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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Shaping Culture: Values & Vision

Personal development is always important. As I recently reminded our congregation, there is always a next level for us to pursue. As a pastor, I try to focus part of my own development in ways that will strategically impact our church. This summer I am taking part in “The LIFT Project” with the Willow Creek Association. (I encourage you to find out more about LIFT.) The course I am taking right now is about Shaping Culture. During the course I will be sharing some of the things I learn and apply through the reading, videos and personal interaction.

Culture is vital to a church. It is the foundation of the life and expression of the local body. Some cultures are healthy, while others allow for and even invite danger to the church. Pastors and church leaders have to be aware of the power of culture and be diligent in shaping the culture.

I am three weeks into a seven week course. Thanks to the way the material is presented through online video and downloads, I am catching up after missing the first week due to vacation. Because of this some of the material is blending into one immense lesson that is really challenging and forcing me to look at things in a different way. I want to share one piece of this that I shared with our online discussion group recently.

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