Friday, October 30, 2009

Donald Miller / A Million MIles in a Thousand Years >> get this!

I have yet to read a Donald Miller book or hear Donald Miller give a talk when I did not walk away with a better perspective on life and faith. There is just something about his writing style that draws me in and I simply love his perspective. Sure, I follow the guy on twitter, read his blog from time to time but really I feel like I know the guy from his books. That is the kind of writer I like, and from my friends who know Donald personally he is as genuine, funny, and insightful in real life as he is in his books. I like that kind of person. I want to be that kind of person that is consistent. One of my good friends did not like Blue Like Jazz because it did not give enough "answers" to the issues that Donald brings up in the book. After picking myself up off the floor of the office that day when I heard my buddy express his thoughts about the book I realized that I loved the book because it allowed me to think. To be passionately in love with Christ yet still ask intense questions. I am a Christ follower who needs to think, explore, question, live, and start over. I need questions be cause I have been force fed answers my entire life. Even as I discover and question I am finding more joy in Christ than I ever have. OK BAYNE WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT MILLER'S NEW BOOK. My rant is over. Here is your answer...

I was blown away! It was amazing!

This is a book you have to pick up and read because once you start you will race through it. It is honest, challenging and inspiring all at the same time. I wish every high school student would read this book and begin to examine where they are headed in life. As I read the book I constantly examined my own story, the story I am living out with the days God has given me. The story God has called me to. I am thrilled with so much of the story I am living yet challenged to take greater risks and tackle hard things in other areas. This is a must read. This is a book I will be giving away for years to come.

Donald, thanks for putting your life out there for us to learn from. Thanks for being willing to ask hard questions, choosing to do hard things, and allowing us to take a look at your story!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

SMALL GROUP EVENTS // smaller may be better!

The 2 pictures above came from a small group event that Jeremy Sydnor and David Tittle arranged for their small groups at REMIX. We love our weekly gathering, the teaching time, the worship, great video, the experience but the truth is that kids come each week because they are able to meet with a group of friends and an adult leader who cares for them each week in small group. Our hope is for life change to happen in the middle of RELATIONSHIP as students process what was taught from the Bible. When small groups excel they take the relationship to the next level. Next level small group leaders help their kids connect outside of small group time online and through planned events where connections can happen. Small group events help kids make memories. They give small group leaders the chance to have significant conversations with teens. They enable the small group to come together, to unite. When small group leaders do smaller connection events like a rafting trip, a camping experience, dinner out, or a sleepover teens have the chance to let their guard down and get to know their small group leader and the other people in their circle. Big thanks to Jeremy Sydnor and David Tittle for leading the rafting trip for their small groups. Thanks for working hard to take small group the next level!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ORANGE TOUR thoughts...

We had an amazing day learning from Reggie Joiner and Sure Miller at the Orange Tour. I wanted to post some of the aha moments that I took down on my Mac as we listened. Check these thoughts out...

Reggie Joiner on CHANGE...

People Change when the pain associated with the status quo becomes greater than the pain associated with the change!

When you get to the place in your ministry when you are operating off your memory and not your imagination you are in trouble / Mark Batterson

If you want to build something that lasts you have to be willing to change what you build!

Sometimes we get so consumed with not causing pain to our current leaders through change that we forget about the people we will never reach if we do not change.

The best way to keep a team moving toward the mission is to frequently upgrade your systems

The churches that refuse to change are the ones threatening the mission!

Every change gives us the opportunity to decide what is core and what is cultural! Relevant – connecting something eternal to the matter at hand!

So many times we just patch old systems with new upgrades and they just do not match, we add upgrades that do not fit the old system

Sue Miller on working as a Family Ministry Team...

Working together as a family ministry team means we will love each other, learn from each other, show up for each other. PLAY WELL TOGETHER! HONOR EACH OTHER.

Our teams must combine our strengths to lead better together!

All our environments / ministries are connected and when one loses we all lose! – Reggie Joiner and Sue Miller

Change in good times; do not wait for the dip to change!

From an Interview with Jim Wideman...

Being a balanced church is not about having tons of stuff going on, it is about simplifying so we can invest in this generation!

Reggie Joiner talking about COMMUNITY is student ministry...

The older a kid gets the more important it becomes to have a consistent leader in the life of a teen.

If we do not give teens another adult who will give affirmation they will find it somewhere else they will find it outside of the church.

