Get a Life

Get a real Life!

So many in our day have made non realities their realities. It is as if the things that are not real have become what is real. They have made fiction their non-fiction. If they see truth they reject it because it did not come by some artificial means. Their way of building relationships is inside a computer rather than face to face. I know folks that cannot interact in person but come alive on a computer screen. I have seen folks become big on the social networks who I knew to be very small individuals in person. I have seen those who I would consider hero’s in life chiseled down to midgets by the crafty words of others. When you had rather watch a reality show than life with reality you are sick.

This has affected every aspect of our lives. From our politics, faith, family, community and work. People are important. Connectivity with people has to extend beyond the electronic social networks. If all your friends exist in a screen you may not have no friends when the electricity is off. Living in the real world of marriage could never have the sizzle of The soap operas. Elicit affairs never can produce the ecstasy of a romance outside of marriage. No pastor can produce disciples in the vacuum of today’s light shows and productions. If you can make things modern and relevant great! As long as when the lights are turned back on people are drooling about Jesus rather than stage performers.

Life in the real world is tough, fragile, joyful, painful, dull, exciting, routine and chaotic. Get out of your closets and live and experience it before you die. Get out of the box on the table before you are placed in a box in the ground.

Get a Life!

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Board Duties During Pastoral Transition

How does a board handle the transition of a pastor?

1. Start as soon as the present pastor has announced their retirement or move.

2. The exit strategy should include clear and open communication between the pastor and board and the board and congregation.

3. Realize that as a board you become the covering for the church. It is now your responsibility to protect and provide for the church.

4. Work on the dates of departure with the pastor.

5. Consider the severance package and be generous. This should include any unused vacation and sick time accrued.

6. Plan a special day and a good send off. This is important to show respect for the pastor and his family. But also to express that all is well between leadership and pastor.

7. Agree as to what the pastor can take as far as tapes, manuscripts or other intellectual items that could be an issue.

8. Contact the district leadership for prayer and consultation. These men can guide you at this time.

9. Respond appropriately and respectfully to resumes sent from other possible pastors.

10. I would consider looking for a candidate who was doing a good job where he was.

11. If you visit a church to view a pastor you should give the pastor a courtesy call of your visit. You should not talk about your visit in the church city. Just because you visited does not mean the pastor would be interested. If you leak your reason for visiting and it gets out in that community you cause the pastor and congregation difficulty.

Tell the Truth without the Spin

An old mentor would say to me, ” you can prove anything by testimonies!” Just because someone spins a story is not a reason to embrace a statement. I am suspicious and Leary of those who try to magnify their worth and value by two things. By stretching the truth and dynamics of a moment to make themselves the hero of a drama. Second, those who use numbers and highlight the negatives or the outlandish to magnify the shortcomings of others. Usually the reason for the second one is again to make themselves look larger and better than the other.

If you are that good we will all know it soon enough. If not then best to be humble and hope people will be kind to you.

Suggestions To Pastors From Missionaries

Suggestions to pastors and missionary support.

Please return the phone call from the missionary.

It is okay to say you cannot put them in your budget.

Have the missionary for a window in your service.

Interview the missionary in front of your audience. This way you can control the time and information your church receives.

Don’t shift responsibility to the board for missionary support. If your church is board driven know those limitations and you be the decision maker to the missionary.

Let the missionary address a small group or a Sunday School class.

Give him a off night and announce for those who would like to attend of the opportunity.

If the budget will not allow for monthly support then consider giving the congregation opportunity to give a one time offering.

Remember you are the doorway to missions in your church. If your heart is open then God will open the hearts of your people.

Consider bringing Greene & Raley in to help you move your missions forward and enlarge the missions awareness of your church.

Suggestions to Missionaries to Pastors

Suggestions from pastors to missionaries

1. Sometimes we cannot schedule you to speak.

2. If we don’t get to the phone we are not avoiding you. We really are busy, real busy.

3. Scolding or chiding us because we were difficult to connect with will not make us very receptive to helping you.

4. If we cannot schedule you to speak are there other options?

5. When you speak please plan to tell us about your call, your country and the need. We really do not want you to preach just tell stories that connect.

6. The longer you talk after 20 minutes the less our people will give.

7. Don’t forget to say thank you to the children for BGMC, youth for STL and men for LFTL.

8. Spend some time with our children and learn their names. They need ministry hero’s. Those stories you tell as you share a meal are never forgotten.

9. Don’t speak negatively about other missionaries, programs, pastors or leaders. You will only hurt yourself.

10. Be filled with enthusiasm about the work of the Kingdom. People who are challenged by an exciting message are liberal in their giving.

Make it Easy For You Pastor to Leave

How to make it easy for your pastor to be open to another call from another church.

It all relationships and especially that of church and pastor separation can come unexpectedly. Not that the signs were not there but it just went unnoticed or worse there was no concern. To keep a good pastor congregations need to work hard to be sure they and their family are loved and appreciated. The scripture teaches that they are worthy of double-honor. The reason is they take twice the hits and hurts of others. They not only carry their burdens they carry ours.

It is easy for pastors to entertain call from other churches when these things are present.

1. The feeling or actual acts of an unappreciative congregation for their pastors service.

2. The lack of response when they call for help and leaders to come forward out of the pews.

3. Forgetting the special days of he and his family.

4. Failing to love his family as he loves yours.

5. Failing to consider him for raises and bonuses when those times come. In some cases never even having a plan to compensate them properly.

6. Criticizing and critiquing their work and actions among the church.

7. Letting them overwork and not demanding they take days off, vacations and sabbaticals after a few years if service.

8. Not supporting the church with your tithes and offerings.

9. Thinking that your church is special and that ministers will be lined up for opportunities to serve your Church. (Man, are you in for a shock!)

