Thursday, May 28, 2009

Archie proposes after 68 years

And I reckon he's made the wrong choice. Archie is all set to propose to his girlfriend Veronica and Betty ends up crying. Wrong choice Arch. Who's the girl who you can depend on? Who's the girl who's there to help you fix your car, encourage you and bail you out when you mess up? It's not Veronica!!
How dumb are some guys?
You can read the whole dumb mess here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Steve Dusek

This past weekend I visited the brand new church plant The Orchard Church. Planted in Ellijay Georgia and only six weeks old The Orchard is a warm, vibrant and growing community which meets effectively in the Ellijay Cinema. After the service I had the opportunity to connect again with Planter/Pastor Steve Dusek. I've only had a few opportunities to talk with Steve but from the talks that I've had with him and his daughter Lauren and sitting in on his sermon he is a great Dad, pastor and leader. Below is one piece of advice for planters from Pastor Steve (sorry it is so dark but the audio is great), also check out his blog by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Great Teams

This morning I had the opportunity to visit West Ridge Church and sit in with their Staff training time. Pastor Michael Lukaszewski spoke on the importance of “Teams”. Here’s some notes:
1. Great teams trust each other.
If there is no trust it is difficult to pass the ‘ball’ and this ultimately reduces effectiveness and increases burnout. Lack of trust automatically leads to micromanagement. Two causes; An ‘untrusting’ boss and ‘untrustworthy’ staff.
2. Great teams are diverse.
Different gifts equal effectiveness. There is no joy in winning at a game you should never have been playing in the first place.
3. Great teams communicate well.
Clear communication is massively crucial. Use communication devices well:
• text is simple – “is projector working?” - “Yes.”
• email for basic information sharing. Not for discussions.
• phone is for discussion and problem solving.
Always ask are you doing this or me? When two people are in charge there is no one in charge. We should all know each others departments ‘big pictures’ not micro details.
4. Great teams want to win!
Deep desire in their gut and commitment to win. Remember as the leader you can never manufacture passion and desire in other people. Celebrate department ‘Wins.’ You win means we all win. Michael does two things each Monday : sends out a weekly email celebrating & thank you notes to a few key volunteers.
5. Great teams practice.
Way more time spent practicing than playing. You are either getting better or worse at what you do, growing or in a rut. Getting better takes practice and developing your tool box. Growth requires coaching so get a coach. Read books, ask questions, develop a plan and work the plan.
6. Great teams have a great “head coach.”
A great “head coach” is the magic sauce. The Lead Pastor needs a coach too. There is only room for one coach calling the plays, God appoints leaders to lead under Jesus. Our job is to get behind the leader and support Him. It is great for you to give constructive criticism in the appropriate environment but once we’ve worked through it and we’ve landed the plane it is our bet behind 100% the leadership.
7. Great teams deal honestly with weakness.
You only have so much room on the lead team. You are playing a key role and if it is not being done then it needs to be dealt with. Lead pastor hire out your weak spots. Remember what is best for the church is best for the team too. Conduct 360’ staff evaluations as we all need to grow and get better. This takes input and challenge.

“For what is at stake I will do whatever it takes.” – Andy Stanley.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Steven Furtick - Advice on Going Multi-site

Here is Pastor Steven Furtick's advice regarding going 'multi-site.' The THR3E Event was excellent. Check out Elevation's Access Elevation Archive for some further great advice and guidance for new church plants.

Sticky Church - Leaky to Sticky - Pastor Larry Osborne

1. New focus to develop a healthy leadership team (Elders & staff).

2. Shepherd the flock I already have as well as reaching out to the lost.

3. Be a Believer targeted & Seeker sensitive church. This really means being a ‘user friendly church that grows followers of Jesus whilst ‘expecting’ seekers. Remember Jesus is an ‘equal opportunity’ offender. No in house jargon/procedures. Explain. Being Seeker expectant is assuming that as you preach the good news of Jesus God will draw. Remove all subliminal messages that say ‘This room is full of mature Christians’ as it will ultimately have a damaging impact on the believers who will assume that this is not a place to bring their lost friends to meet Jesus. By being ‘clear’ and talking as if there are unbelievers in the room you are telling the Christians ‘It is OK for me to bring my friends who don’t know Jesus.” Every service is an open meeting, an open receiving environment. Talk as if they are there and they will be.

4. Foster long term Christ Centered relationships. People ultimately stay because they are loved well. The church too often today has casual and task relationships. Strong ties to Jesus and one another lead to deep discipleship. The goal is frequent, long term and vulnerable relationships. The secret is to provide new groups for new people.


One of the e-newsletters I subscribe to is John Maxwells Leadership Wired. Here are the quotes on 'Poise' from the latest.

"The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom." ~ James Allen

"Whenever you get into a jam, whenever you get into a crisis or an emergency, become the calmest person in the room and you'll be able to figure your way out of it." ~ Rudolph Giuliani

"Calmness is the cradle of power." ~ Josiah Gilbert Holland

"Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Sticky Church - Mission Creep – Pastor Larry Osborne

Assumptions :
• It is God’s desire that His Church is contagious with lives filled with the life givingn fragrance of the good news of Jesus.
• If something is amazing and life changing to someone then they will naturally share their experience with others and invite them to try it. If people are not inviting maybe it could be because they assume their friends won’t like it?
The Church Should Be A Community Where:
• Evangelism is natural not contrived. “Come and See” evangelism is the normal way and “Dog and Pony” events and “Marketing” evangelism are the exception. This will naturally decrease the pressure on “Assimilation Systems” as there are already existing effective relationships. Consider natural and artificial conception, both produce beautiful babies but one is ‘normal’ and less resource driven than the other.
• People are genuinely Changed not Just Touched.
• Long term the wider community is made better not bitter. Fact : Some large churches have reached their capacity to grow simply because over a period of time their surrounding community has more people who’ve ‘visited’ and been ‘touched’ by the church than there are people who’ve ‘stuck.’ Very unhealthy situation long term.

