Monday, March 31, 2008

We're Charging Hell

Short blast - John Atkinson made the announcement as well. John is heading up this whole multi-site movement for Bay Area. Go check out his blog to read where we are headed.

Hey Dave - We're gonna charge hell with a water pistol fire hydrant.

Bringin' it to the Five Points area.

My Big Announcement 2

If you read my announcement last week you will know that I accepted a promotion to be principal. Although that is a big announcement that is not the announcement I've had everyone lingering on for about a week or two.

The Turnaround
What a turnaround there has been in the past nine months. After an unexpected resignation in July of 2007 and a failed church plant in which our partner named himself the "senior pastor" we went through some hard financial and emotional times. It was a time where we stood strong in our faith believing God was working some big things out for us.

During the time prior to the resignation, I had begun initiating a friendship with John Atkinson who is a pastor on staff at Bay Area Fellowship. I was reading his blog and thought since I lived in the same town I would give them a complement on how I thought they as a church were doing a great thing.

The friendship continued to grow and after the failed church plant we decided we would go as a family to Bay Area Fellowship as we figured out what God wanted us to do. I knew God had placed in me the desire to launch a church so I continued planning and building a team through the network of friends God had placed in my life over the years. We were having core team meetings and our core grew to a total of 20 people attending. It was going good until the day when I had a meeting with John to just talk over what all God was doing. That was the beginning of things turning from good to great.

In the meeting, John began to lay out the plans God had put on his heart to begin taking Bay Area into a multi-site initiative. Bay Area already had one campus but God was really moving on John to do something big and with Pastor Bil's go ahead John was moving. It was at that point John asked me a question that has led up to my big announcement.

The question was "Would you consider taking what you are doing and becoming a Bay Area Fellowship Campus in the Calallen/TM area and leading the campus?"

At first I was shocked and intrigued. Obviously, it was a great honor to be asked by a church like Bay Area to lead a campus. After several conversations, prayer, and talks with our team here is what we have decided to do with our church launch.

The Announcement
We have decided to accept this role and convert Life Church, the church we were planning, into becoming Bay Area Five Points. I have accepted the role to lead the campus by joining our vision with the vision of Bay Area Fellowship.

Not sure if you can grasp the significance of this...THIS IS HUGE. This is a perfect fit for us and what we wanted to do. In part 3, I'm going to let you in on some more thoughts but for those that don't know, Bay Area is pastored by Bil Cornelius and runs about 6,000. Pastor Bil planted the church here around 10 years ago and it has grown to be a church focused on reaching the lost and connecting them with God.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

[Photo Credit]

Blogs With Benefits 1

When I began blogging, I really didn't know what I was getting in to. I had a friend who had moved off to pastor a church who had came back and showed me his blog and how I could keep up with him.

I thought it was perfect since I was in transition as well. It would be a great way for all the wonderful people at my previous church to be able to keep up with what I was doing.

Little did I know there were some positive benefits to blogging. It is probably one of the reasons I feel every pastor/ministry leader should blog.
  • Relationships - Ministry can be very lonely if you are not careful. Not only that but in some churches networking with other pastors is not an easy thing to do. Through blogging I have developed friendships not only across the country but throughout the world.
  • Therapeutic - Blogging for me is a way of centering my thoughts and filtering them on "paper". It allows me to write some of my frustrations as well as share many of my joys. Of course you have to be really careful what you write though, as once you hit that publish button it is out there for everyone to read.
  • Educational - When I first began blogging, I didn't have a clue there were some great blogs where I could get instantaneous information. Many pastors post what their days and weeks are like. Churches post some of the creative elements they create. Pastors share their successes and failures. Imagine if we could have read what the Apostle Paul went through on a daily basis.
What are some of the benefits you have found in blogging?

[Photo Credit]

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Friday, March 28, 2008

My Big Announcement Part 1

WoW...A lot has transpired since July of last year (07). I feel like my life went through the wringer.


God is so faithful. In the span of the last five days. The principal of the sister school I worked at resigned. I was offered the position and today accepted the position as principal of Corpus Christi Academy.

It is simple amazing what God has done.

BUT WAIT....that's not even the big announcement that I want to share with everyone. I gave two and here. But either no one was smart enough to guess or simply doesn't care. Either way...I'm simply PRAISIN' GOD!!!!!!

Don't worry...I'm going to officially make the announcement next week...I'm also going to give a little testimony of how God brought me from the pit to the palace.

