Category Archives: God

Keeping World Missions in view…

 This is my addition to the Creative Chaos with Carlos at






For years we’ve asked the question, how do we keep our “world missions” interest in  front of the people who visit our church without doing the ” 50 flags in the worship center” or ” big rotating globe on the stage” or “map on wall with pins” look.  We want people to continually see and feel what, how and where we’re doing world missions.  We will typically take an entire series during the year and focus on world missions…yet we don’t want our people to loose the sight and vision.

So, we had one of our designers put together this image and had it printed on vinyl.  The wrapped this wall with the image..posted clocks (nothing creative about that) and also installed some catalog holders so we always have our world & local missions catalog available for everyone.  This corner is literally the busiest intersection inside our church.  Great use of space, nice picture….reminds me of our world missions efforts every time I see it.  We also continue our world missions emphasis on our website.  Props to my buddy Lee for coming up with this idea.

There ya go….

How do you keep missions in front of your people?

This Weekend

This weekend Drew (my son) & I will be going down to Tijuana, MX with 29 people from our church to build 2 of these homes.  This is a time lapse version of a home just like the ones we will build.  We are blessed to serve.  Thanks to all who helped send us here ROXX as well as other family members…& please pray for our safety and the families who will receive these great homes.

What are you doing this weekend?

Hiro-yuki Suzuki from Japan

This is why we do church.  Below is an email sent from Nomar to our pastor (Troy).  Troy is the one on the left.

Dear Pastor Troy,
    My name is Nomar and I go to the Well almost every Sunday. I hope you remember me and Hiro, my foreign exchange student from Japan. Here is the picture that we took together on Sunday.

    It was cool because on Mother’s day we went to a Catholic church because majority of my family are Catholic and we took Hiro with us. He almost fell asleep. I told him, “Hiro, let me take you to my church next Sunday. It will be an experience you’ll never forget.” He then said, ” your not Catholic?” I said, “nope, I’m Christian. We believe in God and Jesus but let’s just say we do things a little different.”

    So Sunday came and right away he was so impressed of how New Life church was so big and clean. Then when we went inside and he saw all the lights and the band his jaw literally dropped to the floor. He was so shocked. He asked me if this really is a church. Then when worship started, again he was amazed. His smile was from ear to ear. He enjoyed the talk and then he started worshiping at the end which made my whole week. The feeling of witnessing a Buhdist worshiping to God and Jesus was just amazing. I told him worshiping is like praying twice and that the feeling that he felt inside of him when he worshiped was the act of God saying that he was with him.
To cut the story short, Hiro-yuki Suzuki from Japan can’t wait to visit New life church again. Thank you Pastor Troy for all the Sunday talks.



How great is it that Nomar trusted us by bringing his foreign exhcange student.  Let us never feel like we’re just going through the motions.  God is trusting us with valuable souls and we’d better not screw it up.

Who is this excited to attend church with you this weekend?

Drive session 2

Yea…I know that Drive ended 3 days ago but I’ve been running around and didn’t get a chance to post my thoughts on Drive….so….here goes.  The second session was great…yet….I enjoyed the 3 probably the best.  In the second session on Tuesday afternoon it opened with a rockin number by the band.  Little cover tune by Zeplin.  Great job Christina.  Andy’s talk:

Becoming a great staff  (Mark 10)

1. A great staff is made up of “great” leaders.  Leaders that ask the question, “How can I help”?

2. Best practices for creating a “Great” staff.

a. Do for ONE when you can’t do for all.   LOVED this point.  I’ve been involved on teams that the leader would say….well, If I can’t do it for all…I won’t do for any.  OK, that’s fine for them….but what about that one person who really needed what they had to give them? As leaders, we need to ask….what is the ONE thing that this ONE person needs from me?

b. Systematize top down service.  Random acts of kindness is not enough.  If you want your team to serve…make sure they see you serving.  be intentional.  One thing that NP does is assign all team members to a “staff coach”.  This is an older member of the team who will help develop the person of the team members.  The team member can bring anything to this coach to get perspective.  Great idea…especially for larger staffs.

d. Create and maintain a sustainable pace.  Withough margin, there is no room to serve.  Without margin, we seek first OUR kingdom.

e. Celbrate and reward greatness when you see it.  What’s rewarded is repeated!  That is so good!

Andy paused and reflected on one talk he’s developing right now….Symbolic Leadership – I’m going to do for one what I wish I could do for all.  I really like the title…Symbolic Leadership.  Where could we go with that?

f. Confront your ego.  What’s more important:  Creating a great organization or creating a name for yourself?  Ouch!

