Wednesday, November 30, 2016

YEAR END GIVING FOR STRONG BEGINNINGS


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Friends & Family,

This year Shanna and I began the process of planting a new ministry here in the wonderful State of Colorado, reaching the city with hope & love, the love of Christ. Planting new churches has proven to be the best and most effective way to transform a community. It takes lots of sacrifice, hard work and patience. In this journey, Shanna and I need you. 



ReImagine.Church makes the best of our spiritual foundation and traditions while living culturally intelligent enough to embrace the post modern, post Christian and very diverse society all around us. We love our assignment and have faith to believe God is working through us to bring hope and light, and great transformation to our city.

Click to Watch 
https://youtu.be/XlA1W8uC4NE

In raising five children to be the next generation of Christian leaders, we have found our primary calling. We are parents, friends and pastors for sure, but we lead with the heart of a father and mother. For 22 years, Shanna and I have had the blessing of speaking to thousands of children, students, men and women. We see the need for deep discipleship, not just Sunday pew-sitting. See the video below as Shanna, Victoria and Eli are highlighted with friends in our city, working on projects that my team helps to lead. This year we had 1200 volunteers serving the city together. 

Click to Watch
https://youtu.be/RpEfQ-Mb2NM

We love adoption, orphan and refugee ministry. We love those who are far from God and who don't see life through our filters. Our focus on disciple-making will deliver dynamic but grounded Sunday services, midweek marriage ministry and inviting small groups all across the city. We are intentionally diverse in race, color, creed, age and stage of life. We love taking care of widows and will make specific efforts to effectively disciple singles, seniors and blended families while creating what we call an open-source leadership team. 

February we begin regular weekly services and small groups with occasional marriage ministry events. We will meet in the evenings for 30 weeks as we build the team and reach out to those far from God. September 2017 we will move to Sunday mornings. Our focus will be on people and networking rather than programs and buildings. We will be a church by the people, for the people. 

To ReImagine is to learn to see and hear God, through Christ, with fresh eyes and ears. We love a balance of God's Word, God's Spirit and God's People, creating life-giving environments with a culture of missions, prayer, family and hope. Our process of disciple-making and multiplication will lead those God sends to us to ReImagine, ReDiscover, ReDefine and ReEngage

To ReImagine means to be upward surrendered, outward reaching, Bible based, a house of prayer for all nations and an Acts chapter 2 family of God. We love passionate worship and young people of all kinds. On this journey we have been given a team of leaders and a core team of volunteers to help build and launch. We plan to carry our own salary through bi-vocational leadership and raise funds for the launch budget. Bringing on staff for worship, children and media ministry all require support. A facility, curriculum, insurance, website, database, equipment, legal status, and all the other logistical costs are coming. The question now is, Will You Help

  ____ Connect with prayer team. (Email & Cell # Required)
  ____ Connect financially. (End of Year Gift)
  ____ Connect financially. (Monthly Auto or by Check)
  ____ Connect as strategic partner. 
              (Host Info. Dinners/Meetings, Build Network)

For online giving, End of Year one time gift or regular monthly support, you can use our SUPPORT tab on the website. www.ReImagine.church

Special Request: Please consider joining our monthly support team. This group pledges a monthly support level of whatever they feel they should invest, $25, $50, $75, $100 or more if possible. They pledge to begin in January 2017 and continue on for 17 months. This will get us to and through "launch" season with help and strength from helpful friends like yourself. There is no pressure, contract or expectation you will do anything but think with your heart of generosity. Help us reach single moms, orphans, the fatherless and hopeless. Join Club 17/17

Give Online @ 
www.ReImagine.church (hit Support)

Give by Mail @
2084 Coldstone Way, Colorado Springs, CO. 80921



Thank You, 
Billy & Shanna Ramsdell
ReImagine.Church
Lead Pastors














Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ReImagine Coat Drive 2016

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RE: 2016 Coat Drive

1. Collect New and Like-New Coats (all sizes & shapes)

2. Bring them to our next group meetings. 

3. Or, take them to Burlington Coat Factory in Chapel Hills Mall for a discount.  

ReImagine Foundations: Recently I had opportunity to visit with a wonderful lady working with the poor and needy in our city. Her agency makes a daily impact on those most needy of help and of hope. By all indicators, even in her attitude, language and focus, she and her agency are being the hands and feet of Jesus. Funny thing, they actually don't claim to be a Christian organization. 

Back Story & Foundations: For years Shanna and I have been working with the poor, being on mission, right here in the U.S. We offer financial help and direct support to those struggling. I think it became a worldview of ours, a value, that established a North Star for our family and ministry. This has not become a business for us, a banner we wave over our head to get attention or even something we try to sell others on. We have adopted internationally, helped refugee families, given money, food, clothing and more to the poor families in our community, for over 22 years. 

