Archive for the 'Culture' Category


My Holy Hangover

First off: Mad props to Shawn for the term Holy Hangover.
So what is a Holy Hangover? It’s what we in the ministry affectionately call that feeling we get on Monday Morning. Especially after a day like yesterday:

  • 1:30 – going to bed b/c we are at the beach and get to sleep in tomorrow morning!
  • 7:30 – Up and packing
  • 8:30 – Breakfast
  • 9 – Lead worship for last weekend retreat session
  • 10:30 – Say goodbye and pack up
  • 11:30 – Grab a bite to eat
  • 12 – On the road!…with 2 kids..ugh….
  • 4:10 – Backing trailer into the driveway…Orange Beach -> Baton Rouge in 4 hrs! BOOYAH!
  • 4:15 – Pulling out of the driveway in Rae’s car
  • 4:38 – Youth group! (8 mins late)
  • 6:20 – Wrapping up Youth (20 mins late but was so worth it! Amazing youth tonight!)
  • 6:30 – Changed and off to downtown
  • 7 – Arrived at Whitney’s Celebration Service for 10 Years at First Pres.
  • 8:10 – Hugging and goodbyes
  • 9 – Eating lunch…dinner…um…whatever
  • 9:30 – Check emails put on Psych! It was a Bollywood theme!
  • 11 – Heading to bed. Probably one of the earliest in months…years?

And voila: Monday Morning’s Holy Hangover.

How are you feeling this morning?


The Nines Last Update

Jud Wilhite brought it and I’m out to get home and back for practice tonight! Here’s the last bit I have:

Larry Osborne/North Coast Church = Future of the church

Good stuff! Get this!

Matt/Austin Stone =

Is there something wrong or missing from the American church culture that’s keeping us from actually seeing victory over sin

Christians struggle with sin: Romans 7

James 5:16

Scott Williams/Lifechurch/Big is the new Small = Church diversity sucks but it doesn’t have to

Jim/Flat Irons Community Church =

You have to allow people to belong before they can believe

Not my job to save, fix, or change people. I’m not your Holy Spirit

Neal Cole/Organic Church =

Phil 2: Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit….

God is looking for servants who will lead. Make a name for others

Stunning story of his father-in-law

Reggie Joiner/Orange = Neamiah

Rebuilding the wall for a generation he knew would need a faith in God

1/2 way through the attack with the threat of attack he leaned into the people and reminded them of what was at stake! Leaned into the families – fight for your family, songs, daughters!

60-80% of teenagers are dropping out of faith/church

1. Those on the outside would change their opinion of who God is

2. Those on the inside would begin to change their opinion of who God is and pay attention like never before

3. Celebration of God’s work from those seeing who God is

Bill Easum/ = Legacy

Legacy is who you leave behind not what

2 metaphors likes: Spiritual Midwife and Scout

What do I need to stop doing!

Develop your “to be” list – a list of ppl who could be leaders in the future!

JD Greer/Summit Church =

Center of our ministry out to be the proclamation of Jesus

Act 1 – primary task is to be a witness to me

Gospel is not even an exclusive religious word

Do NOT confuse the effects of the gospel with the actual gospel!

Love is the most powerful apologetic for the Gospel

Geoff Surrat/Seacost Church – Keep your faith strong

How do you go from being on staff to being a disconnected follower of Christ?

1. Take care of your family – Ministry free zones

2. Go to church – don’t work in church without stopping to worship in church. With your family, sitting down worshipping together

3. Be in a small group – not your title but yourself

4. Prioritize your personal worship –

5. Growing your faith – not preparation for your message/retreat/etc.

6. Give generously – generous giving defeats selfishness

7. Serve on a mission – something that helps another mission.

8. Volunteer – Outside of your ministry

9. Forgive – when we work with other people we’re going to get hurt and need to forgive. Every church has an imperfect staff

10. Believe the best – about your other staff personnel

Lady from Crosspoint Church =

Rich Nathan/Vineyard Church =

Marketing loves to play the either/or card but we find in the Bible the both/and principle.

Never has there been divorce like there is with evangelism and social justice

We had to address poverty and abortion in our community so joined with 300 women at risk for abortion

Sam from India =

Dan Kimball/Santa Cruz Vintage Church =

In the church tradition should never get in the way of mission or it is a sin.

