So what is multisite again?

Here is a really good video that Zondervan has put out to advertise for two great books that you need to read to understand what I do a little bit better.? I like the concept here that the New Testament Church was actually a multisite church.? Interesting.

We have found that we are averaging almost 1000 people each weekend in our multisite campuses after only two short years.? It is really cool to be a part of a church, Forest Park, that truly cares about reaching people for Christ!? Some churches talk a good game, but Forest Park is trying to put our talk into action by sacrificing some of what we like and want so that others outside of the church might find Christ!

Multi-Site ? Being One Church in Multiple Locations from Zondervan on Vimeo.

Mailers hit mailboxes tomorrow

We are kicking off a new series at Forest Park called “LOST: Finding Your Way in a Time of Uncertainty.” I am really excited about this series and this Easter Sunday!? We are going to be offering family FREE Easter Portraits…NO STRINGS ATTACHED!! Make sure you come and be a part of this awesome opportunity to reach out to our community here in Carthage and show them Christ’s love this Easter!

Check out the mailer that is hitting mailboxes tomorrow!



House Demolition Video

We have began the long process toward our goal of having a new worship facility in Carthage!!? Yesterday, we demolished the house that was on the property.? This video is in fast motion, but it didn’t need to be in too much fast motion–it only took about 10 minutes to have the house completely torn down from when the big Cat started!? That is a shower that he “tossed” to the side!? Amazing power in that equipment!

Check out the video that Aaron made for us!? I can’t wait to hear the cheers when we show the video at church on Sunday!? Here is the sneak preview–pays to read the blog!

Tuesday is for Training

Mark Dinwiddie has been sending us Multisite/Missions Nuggets of Truth each week for a couple of months now and I am starting a new category of them so you can talk about them and comment.

We have really been talking about that dirty word for perfectionists, DELEGATE.? Enjoy.

You have two choices in your work.? When something has been assigned to you, you can either do it yourself or get someone else to do it.? Your ability to get someone else to do it, to delegate it effectively??? —more than anything else— is going to determine your career track, your position and rate of promotion, your pay, your status, prestige, and success in management.? (The Delights of Delegation)
?I owe whatever success I have attained, by and large, to my ability to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am? Andrew Carnegie

I once had one of my dad’s best friends, “work himself out of a job.”? He had worked for this company back before he retired and hired on with another company doing consulting.? Basically, he delegated all of the work to be done by the company employees that he was no longer needed–and he could go back to traveling in his retirement!

Who do you know that is a good delegator?? What makes them good at it?? What prevents you from delegating the way you ought?

Monday is for Missions & Multisite

Here are the pictures I said would be awesome if we had any!? I absolutely love what God is doing through this concept of multisite!? We had 366 people and the 2nd service was PACKED!!? That is the highest attendance we have had since the launch or Easter 2008–on a non holiday weekend!!

Enjoy from Stratton’s iPhone . . .

Awesome Day at Forest Park Carthage!

We had an awesome Sunday at Forest Park Carthage!? We had a record attendance of 366 (high attendance except for launch Sunday and Easter ’08)!? Amazing!? We had an Anniversary Celebration BBQ after church and it was really cool to see so many people stay and hang out with one another.

We finished up the Mythbusters series today with what I think was one of the best messages of the entire series called “We are here by accident.”? John did an awesome job teaching us what an amazing God we serve and that there is no way that we are here by accident.? One quote he used today was from Albert Einstein

“The probablility of life originating from accidet is comparable to the probablility of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop.”? Albert Einstein

Reminded me a ton of the the Indescribable and Alive series of talks by Louie Giglio (one of my all-time heroes!)

Huge props go out to my whole team making this day successful!? My staff and lay volunteers are awesome and do such a great job helping people connect with each other and to connect to the Savior!? Thank you so much–all of you!!

Here are some pictures of the BBQ after our awesome day celebrating what God has done in Carthage in just one short year.? (Man, I wish we would have gotten some pictures of the auditorium during services today.? That place was packed!? Three services??? May be having to come soon!? What an awesome problem to have!!)

What we’ve been waiting for!!

We have been looking for a good check-in system as well as Church Management Software.? The other day, Dinwiddie said, “too bad LifeChurch couldn’t just write some software and give it away for free!”? Well, they have done it!? I am really excited about what they are doing over at LifeChurch.? The best thing–it’s totally free, just like their online Bible software called YouVersion.? LifeChurch has been and continues to be a leader in open source church resources! Thank you LifeChurch!!

Monday is for Missions/Multisite

I am really loving being a part of a great “missions organization” here at Forest Park!? I have always considered myself a North American missionary–what us old schoolers might have called “Home Mission Board Missionaries (slide projector anyone??).”? I am amazed at the extreme amount of churches that Southern Baptists plant here in the states.? These are some older stats (about 5 years old) but they are amazing!? We as Southern Baptists plant about 25 churches per week!? Amazing!? As many as all other Evangelical denominations combined!? Pretty stinking awesome . . . but let’s not get a big head too quickly!? There are actually over 80 churches per week that close their doors for good!? Not good at all!? As John Mark Clifton said on a video for the Church at Finley Crossings, “we are losing the race to plant churches in North America.”? That calling and passion for planting churches has driven me for almost a decade and still continues to this day!

However, the weariness of planting a church began to settle in and I began to pray, “God, there has got to be a better way to plant churches and reach the unchurched.” I truly believe that this “new” concept of multisite is A better way to start new churches and reach the unchurched.? I say, “new” in quotes because it is really not new at all–just new here in the states.? Dr. David Cho actually began this concept of multiple campuses in Korea.? This led to an explosion of expontial growth in his Full Gospel congregation.? As of 2007, they are the world’s largest congregation with well over 800,000 members.? I say “A”? better way because I don’t believe that “traditional” church planting is NOT by ANY MEANS dead or not effective AT ALL.? Traditional church plants need to be intentionally planted all around the world! The problem that I, and many others, experienced first hand is the lack of critical mass and support to sustain the first 3 or 4 years.? Just thinking out loud here . . . but we might think about supporting church plants AFTER launch when the core team has come down from their initial giddiness when they were drunk on vision and couldn’t fail!? However, it’s not all about money either–Ed Stetzer’s research has confirmed that. . . but that is for another post all together!

What is great about this era of church growth and church planting is that we can have our cake and eat it too!? We can plant traditional churches and launch multisite campuses all under the same umbrella of Southern Baptists who care more about lost people than our personal preferences!? One of the best things about being a Southern Baptist is this amazing thing called Cooperation!? We have the Cooperative Program that helps fund Kingdom work all around the world.? We are truly better together!? Here in Missouri, we have a way to support the work of church planters through the Missouri Missions Offering. Go here and check out how you can continue to support the the work of God in Missouri.? As a former “receiver” of support from this offering, it is definately appreciated.

Buildings, Buildings, Buildings

We are meeting with an architect on Thursday to talk about our needs and goals at Forest Park Carthage’s new building!!? We are heading to Tulsa here in a bit to check out their facility and talk to their facilities manager about what to look for in a building.

We are starting a building campaign in October and will try to get things going soon.

I’ll post later some pictures, etc. of the visit.