Monday Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

Every week I print almost every comment on the Communication Cards. The ones we don’t print (one or two per month) are still seen and noted by our leaders in an email they receive with all the comments listed. Some comments are simply better to respond to personally.

Why post comments? There are some potential down sides. But here are some of the up sides:

  • People who are checking out our church often check out my blog and they see your comments. I hardly buy anything these days without first checking what other people say about it. I look specifically at what they say because sometimes their complaint is exactly what I would like about a product or service (e.g., “the food was too spicy” would attract me to a restaurant!). And I never trust the comments if they’re all positive.
  • You get to see how hard it is to please everyone. Devious, I know, but when you see someone say the music was too loud and another person say it was just right or not loud enough, I get to welcome you to my world.
  • So many of the comments are encouraging. Volunteers do most of the work on the weekend and it feeds their hearts.
  • Many of the comments are instructive or insightful for ministry.
  • When we print negative comments, it communicates our genuineness and willingness to be vulnerable. But if criticism is directed toward something a volunteer was doing, I usually don’t print it.
  • It provides a great opportunity for me to respond when I think it would be helpful—to explain something, encourage volunteers and staff, celebrate, etc. Sometimes I’m dying to respond to a criticism, and I don’t because I can’t find a way to say what I want to say without sounding defensive and shutting down future criticism. Sometimes it’s good just to listen.

Here are most of your comments, observations and questions from the weekend Communication Cards:

  • Thanks for staying true to the word of God – such a great witness! 
  • Am recommitting to influencing my young adult children for God. 
  • Great message today. Thank you! 
  • Great message today, well done Henry. 
  • Love this sermon series! Awesome guidance, awesome music. [I agree on the music, but you have no idea what we’ve had to overcome the last two weekends. Week one of the series, one of our speakers blew out before the service. Only one comment was made about loudness, but it was louder than usual because of that fact. This week we had major challenges because our settings on the sound board were effected when the speaker was fixed. Each service got better, but it was very challenging. On top of all that, our keyboard player got sick and couldn’t make it for Sunday! I don’t even remember that happening before. So kudos to the sound folks for all they did to overcome over the last two weeks.]
  • I’m renewing my commitment to Christ to show the joy that’s mine through the H.S. to all God’s children. 
  • Loving this series! Thank you!
  • Nice job, in opening worship set and for the beautiful set up to the Lord’s prayer. Loved the message on parenting, again, and the challenge at the end. Loved closing set. [Two people made a first-time decision to follow Christ on the weekend! Thanks for all your Colossians 4:4 prayers.]
  • Wonderful worship tonight. 
  • Henry, thank you! This series helps me a lot. 
  • Thank you, Lord, for Five Oaks Church. 
  • Was blessed by today’s message, especially in OT where you mentioned your wife’s observation that God seemed to be a permissive parent, but in actuality He fulfilled all His threats/judgments by taking it upon Himself in Jesus! Oh how great His love!
  • Dan – “White as Snow” always chokes me up, but today was phenomenal. 
  • Great job on the Children’s wing! What a difference! [Everybody needs to get down there and take a look. And just wait until the new carpeting goes into the Children’s wing! One of the Campaign goals is to upgrade the weekend look of the CLC for Children weekend ministry. Big challenge because it has to be portable, but we have the same designer working on a plan for that space.]
  • Love the new set! 
  • Thanks for the storybook Bible. We’ve been reading a story every night at dinner. It’s been amazing. [I love how every story specifically points to Christ.]
  • Can you emphasize that the dad should be the spiritual leader in the family? [Thanks for the comment. I love what Stephen Kendrick said when he was here for the big men’s event. One guy asked him about this. The guy said something about how his wife is such a strong spiritual leader in their home that he doesn’t know how to take over the leadership. Stephen said, “Don’t ask your wife to stand down. You need to start stepping up.” Some guys need that kick in the pants, I know. Personally, I don’t think the issue is who is in charge. The bigger issue for me is that too many men are disengaged from spiritual leadership in their homes and need to get off the sidelines. Calling them to move from disengagement to becoming THE leader seems to be counterproductive, especially if they've ignored this area of their lives and have no idea what godly leadership looks like (here's a clue: it never means getting your own way and always means sacrifice). Our Men’s Ministry is doing a GREAT job at challenging and equipping guys to step up and engage in spiritual leadership. And I hope I’m doing the same thing in my sermons.]

Thanks to you all for your comments and questions.


Pastor Henry