Steve Mass – Worship Leader
I’ve been having a lot of theological conversations lately. I wouldn’t consider myself a Bible scholar by any means, so I have a hard time taking a side on some major theological topics. Some recent conversations have been on baptism, salvation, and the Holy Spirit. Really light topics, I know. But talking about these things raised a few questions in my mind.
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Dean Kuest – Glendale Campus Pastor
During Cal’s message this past week, as he asked the question, “What if we could live debt free?” I was hit with all sorts of conviction. The real problem is it is not the first time that I have been hit with the exact same conviction. In truth, it is not the fourth or fifth time I have experienced that same conviction…I’ve been debt free…several times…but then somewhere the discipline wears off and I make some excuse for why something or another is worth the “tiny bit” of debt. Which leads to the rationalization that I already have a “tiny bit” of debt; therefore, what’s the hurt of a little more. I’m sure that I’ll get around to doing something about it at some point in time.
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Jeremy Jernigan – Pastor of Worship Arts
I’m excited to announce that I released my first book this week. The title is Crowdsourcing the Message and it chronicles the way in which we do sermon prep at Central. Instead of expecting our senior pastor to do it all himself we invite more people into the process. As the book tagline says, we are “engaging people in the church for powerful and effective teaching to the church.”
There are three groups of people that may enjoy this:
- Preachers—it doesn’t just have to be senior pastors. Anybody who teaches regularly in the Church can benefit from a team approach like this book discusses.
- Teaching-minded Church attendees—the collaborative preaching approach invites non-staff members of the Church into the preaching development process. If you have a love for what is said during the weekend messages, this could be you.
- Central attendees—even if you wouldn’t consider yourself in groups 1 or 2 you may be interested in this discussion if you have a love for what God is doing through Central. This book offers a unique, behind-the-scenes look at our process.
Check out CrowdsourcingTheMessage.com for more info.
Cal Jernigan – Senior Pastor
Recently a number of our Senior Staff members read together the book Onward by Howard Shultz. It is the story of how Starbucks reinvented itself as a result of the economic crisis that began in early 2008. Business as usual was no longer the usual business. If Starbucks failed to recognize the new realities and modify their approach to their core business, they would find themselves barreling headfirst into disaster. Bold leadership steps, fresh and innovative thinking, and a willingness to embrace and adapt to a “new normal” were all required. If they had responded by deciding to operate just the way they did before the crisis they might no longer be in business. Because they confronted the brutal facts of their operation, and were willing to adapt as necessary, they have emerged far better and stronger than they were in the best days of their past . Onward recounts the journey, the challenges and the decisions that had to be made.
It seems that difficult times can prove to be the best of times if you capitalize on the opportunities that challenging times present. Adversity forces you to evaluate your assumptions, methods, systems and products like you would do at no other time.
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Bri Johns – Gilbert Student Pastor
Ever feel like life is controlling you rather than feeling in control of life? Sometimes I’ve gone to bed thinking, where did that day go? I can barely remember anything significant from it. Life can somehow get swallowed up by unending lists and demands – people, projects, home, family, friends. My phone never stops ringing, or rather text alerting – Why haven’t they thought of away messages for those yet? My smart phone has now become less of a means for keeping up with friends and family, but rather a work device – I can even check work emails from vacation if I want.
At times I’ve felt like I was losing myself because I couldn’t get a grip on both my work and personal life. I was missing out on those real life-giving aspects of living – connecting, exercising, preparing for parenting, relating, reading, developing my spiritual life – all of those experiences that make us who we are – because I didn’t know how to integrate the two. Where in this day and age does work stop and personal life begin? Can they go together?
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Adrian Darsee – Worship Pastor – Glendale | Queen Creek
A few months back I read the book “Untitled” by Blaine Hogan. Blaine is the creative director at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, IL. In his book, Blaine challenges his readers to push the envelope of creativity, not only in the church but also in our everyday life. What I find interesting is that more often than not when someone is asked if they are creative the response is “No”. I see this in my experiences with the creative teams I have worked with. I find that those who are the most creative feel they are not creative at all. However, we all create something everyday. My wife would be someone who says she is not creative. She is one of the most organized people I know. I must say that it takes a large amount of creativity to run our household and lives in the ways she has developed. In fact it’s quite amazing.
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