Wednesday, January 31, 2007

62 In One Month

62...that is a record number of posts in a month for me. That was exhausting. I don't know how Josh Griffen does it.

Laughed So Hard I Was In Tears

All I can say is that I laughed so hard after our podcast recording. Juno made this stupid comment and it was funny so I played it over and over and over. I was in tears and I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. You had to have been there. I am going to find some crazy way to mix it into the podcast which I should have out tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Who Are We Reaching

Mark Batterson has a great post with some quotes by Len Sweet. Below are a few of the quotes to get you thinking, but go read his entire post.
"Ask the grandparents in your church: how many of you would lay down your life for your grandchildren? Every grandparent will raise their hand. Then ask them: how many of you would lay down your musical preferences for your grandchildren?"

"Sometimes God is more active in the world than he is in the church. Who's had more impact alleviating suffering in the world: your church or Bono?"
Makes me think about which generation we are trying to reach...sometimes it is easy to focus on the crowd that is our age and not on the future generations that are coming up. Too often we leave that to the children's pastor or the youth pastor, but our priorities should be more on reaching the future generations. I'm all for it myself. The life of the church is in investing in future generations. If we don't reach them they will leave the church. It is happening now.

In our last meeting I talked with our teens and told them that I don't blame them if they are leaving the church as they grow up if we aren't putting all we can into creating something that keeps them hooked in. Part of that is casting a vision that there is more to a life with God than just Sunday and Wednesday. And part of that is that as parents and the church we should be showing that there is.

Churchrelevance had an excellent post today on reaching young adults.

Monday, January 29, 2007


I'm still reading through "The BIG IDEA – Focus the Message and Multiply the Impact" by Dave Ferguson. This book has so challenged the way I think and are approaching ministry. It has made me look at all aspects of what we do on the night we meet and how all elements are being put together to laser focus what we are doing.

I like what Dave says in the book on page 22, "when we contribute to the bombardment of little ideas, we are implicitly telling our people that not all of god's truth has to be accompanied by obedient action."

This ties in to a quote from Juan Carlos Ortiz that he heard in Bible College, "the average Christian is educated to at least three years beyond their level of obedience."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mavericks At Work And Austin

This weekend I was in Austin, TX and one of the books I took with me was Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win. As I completely devoured the first chapter I read about this innovative company named GSD & M that was located there. So "blink, blink" the idea (funny cause they call their building "Idea City") popped in my head to go by and shoot a video there. And so we did.

Here are the pics of me there.

Look for my latest video coming out this Friday with a great quote by their president and co-founder Roy Spence.

You can check out last weeks episode -->> HERE <<--

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Trends

Wow is all I had to say when I looked at my trends in Google Reader. Google reader is the online program I use to read all the blogs I subscribe to.

This is what my trends were. And that is because during this month I cut out almost 20 subscriptions.

From your 44 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 1,674 items, starred 69 items, and shared 0 items.

And that doesn't include all the minor links that in others posts that I went to.

They (who are they anyway???) say leaders are readers...what do your trends look like?

*** Special thanks to Josh Griffen for his 141 posts over the last 30 dude are you trying to get to 10,000 faster than anyone else in the history of blogging.

Through the Eyes of a Guest

Perry shared -->> this video <<-- with everyone today. It is a video of a man taking his Dad to church for the first time in 20 years. It is nine minutes long but so touching.

Two things I thought about as I watched it:

1. It is never to late to invite and don't stop. My wife is a wonderful example of that. She was invited to church for a whole year and finally was tricked into going one Sunday morning. Thank God for that person. Their faithfulness is the reason I do what I do.

2. Sometimes we have prejudgments as to whether someone is going to like it or not and therefore in fear we don't ask. Just allow God to do His work and let's do our part.

Evolution For Dance

A little on the lighter side this morning.

Don't know if you need a laugh or two but I thought I would post this video. It is the most viewed on youtube of all time.

It is called the Evolution of Dance.

February and March Series Graphics

I thought I would give everyone a preview of the graphics we are going to use for our next two series.

February Series
Inked - "Marked By God"

March Series
Lost - "Surviving the Mystery of the Unknown"

Feel free to click and save them and use them if you would like.

Defining Moments

Tonight I wrote my first article for a new magazine that is coming out. I don't know all the details yet but when I do I will share more.

The article was about defining moments in our lives and how we need to allow God to work and shape us through these moments. So often I feel people work against God but God is for us and always wants to take every moment whether good or bad and use it for His glory.

You can read a little about that in three of my posts:

God Dwells In The Darkness
God Dwells In The Darkness 2
God Dwells In The Darkness 3

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Making Difference Makers Episode #4

This week continues our Making Difference Makers Video Series. This months topic is developing yourself as a leader and today's clip is on "Taking Responsibility For Your Growth."

The purpose of these videos is to provide weekly training to my department heads and other leaders in our ministries as well as anyone else who could utilize this to further make a difference in their world.

Click here -->> Making Difference Makers <<-- for other posts in our video series.

Visit my youtube site for more videos and the series as well.