[Photo Credit]

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who's To Blame

Everyday I stand face to face with some of the ills of society. Some of our failures.

Who's to blame?

The teens...their parents...NO...It is the church who is to blame.

We are no longer, as a whole, impacting our society.

Who do you think is to blame???

[Photo credit]

The Madness of Ministry 5

I can only imagine the pressure Michaelangelo was under to create the massive art project of the Sistine Chapel. Not only was it going to be a fantastic work of art, but I'm sure he realized that it would be seen my many, many people.

Let's get right in to it from the start of this. We have the most awesome message. We have the biggest sacrifice and price paid by our Lord. And that demands are best.

I'm tired of hearing excuses that come out of churches and from people. I'm tired of hearing things like, "we just can't do that" or "our people just won't do it." I'm tired of hearing about churches half-filled due to excuses or from a lack of trying. I'm tired of hearing about churches going out of business.

We need to drop all of that and recognize that what Christ did for us demands us to go all out for Him. Folks, it is about getting our message out to as many people as possible. It is about making it relevant for them to understand. It is about challenging them to step forward and make the greatest decision they will ever make. It is about the church getting off it's rear and going all out to make a difference.

I'm not going to give you three steps to deal with the pressure to produce. We should be under the pressure to produce. If you're not...then it's gut check time. It's time whether you are a pastor, minstry leader, volunteer, or Christian to step up and step out. It's time to put up or shut up. It's time that the message of the cross and our risen Savior hits us square in the mouth and we go out and change this world.

Pressure to Produce???? I don't think there is enough of it.

Do you need more pressure???

Don't miss any part of this series:
Part 1 - The Intro
Part 2 - Time Management
Part 3 - Leading People
Part 4 - The Fishbowl Syndrome
Part 5 - The Pressure To Produce

Did you find this post helpful??? - make sure you share it with a friend.
[Photo Credit]

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Madness Of Ministry 4

One challenge that people sometimes don't realize when beginning ministry is that your life is now lived out in a fish bowl.

So you want to be the man in charge? Welcome to the show. Welcome to the scrutiny. Welcome to every detail of your life being put on display for everyone.

OH AND GUESS WHAT? The larger you get, the bigger the magnifying glass.

So how can you handle the madness that is the fishbowl syndrome:

Teach Your People That You're A Person Too
Now this doesn't guarentee that you won't be on display but I feel that the people you lead have to have a balance in realizing that just because you are a Pastor doesn't make you perfect. You are like many of them...only you have been called to a different position and office.

Set Boundaries
I'm not a big believer in separtation like other pastors may be. There is a line of thought that says keep your staff and people separted from you. I think to a high degree though that the people you lead, especially your staff, should be friends with you. Here is the catch though sometimes leading people who are friends can be difficult. It can come back to bite you if you don't have boundaries in place. Also realize that you need to spend uninteruppted time with your family.

Define Your Role
You can either be a big part of something small or a small part of something big. Everyone must be challenged to their place and as the pastor you cannot do and be everything. The sooner you turn things over the sooner all the focus comes off of you.

How have you been able to be sane in the spotlight?

Don't miss any part of this series:
Part 1 - The Intro
Part 2 - Time Management
Part 3 - Leading People
Part 4 - The Fishbowl Syndrome
Part 5 - The Pressure To Produce

Did you find this post helpful??? - make sure you share it with a friend.

Reverse Church

What if the primary church really consisted of many home groups that all come together on Sunday in a mission-oriented reach-out mindset?

The pastor's role would be to feed transformational materials/studies to the home group leaders who would care and feed their home groups. Then it would be to lead the Sunday Morning Outreach Experience.

The role of the home groups would then be to come together in a massive effort to evangelize the community through serving instead of watching during the Sunday morning experience.

When I read the end of Acts 2...I could almost picture that. They met together primarly at home and in the temple daily it says. And with the amount of people, they had to think of church in a different way. They couldn't build a facility to handle the crowd.

Really, is just a paradigm shift.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bracket Challenge Day 4

Last Update For The Weekend Here...There was some absolute great college basketball played in the first two rounds.

First Weekend in the BAG...Round 2 is complete....And Here Is The Layout After Day 4 of our March Madness Bracket Challenge.

Let the gloating begin...(Come On It's Just Friendly Competition)

Dave Samples is still on the top and all by himself.

Click here to see up-to-date group standings throughout the tournament.

Here are the top eleven of the twenty-one involved after day three.

