Sunday, November 30, 2008

thanks coach fulmer...

No bowl game this year for Tennessee but finishing 5-7 and beating Vandy and Kentucky is enough for me. What a great way to end the year. I have been one of the guys asking for change at UT this year. I am excited about the hiring of a young new coach to lead the Vol nation. Coach Fulmer was once a young assistant coach with no head coaching experience on the college level and that tuned out great. It will be fun to see what Lane Kiffin will bring to UT and at least we will not be running the SPREAD, I may be the only person in America that is already tired of it.
I have been watching Coach Fulmer lead Tennessee since I was 15 years old. I was thrilled when he took the job from Johnny Majors and he did what he said he would do . Coach Fulmer took Tennessee to the next level. I just want to say thanks. I watched his last game and was once again blown away by the class act that is Phil Fulmer. Just a few things I took from watching Coach Fulmer lead UT...
  • Spend your life doing something you would do for free because you believe in it that much. Coach invested his life in a University and football program he was a part of at every level. He loved his job.
  • Relationships matter...Phil was a great recruiter and always invested his life in his players and coaches.
  • Praise the TEAM when you win and take the heat when you loose! Coach Fulmer never played the blame game in a loss and never took all the credit in a win. it was about the team and the program.
  • Empower leaders to LEAD. I loved that Coach Fulmer let his staff of coaches actually coach and make the big calls. Fulmer always had had a stable staff for that reason.
  • Let your family be a part of your career! It was so cool to see Fulmer's daughters with him on the sidelines over the years. Coach Fulmer's family was a part of the University family.
Thanks Coach Fulmer! It has been a fun 17 years. Thanks for all you did for the University of Tennessee.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

have a great thanksgiving...

Honestly this is one of my favorite weeks of the year, yes I like it more than Christmas. I think I feel this way because we get to just be together and look back on the year and the goal is thankfulness. So the day before thanksgiving I thought I would make a THANKFUL list. Through the good and the bad God has been there shaping molding, goes...
  • I am so thankful for another year with my wife! I am married to the most amazing and beautiful woman in Clarksville TN...this will be our 13th year being married and it has been amazing!
  • Kozbi and Kelyn, you are amazing little girls. I am so thankful for all the times I have got to walk in the door at night and have you run to give me a HUG, that rocks. Love you girls!
  • Friendships...God has given my wife and I some amazing relationships here in Clarksville. Some of you go to GCC some of you do not, but you guys make our life better.
  • Seeing Relevant Student Ministry make a difference in the lives of teenagers here in Clarksville.
  • Grace Community Church...I could say so much. I love that I mis church when I am gone, love the team I serve with, love that my kids love church. Thanks Grace!
  • Lilly, our Compassion International kid, our family can not wait to meet you face to face one day in Kenya!
  • Our neighborhood FAMILY - we live next to some amazing people!!!
  • Jesus...I know that sounds very churchy BUT I am thankful I am seeing the heart and mind of Christ a little more clearly. Thanks God...
  • Another year of health for our family...we have a great extended family here in Shelbyville. Love all of them so much!
  • Struggles...there have been many this past year but God has used them to make us who we are this year.
  • Hate to say this...I am thankful for the has been a huge blessing to my family!
  • Ok this is selfish..FOOTBALL, love my Vols even when they stink up the joint, and 10-1 Titan, it has been a fun year! Go Vols, Go Titans!
Ok enough! What are you thankful for? Take time to think back on the year this weekend. Take time to tell those around you how much you love them. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

please stop saying " MAIN CAMPUS"

Naming "something" is a big deal today. I was listening yesterady to Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio talk about how he had stayed away from a great restaurant becaue of a poor designed logo and odd name. It just did not look like a place he wanted to eat. When he went, he loved it...the NAME of somthing can be very important.

