Archive for June, 2008

NYLC 09 – The Deals Have Been Sealed

We are back from our whirlwind trip to Dallas. Here’s the stuff the team accomplished…

  • Toured both the facility and area. Cedar Hills (just on the boarder of Dallas) is becoming a booming suburb. The outdoor mall areas that will be complete by then are absolutely gorgeous.
  • Met with the facility and administration of Trinity and checked on a gazillion details
  • Met with the audio/video/lightening guy, Jeff, to figure out exactly what equipment we have to work with
  • Ate lunch with their student ministries and MC staff. Great people.
  • Double checked the seat count in the auditorium
  • Checked the site line from every corner of the auditorium
  • Counted every possible parking space
  • Took the dimensions of the stage
  • Measured the gym and counted the outlets for the vendors
  • Got the maps and dimensions of every room available in the main sactuary, childrens building, school and student center – besides the general session, we have six super sessions and 45 breakout session, so we need every room and every chair
  • Met with countless sals reps for hotels and set up hotel contracts with a number of them
  • Met with some local restaurants
  • Stopped at the visitor’s info center to establish connection and get free stuff
  • Shot footage and pictures of the church and Dallas for promo video
  • Established connections with two of the primary audio/media/lighting rental companies

All that and…

Celebrated Alisha’s birthday at some Mexican restaurant downtown that was let’s say “interesting”

I had the most horrible headache the first night, comparable only to the one I had in the early 90’s after the first day of the CPA exam

Got up at 5 a.m. to take Jeanne to the DFW airport to catch a flight to New Mexico. Dallas has to be one of worst airports in all of America to navigate the first time through. We needed to pick up a rental car after we dropped Jeanne off and it took us a half hour to find the place. We followed the signs and kept ending up in the return area. We asked the AVIS person how to get where we needed to go and her words were “Go straight and ignore the ‘Do Not Enter’ sign and it will take you to the lower lever.” Go figure. The good news is that once in the airport it’s relatively simple and the flight took off on time.

We laughed a lot. What a great team.



I’m posting from the Hilton Gardens somewhere in or near Dallas. We scoped out Trinity church today. What an amazing facility. What amazing hosts! When we were choosing a facility (actually in an affluent suburb call Cedar Hills) we knew we wanted three things …

1. We wanted to be in or near Dallas
2. To have the conference in a church if at all possible
3. The seating capacity needed to be near or over 3,000

Trinity’s seating capacity is only around 2,500. While we had another facility lined up over the 3,000 mark, we opted for Trinity. Why? Because of the size of their heart. They want us there … big, big time and you can feel it. Here’s some examples:

1. They are shutting down their Christian school for three days so we can use the entire facility (brand new less than a year old sanctuary, children’s building (old sanctuary), school with full gym and original sanctuary (youth building)). I’m sure they will make it line up with some normal spring break in order to make it all happen.
2. Matt, their Master’s Commission director, spent the entire afternoon with us making sure we got the tour to beat all tours.
3. Their facilities people are off the hook. They copied floor plans, parking layouts … you name it. You can tell they are “for” the Kingdom and not “for” making sure things never get messed up (by never getting touched). Big deal. If you don’t have facilities on your side, you are not in for a good time.
4. Countless other little things.

It reminds me how VALUABLE it is not only with conference locations, but in life … TO BE WANTED! Lord, help me be intentional about helping people to feel that as well!

Anyway, besides the Trinity staff, the other amazing notice of my day was our staff. Jordan, Sterling, Jay, Alisha and I joined up with Jeanne today. She was speaking in Dallas at Christ for the Nations and is then heading to New Mexico to speak a gazillion times over the next couple of days. As we were all flying, driving, talking and doing lunch. I couldn’t help but stop for the moment and take notice of the “feel” of our team. Words can’t adequately express that moment for me. It was a deep sense of love and we are “for” each other. Those words are cheap to say, but are loaded with meaning when done right and well and translated into actions, attitudes, words and deeds. I’m excited for NYLC 09, before it felt like it was in some foggy place a long way off, but now we’re rolling.

