One Prayer, Pt. 2

One of the most powerful components of the One Prayer season of ministry is the opportunity we have to play a key role in planting new churches in some of the most remote corners of the world. The locations for these new bodies of Christ are:

Collectively, those nations are going to be home to 500 new churches. That's 500 new outposts and beachheads for the love and hope of Christ in places where love and hope are desperately needed.

This is the kind of focused, intentional, and uniting work that would not be possible without technology bringing together over 1,100 churches representing more than 736,000 people in weekly church participation.

What is your One Prayer for the Bride of Christ?


One Prayer, Pt. 1

It's finally here: the message series ONE PRAYER kicks this coming weekend at LHC (most participating churches will begin the weekend of June 7-8, but we're starting a week earlier because of our sermon calendar and summer camps that were already locked and loaded when we were invited to participate in One Prayer). The series is based on this premise: If you could pray one prayer for the Church, what would it be?

Big question, isn't it? What would you pray if you could pray one prayer for the Bride of Christ?

One Prayer is a series of messages that over 1,100 churches worldwide are preaching through in the month of June. Those 1,100+ churches represent more than 750,000 people in weekend attendance. I've never heard of Christ's Bride pulling off this kind of unity of purpose and practice at one time--EVER. I'm so grateful to Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch for having the vision, obedience, and leadership to bring this ministry to the world.

We'll kick off this series this weekend with my prayer for our church and the Church at large: God, Make Us Magnetic. This message is one of 60 that all 1100+ churches have available to them for this series.

In the weeks that follow, we're going to be challenged, blessed, and encouraged by some of the greatest communicators and leaders in the church today. I know that sometimes going to church falls off the radar a little in the summer. But, you will miss so much if you miss any of One Prayer. Be praying with us and for Christ's church. When you remember that the Church is the hope of the world, it kindof



It's Saturday night and as I'm wrapping everything up preparing to preach in the morning, I found this picture (kudos/credit to Patagonia's website). First, the colors just popped off the page and were so striking. Second, what a great moment for the angler to have brought the fish to hand and remove the fly.

It reminds of two very important things (one much more significant than the other):

1. Catching this species of fish on a fly is the most fun I've ever had on the water or in the field. When they pick up the fly, they rocket across the flats, rooster-tailing the line through the water. It is an absolute kick in the pants. First time I ever caught one, I stuck the rod butt in my stomach and just giggled while the fish went screaming the opposite direction.

2. Jesus made me a fisher of people. Not only because I'm a pastor, but because I trust Him and promised Him I'd live this life for Him. The only way you catch fish is if you're where they are and you present them with something attractive. It usually involves a lot of work, some discomfort personally, and thinking like a fish. But the payoff! There's nothing like it.

You know, I've met a lot of people who don't like to bait their own hooks, wait for fish to bite, or remove the fish from the hook once it's caught. But, I've never met ANYONE--(not sure I want to!)--who doesn't get a thrill from catching fish. There's just something about it when you've paid the price, done the work, and felt the tug.

Worship at LHC gives us all that opportunity every week--to see weeks, months, or maybe even years of work and prayer and relationship come to fruition when a friend or family member personally trusts Christ. Or, maybe it's in a conversation that you get to have with someone. Either way, I've never met a genuine Christ-follower who didn't love to have a hand in that--when they've prayed the prayers, done the work, and felt the tug of God in their friend's life.

Happy Fishing.

Bonus Question: What species of fish is pictured above?


www.SpurLeaders.org Goes LIVE

Thanks to Jon Jennings and his team, we are actually a day EARLY in launching the Spur Leaders website. The first post offers a sample of where this resource is coming from and where we're headed with it. The most significant offering you'll find there is the vision for Spur Leaders.

Obviously, the main event for this year is the SPUR LEADERS CONFERENCE, coming to Austin on Thurs., Oct. 2. Beginning today, registration is open. In fact, we have already received our first registration--even before the announcement that the site was active.

QUESTION: To help you as a leader, what topic or message would you most want a conference speaker to deliver to your team?


Opening Friday & Random ?s

This Friday, we're going to be launching the Spur Leader website. On one hand, it's going to be the result of months of planning, work, interviews, and research. Jon Jennings, Vic Dominey, DeAnn Wilson and a lot of other people have put in some serious hours to bring this public.

On the other hand, it's just the beginning of a concerted ministry and effort from LHC to provide real-world, soul-deep encouragement and equipping for anyone who leads and influences in the marketplace or ministry.

macrichard.com will continue and be used for more personal and LHC-specific postings once spurleaders.org goes live. I'll have more info and the URL later on this week in this space.

On another note, I have a few questions:

What do you think about Twitter?
Do you use it?
How often do you Twitter to let other people know what you're doing?
How many people are you following on Twitter?


Touching Them All

A lot of sports news happens off the field and isn't exactly the kind of stuff that inspires. But, then you see something like this story below. There are multiple lessons in what those young women did, but specifically, what are the leadership lessons? How do we cultivate that kind of character? Reward it? Feed the fire?

(Thanks to John Lewis for the headsup on this.)


