Saturday, January 4, 2014

Starting a new journey in ministry - 1 Year Ago

I started this blog quite a few years ago. I've been great at times, and not so great most times at keeping up with this. My last post was over a year ago. During that time, there was an incredibly difficult thing going on in my heart... I was talking with a new church about an open youth ministry position. It was a long process that started with a Facebook conversation in September, and ended with a move in late December. I was open with my church staff about this and let the students in on it about 6 weeks before we left.

I pretty much stopped blogging at that point. So many things were going on in our lives. I'm going to publish a 2-part post. The first part (this one), covers some things from...well... a year ago. I will soon be posting a follow-up blog called "Starting a New Journey In Ministry - 1 Year Later."

13 months ago, with a really heavy heart, I read this to the church.

Crossroads Family,

Sarah and I strive to be obedient to God and his calling on our lives in every way possible.  Coming to Marshall in 2007 so I could attend ETBU was a life-changing step of frightening obedience. The next unexpected step of obedience was embracing God’s call for us to serve the youth and families here at Crossroads. Each one of these steps was a radical departure from our original plans, but was exactly the steps God had planned for us.

As most of you know by now, Sarah and I have been called to Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ennis TX to serve him as youth minister. We want you to know that we love you. We love Crossroads. We love this community. We really found our identity as a family and as servants of God here. We consider you both our friends and our family.

There is never a good time make a transition in ministry, but we are incredibly confident that this is God’s time for us. We will miss you. We are sad to leave our lives here, but we confident that God has incredible plans for our family, Crossroads, the ReFuel Youth Group, and Tabernacle Baptist Church. Our last Sunday will be December 15th. Our last Wednesday night will be December 18th. We look forward to many laughs, tears, and memories as we finish strong in these next few weeks.

Thank you for being our friends. Thank you for being our family. Thank you for allowing us to serve you and your children. We are so thankful for your love and support throughout the years. It is clear that God has blessed Crossroads and will continue to do so.
We listed our house with a realtor, spent about a month packing, and moved to our new home of Ennis, TX.  Officially, I am the Student Pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ennis, TX. Unofficially, I am also the Media Pastor, designing most of our graphics for... well... everything and maintaining the church website. I also kind of oversee some of our communication policies. 

I've been here a year now. Its been a long year, but a good year. I'll let you know more about it in my next post.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Some of my recent graphic design work

Alright.... Here's the deal. I am horrible at posting regularly... But what I'm not horrible at, because its part of what I do in my job, is Church Graphic Design. For a while, most of my posts may just be graphic design related... we'll see:

Our church is kicking off a new family-ministry initiative called "Faith At Home." It is a re-branding of Lifepointe church's Home Pointe Center.

Here's two newer themed logos for our youth group: Creatively called New Youth Group Logo

And, out of the first, this postcard was birthed to promote our Night Camp:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Youth Band :: Vol. 3 - LIVE!

I'm pretty proud of our youth band and what we've accomplished in the past year.  Its crazy to believe that they started playing together only a year ago.  I looked back, our first tryout date was February 2011.  This is what we looked like then:

They were actually quite good.  2 things helped then...We were playing a strictly G-C-D-C song, and my brother in law, Tim, was on the acoustic keeping them all together.  There was also not much pressure. They didn't know I was recording and there was nobody else in the room.

We quickly began to add pieces to our group.  We have a rotating group of vocalists and bassists.  We have a totally student led band now.  There are only a handfull of weeks that they don't lead.  They have built up quite a repertoire of songs (big word, right?) and can learn almost any song in a week or two.

This week, we tried something new.  Using inspiration from the David Crowder Band's b-wack twin, we tried using 2 percussionists.

On the video, you'll get to hear an old favorite, "How He Loves," and their first time to use "Like a Lion."  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lonnie Potis Truck Driver of Fun - Rules Video

I really like making videos (obviously).  Sunday night one of our awesome Youth Volunteers, Tyler Riley, came up with a great idea for a video.  He had a character called Lonnie Potts that he uses at camps and such.  We decided that we would make a rules video together.  In the middle of the video, we decided to change it to Lonnie Potis (pronounced Potee).  I thought I'd share it :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Have the Best Wife in the World

Thats right...I said it.

I have been married to the most amazing woman I've ever known for almost 8 years. Its hard to believe!

Here we are at our rehearsal dinner, almost 8 years ago...

Look at all that hair I had...  If you would have told me that marrying this girl was going to be the best decision that I ever made, I would have probably believed you.  I wouldn't have thought that it was going to be extremely hard though.  We've skipped through great times together, and trudged through hard life together.  We've walked through purity battles, life changes, relocations, and kids... 2 awesome kids..., thinning hair, widening waistlines, increasing wrinkles, all while trying to follow God.  She is the most wise woman I've ever known.  She ALWAYS has the right answer.  She loves me and our children like nobody else.  She keeps my head pointed mostly in the right direction, and brings it back to reality when I need her to.  God got it right when he made her, and I was lucky enough to be the recipient of that awesomeness!

Here we are 2 months ago

Its been a crazy journey, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Sarah Stapleton, Happy Valentines Day.  I love you :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Camp :: One Week Relationships

Ok, I know what you were probably thinking.  During camps, teenagers from all over the state or country get together.  Being teenagers, hormones rage and love and happiness fill the air...until friday...Well, that's not what this post is about.

A few weeks ago I was reading about building relationships.  A great point was made:

"A unique one-week event is worth 6 months of relationship building for leaders and students."

What that means, is week-long (or weekend) trips are incredibly important to the continued success of your youth ministry.  It means that the people you take to camp as leaders should serve a long-term role in your ministry.  

This year, I'm going to put into practice something I heard Doug Fields talk about doing during his camps.  He would give each one of his leaders $15 or $20 for the week with a simple job... to sit down each day with a student for 10-15 minutes, buy them a drink or snack, and just hang out with them.  I think its a great way to use some resources.

How do you help foster relationships during camps and weekend events?

Friday, February 10, 2012

ReFuel Spring/Summer Calendar

Today I released our ReFuel tentative calendar for the Spring and Summer.  Of course, it is subject to change, but I had to get something out about summer dates.

I've learned over the past few years that if I don't communicate far enough in advance, any event will suffer...especially in the summer.  I took this calendar and posted it all over facebook.  On my wall, on our ReFuel page and on our church's wall, as well as our church website.

What methods do you use to communicate to your parents?