Sunday, April 27, 2008

Managing the Roller Coaster

Church planting can be a roller coaster! Some days you're on top of the world, feeling like there is absolutely nothing more significant or fulfilling that you could be doing. But other days can be the pits! One passage of scripture that always encourages me is Philippians 4:4-8, 13. I have just recently started committing it to memory (again). Reflect on this:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - thin about such things. ...I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Maintaining the right mindset is critical in church planting! Fill your mind with these words, and practice them everyday!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A New Tool For Making Transformational Disciples

Recently I have been working through a powerful new workbook entitled "Gospel Transformation" by Neil Williams. I highly recommend this as a disciple-making resource! Williams takes an approach to discipling that centers on the transformation of Christians by believing the Good News (the Gospel)! It is published by World Harvest Mission.

If you have ever felt like modern Christianity has reduced the gospel, or if you are tired of Bible studies that focus on information more than life-change, you will love this. I am personally being challenged and inspired by every chapter in this workbook. Get it, work through it, and use it with others!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Leverage Your Leadership

“Lead as if you’ll be held accountable, because you will.”-Bobby Bowden

Leadership is critical to your ministry effectiveness and success, your own personal sense of fulfillment, and for optimizing the potential of your team. If you don’t lead more, you’ll never be free from the daily grind and unending demands of ministry. Your critical role is leadership, not doer-ship. Improving your leadership effectiveness is a never-ending growth process. Leadership is everything to ministry effectiveness as a church planter!

If you continue to wear multiple hats in your church, you will continue to be diverted from your primary responsibility … Leading !! A ministry can rise only to the level of the leader’s effectiveness. You are 100% responsible for the condition of your flock - the good, bad and ugly. Leaders create clarity – clarity of vision, direction, goals, focus, expectations, consequences, etc. Leaders also create the right conditions for others to succeed. They get people rowing in the same direction.

Leading others properly is essential to a healthy church. Never lose sight of the fact that your primary responsibility as a Strategic Leader is LEADING!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Build Margin Into Your Life

The conditions of modern-day living devour margin. Modern Christians pack their lives so full of activity that they have no margin at all. The result is stress, poor relationships, and a lack of intimacy with God. Marginless living also leaves us empty and joyless. It commonly diminishes our physical, emotional and spiritual health. It also diminishes our leadership effectiveness.

Dr. Richard Swenson describes it this way:
- Marginless is fatigue; margin is energy.
- Marginless is hurry,; margin is calm.
- Marginless is anxiety; margin is security.
- Marginless is culture; margin is counterculture.
- Marginless is the disease of the new millennium; margin is the cure.

In our coaching we help church planters and ministry professionals improve their ministries. But we also help them BALANCE their life! Part of balancing life is learning to build more "margin" into your day and your week. Here are some facts about time -

Your time is limited. You only have 24 hours in a day. Yet, all your time will be spent doing something! You can't save it, store it up for the future, or postpone. Time happens! And you can't stop it. As a result, somebody is going to determine how you spend your time! It may be your congregation, your leaders, your community contacts, your family, your friends, SOMEBODY!

My encouragement to you is to set limits on your workday! Yes, easier said than done. But we must all realize that everyday has limits. If you don't set limits for yourself you will soon discover that there is no margin, no space for rest, reflection, or relationships. The 3 R's (rest, reflection, and relationships) are what give us energy, purpose, and joy in life. But they are only found in margins.

Build margin into everyday. If you need help, get a coach!