Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

This video is hilariously funny… yet a little disturbing at the same time (I cringed during the last song!).

While this is humorous (and I don’t want to take away from the humor of this moment), I have a somber perspective. This video is certainly an exaggeration but speaks to the heart of a question that has rocked me for a few months now… “How cool do we have to be?” This is an issue one of the coolest pastors on the planet addressed in his blog a few months back.

Some church leaders, in a feeble attempt to be relevant, have forgotten how to be real. (Almost like the opposite extreme of legalism… which is fake holiness.) Too many churches have too many people trying too hard to be too cool. All I’m saying… we need more church leaders putting less emphasis on being cool, and more emphasis on being like Christ.

This still doesn’t change the fact that this video is soooo funny to watch!

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orange-horizon-peter-wilemanI’m all geeked up about going to Orange! It is one of the premier conferences for family ministry and just so happens to be in my back yard at Gwinnet Arena. There is already a buzz out there in twitterland and I know the tweets are going to blow up in the next few days.

What I’m looking forward to…

Connection: It will be awesome to connect with new, like-minded friends and making newer ones. I plan on being at this Tweet-up tomorrow night. Here I will connect face-to-face with this guy and this guy and many others. At Orange I also plan on reconnecting with this guy and this guy. Connection is good!

Team-building: We’ve got a great team from our church going (8 total). Orange will give me a chance to build on the relationships within our team and learn what drives their passion for family ministry.

Insight: With a plethora of workshops, I know we will come back with many new ideas and plans to implement at our church to make us more effective. Practical application will not be lacking!

Inspiration: The worship and general session speakers are going to be awesome! I’ve already posted that I’m a Phil Wickham fan here and here. I’m also a Francis Chan fan (evidenced here and here). I’m praying not only for our team, but that all family ministry leaders in attendance will be inspired to dream BIG!

Orange is in the Horizon… and I LIKE it! Hope to see you there!

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unleash091I attended the Unleash conference yesterday and NewSpring church. Wow! The love for God and people represented there was inspiring. It was great to see Perry Noble live and really see his heart for Jesus and the gospel message. He said a lot of things. Funny things. Controversial things. Inspiring things. Challenging things. Tony Morgan shared a lot of the things he said here and here. Pudge Hucakby also shared some here and here.

I also attended the Children’s Ministry (CM) and Student Ministry (SM) breakouts. The church’s facilities were outstanding. They just opened up the children and student ministry buildings in the past week!

In the CM track I enjoyed hearing about their core values. Pudge posted them here. Their team kept saying over and over, “We’re here to help kids meet Jesus on their level.” It was obvious the leadership team had clearly communicated this vision.

I enjoyed the simplicity of their recruitment plan: Ask. Equip. Encourage. They follow the model of Jesus found in Mark 4:19. I was also impressed with their use of technology. In both breakouts they briefly discussed their plans for using blogs, twitter, and text messaging. I look forward to getting more information on each of these.

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In my assignment at Lawrenceville Church of God, we’re taking a new approach (for us) to children and youth ministry. In the past, we’ve had a children’s pastor and youth pastor, and recently I’ve come on staff as the Family Ministries Pastor. In this new role I’m providing leadership for nursery, children, and youth ministries. During this transition I’m certain there will be challenges, but in my opinion this model provides many more benefits. Some of which are:

  • Strengthens partnership with families by providing comprehensive ministry with the entire family in mind.
  • Fortifies staff relationships and helps eliminate ‘independent contractor’ mentality.
  • Provides strategic alignment in philosophy of ministry and programing.
  • Allows development of a scope and sequence for ministry from birth to college.
  • Assists in creating a smooth transition from one ministry to the next for children and students.
  • Eliminates scheduling conflicts by operating off of one calendar.
  • Offers more opportunities for volunteers to find their sweet spot in the broader model.
  • Streamlines the volunteer process by having one application and process for all family ministry volunteers to go through.

I’m sure they’re are other benefits and would love to hear from my ministry pals out there as to what they are. I’d also like to hear some of the challenges we might face while transitioning to the family ministry model. Holler!

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A little UPDATE

We’re getting settled in and finding our way in Lawrenceville. The church folks welcomed us with open arms on Sunday and had a very nice reception for us that night. The people here are great and we look forward to serving with them.

