Momentum Killers (Part 1)

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Our last Passionate Youth Pastors gathering was by far one of greatest yet. Joining us from Yakima, Washington was pastor Micahn Carter. Pastor Micahn and his wife April pastor Together church, a multi-site, multi-cultural church started almost thirteen years ago. Pastor Micahn is an articulate communicator and is easily one of this generation’s upcoming voices. You can learn more about pastor Micahn and together church HERE.

After a day filled with powerful worship and plenty of soul-cleansing moments, pastor Micahn shared some practical tips about things that kill our momentum in ministry. We’ll list the first six of his twelve “Momentum Killers” here, and we’ll pray that they impact you as much as they did us. For more Passionate Pastors content visit our Passionate Pastors Youtube Channel .

  1. COMPLACENCY

    It’s quite dangerous to start treating things as common. Especially in leadership we can get so passionate about getting somewhere, and then becoming average because we’re there. Great leaders keep pushing and finding new motivation each and every step of the way.

  2. UPHOLDING CULTURE

    The health of your culture can determine the success of your ministry. Sure, some things can sneak by in a dysfunctional culture, but in the long run if we’re not all living out what we believe we’ll struggle.

  3. DISUNITY

    One of pastor Micahn’s key points was that we celebrate loyalty more than we should. People can be loyal and still be divided. Let’s not overlook dysfunction just because someone’s been with us a long time. “Loyalty is an immature sign of unity.” People can be in the same place and still no be connected. As Paul said, let’s aim to “maintain the unity”.

  4. UNWILLING TO TRANSITION TEAM MEMBERS

    Keep in line with number three, if someone is hurting the team, we have to know how to transition them. Plain and simple if they’re heart isn’t in it, you’ll notice. You wouldn’t pay to bring an empty piece of luggage with you on a trip, in the same way don’t pay to bring an empty team member towards where you want to go.

  5. NO DEPTH IN THE ROSTER

    Especially in youth ministry, we can get caught up thinking that we need to do everything. So we create the service flow, we teach others the service flow, we put on the pre-service music, then we run to the back to preach and then we follow up with everyone and so on… it’s crazy. A key part of leadership is empowering others to do more so we can keep building more!

  6. THINKING THAT YOU DID THIS

    Humility is a key part of what we do as leaders. Especially in church, we have to be careful to not assume that we are the reasons we are successful. The truth is we can’t control anything. We might plant, we might water, but it’s only God that gives increase. His grace is what empowers us to serve and ultimately point people to Him.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll share some of these points with your teams. We’ll get you the other six momentum killers soon so stay locked and stay passionate! We LOVE YOU.

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Let It Happen (Creative Ministry)

The world is naturally a creative place…

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The world is naturally a creative place. Breathed from a God who created everything from nothing, the world, and really life itself, is a place of possibility. It’s a blank canvas that can become anything we imagine it to be. It’s a place of purpose, a place that is for something. In other words, we’re not here to just consume, we’ve been created, intricately designed if you will, to create.

This is especially true today’s ministry world. The word with which we reach people has not changed, but the way we reach people has. We’re now almost completely digitalized, battling for screen time as people’s eyes continue to look down into their devices. If the church can grasp the possibilities of reaching people in a new way we’ll continue to see more people added to the kingdom of God.

For generations, creatives have been the source of so much progression in our world. Whether it’s a painting that brings tears to your eyes, a song that soothes you and brings peace to your soul, or a technological advancement that makes doing a task easier, people who operate in the fullness of their imagination and creativity, make the world a better place.

Of course, when we hear the word “imagination” or the phrase “make the world a better place” it’s immediately thrown into a category of statements that have been Hallmark-ized. But for anyone that calls themselves a Christian, creativity is deep within our faith and what we believe about life.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” – Genesis 2:18 (ESV)

The Creation story, according to Christianity, is one of great depth and beauty. After six days of making everything, God notices something about what He’s made. He notices that His beloved and prized possession, man, is alone.

God looked at what He had made, and saw that there was still something missing. To this day, I believe, God still sees life this way. He notices the areas of His people’s lives that are empty, and reveals Himself as the ultimate satisfaction and pleasure.

If we too are made in the image of God, we’re given this same type of heart for humanity. We’ve been given the ability to see something, and then creatively come up with a way to make that something better.

