Thursday, October 30, 2008
Good is the enemy of great!
When you start compromising the quality people on your bus (your team) to gain fast growth you will fall.
Growth must not get ahead of the ability to have the right people on the bus. UNDISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF MORE!
If we get the right "WHOS” we get better WHATS! Life is people! Our lives are shaped by the people we surround ourselves with.
The only thing you can control is WHO you do life with! Who are you going with!
Many churches are dependent on a powerful personality this sets them up for failure. Personalities end, the measure is after the personality leaves.
If you build a great church doing great things we must help it be ENDURING with the right people in leadership!
Work is infinite, time is precious
Yes, Jim Collins is an amazing leader and thinker, go check out www.jimcollins.com
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
What is the most imporatant thing about a human soul? If it is that they have a relationship with God then move forward with confidence...
Is investing in the lives of kids and teens important? If you say yes then move forward with confidence...
Is spending your time, money, faith, and, career advancing the Kingdom of God worth it? If yes then move forward with confidence...
Do you believe in the mission and process of your organization (your school, church, young life group, fca, community group, business, or church)? If yes then move forward with confidence...
Jesus said in John 10:10 about Satan, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Choose life today and move forward with confidence.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I hope if you are out there doing ministry you have a place you go just to relax and have fun. I love sports. It is my distraction from the demands of leading and it gives me a mental BREAK. We all need it, get out there and take a break. Go fishing, hunting, play music, go to a game, hiking, running, WHATEVER. Serve God, invest in others, work hard, invest in your family with passion, and take time to rest. Life is way to short, take some time to enjoy it!
Monday, October 27, 2008
- use as many of your weekly leaders as you can - this is where relationships really grow. Give your volunteers the chance to invest and make memories with your kids!
- use youth pastors you trust to speak - there are tons of youth pastors you know who are good communicators. It will save you a ton of time and allow your kids to hear a fresh voice speak into their lives.
- make sure your retreat format supports your weekly ministry format - make sure what you on retreat looks much like your weekly experience. RETREATS should support and enhance what you do each week.
- make sure your teens have time to have fun - PLEASE MAKE ANY RETREAT YOU DO FUNNNNNNNNNNNN. Not sure who said fun was not holy. Fun softens hearts and builds relationships.
- think outside the box - go places and do things your kids will not expect. We go to major cities and stay in nice hotels, WHY because we are tired of teens getting second best. They need to know they are worth the investment. You do not have to do every retreat in the woods even thought roughing it can be great. One of my friends does a great retreat each year with house boats at a local lake, GREAT IDEA!
- partner with other youth ministries - any size church can hold a great retreat and numbers help bring momentum. If you lead a small church and have a small group, gather with five other churches and bring the momentum!
- focus on the kids who go - we are all terrible at worrying about why kids do not go on an event we plan. Invest in the kids that go, give them your total attention.
- pray, pray and pray some more - so many time we plan great things but forget the most important thing, TO PRAY! We need God to show up more than anything. Get people praying for your retreat.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Again today I ask where are you serving or giving that has no direct connection with your church? How are you involved in your community?
Friday, October 24, 2008
- We did the cake walk 4 times and did not win cake. SOLUTION the girls and I went to Food lion and got ice cream and a brownie mix. BAM, take that cake walk%^%^&%^&%
- The food at the festival, not that good but it was Kelyn's favorite meal. Pizza and Cheetos!
- The crowd, wow it was packed and got to see a ton of friends. Good times!
- The girls got to play a ton of games and the highlight of course were the TATTOOS, fake of course since it may be a little early for the real thing!
- Chelsea volunteered the final hour while I cooked the brownies. we had a sweet after festival party at home.
- KOZBI loves her school. Good job to the staff there, you guys and gals are amazing. We have great schools in Clarksville.
- OUR FAMILY had a great time!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
- I became a follower of Jesus Christ.
- I learned that my spiritual family (the local church) matters and a I met some amazing people who loved me and my family.
- I discovered that real manhood could be lived as a follower of Jesus out as we live daring lives in and for the Kingdom of God. I encountered many REAL men who loved God and loved others.
- I found truth and wisdom in the Bible. I learned I could meet God there in those pages.
