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 6 and 7: Dr. Bernice King, Jud Wilhite, Lecrea, Doug Fields

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Build a Bridge

Tasha Morrison

This journey has taken me to places that are meeting in places constantly different than ourselves.

12k people community on social media engaging in conversation daily.

God is doing work in our churches but this work first begins in our hearts.

Dr, Bernice King

This issue of racial reconciliation is something the church holds the keys to.

We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. If we are going to overcome this dark time, we have to be out front in showing the way in the right spirit. God gave us a command to love our enemies. We have to raise the standard and show people how to be like Christ. We are called to be christ in the culture. We must first get our heart in order.

Get out of your churches and get out of your communities. Take the courageous steps that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ took when He met with the woman at the well.

The white community does not know us. Only through the eyes of tv and media and that is not us. Get to know us. Leave the community and connect with someone that does not look like you. Hang out in their world. Men hate each other because they fear each other

“I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Your goal is to win over people not win people over. Listen to understand. Refuse to have to be right. Start from maybe I’m wrong or maybe I’m ignorant. Or maybe I just need a little more information. Part of healing is allowing people to get stuff out.

We will never all agree. At the end of the day, we can find win/win solutions. Is there some place where we can find something to agree and forge a common path together?

If reconciliation is the goal then our tactics have to be consistent with that goal.

White people don’t feel like they are invited to the part and black people don’t feel like white people want to come. TD Jakes

We forget that this country lost a leader, but you lost your dad as a 5-year-old.

What killed my father was not hate, it was indifference and apathy and absence of the people of God and the Spirit of God.

@BerniceKing

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Keep Forgiving – Jud Wilhite

Forgiveness: It’s easier to talk about than to actually practice.

Punching the wall. This became a defining moment. Embarrassed that he lost control. Is this the person I’m becoming. Is this who I”m going to be. I need to do some soul work. In a lot of years of ministry, he began to carry wounds. Harbor bitterness is people leaving the church, staff quitting, friends going to another church who say not to take it personally. How else should I take it, because I”m putting all I’ve got in this.

If you start holding onto a grudge long enough, it begins to take a hold of you. A seed of bitterness that get’s planted and begins to grow.

You don’t have to be in ministry long to have an opportunity to hold onto bitterness.

How you deal with your ministry pass actually determines how successful you will be in your ministry future.

Eph 4:26-27 Anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Bitterness, hurt, and anger. Starts with a foothold and becomes a stronghold.

The devil wants to get a foothold in your church. Let God transform the pain and the hurt of you begin to transfer that pain and hurt. Your heart beings to shut down towards others. You start to secretly enjoy it when other churches go through drama or difficulty. You engage in gossip and enjoy it because your heart is getting hard. It’s not that you are running hard in ministry, it’s that you are caring a weight that you don’t need to carry.

You’ve got to stand in your second chance.

Mix Tapes – Get a jam-box with two cassettes. Master side and record side. We all have our mixtapes. We have the majority of the thoughts we had today are the same as the day before. What kind of mixtape are you playing? The old you is gone the new you has come in Christ. New creation in Him. In Christ you are free.

You are somebody because Jesus died for you. You do not need more followers, more accomplishments, your life all together, all you have to do is claim the fact that you have a second chance in Jesus Christ. Some of you have been followers of Jesus for a while but you are still living in condemnation. How do you know? Your thoughts. You are still praying for forgiveness about the same thing you’ve been praying for 1000 times. Reach down and undo the chains. Jud carries a 28-year sobriety coin because it reminds me of not who I was but about who I am today. Forgiven. Renewed. Reminds me that no matter how much someone has hurt me in my life, I have infinitely offended God more yet He forgives me. It doesn’t matter what happens today because I’m still doing better than I deserve.

Instead of being about the mission, we get distracted on our own hurt and pain and become selfish about it.

You’ve got to give a second chance.

Players gonna play, hatters gonna hate. What’s my response? I’ve got to shake that off.

