Preparation affectes performance

So I joined a co-ed over 30 soccer league. It hasn’t gone well. The first week we played a team that was really good. We had no subs and it was like 900 degrees. We lost 9-1. The following week was worse. I thought the game started at 2pm and it actually started at 1pm. I was literally digesting a burger and running on to the field as the game started. No stretching, no water, no warm ups. That doesn’t work when you are a goalkeeper, and we lost that game 8-1. While I am not confident we would have won that game even if I was a 100%, I have to admit that my lack of preparation, negatively influenced my performance and as a result, my presentation. I pride myself on being a good keeper and I still feel bad about how I played that day. 


In 10 weeks, Canvas Church will open its doors to the public for the very first time! We want to be ready to reach the unchurched community so we will have top notch childcare as well as a great worship experience. But as I experienced on my team and as you probably experienced before, preparation influences performance which influences presentation. If first-time unchurched guests have a hard time parking, checking their kids in the kids ministry or are distracted during the worship experience, we will poorly present the beauty of Jesus. If our volunteer team, our dream team is not prepared, and under perform, then we will present God’s transforming love poorly. Now, can God move in spite of ourselves, absolutely, but we at Canvas value guests so much, that we wouldn’t want to do that. 


So I am asking you to prepare Canvas with me. We have 10 weeks to build a children’s ministry, a guest service team, a worship team and a setup and production crew that can create an incredible experience for the first time guest. We will have weekly trainings with refreshments and childcare available as we prepare to reach the unchurched. I want you to prayerfully consider giving me a 6 month commitment. If you give me 6 months, we can create a place that you would love to invite your unchurched friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to. Our first team meeting is July 10th at 6pm at Oakstone, 900 Club Dr. Here’s an application to join our dream team. 

What's a church plant?

The first time I ever played basketball was as a kid on vacation at Washington DC. I never played before and I jumped into a game. I heard a lot of new terms, “up and downs,” “double dribble” and “traveling.” All of these are various violations when dribbling a basketball. I didn’t know what they were and like a good little asian boy, I checked out a book on the rules of basketball at the school library after our spring break trip. 


Everything, basketball, Starbucks, work, and even church has insider language. One of our goals is to eliminate as much insider language as possible so outsiders can feel like insiders. So, here are some terms I want to discuss for Canvas. 


Planting a church- a church plant is starting a brand new church that never existed before. The use of the word plant indicates that the church is not just an organization, but an organism, that lives, grows and requires nurturing. 


However, as I began to discuss this with people who were not in a church, it sounded weird and kind of like I’m starting a cult. so we will use the term, church start-up. People outside of the church knows what a start up business is and it is essentially the same thing.


Grow- this is how the church most often define success. As nickels and noses increase, and the church grows, it is more successful. 


However, this kind of growth does not account for people coming from other churches and increasing one church’s number. Obviously, that is not the goal of any church, therefore, we will not use the term grow. We, I do not want Canvas to grow. I want Canvas to reach people. We are not about the size of Canvas’ influence but the extent of Canvas’ reach. Canvas church exists for the people who do not attend Canvas church, or any church. So growth is not a goal, reaching the lost is. 


So Canvas is a start-up church that will reach people. How are we going to do that? With your help. We are recruiting people, raising money and training teams so that on September 18th, we will have a church that you will love to bring your unchurched friends, family and neighbors. Our next launch meetings is June 26th at 6pm. The meeting is only an hour long and will help you meet more people who will be a part of our launch team and will give you more insight into how Canvas plans to reach the lost. You can RSVP on Facebook by going to this link. 

A Force Multiplier

When I first heard this word, I thought it was an awesome word picture. One of the first force multipliers in military tactics was the use of sharp wooden stakes designed to impale charging calvary while protecting archers. This combined use, multiplied both the effectiveness of the stakes and the archers.


I heard this phrase used recently regarding a church, Canvas Church actually. I was with Gary Fowler, a district representative of the Assemblies of God as he was sharing why people should give to Canvas. “You can give money to over seas missions, and missions will use it. Or you can give money to Canvas to start and it will not only reach its community, but it will also send out missionaries to foreign countries as well. It will make your generosity a force multiplier."


How cool is that?! Now I can’t wait to invest in local and foreign missions and to send short term teams to Panama (I’m looking at you Corey and Bethany), but investing in a church will not only yield a local return as that church reaches the lost, but it will one day give to missions to, it is a multiplication of investment. Your gift can make a difference domestically now, and internationally shortly. 


