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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Thoughts

1. Is gluttony a sin during the holidays? Ok, I know it is. I will ask the Lord for forgiveness and do better

2. We are driving home this morning. I miss sleeping in my own bed.

3. We went to Tiffany's sister’s home last night for dinner. We had a feast.

4. The kids didn't go to bed until almost 11PM last night. I hope they are not too cranky on the drive home.

5. Hopefully the kids are so tired they sleep most of the trip.

6. Tiffany is really tired so she will probably sleep most of the trip. She usually sleeps anyway.

7. I will use the 6 1/2 hour drive to pray, think, brainstorm, listen to preaching and worship music. It will be a profitable time.

8. The real challenge this morning is getting all the Christmas presents in the vehicle. The grandparents spoil our kids.

9. My next blog post will be on Monday, January 5.

10. Happy New Year everybody!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Highlights

1. On the Monday of Christmas week, I wrapped up some work around the office.

2. On Tuesday, our family headed to Grand Island, Nebraska.

3. My wife's dad, mom, brother, sister and her husband and three kids live in Nebraska.

4. Christmas was an exciting day. It's so fun to watch the kids open their gifts.

5. Cale and Cade wanted a remote control car for Christmas, and they both got two or three.

6. Caris didn't request anything for Christmas, but she got tons of cool stuff. One thing her grandma got her was a little cooking stove.

7. All four kids slept in the same bedroom. My three oldest kids slept in the same bed together. They looked so cute while they were all sleeping. I could have watched them for hours while they slept.

8. Tiffany's grandparents from Minnesota drove to Nebraska the day after Christmas. Her grandfather is 83, and her grandmother is 77. We opened more gifts with her grandparents.

9. Tiffany's grandparents are devoted Christ-followers. My wife has a great Christian heritage. Tiffany's parents are pastors.

10. Every night, we played card games. We stayed up late every night and had lots of fun.

11. We ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate! I haven't weighed myself yet, but I'm sure I picked up five or so pounds.

12. My favorite food is cutout cookies.

13. I spent some time reflecting on 2008 and planning for 2009.

14. I also started reading the book Tribes and re-read some of the book called The Next Generation Leader.

15. I didn't check my email for four days in a row. That's really good for me!

16. I got some more clothes for Christmas.

17. We are driving home tomorrow. I need to get back home so that I can hit the gym hard!

18. Shelby Johnson, the Care Director at People's Church, preached yesterday on Jesus being the Wonderful Counselor.

19. My family went to my father-in-law’s church. He preached on honor. It was a very good service.

20. What's up with the Dallas Cowboys? Give me a break! They need to learn to play football in December!

21. I hope all of my blogging family had a wonderful time with your families during the Christmas season!

22. 2009 is going to be an off-the-charts year! ARE YOU READY FOR GOD TO DO SOMETHING BIG???

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekend Highlights

1. I can't believe Christmas is only a few days away! Wow, how time flies!

2. My wife and I celebrated 11 years of marriage on Saturday. We actually celebrated on Thursday and Friday, but it was official on Saturday. It's been a phenomenal 11 years!

3. We had great services yesterday!

4. We served communion in all four experiences. It was a holy moment!

5. We baptized many people yesterday.

6. We dedicated many babies yesterday.

7. The O, Holy Night song along with the video was powerful. I thought we stole that idea from another church, but I was informed that our Creative Team came up with the idea. Way to go team!

8. I preached a very short message about Jesus being our Mighty God! Nothing is impossible with our God!

9. The staff Leadership Team came over to our home for a Christmas party. I always enjoy hanging with our team.

10. Thanks, church family, for all of the Christmas cards and gifts. My family appreciates all of your love!

11. Our church is giving in a generous way during the CRAZY Challenge! I can't wait for the month to wrap up so that I can report to you the miracles that God did! One more week left! Pray and give like CRAZY!

12. During every experience, those who had needs came down for prayer, and we had our Prayer Team and some of our staff pray for the MIGHTY God to minister to our church family. This was another holy moment.

13. We need your help, church family. Beginning January 4th, we need as many of you as possible to switch experiences for three months. If you attend the 10AM or 11:15AM experience, would you please commit for three months to attend the 8:45AM or the 12:30PM experience. Every January, we always see great growth and lots of life change, and we need to free up seats for those seeking a relationship with Christ. Thank you for your passion to reach MORE people!

14. After three months, we should be moving into our new facility! GO GOD!

15. For the first time in a long time, I didn't win a fantasy football championship. I made it to the finals in one league and lost. I lost by six points, and all I have to say is Kurt Warner!!

