Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Blessings of God never cease to amaze me!!!  I am blown away at the opportunities that I have sometimes, and the fact that God allows me to serve in His kingdom in this way astonish me.
I get to do some pretty cool things as a Kids Pastor.  I get to be there when the "light" pops on in a kids head about Jesus' love, and I often get to lead them through the first few steps of their journey with God.  I get to stand beside families who may be struggling and provide encouragement to kids who might be having a rough time. For the first time this year, I got to help a family through the loss of a grandfather by conducting the memorial service.  I get to sit in waiting rooms with nervous parents as their "baby" has tests run to make sure "everything will be alright".  
Why did God Choose Me?  Why am I hearing doing what I love and getting the chance to do some really fun stuff when so many ministers and ministries struggle???  
I honestly don't know,  I can only thank God for every moment He allows me to serve Him.  It is an honor to serve such a Great God!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Finishing Strong

Watched a very interesting football game last night.  Living in the Dallas Metro area, it seems as if the only team in America is the Dallas Cowboys. Personally, I am a Pittsburgh fan and I really can't stand the Cowboys all that much.  I was however, cheering for them to win last night (not because I wanted them to win as much as I wanted their opponent to lose!).  The end of this game got me to thinking about a leadership principle that I often don't even consider- "Finishing Strong".  
I usually don't put much thought into finishing strong right now because I still consider myself to be relatively young.  I have been in full time ministry for a little over 8 years, and "Lord Willing" I plan to have several more great years ahead of me in ministry, but I realized last night that the choices I am making right now and the habits I am forming will determine wether or not I "Finish Strong".
Just in case you didn't catch the game last night, the cowboys failed to win because of a breakdown in a very fundamental area of the game, Tackling.  They simply failed to tackle in the final crucial moments of a game.  Having never played football, I can't imagine how difficult it is to tackle a 260 lb. running back who is charging full steam ahead, but I do know that tackling is something that players are taught when they first begin to play the game.
It became very obvious last night that the Cowboys didn't prepare to win that game.  That Preparation should have begun way back in August when they were in Training camp.  They might have cost themselves a chance at the playoffs because of their inability to tackle at the end of the game.
I don't want to be like that, I want to make sure that I am prepared to Finish Strong, and the time to do that is right now, not later.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


It is amazing to me the amount of work that can be done in the short window of time before a holiday or a vacation.  I read a study several years ago that was pretty amazing.  Some scientist actually did research on the productivity of employees during the days leading up to a vacation verses the "normal" work days in an employees year.  It was something like 5 times the amount of work can be done in these few days leading up to a vacation.  I can see it in my own life, this week (I am out of the office most of the next two weeks for holidays and vacation): I have gotten kids church written for the next three weeks, done research on some activities we are doing next summer, laid out the new structure for our ministry (when we move into our new facility and totally change the way we do ministry), and had several valuable meetings.  It is crazy how much can be accomplished when it has to be accomplished.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This was a post that I wrote for our Hope Fellowship Blog: you can find it here.

I am sitting here in my office listening to the fire alarm go off every fifteen minutes, the pounding of the sledge hammers knocking down walls (it feels like my office wall is the one they are trying to knock down), and the buzzing of drills and other power tools working steadily to construct our new auditor. Hope Fellowship is certainly in a time of physical transition. It seems as though every day I come in there is something new and some change to the structure. Change can be very inconvenient, it is almost always messy (most of you only get to see it on the weekend when it has been “cleaned” thoroughly), and it is never easy! The only thing that keeps us going is the promise of the future.
It has been my experience that our journey with Christ is very similar. Each of us has a promise that we have received from God. God has incredible plans for our lives, He tells us in Jeremiah that He has plans to give us a future and a hope. You have probably received a “promise” from God. A promise for a future that looks so different from where you are at now, that you probably have no idea how it is going to happen. Before we can see the payoff of these “promises” (when it actually comes to pass) we have to go through a process. In that process God is preparing our hearts and our lives for the incredible payoff He has in store for us.
For us here at Hope, that process involves bulldozers, sledge hammers, and a bunch of concrete and metal. For each of us as individuals, it is usually a lot more complicated. Wouldn’t it be nice if God could send a “construction team” to take you from where you are to where He wants you to be! It doesn’t work that way though. I can remember singing a song as a little kid that talks about this very thing, it’s chorus said:
He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.

It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,

The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.

How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.

What is God taking you through right now? How is it “making you what you ought to be?” Are you willing to trust Him through the Process, so that you can see the Payoff?

“Enjoy the Journey”

Scott Berkey
Children’s Pastor
Hope Fellowship

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

OK, So it is cold

Today we woke up to some real winter weather. It has not been above freezing since sometime yesterday afternoon, and it is really nasty outside. I am not really a big fan of driving in this weather. Earlier this morning, when I was on my way into work, I turned a corner and the truck reminded me (by sliding to about a 45 degree angle) that there was ice everywhere. Not exactly what this Florida boy finds as a fun time.
It amazes me though, all the people who will not slow down. I heard a statistic when I got to the office, that by 4 am there had already been 90+ accidents in the North Dallas area. How many of those people could have saved themselves some headaches just by slowing down and using caution. Our spiritual life is a lot like that. It is so easy for us to fly right past all of the warning sings and the caution signs. We think one of two things, that "it won't happen to me", or "I know what I am doing, I can handle this". I can only imagine how God must feel when he looks down from Heaven and watches all of us running into stuff. I bet he would have us slow down and use caution during difficult times.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Leading Leaders

