Monday, November 30, 2009

Behind the Scenes- South Bay Offices

One fun thing I am going to do on this blog over the next few weeks is give you "Behind the Scenes" snipets of my life and our church. Today's blog is just a short tour of the South Bay Church office where I spend a lot of time on a weekly basis! Enjoy!

Behind The Scenes- Part 1, "South Bay Offices." from South Bay Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Power of Gratitude

I think that gratitude should be at the core of every follower of Christ's life. There are very few attitudes more powerful than gratitude. Honestly, I think that if we focused on gratitude we would love God more, love people more, give more generously, pray harder, serve more consistently and all of the choices God desires for our lives. Today I'm reminded of how much I'm grateful for...

Here are just 10!
1. I am grateful first and foremost for my salvation, that Christ would take my sins upon the cross and give His life for me to be free and forgiven!
2. I am grateful for my beautiful family- my wife Stacie and my son Caedmon are two of the biggest gifts in my life.
3. I am grateful for our incredible team here at South Bay Church- our staff and their families have made so many sacrifices for the sake of our church.
4. I am grateful to have parents and siblings that have loved me and believed in me all throughout my life. The encouragement of my father and mother have served as a source of strength and courage.
5. I am grateful for the people who a part of our volunteer team at South Bay Church. Each week so many people make tremendous investments in our church with their time, talents, and resources.
6. I am grateful for our church and each person who has made a decision in the past year to join us for this journey!
7. I am grateful that Stacie and I are privileged to be in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia.
8. I am grateful for the natural beauty of the SF Bay Area including the weather, the water, SF City, and so much more! I could go on and on about this!
9. I am grateful for all of the churches and families that have invested in South Bay over the last 18 months since beginning this journey. We would not be where we are today.
10. I am so grateful for all of the mentors and leaders that have invested in my leadership and in my life!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Love Out Loud!

We're so excited to introduce you to the Love Out Loud Offering at South Bay Church. Between now and January 31, 2010 our goal is to give $15,000 to causes outside the walls of our church. We will be working to do the following: help start Epic Church beginning in 2010 in San Francisco, give to global missions overseas, help fight human trafficking, and give towards our Easter Outreach 2010. For all of the details about the offering click here and download the Love Out Loud offering packet. Below you will find a short intro video. You can participate and give online toward the offering by clicking here and you can also give at the Sunday Service between now and January 31, 2010. Let's give generously and watch God use our church to impact the world!

Love Out Loud! from South Bay Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reflections From Sunday

This past Sunday at South Bay Church we had the fourth message of our Marriage Redefined series titled, "Does Marriage Have to Limit My Life?" This has by far been our best attended series to date. I believe that so many people's marriages are in trouble and it so often it is extremely really difficult to find the kind of help we need with this super significant subject. On Sunday I talked about the "Death to Life Principle" from John 12:20-26 which is this, "when God calls us to give something up in life it is always so that He can give us something greater in return." In essence, at times God calls us to lay down our conveniences so that he can bless us with something far better than what we laid down. Marriage can be very challenging at times and can seem like a spotlight into the insufficiencies in our hearts and character. Married folks have to lay down many of the conveniences of single living. Every decision from what I wear to how many starbucks drinks I have in a week must be made in light of the most important person in my life, my spouse! In marriage there are many little deaths and sacrifices that have to be made along the way in order to make the relationship work. These deaths can often make you feel limited in your life. I meet many people who felt limited by marriage or parenting and instad of allowing God to develop holiness of character inside of us ran from their marriage. When I make a choice to die to some of my selfish goals and interests for the best interest of my family, I then find that God gives me a greater joy and peace on the other side of that sacrifice. On Sunday I challenged singles and married people alike to be reminded that the life God calls for is one of sacrifice. When we learn to live this and embrace it, we then can find life!

In addition to all of this we had exactly 240 present and 3 people publicly profess their faith in Christ through believers baptism. One of these people made a decision on the spot that morning to get baptized. It was so amazing to me as I watched her respond to God! I am so proud of the three ladies who took the plunge and identified themselves with Jesus. You are an example to so many. BTW, we didn't have any guys take the plunge... I challenged all the men in our church on Sunday saying, "you let the women kick your butt in responsiveness to God!" Next time I think we'll have a few men get baptized!

We're looking forward to the conclusion of the Marriage Redefined series on Sunday looking at "God's Definition" of marriage. We are going to address some very edgy topics. It's going to be great! Looking forward to all that God will do this weekend!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Grass Is Always Greener

You've heard the phrase, "the grass is always greener on the other side." I had a small revelation the other day when walking through our apartment complex. There is a patch of artificial grass in one location along a sidewalk for a stretch of about 30 yards. When you look at this artificial grass from the other side of the road, it looks more green the real grass close by and it stays green year around with very little care. It actually looks really nice. The only downside with the grass is that it has no life. Eventually this artificial grass will wear out from foot traffic and need to be replaced. While the real grass may go through seasons of difficulty and need more tender care, that grass can be restored. The artificial grass must be replaced. 

