Even Dreams are Bigger In Texas

Another anointed journey with the Lord.  This was my second WFX that I have had the honor of attending.  The first was last spring in Indianapolis where I was working for Third Place Consulting in helping to spread the vision of leveraging the real estate that the church already owns to create and utilize amazing third places to connect people, develop leaders and fund causes for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.  This time around I attended for be filled and taught for my new roll at Messiah.  The faith family at Messiah have some amazing challenges ahead with the vision for the global church and this venue allows for a direct connection to some of the best people in technology to aid in accomplishing that vision.

Upon arriving in Houston I met up with the original Church Bartender (Michael Trent).  Michael has been and continues to be an amazing mentor and friend.  We both have a deep passion to see the church be church and stop playing.  We visited a church body doing just that.  Ecclesia has positioned itself in the world but has set the done as Jesus called us to not be of the world.  They have an amazing building that is used for but not limited to a cafe, recording studio, worship area, local art gallery, neighborhood natural foods market.  If you ever make it to Houston, you need to place them on your list to see, they are being church.  While at Ecclesia we hung out with Daniel Park and where privileged to hear his story and the amazing plans that God has for him in Prague.  The pastor at Ecclesia has help to write a new translation of the New Testament soon to be released.  I am currently reading a segment of it called: The Voice of Acts: The Dust Off Their Feet: Lessons from the First Church.  This is the book of Acts retold and amazing.

As it turns out dinner always turns out to be an amazing time of spiritual growth.  I was blessed to have dinner with some old friends and new.  The seafood at McCormick & Schmicks was wonderful and the conversation was life changing… time to win the world for Christ people, if we do not do it, who will?

I spent considerable time in class and training as well.  The audio mix class with Armando Fullwood (Design 2020), Reed Hall (Lakewood) and Walter Silverberg (The Potter’s House) was out of this world to have that knowledge and experience base pouring in and training me.  The other classes that I attended were on Third Places Now & Next, Simple Steps to Streaming Live, Church in a Digital World, Creating Engaging Environments with Video Staging, and the 60 Minutes Church Website Makeover.  The keynote from by Dave Ferguson on building up leaders, launching them and growing the church was amazing.  What is your faith families Big Idea and are you accomplishing it?  After the talk I was privileged to hang out with Dave in the green room and learn and share what Christ is doing at CCC and Messiah.

By far the most powerful and impact-full discussions I had was on learning about Global Need.  I really still do not know how to put it into words for what the Lord is doing there.  Please go to Global Need and check it out, read up and get involved.

The expo floor is always interesting and filled with everyone from builders / architects, chair supplies, stain glass window manufactures to the highest end electronics vendors in the world and everything in between.  One has to enter the expo floor with filters on or you will be overwhelmed.  The three products that I will take away from my time on the floor are; ProPresenter and Tight Rope Media Server.

Thank you to all of the presenters, teachers and contributors that gave of their time to teach.  I close with this,  what is this vision that Christ has given to your faith family and are you accomplishing that vision?  We know the great commission, so are we truly living it out?

Birthday Fun

This weekend was a faboululs weekend that started in the planning several weeks back.  My beautiful wife celebrated a birthday.  We took the weekend to relax and have awesome family time.  On Saturday we chilled at home, slept in and then headed out to journeys for a morning coffee, while there I took the girls for a walk and play time in the back while my bride had a chance to sit and just have some quiet reading time. Later in the day as the girls were napping I asked if she wanted to watch the most recent episode of WineLibrary.tv … to which at the end of the show Gary V gives a big birthday shout out to my bride, AWESOME.  That took a little planning but the timing was amazing and she was stoked.  The evening was topped of by having lined up the babysitter for the girls and heading out for dinner at a dualing piano bar.  It was a great day and she was stoked.  Happy Birthday my love.

Conversation With A Cause

The sleeves are in so let the conversation continue on. As I mentioned previously we am stoked to be a part of using a simple coffee cup sleeve to create conversations will bring awareness to great amazing causes around the world. The first cause to launch is for Compassion through Junky Car Club. Today Sean man took some mad pic @ journeys of the sleeves and a couple of us with our jcc pride.

JCC Sean

compassion hearts


For what it’s worth.

More Than A Cup

A young boy in a small Brazilian village. A local homeless man making a fresh start on life. An elderly Biloxi woman devastated by the hurricane. These are just three individuals who share an unlikely bond – their lives have been touched by the love of Christ through a coffeehouse tip jar. For the staff and patrons of journeys coffeehouse in Midland, Michigan, the missions jar is just one aspect of what an intentional third place can do to fund causes locally and globally.

