Saturday, October 31, 2009

C 3 in ONE

Today, capped off a crazy day in the life of our church. We had 3 events going on the property in one day. We had our annual 5k race, which this year raised money for our library. We also had an "Art Sale" and our Fun O Ween festival. The weather stopped long enough for us to run and then poured again. We were forced to have our Fun O Ween inside. It was a little packed, but we had a great time and made some cool relationships with those outside our church. Our teams did amazing being flexible and pulling the whole thing off. Man....I love our church!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Right now in the church building process, we have run into a couple of obstacles. There are a couple codes that could tack on thousands to our current building project if the City doesn't give a little. We are walking this out and praying for God's favor! We go before the City Council in December, who will make the decision on them. I think we have a couple great reasons/arguments, we are just praying they give us some grace!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

no room to dream

I run into many leaders who have no room to dream. Their lives are so filled with so much "stuff" that they have no margin left to look ahead to the future. I have found myself there there too many times as well. I get so bogged down in the details of the vision, that I take my hand off of the steering wheel and my eyes off of the road. When this happens, the results can be a long detour, or even worse. As the leader, I must never forget my greatest responsibility, to prayerfully seek and relay God's vision for what I am leading. I must forge out time to pray, reflect and think on where we are, where we need to go and how to get there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forgotten God

So far, I am really being challenged by this book by Francis Chan. I love his heart for more of God. Only through the first chapter and I had to put the book down to pray and journal. I had been needing a good challenge and this seems to be it. Where is the power of the Holy Spirit in my life? Am I truly living my life daily in step with Him? I want to continually experience LifeChange in my own life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

section meeting

This month, we had Randy Young come and share. He did a great job talking about burnout and health for pastors and leaders. A couple key takeaways:
- Ruthlessly remove hurry from your life.
- Racing through life leads to:
* Fuzzy vision
* Exhaustion
* Shallowness of Life-
- Only 1/3 of ministers will finish well.
- What hinders finishing well:
* abuse of power
* misuse of funds
* pride
* sexual misconduct
* family dysfunction
* plateauing
* untended emotional wounds

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's crazy around C3 right now. Walls are being busted down, wires are being run and progress is in the air. I am blown away by how many details that have to come together to keep within budgeted money and time frame. I do want to give a shout out to Hope, one of our ELT (Exec Leadership Team) members. She has shielded me from more weight and stress than I even know of. We are coming into crunch time where big decisions have to be made very quickly.
On top off all this craziness, this Saturday we are having our C-3 in-one event. We are doing a hugely discounted art sale, a 5k run/walk and a Fall Festival called Fun-O-Ween! Add that all together adds up to a season of insanity.
Honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way.

day off

Went hunting (saw only a coyote), worked out at the gym, had lunch with the family, spent time with my Keri, picked up Kali from school and took her for Daddy and Ice heading out to patch some concrete...have some an old school re-run of the incredible hulk w/my boys.. shower kids..get their homework done..put them in bed...write a little on my book...go to bed...oops pray..then go to bed!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Do you remember the "Rolodex?" It was like a rotating tree for business cards.....I think. Anyway, it held all your contact information which now easily fits on our phones or PDA's. Personally, I love the fact that I don't have to know everything, just someone who does. I am one phone call or email away from getting the information I need. Your network is your net worth!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

end of the season not the end of the world

Last night the city league softball team I am on played for the championship. We were up 7-0 in the 3rd inning (yeah you see where this going) but lost 14-11 when it was all said and done. I hate losing, but it is part of life. Like I always tell my boys, every time you lose can make you better, if you are willing to learn from it. I personally walked with a couple things I could have done to contribute more. Personally, I want to be teachable in every area of my life.....even softball.

PS - They just painted the exterior of our building and it looks SWEEEEEEEET!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

what your not saying

You can tell when people talk, if they are "under" or "over" something. We may try to hide things that have hurt us, but it still comes out in our words, voice and body language. We give ourselves away to what is really going on deep in our hearts and minds. So, what are you not saying?