10. Refusing to grow and change with them so that the church can evolve and fit the culture the church ministers in.

The churches best investment is not a new building or a brand new van. The best investment of any church is their pastor! Invest heavily, wisely, considerately and lovingly to the pastor and together you can reach your community and change lives for eternity!

Ways to Make the Pastors Children Feel Special

Ways to make the Pastors children feel loved!

1. Before they arrive at your new church prepare a video. On the video film all the children near their age giving a greeting to them.

2. Find out what they love and make it your project to bless them with those things in small measure.

3. Make their parents sound like hero’s in your praise of them to them.

4. Be authentic in your faith and love. They can smell a fake a mile away.

5. Be sure the children are recognized with the parents at special days.

6. Take them to your home, shopping or to a fun spot to let them have opportunity not to be in the PK mold.

7. Offer to take them with you and your family for some after church meals.

8. Bring a gift card and treat them to a nice ice cream or snack on you.

9. Don’t expect them to be special or sacred but children who are searching for their own journeys.

10. Live a holy and righteous life in front of them and admit when you fail. The PK many times feels the church is full of hypocrites. To find one person who is not, may save them from a jaded and backslide life

Reasons Why Pastors Fail

Reasons a pastor may fail at his assignment

1. Not realizing that God called him there and not the congregation.

2. Seeing the church as his source for all decisions and vision.

3. Trying to move people too quickly when they have decades of failed leadership that has left them cleaning up. Add things to the church and let them remove those things that no longer fit.

4. Failing to communicate clearly and often where he is taking the church.

5. Not recruiting leaders and pouring into them his vision.

6. Failing to train those who serve the Church.

7. Allowing the board to be dominant in leadership. Nothing wrong with strong leadership as long as they are strong enough to lead through serving.

8. Not controlling his time.

9. Sloppy execution of the duties and services of the church.

10. Not connecting in communication skills, congregation life and community activities.

11. Thinking everything has to have your hands on it.

12. Forgetting about your family because of your church.

13. Using the pulpit for anything other than preaching the Word for redemption.

14. Isolating yourself from people.

15. Preaching too long or preparing poorly for the sermon.

16. Staying gone from the church too long or too many times in a year. (This is why I am a traveling speaker.)

17. Making decisions about finances that should be made with other input and approvals.

18. Not using the tragedies and challenges of a community and congregation to build faith and community.

19. Thinking he is the pastor of a group of people who isolate and insulate themselves from the community they reside. We pastor communities.

20. Failing to build and grow their relationship with their spouse. When the spouse is not happy no one is happy! Your spouse has got to feel a part of you and together your both love a church.

If I Was a New Pastor

If I was a new pastor I would do these things.

1. Be sure sure to give words of appreciation to those who stepped up in the absence of a pastor.

2. Be sure to give praise to the former pastor. I would search for ways to praise and love him publicly. You cannot lose with those who love him by praising him. Neither can you win with those who did not like him by being critical of his leadership.

3. Go over the financials and draw lines where you began. Know what you have to work with and immediately work a budget.

4. Before I got in place I would have them do a accurate count at least three times. Many times the numbers are exaggerated and when you give the accurate numbers you could be blamed for a decrease that never existed.

5. Be careful of those who praise you and criticize the former leader.

7. I would take a long time to evaluate where the church was at and where I wanted to take it.

8. Access the leadership strength in all areas.

9. I would have a conversation with the last two pastors to access the history.

10. I would not take away a lot of things at first. I would try to add to what the church is doing. Time will come when they will start asking you to take away those things that should go.

11. I would be myself and try to adapt to the new culture in dress, style and life.

12. I would try to find the things that have kept the church from growing and deal with them.

13. I would access the health of the congregation and leadership.

14. I would move around the community to get a gauge of the visibility and likability of the church.

15. I would keep my opinions close to by chest and sparingly give advise until I was educated about the history of the church and its conflicts.

16. I would start building bridges with community leaders, hospitals, schools, businesses, civic clubs, ministerial associations, sectional leaders, district and national leaders.

17. I would have a lot of meetings with different people.

18. I would evaluate the church Calendar

19. I would evaluate the church staff.

20. I would pray for wisdom, favor and vision. I would fall on my face for God to have mercy on the congregation and not let me in my arrogance make the church miss its calling and purpose.

If I was a young Pastor looking

If I was a young minister looking for a pastorate I would do these things.

1. Pray for a clear call to be a pastor. If a clear call was not there I would not force it.

2. Listen close to my spouse about their feelings and concerns. You will be impacting your whole family with this decision.

3. I would begin to express my feelings to those who love and are concerned for me for prayer.

4. I would start expressing my calling to pastors, leaders, sectional, district and national leaders. I would ask for their advise and help.

5. I would be sure my credentials were not in jeopardy and that I was in good standing with my credential parties.

6. I would not be too concerned with charting the course as to what type of work. If I am called I am open to any call.

7. I would pay my bills off so that I could make a decision that is not based on my finances

8. I would not be afraid to take a church that has no money. Let them pay you on percentage of the offerings if need be.

9. I would pray every day for the Holy Spirit to give me eyes and ears to hear of His opportunities for my life.

10. I would find an elderly minister to mentor me. These men have forgot more than you will ever know.

11. I would reluctantly do a resume. I would not try to wow people with how incredible I was in it. I would state in simple terms my call, commitment and credentials.

12. I would be sure I was supporting my church and district so they could give me a good reference.

13. I would not just let a church interview me. I would interview them to drill down to where the church was in terms of health, expectations and mission.

14. I would be afraid! I would be so afraid that I would pray myself full of faith, full of the Holy Spirit and empty of myself.

15. I would expect God to open the right door and to close those doors that were not His will for my life.