We have 1 alone in first, 2 tied for second, 3 tied at fourth, 3 at seventh and 2 in tenth.

1 Dave Samples
2 littlepastor
2 Tarheel Blue
4 Jay Curl
4 TheAbercrombie
4 Kentucky rulez!
7 Terrace Crawford
7 randy's picks
7 Wanna Bee
10 get a LIFE
10 Rob's Picks

Check out how I'm doing in all my brackets [HERE]

Bracket Challenge Day 3

Quick Update here...Day 3 is over.

Dave Samples is still on the top and all by himself.

Click here to see up-to-date group standings throughout the tournament.

Here are the top twelve of the twenty-one involved after day three.

We have 1 alone in first, 3 tied for second, 2 tied at fifth, 3 at seventh and 3 in tenth.

1 Dave Samples
2 Tarheel Blue
2 Kentucky rulez!
2 littlepastor
5 TheAbercrombie
5 Jay Curl
7 Terrace Crawford
7 randy's picks
7 Wanna Bee
10 get a LIFE
10 McKee's March Madness
10 Rob's Picks

Check out how I'm doing in all my brackets [HERE]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

50 Day Spiritual Challenge

I just posted on my personal blog about a 50 Day Spiritual Challenge I believe God is taking me through. I have taken the challenge to my team and to myspace and am bringing it here. If you feel this is something God could have you do as me spread the word and let me know if you are willing to participate.

I encourage you to go read the post.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bracket Challenge Day 2

Quick Update here...Round 1 is over.

After two days the standings are in...and my rear is getting whipped. Of course I'm still trying to figure out how in the world the 12's and 13's won the way they did in Tampa. GET OUT OF HERE!!!!

Dave Samples and Chris Day...hats off to guys are bracketologists.

Click here to see up-to-date group standings throughout the tournament.

Here are the top eleven of the twenty-one involved after the first round. We have two tied at first, 4 tied for third, and 5 tied at seventh.

1 Dave Samples
1 Chris
3 randy's picks
3 Bracket Guru
3 Wanna Bee
3 shoulda known
7 TheAbercrombie
7 Tarheel Blue
7 get a LIFE
7 littlepastor
7 Kentucky rulez!

[Photo credit]

The Madness of Ministry 3

One word should say it all: PEOPLE

Although seeing lives changed and watching people find their purpose and place in God's kingdom is one of my greatest joys, leading people is still one of the challenges and sometimes madding areas of ministry.

Why is that? Because people aren't perfect and neither am I.

We all make mistakes. We all allow ourselves to be hurt and offended. When things don't go our way we sometimes show it. Hands down...leading people can be tough. In fact because of the many facets it can be one of the toughest areas we face in ministry.

Realize People Aren't Perfect
We do live in a world that has fallen. And even in the church world we are not perfect. The sooner you realize that the better off you will be.

Realize People Will Let You Down
Maybe not all of them but many. As soon as you get rolling...BAM...something will come up. Maybe it's a volunteer who will call you at the last minute and say they won't be there. Maybe a couple you thought was full on board will leave your church. Maybe half your church won't show up because of the time change. It is inevitable...people will let you down.

Realize Our Society Is Broken
Maybe this goes a little with the first one but our society is rapidly deteriorating. There was a time we could say we were a Christian nation but those days are beginning to be behind us.

What can you do to cut out some of the madness in this area:

Lead People With Vision
Without vision people cast of all restraint is what Proverbs 29:18 tells us. I have seen it over and over when people are not challenged with a vision of what could be they do not pursue a vision of possibility. One of our greatest responsibilities is casting a vision for our church or ministry as well as for living out a Christian life.

Be Their Greatest Cheerleader
All right this one may get me in trouble with the conservative thumpers out there but I believe we need to encourage people to live out the Christian life. As a Dad, I want my role to be one of being my children's biggest cheerleader. As a pastor I feel it is my role to do the same.

Keep Your Eyes On God
Ultimately there is no way around it. When you lead people you must keep your eyes and heart turned to God. He is the one that will get you through any obstacle you may have when it comes to leading people. Remember it is His church that He is building and He cares about it more than you. Cast your cares on Him and keep moving forward.

What challenges do you see when it comes to leading people? What helps you survive the madness of leading people?

Don't miss any part of this series:

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[Photo Credit]

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness Bracket Challenge Update

Fierce competition going on in our Bracket Challenge.

