Blog : MtZ

Fall Family Festival 2017

Fall Family Festival 2017


Fall Family Festival 2017

We want to thank all of our committed workers at MtZ.  They are constantly serving, pulling together for events like this festival, and simply being lights in our community.  What can we say about the candy drive?  Our congregation offers more than enough candy to make all the local dentists happy for months!  Many thanks to GT Metro Fire Station 12 for taking time to join the event, and for their service.  Every year, as time allows, we can count on them!  Of course, we are also grateful to all the businesses who give.  They supply most of our door prizes at the festival!  We had an excellent evening and turnout!

Most of all, we are grateful to the Spirit of Christ who drives us to impact the Grand Traverse Bay Area.  We pray that every smile, every piece of candy given, every prayer offered behind the scenes, every conversation, every laugh, and every act of service would reflect His heart!

For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. ~ Jesus Christ, Mark 9.41



Crystal: 10.25.17, 9:13 PM



Zorsy: 10.25.17, 9:31 pm

I have never heard Crystal laugh as hard as she did tonight watching us play with those Eye and mouth photo props!



Crystal: 10.26.17, 10:08 pm

Just set this up



Christopher: 10.27.17, 5:21 pm

I’m off to fall family hope to see you there








Nikita: 10.27.17, 6:51 pm



Yvonne: 10.27.17, 6:52 pm

The ghouls have arrived . . .



Crystal: 10.27.17, 7:10 pm


Gina: 10.27.17, 10:09 pm

Mt. Zion Family Fall Festival 2017 . . .



Gabby: 10.28.17, 10:14 am




MtZ thanks these businesses for donating!

Big Boy, Bill Marsh, Burger King, Cracker Barrel, Crusted Creations, Culver’s, Dave’s Garage, Dickey’s, Dollar Tree, Dominoes, Family Dollar, Family Video, Francisco’s  Market and Deli, Great Wolf Lodge, Hometown Pharmacy, Incredible Mo’s, Jet’s Pizza, Jimmy John’s, Jonathan B. Pub’s, La Señorita, Lucky Jack’s, Menard’s, Moomer’s, Mt. Zion Food Pantry, Olive Garden, Outback, Paesano’s, Pizza Hut, Preston Feather Building Centers, Qdoba, Randy’s Diner, Refuge Youth Ministries, Sparky’s Diner, State Theatre/Bijou, Tom’s Market






Web Updates: Points of Interest

We’re making improvements and updates on our website. Here are four recent updates, points of interest you may not be aware of.



On our Calendar page, we’re now highlighting a current or recent event.  Sometimes we have the direct link to our Facebook event.  Right now, our Fall Family Festival is being highlighted.  This is a major outreach every year offering a safe environment for hundreds of children and families.

We use a combination of iCal and Google platforms to ensure quick updates to the calendar.  We also utilize the “Agenda” view because this is easily readable on mobile devices.  The view can be changed to suit your preferences.  Keep an eye on this page to see what’s happening or what’s just around the corner at MtZ!


The Blog

The blog helps us highlight our experiences and our leadership.  People from our congregation regularly speak in our venues.  We want to use the blog to recap their thoughts and get our community acquainted with these fantastic locals.  Their influence cannot be overstated.

On a couple of recent posts from our leaders, we set new records.  Two consecutive posts from leaders each broke the record for most views in a day.  One helped set the record for most views on our entire website in one day, and helped push us over the 2,000 views mark.  That’s not bad for a website that has been around less than a year.  These numbers don’t include all of the hits and reach on Facebook . . . just some fun milestones our leaders have helped us reach.

Thank you all for your continued interest in our people and what we offer.  Our audio sermons are available for approximately one month, but our posts are always available.  In tangible ways, the blog is reaching people as we participate in the ministry of evangelism.



We now have online giving.  There are a few points of interest . . .

Planning Your Giving.  Select one time donation or recurring donation.  This simply means that you can give a gift (whenever you like), or set up a giving plan.  A recurring donation is like online recurring bill pay or automatic withdrawals.  For some, the recurring donation is an excellent way to plan in advance for their week, month, etc.

