Saturday, March 31, 2007

A More Effective Team

Building a team in ministry will create an environment that will multiply your efforts.

In the book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win, there is a great quote by Carl Guarino a sixteen year veteran at SEI.
"As a team leader, you're not going to have a lot of luck if you just want people in execution mode. But if you involve people in the strategy, give them a chance to work with clients, and share the credit, people will be lobbying you for a spot on the team. And the next time you come around, people will jump at the chance to get involved."
In leading your departments this can be some great advice especially when creating a team environment. Often times, we as department heads tend to build a strategy and look for people to get it done. Reflect on that quote as you endeavor to build a team.

There's No Secret Promo Video

New video I edited for our Sunday Morning Services. I had this brainstorm Wednesday because we were doing a spy theme for our upcoming series There's No Secret To Success.

So my Pastor and I hit the road on Thursday and poof here is what you get. You guys get the first look at it.

Carlito Promo Graphic

Don't know what kind of mood I was in for this one....


Nope....couldn't do it...

Make sure you read the previous post.

Tied For Most Posts

I almost missed it this month...this post has tied the most posts in a month that I have posted...this is post 62 for the month. I wasn't even trying to do it.

The first time I did I was really stretched and I pushed it. But these week I was amazed at how many times I have posted. Still don't think I could keep up with Griffin.

I know this is a pretty random thought.

So I was thinking should I leave it right there and stay tied?

Innovation and Helping Others

It seems like a lot of the churches and pastors I follow in the blogging world do a lot of innovative things.

I think that is one thing that can happen when blogging and your career intersect.

It seems like most of the churches seem to thrive off each other, almost like a contest. Not intentionally. But there seems to be with most of them an attitude of what can I do next.

They don't copy, they don't take and do what the others have done. They innovate...they create.

Sometimes that is hard. I know. I haven't preached an unoriginal message since last October. And that was only because I really loved the theme and thought the message really related. Since then though all original.

I think there is a place for that though in church and youth ministry. It has allowed people who don't have time to tag along with others to create a better atmosphere where they are.

Here is my opinion and some other people aren't like this.

I couldn't give a rip if someone takes all my stuff and preaches it word for word.

Now I don't think they should take stories about my life and say it like it was their own. But they can take the meat and make it their's. They can take my videos...everything ...and use it.

I was going to create it anyway. It was going in the box afterward never to be used again. Why not???

I'm not even gonna sell it to them. Why???

Cause I'm like that. I, for one, see no reason to "profit" off it. To sell it to the masses.

But what about the costs? The costs will be worth it. It's no different than missions. We don't get any money back on that.

I want to be able to make it as easy as I can for others to do what they are called to do.

I think that's one reason I like so much. And there are others churches that are doing this as well.

It was a joy recently to send some materials to a friend of mine up in Nebraska. Due to his time restraints I am hoping this can help him as well as inspire him along the way.

I want to make the barriers that others may already have and help bring them down.

There were many times along the way that I wished I could have bought some materials to help but couldn't. My church budget was non-existent as well as my personal budget.

I am looking forward to the day when I can make this happen in a big way. I hope to post links to more of my messages and other materials for now. I am going to use every free method I can right now to help others.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sharing My Favorites

If you are going to my main site make sure you check out some of the other blog posts I read. I am sharing some of my favorites with a nice little widget from my google reader in the right column.

If you get this through a reader go check them out at Making Difference Makers.

Making Videos

Yesterday and today I filmed and edited our first video trailer for our church. We created a little spy video to intro in a new series we will be starting on Sunday April 15th.

I really love creating and editing video. It is something I have done for our ministry over the past 4 months at Church of Hope. Getting to do it for our Sunday Morning service is exciting.

Hope to have it up on youtube this weekend.

If you didn't see our Heroes trailer make sure you check it out below.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Videos On Youtube

Make sure you check out all our videos on youtube. I recently uploaded several. Promos, human videos, etc...check it out here.

Survival-cast Episode 22

Survival-cast...Podcast #22 for Elevate...Here we go...This week he's back and back with a vengence. Our host Juno Garcia is back on the mic along with Jason Curlee, Shelly and Rachel. Great talk show with lots of ribbing.

This weeks message on the Podcast finishes up our series called LOST - "surviving the mystery of the unknown" and the message is by Jason Curlee called "Survival" in which our big idea is trusting God in the face of the unknown.

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

-->> Listen online here <<--

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Church of Stimulation

Our worship pastor found an interesting read today. And well I just had to respond to it.

Go read Worship/Music/Mentor/Reading

Make sure you read the end (last two paragraphs to be exact) and then my comment.

