Monday, November 28, 2016

My initial thoughts on the tragedy that took place on the OSU campus today

1.     One phone call or one text message could change your life
I was in the midst of a staff meeting when my phone started lighting up with messages regarding the campus tragedy. I can assure you none of the victims today woke up anticipating the events that would unfold a few hours later.

Take away = be sure we are living in a state of readiness. 

2.     Always pray
After I read the first message, I stopped our meeting and we prayed for the situation and all of the people involved. You don’t need to know all the details of a particular situation or circumstance to stop and go to the Lord in prayer. Little did I know it would be hours later that I would hear one of the victims attends Cypress Church on a regular basis.   

Take away = be sure we are talking to the Lord on a regular basis so we don’t have to introduce ourselves when tragedy strikes. I was thankful to have already spent time in His Word and time in prayer early this morning.

3.     Is evil or mental illness to blame?
I don’t know any of the details yet on the alleged assailant. I don’t know if this attack was provoked out of religious reasons, mental illness, or some form of retribution. What I do know is that no matter what the motivation behind these actions may have been, they were not of God, at least not the God of scripture as described in the Holy Bible. Evil exist in this world. 

Take away = there literally is a battle of good vs. evil going on and lives and relationships do hang in the balance. I believe more than ever Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

4.     Groups walk with us through life
One of the things I have heard repeatedly about the individual who attends Cypress is that he and his wife were connected. They were connected to people they did life with at Cypress. My point is they invested in relationships. Guess who is leading the way in caring for this family…exactly, those who they are in relationship with.

Take away = keep teaching how important it is to invest in relationships. Groups is where we grow and where we are cared for.

5.     Jesus is the hope of the world!
Just like the angels declared a couple thousand years ago, hope has come and He has a name - Jesus Christ! 

Take away = so much in this world does not matter. There are a few things that really do and it all revolves around a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Be busy loving and sharing the hope of the world. They are looking, especially in the Columbus area in these days.

Pastor Ken


Monday, October 24, 2016

Part 2

Last week I talked about one of the best leadership books I’ve read in a long time, Extreme Ownership. I pulled out four leadership lessons from the book and taught them to our staff at Today is Part 2 from the last half of the book.

Here is what stood out to me:

1. Grasp the Power of Simplicity
Everything in life has layers of complexity. When life gets complicated, simple things are easy to remember and complex equations get lost in the shuffle. As a leader you must communicate in a clear, concise, simple manner. It’s easier to remember one or two main points, than 15 sub-important topics.

2. Prioritize & Execute
The authors described how in the “heat of the battle” as different scenarios are all playing out simultaneously, it is easy for a soldier to become overwhelmed in the moment and hesitate or freeze. There can be devastating effects to their life and wellbeing as well as the other members of the team. The objective of the mission can be adversely impacted as well.

One of the great responsibilities of leadership is to prioritize what is most important to the team accomplishing the mission, and then directing resources (people, time, money) to see that the objective is complete. I thought the authors made a great point when they described the relationship of thinking ahead and planning as related to prioritizing and executing.

“A particularly effective means to help Prioritize & Execute under pressure is to stay least a step or two ahead of real-time problems. Through careful contingency planning, a leader can anticipate likely challenges that could arise during execution and map out an effective response to those challenges before they happen.” (page 161)
3. Lead Down the Chain & Up the Chain
Leading down the chain involves clear and SIMPLE instruction of the mission and teaching how this particular mission helps fulfill the greater objective.

Leading up the chain is all about helping those whom we report to, so they can better grasp “situational awareness.” The question we must ask is, “What does my boss need to know in order for their confidence to grow in me as I do my job. What does my boss need to know in order to feel good about the allocation of resources to enable me to do my job more effectively?” Extreme Ownership people take this responsibility upon themselves to be sure their boss is up-to-date and in-the-loop.

4. The Disciplined Way is the Way to Real Freedom… for Individuals & Teams
Being disciplined seems, at first glance, to be restricting by nature. In actuality, discipline is the very thing that provides freedom. As teams become more disciplined in their functioning, it allows the team members and the team (as a whole) to function more efficiently. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) are the tracks that allow the train to roll! The Navy Seals live according to a disciplined methodology in everything they do. Otherwise, life is left up to being a free-for-all of individuality that combats one another rather than strengthening one another.

