Lord, Save Us From Your Followers Movie

As a church planter concerned about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but consistently meeting people who have no interest in what they believe Christianity to be, this appears to be an important movie. My friend Michael Hyatt was the first to recommend this movie, which would be enough to encourage me to watch it. After watching the trailer, there is no question I will put this movie on my “must see” list.

Have you seen this movie? What do you think after watching the trailer?

I Recommend The Change Group

banner350X250I love big vision. I love those who help accomplish big vision.  Recently I’ve been inspired by the energies of The Change Group.  They are true Kingdom builders.

If your organization needs help with financial management or with bookkeeping services, consider talking about outsourcing those needs with my friends at The Change Group.

For one monthly fee organizations can receive:

  • Quarterly CFO Consulting
  • Monthly Financial Dashboard
  • Weekly Bookkeeping

I posted HERE about two things every organization must have.  The Change Group can completely take care of one of these two needs, allowing you to concentrate on accomplishing your vision without stressing over details that must be done.   This is not only a cost saving, but also an efficient way of handling your church, small business or non-profit’s financial needs.

Check out my friends at The Change Group today by clicking HERE.

What Are You Contributing To Your Organization?

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Are you bringing new ideas to your organization, church, or the place where you work?

You see things no one else sees…

You have experiences and connections no one else has…

You have a unique perspective on life…

You surely have opinions…

Don’t keep them to yourself…

Use them for the good of the team…

What could you be contributing that you’ve been holding back because of fear or lack of self-confidence?

Start sharing today…

8 Most Stressful Careers

iStock_000000053566XSmallI love Southwest’s magazine.  I always find interesting articles to kill time during flights.  This month was no exception.  I am glad that let you bring these magazines home. (They do, don’t they?)

Do you feel like you have a stressful career?

According to a survey by careercast.com highlighted in Spirit Magazine, here are the jobs that send workers home most exhausted:

  1. Firefighter
  2. Surgeon
  3. Senior corporate executive
  4. Police officer
  5. Roustabout
  6. Sailor
  7. General practice physician
  8. Psychiatrist

I don’t know that I qualify, but if I can be considered a “Senior Corporate Executive” with our church, then the article helps explain why I seem to have so much stress in my work these days.  I realize I am a pastor, but lately, with the growth of our church, I seem to do play administrative roles than spiritual roles.  Read posts about that change in my role HERE and HERE.

I know a few careers I was surprised were not on the list.  These jobs would stress me:

  • Homemaker
  • School teacher
  • Lion trainer
  • Daycare worker
  • Soldier
  • Small business owner
  • Professional chess (or poker) player
  • Santa Claus

Is your career on the list?  If not, do you think it should be?  I guess at any given time it could be our career on the list.   What do you think?

Are You Taking Advantage of Human Capital?

iStock_000006413523XSmallDo you harness the greatest power in your organization?  The best assets of your church, business or non-profit never appear on your balance sheet.

The truth is that any organization is only as good as the people within it.  Take the greatest idea and put the wrong people behind it and little progress will be realized.   With the right people, even average ideas can achieve tremendous results.

Are you taking the advantages of human capital?

Are you relying on the knowledge, insight and experience of everyone on your team to make the organization better?

Here are a few quick ways to capitalize on the people value of your team:

Brainstorm – Have assigned times periodically where everyone on the team gets to give input into the organization’s future.

Allow mistakes – Create an environment where team members are willing to take risks without fear of repercussion if things go wrong.

Ask questions – Genuinely seek help from those around you.  Recognize the fact that others may know more than you know about a particular subject.

Don’t pre-define – If you want help solving a problem or planning for the future, start with a clean slate.  If the leader always has the answer, team members are less likely to share their input.

Be open to change/new ideas – The leader must genuinely desire the involvement of others.  If team member’s suggestions are never implemented, they eventually will stop sharing them.

How are you currently taking advantage of human capital?

For more ideas on creating an environment of innovation click HERE.

Strong Words For Preachers (and others)

I read a strong reminder for those of us that have the responsibility of preaching God’s Word, but I think it’s applicable for all of us. These are Jesus words to us from The Message Version.

But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you’ll ever get.
And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.
There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.
“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.
Luke 6:24-26 (The Message Version)

Is that as clear to you as it is to me?

One Incredibly Important Characteristic Of Successful Organizations

team_building_ring

There is one incredibly important characteristic of a successful team or organization. It is inherent and cannot be trained or programmed. With this trait a team can weather the storms of life together. When this is an attribute of an organization, regardless of the struggles it encounters, the vision can be accomplished.


