Merry Christmas 2016

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for reading the blog. Each one of you are a gift to me.

I’ll be taking the week after Christmas off to spend some time with the family and work on some new material for 2017, so Happy New Year, and I’ll be back soon.

My 2016 Year in Review

Today, December 22nd, 2016 I turn 36 years old. You don’t have to worry about sending me a card. You can just leave me a comment at the end of this post. Facebook wished me a happy birthday this morning, and they also reminded me to post my Year in Review.

Your Facebook Year in Review is a photo slideshow of different things you have experienced throughout the year. Although they say a picture is a worth a thousand words, I think sometimes it’s just better to write things down. So, I present to you my 2016 Year in Review.

  1. I read through the Bible this year. It wasn’t the first time I’ve done this, but it was the first time in a long time.
  1. I had the opportunity to preach at three great churches: Strong Tower Church, Generation Church, and Refuge Church.
  1. I started praying with my daughters before bed. This was one of the best things I’ve ever done. If you have young children, I highly encourage you to start doing this.
  1. I helped launch a second Strong Tower Church location in Lafayette, Tennessee.
  1. I met Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church, one of my favorite preachers and authors.
  1. I ate my first elk burger on my first trip to Indianapolis, Indiana, while visiting Justin Davis who just launched Hope City Church.
  1. I watched the entire Star Wars Saga for the very first time. I haven’t seen the newest movie yet, but I plan on it.
  1. I went on a family vacation to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida that included my wife’s brothers and sister and their kids.
  1. I went jet skiing for the first time while on a church planters retreat in Savannah, Georgia.
  1. I took my wife to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico to celebrate our ten-year anniversary.
  1. I saw two of my favorite artists in concert, Dave Barnes and NeedtoBreathe.
  1. I went on a vision trip to Kenya with Compassion International and started sponsoring my first Compassion child.
  1. I went on my first African Safari where I saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, lions, and more.
  1. I took dance lessons to celebrate my wife’s 30th
  1. I ran a 5k…ok walked most of it, but still I’m getting older.
  1. I wrote over 100 blog posts.

Looking back over this list I have to say, 2016 has to be one of my best years ever. To say I’ve been blessed is an understatement.

I’m not crazy about getting older, but if I keep having years like this one, I won’t mind nearly as much.

How was your 2016? What were some of the highlights? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any of the tips on church growth, leadership, and more I’ll be delivering to your inbox in 2017.

Santa’s Elves

4 Characteristics Santa's Looking For

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought we’d have a little fun on the blog today and ask ourselves what Santa is looking for when he hires an elf. Now, I’m not sure if elves actually go through a hiring process or what they get paid or if they get insurance. All I know is that if you’re making and delivering gifts for every child in the world, you better have some elves you can depend on.

Who knows, maybe there’s even a correlation between what Santa’s looking for when he’s hiring an elf to what other leaders should be looking for when they bring someone onto their team.

After all, Santa’s got a pretty important mission, and so do you. So, you want to make sure you get the right people on your team.

4 Characteristics Santa’s Looking for in an Elf

  1. Passion

Santa needs elves that are passionate about their role. If Herbie doesn’t like to make toys, then Herbie has to go. The mission is too important to assign it to someone who isn’t excited about the work that needs to be done. Santa is looking for elves that bring joy to their workplace and not negativity.

  1. Competent

Passion is great, but it has to be paired with an elf that knows what he or she is doing. It doesn’t matter how excited you are about your job if you stink at it. Santa knows the mission is too critical to give the job to someone who isn’t unqualified. It’s a lesson too many churches have yet to figure out.

  1. Character

Not only does Santa keep a naughty or nice list for every child in the world, I believe he keeps one for each elf. If he has an elf who is coming in to work late, showing up at the mall drunk, or flirting with Santa’s secretary, then that elf has to go.

  1. Fun

When you work at the North Pole, you’re going to be working in close proximity with the other elves, so it helps if you’re fun to be around. No one likes a Negative-Ned, a Complaining-Carol, or a Gossiping-Greg. If you’re fun, people will want to be around you, and the best elves work in teams.

Santa can’t do his job alone, and neither can you. Make sure you’re placing the right people on your team in order to accomplish the mission God has given you.

If you have some people on your team who don’t have these characteristics, this may need to be the year that they get coal in their stocking, if you know what I mean.

What do you think the best part of Santa’s job would be? Is it flying the sleigh? All the free cookies and milk? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, and make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.