Monday, June 30, 2008

collaboration...and diving boards

In family news...this is daughter jumped off the diving board this weekend. It was one of those dad moments that was wild. seeing your little girl be brave and go for it is amazing. I pray that as a dad I can help my girl embrace confidence. Kozbi plus God can do anything...I want her to know that. it was such a cool moment.

Ok now just one quick thought that became real to me again. We are so much better at what we do when we listen and learn from those around us. Collaboration is what I am talking about. Here is what happened today. Our mission lab team came in to the office, asked me some questions, I left the room to work on other stuff, then they totally planned out a huge part of our missions effort in New Orleans next week. What they tacked I could have done on my own but here is the trick...they did a better job than I could have ever done. I was amazed at what they came up with. I am better at leading here at GCC and at relevant when I lead WITH the people around me. Our team brings so much to the table. The people i serve with are talented people who do incredible things in Clarksville every single day. It is so cool to see them invest their passion and talent right back into what God is doing here at GCC. Just a reminder if you are out there trying to live life and lead in a bubble all alone. QUIT trying to be superman or superwoman and learn to lead with others around you. Leading others mean you are empowering others to become more than they thought possible. Lead, listen and stop trying to everything by yourself!

Friday, June 27, 2008

music and kids...well my kids!

You are reading a guy who loves music and is trying to help his kids learn to love music. Chelsea and I have discovered that music is a powerful way to teach kids about...well...anything. For real, make a song about something and they will learn it. yes i made up a pee pee song for Kelyn, it is sweet! It is amazing to hear our girls sing the music that Chelsea listens to in the car, they know the words and they can not even read yet. So here is why I writing the short thing. Our kids go to sleep listening to music and it just dawned on me that I can make them a disk to listen to as they go to bed. I get to help them grab hold of the greatness of God as they go to sleep. I just finished the CD and it is full of North Point live, Hillsong United, Eddie Kirkland, Chris Tomlin, Building 429, Leeland, and maybe a little coldplay (just kidding for now!) but get the power of my girls going to sleep with this music on their brain. It is our job to help our kids understand the love of God and music is a powerful tool to help kids GET WHO GOD IS! Just an idea I wanted to throw out if your kids if they go to bed listening to music.

chicago trip and rethink book...

Chelsea and i spent three days in Chicago this week and had an amazing time. Just uploaded some of our pictures on my facebook account. This is our second time since we have had kids to get away to a city and just take it in. I know it is never convenient to get away from it all but these trips have been so great for both of us. No kids, no email, no work, just us and it is great. It is always a great reminder that God gave me an amazing woman in Chelsea and she is just great to spend time with. We always come back loving our kids more and thinking clearer than when we left. Chicago in the summer is just great, go take a trip!

Just finished RETHINK by Steve Wright. If you work with teenagers in the local church then you need to go buy or borrow the book and check it out. We have been working on this process here at Grace Community from the beginning in student ministry but it was a great reminder of our goal in working with teens. I have some thoughts about the book i want to hash out before I blog about it. For other thoughts about family ministry go to to see an organization dreaming about a different way to do ministry to families.

Monday, June 23, 2008

gcc blog this week...

We are experimenting a little this week here at GCC. At we will have a daily blog leading up to this weekends message in the gathering. Yea, we are hoping that some of you will go there each day, think through the book of Ester and then check out the message on Sunday. This is just a trial run for us but we feel that there are many of us who want to be asking questions all week and not just on Sunday. This is just one way to help all of us connect better with the message on Sunday. I am not sure about you but for me I am always looking for a new way to explore the Bible. We can not wait to see how it works. Go check it out. If you want you can get the blog emailed to you each day also. Just go check it out on the website.

This has been an incredible summer so far at GCC. Yea, we know a bunch of you are out on vacation but we hope the weeks you are there with your family you are really connecting. This summer we are using the superheroes theme in both our kids area and as our guide in the adult gathering. Yes of k-5th graders and our adults are looking at the same passage of scripture each Sunday. We go in a adult driven direction each week with the adults but it seems to be connecting. The series has really gone well so far. This is just an experiment, but we think our kids and parents will be able to talk about God on a different level each week. This week Kozbi and I both talked about Jacob and Esau, it was incredible. Thanks to the guys at NorthPoint for releasing this summer series to help us jump off with this idea. Our kids are going crazy with the series, they love it. You can check out this series for kids at .