Chip/Pinelake Church Mississippi = Take care of yourself

You’re the only one who can take care of you

Your well being is your responsibility

Jud Wilhite/Central Christian Church =

Managing the small details in life! Most ppl think an iceberg that sank the Titanic when in fact it was faulty rivets! Substandard details. The parallel for us on the surface things are well but underneath we must manage the details.

The Assassin Character Creep.

1. Plan for the assassin – be ready. Travel, money, counseling with the opposite sex.

Hands off the money, pants up, and stay out of the hot tub! Sometimes there is success by default – the last person standing.

A long obedience in the same direction

2. Operate by the media mode of operation – never do anything today that you’d be uncomfortable seeing on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow!


The Nines Update – 3rd 90 minutes

First off: MICROSOFT WORD I BITE MY THUMB AT THEE! Evernote and Pages are my new BFFs.
As you can tell, I had lunch and some breaks b/c my mind is numbing. That doesn’t mean some wicked awesome truth wasn’t dropped!


Greg Surat/Seacoast Church

Innovation grows out of desperation

Big ideas grow out of big failures

1. You hit the wall. Something is not working

2. You get discouraged. You see it as failure

3. Trust God. Never been a day when God said “I didn’t see that one coming.”

4. You start by asking the barrier breaking question. If nothing were impossible what could we accomplish here?

5. You collect innovative ideas. Pray- Brainstorm- then filter. Use matrix: easy/hard and big win/small win

6. You do it until it quits working. Make good repeatable.

Rick Rusaw –

Change in the landscape of the church in America

Shift in the question – from how can we be the best church in the community to FOR the community.

That guy

Allowing your public persona to match your personal life

Bil/Bay Area Fellowship/ GO BIG – Mentoring

Exodus 33

1. Read books from people who have done what you want to do – diff in learning from someone who has experience not opinion!

2. Go to the right conferences – the popular one may not be the best one

3. Coaching

4. Take leaders to lunch. Go where they are. Do what they tell you to do before you go see them again.

5. Pray for your mentors. Look for ways to bless them


Pete Wilson/Crosspoint =

Crisis of transformation – ppl are going to church but they aren’t becoming more Christlike

Looking at comparative studies b/w Christians and non-Christians there aren’t many differences in their areas of live

We’ve based it on attendance and knowledge instead of loving other people and…


Vision – help ppl understand what God has for them but we are pulled in 2 diff directions (use rubberband illustration)

Intention – help them learn to own their own spiritual life

Method – rhythm to Jesus’ life. Patterns of prayer, pulling away from ways of the world and community. John 15: Abide in me.


The Nines Update – 2nd 90 minutes

Noel just KILLED with a message on church leadership. Here’s what the 2nd 90 mins have brought:

Steve Robinson/Church of the King =

Worry is temporary atheism.

Stacy Spencer/New Directions Christian = Service

Not giving up on people when they fall.
Jeremiah 38:10
You ought not look down on somebody unless you’re looking down to help them up
1. Make pitstops. Help out leaders/friends who have fallen
2. Do for folks that you’d have them do for you
3.  Use your resources to help people stuck in unfavorable circumstances

Scott Wilson/Oaks Fellowship = Growing
You can either grow or you gotta go!

We must be moving from:
1. Workers
2. Equippers
3. Leaders

3 year model for leadership:

Yr. 1 – Model it! For our church the leadership. Grow your leadership capacity! 35 books this year you don’t grow you gotta go

Yr. 2 – Mentor it! Read 20 books and mentor your key volunteers with 12 books!
Yr. 3 – Multiply it! Help those begin mentoring

Amy Hanson/ = The growing baby boomers involvement
Dino Rizzo/HPC =

Phil. 3:10

1. Know Christ
2. Know the people you serve

3. Know your partnerships in your community
4. Know the poor

Small acts of kindness go along way!

Keld/Denmark =

3 Principles from history of Finland


Know your content


Jorge Acevedo/Recovery Conference 2010 =

Nancy Beach/Willow Creek =

Often gets conversations about leaders growing closer to their senior leader they see less of Jesus.

As ppl get closer to me do they discover more of Christ?

Proverbs 4:23

Isolation leads to denial.

1. Spiritual practices – what practices do I need to intentionally engage

2. Safe relationships – confession and counseling are good things!

3. Stretching experiences – expose yourself to an experience that will stretch you

“Above all else!” Guard your heart!

Steven Furtik/Elevation Church – Hard times

Dreams vs. Reality – a message about an audacious life

1 Kings 17

Isn’t such a thing as part time ministry – it’s all full time ministry

Specifically vs. 7. God’s sent Elijah and cares for him via a brook and the birds but then the brook dries up!