Tons of us in church life are wrestling with multi-campus, multi-site, multi-venue ideas for the churches we lead. Many of you work in churches that have multiple locations. At First Norfolk we had 2 campuses and now they have three...working on four...VERY COOL. I was reminded today of a NAMING thing that bugs me about multiple campuses. Here is goes, get ready, this may not bug you but it does me>>>>CALLING YOUR ORIGINAL LOCATION THE MAIN CAMPUS>>>> I drove by a local church that had on their sign the time of the service at their MAIN CAMPUS and the time for the other location. BLAAAAAAAAAAAA nothing sounds worse to me than MAIN CAMPUS. At First Norfolk we had to fight the battle that the MAIN CAMPUS name brought with it. That name automatically made the original campus seem more important and nothing could be further from the truth. It took months of work and relationship building to get our team at our Chesapeake location to know we were FOR them and wanted to partner with them. The MAIN CAMPUS name hurt the kingdom work we wanted to do and it can hurt your effort in the church you lead.

So now that I have that out of my system, please empower your other locations and come up with another name for your original location besides MAIN CAMPUS. I promise it will help empower your teams leading in your other locations. PROMISE!

Monday, November 24, 2008

the sex challenge...

You may have heard but Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church in Dallas TX (Grapevine actually) gave his church the greatest or maybe oddest challenge I have ever heard. This is amazing...he challenged all the married couples at Fellowship to have sex for the next seven days in an effort to improve marriages. DUDE I have been challenged to do tons of things at church but never to have sex. The sex challenge...I been told to wait but UH OH this is new. JUST AMAZING...I am married, love my wife, think it is a better challenge than lots of others I have heard but in response you have to read this post from my friend Matthew Paul Turner...GREAT POST...enjoy the read, this is priceless! Just to clarify, God created marriage, and sex, and His plan is the best. I hate the church has not helped people understand His plan! Anyway, enjoy Matthew Paul Turner's post!

weekend thoughts...

  • new series at GCC was great! Go check out to see the logo...good job Ron, and creative team for leading us Sunday. It was great to see our team press on and launch a new series on a day when it is easy to mail it in for the usual thanksgiving talk. Good job!
  • Cross Street Live (Dec. 7 at 5:30 / is coming together. The set is looking amazing. I am so thankful for the job Jim Wilcox is doing leading this effort. Our folks have really done a great job making this come together. CSL is going to be amazing!
  • Got to lead in Cross Street this Sunday with Nate Edmondson, it is always cool to see kids connect with God. Church should be the best stop of a kids week. WHY DOES CHURCH HAVE TO BE BORING? It does not have to be, our God is amazing! I am thrilled to serve at an exciting church where adults, teens, and kids love coming to church!
  • We have a break at REMIX this week but we finish our LOVESICK series Dec. 3 with a talk back session where teens get to ask questions, YES they get to talk and we get to answer, could be dangerous!
  • It was fun to speak at First Baptist Owensboro for D-Now. Matt mason has done a great job leading that student ministry.
  • Got to go see Madagascar 2 with the family Sunday. It was great, I laughed out loud so many times.
  • MTSU wins, Vols beat Vandy, Titans forget to show up. I forgot what losing on Sunday was like. it is no fun. The Jets looked really good...they have the Patriot offense working. Hope Titans get another shot.
  • I am really ready for the break this week. I have had the chance to speak a ton this month and work on the CSL launch...mentally I am tried baby! TIRED!
  • Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I am so thankful for so many things...will blog later!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

more on where you work and what you do!

Have I told you that I am a big fan of Seth Godin...this was his post today...Go check his blog our Now and check out this little nugget. I just finished TRIBES his new book, it is amazing, will blog about it next week. Here is his post from today...

"Just doing my job"

What a bogus excuse.

If you take a job, you've bought into what the company does. You're responsible.

If you work for a company headed off a cliff, hey, you're going too. The fact that you're just doing your job doesn't make unemployment any better. And if the company is hurting people or the world you operate in, it doesn't matter who told you to do it, you still did it.

It's not just your job. It's a big part of your life. And you're way smarter than you're giving yourself credit for. Speak up, change things or get out. Whining later is a low-return strategy.

