Monday, November 28, 2005 | |

Blogging Sabbatical

Busy Week.. A big church funeral, prep for Christmas series, a few dinners, my two daughter's 4th and 5th b-day... so I'm taking a Blogging Break for a week. Don't worry I'm not quiting.

Friday, November 25, 2005 | |

Megachurch Pastor Punched!

Pastor Joe Daugherty of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa,OK was punched in the face during service. His response was great. Watch his response here. Crazy stuff!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 | |

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give Thanks! Stop counting your problems and start counting your blessings!
1 Thess. 5:18 says, "In EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

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Church Complaints?

Have you ever had anyone complain? Take a listen to this crazy complaint a pastor received on his voicemail. You won't believe it. Click here to go to the funny audio and afterwards check out the dance remix!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: John Bishop

John Bishop

Bio: John Bishop is Lead Pastor of Living Hope Church in Vancouver, WA.

Church: Living Hope Church - Vancouver, WA
Blog: John Bishop

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. John, what gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
John: "My greatest joy as a leader is seeing potential realized in people. I love calling out of people what God put in them. I think Jesus calls us and believes in our ability to do something way more than we do in ourselves."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
John: "My biggest pet peeve is when someone tells me something can’t be done. Nothing sends me from zero to mach speed faster than a bad attitude. Also it’s difficult for me to be around “the cup is half empty” people. If Chicken Little is in the room I get stressed out. I know we need critical analysis but truth be told; who would have ever thought Peter would or could walk on water? I rest my case."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
John: "Who’s influenced my life as a leader? So many! Probably, as a leader, Bill Hybels. His passion for the local church years ago is what began in me a stirring of God. I’ve met Bill-in fact a few months before we started Living Hope I went to my very first church conference. Bill was teaching with John Maxwell. I waited in line for ten minutes to say “hi” to Bill, but to my surprise when it was our turn to speak to him he took me and my wife aside and prayed that we would be a prevailing church. I have never and will never forget that day. Secondly, my wife Michelle. She keeps me centered in so many ways. Emotionally, spiritually and relationally. She can and does tell me things that others either don’t or can’t. I love and respect her more than any other human being. That’s all I got to say about that."

4. What books have changed your life?
John: "So many! Of course the Bible. Duh! I read a lot. Andy Stanley’s book “7 Practices of Effective Ministry” was/is life changing. I have bought over 100 copies and given them to pastors in our community. Andy is another guy that has influenced me so much. The other fascinating book is “Blue Ocean Strategy”. Great marketing strategy book! Should I go on-how many books do you want?"

5. What's Your biggest challenge as a leader?
John: "So simple. Leading me. Hybel’s does a great job in his talk “360 degree Leadership” Leading others, leading up, leading peers YET leading me is my biggest challenge. Staying focused, staying in love with God, staying out of God’s way (I hate not being in control), staying balanced, staying healthy…mostly I have to stay disciplined to not get lazy leading myself."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
John: "My goals as a leader are 1) To finish well-really! I see so many leaders that end up sidelined from ministry. It’s so sad to me. I really want to do whatever it takes to finish well. 2) In relationship to finishing well I want to stay married and in love with Michelle. Marriage takes work. I want to really be best friends for life. 3) I want to “be there” as a father to my three kids. I’m all they have. My dad died when I was five. Growing up I hated seeing other kids go camping etc. with their dads. I felt left out and alone. So I want to really be there! Lastly I want to get through just today. Not to sound over dramatic, but I mean it. Every day has so many challenges. Our church had grown from 1,100 to 2,800 in one year. Now we are a multi-campus church beginning services at our second location in only 8 weeks. It’s just a lot. I want to keep my sanity and really be joyful. H. B. London spoke at our church two weeks ago and I have to say I just love him! I love his heart for pastors. He sent me a book “Pastors at Greater Risk.” I think it’s a hint-what do you think?"