Final Thoughts:

A couple weeks ago my wife, Serena, and I went to visit our oldest son at college for his birthday. As we were walking across the campus, he asked me how old I was when I felt like I had “figured it out” in regards to understanding the Bible, leadership and teaching. As I thought about his question, my mind had a million thoughts that ran through it in about two seconds and then I said, “I don’t know. All I can tell you is that I’m 46 years old and I know I haven’t gotten there yet. I wake up each day knowing I need to learn something new if I’m going to keep growing to draw closer to Christ and be more useful for Christ.”

Leadership is heart & skill. It is art & science. It is really simple, but it is not easy.

Continue on your journey and see that the mission is accomplished.

Pastor Ken

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Part 1

A couple of weeks ago a friend recommended a book on the New York Times Best Sellers List called, Extreme Ownership. It’s about two highly trained Navy Seals who led teams and missions in Ramadi, Iraq. Today they teach leadership development to businesses around the world from the lessons gleaned from their Seal experiences. It’s incredibly fascinating!

Here are four key points I taught this week during a leadership development meeting with our staff. I thought you might benefit as well.

1. Layered leadership accomplishes the mission

It’s not the generals at the top who “win” the objective of a mission, it’s the boots on the ground. This is so true for every organization. Great leadership must happen at every level to win at the front line. Great leadership organizes teams ensuring their leaders are training and passing the message and mission to their team members. Seals are divided into sub teams of 8 or 4; each team always has a leader who is in charge of the sub team.

Wherever you find yourself on the team, lead well. Your team members and the mission are counting on you!

2. There are no bad teams, just bad leaders.

Ouch! Human nature always has a tendency to point fingers and blame others when things don’t go well. One of the mantras drilled into the mindset of a Navy Seal is to “OWN EVERYTHING.” If you are the leader and the team didn’t perform well, it’s not their fault, it’s yours.
"When subordinates aren’t doing what they should, leaders that exercise Extreme Ownership cannot blame the subordinates. They must first look in the mirror at themselves. The leader bears full responsibility for explaining the strategic mission, developing the tactics, and securing the training and resources to enable the team to properly and successfully execute…if an individual on the team is not performing at the level required for the team to succeed, the leader must train and mentor that underperformer. But if the underperformer continually fails to meet standards, then a leader who exercises Extreme Ownership must be loyal to the team and the mission above any individual. If underperformers cannot improve, the leader must make the tough call to terminate them and hire others who can get the job done. It is all on the leader." (page 30)
3. It’s not what you preach, but what you tolerate that becomes the standard and norm.

Setting expectations (either in writing or verbally) is the easiest thing in the world to do. Measuring and confirming that expectations are consistently met is where it becomes difficult. Accountability and consequences must be in place in order to maintain team morale and a high standard of achievement. The Navy Seals take this very seriously because people live or die based on decisions they make. Each of us must determine “how big a deal” something is before we commit and invest our lives into it. I happen to work at a church ( and we believe our work can have a direct influence on whether a person chooses life or death.

4. In order for soldiers to be at their best, they must believe in the mission and understand why.

The authors talk about a difficult time when their General changed the rules of engagement requiring that Iraqi soldiers would accompany the Navy Seals on their missions. There was significant resistant from the Navy Seals until it was fully explained “why” this decision was made. It was explained that the Iraqi soldiers were shadowing the Navy Seals to learn from them because once they pulled out of Iraq, the Iraqi soldiers would be charged to maintain peace and order. Once the why was explained, morale immediately increased and the execution of the mission rose to a new level of effectiveness.

How many times in life and organizations are decisions made but explanations of why are never given? Or questions arise from the front line but are never answered? Until you clearly explain the why, you will never have the full support needed from your team to carry out the mission.


I am incredibly grateful for the brave men and women who serve to keep us safe at all times and in all places. Thank you to all the Armed Forces for modeling and teaching incredible lessons in leadership to better accomplish our mission.

Pastor Ken

Monday, June 20, 2016

5 Things I Learned After the Cavs Game Last Night

Hi everyone! After yelling at the television last night, here are 5 things I learned during this crazy and incredible championship series. I hope it’s an encouragement and challenge to you! 


