Brilliant stuff from Northpoint. Wow.


Last week we met as a junior high team and finished mapping out the Fall Semester. We planned the talks and creative elements for every Sunday and Wednesday of the Fall Semester. Many people think that this is an easy task and it truly isn’t. Why not? Well because it started off with us going around and critiquing each other in ministry, and the ministry as a whole. This was hard but so healthy to do. Many organizations shy away from this because their pride will not allow them to do hear the things they need to change.
Then we went around and thought of ideas that we have to make things “better.”

As we were doing this the question kept coming up, why do we need to change it up, things seem to be working great?

Great question, in my opinion – here is why… we must be upgrading our system, if you do not upgrade your system then you will continue to be slow and in the past. This is so common in many ministries all over the world. They think that they can continue to use the same system for years.

Look at computers if they never upgraded then they would be so slow and old and no one could use them. TV’s now have to be upgraded or they will not pick up the digital signal. Look at Facebook, when it switched to the “new layout,” where all you saw at first was the status update page and everyone was all this is not good, bring back the old facebook layout…. Then all of a sudden, BOOOM! Everyone loves it and is updating their status like crazy. Sometimes change hurts and is confusing and people don’t like it! But in reality, change is good, it is really really good. What is in your ministry that needs to be reevaluated, what do you need to upgrade.

Here is a great quote from Andy Stanley – “If you were to walk out of your organization and come back in, what would you change?”

Michael Head is the junior high pastor at Second Baptist Church Houston. You can follow him on Twitter, and his blog at

Dennis has a thoughful post today connecting the bibleical purposes for student ministry and it’s target audience. He uses a mash-up of some Andy Stanley and Doug Fields stuff to come up with some great observations.

Purpose: REACH

Purpose Market to the problem Method of promoting the problem
Reach — draw in the unchurched community Bored on a Saturday night? Wonder where everybody’s at? They’re having a blast at game night at 1st Church from 7:00 — 9:00 enjoying free refreshments and lots of fun. Be there and feel free to invite a friend to come with you. Have students send texts, tweets on Twitter, Facebook
Unchurched members of the community will respond more to events that address non-spiritual needs. They choose not to go to church for a variety of reasons. If they felt a spiritual need, they would be in church already. Reaching them by meeting needs that they are already wanting to solve will increase the likelihood they’ll participate.

He’s got 4 more on his site to mull over, too.


Pastor Rick shared some thoughts at Catalyst West today – he was on stage with Andy Stanley at the same time (which was awesome in and of itself) and shared some thoughts about pace and margin. Here’s the 3 thoughts, follow everything live on Twitter from CatWest right here:

Divert Daily – spend time with the people and what you love to do every day.

Withdraw Weekly – if you’re not taking a Sabbath, you are breaking the 10 Commandments. Don’t just take a day off – you can cheat on that – take a Sabbath.

Abandon Annually - the world will survive without you. Get away from everything.


Weekend Teaching Series: Save the Planet (1 of 3)
Message Title: The Beauty of Creation
Sermon in a Sentence: To understand our planet, you have to start at the beginning.

Weekend Scale of Difficulty: 8 out of 10. We’re still facing a steep learning curve in the new building, but we’ve made great progress this week. We had some really cool media moments, and while there wasn’t a ton of traditional programming – lots of cues, timing and activity made this weekend quite challenging.

Attendance: down 33% from the previous weekend, up 34% from the same weekend last year
Service Length: 66 minutes
Understandable Message: A- I tried to focus the message on the Creator and tell the simple story of creation. We took Genesis 1 and formed it into the shape of a globe, which made the outline look different. At heart it was three simple points about what we can learn about the Creator from looking at His creation. I really enjoyed it, the 6:30pm Saturday night was the best of the bunch for sure.

Volunteer/Student Involvement: B-/A Students once again filled a ton of key roles – lights, camera, prayer team and band. We’re still working on student greeters inside the auditorium, that second level of relationship we need to further develop. Volunteers are present, but honestly we’re not doing a super job coaching everyone on expectations of new room and strategies to really connect in relationship. The programming has jumped up a level, but we’ve got to continue to focus on relationships.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: A- We didn’t play any games or anything like that, but there was a good vibe to the room. I always like it when a student attends with high expectations and leaves thinking, “they didn’t just throw this together.” Great lights, great atmosphere, great opportunity to share Jesus. We had a cool opener (inspired by something we saw at Drive at Northpoint) with a radio tuner that tuned into the opening song. High energy for sure.

Music Playlist: Control (Mute Math cover) “We Belong to Jesus” “Yes You Have” “Let Me Sing”

Favorite Moment: For me, it was a series video bumper that one of our students created this week. After last week’s message, we sat down and talked about his shape and places to serve. He is totally gifted in media/video, and created a stunning and very artsy video we played right before the message. Such a great surprise – I’ll post it here as soon as we get it on our Blip account.

Notes: Fun to kick off our first major series in The Refinery. This was coming off of a short week which was packed with activities and events, but all in all it was a solid weekend. Another short week upcoming means lots to do in little time.

Overall grade: A

Are podcasts dead? Nope … just maturing a bit I would say. Millions of people listen to podcasts (think radio shows on demand) every week – here’s 6 you should be sure not to miss:

The Simply Youth Ministry Podcast – this is a weekly youth ministry show featuring Doug Fields and Friends. I’m one of the friends, and we enjoy putting together a show every week or so. We’ve been doing it for a few years, but just jump in and you’ll figure it out. Just enough youth ministry so you don’t feel guilty for not working.

The Tardy Cast – Mariner’s High School Ministry weekend messages, featuring Jeff McGuire. He’s got a great style of communicating to HS students, and I love that they embrace the technology to get talks to their students who can’t make it to the weekend.

North Point Ministries: Andy Stanley – Great trainings from Andy Stanley. North Point has other podcasts, but this one focuses solely on Andy.

LifeChurch.TV Worship – broadcasts their music sets each week from each campus. It is a great weekly dose of free live performances of popular worship songs.

Mars Hill Bible Church – Great weekly teaching from Rob Bell and others. There’s a NOOMA show as well, but I prefer this one.

Stuff You Should Know – How Stuff Works puts out a weekly 5-minute show that’s enjoyable. I also Tivo How It’s Made, Modern Marvels and America Eats. I enjoy useless tidbits of trivial knowledge. It makes me feel powerful.


Scored some new music this week. Here’s a rundown of the new stuff I’m listening to:

  • Viva La Vida – Coldplay
  • The Time of My Life – David Cook
  • Northpoint Live (album) – Various Artists
  • Worth Dying For (album) -Worth Dying For
  • The Feeling – Kutless
  • On The Blue (album) – Joel Auge


One of my new favorites … and hit this link if you’re interested in reading North Point’s Music Blog …