Archives For Jesus

Steele and Boudia

“If I think about finding my identity in how I perform here at the Olympics, I feel like I’m going to implode and I’m going to lose my mind. But when I find my identity in Christ, I can simply enjoy the opportunity – and instead focus on the joy of competing at the Olympics.” -paraphrase of David Boudia and Steele Johnson

This seems to be a theme throughout the Olympics. With the greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, thinking of taking his life after his amazing high of the London games, Michael found his purpose after reading “It’s not about you” in Purpose Driven Life. Michael recovered from his addictions and found hope in Jesus.

What’s true for these amazing athletes is true for each of us. If we search for our purpose in anything other than Christ and what He has already done for us, we will end up empty. But if we put our hope and trust in the Lord, in who He is, and what He’s already done, true freedom can be found for us all.


Bill Hybels

Leadership is not about protecting a position or showing how smart you are, it’s about moving a cause/organization to some better place. It’s all about movement.
Can I do this?
Can I sustain this?
Can I take this across the finish line?
8 Critical Functions of Leadership

5 Intangibles of Leadership

1) Grit
How do people with less IQ and talent succeed more than others. A psychologist study
People with grit have long term tenacity
Use every last drop to move something ahead
Gritty people don’t quit, but can overcome whatever obstacle stands in their way
I think I can —> I thought I could.
Grit Assessment Test at
Can I develop grit?
Opposite of grit is ease.
Grit development demands difficulty.
Overcoming physical challenges is a way to grow grit. This overflows into other areas.
Most elite leaders volunteer for extra assignments and then kill it.
Don’t just deliver. Over deliver every time.
When senior leaders have grit, it creates a culture of grit.
Gritty organizations are unstoppable.
We must develop grit to be a great leader.
2) Self-awareness
When there is a big
Blind spot: something someone believes they do well, but everyone else on the team knows this is not true.
All of us have 3.4 blind spots
How do we identify our blind spots?
– direct supervisor
– peers, friends, and colleagues
Knowing how your past is messing with your decision making today is crucial for today.
Growing in self-awareness demands feedback from others.
3) Resourcefulness
– People with high learning agility start figuring out what they need to do
– Resourceful people figure it out.
– So much of our growth of a leader
Can resourcefulness be developed?
Yes. But you must be put in places that are confused, dysfunctional, and failing to figure out a way forward.
4) Self-sacrifice
– This is at the core of good leadership
– Self-sacrificing love has always been and will always be at the absolute core of leadership. Love changes people and cultures.
– Gallop: Do workers feel concern/love from their supervisor?
     – The entire organization performs better.
The greatest of these is love.
Tear down the professional veils that keep your heart closed off from co-workers.

Pastors Should Laugh More

January 10, 2014 — 6 Comments

I have to be honest. Sometimes I feel pressure to not be myself.

I feel like in order to be viewed as having a pastoral gift and calling, I need to be much more serious. To constantly be talking about the spiritual – and as a result – to unintentionally neglect the emotional needs of those around me.

It often feels like there is this unsaid rule that pastors need to be pretty serious in order to gain respect.

But that’s not who I am. At least not all the time.

Now of course I’m not saying there isn’t a time and a place to be serious. As pastors we have the opportunity to walk alongside people in their darkest moments. To be at hospital bedsides, funerals, and gravesites. Even times of worship, teaching, preaching, and prayer. There are so many times to be sincere, deliberate, and thoughtful for a pastor.

But sometimes I think it would be more sincere to simply help someone crack a smile.

For me, one of my greatest fears is that I will become like what everyone expects me to be, rather than who I am made to be. To fall into an expectation of a position rather than pursuing my calling from God.

I feel like I have the gift of making people laugh. It may not seem very spiritual, but in a world that is filled with pain, a respite from the darkness by helping a huge grin can make all the difference in that moment.

Billy Graham said, “A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable.”

Maybe we as pastors just need to laugh a little bit more.



See our updates from Bangladesh below:

Update #1 From Our First 2 Days in Dhaka

Update #2 From Our First Week in Bangladesh

Here is a link to the website of the group we are assisting.

Thank you for being a part of our journey!

Jonathan & Sarah

Social Media

Interesting stats on social media for the church I serve at:

Calvary Assembly
In the past year, we have sent out 520 tweets and approximately 450 facebook posts. In the past four months I’ve posted 157 times, an average of 12 times per week. We have a weekly total reach of approximately 1,500 (meaning 1500 people see our content online on average, per week). Wow!

Second Student
@SecondStudent has sent out 1,981 tweets and about 1,500 posts (not including hundreds more comments and pictures) in it’s 3 year existence.

Second facebook: In the last year has reached 14 countries, with 6 different languages, with 317 people who “like” the page. The average number of people who see some sort of content from SECOND each week is 1,000 people.

All from one youth group in Chili, NY.

Did I mention we have not paid for one dime of promotion. This was all free exposure.


Social media is still alive, my friends!

brennan manning

And God answers “That’s what you don’t know. You don’t know how much I love you. The moment you think you understand is the moment you do not understand. I am God not man. You tell others about Me — that I am a loving God. Your words are glib. My words are written in the blood of My only Son. The next time you preach about My love with such obnoxious familiarity, I may come and blow your whole prayer meeting apart. When you come at Me with studied professionalism, I will expose you as a rank amateur. When you try to convince others that you understand what you are talking about, I will tell you to shut up and fall flat on your face. You claim you know I love you.”

“Are you aware that I had to raise Jesus from the dead on Easter morning because My love is everlasting? Are you serenely confident that I will raise you too, My adopted child?” 

 “When Scripture, prayer, worship, ministry become routine, they are dead. When I conclude that I can now cope with the awful love of God, I have headed for the shallows to avoid the deeps. I could more easily contain Niagara Falls in a tea cup than I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God.”


“Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning


Ah yes. The infamous youth group cliques. If you are a youth leader, you’ve seen this plenty of times. A teenager awkwardly enters a new and uncharted territory to see if this “church thing” is for them. A couple of kids say hi, but they mostly stand in the corner by themselves. An adult woman comes to talk to her for a bit about her day before she takes a seat by herself.

She listens to a story from the youth pastor about showing Jesus’ love to others. But she is wondering the disconnect between what the youth pastor is saying and how her experience has been. She enjoys the lesson, but quickly heads for the exit when the time is over for fear of having to stand by herself for another 5 minutes, which felt like an eternity when she arrived.

She isn’t coming back. And she didn’t meet or experience Jesus.

And those of us in youth ministry have seen this time and time again.

Cliques cause jealousy, hurt feelings, and exclusion. They are the complete opposite to the Kingdom of God.

So how do we stop it?

1) The best idea our group has come up with Continue Reading…