Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm headed out to my alma mater, the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary located in our denominational mecca of sorts, Springfield, MO.

I've been elected as the 2008 Alumni of the year by the Board of Administration. It's really quite a humbling honor to even be considered let alone recognized by the seminary in this fashion. I'm know for a fact that there are many graduates doing great things for God out there.

Please say a prayer for me as I speak at the Graduation and other commencement exercises. It will fun to see some old friends and former professors. I thank God for my time at the seminary and the life long relationships that I've formed as a result of my studies. To all my PCC friends, it will be a great honor to represent you there and I can't wait to see you when I return.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ray to Rachel

Last week I had the privilege of performing a wedding ceremony for our good friends and former interns, Ray Hudson and Rachel Crocker. They were married in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.

Ray and Rachel graduated this summer from school and are beginning a new life together as husband and wife. I'm so excited for you and know that God has some wonderful things in store. Congrats to you guys! We love you! Dave and Bekah

On keeping on

Have you ever wanted to quit?

There's a tendency in everyone to want to quit on something in life. Couples give up on marriages. Parents quit on their children. Students give up on the academic dreams. CEOs quit on their company's. And unfortunately, pastors often give up on their churches, especially on Monday morning.
James 1:4 says, "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Let me encourage you today to not throw in the towel. Don't give up. I'm reminded of the great spiritual song, "This too shall pass." Sure, it may be tough going for a while, but God can use it to help you become spiritually mature. Going through helps me grow up.
5 Reasons not to quit:
1. Adversity makes me stronger.
2. Simply outlasting my critics is a secret to success.
3. Staying power builds leadership credibility.
4. Quitters live with too many regrets.
5. The greatest breakthroughs come after the greatest test of our character.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gone Fishin'

On my day off yesterday I went fishing with a friend. We had an awesome day - except for the bugs and ticks. I must have pulled about 20 ticks off me. Yikes!

We caught 10 fish, only 5 keepers. Fishing for me is like therapy. It helps me relax (even more when I leave my Blackberry in the car). I'm learning that you have to take a break from your schedule on a periodic basis to unwind and let God refresh your battery. In fact, taking a sabbath is so important that it made God's top ten list (See Exodus 20).

You can't run at breakneck speeds in life and expect to make it across the finish line. In fact, if you don't take a break from your schedule, your schedule will eventually break you. I heard someone say once, "If you burn the candle at both ends, you're not as bright as you think you are." So, take a break and go fishing or do something that puts some fuel back in your energy tank.

No Place Like Home

I'm standing here on the 50 acres of land we purchased for our new campus. The lot is cleared, the roads are in, and the the parking lot and pad are on grade and stoned. It's really exciting to see it all coming together.

Click here to see pictures of what the first phase of the new church home will look like. It's going to be a 30,000 square feet facility that will include an auditorium, children's area and theatre, and administrative office space.

After over 5 years of meeting in rented facilities, it's going to be so nice to have a place we can call home. However, a building is only a tool to reach people for Christ. Buildings don't love people into God's Kingdom - people do. Buildings don't reach people - people do. Buildings don't serve the poor - people do. It's all about people reaching people and using buildings to help in that effort. After all, when we needed forgiveness and salvation, God didn't give us a building to worship in - he gave us a person - Jesus. I'm all for buildings, but not at the risk of losing the most important thing in ministry - life giving relationships.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Serving on Empty...Sitting on Full

As a pastor, this is a sticky subject area for me to venture into.
What area?
The area of talking about balance in serving. The reason it’s sticky is that there are generally two types of people in our churches, and both tend to run to the extremes. You have those who serve on fumes, you know, the folks who don’t miss teaching every class, cooking for every potluck, picking up trash at every work day. They are so committed that they may even miss actual church services for several weeks in a row because they are rocking babies in the nursery or directing traffic in the parking lot. The problem here can be that spiritually they run out of steam because they aren’t making sure they are fueling up by being a part of worship or hearing the preaching of the Word. Worse still, they may allow the “good works” they are involved in to take the place of personal time they should be setting aside to spend with the Lord.

What about the other type of people I referenced? Oh, those are the people who when asked to serve always have the overused answers: “I’m burned out! Passing out the cookies at that VBS last summer really took it out of me!”, or “I did my time! I ushered for 19 years! It’s my turn to sit in the pew!”, or my personal favorite, “Oh, I really need to pray about it!” Don’t get me wrong – we need to pray! But, if we are spending time alone with God and in His Word on a regular basis, those in the first category will always be fueled up and those in the second will be ready to answer in and out of season.