Spur Leader

Today was a milestone day in the life of our new leadership resource Spur Leader. We had a hugely clarifying conversation that helped us define our role, purpose, goals, methods--all of which will soon be manifested in the launch of the website, spurleaders.org, and the opening of registration for the Spur Leader Conference, coming October 2, 2008.

The lineup of speakers for this one-day event looks like this:

Rick Barnes, UT Men's Basketball Coach, a proven winner at every stop of his career, Rick Barnes has led The University of Texas basketball program to a level of national prominence never before seen at the Forty Acres. In his first nine years at the helm of the Longhorns, the 52-year-old Barnes has guided Texas to a school-record nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a school-best eight straight 20-win seasons entering the 2007-08 campaign, which saw the Longhorns reach the Elite 8.
Ed Young, Founding and Senior Pastor of Fellowship Church, one of the largest, fastest growing, and healthiest churches in America. Located in the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, the church’s main campus sits on 141-acres just north of DFW Airport. The church also operates four satellite campuses, one in downtown Dallas, one in the northern suburb of Plano, one just north of Fort Worth near Alliance Airport, and the fourth in Miami, Florida.
Steve Price, Dell, Inc. Steve currently serves as vice president, Human Resources for Dell’s Global Consumer Business. In this role, he is responsible for the overall HR strategy and execution for World-Wide Sales and Marketing, Global Product Development and Engineering, and Consumer Customer Experience and Support organizations located across North America, Latin America, India, and the Philippines.
Rocky & Janet Mountain, Rocky is a venture capital entrepeneur, formerly Exec. VP of Consumer Sales, Dell, Inc. Janet, also formerly with Dell, Inc. is currently the Executive Director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, overseeing the administration of more than $150 million of philanthropy.
Les Csorba, Heidrick & Struggles and leads the Houston office. He is a member of both the firm’s Industrial Practice and the Board of Directors/CEO Practice focusing on the Petroleum Industry. Previously, Les served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Presidential Personnel during the George H.W. Bush Administration. He is the author of Trust: The One Thing That Makes or Breaks a Leader.
Mac Richard, as Himself

On Friday, May 23, we're hosting a Spur Luncheon gathering a handful of business and community leaders who will be playing a role in the development of Spur to begin redefining leadership both in the marketplace and in ministry.


Mother's Day Blessings

This weekend I get to do one of my favorite things in ministry: Share the preaching with my bride Julie. She has such a gift and a passion for encouraging and challenging women and moms in particular that her passion reignites my own for what is possible through a God-honoring worship experience and study of Scripture.

We're going to be starting a series that speaks specifically to the blessing and purpose of Woman. We live in a world that has so cluttered and clouded the image of God that women are fashioned to represent. The whole male-female thang has gotten really muddled. This weekend and through the next few weeks, we're going to un-muddle, clarify, and celebrate true femininity.

Men, I promise you that our service this weekend will thoroughly bless the women in your life. Anyone who has a hand in blessing them is blessed themselves. Take some time and make the time to be with them throughout this series. There's an old saying that goes like this: If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. There's an element of truth in that, but the reverse is equally true and substantially more powerful: If Momma is blessed, everybody's blessed.

Whether you're a mom or not, or a dad or not, married, single, or undecided, truly celebrating God's creative genius in authentic masculinity and femininity is something that blesses all of us.


4 Books

Just finished one book and am in the middle of another one, both of which are absolute gotta-reads. And, then, there are two others I finished over the last couple of months.

The one I just finished is by Leif Enger, whose first book was Peace Like a River and also a gotta-read. This book I just finished is his latest (his second?), So Brave, Young and Handsome. Both are good stories well told. It's not Shakespeare or War & Peace on the gravitas scale, but So Brave is a great read that tells a great story of redemption, second chances, and consequences for decisions made. It's not neat and tidy, but it rings true. Would be super for a summer book in the mountains or at the beach.

The second is one that's taking a little longer, but is so worth it. Reason for God by Tim Keller may be the most essential read for any person of faith or for someone considering the Christian faith. But it is not religion lite. To read this book, strap it on and buckle up. Keller is well thought-out, humble, and direct in his defense of the Christian faith in the face of some of the most withering attacks it has ever encountered (i.e. Hitchens, Dawkins, et. al). I don't think it's overstating the case to say that Reason for God can more than hold its own with Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

If you're a Christ-follower, you'll be strengthened and equipped, convicted and encouraged. If you're not, you'll appreciate Keller's low-key, non-dogmatic arguments for the man called Jesus, and perhaps even a little surprised by some of his admissions re: religion's failures, pitfalls, and hypocrisies. But, know also that he won't patronize you by not pointing out failures, pitfalls, and hypocrisies of atheism, pluralism, and universalism as well. He's too kind for that.

The other two books that are great for very different reasons: Not Between Brothers, by David M. Wilkinson. It's a "sweeping epic" that tells the story of the settling of Texas from 1816 to 1861. Very well written--on a par with Lonesome Dove. The last book I'll mention is an incredible memoir of two men who never should've met: Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall & Denver Moore. It's too long a story to even set up. Trust me: Read it.