Options For Giving.  On the dropdown menu, there is TitheGift [offering], and Other.  If Other is chosen, simply jot a note in the Comments box so that we know how to designate the funds.  For instance, our Fall Family Festival is a major outreach each year.  Everything designated toward the Fall Family Festival will make the night a little sweeter for every child craving candy.

How to Give.  Connect to our site and pay from your computer, and of course, your smartphone.  We also have The Square, which is a highly efficient way of swiping a card, for those who would rather pay that way during services.

Tracking Your Giving.  Like all of our giving, our Elders are the only ones with access.  We maintain your confidentiality, use only secure giving solutions, and maintain your records for end of the year giving notices.

Partnering in Giving.  We work with Swipe Away Poverty, a Prolific company that donates a percentage of its proceeds to Compassion International.  We are excited about this because, in effect, you are giving twice with every contribution!


Contact & Map

Our contact information updates include our phone, Facebook page link, and an email dropbox.  If you would like to write us a note, submit a prayer request, ask questions, or give us feedback, please use the email dropbox so we can connect a little easier.

You can also find us on Soundcloud and iTunes if you would like to subscribe to our podcast.

On our Leadership and Refuge Student Ministries pages, you will find ways to connect with many of us through social networks.


. . . and so it continues.  There is a team of six of us who bounce ideas off of each other to make our website better, with a heart for using it as a tool of evangelism.  We’re thankful for every voice and contribution.


We’re also extremely grateful to members of Solo Pine for all that you do for us.



Help My Unbelief

“Oh, unbelieving generation . . . BRING HIM TO ME!” (Mark 9.19) 

Jesus already knows about the unbelief.  The disciples are unable to cast a demon out of a child and it plants a seed of doubt in the father’s mind.  The disciples doubt their abilities in Jesus’ name.  The scribes doubt and question.  Because of this one incident, many different people begin to doubt.

Mark 9.14-29, NASB: In this story we see the condition of our human-ness.

We try so many things just like the disciples.  We try so hard to make it happen, but none of these things have God in them.  All He asks is for us to bring them to Him.  That’s our only job.  When we doubt the power He has given us, that makes room for more doubt.  So the only thing we can do is bring it back to God Himself.

The father puts an “if” upon Christ’s power (Mark 9.22)

The dad comes from home hopeful, but now is not quite sure that the healing can happen.  Don’t we find ourselves in the same situation?  Is it the salvation of loved ones, healing in self or others, better marriage, abundant life, financial freedom, cleansing from past, victory over an addiction for someone we know . . . fill in the blank.

Jesus does NOT say “have no doubt, but only believe”

He knows they . . . or we . . . are faithless.  He calls us a faithless generation multiple times.  How much do you have to believe?  We all know . . . it’s the size of a grain of mustard seed.1)Matthew 17.19-21; Luke 17.5-6  How big is that?  Not very big at all.  He doesn’t say, “don’t doubt.”  He says, “only believe.”

Like this father I do believe.  I do!  But I need You to help my unbelief – because it’s there – I can’t get rid of it without You.  I can’t do this on my own.  I have this much faith, what can You do with it?

Christ says, “I can move mountains with that.”  He knows that we are faithless.  We’re not fooling Him by pretending.

It is because of our unbelief, that we bring so little to pass

So often we miscarry, and come short, in that which is good.  Those that complain of unbelief, must look up to Christ for grace to help them against it, and His grace shall be sufficient.2)2 Corinthians 12.9

Help my unbelief . . . Help me with power against it . . . Help me with what is wanting in my faith by Your grace . . . Your strength perfected in our weakness.


ALL things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9.23)

Believes what?  In God’s power to do this thing?  In God’s goodness to care enough to do this thing . . . or simply in Him?

Hebrews 11.6, the Faith Chapter states: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Can you believe?  Do you Dare believe?

