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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Come To My Church On Easter

Easter is right around the corner. I want to share some last minute ideas on how to attract guests to your church. I'm believing God for your church to be full of people on Easter, and I'm believing for many people to come to Christ - IN JESUS’ NAME!

1. Preach a series that speaks to people where they are living.

2. If you preach on a relevant topic, it will automatically encourage your church to invite their friends and family.

3. Encourage your church to invite their friends and family.

4. Order or make pocketsize Easter invitation cards for your church TODAY. Give them to your church on Sunday and tell them to hand out the invite cards to their friends and family. You can order 5,000 full color invite cards for around $200 from rusherflyer.com.

5. Quickly get a mail out printed and mail 10K to 100K mail outs on Monday to your community advertising your Easter services and your new series.

6. If you can't afford the postage for a mail out, get some door hangers printed up and hand them out to your church on Sunday. Tell your church to hang them up in the surrounding neighborhoods where they live. Also, get some volunteers to help you put up door hangers in the neighborhoods surrounding your church.

7. Get an internet email-invite design for your website. Tell your church to go to your website and email the E-invite card to their friends and family. This is cheap and can be very effective. You can check out our E-invite at www.peopleschurch.tv (bottom left hand corner).

8. Taking out a newspaper ad in a smaller community could be very effective.

9. Consider doing a radio spot on a popular radio station in your city. Once again, in a smaller community this could be more effective than in a huge metro area.

10. This week, put up a huge banner in your church’s lawn advertising your Easter services.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. We had a blast at church on Sunday!

2. If you missed church on Sunday, you missed all the fun! People laughed and laughed and laughed. Laughter is like medicine to the soul. It's awesome that we can laugh in church.

3. I didn't realize how funny the construction video would be. I thought it would be kind of funny, but people erupted in laughter about the men's bathroom.

4. Brian's video was so hilarious. I laughed when I saw it during the week. I laughed all four experiences. That was such a classic video. LOVED IT!

5. There were tons of people who signed up to get involved and serve in a ministry. Way to GO! I am so pumped that you are going to use your talents to advance the Kingdom of God! SUPER AWESOME!

6. Thank you to all of you who have been serving faithfully over the months and years at PC. Our church couldn't do all that we do without you wonderful people. THANK YOU!

7. I didn't leave the house even one time on Friday or Saturday. Let me tell you something that will really gross you out. I didn't brush my teeth all day until I got ready to go to bed. I know, GROSS! Our family picked up the sick junk from some of Tiffany's family in Nebraska. Case passed the cold to Tiffany, and I think Tiffany passed it on to me! I'm feeling much better now, and yes, my breath smells better.

8. I want to say thank you to some kind and caring people at PC. People have been concerned about me being so tired and fighting sickness lately.

9. This is one of those tiring seasons that I knew was coming. I have been without a personal assistant for the last four months. Also, I have pretty much been without one of my right hand executives, Josh Brown, who normally carries a huge load at PC. During this building season, Josh's main focus has been on the new 44,000 square foot addition. He is the general contractor and the superintendent. I'll be glad to have Josh back in a couple of months after the new building is finished and the existing building is remodeled.

10. On the sickness thing: Allergies have torn me up over the last month. Also, my family keeps getting and passing around the cold junk. Four little kids can make this a difficult chore. Thank you, Jesus, for touching my family with your healing power!

11. Thanks again for caring about me and for praying for my family and me. We appreciate the prayers!

12. Many people gave their lives to Christ yesterday and last week when Chris preached. Yea, GOD!

13. We are not going to move into our new auditorium on Easter. I will be announcing the new move in date this Sunday, April 5. I’m VERY EXITED about all that God is going to do through this new tool!

14. We are adding two experiences Easter weekend. Yes, we are having six experiences Easter weekend so that we can accommodate all the people who will be worshipping at PC. Experience times are: Saturday at 5PM (Easter only) and Sunday at 8:45AM, 10AM, 11:15AM, 12:30PM and 1:45PM (Easter only).

