Friday, February 27, 2009

52 services young

Our church is one of those churches our grandparents would have never believed could work. Yet this is the healthiest, most vibrant, most excellent, most mission focused church, I've ever been a part of. Here's why our grandparents might be skeptical: At Ridge we share a combination of live teaching and video teaching. And to be honest we have been way more video than live to date. We spent a ton of time casting vision and building the core team and foundations of Ridge Church on the front side and we didn't even meet every Sunday for a long time. So we are still a really young church in terms of worship services. To date we have only had 52 public worship services. Interestingly of those 52 I have spoken in 12 of them--and I'm the lead pastor! Plain and simple this thing isn't about me and it isn't about building or promoting my name. We will do whatever is necessary within the boundaries of God's Word to share God's love with people and promote his fame in our city! Even use video! I will be speaking this weekend for our new series called "Spectrum" though so come check it out.

We simply want to create environments that followers of Jesus feel comfortable and excited to invite their un-churched friends to attend. Come check it out for yourself. God is changing lives through this young church.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Worship at Ridge was...

We sang one of my new favorite songs this past Sunday at Ridge. Kind of hard to describe but it was an almost tangible sense of the presence of God for me personally as I worshiped through this song. Sara Scott sang this song and it was pretty unbelievable. If you missed this Sunday... well, I'll just say you might want to rearrange things next week to be there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Col·lab·o·ra·tion "Better together"

Col·lab·o·ra·tion- 1. The act of working together; united labor.

It seems so obvious that this is the best route for any leader and any team (any marriage, any parents...), but it can be really messy to implement a collaborative effort! Flying solo on a major decision or effort is often easier even though it isn't better. I am learning that it requires significant trust among the team, whatever that team may be to collaborate well. If you don't trust him or her you don't want or accept their help--it's true in parenting too! Also by nature collaboration requires better and more organized systems. It also requires that we lay aside our insecurities and realize my idea may not be the best one. Or maybe my idea is good but it may be incomplete without some one's input!

I am not a collaborator by nature, so this is a discipline for me. It requires intentional effort on my part to involve people in the process. But, this week alone I have seen the collaborative efforts of volunteers and my staff produce efforts, quality etc that wasn't possible a part from collaboration.

So don't avoid collaboration simply because it's messy or complicated. When you really begin to believe that you are better together than you are apart it will be reflected in your on going practices, and everyone will be better as a result!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stuff I made up & stuff I'm learning

Below are several unfiltered leadership thoughts that the experiences and reading in my recent weeks have uncovered or reinforced for me personally. They are things I am learning, living, or being reminded of:

  • Without out honest & consistent evaluation, leadership development will stall or cease. This sounds good to say or agree with, but only works if it doesn't get lost in translation from "cool quotes" to "my practices" -ME
  • When leaders don't communicate clearly and clearly define expectations we give people permission to lead by assumption. Assumption is a cancer to organizational health. We must minimize if not totally eradicate the phrase "But I thought...or I assumed..." from our organizational culture. -ME
  • "Leaders rise and fall by the language they use...choose the right words and you'll set up every one you lead for a level of effectiveness you never thought could be achieved." -Bill Hybels [Axiom]
  • If you are not secure in who you are as a leader & clear about where you are going, very few people will decide to follow you...or keep following you. As leaders we must wrestle with the vision so much in private that it flows confidently in public. -ME
  • Leaders often have to make difficult decisions with limited time & information. Few if any will suffer the total effects, consequences & out fall of those decision like the leader. No decision is made in a vacuum -ME

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Never Miss Group (2)

It's kind of dangerous to miss group--at least in our group. Tonight one of the couples in our group got some wires crossed about whether or not we were meeting. We made a quick video to "encourage them". Truthfully we have a really great time together. My community group is headed back to Group Link this Sunday and tonight was our last official meeting. It's always interesting and fun.

Monday, February 9, 2009

College Group Returns!

It's Monday again! We baptized two more people at Ridge yesterday and it made for such an amazing day. Being along side someone as they publicly declare their trust in Jesus is one of my all time favorite things to be a part of. It never gets old. It's the "why" behind the "what" at Ridge. Everything we do, every dollar we spend, every organizational detail, every community group we form, every decision we make, is ultimately about coming along side people to help them connect or reconnect with their Heavenly Father. Watch for the two video testimonies in up-coming blog posts. They are really awesome.

College group is back! We are stoked to get the ball rolling again for you amazing college students. We took a long break at the end of last semester and just landed a really great meeting spot that will accommodate the growing needs of the group. First night back is Wednesday, February 11th, 7-9pm, at the Hemby Activity Center. All are welcome. This is a co-ed gig. Spread the word.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Change your schedule

Change your schedule or do whatever you have to do to be at Ridge Church this Sunday! Without a doubt these are my favorite services, because this is the most practical and visible demonstration of why we started this church. It's why we exist!! Baptism this Sunday people! If you haven't invited any one yet--get to it. If you are volunteering this week at Ridge, we will be showing the video testimonies during CORE worship so you can see them too. CORE worship starts at 9:30am and the worship service starts at 11am.

Monday, February 2, 2009

[in-floo-uhns] Do you have it?

in·flu·ence [in-floo-uhns] What is it? Well that depends on the context. It could be: A rock band from the 60's; Something completely unacceptable to be "under" if you are driving; a type of electrostatic generator (who knew?), OR the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, effects, opinions etc. of another or others.

Maxwell's verbiage, "Leadership is influence. Every leader has these two characteristics (A) he/she is going somewhere and (B) he/she is able to persuade other to go with him/her." Believe it or not you do have influence. We all do? The degrees of influence vary, and hopefully we will all grow in both our influence and our ability to steward that influence well.

Where are you going?

Who's going with you?