Monday, June 29, 2009

Water Baptism

We had an awesome day at PCC yesterday as we baptized 67 people for Jesus. It was hard to choke back the tears as we heard one person after another talk about how Jesus has changed their lives and their desire to follow him now and forever. Water baptism services for me are some of the best moments in the life of a church. 

So far this year we have witnessed over 300 decisions for Christ, 98 water baptisms and received 99 new members into our church family. God is doing some amazing things here at PCC. So glad to be along for the ride. 

Here are some of the photos from the baptism service last night:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Hardy Group

Today I'm doing a podcast with my friend Dick Hardy, founder of The Hardy Group. Dick is a great guy with tons of energy. He loves to partner with pastors and local churches, especially during times of staff and leadership transition. 

I had lunch with Dick last week when I was in Springfield MO and he asked me to share some of my thoughts on best practices when it comes to hiring new staff at a local church.

Click here to subscribe and listen to the podcast.

Here are some basic highlights:
  • The people you hire will determine the level of your success
  • Hire slow, fire fast
  • Hiring superior people is a learned skill. That gives me hope.
  • The best interviewers don't make the best employees. 
  • Boring job descriptions usually attract the worst candidates
  • Clarity on what you want the new hire to do is critical
  • Develop a hiring system that enables you to hire the best people
  • Never hire an inexperienced person for an important job

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

e100 Challenge

I've been totally blow away by all the great feedback from the Father's Day message, especially the advice my grandfather gave to start a "family altar." He described the family altar as a daily time you spend with your family reading the Bible, talking about it, and praying together. I'll never forget when he said that most of our conflict and difficulties in our homes would be done away with if we simply read God's word together, prayed for one another, out loud, by name - every day.

So, many of you have asked for help in how to read your Bible. Well, you can take my Pop's advice and just start read in Genesis and make your way to Revelation. Or, you can take the e100 challenge. The e100 Challenge will give you the top 100 stores from the Bible; 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament. I highly recommend taking the challenge.

Just go here to get more information and sign up today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Night Mind Dump

  • Had an awesome Father's Day today. My kids all wore their Steeler's jerseys for me. They took me out to Big Daddy's - a local eatery. Had an awesome Prime Rib. Thanks guys. So thankful for Bekah and my kids.
  • My Dad and Grandfather joined me for a Father's Day interview at PCC. It was probably the most memorable experience I've ever had in church. They did such an awesome job sharing real life stories of what it means to be a man of faith. So much practical stuff. My 93 year old grandfather stole the show - he was incredible. So thankful and blessed for the rich spiritual heritage that's been passed on to me. 
  • My whole family was also in church today. So great to have them in church and spend time with them this afternoon.
  • Having a great time hanging out with my brother and his family tonight. Watching some reruns of the US Open golf tournament. Doesn't look too good for Tiger.
  • Have an incredibly busy work week lined up. Staff conferrals...Elder Team meeting...Consultants in town...Strategizing for the next stage of growth at PCC...Sermon prep for the new series "Life of the B List" (8 week study on the Matthew 5:1-12 on the Beattitudes that kicks off July 12)...
  • Need to prepare some lectures for July- I was invited to speak at the Seminarians Conference at AGTS
  • Praying for our Student Youth Ministry team headed to El Salvador for a week long missions trip. Godspeed Underground!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Leading Missional Ministry

Had a great time teaching at AGTS with my friend and former prof, Dr. Stephen Lim. Dr. Lim is not the Academic Dean of AGTS. The class was titled, Leading Missional Ministry. 

Every time I have the opportunity to teach I feel I learn as much or more than the students in the classroom. 

Here are a few thoughts from the week:
1) When it comes to fulfilling the mission of Jesus - are pastors and churches even clear what the mission is? Jesus said, "Go and make disciples..." Do we even know what a disciple is. I think we (myself included) are better at making decision makers, not disciples of Jesus. It's making me rethink EVERYTHING we are doing at PCC. 

2)When you try to rescue someone from the darkness of sin, you have to acknowledge the power of sin itself. Sin is amazingly strong. So strong that even after the Millennial reign of Christ on earth (See Rev 20) people still decide to rebel against God. In other words, the majority of people on earth, who see Jesus every day in the physical form (probably on FoxNews - not sure if Jesus would go on CNN - Just kidding :), reigning on earth still decide to cast off restraint and resort to rebellion and sinful behavior. Amazing when you think about it.

3) God loves for the sinner and power over sin is even greater than the evil of sin. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. God loves people who are far from Him and will go to great lengths to win them back into right relationship in His family. 

4) The Gospel appeals more to the masses, than the classes. T. Barnett says, "If you reach the people nobody wants, than God will give you the people everybody wants." Great insight.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Potty Mouth Preachers

It's almost en vogue today for preachers to use questionable language from the pulpit. Listen to this response from one of today's leading preachers. 