There are areas of our lives God wants to restore. He wants to give that area some TLC and get it looking green and beautiful again. Rather than looking at the artificial grass on the other side of the road and going for a swap, remember there is always less pain in the long run when we let God restore our lives rather than trying replace things on our own! Stick it out in your marriage and let God bring restoration. Stay loyal and committed to that friend and let God heal the relationship. Don't throw in the towel on your job just because it gets difficult. If God called you there, stay put and let him do Him do His work. Keep surrendering your finances to God instead of taking short cuts. He is the great redeemer and restorer! He can make all things new as you honor your commitments and stay faithful to Him! 

What do you need to let God work on today? What are you running from that if yielded to God will be made healthy again? 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's the secret?

I spend a lot of time talking with pastors and other church leaders. In our circles we often look up to the fast growing large churches. In my conversations with other pastors I always hear this speculative question, "I wonder what's the secret to their success?" It is almost like we assume that there is some secret ingredient that if applied to our environment will cause immediate growth. This can lead to imitation of another ministry without personal inspiration from God! Today during my quiet time I was challenged today by a statement John the baptizer made in response to the growth of his ministry... He said this, "A man can receive only what is given to him from heaven." 

What a powerful statement about ministry and life. Ultimately whenever there is a ministry that is multiplying, lives are being changed and things are going up and to the right, behind this is a team of people who are receiving a gift from God. When we see life and ministry this way, we no longer ask the question, "what is the secret sauce?" We can shift our attention to ask this question, "what is the fabric of a life and ministry that God blesses?" What is going on in the hearts and minds of a person who is positioned to receive what God wants to give? When we think like this we maintain humility when our ministry grows and we give praise when others look to us for answers. One of my mentors said, "none of us are experts, just a bunch of people trying to change the world and live in the favor and blessing of God." I want to give credit to God for our growth! I want to make sure that people know God is the author of this movement and He is the one changing lives. It's not some system or strategy. I love systems and strategies, I think they're both very important. But at the bottom of what God is doing in our church is a group of people who desparately want to see God move. A group of people that are willing to sacrifice everything to make our one life count. It's not a formula. It's a movement born out of pain, tears, passion, faith, and prayer. Today I want leaders to live with an urgency about the blessing of God upon our lives. Fruitfulness doesn't happen if there isn't faithfulness. May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be favorable towards the giver of every good and perfect gift!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reflections On Sunday

We had a tremendous day at South Bay Church on Sunday! God is blessing this church in so many incredible ways. We had 253 people present, 202 adults... best ever aside from easter this year. In addition to this we had over 34 people join us for the first time today and a record in generosity from our people. I am so overwhelmed by God's faithfulness to this church. 

Couple of highlights from Sunday: 
- 2nd week of Marriage redefined looking at Ephesians 4:22-29. Talked about what God intended for communication to look like. 
- Nobody gets this communication thing right 100% of the time, it requires work and a constant renewing of our minds and attitudes to the principles from the scriptures. 
- Healthy communication has four key ingredients outlined in this passage... it is clear, calm, current, and constructive! 
- If we would learn to communicate the way God outlines we would experience the joy and peace in our home that God intends. 
- 2 more people made a decision to follow Christ this week! This is the best part of what God is doing in our midst. Really looking forward to our baptism service on Nov. 15. If you have questions about baptism or would like to sign up just shoot us an email. ( 
- Couple of key one liners from the message- 
Getting louder helps you be heard, but doesn't help you be understood!
In communication you can win an argument but lose the relationship! 
Some people would experience a radical change in their marriage if they just learned to use words to build up instead of tear down. 

* All of this to say, it is looking at what Jesus did on the cross that we understand the basis for relationships. It is in understanding His great love that we begin to experience the kind of communication that he desires. 

In addition to all this we had a great day with volunteers. Our team did a fabulous job with creating an environment that helps people who are far from God connect with the message of Christ! I am so excited about what God is doing in our church and I can't wait to watch him continue to help us reach our community! Thanks to all of you who serve faithfully and give yourself diligently to this vision. There's no way we could do it without you. 

BTW- we've had close to 150 first time guests in the last 3 months. it is so exciting to see new faces every week. If you didn't hear we have a Newcomer's Dessert this Sunday November 8... immediately following the service. Get all the details here. If you would like to rsvp just email- 

Super excited about talking on Romance and Intimacy next Sunday! Hope you'll be there. I am proud to be your pastor and so excited about the future of what God is going to do through this church!