Connecting the Ministry

There has been a shift in the way society connects 
to family, 
to friends,
 to businesses
 even to church and ministries. 

It's Social Networking

 It's not going to go away. In fact, I believe Jesus used this very thing in His days.  He was connecting to people. It didn't matter if it meant he had dinner with them, or even casual conversations on the side of the road. Those simple connections seemed to  explode into blind eyes healed and the lame walking again.  He could have camped out in Jerusalem and let the word of all the healings spread, to the point everyone was coming to Him. We call that in the business world the "attraction model." Yet He didn't He went out and commanded us to do the same.  

Here is a video that hopefully puts a perspective on this Social Revolution we are experiencing.  

Q4U:  What are some of the ways your ministry is using Social Networking to connect?

Growing the Ministry without all the HYPE: Say It Again

Say it again

I’ll say it again...
Matthew 19:24
The master communicator, Jesus, had to say it again. That does two things for me. 1) I feel better already, repeating myself is okay, and the ladies I’m leading they are okay too and 2) I have an example to follow.
Jesus communicated the same message a lot.  He just expanded it and presented it differently. Going to the Cross was communicating the same message of "God so loved…" "I came to save…" was the same message of "God so loved…" Healing the lepers, blind, and crippled was the same message "God so loved…" Raising the dead was the same message of "God so loved…"
There is no hype in this.  Jesus, called himself a humble gentle teacher and he was okay with repeating himself.  We can learn from this: we can’t communicate the message too much.  I was asked one time when are you going to stop talking about this event? My reply was when it’s over.  No matter how many times you say it there is always someone that doesn’t get it.
We need to reinforce the message of hope to a lost and dying world, so you can never repeat it too much.  We need to repeat the availability of a Savior King and not tire in doing so.  Some just need to hear it more than others and nothing is wrong with that. It's hard to trust someone when no one has ever come through for you. It doesn’t matter how compelling we may present this crucial message of love, if Jesus had to say it again so will we.
Jesus was "saying it again" to the disciples who He spent all his time with. If that was the case for Jesus, it will be the case with you. 
People get distracted.  If your living on the planet there are so much to be distracted by.  People loose focus, the sounds of life get loud.  The enthusiasm sometimes get lost in the actual application.  Communicate the message often.
You don’t have to be a broken record about it.  You can repeat the vision or the message over without being repetitive.  You can communicate the vision with variety.  You can find new and alternative ways to present the message. Just keep saying it. 
I can’t stress this enough with ministry leaders!  
When our message is such a powerful message of hope to a world full of hurt we have a mandate to SAY IT AGAIN!!  We have to say it not only with our mouths but with our lives!  We have to walk in the fullness of the power of God’s Word and “say it again.”  
When you have a message of love and a vision of spreading it all over the place. 
SAY IT AGAIN! You keep saying it till the whole team gets it!

Every time you reach out to the broken with a hug your saying it again.  
Every time you reach out with food for the hungry your saying it again.  
Every time you touch the untouchables you are saying it again!        
Every time you bring mercy to the afflicted you are saying it again!

Growing Ministry without all the HYPE: Keep it Humble

Keep it Humble
Pride is one of those things you have to deal with all the time, like changing the oil in your car. Preventive maintenance is key to this.  Pride will kill any growth.  Why?  Because God won’t be on your side.  “God resist the proud”  If you want to grow without the hype, then stay away from pride.  
I love how Paul in Philippians puts it.  He tells of all his qualifications, all the things he has done and then he tells us “I count them all as worthless.” 
Later on he says that “he forgets the past and presses forward”  He forgets all the successes, all the accolades, and all the favor and presses toward the goal.  Forget your qualifications, and you could have all of them. Stay focused on God getting the glory. 
Humble is:

