For the past 6 years I have been blogging here at MichaelBayne.Net and it has been such a joy to share what I have been learning in ministry. I blog because I want to share what God is teaching me. This week I wanted to announce that for the next year I am going to take a break here on my personal blog so I can focus my writing over on the blog at ParentMinistry.Net where we help next generation leaders invest in parents, teens, and kids.

I need some time to rethink what this blog is going to be and I need a break to do that. I have been less and less frequent here because many of the lessons I am learning from leading our church can’t be shared just yet. The past 1 1/2 years have been a wild journey as I have experienced what it is like to be one of the lead pastors at a church. It is the hardest thing I have ever done and one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of. In the future I want to share some of what I have learned here.

Everything on this blog will still stay up as I prepare to relaunch it next year with a different content direction. Please use it if you need it!

Hope you will follow as I write over at ParentMinistry.Net!


3 Reasons Not to Quit

September 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

No leader wants to be a quitter but every leader often thinks about quitting and starting something different. I know leaders think about quitting because I’m a leader and I think about quitting at least one a month. I know there’s a time to walk away and there are times when the best thing to do is quit because God is leading you to walk away, but there is something powerful that can happen when you bravely choose not to quit. When you choose to stay…stay focused, stay determined, stay engaged, and stay dependent on God you fuel stability and consistency in the organization you lead.

I was watching a documentary about Coach Steve Spurrier on the SEC Network and I was reminded of the power of not quitting by the “Old Ball Coach.” When Steve was a kid he was an amazing basketball and baseball player and he was an intense competitor. Steve won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at Florida but he did not start playing quarterback until his junior year in high school. With football Steve saw the need for consistent leadership while he was on the field. On the documentary his teammates in high school said during every game at halftime he had one message he would push. Steve would look into the eyes of each player he could and remind them that the game was not over and they should keep playing. When Steve Spurrier became Coach Spurrrier that same mantra held true. No matter what, keep playing!

I’m not sure about you but I need to hear that often. No matter what is happening in ministry we have to keep playing, keep engaged, keep moving. There are three things that happen when you choose not to quit…

  1. When you choose not to quit you choose to depend on God’s strength and not your own. // Every time I want to quit and I don’t is another opportunity to lean in to God’s strength. By staying focused I am also trusting God to do what I can’t in my own strength.
  2. When you choose not to quit you build trust with those you lead. // You will never be able to substitute the trust that comes with being locked in with a ministry. People respect ability as a leader but it’s the battles won over time that build trust.
  3. When you choose not to quit you embrace God’s call over selfish fantasy. // We all can become trapped by watching other churches and other people through social media and think that ministry and life are better somewhere else. That’s selfish fantasy and our culture thrives on it. We are always chasing something better. When we stay we choose to trust in God’s call and wait on him to tell us when to move on. Never walk away from a calling from God unless God has clearly led you to make that move.

mountainWe all got problems! We all have challenges that we know are right around the corner in our ministry and many times we avoid them so we can keep getting ready for the next Sunday. Sometimes we feel that if we ignore them for long enough they will figure themselves out. The reality is that challenges never solve themselves they only get bigger and more complicated when we allow them to hang around our ministry.

If challenges only grow and get more complicated when we push them aside then we need to start confronting them systematically. Here are a few steps that will help you overcome that challenge that keeps creeping up in your ministry.

  1. Define the challenge // Step back and define what is reality. Challenges often like to make themselves look bigger than they are. Get perspective and define what is really going on!
  2. Calendar the challenge // Don’t allow any challenge to distract you from what matters most in your ministry. Calendar your approach to the problem and control the time you spend on it. You set your calendar and manage your time so don’t give the challenge permission to that in your day.
  3. Connect with people involved with the challenge // Don’t try to overcome a challenge in isolation. Gather the people involved with it and give them a voice even if they don’t have a vote with the final solution.
  4. Lead toward a solution // Overcoming that challenge will demand you step forward and lead through toward a solution. It may be hard work but it’s worth it. Push through the pain and overcome that challenge.
  5. Evaluate and make improvements // As you overcome the challenge make sure and evaluate the process and have the courage to improve things that did not turn out so well.
  6. Tackle the next challenge // Just around the corner is your next challenge. Celebrate the victory and then prepare for your next adventure.

I have been one of the lead pastors here at Grace Community Church for about a year and a half. Honestly it has wrecked my ability to blog because for the past year and a half I have been overwhelmed with everything I am learning. I get to the end of the day and I am so blown away by everything I did not know that I am not even sure how to capture the lessons I have learned online! Some of the leadership lessons have been difficult and some have been filled with joy and I am finally ready to share some of them online. The point of this blog for me is simple…I want to help leaders go further faster and simply share my experience. What I am going to do is format some of my leadership lessons from being in the first chair and relay them for any leader.

