Take a Day Off!

Attention Pastors:

This Sunday (The one after Thanksgiving) is the lowest attended church service of the year in the United States. This is a great weekend to take off. I’m not teaching. I’m thinking about checking out another church and seeing what’s happening somewhere else to get some ideas. So find someone to fill in and enjoy a weekend off. The best part is that 1/2 your church will be out and they won’t even realize you were gone…

We have always used this weekend to break in a new teacher into the mix. It’s low pressure since there aren’t as many people and if he/ she totally screws things up, not that many people heard it. It’s a win/win deal…

Church Advice from John Mayer

John_mayer_aa923_1 I was reading up on my favorite artist, John Mayer, and came across a quote that stopped me in my tracks. In speaking about his live performances, he said, “There’s a deep responsibility to move every last soul in the room.” When we prepare a series or I’m putting together my Sunday message that is my aim, to move every last soul in the room. Where do we want to move them? For everyone, it’s different. For some, it’s to consider starting the journey with God. For others, it’s to deepen their level of commitment to God and experience Him in new ways. I’m wondering if we’ve forgotten the mystical element to the Christian experience and we’re giving people great information and helpful hints for life, but we haven’t moved their souls…

It’s that time of year again…

I’m a huge believer in budgeting.  Not only personally, but for church as well.  Gary’s post is so true that in the first year you can’t really set a budget because there’s no pattern to work from.  But after the first 12-18 months you may be able to start considering budgeting in a little more concrete fashion since you will be able to see some trends forming in your church. 

At our last staff meeting, our administrator handed out a P/L sheet for each ministry and a set of guidelines for preparing a budget (If you think this might be helpful, let me know and I’ll post it).  Once everyone prays and knows what their individual ministry areas want to accomplish and need to make it happen, they meet with our administrator and I.  At this time we either give them the thumbs up and tell the to go for it, or we tweak it up or down depending on what they’re trying to do.  One of the things I do with our staff is let them know where each ministry area stands in importance.  This is a difficult conversation, but a necessary one.  From day 1, we’ve said that Teaching, Worship, and Children’s Ministry were the top tier areas that we would resource. That means other areas may not get everything they want.  If you don’t have this conversation with your staff, every ministry area will think they have the same level of importance and therefore should be funded equally.  That leads to a mess.

By the time I meet with each staff member to go over their areas of oversight, I’ve already prepared a number for the overall budget for the next calendar year that I take to our board of directors.  Once we agree on the budget with the board, I let the staff know and we’re off to the races. 

I would encourage every Senior Pastor to budget for the upcoming calendar year because you budget is simply your goals in dollar form.  What you spend the resources God has entrusted to you shows what ou value.  If you say Children’s Ministry is second to none in your church, but you don’t resource that ministry, don’t kid yourself.  What you spend dollars on shows what we value most.  It’s true in our personal lives and it’s true in the church as well…

Why is a Pastor’s life so weird?

I’ve come to the conclusion that Pastors live weird lives.  Why do I say this?  Because most of the Pastors I know have weird stuff happen to them all the time.  I feel like Ezekiel at times.  God had that poor guy go through so much crazy stuff simply to illustrate what God was going to do.  That’s what happens to us as well.  I find that every time I’m preparing a message and I can’t find a good way to illustrate something, God always helps me out by allowing me to get into some kind of bizzare situation. 

That’s what happend to me last night.  Carey will tell you the story

Best Communicators We’ve Never heard of…

I always enjoy reading Perry Noble’s blog and I enjoyed his post from the other day about his favorite communicators.  Not surprisingly, his favorite communicators are mine as well.  But it got me thinking, "Everyone has heard of Rob Bell, Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, and Erwin McManus.  But who is in the next tier that we haven’t heard of but should know about.  Who are the guys that we will be hearing about in a couple of years that are doing great things, they just haven’t hit a national platform yet? 

Anyone have some suggestions?