Are You Accepting These Gifts from Christ?

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Have you ever given someone a gift they truly appreciated? You see their eyes light up with excitement, they wonder if it is truly theirs, and their heart is full of gratitude.

Or maybe, you’ve seen the opposite to be true. You find the “perfect” gift for your loved one, but then realize you were far more excited about the gift than the person to whom you gave the present.

We would all rather the person receiving the gift genuinely appreciate and love it. I imagine this was how Jesus felt when He met Zaccheus and offered Him multiple gifts. We must be like Zaccheus and accept the gifts Jesus generously gives.

The Gift of Acknowledgment In Luke 19, we see that Zaccheus climbed the tree to get a better view of Jesus. As Jesus came to the tree, He greeted him by name, acknowledging him despite his reputation. On his own, Zaccheus would have just been another member of the crowd, but with Jesus’ gift of acknowledgment, everything began to change for him. Being recognized by the Great Teacher by name would have truly been a gift! Dale Carnegie is credited saying, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Most likely today, Jesus won’t walk by your workplace calling out your name, but remember what Jesus said in Luke 12:7, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Accept the gift that Jesus is giving you of knowing you personally.

The Gift of Presence In Luke 19:5, Zaccheus comes down the tree and stands face to face with Jesus. Jesus doesn’t treat Zaccheus like a sinner but rather invites Himself over for a meal. When Jesus gives Zaccheus the gift of presence, Zaccheus graciously accepts with excitement and joy. This companionship causes the people to grumble, but Jesus still gives the gift of presence to the outcast.

Today we can be a friend of Jesus and accept His gift of presence by simply keeping spending time with Him a priority. Add appointments to your calendar to spend time with God just like you would with a friend. Set reminders to refocus throughout the day and attend a church where you can really be ushered into the presence of God.

The Gift of Grace Right after Zaccheus repents from cheating people on their taxes, Jesus gives him the gift of grace. Grace is an unearned gift that costs the giver and shows God’s love. There is nothing that Zaccheus could have done on his own to earn this gift. Even if he would have given back 10 times or 100 times the amount he had stolen, he would have still been found guilty of being a thief. Jesus forgave Zaccheus and gave him the same gift of grace that He offers to us today.

Isaiah 64:6 describes us saying, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.” On our own, we can never pay back the debt that we owe, but when we accept the gift of grace that Jesus offers us, everything changes.

All of Zaccheus efforts weren’t able to accomplish his own salvation, it was only through the gifts that Jesus freely offered him. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Ultimately, Jesus had to come to Zaccheus’ house for his life to change. Today we must come before the Savior and through His gifts, our life will never be the same.

The Myth of Balance Workshop Series

The Myth of Balance Workshop Series begins July 10th and I would love for you to join me as we learn how to thrive in the tension of ministry, work, and life. We are called to be good stewards of our time, and I believe this workshop will keep us going the right direction. Sign up here: The Myth of Balance

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Does this sound familiar?

“This is just my busy season.”
“Next week will be better.”
“My family will understand.”

Ministry is messy, and it’s full of “exceptions” like these. Sure, you may have set office hours, but we all know those could change with the next email or phone call.

Sometimes we treat ministry like it’s an assembly line job with the same tasks day in and out, yet we’re always caught off guard when …

you get a phone call that means you are visiting a family in the hospital,
the lead pastor calls an impromptu meeting in the middle of the day,
last month passed without a day off,
volunteers call in sick,
Sunday’s coming.

Every week presents its own set of challenges. The question isn’t what to do IF they happen, but what to do WHEN they happen.

God never intended for us to sacrifice the family He blessed us with on the altar of the ministry He called us to.

In his new book, The Myth of Balance, Frank Bealer teaches you his proven formula for thriving in the tension of ministry, work, and life. He provides a tool for HOW you can reduce the stress and guilt from these untimely, but inevitable, exceptions.

But now he’s taking it one step further:
What if you could have direct access to Frank?
What if he personally guided you through every chapter of the book?
What if you could ask your specific questions—and get answers?
What if there was a supportive community of other ministry leaders who are also trying to shift their mindset from IF to WHEN, and ultimately to HOW?

Beginning July 10, you could be part of an eight-week challenge to reclaim your time and your response to the exceptions that come with ministry. Through live video, Q&A’s, group conversation, and practical resources, you will develop a customized plan to better manage these situations, allowing you to focus on the people in your care.

