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Tuesday, July 31, 2007


1. Discipline is doing the right thing when you don't feel like it.

2. Discipline is staying focused when the pressure is on.

3. Discipline is best known by your daily routines and habits.

4. Discipline is won or lost in the mind.

5. Discipline takes discipline to stay disciplined. :)

6. Discipline will separate two equally talented people.

7. Discipline will be your best friend or worst enemy.

8. Discipline will play a major role in your spiritual development.

9. Discipline will play a major role in your success in life.

10. How's your discipline on Tuesday July 31, 2007?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Weekend Update

1. We had a great start to Bling Bling. God is going to do great things in our lives through this series.

2. 35 people gave their lives to Christ this weekend! I never get bored of seeing people week after week surrender their lives to Christ. SALVATION IS THE GREATEST MIRACLE!

3. The Bling Bling videos during the announcements have been off the CHART!

4. My family is almost completely over the summer cold we were all fighting last week.

5. My wife made us ice cream shakes last night. It was great, but I can't keep eating Ice cream and cookies and stay in shape. So I'm going to do better this week! I LOVE SWEETS, but oh well.


7. Everybody needs to get in a Community Group. Community Group University is this coming up Sunday night at 6PM. Come and eat great food, meet great people and get plugged into one of our Community Groups. Trust me, it will make all the difference in the world in your life.

8. Invite everybody you know to attend this weekend’s services. We will be learning how to get out of debt, how to get the financial pressure off our backs and how to get our finances in order. Don't miss this weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Random Thoughts

1. I'm excited for the BLING BLING (Fixing Your Finances) beginning this weekend. Invite as many people as you can to attend this series!

2. I had a great date night with my wife last night. My wife is my best friend. I'm so blessed to have her in my life!

3. I'm spending the day with my family. It's my day off, so I'm going to play with my kids, relax, hang with my wife and we are going on a family date night tonight. We are also making cookies tonight for dessert and putting ice cream inside of the cookies. THE BOYS ARE EXCITED ABOUT THAT. After the kids go to sleep, Tiffany and I are going to watch a movie. It's going to be a great day!

4. I'm ready for football season to start!

5. Michael Vick, what were you thinking?

6. 3 of our staff members and several of our church family get back from Haiti today. I can't wait to hear what God did through them and in them in Haiti.

7. I've been fighting a summer cold all week! Actually, the entire Cooper house has been fighting it! YUCK!

8. I'm watching cartoons with my kids right now.

9. God has been WAY better to me than I deserve.


Thursday, July 26, 2007


I'm really excited for our new series that begins this weekend. God is really going to help so many people fix their finances. Here are some things that I'm believing God to do in your financial life through this series.

1. That your thinking about finances will change. MOST people have wrong thinking about finances and wrong thinking ALWAYS leads to wrong actions. Let me give you one example of wrong thinking: When I make more money, my financial situation will get better. WRONG THINKING!

2. That you get aggressive about getting out of debt. I know some of you will find this next statement shocking, but you don't have to have credit card debt, a car payment or student loans. Tiffany and I began our marriage with all three but quickly made a decision that we were not going to be slaves to debt, so we put together a plan and got ourselves out of debt. One of the reasons we were freed up to start People's Church is because we didn't have any debt besides our home. BESIDES YOUR HOME, YOU CAN BE DEBT FREE. Tiffany and I even have a plan to pay off our house so that we can live a debt free life.

3. That you develop a generous heart. One of the greatest joys of life is being generous. Tiffany and I love to give, and we want you to experience the same joy that we have. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.

4. That you would stop spending more than you earn. Unfortunately, most Americans fall into that category, but with God's help, we are going to see your financial life transformed through this series.

5. That you would experience a stress free life when it comes to the area of finances. I know some of you think I'm crazy when I say this, but it can really happen. You can get to a healthy place financially where you're not stressed out because something breaks down or an accident happens, or you're constantly worrying about how you're going to retire. GOD IS GOING TO HELP SO MANY PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THIS SERIES!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 Interesting Facts About Me Pt. 2

6. I was voted homecoming king my senior year in high school and my senior year in college. My senior year in college, I hurt my back during pre-game warm ups (I played college football) and had to ride in the seat of the golf cart. The young lady had to stand up in the back of the golf cart in her nice dress. I lost all my cool points as I sat down and she stood up!

