Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jace is crawling!!!

Our little man is growing up and started crawling to today. Copy and paste this site to your internet to see it.

We are very proud of him and now the fun really begins. He is starting to stalk Dungy and he loves moving around. Being a dad is so awesome and I'm glad Jamie and I to see him start crawling together.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. I'm pretty disappointed that the Spurs lost mainly because I can't stand the Lakers. Hopefully the Celtics win because if it's a Lakers vs Pistons final I will not watch one single game.

2. Operation Melt Down is working I have lost 5 pounds and am hoping to knock that down some more when I weigh myself tonight.

3. Thank the Lord I'm having no more dizzy spells. It feels good to be normal again. I get in a funk when my body or mind is out of wack. I hated it and now I'm feeling ggrrreeeeaaattt!!!! A little "Tony the Tiger" for those of you who remember him.

4. The "Lost" season finale was pretty amazing and I can't wait for the next season. Locke is dead and I bet Sawyer is now in charge of the Island. Good stuff!

5. The last couple weekends we have had friends and family in town which was great, but at times not very restful. Therefore this weekend we are straight chillin, whoohoo!!!

6. Pastor Herbert is back this week and I'm looking forward to his sermon on the fruit of the spirit "Love" in our series Juicy Fruit.

7. The weather here has been in the 90's and it's really not that bad.

8. Not only do I have a smart kid but our dog is pretty smart too, we have only had him for two weeks and he has already learned to go to the back door when he has to go to the bathroom. Good boy Dungy!

9. Peace out my homies and I'm done blogging till Monday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Last one for today

Jace Update!!!

Jace is talking more and more, it may be baby talk but he is saying new syllables, he has gotten the "G" sound down and at times it sounds like he is saying God. He's already calling out to the Lord, haha. He has also learned how to get from his belly to sitting up. He is such an amazing kid and he is so proud of himself when he learns a new move. Every time he does something new he looks at Jamie and I with a big smile. Of course we give him tons of praise and we love watching him grow up. He still isn't crawling but lately everyday he takes a few steps so we think it could be any day now. I absolutely love being a dad and I thank God everyday for our little boy. Matter of fact he's waking up right now from a nap so I'm gonna go grab him and have some father and son time. I love these times and maybe I can get him to crawl :).

XBOX 360 and PS3 not for me

Since I missed blogging on Monday and Wednesday here is another one. Monday I confirmed the reason why I don't have a video game system. I was introduced to the game Rockband and I played it for like 5 hours without even realizing it. From the drums, to the bass, guitar and vocals this game was addicting. Especially when you are trying to complete difficult songs. There was one song I think it took us 8 tries to complete, it was ridiculous. I'm amazed that I could get competitive at a game where I was playing music. If this game was in my house I would probably be playing none stop and Jamie would be hating me. I played so much on Monday I even got a blister on my finger from the drum sticks. A game system in my house would cause me to lose sleep and probably hurt my marriage, therefore, Monday was a great reminder and definitely confirmed that I do not need a game system. Sorry XBOX360 and PS3 you are not for me!

Inner Ear Fluid

Yesterday I went to the doctor because I've been getting light headed over the past few days. I have to admit this feeling was kind of freaking me out, but I found out from the doctor that this was being caused by fluid in my inner ear. This was a big relief and definitely gave me some peace of mind. I'm still feeling light headed but I've got some pills that will hopefully put it to an end. Last night I went through the whole service with no dizziness and I thank God for that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weird but Great Sunday

