Friday, May 30, 2008

passing of a man of God

In a day where ministers and leaders fall constantly due to moral issues and breeches of integrity, there are a few that live their entire lives staying true. An incredible man of integrity and strength, Rev. Jay Alfred of Youngstown, passed away this week. He lived a long life, with much influence in those who knew him and many who did not. His funeral is tomorrow. Here are a couple of my thoughts:
- It's not so much what is said at the funeral, as who shows up.
- It's not what he said in life, as much as what he did.
- It's not who he wanted to be, but who he became.
In a culture where only 10 percent of ministers will finish well, he is a beacon of inspiration. I knew of him, more than I knew him. But I can tell you this, his reputation was well known and well respected. Today, I give honor where it is due and want to thank the Lord for Godly men like Jay Alfred. He made a difference in this world through his obedience.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

leaders leading leaders

As a church we are at a place where we now have to make a transition with our leadership. Our staff in the past have been able to lead followers effectively and have moved into leading leaders. The next adjustment though will be the biggest. Our staff must be able to develop leaders who can develop other leaders. We have to make this jump in order to keep moving forward. I believe!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

roller coaster

Planting a church is like a roller coaster. There are "ups" and "downs" and everything in between. One of the keys in ministry and in life is to surround yourself with quality friends who experience life with you. They make the joys higher, because you have someone to share them with. They also make the lows not so low. In the midst of everything, some close friends can bring stability and accountability. So who is on the roller coaster of life with you?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

good day

Today, I led my first Central Sectional meeting as the Presbyter. I felt it went pretty good. We discussed some good leadership material and got into some great dialog. Then I took our staff to the "Memorial Golf Tournament." I got free tickets from a guy in our church. (I was doing my I'm sooo blessed dance) We had a great time, rain and all. We made some memories and had our staff meeting all the way up and back in the car. I love the fact that our team is spontaneous and fun.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

memorial day

I was blessed to have patriotic father who instilled in me a love for God and country. Many times when I see a flag I can hear my dad saying, "Son, many lives have been given for us to fly that flag in freedom." I have never forgotten that. In fact to this day, I still thank our service men and woman for their dedication and sacrifice. So Monday, as we are eating hot dogs and throwing some horse shoes, let's take some time to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Prince Caspian

Just watched the new Narnia movie. Great flick. So many small themes that ran through the movie, which makes it hard to pick just one to preach on. I am going with "God's Will." There were 2 battles in the movie. The first was fought without seeking Aslan for help and the 2nd was fought WITH seeking Aslan for help. Let's just say the 2nd turned out better for our hero's. To find God's Will for our lives can be tricky sometimes. Mostly because we have so much of ourselves to wade through. Whether that is pride, fear, lack of listening, disobedience, etc. I truly believe that God wants us to know and follow His Will even more than we do. The question is, are we willing to face those things that we struggle with. What keeps you from hearing God's Will for your life?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

merry go round

It seems that the longer I'm in ministry, the faster life seems to go. I call it the "ministry merry go round." Have you ever felt like it's spinning so fast that you're holding on but your legs are sticking straight out off the side because of the force? The crazy thing is, we all control our own merry-go round? We control it with our Yes's and No's. Many times we are intentional with our Yes's but not with our No's. I want to guard the speed of my merry go round so that myself and/or family don't fall off. Instead, I want them to enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I believe healthy things reproduce themselves. A healthy apple tree not only produces fruit, but other healthy apple trees. Many times as leaders we may produce fruit, (growth, movement, etc) but are we producing other healthy leaders. A pastor should be producing other pastors. Also note, that we can only reproduce who and what we are. If I am unhealthy, I will reproduce other unhealthy pastors. So get healthy and begin investing to reproduce yourself.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oklahoma is hot out here.
Today, I got to have dinner and then coffee with some incredibly high octane church planters from around the nation. The conversations have been golden. We all talk the same language and deal with the same obstacles. For me, it is always refreshing to get away and dream about what WILL BE. I am honored by this opportunity and look forward to learning and growing tomorrow and then jumping on a flight back to OHIO.

off to Oklahoma City

I'm sitting in the Columbus airport about to board a plane to head out to Oklahoma City. I'm truly honored to get an invite to sit at a round table with 8 other church planters from around the nation. We will be discussing growth barriers, innovative ideas and lessons learned. Herbert Cooper of the "People's Church," is hosting this. I will take some good notes. Herbert is blowing it up out there and I hope to glean from him and others. I am a sponge and ready to soak it all up!

