Thursday, September 30, 2010

Team Leadership VS. serving in ISOLATION

The next few days of Orange Week 2.0 are going to focus on innovations we are striving for in the YELLOW (the church) spectrum of the Orange Strategy. When I talk about FAMILY MINISTRY at Grace Community Church I am talking about a team of leaders working together to accomplish the goal of synchronizing church leaders and parents around a master plan to build faith and character in the lives of the next generation. The heart of the ORANGE model of family ministry (yes there are other models out there that make my youth ministry heart cringe) is focused on the idea of doing ministry as a TEAM. The team we are talking about are leaders who are investing in the next generation...preschool, children, youth, and college! If the church is going to have a profound impact in the life of the family...the kid...the teen...the college student we better work together to make every year we have counts. Our hope is that as we move from doing ministry in ISOLATION toward a TEAM based model we can...
  • Dream bigger dreams...
  • Strive for the same vision moving in the same direction...
  • Share resources for maximum impact in all our environments...
  • Learn from each other...
  • Laugh together...
  • Develop more effective volunteer teams together...
  • Push each other to be more innovative...
  • Support each other...
  • Care more about God's story rather than our personal "ministry picture"
I hope you will THINK TEAM when you hear the words FAMILY MINISTRY. If we are going to effectively engage this generation we have to begin to be as concerned with the CHURCH as we are about building the ministry area we lead. The direction and health of preschool ministry matters as much as any worship service you have planned for your teenagers. Connecting and investing in college students is just as significant as your next family experience in your k-5 environment. We need each other. We need to function as a team. Isolated ministry will never support the momentum we need to shape lives of this generation. Maybe it is time to leave our isolation to go to lunch with our preschool, children, or youth pastor and figure out how you can move toward working as a team.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Want to move in an ORANGE direction...become a conversation starter. When it comes to thinking orange in youth ministry I find that the most difficult aspect for youth pastors and volunteers is the RED (the home) side of the strategy. When it comes to teenagers we know what "to do." With parents we have no idea where to even start. If you are out there and you want to start the process of moving your student ministry in an ORANGE direction then let me give you a starting point when it comes to connecting with what happens at home. Partnering with parents through your youth ministry means you help mom and dad begin move toward their teenagers rather than away from them. Teenagers need and are struggling for independence, freedom, and personal identity. Most of the time parents see this shift toward independence in the life of their teenager and because it is so painful and scary to watch they move away from their kids. I promise that the parents of teens that I know want to influence their son or daughter, but many of them don't know where to start. They don't see the door that they can open to have access to the heart of their teen. What if we could help open a door for parents to have significant conversations with their teens? Your student ministry is needed...teens need the mentors your small group leaders can don't need to invite parents to join you on your fall retreat. What you do need to do is to invite parents into the process and keep them in the loop so they can have significant conversations with their teen about the same things you are saying in your youth ministry. Here are some ways we are trying to help spur spiritual conversation at home with parents and teens...
  • Small Group Updates // each week our small group leaders email a recap of what went down in our mid-week environment with some questions they can ask their teen beyond DID YOU HAVE A GOOD TIME! We also put this info on our website in case parents are new.
  • Bring the RETREAT home through daily updates // we try to keep parents up to date with what God is doing each day when we do retreats, mission trips, or camp. We let parents see what is going on at camp/retreat through video...IT SPURS CONVERSATION.
  • Serving // through the year we offer opportunities for teens and parents to serve together at church and through mission work. Check out  Operation Serve to see an example.
  • Church // seriously, we encourage teens and parents to worship together on Sunday. It's amazing what God can do when parents worship with their teens.
Want to move in an ORANGE direction...become a conversation starter!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PARENTS // should youth leaders run from them or PARTNER with them

