Posts Tagged ‘ pastor ’

Constant state of Reflection and Learning…

magnifying glassI have taken a small break from blogging lately to reflect and analyze many aspects of my life.  I am a husband, a Daddy, and a pastor of a new church.  Each one of these responsibilities brings it’s own set of responsibilities and challenges.  I’ll spare you (and me) the details of how tough I’ve realized it must be to be married to me.  My wife is my greatest supporter and cheerleader…and I have realized how much more of my time and love she needs.  My kids are growing up faster than I want them too!  I have not figured out how to slow down time…so I have been pondering ways to enjoy each day and be the best dad I can be.  

As far as being a church planter/pastor/creative paradox for Awestruck Church is concerned, I am discovering how much I have to learn!  Our church is 9 months old and every week is a learning experience.  I am learning the balance between entertainment and engagement.  I am learning the difference b/n what I want and what God wants.  (His way always works out better by the way)  I am learning the difference b/n being a “boss” and being a leader.  I am learning how to lead within my strengths and surround myself with people that pick up the slack of my weaknesses.  

As a leader (in any area of work or business) it is crucial that we constantly evaluate who we are and how we can improve.  Reading books, blogs, and going to conferences are great things!  I am learning that I can learn and be inspired by others, but simply copying and pasting others techniques into my life is detrimental to my personal progress.  Times of quiet reflection and (painfully) honest discussions with God produce the greatest results in my journey of becoming the greatest Husband, Daddy and pastor that I can be.  God created me with a purpose…I am committed to tenaciously chasing it with all that I am!


“Mysterious” (Week 1 Sermon)

One of the most dangerous traps of Religion is the tendency to compress God into the mold that fits our personal needs and comprehension.  When we replace the mystery of God with our limitations, we remove the very nature of who He is.  The Heart of God is His Creation.  He is beyond our ability to fully understand, yet He chooses to be intimately involved in our daily life.  A balanced realization of His majestic power and His unconditional love for us is the essence of a fulfilling relationship with our Creator.  

Click HERE to listen to “The Heart of God”

Monday Download (well..Tuesday?)

1.  Last week was one of those weeks you wish you could replay over and over on a regular basis.

2.  For the first time in my ministry I had a man come by my house to shake my hand and tell me thank you for the message I preached!  Very flattering and humbling!

3.  Due to lack of childcare I was able to spend more time with my kids…that is my favorite thing in the world!  And my mom came up to help out…they love seeing their Nana.

4.  On Friday I attended the funeral of the oldest living UNC Basketball player.  It was an incredible celebration of the amazing life he lived.

5.  The Awestruck leadership met to discuss our upcoming teaching series…I am pumped about what the future holds for our church.

Princess and Daddy6.  Speaking of Awestruck…I brought my princess on stage with me this week.  Ady loves the spotlight.

7.  The “Stupid Cupid” series is really hitting home with a bunch of people!  It is amazing how many comments and conversations I am having with people that struggle with love.  God is doing some big things in this teaching series.

img_05728.  Layden is taking a couple weeks off and I am thankful for Evan, Tana, Beej, and Ricardo filling in this week.  They did an awesome job with the music!

9.  The new stage design looks phenomenal, but is still a great task to assemble every week.  I think it’s worth it.

10.  I am jacked up about what we are planning for our Easter Community outreach.  The idea is not original, but the way we are going about it might break all the “rules”.  🙂

Dragging vs Flying

On our recent trip to Topsail Island we stopped in one of the oversized bargain beach stores.  You know the stores that sell everything from Bikini Girl Beach Towels to lighters shaped like guns?  While browsing we decided it would be fun to fly kites on the beach, a little father son bonding time.  I bought Micah a classic cheapo piece of vinyl with a string attached for only $4.  I, however, was convinced that I needed the more expensive “sport kite” which promised to preform aerial acrobatics with ease!  I couldn’t wait to show off my skills.