Do we need breaks? You bet! If Jesus needed them, you know we do! Do we need to be good stewards of our time and energy? Of course! I have to confess I would definitely fall into the category of fume-serving at times and that is nothing to be proud of. God doesn’t want us coasting on empty spiritual tanks, but He doesn’t want us sitting on full ones either.
So, if you're running on empty...don't get frustrated with other people who are not pulling their weight. Just spend some time with Jesus and get filled up again.
Oh, and if you are full...don't you think it's time to become a "participator" instead of a "pew potato?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"And the Glory Goes to..."

Today I would like to tell you a little story about my wife! Now, before you get too nervous for me, please understand that this story is expressed with her complete permission. (Telling stories about your spouse can sometimes be dicey, but not in this case, I assure you)

KyAnne had an epiphany of sorts about 8 years ago. While in prayer one night she told me she realized that most of her life she had used God for her glory, and not the other way around. You see, she’s a pretty bright woman and had long understood that God’s ways are smart ways and it just made sense to her to do the right things. When she did, for many years, right things happened right back. I've often wondered if that's why we even see many non-Christian celebrities and world leaders using principles found in Scripture in launching their own brands of religion or philosophies.

The bottom line...Jesus works. You can bank on Him every time - all good Christians know that. But, I guess what we all need to remember, is what my wife came to grips with that night at an altar of prayer: we are here to be used for God’s glory, and how He chooses to use us for that purpose is His prerogative. Joseph (the Old Testament one) understood this from a pit. Paul understood this from a prison. Jesus understood this from a cross. A pit, a prison, a crucifixion - not exactly what most of us have in mind when we sign up for the glorious life in Christ we imagine.
But, when we’re weak, He is strong…when we’re willing, He empowers us…when we decrease, He increases…when these things happen, people find salvation…and God gets the glory. I have to tell you, that experience is better than any other!

I'm sure that if we were honest with ourselves, we would all agree that this is a lesson we need to hear often. I know I do, and I'm very glad that God gave me such a wonderful woman to remind me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Servant Boot Camp

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it”. Proverbs 22:6

With three teenage boys in the house, KyAnne and I find ourselves leading discussions on serving with a great attitude on a pretty regular basis. Whether it is just having a happy heart while loading the dishwasher or joyfully stopping to help a neighbor move branches from his yard, we want our kids to serve with gladness.

Unfortunately, too many parents have a lackadaisical “either my kids have it or they don’t” philosophy when it comes to getting their young to think of others. This is where Proverbs 22:6 comes in. The key word is “train”…not “bribe”, “beg” or “bother”. And the earlier in life children witness adults joyfully serving, the earlier they will find the joy in it themselves! Do you see the key here...for us it has been being the best expample as possible. Even at times when we have failed it has been a teachable moment for our kids.

In a blink, our kids will be the leaders of our churches: the elders, the ushers, the children’s volunteers, the worship team. Today, KyAnne and I have purposed to train them as well as we know how…to train them to serve…and not to merely be served. Wow. Imagine an entire generation coming up in church…trained to be like Jesus.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Lessons on Serving"

“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Churst. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.” Philippians 2:19-22.

I’ve just been spending a lot of time in Philippi lately. Well, in reality, the book of Philippians. Most of us are familiar with the incredible picture of Christ’s servant-nature found in verses 6-11 of chapter 2. But, today I am struck with verses 19-22 and the picture of the relationship between Paul & Timothy. This is always such an encourgement when serving in a role in support of others.

You see, serving wasn’t about getting attention or kudos for Timothy. He was a pretty awesome church leader in his own right, but come on! He was mentored by Paul, the Billy Graham of the New Testament! Fortunately, Timothy cared first and foremost about Jesus getting all the attention…and the church advancing the Gospel.

We may not all leave an amazing legacy as great as Timothy’s…but, we can all look after the interests of our Lord. He was interested in people coming to know the Father by using humble, willing people to serve.

While Pastor Dave is away during a time of rest, I'd like to take the next few days to talk about some of the lessons I've learned about how we can truly serve Christ by serving others. More to come....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Guest Blogger - Kevin Weaver

I'm headed out on vacation today to spend some time with my family. We are going to Springfield, MO to be with my wife's family and also to perform a wedding for a good friend. I'll be checking in during the week - but in the meantime, Kevin Weaver will be our guest blogger.

