Archives For church planting

Ministry can be incredibly rewarding. It can also be incredibly draining. No matter how much you do there is always more ministry to be done. There are more people to reach, more people to counsel, and more messages to prepare. Inevitably, you will go through seasons of great joy and great disappointment.

You will experience seasons where it seems everyone is for you and other seasons where it feels like people are out to get you. Judas betrayed Jesus. If it happened to Jesus, it will happen to you.

The thing about ministry is it involves people. People are imperfect including you and me. It’s why Jesus spent time ministering to the crowd but also spent time in solitary with His Father. Solitary moments feed our souls. The opposite is isolation. It doesn’t feed our soul. It dries it up.

When you go through difficult seasons in ministry the temptation is to isolate. If there is one thing I have learned in ministry, it’s we can’t do life alone! We need to fight to have the right connections in our lives to sustain us for the long haul.

I had the privilege to share this post on Lifeway Pastors.

Here are three relational connections every pastor needs.


Several years ago, my wife and I decided to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives – we moved to the other side of the country to start a church.

Starting a church in San Diego has been one of our greatest privileges and greatest challenges. San Diego is the number ten most post Christian city in America according to Barna Research.

We knew this was true when one of our kids was invited to a birthday party on Sunday morning of one of the biggest days of the year for Christians – Easter!

Being a Christian or going to church isn’t a part of the culture where we live. It can be difficult when reaching people or starting a church. We have found a joy in the midst of it. When people show up at church or become a Christ follower, it’s because they really want what Jesus offers.

It’s not what everyone else is doing or what’s popular but it is genuine. That is refreshing.

Here are three ways to do ministry in a post-Christian culture.

I had the privilege to write an article for Lifeway Pastors. You can read the full article here.

Several years ago, my wife and I decided to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives – we moved to the other side of the country to start a church. When we say we started from scratch, we literally started from scratch. We didn’t know anyone in the city where we moved. We had no potential prospects of who might attend our church or be on our launch team.

Our closest family and friends would be 2,000 miles away. We weren’t sure it would work. In many ways, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Starting a church across the country has been one of our greatest privileges and greatest challenges.

Check out the four questions to consider before moving across the country in this Lifeway Pastor Article.

On Sunday, we celebrated our FIVE year anniversary since we launched Elevate Church in San Diego. We have experienced our share of ups and downs throughout this journey. At the end of the day, these past five years have been about God’s faithfulness! Jesus made a promise to build HIS Church (Matthew 16:18) and He is doing it. He is not only a promise maker but He is our promise keeper!

Grateful for God’s faithfulness these past years and I wholeheartedly believe the best is yet to come!

34 Reasons To Be Thankful

November 27, 2012

Sunday at Elevate Church we wrapped up our FAVOR series talking about the ONE thing above all others that unlocks more of God’s Favor in our lives – a HEART filled with GRATITUDE. Go here to listen to any of the messages that you missed!

Why would we ever expect God to bless us with more if we first and foremost are not genuinely THANKFUL for what He has already given to us?!

Gratitude is needed to unlock even more of God’s Favor in your life. I am making it a practice to write down and keep a list of ways I am thankful. I listed 34 because that is how old I became last Saturday. Below is what I shared at Elevate during the message.


1)    DVR – that I never have to watch another commercial!  🙂

2)   I can see, hear, talk, and walk. How often do we take that for granted? A lot!

3)    A car to drive. You don’t know how thankful you are for it until your car is broke down.

4)    I get to eat 3 meals a day. Most of the world does not get this opportunity!

5)    I have a roof over my head.

6)    I have clothes on my back and a closet full of more clothes.

– The three things I just mentioned above make me better off than over 85% of the world. It is ALL about perspective!

7)    To go to the Chargers game on Sunday even though they aren’t any good. 🙂 I have never been to an NFL game before. They lost but it was still fun to go.

8)    Ava who brings so much JOY to our family.

9)    Jeremiah who has a HUGE and tender heart.

10) Elijah for being a leader, giving everything he has, & taking responsibility for others.

11) Naomi for being beautiful inside/out and at a young age understanding the power of prayer.

12) Susan – She has always stood by me through everything! She is my best friend. Many have no idea what all she does for me and Elevate. There is not one major decision that is made without us talking and praying together about it. She helps me carry so much in leading this church.

Our Elevate Staff:

13) Greg & Lesley: you have stood by us and believed in us during our lowest moments and shared with us our greatest moments;

14) Thomas & Mary: I am thankful you packed up everything and moved to be a part of something bigger than yourselves – your passion and love for Jesus & His church is written all over you.

15) Shaun – many have no idea all that you do but I do & more importantly the eyes of God see it all and your reward is great.

16) Melissa: from day one you have been there with us and stood with us. We have seen God bring you so far.

17) Our Kids team – your sacrifice each Sunday is incredible!

18) Those who set up/tear down you are rock stars in my book! You are just like Jesus when serving others. You pave the way every Sunday for what is going to happen!

19) We packed over 700 Operation Christmas Child boxes to provide for families all around the world!

20) We built a HOME for a family in Mexico!

21) God’s provision and that we have given thousands of dollars this year to missions & church planting in the US and all around the world.

22) In January, we will celebrate our 4 year anniversary at Elevate Church. Two words: ONLY GOD!

23) Everyone who serves at Elevate – you are the ONES that make this happen!

24) God really does speak to me through His Word.

25) God really has given me His Spirit to give me the power to do what I could never do on my own.

26) HE appointed and anointed me in ministry. It sure wasn’t my idea!

27) He has forgiven me of everything. I mean EVERYTHING!

28) I really KNOW the God of this universe. I KNOW Him and HE KNOWS me by name!!

29) Even when deep waters surrounded me or our family, God has not let us drown. He has always been there to rescue us!

30) His past faithfulness which is too numerous to count.

31) I get to preach God’s Word each week.

32) God has given me 34 years on this planet.

33) I am still breathing which means He has more He wants to do through me!

34) For what God is going to do through our Heart & Soul offering.

Two more because I couldn’t stop! 🙂

35) With God there is ALWAYS greater things to come!

36) THANKFUL that He is the one who will take us from here to THERE!