WHY? Punishment? No.

Elijah prophesied about the drought b/c of Ahab and there’s a drought! He’s living in what he prophesied about! Exactly what God said would happen.

After the brook dried up God sent him on. To Zeraphat the on to Mt. Carmel

When God allows a brook to dry up it’s b/c there’s another dimension of his glory, honor, and power he’s preparing you for

Noel/Riverview Church– Elders

Well informed and well intentioned churches are taking away the health of the church

That tiny hole is a team of qualified elders leading the church together

Pastors are one of the things elders do but not the whole thing

Only place there was a single leader was with Israel’s kings that was because of their hardness of heart where they have rejected the Lord.

YEARS searching for a Sr. Pastor and then spend WEEKS picking elders to lead that man.

Craig Groeschel/Lifechurch = Innovative church design

1. Had to create deeper climate and culture of innovation. Value driven and allow culture evolve! Be spiritual innovators!

2. Weakness in utilizing giftedness of volunteers

Delegating tasks creates followers. Delegating authority and create leaders! Don’t recruit volunteers but release and empower leaders

3. Doing ministry out of the overflow of Holy Spirit – comes down to Spiritual Disciplines!

Again mentioning journaling!

Len/ =

Greatest sculpture Michaelangelo’s David released Sept. 8, 1504

1. David before war

2. Big head b/c ppl’s perspective was below this 17′ statue!

So how do you deal with a big head in ministry?

Psalm 51:10

Jesus always comes in surround sound. If you’re not getting surround sound then you’re not getting Jesus. Confidence AND humility!

Coupling OMG with But God

I can do ALL THINGS but through the power of God


The Nines Update – 1st 90 minutes

So far we’ve heard some intense leaders and incredible words! Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Troy Grambling/Flamingo Rd Church = pride

1. Forgetting the gift is bigger than the person

2. When you grow impatient with people

3. When we are unwilling to hear the truth

4. Symbols of Power became important

Mark/Granger Community = Why people join or leave your ministry

1. YOU

2. Your mission or your vision

3. Your teammates

Brian/Concord Church = Church leadership

Dave Ferguson/Community Christian Church = Apprenticeship

5 Steps for Apprenticeship:

1. I do you watch

2. I do you help

3. You do I help

4. You do I watch

5. You do & someone else watches

Do not underestimate that something simple but profound can revolutionize your ministry.

2 Tim. 2:2

Something small that allows something big to happen

Anne Jackson/Flowerdust = Christ’s community

Apart from me you can do nothing.

Is working at a church interfering with your community with Christ?

Scott Hodge = God’s priority

Pray that I hear God’s voice every day and pray that I have the courage to obey.

1. Rescheduling your day to provide time to hear him

2. Begin in the small things

Am I hearing from God? Am I giving? My best parts of the day to God?

Am I willing to obey God whatever it takes or more about what ppl think of me?

Perry Noble = Movement

A movement of God cannot be planned but must be prepared for

Leadership is as easy as listening to God

Acts 1:6-8

Listen to the voice of God: it’s Your church what would you have me do?

Skye/Leadership Journal = Identity

Things keeping us from hearing God

Maybe outcomes are not accurate portrayal of my legitimacy in ministry.

Jesus said his bread that sustained his life was to do the will of the Father.  Jesus identity was rooted that he was the beloved of the Father.

The outcomes of ministry do not belong to us! They belong to the Father. We are are to dwell with him.

1. Legitimacy does not come from the outcome of your ministry

2. Stop judging (for me and others) legitimacy on outcomes!

3.  ID in Jesus we’ll find the power and strength to defy a culture around us.


Making the Most of The Nines

How can I make the most of nine when I don’t know what you’re talking about?

Well, The Nines is a rather unconventional unconference that has kind of blossomed out of “nowhere” but that doesn’t mean that didn’t get some of the most well respected in church leadership involved! Starting at 9am Central Daylight Time on 09/09/09 they’ll roll out 9 minute videos from these dynamic leaders for roughly 9 hours with about…yeah you guessed it 9,000 in attendance across via laptops, desktops, computers, offices, living rooms, sanctuaries, you name it!

