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Friday, August 29, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. The weeks seem to fly by.

2. College football started last night and the rest of the teams kick off on Saturday. GO SOONERS!

3. They got a lot of work done this week on our 42,000 square foot addition. YEA!

4. I'm really excited about the Room Mates, Bad Dates & Great Mates series kicking off this Sunday. This is going to be the hottest series of the year. Don't you dare miss it!

5. Our student ministry is starting a red hot series this coming up Wednesday night called Got Sex. If I had a teenage student, I would MAKE them attend all four weeks of this series. Our society is cramming sex down our student’s throats and they need to hear what the Bible says about the gift of sex. Seriously parents, make sure your student is at Epic the next four weeks.

6. College & 20 somethings, don't miss Ignite this Sunday night at 6pm. This experience is designed with you in mind.

7. College & 20 somethings, Sunday night September 7 is bIGNITE! Immediately following the Ignite worship experience we are feeding you FREE pizza and drinks. There is nothing like free food when you're in college. Invite tons of your friends and let's watch God rock student’s lives!

8. I love that our church is diversified and unified at the same time! Go God!

9. I had another fantasy football draft on Wednesday night. I drafted online from my home. I know, I'm a fantasy football junkie and I'm proud of it.

10. You've probably have figured out my hobbies by now: My family, Starbucks coffee, my family, working out, my family, fantasy football and my family!! That's it folks! Pretty simple guy!

11. SEE YOU SUNDAY! BRING A FRIEND WITH YOU!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vision pt. 3

One of the major reasons that I share the vision of People's Church frequently is because vision is just like a tire, it leaks. As a leader, I realize that after I give a spirit-anointed, red hot, on fire and super inspiring vision message, many of the people won't remember some of it a day later. After a month or two goes by, most of the congregation will have drifted away from the vision. Even the people who have been with me for years can stray away from the vision over time. It is the Senior Pastor's responsibility to consistently cast the vision to make sure that everybody stays on track. God's vision for the local church is the wind beneath the sail. God's vision must be communicated over and over and over and over again. If you don't sometimes feel like you are sharing the vision too much, then you aren't sharing it enough!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vision pt. 2

Another reason that I share the vision of PC frequently is so that we can help people find the right church home. I realize that PC is not for everybody, so I share the vision of PC so that people can either jump onboard or jump off and find another church where they can get behind the vision and leadership. Over the years, I have learned that when I cast God's vision for PC it excites most and repels some. My desire is to help those who aren't behind the vision find a church home where they can jump onboard. Church people are either SINGING or STINGING, and stinging is never good for the health and unity of a church. As I told PC on Sunday, life is too short to be at a church where you're unhappy and disgruntled.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vision

On Sunday, I spoke to our church about the vision of People's Church. I am very passionate and excited about what God has called PC to accomplish. I share the vision of PC frequently with our church. For the next few days, I want to blog about several reasons why I consistently share the vision of PC.

God has blessed PC with continual growth over the past 6 years. Because God continues to grow the church, I continue to share the vision with all of the new people who are a part of the PC family. I want to make sure that all of the new people know the vision and heartbeat of PC. I want them to own the vision so that they can help us accomplish this God-sized vision. For us to do all that God has called us to do, we need to have everybody pulling in the same direction and focused on God's vision for PC.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend Update

1. I had a great time speaking at People's Church on Sunday. I love speaking on the vision that God has given me for PC!

2. We had tons of kids worshipping at PC on Sunday.

3. We had a great kick-off to IGNITE our new college & 20 somethings experience.

4. My dad drove to Oklahoma City from Bowlegs to worship with us in our 12:30PM experience. He came to our home after the experience for lunch. It was good to see my dad.

5. My little girl, Caris, turned two years old on Saturday. She is so precious. I had to help her blow out her two candles.

6. My wife made a very tasty cake for Caris' birthday party.

7. Our Worship Team led us in the song “God of This City.” LOVED IT!

8. This coming up Sunday we are beginning the hottest series of the year called Room Mates, Bad Dates & Great Mates. Don't you dare miss one week of this series. Invite tons of people to come with you. It's going to be life-changing!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. My son started school a week ago, and he's loving it! Yea for Cale!

2. I have the coolest job in the world.

3. I fall more in love with my wife everyday. Seriously! The woman is so phenomenal!

4. I had two fantasy football drafts this week. I'm a fantasy football junkie. It's really a great outlet for me.

5. Our entire staff went to Incredible Pizza this week and had a blast together. We work hard and play hard! I love the team I serve with.

6. This Sunday I'm speaking on vision. Bring everybody you know to hear about what God is doing at People's Church.

7. This Sunday night at 6pm, Ignite: The college & 20 somethings experience is kicking off. It's going to be a passionate time of seeking Jesus!

