Team Work Makes The…

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There is no such thing as a successful individual. Of course, by ourselves we can accomplish great things, and yes there is a sort of success that we can get to on our own. But at some time during our journey to success we’ve needed to rely on someone else. Someone who sparked our thought, someone who answered our questions, someone who wrote the book we study, or someone who manufacture the highlighter we used.

No matter how hard we try, we can’t get away from need other people. To experience the full and whole life that God has for us, we can’t lean on haughty independence. We need people.

In terms of building something great, we need a great team around us. Here at Passionate Pastors we believe strongly in team, and aim to make sure we’re always giving you thoughts on what a team is for and what it’s all about. Here’s a few thoughts from different places, that we’ve been meditating on lately about what a great team member does and eventually embodies.

1. ADAPT TO CHANGE

The Bible says those who wait for perfect conditions will never get anything done (Ecc. 11:4). There’s a temptation we face as team members to wait until the situation meets our individual needs rather than what’s good for the team. Ministry is always moving, what’s important is that we never lose momentum because of a change.

2. ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE

Be sure that your team is always getting involved with what’s going on. To grow a great culture, a team needs to participate in the culture. If you’re church desires to be built around small groups, be sure that your team or your staff are all in small groups. We can’t expect others to do something we ourselves aren’t doing.

3. AVIDLY COMMUNICATE

Communication is so crucial to a successful team. I want to make sure that I’m not waiting on someone to investigate my life until I communicate what’s going on in my life. From personal issues to professional ones, teach your team to always communicate. Create a safe culture where communication is welcomed whether it’s positive or challenging.

4. ADMIT MISTAKES

Accountability and responsibility are gold to developing a successful team. Watch out for team members who push blame on others for lack of their results. Phrases like “they never got back to me,” or “I did as much as I could” should be discerned and addressed immediately. When we can admit our mistakes we’re that much more open and available to learning and growing to success.

5. AWARE OF BIG PICTURE

Andy Stanley says the easiest way to kill a vision is to give yourself another one. To truly have a successful team every single member has to be aware of the big picture. Their role and responsibility is important, but the moment they focus more on themselves and their individual needs the miss the big picture. Every staff meeting should reinforce the big picture and challenge the team to keep focused on it. We all play a part, but our part if never more important than the next persons!

While there are endless principles for great teamwork, we pray that these five will help you keep growing and developing the leaders around you. Remember; teamwork makes the dream work so keep discipling, keep developing, and keep deploying!

 

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3 Reasons Why You Need To Be At Passionate Youth Pastors

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It’s that time of year again. Summer. Typically for those of us in ministry, the summer is a time to reflect and look at how the first of the year has gone. We check how series panned out, how growth tracks have improved, and statistically how people have been added to The Church.

With all these numbers and ideas running through our head, we must also make sure we focus on replenishing ourselves and making sure we’re ready for the last half of the year. Here at Passionate Pastors, we believe growth is a responsibility we all have. We can lean on and glean from, but ultimately, we are responsible for our own growth. We believe that summer is not the time to stop growing, but it’s actually a season where more growth can take place.

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:15-16 (ESV)

This September, Passionate Youth Pastors will be holding it’s second gathering of the year. With sessions from Chad Veach and Billy Heather, our September gathering promises to be a day filled with insightful and revelatory teaching. Here’s a few reasons why you need to make sure your youth pastor, youth leader, and even your youth volunteer team need to be here!

1. The Community

PYP exists first as a community of men and women committed to leading the next generations in the things of Jesus. We believe that before we focus on strategy and systems, our primary goal is to gather and do life today.

We live in a day and age where community is shunned when sitting next to opportunity. But if the Church is going to succeed is bringing the next generation to Christ, we’ve got to be refreshed and refueled by being around each other. Jesus made it very clear that following Him involved being around other people. People that we can love and learn from. Use this gathering to get around other people like you.

2. The Connection

We believe in a space that let’s youth and young adults leaders connect on real life issues. Yes there will be great teaching, and plenty of tweetable content, but PYP is more than just sessions. It’s a place to meet and connect with other youth leaders that are doing the same things you are: loving young people and striving to show them who Jesus really is.