Thrilled we get to experiment! All of us who are followers of Christ need to be on the front lines of trusting God to help us find what He is doing next. God always has a new thing coming. He is always thinking of next before we are. Experimenting in our weekly environments helps us to stay in that place of faith we need do be. The moment we figure it all out is the time where we need to be ready to go backwards in the process of making disciples. Francis Chan asks in his new book Crazy Love and age old questions. What are we doing in our church that takes faith? What are we doing that we can not do if God does not show up and move? Hard questions but they do lead us to step out and see what is next and try new things. God for it, try something, trust God, follow His lead. God made us in His image to be create and dream. Lets go for it! I would much rather try something and fail than sit back and complain about a problem or issue.

Heading to Chicago this week with my wife! Oh it is gonna be fun, will have some stuff from the windy city for sure.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

summer weekend...

It has been a great weekend here. not much going on and we are in a little break from camps and trips with the student ministry. Get to be at GCC for the next few Sundays and then we have our Mission trip to New Orleans. The camp experience is so great but man it is good to be home and it has been good to hang out here at the house with the girls. Chelsea took a job as the director of the Cumberland Presbyterian Preschool here in town. She is excited and was working on some curriculum stuff for the fall and she found this book that said March 25, my birthday, was national pancake day! To be honest, I was thrilled. One more reason to go to IHOP! I wanted to make sure it was true so i went to the source of all truth, Google! What did I find...the worksheet she found was not true. I was excited for nothing. No pancakes! In honor of the great day, March 25 i went and found all the incredible things that are celebrated on my birthday!

Holidays and observances
In Christianity, March 25 is typically celebrated as the day of the Annunciation so long as it does not fall on a Sunday or during Holy Week or Easter Week.
Hilaria, day of resurrection of Attis, a Phrygian deity
Historic start of the new year (Lady Day) in England, Wales, Ireland, and the future United States until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. (The year 1751 began on 25 March; the year 1752 began on 1 January.)
Maryland Day;
Greek Independence Day;
Freedom Day in Belarus;
Mother's Day in Slovenia.
One of the four Quarter days in Ireland and England.
Saint Dysmas, the 'Good Thief'
Saint Humbert
World Vegetarian Day

yes this was all from wikipedia! the second place to find all the info you need!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the backdoor...

Have you ever been in a meeting at church and heard people ask...How do we close the backdoor at our church? Translation - HOW DO WE KEEP ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO COME FROM LEAVING? I have wrestled with this question for years at every church I have served at. Maybe we have been asking the wrong question. Maybe there are times people are supposed to leave. Maybe my church is not where God desires that family or person to be. How can the church I serve at be all things to all people? There are simply times people have to move on. A neighbor asked me about churches in Clarksville, I told her about several that were really making a difference, not just GCC. We are not alone in this mission to reach Clarksville with the love of Jesus and we do not have all the answers. God designed the body of Christ to work together not compete. Just maybe there are times people need to leave and maybe our focus should be on the thousands of people around us who have not discovered Jesus. Here are links to three parts of a discussion Tony Morgan had about closing the backdoor, check it out...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

new coldplay...yes!

Ok, I admit it this is from a fan's point of view...the new album from Coldplay was worth the wait. Bought it on presale from itunes and got the first listen today as I worked. I have loved this band since a friend of mine let me here the song Yellow off the Parachutes album. That song became my song as we went through the birth of our first daughter and I have been hooked ever since. Love this new album because they made us wait, yes I said it...they took their time and made a complete project. I am learning to hate the record industry and how they rush and push bands to put out half baked stuff that is not ready so they can simply capture momentum when a artists hits the radio (I have given up on radio, if it is not ESPN just give me my mp3 player). Ok, back off the rant, as I listened to the album I liked the how the band took risks, added a mix of new sounds, and put songs on this album continue to make you think. Love the band, love this project an can not wait to see them in Atlanta this fall.

