Defining Strategy With Leadership

I had the incredible opportunity to attend the REACH 2015 conference. This is the second annual conference of its kind in Georgia.

The main idea or reason for a conference of this type is because of the astronomical numbers about the status of our state. Currently, there are over 7 million people in the state of Georgia who do not attend a church of any denomination and do not consider themselves to be Christian or otherwise. They are just turned off period. So, again, there are over 7 million lost people in the state of Georgia.

I want to put the biggest dent I can in that number. I am part of a group of pastors that are praying that God will use their churches to punch a hole in that number. Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if by God’s amazing grace; that number could be cut in half in the next 5 years? I believe that it can happen but it requires us to be intentional.

One of my favorite sessions at the REACH conference was led by Pastor Bill Purvis. His talk was titled: Defining Strategy With Leadership. I would love to share you my key takeaways from this session.

Defining Strategy with Leadership: Bill Purvis

Vision is your mental picture. Strategy is your map.

Churches don’t grow because they have a great vision. It is because they execute a good strategy.

2 Samuel 5:17-25

God provides David’s strategy.

Strategy is a leader’s most important role.

The leader is the strategist.

Why does your church matter?

Why do people need your church?

Be intentional about Your Mission.

What is your big win?

Be intentional about Your Personal Growth Plan.

Growing leaders grow churches. Your personal growth plan is the key to your leadership. You have to be on a quest for growth.

Be intentional about Growing Others.

Be intentional in Looking for Leaders.

Be intentional in Aligning People’s gifts so they can add value.

Share your vision with the people who can make things happen.

Send thank you notes to people.

Lead by example:

  • Your Marriage
  • Your Family
  • Your Integrity
  • Your Finances
  • Your Motives

Do the best you can with what you have where you are and God will not leave you where you are and He will increase what you have.

People need to know that the leader loves them.

Here is a video snippet of the session. I hope you enjoy it.

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Productivity Apps

Are you a task oriented person? Do you organize the flow of your day into a checklist that you need to have near you so that you can check off the things that you accomplish?

I would like to share with you the task manager system that I use. It is called Todoist.

I have not been using Todoist that long but it has quickly become my task manager app for everything. Todoist makes scheduling tasks easy. Assigning days and times are no problem. You can also drag tasks up and down to put them in the order of most importance.

If you need to assign a specific task a priority, you can do so by marking the task a priority. Todoist allows you to assign priorities to certain tasks based on their level of importance. The most important task becomes priority 1 and is given a red color.

You can also make projects in Todoist and communicate and share with your team. This excites me because I believe that this is something that I could really see being beneficial among my team.

You may need to set tasks inside of tasks. Todoist makes it easy to do. You choose one of your tasks and then set a task as a sub task within that task.

You never have to forget when a task is due. Todoist will send you text, email, or push notifications. Any task that is set to a specific day and time will automatically remind you 30 minutes ahead of time. You can turn this feature on in your settings.

Todoist is the first app that after using for a time, I am actually considering purchasing the premium version. It is not expensive, it is around $29.

Todoist makes it possible to sync with Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, and other apps. You can also upload files straight from your email, Google Drive, or Dropbox straight into Todoist.

Todoist makes it fun and challenging to accomplish tasks. I really enjoy it.

I think you will to if you give it a try.

If you liked this post, please like and share. Have you downloaded Todoist? Did you like it? What task manager app do you like best. Head on over to my Facebook page and share your thoughts.

What Does Your Faith Mean To You?

Pic from Flickr by NewsongNY

Pic from Flickr by NewsongNY

You say that you are a Christian. You say that you love your church. You say that you love Jesus.

Do you really?

The Bible makes it emphatically clear that loving Jesus is directly tied into your obedience. In other words, if you say that you love Jesus but you continue to walk in disobedience – the Bible says that you are a liar.

Let’s continue the conversation on obedience.

You love reading your Bible. You love fellowship with other believers. You love pouring your life out into the lives of other people. However, have you ever taken the time to consider what your faith might cost you?

In the book of Acts, we are introduced to a man named Stephen.

Stephen was a man that was filled with the Holy Spirit. Based on the account of his life in Acts, here are some things that I believe to be true about Stephen.

  • He was a servant
  • He was a man of faith, not fear
  • He was an overcomer
  • He was a conqueror
  • He lived his life wanting to impact others and point them to Jesus
  • He was a biblical example of a godly man

I am wondering if when Paul wrote in Romans that we are to be living sacrifices that he had Stephen in mind.