15. On Easter, we need as MANY regular attendees as possible to attend the Saturday 5PM experience. If you can't attend the Saturday experience, please attend the 1:45PM. If for some crazy reason you can't attend the Saturday 5PM or the Sunday 1:45PM, please attend the Sunday 8:45AM experience. We need to free up as many seats and kids' space as possible for all those seeking a relationship with Christ. EASTER IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!

16. Invite, invite, invite, invite, invite everyone you know who doesn't attend church to PC this Sunday and on Easter!

17. The Ultimate Fighter is beginning EASTER WEEKEND! OH YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

18. My Oklahoma Sooners got spanked by North Carolina! Bummer!

19. My wife and I watched three episodes of 24 last night. We are still in season 3.

20. God is GOOD!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday’s Download

1. I haven't felt the greatest this week.

2. I am making a big announcement on Sunday. Don't you miss it!

3. The video that we are showing during my sermon is hilarious. You will fall out of your seat laughing.

4. Invite somebody who doesn't go to church to PC on Sunday.

5. The Ultimate Fighter is going to be a great series. I'm pumped up about it.

6. We are moving into our new office space next week. Our staff is excited.

7. To my staff, thank you for all you do. You guys and gals are super.

8. It's snowing in parts of Oklahoma. They say the snow and possible freezing rain will arrive in Oklahoma City late this afternoon. BUMMER.

9. My Oklahoma Sooners play tonight. I can't wait to watch the game.

10. The Missouri Tigers are no joke. They beat up on Memphis last night. In one of my brackets, I picked Memphis to win it all. That was a bad pick!

11. Right now, my wife is putting lotion on baby Case. Tiffany is such a great wife and mother. I am a blessed man!

12. Let's pack out the 8:45AM experience on Sunday!

13. I love you church family, and I am praying for you.

14. Be safe out there this weekend, and see you on Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ultimate Fighter

Beginning Easter Sunday, we are beginning a new series titled Ultimate Fighter. You can check out the 30-second promo video for the series.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

6 Ways To Mess Up A Church pt. 2

4. Don't deal with problems. There are problems that arise in every church. When some pastors see a problem, they pretend like it's not there, and the problem just grows and grows until it is lethal. Some pastors pray and hope the problem will go away. Sometimes the problem can be taken care of through prayer, but many times the problem will not be rectified until the pastor combines prayer along with confronting the problem in love.

5. Put the wrong people around you. The team you put around you will play a major role in determining if the church will be a mess or a miracle. This principle applies whether you are hiring a staff member or placing a volunteer in a leadership role. If you put the wrong people around you, you will create a mess for yourself and for the church. There are times we put the wrong person around us, but the question is will we lovingly remove them so that the church can flourish for the glory of God.

6. Don't live a life of integrity. If you want to cause a mess in a local church, cheat on your spouse, steal from the church, lie to people, watch pornography and have no accountability in your life or in the church. A lack of integrity is always a recipe for messing up a church.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

6 Ways To Mess Up A Church

1. Don't have a clear leader, and let everybody call the shots. I believe in having a team, but there has to be a clear leader. I haven't seen very many churches that are getting it done with two or three Senior/Lead Pastors. As Brian, our Programming Director, says, "More than one head is a freak!"

2. Don't have a clear vision. Casting a blurry vision or having no vision at all creates a mess. Where there is no vision the people perish. That sounds like a mess to me.

3. Vote on everything because democracy in a church brings unity, NOT! I have seen people wounded, churches held hostage, churches divided and churches fall apart because they voted on everything. At People's Church, we don't vote. I believe the best way to structure a church is for it to be staff-led and not congregation-led (voting).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break & Weekend Highlights

1. My family went to Grand Island, Nebraska, on Tuesday. My wife's parents, brother, sister & her husband and 3 kids all live there.

2. The boys got to ride the 4 wheeler with grandpa. That's their favorite thing to do.

3. The boys and Caris got to see a baby calf and pet it. They thought this was pretty cool.

4. We took the kids to Valentino Land. This place serves Italian food and has games for the kids. The kids love to go to this place.

5. This was a working break for me. I rested some but still worked because there is so much to get done during this season. I'm pumped about moving into our new facility.

