Churchie Stuff

Photo courtesy of Kenny Grill

In attempt to get back into blogging, I’m just gonna tell you all about a cool new addition to Rancho Community Church. It’s our “Coffee Shoppe”.

We opened it up two weeks ago and it was a HUGE hit. Apparently we’ve been planning on a coffee shop for years, it just never got traction until now. But we’ve got it open now and it’s amazing what is happening: People are connecting. There’s just something about having food or drink and a place to sit, an area to hang out that attracts people.

Photo courtesy of Kenny Grill

One of the strangest things that we noticed when we first came to Rancho Community was that the place seemed to “empty out” when the worship services ended. People just disappeared. At first, Jen and I thought maybe it was a fluke, or maybe we were weird, but after talking with people and staff members, we realized that this was really an issue. There was really nothing “to do” after church – nowhere to go or hang out. So people naturally filed out, picked up their kids and drove away.

Photo courtesy of Kenny Grill

This brings me to the point: I believe that people need a “place” to congregate, to connect. And I also believe that “if you build it, they will come”. Creating space designed for people to connect is crucial. I mean, it’s not as important as say, preaching the Gospel, or baptism – but it is an important piece of the puzzle when building a church and making connections, at least in our culture. We have this desire to connect, but we also have this thing about space and comfort levels – especially in Southern California where we don’t even talk to our neighbors. But…

When we create space for casual connections, such as a coffee shop, people are naturally drawn to it. Connections happen, which turn into conversations, which are the building blocks of relationships.

I’m excited to see that Rancho Community is embracing this idea, and I’m excited to see this little idea grow and be an anchor for connections at our church.

On a more technical level, here’s some of strategy behind the launch:

I used this amazing graphic as inspiration
I also used the “Coffee with a Cause” (great concept!) from that graphic. It was a last minute idea to help keep the “Global Impact / Missions” project in front of our congregation throughout the year.
We basically cut our outdoor “Info Center” in half using printed backdrops with the logo, color, and photos of our Peru missionaries.
The Coffee Shoppe proceeds go to support the work in Peru (church planting, missionary training, micro-businesses).
The shop serves Seattle’s Best Coffee (a Starbucks product), along with muffins & donuts.
Right now it’s open before and after all Sunday morning worship services (8, 9:10, and 10:45am) – with plans to open during many other services & events throughout the week and on the weekend.
Follow the Coffee Shoppe on Twitter @coffee_shoppe for updates and coupons
Join the Fan Page on Facebook

Special thanks to @Kenny_Grill of Kenny Grill Photography for some awesome photos (there’s more on Facebook).

Designed by Alex McLean for Rancho Community Church

Today’s message from @scotttreadway was powerful for us. We talked about it afterwords, how we really need to think through some of the points – just let it sink in. Blogging is one way for me to do that, so here’s my (somewhat scattered) notes:

Children are a Sacred Gift from God

They are of unspeakable value (the Earthly ministry of Christ: he loved children, Psalm 139)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

They are given without cost to us (although children cost money, we payed nothing for them)
Their lives will have eternal consequences (not sure if I got this one right on the notes – point being the way they are raised will impact them them forever)
They will radically shape our lives (and we theirs)
They require a tremendous amount of effort (parenting is a job)
They come with a ton of help (God’s Word, his community – the church)
We have to give them back (they don’t belong to us)

Don’t Break the Gift

Divorce breaks children
Abuse breaks children
Harsh words break children
Ignoring them breaks children

Do this

Pray for your children

Idea for a prayer for your children (pray for them by name)
Lord, these children belong to you…
You love them more thank I do…
You know them more intimately than I do…
You gave them more than I can ever give them…
You’ve ordained me to pastor these children…
I need your help…

Spend time with them (lot’s of time)
Set a good example
Teach them (Prov. 22:6)

6 Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Pour your life into pastoring your children…

We are pastors, we are shepherds, they are our flock…

So, that was the message this Mother’s Day morning @ranchocommunity. Pretty heavy stuff. I know personally, I struggle with being a good parent. Ugh, I can’t even say it right – I, we want to be pastors to our kids, their shepherds. We want to raise them to know how valuable they are, so they make wise choices with their lives. We want to teach them about the love and grace of our loving father, who daily gives us mercy.

We know we’ve got a lot to learn, at the very least we are getting some good tools to use. I’ll close this post with this verse that we want to use to direct our family:

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Some of you who might not know me might not know that I was a worship leader guy at one time. I had the priviledge of leading for a season at Life Church with some friends like Eric, Karl, supported by Chris and a bunch of other amazing musicians and tech people. I was just looking at old videos and came across this Worship Confessional – these videos were all the rage a few years back. I had a blast making them, and now I’m glad I did – pretty cool to go back and watch them years later. Check it out:

I’m reading “Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity, and Productivity” and just sharing my reflections here. Part 1 is here Part 2 is here.

Chapter 2: The Science of Connection

In recent years, neuroscientists have discovered that positive human contact has a physiological effect on people… (pg. 9)

Other research establishes that connection improves mental and physical health… (pg. 10-11)

Layman’s terms: connection makes us feel good. Connection provides a sense of well-being, it minimizes stress, and it makes us more trusting.

We have deeply felt needs to be respected, to be recognized for our talents, to belong, to have autonomy or control over our work, to experience personal growth, and to do work that we feel has meaning and to do it in a way that we feel is ethical.

People want and need to be valued.

When people are shown respect in the workplace and their real talents and contributions are genuinely recognized, they become fired up. They put their hearts into their work.

People who over control us send the message that we are incompetent and that we are not trusted or respected.

Connection is enhanced when we experience personal growth… When we are in the right role and therefore more productive, people notice and affirm us. This also increases our sense of connection to the group. Finally we are motivated when we know our work is meaningful.

We need to remind people constantly how important what we are doing as an organization is. Celebrations, weekly updates of victories, stories, and opportunities to share “wins” should be the DNA of our meetings. We should hear what is happening in other departments, a win for them is a win for all of us.

So what? The findings of neuroscientists, psychiatrists, sociologists, and medical researchers support that a higher degree of connection improves our mental and physical performance. We ignore it at our peril.

This past week our School had the last faculty meeting of the year. Our new Superintendent and I were discussing the agenda of the meeting, and as we did we decided that we would spend the entire meeting just giving teachers kudos and giving them time to encourage one another. We had about ten teachers on the agenda to brag on. What happened was amazing. For the hour and a half that we met there was clapping, laughing, crying, and so much sharing that we had to actually stop people and move on.

I think this just goes to prove that people want and need to be valued – to hear that they are appreciated, making a difference, and growing in their roles.

I think the bottom line is this: Understand that there is a science to connection; an if then equation. If people feel connected, then they put their heart into their work and from that blossoms positivity, trust, innovation, etc.

Next: The Connection Culture (what does this look like?)


Just a quick update on our latest series at Rancho Community Church. There is actually a big back story that I will tell later about how the ideas for this series actually began my journey towards Rancho… another time.

This was a quickie. Like I told some new designer friends: an istockphoto graphic and some typography and we’re done; here it is:

Jesus Revealed Graphics
This is our typical graphics package: Bulletin cover & sermon notes (printed in house), generic background graphic for screens, keynote background, and web header. We need to start adding CD/DVD labels & case covers as well.

A little note on the bulletin cover – if we outsourced our printing, I would definitely have had full black coverage on the front and maybe even a galaxy, star system theme along with the graphic. Since we print in-house, I was trying to save on ink.

That’s all folks.