Here’s a highlight of the schedule tomorrow:

9AM — Troy Gramling, Mark Beeson, Anne Jackson, Dave Ferguson, Scott Hodge
10AM — Perry Noble, Stacy Spencer
11AM — Dino Rizzo, Nancy Beach, Steven Furtick, Reggie McNeal
12PM — Craig Groeschel, Leonard Sweet, Greg Surratt, Jon Tyson
1PM — Margaret Feinberg, Larry Osborne, Matt Carter, Pete Wilson
2PM — Neil Cole, Reggie Joiner, JD Greear
3PM — Mark Batterson, Dan Kimball, Mark DeYmaz
4PM — Jud Wilhite, Brian McLaren, Bob Roberts, Rick McKinley, John Ortberg
5PM — Alan Hirsch, John Bishop, Toby Slough, Ed Stetzer
6PM — Mark Driscoll, Darrin Patrick, Brad Powell
7PM — Darrin Whitehead, Brian Bloye
8PM — Eric Bryant, Nancy Ortberg, Rick Warren

Can I get an Amen!?! I mean WOWZERS that list is insane! When you miss something (b/c it’s an all day marathon you will miss something) check out the tops of the hours.

This is probably the best post I’ve seen on how to tackle tomorrow. [ht: Will Mancini!] Click through but here’s the bullet-points for you:

  1. Carve out as much time as possible to watch live. – opposed to a centralized room the size of an ocean with 9k in attendance, it’ll feel like these leaders are sitting across the table talking to YOU! Join the experience with the online community that you won’t be able to get watching downloads later.
  2. Keep streaming tweets while watching live. – utilizing the communication guerilla Twitter all the tweets containing #thenines will be in conversation together.
  3. Zero in by asking the Holy Spirit for help. – PRAY
  4. Think “syntopically.” – other than some high profilers at each hour it’ll truly be interesting how the topics come out!
  5. Focus reflection. – SUPER recommendation by Will Mancini!!! Word for word: All of this great content must translate, at some point, to meaningful take-aways based on the clarity of your own calling. My personal strategy will be to take hand written notes, that I will group eventually into no more than three categories. In my experience, if a leaders tries to carry more than three ideas, thoughts, or actions away in their wheelbarrow, he or she risks tipping over and having nothing.
  6. Act immediately. – Implementation and execution is the key otherwise we all sat around and wasted a day’s worth of work.

So who’s in? If not? You’ll hate my Twitter and Facebook by 9pm tomorrow! Hahaha!

Register here.


SYTYCD Music Takeaway

It’s summertime and that’s when Rae and I endulge our reality TV appetite with Wipeout, The Ultimate Fighter, and of course the GREATEST reality show competition there is: SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE! I dare you to disagree with me but that will be another discussion.This discussion will revolve around one of the many aspects I love about the show: the music!

So each week, I’ll list my favorite new songs that I’ve found watching our favorite reality show! This week there were 4:

Falling Slowly24 hoursBEP

  1. Falling Slowly by The Frames – such a great track! Mesmerizing!
  2. 24 Hours (Ashton Shuffle A-bomb mix) by Terry Poison – quirky, crazy, weird, I love it!
  3. Imma Be by the Black Eyed Peas – sorry the Peas are a guilty pleasure! Can they do wrong?
  4. Violento (Up Mix) by Bailango! – not sure if I got this right, couldn’t find them but a gritty Spanish tango!!

Life Lessons from Vegas

We spent a week in Las Vegas for my surprise 30th birthday present with 4 GREAT friends and I’m tremendously behind in the sharing of stories and pictures. While I catch up, I’ll share with you some things I learned in my short stay in Sin City 🙂

Fashion Lies


I saw this on a shirt in a store that sold t-shirts for $200.00. WHAT!?! I mean, I could see this on a silly shirt in Wal-Mart or even a graphic tee from like Hollister but from this high end boutique where everything is stupid expensive, the absurdity of this statement isn’t hilarious it’s ridiculous. I wanted to take my flip flop off and scmack the guy behind the counter.
Here this well people: clothes are just clothes! Respect yourself and your appearance but you ever take yourself to the point where you buy a $300 shirt that spits that disease in my face and I’ll slap you too 🙂

Don’t eat so much!

I don’t know where all the cheap casino buffets were! We chose to treat ourselves to some nice places but even at our down meals we noticed real quickly that it’d be best to split plates and we found out that WOW they make large portions! I think Rae and I are going to really look into splitting meals more often. Even the extra 2 or 3 bucks to split the entree is better than a whole other entree’s price and portion…unless I can bring it home and eat it for leftovers the next day! What we didn’t notice even after splitting 1 entree was our hunger! Even with the smaller portions we weren’t hungry later on! So yeah, we’re going to eat less and spend less eating out!


