You Don’t Go to Church

Please… Please…
Let’s agree together, not to say,
“I went to Church.” “I’m going to Church.” “Where do you go to Church?”… “Church wasn’t very good today.”

It may seem trivial, but You are the Church. We are the Church. The Body of Believers, the called out ones, the assembly, that gathers regularly as the Church.

Let’s agree together, to say,
“I am the Church.” “I’m going to worship at TMCC.” “Where do you gather as the Church to worship?”… “I wasn’t very good today.”

People put this ‘idea’ on an experience, and tend to forget that we are the experience. It deflects the idea of “I didn’t Worship” … to “Worship wasn’t good”, and what does that mean… the performance by other people wasn’t very good for my liking.

Fellowshipping in real conversation beyond “hey, how was your week, good, and yours?”.
Hearing people’s joys and troubles.
Praying earnestly for one another.
Studying God’s word.

There is no pressure for “Excellence” at “Church” to be “Amazing”.
That’s a false reality. That’s a false experience. That can be marketed. That can be contrived.

Today too many of us hide behind this notion of “Excellence”- which simply means the best performers, the best speakers, the best sound system, the best everything… for more costs, higher salaries, competition, and more churn… the underbelly’s churn. Our desire for an “Excellent Church Experience” is so far off… and directly creates the underbelly’s churn. Stop yourself for just a moment… pause… and recognize, you don’t want to “know” about all the stuff behind the scenes, the turmoil, the drama… but you are directly creating the churn by desiring the best ‘performance’.

Mostly watching, then singing to songs, acquiring appropriate goose bumps… is not much different than going to a U2 Concert. That simply is not Church. Jump off that ship. It’s the wrong ship!

Being patient with an impatient person, chatting with someone so different, crying over a niece’s lymphoma, raising your hands and crying to God, flipping the pages and marking in your Bible, laughing with a friend about falling off his dirt bike, delaying your lunch to help put away the chairs, sending a note to a parent with Parkinson’s…

That’s the Church. You don’t go there.
That’s you.

Wedding Application

Application for Christian Wedding Ceremony TMCC 2014


Twelve Mile Creek Church

Application for Pastor Mark Patterson to Perform a Christian Wedding Ceremony

Groom full name:       ______________________

Bride full name:         ______________________


Rehearsal Date:          ______________________

Rehearsal Time:         ______________________

Wedding Date             ______________________

Wedding Time:          ______________________


This will be one of the greatest days of your lives.  The Covenant of Marriage Ceremony will be all about God and the two of you.  You will be making a Covenant in the grace of Jesus Christ that will last a lifetime.


It can sometimes be a challenge for you to find a Christian Minister to preside over the Wedding Ceremony – this may not be the city where your church is located, or your Pastors’ calendars are already filled, or you may not currently be connected to a local church.  I would be more than happy and excited to assist you on your wedding day.  I want to do all I can to encourage you in this ceremony and help you make this commitment last forever.  I will preside over the wedding in a sensitive manner that highlights God and your commitment.


I will provide you will a little bio about me.  Please feel free to ask any questions, I want you to get to know me and feel comfortable if you decide to have me preside as the Pastor.  You do not want any ‘surprises’ on your big day.



Pastor Mark Patterson is a Pastor at TwelveMileCreekChurch in Weddington, NC.


I am an Ordained Christian Pastor having earned my Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary.  I have served vocationally in the local church since 1991, for over 23 years.  I have served in positions as Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Executive Pastor, and currently as Pastor.  (Our website is:


I grew up in Greenville, SC and attended Clemson University where I became a Christian at Fellowship of Christian Athletes my junior year in 1989.  God called me to Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY where I earned my Masters of Divinity from 1992-1995.  I am happily married and we adopted our daughter from India in 2006, she is the light of our lives.  Theologically I am an orthodox-evangelical with a contemporary, culturally sensitive world view.  I perform traditional or contemporary, high church or casual, Christian Wedding Ceremonies.


