It’s 4:30am and – due to a head cold – I am up.  With the coughing and sneezing I couldn’t sleep.  Neither could the guy I”m rooming with.  I finally decided to head out of the hotel room so he could get a few hours sleep.  At the moment I am sitting in the dark on Daytona Beach looking at the stars overhead and pecking away on my Chromebook writing this post.  It is amazing how calm and quiet it is – except for the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean with high tide coming in.  In a few short hours this beach will be filled with teens and adult chaperones from NewSpring Church and Impact! Church.  They will be here to experience 200+ teens and adults being baptized at the same time.  Four of those people will be from Impact! Church.  It is one of those moments in ministry that your pray for…hope for…long for…and then all of a sudden God responds.  We brought 14 people to Gauntlet this year.  Four of them didn’t know the Lord…the four that we are baptizing this moerning.  Everyone will be going home tomorrow knowing Jesus.  I don;t know how many times that has happened in other church.  For Impact! Church this makes twice.  Last year we had five folks with us at Gauntlet that didn’t know Christ.  Over the week we saw all of them accept Jesus and be baptized.  Another time that God responded.  So at 4:30am I sit in the sand bristling with anticipation…at what will take place in these waters in a few hours.  I never experienced Pentecost…but at 7:30am today I will get a small glimpse of what that must have looked like. As I get the honor of baptizing four people into the Kingdom…I will rejoice at the privilege of being the Senior Pastor of Impact! Church…and having friends like NewSpring Church. To God be the glory!!!

Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year there are a never-ending onslaught of articles, blog posts, podcasts, conferences, books, training sessions and seminars about using to-do lists to boost creativity.  There are an infinite amount of styles, formulas, structures and strategies for creating, maintaining and implementing task lists.  However, for me…they all were like a noose around my neck.  Confining, limiting and down right suffocating.  Most start with some form of a mind dump…getting everything in your head onto paper so you can get it all done.  Every time I’d do the mind dump I’d look at an endless list of stuff to get done, feel like I was stuck under water, go into some kind of breathless panic attack and start looking for a large, speeding truck to lay down in front of.  Time and again I’d download some new app that was suppose to be the magic bullet for productivity only to find I killed productivity by trying to learn the flippin’ thing.  List after list…mind dump after mind dump…app after app…system after system…would leave me on the floor curled in the fetal position sucking on Kleenex and reciting stanzas from “Green Eggs And Ham”.

Then one day I took a look at a mind dump list I’d just made…and realized, “Half of this crap won’t make any difference to anyone if it gets done.  It won’t change the world, won’t further God’s Kingdom and it won’t help me do the things I feel called by God to do!”  So I crumpled up the list, chunked it in the trash and made a vow never to be hobbled by a to-do list again.  It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  The sun came out, angels sang songs of jubilation and small Disney-like animals became my friends. I could breath, I could think and I could dream.  I stopped sitting around making endless lists and started actually doing the things I had a passion for. If I forgot to get the milk or fill out a form no one would die.  If my inbox didn’t get to zero and a task fell by the wayside life still went on.  The “big rocks” got written on a whiteboard in my office (which I’m rarely in – offices suck) – not all of the details and tasks – just the initial passion-driven idea.  Really important tasks that further those “big rocks” occasionally get scheduled into my calendar if they are date-specific or time sensitive.  There is no “didn’t get it done guilt”.  There is a free mind to dream big dreams.  There is a relaxed leader that enjoys what God called me to.  I killed the to-do list and rediscovered my passion.  Give it a try…unless you’re OCD…you’ll never use a to-do list ever again!!!

One my favorite things to do is recommend great resources to other church leaders…especially when they are low cost/no cost and have been helpful to Impact! Church. Over the years I have come to expect great things from Perry Noble/NewSpring Church, Steven Furtick/Elevation Church, The Sticks, LifeChurch.tv, Shawn Lovejoy/Velocity and The Rocket Company…and have no trouble promoting anything they release.  Today I can add a new resource provider to that list…my friends Chad Hunt and Michael Robison have begun a new church leadership program called TTI – Traditional To Intentional.  Their first resource is a FREE ebook that I just completed and it is tremendous.  It is called “Radical Hospitality” and is perfect for helping you make first time guests into returning guests.  I highly recommend the book and Impact! Church has tweaked a few things in our worship services as a result.  Like I said…it’s free (well, you have to give them your email address, but that’s no big thing)…I’ve read it…we’ve used it…now you can also.

Click here to get your copy.