Youth Chatter – June 7th

Youth Chatter is my new “Sunday Setlist” post for Mondays. It’ll include the highlights and discussion points from the previous day’s youth activities. Not that I won’t continue doing Sunday Setlists but this is an effort to help shift my blog topics to ones that more reflect what life is looking like for me right now. And since I spent nearly 7 hours on Sunday with students, I think that should get discussed a bit more around here 🙂

So Sunday was our “Moving Day” for student groups. What that means (and why I put it in quotation marks) is that students move themselves to their next level student group on this date. They don’t officially become 6th graders or 9th graders or college students until the fall. However, we’ve noticed the trend that students see themselves as graduating as soon as school wraps up and rather than try and fight that battle all summer, we just assist the shift and allow them safe passage.

What that meant for the youth ministry was a vision casting session for middle school in the morning and pool parties for both groups in the afternoon.

I’ve learned a little about vision casting lately. My 2 books to Vegas were Andy Stanley’s Making Vision Stick and Mark Oestreicher’s Youth Ministry 3.0 (full review coming soon, maybe even good ole MarkO will pick it up on his blog! Haha) so it’s no wonder that I came back jacked up on ministry. I realized that vision casting isn’t about describing your curriculum. It’s not about signing students up on an email roster. It’s not even about getting them into small groups because we believe that’s where life change occurs. No it’s about where your youth ministry is headed! AND it should be simple and memorable (and repeated and celebrated and embraced 🙂 pg. 18.) But I realized that I didn’t have a vision for our youth group. So I crafted one while in Las Vegas of all places. It’s not defined or memorable YET but it’s about Communion. And communion is a bit different from community. Communion is community with Christ in the center of it (YM 3.0 chapter 6 somewhere.) That’s the focus of my middle school right now. We’re lacking on community in general but also community with Christ popping up in every crevice and corner of our activities.

So I cast that with my students! I showed them Wall*E. I showed them the clip where Wall*E first boards the Axiom and we see what life looks like. Everyone, all together, sharing the same space, even moving in the same direction, eating the same things, dressing the same way, “talking” with one another, and asked them what they saw. It was lively discussion about everything in the clip except the one thing I was hoping for until one girl finally said:

Well they’re all together talking but they’re not talking with one another. It’s like they’re texting to someone sitting right next to them. I mean like what’s up with that.

BOOYAH! Are they in community with one another doing things together? NO!
BOOYAH! Right into a discussion about what true community looks like and then further into what Communion looks like with Christ in the center. Fast forward to the clip where the captain holds this gift of a plant and spews at Auto: I DON’T WANT TO SURVIVE I WANT TO LIVE! If we even muster up our imagination to try and comprehend what Jesus has to offer us then this should be our mantra. To live is Christ, to die is gain sound familiar to anyone? Man finds a treasure in a field and sells everything he has to purchase that field sound familiar to anyone? But thank you Wall*E for opening that door for me. We posses a gift so valuable and so magnificent that we should cast all things aside risking even health and comfort for the opportunity to LIVE rather than simply survive.

I went way longer than I originally intended but I’m a bit jacked up about this right now. SO Youth pastors/leaders/volunteers if I can get a Mr. Linky thing going on or find someone who has one set up please come back around each Monday and discuss your ministry highs/lows or other chatter that can help edify the kingdom at large!


I’m baaaack!

If there’s anyone left reading this poor example of a blog please know that I AM BACK!

AND I’m back with a vengenance. I’d already been feeling uber stale about what’s been going on over here and then my wife threw down a surprise birthday party on Saturday and notified me that we and 4 of our best friends would be going to Las Vegas on MONDAY to celebrate my 30th birthday! It was exactly what I needed!

SO hold on to your butts because we have:

  • Youth Ministry 3.0 by MarkO
  • Time’s article on Twitter – #timetwitter
  • 400 Las Vegas pictures to torture you with 🙂
  • Apple/iPhone/Mac fun stuff

And most importantly, I think a renewed vision for what I want Worship City to be. Honestly, I’ve begun struggling with it as a blog and where it should fall between Forums – Facebook – Twitter and a communicative community builder. It’s tough and haven’t figured it all out and if you have then please let me know.

Otherwise, consider this that hug you get from an old friend who you haven’t seen in a while 🙂

Byrd and Bears

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