Wednesday, March 31, 2010

try something BIG...

We are four days away from Easter and the excitement here at the GCC offices is pretty thick. We decided in every ministry area to try some pretty big things this year. We are making room for guests by moving our adult gatherings into the gym at Rossview High School. We are preparing to take our kid's environments with preschool and k-5 to the next level with some programming changes. We are hoping to make immediate connections with people as we welcome them through our greeters and ushers, even in the parking lot. We are being forced to trust God. Sure we could go through the motions, keep things simple, do what we do each week, but that would lead us to a comfortable place. Our team is being stretched because we are trying some new things this week...and our prayer is that lives are changed. We can't change lives...God can change lives. I really believe that when we step out in faith and take some new risks we honor God by walking in faith and depending on Him. Just a reminder for all of us leading in the church to try something big. Live by faith...dream big dreams...ask God to do what is impossible.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Getting NAKED by Patrick Lencioni

I picked up Getting NAKED by Patrick Lencioni up last week and in just a few days had devoured the entire thing. Lencioni writes leadership books in story form and everybody loves a good story. The book reveals the power that is harnessed by an organization when they choose to GET NAKED...transparent...with the people they serve. In our organization we have been striving for authenticity since day one. We want to be genuine and vulnerable with the people we lead. Transparency is not a common trait for church leadership! We really want people to think the leaders have it all together...BE LIKE US...we have it all together...we have all the answers you need. As I read this book I was reminded why that approach usually falls short. People see through it. Sure this is a book about consulting but there is so much here to be gained for church and nonprofit leaders that will help as we share our vision with our team and the people who are a part of our church or organization. What keeps us from being real, vulnerable, authentic...
  • We fear we will lose clients // church members, attenders, supporters in our case
  • We fear we will be embarrassed.
  • We fear feeling inferior.
Those fears hold us back from authenticity! This is an amazing read and I hope you will check it out. Thanks to Patrick Lencioni for allowing us to take a peak into how you strive to be authentic in your organization!

Monday, March 29, 2010

amazing worship experiences FOR KIDS

At Grace Community we are working hard to create incredible worship experiences for kids week and and week out. In four years we have had a ton of time to practice! Kids learn theology through the songs they sing so it is so important to help kids latch on to songs that share rich truth. In 2009 we introduced large group worship times for preschool also and it has taken our preschool ministry to the next level. What we know for sure is WORSHIP MATTERS when it comes to kid's ministry! Here are some of the practices/principles we have embraced as we lead kids each week...
  • Environment matters >> Setting the stage to help kids prepare for worship is a big deal. We have made sure our worship space is the right SIZE by using movable walls in both the k-5 and preschool areas. We have also created easy to set up backdrops and used lighting to make sure we pull the kids attention to the worship leader.
  • SOUND is a big deal for kids >> we have found out that quality sound at the right level is just a important for kids as it is for teens and adults. Making sure the sound levels are targeted right for both age groups helps kids engage with the music being played.
  • USE THE TRACKS >> even if you have an amazing singer use the lead vocal track to take the experience to the next level. (we only use live vocals in our family experience) Since we use live tracks we can bring incredible worship leaders right to our kids and YES the leader van focus on leading worship not hitting all the right notes! Check our Amber Sky Records for some amazing resources for worship. We also use ton's of music from Hillsong United for our K-5 environment!
  • Motions Matter >> kids love to dance, adults love to dance, people in the Bible danced...get your dance on! We make simple, fun motions for every song. Check out some we have made for our kids ministry here!
  • Keep it FRESH but Keep it CONSISTENT >> introduce new songs each month but make sure you don't go to fast. Kids love singing songs they KNOW so make sure you give each age group time to learn new songs. Remember that significant truth must be reinforced over and helps us do that!
  • Keep it UPBEAT >> boys will never connect with slow and reflective that jank for teens and adults. KEEP IT UPBEAT. Kids need to celebrate and powerful truth can packed into upbeat songs.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

the power of what's possible...

