Doing Life Together at Journey

STAR Quality

Over the last 30 years while serving in the ministry, first as a volunteer on a Launch Team then as an Associate Pastor in that church plant, then as a church planter and Lead Pastor of Journey. (Ive been a part of only two churches in the last 30 years) I've discovered that there are several leadership qualities that are absolutely essential to success but are nearly impossible to teach. The student must grasp, develop and practice these on his own. I'm certain this list may grow as I learn more about leadership but as of today here are the top 4 character traits that are essentially unteachable but necessary for becoming a great leader:

1. Servant-Hearted

2. Teachable

3. Available  

4. Reliable

      These 4 character traits spell out the word STAR as an acronym. Each leader that discovers, develops and deploys these traits will be head and shoulders above all the rest. Each of these traits take years to develop and properly utilize. But they are well worth the efforts.

    Journey Fellowship Church gives out a monthly STAR Award to a member of our GO Team who exhibit these leadership traits. The GO Team is our volunteer leadership team who serves on the Journey Campuses. Currently we are approaching 500 members on the GO Team. We plan several big events throughout the year to honor these amazing people who STAR in the Lord's work. 

     Serving in the ministry can be a daunting task, because the combination of high stress responsibilities mixed with underwhelming anonymity can be toxic. It's in the discovery of these 4 character traits that brings balance to a persons life. Servant-Heated, Teachable, Available, Reliable. These  four traits when fully mature bring health to a leaders soul. Healthy leaders are STAR's. 

Doing Life Together

5 Things About our Fellowship

 

   What a great week in Anaheim with our AG Tribe. Congratulations to our new General Superintendent Doug Clay and our new General Treasurer Rick Dubose. And I'd like to say thank you to George Wood, our retiring Superintendent who led our fellowship with a clear vision and a steady hand. George Wood is a great man with a humble heart who left a mark on so many of our lives. We will forever be grateful for his influence and leadership. I met George 17 years ago at a Missions Conference and we were friends from that day on. Dr Wood dedicated our new Journey facility at the I-12 Campus. Thank you Dr Wood for leading our fellowship and your sincere friendship. As this General Council comes to an end here's a few stats that I found interesting. 

    I want to share this article with you from our Influence Magazine:  

          "5 Things You Need to Know About the Assemblies of God"

Growing

The Assemblies of God (USA) experienced its 27th consecutive yearof growth in 2016, with 3.24 million adherents and 2 million in major worship service attendance. In 2016, the AG saw an all-time high of new church plants and water baptisms and a 16 percent increase in Spirit baptisms. A new AG church is planted in the U.S. every 21 hours.

Diverse

Whereas the U.S. population is 39 percent racial or ethnic minority, the AG is 42 percent. In 2016, the African-American percentage of the Fellowship topped 10 percent for the first time.

Young

Some 54 percent ofthe Fellowship is under 35 yearsof age, and over the last decade, its millennial population has grown by 11 percent.

Global

The World Assemblies of God Fellowship encompasses 68.5 million adherents in 367,287 churches served by 392,018 ministers and meeting in 256 countries, territories or provinces.

Evangelistic

Every 37 seconds,a person comesto Christ through an AG church or ministry somewhere in the world. Every 95 minutes, a new AG church is planted somewhere in the world.

These statistics are a reason to thank God.However, in the words of former AG World Missions Executive Director Loren Triplett, “We dare not measure our success against anything but the unfinished task.”

And so, let us recommit ourselves to do, in the words of the 2nd AG General Council, “the greatest evangelism that the world has ever seen.”

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2017 edition of Influence magazine.

Doing Life Together

Assembly of God General Council 2017 Anaheim, California

I'm in Anaheim this week at the Assembly of God General Council. (GC17) I'll be tracking the events, sharing highlights, and posting pictures & facts about our Fellowship. You can follow along here (or not) 😇 and also on my Social Media pages. Facebook: (Douglas David McAllister) Twitter & Instagram: (@dougmcallister) Follow the hashtag #GC17

     

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Doing Life Together

CMN National Conference 2018

We are pumped about the CMN (FIRST EVER)  National Conference in Dallas, Texas in March 2018! Church Planters and pastors from around the nation will gather for this incredible event. Mark your calendars now and bring your team! cmnconference.com

Here's the details: 

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Doing Life Together

Time Travel cost $3.93

    Precisely today, August 1, 2017 at 5:21 PM I discovered a glitch in the space/time continuum and confirmed to myself that time travel just may be possible and affordable. It only cost me $3.93.  I know that's hard to believe but it really happened. But, I'll tell you the story and let you be the judge.