What you invest in is what is important to you!

The older a child becomes the more important it is for a small group leaders to stay involved consistently for the long haul.

The kind of leaders we need do not sign up by announcements; we have to make the BIG ASK then empower them to bring on other leaders!

Student ministry is a moving target, teens get to choose if they come or not. Kids come to our gathering because they know there is an adult there who cares for them!

Reggie Joiner on partnering with the family!

We define our ministry by the parents who we want to make happy inside the church that we forget all the families who want help and want to partner outside the church!

96% of parents /ALL PARENTS/ feel responsible for the moral development of their kids! The church needs to partner!

Parents want to know WHAT IS NEXT; we can help make that happen!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ORANGE TOUR today in nashville

Spending the day connecting with other Orange leaders and learning from Reggie Joiner and Sue Miller from the rethink group. Already in the first session this has been a great time for our family ministry team from GCC. You can follow what we are experiencing from my status updates on twitter and facebook and I will post some of the best thoughts from the day later here on the blog. Click on the graphic and check out the Orange Tour.

Monday, October 26, 2009

U2 webcast = amazing!

I joined millions of people all over the globe and watched U2 live from the Rose Bowl last night. I can not believe I just typed that, I WATCHED U2 LIVE...ONLINE...AND FOR FREE...WITH MILLIONS OF PEOPLE...ON MY MAC! It was so incredible to see a band that I respect so much go for it totally live with no edits like other concerts we see rebroadcast. This was full on experience the moment and it was amazing to watch the technology come together to make it happen. Online video experiences are changing they way we are able to connect with people where they are at. Video tools are even changing the game in our church experience. We see video making a huge impact here in our own church as we allow people to look in and hear our messages from home or on the road when they can. (There is even and I phone app for that!) We are also able to use video to connect with leaders and parents on a different level as we train and inform. It is just my opinion that this experience shared last night by millions may be a game changer in the way bands connect with fans. HUGE thanks to U2 and Google for being willing to take this risk and take the tour to the people. It was a great online experience!

Friday, October 23, 2009

connecting with teens...through amazing small group leaders!

Was reminded of the power of Small Group leaders tonight. Chelsea booked a girls night out tonight and of course I got to rock it here at home with my two amazing little girls. THE PROBLEM...the biggest football game of the year goes down tonight in our city. THE SOLUTION...our small group leaders are there in force! Where I could not be our small group leaders stepped in to be present and connect with teenagers. I know this sounds simple but it the power of multiplying ministry through other leaders is the secret for moving to the next level in youth ministry. I talk to so many guys and girls in ministry trying to be EVERYTHING in the ministry they lead. It is not possible. It is not fulfilling. It makes youth leaders quit serving teens. YOUTH PASTOR, your extend your influence when empower your volunteers to be partners in ministry. I am so thankful for the passion of our volunteers at Relevant. REMIX and Relevant Student Ministry is what it is because of passionate volunteers!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sin Cage 2009

We started a new series at REMIX this week called TEN revolving around what the Ten Commandments reveal about the heart and desire of God for our lives. It was a great start last night and I wanted to share a video that we made to talk about is called SIN CAGE 2009. Hope you enjoy, call me if you want to buy one of these!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CRAVE 09 // fall retreat for Relevant

Nov. 6-8 is CRAVE 09 for relevant student ministry. If you are out there and you have not signed up, you can go get info, sign up, and pay at the RELEVANT WEBSITE. We do a fall and a spring retreat and we have learned a few things about retreats over the past few years. The Crave experience is different because at the heart of the weekend are small groups and going deeper. Sure, we have an amazing time. Our end goal is to allow small groups to come together and go to a different place in their relationship with Christ. Does not sound very "youth ministry" does it. We are done with making retreats about creating buzz or energy. We have an event we love for our students to bring guests to every week called REMIX. We work hard on our weekly environment but we want retreat experiences to be next level. we go. In 14 days we have a weekend planned to help you and your group move forward together, in community. We are so excited. If you want to have an amazing weekend with your small group from REMIX and connect with God in a different way, this weekend will be for you. I cannot wait to see what God does!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

6 things I love about Cross Street Live (our family experience!)