6. I will take a real vacation later this spring.

7. We drove home on Saturday. The kids did pretty well on the drive home. I was wiped out after the drive. On Sunday, I felt like I had preached four times.

8. On Sunday, I washed the vehicle and picked up some lunch for the family. We hung around the house all day. This was nice!

9. Chris Smith, our Student Ministries Director, preached on Sunday. Chris does a great job preaching. He preached a message titled Imagine If We Brought Somebody. I can't wait to listen to it online.

10. This coming up Sunday, I am making a HUGE, HUGE announcement to our church. Don't you dare miss Sunday, or you will be missing out on some important and exciting news.

11. I will be continuing our Imagine series this coming up Sunday. I'm looking forward to teaching God's Word!

12. On Easter Sunday, we are kicking off a new series called Ultimate Fighter. Get every man you know to PC on Easter and throughout this series. God is going to do a great work in the hearts of men through this series.

13. My Oklahoma Sooners made it to the Sweet Sixteen! I hope they win the National Championship!

14. The Big Twelve has three teams in the Sweet Sixteen. Go Big Twelve!

15. My Oklahoma City Thunder won on Sunday! Go Thunder! We are going to have a winning record next year.

16. I'm glad the three-week stretch is over on Sundays. Daylight Savings and then two Sundays of spring break. It's over, and now it's time to roll!

17. Invite, or better yet, bring somebody who doesn't attend church to PC during this Easter season! Most people will go to church with you if you get the boldness to ask them. Easter is a season that many people are open to going to church.

18. Our guarantee at PC is we will preach Jesus and give your family and friends a chance to respond to the love of God!

19. I'm pumped about this EASTER SEASON! It's going to be OFF THE HOOK GOOD!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday's Download

1. This post will be short and sweet.

2. Don't you miss Sunday. God has been using the Imagine series to change lives. God is going to do something special!

3. Be praying for everything to go smoothly with the final stages of our new building and the remodel of our existing building.

4. I'm learning a lot about myself and my leadership style and limitations during this season. It's been really good for me.

5. I'm going to spend the day with my family. I'm going to take my kids to one of their favorite places to eat and play.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When I'm Tired, I…

1. Eat more

2. Am more irritable

3. Want to be alone more

4. Don't have as clear of focus

5. Don't enjoy studying for messages

6. Find studying for messages difficult

7. Don't have creative energy

8. Can get sloppy in my decision-making

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spiritual Leadership 101 pt. 2

Lead Others Well

1. You have to love people. God is love, and God's leaders should love people. There's no room for mean and hateful spiritual leaders.

2. You have to get along with people. Spiritual leaders can lead nice, mean and difficult people.

3. You have to serve people. Leaders are servants. A spiritual leader’s job is to make everyone they lead successful by serving them.

4. You have to care for people. Spiritual leaders care about the people they lead. They care about their lives, needs, families, fears, hopes and dreams.

5. You have to invest in people. Just like Jesus did, spiritual leaders find their twelve and pour their lives into them.

6. You have to set the example. Spiritual leaders should be able to say to those they lead, "Follow me as I follow Christ."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spiritual Leadership 101

There are some very basic components to being an effective spiritual leader. Here is a list of things that come to mind:

Lead Yourself Well

1. You have to spend daily time with God through prayer, worship and Bible reading.

2. You have to discipline yourself to do the little things right consistently.

3. You have to learn to hear the voice of God.

4. You have to work hard.

5. You have to learn to work smarter and not just harder.

6. You have to live a life of integrity. Spiritual leaders live their lives above reproach.

7. You have to take care of your marriage and your kids. Having the right priorities is key.

8. You have to have your finances in order. Live on a budget, tithe, give, spend less than you earn and get out of consumer debt and stay out of it.

9. You have to take care of your body. Proper rest, diet and exercise are key to taking care of your body.

10. You have to live a life of faith. Spiritual leaders walk by faith and not by sight.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. On Friday, we had a family date night. It’s always fun hanging with my family.

2. Saturday morning was a special time. Tiffany made our family cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Cale, our oldest son, loves sweets, so he couldn't wait for breakfast. At bedtime on Friday night, he was talking about breakfast. When he woke up Saturday morning, one of the first things he talked about was eating cinnamon rolls. Thank you, Tiffany, for a special Saturday morning as a family.

