Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Replenish Year End Update


Replenish is about keeping full, living life to the fullest and helping keep Pastors in ministry long term.  We believe it is better to prevent challenges than repair them*.


In many ways, it was our best year yet.  We were more aggressive this year than any other year. We made great partners, raised solid funding, shared the message of Replenish to thousands via churches, retreats, post-Replenish initiatives, seminars, sharing digital resources and we saw just under 100 Pastors on trips.  If the average church size is around 184 we indirectly reached over 18,000 parishioners this year alone.  Ya, we were busy.  

We began 2018 with our good friends at Cross Bayou Ministries and partnered for a retreat in Jonesville Lousiana. featuring swamps and duck hunting.  Then our annual board meeting, a trip to LA and Bakersfield and our first trip in Colorado followed.  Summer is a great time to encourage family vacations and personal renewal so we did.  We finished off the year with a sponsored trip in September and our most recent here in DFW.  All in all a great year.  Below are some stories from the field.

Here are some testimonies.

Meet Pastor Benito of Freedom Church Round Rock  HERE

Meet Pastor Arron of New Community Church HERE


We just finished our 6th trip of 2018 and found some new kindreds and amazing partners.  We had an awesome group of Pastor from Southern Ca, Northern Ca., Houston and some local North Texans. 

Some were admittedly more in need of Replenishing than some and others came ready to be filled, others came aware they needed more but didn't know how much till half way in.  After bonding at several Dallas landmarks and over great BBQ we began "getting real" at the Culpepper House. The thing that stood out on this trip was the intensity of conversation.  Some groups are Theologically diverse but not this one so it enabled us to go deep.  This was our first trip to Ennis Texas where our accommodations were amazing.  We experienced a phenomonon called the Cowboy Church and the wonderful people at the Culpepper House opened their doors and let the hospitality overwhelm us.  Also, the team at Pop Top Coffee made sure we were caffeinated and provided some amazing breakfast burritos/tacos.


Since Pastoring is not getting any easier we need to do more this year than we have in the past.  This is our 2019 forecast.

     * We are projecting 12 trips with post-trip initiatives to follow.  

     * We will also be working with several key organization on regional Replenishes, Lunch and learns, vision coffees and partnering with other like-minded ministries.  

     * We are increasing our voice and influence by networking, social media, speaking, presenting, keynotes, meetups and lecturing will get us in front of thousands of people, dozens of churches and many generous donors. 

     * With your help we also want to procure a long-term lease for a property in East Texas where we can have complete access to host trips but also to loan to Pastors for family time, study time and personal renewal.  The property also allows us to entertain Pastors with fishing, hiking, golfing, grilling, private banquet rooms and is across the street from a lake.  The place sleeps 10 and we would make it available to our network of Pastors free of charge.

Our financial forecast for 2019 is $176,000.  This includes all trips, cohorts, pre-trip expenses, and staff salaries and a property lease.  We can do it with partners like you. 

Please PRAY, GIVE and consider SHARING RESOURCES.  If you can help with any of the following please email us and let us know.  Below are several specific ways of assisting us as we reach thousands by helping Pastors.

    * We want to increase our prayer coverage to 50 praying for us each week.

    * We are looking for some miscellaneous resources.
        - Vacation homes that sleep 12-15 to use in Southern Ca and Florida.  
        - Regional hosts to donate and serve meals
        -Hotel rooms that can be donated or purchased with hotel reward programs.  

    * Gifts 
        -$6,000 one time gift covers one whole trip for 12-15 Pastors
        -$500 per month provides one trip for 12-15 Pastors, 
        -$42 per month covers one Pastor on a trip. 
        -$25 is the cost of 2 Starbucks drink each week for a month 


Besides the obvious like prayer, favor, safety, and anointing, first of all we really need connections from people like you to their Pastors who need Replenishing. The second thing is resources and funding for the trips and post-trip initiatives.

march.JPG image.png  image.png


We need to finish this year in the black and launch our two January trips strong. Please pray and consider helping keep Pastors Replenished with a year-end gift.  

We are looking to secure $19,500 to cover year-end expenses.



Shout out to our amazing partners this year.

  * The Culpepper House - facebook.com/culpepperhouse - amazing historical B and B
  * Cross Bayou Ministries - crossbayouministries.org - our partners for January Duck Hunt Retreat
  * Poptop Coffee - facebook.com/poptopcoffeeshop - amazing coffee and food and really cool people too
  * On Target Range - facebook.com/ontargetranges - great range just outside of DFW that also trains churches defensively.  

  * Reclaim Leadership - reclaimleadership.org - Eric and his team serve Pastors and help them recalibrate  
  * The Refuge Foundation - refugefoundation.org/- not new but always a supportive partner
  * The Cowboy Church of Ellis County - cowboyfaith.org - amazing breakfast and tour
  * Paul Mitchel The School - pmtsdallas.com


Alumni of Replenish, you know first hand what Replenish meant to your soul and ministry.  We want to challenge our entire database of alumni to help give the gift of Replenish as you pay it forward.  Here are three ways.

