Monthly Archives: January 2010

The church was FULL today. Fine. We’ll start another campus or a service or something! That is an awesome problem to have and I’ll take it. We are dreaming and scheming about how to accomodate our anticipated growth this year, so the solution is already in the works. In the meantime, just don’t stand in the way of the coffee…no matter how crowded it may be.

Our worship team ROCKED it today! The presence of God was in the house and they went with it! New drummer today…awesome job, Scott! Glad that you are on the team.

Found out one of our congregants goes in for surgery tomorrow for cancer. Please commit with me in prayer for complete healing. His cancer is not a highlight for me today, but his healing will definitely make the list.

Pete got some pretty high compliments said to us about Starting Point. He’s a GREAT leader and we are proud to have him in our midst. Change the world, Pete. We’re behind you 100%. And at least you’re big enough not to drop all of the people that you’ll be baptizing in your future!

I got several people signed up to Volunteer in various forms on Sunday mornings. I’m exstatic about that. It takes an enormous leadership force to lead the way that we lead. We only have our workers work one Sunday a month, which means that we need 8 people per position to cover all of our shifts. We are close to having that. Of course, just about the time that we have plenty of leaders, we’ll get another campus or a third service!

We got the opportunity to show love to someone today that made a mistake. Sometimes love is the worst form of punishment. What do I mean by that? It’s humbling when people love you even when you disappoint them.

One of the teenagers volunteered to do grounds maintenance. I could kiss that boy’s feet.

We had North Creek Orientation tonight. Mark has officially destroyed his voice. That’s what you get when you talk all day long…

Mike Krause is a great servant. He’ll give me a run for my money on trying to be the best servant in our church. Not sure what the prize will be? A crown to throw at the feet of Jesus? How about a mop and bucket?

My daughter Kennedy got to go to a birthday party today and Delaney got to go to Kyra’s house after church…they think Sundays are one big party. I hope they always think that about church days.

Adam helped me in the Little Adventurer’s today. He’s in Elementary School and he chased a one year old around for an hour. I had flash backs to when he was running around as a one year old…paybacks are awesome!

What a day! I’m fried, but glad to do what I get to do. Off to bed…

I’m preaching on Valentines Day this year. I have a love/hate relationship with preaching. On one hand, I love communicating. I love words and the power that they hold. I love crafting them in a way that carries the most impact and will be the most memorable. I even love being on stage with a microphone. All of that is easy, believe it or not.

The hard part of sermon writing is asking this question, “God, what do YOU want me to say? What is on your heart for my audience (and MY life) and how can I represent YOU appropriately?” It’s a weight that I wish upon all of you because it forces the sermon writer to examine what God is stirring in our hearts and souls. If forces us to dive into His scriptures, research, study, and dissect His Word. It forces us to look into the parts of ourselves that need refining…ouch.

Another reason that I think all of you should write a sermon is because sometimes we lack clarity on how we really feel about an issue. For instance, how do you feel about forgiveness? I hear all of the time these words, “I can NEVER forgive that person.” But what if you were to preach on Matthew 11:25-26 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins. How can you reconcile unforgiveness when you are preaching about the fact that God can’t forgive you when you harbor unforgiveness in your heart? It’s riveting and humbling all at the same time!

I’m not going to tell you what I’m preaching about on Valentine’s Day,yet, but it’s not about sex or marriage and my text is not out of the Song of Solomon…that would be too obvious! It is about what God is stirring in my heart and the more I write, the more excited I get…not about preaching to you, but rather about the God that we serve. He’s big and I am grateful for the excuse of sermon writing to remind me of that all over again. See you on February 14.

I was talking with my coworker at the Homeless Shelter about some of the things that I have learned during our process of starting a church. It was an interesting look back over the most valuable time in my life so far. When I got home I continued the conversation with Mark, so I thought I would take some time in the next week and share some of my favorite lessons learned.

By far, the most important thing that I have learned is humility. In the backwards world of God, sometimes the more “important” you become, the less “important” you feel. Becoming lead pastor’s and having people follow us seems like we’ve now achieved something grandious. It seems that we should be prideful, but in the midst of the last three years, I have been nothing but humbled and honored that people would give so much of who they are to Mark and I’s leadership.