I have been spending a great deal of time lately trying to figure out how to teach my Leadership Team to be leaders of leaders. They are each great leaders on their own, but in order for us to move to a new level, they need to become leaders of leaders. It is easy to lead followers. The added value comes when they become capable of leading other leaders. In Adventure Kidz, we are making a huge effort in the area of developing leaders during the spring of 2009. We sit at a crossroads, if we can make the right choices and develop our people, we can see some incredible things happen at Hope.
I have given each of my key leaders a copy of "Developing the Leader Within You". We are going to read through it together and spend some time developing their full potential. When we finish that book, we are going to follow it up with "Developing the Leaders Around You". Both of these John Maxwell books played a key role in my early leadership development, and I am hoping that they make a difference in the confidence level our our leadership team.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Team Leadership 3

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I am a big fan of teams. I have found that Teams can accomplish way more than individuals can. It is amazing the amount that healthy teams can accomplish. When you are developing a team, there are at least 3 types of individuals that you need in order to be successful:
1. Every team needs a dreamer:
What I mean by "dreamer" is that every team needs someone who helps them see what could be. A teammate that is constantly pushing the team to bigger/greater things. This member of the team never seems to be completely satisfied with the status quo, instead, they are pushing forward because they know how great things could be. Sometimes "dreamers" can get in the way though, because things still have to happen now, not just in the future.
2. Every team needs a driver:
A "driver" is the person who is constantly pushing the team forward to keep moving and keep accomplishing. They have a hard time sitting in meetings, they want to be out there doing. It is great to have these teammates because usually they are the ones that make things happen. You have to be careful with these team mates though, because sometimes they can be a little over zealous.
3. Every team needs a drummer.
A "drummer" is that team member that is constantly beating the "drum". They are the biggest champion of the vision and they are always communicating the vision to the team and to anyone who will listen. "Drummers" make it their mission to let everyone they come into contact with know that this is the "beat" of the team. They are great when they are "on-beat", but if they get off, on their own agenda, they can also be very destructive.

Make sure that your team has it's "dreamer", it's "driver", and it's "drummer". If you don't, you should probably look for someone who can help you fill in the gaps.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Smile Goes a Long Way

I do an experiment from time to time, I love walking around a store or the mall, and simply smiling at people. It is funny to see the reaction on most peoples faces. I don't recall a single person ever getting mad or offended, but I can remember hundreds of smiles in return. Try it sometime, simply smile at someone when you are sitting at a red light, or when you are waiting in line at the grocery store (be sure it is not a creepy "I am a weirdo" smile, but just a simple smile), and watch what happens. You don't even have to say anything, just smile, and I bet you will get a smile in return!
Wouldn't the world be just a little nicer if we all went around smiling at each other? Oh, and by the way, it works at church too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Customer Service

I am a big fan of looking at how companies and businesses operate. I read a lot of books/blogs about business and by successful members of the business community. Today I had an interesting experience with a company that I am somewhat familiar with: Apple. I have been using a Mac for about 6-7 years, and I think they are awesome, every experience that I have had up until today has been great, but today was definitely a different story. I walked into my local Apple Retail store today, helping a coworker try to fix a giftcard problem. I had purchased a gift card about a month ago, it was a gift that my Pastor wanted to give a friend as a thank you. The funny thing is, Apple had never charged us, and there was no money on the gift card! Big Problem! This could have been an easy fix, but instead, the associate told us we had to call corporate. So, we went out of the store made a phone call. 30 minutes later, still on the phone with "corporate" (which we are pretty sure is somewhere outside of the Western Hemisphere!) we are told that the only person who can fix the problem is the store manager. Back into The Apple store we go, and talk to a manager. He goes to the phone and we stand there... about 20 more minutes!
Turns out, Apple didn't charge us for the gift card, and therefore didn't put any money on the card...wow, I am pretty sure we told them that the first time we walked in!
This story got me thinking...How often do we treat people the same way. They often have a problem when they come to us, and we send them in as many different ways as possible. In ministry, we are in the people business, we should make it as easy on them as possible by eliminating hoops that they have to jump thru.

For the record, I am still a huge Apple fan, and this little experience will not change that!

Monday, November 24, 2008


I want to make sure that the people who serve along side of me at Hope Fellowship know how grateful I am for each and everyone of them.  I am amazed each week at the team of people who come together to serve our kids.  It is a lot of fun.  I had a God Idea of few weeks ago (I know it was from Him because I am not intelligent enough to think of it).  I sent an email to all of the parents of Hope, and I was blown away at some of the responses.  I thought  I would share one with you:

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my appreciation with the Adventure Kids Volunteers. I am a single mom of a 20 month old girl. My husband left while I was pregnant. I was fearful I couldn't make it on my own. I was so afraid to leave my daughter with anyone, but I really wanted to come back to church. Miss Helen made me feel so comfortable leaving Kennedy with the volunteers in the nursery. I remember I almost cried the first day I left her in the nursery. Volunteers like Ginger and Shelby helped me to trust people again. Through my contact with the Adverture Kids Volunteers I realized it does take a village to raise a child and there are certain people you can trust for help. The hour and fifteen minutes I get in church is my time and these volunteers have made that possible. I have very little me time to grow my faith or to just relax and they have provided that for me.