Bold-cast Episode 13

Bold-cast...Podcast #13 for Elevate...Here we go...This week our host Juno Garcia, Zyler and I talk about going after God in boldness in this episodes talk show.

This weeks message on the Podcast is by Jason Curlee called "The Bold Pursuit" with a great message about going boldly to God through Jesus.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly -->> here <<--

-->> Listen online here <<--

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Podcast Update

Of course I feel I'm still relatively new to the blogging and especially podcasting world. Just to update you a little with our podcast. Last week we had 154 downloads and the week before that it was almost 180. That just blows we away.

To think that this is episode 13 and that many people are downloading it weekly. For those that haven't listened to it you can check out the episode that started it all out "True Worship Never Dies-cast"

Our podcast consists of a short talk show and the message from the night. I encourage you to check it out.

Pursuit "The Bold Pursuit"

Wow!!! Our message tonight was totally awesome. I am always so amazed with the messages each week. A month or two ago I read "Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication". It totally has revolutionized my messages. Between it and "The BIG IDEA – Focus the Message and Multiply the Impact" our ministry this year we be the best it has ever been.

This month I have been doing a series called Pursuit "The Greatest Chase of All". The theme is chasing God and you can read my post "Pursuit Graphic" to see the series ad graphic. We also edited a cool video of Fast and the Furious clips using Toby Macs "Getaway Car" song.

Tonight, we pushed hard and I challenged our students to go all out for God. The message tonight was called "the bold pursuit" and it was about going after God with boldness. The main scripture was from Hebrews 10:19 but we also covered Hebrews 10:11-25. Its not that often that I go in depth that much but tonight called for it. I sensed all week that some people often go through a time where they feel they are not good enough to go to God. This message will challenge you to go boldly to Him.

Our podcast should pop up sometime will have the message and a short talk show in front of it with my boy Juno Garcia and a young man named Zyler. You can check back here tomorrow evening or on Friday. It will be called Bold-cast.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Leading As A Team

I really liked Tony Morgan's take-away from the book "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It"

Two things that stood out from his post are:
"The people who are exceptionally good in business aren't so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more."

"Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs."
These are two things that I am very passionate about these days. Personal development is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and for the people you lead. All this month I have been doing a video series here and the topic of the whole month is on Developing Yourself As A Leader.

The quote from the book that Tony gave is true to ministry as well. People and churches who are exceptionally good are so because of their desire to know more about new and innovative ways to be better. They do just settle for being good they settle on being great.

I have also been thinking and seeing the need for churches to go to more of a team approach to ministry. I think that is why I love the new book by Dave Ferguson, "The BIG IDEA", so much. It rings so true to the core of my conviction of doing church as a team. And by that I don't mean department head leads and then everyone else as a team doing what the department head desires. Now I'm not trying to down play the role of a department head at all. I believe there should be someone to be the main vision steerer of the organization. But you can multiply your effectiveness as a pastor and department head by implementing a team approach to ministry. Sometimes the people around you are filled with ideas and good ways of doing things.

Some of my best ideas have been made better by the great team that I have surrounded myself with. Not only that but they have given some great ideas that we have tweaked and made better as well. And all of that has been driven by what the ministry needs.

I'm A Guest Blogger Now

So this past weekend I made a couple of posts for our worship ministries blog...I am so happy about it because finally our staff is moving forward and taking advantage of technology. Our worship pastor, Jane Bearden is the bomb...she has been working hard to improve her leadership skills and their department.

Go check out my two short articles at Church of Hope Worship to check out my thoughts on worship. They are new to the blogging scene and are getting used to it. I look for it to improve week after week.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Just Five Words

Are You On The List?

Oh yeah...HEROES is back on tonight and it was bad to the bone. Jack Who???? Hiro's my man and he blogs....

Reading the Big Idea in the ER

So what is there to do when you are stuck in an emergency room from 10 pm to 1 am? Well I don't know about you but for me its reading. Last night my daughter had an asthma attack and we had to rush her in to the e.r.

So I grabbed my book, "The BIG IDEA – Focus the Message and Multiply the Impact", and got a little reading done.

Here are a couple of Chapter One highlights:
1. "...the last thing the mission of Jesus Christ needs is more Christians." (That's right he said it and you are going to have to read to see why.)

2. "when the Barna Research Group did a survey involving 152 separate items comparing the general population with those who called themselves Christians, they found virtually no difference between the two groups." (Say it isn't so)

3. "We have bombarded our people with too many competing little ideas, and the result is a church with more information and less clarity than perhaps ever before." (Thought about this one all through today.)

4. "The effective teacher is like a person who takes a strong rope, ties one end around the big ideas of Scripture, ties the other end around the major themes of life, and then through the power of the Spirit struggles to pull the two together." (My biggest take-away from the chapter.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Making Difference Makers Episode #3

This week continues our Making Difference Makers Video Series. This months topic is developing yourself as a leader and today's clip is on "Development Requires Discipline."

The purpose of these videos is to provide weekly training to my department heads and other leaders in our ministries as well as anyone else who could utilize this to further make a difference in their world.

