Tuesday, June 12, 2007

StonePoint Podcast

We're podcasting now. We still have some gliches we're working through. We're trying to get it down to 1mb per minute. Got any suggestions? We're recording at 16bit 44100hz.
Here's the feed to subscribe with iTunes http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=257351589 Or you can download it through our website at http://www.stonepointchurch.com/podcasts/podcasts.php.

Monday, June 04, 2007

More About This Past Weekend!

Tadd Grandstaff has a great post about StonePoint on his blog here. Thanks for the shout out! We have a great team of staff and volunteers that works hard every weekend!
Tadd is probably one of the most well travelled church planters. He's visited more church plants than anyone I know. Tadd saying what he did makes me proud of my staff and volunteers! They're awesome!
Tadd also posted some pics of StonePoint here.



There are some pics of the Baby Shower here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"I'm Jacked!"

Today was an awesome day:
  1. I got to take my first Sunday off since we launched! Man I needed it.
  2. Tadd Grandstaff knocked it out of the park today. It was great having him and his staff with us.
  3. StonePoint threw a "Baby Shower" for Tadd's church (Pine Ridge). I couldn't be more proud of our people. I'm sure Tadd will be posting some pics soon.
  4. It was great to give back to another new church what was done to us!
  5. Our band rocks! Today they did "Meant to Live" by Switchfoot and we opened with "Times Like These" by the Foo Fighters.
  6. I'm taking three Sundays off this summer.

By the way, every church planter should ask a church to throw a Baby Shower for them. StonePoint was given two showers and they totally provided for our nursery and preschool ministries. All you have to do is register at Target or Wal-Mart like you would for a normal Baby Shower. Go here and buy Pine Ridge a gift from their registry! (It looks like they didn't receive much, that's because not everything was marked off the registry.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ed Young Video Blog

If you haven't seen it yet, you need to check out Ed Young's Video Blog. And before you go thinking it's your typical, creative, high energy, Ed Young alliterating video check it out.
It's raw, unplugged and authentic.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Restaffing

After I restructured I restaffed around our structure. My staff looks like this:

Executive Assistant: someone to take some miscellaneous projects off me. She also takes care of everything "Front of House." Someone to call and say "will you do this?" Her name is Lori and she's doing an awesome job! She was baptized in December and is sold out on this vision for StonePoint. She's part time and paid like a coordinator.

Office Manager: this coordinator takes care of "Back Stage" items. Christa has been with us from the beginning. She started out as a launch team member and joined our staff. Another person who just gets the vision!

Worship Coordinator: we've moved away from having a Worship Pastor and onto a Coordinator. Jon takes care of everything "On Stage." We have a phenomenal band that leads us in worship every weekend. We figured we would play to our strengths and let the band lead and have someone take care of everything on stage. Essentially, everything in our worhsip theater belongs to Jon.

Elementary Coordinator: from the beginning we've had Josh who has led our Elementary kids. This guy loves kids and kids love his theater! It could be a long time before we hire a full time staff member for our kids. This guy is doing great!

Preschool Coordinator: Betsy was one of my students when I did Youth Ministry. Just the other day we were talking and she said the best decision she ever made was to come to work at StonePoint. Makes me proud. She's doing great. She's a college student who works her butt off and has yet to turn in a receipt for the preschool ministry. She doesn't get paid much so we make sure that she gets lots of home cooked meals!

There are four staff levels at StonePoint:
Volunteer: unpaid staff member
Coordinator: paid volunteer. Paid because we want to hold them to a higher level of accountability and they have a different level of decision making. Expected 10-15 hours a week.
Part Time: it's just that, part time work and part time pay. Expected 15-30 hours a week.
Full Time: 40-60 hours a week

Currently we have on average 40 volunteer positions a weekend. We have 5 coordinators (although many of them give way more than 15 hours) and one full timer. One of our next moves is to move some of our coordinators to part time. I've found that we are getting just as much done through many people instead of having fewer people do more. Plus it helps the budget.

Restructuring

I'm a big believer that some sort of change precedes growth. Not all change leads to growth, but some sort of change must take place for growth to happen. We've recently restructured in order to position ourselves for growth through the summer and fall.

When we started, we were "task based." Essentially, what needs to be done and get somebody to do it. Well, that sort of structure won't sustain growth. So we've recently restructured around two functions: 1) The Weekend Service and 2) Small Groups.

Within the weekend service we have three categories: A) On Stage B) Back Stage C) Front of House.

Within Small Groups we have two categories: A) Home Teams B) Community Groups.