Acts says that no one could stand against the wisdom and Spirit that was spoken by Stephen. Stephen was a vessel. He understood that God is the potter and he was the clay. He walked in surrender and was submissive to Jesus.

He was not afraid to share the gospel and proclaim the name of Jesus.

He paid for that with his life. He became the first martyr to die for his faith.

You can tell a lot about what a person believes in by what they are willing to act upon.

Think about it. A person that does not believe that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in them – will not share the gospel, will not walk in faith, will most likely not even believe in the resurrection power that the Bible says is in them.

That is incredibly tragic.

Make no mistake. Your faith will cost you.

  • It may cost you your friends
  • It may cost you certain family members
  • It may cost you your reputation
  • It may cost you your job
  • It may cost you your life
  • It may cost you your freedom

If you live in America, you most likely do not have to worry about dying for your faith.

If you know that you have the Holy Spirit in you and the power of the resurrection comes directly from the Holy Spirit, the only thing that is holding you back….is you.

What could Jesus accomplish in you and through you if you were completely sold out to your Redeemer King?

You will only live out what you truly believe in.

If your faith means anything to you, you will live by faith and not in fear.

I leave you with this:

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. – Colossians 2:6-7

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Next Things

Pic from Flickr by: The Dark Angle

Pic from Flickr by: The Dark Angle

Have you ever been provoked in your spirit?

You know what I mean, right? It is that thing inside you that gnaws at you. It starts off as just an idea and then it begins to take over. It does not go away.

The idea becomes the very thing that you cannot stop thinking about. It is almost like it has grafted itself into you and become a part of you. You are now consumed by it. You are compelled to do something about it.

This is called vision.

I believe that part of the vision that God has given me for FaithPoint includes making mature disciples that make disciples.

There has to be a plan to accomplish this.

I am going to need your help. I will explain a little later.

The blog posts will continue. I am on this journey with you and I am not going to leave you hanging. However, look for some new additions.

Some people have asked that I incorporate video into my blog posts. I am going to take some time and explore that and see what I can create that will help you in your spiritual journey.

I have been talking with some people who have been encouraging me to take my sermon notes and turn them into ebooks. I hope to have one for you by Christmas.

Here is where you come in:

I want to disciple as many people as possible. I have tried group discipleship on Facebook in the past and it didn’t go well. So, after some thought, I plan on launching an individual discipleship time. I will work directly with you and help you grow spiritually as well as help you learn how to make disciples as part of the command that Jesus gave us. If this goes well, this might turn into a paid course that more people will be able to benefit from.

You will get:

  • access to all blog posts and videos through this page, your email if you sign up to receive email updates from this blog, or you can find blog posts on my new Facebook page (The link will be at the bottom of this post.)
  • questions answered and you can talk to me through Facebook messenger
  • Google Hangouts – we will schedule time to work individually once a month and there will be other times where you are invited to a group Hangout
  • We will discuss how to apply Scripture and the gospel to all areas of life.
  • We will discuss some things like Church History, doctrine and theology, why it is important and why you should care about it.
  • We will also do some book discussions. Books will help you grow if you read the right ones.
  • We will also have Theology and Film. I will ask you to watch a movie and then we will discuss how it is relevant to our spiritual journey.

To have access to this individual discipleship time, I am going to limit the number of individuals to 12. To be one of the first, just go to my Facebook page and comment under this post saying that you want in. I will contact you through email or Facebook messenger. Just let me know the best way to contact you.

Next: If you, your organization, school, club, or church has an event, I would love it if you click on the link to the speaking page and read it. I would love to be able to be on site at your event to preach/speak and help point more people to Jesus.

Technology has made it easier to connect with each other and I want to use it to edify and equip you and glorify Christ.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Pastor Jimmy

 

If you liked this post, please like and share with your friends. If you would like to join up with me and let me help you in your spiritual journey, head on over to my Facebook page and comment under this post.

 

 

 

 

Stay In The Fight

boxing-gloves-375473_1280Today is May 1. Did that one sneak up on you by surprise?

Can you believe that we are five months into our 365 day journey?

I want to offer you some encouragement.

Don’t Give Up. You may have already missed some goals, fallen behind, made some commitments and failed to make good on them. You might have fallen off the train, jumped back into a sin that you feel holds you at bondage, you may have lied to your spouse or your kids. You are not defeated. Repentance gets you back in the ring. Repent. Remember, we are on a 365 day journey asking Christ to will and to work in us to make us more like Him regardless of the cost. We are putting everything on the line to follow Christ. It is Christ or nothing. Grace covers your mistakes. Mercy is brand new everyday.