16. Merry Christmas, everybody!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday's Download

1. My wife and I are celebrating eleven years of marriage tomorrow. It's been an incredible eleven years. All I can say is my wife is so precious to me. Outside of Christ, she is the best thing that's ever happened to me. She is my best friend, lover, buddy, pal, mother of my four kids, soul mate and the list could go on and on. LOVE YOU, SWEETIE!

2. Tonight, the Leadership Staff is coming to my house for a Christmas party. I love and enjoy the people I get to do ministry with.

3. On Sunday, we are having a SPECIAL Christmas service. Christmas songs, communion, baby dedications, praying for miracles and I will be preaching a message called Mighty God! Invite your friends and family, and let's celebrate the birth of our Savior together!

4. We celebrated our family Christmas on Wednesday night. It was so much fun watching the kids open their gifts.

5. We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my family and Tiffany's family during this Christmas season.

6. On Sunday, the Worship Team is doing something cool during the song Oh, Holy Night. I can't wait to experience it!

7. This Sunday, we are receiving a special CRAZY Campaign offering for our new 44,000 square foot addition. God is going to do a miracle in your life and in our church, as we are faithful to pray and be obedient to what God is speaking to our hearts. I'm PUMPED!

8. 2009 is going to be an off-the-charts year for PC! We could see thousands of people come to Christ, see thousands of lives changed and see our church double in size. Hold on to your seats, folks, God has some wonderful things in store for PC!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I think it's very healthy to take time to reflect. At the end of every year, I spend time reflecting over the past year. This helps to be thankful for all God has done, and it helps me to know what changes I need to make for the upcoming year. I evaluate my relationship with God, my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my kids, my work, my health, my financial stewardship and my friendships. I want to know if I have accomplished the goals that I established at the beginning of the year. If I didn't accomplish the goals, I try to figure out why I fell short. Reflection is so good for me!

Setting Goals:

I am a big goal setter and calendar planner. At the end of every year, I plan out the important things in my life. I've learned that, if I don't tell my time and life where to go, I will wonder where it went. I have already:

1. Established a 2009 financial budget with my wife. We live by a budget. Money is like time, if I don't tell my money where to go, I will wonder where it went.

2. Set a giving budget for 2009. Tiffany and I believe strongly in giving aggressively above the Lord's tithe.

3. Scheduled my date nights with my wife for 2009. LOVE THOSE NIGHTS!

4. Scheduled out 90 percent of my sermon series for 2009. This can change depending on what God is speaking to my heart during different seasons.

5. Scheduled out our family’s 2009 vacation dates.

6. Scheduled off Sundays that I will not be speaking at People's Church. I've learned that ministry is not a sprint, it's a marathon.

7. Scheduled out several overnight trips with my wife. We leave the kids with a babysitter and spend a night in a hotel together.

8. I'm working on scheduling out my fasting schedule. Fasting does wonders for my walk with Christ.

9. I also have my 2009 haircut appointments already scheduled. PRAY FOR ME! My life is too regimented!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Herbert Is Insecure

There are a lot of people who say that a leader can't be successful and insecure at the same time. I disagree! One of the greatest leaders in history was very insecure. His name was Moses. Moses was so insecure that he argued with God and told GOD that he could not deliver Israel from Egypt. Moses even told the one who created him that he could not speak very well, so God had to send Aaron to speak for Moses. Moses was an insecure dude! Herbert Lee Cooper, Jr. can relate to Moses’ insecurities!

Granted, there are some insecurities that will kill you as a leader, but I think we all have our insecurities. The Lord has helped me to overcome some of my insecurities, but I still have a long way to go. If you are struggling with some insecurity issues, don't feel like you are all alone. You are in good company!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Herbert Is Really Shy

Okay, that is not an accurate statement, but yesterday, I took a personality test. Some of our staff and board members were surprised by the results. The test revealed that I am equally both an extravert and an introvert. Though the text says I am equally both, I am more of an introvert. As I stated earlier, some people were surprised that I am an introvert because I do have an outgoing personality. What many people don't know about me is though I deeply love, care about and am very good with people, I am not energized by them. I am energized by being alone, being with my family and being around very close friends. If I had to choose between being with a group of people or being by myself, I would choose being by myself. If I had to choose between getting to know a stranger or keeping to myself, I would choose keeping to myself. I guess you can say that I'm weird because I am an introvert with an outgoing personality.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Update

1. We had a great Volunteer Banquet on Friday night. We ate well, had great fellowship and celebrated and honored all of the volunteers of PC. All I can say is you all are wonderful! You are awesome! Thanks for serving and for making a huge impact in the lives of people.

