Relational Leadership

You may not know this about me yet, but I used to be a Computer Science major in college.  After two years, I changed my major, like many students frequently do, to Management because I decided that I would rather spend most of my time in life working with people rather than typing and debugging lines of code in a computer lab.  I probably could have double-majored as much of my day is still spent typing away on a laptop, and many of my nights are spenting working with people.  Many of the projects at church find me equally dependent upon my computer and my management skills.  Who would have thought that I’d end up a pastor where both skills come into play?

When it comes to leadership, I’ve been a huge fan of John Maxwell’s books on leadership.  He has many, many books on the topic if you’ve never read any of them.  My favorites are…

Developing The Leader Within You and Developing The Leaders Around You

I’m starting this Leadership topic because I just finished the final dress rehearsal for our upcoming Christmas Musical, and it has been a long journey to get here.  There have been many tasks and projects that helped to stretch me in my God-given gift of leadership.  Much of the daily “ins and outs” of my job as a pastor have to do with leading and managing people.  Maybe some of these posts will help clarify some of the qualities that I strive for in my own leadership style, and in turn, help you develop more as a leader yourself.

I believe that one of the most important qualities of a great leader is that a leader is relational.  That belief was either started or reinforced through reading Maxwell’s books.  If one can’t maintain a solid relationship with others as one leads, especially when working in a volunteer setting like a church, people will pull out on the task or project, and there will be great difficulty in accomplishing the goal.  You may accomplish the goal but alienate people, who are far more important than the goal, in the process.  In fact, when it comes to leadership, people are always the goal.  A manager doesn’t necessarily have to be relational to accomplish the task, but a great leader does.  By that, I mean, you don’t have to actually like a manager at work, yet you’ll still be held accountable to do your job.  But if you don’t like a leader in an area where you volunteer, that leader can’t hold you accountable to complete the task, so you will most likely just quit volunteering.  It takes more relational skills to be a great leader than it does to be a manager.

Putting together all that we have done for this Christmas Musical required a great team of volunteers to accomplish the original vision.  As I’ve led, there have been some tasks that were very difficult and required a great deal of time and energy to be able to accomplish them.  At times, it was a great struggle, that stretched myself and others on the team.  The cost in volunteer man hours and the commitment level needed were great.  Without a strong relational tie and a genuine friendship with those on the team, I don’t think we could have accomplished what we have together when things got tough and stressful.

So to all of my co-laborers in this act of love and worship of our God in performing this year’s Christmas Musical…

I thank you for the many hours you have sacrificed to make the vision possible.  I’ve worked hard, and you’ve worked equally as hard at my side and on your own to accomplish this mission.  But most of all, thank you for the relationship we have as friends that makes it possible to accomplish such great things for the Kingdom together.  I hope that you are as happy and excited as I am with the finished project.  But more than that, I hope that the process was one that deepened our relationship with each other and developed and stretched your own leadership gifts.  I hope that you will be even more excited to join PD’s team for next year’s musical…or the next idea or project that PD comes up with…for God’s glory.

BTW, one of my favorite quotes on leadership is “He who thinks he is leading and then turns around to find no one is following is merely taking a walk.”  Don’t know if that was a Chinese proverb or a Maxwell quote.

A Savior Is Born: Part 2 – Peace

Sunday was Part 2 of the Special Christmas series at Grand Heights called “A Savior Is Born.”  It’s really been fun getting to add the extra Special Music numbers and Videos now that we have the two extra video projectors.  I’ve not personally heard that much feedback on them from you at Grand Heights, but I think they look awesome and have really added to the Worship at Grand Heights.  Not only do they help visually in the Praise & Worship sections of the service, but they add to the sermons as well.  The movie-quality video illustrations really help setup the sermons nicely, too.

If you like this as much as I do, know that we have even more surprises in store for the upcoming Christmas Musical: God Coming Down on December 22nd.  It’s going to be the BEST MUSICAL YET at Grand Heights as we’re incorporating the new video projectors and programming lighting effects in a whole new way…even more dramatically than is being done in these Special Christmas Services in December.  I hope that you are planning to attend the Musical this year and are inviting family and friends already.

If you haven’t invited someone to Grand Heights Special Sunday Christmas Services…PLEASE PICKUP ONE OF THE CARDS and invite someone.  Only two weeks are left in the series.  And invite someone TODAY for the Christmas Musical while you’re at it.