Stay In The Fight. Dust off your gloves. Put them on. Climb back into the ring. With the Holy Spirit living inside you – impossible is not a word in your vocabulary. There will be struggles and trials but there will also be victory and celebration. Do not miss to celebrate even a small victory. That can help provide the motivation to continue in the fight when you think you are done.

There are two things to remember:

  1. You can’t throw a punch if you are not willing to take a punch.
  2. It is not how many times you get knocked down. It is how many times you get back up.

We are called to be more than conquerors in Christ. We are told that because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us that we will do greater things than He was able to do in the short time that He was on this planet.

That thing, that dream, that vision that you have inside you; Christ gave it to you. The Bible says in John 1, that Jesus is the Creator of the universe. The Creator of the universe crafted that very passion that you have inside you. There is something that He has birthed in you and it will not leave you alone. Trust Him. He will see you through it.

Obedience is everything. The work that Jesus wants to do in you is more important than the work that He wants to do through you.

That is why we are on this journey together.

I want you to know that I am intentional about helping you become the disciple that Jesus created you to be.

We still have seven months on our journey. We need to stay connected. Here is how you can stay in touch with me:

  • If you have not done so already, subscribe by email so that you do not miss a post
  • Connect with me on Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Follow me on Instagram

I would also like to meet you in person. If you have a conference, event or would like me to speak at your church, feel free to check out my speaking page.

Let’s finish this journey well.

 

 

Use Your Greatest Fear As A Launching Pad

acapulco-81397_1280Have you ever heard the saying that you have found your calling when you find your why?

Think about it.

When you know the reason behind why you do something, you have found the very thing that drives you to action. You have found your fuel. You have found your motivation.

Now you might be asking, “How do you find your why?”

I do not believe that everyone finds their why in exactly the same way. However, I do believe I know of one possible way to explore in looking for your why. It is using your greatest fear as a launching pad.

What are you afraid of?

I don’t mean being afraid of things like sharks, snakes, spiders, or creepy dudes in clown costumes.

What I mean is this:

What keeps you up at night? What is so broken in this world that you can’t stand it and you lose sleep over it?

That is a good place to start.

Whatever makes you uncomfortable, whatever the Holy Spirit is doing stirring inside you – go there.

I want to share mine with you. I don’t want to die without my life making a difference.

Let me explain:

When I look around and I see marriages failing, homes without dads, porn addiction, alcohol and drug addiction, broken people, shattered dreams, troubled and depressed kids, and people that feel like the world has forgot them, I feel like my spirit instantly is caught on fire.

Why?

This garbage has gone on for too long. I want to go to the lost, hurting and broken. I want to share with them the love of Jesus. I want them to hear the wonderful news of the gospel. I want them to give their lives to Jesus.

You may have heard it said that the test of a great preacher or leader is not that they say, “What a good sermon!” or “What a good speech!” but that they will say, “I will do something.”

You have to know that not everyone will like the way you lead or your communication style. You also have to know that some people apart from the Holy Spirit spurring them to action (and I mean that in the literal sense) are never going to get off of the couch.

You are not going to be able to help everyone but don’t let that stop you. You can help one.

I want to help one:

  • one couple to fall in love with Jesus, fall in love with each other and pray with them that God will restore their marriage.
  • one guy to walk away from their addiction, to put down the porn, the alcohol, or the drugs and pick up their kids.
  • one troubled and depressed teenager to see the love of Jesus and to experience His grace and mercy.
  • one person to learn how to dream again and inspire them to make a difference by pouring out their life into the life of someone else.

You can help one person.

Don’t let your fear sideline you but use it to motivate you, to charge your battery, to fuel your drive to want to lead and make change in this world. Use your greatest fear as your launching pad to find your why.

When you find your why, you are on your way to making a difference in the life of someone else.

Have you found your why?

I would love to hear what that is. Share your why or continue the conversation on Facebook. 

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Journey Into The Unknown

bridge-593148_1280There are times on our journey where God tells us to get uncomfortable. To be obedient, we must leave our comfort zone and step out in faith to follow wherever He leads us – even into the unknown.

This is not unlike Abraham’s journey when God told him to leave his family and his country and to travel to the land where God would show him. Abraham had to travel into the unknown. Abraham had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may recall that I made a status update in February about something that I believe that God is calling me to. I would like to share that story with you.

This story begins last September. There was a string of murders that happened in my city and every city surrounding my city. The news media was treating these murders as black and white issues, black on black issues, and gun issues. That did not sit well with me. I knew that was not the case. These murders were not a result of any of these issues. They were a result of the wickedness that comes from the sick hearts inside of men.

