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Tuesday, May 29, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Here's some of what's going on in my world at the moment:

  • We just got my Grandma moved into a new place. I hope she likes it
  • Senior Transition stuff - tons of things happening with this....hoping we can keep them plugged into our church and not drop off the face of the planet like graduating seniors often do
  • Freshman Transition stuff - hope they get connected and jump into high school ministry
  • I really need to get my Class B license so I can drive the church van
  • Summer Events - even though I don't feel like we have a ton going on....I feel like we have a ton going on
  • My wireless card on my computer is acting up
  • I feel like I have a hard time establishing a weekly "routine". When people ask me what a typical day is like for me I have a hard time answering
  • We need about 6 or 7 new adult leaders in high school ministry by July 8th....I'm not quite sure how that's going to happen but I'm trying to trust God with it (and work on my end as well)
  • I mowed my lawn yesterday for the first time in forever....I can now drive into my garage without embarrassment
  • I always spell "embarrass" wrong which bothers me because I was a spelling bee champion in elementary school and pride myself on knowing how to spell things
  • That last sentence really makes me sound like a massive nerd
  • I'm tired of bullets


3 Things Bugging Me at the Moment

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 by Mike Lovato

  1. I tried a new coffee place by my house today called Java Bliss. Lucas had said it's pretty good. I disagree.
  2. Our new-to-us lawn mower has some sort of leak in the gas tank which means I can't mow the lawn. I'm embarrassed every time I pull in my driveway.
  3. The inside door handle on my car broke. This means I have to now roll down my window and open the door from the outside every time I park and get out of the car.


Seminary Graduation

Monday, May 21, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Well, I graduated from seminary on Friday night. The ceremony turned out to be a lot of fun. I think I was somewhat expecting a real formal, stuffy, high church feeling event. But it was fun. It took just under an hour and the crowd was really excited for everyone.

There were two moments that were really cool. First, walking into the room. The church was pretty much packed out and as we walked in everyone was cheering and yelling like it was a sporting event. It was a sweet feeling. Second, they had the faculty come down and pray for the students individually and in small groups. It was a cool moment as we finished this journey of education, but got started on the journey of ministry. Oh, there's also a third moment that was cool. The seminary president, Jeff Iorg, challenged us to make sure we don't isolate ourselves in a "spiritual" world of ministry and neglect the task of personally being involved with people who don't know Jesus and personally sharing about Jesus with them. This is something I've been challenged with lately and am excited to see what happens.

Another cool thing was they gave Nicole a "Pushing Spouse Through" certificate. Here's her picture with the president. She'll love that I'm posting it on here.

I'm done!


New Feed

by Mike Lovato

For those of you who read this blog through a feed reader, I've switched to a FeedBurner feed. I'd appreciate your changing the feed to this one:

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, you should use a feed reader instead of clicking on the 50 blogs you read every day. It will save you time and make you happy.

I personally prefer Google Reader.


6 Years

Saturday, May 19, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Today is mine and Nicole's six year anniversary. She's an amazing woman and I can definitely say I love her more and more as each year goes by! Here's how we spent our day:

  • Slept in crazy late
  • Had lunch at Panera Bread
  • Saw Shrek the Third
  • Looked at model homes (one of my favorite things to do)
  • Went to Target to try and spend a gift card I've had since January (no luck)
  • Had dinner at On the Border with gift cards from family
  • Tonight we rented the Shrek the Third PS2 game and Nicole's playing that right now. We also rented Season 1 of The Office and will probably watch it all in one sitting (it's only a little over 2 hours).
In other news, I graduated seminary last night, but that deserves a separate post that will be coming later.


Developing Leaders

Thursday, May 17, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Craig Groeschel has a great post on developing leaders today. The first line caught my attention:

"Some people are trying to develop leaders, but they are really gathering followers."

Check out the rest of the post here.



Tuesday, May 15, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I don't usually ask for feedback, but I'm wondering - what are some of the podcasts you listen to? Here's some stuff that's currently in my iTunes:

Ragamuffin Soulcast - podcast for worship leaders in the local church. I'm not a worship leader, but I enjoy listening.
NewSpring Church - Perry Noble's sermons out of Anderson, SC.
Catalyst Podcast - podcast by the good folks that put on the Catalyst Conference. Always quality, always good stuff.
Simply Youth Ministry - just enough youth ministry so you don't feel guilty for not working.
Simply Junior High - Middle School specific tips and thoughts from my former boss, Kurt Johnston.
StudentCast - Lifeway's podcast for student ministry. Covers lots of different topics.
Youth Specialties - YS is probably the premier provider of youth ministry resources out there. Their podcast is typically some of their authors talking about books and resources they've created.

