Archives For March 2012

Perry Noble is one of my favorite pastors to read and listen too. His blog has some amazing stuff and I would read it everyday to get some great leadership stuff from it. This is why I had to share it. This goes out to all ministry leaders. You can see all Noble’s post at his website perrynoble.com.

10 Things I Wish I can Say To Every Church Leader

#1 – You can do EXACTLY what God has called you to do!

#2 – Never, I mean EVER apologize for big vision!

#3 – Steps of faith are always scary…if they weren’t scary then you would not need faith!

#4 – What you are going through will not define you as a leader…but how you go through it will.

#5 – You can really get a great sense of what God is up to by looking at the people He has placed around you.  If He is surrounding you with amazing people…I believe it’s because amazing things are about to happen.

#6 – Changing someone else’s idea is easy…allowing something to say that your idea needs to change is way more challenging but necessary for the long term growth of the church.

#7 – Every single decision you make impacts far more people than you could ever imagine, your life really is not your own…if you want to be a great leader then selfishness is not an option.

#8 – If you want excellent chemistry on your team then keep very short accounts and NEVER allow conflict to go unresolved.

#9 – Always allow conflict to take place (behind closed doors) and make sure than everyone has said everything they feel like they need to say.  (People are way more likely to follow a leader they feel like listens to them.)

#10 – One of the best sources of information/ideas are the people you work with everyday…the reason they don’t share them with you is either because they feel as if they can’t or they have never been invited to do so.

Being the new guy is tough. You are used to being “the guy”. The guy everyone knows and wants you to hang out. The guy everyone went too, the funny guy in videos or the guy on stage. There is none of that when you come into a new place. You are a “nobody” in a sense and can do a number on your self-esteem if you let the enemy mess with your mind. I say this because it is something I am working through with my own new transition. This is my first real transition into a new position into a new church and I am not going to lie, some areas in this transition have been tough, mostly because it is an inner battle. Don’t get me wrong, the new place is amazing, and the people are nothing but a blessing to work with, most of the difficult parts are “the new guy” learning to transition well, which I am learning as I write this.

I thought I would write down a few things I am learning during this new time to maybe help anyone else going through a transition into a new ministry.

Get to know the staff- You are going to be doing ministry together, you are going to be doing life together. There are going to be countless hours in the office together working side by side. Make it intentional to hang out with every single person on the team, one on one. To grab lunch, get a coffee, and hear their heart on life and ministry. It will help more than any other thing with transitions.

Be the tortoise, not the hare: slow and steady change- I admit I failed at moving slow when I first arrived. We just get excited to be there, all these ideas filled our head and we want to do every single one of them. I actually had to be called out by one of the team members to slow down a bit because I didn’t even realize I was doing it, and I am thankful he did. Even just the ideas in your head about switching things up can ruffle feathers and can make you loose credibility amongst the team. You need to do a good job just sitting back, being patient, and getting to know the culture of the ministry. We need to remember if we are in it for the long haul, there is no need to want to do everything all at once right now; there will be plenty of time for your ideas.

Take note of everything!- As the new guy, you come in as someone who does not know the history of “this is how we always have done it”. You have the fresh eyes to the ministry and are able to notice things or ask the questions of “why don’t you do _______?” You are able to see things that others do not because they have been doing it for the same way for a while. Take note of everything you are thinking and seeing because when you are no longer the “new guy” you will be “THE guy” and be able to bring change in ways they have not even dreamed of yet.

To be continued…next Wednesday

Mediocre God

March 26, 2012 — Leave a comment

I am trying to set up a system in which I am posting certain things on certain days so it is pretty regular. I’m looking that Monday’s will be a spiritual development day. Thought that might be a good thing since more the most part, we had a long weekend and starting off Monday with Scripture would be the best bet. So let’s see…

Truth is…

Everyone, and I mean everyone, hungers for God. The hunger for many is usually masked or misinterpreted in many ways, but regardless, it is there. Everyone is really close to crying out “My Lord and my God!” if only the situation has pushed them far enough past their doubts or defiant hearts. Only if it pushes them out of their ache of routines or cozy accommodations in which they have become accustomed to.