Ok, Ok...after day one I'm tied for 11th but there is a lot of basketball to go. Terrace is already talking noise so my teams are going to be gunning for you this weekend.

I didn't have links for a couple of our players so if you're reading and I don't have a link to your blog...make sure you leave it.

Click here to view my bracket.

Click here to see up to date group standings throughout the tournament.

After day one it looks like things have shaped up to look like this.

1 Chris
2 randy's picks
2 Dave Samples
4 Tarheel Blue
4 Terrace Crawford
6 TheAbercrombie
6 littlepastor
6 Kentucky rulez!
6 get a LIFE
6 Wanna Bee
11 Jay Curl
11 Big D'Art
11 Bracket Guru
11 Greg the Bunny
11 McKee's March Madness
11 shoulda known
11 Deneen's Picks
18 Tarholes Suck
18 workswithyouf
18 Rob's Picks
18 Wish my Skers were here

[Photo credit]

On a side bracket is whipping up on poor 'los in his challenge where I'm tied for 10th and 'los is like 106th.

I Dwelt In The Darkness

As some of you may have picked up on over my past few confession posts, I've kind of had a hard time lately.

In fact, it has not been just lately. It all started in July of 2007 when I had to turn in my resignation. Honestly, them asking me to resign was the best thing that could have ever happened for me. Only problem, is it was the start of what I felt has been the darkest nine months of my life.

It is interesting that I say that because early in 2007, I spoke two messages called God Dwells In The Darkness. You can read some more of my thoughts on that here, here, and here. Sometimes it's easy to get up and preach a message than to live it. I had thought I had gone through some dark times before, but had no idea what was to come.

Throughout this whole process I have kept my faith. There were times I wanted to pack it all it. There were times I wanted to shout at God and blame Him. There were times I didn't want to even set foot in a church. When you are hurt by a pastor and church as hard as we were hit with (twice in three months) might feel the same way.

So this has been one of the darkest moments in my life and all I have been able to do is stand...and when there was nothing else to do I would stand some more (Eph 6:13).

And after all that standing the result is that my faith is now stronger...I am more resilient...and I am pumped for what the future is about to bring (James 1:2-4). The sunrise has broken through the darkness (Psalm 112:4). The snare has been broken (Psalm 124:7).

God, over the past two weeks, has used some people to pump my confidence back up. I was beginning to question myself seriously. A huge thank you goes out to this guy, this guy, this guy, and this guy specifically for little things you have done over these past two weeks. You have allowed God to use you to breathe life back in to me. I could not say enough about my wife standing firm beside me as well.

I also have a huge, huge, huge announcement coming, hopefully next week. I'm so pumped and excited. It is a great opportunity we have accepted for our church plant. So stay tuned as you may hear about it very, very soon. Thanks for being patient through my confessions and for reading.

As a side note, this blog throughout this time has continued to grow. My hits have gone up around 25% and subscriptions have just about tripled since December. Thanks for being a loyal reader here. And now I'll turn this blog back over to bringing you ministry content that will help you minister more effectively.

[Photo Credit to]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Madness Bracket Challenge

As a quick update on our Making Difference Makers Bracket Challenge I'm here to let you know as of tonight we have 18 entries. I'm pumped about it. I got some great friends on board all of which are going to...and I'm sorry to say it....GO DOWN.

Why? Simple...I picked the best bracket.

Join our group (ours is public so there is no password) and all you have to do to play is enter your final bracket picks by tip-off of the first game on Thursday, March 20.

Here are some of the pastor bloggers already on board:

Randy Reed
Terrace Crawford
David Turner
Youth Pastor Adam
Chris Day
Jeremy Mathis
Charles Alkula
Dave Holt
Matt McKee
Gary Priddy
Tyler Madison

There are a few others on there that I don't have links to. Don't forget this Thursday starts the action so join in and get your picks selected.

Click [HERE] to join the action.

I've Been Not So Good

I had a stream of thought going for confessions. It's amazing though what a weekend of not posting can do to you. You kind of lose that stream.

I do have to confess...I'm the poster boy for male church toughness. I really suck at not opening up to let people know what I'm really going through. I am great at encouraging others but when asked my patented answer is "It's going good."

So this month I feel like the past nine months have finally caught up to me emotionally. First, I let two different people make decisions that affected my family and I, and I took it personally inside. I have had some really negative internally conversations. I've partly been depressed. I allowed these events to shape who I was viewing myself and in more ways than one have wanted to do nothing but retreat from the world.

