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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Interesting Things About Me

I am taking a break today from my usual Thursday's Download. I'm going to share some interesting things that you may not know about me.

1. I rarely get nervous before I speak. I don't know why, but I don't. The larger the crowd, the more comfortable I feel.

2. I like to be by myself. I am not a big people person. Most people have a hard time believing this because I have good people skills, but I prefer not to be around people. I am an introvert with extrovert tendencies.

3. I have never, in my adult life (18 and up), had a boss. I have always worked for myself. Of course, I have people in and outside of the church that hold me accountable, but I have always worked for myself.

4. I am a self-starter. I don't need to punch a clock or have someone looking over me to get a job done. I have always been self-motivated and very determined to get the job done.

5. I preached my first sermon when I was 17 years old.

6. I married Tiffany when I was 22 and she was 20.

7. I am a very boring person. If you followed me around for a week, you would think, This guy lives a boring life. I love my life, but most would think it's boring.

8. When I study for a sermon, I can't just study for hours at one time. I do multiple things while I'm studying.

9. I didn't start eating steak until I began dating Tiffany and her dad would make steak on the grill. Now, I love a great medium steak.

10. I wanted to be an ESPN sports broadcaster before God called me into full-time ministry.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More Things On My Mind

9. I'm super excited about our September series called Wicked! That's right, Wicked! It's going to be the hottest series of the year!

10. We are planning some incredible surprises for the Wicked series. I hope it all comes together because it will blow you away! This is going to be a great series to invite your un-churched friends to! Well, every series we do is a great series to invite your un-churched friends to, but this one will be especially good!

11. I think we are going to declare September an evangelistic outreach month for PC! I'm praying about this and the details of it. This will be the biggest push ever to reach those who are far from God! I have a fire shut up in my bones!

12. Refocusing our staff on developing leaders. The building project was all consuming, and we got off-track on reproducing leaders. We have been delegating tasks instead of producing leaders. We are working hard at creating a culture of leadership.

13. The Wednesday Connection is going to help so many people grow closer to God and build relationships with their PC church family. Our staff and some key volunteers are helping us launch this event beginning August 19 at 7PM. It's an event that will be every week this fall. There will be lessons and fun for kids, there will be junior high small groups and there will be a worship experience for high school students.

14. I'm excited to see people get baptized on August 16! There's nothing like people going public for Jesus!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's On My Mind

1. We have had almost 150 first-time families over the last two weeks. We are figuring out how to get as many people as possible plugged into the life of the church. We are beginning a new class on August 23 called Next. It will be a 30 minute class immediately following the 2nd experience to help all of our new people learn more about the vision of People's Church and get them plugged into PC.

2. I'm excited about our new series kicking off this Sunday called He Said What!?

3. I spoke last night to the teenagers of PC at their youth retreat. They were hungry for God! Those teenagers are fired up, and our youth ministry is getting ready to explode!

4. We are launching a Junior High youth experience on Sunday mornings during the 10:30 AM experience beginning August 16. We are getting Wii's, air hockey tables, bistro tables & chairs, couches and other fun stuff for our youth ministry. There is nothing like investing in the next generation! Junior High students, get ready to encounter God on Sunday mornings!

5. I have some cool speaking opportunities coming up in the near future. I'm getting excited to preach God's Word at these different venues.

6. We had a great creative meeting yesterday. God has blessed PC with some really sharp and creative people. They gave me some great ideas for our upcoming series!

7. We have been working out the details of the CRAZY Halftime Celebration coming up at the end of August. We are only halfway there, and we have to finish well what we've started well! It's going to be a great second half!

8. We are going to do a very cool series at Christmas time. Our people will love it and so will the community!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. We had a laid back weekend at the Cooper house. It was nice to just lie around the house a bunch.

2. Tiffany and I went on a date on Thursday night. It’s always nice to hang with my bride.

3. I am itching for football season to start.

4. Church was great this weekend.

5. We are seeing tons of people give their lives to Christ: over 60 on Sunday and 75 last Sunday. Thank you, Jesus!

6. We were pushing the 3000 mark in attendance for our Grand Opening. I think this is a good indication of our fall numbers. Going to be an exciting fall of momentum and growth.

7. Leading a fast-growing church is fun and challenging at the same time.

8. I taught on worry, and it was a much needed message for the days we are living in.

9. Church family, put God first in every area of your life and trust Him. He will take care of you if you will only put Him first!

10. Brian, our Programming Director, was on the stage again after a long break and led on a couple songs. He hasn't been on the stage in awhile because he is running the entire AVL department. He is a great leader. The dude is gifted in so many areas!

