Lots of Resumes, Process Underway

We have began aggressively advertising the Youth Pastor opening at CCF for the last few weeks. Personal friends, members of CCF, connections (locally and nationally), and the internet (church staffing resources) have helped generate us lots of resumes already! A few look really good.

In case you are curious and want to weigh in or participate, here is how the hiring process works. The Board finalized it just last night. We are assembling a Search Team in the next 2 weeks. It will be made up of Pastors, a few youth leaders, a few parents and a few youth. The search team will look at the resumes that seem to fit us, interact with candidates, conduct interviews and decide on who they want to recommend as CCF's next Youth Pastor. After they have made a selection, the Executive Board will meet the candidate, conduct a final interview and make the hire. Our Goal is to make a selection by the end of February. If the Lord directs our steps faster, then we will go with Him. If it takes longer, we will wait on Him. But, it is important to set goals. Please be praying with us about the process, our youth and the person that God will call to join us here at CCF!

If you or anyone you know (that meet the criteria) want to be on the search team, email me in the next few days at noahkaye@capitalchristian.org.

If you know of any good candidates, have them send their resume to noahkaye@capitalchristian.org.


Fresh Vision...Next entry coming soon

I want to write. I really want to write! Writing has become quite sacred for me. In many ways, a spiritual discipline. I wanted to write today about our PURPOSE as a church in 2008 and beyond. I want to dream more. I want time to reflect and do some thinking. So, what's stopping me? The demand! The clock! The meetings! The task list! I've got too much on my plate to manage right NOW, that I cannot possible think too much about LATER! One of my friends in ministry privately (but lovingly) dealt with me last week about my earlier post entitled "Pastors Report". He said it screamed one thing...you do too much!

So I ask you...will you pray with me? Will you pray with me that I might continue to say no to more and say yes more often to the things that I really need to be using my energy for. I am getting better. I promise you I am better than I was. But, it is certainly a continuous journey. In 2008, I want to really work at "Only doing what only I can do!" God has called me to Lead this church and Pastor it's people. All this other stuff I do can go to............wherever, whoever!

Anyway, I will be posting more about vision real soon. Keep checking back. I am also looking to solicit some helping spreading the word about my blog. I will explain more later.

This has been a typical crazy busy Monday with loads of meetings and such. Executive Board Meeting tonight. Pray for the Board here at CCF as you think of it. We can always use it!


Progressive Dinner

For the second year in a row my family did a Christmas progressive Dinner together. It was today! One thing about my family that is really cool and HIGHLY unusual...Mom & Dad had 5 kids. All 5 are married and all 5 live within 15 miles of Mom and Dad. That is the unusual part! I am thankful for my family. I am thankful that this evening, we all shared in a privilege many people never get in a lifetime...all kids together in one house...or in the case of our Progressive Dinner...all kids together in 5 different houses (in 1 night). Cool Stuff! Our family has issues just like any other family, but all in all, we are a dynamite family with lots to be thankful for. My prayer is that we will find ways to be an example and blessing to other families.

Warning: As number of babies increase, volume in the house increases as well.

Packed House, Great Party

Friday today, so my day off. Was on Daddy duty. Grammy helped as always. Well, I wanted to be sure to report that I went to the emissions inspection station again...this time with the right vehicle. Smile.

Just got home from the church Christmas Party! It was a great night. About 200 people came out tonight (record attendance for a CCF Christmas Party). If you were there, it was good to see you! I tried to spread the word about this blog a bit tonight as I mingled with folks. Many people I spoke to have never read it. I would love for more people to begin reading it. I believe that it has the potential to be a meaningful resource. Can you help me spread the word?

Highlight of the night had to have been Ike leading the 12 days of Christmas as we all lined the Worship Center and sang it together. Good stuff. ...And Davis hung all night...a late for the little man.


World Class Athletes in Our Small Group

We just had another GREAT Small Group tonight. We love our Small Group. We want to see it grow more in 2008 and we have some cool ideas. We are finishing up a video series called Secrets of the Vine. Are you in a CCF Small Group? If not, you will be in 2008...if my prayers are answered!

