Thursday, December 29, 2011


Perry Noble recently quoted his counselor by saying, "Those who don't work are considered lazy by the Bible, but those who don't rest are considered disobedient."

I remember talking to a guy who was the epitome of this statement. He proudly told me that their staff were so busy that they never took a day off. I replied, "Wow bro, you would not have been allowed to work on Jesus' staff because even He rested."

We all want to change our world. Hopefully inside of you is a big dream. If that is the case, you will have to learn to rest and have down time.
*Note: Some people are lazy, never meet deadlines and do not work. My only advice is- step up your game. This blog is not for you.

Here are some questions to help you see where you are at.
1. How often do you have time for fun and recreation? What do you do for fun? (writing sermons or reading theology books DON'T count)

2. Do you feel guilty for taking time off? Why?

3. What do your wife or friends say about your balance? Have you asked them to honestly tell you if they think you work too much?

Burnout is real for everyone. Learn to rest properly. Ask your spouse to help you have time to recharge. Help your spouse as well. Fight guilt. It is mostly internal, self-imposed guilt. The people you serve want you rested, in a good mood and refreshed. If they don't, change positions, jobs or churches immediately.

Let's go for the long haul!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2012 Means Again

While preparing for 2012, I felt the Lord place on my heart the theme of, "Again." Many will proclaim (in the spirit of being generic) that this will be your best year yet. They will tell you it will be your most "blessed" year yet. Many preachers will proclaim this because they want you to feel better. I don't know about you, but 2011 was rough. I mean, a lot of it was devastating. Let me be real. I have never been as hurt by people in the church world as I was this year. I was cursed out, given a rubber check as a donation for my family (intentionally bad-it bounced), had people tell me that we don't believe in the Holy Spirit and other churches intentionally lie and attack me.

I said all that to make a point. As rough as 2011 was, I believe my assignment is to encourage others to give it one more shot. 2012 may not be your most "blissful" year, but it can be your best year. It is a year to restore hope and give it one more shot. I am not preaching at you, I am walking with you. I will be going into 2012 with some serious challenges. My mom is battling serious, life-threatening cancer. Our giving was down at church almost 25% over the past three months. I did not see the fruit I expected with some outreach ideas we implemented. So- I am with you.

There are two stories in Scripture that come to mind. The first is Peter and the empty nets. He fished all night and even came back at the right time in the morning and....nothing. You been there? Jesus shows up and asks him to give it one more shot and he told him, "But I tried..." Felt that way? Maybe it is your marriage. Maybe it is ministry. Maybe it is your career. At any rate, Jesus is calling us to give it one more shot. Peter, in the same sentence, says, "Nevertheless, at thy word." He obeyed and great blessing followed.

The other story is a short parable in Luke about a man with a failing fig tree. The master wanted it down and the man convinced him that he needed one more shot. He cultivated the tree and gave it "special attention." It produced. 3 years of no figs and he gave it one more shot.

I want to encourage you to cast your nets out again. Cultivate your situation. Use the "cr_p" of life to be your fertilizer. Believe once again. Give it one more shot. This may be the time that breakthrough comes. Hope is the greatest weapon you have against the unknown of the future.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Distributing Culture

The culture of an organization is the most important aspect of that organization. It answers the question, "Why do we do what we do?"

Leaders are the protectors and providers of the culture. Whether you are a ministry leader or a manager of a department, culture matters. Culture is the unwritten code of a group of people that determines how they speak, interact and dress. Everyplace has a culture. The culture is the expression of the values of that group of people.

Leader, you are to be the one who sets the guidelines for what culture will be present in your ministry/organization.

Look at this:
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. (Luke 9:16 NLT)

As a leader, you can model and teach culture, but the people around you have to distribute it. They have to be carriers of the cultural values of that organization. If the transfer doesn't happen, you will be very frustrated that people are not getting it. It has to become viral. How does this happen?

Let's look at what Jesus did in the above verses of Scripture:
1. He Interacted with Heaven:
-Jesus looked to heaven and a miracle happened in His hands. The vision for your ministry has to come from heaven. It cannot be copied and pasted.

2. He Gave it to the Disciples:
-He transferred what He was given from heaven to the disciples. He shared it with them. Share the culture of the organization with your people. Get it in their heads and hands.

3. They Gave it to the People:
-Jesus did not take on the task of being the primary vision caster on the culture. The disciples gave the bread and fish out. They distributed it. Culture usually gets diluted from the head down. It multiplied with Jesus. Why? He put that responsibility of distributing in their hands.

Let your leaders know your values of how culture will be formed. Encourage every department head to share those values regularly with their team.

The point is: the leaders AROUND you have to be the primary distributors to the people. The people on this story all got a piece of the miracle in Jesus' hands because the disciples distributed it.