Sorry for the rant. Been getting a lot of email this week from people explaining why they work for companies doing dumb things.

Friday, November 21, 2008

who do you spend your day with?

Who do you work with? Most of us work and most of of spend most of our time with people at work. The sad fact is that most people do not like the people they work with and spend each day hoping the clock will hit 5 and the weekend comes quick. Obviously my post about Ben Reed littering was a joke. Yes, I deserved that trash bag on my truck, yes I put pizza boxes in his truck, yes it was fun. I love the team I work with at Grace Community. When you believe in the organization you work for, and you have great relationship with the team around you...WORK IS MUCH BETTER! For the past several years at several churches I have had the privilege of working with people I love. Steve Griffith, Dick Baker, Phillip Herring, Gail Motley, Debbie Hoffius, Brandon Reed, Eric Thomas, Steve Harper, Leland Parks, Jay Albritton, Shawn Lowery are just a few (had to cut the list off here sorry to my other work friends!) We did ministry together and we connected as friends. WORKING WITH PEOPLE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE FRIENDSHIPS WITH MATTERS! It makes work so much more meaningful!

I know you can not change this overnight but you can start working toward being in an organization with people you love and respect. DO NOT SETTLE! Sure there will always be struggles with people you work with but you can have relationships of significance as you work, plan, build, tear down, TOGETHER. So, who do yo work with?

Grace Community doing life with all of you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

litter is bad, BEN REED, bad

For some reason Ben Reed did not learn in elementary school that littering is a bad thing. You ask how I know this???? well just look at the proof. I am so sorry Pete, your son loves to put trash on others trucks. Ben has given in to the temptation of a trash fight, someone left pizza boxes on his truck and now he is lashing out at victims who have been victimized by a TRASH FIGHT. The innocent suffer here. Does Ben love God? not sure! Is Ben now qualified to be a community groups pastor? NOT SURE! Maybe we have taken this grace idea too far and I need to go out and start a legalistic church to help people understand the rules of following Christ and not littering...oops, this just in, there are plenty of those places already. I guess I will have to stand against trash fights ALONE and lash out in vengeance when it is least may be my only choice. I will be starting a victims of trash group on facebook tonight, please join!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

are we CLEAR are we answering real questions?

What does following Christ look like in my life today? That is what people are asking. People are not against God, against Christ, against faith but they are confused about what being a Christ follower looks like. This year we have been able to really get personal with our gathering of teens and try to answer some questions kids are asking. (and some they do not know to ask) This month we are tacking a series on dating called lovesick at REMIX . (if you like that look and the series idea go check out and jump on the collaboration train!) TEENS WANT ANSWERS TO THE DATING QUESTION and so many times we look at hard issues, confusing issues and just tell them to avoid IT. This is just not enough. Teens are asking questions, they need guidance, and Jesus cares more about who they date and how they date than we do. Jesus has something to say! Our job is to translate the message of Christ into their language. Many of our ministries are not answering questions that real people are asking and they are not communicating clearly. Small group leader, pastor, youth minister, speaker,Sunday School teacher, whatever you are called I am begging you to engage people with God's Word and strive to communicate in a way that your audience can understand. People deserve to know God actually has something to say to them and we owe them good communication that is clear. I hope we will quit blaming people for not beg interested when it might just be our method and style of communication that confuse people. We are communicating the one truth that can change a is amazing...lets communicate it clearly. Lets answer questions, stir debate, encourage thought, and embrace truth!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

cross street LIVE is COMING...Dec. 7

Ok this is real...cross street LIVE is coming to Clarksville on Dec. 7. How do I know this? We start construction on the set in the morning. It is ON, and our team is so excited. We have been dreaming about launching a service where kids and parents could worship together since we began the journey here at Grace Community three years ago. We have been waiting for God to put the right people in place to make the jump and that time is now! It is really NOW since we have all this wood, paint, STUFF at Rossview High ready to be assembled. We are in promo mode now and we want to ask people to plan on being at CSL, to pray for CSL, and to spread the word about CSL. Cross Street Live is open to families all over Carksville. SPREAD the WORD! If you want more info about what we do each week in our Cross Street environment for kids go check out [] for all the details.

