Posts Tagged ‘Ministry’
I work in an environment of development. What does that mean? It means that almost every conversation that goes on is about how to be better. How to be a better pastor, a better communicator, a better organizer, a better connector. How do we make our teams better? How can we do what we did last year better? It is a constant thought and something that really propels the ministry forward.
The hard part is when it comes to development of people. As leaders, developing people is a fine line one must walk across. I have been in dozens of conversations surrounding the “development” of another individual.
“If they would just not do this, then…”
“If they knew how they were around people, don’t you think they’d…”
“That person… they have no clue.”
But in the back of my mind I can’t help but think: If we are leading these people should’ve we give them a clue? If I was the individual, and my leader knew something that could help me, I would want to know, wouldn’t you? I mean, if it’s our job as leaders to develop and help others become better as we allow others to help us become better, shouldn’t we be saying something? Should we, in love, be bringing some kind of self-awareness to certain individuals who display a lack of development? This is tough. I mean, you can’t just walk up to someone and point out their flaws.
I’ve observed both the positive and negative outcomes of this fine art of development and have come to understand at least two things. When you’re in a position to bring about development in someone you must first:
- Establish a trusting relationship with that person. Your title alone will not help you in the tediousness of the conversation. You must build a healthy, trusting relationship before you have the permission to say anything.
The second observation I’ve made is that:
- It takes time. Don’t expect to see a change in someone over night. When you bring awareness to someone it will take time for it to fully take root. Development is an oven not a microwave.
Above all, I have understood that you can’t really develop someone unless they WANT to be developed. They have to possess a teachable heart and a willingness to learn. They have to be willing to lay down their pride and admit they don’t know everything.
What a better place to find those traits in practice, than in the people who lead them.
I had the opportunity yesterday to talk with a mother and her daughter about getting baptized. Her daughter was nine years old. The purpose of the meeting was to make sure the young girl understood what baptism was all about. After asking her a question about what being baptized meant to her, I waited. And waited and waited. The girl might have been shy, or scared to talk to me, but I was never able to get an answer from her. It was evident that the mother was encouraging her child to make this decision, but in my opinion, the child was not ready.
Here is my question: Do you think she is too young to be baptized? Is there an appropriate age to be baptized, or is it more of a maturity level?
Baptism is not salvation. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward decision. If the individual person does not make the decision to be baptized and understands what it means, how can they understand the meaning of salvation?
What are your thoughts on baptizing children?
10. Don’t forget an extra bra if you are going into the baptism pool!
9. Never say “Period” “Tampon” or “Menstrual Cycle” in the office.
8. Always have someone else with you when you pray with the opposite sex!
7. Keep a bottle of Aleve or IB-prophen in your desk.
6. When you make a call and a woman answers and you ask for her husband, be sure to say you’re from the church!
5. If you’re on the first day of your period, it’s probably better just to stay home.
4. Whatever you do, try NOT to cry when discussing things with your boss or fellow co-workers.
3. If you’re single, men may find you intimidating. If you’re married, or in a serious relationship, he must be a strong guy!
2. Don’t take things personally. They never are!
And the # 1 thing to know if you’re a woman pastor…
1. Don’t kiss random strangers in Brick Town… it could come back to haunt you!
I heard a great message yesterday from a pastor at HillSong church, in Austrailia. He asked a great question that I think many of us need to realize for ourselves:
Which Side of Need Are You On?
He explained that there are two sides to Need:
Needy and Needed
Are you a needy person. Do you live your life with the attitude of “what can people do for me?”
Are you a needed person. Do you live your life with the attitude of “What can I do for others?”
As mature Christ-followers it’s time we see ourselves as people who are needed. We are ministers first and foremost, no matter what organization pays our salaries. We are here to be used of God to meet the needs of others.
Which Side of Need Are You On?
No one wants to admit they are a people-pleaser. The hyphenated word brings such negative connotations, like having no backbone, not thinking for yourself, or being a doormat, allowing everyone to walk over you. But I’m a pretty opinionated person, I think for myself quite well, and don’t bend over and let others walk on me–but I realized I was still trying to please people.
I realized I was living in this state of mind after reading this familiar verse: Gal. 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I had read this verse a hundred times. It’s even underlined in my Bible. Every time I would read it, I would think, “Oh, yeah, those people who try to please others… they have no idea!” and then one day I realized… I’m “those people.”
I think the reason I tend to be a people-pleaser is because my personality type is one that says “people are the priority.” I’m passionate about meeting people, connecting people, watching people figure out who they are, that sometimes I try to control situations where people are present. (which is often in my line of work.) Whether it be a life group I lead, the adult leaders at SWITCH, someone I’m mentoring/counseling–I want so badly for people to be pleased with whatever situation they are in, that inevitably, I become a people-pleaser. The pressure of pleasing people was like spinning hundreds of plates and not letting one of them fall. Why did I feel like I was responsible?
But recently, I realized a simple truth: Making sure people are pleased is not my job!
I’m not in control of their reactions. I can’t sway them one way or the other. If someone doesn’t like the way things are going it’s not my fault–nor should I take it personally, thinking “if I had just done more I could have made them like things”… (All of this makes sense to me in my brain… sorry if you don’t understand, but getting it out is good therapy.)
Realizing this truth has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I would say I probably enjoy my job more because I’ve learned how to just be myself and not worry about trying to control others. I would say I’m becoming more of who I really am, unhindered by the the pressure of trying to please everyone. I’ve been freed, and life on the other side of people-pleasing is pleasantly care-free.
