Thursday, December 21, 2006

Some learnings...

Here's what I've been working on today.

We've been trying to get people to come to our Gathering, and while we've had a few people come and a few people stay, we haven't had much success. I've been wondering why and here's an idea.

I think there's some stuff we have to do before people will come to our Front Door (our Gathering). Here's the continuum: It starts with our Relational Networks. These are our friends, neighbors, classmates, family, co-workers, team-mates, etc... you get the picture. These are important. They provide the first step for us to impact people.

Next come Direct Touches. These work best within our relational networks, but don't have to exclusively be within those networks. They can be doors to new relational networks. There are things like giveaways, block parties, backyard BBQ's, coaching your kid's team, volunteering on a city get the picture.

Out of that comes Advertising. As we've discovered, Advertising can be tricky (or fruitless). But when it flows to people who have a relational connection with us it has more impact. There's an emotional connection.

Finally, all of this leads to our being able to get people to our Front Door, our Gathering.

More on this boys are begging for some Dad time.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'Twas the week before Christmas...

Twas the week before Christmas
And all ‘round the town
People of the point were getting ready
For a donut show-down

Free donuts at three
For those who must work
A dozen per person
(They might counter-act some jerk)

Then we’ll gather at five
To remember the King
Christmas cookies, communion
The Christmas story and we’ll sing

So, where will you be?
Who’s coming with you?
Will you join us on Sunday?
We want to see you!

Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. Sunday’s a big day. It’s Christmas Eve. Santa is putting the last presents into his sack. The reindeer are prepped. We’re going to hand out a lot of donuts. We’ll be Gathering to remember Jesus. It’s a BIG day!

That’s right. This Sunday is our 2nd Annual Donut Giveaway. We’re going to meet at the BCM building (529 N. Church St.) at 3 PM to hand out donuts to people who have to work on Christmas Eve. Come share God’s love with us.

Then at 5 PM we’ll be having our first ever Christmas Eve Worship gathering. Join us as we take a few minutes to focus on Jesus. Invite your family and friends. You don’t have to come to the giveaway to come to the Gathering.

FYI: We won’t be meeting on December 31.

And now for the BIG news. Beginning January 7th we’ll be meeting in a new location, at a new time and a new frequency. Our new (temporary) location is going to be the BCM building. Our new time will be 6 PM. Our new frequency will be weekly.

Will we still Scatter? Yes, but only once a month and with more intentionality.

If you have any questions please contact me. Also, I need you to spread the word. Let people know about Christmas Eve. Let people know about our new location and time in January. I’m counting on you to get the word out. Forward this e-mail. Write your friends. Create a MySpace or Facebook page. Make a video and put it on YouTube. I am excited about what God is up to.

Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Why does everything have to be so hard?

This morning I turned on my computer, dialed up internet access and saw that I had some automatic updates from Microsoft. I just clicked yes and next and finished, and come to find out I had downloaded the new version of Windows Internet Explorer. I was excited. I like new stuff. The problem was that when I tried to get on the internet it said I couldn't get on the internet because I wasn't connected. I was connected but it wasn't recognizing my connection. This was extrememly frustrating for me because now I had to take some of my time and call Earthlink and try and get this fixed. Well, I called earthlink and after going through 20 minutes of automated mazes I finally got to speak to a nice lady from India. She told me I just needed to remove the new Internet Explorer because it was just a beta version. All I wanted to do was get online, but it took 6 hours to do it.

Then I called BellSouth to see about getting a phone line for The Point installed in my home. Why do the sales people assume you want every bell and wistle possible? Why won't they just give you the lowest cost possible. Why did I spend 30 minutes talking to a guy and just end up frustrated? Why does it have to be so hard?

The whole church planting thing is hard. I wish it weren't so, but it is. And well wishing people, people with good motives say nice things, but those seem trite when what you've thougth about and dreamed about for years just isn't panning out like it is supposed to. But I've been focusing on a few verses that say "hope in God." I'm not sure what that looks like exactly, but I do want to hope in God. I want to focus on Him... but that's hard too.

No real answers today, just a note to wonder why things have to be so hard. It's really Adam's fault and that darned curse that we all share. My hope is in the fact that God is who he says he is and he'll do all he has promised to do.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Some things I've learned so far

I really should use this blog to un-internalize all that's going on in my mind about our church plant. There is so much I have learned over the past few months.

I've learned that Jesus was really good at using hyperbole in his teaching, but I'm not good at it at all. In saying that we are a church for people who don't go to church I think I've turned people away before they even had a chance to check us out.

I've learned that some people are better at inviting than others and that we need more of those "connectors," as Malcolm Tidwell calls them. Not that this is a negative statement on any of the people that we have. It's just an observation. This is frustrating for me, but it's really a reflection on me and my personality. I'm not a connector. I'm not extroverted. I don't have huge relational circles. I am learning that it's true that the church will look more like it's leaders than like the picture the leaders want to produce. Thus, we need some leaders who are different than me (more below).

I've learned that disciples just don't happen. You have to have a process for making disciples. I'm working on what that process is going to be for The Point right now with the goal of taking the month of January to teach and explain it.

I've learned that I am very limited as a leader. There is only so much that I can do. I'm a git jealous of those guys who can do everything (or so it seems that they can do everything). But that's not me. With this in mind I need some staff. I'm thinking two staff would be a good start. It would help if we had the money to hire these staff, but we don't, so I'm asking God to intervene. Got any suggestions? Want to contribute?

I've learned that I might internalize my thoughts and plans a bit too much, and that I need to keep the lines of communication open by communicating more and not less. This is really a tough one for me because I am not the best at putting what's in my head into words. Liz is much better at this than me.

I've learned that being a leader means you've got to have tough conversations with people. I'm not saying I've done that yet or that I can do that, but as the leader I need to be courageous enough to have tough conversations, to hold people accountable, to dismiss people when they don't do what their supposed to do, to challenge people to greater responsibility and to coach. I suck at all of the above, but I want to get better and believe that for us to be the church that God is calling us to be I've got to step it up. It's true, "Everything rises and falls on leadership."

I've learned that blanket marketing seems like a good quick fix, but that it's really a waste of money and time. There's a reason why advertisers spend enourmous amounts of dough researching their target audience. We haven't really done any real research. We need to pick our target audience, do research to find out what they are like, then market to them, reach out to them.

This really is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things I'm learning, but it's all I can put in words at this time.