rancho community

Well, it’s a little too early to do the 2009 wrap-up (have you read the 2008 wrap-up?). But I do need to share some breaking news…

I’m changing jobs, again… sort of. Over the course of my life, I have worked as:

  • landscaper
  • paperboy
  • burger flipper (at McDonald’s)
  • sandwich artist (at Subway)
  • salesman (at a music store, yes I got paid to tune drums & guitars all day)
  • delivery boy (at my future mother en-law’s restaurant)
  • AC fabricator & installer
  • sign shop manager
  • business owner of my own graphic design firm
  • framer
  • snowboard designer
  • youth pastor
  • worship leader
  • media pastor
  • executive pastor
  • communications pastor

I was hired on at Rancho Community Church and School in 2009 as, “Pastor of Communications for Church & School” (I know, kind of a lame title). My basic job description was to help with the look & feel of both the church and school, and help with the internal and external communications of both organizations. I began my time at Rancho in March (February, really, but who’s counting), and basically I split my time equally between church and school – I even had two separate offices. I went to work immediately on helping re-brand the church, with Pastor Scott’s vision of five values – we landed on a really cool logo, and are currently in the process of slowly re-branding and re-skinning the church (it’s a huge process). I knew that the school would have to go through the same process, but I just couldn’t land on a look & feel… So it waited. I spent my school time trying to connect with staff and parents, to get a good idea what the vibe was over there; know what I learnt? School is VERY different than church. But I really got to get a good feel and began honing in on how we could really revitalize our look, and maybe create a whole new sense of excitement. Little did I know this was a catalyst to a pretty major change for me.

(By the way, that picture up there, that’s the new School logo – pretty stoked about it).

And here’s the news:
As of December 1st, I will be known as “Director of Admissions & Family Relations” for our school. I’m not really sure exactly what that all means and entails, but I do know that I get the opportunity to work with some really gifted and committed people at our school. For those who don’t know, our school is pretty amazing – it encompasses preschool through 10th grade, and currently has about 750 students.

I’m excited and a little freaked out at the same time. Here’s why…

I’m excited because:

  • This is a great opportunity to learn and grow – it’s a challenge.
  • I get to work with our admissions department, marketing, public relations – really creatively marketing our school.
  • I get to be on the same campus where my kids are going to school.
  • We’ll be going through a major look & feel overhaul – which I love!
  • I get to use leadership gifts, serving the staff and sharing some of the things I’ve learned, and hope to learn.
  • I get to reside in one office – this is new for me, I’m usually mobile.
  • I get to work closely with school parents (our customers) to help make sure we as a school are serving their needs in a way that honors Christ and meets the highest standards.

I’m a little freaked out because:

  • I’m pretty sure I’m not qualified for this position – I NEVER thought I’d be a school administrator.
  • I’ve been a pastor for the past 12 years – that’s been my identity, this is new. And yes, “pastor” is relative – there are tons of “pastors” out there who don’t pastor, and I realize that this is ministry – it’s just a little funky & I’m trying to be real. I guess what I am saying is that I will continue to “pastor” even though I won’t have the title. (this is a whole ‘nother post).
  • School is a different atmosphere than church, it scares me a bit (actually, a lot).
  • I could fail pretty hard-core and it wouldn’t be pretty.
  • I “get” to work in one office – this means I’m not as mobile as I’m used to being.
  • I think I have to dress better.
  • Did I mention that I could fail at this job?

Anyway, just thought I’d let everyone know what is up. I will continue to be very involved with the church, especially with the look & feel, graphic design, working with our Ministry Communications team, and working closely with our Executive Pastor, Don Hallworth (who, by the way is a stud, my mentor, and an all-around amazing guy) – Don and I strategize on a number of things pertaining to our church and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

I can’t believe how God continues to show himself faithful to our family, not only meeting our basic needs, but giving us the desires of our hearts. If you think of us, please keep us in prayer as our family adjusts to what this means for us as a family, and as I adjust to this new role personally. We’d appreciate any prayers.

