Thursday, November 15, 2012

Short Simple Survey by Life Church

Hello all!
It's been a while since I've written anything. That's not a bad thing though; we're just very busy and the church has a lot things going on. Out of curiosity to learn more about our culture I created a church survey. I'd love to have you take this survey to help me better understand how people relate to church. Your help is greatly appreciated!

Click Here. answers are anonymous

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blueprint: There is never going to be a better time to check out Life Church

I wanted to tell you all about some things that are happening at Life Church Woodstock. We are going to start a 3 week series on Sunday mornings called Blueprint. During the Blueprint series I'm going to discuss our vision, mission, and core values. Blueprint is designed to be an opportunity for people who are interested in learning more about Life Church. The atmosphere for the first 2 weeks of blueprint will be more of a relaxed setting where people are welcome to ask questions and process material. The 3rd week of blueprint will be a full blown worship service. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the church. This series starts August 12th. If you are not plugged into to a church, are looking for a church, or know someone that is, there is never going to be a better time to come check things out. I hope to see you there!

Small groups: The week of August 19th we are going to be launching 2 new small groups. The small groups are going to be open. You don't have to be on our launch team, or even attend the church to participate in a small group. Though we would encourage you if you like the small group to come check out what the church is all about. 

Be looking for our website to lunch in August. Our goal is to have it up and ready by the 19th! This will be an excellent place to learn about serving, getting involved in a small group, etc. etc. For now, be sure to check out our Facebook page for updates. If you see something you like or have a question about don't hesitate to comment. I'll respond as fast as I can. Blessings to you, and I hope you have a great week.

Pastor Matt

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's been too long! But here's an update for Life Church!

***Year 1 recap video coming soon***

This past year has been without a doubt the most exciting year of my life. I feel like I blinked and it was over! Life Church has taken quite the journey! I'm going to be working on a recap video for you soon, but I want to let you know what were doing right now.

We are still meeting at the World of Cheer/gymnastics building in Woodstock. We have moved our meeting time to 11:00am. Many people have asked "why did you take down the sign?" Well we haven't gone anywhere but for the summer we have gone to a small group format. Since most people would be expecting a worship service with an offering, announcements etc we didn't want to be misleading. The reality is that we are still meeting as a launch team

What's a launch team? It's a group of people who have committed to being the leadership of Life Church. They serve, teach, give, pray, haul gear, and anything else I need them to do :) There are several people who simply attend Life Church (which is awesome and completely ok), but the majority are committed to being on the launch team.

Our Current Season: We are looking to add to our launch team. We've done a number of public services and they have been incredible, but our leadership is simply stretched too far with our current numbers. There are about 20 adults serving on the launch team, and were looking to double that before we start doing public services again. So our next big "win" will be adding 20 adults to our launch team. This will allow a break every now and then to our nursery workers, set up and tear down crew, and even our band. Anyone who's looking to get involved in a new church would be joining at an exciting time! It would be a chance to see the growth of a church on the front side. It would mean getting to know all the core leadership of the church and experiencing the joy of watching people come to Christ. Were also launching 2 new small groups this summer so look for detail coming soon! So if you've been thinking about checking things out this summer is a prime opportunity!

What's to come: Were not setting a specific date when were going to do a public launch. But, we are working hard to make that possible as fast as we can. Once God brings the right people who are called to Life Church we will be ramping up for a grand opening. God has provided so much equipment and talent, and we intend to use it to serve the people of Woodstock in a huge way. We are going to pour our time, money, and creativity into promoting the grand opening in such a way that would draw those far from God to a church that's burdened for reaching people. These are exciting days at Life Church. Don't miss your opportunity to be apart of it.

If you haven't already: Like our Facebook page, and please pass it along to anyone who you think we might be a great fit for them.

If you have any questions feel free to email
Follow me on twitter @mattbeers77

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cheerleading levels and scoring explained...