I have basketball on the brain. I have watched way too many hours of basketball this month and this past Friday I got to go to St. Louis with my wife and watch Tennessee beat Ohio State...for sure the biggest win in UT basketball history. Today I had to watch the Vols lose to Michigan State and exit the tournament one win away from the Final Four. was hard. Yep...I was sad. After the game it got me thinking about why people love to watch the NCAA tournament. Seriously, why do people watch teams play they never watch the rest of the year? I think it boils down to the power of possibility. 64 teams enter this thing and one comes out on top. This year for sure has proven that any team can advance and any of the 64 teams can win the championship. Today my team went down and I immediately started pulling for another team and the possibility of what could be next week in the Final Four. What does that have to do with everyday life? We serve a God who is a God of unlimited possibility. Yes I know many of our churches have tried to control God with our small minded theology's and empty traditions but God is not containable. Scripture says...

“What is impossible for people is possible with God.” Luke 18:27 (NLT)

This is the God we serve. This is the God of our salvation. What is impossible for us is possible for God. What if our churches became places where God does the impossible? What if our student ministries reached the impossible kid, helped teens navigate impossible problems? What if we actually began to pray for God to do what seems impossible in our own families? We all desire to be a part of the kind of spiritual community where we see God do impossible things. I personally am tired of just reading the scripture and gazing at what impossible things God did in the past. I want to contiue to look for what impossible things God is doing right here and right now. That is what God is still doing...that is what's possible!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Today is the day...I turned 34 today. Spend yesterday with my wife and 2 kids at the zoo, and got to hang out that night with some of our family. Since I was out of the office and away from my normal routine I could not help but be overwhelmed by all of God's blessings. God has allowed me to be husband to Chelsea, dad to my 2 little girls, friend to so many incredible people, and pastor to some amazing teens and families at Grace Community Church in Clarksville TN. I am overwhelmed. The process of celebrating a birthday always pushes me to reflect on where I am at right now and where I need to be in the next year. I am not sure about what your goals are for your life but one of mine is really simple. I want to MAKE it through this journey with as little regret as possible. I already know I am going to make mistakes...poor is all what happens in life, but I want as little regret as possible in when I am 64 as possible. I just don't want to miss God's BEST in pursuit of AVERAGE. So here is what I am asking myself this year on my birthday...

Am I HIDING from God or RUNNING toward God? // my personal pursuit of Christ matters more than anything else. Jesus I need you...I have the option to hide from you of run to you every day. I must reject spiritual apathy!

Am I SHOWING UP consistently for my family? // my wife and girls need me to lead and love I showing up for them on a regular basis or am I giving them leftovers after others have taken my best

Am I still LEARNING? // am I listening to others, am I humble enough to learn from my peers, what am I reading that inspires me to think forward, am I willing to take leadership risks to learn what will be best for tomorrow

Are my DREAMS for the future better than my MEMORIES of the past? // that is from Andy Stanley and I am so grateful for the idea. When my memories are bigger than my dreams for tomorrow my time of leadership is at the end.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What do you love about Clarksville?

Just wondering for those of you who live here in Clarksville...what do you like about our city? I know there are things you don't like but I have lived in enough places to tell ya...there are things about every city you won't love. Chelsea and I are in love with this city. We have found our place, our pace, and love serving at Grace Community. SOOOOOO I want to hear ya! What do you love about Clarskville? Chelsea and I love downtown, the River District, Johnny's Big Burger, Blackhorse, Austin Peay State University, Fort Campbell and the 101st, Grace Community Church, the school system (we have one of the best), our neighborhood...POPLAR HILL is a great place to live, and the fact we are 35 minutes from Nashville. I want to hear from you all here on the blog and on Facebook. What do you love about Clarksville?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