By this time in the day I needed a good laugh and well we got one. And boy did we laugh. Afterwards I have still be thinking of all the possibilities.

Business Administrator of Stimulation

"Where Stimulation and Spirituality Merge"

Remember you have to read that post and the comments. (I was rushing through typing it so I made a grammar error at the start of my comment there.

Way to funny!!!

Thoughts to add to that????

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Making Life Easy

One of the best ways of reading this blog is through a blog reader. What this does is enable you to easily track all the blogs you read without having to go to each blog individually, checking if they have posted.

I myself love google. Not only do I use google reader as by blog reader, but I use blogger as my blog host, picasa web for my online picture host and a host of other gadgets and freebies from google. I also use gmail for all my email, especially since I can use my Outlook with it.

Here is how simple it can be.

1. Get a google account.

2. Go to Google Reader and sign in using your new account.

3. Click on Add Subscription and add

4. Enjoy

The alternative method is after getting a google account just click on the Add to Google button on my blogsite.

Google has certainly made my life easier.

I Pity

Ok, so I just really needed some sleep at this point last night.

Favorite Podcasts

A couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine asked me what podcasts I listened to. It was a great question. Of course there were too many to type them all out to him. So I thought about it for a week and here they are. I put some links to some of them.

Community Christian Church
Crosspoint Community Church
Elevation Church
Journey Church
NewSpring Church

Church Leadership
Acts 29 Network
Church Leader Insights
Creative Synergy
Fermi Project
National New Church Conference
Practically Speaking with Andy Stanley (search on itunes for it)
Relevant Christian
Simply Strategic Show
The BIG IDEA Online

The Starbucks Experience
The Leadership Moment (itunes search)
Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (itunes search)

Youth Ministry
Youth Specialties
Simply Youth Ministry
Elevate Student Ministries
Elevate 07
Covenant Worldwide: Youth Ministry

Ragamuffin Soulcast

So then which are my current favorites:
5. Fermi Project
4. A tie with NewSpring Church and Elevation Church
3. Simply Youth Ministry
2. Catalyst

and the number one podcast....

1. Elevate Podcast (now come on did you think I was going to say any other) The two girls on this one rock...oh and their host isn't too shabby.

Heroes Promo Video

Our promo for our April Series called Heroes - "Ordinary People...Extraordinary Power"

Check out the post Heroes Series Synopsis for the overall of this series.

Check out the post Heroes Series Graphic for the promo graphic.

FYI - I started making this at 11 pm and stayed up until 1:30 making it. Nothing like late night creativity.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Is The Problem Christian Radio

I hardly ever listen to Christian radio. In fact I don't really like it all that much. Actually I just wonder if Christian music is adding to or helping the problem of reaching teens or not. (I do only listen to Christian music if you were thinking that.)

Here's the deal. We have two radio stations here where I am and mostly all the time their programming is not programming that reaches teens. Don't get me wrong they play most of the top Christian music so it's not that they are horrible.

Now who's fault is that? The radio stations? Teenagers? The listeners?
Let me break it down:

For today's teens to be reached we are going to have to take a different approach. Right now the church is presenting a view that is not relevant. My pastor and I were just talking about that this morning.

I really think Christian radio as it is presented is unappealing to teens and out of touch. But I understand that since they (teens) don't give the money to it.

Maybe teens should break down and give some of that hard earned (or given) spending money. But wait a minute...what unchurched teen is going to do that?

Maybe if the radio stations would change their programming it would be more appealing to unchurched teens. But wait a minute...if they did that what would all those adults listen too? So they throw on a little segment on Saturday nights when it is probably the least listened to segment of time by adults.

So then it comes down to the listeners. If we want to keep presenting a message that is out of touch with today's unchurched world then by all means keep giving your money into the current system. I mean it's all about us anyway, right?

If we are going to reach the lost then we must by all means begin to change our methods. They aren't working. Today's generation is not being reached in mass despite what some president of a large youth church organization thinks. And the times are changing. We must change with them.

I don't know the mission of these radio stations so I can't judge them. Maybe their purpose is not to reach but to simply give Christians an option of music. I do know that teens aren't going to turn over to these stations and listen. The majority of church teens I know don't even do that. (Thank God for ipods.) And why should they? It's not a style of music that most of them listen too anyway.

So radio stations...listeners...if you want to reach this next generation it's time to step up and do something.

Oh yeah...for me. I just don't do it. I don't listen to them so I don't contribute. It's not for me. Therefore I don't have a voice. So apparently I'm part of my own problem. So why again am I writing this????

Everything Human Video

Great human video to Everything by Lifehouse. Performed by Journey Master's Commission in our meeting.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Relevant Christian

Just wanted to drop a little link love.

