Coming Soon! Meetup Event: Process Design for Ministry

With the New Year right around the corner, we’re thrilled to share that we’re hosting another  Meetup Event!  We hope you’ll join us for a discussion on Process Design in Ministries and Churches.  What gets people in the door?  What does their journey look like from one point to another?  How do you ensure a good experience?  We’ll be covering these questions and many more.

We hope to share best practices for ministry leadership and discuss relevant tools and resources.   All are welcome, so please be sure to come check it out and share your knowledge (and enjoy free refreshments)!

Nice to MEET You.

Yesterday we hosted our second Meetup Event!  Thanks so much to all who were able to join us.  We had a great evening of discussion centered around the topic of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle – “The naturally occurring pattern that explains how great leaders inspire others” and how to ensure effective leadership within small groups and ministries.

Our mission and passion here at Goodberry is to help Christians be disciples and to outfit churches with resources and tools to help raise disciples.  In addition, we also strive to create a community which allows people to connect, learn, support, and grow with others in a journey of discipleship.  This Meetup Event was a perfect medium to begin establishing a group here in our local community.

Our discussion generated a lot more questions of how we can not only get folks on board with the WHY behind our ministries and organizations, but also HOW.  We’d love for future Meetup Events to focus on effective leadership methodologies. We hope to feature speakers that have embodied the mission of their ministries and providing excellent maps – allowing others to get from point A to point B.

The next Meetup Event will be taking place on January 9th – Be sure to keep an eye out for more details.  We hope to see you there!

The Golden Circle for Ministry

Here at Goodberry, it is our mission to help churches make disciples, and we believe that creating a strong local community is a great step to doing so.  We’re excited to announce that we’ll be sponsoring our second Meetup Event here in Grand Rapids!  Please consider joining us for an evening that promises to deliver all you’re after:  philosophy, people, and of course, (free) Panera!  We hope to share best practices for ministry leadership and discuss relevant tools and resources at each Meetup Event.  The topic this round is Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” and it’s application for ministry settings.

You’re Invited: Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at the Goodberry office

Who else will be there?:  Small Group Attendees, Small Group Leaders & Facilitators/Coordinators, Bible Study Leaders/Teachers, Pastors & Church Leaders

Learn more and RSVP at our Facebook event page:


Solemnized Independence

We often forget that freedom comes at a cost and is never quite as free as the word or world might suggest. With bloodshed and heartache, and under the suffocation of oppression, freedom is paid for in full by those who fight for it. Our Fourth of July’s may be filled with joyous ruckus and the brightness of bursting fireworks (not to mention the picnics, and fried foods galore), but under the red plaid tablecloths, clouded, is the costliness of it all.

In my reading as I was working on this post, I came across a beautifully written letter that forefather John Adams had penned to his wife Abigail on the Independence of the colonies (cue inspirational music):

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

And “the great anniversary festival” it has indeed become. “Pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations”– it is almost as if America has obeyed Adams word for word in celebrating Independence Day. But why I particularly enjoy this segment of Adams’ letter is not his surprisingly accurate prediction on celebratory rituals. I savor these words because they put forth the very heart with which we should approach our independence.

I love the words “solemn acts”, and “solemnized”. (Excuse my fondness for words; English major speaking here.) Solemn, very much like another favorite word of mine ‘sobering’, seems to always give a nice grey feel to the air. Serious. Grave. Somber. Anti-smile. But, as a matter of fact, solemnity just claims formality and ceremony, even awe-inspiring grandness. It doesn’t always mean funeral-style. When Adams writes that “it ought to be solemnized” he is calling us to remember, honor, and celebrate with dignity–for how much sacrifice and death has paved the way to this joyous occasion.

Reflection on Adams’ letter gently reminds me of another that sacrificed for independence. Christ gave His life as a costly sacrifice for the liberty of my heart. My freedom (deliverance)–from nagging despair, from persistent sin, from overwhelming inability that pushes me to apathy–was bought at the price of Christ’s life. Costly and precious. Just as much as I live life in celebration and freedom, I must commemorate in solemnity, with dignity and remembrance, the irreplaceable value of this independence.

A blog I passed through in my investigation labeled the Fourth of July as “America’s biggest secular holiday”. But the common framework of the narrative of freedom, in America’s history as well as in our lives as believers, speaks a language far from “secular”. This powerful occasion of celebrating the American identity is also worth remembering as a part of the larger narrative: God’s faithful pursuit of His people.

Let us “uncloud” this special day. Here’s to a Fourth of July remembering the costly and solemn path that led to this nation as we know it. Here’s also to remembering the grace of our Father who paid the price, by His only son, granting us the greater freedom of our souls.

Event Recap: The UMC West Michigan Annual Conference 2013

It’s been inspiring to meet UMC members and share about Goodberry. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and supportive. We came out and introduced Goodberry to the attendees and had a lot of great responses from the people we spoke with.

MARC is now Goodberry

Stepping in as a replacement for the now-closed Michigan Area Resource Center, we’re honored to be recognized as the “Provider of Choice” for the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. Read more about the official announcement here:

To close off the event the Goodberry team put on a free pie and ice cream social for the conference attendees – handing out over 400 servings! Nothing like pie and ice cream on a hot summer day.  : )


In Memoriam

“Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.”

-Martin Luther

This morning, we salute and remember the brave and true patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom, liberty and for justice. There are no words that can thank them adequately for such sacrifice.

Goodberry t-shirts are coming! Simple, clean and very wearable. : )

We’ll be wearing them at the Annual Conference. Let us know if you’d like to volunteer at the berry pie + ice cream party and you can get your very own Goodberry t-shirt!