A good shepherd will care for the sheep by spending time with the sheep. Jesus said in John 10:14 (ESV), “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me...” Our good shepherd is with us always and promised to never leave us. Yet pastors are called to “shepherd the flock of God (First Peter 5:2)” and part of that call is to spend time with God’s flock.
Pastors who are called by God realize early on in ministry they are not omnipresent, but their love for God’s flock does not cease when they are unable to gather. So pastors pray. Pastors schedule time to lift up God’s flock by name to the Chief Shepherd.
The pastor will then set aside time to make a pastoral call to the member(s) who are unable to gather physically with the rest of the flock. While the phone call does not replace the physical presence of the pastor, the phone call can be spiritually edifying for the flock of God.
Most often, once you begin with that opening question, the conversation will flow. However, should there be a lull in the conversation, here are ten straightforward questions that can open the door for purposeful conversation.
What are some helpful questions you fall back on when you make pastoral calls to those whom God has called you to lead? Leave your comments below to serve other leaders in ministry.
Simply looking at my smartphone screen can open up a world of possibility. My smartphone can recognize my facial features, react by opening the device, and then I proceed with sending an email, text message, DM, tweet, and so much more. My smartphone device has many wonderful productive and communicative features that I use on a daily basis.
On the other hand, using a screen and keyboard is not the only way I communicate to those God has called me to lead. There are alternative methods of communication without using technology. Most often, I aim to encourage others without using technology and there is an assortment of ways you can encourage those you lead without using technology.
I have listed 10 ways to encourage someone without using technology below. While we can use technology to communicate with one another, communicating with one another does not always have to be in the form of technology. Read through the list and add to the list by sharing the various ways you communicate with those you lead.
Leadership in Ministry seeks to serve local churches and ministries. One way we aspire to serve local churches and ministries is by delivering resources. Download the "February Social Media Graphics" zip file below to access graphics that are designed to point people toward the love of God.
With over 2.7 billion users worldwide on Facebook and 854 million Instagram users worldwide, social media platforms are modern tools to broadcast the message of the Gospel. Using images that are taken from the English Standard Version, these verse can be posted on your personal page, church page, or ministry page.
Once the image is posted, use the opportunity to engage your audience. Share more about the love of Jesus in the description section of the social media platform. Ask a question like "How have you experienced God's love in your life?" and lead your audience to write in the comment section their answers.
Let us know in the comments below how you utilized these resources for the glory of God.
"United we stand, divided we fall."
Each election season that comes upon us in the United States of America, I always feel blessed that we live in a country that we have the freedom to vote. I also feel gratitude thinking about friends, family, and others who bravely fought for the freedoms we do have in the U.S.A.
Yet, each election season also brings a sense of division. It often comes down to: Right vs. Left; Conservative vs. Liberal; Republican vs. Democrat. In this election season, the perception of the disunity is greater than ever. While we watch the disunity during political debates, you may have also noticed the disunity on social media platforms between those whom you are called to lead.
"United we stand, divided we fall" is not just a quote for our wonderful country - it's also an adage for those whom you lead. How should you lead during the division? How can you lead your team (paid or volunteers) toward unity?
Standing in unity begins by standing together on our knees and it begins with you - the leader.
Colossians 4:2 says, "Continue steadfastly in prayer..." To continue steadfastly in something doesn't mean you continue in something when it's easy and back off when the 'going gets tough'. Leadership is difficult and leading during a time of division calls for strength and perseverance. Leading during division calls for strong leadership. Leadership during division calls for leaders to continue steadfastly in prayer.
"United we stand, divided we fall" is a wonderful slogan for our country, but it's also a rally cry for leaders to be united in prayer for those whom we lead. Leaders in churches, leaders in the classroom, leaders in the home, leaders in the factory, leaders in the field, leaders in ministry, are called to be united together in prayer. Leaders are called to pray for those whom we lead, for those who are in authority, and for those seeking an elected office.
Leadership in Ministry wants to provide you with a free seven day prayer guide. This prayer guide will guide you over the next seven days in how you can pray for those you lead, for those in authority, and for those seeking an elected office. Each day gives you a guide for your time of prayer along with Biblical support.
Will you commit to seven days of prayer for those you lead? Will you also commit to seven days of prayer for this election season as well?
