This is what happens when you light off 40,000 rockets at once…pretty sweet! Happy 4th Of July!
My wife and I had the privilege to visit an amazing church called Saddleback Church in beautiful Orange County California. Pete Wilson was speaking and we had a couple free nights at a hotel in Newport Beach that we needed to use…so we made a weekend out of it and went to Disneyland too!
Micah Foster asked what my top 3 takeaways from Saddleback were. Only 3 huh? I couldn’t narrow it down, so my top 4 takeaways are below.
- Their Campus Is Beautiful! – The main campus at Saddleback is amazing! From the landscaping, to the buildings exteriors, to the interior environments…everything is done well! It’s a place that I would want to come to every week. It’s a place I could invite friends to and they would feel comfortable and welcomed. It’s a place that attracts people…and it should! It’s a church! The church SHOULD be a place that attracts people and doesn’t repel them.
- People Know Each Other - You would think at a large church that has over 20,000 people who attend each week that it would be easy to get lost in the crowd and never get to know anyone. But everywhere we went on the campus we saw people connecting with people. It was almost a little weird how many people seemed to know each other and find one another in the crowds of people. This is because people serve together and do life together not just in rows on the weekend, but in circles in homes throughout the week. People have relationships with each other at Saddleback and that means they are doing something right as a church.
- They Serve – I mentioned how people seemed to know each other and one of those ways is because they serve. While we were talking to Josh, he introduced us to his 6th grade son. He said he just made the worship band for elementary kids. When you serve on the children’s worship band you play 5 times on a weekend. 5 times! Saturday at 4:30 and 6:30pm and Sunday at 9, 11:15am and 6pm. It’s crazy that a middle schooler gets what the church is doing, wants to serve, and serves THAT MUCH! Again, they have to be doing something right to have as many volunteers serving as much as they do. They believe in something bigger than themselves and that is HUGE!
- They Care About Students – A lot of churches will tell you they care about their students, but Saddleback puts their money were their mouth is. They built a $20 million student building called The Refinery. Now I am not saying you have to spend $20 million to care about students, but they also shouldn’t be at the bottom of your list getting the last $20 left in your church budget. Josh is taking 700 high school students to camp this summer. 700! That’s larger than most churches in America and that’s just the 9th-12th graders going to camp. And they have a wait list too! Saddleback cares about investing time and money in students lives.
Does your church attract or repel people?
Do people know each other at your church?
Does your church serve?
Does your church care about students?
Josh Griffin was setup to succeed. Josh is the High School Pastor at Saddleback in Lake Forest, California and author of More Than Dodgeball. On our visit to Saddleback Church last weekend, my wife and I were able talk to Josh for a bit after sitting in on the high school service.
While talking with Josh, he told us something crazy. Something that most people will never see happen at their job. Josh was setup to succeed and to succeed extremely well. Let me explain.
For many years Saddleback had a youth pastor by the name of Doug Fields. Doug is one of the most recognized youth pastors of our time. He has written many different books and speaks at conferences around the world. He was also the one behind the amazing youth facility at Saddleback called The Refinery.
The crazy thing about Doug is he handed things over to Josh 6 months before The Refinery was set to open. Years of his hard work was just about to payoff, yet he gave it to someone else to receive the payout. No, Josh didn’t get money…he got credit for a high school youth ministry that tripled in size almost overnight!
Don’t get me wrong, Josh deserves A LOT of credit for taking the youth ministry to where it is today. But Doug set him up to succeed beyond his wildest dreams while slowly fading into the background without taking credit. I think that story is amazing and shows what kind of person Doug really is.
99% of employers would LOVE to have an employee who sets up their replacement to be able to succeed at such a high level. Sadly, most employers will get 2 weeks and a handshake goodbye if they are lucky.
How can you setup someone to succeed when you leave your current position?
This past weekend my wife and I got to visit Saddleback Church in Orange County California. You’ve probably heard of Saddleback and/or their pastor Rick Warren who has sold tens of millions of copies of his book The Purpose Driven Life. Rick wasn’t speaking last weekend as he is on a much needed break, but his friend Pete Wilson was in town to speak at Saddleback.
Pete is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. In under 10 years, Cross Point has grown to 5 campuses and over 5,000 people! Pete is also the author of two great books you should buy multiple copies of and read, Plan B and Empty Promises.
About 4 or 5 years ago I started listening to Pete’s messages online. I don’t remember how I came across Pete or Cross Point, but I am pretty sure it was on Twitter. I had grown up in church more days than not, yet I was at a point in my life that I really wanted nothing to do with it. I felt like there wasn’t a church I would ever fit in at and I found myself bored by most pastors. That was until I listened to a podcast of Pete.
I don’t remember the first message I heard from Pete, but the thing that stuck out about him was that he was real! He was a real dude, with real problems, real issues, and he was just like me. Well maybe not just like me…he has cool hair and I don’t have very much hair at all anymore…but he seemed like someone who was real, who loved Jesus and people, and was someone that I could relate to.
I wasn’t attending church anywhere, but I started listening to Pete’s messages sometimes multiple times a day. Several times I heard Pete talk about someone who had influenced him as a leader, someone by the name of Andy Stanley. Upon researching Andy, I realized I didn’t really know anything about him other than knowing who his dad was from being on TV every Sunday morning. That started me on a path I am still following today.
