Sunday, May 31, 2009

at CONVERGE camp this week...

Get the chance to speak this week at Converge Camp for Spring Creek Baptist Church and One Church. I am so looking forward to getting to invest in the teens and the leaders. I will have no Internet access for the week so look for updates on twitter and facebook. If you get the chance, pray God will work in our hearts all week. Might get few updates on here during the week, we will see if I make it out of camp or not...with a camp never week you never know! One thing I know is that it is going to be a great week. Jonathan Giles and his team of volunteers have done a great job getting it all ready. Now we just need one BIG THING...we just need God to move. That is what we are praying for!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Great to be in Bloomfield, KY

This is a shot of downtown Bloomfield, KY...well this is Bloomfield KY! Hard to understand Bloomfield until you have experienced Bloomfield and Chelsea and I got to spend almost 4 years serving at Bloomfield Baptist Church. We really loved our time at the church and we gained so many friends we will cherish for the rest of our lives. Today we loaded up the girls and went back for Sarah Parks (Chelsea'a cousin, she ROCKS!) graduation party. It was Kozbi and Kelyn's first time to see the town, the church, our old house and experience Hometown Pizza, a great place to eat. The best part of all was seeing so many friends through the day. It was so great to catch up with our Bloomfield family. Yes, we love these guys like family. I look back at our time and I am always thrilled that I had the chance to serve the church and connect with so many great people. When you think about it, true success in ministry is all about investing in people. There is no success without a real investment in relationships. We got to see God do some great things at BBC but nothing compares to the friendships God allowed us to experience. Thanks BBC for giving Chelsea and I a chance to learn so much about ministry and life while we served you. The lessons we learned leading at BBC make such a difference as we lead here at Grace Community. Thanks for making us feel so at home when we come back!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

new Hillsong United...

Really excited about the new Hillsong United album. If you are out there and you go to GCC or you are connected with relevant you need to to go download this album today. What I love about United albums is that they have to grow on you. Every album has an end goal in mind and I love the live recording. Big thanks to the Hillsong team for helping us embrace the greatness of our God through music. The band will be in Nashville this weekend, grab a ticket if you can. Nate Edmondson will be there so look to his blog to see some feedback from the Nashville date.

This got me thinking...what are my three favorite worship albums of all time? Please I know the first one is older but come on, I am 33 now! These three helped me see what was possible in our worship expression through music in our gatherings. With all three of these albums I can pop them in the car today and just go for it. Here they are...

The last one is Steve Fee's final album as an independent artist if you can find it get it, if not search for Fee on itunes for the new version of this album. These three are my favorite because they inspired other artists to think BIGGER. They all three helped me see God more clearly. So, who are your favorite artists that help lead you to engage God? I want to know...list your top three here. If you do not have my favorite three GO GET THEM! Who do you follow? Who helps you engage Christ in worship?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jon & Kate...what do you think?

Ok, I admit it, I watch Jon and Kate Plus 8. I know it is sad but those kids rock. Jon and Kate are not "rocking" so much right now. Chelsea and I just watched the season opener and feel so bad for both both of them. The family has everything they could want in life except a healthy marriage. Was it just me or is this one huge train wreck? Lets face it, marriage is hard work. This marriage is in front of America to watch. This is reality and please hear me...REALITY SUCKS! I hate this is so normal in our culture. I hope Jon and Kate will fight to keep their marriage over this stupid show. What do you think? How did you react to the show? Here are my top five thoughts after watching the season opener...
  1. Jon looks miserable! So much to that statement but he just looks miserable!
  2. You could see that the older girls know something is wrong. The whole, "the kids help all the time now" reveals that life in that house is pretty rough right now. The older girls just want to help make things better.
  3. Jon and Kate are making statements that are typical divorce statements. If you or your spouse are talking like they are talking your marriage is in trouble.
  4. Who are Jon and Kate's REAL FRIENDS? Do they have any? Where is their church community in all of this? WOW!
  5. They both said..."I am for the kids!" Great, big whoopee! Those 2 need to be all about their marriage if they want to be all about the kids. Want to help your and treasure your wife JON! Come on!
I am done, needed to vent! What did you think about the season opener?

doing ministry ONLINE?