There are 4 ideas that I have to keep coming back to as a leader every single day. Leadership lures us toward self deception and I am tempted to ignore these ideas! Over and over I have to embrace these humbling ideas as I try to lead the people around me. Here they are…

  1. I don’t know everything. // The best thing I can do as a leader is to strive to be a learner. I need to ask questions. I need to empower those smarter than me. I need to allow others to get the credit!
  2. I’m not good at everything. // There are some things I don’t even need to pretend I am good at. There are some things I just don’t need to do or be involved in. Every time I try to do something I am not good at I rob another leader of the chance to shine.
  3. I can’t do everything. // I have to be willing to say no. When I say no to one thing I am saying yes to something else. No empowers me to say yes to what matters most. I don’t need to fuel the idea that I can meet every need!
  4. I’m not the secret to this organization’s success. // I can be replaced. I am not the secret ingredient to whatever good is happening. I have to remember that I will be the leader where I am at for a season and one day I will pass that role to another. God can use who he wants to lead, it’s an honor to be a small part of what He is doing.


How can your church build marriages that last? It starts with doing more than a sermon series…develop a plan to invest in marriages!

There is not a week that goes by that our staff at Grace Community Church doesn’t hear news of a marriage that is struggling. We decided last year that we would stop wondering what was next and take a forward step in helping marriages in our church by developing a marriage strategy. We want people in our church to have healthy marriages. We want to be a pat of the solution so we launched a gathering called Boost to invest in married folks on Sunday mornings. You can learn about Boost here if you want to check out how we are trying to help! (If you’re in Clarksville our next Boost event is August 24!)

If you want to start to process how your church can develop a marriage strategy then I hope you will check out a new book from my friends Ted Lowe and Doug Fields called Married People. Our friends over at Orange Books are offering some great deals this week. You can get any of the deals, any day this week, but I really like today’s featured deal:

Buy one copy of the book Married People, and get all of the following:

  • “Why Marriage Ministry Is Doable for Every Church” (Orange Conference 2014 breakout by Ted Lowe, audio file)
  • “Married and in Ministry” (Orange Conference 2014 breakout by Ted Lowe and Doug Fields, audio file)
  • An annual subscription to MarriedPeople E-ZINE (a monthly resource of ideas, insights, and “go and do’s” you can email to the married couples in your church)

Plus, when you tweet or share on Facebook any of the deals using the hashtag #OrangeBooks, you’ll be entered to win a prize. 

Go to to learn more.

One of the most important things we can do as leaders is become consistent story tellers. Our church culture and leadership culture will be shaped by the stories that are shared and we have to become the chief story teller. I met with an 80 year old member of our church this morning and heard an amazing story of life change in her family through the work of our church. I am responsible to passing that story on. We can’t hear stories and keep them to our selves, we have to share them.

This fall we are working to tell a story of life change every week from the ministry of Grace Community to the people of Grace Community! We are replacing our series bump video with these powerful stories. They are hard to gather and a ton of work for our video team but in the end they are so worth the effort. Check out this story from our church and also begin to process how you can be a better story teller for the ministry you lead…

Maddy O’Conner – Stories of Grace from Gcomchurch Ministries on Vimeo.

VolunteerWhen it comes to leadership as a pastor or ministry leader inside a church so much of out life centers around helping people find places to serve and volunteer. We know serving helps people grow spiritually. We know our ministries need people to serve to make ministry possible. We know that we are called to equip people to do the work of ministry. We also get used to being to one giving direction and not receiving direction! Let me ask a simple question to pastors and ministry leaders…

When was the last time you slowed down to volunteer?

A few weeks ago my student pastor emailed and asked me if I would help serve in our 6th grade retreat to help cook for the group. When I read the email I started to come up with all kinds of excuses why I was too busy to serve for the weekend. I looked over my calendar and thought about the things I would give up in order to help out. I then slowed down and processed the idea of volunteering. I ended up saying yes and giving up some time to help a ministry in our church thrive. It was a great reminder that there are times I need to slow down and give away my time instead of only inviting other people to give effort and time.

Volunteering is good for the soul! Here are 5 reasons pastors should take time to volunteer…

  1. We’re all called to live sacrificial lives // I know you may get paid to serve in your church but you are called to live sacrificially. Volunteering helps us go beyond our job descriptions and give away our influence and time for God.
  2. We need to remember what it’s like to volunteer so we can lead volunteers better // If you want to know how volunteers feel when they serve and what they need from you then take time to volunteer yourself and you will learn some powerful lessons.
  3. We need to set the example for those we lead // As a ministry leader you set the tone for the sacrificial heart of your church. Lead the way in serving!
  4. We need to get to know people in our community // When you volunteer you will always get to know people better in your church and in your community. Volunteer at your local school, serve on a board, coach a sport, and get to know people in your city.
  5. We need to remember it’s all about advancing God’s mission // When we volunteer to help a ministry out that might not be in our job description we are building the Kingdom. We are pushing forward God’s plan and not our own.