- I understood eternity was real and that what we did in this life would matter in the next.
- I learned to stand up for what I believed in.
- I learned that people where made in God's image and every human has value.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The economy has generated a lot of concern among businesses, families and non-profit organizations. And understandably so.
At Buckhead, we want to lead very well during this season. Last week, I shared with our leadership team that I want us as a church to “respond but not retreat.”
This simply means that I want us to respond to the situation by continuing to use the financial systems we have in place allowing us to make wise stewardship decisions. At the same time, I do not want us retreating at all from the mission God has placed before us.
We will continue to do our very best to be wise stewards of the resources entrusted to us. And we will also move with confidence and faith that God is with us.
As your campus pastor, I greatly value your continued confidence and support which allows us to respond wisely to the current economic situation but not retreat one inch from leading people into a growing relationship with Christ.
Started reading this book last Thursday and just have not been able to put it down. Matthew Paul Turner ( http://www.matthewpaulturner.com) is a writer, blogger, thinker, follower of Christ. The book i simply his story of growing up in a fundamentalist church in the 80's. As I read I just could not stop laughing. The book is an honest on open look at life in his church growing up. I have not connected with a book like this since Blue Like Jazz, and I fully recommend it for all of you out there trying to get over your churched upbringing.
I am so thankful that my parents were Christ followers but the with my church experience it was difficult to connect church and the teachings of Jesus. It was almost like we believed we could never be like Jesus because He was perfect so we need all these rules and this institution to keep us all on track. The amazing thing is that I became a follower of Jesus at a young age but even then I wondered why church had to be so boring and non- Jesus like. Jesus was amazing, the churches in our town really were not.
I think I connected with the book because it is my story. So many of the stories in the book were situations I lived out and experienced. The difference for me was that my Dad as the pastor. I was able to see God change my Dad's view of FAITH as He changed me personally. By the time I was in college I began to see the possibility of church. I felt called to the movement of church not the institution. Now I serve at a church where we are striving to recreate church as a movement and not an institution. We are striving to create a place where we can remove distractions and allow people to gather, commit to community, and serve each other each week. We hope to create a space where people can be honest about their broken lives and the pastors do not have to pretend to be spiritual superheroes that have it all together. We are just a group of people trying to think, live, parent, work, and serve like Jesus Christ. So I thought today I would just make a list of some of the funny things I learned in my days of being a kid and teen in church. Yes these are funny but sad at the same time, this is what I had to GET OVER...
- Revelation movies about the rapture are VERY SCARY! I had many nightmares!
- You should always dress up for church because God expects that we give our best. We need to look, PROPER, at church. (in middle school my parents started to let us wear Air Jordans to church, I told my Sunday School teachers when they complained that my shoes cost more than their whole outfit!)
- Southern Gospel is God's kind of music.
- Rock and Roll is devil music. (this one ticked me off then BAD, I remember hiding my tapes of ACDC and early rap music, NWA, go Easy E)
- Only sinners go see movies rated other than G.
- It is ok to call out from the "pulpit" people who smoke, gamble, drink alcohol,lie, steal, are homosexual, or have had any moral failure.
- If you are not a Christian then you are "stupid".
- Christians are Republicans.
- When you are at camp you have to wear pants to the worship service at night because that is what God wants and the best way to be respectful and NO GIRLS can ever go swimming with a 2 piece bathing suit.
- Handing our tracks and carrying your Bible to school or work are the best way to tell people about Jesus. If they do not accept Christ, then oh well, they are going to Hell and they deserve it.
- You cannot be friends with people who are not Christians because they will WRECK your life and THEY ARE DANGEROUS.
- The goal for kids it to get them saved so they will not burn in Hell. After salvation we can make them good "church" people.
- You always have to go to church 3 times a week on Sunday morning, night and Wed night!
- Revivals that last 7 days are awesome. The longer it goes the better it is!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
- Grace Acres and Cross Street (our kids ministry www.gcomkids.com) were both amazing this morning. I got to hear both groups in their music time and those kids were singing to God.
- In Cross Street the kids are singing Broadcast by Steve Fee! Man I wish I had music like that when i was a kid. Broadcast is an amazing song for kids to grab hold of. Go check that song out.
