Category Archives: NewSpring

Catching Up

By | Family, Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | One Comment

I just realized that it’s been almost a month since we’ve posted on our blog! There are so many exciting things happening, so I’ll try to bring our blog up-to-date.

First of all, our family is looking forward to the arrival of our granddaughter, Summer, who is scheduled to arrive in mid May. Her older sister Cheyenne was in town with her Mom, Wendy over spring break and we enjoyed that visit. Stephen is looking forward to his 15th birthday in just a few days and Grandpa Hoover (WM) will celebrate his 84th birthday this Saturday. Grandma Hoover (Edith) had a little health scare that kept her in the hospital overnight for the first time since Mark’s birth, but she is responding well to medication and is her normal, energetic self.

Last Sunday we had a Discovery Reception and 57 people were present. As a result, NewSpring will again be welcoming many new members into the family. The next Discovery Reception will be May 3 and registration is already underway.

Mark is at the church tonight with a Full Access Group, which is a small group of people who would like to get some up close information about the exciting new building project that is about to begin at NewSpring. Although most of the groups are now full, there are still some spaces available. If you’re interested, you can register online at

This Sunday is Easter and every staff member and volunteer is doubling their efforts in anticipation of an overflow crowd — especially at the 11 o’clock service. Many people in our community will come to NewSpring this Sunday for the first time because of the holiday. There will be two services on Saturday — 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to allow many of our regular Sunday attenders to come on Saturday and make extra space for visitors coming on Sunday. Because we are also offering a full KidzWorld program for both services on Saturday, many of you I have talked to are volunteering for extra services to make this possible. NewSpring volunteers are awesome!

Mark has also been working on the new message series that begins this weekend, u x 2Double Your Impact. Along with the weekend talks, he has also written a daily journal that corresponds with the series. These will be available this weekend, but you can pre-order online. Because of God’s gift to Mark of expressing things so simply and clearly, I have been trying to encourage him for years to write a book. Being humble as he is, he never feels his material is worthy of print, but this particular series has so captured his passion that he has devoted many hours to writing this journal. I am very confident that God is going to use it to bless each reader in an unusual way. Even though I’ve gotten many previews, I can’t wait to get my copy!

I hope every NewSpringer will be praying for God to do amazing things this weekend at NewSpring and throughout the world as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Mary Alice

Say Yes to Service

By | Message Series, NewSpring | One Comment

Last weekend was fantastic! We got off to a great start with our new series, Say Yes, with a challenge to step up to the plate in the area of generosity. I really enjoyed all the stories of

One more time, I need your help. If you have a story from your life about a time when you served others, either by meeting a need, or volunteering at NewSpring or somewhere else, and it impacted your life, would you share it with me? You can either email it to me, or post it as a comment on the blog or on our Facebook page. Last week it was so awesome to find out all the various areas where you guys are being generous, I can’t wait to hear about where you are serving, and what it’s doing for you.

  • Discovery is this weekend. Maybe you’ve been attending NewSpring for a little while and you’re ready to officially become part of our family (or you’re at least thinking about it). Here’s my personal invitation to be part of Discovery, an informal setting where you’ll get to find out more about who we are, what we’re about, and discover all the fantastic opportunities here. You’ll get to meet our staff, and I’ll be there too. It happens at 9:15 in the East Building. If you get up too late for breakfast, don’t worry, there’ll be snacks. I think you’ll really love it. If you want to sign up, just go to
  • One more thing. I’ve got some exciting news about the future of NewSpring that I’m going to share this weekend in the message.

I can’t wait! See you in a few days.


Say Yes!

By | Message Series, NewSpring | 2 Comments

Good morning NewSpring!

I’m so excited about our new series that begins this weekend. It’s called Say Yes! It’s all about living confidently in a scared-to-death world. I was just watching a business channel this morning, and the expert talking heads were bemoaning that they really had no idea where to invest with certainty. And it’s not just on Wall Street; the paralysis has trickled down to Main Street as well. People don’t know whether to spend or save, buy or sell, change jobs or stay put. It’s just too fuzzy out there.

Hey, did you know there’s no downturn in Heaven? God’s not hung up until stimulus bill money gets released. He’s still looking for people to bless. Take a look at one of my favorite verses in the Bible.

