Archive for September, 2007

Don’t Bet on Notre Dame

Posted: September 29, 2007 in Uncategorized

Loving Enemies

Posted: September 29, 2007 in Notre Dame

Watching the Notre Dame/Purdue game.  And of course…at the moment things aren’t looking good for the ND!  But, I’m still a fan.  I have decided to take Jesus’ command to love my enemies seriously so I have invited Amy Osterhout (Purdue 92′) into my home…I’m even giving her something to eat and drink.

 Then again…I do have my Purdue paraphernalia available from speaking at the campus ministry retreat last week.  We’ll see…

Last Day at Innovate 2007

Posted: September 29, 2007 in conferences, vision

Yesterday was the last day of Innovate 2007.  Most excellent day! 


Rob Wegner

  Oh man!!  The dude brought it.  Not only did my Sam I Am blog get three seconds of fame on the big screen (Rob was using it as well as four others as an illustration).  He went on to talk about the principle of us all being bombarded by a zillion messages and how the church’s message easily gets lost in the wealth of messages out there.  The key:  making our message sticky – like duct tape – David Kneip obviously misunderstood the point of the message!  To make our message sticky he said that it needs to be simple, unexpected, concrete, story-driven, and Spirit-driven.  Excellent illustrations along the way.  The bottom line – after listening to Rob I just want to be a better preacher/teacher/communicator.  Very awesome!

Blogging Breakout Session with Kem Meyer:

You can, and people have, gotten fired from their jobs over what they post!  Your blog is personal, but it isn’t private.  Lots of definitions and rationales as to the why, whats, and hows of blogging.

Troy Gramling 

Troy spoke next.  He has a website called where for five weeks he is doing a 24 hour webcam of his life.  Why is he doing this?  Because he is nuts!!!!  But Troy says he is doing this to give everyone an authentic (the good, the bad, and the ugly) glimpse into the life of a pastor.  He has a camera in his car, in his office, in his home, and in a hotel (if he is there).

He began by mentioning the website and said, “Not many people have the chance to see a naked pastor.”  And then my wife started laughing.  I thought, “What’s so funny?”  And then it dawned on me…my wife DOES get to see a naked pastor…and probably more often than she would like 🙂 .

The other “small world after all” moment with eight degreesof separation came when my wife told me she had already met Troy because her entire family is from Paragould, AR and her cousin Wayne played basketball with Troy in High School.

Troy gave a lesson on how to have innovative ears, eyes, hands, feet, and brain.

Scott Hodge

Oh dude.  What a story.  I connected in so many ways.  Scott just shared the story of how he came to the church his dad pastored and they worked together to transition the 80-year old church to a thriving and healthy church.  Three days after a celebratory moment, Scott lost his dad to a massive heart attack.  Very powerful.  My dad was sitting behind me at the Innovate conference.  We have worked together for the past (almost) eleven years to transition a 50-year old church into a healthy and growing church. 

Mark Beeson

Mark finished the conference by encouraging everyone to continually work to get better.  Pastors, staffs, etc.  Specifically:

  1. Work on your attitude (without this you will hurt yourself).
  2. Work on your relationships (without this others will hurt you).
  3. Work on your persistence (without this problems will defeat you).
  4. Work on your priorities (without this the insignificant will hamper you).
  5. Work on your credibility (without this no one will follow you).

I loved the baptism and mylife videos they showed.  You can see them at GCC’s website.   

Innovate…Part 2

Posted: September 27, 2007 in Church, faith, vision

Had a great night tonight at the Innovate conference.  They had their second annual film festival where different churches submit videos they have put together in the categories of:  1) Event promotion; 2) Message Illustration; and 3) Series Trailer.  I REALLY wish we would have submitted a video now.  Anyhow…

 I brought my oldest son Isaac (11).  He is totally into making movies.  He can spend hours on the computer with his movie maker software putting together videos he’s made.  Here we are with ourmovie critic” game faces on (or we are demonically possessed).

