Monday, August 31, 2009

New Hires

Charter Oak Church welcomes our new Pastor to Senior High School Students – Dave Hendrickson. Dave has served as a missionary in Russia, a youth pastor for three years in England, and on staff at a mega church in Arizona. Dave and his wife, Janelle, will have been married for 10 years in October. They have two sons, Ben– 3 years old, and Liam – 2 years old. Dave graduated from Geneva College and has his Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical School of Ministry. Please welcome the Hendrickson Family to Charter Oak Church. Dave can be reached at ext. 265 or by email at

Charter Oak Church welcomes an old face into a new position. Josh Ricketts is our new Pastor to Junior High Students. Josh has been a volunteer and/or a paid staff member for the last seven years. Josh and his wife, Karen, have been married for 5 years. They have a daughter Aryn who is two years old. Josh graduated from Grove City College and has a Masters Degree from Reformed Theological Seminary. Josh can be reached at ext. 266 or by email at

Friday, August 14, 2009

Great Quote

“You can tell the quality of a person by how they treat the people they don’t need.”- Malcolm Gladwell

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dancing: Getting into Position

This weekend we begin a new series at Charter Oak Church called - So You Think You Can Dance? The first part of the series is called "Getting into Position."

To get started you can read Nehemiah 1 and Acts 2.

As the song begins to play those who step on to the dance floor must get into the right position before they can begin the dance. Nehemiah was a prisoner of war serving the king, but God had a vision for His people that began with Nehemiah getting into the right position for God to work in him and through him. As followers of Jesus we need to make sure that we are in the right position to follow God’s lead.

New Series Starting This Weekend

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Book #15 - The Back of the Napkin

Dan Roam's book, The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, is one of the coolest books I have read in terms of taking my ability to communicate in a new and fresh way to a whole different level. I wish I could take a semester class with Dan to really get all of this incredible information downloaded into my brain in such a way that it would become second nature. Last week I tried to put it into practice as often as I could.
If you are a leader and you want to communicate your ideas in any setting, then you should pick up this book. It isn't one you just sit down and read in an hour or two, you could, but you would miss so much application. This will be on my desk for a long time as I apply what I have read and learned.

Book #14 - Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing

Sometimes I just like to walk through Barnes & Noble looking for books that jump out at me. That's how I came to pick up Geoff Surratt's new book, Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing: How Leaders Can Overcome Costly Mistakes.
I thought that I would love to read a book about how I often times do ministry and what I can learn from all of those mistakes that I have made over the years. Geoff didn't write from research from other pastors. He wrote out of his own decisions and his own learning. Then he asked another pastor to do the same. This is a powerful book written for pastors and leaders in the church.
Here are the 10 things, see if you are like me in doing them:
1. Trying to do it all.
2. Establishing the wrong role for the pastor's family.
3. Providing second-rate worship experiences.
4. Settling for low quality in children's ministry.
5. Promoting talent over integrity.
6. Clinging to a bad location.
7. Copy another successful church.
8. Favoring discipline over reconciliation.
9. Mixing ministry and business.
10. Letting committees steer the ship.
Some of these are probably not what you think from the title. If you are a pastor or a church leader - get this book.

Book #13 - The Imperfect Board Member

About two years ago I read The Imperfect Board Member: Discovering the Seven Disciplines of Governance Excellence by Jim Brown. I blogged my thought and Jim even called me to talk about what I thought. At that time I wasn't the lead pastor of Charter Oak Church yet. I worked with our board, but I wasn't accountable to the board at that time. Now I am. I thought it was a good time to re-read this book. I'm glad I did. It is one thing to learn about something when you are involved but it is something completely different when you are committed. It's the difference in breakfast - the chicken is involved with the eggs, the pig is committed in the bacon.
I'm committed to bringing out the very best in our board at Charter Oak Church. They are a group of people who are the most spiritually mature and discerning that I have ever had the privilege to serve.
I know that I will be studying this book intently over the next few months and I will be giving a copy to each board member.
To peak your interest, here are the seven disciplines
1. Direct...Organizational Performance
2. Protect...Organizational Performance
3. Respect...Owner Expectations
4. Reflect...on Organizational Results
5. Select...your Prominent leadership
6. Expect...great Board-Management Interaction
7. Connect...for healthy Board Relations

Book #12 - Not Just a One Night Stand

Donna Gabler who is Charter Oak Church's Pastor of Congregational Care and Missions handed me a book a few weeks ago and asked me to read it. Let me just say as a side note, when my staff give me a book and asks me to read it, they are speaking my love language. The book she gave me is Not Just a One Night Stand: Ministry with the Homeless by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy.

It is short, simple book about how two pastors practically made the decision at their church to minister to homeless people. It is the story of their journey from not having a clue really to the harsh reality of ministering to a people group that are often forgotten or at best pushed around with very little respect from the church or society. This is a challenging book on what I really believe, what the church really believes about the least, the last, and the lost.


Just read this great blog from Elevation Church E-Kidz Director, Brandon Hibbard. I needed to be reminded of these words on encouragement.

It’s been an honor for me to have the opportunity to serve Pastor Furtick over the past couple years, and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to be a voice of encouragement in his life. I heard Pastor Furtick explain one time that the word “encourage” literally means “to give courage,” and that totally transformed my concept of encouragement. Hopefully the thoughts below will help you maximize the impact of your encouragement.

Effective encouragement is specific. That means you have to pay attention to the people around you. Exist with an inclination for encouragement, always looking for the positive in people. Specificity in encouragement communicates value.

Effective encouragement speaks to things that are meaningful to the recipient. Know what they put time and energy into and acknowledge the difference it makes.

Effective encouragement is timely. It should be regular and consistent, but you must also learn specific times or seasons when someone will need extra encouragement.

Effective encouragement is unprompted. If someone has to ask you for encouragement, it kinda defeats the purpose. I’ve heard that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. The same applies for encouragement. Don’t let your spouse, kids, pastor, or coworkers get dehydrated.

Effective encouragement is communicated through the right means. If face-to-face is available, it’s the most effective. But heed Proverbs 27:14 and use some common sense.

Effective encouragement does not just come from people with the gift of encouraging, it’s commanded of everyone. It can also be learned, if you put in the practice.
I think the most important element to effective encouragement is the “Holy Spirit Factor.” Listen to the prompts in your spirit. God is all-knowing and will ultimately orchestrate timely encouragement for His people. He wants to use you – don’t miss the opportunity!