1.  Total dependence on God. If your vision doesn’t need God to help you out in it, every time you show up, then it’s not big enough.  Be ready to receive help! Sometimes God sends help through other people. 
2.  Complete submission to God’s will and ways.  This is doing what God tells you to do, when He tells you to do it. This requires you staying plugged in to HIM! This is a lifestyle.  This is you getting to know Him and His ways.  I love Moses’ prayer “If you have found favor in me, show me your ways.” Listen to your leaders, your mentors, your life coaches, God has placed them in your life for a reason.  
3.  Knowing who you are with others.  Your a servant.  Plain and simple.  You don’t have to beat yourself up in front of others, so people will think you are humble.  You don’t even have to tell people your the leader.  They will automatically know when they see you serving others, and leading others to do the same.  People want to be around the love of Christ. Our society is hungry for it.  
Let’s look at this in action.  How about a tea party, fine china stuff and great decorations? But instead of inviting just the ladies from church, how about including the women from the homeless shelter, or women from a domestic abuse shelter, or women from a drug rehab. Why don’t you do the tea party just for them? Let them feel special, let them feel the love of God, let them know they are cared for.  Let them know a Savior exist!  Don’t withhold the fine china for fear of someone stealing it. Don’t charge and go all out. God is your provider. Depend on Him to foot that bill. Submit to God’s way of doing this tea party. Take the back table.  Tell your guest speaker they don’t get a reserved table. Really step outside the box and let the reserved table be for the down and out. Take another step outside the box and let the younger generation plan it!  Who knows it might get supplemented with a  coffee house, or a spaghetti dinner, or a movie night, or a day handing out water at the beach.  

Growing Ministry without all the HYPE: Hang With Big Visions

Growing Ministry without all the HYPE 

Partner with People who are always up to something BIG!
I always tell this: “You are who you hang out with.”  If you hang out with small minded people they will distract you from the Big visions God has given you.  Do stuff with people that think big, have a ton of integrity and serve up some crazy boldness.  Why? Because they are contagious.  We serve the God of impossibilities. So dream BIG, REALLY BIG, so big that when it happens no one will be able to say you did that.  They will say “Only God could have done that.”  God and only God gets the glory and not you nor the ministry. Really isn’t that all we want anyway?
You’ll know when God drops a seed of possibility in you because it will be bigger than you! In fact, ministry isn’t the “YOU SHOW”   You will need people, you will need a team to do the big stuff.  So get some big stuff people on that team. This is imperative for growing a ministry.  There is no hype in this. These kinds of people have faith and action! “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  Getting these people on the team brings that God pleasing smile on the ministry and on them, YAY TEAM!  Partnering with people who think Big, will keep the rest of the team challenged and they will also see the increase. 

Remember with people who are always up to something big, may it be sanctified BIG! What I mean is steer clear of the self indulgent Christianity.  Get around people who see the overwhelming broken hearted people, the people hungry for a loving touch, the people that need mercy and truth.  You can't heal their hearts, or feed them, or even heal them, BUT God can.  Somethings are just better caught than taught.  You get around people that are overwhelmed by the need for a Savior, guess what you catch that kind of vision too.  The scales on our eyes come off.  These people, including you can't fix the situations, you can't heal the sick, you can't raise the dead, you can't feed the poor, BUT the Holy Spirit can!  

Volunteer with bigger ministries.  In the AOG, in Florida there is the Women's Ministry Department, find out what you can do to help them.  They are always up to something big!  Periodically meet with your Section Representative, call them and make an appointment to hang out with them.  Volunteer with them, ask them what you can do to help, how can your ministry be a part of something bigger than yourself. 