7. I first met my wife, Tiffany, at college my senior year. We met at chapel in the hallway (our college had a chapel service everyday). Tiffany asked me out to the girls ask guys out event that the school was putting on. This event was awesome because all the guys got to figure out which girls had a crush on them!

8. I went oversees for the first time when I was 22. I went to Uganda, Africa, and preached in front of a crowd numbering over 15,000 people. This experience was a very life-changing experience for me and my ministry.

9. I played high school football in Wewoka with James Thrash. James is a 10 year veteran receiver in the NFL. He plays for the Washington Redskins. He used to start for the Eagles and catch balls from Donovan McNabb. It's hard to believe someone from Wewoka High is in the NFL! GO JAMES!

10. I wanted to be a sports broadcaster on ESPN before I surrendered to God's call on my life for full-time ministry. I would have been a great broadcaster :)!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

10 Interesting Facts About Me Pt. 1

1. I was born in Culver City, California, but raised in Wewoka, Oklahoma. My parents were both native Oklahomans but went to California for a few years.

2. I was vocal music president my senior year in high school. I'M NOT LYING! I can't sing, but I guess I could lead the choir :)! I took vocal music because it was an easy A!!!

3. I only made 3 B's in high school and the rest were all A's. I know you're thinking of course you made good grades because you took classes like vocal music. All I have to say is you better back off :). I made under a 20 on my ACT and graduated college with mostly B's and C's, so I'm not as studious as I appeared in high school.

4. I committed my life to Christ at a Fellowship Of Christian Athletes event on a Thursday night after football practice. I only came for the free pizza and ended up getting free grace, mercy, love and forgiveness through Christ. I'll never forget that night as long as I live!

5. I preached my first sermon at the age of 17 to my youth group.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Weekend Update

1. I had a blast this weekend! I served in the parking lot ministry and in the kids’ department at People's Church. It was great seeing up close and personal how these ministries make such an impact on people's lives. I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our volunteers. You all are making it happen.

2. Justin, our Student Ministries Director, did a great job speaking this weekend. I didn't get to hear it because I was in the kids’ area, but my wife told me he hit it out of the park and he was super funny.

3. Here are some funny comments I or my wife received because I was serving in different ministries this weekend. One person said, "I don't like pastor in the parking lot parking cars." This person was going to come and remove me from the parking lot :). Another person said to me, "Pastor, are we short handed in the parking lot ministry? I can take your place." Someone else said, "Pastor, sorry I'm late to the parking lot ministry today. I can take your spot now." He thought I was filling in for him because he was late. The funniest comment I received was in the 3 year old kids classroom. One boy said, "You're the guy on the TV. Why do you scream on the stage?" The volunteers in the classroom and I started cracking up. I really don't think I scream, but I do get passionate while speaking :).

4. It was great serving the community on Saturday morning by landscaping Northeast Academy. I will never forget the smell of that dirt :)! Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen.

5. I can't wait for this coming weekend. I'm beginning a new series titled BLING BLING....Fixing Your Finances. This series is going to help so many people. One of my passions is to see people get financially free! INVITE EVERYBODY YOU KNOW, AND YOU DON'T MISS THIS SERIES FOR ANYTHING!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Random Thoughts

1. Yesterday, some of our leadership team came up with some ideas that I think will take our church to the next level. I'm so excited about the near and distant future!

2. I'm ready for football season to start. I will be in a few fantasy leagues for sure! Fantasy football is my thing!

3. Some of our church family is headed to Haiti today and on Sunday after church for a week of ministry. I've been on several missions trips, and they absolutely change your life and perspective. Please be praying for the Haiti team!

4. Tomorrow from 8 AM to 4 PM, People's Church is converging on Northeast Academy and cleaning up the outside and doing a landscaping overhaul. It's fun serving our community!

5. I've got to get back to the gym. I've been off for three weeks because of vacation, and this week because of laziness, and on top of that I haven't eaten right for three weeks. So I've picked up a few extra pounds, and I feel kind of sluggish. I'm hitting it hard again starting on Monday. My goal is to shed 5 to 7 pounds!

6. God is doing some cool things in my heart, and I'm excited about it!

7. I love my wife! She's such a super woman! I'm a very blessed man!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Areas I AM Growing In

1. I'm learning how to operate our church like a church of 3500 to 4000. I try to operate our church like it's double the size. Learning to operate People's Church like a church of 3500 to 4000 is one of the most stretching changes that I've had to make, but I'm doing it!