There are no words to describe the appreciation I feel for these volunteers. They have helped me find the courage to rediscover my faith and live a normal life. I will be forever indebted to Hope Fellowship and the Adventure Kids volunteers. Thank you so much for all you do. You all touch my life weekly. I appreciate you and the sacrifice you have made to help a total stranger. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Exciting Times

Got a chance to sit through 3 incredible meetings today...Normally I am not really fond of meetings. I usually get so antsy that I can't sit still and I end up having to move around or find something else to focus my attention on.  Today was different though.  It began with a meeting of our Adventure Kidz Leadership Team. This is a team that I am forming to help me with the directional Leadership of Adventure Kidz.  We are still forming this team, I have two more positions on the team that I would like to fill, but it is made up of myself, Helen and Jennifer (my Early Childhood Director and Administrative Assistant), Eric (my High Point Guy and Key Director), and Julie (my Girls Ministries Director).  This team challenges me.  I can be "set in my ways" sometimes, and this group is really pushing me to see things through a different perspective.  This week we met to discuss two major events that have happened in the last few weeks, and to look at our 09 calendar.  It was fun to meet with a group that is so committed to the ministry that God has placed them in.
From there, I went directly into our monthly leadership team meeting with the other Pastor's and staff of Hope.  We discussed more of our mission and how we can continue to stay on course.  We also went over the entire calendar for 09.  It is always fun to meet with this group, though sometimes we have issues "staying focused."  There are certainly never any dull moments :)
When we got back to the office after lunch, Helen and I looked at our new Early Childhood Structure.  It was fun to dream a little bit, and look for opportunities to find the "perfect fit" for our leaders.  It is our goal to make sure that every player on our team is in the position to score a big win for themselves and for Adventure Kidz!
I love these crazy times that I find myself leading it.  As stressful as it is, it is so much fun!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fun to be on a great team!

Reminded again this weekend how awesome it is to be on a great team.  When everyone is doing their thing and doing it great, and we all still work well together, that is truly fun!

What a weekend!

This was  a pretty incredible couple of Days at Hope Fellowship.  On Thursday, my leadership team and I recognized the hard work that our volunteer teams have been doing all year long at our first "Leadership Appreciation Banquet".  It was a fun time watching them come in and having the chance to honor them for all they have done.  I had a "God-Idea" on Wednesday morning, and I sent out a request to the parents of Hope.  I asked them to send me notes of appreciation to our team, or to send me a story from their experiences with our team.  The emails came pouring in, and when I finally put the last ones together, we had nearly 15 pages of notes of encouragement.  I was blown away by story after story of changed lives and families.  It made me realize even more that God is using this team to do something special.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Two home runs to win the game!

Sometimes I can get a bit discouraged. I am very much the type that wants to see things happen, and see things happen quickly.  I am rarely satisfied with the progress that I see happening, and I am always looking for ways to improve. Every once in a while though, I am reminded by God that things move in His time, and not mine.  Today was a long day, and at times felt like a very tedious day, but I got to see 5 of our girls play a softball game (two games, and all 5 of our girls were on the winning teams (oh yeah, and in the first one, they were down by two in the last inning, and one of our girls hit a home run to make it 2-1 and another one of our girls hit another home run with a girl on to make it 3-2)  it was a ton of fun.)
I am reminded that my job is not the crowd that shows up on the weekends, although that is a big part of what I do, my job is to pastor the individuals, the kids and the team of people who serve those kids.  I love doing what I get to do, and I love the people that God has blessed me with to serve alongside.
Being Just a Kids Pastor is really pretty cool sometimes!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Be Encouraged

Life in ministry can be overwhelming at times.  Right now we have a lot of "irons in the fire" if you know what I mean.  We have our annual Fall Festival this weekend, we are producing about 12-15 minutes of video a week for our kids church service, and oh yeah, we are building a new auditorium, foyer, and kids facility.  I am amazed at all of the things that are going on and going so well.  I think the key is to maintain focus on the task at hand.  It is so easy to feel like you are spiraling out of control. 
Have you ever gone on one of those rides at the fair or at an amusement park that spins you around and around (I use to like those rides, now I guess I am getting too old, because they make me sick!).  I learned a trick when I was younger, if you focus on one thing, and not allow your eyes to see everything else that is going on around you, it is much easier to not "lose your lunch".  It is the same way in ministry I think.  We, as a society (and therefore in ministry) are moving faster and faster.  We have to keep our eyes fixed on the thing right in front of us to make sure we don't "lose our lunch"!
Be encouraged, seasons of life tend to be busier than others, and this is a season that is almost always busy for every kids pastor.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Go Penn State!!!!  My team had me a bit worried tonight.  I got to watch the first half before church, and recorded the rest of the game.  They lived up to their billing though and crushed the Michigan Wolverines in the second half.  All we have to do is get through the Buckeyes next week, and we should be on our way to the BCS championship game.
This game made me think about leadership a little bit.  It is easy to do just what Penn State was probably doing in the first half of the game.  TO Look past the challenge you are facing, to a challenge that is coming in the future. Though they said all the right things, they were probably a little guilty of looking ahead to Ohio State next week.  How many times have I done that.  I have lost focus on the challenge at hand because I have too much of my attention on the challenge that is on the horizon. 
The challenge for every leader is to focus on the task in front of you while spending enough time preparing your team and yourself for the future challenges you have to be ready for.
Go Penn State!!!!  (Now we can worry about Ohio State)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is Ministry

