Monthly Archives: May 2007

Mmm… Bar-B-Que…

We had a cookout for folks who were interested in learning more about ICC today.  Once we pumped ’em full of some of Dad’s world-famous grilled animal flesh, I got to cast the vision, explain why we are doing some of the stuff we’re doing, and invite people to join our launch team as we ramp up to our September 16th Kick-Off Sunday!

We had a decent turnout today (about 25% of our 1st service turnout, counting my family) and added 7 more to the Launch Team.  That brings us up over 20 if my math is correct – I can’t make an exact count right now because I’m “not working”.  I was reminded today of how much I already love Iron City Church.  Just the few folks on the Launch Team who GET IT inspire me and spur me on.

I’m stoked to spend some time with a local reporter this week, make some preparations for MAN DAY on June 17, and get out and meet some more of my neighbors! 

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day!  I thank God for the men and women who have died for the freedoms we enjoy in America.  More than that, I thank God for His Son who died for the spiritual freedoms I enjoy in Christ. 

Can You Do Me A Favor?

I’m a lover of all most things marketing.  It is the way I’m wired.  Heck, if it weren’t for my high ethical standards, I might could “sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.”  I’m certainly no expert, but I have thoughts….

That being said, THE MOST STRATEGIC MARKETING plan isn’t enough to make a product (or a church) a hot commodity in and of itself.  For that to happen, there needs to be some BUZZ.  Ah, BUZZ: That hard to define, but easy to recognize quality that accompanies, even defines the latest, greatest thing.

In business its impossible to “guarantee” buzz.  It could be your product being used in a series of popular YouTube clips or TV shows.  It could be that a year after you wanted (and desperately needed) buzz, your product gets it because some celeb or athlete decided they suddenly liked it.  It could just be that it serves a double purpose you never intended for it.  The source, the final buzz generator, could be anything – or it just might not happen.

In church planting buzz is equally unpredictable.  However, the source in this case is the favor of God.  There are churches all over the country that are doing amazing things for God’s Kingdom by fusing creativity, innovation, authenticity, (insert your favorite church planting watchword here), etc. 

These are the churches whose blogs I subscribe to, whose pastors speak at all the big conferences, and whose unfathomable numbers reports baffle/inspire/disgust/overwhelm church planters nationwide each Monday morning.  They have – for whatever reason - found FAVOR with God and He is showing off through their ministries on a grand scale.

There is really no other explanation for it.  Meanwhile there are untold thousands of church plants and planters laboring away in anonymity — many doing a lot of the very same things that these other churches are doing, just without the astonishing fruitfulness.

What do we need to learn from this?  I think it was a Dwight Moody quote: we need to work like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on God. 

This is the prayer I’ve been praying for over a month now for Iron City Church (and especially this last week): That we would find favor with God.  That we would be faithful to do what He’s calling us to do and that He would reward that faithfulness with His incomparable favor – numerous lives throughout the Pittsburgh metro area transformed through the ministry of ICC – not for the sake of this church or me, but for the glory of Jesus Christ and for His Kingdom. 

I don’t know what it looks like, and I don’t want to share too much too soon, but I can already begin to see some possible signs that He’s doing His thing.  Hold on, join me in praying, and let’s see what happens….

Observation/Prediction on the Journey

While I am excited to be getting this trailer this weekend (another piece of the puzzle) I am SO ready to be done with all these 10, 11, 12 hour each way trips.  I am ready to just BE in Pittsburgh and spend time getting to know some people.

Observation: For about the last 2 months or so I have just been aching to get out and build relationships.  I am a very outgoing guy, but as I think through my life experience it normally takes me a while to warm up to a new area after a move.  So I’ve got this internal struggle going on: trying to learn/decipher a new city while knowing I need to (and wanting to) be actively making connections with people in the community.  On top of all that I’ve spent nearly every waking hour getting systems in place for last Sunday’s first service.  And then there’s the traveling….

Prediction: The further I go along this journey of starting Iron City Church, the more I’m going to appreciate all the prep time of the last few months.  Even now, my number one focus between now and Man Day (June 17) is investing in relationships and inviting people to church.  In effect, my prediction is that I’ll be thankful for front-loading the administrative tasks so that I can spend the bulk of my time from here on out on relational tasks…


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