Are you willing to venture your all in the hands of Christ, all your spiritual concerns with Him, all your earthly concerns?  Isn’t it amazing that at times we can trust that having been a great sinner, we may be reconciled to Christ and one day to eternal life in Heaven.  It’s an incredible feat, but when it comes to things of this earth we have a difficult time with our faith.  If our souls can be redeemed, then our bodies and circumstances can be healed.

In Luke 5.23-24 Jesus is with scribes and a paralyzed individual.  He says, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?  But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins” . . . He then heals the man.

I do believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9.24)

We cannot measure how much faith nor how much doubt the dad has, but we see from this very transparent and truthful statement that it was not all faith.  He is relying on Christ to make up the difference, but he still has to put a faith foot forward.

The magnitude of the child’s disorder gives doubt, but he realizes that it is not in his own power to believe, nor has he strength of himself to oppose his unbelief.  He needs the goodwill or grace of God.  His faith is weak, but He still desires God to show Himself powerful and be glorified through this miracle for his only child.

Jesus heals completely.  He rebukes the spirit.  Jesus takes him by the hand and he gets up.

2 Tim 2.13: If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

When I am surrounded and overwhelmed, overcome and seeing with only these earthly eyes, I say Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.  And He doesn’t think that I fall short, because He knows me.  And He knows that even if there’s great doubt and very little faith, that He can still do what He says He will do.  Sometimes I am full of faith and sometimes I lack, because I am human.

Know that even in His frustration with our unbelief . . . He is not disappointed . . . He already knows . . . He already sees . . . He is standing there, ready to make up the difference for you.  Use this simple prayer, Lord I believe, help my unbelief.



Jared and Crystal serve as the Lead Pastors.  Crystal describes herself as a Christ follower, wife, homeschool mom, part gypsy (lived in 6 states) and theatre buff.

Crystal also serves in countless ways at MtZ, including worship and MtZKidZ.


Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Matthew 17.19-21; Luke 17.5-6
2. 2 Corinthians 12.9

Sharing the Gospel and Ourselves

Recently we took a good look at ourselves, those who help us work the fields in the Grand Traverse Bay Area.  We began by asking focused questions about our talents, gifting, and strengths.

How are we doing as a leadership core and what are we doing well?

Gallup finds that, “An overarching emphasis on strengths allows employees to form better connections – in part because strengths are a springboard for meaningful conversations that build trust and help groups accomplish their most important goals.”1)Brandon Rigoni and Jim Asplund, “The Best Way to Build a Strengths Coaching Culture,” Gallup: Business Journal, December 1, 2016, accessed December 15, 2016,

“better connections . . . meaningful conversations . . . build trust”

We turned a corner over a year ago when we started having conversations about our strengths.  Something has changed.  There has been real edification – building up.

We’ve had “meaningful conversations” in many areas.  Some of our leaders are engaging their role more effectively.  Others are taking on new roles, or trying temporary roles.  Our teams are energized by the conversations.

A little research introduced to our leadership team has given us new freedom and license to explore the strengths and talents that we each have.

Community formation is at the heart of Strengths research

Gallup states, “By uniting employees around strengths, managers promote deeper, more productive and more engaging relationships among workers throughout the company.”2)Ibid.

Central to leadership development, even in the marketplace, is a commitment to, “more engaging relationships.”  How much more so should this be evident in a congregation?  We’re not a machine.  We’re a community of faith.  We do life together.

Mt. Zion has a reputation as a friendly church.  We’re a family oriented church, not because of families, but because individuals are at home in our Christian family.  This is the way Mt. Zion has operated for years.  To borrow from cell phone marketing in their time, the Wermuths (our Former Pastors) say they grew the congregation on “The Friends and Family Plan.”  Community formation is at the heart of who we are and at the heart of strengths research.

How does our leadership team measure up?