Made it back from camp Monday. It was a great week but I am glad to be home. We found our middle school camp location and God really showed up in our lives. It was a great week and I really learned a ton about just letting God do His thing. His plan is so much better than any idea or thought we have. Looking forward to our camps in 2009, yes I started working on the flow today. As for Relevant we have one more trip, a mission trip to New Orleans with some high school students. It has been a great summer.
I have started a blog list with some ideas i want to talk about concerning leadership, the church, life following Jesus so I will get to those over the next few weeks. If you have not been there go check out out staff blog on

Sunday, June 15, 2008

fathers day and Student

Wow, i love being a dad. It is so easy in the busyness of life to forget how great it is to be a parent. There is nothing like looking into a kid's eyes and knowing that they are God's gift to you. This just goes for me but if at the end of my days my girls and I have a great relationship and they know i love them unconditionally then I win, my life counted. Really, this church things is great but God gave us family first. Teaching, molding, shaping their life is the greatest accomplishment a guy can have. I have the chance to model God's love, the greatest love, in front of them. I love my girls and I am so greatful I get to be a dad. Girls, I love you! Thanks for making me a sweet cake on Thursday. You rock...
Still here at Student Life camp and we had an aamzing Saturday. Yes, water day and the aqua park were wild. We have had a great time rocking it here at camp. Our little band of rebels have been amazing. Nathaniel and I are so loving getting to hang with these guys. Matt Papa has been elading worship all week and has really helped our kids point their hearts to God. If you get a chance go and check Matt out at Chris Brooks has been communicating this week and rocked it. I really think we will have him in at GCC soon for a student event. He really gets it, great guy and great speaker his web site is so go check that out. Today we hit the paintball course and we have a few surprises for the students tonight. It is going to be a great day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


There are so many times you find yourself just asking God why? Sometimes it is in the middle of problems and turmoil and sometimes it is just in the flow of normal life. Like why do we have to gain weight when we eat snickers...why could that not be like the healthy option for mankind? I know that is stupid but other times life really is hard and we are left asking why the sickness, why death, why pain, or why heartache? This spring i was in the middle of one of those why moments when we pushed our first middle school camp here at GCC. We took the largest group of high school students GCC has taken to Bigstuf but as we pumped middle school camp we hit a wall. We struggled to get families to even think about it. Most of the families here at GCC really did not have it on their radar or they did not feel their kids were ready. As a guy passionate about middle school kids falling in love with Jesus this broke my heart. I just could not understand what God was doing. Now here at Student Life camp with 8 boys and 2 leaders, just 10 of us i get it. God has a plan! I think we found our location for middle school camp at GCC and it is located at Shocco Springs AL. Just an amazing place. Pools, great lodging, great worship space, paintball, an aqua jump, basketball courts and the programming of Student Life work together to make a sweet spot to have kids encounter God. This place is wild. God was also getting my attention, to value what he values. As a student leader i love the BIG, the huge NUMBERS, the momentum. God revealed 8 guys who are incredible and who he loves very much. God is so thrilled these boys are at camp and that we get to invest in them. God is just teaching me one again to be content with what he is happy about. His joy should be enough for me. His mission must be enough for me. God has given me some answers this week and this is why we are here...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

top 50 church web sites...

we have spent a ton of time here at GCC trying to built a web presence. The people that we are reaching always visit us online before they walk in the door. We made the top 50 church web sites this year. Here is the link...

Go and check out all our web environments at...

Well I did it, i crossed a line. I bought my own name off of and have it pointed here to my blog. it is official, there is now a Not sure what that means but at least I own my name on the web and I have it coming here to my blog where I talk about all kinds of weird stuff.

Just made my own play list on my itunes here on my Dell (the last pc i will own but I love this machine) I just went through and added the albums t the list because i was tried of having the shuffle on and having sermons randomly pop up from conferences. When i got done adding the music I loved the final number of songs was 1174. I have a problem. HELP!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

youth ministry and parents

My friend Brando Reed posted this the other day on his blog ( ...great thoughts...

