3 major changes I need to make with 3 services

By | Ministry, Pastor Stuff, Weekend Review | No Comments

service times at Focus

Going to 3 services is the biggest step of faith we have ever taken as a church. I am excited to see what God will do. Every time we have taken this level of risk, God has met us with a greater level of reward. Risks of this caliber also come accompanied with high level of nerves. Risks also require a great deal of change.

1. We must maintain and improve our user experience. 

With an earlier service time, the tendency could become to cut a few corners on our user experience. That should never be the case. The reason we have to add a third service is because of the current quality we already provide. We must not weaken what our audience experiences at any service time. As a matter of fact, by opening up more seats, we probably should improve the caliber to fill the new seats.

2. We must end on time every time. 

There is no more wiggle room for turning a service around. The clock must be set and we must end accordingly. The offering and 411 needs to be limited to 4 minutes every time. The sermon cannot go past 25 minutes and the worship cannot go longer than 25 minutes.

3. We must increase our number of volunteers

To avoid premature heart attacks and ministry burnout, we have to lighten the load by dispersing the work load across a larger team of volunteers. We will now be providing a full service catering room backstage for volunteers to be able to rest and eat before ministering to people. Inviting someone to serve with you is as easy as sending them to www.Focus.Church/serve

If I am honest, I truly believe our church is on the brink of securing a different location, but until then, we will do whatever it takes to see people experience life-change through Christ. Your prayers during this season would be greatly appreciated.



80 By Easter Update

By | Ministry, momentum, Weekend Review | No Comments

80 By EasterHey Church,

We have set a goal to see 80 people serving on a single Sunday at Focus before Easter. Hence the name #80ByEaster. This challenge exist because we understand the value in not only receiving from the local church, but also serving in the local church.  We also love seeing people go from sitting in rows to serving on teams. When people make that transition, they get a front row seat of all the life change that happens at Focus.

This past Sunday we had 50 individual people wearing a lanyard and we broke our attendance record! There is an obvious connection between how many people are serving and how many people attend on a Sunday. For everyone who is currently serving, thank you!

We are more than half way to reaching our goal of #80ByEaster.

To join this movement and become one of the 80, SIGN UP HERE TO SERVE.

The Number One Reason To Not Be Late This Sunday

By | Ministry, Pastor Stuff, Random, Weekend Review | No Comments

Baptism At Focus Church

Every Sunday is extra special. But this Sunday we are starting the worship experience with one of the best cover songs we have ever done. I know the temptation will be to press the snooze button a few times, but this Sunday is one you will not want to miss. Our experiences this Sunday are sandwiched in celebration!

Ending with baptism and starting with this cover song:

I Am Ready To Fail

By | Ministry | No Comments


Failed red grunge stampI am ready to fail.

Not because I’ve been overly successful. Not because I haven’t failed in the past.

But when there are long seasons of life that go extremely under opposed, it creates in me a desire to take a risk so large that the odds of failure are higher. I’m not saying I want to go deliberately make a move that would be a public nightmare, but I’m ready to fail. The worst thing that could happen to anyone in this life is for them to go extremely under opposed for their entire life. My character is tested most in times of opposition. My drive is fueled by the thought of potential failure. So, I’m asking myself the question today, what can I do were the failure rate would be higher that 50%. Those odds are scary enough to make me uncomfortable. Those odds are bold enough to make people follow a movement.

How about you? Failed enough lately?
Want to join me on the failure train? Let’s see if we can turn it around.

Let’s Make It Facebook Official

By | Pastor Stuff | No Comments

Since the beginning of time relationships existed without Facebook. There were other ways to publicly declare that you were taken. But in 2015, the best way to let the world know that you are no longer on the market is by using your social media platform. Editing your bio to show an updated relationship status has become a significant step in the life of a relationship. People get hundreds of likes and dozens of comments on these kind of updates.

Water baptism is the same way. Water baptism is not salvation, but a symbol for someone who has already been saved. The water is simply the update in your journey that allows outsiders to know about the decision you have made for Christ. If you are interested in being baptized and making it Facebook official, you can sign up on THIS PAGE.