March 30 – April 1 NYLC 2009 Dallas, TX

Leaving on a jet plane … at 5 a.m. tomorrow. We’re spending three days scoping out Dallas, the home of Jeanne’s National Youth Leader’s Conference 2009 (March 30 – April 1)

Source and Taxes

Last night at midnight I finished up this month’s Source (MOMENT OF TRUTH) and Youth Leader’s Coach (HOW TO STAY A CHRISTIAN WHILE DOING MINISTRY). Hands down the hardest Source to date. Normally, they take me two days of my month, this one took me every bit of five. It’s an absolutely AMAZING one, but between the bumpy audio I had to keep taking back to the boys to fix and the 25 pages of leader notes, fill-ins, message transcript, drama transcript, human video transcript, discussion questions and leadership lesson … I could vomit … no seriously vomit.

Fortunately they have more of an eternal value, but Sources and YLC are like taxes … hard to do but once you get them done the highlight of your day is dropping them off at the post office/fed ex. I just did a little dance and ate five miniture Reeses in celebration of their send off. May I never listen to those AMAZING little audios ever again.

I Will Care For You As You Care For Others

As Oasis grew, I remember the transition from caring for students to caring for leaders. It was a tough transition for me. I love hanging out with and impacting students; however, me, myself and I (and a few others) were unable to impact as many as I could dream of impacting. So, my role changed over time. While I would have my couple dozen kids who would capture my heart and even some of my time, I had to correct and redirect how I was going to lead. More time needed to be spent investing in leaders than students (almost sounds wrong, doesnt’ it?). My mantra in my head (I just came up words to it) would be, I will care for you as you care for others.

That’s what the Cadre is all about (and multiplication for that matter). While long distance we can’t care to the extent that someone in closer proximity can, we’re basically saying … youth pastor, we will help (of course, hopefully along with their local church…but it doesn’t always work that way…good grief, you should hear the stories) care for you as you care for others. Once again, knowing we all need to be loved, cared for and appreciated … regardless of age, income or status.

When does it get sticky? When someone walks out from your umbrella of ministry. Does that mean you stop loving or caring for them, absolutley not! However, for some it might look different, for others you were meant to “do life,” well … “for life.” It’s tough isn’t it? Relationships … your relationship with God and your relationships with others … there is no greater thing in the universe, but my oh my, what a constant wrestling.

Burden of the Lord

Ok, I know that sounds super-spiritual, but I don’t know of any other words that best fits a conversation that Jeanne and I had on the way to the Annointing Service for Master’s Commission a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been reflecting on it ever since.

Basically the conversation, in my own words, went something like this … You can have a phenomenal leader, but if you place him/her over an area they don’t necessarily have a “burden of the Lord for” it will be hard for them to thrive (and the people they minister to) . It doesn’t mean they won’t, it will just be more difficult. For example, if you place a discipleship wired person in more of an evangelistic position … or if you place a person that best ministers to college students in a middle school position … it will be difficult.

In some regards, it’s the essence of the necessity for shape based ministy, but puts more of finger on what I see as I help work with youth leaders and pastors. It’s kind of like the ministry fails to have a heart. It also explains why sometimes I see someone who doesn’t have much in the way of a leadership gifting, but they have the heart or the burden of the Lord for an age category or area of ministry. I’ll look at them, and in my fleshy judgemental spirit, try to figure out why their group is thriving … maybe not all it could be … but undeniably thriving nonetheless. Ideally you want the heart and the leadership. I’m not sure which is more important, but I’ve found leadership I can teach, heart I cannot.

Bucket List

For our Prestige and Litmus Cadre conference calls last Thursday, we were on the line with Earl Creps. His topic was “The Bucket List: Things I wish I had known about ministry when I was young.” He was brilliant and made me start to think, “What would my bucket list include?” Some serious thoughts popped into my head, like “Statistics impact the brain, stories impact the heart. Remember to capture and retell the story.” One funny thought was, “If a kid in your ministry cuts their toe off (or any other body part), don’t forget to put it on ice.” What’s on your bucket list? … Great question, isn’t it?