ORANGE WEEK is here and for the first few days I am going to talk about the RED (family) side of the the Orange Strategy. When a ministry decides they are going orange they make the choice to not only to create amazing environments in their church for kids and teens, but they work to partner with the families they serve. Thinking orange is a choice and any church of any size can start this journey. For those of us who lead youth ministries the hardest part of the process is the red side of the equation. By the time students reach our ministry we see up close the power of the family in both good and bad ways. Most of the time the parents we serve are asking us to fix or entertain their teenage son or daughter. We design our ministry to reach as many teens as possible and hope it is enough. What if we could do more than just hope? Teens have many needs but one of their greatest needs that is easily overlooked is the the need to see their parents live out authentic faith in front of them. Teens desperately need more than religion or family tradition. Teenagers need to see their parents follow Jesus in the middle of the messiness of everyday life. How is this going to happen? How are we going to help parents move from trying to look religious to living out an honest faith? When you think about the challenge it appears impossible but our God does amazing things in the middle of the impossible challenge. The starting point for those of us to serve teenagers is to choose to fight for the spiritual health of parents. You have to decide if this matters. You will not be evaluated by how you fight for families (most of our evaluation centers around numbers), you have to do it because it because families matter to God. If you want to help parents take forward steps in their spiritual journey start fighting with those who influence parents in your church...
  • REMEMBER / nothing has potential to impact the life of a teenager like a parent following Christ partnered with a healthy youth ministry!
  • Help parents connect with healthy community groups (or Sunday School class if that's your strategy) so they can live life and process faith with others
  • Help your worship leader and pastor think through how your weekly worship environment can connect with both teens and their parents
  • Invite Parents to SERVE / parents grow in their faith when the serve, why not empower them in your student ministry?
  • Help your students understand their mission to live authentic faith out for their parents to see // I have seen teens bring their parents back to church so many times!
  • Connect with parents every time you can / parents need to know you care for them and not only their student...use Facebook, your blog, text messaging...just try! Connecting with parents means we also work hard to connect with parents outside our church walls. Parents outside the church need to know someone cares.
  • Fight for the health of your church / stop griping and start leading...a healthy church produces healthy parents. If you can't help your current church move forward, find another church.
  • Take your senior pastor to Orange 2011 or read Think Orange together so you can process the power of church and home united to influence the next generation
  • Pray...this task is just too big for us to try to accomplish on our own strength
I would love to hear from student pastors out there. What are you doing to invest in the parents of your teenagers? Is your student ministry trying to serve families? Is leading ORANGE possible in student ministry?

    Monday, September 27, 2010


    This week we hope you will take some time to THINK ORANGE. You know I am a sports addict but we are not trying to convert you to become a Tennessee Volunteer fan! I am hoping you will process how the the CHURCH (yellow) and the HOME (red) can partner together (orange) to make a difference in the next generation. Why this week? This week registration opens up for The Orange Conference 2011 and we think this year might top them all. So all week a bunch of us are going to be blogging about the process of leading an Orange Orange ministry...and an Orange life at home! I think you are going to be blown away by the blogging team, check out who will be blogging this week.
    Come on...I think the week is going to be incredible. When I have a list of links to everyone's blog I will post them so you can fill up your google reader and start processing this with us! We hope you will join the discussion and we hope to help you process practical ways you can implement the Orange Strategy in your ministry.

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Do you want to be an Expert or an Authority?

     We live in a world where there is an expert on any subject you can bring up. If you are reading this post you probably are an expert in your area of ministry. If you lead and work in a non-profit you probably are an expert in your organization at some aspect of the ministry. Some of us embrace that expert title and some of us can never imagine being called an expert at anything. Most of us are experts at something because we spend our lives doing some kind of work. This morning at the Story Conference Dan Wenzel (you can follow him on twitter / @davidvwenzel) said to be an expert all you need to do is move through three steps….
    2. Have authority when you speak about a subject
    3. Present a contrarian viewpoint

    Being an expert doesn’t sound so amazing anymore. Looks like anyone can be an expert. In our world that thrives on quick sound bytes that defend our belief system, many people just strive to be an expert. Maybe God wants more for us in ministry. Dan Wenzell made this statement today...

    We need to move from being an expert to an authority.