Monday, October 19, 2009

C3 NASCAR style

C3's very own Brandy Hickman was chosen nationally with the Susan G. Komen organization for breast cancer awareness, to have Elliot Sadlers #19 race in her honor in last Saturdays NASCAR race. Her and her husband got to actually be down on the track with the crew and cars. Honestly, they couldn't have chosen a better person. I was kidding them before they left about putting a C3 bumber sticker on the car when no one was looking. We laughed about it...then they ACTUALLY DID IT! Check out our round C3 church sticker! C3 has gone NASCAR!

percentage giving

At C3, we give in percentages. We are a church that supports foreign missions, church plants, our ministry network and gives back into our community as well. Our giving to these and others is all done on percentages of our total giving. It has worked well for us, in that as our church grows, we continue to give more. Just as individual followers of Christ we tithe a certain percentage, so we as a church want to be a giving church. As God continues to bless C3, we can continue to bless others.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


If I allowed circumstances to control my emotions, I would be up and down like a roller coaster. Today, as the Buckeyes lost to PurWHO?, (purdue) I found my mood wanting to take a swing for the negative. I love the Buckeyes and we Buckeye fans have very big expectations for our team, today of which they did not meet. That's why I'm glad that while I enjoy rooting for my team, Jesus is who I focus on.....and He is my unshakable, unchangeable ROCK!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stewardship Team

Tomorrow, our Stewardship Team meets to come up with our 2010 budget. I'm excited to dream about new staff and new opportunities for C3 Church. The "proposed" 2010 budget will then be brought to our Executive Leadership Team to be voted on, in order to make it official.
It is very humbling to me to be entrusted with "God's money." If God has put us in the place of stewarding it, then we had better take it seriously. We want to be above reproach in handling the churches finances. To the point that we put in our Bylaws that we have a regular audit that we call in on ourselves, a minimum of every 3 years. At this point we do it yearly. I think it speaks volumes to those who we are leading and honors God when we have great accountability in place.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Everyone one of us is a catalyst for something. When we are around other people, what kind of actions, words or thoughts to we bring out of them? Some of us bring out good things in other people while many of us may bring out the worst in people. Is some cases, we are a "neutral" and bring out NO response. Personally, I know of people when I'm around them that I fight not being negative. Because they are so negative or cynical, they can bring that out in me if I am not careful. On the other hand, there are people when I am around that I feel that I can charge hell with a squirt gun and prevail! What do you bring out of other people? Do people feel encouraged when around you or do you drag them down? The choice is ours, so be a catalyst for the better!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

People are messy

God is doing something in me. Over the past couple of months I have been walking with a guy who has hit rock bottom. He lost his wife, job, was on drugs and drinking, he totaled his vehicle and had no cell phone. His house had nothing in it and was about to be sold out from under him. He had burnt every bridge and had no one. He got so desperate that he was banging on peoples doors in my neighborhood in the middle of the night begging for money. It was becoming a scary situation. At one point, I even began to worry about my families safety living so close to this person. I will be honest that I'm all about helping people, but where do you draw the line? It's nice when people find Jesus and do a 180 and everything turns around, but what about when that doesn't happen? It was a messy situation.
Long story short, he finally admitted he needed help and is turning himself in to the authorities. Last night I saw him again and he was "clean." He hugged my neck crying and thanked me for believing in him when no one else did. He said he cried out to God and felt Him and he now wants to do the right thing. It was amazing watching God move in his life, but through this whole ordeal......God moved in mine as well.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Tomorrow morning at 7:30 am, I will meet with 4 sharp guys from my church who are in my Iron sharpens Iron group. We are walking together for 4 months, reading books, forming a personal growth plan and growing in love for Jesus and each other. We normally meet every other week on Sunday late afternoon, but they asked to get together more often. Our last meeting, all the guys got transparent and now there is a cool bond to be real and hold each other accountable....and that is healthy. In fact as healthy leaders, we should be reproducing other healthy leaders. Healthy pastors should be reproducing other healthy pastors....and the list goes on and on. I want do my best to strive for health and then help reproduce that in others.

Are you healthy? What are you helping to reproduce in others?


Today, we have several C3'ers that are here today to help pack up several rooms and our offices. This week they start demolishing several classrooms and walls to make our foyer and cafe. My small office will now become the hub with copy machine and several computers. It is going to be a little crazy over the next couple weeks.....but we welcome the chaos because we know where we are going.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

make it happen

I continually encourage those I have mentored to become "make it happen people." In other words, if something falls through, find a way, somehow to pull it off. This weekend I officiated a wedding and was supposed to bring the communion elements, of which I totally spaced and forgot. I pull in and suddenly remember with no time to go back. I was trying to think of anything I could. There was a caterer for another wedding nearby. I begged her and she let me use 2 wine glasses and 2 pieces of bread. I placed them on a nice white napkin and filled the glasses with the only thing I could Gatorade! They never knew....until I confessed when it was over. I just didn't want to be "that guy" who dropped the ball and didn't come through. So I did the best I could do to make it happen. Are you a make it happen kind of person?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Leadership Pill

Just finished the book "The Leadership Pill" by Ken Blanchard. His books are easy reads because he lays them out as a story. The main 3 point of the book that every successful team and leader must have are:
1. Integrity - Doing what's right, because it's right
2. Partnership - Everyone working unselfishly together toward a common goal
3. Affirmation - Showing genuine gratefulness for others efforts and giftings