What Has Gone Wrong?
• Terrible ‘Packaging.’ Generally in the western world the church is more known for what we are against rather than whom we follow. People hear – “The church is against me not for me. They hate me not love me.
• Mission Creep. Consider the YMCA. Churches consistently move the target from the one Jesus set to somewhere they are hitting. If you are not accomplishing the goal STOP. Ask yourself, staff and church: “Why are we doing this? Is it working?

Mission Creep : Five Subtle Shifts:• From Discipleship to Decisions. Discipleship is not an extra credit add on. Consider the rich young ruler. For Jesus ‘eternal life’ was obtained by deciding to giving up running this life our way and following Him.
• From Obedience to Doctrine. We’ve sifted from obediently ‘following Jesus’ to maturity is a ‘self feeding’ knowledge accumulator. What about if you can’t read? What about life change?
• From Persuasion to Warfare. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and Daniel. Instead of resentfully attacking those whom the evil one is leading against us we must humble ourselves under God and seek to kindly win them over. God’s way is to win over not wipe them out. “Those Blues are amazing…”
• From Relationship to Attendance. Focus on sticky relationships with Jesus and others.
• From Jesus to Justice. Remember you can give Justice without Jesus but you can never give Jesus without also giving Justice.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Michael Lukaszewski

Hey some really important advice from Pastor Michael Lukaszewski of Oak Leaf Church. I highly recommend also checking out his blog for helping church planters - Behind the Leaf - it's full of stuff.

BTW this Sunday Oak Leaf Church begins meeting at the House of Rock! They're having a service on Saturday night at 6 p.m. and two services on Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11:15. The House of Rock is located at 245 S. Tennessee Street, Cartersville GEORGIA.

Rock on Oakleafers!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Andy Stanley’s Advice to the Uncertain Leader.

In an article from Catalyst Leadership eMagazine Pastor Andy Stanley gave some great advice to uncertain leaders. Here’s my summary:

Uncertainty is a constant factor and it is the reason we need leaders. Leaders simply make decisions with limited information. The goal is not to eliminate uncertainty, rather leaders seek to focus on being crystal clear in the face of uncertainty. Clarity is giving explicit and precise direction in spite of limited information and unpredictable outcomes.

Think of a Football Coach calling a play. All the very best can do is draw upon the knowledge and intuition they have and call a play. Coaches don’t say, “We don’t have enough information.” The clock is running down! Coaches make a decision and send everyone out to play with specific instructions. Only when the play is run do you know if the right decision was made.

Leading with clarity demands humility and confidence. Humility to acknowledge that at the very best you are making an educated guess. Confidence to move boldly forward in the direction you have determined.

The higher the level of leadership the greater the level of uncertainty. Success leads to increased uncertainty. Your leadership capacity is determined by your ability to deal with uncertainty.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Larry Osborne

Pastor Larry Osborne is an amazing leader and disciple maker. I have loved reading his books and always go away encouraged, strengthened and challenged to grow in following Jesus and in my leadership. Here is one piece of advice Pastor Larry had for church planters. BTW Pastor Larry will be joining Pastors Shawn Lovejoy and Greg Surratt at the next Mondays "Sticky Church Conference." A day of training on what it means to not just reach those who don't know Jesus but to nurture and pastor them well.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Bob Franquiz

Pastor Bob Franquiz shares with us one piece of advice for Church Planters. Pastor Bob has been one of my coaches over the past few months as I've been working through the pre-launch preparation stage of a new church start. I highly respect and honor this man, he is the real deal and has helped me to grow as a follower, husband, Dad and to prepare to lead a new church. Check out his blog here and his resource website here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Giving grows me

"It is better to give than to recieve." Jesus Christ.

Yesterday at Mountain Lake Church we had our once a year annual special offering for special ministry initiatives in Cumming, USA and throughout the world. It was awesome to see God at work in and through the people who make up this amazingly generous church. The after service 'Cookout' was a huge hit with everyone and the weather held out to make it the perfect ending to literally weeks of vision casting during the 'Potential' series and the weekly Backstage Pass Lunches. Then Pastor Steven said at THR3E, "If you want your people to bleed you as the leader have to haemorrage!"

All that to say - For the past few weeks God has been challenging me again about my leadership AND MY FOLLOWERSHIP. Specifically, was I willing to keep letting go of the false security that little 'g' the god that is 'money' pretends to offer and instead keep embracing God again as my 'provider.' Let me tell you, the struggle hasn't gone away, in fact it has only increased as we've stepped out in faith to start this new church in Brisbane Australia. But every time I've stepped out and felt like I'm about to die God has stepped up and met our needs and MORE! God really has been speaking to me loud that it takes a growing, humble, and at all times faithful follower (of Jesus) to lead His people. It will not work any other way. Thanks God for stretching and growing me as a follower of Jesus.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Church Planter Advice - Pastor Eric Metcalf

Hey I had the opportunity to sit and learn a bunch of stuff at the Exponential Conference 2009 from Pastor Eric Metcalf. Pastor Eric is the champion of Small Groups at Community Christian Church and oversees church planter recruitment with The Newthing Network. He's got some important advice for men considering starting a new church, listen in.