Click here -->> Making Difference Makers <<-- for other posts in our video series.

Visit my youtube site for more videos and the series as well.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tips From The Trenches

If you are in youth ministry and are looking for some great tips, Josh Griffen is doing a excellent job with his Tips From The Trenches. Go over to his site to view a short video tip each week.

Some of them will even work for other ministries as well.

Keep up all you do Josh......

The Big Idea

Today I received my book "The BIG IDEA – Focus the Message and Multiply the Impact" from and by Dave Ferguson. Dave is the lead pastor at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois. You can read his blog at

Dave sent me an email last week asking me to review the book and of course I totally said yes. Go read "The Big Idea Book Review" to find out about that.

This book already has me thinking about the possibility of implementing the concept throughout the ministry we lead. I have been thinking of how focusing on one main idea for the week throughout our ministry would bring a lot of stability and focus.

Stay tuned as I begin my journey through the book dropping you a couple of nuggets along the way.

Five Ways To Build Trust In Your Community

5 Ways Your Church Can Build Trust In Your Community is one of the latest posts at

Here are the five ways. Click link above to read list in its entirety.

1 Research
2 Adapt
3 Learn
4 Follow-through
5 Support

Making Difference Makers Delayed

Due to a busy schedule today, this weeks episode of our leadership youtube video series Making Difference Makers will be delayed until tomorrow. Click either of the links below to get caught up:

1. Making Difference Makers Episode 1
2. Making Difference Makers Episode 2

Fabulous Freebie

Fabulous Freebie posted up at Life In Student Ministry. No matter what ministry level you are involved in this is probably one of the best series on worship you could use. It is called "Unquenchable - True Worship Never Dies" and you can go over to Tim Schmoyer's site to get the download. Man that guy who put that series together did a great job...

Boy that sure was a not so shameless plug. I'm the author of that series.

To listen to any of the messages from that series click on any of the links below. They were our first three podcasts.

Unquenchable Message Series

* True Worship Never Dies-cast
* Who God Seeks-cast
* I Must Worship-cast

Enjoy these three messages on worship.

Common Mistakes of Eager Leaders

Brand Autopsy shares an article by Marshall Goldsmith, superstar executive coach and prolific author, in which he shares common mistakes made by eager leaders. Go read 20 Common Mistakes of Eager Leaders
from Brand Autopsy by John Moore

There are 20 mishaps culled from Goldsmith’s newest book, "WHAT GOT YOU HERE WON’T GET YOU THERE". The article has 20 but I'm going to just throw you five that stood out to me...

Common Mistakes of Eager Leaders

1. Failing to Give Proper Recognition. The inability to praise and reward.

2. Claiming Credit We Don’t Deserve. The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.

3. Making Excuses. The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.

4. Refusing to Express Regret. The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.

5. Passing the Buck. The need to blame everyone but ourselves.

A Day Or Two In The Life Of

So the last couple of days has been light on posting...of course there is a reason for that.

This is how my Wednesday goes:
I begin the day at around 8:00 by typing out the message for our meeting that night. After the message is finished I will type out the fill in the blank notes with announcements and get them printed. Next, I will build the PowerPoint for the message and then put the whole PowerPoint for the meeting together with songs. Last thing to do is print out the slide show for our computer tech and get everything together for all our techs.

I usually get to our meeting place at around 5:15 when our band begins to show up and we do run through's on our songs for the night. We shut down the band at 6:40 and crank up some music until our meeting starts.

From 7:00 to 8:30 is our meeting and afterwards we will record our talk show that kicks off our weekly podcast. This weeks talk show was so funny...check out the Amazing Race-cast our twelfth podcast. At 9:30 we head for the house to end the day.

On Thursday:
I spend the morning editing my message and the talk show and get the whole podcast ready for publishing. After its uploaded I will then send out all the messages and posts to let everyone know it is updated.

Just want you to know what my days are like around here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Top City Woodsboro

Top cities to view my page this past week so far are:

(1) Woodsboro, TX...

Then it's (2) Corpus Christi and (3) Houston..

Tied in 4th are Plano, TX and Los Angeles.

Way to go Woodsboro....Rock On

Amazing Race-cast Episode 12

Here we go...Amazing Race-cast...Podcast #12 for Elevate. This week our host Juno Garcia, Gilbert Herrera, a whole crew of ladies and I talk about running life's race in this episodes talk show.

This weeks message on the Podcast is by Jason Curlee called "Running The Amazing Race" with a great message about running life's race with God as your prize.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly -->> here <<--

-->> Listen online here <<--

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Running The Amazing Race

I'm sitting here in the office getting the message ready for tonight. This week we are continuing our Pursuit Series with a message titled "Running the Amazing Race."

The Pursuit series has turned out to be a very interesting one for me. It has also been one that is challenging me to step it up somewhat in my life. Especially in this new year.

As I was reviewing the bio from the show "The Amazing Race." I noticed some similarities between it and life.

