Tag Archives: Brandon Hatmaker

Video interview with Brandon and Jen Hatmaker about trusting God in ministry

Brandon HatmakerThis video interview with Brandon and Jen Hatmaker was shot last month at a Catalyst Conference event. I loved watching this interview for a number of reasons. Here’s a quick list:

  • Brandon and Jen are real. I’m always inspired by ministry leaders when their marriage seems normal and their commitment to each other is genuine. When I meet couples like this it makes me want to love my wife better. Know what I mean? (Like when you see that couple in their 70′s who are the first ones to arrive at church events so they can serve people together, enjoying one another’s company the whole time. Those types of couples are energizing and the Hatmakers seem to be that way.)
  • They talk about starting Austin New Church without pulling any punches. I’ve met enough church planters to know that starting a new ministry is a harrowing experience. I appreciated the Hatmaker’s candid comments about going through that experience and seeing how God blessed them.
  • I loved this comment from Brandon, “God can take care of the homeless guy better than I can.” And this comment from Jen, “[We had] an inflated sense of importance when it came to the people we were loving and serving.” It makes me think that so many of my perspectives on “serving the least” are off-base.

I’ve posted an excerpt from Barefoot Church here. There’s also a series of video clips with Brandon available on this YouTube playlist.


Video streaming by Ustream

Links worth Clicking: Tim Keller, Saddleback’s small groups, and What it’s like to serve the homeless

Here are a few interesting links to start your week…

Small Groups: Mark Howell blogs on “The Unexpected Twist in Saddleback’s Exponential Growth Formula.” It was interesting for me to read about how far they’ve come in terms of small group participation.

Easter, Prison Tattoos, Men in Pantyhose: This post from Brandon Hatmaker shares some of the stories of what it’s like to do ministry for the homeless in Austin, TX. Honestly, stories like this stop me in my tracks. What if every church had systems in place to serve the homeless in their community? This quote from the post is the one that really got me:

Need is everywhere. If we can’t possibly find it, we are either looking in the wrong places, or we’re not really looking. And the goal can never be just the EVENT of serving the poor. The goal is the people we meet along the way. In that place we will find Jesus. He was clear that he’d be there among those on the margins.

Unofficial study guide for Keller’s marriage book: A professor and theologian local to Grand Rapids, David Murray, has prepared an unofficial study guide for Tim Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage. If you’ve not heard of David before I highly recommend checking out the videos he’s developed at Head, Heart, Hand.

Book Review: Are you on the book review website, Goodreads.com? I am and last week I found this great review of It’s Personal by Brian and Amy Bloye. Here are a few lines from the review that I absolutely love:

To me, the most compelling element of this book is the fact that it is completely absent of strategy, process, and formula. Of course, there is advice on how to handle certain situations, but this book is more about the heart of the church planter and the church than it is about how to start a church that will explode. This makes the book timeless, because methods change almost daily, while principles are unchanging.

In a culture that is obsessed with quick fixes, sexy sermon series, and all-star bloggers, Brian and Amy bring us back to the refreshing and humbling reality of what Christ really intended when He established His church, and how we must go about our lives and our vocations if we are to truly be a part of that vision.

Thoughts after Exponential 2012 (or, Why I love the smell of new books)

The 2012 Exponential Conference ended last week Thursday. After catching a flight home that evening I was glad to spend Friday through Sunday hanging out with my family, doing things around the house, and relaxing.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend I thought I’d share a few pics and some thoughts about this year’s conference.

Zondervan, church plant

Zondervan booth at 2012 Exponential Conference

This picture of our booth was taken on Sunday night after we set it up. While we were unpacking the books I realized that I love the smell of new books – fresh out of the box. With each bit of packaging tape that I split, and each cardboard flap I folded back, I was continually met with the aroma of a freshly printed book. Untouched by human hands, and waiting for just the right customer to come by and pick it up.

That may sound like a weirdly romantic way of looking at setting up a conference booth, but think about it this way: Most people that work for publishers are book nerds. If we weren’t, why would we have gotten into this business anyway? We care so much about books we go way beyond nerd-dom. We love the books. (Well, most of them.) They’re what we do. All the emails, meetings, edits, re-edits, deadlines, and contracts are endured so that we can produce great books!

I’ve set up numerous conference table booths in the past, but this time it struck me that the crack-and-sniff joy of opening a new case of books as I set them up in big piles on a table is not something very many book nerds get to experience. Unless you’re a retailer or a publisher you are unlikely to have an opportunity like that. So, I relished every minute.

New Kinds of Success by Brandon Hatmaker @BrandonHatmaker

Brandon Hatmaker“New Kinds of Success” is excerpted from Brandon Hatmaker’s book Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture

Success often comes in unlikely forms. For years I’ve told people going through membership classes that our church might not be for them. For years I secretly hoped that it was. So much so that if anyone were to leave our church, I would inevitably either wonder what was wrong with them, or assume they misunderstood something that was happening.