Ok, now that I've run off practically everyone of my readers...let me give you my plan for rising above this. I'm now beginning to go on the upswing from this.

Run To God
Adam and Eve ran from God when they first sinned. They ended up hiding from Him. I don't want that to be me. I want to run to God. I want to run to His arms. In fact through this whole set of events God has been the one that has been faithful.

Speak His Word
A couple of weeks ago I had someone post a comment on this blog that reminded me of a Scripture that I quoted often in the past. When you quote Scripture it comes alive. It moves you from your current to where God wants you. It feeds or fuels your faith.

I am admitting here that I have blown it in this area. I am going to still find it hard to say things are not going good when people ask but I'm going to be better at it.

Keep Moving Forward
Don't let your past or events in your past hold you back from reaching your God potential. God is the "God of what is to come" as well. Allow your events to mold your faith in Him. Keep moving...keep going...keep volunteering...keep ministering. Keep doing whatever is necessary to move forward. Satan can't rob you of your calling but He will try to rob you of your confidence. If he can steal that he can in essence stop your progressing of doing that thing that God has destined you for.

These aren't the only things I'm doing but they are a start and I'm recovering. God has been revealing some things to me and some other events are transpiring that God is using to bring back the confidence in me.

What do you do when your not so good????

Friday, March 14, 2008

Weekend Update

I'm bugging out for the weekend and not sure if I will be posting until Monday. I may or may you might want to check unless you subscribe through a RSS subscription reader like Google Reader.

On Monday I will be returning to my little confessions and then back on my Madness in Ministry posts.

Here are a few early days of blogging posts that you may not have read and will enjoy during the duration:
Funny Stuff
[Photo credit at]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Confessions And Prayer

Today, I'm hijacking my blog and changing directions. Why? Well...because it is my blog. Now before you change gears and tune out I am going to tell you that I'm going to get a little transparent over the next few posts or so. When done I'll get back to our Madness in Ministry series.

I need your prayers. One of my problems is I feel I can handle things alone. I'm great about telling other people they need others, but I try to be tough. I try to stand in faith alone. I try to get the answer or the solution all by myself. I am one of those guys that will tell you I'm doing good when life is feeling pretty crappy. Am I the only that does that?

Is this turning into a confessions post now?

Here is what I need prayer for:
Due to the "choices" made by others I had to resign last summer from the youth pastoral position I was serving in. There was no warning. There was no time to prepare. It had to happen then.

Because that was thrust on me, it put my family in financial jeopardy. We could have probably looked elsewhere for a ministry position, except that I have felt called to the South Texas area.

Within a month we began partnering with two other couples to plant a church. Things were beginning to get into a routine and the church was actually growing. Within two months we were averaging 43 people. Until my partner decided to have a secret meeting with our other board member whom he was close friends with and elected himself Senior Pastor Supreme.

Needless to say after that failure things were still hard financially. I ended up falling into a teaching position at a charter school for at-risk teens. Actually it has been great being here. It has given me even more of a passion to reach out to this community.

Only thing though is financially we have never been in the place we were before the resignation last year. In fact, we have slowly been getting behind.

This year we have been in the process of launching a church once again in the midst of all of this. This time we are doing things differently. I really want to be in a place financially to be able to focus and not struggle during this plant.

My intention here with this post is not to tell you my oh so sad soppy story. My intention is to get off the island. If you are a friend and/or loyal reader of my blog here, I would like to ask you to be in prayer for us financially. This week we have had a rough week. I'm believing to pay off some debts to position us financially for what God wants to do here.

We also have a tremendous opportunity presented to us that could be huge for the church we are dreaming of launching. I want to be clear in knowing God's will. I have been praying and meditating on it for about a month and after a meeting last night I feel it is the direction for us to take.
So two prayer needs: 1) Financial needs to be met, and 2) Security in knowing God's will in an opportunity for our church.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hanging In and Hanging On

How many times have you asked someone how they are doing and got the answer, "Hanging In There"?

Maybe it's a South Texas thing.

Often in the church landscape there are many churches that have that attitude. I have also seen the same within some of the departmental ministries.

Then there is the flip side. Those same churches are desperately hanging on to the few people they have. In fact, they work harder on doing that than on reaching out.

Folks hear me out...God doesn't want either one of those.

As a person, as a pastor, or even as a church...God didn't call us to hang in there. He called us to be overcomer's. It is our God designed destiny to overcome this world. Stop hanging and start overcoming.