2. I'm learning how to operate the entire church through two executive pastors and not do it myself. One pastor is over music, media, technology and creativity. The other pastor is over the staff and operations of the church. Basically, one is over the weekend experiences and the other is over day to day operations. I'm not there yet, but I'm learning how to delegate power and not just responsibility (thanks for that life changing thought Craig).

3. I haven't been to a staff meeting in 3 or 4 weeks. I did this on purpose. First of all, I was gone for two weeks, and secondly, I wanted to allow my executives to run the operations without me. I won't go to a staff meeting until August. My goal is to meet with the executive team once a week and have them run the entire staff meeting without me. I will probably go to staff meetings once a month to do a teaching and vision casting time. This is a huge step for me, but I know I need to do it for a few reasons. 1. I have capable and sharp executives who I have been investing in, and it's time to turn them loose. 2. I'm going through one of those stirring times in my heart when I know I need to stream line what I'm doing. I need to BE EVEN MORE FOCUSED ON WHAT I DO AT PEOPLE'S CHURCH. 3. If I don't do it, I will eventually bottle neck what God is doing at People's Church. I REFUSE TO BE THE BOTTLE NECK! LORD, PLEASE CONTINUE TO GROW ME AS A LEADER!

4. I'm learning how to better utilize my personal assistant. I'm not sure what all that is going to consist of, but I know I need to do a better job. I'm still dealing with too many details and need to do a better job working through her so that I can do what I do best.

5. Blogging family thanks for praying for me and my growth as a leader. I know God wants to do so many great things through People's Church, and I want to get out of the way and allow Him to do it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Who's Got Your Back?

One of the things that's a vital part of People's Church's DNA is loyalty. When you read through the New Testament, you can't escape how much unity in the church is emphasized. Loyalty breeds unity. On our staff and amongst some of our key volunteer leaders, we don't always agree on everything. Our staff disagrees and even argues, in a Christ like way :), about certain decisions, but we all know when we leave the room we’ve got each others’ backs. THAT'S A GREAT FEELING TO KNOW THAT THERE IS LOYALTY AMONG THE TEAM AND LEADERS. It sure makes me sleep good at night!

I strongly believe loyalty is a two way street. I don't just expect the staff to be loyal to me, I am loyal to the staff. I will never sell out one of our staff members when a church person disagrees with them to me (unless it's illegal, immoral, etc. and thank God that's not happened yet). I have their backs in front of church people, and if needed, I correct them behind close doors. I realize that trust is key to a healthy working environment, and trust is established when loyalty is present. Matter of fact, I have rarely had people come to me and complain about a staff member because we have created a culture of loyalty and I communicate it in the messages that I speak.

This is a vital subject for you and your team to wrestle with and answer (your team may be volunteer leaders). Unity is a major key to having God's blessings on your church so get serious about tackling the subject of Who's Got Your Back? IT WILL MAKE YOU OR BREAK YOU!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Extreme Focus

I don't know all the reasons why, but I've always been a person of extreme focus. I'm very committed to doing a few things very well. I've never been one to chase after the latest church fad. I've never been one to chase after the new business adventure because someone told me it would make me lots of money. I've never wanted to spend my time learning how to play a new sport like golf (nothing wrong with that by the way). I'm just a very focused person, and I must admit, sometimes to a fault. Here's some things focus has done for my life.

1. My life is very simple. Because of focus, I don't have a complex life. My life is very predictable week after week and month after month. I dislike a complex and overly busy schedule. I stay in control of my schedule and don't let others control it.

2. I say “no” to a lot of good things and most of the time, I don't feel guilty about it. I know what I want to accomplish with my life, and if it doesn't fit into those parameters I usually say “no.”

3. I get to eat dinner with my family and spend the evening with them 5 or 6 nights a week. My family is a priority in my life and schedule, so part of my obsession when it comes to focus is to guard my family time.

4. I normally stay in my strength zone. I don't do counseling, weddings, funerals, very many appointments or make very many hospital visits. These things get done with excellence by some of our staff members and a host of volunteers. I focus my time on prayer & studying the Bible, teaching, vision development/vision casting and leadership development (in and outside of our church). I CAN'T DO IT ALL, AND I DON'T PRETEND LIKE I CAN.

