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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Consecrate Morning Meeting

"At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done."

Think back to this morning.  Recall how you started your day at work.

How did you consecrate yourself and your staff?
Did you pray together?
Did you share a hymn or an inspirational verse with one another?
Did you do any form of consecration at all?

Certainly, there is much buzz about the separation of church and state when such a subject comes up.  Do not dwell on what you cannot or should not do.  Identify what you can do.

If you own the business, even if it is a franchise, you are welcome to offer staff members a period during the day where they can join others in prayer.  Provide them with a place and time.  Share how your faith has led you to the point of making such an offer. 

Don't get preachy.  Just make the offer.

You can do so by organizing a morning prayer meeting or devotional period 15 to 30 minutes prior to scheduled work time.  This may work on those days where you have that dreaded morning meeting.  Prepare for presentations by dotting each and every "i" and crossing each and every "t," but be sure to also solicit the prayers of your fellow Christians at work. 

Be sure to let people know that it is not mandatory.  Don't try to make it a full-blown worship service.  Just offer it to them.  Those who want it will surely show up and serve as the core group.  Others will drop in as they find themselves in desperate need of prayer and support.  Just make the offer where you can and get started, in prayer of course.

"Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established." - Proverbs 16:3 (KJV)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Literate Leaders

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

― Frederick Douglass

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.”

― Mark Twain


I grew up reading. 
 
I love history.  Civil War books really had my attention.  Westerns came right after that.  Biographies would fit somewhere in the top 10.  I grew up reading and I love reading.
 
Leaders are readers.  Readers are leaders.  Which is it? I think that it works either way.
 
Here is a list of sites where you can get a fix for your reading buzz:
“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.”

― George Washington

Friday, December 9, 2011

Volunteer Retention Tips for Ministry Leaders

In ministry, we tend to do a lot of recruitment.  We load up real heavy on recruiting people.  We point out all of the finer points of the benefits of participating and what it really means to sign up for service within the ministry.  We do a lot on the recruitment end.

So what about retention?

You can do mass recruitment.  That's no problem.  You need to retain volunteers in ministry on an individual basis.  You need to give them one-on-one treatment in order to keep them in the loop and on the team.

Volunteer retention is based on:
  • Relationships: who knows who?
  • Relevance: how are people whom we know are impacted?
  • Resourcefulness: where can we help and how can we give others hope?
If we train 10 volunteers to serve for 12 months and impact 10 people per month each, you could have 1,200 impacts within a year.  Think about that.  10 X 10 X 12 = 1,200.  One hundred people could be impacted by 10 people.  Imagine what a ministry of 20 or 25 people could do.  Think about how much potential you lose when you have to replace people rather than keeping things going smoothly time after time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rethink Your Business

"Know why your business matters." - Bob Briner, The Management Methods of Jesus


If you are in business, you need to know why your business matters.

In fact, you need to know why your business matters to God.  You need to see how your business fits into God's plan.

Think back.  Let your mind run free to the time when you imagined going into business for yourself and before you started your business.  Think about the purpose and intent for your business.  Jot down those ideas and memories.  Record them for yourself.

Take a good look at what you have written down.

Look at the kingdom potential of your business.  How could your business expand or enhance the kingdom of God? Did God inspire you to start your business? How does God and His Word fit into your business plans?

Here are some ways to revisit your business:
  • Go to God's Word.  See what God has to say.
  • Pray to God.  Hear from God on the matter of business.
  • Seek godly counsel.  Talk with your pastor.  Join a Christian business roundtable or network.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going. - Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NASB)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spreading the Gospel

"Christian men are not to be used for anything but God. They are a set-apart people; they are vessels of mercy, they are not for the devil’s use, not for their own use, not for the world’s use, but for their Master’s use. He has made them on purpose to be used entirely, solely and wholly for Him."
- C.H. Spurgeon

. . . I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
- 1 Corinthians 9:22 (NKJV)

“The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation.”
D.L. Moody

We have been called to reach people for Christ.

We have some options in reaching people for Christ.

Better yet, we have some open opportunities to reach people for Christ.

We can spread the Gospel:

Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! -1 Corinthians 9:16

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

5 Magazines for Ministry Leaders

I have been serving in ministry for nearly 15 years now.  I have served as a ministry leader for at least 10 years.  I have served as a leader on the church staff for just over 8 years now.

In all of these combined years of varied experience, I have learned a lot.  I have learned most from the Bible.  Whenever I find myself off track, I'll go into an intense study of the biblical books of wisdom (Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes) or the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).  In some cases, I'll go through both sets of the prophets (both minor and major prophets) or the various epistles of the New Testament.

