Thursday, February 9, 2017

11 Lessons From Jesus On The Relationship Between Pastors And Financial Leaders

There is much confusion in the Christian community about the relationship between pastors and financial leaders.  This is because for many years pastors used financial leaders.  Then, in a classic over-correction, pastors then began ignoring financial leaders.  The best approach is in the middle – pastors must disciple financial leaders.
For a beautiful picture of how this is done, let’s look at how Jesus interacted with a financial leader.  Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of an interaction between Jesus and someone described as “rich”.  He was a chief tax collector named Zacchaeus.
As you read this account, the following are 11 Lessons From Jesus On The Relationship Between Pastors And Financial Leaders:
  1. Your Church Has Financial Leaders – v.2 – “And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.”  Every church in the world, regardless of your socio-economic status, has wealthy people or a Top 10% of givers.
  2. Pastors Should Know The Spiritual Condition Of Their Church’s Financial Leaders – v. 3 – “he was seeking to see who Jesus was”.  Zacchaeus was searching.  Similarly, many financial leaders in your church have experienced much of what this world has to offer.  Yet, they have come to realize it simply does not satisfy their soul.  Many have come to understand that a life without Jesus is an empty life, no matter how much money you have.
  3. Churches Often Put Things In Place Which Can Make It Difficult For Financial Leaders To Come To Jesus – v. 3 – “but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.”  Are you placing unnecessary barriers between you and your financial leaders?  Are these barriers making it more difficult for them to come to Jesus?  These barriers could be financial reporting which excludes the pastor from the process or a flawed theological approach to your top givers.  This leads to my next point.
  4. Know Who Your Financial Leaders Are – v. 5 – “when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus'”  Jesus knew Zacchaeus’s name.  Do you know the names of your financial leaders?  It is not necessary to know how much they give but do you know who they are?
  5. Do Not Ask Financial Leaders To Come To Your Office.  Go To Their Office. – v. 5 – “I must stay at your house today.”  Go to their office, farm or plant.  Walk around with them and listen to their story.  Meet their employees.  See what they produce.  Do life together.
  6. Honor Your Financial Leaders – v. 6 – “So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.”  Financial leaders deeply desire authentic relationships, especially with their pastor.
  7. People Will Misinterpret Your Intentions – v. 7 – “When they saw it, they all grumbled”  Ignore them.  Pastors can effectively disciple many people in large group environments during weekend messages.  However, because of the type of questions they ask, financial leaders are best discipled in small group or one-on-one environments.
  8. Financial Leaders Are Often Lonely – v. 7 – “‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”’  Because they are afflicted with affluence and everyone wants something from them, financial leaders oftentimes do not know who they can trust.
  9. Financial Leaders Are A Force For Good – v. 8 – “Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor.'”  Financial leaders are uniquely gifted by God to flood the Kingdom with resources.  Properly discipling your church’s financial leaders can have an incredibly positive impact on the poor and under-resourced in your church and community.
  10. Jesus Changes Financial Leaders From Being Greedy People To Generous People – v. 8 – “And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”  You can tell Jesus is working in a financial leader’s life when they begin demonstrating signs of radical generosity.
  11. Focus On Transformation Rather Than Transaction – “Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house”  Be their pastor and find out if they are saved?  Has their life been changed by your ministry.  Generosity is what we want for financial leaders, not what we want from them.
What is one thing from this list you can begin doing today to better disciple your financial leaders?
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

Can These Bones Live?

Can These Bones Live?