Hey guys, I wanted to write this post because because since I've been with Team Legacy I've received lots of questions about levels, divisions, scoring, judging, and large gyms vs. small gyms. Rather than answering lots of individual questions I wanted to the chance to help explain the best I can how all this stuff works lol I will do my best to be as thorough as possible, if I forget something feel free to leave a comment and I will answer it as fast as possible :)

Levels: Levels have been implemented in order to keep teams with a significant skill advantages from competing against squads with lower skills. The levels are 1-6 (6 being only available to athletes over the age of 18) Age has no determining factor to what level a squad may be. For example it's possible for a senior team to compete level 1 or level 5, either way squads will have a "cap" to them highest skill allowed to competed in the area's of: tumbling, stunts, pyramids, jumps and basket tosses. Typically these are only seen by the divisions in tumbling, but there is WAY more to it than tumbling. For example: Squads with a high level of tucks may be encouraged to compete level 3 since the tuck is the highest tumbling skill allowed; however there is more to consider. Can the flyers execute all 4 body positions (heel stretch, bow n arrow, scorpion, and scale) are the bases strong enough for stunts like full ups, half ups, tic toc etc. Do they have clean high jumps with pointed toes? Can they throw high enough baskets for the flyers to execute more than one trick in the basket? Does the squad have the stamina for a level 3 pyramid that includes multiple extended stunts? These are all variables that have to be considered before making the choice to go level 3. Tumbling is an easy way to think about the levels since it's usually the slowest skill to acquire, but by far isn't the only determining factor when choosing how a squad will compete. 
            "sandbagging" Many squads are accused of sandbagging or "competing down" in order to win. Basically, that's exactly what all-stars encourages. It's a very different culture from that of school cheerleading. School cheerleading is looking for the kids to throw the hardest skill possible, all-stars is looking for the cleanest skill possible according to that level. If you haven't mastered it, then they don't want to see it. For example many students on a Stingray level 3 team will already have their layout, but because the tuck is that skill that they have mastered then they are on a level 3 team, regardless if they are eligible for a level 4 team. It's not unethical to have a team compete skills that are below what they are currently able to perform, since squads are rewarded for the entire team throwing the same skill often many students will have more tricks in the bag, than they are allowed to throw on the floor. 
For more information on levels check out:

Divisions: Divisions are based on age, and have nothing to do with skill level. The divisions are: Tiny, Mini, Youth, Junior, Senior, and International. These are the main division break downs, and have many sub categories...other divisions you may see are: special needs teams, and parent teams. ( for a complete list click on:
Sub-Divisions: This is where it can get tricky. Most divisions have a "small" and "large" division break down. However, depending on the size of the particular competition they may be combined if not enough teams are entered or on the contrary they make break it down to "small" "medium" and "large" indicating that a large number of teams have registered at this division and level. Each individual competition will determine where to draw those lines. Another area where it gets tricky if for coed teams. If a team only goes by "youth" or "senior" that implies that it's an all-girl team, but if it's a "youth coed" or a "senior coed" That's what distinguishes it as a coed team....however some divisions allow males to compete on an all-girl team without making the distinction of being coed up to a limited amount of males: see the above link for further explanation. Age and level can be confusing so here's one more example: A Junior 5 team has a higher level of skill than a Senior 4 team. Even though the girls are older on a senior team, the level number is what determines the skill. In some cases you will see a youth level 5 team, though they are only elementary age, they have a higher level of skill than a senior 2 team.

Scoring/Judging: I'll combine these because they go hand in hand. Basically the large gaping hole in all-star cheerleading is the score sheet. Since there isn't an established unified score sheet many companies (competitions) will score and judge differently. Though the Varsity brand owns the majority of the cheerleading competitions they don't all use the same score sheet. I'll do a comparison of the 2 competitions that we've already attended this year:
               All-star Challenge Battle Under the Big Top                             
Scoring:        Day 1: 50% Day 2: 50%                                                        
Judges:  A different panel for each day                                                       
Looking for: Flashy choreography                                                              
Attracts: Mostly large gyms                                                        

Athletic Championships
Scoring: Day 1: 25% Day 2: 75%
Judges: Same panel for both days
Looking for: Clean skills
Attracts: A mix of small, medium, and large gyms

These are just some of the differences. For Team Legacy Athletic was a much better competition for us. There were less major gym (though we all faced several in all our divisions) and they rewarded the things were better at. No competition will score the same, and all have to be adjusted for...there is no "perfect routine" One judging panel may like a squad, and the next one may not. Typically most competitions reward day 2 higher than day one. They are looking for consistent squads, not "lucky" squads. Most competitions reward clean routines with as much difficulty as possible, but there is no "formula" to it. 