11. Worship was great yesterday. I loved the new song we sang.

12. I'm excited about our new series kicking off next Sunday called He Said, What!? Jesus said some crazy things, and we are going to be studying some of the things he said and looking at the vision of PC! It's going to be a great four-week series!

13. It's going to be a very busy, productive and fun week!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday's Download

1. Tiffany's grandparents flew back to Minnesota yesterday. We really enjoyed them, and I learned a lot from them. I think I will do a blog post about it next week.

2. Last week, I turned over the staff to Josh and Brian. Brian has been running his team, but during the building project, I ran the rest of the staff so that Josh could be the general contractor and superintendent over our new building.

3. I'm just leading the Executive Team, which consists of Josh, our Director of Operations, and Brian, our Programming Director. Josh oversees all of the staff who don’t have anything to do with what happens inside the auditorium during Sunday experiences, except for Ushers. He also oversees the operations and facilities. Brian oversees all of the staff who make Sunday experiences happen. He also oversees every aspect of the Sunday experiences and all of the marketing (website, billboards, TV spots, mail outs, design, etc.).

4. I'm focusing on leading the vision and direction of PC, teaching and raising up leaders.

5. This Sunday I'm teaching a message titled The Road To Worry. I think this message is going to minister to a lot of people.

6. I'm ready for football season!

7. I'm really ready for fantasy football.

8. I'm so excited about the future of People's Church. We are moving forward!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Brutal Facts

When we attend a church for months and years, we can get used to what we see and hear. We can easily forget what a first-time guest is experiencing. We can get so used to what we are experiencing that the excellence level drops. We can let the same two or three people's opinions about the church influence the direction of the church or a ministry, based on the fact that they are screaming the loudest and that they are closest to us. Though these people may mean well, sometimes they are speaking from their own personal wants and desires and not for what's best for the overall direction of the church. As leaders, we have to be willing to get the brutal facts from the right people so that we can lead effectively. Let me share some thoughts about gathering the brutal facts.

1. Don't just get the facts from those who have been going to the church for years. Often times, people who have attended the church for years can get so comfortable with the church that they don't see the weaknesses.

2. Constantly ask first-time guests to give you honest feedback about their experiences at your church.

3. Ask a faithful churchgoer, who is inviting their friends to church, to give you feedback on what their friends are saying about their experiences at the church.

4. Ask people from totally different backgrounds, ages, races and perspectives what they like and dislike about the church.

5. Gathering the brutal facts is not always easy because you will probably hear things that shock you and make you very uncomfortable.

6. When you get the brutal facts, make the necessary changes so that your church can be more effective in reaching people and making disciples.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Art Of Delegating pt. 2

5. Failure is a part of the delegating and training process. It's important to understand that there is a big difference between failing because someone is learning something new or starting something new and failing because someone is being incompetent. You need to have patience when a person is learning or starting something new. You need to be firm and impatient when a person is being incompetent. Novice leaders can confuse their incompetence in an area with I'm failing because.............(you fill in the blank). You need to point out the difference between failure and being incompetent.

6. You have to inspect what you expect. You can't delegate to a novice or new leader and expect to see high level results without inspecting. How will the person ever understand what your expectations are if you don't inspect what you delegated? This is a common mistake. You have to inspect what you expect.

7. You shouldn't have to continue for months to inspect what you expect. If you have to do this, the person is incompetent, and you need to take another course of action.

8. Set the person up for success by training and investing in them up front. Some people are set up for failure because they have not been trained, invested in and given the proper resources to be a success.

9. When the person is trained and is meeting expectations, turn them loose to fly. Don't be a micro-manager. A good leader wants to lead, so let them lead.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grand Opening Weekend Highlights

1. It was a very great and rewarding weekend.

2. It was great having Tiffany's grandparents, Bill and Donna, here for this special weekend. Bill and Donna love the Lord and pray for Tiffany and me often. They live in Minnesota and will be heading home on Wednesday, so we have a couple more days to enjoy them.

3. It was also great having Tiffany's parents, Tim and Nadine, here for the Grand Opening Celebration. They pastor a church in the Grand Island, Nebraska area. They are leaving sometime this morning to head back home to Nebraska. We will miss them.

4. Tim and Nadine brought Tiffany's sister’s three kids to Oklahoma for the celebration. They had a great time playing with their cousins.

5. My good friend, Craig Groeschel, the Senior Pastor of www.lifechurch.tv, came to People's Church yesterday to celebrate with us. Craig and Amy have been such a blessing to Tiffany and me!

6. Our friends, Ralph and Gail Irwin, drove from Springfield, MO, to be a part of our special day. I was bummed out that I didn't get to see them. Thanks so much for coming! It means a lot to Tiffany and me.

