Category Archives: Fun

Take It Slow!

We are almost always in a rush to get somewhere.  Hurry to the next thing.  Get to the next place.  Do it quickly because I have a “to-do list” a mile long.

But today is my day off.  So I slept in a little later than normal.  All the way to 7:15 am.  Mostly I slept in a little because of my workout last night.  I spent some time with the kids before they headed off to school.  And when they were off to school, the house was empty and quiet.  A great time to simply take it slow and enjoy the beautiful morning.

When my wife returned from taking the kids to school, we decided to go on a run together.  I absolutely love the freedom to go on a quick run with my wife.  We don’t get to do that together very often, but it’s so much fun when we can.  I guess there’s something special about having a hobby you can share with your favorite person on the planet.

The scenery was beautiful; my wife being the #1 source of scenery attraction for me.  I’ll just leave that thought there.  =)  The sun was bright.  The temperature was perfect for a run.

It was simply a fantastic morning!  I took it slow and I liked it that way.

I do still have things to accomplish today, but what a great start to the day.

So I want to encourage you to take it slow.  Find time today to slow down.  Evaluate life a bit.  Enjoy those closest to you.  Take time to enjoy the weather and sunshine.  Don’t just rush through it and take it for granted.

Get out there and slow down!

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What Should I Name My Church Plant?

A fun post to get us started.  It’s a little old, but that’s okay.

What I am about to say, I do not say lightly.  I have been praying about this for years and I believe that God is leading me down this path.  I believe that God wants me to plant churches.  I am on a journey where the future is completely unknown and must fall squarely in the hands of God Himself.  And there isn’t anywhere I’d rather be.  From here, it gets a tad less “heavy.”

When it comes to church planting, there is a lot to ponder.  Until I feel the spark to talk about other areas of church planting, I want to go ahead and offer a few tips to church planters and future church planters out there.  This post will deal specifically with your church’s name.  When it comes right down to it, your church name is going to be the center piece of your marketing, it will reflect who you are, what your values are, everything.  You are setting out to change the world for Jesus and chances are the first impression people have of you will be your church name.  That’s why the church name is almost as important as financial funding (insert hilarious laughter here).

That being said, I have some very important church names that you should consider for your church plant.

The Lord’s Vineyard

That’s right.  You want people to know that there’s only one vineyard in town that God has chosen, and it’s yours.  That other church down the street?  Forget them.  They don’t even have the right name on the door.  Surely God isn’t working in their lives.  You want everyone to know that if they’re going to be picked in God’s glorious elect, they better be in your vineyard.  After all, it is the Lord’s.

Church of the Holy Immaculate Conception

What we’re hoping for here is for people to be confused and think you meant, “immaculate reception.”  If that’s the case, they might think you’re talking football.  And if you know football, maybe you’re only half-weird.  Get them in the door with this brilliant “bait and switch” name.

Holiness Church of (  insert city/town name  )

Nothing says, “Our church is more holy than yours, yours, yours and definitely yours,” than a church name with “Holiness” in it.  If you’re in an uppity suburb somewhere, this may be the option for you.  Everyone should know that while other churches might be holy, they aren’t nearly as holy as yours.  The folk who love to keep up with the Jones’ will love that they can rub this one in to their friends.  “Oh, you go to First Church of God down the street.  Well, we have been members of the Holiness Church of (  insert city/town name  ) for 42 generations.  Yep, that’s right.  We’re holy.”

Anything with “Whispering” in it

Whispering Pines.  Whispering Grove.  Whispering Creeper.  Who’s whispering over my shoulder?  This is just getting weird.  Still, God spoke to Elijah in a whisper on a mountain side.  You want people to know that at your church, they will be hearing God in whispers over their shoulder.  Plus, this way you get to get them started in some Old Testament knowledge right away.  They’ll be learning Bible and won’t even know it.

The First Holy Faith Tabernacle Church of Peter, Andrew, James and John Founded on the Solid Rock

If your church name is longer than your mission statement, it’s a good one.  Because the one thing you don’t want to have happen is for the lost to actually remember your church name.  After all, new people means being uncomfortable.  So let’s just confuse them with a ridiculously long name on the sign.