When the series was 3-1 and the Warriors were up, EVERYONE was saying there is no way the Cavs will come back and there is NO WAY the Cavs will win because it's NEVER been done in the history of the NBA. Well, they did it and it happened!


The main job that Tristan Thompson (the big guy for the Cavs) had was to play defense, box out, grab boards (rebounds for non-bball folks
J) and not worry about scoring. When asked in a post-game interview why he was so willing to do the dirty work, he answered, "This is my starring role."

Bottom line: Every person has a starring role on the team. When each one knows their role, owns their role and performs their role, the team wins.


Steve Kerr, head coach of the Warriors, was asked about his two big players only scoring one point combined. Steve's response was, "I don't evaluate the success of my players based on a stat sheet. They did what they were supposed to do.”

Bottom line: Lebron James led both teams in nearly ALL offensive stats. Stats can be important but you need to make sure you look at them the right way.


Leadership is hard and it take a lot of work every day. Lebron James led in the off season, he put in hard work and led off camera and off the court which allowed him to be the leader in the most highly watched game in NBA history. To be a great leader you need to be leading during the "off season" when no one is watching and no one is cheering you on so that you are ready to lead yourself and your team to things that no one thought was possible.


It's been 52 years since the Cavs have won a championship. That's what I love about sports, you either win or you lose. It's very clear. No matter what you do, it's important to define what the "win" is and make sure everyone clearly knows what they are working toward.

It's the exact same thing for the church. What's the clearly defined win for the church? Are more people being saved and more people being transformed?

Now if only the Browns could…never mind, some things may require a miracle

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

FIVE reasons why your NEXT STEP is so important...

How important is the NEXT STEP in your journey?

If you were standing on the edge of a cliff and the NEXT STEP would put you over the edge, then the next step is a matter of life and death!

If you were on the verge of dying of thirst and the NEXT STEP would put you into a pool of cool refreshing water, then the next step would be life sustaining!

So where are you on your journey and what’s the right NEXT STEP for you?

I’ve been thinking about 1 Corinthians 2:9 recently.
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Let me share 5 reasons why your NEXT STEP is important.

  1. God has prepared a good plan for your life but, if you don’t take steps of obedience and faith, you may never receive or live out what He has in store!
  2. You can’t walk into the future without taking steps today to lead you there. This is true in our relationships, careers, spiritual lives, etc.
  3. Your next step may not be the final destination of the cliff of destruction or a life giving pool of water, but your next step takes you one step closer. Choose wisely.
  4. God may have things prepared not only FOR YOU, but things he longs to do THROUGH YOU! Another person’s life/death moment may be dependent upon you taking the right step today.
  5. When we move, God is able to guide, lead and direct us. I heard years ago it’s difficult for God to steer a parked car! But when we are moving and yielded, the Lord can guide and steer us to the place he wants us to be. 
So what’s the NEXT STEP for you to take today?
Join a serving team?
Look for a group to belong to?
Check out the Cypress Grove City launch team?
Start a daily devotional plan?

Stop by MY NEXT STEPS area after church this next weekend- we would love to help lead you to your next step in the journey God has laid out for you!

Remember, it’s a day-by-day process to becoming the people God longs for us to become!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Pastor Ken

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Weekend Recap!

I am so excited and thankful about what God is up to, that I had to write a recap from the weekend! Since this past weekend when we announced some initiatives to fulfill our vision, 16 people have come to Christ!

Here's the recap of the Four Initiatives we have been praying about and spending time listening to God’s leading and direction, in the coming year.

  1. We want to see more people come to faith in Christ and be baptized than we’ve ever seen before.
  2. We will develop and support more local community partnerships that make a difference where people live.
  3. We will see more people connect to a place where they can grow and be cared for (a small group) and to a place where they can make a difference (a serving team).
  4. We will launch our next campus this year...Cypress Grove City! (read my blog on why and how we do campuses at Cypress -

What stood out to me from the weekend?
  • We are going to be used by God to be a part of something great for Him which includes more and more people coming to Christ and taking steps to follow Him in Columbus, Ohio!

    God made each and every person on purpose and for a purpose. (Ephesians 2:10) Twenty-four hours after the Grove City campus announcement, there were over 70 families already interested in joining the campus!

