Archive for October 2008

Running Unopposed

October 31, 2008

While voting early this year, I was surprised to see how many local candidates were running unopposed.  Nice for them, eh?  Talk about a no stress campaign.

Contrast that with the reality of your job and life in general.  You never run unopposed.  In my 5 months on the job as Family Pastor at Oak Leaf, I’ve found that to be true in two areas.

First, your ideas rarely ever run unopposed.  And that’s a good thing.  When you have 9 people working in an office and each one has a specific role to play, nobody is ever going to agree on everything.  Furthermore, when I am bouncing my ideas, I’m doing so up against some dudes who have been in f/t ministry a long time.  Experience counts and they can often snuff out things that are destined to fall flat.

Second, I think in any leadership position – whether business or ministry or whatever – opposition is simply a given.  Specifically in ministry, you have some members of churches that are “dug in deep”, having run off their share of pastors and youth ministers.  I feel extremely fortunate to work at a church like Oak Leaf.  Our volunteers are absolutely amazing and I am extremely lucky and blessed to lead them.  Perhaps it’s due to our structure…or the fact that we are only 2 years old…but I haven’t had to deal with extreme opposition or a plot to run me off.  🙂  I have, though, dealt with healthy differences of opinion and different philosophies of ministry.  And that’s to be expected.  Over 100 people volunteer their time in KidVenture.  The makeup of this group is a huge collection of extremely gifted people with all sorts of backgrounds.  It’s healthy for ideas to be challenged.  You never want 1 person’s vision to go completely unchecked.  I’m fortunate to have such a great group that has my back, yet also speaks their mind on how they think their area of ministry can be improved.

I’ve found that what grows you as a leader is learning how to wisely respond to such opposition…to not take it personally…to hold firm to the vision that God gave you…to pray more…and to have clear communication.

(Don’t forget, as believers we have constant opposition.)

CITY Rules

October 29, 2008

Now that I know how to use iMovie on my Mac computer, I’m like a kid at Christmas time.  I have 48 different video projects lined up.  Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Following up the KidVenture Top 10 video is The CITY Rules, now live on YouTube.  The CITY is where our elementary students gather each Sunday morning.  Neil Hancock, our Elementary Host Coach, wrote these rules and with our $7 budget (thank you Dollar Tree) we filmed this last week.  The rules will always stay the same but with each new series we will film a new video to fit the theme.  Neil and his wife Stephanie have a heart for kids and are very creative (and zany!).

Video HERE.
Updated:  Better quality video HERE.

Top 10 Reasons…

October 28, 2008

…to Volunteer in KidVenture.

Now live on YouTube.
Click HERE and enjoy.
Updated:  Better quality video HERE.

Commonly Average Health Tips

October 24, 2008

About 2 months ago I decided to do something about my health.  I knew I needed to eat better and knew I needed to exercise.  But, as in the past, most weight or work out programs just seem boring…plus, who likes someone telling you what to do?!  🙂

With that in mind, here’s a few VERY EASY things I’ve done over the past 2 months that have helped me drop a few pounds and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, feel a ton better.  Note, these are obviously common sense things and kinda “duh”…but, for me, they’ve been a great FIRST STEP and have given me tangible results.

  • If you are a soda fan, switch to diet sodas.  Most diet sodas taste like Ostrich urin…so you will have to hunt for one that tastes OK.
  • Drink water.
  • Eat less.  Seriously, you don’t have to drastically change your diet over night.  Just start eating less.
  • Go to the gym and do something you like.  I ride a stationary bike…perhaps one that most senior citizens use…but, it’s easy on the knees and I enjoy it.  As long as you’re keeping the heart rate up and burning calories, consider it mission accomplished.
  • Dana and I like to frequent local restaurants.  We are doing it less…but when we do go, I’m searching for lower carb stuff.  Plus, cutting out bread.

For “step 2” type stuff, just ask Hanz & Franz of Oak Leaf (Jody & Mitch).

Elementary Goals

October 23, 2008

Tuesday night I shared with some incredible elementary volunteers the goals we have as a ministry.  What are we trying to acccomplish on a Sunday morning…and overall, what is our passion?  Here’s an abbreviated version of what we discussed.

  • Provide a safe environment.  Never be alone with a child.
  • Provide a learning experience.  God is relevant to their world.  Teach Jesus in everything we do.
  • Provide a fun experience.  This aint yo mama’s church – fun is a high priority.
  • Provide a structured experience.  Stick to the schedule.  Please show up on time.
  • Lead by example.  Show patience, kindness, and joy.  Do everything with excellence.  Connect with kids through a small group.
  • Communicate with your Coach.  Reply to emails and phone calls.  Give feedback.
  • Find fulfillment in your role.  Know the Kingdom impact of what you do!
  • Spread the Love.  Recruit others.  Partner with parents.

Firsts

October 22, 2008
  • Recently had the first preschool training and elementary training.
  • Just made my first video in iMovie.  I’m now a Mac addict.
  • About to baptize my first born this coming Sunday.  Our God is amazing and GOOD!
  • Got 2nd place for the first time in my Monday night poker game at Flamingo’s Pizza Pub in C’ville.  I love hanging out with the Oak Leaf fellas and dudes in the community.  (For those wondering – no, it’s not for real money.)
  • First year in a long time that I’m semi concerned about the Iron Bowl.

Reedem The Rock

October 21, 2008

Today I invite you to check out THIS WORD from Michael.  This incredible project is moving full steam ahead now and I can’t wait to use this building to reach students, kiddos, adults, families, the immediate surrounding area, the hurting and confused, and everybody and anybody.  Be sure to click the link and see how you can get involved.

Rock Your Face Off

October 20, 2008

Brad Nash is our sound guy at church.  Brad is in my Journey Group.  Brad is a good friend.  Brad volunteers tons of time toward great things.  When asked to bring “a couple of speakers” last Friday to Cass High School for their Homecoming game…so they could enjoy some pregame tunes, Brad showed up with the following:
Did I mention Brad doesn’t do anything half hearted?  🙂
I think someone called from Tennessee, asking them to turn it down.
Speakers taller than your building = COOL.

Fall Weather Sunday

October 19, 2008
  • High of 69 today…perfect for unloading a Uhaul packed with kid’s stuff and setting it up in a movie theater at 6 in the morning!
  • One guy walked in 3/4 the way through the 3rd service and thought our KidVenture check-in was part of the movie theater.  Jennie explained to him what Oak Leaf & KidVenture were all about and then I showed him our City environment (K-5th).  He’s bringing his 6 year old back next week…who walked around with us.
  • Lauren Lukaszewski volunteered at our Volunteer Check-In Station today.  Lauren is 6 years old (almost 7).  She stood on a chair the whole time and handed out event reminders.  Rumor has it she single handily signed up 10 people to volunteer in the 1st Annual Halloween Carnival this coming Saturday at Delinger.
  • Laura Moore is doing a GREAT job in the City.  She’s got some fresh ideas on how to improve the experience for our elementary students – look for some upgrades soon.
  • Lenny & Annette & Lee were out this morning for KidVenture Check-in setup.  Somehow…miraculously, I managed to set up the computers correctly and they all worked the first time.  Must have been the extra coffee I had.
  • Me and Mitch got back to our ole “rap in the bathroom as we change clothes before the 1st service” routine.  We bust out some serious rhymes as we put on our designer (not) jeans and expensive (not) shirts.
  • Rich Nagel and the set up crew have been knocking it out of the park with AM setup.  When I walk in to the Desert & Jungle after check-in setup and the tv’s are already going and the room smells like a swiffer wet, it’s a good day.
  • Have I mentioned lately that it takes 72 volunteers each Sunday to run the kid’s ministry?  Thanks faithful volunteers who invest in to the lives of children and families!
  • Lastly, I tried to convince Adam that Bama will not go undefeated.  I don’t think it worked.  He might have a good argument.

Faulty Flood Light

October 18, 2008

I was recently in a parking lot that had two security lights with sensors.  It was dark and I was loading up my car.  I noticed every time I came out of the building and got close to my car, the lights would go OFF.  The security lights had been wired wrong.  Either that or or they had just gone bad.  Instead of coming ON when motion was sensed, they did the opposite.