I was being provoked in my spirit to want to do something about this. I tried to put this away and not think about it for awhile.

In October, I went to the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. God has spoken to me before at Catalyst but not like He did at this particular event. I was wrecked from the very first session.

Andy Stanley took the stage and right out of the gate, he asked two questions that I will never forget.

Who are you?

What breaks your heart?

Immediately, the Holy Spirit draws my brain to open the locked box that I thought were things that I wanted to forget. My mind went straight to the men struggling with manhood. Murders are committed by angry men. It is not their anger that is the problem as much as they are angry at the wrong things. These men have no idea what it is like to pour out their lives into another to coach, lead, or mentor another person – most likely because no one took the time to show them what it was like to be a man. We need men to be fully devoted to Jesus. These men can be godly husbands and godly dads.

I told God that He had the wrong guy.

He wouldn’t let me let go of this. This thing has been chasing me down since October. It is constantly on my mind. It will not leave me alone.

Back to Andy Stanley: There were some things that he said that God has used to make me uncomfortable and know for certain what I am supposed to do next on my journey.

Andy said:

  • Great leaders make things better
  • Great leaders fix things that are broken
  • Broken heart leaders create change that impacts future generations
  • You have no idea what hangs in the balance of your decision to lead into the things that break your heart
  • What God originates – God orchestrates
  • You have not been called to change the world but you are called to change something
  • Jesus said – Fear not, I am with you

You can see how this wrecked me. God is doing something in me to make me be the husband, dad, pastor, leader that He created me to be.

I am confident in this:

The next part of my journey to help men become who God created them to be is not going to start the way that I thought. It is going to start by getting out of my comfort zone and head into the unknown.

To help men, I am going to have to go to places that I have never been before to reach people that may otherwise never be reached.

I believe that God is leading me to reach troubled teenagers in youth detention centers and men that are in prisons. I am looking at building a team of men who will pray with me and go with me to minister to these people and pray that Jesus will wreck their lives and draw them to Himself. I am praying that their lives will change when they meet the Redeemer King.

This is how you can pray for me:

Please pray that God will help me find the men to build my team that will help me minister and share the gospel of Jesus to these people who need to see the hope, truth, and love of Christ.

Thank you for praying for me.

What is God challenging you with to leave your comfort zone and step out in faith into the unknown?

Share your answer or continue the conversation on Facebook.

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Awaken

sunrise-165094_1280No one wakes up one morning and thinks to themselves, “I think I would like to go to prison today.” What they do not realize is that they were already in prison before they actually got there.

When you talk to some people about their dreams or passions, you get this blank stare. Their eyes get a glazed look. It is almost as if they cannot relate to what you are saying. I worked with a few people in my life that chased after money instead of their calling. They ended up settling for a job that paid very well but they were miserable. They had no vision, no passion, no dream, but they had a paycheck.

What about you?

Has the vision that God gave you been stuffed into a box and stuck into a dark closet? Has your dream died?

I want to share something with you.

It is people who step out on faith that change the world. They know that God has given them a vision and it is so big that it scares them but they know that they have to accomplish this. If God put it in you, He is going to see you through it. People that live their lives by faith understand that when God gives you something that is too big to accomplish on your own, you find people to help you because you are compelled to bring this vision to fruition.

I have been told that God doesn’t work in awesome ways anymore like He did in the Bible. Isn’t that stupid? I believe that God works all the time and we just don’t have the faith to see it. I also believe that we do not see more of God’s works in our lives because we are not full of anticipation and expectation to see what He is going to do in us and through us.

It is easy to see that the Bible clearly says that the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you. I totally believe that. However, with the lackadaisical way that we live our lives, we have probably bored the Holy Spirit to sleep.

  • Where is the light that pierces the darkness?
  • Where is the city on a hill?
  • Where is the salt of the earth?
  • Where are the clay pots that are supposed to lead other clay pots to the Potter?

Have you forgot how to dream? Are we slaves to Netflix? We sit at home on our couches watching shows and movies that are the results of other peoples hard work and dreams. We watch the results of others instead of pursuing the dreams and passions that God has stirred in our own souls.

As much as I want I cannot:

  • force you to dream
  • cultivate your relationship with our Heavenly Father
  • find your calling for you
  • walk out on faith on your behalf
  • pick you up and move you from the couch into action

You have to want those things for yourself.

It’s time to awaken what is asleep inside you.

Let’s be people of faith that is known by their lives being saturated with the Scripture.

Let’s pray that God would ignite a spark and it would start a fire within the church. People, families, churches, cities would all be changed because of gospel centered people sharing the love of Jesus with people who have no light of hope.

