Archive for February 2009

Takeaways, part II

February 25, 2009

Day 2

Bob Roberts

  • 10 years ago in the US there were 300 churches of 2,000+.  Today, there are 1,400 churches of 2,000+….YET, less people attend church today than 10 years ago.
  • Preachers and churches will not change the world, disciples will.
  • Gal 2:20 When will Jesus be enough for you?
  • Is the fuel of my church MY creativity or is it GOD’S Sovereignty?
  • No such thing as safe Christianity.  No such thing as a “balanced” life.  Jesus bids us “come and die”.

Tony Morgan

  • In the south, sweet tea comes out of the faucet.
  • A clear vision:
    sets expectations and fosters community
    facilitates decision making
    attracts time and money
    defines success in ministry
    empowers your leaders
  • Great leaders will leave your ministry if you focus on the execution and not the outcome.
  • Great leaders within your ministry are asking: Am I needed here?  Will I have input?  Will they keep me in the loop?  Do they care about me, or are they just using me?  Will they let me lead?  Do I get to do something significant?
  • Where is the fruit in your church?  What is God blessing?  Then focus on that.
  • Personal invite is the #1 reason people attend on Sunday morning…yet we try platform announcements and marketing junk for other areas of ministry.  Keep the personal invite the number 1 tool used.
  • John 3:30  He must become greater; I must become less.

Ben Arment

  • Most churchplanters get the spiritual and the strategy, but forget about the Social Impact.  You need social momentum.  You need to connect (build relationships) in the community before planting.
  • Plant the church the community needs, not the church in your head.

Nelson Searcy

  • We don’t need a new vision, God has given us the Great Commission.
  • Do both “go tell” evangelism and “come see” evangelism.  Don’t swing to either extreme.

Troy Gramling

  • If you listen to everyone, you will hear no one.  Listen to people who:
    love you
    believe in you
    know more than you
  • You can use people to build a great ministry or you can use ministry to build great people. takeaways

February 24, 2009

day 1

Reggie Joiner:

  • We can’t compete with culture in production, but culture cannot compete with the church in the arena of relationships.
  • What if we gauged the health of our student ministries not by the attendance of our large groups, but by the number of students serving.
  • (An oldie but goodie.)  The church has about 40 hours a year to invest in a child, parents have 3,000.

Ed Stetzer:

  • Churchplanting is simply a tool…disciple making is the end goal.
  • The goal is not momentum…God wants your church on a pathway to spiritual maturity.
  • You can’t get your people to serve Jesus in the long term if they don’t know him in the short term.
  • Don’t be strategy rich but spiritually bankrupt.
  • Pastor, if you are always the hero to your people then Jesus can’t be.
  • Acts 17:11  Do your people welcome the message with eagerness and examine the scriptures themselves?

Caught By The Train

February 19, 2009

I think it’s healthy to have a child like perspective on certain things.  (Jesus actually spoke about this – Matt. 18:3)  Us adults can get to be know-it-alls, too busy to slow down, and often lack genuine faith in important life matters.

Today I was driving my two oldest in downtown Cartersville…and guess what…yep, SURPRISE, I got caught by the train.  (For out-of-towners, a train comes through C’ville every 30 minutes or something crazy like that.)  I blurted out, “Ah man, we just got caught by the train.”  Braden and Logan both exclaimed, “Alright!”

Two completely different perspectives, huh?  Mine involved a time schedule and frustration in traffic.  Theirs, on the other hand, involved mystery and excitement:  “Daddy, what do you think it’s carrying?  What would happen if it came off the tracks?  It’s loud, I like it!  Why is it moving so slow?  What city do you think it’s going to?”

So stop and enjoy the train this week.  (Is that possible?)  Pray for your kids while you wait.  Pray for the Redemption Campaign.  Turn around and tell them how much you love them and how proud you are of them.  Enjoy the things kids do and have faith like a child.

Investment Breakdown

February 17, 2009

A chance to invest in a city, a mission…changing kid’s lives.


Sunday Recap via my TwitPics

February 15, 2009

2525701Braden gets up at 5:55am to help out with KidVenture setup.  (I can’t slow him down!)

2525901I realized this morning that this may be why he likes coming early.  (Such a player.)

1i68y-1d83a0a6566238955055fea007ade0eb49987199Lenny & Lee (father & son) ready to greet parents and kids.

2529264These kids have figured out that hot chocolate is not just for adults.  🙂1i6v7-e8455ca6310b6b1e6b7e18f04a6ee4dd4998726dWhy we do what we do.2531670This money series has been absolutely terrific!  I’ve heard a bunch of faith stories about money from Oakleafers already.

1iafm-fb89a492c757976ae8ef72267b18d5e6499871c2Nice legs.1iag0-cdd4fd480b53a3fc82756b2359eb312d499871ddMadea thanks you for visiting Oak Leaf Church.  (From a hallway display.)

House of Rock Prayer

February 14, 2009

Driving with fam around C’ville tonight…turned in to spontaneous trip to the House of Rock.

After telling the kids about the 24 inch rat, we decided to pray for the Redemption Campaign.



Oak Leaf Article

February 13, 2009

Very cool article from a dude who visited a few weeks ago.



February 13, 2009

any guesses?

if you said “the fear of friday the 13th” you are a winner.

more people are cautious on this day.  a lot of superstition.  a lot of fear.  a lot of lost productivity b/c of avoiding certain things in fear that something bad will happen.

so in light of this day, here are a few things that i think we should all be 1000% into, no matter the day, no matter the worries:

^ Redemption Campain – dana and i are sacrificially giving to it cause we believe in it.  KidVenture is doing some things over the next few weeks to scrounge every penny.  this is important.  are you in?