Feb 08, 2017 02:07 pm | Mike Glenn

Since I work in a church, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn I love church buildings. I especially love old church sanctuaries, and honestly, the older the better. My wife is always surprised (although she’s growing used to it) when we go on vacation, and I want to walk through any churches we might be passing by. There is something about the craftsmanship in the old wood and the fire bright beauty of the sun coming through the stained glass windows that fills me with awe and worship.
So, again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I get really emotional when I see a church building with a “For Sale” sign in front of it. Now, I understand, all kinds of things happen. The growth patterns of cities change. Traffic patterns are rerouted and communities go through transition. I get it. I also understand that churches move. They sell one piece of property and relocate to another space. Brentwood Baptist did that back in 2002.
I understand life happens, but more and more in our nation, churches are just closing. They are going out of business. On any given day, it’s not unusual to see an article about how a developer has bought an old church building with plans to turn the once sacred facility into condos or a restaurant. Too many times, a small and struggling group of church members decides, for whatever reason, they can’t make a go of it, and they vote to close the doors of the church and sell the building.
Now, let me get this straight…the building is being sold by a group of people who are sure no one will come to their building, and it’s being bought by a group of people who are sure a lot of people will come to the building if there’s something new in the building.
Why can’t the church be that something new in the building?
There’s a reason Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors of ice cream. Not everyone likes the same flavor. In the same way, not everyone likes the same style of worship, the same emphasis of service and mission, or the same process of discipleship. There are a lot of different kinds of people, and there needs to be a lot of different churches to meet the different needs of these people. One size doesn’t fit all. It never has.
Now, this may mean there’s a Caucasian church that’s now surrounded by a Hispanic community. An African-American church that finds itself in the middle of a Kurdish community—the variations and challenges are endless. If a church can be given the support and assistance to reevaluate its mission in light of its changing community, a lot of good things can happen. You may not be able to put new wine into old wineskins, but you can put a new church in an old building.
There are several advantages to this approach:
  1. The members of the original church can see their church thriving and effective. It’s a different future than they had once imagined, but it’s still a great future to be part of.
  2. The old building can be refurbished and remodeled for pennies on the dollar when compared to the cost of new construction.
  3. Most of the time, the new church can avoid politically charged issues with the surrounding communities, codes, and city hall.
  4. The neighborhood is genuinely interested to see something new going on in the church.
In the famous Bible story of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37), God asked the prophet Ezekiel if the dry bones could live. Of course, Ezekiel soon found out the bones could indeed live. It’s the story I think about every time I see a church building for sale. Can these bones live? I answer the same way Ezekiel did, “Yes, they can!”
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Disapproval in the Church: What a Pastor can Do

Disapproval in the Church: What a Pastor can Do

Serving as a pastor brings many joys as well as headaches and hurts. One of the biggest hurts comes when others disapprove of us. Neuroscientists have discovered that a disapproving look from a person physically hurts. A disapproving facial expression stirs up the flight-fight part of our brain and heightens anxiety, even more than an angry facial expression does. I’ve experienced those disapproving looks and have learned how to cope with disapproval.
When the emotional part of our brain (the limbic system) takes over, we lose the ability to think clearly and lead well. When that happens, these behaviors surface.
  • We react and act impulsively
  • We assume the worst
  • We get defensive
  • We lose our creative ability to solve problems
  • We grieve the Holy Spirit
  • We lose perspective
  • We can’t truly listen
  • We can’t think as clearly
These kinds of behaviors show their ugly selves when the emotional brain takes over. Constant disapproval, especially from significant people in your church, can evoke these behaviors.
In a previous church several years ago, the most influential lay leader there was once my number one supporter. His words, body language, and facial expression would almost always encourage me. I could count on him to lift my spirits when I was down. However, something happened in our relationship and his demeanor took a 180-degree shift. He now became my greatest disapprover.
His view of me carried significant weight because he held a very high status in the church. When our paths crossed at church and I saw his disapproval, my anxiety level shot up. When I saw those disapproving looks, a brain dynamic kicked in in the flight-fight part of my brain that dampened my ability to think most clearly so I could preach at my best and compassionately relate to others on Sundays. Essentially, I stifled the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. Initially I was not consciously aware of this dynamic.
However, as I began to learn how my brain worked when I saw a disapproving expression, I started to make these choices that helped me cope with disapproval, especially his.
  1. I consciously took notice when his physical presence evoked anxiety in me. Instead of stuffing the emotion, I named it. I would breath a prayer under my breath, “Lord, I feel anxious right now after I saw _________. Please help me cope with this tension in my heart.”
  2. I sought out a coach/counselor to help me reappraise the situation quicker. Taking a different perspective helps calm the fight-flight part of our brain. Often we need an objective person to help us see the situation clearly.
  3. When I would preach, I would look for approving faces instead of his. I purposefully did not lock eyes with him in a sermon because I knew the toll it might take on my focus while preaching.
  4. I finally met with him for breakfast, shared my concerns, and asked him how I could regain his confidence. Essentially, his view of me as a leader had changed and I could not change it back. At least I cleared the air with him. However, through this experience the Lord helped me more consistently moderate the painful distraction I often felt when I saw his disapproval.
As painful as this experience was, it became a great learning experience. Now that I know what happens in my brain when I see disapproval in someone’s face, I’ve become quicker to more proactively moderate its negative effects.
How have you managed those who disapprove of you?
Related Posts:
Source: Burklund, L., Eisenberger, N.I. & Lieberman, M.D. The face of rejection: Rejection sensitivity moderates dorsal anterior cingulate activate to disapproving facial expressions. Social Neuroscience, 2, pp.238-253.