Dedicate your life to your calling, not your calendar.

LEARN MORE: MythofBalance.com

Share this post on facebook or twitter and I’ll give a FREE copy of the book away to one lucky winner! 🎉

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Are You Satisfied With Your Prayer Life?

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. – Jesus, Luke 11:9-10

Are you satisfied with your prayer life?

Or to put it another way, do you rely more on your cell phone or your Heavenly Father for answers, security, and direction? When Jesus taught on prayer in Luke 11, He gave three visuals to clarify what it means to bring a request to God. As you go into your next time of prayer think about these three aspects that Jesus taught: ask, seek, knock.

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ASK: When you ask, make sure your motives are pure. James 4:2c-3 says, “Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” When you bring your requests to God, have the same attitude as Jesus when He prayed in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.” As you begin your next prayer, ask, but ask with a pure heart. 

SEEK: Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Prayer is not just about asking, but doing the work and looking for the answers. James 2:17 says, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” We need to be people who ask God and then put our faith in action by seeking His answers. Think back to your past prayer requests. Did you simply ask God for His favor or did you take it a step further to put your faith in action?

KNOCK: As you ask God and seek His answers, a few doors may present themselves. Your job is to step out in faith and pursue opportunities that glorify God. Knock on doors with consistency and persistence. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Don’t give up when the first door you knock on doesn’t open. Stay persistent in your prayers and continue seeking Him.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encourages us to ask, seek, knock, and then He says, “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:9-11). Take time today to ask, seek, and knock for we have a personal God who cares about you and your story.

How to Create a Better Foundation for Lifetime Change

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You have set goals, made promises, and worked to change but unfortunately, you find yourself in the same place day after day. Why do we get stuck in a rut, repeating the same mistakes despite a true desire to be different? What if our thoughts hold the key to create a better foundation for lifetime change? Here are four challenges to your thinking to make the changes you desire in your life.

Meditate on what is true. Your thinking guides your response. If you go through the day thinking about grilling on the back deck and when you get home it’s raining, your response might be to complain and have a bad attitude. Whereas if you go through the day thinking about how you want to serve your family, the rain will have a far less impact and you will find another way to serve them. To lay a solid foundation for change, find times throughout your day for focused thinking on Biblical truth. Meditating on God’s truth will create a heart that is pleasing to God and lay a foundation for the right changes in your life.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14

Ask the right questions. If you want a better foundation for a lifetime of change than you need to take every thought captive to obey Christ. Do not allow questions to stumble around in your head or heart that are destructive or disobedient.

Also, consider if you are asking the right questions to the right person. If you are seeking your approval or love in another person you will always be disappointed. When you ask questions to find your approval in God’s eyes you will find true satisfaction in Him. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Only God can fully satisfy your heart, so look to Him when you are asking these types of question.

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

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Refocus wrong thinking. Take a look back on your past mistake. How would it have been different had you refocused your thinking on what is true and honorable? When you were feeling insignificant and were looking for acceptance in another person, what would have happened if you refocused your thinking and realized God loves you despite your shortcomings? Instead of thinking that you are loved only when you perform a certain way, remember that Romans 5:8says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” To lay a better foundation for change refocus you thinking any time it doesn’t line up with God’s word.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8

Hold onto the right things. You can’t say that you are alone while believing the truth found in James 2:23 that you are a friend of God. You can not believe you are unlovable when you know in your heart John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son.” When you begin believing something that pulls you down into a rut, find God’s truth and begin laying the foundation in your heart that leads to change.

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. – Matthew 6:24

Lasting change begins with your thinking. You really can change and become the person that God designed you to be. And when you stumble, catch it, repent, ask for forgiveness, and take your next step in growth!

Notes from #OC17 Main Stage 4 and 5: Mike Foster, Ryan Leak, Jeff Henderson, Kara Powell, Bob Goff

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Mike Foster

Prodigal parties. Parties for inmates who are getting out of prison.

When you’ve been incarcerated there is a sense that your identity and hope have been attacked.

Surround with friends and family members.

No agenda other than to poor into the individual and let them know that we love them.

Feeling disqualified.

All of us have been in those moments when we are like, ‘Is there a place for me.’

We are really great at believing in God but we struggle to believe in ourselves or each other.

