Archive for August, 2008

Zamzar: I love you even more!

Posted on 29. Aug, 2008 by .

2

Several months ago I wrote about Zamzar. It is a website that will convert videos for you. I used it for showing YouTube videos in kids church. You could go to Zamzar and type in the URL address of the YouTube video and Zamzar would find it and convert it to your choice of video format. It worked like a charm. Remember, internet videos are not that high quality, so your converted file will be the same quality of what it was on the web.

Then I found a brand new use for Zamzar… and I was amazed. I am designing some business cards for a church in GA. I do most of my design work in Photoshop and then I’d save the files as jpegs to send as proofs. The administrator had some revisions to make, so she opened the only editing software she had available… MS Publisher. Oops, I don’t have Publisher… at least not on this computer. I figured that I would have to wait until I got home before I could make corrections. Then just out of curiosity, I decided to google it. I googled “publisher conversion” and one of the first results on the list was Zamzar. NO WAY. I uploaded the publisher file and it converted it to a PDF. I could have converted it to all sorts of other file types as well. I just did the same thing for a schedule someone sent me in Word Perfect (which I don’t have either). Again… it worked perfectly.

So,the next time someone sends you a file that you can’t open… go to Zamzar and let them convert it.

See a list of all files, videos, audio and compressed file format that they will convert… for free!… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Help with a small group activity… win a prize

Posted on 28. Aug, 2008 by .

5

I thought I’d throw this out there. My team and I racked our brains for 45 minutes coming up with one more small group activity and we came up with nothing. Maybe you can help. I’ll make it interesting… you give me an idea and we use it, I’ll send you your choice of a $5 iTunes card or Starbucks card.

We’re using 252 and the monthly virtue is Responsibility. The bottom line is “When you can be trusted with a little, you can be trusted with a lot.” The Memory verse is similar: Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” The Bible story is basically the parable of the talents.

The way we’re doing this is a 30 minute large group activity (worship, drama and teaching) and then 35 minutes in small groups. They’ll spend 15 minutes before large group and 20 minutes after larger group in small groups. I have 2 of the three small group activities.

Activity One: The small group leader will toss out a balloon which the kids will keep hitting it and keep it from hitting the ground. As the do well, the leader will introduce another balloon and another until one hits the ground. They’ll play that game a few times. The leader will then gather the kids together again communicate, as you did well with one balloon, you we’re given two to handle and as you showed you could handle two, you were given three. Responsibility is similar, when you prove yourself as someone who is responsible, you will be given more to be responsible for. This is just a fun way to introduce the topic.

Activity Two: ???

Activity Three: Every child will be given a pen/pencil and an index card.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

I Loath Algerian Font Day #3

Posted on 28. Aug, 2008 by .

1

IMAGE_00212

About six weeks ago I went to an office furniture store to purchase some school lockers. As I was walking into the store, I noticed this sign on the door. I was with my staff that knew about my “thing” with Algerian. I usually laugh to myself when I see it in the wild, but it’s more fun to share with others.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

One of my life goals: Accomplished!

Posted on 27. Aug, 2008 by .

5

This summer I accomplished one of the big goals in my life… to be published. For years I had been talking about writing… actually it’s probably the main reason I started this blog. When I finished my masters degree I decided that I would spend the 15-20 hours a week I had been studying and apply that to writing. Three years went by and I hadn’t written a lick. That’s when I wrote this post… my first post.

A little over 18 months have passed and I’ve written quite a bit. Almost 300 posts to be exact… and I still just feel like I’m getting started. However, because I started blogging, it helped prime the pump if you will and also helped me establish some connections and relationships that have been so valuable to me! Then about 5 months ago my friend Todd emailed me and asked me if I would write a short little article with K Magazine. After reading my series of post on taking kids on missions, he suggested I write a 300 word blurb for the readers of K. Sweet! It was a start.

Since I wasn’t actually even a subscriber of K Magazine yet (not because I didn’t want to… but I was homeless at the moment), I tried to connect with Evan Doyle or Ryan Frank about getting signed up for the magazine before the article came out. In the process of connecting with Ryan (we actually met several years back when I lived in IN and I got the opportunity to come and speak at his church’s camp), he invited me to write a full article for K. Really, I was just trying to subscribe! :)

I was honored and thoroughly enjoyed writing my first full article. So, if you get K Magazine, look me up and tell me what you think… I’m on page 66!… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Promotion Sunday

Posted on 26. Aug, 2008 by .

2

This last Sunday was the infamous “Promotion Sunday.” Of all the “Promotion Sundays” I’ve had in the past, this one actually saw the least promotions. We’re in the process of getting portable space added to our facility (like how I termed that… it was a really sophisticated way of saying we’re getting trailers… ha!) Last year the Kindergartners were a part of elementary and this year they’ll stay with preschool… so kindergarten didn’t actually promote.

The only two things I really had my eye on was the implementation of small groups in elementary and the promotion of our 5th graders into middle school. We had two big wins!

First of all I’ll talk about the small groups. One of the first things on my plate from the moments I began at Gateway ( We even talked about it extensively during my interviews) was to launch small groups in elementary. We’ve been working very hard all summer to plug small group leaders in. The goal is about 31 small groups. We’re still not quite there; however, most of our leaders were in place during the 9:30 and 11:00 services. There was a great energy in the room and kids were connecting with their leaders and other kids in their groups. We still have a lot of work ahead of us… but it was beautiful to see.

