Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Taking A Break

Just thought I'd let you know that I am going to take a break from posting until February.
I don't know about you but I am pumped for what God has in store for us next year!

If you're interested in checking out a good post on our generations lack of a Biblical world view then click HERE. This is of such vital importance as stats tell us that 85% of Christians going to Uni loose their faith by year 2!

Until February 09...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How Are You Leveraging Your Influence?

In this post I just wanted to share a really great piece from Ps Mark Batterson of National Community Church.
Ps Mark challenges us with how we leverage our influence. This is a question of great importance, so read up and please do leave a comment!

Over the last couple years I've been
rethinking influence. As a pastor, I used to think in traditional categories. Influence = Attendance + Budget. Right? And I think those numbers are significant. But I also think the influence game has dramatically changed.

Just thought I'd share what is going on inside my head as I think about where to
leverage influence in the coming year. Quantitatively, my blog is by far my avenue of greatest influence. Qualitatively, nothing comes close to my influence as a dad. But everything we do is a unique combination of quantitative and qualitative influence.

I think
pastoring has a unique quantitative and qualitative dimension. Qualitatively, you get to be part of some of the most significant life moments--weddings, baptisms, funerals. That is uber-influence. And you have a touch point week in and week out via preaching. Yes, people forget 95% of what they hear after 24 hours! And that's downright depressing as a preacher. But I think there is a cumulative effect that results in transformation. I honestly can't remember all the meals I've eaten over the past year, but all of them sustained me and nourished me. That's how I think about preaching. I hope the spiritual diet we provide moves people toward spiritual health.

I think
podcasting and webcasting are amazing ways to exponentially expand quantitative influence. Your congregation may only be twenty-five people, but you can influence twenty-five hundred via a podcast. Does a podcast make the same qualitative difference in a person's life? That depends on lots of factors. But here's the bottom line: If it's worth preaching it's worth podcasting. And the quantitative potential is amazing. I preached in 83 countries last year without going anywhere! How? Via webcast.

For me,
writing books has become the primary vehicle of influence. Instead of influencing thousands, I can influence hundreds of thousands. And there is something unique about influencing someone via writing. I write with a sense of destiny. I really believe that one sentence or one paragraph or one page can change a person's life. And you can influence people after you die. Few people have influenced me as much as A.W. Tozer. I'm pretty sure he died before I was born. But his books outlive him and continue to influence.

One last thought. Not long ago, someone pitched the idea of putting together
a TV pilot for a new network. Part of me dismissed it. That's not my thing. But when you think in terms of influence, it's a little more difficult to dismiss. I don't think Television has the same qualitative influence. But it's a form of influence that is still unrivaled quantitatively.

Just thinking out loud.

How are you leveraging your influence? Where can you experience the greatest influence qualitatively and quantitatively? Do you need to reallocate your time and energy? Or is there an
influence opportunity you need to pursue?

To read other great posts by Mark Batterson click HERE

So what did you think? Are there some other unique ways to leverage your influence?
I look forward to your input!

Godspeed & Kaizan

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Life church has done it again... this church really has a fantastic heart to resource the church. Here are a few of the amazing FREE resources on offer:

Free Video Teaching... click HERE
YouVersion (an on-line Bible thats not just for the iphone!)... click HERE
The Swerve (their blog for church leaders)... click HERE
Open (resources from from graphics to videos)... click HERE
Church Metrics... click HERE

I trust you will find a wealth of resources here.

Godspeed & Kaizan

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Why Not...?
Why Can't We...?
What Is Stopping Me...?

To get to an HNL(Hole Nutha Level) we need to see and think bigger.
Why can't we see this city won for Christ?
Why can't our teens see their class saved?

What is it about me and how I see that is getting in the way of moving to an HNL?

What are some of your thoughts?
Godspeed & Kaizan

Monday, November 10, 2008

How Do You Serve Your Coffee?

Thanks so much to everyone who came along on Friday to the Vision Youth Network. I was blown away and challenged to the core as we heard from Ps Jordan Smith and the insightful questions that we got to talk about.
This was our last official meeting for the year, but I will ring around soon to organize a get together over drinks to discuss 09.

I love the creativity of the coffee parable below... and as with all parables, it has a lot to teach us.