If you’re like us, you’ve been in seasons where you feel stuck and or empty. The best thing we can do in those moments is connect with others and be transparent about our lives. PYP creates a safe place for that to happen. As we always says we don’t compare, we celebrate and support.

3. The Collaboration

This gathering is designed to give you and opportunity to collaborate with others when it comes to reaching the next generation for the kingdom of God. We see collaboration as a fruit of community, not a requirement for it.

We hope and pray that you’ll see other youth ministries as people you can connect and collaborate with. Whether it’s a ministry across the street or across the world, we’re all working together to show people who Jesus is. That’s the aim of our charge, that’s the goal of our lives.

If you’ve never attended a PYP, this a great place to jump in. You’ll meet and connect with our youth pastors, leaders, and workers just like you. There will be powerful worship that will rejuvenate you, and always world-class teaching that will equip you and empower you for what’s next.

Registration is live now at http://www.passionatepastors.com

We love you and we’ll see you there!

 

How To Get Volunteers

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Let’s be honest, we all need volunteers. We’ve got the vision, we’ve got the passion, we’ve got the focus and drive, we’ve got the revelation. But no matter how much we have, we need people to help us make these things come to pass.

From the beginning, God equipped man to have someone help him. The same is true for our churches and our organizations. If we’re going to succeed and see our plans come to pass, we need people! Here’s a few quick thoughts on how to get volunteers for your church or your ministry

Start Relationships

More often than not, we recruit volunteers by talking about what they can do for us, rather than what we can do for them. We ask for their collaboration with our vision before we have community and connection with them as people. It’s great to do ministry together, it’s better to do life together.

Be Passionate

Every volunteer position might not seem like a fun and exciting thing, but how we communicate the need can make it exciting. Here in Palm Springs, our summers are 100+ degrees every day. But recruiting parking lot volunteers is never difficult. Our parking lot attendants don’t stand in the sun, they help lead our guests into the most convenient spaces, then help guide them into our facility so they can encounter Jesus. If we think about it, every volunteer need is about helping other encounter Jesus. So, if we’re passionate about people encountering Jesus, we’ll always be passionate about volunteers helping this happen.

Have A Plan

Plain and simple, don’t ask someone to volunteer for something that you don’t understand. This is where preparation becomes essential. Be sure to take time during the week to prepare for volunteers so that when they show up, there’s direction and purpose behind what they’re doing. There’s nothing worse than a willing heart in one of our volunteers not being able to be used because of no plan.

Make Each Role Vision-Driven

This is very similar to points 2 and 3. If everything we do lines up with our vision, we have to be certain that each volunteer need supports that vision. There are plenty of great ideas out there, but a great idea doesn’t always line up with vision. If you’re church doesn’t need a valet team….. that’s okay!

Commit To Leading Them

If someone’s going to volunteer, it should be because it’s leading them somewhere. Being unfulfilled is something that haunts so many people in our day and age. As leaders, we’ve got to show them that serving others, which is the core foundation of the Gospel, will lead them to a better understanding of Jesus, a greater love for people, and leaves them unbelievably fulfilled. Before they start serving, let’s commit to leading them and showing them Jesus.

These are just some of the hundreds of thoughts when it comes to getting church volunteers. We believe if you’re going to do something great, you’ve got to have people doing it with you! Here’s some questions we’ll leave you with:

  1. What’s the current state of our volunteers?
  2. What are some things we can do better to celebrate and serve them?
  3. How many of them truly understand the vision?

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

 

Junior High Small Groups: Why We Love Them, Why We Need Them

sg.jpgThree years ago our student ministry here at Destiny officially launched our Junior High Ministry. There was a huge need for their own space, and quite frankly we didn’t feel they were being reached effectively. If you work with Junior High students, you know the struggle: they’re too young to be in kids church, and they’re not quite ready to be in High School ministry. This tension between “Child-Care” and teenage discipleship tends to be growing in churches around the country.

