I Became a Church Planter (1 of 2)

The following is 1 of 2 interviews I recently did with two pastors who are embarking on a new journey -- planting churches. I asked both of them a few questions about their story in each of these interviews.
Zak White currently serves on staff at The Connection Church in Kyle, TX as Executive Pastor. He won't be there much longer because he is stepping out to plant a church. This is part of his story.
Me: Tell us where you are serving and what you are currently doing?
Zak: I currently serve on staff at
The Connection Church as Executive Pastor. I'll be on staff for one more week and then we are officially on the field. Right now I am training our creative teams at TCC to continue our creative work when I leave.
Me: Church planting is what some would call "risky business." What was the 'tipping point' for you to take the plunge into starting a new church?
Zak: After months of wrestling through this decision I was about ready to throw in the towel. Then I heard Bil Cornelius speak at a small church planters retreat about prayer and the absence of it in the lives of pastors. At the time, my prayer life was pathetic at best and i felt extremely convicted. When I returned home I woke up an hour early everyday for three weeks and prayed asking God to clearly tell me what to do. Long story short, God answered my prayers in an amazing way. My prayer life now consists of several hours per week, so God also used the process to change my life.

Me: What do you think you'll miss most about your current role\ministry?
Zak: Our lead pastor, Cole Phillips, family pastor, Nic Burleson, and the Austin area.

Me: Tell us about the new church you are creating? What will it be like?
Zak: We are all about loving God, loving people and starting a spiritual revolution in one life at a time. That is what defines us. If it doesn't make Jesus famous then we aren't doing it. We might look a little like The Connection Church in terms of some of our strategy because that's where I learned all I know about church planting.

Before even choosing a name I felt God saying that I needed to gather a HUGE prayer team first. Within a week we launched The Prayer Team. Then, to choose a church name, we are utilizing our second website, Name This Church.com. (Editor's note: I cannot believe both of these domains were available. Amazing.) I think those sites and the strategies behind them make us unique. Check them out and share with us please!

Me: So when do you launch?
Zak: Feb 14th 2010. I know...its Valentines Day. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Me: What does the road look like prior to your launch?
Zak: Our strategy on paper is about 20 pages, so I will give it to you SHORT: Lots of block parties (we have a huge custom BBQ pit being built on a trailer which I call "Grill-Zilla") lots of ministry and lots of meeting people in any way we possibly can.

Me: What's the most valuable thing you've learned so far in this particular leg of your journey?
Zak: I have learned that as a planter you need a seriously committed prayer team, a slamming group of partner churches and a Kingdom mindset. I also believe that you need to know your strengths and work to them.

Me: How can we support you in this new endeavor?
Zak: Sign up for our prayer team. Updates are sent out on the 8th, 18th, and 28th of each month.
Me: Anything else you'd like to say?
Zak: Terrace Crawford shall be on staff with me one day. ;)

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Manic Monday Minute

Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Can't wait to show you the little music video our staff put together this past week.
  • We shot the vid in about 30 minutes... but its funny and promotes our next series, "You Gotta Have Faith," that starts this weekend.
  • Verrry busy weekend.
  • Helped raise nearly $1,000 towards our mission goal this weekend. We still have a little ways to go if you'd like to help put us over the top. Contact me if you'd like to contribute.
  • We had a baptism service on Sunday afternoon. The service went great and we were enjoying a picnic lunch that was interrupted by a BIG scare...
  • A 2 year old in our church family had a seizure and stopped breathing. Fortunately one of our friends - who is a nurse - was able to perform CPR and literally saved his life! We saw God work a miracle before our eyes. He is back at home and seems to be doing well now.
  • Speaking of miracles, I need one with my car. My mechanic called me earlier this evening and told me that it is officially dead. It needs a new motor or I need a new car. Urrgh.
  • Michael Jackson's death came as a shock to me. I knew he was in poor health but never expected his passing.
  • Been watching the news coverage, lots of tribute videos, and listening to my favorite MJ songs all weekend long.
  • I'm craving seafood right now. Shrimp specifically.
  • Perhaps its because a friend just invited me to a party where he'll be serving seafood?
  • Transformers was a great movie; however, 2.5 hours long with 2.0 hours of action is a little much for me. A person needs a mental break!
  • Had a great time lunching with the staff of Waters Edge today. Loved hearing their story.
  • This guy, who is their youth pastor, has a great review of Transformers.
  • Just joined a blog tour this past week. I'll let you know whose book I'll be reviewing later this week on twitter.
  • I had some wings earlier tonight with one of my students. I love me some chicken wings.
  • Discovered that one of the ladies in my church was friends with my mentor's wife in the midwest years ago. More and more I think we are all connected in this world. It truly is small.
  • Its unanimous. Everyone loves the new hair-do.
  • Someone twittered that they added 20 IQ points to me now after seeing this pic. Woah.
  • Looking forward to sharing some interviews I've done recently here on the blog.
  • I'm currently contemplating 3 different things that could help youth workers everywhere. Still very early in the brainstorming stages.
  • Looking forward to conferences this fall but Kem Meyer made me want to register for Innovate after checking this post.
  • My very good friend, ChurchyDave, is on a journey cross-country and will be blogging his adventure this week. He departs from Los Angeles, CA tomorrow and will arrive back in Va Beach, VA this weekend. Wish I could have made the trip with him.
  • Gearing up to speak 6 different messages to students next week. Say a prayer!
  • You can now donate to my ministry on this site - click the donate button in the right sidebar.
  • I've fallen off the soda-wagon. I plan to cut them out... seriously I do.
  • I just got the p90x program. I'm going to give it a shot. It may kill me.
  • Crawford out!

