Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Federal Government Economic Stimulus

I understand that anyone who made a wage last year would get $600 from the feds. Yet my wife and I only received $600 together. We filed jointly last year... is that why we didn't get $1,200? Why would the feds discriminate against marriage? Is that what's happening here or am I missing something?

Did you and your spouse only get $600? Let me know if there's any point trying to get that $600.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Barlow Girl

Went to see Barlow Girl last night with Jimmy Needham and Brooke Barrettsmith. They did a great job with the place about 85% full. Unfortunately the sound was not good at all... all that great equipment and talent but with a messy, mushy sound that hid the vocals too much. I think the most important position in any band is the sound guy. He can make a band sound better or worse than what they are. Nonetheless, very cool to see all these women rockin out for God and being transparent with their life struggles and encouraging the teen girls in attendance with their own struggles. I'm looking forward to taking my daughter to a Barlow Girl concert when she is older... hopefully they're still cranking out the tunes in 5-6 years!

Tomorrow is our 2nd Kidstuf. Hoping and praying that many new folks come out and many returners from two weeks ago. I was reviewing the songs and my four year old daughter looked at me with excitement and said, "Dad! Is that Kidstuf?" And she started singing and dancing and getting very excited about going to church in the morning. How cool is that! My 4 year old is excited about church! That's great! I hope we can continue to create entry environments with excellence and relevance for each life stage as my kids grow up!

Recommendation: I took my family to the Padaro Beach Grill in Carpenteria. I'd give the food a 6 out of 10 (very healthy but my sandwich was kind of bland) but the location was awesome... on the beach, by the train tracks, sand play area with lots of toys for the kiddies. If you're ever in the area and are hungry go there... and take me with you. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Launch Sunday Pictures

Pulling up with the trailer at 6am. (For a closer look, click on the pictures.)

Our sweet shag rugs for the kiddos to sit on. The school janitor set up our chairs. Our drape was too thin, gotta return it for heavier stuff. The guy on the left in this picture runs FOH for every crusade/festival the Billy Graham organization hosts around the world. We're blessed to have him help us get our system sounding great!

Our Kidstuf set. We used the house lights... didn't get to use our lights... that's coming soon. We had just over 100 people join us. We have intentionally not launched "big" this fall as we want our folks to fully understand and own our mission/strategy and then invest & invite their friends to one of our environments.

This week we are ending an era... our offices have been in Damon's garage since March 3rd. We have been given office space at Camarillo Community Church and we move Thursday. Damon's family has been so gracious for giving up space in their home for the last six months!

I'm looking forward to doing Kidstuf all over again on the 28th! This Sunday we take part in a commissioning service at Camarillo Community Church and then have a worship band practice on location at Rio Vista M.S. to prep for Oct 5. Good times!

I need more help on the "Road Crew"... it's a lot of fun unloading the trailer with the guys, seriously, let me know if you can help!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We Launched Today!

We launched with Kidstuf this morning.

I'm tired.

At least one new family that walked over from the neighborhood said they'd be back in two weeks (our next Kidstuf is in two weeks).

It was worth the work.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

T-Minus 4 Days

Four days until we launch.
We're launching with our family (K-5 and parents) program called Kidstuf first.
We're launching with a Lead Pastor who isn't the 'preacher' and a preacher (we affectionately call him "TP" for teaching pastor) who isn't the Lead Pastor.
We're launching in Southern California yet partnered with a church in North Georgia.
We're launching with four full time and one part time staff in one of the most expensive corners of this country.
Our office is in a garage.
We've got permission to do church in a public Middle School in Oxnard, CA and I know in Auburn, Alabama (Bible belt!) they don't allow any churches to use schools.

We are anything but a typical church plant. I like it. God is doing a new thing in the VC (Ventura County)!

What untypical church plants do you know of? Is there even such a thing?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Church Growth - Jewish Style

Check out this church growth plan by Jews in Dothan, Alabama. Instead of sharing their faith with the community they're bringing 'insiders' of the faith to the community to grow their churches. And they get $50,000 to come!!!

Interesting. Some folks do interesting things to grow their churches. I could chalk it up to how folks think in the south but I know that's not how they think. There is an incredible church called Wiregrass Church right in Dothan that is one of our partner churches. I've even known some churches that have as their top strategy a name change. And the people were banging down the door after the change!!! not. The best church growth strategy is to bless your community in the best, simplest way possible in a language (style) they understand. Simple but not easy.

What interesting things have you seen done under the banner of "Church Growth"?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

3...2...1... BLASTOFF!!!

I've committed blog world sin by not posting lately!!! We are officially launching RPCC this Sunday at 10am. As in any new start up, we are B-U-S-Y! We bought a 24 foot enclosed trailer yesterday for $3900. A really good deal! We bought it off a guy who builds movie sets... he helped built sets for The Chipmunks movie. Only in Socal! This week we test-drive our new tech equipment, practice our songs, moves and scripts to get set for our first Kidstuf production this Sunday. I'm praying God brings many families from the community out and new friends are made.

I started our first of 7 community 'Turbo' groups today. The rest will begin in the next few weeks. We are all meeting through December (hence 'turbo') and then we'll have an event called GroupLink where we'll 'shuffle the deck' and invite all the new folks who come this fall to form new groups that will stay together 12-24 months. After that we shuffle again. Our goal is to have groups long enough to build authentic community but to not stay together for years and years in an exclusive "clique" so we're always providing opportunities for 'outsiders' to join our groups. All our 'turbo' groups will be going through Starting Point so they will have experienced what they will be inviting their friends to in the near future.

Tonight our staff met with 30 folks from Camarillo Community Church and shared about our mission and asked for help. The Pastor of this church, Ralph Rittenhouse, is one of my heroes. I truly respect this guys leadership. He invited these 30 folks and was there himself... a senior Pastor encouraging folks from his own flock to go and help another church get started!!!??? This guy is truly KINGDOM MINDED and not address minded! Our goal with RPCC is to follow in his footsteps and one day help other churches get started.

If you're plugged in at a church are you helping to start new churches in your area? Why not?

I need your help this Sunday. If you live in the area (of willing to come to the area!) come help us unload our trailer and set up at 6am. What better things do you have to do at that time!!!??? :)