I was reminded again today of something that I heard Craig Groeschel say at The Leadership Summit this year.  He was talking about a particularly busy week he was having and how he ended up having to spend an extraordinary amount of time counseling one individual. He found himself getting frustrated, because he was not able to do the "work of the ministry".  He said that he felt extremely convicted when God reminded him that "this is Ministry".  Ministry is all about people.  I have to remind myself of that fact almost every day.  I am very much a systems and procedures type of guy.  I find it difficult to slow down and spend time with people.
Today was one of those days, which seem to be coming a whole lot more frequently, that God reminded me that "this is ministry".  
Thanks for the reminder God.  Help me, and everyone else who has the privilege of serving you remember that ministry is not about programs and systems, but it is about people.  Being there for people in the hardest moments of their lives and making sure that I am being your hands and your feet.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Mondays are typically my day off, and today was a great one.  I got up at 5:20 and went for a run (a short one, but at least I am staying faithful, right???)  I then met up with Eric around 5:35 am for a good workout.  After we finished, I went upstairs, showered and went back to bed...but only for a little while.  
Today was fun because Sarah and I took the girls and got Donuts.  Myah experienced her First donut (she is very much like her daddy, she liked it).  We then went to do some shopping for Myah's birthday.  (Sometimes I can not believe how fast my little girls are growing up!!!).
From there, Sarah had a hair appointment and I had the girls for a while.  We had a ton of fun.  
As soon as Sarah got back we left for a Staff vs. Student football game (we won easily)
Finally made it home at around 4:45 and took a nap with MJ for 45 minutes before we were off to the Clanton home for some fun time.  We had a great time.
I usually don't write a whole lot about personal stuff like this, but I am amazed that even though today was non-stop, I feel rested.  It was a great day with family and friends, and I loved every minute of it.
Oh, and now we are watching Monday Night Football and MJ is yelling "GO PENN STEAK, GO PENN STEAK!!!!"  She is a bit confused, but at least she is cheering for a great team!
Rest comes in all forms, todays rest was a bit more active, but it was still really great.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Book "churched"

Just finished a brand new book by Matthew Paul Turner called "churched- one kid's journey toward God despite a holy mess". If you are interested, you can find out more info at www.matthewpaulturner.com.
The book was a good read, it's title tells much of the story.  It is a memoir book where Mr. Turner is taking readers through his childhood memories of growing up in a Fundamental Baptist Church.  I was very skeptical at first while reading the book because I grew up in a very "holiness" driven church and culture as well, and I see many benefits to that "lifestyle" that are often overlooked by people who grew up hating it.  I felt that the author did a fairly good job of depicting that "reality" without bashing it entirely.  
As a kids pastor, it made me think about some of the lessons that I have taught, and how I need to make sure that I am communicating clearly to the little minds who are hearing me.  I can see how easily some "lessons" could be misunderstood in the minds of kids and how it is necessary to make sure that every child understands.
I also appreciated what Mr. Turner had to say about some churches insatiable desire to "win" souls. I think that witnessing is important, and sharing our faith is huge, but I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on discipleship as well.
All in all, it was a good read.  I would recommend it to mature believers who may have had similar struggles.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Team Leadership 2

As I sit and watch "The Biggest Loser", I am reminded again about how it is all about teams.  This year on the show, they paired contestants up with family members.  It is allowing them to work together to achieve a goal.  I want my team to work together to achieve the ultimate goal.  
I have already talked about how important it is to have "faithful" members on the team, but I also think that it is vital to have the "detail" people on the team.  I think of how Stephen, and several others, came along side the apostles to help them accomplish the gigantic task that was laid ahead of them.  It was their hard work, and their attention to detail that allowed the apostles to focus on the study and preaching of the word of God.  I think detail people are awesome because they allow the leader to focus on what only the leader can focus on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

So, it has been a while...

This has been an unbelievably busy month.  With family coming in, a conference in Indiana, and a ton of stuff going on at Hope, things have been crazy fun.
I have been thinking a ton lately about team leadership.  Specifically, who do I need on the team if the team is going to win.  I have been able to come up with a few "types" that have to be on the team in order to have a winning team.  The first one I know for sure is the "faithful" player. The Faithful player is high on the priority list because they are the one that can help you keep things moving.  They are always there, making things happen and helping the leader get things done.  I am thankful that I have several members of this "type" on our team.  The key to keeping "faithful" people on the team is making sure that they know how much you appreciate them and making them aware of all that they are doing to make your life easier.
I love leading a team of people that is committed to making Hope Fellowship a great place for kids and families!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Went to the Leadership Summit this week.  It was pretty good overall! I am still not a big fan of the video venue concept for a conference, I would much rather be there in person to completely experience the event.  It was nice though to be able to come home to the girls each night.

I think the session that was the most impacting to me was the Craig G. session on IT.  His talk was all about the need to have IT and what churches have to do to get IT.  His main point was that before the church/organization can have IT, the leader must have IT.  The only way that a leader can have it is he/she Asks God for IT, and Earnestly seeks IT.  I really enjoyed IT.
This was my second time hearing him speak and I was thoroughly impressed again.  He wrote a book on IT and I am in the Process of reading it.  

