Excellence Over Perfection

Here's a blog post from Bethel music on striving to do our very best, instead of being caught in the trap of perfectionism.

https://bethelmusic.com/blog/excellence-over-perfection/

I'm reminded by this post that our lives and worship to the Lord are part of something much larger that God is cultivating and knitting together. Sometimes I think we forget the way that God is the ultimate Composer and Creator. Perhaps we also take ourselves a bit to seriously and forget to offer ourselves grace in the everyday, as a gift from the Lord.    

Micah 6:8 (MSG) But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously- take God seriously.

Hebrews 12: 28-29 (MSG) Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!

 

Here's a few more resources from Bethel Music:

https://bethelmusic.com/chords-and-lyrics/

https://bethelmusic.com/blog/

 

 

A Free E-Book about Discipleship

Did you enjoy and connect with this year's 3WLN Speaker Greg Wines?  Did you leave hungry and wanting more?  Well here's your chance to get some more...  

https://exponential.org/resource-ebooks/disciplemaking/

In this book that Greg Wines co-authors, they explore Discipleship by helping the reader identify their own disciple making strengths and how they can hone those skills.  Here's the chapter titles in the book:

Becoming a Disciple Maker

Introduction Continuing the Conversation

Chapter 1 Why Should I Want to Becoming a Level 5 Disciple Maker

Chapter 2 Can Any Christian Become a Disciple Maker?

Chapter 3 Why Develop an Assessment Instrument?

Chapter 4 Why Should I Assess My Disciple-Making Ability?

Chapter 5 The Spiritual Family Metaphor

Chapter 6 How Do We Apply the Results to Our Lives?

 

So check out this link for the free E-Book and other disciple making resources:

https://exponential.org/resource-ebooks/disciplemaking/

 

True Fellowship

In an age where so much is virtual and wireless, it seems like we in the church need to be extra intentional about genuine fellowship. In my experience true fellowship is a natural multiplier where grace begets grace. Perhaps one of the best ways to be the light of the world is by modeling grace filled relationships that point people to Jesus.

Here is an article that discusses true fellowship and our need for it:

https://relevantmagazine.com/article/what-fellowship-actually-looks-like/

Community First Youth Ministry

"At the end of the day, I simply believe it’s high time for many of us to stop operating like the best first step to the faith is coming to a church service."  -from the article linked below

As I've looked back on the students who seemed to be impacted the most by the Gospel message of Jesus, I've been particularly surprised at how many of those didn't come to a church service for years.  The below article is a good reminder that perhaps we need to encourage our youth ministries to get outside the walls of the church to BE the church. 

http://youthministry360.com/blog/stop-telling-teenagers-invite-friends-church/

Developing Leaders

I've been thinking a lot recently about how we were meant to journey with others. Specifically, I'm challenged by how important it is for us, as leaders, to be investing in other leaders who will come with and after us. In the article below there are some suggested actions on bringing others along the way and intentionally developing leaders. 

http://contextcoaching.org/7-steps-developing-leaders-church/

Growing Creativity

I believe that we serve a God who is very creative. I also believe that the image of God is in each one of us. Does it not serve us well then to encourage the creativity in ourselves and among our people? I even wonder if cultivating creativity in this way is a way to return worship to God. 

Here's an article that shares 7 ways to encourage creativity in your church.  

http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2016/april-web-exclusives/7-ways-to-foster-creativity-in-your-church.html

Love your neighbor AS YOURSELF

Sometimes the best pastoral care we can do is to take care of ourselves. It's one more aspect where we must find balance in order to be healthy. How do you balance caring for yourself with caring for others? Hopefully this article will help frame the conversation in our lives. 

https://relevantmagazine.com/article/self-care-doesnt-mean-self-centered/

A Good Reminder to Train Your Volunteers for Big Sundays

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Easter, Mother's Day, and Christmas are typically the three days in a the year with the largest number of guests in a church service. It would make sense that well before these days we take a focused look at who is volunteering and how we help them create a more welcoming setting. Perhaps this article will give us some ideas as to how to prepare for these days of possible larger numbers of visitors. 

https://openblog.life.church/create-a-welcoming-environment-this-easter/

The Important Partnership with Professional Counselors

Everyone can benefit from counseling! At my last ministry assignment we were incredibly blessed to have healthy partnerships with professional counselors in our community. Specifically, we even had one counseling center who rented space inside of our church building. This partnership was vital for getting people the help they needed as quickly as possible. 

When walking with people and doing "counseling" sessions as pastors and leaders, it's important to know our own limitations. So how long should you walk with someone down their road to healing before referring them to a professional counselor? Here's an article that might help frame why professional counselors should be consulted sooner: 

http://jaysondbradley.com/2014/10/14/5-reasons-pastors-need-refer-counselors-faster/

Ministry for the Long Haul

"God calls us to work with believers who crumble, grumble, and grouse." I must admit these words strike a cord of resonance as I talk with pastors and leaders in the church worldwide. Questions of how to sustain ministers and leaders in the midst of an ever constant need are valuable and not easily answerable. I pray the words and resources of this article are encouraging. I pray these words will produce grit and sustenance as you traverse the road of ministry in this season. 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2015/summer-2015/in-it-for-long-haul.html