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3 Reasons I Go to the World…

3 Reasons I Go to the World…

On November 6, I will lead our 4th team from theROCK church to Nicaragua. This will be my 7th trip to the country and one I look forward to with great anticipation. The question always arises nearing my departure to another country, “Why? I don’t get why you have to go somewhere else when there’s plenty of needs right here?” It’s a valid question, until you understand the vision of our church and the personal mission that consumes me.

theROCK’s vision is not any different from any church trying to be a church designed after the model given to us in the Book of Acts. Sadly though, when actually applied it feels peculiar and not normal. We are simply a group of people who believe our calling to our community and this world is to “serve people where they are, so they can experience life in Christ”. Every phrase has major significance for us.

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SERVE PEOPLE- Not Bible thump, not condemn, not judge, not preach at, not annoy, not scold, but simply SERVE people. It’s such a simple concept, yet not readily or easily applied. Here locally we apply this by serving people through our Sunday experiences by providing snacks and coffee and drinks when people walk in. We serve people by providing quality environments for kids to be taught, loved on, and served by our kidsROCK volunteers. We serve people by getting to the facility early and praying for each individual before they come and serve them by greeting them with a smile and even a hug. We serve people by providing quality uplifting music that engages and encourages each individual every Sunday morning. We serve people by taking serious the preaching and teaching of the gospel and the Word of God. We present relevant and applicable teaching to answer the questions of today in a world that seems so dark. We serve people every week but we don’t want it to end there. Serving people must become more than just through a church experience, we want our people to serve people every day in their own context. It’s so different. It’s so… Jesus.

WHERE THEY ARE- The word “where” is so key that we decided to italicize it. Where has become the why. Where gives us the context of who and how. Where represents EVERYONE. Where represents every background, doubt, religion, hurt, nationality, question, fear, etc… We desire to serve people right where they are. Whether they’re far from God or been walking with Him for thirty years. Whether they live right next door to us or live in a country thousands of miles away. We desire to get OUTSIDE of our doors or our prejudices or our judgements and just serve people where ever they are. WHY?

SO THEY CAN EXPERIENCE LIFE IN CHRIST- We believe that everyone’s life would be BETTER if Jesus were at the center. Therefore, we don’t serve people just to serve people. We don’t meet people where they are to make ourselves look good. We serve people because we want the BEST, which is JESUS, for EVERY ONE. Not just people in our city, but I mean EVERY ONE in our entire WORLD.

That statement pushes me. It engages me. It keeps me going. It keeps me focused when I lose my way. I have a deep desire to see this vision statement become real in my city but I also have a very strong desire to see it become real all over the world. One day, my desire is to personally step foot on every continent of this world that God created. One day, I and the church God called me to plant, WILL serve people in every context of this world and have influence in them experiencing what life in Christ is really all about.

It still may lead to the question of “but why? Why the world?”. Here are 3 reasons why I go to the world…

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1) GOD TELLS US TO GO…  

Truthfully this is the only reason that I need to go. Several times Jesus tells us GO… and not just go but go to ALL of the nations.

“Go make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19

The statistics are horrifying. Today there are still over 650,000 people groups who have NEVER and have NO CURRENT OPPORTUNITY to hear the gospel of Jesus at all! For those who live in America, we have absolutely no concept of what that really means. And how ARROGANT and SELFISH can you be, to not even CARE? We don’t want to be reminded of it, do we? By the way this equals over 2 BILLION, BILLION with a B, individuals who have no access to the Bible or hearing about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Two BILLION PEOPLE who if they die today, will spend eternity in hell, because WE were too ARROGANT to go. God’s plan A, B, C, Z for the world to hear the gospel is through the local church and followers of Him taking His gospel to every group. That includes you and that includes me.

2) GOD’S BLESSED US TO GO…

The United States of America is the most blessed nation in the history of the world. We have experienced more wealth, more freedom, more believers, more churches than any nation that has ever been born. However, today we are not even the leading nation in sending missionaries to the world. South Korea with 258 MILLION less people are now sending more followers of Jesus into the world to share the gospel. That is amazing. Have you ever considered that God did not bless this nation, just for us to get fat and happy, but He blessed the nation to reach the 2 BILLION with no access to the gospel? Sadly, that thought doesn’t resonate with the masses. God has blessed my family with 2 cars, a house, even a house for our cars (garage) and so when given an opportunity why would I not want to go bless someone else? He’s blessed us, to be a blessing.