    An authority is so different from an expert. The only path to being an authority is through experience. It is a beautiful combination of knowledge, ability, and life lived, experience gained! Moving from being an EXPERT to becoming an AUTHORITY when it comes to serving Christ means we choose to be led by the Holy Spirit, we choose to obey. You become an authority in spiritual terms, with Christ through obedience…through experience…through hard times…through adventure. God doesn’t need more experts he wants to develop authorities that will declare his goodness! If you are an expert in ministry BUT you don’t have authority given by Jesus Christ then you are only playing your own game. Nothing wrong with experts but maybe God has a better plan for those of us who are called to lead.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    are you a marketing?

    Are you a marketing? The answer is yes and it really does not matter if you like that title or not. Marketing is nothing more then sending a message about who you are and what you offer to potential members. Today at the Story Conference Jason Fried, (@jasonfried) founder of 37 Signals and author of the book Rework, was asked if their company had a marketing department in the organization. His reply was no and he said...EVERYTHING WE DO IS MARKETING. So many times we forget this important principle. Those of us who work in any church or non-profit we are always marketing...we are always sending a message...we are always sharing our story.

    We are marketing when people walk into our facility.
    We are marketing when people see our web site.

    We are marketing when people see how we serve our wife and kids!
    We are marketing when people call our office.
    We are marketing when people meet others who attend our church or ministry.
    We are marketing when we communicate with our volunteers.
    We are marketing when we plan our worship experiences.
    We are marketing when we tweet or post a Facebook update.

    We are always marketing because we are always shaping the way people view our organization and more importantly our faith. We are all responsible. We have to quit blaming others for how our organization is viewed and accept our responsibility to others understand our story! Those of us who lead inside the church have the greatest story ever told. Let's tell it well and let's help our organizations reflect that amazing story!

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    STORY 2010

    Spending the next two days here at the STORY Conference. STORY is a conference dedicated to the creative process and those who are trying to communicate the Gospel to this generation. This is not your typical lineup of communicators and the crowd has been limited to 500 people...that is so different! Two of the things that I am most passionate about is communicating and creating environments where people can connect with God. I think this is going to be right up my alley. The rest of the week I am going to be blogging from the conference so look back for updates. If you are on Twitter you can follow along at #story10

    >>>Here is who we will be hearing from this week >>>

    Dan Allender - best-selling author, professor at Mars Hill Graduate School
    Charlie Todd - creator of Improv Everywhere in New York City
    Princess Zulu - AIDS victim from infancy, advocate for the oppressed
    Jason Fried - founder of 37Signals, creator of Basecamp, author of Rework
    John Sowers - president of Donald Miller's The Mentoring Project
    Shauna Niequist - former creative director at Mars Hill, author of Bittersweet
    David Hodges - formerly of the band Evanescence, award-winning songwriter
    Leonard Sweet - futurist, author of 40 books, professor at Drew University
    David McFadzean - creator of Home Improvement, producer of Roseanne
    Richard Walter - accomplished screenwriter and professor of film at UCLA
    Sean Gladding - member of Communality, a new monastic community
    Andrew Klavan - author of True Crime (Clint Eastwood) and numerous novels
    Gary Dorsey - founder of Pixel Peach Studio in Austin, TX
    Music by Vicky Beeching, Kari Jobe and Carlos Whittaker

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    quick hits from REFUGE 2010

    Great 2 days at REFUGE 2010. This is my travel week this fall and I am headed back out of town in the morning to go to the Story Conference in Chicago. With more tiem on the road coming in the morning I wanted to get these thoughts out tonight from REFUGE. Thanks Student Life for the experience and the time to focus on what matters most.

    David Platt (you can follow him at spoke on Monday night. David took some time to help us refocus on this God we serve. What an amazing night. Check out these thoughts from the night...

    1. We have an uncomprehendingly great God. /  leaders, rulers, and churches come and go but God still reigns Don't mess with God. He is still reigning.

