A New Look At The Prodigal Son

Yesterday I shared a message on a familiar story from Luke 15.  We use Truthcasting to archive our video messages. I’m thankful they no longer require you to login to view.  Watch yesterday’s message here.  Just a program note for those that were present for this message, we used the second service and there was a technical problem that kept us from using my opening illustration.

Everything is Relative to Context

apples-orangesHere is a principle I have learned in years of ministry and life experience.

Everything is relative to the context in which you live.

What I mean is that one person’s experience is unique to them and cannot be understood fully apart from living in that exact set of circumstances and surroundings.  You can’t compare your circumstances to another that easily.

That means that to that person, though the situation may not seem as severe or as important to you:

  • Pain is pain
  • Heartache is heartache
  • Stress is stress
  • Leadership is leadership
  • Trials are trials
  • Pressure is pressure
  • Fun is fun
  • Disappointment is disappointment
  • Fear is fear

That also means that:

A 13-year-old boy trying to balance school, baseball and girlfriends can feel just as overwhelmed as a 42-year-old CEO trying to manage a company and build a family.

And a pastor in a church of 50 people can feel just as much stress as a pastor in a church of 20,000.

That’s a good reminder next time you are tempted to compare your struggles with another.

Every person’s situation is relative to the context in which they live and the experiences they have in life.

Have you been guilty of comparing your situation to another person’s situation?

Operation Serve 2009 Video

Operation Serve! What an experience! I am so thankful to be a part of Grace Community Church and for all that serve! Let’s not allow this to be a once a year experience. Find ways to continue to take Christ’s love to the streets of our community!

Enjoy this video from the 2009 Operation Serve.

What’s Happening In Children’s Ministry?

Adam Bayne is out new children’s pastor at Grace Community Church.  He’s a nut and has added a whole new element to our staff.  Check out his latest video he’s using to inspire children to love church. Crazy!  (Adam’s the pirate BTW.) Keep in mind, the point of this is to gain children’s interest so they will listen to what we ultimately want to teach them. Guess what? It works.

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers Movie

As a church planter concerned about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but consistently meeting people who have no interest in what they believe Christianity to be, this appears to be an important movie. My friend Michael Hyatt was the first to recommend this movie, which would be enough to encourage me to watch it. After watching the trailer, there is no question I will put this movie on my “must see” list.

Have you seen this movie? What do you think after watching the trailer?

I Recommend The Change Group

banner350X250I love big vision. I love those who help accomplish big vision.  Recently I’ve been inspired by the energies of The Change Group.  They are true Kingdom builders.

If your organization needs help with financial management or with bookkeeping services, consider talking about outsourcing those needs with my friends at The Change Group.

For one monthly fee organizations can receive:

  • Quarterly CFO Consulting
  • Monthly Financial Dashboard
  • Weekly Bookkeeping

I posted HERE about two things every organization must have.  The Change Group can completely take care of one of these two needs, allowing you to concentrate on accomplishing your vision without stressing over details that must be done.   This is not only a cost saving, but also an efficient way of handling your church, small business or non-profit’s financial needs.

Check out my friends at The Change Group today by clicking HERE.

What Are You Contributing To Your Organization?










Are you bringing new ideas to your organization, church, or the place where you work?

You see things no one else sees…

You have experiences and connections no one else has…

You have a unique perspective on life…

You surely have opinions…

Don’t keep them to yourself…

Use them for the good of the team…

What could you be contributing that you’ve been holding back because of fear or lack of self-confidence?

Start sharing today…

8 Most Stressful Careers

iStock_000000053566XSmallI love Southwest’s magazine.  I always find interesting articles to kill time during flights.  This month was no exception.  I am glad that let you bring these magazines home. (They do, don’t they?)

Do you feel like you have a stressful career?

According to a survey by careercast.com highlighted in Spirit Magazine, here are the jobs that send workers home most exhausted:

  1. Firefighter
  2. Surgeon
  3. Senior corporate executive
  4. Police officer
  5. Roustabout
  6. Sailor
  7. General practice physician
  8. Psychiatrist

I don’t know that I qualify, but if I can be considered a “Senior Corporate Executive” with our church, then the article helps explain why I seem to have so much stress in my work these days.  I realize I am a pastor, but lately, with the growth of our church, I seem to do play administrative roles than spiritual roles.  Read posts about that change in my role HERE and HERE.

I know a few careers I was surprised were not on the list.  These jobs would stress me:

  • Homemaker
  • School teacher
  • Lion trainer
  • Daycare worker
  • Soldier
  • Small business owner
  • Professional chess (or poker) player
  • Santa Claus

Is your career on the list?  If not, do you think it should be?  I guess at any given time it could be our career on the list.   What do you think?

Are You Taking Advantage of Human Capital?

iStock_000006413523XSmallDo you harness the greatest power in your organization?  The best assets of your church, business or non-profit never appear on your balance sheet.

The truth is that any organization is only as good as the people within it.  Take the greatest idea and put the wrong people behind it and little progress will be realized.   With the right people, even average ideas can achieve tremendous results.

Are you taking the advantages of human capital?

Are you relying on the knowledge, insight and experience of everyone on your team to make the organization better?

Here are a few quick ways to capitalize on the people value of your team:

Brainstorm – Have assigned times periodically where everyone on the team gets to give input into the organization’s future.

Allow mistakes – Create an environment where team members are willing to take risks without fear of repercussion if things go wrong.

Ask questions – Genuinely seek help from those around you.  Recognize the fact that others may know more than you know about a particular subject.

Don’t pre-define – If you want help solving a problem or planning for the future, start with a clean slate.  If the leader always has the answer, team members are less likely to share their input.

Be open to change/new ideas – The leader must genuinely desire the involvement of others.  If team member’s suggestions are never implemented, they eventually will stop sharing them.

How are you currently taking advantage of human capital?

For more ideas on creating an environment of innovation click HERE.

Strong Words For Preachers (and others)

I read a strong reminder for those of us that have the responsibility of preaching God’s Word, but I think it’s applicable for all of us. These are Jesus words to us from The Message Version.

But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you’ll ever get.
And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.
There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.
“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.
Luke 6:24-26 (The Message Version)

Is that as clear to you as it is to me?