Last week I was able to attend the Holy Trinity Leadership conference at Royal Albert Hall in London. I wrote previously about Nicky Gumbel’s Main Session and today are my notes from another main session from Judah Smith of City Church in Seattle.

Judah Smith – On Church Leadership Session 1 

Leading is about giving – A leader who stops giving finds themself on a lonely walk. Our People want to follow generous leaders who are generous with time, love, passion and wisdom. He also asserts that great leaders give value to people – leadership is always about giving.

Leading is about expecting nothing in return – When we give or preach or serve, do we expect something back? Are we looking for affirmation, acknowledgment or appreciation and if we do, what do we do when we don’t get it. Leading with strings attached will rob us of fulfillment and satisfaction. Our people do this sort of thing to us as leaders and its brutal, so why would we do it to our people?

Leading is about consistency – Leaders act in consistency with their character, action, word and conduct. People are drawn to consistent leadership, and the truth is that a shooting star never helped a lost hiker and the same goes for us.

Leading is about loving – Loving must come before leading, and when we are loving and leading people, our position doesn’t matter as much. We need to fall in love with God and what He is doing, and bring our people along to be a part of that mission.

GS – Twitter

A couple weeks ago a youth leader took his group on a one day service project with The Big Day of Serving.  He wrote a “review” blog post afterwards.

Review of Big Day Nashville

I appreciate how this youth leader understood the connection between service and the spiritual growth of his students.  And it’s neat how a single day serving now has his group excited about serving longer term.

Your Digital Footprint

Your facebook is a representation of you, but you know that.  If you still have a MySpace page floating out their how does it look?  What are you tweeting? In the hiring I have done, I have made an extra effort to “Google” the people we are serious about. Make sure your social network pages represent you well.  What content are you tweeting? Videos are you posting? What pictures are on your facebook page, flickr, Google+?  What can a semi-tech savvy employer learn about you from your blog?

These are all great tools to assist you in presenting yourself to an employer…and remember, they are looking at them whether you know they are looking or not. A personal webpage is a great resource for the job hunt but make sure it looks good, I would rather go without a webpage than have my info out there on a shotty looking site.

A simple search of me found everything from a personal website to twitter to an ebay profile.  A good employer will do this because they know you represent them.  Don’t misrepresent yourself because you are desperate to get work…Search yourself and clean it up or delete it.

This week I had a great conversation with my wife about the future of our church. It was so much fun to toss out huge changes in our hypothetical little restructuring dialogue at Starbucks that morning. I was shocked at how quickly massive shifts in policy and procedures were rolling off my tongue. How easily a list of players that should be immediately promoted (or let go) and pet programs that would be eliminated. Wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall for that conversation?

Well, this post has little to do those details – and everything to do with the principles that I think we stumbled on in that conversation. Here’s what I took away from it all (other than being I have no desire to run Saddleback Church – hahahaha) and a few thoughts that might help you, too:

Ask yourself what questions a new youth worker in your position would immediately ask about the youth ministry. What are the things they would be curious about? What programs lack purpose? Why DO we do it that way? Give yourself fresh, outside eyes and see what questions rise to the surface?

Ask yourself what changes would be a no-brainer. In the depth of your heart, you know some changes that have been difficult to make or even process. If someone coming in would make the changes effortlessly, what are you waiting for?

Ask yourself who they would do ministry with? And who they would let go? Who you do ministry with is one of the most critical aspects of longevity in ministry. People are life-giving or life-draining – who needs a season off in ministry? Who needs to be given their big break and brought onto the team? Don’t move as quickly on this point as you might the others – people are very subjective subject but there’s still value in taking time to evaluate your team.

Ask yourself what programs a new youth pastor would kill with ease. The sacred cow in your ministry may need to be killed. The outside eyes see them in seconds. Kill them quick!

Now don’t get in your head and start running someone else’s youth ministry – God called you there for this season so run it yourself! But don’t be afraid to look at it with the eyes of the outside. You might be surprised that something you haven’t seen at all would be so obvious to them!


I use Kayak to search for the best prices on flights and today I noticed that the FREE Starbucks “Pic of the Week” is the pro version of Kayak. I do not think there was a difference between Kayak and Kayak Pro until recently. Here is how Kayak is described in iTunes. Get to a Starbucks and grab a card…IT’S FREE!

The #1 Mobile Travel App. Includes flight and car search, hotel search and booking, flight tracker and My Trips, so you have your full itinerary at your fingertips. And of course, KAYAK is free.
- Compare flight, hotel and car rental deals
- Book your hotel, right in the app. Just choose KAYAK as your booking option
- Track your flight status
- View and manage your trip itinerary
- Look up baggage fees
- Access airline numbers and airport info
- NEW feature exclusive to Pro version: Airport terminal maps for over 100 airports:

Don’t live near a Starbucks? Let me help you.


Weekend Teaching Series: XXX (series premiere, week 1 of 2)
Sermon in a Sentence:
How to escape the clutches of pornography.

Service Length: 70 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend Craig Gross, founder of XXXChurch, spoke to our high school students in all 4 weekend services. He is a gifted and passionate speaker and this subject is fully in his wheelhouse. I was so happy to have him there to take this topic head on. It was

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we went for content over anything else – the guys made a creative stage design and we asked a couple of very direct polleverywhere cell phone questions about porn etc. Really strong weekend!

Music Playlist: We Are the Free, Our God, Savior of the World

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was … that I was gone this weekend! I got a chance to escape for a weekend away with the family. We did it up simple, just a quick 2-night hotel stay in the area with no phones, computers, worries. Just the pool, great meals and time with the kids. Super fun!

Up next: XXX (series finale, week 2 of 2)

Mission Trip Musts [4]

 —  May 23, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today we tackle the 4th “must” of college ministry mission trips.  It’s a natural one for all, but still important to include:

4. Give the opportunity to serve. 

Giving people an opportunity to give of themselves on a trip is huge. For us, putting on the camps in Romania was not just physically draining, but emotionally as well. Having people come back exhausted and yet fulfilled is a great outcome for these trips, so planning in light of that is good. In addition, the service aspect allows college-age people (or anyone for that matter) going on the trip to plan, organize, be creative (with crafts, games, etc.), and implement all kinds of things. They can be a part of bringing a solution and accomplishing something that brings a sense of justice to a situation.  They can be a part of leading something specific and directing others toward a goal.

Most important, in my opinion, is to make sure we help them process through how to serve in similar ways in their own neighborhoods and cities back at home.  This can have a significant “jolt” in their thinking and lifestyle.