    2. We are a sinful people. / when we see God for who He is we see our brokenness, our need, our place in this world. We have a man centered perspective on sin. We compare, when there are no comparisons. Sin against a infinitely holy god means we are in infinite need of grace and forgiveness.

    3. We have a merciful savior. His love is scandalous. / Our God loved us in a way that is not comprehendible. Sin is not outside of us, it is at the core of us. Jesus is scandalous!

    4. We now have an urgent mission. / this scandal calls us to live the mission. Why serve, love, give, go , and share? God. He is all the motivation we need. A high view of God and a humble view of our salvation leads to an urgent sense of mission.

    Tony Merida (you can follow him at spoke Tuesday morning and helped us think though what it means to do ministry when we are centered on and passionate about the Gospel. Check out these thoughts Tony shared this morning...

    Our students will not renamed everything we teach but they will remember what we are most passionate about.  Let's make the gospel the center of what we do. The gospel is everything about Christianity. It never gets old and everything should flow through it.

    What does Gospel centered ministry look like?
    1. Be encouraged by the gospel daily / 2 Tim 4:17 Our strength comes only from Jesus.

    2. Invest in others. / The gospel is meant to be multiplied through people. Everyone needs a mentor so be a mentor! Individual investment in other people is just as important as our public ministry responsibility

    3. Suffer for the gospel faithfully / there are always hard times in ministry. Suffer with confidence in God. When we face struggle we have to FOCUS

    4. Hope in the gospel. / our vision of Christ, our hope in God sustains us. We hope and live continuously. Jesus is alive and that has amazing impact on today!

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    slow down and LISTEN

    I am headed to spend a few days at an event called Refuge put on by the team at Student Life. What is goal? The intent is to gather youth leaders together to worship, listen to, and connect with God. It is that simple and I am so stoked about having that one goal for Monday and Tuesday. We are all busy when it comes to student or family ministry. There is always another meeting, event, or crisis to deal with. All of us are always fighting to protect time with our wife and kids. Most of us are driven and want to see the ministries lead grow and make a difference in our cities. When you serve in a fast paced environment you need time to slow down and listen to God. Honestly if you don't get intentional about time with God it really will not happen. I almost dropped out of setting Monday and Tuesday aside because of all the things coming around the corner at GCC. Our team is right in the middle of a busy season. What I realized 2 weeks ago was that there was nothing more pressing that I needed other than time with God. My goal is to slow down and listen.

    Are you in a busy season of ministry packed with pressure? Maybe you need to add some time to slow down and listen to your to-do list. Get intentional!

    Friday, September 17, 2010


    My friends at Rethink have a new site for you to check out. MarriedPeople is an organization that hopes to help churches help marriages! Helping people have healthy marriages may be the best gift we can give children and teens that are plugged into our ministries. The health of a mom and dad's marriage directly effects how kids view God. Right now MarriedPeople are introducing events called BIG Night Out, so hit the website...check out this new organization...process how your church or ministry can help people have healthy marriages.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    How we are PARTNERING with PARENTS

    Can youth ministry begin to connect with mom and dad and home? We think the answer is one huge YES. When you process connecting with parents you need to shift your thinking to the idea of partnering. When a teenager is living in a home you will find a parent who probably could use some support. Partnering with a parent means that your youth ministry will be ready to link arms and influence that teen together. Our job as a student ministry is to simply help create avenues where teens and parents can process faith together. We are working hard to find the best way to do this and the process will look different in every ministry context. Here is our strategy for partnering with parents...
    • Connect parent and the small group leader >> this is the most important step for us because our small group leaders are spending relational time with teens. We ask our small group leaders to send an update email to parents every week just to keep an avenue of communication open between the home and the student ministry that is a relational connection. We even help our leaders summarize the talk so the message can be consistent then the leader has freedom to add and adjust! When parents talk to their teens about what we talked about in our environment forward motion takes place!
    • We make our website a hub for info and the heart of ministry >> parents are really busy so we try to keep our website and facebook page ready to engage the parents when they are looking to connect. We do a parents update on our website and we also podcast our message each week. (this week our podcast jacked up...oops!)
    • We encourage parents to connect with a community group >> every parents needs other parents around them moving in the same direction. We call that community! We work hard to push parents to join a community group and pursue Christ themselves. Teens need to see parents moving toward Christ if they are going to see that Jesus can make a difference in everyday life.
    • We are available when we are needed >> when parents need direction and have questions our team of staff and volunteers always strive to be there to help. We are here to serve parents just like we hope to serve teens. We also let parents know they are always welcome to check out our environment so they understand what we do. We have an open door policy with our environment and when parents see it in action they get it!
    That is where we are starting. What are some ways you are partnering with moms and dads in your ministry?

