1. Pray consistently because God answers prayer
2. Pray for the IMPOSSIBLE because God answers prayer
3. Pray for your BIG DREAMS to come to pass because God answers prayer
4. Pray for your unsaved loved ones, friends and co-workers because God answers prayer
5. Pray for your sick body to be made well because God answers prayer
6. Pray for your church to DOUBLE in size because God answers prayer
7. Pray for God to bless your finances because God answers prayer
8. Pray for your kids to be a godly success because God answers prayer
9. Pray for your marriage to be OFF THE CHARTS GREAT because God answers prayer
10. Pray for your pastors and church family because God answers prayer
11. Pray in faith because God answers prayer
12. Pray that you will have a PASSION TO PRAY because God answers prayer
Thursday, May 31, 2007
1. Pray consistently because God answers prayer
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I'm back in the office today after being gone for a week. It's good to see everybody. I love getting away and seeing family but I also really enjoy what I do. I love being the pastor of People's Church. I love seeing people give their heart to Christ. I love seeing people growing in their relationship with Christ. I'M LIVING MY DREAM!
I'm going to spend the day studying for this weekend’s message. I already have a very good jump start on the message. I really think God is going to use this message to change a lot of lives and people's perspectives. I'm really learning why God doesn't want us using His name in vain. I'm looking forward to seeing you this weekend!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
1. I wasn't at People's Church this weekend. My family and I went to
2. I heard services went very well, and many people gave their heart to the Lord. PRAISE GOD!
3. I'm excited to speak this weekend. The title of this weekend’s message is What's In A Name!
4. I really bonded with my kids during our time in
5. THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
Friday, May 25, 2007
2. Rest more. I had no idea how intense being a senior pastor of a new and growing church is. When I was a full-time evangelist, I thought I was working hard. When I became a senior pastor, I quickly learned that it is WAY more difficult and time consuming than being an evangelist. STARTING A NEW CHURCH IS JUST FLAT OUT HARD WORK, ESPECIALLY THOSE FIRST FEW YEARS. God has used mentors and His Word to teach me to rest more. I've learned to work smarter and not harder. I'm in this for the long haul. I'm not going to burn out before I reach the age of 40. My best days of ministry are ahead of me, so I'm pacing myself for the long haul.
3. Enjoy life. The older I get the more I'm learning to enjoy life. I love my wife and kids so much. I love to spend time with them. I'm going to enjoy my family. They mean the world to me. I need to do better with spending time with my friends. I talk to two friends who live out of state frequently, but I need to do a better job spending time with my closest friends who live in Oklahoma City. I'll do better because I'm going to enjoy life. I ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE TO LIVE, AND I CHOOSE TO ENJOY IT!
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Most things aren’t that big of a deal. Most people's complaints aren't that big of a deal. In the early days, I use to freak out about a problem that would arise in the church, a mean note that somebody would write or a complaint someone had. Now I realize 99.9 percent of stuff isn't that big of a deal. As long as I keep my heart pure and humble before the Lord and lead with the utmost integrity, everything else is small stuff.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
2. My wife is my best friend. I love to hang out with her. I love to be in her presence.
3. My wife is passionate about taking care of me. Of course, I'm passionate about taking care of her, but I can't believe how she is so in tune to my needs.
4. My wife is a wonderful mother to our three kids. She handles motherhood with such grace.
5. My wife is a great people person. I've never met anyone who didn't like my wife. I know there are some people who don't like me :), but I really don't know one person who doesn't like my wife. SHE IS GREAT WITH PEOPLE!
6. My wife works at our marriage. We don't have a perfect marriage, but we do have a great marriage. WE WORK HARD AT IT! TIFFANY thanks for your willingness to make our marriage a top priority in your life. I LOVE YOU BABE! AFTER JESUS, YOU'RE THE BEST THING THAT'S EVER HAPPENED TO ME! I LOVE YOU WITH MY WHOLE HEART!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
PEOPLE'S CHURCH, THANKS FOR PRAYING FOR ME AND MY FAMILY!