What one lesson has stuck out to you the most from this parable?
Leave a comment!

And as usual I have a useful link. This week the link is to an article about Best Practices for Internet Ministry. Click HERE to view it.

Till next time...
Godspeed & Kaizan

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is Time On Your Side?

Like most people in the western world... one of the most common plights that we all share is 'too much to do and too little time to do it in'. Ministry is no exception. I often feel like I could work all day and night and still not get through my to-do lists.

If we are going to maintain our sanity and our devotional lives we need to accept that we just can't get to it all.
At the same time that is no cop-out for not being able to achieve great results. After all... we are serving the King of Kings in our great work!

So how do we achieve this?
I have always marveled at the thought that Joe Blogs and the president of the United States all have the same 24 hours. What they accomplish in that 24 hours is significantly different though!

I have found a self management system that has been truly helpful and that is truly different from the usual time management systems out there. (I have never found the prioritizing system to work for me... its not fluid enough for the array of interruptions that I face).
Its called 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen. Click HERE to check out the web site.
I own the book and CD set if you're interested in checking it out, but I highly recommend getting your own copies so you can share it around your team.

On a different subject, check out this podcast by Rick Warren on 'Creating a Culture of Innovation'. I've listened to it about 5x now... its a boomer! Click HERE to check it out.

Lastly, don't forget that next week we are meeting up at Gateway Christian Centre on friday the 7th November from 2-4pm. Our guest speaker is Ps Jordan Smith - Youth pastor and Bible college principal at Equippers church in Auckland.
We'd love to have you there!

Godspeed & Kaizan

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Are You Sitting On Your Butt?

This past week I got my hands on a truly great leadership resource by Andy Stanley called the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. Its a fairly new podcast... there are only 2... but I think I could sit on these for a few months!

Andy's message on assumptions is what I want ponder on in this post. In it he states that as churches we usually wait for money to become an issue before we do anything about it. We may be cutting edge when we first start out but we fall in love with programs that we created... and although things may be in decline... we stick with them because of our emotional attachment to them.
Andy quotes Andy Grove of Intel who was speaking to his CFO as they were transitioning INTEL from a chip making company to something else:
"If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? Why shouldn't we walk out the door, come back in and do it ourselves?"

Too often we fall in love with our programs... and cause we feel safe and secure with our paycheck... we never get real and get our hands dirty, working hard to take our ministries to the next level (we may be busy... but just with the wrong stuff... the comfortable stuff).
We should all be asking ourselves these 2 questions:
1) What areas are in decline?
2) In what areas are we having to manufacture energy?

Trust me, you'll want to listen to this podcast so click HERE! Come on... what are you waiting for?

Church Marketing Sucks also has a great complimentary read if you're wanting to get out there and make things happen. Just click HERE to check it out.

And lastly, another one from Church Marketing Sucks... we all know too well the pressure of having way more work to do than available hours. We've all felt like were sinking in the quick sand of our to-do list... well let me suggest this great short read on thinking outside the box to get some interns. Click HERE... you won't be sorry.

Vision Youth Network is all about helping to see ministries go to the next level so that together we can see our cities won. I trust that this post has helped to challenge your and your teams (you are passing this stuff on aren't you) thinking and therefore your doing.
In this light let me encourage you to be apart of our final gathering together for 2008 on the 7th November as Ps Jordan Smith (youth Pastor and Bible College principal of Equippers) comes to inspire and challenge us. The date has been changed from what was previously advertised so please do mark this in your diaries.

I look forward to seeing you soon

Godspeed & Kaizan

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Do You Love Your Haters?

This last week I got to go up to our National Conference in Auckland and hear Ps Chris Hill (who is a part of Bishop TD Jakes' team) ... I just got to say... there just isn't anything quite like black preaching!!! What a phenomenal mind blowing time we had!

On the opening night Ps Chris' message really spoke to me and added a steel-like resolve to a few issues I had been dealing with at home. Over the past 6 months I have had increasing pressure to remove te preaching from our Friday night youth service. People were asking for more games and entertainment.

This continued and now I have all my leaders wanting the same thing. I began to really doubt my leadership and ability to lead teens... but during my leave I got to speak at Gatecrashers (Gateways youth ministry) and I really felt like I was in the right place... ministering to young people.

