Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pocono Raceway

Many of you know that I am fortunate enough to live in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. One of the great things about the Poconos (in addition to the breathtaking views) is that the Pocono Raceway is located only a few minutes from where our church currently meets in a high school.

A good friend of mine took me up to the track this morning to meet some of the NASCAR drivers (I'm standing with Juan Pablo Montoya in the picture to the left) and hang out in the pit as the crews tested their new tires. I got to hang out with Ryan Newman, Jr., Kurt Bush, and Jeff Gordon.
The thing that impressed me the most about this experience was the absolute attention to detail and the laser like focus of all the teams. Their fine-tuning precision on these 800 horse power engines and cars was crazy. These guys were all business getting ready for the race on Sunday.
It got me thinking about church. What if our churches cared as much about our services and ministries as these NASCAR teams. What would they look like? What kind of environments would we have? How prepared would our volunteers feel? What would the results show?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reading List

We've all heard the statement, "Leaders are learners." One of my favorite ways to learn is to read. When I read it's like I get to sit down with the author and have his/her undivided attention. It's really amazing if you think about it. You get to hear their insights on the particular subject.

One of my reading goals this year is to read 300 books. I know that sounds like a lot, but I only read really short books. Ha! I'm a little bit behind, but at least I have a target to shoot for.

Here's what I'm reading:

1. The World is Flat by Thomas Freidman. It's a brief history of the 21st century.

2. The Multiplying Church by Bob Roberts - this guy is brilliant.

3. What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza.

4. Glocalization by Bob Roberts. Great pair with Freidman's book.

5. Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute. Our staff just finished reading this together as a team. A must read for all teams. It will rock your world.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

This memorial day weekend we reflect on those that paid the ultimate sacrifice of service to defend and protect the freedoms we enjoy today.

Thomas Moore wrote these words of encouragement to suffering families, "Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth."
May we reflect on the sacrifice of many and appreciate fully the freedom that came at such a high cost.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I saw this car in Oklahoma City and had to take a picture of it because I knew no one would believe me when I told them about it.

The owner called it a ChewBuru. It's a Subaru that was totalled in a hail storm.

So the guy had a bright idea to glue 65 pounds of dentures, teeth, braces, retainers, tooth brushes and all other dental care related items to the car. Different strokes for different folks. Totally weird. Somewhat demented. But very creative.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Community Group BBQ

Had a great time tonight with our community group BBQ. Tons of great food, friends and fun watching the American Idol finale. I've got to admit, I was very disappointed that David Archuletta didn't win. Oh well.

Here's the good news. Two of my friends in our community group gave their heart to Christ since we began a few months ago. God is so cool. God has helped us grow closer to him and to each other. I love my community group.

Although the spring semester is over for community groups, we plan to have get togethers and stay in touch over the summer. Looking forward to kicking off another semester in the fall. Love you guys.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Round Table Learning

Here are some of the major take aways I got from my time at the church planters round table in Oklahoma City.

1. Simplify. Do a few things well. The more clear the mission the less sideways energy you will experience. Phase out ministries that don't line up with the overall vision of the church.

2. Get the right people on the bus. Staff and key volunteers will make or break you as a church planter.

3. Create functional systems. You have to be relentless about making sure each system (weekend worship service, evangelism, discipleship, etc.) is effective and efficient.

4. God's favor is not fair.

5. Big people are attracted to big vision. Little people are attracted to little vision. Little people cause problems.

6. There is a difference between Pentecostal Theology and Pentecostal Culture. Just because my Pentecostal ministry might not look and sound like my predecessors, it doesn't make it any less Pentecostal.

7. Structure your church for growth. Church governance and polity must be aligned with the vision. The structure and strategy is not sacred. It's simply a vehicle to accomplish the vision of the church.

Monday, May 19, 2008

OK City

I'm in Oklahoma City today and tomorrow for our annual church planters round table. A couple of my friends and I started the yearly gathering a few years ago with the idea to be together with other like minded church planters and discuss best practices and build community.