My friend and colleague in student ministry was telling some other pastors around a conference table just the other day that his father prayed with him only one time outside of praying with him around the dinner table. Being in student ministry, I have seen more parents shirking their God given responsibility of “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Because of the lack of moms and dads fulfilling the responsibility and calling of parents, many parents turn to the Youth Pastor at the local church to “fix” their teenager, or to provide opportunities and events that “shelter” their student, leaving the responsibility of teaching and training their children Scripture to the youth pastor. This couldn’t be a more un-Biblical issue that many Youth Pastors face and embrace.

First, student pastors embrace this because many student pastors see parents as a threat to good student ministry. How could this possibly be Biblically sound thinking? In talking with other student pastors, or as some would rather be effectually called “The Youth Guy,” I have heard over and over again; “If it weren’t for the parents, student ministry would be a lot easier.” Really?? Student pastors regularly embrace the idea that more sweet programs or events will bring more kids to church, and the whole time, parents sit back and applaud. That is, until their student messes up at school, or at a party or even with a member of the opposite sex.

Problems in student ministry arise when student pastors and churches embrace the idea that they should keep parents at a distance.
“To have a biblical framework for student ministry, we must shift our ministry framework to match the emphases the Bible places on the family and the church” (Steve Wright, ReThink, Inquest Publishing). We must see that the primary responsibility of discipleship and training in righteousness to the family.

“Hear, O Isreal: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, ESV).

Paul writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord“ (Ephesians 6:4, ESV). A list of verses for you to look at: Psalm 78:1-7, Proverbs 1:8-9, Malachi 4:6, Luke 1:17, Proverbs 22:6, Psalm 127:1-4, Proverbs 4:1-11, Colossians 3:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12. “The responsibility for raising spiritual champions, according to the Bible, belongs to the parents. This is not a job for specialists. It is a job for parents” (George Barna, Revolutionary Parenting, Tyndale).

Youth Pastors, quit pushing parents away and quit doing what God has not called you to do. Point parents who have troubled teens or teens that are struggling to Scripture. Challenge them to have a time of family worship which they can pray together, study God’s word together, and grow together.

Parents, quit looking to other people to fix your children. Start fulfilling God’s call on your life. It is your responsibility to train your children. You cannot change your child or fix their condition of sinning (Eph 2:1, Romans 3:10-12). Begin leading them to the cross and pointing them to Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Great thoughts, we have to be a partner with parents. We have to come along side of them and give them some tools to use as they invest in their kids. Sure we will also minister to kids who have horrible homes but we can not fail to invest in those who spend the most time with them kids, the parents. The reason we podcast all our messages at relevant is so that a mom or dad can join us in the discussion! It just works when we partner with parents and support them. Great writing B!

2 books you need to get!

Just wanted to get these too books out to you. The Dip by Seth Godin and Crazy Love by Francis Chan have been great reads for me. Both are just great reads, go get them, read them s quick as you can! I think you will like them. Francis is an incredible speaker and pastor who helps take a look at what loving Jesus really means in our everyday life. The book is very blunt but very encouraging for all of us who love Jesus but struggle to live that out daily...that would be all of us. The Dip takes a look at how to quit doing things that rob our time and energy so we can focus on what we are best at. Yes it is all about the art of quitting, when to quit, why to quit and most of what to spend all your energy doing everyday. Most of us could use some quitting advice. Great short read!

This week Clarksville lost an incredible follower of Christ. Our loss is heavens gain since Kathy Majors is now spending every moment with the passion of her life. I met Kathy because her son Jacob plugged into Relevant Student Ministry ( What I discovered about Kathy was that she was known as a person who had dedicated her life to prayer! That was her legacy in Clarksville and around the country with people who were her friends. As I sat in the funeral I could not help but be astounded at the idea of being known as a person of prayer, a man who actually spend his life talking to God on behalf of other people. Think about what you will be known by when you die? What will be your legacy? Kathy spend her life doing something of eternal significance. I am so thankful for all the times Kathy prayed for me, Grace Community Church and all the other ministries and people she was passionate about. Clarksville will miss Kathy and I pray that God will help us all seek him more in prayer everyday. If we follow Christ we have to follow his lead and spend time talking with God. Lets go for it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

missing GCC...