This week we have a commercial ready to run about CSL but I wanted to post a video here on so you could see what we are about to tackle. This video is from our friends at North Point Community Church in Atlanta a few years back. This is where we are headed! I also want to thank Cross Point Community, New Work Fellowship and Reggie Joiner at RETHINK for helping our team dream about the possibility of having a service for families at GCC! Check this out...

Monday, November 17, 2008

rethink Christmas?

This week at Grace Community we set aside one week to help our church rethink Christmas. I know for Chelsea and I we are trying to incorporate generosity and serving others into our family plans for the Holiday season. Celebrate, give gifts, worship Christ, have fun with friends, but please do not let Christmas morph into a time where we simply go into debt to make sure our kids and family get stuff they do not really need. Why talk about this now? BECAUSE WE ARE IN PREP MODE FOR CHRISTMAS! My wife went shopping today so I know it is ON. I love Christmas and I want my kids to understand it is about giving not just getting more STUFF. We are finding ways to help our girls get it. My hope is that you will think about why you to the things you do at Christmas. RETHINK CHRISTMAS...

One place I hope you will go check out is [ ] and see what some friends of ours are doing to help people change their idea of the Holiday season. If you are on check out this video from the Advent Conspiracy...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

what does a good sunday look like?

Getting to see God work in the lives of teens this morning at a retreat, making it back to GCC for the end of our 11 am service, getting to play with the girls at chuck-e-cheese and hang with some friends from church, watching the titans go to 10-0...that is a good day! Looking forward to this week!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

fbc smyrna (that name for now) is doing some great stuff in Middle TN!

2 years ago I was invited to come here to Garner Creek Retreat center to do a middle school retreat called the plunge for First Baptist Church Smyrna, TN a thriving church close to Nashville. Right now as I type I am back for my second time with this team and it is amazing to see what a great job the student ministry staff has done. It is so much fun to come into a retreat environment when the kids have been prayed for, the volunteers are supportive of the mission, the interns are serving with passion, and there is a expectancy for God to do something big in the lives of kids. Chris Hollomon, David McCaman, and Melanie Hill have just done an amazing job investing in kids here at FBCS (they are about to change their name, VERY COOL). If you want to check out what God is doing through this church and student ministry just click on the PLUNGE logo above and go to their website. God is doing some great things at First Smyrna!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mike Yaconelli, wow...thanks man

Looking back there have been several guys who made a huge impact in my thinking about what it meant to follow Christ. Mike Yaconelli was one of those guys. Mike founded and led an organization called Youth Specialties. Mike's writings and the conferences he led for Youth Specialties made a huge impact in my life. Half the time Mike made me mad with some of the things he said but the cool thing is that HE MADE ME THINK! My friend Terrace Crawford found this video on you tube and I wanted to share it today. Mike passed away a few years ago but his legacy keeps working in lives today! Thanks Mike!

If you are on facebook you can check this video out at by clicking here. If you are on check this out...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

when we are sick...

It has been one of those crazy weeks when we have sick kids in our house. Kozbi has been ok, just simple allergies, but Kelyn has been really sick for the past 3 days. It is wild how we change gears when our kids are sick. We go out of our way to take care of them and show them we will help them get better. Really, the rules go out the window. We really try to watch how much TV our girls watch and make sure they sleep in their own room each night. Not when they are sick; we just throw all that junk out the door! Kelyn has watched one million episodes of Dora the explorer, ended up in our bed the past 3 nights, and drank juice like a drunk at a keg party! We just want her to know we are going to help her rest and get better. We will go to any extreme to make sure she gets better.

It is so cool for me to read in the Bible where Jesus compares our love for our children to the extreme love God has for us. Jesus asks his followers if they know how to give good gifts to their children how much more will God do the same with His children? It is crazy that when we are spiritually sick we try to run from the very one that wants to help us get better. When we are stuck in the hurt of sin and its consequences we run away from the one place of healing. As I take of my little girl this week it just reminds me that my Heavenly Father is there to heal the sickness that traps me so often.

