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This is a recent TedTalk and presented from a purely secular viewpoint. Of course, we know that ‘success’ in ministry can be defined a myriad of different ways. And there is no discounting God’s call and/or blessing on an individual or church’s work. But there, many times is more at play, as well. Churches that seem successful and a ‘kickin’ it’ for Jesus many times, do have what seems to be an extra measure of God’s blessing, at least outwardly.  But most of them are run by talented leaders and teams that get some of what Sim Simon Sinek is talking about in this video. Wherever you’re at on the spectrum, there is probably someone that is more ‘successful’ than you in ministry; and someone who you’d deem less ‘successful’. One key is the ability of the leader to inspire actions of others.  That’s what this video talks about.  I think it’s worth your time to watch all 18 minutes.  Watch and see if there are ways that God might speak to you about the way you are currently leading: HT:  Phil Cooke

A great article this past week from Charles Arn on ‘Pastoral Longevity and Church Growth’.  According to studies, there is an undeniable relationship between pastoral tenure and church growth.  Truth is:  Many pastors leave way before the amount of time it will take them to be truly effective.  Here’s a chart showing a recent studies findings on why pastors are leaving their churches: Here are some additional excuses Charles thinks are contributing factors: • More money.  Human nature is always dissatisfied, however much we make. • Conflict.  Another characteristic of human nature: conflict is anywhere there are people. • You’re getting stale.  Commit to being a life-time learner. It will keep you and your church in touch with today’s issues. • Greener pastures.  See Philippians 4:12. • Boredom.  To quote Rick Warren, “It’s not about you.” • Burn-out.  Whether you have reached that point or not, take time to retreat and renew. • An exploratory call.  We all like to be liked. But just because a church is calling doesn’t mean God is. • You’re out of sermons.  If that’s your reason for moving, I suggest you shouldn’t be in the ministry. • Too much pressure.  So your next church will be without pressure?  If your motivation to move is to avoid pressure, see the response above. I like Charles’ summary:
There is an undeniable relationship between pastoral tenure and church growth.  While most growing churches have long-term pastorates, and some non-growing churches have long-term pastorates, it is almost unheard of to find a growing church with many short-term pastorates.  Frequent change of pastors seems to negate all the other complicated ingredients that go into a church’s growth mix.
I’ve heard that it takes a pastor about 6-7 years before real change starts to really happen at a quicker pace. What has been your experience? Read Charles’ entire post here. Todd

I found this video really interesting. I can’t say that I totally understand it, but the psychology of it has my mind spinning a little bit. Watch it… there has to be a correlation with ministry there somewhere.  The first person to come up with one, I’ll give a prize… you just have to pick which door the prize is hiding behind. And if you don’t find any ministry parallels, just enjoy and try to comprehend the concept:

Billy Graham turned 94 yesterday:
“I never expected I would live this long, outliving my beloved wife, Ruth, as well as many friends and loved ones…I believe God must still have a purpose for keeping me here, and I look forward to seeing what that might be.”
How cool is that… Billy Graham still looking for purpose. For his birthday lunch, Billy asked for hot dogs and apple pie. And he’s writing another book… this one is due out later this year, will be about his 70+ years in ministry. Happy Birthday!