Inside of each and everyone of us, is creativity. I remember the first time I ever rapped before. I had never thought about rapping, or even considered having an interest in rap, but the first time I freestyled it just made sense. Inside of me used to be combinations of words that rhymed and syllable patterns that clicked, but out of fear and insecurity of what people thought, it never came out.

“Fear wins when you don’t even try.” – Unknown

We’ve all be given something. An idea, a dream, a conviction, a song, a poem, a painting, an invention, something, we’ve all been given something. Instead of fighting against it, and finding everywhere possible to get away from it, why not just let it happen?

I recently saw a movie where one scene wrecked me. I’m not talking watery eyes, but a full on bawl. It wasn’t a sad moment, it wasn’t an awesome victory, but the scene revealed to me a lot about life, and how all of us are looking for fulfillment. Deep you may say, but instead of telling myself, “It’s just a movie” or “What’s wrong with you?”, I just let it happen.

Even today recalling that scene in my mind brings so many ideas and snippets of passion that I know aren’t meant just for me. They’re meant to become something, something that others can benefit from.

In Let It Happen, a song by a group of singers and musicians called United Pursuit, the lyrics penetrate into my heart in a way that not a lot of other things can. These words show that we’ve been created to be creative. We’ve been made to love, made to live, and made to find beauty in everything. You may find them cliche overused in our broken world, but instead of classifying a feeling as fake or unrealistic, why not let God use that moment as a seed to grow in you something that was never there before?

You’re full of life now

You’re full of passion 

That’s how He made you 

Just let it happen

Just let it happen. In the end you’ll be glad you did.

The Curse of The Clog (Drano Ministry)

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Ministry is about people. Loving them, serving them, showing them Jesus and so much more. To effectively reach people, it takes a healthy team. Not an individual person, but a collective people. It takes work, communication, unity and a commonality amongst a team that pursues missions more than preference.

Personal preference can distort purity…

In the grind of ministry there are constant projects, meetings, deadlines, and assignments that all push the team closer to fulfilling the mandate of Jesus. To “Preach the Gospel in all the world to every creature.” (See Mark 16:15) When you think about it, everything we do while in ministry is just in hopes that one person would hear the story of Jesus and how much He loves them. The work is for Jesus, but that leads to an often easily missed question: is Jesus in the work? 

Do our meetings reflect Jesus, do our deadlines and the way we communicate with our teams reflect Jesus, do the way we work together reflect Jesus? If not there’s bound to be moments of discord and division. We are called to keep the main thing, the main thing. And that takes a team, not just an individual.

One common deficit to a healthy organization is missed deadlines. Missed opportunities to advance the mission. Like a clogged pipe, certain things that don’t happen can easily slow down or even stop the flow of the mission. Consider this:

A baker walks into a room full of young apprentices. He looks around the room and then starts sharing his vision with enthusiasm: “We’re going to make a cake!” He then assigns each individual to bring an ingredient. Eggs, flour, oil, butter, sugar and so on. Hours later everyone returns with their ingredient except for one person who shows up without the eggs. With smiles on their faces, the other apprentices are satisfied because they did their part. But the cake can not be made until all ingredients are there.

It’s in moments like this that often times we’ll check off our list because we brought our ingredient. But the mission was not to bring an ingredient, the mission was the make a cake. When we see others on our team holding up the flow, we can’t walk away and be satisfied with our share. Even though there’s other things happening, if one person is behind it will stop the flow of everyone else on the team.

Great leaders don’t cover their own assignments, they see all areas and contribute to helping each area prosper. With that in mind, there are ways to clear the clog in our teams. It can be tricky, and they may be some discomfort at first, but in the end we’ll experience more growth, more results, and more unity. Here’s a few tips to having Drano in your ministry.

1. Recognize the signs

There are dashboard signs to people falling behind in their work. Whether it’s their attitude, or the quality of their work, it shouldn’t be hard to see the pipe starting to clog. Be aware when things start to back up and be prepared to address it.

2. Create long-term solutions

A tragedy to trying to clear the clog is temporary fixes. We try something easy to fix a problem that might have many layers. If your sink has been clogged before by something, after paying the price to fix it, you most likely won’t put that down the drain again.

3. Have a culture of teamwork 

Great teams know that if one person is behind, all of them are behind. It’s one thing to say you’re a team, it’s another thing to actually work as a team. Jesus did a lot with His team, and although it took a few years to solidify, His team is still growing and moving forward today.