Do you and your team operate with all three of these? How would bringing them into your current situation change things?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

step hens

Tonight, I'm talking with m 8 year old son and he tells me he can never remember how to spell our last name. I told him he knew how, but he said he tries and always messes up. I said, "can you spell STEP and HENS?" He said that he could and then proved it. He could spell STEPHENS all along once it was broken down into smaller pieces.
How do you accomplish something bigger than you? Break it down in small bite size pieces or steps. Is their something you have always wanted to do? Set that goal, break it down and run at it. The key is you have to start somewhere.

welcomed chaos

Our new building is coming together very quickly. The 500 seat sanctuary that is attached to our current facility is being built at record speed! The chaotic fun begins in 2 weeks when our current kids classrooms that will soon be our foyer/cafe get demolished. We then will have 5-6 weeks of combining classes and shuffling kids around to different rooms to make it all work. We have some amazing teachers who are going to have to rise to the next level to help us pull this off. There is no doubt that they can and will make it happen. As the leadership, we will do our best to keep clear lines of communication with all of our teachers and leaders. The cool thing is, there is an end in sight and that end is new and bigger rooms! We welcome the chaos!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So here it is....I'm going to go public just for the accountability of having to follow through. I'm going to write a book. I've started working on it now. It will be written similar to Hybels book "Axiom" with the short chapters. Mine will be for the ADD, by the ADD. Ha. A bunch of small 1-3 page chapters that may or may not tie in together, but rather be principles. It will be geared toward leadership and mostly focused at ministry. I have no idea of a title yet.....hmmm....maybe "The Book With No Title." That has a ring to it. Anyway, one of my favorite people (and editor) BeckE has penciled in a couple days on her calendar to help me begin editing it. Yet another goal on my long bucket list of things to do while on this Earth. Even if I only sell to my wife and the other to my parents, I have to attempt it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

blast from the past

I got a text today from a guy who said he walked in a thrift store in Wheeling WV and saw one of my old Krazy Songs With Konan CD's. I had to laugh. That was a CD we put together to raise funds for our campground swimming pool. There are actually 1,000 of them floating around out there. I still get reports of them being used in children's churches and VBS's quite regularly. It's great to know I'm making a
Word is out that it is some how on LimeWire....ha


Erwin McMannus said, "When our kids grow up, they will mirror what we really cared about."
Personally, I am trying to think through if there is anything that I say to my kids, but live or value something different. I say I believe in God and that He is at the center of my life, but is that really the case? I want my kids to see me praying for the sick...and reading my Bible...and hugging their mom....and talking positive about others when they aren't around..and...and..and. The list could and should go on and on. Does your life mirror who you want to be? Your children will grow up and look a lot like you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

intentional growth

After the Forum conference, our staff set down and decided to set some goals for personal growth. I have had a personal growth plan for years that I have held myself to, but now it is on the table for accountability. Our Executive Staff will read 18 books a year, listen to 104 podcasts or Cd's, have a mentor and be mentoring a handful of leaders at C3. In our weekly meetings, we will have a time of accountability.
As we the leaders grow, so grows our church. It's our choice to either "grow daily, or die gradually."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

very important day

Today, was jam packed full of investing toward the future. I fulfilled much of my reason for being on this planet. My time was spent doing what I am specifically called and designed by God to do. Today I spent my day.......just being with my family.

Friday, October 2, 2009

skill or will

All growth boils down to SKILL or WILL. Have you ever seen someone play something for the first time and pick it up incredibly fast. They have natural skill. Others work incredibly hard at perfecting something. This is called Will. All growth in any area comes down to Skill and Will. What area(s) o your life do you need to grow in, and do you have the SKILL or WILL to accomplish that?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

finished product

This is a rendering of what our building will soon look like. We are planning to have our first Sunday in the new sanctuary in 6-8 weeks. It is coming together very quickly and the excitement is growing. We have some amazing people that are all playing a part in what God is doing here at C3....and we've only just begun!

Growth is all about health

I was thinking this morning about how God created the world to grow. In nature we see how if a plant is healthy, it grows. The actual "growth process" is a mystery that only God can do, but there is a part that we play. If a seed has the right soil, the right water, the right sunlight, and the right temperature it is going to grow. I have talked with several leaders who are praying for their churches to grow, although they have no vision, a toxic church culture, no processes or structure and aren't training up any leaders. That's like putting an acorn in the sand of the desert and praying for it to grow. God has created into nature certain laws for healthy growth. Why should God allow that tree to grow from an acorn in the desert, only to have the heat destroy it? Why should God give our churches growth if we aren't ready to handle it? The healthier we are, the more that we can grow and be trusted with His growth.