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Can we connect YOUTH MINISTRY to mom and dad?

    Youth Pastors are wired to connect with teens. We do this because we want to shape a generation of students who will follow after Jesus Christ with their life. When it comes to being evaluated on how we are doing we immediately examine events, life change in the the lives of teens, small groups, volunteers, and weekly attendance. We get excited when we start planning for those things because they help us engage and shape the lives of teens and there is nothing wrong with that. A question many of us who work with teenagers are starting to ask is how can we best partner with parents of teens as we strive to reach teenagers? I know, immediately many of us process the question and get a little sick. Partnering with parents is not what we signed up for. Many of us excel at running from parents not partnering with them. No matter how you feel about partnering with parents, our team here at Grace Community and Relevant Student Ministry feel like it is a question we should hard wire into our ministry DNA. Can we connect YOUTH MINISTRY to mom and dad? We think the answer is yes. We also feel like this process is going to look very different from church to church.  Here are just a few thoughts about why partnering with parents is so important...
    • You have at most 50 hours a year with a teen. A parents has 3,000 unstructured hours with their teen every year. // Parents are a big deal in the lives of teens.
    • Parents want to know their teen "likes" going to your environment. // what you do is very important. Keep connecting with teens and reaching them in creative ways. When teens want to go to "church" parents are happy!
    • Parents want to connect with their teens...they might not know where to start. // what if your ministry could help that connection.
    • Parents can become some of your best volunteers and your best supporters! // when parents spread good news about your ministry, good things happen!
    • Youth Ministry will end in the life of a teen...a parents influence lasts their entire life. // how we support parents and guide that influence is a big deal
    • The teenage years are hard...Parents and Youth Ministry leaders need each other!
    What are some other reasons connecting youth ministry and mom and dad are a big deal?

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    what every leader has to KEEP WORKING ON

    char·ac·ter [kar-ik-ter] 
    1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
    Character is something every leader has to continually "work on." It is always in motion, always being developed and always needs to be monitored. Sometimes we get a little insight from the people around us about our character. In those moments we have to decide what we are going to do. We can ignore the teachable moment or we can GET TO WORK on our character. Today in our staff meeting I got a little teachable moment handed to me. I am pretty passionate, I think quickly, and I am ready to throw out my ideas quickly. Before someone was going to throw out an idea they looked my way and said...this is just an idea don't go crazy. Ok, passion is a good thing but when I have to be warned to slow down and process maybe I need to work on the old listening skills! HA! Really the team I lead already knows this...I need to listen and process better before I respond. They know it and I needed to be reminded that I need to develop that trait in my character (the aggregate of features and traits that form ME). Today got me thinking about what I can do to keep working on my CHARACTER...
    • I need to make sure I have people in my life who will confront me when I am wrong or just off track. No fun but needed! I also need to be willing to be that for others around me.
    • I need to keep learning, reading, and listening. I will never arrive!
    • I need to maintain my time spent with God. Really, staying in scripture and spending time in prayer matter. God wants to shape my character more than anyone!
    • I need to make sure I am being consistent at home, with friends, and at work. Character that counts is about consistency.
    • I need to always take responsibility. I am responsible for my character...there is no room for blame.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    every small group is DIFFERENT

    I promise...every small group you lead will be different. Even if you lead the same group of kids or teenagers, next year they will be different. (It's called growing older!) Small group leaders need enough structure to help their group gain forward motion but enough freedom to allow small group leaders to create the right kind of environment for the students they lead. Last week one of our high school small group leaders brought me a small group covenant for me to check out that she wanted to give to her small group. I never asked her to make this and we don't have a standard form for our student groups. I checked it and thanked her for creating a healthy environment for her group of girls. Every small group is different. We need to make sure we are giving our small group leaders enough freedom to take their small group to the next level in our kid and student environments.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Happy 5th Birthday Grace Community!