Wake up every morning and look for an opportunity to practice tiny greatness.

Neighbors make me a better Christian.

We are interacting with our neighbors because it’s God design to change us. Reggie

Mike has a passion for leaders, that they will thrive and survive. Have a dynamic faith and push through the obstacles. Surrounded by a community of grace people.

@MikeFoster #OC17

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Make room for someone new – Ryan Leak

When we are for our neighbors we make room for someone new. Matthew 28:19-20

How are we going to build bridges with people who are different than us?
We have to be intentional with the places we go.

Only 8% of the miracles Jesus performed were performed inside the synagog.

Mark 6:55-56 Don’t notice what Jesus did, notice where he was

Everyone should be quick to listen James 1:19

The brand of Christianity.

Can you imagine if we equipped our people to just listen.

The gym, one of the most diverse places in the world.

Be intentional in how we are kind

Romans 2:1-4 ESV God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.

Easiest time to make a difference. You don’t have to be a lot a bit nice, just a little bit.

Not random acts of kindness, intentional acts of kindness.

I’ve decided that I’m going to be intentionally kind when I go to the gym.

Pass out Gatorade’s.

One way or another, here’s what I know about every person I play basketball with, they’re going to get thirsty.

You’ll be surprised what happens in your world, your peoples’ world when they decide to be intentionally kind.

I noticed he was playing with a wedding ring. Why do I need to go to church when you’re already here?

Ask every person who serves you one question, “Do you have anything I can pray for?”

God’s got a plan for your life, let me pray for you.

There is someone in your neighborhood who has the weight of the world on their shoulders and all they need to know is they have God on their side.

God is so real.

God draws people to himself.

I’m just playing my part, asking people who are paid to serve me, by asking them a question.

“Want to make room for someone new at the table? Be intentional!”

@ryanleak #OC17

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Love where we live – Jeff Henderson

Holy Sprit is not just in the adult service. Holy Spirit is in the preschool. In our experience, after an hour the Holy Spirit leaves the preschool.

One of the pain points for stress points is when parents come home for the first time from the hospital.

Wagon. Incredible ministry.

Courtney and Brandon trip.

Wagon-iers – we are for our neighbors

This is a photo opportunity for families.

When you bring a first time guest to church, you see church completely differently.

You will stop complaining about the wrong things and will start caring about the right things.

5 words in the good samaritan story.

He came where the man was. Luke 10:33

How dow e create a neighbor minded church?

If our church went out of business, would the community even notice?

We can’t expect them to come to us if they don’t know we are for them.

For God so loved.

Practical ideas

Social Media: The apostle Paul would be on Instagram.

Most social media posts from churches are 99.99% about the church. We need to highlight people in our community.

Crispy Cream: Green dye in donuts. Snaps a picture of worker and encourages. Made the good employee a hero.

Do an inventory of your church social media and see what they are for.

A neighbor minded church allows people to belong before they believe.

“Hey, I’m Chris and I’m an agnostic.”

Start staff meetings: Go to Instagram and search hashtag #ForGwinett like and engage. Celebrate what you want repeated. He used the hashtag #ChrisTheAgnostic Staff blew it up.

It’s so wonderful to belong to such a fun nice place.” That’s a win

The longer you hang out with Jesus and Jesus’ people the closer you come to belief.

A neighbor minded church creates common ground instead of dividing lines.

Create common ground and conversations.

Simple and not a lot of money.

“Pay it backwards.”

For Gwinnett car magnets. Not churchweb pagee.

Order, pull up a little and listen, if it’s catering then pray. If it’s number one then game on.

Something powerful happens when they know you are for them.

He believed that he belonged.

There’s a church that is for them. They are so passionate about Jesus that they are not going to wait for them to come to church on Sunday, they are going to go to them.

#PrayForChris

@JeffHenderson #OC17

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Kara Powell

We are part of the family of God.

The pictures of our church families are changing.

Becoming more ethnically diverse as a church family.

Starting to look more like our neighborhood.

Getting to know our neighbors can be hard, awkward, and takes times. Sometimes its difficult.

Why try to know our neighbors?

Because of Jesus.

The example of Jesus Christ.

Heaven and then came to earth.

The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood

Jesus gives us eternal life in heaven and real life on earth.

The Gospel champions cost not comfort.

The gas pedal that is fueling the churches spiritual journey.

What would be the difference be in pictures of your church family and pictures of your neighborhood.

Ethnicity, Economic, gender, generational.

FactFinder.Cencus.Gov

How does your church line up with your neighborhood?

Survey: Has your church done enough to become racially diverse. 67% said yes.

Without intentionally we default to similarity.

How do our upfront leaders reflect our neighborhood?

We have feminized children’s ministry and masculinized student ministry. Let’s work on that.

How do we help our neighbors feel like insiders not outsiders?

Part of the church family, even if not close to God.

When off campus it helps.

How do we become the best church for the neighborhood?

Young people were twice as likely to highlight diversity compared to other adults in the church.

This is what God wants to do in and through your church. Students can be the tip of that arrow.

Champion cost not comfort.

Jesus make it so!

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Bob Goff

There’s a big different in being shot at and loved on.

What we are supposed to do is to love on.

Jesus leads people to Jesus. What we do is love everybody always.

I’m not trying to be right any more, I’m trying to be Jesus.

Living a life of constantly being misunderstood.

You’re going to see more.
We don’t know what we will see but we know we will see more. We will see more hope in people the more we look for it.

Galatians 5:5 The only thing that matters is your faith expressed in love.

We try to make ourselves the hero of victim of every story.

I’m just a participant in this. I just want to see more Jesus in people.

If were not going to welcome people when they come to our gatherings of faith, we shouldn’t invite them.

There’s nothing that says you are welcome like the statue of liberty.

Make your faith easy, and people will see more of Jesus.

Left pockets gone. Your faith and mine are the sum of everything you are hanging onto and everything you are willing to let go of. Whatever it takes. You’re going to see more of Christ and those around you will too.

On your very worst day, Jesus calls you beloved. If you aren’t hearing that word beloved, it’s not Jesus talking. You stink at loving yourself.

Matthew 13: Mustard Seed. Parable of what the seed turns into.

Small things will become beautiful big things in your life, and here’s the point, to give people rest. He doesn’t do it to show us His power, He shows His presence.

My beloved is mine and I am His. Song of Solomon 2:16

Don’t be right, be Jesus.

At 10:35 they knew they could fly.

What do you think they were thinking at 10:34 Fail trying, don’t fail watching. Good Samaritan

If following Jesus doesn’t lead me and you to lonely, hurting, and isolated people then it’s not Jesus you are following. You are just trying to look good.

Street names: This way, that way, anyway, church is on His Way and airport is on runWay. Don’t get stuck there. Matthew 25. Hungry people, people in jail. I don’t write, Jesus loves you. If you’ve had a double double you know Jesus loves you. Love everybody always.

My beloved, I am yours and you are mine. Jesus isn’t wowed by $20 words. He doesn’t want your help, he wants your hearts.

Sea Otters, hold hands because they don’t want each other to drift away.

Notes from #OC17 Main Stage 2: Jon Acuff, Danielle Strickland, and Andy Stanley

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“We want you to have a chance to be immersed in why you do this ministry.”

“We have to have a place where people can ask questions.”

You won’t know how what you do will impact someone you won’t even remember.

You are all mustard seeds.

The hardest thing is you will never see the results.

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The Ultimate Exodus: Finding Freedom from What Enslaves You – Danielle Strickland @djstrickland

Book: http://a.co/9pT3Cbx

“People were born to be free and they’re not.”

“Freedom is not just an outside job, it’s an inside job.”

If exploitation can reach girls, so can redemption and hope.

“80% of sex trafficking victims are from foster care.”

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Rethink how we do church – Andy Stanley @AndyStanley

He’s not the real deal, he’s the real, real deal. Andy about Reggie.

Genuinely committed to the next generation. Reggie didn’t know it was going to be this, he just knew God wanted him to do it.

Does it ever get easier? Charles Stanley wanted to ask someone further down the road.

Vertical Morality: Peace with God based on keeping the peace with God. Is ___ a sin? Behind that questions is how close can we get to sin. Eye to the sky.

The old covenant/testament. Covenant with God and the nation, not individuals. The kings/prophets leadership would impact the whole nations favor with God.

Most of our OT is the story of the kings of Israel.

The Old covenant that birthed the Christ. Shapes the way we think about our relationship with God and this gives us a vertical morality. Cocoon/Butterfly Illustration.

John the baptist, get ready, get ready, get ready or you’re going to miss it. Then one day he said look! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29. Not just something new, but something better. Flip phone vs. iPhone Illustration.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:4-5

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Jesus in John 13:35

New command: The golden role, platinum!

Who has the authority to add to the commands and give a new command? Only God.

John 13:35 Love one another.

Passover meal changed and became about Jesus. Do this in remembrance of me. That was huge. The old is old, it’s a brand new covenant.

Jesus introduced Horizontal Morality: Fellowship with God gauged

1 John 2:7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment–to love one another–is the same message you heard before.

It’s new to the world. It’s like the sun is rising and you are part of that sunrise.

Cast out all of the darkness.

If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. 1 John 2:9 – to diminish the value of another person, to diss.

God is really really really in love with people and you can’t dismiss people and be right with God.

Everyone you are eyeball to eyeball with is someone who Jesus dies for.

“Your love for God is demonstrated and authenticated by how we treat those around us.”

If we’re not careful-intentional, we’ll orient children and students toward obeying invisible God rather than loving visible people.

“The problem with Vertical Morality is the loopholes.”

Why should we tell the truth? Not the bible tells me to.

Because lying says to the person you are lying to, “You’re worthless” I’ll protect me at your expense. Lying hurts. Lying breaks the relationship.

Why should we be generous? OT. bring me your first fruit and I’ll protect you.

The reason we should be generous is because it helps people. God so loved the world He gave.

Why shouldn’t you talk bad about other people? Gossip. Paul never leverages the OT for conduct. He quotes it.

It diminished their significants and Christ died for them.

Why guys should not pressure girls sexually?

I don’t want to do anything that hurts you. I don’t want to do anything that would diminish your future relationships. I don’t want to be your regret. Honor her. There are no loopholes with honor.

If it’s not best for them, it’s a sin. As I have loved you, so you are to love one another.

All NT imperatives are applications of Jesus’ commandment.
Paul ties it all to how we are treated through Christ by our heavenly father.

Do our kids know this? Do our students know this? Do you know this?

Horizontal morality is less complicated, more demanding.

What does love require of me? – Andy Stanley

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. John 15:12

If you mistreat one of my kids, don’t invite me to lunch. You can send me gifts and sing my praises but I’m not buying it. Do something for my children and you’ll be my friend forever. You don’t have to ask me to love you, I love you because I love them.

Is there anything that brings you more joy than watching our children love one another?

The best way to please your father in heaven is to honor the people around you.

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Notes from #OC17 Breakouts: Amber Baker, Jim Wideman, Nick Blevins, Chad Ward, Sherry Surratt and Brad Griffin

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Leading Your Team for the Long Haul – Amber Baker @AmberDBaker

We want to see teams of people stick together longer than 18 months. At 18 months it becomes hard. Stick it out. As a leader, you get momentum. How do you create this team that sticks together? A group of people working together for a mutual goal!

To lead for the long haul you need transformational leadership.

The team feels trust, admiration, loyalty, and respect towards the leader, and they are motivated to do more than they originally expected to do.

Theory:

Idealized influence – the leader becomes a role model who is admired, respected, and emulated by followers. You need a sense of charisma. Figure out how, get coaching if you need charisma. Leadership is influence.

Inspirational Motivation – leader inspires and motivate others by providing meaning and challenge to their followers work. Talk about why they do what they do. Explain the why. Not a craft to fill the time but why this craft is important. How does this really make a difference?

Individualized Stimulation – leaders behavior that encourages followers creativity and stimulates innovative thinking. Collective of the group. Do people have a voice collectively? Bring people in to be part of the process and have a voice on the team. Intellectually stimulation.

Individualized Consideration – leaders play a role in developing team members potential and pays attention to their individual needs for achievement and growth. Coaching. Have you actually said, this is how you want it done or said? This coaching takes a lot more work.

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Practice:

1. Know your team.

Not know their job but know their personality, temperament, and how it works together. Real Colors Assessment https://realcolors.org

Golds: Plans ahead; likes checking off items on the “to-do” list

Pushes to have things decided and settled

Sets deadlines and expect them to be met

Gives and likes to receive precise directions and instructions

Punctual, Organized, Value Rules

Green: Tries to convince others by logic and objective arguments; uses words like principle, logical, standards, analysis.

Appear most comfortable with topics not related to feelings or relationships

Has a small number of deep friendships.

Pauses before answering or giving information

Values independence and time alone

need information and questions answered

Research Oriented.

Blue: Talks about possibilities more than what exists

Likes to do things in a new ways; dislikes routine

Is upset by conflict or disharmony

Shows concern for the feelings of others

Choose a tactful comment over a directly truthful one.

Values family – who is your family?

Orange: Uses words like flexible, adapt, evolving, and spontaneous

Does work in a way that makes the process enjoyable

Shows physical energy in body language, facial expressions, and voice.

Acts or speaks quickly, sometimes without thinking.

Works easily with several other things going on.

Values fun, independence, challenges.

Rules are guidelines – can be broken.

We need one another and we need to understand one another.

It’s important to speak in a way that others can hear.

Greens are great at getting to the why. Why are we doing this in the first place.

Blue wants everyone to be connected and part of them.

Oranges help push the boundaries that Gold are lining up.

Recent studies who that individuals who are more aware of team roles and behavior required for each role perform better than individuals that do not. Give job descriptors. Outline expectations.

Getting the right people and the right chemistry is important.

2. Boundaries

Set boundaries on: Phones, emails, social media, day’s off, time with the Lord, family time.

No phones at the table. Set boundaries on yourself and encourage your team to do the same.

Professionals who are on their device tend to work 70 hours a week.

Set and keep our days off.

Monday morning time away with the Lord. Coffee shop, library, outside. Time actively with God.

3. 80% with 20%

20% of your people do 80% of your work.

Spend 80% of your time with the 20%.

High Impact Leadership

*Create a list of my 20% people.

4. Leading change well

Change can evoke excitement or fear.

As a transformation leader, you need to get out in front of change. Talk abut chance and the why of that change.

Coach and do things well.

3 types of leaders in change
The yes man.

The bulldozer

The path. guide them through the process of change. Influence, motivate, stimulate the brains for creative ways to change, and coach them through it.

Industry Output Over time – Change Model

Introduction, growth, maturing, decline.

As maturity is happening, it’s time to change and grow.

Read the Stretch book by Jim Wideman.

5. Have FUN together

Even if you are not fun, find a way to have fun.

Christmas open house.

Coffee Breaks

Notes Home

Go do something fun and play together.

Dig deep and become a motivator.

The Holy Spirit speaks to us, and when we ask for wisdom He gives it to us.

Any of our great long-term volunteers started with relationships.
I believe God is calling us to the serve on sit one, Mary and Martha principle.

You can only do what you can do. God sees this, knows your heart, and will give you strategies for that.

As soon as you have information out ahead, give them some information to help lead them through the change process. They might even be able to help you through these steps of change.

abaker@grace-church.com

AmberBaker.me

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A Couple of Ministry Hacks – Jim Wideman and Nick Blevins @jimwideman @nickblevins

Busy is a word that changes as you are in ministry. Big and Busy are relative words.

Refers to any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life.

People make more money by how much stress they are over. Janitor vs Surgeon. Learn how to take care and measure stress. Have stress relievers.

Experience is the best teacher but it doesn’t have to be your own experience.

The right tools make a difference.

Anything you are good at, you had to learn to do. Some things come easier to us.

Organization: The vehicle that causes me to get everything done in my life and

causes me to be ready for more

Organization + Order = management

Proverbs 28:2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.

Calendars are like lawnmowers. When you reach a certain size lawn you need a bigger mower.

The size and the church you want to have not the one you have.
Work on the life you want to have not the life you currently have.

Unless someone is getting, save, healed, you see a hand writing on the wall, or you hear the voice of God, the meeting will last one hour or less.

Theme days – specific focus on specific days (helpful for managing multiple areas or focus on the type of work – meetings, admin, etc.

If I keep moving things from my list to another week, ask am I really the person to do this in the first place?

If you’ll do when you’re small what you are forced to do when you’re big, you’ll get big! Dr. Roy Hicks

Sandbox concept

Language to help talk about what is within your decision making authority and what is not.

We should be pushing to widen their sandbox.

Designate a date night as well as a family time. You might need to rearrange this, but keep it a priority. Do you plan your family activities before you plan your church activities? What does this say about your priorities?