3. My little daughter, Caris, cuddled with her daddy for a long time on Saturday morning. We sat in my favorite chair and watched cartoons together.

4. We had a good Sunday at People's Church.

5. My good friend, Clark Mitchell, dropped by and worshipped with us during our 10AM experience. Clark is the Senior Pastor of Journey Church in Norman. Clark is a great friend and pastor.

6. We sang the song We Need You, Lord on Sunday. This song is so fitting for the days we are living in.

7. I preached on the number one thing that stifles and stops churches from being dangerous and effective for God.

8. All the students are on spring break this week in Oklahoma.

9. People are hungry for God. I love seeing people chase after God. More of God and less of us is what we need.

10. Thank you to all of you who are attending the 8:45AM experience. You folks are super awesome!

11. Tiffany and I are now on season 3 of 24! We enjoy watching this show together. It's intense.

12. I love the team I get to do ministry with.

13. If you are going through a tough time in life, turn to God.

14. I love serving God and living life!

15. Have a super Monday! Seriously, no matter what you’re facing, your attitude is always your choice, so make it a great Monday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday's Download

1. We hired two part-time employees this week. This is going to really help one of our ministries go to the next level.

2. I did a lot of coaching with some of our staff this week. Everybody needs coaching including the senior leader.

3. On Sunday, I'm teaching a message titled IMAGINE A Dangerous Church. I'm really excited about this message.

4. On Easter Sunday, we are kicking off a new series called Ultimate Fighter. This series is going to encourage men to stand up like never before and fight like a man. Men get ready for God to work in your life like never before.

5. Ladies, get your husbands, daddies, boyfriends, brothers and any other men you know to this series.

6. We are making mad progress on our new facility. We are targeting Easter Sunday as our move in date.

7. In a couple of weeks, I will know for sure if we will make our target date. I will announce it as soon as I know for sure.

8. After we move into our new auditorium, there will still be a lot of work to do. We will still have some things to finish up in the auditorium. We will also have to remodel our existing building into an unbelievable kids & youth facility. We will be finished with the entire project sometime in May.

9. My Oklahoma Sooners got beat by Oklahoma State last night.

10. I doubt my Sooners get a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Don't Visit My Church pt. 3

We never get a second chance to make a first impression. I want to share one more day of ways to ensure guests have a horrible experience at our churches.

11. Take time to announce everything going on in your church from birth to seniors. If you really want to make an impression, have four or five people pass the microphone to make all of the announcements.

12. Start studying for Sunday's sermon on Saturday night at 10PM.

13. Be sure the sermon does not apply to anybody's daily life. The sermon should be full of revelation but have no application.

14. Don't have worship practice. Just have the worship team show up 5 minutes before service starts and let the Spirit take over.

15. Let people in the audience play their own musical instruments and then sit all of your guests right next to them.

16. It's very important that you do not do any follow-up with your guests. Keep everybody so busy that nobody takes time to send a letter, email or make a phone call to all of the guests.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don't Visit My Church pt. 2

We never get a second chance to make a first impression. I want to share some more ways to ensure guests have a horrible experience at our churches.

6. Be sure to start the services late. Who really cares that the service was supposed to start at 10AM but begins at 10:17AM? Guests really do love to sit in an auditorium wondering what's going on and when is it going to start.

7. Make the guests stand up and introduce themselves during the service. When I visit a church, that's my favorite thing to do. :)

8. Make sure you don't have any children's ministry. After all, a five-year-old kid enjoys listening to a sermon on "Reasons Why Jesus Will Return By 2010 Because These Are The Last Days And The Mark Of The Beast Is On It's Way And Somebody Just Spotted The Anti-Christ."

9. Let praise and worship go for an hour and a half and then be sure to preach for two hours.

10. It's very important that you spend 45 minutes taking up the offering. Be sure to use gimmicks and manipulate people into giving.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don't Visit My Church

Every Sunday, many churches have guests visit their church. Either we are ready for the guest when they arrive, or we are not. We never get a second chance to make a first impression. I want to share some ways to ensure guests have a horrible experience at our churches.