Located inside Messiah Lutheran Church, journeys is uniquely positioned to service the faith family as well as to reach out into the community – even if that outreach happens on the go via the drive-through window. journeys is a third place for people to gather, connect, share, relate and let life happen. The joy of being an independent third place is that we are free to impact the world for Christ in all we do in our business and mission… that is right, there is more to journeys at the end of the day then slinging coffee. We have the great privilege of being able to fund causes with every dollar that journeys as a small business generates. From the moment of of conception we knew that revenue from the sales would go to fund the mission of Jesus in this world through the faith family of Messiah Lutheran Church but we get to go beyond that. It was not until opening weekend, when several customers asked whether we had a tip jar, that God presented the idea of funding outreach in that way.

Each month a mission organization is selected and signage is hung to promote the cause. As time goes on we have patrons asking questions about each mission as well as asking what the next one will be. It is not uncommon for a customer to ask about the mission, receive back their change but then offer back a five dollar bill to be placed in the missions jar. How great is that? The compassion of our customers has now transformed what the world sees as a “tip” jar to an offering to Christ and His Kingdom.

Now that is a bit about the background, but where does the coffee hit the cup? Shortly after journeys opened, our faith family was sending hurricane relief teams down to Biloxi, MS to help clean up the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. That mission trip was the first beneficiary of the monthly mission offering. So every dollar that came in was sent along with the relief team to fund aid in Biloxi. We also have used the funds to send a group of youth to West Virginia on a construction mission trip, aid in the relief effort in Darfur, and support mission teams working in an orphanage and medical mission in Haiti. On a local level, we have had the honor of using the offerings to support a men’s crisis center, donate funds to a Christian radio station, and provide holiday blessings to families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

One of the greatest months for me personally was the month that we collected the necessary funds to sponsor a child from Compassion International. We wanted to be very intentional about this and the impact this would have so we did a little research through our coffee supplier. Then we went to Compassion and asked them to find us a child in the very spot in the world where the beans we use each day are being grown and harvested. Now we have an even more compelling story to share with every guest at journeys: “Did you know that we are financially and prayerfully supporting a child in the very place where these beans are coming from?” This child’s father, mother, grandfather…could be the very people growing the beans that we use. Wow – to me, being able to share a connection with a child and touch his life with the love of Christ is very cool.

I’ll close with one other story of how we have seen our customers fully embrace a mission. Recently, we funded the purchasing of tooth brushes for a medical mission trip to Guatemala. We not only had customers giving through the missions jar but also bringing in toothbrushes to have sent down. By the time the month was over there were nearly 300 toothbrushes donated and enough funds to purchase 1000 more. What makes the story even better is that a large toothbrush manufacturer matched our funds, thereby doubling the toothbrushes purchased to 2000! We even had a dentist in our faith family offer to cover the shipping charges.

When God moves through His people, awesome things happen. Around the world and in our backyard, the staff and patrons of journeys are showing God’s unfailing love – one cup of coffee at a time.

Note: The above is the full length version of an article posted as “end notes” in Sept – October 2008 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine.

Message In Hand

Message In Hand 

I am stoked to tell you all about a great initiative that Third Place Consulting is launching.  This goes to the bottom line of one portion of what we created journeys for to fund causes.  We can change the world one cup of coffee at at time.

Message In Hand

Ever heard the phrase that ‘for the price of a cup of coffee you can change the world?’ Well, it might actually be true, but you don’t have to give up your cup of coffee to do it. Just USE your cup of coffee to change the world!

Message in Hand is an initiative to create conversational coffee sleeves that will share the message and bring awareness to great causes. Through the exposure to these messages, people will become aware of ways to be active in supporting or becoming involved in efforts, causes, and plans to bring support to children in underdeveloped countries, provide mosquito nets for families in Africa, help aid homeless families, etc. The average person spends 45 minutes with their coffee drink, and this is a way for a cafe community to reach beyond itself and make a difference in the world.

Our current Message In Hand is in collaboration with the Junky Car Club and Compassion International. This year Junky Car Club set an ambitious goal of supporting 500 children through its network, and we thought this would be a great way to launch Message In Hand. BREAK How can you and your café become involved in this initiative? It will involve simply ordering Message in Hand sleeves for your café. These sleeves are similar in price to the sleeves that cafés are already purchasing and are made by a reputable company in the coffee industry. Why not leverage your purchasing power to get the message in the hands of your customers?

To the center of town

journeys received a little press this month in a Leadership Network article.  The article summary is simply:

Today’s churches are strategizing in ways that are innovative, intentional and missional to reach a group of people who might not be churchgoers, but  who are attracted to a nonreligious venue for coffee, lunch, play dates, workouts or concerts—where followers of Christ are also hanging out.

