St- Stephen Church

Celebrating 2012

2012 was a great year for me personally.  I have a tendency to constantly look ahead and miss looking back and celebrating all that God has done.  Trust me, I'm looking ahead, but I do want to take a moment to celebrate some personal highlights of 2012: - Katie and I had our second daughter, Shelby

- My leadership at CBC was expanded joining the Executive Team as WebPastor

- Writing the Social Media Guide for Ministry and signing publishing contract with Group

- Consulting Opportunties with LifeWithout Limbs, St. Stephen Church, Japhet Builders, and several other great organizations

- Online Church Facebook Page reaching the milestone of 250,000 Facebook Likes

As I look at these highlights, I know that several came only by the favor of God in these situations and many also came with time sacrifices and lots of hard work.  There are so many great people involved in each of these, but there are 3 relationships in particular that I want to express my gratitude for in 2012:

1) My wife, Katie.  Katie is my biggest cheerleader and has encouraged me greatly throughout the journey.  Katie has remained flexible with the time sacrifices this year that we have needed to make and patient with the many late nights of 2012 due to a new baby and a new book.  I married way over my head and am so grateful for such an incredible wife!

2)  My boss, Chris.  Chris is the greatest leader I have ever had the privilege to serve under.  He does not just empower me to risk and try new things but challenges me to do so on a daily basis.  The past 2 and a half years have been incredible and my prayer is that God allows us many more years of locking arms together in ministry.  Chris is not just a good boss, but a great friend to me and my family.

3) My mentor, Trey.  Trey has taught me more than I can begin to describe about technology, leadership, innovation, and ministry.  Trey thinks differently than anyone that I have ever been around, which has helped me to grow more than I can explain.  Much of what I write about on this blog comes from core principles that I have learned from Trey.  His encouragement and belief in me has meant so much to these highlights in 2012.

Thank you Jesus for all of your many blessings that came in 2012!  I am blessed beyond belief.

Thank You St. Stephen Church

This past week I had the great honor of consulting with the staff of St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  Before my trip I studied the church and was amazed by their rich history and tremendous growth over the years.  This is actually one of the first churches that I'm aware of to have multiple campuses in different states (Kentucky and Indiana).

It wasn't though until I was able to sit around a table with their administrative staff that I was able to really capture how special this church is and how bright their future could be.

Here are some of the keys that I saw to their success:

1)    Strong Leadership and Vision- Dr. Kevin Cosby has been the Sr. Pastor at St. Stephen since he was 21 years old and his leadership along with the team he has assembled is strong, focused, and driven.  Vision for the future is consistently communicated and enthusiastically embraced by a passionate congregation.

2)    Passion for the People- St. Stephen has incredible programming, but their primary focus around everything they do is people.  Their programs, services, and facilities are all focused around the needs of their congregation and the community they serve.

3)    Freedom and Flexibility- you won't find much red tape in this church as leaders are given freedom to risk and try new things that might further the ministry of the church.  Church members are encouraged and empowered to lead and teach or use their gifts in whatever way they can.

4)    Openness to New Things- generally I have to sell Social Media before I can train a group on how to use these online tools.  St. Stephen did not need to be sold, but wanted to learn now and implement yesterday.  This culture of learning and innovation has been a part of their DNA for years and will continue to be a part of their bright future for years to come.

5)    Phenomenal Preaching- let's be honest, the pulpit drives the church.  St. Stephen's success is not due only to Dr. Cosby, but his powerful preaching has dramatically impacted thousands in Kentucky and Indiana over the years. I cannot wait for St. Stephen Church to go online, because lives all over the world will be touched when we all have an opportunity to hear the powerful messages that are preached each week from this pulpit!

I cannot  express enough how thankful I am to have had this opportunity to invest in this great church. I am especially grateful to Christine Cosby for coordinating this trip and organizing all of the meetings with the various staff and ministry teams.  It will be so exciting to see what is ahead as this Church without walls begins to reach from Kentucky to Indiana and to the ends of the earth.  There is no doubt in my mind that the best days for St. Stephen Church are yet to come!

For more information about St. Stephen Church you can visit them at:

website- http://ssclive.com

Facebook at http://facebook.com/ssclive

Twitter: @ssclive