  • Labels:

    Since my last post...

    Here’s some highlights since my last post (1.52PM, EST - 06.22.2009)
  • Made 3 visits to Starbucks.
  • Filled my car up with gas twice.
  • Cut myself shaving 3 times.
  • Made a little music video with the Crossroads staff.
  • Viewed three movies: Land of the Lost, Transformers and Yes Man (for the second time).
  • 392 emails readdeletedsent
  • Twittered 46 times.
  • Slept 54.3 hours.
  • Attempted to make fried chicken. Yes, I said "attempted."
  • Attended a wedding.
  • Interviewed 2 innovative leaders.
  • Helped raise $930+ more dollars towards our mission goal.
  • Listened to a TON of Michael Jackson's songs. Sad he is gone.
  • Started a new myspace page for our student ministry.
  • Got my hair did. I'm sportin a new style.
  • Scheduled 2 future meetings.
  • Got terrible news from my mechanic. My car is dead. I need a new motor or a new car.
  • Had lunch with the staff of Waters Edge Church and toured their new facility

  • Coming up this week here on the blog I will share:

  • An interview with 2 pastors leaving their positions to plant new churches
  • A personal meme where you'll find out more about who I am
  • A little music video our staff made
  • Another sweet resource giveaway
  • More cool stuff

  • Labels:

    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Here goes ... u ready?
  • This last weekend was CRAZY, mostly because of my car dying, but more on that later.
  • We continued our Grow Up! series on Sunday...
  • Chuck spoke on Growing Healthy Families. He used a clip from the Pursuit of Happyness.
  • We served Krispy Kreme doughnuts to everyone in attendance. Hope you didn't miss it!
  • Saddened by news of a friend who just got in MAJOR trouble with the law. Praying for mercy. It doesn't look good.
  • Was excited to see Year One until I read Planet Wisdom's review. Bummer.
  • Plan to see Transformers this week!
  • Threw a theme party last night for students in middle & high school. It was a super hero theme party. I dressed up too!
  • I'm trying to raise $3000 in 3 weeks. I'm up to $880. I desperately need your help. If you want to donate or support the cause, contact me.
  • Excited about an interview I did last night with two leaders who are embarking on a new journey. I hope to post it here this week.
  • My car died on Friday. A mechanic friend has NO CLUE whats wrong with it. Please say some prayers. I need my car! And I miss my car...
  • Had a great time hanging out Kairos cafe over the weekend. Two of our church members covered songs by Jewel, U2, Jennifer Knapp and Matchbox Twenty. It was awesome.
  • I miss living near the beach. My last house was literally one block from the shore! Oh, how I took that for granted. At least I'm not too far now.
  • You can now donate to my ministry on this site - click the donate button in the right sidebar.
  • I signed into one of my old email accounts and the greeting said "Hello, Isabell!" // suddenly have an identity-theft-victim sick feeling.
  • Glad I found out the reason for the rise in green avatars on twitter. I thought the world had gone mad!
  • I'm convinced I live in a bit of a bubble. I'm doing some thinking on this....
  • Selling a couple of things on eBay. I'm not very good at it. I actually have a couple of friends who quit their fulltime jobs to sell on eBay. I think I need to get some tips from them. If you, o dear reader, are good at it -- email me with your secret.
  • Praying for 30 pastors.
  • Mailing out some resources tomorrow to youth workers. Oh yea.
  • My relationship with #squarespace may be on the rocks. I'm not getting much love back. :=)
  • Got a couple of ad spaces available on my site. If you want to advertise, email me.
  • Reconnecting with some old friends this week. I'm stoked.
  • About to complete Strength Finders for second time. It's been a while since the first...
  • Just made another big ask. This time for a friend. Hope they say YES!
  • Headed into a meeting - peace out.