Thanks for readin’ (hopefully I can get back on the blog every-once-in-a-while).

If you know me, you know I’m a “Raving Fan” of Chick-fil-A. I’ve always been a fan – the food is great, the atmosphere is so positive, and like I’ve told my wife, I’ve never even had a “not great” experience there. When we go there and we’re fumbling around with the kids, their stuff, our stuff, trying to order, find a seat, and all that – it’s nice to have a smiling face and even nicer to have the food brought to the table.

When I first came to Rancho, I had this crazy idea of pulling our entire staff together to encourage them and remind them that we (church/school) are one team, with one vision and mission. I had just heard Dan Cathy speak at the Saddleback Worship Conference, and was blown away with his presentation; and, I remembered that Chick-fil-A had brought lunch to our VBS about a month earlier, so I called them up with two requests:

A. How does one go about getting Dan Cathy to speak at an event?
B. Would they be interested in feeding our staff?

Well, number two was easy for them as they just had to cook up 180 Chick-fil-A Sandwiches. Number one was a little bit harder – Dan Cathy lives in Georgia, so getting him out here was not that easy. However, Andrew (his son), works in Southern California and was available. He came and spoke and really made the day inspirational – talking about “Operational Excellence, 2nd Mile Service, and Emotional Connections”. We were so appreciative of Andrew and our local (Temecula) Chick-fil-A.

 

Well, the blog is takin’ a hit. I just can’t seem to find the time to write much here lately – so, another mind-dump update:

  • I’m about become an Uncle for the first time in my life.
  • Jen and I are about to celebrate 9 years of marriage & 15 years of being together! I don’t deserve to be with such an amazing woman, seriously.
  • I got myself a Blackberry Curve to replace my 2 year old Treo 755p. Moving from Palm to BB, was not too hard, in fact I really like my BB. There’s a lot I like, like: Bluetooth tethering that actually works (most of the time), Ubertwitter, Sprint Navigation, Google Mobile Apps, Facebook for BB, Pandora. What I don’t like: having to pull the battery out (per Sprints advice) every day or two to reset the phone – huh? And when it restarts, it takes like 2 minutes (maybe I’m just picky). Also, it has those “Windows” kind of hic-ups – you know, when the little hour glass appears & spins around for minutes at a time…
  • I’ve been working on ideas for a new logo for Rancho Community Church since the day I started there. After 6 months, I finally found something and everyone (that I know of) is really stoked about the new look. Here’s the new logo:

Vertical Style Color

  • I posted this (and other versions) to a flickr group for some feedback and found out that it made it’s way over to churchmarketingsucks.com, which I think means that it doesn’t suck. I just thought it was cool that it made it on their front page (along with another piece of art I did for our Missions team).
  • The logo is really cool to me because it says a few things: Notice there’s five squares that make up the cross. Those are our “five brands”, or five areas that as a church, we are focused on: Connecting Lives, Teaching Truth, Building Families, Helping Others, Recovering & Restoring. Each color represents a different “brand” and each brand has it’s own logo (depicted here). The squares in the shape of the cross also convey a feeling of ancient-modern; the ancient cross with a modern spin – it speaks to Rancho being a multi-generational church. Also, the multi-colors is also representative of multi-culture, which Rancho has as well – and will undoubtedly grow more and more. All that to say, I think it works well.
  • School is ramping up, getting ready to start in a few weeks. I’m helping with the planning of our Teacher Orientation week – which I’m stoked about. I had this crazy idea of getting Dan Cathy (yes, he Twitters) from Chick-fil-A to come and speak (he’s the COO, from Atlanta). I talked to one of our local Chick-fil-A marketing people and she put me in touch with Andrew Cathy, Dan’s son – and long story short: he’s scheduled to come speak one day during our orientation week! I’m so stoked & can’t really believe it. We’re going to have our entire staff (church and school) attend his session, and I can’t wait.
  • Miles, my son, is going to be turning 7 in about a month and I can’t believe it. Seems like just last year we were changing his diapers. He’s going to be heading to First Grade at Rancho Community; all day, five days a week – for the first time. We are so proud of him – he’s such a good boy. I’m trying to be more intentional with him, praying for him, sharing things with him to build his character, teaching him about things, like appreciation for music, the Bible, kindness, selflessness, helping his mom & sister – it’s so much fun being his dad. I’m so thankful for him.
  • Macy… oh Macy. She’s so cute and (can be) so sweet. But she gives us a run for it. Being a dad to a daughter is a completely different ballgame than begin a dad to a son – at least for me. She’s a good little girl, very intelligent, but she pushes the limits too (me and Jen joke that maybe we just don’t remember how hard Miles was when he was three). I’m trying to learn how to be the best dad I can to her, and for her. I’m praying for patience & wisdom. Today she reached her “level 3″ at swimming lessons – she can almost swim by herself at three years old. We were so proud of her today!
  • Got to spend some time with my brother, James, a few weeks ago – that was really cool.
  • I’m going to facilitate a community class, sponsored by Rancho Community, on social media. It should be a 6-10 week class familiarizing people with things like Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and all that goes along with that. It should be a fun way to build some new relationships outside the walls of the “church”. Anyone local interested in being a part of that? I’m gonna need some speakers too… Anyone?
  • Oh yeah, and… we’re in the middle of designing, developing, and beta-testing a new website for Rancho Community (almost forgot about that little project). Working hard with Daniel Murphy on this project – and it’s HUGE. Should be live in a couple weeks if all goes well.
  • I need to delegate some of this social media, publicity, marketing – whatever you call it. Right now I am managing about 4-5 Facebook pages, the church blog, the school website, helping with the church website (above), and five twitter accounts. Luckily, I have one volunteer helping with one of the Facebook pages… any more volunteers?

Well, that’s all for now. How are things going with you?

I don’t have a lot of time to blog lately, and tonight is no exception. But I did want to take a minute and share why I am a big Chick-fil-A fan.

I’ve always loved Chick-fil-A, ever since they came to Temecula & Murrieta; before that I had no idea what it was or even how to pronounce it. I loved the food, the service, the fun stuff they did, and just the over all experience. They always seemed to show up at conferences & church events with free food – I knew something was up. Then a couple months ago, I saw Dan Cathy share at the Saddleback Worship Conference about “Creating Raving Fans”, and I was mezmorized – I blogged about it.

After that short exposure to the Chick-fil-A model, I wondered if it would be possible to get him to come to Rancho Community to share with us and encourage our staff – it was shot in the dark. So I sent out an email and in my inbox was a response from our local Chick-fil-A saying that Dan’s son, Andrew was in Southern California and we could possibly get him to come. I was stoked to say the least. I responded and before I knew it we had Andrew booked to share with our entire staff, along with complimentary Chick-fil-A from our local Temecula store, run by Elizabeth Fritz – SCORE!

Needless to say, Andrew Cathy came and shared his heart with us and totally blew us away – I was so grateful. The staff from the Temecula store was amazing, as was the lunch! I recieved a copy of Truett Cathy’s “Eat More Chickin…”, which I am currently reading, and was just energized to continue in my role – to do the best and really go the extra mile for people.

Today (Labor Day), we decided to do something fun with the kids, and the first thing to come to my mind was, Chick-fil-A. Little did we know that today was “wear your team jersey and get a free Chick-fil-A sandwich”. We missed the mem0 and when we got there, the line was out the door, but we were committed. As usual we had an amazing experience, great food & great service. We saw about 3 other people we knew from the community, which is so cool. And the older man that roams the restaurant gave Miles and Macy 2 free Kids Meal tickets. This place knows how to “Create Raving Fans”.

So I just want to send out some props to Chick-fil-A, Andrew, Dan, Elizabeth, Mary-Joe, and the whole Temecula team. Thank you so much, you’ve got a family of fans for life!