June 8th, 2011 by Burlw
Perry Noble, Pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC wrote the following post. I thought it was important information that readers of this blog would love. The original post on his blog is HERE:
#1 – Don’t let me be surprised.
If something goes wrong, if a mistake has been made or if we have dropped the ball then the last thing I want to do is find out about what has happened “through the grapevine.” And…I don’t want half of the story either. (Many times just half of the story is told in order to “protect” the leader…when actually quite the opposite is true. “Protection” is knowing all of the facts…ALL of them.)
Tell me the truth…always.
(AND…leaders, it is up to you to create this type of environment. If you have a nasty habit of “shooting the messenger” then it is quite likely that you do not know the whole story in regards to what is happening in your organization.)
#2 – Don’t let me be the emperor that has no clothes!
I don’t know if you have read “The Emperor’s New Clothes” lately…it is a really funny children’s story that, unfortunately, isn’t so funny when it is played out in church world.
Once again…I need the truth from the people around me. I do not view those who God has placed around me as a liability but rather an asset…and I can honestly say that I have had numerous bad ideas as a leader over the past several years that have not made their way towards implementation because there are men and women around me who are willing to say, “Dude, we love you…but…that’s a bad idea.”
Leaders…it takes a secure person to be able to create this type of environment. You can either do this and reap the benefits…or you can surround yourself with “yes men” who refuse to tell you the truth because they fear you more than they fear the Lord.
#3 – Keep short accounts with me
We are a team…God has called us to serve Jesus together and the enemy would actually love to divide our leadership team way more than he wants to divide our church. (Because…he knows if he can divide us…the church will follow!)
As a team we will have spirited debate. We will disagree on decisions that have been made and/or how things should be done in the future. When this happens let’s be respectful, honest and refuse to allow a root of bitterness to develop among us. Life is too short and hell is too hot for us to allow anger and frustration with one another to continue to fester.
#4 – Be willing to put your personal preferences aside for the greater good of God’s church.
When people’s main filter of making decision is ran through their personal preferences the entire organization will always gravitate towards comfort and conformity because doing so is always easy…and as human beings we have to be aware of this natural tendency to drift in this direction.
Jesus didn’t call us to take up our mattress…He commanded us to take up our cross. This is hard…and many times it will mean putting our personal preferences aside in order to see God’s precepts carried out. We always have to be serious about putting pride aside and embracing whatever it is the Lord wants for us.
There has never been a church on the planet that has made a significant difference because the leaders were obsessed with always having their own way (this includes the senior pastor!) Let’s continue to beg God to conform and transform us so that we can do all HE has in mind for us to do…even when it places us in a perpetual state of discomfort.
June 5th, 2011 by Burlw
Whether you are the pastor, staff member, Sunday school teacher, deacon, board member or any other type of leader in your church, you need to ask yourself if your church is one that you love inviting people to come to? If you weren’t in leadership, especially if you are on staff, would you go to your church if that were no the case? If you can’t say, “Yes!, I Love My Church!”, then why are you there? IF you know that God led you to that church to help rebuild it or help it grow in a way that it wasn’t growing without you, then you are exactly where you should be. BUT if you are just there because you somehow ended up there, as a former youth pastor I can tell you that the quickest way to ensure that your children grow up to hate church is to drag them every week to a church that you don’t like going to and would never invite a friend to without first apologizing for the rules and explaining the “do and don’t” list. I am not telling you to leave, but I am saying that if you aren’t there to make a change, then maybe leaving would be good. Find somewhere you can be excited about, that you believe in and where you can take your unsaved friends knowing that they will be presented with the Gospel every service in a loving way.
October 5th, 2009 by Burlw
As a church leader, what are you shooting for? Do you want God? Or do you want Hype? Those who have been around the church world for a short time will soon recognize that there are pastors and leaders who are so full of God’s Holy Spirit that it is part of their DNA. God oozes from their pores! Then there are those who are full of Hype. They have lots of energy and do really cool stuff and get crowds excited, but that is where it ends. Our God changes lives! If there is no fruit evidence that He is working in people’s lives, then we can conclude that He isn’t working in their life. God changes people! Does that mean that all Christians change and grow equally…of course not. It does mean however that if someone is mean as a snake, but they claim to have been saved 20 years ago, then they probably don’t understand that being “saved” isn’t just a get out of hell free card; it means that God has control of your life and He WILL change it if He is truly given control. If you are a leader and questioning this post…good. I am too. Am I full of God, or full of Hype? I pray that everything I do will be full of God, directed by His Holy Spirit, and done for HIS glory! When pride gets in the way, it is easly to be full of Hype though. Especially when things are going well! Take inventory of yourself and your ministry. The good news is, if you find you and it are full of Hype rather than being full of God, HE is willing and able to help you change that! Just ask HIM!