5. Focus has allowed me to achieve certain goals in life because I'm not easily side tracked. I see the goal or what I believe God wants to accomplish through me, and I run like a horse with blinders on to reach it.

6. It allows me to spend time with God almost every day. I say almost because sometimes I squeeze God out of my schedule (sorry God, I know I shouldn't ever do that), but the vast majority of time I have a daily time with God that's not focused on message prep. This daily time with God is just for my relationship with my Heavenly Father to be enhanced. It's a daily time for me to get close to God and allow Him to speak to me. I'M NOTHING WITHOUT GOD! I'M FOCUSED ON KNOWING MY SAVIOR IN A MORE INTIMATE WAY!


Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekend Update

1. Can you believe it, it didn't rain this weekend! If you have been watering your lawn every other day over the last 2 months, I think your watering strategy is very interesting to say the least :)!

2. Over 20 people gave their hearts to Christ this weekend.

3. There was a great energy in the services this weekend.

4. Terry Kelly did a great job leading worship in all 5 services. I really love Terry and his heart for worship. We go way back and share a lot of very good memories together. THANKS AGAIN TERRY!

5. We have been promoting Super Saturdays the last several weeks. If you attend on Sundays, I want to encourage you to make the jump to Saturday nights. You'll love sleeping in on Sundays. Remember August 11, 18 and 25, we will be have all kinds of special events after the second Saturday night service, including pony rides, a petting zoo and a cookout. INVITE A FRIEND AND MAKE THE JUMP!

6. This weekend is our last weekend of “10....The Count Down Begins.” We're going to be exploring the subject of “Hairy Arms And Golden Cows."

7. The last weekend of July we're beginning a brand new series titled "BLING BLING". I'm really excited to share God's Word with you and watch God revolutionize your finances. YOU CAN BE FINANCIALLY FREE! PLEASE DON'T MISS ONE WEEK OF THIS SERIES BECAUSE GOD'S WORD IS GOING TO HELP YOU FIX YOUR FINANCES!

8. This coming up Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM our church family is going to be invading Northeast Academy and cleaning out their entire flower beds and landscaping the entire place. This is a great opportunity for us to make a great impact in our community! SEE YOU THERE!

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm Back To The Blogging World

Hello everybody! My family and I arrived home yesterday. We spent a week in Minnesota hanging out with my wife's family. I enjoyed our time immensely, but I'm also glad to be back home. There's no place like home. Our kids were spoiled by great grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and by grandma. Now, my three kids are back to the real world of just mom and dad. Mom and dad don't give out cookies, candy and ice cream every 10 minutes. I'm sure they will get adjusted to less sweets :)!

Shelby and Josh did a great job speaking while I was gone. We have a great team! I'm looking forward to seeing everybody this weekend at church! I LOVE PEOPLE'S CHURCH!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Guest Blog: Shane Hood Pt. 3

The journey is a lot more fun when you have people who are with you.

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!
Volunteers are the parts that make the ministry run. In the beginning, you have to sign up anyone who is willing to serve to be able to effectively do everything, but as your church grows so does the availability of great volunteers. You need to recruit volunteers out of vision. Volunteers want to join something that is going somewhere. Your volunteer base is just like parts in an engine. The better the parts you build the engine with, the better the performance will be. Here are just a few things that left undone can slow performance.

  1. If I have not said it yet, you must care for and appreciate your volunteers.
  2. Always remember they are volunteers not workers. Workers get paid, volunteers serve.
  3. Train them well. If they make a mistake, it is probable that they were not trained effectively.
  4. Make sure volunteers are giving out of the overflow God has given them. If you only have one service, try to provide volunteers access to listen to the messages. If you have multiple services, encourage volunteers to attend one and serve in the other.
  5. Create a leadership team around you that you develop and guide. Then, release them to lead volunteers under them. Remember to look for volunteer leaders that are loyal, faithful and confident.

As the ministry grows, it is impossible for one person to care for and train every volunteer.

Thank You!
To all the volunteers that serve at People's Church, you are the best! The cream of the crop! You make ministry fun. Being able to serve with you is what excites me each week. I enjoy seeing your faces light up when the kids enter your room or the laughs you get when kids tell you those crazy stories. Most of all, I love hearing stories of how kids’ lives have been impacted. Each week you do make a difference and a lasting impression of Jesus in their lives.

I can never say it enough, “Thank you!”

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Guest Blog: Shane Hood Pt. 2

I have two thoughts for you today: Oops! Don’t do it again and I wonder why they never came back!