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
John: "Ten years ago Living Hope didn’t exist. Ten years ago I would have never imagined anything happening today, so I’ll choose to say I hope I’m doing church, in this church, with the people I love the most. I don’t know what else to say. I love being part of a revolution with leaders who dare to put everything on the line. I love waking up because I love what I get to do. I love the people God has around me. I hope I can still be blessable enough to be used by the one whose name I bare! I want to continually stay out of the way and courageously trust God!"

Thanks John for taking the time for an interesting interview!

Monday, November 21, 2005 | |

Holy War?

Evangelicals and Hollywood are engaged in a battle to claim "The Chronicles of Narnia" for their side. Read the article here.

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10 Tips for Church Planters

Check out Mark Batterson's Church Planting Tips here. Good stuff.

Friday, November 18, 2005 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Dino Rizzo

Dino Rizzo

Bio: Dino and DeLynn Rizzo have been Senior Pastor of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, since the church was founded in 1993. They are young and passionate pastors called to bring healing to hurting people.

Church: Healing Place Church

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. Dino, what gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Dino: "I love seeing the people God has joined me with flourishing, fully alive and having a ton of fun changing the world for Jesus, especially my wife and three kids. When I see DeLynn lead worship and when I get to see my kids experience the joy of helping other people – that’s what I love."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Dino: "I get pretty fired up when I see people in the body of Christ being impatient with the poor, the hurting, those who are lost and confused, people who are addicted, and those who are far from God. I think it is crazy when someone has been to the cross but still lives with a negative mindset."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Dino: "Those up close:· Wayne Austin (my father-in-law) is a man with massive integrity, and Robert Rizzo (my dad) was a giver and he taught me to be the same.
From a distance:
· Mother Teresa – her love for the poor
· John Osteen – his heart for missions
· John Maxwell – the leadership guru
· Bill Hybels – the way he does New Testament church today
· Brian Houston – his passion for the local church

4. What books have changed your life?
· Jesus Style by Gale Erwin
· High Adventure in Tibet – the biography of missionary Victor Plymire
· David Wilkerson’s Two of Me
· In the Heart of the World – by Mother Teresa
· Heaven is in This House – Bobbie Houston
· Ted Haggard’s Primary Purpose

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Dino: "I have a passion for Jesus, for my wife and kids, and for the world from southern Louisiana to Africa and all over. My daily challenge is to focus that passion into the ways God has given me to express it."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Dino: · To keep growing as a man and as a pastor of an incredible church
· To see Healing Place Church’s new worship space completed
· To duplicate myself so that I can free up more creative time
· And to lose 30 pounds (can’t forget that one)

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
· I will be going on year 24 pastoring this church, and I plan to be healthy, hearing from God and dreaming about the next ten years.
· I believe also that I will be supporting my wife’s role in leadership a HPC even more. The next ten years will be a great season for her.
· I believe HPC will be expressing our heart to be a healing place for a hurting world in dozens of environments around the world. I will be on my knees for that and for the excellent staff of Healing Place Church that they will continue to grow in excellence.
· Oh yeah, I expect to be in some PS2 championship because I rock at NCAA Football ’06 – there’s no telling how good I’ll be by 2016.

Thanks Dino for a great interview! You are an inspiration to us for all you did and are doing for the Hurricane victims. You're also lucky that you're not good Madden '06 because I could take you at that! Thanks also to Dan Ohlerking for helping me get the interview.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 | |

Get Over The Hump Day Quote

"When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

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The Leadership Blog Interview: Dave Workman

Dave Workman

Bio: Dave is the Senior Pastor of Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, OH.

Church: Vineyard Community Church -Cincinnati, OH

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. Dave, What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Dave: "Two things: I love seeing people come to Christ. That’s a window to heaven. Secondly, seeing the “leadership light” come on for someone. When somebody says, “I could do that”, that means that inspiration and mechanics have converged and leadership has done its primary job."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Dave: "One dimensional definitions for leadership. Churches that are content with where they are. Believers who are not outward-focused."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
: "A pastor named Clyde Miller who led me to Christ. I was a musician and druggie/drinker. He took the time and risk to pastor the hippies who were stumbling into his traditional Pentecostal church during the Jesus movement. A classic shepherd.
My friend Steve Sjogren. Our leadership styles are so different, but perseverance is what I have learned and admired from Steve. And he’s the most non-religious Christian I know."

