Category Archives: ministry

Great Video….transformed lives.

This is a very emotional representation of the way we are and can be transofrmed by God.  Very moving.  I love the authenticity of the moment.

My sign would say….

Unwanted child / Adopted by Jesus

What would your sign say?

Creative Chaos | Art with a purpose

This is my Creative Chaos submission along with my buddy Carlos at


Our church celebrated it’s 75th anniversary and we made it a big celebration.  We had special guests and former pastors over a celebration weekend.  One of the things we wanted to do was commemorate the milestone.  So, instead of making a banner that we’d throw away after the weekend, I commissioned an artist to put together a timeline piece laying out the history of our church and different milestones.  Then we made it into this piece of art that is still in our hallway communicating where we (as a church body) came from.  It really honor’s the people who sacrificed to get us where we are.  It’s a great piece of art that has a purpose.  When new people come ot our church, they really enjoy taking a minute to read through pieces of this timeline.  We also made up the history in a booklet for everyone that weekend and put the timeline in the middle.  Great “take away” for the weekend.  Overall it was a great way to honor our past while moving forward.

How do you honor the people who made it possible for you to do ministry today?

Mexico Home

Last weekend my son & I went to Mexico with 29 other people from our church.  We worked for 2 days building a home for a family of 6.  Bernie & Loreza are the couple who live in this new home.   They have four beautiful kids.  We had a really great time, worked very hard, and feel very blessed.  The house is very simple.  Only 16′ X20’…yet it means so much to the people who live in it.  It’s likely the first time they’ve had a door that locks.  The kids are 3 times more likely to finish school whith a safe home to live in.  I’ll try my best to pontificate the experience over the next few days/weeks.


What did you do last weekend to make a difference in someone elses life?

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?

Grow your church!

My pastor made an insightful and fantastic statement today in our staff meeting.  He was reflecting on how sometimes as the Senior Leader he will do things that other people might see as too detailed, small thinking, or something that the “pastor” shouldn’t be doing.  You know, the things that others might think he should delegate.  Troy’s reflection was that he needs to do these things not because he’s the pastor or for the church but for HIM.  He (Troy) needs to connect with a guy who was in his youth ministry back in the day and spend some time with him.  Go the extra mile to engourage him and get him involved in ministry.  Troy said that we all need to not be afraid to do little things.  He then reflected, “Doing little things won’t (by itself) grow the church…it will grow you…growing you WILL grow the church”. 

The context in the meeting when this was shared was valuable.  Too many times we get so focused on our strategy and sticking to the main thing…that we miss Jesus in the little things.  We work so hard to “grow” the church that we forget to “grow” us.  We will never grow a great ministry/organization until we focus on and grow us first.

What areas do you need to grow in today?

Drive session 3…

Session 3 opened with another great high energy song.  The band did a great job.  Now, to Andy’s talk.  He did what I really enjoy about attending conferences.  He threw out his notes for the final session and decided to just talk.  So, he said that he decided to pull out five quotes that he has been wrestling with and he was going to share them with us…give thoughts…and mention a “take away”.  So, here goes:

1. Quote: “To reach people no one else is reaching, we must do things no one else is doing”.  –Craig Grochel

Andy put this on a large document…with the number of unreached people within a 10 mile radius of their three campuses….then posted it in their conference room.  Goal is to have this quote disturbe them every day.

Take Away: Become preocupied with those you haven’t reached as opposed to those you are trying to keep. –Reggie Joiner

2. Quote: The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.

Someone on the fringe of ministry is coming up with the next thing.  You can either Fight it or Fund it.  You can be so careful that you’re behind the times…

Take Away: Be a student not a critic

3. Quote: What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done…it would fundamentally change my business?

What in your particular model would you change if you looked at it different?

Take Away: Pay attention to the opeople who are breaking the rules.

4. Quote: If we got kicked out and the board got rid of us, why shouldn’t we just walk out – come back in – and do it ourselves?  (story from the guys at intel, Only the paranoid survive)

Question…ASK…What’s in decline?  Where are we manufacturing energy? (great question)…announcements?  events?  stuff that no-one really wants?…..NOT…Why are people not attending…?  if you’re asking that question…it’s too late!

Question….ASK….What are our underlying assumptions?  What are the assumptions that we as a team have that we really shouldn’t?  Ask someone new to evaluate who we are and what we do?  Signage/environments/wording/communication…etc

Take Away: Acknowledge what’s not working and own up to why you’re not willing to do anything about it.

Side note….This stuff is totally kicking my butt!!!

5. Quote: When your memories exceed your dreams…the end is near.  -Unknown

Crank up the vison.  If the vision isn’t driving it…then the past is.

Success breeds complacency…compacency breeds failure.

Take Away: Don’t let success or momentum overshadow your vision.  Keep the vision out front.

What are things that you’re doing to reach people that no one else is doing?

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…

Mark Thompson….My Friend….Creative Chaos

My addition to the Creative Chaos and my friend Carlos Whittaker at

Here is my friend Mark Thompson.  He’s a musical ventriloquist.  In these pictures he is using his gifts to make kids in Jamaca laugh last week. 

My creative idea is that we should all use the gifts that we have to make kids in other parts of the world (and here in the US) laugh.  There’s nothing like the laughter of a child.  Look at these pictures with Joy.

It’s a rare talent that can keep the attention of that many kids….entertain them….make them laugh….then share Jesus. 

I’m proud to call Mark my friend.  He’s truly a creative guy.

How do you creatively make kids laugh?