Church Leadership

For What It’s Worth…

When we get so caught up in what we’re doing, we have tendency to forget that we are all a part of the same team, working toward the same goal.

I believe that every leader has a propensity to do this and we have to fight against it with everything in us. Failure to do so creates “black-eyes” for the capital “C” church, not just our own little faction or denomination. 

Here is how Paul addressed this in 1 Corinthians 6: 

1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another–and this in front of unbelievers! 7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

I think the take away from what Paul is saying can be summed up like this: What a shame! And this in front of unbelievers!

When we allow pride to dictate our decisions and unforgiveness to reign unbridled in our lives, we make really poor decisions for the church as a whole. Sure, you may have your way, or your little group may benefit, but WE lose. And that seems to be contrary to everything that you find in the Bible.

Those are just my thoughts, for what they may be worth. 

The Motion Baptism Party

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This weekend at Motion (technically at my house, but you get the idea) we had our first baptism celebration, and it was amazing! We chose the words that we did to describe our baptisms intentionally; celebration and party, because that’s exactly what it is.

It had an incredibly celebratory, but serious tenor. We recognize the spiritual nature of the event, but we also realize that it is a cause to be excited about. People publicly acknowledging that they have put their faith and trust in Christ and have passed from death to life makes for an exciting event.

We had the honor of baptizing 16 people, young and “distinguished” alike. People who have been in church for years, as well as people who just started attending on Easter about a month ago. It was a perfect picture of what we want Motion to be about. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, there is always hope because of the incredible God we serve. 

Thanks to everybody who participated in the baptism. We love you and are so proud! Thanks to the people that came to be supportive and to celebrate with us. That is what the body is about! And, of course, thanks to those who brought food! After all, what is a party without a crap-load of food??

Baptism at Motion

At Motion, there are a few things that we go over the top to celebrate.

  • Christmas is the origin of our understanding that “God is with is”, as embodied in the expression Immanuel. We definitely celebrate Christmas.
  • Easter and the resurrection of Jesus incite celebration because it is the source of our hope.
  • Another of the tenants of the Christian faith that we love to celebrate is Baptism.

Just to clarify, we don’t believe that baptism is an act of salvation. We simply believe that it is something that Jesus did and emphasized for us to do. That makes it important to us.

However, this is not an obligatory religious ceremony. It is the celebration of an individual that has been changed, literally shifting from spiritual death to abundant life (or as it says in Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…”).

It is the outward expression of an inward condition. It is a way for you to “go public” with the life that you have found in Christ.

We strongly encourage everybody who hasn’t been baptized yet to join us in this celebration. We would love to be a part of your story, and we believe that a sequence in your plot should be baptism! Sign up today!

Things you need to know about Easter

Here is a semi-comprehensive list of all the things that are going on at Motion for Easter.

1) The Bunny Run 5k and Bunny Dash is Saturday (April 7th) morning at 8am. Registration opens at 7am and the kids Bunny Dash will start approximately 9:30am. It’s gonna be sweet! Over 1,000 candy filled eggs and sweaty runners. What a combo!?

2) Later that same day (April 7th) at 3pm we are dropping eggs from a FREAKIN’ helicopter!!! Operation Egg Drop is gonna be nuts!! It’s in the field behind Motion. If you take the road that goes beside the old Sitel building it will take you right to the field. 4,000 candy filled eggs!!!

3) And last but certainly not least is the Motion experience on Sunday morning at 11am. We’re putting a lot of energy into making this is over the top celebration. If you think about it, there really isn’t a greater time for the church to celebrate. Had the resurrection of Christ not taken place we would have no hope whatsoever. BUT that’s not the way it went down! Bring your kids, bring your wife!! Invest and invite! It is going to be AMAZING!

I love you guys and can’t wait for Easter!!

March Madness!!

I love March Madness! Picking my bracket laced with upsets, challenging my friends in our own ESPN group and talking smack are all part of the action. Life is as it should be.

Then Norfolk State shows up. For the the 97% of us that got our brackets blown out of sorts by some obscure team, you feel my pain! For the uninitiated I’ll break this down a little bit. The Men’s NCAA basketball tournament is comprised of 64 (or 68 if you want to get technical) teams that play a sudden death style tournament setup based on their seed or rank. 15 seeds aren’t supposed to beat 2 seeds! But that is just what Norfolk State did and nobody saw it coming.

I think life has some Norfolk States in it. Sometimes things happen that we don’t see coming that mess up our “bracket” or plan. We just have to maintain the right perspective.

When we keep our eyes on where we are going instead of the troubles that we are dealing with now, it helps. If we really took the time to analyze our issues with respect to the big picture most of them would be about as trivial as a random bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament. They just aren’t that important.

Also, keeping in mind that we have the Master Bracketologist laying out the plans is a strong cause for comfort. He puts Joe Lunardi to shame! To take that just one step further, the Final Four has already been laid out. We know who wins! And that is something to get excited about! So let the March Madness remind you that even when things don’t go exactly as you planned: “It’s all gonna work out. It always does!”

I’ll share a picture of my bracket so you get a better feel of the pain associated with Norfolk State… The carnage they inflicted on my bracket can be seen on the bottom left of the pic. Image

It’s An Honor

It’s been on my mind frequently lately what a privilege it is to lead Motion and the people that make it what it is.

I have the distinct honor of leading some of the coolest, most creative, Jesus-loving people on the planet. This may sound more like a spill you hear after someone wins an Oscar, but you’ll just have to bare with me.