Here’s a setlist of the songs from the service…

Here’s some of the albums that these songs were taken from…

  A Christmas Story Offering (Christmas Version) Christmas City On A Hill: It's Christmas Time Great God Who Saves

So I realized…

So I realized today that my “Worship @ Grand Heights” page isn’t really a Blog that you can post regular updates to.  It’s more like a single Web Page…hence the name “Pages” in the WordPress Dashboard.  Duh.  So, I’m going to attempt to edit it from being a page and turn it into a new Category instead that can be posted to regularly.

The search for a Custom Header

So in setting up this Blog, I initially decided that I would just use my current web host provider to Blog with the internal Blog application that came with my service.  It was a version of WordPress, so I figured it would be the easiest way to begin Blogging.  And, indeed, it was…in the space of a few hours I had purchased a new domain, setup a new Blog, and linked it to my new domain.  I chose a template (maybe you saw the snowboarding theme on Day 1 of the Launch) and entered my first post and first page.  All was well…until I decided that I wanted my own custom image for the header.

Today, I discovered that a custom header was not possible if I continued to use my host’s Blog application.  Bummer. 

So, I had to start all over again.  I spent a great deal of time researching how to make a custom header, and I discovered a REALLY GREAT Blog in the process.  Check out this Blog if you want to see an example of someone who Blogs for her children’s benefit…and she has seven of them…I’m sure you’ll find much to read there that is encouraging.

So, basically I setup a whole new Blog, exported my original Blog, imported it into my new Blog, created the header and background, and tweaked and tweaked and tweaked.  I hope you like it.  Next, I need to delete my original Blog and link my domain to this new Blog.  Hopefully, it will work.

If you’re reading this on right now… then it did!  Yeah…what a relief!

A Savior Is Born: Part 1 – Hope

This past weekend, we started a new series at Grand Heights called “A Savior Is Born.”  A lot of work has gone into this special 4-part Christmas series planned for every Sunday in December.  One of the ideas I had was to add some additional video projectors to our current stage setup, so that we could use them for a 3-screen effect for these services.  It was a lot of work, but with the help of a few good friends (Aaron, Angie, Rocky, Ken, and Jim), we were able test the idea, remove some shelving, repair and paint the walls, run some wiring, and install and setup the 2 new projectors all in one week!  I was so excited to see the idea become a reality.  I hope you were as “Wow’d” as I was when you entered the auditorium.  Make sure you tell them you appreciated all their hard work next time you see them.

Here’s a setlist of the songs from the service…

Here’s a couple of the albums that these songs were taken from…

Rose of Bethlehem Christmas Offerings You're Here

A reason to Blog…

Thanks for coming to to read my personal Blog.  This is my first post.  For those of you who blog all the time, Kudos to you!  I’ve not really spent much time out there in the Blog-o-sphere.

Being a youth pastor, I first learned about social media type websites a few years ago when the MySpace craze hit a lot of our teens at Grand Heights, and I had to explore their world and get a MySpace page to understand what in the world they were talking about.  By the time I started getting used to it, many of them had already migrated to Facebook and many of them claimed to never really get on MySpace anymore.

So then I started a Facebook account, which almost every one of our college students was using.  Today it seems that Facebook is still going strong with even my mom and dad getting on there; however, my wife has yet to start a Facebook page.  Many of the teens are still using Facebook, and some still use MySpace, but most send a couple thousand of text messages on their cell phones instead.

So now that you can surf the web, post on your Facebook wall, text message, and Tweet all on your cell phone, I suppose I’ll have to get me an upgraded cell phone to keep up with my Blog too.  But personally, I like using a laptop and a real keyboard for all those things…bigger screen, faster typing, etc.

Well Pastor Waldo got his Blog setup before mine ( and with our new church website ( launching this week, it’s time to start an official Blog for PD.  I’ll try to post at least once a week here in the beginning.  But please be patient as I figure out how all this works.  I’ll try to tweak my Blog to my own personal style, and hopefully many of you at our church, and those of you who may have intentionally or unintentionally stumbled upon my Blog will keep coming back here to read more.

I’d imagine you may have wondered what the life of a youth and worship pastor is like, so hopefully you’ll get a sampling of that, reading it here.  But more than that, I hope you get a better understanding of what it means to live life as someone who is developing the heart of Christ.

And maybe…just maybe…you’ll come to embrace that same life for yourself.