Celebrate Grandpa’s Birthday

This weekend, Nicole and I are traveling to Plains, KS to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday. There will be a big gathering of my aunts, uncles and cousins. The fun will include a garage sale, an amazing race, cookout at the lake, singing special music in worship and birthday dinner at the church.

This will be the first time that I have been back to Plains since last summer when my grandma died.

It will be good to celebrate and see family. I am looking forward to a long, meaningful and fun weekend.

Road Trip for Worship Online

At the recent National Church Leadership Conference, I had the opportunity to be a part of a workshop about pastoring an online network church. The presenter, Reggie Kidd, is part of the leadership at Northland, A Church Distributed. He shared a video which I found to be fascinating, encouraging and hopeful. What do you think?

Why take a church benchmarking trip?

During my time at Resurrection, I have taken three trips to benchmark other churches.

Each of these trips have been with several other team members. These trips have each had a full schedule and been intense and tiring. In each of the places you can look to see what the church you are visiting is doing better than your current church. However, it is also important to remind yourself what your church is doing that is better than the one you are visiting. It may be helpful to visit a church that would be considered a peer and another that is bigger than what you are currently. Adam reminded us of these things on our trip to Willow and Granger.

I think that the practice of visiting other congregations to learn is something that would be helpful for church, staff and leaders of any size congregation. Being away together as a team allows you to commit time and brain cycles to a particular project. This often cannot happen in the midst of day to day responsibilities. Perhaps more valuable than the time visiting other churches is the time together as a team to build relationships in ways that are not always possible in other settings.

I hope that other congregations make Leadership Institute one of those events for their leaders. I hope to continue this practice in every church of which I am a part.

Integrating the Variegated Life of Theology and Ministry

Does that title make sense to you? It is going to make more sense to me this week. I am currently a probationary member of the Kansas West Annual Conference. I am in a time of preparation for ordination. One of the requirements for ordination is to respond to a series of theological questions in written form. I am taking part in this event – Kaleidoscope: Integrating the Variegated Life of Theology and Ministry – A United Methodist Probationers’ Seminar – in preparation for responding to these questions. From the website:

Candler School of Theology and Gammon Theological Seminary invite you to attend a two-day intensive lecture series for probationary members. The series will focus on the theology inherent in the questions required for full connection in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. Because these questions focus on the integration of theology and the practice of ministry, each session of the seminar will include a lecture presented by a faculty member or church leader followed by a presentation by an elder or deacon who will describe how they integrate that particular theological concept with their practice of ministry.

Nicole and I are going to be flying to Atlanta on Wednesday for this event and will be back on Friday. Are you going to be there? Make sure and leave a comment…

Worship Venue Benchmark Trip

I had a great trip to California. Dan, Jason and I ended up visiting:

  • Crystal Cathedral – mainly because it was close and we had time.
  • Mariners Church – Just got to see their facilities, but great stuff – technical stage and wonderful outdoor space.
  • Saddleback Church – We checked out one of their venues (Tent 1) and worshiped for part of a service in their main worship center on Saturday night.
  • Rock Harbor – outstanding worship, similar to what we are thinking about for Sunday morning in the Student Center.
  • North Coast Church – Venue worship in a way that I had never seen before, a main street feel with vastly different worship styles next door to each other.

Here is a slideshow from a presentation prepared for the senior staff retreat today:

For more pictures check out my photostream.

One Quick Trip

By the time that you read this, I will be on a plane with Jason Gant and Dan Entwistle headed to California to check out venue worship services at the following:

I hope to get some photos on the trip and possibly post on the road.

You can read more about the trip at Jason’s post.