Here are a few of my thoughts:
* Race in the Show = Life Is A Race
* Clues and Instructions = Bible to Go Through Life
* Detours = Two Paths in our live; Wide & Narrow Paths
* Roadblocks = Obstacles from Devil
* Fast Forward = Jesus
* Money = God’s Gifts to equip us to do tasks
* Yield = Distractions & Temptations
* Prize = Eternal Life

Monday, January 15, 2007

Develop The Leaders Within

Great post by John Moore at Brand Autopsy today on Starbucks philosophy of developing their employees. Read "The Starbucks "Employee First" Philosophy".

Here is an excerpt:
We believe in hiring exceptional people who are willing to work for excellent results. In exchange, we are committed to the development of our good people by identifying, cultivating, training, rewarding and promoting those individuals who are committed to moving our company forward.
Begs the question of what kind of culture would be developed if churches spent more time developing their staff and front-line leaders? How much more commitment would these leaders have as well as loyalty?

One of the highest levels of leadership starts with developing people.

Check out the Making Difference Makers Youtube Leadership Series to help you develop your leaders.

Components of a Life Plan

As we continue building our life plan let me list the key areas of our life. These seven areas will help us clarify what we want and what we have to do to get there. This is a list of areas I have taken from Brian Tracy's book Focal Point.

The areas are:
1. Spiritual Development
2. Family and Personal Life
3. Business and Career
4. Personal Development
5. Financial
6. Health and Fitness
7. Social Activities

Utilizing this list will allow us to bring a focus and balance as each area is important. Having a balance in every area is key to having a balanced life.

My Office Seminar

Today I turned my office into a blogging seminar. We are going to have two new blog sites to the blogosphere soon. Our worship and children's departments are both getting set up at this moment...HURRAY...finally.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Communication Ability Matters

Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor at Granger Community Church recently posted on Communication Ability Matters. Granger was recently named as one of the top 25 most innovative churches in America by Outreach Magazine.

In his post Tim talked about the need for pastors to communicate at a greater level. Here is an excerpt:

I really wonder if...

* There are a lot of pastors who should give up teaching and focus on their strengths.
* There are a lot of pastors who need a group of honest friends around them to tell them when their message flops.
* There are a lot of pastors who should get some help in becoming a better communicator.
* There are a bunch of churches that would start growing if the pastor would stop preaching, focus on pastoring, and partner with another church who has an effective communicator. That's right--plug in a DVD on Sunday morning.
* There are churches who have better communicators sitting in their pews than standing behind their pulpit. And, if there are pastors who are humble enough to admit it and secure enough to do something about it?

Wow! Tough Love from Tim, but so true. I feel every Youth Pastor, Sr. Pastor, Teaching Pastor, Sunday School Teacher...any church communicator should step up and listen to advice like this. If not move on. Go sale cars. Something. The people you lead deserve a person who is going to give them the best and becoming a better communicator is something you can give them.

You can read Tim's post at -->> Communication Ability Matters <<-- I wrote to Tim and said the following:

Great post Tim. It is so very true.

It is tough love because there are some great loving and caring pastors but today's society especially those that are seekers do expect more. A great heart doesn't make a great communicator.

I wish every pastor would read books like "Communicating for a Change" by Andy Stanley and "The BIG IDEA – Focus the Message and Multiply the Impact" by Dave Ferguson.

If not then be happy that you never grow, quit wondering why, and by all means stop saying "God has given me just enough to care for and I just need to be faithful."


Post Number 200

My second milestone in the world of blogging. I am so addicted to this. In a good way. I believe blogging helps in so many ways.

It helps me develop the people that I lead. I think people are tired of more meetings. Blogging is a way to get fresh information to them.

It helps me learn.
One of the highest levels of learning comes from teaching. As I regurgitate the information that I am devouring it enables me to process it.

It helps me creatively. As I have learned what others are doing in blogging and technology it has allowed me to come up with creative information distribution. For example, I am using youtube's storage and bandwidth to deliver weekly leadership lessons to our ministry and department heads. Check it out in our Making Difference Makers Folder.

So here we are at post number 200. It is awesome to think that God is using me in some unique ways and I look forward to what He has in store for me in the future.

Personal Life Planning

This post is continuing our "Life Plan" series.

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. And this holds true for most people's lives. Most people set out with dreams and ideas of what they want out of life and yet they never seem to get there.

Some even expect God to just drop it out of heaven for them. I don't think that is going to happen either. God always seems to partner with us as we put into "action" what we are saying in "faith".

Faith is an action word. It requires us acting in an area we are believing in. So to properly put faith in action in our lives I propose a life plan. This plan will do two things: 1) focus our energy and 2) focus our faith.

A personal life plan is a tool to take you from where you are to where you want to go. We start that plan with a purpose. You can read about that in my post "Your Life Purpose". We will then focus our life through that purpose creating a synergy that will propel us to the heights that God has for us.