Also, I get to grab coffee with a former Ohio YP Chris Smith, who is now Herberts YP.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

bomb threat

Yesterday, there was a bomb threat at Pickerington Central HS. It's crazy to think that stuff like this could happen in our growing little suburb. Thank God nothing came of it, but I had to ask myself, would we as a church have been ready to respond? The answer is most likely "Not as effectively as we would have liked." The Word says, we must be ready "in season and out of season." Anyway, it really got me thinking about C3 as a church, being ready to respond to our community in times of tragedy or emergency.

Well, I'm going outside to play with my kids and we got a baseball game for Kaden.

Friday, May 16, 2008

God at the movies

For the next 3 weeks we are doing a series called "God at the movies." We are taking a look at Ironman, Prince Caspian, and the new Indiana Jones flick. The heart is engage our culture and pull out some truths that point to Christ. We can use movies as a bridge to share the life changing message of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul was amazing at this. He used one of Athens idols to an unknown god, quoted their poets and songs in order to reveal who Jesus was. If Paul engaged the culture instead of running away from it, maybe we should give it a shot.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

16 No's

Yesterday, I was ratified at the District Council as the Central Section Presbyter. Ratifying is really just a token vote where the whole voting body (several hundred) votes "yes" or "no" on the decision the individual section has made. All of the 6 names received at least one "no", but mine was slightly the highest with 16. So I am a WINNER! Anyway, could it have been because I am the youngest, or just beginning as a new lead pastor? Could it be that I have made someone mad or perhaps it was someone playing a joke? I can say, that in the past it would have bothered me probably more than it should have. Today though, I can honestly say, I have grown out of much of my "approval addiction." The only approval I need is God's, and when I'm doing my best to hear HIS voice and follow it, I must run the course regardless of what others say or think. Who's approval are you seeking?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

continual sharpening

Personally, I have found that I continue to grow as I surround myself with sharp people. They challenge my thinking, dreaming and praying. This morning I met with a mentor Stan Tharp who has been gracious to take some time with me every couple months to coach me and share his failures and victories. I listen not only for the "what" but the "why." I try to figure out "how" they think. These kind of leaders sharpen me. Who is sharpening you? Begin to chase mentors, because they almost never chase you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

District Council

Sitting in the back row in a meeting that will decide the new leader of the Ohio Assemblies of God. I along with others, are praying for God to lead us in the voting. Time will tell. I'm so glad that God is in control of the outcome. Just like in the New Testament, where Godly leaders would pray for the direction of leadership, so do we today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Becky Medina did a great job today speaking on mothers day. She had all of our kids the week before, draw pictures and write how much their mom's love them. Then we scanned the pics and had them on the scrolling slides pre-service and on our bulletin. Also, today the kids all got little pots with dirt and the moms in the big service got seeds to plant in them. Becky's message title was "I'm my mothers garden", which dealt with how mothers plant and invest seeds in their kids lives. Mom's invest, what they are living. We are honored to have Becky on our team. The podcast of her message should be up on shortly.

Friday, May 9, 2008

hide and seek

Yesterday, I took a half day to be home and play with my kids. I introduced them to "hide and seek" and they are loving it. I count, they all hide, they count and I hide. You can probably say I get into it too much, especially if you would have seen me on top of the reridgerator.....literally. Anyway, it's funny to watch my 2 year old Kali try to hide. Once she was laying in the middle of the floor, face down, covering her eyes and squeeling with glee the whole time. Can you say "priceless?" For my younger two, it's really not hard at all to find them, although my oldest is getting pretty good. The point though, is that even when they give it their best, they still have so far to go. For me, even in areas of my perceived strength, I'm really weak in comparison to God's power. Thank goodness His Grace covers me. He doesn't look at my talent or gifting as much as He looks at my heart. And my heart, is in my control to keep pure and humble.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Kadens school sent him home with a small tree about a foot tall, in order to plant somewhere. We found a nice spot in the corner of our big backyard to plant it. I'm excited to watch this tree grow over the years. I'm hoping it will also give me some great moments to teach some lessons to my kids as well.
Because we have sown, we will reap. And, we will reap WHAT we have sown. So, what are you sowing right now for the future? It's amazing how that as leaders many times we just expect to reap without having never sown. What can you do know that will pay off in the years or months to come? I want to sow seeds everyday.


