Archives For Leadership

By necessity, ministry – children’s & family, in particular – requires us to lead in perhaps the hardest leadership arena possible: the volunteer arena. However, whether volunteer or paid staff, leaders are leaders, and we need to focus our attention on them in order to accomplish our grand vision.

Easier said than done! But here’s a framework I have found successful for leading leaders:

1. Engage them.

Keys to engaging leaders include:

  • Simply building relationships for the sake of relationships. Get to know them and love them as individuals first.
  • Find out what makes them tick – what excites them? what are their skills & experiences? what are they passionate about? what makes them angry & what makes them cry?
  • Begin to align their passions with the vision you are pursuing.

2. Equip them. 

Too often we think of equipping as happening after they’ve committed to serving. Not so! Equipping begins with casting our grand vision for ministry and helping them see how their gifts, experience & passions align with that vision.

  • Link what makes them tick with how it can help accomplish he vision.
  • Be specific in calling them to a commitment…

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By: Brett Eastman

If you want to create a church community that really cares for one another, the best way to do it is
through small groups. When small groups become the vehicle for care-giving, the whole church gets
involved in sharing one another’s burdens—a much more personal approach than relegating the task to
a committee.

The whole congregation should be making hospital visits, taking meals to people when they’re sick or
something’s happened, doing childcare when someone’s in crisis and giving money when somebody’s
lost a job.

The best way to make this happen is to get everyone in groups where they love and care about each
other. Then just as it is with family, members do these kinds of things naturally. This is really just another
example of how small groups become like extended family. And as many of us live far away from our
blood relatives in this day and age, we really need that kind of connection with people.

However, for this kind of caring church to be created, it’s got to start with the pastor. He’s got to cast
the vision. He’s got to encourage the congregation to get into small groups so they can learn to care for
each other. And the best way to do this…

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Early Friday morning, while I slept at my house 12 miles away, James Holmes entered Theater 9 at the Century Theater in Aurora, Colorado and began firing a variety of weapons into the crowd. By the time he was done he had killed at least 12 innocent victims and shattered the lives of dozens more. He drew his inspiration for this horrible carnage from the Batman comics and movies, and his weapons of choice were two handguns, a shotgun and a semi-automatic assault rifle. With the echo of Columbine still in our subconscious, Denver was again rocked by the senseless massacre of young, innocent victims. How should churches respond to this tragedy?

Should we rise up, with the World Council of Churches and others, and demand a limit on guns for private citizens? How can it be okay for a 24 year old student to buy an assault rifle and 6000 rounds…

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CalendarIt’s Tuesday morning early in July. I sit down at my laptop computer and begin planning for the next worship experience at Church Requel. I’m not working on next weekend, five days away. I’m working on August 5th – almost a month away!

Such working ahead does not come naturally to me. In college I was the guy who could type (yes, we used a typewriter back then) his paper the night before. As the pastor of a small church I used to get my week’s work done “just in time”. From many conversations with lots of my pastor friends, I know many of you are also working frantically at the last minute to finish everything for the coming Sunday.

Now that I’m working a month out, I never intend to go back to those pressure-filled days. Here’s 6 reasons why working well in advance of deadlines works so well for me.

#1 – My work is better. Instead of one crack at the sermon, I now have approximately a dozen opportunities to rewrite, rethink, and polish my work. When I do the artwork for the slides, I’m thinking about the sermon….

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By: Brett Eastman

How small group leaders cultivate spiritual growth

Our small group, like most small groups, is comprised of people with varying degrees of Christian maturity. One lady arrived as a spiritual seeker. Within time, she committed her life to Christ and was baptized. The evening of her baptism was a special time for our small group, as we celebrated her decision and prayed with her. Both seasoned prayer warriors and new believers lifted up praises and petitions; new believers prayed out loud and learned that there is no right or wrong way to pray.

Because of this one event, others deeply grew in their prayer life. Those who never would have prayed out loud when they first joined ended the year praying. That kind of spiritual growth is exciting, but it doesn’t happen immediately.

Transformation takes time. Despite the tendency to want instant spiritual growth, hosts are there to help members grow step-by-step, sometimes inch-by-inch. How do you do it? Following the acrostic CULTIVATE, here are nine simple steps to get you started.

Clarify the pathway of life. You need to begin with the end in mind. Ask, “What is the goal?” According to the Bible, the goal is to present every…

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Mission Possible

By Brett Eastman

By: Brett Eastman

Why leading a small group is not impossible with an extraordinary God

When you think of “mission,” do you envision taking God’s Word to people in remote places, like Africa or Asia? Do you imagine living a Spartan lifestyle, stripped of all the comforts of home? Do you think of abandoning friends, family, a successful career—giving up everything?

Most of us will never experience this type of mission, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have one. Our mission field begins where we live—in our families, on the job, with our neighbors, and, yes, even in our church.

Over the past year, our church, Saddleback, saw an incredible outpouring of God’s Spirit. Thousands of people were connected under the care of a shepherd. More than 400 small groups were launched in a 13-week period. Yet 50 percent of our church family still needs the care of a shepherd.

Maybe your church needs shepherds, too. God may be calling you to care for a circle of friends and help them fulfill God’s dream for their lives. When you touch the lives of others through an authentic relationship, you’re fulfilling Christ’s dream: that a shepherd would care for each of his sheep.