4. What books have changed your life?
: "Currently reading: The Productive Narcissist by Maccoby and The Prophetic Imagination by Brueggeman. But the Big Books over many years: Mere Christianity (yeah, I know, but it’s true…) by the patron saint of evangelicalism. Good to Great by Collins. Watership Down by Adams. How can you not be moved by a massive fictional account of the Exodus story…with rabbits?"

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Dave: "Maintaining intimacy with Jesus…not running ahead, not getting apathetic. The biggest challenge is always self-leadership, isn’t it?"

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Dave: "To truly mine the depths of what servant leadership is about. To take bigger risks. To inspire people to do what they may have never considered in their journey with Jesus."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Dave: "Hopefully becoming a wise old sage, listening to whatever is the hardcore music scene in 2015, and serving my church."

Thanks Dave for a great interview!

Monday, November 14, 2005 | |

I love when science proves the Bible!

Finding Said to Boost Proof of Goliath
"Archaeologists digging at the purported biblical home of Goliath have unearthed a shard of pottery bearing an inscription of the Philistine's name, a find they claimed lends historical credence to the Bible's tale of David's battle with the giant." Link via Brian.

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I'm working on a podcast, has anyone used "Free storage & bandwidth. Forever. No Catches." It just sounds too good be true, any thoughts?

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The Leadership Blog Interview: Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons

Bio: Dave is the Lead Pastor of New Song Church. One of the fastest Growing churches in America.

Church: New Song Church

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Dave: "I receive great joy from seeing people who make moves towards Christ whether incrementally or radicallly."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
: "My own forgetfulness! I guess i'm a little ADD."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Dave: "Henri Nouwen. He understands rhythms, pace, the role of pain and weakness in our lives, and our common leadership dilemmas."

4. What books have changed your life?
Dave: "The Return of the Prodigal Son (Nouwen), In the Name of Jesus (Nouwen), Repentance and the 20th Century Man (Miller)"

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Dave: "Focus."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Dave: "Staying healthy with family, friends and community. Keeping connected with what God wants me to see, act upon and know. Eating cheetos at least once a week."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Dave: "Living in up to 5 different places globally. Having fun experiencing the new global village and the emergence of a third culture organism that will change the way we do church, corporation and community."

Thanks Dave for the interview.

Friday, November 11, 2005 | |

Who knew?

Sex Scenes Double on Television
“Opinion poll, after opinion poll, after opinion poll say that a large majority of the American people think there’s too much sex on TV. And yet what do we get from the television industry? We get more sex.”

Thursday, November 10, 2005 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Buddy Cremeans

Buddy Cremeans

Bio: Buddy Cremeans is the Founding and Senior Pastor of Northway Fellowship, one of the fastest-growing churches in the Northeast and soon to be recognized by Outreach Magazine as one of the Top 100 fastest-growing churches in the United States. Located in Malta, NY, Northway has grown from just a handful of people to over 1200 weekly attendees in just three years.

Church: Northway Fellowship

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. Buddy, what gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Buddy: "I enjoy igniting and inspiring people to dream their wildest dreams for God. Then, my greatest joy comes from watching them realize the reality of their dreams. It’s simply the best to see people get it….that the God of the Bible, the God of Moses, Elijah, is the same God of today and that He can do more than we could ever imagine, guess or request!"

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
: "My biggest pet peeve is when people make excuses instead of offering solutions."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Buddy: "As a young child, I was profoundly affected by the faith of my grandfather. My grandfather was a country preacher in West Virginia who started churches and served Jesus until he was 91. His faith was transplanted in me. My father loves Jesus passionately, and my big bro has always challenged me to be better. In the last five years, as I have grown and developed in my faith, I have discovered Jesus to be the ultimate leader. Every principle from leadership, I don’t care where you get it, comes from Christ. Most recently, in the last two years, Ed Young has helped to release and affirm these leadership principles in me."

