Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CONNECT events this week @ relevant

Our interns here at relevant student ministry are doing an amazing job this summer. One of the things I look for with staff and interns is self motivation. I love people who take action and will lead. I would rather have to slow someone down than push for passion. (Honestly I am to the point I just think people who have to be pushed to work hard or be creative need to find another place to work other than the church BUT that is another post for another day) I so proud of the work that Nate and Lauren have put in this summer doing ministry in this season and helping us get ready for Fall 2009. This summer the interns are hosting connect events. These are just simple events for teens to gather and hang out. They are all about CONNECTING and that is why we called them connect events. Tonight some of our middle school students are playing Laser Tag and Thursday we are having a cookout for some High School students. Nate made this video to help spread the word (his idea, I never asked him to do this he just made it on his own.) check this video out...

Monday, June 29, 2009

should churches have a leadership draft?

I love draft time in professional sports. I just got done watching the NBA and NHL draft and it is so great to listen to teams talk about "next year" on draft day because everyone is full of hope about new leadership and talent coming to the team. A few years ago when the Titans were winning 3 games a year draft day was the best day of the year for because we all had hope. Draft time also brings about a natural time to let people who are not effective go. Yes there are times when players and coaches have to be replaced with more efficient talent and leadership.

Churches and ministries struggle so much with adding and subtracting leaders in their organization. Because organizations are not searching and adding talent to the team people get tired and lose hope. Organizations also keep people around who need to be let go (aka fired) and that also robs hope from team members wanting to make a difference. I think this rule also applies to volunteer leadership. With addition and subtraction of leadership we need a natural period (a ministry draft) to allow us to make hard decisions about our team. Our family ministry team is hunting for new leadership and we are adding staff. Here in the summer we are also trying to identify people we need to move into new roles of free up to go to a different ministry area so that they can serve to their full potential. We have to be willing to fight for the mission and make the hard call of adding talent and removing leaders who have become a distraction. If you want to build a championship team this process has to happen. We are not playing for a trophy or acclaim like a sports team but for the mission of bringing glory to God. Let's have the courage to establish and "ministry draft" time for the teams we lead and make this process flow smoother in our ministries.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

at least TRY to fix it...

I am amazed at people who see problems, talk about problems, and worry about problems who never even TRY to fix the problem! This goes down so much in "ministry world" because it is always some other leader, committee, pastor, or volunteer's issue to solve. We just sit back and talk, look, worry, stress, or mock the problem. So many times we never enter the battle to bring a solution to the situation.

Last week my door handle on the passenger side of my car stopped working from the outside. I had time today to take the door panel off and see what was going on. (I learned how to take the door panel off because I fixed another PROBLEM with a speaker but that is another story.) I found a piece was broke. In days past I would have just called the dealer and paid money and I may still have to do that, but today I tried to fix it myself. I really can't give out my secret remedy but I got the door working for a little while longer...DUCK TAPE. Ok, it is a temporary fix but I did something about it.

I wonder are there some problems you are facing that just need a little attention at the right time? Sure you may be swamped right now but WHEN are you going to try to fix the issue instead and just passing it along or talking about it more? Usually when I bring up a problem to our team I am not the only one who has been frustrated with the issue. Summer is a great time to address issues in your ministry. Do not wait until fall! Take some time the next few weeks and get to work fixing those problems that bugged you in the spring. Ignoring the problem will not fix it and talking about it will just waste more of your time. Make a plan and fix it even if it is a temporary fix. Problem solutions bring forward progress and forward progress helps build momentum.

Friday, June 26, 2009

wild story from my hometown...got to love Shelbyville

Yes, we love Clarksville. Live here, serve here, and pray we get to see our kids grow up here. I was born and raised in Shelbyville, TN in Bedford County. While I was getting ready this morning I heard our local sports talk show talking about Shelbyville on the radio. This is just how we roll in the "ville" check this story out. I am the family pastor here at Grace Community so I think it is so important for people not to let THIS happen in Clarksville. So proud of the folks in my hometown...

Arguing couple does no damage with Cheetos

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A local couple arrested on domestic assault charges Sunday had an unusual choice of alleged weaponry -- Cheetos.

Warrents filed by Cpl. Kevin Roddy, of the Bedford County Sheriff's Department, stated he responded to a call at a home on Pass Road, where 40-year-old James Earl Taylor and Mary S. Childers, 44, were allegedly involved in an argument.

According to Roddy's report, the pair became "involved in a verbal altercation" with each other "at which time Cheetos potato chips were used in the assault."

