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Me and The Boys

The great philosophers’ “Kiss” once sang:

“Me and the boys are playing, but we just can’t find the sound”

Last night I joined the rest of the Journey Church Worship team for a time of working through some new songs at a local recording studio. I went into the rehearsal with several things on my mind and heart. After a few hours of working through new worship music for Sunday services and prayer together, I left refreshed and feeling renewed.

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How Are Small Groups Made?

I read the most interesting article today about Small Groups. It was entitled “Why Churches Should Euthanize Small Groups“. It really gave me some things to think about. Take a moment and go read the article for yourself (the link above will open a new window), the blog will be here when you get back…

Interesting isn’t it? Some very strong language and concepts with regard to Small Groups. I have to be really honest and admit that I agreed with a great majority of that article. Especially when I think back of all of the Small Groups that I have been a part of (either leading or attending). There is an element or two of his suggestion that is very, very true. I mean no disrespect to any of the groups I’ve been in. We have shared, prayed and cared for one another. But there is something he mentioned that jumped out at me.

It just happened, naturally and spontaneously.

As I thought back over the groups I have been a part of, the one that stood out to me the most was the one that happened…naturally. We were all young members of a brand new church plant. We were all newly married and most expecting our first child. I remember praying together as each one was nearing their due date. I remember sitting in a hospital together as one of the pregnancies went through some dark waters (and eventually delivered a healthy baby). It all happened and it happened naturally and spontaneously. That group was amazing.

I’ve been in other groups that were put together by geography or other reasons and while they were good, they didn’t match that one several years ago. I’m not ranking them, but my greater point here is that I too believe that Small Groups are formed by a group of people sharing a commonality. It grows into real relationships which then produce real discipleship. It might just be how Small Groups are made…

How was the best group you’ve ever been a part of formed?

"Just One…"

On Sunday morning I was working the table to distribute tickets for the Evening with David Pendleton at Journey Church. As people would arrive at the table, they would issue their request for the number of tickets they would like. One man approached and when I asked how many he would like he simply said “just one”. I’m sitting here today and those two words continue to haunt my very core.

“Just one”

When I think back over the entire morning, I am reminded that this kind man sat just a few seats down from me during the service. He arrived late so we missed the traditional “greeting time”. With the rush at the end of the service I never thought to extend a handshake or catch his name. I grabbed the opportunity while I gave him his ticket and encouraged him to take two..”maybe for a friend”. He then said it again…

“Just one”

Today my heart and soul are heavy for this man and anyone else that feels “just one”. As John Ortberg once wrote “With billions of people in the world, someone should figure out a system where no one is lonely” (Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them). Ortberg also pointed out that someone did…God did. Our churches, our small groups, our circles of influence are all places where no one should ever have to say “just one”.

While today I think of this man, I’m thankful he found his way to a church like Journey Church. I whisper a praise that we crossed paths. I’m terrible with names but I remember his. God has written it on my heart. If I didn’t have plans the evening of the David Pendleton show (“the boy” and I are going to be rocking our socks off at the Thousand Foot Krutch concert), I would offer to go with him. As you go about your day today, keep an eye out for those alone. Listen for Gods prompting so that no one will have to say

“just one….”

Quotable

For some reason, the following quote rocked my socks tonight.

People who love authentic community always prefer the pain of temporary chaos to the peace of permanent superficiality.

-John Ortberg

A Friend To Me

There’s times I’d rather kill you then listen to your honesty, but you’ve always been a friend to me” – Garth Brooks

You gotta love when you surround yourself with “truth tellers”. I made a commitment long ago to run everything in the discernment process through God, family and close friends. The catch was that I would not keep calling people until SOMEONE finally agreed with my point of view. Each persons input must be considered.

Today I spoke with 3 of my “truth tellers” and their responses reminded me why they are in my band of brothers. All three responses were different yet fed directly into my thought process as well. With respect to my friends, I share their comments with you too…

Friend #1 – “I knew this email was coming….”

Friend #2 – “While I can’t say I am thrilled about it, you have to be obedient to what you feel like God is calling you to do.”

Friend #3 – “Dude…you have not been able to find your groove for months now.”

Three friends with three insights. What I find amazing is that all three recognized something in my life. They didn’t offer their input until asked, but were kind enough to be honest in their responses. Not only were they honest, they were right. I couldn’t have put it any better myself. To my friends and brothers, I thank you.

I thank you for being a friend to me.

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

What a weekend. The family and I left on Friday afternoon to head to our hometown of Bedford, Ohio for the wedding of Heather’s youngest sister. “My Girls”, “The Boy” and Heather were all in the wedding so it was an exciting time for everyone. There is always a part of me that still loves going “home” to where my roots are planted. While the condition of my old hometown is not what I remembered it to be, one thing is for sure…the people never change. You really can go home.

One take away from this weekend is that no matter how many miles, years or changes separate people, when there is a bond that is formed, nothing can ever break that. This weekend I was reminded of how strong and real friendships are as I spent some time with some old friends. I’m amazed how 10 years can seem like 10 minutes when you meet up with old friends. When I spent some time with guys like Gary and Ern, it was as if we were on the old softball fields again.

One other mark of friendships that last forever is that they still answer the bell when you are in a time of need. With Heather’s responsibilities in the wedding, I was flying solo trying to keep 2 little girls dresses clean neat and organized and one little boys tux from permanent damage. Just when I needed help most, there were old friends saying “You need a hand?” and “if there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know”. That’s friendship. That’s community. That’s going home.

Saturday's All Pro Dad Day!

Wow…where did March go? A new month must mean that this Saturday is another All Pro Dad day. The topic this month is “Caring for the less fortunate“. We are privileged to have a guest speaker from Faith Mission in Columbus, Ohio with us. He will share a little bit about Faith Mission, but even more exciting is what will happen between our meetings in April and May.

Based on the information from our guest speaker, Dads and kids will have the opportunity to spend the month gathering needed items and raising awareness of the less fortunate in our community. For our May meeting, we will meet briefly to have some breakfast and spend some time with the kids. From there we will caravan to Faith Mission to deliver the items that we gathered throughout the month to those less fortunate.

Dads, this is your opportunity to get creative with your kids and teach lessons that they can carry with them for a lifetime. It is my hope that we can give our children a glimpse at one way we can be “Hands and Feet” in our community. If you have yet to attend one of our All Pro Dad days, this is a great time to start. If you are interested in attending, feel free to send me an email for more information! See you on Saturday.