In staff meeting this morning we had a great talk about our ability to connect with people online through our websites, Facebook, and twitter. Sunday we had an amazing baptism service and in fifteen minutes after the event there were pictures of that experience on Facebook from the people who experienced it! NOT THE STAFF...from people who just wanted to share the experience! We love it! We are trying to connect with people online, to allow them in and live life with our staff team. We are so thankful for the people who are part of GCC and our online presence is allowing us to connect in a different way with many people. Check this out from a blogger you need to follow. His name is Tony Morgan and here is a thought from a recent post he made, go check his blog out! Read what Tony had to say about ministry online...

I’m amazed at the number of churches that still view the web as primarily an advertising mechanism to let people know who they are and what they’re doing. Go ahead. Visit several church websites. Really doesn’t even matter what size the church is. With few exceptions, you’ll find their web strategy is essentially a bullhorn approach. The church is standing on a streetcorner of the web yelling at the people passing by:

  • “Come to our services on Sunday!”
  • “Let me tell you about our men’s ministry!”
  • “Join us for the golf tournament or fishing derby!”
  • “Serve on one of our ministry teams!”
  • “Give money to our church!”
  • “Here’s what we believe!”

It’s a one-sided relationship. The church views the web as a place to promote their agenda. No interaction with the audience. No stories of life change. No solutions to help people experience community or discipleship online. At best, you may be able to watch a video of a service, but you certainly won’t have the opportunity to engage a conversation with others about what you’re watching.

Essentially we’ve taken the Sunday service bulletin and we’ve put it on our website. That’s the web strategy for the Church today. “Here’s who we are and what we’re doing. Join us!”

The rest of the world views the Web very differently. For example, outside of the Church, people go online to:

  • Meet other people and build relationships
  • Share what’s happening in their life and tell their story
  • Get a taste of the experience, primarily through video, with the opportunity to interact
  • Have the ability to share slivers of content with others (3-minute clips, not 45-minute messages)
  • View content on demand on their time
  • Create content to add their contribution to the bigger story

Rather than looking at the Web through the eyes of a Facebook and YouTube and Twitter user, though, we’re still looking at the Web through the eyes of a Sunday bulletin reader. That approach works for the people who are already attending our churches. It completely ignors the people who we are trying to reach.

And that’s the problem. We view the Web as an add-on. After we’ve figured out how we’re going to do ministry, then we want to know how to use the Web to promote our ministry.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Got this email today from one of my closest friends in the military. This family served with us at Relevant as volunteers last year before they had to move. I want you to be able to follow Mike's blog as he is deployed over the next year. Mike loves God and hs family with all his heart. I love him even though he is a Pittsburg Steeler fan! Read this email...follow this blog!

Friends and Family,

A quick update and then on to the more serious stuff. This last six months has been a blur but we are finally settled here in Colorado. We have found true paradise. We thought it was in Hawaii, it is here in Colorado. We have been reunited with some friends here and have a mile long to-do list of things in the Colorado Springs area. Baylee and Jack have been accepted into a great school and are looking forward to starting in the fall (which makes Britin very happy.) We have been very busy trying to hike, climb, mountain bike, and sight see everything before either I leave or the attractions go away.

It has come to that time again when I must say goodbye. In less than two weeks I will begin the process of deploying once again. With all the practice over the years of being gone this still remains one of the hardest parts. All the training I go through, the late nights to get things ready to go, and the semi-sleepless nights before I leave never really get you truly ready to say, “Goodbye.” The fear of not returning or not being able to see somebody one last time always seems to be the strongest in the final few weeks before leaving.

During this deployment I’m attempting to journal / blog my experience from a perspective that you won’t receive from CNN or MSNBC. Please check out my blog at I would like to give a firsthand account of true life inside and outside the wire of what is going on. I would like to capture over the course of 12 months the difference we (Collation Forces) make in a foreign land. I hope to dispel some of the ideology that we are involved in war that is unwinnable and we are wasting time, money, and resources.

