Top 5 Posts of 2011 #4: Stupid things christians say

Checking in at #4 on our countdown to the #1 post of 2011 was a post that hit close to home for me…and based on the conversation this post generated it hit close to home for a lot of other people as well.

Stupid Things Christians Say

A year ago my family moved to the Metro Atlanta area. We hadn’t lived in the house for 15 minutes before we met our new next door neighbors, the Abbate Family. We would quickly learn about the loss of their son Luke, who was a sophmore at Harrison High School when he passed away 5 years ago as the result of being a passenger in tragic car wreck.

Before moving to Atlanta, we spent the previous year walking with some dear friends as their 5 year old daughter battled for her life against cancer. In fact I have previously blogged about the ongoing story of Kate McRae and her family.

More recently my family has been going through our own little mini-crisis, as out of the blue we discovered that we were going to be transitioning and have been looking for new job. Hardly comparable to the thought of potentially losing one of my children.

Through all of these moments and more what has amazed me is how inept so many Christians seem to be at expressing real heartfelt love and concern. I mean of all people who should know how to walk with and care for the hurting and the suffering it should be Christians right? I’m not saying they don’t care. And I’m not saying there haven’t been moments of genuine and at times even extravagant expressions of love poured out. But the reality is a sad majority of Christians honestly just don’t know what to do when others around them are going through crisis, and so they do nothing. Or worse they say something stupid. Here are my top 5:

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Posted in Family, Leadership, Spiritual Formation


Top 5 Posts of 2011 #5: Fighting the sin of becoming a boring church part-2


This week I’ll be running down my top 5 posts of 2011. These are the posts that generated the most traffic, tweets, and comments. This post was part 2 of a two part series about what it takes to build compelling environments in our churches. Enjoy!

Fighting the Sin of becoming a Boring Church Part-2

Broken Window Theory is the idea that your environment tells you to act. That is to say, if you live in a community with run down dilapidated buildings, with broken windows, graffiti, and trash on the streets it affects your ideas, feelings, and ultimately your behavior. In the 1980’s New York City was at the height of one the worst crime epidemics in its history. In particular perhaps one of the worst places to be, was on the New York Subway. As a result, in the mid 80’s the New York Transit Authority hired George Kelling as a consultant to help with the problem. He urged them to go about combating crime in a unique manner. Clean up the subway, literally. Get rid of the trash and the graffiti. Then they began going after fare beating, people who jumped the turnstile to sneak onto the Subway without paying. Two incredibly small, non-essential, seemingly inconsequential items when you’re talking about fighting an epidemic of crime. But guess what happened. The environment of the Subway changed and with it so did the criminal behavior on the Subway.

We all know that the environment we place people in matters. And when we’re dealing with heaven and hell and not simply selling more lattes, cars, clothes, or fast food it matters all the more. Below are four simple criteria to consider when building your environments:

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Posted in Leadership


4 steps to clear church communications


One of the biggest mistakes that churches make in their communication and messaging strategies is in assuming that people care about what they have to say. In today’s competitive, cluttered, and message saturated market there is more than enough noise to keep people from noticing and listening to what you have to say. Even at church. Here are four questions that you must wrestle to the ground if you’re going to build an effective communication and messaging strategy at your church.

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Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership


Hiring a pastor at a church in the phoenix east valley!

I’m excited to announce that I am working with Real Life Christian Church to help them find their new Senior Pastor.

Real Life began during the summer of 2007 with the dream to connect people to Real Life with God, a Real Life with Others, and a Real Life of Purpose. This isn’t just a meaningless mission statement or clever words on a website. This is a change in philosophy and thought that many who have grown up in the Church are not accustomed to. Weekend Worship Services are contemporary in style and are designed to expose those who do not know Christ to His teachings and inspire the Church to tangibly living out the Gospel message. Real Life believes that life change happens best in the context of relationship and as a result Life Groups are the foremost integral part of the DNA of this church. Finally they hope to become a church that if they were gone, would be missed by the community. So as a result mobilizing people to be the church in the community is highly valued.

Real Life is strategically located, currently meeting in Williams Field High School in Gilbert, AZ located just one mile south of the 202.

The Lead Pastor will serve as the primary communicator, leader, and visionary for Real Life Church. Potential candidates should hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, have received biblical training from an accredited college or university, and should have a proven track record of leadership and teaching within a church setting.

Since 2007 Real Life Church has seen growth that led to a regular attendance of over 400 people. Currently Real Life is running 200 people in weekend attendance with over 75% of those involved in Life Groups that meet throughout the week in homes. They are excited about God bringing them the right Lead Pastor who will lead them forward in becoming the Church that God has dreamed up for them to be.

If you’re interested in this opportunity you can email your resume to me. All communication is strictly confidential.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


A little Muse Uprising at Church? Yes Please!

This past weekend on the Sun Valley Gilbert Campus we kicked off the holidays and a new Christmas teaching series with an old Christmas Carol with a whole new twist! We did O Come, O Come Immanuel but we put it to Muse’s hit song “Uprising.” Hope this gets your creativity going for the Holidays! Enjoy!

Posted in Creative Arts