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Archive for February, 2008

Conference Hangover, Meetings and Mad Money!!!

LandofathousandhillsNo WholeHearted Post yesterday… I woke up to an early morning meeting about our "40 Day Church-Wide Campaign" with Chris Smith…i had a little bit of what I call "Conference hangover" where your mind is swimming with ideas but your body is tired from a lack of rest and travelling.

This morning’s coffee is "Land of a Thousand Hills – Ruwandan Blend". I learned of this coffee at the conference this week… they call it "coffee with a story". The coffee’s good – the mission of the company is better. Check it out.

I don’t know if i told you but…

  • Evolve was possibly the best conference i’ve ever been to! Most conferences are either heavy on inspiration / light on application or the other way around. Evolve was perfect (at least for me). I walked away with much – including things that will immediately impact us as a congregation. Thanks to the crew at churchplanters.com for making it happen (and to JESUS, who I believe led me to attend!)
  • I am so excited about the series kicking off on Easter Sunday!!! We have not done a comprehensive, church-wide spiritual growth campaign of this magnitude since 2003(!!). Hard to believe if, like me, you were a part of "40 Days of Purpose", a turning point in the history of hyde park. We will be using Home groups to go deeper with the teaching (as well as our relationships) – the weekly message by Pastor will expound on what we’re learning and most importantly, we will be connecting people who currently are unconnected (except for attending worship).
  • …and speaking of "40 Days of Purpose": as long as I live I will never forget the way that the study was instrumental in Mrs. Melba Broadaway (Huggins) spiritual life. On many occasions, she expressed how thankful she was that she participated in the study and how she wished she would have experienced it at a younger age!
  • How many WholeHearted readers would like to be rich?!? Our new series,"MAD MONEY", begins this weekend – we’ll hear more from Tony Hebranks (if you were there last week you met Tony) about "how to get rich". Tony has his ways – and Pastor Dennis will give us another side of how to be rich. I know this – People are "Mad" about money (one way or the other, huh?).
  • BFG leaders meeting Sunday nite @ 5 – it is a required meeting, as we will discuss the church-wide spiritual growth campaign kicking off on Easter. It will be short – we’ll be finished in time for Night of Worship at 6.
  • …and last, speaking of "Night of Worship", I know that ALL OF YOU are planning to be a part of it this Sunday nite at 6pm. It’s not often that we can get "the whole family" together (parents, kidz, 8:21/9:51 & 11:11′s). Best part? AN EXCUSE TO HANG OUT AND EAT WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

Four Qualities of an Awesome Team Member

Hey guys – i HAD to share this with you because my heart is SO in this place today…we can’t go where we need to go if the people on our teams aren’t awesome!! This goes for everyone – whether your on the worship team, the parking team, our staff team or a cooking team – i repeat: EVERYONE ON THE TEAM’S GOTTA HAVE CERTAIN QUALITIES or they will hold the team back.

Perry Noble has a great post about this that i SO agree with – check it out!

Evolve Day 2

Slide1The conference is over…my mind is swimming…the ideas are HUGE (!!)…the vision audacious…still don’t know "what ‘IT’ means" yet but the ‘IT’ is coming together more and more by the day. Here’s what i experienced in Day 2 of the Evolve Conference:

Session 3 – Darrin Patrick – Pastor, The Journey/Vice President of Acts 29 Church Planting Network – "The Spiritual Leader" – REPENT!! Darrin reminded all of us that Pastor’s are "terrible repenters" and that when we get our identity from anything other than God is sin. He focused a lot on idolatry (which i feel is so huge in our consumeristic society). 

My main takeaway: Maybe teaching is an "idol" for you; or fame; or anything else in life that occupies the place in life that only God deserves.

Next, did an amazing breakout session with Shawn Lovejoy and David Putman – the Best Practices of Church planters. This breakout was worth the trip – leadership principals, how to take your ministry to the next level, your team to the next level, raising money, being mean about "the vision", dealing with vision busters and redefining discipleship.

