50 Years Later…We’re Just Getting Started

I love history!  It gives you an opportunity to learn about your past and stand on the shoulders of giants.  What’s more exciting than learning history is MAKING history.  That’s exactly what we’re doing at the Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago.  We’re celebrating our 50th Anniversary with events planned throughout 2013.

Celebrating Something Old – Our Past

I serve an amazing church filled with amazing people (Ok, I’m biased). The Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago is celebrating her 50th year in ministry.  On February 24, 2013, we celebrated “Something Old” by taking a trip down memory lane.  We paid tribute to our founding Pastor & 1st Lady, Rev. Dr. Clarence E. Stowers, Sr., & Margaret Stowers along with our founding members.  Together, we laughed, cried, and learned about our glorious past.


Our 17 Founding Members

Celebrating Something New – Our Present

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to  prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

On Saturday, April 20, 2013, we opened “The Gallery.”  Ylandus Roundy came up with the concept of “The Gallery.”  On display were various pictures, artifacts, clothing, and other items depicting my life.  The idea was to showcase the man behind the message and show that I’m more than a pastor, teacher, and leader.  Many members came and were pleasantly surprised by the many facets of my life.  I want to thank our staff, Ylandus Roundy, and Bert Parker for representing Mars Hill well.

GalleryGallery 2

Snapshot from “The Gallery”

The ONE Experience You Don't Want To Miss

Mark my words: This weekend will forever be etched in the hearts of every true worshiper!

Why? Whenever you gather Valencia Lacy, Pastor Rose Harper, Min. Que Payne, Pastor Don Clark, and the Worship & Fine Arts Ministry Team of Mars Hill together – EXPECT the Presence of God to manifest.  Don’t believe me…Check out the conference line up and see!

General Session:
Friday, March 25, 2011 7pm

I “Minister” Worship 7:30 p.m. til 8:30 p.m
Pastor Don Clark and Pastor Rose Harper

Teachings on the foundations of worship and the ministers role in supporting and advancing the Kindom as it pertains to worship and the Worship service.

The Ministry of Movement
Que Payne

Foundational teachings and bibical truths taught on Movement, the role each minister plays and recognition of who we are in the KINGDOM.

Singers That Touch The Heart of God/Heart of Worship!!
Valencia Lacy

Transition me from an ordinary singer into a singer/psalmist that touches the Heart of God!! Bring me back to fellowship, purpose, Spirit and Truth!!

The Ark of The Covenant
Pastor Don Clark

Biblical teaching on the purpose of the “Ark of the Covenant” the Glory of God and Life Beyond the Veil!! Get ready to EXPERIENCE THE GLORY!!

Wait, there’s more…

Online School of Leadership Now In Session

Let’s start with this premise: Most who lead desire to lead effectively – especially if you’re a new leader or haven’t developed your leadership philosophy. Seminaries, colleges, and university leadership programs don’t have a monopoly on advanced leadership skills.  With time, you can teach yourself many leadership principles and skills by attending this Online School of Leadership.

This Online School of Leadership is an experiment which features the Bible, the very best leadership books available, and is based on thousands of hours of research.  If you don’t have the time to drop everything, accumulate student loan debt, and attend college or seminary, tune in for the next few weeks and you’ll learn more about leadership that you can possibly imagine.

Check Out The Leadership Curriculum…

The NINES – What Our National Conventions Can Learn

The NINES is an online conference worth attending!

The NINES is a totally online conference and gathering for church leaders that will happen today, September 9, 2010 @ 10:30AM (CST).  I attended the conference last year and it was brilliant – no seriously, it was brilliant!!  The format is that each leader speaking at the conference is given six minutes to give their thoughts on the conference theme – this year the theme is “Game Changers.”

Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions (from the Q&A page of the NINES website)!

I know it’s short notice, but, trust me: YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!  Registration is free, but you can also register and get lots of good stuff.

See you online @ The NINES!

Ministry Pornography

The North American Church is in decline and there are plenty of conferences offering their latest & greatest pitch to stop the church’s decline.


Each year we’re invited to hear “celebrity” pastors share God’s plan for the church and how we ought to adopt it and be large and successful like them.  Frankly, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a venue to really address how and why churches grow.  Many pastors & church leaders make their annual pilgrimage to Saddleback, Willowcreek, North Point, Fellowship, New Birth, Greater St. Steven FGBC, The Potter’s House, etc. and come away excited and delusional with unrealistic expectations.  Ed Stetzer of Lifeway calls it ministry pornography.  According to Ed Stetzer:

“Ministry pornography is an unrealistic expectation of an experience you’re never going to have which distracts you from the real thing.”

God used these churches and their pastors for a specific time and in a specific place.  Unfortunately, that experience is rarely duplicated.  If you were to take the aforementioned churches and transplant them in other areas, the results would be drastically different.  Can you imagine Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, or Andy Stanley leading an inner-city urban church?  Or, can you see Bishop T.D. Jakes screaming “Get Ready…Get Ready…Get, Get, Ready” at Saddleback or North Point Church?  Simply put, God rarely does the same thing twice.

May I Offer You A Few Suggestions to break your addiction to ministry porn:

  1. Confess your addiction to ministry pornography & repent!
  2. Do not attend any conferences for one year
  3. Get alone with your Bible, pen, & paper and discover God’s purpose for the church (read Matt. 22-37-40; 28:19-20, The Book of Acts)
  4. Get a demographic breakdown of your community (US Census Bureau or your local Chamber of Commerce).
  5. After discovering the purpose of the church, write down how your church plans to reach that community (this is the hard part).  Make sure it’s less than a paragraph because people don’t like to read long statements.
  6. Preach/teach a series on God’s vision for the church and how you plan to fulfill it.
  7. Reorganize your church’s leaders, staff, volunteers, and structure (in that order)
  8. Evaluate & tweak your plan/strategy

So, what’s your next step?  I’d love to hear it!

Guess Where I'm Headed Tomorrow- Granger Community Church


Wow, it's been at least three years since I've attended a conference.  THREE YEARS!!!

I've made plans be part of Catalyst's newest offering: a One Day
leadership experience (glad someone figured it only took ONE DAY to say what they have to say) packed with teaching and insight from Andy
and Craig Groeschel, two leading voices in the Church today.

They say we're going to learn how to:

  • Discover the key to creating and sustaining momentum in your organization
  • Identify and break through the barriers to momentum and overcome personal leadership lids
  • Leverage the three triggers which ignite organizational momentum
  • Create a culture of continual improvement
  • Embrace a new approach to leading organizational change

I really like these two guys & I'm pumped to hear what they have to say!