3) GOD LET’S US GO… 

Once again I must use the word ARROGANT… How ARROGANT of me to ever think that God is lucky to have ME go and share the gospel in another context. God doesn’t need me. God doesn’t NEED you to fulfill His plan. The amazing thing about our God is that He WANTS to use you and me. He LOVES us SO MUCH that instead of just doing some supernatural work Himself, He wants us to experience His supernatural plan to reach the world. How in the world can we pass up an opportunity to see God do the ULTIMATE MIRACLE all over the world by redeeming, restoring, regenerating NEW LIFE all over the globe.

Let me just say if you have never experienced the opportunity of sharing the amazing news of the gospel to someone who has NEVER seen a bible or heard of the creator or the name of Jesus, you are missing out on what I believe is the most exhilarating experience outside of your own salvation. To have the opportunity to be the vehicle that God uses to show someone that He has not forgotten them and that He loves them so much that He would send someone thousands of miles to reveal Himself to them. It’s unexplainable.

Would you pray for our team as we go? I want to thank every financial and prayer partner that has made this trip possible for this 7 member team. Your gifts and your prayers are the reason we are able to go; therefore, you too are a part of this team. I want to thank theROCK church for continuing to serve people where they are so they can experience life in Christ here in Kingsport, while we’re away. And if we ever lose sight of this in any way, and begin to think it’s all about us, we might as well close our doors and do something else. Let’s go…

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in theROCKchurch, Vision

 

Culture Words

I needed a place to write. A place to capture what nine days of a new year has looked like for me. I normally have everything pre-planned if I’m ever going to document my thoughts and share them publicly. But this time it’s different. This time I just felt the need to be transparent and write. If no one looks at this blog post, that is perfectly fine. I am writing it for myself more than anything. I simply needed a place to share, the man I want to become in 2015. Many times we talk about the things we want to DO but I believe it’s time we start to resolve to be the people we want to BECOME. And my life for this year can be summed up in the culture that we desire to set at theROCK. These 7 words define who we are as a church, and I want them to define ME in 2015.

So take it for what it is. Skim it if you must, but perhaps you too can proclaim who you desire to BECOME in 2015. I realize how far I have fallen and in many ways have failed as a leader in the last year and beyond. I want to apologize to all of the people that I have hurt or failed in the past 10 years of my ministry. It is time for change. It is time for a leader of example to emerge. So here goes…

7 Core Values of our/my Culture

Vision- I have a One Word vision for my year. “Decisive”. Those who know me, I mean really know me, will chuckle at my word. This Sunday I will share more of what God is teaching me through this process of becoming decisive in my life. I will perhaps come back and write more on the subject but you can listen to it’s entirety this Sunday at theROCK or online at iROCKdoU.com

Love- God is redefining love in my life. Let’s be frank… I SUCK at showing love 98% of the time. I shout it, and I believe in it, and I want to show it, and I believe that’s what EVERYTHING should be about, but I SUCK at showing it. I don’t want to go through my life anymore and people wonder “does he even give a crap”? I am on a mission to show love in new ways in 2015. Please know this will not come from a fake and artificial place in my heart but I’m trying to get to the deepest parts of my soul to express how appreciative I truly am of the people God has placed in my life. I am so blessed and I am so spoiled and I am sick of it.

Honor- Being a man of honor is not given by a title. In many respects I have not been a man that people should honor. God has placed a great calling on my life and along with that comes great pressure and great trials and great temptations. In 2014 and beyond I have crumbled and failed under that pressure. I have had great successes but also great failures. Lots of lessons have been learned and none greater than “to be a man of honor, you must be a man of honor”. Also this word teaches me to honor those who sacrifice and volunteer and are sold out to our vision. It’s not possible without them. And this year I want to show great HONOR to those who truly mean so much to me at theROCK church. You can’t expect honor until you first honor others.

Serve- Our entire mission of theROCK is to “SERVE people where they are so they can experience life in Christ”. But even I have had to be taught what SERVE really means. It’s a word that is easy to say but much more difficult to live. I want to be a leader of service. Words are hollow, actions are real. I don’t want to recite our vision statement any more I want to PROVE IT. Serve people… well let’s SERVE people. It starts with me.