1. It allows me to keep the vision in front of the team. I want the vision of People's Church to be HOT HOT HOT in our team’s heart. Staff meetings always refocus our team on the main thing!
2. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate what God is doing in people's lives. I love to hear how we're winning as a church!
3. It allows us to grow and sharpen one another. We are always reading a book together as a staff.
4. It gives our team an environment to argue, fuss and squabble about what they think ought to be taking place at People's Church. I love that our team can argue about things, and then, we always walk out of the meeting as a unified front. My team can always give me input. I WELCOME THEIR THOUGHTS AND INSIGHT!
5. It gives me the opportunity to teach, correct, motivate and encourage our team. One of my passions is to develop leaders, SO I GET TO DO WHAT I LOVE TO DO IN THOSE MEETINGS!
I'm sure I could give you ten more reasons why we have staff meetings. If you oversee a group of people, I would encourage you to have a team meeting. IT COULD BE THE TURNING POINT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION!
Monday, May 21, 2007
2. We had 57 people accept Christ as their Lord and Savior this weekend! I am honestly amazed and humbled to see God continually save, deliver and set people free from the grips of sin. Church family, your passion to invite your friends and family to People's Church is unbelievable. You have my word that if you invite your friends and family to PC, we will always point them to Jesus. Jesus will ALWAYS be exalted at PC!
3. I'm so appreciative for all of you serving in ministry. Your passion to love, care and minister to people is contagious. Thanks for doing your part to make PC an irresistible church.
4. I felt like I bombed on my message in the 5PM Saturday night service. I hate that feeling. After that service, people came up to me and told me it was a good message. I WANT TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOU WHO ENCOURAGE ME WITH YOUR WORDS OF AFFIRMATION AND APPRECIATION. I don't need anyone to discourage me because I do that all by myself. SO thanks for praying for me and my family and for your kind words and cards. THEY DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
5. I'm sad to see the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets leave Oklahoma City. I have had the privilege to pastor 4 of these guys and their families. They are moving back to New Orleans. To the 4 Hornets and their families: It was great worshipping with you and seeing your passion for Christ! LET YOUR LIGHT CONTINUE TO SHINE!
6. I really believe God is going to change our lives through this series called 10....the countdown begins. Don't miss this weekend the title is AMERICAN IDOLS!
Friday, May 18, 2007
1. Church is planting is hard. If you are a wimp, don't plant a church. If you are coward, don't plant a church. If you are a quitter, don't plant a church.
2. Evangelism better be a core value of your church. If you don't have a burning passion to win people who are far from God, don't plant a church. If you want to pastor a church full of church people, just take a church and preach and love your heart away.
3. Resources can be a major challenge. I talked with several guys who are having MAJOR resource challenges. I would strongly advice you to have a long term business plan before planting a church. When pastor's and churches quit supporting your dream, how are you going to finance it? I STRONGLY BELIEVE THE BEST WAY TO HAVE RESOURCES FOR A CHURCH PLANT IS IN THE HARVEST; REACH PEOPLE FOR CHRIST IN YOUR CITY AND THE RESOURCES WILL FOLLOW. Accomplishing your vision will bring provision!
4. You don't just need a business plan, you also need a ministry plan. Where are you going and how are you going to get there? Does your church have a strategy to accomplish your BIG vision or are you just having services?
5. You must pray and depend on God like crazy. A church planter needs to have a vibrant relationship with Christ. You must love God with all your heart. You must be committed to His word. You must learn to hear God's voice above all others. YOU HAVE TO KNOW GOD FOR YOURSELF!