4. Communicate…a lot

The easiest way to keep the drain clear is communicate. Send emails, texts, phone calls and so on. Try staff management softwares or apps like Basecamp or Trello, that can help keep everyone flowing. I believe that when it comes to sharing Jesus, we can’t over communicate. The should be true in our work.

There are plenty of other ways to keep workflow moving smooth, but for now think about these four things. Do you see the flow starting to clog? If so, it may be time to make some changes. The sooner we see the signs, the sooner we can become the solutions.

We love you, we’re praying for you, we’ll see you soon!

Getting The People Done

boss-fight-free-high-quality-stock-images-photos-photography-pins.jpg“Ministry is not about getting the job done, it’s about getting the people done.” Shaun Nepstad sat in our staff offices and shared this thought recently with our team here at Passionate Pastors. (His Passionate Pastor sessions can be found here: passionatepastors.com/videos) The statement rattled our thinking, because for so long many have assumed that to be an effective church we have to get stuff done.

Of course there’s truth to that, but it seems that more and more the church of the future isn’t focused on doing stuff as much as it’s focused on building people. After all, everything we do is so that people can encounter Jesus, so missing the people is missing the point. When Jesus called His original followers, He didn’t tell them that they’d get stuff done, until He first promised He’d make them into something great.

18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:18-19 (ESV)

If we’re going to be a successful church we have to keep making people. Not just leading them, but intentionally building them and preparing them for what’s next. When it comes to building people and volunteers, here’s a three step process that we’ve seen success in.

1. RECRUIT

When we’re building teams, how we recruit people is so important. If we can’t give the vision behind why we’re asking someone to join a team, we’re simply asking them to do a job. Volunteering isn’t about getting people to do a job, it’s about getting people to fulfill their calling. Not our need, but their calling! Leading people to their calling is what we’re all about, so when we’re recruiting people we have to keep that in mind.

2. RETAIN

After we’ve recruited someone to join our team, how do we keep them there? It’s very common for people to join a team our of excitement and emotion, but if the structure of the team isn’t prepared to welcome them and give them a pathway for their life, they’ll leave. Team leaders should recognize often times it’s the pastor who got them there, but it’s now the team leader’s leadership and really stewardship that will keep them there. When you prepare to do your next push for volunteers, make sure your thinking about how they’re going to stay. What will being on this team do for them in the long run? What small group are they going to be in after they start serving? Who can they turn to when they have problems? How are they being appreciated, affirmed, and honored on a regular basis?

3. RELEASE

This is where things get difficult. The goal of our teams is to prepare people and then release them to move on to what’s next for their lives. Obviously this is not the case for each individual. Some take ten months to be released, others ten years, but the reality is we should see where we want to take them. We believe every time we meet with an individual we should know where we see them one day, and be confident in how we’re going to get them there. Jesus was a master at preparing His followers and then placing them where He saw them. This is when people know you care, when you start releasing them to greater things.

So next time you’re caught up in the list of things you’ve got to accomplish, remember that building people is a box that never gets checked. We’re always doing it, always putting effort into it, and always believing for more people to build! We love you, we believe in you and we’re praying for you!

 

Work With What You Got

cookMany define ministry in different ways. Some say it’s advancing the kingdom of God, others describe it as teaching people to follow Jesus, even some say it’s being the “hands and feet” of Jesus. None of these explanations are wrong, and each portrays a part of God’s overall mission to reach humanity. Of course there are probably endless ways to describe the mission of an endless God, but as of lately we’ve been noticing that ministry involves work.

Now, this is not necessarily the kind of work that proves your position, or validates your devotion to God in order to get something back. This is the work is spoken of in Ephesians 2 when Paul says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) This means, as pastor Obed often says, we aren’t saved by works, but we are saved to work.

So we all can agree that when we step into ministry we’ve got some work to do. Through Christ, we have souls to save, a gospel to preach, broken hearts to heal and so on. But in the midst of the “work of the ministry”, the temptation is to get so comfortable maintaining what we’re doing, that we never continue on to new or bigger things. When confronted with challenges, it’s easy to say things like “well this is all we’ve got”, or “we don’t have the resources to do that.” Although resources play a big part in how big something is, it doesn’t determine how impactful and fulfilling something is.

The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might..” (Ecclesiastes 9:10a) This means whatever is in front of us, we’re going to make it better and do all that we can with it. Here’s a few thoughts on how to work with what you’ve got.