Growing Ministry without all the HYPE: Speak Out

Growing Ministry without all the HYPE: Speak Out

We really don’t need all the hype to grow a ministry.  Do you realize that the average 20 and 30 year old has been marketed to his/her ENTIRE life? We don’t need a lot of hype to get the ministry off the ground, and growing. We don’t need to fake it till we make it.  We don’t need a big marketing budget.
Marketing is everything you do! Mowing the church yard is marketing! It tells everyone that drives by you care about the way the church looks.  A nursery full of outdated broken used toys and full of lead paint or a crib next to the blind’s cord markets that you really don’t want children nor their mothers in your church.   I’m not talking about marketing here.  I’m talking about hyping up the service, event or even a bible study to make them sound or be so outlandish, or so Relevant, so “Starbucks-ish” that people will want to come.  Some of that is just out of the budget anyway.   
So how do we grow a ministry without all the hype?
Speak Out with Passion and Authority
The best sermons you’ll ever preach are the ones you preach to yourself.  Whatever feeds you will feed them.  Study your Bible for you! When you do this you will have a first hand experience of how alive and powerful God’s word is.  You will also have some authority on the subject because you lived it first hand!! If you try to teach something you haven’t gone through doesn’t that make you a hypocrite?  If you try to lead without passion it will just be, boring. 
This is evident with the “announcements” at church. (announcements is christian-eze for the notices of all the upcoming stuff in the church) If your passionate and  you have the skinny on what the vision or purpose of the upcoming event you will pull others into wanting to come to that event.  There is no hype in this.  Your just passionate about it,  you know when it is, you know where it is,  you even know the “why” it is.  You won’t stumble over those facts, and your enthusiasm is contagious.  Just remember keep the passion quick! :) We have a tendency to go on and on about the things we love. The other side of the coin is no passion. I have seen the best events get no attendance because the announcements were passionless! Why would anyone want to go if the guy promoting it doesn’t want to go?  It will come across “HYPE” if you get someone to promote and their excitement is insincere.  Just be real, and send someone up there that is passionate about it.  Just coach them on how to keep it short and sweet!

It goes with evangelism.  The best evangelist are the ones that are passionate about Christ.  They have a love for God that is passionate and full of love for others.  They aren't out there trying to get another number racked up for themselves.  They are compelled by this overwhelming compassion for people. These evangelist win people to the Lord without the hype.  They don't need a road show or flashy lights to bring the love of Christ into people's situation.  They step out of their comfort zones and step into the zone where Heaven meets Earth. They connect with people and lead them to a Savior King.  They don't just talk about it, they do it.  They are passionate about the love of God, and wanting that love to spread through out their family, their city, their nation.  They build relationships, they include not exclude.  When we lift up Christ it will draw people.  

Video pick of the Week

Here's the video pick for the week.  The story behind the song "God of the City."  Sometimes we just need to step out and let God step in!  Open our mouths and He will fill it with what He want's to say.  Ministry isn't always going to go as planned, but how incredibly cool is it when it goes as God plans!!

Paradigms that Produce Fruit: Imparting God's Word

Imparting God's Word

If you want your ministry to change for the good, and then get off the pew and change the world, impart God's word! His Word is alive and powerful.