OK, so our Small Group has World Class Athletes in it:

First....I have been meaning to brag on Sioux-z Gary. She and her husband Matt are in our Small Group and are World Champion/ World Class powerlifters. Check out this video of Sioux-z in Austria just last month. She is amazing.

Sioux-z Powerlifting Video

Second...there is Henry. Every Small Group recently has included a game of darts after the closing prayer. Here is Henry throwing a MEAN DART tonight. What a machine he is!

Jump on in!

Are you ready to take a leap of faith? Are you ready to jump on in...to ministry at CCF? From now on, you will find ways to connect from my blog to ministry opportunities available at CCF. Just click away, make your selection and make the contact. When we all pitch in...you better look out for what is going to happen! CLICK HERE for the latest ministry opportunities. The list will be growing!

Attended a Conference...for FREE

Let me tell you what I did not know about my day today when I woke up...

I did not know that I would be attending a conference!!

I had a 7:30am breakfast meeting with a friend and local church planter, Ben Rainey. I ended up spending the whole morning "in a conference/training seminar!" He recently was equipped with a load of tools from a church planters conference he attended. He just shared LOTS of it with me this morning. I learned about:

  • How to monitor the traffic on our church website
  • The value of a dynamic website (instead of static)
  • How to monitor the traffic on my blog
  • How to make a short video for my messages...really easy...and FREE
  • How to rip clips/chapters of DVD's properly
  • How to get free stock photos and videos (that I used to pay for, btw)
  • How to send beautiful mass emails to our church about upcoming events (and then track if they get read)
  • The value that working off of 1 computer would offer me.
  • How to walk...
  • How to breathe...

OK, maybe not that bad, but I feel like I learned a year's worth of church-assisting technology in 1 morning. Thanks, Ben!

FYI, CCF provides monthly financial support to Severn River Church under Ben's Leadership. They are a church plant in Severna Park/Arnold. Pray for them.

Fresh Vision, Part 3 (Our Purpose)

What kind of church do I want to attend? What kind of church do I want to lead?

Short answer: One that is Jesus Christ-centered & Biblically-focused! What is your answer?

How would I know that a church is being Christ-centered and Bible-focused?

Short answer: It is living out what Christ and the Bible teach and model. What is your answer?

What do Christ and the Bible teach and model?

Short answer: Love God, Love People, Make Disciples. What is your answer?

What happened when people in the Bible and under Christ’s leading loved God, loved people and made disciples?

Short Answer: People were changed, the church grew and God was glorified (which is his number one goal by the way)!

I have been called to full time Christian Service. I love and believe in the local church…so much that I have committed my life to it. Right now, I happen to be at Capital Christian Fellowship in Lanham, MD. If I was in China, I would feel the same passion that the call of Christ for His church must be lived out.

My heart’s PURPOSE for CCF is that we:

Love God & Love People! That is our purpose!

A few questions immediately come to mind:

What does it look like to love God?

What does it look like to love people?

How do we do it? How do we accomplish our purpose?

Where does it happen?

Short answer: The way that Christ and the Bible teach us to and the way that the early church accomplished it (effectively I might add). We accomplish our purpose through Large Group Gatherings and Small Group Gatherings!

That said, we need to unpack what LARGE GROUP GATHERING means and what SMALL GROUP GATHEING means. In order for us to buy the vision, we need to know what they each accomplish, how they align with scripture, how we do them most effectively, how they impact how we “do church”, how we measure their success, and on, and on, and on…

We will get there. Soon I will be posting more about vision. Specifically about Large Groups and Small Groups and how they promote our PURPOSE as a church.

Feel free to post comments or email ideas. I would find tremendous value in hearing from you. If you are a part of the CCF community, you will be urged/invited to engage this dialogue as a church community very soon! Again, I am writing my messages for the first of the year here. Thanks for reading in for the sneak peak.


Fresh Vision, Part 2 (Simple Church Book Review)

One of the most influential books that I read this year was entitled "Simple Church" by Thom Rainer & Eric Geiger. Of the many books I read this year, it will have greatest impact for implementation in ministry. It was just on time for me. I was urged to read it by Dennis Gingerich, Lead Pastor of CCF in Florida (this church is Mennonite and big...it's like us on steroids). Anyway, it was one of these books that I just had to do a book review on when I was done. Did this months ago, (pre-blogging) but now I need to assess how it will enter into my message series at the start of 2008. Title for that series later...may ask you for ideas...

