Successful Scheduling Using Reality, Not Rules

Over the course of my working years, I’ve run the gamut of various jobs. In the world of 9-5 jobs, I’ve stocked shelves, worked in a machine shop, worked in a funeral home, team leader for the 2000 Census Bureau, and director in a large publishing/resource company. In ministry, I’ve served as a youth minister, single adult pastor, education minister, church planter, pastor of established churches, consultant, conference speaker, and currently as a director with the Baptist World Alliance. Each position gave me the opportunity for personal success and ministry fruitfulness. But, at every turn, it requires discipline.

Sometimes, I had it. Many times, I did not.

In this new season of work with the BWA, I’m covering a lot of territory in both my work responsibilities and in my travel geographically. To maintain my sanity, I’m moving into a more intentional schedule of life. It’s not perfect and I’ll adapt it along the way. Knowing that we’re all looking for a life hack that will increase our effectiveness, here’s my latest go at scheduling for success.

Daily Schedule:

  • Rise early for exercise, private devotions, and writing. The older I’m getting, the closer to 5:15am I awake. For exercise, I currently aim for either cycling (four-eight miles) or just grab my jump rope (can get in 500+ jumps in no time).
  • Get ready. Even though I office from home, I get ready because it sets me into work mode.
  • Make a list. Whatever I need to do, I decide to get it done. As others have said, eat the frog first.
  • Tackle the first round of emails for staff issues.
  • Late mornings are for phone calls and emails to church leaders.
  • Short lunch break.
  • Early afternoon is all about logistics for upcoming trips or events.
  • Late afternoon is the time to return emails, phone calls, and reading.

Project management: Asana is my go-to for project management. I use Evernote to keep up with random information when it comes up. It allows me to have it digitally and not transfer from handwritten to digital everyday.

Meetings: Given my current work, meetings happen with pastors and church leaders at various times. However, it’s usually coffee shop or lunch meetings. Meetings with people trump logistical work. My advantage is that I work from anywhere so my laptop can come with me along with Asana, Evernote, and all the rest of the World Wide Web.

Reading:

  • Daily reading includes websites on world news, what’s happening in the church, life among the Baptist family, and blogs by church thought leaders.
  • Weekly reading focuses on the major topics are ministry leadership, business leadership, financial advancement, and missiology.
  • Monthly reading is for fun. I have a novel going but I use the entertaining reading generally for flights (becoming more numerous) or off days.

When travel happens: I will generally take two domestic trips a month and three or four international trips a year. Obviously, this throws all of my schedule up in the air. But because I work remotely, I maintain a semblance of my schedule no matter where I am in the world. It is tough but doable.

Walk away: I need to physically walk away sometimes. It is for both a break and for clarity. Often, it is is just to get the blood pumping. But sometimes it is to clear the mental cobwebs.

… and now for one bonus idea that will help pull it all together …

The key is to be intentional instead of being legalistic.
No one but the leader of a large organization that has an untold number of minions can have any control over their schedule. Even then, it’s an illusion. As my friend Brian Daniel said to me once, “Anyone who has your email address is your boss.” It’s true in so many ways so be intentionally flexible with yourself and people. Be intentionally focused on what you want to accomplish. Be intentionally willful about the vision for your work. Intentionality is not the same as rigid legalism. Use your work to help the people involved. Never use people to get your work done. Then, you’ll find your way on a clear path of a successful personal schedule.

> Read more from Philip.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

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comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

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Three Reasons Generosity Matters

In 1993, my 9th grade algebra teacher said something like: You’ll use algebra constantly for the rest of your life. I’d like to say that I recently completed an unbroken streak of 35 years of having never used algebra… except for this illustration. 😉

Now, I know that math gets used constantly and I’ve likely used algebra on some level of reasoning without knowing it. Why? Because numbers are everywhere. They are concrete facts and reveal the truth. The “numbers” that gain the most attention for us have to do with money. How we use money is a signal about what we value. On a spiritual level, how we use money is a signal about our faith and a tool for to increase our faithfulness.

