Archive for June, 2008

One more for today…

Posted on 30. Jun, 2008 by .

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Okay, one more postcard for your review. The image on the left is the front of the card. Since this week is a holiday week, I need to get this off to the printer before the end of the day, so if you have any suggestions, let me know.

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More opinions needed

Posted on 30. Jun, 2008 by .

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11x17BaptismClassPosterproof

I’d like your opinion on this poster. It is an 11×17 inch poster. I really like the design and the simplicity of it all. I already have postcards that go into more detail. Is this enough for my poster or does it need more info? The postcard is here. Help me out here. Oh, and I have to get this off to the printer in the early afternoon, so if you have an opinion and the time, I’d appreciate it!

BTW, I’m going to post the original files for all these graphics I’m working on on the site in a few days. I can include it all except for the backgrounds that I purchased. The license states that I cannot share or give away the files, however, I will give you the link to the file I used so you can download it yourself (not very expensive anyway).… Read the rest

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Training timeliness

Posted on 30. Jun, 2008 by .

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The other day I wrote a post about timeliness here. Some of the comments added to the post in a way that I thought I’d write a little more. Interestingly enough, I wrote about this issue specifically about 14 months ago. Timeliness. It’s something we all struggle with. Kids are late. Volunteers are late. Parents are late. What do we do?

“I’m going to train my parents to be on time.”

Yeah, I’ve said that. Have you?

Unfortunately, I don’t think its necessarily right to think of it that way. It’s not my job to get parents to sign up for stuff on time. However, we all understand the value of timeliness. If we only get an hour a week with these kids, we want the full hour, right? Or when we’re planning camp, it totally throws us off when 40 registrations come in a few days before we leave for camp. So, it’s not really about “training our parents” but more about setting policies for the purpose of creating ministry excellence. Here are some examples:

Late registration price increases. A lot of times I’ll do this for camps. Initially I did this as motivation for parents to sign up their kids on time. However, I found that it really didn’t help that much. However, late registrations often cost more money. I’ll usually order t-shirts by the time registration closes. I always order extra shirts because you know someone else always signs up and I’d feel horrible if 140 kids got a t-shirt and one didn’t. So I order enough to handle late registrations and the price increase pays for the extra shirt. Sometimes extra supplies are needed at the last minute and we have to pay extra to get it on time, so price increases help with this.… Read the rest

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Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Posted on 29. Jun, 2008 by .

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Gaddis22Here is a link to a web site my wife came across the other day. CAUTION! Don’t got there yet… let me prep you as you may not want to go there. Trust me!

My wife met someone recently who is a volunteer photographer for a foundation called “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” I had no idea anything like this existed and it’s simply powerful. Perhaps there are photographers at your church who’d be willing to volunteer for something like this. I can think of few things more touching that this.

Here’s the deal. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a network of volunteer photographers who go to hospitals and homes to take pictures of children who have passed away shortly after birth or are are going to die due to a complication or illness. Most of these parents will only enjoy holding their child in their arms for minutes to days and these photographers provide beautiful memories that the parents can cherish forever. These aren’t morbid or disturbing photos, but beautiful and touching scenes.

I’ll caution you though, viewing these photos will absolutely rip your heart out. If you’re up to it, I do encourage you to visit the link, view the pictures and read the stories from these parents who lost their children. I’m not an overly emotional man, but I was fighting back the tears. Sara and I lost babies at 8 and 10 weeks. When we got pregnant with Titus, we were on pins and needles at every doctor visit. On the day of delivery, I was holding my breath. I really knew he was going to be healthy and strong, but true joy and relief came when I saw him suck in air and let out that beautiful little cry! How precious is life?… Read the rest

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Dopey graphics don’t cut it anymore!

Posted on 28. Jun, 2008 by .

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I’d like to say that they never worked, but as a kid I was a big fan of Psalty the Singing Songbook and Charity the Church Mouse. I had the records and cassette tapes with the kiddie-dopey illustrations… and I think I loved it. Children’s Pastors take notice… it’s not the 80’s anymore!

Always having been a young Children’s Pastor, I’ve tired my best to create an elementary ministry that related to the kids we were trying to reach. What seemed to work for me as a 5th grader did not work for me. I remember being so frustrated with music options 8-10 years ago. I couldn’t find worship songs that didn’t sound like the music was recorded with toy instruments. We wore out Big House as it was the only song that I wasn’t embarrassed to do with my 4th and 5th graders.

Over the years, I always tried to push the envelope on what music we’d play as kids were hanging out. In the early years of ministry, DC Talk (those kids loved Jesus Freak) and Five Iron Frenzy were winners. The WOW music videos were usually pretty good, but even in recent years I felt the need to even grab some of the edgier that really grabbed those older boys. The boy band and girl groups had nothing on the power chords of a spiky haired rock band. On occasion I’d have a parent complain that the music was a little mature. At least I knew I was pushing the envelope.

Well, I think all of this is true of the images we use as well. Whether it be a logo, a flyer or our web site. Fact is, dopey graphics don’t cut it anymore. A few years ago I created a new logo for my summer camp (called Camp Extreme).… Read the rest

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A new pet peeve

Posted on 27. Jun, 2008 by .