Are you spiritually sick? Are you hurting? Are you confused? Are you sacred? God is there! He is ready to help! Instead of running away run in His direction.

Monday, November 10, 2008

unique experiences...

This week we wrapped up our unique series at Grace Community and Ron talked about how we all have unique experiences that shape our life. We had everyone take home a small card with four simple questions on it so they could process their own story and how God is and has worked through their life. I thought I would work through these 4 here on the blog. Here goes...

List three negative experiences that have shaped your life.
  1. my parents divorce
  2. the loss of some close friends to cancer
  3. dealing with the consequences of sin in my own life (this would take a BOOK)
List three positive experiences that have shaped your life.
  1. marrying chelsea parks NOW chelsea bayne
  2. getting to parent kozbi and kelyn!
  3. growing up with parents who love Jesus
List three spiritual experiences that have shaped your life.
  1. salvation and learning what it means to follow Christ!
  2. having the chance to mentor and invest in the lives of teenagers
  3. finally embracing the fact God called me to innovate and create as I serve the church
Describe how you think God could use those experiences to bring Himself glory.
When I look back at all my experiences He has prepared me to be right where I am now. God has prepared me for this moment in my life. For the first time I am surrounded not just by people who go to my church but real people, living real life, in this city. It is very cool to be able to invest in those around me and learn with them what it means to follow Christ.

Really every situation, every problem, every relationship, every good and every bad is all to shape and mold my life for God. I look back at everything and understand God has had a plan and my choices have not surprised Him. It is amazing how God uses the past to get us ready for the next adventure we will face. I am so thankful God can use my good and bad.

Have fun if you want to do this short homework project. Ron, good job Sunday! Thanks for being open with us about your life and pointing us to follow after Jesus with our life.

go check our

There are billions of people all over the globe that struggle to have the basic food, water, shelter and clothing they need day to day. Imagine not having shoes to wear to work, school, soccer practice, or just to go outside. soles4souls is an amazing charity located in Nashville that has one mission: get shoes to people who need shoes. Over 300 million people around the world don’t have shoes and are forced to walk around unsafe and in potentially life-threatening conditions. Not only is it unsafe physically, but having to look down all the time causes these people to also live without dignity and confidence.

Here is the idea... what if we could raise enough money to buy 50,000 pairs of shoes in 50 days? The goal is simple and you can be a part of the movement. Go to and donate 5 bucks. 5 dollars buys 2 pair of shoes! Join the movement on facebook. Blog about it today on your blog. Tell your friends about what is going on. Many of you have already embraced this idea through Toms Shoes. This is just one more way we can meet a basic need for kids living in poverty all over the globe.

Go for it...this is an amazing charity and you can be a part of making a difference in the lives of people all over the globe. Here is some info about souls4shoes...
Nashville-based Soles4Souls(TM) facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Since its inception, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 3.5 million pairs (or one pair every 23 seconds) to people in 61 countries, including Honduras, Romania, Thailand, and the Sudan. The charity has been featured on CNN Headline News, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC News, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of regional outlets around North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit for more information.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

sunday night MIND DUMP...

Great weekend here, just have been thinking a few thoughts today as it wraps up...
  • Praying for Katrina Watts our director of grace acres here at GCC...she lost her grandmother this weekend. Praying for her and her family, Katrina is doing an amazing job with our preschool team!
  • Ron and the worship team did an amazing job this morning in our gathering at GCC. Go get the podcast! I will post some more thoughts from Sunday later this week. Thanks guys for leading us this morning.
  • This week we have a big meeting about launching the first KIDSTUF in Clarksville. Kidstuf is a worship experience where kids and parents worship together. We are really excited!
  • Ready for a change in Knoxville with my Vols. How do you lose to Wyoming???
  • Go Titans, we are that good!
  • Got to go to homecoming at MTSU this weekend. MTSU has done an amazing job thinking like a BIG SCHOOL. The facilities are amazing and if they can ever string together a few winning seasons they are going to really build their fan base! Go Blue!
  • My wife and kids are amazing! It was great to be with them all weekend. Since there is no school we are gonna hit the pool at the Y in the morning. Should be fun.
  • Get to speak at a retreat for FBC Smyrna this coming weekend. I am really excited...
  • Look for some big news on a ton of blogs in the morning, big announcement and big push coming all across the country.
  • At Remix we start a new series on dating, go look at
  • About to watch amazing race with my wife, YES! love that show!