Anticipation- There are many reasons to get caught up in the negative culture and to wallow in the mistakes of our past. But I desire to ANTICIPATE the goodness of God even in the midst of the largest trials of this year. It’s easy to anticipate and be excited during the good times but what about while you’re in the dip/the valley? I want to be a man of great anticipation of the MOUNTAIN while I’m in the valley.

Faith- Faith can sometimes be a vague word can’t it? We throw it around so flippantly. “Well just have faith” we declare. “Faith… that’s the answer”. I don’t want faith to be a “buzzword” for me. I want Faith to be a lifestyle. Walking every moment in faith, believing that even in missteps God is there. Even when everyone else is gone, He is there. That’s Faith to me. Faith that even when I can’t feel Him or hear Him or sense Him, He is still there. It’s my life verse. Deuteronomy 31:6 “Don’t be afraid for it is the Lord YOUR GOD who goes before you, and He will NOT fail you or FORSAKE/ABANDON you.” That’s faith.

Hope- I approach this new  year with a new sense of hope. All of us do in a new year right? Last year I preached a message about hope and the problem with hope. You see hope by itself is absolutely WORTHLESS. It’s nothing more than a birthday wish. “Let’s HOPE that we get our wish”. Hope has to be anchored into something REAL. My hope for this year is not in myself (praise the Lord), it’s not in the church God has called me to pastor, it’s not in the people who will come or go in my life, my hope is built on NOTHING less than Jesus blood and righteousness. My hope must be anchored in JESUS and His WORD and through that comes a great sense of PEACE and expectancy.

 

In my closing remarks my desire is to be A MAN through this year and a LEADER that people WANT to follow and that if people did follow we would be going closer to Jesus. He has taught me more in 9 days of this year than probably the past 3 years and that sounds very hyperbole but it is solid truth. Why? Because I have approached the Scriptures in a way that I have failed to do recently. That is hard to admit as a Pastor. See as Pastors we prepare and prepare and prepare messages. We get our Scriptures ready for that message and then we move on to the next. God does change us through that process but we get so fixated on the process that we lose sight of the purpose. I once again am devouring His Word not because I HAVE to or because of a SERMON to prepare, but simply because I am falling so in love with Him that I can’t put it down. I encourage you this year to return to your first love as well. There is POWER like you would never believe in the Word of God. He begins to speak to us in ways we forgot were imaginable. Who is this for? Perhaps just me. But I encourage each of you who endured this to the end, to make this year the BEST year of your life. And it won’t be by the things you ACCOMPLISH or the things you BUY or the things you EXPERIENCE it will be by the PERSON you BECOME. God bless every one of you, and may I do a better job of showing you that I do indeed love you.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Family Life, Leadership

 

THAT just happened…

Have you ever had those moments where you can’t even explain the feeling? You can’t put an adjective on the emotion or the experience. It’s just one of those “THAT just happened…” moments. Last week I sat in my car, looked at a little key with tears in my eyes, and had a “THAT just happened” moment. Really the full story includes a lot of “those” moments. Let me explain theROCK story…

When I moved back to my hometown of Kingsport, TN in July of 2006 the reasoning seemed simple, “my family and friends are seemingly far from God, and it’s it’s time to go help”. That simple burden for my “people” back home suddenly went to a WHOLE NUTHA LEVEL by late 2008. I honestly began to wrestle with God over this new burden that really didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I was in a place that I felt comfortable and happy. I was pastoring a church that was full of people that I cared a lot about and they took care of myself and my family. I was 27 years old, been in the ministry for five years and was “going somewhere” in the denomination I was a part of… but everything that I had grown comfortable with was about to change…

The burden to “reach my family and friends who are far from God” suddenly became dwarfed by this INTENSE desire to reach ALL people who are far from God. Most specifically the people who NO ONE else wanted to reach or those who had been totally forgotten by the “system of church”. Over the course of several months I almost became angry as I heard story after story of people who have been so damaged by church and people who claimed to be Christ followers and I felt helpless to the point that I KNEW “I” had to do “SOMETHING”.

Enter “THAT just happened” moment number one. In December 2008 I sent out a resignation letter to a church that I deeply loved. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I didn’t know what the next step was going to look like. It was truly the first of what would be many steps of Psalm 119:105 in my life. For those that don’t know, a lamp light at your feet does not give out much light AT ALL. I would much rather have a SPOTLIGHT at my feet, instead of a lamp. Where’s the next step going? Heck if I know?