get the book LINCHPIN by Seth Godin

Stop what you are doing and go order this one from Amazon! Our team here at GCC just spend the morning processing the book and one thing we all agreed with was that Seth Godin hit this one out of the park. This is a book that will challenge, inspire, frustrated, question, and teach all at the same time. The title Linchpin refers to the changing role of work and leadership. What our organizations need to push forward and grow are not cogs or drones who follow orders but rather linchpins / artists who create great art through their work and continually challenge the status quo. I know as soon as some of you who lead organizations read that you may squirm because the last thing you want on your team are people questioning and thinking outside the box. You may not want these kind of leaders but in 2010 you need this kind of person sitting at the table. Sure you can't control them but if you trust and empower a linchpin they may take your team to the next level...if no one cares who gets the credit this should be great for you. Looking around our staff it is so encouraging to see a room full of linchpin leaders who are leading teams of volunteers full of linchpin volunteers! This did not happen by accident...assembling this kind of team took risk and trust on our part but now on the other side of the process it is so worth it. Here are some elements of the book that really stood out to me...
  • Becoming a linchpin in my organization is a choice. // Anyone at any level of the organization can live out what is in this book...they can become indispensable...not irreplaceable but indispensable. Indispensable as in a needed, valued part of the team. Hard to replace! A leader who gives beyond what is expected, goes where they are needed, and does more than just complete their task list every day. A linchpin is an artist who takes work to another level...those are the people we want to keep on the team!
  • Run from the "lizard brain". // Seth uses the term lizard brain as that part of us that tells us to run when we encounter fear. There is that part of our brain that continually fights to survive and fit in. Fear will try to squash my passion and try to convince me to play the game everyone else is playing. We have to fight the fear...fight the lizard brain!!!
  • Art invites criticism, that's what all art does, it challenges the status quo. // What my organization needs from me it more than just work, it is my offering of art...what I do...what I I inspire, and my team needs that week after week. Just know that linchpins will be criticized because we create art with the hours we spend at work.
  • Become a GIVER. // Look for every opportunity to give to others. Every interaction with another person is a chance to GIVE...time, money, information, encouragement, direction, hope, evaluation...just give. Giving gifts is not about what we can get in return, it is an act of compassion and care for the individuals in our tribe, our circle. Giving helps us raise the respect level of all our staff and volunteers.

Monday, March 22, 2010


One of my favorite conferences to be a part now is The Orange Conference. If you are a student, children, or preschool leader out there then this conference is for you. I know we are used to have conference experiences where we separate teen and children leaders into their own little worlds. That is not the goal at Orange. The goal for this conference is to ask leaders who work with teens and kids to process how together they can best engage and partner with the family. Our team here at Grace Community had been processing how to work as a team to serve the family since day one of our existence. When the Rethink team finally launched the Orange Conference we had an experience that would help unite every area of our family ministry team. There is something powerful about seeing thousands of preschool, children, and student pastors gathered to worship, learn, and dream together. There is still time to sign up and go. I know these days it is hard to find budget money for a conference but these are three days you don't want to miss. You will come back with a clear picture of what partnering with the family looks will be will be will be recharged in your effort to influence this generation.

This year I get to be on the blogger team for the conference. What is the blogger team? Really I have no idea except that about 14 bloggers from around the country will be sharing our insight from the conference all week. I am stoked about being able to process my experience online with all of you as we THINK family ministry for a few days. Looking forward to connecting with Orange leaders in April...going to be an amazing week!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

March Madness and LEADERSHIP

Northern Iowa just upset #1 seed Kansas to advance to the sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas has the history, the reputation, the players, the coach, but they are going home and Northern Iowa is moving on. I'm not sure where the school is, who the coach is, or if there are any famous players I should know about from Northern Iowa but that really doesn't matter. These guys play as a team have executed their game plan without fear against some great teams. Northern Iowa is why we love March Madness. It reminds us that we have a shot to win. That no matter who we are or where we are from we can work hard and come out on top. We love the story and in our hearts we want to live out that story. With that said, here are some leadership principles I am reminded of every year when the tournament starts...
  • Past success is not a guarantee of future success.
  • Teamwork and execution can win over talent and tradition.
  • You have to believe you can win even when everyone counts you out.
  • Take that shot (RISK) might just pay off but be willing to take responsibility if you miss.
  • Don't allow your opposition to dictate your game plan (strategy). Play your game and play it with excellence.
Now I'm done...I love this weekend and love the stories that come up every year! My Tennessee Vols made it to the sweet 16 so I am excited about next weekend also. If your bracket is already trash...who year will be here soon. Throw it away and start pulling for St. Mary and Northern Iowa!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SHARED space, partnering with another church to have ministry space