Amongst other things, there is a huge swell of junior high ministries implementing small groups during their normal services hours. This method seems to be highly advantageous as it combines a junior highers need to talk, but also involves their unseen desire to discuss difficulties in understanding Christianity. Yes, our junior high students sometimes struggle to understand the fullness of the Christian faith. (I mean you and I are adults and we don’t get it sometimes, imagine our students!)

Believe it or not there are more junior high students today claiming atheism than ever before.  This is where organizations like the Secular Students Alliance and the American Atheists Movement are succeeding. With such a battle between science and religion in our schools, it’s important that the church provides a space where 10 to 13 year olds can share what’s going through their mind when they hear about Jesus, and also what preconceived notions are due to the culture around them.

In the past three years of junior high ministry we’ve felt the need to keep pushing our small group time on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights. We’ll begin with a game, worship, followed by a brief 5-10 message and then break into our small groups. Of course keeping the attention span of a 12 year old can be difficult, but when done properly it leads to so much fruit! Here’s a few thoughts, and challenges, when it comes to having small group time for your junior high ministry.

1. Groups help them EXPRESS their mind

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As I stated earlier, groups have to give room for students to share how they really feel about God. Often times this expression is rooted in confusion, lack of exemplifying in their families, or what culture has taught them. But if our groups aren’t letting our students be transparent, we may be missing it. Every time you lead a small group of students be prepared for real, and sometimes pressing questions.

Leaders Tip: Make sure your team is trained in not just the basics of Christian faith, but also ready to discuss questions about God’s existence, the origin of humanity, the definition of sin, and much more

2. Groups help them EXPERIENCE Jesus

sg1.jpgWe believe that a small group of junior highers is sometimes the best place to let the Holy Spirit move. It can be when someone is sharing a story that everyone listening begins to feel compassion for the person speaking. It can be when someone is explaining the Gospel that students truly feel God’s love and grace. When these moments pop up in your small group, be ready to shift and even sometimes pray for students that experience God.

Leaders Tip: Have your team of volunteers praying for these moments in small groups. It’s great to pray that they would get saved or discover Jesus, but it’s also a good thing to pray for conversations and dialogue to be spirit-led. Ephesians 1:17-19 is great to pray through for your students.

3. Groups help them EXERCISE their faith

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It’s happened many times in our small groups; students beginning to encourage each other. Usually you know within the first 5 minutes who is who, that is, who are the leaders, and who are those that need to be led a little closer. Let groups give your students a place to grow in their compassion and love for one another.

Leaders Tip: When one student shares a struggle, use phrases like, “What do you guys think?” or “How would you handle that?”

If you’re currently holding junior high small groups, keep going! We pray that some of these tips and tricks will help only enhance and grow the importance of genuine conversation amongst your leaders and your students. If you’re not holding groups for students, pray and see if maybe it’s something you should be doing. Each church is different, but one thing that we all need is community!

We love you, we’re praying for you, and we believe that the best is ahead!

 

 

 

Sorry, You Can’t Do Everything

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Ah, ministry. Whether it’s full-time or part-time, ministry is the greatest thing one can do with their lives. “Ministry” comes from the Greek word diakoneo, which mean “to serve” or douleuo, which can mean “to serve as a slave.” It’s often seen as service to God, and for the Christian this example of ministry is found in the life of Jesus.

I believe ministry doesn’t just take place on big platforms, or during huge moments of faith. It’s much bigger than this. Ministry happens every day of our lives. It’s the conversations we have with people, the way we give to others, and how we display Jesus in our world. Ministry is about stopping for the moments in life that others might overlook. It’s about loving the people that others may find “unlovable”.

Often, I hear people say they are “called to ministry”. It’s an exciting statement and it usually comes from someone who is completely sold out on loving God and serving Him with their lives. But many times this declaration can come without a full understanding of what ministry is. Let’s be honest. Ministry puts a huge demand on our lives. Whether it’s working for a church, traveling to different countries to provide aid, or dropping your co-worker off after work. Ministry can pull parts out of us that we never knew were there.