    Are you ready and willing to be used by God?

  • People are ready to respond to Christ.
    One of my highlights from the weekend was when two younger men (in their early 20’s) walked to the front after a service and one of them said, “I’m ready to give my life to Christ- could you help me with that?” My response was, “Yes I can!” I shared the message of Christ, what it means to be a follower of Christ and then I had the privilege of praying with this young man as he crossed over from death to life! (John 3:16)

    AND Monday night at Discover Cypress, 15 PEOPLE turned to Christ to trust their life to him and commit to become a follower! (Acts 2:47)

    Who are you inviting to a Cypress campus? Who are you inviting to join your small
    group? Who are you leading in your small group?

  • People respond when you ask them to join you.
    I loved hearing Debbie's story this past weekend. If you missed it, be sure to listen Debbie's Story. Yes, Debbie took steps, opened herself up to God and has been on an amazing spiritual journey. But what if Kelly had never invited Debbie to church? What if Kelly had stopped inviting after the first time? Debbie said it quickly, but did you catch it…Kelly invited her for OVER A YEAR before she said yes! Why would Kelly do that? Because she loved her friend. The next person who played a significant role in Debbie’s story, Barb. Barb said, "Why don’t you join me on the team I serve with?" That's all it took and the rest is history.

    Where is God calling you and using you to serve at Cypress, and in our community, to lead people to Christ and provide steps to follow Him?

The best is yet come,
Pastor Ken

Monday, April 11, 2016

I wonder if this is why people would want to go to church...

Written by Serena Murphy

Two nights ago I attended a meeting in Hilliard to represent the "faith community" for a drug awareness program. The meeting was made up of people representing Hilliard police, teachers, community sports leagues, moms who have lost kids to heroin overdoses and a Hilliard graduate who is 22 and has been in recovery for a year and a half.

During the meeting, I learned staggering facts about addiction and how our communities are getting hit hard with heroin and other drugs and how people are looking for resources for help and hope. A mom who lost her son nine months ago said to me, "I went to the local church and they didn't want to talk about it; I just don't think they knew what to do or where to send me. It's embarrassing to tell people, ask for help and to have your child in and out of recovery programs month after month, year after year. People wonder what's wrong with that family, what's wrong with you as a parent. At least you feel that way and you become so full of shame and embarrassment." I wanted to apologize on behalf of the Church and say I am so sorry she feels shameful, it’s not her fault and that I think sometimes the Church isn't "there" and ready to help. We do need to do a better job.

This has really made me think about the message we are sending as a church. People secretly tell me that their marriages are falling apart, but they don't think people understand because others have the "perfect" marriage and "perfect" children. People are struggling with many things: addiction, kids who are gay, depression, kids drinking and so on and so on. But, some of them think they can't come to church with that kind of life. One of my favorite quotes from CS Lewis is "True connection is birthed when one person says to another, ‘you, too? I thought I was the only one.’"

I wish I could put signs up and down Alton Darby Road that say, "We are not the church for perfect people." And we by no means are the perfect church. In fact, we are so imperfect. We are parents of heroin addicts. We are people who have had affairs, divorced and lied. We struggle with shame, doubt, depression and anxiety. Our kids aren't perfect and neither are our marriages. We lose our jobs and we lose loved ones. Sometimes, we may act like we are perfect and have it all together and for that we are very sorry. We don't want you to think you have to clean up your life before you enter our doors or talk to one of us in the community. We want to accept you as you are because we know what it felt like when we were accepted as we were. We want to lead you to help and hope. We want to tell you there are some of us like you here and we are on the same road as you. Some of us may be further along and some of us may not be. All of us have fallen down at some point but we all want help getting back up and taking another step. Most of us have found our only true hope is in Christ and we've learned through it all that He is our only source of hope and healing. Some of us are still searching. What most of us have realized is we can't do life on our own. You have to have people beside you who understand. And that's what we want you to know.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Why Multiple Services, Video Teaching, and Multisites

A few months ago on the Alton Darby campus, we had a momentary loss of electricity during two of our morning services as a result of the weather. This “unexpected opportunity” resulted in me finishing the remainder of the sermon in person. Eventually, safety lights and computers came back on and the message on what to do when we encounter hard times in life was communicated and I believe many questions were answered through the message. Several people have expressed thanks to the staff for pulling together in the midst of a challenging time so everyone could finish the service. Thank you for your encouraging messages!

