Roll Tide: 10 things I learned about leadership from College Football

Be aware of “Yes” men, generally they are losers. – Bear Bryant.

Well I know this may sound crazy especially for you down in the south but I have never watched a full college football game in my life. I wasn’t feeling good and didn’t have anything else to do so I decided to sit down and watch “The” University of Alabama vs. Penn St. The more I watched the more I cared who won. The more I tweeted that I was pulling for the Tide the more I was assaulted by Auburn fans. The more I was assaulted by Auburn fans the more I cared about the Tide winning. I am a die-hard Yankee fan so I understand a good rivalry. I think I may start watching college football more.

Here are some of the lessons I learned

1. If you don’t care about the outcome of the game. No one will love you or hate you. You’ll just be irrelevant to the conversation
2. Leaders make decisions even if they aren’t popular
3. A good defense make a good offense great.
4. Bear Bryant was a big deal and a great coach and not a cartoon character like I thought.
5. If the other team takes it to you in the opening drive bear down and do what you do with confidence.
6. Knowing who your enemy is makes you more focused and more effective.
7. When you care about a team it makes the game matter more
8. When you understand the strategy of the game you love the game more.
9. When you understand the history of the game each game means more.
10. God created the Tide (Day 3 Gen. 1:9-13) before he created Eagles (Day 5 Gen. 1:20-23)

Roll Tide Roll


Guest Post: Announcing Nashville Illuminate

(Here is a guest post from my friend Kenny Conely with news about his Illuminate conference.)

With two Illuminate Conferences under my belt, one thing is sure… Illuminate is like no other conference. At both Austin (2010) and Birmingham (2011) I heard the same thing over and over.





That’s what kidmin volunteers from Texas, Alabama and Georgia all had to say about their Illuminate experience. So, the only logical thing to do is more events, right? That’s what I thought too.

On Saturday, February 18th, 2012… Illuminate comes to the great city of Nashville, TN! Details are still coming together (like speakers and breakouts) but we do have a handful of great communicators already lined up.

  • Jim Wideman (General Sessions and Leader Q & A)
  • Jonathan Cliff
  • Amy Fenton Lee
  • I’ll be there too… plus a few others
So, if you live within a 2-4 hour radius of Nashville, TN, make plans to attend the only event bringing some of the most influential voices in kidmin to the local arena to equip volunteers. It’s one of the best investments you could make in your volunteer team. At the early bird price, you can afford to bring them all!

For more information about Illuminate, check out For more information about the Nashville event, visit

Conferences I’ll be attending: Group Kidmin Conference.

In a few short weeks there will be hundreds of kidmin leaders descending on Chicago home of the thick nasty pizza. I am really starting to get excited about heading out to connect with some old friends as well as meet a bunch of new people who share my passion for kids and youth.

Why this conference is different. – A little over a year ago, Group flew 10 kids pastors from around the country  out to Colorado to give talk about what they love, hate, and don’t really care about when it comes to a kidmin conference. It was a time of brainstorming ideas to make Group’s conference different. We talked about what speakers we want to hear from what breakouts would pack the most punch. I have never heard of people wanting to start a conference inviting the people who will attend and ask them what kind of conference do you want?

What can you expect – Group was clear about a few things that I think could potentially make this conference very different from most.

– Affinity groups – You can sign up to hang with a small group of other kidmin leaders who have some of the same things in common with you. Some of the groups will be , large church, small church, multisite, traditional church, spouse of a kidmin etc… In these groups you have a leader facilitating a discussion that will hopefully help you process some of the stuff you are taking in. It’s also their hope that the conversation from these groups continue beyond the conference.

– No green room – All the speakers at the conference will be out and about and you will be able stop them and ask questions about their talk their ministry or even hear a bit about their story.

– No Venders – For me this one I could take or leave I don’t really visit venders at a conference I do all that online. I do know that some people go to conference and going to see what is out there is a huge selling point others they feel like they are trapped in a kidmin infomercial.

I really like the affinity group idea and will be leading one for Large churches. If you are going and are from a large church let me know I would love to connect before the conference if possible.  I also like the idea of no green room maybe when I have my TV station and 4 jets my opinion will change. The vender thing I can take or leave. All in all it has lots of potential for relationship and I really like that.

Who is putting this thing on? – Group publishing. Christine Yount Jones is no stranger to next generation ministry she has been a vital part of everything Group does for years now. She is a wonderful person with a hear of gold. When I met Chris Jones for the first time I was so impressed she really loves what she does and she really cares about the work that youth and kids people do. Everyone at Group that I have met have gone out of their way to be the biggest support they can be for the work the church does.

I am going to be there and I hope you will as well. Time is running out. September 23 is the last day to register, but don’t wait do it now!

My pirate face.

Well for the last 4 years or so now Kenny and I have had a special level of closeness I don’t share with most bloggers. Kenny and I started I started our blogs 2 weeks apart from each other. We have both been married to our wives the same length of time. His oldest boy and my middle boy were born months apart.

Well we have  something to add to the list. The only two kidmin bloggers to have bell’s palsy with in weeks of each other. Things on my blog have been a bit slow as of late because for the past 6-8 weeks I have been very sick without being sure why. A week ago I had a huge cluster of symptoms hit me all at once, all of them were neurological and many of them were possibly very serious. I sat in the ER for 6 hours took some blood work. I found out two days later that I have Lyme’s Disease. (Bell’s Palsy is one of the symptoms of Lyme’s) It’s actually the symptom that help me know that I have Lyme’s. I have been ordered to bed rest for a week and out of work for two. Just wanted to keep all of you in the loop, and if you would pray that this thing does not linger and I can get back to being myself  sooner than later. I would be forever grateful.

So Kenny I thought I would see your pirate face and raise you one.

Happy Anniversary My Love.

13 years ago today my lovely wife and I were married. Unbelievable how fast it goes. Three kids later and I still remember the butterflies I felt when I first shook her hand. I still get those feelings when I see her walk through the door after a few hours of conquest at Target.

If you have been married for any amount of time life will hand you your fair share of good, bad and ugly anniversaries. Our first two anniversaries were unique in that they were spent at other weddings. For our tenth we went to Paris with our best friends. Many of our other anniversaries have been spent in less dramatic fashion over a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Our third anniversary was the day after 9/11 which was by far the most sobering I remember eating dinner at our table crying and feeling guilty we still had each other after so many had lost their mate the day before. Then there is this year I have been sick for a while and now at home recovering from Lyme’s disease there is something about a disease that comes from ticks that saps the romance from the air.

The one thing that has not changed in all those years and all those circumstances is my love and commitment to the woman who fills my life with joy and our house with peace. She is more than beautiful to me she is everything to me. In the past few weeks I haven’t been able to do much and in the last few days I’ve had to be in bedrest she has taken care of me and our kids. It’s humbling and honoring to have someone  serve  you in that way especially on your anniversary. It’s in that vulnerability that your love has a chance to deepen when you know everything and see everything about your spouse and love them still that’s when falling in love moves from a feeling to a reality.

Happy Anniversary babe, you mean the world to me.