 Be Committed to Transformation!
Let’s be committed to training women beyond just surface concepts. This is where we need to meet women right where they are.  Be very strategic to study scriptures at their level.  I know there are women that want the really deep things of God, we also have to be available to those that are still wading in the shallow end.  Imparting means there will be transformation.  If the word is being imparted you will see people change.  It’s time to stop the bible studies that just teaches survival techniques and start imparting empowerment to overcome  all obstacles in their lives. Ministry isn't a spiritual welfare program.  It's time we teach more than just getting by. Be committed to, not only individual transformation, but also transformation in their particular area of influence. Not every one is called to the ministry.  Some are called to work in the Justice department, a school teacher, an artist, a nurse. Have Bible studies that will empower them to transform those areas of our culture. For instance, if you have women business owners, a bible study on Biblical Business Practices is definitely in order.  We will be discussing at a later post Bible Studies that transform, individuals, families, churches and even the entire cities. 
Action Step:  
If you haven’t started a bible study, start one (and guess what? There will be women that greatly oppose this, go figure in a church at that).  Not every one will attend that’s okay.  It could be a book club, or a coffeehouse conversation, even a monthly dinner party, or just have a weekly Bible Study.  It could be a focused group of women (such as school teachers, business owners, doctors and nurses, lawyers) and each week a different woman brings a devotion, they compile them to make a focused devotional book , to sell as a fund raiser.) There are also plenty of quality teachings out there, where all you do is press play on the dvd player and then discuss afterward.   (Caution: don’t reteach it after it is over, just discuss it.) Not every leader has the gift of teaching, find the teachers and empower them. 
Training UP!
We must train UP the younger women.  The key word here is UP! This means them growing and maturing.  It means them gettting up out of the pit and walking in the fullness of the Spirit.  This is a mentoring, thing.  I’m not talking about training level and making clones.  I’m talking about your ceilings will be their floors.  I’m talking about empowering those around you with God’s Word so much so they have no where to go but upward.  I’m talking about getting their eyes off of the circumstances and up to God.  I’m talking about getting them to look heavenward for help and not to you.  I’m talking about imparting God’s Word to them so much so they are going out changing the world with God’s love, mercy and compassion. I’m talking about getting in their corner and fighting for them, and teaching them to fight for others, instead of fighting each other.  Age is irrelevant here.  These women are your replacements, there should be no need for them to re-invent the wheel with each generation of believers.  Revival shouldn’t die with the generation.  This is imparting God’s word deep enough that it will transcend generations!
Action Step:  
Start a mentoring program.  If you want the younger adults there put yourself in their position. They are paid less, and the cost of living is higher. They can barely afford gas and they work all kinds of crazy hours.   If you want them to come start later and feed them.  Mentoring is more than a once a week bible study. It’s opening up your home and heart to them.  It’s modeling before them what is looks like to go through life as a godly woman. Be honest and transparent with them, this means you will make mistakes and you have problems. Show them what it looks like to go through them with Jesus.  This isn’t a “you” fan club.  You be their fans!  You cheer them on!  Your not replacing the parents God has given them your only supplementing.  Show them what the Word of God looks like in actions.  This is a women’s ministry thing, not an individual thing.  One woman can’t mentor the whole church.  Encourage other mature women to mentor. Then guard against the “Clone Wars."
Marry the Word with the Power!
It’s unfortunate but for some reason there has been a separation of  Word and Power. There are some that only want the Word. Any study of God’s word that doesn’t lead you into an encounter with God only makes you religious.  1 Cor. 8:1 says “Knowledge puffs up...” The last thing anyone wants is a church full of religious prideful women running around. What we do want to see is a church full of women that is full of God’s Word, compelled by the compassionate love of Christ to walk in the power of that Word.  Some like the word only and steer clear of any moves of the Spirit.  They are all talk and no bite. Remember Jesus was filled with the Spirit before he went into the wilderness to be tempted. 
 Then there are some that want no part of the Word, just the goosebumps and manifest presence.(which is good too) They don’t want a preacher or teacher to stand up and say “open your bibles.” You can almost here the sigh of  “ugh do we have to, why did you have to ruin it.”  That just makes them weak and immature.  Jesus fought the devil with the Word!!  It was the Word of God that transformed the universe.  WE NEED BOTH!!!
 Here’s another way of putting it.  In college there are a lot of professors teaching business classes that have never actually owned or worked in a business.  Their teachings are based on ideas and not actual experience. There are some business owners out there that could use a class on management techniques or marketing strategies.  Even though they are in the business they could use a teaching or two. I good entrepreneur  will always be teachable and coachable and will experience the soundness of the teaching.
Action Step: 
Take a courageous look at your Bible Studies.  Be a player/coach, have other teachers up to bat! It might mean changing the batting order of the teacher.  Let them develop their own curriculum.  Testimonies are prophetic, give time to that.  The best sermons I have ever preached are the ones I have preached in the mirror!  Teach from experience, you’ll be a bit more passionate about it.  Bible studies that are committed to marrying the Power and the Word will need to depend solely on the Holy Spirit. YAY! because then only God get's the Glory!!!  I like how Marsha Woolley coached me.  "Preach them hungry!"  Presenting the Word in such a way they are hungry for Him and His righteousness, His healing, His Good News.

If you have any other ways or thoughts about imparting God's word to the Body of Christ leave a comment.  

Paradigms that produce Fruit: Value THEM!