I learn from the Bible, various books by Christian authors like Oral Roberts, Robert Schuler, Andrew Murray and C.H. Spurgeon, and many Christian publications.  As I grew as a Christian and leader, I worked my way through a variety of magazines and journals that make up the list below:
  1. Outreach
  2. Leadership
  3. Relevant
  4. Christianity Today
  5. Charisma
Only 1 of them doesn't have a one-word title... hmmmm

Friday, November 11, 2011

Going Green for God

"The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof..." - Psalm 24:1

The church of Jesus Christ can go green.  That makes sense.  It may not be easy to shift from traditional methods, but it is certainly worth the work.

Going green can do more than save the environment.  It can prove to be a cost-effective method for environmental stewardship.

Here is a list for going green with God:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Passion or Purpose

What's driving your pursuits?
Passion?
Purpose?
Which is it?

Passion is simply defined as "a powerful emotion." That is usually enough to get things started or to spark something spontaneous, but it may not be enough to keep things going.  You may need more than just the power of emotion driving you into action.  You very well need something beyond passion.

The definition of purpose is "the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists." Purpose gives a reason for actions.  Purpose does more than fuel and drive the person into action.  Purpose causes the person to continue to pursue his or her goals through the ups and downs of the various periods of life.

Perhaps, given the definition of purpose, that is why Rick Warren sold so many copies of The Purpose Driven Life.  With that in mind, perhaps it makes sense when we come across so many people who are trying to find their purpose in their lives. 


You do not discover your own purpose moving to Calcutta to be the next Mother Theresa.  That was her calling and purpose, not  necessarily yours.  Oddly enough, that makes a world of sense when you listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.  It was his dream, not each and every other person's dream.  It was his dream.  Too many people are chasing after other people's dreams and purposes, never looking at themselves and their own pathway.


Let your purpose drive you into pursuits that you can become passionate about in this life.  Let such a purpose force you to grab hold of a vision and not let loose until you have accomplished more than you ever imagined possible.
 
"Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." ~St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Growing in His Word

“Don’t wait to fast, read, pray, or to do anything else.” – Charles Finney

Use the Good Book to get back on track.
Let truth show you the way.

You need to pray over some things.  You just need to get into some deep prayer and let loose.  I have one word of advice for you, though.  You do not have to hurry when praying, but you surely need to hurry up and pray.  Allow God to draw you in nearer and nearer, closer and closer.

Spend some time connecting with the Lord.  Go to the Word.  Read and hear the Word of God.  Listen to sermon podcasts and the Bible dramatized on iTunes. 


Take some time to make things work for you, especially as you work towards serving God daily.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. - Colossians 3:16 (KJV)



Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.- Romans10:17 (NIV)
 
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. -ColossiansNIV)
 
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.- James 5:13 (KJV)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Each One Reach One

Daily Walk
Men of Integrity
Relevant40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. - John 1: 40-42 (NIV)
Outreach : Ideas Insights & StoriesImagine if we sought to grow our ministries one member at a time.  What if we sat aside the church growth theories that say otherwise for a moment? Think about what the Bible says about reaching others.  Take a look at Andrew's example.  Each believer can reach someone else.

LeadershipI believe that everyone is not connected to everyone else, but every one of us is connected to someone.  We all know somebody who we could reach for Jesus and share about our personal experience and encounter with Jesus.  That's genuine growth.  It's based on relationships.

Only a Prayer MeetingTrain your members to reach out to other people.  Challenge each member of your congregation or your small group to reach twelve other people.  Make it doable.  Tell them and train them how to reach another person each month and bring them to your Bible study, prayer meeting or Sunday school class.  That's just one person per month.  That's three people per quarter.  Challenge them to do it based on their relationships.  If you have ten people in your ministry, you could potentially have 120 people touched by your ministry within the first year.  Imagine how much more that you could do through your people once they get comfortable doing such a mighty work.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Taking on The Messiah on the Move

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. - Mark 1:1 (NKJV)
 
The Gospel of Mark is an action-filled account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.  It has oftentimes been referred to as the Gospel of Jesus in action or on the move.  It reveals Jesus' comings and goings, His teaching and doings.  The shortest of all four of the New Testament's Gospels, the Gospel of Mark shows Jesus in the midst of serving, performing miracles and preaching messages throughout the land.
James Earl Jones Reads The Bible
 
Take this challenge.  Try reading the Gospel of Mark in one sitting.  If you cannot see yourself doing such a thing, try to get in throughout one single weekend.  It's only 16 chapters.  Even if you read a single chapter each day, you could finish the Gospel of Mark in its entirety in a little over two weeks. 
 
The Word of Promise New Testament MP3 Audio BibleReading may not be your thing either.  Try listening to the Gospel of Mark.  I often listen to the Bible over the Internet via sites like www.youversion.com.  I prefer the dramatic readings of the Bible.  That's just my preference.  You can even get a copy of the Bible on CD or downloaded to your MP3 or iPod, so that you can listen to it on your drive to work or while you work out or do the dishes.  Today's technology offers you many options.
 