When we launched Relevant Student Ministry three years ago we had a major problem...we did not have a place to meet. That is kind of a big issue when you are dreaming about how to reach teens in a city. We needed a quality environment to pull off what we were dreaming about. Through several relationships God connected us with the elders at a local church (St. B Christian Church) who were open to allowing us to have our student gathering in their building. We worked through the agreement, invested in the facility with new video and sound equipment, and kicked off a weekly gathering called REMIX. Three years later we are packing the facility out with teens engaging God is worship, rethinking what it means to follow Christ, and plugging into community through small groups. What made it possible? Two churches willing to partner. The kingdom of God has advanced in Clarksville because 2 churches worked together to make a dream possible.

What could happen across our country if churches that owned facilities began to work to maximize that space by partnering with other churches in the city to advance God's Kingdom? What could happen if no one cared who got the credit? What can happen if reaching people matters more than what name is on the outside of a building? Do you need space for a new ministry or new growth...why not look to partner?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

leaving our mark...

What difference am I making? That is a question all of us ask no matter what organization we work for. Is what I do every day for 50 hours a week really making a difference? Josh Griffin, the high school pastor at Saddleback Community Church posted this graphic on twitter from a talk Doug Fields gave and I can't get it out of my head. (Doug has been a distant mentor of mine for years, if you are in student ministry go buy every book he has written and just soak in the vision and wisdom) Our legacy is not determined by our title, what church / organization we lead, or how much money we make. Our legacy is shaped by how we lead others and love others. Living a life of significance that leaves a mark on those around us is created moment by moment in everyday life. The kind of life that leaves a mark starts right now with the way I lead and the way I love. Leaving a mark starts and ends with relationships...not a title or position. Do you want to leave a mark? Start today...

Monday, March 15, 2010

quick CHANGE

This past weekend our team here at GCC made a QUICK CHANGE decision! We changed the time of our family experience to 1:30...I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but it really was. Cross Street Live has been a Sunday night production for us since we started the hosting a family production at GCC over a year ago. After last month one of our staff had the idea to move CSL to the afternoon after our last service. We looked at the idea, liked the idea, prayed about the idea, and in one month made the idea reality. We were not sure if it would work but it was worth trying if our goal is to engage as many families as possible! The morning after our experiment it looks like the QUICK CHANGE paid off. The ability to implement QUICK CHANGE is so important for any organization. What does it take to implement quick change or innovation...
  • Be open to new ideas >> Can we do that? The answer is always yes! Should we do that is a totally different question, but the ability to bring new ideas to the table without fear has to be allowed if an organization will be able to implement positive change.
  • Test the idea >> get advice from other people on your does one change help or hurt other parts of the team. If a change idea can't be embraced by your current team just save it for later. It may just not be the right time. Feedback is critical if change will be able to happen at a rapid pace.
  • Plan >> before you make a quick change in your organization you better have a plan. Do the pieces fit? Can your key leaders buy in? Does the change have the possibility to help push the organization forward? Can you pull it off? All of these questions flow out of proper planning.
  • Communicate the change >> use every means possible to let people know about the change. Social media, newsletters, websites, blogs, texts, emails, and whatever else works for your organization. If we are implementing quick change it is our job to go crazy with clear communication. As soon as you think you have said it too many times say it ten more times.
  • JUMP >> take the risk and make the change. You will never know if it works unless you try. Have courage and make the jump.
  • Evaluate >> this is big...did the change work? Take the time needed to really see if the change helps or hurts. Get feedback, process it, and see what needs to be adjusted. More change may be needed!
The moment we quit changing, innovating, evaluating is the moment we start declining. When we have it all figured out we open ourselves to be blindsided by stagnation. Don't wait to mix things up...start making QUICK CHANGES now!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cross Street LIVE / this Sunday @ 1:30 >> BE THERE!

