Browse Author

tmckeever

Did I do that?

I am not sure how many people have watched, still watch or will admit that they have watched the show with Steve Urkel in it, but I will admit that I have seen it. Every time he does something that causes grief, trouble, blows up, spills, and the list can go on and on, he always says in his Steve type way, “Did I do that?’

I have been thinking about how many Steve’s we have in the world. Steve type people who all of a sudden notice their marriage going down hill – Did I do that? Families who have let their children run the home and now they have no control over them – Did I do that? It is time we start to take responsibility for the results we are getting.

I am a firm believer in not just letting stuff happen but I want to make a plan on how to achieve as much as I can and profit my relationship with God, my family, my church and friends, I want to have a strategy in place. So when I hear people say that they have no strategy all I can think of is: Your strategy is perfectly designed for the results you are getting. To get different results design a different strategy. Often times I know that we have all heard and may have preached several times, “If you want something different then you must do something different.” If you are digging a hole in the ground and you see that you need a new hole you don’t keep digging deeper, no you go and dig somewhere else.

Creative Leadership

I just went back and read through a book that I had read a long time ago titled “The Creative Leader” written by Ed Young.In this book I was reminded by my notes in the book that i took wile reading it on how he makes a case for the need of “creative Leaders”. Some nuggets from my notes that I want to post here are:

* Status-quo leaders experience little growth because they are content to call upon their old education, old experiences, and old methods to address new problems. Sooner or later, the dynamic culture will pass them by and their effectiveness will completely dissolve. Their commitment to tradition and ritual, rather than innovation and excitement, will lead to a cold, dispassionate life and ministry.

How often I have seen pastors who file their sermons and just keep recalling them year after year and each time they preach them they just change the name of the church (For the record, that is in no way my pastor as he continues to find new ways and new nuggets to preach to a church he has been senior pastor at for 24 years ow). And we wonder why we see churches staying the same or hear of declines in church attendance. I have heard of a time when churches led the way but now we often hear of when people come into our churches they feel as though they may have walked through a time machine back to the past with the music, preaching, colors, well actually everything.

We in the church have to always remember that the moment we stop learning to be creative is the moment we stop being effective in this ever changing wonderful world that we get the opportunity to be a light for Christ in. We must also remember that the church must remain consistently inconsistent to be truly effective in the midst of a rapidly changing culture. Summary of this means that the church has to be committed to change and willing to take risks.

* It takes time on our knees and time getting our fingernails dirty. Great leaders not only spend time in prayer coming up with what to do and how to do it but, they are also responsible for putting the plan in motion. Without working out the plan to completion, all we have is an idea. The world is full of good ideas. Leaders are those who are willing to put in the time it takes to make the ideas a reality.

I remember being at a friends house while on a trip for a children’s pastor conference that was being done in Williamsburg, Virginia when he showed me a newspaper article of a teenager who made the news by creating a million dollar web page. Yes this teen sold spots on this web page a $1.00 per pixel. Within 4 months he had made over a million dollars. As the newspaper said, “…it was one of those ideas that you would say to yourself, why didn’t I think of that?” That is exactly what I was thinking and my friend had also thought the same thing. I say all this because here was a teen who took an idea and created an action plan to carry it out and he took responsibility to put the action plan in motion. How many times, ideas, opportunities have we had that if we would of just started on the execution of the plan could we of made major changes, taken the lead, created our Blue Ocean, or one for our churches?

* Creativity takes labor. In fact, the creative cycle is similar to the birthing cylce: There is the conception, the pregnancy, the labor, and the delivery. Some leaders conceive these fabulous ideas and then it just ends. They don’t want to go through the pregnancy, that difficult labor, or the uncertainty of the birth. But ideas are only as good as the results they yield.

Only a constant commitment to the creative process will yield the results that God desires for our ministries, churches, and our lives.

Growth through Vision

We all seem to want to grow our churches, ministries, businesses and the such but more often than not we don’t see that growth. I have spent tons of time at conferences with the best of them, listened to story after story, read book after book about how to grow and yet I still hear and see things remain the same in so many places, churches, and businesses. What is some of the cause of this stagnation or decline after a while? Do we bring it on ourselves? I believe in a saying that I heard John Maxwell say (I am not sure if he created the statement but it was him that I heard say it first for me) “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” It is over the years that I continue to realize the truth in this statement.

I see that once leadership has traveled down a certain path, it is difficult to choose a new path but not impossible. Often times barriers to the growth that so many are after come from the leadership (Even as I write this today I too am part of leadership in many of my circles, so my hands are not completely innocent either) that is caused by repeated patterns of behavior, otherwise know as “path dependency” which is the term I first read about in the book, “The very large church” by Lyle Schaller.

I have always been taught by some of the greatest mentors out there in the church and business world that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. How many times have we constrained ourselves to destructive patterns in our churches or businesses that prevent the growth we are talking about? Our churches and businesses are to grow and have an impact into our culture for Christ.

I want to take a few moments and look at only two even though there are several fundamentals that could help us break through and into the growth we should be part of.

1. Clarity of Vision

Churches must have a heart for people. If your vision is to care for the contented, then you will not produce passion in your people or volunteers to reach outside your current boundaries.