1. Don't have anyone in the parking lot to greet them or to assist them.

2. Have greeters at the front door who never smile and never brush their teeth. Be sure they give guests the impression that they wish they would have never shown up.

3. Don't have large, easy-to-read and understandable signs in high traffic areas of your building.

4. Make sure your bathrooms stink, the trash cans are full and you are out of soap and paper towels. It's very important that you don't tidy up the restrooms in between services.

5. Make sure your ushers sit all of the first time guests in the front row of the church. Every guest loves to parade down the aisle in front of the entire church.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. It was a relaxing weekend at the Cooper house.

2. My wife made fried pork chops and mashed potatoes & gravy for dinner on Saturday, and we had leftovers on Sunday. We don't eat a lot of fried foods at the Cooper house, so this was a special treat. Boy was it good!

3. Yesterday, I preached a message titled IMAGINE A Changing Church. My goal was to prepare our church for all of the changes that will occur in our new building. I wanted our church to know the heartbeat behind why we are always changing things at PC.

4. If you missed church yesterday, please listen to the message online. I think it will be very helpful to you.

5. Daylight Savings is one of the lowest attended Sundays every year at PC. Memorial Day is usually the worst and Daylight Savings is normally the second. Our attendance was about what I thought it would be.

6. Even on Daylight Savings Sunday, people gave their hearts to Christ. GO GOD!

7. We took communion in all four experiences. It is always amazing to remember the great sacrifice Jesus paid for our salvation!

8. I used a lot of visuals in my message. I love to illustrate points with videos or visuals. It helps to drive home the point, and it helps people to remember what was said.

9. This coming up Sunday, I am preaching a message titled IMAGINE A Dangerous Church. I'm really excited to study for this message. There are a lot of things that God is speaking to me about regarding this subject.

10. I walked through our new building Sunday after church. It is coming together quickly. Our contractors are working with great energy and fervor to get us in by Easter. Keep praying that everything falls right into place. So far so good!

11. I can't believe the Dallas Cowboys released Terrell Owens. He is a pain, but the dude can play football. My Cowboys need another good receiver.

12. My Oklahoma City Thunder are going to be a good team next year. They are finishing the season strong.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Move your clocks forward one hour tonight so that you are not late for church tomorrow!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday's Download

1. Tiffany and I are more than halfway through season 2 of 24. We really like watching this show.

2. I’m thinking about writing a book.

3. We are cutting it close but are on target for our move in date. The move in date for our new facility is Easter Sunday, April 12. Everything won't be done by Easter, but we should be close enough to have our first experience. Be praying that everything goes great with our subcontractors between now and then.

4. Tiffany and I went on a date last night. It was great food and great to hang out with my bride. I love her to pieces.

5. Tiffany and I spent a lot of our date talking about ministry.

6. I started texting a couple of months ago. I can't believe I'm so in to technology, NOT! :)

7. We are kicking off a new series at PC on Sunday called IMAGINE! I can't wait for Sunday.

8. Remember to set your clocks forward one hour on Saturday night. It's Daylight Savings.

9. Don't be late for church on Sunday because we are taking communion together as a church. So, set your clocks an hour ahead on Friday night if you have to!

10. We have some really cool and creative things that we are putting into our new kids’ area. It's going to take our kids ministry to a new level of excellence.

11. God is doing an awesome work in our teenagers through EPIC! Teenagers, stay hungry for God.

12. See you on Sunday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some More Lessons From Building Two Buildings

7. Do not make the building the vision. The building is not the vision; the building is a tool to see the vision come to pass. It is very important to keep the church and yourself focused on the ministry that will take place because of the new building and not on the new building itself.

8. Make sure you have enough parking. For the first Sunday in our first facility, we only had 166 parking spaces. I listened to my architect, and he did not offer me good advice. We added a gravel parking lot on the Monday following our first service in the new building.

9. Make sure you have functional kids’ space. The design of the kids’ space in our phase one building is horrible. The traffic flow bottlenecks, so there is major congestion that could have been avoided if we would have designed it better. Be sure to think about traffic flow when you are in the design phase of a building.