Boring (  anything  )

Look, I get it.  You’ve lived in Boring, (State Name) since you were conceived.  You are proud of the 1/2AAA Girls Checkers State Championship your school won in 1903.  So go ahead and spit in the face of first impressions.  Who cares if people drive by and think your church is boring.  It’s worth it because of 1903.

So, there you have it.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but I do hope I have helped to ease the burden that is the hard work of church planting.  Feel free to use these free of charge for your church plant, or you can create your own variation as well.  Now, get out there, start a church and confuse the heck out of the people in your town.

Passion4Planting

If you have a desire to church plant and you believe God is leading you in that direction, let me know.  I would love to pray for you (seriously, no satire here).  Also, you may want to click the image above to help you get started on your church planting journey.

Great Christian Finance Resources!

One of my favorite sites for financial resources is Christian Personal Finance.  They have an amazing library of free resources for all things financial from a Christian perspective.

Here are two links to a couple of my favorite blogs on their site.

  • How to Make a Budget!  http://christianpf.com/how-to-make-a-budget/
  • 250 Bible Verses About Money!  http://christianpf.com/money-in-the-bible/

Head over to their page.

“Like” them on Facebook.

Follow them on Twitter.

Subscribe to their email updates.

And while you’re there, sign up to win a free iPad 2!  =)  Now that’s hard to beat!

What Should I Name My Church Plant!

What I am about to say, I do not say lightly.  I have been praying about this for years and I believe that God is leading me down this path.  I believe that God wants me to plant churches.  I am on a journey where the future is completely unknown and must fall squarely in the hands of God Himself.  And there isn’t anywhere I’d rather be.  From here, it gets a tad less “heavy.”

When it comes to church planting, there is a lot to ponder.  Until I feel the spark to talk about other areas of church planting, I want to go ahead and offer a few tips to church planters and future church planters out there.  This post will deal specifically with your church’s name.  When it comes right down to it, your church name is going to be the center piece of your marketing, it will reflect who you are, what your values are, everything.  You are setting out to change the world for Jesus and chances are the first impression people have of you will be your church name.  That’s why the church name is almost as important as financial funding (insert hilarious laughter here).

That being said, I have some very important church names that you should consider for your church plant.

The Lord’s Vineyard

That’s right.  You want people to know that there’s only one vineyard in town that God has chosen, and it’s yours.  That other church down the street?  Forget them.  They don’t even have the right name on the door.  Surely God isn’t working in their lives.  You want everyone to know that if they’re going to be picked in God’s glorious elect, they better be in your vineyard.  After all, it is the Lord’s.

Church of the Holy Immaculate Conception

What we’re hoping for here is for people to be confused and think you meant, “immaculate reception.”  If that’s the case, they might think you’re talking football.  And if you know football, maybe you’re only half-weird.  Get them in the door with this brilliant “bait and switch” name.

Holiness Church of (  insert city/town name  )

Nothing says, “Our church is more holy than yours, yours, yours and definitely yours,” than a church name with “Holiness” in it.  If you’re in an uppity suburb somewhere, this may be the option for you.  Everyone should know that while other churches might be holy, they aren’t nearly as holy as yours.  The folk who love to keep up with the Jones’ will love that they can rub this one in to their friends.  “Oh, you go to First Church of God down the street.  Well, we have been members of the Holiness Church of (  insert city/town name  ) for 42 generations.  Yep, that’s right.  We’re holy.”

Anything with “Whispering” in it

Whispering Pines.  Whispering Grove.  Whispering Creeper.  Who’s whispering over my shoulder?  This is just getting weird.  Still, God spoke to Elijah in a whisper on a mountain side.  You want people to know that at your church, they will be hearing God in whispers over their shoulder.  Plus, this way you get to get them started in some Old Testament knowledge right away.  They’ll be learning Bible and won’t even know it.

