- A written vision is important. The pen (or keyboard!) has power. It isn’t enough to envision your goals in your mind. You must have a blueprint on paper. Every decision you make, ask yourself: does this help me get closer to accomplishing the vision?
- Learn to listen to the neighborhood that your church is in. You have to listen and then deliver. God really does know where He has placed your church and why.
- Only hire people who have a fire. Hire people who are driven to do well and see your church succeed.
- If you must let someone go who is paid or re-position a volunteer, be graceful and professional about it. This is hands down the worst part of being an Executive Pastor. It is tough to let people go, but for the greater good of the ministry and a greater benefit for the person, sometimes it must be done. It doesn’t matter if you are being let go or being repositioned, don’t burn bridges.
- Learn to forgive. Things happen. People change. You can’t move forward in ministry — or in life — if you can’t forgive and move on.
- Treat your team well. People will follow a leader who treats them with respect. Learn to value your team’s input, and always reward them for a job well done.
- Focus is the most underrated skill that you must master. What is on people’s computer screens is not usually resulting in a positive ROI. Learn to focus on what truly matters in your ministry. Then, do it consistently. Facebook, twitter, snap chat etc., even though you may use it for networking, most likely is not as profitable as you try to sell that it is.
- Multitasking IS NOT greater productivity. Don’t put “good multitasker” on your resume. Numerous studies have shown that multitasking decreases brain power.
- Learn to view situations objectively. Just because you would or wouldn’t do something, doesn’t mean others are the same way.
- Don’t take life for granted. Life is temporary, and the only thing that matters at the end of the day is how you treated those relationships that God has given you for a time. Most importantly, how have you treated the relationship between you and God?
- A network is crucial. As much as you try, you can’t do it alone. Building a personal and professional support network is imperative.
- Busy is an ever-changing definition. What was busy last year for you probably is not busy for you today. This is why you should be nervous of any leader who keeps talking about how “Busy” they are. They could be showing you they have reached their lid.
Be picky when choosing your friends. My friend list (and I don’t mean Facebook) is short. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. I heard it said once that the top 5 people you spend the most time with represent the lid of who you will be like. What does your lid look like if this is true?
The following are Leadership Lessons That Mist Be Learned according to Herm Edwards. All quotes are from Coach Edwards.
“The only thing you can control, you be ready to go…” Take Personal Responsibility For Your Preparation
There Is A Limited Amount Of Opportunity. Take Advantage Of It. – “1,900 football players are professional football players. That’s it.”
Talent Is Never Enough – “Right now they got more experience than you. Nothing you can do about that.
You might have more talent but they have more experience.”
Providing For Your Family Is A Privilege – “It’s not a right but a privilege to play and coach in the National Football League.”
Unto Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required – “Talent, expectations, and production can sometimes be a curse. You’ve got so much talent you don’t live up to it.”
God Gave You Your Talent – “Talent, you didn’t earn it. God gave it to you.”
“You got talent but does the production equal the talent?..If you’re not a productive player then it becomes a curse.” Parable, of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30.
Don’t Waste Your Talent – “You’ve got an opportunity. Don’t waste your talent.”
“Expectations. A goal without a plan is a wish…What’s your plan to be a professional football player?” Take time now, to make a plan for your future, your career, your family.
“Nobody’s going to play for you. Nobody’s going to practice. You got to do that. You got to do all the work.” You won’t just happen to fall into your ideal future. You need to present it to God. Take time to listen to Him, ask Him what are the plans. Then prepare!
“This is where young players struggle. Priorities. Your habits create who you are.” Habits are serious. Little ones or big ones, they all shape you.
“If you’re not willing to change your habits, you’re not changing.” Be a change agent not just with your work or ministry, but with yourself.
“My priorities are real simple – My Faith. My Family. My Occupation.”
