This year my wife lured me into the podcast arena. This is a big deal because I am an avid music consumer. My favorite day of the week is Friday when Apple Music releases all the new tunes, but I am beginning to look forward to Tuesday also because of the new podcasts! Podcasts simply give you a more authentic view and perspective of leaders all around the country and…they are FREE. For any learner a good podcast is gold.
I’m new to the podcast game and our church will be launching a weekly podcast (more than a sermon podcast!) for our city in just a few months. Here are four podcasts that have encouraged me as we have walked through the planting journey…
What are some great podcasts that are helping you grow as a leader?]]>
I ask the question because I know every pastor, minister, and lead volunteer out there wonders if they are giving the best they have to the ministry they lead at church and the ministry God has given them at home. I think the answer to the question is YES, you can be a good dad and pastor. I believe this because I have been mentored by some guys that I have watched balance the weight of parenting and ministry. As I have watched these guys balance the two I have come to believe that all of them had to make some hard choices that set them up to be good parents and good pastors simultaneously.
I am discovering there are a few choices I have to make if I want to balance my call to serve others and invest in my children at home.
Is balancing ministry and parenting hard for you also? I struggle with being fully present at home…playing as hard at home as at work. Which one is hard for you? What are some things you would add to this list?]]>
Creating a healthy family ministry does not happen by accident. Health doesn’t happen by just hiring a staff person to fill a position, building a new area for kids, painting the youth room black, or making a new logo. Healthy family ministry happens by being intentional and making it a church-wide priority.
Every pastor I know wants a thriving family ministry but very few are willing to be intentional about making the moves that lead to health. Lead Pastors often expect someone else to take care of students, kids, and parents so they can focus on adult ministry. We get trapped there because it’s where we get our affirmation from. When we are blinded by the adult platform we miss the spiritual potential that comes only from investing in the next generation.
God blesses churches that embrace their call to pour energy and resources into kids, teens and college students. In Scripture, Jesus made it clear that making room to care and invest in children was important. Jesus invites several teens to be his first followers. The Old Testament clearly reveals that the path of spiritual development flows through parents. It should be clear to all of us that family ministry matters. The question for us is, how do we get there?
There are common elements found in churches that have healthy family ministries. Check out these 10 elements that will help you lead your family ministry toward health…
From our experience in this season of ministry, we have found that most churches are working hard to be ready to welcome guests. Not every church we have attended has had a great guest services team but each of the churches we have checked out has made it a priority. It’s encouraging to see churches strive to be ready for new faces to join them. I’m thrilled that churches are taking the guest experience seriously because it’s a critical element if a church hopes to reach and retain new people.
As visitors, we have learned some lessons that we will make a priority as we launch our new church. Here is what we have found has mattered the most as we have visited churches…
It’s a question that I have the joy of answering weekly here but it’s also a question that we had to wrestle to the ground before we moved. Once we sensed God stirring our hearts to plant a new church, location was an issue we spent hours processing and praying about.
Chelsea and I really are firm believers that you have to love where you serve and that geography matters. When you love where you serve you are ready to embrace the culture as home and embrace the people you are called to care for. Many years ago, we spent 4 years serving a little town called Bloomfield and God created a deep love in us for the community that helped us love the people well. We also embrace the importance of geography because over and over in the Bible we see God place leaders in specific areas to do specific work. God already knew our hearts needed boundaries as we faced the immense challenge of spreading the Gospel. When God reveals us a city or region to serve we have the freedom to focus more on that culture so we can be most effective.
Where you plant matters as much as what you plant when you are launching a life-giving church. Where you plant is going to impact what you plant no matter how you are determined to be unique in your efforts to shape the culture. Where matters! Here are some steps that helped us decide where to plant…
This is how we landed here in Greenville, SC. Knowing where to plant is a process and the best advice I could give you is to not rush the process. Planting a church is brutal and your calling to your city if one element that helps you push through the opposition. Got questions about your journey? Just look on the connect tab and shoot me an email!]]>
If you are a pastor or ministry leader then you spend tons of time asking people to volunteer. You spend hour on hour recruiting and equipping people to serve. Truth is that none of our ministries would ever make a lasting impact without the passion and dedication of volunteers!
You can read others talk about recruiting and equipping volunteers there is nothing like volunteering to teach you what a volunteer needs to thrive. Every pastor should make time to volunteer so they understand the blessing and tension of giving your extra time to serve others. When you take on a volunteer role you commit (humble) yourself to advancing another leader’s vision. Volunteering forces you to depend on others for the tools and information you need to do your job. You learn quickly what is inspiring and what is draining when you give your time away!
The simple truth is that taking time to volunteer helps me to be a better leader of volunteers.
Take time out to step away from leading volunteers and actually volunteer in another ministry. You will be a better leader of volunteers when you take time to volunteer.]]>
Your ministry will grow to the level of your leadership ability. It will center on your strengths and will buckle under your weaknesses. You can build a winning team that will make a huge impact in your ministry setting.
Click here to download the session notes!]]>
No matter your preference the most critical aspect of effective change leadership is learning the right pace for change in your setting.
In this session, unpacked how to pace change in your family ministry setting.
Click here to download the notes for this session.]]>
There are tons of great church planting organizations out there. We checked out Acts 29, NewThing Network, and the North American Mission Board and all had different strengths and weaknesses. ARC has its own strengths and weaknesses also but in the end, we chose to plant Greenville Community Church with their training and support.
As we searched for our planting partner we became more and more convicted of the importance of support in the planting process beyond financial support. The organization you choose when you plant has a direct impact on your church’s DNA and the DNA of the future churches birthed as you multiply. When you choose a network to partner with you are choosing a family to walk with while you pursue this exciting but extremely difficult journey. Trying to plant in isolation is simply not a wise move.
Here are 10 reasons we linked arms with ARC…
What we found in ARC was a diverse group of churches and leaders dedicated to church planting around the world. We felt like we found a family we could link arms with and as we moved through this process we have found that discovery to be so valuable. These 10 aspects of ARC matter because our long-term goal in Greenville is to plant a network of life-giving churches. We did not just need a plating partner for this season but for the future of our church.
Thinking about planting? Have questions about our experience with ARC? Email me and let’s talk.]]>
Leading positive and encouraging volunteers is fun, but how you lead chronically negative leaders is the real mark of maturity. These people need firm leadership and must not be allowed to wreak havoc in your ministry. People often remain negative and loud because they have been talked about behind their back and never confronted. Many times these are people who want to serve, want to make a difference, but either their lack of emotional maturity or past hurts lure them toward negativity. These people need us to lead them and not give up on them because so many times these are just people who have been scarred in the past and they are serving “with baggage.” There are times to move chronically negative volunteers out but before you make that move take these steps…
What are some things you have done to handle chronically negative volunteers?]]>