Contentment = Mediocrity

Eugene Peterson says, “There are a thousand ways of being religious without submitting Christ’s lordship, and people are practiced in most of them.”

Everyone has a hunger for God, one that is deep and insatiable, what most lack is a desire. For both Christians and non-Christians, what we really want is to become our own gods, so we may do what we want, and have other gods that are around us to help us in that to make it that way.We want to be comfortable. Content.

God does not call us to mediocrity because God is not mediocre. God is a God of extraordinary, and that is what he calls us to be.

Extraordinary love. Extraordinary faith. Extraordinary prayer.

Let’s stop being religious and start being extraordinary followers of Christ.

Read Isaiah 40.28-31

Fridays, I love them. I think I’m going to start making Fridays my “point to other great articles/blog days”. I would love to help promote other great posts that I see. Shout Out Fridays. So enjoy!

Humor is one of my all time favorite things about anything. Some churches are very traditional and those tend to leave out humor all together. Which is actually pretty humorous how they think humor is not part of Jesus. We always tend to give Jesus this somber, peaceful, hands are always folded as He walks around with a stone faced expression talking in a very mellow, monotoned voice. We tend to forget that along with being 100% God, he was also 100% human. Jesus was a guy. Probably loved to laugh, hang, play jokes and enjoy company. Look at most of his interactions with his disciples or people he was ministering too. Some translations said he was “lounging” at the tables, slouched back and probably leaning back in his chair and if he were to fall back like a junior higher does, he and his disciples would laugh their heads off. He was human. One of my favorite scenes in the Passion of the Christ was when he was washing his hands with his mother and he splashed the water in mom’s face. That is amazing, it shows that he was playful and fun.

Adding humor is a key element to services. They help us connect and they add an element of fun to christianity. I would like to think that when I would be with Jesus, it would be serious and I would learn amazing things, but there would also be an element of fun as well. I’m sure of it.

I came across this article that goes a little deeper into this topic from Relevant Magazine. The article is called Jesus Was Funnier Than We Think. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Read it and I would love to hear thoughts on it!

Watched this today from Francis Chan to young pastors. Super insightful. Being a young pastor, I take this to heart. It is always a goal of mine for my teaching to get better and better but it means nothing if the life-style I choose to live does not match it.

I saw this on churchleaders.com. Pretty awesome site.

Click HERE to watch the video of Francis Chan on young pastors.

What it and tell me what you think.

 

Awkward Hugs

March 21, 2012 — 2 Comments

I’m all about awkward moments. I think I put people in awkward situations all the time because I absolutely love it (is that mean?). A lot of people hate awkwardness and they do whatever it takes to avoid those certain circumstances. I would have to say that students are the ones who hate it the most. They are all about image and do not want to be embarrassed. Just watch how red their face gets when you ask them about whom they are into or dating. Awkward moments happen in ministry. Whenever you meet a new student for the first time and try to get to know them, it has the tendency to be super painful.

We need to embrace the awkwardness, and push through it.

Those situations will help you grow in more ways than non-awkward feeling of playing the comfortable route and going to the students that you already know. Everyone wins if we can learn how to push through the awkwardness of going up to a random bunch of students to introduce yourself and get talking. If we go into the conversation knowing that its going to be awkward at first, for both you and the students, once you find that one thing you have in common, BOOM! You’re in, and the conversation will flow.

How do you do that? Being that I am the new guy where I am at right now, all of the students are new to me, so I have had to start many awkward conversations. Some go great, some do not, but I at least made the connection. I basically bombard them with questions: What’s your name? What school do you go to? How long have you been coming to this service? Do you play any sports? What do you do for fun? What are your favorite movies? Do you play video games? Where is your favorite place to eat?

