Leaders and leading churches are such an encouragement.  At least they encourage me. 

Solomon was right, there really is nothing new under the sun.  Every time I think that I had an original idea, I just need to tap into the wider community and realize someone else has had it too, and probably expressed it better. That should never stop anyone from thinking bold thoughts and declaring them with courage, but being part of a much wider community is humbling and reassuring.  Hey, doesn’t the Bible say something about all wisdom being from God anyway or something like that?

Here are some of churches and church leaders that I track with and who encourage and teach me:

  • North Point Community Church has had a huge influence on me as a leader as has Reggie Joiner’s work there and now with Orange and ReThink.  Reggie Joiner doesn’t blog (but he facebooks!) Andy Stanley doesn’t have his own blog, but he reads them. Both these leaders have had a huge impact on me personally and (no kidding), every time I’m in the room with them, I wish 100 other leaders were there to hear what they have to say. They’ve processed and prayed through things at an incredible level.  My notebook’s always open when I’m around them.  A few years ago Andy and Reggie and Lane Jones wrote The Seven Practices of Effective Ministry.  Best ministry book I ever read to this day.
  • Buckhead Church in Atlanta is a campus of North Point Ministries.  Jeff Henderson, their lead pastor is an incredible leader and blogs the journey daily.  One of the best leaders of people I’ve ever met.
  • I also track closely with a few North Point partners.  Here are some I didn’t hit on yesterday. Rich Barrett leads Access Church in Florida. Eddie Johnson (recovering from the chick-fil/video church scandal) is lead at Cumberland Church in Nashville. I also follow what’s up with  Wiregrass Church in Dothan, Alabama and Athens Church in Athens Georgia.  Wish Troy Foutain at Wiregrass and Sean Seay at Athens blogged!  Scott Tanskley of strategic partner world (and a brand new dad) blogs at HippoChurch.  Tank is so insightful.  I love the entire crew at NP, but these are the ones I’m in most regular contact with.  And although he just joined facebook last week and doesn’t write a blog, make sure you get around David McDaniel, the Director of Campus Development at North Point.  He’s so wise and strategic.  It will humble and scare you.
  • Swerve is the leadership blog of lifechurch.tv, an innovative multi-site church based out of Oklahoma.  Craig Groeschel is a great leader.  Even had the chance to have lunch with him and his wife Amy couple of years ago.  Top quality.
  • Gotta love and admire The Meeting House in Toronto.  Not only are they incredibly kingdom-minded (so first class when Rich Birch left their staff to join Connexus), but any church that can reach 4000 on a weekend in Canada and make a huge attempt to help Africa is outstanding.  Tim Day, their lead pastor, and Bruxy Cavey, their first-rate teaching pastor, are continually gracious, strategic and helpful.
  • Gotta love that Elevation Church in Charlotte.  Love it or otherwise, it’s happening.  Deal with it!
  • From the "I’d really love to meet him one day" category is Mark Batterson at National Church in Washington D.C.  Never met him. Like him more after every blog post. 

There.  Any more and I’d be writing credits of the liner notes for a CD or an acceptance speech for some show: And I’d also like to thank my wife Toni, my kids Jordan and Sam, and God, and my parents and my grade one teacher who drove the purple Gremlin….

Once again, who inspires you?


  1. Rich Barrett on February 21, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks for the love, baby. Read you every day! See you soon at DRIVE.

  2. L Fournier on February 21, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Purple Gremlin eh? I remember those. But seriously, I love to read people and not just their blogs. I like to read their actions. What people say (or blog) are insightful and inspirational but what really grabs my attention is their actions.
    Right now I am most inspired by the community of Connexus. As a church family formed for the most part at Trinity in Oro, we have now 'hit the road' in a sense and are really learning what it means to be his 'hands and feet'. From those of us who prepare the weekly message, lead our worship, set up the stage environments, clean up the ewww factor, all the way through the list of helpers to the regular attender who moves his/her coat and offers a seat to a stranger. This community is amazing! We stepped out of the boat together! And we're not sinking! As a community we have knit ourselves (committed ourselves) together tighter to support our ministry. These volunteers (kids included) work hard each week to prepare Connexus but each does it noticeably with joy in his/her heart.
    What an inspiration. Society teaches us to build our bank accounts for the future and maintain a level of comfort. We walked away from that at Trinity and learned that it isn't the money in the bank that matters, it's the people. Each week the Connexus attendance grows and we see the results of being his 'hands and feet'. I am humbled. The next time I am offered the choice of a mop or a comfy seat…I'll take the mop thanks. I have learned so much more by simply mopping up the ewww factor and preparing a place for a brother or sister just as Jesus has prepared a place for me.

  3. Mike Ash on February 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    What great churches and great people!

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