Wednesday Wisdom: Self-Management

I have been reading a book called Practicing Greatness by Reggie McNeal and it is an incredible book. I am urging, pleading, begging, and any other word that might convince you, to go to your bookstore immediately and pick up this book.

It is a book that talks about the 7 disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders. The one that is really hitting home with me right now is the discipline of Self-Management. It’s defined as this:

The discipline of self-management—handling difficult emotions, expectations, temptations, mental vibrancy, and physical well-being.

As a spiritual leader you must be able to manage yourself. Far and above managing others you have to be able to effectively manage yourself. And it comes through in all parts of your life. It’s why I spent time today cleaning my desk, it’s why people run to stay in shape, it’s why you don’t overeat. It is the practice of denying yourself. See Christ taught that we must keep ourselves in check. We must do the things that keep us secondary to our maker. All of these things that you can manage your emotions, expectations, temptations, mental vibrancy (gettin enough sleep???), and physical well-being involve an act of denial of yourself.

Most importantly by managing these things it allows you to exponentially increase your effectiveness in ministry. Think about being a healthy, well-rested, Spirit filled, humble, even keeled spiritual leader. That is what the principle of Self-Management will help you to achieve. Incredible stuff.

Organization is something I have to work on. Not my gift or personality. What is something that you have to manage about yourself?

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Wednesday Wisdom: Get it together!

I have read so many blogs the past few weeks on crossing denominational lines to reach your community, to “Be the church” (the body of God united through the common bond of Christ working to accomplish God’s will in a united effort), and New Year’s Resolution.

This really isn’t a change your life post or anything like that but I want to give you something to pray about. Here are some links to some blogs to let you see what I have been absorbing:

Steven Furtick

Pete Wilson

LifeChurch1

LifeChurch2

I know that these links will take a while to read all of the blog entries but I am sincerely asking you to.

Here is where I feel God is speaking to me.

Why in the world can’t Christians get it together. We fight for a united cause. When I read Colossians this past week, It was a letter to a church that was so caught up in ceremonial law that they weren’t experiencing the life in Christ that they should. They are more worried about what they believe and how much they know (not to say this isn’t extremely important, just priorities) rather than their life reflecting the life of their Savior. Here is what I want to say to you all if you don’t have your prayer life too full. Pray that God raises up someone who can unite denominations, unite Christians, followers of Christ, redeemed believers in a movement of God to rise up and minister to the World. The tools and abilities are out there. We need a community of God and a Team put together by God to start it.

Time to pray. God wants to change this world. And He wants his people to give everything up that they feel they need (wants) and to get attached to a movement of God. I pray that it starts soon!

Wednesday Wisdom: Follow Up on a Comment

I wrote about the future of children’s ministry last week and absolutely loved where people’s minds got to go through the post.

I got a follow up comment from paulthinkingoutloud. Go back and read the comment here

Paul brought up an excellent point. This is been something that I heard alot about a few months ago throughout the CM world. The “memory verse”, everyone knows about it and it is an incredible tool that is probably not being used in the most effective way right now. I think Paul is right that scripture memory is very important. We know that the Word of God doesn’t come back void and I think that those that don’t like rote memorization of scripture aren’t giving God’s word enough justice to let it permeate mind and spirit of those that digest it.

However, I don’t think that the most important thing is scripture memory. The most important thing is getting kids to know Christ in a personal way. A way that leads to development and growth and I think that scripture is a part of that but that can’t be our end goal. Paul is also doing things to promote spiritual development in the home with his children. This is very key. I am not a parent so I cannot fully impart meaningful knowledge on parenting and guiding kids in their spiritual development as a parent. But I do know that parents need to be the ones leading the way on leading their kids in Christ.

It’s funny how parents want to be an influence on a kids life in seemingly every area except the spiritual one. And yes that is a blanket statement because not all parents are like this. But I think the next big step in Children’s ministry really has little to do with kids and more to do with parents. How can we get the parents to be the ones leading the charge in seeing their kids to know Christ?

How can CM connect with parents in a way that provides meaningful resources to them that helps them in their spiritual leadership roles? How can we provide a forum to allow us to know where parents are missing the mark? How can we create a partnership with parents that allows us to be the secondary spiritual leaders in their kids’ lives?

This is a big issue in the next step of CM. Let me know if there is a way out there already or if you’ve got something to add to the discussion.

And thanks to paulthinkingoutloud for the push to remember the scripture when we are teaching kids and not just the relationship. (both are extremely important)

Wednesday Wisdom

I have learned so much, during my time at Brookwood. From video and production stuff, to relationship building, and ministering to people and more and more about a life that is dedicated to Christ. Learning for me is the lifeblood of what I do. I want Paul’s prayer in Phillipians 1 to come true in my life. That I would learn and do those things that are excellent.

One of the things that has been learned and reinforced and learned and reinforced is that our number one command is to love God with all we have and then love others like you want to be loved. Relationships are the thing that God created us to have. Both with him and with others. Relationships that are deep and meaningful are what God created us for. Our goal at Brookwood Kids is to See Kids Know God and See Kids Be Known Personally. See obviously we want kids to have a meaningful and deep relationship with Christ. And we do meaningful things to do this. But to add to that we add things that allow our adult leaders to know these kids on a personal and meaningful level.