The other sessions were good as well, but that want hit me.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Camp is over!  It is funny how something you look forward to for so long, something you work so hard to prep for, something that can make such a difference in the lives of my kids can be over so quickly.  
This year was incredible!  We ended up taking 109 kids to camp (one went home on the first day, so we actually had 108 of our Adventure Kidz at the Camp).  We had 26 staffers from Hope as well.  The team of leaders that I had was incredible.  I knew that they were going to be good going in, but they surprised me with their passion for the kids and their willingness to serve.  I can't say thanks enough.
I have already reserved the facility for next year!  Outside of a few difficult moments at the pool, the facilities were great!  The food was good, the beds were soft (Just kidding, they were hard as a rock), and the kids seemed to have a great time.  
I did feel like we learned quite a bit this year. There are some definite changes in store for Adventure Quest next year!  Great job team, I look forward to serving along side of you for many kids camps to come.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Adventure Quest

I am getting so excited about camp!  Right now we are taking about 94 kids to camp and that number is rising daily.  We leave in a little over a week and we are doing our own kids camp for the first time.  It is going to be fun. We are partnering the church of a good friend of mine, he is also bringing about 100 kids.  It is going to be so much fun.
I already have a great team going with us, all that is left is getting all the paperwork together.  
I can't wait.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Forum

I wanted to make everyone who may be interested aware of a great new ministry resource: The CMA Forum It is a great way for kids pastors to connect with others from around the country.  Great job CMA team.  

Yes, it has been a while

It has been a while since I have posted, but things have been crazy busy.  In kids ministry, I think summer time can be the most productive/least productive time of the year.  It can provide some great relational times: Camp, Day Camp, and other great events.  But at the same time, there is an overwhelming amount of preparation time that goes into these events, and the best part of it all is that the normal "ministry stuff" does not stop just because you are preparing for summer activities.  
I am excited though, we are about to hire an Administrative assistant to help us move forward in ministry.  I think this new position will help me find ways to be more productive and be even more relational with the team I lead and the kids of Hope.  

Monday, June 30, 2008

Building a Team

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I feel like the greatest way to lead is through teams.  I have been blessed with a great team, and it is becoming even greater.  I think it is my job as the leader of the team to make sure that every member of the team is moving in the right direction.

There are people on the team that are on all different levels.  Some are brand new to the team, it is my job to make sure they are finding their place, and feeling like they are a part.  That is why we are working our way through interview after interview. Other members, ones who have been on the team longer, need me to challenge them and stretch them.  Team members like Julie and Eric need new leadership challenges.  I have to make sure that they are learning to lead leaders.

This leadership challenge is the greatest one of my life, but it is also the most fun I have ever had!

Friday, June 27, 2008

St. Paul Assembly of God

I Have spent the week in St. Paul, Va with a good friend, Jimi Watson.  Besides not having any cell phone coverage, or even a Walmart for about 15 miles in either direction, we have had a great week. Wednesday we got to visit the world's fastest half mile!  Bristol Motor Speedway was really cool. I got to climb up the embankment and touch the wall, visit the track owners "SWEET" (yes I know it is suite, but you should have seen it), and stand in victory lane (which at Bristol is on top of a building).  I even got to take a few laps on the track, we were in a tour bus, so the experience was more frightening than it was exciting.  
I have had a great time here though.  Jimi has taught me some great leadership lessons and really taken time to pour into my life about what it means to truly pastor people.  He has a love for this city and these people that is obvious.  I know he will do great things here. I want the love in my heart for the kids of Frisco, McKinney, and the surrounding areas to be as real and as visible as Jimi's love for these people is.  I know that God has called me to Hope and I believe great things will begin to happen as we continue to move forward with that call!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Feeling Prepared

Have you ever felt unprepared for something?  I hate the feeling of walking into a room full of kids and not being completely ready.  It really seems like more things go wrong when I am unprepared than when I am set and ready to go. I can have my service prepped and all the things completely ready to go, and nothing will go wrong.  Or I can come into the room and not be quite ready to go, and everything will fall apart.  I had a coach in College who would always use a popular saying, "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance". I want to do my part to be prepared so that God can use me to great things.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What a Weekend

We made an emergency trip to SC this weekend.  I learned a few things along the way:
1.  I have a great right hand man, and an incredible team here at Hope.  You all are awesome, I had no doubts that you all could handle things flawlessly!
2.  I want to leave a Legacy.  We went for the funeral of a former Pastor's wife.  Hearing stories and watching people, she obviously left her mark on her Family, her church, and the world.
3.  My Butt falls asleep after multiple hours in the front seat of our truck (that one was just for fun, but it did fall asleep multiple times).
4.  I love Hope Fellowship.  Much like the last time Sarah and I went back to SC (for Jonathon and Kim's Wedding) we realized how awesome God is and how much we enjoy serving Hope Fellowship now.  
5.  My wife is awesome!  She is an amazing Mother and wife, and I love spending Quality Time with her (Like 37 hours in the truck over 4 1/2 days!).   I love you Sarah.
6.  God has a magnificent plan for my Life.  I could see once again how God has orchestrated things in my life and really moved me to a new level as a leader.
7.  Tell the ones you love how you feel every chance you get!  Mrs.  Tania Burgbacher was killed in a tragic car accident 50 feet from her driveway traveling at only 25 mph.  You truly never know when your time might come to an end.  YOU MUST be ready Spiritually and you must take every opportunity to tell the ones you love how you really feel.

This was a worldwind trip, I am glad we made it, but I am even more happy to be home.
I am looking for great things the next few weeks at Hope!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I heard a saying once, "If it wasn't for people, the ministry would be a really easy job"!  I can definitely appreciate that sometimes, but lately I think I have come to grips with the fact that we are here first and foremost to help People get closer to God.  I am sometimes easily frustrated by people,  some people are easily offended, some people are over-concerned, some people are "unwise" in the choices that they make, and some people are just plain lost.  I think I had a turning point tonight in my ministry.  I was really frustrated about a situation, and it was almost like a switch flipped and I understood that people are just people, they are going to frustrate you, disappoint you, and sometimes even hurt you, and you have to continue to love them no matter what, because that is what we as Christ-followers are called to do, LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE.
It doesn't take away from the conflict, it just helps me to keep my focus and priorities where they need to be while I am dealing with the conflict.