Value the Women!
Encourage their gifts! Provide opportunities for women to test their gifts in a safe space and allow the women to own their gifts.  Remember this isn’t about you.  Be a producer of fierce women of God.  Don’t look at what they do and don’t do, look at what God can do in and through them.  Let the ministry environment be a place they can fail.  Let it be a place where they don’t worry about getting kicked when their down.  Let it be a place where they are valued.  
Action Step:  Let someone else teach, or facilitate.  Delegate some things to others.  Don’t let the women’s ministry be the “YOU” (insert your name) show. When you empower them, defend them too! They are going to make mistakes, defend them publicly and adjust them privately.  Adjusting and correcting is another post and there is a Godly way of doing that. (hint: first look for the grace, God empowering, their lives before you do any correcting)
Be a good steward of their time, energy and moneyIf someone gave you their last $20 to go out and do what God has called you to do, you would be very careful on  how you spend that money.  You wouldn’t go out and spend it on something wasteful.  Well, I hope you wouldn’t. It’s the same with their time.  Let’s really consider priorities for a moment.  Let’s make a list of what goes where for most people, including you. First, God.  Second, marriage.  Third, children. Fourth, work.  Fifth, family and friends.  Sixth, church and you.  Wow that makes the women’s ministry sixth on the list. If you honor a woman’s commitments (you encourage and empower her in those other priorities) she will value the ministry.  So when you get that little piece of her time and energy, value it.  Guard her time, like you would guard that $20.  Spend it wisely.
Action step: If she comes to your event, fellowship group or even Bible studies make sure it is an encounter with God.  Nothing makes it more worthwhile than the Holy Spirit, in revelation and power. If you say the meeting is 2 hours honor that commitment. If you say it is a Bible Study then that’s it and nothing more.  If it is just a time of fellowship then ensure that is all it is.  Have a volunteer thank you dinner.  Send out thank you cards to the spouse and children. Be creative on ways to honor their time and energy.  
It’s all about relationships!  No matter how you look at your calling, it’s all about the relationships.  Fight for them. You can have this amazing vision and top notch strategies, but they are all in vain if you lack the team working together to get it done.  This is the environment that vision and strategy is cultivated.  Relationships are the air you breathe.  Gossip, power plays, and unforgivness is all toxic to the relationships, just like carbon monoxide is toxic to the air you breathe.   If you value those relationships and fight for them, they will become what makes the ministry work or fail.  
Action Step:  Put the relationships before the ministry.  Take a courageous look at the ministry and then take a courageous stand against the toxins.  Get your members directory out and each day pray for a different woman in your church.  If your involved in a large church, get some help, get your core team to help pray.  If you don’t know the woman then get to know her, ask her out for coffee and find out what you can pray with her about.  Be sincere when you do this and then keep the info between you and her.  Don’t stop praying for them until God has turned your heart into a compassionate melted loving heart for all those women. Be ruined with the love of Christ.  It will show at your next meeting how much more you care about them than the ministry itself. 
If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can all Value people and our relationships" in the ministry please leave a comment!

Paradigms that Produce Fruit: Constant Refining

Paradigms that produce fruit (part 1)

A paradigm is a way of thinking. Your way of thinking good or bad will produce fruit.  Here are just some paradigms that will produce short term and long term fruit in God’s Kingdom.  The kind of fruit He enjoys, and really isn’t that what we are doing all this for, His smile? Ask the Holy Spirit to transform your mind to Christ mind, to Christ love and to Christ’s service, nothing speaks louder than the power of the Holy Spirit in all the things we do. It  is the Holy Spirit that causes the paradigm shifts so let’s call out to Him. 

Constant Refining 

Don't be the ministry that has arrived. We don't need to change fundamentals but we do need to stay abreast with contemporary circumstances.  Stay relevant or else stagnant and die. Thinking you got it all together is a trap of the enemy.  "Be careful where you stand, lest you fall."  The ministry is about connecting God to the world, and the world lives on shifting sand.  You know at one point in the history of the church, slavery was an accepted idea.  Today that would be preposterous.  

Action step:

Ask your team after the event “What did we do right?”  “What did we do wrong?” and “Do we do it again?” and then listen to them.  There is no right or wrong answers.  Why ask them anything if you disregard their answers. 

Recruit the demographics to your core team, the different generations, the different cultures, the different ideas. Then listen to them and empower them.  Nothing like asking the younger generation’s opinion then after you get it you dismiss them as ignorant. Why would they want to come back after that?

Leader's Vision Own it!! part 2

Get some clarity on your Pastor's/Leader's vision and keep it.

If you don’t understand it completely it’s okay to ask, just don’t be rude.  Once you got the heart of the vision, you own it (it’s your vision too, now), your implementing strategies to see the vision played out in the natural, now the next step is to keep it in focus.  It’s easy to get distracted by all the “crisis” that seem to come up.  It’s easy to get distracted by the holidays, and the baby showers, and the nursing home visits and even the prayer groups.  Keep the vision in focus during all these things.  I’m not saying abort all the ministry opportunities (some call them problems). I’m saying keep the vision in these things.