Live Blog From Capital Campaign University: 24 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Mike Linch

This morning I had the incredible privilege of sitting in a session conducted by the wonderful senior pastor of NorthStar Church Mike Linch.  As part of an event put on by INJOY Stewardship Solutions called Capital Campaign University, Mike gave an inspirational message on how to address the giants all leaders face.  Giants are those things we cannot overcome.  These words will inspire you to take the next steps needed to become the leader God has called you to be.
As a special gift to everyone reading these posts, INJOY Stewardship Solutions offering a complimentary downloadable Ebook entitled “Breaking The Next Growth BarrierTen practical steps pastors can take to break through growth barriers.  Click Here to Download this Free Resource!
Enjoy these 24 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Mike Linch:
  1. We have two full-time people on our staff who do nothing but serve the community.
  2. You’ve got something standing in front of you that’s bigger than you.
  3. I reached a point in life where I wanted to invite a neighbor to church but didn’t want to invite them to my church.
  4. We started NorthStar Church with 365 people.
  5. We were in debt. The bank had become our boss.
  6. If you attack it (debt) and lose, you’re going to look like a loser.
  7. You can’t stay at a rented facility forever.
  8. 2008 we were at $6.8 million. It cost us $46,500 per month.
  9. If we fail at this I’m probably going to have to move.
  10. We didn’t dream anymore about the giant (debt). We dreamed about what was on the other side of that giant.
  11. The hardest thing we have to do sometimes as leaders we can’t focus on what’s in front of us. We have to focus on what’s on the other side.
  12. Do you think the giant looked bigger on the first day or the 40th day? I guarantee he looked bigger on the 40th
  13. Major leaguers dig into the box sometimes and wonder if they can do.
  14. Every person sitting in your crowd, their belief is hinging on your belief.
  15. When you attack a giant you ignite your people.
  16. They advanced with a shout when the giant went down.
  17. I had become so accustomed to the giant I forgot what it was like to attack the giant.
  18. We are in a community where 89% don’t go to church anywhere.
  19. Today, that debt stands at $1.3 million.
  20. We just celebrated our 20th It’s more exciting now than the first year.
  21. It’s amazing how many lost people don’t hang out at the church.
  22. The last letter my dad mailed (before he died) was a check to NorthStar.
  23. When you learn the gift of giving, it’s not about what you put in the plate. It’s about every area of your life.
  24. You (church leaders) be the people corporately so your people can be who God made them to be privately.
When you share these thoughts with your team, let me know on my Twitter account one thing which stood out to you.
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

