Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Funny

In case you don't know, my fellow pastor and friend, the illustrious Frankie Creel is in Haiti on a mission trip this week. I'm so glad he got the opportunity to go. And he took Christian McDaniel with him. If you haven't been praying for them, you should. They need it in more ways than one. :)

Well, here's something funny. On his first night there he had older looking macaroni and cheese and one piece of lettuce for supper. I'm laughing hysterically. It's the mission trip diet. :) He's also sleeping on a bunk bed outside because it's too hot to sleep indoors.

See, you need to pray for them.

You should be a fan too

In case you didn't know, I love reading. I haven't always loved reading, but over the past five years I've become a pretty avid reader. I think it's because I like learning new things. But that's not the point of this post.

I'm a big fan of Donald Miller's books. I'm almost done with his book Father Fiction and all I can say is that I'm an even bigger fan now. You need to read this book. If you grew up in a divorced home or without a father then you REALLY need to read this book. If you're a single guy you need to read this book. If you're a dad you need to read this book.

In case you haven't figured it out, you need to read this book. If you did, you would be a fan too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Encouraged

I must say that I've been so encouraged by Immersion over the past three weeks.

Immersion is basically a crash course in our discipleship process. I love teaching the process. It's one of my favorite things to do.

I am thankful for all who gave of their time to be a part. I'm blown away that God would give us a voice of influence to other churches. I'm amazed at how hungry everyone was to learn and grow. And I am a bit overwhelmed by how God used, and is using, the experience in people's lives.

It going to be fun watching how the information over the past three weeks transfers into action over the next few months as more and more people grow as disciples and in turn make disciples who will make disciples.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Be fully there

I thought this post was great. Maybe it'll remind me (and you) to think twice about when and where to use our phones. You can read it here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good marriage advice

I just read an article with some good advice for married couples. Check it out here.

Focus

Here's a conversation after Matthew's golf camp this week:

Me: Matthew, did you make any friends at golf camp today?

Matthew: Dad, I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to learn golf.

That's focus.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Relationships...

This Sunday we'll be talking about relationships. Specifically, we'll be looking at one small slice of relationships. It's going to be good.

But, as I was preparing I came across two great quotes on relationships that I want to share.

Relationships unlock certain parts fo who we are supposed to be. - Donald Miller

Relationships are the virus of influence. - Steve Saccone

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Must Read

All of us have a dark side. All of us have a part of our personality, that if left unchecked, can derail us from what God has for us. That's what this book is all about.

I love to read. I like a lot of books. But this book is quite possibly one of the most important books I've ever read. If you have any leadership responsibilities at all then you need to read this. If you're a parent, you need to read this.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Help Christian get to Haiti

Some of you know this already, but in two weeks Frankie and Christian are going on a mission trip to Haiti. They're going to be doing some construction work in the hurricane ravaged country.

They've had to raise all their funds to go. Here's the deal: Christian still needs to raise $208. And he needs it by tomorrow if at all possible. Let me know if you can help.

Maybe you could give $10. Maybe you could give $50. Maybe you to give the entire $208.

Thanks in advance for helping Christian get to Haiti.

Great article on faith

This article is worth your time. Read it and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, July 05, 2010

For my twitter friends

Friday, July 02, 2010

Moving from good to great

One of my favorite verses out of the book of Nehemiah is found in chapter 6, verse 3. Sanballat and his posse of bad guys are trying to set a trap for Nehemiah. They disguise their trap in terms of a peace treaty. But Nehemiah isn't fooled and sends them this response: I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.

I love that sentence. That sentence is so powerful, on so many levels, but one reason I love it is because I believe that that one sentence holds the key to us moving from good to great.

I think what separates good from great is the ability to say that sentence over and over again. Most of us have a problem distinguishing the good things in our life from the great things. And because our lives are filled with so many good things, the great things get pushed aside. The key is the ability to say no to the good so that you can say yes to the great.

I'm doing a great work and I cannot come down.

That's worth memorizing. It's worth saying.

A Prayer Challenge

I've felt a burden lately that we need to pray more. I don't know if it's coming from the inadequacy I feel or from the feeling that we're right on the threshold of something overwhelming... probably both.

So here are some things that you can use to guide your prayers for Hub City Church and for Spartanburg. This list isn't exhaustive by any means, but maybe you can use it to get you started.

For Spartanburg:
  • Pray for lost people to surrender their lives to Jesus.
  • Pray for God to pour out his Spirit in an unmistakable way in our community, all for His glory.
  • Pray for churches to work together as one.
  • Pray for hunger and homelessness to be eradicated, and that the church would be the ones responsible for that task.
  • Pray for God's Word to spread like wildfire so that every person in Spartanburg County can hear, understand and have a chance to respond to the Gospel.
For Hub City Church:
  • Pray for God to grant us favor, that God will surround us with his favor as a shield.
  • Pray for God to do something in us and through us that can only be described as a supernatural movement of God.
  • Pray that we'll be one, that we will be unified.
  • Pray that Hub City Church will make a tangible difference in our county and around the world.
  • Pray that God will show us who to partner with to make a difference around the world.
  • Pray for God's protection against distractions, discouragement and disunity.
  • Pray that God will grow me into a leader who can lead a church that's twice our size.
  • Pray that God will grow Hub City in numbers of disciples we're making.
  • Pray for growth in the number of Hub Groups we're offering and the number of participants in those Hub Groups.
  • Pray that we will hear God's voice and do what he says.
  • Pray that we will be known by love, that we'll live by faith, that we'll be a voice of hope.
That's a good place to start. I'd love to know what you're praying for Spartanburg and Hub City Church. We could make a book of prayers as an offering to God.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Marketing without money

I read the following post from Tony Morgan. It got me thinking and I wanted to share it to get you thinking too. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

10 Ways to Improve Marketing without Spending Any Money

  1. Improve guest services on Sunday mornings. Stress that Sunday mornings are a time for your hospitality team to be focused on visitors. The number one reason people will come back to your church is if they find the church to be friendly.
  2. Follow through with your promises. If someone volunteers to take a next step in a group, serving or an event, make sure the process is in place to follow up in a timely and personal fashion.
  3. Make it easy for people ask questions. Create a one-stop location, physical or online, where visitors can receive more information about your church.
  4. Create ministry environments that compel people to invite their friends.Excellent preaching and worship music is not enough. Every environment in the church needs to create an opportunity for life change. When that happens, you won’t be able to stop folks from inviting their friends.
  5. Embrace social media. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are an easy way to engage people in conversation and develop relationships. As relationships are developed, you’ll earn the credibility to encourage people to take next steps.
  6. Be different. Begin an unexpected series, have a unique worship experience or do something (good) that gets people talking.
  7. Make your church an active part of the community. Open your campus to the community, but also get engaged outside the walls of the church where you can directly impact people’s lives.
  8. Eliminate the noise. Prioritize what needs to be communicated. Eliminate competing messages. Stop the spam. The fewer the messages we deliver, the more likely the important messages will be heard.
  9. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing. The number one reason people will show up to your church for the very first time is because someone invites them. If you have stopped growing, your very first question should be this: Why have people stopped inviting their friends and what would have to happen for that to change?
  10. Lead by example. Although leading a church can become all-encompassing, find a way to cultivate personal relationships with nonbelievers. I know of a student who refused to walk through the doors of the church until her youth pastor, who got to know her at an outreach event, wrote her a two-line note thanking her for being a part of the youth group.

Have you used any of these strategies? What was the outcome? And do you have any other free marketing ideas that you’d like to share?