After several trips to the car, I thought about how as believers we sometimes do the same as the faulty flood lights.  We’re supposed to be shining our light the most in darkness.  We’re supposed to shine it around non believers.  But instead, we sometimes act like these wrongly wired lights.  It’s easy for us to shine when there’s no pressure.  But when approached and needed most, we shut down.

OK, so the illustration is a bit of a stretch.  But it’s still a great reminder that not only should we be a light in our community, school, workplace, etc…but to do so in all circumstances, especially around those than can benefit the most from our light.

Gluesticks Are Fun

October 15, 2008

I spent most of the day today preparing for a preschool training tomorrow night.  The bulk of the discussion will be the goals of the preschool ministry.  What are we trying to accomplish?  What is a “win” on Sunday morning?

Tomorrow night’s pow-wow is so important for me and so important for everyone.  It caused me to step away from the 4,228 details of a Sunday morning and pull back…remembering why we do what we do.  And it’s important for us all so that we are on the same page – working dilegently to accomplish the same mission.

And thankfully I have an incredible team of volunteer coaches surrounding me that help lead the charge.  I am pumped about the training/appreciation night!  I am pumped about finishing 08 strong in Oak Leaf kid’s ministry.  And I am pumped about what we’ll be doing in 09.  Did I mention I am pumped?!

Volunteer Spotlight

October 14, 2008

This past Sunday we did a “Volunteer Spotlight”, an opportunity to recognize and appreciate some volunteers.  It was a privilege to brag on the Hogan Family.  Steve, Sharon, and Brandon do a phenomenal job in the Arctic (our toddler room).  They always serve with a smile and a good attitude.  And they have huge hearts for kids and a huge heart for Christ.

I think their story is unique.  They serve as a family.  (Some of you may be thinking, “Me, serve with MY family??!  Ha.  Those kids would be in trouble!”)  This is something you don’t see all that often.  But it’s a great picture of a mom & dad teaching a son the importance of serving others…serving God…serving the church.  It’s faith in action.

Thanks Hogan family!  And thanks to all 72 KidVenture volunteers that pour their time/energy/passion/patience in to each and every Sunday.

Reminder:  We are approaching week 3 of our recruiting blitz.  We’ve added around 10 new volunteers and are still “hunting” for more.  Be sure to sign up and join the adventure! Contact me at jonathan@oakleafchurch.com or sign up in the lobby this Sunday.

Pic of the Day

October 13, 2008

Logan on the sidelines.

Clear

October 8, 2008

I like this delivery truck.

  • They barely used words to describe their product, yet there is no doubt what they make and deliver.
  • If you are on a diet, please don’t stare too long at the donut.  Not healthy.
  • After taking this pic in our church office parking lot, I had to endure Tracy’s story of how she once had family members who worked for a company who delivered this stuff and how she herself is an expert at organizing an Entenmann’s display table at the grocery store.

Fashion?

October 6, 2008

Yes, it’s real.

A model wears a creation by French fashion designer Pierre Cardin during the presentation of his entire Spring-Summer 2009 and Autumn-Winter 2009 collections at his villa in Theoule sur Mer, southern France, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008.

Church Sticker

October 6, 2008

Cool to drive in to my neighborhood after church yesterday and see a little kid still wearing her KidVenture security sticker.  Better yet, it was a child who’s mom received a personal invite from an Oak Leafer.  Good stuff.

It Doesn’t Matter

October 2, 2008

Funny how things in sports (and life and business and ministry) sometimes just don’t matter.  Here’s what I mean.  Preseason polls just don’t matter.  The fact that UGA was preseason #1 means absolutely nothing.  And the fact that Bama is #2 right now means very little as well.  Like all teams, they must continue to win – ON THE FIELD.

Auburn plays against an undefeated Vandy team this Saturday.  The Commodores have not beaten Auburn in football since 1955.  (Wow!)  But….guess what…it doesn’t matter.  It’s a new year with a new team…and hey, Auburn is obviously down this year.  Who knows.

Sure, past performance can be an indicator of future results – but it’s never a guarantee.  Every Sunday volunteers who brought their A-game to church the previous week are asked to give God their all again.  We can’t get comfy and can’t be content.  There’s a huge mission to fulfill and tons of people to reach.  Now that does matter.