No Perfect People Allowed this Easter

Borrowing from our friends at NewSpring we are doing a "No Perfect People Allowed" Easter. Here are our new shirts we are giving out this Sunday and the yard signs that you will be seeing around the Bay area next week:

Vision Cast for Sunday

Must Reads for Pastors & the People They Lead

Everyone should take the time to read these. If you are a pastor they will set you free to lead like God wants, and if you are someone under the leadership of a pastor they will maybe keep you from getting your feelings hurt when your pastor leads.

Take a look:

Perry Leadership Myth #1
Perry Leadership Myth #2
Perry Leadership Myth #3

25 Things You Might Not Know

  1. I am a native Floridian. One of about 5 left I think. We are an endangered species.
  2. I was 27 years old when we started Church of the Suncoast in April of 2006.
  3. My favorite movies are “The Patriot, Shawshank Redemption, & Pirates of the Caribbean”
  4. I have a 1969 muscle car sitting in my garage that will shred tires on command. When I can afford the gas.
  5. I would rather pee outside than inside. Just my way of saving water.
  6. Dave Matthews Band is the only music act I would pay money to see live.
  7. My wife and I will be married for 7 years this June 1st. It is also the start of hurricane season…
  8. I grew up Baptist.
  9. My pastor growing up was named Lord and my professor in college was named Bible. Could I have been anything other than this???
  10. I have a 9 year old Jack Russell Terrier named “Lady”. Well I got her for my wife a few years ago and she has kind of become my dog now.
  11. My birthday is December 23rd. I was 13 when I realized people were not decorating for my birthday.
  12. I am a huge Miami Hurricane fan! Even the past few years…
  13. I am a huge NASCAR fan and Dale Jr. is my guy.
  14. I once drove around the Daytona International Speedway for 45 minutes trying to help dry the track.
  15. My dad baptized me when I was 7 years old. What a cool thing that was. Remember it like it was yesterday.
  16. I say all my “wh” words strange. I pronounce the “H” when most don’t… you can’t have pie without cool wHip.
  17. I laugh out loud to one show and one show alone… “Family Guy”. Does that mean I can’t be a Christian now?
  18. My favorite color is Black. I know I am strange… But, I think of it on cars when someone asks me! Or something I would like to see my wife in...
  19. I once took a trip and visited 11 states in 7 days.
  20. I have a huge family out in Idaho and Utah that is Mormon.
  21. My mom has a pig collection. You name it, stuffed, porcelain, plush, wood, she has every kind of pig known to man except a real one.
  22. I think I am a terrible leader. Really, most of the time I have no idea what I am doing. No one told me half of leadership is making it up as you go and just sounding smart about it.
  23. I love BBQ and burgers and have devoted my life to finding the best in the country!
  24. My "verse" is 1 John 4:4... Look it up :-)
  25. I would die and go to heaven if I could own a 30 - 40ft cigarette boat. Fountain, Baja, Donzi... you name it I would drive it!!!


Not long after we started Church of the Suncoast I started praying a prayer that I have come back to from time to time but today I stopped for a second to look at how God had been answering it. The prayer was that 1,000 people would accept Christ because of this church.

Well as we sit here about ready to celebrate our third birthday in April, and with a few more on Sunday, there have been over 120 people that have let us know they have accepted Christ right here at Church of the Suncoast!!!

I share this today because about a month ago I was convicted that the only numbers I should ever brag about were God's numbers. The people He was reaching and drawing them to take their first steps. I am blown away that I get to be used in the process along with the dozens of people at the Suncoast that invited, befriended, and prayed for these 120.

I also share it because what a shot in the arm that our vision is taking shape. We have always been a church for people that have been turned off by church or for people that have never come to church period! So to see that God has honored that is a huge faith boost!

I also share it because there are still thousands and thousands of people that need to be at the Suncoast. My prayer, my passion, my purpose is to do everything I can to help facilitate and create an environment where God, and our people, can partner is helping people take their next steps with God.

As Easter gets close my question for all of us, and really myself is:

Who are you bringing?

Fast Friday Five

Five things real fast:
  1. I think God is going to do something amazing this Sunday at Church of the Suncoast! I have been praying for God to show up. Our numbers have been down the past three weeks but even if they don't come back this week if God does then I know big things will happen.
  2. We are doing part two of our new series "What's God's Will" and you will only be able to see this series live! You can still get the podcast on our website or iTunes but the videocast will not be back until Easter.
  3. I have been reading through the Book of Acts and it is amazing how God shows you things at different times. The last time I read Acts it was dull and dry. This time I have been through two highlighters!
  4. Be praying for the people at the Suncoast. We have had a couple deaths, surgerys, and financial meltdowns over the past few weeks. Pray for God's protection and peace.
  5. This Sunday ends our tables up front experiment. We had tried putting some round tables up front and making them kind of a cool alternative to sitting in rows but they didn't really get people up front that didn't already sit up front. Like everything at the Suncoast we experiment and if it works we meant to do it, if it doesn't then it was an experiment.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area don't miss a minute of this weeks services:

9:30am & 11:00am

Got some good stuff to share next week on the blog!

