Thursday, January 31, 2008

simple church

Today, Gary and I went to talk the "Simple Church" model for discipleship with 9 other leaders in Canton. We shared our story and how it is working for us. I hope the others were able to glean a couple things from what we shared. Driving home, Gary and I talked about what it does to ignite the passion within us just to talk about what God is doing. If you have not read the book "Simple Church", I would say it is a must read for anyone desiring to see people discipled.

Tomorrow bright and early, my Keri and I fly out for a speaking engagement in Seattle. She has never seen the city and we have a few extra hours to tour the city. The goal is to find the "Mother Starbucks" and maybe the space needle. Time will tell.
We will be ministering at a youth retreat in the mountains. I spoke out there last year and am excited to bring my Keri this year. I hope to post a picture or two. Also, we get to attend my buddy Troy Jones church in Renton Washington before catching a flight. He is a great leader whom I hope to grab a few minutes with Sunday. The only bummer of the whole thing is, we are flying during the Super Bowl! Oh well, I'll live.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

securely fastened

Last night we had crazy wind blow through Columbus. It was loud and overnight the temperature went from 50's to 15 degrees. When I pulled up to C3 this morning, I noticed one our our downspouts was ripped off and our entry way mat was in the parking lot frozen to the asphalt. Anything that was not fastened down was blown my grill cover...gone. Anyway, the same is true for life. Whatever in you that is not fastened to the rock of Christ, can and usually will be blown away. Also, all the stuff we have done in life, will some day be tested and shown for what it is. Everything we do, must be fastened to HIM or released to be blown away. What is your wind speed test rating at and what changes need to be made?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

interview process

Tonight, we are in our 3rd level of interviewing for kids pastors with 2 candidates. Our first level is with Gary and myself and if we feel good, they then sit before our advisory board. From there, if all systems are go, they are then interviewed by those who will be directly working with them, our class coordinators. I feel that if we interview them well, it will hopefully help us hire better. It is an exciting process as we are praying for God's Will.

Monday, January 28, 2008

bullet points

- We got thumped in dodgeball yesterday. C3 did not repeat in the city wide tourny.....bummer!
- We did have our largest attendance ever, for the month and the week!
- Had an incredible meeting with our new church growth consultant.
* We could build up to a 1,200 - 1,500 seat auditorium on our property with parking to match.
- That is our ceiling of growth on our current property.

- Tuesday is our 3rd level of interviews for kids pastor.
* We have some great candidates who have made it to this level.
* Our hope is to have them here and running by Easter.

- Getting the modular here is progressing well. We are seeing, full time kids space in this space. We are going to do our best to have the sharpest kids ministry this side of the Mississippi.

- Thursday, Gary and I are traveling up to Canton (Faith Fellowship Chapel 6282 Nave Street SW Canton, 44700) to talk through the book "Simple Church" with right now 7 pastors in that area. If you want in, email my dad at to RSVP. We will meet this Thursday (31st) at 12 noon, do lunch, talk through some things we have learned in this process and then some great discussion on a "simple" discipleship process.


Friday, January 25, 2008

coffee and a vision from God

Tomorrow morning Gary and I are meeting with a church expansion consultant to talk about options of what we can do in our current building, on our site and when to look to purchase more land to build. It is amazing how God sent this guy to our church who does this for a living and he is willing to give us his services free of charge. We will grab some coffee and then dream of what could be.....or what we are believing WILL be. It's like I get glimpses of what is coming. God shows me just enough to keep this burning vision raging inside me. The word God dropped in my heart was "DENT". That is my passion, my dream, my purpose. To put a dent in the world for the cause of Jesus Christ! I will pursue Him and His plan for me and C3 full tilt, relentlessly with every fiber of my body, soul, mind and spirit............I'm screaming FREEDOM (Braveheart reference) in my living room right now!!......Ok....I can go to sleep now....Good night.

"The Apprentice" church planting style

Today, we have 9 interns coming in for the 1st time. We have them for 12 weeks and are going to break them up into 2 teams and do an "Apprentice" style competition throughout the time with us. We are using our new Sunday night service as the pilot. Each team must layout a plan of how they would plant/target/advertise/launch/structure/grow their new church plant. They have a budget and can get as creative as they want. We may actually even use some or part of their plans for the Sunday night service. Time will tell how it plays out.