This is a difficult task to prove to some of you in this e-mail but that is the beauty of living in this great country that I love so much. The ability to have the freedoms we so easily take for granted continue to fuel my motivation to keep on fighting for what is right. As I pack-up last minute items, say good-night to the kids a few more times, and try to maximize every precious last minute with my family, I’m reminded of one thing; I would gladly go anywhere in the world to continue to keep my family, friends, and neighbors safe during these difficult times so they have one less thing to worry about.

God Bless, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, and Happy Memorial Day.



Sunday, May 24, 2009


Watching Band of Brothers, the epic tale of a group of soldiers in World War II, always messes me up. I have seen the entire series several times and every time I watch it I am more and more amazed at the sacrifice those men and women gave to confront evil in Europe and in Asia. On Monday we will celebrate Memorial Day with our families and so many of us will move through the entire day without remembering the price that has been paid for our freedom. For over 200 years men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice to confront injustice and stand in the gap for our nation in war. These men and women gave their life because they were asked to serve and protect our freedom and the freedoms of people all over our globe. When I think about it all I can do is say thank you. I also find myself wanting to make sure my life is spent fully on things that are significant. We have freedom to dream, think, speak, write, and create here in our country yet so many of us never spend our lives on anything of significance. Thinking about Memorial Day makes me want to leverage every day I have so my days here on this earth will matter. I want to make sure my life is invested in my family, my church, my city. I hope I have invested in the one thing on this planet that is eternal, PEOPLE. I want to make sure I am sacrificing right along side those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. One day we will face death like those we honor on Memorial Day, will we be able to know our life was spent on things that matter?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

CONGRAT'S to the class of 2009

I have been back in Clarksville over 2 years now and I knew this day was going to come. I am so glad to be here to see the Class of 2009 graduate. This is not just graduation for me, tons of these kids were in the middle school ministry I led here at First Baptist Clarksville when I first moved to this city. These kids were in our ministry when my 6 year old daughter was born. I was able to do middle school ministry with this group of students for 2 years and then come back to town when they were in high school and see them graduate. I was able to launch Relevant Student Ministry with a group of these teens. I have got to know this group of parents on a different level and I am so thankful you guys allowed me to invest in your children. Class of 2009 it was an honor to "DO LIFE" with you. I am excited to see what plans God has for you in the coming years. My prayer for you is that you will love God with all your heart, love others, and that you will make a difference with the days God gives you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

last day of school and my girl is 6????

Kozbi had her 6th birthday Wednesday and on Friday she has her last day of Kindergarten. I love my big girl! Took her out for a little date on Wednesday to get some ice cream and it was so fun to hang out with her. We have got to the point where we can hang out and talk. I pray it is always like that. I am betting if I give her DADDY time now she will want that time for the rest of her life. Ok, maybe a little less during middle school but it will be OK! Love ya Koz!

Parents and Teens confront the issue of Porn

The guys at Community Christian Church invited Mike Foster (co-founder of and Anne Jackson (a favorite blogger and writer of Bayne) to talk about the issue of pornography with the parents and teens at the church...TOGETHER. I love this approach with the issue and I know many of our families at GCC are struggling with how to handle this issue. Porn is a family issue. Moms, Dads, and Teens are fighting this battle. Here is the link to hear Mike and Anne talk about the issue, Go take some time and watch this. Thanks to Mike, Anne, and the Community Christian student ministry for sharing this night with us!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

worth the risk...

(in this picture from left to right / Aaron, Nate, Lauren, Mike, Clark, Claire, and Seth THE FIRST REMIX BAND)