Check out the blog of Relevant Christian by Jimmy Eldridge. New blog I am following. It looks like it's new on the block and has some potential.

A Little Risky

Take a freakin' risk.

Well, when I first heard that it wasn't with the word freakin' but it stood out vividly in my mind.

I was at a pool in Houston and they had a high diving platform. I had never been off one before and to be honest I was a little hesitant. Although I feel I had always been a natural risk taker this would be huge.

I was in the 8th grade and knew enough that if I landed wrong from that height it would hurt. So I did it and survived. It was awesome.

Since then I have been a natural risk taker. I haven't met a roller coaster I hadn't liked. I have done the giant swings that make you feel like your skydiving at theme parks.

Only thing I haven't done yet is skydive and bungy jump.

But what happens to people when they become Christians. All of the sudden it seems like they are purified and petrified. They no longer take risks. Churches don't take risks.

I remember being a part of this church that was always scared to take a risk. Because they felt like they might offend someone they really never did anything.

And when someone did do something a little risky we always got our hands slapped from this spiritual side of the equation.

Folks it's time to be a little risky. Pastors it's time to be a little risky. Churches it's time to be a little risky.

There needs to be a little more adventure in church. I can be the worst about this. I have to have everything so programmed that it sometimes takes out the adventure of not knowing.

Anais Nin said, "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

It's time we blossom. It's time we came out of the "closet". It's time to be a little (or a lot more) risky.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

This Is Why

This is why I keep doing youth ministry and ministry in general. It is not the highest paid profession and requires sacrifice and demands that other "jobs" don't have. But folks this is what it is all about.

This is why we must keep reaching out to this generation.
"I just wanted to say that elevate was awesome (even though i cried)! ha ha. Thank you so much for helping me find God again. Thanks again!!!"
I got that after our meeting this week.

Rock On.

Very Hot Video

With over 475 view this video is now the most viewed video in the videos I have created and uploaded there.

Introducing Steven Furtick

If you have been reading my blog over the past few months you will know that I give props a whole lot to two guys (well maybe three including Tony), Perry Noble and Steven Furtick.

Steven just posted an insiders look at who he is.

In a nutshell this radical brother from another mother pastors a church in North Carolina that has grown from 19 to 1600 in a little over one year.

Go read his post "Who We Are.." to get the whole scoop.

No More Technorati

So Steven Furtick Pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, has shrugged off Technorati. I haven't even shrugged it on and what's a brother to do.

Apparently since putting it down he became the number one search on the website. As of the time of this posting he is number 2. He even blew Paris Hilton (she wasn't even in the top ten) out the water. Isn't that just crazy? He can't even go and look at it. Cause that would be just wrong.

Technorati according to Wikipedia is an Internet search engine for searching blogs. As of December 2006, Technorati indexes over 55 million weblogs. The name Technorati is a portmanteau, pointing to the technological version of literati or intellectuals.

My rank on Technorati is 79,235. I have a long way to go.

Stranded-cast Episode 21

Stranded-cast...Podcast #21 for Elevate...Here we go...This week Jason Curlee assumes the captain's chair for our podcast with Shelly and Rachel and we get attacked by a host of crickets.

This weeks message on the Podcast continues our series called LOST - "surviving the mystery of the unknown" and the message is by Jason Curlee called "Stranded" in which our big idea is Turn Alone Time to God Time.

This week in our Nugget-time you will hear a nugget by Carolina Lindholm during our offering time.

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

-->> Listen online here <<--

A Lunch Podcast

Podcast will be out around lunch today. Last night was a very fun night. Should be a great podcast to listen too. Watch for the links.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

People With Impact

Great quote by Mike McCue I found on p. 203 in the book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win:
"We don't want people who just want to be pat of an outfit that's fun and cool. We don't want people who are going to complain about processes or the pressures of scale. We want people who want to build something big and have an impact on the world."

The Fermi Podcast

I want to highly recommend you check out the Fermi Project podcast. The Fermi Podcast gives listeners a behind-the-scenes experience with thought leaders on the topics of the Culture, the Future, the Church and the Gospel.

You can find it at their website

Influence In Culture

I'll let you sit on this all day. My prevailing thought this morning is culture.

As the church God wants us to be influencer's in culture. Whether it is in arts, politics, education, or business it is important that we are developing ourselves as leaders. Leadership is influence and as we raise our leadership skills and abilities God will strategically place us in these areas of culture so that we can bring influence.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Our Podcast

In case you haven't seen it yet, which would be really hard anyway since you can only hear it, our podcast is doing awesome. Over 100 downloads in the last two days.

You can check it out at or an easier way is to subscribe through itunes.