Also, I'm in talking with the guys from the city and sharing vision of where are church is and where we are going and how we will need a bigger piece of land to accomplish the vision. The one guy looks at me and says "Where did you come from?" I began to answer and he says "No, why did you choose Pickerington?" I looked him square in the eye with a smile and said, "You may not fully understand this, but God told me to come here and plant this church." Looking back in his eyes, although not being a follower of Christ himself, I think he actually believed me. The meeting went on and we got a really good location out of it that I had already been eyeing. The both of them could not figure out why that nice piece of land had not been bought yet? I was thinking to myself.......I think I may know why!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I feel that as leaders we must constantly be forecasting. Just as a weather man makes an educated guess from the information he has, in the same way we must continue to plan for the future. When I knew I was newly called to be in ministry, I began to ask myself, "What do I need to be effective in ministry?" I came up with a few things and started growing in those areas. Still, I'm constantly asking myself those kind of questions. I look at where I think I and the the ministry God has entrusted to me is going, and then try to be one step ahead. Today, I'm going to meet with our city planners to talk about where Pickerington is projected to expand and where we could buy land as to be right in the middle of the action for the future. We currently have 10 acres...........but I'm forecasting that it won't be enough! What do you feel is in God's forecast for you?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


My boy Kaden did pretty well with the whole hearing aid thing at school. I think he was reassured that I was there and to help him show his hearing aid to the class. I had lunch with him and 8 other 1st graders who all wanted to tell me their lives story. It was great! Kaden was bummed though when I had to leave. That's how life works. As a parent I do my best to protect my kids from pain, but there are lessons that they will have to learn on their own. Not enough protection, or too much protection from the pain of this world, can both be harmful. I'm trying to find the balance. Spiritually, I pray for God's protection for me and my family, but I also know that it is through adversity, that we grow. Regardless of what I go through, I trust God.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Who I am & who I am not

The more I grow spiritually, the more I can begin to define, who I am and who I am not. It really comes down to discovering, and then understanding how God has wired me personally. Not only that, but then living it out to serve God first. Knowing who I am and who I am not, also helps me with establishing and maintaining boundaries that help me stay most effective. We can get pulled down from so many angles of things that might be "good" but not the "best." We have those around us who with probably good intentions, want their will for us rather than God's. So as God continually clarifies who you are, make sure you stay in His Will.

Monday, January 21, 2008

facing fears

Tomorrow I get to go in to school with my 1st grader, to help him overcome his fear of wearing his new hearing aid. The school guidance counselor is going to let me come in with him during a "difference day" time. She will read a book about everyone being different, and then have the kids tell about what makes them different. I'll be there with my boy to show off his new hearing aid and how cool it is. He is very scared about being made fun of. I really hope this helps him. This could be one of those defining moments in his little life, where he faces his fears and grows as a person. Really, that is what life is right? We are continually faced with adversity and fears that we must conquer to live life to the fullest. I'm praying for courage for my little guy tomorrow. What fears are you currently facing?

Friday, January 18, 2008


As I read the email today from our Ohio District Superintendent Doug Clay, who will soon be leaving for the General Treasurer at the national office, I must admit I was saddened. Sad for losing such a great leader from Ohio, but excited knowing that he will bring change on the national level. I guess my biggest concerns is that we don't go backward as a movement in Ohio. I love the current direction of healthy churches and pastors. I know that God is in control and that the right leader will be elected to take his place, and I will be praying for God's Will and not mine.


I just read on how communist government leaders are setting up "fake" underground churches to catch Christians in North Korea. They then take them and throw them into work camps where many starve to death and die. Not only them, but on several occasions have taken their children and parents as well because of their faith. Or in the Indian state of Orissa, the week after Christmas, Hindu's burned 14 Christian churches and killed one Christian. When I hear of this, several questions go flying through my mind. One of which is, to what point would I stand up for the person of Jesus Christ and His Gospel that I preach? Would I lay down my life, or even harder the lives of my kids for HIs name? Where do I draw the line? I hope it would be death, but can I really know without being faced with it? Talking with my Keri last night wondering if our children will live in an era in the US, where there is outright persecution for those who followed Christ. We must continually pray for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted world wide.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Defending Champs

Today, I'm headed to the chamber of commerce luncheon to eat, meet, push the city wide adult dodge ball tourney. We played last year and were victorious! We took home several monster 6 inch plastic trophies that now sit on our mantels. But it is not enough. Our hunger for another title is burning deep within our hearts. This year C3 has 5 teams entered and we are looking for a sweep. Our goal is to be dominant like the New England Patriots (except without the video taping the other teams). Anyway, it should be fun and it is one more way we can get out of our 4 walls and interact with our community on a neutral site. I love to live life outside of a Sunday morning with our C3ers. It should be blast.