I had a Pastor tell me one time, the individual is always more important than the ministry.  I think that is what I have to keep in mind.  I have to be worried more about people, as individuals and where they are at in their walk, than I am with moving the ministry from here to there.  I think I lose sight of that pretty often.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


It was really cool to spend some time with some people today talking about Kids ministry.  Everyone was really responsive.  I think I did about 10 interviews this weekend, and everyone was excited to jump on board.
I started this interview thing to try and place people where they can be most effective, but what I found today was a totally unexpected benefit.  People were able to share their stories and connect with Hope on a deeper level.  It is cool to hear how people are all at different stages of their journeys.  I really like this process and feel it is going to be really effective.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Momentum is a cool thing! I love it when everything is moving forward, and nothing feels like a struggle. Sometimes ministry can feel like pushing a giant rock. When you have momentum, it is like pushing that rock down a hill, and when momentum is not on your side, it can be like pushing that rock up a hill! I think the key is to take advantage of those momentum times and push the rock as fast and as long as you can. I feel like I am in that mode right now. With our kids ministry, we are pushing that rock as fast as we can because so many really cool things are happening with relatively minimal effort. It is my job to push and see even greater things happen during this time when God is blessing us with this powerful force called "momentum".

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Teams and Interviews

Continuing where I left off before, Teams are awesome only when they are utilized to their fullest extent.  I am looking for ways to use my teams strengths to their fullest.  I want to allow people to be fully used by God to do great things.  I know that if I can get the right people on board, then powerful things can happen.  Right now I have a bunch of really talented people serving along side me in ministry.  I have the over-the-top energetic people, and I have the more reserved behind the scenes people.  I want to capitalize on all these gifts and make sure that AK is a better place because of it.

I am trying to totally change the way we place volunteers in kids ministry at Hope.  A few weeks ago, we had a huge influx of people that wanted to serve, 52 to be exact, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to start are new system.  We are tracking this process and we know exactly where each person is on the road to become a volunteer that will stay with us for a long time.  Here is what we are trying to accomplish:  First, a person will sign up to be involved with Kids ministry, they will then get an email from me and a follow up phone call.  The email explains the process to them, and during the phone call I am setting up a personal interview.  Once we get them into the interview, we have them fill out an application, so we can run the background check on them, and we also find out a little bit more about them as a person.  We then share with them the different areas of Adventure Kidz, and we find out what they might be interested in.  We are trying to place them based on their interests/strengths, instead of based on our needs.  After the interview, we will place them in a position, and then do a follow phone interview at one month, and again at 3 months making sure they are happy where they are serving, if they are not, we will move them.  I know this sounds like a lot, but I really feel like this process has the potential to take our volunteer team to a new level of excellence.  (Imagine, a ministry where people are actually serving where they want to serve and where they feel like they can succeed.  That would be something, wouldn't it).  The next step in the process will be to find a test that I can give them that will let me know what some of their strengths/weaknesses are.  Then, I can really set them up to do great things!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Team Leadership 1

OK, so it has been a little while since I made a really legitimate post.  So, here goes.  

Teamwork is a really amazing thing.a  I am a firm believer that the best way to accomplish anything is by getting the right group of people on the team, giving them the authority they need, and placing the right tools in their hands.  I think that a lot of people have the wrong impression of what team leadership is all about.  They want to have people on the team, but they fail to truly trust them.  Yes, you can be burned by team members.  I have certainly been hurt by people who I felt were key members of my team, but I have also been unbelievably blessed by members of my team.  In order for a team to truly be effective, I feel that you have to give the team the trust that they deserve.  It is easy to assign away the tasks that require no authority.  By authority I am talking about the positions that can truly make or break your ministry.  Leaders are often reluctant to give away the authority.  They feel like they are the only ones qualified to make decisions.  This is why, after being some where for a long time, they are still the ones picking out what kind of construction paper is going to be used for the craft this week.  I know this may be an extreme example, but it happens.  Why not let leaders be leaders, not just glorified or promoted followers.  If you make every decision for your team, you will always make every decision for your team.  That is all the time I have for this right now.  I will try to continue the thought later.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Today was a fairly productive day.  I am struggling lately though,  I want to get a lot more done at work, but I don't want to have my day so structured that there is no room for creativity.  I am trying to figure out the happy medium.  

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Home at Last

Glad to be back in Texas.  The meetings last week were great, but we are at a time in our lives where it is very difficult for me to leave Sarah and the girls.  I really enjoyed meeting a lot of CP's and having the time to get to know them.  All in all, I feel like it was a pretty successful time, it will be interesting though to see what comes out of it.  

Last night was great.  I had 2 hours with a brand new team we formed at Hope to help me with our weekend Kid's services.  Wow, what a talented group of people I am blessed to work with.

I think the challenges of leading a team like this are a lot more fun than some other leadership challenges.  With this team, I just have to concentrate on keeping them in the right direction.  I can't wait to see how awesome the material is that they come up with.  It should be fun.