Friday, November 7, 2008

one more worship song?

14 But I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell about your righteousness, about your salvation all day long. Even then, it is more than I can understand. Psalm 71:14-15 GWT

This summer I began to question, why do we need more worship songs? Why do we search out new artists singing new songs about this God we serve? No matter what style of music you like there is a desire for that new song, that new idea, that new melody. When we hear it we grab on to it and make that thought part of our lives. New worship music is needed and helps us to think new thoughts about a God we will never be able to contain.

From some people I hear this complaint about our consumption of worship music. It is almost like there is something wrong with the way we engage new music. It is like the enjoyment I have from a new song about God is bad! I keep coming back and questioning how desiring new ideas about God expressed through new music can be a bad thing. The real desire for new music flows from a desire within all of us that longs to connect with a God we have a hard time grasping. Art (music) helps us express how we feel about God and understand truth about God when we struggle to find ways to express it. Here are some places I have landed when it comes to music in the Christian faith...
  • When it comes to music we need to strive to create rather than copy. Regardless of style make good art that honors and amazing God. (GOOD ART, not stuff that is "safe" enough to get played on Christian radio - HA)
  • Embrace the new and the old. Can we ever say enough about the God who created the universe?
  • We learn our theology from music. Yes we need lyrics that express truth, God's word, and solid doctrine in our music. We learn about God as we sing about God. This goes for every age group in the church.
  • Music can challenge the way we view God and view life! Controversy and be good when it makes us think. we ave to allow artists to stretch the way we view following Christ. THINK DEREK WEBB, that guys challenges the process. You do not have to agree with him but let him express his art and think?
  • Great worship music leads us to this amazing God we serve and exalts Him. Worship music should be God centered.
  • Lets give artists the freedom to create and quit being so FEARFUL that someone might say something wrong. Why ask artists to stop expressing thoughts about God and life???
So for those of you out there writing new music, keep rolling! Thanks for helping our hearts connect with this amazing God! Thanks Steve Fee, Hillsong United, Charlie Hall, Daniel Doss, Eddie Kirkland, Kristian Stanfill, Robbie Seay, Todd Fields, and so many more for stretching our view of God through your music.

Thursday, November 6, 2008 A GREAT IDEA!

One of the wild things about Grace Community is that we do our best to empower people with ideas and then give them support so that they can go carry out that idea. A few months ago, a few people passionate about adoption came to our team and asked about hosting an event to help people understand the adoption process. GREAT IDEA! We had 2 choices. They could go out and make it happen or they could wait until we hired a pastor to lead that effort. (yes we have been told at other churches that every ministry of the church has to have a staff person to help lead it or watch it or make sure it does not go cRaZy) We decided to let this team go for it and now we have an adoption event coming this month for our community! Go to and check out what is going down. This just makes sense and there are babies and future babies all over the globe needing homes with moms and dads who want them. Spread the word here in our community and think about hosting an adoption event in your community. Supporting the pro-life movement is way more than voting for a president. The movement must help give people looking for abortion options that make sense. Thanks to all of you who work to provide wise options for scared women who need a different way of handling an unexpected pregnancy and do not want an abortion.

Go check it out //

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

so what now?