And since then I have been building coviction about our purpose and the centraility of the preaching of God's Word to see life change.
Hearing Ps Chris' message just continued to galvanise my decisions to stick to my guns. (This isn't to say I'm ignoring what the kids are saying... I have built a creative team that meets monthly and we are working on ways to up the fun in the service... but we will never touch the preaching of God's Word or the Worship of our wonderful Abba Father).

Ps Chris expressed it like this in his message on Joseph:
  • We need haters (refering to Josephs brothers who hated him so much that they sold their own brother into slavery). They teach us to press into God!
  • God asigns people to hate us for this season.
  • Learn to turn your haters into esculators.

Do you have any haters at the moment who you need to thank God for?
They turn us toward God and force us to become clear about who we are and what purpose we are striving for.
Thank you Jesus for my 'haters'! Help me to be the leader that brings you glory and sees 1000's of teens running to you!!

I'd love to hear your comments on this post.

Godspeed & Kaizan

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How To Handle Criticism

I know I blew Ps. Rick Fourie's horn in the last post but let me say again how heroic his departure from the 'normal youth ministry' is as he follows his churches identity and mandate. With this bold move... you've guessed it... our old friend criticism is a sure partner for the trip.

So how do we cope with the flack? I am going to share 4 points that I recently read in Ps Craig Groeschel's book, 'Confessions of a Pastor'. (Its a fantastic read that I highly recomend by the way!)

When some criticises you the very
first thing is to consider is the 'source'. Is it someone who loves you and is involved in 'the game' or is it someone who is just looking for a place to gripe? Is this person seeking your best? If the source is good then we would be wise to listen to what they say (no matter how humbling it may be).

Proverbs 15:31 - 32 (NLT) says:

31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
you will be at home among the wise.

32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

Secondly, if the person is voicing something because of a dislike for you (or the idea)... sometimnes its good to answer the criticism and set the facts straight.

If you believe that giving a response can help the critic understasnd your position... then go for it and share your side of the story.

However, some people will just always be negative no matter what. This criticism needs to be dismissed. (remember that hurt people hurt people - that their criticisms probably reveal what their internal struggles are). These people usually dislike themselves and critize others in a misguided attempt to validate themselves.

Lastly, if your critics are just in your face... and you've tried listening and dismissing what they have to say but they're just all in your face... then its time to endure! Endurance is critical if you want to succeed spectaularly at anything that God sets before you.

So we need to: Listen, Answer, Dismiss and hardest of all... Endure.

Above all else, never forget: You can't please all people, but you can please God.

I trust that this has been useful.

I'd love to read your comments on this subject.

Godspeed & Kaizan


Monday, September 15, 2008

STOP...Who Are You?

Anyone who has ever been involved in design will relate to this video big time. Give it a whirl and then read the thought below...

I must admit that Rick Fourie's (of Life Church in Hamilton) message at the last Vision Youth Network meeting still has me pondering. I'm sure that I am going to be thinking about the stuff for the next few months.
Rick spoke to us about knowing our identities... knowing our churches mandate, and having what we do flow from that.

The danger is that if we don't know who we are... well our ministries will end up looking like the STOP sign in the above video... and we'll be about as effective to.

Till next time...

Godspeed & Kaizan

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Interns and Evaluations - How To Take Over The World

Hey gang... I've been on leave so I'm really relaxed. Last Tuesday evening I got season 5 of Alias ... and by 9:30pm on Saturday we had finished all 17 episodes - that's what I'm talking about!

I actually have hardly been on the web this past 2 weeks but I found 2 great posts for us to think on.
The first is a post by Seth Godin. Seth had a summer internship program and he had a really interesting way of sifting out applicants. Check it out HERE.
In my experience having an intern can either be the greatest blessing or the greatest drag to your ministry. Too often we are so keen to get help we'll just take anyone. If you haven't made this mistake yet... please take heed.
Luckily I haven't had nightmarish interns in quiet some time.

In fact if you are interested in utilizing this great win-win situation I strongly recommend
Vision College's internship program. The Interns have 5 block courses they attend, get some study to do in their correspondence study days, serve in their local church a minimum of 15 hours a week, and because this course is considered full time study the government can give the usual benefits to full time students. Why wouldn't you?! Vision's web site again - just click HERE.