If we are a part of someone’s first encounter with Jesus, or their recommitment to Jesus, we instantly become attached to their lives. Now, with literally a whole world to reach, it can be tricky, if not impossible, to be involved in everyone’s life. But for some reason we try. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t do everything.

I know we like to think we can at times, but we can’t. We can pray, we can strategize, we can preach, we can lead, we can visit hospitals, we can dedicate children, we can meet with business owners, we can disciple, we can raise our kids, we can love our spouses, we can do that all…….but not at the same time.

You’ll never impact the world around you, until God impacts the heart inside you.

We leaders can burn ourselves out by trying to do everything, and if we’re not careful, our selfless, sacrificial serving can become burdened and obligated. The key to truly making a difference in our communities is realizing we need other people around us to help the vision God has put inside us. I want to highlight a few things that will keep us from trying to do everything.

1. Fulfill your ministry

From the jump, we’ve got to recognize what God has called us to. Many times people struggle to understand the vision of our organizations because we’re trying to do too much. What makes In-N-Out burger so awesome is there’s only a few things on the menu. They do a couple things, but they do it great! Fruitfulness isn’t always about doing more, it’s about doing better. What do you feel God has called you to?

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5

2. Know your gauges

There’s nothing more damaging than a leader who knows they’re empty but tries to keep pouring out. This is where discipleship is so key. If we’re raising people up to do what we do, we’ll learn to be okay with not doing everything. Sometimes we just need to rest and take a break. Lazy leadership is more dangerous than you think. Every time we try to do something mediocre, we may be hindering someone else from doing it great.

3. Involve other people

Remember, Jesus used a group of 12 ordinary men to impact the world. He could have easily done everything, but there were key moments where he involved the people around Him. He multiplied the bread, but He had the disciples distribute it. What things have you been holding on to that maybe you can start distributing?

These are just three quick points (and there’s so many more) that can help us not do everything. Paul said “I have become all things to all people” not “I do all things for all people”. Let’s be aware of where we are, and realize God wants to minister to us before we go out and minister to others. We can only preach the Gospel, when we’ve truly been changed by the Gospel. If it’s finished through Jesus, we’ve got to rest in His everything, instead of creating our own.

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

 

 

 

The Ten Traits of a Team Member

Life needs team. Not just businesses, not just professional sports leagues, not just parenting, but life itself needs to be done together. It’s easy to say that we can do things on our own, but regardless of how strong, talented, anointed, confident and bold we are, we will always need a team. We need people we can lean on and run with. People that will tell us what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear. From the beginning God  established Himself as being in community (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Then in a a similar way, He invites and designs man to dwell in community.

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone – Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

For the past few weeks we’ve been reflecting on what a team member looks like. After much consideration, here are some thoughts and points that our staff have been refreshing on recently

1. I Understand Team

If you’re going to be on a team, you need to know what a team is all about. Team is about a group of individuals that come together to achieve a common goal. It’s not about being recognizing or about being acclaimed. It’s about leaning on one another to accomplish a goal.

2. I Have Learned To Honor

I wish that honor was something all of us were born with, but unfortunately this is not the case. A great team member will not just talk about honor, but they will exemplify what it means to honor. Honor recognizes the people that have gone before us and is greatly impacted by their sacrifices. If your team knows how much it took to get your church or organization this far, they will handle their responsibilities with greater care.

3. I Know How To Communicate

Communication is essential to the growth and success of a team. I’ve made a promise to myself that I won’t wait for someone to approach me about something I haven’t told them about. Let me explain. If we’re going through a problem, we can sometimes have the tendency to wait for our leaders to approach us. Don’t expect your leaders (or team) to be mind readers. Don’t wait for them to investigate your life and ask you if something is wrong. Let’s be leaders who communicate and procrastinate.

4. I Am A Prayer Starter and A Problem Solver

I’m looking for people on my team that won’t wait to be told they need to pray for something. Especially in areas of ministry, we can’t get caught discussing a big problem until we’ve first prayed about. Don’t let God be the last person you talk to!