As a church, switch your focus from hanging on to people to reaching out and fulling the mission God gave the church.

If more churches would stop hanging on to people as they are just hanging in there until something happens, they would begin to rise to the occasion. They would find they don't have to work as hard to keep people.

I have a fundamental belief that people do want to be part of something that is moving and happening. This is why there is a fear by existing pastors when a new church starts up in their area. They are fearful they will lose their little flock when they are missing the huge harvest just waiting for us.

Just some thoughts I'm dealing with myself....I'm going to stop hanging...WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Madness Of Ministry 2

Literally, there are days when if feels like madness. Or am I the only one???

Maybe it's just the pressure I put on myself, but in ministry there is a mad rush some days. With the pressure to be excellent, innovative, creative, over-the-top, grow fast, time is slipping by.....well, needless to say I wish I could be laid back and under achieving, patient and maybe be able to sit back and just wait for God to do it all...BUT...I see through scripture that God works through our actions. Therefore it is important for me in all this madness to manage my time.

There is so much to time management so I just going to touch on a few points.

Balance In Life
It is important that you have a balance in your life. Work at home when your at home. Now for me, that is hard. I often let work come home. I also work a full time job and we are launching a church as well. It is easy to let things get blurred and take over the other areas. Keep God at the center of everything.

Plan Your Time
If you don't plan your time someone or something will plan it for you. You will be at the whim of everything that could possible get in your way.

A simple way to plan is break your mission into key objectives. Next, create goals that will reach each of those objectives. Now, write out all the tasks needed to achieve those goals. Take those tasks and fill your calender according to your schedule. I know you can't possibly plan for every little thing that might happen, but you will effectively set your calender by the tasks that need to be accomplished.

Cut Out And Delegate
Those things that do take up your time and get in the way of your performance, cut them out. You are the one that can answer that. Look carefully and prayerfully at what you do every day. Take a day and write out what you do every 15 minutes and see what takes your time.

As a pastor or ministry leader you should also delegate the tasks that other people can do. If you don't you are robbing your people of the joy of serving. Delegating is part of leading. If you want to better manage your time learn to delegate.

What are the things that are keeping you from managing your time? What are some tips you may have for others?

Don't miss any part of this series:
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Monday, March 10, 2008

The Madness Of Ministry 1

With one of my favorite times of the year looming on us, that being March Madness, I thought it would be pertinent this week to talk a little about some of the pressures of ministry. (For those that live under a rock, March Madness is the college basketball playoff time.)

I'm not sure if I'm the only one or this applies to everyone else that reads, but I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to produce when it comes to ministry. I feel what we have is the greatest product/message in the world. On top of that is what Christ did for me in my life. Jumble all that together with my personality and what you got is this mad rush to do the absolute best that I can to represent and spread this message across our community and the world.

Let me give you, as an example an average week when I was a youth pastor. Now I have to preface this by saying I never let not having a budget stand in my way of doing something.

Weekly Basis:
  • Prepare A Message
  • Develop or Find Creative Elements For Message - Example 1
  • Edit Video For Video Announcements
  • Create PowerPoint For Message
  • Create Note Handouts For Students
  • Invites Weekly through Myspace, Text Message, E-mails
  • Send Out A Weekly E-Mail Newsletter To Students/Parents
  • Record Talk Show Podcast
  • Edit Podcast And Upload
  • Pray, Read, Study
  • Prepare For Sunday School - The Pastor felt I should do one each Sunday even though I thought it was an area to get leaders involved.
On A Monthly Basis:
  • Create Series Graphics, Marketing Materials For Students
  • Create A Monthly Pre-Service/Promo Video...we changed it every month for included announcement slides, countdown, and then a monthly promo video
  • Create A Series Promo Video
  • Upload Files To Internet
  • Contact Students
  • Visioneer
  • Prep, Prepare Leadership Lesson, Have Leadership Meeting
  • Recruit Leaders, Prep Existing Leaders, Check On Tasks Assigned
Should I even go into more? This is not even an exhaustive list.

Needless to say I put a lot of pressure on myself to do things well even when we had no budget. I have always been the type to produce something from nothing.

In the coming days, we are going to talk about time management, leading people, leading with everyone looking at you, and just the pressure in general. I hope you jump in the conversation with some comments on the madness you may feel there is, as well as some of the solutions.

What are some of the pressures you have in ministry???