2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT

9 The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

This weekend we start talking about four impulses it’s totally safe to say, “Yes” to. I’m so ready to get started!

Just one more thing. Would you be open to helping me craft this series? I’d love to get some of your stories about how you’ve said “Yes” in the past to these impulses. This weekend’s talk is, “Say Yes to Generosity.” Do you have a story to tell about a time when you stepped up to the plate and were generous? I’d love to read it. We’re opening a spot on our Facebook page where you can share your stories. To get to our page, just go to our website at and look on the home page for the Facebook icon. Thanks for your help!

Have a great Tuesday!


Change Your Goals If…

By | Message Series | No Comments

Mary Alice and I are getting away for a few days to our hometown of Ft. Worth and the weather here is incredible! Everybody is out in shorts and t-shirts.  I want to believe it’s Spring, but I know better. Anyway, I hope you’re having a fantastic Monday.

Yesterday, I closed out the Change series with a talk about changing our goals. I sailed through the eight indicators that you might need to change goals and I promised to put them on the blog. Well, here they are!

Change your goals if…

1. If you don’t have any to speak of

2. If they’re arbitrary obsessions

3. If they’re too easy

4. They’re not yours

5. They’re no longer clear

6. They won’t get you where you need to go

7. They’re too heavily weighted on this life

8. The goal is costing more to execute than the result is worth

10 Questions

By | Message Series, NewSpring | 4 Comments

Hey, doesn’t God continue to blow our minds with what He’s doing at NewSpring?!!! And it’s not just the size of the crowds, they’re huge and growing all right, but it’s the size of the CHANGE that’s happening. The stories you guys tell me about the changes you’re making really excite me.

The talk I just brought was called Change Your Crowd, and in it, I posed 10 questions all of us need to ask about the people in our inner circle. I went through them so fast, a lot of you didn’t have time to copy all of them down, so here they are.

10 Questions

1.    Do I do things I woudn’t ordinarily do when I’m with them?
2.    Do I have to keep making excuses to myself and others for them?
3.    Do I feel challenged to become a better person when I’ve been around them?
4.    Am I more critical of others when I hang with them?
5.    Does this person give me a new problem every time I see them?
6.    Does this person play up to my weaknesses  to prove I need them?
7.    Do I ever feel controlled by this friend?
8.    Do I feel pressured to continue the relationship when I really want to let it go?
9.    Am I pressuring friends to stay, when they really want to go?
10.    Does this friend let me talk about my friendship with God?

Have a great Monday,


Trip to Atlanta

By | NewSpring, Next Step | 2 Comments

Last weekend I attended an event at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA for Starting Point leaders and directors. The guest speaker for the day was Andy Crouch, who has authored several books discussing faith and culture. In my opinion, it’s a good thing to get away from home and routine from time to time to recharge our batteries and get a fresh perspective.

I definitely left Atlanta encouraged and excited about what God is doing at NewSpring and around the world. While the news is filled with depressing statistics and gloomy predictions, God is busy doing astounding things in the lives of people.

I’m very excited to get back with my current Starting Point and Next Step groups this weekend. By the way, there are currently nine SP and NS groups meeting each weekend at NewSpring. We are scheduled to begin additional groups in March as we continue to create new spaces to meet in.

In just a couple of weeks, on February 14, we will enjoy a great SP Leader Event with Jason Malec. Jason has been on staff at North Point since 2002, but is now helping to start a brand new church in Denver, CO. We are looking forward to a day of insight, inspiration and challenge.

As I watch the years of my life whiz past at an alarming rate of speed, I’m very thankful that God has allowed me to be part of what He is doing with what I have to give. I’m also very thankful for all the forever friends I am making along the way.

What a Phenomenal Weekend!

By | Message Series, NewSpring | 2 Comments

I keep thinking I’ve seen what God can do, then he blows my mind again. It was just a little over a year ago that we began to consistently reach the 2000 mark in attendance. In late November of ‘08, we saw 3000 the first time on an ordinary weekend (I don’t know, do we ever have an ordinary weekend?)