This past Sunday morning I spoke at People's Church and something very weird happened. During my second message I got light headed at the end and thought I was going to faint. I didn't but when I finished the sermon and started thinking about the next two services I started having anxiety. This has happened to me from time to time and I hate it. So know I'm feeling dizzy and I start to feel like I can't catch my breath and all of this is now happening before I'm going to preach again. Through my entire 3rd message I battled this anxiety and thought I was going to have to stop a few times but didn't. I literally thought I was going to be the first preacher to pass out during a sermon. That would have sucked. Well, after this service I was really freaking out because I didn't know if I could make it through one more message. So in between the 3rd and 4th message I asked a few people to pray for me and was praying my guts out, holding Jace during worship for the 4th service. I've found that holding Jace helps calm me if you wondered why I mentioned that. So I got up to preach for the last time and I was still feeling bad but after my intro out of no where the anxiety and dizziness completely left. I was able to easily get through the last message and I thank God for helping me. I don't know if Sunday was a test, a fluke, maybe I'm sick or something else. I have no clue but I know throughout Sunday morning at least 10 people committed their lives to Jesus Christ and therefore it was a weird but great Sunday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. Well my Idol prediction was wrong but I have to say I was not disappointed, they were both really good and this by far was my favorite season.

2. Our house will be full again this weekend with Jamie's Dad, step mom and their two kids. We have had visitors the last 3 weekends and it's been good to see family and friends. Plus we're pumped anytime someone gets to visit our church!

3. My Idol prediction was wrong but my Spurs prediction was right, they just always find a way to win and I think they will do the same against the Lakers. I'm still callin a Spurs vs. Celtics NBA Finals.

4. Life has been a little more busy with Dungy in the family. We have to watch him like crazy to make sure he doesn't pee in the house, which hasn't happened to often. He's still a puppy so he's learning and he has done very well with Jace.

5. Yesterday Jace took two steps on his hand and knees. We are so proud of him and expect him to be crawling any day. It's been amazing to watch this process and he brings a smile to my face every time I'm around him. He is such a blessing. He's also pulling himself up. This is his favorite thing to do and you can tell he feels like a big boy every time he does it. As he lifts up he grunts and then gives a sigh of relief after he gets on his feet, followed by his beautiful smile that says "look at me, I'm a big boy".

6. Jamie hooked up an amazing chicken salad sandwich yesterday some awesome turkey burgers last Sunday. I know turkey burger sounds nasty and believe me I was hesitant but they were very good and healthy:). Thanks babe for helping me eat healthy and helping the healthy food taste good.

7. Operation meltdown is back in effect. I've worked out the last 3 days and have eaten pretty well. I've especially done well with not eating junk late a night. Tonight I will weigh myself and hopefully see I've cut some pounds. Either way I feel good.

Enjoy your 3 day weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Addition to the Family

Yesterday Jamie and I added a new member to our family. No we aren't pregnant, we got a dog. Over the last couple weeks we have been looking and yesterday we officially got a Yellow Labrador Retriever. He is 8 weeks old and very cute. He has had a few accidents but for the most part he is a very good puppy. We named him Dungy, which is obviously the last name of the Indianapolis Colts. If you are apart of our family you must be a Colts fan, even the pets. He's even got a blue collar. Yeah!!! Picks will be coming soon since Dungy will probably pop up in my blogs from time to time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What I've Learned in Youth Ministry Pt. 7

Be Yourself!!! God created you to be you, nobody else. And you will always be at your best when you are being you. I'm the best Christopher Paul Smith out there and that's all God wants me to be. I think there is this pressure youth pastors deal with, where we feel like we have to be cool and fit in with teenagers. Because of this we change the way we dress, our hairstyle ( I don't have much hair so I don't struggle with this), the way we talk and the way we act. The problem is students see right through that, they see when we are trying way to hard to be "relevant" or fit in. I believe students will respect you the most for simply being you. Or we see another person in ministry and start acting or preaching like them because they have a successful ministry (now don't get me wrong I use other guys stuff but I still preach it or teach it in my style). You may think you are doing better by imitating them but you will always be less comfortable in someone else's shoes. Be the person God wants you to be not like someone else.

I know personally I used to battle the fact that I'm not as goofy as other youth pastors and that I'm not very creative when it comes to video, drama and the arts as other youth pastors. I've come to the conclusion that those things aren't me and they probably never will be and that's ok. My wife makes up for my lack of craziness and I have awesome leaders who are good at the arts. Those aren't my strengths and there is no need to spend way too much of my time to make them my strengths because it probably won't happen anyway. I have to focus on what I am good at and that is being ME! I do this best by building on my strengths and not worrying about what I am not. Be Yourself!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Update

1.  Jamie and I had a great time with our old friend Keke this weekend.  She is still as crazy as ever and brings out the craziness in my wife.  Needless to say there was a lot of goofiness and laughing in our house.