5. I Have A “Can Do” Attitude

Positivity is so huge for the team. Look for someone who believes they can do what’s put in front of them. Many times we’re looking for the most skilled or the most talented team member. But what happens when the task before them is outside of their skill set? I want people on my team that may not know how to do everything, but are willing to learn, or find someone who can do it!

6. I Have Developed Life Skills

Speaking as a youth pastor, this is a big one for me. I believe if someone can’t take care of their life how will they take care of responsibilities on the team? If they can’t keep their car clean, or their house clean, how will they be able to keep their office or your meeting space clean? Believe me life skills goes way beyond cleanliness.  Can the people on your team hold conversations? Can they order something from a restaurant in a polite way? Can they return phone calls? Can they write a proper email? Do they come to work groomed and dressed nice? Are they on time? These may seem basic, but if the people on your team struggle with these areas, it will reflect back on you.

7. I Have the Right Tone

Tone is very important. Some people may have the right answers, but if they don’t have the right tone, they’ll lose credibility and influence fast. I believe there’s a tone to everything we do. For instance, believing some of God’s promises require a tone from our spirit. It’s not “I guess I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…” The tone of your spirit has a lot to do with the timing of God’s promise.

8. I Don’t Gossip

I understand there will be disagreements on team, but let’s be people who share our frustration with the right people. Gossip is like the serpent in the Garden of Eden. It sneaks up on you and before you know it you’re engaging in conversation. Don’t get caught talking about someone that you can easily go talk to.

9. My Maturity is Bigger than my Personality 

This point rings so true in leadership. It seems that we can assume having a big personality is essential to influence. This may be true, but if the people on your team are into what they do individually than they are as a team, there may be some problems. I’m all for expression and individual passion, but being on team means being committed to the success of everyone and not just ourselves.

10. I Am Sold Out to this Vision

I need people on my team that are committed to this vision. The worst thing we can do is have people that say they’re here, but then as soon as they clock out or leave the meeting, they’re off to what their life is really about. As leaders, we must believe that God has brought the people that are on our team. Whether they’re with us for 10 years or 10 weeks, our responsibility is to properly articulate and exemplify the vision that we’re asking them to serve. I’ve never heard of a part-time world changer. We want people on our teams that live out the mission, not just people that claim to live it out.

If you keep these points as priorities in your life, the way you look at your teams will change for the good. These ten traits are meant to serve as a measurable for who you need to pull in a little closer, and even maybe those who need be pulled back. Praying that you’ve been helped, and praying that your teams will continue to grow and multiply!

-BH

How To Enjoy The View (PYP Recap)

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This past Tuesday we had the incredible honor to host our first Passionate Youth Pastors gathering of 2017. Passionate Youth Pastors is a free gathering to unite youth and young adult leaders from around the world. It’s a place where leaders and come together for worship, connection, and insightful teaching. For the past three years, two to three times a year we’ve been gathering as youth pastors to talk about life. Not just leadership and ministry, but also the condition of our hearts and our personal lives. Each time we’ve learned and we’ve been stretched but we always leave bigger than the way we came.

PYP has and always will be about three things:

Community – we believe in place where youth and young adult leaders can feel safe. An environment where titles don’t matter, and where the size of your heart is valued more than the size of your platform.

Connection – we believe in place where we don’t just do ministry together, but where we do life together. The essence of our existence isn’t always just what we do, but also who we do it with.

Collaboration – we believe in a place where leaders don’t compare and compete, but where leaders can celebrate and collaborate. We believe that collaboration is a fruit of community and connection, not a requirement for it.

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John Morgan was our guest this time and after about ten minutes the room was floored. While there were so many amazing moments from our past gathering (get caught up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6seI1Qkr5Q). I’m going to use this space to highlight one of pastor John’s thoughts. In his first session titled “Maintaining Passion for Ministry”, pastor John shared some insight out of Revelation 2:4 and forsaking your first love. I’d say each point resonated with everyone listening, there was one in particular that spoke to me:

MAKE SURE YOU ENJOY THE VIEW

It seems everything about our world is moving so fast. Culture teaches us that to truly be successful and accomplish something, you have to climb to the top. On some levels this can be true, I mean we all love progress and growth. But when you are so fixed on what’s the next level you may forget to notice what’s going on on the current level.

