Renew Yourself Today


As leaders we get tired, but what are you doing about it? Over the past few years we have seen Pastors at excellent churches who are reaching people, but somewhere in the mix a pastor resigns or is having to step down because of some type of moral failure. A lot of this comes from a constant place of doing a lot, but not enough stepping back to rest. This last post I did several years ago when I was at a place of being tired.

As a children’s pastor it’s easy to get bogged down with a lot of things that are happening in the church trying to plan out a service, get volunteers and even order supplies, but as I sat at my desk the other day I was thinking about how some of this stuff really takes a lot out of you. It’s not like any other job where you can clock out at 5 p.m. You are always on call, but as I sat at my desk tired trying not to let my mind wander into the abyss I started thinking about my volunteers that help me on a regular basis. If I am tired then I wonder what they are thinking as well.

This word came to my mind “Renew” which means to “reestablish on a new, usually improved, basis or make new or like new”. As my mind started to really dig into this word there are a lot of things that people renew such as: Drivers License, Inspection Sticker, License Plates, Marriages. These are all good things that we need to renew because if we don’t then either we will get some type of ticket or we will fail in our marriages.

This is what we don’t renew which is our calling that God has given us. We need to reestablish ourselves, improve ourselves to make us better to serve the kingdom of God if we don’t continue to refresh ourselves or renew ourselves then we will fall into the abyss of thinking that we are all in it alone.

As you read this the BIG thing at stake is your family. If you are not Renewing yourself then how can you enjoy your family? How can your family enjoy you? Take some time to evaluate your life. Don’t just blow it off, but really look at it at list what your priorities are? Do you have a time to step back and Renew yourself or are you going a billion miles an hour trying to accomplish all you can?

What’s Your Holy Discontent?


As I look at getting my blog up and running again here is a post from a few years ago  The book was called Holy Discontent.  We all struggle with Discontent in our lives, but is your discontent coming from a holy place? It is a challenging read and I would encourage anyone to read it. The book shares several different stories of other people’s life who have reached this Discontent in the world and rather then complain about it they acted on it. One of my favorite stories was about Mother Theresa and how she found her Holy Discontent.

Lets look at what Discontent means: Discontent:  lack of contentment, as with one’s condition or lot in life.

We associate Discontent with a bad thing, but deep down there is a Discontent that God has placed in our hearts. You can ignore it or you can do something about it. One of my best friends has been feeding his Holy Discontent to reach out to people in another country. It’s amazing when I get to talk to him about what God is doing because  he chose to go and love on the people who might not get loved on, fight for their hearts and win and see God do miracles because he chose to Go.

The other side of discontent you have to be careful of is the discontent that makes you complain about where you are at, want things that may not line up with the heart of God.I challenge you this morning, afternoon or evening to write down your Holy Discontent and see where it takes you. Pray and ask God to guide you to be able to do something about this Discontent that he has given you to make a difference in the world today.

Followership


11 years ago I started my first ministry position at the ripe ole age of 23. I thought I knew it all and I was ready to take on the world of ministry. I knew all the right answers and I knew how to do everything possible to grow the minstry that God has allowed me to serve in.  I was going to tackle ministry and be awesome while doing it. I look back 11 years later realizing I was missing some important lessons.  I sat in this session about “Followership”. The presenter was Ricky Spindler he has been at one church and has served under one pastor straight out of college. He goes into what it means to Follow and how we do this as ministers. I hope you enjoy.

The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored. Proverbs 27:18

As a young leader… how will you gain influence, authority, and favor among both your peers and those who you follow?  Becoming a strong follower is a key component to becoming a strong leader! Without it… you will trip and fall and will learn the hard way rather than through wisdom.  Here are some key components to followership.  Leading yourself is crucial to ever being able to lead others. 

When an Instruction is given follow through now; debrief later.

Develop the character of follow-thru.

Perform at a high level for a consistent time before you get influence. 

Performance = Permission

Never verbalize your Frustration with the process in front of other team members

Loyalty publicly will give you influence privately.

People will always try to divide your loyalties when people give you Praise

Thank You, Praise God, Praise Senior Leadership.

Promote team not just yourself. 

Don’t confuse your insights with Moral imperatives (don’t assume you are always right; humble vs. arrogant)

Give your leaders a voice in your life: In turn gives you a voice in their life.

Relieves tension overall: Make yourself teachable.

How many questions over statements do you ask / Give.

How many questions are you asking vs. just stating your opinion.

Are you collaborative or an arrogant solo player. 

Humbleness mixed with talent is GOLD. 

Know everything about you leader. Ask “How can I help you?” Serve them. 

Every time I complain give = amount of time in prayer. 

If you don’t learn to lead Under, you probably won’t have as many opportunities to lead over.

* Be the model employee

* Be engaged 

* Be in front

* Give compliments in 25 seconds of meeting: Compliment Staff, Team.

* We are all sowing seed: You will reap what you sow

* Check the things you do for your organization

When you can’t follow then it’s time to get off the TEAM or it’s time to get over yourself. 

If you are constantly being led into frustration are you being led to leave.

The difference between the good and the Great = Difficult Discussion

Error on the side of staying too long rather then leaving to early (within balance).

Every day is a learning opportunity. Take advantage of today.

As you are following your Leader waht is one thing you feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you about what you need to work on?