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Okay, I just came across a new pet peeve of mine. I was hanging out in the check-in area on Sunday and it was about 15 minutes after the service started and I mentioned something about shutting down check-in. Someone responded that it was too early and people here are on Gateway time. That was the second time I heard that since I’ve been here. The last time was a few weeks ago. I was sitting in morph (a new discipleship program) and the speaker said something about only having a handful of registrations a week before, but now there were more than 60 people participating. He said something about this being the Gateway Way. All this sounded familiar.

However, I put 2 and 2 together today. I got an email from a previous co-worker at Cross Timbers. She was talking about how registrations come in slow and at the last minute. She said, “You know how it is on CT time.”

You know what?I think I can even remember back to my first full time position at a church in IN. I seem to remember talking about how people arrive at the last minute or sign up for stuff late.

So, this is my pet peeve. Based on my past experience, people are late and like to wait until the last minute. Sure, not everyone is like this, but enough are. I really don’t think it’s that unique, based on my experience. How about you? Have you experienced this with your ministry, or is everyone always on time? I think I’m going to start standing up for this. The next time someone says that this is “Gateway time” I’m going to boldly stand and say, “No. This isn’t Gateway time… it’s reality. People are late here just like they are at every other church in this country (and let me tell you, go down to a church in some other countries and they’ll give you some real examples of “late.”)!”

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Wow, everyone really is trying to embrace the culture, huh?

Posted on 26. Jun, 2008 by .

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Yesterday I was doing a little research. I have a phone appointment in a week with someone who is attending our church and has left her Catholic roots. In the past, Church was always a “thing” to do…and not really enjoyed. But now she and her family look forward to coming to Gateway every week and they are growing in their relationship with Christ. She has two kids and she in a bit of a precarious spot. They know they’re in the right place here at Gateway, but due to her deep rooted past, she’s really nervous about not having her kids observe the sacraments (ie. Confirmation, Communion etc…). It’s just that part of letting go, but still being concerned with the “what if I’m wrong… am I screwing up my kids’ eternity?

So, I was doing a little research and I came across this web site.

You go St. Ignatius!

I don’t know if this is an effort of the Catholic Church to better engage with what is culturally relevant, or just an opportunity for some who are Catholic that want to show their faith in a relevant way. I give them props for making the effort. If I was Catholic, I’d be all over the brown “Sacred Heart of Jesus” Tee or the “Romantic Catholic” hoodie.

Bellow are images of some of my favorites. Oh and if I saw someone wearing the St. Francis shirt with the rope around the waist, I can’t say I wouldn’t laugh at them. Oh, and I’m kinda cracking up at the “today I’ll stay pure” shirt that is printed backwards to remind you to stay pure when you see it in the mirror.

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Summer Serve

Posted on 26. Jun, 2008 by .

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I’m throwing this one out to my readers. I want to find out what you do.

When coming to a new church you usually inherit a lot of stuff. You also inherit volunteer schedules and routines. At Gateway I inherited one things I really like and one thing I don’t like too much. First of all, a majority of our volunteers serve every week. That’s just awesome. The thing I don’t like so much is that traditionally a large number of these volunteers would take the summer months off and a recruiting push would be done in May called “Summer Serve.” The idea was that a new team is recruited to serve for the summer while most of the regulars took time off. The advantage was that many of those who signed up for Summer Serve would stick with it into the next year. The disadvantage, you’ve got a whole new team to train and enlist in ministry.

Have any of your guys experienced this? I can tell you that I don’t love it. I’m all for giving my volunteers some time off. I’ll give them time off whenever they need it. However, I don’t see letting all my team off for 2-3 months all at the same time. I understand the “why,” but I don’t love it.

So, this Spring we didn’t do it… kinda. Well, I actually got her too late to do an official Summer Serve push. The announcement I made last Sunday was where we would normally do a Summer Serve push (about a month late though), but instead I made it about serving on a permanent basis.

Have any of you experienced Summer Serve? Was it a really successful thing or a necessary evil?

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The Holy Ghost and me

Posted on 25. Jun, 2008 by .

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A few weeks ago my blogging friend Sam wrote a very intriguing post here. I was disappointed that there were only two comments… both of them mine. However, I’m pretty sure I know why no one had much to say. I think it’s rare for us to link the Holy Spirit and recruiting together. It kind of was for me too.

A few weeks ago I finished writing an article on the Holy Spirit’s role in recruiting. Writing this article was amazingly refreshing and a great reminder of the things I often forget or neglect. Here’s all I can say. They Holy Spirit wants to help and we need to remember to let him. He proved it to me in a beautiful bit of confirmation that I’d love to tell you about.

I finished writing this article just before the weekend… about letting the Holy Spirit help in your recruitment process. After service that Sunday, my wife came up to me and said, “Remind me to tell you about the person I saw in the garage (our coffee/bookstore) today.” It wasn’t until later that night that I remembered to ask. She then went on to tell me about someone she saw earlier that day. There was this man who came up to the husband of my Early Childhood Director. He seemed very outgoing and fun. More importantly, he really engaged with his kids… he had them eating out of his hands, so to speak. Sara said, “you gotta get this guy on your team.”

So, I then sent an email to my Early Childhood Director’s husband. I prefaced the email saying, “This is a highly unusual request.” I went on to tell him what Sara saw and that I’d like to connect with him if he’s not serving somewhere else.… Read the rest

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Opinions please…

Posted on 24. Jun, 2008 by .

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Here is a handout card announcing our upcoming baptism class. I’d love any feedback.

baptismclasspostcardfront copy baptismclasspostcardback copy

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