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Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday's Download

1. The weather was gorgeous this week!

2. Our new 44,000 square foot addition is almost all the way enclosed.

3. The construction crews are working really hard. Great job Josh on pushing the crews. You're awesome!

4. This Sunday, we are kicking off The Miraculous. God is going to do what only he can do, The IMPOSSIBLE!

5. Invite a friend, co-worker, student, neighbor or family member to join you this Sunday! God is going to do some cool stuff.

6. I'm really excited to watch Texas Tech beat Texas on Saturday.

7. My dad, mom, brother and sister live in Nebraska, so I want my Oklahoma Sooners to kill Nebraska. If they don't, my father-in-law will talk trash starting Saturday and all through the holidays. Go Sooners!

8. My fantasy teams didn't go 5-1 as I predicted on Monday's blog. Someone had Dallas Clark - the dude hadn't caught a touchdown pass all year long but caught two on Monday night football, and I lost. So I went 4-2. I only have one undefeated team.

9. I had coffee with Justin Graves, our former Student Ministries Director. He started a church in Tulsa, OK and we caught up and talked church planting stuff. I really enjoy talking to church planters.

10. I'm looking forward to a laid back day at the Cooper house.

11. Don't miss Sunday, and INVITE somebody to join you!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Want A Racially Diverse Church

Church leaders ask me frequently about how to have a racially diverse church. In 2009, I have been invited to a conference to speak on this very issue. It is a passion of mine. Here are some things that I have discovered:

1. In your prayer time, let God burn a deep desire for diversity.

2. Develop a hate for what God hates: DISUNITY, RACISM, DIVISION!

3. Don't tolerate racism and division. If you do, it will become the norm, and you'll start to justify it and actually think it's ok.

4. Put together a racially diverse Leadership Team.

5. Put together a racially diverse worship and platform team. People want to see themselves represented on the stage and leadership.

More on Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It Bothers Me When

1. People drive in the fast lane and go slow. I know that I need more patience.

2. People don't run a yellow light so that I can run it too.

3. People use the express lane for 20 items or less, and they have 50 items. I guess they can't count. Pray for me!

4. People who aren't paying attention when the light turns green, and they just sit there until the light turns red.

5. People pour my drink and touch my glass with the pitcher. That's just nasty, especially in a restaurant!

6. People double dip. That's super nasty!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lynn Wheeler

I had Lynn Wheeler speak at People's Church last Sunday. He did a great job. If you are a pastor and need a good speaker to fill in for you, check out Lynn's ministry. He is a full-time traveling speaker. Here are the top ten reasons why I recommend Lynn's ministry www.lynnwheelerministries.com.

1. He is a very good friend of mine.

2. I have known Lynn for years, and he is a great man of God.

3. I sit on Lynn's board, and he runs his ministry with great integrity.

4. Lynn has a heart to serve the church and pastor he is working with.

5. Lynn is flexible. He will work extra hard to fit into your church culture and expectations. If you preach in series, he will tailor a message to fit into your current series.

6. He is a funny speaker.

7. He applies the message to people's everyday lives.

8. He is fun to hang out with behind the scenes. There is nothing like having a guest speaker who is a dead head.

9. You need to have another voice speaking to your church. It really does help, and it's biblical.

10. You need a break. You can't keep speaking 48 to 52 times a year and stay fresh. Take a break and bring in a speaker who can keep the momentum rolling.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Highlights

1. I was tired yesterday.

2. While I was preaching in the fourth experience, I had to really work hard to stay focused.

3. People gave their hearts to Christ and that never gets old!

4. My wife made beans and Jiffy cornbread for dinner on Saturday. I ate leftovers for lunch on Sunday!

5. My Oklahoma Sooners won on Saturday, but our defense doesn't look good.

6. The Oklahoma State Cowboys looked really good against Texas. They are the real deal.

7. Texas is for sure the real deal.

8. The Dallas Cowboys look horrible, but at least they won. The defense did look better.

9. One of my two undefeated fantasy football teams lost. Looks like my teams are going to go 5-1 for the week.

10. My kids went to an animal costume party on Saturday. They all looked adorable.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday's Download

1. My wife and I went on a date last night. We went to an Italian restaurant and then to a bookstore and drank coffee and tea and talked.

2. Tiffany and I are both excited for the holiday season.

3. My fantasy teams’ records are 7-0, 7-0, 6-1, 5-2, 5-2, 2-4-1. I am still in the playoff hunt in the league that I have a losing record in.