The greatest mistake I’ve made!
I don’t have enough time to list all the mistakes I have made, but the greatest gift you receive from making a mistake is to learn from it and don’t make the same mistake again. The greatest mistake I have made is trying to do it all myself. In the beginning, I was able to develop all the lessons, copy all the materials, buy all the supplies and keep up with all the day to day activities in the Children’s Ministry, but I could not continue to do everything and have the Children’s Ministry grow in excellence with the church. I stressed myself out by doing too much on my own. You must learn to delegate the things that can be done by others. To do this, you must learn to inspect what you expect. You cannot give someone a task and never follow up with them to see if it was finished and finished correctly. If you use volunteers, you will have to train them and then train them again. Once you spend the time training them, you can focus on other priorities. Today, I spend the majority of my time in leadership training, vision casting and recruiting. You can never start too early, so begin to build a team of volunteers to run the ministry.

It’s all about the weekend!
Create systems and structures that are easy to follow. The more complex you make something the easier it is to get lost. Inspect the ministry weekly to fix problems and create an environment of excellence. If your leadership team never finds any problems then have someone else take a look. There are always areas of improvement. Two questions to ask. Is this area safe? Was everything done with excellence? A few times a year reevaluate your systems and structures. As you continue to grow, some of the ideas you had at 50 kids will not work at 100, 200, etc. Begin networking today with churches larger than yours and start to learn from them. You will make fewer mistakes and make a much larger impact.

The greatest quality you can have as a leader is to never stop learning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Guest Blog: Shane Hood

Hello, I am Shane Hood the Children’s Ministry Director at People's Church. My wife and I have been attending People’s Church since October of 2002. I joined the staff in January of 2003 and completed my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in May of 2003. When we began leading the Children’s Ministry, the church was running about 150 in total attendance with around 40 kids, and this fall we expect to reach 2000 in total attendance with over 400 kids. My responsibility is to oversee the leadership, volunteers, curriculum and room experiences for kids birth to 5th grade. I will be sharing with you ideas to grow your Children’s Ministry with a growing church. Here are two basics that every Children’s Ministry must have.

Create an Experience
The greatest gift you have is a lasting impression. With the resources you have available to you, create the most exciting and entertaining experience you possibly can. We have very simple environments set up but use our volunteers and space wisely. Choose a curriculum that fits your group. Make sure it is properly prepared and set-up. Look at each room and kids area from a first-time guest perspective. Does a guest know where to go? Do the environments look safe and fun? Are the age ranges appropriate for all the kids to be engaged? Always remember, kids care less about the environment and more about the experience they have!

Volunteers Make It Happen
The only way to grow a ministry is to have others around. Before you allow any volunteer to serve in your ministry, you MUST do a background check. There are multiple agencies available that can screen your volunteers for Sexual Offenders to Speeding Tickets. Screening Volunteers provides safety for the kids foremost, as well as, covers the church for liability risk. Once a volunteer passes a background check and joins your ministry, you must care for and appreciate them. Training is the key to creating a great experience for kids. Volunteers need to know: What do they need to do? When do they do it? Where are they supposed to be? Why are they doing it? The greatest impact for training a volunteer is explaining the why. The why will bring them back again and again!

Have a great day!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Guest Blog: Brian Rush Pt. 5

Good Monday morning to everyone. I trust your weekends were great; we had an awesome weekend here at People’s Church!

Today, we are going to continue our look at worship and what it looks like at People’s Church. A question that we get asked many times is: How do you do praise and worship in a diverse church with so many music styles, genres and preferences? Everyone ready? Good, let’s dig in.

Before you even get into music styles and such, you must look at the example you set for your church every week. What I mean by this is: Do you only worship to songs that you like? What kind of attitude towards worship have you built into the DNA of yourself and your church? Do you ever talk about it from the platform—that worship is worship, no matter the song or genre? Let’s be honest, all of us have certain preferences that we like more than others, but the fact still remains that my worship is not dictated by a song, it is an outward expression of an inward commitment and love for God. The more people that understand this truth, the more harmony you will have in your church.

