Aug 262007

Another great Sunday at Church at the Grove:

  • The band rocked the house.  Props to Dave O and the guys.  And oh oh….Did Shelly absolutely nail the “shadowfeet” song.  It was awesome. 
  • Next week we are having a one week Sunday theme on “Linked”  Where we will emphasize Community Groups and doing life together.  It will be great.  Cancel all you plans for Labor day week and stay home for this weekend at Church at the Grove. 
  • We are planning a baptism service at the Blue Springs Pools immediately after we break down from the services and get over there.  Please contact us if you are ready to be baptized. 
  • We are excited about “We are bringing Sexy Back”! Series on Sept 9!  It will be awesome!  You don’t want to miss this.  Children will have children’s church for the entire hour.  Except for the first week of the teaching, our students will have an incredible opportunity to address some issues of purity. 
  • We went to see Alison Boyd and Ric Wortham married tonight in what was a beautiful service.  It was actually cool and windy in the middle of the day and not too hot.  I know Lance and Cindy were very proud of everything and how the day went.
  • When we returned to our home we were made aware of a tornado or “tornado-like” storm that hit the neighbors.  We were sparred most of the damage but our neighbors directly next to us had huge amounts of damage.  They are missing a porch!  The neighbors behind us are missing a trampoline and some trees.  Thank God no one was hurt. 
  • The thought I cannot get out of my mind is that I long for God to blow His Spirit through our community in such a way that TRANSFORMATION takes place on a whole new level!  Now that would be significant!  People have their lives simply changed!
  • Next Saturday I am going dove hunting, YES in the heat.  If the doves are moving around, we will shoot some doves for a while and then we will come back and at 6:45 the University of Georgia Bulldogs will kickoff against Oklahoma State.
  • There will be a busy week ahead.  I have to get up early so I have to get to bed! 

Get some rest and get out in your neighborhood and talk to people.  Be Jesus to them.  Also think about buying some restaurant gift certificate cards for someone this week. 

Go ahead, don’t give in to the Bullies of Silence and Indifference.  Step up, and ACT and SPEAK on the behalf of others.  Go ahead, go for it.

 Posted by at 9:26 pm
Aug 242007

Church at the Grove is now over 11 months into the beginning of a new church.  I have been reflecting on the past year and I continue to evaluate our mission and future for this community of faith. 

If our MISSION is to develop people who follow Jesus and Make Disciples, HOW will we accomplish our mission?  If the church has taken a simple mission (the Great Commission), and made it overly complex, how can we accomplish the mission and yet keep it simple? 

Here is HOW we will accomplish our MISSION to develop people who follow Jesus and Make Disciples:

  • We will Create Environments where people can explore faith. 

Our primary environment is created at our Sunday morning Gatherings at Youth Middle School and includes services at 10am and 11:15am.  We believe it should be Christ-centered and biblically-focused.  It includes dynamic and relevant music and it is a fun and engaging environment.

  • We will Encourage Relationships, primarily through Community Groups that will meet in homes and other locations for the purpose of discipling followers of Christ and connecting with unconvinced people.  We believe that spiritual growth happens best in the context of relationships.
  • We will Start Discussions in the community that lead to sharing the hope found in Jesus. 

We will intentionally engage our circles of influence as individuals and as a community of faith through acts of kindness and meeting practical needs.

This is it!  This is how we will accomplish the mission God has given us.  No More-No Less!

We want to lead people to Explore Faith, Encounter Community, and Extend the Love of Jesus to their world.

Explore, Encounter, Extend

Got it!  Now go do it!

 Posted by at 10:22 pm
Aug 232007

I love having friends.  I am burdened for some of my friends. 

  • I have a friend I talked with yesterday that is simply just hurting. 
  • I have a friend whose twin brother is battling Cancer.
  • I have a friend whose friend had a baby born with Cancer.
  • I have a friend (check out his blog here) whose wife (check out her blog here) is battling cancer.  It would mean so much to them if you went to their blogs and left comments to let them know you are praying for them.  Tell them Russ sent you.
  • I have a friend whose wife lost her mother last week.
  • I had lunch with a friend last week and I hope I encouraged him as much as he encouraged me.
  • I have a friend whose wife had surgery last week and they are waiting to hear what the deal is.
  • I have a friend whose wife is having migraine headaches.
  • I have other friends dealing with medical issues.
  • I have friends dealing with depression and emotional issues.

Life is a journey too hard to be made alone.  Go make some friends.  Encourage your friends.

 Posted by at 6:20 pm
Aug 222007

I just finished The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership by Steven B. Sample.

Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership by Steven Sample

Disclaimer:  This is a Leadership Book.  This is not a book written from a Christian perspective.  You may not agree with everything mentioned in the book, but it is a great though-provoking read.

 Here is what I learned from the book:

  • Think gray.  Try not to form black and white opinions about people or ideas until you absolutely have to.
  • Think free.  Develop the discipline of thinking WAY outside the lines and boundaries of traditional thought.  Think OUTRAGEOUS!
  • Cultivate the art of listening.  Listen first and talk later.
  • Be wary of expert advice since most experts have an agenda related to their respective field.  Don’t neglect your own discernment concerning your organization.
  • You are what you read.  Sample encourages the reading of the “super-texts”.  (These are the ancient spiritual text from all over the world: Bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, and classic Literature.)  His favorite and most often quoted is The Prince by Machiavelli.  Allow your staff to keep you updated on modern trade publications and newspaper events. 
  • Never make a decision that you can delegate to a staff person.
  • Ignore past decisions that may look like failures and have unrecoverable costs.  Your organization depends upon your ability to move forward.
  • Know what hills you are willing to die on. 
  • Build the best staff and team as possible and spend much of your time resourcing them for success.
  • Be willing to do leadership as well as BE the leader.  It is easy to covet the title, but you must be willing to do the job with perseverance. 
  • Equip and invest in people rather than simply just run the organization.  If you build into people, you will create motion and substance that will move the organization.  Encourage and invest and you will bring out the best in your people.
  • Don’t simply copy other organizations but trust your organization’s own original thinking and approaches for an unconventional product.

This is a great book and well worth the price.

 Posted by at 9:59 pm