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Justin Herman shares 13 ways to get out of your preaching/teaching funk.  Here are some of them:

Admit you have a problem.

Well, maybe it’s not a problem, but if you are feeling like you’re in a struggling season, talk to some one about it. Talk to your supervisor, other pastors in town, or people that you network with and have community with. Don’t sit in your office and stress over it, but instead reach out to others who can encourage you and help.

Mentors. Do you have one?

Do you have someone who has gone through the same things as you? This is not just a teaching thing, this is a leader thing. Every good leader has to be mentored by someone with more time, experience, and wisdom.  

Time alone with God.

Are you getting filled up or are you just pouring out into others? Are you connecting with your Savior or just teaching about Him? This may sound like a soft question, but it’s not. If you’re not with God, then you can’t know God. If you don’t know Him, you can’t teach others about Him. You can fake it for awhile, but that will eventually fail.

Content.

Do you believe in what you are teaching? Whether it be curriculum that you are teaching, or following the church teaching schedule. Are you being told what to write or writing your own content? Think over if you’re having a writers block or if you need better prep. In the end, if you don’t believe in the content than something needs to change. Want more?  Read on here…
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Leadership
Dane Gressett writes:  I believe there is benefit in pausing at the beginning of every year to reflect upon the direction our lives, marriages, jobs, and ministries are taking. Time is limited and the demands upon our schedules can often be vast. There are two common Greek words that are often translated as “time” in our English Bibles.  One is chronos and the other kairos. They have very different meanings.  And you might not pick up on this in your English translation. In our fast-paced world we are very familiar withchronos. This relates to the actual hours and minutes that fly by us each day.  We often are found to have “run out of time.”   There seems too little time to do all the things we are committed to accomplishing.  Chronos is a lot like currency and is more or less impersonal.  It can be spent, saved, and sadly wasted, but it has little meaning apart from what it is connected to. Here is an example of chronos:
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” (John 5:6)
The more chronos we spend stuck in a certain pattern of life and behavior, the harder it is to break out of the habits that have been formed.  We can end up simply repeating yesterday and missing out on the opportunities at hand presently.  The text above refers to a man who had been crippled for 38 years.  That’s a lot of chronos spent in one position.  Muscles have atrophied.  Expectations have been downgraded.  Mindsets have become ingrained. But kairos is a different sort of word.  It has a more strategic sense.  Rather than the actual ticks of the clock, it refers more to timely opportunities that arise.  Kairoscould be translated as “appropriate season.” We see an example of kairos here:
for an angel of the Lord went down at certainseasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. (John 5:4)
I have never known what to do with this story of the Pool of Bethesda.  Was it simply superstition or were people actually healed there?  I’m not sure what the writer intended to convey.  But it is clear that the purported healings didn’t occur at routinetimes or intervals.  Instead they came at “certain seasons”.  The season could be discerned when there was a peculiar “stirring up of the water.”  I love this! The water did not bring healing because it was magical.  It brought healing when it was connected to the proper kairos.  The same can be true in our lives.  Our lives can cooperate with God in bringing real healing and fruitfulness into our world…if we can discern the kairos and not be slaves to chronos. It is wise to have a personal calendar and to intentionally place the most important things on the calendar before things of lesser importance fill up the spots!  But even when we are intentionally scheduling by priorities, we need to be sensitive to our Lord’s kairos seasons. Are you willing to drop what you are doing if you suddenly see the water stirring this year? What if God wants to do something that you didn’t plan for?  I pray that we will all be wide-open to special opportunities the Lord may place before us this year. A fresh season of prayer may be just around the corner; or an increased illumination in the Scriptures; 0r of influencing people.  It could be an opportunity in your business or ministry, that is God-sent and if recognized could take you to a new level. It could be God moving you to be more generous with your resources. It could be a new approach to your parenting that will profoundly bless your children. Let us pray and ask God to lead us…and then be ready to not only recognize the stirring of the waters, but to adjust our chronos to embrace it! About the author:  Dane Gressett is the Lead Pastor at Blue Ridge Community Church in Charlottesville, VA.  He’s been planting and pastoring churches for 22 years.  You can read more from Dane at his blog.
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Controversy
OK… so the Bishop of Lichfield told a group of pastors in London last week that church services have become too long, and that they should aim to keep the time of the service to no more than 50 minutes. Stop singing so long.  Stop praying so long.  Stop preaching so long. This article also says that some services in the UK last up to 2 hours. Another argument:  people’s attention spans aren’t what they used to be. Actually… I think the Bishop is on to something here. I wrote a post about a year ago asking the question about why no church that I know of has begun offering a half hour service. We’ve done everything else… hip music, flashy lights, relevant messages, free coffee and donuts.  But never have we offered to budge, even a little, on our set hour format. Would more people come if we offered an ‘express’ type service?  Yeah… actually, I think if you had three services, two of them being an hour and one being 30 minutes, I bet the 30 minutes one would be pretty dang popular. “But that’s because people are shallow”. No.  That’s because pastors have not ever looked at doing things differently. Let’s face it… pastors are paid and expected to speak 30-40 minutes each Sunday.  But can we be honest?  Most of that 30-40 minutes with most pastors contains A LOT of fluff. My experience with The NINES has taught me a lot.  You absolutely can deliver a compelling point in nine minutes.  It’s clear, concise, and brief.  But it sticks with you. I think a powerful worship service could be packaged into 30 minutes. So… heads bowed and eyes closed.  Who will be the first pastor to try this?  Who will be the first one to give up his 30-40 minute sermon for a 9 minute one? Anyone? Anywhere? I’m not afraid to sing all 329 verses of Just as I am.  Been there, done that. I’m totally serious.  This would work.  In fact, I bet it would get you on FoxNews or CNN. OK… would love to hear your thoughts.  Am I totally off my rocker to think a substantial, worshipful, God-honoring service could be packaged in 30 minutes?  And am I totally insane to think that people actually would like this format? Why or why not? Todd
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