Kingdom Economics

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This is another little bit from my time at WFX (Worship Facilities Expo) last week.  One nigh over dinner I was blessed to hear how the Lord is moving through Central and South America and the current rapid growth of the evangelical church in this area of the world.  This area of the world is known for having business deals that are not ethical and down right deceitful.  The churches of the area have no choice but to deal with the builders since there is no other option a high percentage of the time.  An acoustics / sound company based in the United States has been working with these churches to dramatically increase the usefulness of the audio and video that is being used.  Interestingly, these locals will trust an American Gringo more than they will the local contractors.  Okay, so why am I sharing this all with you all?  That is a good question and it comes down to one statement that was made about business and faith in the Jesus.  We need to operate in terms of “kingdom economics”, that is to place others values at or above our own and trust that the Lord will take care of us.  So weather we are talking about a business transaction or just serving another I challenge you to place the value of the one you are serving at or above your own and have the faith that the Lord will take care of you.

God Bless,


Third Place Vacation

church bartender @ WFX Three days last week I took a little vacation to head down to Indianapolis for the Worship Facility Expo where I rocked it out making drinks at the Aspen, Cogun, Third Place Consulting booth. I was there to help share what God is doing at the cafe at my home church, share how a third place at someone’s home church can be used to the Glory of the Lord and to make some awesome drinks. The conversation that took place and the people that I had the pleasure of meeting were well worth the time and investment. Who knows, I met get a chance to do it all over again in the fall. Now to figure out how to up my home espresso machine to a Nouva… For what it’s worth.

barista aboard

I am aboard this week. I traveled through Amsterdam and then onto Scotland. I have been seeking out cafes along the way and here are just some shots from the trip.

Coffee Connection - Amsterdam

Coffee Connection in Amsterdam, NL

Dave @ Coffee Connection

Dave @ Coffee Connection

caffe nero

Caffe Nero in Edinburgh, UK

drink prep - caffe nero

Drink prep @ Nero

latte - caffe nero

my latte @ Nero

God Bless and see you back in the states


Zi Qi Qi Ren and Amped Emotions Attack

Before you think Dan has fallen off the deep end let me give you some background. The journeys staff has been going through the Deadly Viper Character Assassins book so this post come with that as a background. The character assassin of Zi Qi Qi Ren basically translates to “self deception while deceiving others”. So where did this attack come from you ask? Well I am glad you did ask because that is what I am here to tell you.

As you may know my family was just blessed with receiving a new baby into this world and what a blessing from God she is. We are also blessed to live here in Michigan where we receive from time to time snow. The two days after our girl was born it snowed, so the day we came home from the hospital our driveway and sidewalks were covered in snow, heavy wet slushy snow. I being a new daddy did not have any of the energy needed to head out, grab the shovel and clean of the drive and walks. So instead I hunkered down in the house with my wife and two daughters for family time and some sleep when we could get it. One could say I was hiding in the shadows and thinking, oh my kind hearted neighbors with snow blowers will take care of the walks at least and maybe even the drive. Wrong! There are several of my neighbors that have snow blowers and knew that we had our new baby, what’s wrong with them… come on people. Well there is where the amped emotions kicked in, I was grumbling to myself and my wife about how I can’t believe that no one has come over to clear off the walks or drive. Then it snowed again… and yesterday a lot more. So I rise up early before leaving for church and pull the four wheel drive vehicle out into the street and get the minivan started to warm up. You guessed it, we got the van stuck in our own driveway… grumble grumble… we can take care of this our selves…. Right, so after church I had to stick around, so I sent my wife, two daughters and mother-in-law home in the van with instructions to square up to the drive and they should be able to make it. Smack! Nope, when I arrived home a couple hours later I found the van stuck at the end of the drive and the trail leading up to the garage. I headed in to find out what went wrong and get the keys to give it a try myself. As I entered the house the phone rang and it was a neighbor offering to help me get the van unstuck as well as wondering why we did not ask for help, he would have gladly come over to snow blow off the drive and walk. Well of course… why think everyone is going to help, no just hide in the shadows and grumble right? The Lord again used this to teach me humility and a lesson that I knew and even spoke only a couple weeks back with the staff. Also, turns out that a lady at our church has a snow blower that she loaned me for the day so I did get the drive and walks cleared off.

So how deep are you going to get the snow get? How much grumbling are you going to do with your eyes squinting out the window at your neighbors? How long are you going to hide in the house and deceive yourself? Here is the answer, don’t get yourself stuck in your own driveway twice, be humble and ask for help. Let the Lord speak through the hands of those around you.

God Bless,