How Jim Wideman Saved My Marriage Part Two: Priorities


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Yes I am at it again. This blog dedicated to sharing my journey with going through infuse 7. If you missed the first part of this blog then make sure you read Part One because this will make more sense. Priorities is a huge thing in everything that we do. Everyone has priorities such as: Pastors, Lawyers, Bankers, CEO’S and even Athletes. Our priorities sometimes is what gets us in trouble. When my priorities are out of wack I can feel it in the way that I feel physically and even spiritually. We live our life by priorities and how we spend our time and even money. Priorities is something that can help us conquer everything that we feel that God has for us to conquer. Being with Bro. Jim this is something that we have talked about and he was even challenging us to look over our priorities and see what needs to be changed. As I was given some time to think over what things need to change in my life it was the time that I spend with my wife. This part is going to sound really bad, but it’s true. I have gotten away from going out on dates with my wife or even just giving her cards for no reason just because I was thinking about her. The worst part in the past year I can probably count on one hand how many dates that we have been on.  Brother Jim challenged me to never forget that I need to continue to go after and date my wife. I took the challenge and accepted it and went to my Calendar to write down all of the date nights that My wife and I were going to have throughout the whole year.

When having a mentor this is something that they challenge you to do. They don’t just challenge you in your ministry, but they also challenge you in your families life as well. This is the reason that I decided that I needed a mentor in my life. Someone who is not afraid to challenge me not just in the ministry that God has given me, but the most important job that I have that is my family.

Once again if you haven’t checked out Infuse by Jim Wideman just click the link below. I hope and pray that you will find that someone in your life that can be that mentor in your life. My time with infuse has been great and very rewarding and will help propel me to be everything that God has called me to be.

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How Jim Wideman Saved My Marriage: Having A Mentor


ImageOkay this title might be a little extreme. My marriage was never in trouble, but I had this thought the other day when I was asked by my wife to do something. My wife was swamped with things she was picking up my daughter from her pre-school and had other things on her to do list that she needed to get done so she called me and asked me to pick up my son from school. Now before you ask yourself what is the big deal with this you just go and pickup your son and be done, but the problem is I have truly forgotten to pick him up before and our school has called the house wondering where we were at. (Insert Terrible Dad Award) Who forgets to pick up their child from school (This Guy Did.) It wasn’t just one time, but twice. After she asked me I stopped what I was doing went to my phone and added it to my calendar, but knowing me I would still forget so what did I do? I put three calendar reminders for me. One at the 60 min mark another one at the 30 min mark and finally the last one at the 15 min mark. The last one for sure is the one that you better go by this one or else. I had my mentor Bro. Jim in my head reminding me that my brain was not to be for remembering, but it was for creativity.

After I went to the extreme of making sure that my calendar was complete with all of the reminders I was good to go. As I got busy I heard the first alarm go off knowing that I still had time the second alarm went off then finally after the third one I walked out of the door to pick up my son. As I was at the school my wife sent me a text asking me if I was there? I looked at the text with a smirk on my face replying Yes then followed by the thought of the title of this blog.

For the past several months I have been challenged and had even made life long friends going through the Infuse group that Jim Wideman has provided. I have wanted to join for a long time, but was very nervous about it knowing that I was going to be asked to grow and to be challenged in my approach to change things in my personal life as well as my professional life. in order to grow in as the leader that God sees that I can become.

I will leave you with this parting thought. I would encourage everyone to make time to go and check out this amazing resource that Jim Wideman is providing. Spending time with Jim I have bee able to really see the heart that he has to help the next generation leader. His passion to continue to make a difference has been very impactful in my own life and has helped me view ministry in a different lens. I know for sure that this will help you become a much better leader and help you grow into your position or even help take you as a leader and show you how God created you and how to lead in your ministry

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Since I’ve Been Gone


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Over the past year I have neglected my blog and basically I have not blogged about anything from children’s ministries, family, leadership absolutely nothing. For some reason I couldn’t come to the grips of typing up anything or even thinking of anything to possible blog about, but let me tell you what has been happening this past year and what is to come.

My family and I over a year ago transitioned to a new church. In our hearts we felt God speaking and leading us. I knew that the next position that I would take would have to be one that God wanted me to be at, but also a job that would take me out of my comfort zone as well. He did all of that and even though I felt overwhelmed and under qualified by what God was doing I surrendered to the fact that God knows me better than I know myself and if this is where God wants me then I need follow his leading and go. He says in his word in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.” I tell people that all of the time, but sometimes you need to hear it yourself and actually believe what you are telling others. Rachel and I took a position in Bloomington –  Normal Illinois and have just completed over a year of ministering here at First Assembly.

Since my time here at First Assembly I have had some amazing opportunities especially joining the infuse group with Brother Jim Wideman. Having Brother Jim mentor you has been an awesome opportunity. This is what I want to share with y’all (Yes a southern term. I think they finally turned me). I want to share the my experience being in Infuse, but also why I think that every children’s pastor both rookie or even veteran needs to take up an opportunity like this. i have felt blessed to talk with like minded people, but also be challenged by the coaches and my peers around me. The best part is to learn from the voice behind the leadership tapes, cd’s, to now mp3’s. It has been a huge honor to be in this group and in the next post I want to share the reason why you all should try and be in a mentorship group called infuse.

Once again sorry for the delay, but I am back and you will see more post coming from me in the future. Have a great weekend.

What’s Your Holy Disontent


Looking back at this post reminds me of what my Holy Discontent is. Great Book Great Read… Might need to read it again

As I look at getting my blog up and running again here is a post from a few years ago  The book was called Holy Discontent.  We all struggle with Discontent in our lives, but is your discontent coming from a holy place? It is a challenging read and I would encourage anyone to read it. The book shares several different stories of other people’s life who have reached this Discontent in the world and rather then complain about it they acted on it. One of my favorite stories was about Mother Theresa and how she found her Holy Discontent.

Lets look at what Discontent means: Discontent:  lack of contentment, as with one’s condition or lot in life.

We associate Discontent with a bad thing, but deep down there is a Discontent that God has placed in our hearts. You can ignore it or you can do something about it. One of my best friends has been feeding…

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