Now that I have a jr. higher, I have a built-in excuse to hang out at more student ministries events. Wednesday night I dropped Jake off at the “Water Wars”, and decided to get in on the fun.Â What a blast! Nothing better than hanging out with aÂ hundred jr. high students and just having a good time. Of course, as soon as I walked up I was attacked by a dozen students with water guns and buckets. I was drenched before I even got a chance. Our student ministry team is awesome, and I’m glad my kids have such a great group of mentors helping them take steps toward Jesus.
Parents: if your students aren’t involved in student ministries, get them connected!
I’m always reminded in the summer, when it’s 120 degrees outside, that people who volunteer at Palm Valley must really love Jesus (especially those who serve outside). We have nearly 800 volunteers who make PVC happen every week, and we’re not missing a beat during the summer.
Recently the staff gathered and dreamed of fun ways to make sure our volunteers know how much they matter and are appreciated. Here’s some fun things we’re doing this summer…
- Drawings througout the summer for volunteers. Fun prizes like movie tickets, water world passes, gift cards and some other surprises.
- Bought large golf umbrellas (with our logo)Â for all who serve outside, that way they can gain some shade from the sun.
- PowerAde on ice for set-up and tear-down crews.
- Special food and snacks in Volunteer Central and backstage areas.
- We bought a freezer and put it in Volunteer Central. Throughout the summer we’ll be giving away Otter Pops and other treats to all volunteers.
- Fancy scented towelettes for all volunteers to “freshen up” before/after serving.
- All this, and trust me, we’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeves.
Why all this? Because volunteers matter, and they’re a part of helping people meet Jesus and become fully devoted followers of Him. To all volunteers, THANK YOU! You rock, and I’m proud of you for investing your life even when you can fry an egg on the sidewalk
Back from a long, incredible weekend in Atlanta/Canton Georgia, here’s some thoughts…
- It’s always great when Lori gets to travel with me. I love being with her and we always have a blast!
- Heard Craig Groeschel knocked it out of the park at Palm Valley!
- Gary and Deanna Lamb rock, they’re such great friends. It was good just to see them and hang out together.
- Revolution Church Â is rockin’! They’ve experienced huge growth since I was there 2 years ago, amazing. BTW, for everyone who keeps asking: I can vouch that Gary’s not lying about his #’s. They’re real
- I preached extra long, 63 minutes in the second service. Oops. In my defense, they need to put a clock up so I know what time it is!
- Hung out with Hal and Sandy Mayer. Fun couple doing a great job in Tampa Bay (i’m jealous).
- Found a tiny little (and cheap) italian place in Buckhead called “Il Bagio”. If you’re in Atlanta, go find it. Best spaghetti bolognese i’ve ever had.
- Hung out with the Revolution staff Monday and shared some thoughts I had for them. I love how eager their team is to learn and grow.
- Gary’s got a great staff who are deeply committed to the vision of Revolution.
- Had lunch with Steven Gibbs Monday. Steven leads a great church and he’s a solid young leader. I love hanging out with him.
It was a tiring weekend, but I had a blast seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Loved preaching at Revolution and reinforcing the vision Gary has cast there. Ultimately though, I can’t wait to be back at PVC this week to wrap up the OnePrayer series in person!
So this week Lori and I tagged along for our elementary and jr. high summer camps up in the white mountains. All I can say is Wow! Our teams hit a home run and then some. Here’s some thoughts…
- Tonto Rim Camp worked out great, lots of cool stuff (zip line, mud pit, jump rock, etc…)
- My back hurts from sleeping on a crummy bed
- Cool to be big enough to rent out the whole camp for ourselves and do our own programming. Made a huge difference.
- We have awesome kids at Palm Valley Church. I had such a blast just hanging out with them.
- I remembered how hard it is to preach to kids and youth. Took me back to my youth pastorin’ days and it was a blast.
- I love speaking to a couple hundred kids around a campfire!
- Our volunteers were amazing, they kep bringin’ it all week. They made a huge impact on kids lives this week!
- One of my boys spent his whole $20 dollars in 15 minutes at the camp store. So much for “saving for a rainy day”. At least he was generous and bought Icee’s for everyone in the store
- Somehow my 6 year old took over the whole camp and did whatever he wanted. He had more fun than anybody.
- This was one of the most spiritually significant camps I’ve ever been a part of. I was overwhelmed by the depth of decisions young people made this week.
- I’m pumped about the next steps for our ministries to the next generation.
- There are some things we’ll do better next year, but they’re small tweeks. Overall, the whole week blew me away!
- Can’t wait for High School camp in July. If you haven’t signed up, do so now.
I was at camp all week (‘nother post) and am catching up this morning…
- OnePrayer continued with an awesome message by Perry Noble; seriously one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard!
- Video worked awesome. As soon as I heard people laughing at Perry’s jokes and amen’in his points, I knew it was working. This opens up huge ministry doors for PVC.
- The new 16′ x 9′ screen looked incredible.
- The youth leading worship was “off the hook”. They brought such energy, and it brought me to tears hearing our church respond to them.
- GO team students did a great job sharing about their trip; it amazes me the quality of students Darius is developing.
- Filmed a short video for “Style My Ride”. What’s that you ask? Can’t tell you just yet, but it’s going to be awesome!
- Switched to ProPresenter and Mac for worship projection and it worked great.
- I love when I’m not preaching and I can just hang out and pray with people and thank our volunteers!
- KidZoneÂ and Playhouse areÂ thru the roof. Adrienne and her incredible team are knockin’ it out of the park every week. If you have a child who isn’t attending kids ministry, what are you smoking?
- My oldest son is a jr. higher, that makes me feel old.
- It’s hot in Phoenix this time of year!
- People who greet outside in June and July really love Jesus.