- Dr. Kent Hughes (Kent as I like to call him) spoke today in our gathering about communication in marriage. It was a great talk, go get the podcast. In tough time Satan attacks marriages. we just want to everything we ca do to help families thrive.
- Grateful for my wife today, she is amazing! Love ya baby! (got to get that in after that talk on communication)
- In our gathering the band led Everlasting God, love that verse saying that "strength will rise when we wait upon the Lord", WOW...just a reminder that I am always in process and always in need of His strength!
- With the end of fall break we had an amazing crowd, I was just reminded how much I love the people God is bringing to GCC. There is an amazing vibe and it is great to see people connect before and after service.
- Got to have lunch with a group of high school and college students who feel called to ministry. What a blessing, God is calling out incredible people to serve Him.
- I am a better person when the Vols win! Now I am going to watch the Titan game on DVR and spend the evening with my family. Go Titans!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
- the weather, wow - what more can I say
- the Tennessee Vols
- the Tennessee Titans
- like I said candy corn!
- seeing my kids have a blast during Halloween
- Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love what is stands for and the fact that you actually get to rest and connect with family!
- There is an excitement in the air about things going on at GCC, REMIX, Operation Serve, a new school year - it is just good.
- did I say football???
Thursday, October 16, 2008
If you need a hotel in Chattanooga, check out the Marriott Downtown...
Thanks to Emad for following through and doing a great job for us at Grace Community!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Ringold Creek Baptism Part 2 from James Bell on Vimeo.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Kozbi got up Sunday morning and was really feeling bad so she stayed home with her mom and sister. Missing church used to be such a great thing for my wife and I when we had sick kids. Now we just get mad because we miss being with our spiritual family. So we Chelsea stayed home and I went on to church and we both tried to figure out if Kozbi was faking. Sunday afternoon we had then entire family out picking up rocks in the back yard and doing yard work. No big deal, I thought. She went to see the doctor this morning and BAM...she was not faking. Double ear infection and a bad sinus thing going down. What does this mean, Kozbi is amazing and is hard core about living life. Kozbi's parents do not like going or taking anyone to the doctor. The cool thing is that when she came back in the door this morning from going to the doctor she brought me a racing sticker she had picked out for me at the doctors office. Wow! That means nothing to many of you but what she was screaming to me was, I LOVE YOU. My Koz is a little gift giver. She loves to give and I am nothing like that. I love it when my little girl teaches me another way to show people I care about them. Kozbi, thanks for the sticker!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
To reach people no one else is reaching we have to do things no one else is doing!
The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.
If we got kicked out of our church and the board brought in a new CEO what would they do different!
When your memories exceed your dreams your end is near.
What are some leadership ideas that push you to ask questions?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
1. My girls love listening to best of u2 in the mornings! WOW do I need to say more!
2. Kelyn pooped on her own this morning. I know I should not talk about poop but she went with no on asking and NO HELP! God is good! This is a new day!
3. breakfast on saturday with college gameday on, nothing better!
Good to be home!
Friday, October 10, 2008
The idea hits home because we are all drawn to the public side of ministry, business, and life. We look at where people are currently and never give thought to the choices that led that person to that place of leadership. The small things matter. The small issues are huge. How we handle the small things, how we confront sin on a personal level. The choices we make when no one is looking does matter. There is a tension for all of that we must dream, strive, plan but at the same time make the right choice in the moment. The question I am asking this morning is have I been ignoring the seemingly small things in my life. Have I been taking shortcuts? If I ever come to place to saying I have no weak areas I am a liar. Lets get introspective and take action.
My prayer is that God will keep exposing this stuff so that I can be used for His glory. I am thankful for leaders helping us come back to the heart of God. God is VERY interested in what is going on in our hearts and he already knows the short cuts we are taking. God please show us what you see!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
- This morning Andy pushed us to link what we believe and what we do. Moral authority is earned in the small choices we make that no one sees but God. With many of these thoughts full blogs will come so i will keep going!
- It was great to connect with friends...Terrace Crawford and Aaron, Ben Carr, Joel Engle, Jeremy Bullock and texting with Pat Rowland, Chris Pittman and Josh Mcfarland WAS GREAT. man it is good to catch up!