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    TGI Flip Flop Day

    Today was our first FAST FOOD FRIDAY of the summer. I sent out a message about an hour before arriving at ChickFilA and got some peeps to show up. We had a grand ole' time...

    Afterwards we hit up Tropical Smoothie Cafe -- as its National Flip Flop Day -- which means, FREE smoothies for everyone! ((if you are wearing flip flops, of course)). Thank Goodness its Flip Flop Day.

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    Help Me Raise $3000 in 3 Weeks!

    I blogged recently about how my faith was on the rise. God has certainly increased my faith through several things he has done in recent weeks that I truly consider miracles.  

    In the post I mentioned,  I also stated that I was anticipating another miracle. I want to take students to Charleston this summer to minister in urban communities and we need money to make it happen. I set a goal of $3000 that I needed to raise in 3 weeks (to even consider going) and we are falling short of that goal.  The situation doesn't look good -- but I'm hopeful.  I've been able to help raise $880 so far but we've got a distance to go to make it a reality.   Would you consider helping us in this endeavor?  I'm certainly more about giving than receiving on this blog but I feel led to share the need with this community and trust God for the results.  Any support - whether by prayer or financial is appreciated.

    If you'd like to give a tax deductible contribution, email me for the details.

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    Site Shout: Ten Thousand Doors

    I heard a commercial on mainstream radio the other day that captured my attention. Basically asking "what if the church... were the church?"  Upon arriving at my house I immediately logged on to find out more. Check out the fresh new campaign and movement of the United Methodist Church.

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    Social Media Saved My Life!

    Ok, not really... but it definitely was a tremendous asset to me yesterday. My car broke down on the interstate just after I traveled through a tunnel.  I pulled off on the shoulder while still on the bridge and soon discovered that a hose had busted.  I immediately took action and tweeted about it!  If you don't follow me on twitter take a look at what you missed in 2 hours time yesterday.

    Soon after I tweeted about the car being disabled a friend of mine called me to see if I needed help.  Actually, I started getting replies on Facebook and on twitter, not to mention texts to my phone.  This one instance could prove the power of social media... and certainly made my day a little easier yesterday.

    Here is a little timeline I made up for fun...

    (click on graphics to enlarge)

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    Fan Favorites

    What is the best blog post you've read in the last 30 days?   Share in the comments the links to these posts so we can all be inspired and challenged.

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Whew! This past week has been almost a complete blur.
  • It didn't even feel like Monday today.
  • Worked all day Friday and rested a little on Friday evening.
  • Hung out in Williamsburg for a bit on Friday night.
  • Spoke at a Prayer Breakfast on Saturday morning.
  • Had great services this past weekend at Crossroads.
  • ... and it wasn't just because I was the speaker.
  • I love honoring graduates -- and that was our focus.
  • But I did enjoy speaking.
  • We continued our Grow Up! series...
  • I spoke on Salvation - what I've learned since leaving high school.
  • We've been showing clips from movies in this series. I used one from Iron Man. Great movie.
  • A big congratulations to the class of 2009.
  • Really hope to see the movie Up! sometime this week.
  • I saw Land of the Lost on Sunday evening. It was pretty good.
  • I love Will Ferrell's humor.
  • I'm trying to raise $3000 in 3 weeks. I'm up to $800. If you want to donate or support the cause, contact me.
  • I've lined up a few more interviews with some innovative leaders that I'll be sharing here soon. Stay tuned!
  • Ok, I secured my Facebook URL. You can get me @ http://www.facebook.com/terracecrawford now
  • Have you secured yours?
  • Had a dream the other night that I met Bill Cosby. We had a long talk about life. It was kinda nice shooting the breeze with him.
  • #squarespace.
  • You can now donate to my ministry on this site - click the donate button in the right sidebar.
  • We hosted a concert tonight with Jerry Kemper. Really cool musician based in Charlotte that is mentoring teens in music & leadership. Had a great time.
  • Oh spam mail. You really tire me.
  • Just made a big ask over the weekend. Hope God works a miracle!
  • Peace out!
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    Dead. Line.

