Monthly Archives: October 2012

Last week our team headed off to a Pastoral Leadership Conference in Kirkland, WA.  What a sight!  There were 19 adults and two newborns in our band of misfits and we had a great time!  I often say that leading our team is like chasing cats, so imagine an entire day surrounded by inspiring people talking about being better leaders…it was like a bunch of diabetics in a candy shop.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Unhealthy cultures are slow to adapt to change…We must be healthy because our church name is secretly North Creek Changes A LOT Church.
  • Hire and recruit your values…our church will mold to the DNA of our team.  Whatever we want in our church, we should hire in our team.  Good lense as we hire people in the future.  P.S. Administrative people…we need you.  We are too creative for our own good and could use people who like to control cats.  Yeah, I know…
  • Drop the term loyalty from your vocabulary.  TOTALLY agree.  We never use it.  If we have to ask you to be loyal, we don’t deserve your loyalty.  If you think we can push you to the next level in your relationship and faith, you’ll be glad to stick around.  If you don’t think that, why would we even want you to stay?
  • Create and maintain a sustainable pace.  This sums up why we don’t have very many traditions.  This year we are doing a big musical Christmas Concert because Matt got a vision for it.  Next year we may or may not do it.  Why?  Because we don’t have to.  It’s not about doing things because we ALWAYS do them.  It’s about doing things because God has asked us to.
  • You’re a sharp guy, so fix it.  That was a little tidbit from Craig Groeschel.  Bottom line: stop whining about your problems and solve them.  Troy Jones always told us a similar thing:  If you don’t solve your problems, you deserve your problems.  Haunted me my whole life…  It’s a good tip though.  Fix it.

I think overall I was reaffirmed in the fact that we have to stick to the plan that God gave us and continue to fight for our culture.  We’re not perfect leaders, we don’t have a perfect church, and we don’t have a perfect team, but we do know what God has told us to do.  There is no time to get discouraged, weary, or overwhelmed.  All we have time for is to continually point people to Jesus.

Thank you to our team for taking a day out of your life to devote to being better leaders!  We love you very much and are glad that you are partners with us on this journey.  Keep on keepin’ on!  We’re fighting for the greatest cause on the planet…



What an incredible weekend!  It’s that feeling where you put your neck out on the line and it actually works.  Well, not only works, but blows every goal and every expectation out of the water…good feeling!

A couple of months ago we begged the Blood Drive organization to give us two drives in our two locations because our people WILL show up.  And show up they did.  Their first goal for us was 25 people at each site who would register.  They upped our goal to 30 as the signups began to rise.  I am proud to say that 39 people AT EACH SITE registered to give yesterday.  Not only that, but we easily could have done about another 10 at each campus if they could have possibly fit more in.

Seventy-eight people crammed into the blood donation center and out of that came 49 pints of life-giving blood…Nearly 150 lives will be saved in the next two days because of your willingness to donate.  And many of you who couldn’t get in are planning to go to the office and donate this week.  AMAZING! 

Thank you!  Thank you for rearranging, waiting, giving, not giving because they turned you away, laughing as you laid there literally bleeding for people, and SHOCKING us all with your support.

Not only did the blood drive go far beyond our wildest dreams, but the food drive was strong and steady all morning as well!  Kids marched in to the building with heavy bags of canned goods with sweet little smiles on their faces!  Both campuses filled their crates to overflowing and people keep asking if it’s too late to give!  Go ahead and bring it next week, too!  We’ll never hold you back!!!

AND…then we had our first ever church potluck on top of all of the chaos.  There were enough pastries in our churches to build a tower to Heaven out of muffins!  People were eating, drinking coffee and having a great time all morning.

Church, from the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate you!  We are so aware that great things happen when a lot of people get together and go one direction at the same time.  On Sunday, you did that.  We have no doubt that the ramifications of this one day, and many others to come just like it, will say to the world, “Jesus reaches out to the hurting…sometimes with our hands, our blood, and our effort.  He cares and He changes your circumstances and your lives.”

We’re not done yet.  Be Present isn’t going away and it wasn’t a one-time wonder.  Stay tuned for our next life-changing mission, and in the meantime, come up with a few of your own.  Be Secretly Incredible!