Anyways, on to the next very interesting post by Pastor Craig Groeschel. Craig is in the process of writting 3 intreresting posts on questions that we should constantly be asking ourselves in ministy. Thus far he has only written the first of 3. To see it just click

It is so easy getting stuck in the week to week grind of ministry. I find myself in the hamster wheel all too often. Perhaps we should have at least one day a month to reflect and evaluate. I wonder what difference this will make to our city if we put this one thing into practice over the next 18 months?!

Lastly, don't forget that this friday we have our Vision Youth Network meeting at the Elim Church on Te Rapa road from 2-4pm. We'd love to have you there!

Godspeed & Kaizan


Thursday, August 28, 2008

IT... How Church Leaders Can Get It And Keep It

I came across an incredible post from Strategy Central. It simply is a must read... so to wet your appetite I have the 4 main points laid out for you:
  • Laser focus: The question he asked was: "What are you doing that you need to stop doing?"
  • See opportunities where others see obstacles. "God guides by what he doesn't
  • Willing to fail. "Failure is not an's a necessity."
  • Led by people who have it. The question? "What will you do to get it?"
Click HERE to read the whole article.

This would be a really great post to get some conversation going on... so comment and lets get those conversations started!

PS: Our next Vision Youth Network meeting is on the 5th September from 2 - 4pm at the Elim Church on TeRapa in Hamilton. We'd love to see you there!!!

You can e-mail my PA for more details...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How To Dazzel Your Hearers

Part of being a communicator is engaging with people. If we become predictable... our connection with the audience is lost. So to stay on the up and up, click HERE and have a heap of fun giving it a go.
While we're on the subject let me ask you what some of your strategies are for keeping the connection strong with your audience. Leave a comment and share your platinum!
By the way if you're on a hunting expedition for some creative people... click HERE.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Where Do You Start?

One of the things I've been thinking about this week is beginning with the end in mind. I think it is very easy to get stuck in the weekly routine... youth service to youth service, life group to life group, leaders meetings to leaders meetings. We all have a to-do list that instead of get smaller it actually gets longer as we progress through the week. With all of this spinning of the hamster wheel we can loose sight of the end... what we want to see achieved. The big picture. The character we want to see in our kids a few years down the line.

But we will never see this if we don't pick our heads out of the now to see the bigger picture and how we are going to get there.
The truth is most of us have a pretty good idea of what we want to see... but
how we get there is another story all together.

systems / funnels do you have in place to see the 'crowd' that comes along to your youth ministry funneled into those strategic ministries that will see them become the passionate God pursuers that you would have them be.

Take time out
this week to figure out what systems / funnels you are putting in place to see your youth become who God wants them to be.

I'd love you to leave a comment about your thoughts.
Here is to Kaizan in our youth ministries.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What Are You Missing Out On?

I always enjoy having people over at my house... I think it is a really awesome way to connect with people and let them feel like they know you a bit better.
This Monday I had Owen and Linda round... and they were telling me all about their HDD recorder... I have one too... but the difference between them and myself was that I hadn't bothered to find out how to use it properly. I didn't even know how to put the timer on for recording! In less that 1 minute Owen showed me what I needed to know to record programs at any time of day. Now a whole new world of opportunity is available to me.

This got me thinking... I wonder what resources are before me and in arms reach but I'm not using. I wonder what gifted and talented people resources are wasting away... I wonder what financial resources and opportunities are just sitting there waiting for me to take note off. I wonder what God has provided for me but I just haven't noticed?
What about you and your ministry? Which potential leaders are there who if you just asked... just believed... just spoke a few words of encouragement... would rise up and do mighty things for God's kingdom?

I want to encourage you to ask God to open your eyes so that you may clearly see the resources that God has provided for us.
Check out 2 Kings 6:11-17 

Let me know your thoughts and discoveries

Godspeed & Kaizan

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Giving Birth

I must tell you that it was very exciting to see our very first city-wide event called ONE take off tonight. We had over 500 youth from our city coming together with one voice and one heart to make Jesus' name famous! God's Spirit definitely moved!

Anyways, I thought I'd let you know that we are starting this youth pastors and core leaders weekly blog. We'll look at relevant thoughts that will help to take you and your ministries forward. 
Keep posted...

Godspeed & Kaizan