4. My Oklahoma Sooners play Kansas State on Saturday, and they should win by three touchdowns.

5. I'm really excited to watch Oklahoma State play Texas. I'm pulling for O-State all the way.

6. The Big 12 is stacked this year.

7. Our new 44,000 square foot addition is flying up. I am so pumped to move into this new facility.

8. It's all about LIFE CHANGE!

9. This Sunday, I'm concluding our series Just Ask with a message titled Lord, Protect Me.

10. We are beginning a new series on November 2nd titled The Miraculous. God is going to do some awesome miracles in the lives of people.

11. We are going to spend time praying and fasting as a church for The Miraculous series. I know God is going to do some great things through this series.

12. PC be sure to pray “Lord, bless me indeed, enlarge my territory and let your hand be with me!” Wow, what a prayer!

13. Today is my off day, and I'm going to spend some quality time with my family.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Greatest Return

Where do you bring the greatest return? That's a great question every human being needs to ask. If a person is great with numbers, why would they spend a great deal of their time doing creative stuff? If someone is a gifted writer, why would they spend a lot of their time crunching numbers and balancing the books? If a person is a star at building teams, why would they spend all of their time working on a website? If someone is a great public speaker, why would they spend most of their time doing administrative work? That just doesn't make sense! You have to find your sweet spot. You have to work where you can get the greatest return on your talents. You may be getting a return on what you are currently doing, but the real question is, are you getting the greatest return?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cooper Kids’ Sayings

1. Cale, my four year old says, “When you're four, you will like it,” and “When you're four, you will be able to do it.” Cale thinks that being four years old cures all of life’s problems.

2. Cade, my three year old says, “Noboby” (nobody). “Noboby can go anywhere.” “Noboby can leave.”

3. Caris, my two year old says, “Don't do that to me.” She also says, “Don't say that.” She is already a bossy girl.

4. Case, my three month old says…well, he just cries. :)

I love my kids. Being a dad is awesome!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Front

1. I adore my four kids.

2. I am learning so much by being a dad.

3. God is teaching me patience. I'm really working on being more patient with my kids.

4. Cale, my oldest son, turns 5 years old in December. Man, how time flies!

5. Having kids has brought my wife and me even closer.

6. It's amazing how having kids together has brought an even stronger bond to our marriage.

7. My wife is the sweetest person I know. Seriously, she is just so nice and gentle with everybody.

8. Watching my wife spend everyday with our four kids is amazing. She handles four kids under the age of four with such grace.

9. I am really looking forward to the holidays together as a family.

10. The holidays are my favorite time of year. Lots of food and great family times.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend Highlights

1. We had a great Sunday at PC!

2. Many people gave their hearts to Christ, and Christ-followers were challenged and changed.

3. I had a good friend of mine preach yesterday. He did a great job.

4. We were almost 30 percent bigger in attendance than the same Sunday last year!

5. Our kids’ attendance is amazing considering our limited kids’ space. Thanks, parents, for your patience as we add on our new space, which will give us tons of kids’ space.

6. I'm pumped too that we will be able to minister to many more kids with even more excellence with this expansion.

7. My Oklahoma Sooners won a big game against Kansas!

8. I think the Missouri Tigers were overrated. They got smashed by Texas.

9. I still have two undefeated fantasy teams. 7-0 baby! YEA!

10. The Dallas Cowboys look horrible!

11. God is good, and have a SUPER Monday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday's Download

1. Check out the picture of our new 44,000 square foot facility! It's coming up quickly!

2. Thanks PC for your faithfulness to give generously above your tithe to the CRAZY Campaign. You all are awesome!

3. My wife's parents came to our home for a couple of nights. Cale's school had grandparents come in, and they came down from Nebraska to be with Cale for this special event.

4. Tiffany's parents are pastors and sold out Christ-followers. They are wonderful role models. I love her parents like my own.

5. I took my kids to Chuck-E-Cheese this week. They love that place.

6. I have such a great team around me. They are so excited and committed to the vision of PC. I love my team.

7. Our Executive Team made a critical decision this week about the structure of PC that will propel us into the preferred future that God has for us. We are so excited to reach thousands of people with the good news of Christ.

8. I am so full of vision for PC. I love what God is doing in me.

9. PC, invite someone who doesn't go to church to attend PC with you on Sunday. People are searching for answers and hope because of everything going on in our nation. I am praying that those you invite will have a life-changing encounter with Christ.