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


wow, so I just spent the entire day with a group CP's from around the country.  We were given a task to develop a lesson on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  (Way to start the group off with a non controversial subject!)  There were thirteen of us and I am pretty sure we had at least 12 different ideas of how we should cover this important topic.  We are all used to doing things a certain way, and we were not so used to sharing that process with others.  I can honestly say that I enjoyed the process, though it was difficult and tedious at times.  Tomorrow is round 2, so it should be interesting to see how things go.  I am finding that this group of leaders is much like any other group of leaders, they are looking for a strong vision and they are ready to run with it when they get it.  It is challenging me to grow, because I know that the ladies and men I get to lead each and every week in Frisco are extremely talented and gifted in their own right.

It has been cool to hang out with some good friends.  I am on somewhat of a Leadership Journey with some great guys from around the country, and 4 out of 5 of us are here this week.  It has been cool to spend time with them and really have a chance to talk.
I still am not sure why I was chosen to be here.  It is definitely another one of those why me moments.

Trip to Springfield

I have an incredible opportunity this week to spend some time with CP's from around the country.  We are looking to work on a piece of curriculum together to help the AG with a brand new look.  I am honored to be here and grateful to my Pastor for allowing me this opportunity.  I will let you know how it goes as often as I can. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Wow, so it has been a long time.  Sorry about that.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about Leadership the last few days.  It is crazy, the challenges just keep coming and coming.  It seems when we conquer one mountain, there is another one there waiting for us.  I am grateful though that God keeps seeing fit to use me and allow me to serve Him.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just like big Church!

This was another great weekend.  I tried doing something that I really have not done all that much of before.  I met with My Pastor and his creative team, and we mirrored our service with the adult service.  It was  a lot of fun hearing the kids and parents talking about the lesson they just learned with their parents.  We are going to try to do this, at least for the next couple of weeks.  We will see how goes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Focus is something that I have been really thinking about lately.  I feel like there are areas of my leadership and my life that are really focused, and other areas that need some help in the area of focus.  It is difficult for anyone to accomplish a lot of things all at the same time, and accomplish them well.  It is to sometimes spread yourself to thin, and not really accomplish anything all that well.  I know that God is moving me to focus my leadership and focus my life.  I think that is the next big step for me in ministry. FOCUS. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


True friends are really great.  I am in a position in life right now that I have never been in before.  I feel like I have some great friends.  I am blessed with a group of people who surround me now that I feel really cares about me.  A bunch of them came over for my birthday the other night.  It was great to just hang out, and then today, I got to go to a Rangers game with the staff.  It was awesome.  Just to spend time with Friends.  I never realized how important Friendships could be.
I feel like God has blessed me with some great friends.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Leading Leaders

I want to move beyond just being an ordinary leader, to being a leader who leads other leaders.  God has blessed me with a team of people who are extremely talented, and I want to lead them to lead others.  I know that my level of influence can only stretch so far, and I feel that if I can really pour into a select team of people, then they can reach out to the other members of our team.  I want God to do some great things in the lives of boys and girls at Hope.  I don't want to do anything to keep that from happening.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Little Things

Leadership is a crazy thing.  Whenever I stop to think about it, I wonder why God chooses to use some people to do great things and be great leaders, and not others.  I think it is a scriptural thing, because he says very clearly that he is looking for people who are faithful with Small things so that he can promote them to be over larger things.  Lord please help me to stay faithful in the small things and to always pay attention to the details.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Why Me God?

Today I had some very unique opportunities.  I had the chance to do some things that I still have no idea why I was picked to do.

Lots of people say "Why Me?" to God when Bad things happen, but I have found myself saying it constantly lately for some really good things.  I can only give God the glory for the opportunities that He has been blessing me with.  Today, I got to have lunch with a national leader of the Assemblies of God.  He invited a group of Children's Pastors to share what the National Office of the AG could do to make a difference in the Local Church for Children's Ministries.  It was cool to hear his heart and his plan for the months and years to come.  I left that meeting and went directly to speak to other Children's Ministry leaders about the importance of seeing the Big Picture.  As soon as that meeting ended, I went back down stairs to host the Creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer, and serve him as he spoke to the entire conference.  I still don't know why God opens these doors, I am trying to walk through them and serve Him to the best of my ability.  I guess the verse about Him choosing to use the foolish things of this world kind of applies to me.  

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tonight was a little scary,  We were finishing up our General Session at the conference when the Tornado Sirens started going off.  The herded everyone to a "safe" room in the building.  It would have been all good if it wasn't for the fact that my girls were down the street in another location.  I think I felt for the first time they way that God must feel all the time.  I wanted to pull my little girls close to me and make sure they were safe, but I just couldn't get to where they were.  God is the same way. He definitely has the ability to get to us, but he makes the choice to allow us to choose.  This has got to be the most difficult thing God does.  He lets us make our own choices even when He knows what they will bring on us.  

Everything was fine though, the storms did hit about a mile away and did some damage, but God protected us and my little girls.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

God Speaks to me RIght on Time

We had a very interesting weekend in Adventure Kidz.  I scheduled way to many things for one weekend, and yet they all went off without a hitch.  I am amazed at how God works through people to say some really great stuff to me.  John had a message this morning on the Parable of the Sower and it was awesome, it really made me stop and think. Then I get to kids church and I have a few people who are starting this morning and they are just excited to be there.  It is always fun when new people start serving in AK.  I love teaching people how everything works.  
God has also blessed me with some really great friends.  They stepped up big time and took MJ for the day so I could get some work done and she could play with their kids.  They are awesome.