Plainly, the platform many of us are on now is not ours. We are building on someone else’s view. Let’s be honest, someone else came before us, and someone else planted seeds that we experience the growth of.

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There’s moments in ministry where you and I need to enjoy the place we’re at. I understand God is doing new things, moving you and I into the place and destiny He has designed for our lives. But even then, even while we’re moving we’ve got love where we’re at. The Apostle Paul said this in Philippians 3:14

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

But then a few moments later he add this in Philippians 4:11

“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

Paul is dealing with the tension that many of us face today. We’re confident and hungry for what’s next in our life, but we’re learning (implying it’s a process) to find contentment in every situation we’re in. We may not be where we want to be, but we’ve got to learn to enjoy the view of where we’re at.

So of course, you and I need to stay fixed and focused on what God is doing and where He is leading us. At the same time, let’s stay content and in awe of where we’re at. I never want to be a leader that’s so focused on what God can do that I forget or devalue what He’s already done. We’ve got to find that equal balance, and be committed to enjoying the view!

Love you,

BH

 

Seven Questions For Today’s Church Leader

“As for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd who follows You…” – Jeremiah 17:16 

Whether we realize it or not, today’s leaders are influenced and in a way, inundated with so much from our culture. We’re taught to chase success and status, to accumulate more stuff and more things that give us value. As the secular state of leadership shifts and changes, it’s important for leaders in the church to stay focused and in tune with biblical principles.

The words of Jeremiah are very practical and real to the modern day church leader. While everything around us tells us to speed up and go faster through life, God teaches that we shouldn’t hurry and that being a leader means we are also great followers. Following God means constantly being aware of where you’re at, but also believing in where He wants to take you.

Here are some questions I’ve been asking myself every month or so. I pray that through prayerful reflection, these questions would lead you to being more conscious and more dependent on God.

1. Is my calling sure?

In a simpler way, am I in my lane? It’s much easier for us to focus on what we’re doing, when we are fully convinced of why we’re doing it!

2. Is my vision clear?

It’s frustrating when you’re looking at something, but don’t know what you’re seeing.

3. Is my passion hot?

Every now and then it’s good to ask yourself: am I still here? You may be physically here, but what’s your soul’s condition?

4. Is my character submitted?

Plainly, I want to make sure I am becoming more and more like Jesus every day.

5. Is my pride subdued?

It’s easy to assume that Christian leaders don’t have pride, but we do. Checking on your pride is important in developing as a leader. I read somewhere that pride comes before something….

6. Is my pace sustainable? 

A lot of times we’re tempted to come out the gates sprinting. But ask yourself, can my character and passion sustain where I’m at?

7. Is my life developing?

I never want to get comfortable with where I’m at. As the apostle Paul said, I want to be content but at the same time I want to press toward the goal. Ask yourself, am I still developing? Does the word of God still wreck me? Am I still compassionate towards people?

When you and I can open our hearts and search ourselves, we’ll become that much more moldable and teachable. When your soul stays teachable, your spirit stays reachable.

Love you.

BH

The Importance of Isolation

I never liked sitting by myself. Remember when you were in school waiting in the lunch line? I was never focused on what food I was getting. Especially in elementary school, I mean when you’re that young you eat anything. No friends, the food I was going to consume for lunch was not the object of my attention, but rather where I was going to be sitting was more important. It didn’t matter where I sat, as long as I wasn’t sitting alone.

I used to think, “Weird people sit alone.”

Today it seems that this idea is changing. It’s normal to sit by yourself. That’s right my six-year old self was wrong. Weird people don’t sit alone, but “cool” people sit alone. Studies show that we actually spend more time eating alone than we ever have before. I think one of the most crucial aspects of community is gathering around the table and enjoying a meal. (I’ve written about this previously  http://billyheather.tumblr.com/post/155696107834/whos-at-your-table)

But don’t get me wrong my approach this morning is not to say we need to be away from people. We need people. Every single day. We need to talk to them, we need to listen to them, we need to love them. But I think there is an importance to healthy isolation.