We talk a ton about our core team at Grace Community who three years ago risked everything, left established churches, and planted the church. We are so glad for these families who gave it all for a dream God had planted in their hearts. Another group we forget so often are the kids of these families. In the picture above, all of these teens left their established youth ministries and joined the movement here at GCC. The guys above (Duke Boles was out first worship lead, we miss ya Duke!) 2 years ago joined me as we prayed about launching relevant student ministry and became our first Remix Band. For 2 years we have seen the ministry move from 15 teens wondering where "everyone" was to a mass of teenagers who gather and connect in small groups each week at REMIX. We have seen teens connect week in and week out in our Sunday gathering at GCC. I have made a commitment not to talk about our current numbers on the blog so you are not going to get that here. Our team watches the numbers, we evaluate the numbers, and we thank God for each teen that has plugged in BUT the numbers do not tell the story. We just want to BOAST in the God who is at work in our lives bringing hope and healing. Because a few teens and families left the security of their churches a few years ago we have been able to create a new environment to reach and mentor teenagers here in Clarksville. We get to help teens and families here in Clarksville rethink faith, rethink Christ, and rethink what life is really about. Nate, Seth, Aaron, Claire, Lauren, and Clark thanks for risking it all and believing in a dream when we led each week with 15 incredible folks were coming.(Taylor, Austin, Alexis, David, Katie, Scottie, Ethan, Brianna, Kelly, Patrick, Peter, Sarah, and all rock and you were there with us in the crowd) You stood on the stage with me and talked about a dream for youth ministry in Clarksville. Some people go their whole life without trusting God and risking it all for a dream. You got to do that in High School! I am so proud of you guys and know you God has big plans for each of you. Relevant Student Ministry is here because you took a step of faith.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

paying it forward...

Love the opportunity to talk, teach, think, and dream about ministry and the local church with other leaders. It is a big reason why I like blogging. There were just a few guys in youth ministry when I started this journey sharing their ideas and life. To share ideas now I do not have to write a book or get a chance to lead a conference session. I get to think out loud here on the blog. I know, Bayne thinking might be dangerous! Why not give life and ministry lessons away? Why not take time to invest in others on their journey? Here on the blog I get to give away some of the lessons our team is learning here at GCC. If you want to invest in others in 2009 you just have to be willing to make it a priority. This week I get to sit down with a local organization to help them think through using social networking to connect with their clients. I got to spend some time on the phone talking with a church leader in Georgia about some branding ideas for a new service his church is launching. Get to partner with a local youth pastor this summer to help with a summer camp he is running for his student ministry. These are all things just require TIME. You can not wait for someone to give you permission to influence others, you just have to choose to make it a priority. If you want to invest in other leaders you have to make some time in your calendar to go for it. Pay it forward and start now.

need a house?

Ok, I am not selling houses! My good friend Daniel Doss served on staff here at Grace Community for the past 3 years and now is helping to launch a new church in Valpo right outside of Chicago. The bottom line is they are trying to sell their place here in Clarksville. I know how they are feeling! Waiting for a house to sale is not much fun. Grace Community folks...lets work to spread the word about Daniel and Emily's house. You may know someone that is looking. Spread the word. I am excited for Daniel and Emily as they move into this new adventure in Valpo. You can check out the Grace Point website clicking the GP link.

If you want me to try to sale your house on my blog it will only cost you 1.9 million dollars. We can sign the deal today! CALL ME! PLEASE!

Daniel and Emily, all of us here at GCC love ya!

Monday, May 18, 2009

BIG staff at Grace Community

I am so excited I get to finally share this news with our Grace Community family. We are excited about adding Adam Bayne to the GCC staff as the Director of Cross Street. Yes Adam is my younger brother and yes it is wild to think that we will be serving together! Cross Street is our children's ministry and this is the first full time position we have had here at GCC for children's ministry. Our team here at GCC believes in the value of having a thriving ministry to families. We are willing to go to great lengths to make sure we keep getting better at serving kids and this is one of those steps for our church. Adam has been a 4th grade teacher in Georgia over the past three years and has done amazing job at investing in kids and parents there in the public school system. We know he will be an amazing addition to our team here at GCC. Adam and Marissa are expecting their first child (Emma Kay) in July and will be joining us here in Clarksville in August. You can find both of them on facebook if you search for in my friend list. Go welcome them to GCC!

With that big news, I am just as excited about Christy Crosby (our founding Cross Street director as volunteer then part-time staff) moving into a new role here on our team. Christy is a great friend and a great leader here at GCC. Christy is going to be moving into a Administrative role here on the team in a position we have not given a name to yet. She will be working to make sure our systems are healthy and help us collaborate better as a staff with the DETAILS of ministry. Thanks so much to Christy and Steve for all they have given as they served our kids in Cross Street. You both are amazing.

