Thursday, January 31, 2008

what happened to fun...

When people start yaking about work and fun many of us just shut down. Many of us work at jobs we hate and honetly the best part of our week is Friday when we clock out. I have had jobs like that, walked in those shoes but hope to never put them on again. When i think back about work I think of so many times when we made what we did fun. Yes even at Food Lion when I was in college we had fun while we knocked out our 40 hours during the week. Fun was always relational...yes I connected with the people I worked with and we made it fun. Even as a teen my brother and I found ways to have fun while we worked our rears off on the farm. The thing with the work idea is that it was not our idea. God made it right off the start and gave man work right at creation. Adam was created and began the process of naming the animals...WORK. Can you imagine being the first human to see a elephant and have to name it. That had to be a fun job. We were all made to work, to create, to add value to the world around us by what we "do".

With that said this week at staff meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversery of Lego our co-pastor brought out a box of Legos and we all went to work creating what you see in that picture and yes that is Daniel Doss as a backdrop. We all helped, we all felt a little dumb and first, and we all laughed in the process. We were in staff meeting and had fun. Let me type that again. In staff meeting at a church we had fun. There are not many times where staff meeting and fun merge but many times lately we have found ourelves having fun being with each other. It seems like every time we have fun together we get closer to trusting each other and enjoying the work we do more.

Just a reminder this week that we can relax and have fun in the church world. Our staffs our churches our weekly gathering can be fun and should be a place where leaders want to work and volunteer. We miss it when we do not help our people have fun. When we enjoy what we do in the church we are free to serve in the joy of the Lord at every turn. We are free to bless others with kindness and a smile because we love what we do. Because of a email conversation this week between a few pastors and leaders in the area I have been reminded of how quick FUN can be zapped out of serving God in the church. Problems, doctrinal issues, distrust, arguments and busy work can drain the joy out of serving and being with other followers of Christ. I know, I know there are times to be serious and focus, but come on and lets have fun while we serve the one true God who made us. Today is a new day - live in it to the fullest and take some time to have fun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

always influencing...

As I go to bed each night I still find myself taking just a few minutes to talk to God before I go to sleep. Somewhere back there I started it and I just can not seem to stop now. I learned a long time ago that it could not be long because I will go fast to sleep right in the middle of prayer but I just take a few minutes just to pray for my girls, whatever is coming up the next day, and take some time to say thanks to God for another day. Last night I was praying just as any night and I found myself asking God a really dumb question. Have you ever asked God something really stupid? I know, you can ask God anything...but this question really seemed dumb after I asked it. I prayed, " God give me chances to influence my girls for You." As soon as I said it I had an OH MAN moment, It was a "why did I ask that" moment because my brain was taken over with all the chances in a day when I get to influence my kids. I was asking God to do something he was already continually doing. Every moment with my girls is a moment to influence. They are always watching me...they get mad like I do, laugh like I do, sing crazy songs like I do, treat others like I do, ask questions like I do so it makes sense that when I live out my faith in Christ in front of them I will be influencing them. My girls are watching me, they are learning from me. Every moment is a moment to influence them and point them to the God I love, to my Savior Christ. Our kids will embrace God when they God become real in our every day life. We never have to ask for a chance to influence, God is giving us the chance every moment.

Friday, January 11, 2008

office notes...

This may be a church "office" first! I got to work last Thursday trying to get back from time off with the Holidays and right in our hall was a ton of inspirational pictures on the wall. Yes the picture you see on this blog is from the Grace Community office and it is a huge montage of pictures and quotes from the tv show the office. Yes, we all watch it. Yes, when we saw these up on the wall we all fell over laughing. They are crazy and you can get the pictures from I think or HP's web site...not sure. I am so thrilled to work with the people I work with. Office atmosphere and and environments that people enjoy do not happen by accident. We attempt to hire leaders at every level for every position and I am learning that the environment that leaders work in matters so much. People will not be productive in negative or tight atmospheres. Leaders must be listened to, leaders must have input, leaders must have direction and information in order to lead others! we are trying to create that kind of environment at GCC, we hope people want to come to work - not dread it. We hope people feel valued and supported and free to work and dream with passion. we are gonna keep trying. Thanks to the guys in our office for making work fun. Working in and for GOD's economy should be the best environment in the work to be in. To all of you in the "church" who lead others. lets keep trying to create environments that work so others can work.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

hello 2008...

The first post of the year is always fun. This will be year 2 of my blogging life! I have enjoyed this during year one. For some reason it helps me to come on this thing and hammer out some thoughts and some memories from my crazy mind. I have enjoyed it, hope to keep it up for year 2. It has reached habit stage! I actually have stuff happen and think...i need to blog that out. HA! Many times it does not make it here as I forget the thought or the idea but hey, forgive me being dad, husband and minister can keep a guys mind hopping. We have enjoyed the first few days of 2008. Spent a few days just hanging out with folks we love and watching football. Go titans and vols, I am so stoked with Tennessee football, it is good to be a titan and vol fan. I also got to play Weii for the first time. OK, I love it, it is a great system. Love tennis! It rocks. Golf is sweet also. Hope to get one of those for our family next Christmas.

Dec. 30 something odd happened in my church...did not GATHER. For one Sunday we actually did not have services. I have never experience this! Let me explain, at Grace Community we have not had services the last Sunday of the year since the launch. It does seem odd to not have services but it has been an amazing time of refreshment for our folks. We had a ton of choices for the day. What would we do with a day with no service at our church. We decided to not go to another church but rather just have some folks over to eat breakfast. It was wild to look around the room on a Sunday ad just BE together with no plan. Yes it was amazing, to have one day for our children and preschool leaders to be able to rest, to relax, to not have to prepare. As I thought about the benefit of the day I could not help but think what a blessing it was for all of us who invest into the lives of kids at our church. We have an amazing group of people who love on kids! it was great to give them one week during the year to REST, to catch a breath, to remember all that God has done. It was so incredible to look around and hang out with people who invest so much during the week. At the end of the day I came away thankful once again for my church family. I can not wait to gather Jan. 6 and see how God works.

One last thing...reading Unchristian right now by Dave Kinneman and Gabe Lyons! WOW, you need to go get this book and do some reading. The book looks at the perception people outside the church have of Christianity and it is blowing me away. To have this kind of research is amazing and eye opening for me as a Christ follower and a leader in a local church. Go get it but be ready to be challenged.