In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, the apostle Paul wrote to the church about why generosity matters so much. There is much for us to learn along side of the Corinthians. Here are three ideas and three applications.

1. My difficulties remind me to contribute to God’s work. Paul highlighted the life and generosity of the church in Macedonia. Specifically, he reminded the Corinthians that the persecution, poverty, and pain that the Macedonians endured resulted in overwhelming generosity for the needs of others. We should learn to use our pain or our pain will use us. By focusing on Jesus’ work in the world, we will push past the detrimental narcissism that pain wants to birth within our souls. Our temporary problems should point us toward the eternal needs that drive the mission of the church.

2. My abundance is the supply for the church’s mission. If you think you do not have abundance, you are wrong. Anyone reading this has access to the Internet and you likely have clean water and a place to live. It puts you miles ahead of many in the world that have none of these. In 2 Corinthians 8:6, Paul encouraged the church to complete their “act of grace;” meaning their generous gift. Later in the passage, Paul urged the believers to make the supply for the church’s mission so that everyone could benefit. We should use what we have to help others.

But I want you to see that he is not just referring to the abundance of an individual. He is speaking to the church. They, as a community of Christians, had abundance. A church budget is a declaration of priorities. What does your church budget say about what your church values? Care is costly. Mission work requires resources. Ministry is non-stop in its neediness. But it’s worthwhile because it involves the redemption of people.

3. Our Lord called us to radical generosity. Nowhere in the Bible will you find Jesus declare, “Thou shalt be generous with thy bank account.” It is not stated that way. But look at the life of Jesus and you’ll never deny that generosity is the standard. The Incarnation was God’s radical plan for our radical need. In 2 Corinthians 9:15, Paul ended his teaching to the church about generosity with a literary shout of gratitude not to them but to God.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Christ’s poverty is not an abstract idea. It was the antidote to sin’s venomous sting. The revolutionary life of Jesus is not to be sterilized to a manageable version for us to emulate. If you want to live like Jesus then you have to give your life away. Giving will focus your life on God’s redemptive mission. This is where the spiritual algebra comes back into play.

Jesus + anything = nothing

Jesus + nothing = everything*

So what should we do with a passage that teaches revolutionary generosity?

  • As a church… move from being a catering organization to being an equipping force for God’s mission.
  • As a believer… give yourself first to Christ and your money will follow thereafter.
  • As a giving believer… focus on Gospel causes and your comfort will no longer matter.

Our lives should never be the dead-end of the God’s mission. We follow a radical Messiah who has a revolutionary message for an unredeemed world. Let’s give ourselves fully into His hands.

 

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* The phrasing of “Jesus + Nothing = Everything” was popularized by Tullian Tchividjian in his book from Crossway Publishers using the phrase as the title

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

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comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
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5 Permissions of the Great Commission

Jesus gave His commission to the early church in Matthew 28:18-20. Though it is one of several commissions given by Jesus, the church-at-large has come to call this statement: The Great Commission. Let me remind us what it says,

Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (CSB)

In the Western portion of the world where I live, we preach The Great Commission and plenty of affirming nods are given. However, it is not practiced very well. To fulfill The Great Commission, we need change. Allow me to offer five potential changes we need and one reminder to encourage you in the changes.

Change #1: Move from working as campus chaplains to advancing as kingdom missionaries. Churches are not to hide on campuses. Jesus tells us to “go” with a verb that means continual activity. Wherever there are people in our communities and around the world, the church needs to be present as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom. We should treat a church campus as a launching pad instead of an Evangelical monastery.

Change #2: Move from participating in religious programs to becoming lifestyle disciple-makers. We often default to building programs because they are the paths of least resistance. Meanwhile, disciple-making is messy. Programmatic growth can be accomplished even when it is the last-ditch effort of a spiritually sterile ministry. The numbers in attendance fool us into thinking that Kingdom growth is occurring. The metrics that numbers equal success is simply not enough. We need to switch to a desire for relationships that result in eternal transformations.

