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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mentoring as Your Ministry

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

- Titus 2:1-8 (ESV)

Paul shares some sincere instructions with Titus.  He urges Titus to not simply preach the Good News.  He encourages the man of God to teach what accords with sound doctrine.  In doing so, Paul also urges Titus to engage others to teach others by example.  He shares how the church is an intergenerational conglomerate of men and women of various ages who need to show each other and see each other, even their pastor, as a pattern of good works.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us

Let mentoring serve as part of the foundation of your ministry.  People come into the church all sorts of ways.  They accept Christ at special events or during outreach efforts.  They accept Christ as their Lord and Savior on street corners or during worship services.  People come to Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit, but they come to understand their new life in Christ through the mentoring and discipleship provided by the church's leadership and laity.

The Lord instructed His disciples to make disciples.  That was the basis of the Great Commission.  He did not say for them to recruit members or stand in judgment of people.  He said for the church, His body, to make disciples by teaching and admonishing new converts in what He had taught them.  That's what happened after Pentecost.  The people continued in the doctrine of the apostles.  That means that they accepted and applied the teachings of the apostles into their own daily lives.
Let's mentor more.  Let's model more.  Let's make more disciples.

"We do not consider soul winning to be accomplished by hurriedly inscribing more names upon our church-roll, in order to show a good increase at the end of the year." - C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sound Biblical Business Practices

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. - Matthew 7:20 (KJV)

The world knows some things about Christians.  The world knows what they hear about Christians.  The world knows what Christians say about themselves and their beliefs.  The world knows when what we say and do fail to match up with one another.

Multiply that by one hundred when it is revealed that you are a Christian in business.

You can run a small business or run a faith-based nonprofit agency.  It doesn't matter.  The world knows what the world knows.

  • Develop business practices that are in line with and based upon the Scriptures
  • Keep God's Word as your daily guide; read Proverbs or Psalms daily
  • Evaluate your words and deeds by what the Lord says in His Word
Don't forget that the world knows you by your fruits.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Help for the Helpful

"Charity sees the need, not the cause."- German Proverb

You can raise money without a lot of fuss these days.  There are all sorts of grassroots methods that seem to fit perfectly with social networking and social media sites Post a video or add a widget to your site or blog, then watch people visit and even fund your projects.

What do you need?

First, you need a worthy cause.  Your project has to be connected to a cause.  It needs to be a cause that gets people excited or touches them right at their hearts and souls.  It should be the type of project that makes people feel like they can make a difference

Secondly, you need to make your project easy to fund.  Make it seamless.  Make it almost effortless.  You fund projects via text message today.  That makes it real easy.  There are sites that offer you help and support, even tools, to raise money for worthy projects and these make it easy for both you and your donors.

Here are some sites that may be of some help:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nuts and Bolts

"Drive thy business or it will drive thee." - Benjamin Franklin

Think about it.  Benjamin Franklin, one of the famed Founding Fathers of America, shared these words regarding business.  Consider Franklin the businessman and inventor, even the philanthropist, not the diplomat and ambassador.  Franklin was a publisher of Poor Richard's Almanac as well as a printer, author, painter and inventor.  Franklin fanatics have plenty to aim at as objects of their affection since Franklin was involved in all sorts of venturesHe knew both prosperity and failure.  Experience taught him and taught him well.

Learn from Franklin's words.  Get in the driver's seat of your own business.  Start running your business before your business runs your life and runs you into the ground.  Drive your business.  Do not let your business drive you.  Get your rear back into the driver's seat and get in control of your business.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Publish and Present

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." – Maya Angelou

In both business and ministry, you have some unique opportunities.  In business, you may have a training program, product or service that can be highlighted through publications or presentations.  The same may be the same with your ministry's training or development tools, even sermons or Bible studies.  Do not overlook such opportunities.

Publish what you have to offer:
  • Books/ Workbooks
  • E-Books
  • E-zines/ E-Newsletters
  • Downloads
  • Podcasts/ MP3/ iTunes
  • Webcasts/ Video

Present what you have to offer:
  • Workshop/ Seminar Presentations
  • Keynote Speaking Engagements
  • Public Speaking with Industry or Sector Networks
  • Skype or Live Chat
Beyond the potential economic benefits, these provide your business or ministry with an opportunity to do some beneficial things such as:
  1. Expand audience beyond immediate or current audience
  2. Increase credibility in local and regional areas as well as in the online community
  3. Heighten the visibility of your business or ministry online and otherwise
The benefits of publishing and presenting far outweigh the drawbacks.  Develop a plan to schedule presentations to local groups via a letter of introduction and a brief brochure designed around what you have to offer.  I highly suggest that you research templates and samples from others in your industry in order to get some ideas of how to design and format such a brochure.  Another possibility would be to work with local students in a graphic design  or business marketing course.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Seek Success

“We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.”

Let me put some things in perspective for the would-be or wanna-be entrepreneur.  Simply put: talk is cheap.  You either need to put up or shut up. 
That being said, let me go a step further.  You need to have a plan and a strategy before you foolishly go full speed ahead with your small biz launch.  Think it through and get your ducks in the row.  However, you better get busy doing what you have to do. 
Remember: talk is cheap.
I chose the Maxwell quote because it strikes right at the heart of most start-up issues, particularly the barriers.  The biggest barrier is usually the person who is starting the organization or business. 
They know how to cook well, but they are satisfied baking cakes for the women's auxiliary at church and the PTA's annual bake sale fundraiser.  They have heart without drive.  They are in their own way much like the guy who can research and find every single thing from books and quotes to grants and special programs.  That type of person may be viewed as an asset to those who do not feel like paying for such a service, but he needs to get on and get into business for himself as a researcher and perhaps an evaluator if he wants to succeed.  Otherwise, he can sit back and keep getting stepped on and stepped over by others who will use him for nothing.

These are just examples of people full of potential.  They have the ability to do something special
that is of value to others, but they have yet to set out for success.  I urge you to read John Maxwell's books on successMake Today Count and The Difference Maker are great books to start out with for potential entrepreneurs.  Also, I would recommend Your Road Map for Success as a jewel that will offer you some keys to staying the course on your journey.
I share this because my desire is for others to succeed- in business, in ministry, and in life.  That's my hope and aspiration.  That's why I post such items as this with others.  It weighs heavily on my heart that so many people have skills, experience and all sorts of talent, but they lack the drive or initiative to take the risk and make more out of their lives than simply sit and wait for an opportunity to come their way.
Below, I have added Maxwell's "Seven Steps to Success." I suggest that you truly stop wishing about starting and succeeding in business and start working towards success in business.  The key word in start-up is start.  Get started off the right way.
Seven Steps to Success

1) Make a commitment to grow daily.

2) Value the process more than events.

3) Don't wait for inspiration.

4) Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity.

5) Dream big.

6) Plan your priorities.

7) Give up to go up.

― John C. Maxwell