Ok, now what are you listening to? Comment away.



Sunday, May 13, 2007 by Mike Lovato

It's crazy how businesses can get so specialized. I just learned we have a store opening around the corner from my house that specializes in olives. That's right - olives, olive oil, olive salsa, you name it. This store is all about olives and I'm sure they will do it well. Crazy.

Churches tend to specialize as well. The churches that are thriving are the ones who have zeroed in on exactly what they are about and then they pursue it relentlessly. The ones that struggle are the ones who feel the need to offer something for everybody. They offer Bible studies, men's groups, women's groups, groups for left-handed knitters, etc. None of these are bad on their own, but unfortunately when you try to appeal to everybody you can sometimes end up appealing to nobody.


A New Respect

Friday, May 11, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I have a new respect for my insurance company. I've been with State Farm since I started driving. They're a little pricier than some of the other stuff out there, but their service has been great. Well, today they outdid themselves. We got a check from them for $49. Basically it had a letter that said the company was in a better financial situation then expected and when that happens they like to refund some of people's premiums back to them. How crazy is that? Can you imagine if Best Buy said they had higher than anticipated profits so they were going to give you some money back since you're a customer? I'm stoked and sold even more on my insurance company.


Word Up

Thursday, May 10, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Have you ever noticed that people in different parts of the country use different words? Here's one for you from the South: "jacked up" - evidently this is a good thing. It means you are pumped, excited, really happy about something.

Southern Usage: "I'm jacked up about getting to go to Disney World."

California Usage: "Jim drove on the wrong side of town and got jacked up by some gang members."


LOST this week

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 by Mike Lovato



Stuff I'm Working on (part 2)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 by Mike Lovato

This morning I worked a little bit on revising our leaders' commitment sheets. Here's part of what we're asking our Midweek table leaders to commit to. This basically sums up their role:

Create Relational Atmosphere

· Talk to students more than other leaders

· Greet students in the lobby before program starts

· Talk to students for a few minutes after the program ends

Connect New Students

· Introduce new students to regular attending students

· Identify and introduce myself to new students at my table

· Have new students fill out and turn in an info card

Control the Crowd

· Recognize that some chatter is normal due to our seating arrangement

· Confront students who are distracting others around them

· Follow our discipline process (Request student to stop behavior, Reseat student elsewhere, Remove student from the room)


Stuff I'm Working on (part 1)

Monday, May 07, 2007 by Mike Lovato

In the next few weeks we'll be writing, shooting, and editing a training DVD for student ministry volunteers. The DVD will have a student ministry overview that we'll ask all potential volunteers to watch along with specific sections of the DVD they watch based on their role (i.e. Bible Study leader, midweek volunteer, etc.)

In the initial phase, my goal is to get the overview and a Sunday morning volunteer training on there by early June in time for our July promotion date.



by Mike Lovato

I'm in Big Bear Lake at the moment blogging from one of the town's two (yes, count them, two; Big Bear is big time now) Starbucks. I'm spending today and tomorrow up here in an effort to refresh myself and give myself some time away to think, dream, and plan. A couple in our church owns the world's sweetest RV at the world's sweetest RV park up here and Nicole and I are enjoying staying there. She's off shopping in the Village while I camp out here.

Had some good alone time with God this morning right by the lake. This afternoon I'm hoping to dump a lot of what's floating in my brain onto my computer and then sometime in the next 24 hours or so try to bring some sort of order and planning to it. Guys on my staff - watch out...it's dangerous when I spend this much time just thinking!

Side Note: Most Starbucks in Riverside are staffed completely by teenagers and twenty-somethings. This one has all 30 and 40 something female baristas at the moment.



Wednesday, May 02, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I just went to Wahoo's for the first time in like 6 months. It was delicious.



Mike Lovato is a follower of Jesus, husband to Nicole, daddy to Addison, and pastor to teenagers in Riverside, CA.


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