Tuesday Team Talk…

Today I had several conversations about life change! The first part of our weekly team meetings include telling stories about what is happening in people’s lives. This week we had some great reports.

1) I had received an email from a man named Jeff. I wish I had kept it, but somehow it got deleted. Jeff said he came to Bibleman with his wife and kid. He didn’t really want to come because it had been a long time since he had fellowship with the Lord. He told of how entering the building he felt dirty, but on his way out he felt totally clean and forgiven! He told me he got a few message Cd’s and is totally stoked to be in church again. Way to go Jeff.

2) Travis reported that we’ve had 36 first time guest in youth this month! 7 of them were Jr. High students this Sunday. He also reported that his leaders did a great job on the Jr. High retreat at Mt. Baker.

3) Kathryn reported that 16 or so attended the Meet and Greet after service. Meet and Greets allow people to get to know each other after service over snacks and a brief time talking. I heard some great stories this weekend.

4) Right now we are having great balance between our 9am and 11am services. This week there were 268 adults in the 9am and 282 in the 11am.

5) Seven people took the Tithe Challenge. I can’t wait to hear the stories.

These were just a few of the stories of life change for the final week of Feb 2007. Can you believe it is already the end of Feb?

If you have a story of life change post a comment!

SOME OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS

List of Favorites:

Category: Must Reads

The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer

The Dip, Seth Godin

The Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren

The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren

The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

Category: Leadership

Developing the Leader within You, John C. Maxwell

Developing the Leaders around You, John C. Maxwell

Racing to Win, Joe Gibbs

Good to Great, Jim Collins

Built to Last, Jim Collins

Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis, and Annie McKee

Blink, Malcom Gladwell

Category: Autobiography

Just As I Am, Billy Graham

Category: Relationships

The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman

7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey

How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

Category: Spiritual

Great Faith, Wendell Smith

The Holy Spirit and You, Dennis Bennet

A New Kind of Christian, Brian D. McClaren

Crossing Rivers, Taking Cities, Frank Damazio

The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus

Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell

The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence

The Bait of Satan, John Bevere

Chazown, Craig Groeschel

The Spiritual Man, Watchman Nee

Steps to Freedom in Christ, Neil T. Anderson

In Search of Significance, Robert S. McGee

Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster

Revolution of Character, Dallas Willard with Don Simpson

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Category: Church

The Creative Leader, Ed Young Jr.

Growing in the Prophetic, Mike Bickle

First Things First, Stephen Covey

Communication for Change, Andy Stanley

7 Practices of Effective Ministry, Andy Stanley

Visioneering, Andy Stanley

Can we do that?, Ed Young Jr. and Andy Stanley

Courageous Leadership, Bill Hybels

The Leading Edge, Jack Hayford

Bridger Generation, Thom S. Rainier

PRO Vision Final Week

We finished a mini series today. PROvision was a 2 week series on the vision elements of the spring and a single message on finances. I was a little shocked at how many people were thankful for a message on money. I received several testimonies and one person commented, “Pastor, you need to talk about money more often because I benefit.”

You know, years ago, it was difficult for pastors to talk about money in church. Even today I had a few people at the Meet and Greet who commented, “Though necessary, I am sure money messages are tough to preach about on Sunday’s.” In all seriousness, money messages are not that hard, they just take a little extra thought and creativity to break down walls. In my opinion money is the easiest way for God to help us build our faith. Why? because there is a tangible substance that removes the guess work that causes many to wonder if God is moving. When we give our money we are happier, more fulfilled, purpose oriented and anticipating God to do something marvelous. Also, when someone participates in giving and God blesses them as a result, their faith grows.

Also, I heard a great story today. A boys boarding school and military academy in Montana has been receiving messages on CD from The Rock Church. Per the rules at the school the boys are not to have certain items, but because our Cd’s are faith based and balanced the administration is allowing them to listen. Also, the boys are allowed to visit therockchurch.info and knightrous.com as approved websites. I thought that was great and want to give a big shout out to Springcreek.

Our interns are traveling to Mexico for a 7 day mission trip. They will be spending the early part of the week in Puerto Vallarata with Pastor Saul and then moving inland 100 miles to Tepic with Marco and Rosa. Melinda is leading the trip, and there is nothing I hate more than one day without my wife. When you live, work, play, pray, eat, and do life together those times apart can seem like eternity. Melinda is truly my helpmate. I would not be half the man I am today without her strength in my life. Love you champ!