The King James Bible (with book and chapter navigation Kindle LG)The Gospel of Mark (Life Lessons)Take in the Gospel of Mark.  Once you have taken it in, take on the Gospel of Mark.  See how you can serve with more sacrifice after experiencing the Gospel of Mark.  Make some changes to your approach to ministry and good works based upon what you read and what the red letters of the Gospel have stated as kingdom priorities.  Take it on and check yourself on how well you do in regards to the carrying out your calling of service in His name.
 
 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Help without Harm

No harm.  No foul.

Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning OrganizationWe learned it in sports.  It was said to us a eager and energetic basketball campers, learning the fundamentals of b-ball from one of John Wooden's UCLA players who became a coach at our local junior college.  He said it nonchalantly.  Yet, his words stuck.

No harm.  No foul.

I hard it as a manager of a pizza delivery service.  The owner had it as his mantra.  He meant it in regards to the interactions with irate customers who wanted to get pizzas delivered in 30 minutes or less.  He shared it whenever said that the driver got lost and now their pizza was cold, their voice screeching curse words between every other understandable word offered.  He said it in a carefree manner, but his words stuck just like my coach's words.

Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians (New Testament for Everyone) 1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. - Galatians 6:1-2 (NIV)

Ministry TodayWe need to be extra careful with how we approach recovering and reclaiming the lost.  People are fragile.  No, they don't come with it stamped in red across their bodies.  They just are fragile.  Some wear their emotions right on their sleeves.  Others keep them hidden behind masks and facades.

What do you do when a wayward brother or sister makes their way back to church? Do you attack them as they cross the threshold, asking where in God's name they've been all of this time? Do you offer a sweet surrender to to the Holy Spirit, seeking the unction for your every move with care? What do you do with the lost? It can either lead to their development or their damage.  Be extra careful.

Such a ministry as the ministry of reconciliation is not a carefree ministry.  It is at the core of the people business.  It centers on how we deal with and interact with other people. 

Ministry TodayHow well do we care for other people?

This isn't the type of business where you can go for it with a whole lot of trial and error.  We lose people when we test out and pilot new programs that leave people out of the loop.   We miss the mark when we do not have anyone calling people back or calling on the Lord to intercede based upon what we have encountered with the lost in our community.

No harm? 
No foul?

Let's be helpful without becoming harmful.  Let us help.  Let us do no harm.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin,
you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently . . .
Christianity Today

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On the Move

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.- Mark 1:1 (NKJV)

The Gospel of Mark clearly opens with the words that explain that it is about "the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." The book is about Jesus.  In fact, as Jesus embarks on His earthly ministry by the Sea of Galilee, His words echo this opening verse: Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” The Gospel of Mark is about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When we read the Gospel of Mark, we see the Lord on the move and going to and fro as He interacts with mankind.  It is an account of the Almighty touching the flesh and spirits of man.  It offers a view of Jesus in communion with His fellow man, publicans, lepers, the blind, and countless others.

When He started His ministry, He was on the move.
When He called the fishermen to become fishers of men, He was on the move.
When He taught and touched others, He was on the move.
The Gospel of Mark shows us Jesus Christ as a man on the move.

Be sure to check out:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Celebrations for the Black Church

Typically, I don't get into the concept or mindset of church being a "Black thing." I do believe that there are some celebrations that can cause the African American churches throughout the United States to celebrate its own culture and heritage.  here is a list of a few:
  • Juneteenth: A Celebration of FreedomJuneteenth: This is the celebration that recognizes the freedom of enslaved Africans that has the history and lore of word reaching those in Texas some time around or before June 18th or 19th of what went into effect in January of the same year.  Thus, we have Juneteenth.
  • July 4th: This Independence Day celebration has been something where African American churches have usually had fellowships and picnics centered around barbecue and baking contests as well as sack races and other activities like baseball, basketball or the. Electric Slide
  • HBCU Day:  Having attended an HBCU, I am convinced that the African American church can spend at least one weekend to celebrate the historical and social importance of Black colleges like Tuskegee, Morehouse, Howard, Wilberforce, Morris Brown, and others.  Host a college fair on Saturday and invite alumni to wear their alma mater on that Sunday.
  • Summer Service Days: Host a set of scheduled service days where the congregation goes out into the community and conducts hands-on service such as beach or block clean-ups, food drives, brush removal, senior dance or fitness class, or tutoring for summer school students at a local elementary or middle school.
These are just a few ideas that may help the African American church see itself as something beyond the norm and how to celebrate during what is called the "summer slump."