They handed out cracker jacks and water!  In addition they had little key pads that allowed the audience to digitally select which video we thought was the best.  I loved the interactive nature of the event.  Relevant Church picked up two out of the three categories.

Highlights of the day:

  • First, they handed out Innovate t-shirts to all participants – immediate entry way into my heart.
  • New Community worship was awesome.  Enjoyed the night.  It was packed.  Very impressive to watch how many people around me brought their Bibles and were taking notes during the message.  I think a lot of GCC-critique-rs would do well to show up once and see what actually happens.
  • Guy Kawasaki spoke in the first session and gave eleven great points.  The one that I have ruminated on most of the day is his admonition that you need a mantra, not a mission statement (at least a typically mission statement that is way too long and rarely relevant).  A mantra is just a few words or a phrase.  I keep thinking something with the “south side” of South Bend.
  • Mark Beeson talked about leaving a mark.  Loved the progression he illustrated in regards to a person’s journey into faith.  At one point he talked about 1st impressions and talked about space:  public, social, personal, and intimate space.  It triggered a good conversation for our team at lunch to think about our facility and the implications of those principles.
  • I got to hear Kem Meyer talk about communication.  Her content I’m sure was good but I missed quite a bit because I was a little late to the session and it was packed out!  I had to sit on the floor by the door and was unable to see Kem or her media presentation.
  • Tim Stevens gave a great presentation on planning message series and using pop culture for the sake of the gospel.  You can find the message notes at his website –  Tim was the one I first heard the term “leveraging culture” from in regards to its use by the church.  When I first heard it, it was that moment of…”YES!  THAT’S IT!  THAT’S THE WORD.”  I loved it.  Every time I hear Tim I know that what he is saying is so controversial in regards to other churches and their critiques of GCC (or other innovative churches) but every time I hear him speak I think, how is that not simply accepted as THE TRUTH!!  I would like fundamental independent Baptist Churches (or other like-minded churches) to invite Tim to their conferences…if they have any…to explain this concept.  Then again…is that just asking for a good stoning?

Looking forward to tomorrow.  Good day today!

Follow Up From Story on Sunday

Posted: September 27, 2007 in Uncategorized

Last Sunday I shared the story of Brian “Head” Welch’s conversion to Jesus.  Brian Welch was the lead guitarist for the band Korn.  Courtesy of Jim Counts here are some youtube videos of his story:

Innovate 2007

Posted: September 27, 2007 in faith, vision

Sitting here with a group of seven(we are missing one due to a birth in the family…hurry back Jennae).  Enjoying GCC’s Innovate 2007 conference.

 Right now Mark Beeson is beginning his session entitled “That’s Going to Leave a Mark!”  Very appropriate given our walk through the Ink’d series:  Leaving Your Permanent Mark.  Most excellent conference!

Let me just say this…you so don’t want to miss this coming Sunday!!!

Two Months

Posted: September 26, 2007 in Family

In two months my wife and I will be here:


Posted: September 25, 2007 in Uncategorized

O.K.  I’m very new to the Facebook thing.  It feels like I’m behind on most of this stuff.  At first I thought, “What is the big deal about this?”  But now…I’m sort of getting into it.  But…I have so few friends.  I’m lonely, sad, and discouraged 🙂 .  Will you go to Facebook and be my friend?!

Finished our third week of Ink’d:  Leaving Your Permanent Mark.  It was my favorite week of the three.  I think this is the most guests we have seen in a consistent three week period of time since I have been here.  Very exciting.

Talked about Jesus’ ability to remove “marks” on our spirit left there by others or that we have done to ourselves.  Showed a video illustrating Jesus’ ability to remove sin from our life (I’ll try to post it soon).  Had an interactive experience as people wrote on a card some of the marks in their life they regret and would like to have removed.  Collected them and placed them at the cross. 

Looking forward to next weekand the conclusion of our Ink’d series as we talk about Jesus as “the right artist.”

Here is a video montage of our last baptism celebration that we showed on Sunday: