Monthly Archives: January 2008

To write like I am LOST

I have never been a LOST fan. Mainly because I was in charge of a kids ministry that had programs on Wednesday night and I was unable to get home in time to catch an episode. Every now and then I would watch some, but I was completely clueless as to what was going on that I could not follow it…until last year….

I do not know what compelled me to watch the season finale last year – but I did….and I got hooked….I really didn’t get pulled in until the last 15 minutes of the show. Since most of you have had the opportunity (if you really cared) to see this episode – I thought I would post it for those that don’t.

Okay, for one, that would have to be my biggest fear when it comes to dying…but I was completely focused on these last few minutes that I wanted to know everything about LOST and I desperately searched for someone to catch me up…and found no one. No one mainly because they were just as confused, or it was too hard to explain.

As I watched this episode again tonight – I remembered the way it left me feeling after watching it. I dug into the internet, tried renting past episodes, everything to figure out what was going on – but still am confused.

To me, that is brilliant editing – much like The Village as a movie. I have always been fascinated with storytellers and work on my skills as a storyteller as much as I can because I think this is an amazing way to communicate. I realized that if I could tell a story, preach the Gospel, or challenge someone in their walk in a way that engages a person making them desperate for more, I have accomplished something huge.

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Been out

I think coming off the Daniel Fast caught the best of me…As much as I wanted to eat meat and sweets and the other good stuff, I realized, how much my body didn’t miss those things. I felt good and clean through the fast, and yesterday I felt far from it. I have done many a fast in my short adulthood, just wasn’t prepared for my body to go into shock! I am feeling better this morning, taking the day off from work so I can get some extra rest.

I have scrolled to the last page…

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As I finish up my review for Tim Steven‘s book today, I thought I would give my quick synopsis overall book review.  I am telling you – YOU HAVE TO GET THIS BOOK!

  • Probably one of the best books ever read for church leaders who are serious about taking great risks to reach people far from God, Pop Goes the Church is definitely a must-have resource for pastors, church staffs, volunteers, and the average person looking to engage their friends in a Christian community.
  • Tim’s writing style is relaxed and conversational and you literally feel like you are across a table soaking in his leadership experience. Every time I had a question about how something could be pulled off, he answered in later pages or chapters. Everything you could want to learn from a church-growth conference, you might just be able to do in this one book.
  • The book was extremely timely for me in my faith journey and church-position, but no matter what your feelings are on the subject of engaging your church in pop-culture, this book is a tremendous read. If you are a skeptic on the subject, your doubts could very well be answered. If you are a supporter to the idea, the flame inside you is truly fueled. Even if you are a non-Christian who thinks church is a waste of time, Tim speaks directly to you.
  • For the six years I have been in ministry, I have had a burning question and passion towards the Church. I have always felt that Jesus would be dissatisfied with churches and how they do ministry. This led me to wonder and explore how Jesus would react and respond in today’s culture. This book truly helps me understand and answer those questions. I can’t believe that everything that burned inside of me was finally written in book form – I cannot wait for this book to be in my hands, and on my shelf, and in my office.
  • I am passionate about one thing in regards to this book – if you are a pastor, a church leader, or a person who just wants to see more happen in your church – you have to get your hands on this book. There have literally only been a few books that I would encourage others to read, and even fewer that I would encourage a non-Christian to read, but honestly – this is a MUST READ.

Oh if I could tell you more about the content I would (due to agreements I cannot), I have a small window of time to fully-complete this review, but as I finish the book – I want you to know how important this book is to the church. Thanks Tim, for writing this book!

Pop goes our Church!

Being given the opportunity to review Tim Steven‘s book kind of solidifies everything that is going on in my life right now. As many of you know, I recently transitioned into a new job as Innovative Pastor at GracePoint. The job encompasses a ton of stuff. My main role is to implement a program called The Big Idea in the different core groups (children, youth, adults) of the church. It is a program designed to get everyone on the same page learning the same BIG IDEA each week and being able to connect with the entire family. This role then spreads over into leading a team in the design of the Sunday Morning Experience – from the creative elements, the worship, and helping in the sermon design. This then ultimately spreads into graphic design. It is a big job on paper, but actually pretty seamless in process.

Since we are beginning the BIG IDEA with our upcoming UNLEASH series, reading Tim’s book has been very timely in my preparation. I was able to meet with the Elementary Creative Design team. We are excited about some very BIG changes that are getting ready to take place. We realized that we are not reaching our full potential with the creativity and the outrageous amount of kids coming to church each week.

Reading through this book is helping me embrace Popular Culture – even in kids ministry. From movies to music, children are inundated with the pop culture daily. I think instead of removing this element completely from church we are realizing we need to equip our kids to engage it.

Our team has decided in order to fully reach kids with the mission of GracePoint – taking great risks to reach people far from Jesus Christ – we need to revamp our kids ministry to Reach kids, Teach them, and ultimately UNLEASH them to be radical disciples to literally change the world. We are pumped about the future of kids ministry at GracePoint…and I am pumped about the future of the entire ministry of GracePoint – while we are already integrating some pretty innovative concepts in our weekly ministry there is so much more that can happen…POP GOES THE CHURCH!

