Ephraim and Manasseh are Joseph’s two sons. They’ve taught me 3 very important lessons. (Below is a picture of the land allotted to them.)
How would you like to keep things economical and do things in excellence at the same time? That’s the essence of dual strategy. It’s delivering the best service and being the most economical at the same time. Yes, it’s possible! [Read more…] about How To: Dual Strategy
Are you looking to take things to the next level? You must start with your team, you need a high performance team! What characteristics do high performance teams display? These 6 Characteristics of High Performance Teams will guide you in taking your teams to the next level!
My wife, daughter, and I relocated from Miami to Boone, NC in the summer of 2013 so I could start working at Samaritan’s Purse. Since then, we’ve been looking for a new home church. Everyone always asks me what the toughest part of moving is. Is it the cold? No. Is it living in a small town? No. Is it being away from Latin food? Possibly, but no. Finding a home church has definitely been the most difficult part of relocating to Boone.
Granted, we were spoiled in Miami. We went to an awesome church where I had the privilege of being on staff. Fast forward to now. I’m a terrible Christian. I have yet to say that I have really found a church home. We visit churches all the time and we understand that no two churches are the same and therefore, we won’t find exactly what we had in Miami, but still.
Boone is beautiful and we like being here. But the longer we’re here the more important it is that we establish constant fellowship with a group of local believers. So as we’re visiting all these churches I repeatedly ask myself 5 simple questions (which are in no particular order).
1. Do I really need to go to Church?
This is a legitimate question. Many Christians feel like they don’t get anything out of church. I understand why. Many churches are preaching messages that are mostly irrelevant. They’re answering questions that no one is asking. At the same time, they refuse to get dirty with people’s real issues.
Another factor is learning style. Churches are academic in nature. Think about it. You sit in an auditorium for an hour and listen to someone speak. Most people never do that outside of Sunday morning. Still, the best churches will have many ways to connect with people and grow in your faith.
There are many reasons why some Christians say they don’t need to attend church. Many of those are legitimate, but not for us. The relationships you build in church, the opportunities to serve others, and the growth that happens within a local church context can’t be matched in any other format.
2. Does this Church strive to be excellent?
I know I’m spoiled. But I want to go to a church that strives for excellence. Not perfection, but excellence. It doesn’t mean that they need fancy lights and a top notch worship team, but it means that they’re constantly trying to be better. Nothing says “I don’t care” like sitting through a Sunday morning service where everything was obviously thrown together the night before.
3. Can I bring non-Christian friends to this Church?
There are some churches that specialize in welcoming non-Christians, that’s where I want to go. On the flip side, there are churches that, whether they realize it or not, do everything they can to push people away. Some of these churches are so cryptic in their language and culture, other Christians won’t even know what’s going on. That’s not what we want. We want a church that we can bring all of our family and friends to without it being weird.
4. What do they believe?
Another important question. What a church believes is central to who they are and who you may eventually become. Another follow up question would be, “How do their beliefs reveal themselves?” Many churches may believe the same exact thing but you will never know it because that’s not what they focus on. Because of that, it’s difficult to gauge the beliefs a church truly holds after just a few visits. And unfortunately, most churches don’t put enough importance on their statement of faith or mission statement to have it mean anything other than the very basics.
5. How’s their Student Ministry?
This may or may not apply to you. If you have children in this age group then this is one of the most important questions. I want my daughter to be safe, cared for, and taught the Word of God in Children’s Ministry. Those were my expectations when I was a Children’s Ministry Pastor. So why would they change now? We have decided to not go back to some great churches here in Boone. Our main reason? They were lacking a strong Children’s Ministry.
Below are the Top 10 most read posts in 2014. This is a really random list and speaks to the unfocusedness (is that a word?) of my blog. Everything from productivity tips to airports and Crossfit. It’s random.
Here they are, starting off with the number one most read post of 2014!
This post outlines 5 things that make your organization’s resources strategic. It’s no wonder that people keep finding it on Google and keep reading it. These characteristics are timeless.
This is one of my personal favorites. In this post I outline 3 things that make Samaritan’s Purse great. It’s a short read, but I think you can gain a lot out of it.
This is my favorite post. This is an extremely personal one in which I write a little bit about someone who has greatly impacted my life, Josh Hoffman. He passed away earlier this year so I felt compelled to write something.
This is probably one of the more useful posts on my blog. In it I track my usage of the American Airlines Admirals Club membership over the course of one month. I then analyze on whether it’s worth the cost.
This is one of my more lighthearted posts. It’s 3 and a half reasons why Crossfit is terrible for you. Why would I write about that? Because I love Crossfit.
This is a post about my recent experiences at an airport to remain unnamed, until you read it.
This is yet another productivity post that keeps making a comeback. It’s more than 2 years old and extremely short, but people love it!
This is another short posts that gives a prediction about Church growth. Is it coming true? You decide!
Basically, this post deals with being a good steward of your most important resource, time.
Another short oldie, but goodie!
For the last couple years, I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors for Calvary Chapel Jaco. Calvary Chapel Jaco is a church on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica planted and led by Pastor Mike Lawrence and family. Here’s one thing I learned.
I was available.
I provided organizational advice when needed. I even managed to visit Costa Rica a few times. I was also able to host Pastor Mike and his family when they would visit South Florida. Being on staff at a growing church in Miami gave me tons of insight that I was able to share with the team at Calvary Chapel Jaco. Costa Rica is a beautiful place and the work that is being done by Calvary Chapel Jaco is awesome. It was a privilege to be a part of it.
I wasn’t able to send long term missionaries to serve alongside them.
We sent ZERO long term missionaries to serve in Costa Rica. ZERO. I see that as a huge fail, my biggest failure. Looking back at it, I realized that I had no long term plan. My plan was just to expose people to ministry and missions, and hope that someone would want to go. I needed to be way more intentional than that. That was my fault. If I could do it all over, I would develop a pipeline like this…..
What I learned:
Have a plan. Serving on a Board of Directors means that you’ll need to get stuff done in your spare time. You can’t just sit around waiting for things to happen. You can’t be passive. If you have an ambitious goal then you need to be aggressive and purposeful in making that happen. Not doing that is my failure and now is my lesson learned.
The other day I was sitting with a coworker and they were telling me some of the things they’ve gone through while being on staff at different churches. They’ve seen staff members lie, cheat, and steal. They’ve seen pastors have sex with anyone they can get their hands on. And they’ve seen staff members do everything they can to undercut and intimidate others, including calling the police on each other!
Here are 3 things that pastors think makes them immune to sexual sin, but really doesn’t….