“Leaders are Learners, and Learners are Readers”

I like to read books. Simply put books teach me and stretch me. I like to expose myself to things outside my experience and daily routine. Because of the craziness of fall and startup and a new youth room I realized that I wasn’t taking time to step back and think and learn each week. I hadn’t thought about leadership or ministry philosophy and I am committed to thinking on those things regularly. I have gone Amazon crazy and decided that this was my month to read books, which means the recommended reading and wishlist pages are going to be undergoing changes.

In the last three weeks I have gone through….

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
There is not enough I can say about this book. Pretty much everyone serves with a team in life. It might be our family, at work, or in ministry (volunteer or paid), but we all need to learn to function as best we can with our team. This book is so money. I am not gonna give nerdy quotes about it, those are all over the web so google them if you want them. All I will say is buy it!

Communicating For A Change
Andy Stanley is a genius and a great communicator so of course this book is great. I loved all his other books because they are not too long, clear, engaging, and applicable. This is the one book ministry communicators for the next generation MUST read.

Making Vision Stick
Why did I get this book? This book was pimped by so many blogs I read that I had to read it. It is only 74 pages (a bathroom reader type book). I love Andy and I want to learn about making vision stick. The book is a quick slam dunk that I read in the night and found refreshing.

The Next Generation Leader-Andy Stanley
The Big Idea-Dave Ferguson
In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day-Mark Batterson
Good To Great-Jim Collins
The 360 Degree Leader-John Maxwell
The Creative Leader-Ed Young


Sunday Night Recap

Today was a crazy day. Here was my schedule…

8:45 Prep/Setup for Middle Hour during first service
10:00 Middle Hour
Lesson Topic: Week Three of our series on Ordinances: The Love Feast and The Bread and The Cup

Attendance: Average

Volunteer Involvement: Above Average. Our adults stepped up big for Middle Hour and responded to the below challenge

Lesson Quality: Above Average

Length of Lesson: 15 minutes

Student Response: Above Average

I planned to teach on communion since we had our church-wide fall communion tonight. I originally planned on going through the the two pieces of communion as a group, but opted not too. I realized I was coddling them while giving them an excuse not to come to communion later in the night. Instead we parked in I Corinthians 11 and talked on the importance of communion. We challenged them to examine their hearts in small group today and asked HSM to show up with a major presence tonight at communion.
It went great and we had a large number of staff and students at communion tonight (many for the first time).

The other parts of my day…

2-4 Praise Band practice-This group are really coming into their own and I am excited for this Wednesday

4-5:30 Student Leadership-It was a rushed meeting, but these guys are really jumping into the driver’s seat. Today they planned pieces of our fall retreat, upcoming Wednesday nights, and made contact with the first time visitors from the last month. Our assimilation process is far from perfect but we have found great success by just making contact with new people. I am a nerdy guy who crunches numbers and attendance and so far 84% of our first timers came again after we followed up wth them.

5:30-7:30 Communion-A great time of seeing our students and staff celebrate what Christ did for us.

Another Sunday that made me realize (insert shameless gushing) I love my life, my church and my ministry.

Pre Wednesday Box Score

Box Score for October 23, 2007

Here’s the “box score” for this Wednesday at HSM.

Music: Musis will be lead by our ever-evolving band.  Songs are Blessed be Your Name, We are Hungry, Amazing Grace (my chains are gone), and From the Inside Out

Message: Upside Down Way of God 3-“The Long Way”

Service Highlights: Our group and a school we represent have been in a trial this week so our message will address that as well as all believers who may struggle to see where God is taking them in tough times.


Tonight is date night. Men older than me keep telling me to never stop dating my wife so I do my best.  It’s easy to get excited about hanging out with your best friend.  Here is a picture we took a few weeks ago on date night at Easton.


Sunday Night Recap

Well some people call it mind dump but I like to think recap makes me more civilized.
Our Sundays are not quite like a Wednesday so the evaluation of “success” looks different

Lesson Topic: Ordinances Series: Week 2 on Baptism

Lesson Quality: Average

Length of Lesson: 18 Minutes

Volunteer Involvement: Great! Our small group leaders are really taking their role serious and building relationships and investing in students lives.

Student Response: We will see…hopefully students who have not yet taken the step of baptism will embrace it.


I got tagged by Brittany so based on the higher power of internet peer pressure I have no choice but to do this. Maybe it will entertain someone?


Four jobs I’ve had:
Semi-trailer repair
Paint brush/roller factory wroker
Tribology lab techinician at an orthopedic company
Youth Ministry

Four places I’ve lived: Well ok, my life is so awesomely stable I only have three unless I count Winona Lake twice
Sterling, OH
Winona Lake, IN-in 2 different college dorms
Winona Lake, IN-in Lampost married housing
Columbus (Ghetto Dublin 43016), OH

Four movies I love:
The Original Will Wonka
Revenge of the Nerds (the made for TV version I grew up on)
Catch Me if You Can
Dirty Work

Four movies I’d like to see:Can you tell I don’t see alot of movies?
The new Die Hard
Oceans 13
Pireates 3
Fantastic Four 2

Four favorite foods
Mashed Potatoes
Pumpkin Pie
Jersey Mike’s subs

Four weird things about me:
I always have gum in my pocket. Usually two packs because when I get down to like 3-4 pieces I feel naked and anxious.
I am a an organized list guy. Everything has its place for me, some would say OCD.
I put painful amounts of salt on steak when I eat it.
My family had a band growing up.

Four places I’d rather be: I like my life but travel is fun
LA-always looking to go back there
New York City-climbing back up the list
London-always wanted to go
Italy-Need to visit my cousin

Former Small Group Leader

Someone asked me today “Hey which small group do you lead?”

This may sound twisted but I proudly answered “none”.

This year our ministry has undergone what I would call a pretty significant overhaul. Not that things were “bad” or “wrong” when I took over from Kary Oberbrunner, in face let me take this chance to say that I am convinced that he couldn’t have been more patient, helpful, and gracious, in our time of overlapping transition. He gave me a healthy grounded ministry with many great developed student leaders. It’s just that finally after being at Grace Church for 18 months HSM reflects my vision, my heart, and my gifting.

Small groups have shifted to Middle Hour between our two Sunday morning services from their old spot on Wednesday nights. This has made Wednesday night (courtesy of our great new youth room which I still need to do a blog post about) more outreach focused because of media and atmosphere. Small groups have become a time on Sunday for our core group to grow and learn together.

I have always been told that a church (or student ministry) should position itself for growth to the next stage at ministry. This doesn’t mean that you look ahead of where you are, but you can at least make sure you are in a position to grow.

Last year I lead a small group. I loved my group but in the midst of setting up, planning our night, leading games, and speaking to our group, I don’t think that I was a good leader or able to put forth the effort that a group deserves.

This year I set out to get enough capable small group leaders in place so that I could focus on speaking and big picture things for our group. So far it has freed me up to be able to function inside my gifts more. I am just getting used to it and still figure it out but I think by next year this will have our group moving in the right direction.

Wednesday Night Recap-This Week

Well this was an awesome week for HSM. We had our second biggest night of the year and lots of new people.
If you haven’t heard The Undeserving yet, do yourself a favor and check our their myspace.
I will try to post some more pics later of our basement, but here is one from facebook for now.
I like to think of it as my MTV cribs episode.