Thanks for letting me talk that out. I feel better now. What about you? Do you find yourself trying to please people? Share your thoughts.
Classical music falls from the speaker overhead, the low rumble of conversation is a momentary but welcome distraction. I’m at one of my favorite places to write, and write I must!
A 4 week series for our 5th and 6th grade ministry The Loop is due today. (I haven’t started!) I know, I know Procrastination kills the bird… or something like that…
The topic: Identity.
The theme: Getting ready for school in the morning.
The outline: Do you know who you are?
Week 1–Do you know if you’re clean? // Taking a shower, brushing teeth, getting clean spiritually.
Week 2–Do you know who you represent? // What we wear says a lot about us.
Week 3–Do you know what you’re taking with you? // Packing a backpack, what baggage do we have that we need to give to Jesus?
Week 4–Do you know who you are?// Looking in the mirror. What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror. Are you believing lies, or are you believing truth?
That’s the basic outline. But I need YOUR help! What are some scriptures I can use that go with each week? What are some cool thoughts I haven’t jotted down yet?
Help me out! Help me get inspired!
These are the notes from my breakout session at #orange09. Very challenging stuff!
Eternal roaring—what your saying on the inside isn’t coming out but it’s so good that is should… Do you ever feel this way?
There are significant lies about the kind of roar we should have in ministry that we as women believe:
- I have to be:
Stronger, bolder, more courageous
- I have to work:
Harder, longer, smarter, be the best
- I must:
Chokes back tears/ push down emotions
What are we trying to prove?
Princeton business survey:
Women are more assertive, bold, take more risks than their male counterparts
But what about LOVE! That is what we are gifted at!
If someone followed me around for a year, would they say my collective roar is a roar of LOVE?
4 Distinct Areas to look at as women in leadership
- Living into our unique leadership style:
Never stop growing
Become professional listeners
Become professional encouragers
Never try to be someone we’re not
Discover your strengths
Find helpful language to describe yourself and then share it with others. Discover who we are
Discover our unique spiritual gifts
Celebrate the uniqueness of others
Never make your leadership about YOUR leadership
This is about the kingdom
This is about others
Root out selfishness
Work through our wounds
Find comfort in my own skin by realizing it is not about me anyway
- Creating a healthy rhythm of life
What season of life are you in? My life, my challenges, my unique experiences /Celebrate your seasons!/Live into your season, stop apologizing for your seasons…
Knowing what your values are //the kind of life we’re trying to lead//what are my priorities?
Knowing the importance of rest
Knowing the importance of my unique capacity //am I pushing myself too much?
- Forging Healthy Relationships with Male counterparts and Female counterparts
Seeing myself as a team player// “I have something to contribute to the team.”
Build bridges to the spouses of married team members //
Pick the battles you will fight!
Be wise with boundaries
Have a healthy sense of HUMOR!!
Avoid competition and comparison
Cultivate Friendship with female counterparts
Keep confidences—don’t gossip, don’t listen to gossip
Celebrate the successes of other women and grieve with the losses
- Handing our story to other women
Invest!! Invest in a girl and she will do the rest
Hand over the keys—leadership
A roar that is competitive is different than a roar that is secure in who God has called us to be.
Be a woman of exceptional, extravagant, and selfless love!
I was never good at math. Writing was always my better subject. But recently I’ve been thinking about compound interest.
The equation for compound interest is: P = C(1+ r/n)ntWhere:Ã‚Â Ã‚Â P = future valueÃ‚Â Ã‚Â C = initial depositÃ‚Â Ã‚Â r = interest rate (expressed as a fraction: eg. 0.06 for 6%)Ã‚Â Ã‚Â n = # of times per year interest is compoundedÃ‚Â Ã‚Â t = number of years invested
Get it, right? Ok, so maybe that is a little hard to understand. (Except for you really smart weirdos…)
Here is a better definition:
Compound interest is interest earned not only on an original investment, but on its accrued earnings as well.
So I started to think about ministry and leadership, and saw that not only can you compound INTEREST, but you can also compound INFLUENCE. This started happening in our ministry.
- First we started with a small group of high-impact volunteers (5 to 6) (High-impact volunteers are those people in your ministry who have the ministry instincts that others just don’t. They usually have great people skills and lead out of a natural ability.)
- Second we started meeting with these leaders once a week, or twice a month to develop, cast vision, and give away leadership responsibilities.
- As they started to lead we saw our influence compound.
Instead of directly leading 60 to 75 adult volunteers, we only lead 5 to 6. Which in turn lead teams of 10 to 12.
Want to get more volunteers for your ministry? Learn how to compound your influence.
How does this apply to you? Even if you don’t serve in ministry, we all have influence. How can you compound your influence in your individual spheres?
Remember when you were a kid?
When you ran… you were fast.
When you lifted something… you were strong.
When you could reach the sink… you were tall.
But pretty soon, you grew up and realized that someone was always faster, someone was always stronger, and someone was always taller and better than you.
When did we stop believing in ourselves? Was it when we started comparing? Or was it when we heard and believed, for the first time, the two little words that control a lot of our thinking: I can’t
Children don’t have to wait until everything is in order to go after something. They don’t care what others think, and failure is not even a thought.
So, is there a goal that seems out of reach? A dream you’ve put off because it overwhelms you? Is there a vision for your church, family or ministry that scares you into procrastination?
God believes in you, but do you believe in yourself?
“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the