10. Jesus changes lives! See you on Sunday!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Little Things Make Life Special

1. The drive time in the car when I take my oldest son to school. We have great conversations.

2. Whenever I am able to pick up my son from school and hear all of his stories.

3. The drive home from work to come home to my family is the best part of the day.

4. Eating dinner around the table with my family.

5. Laughing with those that I work with.

6. Tiffany and I watching our favorite TV shows after we put the kids to bed.

7. Friday night movie night with my wife. We rent one and chill out.

8. Reading books to my kids.

9. Listening to my kids pray for their family and friends at bedtime.

10. Every day when my kids say, “I love you daddy!” WOW!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Being Honest

One of the most freeing things as a leader is being honest with who you are and who you are not. I look at some of the great leaders today, and I respect them and learn from them, but I realize that I will never be them. Over the years, I've become more comfortable with how God has wired me. I'm unique. There is not another Herbert Cooper Jr. on the planet. I want to encourage you not to let…

1. Competition

2. Insecurity

3. The opinions of people

4. Your momma lying to you and telling you that you are good at everything

…stop you from being who God has called you to be. You are unique! God has an assignment just for you! The quicker you embrace who you are the more fruitful you will be.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Next Level

Lately, I've been asking myself this question: What are you willing to do to go to the next level? It's a very thought provoking and challenging question. I have a burning desire to reach more people for Christ. I have a burning desire to maximize my potential. I have a burning desire to come to the end of my life and hear well done my good and faithful servant. Because these are burning desires and not just a wish list, I've decided:

1. To add on an additional 44,000 square foot facility when PC could play it safe.

2. To take a hard look at restructuring our staff and organization for the next level of growth.

3. To challenge the process when it comes to some things that we've been doing for six years.

4. To let go of some things that took us to where we are today but won't take us to where we are headed.

What are you willing to do to go to the next level?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Highlights & Low Points

1. My OU Sooners lost. I was bummed out.

2. The Dallas Cowboys lost. The lows were not too low. It's just sports!

3. Church was great! I love what God is doing in our church.

4. People gave their hearts to Christ on Sunday.

5. People are hungry for truth.

6. Our kids’ area is jam-packed full of kids.

7. My wife made fried pork chops on Saturday. We don't eat much fried food, so this was a real treat. They were super good!

8. We took the kids to get ice cream on Sunday evening.

9. I asked PC this question on Sunday. What would you do if God blessed you every month with an extra $1000 of income?

10. You need to JUST ASK God to bless you indeed and to enlarge your territory!

11. The song Glorify Your Name was kickin' yesterday!

12. The Oklahoma State Cowboys won a big game. Congrats to OSU!

13. This coming up Sunday's message title is Lord, Be With Me!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday's Download

1. My Oklahoma Sooners play the texas longhorns. I didn't capitalize the other team for a reason :). GO SOONERS!

2. Oklahoma State plays Missouri. This is another huge Big 12 game, and both are ranked in the top 25.

3. My fantasy teams’ records are 5-0, 5-0, 4-1, 4-1, 3-2 and 2-3. I was 0-3 in the last league and have won 2 in a row.

4. I'm thinking about writing a book. I'm just thinking about it! :)

5. My kids are growing like crazy. Cale, my oldest, is doing really well in school. I'm proud of him.

6. I love the fall. The weather has been great!

7. The steel on our 44,000 square foot addition is FLYING up! We need more space desperately, and it's so exciting watching it happen right before my eyes.

8. The economy is a mess. I'm very grateful I serve a loving and providing God.

9. With all of the economy junk happening, it's a great time to minister to our un-churched friends and family. I want to encourage you to reach out like never before. People are looking for answers and hope, and we know where to point them!

10. This Sunday, I am speaking a very hopeful message titled Lord, Open Doors. Invite your friends and family to experience real life through Christ.

11. I went on a hot date with my wife last night. I love her to pieces. She is such a godly woman. She is also super fine!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hindrances To Growth pt. 3

I Had To Embrace Growing As A Leader (And Still Have To).

I'm going to list some of the ways that I have grown as a leader.

1. When I started PC, I thought I knew what I was doing (most of the church planters I meet do). Boy was I wrong! I quickly found other pastors who could pour into my life.

2. When I met with other pastors, read books or listened to CD's, I quickly implemented what I learned. I STILL DO THIS!

3. I learned to welcome constructive criticism. I've become much more broken by planting this church. Being a full-time evangelist/traveling speaker puffed my head up. Being a full-time church planter/pastor beat me down to size.

4. I've gotten better at overcoming many of my insecurities. The key word is better. I'm not there yet! Some of my insecurities are; thinking I know more than I do, wanting to be liked, wanting to be understood, wanting to feel valued, wanting control.

5. I've become better at empowering leaders. I have learned, and am still learning, the value of equipping and releasing our staff and key volunteers to do what they do best. Being a control freak will stifle a church with the quickness!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hindrances To Growth pt. 2

I Had To Learn To Embrace Change (And Still Have To). I'm going to list some past changes that I had to embrace and some current/recent changes that we are making.