Change #3: Move from a perceived home field to active global engagement. We do not live in a spiritual Promised Land. Rather, the church is in exile in a spiritual Babylon. As a believer, you may live in a country with religious freedom and even one built on Judeo-Christian virtues but you do not yet fully live in the Kingdom of God. Our commission is to take the gospel to our community and not stop there. God calls each church to the peoples of the world (see, people groups, ethnic groups, all nations). Your church should consider itself as a missionary outpost in your community and a global sending center for God’s work in the world. Each believer is not here to simply keep the church programs populated. Each believer is commissioned as a global missionary to pierce the darkness with the light of the Gospel.

Change #4: Move from creating consumers of religion to community builders of the church.Christians are the purveyors of hope because of our own spiritual transformation. In baptism, we declare that we’ve surrendered to the sovereignty of Christ. Secondarily, baptism is a public alignment with a church family. At my baptism, I said, “I’m one with you in God’s mission.” As individual believers and as congregational families, we need to kill the consumer mentality. It should die a quick death so we can have a hyper-focus on the need for the lost to be saved and the church to be built by Christ’s work through us.

Change #5: Move from being knowledge junkies to Jesus followers. Too often, our knowledge has outpaced our obedience. As church leaders, it is easier to desire behavior modification from masters of biblical trivial pursuit than deal with accountability for life change. But that is not discipleship. In his book The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard said, “The gospel of sin management has produced vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else.” We need to move from just playing mental games with the Bible to becoming obedient to the Bible. Jesus wants followers. He began the apostles’ work with “Come” and ended his training with “Go.”

 One Empowering Reminder: The authority and presence of Jesus is what makes all of this a reality. Jesus has all of the authority and promised to never desert us. With His declaration, we can race after His commission. We know that none of the five changes are possible by our own wit and self-determination. Jesus, however, loves to do the impossible. His authority and presence at work in your church will bridge an impossible divide and accomplish miraculous Kingdom work.

I hope that all of our churches will once again lean into the beauty and the mission of Jesus’ work in this world.

> Read more from Philip.


 

Connect with an Auxano Navigator to learn more about a disciplemaking process for your church.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Maturing Believers Through Process Not Events

Discipleship is at the heart of the church. Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28:19 to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” The issue for the church throughout history is discerning the most effective way to do it. How can we lead people to salvation and develop them into mature disciple makers?

In many churches in our country, it involves a wide variety of moving parts. We start with worship and a core ministry of Bible study. Then, we add on additional classes, involvement in local ministries, accountability groups, mission trips, and taking on various roles such as deacon, committee member, usher, preschool volunteer, student chaperone, and the list goes on. On top of what you do, it also becomes a question of what you attend. We too easily equate being busy with being discipled.

I want to remind you that we can make disciples without adding an extra hundred or two hundred or one thousand events to the church calendar. Here are a few simple ideas.

Disciple children in Bible study rather than moralize them. Too much that passes for Bible study with kids that is no more than benign morality lessons. “God is good and He is watching so you need to be good” type of lessons only make God into a cosmic kind of Santa Claus. To disciple children, you do not have to add a single event, social, party, or any other thing. Start with what you have as Sunday School; or whatever name you call the primary age-graded time slot with children. Train your leaders to focus on developing their understanding of God through the scriptures and do not shy away from the difficult ideas.

Teach teenagers to become self-feeders of the Bible. Middle school and high school students who are Christians are learning how to care for their faith on their own. It will happen as you use the existing Bible study groups to allow them to plow through the Bible. Our aim should be to train teenagers in how to understand a passage and its implications upon their life and culture. Lock-ins, retreats, and social events are fine but they should all be placed as secondary to the work of helping students to be self-feeders of the Bible.

Focus your current adult small group ministry toward discipleship rather than baptized social hours. Again, if you have a Bible study hour or system in place, you have the primary piece of what you need. Rather than adding more events (even religious ones), help your Bible study groups be focused on their real purpose. Group leaders and members want personal growth to occur so don’t pile on events that steal away their time to prepare, meet, and live out the results.