We all know who our next President will be now. For many of us our "guy" did not win the election. for some of ya you got the "win". It is wild how we walk away from every election day with some feeling thrilled and some devastated. I love to follow politics but my true hope does not lie in who wins or loses an election. A perfect politician does not exist and every politician with every party will make many choices that you and I do not support. Many mistakes will not not be seen because we do not have access to that level of political life. As followers of Christ it is so critical we pray for the good of our nation. We pray that God will bring salvation to millions far from Christ. We pray God will give wisdom to the men and women who represent us in government. We pray that God will give wisdom and guidance to our president elect. As I was working out this morning at the Y God worked through my shuffle on my mp3 player...yes God does work that were two songs that played in a row, just a little sample from each.

Steve Fee - Faithful
You were before time
and You'll be when it ends
for you have no beginning
and no end
Your word shall endure
without change it is sure
on Your promises
we will stand secure

You are ever faithful,
You are ever faithful
to us, God
You are crowned all-powerful
all the world will bow before
You, Oh God

Kristian Stanfill - Lord of All
There is none so High and Holy
King of Kings the One and Only
You are adored, You are the Lord of All

We are not defined by a party, denomination, government, or man made organization. We serve a God who Reigns on High! Live, Dream, Serve, and Love in and through Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

youth pastors...PLEASE empower your team...

This weekend we pulled off our second CRAVE weekend of relevant student ministry history (that sounds official!). The band (Matt Blair led!) did great, Jay Strother did an amazing job speaking, but the real difference makers in the weekend were our lifegroup leaders. Yea, we call our adult group leaders lifegroup leaders. We love what happens in each session. We are passionate about the teaching and worship times at every retreat. We love havinf fun, but when I look back at last weekend the most important thing that happened was the relational bridges built between the teens and their lifegroup leaders. The group times that went down at CRAVE come back to Clarksville with each group. The crazy things that happened come home with each group. The ideas that God impressed on each kids heart come back with each group. What happened on retreat keeps SWIRLING back at our weekly gathering because our lifegroup leaders took the time to go with their kids to CRAVE. Thanks so much to our team for doing such a great job.

I think the most important thing every youth pastor can do is empower their adult volunteers to move from "youth worker" to youth minister. It has to be OK that students call their group leader when things go wrong. It has to be OK that our group leaders are at their ballgames and plays instead of us. It has to be OK that our group leaders have input into the direction of the student ministries we lead. Instead of trying to be "super minister" each of us responsible have to stop doing it ALL, taking all the credit, and empower the team we lead. Your team is there to serve, minister, and lead not just be bossed around doing all the junk you do not want to do! Empower your team, listen to them, serve them, pray for them, and then step back and watch God work as you multiply your ministries effectiveness! (Oh yea, your juniors and seniors can be great leaders also, we know because we have some of the best! Do not be scared to empower High school students!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

happy halloween LATE...

Ok, I was gone on Halloween getting setup for our Crave Retreat last weekend. This is a picture of my girls at a Halloween party that our friends put on. WOW, are not cute. Our kids love Halloween and they are the ones dressed up in the hat and purple ballerina dress. My girls get to go to Grace Community with these kids every week. We all are going to start a community group in January. Chelsea and I are just grateful for the relationships God has blessed us with here at GCC. OK, I will stop being sappy, here is a late HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

you can vote however you like

Yes we go vote in the morning. Chelsea and I are going to take turns hanging out with the kids so we can both go and vote. It is very exciting to see so many people passionate about this election. If you know me then you know I love a little political action. It has really been cool to have friendships with democrats, republicans and independents and hear their ideas and passion for this election. Yes you can be a follower of Christ and be any of these three options. We need a viable third party in America for all of us who really do desire reform ans who have been burned by either the blue or red. Jesus is not involved in anything but advancing the Kingdom of God. So for all of you who have your ideas of what will is the best plan for America, good luck. The best thing we can do as Christ followers is vote, pray, live out our faith, and serve others. We can make this country a better place to live, raise a family, and work as we as followers of Christ live as Christ. I am so thankful that God has given us freedom here in America. Go out and vote. Not matter who wins, our God reigns! Oh and watch this video to inspire you to go vote on Nov. 4!