Once both kites were assembled and ready for action we headed out on the sand.  Micah’s simple, classic kite went up with ease and maintained a great flight pattern for long periods of time.  Mine, well…not so much!  I spent the good portion of an hour attempting to get it air born only to watch my efforts (and my mood) crash and burn into the beach sand.  I ended up dragging my kite instead of flying it.

What I learned was to stick with what you know if you want to fly.  As a leader I am learning very important lessons about who I am, and more importantly who I am NOT.  We often get swindled by the fancy packaging and promotion that alters our view of “success”.  This leads to us dragging instead of flying.  Be you, don’t try to get in over your head.  I am learning my identity as a pastor and it is helping me to put people around me that are talented in the areas I am weak.  I want to constantly grow and learn as a leader, but I will always be me.  If the leader doesn’t know themselves it leads to the church/organization dragging as well.  What good does it do to obtain all the fancy and impressive ways if all you do is drag them around?  You were meant to fly high and achieve great things, but only when you work within the parameters of who God created you to be.  Are you a leader that Flies or are you just dragging around?

I’m not Burnt Out…Yet

Shut DownIt seems crazy to be gone for a second weekend just 15 weeks into starting our new church.  It goes against everything I’ve ever learned about church and ministry as a whole.  I’ve always worked in systems that revolved around the Pastor, which meant that if he wasn’t there then things didn’t run as normal.  I have also learned the hard way how negatively that affects the man God calls to lead the church.  

I decided when we started Awestruck Church that I would be gone from church once every 8 weeks.  I also encourage my leadership to do the same thing.  Why you might ask?  To avoid Burn Out!  I plan on doing this for the rest of my life and I feel like I need to put some things in place right now that allow me to stay fresh and excited about being the pastor of Awestruck.  I want the people at Awestruck to hear great teaching from the incredible leaders on our team.  I want them to miss me when I’m gone, but I don’t want the success or failure of our church to weigh on my shoulders!  God has assembled an awesome team of Leaders at our church.  I am so blessed to be able to get away and trust them with the Sunday morning worship experience.  What God is doing in our church is so much bigger than I am capable of doing on my own.  Why should I be so prideful to think if I’m not there then He can’t work?  I am a pastor learning what it means to break away from the business of God and rest in His presence.

The 7 Day Marriage Challenge…Sex?

embarrassed-monkeyWow, Ed Young has really thrown down the Gauntlet on this one!  Shannon saw it on TV and it has led to some interesting conversation around our house!  Not sure if it would be safe for me to give too much of my opinion on THIS  but it sure enough peaked my interest.  You just have to watch the video and form your own opinion.

As for me and my wife…we might just have the best Thanksgiving ever?

You can see CNN’s coverage of the story HERE.  It’s a pretty funny clip.  (Thanks Elbert)

Continuing to Unpack (Catalyst 08)

A Golf tournament and frustrating sermon prep have helped me to continue the break down process from the Catalyst Conference.  I played in a captain’s choice tourney this morning with 3 guys that I thought would carry our team to victory.  Each one of them is above average as a golfer and as a team we should have finished with a ton of Birdies, BUT we didn’t!  My evaluation of what happened: our focus was not on winning!  We laughed, joked and had a great time, but at the end of the day we were only 2 under…that is pathetic.  I did not finish my sermon until just little bit ago.  I am usually finished by Tuesday!  In the rush and frustration of not being done, little things about our service started piling up and I got mad!  I mean I was really pissed off?  I typically just handle things and strive under pressure, but tonight I found myself in a different state of mind.  My evaluation: some of the team lost focus and as the leader I chose to dump my frustration with myself onto their situation.  

The unpack is this, it is not enough to just have the right people on your team.  The value is added when the people have the focus and drive to accomplish the vision!  Also, as the leader it is vital for me to constantly be on top of my responsibilities in order to keep others motivated and focused on the vision.  I cannot lead others effectively in their role when I am playing catch up on mine!  Catalyst filled my head and my heart with info and zeal, today God used golf and lack of prep to begin showing me how it plays out?