The next step ended up being the beginning of a new movement, a new approach, a new start, a new church… We rallied other people behind the same vision of no longer TALKING about Jesus, or STUDYING about Jesus, or DEBATING about Jesus, but it was time to rally people around the thought of actually SHOWING people who Jesus was by DOING the things He did and SERVING people WHERE they were. It was taking the motto of “Love God and Love People” to a new level by saying we are going to Love God. Love People. And Prove It. We felt too many churches “talked” but talk is cheap, it’s time to DO something about the fact that nearly 80% of Kingsport want nothing to do with the church.

Again, lamp unto my feet… I didn’t know where we were going to meet. Had no clue if anyone would even show up. No idea how to even begin to start a church, or all the details that would follow. But some way, some how on March 22, 2009 we launched what is now known as theROCK church. I remember coming home after “the launch” as I sat down and had one long exhale and thought, “Holy cow, THAT just happened…” THAT ended up being over 120 people who showed up and 8 of those who gave their life to Jesus Christ. I was blown away.

We began our first experience (we call our “services”, experiences because we think every time we meet to worship God it should be an experience, not a duty ridden service) in Andrew Johnson Elementary School. Our original plan was to maybe be there two to three years max, and be ready for our own facility. As of March 2014, we were still there…

Over the last five years I can honestly say I have seen the HIGHEST of HIGHS that you can experience in the ministry. I remember going through a stretch where we saw 60 people give their lives to Jesus Christ and baptizing many of them over a 4 month stretch. We have seen marriages restored, addicts become clean, people who have never stepped foot in church come for the first time or re-enter the church for the first time in a long time because they found something different… We take serious the fact that we want to knock down every barrier and wall that people have so that they can simply see Jesus. We don’t want people seeing a church or a tradition or a pastor or a musician, we want to introduce people to Jesus. Because we fully believe that in one moment with Him everything can change.

However I can honestly say over the last five years I have also experienced some of the LOWEST of LOWS that you can experience in the ministry. You always hear the people say “oh that’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do” but we always think we are different. That won’t happen to me. I have been humbled more in these five years than I have ever been in my life. Being a portable church for five years is difficult. Not having a place to call “home”. Relying on volunteers to come every week, early, to turn a school into a church is no easy task. I have had many people whom I grew to LOVE dearly leave, because it was just too much. Burn out became a very real problem at various stages. The vision was there and the people wanted it and believed in it, but the grind was just too much. It was understandable. There were many times I was done too. If I was a volunteer, I probably would have left too. I will be forever indebted to the ones who stayed even in the midst of the roughest storms. People like Dean and Gina Grills, Bill and Kathy Riner, Laverne and Ruth Simcox, Daniel and Jessica Fisher, Ruth Ford and Jennifer Shelton. We went through seasons where we literally had NOTHING in the bank. We had a desire to be out of the school, but it was next to impossible with our budget and resources. I’m sure at times people assumed the end was near…

Lamp unto my feet… I never felt at peace with starting any sort of “capital campaign” for a new building or property. I don’t know why? I knew God had bigger plans for a different facility but it just never “felt right”. Until I was walking on the beach in September of 2013 and I felt God say “it’s time”. In October 2013 we launched a new initiative called “The Imagine Initiative”. We asked people to pledge and give to the vision of theROCK church over the course of 2 years. Lamp unto my feet… not a clue where we were going! We asked people to give even though we had no building in mind, we had no blueprints, we simply had a dream and a vision to reach people so they can experience life in Christ. We knew a building wasn’t going to solve every problem in the world, but we felt if we had an opportunity to be strategically located in our own facility, our vision was possible. Although our people pledged close to $60,000 towards the vision (which was AWESOME) we still had no clue where God would lead us.

For really the better part of these five years I felt a pulling toward downtown Kingsport. Regardless of where we went, the thing I kept telling everyone that asked, is that we needed to be in an area that is NEAR PEOPLE. We wanted a place that we could show the love of Jesus to people. Foot traffic would be even better! So we began to pray and seek and ask God to move us where HE wanted us. The search was much like our five years as a church. HUGE HIGHS and TREMENDOUS LOWS. For instance a property that the moment I laid eyes on it, I was like “THAT’S IT!”. So we inquired about the property and sure enough it was about 3 times the amount that our budget would allow. And my downtown dream seemingly became a nightmare as time after time we were shot down because our budget was too low and the scene downtown was too competitive for an upstart such as ourselves. I had many long conversations with God, just asking “what’s up? Like seriously, I don’t really understand anything? Is this it? It was a fun ride while it lasted, but theROCK was only but a season? Is that what this was God?”

