Win Free Online Training for Church Planters

For the past year I worked behind-the-scenes on a great project – training for church planters from the comfort of your own home or office. For years, church planters have had to travel to Church Planter Roundtables around the country (paying for their flight or gas, hotel and conference registration, meals, etc.). Now you can log on to and get the same training for just $79.

This is quality training that I’m proud to be associated with. I know it’s good because I got to watch the videos over and over as we were editing them. I’d encourage all pastors and especially church planters to check this out. I learned a ton from watching them.

For one special person, I’d like to give you a coupon code for a FREE registration. Just tell me how you could benefit from training on in the comment section and I’ll select one of you.

2 Church Planters Roundtables Left This Year

Church Planters Roundtables or (CPRs) rock. I’ve been to a live one and I watch another one nightly as I work with a video editor on the upcoming CPR Online project that ARC will unveil in the new year. For now, you can still catch a CPR on the west and east coasts. Here’s what’s coming up through the end of the year with ARC:


N o v e m b e r   1 2 – 1 3 ,   2 0 0 9

N e w   B e g i n n i n g s   C h r i s t i a n   C e n t e r ,   P o r t l a n d ,   O R

Register Now



N o v e m b e r   1 9 – 2 0 ,   2 0 0 9

E b e n e z e r s   C o f f e e h o u s e ,   W a s h i n g t o n   D C

Register Now

ARC and Church Growth

prayer The other day I wrote about what magazines I had read lately. I mentioned that I wanted to come back and talk about Outreach Magazine. This issue was their 100 Largest and Fastest-Growing Churches in America edition.

There is a great interview in the magazine with pastors Rick Bezet and Chris Hodges – pastors of the fastest growing church in America (’09 & ’08). It’s a great interview and knowing how humble and sincere both pastors are, I thought it gave glory where glory is due – to God.

An interesting thing though that many may not realize is that not only are Rick and Chris (and their churches) ARC churches, they both serve on the board of ARC (Association of Related Churches). Not only that, Rick and Chris’ churches were the first 2 churches that ARC planted 8 years ago when ARC was birthed.

So ARC launched 8 years ago with Church of the Highlands (Chris Hodges) and New Life Church (Rick Bezet) and then fast-forward: Church of the Highlands is the fastest growing church in the US in 2008 and New Life Church is the fastest growing church in 2009.

I point this out because I believe in ARC and think they do a good job planting churches. It’s worth noting that this year’s and last year’s fastest growing churches are both ARC churches. I wrote THIS blog post a while back and mentioned all the great churches that you may not realize are ARC churches. If you didn’t read it, it’s worth checking out. You’d be amazed at how many great churches and pastors you’ve heard of are ARC churches.

Why do I do a blog post on “ARC and Church Growth”? Because as an ARC coach of church planters, I can personally tell you how much I talk about the importance of prayer in leading and growing/strengthening your church. I’ve met with church planters and pastors and begged them to make prayer a priority. I’ve begged them to gather on Saturday to pray for Sunday (like Chris Hodges has always done). I’ve begged pastors to begin an intercessory prayer ministry that prays throughout their morning worship services.

Fortunately, I’ve had the privilege of hearing both Rick and Chris teach on the importance and power of prayer. The very first thing ARC teaches at their CPR’s (Church Planters Roundtable) is that you must “win the war in the spiritual”. As Billy Hornsby says, “Prayer is a non-negotiable”. I heard Chris Hodges once say, “You can’t delegate prayer.”

I write this blog post because every “fastest-growing” list that comes out has a story behind the names on the list. There are some amazing churches listed on this year’s list. I know most of the churches. My word to you is that knowing these leaders, I know they wouldn’t point to a cool technology or church growth fad, but to the power and presence of our Almighty God.

God is using ARC in a mighty way and I’m thrilled to be a small part of it and not only contribute and consult, but I grow and learn all the time by hanging out and talking with the ARC team. Billy Hornsby is a new mentor in my life and I appreciate the investment he’s making in my life.

My encouragement to you is for YOU to get to know the ARC as well. If you’re a future church planter, look into planting through ARC. Contact me and I’ll get you started down the path. If you’re an already existing church, you can join ARC (like Craig Groeschel and and Mark Batterson and National Community Church) and begin to see your missions budget go straight to planting churches here in the United States. I’d be glad to talk with you about how your church can join the ARC and begin actively supporting church planting.

All Glory to God!

10 Days On The Road

Today I leave for 10 days straight. Boy will I miss my family! I fly to South Carolina this afternoon to speak at a worship conference Thursday through Saturday in Spartanburg, SC. I always enjoy this conference because it takes place 15 minutes from where I grew up and so I get to spend some time with my mom and sister. If you’re going to be at First Baptist Spartanburg, please stop by my class and say “hey”.

Then Saturday I fly from South Carolina to Birmingham, AL to join my new friends and team at ARC for a Church Planter Basic Training. From Saturday to Friday I’ll be involved with a week of intense training for church planters. I can’t wait!

Next week I’ll share with you a new project I’m doing with ARC that could involve YOU and your church. I’m pretty excited about it and hope you’ll be too.


Today is my first official work day with ARC (Association of Related Churches). I’m thrilled to begin working with this great, Kingdom-minded organization. My heart is strong for the Big “C” Church, as you know, and I’m pumped about working with a number of churches, church planters and leaders around the world.

