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 still sometimes 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?

  1. Jonathan (and a few other people very special to me) came into my life when I started putting myself 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!