49 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Louie Giglio And Christine Caine – Passion 2017

Tonight Passion 2017 began from the Georgia Dome located in Atlanta.  It you are unfamiliar with Passion, it is the 20th anniversary of a gathering of over 55,000 18-25 year olds with the sole purpose of making the name of Jesus famous.  Over 1,600 campuses and 90 countries were represented.  On a special note, this will be the final event at The Dome before it is tore down.
The three-day event began with words from Passion’s founder Louie Giglio and Christine Caine. Her challenging session on faith and endurance from Hebrews 10 and 11 inspired all in attendance.  Included are images of her differentiating between Godly Ambition and Selfish Ambition.
The following are 49 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From Louie Giglio And Christine Caine – Passion 2017:
Louie Giglio
  1. “I hope all your anxiety and fear is washed away tonight. I hope you find family tonight.”
  2. “There are tens of thousands of people in here and God knows every one of your names.”
  3. “There’s something more important than everything else in world. The person of Jesus Christ. There is nothing close to Him.”
  4. “At 84 you can still be loving God. Still running in your lane. Still making a difference for Christ.” – Louie on Dr. Charles Stanley
Christine Caine
  1. “In 1997 you weren’t even born yet.” – to people 20 years or younger when Passion began in Austin, TX.
  2. “The greatest days of the church are ahead of us, not behind us.”
  3. “The first 20 years have just been a foundation of what is yet to come.”
  4. “In 1997 this wasn’t here. It was there.”
  5. “Here always becomes there. We’ve got to stop living for there and start living for here.”
  6. “The followers of Jesus Christ do not need to grow weary or faint hearted.”
  7. “You will have need of endurance. Not of faith or talent but endurance.”
  8. “We’re going to need faith + patience, faith + endurance.”
  9. “You do not need to freak out but you will need endurance.”
  10. “We will have the victory but we will need endurance.”
  11. “Faith doesn’t always mean you’re not going to go through pain and suffering.”
  12. “This is our time. This is our place. God has given us the baton to reach our generation.”
  13. “He is still on the throne and the government is on His shoulders.”
  14. “We are running from victory, not for victory. Jesus Christ died and rose again. We have read the end of the Book and just in case you’re wondering, we won.”
  15. “No one else will offer you forgiveness from the past and hope for the future.”
  16. “I’ve built up some strength because I’ve come up against pressure.”
  17. “We’ve developed a society that doesn’t have patience, that doesn’t celebrate waiting.”
  18. “Don’t build resistance in the path of least resistance.”
  19. “Because of Jesus we can run our race with hope.”
  20. “We won’t live the life we want to live if we don’t learn to endure.”
  21. “How did we get here after 20 years? Louie and Shelley just didn’t stop.”
  22. “You don’t get endurance on an app. There is an app to help you build endurance but not an app for endurance.”
  23. “The greatest thing you can do is lay your weights and sins at the foot of Jesus Christ.”
  24. “If God can use someone like me…there is not one person in this room God cannot turn your mess around for your good and His glory.”
  25. “Obedience to the Word of God is not legalism.”
  26. “Doing what God tells me to do is for our good.”
  27. “You’ve only got here and you’ve only got now.”
  28. “We’re so busy scrolling through everyone else’s life we’re going to miss ours.”
  29. “Don’t despise where God has you now.”
  30. “The goal of Christianity is not fame, fortune or followers but faithfulness where God has placed me.”
  31. “If you are not faithful here you will not be fruitful there.”
  32. “Motives are very important to God.”
  33. “I obsess about faithfulness today.”
  34. “Why would I limit God to what I could think?”
  35. “The further you go in life the more important one degree is. Where you begin your life is important.”
  36. “Set the compass of your heart to be right.”
  37. “The path of endurance checks your motives.”
  38. “Jesus didn’t even do what He wanted to do. He did what His Father wanted Him to do.”
  39. “if we are Christ-followers in this room we are not our own. We were bought with a price. We belong to Jesus.”
  40. “Godly ambition lives for the glory of God alone.”
  41. “I buried my mom three months ago.”
  42. “Jesus have I done everything you wanted me to do?”
  43. “He is the one who endured to the end. We magnify Him.”
  44. “Jesus is the One who endured.”
  45. “Because Jesus Christ endured let us therefore endure for our generation. The same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives inside you and me.”
Just an amazing message.  I can’t wait for the rest of the conference.
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

