Saturday, September 27, 2008

thoughts from Operation Serve...

It was so great to serve the city of Clarksville today. It was really wild for Chelsea and I because we got to serve with our girls by our side. Kozbi was on my team and Kelyn on Chelsea's. I had the chance to work on a team doing random acts of kindness and I got to see the extreme makeover team and a block party team in action. It was so great to see everyone going for it. Sunday will be amazing because we gather to celebrate what God has done and is doing. One of my key leaders at relevant and a friend was on our team and posted this at his blog. His name is Nate Edmondson and his blog is read this...

Today our church did an event called Operation Serve. The entire purpose behind it is to just serve the community wanting nothing in return, which is a really awesome purpose by the way. We had all kinds of projects going on from remodeling houses, to block parties, to making hot dogs for people at car washes, the bottom line is we just wanted to do something nice for people.

My job was to hand out bottled waters in a Wal-mart parking lot and help people load their groceries and put away their carts. Honestly compared to some of the other projects that were going on, I had a very small and seemingly insignificant job. That being said, it was crazy some of the responses I got. Some people were very reserved and wanted absolutely nothing to do with a total stranger handing out a potentially poisoned water bottle. Other people were very open and welcomed the help.

The most significant response to me though, was the person who simply said, "why?" Like, why in the world would a total stranger just want to come and help me put up my groceries? Like don't you have anything better to do? One guy even told me, "no thanks, I don't have any money to give your church right now..."

That is so crazy to me! How ridiculous is it that people would be puzzled by a church that just wants to be nice to people? Shouldn't the concept of a church doing nice things for people be the norm rather than a confusing gesture? The church as a whole has made so called "evangelism" so impersonal and complicated. There's this thought that the only way to help the community is to go out and hand out lame tracks, read verses to people, and ask them if they know where they're going to spend eternity. All those things would be awesome if they worked, but we're dealing with people in a Wal-mart parking lot that are surprised when I offer to put up their buggie, don't you think trying to ask them about their salvation might come across EVEN MORE intimidating and confusing?

As a final thought- isn't it possible that simply doing nice things for people could change their perception of Christians, and as a result have them open their minds to the idea of giving Jesus a chance? If Christians would just focus more time on being nice couldn't we change the entire look of the Church?

Some would call that idea "liberal Christianity", and "watering down the Gospel", I think those people are missing it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

prayer experiment, operation serve, great weekend!

This weekend around 700 people from Grace Community and other churches will spend their time energy and talent serving Clarksville. Yea we will be serving meals, giving away water, painting, cleaning, helping kids with special needs, repairing, and building stuff. As we go out and serve we go with one goal. Our hope is to share the love of Christ with our city. We can not solve all of the problems our city faces but we can serve those around us and share Jesus with those we live with. We love our city, we love we get to serve here in our city, and we pray God is the THE GOD of our city. I am typing this the night before and some teams have already started. I know God is going to use this day. I am already so thankful and OP SERVE Saturday is not even here. Thanks to our leadership team who made this happen. Operation Serve is led by an incredible team of servants, good job to all of you. If you are leading a church, business, school, children's or student ministry figure out a way to serve those around you.

PRAY 08 was an incredible experience. We gathered to pray and launch the web site and prayer challenge. It was so wild to see all of our churches united as one and it was great to work with leaders from other churches. Thanks to everyone who worked to make it happen, GREAT JOB! We have had a tremendous response to our 30 day challenge to test prayer in our lives. It is so incredible to be on this journey with hundreds of leaders, parents and teens from all over Clarksville. We know praery can change us. Our hearts desire in all of this is that we will grasp the need for daily time with God. So far so good. Hope to share some stories later in the year.

Sorry so slim this week on the blog, with Op serve and Pray 08 our family has been swamped! looking forward to serving this weekend and watching my Vols and Titans thanks to DVR. It is so great that I do not have to worry about missing a game. FREEDOM... TV has no control on me! YES! DVR is a miracle! Hope everyone out there has a great weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2008

PRAY08 this Wednesday at 6:30...

This week take time to talk to a few teens or adults connected with your church about how they pray. Every time I have had the chance to talk with a teen about prayer I soon hear what a struggle it is to form the habit of taking time to pray. Not sure why it is so hard for all of us. Could be sin, could be busyness, could be that we do not trust God, or it could be that we have never really given it a shot. This Wednesday night several student ministries in Clarskville are gathering at an event called PRAY08 to help kids experience prayer. The entire night is built the idea of creating a sacred space where teens, leader, and parents can connect with God in prayer. If you are in the area we start at 6:30 at Hilldale Baptst Church ( Will this work? We have no idea! We just know that God impressed on our hearts to go in a new direction as we help teens wrap their lives around the practice of prayer. But there is more....