Large gyms vs. Small gyms: To have a small gym division the competition typically has to be very large. Without enough teams to split the division up, they company looses credibility. It looks bad on their part with only 1 or 2 teams in a division, so they will avoid that as much as possible. Large competitions such as Cheersport Nationals will have a small gym division. Team legacy qualifies as a small gym, and therefore won't have to compete against teams like: The Stingray all-stars, Ace All-stars of Alabama, Spirit of Texas, Kentucky Elite etc. etc. 
Culture: Large gyms have a different culture than small gyms. Students in smaller gyms are usually encouraged to compete above their actual skill level. Example: a girl who lands her back handspring 50% of the time might be placed on a level 2 team even though she's better suited for a level 1 team. The difference is that there are less students in the program and simply not enough talent to have exactly what you need to be at the highest level of readiness. Secondly larger gyms have many many students willing to go the extra mile to earn and keep their spots (due to the overwhelming competition) When I coached at Stingray all-stars I rarely had to push a kid to try their best because they knew if they didn't someone else would take their place. Stingray coaches rarely have to be the motivators, the students themselves are the driving force. This can change, and we don't have to have 800 kids like stingrays does; it just takes a group of dedicated students who are competitive with who are focused more on being the best they can be, rather than who they can beat. This is a culture I'm seeking to develop each and every day. 
Trickle down effect: A small gym competing against a large gym is much like a 1A football team playing against a 5A football team. Since there are more to pull from the talent pool is richer. It doesn't mean the 1A isn't good, but it's always tough when a FB team dresses 24 for a game, and the opposing team dresses explanation needed there lol. The trickle down effect goes like this: The more high upper level teams a gym has, the better the lower level teams are. Take stingrays for exmaple: they have 5 Level 5 teams. Several students who had level 5 skills just not sharp enough are now on a level 4 team which bumped several students with level 4 skills down to a level 3, which bumped several students with level 3 skills down to a level 2 team etc. etc. Because of the trickle down effect teams are packed with talent, that could easily move up a level and do well there too. Also teams score better when they carry the maximum number of participants. Example: a small team can only have 20 members, with a full 20 you can do more stunts, have bigger formations, use more visuals etc. 2 of our teams don't have a full roster of 20 which can hurt our overall impression score. In football terms (for the dad's reading this) We are like a 1A school that dressed 22 athletes to play a game with a 5A school who dressed 100 athletes.

But, Coach Matt! do we even have a chance then??!!....Did David beat Goliath? :)
Yes! of course! Just because we have obstacles to overcome doesn't meant it's impossible. Example: This weekend Team Legacy's Senior 2 team was beating the Stingray All-stars Senior 2 team after day 1. They have been practicing hard since May, when I arrived at Team Legacy in October our Senior 2 girls were in the wrong division and I had to choreograph almost a whole new routine (minus the dance Frank gave us) In 3 months between coach Natalie and I we had them beating a team with a full 20 on the floor, that had their whole routine since May...and on day 2 had we not fallen in our basket toss  we would have beat them by almost a point. Our girls were beating, and were barely over taken by the of the best gyms on the planet and I've only had 3 months with them. Imagine if I had the chance to start coaching them in May, I have no doubt we would have taken first place. But this stuff takes time, and unfortunately time isn't on our side anymore. The point is nobody is unbeatable. Even without a small gym division Team Legacy can be competitive with large gyms, it just takes hard work and smart coaching, and parent support of coaching decisions. Giants can be slayed...and hey, it's Biblical!