Then it happened… out of nowhere really. Over the course of the last year we have built a great relationship with Billy Wayne Arrington of Lamplight Theater and Billy Wayne Ministries. He’s been a huge asset and a tremendous friend in the ministry for us. He contacted Joe and Brandi Broadwater (two people on our Lead Team) and said I may have a place for you guys. By this point I had become so skeptical of the process that it was a total “have to see it to believe it” mentality that I had developed. Then I found out the property he was referencing was THE PROPERTY, that I first fell in love with at the beginning of this process! So immediately I was dejected again because I already KNEW this property was out of our league and way out of our price range! So for me, it was a “NEXT”… but only God… only God… the realtor comes back and asks one more time what our price range was. We told her. She contacted the owners of the building and “they’re interested”. WHAT?!?! NO this is NOT the same property!?! I’m sure I got pretty annoying as I told Joe and Brandi, “NO you’re SURE? It is THAT property? For THAT price? QUIT LYING! I can’t get my hopes up anymore!”

I still can’t explain it. I still don’t know really how to articulate the emotions and the feelings that I am experiencing, but it was not a cruel joke. It is reality. In a way that ONLY GOD could perform, we recently finalized a lease for our DREAM PROPERTY for this season of theROCK church. It is DOWNTOWN. It is STRATEGICALLY LOCATED. It allows us OPPORTUNITIES we have YET TO HAVE at theROCK church. So without any further ado, here is our new location. These are all BEFORE pictures, and as you can see there’s not a TON of renovations that are necessarily needed, but we are about to retrofit this sucker to be a facility that is RELEVANT and a place YOU WANT TO BE AT. I can’t wait for you to see the designs that are already in the works…

140 W. Main Street
Kingsport, TN 37660

140wmain outside

Here you will see what will be our WELCOME area, that will be full on with refreshments every Sunday, a TV so you can view the experience as well as other cool features

140wmain welcome

Next is what we will call “the Loft” and this is where we will have our ROCK church experience with all the things that you’ve come to love about theROCK with many more additions…

140wmain theloft

My favorite part though about this facility is the fact that it will have it’s very own kidsROCK wing. I’m not going to show all of the pictures for that, but if you’re a young family we want you to know we will be creating environments that are SAFE, SECURE, and SUPER FUN for your kids. WE CAN’T WAIT!

We have not set an official date for our first Sunday in the new facility yet. But I will let those who read this in on a little secret. As of now our plan is to have an official HUGE GRAND OPENING in Fall 2014. However we will still be meeting in the facility on Sunday’s starting no later than May 2014. We just aren’t going to market and blast all of our stuff out there until the Fall because by then we will have all of our renovations completed and will be ready to make a BIG SPLASH in our community. But we would love to have YOU come be a part of the excitement and momentum now, and help us build for this Fall GRAND OPENING. You’ll probably see some “COMING SOON” signs around town, and you help us spread the word. God obviously has bigger plans than even I could envision.

Before I end this I do want to say one HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who was associated with our renting of the Andrew Johnson Elementary School facility. The custodians, support staff, school administration were all NOTHING but WONDERFUL. It is bitter sweet in a way because we developed great relationships with those people over the last five years.

Have you ever had those moments where you can’t even explain the feeling? You can’t put an adjective on the emotion or the experience. It’s just one of those “THAT just happened…” moments. Last week I sat in my car, looked at a little key with tears in my eyes, and had a “THAT just happened” moment. Can you blame me?

 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Leadership, theROCKchurch, Vision

 

Own Your Chazown

Chazown_-_Banner_5

 

Chazown… It’s the Hebrew word for vision, and it’s what God had in mind for you when you were created. I firmly believe that YOU are a MASTERPIECE, placed on earth for a unique purpose that’s solely yours to fulfill.

theROCK Church has a new opportunity for you to uncover God’s dream for your life- your Chazown.

Starting August 1, and lasting 6 weeks, theROCK is embarking on a new journey on Thursday nights called The Chazown Experience. Here are some of the benefits of this study.

  • Dig under the surface of your life, dream about your future, and set concrete, realistic goals to propel you towards fulfilling your Chazown.
  • Gain a multi-faceted perspective of who God created you to be
  • Six interactive segments will guide you through your past, present, future, and purpose
  • You’ll develop a 100 day plan for pursuing God’s Chazown for your life.