1. Passion comes from who you are not what you have

Working with what you’ve got starts by being passionate about who you are. It’s easy to get passionate when you have everything you need materially, but the reality is we already have all that we need within us. (See 2 Peter 1:3) Who we are as sons and daughters are what release passion into our souls. Not how many people come to our church, how big our building is, or how much money we’ve accumulated. Again these are all important things, but what we have shouldn’t bring us passion, it’s who we are.

2. Innovation should be your best friend

Innovation is becoming more and more valuable to the church today. With cultural changes and a constant influx of change in our society, the church needs to know how to change our methods without compromising our message. Great leaders can walk into a room and make small changes that make a big difference without spending a dime. When you look at your ministry, where are you innovating? Where are you trying new things while advancing and reaching more souls? It could be as simple as having your message outlines placed on the seats before service to as deep as changing the color of your children’s ministry walls. The point is, great leaders don’t just maintain what’s been established, they innovate and push toward what’s ahead.

3. Stewardship is a must

Jesus told a parable about three men who were given talents. When the master returned, he found two that had multiplied theres, and one who had done nothing. In his mind, he had a good reason for his actions, but in the mind of God this is far from the truth. The reality is we’ve all been given something. Some of us have big things, some of us have small things, but it’s not what we have that matters. It’s how we handle it. I’m often blown away by the faith of pastors in countries where Christianity is highly persecuted. They’re not concerned with buildings and sermon series, they’re concerned with keeping their congregations alive. They’re stewarding what they’ve been given.

In the same way, you and I have been given something to steward, something to innovate, and something to be passionate about. We’ve been trusted with the greatest message in the world, the Gospel. As the master in the parable of Jesus said to the first servant, I want to one day hear those words “Well done, good servant!” (Luke 19:17) It starts with working with what I’ve got, being passionate about who I am, innovating towards the next great things, and stewarding what’s been given to me.

We love you, we believe in you, we’re praying for you!

 

 

First Things First

boss-fight-free-high-quality-stock-images-photos-photography-man-beach-ocean-looking-out.jpgI’m not sure about you, but I tend to get my priorities mixed up at times. From being with my family, spending time at the office, giving my heart in discipleship to members of the church, trying to find some time to go to the gym, and so much in between, life can be busy. Busy is actually a terrible word, life can be full or fruitful.

It’s these moments of fullness and being stretched that we tend to find our priorities getting out of alignment. What once was important and essential can easily become common and an afterthought. Especially when it comes to leading in ministry, we’re tempted everyday to lose sight of the main thing.

Stephen Covey once said, “The key is not to priorities your schedule but schedule your priorities.” In other words, intentionally make time for the things that really matter in life. It’s a discipline that goes undervalued in our world. We’re always going and doing, that we subtly ignore and sometimes devalue the things that are important.

The disciples of Jesus were prone to this same type of thinking. They’d go from moments of complete devotion and adoration of Jesus into seasons of trying to figure things out on their own and even sometimes resting in their own strength. The more they accomplished, the more stressful it became to prioritize. In one portion of Scripture, which is actually the beginning of their earthly walk with Christ, Jesus alludes to what the main thing is when it comes to ministry.

14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. – Mark 3:14-15 (ESV)

Jesus gives us a picture of three things He calls the disciples to do: be with him, get sent out to preach, and have authority to cast out demons. Interestingly enough, these seem to be in an intentional order. While preaching and demonstrating the power of God may be attractive to all of us, the primary responsibility of any leader, and any Christian for that matter, is to be with Jesus. 

I’m Not In A Hurry

Are you a morning person or a night person? Whatever the case is, there’s probably something you do for a living that causes you to be that way. And that’s okay. But when it gets time to rise and grind, is Jesus something you throw on as your run out the door, or is there a genuine, tangible, edifying time of surrender that you have with Him daily? You’ll always reflect what you’re spending the most time looking at.

No matter how much we try, we can’t do anything without Jesus. He’s the reason we lead, He’s the example we follow, and He’s the source of our strength. It seems like a simple reminder, but I’m so guilty of forgetting this main thing: be with Jesus. 

We know this is important if Jesus stressed it in the original recruitment of His disciples. He did say that they would do great things; they’d get sent out to preach the Gospel, they’d have authority to do the supernatural, but none of that would be possible without being with Him. Taking the time to watch Him,  learn from Him, love Him and then lead with Him.