So, here is a report of what I found most helpful in this book. Enjoy:


Simple works! People respond to simple! Jesus Knew it and He still knows it!

Apple knows simple! A simple little apple with a bite out of it on the front of any product speaks with a loud voice. Whatever the device is, if it has a bit apple on the front, you can bet it is SIMPLE to use and very functional.

Google knows simple! Google offers practically nothing on the on a page that can find you practically anything in the known world. One click, no clutter, and changed the world of computers as we know it.

Graphic designers know simple, Papa Johns’ knows simple, interior designers know simple, marketing gurus know simple…VIBRANT & GROWING Churches know simple!

If anyone know simple- It’s Jesus. He stepped into a complicated and cluttered religious scene. There were hundreds of laws and do’s and don’ts and Jesus shows up and gives Matt. 22:37-40, the Greatest Commandment; Love the Lord and Love your neighbor!. Jesus then said that ALL the law is summed up with this love!

…It was also Jesus who said “My yoke is easy, my Burden is light

…It was also Jesus who SIMPLY summarized our mission as a church for us. We need no meetings or committees to figure out what the church should be up to. Jesus went ahead and figured all that out for us when he concluded Matthew’s gospel with the words… “Go into the world, make disciples, baptize them and teach them to obey me.” That is your mission!

  • Love God
  • Love Others
  • Make Disciples (which I would suggest IS loving God and others)

More thoughts on the book:

Simple church leaders are designers of opportunities for spiritual growth. While complex church leaders are programmers running ministry programs. Only God is the producer of growth. But like the Apostle Paul, simple church developers are expert builders (I Cor. 3:10) who have skillfully designed an environment where life change can occur.

To have a simple church, you must design a simple discipleship process. The process must be clear. It must move people toward spiritual maturity. It must be integrated fully into your church and you must remove the clutter from around it.

Comparing 2 random churches for the purpose of illustration:

First Church:

  • Around for 40 years, great reputation, known for annual Christmas program, excellent staff.
  • Church has not had any crisis, but has just been at a standstill for 5 years
  • Has many documents, brochure, booklets, mission statements, purpose statements, vision statements, strategy statement…all different from the other…and all LONG
  • Each ministry even has their own vision & mission….
  • After extensive reading, we are very unsure of the focus at First Church.
  • Lead Pastor is excited about “all the great things” happening and doesn’t want to throw cold water on staff, but feels disjointed and that everyone is going a different direction.
  • Pastors struggle to articulate vision and can barely decide how it’s lived out.
  • After interviewing church leaders about what the focus of their church is, they get a myriad of answers… none of which match the brochures read before the visit.
  • If First Church isn’t sure of their “What” then their “How” is not even on the radar screen!
  • If the purpose is hazy, the process for making the purpose happen cannot even enter the picture.
  • First Church pushes at least 8 major program in just 7 days
  • The calendar is the main topic of staff meetings
  • They always look for All Star, very gifted staff…they are known for this.
  • Each staff member is superb at building their area of hire, however they are not focused, unified and promoting ONE vision.
  • Announcements: LOTS! All with a “this will change your life, if you come” tone and great passion from Pastor (infomercial without a 1-800 number)
  • Lots of busyness, lots of activity, just does not fit into any big picture, because there is no big picture!

Second Church:

  • Not well known, no renown staff members
  • Been around 20 years and grown a lot
  • Similar number of Newsletters, Brochures. Quality & Graphic design similar…
  • One major difference emerges ... there is only 1 statement on everything… Just One.
  • There is one overarching theme
  • Cross Church is about “Loving God, Loving People & Serving the World” …Simple
  • After interviewing the Pastor at Cross Church, they find out that it is all set up that way on purpose!
  • After interviewing key leaders at Cross Church, it was discovered that they all eat, breath and sleep the purpose… It is in the DNA-Love God, others and serve world.
  • Announcements at First Church: 1) After church, there is a guest reception for first-time guests, 2) There is a new members’ class next week for those interested in joining, 3) For those ready to try a Small Group---- Go to the Small Group booth in the hallway today.
  • Lots of focus, clarity, simplicity.

