Hi. We’re Marty & Sandy Boller. Recovering 3-B Pastors.
Two pastors no longer basing our success in ministry by measuring (B)uilding size, (B)ucks in the offering, or (B)utts in the seats! We’re now becoming contemplative activists. Pastoral shepherds who simply do our very best each day to practice the Kingdom presence of God and then love ‘the hell’ out of others as best as we can.
Wanna join the reformation? We publish AS I SEE IT on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Our goal here is to develop a pastoral support network, a group of pastors who believe firmly, from God’s perspective, that SMALL can be BIG. We call that network THE SMALL CHURCH THAT WORKS (TSCTW). This network is designed for supporting pastors of smaller churches across North America, men and women who want to begin a conversation with those who desire to abandon the evil taskmaster we call the 3-B Syndrome.
While we’re the founders of TSCTW, we sense others will join us soon, making up a self-supporting network of pastors who believe that God can use any of us, regardless of our church’s size, as we restore our biblical mandate of shepherding God’s people into His presence. As we see it, God has more to say to us right now than anyone else. Let’s stop focusing on doing Church, Inc. and start listening and responding. We believe that it’s in God’s presence we can all find our true stories and mission in life. Join us in our TSCTW journey.
Drop us an email @ email@example.com
OUR BRIEF STORY.
My lovely wife, Sandy, and I both grew up in mainline denominational churches and experienced the power of God in the charismatic renewal of the mid-70′s. I’m from Iowa. A Hawkeye at the very core. Sandy is from Indiana who hails herself as a Northwestern Wildcat. In the true spirit of the radical middle, we met in the middle. Illinois. Wheeling, IL to be exact.
Getting married in Skokie, IL in 1975, we hooked up with wonderful friends like Bill & Cheryl Hanawalt, Steve & Cindy Nicholson, Tom & Tish Suk and others. We were all young and carefree back then. So in 1976 we gathered together for the first time with twenty or so of our other friends and formed what has now become the Vineyard Church of Evanston, IL. While serving during the mid-1980′s as volunteer children’s ministry leaders at the church in Evanston (known then as Christ Church of the North Shore), we were greatly impacted and influenced by John Wimber and his ministry. John made a couple of important visits to our church in mid-1980′s, changing everything we knew about church life, the Kingdom of God, and practicing the presence of God.
Moving to Iowa in 1987, we founded the first Iowa City Vineyard in 1988. After nearly two years of church planting efforts, which included hosting the first-ever Vineyard conference in Iowa, God clearly guided us to lay down the church and re-locate to Cedar Rapids in the spring of 1990. By the fall of 1991, we had joined the pastoral staff of River of Life Ministries under the direction of Pastor Francis Frangipane. At the time, River of Life was closely related to John Wimber and the Vineyard church family. As an associate pastor at ROL, I led such city-wide ministries as March for Jesus and Promise Keepers. In 1995, I was brought on staff by Promise Keepers to serve full-time as an area manager for Iowa and several other Midwestern states. In 2008, we celebrated their 30th year in ministry, serving the Lord through a wonderful variety of ministry opportunities over 30 years!
Back in 1997, God began pouring out for us a vision for a new church community here in Cedar Rapids. With a rich blessing from River of Life, Father’s House Vineyard Church started as a small group of 5 couples meeting in the Boller’s home in January, 1998. On October 4, 1998, we held our first public worship service in a storefront location next to the Paramount Theatre in downtown Cedar Rapids. By the following summer, the church had already outgrown its’ first meeting place. On September 5, 1999, we moved our worship services into the newly remodeled World Theatre in downtown Cedar Rapids. Four years later, in 2003, we’ve found a larger, more permanent facility in SW Cedar Rapids, remodeling a former bar into a contemporary setting for worshipping and serving Jesus.
You can visit our church website: www.crvineyard.org
TWO RECOVERING 3-B PASTORS, NOW BECOMING CONTEMPLATIVE ACTIVISTS.
In 2008, after 10 years of successful church planting, God began a complete renovation of our lives and ministry focus. As the wheels began to come off our little red wagon called Vineyard Church of Cedar Rapids, Jesus invited us to “step out of the traffic and take a long, loving look at Him”. You can read about some of that story in my blog series “Thoughts & Musings from our 10-week Sabbatical”. He invited us to re-examine the ways we were doing ministry for Him and began talking to us about the 3-B Syndrome, an addictive drug common to American church life where we measure our success (or failure) by looking at (B)uilding size, (B)ucks in the offering, and (B)utts in the seats. By 2012, after we returned from the first sabbatical Sandy & I had ever taken, we began praying about how to increasingly bless others outside the confines of Vineyard Church of Cedar Rapids. The Small Church That Works (TSCTW) is the result of those prayers. Today, we’re still learning to recover from countless years of serving the 3-B Syndrome, becoming contemplative activists for the Kingdom cause of Christ. Two old farts who are re-learning to love Jesus with our whole lives, and learning to slow down just a bit this time so we can better respond to His Great Invitation found over in Matthew 11: 28-30:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Wanna come along? There’s plenty of room for you on the journey!
ON THE ROAD WITH MARTY & SANDY.
Sandy & I enjoy visiting churches, encouraging pastors and church leaders, spreading our contemplative activist message to all who will take the time to step out of the traffic so we can all take a long, loving look at our High God, above politics, above everything. (see Psalm 46: 10 MsgB). If you’re interested in inviting us to your city…drop us an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org