Archive for July, 2008


Disciplines … I am so random that I hate ’em, but I need them … so here is my commitment

Goal: 3 miles walking/jogging and 3 Bible chapters every day
Acceptable (ie I won’t beat myself up if I do at least this): 1 mile walking and 1 chapter 5 out of 7 days.

I’m 3 out of 4 days hitting my goal and having a great time.



Went to 722 tonight and it was AMAZING. There were three surprises.

1. Phil Wickham showed up to lead worship. Mike introduced me to his music a couple of months ago and I’ve loved the guy ever since. Sitting fifth row center stage made it that much more sweeter. Charlie Hall is up next month. I love Atlanta.

2. For the service, Jarrett Stevens interviewed Margaret Feinberg. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never heard of her … I know, I know … where have I been? Looks like she was at Northland last week. She was off the hook. She’s written The Organic God and Sacred Echo, among others. I think after I get done with Crazy Love and reread In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, I’ll pick one of them up. Next month Dan Kimball is up, author of “They like Jesus but Not the Church”.

3. At the end, Jarrett announced that 722 was ending. The reasoning being that they didn’t feel like 722 was uniquely providing something that no one else was providing. While they love the service, it felt like it it was just becoming another option. It sounded like September might be the last month, but I’m not sure about that. They are praying and seeking God for what’s next.

Staff Retreat Continued

We’re still on the MC/YLC/Oxygen staff retreat…

What I’ve loved most is the mentoring/coaching Jeanne has done throughout the last couple of days. Here are just a few of the great quotes I’ve heard.

  • In the absence of a great dream, pettiness prevails
  • When you are busy rowing the boat, you don’t have time to rock it.
  • The heaviest burden to carry is none at all.
  • The President of the United States has no more hours in his day than we do…same with Jesus.
  • The more busy and demanding the season, the more important it is to have rituals. Without the rituals, negative emotional energy gets darker and deeper. Negative energy begets negative energy.
  • I have learned on the journey of life that I am far better at times to be a little lonely rather than filling the lonely spaces with the wrong relationships.
  • Getting the negative residue (I like that word) off of your life after you end wrong relationships can take awhile.
  • Be careful of living your life at a frantic, hectic pace. Speedboats go fast but are shallow on the lake. The minute depth comes, speed goes down.
  • Lives lived frantically are easily forgotten.

We have also read and discussed a couple chapters out of the book “The 4:8 Principle” by Tommy Newberry. While it doesn’t seem super profound, the way it pegs human behavior and reminds you to do what you know to do is brilliant.

Mountain Top Experience

Pictures will follow, but right now I am sitting high up outside on the deck of what has to be a million dollar house/cabin overlooking the Smoky Mountains (I think that’s the mountain range). It is absolutely gorgeous. We are having what I call marathon sitting sessions planning Master Commission Atlanta’s 2008-2009 year. They are long, but every second is well worth it. So far, the ten MC and YLC staff have…

1. Reflected on what went right/well last year.
2. Talked about what we could improve upon.
3. Updated the handbook.
4. Talked about roles, responsibilities and expectations since we’ve had some staff changes.
5. Reviewed and discussed the budget.
6. Figured out all the “big rocks” when it comes to events and put them on the annual calendar.
7. Figured out 2nd and 3rd year portfolios (various assignments and roles).
8. Dreamed about and cast vision for the upcoming National Youth Leader’s Conference March 30 – April 1, 2009.
9. Put AC families together.
10. Figured out RA’s for the apartments.
11. Determined the weekly schedule and teaching blocks.
12. Ate four dinners that were to die for. Each team is trying to out do each other and those eating get to reap the rewards.

Last night Jordan lead devo’s and Nick worship. Both did an amazing job. Two of the questions Jordan asked were “How is love best shown to you (kind of like, what is your love language)?” and “What imprint or signature do you want to leave on the hearts of our students?” Words can’t express how “real” we got with each other.

I’m pretty excited about the upcoming year, there is a new level of unity in the team and a strong desire by all to be more than friends, but family.

I’m going to go hang out with Jesus, later my friends. I love you.

Francis Chan

Sweetness…just checked out Francis Chan’s video blog and found out he has a new book out called Crazy Love. I sooo love Amazon’s One Click.

Great Blog Posts

Being the Director of Operations for Youth Leader’s Coach, Executive Director for Cadre, Director of Middle School, Financial Analyst for the Tab, the voice for the Technical Arts and having a few other random responsibilties that would make your head spin (at least it does mine), I like to randomly send the variety of staff I come alongside some of the great blog posts I come across. Normally, I try to give them one or two a month, but came across two amazing ones this week.

Here’s the one from Ed Young (this was especially pertinent since we cut housekeeping 37 hours per week last week)

Here’s the one from Tim Stevens (I’ve heard “it’s not my fault” blame shifting all too often over the last few years. I hate in particular when I hear it come out of my own mouth.)

A Day With Students

This summer has afforded me a little more hang time with students since the “home team” has the ball and MC is on the bench so to speak (actually, just away doing ministry on their home fields across the nation).

Today I spent part of the afternoon with Nephtaly and Martha, incredible students going from 8th into 9th grade. On our way to lunch, Martha talked about how Andrew had taught that cliques hurt our 02 group awhile back. She shared how his teaching came to life when she was on a retreat last weekend with another church and spent the first part of it as an outsider looking in. It’s cool to see a teaching take hold, isn’t it?

After picking up Nephtaly, we did lunch at Panda Express and talked openly about anything and everything, including race (Nephtaly is Haitian, Martha Mexican and the very white Hungarian/German me), old youth pastors, the difficulties of going from the ghetto to very middle/upper class neighborhoods, etc. Nephtaly has some dreams for the youth ministry I hope to help unleash.

When I got back to the office, Eric and Chris came in and were hanging around in my office. While I know it can be time consuming, I love what it says when a student, especially two guys, feel comfortable enough to come plop down in your office to talk. While some would be irritiated by it, I am grateful. After sharing stories, Eric had a great idea for an event and got the ball rolling to get the info and take it to the team.

What I loved most today were the eyes to see that God gave me. I’ve been on the sidelines in youth ministry a little bit over the last year just trying to figure out what the heck I was doing in a new city and a new position. It’s good to be back in the trenches. Listening to the students’ dreams and strategizing a little on how to achieve even the little ones is refreshing. It’s amazing what students can accomplish if someone will give them a little time and help them get their feet pointed in the right direction.