Wow! What an incredible time we had "to", "in" and "from" Atlanta. Andy Stanley's Drive Conference was amazing! Much of our structure is modeled after theirs, especially when it comes to small groups. The creativity was oozing, the bands were kickin, the breakouts were sharp and Andy as always, knocked the ball out of the park. But the biggest part was taking this all in with our staff and then dialoging about it afterwards. I really think we have some great trust amongst our team and left their feeling more focused. C3 exists to lead people into "LIFE CHANGE." We do that through helping people CONNECT, GROW, SERVE. So there is the "WHAT" and the "HOW." We do nothing more, but nothing less. We are refocused and ready to continue to make the "DENT."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

jeff foxworthy

I am amazed at the level of excellence and detail that North Point (Andy Stanley) has put into this Drive Conference. Today at the end of the afternoon session at 4pm, they had us jump in our cars (all 2,300) and drive to their other campus that was 20 miles away. The whole trip was a scavenger hunt. We got their, ate hamburgers under a huge tent, played corn hole, raced remote control cars, ate funnel cakes and cotton candy. Then at 7pm we went inside this awesome sanctuary to hear a great blue grass band and then to all our surprise, Jeff Foxworthy takes the stage. We laughed ourselves silly. This has been a great trip for our team. Not only to learn and dream together, but to gel as a team. Our C3 team rocks!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Road trip!

Today, we had 6 of C3's staff and leadership team load a mini-van and drive for 10 hours to Atlanta for a church leadership conference. We had fun goofing off together and playing all kinds of crazy car games. We ate some BBQ and then later at 5 guys Burger and Fries. Then we checked in our hotel, got a shower and went to the conference. It was AMAZING! The band, the lights, the high def screens, a great teaching, communion and most important, God was in the building in a huge way. I was personally touched by the presence of God. We then came back for some great team discussion in the lobby of our hotel. God has given C3 an amazing team and I'm so excited to be a part of what HE is doing.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

no more Mr nice guy!

Yesterday, I'm coming home from work and turning onto a road leading into our subdivision. It is a very crazy three way intersection with a railroad track running through the middle of it. It is very hard to make one of the turns and many times people will stop the line of traffic to let those waiting (usually for days) to get in. I had never been that person, until yesterday. That is when I got rear ended by a pick up truck. Not the scratch you can buff out, but serious enough where I can't even get my trunk open. All that to say, I try to do something nice, and this is what happens! Should this stop me from ever being nice on the road again...uhh...hmmm.....No. I will not let circumstances or others decide how I should act.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Prepare not to fail

I shared a line I read somewhere, to a bunch of guys in a leadership class that said, "Many husbands have never cheated on their spouse, only because they've never had the opportunity." It was one of those "make you think statements", that hopefully lead to some soul searching. Not only that, but to think through how much as a husband, we have to lose and how to prepare NOT TO FAIL. Many times, it's not that we plan TO FAIL, but we don't plan NOT TO FAIL. So for me, I want to put safeguards in place to protect myself, my family and the name of Jesus for which I represent. My wife and I have discussed this and I'm totally open to her coming to me if her "woman's intuition" kicks in about any woman she feels is crossing a line with me. Also, I have someone whom I could and would share, for their opinion if I started to sense something. Finally, by doing my best to guard my thought life. My God and my family are the most important things to me on this Earth and I want to protect them at all costs. Just thought I would share my heart!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

tolerance vs love

I continue to hear the word tolerance from TV, articles and speeches. The desire is, for people who are different to tolerate each other enough to live in peace along side each other. I feel that as believers, we are not supposed to tolerate, but to love. Love far surpasses tolerance. Love covers a multitude of wrongs. My prayer is that we as a followers of Christ, would be so full of the love of God that it doesn't matter who someone is, what they believe in, what they have done or anything else. But that we would express the love of God to everyone regardless. Not just tolerate, but far surpass tolerance, and truly love.