We are coming to the end of May and our 31k in May campaign. I want to encourage you to leverage your giving to be a force multiplier. Your money will help start a life giving church that will reach the lost, it will raise up a church that will raise money for church plants and international missions, thanks to a generous organization, your funds will be matched dollar for dollar and your donation is tax deductible. If you are interested in giving today, you can at this link or text the amount you want to give to 614-333-1224. Thanks for multiplying your gift for a great impact here in Westerville and around the world. 

Love Sacrifices

I must tell you that I miss sleeping in. Before kids, I struggled getting to work on time… and I was a youth pastor! I love the feeling of my warm bed and the soft support of my pillow. Yet, there are a few things I’m willing to take up for, I’m willing to take up to make an early flight on vacation. I’m willing to wake up early to meet someone for Waffle House and I’m willing to wake up for my kids. I love my kids and that love will propel me past my comfort and straight into sacrifice. 


Love does hard things. Love wakes up early, stays up late, gives up control of the tv and eats Mac and Cheese and chicken nuggets for dinner. Love sacrifices. We believe at Canvas Church that love is revealed in the sacrifice. So we show our love for the lost in that we choose their comfort over our preference. We show our love for the community by contributing to our church, not just consuming from it. We show our love to God by sacrificially giving to the local church. 


Now I struggled with giving as a young Christian. I had my own opinion on where money went and I felt that it was better in my hands than in the church’s. I missed the whole point. Money is better in God’s hands than mine. I consistently see that God does more with my 90% when I give Him 10% than I can do with the whole 100%. Sacrificial giving is not a money issue, it is a heart and trust issue. 


When we do not give a portion of our income to the church, we are saying that we do not trust God. Sure, we can say that we don’t like what our local church is doing or we can say that we can better use the money, but again, this is a trust issue. The local church is God’s institution for empowering the believers to accomplish God’s will and when we give to the local church, we are trusting that God will do something with it. 


I think about all the times Jesus helped someone. You notice there is no follow-up stories. We don’t know what happened to Barabbas, the man who was freed as a result of Jesus' imprisonment. He could have done something to get arrested right after Jesus took his place in the prison. He could of went right back to a life of crime. The lesson we can take away is that it is not about what others do with what God gives, the emphasis is on the fact that God gives. Jesus gave Barabbas a second chance, who knows what he did with it? It doesn’t matter, the emphasis is on God’s giving.   


Love sacrifices. Why do we emphasize sacrifice over tithing? Because for some people, tithing (giving 10% of your income to the local church) can be too much of a faith step. That is okay, we are all on different places on our faith journey and 10% maybe too hard right now, but give regularly and sacrificially and watch God build your faith. For some people, 10% may no longer be a sacrifice. God maybe challenging you to give more than what you have ever given before and why wouldn’t we want God to have an opportunity to stretch our faith?


I don’t know where you are in your faith journey, but I want to encourage you to give and to give at your local church. If you consider yourself a part of a local church, you should give regularly and sacrificially to that local church because that is what love does, it gives of itself sacrificially. If you consider yourself a member of Canvas, I want you to begin giving and you can do that today. There is this tiny window that all contributions will be matched, dollar for dollar. So for a short time, your tithe or regular contribution can be matched from now until August. You can click on the link to begin practicing sacrificial giving today. Click here. 

Seeing is Believing

I grew up in a Christian home. I went to a Christian school. My dad made sure I was at every church event every time the church opened its doors. So how come if I died when I was 15, I would have gone to hell not knowing Jesus? How is it possible to grow up in church and not be in a life transforming relationship with Jesus?

I don’t know about you, but I heard the Gospel a lot. I heard a lot of sermons and I have hear a lot of preaching. I heard that if you give, you will be blessed. I heard that if you go to church, you will always have friends. I heard if you follow Christ you will be happy. 

What I experienced was pretty different. I saw my dad give faithfully while we struggled financially as a family. I went to church and I was still lonely. And the church goers around me were far from happy, many of them were some of the most miserable human beings you would meet. 

What I heard from the pulpit and what I experienced, did not line up. I heard the Gospel but I didn’t see it work until I was 16. In high school, I got to know Caleb Schafer and I saw how prayer and seeking Scripture kept him from making the mistakes most of his peers were making. I saw James and Tiffany Dewhurst who loved Jesus and loved people. They were genuinely happy about the life God called them to. 