I truly believe that there are moments in our lives when we need to take a step back and simply surrender to a moment of solitude. With so much going on around us, it seems we never are alone anymore. There’s a non-stop plethora of information coming into our minds every moment of every day.

Think about the last time you didn’t have anything to think about. Even when we’re not doing anything work-related or relationship-related, we still have these pieces of technology in our pockets to help us through moments of boredom. Isolating ourselves from the noise of the world is more difficult today than it ever has been before.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – Luke 5:16

I’m encouraged when I read about Jesus withdrawing from people. I know that He loves them, and would eventually lay His life down for them. But just the thought of Jesus getting away from it all to be with His Father is awesome. These are those moments we can relate with Jesus because He too needed to take a break at times.
There is such thing as a healthy isolation. A moment when you can stop and simply surrender. This doesn’t have to be an epic hike into the wilderness. It can be something small and short. It can be a moment waiting at a red light, or while you’re on the bus. Or in between meetings at work. Where you plainly withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the world, and meet with God.
Life is about God-consciousness. Being aware that He’s here and that He wants to meet with you. I want my life to be more like Jesus’ life. The entirety of Jesus’ life. Everyone wants to preach and heal the sick and lead. But not everyone wants to love and withdraw themselves to spend alone time with God. We love the big platforms of Jesus’ life, but what about the sweet and tender moments of isolation? There’s inspiration and innovation in a healthy isolation.
Let’s be leaders who love the secret place as much as we love the public place.
BH

Six Key Statements From Passionate Pastors

PDJ

This past month we were privileged and extremely honored to have Pastor Paul De Jong with us from LIFE New Zealand. Pastor Paul is an apostle the the nation of New Zealand and a highly influential leader of the world. Every session was jam packed with information, revelation, and impartation. To the point that you couldn’t take notes fast enough.

(If you’d like to catch up on any Passionate Pastors sessions you can visit our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1MsLgvKzGH6zObDTPs6vkQ)

Throughout the day things were said that resonated with everyone there. Here are six statements that have greatly impacted our staff, and we hope they’ll do the same for you!

1. You’re not the savior of your soul, but you are the renovator of your soul.

As much as we pour out and give our lives to others, we should never lose sight of making improvements to our own. The soul is the innermost part of us, a part that no one sees. And because it’s not seen, it’s easily neglected. We need to keep making room what God wants to do in our lives.

2. Don’t teach on giving, teach on money.

Amongst other key principles, it’s important that we don’t just teach people how to give, but also give them a financial pathway that helps them understand money. When money touches the human hand, it will either become mammon or it will become seed. As pastors and leaders, we need to equip our people to understand the effects and possibilities of money.

3. Bigness of God only comes from smallness of self.

This seems so simple and basic, yet easily forgotten in ministry. John the Baptist said it best in John 3:30, “He must increase, I must decrease.” No matter how big and blessed our lives get, we can never lose sight of what it means to be a servant.

4. Revival comes when receive AND release.

Pastor Paul gave a great illustration about free divers and how they pack their lungs with air before descending into the water. In many ways, Christians can only inhale what God gives them and never exhale God into the lives of people around them.

5. You can develop your gift but you can’t grow your grace.

The bible talks about each having a gift from God, but it mentions elsewhere that we have each been given a measure of grace. No matter how tempting it may be, we are called to stay in our lanes, and work with what God has given us. Although we can glean and learn from others, if we don’t have grace for that area we can’t be discouraged.

6. Fruitfulness comes not just from what you add but also from what you take away. 

We can all agree sometimes we just try to do to much. If we’re always focusing on so many different programs and ideas, it’s hard to stay centered and make something effective. I’d rather be excellent in one area than mediocre if ten areas.

Here at Passionate Pastors, we believe God has the best in store for your lives and your ministries. If you’re committed to growing, stay tuned for more blogs and insightful teachings. Be sure to stay connected with us on our website and on twitter (@wegrowPastors). You can also connect with Pastor Paul De Jong on Twitter and Instagram. (@PaulDeJongNZ).