Monthly Archives: May 2010

My daughter Delaney wants to try soccer this summer. We’ve done dancing, swimming, and gymnastics over the years and nothing has stuck. Honestly, my hopes aren’t very high for soccer, either. She’s much more artistic than athletic, which probably means that running up and down a field will not be her cup of tea. If it was a pottery class or a painting class, I’d be sold on the idea.

I haven’t told her all of this, though. I am much more interested in something much more profound…I want her to dream and to try and even to fail. Failure is not only an option, it’s a requirement. If you are not failing, it’s probably because you aren’t stretching yourself enough. We all stink at certain things, but most of us don’t have a long list of things that we are bad at because we haven’t tried enough things to know.

Failure has been an issue for me in church planting since the beginning. Everything we do is one step away from complete and udder disaster. It’s an awful place to live, but I’ve gotta admit…it’s a great place to grow. As we plan and figure for a Saturday night service, I feel that pressure all over again. I know what we are good at, but I don’t know if this will work at all. I have never even been a part of a Saturday night service! But do you know when I started to feel great about it? When I let go of the possibility that it might not work.

How did I let that go? Well, first I signed Delaney up for soccer and gave her a speech about how proud I am of her for trying new things. Then I gave myself that speech. Who cares if we do it and then discover it’s not our thing? What’s the difference?

The really funny thing is now that I’ve released that to God, I have a new fear. I’m afraid it will be wildly successful and we’ll have to deal with all of the issues of growth again, like no seats and parking! I guess that’s the best thing to be afraid of!

So, dream, try, fail, succeed. It’s all part of this amazing journey to grow. Maybe I’ll see you on Saturday nights…


Worship was a 10, preaching was a 10, and seeing all of my people I love is ALWAYS a 10!

Got a great email that I love:

I just wanted to write to share with you how much we enjoy your church. It has taken us a long time to find a church where we feel comfortable. A place we feel we actually fit in. We look forward to coming on Sundays, which is a new feeling for us. Our son asks us throughout the week if it is Sunday yet so he can go to church. Thank you for supplying a church that our family wants to go!

I got to brag on our youth ministry to a set of parents of a teenager. It’s easy to do, since we have a WONDERFUL group of teenagers at our church. Sometimes I wonder if people believe me when I say that. Teens get a bad rap, so the look on people’s faces when I say that ours are great is HILARIOUS!

We also have the best pastor’s kids in the universe. Our staff represents 16 kids and counting! They attend, they serve, and they are all like brothers and sisters. They are a really great bunch of kids and I love having them around!

We are weighing out the option of a Saturday night service. We would LOVE your feedback as we think about this step. We need to reach more people and that is the next obvious step with our building size. It is our hope that we will have a twofold win of emptying our some of our 10:30 am seats as well as gaining a group of people who would rather attend on Saturdays. You can email me at if you have any thoughts or you think that you would like to change services.

Once again, our building was buzzing at 8:30 am. I love that people are coming early, getting coffee, and there is energy in the house! We actually had Josh and Keegan there at about 8:00 am. They are teenagers who just wanted to show up at the crack of dawn and stay for two services. My favorite part is that neither of them look like “church addicts”, but they are!!!

I really love our people. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for the people that God has blessed North Creek with!

I love what we get to do for a living. I love the people we work with, I love the staff that leads alongside of us, and I love the stories of changed lives. I love going to church and I love serving Jesus. I love watching people change and grow. I love watching myself change and grow.

I love what ministry has done for my kids. They have been serving in the church since they could walk. They will never know a life without a direct connection between their service and changed hearts. And I’m not convinced that ministry and family time are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I think they are intertwined. It’s not a burden to be at the church…unless no one is being changed. I love that they ask me all of the time if they can go to church and be with their friends.

I even love it when it’s hard. That’s when I grow the most and I love to grow. Ministry being hard and ministry being a burden are not connected. Marriage is hard sometimes too, but I would never complain about how awful it is to be married. Ministry being hard sometimes is part of the blessing of working with messy people who need a saving God.

Ministry is not a sacrifice for me. On the contrary, it would be a sacrifice to take this opportunity out of my life. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t worship ministry, but I’ve only got about 400 words per blog, so you’ll have to read more about the One I worship later.)

I love this life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

This is from Mark Batterson’s blog regarding what Chuck Swindoll said at Innovate Church Conference. Good stuff from a wise preacher!

Chuck’s been preaching for fifty years. He emanates wisdom. Here are a few notes from his session.

The word servant means under-rower. Think of the lower galley of a ship. I love that mental image. That’s all we are. We aren’t even rowers. We’re under-rowers! We just need to keep rowing. And if we just keep rowing, we’ll get where God wants us to go.

Here’s a simple philosophy of ministry: know who you are, accept who you are, be who you are. Don’t try to be who you’re not. After all, if you is who you ain’t, you ain’t who you is.

“When a man of God dies nothing of God dies.”

“Don’t preach longhorn sermons. A point here. A point there. And lots of bull in between.”

Don’t feel sorry for yourself for the sacrifices you are making. Sacrifices are privileges. You don’t have to. You get to. And if you forget that, a sense of entitlement will rob you of the title to your calling.

Guard your imagination against thinking you anything other than an under-rower.

Restrain all rationalization.

Leave no room in your ministry for deception. Come clean. Deal with it. Face it.

Everyday ask yourself: what is my motive?

This is an article that I like from Darren Hardy. Thanks to Ron for sharing it with me!

Innovate or die? I know that sounds dramatic. And while you might not physically die, your greater hopes and dreams and your chances to accomplish your big goals will. Innovation has always separated leaders from followers, those who succeed and those who just get by. Innovation is what creates progress, and progress is what advances companies and people beyond the competitive herd of the masses, average and the status quo.

There was a time when innovation seemed to come from the minds of a select few and “special” people, like Franklin, Einstein, Edison, Gutenberg, the Wright brothers. Today, with the speed of progress and the competitive global marketplace, just to keep up, every single person in every position needs to be an innovator, or risk being permanently sidelined.

So what is innovation? Innovation is not a task, project or something you only do at an off-site meeting. Innovation is a constant mindset and perspective. It’s a way of looking at the world. Instead of seeing what is, it is looking for what could be. Being an innovator is seeking the greater potential in every person, in every situation, process, experience and outcome. The fundamental desire of an innovator is to help, serve and solve.

Where do you start? Innovation doesn’t come from a study of mechanics, systems, processes, technologies or strategies, as many might assume. Innovation comes from a study of people, how they live, what they want and what they need. Innovation is about constantly finding more ways to add value to the lives of other people.

Additionally, I will tell you innovation is not coming up with ideas; ideas are creative, which is good, but to be an innovator, you have to be one who implements ideas. As Theodore Levitt said, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” An innovator goes beyond creativity by transforming ideas into actual progress, into marketable products or services that have so much value that people will trade their hard-earned dollars to obtain them.

Lots of great thoughts in a few short words! Let’s leverage our own innovation to see people love Jesus!