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Carey Nieuwhof shares some valuable advice when decisions are really hard to make? Ever been there? Well… it turns out you only have three real possibilities when it comes to your decision… this should help you get a good start.  Carey writes: Option 1.  Make no decision. Sadly, this is what many leaders do. Faced with competing voices and competing visions, they refuse to choose one over another because it would mean wading into the inevitable conflict that would follow if they made a choice. They just retreat. When you fail to make a decision, organizational drift and paralysis follow. The whole group gets stuck, and leaders (who are waiting for you to lead) drift away in search of someone who will lead them. Everyone loses. Option 2. Try to please everyone.  This is only a slight variation of option 1. Leaders who try to please everyone will bend their vision until it isn’t a vision anymore, only a compromise. Of course you realize what you end up doing: pleasing no one. But that doesn’t matter. Because people pleasers always choose the short term gain that results in long term pain. Option 3. Separate the competing visions, and choose one.  Essentially, when you have several ‘good visions’ the problem you face is not choosing between the ‘good’ one and the ‘bad’ one. The bad visions were eliminated or disappeared long ago. The reason choosing between good visions is so difficult is that most leaders don’t have the courage to simply pick one and run with it. So you resort to options 1 and 2. The best thing you can do is prayerfully consult with wise counsel and pick a vision. Just decide. And then move on. // Read more here… How do YOU make tough decisions? Have you ever NOT made a decision and have it come back to bite you in the butt? Leave a short comment and tell us YOUR experience in decision-making… Todd
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Casey Tygrett shares three measurement devices for elders and local church leaders regarding spiritual growth and formation that will bring light and life to situations stuck in darkness. Are you regularly engaging with Scripture, both individually and as a leadership team? Leaders committed to wrestling with the narrative of God both alone and in their group have put themselves in a position to be corrected, humbled, and augmented for the sake of others. Being open to the Scriptures is a posture that embraces the mission of God in the world today. Scripture refines the lenses through which the mission and purpose of the church, as well as the mission and purpose of eldership, are seen. Scripture shows God on a mission as he calls sweetly, but firmly, to elders to fall in step and become missionally minded regarding where the flock they’ve been commissioned to lead is headed.  Are you praying specifically, honestly, and regularly? In my current ministry, I am often asked to help teach people to pray. I’ve found the most critical question in developing a prayer habit is whether or not people are willing to bring up the raw, uncensored, and unfiltered contents of their heart to God. Are you, as a leader, honestly expressing both your joys and struggles to the God who constantly leans in to listen (Psalm 10:17)? The most helpful aspect of prayer in my development in leadership over the last five years has been the opportunity to see myself through the objective lens of God’s Spirit; I’ve grown to understand there are things in my soul that, when applied to leadership in ministry, create issues I couldn’t see on my own. The opportunity to pray with and for other leaders is constantly in front of us—are you taking advantage of the times you could offer prayers that encourage and strengthen others on your eldership or leadership team? Are you reproducing leaders through spiritual friendship and mentoring? Leaders aren’t meant to be irreplaceable. If we have stepped into the stream of leadership in God’s kingdom with the expectation that we aren’t expendable, it is a clear and unmistakable sign we’ve skipped question number one in this list! The truth is, engaging in Scripture and prayer—especially reading Acts and praying for our leadership of God’s people—will shine a light on the reproductive nature of the church. The churches we find in Acts had leaders who understood what it meant to give away what they’d learned. Many elders and leaders may say they have read 2 Timothy 2:2—“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” Great. Here is a follow-up question: are you giving away your leadership and ministry to reliable folks? // Read more here:  A Past Mistake and Three Challenges for Elders Thoughts? Todd
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Take a look… what do you think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7UXzLvhVKc Have you ever been stuck by thinking that you heard the voice of God, but were proven wrong? How does that happen? And would it be better if you, me, and Pat would keep our mouths shut in the first place? I don’t know… I’m just asking. Todd
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Leadership
Are you stuck?  In ministry?  In your personal life? “Stuckness” happens really often for pastors and church leaders.  Many times on Monday mornings! Steven Furtick has some thoughts on being stuck… and shares 3 things that can lead you to getting stuck.  If you’re feeling stuck this morning, I’m wondering if one of these things is the culprit. 1. Complacency Change is hard. Positive change is just as hard as negative change. Sometimes it’s easier to stay stuck than to move forward. Often it’s more comfortable to stick with something that’s tolerable and familiar than to embrace something that’s preferable and unknown. 2. Regret I really don’t know how to explain this, except to say that my regrets often overpower my ambitions, causing me to remain in a state of paralysis. But I’m learning that there’s nothing productive about what I wish I would have done then, unless I use it to inform what I’m doing now. 3. Distraction It’s hard to tell how many major adjustments I’ve avoided making because I was busy tending to insignificant side items. It’s tempting to divert attention from the big thing that God wants me to change by obsessing over something that ultimately doesn’t matter at all. So… how to get unstuck? Steven offers a simple prayer:  God, help me move forward at the speed of your direction and intention, no matter how painful the transition may be. via Pastor Steven Furtick – If You’re Feeling Stuck…. Is this a prayer that YOU need to pray today? Where are YOU stuck this morning?
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Leadership
You know a rut when you see it.  It’s easy for all churches to get caught in ruts.  Steve Caton over at ChurchCommunityBuilder identifies three ruts that he sees many churches face: 1) The Assimilation Rut. Churches often develop a good assimilation path but don’t have the right systems or tools to actually monitor where people really are. They hope people are moving forward. Many are taking steps, but, there are also people slipping through gaps we didn’t even know were there. Do you know where your “growth” gaps are? 2) The Small Group Rut. A small group strategy is now almost a given in every church. It is a proven method of keeping a church intimate while it grows. Many small group-focused churches have no idea what percentage of their attenders are really showing up in their groups. They have names on a roster, but they aren’t counting the “faces”. The small group leaders often lack tools to connect between weekly gatherings and group “health” is therefore a mystery. 3) The Event Rut. This one is BIG! Because we often equate busyness with significance, churches often go way overboard with events, mistaking activity for impact. Events must have purpose and measurable impact. If not, people stop coming. These are a good start. What ruts is your church currently in? What ruts has your church battled through. And what’s the easiest way to get out of a rut? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And please pass this post along to your friends and colleagues using the social media links below… Thanks, Todd
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