Open your itunes and click on the advanced tab at the top. Once that opens click on Subscribe to Podcast and enter That will enable you to get it automatically.

Of course you could just search for us in the itunes store. Just type in Elevate Student Ministries. When I did that ours was the one named Elevate's Podcast.

Ok, ok, I'll just make it really simple. If you already have itunes you can just click >> here <<

I know, I know. I was just trying to show you all the different ways you can add a podcast.

FYI...Itunes is a free download and is an excellent program where you can subscribe to podcasts as well as listen to your music through.

Hey if you are listening to it through itunes make sure you go leave us a comment.

Two Days In A Row

She did it again. In case your wondering who she is yet or you haven't figured it out. She is my awesome and much better half.

And she has posted two days in a row. Insane Crazy....

Number 300 or Innovation or Criticism

There was so much anticipation in this post for a while. It is number 300.


I think I built it up so much that I wasn't sure where to go.

I thought about criticism, especially from Christians that ain't got anything better to do. These are the people that sit back and criticize large churches who are reaching people while they themselves are doing nothing.

Come on folks...GET A LIFE!!! If you would spend more time with your church reaching out rather than reading and bashing my boys who are reaching people maybe we as the "Church" would actually reach the world. But that's ok, seeing you got so much spine sitting there reading and posting when you wouldn't even have the guts to say something to these churches in person.

I thought about writing about innovation and churches. In today's world the church has got to be more innovative. But it's not. Don't get me wrong there are some very innovative churches. is one. Newspring is one. Granger is one. Oh wait a minute. These are the same churches that receive criticism.

So does being innovative and criticism go hand in hand. Apparently when you are in church it does. We celebrate innovation in a secular world but when a church is innovative all the sudden it gets criticized. But not by a secular world. By the church.

So where does this post go. Number 300, a great milestone in my blogging. Innovation and criticism, I don't know that might get me in trouble with the right wing church blog brigade.

So I guess I will just stay neutral and celebrate another great day.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Getting Closer

Have told you lately? 300 is almost here.

On The Flip Side

She did it. And it was a good one. After not posting since October she finally entered the fray. Course I had to remind her how.

Anyway you can see her first post in a long time right >> here <<

I feel she is going to present a great perspective in future posts.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Free Music

Looking for some good worship music. Go to They have two songs from Steve Fee for download. Did I mention free music?

Lifechurch at Second Life

Been meeting a lot of really neat people as I am still checking out in Second Life. I am interested to see what it will be like when they launch their Easter Service online.

I have met people from around the world, staff and campus pastors from various churches, as well as some really great people. Very interesting to see where this goes. How many other churches will get there own? Which mega church will copy this next?

Unleashed Conference

Check out Tony's notes from the Unleashed Conference at NewSpring. I just got to say that Perry was bringing it. You go Perry.

Session One

Session Two

300 Is Almost Here

And I'm not talking about the movie. It's coming...It's number 300 is almost here. Another milestone in the journey.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Masters-cast Episode 20

Masters-cast...Podcast #20 for Elevate...Here we go...This week our host Juno Garcia talks with Jason Curlee, Shelly, and Rachel about the night. Sitting in on the podcast are our guests from Sallisaw, OK, Journey Masters Commission. We talk a lot about what Master's Commission is all about.

This weeks message on the Podcast is by Tony Velasquez.

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

-->> Listen online here <<--

To find out more about Journey Master's Commission visit

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Random Thoughts

Ever had random the classic, "Why do brown cows eat green grass and produce white milk."

Or how about some oxymoron's. I saw one on the side of the road. Giant Jumbo Shrimp for sale. Giant Jumbo...shrimp.

If your reading this comment on your first random thought that comes in your head. (Remember this is a clean podcast)

Journey MC At Elevate

Great crowd at Elevate for Journey Master's Commission. Here are the pics:

At the Altar!

They Even Made It On the Podcast!!

That's me with the Journey MC!!!

Why Church is Often a Student's Last Priority

Great, great thought from Tim at Life in Student Ministry. This post called "Why Church is often a student’s last priority" is some great reading that will get you thinking. Here is an excerpt:
I often hear comments like, “I can’t go to camp because I have football practice that week and if I don’t go to practice, I won’t have a starting spot on next year’s team.” Coaches set the standards high and hold students to it. But then at church and at home from parents students hear the exact opposite: “If you can’t come to youth group this week because you haven’t finished your homework yet, that’s fine. Attend when you can, if you want to.” What that communicates to the student is that academic, athletic and musical development are more important than spiritual development. We have such lazy expectations.