Leaders need to understand the importance of SHARED VALUES…

It could be spiritual belief…it could be a cause…it could be a sense of well-doing…it could be an organizational philosophy or structure or simply the joy of belonging to a certain team, but there is a power of the heart connection among employees that cannot be overlooked as a reason for success in an organization. There is strength in believing in what you do and your role in accomplishing the vision that is more powerful than talent, skills, or sometimes, even product.

Identifying the people who can share the values of your organizational structure is a critical part in hiring and retaining team members. For those wishing to join an organization, an important consideration should be if you share the same values with the people on your team.

Do you recognize the shared values within your organization?

Are We Smarter Than (As Smart As) The Birds?

iStock_000004412743XSmallHow useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! Proverbs 1:17 NIV

If you want to catch birds with a net, you don’t won’t them to see you laying out the net. If they do…you won’t catch many birds.

Birds are too smart for that.

In the Biblical days of Solomon, bird hunters would spread a net on the ground, baited with food for the birds. As the birds would fly down for dinner, the hunters would pull up the nest quickly, capturing many of the birds. Birds are smarter than one might think, though. Apparently if they saw the hunters laying down the nets, they wouldn’t land and so they wouldn’t be caught by the trap.

We don’t know what the coming week has for us yet. Most likely there will be struggles, as well as triumphs, if this week is normal. There are a few things we can almost be sure of though.

  • There will be plenty of temptations to distract us from making wise choices.
  • Most likely we will take on the characteristics of the places we go and the people we hang around with.
  • Our emotional state, our attitude towards life, will greatly be influenced by the thoughts we place in our minds.

Which brings me back to those birds. You see, they were smart enough not to get tangled in a known trap! Which makes the obvious question of the day this: Are you and I that smart? We know those things, places, people and thoughts that distract us from having a great week…

…but are we smart enough to avoid the trap?

Discipline Yourself To Dream

We have had a busy season at Grace Community Church.  Fall is the time of year when most churches ramp up their ministries, which tracks with back-to-school schedules and the change to cooler weather.  Our church has been in a fast growth mode since day one, but we seem to be in a unique place of extraordinary growth right now.  In addition to this growth we are launching new small groups, a college ministry, gearing up for our annual community outreach ministry, and adding a third service, along with numerous other changes occurring this fall, some that we are not ready to talk about yet.  Some days it seems we have just enough energy to get through another week and all our time is focused on the next Sunday.

At our most recent staff meeting, in the midst of making plans for our new third service, I reminded the staff of an important principle. (I hope they were listening.)  During times of significant growth, planning or workload, it is always important to…

…DISIPLINE YOURSELF TO DREAM….

During the busiest times in an organization, when all the team’s energies are focused on getting through a specific project or season, if the team is not disciplined otherwise, because habits form quickly, there is a tendency to continue operating in the day-to-day mode even after the busy season passes. I expanded on that idea in a previous post.  Read that post HERE.

Teams that want to experience long-term growth have to discipline themselves to build dreaming into the system.  Leaders should model innovative thinking during stressful periods within the organization.  Individual team members need to consciously pick their head up from the routines and strategically think further down the road for the organization.

Dreaming keeps momentum flowing forward.  The next great decisions made by the Grace Community Church staff will likely come from our time set aside to dream.

Do you need to set aside time this week just to dream?

Why Another Church Plant? (Happy Birthday Grace Community Church!)

theGbwGrace Community Church was four years old yesterday (September 11).   Happy Birthday!  We will celebrate it tomorrow by asking our people to sacrifice more and serve the city of Clarksville by adding to our morning schedule with a third service.  If you do not have a church home join us at 8:30, 10:00 or 11:30 AM at Rossview High School.  You can find directions HERE.

There is often a huge misunderstanding about church planting that needs to be understood.  For four years I have heard phrases and questions from churched people, offered in a well-meaning desire to know or put a meaning behind why a new church was needed in Clarksville, even after hundreds have come to know Christ as their personal Savior who had never given church a chance.  The real truth is that I was not upset with any church.  In fact, I actually love tradition and I ran from pursuing this vision for years because I didn’t want to leave my church or start another one.  My family and many friends still attend the church I grew up in. I love that church even today and I am most thankful for the impact the church had on my life and still has in our city today.  This was the story of most every churched person who chose to attend our church plant.

The misunderstanding people often have about church planting is this:

Most of the time church planting is NOT about what people are running from, but about what people are running to.

That is certainly my story.  Our heart was then and is today to reach people no one else is reaching by creating environments no one else is creating.  Our church is unique.  We tell the same story of God’s love and  Christ’s redemption in a different way.  Is it for everyone?  Absolutely not!   Is it for some…absolutely!  God has amazed us with how many!

Happy Birthday Grace and may your best days be still to come!