"There was evidence of the assault," the report read, "however no physical marks on either party and the primary aggressor was unable to be determined."

Both Taylor and Childers were charged by Roddy with domestic assault. Both posted a bond of $2,500 and will appear in Bedford County General Sessions Court on July 15.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

what to do when a friend makes a huge mistake...

I am learning what to do when a good friend makes a huge mistake. Today in our local paper it became public that a friend of mine has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with several young ladies in the youth ministry he led. I will not say his name here but if you want to read about the charges you can see the article here on the Leaf Chronicle website. This was a young leader that I was investing in and mentoring. This is a young man who is very talented and was running a strong ministry here in our city. Did I see any of this coming? No, that is what is strange. I am as sad and shocked as anyone. I now have to work through what to do when a good friend makes some terrible choices. Some of you have been there, and this is how I am trying to respond...
  • Prayer...I am praying God will bring the truth to light. Where truth is exposed God can work and bring healing. I am praying that God will give this local church wisdom and praying for this young leader in trouble. I am praying this young man will be honest and open with his family and in the legal system.
  • Protect Students...beyond anything we are dealing with teens who have encountered a terrible situation. I am very proud of this local church for striving to protect families and students. I am thankful for our local law officials investigating the charges.
  • Encourage Students...our job as people who invest in the upcoming generation is to guide, encourage and protect. In the middle of this situation we cannot forget to slow down and help students deal with the reality of this issue. We have to be there for them. In the middle of a difficult situation students are looking for guidance. We need to step up.
  • Bring Clarity...there will be tons of rumors spread over the next few weeks. We have to strive to not fuel speculation and focus on the facts we know. There have been mistakes made but it does not give us the right to speculate. This is not time to pile on a leader who has made some horrible choices. Let's allow this leader to defend himself in the legal system.
  • Be present...for teens, for leaders, for this young leader who has made a mistake, and for the teens who have been hurt. It is huge for us all to be ready to be present in the middle of this situation.
This is a hard situation for anyone of us who teach in the public school system or work in a church setting. Our hearts break when the students we strive to invest in encounter this kind of situation. Those of us who invest in teens have to remember to lead with passion and at the same time set proper boundaries. None of us are invincible.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

worship experience vs. worship service

Are you creating a worship experience or a worship service each week in the gathering you lead? It may seem the experience and the service are the same when it comes to worship planning but I do not think it is. I grew up in worship services. Services have an order, a regular flow, a weekly plan that lends itself to routine in how we express ourselves toward God in our gatherings. Worship services create a set way to express our hearts to God and sometimes lead people to think that is the only way.

A weekly worship experience starts and ends with asking God where we should go in the gathering. What needs to happen week to week to help people step toward God. This is always up for grabs and planning an experience does not trust what has worked in the past but seeks to find what is needed for the current service. When we plan a worship experience for our gathering we hope to take the crowd on a journey where they can choose if they will or will not encounter God through song, thought, or action.

I am so tired of seeing churches, camps, conferences, and ministries plan PLUG and PLAY worship services. The service, the order, the set routine begins the planning process instead of having the joy of asking God and each other what might work for that day. Worship happens in our daily life first and when we plan gatherings for teens or adults we are creating extended times of expressing our love to God together as a group of people. Why not capitalize on our time together and help people have an experience where they take a journey toward God rather than a weekly routine.

If I am off base, please let me know. Do you want an experience or a service when you plan your gathering or go to your church?

how to start a worship service...

I am passionate about creating environments that help people connect with God. I love service planning, flow, order, whatever you want to call it. One church that I love keeping up with is Granger Community Church because they are always working hard to create incredible environments that will help people encounter God. Check out how they started their morning service a few weeks ago.

Eruption/Love Found Me from Granger Community on Vimeo.

Now that was wild! I love it. I love to see the passion on the guy's face who is playing guitar at the beginning. I am so stoked I now serve at a church and lead a student ministry where we could pull that off and our folks would go for it. That is a moment where where the church can connect with music the people in the crowd actually listen to. Thanks to Granger Community for pushing the envelope and creatively leading people to God. (and for rocking it out)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