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Moving Kids to be Neighbor Minded – Chad Ward @chadlward

We all need God to be right in the center of it, guiding everything we do.

What are we doing really, to lay the foundation so that our children are for our neighbors?

Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” Train, or show. Model. Time, repetition in training. Watch me do what I do, now you. Your turn.

It’s hard for a child to look beyond themselves, just as it’s hard for me to look beyond myself.

1. Create meaningful generosity and compassion opportunities. Matthew 9:36 when he saw the crowds He had compassion on them.

Ask the right questions to the right people and then listen to their answers.

January: Partner with the church for canned goods. We want your children to go to their pantry so they can start the process of being generous.

Spring break: missions trip with young kids really having an impact.

June: Summer series. Invest and invite. Give event: Quarters for camp.

July: Backpack drive. Because so many kids are homeless or no parental involvement.

Celebrate on the back end so people know why we do this.

2. Create meaningful invest and invite opportunities.

Easy ask

We want families to fight because they want to come to church.

The challenge that I see in most churches is a lot of calendars that are full but without purpose.

What can we stop doing to make Sunday better?

What is one event we can do this year to help young people be for their neighbors. Invest/Invite

Walk your space and ask yourself how it works and looks from a guest services perspective. Fresh? Fun?

Andy Stanley one-sentence job description: Create a safe, irresistible, life-changing elementary environment.

KidStuff: Learn about God’s big ideas. Everything you need to apply the big idea at home.

Baptism Bash.

Game On:

3. Create meaningful conversation opportunities.

Dives into the heart of everything they are thinking.

26 of 36 bottom lines are focused on diving into discussions to be for our neighbors.

Live to Give

Small groups – understand the impact you are making in kids. Does this help them when it comes to watch me, do what I do, your turn when it comes to being for their neighbors.

Take homes: Why and how?

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Reactivating Parents Every Week – Sherry Surratt @SherrySurratt

Have those moments when you feel that God is looking at you, tapping you on the shoulder, and speaking to you.

“The things that you are doing today are impacting someone else’s eternity.”

What we do every week with the parent’s impacts what they do every day with their child.

Less than 20% of your parents will come when you offer events for parents.

Families are busy but they are not too busy.

It’s not that they don’t care.

Every parent wants to be a better parent.

Every parent has dreams for their kids.

Every parent can do something more. Here’s the reality, many times they don’t know that.

That feeling of overwhelmed or stuck is miserable. Do you know how many parents are feeling that?

“I wish for the love of God that someone would teach me how to be a mom.”

We can show them.

When the church change show it views parents, parents change how they view the church.

Expectations are huge.

When we believe that they really do what to be a better parent, it changes our expectations.

Give it to them in easy bites.

One of the best things you can do for your ministry is to put yourself in the shoes of a single mom with eight kids. Really learned the definition of being overwhelmed.

What happens during the week really IS more important.

Parents have the math on their side. 3k hours of influence in kids vs 40 (or less)

The average family comes to church 1.8x per month.

When parents understand how much time they have left, they tend to do more with the time they have now.

We need to equip a parent to drop everything they are doing for ‘their time’ because these times come less and less and less as kids grow older.

Start early with a parent and help them understand you parental influence goes down and your relational influence goes up.

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The High School years are the “you can” years.

Seize today because your positional influence is going down every year. You need to work hard to build your relational influence.

Enter into their world.

If you’re not that family (that goes out and does this big grand thing) that’s okay, because you are consistent over time.

3 strategic shifts.

1. Work according to their schedule, not ours.

Hard because the church has an annual rhythm.

How can we develop a rhythm for the year?

What is my child going to do for the summer?

What are the 3 questions your child is asking right now? (Phase event name)

2. Coach rhythmically, not sporadically.

Consistency over time.

3. Speak specifically, not generally.

Let them know what to do, what to say, or what to ask at specific times.

Parent Cue pieces.

Parent Resource Wall

Conversation Guides. (next one up is health)

Parent cue app

Here at Orange, we love to set you up to look really really good.

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Reimagining Senior Sunday – Brad M. Griffin @bgriffinfyi

Sometimes we elevate the wrong stories or the wrong parts of the stories in this phase.

1 in 2 drift from God and the faith in the first 12-18 months after leaving high school.

4 of 5 intend to cross well.