I think parents help feed this mentality of church as a last priority by often restricting youth group activities if homework isn’t done or skipping Sunday morning services for an entire soccer season due to the game schedule. My parents raised me with the exact opposite priorities. My brothers and I were selected on a few occasions to join the elite soccer and wrestling teams, but my parents always said no because the games were on Sunday mornings. As a young kid, that taught me a very valuable lesson: God always comes first. The price for this lesson? A couple little league soccer games and wrestling matches. And today we’re all involved in some sort of ministry.
Great reading and helping us keep it real. Make sure you read the full post.

Podcast Delayed

For those that are waiting on the podcast today. I can't mix it till Friday night. Check back tomorrow evening or Saturday Morning.

It is a funny one. Our host Juno makes a surprise appearance when we thought we wouldn't be there.

Also we have Journey Master's Commission in the house and on the podcast. It's a good one. Much laughs.

Dialogue on ATF

Had some great dialogue on this post and this post at ysmarko. It is great that we could each speak our mind and still remember the reason we do it all.

Thanks for keeping it real Marko.

Huge Correction

Huge correction to this post. Those pic's are of Tyler's baby not his sister's. Yo bro too cute...and my b.b.b.bad.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Some Favorite Blogs

Some props to some new blogs I have found lately as well as some of my favs. (As a side note, I am rebelling from taking blogs off my reader, I added about 10 in the past week or two.)

There are lots more that I may highlight on another day. Who knows I might make a top ten blogs I read list.

Too Many Posts

I feel like today is the attack of the posting day.

I am wondering just how many posts I can post in one day?

How many are too many?

Are random thoughts ok?

Maybe you can give me some help.

Found Him

Found him...told you I would give you the blog of the youth leader I met at the lifechurch site in SL.

His name is Tyler and he's from Nebraska. His blog is Realyouthoughts. Go check it out he has some cute pics of his sis' new baby.

The Preaching Forest

Mark Batterson laid down some great thoughts on preaching in his post "The Preaching Forest". Very inspirational. So good I left a comment there.

Hero Series Synopsis

Hero Series Synopsis. I promised it to you so here it is. I encourage you to take, tweak it, and use it as your own.

Series Verse:

Acts 1:8


Power of the Holy Spirit

Series Big Idea:

Ordinary People…Extraordinary Power

Series Synopsis:

As ordinary people we have been given an extraordinary power by our “Ultimate Hero”, Jesus. Through this power we can do extraordinary things as we rely on our power source and realize we have a new identity in life. Our goal is to rely on our true source as we fulfill our super mission, “Live For Christ…Change The World.”


Date – April 4, 2007

Message Title“The Ultimate Hero”

Speaker – Jason Curlee

Big Idea – Be powered up to do it through Christ.

Scripture – Philippians 2:5-8

Application – Think like Christ

Message Synopsis – Jesus is our ultimate example of a hero. Even though He was God He came as a man and did extraordinary feats through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 He said, “You”. This was telling us that it is now our time to go and be Heroes. We can be powered up to do it through Christ as we begin to “Think like Him” as Philippians 2:5-8

Date – April 11, 2007

Message Title – “Extraordinary Power”

Speaker – Jason Curlee

Big Idea – The Holy Spirit is our power source.

Scripture – Luke 24:49

Application – Stay Connected

Message Synopsis – As ordinary people our only way of doing what Jesus did is to be tapped into a power source. In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “You will receive power.” God has supplied us with that power source by allowing us to work as Jesus did through the power of the Holy Spirit. We now have to power to make a difference and fulfill the mission God has given us. It is important that we stay connected as we “live for Christ and change the world”.

Date – April 18, 2007

Message Title – “New Identity”

Speaker – Jason Curlee

Big Idea – A New Identity for a Powerful Mission

Scripture – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Application – Rewire Your Identity

Message Synopsis – As newly realized heroes who are filled with an influx of power from on high, we now understand that our identity is no longer the same. In fact we are being to comprehend that we have a new identity. Christ has changed us and given us a power to “live for Him and change the world”. Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Cloaked in this new identity given by God, we can now live a life of purpose and change in order to make a true impact.

Date – April 25, 2007

Message Title – “Our Mission

Speaker – Jason Curlee

Big Idea – Live for Christ…Change the World

Scripture – Philippians 1:21

Application – Live the Mission

Message Synopsis – We are but ordinary people who are given an extraordinary power. This power was meant for a purpose. Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses.” God has given us power and a mission. It is now up to us to go out and be heroes. It is up to us to go and be difference makers as we live out our mission, “Live for Christ…Change the World”.

Out For A Stroll and Look Who I Met

So last night I decide to take a stroll just to get some creative inspiration. As I'm walking along I run into this guy named Terry Storch. He wrote this little book called "The Blogging Church".