2. We had a good turn out at the CRAZY Prayer Meeting. I didn't know if people would show because the weather turned cold quickly. The people of PC showed up and were excited to pray. It was a special time.

3. My voice did much better yesterday. I did not have any problems at all. Thank you, Jesus!

4. Sam Bradford, from my Oklahoma Sooners, won the Heisman trophy on Saturday night. BOOMER SOONER!

5. I'm pulling for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team to win their third game really soon. We lost two games this weekend. I'm a fan, and we need another win.

6. I preached about how Jesus is our Everlasting Father.

7. The Worship Team sang the old song Draw Me Close yesterday. It brought back some great college worship memories.

8. This was a busy weekend with the CRAZY Volunteer Banquet, preaching four times, the CRAZY Prayer Meeting and then the CRAZY Involvement Meeting.

9. When our people were walking through the new 44,000 square foot building on Sunday night, they were shocked at how huge it is. An 1800 seat auditorium with high ceilings looks gigantic. Plus, the lobby space is gigantic as well.

10. We are going to double and even triple in attendance with this new facility. I'm excited to see thousands of lives transformed by the power of Christ through this new tool.

11. The CRAZY CHALLENGE is ON! We are praying and expecting $100,000 to be given to the CRAZY Campaign during the month of December. This coming up Sunday we are receiving a special CRAZY offering.

12. Thanks again for praying for the CRAZY matching fund. When we as a church give $40,000 during December, it will become $80,000. God is going to do some cool things at PC this month! GO, GOD!

13. I can't believe there is only one more weekend left until Christmas.

14. There are a lot of things on my mind, but you are probably tired of reading. So, I'll stop now. Have a great Monday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday's Download

1. It was a tough week for me. There are times as a pastor you have to navigate through things that aren't fun.

2. Cale, my five-year-old son, had a school concert last night. Tiffany and I had fun watching my precious boy sing on the stage with the other kids.

3. I'm excited to preach this Sunday on Christ being our Everlasting Father. I was ministered to this week while I was studying the message.

4. I'm really pumped to see all that God is going to do at PC during the CRAZY Challenge month.

5. Thanks for praying for the $40,000 matching fund. God is going to do great things through all of us at PC!

6. Don't forget that on Sunday at 5PM we will be having an ALL Church Prayer Meeting in the new facility. This is going to be a very special time. We are going to be writing the names of people we want to come to Christ on the walls of the new building. It’s going to be a special, special time.

7. At 6PM on Sunday, we will be having our CRAZY Involvement Meeting. If you are new to PC or just want to know more about the new 44,000 square foot facility or the CRAZY Campaign, don't miss this vision-casting meeting.

8. Tonight is the CRAZY Volunteer Banquet. I look forward to hanging out with all of the incredible volunteers at PC! YOU ALL REALLY ARE INCREDIBLE! THANKS for ALL you do!

9. Fantasy football playoffs are in full effect this Sunday. I'm looking for a win in all 6 leagues.

10. The President of the university where I graduated from college called me this week. Dr. Robert Spence invited me back to Evangel University to speak at the Spiritual Emphasis Week in the fall of 2010. Of course, I told my President, “Yes.”

11. This is the second time in 2 years that I will have spoken at Evangel's Spiritual Emphasis Week. Dr. Spence has had a huge impact upon my life and ministry. Dr. Spence, I doubt that you read my blog, but if you do, I want you to know that you are one of my heroes!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Spiritual When I...pt 2

9. Serve and care for the people I work with.

10. Take time to encourage, value and appreciate my friends.

11. Talk positively about somebody that I don't like.

12. Rejoice with another pastor whose church is doing better than PC.

13. Help another pastor whose church is not doing very well.

14. Do something nice for someone.

15. Listen to the advice and counsel of my spiritual leaders.

16. Am more focused on THE church and not People's Church.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Spiritual When I...

1. Take time to play with my kids.

2. Want to watch TV but read books to my kids.

3. Listen, I mean really listen, to my wife.

4. Romance my wife.

5. Take my day off and spend it with my family even though I have ton of stuff to get done.

6. Take a Sunday off from preaching.

7. Tell my wife I love her every day.

8. Eat dinner with my family around the dinning room table.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Above Or Below pt. 4

Here are some more things that I consider before hiring above or below:

4. I always want to do what's best for the staff member and what's best for the church. It's not fair to a staff member or to the church to keep a staff member in a position that they can't succeed and thrive in.

5. I love being friends with the people I work with. I love the fact that our staff can laugh with each other, goof off together, make fun of each other and just flat out have a blast together. One of the challenges with being friends with your staff, can be letting the friendship with a staff member stop you from hiring above them even when you know it's necessary. I thoroughly enjoy being friends with our staff, but I always strive to do what's best for the staff member and what's best for the church no matter how deep the friendship.