Read all posts from this series at -->>Life Plan.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Big Idea Book Review

I was totally excited today when I saw an email from Dave Ferguson. Dave is the lead pastor at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois. You can read his blog at

Dave is wanting me to preview his new book, "The BIG IDEA – Focus the Message and Multiply the Impact". I can tell you this. I had already been excited about this book for a couple of weeks because I just went to implementing one big idea in all my messages. So when I saw that Dave had been writing a book on how to implement this in order to laser focus your ministry effectiveness, I was so thrilled. And now the email...oh man am I more pumped about this book.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Nothing is more dangerous than a single compelling idea that is lived out and nothing is more harmless than lots of little ideas never applied. By creatively communicating one BIG IDEA every week, your church will transform people into genuine Christ followers who live out the mission of Jesus. Less is more! Community Christian Church embraced the BIG IDEA and everything changed. They decided to avoid the common mistake of bombarding people with so many “little ideas” that they suffered overload. They also recognized that leaders often don’t insist that the truth be lived out to accomplish Jesus’ mission. Why? Because people’s heads are swimming with too many little ideas, far more than they can ever apply.

Go to -->> Amazon <<-- to pre-order the book and save.

Video Teaser for Pursuit Series

This post is for those that like one to three things. "Fast and the Furious", "Toby Mac", or "cars". It is our video teaser that got everyone in the mood for our Pursuit Series.

Click -->> Pursuit Teaser <<-- For The Clip.

Just to let you know I used the methods from my "Downloaded Videos post to gather the clips off the internet. Much thanks to Lifehacker and Gil's Method for the tip.

I went ahead and embedded the video below.

Making Difference Makers Episode #2

This week continues our Making Difference Makers Video Series. This months topic is developing yourself as a leader and today's clip is on "Developing Yourself to Develop Others."

The purpose of these videos is to provide weekly training to my department heads and other leaders in our ministries as well as anyone else who could utilize this to further make a difference in their world.

Click here -->> Making Difference Makers <<-- for other posts in our video series.

Visit my youtube site for more videos and the series as well.

I'm "Die"-eting

So when it comes to setting goals some are harder than others. Some take work. Some are take strict discipline. Some take total lifestyle changes.

Which brings me to the title of this post. All this week I began changing what, how often, and how much I eat. I keep telling my wife that I am "die"-eating. I really don't believe diets work but lifestyle changes do.

About 12 years ago I was a competitive bodybuilder and ate around 9,000 calories a day in the off-season. That wasn't a typo, I said "9,000 calories".

At that time I had peaked my weight out at 275 lbs. before I was about to begin the process of cutting down to around 220. Then something radical happened in my life and I totally changed my lifestyle and gave bodybuilding up for something better.

Here came the problem.

I kept eating the same. Well not exactly the same but I love the experience of a meal. I love the smell and the tastes. I love to put a hot bread stick from the Olive Garden in my mouth and just take in the buttery seasoning... SLAP! ... Sorry, lost it for a minute.

I said all that to say my weight is at about 265 as I started this week and I am in the process of losing what I feel will be 45 lbs.

You know what it will all be worth it. I will feel better, look better, and "my" body will be a lot healthier. I will miss those bread sticks though.

But like any goal should be, it will be worth it.

Pursuit-cast - Elevate Podcast #11

Here we go...Pursuit-cast...Podcast #11 for Elevate. This week our host Juno Garcia, Gilbert Herrera, Crystal Herrera and I talk about our chasing God in this episodes talk show.

This weeks message on the Podcast is by Jason Curlee called "The Greatest Chase of All" kicks off a four week series and is about how to catch God we must capture His heart.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dropped the Goal there are some goals I am not good at just yet. I thought I was making progress on my blog goal of cutting down sites. BUT, I added one. On the flip side I deleted two right after. Maybe there is hope.

A Few Yearly Goals

I'm on a mission this year. A couple of my goals are:

* Lose 45 pounds...I know what your thinking, especially if you know me, "from where?"
Well I need to lose that.

* Read through the bible this year. Gonna read through the message bible.

* Cut down the amount of blogs I track. I was up to 65. My first cut was today. I cut it down to 49. It was hard...there are many that I am used to reading but I have found that I am reading so much that my consistent bible reading has gone to the side.

* Continue developing myself as a leader. I am constantly feeding myself so that the people I lead get the best out of me. Right now I am reading through about 5 books and have another 4 on the shelf. I don't read each one every day but I usually read a different one each day depending on how I feel.

* Complete two series on my blog. Plan Your Ministry and Life Plan. I want to be a resource to people and to minstries.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Downloaded Videos

Ever see a great video on youtube or myspace and say man I wish we could use that in our ministry event or meeting.

If you said yes read on.

There was a great tip from lifehacker yesterday on how to download myspace, youtube and other video's online that you might not otherwise be able to.

Here is the process as it comes from Gil's Method:

1. Download & install Firefox (You need firefox for the extension to work)

2. Download & install the Video Downloader extension for Firefox (The video downloader extension allows you to save videos from popular websites like Myspace, YouTube, Google, and others.)

3. Download & install Media Coder (This encoder converts the video you download into .avi files which allow you to view and store them at your won discretion)

4. Find the video you wish to save. Once you are on the page click the Video Downloader Button in the bottom right part of your Firefox Browser window.