Our team at GCC is excited! This week is the big time change for our monthly family experience called CROSS STREET LIVE. At 1:30 this Sunday afternoon we will open the theater doors at Rossview High ready to see kids and parents laugh, learn and worship together. The plan for Sunday is to have a lunch option ready for folks at 12:30 then the doors for CSL open at 1:30. We do this each month so we can help families in our city connect. This month the virtue we are talking about is honesty and we all know what a struggle it is live this character trait out! Spread the word, invite your friends, and make sure your family is at CSL this month.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

3 VOLUNTEER Paradigm Shifts

This week we had the chance to hear Jenni Catron talk about some critical volunteer shifts we need to make as we lead our volunteer teams. We all need volunteers but we also need them to do what they do with excellence. We also always need more volunteers! We take a ministry job and suddenly we not only have to manage ourselves, now we have to manage others who choose to work on our teams for free! Jenni pointed out that leading volunteers is not just a part of our job, it is our job. Everything we do in our ministry setting rises and falls on the leadership of our team...staff and volunteers. Since this is such a huge issue for our ministry settings here are some volunteer paradigm shifts we need to make:

1) From ASKING to INVITING // there is an honor and nobility when we ask people to be a part of serving God’s kingdom! We are not begging, we are giving people an opportunity to use their gifts for God.

2) From HANDING OFF to HOLDING HANDS // when a person volunteers we get the chance to mentor that person and resource them! We walk with them, help solve problems, and vring clarity to their role in the organization.

3) From DOING to GIVING // give people the chance to LEAD! Give volunteers the credit they deserve and the opportunity to have ownership of the dream. What could be better than making a difference in the Kingdom of God?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

why CONNECT with another church staff?

This week Ron Edmondson and Jenni Catron got the teams of Cross Point Church and Grace Community Church together for a day to connect, think, worship, and equipp. We were all wondering what this would look like, how it would work, and if the experience would be worth our time! Honestly, as long as I have served on a church staff I have never had a time where 2 churches came together just to connect and learn from each other. I could go on and on about why we refuse to learn from each other but I am sure you know the real reasons boil down to pride and tunnel vision. To excel at leadership we have to be consumed with learning...why not learn from other churches doing an amazing job at reaching their community? Why should churches choose to connect and learn from each are some things we discovered...
  • Shared PASSION inspires fresh perspective // each church is different but our passion to reach people and see changed lives is shared. That passion provides a bridge for each team to view ministry from a different perspective quickly. Our shared passion allows us to let our guard down and see a different side of ministry quicker.
  • We inspire each other // hearing how God is stretching each other inspires us to stay focused on the mission. It is great to be reminded that God is on the move outside of our ministry setting!
  • Fresh voices help learning happen quickly // because we trust each other and we believe in the mission of each church we learn from each other quickly. Many times just hearing a leadership principle from a different trusted voice helps us make progress.
  • Collaboration is taken to the next level // because our staffs spent time together each area of the church now has a new connection to collaborate with. Each church has important insight for the other and now when we need to work through an issue we have new connections to collaborate with and share ideas with.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CHURCH collaboration

This week the staffs of Grace Community Church and Cross Point Church are getting together for a day of collaboration. Our 2 churches are located about 45 minutes apart and share a passion for reaching people who may have given up on God and the church. This is the first time both teams will set aside a day to invest, dream, think, and imagine what might be next for our churches. What will come out of a day set aside to be together....not really sure. Will it be productive? Maybe! What I do know is that there is value when you can work closely with another church with a similar strategy, vision, and mission. Going to be great to see what God does this week. If nothing else it will be a great time to connect, encourage and play corn-hole during lunch! I am just glad I serve on a team that is always looking to learn. Stoked about the day.

Monday, March 8, 2010


We started a new series this week called Everybody, Everywhere at Grace Community centering on how we help our community and our world hear the message of Christ. This week Chad Rowland asked us if we would be willing to fight for the spiritual lives of our friends. Would we have the courage to not give up when it comes to helping those we love the most hear the message of Jesus? We talked about this process last night in our community group. How do we lead those who are around us to Christ? In our group we landed on the truth that helping people see and understand Christ has to be more than words or a formula that we try to work through with people we know. It got me thinking about the process of engaging people with this message. How do we make this happen? I think we have to live lives of authenticity, look for who God is leading us to serve, and have the courage to engage people around us relationally.

