Tag Archives: Long Hollow Baptist Church

you told an orphan to draw a family portrait?

how do you teach a lesson about “love your family” … to orphans. who by the very definition… don’t have families.


You know… i posted last night/this morning… about the lessons i was writing for our team that was going to haiti to use to teach the kids. This is HAITI: the love lesson.

(little did i know that i would decide TODAY to go on this trip. so … two painful shots and some malaria medicine later… i’m headed to haiti.)

it’s so cool because i will finally be able to tell if the lessons i’ve been writing all of these months are actually workable in the orphanage environment. and i’m most excited about this one… because i LOVE teaching about LOVE. loving kids, especially. treating them like real people and loving them hard… anyway….

I’ve been waiting for this one! Erica Ho (our missions expert) has been talking about how important it is that we teach them to love … because He loved us. that they are struggling with being loving … and sharing… and stealing… huh… doesnt sound that different than everyone, does it? but remember, these are people who have lost their parents. they are cared for and loved by the “mamas” but they do not have an immediate family per se. erica and i have been waiting for the chance to teach them this. the truths in the bible about loving one another.

so, imagine teaching LOVE YOUR FAMILY to an orphan. here’s the thing, God is so cool… that He gives me creativity when i am trying to tell His Story… that makes sense, dontcha think? Anyway… they will learn the story of Ruth and her steadfastness to Naomi.

then they will draw a family portrait. WHAT?! how does an orphan draw a family portrait?!

the directions are easy… we will have them draw a picture of themselves and one of the friends from the orphanage… after you explain this: everyone who knows Christ is part of his eternal family… and every friend you have that also knows him is part of your eternal family… so you see, LOVE YOUR FAMILY is really a lesson for all of us.

all believers are in our eternal family. all people who do not believe… are without a family for eternity. THEY are the orphans.

who will you invite into the family?

(btw… in case anyone was wondering, i’m headed to the bball tourney tomorrow… just so i can talk to someone about heaven. pray.)

Tagged , , , ,

the naughty list.

our admin (christy ryan). said the most perfect thing today in a meeting.

we were interviewing a potential replacement and we gave her the opportunity to ask Christy any questions that she had about the position.

after filling her in about the minutia and mountain of spreadsheet horrificness that i would perish if i had to do but some people totally slay… she said,
you learn the different kids, their personalities and behavior… you learn which ones you really need to pray for”.

i stood up and wrote that on a white board. i loved it. i love that instead of saying “behavior issues” “socially challenged” “bad kid” “handful” “troublemaker” undisciplined imp” … or any other such derogatory descriptor… she said “the kids we need to pray for.” not “the naughty list.

don’t you love that? don’t you wish that was always your first response when you encountered opposition, belligerence, indifference, sassiness or plain old brattiness … “oh, i really need to pray for this kid”. i love it.

it encourages me because it reflects a tone we have been working hard to set in our ministry.

to love them well. love them hard. love them with truth. love them with grace. love them well.

we launched our church year in lhkidz with “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE”… and her statement is evidence that Love is at work in our midst.


Tagged , ,

Ministry Entrepreneurs

I don’t know what kind of church you are serving at… but the one that I now call home, is a place that rocks my world. Let me tell you why.

I’m going to back up just a tad, but i promise, i’ll make it quick… In my career as a writer, designer I have interviewed many enterpreneurs, I have written article after article about their blueprints for Millionaire Blueprints Magazine. I even wrote a book that’s at Barnes & Noble called “Prepare to be a Teen Millionaire”, about 7 entrepreneurs that made their first million as teens. Suffice it to say, I have spent some time using and investigating the word “entrepreneur”. And honestly, the whole concept of someone being so passionate that they risk it all to go for their idea is highly appealing to my creative mind. I love the excitement you see when you talk to someone who has built something that started on a napkin or a legal pad. I celebrate the successes that people enjoy when they sell out for something they believe it.

Then, this morning, I was given a whole new way to think about this word… 
I was discussing a new project with my colleague, Jason Underhill. We were talking about how to revolutionize some things in our children’s ministry. I was discussing the things that we have come up with and gone for, even in my 5 months here at Long Hollow.We have incorporated kids into more corporate worship, we have built a drama team of 30+, we have instituted a monthly actor’s workshop – Company of HeArtists, we have developed our social media communication, we have increased video production and built our tech team, we have built a team of writers. We are revolutionzing VBS this summer. Essentially, we have become ministry entrepreneurs. Minpreneurs kind of sounds weird, so I’m not sure I’m ready to blend the word…

But this is what we have been able to do in the last 5 months. We have taken ideas and brought them to life. We have seen opportunities that involved risk and return and we have recognized great return on our investments of time and resources. We have recharged systems that needed attention, we have put new systems in place. Our communication has increased and the energy is palpable.

This is because of this church. I’m in a place than encourages ministry entreprenuerism. We are encouraged to come up with new and different methods, solutions, experiences, but even more importantly, we are empowered to pull them off. If I have a new idea for children’s ministry, I’m rarely told ‘we can’t do that’, I’m usually told ‘figure it out and make it happen. we are for you.” Our pastor, David Landrith, has repeatedly assured the staff that he is loyal to us and “for us”. Our next generation pastor, Jeff Lovingood, is constantly pushing us to do things better than ever. He does not allow us to sit in mediocrity or complacency. I find that this pushes me into entrepreneurism and gives me the confidence to go for it, whatever “it” may be.

If you are a pastor are you empowering your leaders? If you are a minister, are you taking your ideas and running with them? If you are a creative, are you putting legs to your ideas so that people can see them walking around. I have found at my church that my ministry can extend as far and as differently and unexpectedly as God gives me the creativity for, I pray you have this gift. It’s life-changing.

One thing that I have found through all of my interviews and acquaintances with succesful entrepreneurs is that somewhere in their history is a mentor, someone that believed in them. That’s what this community at CMConnect can and does provide. Mentors that will help you succeed. Soak it up!

What entreprenurial ideas have you pushed the envelope on, that have met with success? What are you still too scared to try?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

families should eat

food for families...

while “branding” our new ministry initiative @longhollow there were interesting names bandied about. (wow… that sounds old) but ultimately it came down to … instead of “hope for the hungry” we decided to focus on who we were serving. families. families that need food. families that might not have food for thanksgiving. that is ministry. meeting needs. honoring people as people. loving them in hopes that they will see the love of the one we serve.

why was the branding important?
first we have to agree that branding is not inherently about commercialism or capitalism or any other ism… it is about giving people something they can get their hooks in. giving them something that gives a clear message, but is also compelling. identifying quickly the point we are trying to make. (why some of us really love twitter – clear concise messages) it also promotes focus. when we know clearly what the goal is… its easier to make sure our steps are headed in that direction.
food for families is not about pity or feeling bad for others… its about believing that families should have food.
that’s a pretty clear focus.
i was honored to be allowed to help brand the long hollow initiative of providing needs.