Thursday, February 26, 2009


Every week we get a letter with $20 that says. "for C3 Church." There is never a return address or anyway to track it. This has gone on for probably more than a year. Today in the envelope there is a letter inside, still not signed, but at least a note. This person said they were in the drive-thru of Taco Bell behind a car with our C3 sticker on it. When the mystery person pulled up to the window to pay, they found out that a C3'er had paid for theirs as well. The attendant said it was payed for and that our person said to tell them "God Bless." The anonymous person was so touched that they payed for the person behind them, with the same instructions, to say "God Bless."
It's amazing how one act of random kindness can create a chain reaction. (yeah...I'm a proud pastor right about now)

the right questions

It has been cool to go from community group to community group to cast vision, share details and answer questions about our new building. There is an excitement as our church grows and lives change. We have gotten some great feedback and ideas on how to maximize space and make the most of every square foot. The key is asking the right questions. Questions like, how will a guest feel when they walk in? What will this building say to those we are trying to reach? What is the wise decision 3 years from now? What obstacles do you foresee with this design and how can we fix it? I have learned if you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answers. But, if you can ask the right questions, you will get you the right answers? What questions are you asking?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We are excited about what God is doing at C3. Last week, we broke through another new growth barrier. As we move forward to build, we are going to ask our people to stand in the gap financially and with prayer to make this step toward Greater Things. Our heart is that we want as many people as possible to give something. Really it's not about the money, but about allowing God to use us to do something bigger than ourselves. I want my 3 kids to open their piggy banks and decide what they want to give. So when we do get in this new building and they see kids coming to Jesus, they can say, "I helped this happen." There will be no guilt tactics here, just an encouragement to be a part of Greater Things!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today we had our pastors meeting for our section. A section they voted me in to lead (what were they thinking?). I'm always humbled and honored to lead these meetings. My heart has been to steer these meetings from monologue to dialogue. Today we talked through a book called "Confessions of a Pastor." So myself and another pastor talked about the "pastor mystique." This is where everyone expects you to be perfect and you buy into it and wear a mask that ends up hiding your pain. I started off by opening myself up and sharing an issue in my own life. This opened the door for several to confess what they had been carrying. Granted, it was nothing that they would lose their pastorate over, but it was "authentic." We broke up into groups of 2-3 and shared our hearts. I think it was the beginning of something amazing as walls are beginning to come down. We are all human...pastor or not....and it's time we just be real!

Monday, February 23, 2009


So Sunday after church, we went to our family restaurant, CiCi's pizza. It feels good that when I walk through the door, the workers automatically throw my special "BBQ/pineapple/chicken pizza in the oven. It was good to see the former manager back....a guy whom I haven't seen in a couple months. At the end of our meal I went to ask for change to leave a tip, and the manager asks me for a favor. He asked if I would go to the store and buy him 3 big bags of drinking straws. (not something I get asked everyday) Funny thing was, I felt I should do it. Driving down the road, I'm laughing. I get to the store and see a worker there whom we helped last year financially when they were in need. I wanted to talk to her but she was behind a desk far from the register. Suddenly 3 people switch places and she waves me over to her register and we had a conversation. I walked out of there and realized that God just used me and it took a manager asking me to go get straws to do it. You never know.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

12 years

Tomorrow, Keri and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage. I am more in love with my wife today than I have ever been. We just had an amazing weekend away (Thanks mom and dad for watching your kids). Keri is the love of my life and my best friend on the planet. I am blessed beyond measure! God has given me an amazing wife, 3 wonderful kids and a house with a big backyard. We have 2 vehicles that run and have more "stuff" than any one family should have. I am rich beyond money! I am so grateful to God for all that He has given me. May I never forget how blessed I am.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Today, my Keri and I will drop the kids of at my parents and go to pick up our "new to us" van. We will make it an overnight stay for our 12th wedding anniversary as well! Bob Biehl said "Maturity is putting process between opportunity and decision." Too many people haven't counted the cost or just spend spontaniously. Before we even thought of a van we figured out what we could "really" afford, began saving cash and started looking for "that deal." I think we found it! We are driving to Cleveland knowing exactly which van, for exactly what price (previously haggled). We have had our mechanic look at it (thanks uncle Keith!) and know exactly when we will have it paid off. We know the "out the door price" and how much we need to finance and what the payement will do to our budget. If our test drive works out, we will be rolling in our 05 Honda Odyssey! All that to say, we have put a process between coming across this van and purchasing this van.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Today, Gary and I were in a meeting with an architect and a spokesperson from the builder of our soon to be building. While going through the plans, Gary and I hit a point on design that neither of us would back down from. We continued arguing back and forth until it got a little uncomfortable for the other guys. Afterward, I wondered what their thoughts were. The cool thing is this, Gary and I can completely disagree on something and it never turns personal. The reason is because of trust. If our team doesn't feel the right to voice their opinions if they are different from mine, what good is that. Our heart is to create a culture of trust where we can wrestle and disagree with each other to find the best solution for C3. Do you have that kind of trust with those you work with?