    Gabby, Cam and I went for a burger and fries at our favorite little mom and pop restaurant in an out of the way small town. Life in a small southern town is lived at a different pace. People stop and talk, ask you how are you doing or just leave you alone if you prefer. The local policeman, out of a police force of 3 always eats dinner at this little sandwich shop and colorful characters fill every table with laughter and tales of their simple but wonderful lives. The three of us sat there together and ate our dinner and talked and listened to the conversations all around us. It's a nice way to end a very busy work day. Today was the first Tuesday of the month and that is when we hold an All Team at Journey and it's the one Staff Meeting that I lead each month and where almost all of the staff attends. It's a very busy and productive day and one of my favorites of the month. So at the end of the day we headed to our little "get away" spot for burgers and debris fries. If you've never had "debris" fries (French fries covered in roast beef and gravy and cheese) well that's got to be added to your to do list. As our evening meal wound down and we picked up our tray and bussed our table we headed for the dining room door to leave.. I stopped at the front counter to get a refill of sweet tea and a Barq's for the trip home, and that is where it happened. TIME TRAVEL. The next sequence of events could not have happened out side of divine influence. It appears to be a  huge coincidence but I see the fingerprints of the Creator. Here's what happened next:

    As I waited for the waitress to bring my refills I was listening to the older gentleman in the line next to me place his order. He appeared to be about the same age as my own father and kind of reminded me of my Pop who died in 2006. This kind and soft spoken man placed his order and when the waitress totaled it up, she told him the amount due. $3.93. I watched him reach for his wallet and then a look of panic came across his face. He turned back towards the cashier and said in a frail but tender old voice, "I must have left my billfold at home". (I was intrigued and drawn further in to his story because he referred to his wallet and his "billfold"). That's a word that people don't use to much anymore. Then the waitress answered him and said, "Okay, we will hold your food until you get back with your money". So, without thinking about it I pulled out my debit card and told my new friend that dinner is on me tonight. As I handed the card to the waitress, he protested and said, 'that's not necessary son, you don't have to do that'. I insisted and said it's my pleasure. Then I asked him, "Would you please let me do this small act of kindness for you?" He dropped his head and said, 'That's very kind of you. Thanks'.

You're probably wondering where the time travel happens? Well it's right here!

   He extended his hand and introduced himsef and said. "I'm Mr Richardson, whats you're name?" I returned the handshake and said, "My name is Doug McAlister." He looked at me for a moment with bright eyes searching every square inch of my rather large head. "You're a McAllister", he asked. "Yes sir I am", I replied. He then told me where he grew up and which country road he lived on. I said I know that place because that is where my grandmother was from. "What was her name", he asked? "Mandy Richardson", I replied. He stopped talking, his jaw dropped open and he just looked at me for a few seconds. That's when I noticed that most of the people in the dining room were listening and watching our conversation. The next thing he said to me seemed almost unbelievable. "Your grandmother, Mandy Richardson, was my daddy's sister. I remember Aunt Mandy and Uncle Calvin McAlister very well", he said. I had a lump in my throat now and tears in both eyes because he was talking about my grandmother and my grandfather who both passed away more than fifty years ago. A few moments went by and I was finally able to reply, "You're my dads first cousin. So that means you and I are family." We both laughed out loud at the chance meeting of two strangers in a far away small town brought together by a forgotten billfold, a random act of kindness and the discovery of long lost kinfolks. And that's when it happened.We spontaneously  hugged one other like old friends, like we had known each other for decades and time and space gave way to family and blood and treasured memories of days gone by and my first experience in Time Travel happened right there and it  cost only  $3.93. When all the circumstances are just right, time travel is possible. 