Blake started school yesterday at Grayson Elementary and seemed to really enjoy it. We met his teacher and toured the school. Evie and I are both excited to have in in such a good school. Today was Anna Brooke’s first day in preschool at GUMC Preschool. Someone told Evie earlier today that it was nothing short of a a small miracle that we got her in there. She said, “They NEVER have openings!”

Since we arrived we’ve been very busy and really hit the ground running. In the midst of moving I had a NCLA meeting all day on Monday but was back in time for my first elders meeting that night. Today was my first FULL day in the office. I’ve got a lot done and look forward to meeting all the Wed PM Seekerville (Children’s Ministry) staff tonight and spending some time with the RESCU (Student Ministry) team as well.

Finally, we are going to go down to Tallahassee on Friday to get the rest of our stuff. We think we’ve worked out a short term storage solution. I say short term because… WE FOUND A HOUSE!! We made an offer on it a couple of weeks back but didn’t hear anything until Sunday afternoon. If the inspection goes well, we hope to move into it in the next few weeks. Pray that all of the details come together.

For those of you who are interested… this is our little update. We’ll keep you posted.

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Evie and I have accepted a new ministry assignment at Lawrenceville Church of God (LCOG) in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I will serve as the Family Ministries Pastor and provide leadership to the Nursery, Children, and Youth ministries. We’re extremely excited to join the wonderful staff at LCOG and serve alongside them. Additionally, we’re thrilled for the opportunity to minister with family. Kevin Harris, my brother, is the senior pastor at LCOG. We’re grateful to him and the elders who’ve graciously invited us to be a part of their team.

Leaving GenesisChurch.tv was not an easy decision. We made it after weeks of prayer, fasting, and seeking of wise counsel. When we arrived in Tallahassee a year and a half ago, all the people of Genesis were quick to open their hearts and homes to my family, and for that I’m tremendously thankful. We’ve learned so much from Pastor Brian and the rest of the staff and we’re certainly leaving the richer for it.

On this journey of faith there will be many new challenges, lessons, and victories ahead of us. As they happen, I will continue to share them here. Immediately though, we’re focsued on getting our family moved. So if you know us, and you pray, we’d appreciate your prayers this week. We’ve got a LOT to do and need many logistical things to come together to ensure a smooth move for our family. Today we’re packing up. And on Wednesday (just like in this classic song), we’ll be taking the train to Georgia… WHOO WHOOOOO!

Well figuratively at least. 🙂

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What’s NOT in the Bible

Just finished reading the gospel of John this week and some things really struck me. Not only things that were in there, but this time some things that were not.

For example in chapter 8, when the Pharisees brought a promiscuous woman to Him, what did Jesus write in the sand? In Chapter 11, just before raising Lazarus from the dead, what caused “a deep anger” (The Message) to well up within Him? Not once… but twice?

These are moments I’ve heard others speculate about, but a different one struck me on this reading. One that I can not remember hearing someone speak to. The moment is in chapter 13. After reading it I was riveted with the question, “What was it like when Jesus washed Judas’ feet?” We know that Judas had already decided to betray Jesus (v. 2). We also know that Jesus was aware of Judas’ intent (v. 11). But what we don’t know is how that moment went down.

I think about what was going through Jesus’ mind while He took Judas’ feet and wiped them clean, all while knowing Judas’ motives were filthier than a pig’s hoof on a hot summer day (if you get my drift). I think about what kind of emotions were probably displayed by Jesus who often wore His heart on His sleeve. I also wonder if Judas displayed any emotions. Mostly though, I think about what it must have been like for Jesus to bend down and serve the man He knew was about to turn on Him. And honestly I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it.

I could pontificate here or attempt to tie this post up in a nice little bow. However, I’m not sure how. (And please don’t misunderstand this brief post or its title as a defense for overlooking the countless lessons and boundless wisdom readily available in the Scriptures.) I will say that if you’re looking for them, lessons can sometimes be found from what’s NOT in the Bible. And from this specific passage, lessons for people who have been betrayed, and even greater lessons for us betrayers.

That’s the best little bow I’ve got. Any thoughts?

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