As we leave from the PRAY08 gathering we are challenging teens, leaders, and parents to experiment with prayer for 30 days. What happens when for 30 days straight people talk to God? We know prayer is powerful but our hope is for teens and parents to figure this out as they experience it for themselves! Again, will it work? We have no idea, but a bunch of us in Clarksville are going to try. No church or ministry gets to take credit for any of this. Prayer is God's idea and we just want to help teens go there. Different people will be blogging each day about prayer at and we hope this little guidance will help people have a direction for their prayer journey that day. Go to the web site or join the prayer experiment group on facebook. It is going to be an amazing 30 days!

monday is better with a TITANS 3-0 start!

What can I say...GO TITANS!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

UT vs. Florida...same story!

I got to go to Knoxville for the big UT / Florida and the best moment of the day was getting to watch the band march into the stadium. Jonathan Giles, student pastor at Sring Creek Baptist here in Clarksville, hit the game and had a great time all but the game itself. Love my Vols, will die a Vol but today was tough. Hope my Titans can encourage me Sunday. I think this pic says strong Vol nation, change is coming and every loss brings it closer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I have arrived...

I am the guy who parks in the same spot every week at the office, when i go to a store, when I am at church. You get the idea. Today I arrived! I pulled into the parking lot at the office and what a gift. There is nothing better than a home made sign...
Yea, it is just a joke, but you have to love it! There is a ton of laughter in the environment that I work in. I think teams need to laugh, they need to enjoy where they work. Do You? Are you leading your team to have fun as they lead others? Thanks for the parking spot RON!

Monday, September 15, 2008

46 people baptized...

I am really not sure how to put into words how amazing yesterday was. We had the idea and planned this outdoor baptism 2 month ago and when we got to church Sunday morning it was very windy and very cloudy. We made the call to go ahead and run with the baptism even though the weather was questionable. 46 people were baptized yesterday at Ringold Mill here in Clarksville. 46 people let the world know about their faith in Jesus Christ. I was able to baptize 3 families where the teens and the parents ALL got baptized. Can it get any better than this? People talk about baptisms and baptism numbers alot in the church world. Yesterday we had the chance to witness 3 children and 43 adults and teens take this huge step. If you follow church baptism numbers you know how significant this ratio is. I could not help but think of how incredible it must have been for people in the days of Jesus to take this step. It was wild to think that Peter , Paul and John had helped people go to a river and take this same step of faith 2,000 years ago. There was an excitement in the air yesterday as we came together to celebrate this moment in the lives of these people. If you got to be there you know how amazing it was. We get to take this excitement back to the folks at GCC by video over the next three weeks and look for some shots of this thing on you tube SOON!

Friday, September 12, 2008


We were really excited when we opened up Collide Magazine ( ) and we saw this article about our web site at GCC. Collide is the leading magazine out there talking about the church, culture, and media. In its first year it has already become one of my favorite reads. Go check the magazine out online and order it. You will love it. Thanks to Collide for props on our website!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Grace Community Church is three years old today! Happy anniversary GCC! It is so amazing to be a part of this movement we call Grace Community. Chelsea and are so proud to be a part of these people, this city, this staff. Thanks to all of you who serve each week to make Grace what it is. Thanks to all of you who took the risk three years ago to follow God's lead. It has been a great three years and we are so excited to see what God does next. Go check out when you can!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

just spending time with God...

Our virtue the kids (k-5) are learning about this month in Cross Street ( is Knowledge. Yesterday Chelsea and Kozbi were doing their GOD TIME card that Koz brought home from church and the card suggested that everyone needed to find a quiet space where they could read the Bible everyday and learn about God. Well, you are looking at a picture of Kozbi's space to read the Bible that she made in my room yesterday. She made it right by the chair that Chelsea uses each day to read the Bible. Kozbi has better taste because her space has a chair, stuffed unicorn, polly pockets, and her Bible. Pretty cool! It is amazing the loving spirit of a child. I was so reminded that God want to hang out with us each day. He is not distant; He is near. He wants to come and meet with us, hear from us, and teach us His way of living. So incredible that my girl got to teach me a God lesson this morning. Think about where your favorite place to talk to God is! Have you given God time each day to spend together? In the car, in your room, in your back yard, or in your office God wants to spend time with us. Go for it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

sunday...and monday is coming!