10. Schedule a vacation after you preach your stewardship campaign and shortly after you move into a new building. The most exhausting and draining time of ministry for me was following our two stewardship campaigns. The second most exhausting season of ministry was after we moved into our first phase.

11. Be sure you realize how taxing it is on your staff to pull off an effective campaign and to build and move into a new facility. It can be a draining process, and you need to make sure your team is in a healthy place following those grueling seasons of ministry.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Lessons From Building Two Buildings

4. Do not let the architect drive the entire process. I am not a big fan of the traditional model for building a facility. We let the architect drive the process on our first building, and it was a mess. I am not knocking architects because they are great when they are in their element. I have learned that architects draw buildings; they don't build buildings. I always want the general contractor to drive the process. I would never build again with the architect driving the process.

5. Bring in an outside capital stewardship company who can help you raise the necessary money to see the vision come to pass. Before we built our first facility, I had never been a part of a capital stewardship program, so I knew I needed outside help. It was worth the dollars we spent to partner with a company who could help us navigate through having a successful Spirit-led campaign.

6. It will take longer than you think and cost you more than you planned. Pastor, be prepared for this! Don't get stressed out because you missed your projected move in date. On both of our buildings, we missed our projected move in date. On our second phase, we were planning on moving into the facility by the end of 2008. Of course, we didn't make the date because things happened outside of our control. It took longer to get the final building permit than we had anticipated. If you talk to any pastor, the story is almost always the same, the building took longer to build than we thought and cost us more than we planned on spending.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lessons From Building Two Buildings

Over the last four years, our church has built two buildings. Our first phase included buying 50 acres and building a 17,500 square foot facility. Our second phase is a 44,000 square foot facility. Our target date to move into our second phase is Easter Sunday, April 12. Here are some lessons I have learned from building two facilities:

1. If you have a builder or contractor in your church, listen to their wisdom. On our first phase, a builder in our church told me what to do to save money. I didn't follow his advice, and it cost us money. He had the experience, and I didn't heed his advice. Goofy me!

2. It's hard to get a loan when you are a new church. Your church’s finances need to be in order, and the church needs to be cash strong to secure a good loan with a good rate. Advice on getting your church’s finances in order:

A. If you are a new church, start saving a percentage of the church’s income from day one.

B. Give a percentage of your church’s income away to missions, church plants, the poor and other ministries that are making a difference. At People's Church, we give away 10 percent of our income, and the Lord has blessed us because of it. You can't out give God!!

C. Have an outside accounting firm involved in your church’s finances. I would strongly encourage every church to be audited or have an audit review of your church’s finances every year. We do, and it's worth every penny we spend.

3. Buy as much land as possible. God isn't making any more land. Your vision for 3, 5 or 10 years from now could be stifled because you didn't buy enough land.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. Friday night, we had a phenomenal CRAZY praise, worship & prayer experience. God's presence was thick in the place. If you missed this experience, you missed a real treat! It was great.

2. Friday afternoon, I took my kids on a daddy date to lunch. We went to Mazzio's Pizza and then to Starbucks for hot chocolate.

3. One of my favorite things on Sundays is when my wife brings back the kids to see me in between worship experiences. It always brings a smile to my face to see my sexy wife and precious kids.

4. We had great worship experiences on Sunday. It was a special CRAZY celebration. It was a very moving time. In the last experience, I started to cry. The vision of PC moves me and consumes me! I'm passionate about reaching people for Christ!

5. I read some testimonies to the church from some of our students who attend PC's Epic Student Ministries. God is doing a great work amongst our students.

6. The chair video we showed on Sunday was powerful. If you missed Sunday, you missed a very moving experience.

7. Our 8:45AM experience has had off-the-hook attendance. Thank you PC for packing out the 8:45AM experience! KEEP IT UP!

8. Every Sunday, people give their lives to Christ at PC! That pumps me up like nothing else!

9. My wife made a great stuffed chicken dish on Saturday. She also made peanut butter cookies. We had leftovers on Sunday.

10. We are kicking off a new series on Sunday called IMAGINE! It's going to be a fun series. I'm looking forward to it!