2.  I'm glad the Celtics won yesterday because I think I may throw up if I hear Lebron James refer to the Cavaliers as "Lebron James Team" one more time, what a loser!!!  He's a rich loser but still a loser.  Did Michael Jordan or Larry Bird ever refer to themselves in third person?  No they let their greatness speak for itself.

3.  This week in Oklahoma City we are hitting the 90's with tomorrow being a high of 97.  This should give me a little taste of the summer and what humidity is like out here.  Either way it's gonna be stinkin HOT!!!

4.  On Sunday, Shane Hood, our Community Group Director spoke in place of Pastor Herbert and did a great job.  I was really impressed and enjoyed his sermon about "Taking the Plunge into Relationships."

5.  I've decided this weekend to spend less time watching tv and more time reading.  I can get sucked into shows at times and I don't want to get sucked into any more.  Last night I almost got sucked into "The Deadliest Catch", but I'm gonna stay away from honey.  I also deleted my recording of "Around the Horn", I'm gonna miss you Woody Paige, but I had to let you go.  Although, I will be watching Idol this week, other then that I'm cutting it down.  I also want to have better quality time with Jamie and Jace instead of watching tv together.

6.  The Yankees stink right now, but I'm not too worried, they seem to always be in the playoffs at the end of the season.

7.  This week I'm going to blog about a few more things I've learned in Youth Ministry.  I hope you enjoy!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Random Thoughts

1.  Not that it was a hard prediction, but I predicted a David vs David finale for Idol and I was right.  And I still stand by my prediction that David Archuletta will win it all.  He probably won't have a better career then David Cook but he will win Idol next week.

2.  Speaking of Idol, the  Idol tour is coming to OKC in August, maybe Jamie and I will go if tickets don't cost an arm and a leg.  This has been our favorite season.

3.  The second round of the playoffs have been much better and I'm looking forward to the game 6's and 7's.  I hope the Celtics, Jazz and Hornets win their series.  I  still think it will be a Spurs vs Celtics final though.

4.  Tonight, Jamie's crazy friend Keke is coming in town.  Watch out OKC, when they get together they are nuts.

5.  Jace is starting to get separation anxiety so hopefully that won't last too long.  If he cries when you hold him it's not because you are ugly and scary he is just going through a phase.  He still isn't crawling but seems to get closer each week.

6.  I've been listening to the most recent Passion cd and I really like it.  Especially the songs "Beautiful Jesus" and "God of this City".

7.  Unfortunately Operation melt down hasn't been much of an operation, but I plan on getting back  into it today.  

8.  The Patriots are cheaters and I can't believe they are getting off so easy.  As far as I'm concerned they should be stripped of their championships and Belicheck should be fired, what a cheater.  He's no genius he cheats!  Can you tell I despise the Patriots.  Haha.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

4 Amazing Years

Today is Jamie and I's 4 year wedding anniversary. Wow, where has the time gone? Tonight we celebrated with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (our favorite restaurant and where we had our first date) and a competitive game of miniature golf. I barely won by one stroke, she was up 5 strokes after two holes, I think she let me comeback and win. It was a great night.

As I reflect on our marriage, the last 4 years of my life have been absolutely amazing and the main reason (besides God for you spiritual folk) is Jamie. I am so blessed and at times unworthy of such an awesome wife. I don't know if I ever will be able to thank her enough for her support and love for me. Here are a few things I love about Jamie:

1. She is extremely supportive and encouraging, which is extremely helpful since I'm a pastor. She is an amazing Pastor's wife.

2. She has a huge heart for ministry. This is a big deal since we will be in ministry for the rest of our lives. God couldn't have given me a better ministry partner.

3. She's sexy on the inside and outside. My wife has a great personality, if you know her you know she is the life of the party and she is fine!!! She is my sister superfly.