Your Leader's Vision OWN IT!

Owning your Leader's vision is a really great strategy to keep you from self promoting. 

1. God has anointed your pastor as the leader of your church

Think about it.  God is the one putting people in position.  He lines up their personalities with the task at hand.  They have a vision, a burden for them to carry out.  You have a part to serve in that vision it's your spiritual response-ability.  God will give you the ability to respond to it.  2 visions make a Di-vision.  Make it your goal to serve and honor those God has placed in authority of your life.  A lot of harm is done when the Women's Ministry Leader won't carry out or honor the Pastor's vision. Find out what that vision is and own it as your own.  

Action step: find out from your Pastor (or your women's ministry leader)what's their vision, what's the heart of their ministry. 

2. Submitting to and serving someone else’s vision builds humility and maturity

Ever get around someone that thinks the know it all. It can be so frustrating.  Submission is the last thing on their plate. We all have dreams we want to pursue. Sometimes we even think we know the best way to pursue them. I honestly believe God strategically places us in positions to mature us and the fastest way to do that is learn to honor your leaders. Don't get me wrong, I don't like how some leaders abuse their position, but that's a different post. When it is time to step out and pursue the dream/vision God has given you there will be people that will have to follow you.  Do you want a bunch of "you's" on that team?  Value  your leader's vision they way you would want your team to honor yours.  When you serve someone's else vision you will gain a much more realistic perspective on what it means to serve and lead. Learn to make others look good, that the essence of washing feet.  Serve humbly and serve well.

Action step: After you find out the vision, sit down with your team and come up with ways your ministry department can support and encourage that vision and then implement them.

advice to new leaders

Your position is not your identity. Don’t get caught up in labels. In fact I like the way Medina Pullings thinks about it. People try to call her an evangelist, prophet, apostle but if you ask her she just calls herself a “Jesus Girl.” You are way more than your title. I know many women after stepping down from leadership feel completely lost. That’s one of the reasons some women cling so tightly to a position. Loose the label and just be who God created you to be. If you asked Jesus what your identity is, now the church body is calling you “Leader”, He would call you a “foot washer.”

Your position is temporary not permanent. Okay lets get this sorted out quickly. First there is something to be said about staying power and the effects a great leader has on a team, especially when they have the time to implement the strategy. It’s amazing and wonderful. Yet sometimes we can become yesterdays anointing rather quickly. Or God can move us on to something bigger. It’s up to God anyway. And unless He has personally told you that this will be your position till you die then plan to hand it over. If you think this is a permanent position then it will be a challenge not to let it become an idol. Train up people around you to take the position and run. That’s why God gave us the following generation. I seriously want to go on a cruise and let the next generation sort some of the planning out. Embrace that fact and plan for it. It will create the sense of urgency and focus you into completing what God has called you to do.

Your position is a privilege not a right. When you stepped into the position in women’s ministry you stepped into partnership with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is a privilege, not a right. How many people have you met that truly thought they were in a position because they were gifted and talented and in reality they weren’t. Can you say “awkward!” Or how about the lady who is gifted and talented but a leader she was not. It is a privilege to serve. I like the saying, “We don’t give to get. We get to give.” That’s what it means to be in a position.

Your position is about faithfulness not achievement. We all step into roles with plans and goals that we set to achieve, we strive for them. We dream enormous dreams and then faithfully carry them out. Let’s be more faithful conscious than goal conscious. Not saying goals aren’t important they are. It is better to finish than to start. However being faithful means:

  • faithful to God - staying saved is the most important thing you do.
  • faithful to the service - serving when you don’t feel like it or when you think it is too hard
  • faithful to the relationships - fighting for the relationships on your team and those you serve are way more important than achieving some goal. God is a God of relationships. Don’t throw away your relationships because you have to lower yourself and apologize. Now if they don’t want to continue on with the relationship you move on. You can’t make them be your friend.