That's IT!

If you're looking for a great way to map out a structure, thoughts or ideas there is a free software called Mindomo. You can save it and create multiple mindmaps.

Billboards

We've got a great opportunity to get a billboard. Anybody have any experience wtih them. I'm interested in finding out.

No Kids Allowed

We've gone to a new policy of not allowing kids into our adult worship service.

We have two goals for kids:
1) They love God and
2) They love coming to church.

We want every kid to learn about God's love and what it means to have a relationship with Him. We also want every kid to love coming to church. This is based on Matthew 19:14: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Our adult worship service is a hindrance to kids and we're not drawing kids to Christ.

Most adults, who have attended church as a kid, thought the church was boring and were forced to go. Even now, there are churches where kids won't go because they think it is boring.

We've taken seriously the compliments of parents and kids that we have an awesome kids ministry. We get compliments every weekend. Because of the great comments we experience, we realize we do a disservice to kids by allowing them into the adult worship service. If we allow them in, they won't learn to love God and won't learn to love the church.

We recognize that we're a church for anyone, but not for everyone. If people want to go to some other church where they can take their kids in the service, we encourage it. Let some other church bore their kids, we're not!

I've found that its Christians who want to take their kids in the service, the unchurched just want to know that we have a secure ministry and if they are needed they can be reached during the service. So we approach people on those two levels. We try to help the unchurched gain confidence in us and we try to help Christians realize their obligation to not hinder their kids worship. That's why its called kid's worship and adult worship.

New Website

I'm digging our new website. We've been using O2Graphic Design for some time now for our marketing and graphics. Karen and Chris are great! They're still putting the final touches on the site.

New Partners

I'm blown a way by what God is doing and has already done at StonePoint. We've experienced great growth since we launched. We're almost a year old and a number of people have come to Christ.
We've already partnered with New Community Church and are partnering with Tadd Grandstaff and Pine Ridge Church. Tadd and his staff are coming in and we're going to throw them a baby shower for their children's ministry. We are grateful to two churches for doing this for us. We didn't have to buy a thing for our children's minstry because of it! We're 9 months old and still have diapers from the gifts they bought us. We're excited to partner and do this for another new church!
Check out their gift registry and buy Pine Ridge a gift!

My Delayed Thoughts On National New Church

I enjoyed the conference but more than anything else got to hang out with some guys. I think it was the first time we all got to hang out together, all at the same time. We laughed our tails off! Tony McCollum, Bob Franquiz, Tadd Grandstaff & Gary Lamb, you guys rock!
I also got to hang with a guy I grew up with. He launched New Community Church and is doing awesome. It was great to spend some time with him and his staff.
By the way, the conference wasn't bad either.

New Office

We finally got an office. I've been in virtual office mode for a while and it was time for us to get an office. We moved in May 1st. It's great. I still hang around the coffee shops to get out in the community. I shared yesterday with StonePointers that we've set up a central command so we can do everything we can to prevent people from going to hell from Coweta County!

It's Been A While...

...Since I've posted so I'm going to do a number of brief posts.

Joost!

Thanks to Tony Morgan for the Joost Invite. I've never met Tony, but saw his post on Joost and thought I'd see if I could get an invite and he did. So to continue the giving, I gave Tony McCollum one and will give away three more if you send me an email at swhitakerATstonepointchurch.com.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Worship Leader Magazine

StonePoint was recently featured in Worship Leader Magazine. Kent Morris did an article on us and how our approach to portable church in a theater. It's a great article and has seven tips on being portable and working with a theater (see page 70.)

We enjoy a great relationship with our movie theater. We are coming to the end of a one year contract and are looking to go to a month to month contract. The local management has told me personally, "We want you guys to stay." We want to stay but we are keeping our options open as God continues to grow His church. From my understanding, only a small percentage of theater churches run over 500 people (not including multi-site churches.)

By the way, if you're looking for equipment Kent Morris equips churches of all sizes. The guy is phenomenal! Drop me an email if you're wanting to contact him.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Our Logo Goes Permanent!


One of our families was celebrating the 18th Birthday of their son, Zach (Happy Birthday Zach!), and for his birthday Zach wanted a tattoo. So he got this one!

Then I found out that his dad, Jeff, got this one! That's our logo!

This family is freakin awesome! They're one of those families that make you glad you start a church. We baptized Lori (mom & wife) back in December along with her daughter Ashley! Lori also joined our staff and has been doing an awesome job! God is doing a great work in their lives!