- Reggie Joiner, Lanny Donaho...BEST YEAR YET hosting, funny stuff guys!
- William Paul Young author of The Shack, did a great job. My wife loved the book and I am going to read it.
- Jim Collins and Seth Godin led amazing sessions. They have both been huge influences in my life and my style of leading. Thanks guys for giving us your time!
- Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland, Jon Foreman - all did amazing jobs leading us today to lift up the name of Jesus with music. I am tired of calling music worship since worship is life not music. That is another blog, sorry...
- Steven Furtick is a incredible young leader and did an amazing job challenging us all to lead strong. Loved his perspective, go check him out.
- Craig Groeschel spoke and gave a message that I can not wait for our team to hear. Again to go into it would be an entire blog.
- Eats -WELCOME TO MOE'S!!!
- Robbie Seay and Jon Foremen closed our night with a concert.
- I am about to fall over GOOD NIGHT NOW...
made it to Catalyst today at 8:30! Got into the room and for this
first time in my catalyst going history had to go upstairs. it was
amazing to see 12000 leaders in on room going for it. This is the
biggest crowd I have seen here. There is a hunger in this generation
to move forward, to move God's kingdom forward and that buzz is in the
air. Let me say up front that these guys rocked it out with the stage
and production here in the Gwinnett Center. Loved that there was a
team of worship leaders (steve fee, eddie kirkland, etc.) leading
Heard from Andy Stanley this morning! Will post some of that jank
later, right now watching some guy break dance...can you say amazing.
This is leadership!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Some people want to do things because they are interesting.
Some people want to do things because they work.
Some people want to do things because everyone else is doing them.
And some people are satisfied/scared/shy/lazy and don't do anything.
Think about blogging or buying a new pair of shoes or voting for a candidate or picking one career over another. Different people have very different agendas. The key in understanding someone's actions is understanding their agenda.
- Seth Godin
Ringold Creek Baptism Part 1 from James Bell on Vimeo.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
These questions have burned in my heart ever since I heart Alex Mcmanus ask them last week. They are beating in my heart even more right now because Chelsea and I are here in Atlanta with another couple dreaming about launching a service in Clarksville that will be very OUT OF THE BOX for Clarksville. We are praying, dreaming about a once a month service in Clarksville that allows kids and parents the chance have go to a worship service together. This is far from the wonderful (just kidding) idea of dragging kids into your service and making them be quiet, or draw on offering envelopes. I know some of you reading this think church is meant to teach your kid how to be quiet. I call that environment school but that is another post. We are praying about creating an amazing monthly experience that will help kids and parents connect and talk about God. I know not many of you have seen this idea in action but they do it well at North Point Community Church and we are going to learn from them. I am excited about this new adventure for GCC and excited to take the RISK. I am stoked to be on a team willing to embrace risk and seek God's wisdom. We need risk! We need it so we learn to experience faith and trust of a God who can do the impossible.
Once more, what risks are you taking right now for God's Kingdom?
Has church became a place for us to stay clean and safe together instead of a launching pad for God's work in the world?
How can we connect with the unredeemed? What kind of environments connect with the unredeemed? How many real relationships do we have with people who are not Christ followers?
Today many times people come to Christ over time these are 4 turns people make when coming to faith in Christ… Turn to Jesus, Turn to scripture, Turn toward the world to serve, and a Turn to community
Gathering people together to live dream act like Jesus is not that popular. Planting like a church that looks like Jesus is messy. Thinking outside the box gets you slammed.
If we shut our church doors would our city miss our gathering of God’s people?
The church today struggles to reach its own generation …how will they reach future generation.
Our church structures are set up for maintenance not mission. We make people do things our way that are not working in the first place! (when David went to fight Goliath, Saul tried to gave him the armor of its failed army) Seminaries are producing leader to lead a institution! God will raise up an army of warriors to lead against the grain.
The west is a mission field, what will it take to reach this mission field. Will we do what it takes?
Its more important to be the church than just do church!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Yea...it was amazing. Watch Sportscenter to see te final play of the game! Go Blue Raiders!