8. College football kicks off in one week. Go OU Sooners!

9. My son has to dress up in a cowboy outfit for a program they are having at school today. My wife and I are going to the school, and we will be taking tons of pictures and video. We are proud parents.

10. As always, I'm glad today is my off day. It's going to be a great day with my family!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You're Fired pt. 3

When you know that a team member is not going to work out, you need to make the difficult call and let them go. The price of a bad hire has already been incurred. You are incurring a greater cost to the organization by continuing to employ the individual rather than letting them go.

You are not being a good steward if you continue to invest time, energy and money into a team member that you know will not improve over time. You will also frustrate your best team members if you don't make the tough decision. Your best people know when a team member is not carrying their weight or just aren't working out. It's never easy, but sometimes, it has to be done.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You're Fired pt. 2

Another great reason to reexamine if you should invest more time, money and energy to help a low performer turn the corner is the fact that you will save the organization and your team the cost of turnover.

1. In many cases, there will be exit benefits.

2. There will also be the time, energy and money to interview and train their replacement.

3. There is also the cost of downtime that has to be factored in as a result of removing a staff person.

4. There is a relational impact upon the team and organization whenever there is turnover.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You're Fired

As a leader, there are times you start questioning if a member of your team is going to work out. Before you jump the gun and fire a team member, keep these things in mind:

If you have already invested money, energy and time into this team member, you may need to just invest a little bit more to help them turn the corner. Seriously, they may turn the corner, and you will be thrilled that you made the investment. Sometimes going the extra mile is exactly what a team member needs if they possess character and chemistry.

More tomorrow!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend Update

1. Case is having a hard time sleeping at night. I felt really bad for my wife on Sunday morning. She told me she was up most of the night on Saturday night taking care of our newborn. My wife lets me sleep on Saturday nights so that I can be fresh to preach 4 times on Sunday.

2. We had great experiences on Sunday. Lives are being changed at PC!

3. Granted, last year on the same Sunday our attendance was down some because of heavy rain, but on Sunday, we were 50 percent bigger than last year's attendance, which is insane!

4. No more rain! We are building a new facility to tear up this city for Christ!

5. PC grew over the past three weeks while I was speaking on finances! I know God really helped people! Church, build your financial foundation on the ROCK and not on the sand so that when storms come your house will be able to stand!

6. We found out on Saturday night that my wife is pregnant with our 5th baby! JUST KIDDING! :)

7. I'm very pumped about adding our 5th experience beginning this Sunday night at 6PM! Get ready college & 20 somethings!

8. I'm speaking on vision this coming Sunday! I get totally jacked up and excited when I think about God's vision for PC! His vision is so much bigger than me!

9. Praying for you, church family, and for you, my faithful blog reader!

10. If there is anything that you would like me to blog about, email it to my assistant erin@peopleschurch.tv.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. Tiffany and I have been staying up later at night watching the Olympics.

2. The Olympic athletes are incredible. They have extreme dedication. Michael Phelps is a STUD!

3. My wife and I went on a date last night and took our newborn baby Case with us. My little boy ruined my romantic moments with my wife, but I still love him to pieces.

4. I'm really excited about our new college and 20 somethings experience beginning on August 24 at 6PM @ PC.

5. I have two fantasy football drafts next week. YEA! I'm excited for the season.

6. I'm praying for this rain to go away because we are in the middle of building our new facility.

7. I love watching some of the leaders at PC come into their own. Nothing excites me more than seeing my team succeed.

8. I'm very pumped up for this Sunday. God is really helping our church family navigate through the storms we are facing.

9. It’s going to be a fun day hanging out with my family. I'm going to really relax and unwind today.

10. I'm teaching a vision message on August 24. I love teaching on the vision of PC!

11. See you on Sunday!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

STOP BEGGING

Do Not Beg For The Dough

I'm a big believer that a pastor should not beg the church for money. It really bothers me when pastors use gimmicks, tricks, pressure and manipulation to get people to give. It's distasteful and doesn't help the cause of Christ. I am a huge believer in teaching God's people how to be good stewards. I believe it's a pastor's responsibility to teach the whole counsel of God's Word and that includes finances. I do not shy away from teaching PC about biblical stewardship. I do an entire series on stewardship every year. Greed, consumerism and not putting God first are destroying people's lives, and we must address it head on. But I will not beg people to give to the church, and you shouldn't either!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