4. She is an amazing mother. She loves and cares for Jace in such an amazing way. I love watching her with him and I know he is in perfect hands when he is with her.

5. If you've read my blogs you knew this was coming, my wife can throw down on some food. She is an amazing cook, I firmly believe someday she will make an appearance on the food network.

6. I love my wife's voice. She is an amazing singer and has a big heart for worship.

7. Last but certainly not least she loves God with all her heart, soul and mind. This is her most attractive quality and I thank God for a wife that loves Him and lives everyday to honor Him.

My wife is amazing, I'm extremely thankful for the last 4 years and look foward to many more.

What I've Learned in Youth Ministry Pt. 6

Safety First, Fun Second

I've used and heard this expression - "It's better to ask for forgiveness then for permission."  Living by this statement can be very risky, especially for a youth pastor.  I've seen churches get sued and youth pastors fired for having Fun first and safety last!  For this reason I try to live by safety first and fun second.  For some reason there is this mindset that if a youth ministry is going to be fun it must have crazy events and games where kids are throwing up and getting hurt.  I don't know where this mindset comes from but I think it's dangerous for our students and our ministries.  It will also be a headache for your senior pastor.  The last thing a senior pastor needs is to clean up a youth pastor's mess because they were thinking fun first, safety last.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you have a safety first, fun second mindset (these questions at least help me):

1.  What would an unchurched parent, who cares about their child, think about what you are doing?  I say unchurched because some parents in the church did the stuff that we are doing to their kids so they are cool with it.
Example:  I was at a camp once that shot kids with paint-ball guns who snuck out, except they missed one and hit a girl in the face who was looking out her window.  This is kind of funny but then I thought, "I wonder what that girl's parents would do," especially if they were unchurched?  They probably would be ticked and ready to sue.

*Now I know there are some parents that are too over protective and will never be happy, but I believe this question can save you a lot of trouble.

2.  Would I want this to happen to my child?
Example: same as above, if a youth pastor shot Jace in the face with a paint ball gun we would have some problems if you know what I'm saying.  Even if he did sneak out, I'd be looking for someone to smack.

3.  Would my senior pastor approve?
-this is easy to answer, ask him or her first before you do something questionable.

Lastly when you go on a retreat or trip to an amusement park, bring enough leaders to help monitor your students, make them stay in groups of at least 3 and always have some sort of check in point.  And always make middle school students stay with an adult.  Don't let them run around six flags by themselves, there are too many crazy people in this world to chance something like that.  Some of your students are too crazy to be alone as well.  Protect your youth ministry and more importantly protect the students God has entrusted you with.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What I've Learned in Youth Ministry Pt. 5

Patience, patience, patience!  If anyone knows me I am not a very patient person, which is unfortunate since it's a fruit of the Spirit.  But I have gotten a lot better, especially with youth ministry.  I've heard different people say that ministry is a marathon not a sprint and I have come to a point where I totally agree with that statement.  Now, even though I agree with it I still find it hard to live it.  Here are some examples:  

1.  Previously I would get down on myself if there wasn't immediate growth in my ministry or if a new idea wasn't successful right away.  All this did was leave me frustrated and down on myself.  Having patience has been very liberating, it gives me a break and it helps me stop giving myself black eyes if you know what I mean.  Impatience can lead to us being our worst enemy.  It leads to too much worry and stress.  I thank God that He has helped me get better at this.

2.  I've also learned to be patient with the spiritual growth of people.  Personally I had a very fast life changing experience with God.  Because of my experience sometimes I expect that to happen for everyone and that is the WRONG expectation.  I've learned we are all on a journey and everything will happen in God's timing, not mine.  Being patient with people has helped me become more compassionate and understanding.  I no longer have the thoughts of shaking some sense into them, well maybe just a little :).  Thanks God for humbling me and correcting my heart on this issue.

3.  I've also learned to be patient with God's timing.  The battle here is not allowing my impatience to lead to making things happen on my own.  I struggle with this big time, especially when we were looking for a position.  There were so many times I wanted to make things happen on my own, but thankfully I didn't and we were patient with God's timing, which has brought us to People's Church.  It wasn't easy and I battled impatience a lot but it was definitely all worth it.  Thanks God for putting me in check and reminding that it's not my will be done, but Yours.