Cross Street Live is our monthly family experience we host for our community. We feel families need a place where and kids and parents can connect with God TOGETHER. That together part is a big deal. I thought today I would list my favorite things I love about CSL!
  1. I love we help kids and parents think through a VIRTUE like honesty, wisdom, etc. and then give them some tools to go home with! What happens at home is so significant!
  2. I love the energy that comes when the theater is packed with kids who are singing to God!
  3. I love that families can see with their own eyes that we think they matter. We put a ton of time into this monthly experience for families! They matter!
  4. I love watching kids and parents laugh is priceless!
  5. I love watching our actors, dancers, and worship leaders go for it. THEY ARE SO TALENTED!
  6. I love that families get to make a memory that is fun and exciting at CHURCH! God is amazing and church should be too!
There you have it...6 quick things I love about Cross Street Live. Go check out for more info. We will see you this Sunday night, 5:30 at Rossview High.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Great trip to Disney...

We had an amazing trip to the Magic Kingdom...really it was amazing. Our girls had the time of their life and 3 and 6 was the perfect age to take 2 girls who love all the princess movies! Sure, every night we came back to the resort wiped out but it was all worth it. This was not a vacation for us, it was an experience. For our family, vacation is about rest...this was crazy, busy, fun, and engaging. Rest is not in the Disney vocabulary. I go to the beach each year to rest...this was a family adventure and it was great. If you take your family...
  1. Stay at a Disney Resort - that was great in every way besides that they do not have wi-fi!!!
  2. Do the Disney food plan...that really worked well!
  3. PLAN - there is just too much to do, make a plan!
  4. PAY FOR IT BEFORE YOU GO...we paid on this thing all year and it was fun to go knowing it was paid for. Debt vacations SUCK!
  5. Go in the fall or was still crowded and hot but nothing like summer.
  6. Take your kids to the character meals...they are great and your kids will love getting to meet the characters.
  7. Take your kids when they enjoy the MAGIC! Do not miss taking your kids when they are young if you can.
Got back in the office today and got to dive right into getting ready for Cross Street Live this weekend. It was a fantastic break but it was just as fun to get back to the team at GCC. I have so many thoughts coming out of the Catalyst Conference but my brain is still not in gear. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to get it in gear!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Catalyst 09 in the books...headed to DISNEY WORLD!

Huge thanks to the team at Catalyst...what an amazing 2 days. I am still processing all that I learned and was challenged with and God is birthing some crazy ideas in my heart. Hearing Chuck Swindol today was a highlight! I have listed to this pastor since I was a kid. He was one of the first communicators as a teen I liked to hear. It was great to honor his ministry. I have so many thoughts from Louie Giglio and Andy Stanley BUT this is we go...

I AM TAKING MY FAMILY TO DISNEY FOR 5 DAYS!!!!!! Here we go! I am unplugging, stopping, and hanging with my family for the next 5 days. Everything back home will be fine, I am stopping to rest!

See ya when we get home...headed to make some memories!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

day one at Catalyst...

I am ready to crash but I wanted to look back on the day before I shut it down. It was a significant day here at Catalyst filled with some really powerful moments. Just want to make it clear...God is at work here. What makes this 2 day experience so wild? Jesus is here shaping and molding our hearts, our desires, our dreams for Him. It is just good to shut it down and spend a few days learning and listening to the voice of God. Highlight today was hearing Rob Bell speak. I know...many of ya do not dig Rob and many of you love him. God has used Rob in my life at some critical times to reveal some great insights and today was one of those. What did he speak on? It was all about sabbath. It was about balance in life. We looked at how we can give ourselves to the church to such a level that we only have seconds left for God, our kids, friends, and wife! You know this happens. You know leaders crash and burn because they love the idea of a successful ministry more than serving others and following Jesus. We depend on our own strength and talent. Rob called us to come back to a place where we do practice sabbath and discover abundant life. The burden of Jesus is light, it is when we build our life around our own goals and dreams that life gets so heavy!

It was a great day! Matt Chandler and Tony Dungy also really did a great job. Can not wait to see what goes down Friday. NOW I WILL SLEEP

Made it to Catalyst 09...barely!