But, Coach Matt! they dropped, and we didn't why didn't we win!
That's an excellent question I've heard several times this year already. Depending on how the event is scored a drop doesn't always mean total failure. At Athletic it only meant a .5 deduction. So essentially a squad that was pretty much dead even with us that our jumped us by a whole point could drop a stunt and still win by .5 At Battle Under the Big Top everything was out of 10, so we could out tumble and out stunt a squad, but if they were better dancers, and had sharper transitions then they could win on the little things. Each competition rewards different things, and each competition deducts for different things. This is why being as difficult as possibly while hitting perfect is the best strategy. Attempting harder stunts only to drop them doesn't get a win, but doing easy stunts and not being clean doesn't get a win...pushing the envelope as far as possible while still looking perfect is what wins. Everyone earns their score just like kids earns grades. No one is given priority because of their's simple math, and at the end of the day the team with the highest number wins. 

Moving forward: Were committed to doing whatever it takes to making your child's teams the most competitive. This may include choreography changes, personal additions to squads, skills rearrangements, formations rearrangements etc. Please remember that we will always put the squad over an individual. Part of being a team player means doing whatever a coach asks whether it's be dead center and front, or be in the back left corner. Ego's have to get checked at the door when dealing with a team. As a parent the best thing you can do is make sure your child is in a tumble class. If you have a flyer in your family I highly recommend a stunt class. Our prices beat ANYONE  in Georgia, and I feel I can honestly say I'm offering them some of the best instruction money can buy. As for next season there are many changes I'll be making: 1.) I"ll be choosing some different competitions, there is actually a strategy to picking competitions, we have to base scoring systems vs. what were strong in 2.) Every all-star will be required to take a tumbling class (EVERY PROGRAM DOES THIS: Hotshots, Devilrays, Stingrays, Georgia All-stars etc.) it will make a HUGE improvement to our programs success 3.) Were going to choose our Divisions and Levels wisely. My rule for next year is a student cannot compete up more than one level about his or her age bracket...i.e. no mini kids on Junior teams, and no youth aged kids on senior teams 4.) NO MORE CROSSOVERS! It's exhausting, and expensive to have crossovers. They should be used in emergency's not as a way to form teams.

Whether you're a student or a parent reading this I hope some or all of this information was helpful to you. Please feel free to ask any question that you may have that I didn't cover. I'm so excited to be apart of the Team Legacy Family! And I'm excited about helping establish a winning tradition for years to come! Thank you to all who are apart of the TL family, your commitment to the program is why we do what we do :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

The love of the father

I just uploaded some pics I took today at Stone Mountian, and as I saw my daughters face I couldn't help but think that here's no limit to what I would do for my little girl. I would sacrifice anything and everything just so she could have the chance to be what God created her to be, and to be happy serving Him. I would never let harm come to her for any one of you. That's not to be harsh, that is the reality. I would kill or die for my family. That's how were all programmed, but you have a father in Heaven loves you so much more than that. His most precious gift he had to offer was Jesus Christ. Though many of you will reject Him, he still crushed his Son for you...So you would have a "chance"

You may be poor..God still loves you.
You may have serious health issues...God still loves you.
You may have warrented serious emotion baggage...God still loves you.
You may be angry at God...God still loves you.
You may have been abused and feel like you've never known love...God still loves you
You're every day may be a struggle...and yet, God still loves you.

When I look at the face of my precious daughter, I'm selfish. I'm a daddy. Programmed to protect, and willing to destroy any threat to her. All I can think about when I look at her is me. When God looked at His son's face as it dripped blood while he hung there dying on the cross, all He could think about is you...

Your circumstances will never displace God's eternal love for you. You are his greatest creation...You are the one thing that he was willing to give anything for, the object of his affection. You are so loved.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is how we do church

It's been a while since I've logged an entry, but really felt this one was worth writing:

During the past couple of months the launch team of Life Church has really developed some biblical community. We've got people in there that would take a bullet for one another. One faithful member of our launch team who has given sacrificially, who has taken my family out to eat because this person knows I'm stretched financially had a serious prayer request. The request was "pray for me, I don't know how I'm going to afford to put gas into my car to get to work this next week". First, WOW! That's what church should be like. Not a bunch of glad handing, fake smiling, "I'll pray for you brother", don't really care about each other phonies. In this case a member of the church was hurting and trusted their brothers and sisters in Christ enough to share something very personal. Whats even more amazing is that before this person was able to leave another launch team member slipped them a check for enough money to fill their tank, and to get a little bit extra. That's church people! That an prime example of what Acts was about. It's not about individual wealth, but rather taking care of the entire bride. I am constantly blown away by my launch team members. What's even more impressive was the faith of the person who had no money. I asked "do you want me to hold your tithe check?", and this person's response to me was "why?!! that isn't my money, it's God's". This faithful person came bringing their offering to God, knowing that God, and only God could provide. They had no idea how gas would get in their car, but their faith wouldn't allow them to cheat God. I was humbled at such an incredible example of what being in love of Jesus looks like, and I'm honored to be the pastor of Life church. Ladies and gentlemen  this is how we do church. Life Church!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blown Away: When faith meets providence

Lately, God has been taking me on a journey of faith that has pushed me farther than I've ever been before. Launching a new church is difficult...which is why most guys just end up taking pastor positions at churches that make them miserable. Now, I'm not knocking pasturing an existing church, praise God we have men who are called to that. It's simply that in my experience most guys in ministry are miserable, and the statistics back that up.

The reason most guys who are call to plant a church that don't is because it tests you emotionally, physically, and above all spiritually. Then there's the 1,000 lbs gorilla in the room that no one every wants to talk about: Money. Taking a "church job" ensures a salary, possibly even with planting not so much lol.

Then (since I'm being honest) probably the hardest to deal with is that fact that it tests your leadership capacity. Church planters ask themselves questions like: "will people really follow me?", "do I really have what it takes to do this?", "will God really do this through me". Now, there's no doubt that God has to make a person a certain way to be a church planter, and he undoubtedly has to call that man but for many this still isn't enough to take the plunge. Maybe you're not a church planter, but you long to take the next step in your faith, I want to quickly touch on biblical hero's of the faith to encourage you. Like myself these men weren't given the answers. In fact God calls us to live by faith, and not by sight. Look at what God can do when you put your "yes" on the table and really believe that God can do what he says he can do:

Abraham: God told him "Go into the land that I will show you". WOW! when is the last time God relocated your family with zero vision of the move and you listened?

Moses: God told him to "lead my people out of Egypt" Moses didn't speak well, and when he obeyed God allowed Moses to lead approx. 4 million people. Yeah, that's right. It's not like he lead a mega church, he led the population of Houston, Texas.

Jacob and Caleb: When everyone else failed to trust God because of the giants in the promise land, Jacob and Caleb remembered how great their God was and insisted on taking the land that God has promised.

Jonathan: After being tired of sitting around ready to take the Philistines he grabs his armor bearer and tells him "Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf". What incredible faith! What would seem like certain death his response is "perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf" and grabs victory. 1 Samuel need to read it.

Joshua: After following the Lord in slaying the Amorites he needed more time, so he had the audacity to pray for the sun to stand still so he could have more light to finish the job, and God did it!

There are so many more, but these stories I've mentioned all have a common theme: They didn't have all the answers, in fact most of them admitted not having the answers. It's their faith that allowed them to trust in the Lord, and realize that's exactly what God wants us to do. God knows you can't do it by yourself. That's why he's waiting for you to realize that , and turn it to him. The most incredible moments of the Bible are when men and women allowed their prayers, and faith to drift to place where only God could operate, that's when he gets the most glory, and that's where his blessings lie.

Life Church is now in it's 3rd month. There are a million reasons why should fail, but were having audacious faith that God is big enough to do what he says he can do, and we are trust him with reckless abandonment. As an update. Last night we had more people than ever before, and we collected more money than ever before. There are no millionaires, and most of us are under 35, with several college students in the mix, yet God is pouring out his blessing on our church. How is this movement happening? What are we doing? Nothing, were simply operating in a area where only God can provide, and instead of trying to organize a move of God we are simply being obedient and preparing for one, the rest is up to him. I'm just grateful to be involved.

Go God!