    5 years ago a group of people united around an idea. A dream of church done in a different way. A church where people could be free to start over. A church where it was ok to come as you were and ask as many questions as you wanted. A church where kids, teens, and college students would actually LIKE going to every week. 5 years ago God allowed Grace Community Church to move from an idea to reality. What has happened in those 5 years is nothing less than a miracle. We have watched God do amazing things in the lives of people. We have seen God provide places for us to meet. We have been able to serve our city for no other reason than to display God's love for this city. We have been on an amazing adventure and we can't wait to see what God does in the next 5. Thanks to every person out there who has been on this adventure with us. It is an amazing joy to call all of you my spiritual family!

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    the friendship factor

    Grace Community Church, Cross Point Church, and Life Point Church are three churches in Middle Tennessee that God is using in amazing ways to reach people for Christ. I work here with the GCC team in Clarksville and I have been able to partner in ministry with both Cross Point and Life Point and had the joy of connecting with their leadership teams. One of the common connections between these three churches that I have seen is that all three have staffs that actually like each other. Many staff members at all three churches are actual friends who happen to work for and with each other. All thee churches have hired leaders who have amazing ability but also are people they actually enjoy working with. Likability and friendship are major factors that contribute to the health of all three churches. When a staff has a healthy culture the church as a whole is set up better to pursue health. I think we need to take that principle and apply it to the volunteer teams we lead. We need to make sure our most trusted volunteers are people we love and trust as friends, not just drones we give direction to. When Jesus prayed for his followers before his death in the Gospel of John he prayed for us to love each other. I have a much better shot at loving my volunteer team when I seek to put people on my team who I can build a friendship with. When a volunteer (or staff member) becomes a friend I care about that leader, their family, and their success in an authentic way that goes beyond just wanting them to carry out the mission of our organization. Don't just fill slots on your staff or volunteer team. Look for people who you can connect with on a deeper level. Likability and friendship do matter!

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Welcome to the Gcom team...Criss Cross!

    Look who showed up at the Grace Community Church office...CRISS CROSS! Criss Cross is our new mascot for our kids ministry here at GCC. This Sunday we get to see Criss Cross in action and our team is pretty excited to see how our kids respond to this crazy dog. As far as I know we are the first church in our area to make this move and we know some folks may wonder why we would add a mascot to our environment. This was a long process and our entire team put our heads together to figure out if we should bring Criss Cross to life. When we looked at how mascots and characters are used at Disney World, Chick-fil-A, and other organizations we felt like it was a natural fit for our ministry here. There were not other churches to look to when it came to mascots soooooo we just had to try. Criss Cross is going to be a part of our monthly family experience called Cross Street Live,  around the church weekly as kids arrive, in the office working to pester Ron Edmondson, and in the community at events we help sponsor. We are pretty excited so be never know where Criss Cross may show up!

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Natural Bridge State Park, KY

    Here are just  a few shots from the past 2 days of hiking. Great to get away, now time to head back home.

    our team...

    This week on Ron Edmondson's blog (yea I work with the guys here at GCC) wrote about what a great team member looks like. I agree with Ron, I think God has put a great team together here at Grace. This list Ron reminded me of what makes our team tick and I might add just a few to the list. Here is what Ron wrote this week about the characteristics that describe our team...

    Sense of humor – It’s critical in our office that you be able to laugh…at life…at corny jokes…and sometimes at or with each other. We have fun together and that makes us a better team.

    Team spirit - We have no lone rangers on our staff. We rebuke struggling alone! We are part of a team and there are no turf wars in our organization and no one should be drowning in a project without some help.