I will give you a Wedding Template for the Ceremony and we will discuss and change according to your wishes.  Some times couples are concerned about the 2 required counseling sessions.  The first will be a face-to-face get to know one another meeting.  I will also ask you some questions that are intended to make certain you are discussing and preparing for your life journey together.  It’s not the answers you provide for me that matter so much, but the intention is to make certain that you two are discussing those important issues that you will face together in life.  Generally out of 20 questions most couples have discussed 90%, but it’s the 10% that are helpful to continue the deepening of your understanding of one another.  The first meeting will last approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.  The second meeting will be to follow up together and then plan details concerning the ceremony.




You do not have to pass any spiritual tests with me. 

My only requirements are that you, a man and a woman,

1) desire a Christian Wedding and

2) desire Christ in your lives as you make this Covenant before Him. 


Help me get to know you better.  Please answer all of the following questions.


1)  What is the status of your relationship with God in Jesus Christ right now? (both fill out, use back too)  _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


2)  At least 2 pre-marital counseling sessions with the pastor are required, are you both willing to attend at a convenient location in South Charlotte?         _______________________


3)  Are you willing to meet casually for coffee for a 45 minute time with me 8-12months after the wedding just so I can hear how life is (I’m interested in you)?   ___________


4)  Where will the wedding be located? (physical address, name of church or facility) ___________________________________________________________

*Please attach driving directions in Charlotte, NC, other cities would need to be discussed.


5)  Where will the wedding reception be located? (physical address, name of church or facility) ___________________________________________________________

*Please attach driving directions in Charlotte, NC, other cities would need to be discussed.


6)  Email addresses (both)_______________________________________


7)  Telephone (both) ____________________________________________


8)  Physical addresses of bride and groom (before and after wedding).


Before: Bride, ___________________________________          Groom,________________________________


After: Bride, _____________________________________

Groom, _______________________________


9)  Parents names, city living in, and phone numbers:



10)  Are you divorced or widow(er)?  ___________

11)  Divorce is very painful, most describe it like a death in the family.  Statistics reveal over 50% are divorced.  The goal is to support this marriage so it lasts forever.  If you have been divorced, please briefly help me understand your previous situation?  (My goal is not to pry, but to encourage you.)





12)  Do you have children?  (Names/ages?)  ___________________________________________________



13)  Do you understand that you must apply for your Marriage License?  (The couple acquires this from the Court House.)    ___________________



14)  The night of the Wedding, after I fill out the paper work on the Wedding License, would you like me to then give it to someone of your choosing so they can mail it, if so list name, or would you prefer I mail it?  (It must be mailed within 10 days of the ceremony.)  ______________________________________________________


*Pastor Wedding honorarium is a suggested $150, The entire $150 will go as a donation to Christian Ministry in India to support orphaned children, please write check to Pastor Mark Patterson, this honorarium for orphans is for two pre-marital counseling meetings, rehearsal, wedding ceremony, drive time, and preparation.


*If the Wedding is outside of the Charlotte area, please kindly pay for any needed hotel accommodations and costs for gasoline due to travel.  There are no other costs to the couple.  ($75 non-refundable is due before the 2nd counseling session.  The remaining amounts are due at the wedding rehearsal.)



Your Signature here agreeing that the Cost Structure is Acceptable to you.                        


TMCC Beliefs:   a. The Bible:  authoritative, final, complete revelation of God.   b.  The Trinity:  One God-Three Persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  c. People:  created in His image male and female, for relationship with Him, fallen in sin, redeemed only by Jesus Christ. d. Jesus Christ:  God in the flesh, 100% man 100% God, sinless, death on a cross, bodily resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven.   e. Salvation:  in Jesus Christ by grace through faith.   f. The Church:  God’s people, his Bride, the Body, God’s representation here on earth in His ‘absence’.  g. Works:  fruit reveals salvation, never earns it.  h. Judgment:  those in Christ to reward with God, those without Christ to separation without God, final.


Divine Origin

Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, states that the Old Testament “was not written by one man, nor did it drop down from heaven as assumed by fundamentalists. It is not a magical book, but a collection of authoritative texts of apparently divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing.”