LIVE >> People measure our faith, our God, or hope by the lives that we live. Authentic faith is revealed by people living authentic lives. When we live lives impacted by love and grace we will become people that God can reveal Himself through. People are watching our lives reflect the fact that we have been made new by Jesus Christ. This has to be our continual goal, to be more like Jesus.

LOOK>>When I talk about looking I mean we should allow God to open our eyes to the people in our world He has for us to impact with His message. Why not invite God into this process through prayer? When we are looking around for God opportunities, God will make His plan known to us. Let's allow God to open our eyes to the people he has for us to serve.

ENGAGE>> This is the step where we have to act in faith. This is where we serve people with no agenda but to display God's love. This is where we invite our friend to go to church with us. This is where we give advice we have learned from God to a hurting coworker. This is where we explain our faith to a friend who is asking questions about God over coffee. This is the part where we never give up on people. We can do this...we can engage this culture with the hope of Jesus Christ.

Live, look, and is a process that never ends and it is a strategy we will never get perfect. I think if we adopt this process we might be right in the middle of God's plan to redeem this broken and hurting world we live in. We might just begin to love people the way God loves people. Thanks to the people of Grace Community Church for partnering with us as we try to reach our city of are an amazing group of people serving an amazing God!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Just got finished reading DERAILED by Tim Irwin. This is a great book from a great leader and I hope you will check it out. The basis of the book is looking at how competent and successful leaders get off track. We see this happen in leadership at all levels. People have all the ability, make a difference, then lose focus and lose their effectiveness. Tim suggests that a leader can be qualified and have tons of ability but if they lack CHARACTER then they are likely to falter. The mark of a great leader are the choices that the OUTSIDE never gets the chance to see. The book was a great reminder to strive for character, not control as I lead. Whatever size or shape organization you lead, this is a great book to check out. Thanks to Tim for reminding us off how to lead for the long haul.

My next read is Seth Godin's LINCHPIN and it is rocking my world...check it out also!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sharing your faith...WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

It is one thing to think about telling a stranger a few facts about who Jesus is and what Jesus did for them but it is an entirely new level of pressure when it comes to talking about Jesus with our friends. This week at REMIX we asked teens to consider what it might look like to talk to their friends about their faith. We even gave them a tool called the Lifebook (click to check out the lifebook project, a great idea!) to give to their friends to start the conversation. As I spoke last night I was reminded of what a big deal it is for all of us to have spiritual conversations with the people we love the most. We wonder what might happen! We wonder if we will be embarrassed. We wonder if they will ask us something we do not know. At the same time, we know we want our friends to discover find discover a new beginning. Here are some of the ways we are trying to help teens at RELEVANT and people at Grace Community Church share their faith.
  • Create environments where people are safe to ask questions and discover truth. // every environment around GCC is aware that each week might be the week someone brings a friend who they have been investing in. We promise we will be ready to help people hear clear truth every week. If our message is confusing it is our fault not our guests fault and not God's fault. We expect people are going to invite friends so we prepare for that!
  • INVITE<> //we stress the power of the invitation. Never give up on people, never stop looking for people to invite. For most people they do not come because they have not been invited by someone they trust.
  • Serve, Love, and value people...then share and invite // we are not selling something when we talk about our faith with someone. When we talk about Christ we are simply telling the story of how God gave us new life. We all need to focus on loving people, understanding people first before we share our faith. People will listen when they can trust us.
  • Pray // God cares more for those who don't know Christ than we ever could. Why would we not make prayer a major part of sharing our faith? God can work in ways we can never imagine or dream of. We need to continually invite God into the process.
  • Never give up // if sharing our faith is about relationship then that should drive us even more to not give up on people. We never know when someone might be ready to cross the line and follow Christ. We need to be known as a people who don't give up on people.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I had a hard parenting night Tuesday. Ready for the goes...I lost my cool with my 3 year old and have been losing my cool with her in the past few months frequently. Our youngest is an amazing little girl who is confident and passionate about life...those traits are such a blessing and at the same time hard to deal with when a kid is three and she simply wants her way. Here is more of my problem. I tend to give in or get mad when problems arise. The best part of all of this is that my amazing wife pointed this out to me last night with a few loving questions and then she let me think about it. I have an amazing wife, she could have lectured but she asked questions and let me process. Bottom line with my kids...I have to be more patient, strategic, calm, and consistent when dealing with problems.

