Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quick Hitters to be Thankful For

What are you truly thankful for? I'm thankful for family, friends, the ridicule that I receive because of the Detroit Lions, and of course, God's SS--sovereignty and salvation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful for Dreams

During this Thanksgiving season, I am thankful for dreams. Notice the words of President Woodrow Wilson...

"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who hope that their dreams will come true."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

Just wondering what some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions include? Thanksgiving dinner at home or away? Favorite desserts? Thanksgiving football? Ways you spend time with your family?

One tradition that has become a mainstay for our family includes hearing each family member share on thing that they appreciate about all the other members of the family. This is often done at the conclusion of our Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Have you ever noticed how the church has become “title” hungry? It seems that I hear more and more “Bishop” so & so…”Apostle” so & so…etc. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in five-fold ministry and I also believe in giving honor to those who function in the Grace gifts of Ephesians 4:11-12. However, doesn’t it seem that we can go “overboard” when it comes to naming everyone? Sometimes when I hear the title of some people I just want to ask them "who are you a Bishop over?" (I don't, but oh how I want to, especially when I know they have given themselves the title)

At our church, our congregation calls me Pastor – I don’t know exactly how I got my title – I don’t really recall asking someone to call me that…it just happened and it stuck. I don’t mind it…but what I do mind is when I meet ministry peers who appear to be so “title conscious” that they actually get offended if you don’t refer to them as such. Again, let me state, I’m first in line to give honor where honor is due. But, even Jesus frowned upon those who desired to be recognized by their titles.

Beverly and I spoke at a conference a couple of weeks ago and before we arrived they emailed us to find out what title we wanted on our badge. I was appreciative of their preparedness. I shared with them that we were both down to earth people and they could simply use our names – and we’d be content with that. The funniest thing happened – when we arrived at the conference, we were taken to the registration table to receive our name badges. I kid you not – Beverly and I had four badges each to choose from. Lol!!! “Apostle Russell Hylton”, “Bishop Russell Hylton”, Pastor Russell Hylton” and finally “Russell Hylton”. And what was even funnier, we selected our badges and they put them on us, then we sat down (of course at the head table – far away from the people) and I noticed that they had actually given me Bev’s badge and her mine. We just laughed and rolled with it.

I could tell that this church and it’s leaders were really into the “title culture” that has, in my opinion, made us to appear to be superstar driven and has even (again, in my opinion) caused us to be dysfunctional as a church.

Again, don't get me wrong. I give honor to my leaders. I call my leaders what they are - because that's the level of anointing I want from them.

I’d love to hear your opinion…

Spiritual Architect, God’s man of faith & power, anointed & appointed, (just kidding)
Russell Hylton

Monday, November 17, 2008

Video Messaging

In the past few months I've begun sending out video messages to our congregation. I've received some positive feedback from this. Anyone have any comments regarding the value of this type of communication? Ways to improve? What works...what doesn't work?

Check out a recent sample -

Friday, November 14, 2008

10 Reasons Why You'll Probably Fail

I read this today on one of the leadership blogs I follow and found it challenging in many ways. What are your thoughts? What part of it spoke to you and in what way?

10 Reasons Why You’re Probably Going to Fail
1. It’s not your passion. If it doesn’t make your heart beat fast or cause your mind to race when you’re trying to sleep, you’re probably doing the wrong thing.
2. You don’t have a plan. You need a vision, and you need to identify specific steps to make that vision become reality. That includes a financial plan. (I happen to believe you need direction from God on this.)
3. You’re waiting for it to be perfect. Test-drive it. Beta-test that new idea. You’ll fall into the trap of inaction if you think it has to be absolutely right from day one.
4. You’re not willing to work hard. Everything worth pursuing in my life has involved discipline and perseverance.
5. It’ll outgrow you. Keep learning. Keep growing. But more importantly, build a team of people including leaders that can be who you’re not.
6. You’ve had success in the past. I’ve watched organizations hang on to a good idea for too long. Time passes. Momentum fades. It’s risky to let go of the past and jump on the next wave.
7. You’re unwilling to stop doing something else. Complexity is easy. Simplicity takes discipline. You can’t build a healthy marriage if you’re unwilling to give up dating other women. Who/what do you need to stop dating?
8. You won’t build a team of friends. Anyone can hire from a resume. You need to find people you want to share life with. In the long run, great relationships will get you out of bed in the morning.
9. You won’t have the tough conversations. When breakdown happens (and it always does), someone needs to put on their big-boy pants and initiate the difficult conversation that leads to relational healing.
10. You’re afraid of failure. When fear consumes you, it will cause you to do stupid things. You’ll let negativity distract you. You’ll embrace the known, and grow comfortable with mediocrity. The more often you fail, though, the more often you’ll find success.
Here’s the deal. I don’t think this list is just about personal failure. This is about organizational failure (your ministry, your church plant, etc.). This is about business failure (your start up, your turnaround effort, etc.). This is about relational failure (your marriage, your dating relationship, etc.). The same principles apply.
Now it’s your turn. What else should be on the list? What are some other ingredients for failure you’ve experienced or witnessed? What would you add/delete from the list?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where Do You Go?

The pictures shown are my new office I just finished building myself (with the exception of the hardwood floor). It is about 6x8 and it is in my garage. Why you ask? Without going into too much detail I found myself growing weary fast and increasingly aggrivated at the everyday situations coming my direction. Through a series of events over the last few months I realized several reasons for this aggrivation. My time was being swallowed up by anyone and everyone I would allow to. I came accross this saying that really spoke to me. "WHATEVER CONTROLS YOU CONTROLS YOUR DESTINY". I realized I needed a place to get away from the everyday pull of life and ministry (not my family) and my home simply was not large enough to afford me an office. So, my wife and I put our heads together and as you can see I now have such a place. A place to be alone, to be quiet, to hear from God, to pray, to study etc. A place where I can once again be in control of who & what controls my destiny. Do you have such a place? Where is it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anybody Out There?

Bishop Ming asked me to post some blogs this week while he was in General Board Meeting. In our e-mail communications the comment was made that his hope for this NPN Blog was that there would be comments and interaction among all of us. Your input is important for this to be a success. Any thoughts from any who may be following this bog?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Marriage In America

(pic to the left is my wife and I at church couples night)
This political season has been a very busy one for me personally. I was very involved in the fight for Proposition 8 (protect marriage) here in California. During the process I received some backlash but was amazed to see so many Christians standing idly by. I read yesterday that only 66% of believers actually voted yes while thousands are taking to the streets to protest the passing of 8 and have already filed complaints to the state supreme court. Many pastors I know did not engage as some were afraid of being "too political" or of being offensive. What do you think the role of the pastor / church should be in battles like this one? Just curious!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Starbucks & The Church...Seriously?

I saw this video (link below) and must say it was thought provoking. The video answers the question, "what if Starbucks marketed like the church"? In a day when "relevant" is a church buzz word, do you think this video is off base? Video is approx 5 mins but worth the watch.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Implementing Dreams

There is often a gap between articulating dreams and implementing dreams. However, both aspects are critical in the fulfillment of dreams. What say ye?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Articulating Your Dream

Early on someone asked President-Elect Barack Obama, "If you lose the election, what will be the reason?" He responded by saying that if he lost the election, it would be because he did not articulate his dream. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post-Election Inquiry

How are you doing after the results of the election? Excited...depressed...apathetic?