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We Don't Care About Your Fancy Building

This week I am going to share some quick Drive-Thru Lessons that I have learned from several successful Drive-Thru type restaurants.  I think these lessons can be applied to life, work or ministry. 

Drive-Thru Lesson 1 (of 4)   

One of my favorite Drive-thru or rather Drive-in spots is Sonic Drive-in.  Here is a business who has it all figured out.  Sonic has basically said that we are not going to spend a whole bunch of money on a building, nor spend a bunch of money on personnel costs; instead we will give you a parking space with a screen to push a button to place your order.  What if churches were to take a similar approach?  At we don’t spend a bunch of money on our buildings and we staff very lean; however we provide a quality, consistent and memorable experience.  

It’s important to remember that We Don’t Care about Your Fancy Building or Stained Glass Windows, but rather your product.  I am not saying that we should not invest and spend money in our place of worship; we just need to be wise with our spending.  As the “Church” continues to evolve, I believe people will be more and more turned off by lavish buildings. 

Thoughts from Sonic:

  • The Mint- Tradition started by founder to remind customers that they are worth a mint.
  • The Ad Campaign- Two hilarious and goofy guys in the drive-thru
  • The Product- Consistent, Fresh, Variety and Evolving
  • The Results- 3,300 Stores, Forbes Magazine, 20 years of positive sales growth 

Do you really care about a fancy church building?  Do you appreciate the Sonic concept?  Share your thoughts! 

I think I am going to order a Cranberry Apple Limeade, easy ice, extra cherry!

Married Without a Spouse

Last week I was visiting with a lady who is currently going through a divorce.  As we were talking, I realized that she is in a really difficult situation because she is basically “Married Without a Spouse.”  In other words; she has been separated for about a year pending the finalization of her divorce and is in an awkward limbo.  Here are a few questions that she asks herself, that makes her situation really awkward:

  • How do I encourage couples w/ a struggling marriage?
  • How do I engage in couple, family and marriage conversations?
  • What do I do the weeks that I have my kids and the weeks that I don’t?
  • Do I attend a small group for married couples or singles?
  • Do I feel guilty moving forward with divorce, even with biblical grounds?

These are just a few questions; however the list goes on and on.  There are times in our lives that we just need some closure on a particular situation; to allow God to take us to the next season.  Unfortunately, there are also those times when we have to weather the Winter Storm, as frigid as it may be; in order to reach the Spring.   

Are you “Married Without a Spouse” in other words, are there areas of your life in which you are in an awkward limbo; waiting for the next season?  How do you handle the storms?  Share your thoughts!

It's All About The Numbers (1 of 2)

What I am going to share might not be popular, sexy, or politically correct; however I am going to say it anyway “It’s All About the Numbers.”  Yes, I am referring to the number of people that attend our church and your church each and every weekend.  The reason that “It’s All About the Numbers” is because behind each and every one of those numbers is a name.  About six years ago my family and I were simply some numbers that walked through the doors of and some years later we represent Scott, LaKendria, Wesley and Jayden who’s lives are continuing to be changed.  Many of you have the exact same story or know someone with a story similar to mine; a number that walked through the doors of a church, which now represents a fully engaged partner of a church.  Here are some stats to gnaw on:

  • 195 million non-churched people in America
  • Only China, India and Indonesia have more lost people
  • Each year 3,500 to 4,000 churches close their doors forever
  • Each year only 1,100 to 1,500 new churches are started

On the Swerve blog, Craig is posting a series titled the “Future of the Church.”  In his post today (read it here) he discussed some of the changes churches made to be more “seeker sensitive.”   Although we are making some progress, in my opinion of the nearly 400,000 churches in America, there is far too many that:

  • Assume everyone is a believer when they come to church.
  • Assume everyone knows the language, has a Bible, or even cares about Christ.
  • Are more inward-focused.

Yes, some churches need to change the way they think; however it’s time for us to get off of our politically correct, lazy, comfortable, and scared to say the wrong thing behinds and bring people through our doors.  Remember that every number represents a name!  

When was the last time you invited someone to church?  Is it all about the numbers?  Share your thoughts!

Target Takes Out Wal-Mart!

What are the differences that you notice when you visit a Target, as compared to visiting a Wal-Mart?  The initial difference for me is that Target has somehow received a cute, French like nickname Target “Tar-jay”, while Wal-Mart has to settle for “Wally World.”  It’s obvious that Target is becoming the new Big Daddy of retail.  That’s right; Target is on their way to taking out the former Big Daddy of retail, Mr. Wal-Mart.  I am not sure if that will happen in 10, 15 or 20 years; however I am confident that it’s going to happen.  Right now you are probably saying, “Give me a break, no one can take out Wal-Mart.”  If you don’t believe me ask our old forgotten about friends Mr. TG&Y and Ms. K-Mart.  You might be saying “Who are they,” if you don’t know just ask your parents.  Wal-Mart has even changed their store look and has their employees wearing khaki pants and blue shirts to compete with their rival in the red shirts and khaki pants.   

Target is more than just a cleaner, sleeker, sexier, khaki pants, red shirt, and customer friendly version of Wal-Mart with red phones, to ring an associate to your service.  No No No my friends, research shows that Target’s prices are very competitive to Wal-Mart and are only a couple of cents off on average and many items are actually cheaper.  Target has made a believer out of me.  I’m reminded of Target’s goodness every time I go to particular Wal-Mart’s and have to stand in line for an hour, or perform a self-checkout.  I find myself saying that I will never shop at Wal-Mart again.  Don’t get me wrong, some Wal-Mart stores are better than others; however Target has hit the spot in my world.  It is refreshing to go into a store that is clean, in touch w/ relevant culture and has friendly clerks to check me out.  The sad thing is that those comments used to describe Wal-Mart and Mr. Sam Walton is rolling over in his grave as we speak.   

Does competition cause all industries, including ministries to elevate their game?  Do you prefer Wal-Mart or Target?  Share your Thoughts!

What's My Name? (1 of 3)


I have always been that guy who seems to have difficulty remembering names.  Situations, faces and stories yes; names no.  I have really been convicted and personally challenged to sharpen this area.  It is easy to say “I am bad with names” as opposed to saying “I am going to be intentional about enhancing my ability to remember names.”  There are well over 2,000 people that attend my campus and about 9,000 total, from the other two campuses, in which I was the Associate Campus Pastor.  You throw in my former corrections experience and political involvement; you have a recipe for a bunch of potential names to remember.  I have made a personal commitment to improve in this area and in a short time I am excited about the progress.  Here are just a few strategies that I have learned or re-implemented to remember names. 

  1. Pay attention during the introduction, ask the person to repeat their name, ask them to spell a difficult name and then repeat their name out loud.  When I did political consulting the magic number was 10, politicians needed to hear you name 10 times before they remembered you.
  2. Picture yourself writing the persons name, picture their name across their forehead, picture first and last name together to create chain visualization.
  3. Draw some goofy tie in w/ their name, for instance: There is a couple that I know named Dom and Rosie, I remembered their names by “Rosie Odomel” or a couple named Justin and Katie, I simply remember “JK” or Brittney=Britney Spears, Kraft=Macaroni……  You get the picture!
  4. Write their names several times, make diagrams w/ their names and where they sit in an office or classroom setting.
  5. Don’t be afraid of calling them by name every time even if you are not sure, the attempt is what matters.    

Do you have difficulty remembering names?  Do you have some strategies that really work for you?  Share your thoughts and share your name!

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