- Afterward, we thought that would have been cool for me to have challenged Gary to an "Indian Leg Wrestling Match" right there on the spot, to decide what was done. That would have been awesome!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

overly optimistic

I'm not sure if it is a strength or a weakness, but I've been told and sometimes can see glimpses that I am "overly" optimistic. I guess it's good because what others see as problems, I only see as small obstacles. On the other side of that coin, sometimes I may give too much hope or believe in someone too much. At times I also tend to be blinded by looking past potential serious threats. I'm so glad for teammates who at times may see a clearer picture of reality. We are learning how to guard each other and fill in the others gaps. That's what makes a team a team. It's funny, at times I will make public one of my weaknesses to one of our staff, and they are never surprised. Stay in your strengths and allow others to fill in your weaknesses.... and I'm very optimistic about that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Focus is the key to greatness! Tiger Woods, Micheal Phelps, Lebron James all do one thing incredibly well. They don't play several sports....only one....and they are the best in the world at them (sorry Kobe Bryant). A life coach of mine once told me that my greatest hindrance in life and leadership would be that I am good at many things. (I didn't know whether he was complimenting me or setting me up, of which it turned out to be the latter.) He said, you have to FOCUS on 1 or 2, and set out to be the best in those areas. He challenged me to let some things go.
That was a very hard lesson that I am seeing come true. The things I used to be good at, as I grow and the church grows, are now being exposed as "not so good." I must allow others who are more gifted in those areas, lead in those areas, while I narrow my focus on the few things I can be the best at. It is not easy, but it is necessary. So how is your focus?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Some Big Details

I love when people communicate in bullet points, so here are details of C3's new addition:
- Cost - $600,000 - Guaranteed Max Price with
- Includes - new 5,700 sq.ft auditorium, bigger bathrooms, foyer, cafe w/fireplace - total renovation of current 6,000+ sq ft facility - new parking lot - Everything but sound system, chairs and stage lights.
- Due to floodplain issues on our current site, we are building out across our current parking lot and toward Hill rd. The new parking lot will be in the big field to the right of the current facility.
- The new floor plan concept will be posted on very soon and open for all C3'ers to submit ideas.

There is an excitement in our church as we move forward toward GREATER THINGS!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Big News

Tomorrow morning in the C3 services we are making the big announcement that we are moving forward to build. After much prayer and council we have decided to move forward with new construction that would tie into our current facility. We are looking at a 500 seat auditorium that connects to the side of our building with larger bathrooms and a foyer. Then we will redivide all of our current building to make larger kids rooms. Realizing that our current 3 Sunday morning services are a band-aid, this will give us the ample room we need. We have been reassured that with the current workload of the builders, we should be in the building by the FALL of 09. It is exciting to be a part of a church that is moving forward and seeing lives change by the power of Jesus Christ. God's favor is on our church and we are in for ride,........and we have only JUST BEGUN!

Friday, February 13, 2009

kickin website

Check out our new and improved website

Special thanks to Christy and Keith at "The internet professional".....they rock. Also to BeckE and the staff for making this happen.

We put some new videos on there as well.....I would love some feedback.


2 days ago we had some big winds move through Ohio that took a big chunk of my roof with it. With a $1,000 deductible, we decided to roof it ourselves for $100. Our roof is pretty new and as I walked across it a few months before hanging Christmas lights, it all "appeared" to look great. But apparently there were some weaknesses that were exposed with high winds blowing from a certain direction. The last big storm messed up several homes in my neighborhood and not 1 shingle from our house. This time though, was a different story. This whole ordeal challenged me to look at my own life and the weaknesses I have. If a strong enough wind (temptation) blowing the in right direction (toward my greatest weakness) were to hit me just right......could I withstand it? I constantly want to realize that no one is above anything, and I want to guard my heart and mind against disaster.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Greater Things