5 Scientifically Proven Mindfulness Skills that WILL Make you a Better Leader (and a better person)

5 Scientifically Proven Mindfulness Skills that WILL Make you a Better Leader (and a better person)

As a pastor, I’m always looking for ways to enhance my leadership. I believe good leaders should never stop learning. In the past few years as we’ve learned more about the human mind and brain, science is affirming an ancient contemplative practice rooted in church history and scripture, mindfulness. It’s helped me so much that I’m currently writing a book on Christian mindfulness. Five basic skills comprise the essence of this practice. In this post I explain those skills that will benefit any leader.
First, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a spiritual discipline akin to biblical meditation. It’s setting aside daily time to be still before God, to be in His presence in the present moment. It’s not emptying our minds, but filling our minds with thoughts of Him and His Word. And it’s not some weird new age practice. It’s a science based practice that helps us disengage from automatic and unhealthy thoughts, feelings, memories and reactions to simply be in God’s presence. It’s both a devotional practice and a way to live each moment.
Last year hundreds of studies were published that showed the benefits of mindfulness. Here are a few of them.
  • improved memory
  • less anxiety and depression
  • a healthier heart
  • better ability to cope with stress
  • enhanced relationships
  • less reactivity
  • overall improved well-being
One scientifically proven tool is called the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire based on the five skills I’ve described below. You can take this inventory here to evaluate how well you practice these skills. If you want to read more about how to develop them, I recommend the book, In this Moment: Five Steps to Transcending Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroscience. The authors explain the skills in depth.
Skill 1: Observing. In this skill you learn to notice what’s happening inside you and in your immediate surroundings, like zooming in with a camera lens.
Skill 2: Describing. In this skill you use your words to convey what you’re observing. This involves learning to label your emotions and describe bodily sensations.
Skill 3: Detaching. In this skill, you learn to keep your unhealthy comparisons, predictions, and evaluations about your life from sticking to your soul, akin to how  food slides off a Teflon coated frying pan.
Skill 4: Loving yourself. Loving yourself does not mean we become self-centered. Rather, we practice what Jesus told us to do when he said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. It means that we learn to love ourselves as we are, rather than basing our view of ourselves on other people’s approval or on our own performance.
Skill 5: Acting mindfully. This skill means that we learn to become more aware of what we are doing as we are doing it. We learn to be in the moment rather than being on autopilot or trying to get to a ‘better’ moment.
Developing these skills helps leaders be fully present for those they lead and care about.
The more present you are as a leader, the more effective your leadership.
What benefits have you read about or learned that mindfulness brings?
Related posts:

The Gospel is Not Just About Your Afterlife

If you’re struggling with finding joy in your Christian walk as you look ahead to the New Year, it may be that you have been taught–and are believing­–a very small Gospel. Let me open up a path to a bigger gospel for you in this post:
The Gospel is Not Just About Your Afterlife
And Christianity is Not About Sin Management

It is out of a bigger gospel that we find our life and purpose. We now live as God’s family, serving others like we’ve been served by Christ, as a way of life.
Not because we are supposed to, but because this is who we are... [continue reading]
Here’s to the best year ever!

P.S. I am excited to announce my new book, Bigger Gospel: Learning to Speak, Live and Enjoy
the Good News in Every Area of Life,
is coming out in January. I can’t wait for you to read it!