“When you leave this room today there are cameras watching you wherever you go.” You Are Always Being Watched. You are part of a larger team and we were paid for with a huge price. We are not our own. 1 Cor. 7:23
“It’s embarrassing (when a player gets in trouble).” Immature Behavior Is Embarrassing
Your Immature Behavior Affects All Of Us – “You think it only affects you. It affects everybody.”
“You think, ‘I’m all this.’ You ain’t all that.” Stay humble.
“When you get that jersey it’s rented. When you come out of the league they’re going to take your name off and give somebody else your number.” Lead and manage with an open hand.
“Everything you do on the field, and now off the field, it becomes news.” You Have More Influence Than You Know
“Nothing good happens after 12:00 o’clock…After midnight, something bad’s going to happen.” Don’t allow yourself to get into any compromising positions. Live above reproach.
“You get one girlfriend OR you get one wife. You can’t have both.” Stay faithful to your spouse.
“If you play for the Dallas Cowboys and you go to Philadelphia, you still got that one girlfriend or that one wife. Don’t screw that up.”
“You’ve been told.”
Growing up in a pastor’s home can be hard, or so I have heard from many. Pastoral kids don’t get to make their own choice of living in the ministry. They are just born into the fishbowl that comes with being in the ministry. Their growing up stories seem to make it into many sermons, their childlike mischief ends up getting blown up more than other kids, and more.
Parents, here is my two cents worth coming from a pastor whose children have known nothing their whole lives except being in a pastor’s home. My wife and I are experiencing the results of following the recommendations I am making here. None of our kids hate the ministry but enjoy being part of the church. Here are some ideas.
1. Put Christ first in your life, like you should be doing in the ministry.
2. Model what a Christian should look like in all stages of life.
3. Teach and model on how to have the right priorities. God first, Spouse next, Children next and then Ministry.
4. Teach your children the Bible and about God as much if not more than those you pastor.
5. Encourage your children to have Godly influences in their lives.
6. Pray regularly with and for your children. It is this life of talking and learning to hear the voice of God that will pay off.
7. Serve others with your kids.
8. Share your faith outside of the church with others around your children. They need to know it happens beyond the church walls.
The book is divided into four sections: God Says I Am, God Says He Will, God Says He Has, and God Says I Can.
Each and everyday we need to decide what dialogue we are going to listen to, and respond to. What dialogue we choose to invest ourselves in will shape how we experience life and our relationship with God. I was challenged immediately from the beginning of the book when Furtick asked a few reflection questions concerning the voices we listen to and the impact it has not only on ourselves, but the very plans God has for us. There is no way this review could go any further than to also mention at the start of the book the lessons that are provided as we look at exactly why happened in the Garden of Eden and how we really have not progressed any further than fallen prey to the same chatter that Adam and Eve fell victim to.
Beginning of chapter two, where Futick discussed the Voice was another great segment for myself as well, because I enjoy the Voice. On the Voice, the judges decide talent sight unseen. It is a good feeling, when a judge chooses you because you are apart of the competition. You have a chance to win. It is another thing when all four judges choose you. On the other hand, the scene changes when no one chooses you. No one likes your voice. Maybe you simply are not ready for a higher level of competition such as the Voice or Idol. The contestants want the judges to turn around in the chairs to choose them. It’s not Idol where the bad singers sing for our amusement, on purpose, during the auditions. The beauty of the passage was even though people will reject us for one reason or another, God will never reject us when we seek his name.
Throughout this book Futick does an incredible job of laying out and helping you see in-depth what the chatter is, and how to overcome it. At the end of the book he event tries to prepare you for what it will be like when you can crash the chatter box. In his own words, “What an you expect when you start resisting the chatter, pushing past insecurity and fear and condemnation, moving in the direction of the voice of the Lord? Louder chatter, increased resistance, and greater discouragement”.
Going to the next level according to Futick isn’t about “graduating from difficult circumstance and dark emotions. It’s resolving to live with the mind-set that declares, My joy is not determined by what happens to me but by what Christ is doing in me and already through me.”