This Sunday, we make the announcement of C3 taking a big step toward greater things. We will announce that we are going to build a new 500 seat auditorium which will attach to our current facilities. Our current buildings space would then be restructured to make larger rooms for our kids. Along with a much larger foyer and a cafe with a fireplace, it is looking to be a great step for our church. While having just recently gone to 3 morning services, we realize that this is only a band-aid for what God is entrusting us with. We are a part of something that God is doing in our midst. I'm excited to walk this out with some amazing people as we step out and trust God for GREATER THINGS!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

God's Will

Listening to a podcast this morning from Andy Stanley on the Will of God. He talked about how we think something may be God's Will, even when it's not. This happens when an opportunity lines up with our prayers and passions. That is a tough combination to say "NO" to. I remember when I felt God moving me on from a past ministry and I had a couple really amazing opportunities that I could have fooled myself into saying it's God. Of course deep down, I knew and my Keri knew that it wasn't right. Andy used the example of when David was hiding in a cave because King Saul was trying to kill him. Saul goes into "relieve himself" (yes it's in the Bible) and David who is in line to be the "rightful" king has a chance to speed things up and kill Saul. David's warriors are telling him, "God has delivered Saul into your hands," but David does what is right. Everything seemed to line up for David.....except for this line in the Bible that says it's against the law to kill the king. Besides, was that a story worthy of telling your grand-kids of how you took the throne! In God's time, it all played out.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I guess this past week a pastor in his message shared how he went and observed an AA meeting. Just hearing briefly through a friend, I guess the pastor shared how the church should be more like an AA meeting. The simple fact that everyone who walks through the door. has admitted they have a problem. There is no judging each other but only support. When one of them is struggling, being tempted or just blew it, they can call each other. Not to be condemned, but to be encouraged and lifted up.
Maybe the church could learn a few things from an AA meeting. Instead, every Sunday people walk through the doors of a church hiding their sin for fear of judgement and condemnation. Then they struggle alone, because of fear of what others at church would think if they knew. So instead of anyone coming clean, we have created a culture of secrecy and anyone who falls is then beat on by the very one's who are called to extend love and grace. I want more than anything for C3 church to be a church that is known for it's love......and forgiveness.........and grace.'s off my chest now...goodnight.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I read a quote today that said "If as a leader you can only do one thing, be clear." I know there have been times where I have and will drop the ball on this. As the leader we need to clearly define WHERE we are going and WHY we are going there. Then comes the question of HOW. I have some amazing people around me who have helped greatly with the HOW. Many of their ideas of HOW to get there, are far better than mine. If we can paint a picture of what the end result looks like, and then with passion give the WHY it is so important, we give people a track to run on. That track keeps all the people heading in the same direction with a common goal to rally around.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


"The only thing that will never change, is that there will always be change." This is a motto C3 will always live by. It's amazing how in our 2 short years of existence, how much change we have seen. Even now, we are constantly moving people and creating positions and structure. It never stops and it can never stop if we are to continue to move forward. With change comes uncertainty and that is something you have to learn to live with. You have to be sure of your direction although many times unsure of the outcome. It's part of life and leadership that you have to learn to deal with.

Monday, February 2, 2009

people skills

I had a mentor in ministry tell me one time, that 90% of all pastors/church trouble, came from lack of people skills. I have seen a lot of that and experienced my lack at times in this area. How well we can relate, communicate, console, motivate, etc, will determine much of how successful or unsuccessful we are. Of course this is not only the case in the church, but in every facet of life. Why then if it is so important, don't we spend more time intentionally working on it. I think we can grow in this area through reading, watching other leaders interact and being intentional about what we are going to do and say, before we do it. How are your people skills and what can you do to improve them?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

3 services

Well, we did it. At least for the first week. We launched 3 Sunday morning services and pulled it off as a team. It's amazing how moving a few chairs out, having more space and changing to different times can change the room dynamics. Also, we actually started on time instead of the 5 minutes late like usual. Our 9am and 10:30 services were pretty full and our noon service was about half full. (or half empty...but I'm an Our services go 1hr and 10min, which left 20 minutes for transition which seemed to work well. It will take me a couple weeks to adjust to the drain of doing 3 in a row as I definitely feel it. I am very proud of our team that stepped up and pulled this off without missing a beat. Now the challenge will be keeping up the pace, but I believe in our people!
PS - This week we go live with our new and improved website (thanks to