Thursday, July 28, 2005

King of the Google Page Ranking

Ok, I know how much effort many people put into being at the top of the Google Page Rankings. It's a science. It's an art.

But how many websites are not only #1 on Google for the searched item, but are actually in a class by themselves? Well, I don't know.

But I'm one of them.

Google either of the following: pod-blip or "pod blip" and you will see that I'm standing alone in my field.

I couldn't be more proud. Perhaps Apple will be adding a "blip" feature to itunes this time next year.

Blip on.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

North Point /Compass Update...blip

this is an audio post - click to play
Pod blip?
2 Major challenges for North Point Fellowship
2 Major opportunities for Compass Church
Want to serve with me?

On my way out of Doug's Office

this is an audio post - click to play
Quick post on my way out of Doug Walker's office at one of our supporting churches, Fellowship of the Parks. Allow me to apologize in advance for my annoying high pitched laughter...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A little perspective looking back while going forward

The right gift set, talents & personality are worthless without calling, commitment & passion.

The “wrong” gift set(?), talents & personality are everything with calling, commitment & passion.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Blip is Back

Well, for some reason, the audio from my "poor pastor's pod-blip" was missing for a day or so. This of course, may not have been a bad thing. It is a short post that I did completely with my tongue in my cheek, and we all know how difficult it is to talk that way...

Anyway, props to Terry for being a great sport and for the nice email. Will there be future "pod-blips?" Hmm, have to get back to you on that.

Well, it's back now, in case you missed it, in all of it's goofy glory. When you listen, think: I bet this guy washes his paper plates...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Thoughts on Restarts

Ok, back to business!

Recently I was asked a few questions by someone who is considering leading a church through a restart. These are great questions and things I'm working through a bit myself at the moment, so it was good timing. (If they give me permission, I'll update this post with their information and more background on their situation)
: He did. Check out Loren Hicks, a campus pastor at UCLA, and originator of the great questions!

I may look at a few of these in a more indepth way in future posts, but for now I'm just throwing them all out there at one time.

Now I know that there are some great church planters/pastors out there who occasionally drop by this blog who have a wealth of knowledge & experience. What would you guys add to my thoughts, here? I could use some fresh thoughts, also!

Here are the questions and my responses.

I think that even though this is a restart, that the best success will come from thinking like a church planter.

1. In a church plant/restart like this, what would you consider as the critical success factors?

Here are some things I would be shooting for:
  • A clear and compelling vision that you can share passionately.
  • Complete "buy in" to the vision of at least 90% of the original group. (It is very likely that you'll lose at least 10% of that group, anyway. Focus on who you will be trying to reach even more than who is already there.)
  • Financial base raised/committed before "relaunching." (sounds like you're on the road there, already)
  • Evangelistic/Outreach strategy that builds "pre-launch" momentum.
  • Strong, unified leadership team and structure.
  • Good, thorough understanding of the area, the people, and the culture. What are the felt needs?
  • Critical mass at the official "relaunch." Shoot for over 100 people in attendance. This will completely change the old landscape and establish momentum and excitement about the new direction of the church.
2. What would you consider the initial steps in a restart to be? (some of these repeat/flesh out the above items)
  • If you have never had a church planter's assessment done, it could be very helpful to discover your personal strengths and challenges you may need to work on before beginning.
  • Answer the following questions in your own heart in a way that can be communicated with authority and passion:
  1. Is there a need for a "new" church in this area at this time?
  2. Is there anything distinctive about our church?
  3. Are there people who will not be reached by anyone else unless we reach them?
  • Completely "survey the land" - Know everything you can about the area.
  • Develop a "prospectus" that includes a timeline, budget, and your vision & values.
  • Gather/build the leadership team to realize the vision. (Get the wrong people off of the bus and the right people on the bus and in the right seats, ala the book, "Good to Great")
  • Develop/enlist a prayer team.
  • It may be a good idea to consider creating a whole new identity for the church. New name/logo/etc.
  • Develop a marketing (think: "how to communicate the greatest news in the world and who we are as a church" to the community) plan. Include everything from newspaper articles to service projects to advertising.
3. Do you have any suggestions on looking for a leadership team? Would you look for a certain criteria?
  • Start by considering people that you already know and have worked with in the past.
  • Bill Hybels suggests looking for CIA: Chemistry, first, Integrity second and Ability third. I would also add that you should look for people who understand your vision, values & where you're going - and want to go with you.
  • Consider enlisting a designer/visuals/media person, a volunteer coordinator and a community relations coordinator to the team.
4. Are there any resources you would point us towards?

You may be familiar with all of these, but here's a start:
Well, there are certainly more things to consider, (and many, many more resources) but I hope these are helpful. Please let me know how things go, and I pray God's best for you, your family, and the church God has put on your heart!

Grace & Peace,


Saturday, July 09, 2005

A time to laugh...

"A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3:4 - NLT

God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for the time will come when you will laugh with joy." Luke 6:21 - NLT

2 We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, "What amazing things the LORD has done for them." 3 Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!" Psalm 126:2-3 - NLT

Poor Pastor's Pod - Blip...

Like a podcast....but not really.

this is an audio post - click to play

Inspired by Terry Storch, but please don't blame him.

Hey, sometimes you just need to kick back, blow off some steam, and get a little silly...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Leckies Unplugged & Looking Ahead

One of the first stops on our mini-vacation was the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. It is definitely one of the weirdest sights that we always stop for when we're going this way. 10 cadillacs buried halfway in the ground at the angle of the great pyramids - What more can I say?

They don't look quite as lovely, today. But then again, neither do I.

Man, how did my kids get so big? The last time we were here they were all at least a foot shorter. Or maybe it just seems that way to me. Time rocks on.

Look for this image to show up in the banner on the top of this page before long.

The destination was Red River, New Mexico, and camping at the "June Bug" Campground. Here I am, as usual, defying death at every turn.

...Actually, the water was only ankle deep. I wonder if that's more of a real description of my life than I care to admit. Hmm....

This last picture pretty much says it all. The attitude, the spirit, the sense of adventure...

And it also reflects the journey my family has been on for the past two years. We have a few scratches and a loss or two, but my, how we've grown! There's a lot of trail behind us, but the path ahead is where the real action is.

And that brings me to this:

North Point Fellowship is also at a turn in the path, and we are changing our name to Compass Church for the next stage of the journey. You heard it here first. (Well, most of you, anyway)

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

A compass provides direction without details. And on an adventure you can get lost without one when the path fades into wilderness all around. I need a compass. How about you? More about this will be coming soon.

The attitude, the spirit, the sense of adventure...a wonderful family and an exciting young church with an incredible future...

God has blessed me more than I can say.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sermons That Are Too Long

Quick definition:
"Sermon That is Too Long" - One that is not working.

Sermons that are meeting needs, biblically accurate, passionate, engaging and well delivered are never too long.* But even really short sermons that don't do those things are always too long.

This is my summary definition from a variety of conversations I've had over the past few months, and my own observation of preachers and sermons. Especially me and mine. It's from the perspective of the people listening, or not listening, as the case may be.

Don't get all righteous on me. You know it's true... Leave Jeremiah out of this. :)

By the way, Tony Morgan has an interesting take on sermons here.

* This is a general observation not to be taken to the extreme. Yes, even a good sermon can be too long - but then again, it isn't really meeting needs if people are thinking about the fact that they've been sitting for too long, or they need to go to the bathroom. If you're preaching for over an hour in the United States in the 21st century, it had better be pretty flippin' incredible stuff, Napoleon!