6. YOUR SPOUSE BETTER be called and excited about launching a new church. ENOUGH SAID!
7. CHURCH PLANTING IS ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING THINGS I'VE EVER DONE! I LOVE IT! I WOULDN'T DO ANYTHING ELSE! I'M RIGHT WHERE GOD WANTS ME! It's hard work but it's worth it and I'm having the time of my life!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
2. You don't want people on your team who will poison your vision. The people who can be a great asset in the early days but probably won't take the entire journey are people who can't 100 percent grasp the vision. THEY ARE NOT MEAN SPIRITED, HATEFUL, CONTROLLING OR VINDICTIVE PEOPLE. They are also not SPIRITUAL SPACE CADETS OR SPIRITUAL FLAKES! My experience has been, everybody won't take the journey with you so embrace it. Everybody we started with will not finish with us. There are three things that were really critical for us in the early days: 1. Critical Mass of People: I think it's easier to build a crowd and turn them into a core than build a core and turn them into a crowd. 2. Resources: People who would support the church financially. 3. Serving: People who had a heart to serve.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
1. You must know that you are called by God! Has God spoken to your heart to plant a church? Could you do anything else and be fulfilled? As Bill Hybles would say, is there a HOLY DISCONTENT inside of you and you know without a shadow of a doubt that God is speaking to you to plant a church? Or does planting a church just seem like a cool, fun and good idea? Bottom line, you better be called or you won't last long.
2. A good question to ask yourself is, “Have I been successful at starting or leading anything throughout my lifetime?” I was in
If you have friends who are beginning a church plant or they're thinking about planting a church, let them know about this blog.
MORE ON CHURCH PLANTING TOMORROW!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
After my executive meeting, I will be meeting with our leadership team for an hour our so. It will be a very productive day with our team.
Monday, May 14, 2007
2. The video testimonies were more than powerful. My faith was challenged and encouraged as I listened to how God has changed lives over the past 5 years at People's Church. We are going to put the video testimonies on the message page on the website (www.peopleschurch.tv). If you missed this past weekend, be sure to check out this video. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
3. We celebrated 5 years as a church this weekend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEOPLE'S CHURCH!
4. We celebrated Mother's Day at the Cooper house. We took Tiffany out to eat and gave her some flowers and a lovely card. I also called my mother and wished her a Happy Mother's Day. My mom lives in
5. Yesterday was my youngest son's birthday. He is now 2 years old. I'm excited for the terrific two's.
6. We are beginning a new series this weekend called "10....The Count Down Begins". Over the next 10 weeks, we are going to allow God to change our lives by taking a fresh and creative look at the 10 Commandments. Be sure to invite your friends and family to experience the life changing power of Christ throughout this series.
Friday, May 11, 2007
1. I want to thank Tommy Sparger, Senior Pastor of North Point Church in Springfield, MO, for being such a great friend and encouragement to me through out the last 5 years (northpointnow.org). I met Tommy at a church planters’ boot camp the weekend after we planted People's Church. We hit it off from day one and have been friends since then. Our relationship has grown closer throughout the years. Tommy and I talk two or three times a week. He's a guy I call when I need advice or a different perspective on a situation I'm dealing with. Tommy, thanks for being a friend through this journey of church planting.
2. Lynn Wheeler is a full-time evangelist and a very close friend. Lynn, thanks for teaching me so much about ministry. When I was a full-time evangelist, you took me under your wings and gave me so much advice. Your wisdom and experience kept me from many pitfalls. When I started People's Church, besides Tiffany, you were my biggest fan. You are a true blue friend. THANKS DUDE FOR BEING THERE THROUGH THICK AND THIN!
3. One of the things I've learned after 5 years of being a senior pastor is: the only way to do ministry is with a team. The team that's around me makes me look better than what I really am. I'm not as smart and sharp as many people think I am (I'm not being humble it's the truth). I have a great team around me. These men and women are team players and are very gifted. To my team: Thanks for having my back, and you know I have yours. Thanks for praying for me and my family. Thanks for your commitment to me and to the vision of People's Church. Thanks for going the extra mile.
