think about giving naming rights out for the highest bidder.  I mean, come on, I need to finance this church!  (I am kidding – sort of…)

(ok, I enjoy the suspense so I am going to post it at 2 pm or whatever 2 pm is on WordPress)

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Posted by slykwyk on March 15, 2010

You know the scenario…

You – “So, why did you move here?”

Other person – “I work at Research Triangle Park.  I design vaccines that cure diabetes for ants.”  (Seriously, these people design some CRAZY stuff – it’s scary!)

Other person – “What do you do?”

When I get that question, I chuckle, out loud.  I know where my answer will lead.  I know the response I am getting ready to get.  And I know the uneasiness about to ensue.

Me – “We are starting a brand new church here in Chapel Hill.”

Other person – “Oh.”

I have to admit that I really enjoy the uneasiness.  It opens up conversations.  It gets people asking questions.  It makes me realize that what we are doing isn’t common.  It makes me realize that people have misperceptions about church and that in starting a church, you face an uphill climb.  So you throw on your mountain climbing boots and you start moving up!  And you keep praying for MORE conversations with people who say, “Oh.”  Who knows where they may lead…

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Posted by slykwyk on March 8, 2010

Savana.  Avery.  Jake.  Our kid’s names.  Each name seems to fit each kid perfectly.

However, choosing each name was tough!  Kara and I debated over Savana’s name.  If we had a girl, I liked Savana and she liked Avery (we didn’t know we were having a girl until she popped out).  I told Kara, “No way am I having a kid whose name is the same as the paper product company.” Savana won out.  Guess how Avery got her name?

And ‘ole Jake was named by his sisters.  Kara and I couldn’t agree (again).  The girls kept talking about Baby Jake coming, so we just went with it.

Why bring this up?  Naming a church is like naming a kid.  You want to make sure it’s the right name, that it is true to the personality of the culture you live in, that it fits your philosophy for the church, that it is easy to remember but different enough that it stands out.  One guy even said, “Make sure you can find a URL for it.” Something ELSE to think about…

So, we are still looking for a name for this church.  We have short list, but if you have any thoughts or ideas, throw them our way!  And in the end, Kara and I will probably disagree, but I think I have the last say in this one!

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Posted by slykwyk on March 5, 2010

I am reading through the book of Matthew right now and as always, learned something new while reading a story that I am very familiar with.  Seems like Jesus sends out his boys in a boat for a little sailing action and then he decides to take a stroll across the water to join them later on.  As he gets closer to the boat, he scares the ‘hell’ out them (says they thought he was a ghost coming across the water – I’d be scared too!).

But the adventurous one – Peter – asks Jesus if he can walk out to him…on the water.  Jesus says yes and Peter jumps out and starts walking towards Jesus.  But then Matthew writes that when Peter saw the wind, he got scared and began to sink.

For some reason I had missed the wind part before.  I knew Peter sank and that he had lost focus on Jesus, but had missed (or just forgot) about the wind.

Made me think about myself and being a follower of Christ.  I can easily focus on Jesus ahead of me, but then the wind starts blowing – life starts happening, circumstances I can’t control get in the way, and I start noticing the wind and lose focus on Jesus.  I have to remind myseld the wind will always be there, the question is will I begin to focus on it or allow myself to keep walking on the water to Jesus?

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Posted by slykwyk on March 3, 2010

Kara and I were talking the other day about being here in Chapel Hill and our move.

We both agreed starting a church is lonely.

We left a great group of friends in Northern Virginia and we could meet up with Kara’s family in 10 minutes any day we wanted to.  In Chapel Hill, we know no one.  Zilch.  Zero.  In most situations when you move you are at least starting a new job and can make some quick connections.  I’m the only employee and you can only talk to yourself for so long!

However, we kind of like the loneliness.  We  love what it forces us to do – connect in our community, get involved locally, and to build new friendships.  Plus, we know there is a support system all around us and a God who is leading us forward.  Yeah, it might be ‘lonely’ around here, but we wouldn’t change it for the world because of what is to come!

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things i love about chapel hill…

Posted by slykwyk on February 18, 2010

Ok, so we have only been here a little over two weeks, but there are some things I am loving about Chapel Hill.  So here goes…

The Coffee Shops

It is like coffee heaven here!  There is a coffee shop on every corner and they all have REALLY good coffee!  Plus, there is usually wi-fi (for free Starbucks) and a place to plug in your computer.  The only problem is sometimes space is at a premium as they are student hotbeds.

The Bus Line

Chapel Hill has a free bus line for everyone who lives or visits here.  Seriously, everywhere you look or go you see Carolina Blue buses moving people all over town.  We haven’t used it yet, but it is great service.  (BTW, even the fire trucks in Chapel Hill are Carolina Blue).

The People

We really have enjoyed meeting people here.  They remind us a lot of the people we have known and met in our time in NOVA and NJ.  Looking forward to seeing how God connects us.

That’s my Two Weeks In list.  I know there will be more!

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