Of course I am not just blogging about this just to confess my pitiful parenting online, there is a bigger principle that I am learning to embrace. When it comes to parenting I constantly have second chances to step back, refocus, and get better. I will blow it from time to time but I do have the chance to get my act together and make a better decision. Today is a new day to do things different. Our kids already know we are not perfect and what they need to desperately see is that we are always trying to get better at being mom or dad. We will get things wrong. What really matters is what we do with the second chances God gives us with our kids.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why change the time for CROSS STREET LIVE? (our monthly FX)

Our monthly family experience is one of the favorite things we get to do at Grace Community Church. There is nothing like seeing kids and parents come together once a month to worship. This month we are experimenting with our time for Cross Street Live by moving our family meal to 12:30 (right after the 11:30 service at GCC) and CSL to 1:30. Why moves times? That is a good question! Here is what we are thinking...
  • We don't want to distract from Sunday night Community Groups! // many of our moms and dads have community group on Sundays and we hate to distract them from their normal time of connecting with their group. It is difficult to miss group once a month so we are trying to make it flow better each month for your family.
  • Afternoon CSL helps families not have to have kids out late on a school night!
  • Sunday afternoon STUFF is pretty normal. // Parents make time to go to birthday parties and the park, why not a family experience in the afternoon?
  • CSL is primarily designed for kids K-5...not many of these kids are napping. // For those of you who have preschoolers also try sending one parent with the older kids and one parent rest with the preschooler. We always welcome our younger friends but the environment is for k-5 kids.
  • We want to reach as many families as possible! // This is an experiment to see if we can get more families to this experience. From all of us who share CSL with our kids each month, we promise this will be a blessing to your family. For all of you who attend our 8:30 or 10 Am service...feel free to grab lunch as a family on your own and come to CSL at 1:30.
  • Laughing, Learning, and Worshiping God with your kid is so important! // I know this is a new concept for many of you, but a family experience can open up so many avenues for significant conversation with your child. This matters and we hope you family will try it out! We promise to make each month's experience worth your time!
At least you know what we were thinking, THANKS IN ADVANCE for those of you who have been coming to CSL and loving the night format. Give this a shot with us and lets see if we can make a bigger impact in families here in Clarksville. For more info check out

Monday, March 1, 2010

Who takes your back when people say crazy things about your ministry?

Who takes your back when someone says something untruthful about you or the ministry you lead? Recently a trusted volunteer came to one of co-pastors and informed him that someone had said some hard things about our student ministry and a decision we made months ago. The comments this volunteer had heard were simply not true and guess what...because I had walked my c0-pastors though the situation months ago one of my pastors was able to speak up for our ministry team and the decision we made! Did you hear that? One of my co-pastor's was able to stand in the gap for our student ministry. That is such a blessing but it did not happen by accident. My co-pastor was able to speak clearly about the situation because our family ministry team kept our senior leadership in the LOOP. We choose not to lead in a vacuum. We choose to inform key leaders about what was going on so we could have accountability, seek advice, and ask for prayer as we walked through a hard choice. Preschool, student, and children's pastors out there, please make sure you keep your senior leadership in the loop when major issues arise. Whether we like it or not, many times people in our church will bring problems or concerns to senior pastors first so why not give them the info to speak clearly about concerns that may come forward. Keeping senior leadership in the loop empowers them to speak up for your leadership moves when concerns are brought up. Your pastor can't clear up confusion if he is just as confused as the person bringing the concern. Keep the staff and key volunteers around you informed...they might just be able to take your back when you least expect it!