Friday, July 30, 2010

What Every Church Planter Needs from a Core Team

"What Every Church Planter/Pastor Needs from a Core Team"
Last night I formulated a leadership teaching for my core team called, "What Every Church Planter Needs from their Core Team."

This is an outline of the expectations of Core Team leaders for The Well:
Live Missionally: See your surrounding community as your mission field. Invest into people and invite them. Build relationships with neighbors and co-workers.

Respond to Conflict Maturely: Use the Matthew 18 model- Go to the person. Our motto is, "Be Hard to Offend and Easily Forgive." Most church folks are easily offended and find it hard to forgive others.

Be Involved Fully: If you are going to be a part- be a part of this. Another saying we have is, "Be present where you are."

Give Faithfully: This ministry can only do what you allow it do through your personal giving. As Paul, "Give in keeping with your income."

Pray for Dianna and I + The Well Earnestly: If you pray for your pastors, you will support your pastors. If you pray for your church, you will have more invested in your church. Spiritual warfare is a reality in ministry. The leaders are attacked first and need to be lifted up everyday.

Grow Spiritually: The greatest asset to a pastor is someone who seeks God and grows daily. Spiritual apathy cannot be a part of the leader's life. If a church is growing spiritually and someone does not keep growing spiritually, their general disinterest in spiritual things will drive them away. So- Read the Word of God Daily, Worship in His Presence and Set Up the Spiritual Disciplines in your life.

Praise People Generously: I want The Well to be a place where people verbally praise each other for every small thing that is done. I want it to be contagious.

Hand Out Criticism Cautiously: Make sure you are as critical on others as you want it dumped out more on you. Destructive critcism comes from pride, it comes from the idea that you are superior in an area of life or ministry. For every 10 praises, you get 1 rebuke.

Live Accountably: The N.T is about accountability. If you read Paul's letters to the churches you will find one common theme: accountability. Let us help you. Let us love you. Let us go after you or warn you if we as a ministry believe you may be going down a destructive path.

Leave Correctly: 3 out of every 4 new people will leave your church within 3 months to a year. People don't have to leave mad. You don't have to start finding things wrong or sharing your hurt feelings with others. How you leave this ministry will determine how you enter your next ministry.

We are going to continue to go over and over this for the next couple of months. This teaching will be part of our new members class as well.

I hope this helps you and your ministry on your journey.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Performance Enhancing Drugs

Something was sparked in me this morning as I was listening to Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio. They were disussing how the use of Human Growth Hormones and Performance Enhancing Drugs have tainted the records of those who used them. Baseball has been greatly affected by these drugs.

When Dick Vitale came on as a guest, you could hear the passion with which he shared about this situation. Fans and the other athletes discredit the records because they were reached illegally.

Why would an MVP in baseball risk taking these drugs when he became an MVP without them?

Why would a professional athlete risk destroying his body and reputation by using these drugs?

As I pondered this I realized that the main reason is to uphold their reputation. Actually, it may not be to uphold their reputation, but the reputation that they have built of themselves in their minds. Because of this self-bred pressure, they begin to try to find shortcuts to keep up with the legend they have created in their minds.

How does this tie into starting movements or leadership? Don't take P.E.D's? NO.

So many times we try to project what we are really not. We try to "enhance" our images by overexaggerating the numbers or stretching the truth about our accomplishments. Each time we bend a little to protect our reputation and save face, we are no different from the Major League Players who have subjected themselves to illegal drugs.

We will do more harm on our "spiritual hearts" and it will catch up with us. When we look for shortcuts to success and strive to accomplish things to impress others we end up doing harm to the "character" of our lives.

John Maxwell said, "It is not what you accomplish in life but rather, WHO you become by it."

It is not wrong to desire a great destination, it is just wrong to try to cheat to get there.

There have been many pastors, leaders of large companies, college professors, fathers and mothers who had been lying to protect their reputations and when they were found out... hurt so many people. People felt cheated and were damaged in the process.

What is your "Human Growth Hormone" that you are taking (or lie you are believing and living by) that is causing damage to your character, but you feel you need it to live up to self-imposed standards?

Be the best you that you can be and the people around you will celebrate that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Some May Not Have "It"

Some Have It and Some Don't
I was in a small group recently and we came to this discovery, "Sometimes we project what we want others to be or what we think we can help them become, but 'it' is just not in them."

Jesus put it this way, "Don't cast your pearls before swine or give what is holy to the dogs." The term, "what is holy" literally means the personal revelation in your life. It takes prayer and persistence + heartaches to have these "pearl" moments in our lives. "Dogs" in that day and time represented untamed, wild animals with no restraint.

In other words, "Don't give the personal revelation you have sweated for and fought for to people who have no restraint in their lives."

I have had the opportunity to mentor many people. Many of these have grown into great leaders. However, some of these people faltered and hurt me. The first time it happened I was shocked, now I know the principle: "It may not be in them."

Mentoring is the process by which potential in someone is realized to a certain extent. This comes by way of relationship where one person takes on the role of a mentor and helps "stretch" the mentee to be able to think on higher levels and handle more.

I have realized that some people may not have it. How do we find this out? How do we know?

We must not judge someone on appearance or gifting. We can judge them based on these factors:

1) Are they doing things now to grow themselves? Don't listen to what they want to do, ask them what they are current doing.

2) Do they pursue an appointment to meet with you or do you have to run them down? Also, see how punctual they are.

3) In emotional times, do they seek you out for advice or do they hide? This is important to look at during failure, criticism or relational situations. Do they tell you the truth or what they want you to hear?

Finally.... Time. Take time to know people and you will not know people unless it happens through the process of time. Time is the most important factor to know what is inside someone.

Don't let the hurt of a past relationship damage your ability to mentor. Realize from the start- "Some may not have it."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Purpose of Opposition- ReThink

I recently tweeted, "Okay God... I got it now."

I was speaking of the purpose of opposition. We often think of opposition as.... just that, opposition. I have been looking at opposition differently though. Could opposition to your ideas and methods be God trying to steer you in a different direction in a situation?

Let me explain. Inventions and innovation came because there was an obstacle or opposition. When you have a problem, let's call that opposition, you have to find a solution- right? Without a problem there would never be a solution.

So here it is, "Opposition produces innovation that reveals your unique purpose."
If you had it your way, you live a normal life and approach things in a normal manner. The opposition you are facing is causing you to critically think about ideas and options you would not have thought of before.

Our ministry meets on Sunday nights at 6:00pm. Now for religious folks, you have to do church on Sunday morning. We are attempting to plant a church called, "The Well" in Port Saint Lucie, FL. We have prayed and sought God but we have not seen the financial blessing that we thought we needed to see in order to launch. So, the opposition (problem) has caused us focus on our mission and find creative ways to complete that mission. We are thinking much more creatively than we would have if we would not have had this opposition.

What opposition are you facing? Where is it pushing you? What models or methods is the opposition causing you to re-think?

Opposition could be your best friend. Carry opposition out to dinner. Remember, all weight lifting is- using opposition to strengthen your body. Use opposition.....