Keepin' it clean. Great word, Ed!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

FaceBook Homepage

Facebook has just made home pages available now from a direct url address. I picked up www.facebook/davidcrosbyjr You can check it out here. If you have a FB account, you should get one. Very cool.

Father's Day This Weekend

This weekend is Father's Day and it's going to be one of the most unique services in the history of PCC. As you may know, I am the third generation of preachers in my family. So, this weekend, my grandfather and father will be joining us to share on the topic of "Lessons from My Father." 

Rather than a traditional "sermon", I will be interviewing my dad and grandfather (affectionately known as Pop). They will be sharing practical insights on what it means to be a man of God at home, in the workplace and in life in general. I am really looking forward to this special opportunity to personally interview the two most important men in my life. They have imprinted my life unlike any other leader with their character, love for God and family and their desire to live out God's eternal purposes for their generation.

So, don't miss this weekend! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On Church Discipline

The Bible is full of examples where church leadership disciplined church members that fell into sin. Paul said those "who are spiritual, should restore the immoral brother with gentleness and compassion." (Gal.6:4)

I heard today that a rebuke is only as strong as a relationship. Sure, church leaders can rebuke and correct, but that disciplinary action will only be received if the leaders have earned the trust to speak into an individuals life. Otherwise, you are nothing more than a tyrant or dictator.

The other part of the equation is the level of commitment to community. Many church members, even at the hint of facing disciplinary action, would choose to leave the church rather than submit to church authority. In other words, if a church member faces church discipline, they will most likely leave the church and go find another one that won't hold them accountable and work towards redemption and spiritual maturity. 

Most Christians maintain a consumer mentality and reason, "Hey, if I don't like this church, I'll just go find another" instead of working out my issues in the context of community. 

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thoughts on Transition

Yesterday I announced the resignation of our Executive Pastor Kevin and his wife KyAnne (our kids director). They will be moving to Kansas where Kev will be pastoring a church previously lead by KyAnne's aging father. We will certainly miss them and their leadership here at PCC. Even though they were here for a brief time (almost 2 years) they made a huge impact on our church and community. 

Here are a few things I've learned about staff transitions:
+When someone feels released from a ministry, let them go. Don't try to convince them to stay. You will most likely do more harm than good. Let God be God and trust Him alone in the transition
+Give honor to whom honor is do. There are good transitions and then there are difficult ones. However, whenever possible, celebrate the staff and be generous. You can't go wrong being generous with outgoing staff.
+The spirit and attitude of the leader during the transition will generally be the attitude of the congregation. In other words, the most important part of a transition is not the transition itself, but how the leader leads through the transition. 
+How you leave a ministry speaks a lot more to your character and integrity than how you start a ministry. I've had my share of staff transitions here at PCC and how you exit says a ton more about you than how you enter.
+Keep a positive perspective. Seize the transition as an opportunity for growth and a new season for change.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Small Group / Stewardship Seminar

Just an FYI for all the pastors and church leaders that read the blog ... you are invited to join me at our new facility on July 30th where we will be hosting Church Leader Insights and Kerrick Thomas for a one day Activate (Small Groups) and Stewardship (Church finances) Seminar.

If you need to know how to do small groups at your church or need practical insight on how to increase your giving and set up a solid stewardship plan at your church - than you need to come to this seminar. 

Check out all the details to the left or to register just go here

I've learned a ton from Nelson and Kerrick and have received a 100 fold on my investment in their ministry training opportunities.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Work ON it

There is a big difference between working "in" your church/organization and working "on" it. When I work "in" it, my time is consumed with the daily routine, operational oversight, sermon prep, staff meetings, planning, etc.

However, working "on" my church is akin to taking a ride in the plane and looking at the church from 30,000 feet in the air. It involves asking tons of tough questions like, "are all my systems in place and firing on all cylinders?"; "do I have all the right staff in the right place for the current ministry and who do I need to hire to go to the next level?", "are we accomplishing the vision of the church and how do we know - what tools are in place to measure organizational effectiveness?" and on and on and on.

I've been working "on" the church harder the last couple days than ever. Working "on" your church is kind of like a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, this kind of stuff excites me and fills my mind with anticipation for all that God is going to do in the future. On the other hand, it scares me to death when I consider how in world are we ever going to get all this done.

How about you? What are you working "on" not just "in". Your marriage ... career ... parenting ... heath ... home?

You can take a 30,000 foot perspective on your life by just sitting at your kitchen table and starting thinking and dreaming and working "on" it, not just "in" it.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Jesus states in Matthew 4:4 that "man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." In another translation of this scripture, it states that we are to "feed ourselves on every word from God." God's goal for every disciple is that we experience real life, the kind of life that compelled Jesus to leave heaven and die a criminals death on a cross in order that we cast off the chains of sin and condemnation.

Unfortunately, many aren't experiencing that dynamic real life in Christ because we have failed to learn how to "feed ourselves" from the Word of God - the Bible. Too often Christians settle for secondary sources of spiritual sustenance. These are "spoon fed" Christians that rely on others.