Unleash Videocast

Looking for a New Assistant

Right now I am looking for a new assistant here at Church of the Suncoast. The job is about 20 hours a week and that includes your Sunday morning time. Computer skills are a must and any experience with photoshop would be very cool. Obviously, this is a part time job and again it works out to be about 6 hours, three days a week.

E-mail me for more info:

Church Planting Myths by Perry Noble

Seven HUGE Myths In Church Planting
by Perry Noble

#1 - There is a way to do church…and my way is it!
Be VERY careful what you speak against…you will probably put it into practice one day! There isn’t ONE WAY to do church…there are many ways. Our job as church planters is to seek God for HIS specific vision for our church.

#2 - Details do not matter
I used to say this…until I read through the first five books of the Bible and began to see how focused God was on the details! EVERYTHING the church does MATTERS!!!

#3 - I should allow anyone to do ministry who says they are called.
We used to have a philosophy, “If you want to start a ministry, go for it–we will support you!” THAT was one of the dumbest things we ever said!!!

Just because some people have a HEART for ministry doesn’t mean they have the calling for it! “But they love to (FILL IN THE BLANK…sing, teach, etc.).” I am sure they love to…but passion for something doesn’t always equal calling.

#4 - These people will always love me
Not trying to be a pessemist…but I remember hearing someone tell me that the people who started the church with me would not always be with me. I thought, “no way…we are all in this together.”

Sure enough…a year into the plant around half of the core group was gone. The people who begin with you usually won’t stay with you because they have a hard time handling change…and they hate losing access to you!

#5 - Launching new ministries is a sign of success
This myth KILLS momentum. Churches naturally think that doing “more” is a sign of success…I say it is a sign of stupidity! People always expect a growing church to do “more,” and because of that ministry across the board usually winds up getting watered down.

#6 - Numerical growth means we are doing everything right
If you believe this myth…then you will also be tempted to believe that you are doing everything wrong when you are not growing…thus making the church all about what you do and not about what God does.

I do believe God blesses with numerical growth; however, I believe He will bless WHEN the church (and the leadership) is ready…and not before. AND…numerical growth from the church split in your town doesn’t mean you are doing everything right…it just means that the life sucking leeches (in most cases) have latched on to you…and they will leave you as soon as you don’t give them what they want!

#7 - Defending what we do should be one of our top priorities
I WISH someone would have told me to NOT WASTE TIME defending what we did here at NewSpring.

Dang it! I wasted so much energy and had way to many “freak outs” about what bloggers and naysayers were saying. One of the things I used to believe is that I could win critics over…that if I could just talk to them…if they could just see my heart then they would change their opinion.

SO…instead of focusing on what God wanted to do for our church I spent time defending what He was doing…until He finally taught me that HE doesn’t need me to defend Him…but rather to OBEY Him!

Church planter–do what God called you to do…if people are speaking out against you…it probably means God has spoken into you and you are being obedient.Don’t waste the time God has given you on those who don’t like you…ever! If what you are doing is of God then critics can’t stop it!

Unleash Session Two

Unleash Session Two
Perry Noble

If the leadership of your church is not on fire for Jesus then why should the people be? People will come to see a fire!


1) Who is with me?

Pastor and staff relationships… things that strain it:

From the Pastor – Church hopping pastor. Do the people know you have bought into them and are there!

From the Staff – Satan wants to split the staff not the church. You start to think you do as much as the senior pastor. The pastor carries a burden you will never know!

The pastor has to know who has his back!!! Sheep don’t lead the shepherd.

2) Am I pleasing God?

God is going to put you in uncomfortable situations are you going to be comfortable or please God?

We can’t expect God to lead us publicly if we are not surrendered privately.

If God told you that you had one sermon left what would you say? Say it Sunday!

Is God pleased at the end of your service?

Ministry is received not achieved… we depend too much on our own ability.

Are we placing limits on ourselves that God has not placed on us?

What is the vision that is so big you don’t share it with people because they will think you are crazy?

3) God will we see you?

Are we providing the kind of environment where people can kiss toilets all week and then leave our church service feeling good about themselves?

Are we desperate for Jesus on Sundays? Are you begging God for His presence?

Do you want attendance or repentance?

4) What’s Next?

What you have to ask for this to continue to be a movement of God.

Are there leaders in your church to embrace this?

It might hurt and you might get knocked down but do you want the ball leader?

