All posts tagged: rich kirkpatrick

Over the past couple years I’ve had quite a shift in my view of the church, family, and how they intersect. I always knew I believed something, I just couldn’t quite express it – although I lived it out. From the beginning I’ve always included my wife. She was by my side as a youth pastor – she helped plan, organize, teach, etc – she filled in the gaps that I naturally had. Then, as a church planter I remember my family always being around. My wife would hang out and talk with people as we tore down & loaded the trailer full of gear. My son would play the drums as we were literally taking them down. My daughter would run around with other kids whose parents were working hard. This was our joy. Some days were harder than others, but it is what energized us and gave us purpose.

Then, I remember a distinct shift. That church & community that was built on families serving and living life together began to settle. We got a building, we opened offices, and we began “normalizing”. Well, I didn’t. I still brought my family early. I still let my son come and hang out at every opportunity. And they still loved it. But somewhere along the way, as a church, we lost what we once had. We had fewer opportunities for families to serve together, and more and more we said without saying, “not welcome”. It was then that I knew things had to change for our family.

Fast forward a few years and we’ve come to realize that we may never experience church in the way that we once did; those were special times.  I still try and include my family when I can, but it’s just not the same. We are blessed to be a part of a church that believes how special and sacred family is. We are doing what we can to show our kids that “church” is more than a weekly gathering – and even that weekly gathering can be a great connecting point for our family to be with other families.

I write all this with these following articles in mind – articles that I’ve read over the past week that kind of prompted this post. A little heartbreaking, but this inside look from a pastor’s wife is so raw and real. Walking with my friend Rich as he and his family have been seeking to follow God’s lead and serve the local church has been interesting to say the least. (by the way, neither has anything to do with the other).

Take a few minutes and read through them. Then think through some questions:

How does your family view “church”? Is it a positive experience? How has the church failed families? What could we do differently to pour into families?

This week and weekend at Rancho Community were insane. Flat out insane.

  • Our school is growing in the middle of a recession.
  • Our first inaugural High School football team is 3-0.
  • I get to help brand this school and it’s teams – we’re having so much fun!
  • Our church has two very healthy campuses and a church plant and I get to help dream of more!
  • I get to oversee the worship teams at Rancho and I’ve watched them grow and develop so much over the past year, and watched our church engage like never before.
  • I get to help develop designs (series art, stage design, spirit wear, etc.), communication tools (facebook, twitter, websites, working with local press, etc.), and growth & organization tools to help Rancho grow.

I also get the opportunity to work with some crazy talented, and humble people, people like (in no particular order):

  • Scott Treadway, our lead pastor. Well, of course I’m going to put him first – he might read this! And anything I say will sound like I’m placating, but this guy’s the real deal – great communicator, great leader. (and sometimes he tweets).
  • Mike Johnson, our school’s superintendent – sounds all important, but he’s really a down-to-earth guy and a great friend.
  • Julianna Morlet, one of our worship leaders – who also happens to be a pretty dang talented blogger too.
  • Jeff Johnson, another one of our worship leaders – the guy who puts it all together.
  • Brian Howley, our Tech Arts Director – the guy who, with his team makes it all happen.
  • Ryan Beaver, one of my best friends who just so happens to be leading things over at our Murrieta Campus. (oh yeah, he doesn’t really tweet, or have a blog… yet.)
  • Chris Stout, another great friend & our Tech support in Murrieta – one of the nicest, hard-working guys I’ve ever met.
  • Marcy Rossi. Her ‘official’ title is ‘Executive Assistant’, but she builds, designs, imagines, and actually follows through. Let’s just say she built the 4D stage. by. her. self.
  • Don Hallworth, our Executive Pastor of Ministries – this guy’s got more wisdom in his pinky than most people do in their entire body.
  • Chad Fergerstrom, another one of our worship leaders – this guy brings order to chaos and makes Murrieta smooth every week.
  • Robert Powell, another worship leader – I’ve made it no secret, my favorite worship leader, of all time. Don’t be afraid of the beard! Seriously, a gifted guy.
  • Casey Riley, IT Director – this guy could probably do anything, and he’s here making things happen all over the place – crazy talented.
  • And some of our amazing worship team members: Travis, Emily, Tyson, Justin, Jules, Brian, Jason, Ashley, Eric, Mikey, Joe, Crystal-Lee, Madison, Andrew.
  • And of of course our tech team (many of whom I’ve yet to get to know!): Darrin, Randy, Michael, Dylan, John L, John J, Steven, Hanyu, Paul, Gary, Lance, Jeff, Adam & Matt.
  • Oh yeah and this weekend we had the illustrious Rich Kirkpatrick on keys in Murrieta!

There’s a lot more people who make our organization go-round, including tons of volunteers who serve faithfully every weekend. This weekend was just a good reminder of what a privilege it is to be a part of something like Rancho.

How was your weekend?


I recently began a new role at Rancho Community Church as Executive Pastor of Worship Arts & Communication. As usual, I like to jump right in and see what’s working and what’s not when it comes to the weekend worship service. One thing that we’re working through right now is answering the question, “What are we doing?”. What are we aiming at, or what do we define as a “win”? From there, we can move into roles & responsibilities, and then figure out how we’re going to reach our goals. If this all sounds really smart, you can blame Rich Kirkpatrick, who gave me a lot of advice in this area.
So last week we opened up this discussion and put a few ideas on the white board, such as:

  • A good balance of elements (timing, transitions, speaking, music, lighting, backgrounds, stage design)
  • Less focus on the elements / more focus on Christ
  • Good communication from the stage / invitations to engage & participate
  • Correct lyrics
  • Good transitions
  • Least amount of distractions as possible (audio, visual, facilities)
  • Church engagement / participation (singing? visual signs of participation?)
  • Band playing the correct music / tempo / charts
  • Tech / band cohesiveness
  • Who actually defines the win? Lead pastor? Me? Feedback cards? Our team?