Then I met this guy named Tom from Oklahoma who just happened to be originally from Victoria, TX, which is the area I'm originally from. I found out that I worked with his sister at Faith Academy where I was the Athletic Director/Assistant Principal for five years.

While talking with him I run into Andrew Statezny, the CP at HNV as he put it. He was the Campus Pastor for in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Also met his worship leader Brandon.

Couple of others I talked to were Jason Cole, and Jeff Click. Go check out their sites.

I also met this cool youth leader from Nebraska who I thought I put his blog in my Google Reader but can't find him. So I will give him some props in future posts. (Jermane, if your out there reading this look for it in the future.)

How in the world did you meet those people just out on a walk? Were you at a conference? No. I was at new campus in Second Life. Second life is an online community where you create an avatar and take part in an online community. I had heard of SL but never gave it much thought until decided to build a campus in there. Have to say I am much impressed. Especially after visiting some of the other churches there. Those guys did a fantastic job putting it together. MUCH PROPS to Bobby and Craig.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Saving Time With A Synopsis

It takes a little bit of work and time on the front end but writing a synopsis for a series one month out really helps to solidify the direction of each message. It also saves much more time on the message creation as you know the direction you are going.

I began this method on the current series we are doing in our Elevate meetings. This post is the synopsis for that series called LOST - "surviving the mystery of the unknown".

In a following post, I will be posting the synopsis for HERO - "Ordinary People...Extraordinary Power". This series is going to be one of my most unique presentations on the power of the Holy Spirit as well as being an all around fun series to communicate. Check out the HERO series graphic for the series.

Podcasts Going In The Vault

Our first six podcasts will be going into the vault. If you haven't heard them now is the chance.

To open up more storage they will be deleted off my site Thursday, March 15, 2007, and put away forever.

I hate to do it but there is no other way right now.

Here are the original posts:

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6

Fear not we will keep delivering you fresh material each week.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Podcast Stats Record Week

Not sure what happened this week but the downloads on our podcast were awesome. There were 60 more downloads than the previous weeks. I told my two team leaders that did it with me that it was all because of them on the podcast. Their response, "We apologize for being so great." I laughed so hard because it is like an inside joke we have with our host of the podcast, "Juno". You can listen to our Bold-cast podcast to hear where that all started.

I really think the podcast is so good because we have a great team of leaders in our student ministry that put so much into the night. Without their hard work and devotion it wouldn't be the same at all.

In case you missed it. Go to Arrival-cast to hear it. The podcast launches our new series called Lost - Surviving the Mystery of the Unknown.

Let me tell you, this ain't your average podcast that is just for teens. The way we do the podcast is we have a little talk show that hits on our topic (we usually just have a lot of fun on that portion.) We add in our nugget time and the message from the night. Mix in a little music and BAMM, "The Elevate Podcast." Anyone can enjoy the fun we have as well as the message that hits on all ages.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Score Method

Jon Ferguson had a great post on Making the Ask when it comes to asking someone to step into leadership. He gave the SCORE method.

Be Specific
Be Confident
Be Optimistic
Be Real
Be Energized

Make sure you check all of Jon's post as he elaborates on each one at More on Making the "Ask"

Friday, March 09, 2007

Unleashing Power And Potential

Great quote and post over at FC Experts by Donna Karlin. You will need to read the entire post but it went a little something like this:
Recently, I read a passage about leadership that defined it as "The capacity to influence others by unleashing their power and potential.” Those leaders who are charismatic, powerful speakers with energy and passion can quite easily lead an organization to success...

...The key is to look for a leader who creates a vision so powerful that it goes beyond the individual leader; it translates through the entire organization, embraced by all and lived by all. It becomes the organizational culture and transcends any one person.

Now imagine combining both and how powerful that would be. If I challenged leadership by asking the question “Who have you influenced to unleash their power and potential, helping them evolve into their level of excellence?”...True leaders transcend the pettiness, the need for constant personal attention. They create a sustaining culture of high involvement and thus shared power.
One sure sign of being a level 5 leader is one who empowers people. What other way than by unleashing their power and potential. Unlimited potential lies unbridled within all of us. It is the job of the leader to unleash that potential thus uncapping the potential of the organization. When a leader does this they will effectively increase the influence they have.

As a pastor of a church or department leading volunteers, often we lead without having one of the key motivators, "money". Unleashing the power and potential of the people you lead will garner respect and loyalty that will be felt as you influence others to fulfill the vision God has challenged you with.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Think Out Of The Box

Great email from Brian Tracy on "Thinking Out of the Box."

Most of the email is about how we can improve the quality of our thinking and how our creativity has been suppressed.