God is at work at Grace Community Church! I am so glad to be a part of this movement here in Clarksville!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

final Cross Street Live of the school year...TONIGHT @ 5 @ RHS

Tonight we will fill this stage with actors, singers, and dancers for one give kids and parents a chance to worship together. I know for ages church has been about adults, what they like, what they want! WHY? Why does it have to be like that? Cross Street Live is one hour a month where we design a service for kids and parents to learn TOGETHER. If you are in Clarksville we want to invite you out to check this experience out. This is the last CSL until we come back this fall when school starts back. Thanks to all our Cross Street Live team for a great job this spring. Oh yea, if you come tonight you can be the first to hear some BIG NEWS about Cross Street. Hope to see you tonight! 5 PM @ Rossview High School!

Friday, May 15, 2009

a little "family tradition"

My little girls turn 6 and 3 in April and May. We are trying to set a TRADITION (yes family traditions rock) with birthday trips for the girls so we can go on short adventures together. This weekend we are rocking out Atlanta. Today included our first trip to the Mellow Mushroom and a Brave game. On Saturday we are off to the American Girl Doll store and the Atlanta Zoo. Here are my favorite pictures from today...more to come from Saturday...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

help with parenting...why not come to CSL???

Been working on Cross Street LIVE all day and I am so excited about our final family worship experience for this season. We have had a great time investing in parents and kids this spring and we are going to give our team a break this summer so we can get ready for next season (BIGGER, BADDER, BETTER) of CSL. This week CSL is at 5 PM @ Rossview High School, click on the logo for more info on

Also thinking about parenting and I found this on my friend Renae Garcia's BLOG...enjoy this video! This will inspire all of you parents out there!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Youth Ministry needs a healthy "Pace"

This is the final Wednesday night of REMIX for this school year. It has been an amazing year for our weekly gathering and it is has been so clear that students have moved forward in their faith. One of the values we embraced when we launched relevant student ministry here at Grace Community 2 years ago was that programs exist to enhance ministry to teens not hold us in bondage. We started taking program breaks right in the beginning and it has paid off in massive ways for our team and the students connected with relevant. I really do believe that a healthy pace can enhance the programs you lead. I also believe that for many youth ministries the "out of control pace" is killing the staff, volunteers, and training teens to be over dependent on our ministries to entertain them. When did youth discipleship become "just stay busy" and do all kinds of great events? So why do I think a healthy pace can help youth ministries gain momentum...
  • This is the cultural reality of organizations in the life of teenagers. TV shows have seasons, all sports have seasons, and schools have semesters and take breaks. In the life of teenagers things start with energy and end with energy. It is just a cultural norm.
  • Healthy pace in our ministry programs help teens and parents not link spiritual growth to ONLY OUR PROGRAMS.
  • A healthy pace with keep our volunteers excited about serving. Paid and volunteer leaders need time off.
  • Breaks in programing give your team a chance to experiment with other ministry plans! (our team is experimenting with some new idea this summer!)
  • A healthy pace helps to create times of momentum building at the beginning and momentum at the end leading to the "FINALE." At remix we have maintained momentum because we have been leading toward tonight.
  • With a healthy pace you always leave teens wanting more instead of being tired of what your ministry does.
  • A healthy ministry pace with programming helps YOUTH MINISTRY support the church. At GCC ministry to teens and parents keeps rolling in this thing called the SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE. Just a thought! (some of you will not be able to embrace this because you lead a youth ministry that protects teens from the church you work at!)
  • A healthy pace helps you depend on God more that your programs. God brings life change not our weekly deal.
A healthy pace for the ministry will look different for every church culture but I challenge every one of you leading in student ministry to take time to think about pace. MORE is not always better. MORE is not the goal. MORE does not always lead to teens following Christ. FOCUS and a HEALTHY PACE will lead us to a ministry that makes a difference for the long haul.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

taking JESUS to the "PARTY"

We are in a series at GCC called ROADTRIP. This week we looked at taking our faith to the PARTY. Ok, lets define party. The party is anywhere social like the golf course, the YMCA, dinner with friends, the party, the movies, and on and on! We all get "faith" when it comes to church and some of us get it when it comes to our homes but what do we do with our faith in Christ when we are hanging out with friends. What is right? What is wrong? More importantly when I am at the Titans game does Jesus fit into the picture at all? We all want to know! Well, do me a favor and check this talk out given by Chad Rowland. This is worth 30 minutes of your life. Here is the link you need...

