Saturday, May 29, 2010

Meet Steve Reynolds

SGC Staffing: Since summer of '09 I knew we would be transitioning at the leadership level. One of our key staffers moved away and it left us with a substantial leadership void. After a few days of panic about who I could find to fill some pretty amazing shoes, I really felt a nudge from within (ie Holy Spirit) to not switch into replacement mode. The plan was to take the 09-10 school year and 'feel out' the needs that surfaced through prayer and observation. I knew we would need a key leader to help us develop our kids ministry initiative to the next level, and I was pretty sure we would be looking outside of SGC to fill this role. After many conversations--which I highly recommend having--with some trusted advisors and leaders we came up with a plan we felt pretty good about. There was a strong sense of agreement. Casey Martin, our youth minister, for the last three years has stepped up to the role of overseer of all children & students. We call it 936, the number of weeks from birth to age 18. Casey has developed into a dynamic leader and team builder...and he was here all along.

From this process has come a new staffing strategy and a new face(s) on our team. After reconfiguring out team, SGC is proud to announce Steve Reynolds as our youth minister. Steve and his wife Marcy have been in youthwork for most of their eight years of married life while they have produced five children of their own. Steve will continue to work for the Crossing while running point for 12ONE SGC's ministry to middle and high school students. You can find and learn more about Steve on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. A big welcome to Steve and the entire Reynolds family!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mosaic Experiment

One of my favorite voices in the church today is Mark Batterson who has built a really great church in DC and written books like In a Pit, Wild Goose Chase and now Primal. I am grateful for this godly leader. Mark is famous (in my world) for saying these liberating words.... "Everything is an experiment." It is powerful and empowering to go into a risky situation with this idea firmly in mind. I want to live more like that every day!

So, this weekend at SGC we will try an experiment. Our Sunday service will be in Spanish and translated to English, and it's never been done here before. Why? Because we are a church that celebrates the mosaic nature of our multi-cultural church. This Sunday we celebrate Jesus Latino-style complete with music, preaching and tamales (...for sale to help with our mission to Argentina.)

Now in Spanish....

Una de mis voces preferidas en la iglesia es hoy la Mark Batterson que ha incorporado una iglesia realmente grande en la Washington D.C. Soy agradecido para este líder santo. El es famosa (en mi mundo) por decir estas palabras de liberación…. ' Todo es un experimento.' Es de gran alcance y de autorización para entrar una situación aventurada con esta idea firmemente en mente. ¡Quiero vivir más bién eso diario!

Así pues, este fin de semana en SGC intentaremos un experimento. Nuestro servicio de Domingo estará en español y será traducido al inglés, e nunca hecho aquí antes. ¿Por qué? Porque somos una iglesia que celebra la naturaleza del mosaico de nuestra iglesia multicultural. Este Domingo celebramos el Latino-estilo de Jesús completo con música, la predicación y tamales (… para que la venta ayude con nuestra misión a la Argentina.) ¡Todos estan bienvenidos!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Lost Art of Apologizing

You ever struggle to apologize? As part of The Orchard's (Aurora, IL) People of the Second Chance series Scott Hodge gave some helpful advice on how to apologize.... maybe this will help you.

Apologizing made easy...
1. Acknowledge your failure
2. Acknowledge the impact of your misdeed.
3. Actually tell them, "I'm sorry."
4. Commit to change.
5. Shut up. (No need to explain how you were misunderstood or other cool reasons that help you manage your image.)

PS..... Teach your kids to apologize & own their failures. It's never to early to help them take ownership.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Multi-racial churches in the United States...

Q: Are U.S. churches multiracial? (What about your church?)
A: Sadly, no. Eleven o’clock Sunday morning continues to be the most segregated hour in America. A study by sociologist Michael Emerson showed that churches where 20 percent of members were of a racial minority comprised only 7 percent of U.S. congregations. Overall, 5 percent of Protestant churches and 15 percent of Roman Catholic churches were multi-racial. But Sociologist Scott Thumma found that megachurches, in the 2005 “Megachurches Today” study, may be changing that balance. In his study, 35 percent of megachurches claimed to have 20 percent or more minorities. What’s more, 56 percent of megachurches said they were making an intentional effort to become multi-racial.
Want to know more? Read People of the Dream: Multiracial Congregations in the United States by Michael Emerson, (Princeton University Press, 2006) Also, read the Megachurches Today report here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

On my mind....

I stole this idea from a friend who may have stolen this from someone else, but one thing is sure there are no original ideas, just good memories. Anyway, this is what is on my mind today....

  • Progress attracts criticism and disunity. It seems to me when you really get going there is a whole different set of problems that suddenly appears. Division makes life difficult, and is too often unavoidable.
  • Being misunderstood is still difficult for me. Just when I think people 'know my heart,' I am reminded how prone I am to hurt people and that being misunderstood is simply a burden of leadership.
  • Personal space matters. As we adjust to a different living environment, I am jonesing for the familiar turf of my house....the one I just sold to total strangers (possibly otherworldly aliens.) This brother needs some elbow room!
  • The business of church makes me long for the days when it was only about (youth) ministry. I love and appreciate my role as the senior leader at Southgate, primarily because I love my church and embrace my calling to lead a local church. But, even though it was difficult, at times, to work under someone's leadership (ie as a staffer), it insulated me from stuff I would rather not be doing... stuff I would still rather not be doing.
  • Friendships matter. I need friends outside of my context; people I can vent with and complain to about people they don't know and will (hopefully) never meet.
  • Give grace. Always be slow to judge, ok at least try to slow it down a bit.
That's what is on my mind today, Monday May 10th 2010.