Tomorrow I am leaving with our staff at 9 am for our annual Staff/Elder’s retreat.  I am excited because we are taking tomorrow all day as a staff till dinner to do nothing but think, reflect, pray, and spend time with God.  It is really easy (especially with my personality) to want to talk strategy, money, facilities, changes, and everything else.  I am thankful for a lead pastor who can hit the pause button and make sure we are all focused in the right direction.  Please pray for our staff and elder’s this weekend if you think of it.  I will be back Saturday afternoon to delight the blog world with what I have learned and been challenged with.



Courtesy of advanced planning, an intern, and delegation of speaking responsibilities I found myself with a little spare time before Wednesday night chaos kicks off here around 5 o’clock.  I thought I would give you all the run down of what our night will look like and even put some “resources” up on Google Docs.  I put resources in quotations because the stuff I put up is a far, sad cry from a Newspring or Willow Creek type thing.


Here is the game plan for tonight


Here is the Powepoint


And Here is where we got our graphics and countdown.


We are making February love month because of Valentines Day. We are starting the month early tonight.  Jim Heffner is handling all the speaking since he is 1) awesome and over qualified and 2) I could disappear at any moment if my wife goes into labor.


Here is the plan…


January 30 Love-definition-foundation

February 6 Dating

February 13     How far is too far?

February 20     Marriage


I know we all read blogs and don’t comment, but I am asking for help from people outside of my box.  I have some worship songs that really rocked me through the fall and now I need new stuff. I only download singles of of itunes so I could be missing songs from artists I already know about or albums I have pieces to. I like (Steve) Fee, Hillsong United, Charlie Hall, etc.  So please tell me what artists, songs I need and can’t live without.


It’s been a while since I reported on a book I read…    

I recently finished Simply Strategic Stuff: Help for Leaders Downing in the Details of Running a Church by Tim Stevens and Tony Morgan.         

They wrote this book when they were both at Granger Community Church in Indiana.  Now the book title might make you think I am on the verge of a breakdown but don’t worry it is really just a book that helps you get better at what you do.  The book is written in 99 helpful hints that are all 1-2 pages long on easy insightful topics.         

I would highly recommend it to anyone holding a position at a church big or little for two reasons.  The first is that it is written in short little essays so it gets to the point and doesn’t bore you which is great for a short attention span like mine.  The second reason it was good is because it covers so many topics that span ministry categories (money, staffing) and also church at large stuff too.       

Here were the two biggest takeaways from the book for me…  

1) Maintain an Appropriate Span of Care

This dealt with the amount of people you can effectively oversee and shepherd well.  I was already learning this but this was the final nail that I need to put mid-level management in place to run my volunteer youth staff effectively.  They offered this insight“You are responsible for to many people if you….

  • Don’t have time to listen to them
  • Don’t have time to encourage them
  • Don’t have time to return their phone calls and emails
  • Don’t have time to pray for them
  • Don’t know their kids and pets names
  • Don’t have time in your schedule to meet with each of them on a regular basis (for some that may be necessary daily: for others, weekly: and for others twice a month).
  • Don’t’ have time to talk about life and hobbies because you’re always talking business.”

  “Everyone in your span of care needs you to give T.I.M.E. to them.  That is you should Touch, Inspire, Motivate, and Encouarage….Decide to delegate Authority so you can lead with strength and health.”  

2) Watch the 3 Lids

They said that churches usually overlook or ignore three very important areas; Parking, Children, and Seats. To keep a church growing and on vision you have to address the lids that are holding you back.  As soon as you address one it will present others.   

“If you aren’t able to address these lids on a continual basis your church will eventually stop growing.” 

(The authors blogs are linked to the right)

Paranoid Dad Syndrome

Well it happened.  I knew it would as the day got closer.  I am officially paranoid about being away from my wife.  She is teaching a girls bible study right now and is only 3 miles up the road, but I am afraid she will go into labor.  My mind wants to tell myself that she isn’t due for like 16 days but I still can’t help but get worked up.  I went into the Y tonight and left my phone in the car and worried the whole time.  When I got home I got in the shower and didn’t have my phone in the bathroom.  I guess the moral of the story is if you can’t calm down, take your phone everywhere.


I can’t handle it any longer, I just want to go a day in Christian subculture without someone referencing U2 or Lord of the Rings.  I know I might not be allowed to be a pastor and say this, but I must confess something to the blogging world…

I honestly don’t really care about U2 and I have never seen ANY of the Lord of the Rings films.

I don’t ignore their success, but I am not making a golden image of either one anytime soon. What popular things do you not care about? Please leave a comment and share.


My Grace Church homie and Zondervan author Kary Oberbrunner and I are traveling to Catalyst in October because we have never been to it and are both tired of missing out.  For what it is worth I am driving my church’s van and want to fill it with people who want to make it a fun, memorable, learning experience.  So if you want to go, gimme a holla.

I thought I would write list a quick list of people I wouldn’t mind meeting if they were there…in no particular order!

1. Andy Stanley 

2. Francis Chan

3. Steven Furtick

4. Gary Lamb

5. Tony Morgan 

6. Carlos Whitaker 

7. Corey Mann

8. Tim Stevens

9. Joshua Griffin

10. Tad Grandstaff

11. Tim Schmoyer

12. Michael Lukaszewski

I am too lazy to link to them all tonight since I am still not feeling good but google their names if you want. They all blog and that is why I want to meet them because they speak into me weekly! 


Well kids I’m back!  I haven’t been posting much and haven’t even had internet for 5 days at my house (haven’t been at the church much either).  Three weeks ago we took possession of our new house.  The busy ministry lifestyle along with the Kalahari retreat made it take forever to get it painted and prepped to move in.  Finally this past Friday my amazing wife said it was go time and so we called our amazing small group who showed up with 3 trucks and moved us in one night.  A few odd trips later we find ourselves with everything in the house.  I just have to sort through the pile of boxes in the front room and make it so both cars can fit in the garage.  I will put some pics up once my wife says it looks good enough and I am allowed.  Better do it soon or I will be putting up baby pics in the same post.  We are only 3 weeks away from the estimated birth of Malachi!  Thanks for the patience during my lack of posting and the love to ask where I was….I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth I was just moving.  Stat tuned this week for some great posts I have been saving up!


Could it be that the one and only Carlos Whitaker of Sandals and Buckhead (Northpoint) Church fame really visited my blog and made a comment?  It is true.  I was participating in an entry he did that anyone who commented and asked a question got it answered.  It looks like he popped in to see if I was a stalker.  If you haven’t yet, check out Carlos’ Blog he is one of the best out there at ministry blogging.