to watch the video check out

for the audio podcast check out

Monday, May 11, 2009

quick hit MONDAY

  • The final Cross Street LIVE of the spring is this Sunday night. Our team is getting ready for one HUGE finish to the season. GCC families, book it and be there.
  • We had an amazing Sunday at GCC. So proud of the team, more on that here on the blog later this week.
  • We have 4 open spots for High School and Middle School camp this summer. YES Bigstuf and Student Life camp are both amazing and we can not wait to invest in these kids.
  • Final week of REMIX, praying hard for a great final week with this group of students.
  • In other YOUTH MINISTRY NEWS...our local network of student pastors is planning a huge week for 2010 for Clarksville. I am really excited.
  • Really cool to be able to say this...OUR WEEKLY GATHERING AND SMALL GROUPS DRIVE RELEVANT STUDENT MINISTRY, not events! That is fun to say! That is what we are going for.
  • Really proud of our creative team here at GCC. The services in this series have been GREAT.
  • Chelsea and I just dumped our home phone service! We are a cell family. We really do not ever use the home phone. All we need are cell phones, Internet, and TV, we are working on a plan that works for us.
  • Loving twitter, if you are on there let me know at
  • My dad is on twitter, MY DAD IS COOL...Yea!
  • Kozbi learned to ride a bike this weekend, WOW! It is very cool to see her go for it!
  • Koz also experienced her first FIELD DAY...the best day of the year in elementary school!
  • This weekend we are taking our girls on a birthday trip to Atlanta for the American Girl doll store, the BRAVES!, and the zoo. Should be fun.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Yes...I love Taco Bell

Is there anybody out there with me? When it comes to FAST FOOD there is nothing like a quick run to the border for some taco's and a HUGE Diet Dew. When I found this online a few weeks ago I had to get it up here on the blog...Here's to you Taco Bell! Check out this video. if you are on Facebook head back to my blog ( to see the video or go right to You Tube! enjoy...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

love ya MOM!

I have been blessed by God to have 2 incredible women placed in my life, let me explain...

Kay, my are amazing. Thanks for loving us as kids and supporting us as we have launched into our own adventure of parenting. You were the best MOM a kid could have, you made our home such a safe and fun place to grow up. You are the best. Thanks for loving my wife and our kids. I treasure every moment we have together and every time I see my kids hug your neck, are the best.

Chelsea, I am amazed to watch you love our girls. You are an amazing parent and you continually shape our girls into who God has made them to be. I am blessed to call you my wife. You have made me the man I am today. Thanks for living this thing called life with me. Our family is the most blessed family in the world to have you in our life as MOM! You rock!

Happy Mothers Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

connecting with REAL people

Over the years I have noticed that for adults and teens (oh yea for myself also) it is so easy for us to surround ourselves with the same people that go to our same church and do the same things we do. That is all great except that part of the the Bible that tells us we are to "GO" and "make disciples" other words go and help others become followers of Christ. Not a big fan of knocking on strangers doors and selling Jesus like a door to door salesman. I do believe in relational evangelism, caring for people even if they never become followers of Christ. Yes, I have good friends who are not Christ followers. Yes, we do talk about what each other believe. Yes, I am blessed with those relationships. Yes, it is a process! Helping others hear, see, and experience Christ for themselves begins and ends in getting to know people. Found this short post on the Catalyst BLOG, thanks to the Catalyst team for the great reminder...
Over at The Resurgence, there's a great article "Simplified Missional Living."

Jonathan Dodson gives us 8 easy ways to engage non-Christians in your life. Go read his article to get the full effect, but here are the bullet points:

* Eat with non-Christians
* Walk, don't drive ,around your neighborhood when possible.
* Be a "regular" at your local coffee shop, restaurant, market, hair cut, etc
* Hobby with non-Christians - find extra curriculars that you enjoy that you can do with all kinds of people
* Develop relationships with your co-workers and pray for them
* Volunteer with a non-profit once a month, and bring your family, friends and small group too!
* Instead of watching TV or playing XBOX, participate in city events, get in the mix
* Serve your neighbors - like weeding and fixing their cars.