4. To my church family: You have been incredible to pastor! A handful of you have been here from day one. You have a special place in my heart. Church family: Thanks for praying fervent prayers. Thanks for serving faithfully. Thanks for giving generously. Thanks for being flexible and willing to adapt to our ever changing church. Thanks for having such a passion to reach the lost. Thanks for believing in the mission of People's Church. Thanks for loving Jesus with all of your heart. THE BEST IS YET TO COME! JUST WAIT AND SEE!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
2. The investment of Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv, and Mark Crow, Senior Pastor of
3. The decision to buy 50 acres on Britton and Kelly in August 2004 was a major turning point at People's Church. This decision let the community and our regular attenders know that this two year old church wasn't about to close the doors, but we were serious about making an impact in Oklahoma City for the long haul. Many people questioned the location of that piece of property, but it was truly God's hand and leading as we look back. The area is now growing like crazy. New homes and businesses are flying up. We beat everybody in and bought 50 acres less than a mile from 1-235 and a few miles away from 1-35 for $505,000. I CALL THAT GOD :).
4. In the fall of 2004, we kicked off a stewardship campaign to build a new facility. That was a huge leap of faith for me. Our church was growing like crazy but most people had only been attending for 6 months or less. This young pastor was getting ready to ask a group of people who had only been attending the church for 6 months or less to give big time to see the vision of being a soul-winning, multi-cultural church come to pass. Our people listened to God and bought into the vision and pledged over $900,000 for 2 years. It's so fun stepping out on faith and watching God do ONLY WHAT HE CAN DO! GOD YOU ARE FAITHFUL!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
2. The first year of People's Church was very busy and very demanding physically and emotionally. I traveled full-time around
3. I'll NEVER forget the first Sunday of August 2002. That was our first Sunday to have over 100 people in attendance. We never fell under 100 people in attendance after that Sunday.
4. From day one, People's Church has always seen a lot of people make Christ the Lord of their life. Winning people to Christ and getting them connected to the local church and growing spiritually has always been a driving emphasis. Even though it took us 3 to 4 years to establish our identity and personality as a church, I knew we weren't called to be a church just for church people. I have to confess that I didn't always know exactly where we were going. In the early days, church people were telling me we needed to do this or do that to be a real church. I was confused a lot, and I was very insecure inwardly, but I stood my ground because I knew God called us to be a church that was focused on reaching people who didn't go to church. The decision not to cater to church people's wants and demands was a defining moment for my leadership and for the direction of People's Church. WOW, I'M GLAD I MADE THE RIGHT DECISION TO LISTEN TO GOD AND NOT TO ALL THE PEOPLE SCREAMING IN MY EAR!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
This week I'm going to share with you some highlights, lessons learned and fun things about the first 5 years of People's Church.
1. Never do ministry alone. Brian and Alicia Rush were a God send. They've been with us for 5 years leading worship and more importantly being great friends. Tiffany and I value our relationship with the Rush's. We both moved to
2. When Tiffany and I moved to
3. When we moved to
4. We started People's Church in our home with 6 other people, and that included the Rush's. We only knew a handful of people in the area so we didn't have a big group to start with. Tiffany grew up in
Monday, May 7, 2007
Here are some things I hope you remembered about this weekend’s message.
1. Every weekend is somebody's first weekend to attend People's Church and to experience the life-changing power of Christ. For the last 3 months, we have averaged 38 new families visiting People's Church EACH WEEKEND. EVERY WEEKEND COUNTS! EVERY WEEKEND MATTERS!
2. People's Church prays like it depends on God and works like it depends on us to create a worship service that you WANT to invite your family and friends to. We are partnering with you to help you reach your family, friends and co-workers for Christ. This week, be sure to invest in somebody who doesn't know Christ.
3. There are only a few things that matter. Many people chase after a lot of things that really don't matter. People spend a great deal of time, energy and resources on things that in a thousand years won't amount to a hill of beans. One of the things that really matters is, we must take as many people to heaven with us and help them live their entire life for Christ. God has strategically placed you where you are so that you can be salt and light. Be sure to bear fruit that will last. Only what we do for Christ really counts!
4. I'm excited that MANY of you signed up to get involved in one of the many ministries at People's Church. You are helping us create an IRRESISTIBLE CHURCH for more lives to be changed and for the church to continue to grow. YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE AN INCREDIBLE DIFFERENCE BY USING YOUR GIFTS AND TALENTS TO ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF CHRIST THROUGH THE
Friday, May 4, 2007
1. The relationships I made: I will write in future blogs about who impacted me and why. You can never have too many friends in ministry.