You ready to change your life FOREVER? Download the Participant Guide today and join us August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and Sept. 5 at 6:40pm

Chazown_Small_Group_Experience_Participant_Guide

Need Directions?

We meet at 1529 W. Sullivan Street in Kingsport.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Leadership, theROCKchurch, Vision

 

Get Back Your Mo-mo, Jo-jo

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I am stinkin excited to kick off 2013 at theROCK with a brand new series called GET BACK. And it’s all about recovering your spiritual momentum. I don’t know where you are in your spiritual walk. Don’t know where you’ve been in the last year or in your lifetime. I have no clue what you’ve been dragging around with you… But….

… if you desire to turn a new page on your life this year. If you want a fresh start. If you want to re-launch yourself. There is no better time than NOW to stage your comeback and recover your MOMENTUM. Don’t let another day pass without trying to get back to where you belong…

I want to invite you to join with us at theROCK Church in the month of January as we seek to regain and recover spiritual momentum in our lives. At theROCK you’ll find a genuine, caring group of people that want nothing more than to help you discover the passion and love of God that we have found. theROCK is a place where you can be yourself (you can come with tattoos, dresses, shorts, piercings, hangovers, suits/ties, pj’s or whatever else) just bring you and while you’re at it somebody with you. If it’s your first time at theROCK I’ll go ahead and give you a spoiler… you’re going to find yourself an environment like none other. We always say we want theROCK Experience to be the best 90 minutes of your entire week. And that goes for the entire family. We have kids environments for all ages. The music led by Trevor Hager is un-freakin-real. Dude is so talented! And you’ll hear messages that are relevant to your life today.

So what in the world are you waiting for? You can connect with us in a number of ways.

Visit our Facebook Page: theROCK Church Kingsport

Connect through our Website: www.iROCKdoU.com

You can also watch LIVE every Sunday through our internet campus: iROCK Internet Campus

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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in theROCKchurch

 

Where are YOU Going in 2013?

It’s that season… the “let’s make vague commitments and resolutions that we know we’re not going to really keep by the end of February” season. And I’ve been down that path more times than I would like to admit. But this year I want to be different. I’m a competitive person to a fault, but many times it’s that competitive spirit that motivates me to accomplish goals in my life. So this year I’m deciding to do something a little different. No more of the vague goals or resolutions such as “I am going to get healthier” or “I want to grow closer to God” or “I want to be a better leader”. Those are the type of comments I used to make, but this year I want to get specific…

I commented yesterday about the fact that God spoke to me specifically about being a better leader in 2013, well may this be the first step toward that. Because my hope is that this will inspire those of you reading this to reach some goals this year as well. And I also challenge you to type them out just as I am. Maybe you don’t have a blog but if you’re on Facebook throw them out there on our ROCKchurch Page or send them out to your friends through e-mail or text, but I encourage you to let others see some of your goals for 2013. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to go back on this stuff, if no one else knows about it right? I need to be challenged and held accountable on my goals and vision for the new year, because it helps me to stay motivated to keep moving forward even when I may not feel like it. It will do the same for you. So without any further ado, here’s my list for 2013.

I’ll break it down in just 3 categories: Leadership, Family, and Personal

Leadership (4-1-1)

  • Read 4 Books– That may not seem like a lot for some of you, but for me where time is so scarce, that is definitely an attainable yet challenging goal. I wish I could read like I used to (about a leadership book a month) but that’s not feasible in my life at this point. But one book a quarter is definitely attainable and something to achieve. * When you set your goals, be specific and make sure the goal is achievable. Challenge yourself, but don’t set unrealistic expectations.
  • Take Our Leadership Team to at least 1 Conference and 1 Church Outside theROCK- I always want to expose our leadership team and our church partners to ministries and visionaries who are out there GETTING IT DONE in the world. Before we launched theROCK I had our team at the time to visit close to 10 churches and we went to 3 conferences in about 3 months time. I want to get back to exposing our team and people to the vision of “where we’re going” and I want to see them encouraged and inspired to achieve all God has for us.

