Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oceans Edge Mascot = Purple Cow?

I'm a big fan of leadership and marketing author/blogger Seth Godin. His books and posts have great insight and always seem to be helpful to me as director of Oceans Edge School. I recommend you follow his blog and read his best seller, Purple Cow-Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.

Seth wrote a blog last week titled The coming melt-down in higher education (as seen by a marketer) that gave some great perspective on how a school like Oceans Edge fits into the education market. 

Here are some points that resonated with me:

  • "Most colleges are organized to give an average education to average students."
  • “College has gotten expensive far faster than wages have gone up.”
  • “The correlation between a typical college degree and success is suspect.”
  • “Accreditation isn't the solution, it's the problem.”

    And here are my reflections on each point:
    • Christian musicians and aspiring worship leaders are not average students! At a small school like OES we have the ability to adapt the curriculum and create an environment that fosters growth to each individual.   
    • OES costs a fraction of what a student would pay at a good university. We also provide an incredible amount of contact time with staff compared to a traditional college. Our worship leader graduates have no trouble being placed at churches. Worship ministry is a great ministry and career. 
    • The news is flooded with reports of college grads not finding jobs. The idea of safely majoring in business or teaching to ensure a solid job after graduation just isn’t sound anymore. This is 2010 and people/employers will pay (hire) for something extraordinary, not because you have a piece of paper. At OES we develop the gifts that God has given our students. We keep it small and pray that every student is called by God to be here for a purpose. We help them find their place in ministry. Sometimes thats a worship leader job, or as an indie artist, or something completely different. But they are more of what God created them to be when they leave us.
    • “Is OES accredited?”.........I get this question alot! The answer is no and I love the insight Seth gives into the problems with accreditation. The bottom line is that it would drive our costs much higher and force us to hire less qualified (but more educated) staff. Our school would be less extraordinary....and we still wouldn’t be a college. We have a purpose. And so do they. Thats ok!
    Seth offers some advice in regard to the “problems:”
    “The solutions are obvious... there are tons of ways to get a cheap, liberal education, one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matter and to learn to make a difference. Most of these ways, though, aren't heavily marketed nor do they involve going to a tradition-steeped two-hundred-year old institution with a wrestling team.”

    Thanks Seth! We are one of the solutions. Oceans Edge is a remarkable school. God is doing remarkable things here. For students who are called into ministry as a worship leader or performing artist, we can help them reach their goals. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I fully support higher education. I am an “education guy” with a masters degree to prove it! But the world has changed and the traditional college route is not the only option and certainly not a guaranteed ticket into the job market anymore.
    Reposted 8/16/10

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    What Were YOU Made to Be?

    From "The Message" version of the Bible. I love the way this reads:

    Romans 12

    1 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 

    2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. 

    3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. 4 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around.5 The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body,

    6 let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
    If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else;
    7 if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching;8 if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

     9 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.11 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master,12 cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.15 Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.16 Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.17 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.19 Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” 

    20 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.
    21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.


    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Hiromi's Sonicbloom - Deep into the Night

    Hiromi's Sonicbloom has become a bit of an obsession for me lately. I can't get enough. Not since Chick Corea's Electric band debut have I loved fusion this much. It is a great balance of chops, beauty, arrangements. Just great artistry all around!

    Hiromi, God has blessed you! I wonder if you know Him? You should thank Him. Until then, I will thank Him for you.


    Monday, February 1, 2010

    It's All About The Experience!

    Ocean's Edge School is more than a school of music and discipleship, it is a life changing experience!

    I am a big fan of Starbucks. I mean, who isn't! Yeah, I know, Dave Ramsey has already told me I could give up my Latte, save the $4 each day, and retire with $1,000,000. I don't care. I need my starbucks! Can I get an Amen?

    I just finished reading The Starbucks Experience by Joseph Michelli.

    It was a great read that gave a lot of insight into how Starbucks delivers much more than a simple cup of coffee.......they provide us an experience. A wonderful, comforting, vibey, relaxing, experience, AND great coffee.
    $4 coffee would fail, but a great experience is priceless! (or $4, I guess).

    I guess the book resonated with me so much because we approach Ocean's Edge School much the same and getting some inside tips from Starbucks management can only help me improve the Oceans Edge Experience!

    Heres some points on how Starbucks does it and how we do it at OES:
    1. Make It Your Own: We have a diverse, unique, talented staff. We take advantage of this by adapting our curriculum based on the strength and interests of our staff. God has uniquely gifted each staff member and He has brought each of them to be at OES and to share their gifts with students. We use this to our advantage! That is one of the advantages of not becoming an accredited institution...we can stay "light on our feet" and adapt our program without the red-tape and restrictions that an accrediting agency would bring.

    2. Everything Matters: The small details can sometimes mean the difference between success and failure. Unlike a traditional "college" experience where you primarily attend classes and the rest is left to chance, at Oceans Edge we work to create a community of Christian musicians that is vibrant and challenging both in and out of classes. You live this place! You are pushed to grow both spiritually and musically.

    3. Surprise and Delight: In 1912, the Rueckheim brothers, the makers of Cracker Jack, realized that adding a surprise to each package would dramatically increase the appeal of their product. Sometimes OES is like a box of Cracker get more than you expected. Oceans Edge is located at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, one of the largest churches in North America. Under the leadership of pastor Bob Coy and worship pastor Clay Hecocks, the philosophy here is to "do church well." That idea extends into every ministry of the church resulting in great facilities, a safe environment, great gear, practice spaces, living accommodations, you name it....our staff goes the extra mile to create the Oceans Edge Experience!

    4. Embrace Resistance: Discipleship is a huge part of the Oceans Edge Experience. We don't see conflict or problems as a problem. It is an opportunity for staff to teach students about life. Often times, the real lessons happen outside of the classroom. At OES, we know this...we embrace it...we use it as an opportunity.