Pop Goes the Church…and more thoughts

  • I have dived in to Tim’s book. It is probably one of the most timely reads in my personal life and for the life of the church. I think this is definitely a catalyst to the transformation of the modern-day church. I want to take my time and soak this stuff up. So far, this is on my list of recommended reading to all church leaders….it is climbing to be what I would call a prerequisite for anyone who wants to start a church…When Tim releases the preorder or when you can start on Amazon.com don’t wait.
  • Something big – OKAY HUGE is getting ready to take place in Wichita. Gracepoint’s dream of being a church for those who hate church is definitely becoming a reality. We have entered into a season of waiting on God and listening to Him. UNLEASH, our capital campaign is getting ready to kick off – but this is the first time I have seen a church decide to look past the building, but focus on what it can do for the community.
  • Owen is getting more teeth – pretty sure he is getting ready to get 4 at once. That is always fun.
  • Saw this linkthis is amazing.
  • I am pumped to get in designing services…Easter is going to be awesome…we should do something like this.
  • Last Sunday Bryson preached the intro of his sermon in a casket…there is no way I would do that…but it was cool. The place was silent…lives were definitely changed.
  • Last night, I had a dream about hamburgers. I love McDonalds and they are going to get a lot of business after this fast…then I get to train for a 1/2 marathon…seriously I am going to run one this year!
  • Anyone watching American Idol? Anyone ready for this show to be over?
  • I think if I got the new macbook – I would brake it. It is very nice – just I have a tendency to break little things – like glasses.
  • Speaking of macbooks – I want this cool color thing for mine. Maybe Orange (in honor of Reggie Joiner and the Orange Conference) but would really want purple (in honor of Seth Godin – the marketing genius).

It’s here!

Kind of ironic the way I feel right now…I will explain in a minute. For those of you that know – about 17 months ago, my son came into this world early (like 2 months early). We were definitely not expecting his arrival and had a ton of mixed emotions about what was going on. The one thing that kept us sane was the fact that regardless of the events taking place, Rachel and I were both excited that he was here. Our lives have never been the same.

While comparing the birth of my son to the arrival of a book may be a stretch, I am pumped about the opportunity I have ahead of me with reading Tim’s new book. I am excited, even honored to be able to take part in this. I have been waiting for the arrival of his book for quite some time – ever since he broke the news. I stalked him out on Google earth to just get the chance to receive an early copy of his book from his contest online. Now I am able to be one of the literal firsts to read the book.

This morning the manuscript showed up in my inbox. Currently, it just sits there, and this evening I will be able to begin the reading journey. Knowing that it is there and that tonight I get a chance to read it – gets me pumped. In a small way it is the same excitement I had when Owen, my son, was first born and I was able to go home and spend time with him to get to know him more.Here’s the irony…in announcing the arrival of Tim’s manuscript, I was reminded of an earlier post he had in comparing the finishing of his book to the birth of his children. His comparison was the labor, mine is the arrival. Ha! I will keep you posted on my thoughts…

I love to read…

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Got an email today that I was pumped for. Not many emails get me this excited. I have been asked to preview, read, and give feedback to Tim Steven’s book. This guy is totally amazing and I have been following his blog for quite some time now. I am able to blog some about the book, so I will let you know how it is going….

Our staff likes to get “Naked”!

With the fast, the staff has helped come up with creative ways to stay sane. And this drink was introduced to us. They are awesome – especially if you are looking for something sweet. I jumped in on this bandwagon a little late – but it was such a sanity saver!

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Thoughts…

  • I have seen a cop in the same spot all week…usually I am speeding and when I see him I slow down…I get nervous, determined I am going to get pulled over. The cop just sits there. I wonder if this is what grace feels like.
  • I have been thinking that the church needs to change its vocabulary….mainly change the word “fast” – as in a not eating “fast” – we should change it to be called a “very slow”. Have you guys noticed that this fast feels like it is slowly dragging on and that January 25th can’t come any sooner – but in retorspect it has actually been a whole week!
  • I heard on the news last night that a 90 minute nap is good for memory…so I took one today and forgot what I was planning on doing…LIARS!
  • I work with some of the coolest people on the planet. I am truly amazed when I hear their stories and realize that God truly has assembled a team that is going to do amazing things for His Kingdom.
  • Have I mentioned to you guys that Sunday’s Worship Experience is going to be one of the most memorable events at Gracepoint…YOU HAVE TO BE THERE!
  • Brian is vacationing in the Galapagos Islands this next week. If you read his blog you will see that this is NOT the trip for those who believe in Creation. Let’s pray that (1) Brian doesn’t start believing in evolution (Just kidding – his faith is solid) and (2) that he will be given some awesome chances to minister.
  • Owen, my son, has been dancing for a while, but recently he has learned to spin around. He thinks it is pretty funny – so that makes me think it is pretty funny. These are the little things that no one told me would make my life with a kid so great.
  • I have one more week until I start back at school. I feel a little overwhelmed about all the changes, but feel good about getting it done. I never thought I would go back to school after Bible School, but truly feel this is what I should be doing.
  • I am pumped about Tim Steven’s new book coming out…From the looks of it – it has Gracepoint all over it.
  • Has anyone figured out how to stop a dog from shedding? Let me know – OR – I would love to invest in your invention idea.

As promised…

We are still working on the sound mix for our internet videos, but as promised, here is probably one of the coolest things to see at church. You just can’t beat rappers and dancers, Jesus Freak, and Mike acting like – uh – Vanilla Ice. I love my job!