Girls Gone Wild (Begins May 2nd)

9:30am & 11:00am at Rushe Middle School.

Don't be late!!!

Learning and Leading (Part 2 of 2)

I talked back on Monday or Tuesday about how things had been a bit too busy and a bit too dry this past month or so. A lot of doing and not a lot of learning and as a leader you stop leading when you stop learning. Read it (HERE).

I shared a few things I am changing and her are two more:

4 1/2 Days.
Since Sunday turns into a full blown work day, I am up at 3am and done with church stuff by 2pm, unless there is a Sunday night deal... I am trying to work 4 and 1/2 days during the week. My goal is to get to 4 days during the week but right now the goal is only a 1/2 day Friday. As a leader you need time to get away so you can see the forest and not just the trees. This one kind of goes hand in hand with the last post where I said I am trying to move some stuff off my plate church wise. The times I have been most sure of the direction God wants to take our church have been when I took some time off and got away. Friday afternoons are going to be that time!

I by nature don't like to read. I sometimes think I am the only church leader who doesn't like to read the way everyone talks on their blogs. But I am going to get back to reading a few things each week:
  • Blogs like Perry's, Tony's, Mike's...
  • Leadership Books
  • Messages (well this is actually watching!!!)

Of course the Bible is in there. I am currently way behind on my reading plan.

What are you doing to grow and learn???

Learning and Leading (Part 1 of 2)

You might have noticed not a lot of action over the past two weeks here on my blog??? Well, all I can say is I have been so busy leading that haven't stopped long enough to learn much of anything over the past month and that is not a good thing. I missed a local church planter gathering called INC last month. Our staff finished reading "Lasting Impressions" about a month ago and I have not found another book for us yet. Sad to say my time in the Bible has dwindled down to message prep over the past two weeks, sorry God. I just have not put myself in a place to learn and as a leader the moment you stop learning you stop leading. I'm sure you have heard that before.

So, starting this week and next I am making some changes. Here are a few of them and then later this week I will talk about this more...

Our staff and a couple other people are going to the Drive Conference at Northpoint next week. We leave on Sunday after tear down :-) and get back on Wednesday night. I know a lot of my church planting friends talk down conferences and make fun of them, but for me... I need that time away and I think our staff needs to get a taste of the vision that could happen at Church of the Suncoast. Plus, you get to network and see people you have not seen in a year or two. They are worth it for me. Even though the trip will cost our church a couple thousand dollars it is an investment in our staff and in our own relationships with each other. Spending 3 days that close is fun :-)

Working My Way Out.
I am also getting serious about working my way out of a couple things here at the Suncoast to free me up to seek God and His direction for me and this church. I have gone through various stages of this in our four year history based on the staff and volunteers we had at the time, but it always gets better by making the effort not by people just showing up and doing it for you! OK, sometimes that will happen... but most of the time it is a process God wants to take YOU through!

How Long

One of the things we had to consider back in the beginning of our church was how long should each service be? In my opinion a church service is like a skirt... you want it to be long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting. So we came in at one hour. Although we have gone over the past couple of weeks by about 10 minutes. I think out website says our services "Usually last about an hour".

Other churches I know of have:

1 hour and 15 minutes
1 hour and 30 minutes

And others just end when they feel like it. My thought is we need to honor our guests time. That is who Church of the Suncoast is designed for, our guests. We who buy into this deal sacrifice some of our wants and desires for our guests. So I think a service needs to have a predicatable end zone of about 5 minutes.

Some people think an hour is too short but if you plan and work on your transitions an hour is a lot more than you think. It also forces me as a communicator to get to the point!

What do you think? How long is your service? Why? Leave a comment, would love to hear what you think.

Note to All That Made Easter Happen

Hey guys just wanted to say GREAT JOB!!! Here are some of the numbers that tell a SMALL part of what happened on Easter at the Suncoast:

237 (People) - New all time high (old high 215 last Easter)

19 (1st Time) - Obviously more than that, just no card.
7 (2nd Time)
5 (3rd Time)
1 (Accepted Christ) - That is what it is all about!

A few people I want to thank... not trying to leave anyone out, you all did an amazing job but have to say AWESOME job to Stephanie!!! That was the first time she has prayed in public and oh my gosh!!! That was so moving! Thanks for putting yourself out there like that. Awesome job to Crystal for getting all the kids where they need to be and thanks to all the kids vols! Cheryl had a friend come and her daughter had a GREAT time in the Shore I think it was? Thanks to the greeters and to Rita for making the stage backdrop! It fit the colors and feel of the day great! Steve thanks for having the band ready to go and all I can say is you guys were SMOKIN' Great songs!!! Rocked it for Jesus!!! Tech peeps, thanks for dealing with all the sound issues in the videos! And set up guys... you guys get a week off NO SET UP on SUNDAY!!! AND, to everyone that brought someone with you... go God!!! You rock too!

As I sat there on stage and looked out at the people I knew this would be every Sunday in the not too distant future and then one day we will look back and think how small these days were :-)

Finally, keep doing what it takes to get people to church. Don’t give up on someone because they didn’t come…or they came but did not receive Christ. Every week we are going to go all out to make sure the Gospel is clear…it’s not just an Easter thing for us…and there are SO MANY in our community that still do not know Jesus!

Great job Go God!!! Celebrate with me today :-)

Easter Promotion

Here is a look at how we have been promoting Easter at Church of the Suncoast:

TXT Invite:
On Sunday I was supposed to do this at both services but only got one... but the idea is you have everyone pull out their phones and invite someone right there in the service.

Yard Signs:
We put out 25 of these signs at about $5 per sign.
This Wednesday we sent out an e-invite and ask people to clean up the FWD and text and then send it onto their friends.
Pre-Easter Message:
This past Sunday we were in the second part of a vision series and the whole message was about inviting people for Easter and why that matters and what it means for them. Check it out here:

Names on the Cross:
This past Sunday I asked everyone to write a name on a piece of paper of someone they were going to ask for Easter and then during a song come forward and nail that name to the cross.
Invite Cards:
We started leaving these in sleeves of 10 with instructions of where to leave them about 5 weeks ago... here is the card: CARD

It is going to be an awesome Easter at the Suncoast.