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11 Questions to Ask yourself about Soul Care and Personal Fulfillment

soulcare

People perform at their best when they are in a role that plays to their personality and gifting. They have more fun, experience greater fulfillment, and produce better results. The soul is actually at greater rest when it finds the rhythm it was designed for.

But it requires a tremendous amount of sober-mindedness. That is, knowing who you are, knowing who you’re not and doing what’s best for the whole. This means, among other things, being willing to play the part you were designed to play instead of striving for the top spot on the team.

So how do you get a healthy dose of sober-mindedness in your life without experiencing a bunch of pain? Honestly taking a few moments to answer the following questions is a great start!

  1. What gives you Energy? What fills you up? I’m not talking about sitting around and binge watching Netfilx. What do you do that really fills you up?
  2. What do you need More of in your Life? We’re not talking about a winning lottery ticket here. But it may mean more rest, vacation, a greater challenge at work, more investment in your most meaningful relationships, or something else.
  3. What do you need Less of in your Life? Debt, relational drama, pressure, conflict, etc.
  4. What must Change in your Life? There may be some habits or behaviors that need to change, or you may need to change the way you approach your schedule.
  5. What Must you do? What do you have to do? What is it you were created to do? It would actually be a personal value violation if you didn’t do it?
  6. What Could you do? Are there things you could do because of your capacity, experience, and talent but aren’t the best things for you or the team for you to do?
  7. What Should you do? You may not be doing it now, but you know you should. You may even have been putting it off for some time.
  8. What must you Not do? If you’re really honest what are you doing that you shouldn’t be? You’re not the best at it, or by doing it your preventing (enabling) someone else from doing what they’re created to do.
  9. What do you Care about? What do you really care about, what really matters to you?
  10. What do you Dream about? What are your hopes and dreams that are worth chasing after?
  11. What do you want your Legacy to be? At the end of the day what do you want to leave behind and be known for? What do you want to start that outlives you?

If you want to build some accountability into this you could share this list with a friend, the two of you work on it separately and then share the results with each other.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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See you After Sabbatical!

rest

There are a lot of reasons that I love working at Sun Valley Community Church. It’s the best staff culture I’ve ever experienced on a church staff team, every week there are incredible stories of life change, over the past 6 years we’ve opened 4 new locations and there have literally been 1,000’s of people baptized. It’s a really special place to be a part of.

It’s also a place that values and takes care of the staff team. In fact, after 7 years, full-time Director level staff (and up) qualify for a paid sabbatical. It’s a great way to invest in, value, reward, and incentivize longevity with our team. Each person builds a written plan and budget that focus on three key areas that are submitted for approval.

Professional Development

Key Question: What are you going to do to invest in your career?
What skills, training, or development do you need in order to get better at your craft? Is there a class you need to take, a church or organization you need to visit to learn from, or some kind of process certification you need to complete that will resource you to improve your professional capacity?

Personal Development

Key Question: What are you going to do to invest in yourself?
What about you? It’s a question most people in ministry rarely ask. Ministry Staff Members typically spend the majority of their time and energy serving other people. What do you need to do for you that brings you energy? I don’t mean just sitting on the couch vegging out and watching Netflix but doing something that fills you up.

Family Development

Key Question: What are you going to do to invest in your family?
Why don’t you ditch the kids over sabbatical and go do something with just you and your spouse? But then again, plan something with just the kids too, you’ve got the time. What kind of experiences and memories do you want to build with your family?

Over the summer I’ve got a plan to do all three of these things, and I’m grateful to serve at a church that values their staff in this way. So, at the risk of not being very consistent here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real or on social media you’re going to notice that I’ll be around a lot less this summer on these digital platforms. So, I’ll see you after sabbatical!


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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20 Helpful Metrics for Measuring Church Health

Our team at the Unstuck Group is passionate about providing resources for church leaders to help them succeed.

Everyone has opinions, speculations and ideas around the current trends and why they are happening. But, it’s tough to defy numbers. When deciding to publish The Unstuck Church Report a few months back, our team felt strongly about taking common questions and producing an objective resource that church leaders can apply to their ministry. We find this so critical to church growth and health and we are excited to share the data we collect to give church leaders a snapshot of up-to-date church health trends.

The third edition of The Unstuck Church Report: Benchmarks & Trends in U.S. Churches is out! From attendance to leadership to giving, this report gives church leaders insight into the key metrics of church health, including Ministry ReachStaffing and LeadershipConnection, and Finances.

The Q2 2018 edition is available today. This 4-page PDF reviews 20 updated metrics in key areas of church health, with Tony Morgan sharing his take on the numbers.

Download your copy today. It’s free:

Get the Report

Here are a few insights you can expect to find:

  • One in five churches has gone multisite. Of the churches surveyed, 80% are in one location and 20% have committed to a multisite strategy and are meeting in multiple locations. That’s an increase from previous reporting periods of churches that are using a multisite strategy.
  • About 3 of every 5 adults and students participate in some kind of small group. Churches are seeing 58% of their adults and students participate in a group.
  • Giving is increasing for churches. The per capita giving was $46 per week. That’s up from $42 in prior reporting. To calculate this number, children’s attendance is removed so that per capita giving is measured against adult and student attendance.