Robert Schuller took the stand on Wednesday in his trial against Crystal Cathedral Ministries.  Schulller and his wife say the ministry owes them at least $5 million dollars.  Here are some details of the proceedings from the Orange County Register: Throughout his nearly two hours of testimony, Schuller was firm on one idea: he had always allowed the Crystal Cathedral to use his books and other works without receiving royalties but the work was his nonetheless – and not property of the ministry. “We never had anything in writing. We just had an understanding,” Schuller said – “a gentleman’s understanding.” As long as the ministry did not sell his materials to competitors, they could use them for the profit of the Crystal Cathedral. One of the most common uses was the church’s give-away of books to donors of the Hour of Power television program. Schuller did not receive royalties for the books, sharing all the profits with the church, he said. “I allowed the ministry to use it,” Schuller testified. “I did not give ownership to any one.” Questioned by his own attorney, Carl Grumer, Schuller said the church could use his materials –”always with my approval.” He repeatedly stated, in response to opposing counsel’s questions, that he did not expect compensation to himself or to his corporation, Robert H. Inc., for the use of his materials. Schuller also said that his wife, Arvella, who testified on Tuesday and again Wednesday morning, was in charge of the finances. At times, Schuller appeared to contradict previous sworn statements filed in court documents. For example, a declaration he signed stated the Crystal Cathedral Ministries exploited his intellectual property on the Internet. But when asked about it on Wednesday, Schuller said he did not know. When asked again by his own attorney if the Crystal Cathedral had permission to sell his material on the Internet, Schuller said: “I need to discuss that with the Lord.” Schuller had trouble remembering answers to other questions, including statements he had made in a court declaration and a sworn deposition. For example: does the ministry owe him $55,226 for a housing allowance? asked attorney Todd Ringstad, who represents the creditors owed money following the 2010 bankruptcy of the Crystal Cathedral. “I didn’t even know they owe me that. I don’t try to remember what people owe me,” Schuller responded. More here…

Franklin Graham on CNN election night:
“If we are allowed to go down this road in the path that this president wants us to go down, I think it will be to our peril and to the destruction of this nation.”
Do you agree, or do you think this is an overstatement? Regardless of the election results, is America’s ‘peril and destruction’ imminent? Your thoughts? More here… Todd

This is from a post I wrote on January 4 of this year about Pat Robertson and his annual predictions he gets from his direct revelation from God. God told Pat who our next president should be… but told him not to talk about THAT. Here are some of the better/worse points of the 2012 revelation.  (And I do love how God speaks to Pat the first week of January each year… I think it’s kinda cool that God’s on our calendar.) Your country will be torn apart by internal stress. Expect chaos and paralysis. There must be an urgent call to prayer. A time of maximum stress and peril… this country will begin desinigrating.  God said it will be worse than it has ever been since CBN was started (around 1960). The good news is, the world will not end because of the Mayan calendar. Nor because of Iran or North Korea’s nuclear threat.  And not from earthquakes or volcanoes or massive power failures. The stress and peril will be caused by economic collapse. Ok… today I ask Pat for some clarification. Clarify for us, Pat:  Did the election result confirm what God told you?  (A simple yes or no would be great there). Also… as you read these predictions after the election, does it change YOUR view of them? (There are many that actually think that the election may very well bring on, or at least add to the probability that, there will be an economic collapse.) Of course, we should call people to pray. And the internal stress part sure feels right today. But why… oh why… Pat, did God not allow you to talk about this before the election?  And will he let you tell us more now? Inquiring minds want to know. Todd  

I might make this a regular feature here on the blog.  I have two examples in point today. Number one is someone named Pastor Peter J. Peters.  I found this over at Jesus Needs New PR.  In this episode, Pastor Peter Peters (come on… is that his real name?) first teaches us how to do the cha cha… it all seems in good fun, until the end. Then, there’s one of my favorites… Robert Tilton. In this clip, I think Robert may be surprised himself after he utters that midgets are growing as a result of his prayers.  In fact, I think Robert is concerned that we think he may be making this stuff up in this clip (found at Christian Nightmares).  Watch: Have an angry preacher video you think I should share?  Please send it to me… just click the ‘contact’ link at the top of this page! Have YOU ever ‘lost it’ in the pulpit?  I’d love to hear what happened! Todd  

Great quote from my friend Brad Powell:
In responding with such harsh negativity, people put themselves in a category of people who, though they claim to be the ones most spiritual…most like Jesus, are really the least like Him.
Brad, is of course, talking about many of our responses to the election. Ouch. Read more of his challenging post here… and re-adjust your attitude if needed. 🙂 Todd