    Love this creative vid, turning post-its into pixels.

    ... and I'm playing the dead.line game this week. This is perhaps my busiest week yet @ Crossroads. Coordinating graduate ceremony, reception, 2 speaking engagements (including sermon in our weekend services), meetings and more. I'm not complaining.

    RSS Subscribers: There is video here.
    (ht to Churchy Media for vid)

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    10 Bad Work Habits

    Leaders who work in the church or non-profit environment should be some of the hardest working people around. Why? We work for a cause! Hopefully what we do is helping others. We are striving to make a difference. If this is the case why do people who work in our organizations slip into poor work habits? Sam Rainer just posted a top ten list of bad work habits.

    1. Procrastination. It’s harmful at any level, but the effects of this bad habit are compounded at higher leadership levels. If a ministry leader or senior pastor consistently procrastinates, then everyone is forced into a last minute fiasco. If top leaders don’t plan ahead, then by default no one plans ahead.

    2. Sloppy communication. My second biggest pet peeve is poor grammar and careless writing. Write in complete sentences. Proof the worship guide. Check press releases for time and location errors. Stop splitting infinitives. Fill in the email subject line. And don’t chew gum [what's wrong with that?] or crunch ice in a meeting, which is my biggest pet peeve.

    3. Confusing informal with disrespectful. I doubt most pastors would prefer to be called “The Most Holy Reverend Doctor” [yes, you don't have to introduce me as pastor or youth pastor to your friends]. In my experience, most church staff are on a first name basis. In church work, a direct superior may also be a best friend, but authority and submission must remain intact.

    4. Taking advantage of leeway. For me, one of the most refreshing parts of being called into ministry from the corporate world was flexible hours. I work longer, more intense hours at the church, but I don’t have to be at my desk for specific times anymore. I’ve seen many workaholic pastors and many lazy pastors, with very few in between. Neither extreme is admirable, but lazy pastors are especially harmful to Kingdom work.

    5. Refusing to mingle. It’s a sad truth, but you can work at a church and never be among the people.

    6. Consistently running late or going over. A person who does not honor time parameters erodes trust. Occasional offenses are forgivable. A pattern of time abuse shows disrespect for others.

    7. Staying in a silo. Most midsize to large churches have departments, programs, and separate ministries. Clear distinctions of job responsibilities accompany these silos. The mission killer is usually not the silo. The mission killer is the “it’s not my job” attitude.

    8. Acting as the resident contrarian. “Yes” men and women are annoying. People who always believe their ideas are better are doubly annoying.

    9. Electronically badmouthing the church. A blog is tantamount to speaking on a street corner with a megaphone. Not too many people would air dirty laundry that way. An even more cowardly action is blog-bashing a church.

    10. Politicking. Church work requires smoothing edges and rubbing shoulders with the right people. Consistent politicking, however, makes people question a person’s motivation.

    (ht to Michael Bayne)

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    Simply Youth Ministry just kicked off their 40|40|40 Sale - which means they are offering the best youth ministry resources at 40% off regular price! The only catch is that the sale only lasts for 40 hours! Hurry, go check it out!

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Had great services this past weekend at Crossroads.
  • This Grow Up! series has been a good one...
  • Weather was great this weekend. Its been pretty hot...
  • I cannot believe its June already. Get the Christmas lights down out of the attic.
  • iPhone price going down. Consideration.
  • A big congratulations to the class of 2009.
  • Really hope to see the movie Up! sometime this week. I've heard rave reviews.
  • Check out my friend's review at YouthMinistry.com
  • I'm trying to raise $3000 in 3 weeks. I'm up to $330. If you want to donate or support the cause, contact me.
  • I have so many friends whose marriages are in turmoil. Its really sad.
  • I'm a little nervous about North Korea. Just sayin...
  • Did you happen to catch the Bret Michaels mishap during the Tonys last night? I was floored this incident happened. You'd think the stage hands would watch out for the performers... but accidents. do. happen.
  • Been thinking more and more about social media lately as it relates to my life. Really thought this article was thought provoking.
  • I miss Marko already.
  • Calling all graphics designers...get your talent on.
  • So Danny Gokey let all us American Idol fans know that Disney is creating an American Idol experience in the park (via Twitter)
  • Had some wings for dinner tonight. Its a favorite of mine. :=)
  • Have you entered my giveaway this week to win FREE resources?
  • You can now donate to my ministry on this site - click the donate button in the right sidebar.
  • Speaking this week in our weekend services. Say a prayer!
  • Have you heard about Story? I'm so ready to be inspired!
  • Got a few exciting interviews lined up with some amazing leaders. Can't wait to share here.
  • I honestly think I'll never see the bottom of my clothes hamper. It always seems to be full.
  • Off to do laundry. again.
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    Awkward Family Photos