partnering with parents THIS FALL @ relevant

Today was a big day. Not big as in anything went down out of the ordinary but BIG as in that Chelsea (my wife) and I got to have some time to dream about what it looks like when a student ministry is partnering with parents. For so long student ministries / youth ministries have just engaged teens with a program and focused on reaching more and more teens. What could happen if a student ministry also tried to empower parents to come along side us and begin to invest in the spiritual lives of their kids. For an average student we get 40-60 hours a year to invest in their life. A mom or dad has over 3,000 unplanned hours to spend with their teen in a given year. Here is the idea...we invest and then we give parents tools so they know how to invest in their teen. What an idea! We think it can happen. Not with every parents but with many. We cannot wait for every family to get on board to do what we know what God is calling us to do. SOOOOOOO this fall we are going to take some risks and try to connect RELEVANT STUDENT MINISTRY and HOME with the hope that 2 influences working together can be more significant than one working alone. Chelsea and I made a list tonight of some great ideas for the fall, no we will not release those yet. We want to be a ministry partners with the family...this fall we are gin to do more that dream and talk about it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

relevant high school camp @ bigstuf // DAY 4

After 4 amazing days here at the beach we are headed home. I am so thankful we got the chance to experience this week with this group of high school students. God did some wild things here in our hearts and gave some clear direction to many of us. We hope you liked taking this journey with us here on the blog and facebook with our video updates! Here is the day 4 recap video!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

relevant high school camp @ bigstuf // DAY 3

Day 3 is in the books! All camps have a flow and Day 3 was about catching our breath and connecting. What I love about high school camp is watching kids connect. Most camps are so busy no one has any time to just BE TOGETHER and when you have middle school students at a camp with high school students that usually gets derailed. Seeing a group of students just sit around at the beach and hang out is priceless. BEING TOGETHER lets high school students make memories. Love the flow here at bigstuf that allows leaders to connect with students, students to connect with each other, and amazing time built in to connect with God. It is a great balance! Enough with all the serious stuff...here is the day three recap video!

Friday, June 19, 2009

relevant high school camp @ bigstuf // DAY 2

Wow, it is really hard to put day 2 of bigstuf camp into words. There was just so much packed into one day. God was at work in both our worship times yesterday and blew us all away. Lanny, Jared, and the Bigstuf band are just going for it from the main stage (Eddie Kirkland is here this week, good times) The beach was perfect, really it was perfect. We won a flipping game in the volleyball tournament for the first time in GCC history! That is HUGE! LATE night trip to waffle house was the best way to end the day. It was just an amazing day. Thanks to the parents out there who let us invest in their kids for this week. If you are reading our updates please pray for God to keep working in hearts here. Pray we stay safe but have a great time. Here is our DAY 2 recap video...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

relevant hs school camp @ bigstuf // DAY 1

Bigstuf...we made it. We had an great trip down to HS camp @ Bigstuf, great first night, and we are expecting God to do some amazing things here. I am stoked that we get to connect with this group of high school students. Today we hit the beach for the first day and we are about to head into the morning worship session. You can check here for updates on each day! Here is the day 1 recap video...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

final MS CAMP VIDEO and OFF to BIGSTUF 2009

There is something about going to the ocean that helps me connect with God. I am telling you there is no place better for me. I think that is why I love taking our High School students at relevant to Bigstuf camp in Panama City FL. We leave in the morning for camp and I ask you to cover us in prayer. We just want God to show up in our lives and make the changes that need to be made. This is one week for us to get away pause so we can hear from our maker. You can follow us here on the blog (www.michaelbayne.net). There will be a video each day up here so make sure and check out all the wild JANK that goes down all week.

Here is our final video from Day 4 of MS camp. Yes, it had to go up, here it is!

Monday, June 15, 2009

relevant middle school camp // DAY 4

We had a great day with our final day of middle school camp @ student life. I cannot give God enough praise for how He worked in our hearts. Three teens chose to follow Christ and another let us know she is ready to be baptized! It just does not get any better. It was a great experience with this groups of teens. It is also such a confirmation of the investment we make in kids in all our student environments each week. Camp is a week where we call kids to make big decisions but that call flows from investments made by leaders in our weekly environments that set that call up! Thanks for all our volunteers that serve students each week at GCC and in relevant student ministry. Ok, one camp done! Next up is Bigstuf camp!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

relevant middle school camp // DAY 3

Day three of middle school camp for RELEVANT has been wild. Good weather when we go up turned into a massive storm at lunch right before we headed to Rec. We missed water day at REC but the storm cleared in time for us to hit the water park experience on the lake and go to the pool. The kids needed to blow off some steam and they had a great time. God keeps working here! 2 of our boys chose to follow Christ last night in the worship service and small group times have been incredible for each group. This group of middle school students have been amazing. We are so glad we got to invest in their life. Here is our DAY THREE recap video!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

relevant middle school camp // DAY 2

Here we go, DAY 2 and we made it through the rain! It has been a great day here. One of the best things about student life camp for our relevant middle school students is that our small group leaders that know the teens get to continue to invest in the same kids here at camp. There is nothing like the time at camp to allow our small group leaders time to connect with their group. It happens quick here! Our groups have dived in and they are going for it. Big thanks to Jeremy Sydnor, Nate Edmondson, and Lauren Grizzard for pouring into these kids here at camp. We are praying for another great night as we gather again in a few hours. Now off to the paint ball course and the pool for free time. Here is our DAY 2 recap video...