A lack of patience in the ministry will cause some one to go crazy and get burned out, so ask God to help develop this fruit of the spirit in your life.  I know I need it in my life!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What I've Learned In Youth Ministry Pt. 4

Another thing I've learned in youth ministry is invest in your volunteers. Sometimes ministry can be so fast paced we forget to appreciate the people who really make our ministry successful, our volunteers. There is absolutely no way anyone can have a successful ministry without volunteers. Some ways we can appreciate our volunteers is with our words, our time, gifts, parties (Christmas not keggers) and a volunteer retreat. If you have a budget and don't have a line item for your volunteer team or it's the lowest amount in your budget you have a problem. Invest in your volunteers financially!!! You may have a slammin outreach but if you don't have volunteers to do the follow up and impact more students it won't matter in the long run.

You also invest in your volunteers by training them, praying for them and giving them ownership of the ministry. Invest and appreciate your volunteers, it will be one of the greatest investments you make in your ministry.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekend Update

1. We dedicated Jace this Sunday and the church gave him his first bible. It was an amazing morning. We are humbled to be parents and ask for God's wisdom every day in raising him.

2. Jamie made fajitas for lunch yesterday and it was off the hook. She also made her guacamole which is amazing, I could eat the entire bowl by myself. It was a good feast.

3. For mother's day I got Jamie a kitchen aid food chopper, it's this device we've seen on the food network that she has wanted. She was very happy to get it. Cooking to my wife is what the Colts are to me. She loves to cook and I love to eat her food.

4. Survivor was very disappointing, I wanted Amanda to win. All in all it was a great season.

5. Jamie and I almost bought a dog, for some reason we really want one and are getting close to finding one. Stay tuned to see if we make it happen.

6. Sunday morning we had an amazing Video to the song God of this City, I watched it 4 times and each time it gave me chills and a lump in my throat. Brian, the band and Cameron did a phenomenal job! Like the song says "Greater things have yet to come, Greater things are still to be done in this City." Amen!!!

7. Today I have officially quit golf, I don't have the money or time to get better and there is no point paying money to do something that frustrates the mess out of me. This is the only game that makes me want to say a ton of bad words and break my clubs so I am done.

8. This week I'm going to reflect on more things I've learned in youth ministry. Enjoy!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Random Thoughts

1.  Erik is officially the dumbest survivor player ever.  I would never give away my immunity necklace.  I can't believe he fell for that garbage.

2.  I think America got it right with the final 3 for American Idol.  I still think David Archuletta will win it all.

3.  I think the spurs vs hornets series is going to be amazing and I have enjoyed every game so far.

4.  Jace can officially role over from his back to his stomach and he is starting to learn to wave.  My son is amazing and is also getting closer and closer to crawling.  When he is mobile, watch out world my son will be into everything.

5.  Jamie got her hair highlighted and it looks great.  I love my wife and have not enjoyed being away from her 7 days out of the last 11.

6.  My dad comes in town this weekend and I look forward to spending time with him.  We are going to visit the OKC bombing memorial and maybe play some golf.  I obviously did not inherit his golf game since he shoots high 70's and I shoot in the 100's.  Yes I'm bitter.   I'm also excited about him visiting our church, seeing our new house and him having grandpa time with Jace.

7.  Today I'm having lunch with my family and I can't wait!

8.  This Sunday is People's Church 6 year anniversary and I'm blown away to see where this church is at after 6 years.  I love being apart of people's church and look forward to my future year.  As Pastor Herbert says "The Best Is Yet To Come."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Drive Conference Update

This week I went to the Drive Conference and enjoyed every minute of it. First off Andy Stanley is an amazing teacher. He is practical, funny and addresses topics people don't want to talk about. They also brought in Jeff Foxworthy Tuesday night and he was stinkin hilarious. Here are some notes from Andy's first session that really spoke to me:

A. Often there are unexplainable gaps between what we expect people to do and what they actually do. "This is so true"
1. We choose what we place in those gaps.
2. Our choices determine the integrity of the relationships.
3. We can choose to fill the gaps with trust or suspicion.

