Archive for June, 2008

Steve Patton for PRESIDENT!

My campaign slogan: “YES WE MIGHT!”


June 26th Should Be A National Holiday

Why? Because the nation should have the day off to celebrate my birthday! It should be a day of cheer a celebration throughout the nation. Well…maybe just my house then. 🙂

Thanks for all of your Facebook, Myspace, Phone Call and text messages to wish me a happy birthday. It means WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY more to me than you know.

It still feels a little weird to celebrate your birthday 2 days after your own wife’s birthday – but that just makes the celebration last longer!

So, on behalf of the Patton family – thank you for your birthday wishes.

We both turned 28 this week.

p.s. All of the “old man” jokes can stop now. LOL! The best one so far was the AARP application placed on my computer monitor this morning. Good stuff.

Where are the black people?

I have more “leadership myths” I will blog about, and I’ll get to those, but this is a question that has been getting me going for quite a while and I have to ask it.

As I look at some of my favorite leaders and their leadership organizations – Andy Stanley and Catalyst, Ed Stetzer, Mark Batterson, Erwin McManus just to name a few I VERY SELDOMLY see black leaders speaking at these conferences. Catalyst, Purpose Driven, Awaken and MANY others rarely feature black voices in church leadership. Occasionally, a black guy will speak about “Urban ministry” or “Hip-hop and the church” in a workshop setting but those are generally it. Or they’ll get TD Jakes or Eddie Long and that’ll be the extent of it. Yet, many of these places talk about “multi-cultural ministry.”

Where are the black people?

Is the African-American church too far behind to be considered leaders in the current move happening in the American church? Are the voices coming from the church too irrelevant to white America? Do the voices of black leaders not reach the needs of Gen-X and Millenials – the target age groups of the more modern church movements?

Where are the black people?

It seems like the only way I get to hear the voice of black church leaders is in one of the following ways:

1. An outrageous statement made at a church Barak Obama went to
2. Al Sharpton
3. TD Jakes
4. At a Charismatic/Faith Movement Prosperity conference

Only one of the four are sources I’m okay with (that being TD Jakes). The other 3 are NOT sources that resonate with me nor do they generally represent my views on faith and leadership.

This isn’t a blog pointing fingers nor is it a blog to say that anyone is racist. I genuinely want to know WHERE ARE THE BLACK PEOPLE?

So, if you could, could you ask Perry Noble, Andy Stanley, Dave Ferguson, Ben Arment, Scott Hodge, Erwin McManus, Mark Batterson and the rest of the modern American church leaders – where are the black people?

I’m GENUINELY curious. Are you?

Leadership Myth #1 – Multi-tasking

Since I’m in the process of recruiting for my leadership team and doing some interviewing to fill positions at my job, I get to hear people laud themselves about their abilities pretty frequently. I keep hearing about this mythical quality that people say that they excell in. This mythical gift people claim to hold that helps them be better leaders and better employees. This mythical gift is called – x-ray vision! Wait…not quite, but its pretty close. This mythical gift is called – “multi-tasking.”

Multi-tasking belongs in the same boat as levitating, x-ray vision, Big Foot and other cultural phenomenons that have ZERO proof of existance.

Allow me to explain. People say that they can multi-task, or do multiple tasks at once. If that’s true, then why do we turn the music down in the car when we are looking for an address? Since when did our ears affect our sight? Or why do we tell STOP talking to someone in person to send a text message? Our speech either slows down or stops completely when we start typing on our Blackberry’s and iPhones.

Similarly, I don’t believe you when you say you can multi-task in a employment or ministry setting. For example, if you are responsible for 3 projects that run concurrently, you cannnot do them all at the sametime. Let’s say you are responsible for small group development, multi-media and youth ministry. You CANNOT do the three of them at once. You’ll work on one at a time, quickly moving from one to the next. You’ll make your reports for media, write your message for youth ministry and then write an outline for small groups – ONE AT A TIME. You would need three hands to write all three things simultaneously. You aren’t multitasking, you’re moving from one thing to the next. See the difference?

Multi-tasking is a myth. You can’t do multiple tasks at once, so stop telling people “I’m a great multitasker.” Tell them “I can move very quickly from one task to the next.” Its not as pretty as multi-tasking, but quick and effecient is a fantastic quality to have.

Now, stop and re-read this post because you were probably trying catch-up on sports highlights, listen to the new Coldplay release and read this blog all at the same time and didn’t really understand what I was saying.

Start Spreading the News – Album Recording COMPLETE!!

I’m excited to announce that the recording for Life Support Vol.1 is FINALLY finished! My first official solo release and the first in the “Life Support” series is done with the recording phase. All that’s left is to get it mixed and then voila – the release.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a reminder of what “Life Support” is all about.

So, for those of you who plan to be in attendance for the Generation Conference – you’ll get to be one of the first people to get your hands on it.

I’m really pleased with the way it came out. Here is the OFFICIAL tracklisting.

1. Pump Ya Fist
2. Masses
3. U Already Know
4. After The Pain
5. Hope
6. My Prayer

Vol 2 is set to come out by mid fall. The writing phase is already underway for that one, but until then – get ready to order your copy because they will go FAST!

Website, album art and details on how to order are coming soon.

Celtics raise banner #17!! YEAH!!!