Family (8-1,1,1,1-45)

  • Go On 8 Dates with my Wife- Again for some married couples and or dating couples it may seem kinda chintzy. But for a Pastor and Pastor’s wife with two young kids and me working 2 jobs and all of the craziness that is our lives at this point, if we can make it a point to go on 8 dates, that would be huge! And by date, I mean just me and her with no distractions and no rushing around.
  • Implement Our Family Saturday Plan- Saturday is literally the only day I have off during the week. And well when I say off, I’m not counting the hours of prep I put in at night to prepare for our Sunday morning experience at theROCK. But from the time we wake up till about 7pm is some of our most vital time as a family. So we need to be strategic this year in how we spend each Saturday. (Of course the Fall schedule will need some adjusting *wink*) So here’s the breakdown…
    • One Saturday will be designated as Family Fun Saturday- self explanatory
    • One Saturday will be designated as an Outreach- At theROCK we’re serious about being the hands and feet of Jesus and making a difference in our community. As a family we will use one Saturday a month to helping others
    • One Saturday will be designated for House Projects- With our schedules if we don’t schedule these times for projects, nothing would ever get done.
    • One Saturday will be Open- Meaning we can use it for any of the above 
  • Spend at Least 45 minutes a Day Playing with My Kids- I don’t want to be the dad that looks up and my kids are 25 and out of the house, and wonder what happened? I want to be strategic and intentional in the time that I spend with my sons. It’s not going to “just happen”. We have to MAKE it HAPPEN.

Personal (180-1-1) 

  • Workout at least 180 Days this Year- I would like to say 3 times a week or 4 times a week or whatever, but I’m going to set a specific goal to work out at least 180 days this year. Which equals to about half the year. It’s so important.
  • Help Make 1 Persons Dream Become a Reality- This one definitely sounds vague, but I’m praying for God to give me an opportunity to make a true difference in at least one person’s life this year. I’m praying He will open those doors
  • Share the Gospel with at least 1 person who has NEVER HEARD- If I am blessed with the opportunity to go back to Nicaragua in June 2013, this will happen! Eric and Melissa Weber (our missionary liason’s in Nica) have some amazing opportunities for our team and I am SO EXCITED! This has always been my passion, to reach those who are unreachable. And I pray God gives me some huge possibilities to make an eternal impact in many people’s lives this year.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really set focused personal goals like this before, but I’m hopeful with some focus, discipline, and encouragement I can meet them in 2013.

To help me stay focused, I’m going to write all of my results down on a blackboard to keep track of my progress. And by the way, this is just my personal goals, I’ve got a whole new set of these for my ROCKchurch goals for the year. But I want to be specific and focused to end up SOMEWHERE on PURPOSE.

So what about you? Where are YOU going in 2013? It doesn’t take long to think through the possibilities for your new year. I challenge you to make a growth plan for yourself, and let’s encourage each other to make a difference in 2013. Let’s DO IT!

 

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Family Life, Leadership, Vision

 

Goodbye 2012… Hello 2013

Well looky who it is…. I decided to get the blog up and rolling again in 2013. I have a few ideas that I hope to implement through here over the next few months and hopefully will be able to carve out enough time to make it happen.

As for today just wanted to wrap up a few thoughts on 2012, and look forward to what hopes to be an exciting 2013 both personally and with theROCK. Let me start with a quick update on Mom.

  1. MOM UPDATE

As many of you know 2012 ended with a not so subtle reminder, that life is precious and anything can happen at any time, to any body. My family nor your family is immune to it, and on Christmas Eve my mom was involved in a very scary head-on collision. All of the updates can be found on my Facebook page. No doubt it was one of the scariest moments of my life getting that phone call as I was hundreds of miles away on Christmas Eve. We have seen God do some miraculous things over the last week. As you already know she suffered 12 broken ribs (all on her left side), a fractured L-5 vertebrae in her back, and a ruptured spleen. We give God all of the praise as He helped the doctors repair the spleen and now it will just take time as the rest of her bruised and broken body recovers. She is doing much better and continues to regain a little more lung capacity each day. We thank each of you who helped pray during this time for our family.

Mom Car

On that Christmas Eve, as I was stuck in a hotel room in West Virginia, pacing the Hampton Inn 2nd floor hallway at least 837 times that night getting updates from my dad and cousin… It gave me a lot of time to reflect and pray. You know horrific circumstances, especially those that catch us off guard, have a way of really getting our attention and reminding us what’s REALLY important. God spoke to me loud and clear on that night, because He had my attention. Here are some conclusions from my talk with Him that night.