Final summarizing thoughts about the book:

Book Definition of a SIMLPE CHURCH: A simple church is a congregation designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of Spiritual Growth.

An extensive research project was launched with the goal of seeing if there was a relationship between being simple and being effective. General Finding, in simple language: churches that are vibrant and growing are simple!

Expanded Definition after research: The leadership and the church are clear about the process (clarity) and are committed to executing it. The process flows logically (movement) and is implemented in all areas of the church (alignment). The church abandons everything that is not in the process (focus).

Change of Plans...Need to Write

Here's the deal. I am going to post a lot today. You have been appropriately warned. Again, lots of this stuff is going to turn into upcoming messages.

I had planned to work on Masters Work today, but I have too much floating around in my head about Vision and ministry at the church that I cannot seem to disconnect. Hence, I just made an executive decision about my day (maybe I should have run it by some people and got their permission first...be good Noah).

I need to do some thinking, reading and writing today. I need to get some stuff in my head out and organized. Then, I will feel way better! I will have to pick another day to write papers. I have already been pounding at it (church-related stuff) since 6am, so who am I kidding. This is a work day, not a school day.

Will be writing more today. The first of the year is coming fast and I have a lot to think through before then.

By the way, writing is becoming increasingly sacred for me! More on that later.

Pastors Report

Last night I talked to my Great Uncle in Georgia. While they would love to know what is going on in our life, they are quite disconnected. No internet, no computer and no idea what a blog is. While talking to him, I thought "hey, i guess I could print and mail it to him." Isn't there a place where you can mail things...like a post office or something, smile. (I predict that mailing things...other than large objects...will one day be a think of the past.)

Anyhow, every year I prepare a summary of the year and submit it to the members of the church. We call it a Pastors Report. It tells a lot about how I spend my time and what I do. Some of you may find it boring to read. No offense taken, trust me! Others of you may find it interesting to see where I focus my energy. Below is a shorter edition of my pastors report for 2007 that I recently distributed to the church. Happy reading...or not!

What I Do…Basically:

1. Faithfulness to Spiritual Disciplines
2. Caring for/shepherding people
3. Primary Communicator/Preaching
4. Lead Vision Casting/Goal Development/Strategic Planning
5. Lead Pastoral Team (Staff Meetings, development, etc.)
6. Plan Sunday Services
7. Provide care and support for each Staff Member
8. Maintain Personnel Policies
9. Shared preparation and leadership for Executive Board Meetings
10. Teach Discovery 101 (new members class)
11. Leadership support for many ministries of the church
12. Counseling
13. New Visitor Follow-up
14. Welcome New Members
15. Baptize New Believers
16. Foster church growth
17. Maintain church attendance records and numbers
18. Maintain Church Calendar
19. Maintain Preaching Calendar/Schedule
20. Speaking Engagements outside of CCF
21. Leadership for Annual Budget Process & Fundraising
22. Lead a Small Group
23. Involvement with the Mennonite Churches of Guyana & other missions
24. Marry, Bury, Dedicate, etc.
25. Special Event Planning
26. Prayer Emails
27. Attend Conferences, Trainings, Seminars, etc.
28. District & Conference Involvement
29. Maintain Local Networking Relationship
30. Maintain Mentor and Counselor Relationships (personal growth)
31. Continuing Education (Masters)
32. Electronic Infrastructure Creation, Organization and Maintenance
33. The Capital (with lots of help)
34. Electronic Road Sign
35. Staff Website Liaison

Ministry Highlights:

  • Salvations/Rededications
  • Baptizing 21 people into the faith!
  • Welcoming 72 new members into the fellowship! (over 100 people completed Discovery 101 in 2007)
  • People Growing and Being Discipled
  • Launch of Small Groups (Pastor Nelson’s Leadership)
  • Continued Growth in people & giving!
  • Ministry to our youth and children!
  • Africa Missions Trip
  • Youth New Orleans Missions Trip

Highlight Statistics:

  • CCF realized a 13% increase in average Sunday attendance in 2007. (averaging 360)
  • CCF experienced a 17.5% increase in general fund giving in 2007! (just under $9,000 a week)
  • CCF Currently has 253 Active Members.