If you will commit, fill out the form below. By filling out the form below, you will gain access to our seven day prayer guide and also will be included in our monthly "Leadership in Ministry: Inside Look": a newsletter looking at leadership in ministry.
As new leaders begin in their new role, it’s important to start well in order to finish well. New leaders should begin reading books not only on leadership, but on productivity. New readers can utilize the list below for five essential productivity books for new leaders.
Write in the comments below what books have shaped your productivity?
Great team culture? Increased profit margin? Global expansion? Casting a compelling vision? Are any of these the missing ingredient for significant leadership?
Reports have left a bad taste in the mouth of leaders across the world. CNN released an article about CEOs who stepped down in 2019. CEO of Best Buy, Corie Barry (Best Buy CEO), was asked to step down due to an investigation into her personal conduct.
While having a great team culture, increased profit margin or casting a compelling vision are each essential to leadership, there’s one necessary ingredient for significant leadership that must be a prerequisite.
Integrity. The origin of integrity comes from the French word ‘integrite’ that means: innocence, purity. Integrity also comes from the Latin that means: wholeness, or completeness. There’s only one Leader that has been completely whole, pure (Follow link here), but integrity is the necessary ingredient for significant leadership for three reasons.
Integrity is the timeless, necessary ingredient for leadership. We all have heard the nickname “Honest Abe” regarding our sixteenth president Abraham Lincoln. Why did he receive that nickname? One story has it that when “he was a young store clerk, whenever he short changed a customer - even by a few pennies, he would close up the store and walk to find the customer to return the change”. Would you go to such great lengths to protect your integrity? Your staff will appreciate your willingness to place their interests over your own personal gain.
Integrity is what people need most in a leader. Sure, you may be able to deliver a compelling vision statement that transforms a company’s trajectory - but if you are stealing profits as your company increases revenue, your dishonesty will eventually be made known to the public and your staff. Your integrity may never make a viral YouTube video or receive thousands of social media shares, but integrity is what is needed most in leadership circles today.
Integrity is what will sustain your leadership tomorrow. Integrity and competence work together. Take time to develop your leadership skills, build an amazing team around you, and even create an amazing team culture where your staff relishes their work experience. If you want to continue leading, develop your integrity by putting the needs of your staff and company above your own.
Do you know of a leader who had amazing integrity? Share about it below and share what lessons you learned from them.
I believe Church Leaders should be fasting and praying for God to save people in your church and community. At the church God has called me to Pastor, we set a goal each year of salvation experiences and baptisms and we pray for God to save "X" amount of people in our community.
In 2019, God blessed our church with a record number of salvation experiences and baptisms. Since the baptism waters were moving - we needed to have a process for our staff to use in order for us to be on the same page when someone came forward asking to be baptized.
As you are praying for salvation experiences and baptisms in 2020, what is the process for baptism at your local church and within your ministry? Do you know what to do when an individual expresses interest in baptism?
Instead of assuming everyone in your community is aware of how to get to your baptistery, understands what time to meet and what to bring, I wanted to provide a simple checklist for you to use within your ministry. Once someone expresses interest in baptism within your ministry, rejoice and give God praise for changing lives - then follow the checklist below.
What is the process you have at your church for baptism? Would you add anything to the checklist below? Join the discussion below and feel free download and use the free resources below.
Free Resource #1 - Baptism Checklist
Free Resource #2 - Business Card Size Invitations (Front and Back)
Sixteen years! Imagine living your life for sixteen years without any direction. Maybe this characterizes your life right now. You feel like you have no direction and you’re simply in survival mode. For some, you are living a pleasant, enjoyable life, yet there is no direction for your life or ministry.
Once the people of God return from seventy years of exile, they returned to their home and began rebuilding the Temple of God. Yet after opposition (Ezra 3-4), work on the Temple of God ceased and the people lived sixteen years comfortably in their own homes. The people needed direction.
Enter the prophet Haggai. The prophet spoke God’s Word to the people. He said, “Consider your ways (Haggai 1:4).” Through the Word of God, Haggai is commanding the people to set their heart upon the way they are living their lives and to set their heart upon the worship of God. Haggai gave God’s people direction with God’s Word.
Are you looking for direction in your life? Have you considered the direction you are going? I invite you to begin a Bible reading plan. If the direction of our life is living for the glory of God, the best place to begin living for God’s glory is by reading His Word, the Bible, routinely. Below, you will see some excellent Bible reading plans to begin the new year.