My main takeaway: Jesus took care of His soul (Mark 1:35-37), my physical body and my relationships. I’ve gotta have a plan to finance the vision, be intentional. "God has made me a steward of His vision." Think team: Who do I wanna take the mountain with (Mark 3:13-15). For those of you who hate meetings, "Meetings are the playing fields of Great teams.". "Think fruit (of the Spirit), not meat. Jesus said "DEEP" is being a doer of the Word." 

Session 4 – Mark Batterson – Lead Pastor National Community Church. "The Secure Leader" – Greatest quote? "Your best thought on your best day is 13.2 Billion light years short of God’s thoughts." Amen! Mark preached about Saul, 1 Samuel chapter 14 & 15.

My main takeaways: Insecure people build monuments to themselves (like Saul did). "There is a very fine line between Thy kingdom come and MY kingdom come.". "When we compare we will bring pride or jealousy."

My next breakout was about Small groups with Casey Graham and Louie Lovoy. All I can say is that they broke it down in a way that made groups pretty simple… hyde park bfg’s, get ready!

Session 5 Bil Cornelius – Lead Pastor, Bay Area Fellowship – "The Resilient Leader" –

My main takeaways: "I wasn’t called to a church – i was called to a city!" Amen! "People will leave – The great thing about people is God is still making more of them." "Honey, there are 5,500 people who need you to get over this!"

I leave here on Wednesday morning with passion, a vision, an open-heart and permission to be who God has called me to be. Probably the greatest conference I have ever been to – SERIOUSLY.

i needed to hear that

"If the vision that God has given to you doesn’t make you laugh and YOU don’t believe that God can use you to transform your city – DON’T DO MINISTRY!" Steven Furtick

I’ve had my moments… the blank stares… the looks that say to me, "he’s a big dreamer – that could NEVER happen here in this area!". People contradicting vision, trying to make excuses for huge vision, people trying to break it down into small, edible (and humanly possible) portions, "Well, i don’t know about God saving 3,000, but i could certainly see this room full…" DUDE, YOU COULD FILL THAT ROOM IN YOUR OWN POWER!

Furtick used a word that described a God-sized goal: AUDACIOUS. Something so huge there ain’t no way you can take credit for it.

Thanks, Steven. You have no idea how much i needed to hear that. WholeHearted readers do too…

YOU READY?!?

Evolve Conference, Day 1

Slide1It’s 9:40 and I’ve just returned to the room at the end of Day one of the Evolve Conference. To say that I have been challenged beyond belief would be the understatement of the year…

Pre-Conference: David Putman – Executive Pastor, Mountain Lake Church – David did a seminar about Launching Large: Milestones for Planting a Healthy Church. David’s book, "Breaking the Missional Code", was the 1st book I read about starting churches. I have really been influenced by his heart for reaching people far from JESUS.

My main takeaways from his seminar? "Don’t fight who you are – go where you fit"; Biblically Faithful/Culturally Relevant: meeting the true needs of your community MAKES YOU relevant; the god of this world is consummerism. And the #1 comment David made to me (in reference to people whining constantly about wanting to "go deeper"): "you can’t feed the flesh enough!"

Session One of the Conference – Shawn Lovejoy – Lead Pastor, Mountain Lake Church – Shawn talked about "The Healthy Leader" and what it means to be healthy in every area of life.

My main takeaways from his session? "Discipline is leading and managing MYSELF (spiritually/emotionally/relationally/physically)."; My lack of physical discipline will begin to spill over into other areas of my life; Self-control is about getting under God’s control. Shawn’s dream: handing JESUS the healthiest church possible. Awesome, challenging session.

Session Two – Steven Furtick – Lead Pastor, Elevation Church – Steven shared the turning point of his life (which consequently was the same thing that DROVE ME to the ministry with God’s call) taken from Jim Cymbala’s book, "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire": I despaired that my life might pass me by without seeing God move mightily on my behalf.

Steven was so unbelievably annointed and displayed the power of JESUS in his speaking! My main takeaways from his session? He made the point that "There is a SUPERNATURAL Miracle needed in our ministries!" .It’s not "cookie-cutter" ministry principals, it’s the burning vision from God that burns within you, taking what God is showing you and allowing it to "synthesize and internalize"

I have been challenged beyond belief…God is doing something special here. Check back tomorrow for more!