My Birthday Wish: Encouragement for a Detroit Teen (It’s Her Birthday, Too)!

Today I share my birthday with Sydney, a 15 year old here in Detroit that we spend a lot of time with and really love (you should hear Luke following her around the house saying “Neenee, Neenee!”).  I’m not always … Continue reading

My Christmas Letter to my Team


Dear SpringHill DCGR Team,

I think you are incredible.

As I’ve witnessed each one of you live in the light and love of your Savior, my life has changed.  And not just me.  Do you know that pastors are still sitting in meetings gushing about the way you live out your faith?  Do you know that kids are still sitting at dinner tables talking about you and the scripted and unscripted lessons you taught?

I count it as a once in a lifetime to be a part of a this crazy community of awesome, broken people, pushing forward to bring God’s kingdom to His children.  I still lie awake at night thinking about how you never gave up.  You didn’t give up on building relationships with the hardest to love kids.  You never backed down from loving each other through the messes.  You entered into hard neighborhoods, hard circumstances, hard stories and lived like no one else was coming.

I know many of you also wish we could wake up and head to work with the team that loved us and worked with us no matter what (50 mph windstorms, poop on the floor, scavenger hunts gone bad). But the beauty is that this is just the beginning.  God has prepared us to radically pursue His will and His work.  Now, it’s our move.

I wish for more time with all of you.  Christmas Coffee, if you will.  The party was awesome, and not nearly enough.  Here’s what I would be asking you if we could have a one-on-one right now:

1. Who’s on your team right now?

Remember what it felt like to be on our team?  To wake up every morning and know that hugs and encouragers awaited you?  Do you remember how you grew more by being in relationship with people who were different from you than those similar?  Have you continued that philosophy of teammates since camp?  Who are the people around you that won’t give up on you, that cover your weaknesses with their strengths, and that offer you fresh perspective and grace?

2. What’s your SHX?

I believe in living life on-mission and on-vision.  But, the crazy thing is that we didn’t focus on the mission as much as we focused on the SpringHill Experience.  The mission was for aligning in the beginning.  The hard part was living out the mission daily.  And you were incredibly successful (beyond my dreams) in accomplishing the mission because of the beautiful, redemptive way you lived it.  What are those things you are intentionally living out so that at the end of the day, you’ve accomplished your mission?  These are the things you can base daily decisions on and that others can tangibly see.  For a refresher, the SHX includes: God- Immersed, Integrating, Innovative, Community-Focused, Embracing, and Professional. What are yours?  Are you living them?

3. What kids are you leading?

You have been blessed with an amazing skill-set to appreciate and lead kids.  God didn’t give it to you just for summer.  And I’m pretty sure (based on the kids I know that need you) that He doesn’t want you to wait until you’re done with school or have an easier schedule.  Get in the game.  No one else is coming.

4. Are you loving until it hurts?

You did this daily.  You know exactly what it feels like.  And that this is what we’re meant for.  Is this still happening for you?  Who is God calling you to love?  To reconcile with?  To give up your own needs so you can meet theirs?

Merry Christmas my friends.  May you spend this season remembering our God who came to earth, built His team and lived it out among us.  And may we radically follow Him.

Oh, and I think you should read Colossians 2:6-9.

I love you all.

April