 

Doing Life Together

20 things that I believe:

I spent most of today working on my message for the weekend at the local Cracker Barrel and drinking Sweet Tea and as I was taking a break I started to think about some of the things that I believe. Now these are not my core values just a list of random things that I believe. Some of them are opinions and others are ideas in development and a few are hard core. Just a random list of 20 Things I Believe:

1. I believe that dogs are better than cats. 

2. I believe food taste better when you're with people you love.

3. I believe a long drive on a country road can wash your blues away. 

4. I believe that holding hands with your mate adds years to your life. 

5. I believe in the magic of Christmas.  

6. I believe deep down all people are the same. Broken.  

7. I believe everybody should wet a line every now and then. 

8. I believe that I sleep better with two pillows instead of one. 

9. I believe you should live life with passion every day.  

10. I believe Coca Cola is better than Pepsi.

11. I believe that love between a boy and girl makes the world go round.

12. I believe that checkers is better than chess. But Scrabble rules them all. 

13. I believe the best movie ever made is "It's A Wonderful Life".  

14. I beieve that sitting on the front porch isn't tried often enough. 

15. I believe children and grand children give the world hope for the next generation. 

16. I believe that swinging in the back yard is the most fun you can legally have.  

17. I believe that clean socks, thick towels and ceiling fans hold civilization together.  

18. I believe music on a record player sounds better with a little white noise.  

19. I believe there's a lot more things that I believe so I'll continue this later. 

20. I can't prove this last one but I believe it with all my heart. Jesus is coming back. 

Doing Life Together

The most redneck thing I've ever said...

     After spending 3 years back in our little home town an hour away from Slidell, we recenty moved back to the home that we bought after Hurricane Katrina. We do love living in the country but it's nice to be back in the city. We have been unboxing and setting up things and today I came across an amazing discovery. In one of the boxes, I found my "Old Timer" pocket knife that I have had since about 1977.  That's 40 years! That's how long Moses and the children of Israel were in the wilderness. It's hard to believe that I've had that pocket knife for 4 decades. Just holding it in my hand brought back so many memories. Me and that knife have a long history together. Hunting trips, fishing, exploring the woods around the house and showing it off to impress my childhood friends. But how I became the owner of a pocket knife 40 years ago is the story that I want to tell you today. 

     In the 1970's  I joined the local branch of the Fututre Farmers of America as a freshman in high school and stayed as a member in good standing for the next 4 years. Each Spring we would do a fund raiser as a club to help pay for events throughout the year. The sponsor of the FFA at my high school was also the Shop teacher and one year he decided that our fund raising project would be for each student to sell cans of mixed nuts to our family and friends and neighbors and as an incentive he promised that each boy that sold a certain number of cases would win their very own pocket knife. I was inspired and I wanted a pocket knife so I began furiously selling peanuts to every one I could think of in my family and friend circle. I was racking up sales at a fast pace and before the deadline came I had met my goal. I sold enough peanuts to earn my very own pocket knife. A two blade Old Timer brand pocket knife. I was one excited little boy! The first thing that I did after school was walk over to my cousins house to show him my new knife and as little boys do we started horsing around and I accidentally stabbed him in the hand. It was a tiny cut but it bled profusely. I got into a heap of trouble for that but my dad let me keep the knife. Best dad ever. And keep it I did. I've held onto it for 40 years now. Which brings us to today. So let's get to the "most redneck thing' I've ever said. 

   I walked out of the bedroom today with my ancient pocket knife in my hand and I met my daughter Gabby in the living room and I was still excited about finding my knife so I showed her the knife and asked her if she wanted to hear the story about my Old Timer pocket knife and she said YES! And that's when it happened. All the years of being a country boy found their expression in my next sentence. And this is what I told my daughter, "I WON THIS KNIFE IN HIGH SCHOOL BY SELLING PEANUTS FOR THE FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA AND WHEN I GOT HOME THAT DAY I ACCIDENTALLY STABBED MY COUSIN." Gabby paused for a moment and looked at me with a worried face and finally she said. "Dad, that's the most redneck statement that I've ever heard in all my life." Yes. Yes it is.

I love my Old Timer pocket knife and the Future Farmers of America and my daughter Gabby but not in that order...

Doing Life Together

I love my country.