Your position is about them not you. The world has more than enough narcissistic leaders. It doesn’t need one more. Being a leader is not about you, in fact it has never been about you. Ministry is about serving and promoting others. It is about loving each other and putting them before yourself. Let’s loose the celebrity mentality and be a leader that’s reachable and touchable. I understand there are times you need to steal away and have some quiet time. Just don’t be rude about it.
Your position is about stewardship not ownership. Being a steward is different than being an owner. As a Christian, I believe that God owns it all.

Your position will require more than you can provide on your own. This is a great place to be because now you have to lean on God. You have to get a word from the Lord. You can’t do this on your own. If you have been showing up to your meetings, your one on ones, your bible studies with the attitude I can do this with my eyes shut, you need a wake up call. Making disciples of people and ministries are easy, you can do that with your eyes shut. Making disciples of Christ takes way more time and energy and a whole lot of the Holy Spirit.

Self Promotion part 2

Here is the follow up for self promotion part 1.  We left off at favor and faithfulness goes hand in hand.  The more faithful you are to the favor given more favor will be given.  

Here's some tips to follow through on this. (chew on them, visualize them in your situation, implement them

Don't despise small beginnings, they are the best teachers.  You learn to be comfortable in your own skin.  Epic fails are whole lot easier  get up from with a smaller audience. It's a lot harder to lead worship or take up an offering or do a fund raiser with a small group of ladies than a larger one.   I grew up in Florida and I like to surf.  Well every surfer knows Florida is not know for it's epic waves. Small waves that's what we got.  However great surfers come from Florida, (ask any surfer about Kelly Slater a legend) How can that be?  They learn to get the most of the small waves and short rides.  When they actually do ride the big waves they pull off way more stunts and their rides just look epic.  It's the same here. Don't despise small beginnings. Smaller groups can change directions a whole lot faster than larger ones and you will the skill of leading a whole lot quicker without as many headaches.

Go to the edge of your influence and no furtherStay within your ministry, but within your ministry go all out.  Push the envelop.  I have a mandate for those I mentor and that is 3 fails in one year.  I'm not talking about moral failures, I'm talking about taking some risks.  Stay within your ministry, your area of influence and get out of your comfort zone.  Think about this: Did you learn more in your success or in your failures?  I learn way more when I fail.  When you take the risk stay within your place.

Step out of yourself and step into God.  This is a little take from the last tip. If your taking risks your no longer leaning into your own strength your leaning into God's. This keeps you humble and humble is the place to be.  You won't be promoting yourself, you'll be promoting His faithfulness.

Know your place.  I believe in commitment. If you volunteer with every ministry in the church then really how much are you really giving to the ministry God has called you to?  This is a biggie for those who don't know the anointed word of "NO." You'll know your in  your place if your experiencing provision, protection and power. Marsha Woolley has a great sermon on this very subject.  Maybe we can get her to post that.

Growing influence might mean giving up position (and power to a younger one) if God is changing your area of influence (Hay it might be getting bigger) then your going to have to let go of some things and turn it over to someone else.  God might be moving you to a different area of influence.  I personally started ministry in a preschool, I went to the middle school age on Sunday mornings, then God moved me into the Teen Girls ministries which had me in jails, schools everywhere.  Then at last women's ministry. What did I do first thing in this new ministry.  I set up chairs, I mopped and cleaned the bathrooms. But I was faithful to that.

What's your leaders vision? This is really where the rubber meets the road.  If your vision is different from your leaders vision, you change your vision.  Don't try to change the leaders vision, (remember staying in your place) that's God's place.  We hear all the time about the Worship Leaders wanting to do their own thing and how inappropriate that is.  Well, it's no different in Women's Ministry.  What's your pastor's vision?  What's your Section's Representative's vision?  What's Marsha Woolley (the Women's Director for PenFlorida District) vision? IF you don't know call them and ask? And then submit to it.  Just because you don't like the Section Event or the Fall Breakaway doesn't mean you are to go out there and start your own! That's getting off course.  Really how can God, who honors the authority He has put in your life, bless that too?

Go put into action the tips and then watch as God gives you more favor.