I heard a lot about Jesus, but seeing Him in the lives of Caleb, James, Dwight, Millie, Mr. Gibson and so many more influential people was life transforming. We can talk about God all we want and we can debate theology all day… I say we but I mean anyone else but me. Just saying, it is possible to debate Biblical interpretation all day. But what really changes lives? When we act upon the words of God found in Scripture and revealed in prayer. 

It’s one thing to talk about the teachings of Jesus, it’s another thing to see them in how someone parents, or work at their job. That is when you see if the Gospel works. That is why we are called Canvas Church, because we want our lives to be a canvas that displays God’s transforming love.

That is also the first core value of Canvas I want to share with you, We value an actionable gospel over debatable theology. There are so many things Christians argue over and my response is, “who cares?” "When is Jesus coming back?" Who cares?! But we can act on the fact that Jesus is coming back and share His love with everyone we meet! 

What action does God want us to take after hearing the word? James 1:22 reads, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Think about that. When we hear but do not do, we deceive ourselves. Reading the Bible can actually deceive us! How? When we read the Bible before we go to bed and check off the fact that we did our devotion but our heart is not more connected to God and our behavior towards people is not conformed to the standards of Scripture, we have deceived ourselves. I do not want to deceive myself, instead I want my life to be a canvas that displays God’s love. That is why Canvas values an Actionable Gospel.


Pastor Tim Walk, 

Lead Pastor

Canvas Church

A church with a deep bench

In 2014, Kentucky basketball coach had a really good problem. He had too many talented players. You are only allowed 5 players on the court at any given time and an additional 7-10 players on the bench. Many teams play between 8-10 players during a game. Callipari had 9 High School All-Americans. His team looked like Michael Scott from the office when he asked two women out on the same night assuming neither would show up and instead, both women showed up. So Callipari instituted Platoons. Rather than substituting individual players, he would switch everyone on the court. Kentucky had so much talent, that the coach could use his team as two entirely different teams, meaning that opponents had to figure out how to try and guard two completely different teams. The results were devastating, resulting in a 31-0 record and going all the way to the Final Four. 

Great teams usually have incredible depth. When Brett Favre left the Packers, Aaron Rodgers was ready to step up and Rodgers led the Packers to a Superbowl Title. When the winningest team in NBA history heard their MVP, Steph Curry would be unable to play in the first round of this year’s playoffs, Steph’s teammate Draymond Green replied, “Next man up.” On great teams, a transition does not mean a step back. Great teams do not rebuild, they re-load.
This depth is how Paul envisioned the church. “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” II Timothy 2:2. Paul envisioned the church as a team who had great depth, at least four generations deep. Paul-Timothy-Faithful Men-Others. This Scripture came as a revelation to me when I was a student pastor because my ministry model was only two deep. Me-others. Even the students who I would mentor, I did not have the expectations for them to mentor others. Realizing this, I changed things up. I met and mentored volunteers, who would meet and mentor students, who would meet and mentor students. The results were powerful. Students were leading Bible studies, inviting their friends to church and mentoring and discipling others. It was when I began to see the results of the application of this Scripture, I began dreaming and asking God, “What would it look like for an entire church to do this? What if every person who was part of a church community, discipled and mentored another? What if we could leverage the potential of everyone in every pew?"

This is one of the fundamental reasons why Canvas exists. We want to help the people of Westerville, Ohio to lead where they are. We want a church full of disciples, people who are leading where they are. Imagine a church who can send out missionaries, full-time pastors and as they go to do what God called them to, the church can say, next man up. Imagine a church who is not dependent on a pastor but instead, dependent on God. Imagine a church where instead of complaints about, “Not being fed.” Members are actually feeding others. It’s time for a church that has a deep bench, a church with a platoon instead of a superstar.

Now you maybe disqualifying yourself from the responsibility of leading others. But first, let me say, that no one is truly qualified to represent God by leading someone else. I am certainly not, but we are all called to lead others and when we step up with our fishes and loaves of talent, expertise and Biblical knowledge, God will multiply it for His glory. If the idea of stepping up and helping someone else grow spiritually stirs something in your heart, join us. You may not be qualified to lead, neither am I, but you are called to lead. But calling is not enough, you need to make a commitment to lead. Starting in June we will meet weekly and begin discipleship co-horts all over the city as we once again discover that the Gospel works. 