STOP BEGGING pt. 2

Stop Begging People To Volunteer

There is nothing worse than a pastor begging like Keith Sweat. Some of you are saying, "Who in the world is Keith Sweat?" He was an R & B singer who was known for BEGGING! Pastors, we are not called to beg. We are called to cast a compelling vision. Begging people to volunteer in ministry never works (long-term). You may guilt trip someone into serving, but they won't be passionate about it because they signed up for all the wrong reasons. Their motivation was the fact that you begged and pleaded about a certain need in the church. If you brow beat, holler at, complain, nag and beg your congregation to volunteer, none of them will serve joyfully (long-term). It just doesn't work. We must teach God's people to have servants’ hearts. We have to help people see how their serving plays a huge roll in advancing the vision. We have to help them see how their serving is helping the church see more changed lives. Vision casting not begging is what causes people to volunteer! NO MORE KEITH SWEAT!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

STOP BEGGING

If a pastor is not careful, he can go from leading people to begging people. Over the six years of leading People's Church, I've learned that it's not good to beg. Begging only causes you more problems. QUIT BEGGING!

Stop Begging People Who Want To Leave Your Church To Stay

1. If somebody is not for the vision, then they are not for the vision. Quit trying to convince them, and help them find another place where they can support the vision.

2. If someone is always complaining about the direction of the church, stop spending all of your time, energy and prayers pleading and begging two or three people to get it, and lead the rest. Don't let two or three people get you off track.

3. If someone tells you that they will leave the church or pull their support if you don't do what they want, lovingly and quickly show them the door. Don't you dare beg someone to stay just because they have influence. If they are trying to hijack the vision, they do not need to be on board the ship!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekend Update

1. It was a great Sunday at PC!

2. Tons of people gave their hearts to Christ, and I'm teaching a series on money. God desires for people to come to Christ no matter what the teaching series is about.

3. The Perfect Storm series is going great. Our society is experiencing a financial storm, and we are teaching our church how to be prepared and how to navigate through the storm (high gas prices, unstable housing market, rising food costs and a lackluster stock market).

4. We were 25 to 30 percent larger in attendance than the same weekend last year, and it was a great Sunday for us last year. There is incredible excitement and momentum at PC!

5. My family ate take-home Ted's Escondido Mexican food on Saturday and then leftovers on Sunday. It was some good stuff!

6. I put 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym on Friday and Saturday. I'm glad I did after eating all the Mexican food.

7. I know many pastors hate teaching on finances, but I really enjoy it. I love seeing people experiencing financial freedom. I know one gentleman at PC who paid off his credit cards last year because of last year’s teaching on stewardship. It pumps me up watching people apply biblical principles to their finances. THEY REALLY DO WORK!

8. I am enjoying watching the Olympics. Michael Phelps is a swimming machine!

9. I was sure glad the construction crew added an extra 135 new parking spaces last week. Parking has been an issue at PC since day one. Church family, you no longer have to park in the gravel :)! Don't get too excited because when we move into our new 42,000 square foot addition God is going to blow the roof off this place, and we may need you in the gravel again. You folks are awesome to pastor!

10. Monday is going to be as great as you make it. So make it a great Monday!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. Brett Favre traded to the Jets! WHAT were the Packers thinking! HELLO!

2. I think Oklahoma City's new NBA team name will be Thunder.

3. I will be having several drafts for my fantasy football leagues. Yes, that's right, I play in several leagues. Love it!

4. We are going on a family date today!

5. Today is my off day. YEA!

6. Tonight at 7 PM is the married couple's connect at the church. Don't miss out on meeting some other couples at PC!

7. The construction crew was working like CRAZY on our new 42,000 square foot facility. They will have drilled 90 piers this week.

8. The foundation will be poured soon and right after that the steel will be coming up. More lives will be changed forever!

9. On Sunday, I will be continuing our series called The Perfect Storm. Don't you dare miss this teaching. God is going to help us navigate the storms!

10. Tiffany is catching up on sleep this morning, and I'm watching the kiddos!

11. God is good, and life is awesome! Make it a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Preaching Is The Easy Part pt. 3

The Leadership Intensity

If you would have talked to me about the importance of leadership in the local church fifteen years ago, I would have said that it's not that big of a deal. I probably would have said, “Who cares about having good leadership, the key to an effective ministry is prayer, fasting, integrity, studying and preaching.” Although the list I just mentioned are the most important things for a ministry to be effective, there is a leadership side that is also required.

1. Leading a church

2. Leading people spiritually

3. Leading by example

4. Hiring staff

5. Letting go of staff

6. Developing staff

7. Recruiting and developing volunteers

8. Handling conflict

9. Making tough decisions

10. Taking calculated risks

11. Growing yourself

12. Dealing with difficult people

13. Criticism

14. Having vision for the future

Leadership is a vital part of what I do. I'm absolutely thrilled that God has called me to be a servant leader, but there are times the leadership is so intense that I feel like preaching is the easy part!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Preaching Is The Easy Part pt. 2

"The Business Side"

Most seminaries and universities that train men and woman for full-time ministry have classes for homiletics, hermeneutics, Greek, Hebrew and preaching. You may walk away from your training knowing how to pray, study and preach, but the vast majority of these institutions never prepare the minister for "the business side" of ministry. They don't prepare you for accounts receivable, accounts payable, establishing budgets, payroll, workmen's comp, health & dental insurance, church insurance policies, tax laws, purchasing land, borrowing money, raising money, building buildings, maintaining buildings and the list goes on and on.