    • My LEADERSHIP has got to grow and develop in 2013! And I’m not just talking about in my leadership role as a Pastor. I’m talking in my FAMILY, in my PERSONAL LIFE, as a DAD, as a HUSBAND, as a MENTOR, and yes as a PASTOR. Isn’t it so easy to get so caught up in routine and life that we fail to continue to grow and develop the critical parts of our lives? I found myself really over the past year and a half get in somewhat of an autopilot and I had valid excuses. We often do don’t we? Life is so busy. I have no free time. I need to do this. I need to do that. I don’t have time. But there are some things in our life that is non-negotiable. And I believe as a MAN, the fact that God has called us all to be LEADERS is a non-negotiable in our lives. So for me, 2013 is going to be the year I get my groove back as a Leader. In every aspect- Father, Husband, Pastor, Son, etc…
    • DO NOT TAKE YOUR FAMILY FOR GRANTED!! Again aren’t we all guilty of that one? We’re not promised they’re going to be here forever. I have been so blessed to have family that have lived long productive lives and I act as though we all are going to live that way. In a moment… an instance… it can all be…. gone. I was certainly reminded of that at the end of 2012. We don’t know when our “last year” will be. We should live every day with no regrets. If you’re blessed to still have family around and alive, make it a point this year to spend time with them and show them you care- not just with words, but with actions.
    • Where has your spiritual momentum gone? 2013 is going to be the year I GET BACK my spiritual momentum. What if we all DECLARED that statement over our lives! ROCKchurch that’s what January is going to be about for us! Get ready!

2. MY SPORTS YEAR, WELL… SUCKED

2012 was a very frustrating year for my sports life to say the least. We’ll start with Tennessee… The three major sports were almost hard to watch all year. Basketball went from some of the most exciting times I’ve ever seen under Bruce Pearl to some of the most boring I’ve ever seen under Cuonzo Martin but the future looks ok. A loss in the NIT to MTSU was a fitting way to end 2012’s basketball season. The Vols baseball team has tons of promise under new head coach Dave Serrano but it’s going to be a tough rebuild. He finished dead last in his first season in the tough SEC East. Then you have the trainwreck that is Tennessee football. Derek Dooley was fired after another sub .500 year, an embarrsing loss to Vandy and yet another season with no bowl appearance. Again the future does look promising with the hiring of the new head coach Butch Jones.

As for professional sports… The Knicks were horrible last year, the Phillies had their worst season in over 5 years, and the Chiefs…… well the Kansas City Chiefs were simply the worst team in the NFL this year. So goodbye 2012, let’s hope 2013 is much much better.

Not all was lost though… was awesome to see Malik Foreman and Devaun Swafford get opportunities to play at Tennessee next year. Have watched these young men develop over the last four years and am excited to see what they can do at the next level.

Also a shoutout to one of our own at theROCK, Ty Hayworth, who redshirted this season at Wake Forest. Should be in play to get in the rotation for the 2013 season with the Demon Deacons.

3. FINAL THOUGHTS ON 2012

Looking back on the year that was, I can truly say I am a blessed blessed man. I have an amazing family that all have survived yet another year. My grandfather although not in the prime of his athletic life anymore, is still able to get around and walk and have a functional life at age 93. Wow. He has taught me more about life and leadership than just about any man, and few of those principles were given to me with words. He is a man that has modeled consistency and dependency on the Lord, and I am so grateful to have him in my life. My grandmother had surgery for the first time in her life this year, but God was faithful and saw her through it. Then of course my mother with what she went through, but through it all God sustained us and was faithful as He promised.

I am blessed with an amazing church family. We’ve seen tremendous growth over the last year at theROCK Church and I will be sharing more specifically in the coming days about where we’ve been and where we’re going as a church. But I’ve just been overwhelmed with the love and support that our church family has shown us this year. And I’m telling ya ROCK, Greater things are yet to come!….

And I was certainly blessed in 2012 with my second son, Colston Henry born on July 13. He’s almost 6 months now, so yes it’s time to start getting that throwing arm warmed up. 🙂

Coley

So here’s to 2012, and I just feel deep down that 2013 is going to be a year of tremendous positive change and the possibilities are really endless. Have you taken time to sit back and reflect on your 2012? What changes do you need to make? Where did God bless you through 2012? And where do you want to be at the end of 2013? As I always say, “Everyone ends up somewhere, few people end up somewhere ON PURPOSE”

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Family Life, Leadership, Sports