This month find some ways you can volunteer in your church and your community. You never know…you might get to see God do something big in your heart or around you in the lives of others!

I’ve been a little quiet on my blog the past few months and I really have a good reason. Our family has flexed from a family of 4 to a family of 10! Over the past few months we have sold a house, bought a house, and merged 2 families into one. It’s a lot to take in so let me explain!

My mother-in-law and father-in-law have been raising 4 kids (all who are amazing and range from 8th grade to 3rd grade). Chelsea and I have been praying how we could help them with this adventure for several years. Last year we began praying about the possibility of pulling one of the most un-american ideas around and buying a home for our families together. We don’t know many people choosing this route but it made sense to us. Since my in-laws are nearing retirement why not partner to raise all our wild kids? We prayed, prayed some more, planned, prayed more, planned more, and finally all decided it was time to make the move. Both families sold their homes in a matter of days and we also found the perfect home here in Clarksville to buy together with the space we need for both families and the privacy we all need to stay sane! It also had the pool we needed to have a great tan!

We know this is not for everyone but it’s what God led us to do. When God speaks we have just learned to obey and trust God. We have no intention of being on a crusade for multi-generational homes but we know this is what God has called us to. I now live in a home with 6 kids and 4 adults and 2 weeks in I honestly think this is one of the best moves we have ever made. I’m blessed with in-laws I love and respect and consider friends! I’m blown away that they were obedient to raise a group of kids for the second time when God led them to adopt. I love that my girls get to grow up with their grandparents and cousins in the same home. I love Chelsea and I have a peace about this move. I know there are many challenges to come but I also know God will guide every step of the way.

Some of you might wonder how we made this work! We worked hard to find the right house so we could all have the space we need. We have 2 master suites. We have living spaces where we can spread out and have our own space. With 6 kids everyone has to share a room with our girls having their own room, their girls and their boys each sharing rooms. We worked to find a house zoned for the right school. We knew this would be a big deal so we looked hard and prayed hard. In the end God delivered us a house that had been custom built for a huge family in 1995. Our family is the second owner and it’s almost like they built it for us. We are so thankful God provided the right home for our families to merge!

That’s our new adventure. Thanks to Grace Community Church and all our Clarksville friends for all your prayers and encouragement through this journey! Thrilled to call Clarksville our home!

rest650x269Rest and leadership are 2 ideas we don’t connect often. I have never evaluated how I am leading and connected my leadership potential with my need to rest. It’s almost like leaders are afraid to even talk about the need to rest because it sounds a little weak. I have to admit that I have been that leader who avoids the topic of rest and here is why fell into that trap…

  1. I avoided God’s call to rest. // It’s pretty simple that God made rest a priority when He modeled it for us in creation. By choosing not to make rest a priority I choose to ignore the ways of God.
  2. I had way to much confidence on my own ability. // Really my choice to not rest screamed that I was the only one that could solve the problems in the ministry I led.
  3. I was too insecure and felt like I needed to always be available. // What would people think? That’s a terrible way to live life.
  4. I was afraid of what might happen! // This is the worst. I was afraid of imaginary situations I dreamed up and chose not to rest!

If you lead anything…a family, a business, a non-profit, a class, a ministry, a church, or whatever…making rest a priority has a huge impact on your leadership ability. Rest brings brings peace, clarity, perspective, and energy to our soul. Great leaders find ways to slow down long enough to refuel so that can lead to full potential.

This past month we did a three week series called REST and we looked at the idea of rest from every angle! Check out the series and process how you are making rest a regular part of your life!

logoIf you live in Middle Tennessee, you are anywhere close to Clarksville, TN, and you are a children’s, student, or family pastor I would love to buy you lunch and connect on June 25. Well, let me be honest. The D6 Conference is going to buy your lunch but I get the honor of hosting a gathering of next generation leaders to talk about how we can all partner with the parents of the teens and kids we serve.

Our goal is simple. We want to invest in you. We want to connect. We want to encourage each other. We also want to hear what God is doing in your ministry. The team at D6 wants to get to know you and so do I. If you have any questions about the event you can email me at and if you are ready to register for the event go here and sign up today!

Here is the info about the event…

Miss Lucille’s Market Place

  • 2231-A Madison St.
    Clarksville, TN 37043

See ya June 25!