Ministry

My L.I.F.T. Experience

300x250_WebBannerGrowth. It is one of the seven indicators that something is alive. We grow physically and we grow spiritually. One of my commitments to myself and the people that I lead is that I will continue to grow personally and professionally.

But how do you do that? Do you read everything you can get your hands on, whether new or used? Yes. Do you travel all over the continent to hear every speaker at every conference? Do you sign up for a Master’s or Doctorate program at a seminary where they have residence requirements, not to mention tuition and other costs? Now we’re talking about time, finance and location factors that a great majority of pastors cannot work within. At least, I can’t.

This summer I was invited to take part in an incredible program from the Willow Creek Association: the Leadership Institute for Transformation (LIFT). If your situation is like mine where you want to grow, are looking for something timely and relevant, but you have limited resources (or even if you have lots of time and finances), LIFT may be just what you need.

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Ministry

Shaping Culture: Digging the Right “Well”

We often hear about what we are supposed to be doing well. If we were to line up all of the things we are trying to do well and consider which of those are the most important and the most valuable, we would find ourselves facing a difficult reality. Our efforts are not all the same in value and consequence.

What if we were to think of all of our tasks and goals as various wells that we are drilling? If you were going to make a fortune in oil or provide for needs with water, where you would be sure to dig? On which wells would you focus your effort and energy? Would you choose those few with the most significant return, or do you dig a large number of wells that show how busy you’ve been but reward you with less for your work? Five weeks into my seven week course from Willow Creek Association’s LIFT Project, and I may have been reminded of the greatest well worth digging in ministry and church leadership.

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Church Life, Ministry

Tested: Before You Serve Your Church

This post is made up of portions of a chapter in my current book writing project.
You can find out more about what I am working on here.

Many people are aware of their gifting and passions, as well as the needs of their church. Each week when they walk through the door, they wait. Not to be escorted to their seat by an usher, not to hear God’s Word spoken through the pastor, and not to surrender their heart in personal worship. They wait to be asked to do what they believe they should be doing.

Is this you? You know your gifting. You know the church can be blessed by your use of that gifting. You are even available to jump right up and be part of what you know you should be doing. So why haven’t you been asked to do it yet?

Maybe you are being tested. No, you don’t have to rush home and pull out an old textbook or sharpen half a dozen Number 2 pencils. You may not have a clue that you are being tested, but you probably are.

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Book Reviews, Ministry

Book Review: “Every Leader’s Everest” by Jim C. Molloy

molloy_everyleaderseverestAs a leader, do you know what your greatest struggle is? Various answers may be running through your head. “Getting people to follow.” “Knowing how to make good decisions.” “Coming up with some kind of vision or direction for the people I lead.”

While all of these are genuine concerns, they are not your greatest struggle. It is not an external force, but an internal one; one that lies within you and threatens all that you hope to accomplish. Jim Molloy reveals the worst enemy of leadership in “Every Leader’s Everest.”

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Ministry

Unlocking Your Heart For A New Place Of Ministry

When was the last time you moved in ministry? Five years? A year? A month? We as ministers are not immune to the seasonal changes in life that move us from one place of service to another.

Statistically, a pastor’s tenure is 3 years (Parsonage.org). At times the circumstances of change are the realization of years of preparation or the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, while others can be difficult personally and emotionally. Unfortunately, we are able to tell fewer stories of celebration than we can of hurt.

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