One of the exciting things of having a clear vision is recognizing the needs currently in your communities. Instead of waiting for the community to show up at our doorsteps, churches break through a barrier by being present in normal ever day society, meeting actual physical, emotional, spiritual needs of the people. Churches that are effective reaching people are those who see the needs of those outside of the church and establish ministries that allow the church to be present in the community, and they also have a process by which they are able to draw these people into the safety and care of the church.

Leaders of growing churches or businesses also know who they are, why they exist, and where they are going. They communicate this and communicate this over and over very clearly and assume always that they must continue to communicate it. Leaders in growing churches and businesses build bridges to the future while they are walking there.

2. Unity of leadership

I had read a book by Larry Osborne, pastor of North Coast Community Church in the San Diego area which he titled, “The Unity Factor”. The key message of this book was, “Get the key influencers in your church to share a common vision.” Without leadership in leadership there will never be a lasting ministry or growth that breaks through their barriers.

I think a lot of times their isn’t unity due to leaders who are afraid for one reason or not to confront those not in unity. Often times we can hear from these leaders words like these: “oh that’s the way they are”, or “I don’t think God wants us to treat people like that”, or “someday they will come around and understand”. Let us keep in mind that each of our visions for each of our churches will not be for everyone. That’s ok, let them go to the church where the vision fits them. I love the way Ed Young the pastor of Fellowship church in Grapevine, Texas says about his church, “That Fellowship Church is not for everyone”, and because he and his unified team are willing to stand by that that have found thousands of people who find that Fellowship Church is for them.

In closing this, I think some of us have done the math wrong, since we haven’t been willing to stand by a clear vision for our church we have seen a couple stay happy for a season but have lost 10, 20, 50, 100, 1000’s of people who have come in our churches and sensed something wasn’t right and left to go where there is a clear vision and people who will stand by what that means for that church.

God does want us to break through barriers, we need to take steps necessary to see those growth barriers removed, today , because people are counting on us.

No more muzzles!!

Often times people talk about Zechariah and Elizabeth (in Luke 1:5-25; 57-66) and how they over time lost hope of ever having a child. Here Elizabeth was getting old and Zechariah was not a spring chicken himself.

Here Zechariah in the Holy place was visited by an angel and Zechariah still asked how he would know what the angle said about them having a baby was true (Now that’s truly losing some hope) when the angel quieted his voice until after the birth of his child John.

How often we may find ourselves in the same place as Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah when after praying and believing God in all of His goodness for a while and not seeing the answer we often give up. We may put a muzzle (restraint) on our faith and trust in God. Sometimes we put a muzzle (restraint) on us by living in fear of what others may say. There are many ways to put muzzles on us, and when that happens we lose hope in one part of our relationship with God. After wearing those muzzles we to will begin to be fearful of hoping and believing in the goodness of God.

Our challenge to the kids was to see where they may be wearing a muzzle and didn’t recognize it. For all of us to continue to believe in the goodness of God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

My first blog with my new WordPress site

It has been so long since I had a new blog, (my other one which is now turning 100% church directed is at www.take2ministries.com ) that I forgot the pressure of the first post. I also forgot my way around a WordPress blog as well.

But with all that said and with some thought into what I wanted the first post to be on, I think I have it now. This particular blog is going to about things that I enjoy like: Family, Kids Ministries, Kidology, Leadership, Books, Coffee, Toys and gadgets, all things Mac and stuff like that. There is one thing that all these things have in common, it is, I am Grateful for each and everyone of these things.

Now there it is, the first post is going to be about Gratefulness. One thing in particular actually that I am grateful for. This person is actually the reason behind the setting up of this blog. This person has been a friend to me in good times and in not so good times. This friend already has a great blog site at The Kidologist , and he is also the creator of another great web site that truly helps out those who minister to kids, an you can see it at Kidology.org.

Yes this first blog post I wanted it to be about my friend Karl Bastian. Here is a guy who cares so much and so deeply about people that with the extremely limited time he has he not only creates and runs all the above, but, he also has created a time for men called: “Yosemite Summit‘ which is 5-day personal sabbatical for male children’s pastors, situated in the heart of one of the most spectacular National Parks in the United States. It’s “The Unconference for Children’s Pastors!” But wait! That is not all. He has then created another time for women called: “Unbridled” which is a Kidology women’s retreat at 3P Ranch in Circleville, Ohio. Designed for children’s pastors, it’s a getaway from the business of ministry!

I could really go on and on, but, the bottom line for me is, I wanted this blog post to be about the friend who has really become a true friend for me and a confidant as well. Karl, I am so grateful for you and your family and your friendship toward me and my family. Thanks I feel are words that really don’t carry enough weight to express my gratitude toward you and the impact you have had in my life and my families life.

I thought it was only appropriate to have my first post as a Thank You to you. Plus this combined a good few things that I enjoy into one post like: Kidology, You, Mac computers (seeing that you are also a mac-ite as myself along with gadgets and all).

Lastly, just again want to say: Thanks God for bringing such a great friend into my life, I look forward to what all Gd has planned.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...