Don't miss any part of this series:
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Sunday, March 09, 2008

March Madness Update

I know this is a little out of the ordinary for Making Difference Makers but part of our purposes here is building community in the blogging world. What better way to build community than through competition.

So each year on yahoo's fantasy sports they do a March Madness bracket challenge. It is so easy. You join our group (ours is public so their is no password) and then all you have to do to play is enter your final bracket picks by tip-off of the first game on Thursday, March 20. Oh yeah then you get to sit back and get whipped by "ME".

I've had a few takers so far for the "MDM March Madness Challenge" and I just want to let you all know that I'm taking you down.

Here are some of the pastor bloggers already on board:

Randy Reed
Terrace Crawford
David Turner
Youth Pastor Adam

And not to be left out ladies, even my wife is in on the action. She reminds me that she's beaten me every year but I got a feeling this is my year.

Click [HERE] to join the action.

And not to be left out...we also have some NASCAR action going on as well for all you race fans.

If you want in on either of these just leave me a comment with your email telling me and I'll send you an invite. Or just click that link above to join in.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

March Madness

Do you enjoy March Madness like I do???? I created a Making Difference Makers Yahoo March Madness "Bracket Challenge".

If you are a pastor, youth pastor, ministry leader, church volunteer and you enjoy the college basketball march to the final four then join the challenge and see if you can be the top picker in this years brackets.

I have set up a group in yahoo [here's the link] that will track the scores and each weekend I'll be posting the leaders here.

This Sunday is selection Sunday so go ahead and join in now and get ready to make your selections.

Just thought I would break in and create a little community building. Are there any takers out there? Think you can pick the brackets better than me?

I dare you...join in...take the challenge...and spread the word.

I'm really throwing down the gauntlet...this will be for all the bragging rights. Tadd you got the guts, what about you Mark...Perry...John (you into March Madness or just the UFC) about you Dave, Adam, Paul, Russ, Troy, Boyd, Dave, Dave, Terrace, Gary, Chris, Jay...or anyone else out there???????

Let's get it going.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Capacity Of A Leader 3

I hope you read Part 1 and Part 2 of this short series, "The Capacity Of A Leader". The main point I have been driving is that the capacity of our leadership will determine the size of the church or ministry we lead.

In this part, I want to give a few practical ways a person can develop their leadership as I wrap this up. Make sure you check out the dialog that was created in both of those posts, there were some great thoughts.

I know many people don't want to hear and maybe don't even agree with my point. Tough thing is that when I make that point I already assume many things. I assume a leader is praying and working on their relationship with God. I assume a leader is building themselves up in God's Word. I assume that a leader is walking and living by faith. I also assume that ultimately it is all up to God. Take all that away and honestly what point is there in being a leader in God's Kingdom.

I also see that there is a a duality to our spiritual walk as well as the natural dimension of leadership. These two do function hand in hand in our leadership capacity. What I see often though is that the natural dimension of leading is a short-fall of many church leaders thus hurting their ability to lead.

So...let's get down to a little practicality. I don't want to overload you and I think these are mostly self-explanatory.
  • Grow Yourself Spiritually - Read the Word and Pray. This above anything else is key. Without your relationship with God...nothing else matters. God is the one that will ultimately raise you up, so stay close to him.
  • Be A Reader - Read books of a variety of areas; business, marketing, church growth, systems, spiritual growth. Develop a list and read.
  • Find A Mentor - Going on this journey with someone else, especially someone who is in a place where you want to go can really challenge you to grow. In fact surround yourself with people who will take you to another level. You can do this physically in person or even through blogs, books, cd's/podcasts.
I hope we have challenged you to work on growing your capacity to lead. Remember God wants to grow His church even more than we do...and He wants to do it through us. Don't be the one standing in His way. Start growing today. Hey that rhymed.

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[photo from - Baobab on the Planet of the Little Prince]

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

You Give God A Bad Name

Ok...I have a huge confession to make. I know we are supposed to love everyone...right? Isn't that what our Bible says? Love your neighbor as yourself.

Problem is...and this is my huge confession...there are some people that when it comes down to it...I JUST DON'T LIKE.

The real problem - Most of the people I don't like are CHRISTIANS.

There I said it. Hey at least I'm being honest. Let me give you the reason why. Well it might be better if I show you why. In the video below (RSS readers you may need to go to the post to see it) there is a woman who is obviously a Christian by the way she talks and acts, who are just going to have to watch the video. Trust me you have 3 minutes and 10 seconds to watch this. The action with the woman picks up at 1.22.