2. Everybody was real: I appreciated how people let their guards down and talked about real issues with candor. It moved me!
3. The discussion about delegating power versus delegating responsibility impacted my life big time. I know I'm not there yet with our executive team but we are getting there. The conversation really got me focused in on what that looks like.
4. Everybody in the room was willing to help each other. There wasn't a competitive spirit or I'm better than you feel. Everybody I talked to, no matter how big or how small their church was, was willing to offer advice or receive advice. It was truly a group of humble guys who wanted to be more like Jesus, please Jesus, serve the local church better and help each other.
5. I got answers to some questions that I have been searching and praying about. I needed some direction, so I have been prayerfully seeking the Lord and I also always look for wise and godly counsel. I definitely found wise and godly counsel from these men.
6. I sensed the passion for Jesus that everybody possessed. It made me more hungry for God. More than anything else, I want to love God, serve God and please God. I walked away challenged to fall in love with Jesus all over again.
I will write more later. I'm spending the day with my family! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!
Thursday, May 3, 2007
2. I've already gleaned a bunch from hanging out with the pastor's last night at the senior pastor's round table. My heart and mind is so wide open, and I'm hungry to learn. I feel like the more I know, the more I don't know. Since I don't know, I'm hungry to learn from those that know what I don't know because I would like to know what they know so that I can know :). If that makes sense!!
3. I've made great strides in my walk with Christ this year. God is ripping things from my life and thinking. I'm not there yet but I'm becoming more like Christ day by day. I LOVE YOU LORD!
4. I'm enjoying the journey. In the early days of People's Church, I wasn't enjoying the journey. I had nothing but a dream, and I pushed and worked and pushed like crazy and wasn't enjoying the journey. I've learned from several friends that this is a marathon not a sprint. I'm in this for the long haul. So now I'm running at a much better pace. I'm taking my day off religiously. I'm taking more and more time off from speaking on the weekends. I'm doing what I love to do the most, SPENDING LOT'S OF TIME WITH MY WIFE AND KIDS! I'm enjoying the journey, how about you?
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Tonight and all day tomorrow, I have the privilege to hang out with some leading pastor's from across the nation at a senior pastor's round table. I don't feel qualified to hang out with these leaders, but I'm very humbled that I have the opportunity to learn and grow from them. I'm excited to learn how these leaders think. I'm excited to learn how they lead. I'm excited to learn how they structure their churches. I'm excited to learn how they balance their personal life with ministry. I'm excited to learn how God has used many of these pastor's to lead some of the largest and fastest growing churches in
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
2. You have to develop and train the people you select. You can't expect people to perform effectively if you're not willing to train, develop and invest in them. Here are some ways we train, develop and invest in our team: We have someone assigned to train a new person for their role. We make sure they are equipped and have everything they need to be a success. We have quarterly reviews where we evaluate and give feedback regarding their strengths, weaknesses and where they need to make improvements. Our leadership team is always reading and discussing a book together. We have a weekly staff meeting where we discuss the good, the bad and the ugly. We take the leadership team to a conference every year to stretch their thinking. We require our leadership team to meet with leaders from other churches who are getting it done. We have a staff retreat at least once a year.
3. You have to give people room to fail. If people aren't failing, then they aren't stretching and trying anything new.
4. Don't micro manage people. Nobody wants to be checked in on every hour. Give the marching orders and give people the latitude to get things done how they see fit. There's more than one way to cook chicken. What matters most of the time is the end result not how things got done. People won't do things exactly the way you would have done it.
5. You have to be vulnerable with your team. Your team needs to know you make mistakes. They need to know that you don't have all the answers. They need to know that you are teachable and willing to grow. They need to hear you say you are sorry when you do something wrong. If the leader models being vulnerable and broken, it will trickle down to the rest of the team.