Musically, our sound has definitely evolved over the past 5 years. When we first started, it was me playing keyboards, leading worship, running sound with my right arm in between songs, a drummer and a couple back-up vocals. As we have gone along though, there are some things that we have always tried to do:

1. Make the stage reflective of who you are reaching. Our church is a multi-cultural church, so our band should be multi-cultural. This has been the case, literally, since the church began, and it will always be part of our DNA to be a multi-cultural band. If someone comes to our church knowing we are multi-cultural and then everyone on the stage looks the same, that doesn’t really make sense.

2. Make the song selection reflective of who you are reaching. Don’t be afraid to try some different songs and music. We try new stuff all the time (some work, some don’t). There are some songs that just naturally work well for a corporate worship setting (all types of genres), and some that don’t work at all. I try to look for songs that can easily be sung along with and are pretty easy for people to learn. Some songs we do are more difficult, but that is not the rule.

3. Be true to who you are. I realize I can only be Brian Rush, so I don’t try to be other people or worship leaders, etc. What this does not mean though is if you already know rock that you only do rock or if you already know gospel, you just do gospel. It simply means that I know I cannot sing like Fred Hammond, but I can certainly work really hard to learn his music (and any other music) and expand my musical repertoire. What is so amazing about a multi-cultural band is that you have people from all different backgrounds and specialties that come together, and as you explore where each person fits best, you develop a sound unique to you. The challenge is to take all these creative individuals and lead them to the united, unified vision of the church. This is not always easy, but the end result is worth it. You and the band members have to be committed to a lot of communication, flexibility, willingness to learn and adapt, etc. I know I am still learning and growing in this area, and I so appreciate my team allowing me to lead them while I’m still learning.

Before I leave, I must say, People’s Church, you all are awesome!!! Thank you so much for always being behind us and supporting the vision. Your passion for worship and specifically for worship in a multi-cultural church is amazing.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Guest Blog: Brian Rush Pt. 4

Thoughts On Worship

I often hear stories of worship leaders and pastors being at each others throats, not working together and the list goes on. I have never really understood this dynamic or why it is this way in so many places. I guess, the way I have always looked at it is that I am called to serve, and if I felt like I couldn’t do that in a particular place, I would find the right place God wanted me to be. It’s not my job to dictate to the pastor the vision God has given him for this body of believers. It’s my job and calling to do what is best for the church in line with the pastor’s vision (in my case, People’s Church). My preferences, opinions, likes and dislikes come after that.

Worship is not just a song, genre, poem, moving experience or ______________________(fill in the blank for you). Worship is literally everything we do. It shows up in our actions, attitude, giving, use of time, families, everything. Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” If I offer my body to God as a living sacrifice, that pretty much covers every single thing I do/am. As I journey with Christ, my prayer is that my entire life is worship. An embodiment of pursuing a God that I desperately love and that loves me more than I can comprehend.

So how do you worship? Do you relegate it to music? Is your worship based on how you feel that day or is it constant? What are some new ways that you could worship that you haven’t before? Good food for thought…

Have an amazing weekend,

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Guest Blog: Brian Rush Pt. 3

Hey everyone, hope you had a great 4th of July and have all your fingers still intact. Today, we will wrap up leading from the 2nd chair and then look at some thoughts on worship tomorrow.

Do not provoke your senior leader to anger (don’t do stupid stuff).
Herbert has a saying that we have all heard at least a few times around here. “Don’t do stupid stuff.” As simple as it sounds, it really is a profound statement. If you simply just don’t do stupid stuff, you can save yourself from a lot of struggle, stress & strain. The definition of “stupid stuff” is probably different for everyone, but whatever your definition is don’t do it.

Learn from their mistakes and try not to repeat them.
I wish it didn’t happen, but at some point, all of us will make a mistake (including your senior leader). The greatest thing you can do is learn from them and not repeat them as you are leading your own teams. If your leader is cool with it, ask them questions like….What would you have done differently? Did you see any red flags early in the situation? What’s the one thing you learned from this that you will never do again?

Bring solutions, not problems.
Even though church life is usually blissful and happy, sometimes problems can occur. When they do, don’t just bring the problems and expect them to be solved for you. Come with solutions and try your very best to work through them.

Hopefully, some of these thoughts over the past couple days have struck some thoughts into you about how you lead and even how your senior leader leads. I am the first to admit that I have not arrived and know there is a long journey ahead. One thing I do know, however, is if…
1. The right attitude is in place.
2. We keep learning and growing.
3. We depend on God and not just ourselves.
4. We work like snow dogs pulling an Eskimo.
…we can do it and make a huge impact for the kingdom.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Guest Blog: Brian Rush Pt. 2

More thoughts on leading from the 2nd chair.