1.  Sponsor a Pastor or trip
2.  Recommend us to your Pastor, Pastor friends or colleagues
3.  Host a Vision Coffee - gather a group of friends at your home and let us do a presentation about Replenish

Here is something cool -  we are putting together an alumni-only trip in 2019 and every alumnus who donated in 2018 would be eligible to attend (based on availability). 

* We have resources for Pastors who need intensive help.  We offer nonjudgemental, private and professional help and referrals

Monday, October 08, 2018

Another Replenish Trip in the Books

Our September trip was amazing.  We had Pastors from 5 different states and God moved powerfully.  Below are some pictures, we will let these speak for themselves.

Everyone Needs to be Replenished

Sometime or another, we all wear ourselves thin, we deal with fatigue, stress and being tired, some struggle with depression and anxiety as well.  Pastors are not immune. 

Most Pastors give and give and give...its the nature of their professional job or calling.  That is OK, we were designed to help; to be there for each other.  The problem comes when we don't replenish that what we give out.  

Imagine if you were told you had to do 100 pushups (pushup video Some might be able to do this immediately.  If I was told this, I would not be able to do it, period.  If you told me I could have a couple weeks to do em, easy-peasy.  That is only like 7 a day.  Give me a month and I might could do 200.  Some people do a 100 pushups a day and I'm sure they had to work up to that.  In my case, slow and steady is what I need.

The level of rest and renewal we need is based on the level we are giving out.  Rest, recovery, replenishing... Its a concept that God created.  Call it Sabbath, rest, time off, time away, replenishing its what we need, we were wired this way.  Athletes do everything from inhaling oxygen or cryonics to altitude chambers for extreme and quick recovery.  There are extreme methods and there are daily, weekly, monthly and even annual things we need to be doing to keep ourselves fresh. Without strategic thinking about rest, we risk burnout, fatigue, unproductivity and even depression and anxiety.

Knowing what to do is usually not the problem, execution is. 

What are you doing today to get and stay rested and replenished?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Nine Rounds for your soul

I love my wife but this morning was a sort of test.

She asked if I wanted to do something with her. Of course, I answered affirmatively but should have asked about the fine print. When you love someone you can say yes without knowing the details, right?  Of course!  I did have a bit of sticker shock though. Before I knew it we were off to visit the good folks at 9 Round in Mockingbird Station. It was a boxing-themed workout based on nine stations. One does each station for 3.5 minutes and rotates. Total workout time just over 30 minutes. 

I actually enjoyed the workout and the concept was cool, I also enjoyed getting to know the group trainer named Hammer. He was knowledgeable and nice and super motivating and encouraging. Before you stop reading and think this is about a physical workout, it is not. It is about a SOUL workout and to a lesser degree a Saturday morning rendezvous with my girl. 

 I was immediately in love with the simplicity of the stations, the ease that we moved through them, the unified them, clear directions and instruction and because we have a Replenish trip coming up next week I have post Replenish initiatives on my mind. 

This post is part sharing an idea, part brain dump and mostly a plea for creative thinking. How can this concept be adapted to a 30 workout to keep one's SOUL healthy?

I could totally see a virtual environment set up to run people through a series of 3.5-minute exercises focused on the six domains of soul (Emotional, Relational, Physical, Financial, Intellectual and Spiritual) and sponsored by a super healthy encourager named Hammer or Beast or Sargent Tough. 

I actually was happy to go and happier we did it.  We had a blast, worked out laughed walked around afterward and grabbed coffee.  I just had to impose some drama at the beginning so you would read.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pastors Leaving Ministry

Pastors Leaving Ministry

Image result for pastoral burnout statistics infographic

Some stats say up to 1,500 Pastors a month walk away from ministry for good.  Wow.  Some challenge that number.  There are more gloomy stats out there (above infographic) but the reason I am posting this is because I love Pastors.  We have a team that loves Pastors.  We are raising money and spending time and resources to help Pastors.

When we help a Pastor, we help thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of people.  Pastors are leaders and influencers.  They need our prayers, help, resources and assistance to keep doing the work God has called them to.  We need healthy Pastors in ministry and long term.

That is why we created Replenish.

Check us out at www.re-plenish.org

If you are a Pastor or know one who is need of rest and replenish or know one who is, please let me know.  If you have resources that would help (retreat center, vacation home, or would like to sponsor a trip or a pastor) I would love to chat with you about that as well.

Some additional reading

* https://thomrainer.com/2013/09/seven-reasons-pastors-burn-out/
* https://www.barna.com/burnout-breakdown-barnas-risk-metric-pastors/
* http://www.pastorburnout.com/pastor-burnout-statistics.html
* https://www.lifeway.com/pastors/2016/09/28/pastors-are-not-quitting-in-droves/
* https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/nyregion/02burnout.html

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

16 Million Dollars for What??

Image result for most expensive violin     

     What would you do if you had $16 million dollars?  Buy a new car, a house, take the trip of a lifetime, pay off all your debt and all the debt of all your family and friends?  How about purchase a violin?  Believe it or not, the highest price paid for an original Stradivarius violin was $16 million by an unknown buyer in a sealed Sotheby’s auction. 