Friday, June 12, 2009

relevant middle school camp // DAY 1

Day one of Student Life camp is in the books and the middle school students here with us have been amazing. It has been wild to watch this group come together for this experience. Yes, God is at work. Adam Robinson and the Chris Orr Band have rocked it leading in the gatherings. Our Small group leaders have done a great job. The students have been incredible. It has been a great first day. We hope to get a short video up each day for you to check out. Keep praying God will stretch us as we encounter Him though the worship times, the small group times, out on the rec fields, and as we shoot each other with PAINT BALL! Here is the DAY one recap video...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Middle School Camp @ Student Life...here we come!

Middle School Camp @ Relevant goes down at Student Life @ Shocco Springs Retreat Center. We are so excited about investing in group of our middle school peeps. The next 4 days are going to be amazing, crazy, sleepless, wild, and on and on and on and on. It really is a great week and you can follow the experience here on my blog. Our hope is God flips our perspective on life and allows us all to see the world through His eyes. Flip our expectations, our dreams, our goals. Pray for us as we travel Friday and pray God will work in our lives. Look for some SWEET updates here on the blog.

new Mutemath ON THE WAY!

One of my favorite bands, new album on the way...if you do not know this band go get their stuff NOW!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

10 BAD work habits

Leaders who work in the church or non-profit environment should be some of the hardest working people around. Why? We work for a cause! Hopefully what we do is helping others. We are striving to make a difference. If this is the case why do people who work in our organizations slip into poor work habits. Sam Rainer juts posted a top ten list of bad work habits. Check out Sam's Blog and check out this top ten list...

1. Procrastination. It’s harmful at any level, but the effects of this bad habit are compounded at higher leadership levels. If a ministry leader or senior pastor consistently procrastinates, then everyone is forced into a last minute fiasco. If top leaders don’t plan ahead, then by default no one plans ahead.

2. Sloppy communication. My second biggest pet peeve is poor grammar and careless writing. Write in complete sentences. Proof the worship guide. Check press releases for time and location errors. Stop splitting infinitives. Fill in the email subject line. And don’t chew gum or crunch ice in a meeting, which is my biggest pet peeve.

3. Confusing informal with disrespectful. I doubt most pastors would prefer to be called “The Most Holy Reverend Doctor.” In my experience, most church staff are on a first name basis. In church work, a direct superior may also be a best friend, but authority and submission must remain intact.

4. Taking advantage of leeway. For me, one of the most refreshing parts of being called into ministry from the corporate world was flexible hours. I work longer, more intense hours at the church, but I don’t have to be at my desk for specific times anymore. I’ve seen many workaholic pastors and many lazy pastors, with very few in between. Neither extreme is admirable, but lazy pastors are especially harmful to Kingdom work.

5. Refusing to mingle. It’s a sad truth, but you can work at a church and never be among the people.

6. Consistently running late or going over. A person who does not honor time parameters erodes trust. Occasional offenses are forgivable. A pattern of time abuse shows disrespect for others.

7. Staying in a silo. Most midsize to large churches have departments, programs, and separate ministries. Clear distinctions of job responsibilities accompany these silos. The mission killer is usually not the silo. The mission killer is the “it’s not my job” attitude.

8. Acting as the resident contrarian. “Yes” men and women are annoying. People who always believe their ideas are better are doubly annoying.

9. Electronically badmouthing the church. A blog is tantamount to speaking on a street corner with a megaphone. Not too many people would air dirty laundry that way. An even more cowardly action is blog-bashing a church.

10. Politicking. Church work requires smoothing edges and rubbing shoulders with the right people. Consistent politicking, however, makes people question a person’s motivation.

WOW, this is a great list...any other bad work habits you have seen? Go ahead, VENT! Church and Non-profit leaders, set the tone for good work ethic!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Did he do that?

