Pack Light, Pack Right 3

Pack Light, Pack Right 3 – The Pastor’s Mind

I’ve got so much to learn.

The longer I have lived and led the more I realize that I don’t often even know the things I don’t know. You know?

Great leaders have always championed learning. Check out some of the suggested learning leader resources below for a few examples to help stretch you! (You don’t have to agree with everyone. But, you would be amiss not to learn from them.)

Rick Warren put it this way…

“All leaders are learners. The

moment you stop learning, you

stop leading.”

Here are a couple of his very challenging TEDx Talks hosted in Orange County, California – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFdRFhVQwvU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPqNtOrTdlU

Leaders are learners. You know this.

Peak Pastors is dedicating to helping

you DO this, to learn to learn.

So, let’s learn from one another! Let’s question and challenge and spur and resource one another on to be stewards of the gray matter God has loaned to us.

Here are three of the podcasts I have been listening to recently. I love these because they interview leaders who learn from leaders!

Share your resources below or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group Page!

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast – https://careynieuwhof.com/mypodcast/

Ask NT Wright Anything Podcast – https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Ask-NT-Wright-Anything/Podcast

Unbelievable Podcast with Justin Brierley – https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable

Share some of your go-to learners below!

Do you preach like Ted?

images-4Hey, pastors! Who do you preach like? Whether you are stylistically from the “big pulpit, suit-wearing, finger-pointing, fire & brimstone” or the “real, relaxed and relevant” schools of preaching (or somewhere in between), I hope you enjoy the parody found at the link below. This one pokes fun at the modern “Ted Talk” style communicator that has clearly influenced many pastors today. And, here are a few simple thoughts on communicating while you’re at it…

Preach like YOU. While all should be grounded in His content, I doubt seriously that even Jesus wants you to preach like Jesus. We don’t even know what that sounded like. Over the years I secretly wanted to communicate just like my dad (the teacher), then my father-in-law (the evangelist) in my 20’s, and then others like Andy Stanley in my 30’s. The problem is, people can always see through this more times than not. Thankfully, sounding like me and being OK with it has been a big relief for the last 10 years. Hopefully it has made me a better, if not more authentic, communicator. It only took 20 years to figure this one out!

We all have influencers and this is not only normal, but often good. However, find your voice, your style, your rhythm and be comfortable with it. Ask others who know you (and a few that don’t) to help you with this and keep you honest.

Know your audience. While you don’t want to change your voice (accent) or even language in an obvious over-attempt to be relevant (like some modern politicians), you do want to understand a little bit about the demographic you are communicating with. How do they learn? What are their likes and dislikes? What is happening in their part of the world? What is important to them?

Add a little “shortening.” This was my father-in-law’s kind way of telling me to cut down on the content early in my ministry. I’m still working on this one. The wisdom of Shakespeare still proves true today, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” This is one of many positive takeaways from the “Ted Talk” style of communication.

In simple terms, be true to God’s Word and true to who He has created you to be as a communicator of His Gospel.

Ted Talk Parody  by “This is That”

Looking for something even better than TED? Check out “Q” at qideas


6 Ways to Help Your Pastor Preach

images-3Do you want your pastor to preach better, deeper, more relevant, maybe even faster? Good luck with that last one! And, who even knows what “better” means? Still, you can be sure that most pastors genuinely hope to continue to grow as a communicator of God’s Word. This is where you come in! Consider 6 things you can do to help your pastor grow as an effective preacher and teacher of God’s Word…

Give them time. While pastors should be disciplined not to rely on the old “Saturday night special” (and blaming the Holy Spirit for it!), they should also be given ample time to prepare daily. Partner with them to carve out some specific time, preferably early in the week (maybe Monday-Wednesday, 8am-noon), for sermon prep. Make sure this is understood by the congregation and that exceptions are truly the exception. Great sermons aren’t simply downloadable or come via inspiration in between hospital and home visits.