I am off to CMA Leadership Conference this week.  It should be good.  I just finished preparing my classes and I am looking forward to seeing some old friends and making some new ones.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

When I'm Tired

I have had a lot going on the last few weeks, and it has really reminded me of something.  When I am tired I really struggle with having a positive attitude.  It is amazing to me how great my attitude can be when I am feeling refreshed and energized, but when I am tired, it seems like it is really easy to complain.  I have to be extra careful to make sure that my life honors Christ when I am tired.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Love Hope Fellowship

I just want to take a minute to brag on the team that I get to be a part of.  It is so amazing to me to be a part of something as awesome as Hope Fellowship.  Each member of our team brings a different piece to the puzzle.  I got to spend about an hour with our Lead Pastor, John McKinzie, today.  It is so cool to hear his heart for Hope and to have him be willing to help me with a class that I am preparing.  Sarah and I are truly blessed to be a part of such a great place.  

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm Sore

I played basketball for the first time in about 3-4 months today.  My body is aching.  I remember when I could go all day up and down the court and not miss a beat.  Not any more.  My body is reminding me how close I am to 30.  This was a great weekend though.  We saw record attendance in Adventure Kidz, and more important than that, we saw some really cool things take place in the lives of people (both kids and parents) who came to Hope.  I love serving at a church and on a team where everyone is such good friends.  Hope has truly changed my life, my family, and my ministry to kids.  

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Look at me Daddy

Those of us with kids have a unique perspective on how God must feel.  I was reminded again this morning when MJ said "Look at Me Daddy".  Her greatest desire in life is to impress her parents.  She is always showing me how far she can jump or how fast she can run.  (I must admit for a 3 year old she is quite the athlete!)  What I love most about her though is when she simply climbs up in my lap and gives me a hug.  God must be up in Heaven watching all of us running around being so busy for Him, trying to impress Him.  I think what He wants more than anything though, is for us to just stop and spend some time with Him.   

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love being able to turn the tv on  just about any time of day and see a basketball game.  It is fun to watch and see which teams "rise to the occasion" and which ones "crumble under the pressure".  Leadership can be a lot like "March Madness".  There are so many opportunities each and every day to either rise up or crumble.  Scripture tells us that we should always be on our guard because the enemy is prowling around looking for someone to devour.  We have to bring our A game to the dance each and every day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

National Children's Ministry Conference

I am preparing to go to this conference at the beginning of next month, if you are a children's pastor who is looking for a conference to go to this year, you should really check this one out.  Some of the Sessions will be led by Jim Wideman and Phil Vischer.  It should be great, the guys who are putting it on have some great things lined up.  For more info check out www.cmalead.org 

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Busy Summers

As kids pastors, our busiest time of year can be the summer season.  It feels like I am preparing for about 1,000 different events including: Schoolz Out Days, Kids Camp, and a summer series we are going to be doing in place of VBS.  I feel like this is going to be a great summer though.  I am really looking forward to it.  What are some ideas that you have for summer, I would love to hear what you are doing this year that is new and exciting.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Choosing to Cheat

There is an Andy Stanley book that came out a few years ago called "Choosing to Cheat".  The basic thought behind the book is that you are going to cheat someone/somewhere.  He says that you are either going to cheat your work or your family and he goes on to give some practical ways to make sure that your family will not feel cheated.  
I love Mondays because it gives me an opportunity to spend lots of time with Sarah and the girls. Today was cool because I got to help out around the house doing some things that Sarah really needed, plus I got to spend some quality time with Madeline.  (It is always fun to hold Myah too.)  As a kids pastor I have a lot of kids who want my time and attention, it is always important to make sure the kids in my house know that there daddy loves them.
Hug your kids today!
Leaders can make or break you as a Children's Pastor. If you are wise, you will do everything in your power to surround yourself with the right people.  People who are committed and passionate about reaching kids.  I am so blessed to serve Hope Fellowship and serve along side such a phenomenal group of leaders.

I am excited to see what great things are going to happen this week during our Easter service.  I think we have the potential to see really cool things.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a day!

I remember when I used to think that two services in the morning and another one at night was a long day.  What was I thinking.  Three services on Sunday mornings and then a HighPoint session on Sunday Afternoon and I feel thoroughly exhausted.  Today was really great though.  We talked about Fasting in kids church and I think a lot of the kids really got it.  I had the kids write down what they were going to fast this week.  Some wrote things like video games and tv (pretty cool to see them willing to give these things up on Spring Break Week) and others wrote things like candy or desserts.  A few of them kinda missed the point though, my favorite was "I am going to fast talking to my sister".  All in all it was a great day.  God has blessed me with a great team of people in each of our services.  I just wish I could duplicate them within our Early Childhood department.  It is such a struggle to get people in there who really love to be in there.  We have a few but could use a ton more.  I know that God will work it out.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Nights

We had a pretty good Sat. Night service tonight.  I really like my Sat. Night team.  When they are all there, things go so smoothly.  The challenge is getting them all there.  Saturday nights are tough.  There are so many things that come up on a regular basis.  I know that the commitment level for these leaders is huge and I am grateful for the sacrifice that each of them makes to be there week in and week out.

Some of My Favorite Books

I love to read.  Here is a list of some of my favorites:
"Three Signs of a Miserable Job"  by Patrick Lencioni
"In a Pit with a Lion on A Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson
"If you Want to Walk on Water You have to Get out of the Boat"  By John Ortberg

These are just three of my favorites, each of them very different, but all of them contain great leadership principles.

Here we go

I am brand new to the world of blogging.  It should be pretty fun to write about how my life and my leadership are developing.  Any constructive criticism is always greatly appreciated.