PK Retreat Recap

By | Ministry, Pastor Stuff, Weekend Review | No Comments

Mike Santiago - SpeakingThis past weekend I had the privilege to speak to 200 of my best friends. Here are a few takeaways…


  1. I love pastors kids.
  2. I really really really missed FOCUS church while I was gone.
  3. Pastors kids are hungry for God at a whole notha level.
  4. Their generational blessing was evident in their worship.
  5. GoPro cameras take the best #SermonSelfies
  6. SEU Worship knows how to take students into the presence of God.
  7. Sea World is more fun with a fast pass.
  8. Sea World is a lot more fun with an all you can eat bracelet.
  9. I like staying in nice hotels.
  10. Even pastors kids need some altar time.
  11. Colin Jackson was a great sidekick for the weekend.
  12. I don’t miss Florida traffic.
  13. I really love preaching.
  14. Al Force and the Pen Florida team are the best.

I can’t express how awesome it was to see God move and work in the lives of pastors kids.

I have my own parking spot at Focus Church

By | Ministry, Pastor Stuff | No Comments

Parking for Pastor

Growing up in church I always noticed a sign in front of the best parking spot on the property. (This spot was usually occupied by the most valuable car in the lot too, but that’s a post for another day.)


The sign said “Reserved for The Pastor.” I have carried on that tradition by also reserving a spot for myself every weekend at Focus Church. With one blaring difference. My spot is not the closest to the building. It is actually not even kind of convenient. It’s the furthest possible parking spot from our venue.


Here are some benefits to my inconvenient parking spot:


There is never anyone fighting for my spot, so I don’t even have to put up a sign.

There is no chance of my car getting scratched or dinged by another vehicle.

The step counter on my Fitbit loves this idea.


What I have learned about leadership is this:


Leaders park far away.

Leaders take the long walk.

Leaders leave room for newbies.

Leaders eliminate as many frustrations as they possibly can.


So if you are looking for my car on a Sunday morning, chances are you will have to look half a mile from the building.


Leaders: join the “Park Far, Walk More” revolution this Sunday.


Mike Santiago

3 Things your church could learn from Chipotle

By | atmosphere, Identity, Ministry, Pastor Stuff | No Comments

What the church can learn from Chipotle

I am the Jared of Chipotle. Seriously. Chris and I eat there way too much. Our deepest conversations tend to take place around our favorite corner booth with burritos in our hands. It has become such an epidemic that the Chipotle staff recognize us outside of the restaurant on their days off. Because of this overwhelming addiction, I figured I would put my frequency to use and do a little analysis of why I am drawn to this little piece of heaven on earth. Here are a few things every pastor or church leader could learn from Chipotle.


1. Consistency

The reason I go to chipotle is because I will rarely be surprised. The temperature of my food remains the same, the flavor is never drastically different. I like that. So do people who attend your church. They love to know that they aren’t going to be embarrassed or surprised by what takes place on a Sunday. They like to know there is going to be a seat for them. Consistency in your service length is also something that needs a relative amount of consistency. Chipotle is so consistent that I can order the same food from a store in a whole different state and it will still taste the same.

2. Simplicity

There is variety in extreme simplicity at Chipotle. This means, you have options that aren’t overwhelming. Down to the very nature of their furniture, everything about them is simple.  Simplicity is more difficult to achieve than most of us realize. In a church world where we wear badges of how many ministries we offer, simplicity creates a much stronger and easier to follow vision. At FOCUS Church, we only do 5 things. We call it the FOCUS 5. Even now in this season of ministry, I am many times tempted to add to our ministry menu in order to satisfy a few more people, but thats not fun or enjoyable. Making your church more simple is one of the biggest challenge you will ever face. People will give you push back on not having something to offer every night of the week, but simple is strong.

3. Creativity

Don’t confuse simplicity with not giving your people the ability to customize. Customization at Chipotle is your right to make complicated, that which was simple in its foundation. You can still be creative and simple at the same time. Because each customer wants something different, they allow you to be creative on their simple terms. My church needs to be the best place to express the gifts of God while all the while staying simple on mission.