Friday, May 29, 2009

God's Team

I love being on the winning team. That's why serving on God's team is so amazing, because you really can't lose. It's cool knowing that in the end, regardless of what happens with my brief stay on this planet, I get to be with Jesus for eternity. I also love the fact that I am building HIS's not mine. When you think of it that way, NOTHING....I mean NOTHING can stop it. Recently, C3 had a bank deny us our loan for our new building. Talk about devastating, but this is not up to a bank or's up to God. I have to admit, I was starting to sweat a little. We had done a building capitol campaign and our people rose to the challenge and now what? Then God opened some doors and now we have 2 other banks working on giving us the better deal. Can you say FAVOR! This is God's team......and He let's me play a small part in it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Everyone in life at some point, has been faced with obstacles. Obstacles may vary in size and weight, but we have all faced them. Some are big and others small. Some will deter us for moments, others for years and some for life. I think the bigger question is not, "How big is the obstacle?" but "How big am I?" The bigger I am as a person/leader/follower of Jesus, will determine the size of the obstacle I'm facing. What may be a huge obstacle to me, may be a speed bump for someone else. I have made a decision to continue to grow in my faith and leadership, in order to make my obstacles look smaller.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

do it yourself

I love the internet for the fact that so much information is at your fingertips. 2 days ago my wife said that she really wanted me to put in a stone patio (some guy gave me a truckload of them) before she has a bunch of ladies over on Friday. So I jumped online, watched a video, and went to town. It actually turned out pretty good. With every project, I get more confidence.....and more tools! Since I'm in the DIY vein, check out my video (thanks brother Josh) on

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I read a book that talked about grace being to a church, what oil is to an engine. This is so true. At C3, we have discussed with our leaders about always giving the benefit of doubt to everyone. In other words, always extend grace. When you have several people working together, there will always be friction and the friction needs to be covered in the oil of grace for things to run smooth. I think the much of time, how much grace a person extends to another, shows their level of spiritual maturity.

Monday, May 25, 2009

4 square

While in Jamaica working at a children's home on a missions trip, I got introduced to the game 4 Square. Today for Memorial Day, we went over to our worship leaders house, which happens to be next to an elementary school. (you can see where this is going) It didn't take long to find a ball and the game was on. Myself, Gary (C3's Exec Dir), our worship, tech. sound, and Youth dir. were all playing with some serious intensity. We got some funny looks from the parents coming to the play land with their kids. I guess you don't see a bunch of guys in their 30's playing 4 square everyday? Anyway, I never want to grow up.....and I love having fun with our C3 team.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

fun while it lasted

Today, I ran in a duathlon which consisted of a 2mile run/13mile bike/3.1 mile run. There were around 100 in the race and it was a lot of pain...i mean fun. There was even a pro in the race! We took off on the first 2 mile run and I found myself in the lead pack and feeling good. I ran into the transition area in 2nd place, right behind the pro. My strength in these races is not the bike or run...but the "transition." I flew through the transition and jumped on my bike and took off in 1st place! I'm winning and beating the pro......that is until he jumped on his bike that is worth more than my car. I heard a sound like that of a smooth flying space ship.....and boom, he flew passed me. was fun while it lasted! Oh yeah, I got passed by 6 other guys on the bike, but caught 2 of them back on the last run. I'm a little sore, but am reveling in the fact that I had a glimpse of racing with the ELITE!..........of course, it's not how you start the race, it's how you finish.

Friday, May 22, 2009

own it

I hate it when nobody wants to "own up" for the mistake. Personally, I feel that when someone accepts responsibility for a mistake, it shows real character. In fact, I have respected my leaders more in the past, for coming out and owning a mistake. The next level beyond that is, owning a mistake that those who serve under you have made. That's what true leadership is all about. I will say that in the past when I have "owned" someone elses mistake instead of "throwing them under the bus," it has created incredible respect. So in other words, "fess up, when you mess up!",