Some stuff I enjoyed doing in 2007:

  • Spent more time at home (I think…ask Tricia)
  • Built and maintained connections with lots of great leaders, mentors and friends in ministry.
  • Started Blogging!
  • Preached 44 messages
  • Married 5 couple
  • Dedicated 8 babies
  • Took my second trip to Guyana
  • Went on a Vision Tour to China
  • Attended the Mennonite Delegate Assembly, San Jose CA

Master’s Degree Progress:

  • Completed Church & Clergy Legal Issues (3 Credits)
  • Completed Specialized Studies in Pastoral Counseling (3 Credits)

(Completing a Masters of Arts in Christian Ministries degree from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary taking classes at an extension campus in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. I am 4 classes and a project away from being done!!)

Fresh Vision, Part 1 (Where to from here?)

Last month, we celebrated 3 years in our new building. Our move to Greenbelt Road brought with it a lot of excitement, energy and growth momentum. If you look at where we came from as a church, and then you look around now, it easy to think "we have arrived." It would be natural to think that THIS is enough! We have experienced such a big portion of blessing, that we should just sit back and baste in it.

But, hold on...pump the brakes!!! Here are a few key serves that have guided us as a church over the years and they speak to our future more than they do our past:

Ephesians 3: 20-21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Habakkuk 1:5 "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

Sometimes I get frustrated because I do not know where to start to share my vision for this marvelous church. The favor of God has been so deeply at work in this congregation, that it is almost impossible to communicate it! And when we try, we certainly will leave out or forget many of the things that He has done to communicate His favor. So, while I love to tell the story...I often feel the Lord say, "move ahead because you aint seen nothing yet"! That's vision! Looking into a bright future and dreaming with God about where HE wants to lead us.

In the next few weeks, I am planning to post a lot about vision for CCF for 2008 and beyond. Much of what I post will become my message series for the first few weeks of the new year (so you are getting a sneak peak). I will title the posts about vision "Fresh Vision, Part whatever". There is a lot inside that I need to get out and I look forward to using my blog to do it. Some of these posts in the weeks ahead will be long. Warning.

Now Hiring!!

Anybody have any ideas for how we can be most effective in the hiring process for finding a new Youth Pastor? Anybody have any ideas of a good candidate? Among many other things, we need a candidate who can effectively reach, relate to and disciple primarily urban African American teens. That is our context, our county and our current kids. They are great kids, but as with any kids, they need to know that their leader can understand them and relate to them.

Do you have any fresh ideas as to where we could advertise the open position?

Send feedback, ideas and possible candidates to noahkaye@capitalchristian.org.

We are also looking to hire a Part Time Worship Leader.

Can you help us spread the word on both of these positions?

What it's all about...part 2

OK, as if yesterday wasn't cool enough (see yesterday's post), I got this incredible email from Tricia this morning. It reminded me that we are BOTH IN "THE MINISTRY!!" In case you are reading this blog and do not know this...my wife Tricia is a first grade school teacher at a local Christian School. Here is a direct quote from Tricia's email this morning.

"No amount of money in the world could have paid me today. My Muslim student came to me after Bible Class today in tears and told me she didn't want to go down there (hell). She doesn't know what God to believe in. I told her that the only God that will get her into heaven is Jesus. She said she wanted to ask Him into her heart but was scared because of her parents. I told her that this is between her and Jesus. She can keep it between them. So, she asked Jesus in her heart right then. I am so happy!"

Is this cool or what!?!? Friends, God is in the business of saving souls and there is nothing more rewarding than partnering with Him in that!

What it's all about

Some Sunday mornings I just don't feel like I am in a groove and don't feel like I am communicating as clearly as I can. However, I am finding an interesting pattern in ministry. The Sundays that I feel like I am off are without fail the ones that the Lord is ON. HE is always on! When you ground out, he hits a home run. At the conclusion of the service today, 3 people indicated that they wanted to make a first time commitment to Christ. After service this morning, I had the privilege to lead a seeker into a first time commitment to Christ. I invited one of our lay leaders (a Lady) to join with me as we led this broken, open-hearted lady into the family of God. It was one of these powerful conversion experiences where you just know that the Holy Spirit is at work. This is what it's all about! Lord, teach us to be faithful as we disciple this and every new believer.