Why? Quick think about the curriculum that truly impacted you and pushed you towards Christ? Nothing… How about a person who made an impact on your life and showed you Christ more than anything. Loving people is what makes a difference. How do I know? It’s because that is what Christ did. He ministered to the least of these and did so with love and excellence. Loving people is something that we need to make a priority. Make the phone calls, write the letters, have that uncomfortable conversation. It makes a difference. And most of all pray that you will be anointed with the Spirit of Christ. Because without Christ and the Spirit your works are just that… works. If you want them to be meaningful then your life has to be bathed in the Spirit and that love will manifest itself out of the overflow of your time with Christ.

Wednesday Wisdom on Thursday… hahaha

Today’s lil pearl of wisdom 🙂 is about accountability.

I learned a whole lot of stuff during my tenure at UPS. I was a part time supervisor there for a while and thus had to go through their immense training manual. Most goofed off during what those that had been thru the training called “three weeks of vacation”, but I soaked up every second of leadership training that there was to offer. And so today I will give you one of those lessons that I learned during that time.

Accountability is a critical part of ever organization. Especially those that have goals (…hahaha) How do you expect to reach those goals?

So here are a few principles that must be in place for accountability to work properly.

  1. Everyone must know what they are responsible for. Some questions for you to consider: How well do you communicate to those that you lead what their responsibilities are? How well do you know what you are responsible for? Is a communication breakdown responsible for someone not knowing their responsibilities?
  2. The people responsible for the job must have the capacity to do the job. I will define capacity just so you clearly understand this principle. capacity-actual or potential ability to perform, yield, or withstand. That pretty much covers it I think. Generally if there is a problem here there are two things that can be done: find another person or train the current one. As the leader your responsibility is to make sure that your people have the capacity to do the job.
  3. The people responsible for the job must have the necessary authority for the job. Maybe you expect people to do a certain job but have you really given them the authority to own and control that part of their job. Do they clear all possible hurdles to complete the job or is there something that is in their way? As the leader you must give them clearance to get past all of the hurdles.
  4. The people who are responsible for the job must know the system of accountability. What are the consequences? They need to know those before going out in the job. They need to be able to understand why in the world do we hold them accountable. They need to know what happens if they don’t accomplish the tasks. Are their any consequences for failed tasks when the above steps are met?

Just a few things. For alot of those people that read this blog it might not seem very interesting. But if you’re a leader wondering about accountability I think that these principles will most definitely teach in not just reinforce some elementary things that must be done by both parties in order to have a clear accountability system.

Anyway just wanted to drop some knowledge on ya. thanks for reading.

Wednesday Wisdom

I am going a different route with this post today. First if you aren’t a fan of dead animals then I would ask you to stop reading this post right now. This was your warning. Yesterday a great friend of ours was working in the yard in the middle of the afternoon. He decided to just chill out in his deer stand and after some time. A 10 point 230 lb deer came into perfect view and became a new trophy for Mr. Tim Mackey. First of all let me tell you something about Tim. He loves people and could probably give Fellowship One a run for its money for the amount of info that it can hold about other people. He loves others passionately and is an incredible friend. Now hauling a deer out of the woods at 1 in the afternoon was incredibly fun. But it was way more fun because of who we got to help in the process.

I had an idea to write a book. I am scared to give the title because someone might take it but I think that it is important to today’s post. It was gonna be called “Fierce Lover” It was going to be sort of a look at how Jesus calls us to love others. My wife and I were in a long distance relationship (real long distance) 17 hour flight from where I lived. It was incredibly hard but proved our love even more real and true. It was an incredible time of growth for us and neither of us would change it for the world.

Now in the midst of marriage and ministry I am truly beginning to understand what a Fierce Lover our Savior is. See Jesus Christ put love at the forefront of our brains when He gave us the two commandments “Love God with absolutely everything, and love others the way that God intends them to be loved” (J.C. translation)

I want to tell you that taking someone to lunch may not get it done. But helping them pull out a 230 lb deer from the woods might. A card might not do it but visiting them when their family is in the hospital might. In the church I feel like alot of the stuff that we do is not fierce, its weak. Why can’t we be fierce in the way we love? Why can’t the church lead the way in Fierce Lovers?

If you’ve got a story of Fierce Love, I would absolutely love to hear it.

Wednesday Wisdom: Culture

Ok so I saw Andy Crouch at Catalyst. He was very good, but I don’t think that he got enough time to really dive into the intricacies of what he was presenting. I will touch the base of what he said so we can hopefully start a little bit of dialog on this subject.

First he said that we as churches don’t really to do anything to really affect culture. Most of the time we do one or a few of these four things:

  • Condemn Culture
  • Criticize Culture
  • Copy Culture
  • Consume Culture

I would like to offer that I don’t think that any of these really offers considerable insight or change into the thing that Christ really wants us to dive into: the lives of people. Andy Crouch challenges that we should do one of two things:

  • Create Culture
  • Cultivate Culture

I would love to give you alot of insight on these but honestly I can’t. I haven’t read his book yet. However, I do think that its pretty awesome that he challenges the church to do this. We should celebrate creators of culture. Creative thinking comes from our Father. I believe that it is something that will be absent in Hell. But I think alot of people will be shocked at how much creative thought happens in heaven. Anyway, sidenote sorry.

I want to know what you think about these few statements.

If you think this is a cool idea here is the link to Andy himself.

Even if this isn’t your thing. I beg you to check out the site and read a couple of posts. I guarantee you it will spur your mind to thinking more about the subject.