Thursday, May 21, 2009

things I can't do

I read this morning a quote that said something like, "You will never achieve greatness until you know what you personally can't do well." When I was new in ministry, I thought I could do it all, but the more the youth ministry grew, I began to see otherwise. Now I see many of the gaping wholes in my life and I'm sure there are many others that I can't see....yet. The only thing I can do is deal with the gaps that I know of, and do my best to bring people who are more gifted than me around to fill my gaps. The other is to be honest enough to admit my weaknesses. So let me try.......My name is Konan Stephens.....and I have may weaknesses! Wow that's liberating.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

under the radar

I feel like C3 has flown under the radar for the past 2 1/2 years...spiritually I mean. I read in a church planting book that you want to plant a church in the shadow of a mega-church because they are the lightning rod (no pun intended) for spiritual attack. We of course are in the backyard of World Harvest which is only a few miles away. I feel that we have made it to this point pretty easy and with little spiritual resistance. I can say that for the first time, I am beginning to feel the weight spiritually. I realize that in order to keep growing and to make a "dent," that there is a price tag that must be paid. May the price I'm asked to pay drive me to my knees....IN PRAYER!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1 oz of favor

Nothing...nothing....nothing compares to the FAVOR of GOD. I would rather have 1 oz of God's Favor than anything else the world has to offer. I pray for it daily, for nothing else can even compare....NOTHING.

Monday, May 18, 2009

i hate losing

I hate losing! Tonight we lost our softball game 2-1. I even had the chance to be one of the hero's and instead grounded out to the 2nd baseman. AHHHH! But, like I preach to my kids, you have to be a good winner and a good loser. There are great lessons to learn in both winning and losing, success and failure. I've heard it said, "Failure will test you, but success will ruthlessly examine you."...........I guess tonight I'll just have to settle for the simple testing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

lead story teller

As the Lead Pastor, what is the most important thing I do? The answer - tell the story and paint the picture of the vision of C3. That is my key role. I must continually be championing that cause. When you think about it, no one should be able to tell it better than the one God originally gave it to. Others have grabbed it and are running with it, but it all comes down to how clear the leader can paint it. If it is even a little fuzzy to me, it will be even fuzzier the farther it flows down into the organization. I'm learning that I need to paint a very clear target by putting it down on paper with measurable goals and distinct sidelines. This gives clarity and gets everyone running in the same direction.....and when that happens, it is powerful.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

leading somewhere I've never been

It's amazing as we walk out the vision that God has dropped in our hearts for C3 Church. Walking into this whole "building process," is brand new for me/us. I've never been a Lead Pastor or built a building before. Yet I'm asking our people to follow us into the unknown. It's amazing though the confidence that I have....not in me, but in and through Christ. I firmly believe with every fiber in me that we are doing exactly what He is calling us to do. While there will always be uncertainty in leading, my/our certainty is in the fact that God is directing our steps.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

doughnuts with dad

Today I had to make the decision to go to the last day of District Council meeting or "doughnuts with dad." I enjoy District Council and the opportunity to see friends and be a part of the meetings, but this morning I chose to be with my boy Kross at his school. To him, this is a BIG deal. In fact, still talks about last year when we went. When I think about going to another meeting, of which I will be doing for the rest of my life OR never getting to back to go to my sons Preschool/dad's day, I'm choosing to enjoy the moment with my boy! After today, that moment is now gone FOREVER and I made the right choice.

Funny, I got a text later that said I was voted in at the District Council meeting, as the "Executive Presbytery, Lead Pastor, 40 & Under. HA...I have no clue what that means, but I guess I didn't have a choice because I wasn't there. Actually, I'm excited to serve my district and honored at their confidence in me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

District Council 2

Last nights District Council service was great as sharp students from all over the state did everything from worship to drama, vocal ensembles and even a short sermon. Myself, a kids pastor and 2 district officials also got to challenge 4 elementary school kids in a Bible Quiz match. (I am not smarter than a 5th grader!) Let's just say these kids beat us bad! The question would get about 3 words into it when they would buzz in. After the service Keri and I got to eat some chicken wings with some friends. In bed by 1 am, and up at 7am for a little exercise and off to more meetings all day. Tonight, I get to lay hands on some new ordination candidates for their ordination. I still remember the night I was ordained....I was ready to take on hell with a squirt gun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

District Council

Today begins our district council for all the ministers of the Assemblies of God in Ohio. We kicked it off with a golf tournament and had a nice day for it. It is great to see friends and catch up with them. Now I'm sitting at a Panera with Gary Fowler our Executive Director and going to dream a little about vision for C3......while drinking a smoothie.