Here is an excerpt:

Improve the Quality of Your Thinking
Human beings are mental organisms. Everything we are or ever will be, will be as the direct result of the way we think. If we improve the quality of our thinking, we must improve the quality of our lives. And, there is no other way to do it.

Here is a little more. Talking about how kids had lost their creativity.

The Dangers of Conformity
They had learned to color between the lines, to sit in neat little rows, to do and say what the other kids did and said, and to do as they were told. Over time, they lost the wonderful fearless spontaneity of youth and learned to suppress ideas and insights that were unusual or different.

Aggressively Seek New Ideas
Most of us have had similar experiences. The "Not invented-here" syndrome in many large companies is simply the adult version of "not rocking the boat." But fortunately, since creativity is your birthright, a fundamental part of your nature, you can tap into it at any time, no matter how long it has been since you really used it.

Here is his advice on getting out of the mental box. These are some great ideas for churches to follow to open up a fresh way of thinking.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to start thinking outside of your mental box.

First, imagine that there was a vastly better, cheaper, faster way to do your job - and somebody else had already discovered it and was going to put you out of business.

Second, imagine doing exactly the opposite of what you are doing today. Allow your mind to float freely and consider how current trends will change your business.

Often churches (and even people) in general get in the same flow of coloring between the lines so to speak.

"This is the way we have always done it." "We've been doing it this way and it has been effective for us."

I have heard these quotes by church leaders who have been doing the same thing with little or now results.

Can there be a new or fresh approach? God is always doing something new.

Another great quote you may have heard before: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting to get the different results."

How can you start thinking out of the box today? What could you do or try that is different to see what results might be gained?

One of the signs of strong leadership is taking risks. Thinking outside of the box is taking risks. did that with their new campaign.

Although you may can question the method, you cannot question their ability to think outside the box.

Much Thanks

Just wanted to give all my readers out there a big shout out. Ultimately I would do this if no one read. Although it is cool that you do.

I have been tracking my site statistics with Google Analytics since October 20th and since then there have been 1,558 visits with 2,495 page views.

October was when I really got serious about blogging. To date this blog has been read in over 34 countries, with the U.S. and Canada being the top two. UK and New Zealand right behind them in 3rd and 4th.

We have been read in over 43 states in the U.S. The top states in order are Texas (best country in the U.S.), California, Washington and Illinois. Oklahoma keep it up your right in there at number five.

We are getting close to post number 300. WOW! Another milestone. Don't think I ever will catch Josh Griffen unless I fly to California and chop off his fingers. He would probably still find someway to do it. I can just picture him at his computer sticking out his tongue and hitting the keys.

Thanks once again to all of you out there for the support in reading...know that you are blessed and highly favored.

Feel free to leave comments on the site when you have a thought.


Arrival-cast Episode 19

Arrival-cast...Podcast #19 for Elevate...Here we go...This week our host Juno Garcia talks with Jason Curlee, Shelly, and Rachel about the night. Sitting in on the podcast is guest youth pastor, Dallas Crain.

This weeks message on the Podcast begins a new series called LOST - "surviving the mystery of the unknow" and the message is by Jason Curlee called "Arrival" in which our big idea is Good Enough to God Enough.

This week in our Nugget-time you will a nugget by Carolina Lindholm during our offering time.

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

-->> Listen online here <<--

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Heroes Series Graphic

Just completed my graphic promo for our April Series.

As we were working out the series synopsis today it really looks to be a good one. As soon as I finish up the synopsis I will get it posted here.

The basics of it is that just like Jesus we have been empowered to fulfill our mission here. "Live For Christ...Change The World"

"Save the Cheerleader...Save The World" ain't got nothing on this.

Satan Hates Life

You must check out's latest billboard and internet marketing campaign.

Now that is creative.

Turn Around

As I have been thinking this week on the book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't, I came across a great post by Mark Howell at Strategy Central.

Mark makes some great observation based on Peter Druckers standard three step process to turn around. Here are the three parts.

1. "Abandonment of the things that don't work."
2. "Concentration of the things that do work."
3. "Analysis of the half-successes, the half-failures."

Read his full post here.

In church and youth ministry this is some sound advice. Often times there are some sacred cows that need to be cut. This often times is the hard work of the leader. It requires getting to the basics. Often times when I was coaching when a player wasn't getting the results the should have been getting it was because they got away from the basics.

In today's church world there is often a push to get a more business edge. In reading good to great I realized that there are not a lot of businesses that are doing it right. So it is a careful selection of following principles that will get us real results. In the midst of this there must be a strong care to make sure that prayer is a key. Today's pastor must have a spiritual edge as well as a strategic edge.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tracking Numbers

Great Quote on Brand Autopsy by Jack Welch

“Too often we measure everything and understand nothing. The three most important things you need to measure in a business are customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and cash flow. If you’re growing customer satisfaction, your global market share is sure to grow, too. Employee satisfaction gets you productivity, quality, pride, and creativity. And cash flow is the pulse—the key vital sign of a company.”