To the Victors go the spoils!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

right in your own eyes

I'm sure I wasn't the only one watching the 2 hour premier of American Idol last night. I love the beginning weeks and the final weeks. The beginning is the best because people get on national television and make fools of themselves. Why do we like that so much? I ask myself, don't they know how bad they sound? I guess that is why they Bible talks about "every way of a man seems right in his own eyes". We can see it in others, but very rarely in ourselves. At ministers retreat, the speaker would say something that I knew "others" needed to hear, and that comes natural to me. My desire though, is to try to take an honest look at myself first, or even better if I have found someone who will shoot straight with me. That person is hard to find. On occasion, I have invited people to C3, to give me critique on how we or I can improve. Then I have to be tough enough to take the hit.

PS - Just met with the local Bible College who confirmed the 9 interns that will each spend 4 - 8 hours with us a week. They will each come in for a half day during the week and then for the Sunday evening service. They are taking this as a graded elective and start next week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ministers Retreat

Just got back from a ministers retreat today. It is always good to get away, see old friends and get a fresh perspective. Mark Rutland of Southeastern University spoke. Our staff bailed out after lunch and hit a coffee shop and hashed out details on upcoming stuff. It's amazing how many details there are. But we are truly loving the journey together. Tonight, I'm going to the City Council meeting to kick it off with prayer. Right now I'm planning on standing on the table with my hands in the air and calling down the fire. JK.

Monday, January 14, 2008


NOTHING compares to God's favor! Nothing. My prayer is for His constant favor and He is giving it. I can feel the momentum of C3 growing again. The seats are filling up and our simple process for discipleship is coming together. Our Sunday night service is growing as well. It is amazing to see God change people's lives. Another development that is opening up, is us getting some interns from a local Bible College that have a desire to plant churches. It's looking like we will have 9 students who will come in for a few hours during the week and then back on Sunday night for our service. Also, someone stepped up to pay for the 70x20ft modular to get transported and a contractor who is helping us with the architectual plans and will advise us as well on future expansion. I am so grateful to what God is doing and am honored to be in the middle of what He is doing. Can you say FAVOR!

Friday, January 11, 2008

facing fears

Sunday, we are talking about facing your fears. My boy Kaden just got a hearing aid in one ear and is afraid to wear it to school. He will wear it to church and everywhere else, but not school. I asked him if any kids have glasses, and he said one girl does, but keeps them in her bag, so no one will make fun of her. As a dad, I can't believe that my 6yr old 1st grader already struggles with fear of what others think. I had a good talk with him about courage and being a leader. I told him that I believed that he had the courage to face being afraid. Still though, he is not there yet.
Isn't it amazing how from around the 1st grade until now, we let fears control us and keep us from living life to the fullest? I have found that fear grows when it is left alone and it's power intensifies. Also, I have found that when I gain the courage and face my fears, it usually wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. My question to you then is: What fears are hindering you and what are you going to do about it?

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today and tomorrow, we start the interview process for a kids director. Special thanks to Dayton Christian Life Center for the hookup on their interview process. We will revise it to fit C3.
Also, I have met recently with 3 other church planters separately in this area. I'm praying about how we can "together" make a greater impact on our community. I think it's amazing that this new wave of leaders are so open to work together, I'm going to try to set up a meeting with myself and the three others to see about brainstorming on how we can best put a "dent" in East Columbus. Being smaller has it's privileges. We can do spiritual guerrilla warfare, with smaller outreaches all over the city. I think it is all about maximizing who you are and what you can do the best.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

city planning and zoning meeting

Can you say FAVOR! It has been amazing to see how the city of Pickerington has been so good to us. I think they see that we are here to work with them to make our community a better place. (side bar, being a member of the local Chamber of Commerce has opened incredible doors for us.) They approved last night for us to be able to receive a 20ft by 70ft modular building from Gahanna, Evangel Temple A/G. We thought we were going to have to build a new roof with an overhang, but the approved it as-is. Now we have to get the building inspector to to buy-in as well. My prayer is for God to shut the door or to swing it wide open.