Church leader: You will constantly face the temptation to plan more stuff so the church will seem to have forward momentum. More events is not evil unless those events interfere with the purpose for the church. Just remember, the purpose of the church is not more events but more disciples.

> Read more from Philip.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

10 Ideas for Personal Leadership Development

The work of the minister, pastor, elder, and/or church leader is to equip the church as a whole and believers individually for God’s work in the world. But how do the equippers get equipped?

On a recent vacation from my full-time work as a pastor, I spent the time in three specific ways:

  • Unhurried time with my wife Angie
  • Reading seven books on a few topics (pictured here)
  • Prayerfully discussing and dreaming about the future

A church leader expends great effort and energy in developing other disciples. We do so on a micro level of individual discipling and training. We do it on a macro level of developing a church wide system for moving people from unbelief to globally-engaged disciples. So how is a church leader to engage in personal development? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Ask your church to make it a priority. Ministers fail to engage in personal development because they are fearful it’s perceived incorrectly. Discuss this issue with the leaders of your church whether they be an elder board, personnel committee, or church council.

2. Schedule time for personal development. If you do not block it off on your calendar, the tyranny of the urgent will undermine your effort. Plus, what is on your calendar is a declaration of your priorities.

3. Budget financial resources for it. A great deal of personal development does not cost any money. But books, online courses, the occasional conference, or a trip to the counselor requires payment. Ask your church to make a commitment and then do the same from your own resources. Like a calendar, our budget is a declaration of your priorities.

4. Vary your spiritual content that you consume. I generally consume material from people who I agree with first and second order issues. However, it is beneficial to consume material from those who think differently from me on second and third order issues. Reading those that the church at large deems as heretics (for instance, someone who denies the divinity of Jesus) is of little value to me. But it is helpful for me to read books by thoughtful leaders that are outside of my denominational or methodological “tribe.”

5. Read books on strategic leadership by church and business leaders. Some pastors love to read the books by Malphurs, Mancini, Rainer, and Hirsch. Other pastors loathe the idea as too sterile and unspiritual. Some pastors, like me, read a wide array of leadership books from the church, business, and non-profit realms. Obviously, I suggest that you consume more rather than less. Choose books that will stretch your thinking about how people process the concepts of change, growth, decline, and success.

6. Biblically filter everything. As with all material, filter it through your best understanding of the Scriptures. I write this article with the assumption that you are regularly digging into the Word and allowing the Word to dig into you. In your development plan/process/retreat/vacation, bring the Word to the center of it all and to test it all.

7. Recognize the limitation of a conference. I’m a fan of conferences. I go to them and sometimes speak at them. But they are a place to receive group encouragement and generalized information. For your personal development, seek out specific help for your specific needs.

8. Stop reading a book if it’s not helping you. The same principle is for any podcast, article, lecture, or any other piece of content. (Except my blog. Grin.) Your time is too important to waste on unhelpful items. Quit what is not working.

9. Call on leaders for help that you don’t expect to answer. Why? You’ll be surprised as to how many “busy leaders of influential churches/ministries” would love to encourage you. I press the guys on my staff to limit their time at conferences and replace it with connecting with other leaders who are ahead of us in maturity, skill, and experience.

10. Build a local coalition. Our city is blessed to have a group of pastors that like one another and gather periodically for prayer. I frequently call on a few guys for encouragement and insight. They periodically call on me for the same. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed you’ll feel as a leader when you have a regular rhythm of interaction with other leaders dedicated to each other.

> Read more from Philip.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

See more articles by >

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Importance of Being Sent

In the New Testament epistles and the Revelation of John, the arrival of the Messiah in the world is seen as a part of the sending motif in Scripture. Noted from John’s first epistle, insight is given into the motivation for God’s sending activity. John wrote, “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10).

The motivating force in God’s mission and subsequent commission of the church is shown to be His love and desire to have people reconciled to Him. In Galatians 4:4–6, Paul wrote that God had sent the Son for the work of redemption and “sent the Spirit of His Son, into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’”

Consequently, the church is now a commissioned group in the world, having been sent so people can hear the witness of the Gospel (Rom 10:15). The mission of God and the commission of the church would appear to have love as one of the motivating factors. In 1 Cor 5:14–15, Paul wrote of the reason for ministry and mission, “For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.”