Some Reflections from C3

It’s been about 3.5 hours since the end of the conference and Melinda and I await our flight in Dallas. We have been asking each other what the one thing we will take from this experience this year. Melinda has shared hers and is defining on her blog www.melindaknight.com.

Here is one of the main moments I will take back with me. It begins by summarizing every experience I have enjoyed through C3. Since this was my fourth C3 I knew what to expect for the most part, but I never know how it is going to come. Fellowship Church leads the most unique worship experiences I have ever encountered. Each time I am left to reflect, consider and grow in Christ.

This year I am leaving with an emphasis on the importance of staying fresh! I was really refreshed down here. My schedule has been to the max since the beginning of the year; frankly, I don’t know if I have been very nice to those closest to me. One quote from the weekend was this, “If you are always available, then you are never really available.” I understand that completely, when I am not fully present, then I am not present at all.

I try and be available by email, phone, cell phone, blog, and everyday! You would be surprised at the number of people in our county who ask me, “So what does a pastor during the week?” I have to laugh at that one.

I am coming home with a desire to delegate more, trust our team with the creativity, micro manage when necessary, but mostly let our leaders lead in a greater capacity! I am going to set aside some obvious weekends to rest. I am going to set a vacation aside this summer with my wife, but more importantly I am going to do the hard things at the beginning of everyday like the things that are toughest to discipline.

When I am refreshed I have good perspective which says, “I get the privilege of leading in one of the greatest churches in the country!” Thank you to all those who make TRC possible! You are the reason lives are set up for “God change!”

C3 Session #5

Bishop TD Jakes, Potter’s House, Texas, 25,000 people a weekend.

Message Title: “When Shepherds Lead” Exodus 4:1-12

“Your attitude determines your altitude, when you go up you’ll fail, but when you go down to your knees, you’ll succeed.”

Four Elements of a Shepherd

Shepherd’s Source: God is our source. Have alone moments with God. Receive direction from God. Be left alone with God. If there is nothing that intimidates us and drives us to our knees with God, we are not ready for ministry. Alone moments with God are the critical component, where God says, “you will only be what I created you to be.”

Shepherd’s Spirit: God sets something unique within us. It comes from our life experiences. What do we do right? What is the brand? Is the vision throughout the whole church? Division becomes from people under the shepherd who have their own vision. Deut 34:9-12, Joshua had the spirit of Moses because Moses laid his hands on him. Joshua was maintaining the vision Moses had. Those leading at TRC must maintain the vision of the shepherd. Anything else is dilution or pollution. Dilution is when people don’t communicate the vision the way shepherd communicate the vision. Pollution is when they add to it their own spin.

Example: McDonald’s has a brand. Just because you own the franchise, just because you are in the vision does not mean you can have your burgers and fries like your grandma made them. You have to serve the burgers like McDonald’s determines. Same thing in the church; volunteers, staff and others don’t get to change the secret sauce. Elijah would not give his mantle to Elisha until the vision in Elijah was within Elisha; until Elisha was a franchise player. God said to Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you.” Why? Because Joshua had the spirit of Moses.

Shepherds Staff: God asks, “Moses, what is in your hand?” Moses replies, “A staff!” Moses realized that God gave him a staff, not a stick, but a staff. He then spent the next 40 years trying to stretch his staff. Do not hire, appoint, receive or place people within the church who refuse to be stretched.

Moses staff could do a lot of things. Church staffs need to be able to do multiple things. Moses staff turned to a serpent, he grabbed it by the tail and it turned to a stick. A God given staff has more than one ability, more than one role and more than one potential.

Moses’ staff was there so Moses could lean on it. The staff must carry the full weight. God may not be waiting for the pastor to grow stronger, but He may be waiting for the staff to grow stronger.

Shepherd’s Stutter: Moses had a stutter. Why does God ask us to do that which we are incapable of doing? Why does God ask us to work in our limitations? God’s answer, “Because my strength is made perfect in your weakness.” When you think you can’t do it, you will lean on me. When your calling humbles your heart, you will lean on me. God wants humility, and those who will serve with their whole heart saying, “I cannot do it because I stutter; I can only do it through you.” What is the thing that intimidates you? What is the area of your vision that scares you?

Summary: Great message, we will release this one to the church…