    Work ethic - We aren’t great at managing people. We simply rely on people having the sense of responsibility and inner drive needed to complete the work. We like leaders who are passionate about Christ and people and willing to do what it takes to accomplish our vision.

    Healthy personal life – We deal with a lot of messiness in other people’s lives. It would make it very difficult to maintain the level of ministry required of us if we were not personally living healthy lives spiritually, emotionally and, as much as it depends on us, physically.

    Open spirit – We share burdens with one another. Our people don’t live on an island to themselves. The more we learn to trust each other the greater this process becomes. We are open to challenge the system, the ministry and each other in an attempt to make the organization better.

    Loyalty - It is imperative in our organizational structure that a team member be dedicated to the vision, organization, senior leadership and the team.

    Servant’s heart – If one cannot approach their position from a point of serving others and Christ then he or she will not work well on our team. It’s the model of our entire ministry and must be represented by our staff first.

    Love that list and here are 2 more I think help describe our team and help us work well together..

    Creativity - creativity is a choice and has to be encouraged. Love the creativity of our team. People on our team are allowed to create and find creative solutions to the issues we face.

    Courage - people who join our team have always been willing to step out and take a risk. I am always amazed by the courage I see from every one of our team members as they step out and lead. Leadership takes courage.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    the need for adventure

    Joined my brothers and dad for a trip to Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky this week...just a quick trip to do a little hiking and hang out. We made it to the top of the natural bridge today and it was amazing. The view alone was worth the trip but what made it even better is that feeling of "adventure" that comes from getting out of the normal routine and doing something involving risk. John Eldridge says in his book Wild at Heart, " the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue." As much as we need time away with friends and family...adventure that we seek out on a trip...I think we also need to make sure we are living an adventure in our daily life. What we need more than ever are men and women willing to live out the God given adventure of expanding the Kingdom of God. I didn't say maintaining your church, ministry, or organization. I am talking about moving in a new direction, solving a problem that has not been solved, doing things different, or creating a new environment that might help us connect with people far from God. Advancing the Kingdom of God is not about maintenance, it is about adventure and innovation. I was reminded today that I thrive in the midst of adventure. I need to be in forward motion and I am glad to be on a team who strives for the same thing. Maybe if you feel stuck in life, in your ministry, in our family you need to add a little adventure. Take a risk...go for it!

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Cross Street LIVE / this Sunday @ 1:30 > labor day COOKOUT 12:45!

    WE ARE BACK! On Sunday Cross Street Live is back and we are excited about bringing you a totally revamped experience for the family. Cross Street Live is an hour long experience once a month where kids and parents sing, dance, laugh, and learn together. This year we are bringing some new characters, some new songs, some new is all pretty incredible and we can't wait to experience it all with you! CSL is this Sunday at 1:30 at Rossview High. We know it is Labor Day weekend so we decided that at 12:45 we are planning a CSL style cookout with some great food for the kids, moms and dads. If you want to get a quick glimpse of what Cross Street LIVE is about go check out and we hope to see you Sunday.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    what's your RELATIONSHIP with technology?

    What's your relationship with technology? That's the question we will be asking students at Relevant Student Ministry the next three weeks as we dive into the BABEL series. Why name the series Babel? In Genesis 11 we see a group of people take the technology of the day (bricks) and use it to show God up. The story does not end very well but I think we can learn something from these Babylonians of the past when it comes to how we use technology today. Every one of us are immersed in the use of technology. Our cars, our homes, our cell phone, our laptop, our schools are all hubs of technology. Technology in not "good or bad" but how we use it can have a dramatic impact on our lives and those around us. The next three weeks we are going to be asking our students what kind of relationship they have with technology. Here are three questions we are asking each other tonight. I thought they were good questions for all of us, not just our students at Relevant...
    • Are you using technology for good or evil?
    • Are you allowing technology to have too much ownership of your time and attention?  
    • Have you allowed technology to become your life and in some ways replace God?