Back story to this is that the now former mayor of a town near Corpus (Alice, TX) is on trail for stealing a dog while she was the mayor. But it is this woman in the video that, well, is trying to cast the devil out of the reporter that...well trust me you have to watch it.

Did you watch it? It is no wonder that so many teens and young adults want to have nothing to do with the church today. This is a blatant perfect reason. If I didn't know that there are actually some great down to earth Christians...this person would TURN ME OFF FROM CHRISTIANITY TOO. I was yelling at the tv.

If you act like this...please give God a bad name.

What are your thoughts? I know this was an confession of mine, but does this turn you off as well.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Are You Multi-Site?

One of the values that our church will have is to be a multi-site church. The essence of being an Acts 1:8 church is that Christ's mission moved in ever expanding concentric circles. It moved from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Almost like throwing a stone into a pond.

In the Multi-site Practicum the following facts were shared:
  • 9/10 of the largest churches in America are Multi-Site Churches.
  • 7/10 of the fastest growing churches in America are Multi-Site Churches.
  • The average annual growth of churches since going multi-site = 33%
  • The average annual growth since going multi-site = UP 13%
I'll be honest with you, multi-site was a challenge to me in the past. I had this idea, "Why couldn't there be only one church in town and everyone go to it?" After all, if that were to happen couldn't we get more things done than having all these churches of 20, 40, 60, etc... sized churches.

God has really been working in me that having many sites of the same church unique in themselves could be a way to be more effective.

What about you out there? Are you in a church that is multi-site? What are your impressions? How do your sites work?

In a future post I'm going to lay out for you my thoughts on how we will attack being a multi-site church.

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[Thanks to Mike for the stats]

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Capacity Of A Leader 2

Matthew 25 has a great story of stewardship. Of course we see it as an illustration of three people taking care of what God has given them. I think it is a prime example of how we should work to better the leadership God has given us.

Each of us has a capacity to lead. In part 1 we talked about how the size of our ministry is determined by the capacity of our leadership. I believe it is possible to increase that capacity. Not only that but I believe it is our God given responsibility to do so. Maybe you could call it the stewardship of leadership...not sure about that.

As we see in Matthew 25:14-30, each of the servants is entrusted with the Masters property, "each according to his ability".

Here is where I want to break and show you what God is showing me through this. I'm not going to go into what happened. Most of us know the story and/or can read it. What I do want to zero in on is the "ability" part.

Now we could go into who gave them the ability. We could go into a lot of things on this. This is what I do know through experience in my life and in how I see God working.

When I was born, I believe I was given athletic ability as well as a certain level of intelligence. When I got to junior high/high school I began to work hard to develop and not develop those abilities.

In athletics I worked hard and was able to take that ability He gave me and go on to play football in college. To me...I doubled that talent.

As far as intelligence goes I graduated in the top 10% of my class. Only problem is that I never worked hard. I skated by in High School. In fact, you could say that really I was an average student that got by with the intelligence God gave me. I was able to get into college and academically I did horrible. In fact I graduated as a "C" student. To me...I wasted that talent.

God has entrusted us with His church and with the purpose of making disciples. We can either sit on that talent or we can increase our capacity to lead. The choice really is ours. What I have chosen to do is better myself in various areas so that I might be better organized to lead the church God has given me.

What are you doing with what God has entrusted you?

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Best Quote

This is one of the best quotes I saw last week:

If the 1950’s come back…most churches are ready to go… - Ed Stetzer

Boy would I love to unpack that one. This is something that I have been harping on for many years. Although I usually say the church is doing church like the 80's. At least many of the ones who progressed out of the 80's.

I think the church is hoping that it will come back around like "fashion" does. I'm not sure who is to blame or if I dare assign blame.

The blame is probably equally shared. Pastors who accept the status quo and are no longer aware of what is going on in our culture. Christians who just want it to be how they like it.

What must be guarded is the tendency to set up your church or ministry based on how you were saved or grew as a Christian. Take a hard look and ask are the elements that are guiding your church then ones that took you from salvation to maturity. Those very elements may not be effective in this new era.

One of the things I was guilty of as a beginning pastor is I made our "services" how "I" liked them. It was going great until I looked up one service to see that all the people that were coming were disconnected. I was trying to reach them as I liked and wanted church to be.

We must progress as the church as Christianity is quickly becoming the minority in this nation.

Your thoughts...before I dare continue down this line of thinking.

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