Because stumbling upon Cross Point and Pete has led me down a path that has led me to my bride and to being apart of a team that believes in leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ so much that we are planting a church who’s mission is to do just that!
It’s kinda funny how small the Internet can make the world feel. Or how BIG Gods plans can be before we even know them or can see them. But I am excited to be along for the journey!
The picture above is of Pete and I last weekend at Saddleback when I got to personally thank him for the impact he made in my life from over 2,000 miles away. I will forever be grateful for Pete! You should check out his message Following Jesus Instead of Seeking Acceptance…it’s a good one!
My wife and I went to Disneyland last week. I hadn’t been in about 3 years, but had a season pass for several years before that. Admission prices have nearly doubled since my last visit! It’s still worth it…for now.
This is what happens on Space Mountain.
I stopped a lady who was running to the bathroom and had to pee really bad to take this picture. She had a hard time standing still while taking it and literally ran after she handed my phone back to me. Hopefully she made it to the bathroom and there wasn’t a line.
I haven’t said much on my blog this past year and a half. In the years prior I had written enough blog posts to complete a full 200 page book every year, but in 2012 and so far in 2013, it has been a bit different story.
At the beginning of 2012 I was working a full-time and two part-time jobs as well as planning a wedding. I say planning a wedding, but my fiancé at the time and now the woman I call my wife was really doing all of that…I was just planning on getting married. Since then I have left two of my three jobs and my wife and I have relocated to her hometown of Fresno. A lot has happened!
Never in my life did I think I’d live in Fresno, California, but I do and I enjoy it! Check back with me in July when it’s 110 degrees outside and I might have a different opinion.
Here’s to more blogging in the near future!
Earlier this week I had the privilege to attend a Catalyst One Day event in Sacramento. It’s basically a day of Craig Grosechel and Andy Stanley teaching all kinds of leadership awesomeness. I highly recommend checking Catalyst out!
So my buddy Nathan is a grad school student in Oklahoma and attends one of the many Life Church locations…they have over a dozen! Craig Groeshel is the lead pastor of Life Church as well as the author of many, great, books.
For some time my buddy Nathan has been telling me the rumor at Life Church is that Craig is only 5′ 6″ tall. Since there are so many locations my buddy Nathan hasn’t had a chance to meet Craig in person to prove this rumor right or wrong…so I did for him at Catalyst.
I had a chance to share the rumor with Craig who then bent down to look a half a foot shorter and asked if I wanted to take the picture like that before standing at his normal height to take the photo below. I am 6 feet tall. Rumor obviously busted. Thanks Craig!
High five to Craigs buddy in the background for making sure he stayed on time during the meet and greet and getting hundreds of photos taken of him. I’d wear an awesome mask if I had that job.
It’s the morning after the election and here are some things I STILL know to be true.
- I still know there is an e-mail offer from Living Social for a half-off bikini wax that I will never use whether I buy it or not.
- I still know there is going to be a huge line of people who aren’t the most pleasant to be around at the DMV when I go today…and I still know I have to go.
- I still know there is a chance to do things differently today than you/I/we did them yesterday.
- I still know there is something that smells pretty gross outside and if I don’t shut my window soon the entire apartment will smell funny too…and my wife will wonder what I ate all day when she gets home.
- I still know that most of my friends are smart enough to know that blasting Facebook with their political views is silly…but they will do it anyways.
- I still know that voting alone isn’t enough if you want to REALLY make a change in peoples lives.
- I still know I won’t come even close to agreeing on everything with any of my friends…but I still know that if we had to agree with everyone on everything to be friends with someone that we would all be very, very lonely people. #nofriends
So what do YOU still know to be true today AND how can YOU use that truth to love and help others?
My Easy Step 1: shutting the window which = loving my wife by keeping our apartment smelling nice. #love
My wife got her new iPhone 5 today. I don’t get an upgrade till June. Boo. Guess I’ll be getting the 5S.
The iPhone 5 took a pretty crazy journey around the world on UPS planes and trucks to get here in California. Below is this little phones journey.
- It started out in China on Oct 10th.
- On Oct 11th it left China and went to Korea and then left Korea and went on to Anchorage, Alaska. It also left Alaska that day headed to Louisville, Kentucky.
- Oct 12th it arrived in Louisville where it sat for the weekend.
- Oct 15th it left Louisville and landed in San Jose, California where it went up to South San Francisco.
- Early Oct 16th it made it’s way from South San Francisco to Santa Rosa and out on a truck to Windsor. Later today it will be in the hand of my wife who will probably be glued to it for a while.
Pretty crazy to me how far the phone has already traveled. What did we do before technology?
(photo taken with iPhone 4S)
The road to the Fall Classic is here. Here are my playoff hopes/picks. What about yours?
AL Wild Card
Baltimore over Texas
NL Wild Card
Atlanta over St. Louis
AL Division Series
Baltimore over New York
Oakland over Detroit
NL Division Series
Cincinnati over San Francisco
Washington over Atlanta
AL Championship Series
Oakland over Baltimore
NL Championship Series
Washington over Cincinnati
Oakland over Washington