When I first said yes to the call of God on my life to preach the gospel, to win the lost and to disciple God's people, I had no idea that accomplishing God's call would require me to understand "the business side". If today's minister is going to be effective, he or she has to be able to do more than study, pray and preach. I thank God that he has wired me and gifted me to understand and run "the business side," but there are days that "the business side" is so intense that it makes me think preaching is the easy part. CAN I GET AN AMEN!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Preaching Is The Easy Part pt. 1

Studying for messages and preaching 4 times every Sunday is a grueling part of my job. I love it, but it requires hours and hours of my time and energy to be effective. It also can be very draining if I don't keep my batteries charged by staying close to God, getting adequate rest and by taking studying and speaking breaks. Though studying and preaching can be grueling, there are times I feel like it's the easy part of what I do. This week I want to talk to you about some things that make me sometimes feel like preaching is the easy part.

The Weight

If you are a senior pastor, you know exactly what I'm talking about. There is a weight, a load, that we carry as the senior leader of the church. I have several pastor friends who spent years being associate pastors at churches, and now they are the senior pastor of a church. ALL OF THEM SAY, I MEAN ALL OF THEM say, the biggest difference is the weight that they have to carry. They all say that they didn't have near the weight, pressure, stress and load when they were associates. None of them had any clue that there would be this weight that they would carry as the senior pastor. It's hard to put it into words but there are times the weight is so heavy that I feel like preaching is the easy part.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weekend Update

1. This was weekend number 2 with four kids, and I'm loving it! Kids are such a blessing!

2. We went on a family date on Friday. This was baby Case's first family date. The kids thought it was cool.

3. I began a new series yesterday called The Perfect Storm.

4. This series is designed to help people get through the financial storms that are happening in our society today. Think about the storms happening at the same time: gas prices are high, the housing market is unstable, the stock market is not performing well, food prices are on the rise and people are freaking out. What we are experiencing is what I have called The Perfect Storm! Please don't miss the next two Sundays. This teaching will help you navigate the financial storms of life.

5. I'm super pumped, and our church is super pumped about Ignite, the new college & 20 somethings experience beginning on August 24 @ 6PM.

6. My wife looks super hot after just having our fourth baby. She bounces back so quickly. What a trooper!

7. If you want to help us launch Ignite, be at our planning meeting on August 17 at People's Church @ 6PM.

8. Tons of people gave their hearts to Christ yesterday. LOVE IT!

9. Our worship team led us in the song ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus yesterday. I loved it! Our worship team can take an old hymn and make it sound so good!

10. Our new 42,000 square facility is moving right along. The construction crew was working on Saturday.

11. Have I mentioned that we needed more space yesterday? It's CRAZY that a church of our size only has 17,500 square foot. People who say that a church can't grow without tons of space don't know what they're talking about.

12. Although a lack of space can and will cap your growth, if you get creative you can still grow. Beginning August 24, we will have 5 Sunday experiences. The first four experiences only have 15 minutes in between the experiences. That's called getting creative and maximizing what God has already given us. You have to do what you have to do with what you have to do it with :)!!

12. Have a super Monday!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. This Sunday we are beginning a brand new series called The Perfect Storm. You can check out the 30 second promo video for this series below. Invite a friend or family to church this Sunday. JESUS CHANGES LIVES!

video

2. Beginning on Sunday our new experience times are 8:45AM, 10AM, 11:15AM & 12:30PM.

3. This week we began the NEW normal in the Cooper home. We now have four precious kiddos.

4. My wife is so graceful with four kids. She makes it look so easy. Tiffany, you are a great mom to our kids and a super wife to me. I LOVE YOU!

5. My friend and one of the key mentors who speaks into my life just released his fourth book called "IT". Craig Groeschel is one of the best leaders on the planet and is just a down right super great guy. You can order the book here.

6. On August 31, we are beginning a series called Roommates, Bad Dates & Great Mates. Going to be a HOT, HOT, I mean RED HOT SERIES!

7. Ignite, the new college & 20 somethings experience is beginning on August 24 @ 6 PM @ People's Church! GET READY FOLKS!

8. Somebody's life is going to be changed forever this Sunday, and I'm excited about it.

9. I love what I get to do! Sometimes, I can't believe that I'm living my dream. I absolutely love my calling to pastor and teach God's Word!