Getting Ready for Drive 08

This week is a little crazy for the staff of Church of the Suncoast. We are trying to cram next weeks work all into this week since we are leaving Sunday afternoon after church for the Drive Conference.

Doesn't it always seem like doing stuff like this is not worth the hassle until you get up there and you can step out of the daily grind for a day or two? I know the best ideas and new initiatives always come about as a result of trips like this. Last year we took everyone to C3 in Dallas and God really did a lot since everyone was new. It was our first staff, so God did a lot to bring us together as a team.

Please be praying for us!

If you are a church leader who reads this blog and you are going to Drive shoot me an e-mail and let's hook up. I would love to ask you some questions about how you are doing church.

Stay tuned for some notes from Drive next week and maybe even some pictures :-)

ISSUES (Part 3) Podcast

Church of the Suncoast


This week we wrapped up the series with the difficult topic of abortion. So far so good. Everyone seemed to receive the message well. In fact a local pregnancy center that helps women after abortions is going to use the talk.

I am glad we did a series like this. It raises the authenticity bar and let's the community see a different perspective from a church. We had really good feedback... But, I am glad it is over for now. Tough stuff to talk about. A lot of sleepless Saturday nights :-)

Go God!

If You See Me... Don't Run Over Me!

I was praying this morning, and as usual, I was praying for a big number this weekend. If we have a big number then this will be the highest attendance month to date at the Suncoast... and I felt that little voice say, "Well what are you doing to make that happen?"

So as you read this I am out putting out a couple dozen of our little road signs. These last a lot longer than the big ones. Here is the design and where we had them printed:

LINK for Signs

Weekend Podcast (ISSUES - 2)

Church of the Suncoast

PODCAST - Issues - Homosexuality

Update: Thank you for praying as we covered this tough topic. I think the issue might have even kept a few people away. We did a talk on porn last year and that was a little lower too. But a great crowd none the less. Depending on this weekends numbers it might wind up being one of our highest months in our two year history.

The service had a great flow to it. The people all seemed really engaged. The talk was tough, but I think I did a good job. No one got up and walked out :-) And, I think it challenged a lot of presuppositions and prejudices.

Keep praying. One more week of this series I know we needed to do...

The Monday After...

I know a lot of church leaders and church planters read blogs on Mondays as they try to catch up of other churches (or try to feel better about their...). I also know Monday's are a time when every church leader has a holy hangover... a time when they feel like God let them down because of something that didn't go as planned that weekend. Maybe the numbers were low, maybe the message tanked, maybe the music was off, maybe someone was rude to you and had a conversation they should not have had with you before you got up to preach God's Word. Sound familiar???

Last week God opened my eyes to something I had never picked up on in Matthew. Here is the scene. A Canaanite woman approaches Jesus and the disciples as they are trying to get away from the crowds. I'm sure they all were tired. The woman had a demon possessed child and she kept pressing them to talk with Jesus. Finally they cave in and let her talk with Him. She presents her case and Jesus has an interesting response... Read this:

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

Ouch right? Here she is having traveling all this way to talk with Jesus because she believes He can heal her child and everything seems against her. The crowds seemed against her. The disciples seemed against her. Her race was against her. Her sex was against her in this day and age. EVEN JESUS seemed against her...

So what gives? I believe Jesus was looking for faith. Read on:

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

How many times have you deep down thought everything was against you on a Sunday? How many time, if we are honest, have we thought God was against us??? I believe God is looking for the same kind of response...


That is what I think God is looking for in those moments. Are we willing to push on even when it seems like everything and even God is against us???

Share your thoughts... Leave a comment.

Please Be Praying for the Suncoast

This Sunday at Church of the Suncoast part two of our new series "ISSUES" rolls out and this time the topic is homosexuality. Please be in prayer for the entire team here at the church, both staff and volunteers. We want to create a safe place for people to face this topic from whatever end of the spectrum they might be on.

I would especially appreciate your prayers as I give this message. Pray that I walk that line between truth and grace in a way that doesn't take a way from what God might want to do this Sunday...

Thanks :-)

Leading Volunteers (Part 2)

Click HERE for part 1

Here is the second part of a conversation our management team (staff) had about leading volunteers. Stay tuned for our goals for each ministry team from these two conversations...
Click on the document to enlarge & print

"ISSUES" Podcast & Update

ISSUES - Part 1


Update: The first week of our controversial new series "ISSUES" was awesome!!! We started this series on Spring Break (which was not the best timing) BUT, we have had a huge response both in numbers and feedback. As I talked with a couple of the people that came to check things out for the first time on Sunday I knew taking this chance was worth it. I really believe we are raising the bar of authenticity with this series. New conversations are happening. And, there is a buzz in the community about that church who is talking about racism, homosexuality, and abortion. Keep praying for us and I will keep you updated on this weekend.

ISSUES (New Series)

This weekend at Church of the Suncoast we begin a brand new series called "ISSUES". We will be hitting on three of today's most controversial issues. We know people are thinking about them, so we are talking about them.


If you have a personal story about one of these issues that you would be willing to share either live on stage, in a video, or just in an anonymous e-mail we would like give you that opportunity.


Please contact me @

The Suncoast Turns Two!!!

This weekend Church of the Suncoast turns two!!! Wow! That is hard to believe. I'm not sure that handful of nine people who helped my wife and I start this thing knew what to expect, but what a ride it has been.
Here a few pictures from our past two years:
Our First Service

Our First Baptism Celebration

Our Grand Opening @ Oakstead Elementary

Move to Martinez Middle

Now @ Rushe Middle School

Please help us celebrate this Sunday @ 10am at Rushe Middle School :-)

Unbelief (What to do when God let's you down)

Like most church planters that are honest my life, faith, mood, all rise and fall on the weekend numbers. You can tell yourself all day long it doesn't say anything about you or that numbers aren't everything... but that doesn't change the way you feel.

As I have talked to some guys about their weekend after Easter affectionately known as "Bomb" Sunday because you go from a huge number to tumble weeds it has been a mixed bag. Some guys went big the week after and some dropped by 50%!

So what do you do when you feel like God let you down. That you poured your heart and soul into something only to have mixed results? As I was reading in Matthew today I came across a verse that cut me deep. Here it is:

"He didn't do many mighty works there because of their unbelief" Matthew 13:58

It is very easy to let your let down with God turn into unbelief isn't it? You put everything into something and when it "seems" like God didn't bless it there is that natural drift into unbelief. "Well, God must not be in this church... If God wanted us to keep on then He would have blessed it... God isn't able to do anything at this church..." You know what I mean. Those thoughts you think, those things you don't ever really tell anyone about.

BUT, the danger that verse says is God won't do many mighty works if there is unbelief! If we as church leaders don't think God will, or is able, to do mighty things in our churches then you know what, He won't.

Now, I am not saying you announce to everyone in your church that next weekend you will have double what you had this week if they all just believe. You can believe all you want and more than likely that isn't going to happen. Part of our job is to manage the expectations of our people.

What I am talking about is that inner belief that God is for you and is working out His purposes for your church. There will be days when our expectations are not met. We will feel like God let us down. But, don't ever let that shake your belief that God wants your church to thrive more than you do. Hold onto Him even when you feel like running in the opposite direction and throwing in the towel.

The greatest triumphs in church planting I believe come right after our biggest let downs if we will just believe!

I would love to hear some of the mighty works God is doing in your church. Leave a comment.