1. We had to add services.

2. We had to move theaters (when we were renting space in a movie theater).

3. We had to add or change staff members.

4. We had to stop doing stuff that took us to one level but wouldn't get us to the next level.

5. I had to change my speaking style from being an evangelist to being a pastor.

Recent or current changes that we are making:

1. We are changing things about our worship.

2. We changed the order of our service.

3. We are building an additional 44,000 square foot facility.

4. We are leading leaders. I am evaluating which of our staff members can do this successfully.

5. We are working hard to plan and structure our church for 4000 to 5000 people.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hindrances To Growth

It should be every pastors’ and Christ-followers’ desire to see their church grow. If we really believe that there is an eternity and people will spend forever either in heaven or hell, we should have a burning desire to see our churches grow. We need to see our churches full of people who don't know Christ. I want to share some hindrances that I've had to overcome to see our church grow.

I Had To Allow God To Put A Burning Desire In My Heart For The Lost. I started People's Church with the intention of reaching people who are far from God. In the early days, there were several things that began to taint that desire to reach the un-churched. Some of those things were religious people, church people with good intentions, the financial struggles of a brand new church, a lack of confidence and even my own insecurities. There wasn't one defining moment where I overcame all of these hindrances. The way that God worked in me was through a series of decisions to follow the burning desire that was in my heart rather than the pull that was on my flesh. I'm sure glad I followed the Holy Spirit!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend Highlights

1. I had a great weekend hanging out with my family and relaxing around the house.

2. On Friday, my off day, I even took a nap on the couch. I never sleep in the day time so this was awesome!

3. I felt like the message went really well on Sunday. I really believe this entire series is going to help so many people!

4. If you missed Sunday, I want to really encourage you to listen to the message online at www.peopleschurch.tv. I taught about how to have the blessing of God upon your life during troubling and difficult seasons. In my opinion, this is a difficult season for America. This message is a must hear sermon.

5. I never want to take for granted that people give their hearts to Christ every single Sunday. It's truly a God thing. I'm blown away!

6. Our people were stoked up to see the steel going up on our new facility!

7. On Sunday night, we announced to the IGNITE crowd that our next IGNITE college and 20 somethings experience will be November 2. There will be no IGNITE experience for the next three weeks, but there will be Community Groups and IGNITE fellowship gatherings for college and 20 somethings. GET CONNECTED!

8. We are making a big push to get as many people connected in a Community Group as possible over the next four weeks. Church family, go check out a group. It really will make a huge difference in your life. I love attending my Community Group every week. I am a better man of God, husband and father because of my Community Group.

9. I left the church building on Sunday thinking I'm so excited about the future of PC! We have some awesome days ahead of us.

10. We were over 20 percent bigger this Sunday than the same Sunday last year. Last year, we had good attendance, but God continues to bless us with CRAZY growth. Thank you God for changing lives!

11. This coming us Sunday the title is Lord, OPEN DOORS! Don't miss it for any thing!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Random Must Read Thoughts

1. Check out the picture below. Steel is going up on our new 44,000 square foot addition.

2. The construction crews are working super hard.

3. All 44,000 square foot of the slab has been poured!

4. The stage in the new building is massive. We designed the stage so that we can put cars and other large items on it. I love to use illustrations when I preach and this stage allows me to take it to the next level.

5. We are receiving a special CRAZY Campaign building offering this Sunday. Church family, be in prayer about what God wants you to give above your tithe to help us build this new facility! IT'S ALL ABOUT MORE LIFE CHANGE!

6. Great weather!

7. It's all about building THE Kingdom not YOUR kingdom!

8. I'm totally pumped up about our new series beginning this Sunday called Just Ask! The title of the message is Lord, Bless Me. This is going to be such a relevant message and series. Many Americans are either going through a difficult time or are fearful about the future, and we need to know how to have God's blessings upon our lives!

9. Sunday is going to be super exciting!

10. Today is my day off, and I'm excited to relax!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Preaching For Life Change pt. 3

The only way that any preacher is going to see life change is by preaching under the anointing. There is no substitute for the anointing. Preachers can be creative, funny and super great communicators, but without the anointing, there will not be any life change. The goal of every sermon should be to see people’s lives changed, so every preacher needs the anointing. Here are some keys to having and maintaining the anointing:

1. Prayer

2. Fasting

3. Meditating on God's Word

4. Holiness

5. Humility

6. Brokenness

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Preaching For Life Change pt. 2

Another thing that I've learned about effective preaching is that you have to know and apply the text. If you know the text and don't apply it to people’s lives, that is boring and not very effective preaching. If you preach a message that applies to people’s lives but is not founded in scripture, that is entertaining, but there won't be any life change. Effective preaching must have both. Here are some insights and questions I ask while preparing my messages:

1. Who wrote the text?

2. To whom was it written too?

3. What is the text addressing?

4. How does the text apply to today's society?

5. What are some examples or illustrations that will help bring the text to life?

6. What do I want people to take away from the text or message?