Life is full of DID HE DO THAT moments. Last week in Nashville Kyle Busch won the race here in town in front of over 35,000 people then proceeded to take the trophy (a one of a kind custom made guitar from Gibson...AMAZING TROPHY) and smashed it to pieces. Imagine taking the Lombardi Trophy after the Super Bowl and smashing it on the ground. There is a fine line between being a rebel and being disrespectful. Same thing for being a dramatic and being well nicely said a butt. I know you have seen this at work. I have seen it and I know I have been THAT GUY before. What do you think? Should Kyle have smashed it? How can we be innovative and cutting edge without crossing the disrespect line? Should all of you watch more Nascar...YES embrace your inner redneck and go for it!

what about working together?

The camp I got to speak at last week was a partnership between 2 local churches. The partnership and the outcome were amazing. The adult leaders and the students connected in an amazing way. It was so exciting to see 2 youth ministries work together to serve teens in our city. What did the partnership bring to the camp...
  • Better ideas...both teams brought energy and ideas to the camp!
  • Better flow...both groups helped make the camp flow better with more volunteers at camp.
  • Better attendance...the group combined helped give the overall numbers of teens reached through the event move UP, they are all from the same city, THAT IS A WIN!
  • Better small group leadership...the best leaders from both churches led small groups and did a great job. There was a great mix from both churches.
  • Better support...both churches got to involve volunteers who did not go to camp to make camp happen. Food, supplies, camp prep...all that stuff!
  • Better production on stage...combining resources allowed the churches to make the gathering/teaching times better. The sessions were well planned and prayed over! Our student ministry was able to help the partnership with sound and lighting! It was cool to be able to support local ministry.
  • Better energy...not sure how but there was a BUZZ about the churches being together. it worked.
This summer think about another church you could partner with in your community to work with. You might just be able to do more for teens working together than apart. We always hear that our churches are not competing. How about we do more than talk...lets partner together to advance the kingdom.

Monday, June 8, 2009

never underestimate teenagers...

This group of teens from the Hope Club is riding 1,200 miles from Tennessee to Texas! Yes 1200 miles! Why...to raise money to help the Lance Armstrong Fund and find a cure to beat cancer. You already know I think cancer sucks and I am inspired by this group of people. Thanks to Danny Magrans for calling these students to dream big! You can follow this journey and read all about a friend of mine named Catie Summers at the Viva Catie Blog!

Just a reminder to us all...DO NOT DREAM SMALL DREAMS! Life is way too short, make it count. Oh yea, and quit underestimating what a teenager can accomplish with a dream and some hard work.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What do you do you don't know?

Leaders are learners...I am sure John Maxwell or Jay Strack have said that a million times to people but it is true. If you want to lead you better strive to learn. I am amazed at how many people I meet in leadership who are not passionate about learning and discovery. If you run into those kind of people know their leadership at some point will be limited. Here is hope for all of us who are striving to learn, read, process, think, WHATEVER you want to call it. Read this idea from Seth Godin's blog the other day...
If you're in a meeting with smart people and they start discussing a term or concept you don't understand, what do you do?

Do you know what recombinant DNA is? Analytics? Chapter 7? Fair use? RSS? The Long Tail?

If smart people in your industry are talking about an issue you don't know cold, it's very important that you don't just sit there and nod your head sagely. I think there are two constructive paths. The first is to ask. "Wait, I was with you until a second ago. What does that mean?" You'll be amazed at how smart and engaging this makes you seem if you say it at the right time.

The second approach is to write it down and not go to bed that night until you know the topic better than the person who brought it up. How else, precisely, are you going to become one of the smart people?
Just a great reminder that we never arrive when it comes to knowledge! It is OK to ask for explanation! It is OK to get online and figure a new concept out! It is OK to order that book from Amazon! It is not OK to become passive in our search for knowledge! What is not OK is to stop learning and trust everyone else to know the answers.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Made it back from the first camp of the summer Friday afternoon. There is nothing like coming home to my girls. It was great to just BE HOME and get to hang out. Just wanted to make a quick post and say thanks for everyone who took time to pray for Converge Camp this past week. God worked in an incredible way and I have tons of thoughts I will be fleshing out here on the blog. I am also thankful for our interns, Nate and Lauren rocked it back at GCC this week. We have some killer plans for the summer. INTERN POWER and creativity is great. That is all for now! Back in full force next week here on the blog.

Favorite quote from Converge Camp...
"Don't hug a snake...Hug a Snuggie" - M.R. Bayne

That is powerful! It changed my life on so many levels.