Also, got an email to post what books I'm currently reading...(go Josh P.)
- Juggling Elephants by Jones Loflin - decent quick read on time management
- Holy Discontent by Bill Hybells - did a stand alone message called "Living in HD"
- Chazown by Craig Groeshell - Good material for a series as well.
- Microtrends - Just started but is looking like a very interesting read.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


We had a Buckeyes party at C3 along with a cornhole tournament (of which my wife Keri and I won, although some still say it was rigged and that we had been taking performance enhancing drugs..) Anyway, it was heartbreaking (again) to see the Buckeyes lose another National Championship. If you would have asked me in the beginning of the year that we would be here, I would have said "no way." We were picked to finish 3rd in the Big Ten alone, but we didn't. Tressel is a great coach and has a great program in place. You gotta admit, LSU had all their seniors ready to play and I must concede that they were a better team....this year. Next year though, when our sophomores and juniors are mostly upper classmen, it will be our turn. True fans are there when their team wins and lose. O H

Monday, January 7, 2008

kids director

C3 has begun the search for a Kids director! We are now taking resumes and setting up interviews with several candidates from within and without C3 Church. We put a high value on our children, and seeing that our church is close to 1/3 kids, we want to make them a top priority. Pray that we get the best! We are looking for them to have 3C's to serve at C3. (character, competence and chemistry)
PS - I'm writing this outside on my back deck in my socks, in Ohio in January.....almost 70 degrees. Crazy.

funeral precession

I was sitting in a subway eating when I heard a country song called "don't blink". I almost started crying while sitting alone in a booth thinking about life and my incredible family. I then walked outside and saw a funeral precession drive by. It challenged me to think about how I'm living, loving and leading. What will be said about me when my life is over, by my friends, those who followed me, and even more importantly my family. When that day comes, and we are put in the ground, it's not what is said, but who shows up. It's not what you said in life, but what you did. It's not who you wanted to become, but rather who you became. We can never regain lost time, but we do have a choice of how we spend the now. Spend wisely.

Friday, January 4, 2008

15 degrees

This morning I went on an 7-8 mile run with a couple of buddies from my church. These jokers run outside everyday, while I only brave the winters cold to race or an occasional run with them. Personally, I love the treadmill with ESPN every morning at the "heated" gym. To get up, knowing how cold it is for a run, is either all about discipline and desire....or stupidity....I'm still trying to figure out which one. Life is all about decisions that lead us somewhere. If I would have chose to sleep in today (like yesterday) it wouldn't have hurt me. If I continued to make that choice for a month, then the change in me would not be one that is favorable. I would be growing out.....which is the wrong direction. Truly, we either pay now, or pay later. With our exercise, diet, personal growth, etc. Personally, I want to "pay" and put the work in now, with my personal development, investment in my family, church, etc, so that when I am older (I want to be healthy till 90yrs) I can enjoy life and give away what I have spent a lifetime gathering. (ie. wisdom, encouragement, mentoring, money...if i ever have any)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

All C3 Leaders meeting

Tonight, we are beginning our once a month "all leaders" meeting. We found ourselves putting more and more meetings on the calendar and it was getting crazy. We used to do this "one meeting" when we had only one service, in what would normally be the Sunday School hour, but it got lost in the multi-service shuffle. Anyway, we will play some C3 trivia (core values, discipleship plan, etc) then I will share a 20 min leadership lesson. Following that, we will break up into our smaller groups (ie, Community Groups, First Impressions and Kids Ministry). They will walk through some training on their own. The goal of this meeting is to continually grow our leaders, keep them on the same page and have an avenue for "new" leaders to jump in. I'll tell you in a couple of months if it is working or not.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

risk =

Starting a series in January off of Batterson's book "In a pit with a lion on a snowy day." I love the thought of risk being a dimension of righteousness. Using Matthew 25 with the story of the talents as the text, there is so much there when it comes to risk. Risk is seen as righteousness! Risk is seen as faithfulness! The men in the story were entrusted large sums of money and 2 out of the 3 took a risk and the master said, "well done, good and faithful servant." I think we as followers of Christ have a defensive paradigm rather than an offensive one. There is no doubt that the apostle Paul operated from an offensive paradigm. He would move from town to town until Holy Spirit would tell him to stop. Can you imagine in believers operated this way! God did not create us to live a boring life, but rather a life of risk and adventure.