The Youth Pastor Guide to the Proper Care and Feeding of the Senior Pastor

Posted by on 12:00 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Youth Pastor Guide to the Proper Care and Feeding of the Senior Pastor

The call to be a senior pastor is a heavy one. Rarely are two days the same. “Ministry” can happen in a moment’s notice and can suck up several days. Any one day can include emergency visits to the hospital, marriage counseling, funeral preparation, denominational meetings, sermon preparation, wedding preparation, business meetings, building maintenance, an impromptu counseling in the canned good aisle of the grocery store, or even finding food and shelter for a family in need. The above list is long and doesn’t include time for spouse and...

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Your Best Staff Meeting (in 30 minutes or less)

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Staff meetings often feel like frustrated, fast food drive-thru lines: Everyone is there, but in a hurry to be somewhere else. When drivers take too long and orders are confused, drivers begin to stew in anger, silently wondering if it was worth it. Your staff is asking the same question. In the midst of busy ministry, staff meetings become the thing everyone agrees is important, but cannot name the rationale. The lack of direction creates not only drift from your intended purpose, but also resentment among the staff. One of the most...

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On Vision (part 4)

Posted by on 10:07 am in leading, vision | Comments Off on On Vision (part 4)

Inconsistent vision is lack of vision. True vision united diverse people and programs around common goals. Lack of consistency reveals a problematic presentation of application of vision. How is the vision made manifest in each of your programs?

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On Vision (Part 3)

Posted by on 12:38 pm in Blog, Coaching, leading, vision | Comments Off on On Vision (Part 3)

Your vision should be clear, concise, quotable, and audacious. Vision that is not easily understood is quickly lost in translation. Vision that isn’t clear peters out in transition. The clearer the vision, the more easily it ripples beyond the source. The longer the vision, the more it leaks. Commas and run-on sentences poke holes in an otherwise powerful vision. The brevity of a concise vision focuses the mind and the energy of the people. In the information age, attention wins. Quotable vision gives your vision life beyond your lips. A...

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On Vision (part 2)

Posted by on 10:36 am in Coaching, leading, vision | Comments Off on On Vision (part 2)

The most overlooked component of vision is contextualization. Vision that is removed from the regular rhythms of life quickly evaporates. Your vision should rest in the tension between your world as it is and your world as you want it to be. What is God calling your people to do? What difference does it make to the people who live next door? (part 1 here)

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On Vision

Posted by on 10:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on On Vision

Don’t underestimate the power of a well-communicated vision. In the absence of a clear, compelling vision, other (competing) visions elbow their way into reality. Conflict, apathy, boredom, restlessness all emerge from a lack of vision. Unity, passion, and partnership are born from contagious vision.

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The Sacredness of Trying

Posted by on 10:08 am in Blog | Comments Off on The Sacredness of Trying

I learned very early in my ministry that not everyone would like me. I learned every parent and every student carried unique emotional, relational, and theological baggage into every interaction I had with them. I learned that not every program I worked hard to create and execute would be well attended. I learned that students will text while you speak and snapchat while you pray. I have felt the sting of the unanswered text, the unreturned phone call, and the ignored high five. I have also discovered the potential of sharing and connecting....

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Old School Tools (Part 7)

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I am an introvert who tends to stress at surprises and unexpected twists. The most important old-school tool I have discovered: a pack of gum. Chewing gum is a proven stress reliever – and a much better one than throwing or breaking any of the other old school tools we’ve shared (here, here, here, here, here, and here). Gum also has tremendous community-enhancing qualities. Whip out a pack of gum and in 4.67 seconds, you will have a pack of students surrounding you. Gum serves as a tremendous third object to overcome awkwardness...

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Old School Tools (Part 5)

Posted by on 7:33 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Old School Tools (Part 5)

I learned the hard way – if it isn’t written down, it is forgotten. One of the key components of ministry is remembering – names, stories, experiences – and following up on them. When I am on retreat, mission, or any extended period with my students, I have a pen and journal in my back pocket. Literally. I pull it out often – to note conversations (curriculum potential), experiences (to celebrate or commiserate later), and inside jokes (to laugh about again later). A cheap but durable moleskine journal will get you through...

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Kill The Youth Council (Meeting)!

Posted by on 11:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kill The Youth Council (Meeting)!

  Got your attention? Many churches and denominations demand that each ministry have a committee to represent decisions related to their ministry area. This is not, of course, a bad idea unless it is executed poorly. Here is what I have found after almost three decades of dealing with youth councils— Problems Participants see their role as advisory. Most decisions will still be made by you-The youth pastor. Most of the work will still be done by you. Time-honored vs Effective Approaches When I arrived at one youth ministry, I inherited a...

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