Book Review: How Good is Good Enough?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a book review, but I have an important book to tell you about.

How Good is Good Enough? by Andy Stanley is an apologetics book that points to the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.  The book is really short (I read it in less than an hour), but the message of the book is of the upmost importance.

Stanley uses his pastor’s heart and conversational style to answer objections to the Christian message, and point people to faith in Christ for access to heaven.   For those of us who have been Christians for a while, this book doesn’t reveal new information.  However, Stanley reminds us of the essential beliefs of our faith in a fresh way.

For anyone who is questioning the message of Christianity, I would highly recommend this read.


“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.”

10 Things on My Mind

1. I’m still feeling the positive momentum from our special Sunday with David Walley in the morning, and Jim Wideman in the evening.  Two very different leaders brought us two very important messages.  Our church strengthened on Sunday.

2.  I usually do a college football preview on this blog, but I won’t be able to do so before the season starts tomorrow.  So, here is my prediction for the National Championship:  SOUTH CAROLINA.   I hope my prediction is ruined tomorrow night with a Vanderbilt upset of the Gamecocks.  However, I think South Carolina can lose one regular season game, and still win the national championship.

3. Speaking of college football, the alternative uniforms are out of hand.   You can find more than you’ll ever want to know in this article

4. Continuing to speak of football, it was fun to see KDDC play Station Camp Middle School last night.   I enjoyed seeing kids from CIL and the neighborhood enjoying the game.  It’s also great to see Kenny Powell in operation as the principal of KDDC.  Mr. Powell is a great leader!   Congrats to the Bison on an overtime win in a hard fought game for both teams.

5. I continue the “Growth Track” teaching Forward 101 on Wednesday night (August 29).   Tonight, we’ll deal with worship, communion and Christian community.   Our Wednesday night attendance has been strong the last three weeks.  It’s great to gather together in the middle of our busy weeks!

6. Over twelve years ago Beth and I helped start a church in Frisco, Texas, called Hope Fellowship.  My long-time pastor, mentor and close friend, John McKinzie, is the founding and current pastor.   This last weekend they opened their first satellite campus in McKinney, Texas, to resounding success.  What’s doubly neat about this is the fact that my sister Shelby Cavender is the interim children’s pastor over both campuses, and her husband Scott Cavender is a campus pastor at the new campus.  There are many more relational connections to this church from CIL.  I’m so proud of all those guys!

7.  Labor Day weekend is becoming one of my favorite weekend of the year, because I usually relax with my family all weekend.

8.  I’m currently reading Humilitus by John Dickson.   Soooo good!

9.  I’m already thinking about 2013.   Our “Planning Retreat” is in mid-September.

10.  I’m gearing up for our mission trip to Haiti, October 4-11.   Six of us our going from CIL with a larger group from Hendersonville churches.

Special Opportunity for CIL

We have a huge opportunity at CIL this Sunday night!  Jim Wideman is one of the most sought after speakers on children’s and youth ministry, and he is going to be speaking to us live at CIL this Sunday night!

I’m asking the following to attend:
– Nursery workers
– Journey’s staff (elementary)
– 4.6 Experience staff (4-6 Grade)
– Youth Staff
– Parents
– Leadership Board Members

You can see from the list above that this night is pretty important to me!

More importantly, it’s important for the future of our kids and teens!

Here’s a little more about Jim:

Jim Wideman is considered an innovator, pioneer and one of the fathers of the modern children ministry movement. He has been a speaker, teacher, author, leadership coach and ministry consultant as well as work in a local church over a span of four decades. Jim has helped the churches he’s served in to thrive, Jim and has trained hundreds of thousands of children’s and student ministry leaders from all denominations and sizes of congregations around the world. 

Special Service This Sunday

I can’t wait to introduce to you my dear friend, Dr. David Walley.  He has been a mentor and life coach to various types of individuals over his distinguished professional career.  He founded the Babb Center in Hendersonville and led it for 15 years.   Now, Dr. Walley is in private practice, serving as a counselor and corporate consultant.

On Sunday, I am going to interview Dr. Walley on practical ways to “Overcome Destructive Habits.”   Come with your questions this Sunday, as you will have a chance to text in questions for him.

I don’t know of a person I trust more to share with you.   Do yourself a favor, and make every effort to be part of this special Sunday.  Services start at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.

Something is wrong with the Dallas Cowboys uniforms

At one time in my life, there was not a bigger Dallas Cowboy fan alive.   That intensity of my fanaticism has changed with the owner from Arkansas, the move to Arlington, the creation of the Tennessee Titans and some maturing..  Still, I can’t stop rooting for the team in the familiar uniforms.