Since this happened, I've had the opportunity to go back and recommunicate the vision of why we do multiple services, video teaching and multisites. I realize there are people worshipping today with the Cypress family who were not here two years ago when we made these decisions. So, here is an overview as to why we do what we do.

1. Why do we do Multiple Services?
Every church facility has a maximum seating capacity. Throughout the years at Cypress, we've reached our maximum capacity several times during our "prime time" services and, as a result, we added another service. Each time we reach capacity at a service, we have to decide if we are willing to sacrifice and add another service to create room for more people. Our answer at Cypress will always be "yes,” we WILL sacrifice and add another service to create more room. Additional services are the most cost effective way to create more options for people to attend and invite their friends so that's another benefit to multiple services. Please read Romans 5:8.

In addition, I’m really thankful for the leaders and the people at Cypress who first "crossed the multiple-service river" back in the 1980’s. They were great examples to us of the importance of sacrifice and making more room for more people. And, more importantly, I am thankful for God's faithfulness. The number of people baptized this past year at Cypress is more than the number of people who attended Cypress a few decades ago. 2015 Open Baptism Recap

2. Why do we use Video Teaching?
Two years ago, after praying and seeking God, we made the decision to move to video teaching. We currently offer five services on the Alton Darby Campus and one at our Dublin Campus with plans to add more as these campuses continue to grow. I teach live at the Saturday night service and all other services (at all campuses) are video teaching. Notice that I used the words "currently". Why…because video teaching is a method and methods change. In five or ten years, we will probably utilize a new technological advancement to reach people. Most importantly, the mission and message of the church never changes. We will continue to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to share the message of Christ.

Here are a couple of ways that methods change: way before the Bible was printed and available to “regular people,” the apostles (pastors) carried letters from church to church for people to pass around and read. This was the normal way of reaching people with the message of Christ. Then Bibles were printed by hand but they became so expensive many people could not afford them. In the 1400’s, the printing press was invented and everyone was able to get a copy of their own Bible and didn't have to rely on oral tradition.

There are so many great technological advancements in our world today and I'm so proud to be a part of a church that doesn't fight against it or ignore it, but uses it to spread the message of Christ to reach more people.

One more benefit of video teaching: there is no way I (or anyone) could teach live at all six services every weekend, get the work completed during the week that I have to do, prepare each weekend for a message that I've spent time praying and preparing for and be a good husband and father. It would not be healthy for me. Several years ago I tried preaching multiple times every weekend and I was completely worn out after a while. I thank God for a church that allows me to use my gifts and is open to new ideas. It's been great!

3. Why do we do Multisites?
First, what is a multisite? It's Cypress Church in another area of our city- we are one church with multiple locations. Each multisite has a campus pastor who helps lead day-to-day operations and discern the ministry needs of those that attend that particular campus. Each campus also has the same message, worship, and staff for children, small groups and other ministries. Why do we do this? Again, to reach more people with the life-changing message of Christ. There are hundreds of people who attend the Alton Darby campus who live in neighboring parts of our city. While a “churched” person may drive 20+ minutes to attend worship, the reality for most people being 20+ minutes away is:

a. It’s too difficult to be plugged in during the week (growing in a group and serving)
b. It’s too difficult to invite friends who don’t go to church to make the drive with you

Our multisite strategy is built upon people at Cypress who already know and love Cypress. A new site allows people to attend church closer to their homes, to invite friends, to join small groups and community service projects with those who live in their community.


Does video teaching work?
Remember God spoke through a donkey to get his message across at one point (Numbers 22). However, humanly speaking, good Bible teaching works but God is never limited by a delivery mechanism.

One of the best criteria to determine if video teaching works is to ask if people are responding to the truth of the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Based on the response times at the end of our services, the Lord is speaking and many are responding. 

Why is the use of video teaching strategic?

Because the multisite strategy is working, we are in the process of praying and asking God to lead us to the locations of the next two multisite locations. We know that you may be called to go to the next Cypress multisite if it’s in your community. However, those of us who go are not leaving something as much as we are launching out and joining the biggest and most important project we will ever undertake…building His Church. Please pray for our future and get involved. We need YOU to help us spread the message of Christ across our city and beyond.

