Sunday, 30 June 2013

John Wesley's Example of Generosity

A Challenge!!

Take John Wesley for example. He was one of the great evangelists of the 18th Century, born in 1703. In 1731 he began to limit his expenses so that he would have more money to give to the poor. In the first year his income was 30 pounds and he found he could live on 28 and so gave away two. In the second year his income doubled but he held his expenses even, and so he had 32 pounds to give away (a comfortable year's income). In the third year his income jumped to 90 pounds and gave away 62 pounds. In his long life Wesley's income advanced to as high as 1,400 pounds in a year. But he rarely let his expenses rise above 30 pounds. He said that he seldom had more than 100 pounds in his possession at a time. This so baffled the English Tax Commissioners that they investigated him in 1776 insisting that for a man of his income he must have silver dishes that he was not paying excise tax on. He wrote them, "I have two silver spoons at London and two at Bristol. This is all the plate I have at present, and I shall not buy any more while so many round me want bread." When he died in 1791 at the age of 87 the only money mentioned in his will was the coins to be found in his pockets and dresser. Most of the 30,000 pounds he had earned in his life had been given away. He wrote, I cannot help leaving my books behind me whenever God calls me hence; but in every other respect, my own hands will be my executors. In other words, I will put a control on my spending myself, and I will go beyond the tithe for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.1

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

35 Low Risk Changes that Chruches can make - Leadership

Thanks to Tony Morgan for 35 Low-Risk Changes that Churches Can Make suggestions.  Tony is committed to not allowing people to become comfortable.  Here we go:
  1. Change service times.
  2. Empower a volunteer leader.
  3. Offer resources to help people engage Scripture outside of the Sunday service.
  4. Prioritize cross-cultural “missions” opportunities in the same region where your church is located.
  5. Challenge staff to invest 20% of their time in leadership development.
  6. Limit yourself to one, all-church announcement in every service.
  7. Develop a teaching team rather than relying on just one teacher.
  8. Add pictures or, better yet, video clips to your website to give people a taste of your teaching, worship and children’s ministry.
  9. Provide identical children’s ministry experiences at every weekend service so families aren’t limited in the services they can attend.
  10. Stop something.
  11. Create opportunities for students to serve and lead rather than just consuming experiences.
  12. Plan to spend less than you anticipate receiving from offerings.
  13. Create ways for people to share nuggets of teaching and worship content through social media.
  14. Launch a new weekend service.
  15. Start using online solutions (like Asana) to keep the team on the same page.
  16. Hire someone from the outside (staff or consultant) to bring fresh perspective and a new approach.
  17. Share individual stories of life change when you baptize someone in your services.
  18. Develop an annual ministry calendar and promotions plan to limit competing messages.
  19. Partner with another church to tackle a community initiative.
  20. Periodically invite other staff or volunteer leaders to your senior leadership team meetings.
  21. Make it easier for people to give online.
  22. Thank people for their giving by tying it back to vision and life change.
  23. Develop an evaluation process for weekend services and every other event or environment.
  24. Establish a hiring process that’s team-based and focused on matching the church’s DNA rather than just filling positions.
  25. Align the church’s strategy with the church’s vision.
  26. Align the church’s budget with the church’s strategy.
  27. Redesign your website to focus less on sharing information and more on helping people take next steps.
  28. Do something different in the weekend service so it isn’t so predictable.
  29. Set aside one day each week in the office when meetings are not allowed.
  30. Schedule coffee at least once a month with someone to help them take their next steps in their faith, ministry and leadership.
  31. Invite people to your volunteer teams so your platform and your guest services teams reflect the diversity of the people you are trying to reach.
  32. Cut back on printing and focus on social media and word-of-mouth.
  33. Update your physical environments (including that gaudy, stained carpet) to reflect current culture.
  34. Shorten your message, worship and services to leave people wanting more.
  35. Change something so people expect change.
Here’s the great thing about most of these changes — they’re reversible. Test drive the change. If it doesn’t

Friday, 14 June 2013

It's not about the nail!

If you are a married man you just have to watch this and learn:)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Best Leaders Expect the Best in People

A Great post by Phil Cooke

Great leaders expect the best in people and bad leaders expect the worst.  Rinse and repeat. Over the years I’ve worked with a number of leaders who think leadership meansconstant criticism, ordering people around, snarky comments, and humiliation.  Those leaders (although I don’t think they’re real leaders at all) actually expect the worst in people, and that’s why they treat their teams so badly.   These leaders respond to everything as if you’re trying to cheat them.  They use exclamation marks in all their communication.  They’re always upset about something.  But guess what?   You get back what you put out and your team will start responding in the same way.  You’re actually creating a culture of distrust and deception.

On the other hand, study after study, along with expert advice and lots of experience tells me that people respond far better to “aspirational” leadership.  That simply means leaders who expect the best in people, are the leaders are actually get their people’s best.

Stop the snark.  Cut the criticism.  Being a bully doesn’t work.  If you need to be a jerk to jack up your ego, you need to get out of leadership and find a counselor, because you need help.
Beginning today, let’s commit to encouraging our team’s best by expecting their best.  Respect them.  Care about their success.  Give them space to fail, and stop being vindictive if they do.  Grow together, and you’ll start seeing a dramatic change in your relationship, your results, and in your journey to success.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

True Freedom – Sharing Our Faith in Persecution

Daniel Homrich was about to share his personal testimony for The 3:15 Project, but when the cameras began to role, he instead felt led to recollect the time he had spent in Egypt with Voice of Martyrs. This is his account in its entirety.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Three Prerequisites to Leading Others Well By Brandon Cox

Great post!

Ninety and Nine
Being loud doesn’t make you a leader. Neither does being popular. Leadership is influence, and influence means taking people in a direction they wouldn’t otherwise be going – hopefully forward. Ambition isn’t enough to qualify you to lead. There is more to the equation.

You need to be led before you can really lead. This one is tough for eager leaders, but in order to lead well, you must first be okay with being led. One of the greatest leaders I know who was in charge of 350+ staff in a well-known megachurch said, “I’m a man under authority.” If you don’t know what it’s like to follow or if you’re unwilling to learn from those ahead of you, you’re not quite ready to lead.

You need to love people before you can really lead. You can lead and love self, but the end result is pretty pitiful. Great leaders love those they are leading. Good shepherds have a tendency to lay down their lives for their sheep, and great leaders are always thinking about how to move their followers to the next level.
You need to become a servant before you become a leader. We know that servanthood is the prerequisite to kingdom influence based on Jesus’ example and His words, but we don’t like to let go of our identity as a leader to fully embrace it. We even like to call ourselves “servant-leaders” so we’re not leaving out the leadership part of the equation. But think differently for a moment. What if you saw yourself as a servant first and as a leader second? How would it change the way you lead people?
Can you lead and influence without being led, being a lover of people, and being a servant? Sure, but why would you want to? Your reward for such leadership is shallow and short-lived. Instead, choose the Jesus path – be a servant and a shepherd. Be led well, and then lead with confidence!