6. As a spiritual leader, I always strive to handle each person with love and compassion. I truly love the people I work with and want the best for their life, families and ministry.

Closing thoughts: In most cases what got you where you are, won't take you where you're going. Either your team will grow and develop, and you will hire below them, or the church will out grow their level of leadership and you will have to make the tough call and hire above them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend Highlights

1. My Sooners smashed the Missouri Tigers. They are the Big 12 champs! Boomer Sooner!

2. The Oklahoma Sooners are playing in the National Championship game against the Florida Gators on January 8, 2009. This ought to be a great game.

3. My voice really struggled yesterday. I haven't struggled that bad in a while. Maybe it's because I haven't spoke in two weeks. One person told me that there was something in the air. I'm not sure what the deal was, but I thought I was going to lose my voice.

4. I made a huge announcement to our church yesterday. I will tell you what it was before the end of this post.

5. The December CRAZY Challenge is in full affect. During the month of December, our church has set a goal to give $100,000, over and above the Lord's tithe, to the CRAZY Building Campaign. We will be moving into our new 44,000 square foot addition very soon.

6. Tiffany and I are really excited about giving sacrificially to the CRAZY Campaign during the CRAZY Challenge. We count it a joy to give to the Lord's work.

7. There were many people that gave their hearts to Christ yesterday.

8. I preached about Jesus being the Prince of Peace. I know God did a great work in the hearts of people.

9. I only had one playoff game yesterday, and I won it. I had a bye in 4 of my leagues. In my last league, this was the final week of the regular season, and I won the game. I have 6 playoff games next week.

10. On Friday night, my family went to a drive-thru outdoor play at a Boys’ Ranch. The kids loved seeing the animals.

11. Here comes the BIG NEWS! One of our CRAZY church attenders, who is CRAZY about the vision of People's Church, has set up a $40,000 matching fund. For every dollar our church people give in the month of December, this CRAZY attendee will match it dollar for dollar up to $40,000. As soon as our church gives $40,000, it will become $80,000! Can you shout AWESOME!

12. Blogging family, please pray for this CRAZY Challenge. I know God is going to do some incredible miracles during the month of December. God is so good!

13. Friday, December 12, is our CRAZY Volunteer Banquet. All People's Church volunteers, don't miss this night of celebration as we honor you for your faithfulness to serve. We will be eating a free Johnny Carino's meal and having a blast. For more details, check the home page of our website http://www.peopleschurch.tv/. To RSVP, email erin@peopleschurch.tv RIGHT NOW!

14. Teenagers, don't miss our Wednesday night youth experience at People's Church. The series is called 'Tis The Season. It's going to rock your world!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday's Download

1. We had a long and productive staff meeting this week. I did some interactive teaching on how leaders are not self-made. There was some great discussion on the subject. I really believe this meeting was a turning point for many of our staff members.

2. One of our staff members told me a light went on in their head after a conversation. There is nothing like those moments when something just clicks.

3. I had a tough time studying this week. The Lord really gave me a message that I believe is going to minister to PC, but it was a struggle all the way.

4. I am excited about what God is doing in my heart. My relationship with God is going to a new level.

5. They are framing the inside of our new 44,000 square foot addition. It's amazing how the building looks so much bigger when the framing is going up. I'll try to remember to put a picture of the inside of the building on the blog next week.

6. Tiffany and I went on a date last night. It’s always fun to hang out with my bride.

7. Cale, my oldest son, turned five on Wednesday. It's hard to believe that he is already five.

8. This Sunday, I am speaking on peace. I really want to encourage you to BRING (not invite) somebody to church with you on Sunday. So many people are searching for peace, and I'm going to shed some light on how to receive peace from God's Word.

9. I have a HUGE announcement to make.

10. I mean this is a HUGE announcement.

11. Do you want to know what the BIG news is? The announcement is.......

12. You had better be at church on Sunday! This BIG news will blow you away!

13. See you on Sunday!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Above Or Below pt. 3

Here are some things that I consider before hiring above or below:

1. If you hire below a person, can they take the ministry to the next level or only lead well at the current level? One of my mentors helped me process this. You can't make decisions about staff based on where the church is today, you have to make decisions based on where you are headed.

2. The key to effectively hiring above or below a person is constant communication. Our Executive Pastor and I try our best to communicate frequently to the staff about where they are in their leadership development. We never want anyone to be blind-sided by how we view their leadership. At People's Church, we are brutally honest with one another. We let the staff know if we are concerned about their leadership. We want them to know if they are or are not meeting expectations.