Give them space. Is the church pastor’s office really conducive to hearing from God, going deep in His Word, and weaving in real-world application? It very well may be. Still, consider encouraging them to get out (local coffee shop, park, etc) to avoid what can be the “rut” of weekly study. Inspire creativity and even collaboration by encouraging them to get out there.

Give them resources. Do they have a “book allowance” or “professional expense?” Staying up and well-read on what God is doing and saying in the world (both secular and sacred) is vital to communicating well. Two great resources are LOGOS Bible software and Right Now Media. These are both amazing resources for insight and inspiration for all of your church leadership. Consider them as investments, not as expenses.

Give them a break! This an “insider’s tip.” Anytime before or immediately after preaching is NOT the time to bring up the leak in the nursery bathroom or ask them if they can remember to visit your neighbor’s bankers aunt with a hang nail. Are these really pastoral duties, anyway… or duties you and others are just as “called” and maybe even better skilled to perform? Regardless, your pastor needs to be focused solely on communicating God’s Word when it’s time to do so. If they find themselves in conversation with anyone, may I recommend first-time guests? Keep your pastor in “the zone” before and after they preach or teach.

Give them grace. It isn’t easy to hit a home run every week. If your pastor is being true to God’s Word and doing their best to communicate it well… then encourage, encourage, encourage! Besides, what is was a “swing and miss” to you, may have been a “home run” to someone else. That’s just how the Spirit works. Besides, not every message is all about us.

Finally, pray for them. We saved the best for last. If you want your pastor to preach more effectively, pray for them more fervently! Pray for them emotionally, physically, relationally… for their spouse, kids, etc. Pray they will hear from the Lord, gain greater insight into God’s will and Word. How about praying for them to grow as a Christ-follower themselves? The enemy does all he can to distract and discourage your pastor and lead team. Guard them with the power of your prayers! Gather others to pray over them with you throughout the week and before/after they deliver a message to you and others.

Help your pastor preach, teach and lead in the example of God’s Word!

31 Tips for 2016 – #23

Here is Tip #23 for Ministry Leaders in 2016…

“We don’t just teach. We awaken.” – unknown

This is the motto of a High School I often substitute teach for. More than just a slogan, this particular school seems to mean it and apply it with purpose. This results in a student body that, although still kids, seems to possess an above average sense of discipline, drive character and creativity. How does the leadership of this school awaken students to learning (their vision or preferred outcome) and how can it be applied to your ministry or organization?

Here are 6 Ways to Awaken your team to your vision…

1) Say it. Don’t leave your vision unspoken or assumed. Speak it, write it… and repeat it with conviction and creativity. Don’t let competing visions drown yours out and take things in another direction.

2) Create environments that encourage it. In other words, create an environment of encouragement. Challenge and question almost as much as you come alongside, cheer and champion those leading and serving with you. Create forums (roundtables, retreats, etc) and get away to visit other organizations to gather creative ideas and inspire all in pursuit of your vision.

3) Provide resources that facilitate it. Determine to provide the best tools available to your team leaders and members to serve with excellence. This may take time. Cast your vision to others with the means who are looking to invest in ministries like yours and then ask them to give in generous support. Keep them informed as to the return on their investment in changed lives. Equip with the same level of excellence you expect out of yourself and your team.

4) Give opportunity to practice it. If your teams don’t have opportunity to live out your vision, its just writing on the wall. Make failure an option. Take some risks and chances together and keep a sense of humor as you err on the side of action in the pursuit of your vision.

5) Hold everyone responsible for it. Set the bar high and then hold everyone, especially yourself, to a high level of accountability. Provide clear goals and benchmarks and then review progress often. Find out whats working, what isn’t and how to improve together.

6) Celebrate! Recognize both individuals and the team as your strive together towards your long-term vision and short-term goals. Do this in an annual event and in smaller celebrations throughout the year. For example, create a volunteer and/or staff member of the week/month award and promote in all of your online and print media.

Lead beyond information. Awaken and inspire as you pursue your calling and promote your vision daily as a team of world-changers for Christ!