Still, something has always bothered me about the iconic Dallas Cowboys uniforms.   They don’t match!  I finally confirmed this officially with an ESPN blog I found by journalist Paul Lukas.

Here are highlights from that article:

The team actually has two different sets of silver pants in its wardrobe:  one with a greenish-blue tone and royal blue piping, which is worn with the white jerseys, and a more conventional silver version with navy piping, which is worn with the club’s seldom-seen blue jerseys.

Not only that, the Dallas helmet doesn’t match either of the pants’ hues, meaning the Cowboys actually use three shades of silver.


The Cowboys’ chromatic inconsistencies go beyond silver. When they wear their white jerseys (i.e., about 90 percent of the time), their socks, pants striping and uni numbers are royal, but the blue on their helmets is navy, so the two blues clash.


This Wednesday Night – Let’s Move Forward!

The last two Wednesday night services have been high in participation and enthusiasm!  I love getting together with the “core” of our church and others who can’t attend on Sunday.

This Wednesday (August 22), I’ll be continuing the Forward 101 series with a teaching called Spending Time with God.

These are important times together, so make sure you attend.   In the future, these sessions will be a requirement for some ministries in our church, so we will have a “sign in” to indicate your participation.  Come enjoy a great night of fellowship and teaching, and let’s move forward together!

When we all move forward together, what do we get?  Momentum!


My Schedule this Fall

ImageOne of the many aspects I love about being a pastor is getting to know people and their stories.  Whether its in a social setting or a professional appointment, conversation is what makes life meaningful.

As our church has grown, I’ve had to be more structured about my appointments.   With this in mind, I want to let you know about my fall schedule.  

For the rest of August and September, I am available to meet with people (typically Tuesdays through Thursdays).   Between a mission trip to Haiti and a family vacation, I’m pretty much not making appointments in October.   After October, I’m in town the rest of the year.

So, if you’d like to meet in the coming weeks, let’s do it before October!  You can contact me directly, or contact Penny Simms at 615-826-6222.

I look forward to serving you!


“One Sunday” Review

Wow!  What an uplifting day!  I met so many new people visiting CIL with friends, and dozens of people made a decision for Christ at the end of the message.   It was an amazing day!

Here were are some highlights:

– The first visitor I met came by an invitation from a CIL member he worked with.  As we were all getting acquainted, another visitor from their work joined us!

– Daniel Reed did an outstanding job joining Penny Simms in leading worship.   I’ve known Daniel since he was in high school, when I was his youth pastor.  So proud of him!

– Elliot Parry came straight off his job on the road to add some super-cool LED lights to our stage set up.   Thanks Elliot for your work to add something special to our set.

– Our worship team had a lot of adversity to overcome in rehearsals and some unexpected glitches this morning.  Our musicians, sound technicians and media team are all volunteers, and they work really hard to present great music to our congregation every week.   Special thanks to Randy Roof and Steve Hertzler for solving last minute problems.  What would we do without those guys?

– My wife, Beth Allison, blew us all away with the song “Deliverer.”   She is such a gifted vocalist, and we were all inspired to worship Jesus by her passionate rendition of this song.  If you check out the song “Deliverer” by Vicky Beeching, it takes about 90 seconds into the song before it gets going good.   However, the tune will stick with you all week.

– We continue to take steps forward in our Guest Services.  Our greeters, parking lot and ushers are the backbone of our Sunday experience. and I’m so grateful for their participation.  Jay Edgerton is showing great leadership in leading this team of volunteers.

– I’m so proud of all our volunteers who make our church function every Sunday.  On One Sunday, this group lifted up Jesus through their service and love.

Invite Someone to “One Sunday”

Today would be a great day to invite someone to One Sunday, which takes place at CIL on Sunday, August 19, 2012.

We’ve asked more than 50,000 people over the last 10 years why they came to church, and between 75 and 90 percent of respondents say, “I began attending because someone invited me. Those friends and relatives are critical to the growth of churches. They far outweigh factors like the facilities, music, preaching, or children’s ministry—people may stay because of these things, but they come because someone they knew invited them.” – Charles Arn[1]

CIL Forward “Growth Track” Begins!

I have been working quite some time on a “Growth Track” to help all of us at CIL to grow together.  We’re calling this process CIL Forward.

I want us to move all of us forward in God’s vision from YOU to US to ALL.

I’ll be explaining all this on Wednesday nights, and you’ll be hearing a lot about this process over the next few months.

Here is a break down of the CIL Forward process:


Sunday Morning
Forward 101 – Christian Foundations
Water Baptism



Join a small group
Forward 102 – Your Motivational Gift
Forward 103 – Generous Living



Forward 104 – Share His Love
Social issues
Global issues