    5. Leave Your Mark: We all leave our mark on this world. Our staff members seek to leave their mark on students lives and to prepare students to leave our school and impact their world for Jesus Christ. That is why we are here!

      I love Starbucks. But I love this school more. It's a special place where lives are changing, people are growing, leaders are emerging. How do I know? Just like Starbucks, our "customers" are very statisfied. And we as a staff are loving making them happy!

    PS> I thought is fitting to write about Starbucks at Starbucks while drinking Starbucks. Specifically a double tall, non-fat, toffee nut latte, extra foam, no whip.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Clyde Stubblefield/ Funky Drummer

    This is what we are working on in the Ocean's Edge Drum Studio

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Leaders.....I'm not sure what this will be like...but it seems like the place to be...

    What if you could sit down across your desk with some of the best leaders in today's church and hear what they would say to you? That's the idea behind THE NINES.

    THE NINES is a free one-day event that will take place totally on-line. It is designed for all church staff members who want to be motivated and stretched in their leadership.

    One Day... 9/9/09 at 9:09 AM

    It's Free, but you have to register

    The Nines from Todd Rhoades on Vimeo.

    I'm not sure what this will be like...but it seems like the place to be...

    Confirmed speakers include:
    Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill Church)
    Reggie McNeal (Leadership Network)
    Perry Noble (NewSpring Church)
    John Ortberg (Menlo Park Presbyterian)
    Steven Furtick (Elevation Church)
    Nancy Beach (Willow Creek Church)
    Leonard Sweet (Author/Speaker)
    Stacy Spencer (New Direction Christian Church)
    Ed Stetzer (Lifeway Research)
    Mark Batterson (National Community Church)
    Dave Ferguson (Community Christian Church)
    Alan Hirsch (Forge Mission Training Network)
    Dino Rizzo (Healing Place Church)
    Dan Kimball (Vintage Faith Church)
    Greg Surratt (Seacoast Church)
    Sam Chand (Sam Chand Ministries)
    Bil Cornelius (Bay Area Fellowship)
    Brad Bell (The Well)
    Brian McLaren (Author/Speaker)
    Brian Bloye (Westridge Church)
    Jon Tyson (Trinity Grace Church, NYC)
    Bob Roberts (Northwood Church)
    Reggie Joiner (CCO, reThink)
    Brad Powell (NorthRidge Church)
    Margaret Feinberg (Author/Speaker)
    Matt Carter (The Austin Stone Church)
    Darrin Patrick (The Journey)
    Matt Fry (C3 Church)
    Nancy Ortberg (TeamWorx2)
    Mike Breaux (Heartland Church)
    J. D. Greear (Summit Church)
    Scott Hodge (Orchard Valley Church)
    Greg Holder (Windsor Crossing Church)
    Pete Wilson (Cross Point Church)
    Neil Cole (Church Multiplication Associates)
    Matt Williams (Grace Church Greenville)
    Jenni Catron (Cross Point Church)
    Noel Heikkinen (Riverview Church)
    Bill Easum (Easum & Associates)
    Chip Henderson (Pine Lake Church)
    David Foster (The Gathering)
    Mark Bankord (Heartland Community Church)
    Ken Fong (Evergreen Baptist Church)
    John Bishop (Living Hope Church)
    Rick Rusaw (LifeBridge Church)
    Bryan Carter (Concord Chuch)
    Geoff Surratt (Seacoast Church)
    Jeffrey Johnson (Eastern Star Church)
    Jim Tomberlin (Third Quarter Consulting)
    Anne Jackson (
    Naeem Fazal (Mosaic Church)
    Jim Burgen (Flatirons Community Church)
    John Coulombe (First Ev Free Fullerton)
    Teresa McBean (NorthStar Community Church)
    Jim Sheppard (Generis)
    Shawn Wood (Seacoast Church)
    Lawrence Aker (Cornerstone Baptist Church)
    Steve Robinson (Church of the King)
    Jason Cusick (Journey of Faith Church)
    Bambi Encarnacion (First Ev Free Fullerton)
    Ken Fong (Evergreen Baptist Church)
    Judy West (Windsor Crossing Church)
    Scott Wilson (The Oaks Fellowship)
    Amy Hanson(Author/Speaker)
    Toby Slough (Cross Timbers Church)
    Troy Gramling (Flamingo Road Church)
    Scott Nickell (Flatirons Community Church)
    Michael Trent (Third Place Consulting)
    Jorge Acevedo (Grace Church)
    Scott Williams (
    Steve Robinson (Church of the King)
    Keld Dahlman (Europe Church Planter)

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Phil Wickham at Oceans Edge School

    In June, Phil Wickham was leading at the church where Oceans Edge School is located, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Whenever an artist comes, we schedule some time with them to get some insight into their world and to learn some practical tips.
    Here is some video from the session he did in June:

    In this clip, Phil tells the story of how he became interested in music and the progression from picking up a guitar around the house, to playing in youth band, to getting a record deal. Its amazing to hear how naturally things progressed. Notice he didn't START with a demo and try to scheme his way to the top, he just "kept focusing on Jesus."

    In this next clip, Phil gives some great insight into his songwriting and uses a song he is working on currently as an example.
    BTW, check out the vocals. Phil is a beast!

    We try to give students a diverse experience at Ocean's Edge. It's great when we can have guest artists like Phil talk to the class, but we also have an awesome staff and other guests who have teaching opportunities.

    For you songwriters, here are a few books we recommend at OES:
    Six Steps To Songwriting Success by Jason Blume
    Songwriters Workshop: Harmony by Jimmy Kachulis