Pastor, leader, follower, whatever capacity you serve with, never lose sight of the main thing: being with Jesus. Of course your schedule is going to be full, and there’s always going to be more things to do, but if you and I spend too much time on our output we’ll forget about our input. Jesus refreshes us when we’re with Him, He’s redirects it when we’re off track, and He reveals to us what’s next. All this only comes from being with Him.

Being with Him is not an strenuous, legalistic venture. It’s a time of affirmation, acceptance, and approval. It’s where you discover who He is and in turn find out who you are. It’s very easy to get caught up in doing for Jesus that we forget the importance and freedom that comes from being with Jesus. Being with Him leads to knowing who we are in Him which eventually manifests into what we do for Him.

The disciples came home from casting out demons one day all excited and proud of their accomplishments. Jesus quickly refocuses them on what really matters:

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:20 (NKJV)

In others words, what you do for Him is not as big as who you are in Him.

Being with Jesus usually requires an adjustment from us. For my wife and I we noticed how tired we were in the mornings, that our prayer time was being rushed. So, we decided to start getting to bed earlier. Maybe on your way to work is your prayer time, maybe on your lunch break, maybe at the end of your day. Whatever it is, know this. It’s not how long you’re with Jesus, it’s how much He’s impacting you, changing you, and moving you to where you’re supposed to be.

We love you, we believe in you, we’re praying for you!

 

 

 

What Leaders Do

boss-fight-free-high-quality-stock-images-photos-photography-plant-book-table.jpgYou don’t have to be in ministry long to understand the importance of being a strong leader. Now when most people heart the adjective “strong” they sometimes assume one that is straightforward, demanding, or assertive. This traits may have their time and place in the overall scheme of things, but typically a strong leader is one who doesn’t cave under the demands and pressures of ministry.

Many of us know that ministry is primarily about two things, God and people. We’re called and chosen by God to be His connection from Heaven to Earth. Our aim is to speak how He speaks, love how He loves, and love how He loves. In truth, ministry is about reaching the culture without comprising convictions, leading and journeying with people to better understand their purpose, and of course managing the unexpected twists and turns that life throws at us.

In the Passionate Pastors offices this week, here’s a few thoughts we’ve been tossing around about what leaders do. Of course there are endless pointers and tips that men and women have been coming up with since the beginning of time. But here four thoughts we’ve been meditating on this week.

1. Leaders Lift

A huge part of leadership is lifting people up so they can see things more clearly. A lot of problems don’t change overnight, but the call we have as leaders to help change people’s perspectives towards those problems. By getting people higher, we believe, they’ll see things from Heaven’s perspective. They’ll see things from the other side of the cross and that is a powerful point of few.

Question: who have I been lifting in this season of my leadership? What partners in ministry do I need to start empowering? How much of my time per week is dedicated strictly to leadership development?

2. Leaders Sift

As I mentioned earlier, leadership is primarily managing problems, and helping people understand their purpose. A leader’s job is to sift through things to find the opportunities and steps someone can take to grow. Sifting is a dirty job sometimes. It takes patience, and understanding to work through things that others might give up on. Think about when you counsel someone. It’s usually hours of helping them get to the root of their problems. In a sense, there’s a great deal of sifting involved every time you lead.

Question: what problems have I been dealing with lately? How can I better leadership in the area of dealing with and solving problems?

3. Leaders Gift

Generosity is an essential trait of any leader. When you’re in the leadership, you’re always giving. You’re giving time, effort, patience, love, grace, forgiveness and so much more. The greatest leader of all time, Jesus Christ, gave His life for His followers. If that’s the case, we’ve got the know that we are going to be gifting a lot to the people we’ve been entrusted with?

Question: who have I been giving most of my time to lately? Has it been effective? What changes should I make to better how I’m gifting my life.

4. Leaders Shift

To be an great leader, you’ve got to adjust. There will be times when what you’ve planned doesn’t work. Many will aimlessly keep trying over and over, not knowing that the solution may be simply changing your strategy. It’s key to adjust when necessary without losing momentum. Sometimes fruitfulness comes from not adding something, but taking away what’s not working.

Question: what processes have I been holding onto that might not be working? What things in my weekly schedule haven’t been as effective as I’d like? What disciplines do I need to take on to help keep the momentum in my life?