Second was the promotion of our 5th graders. This was a little big of a double whammy. Chad Swanzy, our student pastor has been working really hard on making this a success. He came on staff just a month before I did and one of the first things on his list was to fix the middle school program. Gateway only had one middle school service and it was at the worst attended time. So, in this church of 4000, we had about 30-35 attend.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Texting: Art or obsession?

Posted on 22. Aug, 2008 by .

1

About three years ago I got email on my phone. It was great. I could now communicate with people via email no matter where I was. Unfortunately, it was at that time when I started getting text messages from more and more people. This really annoyed me since I was paying $40 a month to get email and now people are sending me text messages. I even had some people with email enabled phones sending me text messages to my email enabled phone. Come on! That’s costing me $0.35 a message people!

I finally gave in. I no longer have email on my phone and I too text. It makes sense. If someone has a phone, they more than likely can get a text message. Chances are they don’t have email on that sucker.

Now I’ve come to the realization that teenagers really like to text. That is an understatement. When sending emails to all our volunteers, the 3 or 4 emails that bounce every month are the teenage email addresses. Why? They changed them? Why? They’ve had that email for two months and they’re so sick of being unicorns_with_tears_in_her_eyes@aol.com. Yes, you laugh because you’ve seen this. So what’s the best way to get a hold of a teenager? Text them!

Just last month I had two teenage girls from a previous church visit my family. They come from a big family. Right now there are 6 in the family on cell phones (Mom, Dad and four teenage daughters). Want to guess how many text messages were recorded on their bill (it was unlimited, so they weren’t charged individually)?

No really, guess!

35,000.

No, I didn’t put the comma in the wrong spot. I wrote it correctly. that is pretty close to 6,000 text messages for each phone. I’m sure the girls are texting more than their parents, so maybe they’re each closer to 7000 each.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

I Loath Algerian Font Day #2

Posted on 22. Aug, 2008 by .

0

IMAGE_00217

A month or so after getting to Gateway, I found this sign posted in one of our tech booths. Just a few days earlier I told my intern about my distaste for this font. He cracked up when he noticed me finding this sign. Unfortunately, now a few of my staff like to make PowerPoint slides or documents for me to review with this font plastered all over it.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Facebook is overpopulated? Ugh! Here we go again…

Posted on 21. Aug, 2008 by .

2

In the past week I’ve gotten the following message three times through my facebook inbox:

Attention all Facebook members.
Facebook is recently becoming very overpopulated,
There have been many members complaining that Facebook
is becoming very slow.Record shows that the reason is
that there are too many non-active Facebook members
And on the other side too many new Facebook members.
We will be sending this messages around to see if the
Members are active or not,If you’re active please send
to 15 other users using Copy+Paste to show that you are active
Those who do not send this message within 2 weeks,
The user will be deleted without hesitation to create more space,
If Facebook is still overpopulated we kindly ask for donations but until then send this message to all your friends and make sure you send
this message to show me that your active and not deleted.
Founder of Facebook
Mark Zuckerber

Okay, this is going to sound just a little harsh and if I hurt anyone’s feelings, I’m really sorry. Come on, this is the dumbest email I’ve ever seen. I’m absolutely amazed that anyone would send it along to anyone… yet I got it three times. Honestly, does anyone really think that facebook needs your help to know if you are active or not? If this really was an issue, don’t you think you would have gotten a message from facebook instead of a message from facebook sent you to via your facebook buddies? No really, facebook is a very powerful application and they really don’t depend on it’s users to pass along critical information to ensure that everyone gets it. Last of all, the name isn’t even right. It’s Zuckerberg… not Zuckerber.

I realized something though. All three of these messages I was sent was from teenagers.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Kids these days…

Posted on 20. Aug, 2008 by .

1

I’ve got a few new posts coming out the next few days (over the weekend) that kind of relate. I feel like an old man even saying these words. “Kids these days are different.”

A lot has changed! This is totally not the teenage kids just 5 years ago and especially not the teenage kids 10 years ago. The merger of technology and adolescence has changed just about everything.

I don’t profess to know a whole lot about teenage culture… I feel like I’m really out of touch. That’s why I work with people who really know this culture. I feel like I have a much better feel for the younger kids. So the posts over these next few days are more of my observations that I’ve made these last few weeks about the teenage culture.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Taking small group leaders through the pipeline

Posted on 20. Aug, 2008 by .

1

I wrote a few weeks ago about Gateway’s leadership process. Coming into this new role at a new church, I had to get my hands around who were leaders and who wasn’t. I had people who had been through the leadership process and were considered leaders… but they weren’t technically leading anyone. On the other side, I had some people who were leading people but had not been through the leadership process and were not considered leaders. Confusing, hug? Essentially, I’ve had to start over and evaluate my “leaders” one person at a time, find out what they are or are not leading and set them on the right track.

The largest amount of my energy though has been focused on raising up small group leaders for the fall. The elementary program at Gateway has not been “relational” in practice. So we’re launching about 31 small groups. This will link every 10-12 kids with on adult each weekend. I’m expecting big things this fall as a result to moving to this paradigm. However, the process has been eating my lunch.

  • So, first of all I have to recruit. I’ve been getting the word out in about a hundred different ways. Our efforts have paid off as I have recruited more small group leaders than I need (oh, but I’m not done).
  • Second we send them the paperwork to fill out which includes a criminal background check, a Kids Quest volunteer application and a leadership info form (Since my small group leaders are essentially shepherding a group of kids, I’m requiring them to go through the leadership process). The background check and the application can be filled out in a few minutes, but the leadership form takes most people anywhere from 20 minutes to 90 minutes to fill out (it probably took me two hours).
Read the rest

Continue Reading