My thoughts on this - I don't know about you, but I've seen a lot of gaps in churches and leadership that never get addressed. We need to get rid of the buddy system in our churches and start addressing the gaps.

B. There are three commitments we need to make when it comes to being trustworthy.
1. I commit to do what I say I will do and when I don't, I'll tell you.
2. I commit to not over promise and under deliver. But, if it looks like that's where things are headed, I'll tell you.
3. If you confront me about the gaps I have created, I'll tell you the truth.

My thoughts on this - Take this to heart youth pastors. Too many churches have a serious lack of communication. As a youth pastor I need to do my part and apply all three of those commitments to the way I communicate with my senior pastor.

C. When you choose not to trust and refuse to confront, your concealed suspicion grows and poisons your attitude. Your attitudes about the people in your organization are telegraphed. People know!

D. The consequences of confrontation are far less severe than the consequences of concealment. "this is so stinkin true"
1. The consequences of confrontation are tangible, immediate, and impact only a few relationships.
2. The consequences of concealment are intangible, long-lasting, and can impact every relationship in your organization.

E. As leaders, we must learn to fear the consequences of concealment more than the transparency of a culture built around trust.

My thoughts on this - It's never enjoyable to confront but it needs to be done if we are going to run a ministry with excellence. I think we let too much stuff slide with no accountability, low expectations and underchallenging our leaders. Then we get frustrated, face the consequences of concealment and hinder our ministry from reaching it's full potential.

These are just a few highlights from his session but I thought it was amazing. Matter of fact I believe every senior pastor and his staff needs to listen to this teaching and apply it to their organization. They will be posting all the sessions on their website

Well I hope you enjoyed this insight and I will share some notes from his second session next week.

Travel, Tornadoes and Two Salvations

Travel - Today I got up at 6 am eastern time (5 am central) to get to the Atlanta airport. I got to the airport at 7:50 am and I was stinkin tired. When I got to the ticket counter I found out my 9:50 am flight got canceled and I had to wait for the 12:25 pm flight. I was not looking forward to waiting over 4 hours in the Atlanta airport for my flight; so I found an empty spot against the wall and took a 2 hour nap. Believe it or not it was very refreshing. After that I put finishing touches on my sermon with some Starbucks and then boarded my flight. Unfortunately both of my flight had ridiculous turbulence so I had some good Jesus time. I have flown so many times and turbulence still gives me anxiety. I hate it. After a very turbulent flight from Dallas I finally arrived at OKC at 3:30 pm.

Tornadoes - After a long day of travel I finally got home at 5 pm for a 30 minute break before I headed back to the church. Then the good ole tornado sirens go off. We look at the weather channel and 2 tornadoes hit in OKC. They seem to not be near where we live so we get in the car to go to church. On the way I starting seeing these real low clouds and got a little nervous as a nasty wind starts blowing against the Vibe. So we pull over real quick, run into a bank and hang out with their employees in a bathroom for 20 minutes. When the storm passes we go outside to see a tree snapped in half and realize something nasty hit real close to us. As we get back on the roads power is out everywhere and I'm wondering are we going to have to cancel church. By the way, I saw on the news tonight that someone reported a small tornado hitting on Penn and Memorial between 5 and 6 pm, this is the exact intersection of the bank we pulled into. Crazy!!!