3 Ministries/Events to Promote

Here are 3 ministries that I thought you would like.  I attend their stuff.  I volunteer with them because I believe in the impact they are making and I have personally witnessed their credibility in ministry. I invest personally in these ministries.
 I recommend these ministries to others because I know these ministries deliver.  Deliver what?  A God experience!  It is so disheartening to go to an event large or small and not once encounter the Holy Spirit.  Not saying these are the only ones to go to, everyone has their preferences.  The reason I like these events are because:

  • they are localI don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to fly across the nation. If you don’t mind spending the bucks flying across the nation THEN your going to love these cuz they are definitely worth the trip.  They are located in Florida, so plan a trip to Disney too!  However -support your local ministries.  No one geographical location is better than any other. If you live in Florida these are events you will be glad you went to.
  •  They are not all hype! These events are exactly what they say they are and then some.  They totally deliver.
  • I always leave better than when I came.  

    #1 Marsha Woolley and PenFlorida Assembly of God Women’s Ministries  Marsha is the Women’s Director for the Assembly of God in the PenFlorida District.  She has an amazing vision for empowering women to impact Florida for the Kingdom of God.  It’s not just her vision, she can preach, too.  The first time I heard her I almost fell out of the chair laughing.  She grew up in Africa as a missionary kid, so she doesn’t think like most Western cultured ministers.  She thinks so outside the box.  Then if that wasn’t enough she operates in  her gifts, full on!  Go see her, and take your team with you. They will be ministered to and empowered when they leave. 

    #2 Fall Breakaway -  This is an amazing event.  Every year an amazing speaker (Lisa Bevere, Medina Pullings, Judy Jacobs, even Rita Springer).  This year is Christine Cain from Hillsong Australia.  The hotel this year is Rosen Shingle Creek and wow!! The rooms are queen size beds, you don’t find that very often and the hotel has plenty places to eat including a buffet and even a deli/store.  All reasonably priced.  For 4 people to a room only 100$ that includes registration.  NOT BAD! 
    #3 Hope Tour -  This year is Hope in your own little world.  It’s one day of workshops with a final session. IT'S TOTALLY FREE!!!  The workshops are amazing.  Topics like "ministering to your spouse (especially if the aren't believers),  what if you don't like your kids (okay can we be real at these events too!) Hope in a world of pain (yep even for people that haven't physically seen their healing yet!) Trash to Cash (the coupon rage is back!!!) There are like 10 workshops to choose from (you pick 3) Again go to for more info like dates/places. I'm a little biased to this one cuz I'm doing one of the workshops.  My workshop is on Mentoring, bridging the generational gap type thing (one of my favorite things to do :)  )  Hope to see you and your team there.

    self promotion part 1

    "The mortal enemy of the church is self promotion." Heide Baker

    So what is self promotion, or what does it look like? Let's let you answer that!  Leave a comment and we will all be able to see what that exactly means. Be NICE!!

    God promoting you is way cooler than  you promoting yourself, cheaper too.  So how do we promote ministry?  We promote others first.  Find a ministry that God is smiling on and you smile on it too.  If there is a ministry that has blessed you beyond belief, volunteer with them. Let others know about that ministry.  Talk about that ministry and not yours.  It’s a whole lot easier to promote others than promoting yourself. I love Phillipians 2 in the Message version.  It is worth the read and its about giving others the leg up and not your own.  Of course we are to protect our interest but we are to stand up for others, look out for the lost.  I like the way Mother Teresa did it.  She never promoted her ministry, she promoted JESUS.  She saw Jesus in every person she met.  She promoted Jesus and Jesus promoted her.

    Write your blogs, sermons, books, music go ahead and do what God has called you to do. However instead of you speaking at your church's event ask someone else to.  In fact, purposely start promoting some of your younger generation. I bet you got some amazing gifts right in front of you. Instead of pleading with all your facebook friends to follow your blog, just post it for the world to see, attach a link on your facebook and tweeter.  Your friends and people who read these things know what to do.

    I believe in favor and faithfulness.  God gives you an area of influence, thats favor. It could be your home (it should start there anyway), your work, the nursery at church, the toddler class, the Mpact girls club, it could be women's ministry bible study.  Be faithful to whatever area of influence you have. The more faithful you are the more influence you get.

    The next post will be part 2 of this series (tips to favor and faithfulness)