After reading this book you will be better equipped with the tools to Crash the Chatterbox around you. This is one book I recommend, and have bought several cope of to give away to team members on my teams.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their blogging for books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Was spending some time this morning thinking about how great it is to be a dad.
* What a great responsibility it is as you have the privilege of building the right foundation into the lives of your kids.
* What great fun it is as you get to play with your kids and their toys while using the excuse it is all for them.
* The sadness that overcomes you when you see one of your kids fall and get hurt
* The joy that comes when you get to be the hero as you bring the band-aid and so gently put it on their ouchie.
Here is a video from Skit Guys that does a good job of showing some more great things about being a dad.
Read the post because at the end of this I have a FREE Aha book for the winner of a drawing on March 31, 2014. Post or email me an encouraging story when you were able to experience the love of God like the prodigal son was able to do through his father. On 3/31/14 I will throw all names together and have one of my kids church kids draw it. Make sure you have your email included. I will email you on 3/31/14 and get your address if you are the winner.
In Kyle Idlemans book, AHA (Awakening, Honesty, Action) Kyle takes us through the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Describing the experience of being in the distant country, (this Distant Country can be defined as any area of our lives that we have walked away from God) and then coming to his senses.
What drives many travelers to the Distant country is that they are running from a god that doesn’t exist. Kyle goes on to discuss that for one reason or another, their perception of God doesn’t match up with reality. They are rejecting a god they created and not the true God who created them.
The prodigal son and his perception of what it would be like without his dad but only with his money was not correct. The son still chose to leave and do it his way. Sooner or later living in the distant country the alarm will begin to sound saying stop, turn around, change, get up and to of here. Too often we do like the prodigal did, we ignore it. The prodigal son in Luke 15 didn’t hear the alarm until the pig pen.
– Didn’t hear while he made his request to his father asking for his share of the inheritance.
– Didn’t hear as his wallet became thinner and thinner while in the Distant country.
– Didn’t hear it while a famine swept through the land.
– Didn’t hear it while he took the job of a pig sitter.
He continued to hit snooze. God will allow us to experience a sampling of what we can expect if we don’t wake up.
Grab this book and read the painful but extremely encouraging and hopeful adventure as Kyle lays it out in everyday language and examples with scripture to prove it.
In closing, I enjoy the most where Kyle points out: “We expect God to be an angry father who demands justice, but through Jesus, He gives us love and grace when we don’t deserve it. Ultimately, the story in Luke 15 isn’t about two sons who disobey. It is about a Father who loves His children unconditionally.”
How would your life be different if you woke up when God sounds the first alarm?
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King’s birthday, January 15. Here are some things about King that you may not have known.
1. In 1964, King became the second African American—and the third black man—to win the Nobel Peace Prize
2. A decade before he was assassinated, King was nearly stabbed to death in Harlem when a mentally ill African-American woman who believed he was conspiring against her with communists, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener. He underwent emergency surgery, and remained hospitalized for several weeks but made a full recovery. The doctor who performed the operation said, “Had Dr. King sneezed or coughed the weapon would have penetrated the aorta. . . . He was just a sneeze away from death”
3. On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated by the #277 man on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list. In 1967, James Earl Ray escaped from the Missouri State Penitentiary by hiding in a truck transporting bread from the prison bakery. After being convicted for the murder of King Ray was sentenced to 99 years in Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. In 1977, Ray became the #351 on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list after he and six other convicts escaped from the prison. He was recaptured three days later and given another year in prison, bringing his sentence to 100 years.
4. While much of King’s philosophy of nonviolence was derived from Christian—especially Anabaptist—sources, a significant influence was the work of Indian leader Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi. While in seminary King’s gave a presentation he prepared for a class entitled “Christian Theology for Today,” where he included Gandhi as one of a number of figures he identified as “individuals who greatly reveal the working of the Spirit of God.”