7. The worship was great yesterday!

8. The rap group, Exodus, ministered yesterday, and it was awesome! Two of the rappers go to our church.

9. The God of This City video was incredible!

10. I began the message by sitting inside the driver’s side of a jeep. The church laughed in every experience because it caught them off guard and grabbed their attention.

11. The message was very inspiring for me, and I know God used it to inspire our church to move forward with God!

12. News Channel 9 (CBS), did a story on our Grand Opening during the 5:30PM & 10:00PM news. You can check it out at www.news9.com

13. The Daily Oklahoman did a story on our Grand Opening in Saturday's paper.

14. Tons of people gave their lives to Christ!

15. I'm so excited about the future of People's Church! Our best days are ahead of us!

16. This coming up Sunday, I will be teaching a message titled The Road To Worry!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pre-Game Grand Opening Thoughts

1. I am so pumped up about this Sunday! God has been so good and faithful to me and People's Church! Grand Opening begins Sunday at 9AM, 10:30AM and 12PM.

2. Exodus, the rap group who ministered at People's Church on May 3, will be ministering again on this Sunday! Do your thang, boys!

3. I want to honor the team who serves with me! You all have been superstars throughout this building season, especially Josh Brown! Thanks to my team and a SUPER HUGE thank you to Josh Brown! Josh, you did an incredible job building this facility!

4. I'm very excited to share the Grand Opening message that the Lord has laid upon my heart.

5. Tiffany's grandparents are flying in today from Minnesota to celebrate Grand Opening with us.

6. We just found out yesterday that Tiffany's dad, mom and brother are driving up from Grand Island, Nebraska on Friday to celebrate Grand Opening with us. We will have a house full this weekend, but it will be fun times!

7. I have some special friends, who have been a blessing to People's Church, driving from Springfield, Missouri to celebrate Grand Opening with us. Thanks, Ralph and Gail, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to celebrate God's faithfulness with us. It means a lot!

8. One of the major mentors in my life is coming to one of the Grand Opening experiences. This man and his family have been very instrumental to our success.

9. One of the guys who works out at the gym with me said he and his family are coming to Grand Opening.

10. Who are you inviting and bringing to Grand Opening? Everybody who calls People's Church home, invite and bring somebody to Grand Opening.

11. The Daily Oklahoman is doing a nice article about the Grand Opening of People's Church in Saturday's paper. All of my Oklahoma blog followers, be sure to buy a paper on Saturday.

12. This Sunday will be the biggest Sunday ever at People's Church! Don't you dare miss it for anything!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grand Opening Television Commercial

Check out the 30 second television commercial that's running all over Oklahoma City and many other parts of the state! Grand Opening is going to be off the hook good! PC'ers, invite everybody you know!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Art Of Delegating

1. Train the person before you turn them loose.

2. If the person is a rookie or novice, they will probably require extra time and training.

3. Depending on the magnitude of what you are delegating, it may be months before you can turn the person loose on their new assignment. If you are delegating answering the phone properly, this may only take a couple of training sessions. If you are delegating an entire department that is key to the success of your organization, this could take months of training. Don't underestimate or be surprised by the amount of training it may take.

4. Be prepared to see the person fail. Failure is a part of learning. Failure can be frustrating for the person doing the training, but it is a necessary part of developing and delegating.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. The family and I made two trips together to Sonic for some slushes. Blue coconut slush baby!!

2. It's been hot, hot, hot outside. The high yesterday was somewhere between 105 and 108!

3. It was great to be back at People's Church on Sunday!

4. I thought all the experiences went really well! God is changing lives!

5. We were over 30 percent bigger than the same Sunday last year.

6. Gene and his wife Katy, church planters in Texas who started a church 18 months ago and are running 400 people, came to check out People's Church yesterday. Gene and I went to college together. After they checked out all three experiences, we went to eat at The Cheesecake Factory.

7. I really like the stage set design for The Road series. I like the fact that we can put cars and all types of heavy stuff on our huge concrete platform.

8. I'm super excited about the biggest day ever at People's Church this coming up Sunday. It's the Grand Opening Celebration! Going to be an off-the-chart Sunday!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday's Download

1. I'm glad to be back in the saddle at People's Church.

2. I'm ready to teach this Sunday at People's Church. I'm kicking off a new series called The Road. I think I'm going to title Sunday's talk The Road To Burnout! You don't want to miss this message.

3. My two executives, Josh and Brian, are on vacation this week. Josh will be back for Sunday, and Brian is off on Sunday.