Additionally, the final book of the Bible includes some the language of sending as well. John wrote that the revelation was sent to him and verified by an angel (Rev 1:1). The messages John received in the first three chapters were sent to the seven churches named in them (1:11). In the closing chapter of the book, John records that “These words are faithful and true,” because the Lord “has sent His angel to show His slaves what must quickly take place” (22:6). The epistles and Revelation continue the teaching that God sends both the message of salvation and the power by which believers may live out their redemptive calling of mission and ministry.

From the banishment (sending out) of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to the revelation of insight about the end of days, God is a sender. Throughout the Scriptures, God presents Himself as on mission for His glory and His redemptive purposes. In Missional Church, Darrell Guder wrote,

We have come to see that mission is not merely an activity of the church. Rather, mission is the result of God’s initiative, rooted in God’s purposes to restore and heal creation. . . . God’s mission unfolded in the history of God’s people across the centuries recorded in Scripture, and it reached its revelatory climax in the incarnation of God’s work of salvation in Jesus ministering, crucified, and resurrected. God’s mission continued then in the sending of the Spirit to call forth and empower the church as the witness to God’s good news in Jesus Christ. . . . and it moves toward the promised consummation of God’s salvation in the eschaton (“last” or “final day”).

The Scriptures are quite clear that God is on mission, and that He is sending His people out into the world to participate in that mission as well.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

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comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Getting Help for Your Thinking Problem

In our hectic world of go, Go, GO!… It seems difficult to simply find time to sit down and think. In my own life, I feel the pressure of being a pastor, being a good husband to Angie, being a good father (sherpa/guide/mentor/friend) to my sons Andrew and Chris, serving on ministry boards, travel schedule, and writing projects.

Oftentimes, I do not have time to sit and think simply because I overcommit. So, when you are busy… and we’re all busy… we need principles we hold to in order to simply think, dream, and strategize.

Here are seven strategies that I use to implement more brain time into my life.

1. Make it part of your job. “Thinking is necessary for your job” seems like a silly statement but it’s a necessary one. Otherwise, we simply complete tasks non-stop and never come up with a new idea. If you are going to lead, you will need time to think it all through.

2. First things first. Don’t allow the menial tasks of the day to take precedence over the opportunity to see ahead, hear what’s really going on, and think through priorities. Sharpen your mind and refine your strategies so that your work will be fruitful.

3. Reframe circumstances by asking “Why?” five times. Work is never done in a vacuum. When we experience success or failure, we need to know what contribute to either. Asking “Why?” at least five times will take you the context, circumstances, and contributing factors as to how you got to the end result.

4. Create a “thinking hour.” The concept comes from this article by Scott Young. He encourages one hour per week. It is doable if you will do it. So put it and keep it on your schedule.

5. Hibernate. Multitasking is one of the great enemies of focused thinking. If you need to put in some brain time, close down email, power off your cell phone, and shut out the world for a time.

6. Get moving. Physical activity often provokes new thinking. Simply take a walk around the building or around the block. Give your physical vision, hearing, and other senses a workout so your brain can reframe what you need to dwell on.

7. Have loose & tight goals. If you set aside time to think, have an idea about what you’re thinking about. I encourage our team to know the difference between daydreaming and strategy. We need both. Go into your thinking time with a view of which you need at the moment.

> Read more from Philip


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Ministry Leaders: Do You Recruit People for the Task or Reproduce Leaders for the Mission?

As leaders, we are in the business of replacing ourselves. It would be easy to make the case that if you are not preparing someone else to take your place and/or outpace your abilities, then you are not truly leading people. Often, the desire to stay in the position of leadership comes from a “command and control” attitude. It is the kind of leadership found in The Prince by Machiavelli. It is a leadership that enlists people into your work but never releases them for any other work.

I find one of the base differences to lie in our attitude. It is the difference between recruitment versus reproduction in leadership. So ask yourself this simple question:

Am I recruiting people to do tasks or am I reproducing leaders for the mission?