When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

Write down all the names of those who have hurt you over the years. Not offend but hurt. Just under 10 names. Realized it was not that many. We often get hurt by a few people and project it onto everyone else. Most people have been pretty good to us and have shown kindness to us. Few have damaged our hearts. Projecting onto everyone what a few have done. More forward towards healing. Not the pace that you are running at but the weight you are carrying. What are you carrying? What do you need to forgive? Because the work you do is too important.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

You don’t give up when things get hard or you don’t go your way.

I lead a church and don’t agree with everything we do. Get over it and get on mission.

Don’t get discouraged because it’s hard or you don’t feel talented enough. Don’t give up when you can’t see the dream any more. Don’t give up when you see that your friends are happier than you, especially on social media, because they are not. Christ has redeemed you. You have a calling and it matters. In Christ you are not a victim, you are a victor. More than a conquerer, not what happened to you but what Christ is doing through you in faith. Not just your familiars you are forgiven and free. Step into it, walk in. Be free and be empowered to make an eternal difference. Don’t let bitterness way you down and cause you to give up, what you are doing is too important.

@JudWilhite

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Redefine our audience – Lecrea

We want to get to know your perspective. Sam Colier

Voice in the community, advocate for change. Through music and writings.

More than anything I’m trying to be the best Lecrae that I can be.

If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.

You are created by the creator of all humanity and His acceptance is all you need. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. This is me, and that’s who I need to consistently be.

Rejection from Christians has lead Lecrae down this path

No one deserves the amount of praise celebrities gets.

As somebody who grew up the way I grew up…I longed for acceptance. I longed for a sense I was on the right trajectory.

Jesus wasn’t a conservative or a liberal, they both hated and killed him. Success is not what I do in comparison to you, success is what I do in comparison to what I was created to do. I had to come to grips with the fact that running my race was going to be painful.

The gates of Hell will not prevail. Gates were made to keep people out. We are supposed to be out there loving people and being gracious to other people. Jesus got in trouble with the crowd He hung out with. We need to make people who are not in the church a priority.

A man telling the story about how he killed a bear. It became about him telling the story and not about him actually killing bears.

What ends up happening is that people realize that you’re a real person, when you spend time with them. When we are salt in our neighborhoods, people can taste it. Our identity is wrapped up in being right instead of thinking about Who’s righteous for us.

@lecrae #OC17

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Do more than just talk about it – Doug Fields

Does what I’m doing matter? Have you put your heart into what you are doing and then wonder, did it make any difference?

When we are “for the neighbors”…we do more than just talk about it.

“Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Jesus was super clear, He said love your neighbors. Message and method. Do as I have done.

John 13:34

If Jesus did it, then we should do it. If we don’t do it, the ones who follow Jesus won’t do it. What gives you credibility as a leader isn’t what you say, it’s what you do. If you love teaching, fabulous but no one remembers what you are teaching anyway. What you want them to remember is the way you communicated to them but they never do. What they say is, “I remember that time, we were at Denny’s and I spilt ice tea on you.” Or I remember that time my aunt was dying and you came to the hospital.

Jesus was not in a hurry.  

Jesus actually seemed to frustrate others at the pace he lived his other.

Jesus in the synagog with the official.  Mark 5

Jesus will you heal my child and Jesus says yes. Jesus stops them on the way to the house and says, “Who touched me?”  That’s a weird question to ask in a crowd. If I were the the dad, I’d be like why did we stop?  Come on we got to go, you got to heal my child.”  Peter was like “I would never touch you.”

Mark 5:32

His sense of purpose and timing frustrated otter people because he wasn’t in hurry.

Lazarus. Jesus wouldn’t have done a good job on your church’s pastoral staff.

Jesus also called other people to slow down. Martha.

Ministry is a race and speed is our drug of choice. We want to grow the biggest yet this was not Jesus’ style. Less run and more walk. Less race and more face to face. Jesus modeled unhurried ways for us. He had a lot to do.

Being neighborly takes time.

Slow Yourself Down. Not a lazy life. Not that you don’t work hard. Just less speed and more Jesus. Less activity and more love.

The greatest command is not to get more things done. It’s to love Him and to love others.

We need to stop honoring business. It is a badge of brokenness. Busy people are broken somewhere. There is a symptom not being dealt with. Business moves into our character. We don’t listen well. We don’t relax. Even at the grocery store we are running Grocery store algorithms and competing in our minds because hurry is a part of our life.