4. The new building is looking great EXCEPT my office. My office has flooded twice! Flooded may be a little strong of a word, but somehow water is getting in and getting some of my carpet wet. This happened again yesterday! I had to move the furniture, and now my office is in shambles. Out of all the offices we have, it had to be my office. Bummer!

5. Tiffany's grandparents from Minnesota are flying to Oklahoma City next week for our Grand Opening Celebration. It will be great to see Bill and Donna. Tiffany has a rich Christian heritage.

6. I'm really excited for our Grand Opening Celebration on July 19! Folks, invite, invite, invite! Everybody who attends PC, bring somebody with you. Bring a bunch of somebodies with you. By the way, we are planning on having Exodus, the rap group, perform during Grand Opening!

7. After being away from my home off and on for the past two weeks, it's nice to be back in my normal routine.

8. I love my routines. I'm a routine person, and I like it that way.

9. I appreciate my good friend Tommy Sparger. He is doing a great job leading www.northpointnow.org!

10. One of the guys that I went to college with pastors a fast-growing church plant in Texas. He and his wife are flying to Oklahoma City this weekend to check out People's Church. I love church planters!

11. On Friday, I'm going to chill out big time with my family! I love them to pieces!

12. I'm trying to wrap up Sunday's message this morning, so that I can head to a pastors' meeting. I hope the meeting is good.

13. Church family, see you on Sunday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leadership Requires....

1. Discernment: Learn to hear the voice of God in the smallest of decisions

2. Guts: Make the tough decisions

3. Risk: Stop playing it safe

4. Humility: Don't think more highly of yourself than you should

5. Leading: Be a person worth following

6. Resilience: Take a licking and keep on ticking

7. Confidence: Be strong and courageous because the Lord is with you

8. Integrity: Make daily decisions to follow God and to do the right thing

9. Prayer & Bible reading: Stay close to God

10. Love: Care for those you lead

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What's On My Radar Screen

1. Stepping up the prayer intensity of our staff and church.

2. Having a great Grand Opening Celebration on July 19.

3. In August, we are preparing to launch our Wednesday night Bible studies/Community Groups. There will be something for the whole family on Wednesday nights at the People's Church building.

4. I have a few cool speaking opportunities this year. One of them is coming up in August, and I'm starting to get clarity on what I feel like God wants me to share.

5. Adding some key staff positions and repositioning some of our staff.

6. Our team is thinking through all of the creative elements for all of the fall series.

7. Revisiting our marketing and advertising strategy for the rest of 2009.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Vacation & Weekend Highlights

1. I had a great time with my family during our vacation together.

2. I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures of the new building that my assistant posted on my blog while I was away.

3. We spent some of our vacation at home. One day we took the kids to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma.

4. One day we took the kids to the zoo. One day we took the kids to the Oklahoma Science Museum, which used to be called the Omniplex. I don't know why they changed the name, but I like the name Omniplex better.

5. The first Sunday off, we just hung out as a family.

6. On Friday, Tiffany and I left the kids with a babysitter and drove to Springfield, MO. We have spent 3 nights away from our kids. This is the longest stretch so far. We've enjoyed our time together, but we do miss our kids.

7. On Saturday night and on Sunday, I preached for my good friend Tommy Sparger at www.northpointnow.org. Tommy has a great church in Springfield, MO.

8. I've picked up 5 to 7 pounds on vacation. The gym and discipline is calling my name. More discipline than the gym. LOL!

9. Tiffany and I are heading home this morning. I can't wait to get home, see my kids and sleep in my own bed. There is no place like home.

10. Chris Smith, our Student Ministries and College & 20 Somethings Director, spoke at PC the first Sunday I was gone.

11. We showed Dino Rizzo's One Prayer video on the second Sunday I was gone. If you missed either message, you missed a real treat. Both messages were excellent and ministered to my heart.

12. I'm excited to be back in the saddle at People's Church this Sunday. I will be starting a new series called The Road.

13. On Sunday, July 19, IT'S THE GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION OF OUR NEW BUILDING! Everyone is invited! PC'ers invite everyone you know to come and celebrate God's goodness with us.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Kids' Area Designs pt. 2

We have many sciptures painted along with our 3D art. Our main scripture verse in the kids' area is Psalm 139:14.

This is one of our new inflatables. We have them available in our Ventureland (3 & 4-year olds), Discovery Zone (5-years to 1st grade) and PC Adventures (2nd-5th grades) classrooms.

This is a picture of our old auditorium. We have converted it into a classroom for PC Adventures (2nd-5th grades). This is also where EPIC (6th-12th grades) meets on Wednesday nights.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Kids' Area Designs

Check out our new kids' space. We've added some awesome 3D art.