What a wild weekend! Chelsea and I were blown away by the entire weekend. It was busy but God was working in so many ways. Just thought I would take some time just to have a little Sunday brain dump before the new week gets rolling...
  • Operation Serve Sign up day was TODAY and the entire OP SERVE team rocked it out. We had an amazing event, great food, 400 sign ups, the kids loved the blow up games. It mazes me how much folks at GCC love to serve Clarksville.
  • We had over 1300 today...WOW can you believe that. We had over 1300 people at GCC today. When I got the text I almost pooped my pants. Go GOD.
  • The new series glife (check it out at in the morning) was amazing. Chad really hit a home run and he talked about a passage in Genesis I had never given much attention. Great start to a great series.
  • Getting ready to launch into a news series at REMIX called WE. I am excited!
  • Rossview beat Clarksville Friday. Great game, both teams have great coaches and they both go to GCC. We have been so blessed to get to have these guys at our church. Love that they get to invest in teens.
  • Nate - GREAT JOB with the Warfied bowl. It was sweet...
  • Our band at GCC covered Living on a Prayer today, they rocked it!
  • The Titans really played a great game today and picked up the win at home. It will be a good Monday in the office!
  • It was great to be home with the family on Sunday. LOVE HAVING REMIX ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS!
  • Speaking of REMIX, I will not blog about our numbers on here but God has given us the chance to invest in a ton of kids this fall. The cool thing is that we are reaching kids disconnected from other churches, WOW that is the goal. God is so working at REMIX.
  • Loved getting to speak in Paducah on Saturday at Super Saturday for the KBC. Thanks Joe, it was a great event. Get to go to Bowling Green this Saturday and do it all over again.
  • So stoked God lets us pray! God really came through with some stuff this weekend. HE IS GOOD!
  • done, I feel better! Go Vols, Go Titans...yea I am over the Vol loss!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

quit, come on QUIT!

Why is it hard for me to quit things? Well for some of us it is easy to quit. Some people love to quit. These are those great people who start out with a bang and then week three o the project just do not show. Man, I love those people. Well maybe I am a little over the top here but we must continue. I struggle with quitting but I am finding that I need to quit doing things more and more. What I mean is that as I have more responsibility and people to lead I need to do LESS because I have to lead MORE. Not work less, but do less. I need to spend my work week investing in the most important things. Sometimes we confuse being busy with leading. We think if we are running around we are accomplishing the end goal. What I am experiencing is that as our church / family ministry grows I have to take more time to help the team solve problems, listen to my team, connect with my volunteers, PLAN PLAN PLAN. If I am going to do these things, I have to quit other tings that take my time. So we can strive for excellence and focus then we have to learn to QUIT the things that keep us from accomplishing God’s plan for our life.

Here are some good things I have quit to be BETTER at what God wants me to accomplish…
I QUIT playing 18 holes of golf so I could walk 9 and be home more with my girls!

I QUIT leading worship in our student environments so I could better plan the night and communicate wit clarity.

I QUIT staying late at work so I can go to the YMCA and get some exercise and then GO HOME!

I QUIT trying to set up ProPresenter for each week so we could train another leader to shape our weekly look at REMIX and I could save time.

I QUIT trying to be at every ballgame or every school play or every whatever so I could have be a real dad at home. I love working with students but I can not b everywhere!!!!

I QUIT trying to lead a small group so I could invest in our small group leaders.

What are you quitting so you can be better at what only you can do. 2 books that have given me freedom and direction on quitting are THE DIP by Seth Godin and NEXT GENERATION LEADER by Andy Stanley. This week try making a “what I need to quit” list. QQQQUUUUUIIIIIITTTTTTT!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

this is FUN...

This is going to be a fun weekend. The NFL kicks off tonight. The Titans get a shot at the Jags and will fight hard this weekend. I get to speak at a leadership conference on Saturday for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, yes I love getting to invest in students and youth workers. We have Operation Serve sign up on Sunday at church and we launch a new series we are excited about. I get to hang with my family and go with my girls to the RHS / CHS WARFIELD BOWL on Friday. It just does not get much better.

I look at the busy pace of the weekend and I am still excited. Being lazy is great but being busy with stuff you enjoy can be fun too. No matter what your preference, we all need time to shut it down from work. We need to shift our brains toward a different direction and trust God to take care of the THING we work at all week. When we rest we prove we trust God and that has nothing with not working hard. It shows we can pace ourselves, rest, and get ready to give 100% when it is time to roll on Monday...well Sunday morning for me...

