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Category Archives: Cool People

Amazed and Confused Kickoff

Amazed and Confused released earlier this week, but this Sunday, I will be in Nashville for a live kickoff of the book and the other releases from #InscribedStudies. The cool thing is that you can join the festivities from anywhere! … Continue reading

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A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin: What I Learned From Rich Mullins

A few weeks ago, I got to see a preview for a movie about the life of Rich Mullins, which led a few of us to reminisce about his life, music, and impact on our lives. He blew into my … Continue reading

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Start Big With Starting Small: An Interview With Author and Pastor Ben Reed

Ben Reed is one of my favorite guys in the world of small groups and discipleship. Serving as the architect of group life and Discipleship Pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Tennessee, Ben is smart, fun, and constantly pushing … Continue reading

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Faith Powered Profession

My friend Elizabeth Knox has been a leader at National Community Church for many years. In the many hats she has worn and roles she has played, I have admired the way she has walked in faithfulness and integrity, wrestled … Continue reading

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Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life

I just really like Michael Kelley. When I first met him, I was struck by his thoughtful affirmation of others, tenacious grip on hope, and a faith rooted firmly in the reality of God in the sometimes painful reality of … Continue reading

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InScribed

My next book, Amazed and Confused, is a part of a collection of books called InScribed. Basically, a bunch of women writers got together and decided that we wanted to produce books that would challenge individual readers and small groups … Continue reading

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Introducing Jenifer Jernigan

In 2014, a new collection of books will be released from Thomas Nelson: InScribed. It’s a collaboration of voices of women authors, and I’m excited that my next book, Amazed and Confused, will be a part of it. But I’m … Continue reading

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Live in Wonder

Last week, I preached at NCC that the core message of Christmas is “come and see.” A baby…lying in a stone feeding trough for animals…proclaimed as the hope of the world. Come and see. The Creator, come in the skin … Continue reading

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Theology of a Teenager, Part 2

Yesterday, I talked about the beginning of my theology adventure with Michelle. Here’s the rest of the story. Michelle read Theology and Galatians, learned more about Jacob Arminius than she ever thought she wanted to know (and heard me talk … Continue reading

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Theology of a Teenager, Part 1

Last summer, my friend Michelle asked me if I would teach her theology. Here’s a little background on Michelle. She’s 15 years old, in high school, navigating tricky relationships with friends, and wrestling through her convictions on any given day … Continue reading

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Favorite Blogs of 2011

My blogging productivity diminished greatly in 2011. I will blame the book-writing process for that. This is a list of my favorites from 2011. Not necessarily the most popular, insightful, or important. Just the ones I like the best. Never … Continue reading

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Unlearning What You Have Learned

I learned to shoot a basketball yesterday. I know, it sounds crazy. But I really did. One of my friends has some pretty stinking awesome credentials. Number 2 point guard in the nation in high school. Played under Coach Summitt’s … Continue reading

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The Mr. Potato Head Altar

Boxes. Packing tape. Bubble wrap. And files that go back ten years. NCC staff moves into new office space today, and that means I’ve spent the better part of the last 48 hours sorting, sifting, and packing  my stuff. It’s … Continue reading

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One Crazy Idea: CHIPOTLE!

It’s One Crazy Idea Week. I’m surrounded by crazy people doing crazy things, and all of them were fueled long ago, once upon a time, by one crazy idea. In this series, I want to introduce you to some of … Continue reading

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One Crazy Idea: Bittersweet

It’s One Crazy Idea Week. I’m surrounded by crazy people doing crazy things, and all of them were fueled long ago, once upon a time, by one crazy idea. In this series, I want to introduce you to some of … Continue reading

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One Crazy Idea: New Rhythm Project

It’s One Crazy Idea Week. I’m surrounded by crazy people doing crazy things, and all of them were fueled long ago, once upon a time, by one crazy idea. In this series, I want to introduce you to some of … Continue reading

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The Milkshake is the Muse

“O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!” (Dante, The Inferno) “I need to write. I need to write. I need to write. I need to write. I need to write. Oh…there is leftover pizza in the fridge!” (Heather Zempel, … Continue reading

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The 51-49 Decisions

Leaders make decisions. The hard decisions. The decisions that others would never want to make but would be more than happy to share their armchair expert opinion afterwards. The 51-49 decisions. The decisions that only time will reveal as wise … Continue reading

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The Big Booty Party…or…Why I Wear a Pirate Hat Today