The First Holy Faith Tabernacle Church of Peter, Andrew, James and John Founded on the Solid Rock

If your church name is longer than your mission statement, it’s a good one.  Because the one thing you don’t want to have happen is for the lost to actually remember your church name.  After all, new people means being uncomfortable.  So let’s just confuse them with a ridiculously long name on the sign.

Boring (  anything  )

Look, I get it.  You’ve lived in Boring, (State Name) since you were conceived.  You are proud of the 1/2AAA Girls Checkers State Championship your school won in 1903.  So go ahead and spit in the face of first impressions.  Who cares if people drive by and think your church is boring.  It’s worth it because of 1903.

So, there you have it.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but I do hope I have helped to ease the burden that is the hard work of church planting.  Feel free to use these free of charge for your church plant, or you can create your own variation as well.  Now, get out there, start a church and confuse the heck out of the people in your town.

Passion4Planting

If you have a desire to church plant and you believe God is leading you in that direction, let me know.  I would love to pray for you (seriously, no satire here).  Also, you may want to click the image above to help you get started on your church planting journey.

The Scary Part Of “Tomorrow!”

Once again this summer I am spending a week, sitting on the sand of Carolina Beach, North Carolina. I’m soaking up a lot of sun and family time. It has been a great week.

Last summer after our trip to the beach, I posted a series of three blogs about the lessons I was learning while at the beach. You can find those here or by searching for posts on, “Beach.”

This year I picked up a couple things as well. For instance, the danger of always saying, “Tomorrow,” or, “Maybe later.”

While swimming in the ocean, my sons said, “Dad, can we boogie board?”

“Of course,” was my reply.

“Hey Dad, can we have soda with our dinner?”

“Absolutely,” I would say.

“Dad, can I tell you about these facts I’m reading about in my book?”

“I’d love to hear them,” I would say.

But at home, too often the answer is, “Maybe tomorrow. I’m tired. I’ll get to you later. Maybe next week we can do that. No, you can’t have soda for supper.”

And before you know it, tomorrow becomes ten years and you aren’t sure where the time went. Then you live in regret because you missed some of your kid’s best moments.

So, yes, there is a danger in too many “tomorrows.”

Do you have a son you should be playing catch with? Do you have a daughter you should be having a tea party or playing Barbies with? Do you have a child you should be listening to because they have questions about something they read?

Did you just tell them, “In a minute,” because you just had to finish reading this blog? (I hope not.)

Try changing your answer and watch their eyes light up.

Exponential Conference 2011!

Exponential

Today was an amazing day!  The opportunities to learn were amazing and the chance to meet some very cool people is simply fun.

I sat amazed today.  A large stage filled with speakers who are inspiring in the church world.  Names like; Alan Hirsch, Francis Chan, Matt Carter, Neil Cole, Ed Stetzer and more.  There aren’t many things that are obvious to me, but one very clear thing slammed into my face today; God is amazing!

God has blessed me beyond what I deserve and I’m so thankful to Him for all He is allowing me to see, learn and do.  I pray that I will be wise and use His grace to reach as many people for Christ as I possibly can.

As I listened to many speakers today, here are a couple of things that I picked up.

  1. “Everywhere you go, that’s where the church is!”  -Rob Wegner, Granger Community Church
  2. “If you want a disciple making movement, you have to have the Lord’s blessing!”  -Jim Putman, Real Life Ministries
  3. “Don’t plant churches.  Plant Jesus!”  -Neil Cole, CMA Resources

When all was said and done, I developed a challenge for myself.  I’m not going to tell you what that is just yet.  Maybe some day.  For now, it’s a personal challenge that God and I are working on.  I believe that God is up to something big.  And I hope He has in mind to allow me to be even a small part of it.

And today also held a few fun surprises.  It was very cool to sit in a room with 75 church leaders and planters from around the country and world, to listen to Rick Warren share some inspiring vision stuff for the church.  It was also fun to shoot a video with him.  No, really.

I’m very excited about what God is doing through church planting.

I’m very excited that I get to work closely with people who are doing some really cool things.

I am humbled that God even lets me near this stuff.