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We had the privilege of attending a Sunday morning church service while we were in the Dominican Republic last summer.  It is always fascinating to me to be in other cultures and experience how they “do” church.  For all practical purposes the DR was quite similar to any traditional church in the US.  They had long wooden pews with burgundy cushions, fans buzzing overheard, a stage full of instruments, and a podium with a small cross on the front.  People sat here and there throughout the congregation and scooted in to accomodate the ever-growing crowd.

When the music started, I was surprised to be able to recognize many of the songs, despite the language barrier that was being flashed across the screen.  The worship leader was clearly passionate and the band was strong.  The music was quite loud, which I prefer due to my not-so-perfect voice quality, so I felt as comfortable as I could in my new setting.

But what took me aback was the audience.  Although the music was loud, it was as if there was an unspoken competition going on in my midst.  It was a competition to see whose voice could get to Heaven the quickest.  When the singing began it was if the people unleashed all of their love, all of their hurts, and all of their passions into the songs.  Although the worship team had the microphones, the congregation’s enthusiasm swallowed the stage almost immediately.

You couldn’t help but feel the desperation in the room.  Not a desperation to get their prayers answered or a desperation to get to lunch, but a desperation to let the King of Kings and Lord of Lords know that He is indeed worthy of worship.  It challenged me because it is so easy to sing strong with a particular song you like or if you had a trying week, but there was no reprieve in the Dominican voices.  From the first note of song to the last prayer, they turned off the world’s chatter and focused on a Holy God.

Tonight in Battle Ground and Wednesday night in Hazel Dell, we’ll be having our Simply Worship event from 7:00-8:00 pm.  I have two challenges for you:  1.  Attend one of those events.  2.  Worship with a desperation that your voice would be heard by God.  We were created to generously worship our awesome God and so give yourself permission to do so!

Be blessed!

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It was a beautiful fall weekend! A little rain, a little sun, a little crispness to the air. Stunning!

Here’s a quick reminder about Simply Worship! If you have never been before, we encourage you to give it a try this week. It’s a great way to be with Jesus and meet some new friends.

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Church was rolling along well this weekend! Lots of people, lots of coffee, lots of talking about how we can Be Present in our families, neighborhoods, and nations.

My kids have recently started getting allowances, so therefore we have helped them navigate tithing (giving 10% of their “income”). They have taken great joy in filling out the giving envelopes and deciding how much they would like to give. On the way home my 8 yr old said, “So, where does my tithe money go to anyway?” I answered, “Well, lots of things that keep the church functioning in our community. And some of that money goes to daddy’s paycheck. When people give it means that we have a home to go to and food to eat.” Delaney thought for a moment and said, “So, I guess that means that I bought your lunch today!” Kids are far too smart…

Speaking of smart kids, Clara (also 8) helps her mom teach in Tiny Town once a month. She saw a need to keep the toddlers focused before class and set up play stations. Brilliance out of a child! It worked like a charm and all kids were blessed in the process.

UNBELIEVABLE turnout for our Blood Drive. We currently have 37 at each campus, which adds up to 24 people OVER our goal! It’s nuts! How can you still help? Be ready to walk on as a replacement for anybody who is sick or can’t make it. Watch our Facebook after church in case we have an open spot and you can jump on over to the church. We want to maximize the time we were given with every available body! Super proud of this church!

Next weekend we are actually doing a potluck. We may be the only church on the planet to never have had a potluck, so here goes! Bring something breakfast oriented to church with you and we’ll have breakfast together during the service. We really want to bless those people giving blood with a hearty meal, but we can all be blessed in the process! Plan on coming 10 minutes early to church as well. We have a lot of things going on, but the chaos will change our community!

Remember that we are having a Food Drive in conjunction with the blood drive. This is a great way to get our kids involved in giving, since they can’t give blood, yet. Go shopping with your kids and talk about what it would be like to not have enough money for food. Let’s make our kids aware of how blessed we are and how awesome it is to share those blessings.

More info to come this week as we set out to Get Dirty and Give Ridiculously! Awesome things in store for our church as we continue to pursue the mission of God. So glad that you are a part of it!

stress 2Pastoral ministry is such an amazing blessing to get to do with your life! It’s rewarding, it’s fulfilling, and it’s exhilarating to live a life of faith. That being said, the stresses are enormous. 90% of pastors do not retire from the ministry; they simply leave due to moral failures, burnout, medical issues, and emotional pain. As pastors, we know stress on a level that most people try everything to avoid! So, what is our plan to stay strong for the long haul? Let me share some of our tips with you and encourage you to use them to manage your own stressful seasons: Read More