What’s Your Strategy?

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Momentum in ministry is a really big deal. All it takes is one wrong turn and the sails deflate, the vision blurs and you and your team find yourselves in search of direction. This past week has been a strategy check for me. Even though I have 4 incredible music teams, a flourishing tech team, a great creative team, a new Music Director and a Partridge in a pear tree, I know that we are one mis-step away from losing all of this forward motion.

I’ve spent the last several days rethinking everything we do creatively at Sunnybrook. Even though we seem to be firing on all cylinders at the moment, what we do now may not be what’s best around the corner. Ministry, environment, technology, culture, perception…everything is changing and changing constantly. If we fail to strategize, we may fail on a much larger scale down the road.

For us, this kind of planning will take shape in specific ways…for you, it may flesh itself out differently. The important thing is that we strive to be ahead of the curve. We need to be leading the change instead of catching up to it all the time. More details coming soon.

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Our New Worship Environment

One of my greatest passions is creating worship environments. I love creating those “encounter moments” where people find themselves drawn closer to God in worship. Last week, we launched the“Worship Cafe'” here at Sunnybrook and I couldn’t be happier with the results. The Cafe’ features table seating, free flowing coffee, new lighting and more of an “unplugged” musical atmosphere. The purpose behind the Cafe’ is really two fold:

1. We wanted to create a more intimate atmosphere for people to pursue God in worship

2. We wanted to create a smaller environment for those who struggle with the big crowds in the main auditorium.

So far, the crowds have been incredibly diverse. Young, old, traditional, contemporary, visitors, seekers and regular attenders have all been joining us in the Cafe’. Here are a few pics from yesterday’s gathering.

10 Things I’m Convinced Are True

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Straight talk is better than beating around the bush.

Ministries falter when they become more concerned with popularity than their God given mission.

Insisting on having all original ideas is a pride issue. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there…use it!

Creativity is a gift from a creative God. Leveraging that creativity for the gospel is putting the arm of God in motion.

God doesn’t give fuzzy vision. If you’re not clear where God is leading your organization, you’re probably missing the obvious.

Offering anything but our all is short changing God.

Striving towards your God given vision is going to make some people unhappy…count on it!

People will disappoint you…and you will disappoint people.

If you don’t care about what’s happening outside the 4 walls of your church, I can promise you…you’re missing the call of God.

You can’t lose momentum if you’re striving passionately towards the vision.

What If…

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Can you imagine what would happen if the church woke up to its God given calling to worship? What if the church as a whole sought to worship God every moment of every day? What if we looked to glorify Him in every conversation, every circumstance and every nuance of our lives? What if the church quit being about itself and started being about the worth of God? What if the very fabric of who we are was lined with praises, held together by adoration and worn as an expression of the greatness of God? What if the world could see the majesty of God through the way His people honor Him? What if people could actually come in off the street and feel the tangible presence of God through the praises of His people?

What if we lived out what we were created for in the first place?

Raise, Build and Get Out of the Way

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This Sunday I had the chance to experience our worship environment from a different perspective. I wasn’t on stage, I wasn’t at the soundboard, I wasn’t running lights or video…I was simply there. When it comes to running a creative ministry, it really gets no better than watching your team do what they do…and do it well. From a leadership standpoint, there is no greater moment than when someone steps in to lead people, hits it out of the park and does so without you standing next to them.

A vibrant creative ministry, at its core, is all about raising up leaders, building teams and getting out of the way. If your creative teams and processes center around you and only you…it won’t be long before your ministry is drained of any kind of momentum. Forward motion will become a thing of the past and you will simply find yourself stuck in one place. 

Great creativity cannot thrive in one place…it needs to move, breath and expand. Great creative ministries are really no different. If you want momentum…Raise up people, build your teams…and get out of the way!

Oh How I Wish…

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For the last few nights, I’ve had the chance to lead worship at “In Siouxland For Good”. It’s 4 days where Jr. High students dive in to serve around the community, plug in with one another, have fun and meet God in worship. I wish all of us would respond to God the way these kids do. I wish we would serve outside the walls of the church. I wish we would engage those around us with a genuine heart instead of a self-righteous chip on our shoulder. I wish we would pour out our lives in authentic worship to God every moment of every day instead of putting on “the act” every Sunday morning. I wish we would drop our hang-ups, baggage, preconceptions and selfishness so we could simply meet with God the way He intended.

More importantly…I believe God is wishing for the same things. He has designed us to be in communion with Him. Yet, time after time, we insist on being a roadblock on our own journey towards His presence. Maybe the key is found in a bunch of Jr. High kids who are making a difference by leaving there garbage at the door and engaging God…Oh how I wish we would do the same.

Live At Sunnybrook

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We launch our new “FAQ” series this week @sunnybrookcc – This weekend we’ll tackle the question; “How do we know the bible is reliable”?

Pre-Service:  (instrumental)

Welcome

Glorious One– Steve Fee

Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman

Video: “The Story Behind Amazing Grace”

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) – Chris Tomlin

Communion

Special: Your Invitation – Jill Miller

Message

Special: Word of God Speak – Mercy Me