5. A window will pop-up. Click the button that says Download Link

6. When prompted select Save to Disk and then click OK

>>>>>Please note that if the file you download does not have the extension .flv, then rename the file and end the name with .flv <<<<<

7. Start up Media Coder

8. Click on the I agree radio button and on the Skip Setup Wizard button, then close the window that appears after that.

9. Drag and drop the .flv files you downloaded into the large white area in Media Coder

10. Click on the Video tab in the lower left-hand section on the window and select XviD in the Format drop-down menu.

11. Click the large Start button on the top toolbar window to start transcoding your video.

12. When completed a window will propmt you saying that transcoding is completed, go your file's original location and an .AVI file shoudl be there with the same file name. Now you can play it with Windows Media or your favorite media player.

Note: You should not download/copy/distribute videos which you have no rights to.


Tonight I went to see a high school basketball game with a couple of boys from our church playing in it.

It was tough watching for me because I was a basketball coach for about 12 years and when I go I just can't sit and watch. I start looking at all the form breaks and flaws in their fundamentals. Now keep reading cause I'm going to make a point with all this.

One reason I hated coaching boy's basketball was because so often it was hard to coach guys who thought they were these superstar players. They would use their athleticism to compensate for a lack of fundamentals. So when I was watching tonight I was seeing all the little fundamentals that these boys had. These are the things that could take most of these boys from a good player to a great player and make their team outstanding.

It had me thinking about how we need to practice the fundamentals in our lives. This past year I spent most of my time in the word only when I was studying for messages. That is not going to cut it in my life. I have got to be reading and filling myself with the word on a daily basis.

So this year one of my goals is to read through the Message Bible this year. It really is a simple thing to do but it requires discipline. It requires staying on track daily. You can read through the entire Bible in a year by reading about 15 minutes today. There are only bible reading guides that can help you.

There are other fundamentals that should be practiced but start today with something like prayer, giving, serving, consistently in church, etc....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Google Is Top Employer

Google was named the top employer in the country named by Fortune Magazine.

Click -> Google Named Top Employer <- for the Today Show Video from Monday.

Here are a few perks for working at Google as shown on the video:
* Free Rack of Lamb for lunch
* Free Massages
* Pool Tables In Offices
* Bring Your Pet To Work
* 5,000 dollars to buy a car

Come on whose dream job is not working at a company like that. People going to work to have fun.

I want to know if there are any churches out there that are like this. A place to work that you can use your gifts, have a purpose that effects eternity, and where you can have "fun". Now that is the environment I want to create.

I'll tell you this, a church like google would be a youth pastors dream come true.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Speaking of a better just have to read Perry Noble's latest post on "I'm A Little Fired Up!"

Here is a small excerpt:

We live in a culture DOMINATED by entertainment. Like it or not THAT is THE way it is. If a movie is good then people will go…and if it isn’t then people will stay away. If a television show is good then people will watch…and if it isn’t then it will be canceled. And…IF church is good then people will go…and if not then people will stay away!!!

Now…I am a firm believer that numbers do not lie…and the numbers say that over 90% of the churches in America are either stagnant OR declining. (I actually read in one report that an average of six churches per day in America are closing their doors!!!)

You go Perry...I'm fired up now as well....

A Second Milestone Coming Closer

Well, I am coming up on a second milestone pretty quickly. Blog number 200 is getting close.

Blogging fits my D/C personality perfectly. I actually love to write and mostly think my thoughts come out clearer on paper or computer screen. Originally I starting blogging in March of 2006 because a friend of mine, Jeff Allred, who pastors in Oklahoma, visited and told me about his. Since at that time I knew I was switching positions I thought it would be a great way to keep people abreast of what I was doing.

Fast forward to October and I caught the blogging bug. Since then it has opened up a whole realm of possibilities. I am now taking advantage of many opportunities the Internet has to offer. We now podcast, blog, and have created a weekly leadership video series on youtube.

Right now I feel we are just touching the surface on the possibilities that are out there. It is my desire to create something that can help others make a difference in their lives. Watch and see how we evolve over 2007.

A Better Experience

Great thought today that comes from McDonald's CEO, Jim Skinner:

Because we proved that we were getting bigger but not better. And we have to be better. Your experience today at McDonald’s has to be a better experience than it was yesterday.

McDonald's has had a remarkable turnaround over the past two years and is poised for an even brighter future now. Skinner’s winning strategy was named PLAN TO WIN and it focused McDonald’s on improving the service, the food, and the experience at existing locations.

Is the experience we are creating in our church/ministry department getting better?

People's experiences are being defined each and every day. When they go to a new restraurant, movie theater, mall, etc...these experiences are defining how they will interpret our environment and the weekly experience we are trying to create.

Let's take it a step farther. Are the people we are leading getting a better experience? Are you developing yourself in your time management & organizational skills? People naturally want to follow someone who knows where they are going. Someone with vision and passion that will help them acheive their dreams.

So what experience are you creating today? Is it a better one?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ministry Planning

There are many ways that your department or ministry can plan. Even though it is January it is not too late to plan the rest of the year if you haven't already.