That’s a pretty narrow perspective.

Can it really be a success when people leave our church? Honestly, I’ve had a few leave that were a pretty big relief. Again, sounds mean. But when we’re in the wrong church, sometimes it makes everyone miserable. We meet, we email, we complain, we justify, and we spend countless hours investing in trying to make a fit – and they end up leaving anyway. It’s always telling when someone leaves your church and it feels like a relief.

We don’t like it when people leave our church. Too easily we feel as if they’re leaving us. Like we weren’t good enough for them. We get insecure even when it has nothing to do with us or our leadership. We need to learn to celebrate the victories more instead of just mourning the loss. When people leave, we should survey the season we had with them and learn from our time together.

Barefoot Church is part of the Exponential Series. Now through April 30 every eBook in the Exponential Series is available for only $2.99!

Getting Ready for Exponential 2012

Today’s my last day in the office before heading to the Exponential Conference next week. To give you a snapshot into what being a publisher is like here’s what the schedule is for our team over the next few days:

  • Sunday: Fly to Orlando. Arrive in the afternoon and start setting up the Zondervan booth at First Baptist Orlando
  • Monday: Pre-Conference begins and we start selling books right away, meeting church-planters, and catching up with our authors. Busy-ness begins!
  • Tuesday: The conference begins. Church leaders that will be at the conference include: Wayne Cordeiro, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Larry Osborne, Brandon Hatmaker, Hugh Halter, and lots, and lots, of others. It will be a full day of meetings, selling books, and hearing some speakers.
  • Wednesday: More of the same!
  • Thursday: More of the same, all morning! Then we tear down the booth (which is no small task) and head home.

All this to say, it’s a busy, but fun week. If you’re there be sure to come by the Zondervan booth and let us know you read Engaging Church. I’d love to meet you face-to-face.

Zondervan booth at 2009 Exponential Conference

Others are blogging about Exponential too. Here’s the links to their posts:

Links Worth Clicking:

Today on Biblegatway you can purchase a signed copy of Divine Generosity by Kelly Kapic for only $9.99. Scroll to the bottom, right side of the page.

The fine folks at the Four Square denomination show Brandon Hatmaker some love with their review of Barefoot Church.

The EFCA is equally to friendly to Dr. John Koessler in their review of his award-winning Folly, Grace, and Power: The Mysterious Act of Preaching.

And three new books arrived on my desk today! Gotta love it.
Leading Life-Changing Small Groups
Gospel Coach: Sheperding Leaders to Glorify God
Studies on the Go: Genesis (published with Youth Specialites)

Exponential Series eBook Sale – Every Book

Exponential Series, church planting, ministry, leadershipDuring the month of April every eBook in the Exponential Series will be on sale for $2.99. The Exponential Series is designed for church planters and for those who want to multiply their ministry. It features authors and ministry leaders from a variety of church models and each book is filled with practical takeaways. If you’re a church planter, or if you’re thinking about planting a church, or if you’re a ministry leader who oversees new campuses, new ministries, or new church plants, then this series is for you. The $2.99 price will be good through the end of the month at any retailer that sells ebooks.

  • Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement – by Dave Ferguson & Jon Ferguson
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church – by Hugh Halter & Matt Smay
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • Transformation: Discipleship that Turns Lives, Churches, and the World Upside Down – by Bob Roberts Jr.
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • On the Verge: A Journey into the Apostolic Future of the Church – by Alan Hirsch & Dave Ferguson
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel – by Darrin Patrick & Matt Carter with Joel A. Lindsey
    Amazon, B&N , CBD
  • Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture – by Brandon Hatmaker
    Amazon, B&N , CBD

[Our two newest Exponential eBooks, Sifted and It's Personal, have not yet released. They will be available for the $2.99 price from April 23 - April 30.]

Links worth Clicking: 2011 AND Conference round-up

Since attending the 2011 AND Conference last week I’ve been searching the net for various other links to find out what others are thinking. If you missed the conference you might find these helpful. There was a lot of discussion there about the “missional” movement. To me, it was fascinating – how can we be both “gathered and scattered” as a church? (…as Hugh Halter would say…) Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Pastor Dave Online reviews a book that released exclusively at the conference, Barefoot Church. A second review of the book is also available on the “In the Lead” blog.

Hugh Halter blogged about the release of his new book and Brandon Hatmaker’s Barefoot Church

Mark Meyer blogged through the whole conference. Here’s his link to notes from a session led by Alan Hirsch. Check out his site for lots of others.

Tim Schraeder also blogged through the conference. Here’s a link to his post on capital campaigns.

Josh Jones is another blogger who made it to quite a few sessions. Here’s his link to notes from Wegner and Magruder’s talk on “Glorious Failures.”

Here’s a link back to my own thoughts on the conference, in case you missed it.

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