Two Salvations - Of course all of the tornadoes and storms happen before our youth service and attendance was very, very low. Which isn't a huge deal but we had a lot of momentum with our outreach last week and we wanted to capitalize on that this week. That is why I flew back early from the Drive Conference and then we have our lowest attendance. Frustrating! Now, I was encouraged by some returning guests from our outreach but also annoyed with the weather and low attendance. To be honest I actually got mad at God for a minute. My thoughts were "of all Wednesday's Lord, why this one?" I then stopped sulking (literally) and started worshiping. At the end of the night, two students committed their lives to Christ, which made me realize the travel, tornadoes and everything that happened today were all worth it. Thank you Jesus for the two miracles tonight and forgive me for my sulking and narrow perspective. Today was crazy, tonight was humbling.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Drive Conference and More

Today we are flying to Atlanta, GA to attend the Drive Conference at North Point Church.  For those that don't know this is Andy Stanley's church.  Our whole staff is going and I'm pumped for the next three days.  I'm pumped because I get to build stronger relationships with the staff at People's church and I really enjoy Andy Stanley's books so I'm expecting a lot from his conference.  I may not get to blog because of the conference but I will be back Wednesday with some updates.

I also really appreciate my pastor.  Because of the conference I wasn't going to get back to OKC until late Wednesday night, which was going to cause me to miss my Wednesday night service.  This is not a huge deal but we had an amazing outreach last week that built some major momentum.  With that he decided to fly me back early so I can be back for my service.  It is a tremendous blessing to know my pastor values and supports the youth ministry enough to change plans and send me back early for our service.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

1.  Jason should have gone home on Idol but I had no problem seeing Brooke go home.  And what are the rumors about Paula, do people think she's on crack?

2.  I have no clue what happened on Survivor because the weather guy was basically on the tv all last night.  I promise I have seen more hail in OK in my three months here then I have seen in my entire life.  And the wind was so strong last night it blew my grill off my back porch.  Craziness.

3.  I'm still buzzing about Wednesday night, and in shock that we had that many students.  It was unbelievable.  I'm extremely humbled that God would bless us in that way.  Thank you Lord and to You be all the glory.  The word that keeps coming to my mind is WOW!!!

4.  The epic t-shirts are off the hook and will be gone soon.  Thanks vernon for the amazing graphic.  They will be on sale every Sunday and Wednesday for $12.

5.  I am hoping that the second round of the NBA playoffs will be better then the first.  The first was terrible.  I'm looking forward to Spurs vs. Hornets.  I hope the Hornets win but I think the Spurs will.  Either way I hope it goes 7 games.

6.  Jamie and Jace get home today and I can't wait to see them.  I've been a lost, lonely pup with my wife and son gone and absolutely hate being away from them.  In one hour I get to hug and kiss their faces, whoohoo!!!

7.  Tomorrow is our baptismal bash and their are a bunch of people getting baptized.  It's gonna be an amazing day and I can't wait.  If you live in OKC, come check out People's Church this Sunday.  We have 4 services at 8:30 am, 9:45 am, 11:00 am and 12:15 pm.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What I've Learned in Youth Ministry Pt. 3

Yesterday I wrote about having the right team and I'm definitely have the right team at Epic and last night they hit a grand slam. We had our first outreach together and the night was a complete success. We had 311 people attend with 257 students and 29 salvations. I thank God for an amazing night and thank my team for helping the night go smoothly. We tripled our attendance in one night which could cause a lot of chaos but because of my team everything ran smoothly. Thanks team for bringing your A game and running an awesome night for our students.

Currently at Epic we have 6 teams, here they are with a brief description:
1. Connection Team - these leaders are committed to coming every week and connecting with our students. They build relationships, do follow up, pray with students, lead discussion groups and get in the world's of our students.
2. Hospitality Team - these leaders greet, run registration, the cafe and help with set up and tear down.
3. Security Team - these leaders keep our Wednesday nights safe and in order.
4. Media Team - these leaders run sound, lights, powerpoint, etc.
5. A Team - these leaders are 18 and 19 and help mentor our middle school students and help with any areas we need assistance in.
6. Worship Team - self explanatory.
In the future we will also have small group leaders.

Notice above I said "currently" because as we grow we may add or cut teams but for right now this is how we are organized and it works for us. I also have a service coordinator who makes sure everything runs smoothly in the service, that people are in their spots, details are taken care of and she takes care of all the odds and ends I would be worrying about if she wasn't there. Debreon you are a major blessing, thanks for your hard work.

Tomorrow I will share some random thoughts and next week I will continue to talk about building a team.