3. Signs that things aren’t so “great”.

a. Competition between departments

b. Double standards

c. Loyalty lectures

One thing NP does is stop at the beginnning of some staff meeings and write one thank you note.  Great idea.

Wrapped up the session – went on road trip to Brownsbridge – Had outside BBQ – did a quick starbucks run – then came back to hear the Bethany Dillon bluegrass group (not my music style but I can acknowledge the talent).

Then….Jeff Foxworthy.  Yes he was very funny.  Great christian guy!

Top Tip:

Take time to write a Thank You note…

Drive Session 1

Tonight opened up with the band & Steve Fee performing a cool song (I think it’s called Typical).  Then Andy came up and set up expectations for the event.  Cute video about church staff road trip then into Andy.  Once again, Andy did a great job presenting a topic that for some will be brand new and others might be a topic they’ve already studied.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  As leaders we need to choose to Trust and be Trustworthy.  I liked the way that Andy is able to speak for the senior leader to the staff and share some tough statements that staff might likely hear better and let it sink deeper coming from Andy at a conference as opposed to their own senior leader.

Bottom Line….(as a leader in the middle)

Our leaders need to trust us:  When the senior leader finds the gap between what they expect and experience…they need to trust.  When there is suspicion, they need to trust.  When trust is eroded, they need to come directly to us.

We need to be trustworthy:  We need to do what we say and when we don’t…we need to tell our leader.  We need to not over promise and under deliver…but, if it looks like we’re headed that way…we need to tell our leader.  And, if we’re confronted about the gaps we create…we need to tell the truth.  

When we tell the truth and go directly to our leader with and issue…we will build confidence.

Final Question…..nail in the coffin….

“Are the relationships on your staff worth exporting to your congregation”?  or  How will you feel when you see the people in you congregation building relationships like the relationship on your staff?

Session ended with a powerful worship set led by Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland, Kristian Stanfill, & Todd Fields with back up by Candi Pearson-Shelton.  Now that’s a powerful line-up.  All this while the Jesus Painter is doing his thing.  Deep, powerful, emotional, moving, celebration, communion, love, and thankfulness.

As a leader, do you trust your team?  As a team member, are you trustworthy?

Small Group

Three years ago Andy (the guy in the middle holding the baby) and I committed to leading a group of boys through middle school at church.  I made it into the 7th grade with them before moving to Seattle.  Andy stayed with them all the way through middle school.  The plan here is to build a relationship with these boys so we can walk with them through this very important time of their life.  Our goal was also to communicate the love of Christ in a real and practical way with the guys in our group.  So, I was thrilled when I had a chance to check in with them yesterday.  They are all moving on to High School next year.  These guys are all the same age as my son Drew.  I wish I could have stayed with them but God had a different plan for me.  Great guys – great group.

What are you doing to invest in young lives that aren’t your own children?

Thus sayeth the Lord!

So, my buddy Fishburn is in Detroit this week on business.  Fishburn is in my small group.  For literally the last 4 months plus he’s been dealing with a bronchial/breathing issue.  Gone to doctors and they just give him an inhaler and send him home.  We’ve been praying for him but he still struggles.  Especially at night…thus no sleep….thus crabby pattie (nod to sponge bob).  Now, it could have something to do with the fact that my buddy Fishburn smokes his pipe every night…but….naw!

At the same time, he & his wife have been dealing with family challenges for the last couple years…yes….years.  Side note….please pray for this family.  They’re good people.

So…here’s where it gets really cool/weird/God/Cool!  Fishburn is on the flight to Detroit earlier this week.  Plane lands…taxi to gate…seatbelt sign goes off.  A lady (in about her 50’s) bolts past everyone to be first off the plane (i know…irritating).  When Fishburn gets to the top of the jetway…there is the little 50 year old lady standing in his path.  You’ve got to picture this….Fishburn is not a small man…so for 50 lady to be stopping him….wow!  So she says, “excuse me young man”…. and the conversation goes like this:

50..excuse me young man


50..God has a word for you…He knows what you’re going through and the challenges you’ve been facing the last couple years.  God is going to be faithful and take care of you.


50…And you need to stop smoking….


50..have a nice day (and she waddles down the concourse)

At this point…Fishburn is befuddled.  There is absolutely no way that this lady could have known any of this stuff.  She was sent to Fishburn by God to tell him to hang on and quit smoking.  Needless to say….Fishburn is feeling touched.  God has a plan for all of us…but I think he has a special plan for my buddy Fishburn.

What is God trying to tell you today?