God’s not asking…

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I married a North Carolina girl and into a family that loves NASCAR.  We try to catch a couple of races a year, including this year traveling to the Kentucky Motor Speedway.

NASCAR racing might not help us be better ministers, but perhaps the key aspects of the sport can remind us of essentials we need to be effective ministers.

Only the qualified run the race – Jesus Christ makes us ministers, whether vocational or not.  God uses discipleship, biblical education and Seminary training to give us the skills we need to qualify for our staff positions.  God places us in our ministry appointments for a reason and for His glory.  He makes us the right person for the job.  We are qualified.

The start is exciting for everyone – A ministry appointment doesn’t start with a parade, the National Anthem, engines starting and the roar of fighter jets, but it is full of potential and high expectations.  The minister and laity seem to be on the same page, and excited about a new chapter.  Most can get to the starting line.

Keep turning…

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iPhone AppA doctor friend was subscribing a medication for me once, and pulled out his iPhone and began to insert my age, gender, weight, current medications and it told him what to give and in what dosage! Dang…Nice!

Then it suggested the correct medication, and warned of other medications or activities that should not be taken or done while on this prescription.

I want one of those for leadership!

I think Apple should develop a leadership app for Pastors and Church leaders! Wouldn’t that be cool. Like, any problem we had to face, we could turn on Siri, and ask a question…

1- Who’s the best person for this new position?

2- What’s the most powerful series we could do next month?

3- What about that immoral issue with that influential leader?

4- What outreach would build the Kingdom the most?

5- Who should I be investing the most in?

6- What’s the best use of our resources right now?

7- Should we promote ***____ and bring him on staff?

That would be a rockin App! Just plug in all our stats and DNA, and it would “magically” and “Logically” give us the “right” answer…Wrong!

The Kingdom of God doesn’t operate…

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A couple of days ago, I had coffee with a pastor in town who is a close friend. We get together to encourage and support each other on a regular basis. Often, God speaks into my life through this guy and always at just the right time. This time was no exception, and it was powerful.

I was sharing honestly about a few minor financial and relational struggles. As I took a sip of my Americano, he looked me in the eye and said, “Those things are just foxes meant to distract you. Stay focused on Jesus, Kurt.”

The instant he used the word “foxes,” I knew precisely what he meant. Foxes aren’t wolves, or bears, or terrifying beasts. They can’t eat you. They can’t haul you off to their lair. You’re never going to die from a fox attack. But they sure can be a HUGE pain in the derriere, especially when you let them distract you.

Years ago, I visited a friend in Scotland. He had about fifty acres of some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen. While there, he told…

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By Brett Eastman

5 ways to get everyone committed to contributing to your group

When it comes to getting everyone to participate in your small group, it’s important that you—their leader—know your level of openness is the primary factor in setting the tone for the group’s involvement and openness.

Along with that, here are 5 ways to get your small group members to participate in group life:

1. When you ask the first question, you should answer it first. When you’re done, simply ask, “How about somebody else?”

2. Don’t rush responses, but learn to enjoy silence. Wait patiently with roaming eye contact. You might count to 7 or say, “I can wait longer than you!”

3. As soon as someone says anything, affirm their response, whether it is a great answer or a one-word response. Make it safe for people to share their thoughts.

4. Ask for volunteers to read the Bible passage or a paragraph from a book. But don’t put anyone on the spot unless you know they don’t mind reading.

5. Pass the baton to another member to host the group next time. This will scare his or her socks off but grow his or her faith as a result.

Remember, God’s dream for…

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Begin a new first-day-of-school tradition at your church! Plan a community-wide coffee for moms after they drop kids off at school. It begins right after the school bell; so if your district’s elementary, middle and high schools start at different times, plan three coffees.

There’s no formal program—simply fellowship and a sincere, encouraging time of prayer for the children. Advertise with an exterior sign, and create Facebook and email invitations for members to forward to friends.

State a half-hour schedule, such as 8:00-8:30 a.m., so working moms may be enticed to come, too.

Your planning team—a mom from each grade level, a minister’s or deacon’s wife, and a senior adult woman—plans advertising and schedule, and they delegate responsibilities for the details. Since moms will be wildly busy getting kids ready for the first day of school, a senior adult ladies’ class could prepare and serve drinks and light snacks. Create a celebrative mood as guests arrive, and use the first fifteen minutes for snacks, informal conversation and friend-making. Ensure a welcoming atmosphere by assigning friendly moms to intentionally meet and include newcomers and members.

Invite the pastor’s wife, if she’s available….

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Here’s the deal – you can’t control everything.

I know, you are a leader and you think you can. But here is what I see everyday … when we speak with leaders that ask us about our virtual executive assistant service …

  • Exasperated leaders trying to do it all never feel like they get ahead
  • They have employees who don’t ever feel like they win
  • Work/home life balance way out of whack
  • Frustrated by mounting deadlines and initiatives
  • A nervous feeling like the other shoe is going to drop

Sound like you? You’re not alone. It is common to hear and see leaders that think that the only way to get ahead is by controlling everything. What a weary place to be!

How do you slay the beast of control? You simply start to trust others. You find qualified people and you delegate to them. But don’t miss this … delegate results not tasks. When you give responsibility to others to help you achieve your outcomes, you kill the falsehood that says you can do it all & control it all. It’s a lie.

You are not your work or job! You…

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