Miracle Man: Once, many years ago, while in college, we stumbled onto a sale of coats at Burlington Coat Factory. We literally emptied our pockets and wallets to buy all the jackets we could. We had a mountain of coats. We left the store knowing we had to bless someone trapped in the cold without a good coat. We believed the Bible and the heart of God in us led us in two ways. One, to care for others, period, no strings attached. To care for those in need or struggling, without pomp or circumstance, just an act of love. Second, we believe in sowing seeds of generosity. We believe generosity is an act of spiritual warfare, an act of love and an actual seed sown for future, Godly harvest of blessing and reward. -- Shanna and I giggled as we left Burlington that day, partly because of the joy of spontaneously giving all our money and partly because we did not know where our seeds would yet be sown, we just had a car full of coats and a listening ear. As we talked and tried to hear what God was saying, we remembered a tent near our school that was being used by a traveling evangelist and his family. This was a large party tent, like an old fashioned tent revival. They advertised healing and miracles, but drove an old busted bus with an old busted tent. They were faithful to be out ministering to people, even in the cold. -- This seemed to be our destination. We drove up, gathered our coats and walked into the tent. It was slightly lighted but no one was home. We felt the Miracle Man, as we began to call him and his family could be really good ground to sow these seeds into, and frankly, they looked needy. But, we also knew there would be needy and cold people coming to the tent meetings for help and miracles. Getting prayer and a coat could be an answer to someone's prayers to God. So, we left the large pile of coats on the stage near the podium and ran out laughing. 

Giving was Fun. 
Giving energized our Faith. 
Giving sowed seeds of Generosity. 
Giving blessed Others. 
Giving set a Trajectory of Joy. 
Giving defeats the Devil.
Giving defeats Fear. 
Giving defeats Selfishness.
Giving defeats Materialism. 
Giving is Supernatural. 
Giving is Fun. 

FIFTY COAT CHALLENGE: Burlington Coat Factory and Lutheran Family Services have partnered to do a significant coat drive for those in our city. For a discount, take used coats in to trade for a discount on new coats. Or, collect coats and bring them to our next meetings. We want to get a count on the coats we collect, my hope is, we can collect over 50 coats in the next month. 

BE CREATIVE & HAVE FUN: Be creative, get kids involved, ask neighbors, friends, family and co-workers. The ReImagine Coat Drive of 2016 is now beginning......GO


Billy & Shanna Ramsdell
ReImagine.Church
Lead Pastors

Monday, October 31, 2016

ReImagine Halloween (Why we love it)


ReImagine Halloween: Shanna and I have been asked to lead a new church in Colorado Springs. We love it. We are made for it. We are called to it. One reasone we love it is because of our approach. We are not immitating other religious expressions. We are not conforming to some institutional template. We are calling ourselves and others to think inside and outside the box and have embeded this call and the freedom that comes with it, right into the name, "ReImagine". 

ReImagine the Verb: The major theme and name of this new church family is ReImagine. We want to inspire hope and call people everywhere to imagine a new life filled with dreams and hopes and purpose. 

Our process for releasing prophetic imagination...

ReImagine    (Hopes, Dreams, Imagine Again)
ReDiscover   (God, Church, Ourselves, Purpose)
ReDefine       (Truth, Confidence, Direction,)
ReEngage     (Impact, Justice, Leadership, Serving)


Rich Halloween Foundation: As a kid my family and friends had no issue with Halloween. We celebrated candy and costumes and, as far as I can remember, we didn't participate in any negative devil worshiping or abuse of humans of any kind. There were those two teens down the street who made their garage into a scary haunted house. The noises coming from behind the black curtain with dry ice hovering all around was enough to keep me in the road. But, overall, we just had to watch out for razor blades in the apples and poison in the popcorn balls. No big deal. 

Religion & New Family Traditions: By the time I became a breeder of 4 children, my wife and I were living in the religious influence of the Bible belt. We didn't mind the advise to be careful not to teach our kids about Halloween, but the boycott of the day by our fellow church members and church leaders was a little much. You could ID the houses because they had no lights on and were not giving out candy. We just skipped their house. I guess they didn't want to meet their neighbors anyway. The #RamFam dressed up the kids, joined the fun at church, in the community and with all the other kids and stayed away from any devil stuff all together. Our new tradition was simply having fun with friends, and getting candy for dad and mom to eat that night when kids go to bed. 