Anyway, when we hit 3000, we were in some deep trouble with overcrowding especially in the 11 a.m. service, and I asked who would be willing to move to Saturday night. (The Saturday service was the newest, and there was still room.) Special thanks go out to Kidzworld leaders and team, because in order to make Saturday night a complete service, they stepped up and made sacrifices that were huge.

This last weekend, we had four new things going on. A new series, Change; a new service time for the early service (15 minutes earlier); a whole new Sunday service at 12:30 p.m.; and Clayhouse (our high school experience) moving to coincide with the new service time.

It was great! First of all, thanks to all of you who were willing to move to Saturday night. If you were there, I don ‘t need to say anything. Nearly a thousand people worshipped in the Saturday XL service. That represents at least a doubling of that service. So you can imagine what I was thinking. “Great, 500 people moved from the 11:00 service to Saturday night, now we’ll have more room at 11. Not hardly, we had to bring in chairs. Total attendance for the weekend was almost 3700!

Hey, I’m not being Pollyannaish about this, but I have to tell you what it looks like to me. It seems when we do something bold to make room for more people, God fills up the space with people looking for Him!

And hey, this isn’t just about big numbers, remember every single one of those 3700 people is someone God loved enough to send his son to die for! Many people accepted Jesus this weekend in all of our environments.

To all of you who volunteer, every one who has altered your schedule to help us, you have my heartfelt gratitude. I’m sure Jesus will thank you properly someday! Wonder what God’s cooking up next.

Have a great Tuesday,


Crossing the Finish Line

By | NewSpring | 4 Comments

I never was much of a runner, but I do know that running a race can be sometimes exhilarating and sometimes exhausting — maybe even simultaneously. However the race goes, crossing the finish line is an accomplishment!

Many of you have gone with us on Odyssey ’08 — a journey through the Bible. Even though I’ve heard from some of you along the way, I am anxious to hear and read your reflections now that we are approaching the finish line.

Was it a good trip? Did you learn anything new? Did God speak to you through what you read?

If you’ve been on Odyssey ’08 — even only part of the way, please add your comment to this post and give us your reflections.

Who Am I?

By | Family, Just Thoughts, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

Have you ever awakened from a deep sleep and felt the need to ask the nearest person what your name was? Although I haven’t been sleeping deeply (thanks to a head cold), I have been spinning with excitement over all things going on in my life and I’m a little dizzy.

What does it take to make me dizzy? Some major milestone events, lots of new friends, a family holiday and a head cold.

Our Discovery Reception on November 16 was absolutely packed with over 100 people attending. We had to abandon our usual arrangement of beautifully decorated tables and set up rows of chairs, which were all taken and we had to add more during the morning.

Last weekend, four new Starting Point groups launched (which is a record for number of new groups beginning on one weekend). I am leading two of the four and it is a thrill to get to know all of the group members and hear their stories. I love taking the Starting Point journey again with brand new friends!

I’m thrilled that last weekend we had almost 3,100 people at NewSpring, although we are now facing some serious logistical challenges. Everyone in the 11 o’clock service was so kind to move in close and help everyone find a seat. The traffic is also a challenge as we dismiss the 9:30 service and welcome those coming to the 11 o’clock service.

After a couple of days of long staff meetings, we prepared for company to arrive at our house for the holiday. Jonathan, Wendy & Cheyenne arrived on Wednesday and I’ve had so much fun cooking with and playing with Cheyenne. Of course everyone else was great to visit with as well, but being Nana is the most fun!

I hope everyone has had a lovely Thanksgiving and returns safely home from their travels. We have such an exciting future together here at NewSpring!

Mary Alice

My List

By | Family, Just Thoughts, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I’m reminded of many things I’m thankful for:

  • I’m not trying to pack and move over the holiday weekend like we did last year
  • All of our family is planning to be together for the holiday
  • All of our family is safe and healthy and we are looking forward to the newest additions to be added in 2009 — one by birth and one by marriage
  • I have met MANY new friends at NewSpring during the last 12 months
  • Over 100 people came to Discovery last Sunday
  • 43 people are signed up to begin Starting Point this weekend
  • Most of all, I’m thankful for the wonderful memories of the past, the delicious blessings of the present and the indescribable future life God has in store for me along with all those in His family

I pray that each of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!