If you want to really live - feed your soul, not just your face. Learn how to dig into God's word and apply it to your life.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Humility 101

I've enjoyed filling in for Pastor Dave the last few days, but I'm also glad he'll be 'taking back the reigns' here at the blog (some of you may feel the same... :) ). You may not know it from my blogging thus far, but I really love a good laugh. Life is not the same without them. It's even better when we can see a reality through the lens of humor. I posted a video today that I just saw recently. Of course, it's light-hearted but it speaks a truth as well. I speak a lot to the worship and creative arts teams about blending with one another and serving each other as we play / sing. If you're a musician or vocalist, I hope you're not like this guy below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Relationship behind the Sunday

Meaningful worship. Dynamic teaching. Relevant Sermon series. Creativity. Excellence. Souls impacted for the kingdom of God. I truly believe that every pastor and worship pastor strives for these elements every Sunday. How do we get there? Well, I can say with certainty that the most important relationship in the worship planning process is the pastor/worship pastor relationship. Now, having said that, here's another truth. Potentially the greatest tension in the worship planning process is the pastor/worship planning relationship.

I've had the privilege of being involved in a Worship Leader Coaching Network for the past 4 months. I know that Pastor Dave has mentioned this before in the past, but its worth saying again. If you're not involved in some type of mentoring / coaching relationship as a pastor or worship pastor, you are definitely missing out. I have both been encouraged and learned many things just over the past few months. Let me just say a quick thanks to my coach Jason Hatley. Thanks Jason for all your help! Now, back to this relationship. It has the potential to make or break your planning and implementation of worship services. If its non-existent, trust me, it will show on Sunday mornings. I don't believe that any of us want a bad relationship, I believe the problem lies more in the fact that we are not actively engaged in making it happen. Sometimes we can assume that "it will all just work out". I am blessed to have a Pastor that takes this relationship seriously. I can honestly say that we work together and actively engage in the process of worship planning. We meet weekly to evaluate the services and spend time on creative planning elements, song selection, and future series topics. While I have a great Pastor and friend in Dave, there are also things that I MUST do to help this relationship. Here are some of my responsibilities: a) Loyalty to the Pastor, b) Trust - its one of the greatest gifts I can give him; c) Excellence in my area; and d) Communication.

I hope each of you can say your relationship with your pastor, or if you are a pastor, your relationship with your worship pastor is great. If you can't say that, here are a few steps you can take to start turning the relationship in an active direction.

1. Commitment: "trust + loyalty" - are you committed to this relationship?
2. Clarify Roles: you must have role clarity or you will have role confusion.
3. Communication: "the biggest problem with communication is the assumption that it is taking place".
4. Create Systems: ensure that there are systems around that help you continue the relationship.

I want to encourage you to take a moment and evaluate your relationship as a pastor or worship pastor. Maybe take some time this week and meet with each other and have an open dialogue about this relationship. Trust me, it will have a positive impact on your Sunday mornings!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Worship Planning in the 21st Century

Worship service planning. It's not what it used to be. I can remember years ago writing a list of songs down on a piece of paper for each musician before a Sunday service. You know....3 fast, 3 slow and an 'offeratory' for your ONE Sunday morning service. Standard protocol in the late 80's early 90's. You had your 4-5 musicians that played every Sunday and you had a rehearsal, well, tried to have rehearsals if you could get the 4 guys to show up. Chord charts weren't really an issue (most of the songs were right there in the hymnal) and an mp3 might as well have been a cousin to C3PO.

Fast foward to 2009. Multiple services, multiple teams, chord charts galore, and you can't survive without a rehearsal. It can be very overwhelming coordinating all those things as a Worship Pastor. We all want every Sunday to be meaningful and want to be sure that our teams have all the resources they need. Here at PCC I found myself scrambling much more than I had planned. I wanted to make sure everyone was in the loop and had their resources (charts, words, mp3s, etc.). Great goal, but tough to achieve with 3 services and over 35 members on my team. I did alot of research on the internet about service planning options and tried many 'free trials'. Now, I'm not a salesman or representative for this program, just a Worship Pastor trying to be an intentional leader. I came across a web based program called Planning Center Online. If you are looking, or needing, some help in organizing your team and services then you may want to check them out (of course there are other ones on the web as well). I have used it for 2 months and I love it! I can plan service orders, attach chord charts, mp3s, lyric sheets, etc. All my team members get emails when I schedule them and they can either accept or decline the request (it can even send them text messages if they choose to get them). And my team LOVES it. They can see plans ahead of time and have the resources they need to prepare for rehearsals. Most of all, they feel connected! We communicate via email, I can send them updates on songs, and our rehearsals are much smoother as a result. If you're struggling with planning your services and rehearsals, be encouraged....there are solutions out there that can help. It's nice when technology can help us with the administrative parts of our ministry so we can focus more on people!