Can this be true of church? Churches like to measure everything as well. Attendance, offerings, first time guests, cars parked in the parking lot, number of times people go to the bathroom during preaching time...just kidding on the last one.

Point often are we measuring everything yet understanding nothing? Do we take numbers just to take numbers?

Numbers can be useful for many things as well. We can get a pulse on customer satisfaction by tracking certain numbers like giving and attendance. Tracking volunteers can help us track buy-in to the vision. First time guest numbers help us track whether our message is getting out through our people and even our marketing attempts.

Tracking numbers is useful and can help us to understand many things about our churches and youth ministries.

Going From Good To Great

As a staff we are going through the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. Today I summarized chapter one in our staff meeting for the team. Here were my thoughts at the conclusion:

As we continue on our path that God has called us to here at Church of Hope it is important that we don’t settle for good. But that we strive for great.

Great isn’t about perfection though.

Great is about us being disciplined in who we are, how we think, and how we act.

Who are we as a church? As a staff? As a congregation?

Are each of us trying to be leaders who are blending personal humility and professional will?

A strong leader and disciplined leader is one who is truly leaving a lasting legacy. One who is equipping others for the work of the ministry while deflecting recognition for themselves.

Are we getting the right people in the right seats?

One of the strongest things we can do is get the right kind of person into their right place in ministry to fulfill the purpose God wants for Church of Hope.

Are we trying to be more disciplined in our thinking?

We need to become more aware in the areas where we know we are not being what God has intended us to be and confront the hard facts that will improve not only ourselves but our Church.

What is the core of what we are supposed to be doing and are we being intentional in achieving that vision?

We should be thinking of our vision and intersecting the passions of our leadership, the needs of our community and the gifts, abilities, talents, and passions of our members in order to fulfill that vision.

If our vision is to REACH, RAISE, and RESTORE broken lives are we be disciplined in lining up everything that we do in order to achieve that.

Being disciplined in our thinking is thinking about how to fulfill that vision in everything we do.

What we first need to do then is ask what that means and then make confront when we are not achieving the vision.

Finally are we disciplined in our actions?

In a culture of discipline “good” is never enough. Everyone not just our staff should be challenged to strive for excellence. Excellence is taking what we do and challenging ourselves in doing it even better. It is not perfection as we can never attain that. But it is saying how can I do this better.

In today’s world, technology can be used as an accelerator to be more innovative in our approach to ministry. How are we using it to be more innovative? Although we should not be carried off by the latest concepts or fads we can use innovative approaches to accelerate the achieving of our vision.

Again “is it a sin to settle for good when God calls us to be great?”

Yes, and as the staff at Church of Hope we should strive to look at the vision that we have and ask ourselves if we are being good at achieving it or great?
What areas are we being good and confronting those to be great.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Elevate Conference Update

This weekend was our Elevate Conference. It was awesome. Great ministry time and fun had by everyone. Here is a summary:

Can You Hear Me Now

Friday Night
Worship Led by Crossfire Band
78 in attendance
Message by Josh Joines called Stop, Look, and Listen

Saturday Morning
Break Out Groups with Kara Joines, Jerome Olvera, and Dallas Crain

Saturday Afternoon
Worship Led by Crossfire Band
84 in attendance
Message by Jason Curlee called Hearing God's Voice

Saturday Night
Worship Led by Crossfire Band
94 in attendance
Message by Michael Rowan called The Terror of God

Whole weekend was awesome and kept building up to the end. Everyone there really went after God and got tuned in.

What I kept hearing God saying this weekend was that we need to tune into Him if we are to hear Him.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Conference Weekend

Off to the conference we are putting on for the weekend. It is going to be so good. I'm excited about the band and the speakers. All you guys and gals in the blogoshere being praying for us. We want to have fun and have a God encounter this weekend.

Our theme is "Can You Hear Me Now."

Peace Out

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Finished-cast Episode 18

Finished-cast...Podcast #18 for Elevate...Here we go...This week our host Juno Garcia is absent and Jason Curlee takes over the podcast with Shelly and Rachel as we talk about our message for the night and what is coming up next at Elevate.

This weeks message on the Podcast concludes our Inked Series and is by Jason Curlee called "It Is Finished" in which our big idea is about how God finshed His Part...It's Our Turn Now.

This week in our Nugget-time you will a nugget by Jason Curlee during our offering time.

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

-->> Listen online here <<--