All posts tagged: organization

This was a busy weekend for me. Jen was out of town so I had both kiddos, which makes being at church for 10-12 hours on a weekend interesting. Luckily I had some help this weekend with family hanging out with them – nice!

Last weekend I led worship with a killer acoustic band. 6 strings, 12 strings, acoustic bass, keys, and cajon; very nice. I didn’t do a confessional, just cuz of time, but if you are interested in hearing me hack away you can check it out here. (set: Not to Us, Blessed Be Your Name, Everlasting God, Amazing Grace/My Chains).

But this weekend I put my executive hat back on. Saturday night we shuffled some spaces around and created a new nursery room. We had a room slit in half for babies and crawlers, and it was just getting too cramped. So we took an office, cleaned it out and made a nice little nursery.

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Frank Grubbs from World Vision made his yearly visit to LifeChurch this weekend. And I’m excited to say that our church sponsored 31 children! I asked frank what the average statistic was for churches and he said it’s usually around 10%. So we figured we had about 300 adults in church this weekend, so we did about average.

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Here’s something I love to see. This is our Youth Ministry filming their own video to promote an upcoming event. That’s Curtis on the camera – he’s amazing, he can pretty much do anything technical. Brittney is there in the picture too and she is our new Youth Intern – she’s putting this whole thing together.

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Our annual river trip, “Fryathon”, is coming up in a couple weeks so we got a sweet hookup (for the day) to get people in the mood. This thing is sweet!

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Just in case you didn’t see where we parked it. One of our themes for this year is “Break some Rules” – we are well on our way!

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We had to find a home for this thing – it didn’t quite fit in my truck…

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And lastly, I had to do a little pest control. If you are not an animal lover you can check it out.

That was my weekend. How was yours?

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Spam – not the stuff that Hawaiians eat, the stuff that clutters up your inbox and steals your valuable time. It’s a fact of life now. To my surprise, many people I talk to still deal with a lot of it on a daily basis, a LOT of it.

This is a solution that has helped me & I’ve been promising some people that I’d do a post on it for a while, and am just now getting to it. This will kill about 90% of your spam, at least it does for me and people I know who do this. It’s really very simple.

Normp0-9oally anyone who works for an organization uses an @mycompany.com email address which uses something called POP to download messages from a server. Normally you yourself download messages right your your computer into you email application and trust whatever spam filters it has, or you might even have some third party software that you bought to filter spam. The problem is that they usually don’t work well and you still spend precious time sifting through your email.

What if there was a gatekeeper between your computer and the big bad internet? Introduce: Gmail, Google’s free web email application. Gmail has an incredible spam filter that works as that gatekeeper, removing almost all of the spam that would normally steal your time, space, and bandwidth. Here’s some easy (hopefully) steps to make this all work.

First try and imagine what is going on, so you feel comfortable doing this. What’s happening is that Gmail is grabbing emails off your server, filter them, and then holding them safely until you decide to download them (spam free) from your Gmail account. It’s that simple!

  1. Get a Gmail account (don’t worry about finding a perfect username/address – it won’t matter)
  2. Setup Gmail to get mail from your server (I suggest not leaving a copy on your server)
  3. Setup Gmail for POP (so you can download onto your computer’s email application)
    1. You can leave a copy of your mail on Gmail for backup if you’d like (kind of nice)
  4. Setup your email application to download from Gmail (Google has a nice list of apps for you)

That should be all for you to download mail.

Now sending mail is a little trickier. What you’ve got to do is check the settings for your “outgoing server” on your mail application and make sure that it is set to send mail as your “myname@mycompany.com” – usually your email app is setup to send and receive from the same server – what you need to do is receive from Gmail and send as your server’s domain (@mycompany.com).

Once this is all setup right you should receive way less spam, and all your sent emails will still have @yourcompany.com on them.

Another plus to this is that you can login to Gmail from anywhere at anytime and check your email. You can also send email directly from Gmail, as yourname@mycompany.com with a little more setup.

*One known issue that I’ve had is sometimes not getting an email on my mail app immediately when someone sends me something. All you have to do in that case is go to Gmail, click on Settings, then Accounts. It will tell you when the last time Gmail has checked (ex: 10 minutes ago) – then you can simply click on “Check Mail Now” and that email will be brought into Gmail. Go back into your computers app and send/receive – walah! (There have been instances when I’ve checked my setting on Gmail and it’s been like 40 minutes since it has been checked – don’t know why, it seems like Gmail randomly checks your server, but normally it should be automatic).

*Another issue is that sometimes an email from someone new might get stuck in your Gmail spam folder. That’s ok, just find it and mark it “not spam” in Gmail and it will never go there again.

Hope that wasn’t too techy for y’all.

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Access Elevation had a interesting post on their ‘office journey’ as a church plant, saying:

one of my strongest recommendations I can give is to get some offices ASAP

…spend some time finding a place for all the boxes you want to hire and fill to actually work.

I’ve been in church planting for about 12 years now in 2 churches. Neither had offices, until now. We’ve been in our offices for about 3 months now and it’s been quite a change of lifestyle. For example:

  • My wife & kids are used to their dad being around, even though I did a lot of running around and meeting
  • I spent a lot more time out in the community meeting with people, doing lunches, etc.
  • I don’t feel like I get as much ‘work’ done at the office, but I do spend a considerable amount of valuable time with our staff now (maybe that’s my new ‘work’)
  • I get pulled in multiple directions when I am at the office
  • I feel like I’m always cleaning my desk/office!
  • If I can get some marked out ‘alone’ time at the office I can get an amazing amount accomplished

Those are just a couple things that have been awkward in the transition. But what I really want to know, is do you agree with the Elevation guys? I mean their church is kickin’ butt all over NC! How do you feel about offices & office hours? How does this play out in your church?

Your thoughts?

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My friend & local pastor at Impact Church is running a series on his blog all about church management; very relevant to toady’s church. A few months ago I did a little post on our fun with CMS. We’re still stuck in the thick of it – mainly because we don’t have a guy like Woolsey. He’s got a knack for this stuff, so if you’re interested, I suggest you go on over there and check it out. He’s already got a great post up on how they utilize their CMS.

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I spent all day in here, and it’s still not done. But I got pretty far. I got our DV recording deck working again (yay, we can video-cast!). I setup a workstation for pod & video casting and radio editing (you can see it in the far left corner). I got all the preview monitors working right and labeled. Cleaned up a few boxes of miscellaneous cables & tech gear. Re-ran some cables, gaffed ’em down, and just got things as nice and organized as possible. Plus a special surprise for the tech team (picture to follow soon).
Wouldn’t you like to work in this room?