This event is one that I look forward to all year because I get to hang out with some of the coolest and most successful church planters from around the country. I always come away from this gathering with a truckload of ideas on how to better reach my community for Christ, as well as tons of inspiration from other church planters that posses infectious faith.

While in Oklahoma City I got to go tour Life Church and visit with some of the staff. The facility is amazingly unassuming considering the fact it's one of the largest and most influential churches in America today. They minister to over 20,000 people every weekend.

You won't find any gaudy architecture or waisted space here. The strategy of the church comes through crystal clear from the design and layout of the building - they have decided to build a functional and affordable facility that reaches young families and the lost. Their staff was friendly and extremely accommodating. The entire church is a testimony to God's grace and the leadership of their pastor Craig Groeschel.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Vision Flows Down

Vision has been defined as the ability of a leader to chart the course for those that follow. JFK was a visionary president. He stood before the world with confidence and declared that the USA was going to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. That was the vision. Put a man on the moon.

I read that while on a trip to NASA, President Kennedy was
escorted through the facilities to witness first-hand the progress made on rocket propulsion, etc. JFK took a detour from the vision tour and ended up in a hallway with a janitor. Before the secret service whisked the custodian away from the president, JFK asked him, "What are you doing here?" The janitor replied, "I'm sending a man to the moon."

Either he was a quick witted janitor or he understood that the part he was playing at NASA was fulfilling the vision of the President to get a man to the moon by the end of the 60s.

I wonder what the ushers, greeters, or parking lot attendants or musicians and children's workers would say if someone asked them this Sunday morning at PCC, "what are you doing here?" I hope they would say, "We're leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ."

How would people in your church or business respond?

You see, as our church grows larger, my job as the leader is to manage the vision. I don't manage the execution of the vision - the staff and volunteers manage the standards, process and details. However, I must ensure that the vision is being cast and caught.

Here are a couple helpful hints in managing vision:
1. Cast it clearly (keep it simple - can you put it on a t-shirt).
2. Cast it repeatedly (repetition is the key to learning).
3. Cast is convincingly (use stories).

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I've been a little hit and miss this week with the blog but for good reason. I've been working very hard on getting ready for our brand new sermon series that we are kicking off this weekend called, "Exposed:Expelling the Myth of Evolution."

Ben Stein's new movie, "Expelled" has brought to the forefront of our culture once again the impact and implications of evolution. This new series will help us all wrestle with the issues of how the world began as well as how we can connect with our Creator. You don't want to miss this weekend. Be there and bring a friend. I have specifically put this series together with the atheist and agnostic in mind.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

My wife, Rebekah, spoke yesterday at PCC for Mother's Day. She did an absolutely fantastic job with her message entitled, "The Mission of Motherhood." She has shared the mother's day message the last four years in a row. I think that this is her best message yet.

To listen to the message, click here.

I know I'm biased, but I feel like the luckiest man alive to have such an intelligent, gifted, caring, and beautiful wife. I married way over my head. Thanks again, Bekah. You're the best!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

On Copiers, Miracles and Delegation

We bought a new copier for the office this week. It's a BizHub Konica, complete with all the bells and whistles like a 3 hole punch, booklet maker, 65 copies per minute, color, fax machine, scanner and more. What a sweet machine.

But here's the coolest fact about the new copier: I wasn't even aware that we were purchasing it. What!?!

Let me explain. I remember when we first started the church 5 years ago. My wife and I went to Sam's Club and paid $400 for our first copier. It worked great, but it was too small to keep up with the demands of our growing church.

After two years of growth we desperately needed a new commercial copier but we didn't have the money. Those suckers aren't cheap. Instead of purchasing a new one on credit, I decided to pray and give God an opportunity to do a miracle.

Sure enough - I got a call from a member of our church some weeks later who worked at 30 Rock in NYC. He was standing over a brand new copier that was getting ready to be pushed into a dumpster. He called me on his cell and said, "Dave, do we need a copier for the church." In a matter of minutes I was on my way to NYC to pick up the miracle machine. We prayed. God provided a $15,000 miracle in the shape of that new copier.