3. Before we hire above a staff member, we make sure that we have done our best to develop them. We constantly tell our staff that we believe in them. The reason we tell them this is because we really do believe in their potential, and we want to do everything we can to develop and draw out the potential that's inside of them. Here are some things we do to develop our staff: We give our team books, listen to other leaders, go to conferences, do leadership teachings in staff meetings and do quarterly reviews. If a staff member doesn't respond positively in a timely manner to all of the leadership development, we will hire over them.

More on Tuesday

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Above Or Below pt. 2

It's much easier to hire below a person. When a person is growing, thriving and adding value to the church’s vision, it's easy to walk into their office and say, “You need more people to lead.” It's easy to tell someone that they need more responsibility because their leadership is adding so much value to the church.

It's much more difficult to walk into somebody's office and tell them that they add more value being a doer rather than a leader. It's difficult to tell someone that the church has out grown their leadership. It's difficult to tell somebody that in their current role they are bringing you more problems than solutions. It's difficult to tell somebody that you have to hire over them so that the church can continue to reach more people for Christ.

Many churches never do all God wants them to do because some pastors aren't willing to make the difficult decisions. Many pastors will make excuses rather than make the difficult call so that the church will continue to be effective at accomplishing its vision. Pastor, a question that I ask myself and I encourage you to ask yourself is, "Am I hindering the church from reaching more people for Christ because I'm not willing to make the difficult decisions?"

Tomorrow, I want to share some things that I'm learning about how to make the difficult decisions in a God honoring way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Above Or Below

When you are leading staff and volunteers, you either have to put people above them or below them. I'm going to address this subject this week from the perspective of leading a full time staff member, but this can easily apply to leading a volunteer.

Because we are going into a new season of ministry, momentum and growth at PC, I communicate frequently to my staff that I will hire either above them or below them. If a staff member is able to lead well at the next level and is able to help take us to another level, I will hire below them. If the growth of the church out grows their growth as a leader, I will hire above them. If I hire above them, that means they will no longer be in their current position of leadership. There will be another leader leading them. How do we successfully make these necessary transitions so that the local church can thrive and more lives can be changed?

More tomorrow

Monday, December 1, 2008

Vacation Highlights

1. I took several days of vacation last week. It was great!

2. My family and I stayed in Oklahoma City for the Thanksgiving holiday.

3. On Tuesday night, my wife and I went on a fun and long date. We went out to eat, then we went to a movie and then we went to Starbucks and hung out and talked. We had such a fun time together.

4. On Wednesday, I took Cale and Cade to see the movie Bolt. Tiffany started cooking our Thanksgiving dinner.

5. On Thursday, I went to the gym and grabbed a Starbucks coffee and read the paper. Then I headed home and spent the rest of the day at home with my family and ate until I was sick. I sinned against the Lord.

6. I watched football all day on Thursday. Food, football and family, that's my kind of day!

7. My wife made giblet gravy. She won't eat it, but I tore it up. She also made her world famous cheesecake. It is the best cheesecake I have ever had. Cheesecake Factory can't touch my wife's cheesecake.

8. On Friday morning, we went to I-Hop for breakfast, and the kids ate like I've never seen them eat before. Cade, my three year old, ate 4 pancakes. I couldn't believe it! I think Cale, my four year old (turns 5 in two days), ate 4 pancakes as well. WOW!

9. On Friday and Saturday, we ate left over Thanksgiving food.

10. On Saturday, I watched my Oklahoma Sooners beat Oklahoma State. Both defenses looked bad.

11. I took Sunday off to relax and to spend time with my family. We went to Jimmy's Egg and ate breakfast. After Jimmy's Egg, we went to a store and then headed home for the rest of the day.

12. I picked up 3 pounds this past week, so I'm hitting the gym hard and watching what I eat the rest of the week.

13. I have a chance to win in all 6 fantasy leagues this week. If Kevin Walters for the Texans doesn't get over fifteen points, I will win in all six leagues. I also made the playoffs in all 6 leagues. My regular season records in all six leagues looks like this 12-1, 11-2, 11-2, 9-4, 9-4, 7-5-1. If Walters gets over fifteen points, I'll finish 10-3 instead of 11-2 in that league.

14. Chris Smith, our Student Ministries Director, preached in all four experiences.

15. I had a blast with my family during our stay-at-home vacation. We made lots of memories, had lots of laughs and had tons of fun.

16. I'm kicking off our new series titled Presents on Sunday. I'm going to teach about how Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In these difficult days in our nation, we need the peace of God. Invite your friends, family and co-workers to join you this Sunday because many people are searching for peace.