5. King is one of three people to have a federal holiday in his honor, according to USA.gov. The other two people with the recognition are George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Although the holiday celebrates King’s birthday, which is Jan. 15, MLK Day is considered a floating holiday, and is always observed on the third Monday of January.
6. Getting all 50 sates on board took until 2000. New Hampshire was the last state to adopt MLK Day as a paid state holiday in 1999, according to Fact Monster. Several states, including Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts, celebrated King before the federal holiday was created, only 27 along with the District of Columbia recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day after the federal law.
7. 17 Minutes: King delivered his most famous address, the “I Have A Dream” speech, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. According to National Public Radio, King spoke for 17 minutes to more than 200,000 supporters, calling for an end to racial discrimination.
I am writing this post due to a question that was posted on Kidology.org where Scott asked: “I am just exhausted. How do you all keep up with the information, blogs, tweets, Facebook, etc. and all the information that is out there.” Great question, so allow me to ask as well, How are you controlling the access to your mind? Is it intentional, thoughtful, beneficial? Maybe one of these suggestions below will be beneficial.
1. Take control of your attention span.
No longer is it the billboards, TV, radio and print advertising that zaps your attention. These types of distractions are decades or more old and you have developed some filters to help control your attention with these. The more illusive ones that we just have not acknowledged or given their due credit for being attention vampires are on our smartphones, tablets and computer screens.
Every app, game, search engine and access point is now an attention zapper, energy sucker. You think your productivity is dependent upon your ability to consume it all.
Time to acknowledge that anything and everything is findable in this world so you really wont miss anything by keeping up with all the blogs, apps, technology, who is saying what or what ministry is doing what. Accept that you don’t have to be plugged in all the time.
2. Guard your fortress.
Think of your mind as a bank–the place you store such valuable items as thoughts, dreams, skills and experience. So naturally, you need to protect it. Don’t leave your instant messaging on, turn those alerts off from Facebook, twitter, while you are participating in a meeting or creating a strategy. It’s OK to shut down your phone during times of high productivity that need your full attention.
3. Give yourself permission to have a digital escape.
OK, digital addict: Now that you’ve taken back control from the attention vampires, you can live a life of full control and focus. But what about all the fun? The ESPN scores, the Facebook status updates, the Words with Friends games?
Give yourself permission to take breaks to enjoy a digital escape. Apply the same level of focus to your digital escape: Close your email, stop your projects, shut your door and open your favorite game, social network or Instagram and work on some photos.
“There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Today is the start of Mondays when I will post a little about people who I know or know of that I could learn stuff from. There will always be more things that i could learn from each person I post on because of the quality of people who I will choose to post on. My goal is to just show one or two things from the many to write on.
I could not start this kind of post without starting with a great friend of mine who has always been there for me in good and bad times but has always treated me the same. His name is Karl Bastian.
Karl is a children’s pastor, entrepreneur, leader, creative thinker, a husband to a great lady, a father to a wonderful son, and just an all round great man of God. The thing out of all his great areas I could learn more from Karl is how he treats everyone the same and cares for all. Karl is such a giver, he gives the benefit of doubt to everyone and treats everyone the same. He does not give more attention to those who are at a large church than he does to those who minister to 5 kids in a shared hallway with no resources.
Karl thanks for modeling this as it has helped me in many areas of my life now. Because of you and your consistency over the years I am a better children’s pastor.
We have had Lecrae at our church before and I really enjoy his music and missionary heart that he accomplishes through his main stream hip-hop music.
I truly enjoy how he describes his molding hip-hop and Christianity lifestyle:
“For me it’s not a challenge, because it’s authentically who I am on both sides. I’m not fighting to stay hip-hop. I am hip-hop. I am the culture, but I’m a Christian, and I have a relationship with God and so my relationship is going to bleed out into everything that I am and everything that I do. And me being a part of hip-hop is going to be a part of everything I am and everything I do.”
I want to leave you with a little missionary message coming from Lecrae and his album Gravity. Hope you enjoy it.