Well, as the church continued to grow - even that miracle machine could not keep pace. So, about 1 year and a half ago I spent something like 3 months working with my assistant on picking out a new copier. We ran all kinds of expense spreadsheets and negotiated with a number of companies - we even discussed it at an Elder meeting. We finally settled in on just the right one.
But guess what? The church's crazy growth has now outpaced even our third copier. No problem though - the staff worked together to just get a new one and its actually going to save us a bunch of money.
I love to admit the fact that I didn't have any input in the decision for the new copier let alone the fact that I don't even know how to work the thing. It's a great to have talented leaders around you that operate in the gifts of leadership and administration. It allows me to work in my areas of strength and guess what - the church will continue to grow and we'll probably need another copier in a couple more years.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Prayer Meeting

Tonight is our monthly prayer meeting that we call, "The Gathering." This is a great opportunity for PCC to come together and just spend time praying for one another and the needs of this community. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Bekah and I went out last week to see Ben Stein's new movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

It's a documentary style film where Stein argues that the scientific academy is intentionally persecuting professors and others that want to discuss the possibility of Intelligent Design in the classroom. The  film has made the issue of creation, atheism, evolution and Darwinism the topic of many water-cooler conversations today.

So I've decided to address the issue here at PCC and have shelved a previous preaching series that I had been working on. So, the new series, Exposed, will kick off on May 18. Yeah, this is a hot topic in our culture. But I believe the Bible contains all the answers and we don't have to be afraid to tackle tough issues. 

I'll Fly Away

This week I'm at District Council. You say, what's that? Well, I'm part of the Assemblies of God denomination. You actually have to dig pretty deep in PCC's website to discover our denominational affiliation.

I guess that's because I'm not really into labels. I think Jesus came to break us free from all that stuff.
More importantly, I don't think the lost really care about labels either. People that are part of PCC don't come because we are part of the Assemblies of God denomination.

They come for a variety of other more important factors such as: they experience the presence of God in the services, friendly people, the environment of love and acceptance, relevant teaching, the great kids programs, etc.

Nevertheless, I think it's good to have accountability in life and especially in ministry. So, I'm here to be part of the larger church family. Since we have some important meetings back in Pocono tonight, my good friend actually flew me and the staff down to Dover, Delaware for our meetings. It was a smooth flight and in my opinion, the only way to travel. Plus, it was tons of fun. Thanks Dave for the flight.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Graduation Remarks

Here are some picture of me and the family at the AGTS graduation last week. I thought I'd include a few words from my graduation remarks to encourage my blog readers who are also preparing to graduate and launch out into ministry themselves.

"Friends, these are the most exciting days to do ministry because I believe we are working in the end times. Jesus is coming back soon and I want him to find me with my hand to the plow and my face set like a flint towards the mission field to which He has called me.
As the writer of Hebrews encouraged that great cloud of witnesses to do ministry with faith that pleases God - let me encourage you today. When I look at you I know that you all represent future teachers, missionaries, counselors, evangelist, pastors, church planters and many more avenues and arenas of ministry.
And it's my strongly held belief that the brightest teachers have yet to stand before their first class, the bravest missionaries have yet to set foot on foreign soil, the greatest evangelist have yet to hold their first crusade, the greatest preachers have yet to preach their first sermon and the greatest churches have yet to be built. As you commence from here, always remember that the one who calls you is faithful."

Friday, May 02, 2008


Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend some time with Dr. Doug Oss, my doctoral advisor and friend. We participated in the the AGTS Golf Tournament which raised tons of money for student scholarships.

Doug is one of the many top influencers and leaders at AGTS who had a profound impact on my life. Doug is one of the most brilliant thinkers and writers I've ever met. His wit and imagination is second to none, too.

AGTS is the premier seminary on the planet today. Why? You see, an organization, institution or administration is only as good as the people who lead it. People, not programs are the number one resource of any organization. AGTS has not only the sharpest minds, but the finest leaders of any seminary. I am forever grateful to all of those who have imparted a portion of their time and lives into me. Thanks AGTS!