Friday, May 8, 2009

another thought

This morning on the stationary bike I got in a little read time on the book "Church Unique." I'm reading it slow to try to digest the material. A couple of quotes that got me thinking. One was, "Your mission is what you measure." This was a follow up to a previous blog, but it said what I was trying to say.
Another was, "What kind of Christian is your church designed to produce?" Ouch. We can talk all we want but the proof is in the pudding. I believe that every church, business, and even home are getting the exact results that they are specifically designed for. We can't expect results to change on their own, rather it must be an intentional action. Every action brings consequences or results. So really, we decide what happens on the back end (results) with what we do on the front end.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yesterday, one of our newly elected Executive Leadership Team (board) members and I made a road trip up to the Toledo area. Our first stop was at the MidWest Church Construction headquarters to discuss our building plans. I will say that they have worked incredibly hard to make our new building a reality. Then we headed over to Calvary Assembly of God, where I spoke for a friend of mine, Greg Fords, youth ministry. He has some amazing kids and leaders and we enjoyed our time last night. Afterward, we hit Friendly's for a "Chicken Parmesan sandwich" ......which was delicious. All together a great I have to get my Mothers Day message done...of which I'm way behind.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

growing people

Yesterday I read a great quote, "growing people, grow people." As we as a church are looking to structure our next cycle of "Community Groups" (small groups for discipleship) and came up with a list of names of potential leaders to be trained and lead a group. When you ask the question, who is growing spiritually? That is a great place to start. For it is true, that we teach what we know, but reproduce who we are. We want those with a healthy growing relationship with Christ, to be discipling others.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Last night at my 8 year olds baseball game, he had an epiphany! He is the typical ADHD kid, playing in the dirt and chasing bugs, that was until I explained the scoreboard. In the middle of the game they were losing 8-9 and he was up first. I told him that he could be the tying run and it would make it 9-9. Sure enough he got a hit and made it around the bases and saw the scoreboard change right before his eyes! He got his glove later and said he was going to try to stop them from getting anymore runs. From that point on, he was a different player, he actually focused!
Sunday afternoon, we met with our C3 team to refocus what our scoreboard looks like and how we keep score. It's amazing that when everyone knows how to win and how we keep score. We walked away with a great sense of TEAM (Community) and FOCUS (Clarity).

Some ways we keep score at C3 -
Salvations and Baptisims are no doubt at the top of the list. (LifeChange is why we exist)
Connecting - How many are connecting with God through our C3 services?
Growing - How many are growing with Christ through Community Groups?
Serving - How many are serving God with their talents?
Offerings - How people give is directly tied to their spiritual growth.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

C3 is official

Tonight was the night that our "partners' of C3 Church voted on our Constitution and Bylaws. A lot of reading and voting. Also, they voted me in as the official pastor, and our "advisory board" as our newly functioning board of directors that we call our "Executive Leadership Team." It was a big step in the life of our young church.
Sunday we did a message called, "Live like you were dying." We talked about how our lives would be different if we only had 30 days to live. Also, we have an amazing C3'er named Brandy who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, who gave her story. God has given her an incredible peace in the midst of this situation. There were 7 people who gave their lives to Christ this morning. God is good and He is doing something incredible at C3!

Friday, May 1, 2009


At our last sectional pastors meeting, we talked about feeling and being inadequate for ministry. There are times when I feel confident in who God has made me and what He has called me to do. There are also many times where I feel totally inadequate to do what God has called me to do. The Bible says, in my weakness...He is strong. I have come to grips with the fact that on my own.....I am inadequate and that I am totally dependent on Christ. Personally, I want to live in a continual state of trust and gratitude for what God has entrusted to me, and for the strength to accomplish it.