At the precise moment, they need the support of community most0when they are making significant life decisions we are missing the mark.

We believe in young people and we believe in the church. We want to see faith-filled young people unleashed to change the world.

Text “Free” to 44144 and receive 3 free resources from Fuller Youth Institute.

Only 1 in 7 students felt prepared to what faced them specifically when it came to their faith.

#1 advice to youth leaders was to prepare us better.

Thread that runs through preparation: Identity Development (true in all phases)

Identity: Who am I? Shame based responses. / Grace

Belonging: Where do I fit? Conditional acceptance. / Love
Purpose: What difference do I make? Self-fulfillment. / Mission

The better story always wins.

Faith and Faithing: Is faith only a noun, or also a verb?

Not an event but a process. Starting at, at least the beginning of the senior year.

9 months out: Begin conversations about what’s next beyond high school. *what does it look like to be part of the church next year?

6 months: connect students with more adults outside youth ministry

* the walk of shame from high school ministry to young adults where they don’t know anyone. retreat or missions trip with college ministry. Let parents know what is coming up.

5-3 months: Family communication about transition and dates.

2 months: Plan pre0and post graduation events with students and leaders.

6 weeks: Face to face parent

4 weeks: Host your senior event before graduation: Party and traditions

Transition summer: SGL conversations and family cues

*Orange resource coming at OC tour for senior Sunday.

More conversations and more relevant topics.

Finding faith community and making new friends.

Getting connected with a campus ministry really does make a difference.

Those who don’t find somewhere to connect within the first few weeks probably won’t.

These seniors haven’t practiced friend building skills in years. They have a group. Who do you want to surround yourself with these next few year’s. When they have choosing power, they don’t know what to do with that. Who is close, convenient, or making the most noise.

Deciding about parties: Especially in the first two weeks set the trajectory for the next years.

Help them decide ahead of time. Will you go to the party? Will you hold the cup? Will you have something in the cup? Will you drink what is in that cup? How many will you drink? Role-play these decisions so they don’t fall into decisions.

The first two weeks of freshman year and the first two weeks of senior year are when students are most open to spiritual conversations.

Managing Time and Money

Help them think through it

Give tools

No one is going to tell the new student when to go home. You have to make the decision in the middle of the night. Managing time is one of the biggest stressors.

Handling Emerging Doubts

Magazine: Hold up finger behind his back. Does God know about the hurting? Steve. Jobs.

It’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith. It’s silence or unexpressed doubt.

“I don’t know but” is a great response to doubt.

“I’m so glad you asked.” “You’re not the first person to ask this question.”

Their questions doesn’t offend you or God. Keep expressing.

Navigating Changing Relationships

Parents are trying hard and they need help navigate this transition also.

Is it okay to text my parents every day at college?

Parents are feeling grief and loss and they need to be needed.

Teach practical skills

Meet at laundry mat with dirty laundry and quarters. Talk how to do laundry as well as other issues they are going to be facing. One less issue to worry about.

New ideas for family and grad dinner. Give them things to talk about. Help them think through that moment as a time of blessing. They might want to get out of there so manage expectations. What would be meaningful and what would be too much.

Give them leads

Help campus ministry people know who your people are.

Let the students know where to go. campus ministry and churches.

Help parents visit a church and talk with a campus ministry leader when they go visit.

Students and leaders

Stay in touch

Contact from a youth leader or adult from the church is significant.

The power of reaching out: When teenagers leave home, we hope their faith will stick. *video by Kara and Fuller

In a digital world, real cookies speak volumes.

Cookies, coffee gift card, praying for you note.

Jump on FaceTime and reach out to college students when around other students.

Pray. Take a picture of the youth group or church praying for the students who are away. Send them a printed picture with a note. Have people sign them.

Consider 4+1

Not add another year of high school ministry just think about that year intentionally.

Small group leaders, don’t recycle back but ask them to stay with that group one more year whatever that looks like.  Connect and cheer on. Connect with mentors. Intentional plan.

Lame grad gifts that no one used and books no one read, music no one listened to. Instead, Starbucks gift cards, use this to have some significant conversations this summer. Take out your parents, small group leader or whoever and kickstart conversations about your future.

One number in your phone you can always contact no matter what.

What’s the one relationship where you never have to lie.

How will we respond when they fail?

Senior Sunday: Not goodbye but hello world.

 

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