22 Years Ago, Today…

It was 22 years ago today that I was officially recognized as a minister.  Lori and I stood before a group of pastors as they prayed for us to be used of God as leaders in His church.  As I reflect back over the last 22 years of ministry and leadership, here’s what stands out to me:

1.  I am humbled and grateful that God could use someone like me to do His kingdom work.  It’s an absolute honor to be chosen.

2.  Leaders are called to a higher standard of holy living.  It doesn’t mean you’re perfect.  But if you are a leader, live it.  If you aren’t serious about living the example – don’t be a leader. 

3.  Never sacrifice your family for the ministry.  God’s creative order demands that you put your family before your ministry.  As a pastor, people in your church may or may not understand that your family comes first.  You have to be ok with that.  

4.  If you don’t stay healthy in your spiritual life, you can’t expect your ministry to stay healthy. 

5.  You live in a glass fish bowl.  Get used to it.  That’s part of your ministry.

6.  The most important thing you can do for God and His kingdom is love and respect your wife in every way – and your kids, too.  Ministry flows from your family.

7.  Practice forgiveness often.  The greatest hurt and disappointments may come from people you minister to.  If you don’t practice forgiveness, it will eat you up and eventually destroy you.

8.  Offer grace.  Both to others and to yourself. 

9.  Be yourself.  That doesn’t mean you can’t learn and grow from other leaders.  In fact, leaders are learners.  But God created you to do what you do best.  That requires being secure in who you are and authentic before people.

10.  Don’t be afraid to take risks.  Faith demands it.  You can’t walk on water until your willing to get out of the boat.

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Monday Download

1.  We broke another record this past Sunday with the largest Non-holiday/event attendance. 

2.  Sunday was an awesome time sharing communion in celebration of Palm Sunday.

3.  I had a great time watching Audrey participate in the opening ceremonies of her softball team.  This week is her first game.

4.  We are walking through the last few days of Jesus’ life before he was crucified  in our family devotions.  John 12-19.  Powerful scenes of mixed drama.  Intense worship and ruthless betrayal.  Jesus is the Ultimate Hero of Humanity.

5.  I am challenged to become more abandon in my worship.  Mary poured out a priceless jar of fragrance on His feet to worship Him.  How much of me have I poured out?

6.  Waiting in anticipation of what God will do as we celebrate Easter @ Elevate this Sunday.

7.   Great leader gathering yesterday.  Quality leaders are essential to our purpose.

Weekend Highlights

1.  Finally getting over a terrible cold I’ve had for 2 weeks.  Feels good to feel good.

2.  Fun time with my girls at Firewheel Mall and Chipotle’s.  I have a cool family.  Chipotle’s is awesome.

3.  Spring break hit this weekend.  The kids are looking forward to it.  I am looking forward to time with them.

4.  Slow start Sunday because of time change.  But we always seem to pull it off each and every week at Elevate.  It’s because of the hard-working volunteers.

5.  So many returning guests from our Birthday Celebration.  Thanks to those who came back.

6.  Gearing up for Easter @ Elevate.  Check it out at www.myelevatechurch.com.  Click the Easter button.

7.  Great staff at Elevate Church.  I love our staff meetings.  We are talking about what it will look like at Elevate when we have a 2 service option.

The Biggest Attendance Ever

Never have I been more proud of a church family than last Sunday.  Our 2 Year Birthday Celebration was incredible with 257 in attendance.  Here are the highlights:

1.  The Cardboard Testimonies were phenomenal.  I am so glad to be a part of a church that believes in God’s power to change lives.  Lauren and Daniel – and the Worship Team hit an absolute home run with this one.

2.  Our volunteers showed up in a huge way on both Saturday set-up and Sunday.  You are the greatest servants of God I know.  Thanks to everyone on the guest services, hospitality, food services, coffee bar, Tech, and set-up/tear-down crews.  I am proud to serve with you in this ministry.

3.  We also had a record day in Kids Ministry.  Almost 90 kids at church Sunday.  Thanks to all those who served in the nursery, KinderCrew, and Kids Church.  Shelli and Dennis – way to go!

4.  So fun to have everyone sing “Happy Birthday Dear Elevate” and blow out the candles.  Awesome!

5.  I was even more excited at Elevate Church people who brought friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors.  You are building an A.R.K.

6.  Wow!  People giving their lives to Christ – PRICELESS!

7.  More than anything, I give all glory and praise to our Father and Lord Jesus Christ, who out of the rich mercy of God has allowed me and my family to be a part of building the Kingdom in this community.  I love you, Father.

Now comes Easter @ Elevate:  April 4 @ 10 AM

2 Year Birthday Celebration and Carnival

This Sunday @ Elevate Church!

It’s hard to beleive that 2 years have already passed since our first public worship gathering at Elevate Church.  This Sunday is our 2 Year Birthday Party and Carnival beginning at 10 AM.  Whatever you do, don’t miss this day!  You will see and hear about the power of God at work in the lives of people.  Cardboard Testimonies and a new video.  I have a fresh message to share about where we’ve been and where we are going.  Plan to join us for the Carnival as well, including Chili Dogs, Inflatables, Popcorn, Cotton Candy, and a whole lot of fun!  It’s all free, so bring everyone (including your grandma)!

Rain?  No problem!  We’ll just move the Carnival to the Gym!

Tuesday Download

1.  Today is the day that the property we are praying for goes to the foreclosure auction.  I will be at that auction.

2.  Pray for the auction at 10:30 AM.

3.  My family is so great.  Lori and the girls always take care of me when I’m sick.  That’s the advantage of having girls.

4.  Tomorrow the postcards go to mail for our 2 Year Birthday Celebration and Carnival.  God, speak to people through a simple postcard!

5.  Leadership Law:  Leaders do not react.  Leaders respond.  The first usually makes things worse.  The second smooths things out.  If you are a leader, learn to respond and not react.

6.  I am absolutely sold on church planting.  It was what I was created to do.

7.  My girl starts softball tonight.  She is as excited as a 7 year old can be.

Random Weekend Thoughts

1.  Saturday was a spectacular day of warmer weather.  Looking forward to more.

2.  Met with the Guest Services team at Elevate.  Shanda and Jennifer are doing great leading this ministry.

3.  Great Sunday at Elevate.  So cool to hear the stories about Acts of Random Kindness.

4.  What an incredible Men’s Hockey game with Canada.  I love the suspense. 

5.  Awesome Leadership gathering Sunday evening.  Thanks for buying in to the vision.

6.  Still fighting sinus stuff.  I am an impatient patient.

7.  Can’t wait until next Sunday.  2 Year Birthday Celebration for Elevate Church!  Plus the Carnival afterwards! You better not miss it!