Busy is the enemy of neighborly.

Jesus spent time with messy people.

People in the church are weird.

Jesus spent time with the immoral woman. Luke 7:39
Jesus spent time with people of questionable character. Matthew 9:10

Jesus spent time with notorious sinners. Luke 19:6-7

Chubby bunny became choking your buddy.

Jesus was neighborly with messy people. Get some messy friends. Are you doing life with anyone that has church people questioning you because church people are scared of messy people. Messy people are not the enemies. When you hang out with them you begin to understand grace a little deeper. Do for one what you wish you can do for everyone. You might not be able to have 12 messy friends but you can have one, without motive.

Jesus expected God’s power to show up.

We have become so robotic and skilled in what we do that we don’t depend on God’s power. We just get so used to doing ministry, so busy and overwhelmed, that we stop expecting God’s power to show up. So we are limited to our own power. Guilty of shallow and small pre-service prayers. Don’t you want some things in your ministry that you just can’t explain outside of God’s power. That’s what Jesus did, He expected God to show up. Jesus turning water into wine.

John 9 when Jesus heals the blind guy. He spits. To make a mud pie, you need a lot of spit. He puts it on the guys’ eyes and says, go and wash…which is a nice thing to say after you spit on someone. He said go and wash and the guy came back seeing. Somewhere after the “Go” God’s power showed up. What’s this mean for you? GO with confidence and expectations that God’s power is going to show up! This free’s you up. You don’t have to quantify the results. Do in faith and God is pleased. The challenge is to lead like Jesus led. There’s just too much at stake to go back the same you were when you came. As for me, I’ll go back and be neighborly.

@DougFields #OC17

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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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20 Powerful Leadership Quotes From #OC17 Session 1

the best

“Some of your neighbors feel like you don’t love them because you act like you don’t like them.” @reggiejoiner

“The next generation needs someone who has gone before them to be for them.” @GeraldFadayomi

“If there’s any entity that should lead the way in treating everyone like they’re invited to the party, it should be the church.” @reggiejoiner

“There are no ordinary children.” @djstrickland

“What if the next generation needs to have a voice more than they need to hear our voice?” @GeraldFadayomi

“A party is any effort to celebrate, serve, or enjoy each other in a way that adds value to life.” @reggiejoiner

“That’s what we mean by neighbor; it’s all of us.” @JonAcuff

“You have the place what better than google for parenting, and that place is the word of God.” @loswhit

“I want the legacy of our generation to be that we are party-starters.” @reggiejoiner

“To be for someone, you have to know them. To know them, you have to listen to them.” @GeraldFadayomi

“We don’t have enough leaders who are advocating for people who are hurting.” @reggiejoiner

“We get so focused on what we want to teach them that we miss the opportunity to hear them.” @GeraldFadayomi

“Mile one fulfilled an obligation. Mile two changed the nature of their relationship.” @reggiejoiner

“Parenting is one of the loneliest jobs on the planet. If we are for our neighbors we never let parents parent alone.” @loswhit

“Your heart always follows where you put your treasure in life.” @reggiejoiner

“Get in the habit in your life of doing something you don’t have to do.” @reggiejoiner

“The best way I can love God is by loving people God loves.” @reggiejoiner

“Create beautiful spaces. It tells people you were expecting them.” @reggiejoiner

“Point students that are crying out to be heard, to a God who is always listening.” @GeraldFadayomi

“We’ve got to stop acting like discipleship is about information, and realize discipleship is about relationship.” @reggiejoiner

 

95 Proven Life Hacks and Apps for Life Efficiency

attracting an audience

Have you ever found yourself looking for the perfect hack or app to simply make life easier? At this year’s Orange Conference, Jim Wideman and Nick Blevins lead a breakout where they gave insight on how to better manage your weekly calendar, finding the balance between ministry and family time. I had the honor of helping them create a massive list of tips and tricks to help you get more done in less time! Here are 95 proven life hacks and apps for life efficiency that I find most useful!

Time ManagementProject ManagementCommunicationSchedulingSpiritualPhysicalEducationPodcastsImagesRandom

To download a pdf, click this link: 95 Life Hacks

What’s missing? What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!