saturday shout out

stealing a page from my friend Zak White, here’s the stuff i am excited/not excited about:

  • JACKED about attending NewSpring Church tomorrow.
  • SUPER JACKED about having the opportunity to spend Monday at the Masters in Augusta, GA.
  • NOT JACKED that there is a chance of thunderstorms on Monday.
  • NOT JACKED about leaving my family for 3 days.
  • JACKED about it being Passover week. 
  • JACKED about the new series, Soulmate, coming after Easter.
  • JACKED about www.examen.me. not bragging, but i’ve spent time in God’s Word for 13 straight days thanks to this new tool.
  •  NOT JACKED about missing services at LHC tomorrow.  Wish we had an online campus 🙂

extending our reach

One of the issues we wrestle with the most in Family Life ministry is extending our reach beyond the hour or two that children and students are in our ministries each week.

One of the creative solutions that our LHC Kids team has come up with to extend our reach is called Route 6:7 (based on Duet 6:7). We used to send the kids home with a weekly “talk sheet” with questions for parents to cover with their kids during the week. We noticed that these 1/2 page sheets ended up in their Bible, purse, floor board, or trash.

The newest member of our team, Sara, had the ingenious idea that we could condense the questions and print them on a card that could hang from the rear view mirror in the car where they would be visible throughout the week. They contain a weekly memory verse, as well as a question for each day of the week.

Here’s a pic:

67-hangers

The feedback has been incredible. Kids think they are the greatest thing ever and are begging parents to hang them up in the car immediately after church.  And, parents are actually using them. Just today I stopped by the local grocery store and saw 3 cars in the parking lot with the most beautiful pieces of yellow paper dangling from the rear-view mirror.  I can’t tell you how proud I was of our team in that moment.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:7

What are you doing that is extending your reach?

middle school changes

along with other big changes at LHC in recent weeks, our middle school ministry has recently made some major changes as well.

the smallest change was the name. from Quake, to Aftershock. we felt a name change was needed since the changes were so drastic. we wanted the new event to have a new name so it would not be associated with the old one. maybe not necessary, but you have to admit, Aftershock is a cool name.

the biggest change was moving from sunday mornings to wednesday evenings. under the leadership of Matt Williams, we outgrew the meeting space at The Warehouse. we noticed a disturbing trend that whenever we experienced a sunday at max capacity, attendance would drop in the weeks following. with a goal of reaching as many students as possible, this just didn’t sit well with our team. our only option was to move the ministry to a time and place we could use the worship center. wednesday’s just seemed to make sense.

the move off of sunday to wednesday has also allowed for more time with students. on sunday’s were limited to one hour. we have expanded our time on wednesday evening to two and half hours. the doors open at 6:00 for an hour of hang time, pizza, tutoring, basketball, skateboarding, crab soccer, foursquare, etc… the kids are eating it up (pun intended). at 7:00 we start our worship/teaching time. then at 8:00 we wrap it up with small group time before dismissing at 8:30.

you want to know the greatest part? there have been 48 brand new students come through our doors that have never attended before. i would venture to say that most (if not all) of them would never have attended on a sunday morning.

i’m just so thankful to be a part of a church community that allows us to take chances on changes.

if you know a middle schooler in the austin area that needs a place to belong, you will find us every wednesday night at 6:00 in the worship center doing our best to reach students in the city of Austin and beyond.

Matt has his own thoughts on the changes HERE.

middle school // aftershock

our new middle school event, aftershock, launches tomorrow night. here’s what you need to know:

Join Middle School Student’s from all over the ATX for LIVE Music, crazy games, relevant Bible Study, and a sweet place to kick it with friends at a thing we like to call Aftershock!

We have an amazing program on Wednesday nights (Starting Aug 27th) from 6-8:30pm. Here is a preview of how a night at Aftershock breaks down:

  • 6:00-7:00pm: Preservice fun – skate ramp, basketball, xbox, tutoring, and pizza
  • 7:00-7:45pm: Worship service
  • 7:45-8:30pm: Small Groups

To learn more, please contact Matt Williams, Director of Middle School Ministries, via phone (512-899-8333) or email (mwilliams@lhc.org).

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pics from downtown campus

While the LHC Downtown campus does not officially launch until September 7, yesterday we held our first official “preview” service at the Austin Music Hall. This was an opportunity to work out the bugs before guests arrive in the next month. My phone didn’t take great pics inside the hall, but here’s a few that did turn out for your viewing pleasure. 

vbs day five

Incredible. Simply incredible. There is no question that this was our best VBS to date. We keep learning a little more each year as we continue to improve this great event.

Our team of volunteers went above and beyond the call of duty this week. Our staff directed a large amount of their time and energy to VBS as well. We have some of the greatest people in the world. I love LHC.

The best number of the week? 50+ kids who made a decision to follow Jesus. Wow.

I am too tired to talk about it anymore. And, I can’t wait til next year.

vbs day two

Today started with a wonderful story that actually happened Monday. See the girl on the right in the picture below? Well, last night at bed time she began to ask questions about becoming a Christ-follower. After further discussion with mom and dad, she took the first step in her faith journey by making a commitment to follow Christ. All the months and hours of planning video shoots, setting up the campus, training volunteers, ordering and preparing food, thinking up craft ideas, paid off in one moment that didn’t even happen at VBS.  As this little girls father said, “And that, my friends, is what it’s all about.”

Here’s a few more pix for you.

double vision

This past week in saff meeting, Mac suggested that to lead with vision meant that we should always be leading our organization like we were double whatever our current size. In essence, leading in a way that gets us to where we want to be – not where we are.  I like to call it leading with double vision.

When he first said it, my mind started racing. Having spent some time in the corporate world, this usually meant that we got more money in our budgets, we got more staff and that new staff became more specialized. AND, I usually got paid more to do less.  Everytime I saw this happen, the company would get further away from it’s vision. It’s not surprising either. Part of the American ethos is to figure out how to work less and make more money. It’s called passive earning (that’s an actual term). And, it’s ridiculous. This type of thinking has no place in the church.

In all actuality to lead with double vision may mean that I need to work twice as hard (not necessarily twice as long, but maybe more).  It may mean that I need to discover ways to make my current budget dollars go twice as far. It may mean that I have to figure out ways to accomplish more work and meet more needs with the same amount of staff. It may mean that I have to do something that is not in my job description that otherwise may go undone.

Having said that, there are definitely times when more money and staff are the appropriate strategy to accomplish more. But more money and more people does not equate to growth.

I’m going to end this post here and continue the discussion another time. Would love to hear your thoughts as I continue to process.

hospitality in spades

A few weeks ago my friends (Cole and Zak) at The Connection Church invited me down to evaluate their weekend worship experience. They’re both at the leadership conference at Saddbleback this week, so I won’t make the results public here, but this much I can tell you: The Connection Church is one of the friendliest churches I’ve ever visited.

They were extremely warm, welcoming, and have hospitality in spades. One of the greeters went out of his way – crossed the street – just to greet me and shake my hand as I arrived. Another gentleman in the lobby (Randy, I think) welcomed me, and upon discovering I was a first time visitor informed me – “We’re a Bible believing church that takes our faith seriously with a casual approach.”  A greeter – articulating vision. I love it.

Though they are currently a church of 400 and I serve at a church of 3000, I learned a lot that I plan on sharing with our team in an effort to improve our weekend experience at LHC.

Way to go Connection Church!