Tag: Austin

Why we stopped going to summer camp

This year we made what would seem like one of the hardest decisions a ministry team would make. After three years of very successful summer camp experiences for kids, middle school and high school, lets not do them any more. When I proposed this to my team back in the fall and explained why I wanted to kill summer camp, it took very little convincing. I was kind of surprised actually.

Why did we kill summer camp?

Two reasons really.

To better align with our strategy
To make room for something better

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I’m not dead

This may be the longest I’ve gone without writing a post on this blog. No, I wasn’t on sabbatical. That comes later. Actually, for the past three weeks, my staff and I led 150+ kids, students and leaders on serving trips around the country and world. It was a first for Gateway and it was AMAZING. Here’s a quick video from our Kids Go! Team last week. I’ll write more about our serving experiences next week.

The music is from North Point Kid’s newest album Shine. It’s awesome, you can buy it here.

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Google Fiber: This make me very, very, very happy

It was recently announced that Austin, TX is going to get Google Fiber. Yes, Google Fiber!

Most of you are probably asking, what the heck is Google Fiber. You can read the wiki page here.

Essentially, Google Fiber is an experimental broadband network that will offer internet at a rate of 100 times faster than what most people have coming into their house. 100 times faster, that’s crazy!

Over a year ago, Google announced a competition with more than 1000 cities of who was going to get it first. Well, Kansas City, KS is on the top of the list, followed by Austin, TX. As of now, Google hasn’t revealed plans to bring fiber anywhere else.

This article explains why Google may not bring it anywhere else. The thought is that Google has no intention of getting into the broadband delivery market, but by doing this experiment, it pushes the other internet providers to innovate and compete. Essentially, Google wants everyone to have faster internt. The faster interent we have, the more YouTube videos we watch, the more ads we see and the more money Google makes.

Google will be offering 3 options for internet:

  • Free broadband
  • A 1 Gigabit up and 1 Gigabit down plan for $70
  • A 1 Gigabit up and 1 Gigabit down plan that includes TV for $120

Not too shabby. There’s no guarantee that Google Fiber will come to my neighborhood, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

I liked this Q & A answer on the Google Fiber page:

Question: Why is Google Fiber coming to Austin?

Answer: Austin is known globally as a mecca for creative and entrepreneurial people, including musicians, artists, tech companies, and the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital to name a few. High-speed ubiquitous connectivity can make an immediate impact on the work of all of these groups. When we were originally choosing where to bring Fiber in 2010, Austin had one of the most enthusiastic responses. Austin city leaders have worked hard to make this possible, and we’re excited to be here.

I love this town for so many reason, here’s to one more!

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Doing Church Strategically

The High School serving trip to Branson I wrote about last week and the strategic view of a spiritual path of lost to leading has had me thinking quite a bit lately. Gateway Branson is crazy focused on reaching the homeless and working poor in Branson. Currently, they are working with about 20 hotels, serving meals to 700 or so people every week. They know that there are about 400-600 more that they need to provide meals for and they’re working hard to get the resources to do this.

Here’s what I love about this model of ministry. They have a hyper specific target, the poor and homeless. They know how many they are. They know where they live. They are actively pursuing ministry to their target. Probably within the next couple of years, they will have a significant presence that saturates their target. I think that success for them is probably where everyone in any one of those hotels feels loved and cared for by Gateway Branson. When that kind of environment is created, people will experience the life and freedom that only comes through Jesus. I’m sure their work will never be done, but with this very strategic target, you could almost set a deadline for “completion.” X Number of meals a week, X number of events at each hotel each month and X number of small groups/recovery groups at each hotel. I love that kind of strategy.

Last night I experienced the same kind of excitement about Gateway Austin.

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Four years and counting

Yesterday I celebrated my fourth year of coming on staff at Gateway Church in Austin, TX. I vividly remember driving from the Orange Conference in Atlanta with my little family and my car fully packed halfway across the country. Not only was excited about moving to a new city and taking on a new job that was fresh and exciting, but I was amazed how God seemingly directed events on a major scale to move me into a job that was exactly what I needed and exactly the right time. 12 months earlier, I’m not sure how I would have felt about this kind of role, but as God had been shaping my heart for a different strategy for ministry in recent months, God provided an opportunity to do what he was preparing me for. I have a pretty cool story of how God called me to each church/ministry I’ve been a part of and Gateway was no exception. I know that God called me to this church.

The past four years have been very rewarding, but not without challenges.

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Gateway Church: Easter – Your Great Story

I just have to write about why I love my church so much.

There’s something amazing when you get to be on staff at a church that you’d certainly attend if you weren’t ministry. I’m about to celebrate my 4th year at Gateway and I’m so proud to be at this church.

Two of Gateway’s core values is to be a church for those who are far from God and to place a high value stories. Both of those values were carried out at our Easter services this year.

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Illuminate comes to Austin

Today is Wednesday and the Austin Illuminate begins in three days. I’m so excited!!! We have over 50 churches from all over the state of Texas (and even one from Oregon) gathering at my home church this Saturday. Although...

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Illuminate Updates

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything about Illuminate, so I thought I’d catch everyone up. It’s truly been a wild and exciting ride this year. The Austin event is just 11 days away. I’m...

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Doing ministry alone

I just had lunch with the Austin Kidmin Network. A year ago this group didn’t exist. Currently the group is up to 50 people, represented by about 15 churches. We’ve got a long way to go to connect other churches in...

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