4. What books have changed your life?
: My Utmost for His Highest
Purpose Driven Life
Can We Do That?
Jesus CEO
Best Life Now
An Enemy Called Average

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Buddy: "Budgeting my energy. There is only so much to go around. I continually ask myself, “Is what I’m doing with my time and energy moving me towards my God given destiny?”

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
: "My goal is to sharpen my leadership skills by continuing to be a student of success, asking the right people the right questions, and becoming an intense listener."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Buddy: "In ten years, I will be enjoying a passionate relationship with my bride and watching my kids taking the reigns of their destiny. I will be leading the greatest people I have ever met in my life as their pastor at Northway Fellowship, by then a church of 10,000. I will be starting strategic churches throughout the Northeast, authoring several books, traveling the world, and pouring myself into the next generation."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 | |

New Found Blog On The Block

Checked my referral logs today, and it's great to see author & pastor Ed Rowell is blogging. Check him out!

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Get Over The Hump Day Quote

"Perhaps the tragedy of our time is that such an overwhelming number of us who declare Jesus as Lord have become domesticated- or if you will, civilized." -Erwin McManus, The Barbarian Way

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 | |

The Leadership Blog Button

Simply copy and paste the source below to link to The Leadership Blog !

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$4.50 for God's Will???

In preparation for my Sunday message on God's Will, I googled the phrase, "What is God's Will?". I guess someone paid Google Answers, $4.50 to find out! Here's the link: Check it out!

Monday, November 07, 2005 | |

Word of Mouth is Still Best!

According to the WOMMA report, the top ten reasons why word of mouth marketing is gaining momentum is that:

1. The consumer is in control
2. There is a growing distrust of advertising messages
3. Empowered consumers are not just negative, they are fighting back
4. There is a marked increase in online advertising
5. Media fragmentation is causing marketers are shifting from mass advertising to targeting efforts
6. Email and other interactive platforms make it easy to employ viral programs
7. Word of mouth marketing is relatively free advertising
8. New tools can now track and measure online word of mouth
9. Online word of mouth marketing campaigns have a long shelf life
10. Remarkable offline marketing campaigns can ripple on to the web
Via Almost half of all online marketers will engage in some form of word of mouth marketing this year. Next year, a majority of digital marketers will conduct such efforts.

-Via Church of the Consumer

Sunday, November 06, 2005 | |

Crazy week...

With over 12,000 visits last week, I would like to say hello to all the new readers. With Christmas coming up, I thought I'd post my Amazon Wishlist, click here. Yeah, I threw on a Video iPod to see if anyone really loves me! Remember, we don't get paid for blogging.

Friday, November 04, 2005 | |

"The geeks shall inherit the earth."

Check out, "How to Manage Geeks" by Fast Company. Great stuff.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Bob Merritt

Bob Merritt

Bio: Bob Merritt is Senior Pastor of Eagle Brook Church, a church approaching 6000+ in weekly attendance, in 7 different services, in White Bear Lake, MN.

Church: Eagle Brook Church

The Leadership Blog Interview Questions:
1. What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?
Bob: "When a momentum has been created that's unstoppable and we're taking ground for the kingdom on a daily basis."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Bob: "Indifference, apathy, laziness."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Bob: "Probably my dad and my older brother John."

4. What books have changed your life?
Bob: "Good To Great; Rediscovering Church; Built To Last; 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; Courageous Leadership; Experiencing God; The Life You've Always Wanted"

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Bob: "Raising money and leadership development of staff"

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Bob: "To be an effective and faithful leader, teacher and to expand my influence as broadly as I can."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Bob: "Leading Eagle Brook, adding satellite campuses, writing books."

Thanks Bob for an interesting interview!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 | |

Get Over The Hump Day Quote

"It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God: but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things." -Oswald Chambers

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Cultural Exegesis

Check out Mark Batterson's interesting recent article called "Cultural Exegesis", he wrote for Ministries Today.