Convince me…
Being that I oversee our Music, Tech, & Video, I have the not so fun job of asking for stuff that can sometimes cost lots of money (O.K., lets be real…it always costs lots of money). Something that I have seen before and even something that I have done myself that never seems to work is strong-arm your leader into something you want or want to do. This approach is all wrong. Here are a couple guidelines to go by when trying to influence your senior leader:
1. Ask yourself…Does it fit the vision of this ministry/pastor?
2. Show them the value. How does this impact the ministry in a positive way? What are the benefits? What are the pros/cons?
3. Is this a tool or toy? (borrowed from Terry Storch)
4. Be ready and researched to be able to answer any question they can come up with about the given suggestion/need.
5. Know how much it costs. Know the breakdown and give options if possible (part now… more later, etc.).
6. Trust their decision (read that again…TRUST THEIR DECISION). Remember, they may have more overall scope than you do and be basing their decision on many different factors. Trust them.

Remember who’s the boss (no, not Tony Danza)
The more time that is spent together with your senior leader, the more that relationship develops and trust is built; which is a really good thing! The downside is that as you get more comfortable, you get more familiar. Be careful to always show your senior leader the respect that they deserve. No one in the second chair will ever understand the pressures and demands of those leading the entire organization. I always want Herbert to know how much I value and trust him as the leader. I know I can always do better at this, but I (and you too) must remember that my actions, reactions, attitude and respect speak louder than words…side bar: Tell your leaders, “Thank you”! Whether it’s a cup of coffee or a bonus or whatever, be sure to say thank you.

Understand the senior leader’s heartbeat
1. What does he live for?
2. What does he die for? (probably the same as the first)
3. What are his strengths?
4. What areas can you help him in?
5. What annoys him?
6. What really makes him upset? (try your best to avoid doing it)
7. What are his values?
The better you understand what makes him tick, the more you can make decisions that are in line with his vision/heartbeat and not just your own opinion.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Guest Blog: Brian Rush

I am taking a blogging break for one week. This week you are going to receive insight from the staff member who knows me the best. Brian Rush started People's Church with me 5 years ago. Brian doesn't just lead our worship team on the weekends, but he oversees everything that goes on in the auditorium (lights, sounds, decor, video, etc.). Brian also serves as one of our two executive pastors. You will really enjoy hearing his perspectives this week!

Hey everyone, this week I will be talking a bit about leading from the second chair. I can definitely say that it has been a learning experience over the past 5 years, and I am better because of it! We will try to cover a couple topics each day.

Don’t be a backseat driver.
I’ve never had a problem having an opinion on just about everything. I can tell you the best restaurants, how to open a ketchup packet correctly, and even how to maximize your cheesecake experience at the “factory” (yes, I am probably a bit obsessive compulsive). I can remember, even as a child, hearing my dad say from the driver’s seat of the car… “Brian, I don’t need a backseat driver.” As an executive, I feel like the most important thing I can do for my pastor is take things off his shoulders and not add to them. It’s cool to give suggestions and opinions when they are asked for, but no one likes a nit picker (or a backseat driver).

Follow through.
There’s nothing worse than going through your favorite fast-food joint only to get home and find that they only gave you two cheeseburgers instead of three or put onions on instead of pickles or worse yet left the cheese off your cheeseburger making it a simple HAMburger. I ask myself…What happened? Where did the breakdown occur? How could this be? Simply stated, someone didn’t follow through on a set of given details. What we do as leaders in the church is so many times more important than food. The church is the greatest organization on the planet, and the only one sending out a message that has the power to transform lives eternally. Our questions might look like: What ever happened to that new believer that gave his or her heart to the Lord? Why was this event so poorly attended? What was the impression we just left on that first-time guest? And so on…..One of the greatest ways you can earn trust and respect from your senior leader is to follow through on things given to you; small and large (and with the correct details). Do whatever it takes to make sure you have all the correct info, and that it gets carried out the way it needs to. Sometimes, I feel like I have the memory of a 90 yr. old (my wife, Alicia, can confirm this), so I have to write stuff down everywhere and give myself different reminders through calendars, emails, and task lists to make sure I don’t miss stuff. Do this, and do it well. Follow through young Skywalker, you’re our only hope. (Starwars fits with everything)

Have a great week!