Yea, it is odd. I miss church, my church, the church i work at, the people I serve God with. it is pretty cool to go to camp with a bunch of high school students and miss being away. Usually the week away is good for me but as I traveled last Sunday to camp I just missed being a part of what God was doing in Clarksville through GCC. Just a funny feeling. Oh and here was our group pic from bigstuf. We had an amazing week and God did some amazing things in our hearts. Thanks to the bigstuf team for helping our kids encounter God. The picture below, what can I say...HIGH SCHOOL CAMP...enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

day 4 from bigstuf...

It has been an amazing week and God keeps blowing us away with how incredible He is. Day 3 and 4 were not different for us here at bigstuf. Many times I am not sure what makes the most difference in a teens life...the relationships, the teaching, the fun, the music, the time alone with God? Not sure I can put God in a box on this one. When we get away and focus on connecting with God and with each other change begins to happen. There are so many little things that have connected for us about who God is and how he is working in our lives. All the guys hit waffle house last night, we are going to race go carts today, we all went crazy at the beach. So many time these times together are minimized but real connecting happens. Doing things kids like to do and joining them in their world works, amazing. Our team has been able to invest in some incredible teens. It has been a great week. we leave in the morning and we get to gather for one more gathering tonight. I know it is going to be amazing to meet with God all together once more tonight. This is the last post from bigstuf but here are 2 more pics...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

bigstuf day 3, amazing

Something happens at Bigstuf when we start spending time with God, alone, one on one, no band, no speaker. Just us, God and the Bible sitting in the middle of creation. On Day 2 we always have our first time to get away before the night service and spend time with God. There is something amazing at watching 1,000 people spread across the beach and just talk to God...alone. This is just a pic I snuck in so you could understand what is happening here. When we are with God he changes us, he shapes us. It is hard to contain or explain but God begins to change who we are. We went right from this time alone to a time where we gathered and united together to encounter God. Stuart Hall led us to confront the idea of living a life of truth. Living life not embracing the practice of constant deceit. We all do it, we all lie. We know we should not go there but it makes life seem more controllable. We looked in the Bible where Jesus said, "let your yes be yes and your no be no" and it helped us understand Jesus led us to a life of truth. Once again the most significant time of the day happens when we meet in small group and this was no different. I was wild for us all to get to share in small group what was going on in our hearts. This is a significant week for so many here.

The beach - it was amazing...we also made a midnight run to Walmart and Sonic, YES camp is better with SONIC. If you want pictures they are on the way, for now just imagine lots of icecream. Tonight more surprises and more pictures

Monday, June 2, 2008

day 2 from Big Stuf (

Day 2 here at Bigstuf camp in Panama City and our first day on the beach and it has been nothing but glorious. Yes, i know not everyone can be here on the beach but hey, someone has too and we have a bunch of high school students who are loving it. God has really been setting the table through Jared Herd and Stuart Hall here speaking and band leading each session we have been in. Our small groups met last night and got off to a great start. You never know how God is going to work in the hearts of kids at any camp but the theme is BROADCAST and we are asking each other what we are broadcasting with our life...simply said what we cling too the most is what we broadcast with our lives. It would be amazing if our teens could come to love Jesus and see what happens. We will see...

Just a few crazy things. We have a camp mascot, a pickle that Nathaniel Edmonson bought at a store. Yes, I said it a pickle. This morning it went to the session and ad its own seat. I will give ya a picture to check out. It is amazing, we are inspired. We also entered the volleyball tourney this year and something HUGE happened. We scored 2 points, still got beat, but we scored. CAN YOU SAY AMAZING! In three years we scored our first 2 points, year one we got shut out, year 2 we dd not enter, year three we score 2, year 4????what could happen. Keep praying for us as we are gone, we need it for sure...