Go Titans, will not pick them like I picked the Vols last week, I am still shell shocked!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

grow the market...

This has been a fun read. If you love reading blogs then you will love this book. This is a collection of blogs that Seth Godin has posted over the years and it is one of those books where you read a few sections then have to think about it. Last night I read on post where Seth talks about growing your company. He said to grow there are 2 paths. You can take customers from your competitors or you can grow/expand the market. The first is really hard and always leads to waste of time and energy. The second is faster and makes the greater impact. It ensures healthy sustainable growth. As a guy to works in a church environment it made me ask what path most churches choose to take when growing. At GCC we have grown from people who never went to church and had no faith background, who left church a long time ago, and some who have been disillusioned from their current church. Reaching people who have left another church can never be the primary goal. Growing the market, or reaching those who are far away from Christ must always be the goal for our church or any church. This passion to reach those away from Jesus must be primary and we have to allow the people who gather with us each week to embrace this vision. For us to grow the market means to ask God to help us see where he wants us to go next and then move on it.

Jesus said...
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
(Matthew 18:12)

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
(Luke 19:10)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

people are watching...

It is a very odd thought to think that people are watching us as we live our lives each day. Yes, people are watching you. Not in a stalking kind of way, but trying to see if you are who you say you are. Are you real? Are you consistent? Do you do what you say you are going to do? We all know we miss the mark. We promise things we can not deliver on. We say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I seem to do these things and I always need to be reminded that the the way I live my life is being watched. I was hanging out with my Uncle on labor day and he told me that he would go to any church I went to and that he was going to come visit Grace. I was puzzled to say the least. My Uncle and I are really close and he has never been a church kind of guy. We have talked about Christ, but still it is incredible to know that he was checking out my life at the same time to see if the 2 matched up. My Uncle has not crossed the line of faith to become a follower of Christ but he may. I do know that somehow he trusts the church I am a part of because of how I have lived my life around him for many years. It was not overnight, this has been a process. It is so encouraging to know relationships work in a world that does not trust our Bible or the churches we attend or the faith we hold so dear. Here is a few thoughts I am thinking...

1. People are watching...we have the chance to show them Jesus.

2. We can never give up on people. You never know when they may come to us asking questions. You never know when they might be looking for direction.

3. Consistency not perfection is what we need to strive for. People just need to know what we believe and how we live are real.

4. God is really God and He can change any heart. Do we really believe the Holy Spirit can lead others to the truth? Do we live like and pray like that?

not so great to be a Tennessee Volunteer!

If you do not know by now let me go ahead and confess that I am a football addicted man. I love my Vols and my Titans and I just keep getting sucked in more and more. Last night I was so excited about our game against UCLA. Well, we an unranked team...our kicker missed 4 field goals...I was sick! Losing is just part of life and it has become a regular part of being a Vol. I learned a few things lat night and I thought I would go ahead at 6:50 this morning and vent a little about all my discoveries...

1. Arian Foster will fumble the ball when it matters! He is so good at fumbling in big games and at wrong times. PROTECT THE BALL YOUR A SENIOR.

2. Jonathan Crompton, our QB, looked like a guy who was scared. I did not see confidence until the 4th quarter when it was obvious we might loose this game. Not sure this guy is going to be able to handle the SEC. Great arm but every time UCLA got pressure on him he freaked out and threw a bad ball, 5 of them in the dirt!

3. We have a great D BUT we still let a bad offense with 3 starters hurt score 27! What happened in the second half?

4. Our QB looked Scared, did I say that?

5. Tennessee does not execute. We have culture of players an coaches that do not execute, make silly mistakes, look confused much of the time. I give our coaching staff an F for getting our guys ready for the game.

6. Our offensive line was supposed to be our strength. They really did not play as a unit last night.

7. Phil Fulmer does not instill confidence as the leader of this team. I have been watching other coaches...Saban, Myers, Carrol, Tuberville...they seem to lead their guys to be ready to play and they look involved in the game. Not sure what goes on at UT or how much we can say Fulmer gets his guys ready BUT what I see on the field looks sloppy.

8. Lets end on a good note...Hardesty, the entire secondary and Gerald Jones looked GREAT and kept us in the game.

Ok I am done venting, I feel better. UT fans get ready we could see a 1-4 start since we our next games are UAB, Florida, AUBURN, and then Georgia (3 out of the 4 in the top 10) So much for the new look VOlS, looked like the same stuff from last year. Not much has changed or improved.