After an amazing night at REMIX Adam and I headed to Atlanta to meet up with the rest of the team from GCC. We did not make it to our hotel until 3 Am eastern...AND THEY HAD MOVED US TO A NEW HOTEL! Ok, it was not my live like Jesus moment of the year. I was a tired and mad they had not saved our paid for room. The Hyatt put us up in a retreat center down the road that is own by the Methodist denomination. It was nice, had wifi, a great breakfast and a bed. Nothing else matters. We made it to to Catalyst in time to hear Andy Stanley and Steve Fee lead us this morning. As soon as I stepped into the arena I was so glad we made the trip. God has used these 2 days each year to work on my heart each time I have come. What Andy said this morning is still ringing in my heart. Looking at the life of Joshua in the Old Testament he encouraged us to not worry who was on our side...who was for us...who was supporting us...but rather worry about who we are for. It is a waste of life to spend our energy making our mark. Making our legacy. We breath, eat, sleep, think to allow God to make His mark through us! That is big. That is worth spending your life on. GREAT REMINDER for me to start the day off. We are tired but headed back to the arena after a quick lunch and Internet hit at Starbucks to hear Rob Bell, Matt Chandler, and Francis Chan. Our team is going to grab dinner tonight at the Flying Biscuit, one of my favorite Atlanta spots. I cannot wait to hear how God is working in our team's heart!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Catalyst Conference 2009 // blog updates to come

Headed with 6 leaders from GCC for 2 incredible days at the Catalyst Conference. What I love about Catalyst is that it is a gathering of next generation leaders of all ages going after God for 2 days together. We all look different, come from all denominations, leading in different contexts, but for 2 days we get to come together...learn together...lift up our great God together. 12,000 leaders in one arena with one purpose is an amazing thing to be a part of. I am amazed at how many business and church leaders do not know about Catalyst. I hope if you get the chance to break away from what you do for 2 days you will come to Atalanta and experience this conference in the coming years because this year is SOLD OUT. The best part of this conference is that we have the chance to learn from leaders from all walks of life...that sets this gathering apart from any other I have been a part of. I will be posting as many updates from Catalyst as I can so check the blog out for what God is doing from Catalyst 09.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

when do you train your volunteer team?

Training is always a big issue in any organization. How do you set up your team for success? How do you empower them to do ministry in your setting? You have to train in order to give your team direction. Many times I have planned training experiences only to have half the volunteers come. Yes, I lead in a team is a volunteer team. Unlike Michael Scott calling a meeting in the TV show The Office, my team does not have to come. One way that we have found to maximize training times is to offer multiple training sessions on SUNDAYS when our team is already here. We just held one this week for our children's ministry team and guess worked again. Our team needs training but they need it in time and form that works for them. Short Sunday training sessions go a long way. We are also finding youtube to be a big help to allow volunteers to listen to training sessions anytime they need it. We have to meet our volunteer teams where they are at and create avenues for training that work. Taking up another night of our team's week is not always the best way! Church leaders...what are some ways that are working for you?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Extreme Makeover / Home Edition coming back to Clarksville, TN

ABC's television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is returning to the Montgomery County area to film another show this month! Grace Community Church has been asked to supply volunteers to help run the VIP tent on the construction site. The tentative dates are October 18th through October 24th. We are asking people to sign up in 2 hour blocks. Dates and times are subject to change and we cannot guarantee slots. According to the production company's rules, you must be 18 years old or older to participate. The family and location details have not been announced. If you would like to participate, please fill out this form as soon as possible. Slots will fill up fast! Volunteers will be taken on a first come-first serve basis.

Hope lots of you in our area will take some time to be a part of this project. Remember this is about stepping into someones story and helping to bring change. This is not about being on TV, it is about helping a family who has been through hard things in life. This is not about meeting people on TV, it is about working together as a community to help a family. I am excited that once again we get to work with people in our city to serve others. MOVE THAT BUS, lets do this!

Friday, October 2, 2009

GOALLLLLL (screamed like a soccer announcer)

In 2007 our staff at Grace Community sat down in a room for an all day staff meeting. We spend the first half of the day working through current issues and the second half of the day dreaming and setting some goals. We split into teams and went for it. It was a no holds barred time of dreaming. We wrote it all down, prayed, and we left that day excited about what God might do in our city and church. This week Ron, one of our co-pastors, emailed out that list of goals from 2007. I opened it up and almost freaked out. God has allowed us to see most of what we dreamed about come to reality. I really believe that God is in the inspiring business. I love that God plants ideas and dreams in our hearts that He wants us to go after. When we look out and set goals we are put in the place of trusting God to do things we can not do on our own...I think that is called faith. Goals matter, dreams matter...they set our course and inspire us to move forward. In the coming weeks our team is going to sit down again and dream. I cannot wait to see what God does next!