Kevin is the Executive Pastor of Pocono Community Church. He's not only a great leader, but one of my best friends. It's an honor to partner with him in ministry. He'll be sharing some perspective on life and ministry from an Executive Pastor perspective. I know you'll enjoy what his take on life and leadership. This picture of us was taken at the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC when we recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Rick Warren.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Alex's Lemonade Stand

I'm standing here with Robert, a student of Pocono Mt. High School who organized Alex's Lemonade Stand. I was honored to give a gift to give a gift on behalf of PCC to help with the fundraising effort.

In 2000, a 4 year old cancer patient named Alexandra "Alex" Scott announced a seemingly simple idea -she was holding a lemonade stand to raise money to help "her doctors" find a cure for kids with cancer. The idea was put into action by Alex and her older brother, Patrick, when they set up the first "Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer" on their front lawn in July of 2000.

For the next four years, despite her deteriorating health, Alex held an annual lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Following her inspirational example, thousands of lemonade stands and other fundraising events have been held across the country by children, schools, businesses, and organizations, all to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for childhood cancer. On August 1st, 2004, Alex died peacefully at the age of 8 -- she had raised over $1 million for childhood cancer research in her short lifetime.

Alex's spirited determination to raise awareness and money for all childhood cancer while she bravely fought her own deadly battle with cancer has inspired thousands of people, from all walks of life to raise money and give to her cause. Alex's family and supporters are committed to continuing her inspiring legacy through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501c3 charity. As of June 2007, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised over $18 million for childhood cancer research. The result -- Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has given millions of dollars for childhood cancer research across the country!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I'm tired today. It's no wonder - after all the preaching, teaching, leading, vision casting and managing change efforts - it all takes a toll on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's comforting to know that even Jesus grew tired and weary from ministry. The kingdom of God is built with tired hands. Nothing of consequence can be built for God without a great investment of blood, sweat and tear equity.

Fatigue is the result of emptying oneself out for the cause of Christ. An empty calendar and well rested body is God's reward for mediocrity. Or put another way by J. Oswald Sanders says, "Mediocrity is the result of never getting tired."

Doing something great for God is going to cost you something. Listen, I'm not advocating that we all have to run at breakneck speed to accomplish something with our lives. Sure, we need to organize our schedules for times of refreshing and renewal as well as allowing for opportunities for late nights and early mornings.

However, everything in life boils down to a lot of prayer and a lot of hard work. Yes, fatigue is a sign that I need some rest but it's also a sign that I'm giving my all for Christ. So, I'm going to work as if it all depends on me and pray as if it all depends on God.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Church is a team sport. Gone are the days of the solo leader that stands up to the plate and with one solitary swing of the bat hits a home run for the organization. That's a tired metaphor that no longer resonates with current culture that values teamwork. Instead, today's leading churches are team led and work the ball down the field - passing and setting picks for each other - prior to kicking a goal. Here are some reasons benefits of working with a team:

1. Teams have more fun.

2. Teams accomplish more.

3. Teams generate higher quality - they bring internal accountability.

4. Teams are more creative. Gotta love the synergy.

5. Teams make life easier - it's better to work together and cover each other's back.

6. Teams allow each person to operate in their giftedness.

7. Teams create conflict. Conflict, when handled correctly, yields greater opportunities for growth and success.

I thank God for the our team at PCC. It's such a blessing to work with such committed and creative people that give their all everyday for the vision. You're awesome PCCers.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's a vision thing

The church planters boot camp in Virgina is off to a great start. I've been spending a lot of time making new friends with a group of church planters/pastors from Germany. They are some of the most brilliant people I've been around. Their intellect is only surpassed by their passion to witness the heart of their nation turn back to God. They truly possess a God-sized vision. It's quite humbling to be around people with such big dreams.

I taught for almost 4 hours today on vision. Here are a few things we discussed in our session:

1. Vision is what God wants to do in and through me.

2. Vision is non-negotiable. It's not debatable. It's not up for discussion or vote. God speaks the vision to the heart of the leader.

3. Vision is sacred. It comes from God. How the vision is accomplished - which is strategy - is always adaptable and changeable.

4. Vision brings unity and focus.

5. Vision creates excitement. Excitement yields anticipation. Anticipation births momentum. Momentum is the best friend of any leader.

6. Vision leaks. That is, it must be constantly shared by the leader to his/her followers much like a third grade teacher reinforces classroom lessons. Even the greatest leaders must constantly communicate their vision.

7. Vision bring life. It's a picture of a preferred future that inspires people to believe and have faith.

8. Vision brings accountability. It's the basis for how you evaluate whether or not you are accomplishing organizational goals.

9. Vision determines not only what I do, but what I don't do. It helps me choose between what is good and what is best.

10. Vision must be written down and clarified in the heart of the leader in order to be effectively shared with others.