It’s an honor to have a supportive wife. I never would have made the first step without her full endorsement. And of course she does so much more than just cheer me on. She is one of the most talented (and EXTREMELY attractive) people in the world. The hard work and leadership that she provides for the band and the worship at Motion is second to none.

The lead team that head up all of the different departments are leaders of leaders. They put in countless hours of planning, processing, reviewing and praying for Motion to be all that God intended it to be. They put up with my shortcomings and my sometimes hair-brained ideas. Their strengths make us optimally poised for the future. We don’t compete with each other, we complete each other.

The volunteers are much the same. Go-getters with an eye for excellence. They create ways to multiply the voice of the house. They have bought in heart and soul into what Motion is all about. They go out of their way to invest and invite. They help us create an atmosphere of hospitality that we hope to become famous for one day!

I know I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: I don’t deserve any of the incredible things I have. God’s grace is stunning. The stories are still being written about the lives that have been changed and impacted by Motion Church. It’s an honor to be part of that.

Community

A word that stands out to me in the all of the language that Christians and pastors throw around is the word community. That could partially be because I like the way it rolls off the tongue, but there is certainly a connection with the deeper potential and power of the the word.

One thing that I notice more and more as I get older (maybe it’s always been there I just didn’t notice it as much) is how deficient most people are when it comes to true community. Don’t get me wrong, we have people that we go out to eat with, and guys to watch football with and the ladies have shopping comrades but that doesn’t satisfy the purpose of community. What are your football buddies going to do for you when you are going through a crappy season of your life? Quote statistics or the Cowboys record? That would be more depressing!

We need people that will walk through the fire with us. We need people that will call us on our crap, because you know we’ve got it. We need people to mourn with us when we mourn and rejoice with us when we rejoice. We need people that we can confess our failures to and have them pray for us so that we can be restored. And then we need to turn it around and be the same for them.

Jesus was the greatest example of this. Even the Son of God chose to immerse Himself in community. We weren’t created to do life alone. Isn’t it fascinating that even in the darkest moments of Jesus’ life when His spirit was grieved to the point of desperation that He took 3 guys with Him?

I don’t know exactly what this is going to look like for you, but I do know that it is a necessity to live whole and complete like God intended us to. Put yourself out there. Find a community. Be a community. Cut through the shallow and mundane and get into some real relationships that focus on the real and the raw.

A Legacy and a Proud Face

We have a running joke about the uncontrollable facial reaction of someone who is caught in the emotion of a proud moment. We simply call it their “Proud Face”.

I have to be honest and admit that I had my proud face on for an extended period of time this past Sunday.

Here’s why: My Grandpa, who is the epitome of the patriarchal leader of a family, made a surprise visit to Motion. To me he is the greatest guy on the face of the planet. No one has more character, courage or tenacity than he does. I’m convinced that to this day, although he is coming upon his 80th birthday, he would work circles around just about every person I know. He’s always instilled in his family to “do the right things”, and led by example. He still galavants across the country in his RV with the adventurous zeal of a teenager.

Of course, there is the obvious generation gap. Our music is loud, our clothes are different, I have a tattoo (which I noticed he kept glancing at). But what made my proud face even more uncontrollable was that, in spite of the differences, he loved what we were doing. In fact, he seemed to have his proud face on too.

I tell my wife all the time that when I am older I want to look, act and be just like my Grandpa. I guess those aspirations were validated by the support of my “legend”. I suppose the take away is found somewhere in the concept of being supportive, leading by example, and having integrity. But to be honest I’m not very concerned with that right this minute. I’m just hoping not too many people are seeing my proud face as I type this in Starbucks.

Quick Hit: “Doing the Right Thing”

I have a new approach to blogging that I want to incorporate once in a while. “Quick Hits” are going to be short, concise thoughts that will hopefully get you thinking, but not take up too much of your time.

Today’s Quick Hit is about “Doing The Right Thing”. 

Sometimes when you do the right things, people will try and take advantage of you. The best thing I could think to tell you about this is don’t fret. If you are doing what you feel led by God to do, then trust that He will work it out. I’m quite sure no one understands this as well as He does. Let’s recap: He came to Earth to serve and save, but instead was despised and rejected. What was His closing statement? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Didn’t say it was easy, but it is “The Right Thing.”  And that is a Quick Hit!

Go Big or Go Home!

“Go big or go home!”

This is usually a phrase associated with sports, but I think there is an underlying principle that can transcend into other aspects of our lives.

I become more and more bothered by people with little or no ambition, especially within the context of Christianity. This could be a personality thing, but I am becoming convinced the dissatisfaction is more spiritual in nature. If we believe what we say we believe, then the Creator of every single thing that is lives inside of us. Here’s a refresher course:

John 1:3- All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Romans 11:36- For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.

Colossians 1:27- God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

And if the Creator of everything that exists lives inside of us, then it would seem to me that there should be greatness and ambition in there too. I believe that we are all created with a very specific calling and gift set. The talents that we have are no accident. Our passion should be to leverage all that God has given us to maximize our influence for His kingdom. This is done most efficaciously by being who He made us and doing all that He has put in our hearts. After all, He is the one that “gives us the desires of our heart.”

A couple of closing thoughts on this: 1) Do work that matters. 2)  Do it well. It makes it so much easier to have the drive and passion about your vocation if you can find the purpose and value in it. Then, as I unwittingly tell my children, you can kick butt and take names!