Click to download the most up-to-date edition and opt-in to get each quarterly update for free.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Why Following Jesus is all Backwards

arrows

I know that typically I’m cranking out a couple of blog posts a week that deal with Church Leadership and Making Vision Real. It’s usually something about building a great team, the art of execution, vision, structure, why policies will tank your church…or 15 reasons why your church is stuck and how to fix it. But this post is different. I hope you’ll give me some latitude…and I’ll get back to the 15 reasons why your church is stuck and how to fix it later.

I recently had a moment to rest and was reminded of a couple of ideas that, “I know,” but are really difficult for me to put into action. Even with more than 30 years into following Jesus I feel like there are some basic things I still struggle with. Maybe it’s just me, but this whole following Jesus thing seems so backwards sometimes (ok so all the time)…it just doesn’t come natural to me.

Anyway, here’s a few of the thoughts that I scribbled down that I thought I’d share…hope they’re helpful to you in some way.

To Win you have to be Last

This is tough for me. I like to win. I mean I really like to win. Competition is in my Strength Finders top 5. It’s part of why I think it’s unacceptable for people to die and go to hell…and why I think the church has got to be more aggressive in reaching outsiders instead of pandering to insiders. But…if you really want to win…Jesus said you’ve got to be willing to lose. Remember that whole first / last thing He talked about in that really famous sermon He preached?

To be able to truly Give you have to be able to Receive

You cannot give what you do not have. That makes sense…here’s the tough part though…in order to give you have to be able to receive. Another way to put this is you cannot give love if you don’t know how to receive love. This is tough…because receiving takes all kinds of humility…and if you’re human you get that humility doesn’t come natural to us.

You Work From Rest instead of Working to Rest

Most people are, “working for the weekend.” They work so they can save up enough time off and enough money to get away from work and take a break from it all. Jesus designed life differently than that. He worked from rest instead of resting from work. This one is super convicting for me.

To Gain Your Life you have to Lose it

This just seems super backwards to me…to gain life Jesus says I have to first lose it. I get that real life is found in Him and that in order to take hold of that life we have to let go of this one…but the implications for that statement are both simple and far reaching. This is why there is no leadership without loss. This is why when I got married I was hit square in the face with how selfish I was…and then again when I had a kid…and another…and another…and another. You can probably perceive that I’ve still got some room to grow here.

If you want to Find Wealth it’s start with Giving it away

So they key to building wealth isn’t getting as much as you can while you can, it’s not building up stock piles and hoarding things…it’s actually by giving it away. God’s design for money is that we give first, save second, and live on the rest. Giving first honors God, saving second builds wealth, and living on the rest teaches us contentment. We could probably all do with a little contentment.

I have to constantly remind myself (more like Jesus has to constantly remind me) that it’s not about being better, working harder, or doing more. Jesus is good enough, He worked enough, and He did enough. He really is enough…and I’m still figuring that all out. Hope you are too.


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Testimonial

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Why the Sky is NOT the Limit for Young Church Leaders

sky

The sky is not the limit for your church leaders, it’s just not. And we do them a disservice to feed them lines and fill their heads with ideas that just aren’t true. It’s one thing to tell a young leader that you believe in them and encourage them, it’s another to just lie to them. Sometimes in our attempts to encourage young leaders we move past encouragement into falsehood. In doing so we set them up for disappointment and sometimes failure.

In Proverbs 13:12 the Bible teaches us that, “Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick.” In other words, hope that doesn’t end in real results can destroy someone. So we need be careful what direction and expectations we set on young leaders, because if it doesn’t come to fruition we can ruin them.

We’d be better off to encourage them to understand that their limit is their limit and go have fun testing their limits. When young leaders find their limits and live within what Jesus has wired them up to do they’ll experience more peace and produce more fruit!

Truth is, the sky is not the limit for young leaders, there are real limiting factors that they are or will experience, here are just a few.

1. Gifting

The Scriptures are clear that not everyone gets the same gift (and leadership is clearly defined as a spiritual gift in the Bible that not everyone gets). There are different gifts, God seemingly loves diversity and has created a system that pushes us towards one another instead of away. For the Church to be its best we need to bring our best together and lean into each other’s areas of gifting and brilliance!

2. Capacity

The Scriptures are also clear that not everyone gets the same measure of gifts. Some have a greater capacity than others. It’s possible that two people may have a teaching gift, but one may have a great measure of that gift. You get how this works.

3. Approach

Now this is something that young leaders can actually control. They can control the approach they take. They can decide if they are going to have a great attitude or not, they can choose how much effort they are going to put forth, they can choose to submit to those in authority over them or not, and they can choose be teachable or not. They can choose their approach.

4. Opportunity

I’ve heard it said that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. You can call it providence and blame all of your opportunities or lack of opportunities on God or you can take personal ownership of your life and go make your own opportunities. Now I’m not a “demon behind every bush” kind of guy, but I don’t want to not give credit to God when it’s due either. Some opportunities are self-made while others are God given. Whichever come your way take advantage of them because not everyone gets the same opportunities.

5. Resources

Some young leaders simply have greater resources at their disposal. These resources give them a disproportional leg up over their peers. Some have access to greater preparation, development and coaching. Some have access to more finances which allow them greater margin. Still others have access to deeper personnel bench to deploy. Recourses are a limiting factor for growing leaders.


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Staffing
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