Typically, I’m scared I’ll just mess it up.  Which is very likely.

Thanks again, God, for being so gracious to me.

And thanks to all those who have made this conference possible.

What are some of your favorite things, that you have learned at different conferences, classes, seminars, books, etc?

What pieces of knowledge have been the most valuable for you in ministry?

I Am Dave Ferguson!

Exponential Conference

I’m here at Exponential 2011 in Orlando, FL.  Our New Life team is volunteering with a ton of cool stuff.  We’re getting to see some pretty cool behind the scenes stuff at the coolest church planters conference on the planet (someone please pass that tid bit along to Todd Wilson for me).  As we were preparing to volunteer today, we were going through some training.  Our fearless leader stood up and inspired us to volunteer like it was our last day on earth.  He was very excited and it was easy to get excited along with him.  I wanted to share a little of what he said.  If you’re a volunteer, apply what was said to your particular area of service.

In order to give this conference the “Wow” experience it deserves, volunteers have to own it like it’s their own.  Our volunteer leader helped us with that.  He told the story of Exponential and how it was the brainchild of so many great people.  One of which he mentioned specifically was Dave Ferguson.

Dave Ferguson

Mr. Dave Ferguson

You are Dave Ferguson…

…he said.  So I left and pretended to be Dave Ferguson today.  That was fun.

The point was well taken though.  If we want this conference to be as successful as it can be, we need to be as excited about it as Dave.  We need to pretend we have invested as much in it as Dave has (and many others, I’m just using Dave because that was the name that was thrown out there today).  I was inspired to, “Be Like Dave.”  He’s cooler than Mike anyway.

Then our leader said, “Every moment is your moment of truth.”  I loved that.  I think that is a great, practical statement that all volunteers in any capacity can grab onto and believe in.  Each moment is the only time you will have that moment.  Your only moment to make a first impression.  Your only moment to make the best impression for Christ that you can.  Every moment is your moment of truth.  I’ll be taking this one home to the volunteers at my Haymarket Campus.

If you are a volunteer at a church (or anywhere else for that matter), I want to encourage you.

Thank you so much for all you do.

I apologize for not telling you as often as I should.

I want to encourage you to view your role as a moment of truth.  Put yourself in the shoes of “the boss” for a minute.  Think about how much they invest in whatever it is you are doing.  You are that person.  Care for it as deeply as they do.  Give it your all.  Especially if you are volunteering in a ministry.  There’s nothing more important than the work you are doing.  View every moment as your moment of truth.  It is your moment to make a huge impact on someone’s life and ultimately for the Kingdom of God.

Do you volunteer?

What do you do?

And, thank you.  Thank you so much for volunteering!

Tomorrow, I’ll be Dave Ferguson again.  Not a bad looking guy I guess.  It could be worse.  I could be….whoa!  About got myself in trouble there.

Easter Invites!

This year, New Life is going big.  We are inviting some top name people to join us for Easter Sunday.  I’m scheduled to make a call next week, but who I’m calling will remain a surprise.  For now, check out this year’s Easter Invites!

Sick!

I hate being sick.

Like, I really hate being sick.

If I’m going to be sick, I want to be knocking on death’s door.

If I’m not, then it’s just annoying and messes up my week.

Right now, I’m rocking antibiotics for what appears to be strep throat.  It hurts to swallow.  It hurts to talk (exciting for those of you who want me to be quiet).

It’s not a bad pain, just an annoying one.

So I’m down for tomorrow.  No plans but to slurp down meds and try to get some rest.

I will do some work from home.  Good thing I started putting together that wonderful little home office.  I might still get something done.

Did I mention that I hate being sick?

Girl’s Weekend!

For my wife’s birthday, a couple of her friends surprised her with a weekend away.  They headed off to Richmond yesterday and are having some girl time.  Time my wife really needed.

So it was up to me to pick up some slack.  I picked up the slack by having fun with the kids.  You didn’t expect me to clean did you?

Anyway, we had a great time yesterday and are planning some other good stuff today.  Check out this video from our little adventure yesterday.

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