Why don’t we have other pastors preach in other services and sites?

Belonging to the Cypress family and the teaching of God’s word are two big things that unite us to a common vision. We strive to provide a consistent weekend experience regardless of the campus you attend so we’ve chosen to have one person on the weekend teach the message God has given him or her for all of us to hear. There will be different people who will preach at times, but the same person will teach and lead us through God’s Word on any given weekend.

What’s the most important thing I can do for our church in our effort to reach more people for Jesus?
  1. Pray
  2. Come to Worship
  3. Connect with a group where you can grow and be cared for
  4. Change - commit to a Serving Team so you can be used by God to provide a path for someone to experience the same life change that you have received from Christ
Thank you for all you do to live out your faith. I believe the best is yet to come!

Love ya,
Pastor Ken

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This past weekend many people committed or rededicated their life to Christ or decided to take a step of faith and break free from something that was holding them back from living life to the fullest as God intended (John 10:10). If that was you, or if you know of someone who did, I encourage you to read this and pass it on.

Here are few things I want you to know:
  1. The Cypress staff prayed together for you on Monday morning and we are continuing to pray for you.
  2. By this time of the week you may be thinking, "I'm not feeling like I did before." You are not alone. God sees you. He is alive. He is real. You belong to Him. Read Romans 8:14-15. It will remind you, as the song we sang this weekend, that you are "no longer a slave to fear, you are a child of God."
  3. Building our faith in Christ is a daily process. As your view of God grows, so will your trust in God.

Here are some things to do:

  1. Start reading your Bible. If you do not have one, we have one we can give you.
  2. Come back this weekend for our series on "Secrets".
  3. Use our online resource page- Cypress Resources
  4. Get into a small group at Cypress where you will grow and be cared for- Cypress Groups
  5. Attend Discover Cypress and/or New Believers which are coming up very soon.
Let us know how we can pray for you. See you this weekend!
Pastor Ken

Friday, March 11, 2016

Core Values – Why They are Important and How to Find Yours

Today, one of Cypress’ Next Wave residents wanted to meet with me to talk about determining his personal core values. He said the message this past weekend on our Cypress Core Values made him really think about what that would look like for him as an individual.

He explained that he has always considered his core values to be his belief in Jesus Christ and the Bible as the infallible word of God and that he builds his life on that. However, he wanted to know how to go about determining additional core values besides reading his Bible and praying to get answers (which is the first and most important step to start with) that will continue to guide him into his future.

Here's what I told him:

  • Determining and writing down your personal core values is very important.
  • Personal core values guide your behavior, choices, who you want to become and what you chase after every day. At the end of the day, they are what you return to and each time they give you clear direction. Personal core values become your “measuring stick” for every decision in life. I think determining your core values is a huge part of preventing you from heading down a path and one day wondering how you ever got into the mess you are in.
  • Personal core values help you select friendships, relationships, business partnerships and make decisions. Your core values also help you lead your family and wisely manage your personal resources such as time and money.
  • Your personal core values are standards that greatly influence your attitude and character. They are deeply etched into your emotional and mental make-up, and are not easily changed.

So here's what you should do to set personal core values:
  • Pray and read your Bible for direction and answers.
  • Make a list of personal core values you want to have and also a list of core values you don't want to have. Be honest with yourself when looking at the values you don't want; this may help you determine some of the values you need to make sure you work on. Writing your core values down really helps clarify them, so I highly advise writing them down and not just making a list in your head.
  • Think about character traits you want to have and make sure those are covered in your personal core values.
  • Other things to think about when determining your core values: What are you passionate about? What do you absolutely love? What motivates your achievements?
  • Determine your final list of personal core values and refer back to them every day. They should become your guiding principles that shape your behavior and decisions on a daily basis.