In the Christian book Living Your Strengths, it is reported that, “more than half of churchgoers report that they don’t get to do what they do best in their congregations or parishes.”3)Gallup, “Living Your Strengths,” Gallup: Press, 2016, accessed December 15, 2016,  They’re not plugged in, and they’re not plugged in where they want to be.

We also have some workers who may not be serving in their strengths but are striving to make a change or remedy.  However, we have a very strong leadership team. We have many committed workers. Right now at Mt. Zion, about 50-60% of our people are engaged in regular service.

Do you know what the average has been for years in America?  It has been 20%.  Recently, the Barna Group found that the number of people volunteering at a church on a weekly basis is only 19%.4)Barna Group, “The State of the Church 2016,” Barna: Faith and Christianity, September 15, 2016, accessed December 15, 2016,

We are aware of this and grateful for all who serve!  We dream about what our leadership core is actually capable of.  There are still untapped resources in the hearts of our leaders that God wants to bring to fruition.

Are numbers the bottom line?  No Mt. Zion is building a community of faith

Let’s review the language of the Strengths research: “better connections . . . meaningful conversations . . . build trust . . . uniting . . . deeper, more productive and more engaging relationships.”

When I think of this language, I think of Paul explaining similar ideas to the Thessalonians in his first epistle:

1 Thessalonians 2.8, NRSV: “So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.”

He says, “So deeply do we care for you.”  The word picture is desire, longing for, or even the longing of love.  We care for you with deep heart-felt emotion.

He adds, “we are determined to share with you.”  We are willing, but willing in the Biblical sense.  The word will is not just a mental decision.  Will involves the heart, pleasure, and emotions.  It’s not only intellectual, but stirred from deep within.

We’re called to share our souls, ourselves, with each other

A determination rises up within us that we are going to share the Gospel with you, but we are going to cross boundaries and share ourselves.  The phrase, “our own selves,” is the Greek word psyche.  It’s the word soul.  The New International Version says we’re called to share “our lives.”

This is Christian community.  He says the reason why is because, “you have become very dear to us.”  This word “dear” is a form of the word agape.  It is the same word that the Father uses when He describes His Son.  “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased” (Matthew 12.18a, NRSV).  Beloved means dear one, dearly beloved, or even favorite.  The Father calls Jesus Beloved, and we are Beloved in Christ.  Paul turns around and uses the same term for us as the family of God.

Henri Nouwen declares, “The Christian community is a community of people who remind each other who they truly are – the beloved of God.”5)Henri J. M. Nouwen, Beloved: Henri Nouwen in Conversation with Philip Roderick (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2007), 20.

We’re dear to each other.  Our relationships and strengths are vital to each other.  We’re building well.  We’re Sharing the Gospel and Ourselves.

Rev. Jared V. Ingle, M.A., Lead Pastor
MT. ZION Family Worship Center

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Brandon Rigoni and Jim Asplund, “The Best Way to Build a Strengths Coaching Culture,” Gallup: Business Journal, December 1, 2016, accessed December 15, 2016,
2. Ibid.
3. Gallup, “Living Your Strengths,” Gallup: Press, 2016, accessed December 15, 2016,
4. Barna Group, “The State of the Church 2016,” Barna: Faith and Christianity, September 15, 2016, accessed December 15, 2016,
5. Henri J. M. Nouwen, Beloved: Henri Nouwen in Conversation with Philip Roderick (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2007), 20.

Valentine’s Dinner with Pastor Mark Beasley

A night on the town for our MtZ couples, Valentine’s Dinner was excellent, from the dinner at Ruby Tuesday, to the games, to the guest speaker.  We were so grateful to have the Beasleys with us last Friday night.  Pastor Mark did a phenomenal job sharing a Word for our couples!



Pastor Mark took time to share some very obscure scientific, and rather funny, differences between males and females – remarkable how God makes man and wife fully complimentary for each other!


One concrete way to celebrate these differences is by actively praying for each other.  He highly recommends The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Husband, both by Stormie Omartian.  We agree, these are tremendous resources!


We caught some of our couples on camera, enjoying the night at Ruby Tuesday.