Within the church, I find too many places are simply recruiting people to fill positions, do tasks, or fill a void. It is even masked in spiritual language. “We need you to step up to this volunteer position.” “Can you fill in for the next few months until we find someone who will take it long term?” “The term of service is just three years.” At times, these are necessary statements to describe positions and give expectations. However, they should be ancillary issues to the real work of reproducing leaders. As with many things, it comes down to your priorities.

In his book Organic Leadership, Neil Cole wrote, “Recruitment is a practice in subtraction – taking people from one ministry to work in another. Reproducing leaders from the harvest and for the harvest is a practice of multiplication. The end results of these two methods are as far apart as the east is from the west.” Leaders must discipline themselves to choose reproduction over recruitment. Otherwise, you will simply steal back and forth from ministries within your church… and others.

Here are five contrasts to use in testing how you are doing in this arena:

  • Recruitment produces more followers. Reproduction produces more leaders.
  • Recruitment provides minimalistic orientation. Reproduction provides substantial training.
  • Recruitment is delegation ending in abandonment. Reproduction leads to commissioning.
  • Recruitment only transfers knowledge. Reproduction is part of a robust disciple making system.
  • Recruitment enlists members. Reproduction creates partners.

Recruitment is often a form of arrogance. It occurs when we back ourselves into the corner that “only I can lead the work” and “only I know how it should be done” and “only I can see where we need to go.” On a daily basis, test yourself to ensure that you are participating in the mission that is larger than yourself and has Christ as its King. When you keep a kingdom perspective, it will be easier to reproduce leaders rather than recruit followers.

Read more from Philip here.

If you would like to learn more about reproducing leaders, start a conversation with our team. We’re glad to offer our input. Your vision is at stake, so let’s talk.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

These Three Things Are Not Disicipleship

If you want to solve a problem, you have to know there is a problem. When it comes to discipleship, we need to understand the bad definitions that persist in order to propose a better way. In this post, I want to point out the three bad definitions for discipleship that you need to recognize and move past.

book stacks

Knowledge Transfer
Discipleship must be rooted in truth but it must never be quarantined to a library. Too often, our discipleship programs in church are simply an overwhelming number of classroom settings. We convince ourselves that knowing more biblical factoids means holiness. But knowing that Malchus was the servant who got his ear cut off by Peter during Jesus’ arrest will not help you live more fully for God. It is good to know all of the details of the Bible but it is not the sum total of discipleship. We must communicate truth but never stop with 3-ring binders filled with class notes.

metronome

Behavior Modification
Do you recognize this Medieval torture device implemented by music teachers? The metronome has an unwavering beat that frightens school children into doing things on time, repeatedly, and without hesitation whether they are passionate or not. Discipleship programs that ignore our passions damage the soul. If we only seek to make people moral then we reduce God to an impersonal being that only wants robotic followers. Behavior modification is easier than heart transformation. It is neater, cleaner, and avoids the mess of dealing with people’s passions. But it is also temporary.

Carousel

Plasticized Spirituality
Go to any state fair and you’ll find a line stretching out to the horizon filled with children waiting their turn to ride on the Carousel. It enraptures a child’s imagination of flying through the air on a powerful steed. It also reflects too much of our what passes for discipleship in the church. The lights are bright. The music is upbeat. Everyone is moving. Everyone is smiling. But no one is going anywhere. We allow people to live fake lives before one another rather than sharing the truth of how we’ve been brutalized by sin and redeemed by Christ. The carousel is a temporary thrill that has no lasting impact.

Read more from Philip.

 


 

Every pastor knows that disciple-making is easier to preach than it is to practice.

We have a unique perspective on how churches move toward a culture of disciple-making. We’d love to share some of our experience with you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

See more articles by >

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

8 Principles for Teaching Leadership from the Bible

It is a foregone conclusion by many believers that leadership is easily taught from the Bible. It is and is not a true idea.

