Spur Leadership Conference Roster

After months of work, prayer, phone calls, coordination, and a healthy dose of God's favor, we are finally ready to announce this year's Spur Leadership Conference Roster (the conference is Oct. 1-2, 2009 in the ATX):

TX Gov. Rick Perry
Gen. Tommy Franks
Roy Spence
Pastor Steven Furtick
Kem Meyer
Steve Price
Les Csorba
Courtney Spence
Mac Richard

Each of these presenters is uniquely positioned to address this year's conference theme, WHO'S NEXT? The Spur Leadership Conference is a leadership engine for anyone making a difference in the marketplace or in ministry. This two-day event will stretch, encourage, and challenge your team in a fresh and dynamic way.

You can get more information and register and the Spur Leadership Conference website.




This weekend at LHC, we're kicking off the new message series MANHUNT. As we begin this series on Memorial Day, we'll be paying special respect to those who paid the ultimate price for our nation's freedoms and opportunities. It's going to be a very special service and a HUGE series in the life of our church.

I'm asking you to do THREE THINGS:

1. Check out the series trailer below. John Fones, Kristopher Rutherford, Alex Alexander, et. al created a phenomenal piece of work. I'm preaching and I get fired up watching it!
2. Use the video to e-vite as many people as you can to discover the greatest Man who ever lived.
3. Worship with us at either of our locations THIS SUNDAY. I know it's Memorial Day weekend, but this worship service will so be worth your time. If you Tweet, you can use this URL to share w/ your followers: http://bit.ly/5ZGyS .

Manhunt Trailer from Lake Hills Church on Vimeo.


Mentoring Works

One of the responsibilities for people in leadership is to regularly evaluate what's working, what needs course-correcting, and what should be taken out back and shot. One of the healthiest ministries I've ever heard of happens to reside at LHC.

Mom-to-Mom is a small group/Bible study/support group for moms. Those whose kids are in high school or older come alongside those whose kids are younger and mentor them out of their own experiences, perspective, and Bible study to help them navigate the waters of the most important job in the world.

The reason this works? Two words: Tonya Esler. Tonya is one of the most joyful people I've ever been around. Her joy, faith, and hope are absolutely infectious. AND...if she senses an issue, a leadership short-circuit or anything that threatens the health of the ministry, she addresses it with grace. Quickly.

Tonya and her leadership spend hours of prayer and thought before grouping mentor moms with ment-ee moms. They don't bat 1.000. But, they come pretty close.

And it's a model that we're copying and replicating throughout our church. Specifically, in the next few months, we'll be launching Leader-to-Leader, a marketplace mentoring ministry. I just hope that we're as faithful with this new one as Tonya and her team are with theirs.


New Works

Julie and I are heading home today from south Florida after a monster weekend at a phenomenal church. Church by the Glades is ROCKING the Ft. Lauderdale/Coral Springs area like few churches anywhere on the planet. Their pastor is David Hughes and they are killing it week in and week out. God is doing such amazing things, they have to offer SEVEN services to accommodate the people God is reaching through them (David shared that little factoid only AFTER I'd said Yes to preaching for him).

We've downloaded so much that we've seen and learned this week by being here, but the biggest thing that we've learned is how we learned. We got into a new environment, met new people and were challenged and affirmed in new ways (I even preached in coat and tie to their early traditional service!).

I had never seen Church by the Glades, didn't know any of their staff besides David, and didn't know what their services were like. But meeting with their staff, which is VERY lean--and effective--for a church of 5,000 (+/-), spending time with David and his wife Lisa, and stealing ideas and strategies will make a difference at Lake Hills Church in Austin.

And none of that would've been possible if we hadn't picked our heads up and gotten out of our normal traffic patterns, changed our perspective, and shut up and listened to other people. New works.

(OK, all that's true. But the fact that I spent my first day on a FL Keys tarpon boat sure didn't hurt the overall experience! And the fact that we got blanked just means I'll have to come back.)



An Idea's Best Friend

Julie & I got home tonight from a brief visit to Bay Area Fellowship in Corpus Christi, TX. BAF is served and led by Bil Cornelius and his amazing wife Jessica. Bil is one of the people who refuels my passion for Christ and his Bride the church and makes me love all the more what we get to do every day.

He is also, as Ed Young says, "an idea's best friend." Bil is one of those people whose mind is scary quick and always moving, thinking of more, better, and bigger ways to introduce people to the extravagant love of God. It's no wonder that Bay Area Fellowship has turned not only Corpus on its ear, but all of South Texas through church planting and launching of satellite campuses at a frenetic and well managed rate.

Very few people would sit around and dream big dreams and pray monster prayers for places like Alice (the Spinach Capital of the World, BTW)...Five Points...(North) Padre Island...and Kingsville, TX. But that is exactly what Bil & Bay Area are doing. And they're doing it well.

Just getting to be around Bil & Jessica and get to know some of their amazing staff was a huge blessing and recharge for Julie & me. I always love coming home to Austin, but tonight it was doubly sweet because of the excitement and passion that we got to rub elbows with in Corpus.

It's a blessing and a kick in the pants to get to be on the same team.



This Kid's Got It So Good

A close friend of mine just emailed me word that their first grandchild had arrived. Included in the email was a link to some pix taken on the birth day. I thought this one in particular pretty much summed up the whole thing for anyone who's a dad.

This child has no idea--yet--how extravagantly he's been blessed to be born into the family he just met. It's a great day for him and them. They're not perfect, but they are three generations, now four, who have worked hard to make decisions that honor God, love each other, and yield long-haul benefits vs. short-run convenience. And, on days like yesterday, they get to enjoy the payoffs.

And so does anyone who comes in contact with them.


Sweet Brown Sugar(land)

Sometimes it just all comes together.

A few weeks back I saw that Sugarland was coming to Austin and I looked into tickets to take my daughter. I had missed the window where good seats were available other than a ticket broker at noticeably higher prices so I punted. Then, we got a mass email from a friend who had extras for less-than-face value. I called, snagged the tix and invited Emily on a date without telling her about the concert.

Here's the takehome from the evening:

* Found Emily's new favorite hamburger in the ATX
*When we picked Amy's Ice Cream on 6th St./Lamar, we met and had pic taken w/ Billy Joe Shaver, reigning Texas Songwriter Emeritus
* Created lifetime memories in about 5 hours
* Realized all over again how blessed Julie & I are to have the kids for a few more years