With these four simple realizations, you’ll be on your way to leading in an energizing, edifying, and effective way. We believe no matter what you’ve accomplished up to this point, God always has more for you. We believe in you! We love you, We’re praying for you! Let’s keep being the leaders God has designed us to be.

A Heart After God (PYP Recap)

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One of the greatest things to see here at Passionate Pastors is leaders who have a heart after God. Whether in worship, strategizing, development, or preaching, there’s nothing like watching a man or woman pursue God in all that they do.

This past Tuesday we help our second Youth Pastors gathering of the year. With messages from Chad Veach, Billy Heather, and a small cameo from pastor Obed Martinez, we believe this was our best gathering yet. There was much community and connection, it was hard to leave after the final prayer.

(If you missed it hit our youtube channel for all the sessions:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1MsLgvKzGH6zObDTPs6vkQ)

Our heart is that Passionate Pastors would always be where leaders would discover the vision and plan of God, but more importantly, we want people to leave knowing they have the heart of God. When you have God’s heart, you’ll never struggle in building His people. We want leaders to leave our gatherings seeing life, people, and ministry the way that God does.

This takes place so much more naturally, when there is continued unity and fellowship amongst the Body of Christ. Paul said in Ephesians 4, that we should be eager to “maintain the unity”. He never said create unity, or make unity, but rather maintain the unity that should already be there.

While there were many memorable moments from PYP, we’re going to give you 10 thoughts from Pastor Chad’s morning session. He titled the session, “10 Things Every Pastor Needs” and we are still reflecting on these principles this week in our offices.

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1. An Ear

Every leader needs someone they can talk to. Someone that will listen to them as they share not just the good parts of their lives, but even the bad too.

2. A Voice

Who’s speaking potential and purpose over your life, and who’s speaking life into you?

3. A Bible

As a pastor, there is a temptation to read the Bible for your people, but truly healthy and successful men and women of God, are those who read the Bible for their own soul first. We read not to get something out of the Bible, but rather for it to put something into us.

4. A Pastor

We all need someone shepherding our soul and leading us in the direction they believe God is calling us!

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5. An Apron

John 13 we read of Jesus washing His disciple’s feet. Showing us that even the Son of God wasn’t above serving. May we as leaders never forget the importance of sacrificial serving. We can’t expect others to do something we don’t do ourselves.

6. A Vision

Pastor Chad talked about always having a vision for your life. If you don’t have a vision, what is it that you’re working towards? Or what are you believing God for? John Maxwell said leaders see “more before”. Don’t wait for a vision, find one and run towards it with everything you’ve got!

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7. A Word

When you have a word from God, the opinions of others will never disrupt your momentum. You’ll take more risks when you have, as Chad said, “A man with a Savior should always be willing to take a risk.”

8. A Heart After God

Pressing in to Jesus every day is crucial to having a healthy soul. When we’re in pursuit of Him we are more fulfilled and more content than anything else. Be a leader who loves Jesus and longs for more of Him everyday.

9. A Faith

Right believing leads to right behaving. The revelation that Pastor Chad gave on grace was one to remember! Every pastor needs to keep believing and walking by faith.

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10. A Sabbath

Rest is more valuable than we make it sometimes. In order to be poured out into the lives of others, we ourselves needs to be getting filled up every chance we get.

Our prayer for you is that no matter what season you or your ministry is in, these ten things would become priorities for you. God’s given you everything you need to step into the next season of your life and through His wisdom and guidance we believe you’ll get there. “God will make you the best before you get put with the best.” Let’s keep being leaders who allow God to make us into who He’s designed us to be.

We love you, we believe in you, we’re praying for you! We’ll see you at our next Pastors gathering in November with Pastor Shaun Nepstad.

 

Making The Most Of Your Time

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Every now and then here at the PP blog we break away from the revelatory and insightful to write some practical content that can equip you in your every day life. We believe that a healthy ministry isn’t based on what takes place at your church, it’s based on what takes place in your every day life. It’s not just the messages you preach, but it’s the life you live and the decisions that you make.