If we are not leading ourselves, we cannot effectively lead others well. We must be leading ourselves in the right direction in order to lead others in the right direction. The direction we must be moving is not forward or backward. We must be moving upward. Set you heart on the glory of God and make Him the priority in your life by looking to His Word.
Do you have direction in your life? Do you need direction for your ministry? Do you need direction for those you lead?
Every 3,000 - 5,000 miles.
Can you guess what is supposed to happen during the mileage mentioned? My vehicle is supposed to receive an oil change. I am aware of the need for an oil change because there is a screen in my vehicle that states “Maintenance Recommended”. There is also a sticker in the top left corner of my windshield stating the exact mileage an oil change is recommended.
An oil change is important for the life of a vehicle because new, fresh oil is essential for lubricating the engine and absorbing engine heat. Do I always follow the 3,000 - 5,000 miles recommended oil change? No, but as my schedule allows, I adhere to what the experts suggest and begin making the necessary arrangements once I approach the 3,000 - 5,000 mark.
Paul writes in First Corinthians 6:19-20 that our “bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” and he finishes the section with these words, “Therefore honor God with your bodies”. If our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and we are to honor God with our body, then we honor God when we take care of the temple He has given us.
Let’s go back to my vehicle for a moment. What will happen when I do not take proper care of my vehicle? I will start to see the signs of a major problem - and suddenly, the vehicle will break down. When we do not honor God with our body by taking care of the temple He’s given us, we will start seeing the signs: fatigue, apathy about ministry opportunities, neglecting prayer and suddenly, you will ‘break down’. Within ministry circles, it’s called “Burn Out”.
I am aware the busyness of ministry takes its toll on our weekly to-do lists and self care drops off the list. However, just like the mechanic has given you reminders to maintain your vehicle, you also need reminders of self-care. Make an appointment with yourself - to go for a 30 minute walk three days next week. Make an appointment with yourself - to read a leadership book for 30 minutes before you leave for the day.
Yes, interruptions will happen and when they do, shift your self-care appointment to the next open day available. Guard these appointments and also communicate these appointments with others around you. You’re not selfish when you seek to honor God with your body. You may actually lead others toward self-care. Prayerfully consider how you can honor God with the temple He has given you.
In what ways are you lacking in self-care (lack of sleep, exercise, diet, etc.)? What stops you from honoring God with your body? How do you honor God with your body? What routines do you have in place that could possibly help others? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
I often hear the quote by Martin Luther, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
I think we can all agree with Luther when he said, “I have so much to do.” For those in full time ministry - there’s always phone calls to make, volunteers to recruit, programs to plan, sermons/lessons to prepare and members to visit. “I have so much to do . . .” is often the mantra of those in ministry today.
For those who are stay-at-home parents, business leaders, volunteers or employees, you can agree with the statement “I have so much to do . . .” as well. Students can agree with Luther and say, “I have so much to do . . .” Even children can now agree and say as they finish school for the day and then proceed to sports practice, “I have so much to do . . .”
Busyness is now next to godliness. I’ve spoken to Pastor’s who say with pride, “I haven’t taken a day off in two weeks!” Men speak of working seventy hours a week like they just won an award for the most hours worked at the job site. Busyness is now next to godliness.
What about the next phrase, “I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” What? Three hours in prayer? Who has that much time in their schedule? Now I will admit, I do not spend the first three hours in prayer. Can you fill in the blank though, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first ________ _________ in prayer?”
How amazing would it be to spend three hours in prayer! How wonderful would it be to spend two consecutive, uninterrupted hours in prayer? How special would it be to spend one hour in prayer? How remarkable would it be to say, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first ten minutes before my shift in prayer”?
Please understand, we are not required to spend three hours every time we have a busy schedule. I believe the point Luther was attempting to make is make prayer a priority!
One tip I would like to share is to block off time in your daily calendar for prayer. For myself, in my Google Calendar, I block off at least an hour for prayer each day. During that time, I have an appointment - the door to my office is closed, the computer is put on sleep mode, and I pray. If I do not schedule prayer on my daily agenda, my daily agenda will never include prayer.
This is my attempt of making prayer a priority in my ministry and daily life. My method may not be perfect, but God is glorified when we make prayer a priority. How do you make prayer a priority in your life? Take some time and share in the comments below some methods you use to make prayer a priority in your daily life.