The Issue of Hallows-Eve and Celebration of Halloween: The fun around Halloween, from the #RamFam is all about fun, costumes, candy, friends and family. We did not teach our kids about the alleged foundation of Halloween, frankly we don't care. We care deeply about our kids, our city and our Christian worldview. That framework empowers me to ignore negative issues that I do not adhere to or live by. That leads to the larger conversation of "Celebrating" Halloween. Bottom line, we do not "Celebrate" Halloween. We have boundaries on costumes, meaning, nothing too violent, bloody, scary or suggestive. We celebrate being together and having fun, and truly have never even mentioned the alleged roots of Hallows-Eve. On Christmas we "Celebrate" the birth of Christ. On July 4th we "Celebrate" the birth of our nation and the freedom we enjoy. Again, on Halloween, we celebrate nothing but the fun of costumes, candy and fun. 

Connect with Friends & Family: We have now been parenting for 21 years. We still have a 10 year old who loves to get dressed up and having fun with friends. We have a great trick or treat community where lots of parents are out to connect and lots of kids running the streets in packs. No one is celebrating Halloween or hallows eve or anything other than candy and costumes. There is that one home around the corner with the scary witches in the front yard, but I just pretend they don't exist and move on to the next house. Over the years, we have enjoyed connecting with friends and seeing all the creative kids coming to the door. We don't try to frighten kids or be too graphic, we just enjoy dressing as pirates or the Rubik's Cube. 

Church alternatives: For years we did Fall Fest at the church. One year we had over 8,000 people with every bounce house in the state set up inside our building, it was crazy fun. It was cold and windy outside, so having an indoor and safe alternative that was family friendly was a great experience. Instead of connecting with our community through trick or treating, we invited them to come to the Fall Fest event. I have nothing bad to say about the alternative. I think any effort to connect with neighbors and get the public familiar with the church people, programs & property is a good idea. 

Take a stance for smart and intentional avoidance: Shanna and I are smart. Our kids are smart. Our willingness to make Halloween an issue we take stances about is not smart. We don't care about a possible negative foundation of Halloween. We care if people have been hurt through Hallows-Eve or other evil activities, we care deeply. We will never "Celebrate" Halloween, however. We intentionally avoid the areas we choose not to teach our kids. They hear what I am not saying, loud and clear. Rather, they get the freedom to grow up being "FOR" stuff instead of "Against" stuff. They are "for" fun, costumes, friends, candy, and family experiences. They will visit a local haunted house once in a while, but they truly do not enjoy the darker side of Halloween. 

Mission Accomplished: As a parent, I am satisfied and thankful. We have enjoyed the 31st of October each year while not leading our kids toward the dark side. Now, they love college and high school fun while being modest and measured while also having tons of fun. Mission Accomplished!!!  

GO HAVE FUN, 
MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS, 
AND EAT SOME CANDY!!!!


Billy Ramsdell
Lead Pastor
ReImagine.Church

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

RC FIVE CONFESSIONS OF A CHURCH PLANTER (One)






Let's be real, I have way more confessions than FIVE. But, FIVE seems to be a cool number to use in blog posts. Preachers use three points, great leadership or self esteem writers use ten steps. I'm only average as a preacher or writer or, well, anything. So, let's just use FIVE and a little sarcasm. 

Confession One: It was much easier to work for another church where I got a full time paycheck, my peers got full time paychecks and lots of people already gave the finances needed to get said full time paychecks. Easier is nice. God has totally prepared us for church planting seasons. But, most church planters want to build teams and want to pay them well, they just have to figure out ways to do it. I hate asking for money, I really do. Anyway, it was just easier when asking for money each week was as simple as passing the plate. Easier is nice. 

Confession Two: We worry about what everyone will think about us. See, we get our families to abandon all normalcy and step into the deep waters of wanna-be history, we ask our friends and our neighbors to rejoice in a risk they don't understand, and all the wile, we know our middle aged level headed reputation is going out the window. To your face they say, "wow, you are so brave, I just admire what you are doing", but behind our backs they are saying, "they are crazy and will probably ruin their family".  I know I'm crazy, I just don't want people to think I'm crazy. 

Confession Three: I'm more sure than ever that planting new spiritual families called local churches is the best use of time, money and effort. It's the best way to love people who need it, reach people who are lost and heal people who are hurting. I have seen great church happen, really great, but nothing helps more people in a city than starting new life-giving churches. 

Confession Four: I probably waited too long to do this, but am secretly thankful I'm older and hopefully less stupid. I fight pride and arrogance like every other guy. I fight fear and anxiety like every other leader. We are have our degrees of stupidity with younger, but I know for sure I was high on the gifted but stupid chart. I hope, at my age and stage of life I am beginning to find wisdom and perspective. If so, I also hope things will be more powerful and pleasing to God. I still feel I waited too long, but I think God can redeem the time and seasons. 

