Here he is with the one and only Carman. That alone is worth attaining personal hero status… but I’ll go on. I know that a lot of you who read this blog probably read Jonathan’s blog too, but in case you don’t, you should start. For the past 2-3 years, I’ve been beating this “collaboration” drum because it’s changed the entire way I see (and do) ministry. There’s something about not doing it alone. Funny how you can have a big church, big staff and stillÂ sometimesÂ feel all alone. If you find yourself in that position, it’s your fault.
I’ve only known Jonathan Cliff for about 3 years, but he’s probably one of the people who has influenced my life most in recent years. Although he is a great guy to bounce ideas off of, he’s much more than that to me… he’s a close friend. Probably to his irritation, I call him 2-4 times a week… usually on my way in to work or when I’m coming home. When I need encouragement, a good laugh or simply to get picked on, I know I can count on Jonathan. However, he was recently promoted to the same position I hold and already I’m learned so much from him. He’s an incredible leader and he probably doesn’t realize that I’m often writing things down that I hear him say concerning the way he leads (especially confronts).
JC is the real deal. He loves his wife well and he’s a great dad. His kids are a proof of that. His family are also rockstars by going on mission to foster kids who need a good influence while their parents get their lives back in order. If you get a chance to meet Jonathan, just ask him about why they foster… it’s inspiring. In the three years I’ve gotten to know Jonathan, I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with him at multiple conferences as well as our families hanging out together in both Austin and Lubbock.
So, why do I write all of this?
- Jonathan (and a few other people very special to me) came into my life when I started puttingÂ myselfÂ out there with blogging/tweeting and contacting others in ministry. Put yourself out there too, it’s the best thing that could ever happen to you!
- I had to figure out how to use this great photo of him and Carman as well as some of these other great pics and videos.
- Sometimes it feels really nice to have someone say good stuff about you. It means a lot when it happens to me, so I figured I’d pay it forward.
Jonathan has a thing for trees. Living in Lubbock, I guess you start to miss them or something. He went out and bought this tree and I think he’s really proud of it as he has talked about it to me on multiple occasions. If you’ve ever visiting Lubbock, be sure to get your picture taken with the tree. I hadn’t been out of my car for more than 5 minutes before I was posing with his tree. I laugh every time I see this picture!
Oh, and one more thing. This summer Jonathan and his family stopped over for a couple days on their way to the beach. We went tubing down the San Marcos River. We stopped and swung on the rope swing for a few minutes. On JC’s first swing, he almost lands on this elderly dude. So funny! Check out the video!
Join the Daily Dispatch!
If you're a kidmin content junky... submit your name and email and you will get the following:
• Daily updates from the blog
• Weekly blog summaries with exclusive content
• Access to amazing resources
ALL DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!
I am a Jonathan Cliff fan too. It was awesome to hear that he was fostering too. It makes me not feel like such a freak (or I guess encouraged and inspired is the right way to say that). I don’t know him near as well as you, but it is great to know that there are like-minded people serving passionately to the same end-goal just on different fronts. Glad you guys are putting yourself out on the internet for others to learn from!
I don’t know Jonathan near as well as you do, but I have to agree that he is an exceptional guy/pastor/father. He has encouraged me on multiple occasions and he is so genuine and real about it.
I was just thinking last week about how much I’ve learned from and been inspired by him. I didn’t realize how much he was influencing me until I really started to think about it. Jonathan is like an influence ninja. It just happens so naturally, you don’t even realize it.
A few things:
First of all, because of that old man I had to NOT do my triple axle, toe touch, backward flip into the water. If you watch that video again, you’ll see me holding back from my intended jump.
Second, Kenny almost killed my first born on that same rafting trip. We still threaten Ryan with a Kenny Conley float trip if he doesn’t clean his room…and it’s effective!
And lastly, I’m humbled and honored to be thought of as a friend to Kenny. Thanks for the post, and it comes at a great time for me. Me and my tree love you.
Kenny that video is hilarity!!! I love it. Cracking up!
Kenny, I’m in the Jonathan Fan Club, as well. I just met him last year at the Orange conference, and his online advice and posts have been a great source of help to me. But my biggest kudos to Jonathan (so far) is for his chapter in Collaborate. It really changed my perspective on family events! I try to keep up with posts from both of you. They make my kidmin world so much better! Thanks!
Love the picture.
Love the video.
Love the whole Cliff bunch.
Proud to be a part of their ministry at Trinity.
Thankful for their friendship.
Inspired by their obedience.
Hey, great video — I love the backwards and forward stuff. Didn’t know you could do all that on vimeo. I too have been really blessed by the online world of CM, asking advice, getting encouragement ,and feeling like part of a community bigger than my own immediate circle of friends. Thanks for highlighting this blog, I’m headed over to check it out more.