October 2nd, 2009 by Burlw
So you are a church leader or pastor; What is the goal that God has given you for the ministry you are over? Are you just marking time til you can “move up” to a bigger church or a position with more clout? God tells us in Matthew 6:33 to ” seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” If we don’t take the time in prayer to seek out God’s plan for our area of ministry, then we will NEVER be all that HE intended for us to be. Not all ministries are created equal, yet God created each of us perfectly to fulfill our part in HIS plan. If we try to add our plan into the mix, it usually results in failure and at very best mediocrity. Following HIS plan may not always bring us happiness, but it will fill us with Joy! It may not bring us money, but we will be rich! It may not bring us a huge following, but we will be leading people to follow HIM, which is much more important! Seek God first in all that you do and find HIS goal before starting on your goal.
August 24th, 2009 by Burlw
For those who follow this blog, you know that I have been working as both a Spanish Instructor at North Greenville University and also as the Connections Pastor at 5 Point Fellowship. I have posted before about churches focusing their energies on one thing or a few ministries rather than trying to do everything. The rational is that when we try to do everything, we end up not doing any of it well. While I “preached” that here on the blog, I realized that in my own life, that is exactly what I was doing. Yesterday, I resigned from a job that I absolutely love! The trouble was that I absolutely love both jobs! People may wonder if I was secretly upset about something or if there was a disagreement on vision or whatever. The truth is…there wasn’t any of that. I still 100% support the work that 5 Point Fellowship is doing. I absolutely love the staff and people there! The staff are some of my very best friends! The reason I resigned is simple. I can’t give 110% to both 5 Point and NGU. There are other people who would love to do some of the things I was doing. Human nature tells us that they won’t knock me out of the way to do so. I had to get out of their way so that God can expand their talents. If you are a 5 Point person reading this. It has been great serving as your connections pastor! Thanks!
August 10th, 2009 by Burlw
I just finished reading Geoff Surratt’s book Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing. He wrote a very informative and transparent work! Geoff, if you read this, Great Book! He deals with some great issues to help leaders overcome what can be costly mistakes in ministry. If you are a church planter or a pastor looking to learn from other’s mistakes. I highly recommend this book.
August 5th, 2009 by Burlw
Today I have a great honor! I get to go speak at Home with a Heart! It is always great to go speak with these guys! Michael Campbell, who is the editor of our local paper, The Pickens County Courier is going with me. It is always great to get to hang out with him. Those aren’t the reasons I am excited though. Sometimes, as a guy who doesn’t get to preach much, when the occasion comes up, I feel like I have to rush to get something, anything put together to be able to share with a group of people. Today is different. God put something in my heart especially for today and I am excited to be able to share it! Can’t wait! Have an awesome day!
June 10th, 2009 by Burlw
If you are a senior pastor, you can skip reading my blog today. Take a little extra time to prepare the sermon you will be preaching on August 30th or September 6th. This is for associate pastors or staff pastors. We, I am included in this group, know that we are vital to the health of our churches, but often it is tough being the #2 guy, or even the assistant to the assistant to the assistant in some cases. Here are some ideas to help you be the very best that you can be at your ministry.
1. Be the best in YOUR area of ministry! Just because you aren’t in charge of the church doesn’t mean that God Almighty hasn’t put you in the possition you are in to affect people’s lives. You need to do the very best job that you can to see that your area of ministry runs with excelence!
2. Be your senior pastor’s biggest cheerleader in public. Never tear him down in front of other people and don’t gossip behind his back. In private, you can let him know you disagree with him, and the two of you can duke it out if necessary. But in public you have his back 100% at all times.
3. Self critique often. Does your area of ministry need to exist? It is better for you to realize that you need to change than to have someone else tell you that you are obsolete.
I have to run, so I may blog more on this later…as a part timer, have to get to work at the other job. Have an awesome day!