Confession Five: I am crawling with impatience. Today, for example, our team decided on a public launch date for ReImagine.Church. We have had "Information" meetings, Launch Team meetings and Prayer meetings so far. We will move into a more aggressive season of meetings as we move closer to the public launch date. We will remain in "Soft Launch" for nearly a year. The launch date will be encased in one final month of prep and two months of follow up. At that point, we plan to be meeting every Sunday with full service ministry going on, to have a Midweek program called ReEngage and a network of Small Groups and Ministries in and with the city. The launch date we tentatively decided on is Sunday, September 10th, 2017. Between now and then we have ten pages of things to do and we will be DOING MINISTRY as we build teams, training volunteers and win our city to Jesus, one person at a time.  ---  As I left the meeting, I agreed the team had great points about why that was a good date, but I went away feeling like it was ten years away. I'm feeling impatience and I think every church planter or business owner can understand having more vision than we can accomplish at this moment. I want to be meeting every week with full on services and a team I can grow with. I want church friends to grow old with, I want new people coming into God's Kingdom through water baptism every week and learning to serve and thrive as part of the ReImagine.Church family. I'm ready. Let's GO........

In Conclusion: I confess that I have other confessions. I felt it might be healthy for me to talk about them and right now my wife is moving from evening introverted time to sleeping. So, I guess I will talk to you, as long as I still have "more words" and everything. Help me Lord with my confessions and mold us all to be and do what you desire. Be glorified in my strengths and my confessions.....Amen. 

#ConfessionsofaChurchPlanterONE
#GoingForIt


ReImagine.Church
Billy and Shanna Ramsdell




Monday, October 3, 2016

RC: LAUNCH TEAM READING LISTS



In the new world of ReImagine.Church, we put lots of emphasis on the power of our God given imagination. We depend on the Word of God and the Spirit of God as our primary sources of inspiration. However, we find guideposts and street-signs for our minds in the writings of other authors, men and women of faith who have gone before us.

Shanna and I believe in "The Well-Trained Mind" as much as we do the mind of Christ. I thank God for the opportunity to learn and grow. 

Below are just a few of the books I recommend you read as part of your growth as a RC Launch Team member. There are many other theology and Bible study books we will point out along the way, for now, these help you gain some idea about our heart and the ministry ideas that have impacted us over the years. I have chosen shorter books, so grab two at a time and dive in. Take notes and ask questions. 

Let's be life-long-learners together. 

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"The Release of the Spirit"  a.k.a.  "Breaking of the Outer Man" by: Watchman Nee
This book is a classic text about the way our spirit and the Holy Spirit cooperate to impact the world. 








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"Love Does" by: Bob Goff is one of the most fun and unusual readings in my recent history.  It helps remove the mystery around living an extraordinary life, while giving us permission to be radical and crazy for Jesus, in non-traditional terms that are relevant to the world we live in.




Image result for Praying Up a Storm, Daniel Bernard


"Praying up a Storm"  Dr. Bernard is a friend and mentor from many years back. His work in city-transformation has been epic and this book tells you why. This interesting take on the power of prayer is so helpful. 







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"It's Better to Build Boys than Mend Men" by: Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A is one of the most inspirational little books I have ever read. It shows us what you and I can do if we just focus on the ways God has allowed us to have impact, no matter how small. And, it reminds us how important investment into young people can be. 





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"Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions" by: George Barna might just be one of most important books you read this decade. This research based presentation does more than show us problems, it provides personal and corporate answers. It also challenges us to do more than raise good kids, but to help create spiritual champions. 




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"Dare to Dream" by: John C. Maxwell will be necessary reading for RC leaders in years to come. The Church has to once again learn to dream and learn to act on the dream God has given each of us. This book helps us take practical steps in that direction with the typical power-packed word-craft we have come to expect from Maxwell. 



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"Refuse to do Nothing" by: Moore & Yim calls out the modern day Abolitionist in each one of us. It highlights one of the most horrific conditions our modern day departure from God and morality has left us with. Human-Slaves are all around us, let's do more than watch, let's move. 







Image result for ReImagine, Crowe"ReImagine" by: Crowe could have been our church textbook, if I were smart enough to have written it, but, I wasn't. So, we will borrow it from Brent Crowe and make it our own for years to come. Speaking to our Imagination and the power to impact the world with our Imaginology, this book captures the nature of what God is doing in our church, very very well. 





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The Smart Stepfamily Marriage: Keys to Success in the Blended Family  -     By: Ron L. Deal, David H. Olson




"The Smart StepFamily"  and "The Smart StepFamily Marriage"  by: Ron Deal speaks to the new normal in our nation. Everyone of us are deeply impacted by the blended family, divorced family or step family. These two books help us see things as they are, not as we want them to be and to be part of the answer for these families who seek to thrive like everyone else. 













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Billy & Shanna Ramsdell
Lead Pastors & Activators of Dreams
ReImagine.Church





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