Some of the items that we use in our ministry plans are as follows:

1. Professional Job Description
2. Departmental Mission Statements
3. Departmental Core Values
4. Departmental BHAG’s (Big Holy Anointed Goals)
5. Departmental CSF’s (Critical Success Factors)
6. Departmental Organizational Chart
7. Event Schedule -
8. Event Timelines -
9. Departmental Budget
10. Feeding Schedule – Be three months ahead
11. Policy and Procedure Manual
12. Vacation Schedule

In future posts for this Plan Your Ministry Series. I will describe each of these and how to put them in effect.

New Ministry Series

We finished some of our planning for this year. Our leadership team met yesterday and we planned out the next three monthes in detail. Just thought I would let you in on all the series that we are doing this year.

Here is our 2007 Meeting Feeding Schedule:

1. Pursuit - "The Greatest Chase of All" (Check out my graphic for the Series)
Message Titles For This Series Include: Chasing After an Awesome God, Running the Incredible Race, The Bold Pursuit, and Quit Dating God.

2. Inked - "Marked By God"
3. Lost - "Surviving the Mystery of the Unknown"
4. Heroes - "Came to Earth To Save Me"
5. Decisions - "Making Every Decision A Great One"
6. Infect - "Becoming A Contagious Christian"
7. All Out War - "Investigating Spiritual Warfare"
(Special Thanks to Simply Youth Ministry for this Christmas Present)
8. Re-Define - "Breaking the Way Culture has Defined Us"
9. Verdict - "Living a Convicting Life"

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Develop Yourself By Reading

Two books by John Maxwell that you can use to help you begin developing yourself as a leader are:

Both of these books offer basic principles of leadership and as you read them will begin to transform your thinking and increase your capacity to lead others.

Begin your journey of leadership development today.

Don't wait for tomorrow start now.

There are many other great books out that can help you as well. If you are reading and have another book to offer as well please leave a comment.

Making Difference Makers Episode #1

This week starts some leadership training that I have developed for our ministry teams. I will be recording and posting a new episode weekly. These short trainings are designed for any ministry, department, and all around personal growth.


This month is about Developing Yourself As a Leader. Our big idea for this episode is leaders develop themselves to ensure future growth.

John Maxwell
Scripture Reference: Matthew 13:31-32

*Wanted to give Josh Griffen a shout out for the idea...I had been thinking of a way to get training to our teams and his new Tips From The Trenches gave me the inspiration. Make sure you go to his site and check out his youth ministry tips.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Departmental Planning

This week we are meeting with our leadership team to develop our next three months in detail. If you are a staff pastor or department head, I suggest two things you can do with your team.

1. Meet with them once a month to pour into their lives. Cast vision, feed them mentally and even feed them physically. Teach them principles of teamwork and leadership that they can use in their lives and departments. Also tell stories...stories develop trust which is the foundation of leadership. Tell testimonies, how they got in ministry, praise reports, etc... And oh yeah, above all have fun. Ministry is about the journey. It is taking a journey with a group of people and having fun.

2. Meet quarterly to plan in detail the next three months. This will bring cohesiveness to everyone's schedule. Plan out your meeting teaching schedules, Sunday School, small groups, and events. This will put everyone on your team on the same page. There was nothing like running a play when I was in high school only to find your quarterback or running back going the opposite way they should be going. Those plays are usually busts.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fire Me Then

I've been reading how Home Depot's CEO, Bob Nardelli was fired. It is very interesting. I'm sure there are several great reasons for him being fired but to get a $210 million severance package.


If I could mess things up so bad and get $210 million well you can Fire Me Then as well.

How horrible life is going to be for him. I can feel myself tearing up right now.

Yeah Right.

Inside-Cast - Elevate Podcast #10

Here we go...Inside-cast...Podcast #10 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week our host Juno Garcia, Gilbert Herrera, Daniel Montemayor and I talk about our meeting and our expectations for the new year. This weeks message on the Podcast is by Juno Garcia called "Who Is On The Inside" and is about how God desires a spirit that is after Him.

Check out The Elevate Rundown 01-03-07 for more of the meeting details.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

Your Life Purpose

I like how Agent Smith described purpose to Neo in Matrix Revolutions.

Agent Smith: But, as you well know, appearances can be deceiving, which brings me back to the reason why we're here. We're not here because we're free. We're here because we're not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist.

[Several Agent Smith Clones walk in]

Agent Smith Clone 1: It is purpose that created us.

Agent Smith Clone 2: Purpose that connects us.

Agent Smith Clone 3: Purpose that pulls us.

Agent Smith Clone 4: That guides us.

Agent Smith Clone 5: That drives us.

Agent Smith Clone 6: It is purpose that defines us.

Agent Smith Clone 7: Purpose that binds us.

A couple of days ago I wrote a post called Possess Your Land. In that post I talked about creating a life plan. This plan includes several things the first of course being your life purpose.

Just as Agent Smith described it in the movie, purpose does do a lot of things. Many times it is the rudder that guides us as we journey through life. It defines much of what we do.

