Tag Archives: Austin

Let it Be Christmas

Posted on 25. Nov, 2013 by .

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At Gateway, we’re very excited about Christmas. Our arts staff are neck deep in finalizing an amazing show for the Austin Community: Let it Be. The show is the greatest story ever told set to the music that defined a generation. Essentially, it’s the story of Christmas told through the music of the Beatles. Pretty cool, huh? World Vision has partnered with our church to see 1000 kids sponsored through the thousands who will attend Let it Be Christmas. So, if you’re in the Austin area (or close enough), be sure to come down for a show, it’s going to be amazing!

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Why we stopped going to summer camp

Posted on 08. Jul, 2013 by .

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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

Posted on 03. Jul, 2013 by .

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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

Posted on 10. Apr, 2013 by .

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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

Posted on 06. Aug, 2012 by .

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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

Posted on 02. May, 2012 by .

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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

Posted on 08. Apr, 2012 by .

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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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Austin Illuminate was EPIC!

Posted on 14. Nov, 2011 by .

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I’m excited to say that Illuminate has year two behind it now with just finishing the second event in Austin, TX. Although we had a very high retention of churches come back again (in addition to many new churches), I was amazed by how many people were brand new this year. It felt like the whole room.

I’m incredibly blessed because everything went so exceedingly well. Other than the little tweak here and the adjustment there, there isn’t much of anything that I would change. It was a fantastic second year event. I’ll be sending out email evaluations later this week, but that hasn’t stopped the emails from coming in already. Here are what some people are saying:

“Again I wanted to say great job!  My team was buzzing like crazy the whole way back home. We had a great time and learned so much!  Thank you for dreaming up a conference that truly blesses volunteers.”

“Thank you for all of the work, time, heart, and prayer that you all put into today’s program. We walked away encouraged and inspired!”

“I was so very blessed to attend this conference.  God is working in so many different areas of our ministry here, due to the conference. I just can’t fully describe in words how this conference has changed my thinking and how God was making plans last spring and summer!!  What a blessing you and Illuminate has been to me and will be to our church from birth to college aged.”

I’ll be honest, there have been times this year when I’ve questioned whether I really needed to do this. As great of an idea as it has been, it’s been a lot of hard work and at times very frustrating. But seeing it happen and hearing how much it impacted people make ever bit worth it.… Read the rest

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Illuminate comes to Austin

Posted on 09. Nov, 2011 by .

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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 the registration are not exactly where I had initially hoped, we have experienced very healthy growth this year over last year and I think we’re going to have a great crowd with some dynamic energy for this little event. So, let me tell you why I’m so stoked about this weekend.

  1. Connecting with people who I love and respect – I’ll be perfectly honest. There is some selfish motivation behind me starting the Illuminate Conference. There are several people who lead in the local church that I have gotten very close to over the years. They’ve impacted my life and I can’t imagine doing ministry without them in my world. They’ve become dear friends and I’ve invited them to speak at this event for two reasons. First, because I believe that they’re some of  the best of the best and I want these people speaking into my volunteers and the people who lead kidmin in my city and state. Secondly, I brought them here because I love any time I can get with these people!
  2. Building up the church – I believe that Illuminate has the potential to be a game-changer within the local church. Once a volunteer gets “fired up” there’s no telling what they’re going to do. There are precious few resources out there that exist to “fire up” volunteers. My hope is that volunteers will get a better glimpse of what they’ve been called to and as a result of this weekend, churches will never be the same.
  3. Equipping my volunteers – So this whole Illuminate thing came about over a year ago as a method to better equip our own volunteers.
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Illuminate Updates

Posted on 01. Nov, 2011 by .

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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 expecting about 500 kidmin folks to converge on the Gateway Church campus on November 12th and it’s going to be amazing. I’ve got a stellar line-up of speakers. Check it out:

  • Jim Wideman
  • Sam Luce
  • Michael Chanley
  • Gina McClain
  • Dan Scott
  • Amy Fenton Lee
  • Jonathan Cliff
  • Matt McKee
Incredible, huh? I’ll be doing a lot of extra work around the Austin event to prepare for Illuminate Online.

Illuminate Online? What’s that? Well, obviously most of you who are reading this can’t really participate in Illuminate because it’s a regional event and you don’t live close enough. Illuminate is the answer to that. It’s going to be the online version of the Illuminate Conference. There you’ll get access to all kinds of video content, downloadable resources as well as an electronic version of the Illuminate Conference book. Every conference attendee gets a 42 page conference book chock full of great ministry articles. The electronic version is a beefed up version of the same book, but available for free at Illuminate Online. Look for Illuminate Online to go live sometime in January.

Oh, and don’t forget about Nashville. February 18th is the date of our final conference of the 2011-2012 year being held at Long Hollow Baptist just north of Nashville. I spent a few days in Tennessee last week and I must say that there is a lot of excitement around this Nashville event. I spent time in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis and I’m really excited about the momentum building for this event. Woo hoo!

For more info on any of the things I just posted, visit illuminateconference.tv.… Read the rest

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