Basketball With the Kids

February 26, 2007 — Leave a comment

We just finished up the Upward basketball season for Luke and Emma. I have really enjoyed coaching and being with the kids. Upward is a good program and it was sponsored locally by Cliffview Church here in Galax. It was a great way to introduce people to a church and teach the kids some basic beliefs about following Christ. Coaching is my one chance to act completely crazy and silly (I was coaching 1st-3rd grade) and share about my faith at the same time. I also enjoy the emphasis on teamwork, basic skills, and sportsmanship. I like the fact that we can take the emphasis off of competition and put it on being Christ-like.

And while I’m talking about basketball, I have to mention that us guys at church had our first basketball practice yesterday. We will be playing in a local church rec league. I’m just a little sore. Well actually, a whole lot sore. I have always enjoyed playing basketball and it feels great to get out and run. My lungs were burning and my legs were feeling like jelly, but it felt great. I did realize how out of shape I am. I can really relate to the chapter in Mark Driscoll’s book titled “Why am I getting meaner and fatter?” I tend to do good in the summer when I can get outside and bike and run, but I struggle keeping in shape during the winter months. That’s pretty lame considering there is a full gym right outside my office.

And one more basketball surprise. I get to coach Luke in the local rec league starting tomorrow night. It’s a league for K-2nd grade. That should be interesting. A bunch of wild and crazy boys with an attention span less than their age. It will be a good chance to model sportsmanship and character to these young men. I can’t wait.


February 26, 2007 — Leave a comment

Jenni and I registered today for the Unleash conference at NewSpring Community Church. I’m looking forward to meeting some fellow bloggers and learning more about NewSpring’s story. I always enjoying learning from other churches. Their community is similar to ours, so I look forward to seeing how they are reaching and engaging their community.

Here are some of the breakouts that will be offered at the conference. Now I’ve just got to decide which ones to go to.

  • Senior Pastors ONLY
  • Leading Authentic Worship
  • Creating Community in Church
  • Student Ministry – The Church of Today
  • Financially Equipping Your Congregation
  • Blogging and Communication
  • The Volunteer Experience
  • Creating Excellent Experiences for Kids
  • The Creative Process
  • Staffing for Success

Here is a clip I found on Youtube from the concert last Sunday night. The sound quality is not so good, but it’s awesome to see a clip from a concert I was at. We kept noticing this little blond girl’s head popping up at the bottom of the screen. We thought it looked like Emma, and it was! So Emma, my little girl, has made her youtube debut.

After reading this article, it makes me realize why I hate long meetings so much. I have read several articles lately about brainstorming not being an efficient way to come up with new ideas. These studies show that people working independently can come up with more and better solutions than in a group. For me, there is some truth in that. I tend to get bored and frustrated hearing crazy ideas that are not feasible. I am very task oriented and I feel like I am wasting my time when there isn’t a clearly defined goal to the meeting.

I know that sometimes, people in a group can come up with solutions that individuals would never think of, but the key is to not get too detailed when meeting! Give ideas and then let people think about them and develop the ideas more fully. That is very important for church meetings as well. Most people don’t want to spend all the spare time listening to someone think out loud and ramble through a bunch of ideas that won’t work. You might just be making the attendees dumber.

The "Wee Me"

February 21, 2007 — Leave a comment

I got tired of staring at my ugly face all the time in my blog header, so I replaced it with this picture.
It’s a picture of me and Jennifer that I created on the site weeworld It’s something different and I think I am much better looking in cartoon. But I still look like a nerd. But as Zach so eloquently stated, at least I am the coolest nerd he knows!

Thanks to Marko for the website.

I recently participated in a Christian blogging survey by If you want to check out some other Christian blogs, then check out the list of everyone who participated at Rick Warren’s Blog. If you haven’t read many blogs before, then definitely check some of these out.

I am also listing great blog posts I have read in the sidebar of my blog or by going here. As I read through different blogs using Google Reader, I can flag the ones that I really like and place them on my shared page. My blog will automatically pull those into my sidebar. Pretty slick, and it’s an easy way for you to see what I’m reading and enjoying. There are a lot of good Christian blogs out there. And while you’re reading others, have you ever thought about starting your own?

Decemberadio Is For Real

February 21, 2007 — Leave a comment

We just got through a busy weekend. Our church hosted the band Decemberadio for our worship service Sunday and for a community concert Sunday night. What can I say. These guys are for real. I knew from their CD that they are incredibly talented musically, but what impressed me is what I kept hearing from everyone that had met them, that they are great Christian guys who are solid in their faith. I got to hang out with them all day and I can’t say enough about the guys. Some bands don’t sound too good live when compared to the CD, but they just rocked it out and sounded great live.

The church service was also great. Not only musically, but by getting to hear from their hearts. They shared about the whole Grammy experience, and shared about what they are learning as musicians and as Christians. Then the concert. I was blown away by the attendance. They packed out the local high school auditorium! Their stage presence was great, and they even threw in some Wayward Son by Kansas and some Lenny Kravitz for us old folks. I had a great time with the guys and I look forward to being able to host them again in the future. If you haven’t listened to their CD yet, then do yourself a favor and pick it up. They have a great old school rock sound with some real in your face Christian lyrics. The teens can’t stop talking about the concert. There is definitely a buzz about the group.

And I just found out today that they were nominated this week for 4 GMA Dove Awards! And that is after just coming back from the Grammy Awards last week!
I’m excited for them and look forward to seeing them on the awards show. I believe that they are definitely on their way to becoming one of the top bands in Christian music. And after spending time with them, I believe they will bring honor to God in everything they do.

  • Song of the Year – Drifter
  • New Artist of the Year
  • Rock Recorded Song of the Year – Dangerous
  • Rock Album of the Year

I’m sitting here tonight multi-tasking. I’m listening to a message by Ed Stetzer on Missiology while I’m finishing up my message for church, and while I’m catching up reading the blogs I’m subscribed to using Google Reader. I’m getting ready for the Decemberadio concert at our church tomorrow night and I have really been wrestling with how can our church better engage the culture that we are part of. Tonight has been one of those light bulb moments. I really think God is stretching and growing me and stepping on my toes. I’ll share more in the weeks and months to come.

Here are two great messages by Ed Stetzer on how church and culture intersect. The more I listen to Ed, the more I agree with him. His passion and vision really connect with the way God is leading me. I think these two messages should be required listening for all pastors. Please check them out!
Breaking the Missional Code and Understanding Culture

While I was listening to these messages, I read a quote from a blog post from Tony Morgan about the activities of our churches. It is another good post to get you thinking about why you do what you do. I agree that we must motivate and compel people to leave the 4 walls and do ministry, not just stay busy learning what they should be doing.

But I face one big challenge. Every time Christians step inside a church, it can remove them from the place where they have the greatest impact for God’s Kingdom—the world. It’s sad, but I wonder if we’ve inadvertently designed our ministries to isolate Christians from the places where God really wants us to be. Are we truly engaged in his Great Commission if every extra moment of our lives is spent at church?

I hear the way Christians talk. They want more opportunities to gather for worship. They want more programs to meet other Christ-followers. They want more Bible studies to help them go deeper in God’s Word. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these desires—but what’s often missing is a desire to see people outside the church commit their lives to following Jesus. As Christians, we can become so focused on our own faith journey that we forget God’s command to go tell others the Good News.

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