Meet Challenges Together, Celebrate With Bacon


I looked across the kitchen and thought, “I’m not sure we’re going to pull this off.”

While on our annual staff retreat, the worship ministry team had the responsibility for cooking breakfast for the rest of staff. We had grandiose plans of preparing 72 eggs, 120 pancakes, 72 biscuits, a variety of fresh fruit, assorted yogurts, prepackaged granola bars, milk, juice, coffee, and (cue the music) 10 lbs of bacon.

We were prepared to knock it out quickly with the retreat center’s oven, stove top, microwaves, and electric griddles. Sounds reasonable, right?

However, when we arrived, there was no oven, there was no stove top, and the microwaves were broken. Our alternative equipment was a Crock Pot, two older electric griddles, and two coffee pots.

So, an hour before breakfast, we started cooking, using every outlet we could find, which worked well for about five minutes, when we threw a breaker.

Quickly, we rearranged the kitchen, borrowed a few cooking items, started cooking bacon in the dining hall, moved the coffee to the meeting room, found the breaker room, reset the breaker, and continued cooking.

We spent the next hour working as a team, taking care of issues as we found them and resetting the breaker from time to time. Right on time, our delicious meal was presented to the rest of the staff. As they enjoyed their meal, I felt a surge of satisfaction and munched a piece of bacon to celebrate.

At the end of the retreat, when we were asked to share our best memory from the retreat, I said that mine was making breakfast with our team. We’re used to overcoming the odds (and the clock) in worship services, but this was a real team building exercise for us, with better results than a professional ropes course.

Working as a team through difficult situations will either tear you apart or bring you closer together. Why not use them (or even create them) to bring you closer together.

Solomon, the wise son of King David, once wrote, Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

My advice to all of us is this:

  • Do hard things together.
  • Create challenges.
  • Work together.
  • Be victorious.
  • Celebrate with bacon

Baptism vs. the Brain-Eating Amoeba


This summer, the campuses of the church where I serve have been emphasizing the importance of baptism. As a result, we’ve seen an overwhelming amount of people respond with a desire to be baptized. However, in order to continue our emphasis at one of our campuses, we had to go to war against a brain eating amoeba.

Recently, the residents of St. Bernard Parish have been undergoing a 60 day chlorine flush in their water system because of a dangerous amoeba found in the water. As you can probably imagine, this created a huge problem for campus pastor Patrick Eagan. How could he immerse people in water when there could possibly be a poisonous amoebe in the water? This problem was heightened by the fact that parish officials had warned St. Bernard residents not to let the water go up into their noses.

So, Pastor Patrick had to make a decision. He had scheduled baptisms for Sunday. He didn’t want to prevent people from taking their next step with Jesus, so, knowing he would have the full support of our church, he purchased 102 gallons of Kentwood water to fill his baptistery, plus a few more for coffee and public consumption.

That same Saturday evening in St. Bernard, a man came to the service and said, “I’m tired of being a Jesus Fan. I’m ready to be a Jesus Follower. Can I be baptized tonight?” He was baptized that very day in pure Kentwood water.

I’m proud to be a part of a church where creative solutions can be found to help people take the next step in their faith development.