Leadership is definitely put on display and explicitly taught in the Bible. But, like all other subjects, it requires careful interpretation and handling with nuance. It is, in fact, a spiritual discipline for believers. Here are eight principles that you can use when going to the Scriptures to teach leadership.

1. The Bible is not a leadership manual. It is unhelpful to define the Bible as something less than God revealing Himself. Though a divine leadership manual sounds like a great statement to make in a sermon or training event, it diminishes the Scriptures. We need to state that in the Bible, God includes authoritative teaching about leadership.

2. Identify the prescriptive teachings on leadership. The Bible contains a great many passages that directly address leadership and how leaders are to do their work. For example, in Titus 1:5-9, Paul gives the qualifications for a man to serve as an elder in the church. It is a prescriptive passage about who can lead and how they are to do it.

3. Help people understand the descriptive illustrations of leadership. Nehemiah, King David, Gideon, Simon Peter, and a host of other characters give us examples of godly leadership… sometimes. We must be careful to not take a point-in-time occurrence and use it as an eternal principle. Nehemiah is a prime example of how this can be used and misused. It is an epic story of how God used Nehemiah to complete a necessary task for the Kingdom of God. We must be careful to not simply turn the thirteen chapter book into a corporate leadership manual for success.

4. Deny the temptation to proof text clichés and moralisms. If we lose sight of its nature, the Bible becomes a fable intended to make bad people behave better. The Scripture is the eternal truth of God that is rooted in the gospel. As it is addressed in the Bible, leadership must do the same. Root it in God’s transforming work of the heart so that lives can be changed.

5. Keep the goal of leadership true to the Bible’s goal. No subject included in the Bible can have a different goal from the Bible. God reveals Himself for His own glory and He can consequently change us for our good. In teaching leadership, it is not to simply make a leader better, more competent, or nice. The Bible addresses leadership so that we can understand how God should be glorified through the person who is leading and the work that they lead.

6. Teach offensive and defensive leadership. Leadership must be proactive. We take God’s truth out to the fields of people’s lives and apply it before trials come. Spiritual leadership also defends God’s people and His work against the assaults of the God’s enemies. Teach both sides of this equation without diminishing the other. Help leaders go on the offensive against evil and know how to defend the faith when attacked.

7. “Servant leadership” is a thing but not the only thing. In teaching, we tend to over-complicate mattes or simplify them to their base part. The model of “servant leadership” is often proposed as the ultimate way of defining leadership. It is a way but not the only way. Many of the descriptive and prescriptive passages regarding leadership show us that leaders confront sin, stand against earthly structures of power, and challenge believers to press deeper into God’s mission. Teach that leaders serve within the context of all that they do.

8. Urgency is a hallmark. The godly leaders included in the pages of the Bible were people of action. They discerned the need for God’s transforming work to take root in the lives of those who followed them. Wasting time is evidenced in the lives of those disobedient to the mission of God. As you teach leadership, infuse the urgency of the unfinished task we face to deliver the gospel to the nations.


Connect with an Auxano Navigator to talk more about leadership in your church.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Nation

Philip Nation

serve as the Director of Advancement and Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance and frequently speak at churches and conferences. I earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2010-2012, I was the national spokesperson for the Back to Church Sunday campaign from Outreach. Over the years, I’ve served as a pastor, minister of education, and a church planter. My latest published work is the video-based Bible study Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. In 2016, I published Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out with Moody Publishers. I’ve coauthored two other books: Compelled: Living the Mission of God and Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. I was also the general editor of The Mission of God Study Bible. Along the way, I have written the small-group studies Storm Shelter: Psalms of God’s Embrace, Compelled by Love: The Journey to Missional Living and Live in the Word, plus contributed to The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Lifetime.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 
comment_post_ID); ?> good article. Where I would take exception in the seeming negativity to plant a church more organically/biblically through missional communities due to the slowness of growth. I think that's the problem with church planting in the US today is that speed of numerical growth has taken priority over true and authentic spiritual growth
 
— evansavage1
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Thanks Thom, You’re exactly correct. Now how about some solutions when confronted by one of these wayward actors?
 
— Mike
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.