I love my country. The USA is an experiment in self government that is unique and exceptional in all the world. Today we celebrate 241 years as a free republic that harbors the values of freedom of thought, speech, worship, self-protection. America was designed to celebrate the power of the individual. But I'm also mindful that liberty is always only one generation away from being lost. Be ever vigilant.

  Our family will gather today on the patio and in the back yard of our little slice of independence and we will BBQ, play Corn Hole, listen to music and play some Fibbage and revel in our tight knit community, surrounded quietly by the liberty paid for by the blood of patriots.

  We placed a tiny American flag next to our mailbox at the end of the driveway to honor this nation, its people and a grand experiment rarely seen in the history of humanity. While we are celebrating today, our freedom is so ingrained that we will all but take it for granted. How ironic?

  God bless the USA.

Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.

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Doing Life Together

"I Love Your Pastor" She said...

It's Hurricane season here in Louisiana and we have a tropical storm already brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. June is rather early in the season to already be tracking a storm but that's what I'm doing. Since I'm on Sabbatical I have become a full time weather man for the family. They may be growing tired of my text message weather alerts but deep down I know they like it. It's a culrutal thing here in Southeast Louisiana to buy extra food and water for the unexpected Hurricane party, so that's what I did early this morning. I went to the new Wal Mart on Robert to stock up for the storm. (I was wearing an LSU polo, short pants and an LSU cap on backwards, because I'm cool like that). The water shelves were being restocked as I shopped and the potato chip  aisle was too. Apparently people love bottled water and chips during a storm so I bought some too... Then the strangest thing happened next...

   An older lady came up to me in the water aisle at Wal Mart and introduced herself and asked me my name. She explained that she is not from Louisiana and the impending storm had her worried. She wanted to know if I was from Louisiana and if so what was my opinion about the weather approaching. I told her that yes, I'm from Louisiana and my best guess was that we were going to be okay for it appeared that the storm was tracking West. That seemed to bring her great comfort. Funny how the confidence of a total stranger can calm our fears and relieve our worries but that's exactly what happened. She stopped and talked for a few minutes and changed the subject to church. She asked me, "What church do you belong to here, son?" I paused for a second and debated whether I should tell her that I was a pastor. I decided not to mention that but to say that I worship at Journey Fellowship Church. When I said Journey, her eyes lit up and she said, "I have visited Journey before!! I'm Catholic but I love to sneak out to visit Journey occasionally." Then she said this, "I LOVE THE PASTOR AT JOURNEY" I looked at her and said, "Me Too!". Obviously she didn't recognize me and that's cool because for a moment I could see how our community sees us. "I love Journey and I love your pastor." For a moment we both forgot about the storm, smiled and parted ways.  We were off to our separate ways to face our own storm. 

Apparently, you can learn a lot about life on the water aisle at Wal Mart while shopping for Hurricane supplies. 

Tropical Storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico

Doing Life Together

Father's Day with my 5

   I'm half way through this Sabbatical and find myself at rest on Father's Day. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and went to the kitchen to make some coffee. We just bought a new Mr Coffee maker which works fine except it only stays on for two hours after brewing so you've got to drink while it's hot. But I don't mind... After Rachel and I had coffee we got ready for church. Since I'm not preaching this month we are visiting a different Journey campus each Sunday. Today we worshipped in Slidell on the Pontchartrain Campus at the 8:30 Experience then headed over to the I-12 Campus to enjoy our kids leading worship. Then Rachel and I met up with all of our kids in the cafe between services to take pictures in the photo booth. We stood in line waiting our turn and laughing and enjoying the morning at church and talking to friends and hugging one another. That's what Sunday is all about for us: Jesus, family, Journey. 

   When it was our turn at the photo booth we took a bunch of different shots of the family. We laughed and squeezed in tight and took a few more. Then I took one picture of just my 5 children. They range in age from 15 years old to thirty-one. Each one a gift from God. The contents of that photo captures my best work; they all turned out to be amazing human beings but I give the credit for that to Jesus and Rachel. But I have been along for the ride and it's been an incredible 31 year journey. Today I was fortunate to be called daddy by 5 of the best people I know. Ryan. Christian. Gabrielle. Cade. Camden. I love you guys. Everyday. 

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Doing Life Together