What will I be doing? A number of things. My first project is to take their existing CPR (Church Planters Roundtable) – which meets at various churches throughout the country and build an online version of it, so that a potential church planter can stay at the comfort of his home and log in to take the CPR – which is one of the big 3 of the ARC process.

I’ll also be serving as a coach for church planters. Both pre-launch and post-launch, I’ll be helping, supporting, encouraging and challenging church planters as they are on their journey. I’ll also be involved in a number of other smaller projects, events and functions of ARC.

I’ll also start back doing some consulting with churches and organizations on the side, as well as writing and working on a couple of book projects I have on-deck.

Again, I’m honored to join Billy Hornsby and the ARC team and I hope you’ll get to know us. Whether you’re a potential church planter that is interested in planting through ARC or whether you’re an existing church that would like to partner with ARC to plant churches (that covers just about all of you) – I look forward to speaking with you and seeing what we can do together to build the Big “C” Church.

Just to recap: I’m no longer at Bent Tree. I’m beginning on staff with ARC. If you’re not familiar with ARC, read HERE. We’ll be eventually leaving Dallas, TX. This is big news. Please comment/respond and let me know you read this and know what’s going on in my life.

Have You Heard of ARC?

From time to time I’ve referred to the ARC (Association of Related Churches) – a church planting organization that I’ve been working with a lot lately. I just returned from speaking at their BUG Conference. What you may not realize about ARC is all the great churches that partner with them.

What do Craig Groeschel and, Mark Batterson and National Community Church, Chris Hodges and Church of the Highlands (remember they are the fastest growing church in the country), Greg Surratt and Seacoast Church, Jonathan Falwell and Thomas Road Baptist Church, Dino Rizzo and Healing Place Church, Matt Fry and C3 Church, Stovall Weems and Celebration Church and Rick Bezet of New Life Church all have in common? They are all ARC partners and choose to plant churches through the ARC.

I don’t know about you, but that’s an organization worth getting to know. I got to attend the ARC’s annual conference (All Access) back in April – it was awesome and can be seen on Daystar. I spoke at and attended their Bug Conference. I’m attending their CPR (Church Planters’ Roundtable) in September in Colorado Springs. I’m getting to see them real up close and personal and I like what I’m seeing.

I’ll share more about them in the near future, but I just wanted you to get to know them and explore some of their events and opportunities for growth. By the way, if you’re a church planter or about to plant a church: I want to hear from you! Give me a shout. If you’d like to know how your church can get involved and plant churches through ARC: Give me a shout.

Church of the Highlands and BUG Conference Recap

HighlandsAs you know I spoke at the BUG Conference on Monday. I arrived Sunday evening so I could attend Church of the Highland’s 6pm service. With 12 Sunday services across 5 campuses, Church of the Highlands is the fastest growing church in the US.

I visit a lot of churches and have been to all of the “big boys”. I must say, Church of the Highlands and pastor Chris Hodges lived up to the hype. The worship experience truly was a celebration. I (as a former worship pastor) truly appreciated Chris Hodges’ heart for worship and how he led by example and through exhortation to the attendees.

Their music was solid and well done. Their tech (sound, video and lights) was great and reminded me a lot of what we did at Bent Tree. And Chris Hodges is a terrific communicator. I appreciate his spirit, his humor, his liveliness and all around excitement that he brings to the stage.

All this and you’d never know that there was a thunderstorm that knocked all the power out twice! We literally sat in the dark and then when the lights came back on there was no video, no sound, nothing – and God still moved. I still think it was a wonderful experience and can’t wait to go back this coming Sunday night again. I’m going on a church planter assessment with the good folks of ARC on Monday and Tuesday and since I’m flying back to Birmingham Sunday night, I hope to catch their 6pm service again!

The BUG Conference was  a total success. For a first year, I think ARC and specifically, Guy Walker, did an amazing job putting it together. The main sessions were solid and informative. The workshops were all great and well taught. The community and relational side of the conference was great, too.

As you know, I’m at a lot of conferences, but again, there was something special about this one. Maybe it was the topic of social media/social networking and seeing how relevant and educational it was for the attendees. Maybe it was the smoothness of the conference experience and how it seemed they’d done this before. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I wholeheartedly endorse it and encourage you to go if there is another one in the future.

BUG Conference


Monday, July 13th (at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL) I’ll be speaking at the BUG Conference. This is a first of its kind event for you to get hands-on training for how to use social media and social networking in your ministry setting.

Also speaking at BUG are Maurilio Amorim, Shaun King, Jeff Murphy, Lynse Leanne Stevens, Michael Trent and Guy Walker

BUG is put on by ARC (Association of Related Churches)  – an organization that I’m growing to love and appreciate for their Kingdom heart and passion for church planting. I’m, personally, starting to do more and more with ARC and encourage you to check them out.Â

BUG is a day you can learn about church marketing.  BUG is focused on identifying, exploring and developing current trends in marketing.  Come learn how ARC pastors are reaching more people than ever before through LOW COST , high impact VIRAL MARKETING.

Our goal is to educate, enhance, and enable pastors to reach their local community through social media.

I hope you’ll come join me at this new conference. You can register HERE.