So…I am wearing a pirate hat today. Why? Because I want to raise awareness. My good buddy Jenilee Joy LeFors is embarking on a new adventure. She is on an expedition in search of her next treasure dig. Wells. Water … Continue reading

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Legacy

My sister is intensely excavating our family’s history, and every now and then she digs up some really cool stuff. Just the other day, she sent me this email: “I guess this explains why you lean Wesleyan in your thinking?? … Continue reading

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The Ten Commandments of the Sawyer Family

Recently, I shared on the Ten Commandments during our Covenant Series at NCC, and I kicked off the message with a little reading of the Ten Commandments of the Sawyer family. Now granted, these were never posted in our house. … Continue reading

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Love to Bittersweet

I have a new blog design. Thankful for the creative genius of the amazing folks at Bittersweet Creative- Kate Schmidgall, Abi Byrd, and Dylan Byrd. I’ve already posted a few words of praise for Bittersweet here. They are awesome. If … Continue reading

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Tooting Their Horn- Julius Hunter

LSU Campus. 1998. Destiny Campus Ministries. Julius Hunter was one of the first people crazy enough to come to one of my small groups. While I recognized leadership potential in him pretty quickly, he told me very quickly that he … Continue reading

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Leadership Lessons From Steve Corn

Tonight, the Mathews family and Plash family found their way to the Sawyer abode for the annual gathering of friends, fun, and laughter. I pulled Steve Corn out of the madness for a couple minutes to talk about leadership. Despite … Continue reading

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Leadership Lessons From Chris Douglas

I met Chris Douglas in Free Speech Alley on the campus of Louisiana State University in 1990-something. He was crazy enough to be in the first small group I ever led and went on to serve as a youth pastor, … Continue reading

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Tooting Their Horn- Bittersweet Dreams

High Street. Edinburgh, Scotland. August 2008. Outside, the din of the Fringe Festival runs well into the night. It’s somewhere around 2am, and we probe our incredibly hospitable and interesting new friends about their stories and dreams. A group of … Continue reading

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Those Who Lead Up

I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of leaders in my life. Those who lead down (mentors and disciple-makers), those who lead across (leaders in the trenches with me), and those who lead up (those who I technically lead … Continue reading

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Those Who Lead Across

I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of leaders in my life. Those who lead down (mentors and disciple-makers), those who lead across (leaders in the trenches with me), and those who lead up (those who I technically lead … Continue reading

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Those Who Lead Down

I am blessed to be surrounded by lots of leaders in my life. Those who lead down (mentors and disciple-makers), those who lead across (leaders in the trenches with me), and those who lead up (those who I technically lead … Continue reading

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The Leaders in My Life

I just got back from a crazy busy week. Spent 3 days in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore praying, dreaming, and scheming with my fellow teammates at National Community Church. Then, I rose early on Thursday morning with Team D … Continue reading

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Who Are You Serving?

All of us have some level of influence. As leaders, do we use our influence to serve ourselves? Or to serve others? When we are given a level of authority, what do we do with it? This weekend at NCC, … Continue reading

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Story 2010

I love Ben Arment. Why? Because he does awesome stuff like the Story conference. Amazing. STORY is a conference for the creative class in ministry on September 23-24, 2010 at Park Community Church in downtown Chicago. The purpose is to … Continue reading

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A Few Things I’m Thankful For- Mother’s Day Edition

Here are just a few things I appreciate about my mom: She always had brownies at my house during the high school-college years, which made my house a popular pit stop for my friends. She ran a daily taxi from … Continue reading

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Five Reasons I Love the Protege Program

One of our Proteges, Jenilee LeFors, blogged her top ten reasons for loving the Protege Program today. That inspired me to blog my own list. Granted, hers probably comes with a higher level of credibility for potential protege applicants since … Continue reading

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My Favorite Little Girls

Okay, I recognize this is only of interest to about two of my readers (hi Mom and sister) but I’m just so excited about these little girls. Since I was heading to Knoxville to hang out with the students at … Continue reading

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What I Would Have Told Myself

On Wednesday night, I picked up two of my heroes from small group ministry world- Dave Treat and Russ Robinson– who are in town to do some consulting and speaking. We grabbed some dinner then gave them the tour of … Continue reading

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Mindy Caliguire: Leading From a Healthy Soul

These are notes from Mindy Caliguire’s (check out her site here) talk at the Willow Group Life Conference. Matthew 16:24 v.26- what good will it be to gain the whole world but forfeit your own soul. I once thought that … Continue reading

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