Above all, strike-up conversations, be friendly, say "hi, my name's BLANK. What's your name?"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

what am I concerned about when I speak?

At the Orange Conference Andy Stanley and Perry Noble spent 40 minute talking about the communication process in the churches they lead. Something that Andy said hit my heart and is one of those statements that I think will stick with me for years to come as I communicate. Andy said...

"We should care more about the audience than how we look or how we "do" speaking" (this is paraphrased!)

How many times do I work on my talk with the idea of DOING WELL at the forefront of my mind as I prepare? How many time have I asked after a talk, how did I do? Too many! We have to begin to care about how God works in the hearts of the people we are communicating to rather than being the BEST SPEAKER EVER or the BEST WORSHIP LEADER EVER or the BEST COMMUNITY GROUP LEADER. Should we strive for excellence? YES! Should we put the time in to do a great job when we speak? YES! But, we cannot allow our minds to be more concerned with our performance over God's work in the heart's of the people. All of us who speak have to be reminded of this because we feed off of performance and feedback. Study hard, prepare hard, pray hard and then go to your audience and speak with passion as you rely on God to do His part. Less of US and more of God...that is the right equation as we prepare to speak each week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Death Cab concert @ the RYMAN!

Got to see Death Cab for Cutie at the Ryman Auditorium Monday night. The only word to describe the venue and the show is AMAZING. One of the best live shows I have ever seen and I put them up there with Coldplay and Mute Math for a live show. My good friend Erika Grizzard is a great photographer and she took these shots and let me share them on the blog. My camera was in Guatemala with Chad Rowland. My only pics from the show came from my phone. Check these shots out...


Was listening to Andy Crouch ( on CD from last year at Catalyst and was reminded how we usually approach our culture. When it comes to our culture usually we become a critics of it or we constantly conform. Andy reminded us all last year at Catalyst that we were really designed by God as Christ followers to cultivate culture and create culture. When I talk about cultivating culture I mean protecting and enhancing that which is GOOD. Creating means just that, CREATE CULTURE within our current culture.

I am thrilled to be able to cultivate and create culture here from my role at Grace Community church but today I was reminded how blessed we are at GCC to have people in Clarksville creating and cultivating culture in their work roles. One of my best friends here is a financial planner and he is helping to create and cultivate. One of our leaders here at GCC is in a top leadership role in our hospital and trying to create and cultivate culture. Tons of folks at GCC are teachers, business owners, homemakers and they are all doing an amazing job creating and cultivating culture here in Clarksville. I get to work on this process in the safety of my office here in my Christian organization. The real hero's of the faith here in our city are the ones creating and cultivating culture that honor's THE CREATOR out in the middle of our city surrounded by people of all beliefs, faiths, and values. Thanks for what you do!

Monday, May 4, 2009

quick hit MONDAY

  • Still recovering from the Orange Conference last week. I have been to all three years of this conference and this was the best year. Thanks to the Orange team for the great work. Thanks for creating space for a fresh approach to ministry to the family! Our team came away with tons of insight and renewed passion to serve the families at Grace Community!
  • The best compliment I can give to the RETHINK team (guys who do the Orange Conference) is that they IMPROVE their products, material, ministry strategy, and conference every year. They listen to feedback and make improvements. That is what makes this team great.
  • Phil whatever you have to but go get both his Cd's right now. Phil did a great job at Orange and I have been blown away the past few days by his writing. Great worship leader!
  • Reggie talk on the partnership on the church and the family I have ever heard at Orange. Thanks Reggie!
  • Andy Stanley and Perry Noble said some great stuff about communication at Orange that i am still processing, will blog later.
  • 2 more weeks of REMIX here at relevant student ministry! My heart is overwhelmed when I look back on this season on the teens we have been able to invest in. STOKED about these last 2 weeks.
  • Got to speak yesterday at GCC and start the ROADTRIP series. Thankful for the chance to communicate and you can check out the service yesterday at and click on resources.
  • We have some big announcements coming for our kids ministry at GCC this month...I CAN NOT WAIT TO SHARE THE NEWS, but I will!
  • Cross Street Live and Summer Camp are what I need to focus on this week, FOCUS please Michael FOCUS!
  • I love twitter...there I said it. As much as I like Facebook, I love twitter. Go sign up!
  • Going to see Death Cab for Cutie tonight at the Ryman in Nashville. SO STOKED.