Aren't there enough churches in Westerville?

My wife, and two kids started a crazy adventure last week as we moved our lives from sunny and warm Atlanta, Georgia to the tundra (it snowed in April!) of Westerville Ohio. Two things stood out to me as we moved home. 1. It is cold. I had to explain to my kids what “warming up a car” entailed. 2. There are some amazing churches in Westerville. We live off of Cooper Rd. in the shadow of Vineyard Columbus. I am meeting a pastor who planted an awesome church called Oasis Church next week and someone from the network I’m planting with is also starting a church in Westerville. Are there some pretty awesome churches in Westerville Ohio? Yes. Are there enough? No. 


According to the American Church Research project, in 2010, less than 20% of the population of the State of Ohio attended a church on any given weekend. Less than 1 in 5 people are attending or connected to a church. The study further revealed that this was part of a much larger declining trend which means that number is even lower today. So, are there plenty of great churches in Westerville Ohio? Yes. Are there enough? No.



My family want to come along side some of the amazing churches that are already doing God’s work in our city and to continue to reach the lost. Our goal is to help people in the city of Westerville, discover their purpose, find a place to belong and to lead where they are. This means that we are going to be laser focused on a few things.


  1. We are committed to be a church you will be proud to invite your neighbors and co-workers to. This means that our kids ministry will be safe, secure and plant seeds of the gospel. This means our worship experience will reflect the perspectives of our community, not just our congregations. And finally, this means our teaching will be clear, Biblical and actionable. Whether you have never heard the name of Jesus or you are Billy Graham and Mother Theresa’s love child, our goal is for you to take a step closer to Jesus every week.
  2. We are committed to be a missional church and that is a church of and for the community of Westerville. We want to serve our city and love our city. Canvas is committed to not just share the message of God’s love to Westerville, but reflect God’s love. Which means that our lives will be a Canvas that will help Westerville see God’s beautiful love. 


-Tim Walk, Lead Pastor of Canvas Church


Why we are coming home

On behalf of my wife Kelly, and our two kids, I want to invite you into our story. I grew up in Ohio and my parents divorced when I was two. I was shuffled back and forth between them and on days I was assigned to be with my dad, I would actually stay with other relatives because my dad worked nights. I called them grandpa and grandma, but they were barely related to me, they were my mom’s aunt and uncle. 


As my parent’s lives became more chaotic, I needed my grandparents more. I moved in with them and they loved me and raised me. They never legally adopted me, they never got the tax benefits or got to come to the PTA meetings. But everyone who knew me, knew who they were and knew how special they were to me. I don’t know where I would be without them, they are my family.


As I became a teenager and became older and dumber, I became less and less close with my grandparents. Then I met Caleb and James. Caleb was in my grade and we played basketball together. He was like a brother who I never had. James was a youth pastor. He and I would work on his old farm house and talk about life, girls and God. He became the dad who wasn’t there right at that moment in my life. James helped trained me to be a youth pastor and helped me to get my first two ministry jobs, one in Powell, Ohio and the other in Atlanta, Georgia.


The long and short of our story is that Kelly and I are moving from Atlanta, Georgia to come home to Westerville, Ohio. We will be starting a church because we believe that the church is more than a building. The church is a family, who can love you through good times and tough times. The church can be a place where you don’t just talk about God, but you actually hear from God and experience God. The church can be more than an organization you are associated with, but a powerful, driving force of life change. 


Why are we coming home? Not because people need to hear about God, but because people need to see God. People need to see God’s power in the lives of ordinary people. People need help to discover their purpose, belong in community and reveal God’s beautiful love to the world. I want to be a part of a community like that, a group of people who don’t just talk about God, but whose lives have been changed by God’s transforming love. When you see a life like that, it changes you, the way Caleb and James’ life changed mine. When someone lives out what is talked about in church and in the Bible, their lives display God’s love, beauty and power. The life of a person moved by God’s love becomes a canvas that reveals God’s love to a lost and broken world. I want to be a part of a community like that and if you do to, join us. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and Like us on Facebook. Join our weekly email list to hear more about how you can be involved with what God is doing with Canvas Church. The church became my family, I pray that you allow Canvas to be yours.

Tim, Kelly, Asher and Lucy Walk