I watched as people’s feet literally bled to deliver thousands of door to door advertisements to get us launched. I watched dozens of people clean, paint, and build at our new building…in the freezing cold with no heat, no food, and no hot water because the budget was too tight. I watch people lead small groups, serve on Sundays, believe in children and teenagers and give their hard earned money…mostly because they serve God, but partly because they believe in what North Creek represents. Talk about humility. All of these people could be at some other church doing the same thing, but they chose us…

Humility is an interesting gift. It makes us want to serve more, give more, believe more and dream more. It makes us want to give back because we are in awe of how much someone has given to us. Humility keeps us moving. It keeps us passionate and grateful. It makes us want to succeed, not because we will get the credit, but because the people around us deserve to see success.

My goal as a leader is not to be the most important, but rather to be the best servant. That is a high goal to keep in mind because we have some of the most amazing servants in the Kingdom of God in our church. I’m honored and blessed to be in your midst.

Our youth pastor just sent out this list of things that are going on in our student’s lives…talk about real ministry! Next time you see Kris or her youth staff, tell them how much you appreciate them. This list is a reflection of lives lived on the front lines. Thought you would appreciate the Stories of Changed Lives:

North Creek,
Incredible things are happening with the teenagers of this church! I thought it was too selfish of the youth staff to keep it to ourselves so here are the highlights! Thanks for supporting this ministry, good things are happening every week! Here’s what some students of The Difference have done in the last few months:

…written sermons about what God’s doing in her life
…given God their dating relationship
…told a coach he needs to be at youth group even if it means he won’t be a starter
…started reading her Bible
…didn’t commit suicide after planning to
…changed how she speaks on facebook
…discovered what her spiritual gifts might be
…felt called to missions
…just told her mom about being abused after years of being afraid to
…experienced how amazing it is to give money to missions
…fought pornography
…organized a fundraiser to help needy children
…gave up homosexuality
…put on a baby shower for a young homeless mom (she was so touched she came to youth church the next week!)
…had the courage to join worship team and sing in front of her peers
…chose to believe what God says about him

What a fun job I have! God is good, and this generation is amazing. Take a minute this Sunday to tell them so…you never know what that might lead to on next month’s list! Thanks for believing in them!
Pastor Kris

“The best way to avoid criticism is to not do anything significant.”

There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you do. That goes double for those of us in ministry. It’s part of life and it’s the highest hurdle for leaders to jump. We all have the best of intentions, and at the same time, we all feel the need to give our 2 cents worth of criticism wherever we go. For some reason it’s just in us to look around and decide what would be better if it was done “my way”.

The service is too short, the service is too long, the kids ministry is too rowdy, the kids ministry is too boring, the pastor isn’t funny enough, “I’m not being fed”, the lady at the door wasn’t friendly enough, the parking lot is too full and the coffee is too weak, we should have more worship songs, we should have less worship songs, we should have an altar call, and where in the world does the prayer ministry fit in?, we should have softer chairs, we should have softer music, except for last week when the music was too soft…and don’t even get me started on those teenagers…

Although this input can all be valuable and even correct, for leaders who have bled for their ministries, it can also be deflating. The key is to get some thick skin and remember WHO you are aiming to please. This is easier said than done because we are made of this stuff called flesh that is easily injured.

Ministers also think big picture, which is most of the dilemma in handling criticism. We might know that there are problems, but we might also see that one of our team members is growing in a certain area. We see the value in the growth, more than the immediate issue. We might see failure, not as the problem that someone else sees, but rather the means to an end of how God is molding and shaping someone’s life. Or we might be thinking of EVERYBODY’S need, wants, desires, struggles, and dreams, rather than just one person at a time. We might be making the best decision for the whole at the sake of the individual.

So, to all of you pastors and key leaders out there, don’t stop. Listen briefly, change what is necessary, and keep focused on what God has asked you to do. Do you best, get thick skin, and change the world…not in your perfection, but in your determination.