^ Bold Faith – trusting no matter the circumstances.

^ Inviting Mad Man – olc has grown in part b/c of the thousands of invites.  the strategy has not changed:  who have you invited lately?  remember, the worst that can happen is they say no.  ooooo, scary.

^ Family Role – are you a mom, dad, grandparent, sibling, supportive aunt or uncle?  don’t let the economy sidetrack you.  don’t let the fact that your family is dysfunctional deter you.  (ALL families are dysfunctional to a degree.)  play your role in your family well.  don’t sacrifice them for the sake of money or hobbies.  they are God-given and need you.

Don’t Do It

February 10, 2009

One of the best Valentine’s Day songs ever:



February 10, 2009

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”  Saint Augustine

Waiting is hard.  We live in a “On Demand Now” society.  Rarely do we have to wait for anything.  Rarely do we have to show patience.

But it takes time to see your kid’s behavior change…it doesn’t happen overnight.

It may take months to fully implement the new strategy you created for your company…scratch that, it may take years.

You know ultimately what you want to do with your life…but God has you in a particular place right now….requiring patience.

No matter the situation, if we hold out hope for the One who created us and knows us intimately, we will never lose.


February 9, 2009

Blogging has been on hold for awhile so here’s a recap of the past couple of days:

>  Spent Friday and Saturday in Buckhead with the wife.  A 2 day mini vacation with no kids.  Nice hotel.  Nice restaurants.  Spending money we don’t have.  🙂

>  KidVenture went well yesterday.  So many leaders have stepped up.

>  Escorting 1st time parents and their kids is one of my favorite things about a Sunday morning.

>  Baptism at the Aquatic Center rocked.

>  In my job I am learning to let go of tasks that others can help with (and are better at) and doing things only I can do (am called to).

>  Michael had a GREAT message about how everything we have is God’s.  We need to be reminded about that on a weekly basis.  Fact:  We can’t expect blessings if we are not faithful with the little.  Great challenge.  Great perspective.


February 4, 2009

Pumped About:

Dana’s Dad coming through surgery OK

Changes in KidVenture coming up within the next 30 days

A baptism counseling this afternoon

Listening to loud music with Jake in the office

Quality time with Dana this Friday and Saturday (thanks to grandparents for watching the kiddos!)

Stepping Up

February 2, 2009

The following post contains no sugarcoating and is stated with much passion and boldness.

Each Sunday, 94+ volunteers arrive at Carmike Cinemas in Cartersville, GA to help pull off something we call KidVenture – Oak Leaf’s elementary and preschool ministries.  It’s an amazing group of people that sacrifice a ton because they care about kids and families and care about the mission of Oak Leaf.

Overall, we have very good volunteer numbers.  Most Sundays are well staffed and there are only minor holes to fill.  Our volunteer Coaches do a great job of preparing throughout the week.  Recently, though, we’ve experienced shortages in more than one service….and yesterday was rough….which leads me to this:

If you are a parent that attends Oak Leaf, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are a young couple with no kids, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are involved in Fuel (middle school, high school), YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are single, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are divorced, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you are a grandparent, YOU need to serve in KidVenture.
If you have tons of experience with kids, yet you say you’re “retired from working with kids in a church”, YOU need to come out of retirement and jump back in the fire.
If you have no experience working with kids, YOU need to be bold and help out.
If you’ve been making lame excuses for not wanting to enter the “danger zone:  warning – toddlers ahead”, YOU need to get over it and start serving.

Did I cover everybody?  🙂

Here’s the deal:  Every Children’s Pastor I talk with struggles with this – Recruiting enough volunteers for kid’s ministry.  Every church has this problem.  But here’s what I wholeheartedly believe about OLC:  WE ARE NOT LIKE MOST CHURCHES!  I’ve never been part of such a volunteer lead/driven kick butt church.  I’m convinced that we should rarely struggle in this area.

Don’t misunderstand me, though.  When we have only 7 volunteers for 12 slots, that’s not your fault – it’s mine.  Perhaps I’ve spent too much time on the details of Sunday morning and not enough on building relationships and bringing new people in.  However, I want you to realize this:  Many people are sacrificing a ton so you can attend every adult service EVERY Sunday.  Some volunteers pull double duty and miss “big church” for weeks and months because we are short on volunteers.  This should not be.

Two more quick things and then I’m done.  🙂

1.  I’m not going to sugarcoat the type of work you do.  Working with preschoolers (and sometimes elementary) is HARD.  Not only that, but we do it in a portable environment.  That makes is VERY HARD sometimes.  Kids will try to escape.  Your patience WILL be tested.  Parents may not appreciate you all that much.  But remember this:  As with most things in life, the more difficult something is, often times the more rewarding it is.

2.  Serving in KidVenture is rewarding.  Daniel’s recent POST (click on post) alludes to that.  And sometimes it may take months to see a “payoff”.  And sometimes the payoff may be a child finally having a good Sunday…one in which they don’t bite you.  And other times the payoff will be seeing a child understand a verse for the first time…or being at church for the first time in their life…or ultimately seeing a kid profess Christ as their Savior.  Being involved in that is extremely rewarding!

So, I need you to step up.  I need you to serve.  We do 4 services in a movie theater.  That’s crazy.  That’s fun too.  I’m not going to burn out a hand full of people.  I’m going to recruit a MEGALOAD of people to help.  That’s the way it should be.  YOU need to step up and help.  Not out of guilt, but because you are missing out on a blessing if you don’t.

What is your next step?  Click HERE to fill out an application and then email me:

Thanks, I look forward to chatting with you soon!