Unleash Session One

Unleash Session One
Perry Noble

Matt: “I will build my church” – Are we asking God to build the church or are we building the church? We have stripped the bride of Christ and put her in lingerie to make US look better.


1) Are we willing to change?

God is still the same God so why would we not attempt some things. Things are bad right now for Christianity so why not take some risks?

Most of us are one or two changes away from doubling our churches in size.

We all can see what needs to be changed in other churches but can we see it in our own?

Change or die!!!

If you can manage your church then God is not in it. A movement of God is messy and you can’t control it. How comfortable are you with that?

The STAFF will have the hardest time changing.

Don’t let money drive the decision, let the voice of God!

The pastor can’t do it all!!! The lead pastor has to stop running the day to day operations of the church.

2) Are we willing to work?

Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Are you willing to make the change you don’t want to do? We have to get our “I”’s right:

Investigate the obvious – where are you manufacturing energy? Is there a staff member that just won’t make it? Is there a person that can’t sing? Can people tell you the truth?

Ignore the Jackass’s – don’t stop casting vision. The word Jack ass in greek means “blogger”. Two types of Jack Asses:

A) The person that will take shots at you and doesn’t even go to your church.
B) The person at your church that says “I just want to go deeper” – If you were full of Jesus then it wouldn’t matter how deep the message to worship was!

3) Are we serious about reaching the world?

Terms we use to make ourselves feel better about not reaching the world:

> Contemporary
> Blended (Means you don’t have any balls)
> Missional (Means you don’t have any people)
> Emergent (Means you might not believe the Bible)

God called you to set your city free not condemn it.

Numbers MATTER!!!

NEW Series This Sunday (3.15.09)

Don't miss this new series @ the Suncoast!
9:30am & 11:00am

Ask some people to meet you for one of the services.

Can you guess the voice guy?

Welcome Video from Sunday

With the time change this past Sunday I knew there was no way I wanted to walk out for the welcome at the 9:30am service :-) So we use the green screen and made a welcome video. We spent about $100 to get ours working. For more info let me know and I can send you the place we bought ours and some things we have learned along the way.

Unleash THIS Week

This week my wife and I are heading to the Unleash Conference in South Carolina. I have never been to Unleash (I have been to the Leadership Summit, C3, & Drive) so this is really exciting for me. I will be blogging my notes from the day on Thursday night so stay tuned for those. I might blog them live if I can get my computer to hack into NewSpring's signal.

I also get to go hang out with Tony Morgan at his house Wednesday night. For those of you that don't know who Tony is let me put it like this. Let's say this was a sports deal. You have your top teams, your medium market teams, and then you have the bottom teams. This would be like getting to do dinner and hang out with the GM of one of those medium market teams that is also one of the fastest growing and making a real name for themselves. So I say that to say I am stoked! "I am all jacked up on Mountain Dew Chip..." (Not sure why but that is the second Talladega Nights reference this week)

Here is why I like conferences. I know some guys say they don't go because conferences are for guys that can't get it done. Hey I know I can't get it done. If I could get it done then I would be leading my own conference. BUT, for me a church or leadership conference is a time to get away from the day to day stuff and get some perspective. The biggest changes in my leadership and in our church have come on conferences.

I think back to C3 a number of years ago and a talk Andy Stanley did about checking the guages and from that point on that has been a part of every team I have led. It is little things here and there like that. That is why I go. PLUS, they are fun, I get to meet new people and for a change I get to sit in a seat and worship and learn like everyone else does every Sunday at Church of the Suncoast.

So thanks to the staff for picking up the slack this week and I will be back Sunday, don't worry, you don't get rid of me that fast. Stay tuned for the notes from Unleash and the fun at Tony Morgan's house!

One Prayer 2008 Offering Update

Last year Church of the Suncoast joined together with thousands of churches around the world for the message series "One Prayer". On the final week we took up a special offering for their mission goal of starting new churches in parts of the world that need the Gospel. Here is the update of what our church helped to do around the world... GO GOD!!!
Thank you Church of the Suncoast!!!

Please Critique (My 300th Post)

This is the 300th post here at the Church Insider!!! Wow, I didn't know I had that much to say back when I started in late 2007. I am not a daily blogger like some. As a church planter my time is focused on growing and leading Church of the Suncoast. But I also have a passion for church planters and those leading other ministries that are trying to do church different from the past. I try to stay up to date with trends, the culture, and I love creativity in any form. So anytime I think we have a good idea or I see a good idea it goes here on the blog.

BUT, I need your help!!! I am trying to find my audience and what kind of content you like, what you would like to hear more about, stuff like that. So if you would take a minute or two and give me some feedback I would be very grateful. I know there are thousands of blogs out there. You can read any one's blog but you take a minute or two a couple times a week to read mine. That is so cool and I want to make it worth your time!!!

So PLEASE leave a comment with some feedback on what you would like to see in the next 300 posts.