Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Download

  • About all I can say about this morning is, "WOW!"
  • Unbelievable worship and energy in both services
  • We set a new attendance record - ok...we shattered our attendance record today!
  • Thank you for everyone that came to the 9:30 this morning. The 11:00 was actually full again, but I don't know what we would have done if some people had not switched to the early service.
  • It was really cool having Chris back on the mic. It's still a little weird though to watch your worship leader sign autographs after the services. Where's the love for the pastor, people?!?
  • Next week the 11:00 service moves to 11:15. And the parking guys rejoiced!
  • I made a pretty big announcement this morning: We have secured a lease on some additional 24/7 space! We now have offices and a 2200 sf. venue. It was built out as a Christian coffeehouse/performance room, but never opened. We now have a really cool room for youth, college, Alpha, and anything else we can think of - a 1/2 mile from the church! I will try to post pictures later.
  • I just downloaded the latest albums from the Foo Fighters and Rascal Flatts. How's that for musical diversity!
  • Our small group last week had 20 adults and 10 kids. That's almost insane.
  • I can't wait for Catalyst this week. I REALLY do no have the time to go, but I know that I will be glad that I did.
  • I am depressed that the Cubs are in playoffs, but giddy about the Mets historically choking it up end the end! :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Some Thoughts

  • Great Sunday at Seacoast Greenville. Tons of energy in the room today.
  • We are out of room in our 11am service. It's probably time for a few of our peeps to move to the 9:30. When that fills up...
  • I will have a very big announcement next Sunday.
  • My boy Chris Sligh will be back with us next Sunday. The AI tour wraps up tonight after approximately 565 dates! :)
  • Our people are starting to really step it up with our "Simply Serve" campaign. It's exciting to see people plug in to use their gifts.
  • Jenny and I are going to see Rascal Flatts in a couple of weeks. I don't care what you think! :)
  • I am taking our staff to the Catalyst Conference this year. This will be my first time. Is it any good? :)
  • I got one of the weirdest emails ever this afternoon. I may have to share it in a future post when I finally decipher what it means.
  • I am flying out to Dallas for the week tomorrow. I may have to hit Pappasitos one night. It has to be done. If anyone wants to hang, shoot me an email.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Virtual Bible Reading

Recently, I have been doing my daily Bible reading online at I don't know if I like it yet. It almost feels like I'm not really reading God's Word. I know that the words are the same, but there's something about holding leather. Also, it's really hard to highlight my screen. :) Anybody else do their reading online now?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Junky Car Club

I absolutely LOVE this idea. I am so close to being able to enjoy a full membership. Just a couple more years on my cars!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm Exhausted

I am not sure that you can pack more into one week than we managed to do in the past seven days. Here are some of the highlights and some random thoughts on a Sunday night:

  • On Wednesday night, we had our first annual Seacoast Chili Cook-Off. (h.t. Jeff Kinney) All of our small group leaders prepared what they thought was their best chili and the battle was on. There were prizes for: hottest, tastiest, best fixin's and so on. My small group managed to land the hottest award. Nice job Maria! It was a HUGE success with a lot of people getting connected to our small groups.
  • I am now officially officeless. In order to make room for more children's space on Sundays, Ross and I moved out of our office on Saturday. We will be officeing out of our homes for the next few weeks until we have something else in place. You may see me very soon in a coffeehouse near you!
  • We spent most of the day on Saturday setting up for our 3 year anniversary and building a new classroom in the former office.
  • We partied hard today! I think this has to be the coolest Sunday that we have ever had. We had stuff happening everywhere! The owners of Brick House Coffee are Seacoasters, and they basically set-up a Brick House Coffee in our cafe. They gave away a ton of iced coffees. The line before the second service wrapped half way around the auditorium. Those guys ROCK!!!
  • We also had huge chocolate cookie cakes from The Chocolate Shoppe. Mmmmm...... :)
  • We rented a huge jump castle for the kiddies to jump in after the services. It looked fun.
  • There were a lot of people there today. We had so many college students in the second service that a visitor asked me after the service if that was our youth service! :)
  • We had pizza for all of our college students after the 11:00 service. I can't wait to get our college ministry kicked off next week!
  • I shared my vision of being a church that leaves a legacy of serving this morning. Jesus gave us the model of picking up the towel, and that is what we are going to do in our church, in our community, and in our world. We gave everyone a small towel to be a reminder of what we are called to do. Our slogan this year is: Simply Serve.
  • I had 4 people ask me to mention their school's football team during the welcome this morning. Apparently - there were some big games this weekend? :)
  • Next week kicks off our new series "Get Smart" and our new "Get Smart" small groups. All of our groups are doing the same study for the next 6 weeks. We have over 20 groups ready to go!
  • Our staff is AMAZING. If everyone knew all that happened behind the scenes this week, you would just weep for them. Those guys took it all in stride and kept going.
  • I can't wait for a slightly slower week...we'll see what happens. :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Location, Location, Location

Seacoast Greenville is turning 3 this Sunday. It was actually a couple of weeks ago, but we are choosing to celebrate it on the 9th...because we can. :)

We have learned A LOT in the past 3 years. I think I now know what the hardest part of planting a church is. It's not people leaving. It's not hiring staff. It's not finding musicians. It's real estate. Finding a place for a growing new church to meet in a town like Greenville is extremely frustrating. We have been doing some searching over the past 6 months, looking for our next step. Our current building has been great, but we do not own it. That means that we do not have complete control of our future, and that future has looked tenuous at best over the past year as the main lease has changed hands.

Things look good right now, but when we first got word that our building was up for sale, we started an all out search for possible buildings. Here is what I've found:
  • Retail space is expensive! A Bi-Lo grocery store that is 1/2 mile from us recently moved to a new location. They still have 9 years left on their lease, so they are looking to sub-lease 60,000 sf. to anyone but another grocery store. I made a call on it because it's literally down the street from us. It would only cost us - $510,000 a year!!!
  • They do not want to lease or sell retail space to churches. I have had good conversations with realators until they found out it was a church. That usually ends it.
  • We have grown to the point where we need enough space and parking that we also cannot afford. Ah...the other side of growing with unchurched, young people. The part they don't tell you about in the books! :)
  • Warehouse space looks affordable, until you factor in the upfit. Most do not have air conditioning and/or enough parking. You also have to build a lot of walls.
  • Greenville County schools will not let churches in them. We also have 2, count them, 2 movie theaters.
It may not be a bad idea for church planters to get their real estate license first. It will probably come in handy. :)