Think about it, many times what we lack in our ministries is connected to something we may not be doing in our own life. I know that’s quite a blanket statement, and I’m sure it’s not always the case, but the health of your ministry starts with the health of your life. As the church grows and more begins to take place, it’s important that we as leaders stay the most effective and productive that we can be.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

Time is a funny thing. It’s inevitable to pass us by, yet we try so hard to hold on to it. Even as I write this, time has continued on. It doesn’t wait for anyone. It doesn’t change for anyone. What separates good leaders and great leaders is not more time, for we all have the same amount, but more awareness of time. Many blame time for lack of results, while time blames them for lack of effort. The question is not how much time do you have, the question is how do you steward the time you do have?

Here’a few quick thoughts on making the most of your time.

PLAN

One thing we’ve been taught here at PP is how to schedule not just our hours, but also our days. So what am I doing on which day of the week? Many pastors rest Monday and then regroup on Tuesday to go over the weekend. But find your own rhythm and what works for you.

A great way to do this is keep an update To-Do list. Typically at the end of the work day on Thursday (our office hours are Monday – Thursday + All Day Sunday), I’ve added some items to my list for the following week.

TALK

You’ll never accomplish everything you’re called to do by yourself. I make sure that throughout my week I’m checking in with different staff members and sharing what I have going on and what I may need help with.

This truth is especially necessary in your relationships. With your spouse, block out some time to go over your week, and what you’ve got planned. A shared calendar is so beneficial for my wife and I. We’ve also learned from our pastors to take 20 minutes in the morning to discuss our day so we’re not running around trying to catch each other.

SLEEP

Pretty self explanatory, but if you don’t sleep enough you’ll waste a lot of time. When we are rested the way we steward our time drastically changes. We don’t approach assignments groggy and weighed down, but rather we’re clear and precise on what we’re doing.

Not all people are morning people, I understand but it’s good to become one. One of Charles Spurgeon’s greatest strengths was he never wasted his morning. Here’s a man who wrote some 150 books in his lifetime, he once said “It is so sweet every morning for the hands to do a little that they could not do yesterday, and for the feet to be able to walk a yard or two farther than a few days ago.”

You’ve got a lot to do, we know that, you know that, and God sure knows that. So in order to be all that He’s called us to be, we’ve got to steward and value all the time we’ve been given. So plan a lot, talk when you need to, and sleep because it’s good for you.

Of course there are more tips and tricks to time management. What are some things you do to make the most of your time? Feel free to drop us a line anytime!

 

We love you, we believe in you, we’re praying for you. Stay faithful and stay fruitful!

Next Gathering: Passionate Pastors Collab Day (Movers & Makers )

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I used to think church was all about getting people to the building. You know, success has been painted to be how many people are coming to your church. It seemed simple enough; come up with creative ways to get as many people as possible to our service so they could hear about Jesus. While this is incredibly true to building a successful ministry, and numbers are important, church has to be more than what we do. It actually needs to become who we are. It’s needs to be more than what we think it currently is.

For many ministries, the importance of discipling programs and growth tracks is increasing. The church as a whole is becoming aware that having great church services is not the only goal. Our mission and mandate is to “Make Disciples”. To teach and direct people’s lives to become fully committed followers of Christ. It seems easy to make someone into a disciple, but we can’t until we’ve first moved them to a place where that process can begin. We move people in our services, and make them in our growth tracks and small groups. We are called to be movers and makers.

When someone is in the right place, they’re able to give birth to the dream and destiny that God has put inside of them. Mary knew something about having something in her but being the wrong place.

 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. – Luke 2:3-6 (ESV)

With Jesus ready to come into the world, the Bible was very clear on where He would be born. He would come from the tribe of Judah, the house of David, the city of Bethlehem. Notice though, the time for her to give birth didn’t come until she was in the right place. It wasn’t until she was moved from Galilee to Bethlehem that she gave birth.

As pastors and leaders, it’s our responsibility to move people from where they are to where God wants them to be. Often times we are to move them from our services into our growth tracks, small groups, and discipleship programs. This is where they are made into God has designed them to be.

We’re excited about our next Passionate Pastors gathering on August 22nd. This day is designed to discuss assimilation as well as the importance and intentionality of our growth tracks. You’ll hear from our team here at Passionate Pastors, as well as get a chance to open up with your strengths and struggles in the area of growth tracks.

We believe that the church is always edified when we come together for anything. So our prayer is that this day wouldn’t about pursuing God’s plan for our individual ministries, but also strengthening our reach as a whole and fulfilling our mission to make disciples of all nations.

 

We love you! Registration is still open at http://www.passionatepastors.com