Many people go through life from thing to thing because the don't have a purpose that keeps them on track. A purpose that keeps them going in the right direction.

Part of planning says that, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail." By not starting with your purpose in life you are not going to set up your plan to go in a direction that will bring fulfillment to your life.

A great example of someone having a purpose was Jesus. You see he had a purpose in His life. He said it Himself in Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost. (The Message)

Here are is a practical guide to helping you discover your purpose:

1. Take out a sheet of blank paper or open up a new word processor file where you can type.
2. At the top write the following, “What is my life purpose?”
3. In the next five minutes write an answer (that's right I said five minutes) that comes into your head. It should be a short phrase consisting of no more than eleven words.
4. Begin praying over this purpose asking God to show you direction and to confirm His purpose for your life.

I believe that most people deep down know what their purpose is. Part of your plan is getting it out of you. Believe me this five minutes will spark your creativity and mind to action.

It is possible. The first time I did this exercise I nailed it on the first try in ten words. "To influence others to make a difference in their world." I was then able to edit it down to seven. I have since taken it back up to 11

Another way to help you discover your purpose is to fill in the blanks to the following state.

God made me to _____________ and when I _________________ I feel His pleasure.

This line came from the movie Chariots of Fire where Eric Liddell said "God made me fast and when I run I feel His pleasure."

Once you find your own unique answer to the question of why you’re here, you will feel it resonate within you. Sometimes it is hard to describe but it is like you know that you know.

The Elevate Rundown 01-03-07

It's been a while since our last rundown due to the Christmas Season so here is how Elevate went down last night, in our first meeting of the new year, January 3rd, '07.

Worship Set:
No One Like You
Take It All
Empty Me
From The Inside Out
Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Tonight, Juno brought a great message on what spirit do we have in us and how God desires a spirit that is after Him.

Make sure you listen to this on the podcast when it comes out.

Sermon Title - Who "Is" On The Inside

Big Idea - God desires a spirit that is after Him.

Total Attendance-53, Total Teens-45

Service Notes:
New year and we were off to a great start. Elevate continues to go forward and forward as we develop our team and volunteers. Many things are in store for the new year.

Click here to view other posts on Elevate.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Pursuit Graphic

I thought I would show everyone the graphic I designed for our new series starting next week.

I hope this could be a little creative inspiration for someone out there. If all goes well with this series, I will be posting links to sermon messages, graphics and notes for others to use if they want.

Boise State Victory

What a great job of leadership at Boise State. I have to agree with Josh Griffen...absolutly most amazing win I have seen this year...of course I would put in second next too the Longhorn victory for the national championship but I'm biased.

Their staff has done a fantastic job of putting together a great program.

The Short Supply of Leaders

Great Post at Leadership Now on why leaders are in short supply.

Two reasons were given: First, organizations desire leaders but structure themselves in ways that kill leadership. Second, our understanding of leadership is blinkered.

These are two great points to ponder especially in ministry. More often than not churches are not growing or the lack of growth is tied to leadership.

Often times churches fall into the trap of leadership by position. This is true from Sr. Pastors to staff positions. Churches are sometimes led by pastors who do not encourage team creativity that could produce a greater organization. They often fall into a trap of hiring a staff to get the job done of what "they" (the sr. pastor) want. This is even true of staff who recruit volunteers to just do the menial details of the department.

I read a post a couple of weeks ago and cannot find it that talked a little about this. Often times churches are priding themselves on developing leaders when all they are really doing when staffing is hiring from the outside. True leadership development can happen from the inside when an intentional and strategic plan is put in action.

Create a plan of leadership development from the top down. Many effective and growing churches are utilize a total team approach to ministry. Don't get me wrong I believe there has to be someone at the top of the organzization that is driving the processes and systems. What I also beleive is that in a true team environment more is acheived. Team Environments Acheive More!!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Possess Your Land

A future you is in your hands. Why do I say that? Because it is true.

The life you want and live really is in your hands. You see I believe this one thing about all of us: God has blessed us beyond all our comprehensions.

All Gods promises are ours but why are we not walking in them.

Is it for lack of faith? Maybe.

Is it for lack of want? Sometimes.

Is it for a lack of God? Never...not even.

God's promises are yes and amen. A life greater than we could ever dream or ask of is there for the taking. And that is my point. God has given us our promise land but just like the Israelites we need to go in and possess it.

It is there for our taking and that takes some action on our part. That is why in 2007 I want to help you develop a life plan that will get you on track to the life you want and dream for. This life plan will breakdown several areas of our lives and help us develop a strategic plan for us to go and possess the land God has given us.

In order to start it will take some action on your part and I hope that you are willing and able and up to the game. Most of us develop resolutions every year but this year I want you to develop a strategic action plan that will help you acheive the life destined for you.

Over the next few weeks I will help you develop a life plan that will first consist of developing your life purpose statement. We will then develop values, mission statements and goals for every area of our life. Finally we will write a five year vision statement of our lives.

Begin with me in 2007 as we all go and possess our land.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to each and every one of you.

In 2007 may God give you more than you can dream or ask.

High Expectations in 2007.