That is a lot of cash for a violin; what in the world makes it so valuable?  There are two big reasons; one because they are very rare and secondly because they are the undisputed best sounding violins in the world.  They can create almost perfect sounds that no other violins can create.  The reason why is fascinating.

Antonio Stradivari began making violins (and other stringed instruments) in the last 17th century in Cremona Italy.  He made approximately 960 of them and his sons continued his tradition.  It is estimated that 450 – 512 are still in existence today.  They are one of the most expensive and sought-after instruments in the world.  Hundreds of thousands of copies have been created throughout the centuries and musicians and scientists alike have sought to mimic its acoustic tones and perfection, but none have succeeded.  Most experts agree that the wood makes these instruments special.  How or why the wood was special is another story.

The wood was most likely grown in a unique environment; some claim a mini ice age, others say a special microclimate that subjected the trees to stresses: wind, altitude and cold could have caused slow growth and intense density.  Still, others say Stradivari buried the wood in Venetian canals to give it the special extra compact composure.  Yet others claim he treated the wood with special chemicals like borax, sodium and potassium. In actuality, no one knows why the wood is so incredibly dense, but we do know that it is unique, stands the test of time, is extremely valuable and cannot be fast-tracked or recreated. 

This wood is like us.

Our lives, our character, our authority is something that needs to but cultivated over time through unique and usually adverse conditions.  It’s the tough times that produce the amazing product.  The Apostle Peters calls these less than comfortable conditions trials; he further goes on to convince us how powerful and beneficial they are.  They make our faith like another valuable item - gold.
Our faith is valuable, worth eminently more than $16 million dollars, it is priceless, it cannot be purchased at all. 

God wants you to be the best, be made of the best, play the best sound the best, have infinite value…… but are you ready for the adverse conditions?  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Replenish Update April 2018

"You can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed." --Robert Schuller


The above quote reminds me what we do and how important Replenish is. Help a person and that is nice, help a leader like a Pastor and you are helping thousands.

This year we will share the Replenish message with thousands, take almost 200 on trips, raise $85,000 and make the world a better place.  


We began the year with a duck hunt in Jonesville LA.  God moved huge ways.  We saw new doors open up and favor with other fellow hunters and a local lodge that let us hold services there.  

Our board met at an amazing B & B in Ennis, TX. called The Culpepper House.  Thanks to Josue and Lorena Martinez for hosting.  If you are looking for a great B & B or meeting place, it is awesome.

Our March trip was adventurous.  We had Pastors from three states join us on a journey took us to three cities; LA, Bakersfield and Las Vegas.  This is not our normal journey, but one thing about Replenish trips - they are not boring.  We had great van conversation and became intense brothers as God moved, connected us deeply and bonded us together.  

April in Edwards was brisk, building and beneficial.  We hosted Pastors from Southern Illionios.  This trip was intense!  God moved so powerfully and personally.  


We have 9 more trips this year.  Our website has more info on trips as well as how to get your Pastor or your self on a trip.  We have several domestic trips and an international destination in 2018.  

We are seriously praying and thinking about a couples Replenish - please pray for us as well.

We have spaces open for our August and October trips.  If you are interested in coming or getting your pastor on one of them, please contact us ASAP, we will fill up.


August 28 - 31
September 25 - 28
October 16 - 19

More Dates at www.Re-plenis.org


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tale of Two Batteries

I just got a new phone.  I really didn't want to upgrade because the price for smartphones is getting insane; still, on some levels, it is a necessary evil.  I had learned to live with my old phone.  It was slow, the battery only lasted a couple of hours, the camera didn't work and the screen was cracked and actually getting more cracked as time passed.  I was able to look beyond the discomfort to my ear and the shard of glass in my finger from continuing to use the screen, despite the continued dilapidation.  Ya, I missed a few pics here and there because the regular camera didn't work, but I became a pro at using the front facing cam for more than selfies.  The speed became a problem but the battery was a real pain though.  I was charging it multiple times a day.  I got used to it and even justified it but finally, after a family intervention, I acquiesced and upgraded.

I didn't know how behind the times I was.  I looked it up, my previous phone was 4 years old.  This is beyond antiquated, especially considering technology doubles about every 12 months.  It was a slow side to where I was and I didn't realize it.  Things weren't working, they weren't normal and I didn't realize it because it had happened so gradually.  

This can happen with other things in life too.

I'm reminded of what a Pastor said last year on a Replenish Trip, "I didn't realize how tired I was and how much I was doing it on my own, without God."  Ya, his battery needed an overhaul too.

How long has it been since your last full battery charge?  Are you running slower, is your memory full or are those closest to you getting cut by your abrasiveness?  Time for re-evaluation, time for re-freshening, time for re-plenish.