On 6/17, Celtics win Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win their 17th Title. In attendance were Celtics greats Bill Russell (He wore #6) and John Havlicek (He wore #17) FREAKY! But exciting none the less.

This will make them think

Have you ever been asked something to the effect of: “If God is real, why is there so much bad in the world?”

Here’s a great response to get them to think: “Why is there so much GOOD in the world?”

The Name Change

I was REALLY excited about this weekend. This weekend we announced the new name of the church. We’ve had the name New Beginnings for nearly nine years and the name fit where we were and are, but it doesn’t fit where we are going. So it had been impressed on pastor’s heart a long time ago that a name change was coming.

Well, this weekend it was announced. My friend Randy and I put together a video compiled of pictures and videos showing a history of our church put to the song “God Of This City.” IT WAS AWESOME! People who’ve been at our church for a while seemed to excited by what we’ve done and people new to the church seemed inspired by what happened before they got there. All the while being reminded by the song that “greater things are yet to come!” Very moving.

Then Pastor Steve announced the new name of the church. Its with great privilege that I share with you the new name of the church formerly known as New Beginnings Praise & Worship Center: Crosspoint Church.

We won’t OFFICIALLY change the name until we move into the new building at the end of July.

Celtics vs Lakers Game 4 – A lesson in leadership

Okay, first of all last nights game was INSANE!! In case you missed it allow me to give you the important parts. The Lakers ended the first quarter with a 21 point lead – the most ANY team has EVER lead by at the end of the first quarter in the NBA Finals. Facing the largest lead of its kind, and falling down by 24 points during the 2nd quarter, the Celtics rally back to WIN THE GAME to pull of the single biggest comeback in NBA Finals history. So if you missed it, you literally missed HISTORY!

Ok, on to the leadership lessons. Watching the game, I enjoyed watching Celtics head coach Doc Rivers during this great comeback. Lesson #1, make the impossible success seem possible by showing the small steps. When they went down by 24, he said “Let’s get it down to 18.” They did that by halftime. When it got down to 18 he said “Let’s get it down to 10.” Then he said “Let’s get it down to 7.” Well by the end of the 3rd quarter, the Laker lead was 2. He showed them the small steps to accomplish something that had never been done before. Something that seemed impossible. In the church world, when you talk to people about the possibility of living a Christ-centered life, that may seem impossible to them because they see the seemingly insurmountable defecit their life seems to be. We should show them small steps from Jesus’ invitational words “Come and see” to his dedicated words of “Carry your cross.”

Lesson #2, say the vision often. He started the motivation of his tell by asking them to believe. Believe that the comeback was possible. So during every timeout, every huddle, every substitution, to every player he high fived or slapped on the butt he echoed that one message – BELIEVE. If you listened you heard it over and over – “Do you believe?” or “You believe it?” or “Believe!” And the more he said it, the more they believed. The more they believed, the more they accomplished. If we are going to lead people to change, a more indepth relationship and equip people to do God’s work we have to say the vision often. Do YOU believe?

Lesson 3, leaders lead by humility and serving. During the post game interviews, Celtic forward Kevin Garnett talked about leading by example and that he’s still learning. He just wanted to motivate his teammates by doing the right things and keeping them positive. Paul Pierce said something similar. Lakers star and NBA MVP Kobe Bryant was asked “what was (coach) Phil Jackson’s message to the team after such a devastating loss?” Kobe’s response: “Don’t worry about what Phil said, I yelled at all of them and now they’re back there crying.” He went on to make excuses about being triple teamed as soon as he touched the ball and nobody helped. The game I watched was a little different – he was defended one on one most of the 2nd half! Complaints and excuses vs encouraging and setting the example. I wonder why they lost. Hmmmmm….

Fantastic life examples of principles working to bring success.

Happy father’s day to all you fathers out there.

Am I doing my job?

What a question! So simple yet so profound – “Am I doing my job”? I think its a question EVERY minister should ask themselves. I know MANY churches have developed short term matrices to determine if ministers are doing their jobs. We may measure things like attendance, giving, # of people answering alter calls, number of small groups, etc. But what about our REAL jobs? Are we measuring the effectiveness of our REAL job?

Some may say “If the church [or youth group] is growing and people are getting saved, what else am I suppose to measure? Isn’t that what my job is?” My answer to that question is NO. The Bible gives us our job description in Ephesians 4. Check this out:

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.

I know there are MANY other gifts God gives for the betterment of the Church (notice the capital “C”), some of which are covered in 1 Corinthians and in Romans. But, if you are an evangelist, prophet, apostle, pastor or teacher our ultimate responsibility “is to equip God’s people to do His work AND to build up the church.”

Now, I’m sure the “build up the church” part could be HOTLY contested in terms of its meaning. Does it mean to “edify and encourage” or does it mean to “add to numerically”? I’m not sure, but I think whatever definition you choose would be a good answer for what many church leaders focus on. It gives us short term goals.

But wouldn’t it be better to ask ourselves “are people under my care being equipped to do the work of God?” I think that’s the tougher and more realistic question we need to be asking ourselves. Its a question we can’t answer during our weekly or monthly meetings. Its a question we can’t answer on our quarterly review sessions. Its a question we really won’t know the answer to for a year or even a decade. Although its a question that won’t stroke our egos with the quick gratification of an instant answer, but I think its the real answer we should be asking ourselves.

So are you doing your job? Thoughts?

« Previous entries