Friday, May 1, 2009

what do SMALL GROUP leaders DO? / breakout @ Orange 09

Kristen Ivey from RETHINK and Kevin Ragsdale from North Point Community church led this session on WHAT SMALL GROUP leaders in student ministry need to DO. Great session with some great thoughts. Relevant team, get ready to hear this again in August as we get ready for our next season of REMIX!

Why small groups...
Small groups multiply the ministry happening TO KIDS, there is not one minster there are MANY ministers called group leaders.

Small group ministry provides stability and ensures stable change. Small group ministry take the personality factor out of youth ministry.

Small group ministry grows ministry beyond the YOUTH PASTOR.

5 essentials of a group leader
Commit to a JOURNEY
It is hard to measure because it is GRADUAL! It will take time to see growth in the life of a teen.

You can learn to identify moments of spiritual growth / PHASES
Life changing TRUTH,

Fill up FIRST
You fuel what God wants to do through you when you cooperate with what God wants to do IN you!

Spend time on THEIR TURF
It is a relationship not a position that gives you influence.
Its understanding not knowledge that gives you leadership.
Time together creates context for relationship!
Are you committed to volunteering at CHURCH or mentoring a group of teens?
TEENS have to be convinced that you care about THEM AS A PERSON.

1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NLT)
8 We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too. s 2:8

Partner with PARENTS
Small group leaders maximize potential when they partner with parents!
Group leaders have temporary leadership but parents have lifelong influence!
EVERY teen needs reminder of the significance of parents
Every parent needs a reminder of seeking right relationship with their son or daughter.

You win the heart of a parents when the parents knows you have been an advocate for the family!

Keep it REAL

When you create an atmosphere of acceptance you build healthy and authentic relationship.
AUTHENTIC leading is NOT A TELL ALL of our mistakes but a filtered authentic relationship…
We are not just FRIENDS, we are mentors, guides ALSO we are not another PARENT, tension is good!

Women SERVING in the Church / Nancy Beach @ Orange 09

Session three at Orange 2009 was led by Nancy Beach from the Willow Creek Association. The Orange team brought her in to talk about her views of women LEADING in the church. There is no doubt that this is a hot button issue that can bring passion from all when discussed. I am not going to go into detail about all the Nancy said because I do not want to take it out of context of give others the chance to take it out of context. Nancy has served at Willow Creek Community church as a teaching pastor for years now. Nancy was asking church leaders to think about how we empower women to use their gifts in the local church. God gives each of us specific gifts that he wants us to use for Kingdom. Do we hold women back from using their gifts in the church? Nancy said that there are several groups who WIN when we encourage women to serve in their giftedness...

The church congregation (women have unique qualities and perception)
check out Judges 4:4 Deborah the prophet LED ISRAEL

the Non-churched in our community (the outside world sees an absence of women leadership in many churches and it is a WIN when people outside the church see us empower women)

Our Pastoral Staff and Leadership Teams (women have influence that can add to the depth of our leadership teams!)

Our Daughters and the Next Generation (our young ladies need to embrace the call of God to serve God vocationally)

So, when this issue is brought up how do you respond? Most of us run back to what we were taught as a kid in our home church and never investigate what the Bible actually says about the issue. I recommend reading The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight for a fresh perspective on the issue. At GCC we have strong women leading on our staff, on stage leading worship, in community groups, in our kids environments, on mission trips, and in our community. We are striving to help women find their strengths and then serve and lead. I am so grateful for the strong women leaders we have speaking into the life of Grace Community. It is so cool to see our gifted women leaders follow the leadership of Chad, Ron, and our Elder team. How does this all is called respect! Our staff team respects and is thankful for the gifted women leaders God has given GCC. Amazing things happen when we love each other as we love ourselves (regardless of GENDER!). Thanks for teaching us that Jesus! I have daughters and I want them to know they can serve God will all their life VOCATIONALLY if God leads them to that dream for their life!