Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I was watching the end of the World Series, the analysts were breaking down the final game, then A-Rod's agent made the announcement that A-Rod would not be returning to the Yankees next season. The ESPN baseball analysts were livid to say the least. They could not believe that such an announcement would be made on such a historic night as Boston winning the World Series.

As I listened to them and as I heard the anger in their voices, I was reminded of how important communication really is. It is very important to get information out to people, but the when and the how are sometimes just as important if not more so. A-Rod's announcement could have been done any time over the next 10 days, but they choose, for whatever reason, to do it then. Strange, but true.

How often do we think through the process of communicating information? I think it is important to communicate the right information, at the right time, for the right reason. It should be clear and concise. Simple is better. How many times would a problem have been resolved if we just communicated in that manner?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Going To Jamaica

This Saturday morning I am leaving with eleven other members of Charter Oak Church on a mission trip to Jamaica. We will be building a house and doing medical work (well, I will be building a house and definitely not doing medical work, we are trying to add value, not hurt people).

The group we are going with is Won by One to Jamaica. The leaders of the group are the same people that led the group to Jamaica back in 1989 when I first went to Jamaica and met Jesus and Kelli. Josh and Erin are awesome followers of Jesus and I look forward to serving with them again.

There is a tropical storm getting ready to hit Jamaica, so please pray that we will not be delayed and there will not be any problems due to the storm.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Staff Must Ask

I was reading an article by Bill Easum this morning, you can read it here. The part of the article that really resonated with me was the "staff must ask" section. Here are the questions...

Staff must ask, not "What must I do today?" but "Who will I mentor today?" not "What is my job?" but "Who will I discover?" not "How much can I do?" but "How many others can I equip?"

Those are great questions. It is so easy to get caught up in the doing of church that we miss out on the opportunity to partner with the entire Body of Christ to fulfill the call of God upon our church. What would happen if we really started asking ourselves these questions? What would happen if we insisted that both paid and unpaid staff asked these questions?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Climbing the Ladder

This morning I was re-reading a section from Marcus Buckingham's book First, Break All the Rules. He wrote that the vast majority of employees today have a drive to be at the next rung up on the ladder. He asks a great question though - why? Why would someone want to go up to the next level when he or she is doing the current position with great excellence and getting a great deal of satisfaction from doing it? Why would someone want to go into the unknown - wouldn't know if he or she could do the position with great excellence, wouldn't know if he or she would get a great deal of satisfaction?

Why not set people up to succeed where they are for a very long time? Here's a quote from the book from an employee who had this happen to him...

"I love my role. I'm the best in the company at it. I am making a lot of money doing it. And I am having more of an impact than I ever thought was possible in my life. So I said to my boos, I said, 'your one objective with me is to see to it that I am never promoted again. If you can do that, you have me for life.'"

How does this apply for you - at work, at home, in school, in sports, at church?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How are people equipped to serve?

I was reading an article by Alan Nelson earlier this week. You can read it here. He asks the question about how people are equipped to serve. He has four phases of spiritual development and personal growth. They are Education, Inspiration, Application, and Manifestation. Here's the quote that has really got me thinking this week:

"Most Christians are far more informed and inspired than transformed."

I'm thinking that when I stand before the people of Charter Oak Church and preach I am providing the pathway for education and inspiration to occur. It is up to each person to take what I am saying and bring the third phase - application. But it is the last phase, manifestation, that takes both of us to accomplish. Manifestation doesn't just bring ministry by addition, but by multiplication. It is taking what is learned, becoming passionate about it, then applying it to your life, and then finally living it in such a transformational way that others want to do the same thing.

What will it take for more people at Charter Oak Church to move from the education and inspiration phases to the application phase? What will it take for more people at Charter Oak Church to move from the application phase to the manifestation phase?

Friday, October 12, 2007

From Andy Stanley's closing @ Catalyst

I have been reading some posts about the variety of speakers from the Catalyst Conference. Here are some questions from Andy Stanley that have got me thinking about what we do at Charter Oak Church and why we do them.
  • What are the behaviors we want our people to do?
  • What is one thing we are doing to encourage those behaviors? What are we doing in the rhythm of our organization to motivate that type of behavior?
  • List the things you are doing, maybe inadvertently, that encourages the opposite behavior.

If the behavior we want from the people of Charter Oak Church is to become more like Jesus is every aspect of our lives, down to the last detail. Then what are we doing or not doing to encourage that?

Just something I am pondering at the end of the week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

September Worship at a Glance

September 1/2 - I preached
588 in worship (5.5% decrease from 2006)
220 in Sunday school (9.8% decrease from 2006)

September 8/9 - Dave preached
678 in worship (16.9% increase from 2006)
314 in Sunday school

September 15/16 - Dave preached
660 in worship (15.6% decrease from 2006)[Consecration of New Building in 2006]
345 in Sunday school (19% increase from 2006)

September 22/23 - Dave preached
627 in worship (5.2% increase from 2006)
303 in Sunday school (11/4% increase from 2006)

September 29/30 - Dave preached
661 in worship (11.8% increase from 2006)
299 in Sunday school (17.3% increase from 2006)

For the first time we are having attendance numbers to compare from for our new building. We continue to see growth from the previous year, even with the spike we had last year with moving into our new building. It amazes me that we are having double digit growth and I am not satisfied. There are 33,000 people within a five mile radius of Charter Oak Church that do not have a church home. The reality is, it shouldn't just dissatisfy me, but I should be driven to lead the people of this church to bring their un-churched friends, family, and co-workers to meet Jesus.

I am very excited that we are having double digit growth. I am very excited that we received 37 new members on Sunday and over half of them were by profession of faith. I am very excited to hear the stories and to be involved in the lives of those people who are being transformed. I am very excited that God has positioned Charter Oak Church in this place and that He has placed a call upon us to help people find their way back to Jesus and to develop them into fully devoted followers. That's why we do what we do. I am very excited by what is happening, I just know that there is so much more to do.

Monday, October 1, 2007

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Last night at the men's small group that I am in, we talked about discipline. We are reading Disciplines of a Godly Man by Kent Hughes. The scripture that really jumped out at me and has caused me to go back to it this morning is 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

Here's the NIV version, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

Paul really has me thinking about my daily walk with Jesus. Yes, I try to order my life each day around the will of God. I begin the day very early with God in prayer. I read and study scripture.

But what is really getting at me is the time in between the practicing of the spiritual disciplines. I don't want to run aimlessly. I don't want to be disqualified for the prize. I want to run in such a way as to get the prize.

I started coaching soccer because I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The reason I was called to coach was to add value into the players and their parents lives. I wanted to be someone they could look up to as a great example of a follower of Jesus. But I have this problem, it can be good, but it can also be bad - I am very competitive. VERY.

I am now wondering and praying if my competitiveness is disqualifying me from the prize of being the hands and feet of Jesus in these boys' life. Yes, Paul writes to run to win. But for me, the real point isn't to win soccer games (as good as that is), the win is to develop character. I changed the win and I didn't even realize it, until maybe it was too late.

Here's something for you to think about today. What is the win God has called you to? Have you changed that win? Has that caused you to be disqualified for the prize? Can you make some changes today that will put you back on the road that you were originally called to?