Here are four of my personal Core Values and how I determined them:

  1. Leadership - to continue to develop as a leader. People always told me I was a born leader. In high school, I began understanding what they meant and I determined I wanted to continue to develop my leadership skills to maximize my own life and the influence God has given me to impact others.
  2. Prayer - prayer has always been one of the most important things in my life. I have always had a vibrant, personal prayer life but I am determined to continue to grow in my prayer life and spend more time praying for my wife, my sons, my church and many other things.
  3. Evangelism - I always knew evangelism (reaching lost people for Christ) was in my heart and I wanted to lead people to Christ but I also knew this was something that needed to be built up in me. I determined long ago to commit to grow in this area and I am still committed today. Because my heart leans toward evangelism and because God has given me a gift in this area, I knew I needed to become the leader of a church that would do whatever it takes so the world will know about Christ. That's the reason choosing to do video teaching and multisites was an easy decision for me and for Cypress.
  4. Teach, train and pour myself into the next generation of pastors and leaders. This is why we have the intern and resident program at Cypress. 

I hope this has helped explain the importance of writing down your personal core values and that you'll take the tips I've provided to help you determine and set yours.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Picture this with me: a mother has her "little guy," about four or five years old, with her in "big" church. Mom also brought coloring books, cars, Transformers and crackers with her, all in an attempt to keep her little guy occupied during adult worship. Do you know where I am going with this? Do you want the short story of how this turned out? It didn’t work out very well. Her little guy would have been a lot happier and entertained in his own class and mom probably could've heard a lot more, too. 

Let me share 4 Big Reasons Why Kids Should Go To Kid's Church:

  1. We believe Jesus Christ is so important that we want kids to hear and experience Him and His love in a way that connects with them! Cypress invests a lot and our Cypress Kids team works very hard to creatively capture the hearts and minds of children and teach them to follow Christ. I promise, your child will truly benefit a whole lot more in their own age appropriate class than in an adult service. In fact, we have some kids who ask to attend Cypress Kid’s services more than once a weekend (mine being one of them). Now, that's pretty incredible if you ask me. Also, we've invested a lot into the safety of your child. We have a system where the person who drops the child off is the only one able to pick the child up. In addition, we have police officers walking our halls during all services and monitoring our kid's area and our volunteers have all gone through an interview process, training and background check.
  2. Consider this, when you want to think, listen well and take time for yourself, do you like distractions going on around you? I don't. One hour, once a week of adult worship, is your uninterrupted time to worship God and be challenged on what step He wants you to take. If you are taking care of your kids and trying to keep them quiet, you really aren’t giving God the undivided attention He deserves. Parenting is hard work, and you need an opportunity to be filled up through worship and the teaching of God’s word during the one hour adult service. Believe me, this will help you be a great parent the other 167 hours of the week!
  3. Also, that one hour is your time to worship and the other 167 hours are available for you to worship as a family because really everything we do is worship! I promise you that your kids are going to notice your priorities and they will model what you do. Can you imagine someday hearing your grown child say, "My mom and/or dad made it a priority to worship God so he or she took me to church every week where I could understand Jesus' love for me. Now, I am making the choice to raise my children the same way"? I promise it can happen with God's help!
  4. One more thing to please consider: if you were at the movies and there was a child walking around, making noise and talking to his or her parent, would you be distracted and maybe a little upset that you couldn't hear? I would and it’s just a movie! In church we are talking about the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ, which is the most important thing in the world. A couple weeks ago as I was looking into the faces of the people sitting in one of our services, I felt like God impressed more than ever to me that we are the church and we offer the hope of the world…to the couple sitting there who I know is struggling in their marriage…to the mom two rows in front of that couple whose husband just walked out the door a few days earlier…to another woman who had just made the decision to stop chemo treatments for her fast growing cancer. And as I looked into the eyes of others, it was evident they were deeply in need of a touch from God. 
I understand it can be difficult to leave your child with kid’s ministries. Serena and I are raising three boys and these are things that have helped us:
  • Volunteer to serve in an area of Cypress Kids to become more familiar and comfortable with the incredible, fun, clean and safe learning environment we provide.
  • Remember, a healthy, growing you is one of the greatest gifts you can ever provide for your kids. That starts with taking the time to be alone with God.
  • Miss Angie, Miss Heidi, Miss Vicki, Mr. Dylan and all our wonderful Cypress Kids
    volunteers would love to help your child get connected in Cypress Kids Ministry. We want to partner with you in raising your child to follow Christ. Let's all do our part!

Thanks for being part of the Cypress family,
Pastor Ken