Once you find one thing, you roll with it and the connection is made. We just need to push past the one-word answers and shrugs until we find the one thing that that student is passionate about and we roll with it.

You then will feel accomplished because you have made that connection, and the new students will feel they now know someone in the ministry and will most likely be willing to come back because you embraced the awkwardness to make them a friend. Now they have someone to look for the next time they come back.

Question: What are some ways you have found that break the awkward barrier?

Organize RSS Feeds

March 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

If you are like me, I read a ton of blogs and other RSS feeds to learn and keep my mind fresh. I stumbled upon this and thought it was pretty awesome in organizing all the blogs and feeds that I follow to keep it all in one place.

It’s $10, but it is worth it. It keeps it all in one place and I do not have to click from one to another. It’s all in one window in a list such like show Facebook works.

I saw it on YouthMinistryMedia.com and you can click HERE to check it out and read more into it.

Hope it helps.

What helpful blogs do you read? I would love to know to add onto my feed.

Planning is my job. My job is to plan and organize service. This goes here, video here, these songs here. It is what my giftings are, it is what I love to do. I love seeing it all come together because of the work I put in and see a successful service. The problem of what I just said was that the focus was on MY OWN accomplishments. Its focus is on me.

I feel like when I plan something so much, I actually am squeezing out the Holy Spirit because I am the one trying to make the mood right by planning it that way. I know the Holy Spirit can move regardless of me, but I’m just saying it is easy to plan so much we do not even think about how God is the one doing the moving. Not us.

When we follow Christ, it means we have to we have to die to ourselves. For many, we like to have control of our own lives, so giving up control is extremely hard. We like to plan out what we are doing today, this month, this year, or maybe even our lives. We will be doing these things at this time next year and what not. It’s okay if that is you, we all do it. I do it.

Christ tells us to give all that up and just follow Him. He asks us to have faith in Him, to follow Him no matter what might come. Becoming a Christian makes life amazing in so many ways, but it does not make life easier. It just calls us to live differently. It creates some sort of uncertainty if we are following God like we are supposed. This uncertainty freaks us out. It’s all faith.

“Faith begins where anxiety ends. Faith ends where anxiety begins.” – George Muller

Faith involves a loss of control. That causes uncertainty. Faith is the willingness to be ready to embrace those uncertainties.

James 4:13-16

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

IN THE EYES OF GOD THERE ARE NO FAILURES, BUT FORCED GROWTH.

That’s what we are so worried about. Failing. We don’t want to fail, it makes us look bad. No one wants to fail. The idea that in God’s eyes there is no failure, only forced growth, is encouraging. Every time we fail to do something, it helps us grow in some way, shape or form. Failure forces us to grow, helps us learn from our mistakes. We can take this idea in our faith journey. It is encouraging.

Are we ever going to stop messing up and failing? No, sorry. We are human and that is what we happen to do. It is what we do AFTER we fail which will define us. If we just give up, we fail. If we don’t, it was just an experiment. Research on the right way of doing it. I heard this from Rev. Run of RunDMC and thought it was pretty sweet while I was attending the Catalyst West Coast Leasedership Conference a couple years ago.

He said, “Fall down seven, get up eight. That is the attribute of a righteous man. God will pick you back up if you ask Him.”

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Messes To Miracles

March 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

Genesis 1:1-2

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

At this point the earth was chaos. There was no order. God has not entered into the creative process of creating the order and beauty in what we now call Earth. God was over the chaos and when He entered the chaos, the chaos then became order. Out of the chaos then became beauty. Nothing has changed since then.

The chaos in our lives is still active. Even though we see a situation as chaos, we can’t see the bigger picture, God can. As He did with the chaos of the world, He will do with the chaos of our lives. God is watching over our chaos, we think we are doing it alone when in reality, we just need to ask God to intervene and then He will orchestrate order and beauty out of the chaos in our lives. He will redeem. That’s what He does.

He turns messes into miracles. That’s what we are. Without Him we are a mess but with Him we become the beautifully made miracle.