    Just ran across this website, Awkward Family Photos, that is just hilarious.  Yea, talk about awkward.

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    Win Free Resources from TerraceCrawford.com

    Its high time I give away more resources on this blog.  What can I say?  Its what I love to do. This contest is particularly targeted to youth workers but open to everyone.  It's real simple too.  Just leave a comment with your name and where you are located (city\state or territory only) and you'll be entered to win!  (Hurry, contest closes Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 3:00PM est.)

    What I'm giving away:  I am giving away a free video curriculum from LifeWay Resources, valued at $159.95!  Additionally, I'll throw in a book of your choice:  Tribes by Seth GodinKilling Cockroaches by Tony Morgan; or Communicating for Change by Andy Stanley.

    Increase your prize:  Just for you folks on twitter I'll also throw in a Starbucks gift card if you tweet about this contest and leave the URL to your status\update in the comments as proof. (Just add this to your comment with your name & location).  

    Recommendation of Tweet: @terracecrawford is giving away a plethora of resources! enter here http://tinyurl.com/ph98mb for your chance to win big! #thisisawesome

    Good luck!  Winner to be chosen at random (via Random.org) sometime after 3:00PM EST. on Wednesday, June 10th.  One winner to be chosen by yours truly.

    ... and the WINNER is...
    Sara Eden Williams - Williamson, NY // @saraeden

    Winner chosen 06.10.09 // Contest Closed

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    Awkward Questions About Jesus

    I love kids... but I think I love their questions more.

    RSS Subscribers: There is video here.

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Had great services this past weekend at Crossroads.
  • The lead pastor was on vacation. Our worship pastor, Russ, preached a great message on Forgiveness.
  • I was supposed to lead in prayer right before Russ came on. I totally missed my cue and heard the worship leader say "this is the part where TC comes to pray [crickets]." I sprinted (well, actually, I've never sprinted anywhere) and to the stage and immediately said "uh... this is the part where TC misses his cue... and thanks God that the message is on forgiveness." Ha.
  • Thankfully the crowd broke out in laughter and all was good.
  • Had a great cookout yesterday at Crossroads. Love the grillin action!
  • A new wings place is in town. I'm checking it out tomorrow!
  • Twitter has been blowing up my phone. Had to make some adjustments.
  • Pray for my stepfather, Jimmie. He works for GM and they just filed bankruptcy. He is one year from retirement.
  • Meeting up with this guy later this week. Can't wait to hang with him.
  • Putting together some concerts for our church.
  • Watched the MTV Movie Awards last night. In someone else's words "they were literally a train wreck but I couldn't help but watch!" A mixture of the most random, entertaining, chaotic and yes, even obscene at times show.
  • Looking forward to the new Tonight Show with Conan later today. Loved this video promo.
  • Got 3 hours sleep last night. I was wired and couldn't go to sleep!
  • Had crazy nightmares for 3 hours, waking up around 6am because our youth ministry band had a gig at a local private school this morning.
  • Mailing out some resources to youth workers tomorrow! I love blessing leaders - it is one thing that makes me tick.
  • You can now donate to my ministry on this site.
  • Speaking of provision, God is totally growing my faith. Read about how He even provided a much needed washer\dryer last week.
  • Then, the fun didn't stop there. He sent 2 ADT security salesmen my way to help install them just when I needed a hand. They literally knocked at my door and I said "I'm right in the middle of installing a washer\dryer." They replied "can we help!?"
  • I'm itching to giveaway something on the blog this week. Keep watching & reading - you could win!
  • Crawford out!
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