I’m not sure those bullet points actually answer the question or define the win, but we’re circling closer and closer to the answer. Also, we’re acknowledging that a large part of the “win” is God’s Spirit moving through his church – these are the more practical things – things we can attempt to measure.

So the question is: How have you defined what a “win” looks like at your church worship service?

Last night was a great night. Jen and I joined Rich & Tammy, and Chad & Sarah at Skosh Monahan’s for some great food and a great time of just hanging out and talking life. Before we knew it, it was time to head over to Mariners Church, where we were going to check out Anne Jackson & Shaun Groves.

I’m not really sure how to explain the night. It was raining – which is weird for SoCal. It was cold. The lights were low – people seemed to be talking in hushed voices. There were couches, pillows on the floor, snacks & coffee – very casual. Once people started getting settled the ‘official’ program began.

Shaun sang some really cool stuff – I admit, I’m not really familiar with his stuff, so it was a bit foreign – but that was refreshing. He was playing some kind of open tuning and just sounded really cool. I really liked his version of Amazing Grace – whatever that was.

Daley Hake was doing his thing. Jen thought he had the coolest hair. I must agree.

Anne read from her book & shared some of her stories. Then a video from Compassion. Then Shaun shared about his story a little. It was a refreshing time – very mellow, very touching.

I’m super thankful for the time that me and Jen could just get away and hang out & meet some very cool people. It was great to hang with the Kirkpatrick’s & the Markley’s. It was also great to see the Eller’s (he’s the guy who brought us dinner when we were at SD Children’s Hospital with Macy). We got to meet a bunch of other twitters and bloggers and it was just a great night over all.

Speaking of Steve, he recorded a little video of the night on his new Kodak – awesome! Check it out:

Mad Church Disease Reading and Shaun Groves Concert from keydin on Vimeo.

I got to meet Mike Foster (Deadly Viper) – felt kind of crummy because I totally didn’t put the pieces together – but he was really cool regardless.

I also got to meet Crystal (PinkHairedGirl – she didn’t have pink hair), who I’ve always heard about – now in person, cool.

And, of course, Anne signed her book to me and Jen. Nice.

Here’s some pictures from the evening – I left my good camera in the car, so these are just Treo shots. I took a bunch of pics of the facility because it was insane – and it was their youth building…

So, what did we take away from the night?

  • We’re blessed to know some very cool & genuine people
  • We were challenged by the idea of valuing ‘rest’ (it’s been a lesson we’ve been learning for the past few years)
  • We were encouraged by the message of simplifying life – something we’ve been doing over the past year.
  • We want to do more to give. we want to teach our children the value of giving. we want our lives to be a part of something bigger than McMansions & cars & TV & phones…
  • I made a bunch of new FaceBook friends
  • We’re going to sponsor a child for sure & share together as a family what it means to give and help others.

I want to encourage you to read Mad Church Disease if you are or ever have been burned out. I talk to far too many people who are in the church or in ministry who either are burned out or on their way – I think this might help.

And lastly, here’s a little YouTube of that song that Shaun did called ‘Here I Am’ – and yes it must be from a while ago cuz his hair is really long!

Generosity has been on my heart for the past couple weeks as the Christmas Season quickly approaches. If you missed the past 3 posts go check out Advent Conspiracy, 50,000 Shoes, and the Ukraine Adoption Story.

Today (we’re behind by the way, thanks to my Blog Bottleneck), I’d like to quickly share with you two urgent (which is why I crammed them into the same post) needs – areas of generosity opportunity, which means YOU CAN HELP!

Part 4

First is John over at He’s a relatively new friend to me, even though I’ve seen him all over the web. I think I first met him (online) when I first read about Louie Giglio & Chris Tomlin planting a church in Atlanta. Anyway, he’s got a pretty cool opportunity to meet his birth mother in Korea and he needs help both financially and with prayer. Go read his story today and pray about supporting his trip. We’ll be praying for sure for John.

Sidenote: If you’re not reading his blog and following him on twitter, you’re missing out.

Part 5

Second is Randy Miller, by way of my good (and local) friend, Rich Kirkpatrick. I’ll quote from Rich’s blog:

As I have shared on this blog about my friend Randy Miller, he needs our prayers and support. His band The Myriad has made some great friends with a group called Third Day. Well, Third Day is amazing both as artists and godly, caring men. IF you are in SoCal PLEASE ATTEND THIS CONCERT.  Here is what Third Day sent out on Facebook today.

Third Day is playing a benefit concert for Randy Miller (drummer for The Myriad) and his family. The show will be at Friends Church in Yorba Linda, CA, on Dec. 7. All proceeds will go to the Miller family to help pay for Randy’s medical bills. Tickets go on sale on Nov. 21 at

Unfortunately for us, we’ve got prior plans on the 7th – but if you’re in SoCal, this is such a cool opportunity. Not only do you get to help someone with a great need, but you get to check out one very cool band at the same time. Sounds like a win, win.

Also, don’t forget we’re still trying to get to 50,000 shoes by the end of the year & we’re only at 5,410 – go buy 2 pairs today for only $5.