I want you to know that I am praying for you.

Share your thoughts. Continue the conversation on Facebook.

Coaching Your Kids

10527821_10201811941529834_2108485541142846963_nDo you have a coaching mindset with your kids?

As the dad of two boys, I believe that we need to take more responsibility with how we raise our kids. We know that the Bible says that our kids are arrows. It is our job to shape them and sharpen them so that when we release them into the world, they pierce the kingdom of darkness with the light of the gospel.

Proverbs 22:6 tells us:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I do not believe that the sole purpose of parenting is to raise your kids to go to college, get a degree, get a career, get married, buy a house, and have kids. Pushing our kids to pursue the American Dream rather than pursuing Jesus will be damaging in the long run. What is important to us will become evident, even magnified as our kids grow older. You reproduce what you are.

I believe the best way to parent kids is by coaching.

Don’t think football or basketball. Think discipleship.

God has called you to parent your children. Too many families in our culture today lack leadership in the home. Dad, it is time to step it up.

God created your kids uniquely. You will disciple them efficiently when you understand the way that they learn best. Your kids need to be stretched. Put them in uncomfortable situations and teach them to figure things out. They need to learn how to think on their own, Let them get creative and try to work things out. Let them make mistakes and let them learn from their mistakes. Let them know that you are always there to lead and guide them.

The goal here is to help your child to grow. As they progress in life, you are teaching them how to live life but you are also teaching them everything with a gospel – centered focus.

The Bible is our standard. As we are growing to meet the standard set by the Bible, we teach our kids to rise to meet the standard set by the Bible. We do not want to lower the standard.

Help your kids find out what God wants them to do and help them to see the importance of accomplishing that. You are there to come alongside. Help your kids understand that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide them.

Your kids need to know that you trust them and believe in them. That is very important. If they know that their dad believes in them, they will feel like they can accomplish anything.

When your kids fail, help them to reflect on the mistake they made and help them figure out how to not make the same mistake next time. Celebrate wins. Things that are celebrated will be reciprocated.

Kids learn fast. I want my kids to learn and grow but not at the cost of them running away from Jesus. I want to use my parenting to point my kids to Jesus.

God still operates in spite of our methods but we want to be the vehicle that He uses to train up our kids well. I believe that when it is time to release our arrows, we can present them shaped and sharpened well enough that they pursue Jesus, and make a dent in the kingdom of darkness.

I pray that God will draw my boys to salvation early and the Holy Spirit will conform them to Christ’s image.

Do you pray for your children? What do you pray for them?

Let’s continue the conversation on Facebook.

Leadership Lessons from Jim Collins

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Pic from rgbstock by SeeVee.

If you do or do not succeed, it is not because of your circumstances. It is about the decisions you make as a leader.

That will make you think.

Why be good when you can be great? Good is the enemy of great. Don’t settle for just being good or you might as well just settle for being mediocre.

Think of your church or organization as a bus. As leaders, we are responsible for getting the right people in the right seats on the bus. Then we can drive them to where we need to go.

Too many times we ask what questions when we should be asking who questions. The answer to what we are searching for may lie in a person that we need to place in a position.

Bad decisions made with good intentions are still bad decisions. The only mistakes you learn from are the ones that you survive.

Leadership begins with humility. A leader is first a servant. A leader must have fanatic discipline. The people that follow the leader and the organization will only be as disciplined as the leader is disciplined. Leadership empowers both emperical creativity and productive paranoia. Use your imagination. Think outside the box. Be inspired and then inspire others.

Fire bullets before you fire cannonballs. Test decisions to see if they will work and when you find what works go for it with all you have.

The signature to mediocrity is chronic inconsistency. Hold on to your values. Change and adapt your practices but keep your values.

Ten things that Jim Collins gave us as leaders.

1. Run the Good to Great diagnostic at www.jimcollins.com
2. How many seats are available on the bus to be filled with the right people?
3. Who will you allow to mentor you? A great mentor changes your life in seconds.
4. Find your personal hedgehog. Collins explains this in his books and website.
5. 20 mile march – Persevere. Push through trials and difficulty. Keep going.
6. Fire bullets.
7. Turn off electronic gadgets two days every two weeks or once a week.
8. Do you need to make a Stop Doing List?
9. Double your reach to people half your age by changing your practices and keeping your values.
10. Make yourself useful.

Be rigorous not ruthless. The work is too important to have the wrong people in the seats on the bus. You need to have the right people in the right seats.

Innovation needs discipline. Discipline amplifies creativity.

Create.