We as pastors are asked often about pre-marriage advisement before a couple gets married. The book we see as extremely helpful is called “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.” Other books include:
Vacations are over and whatever my glitch in getting the ipad to do the video is now over. The same can almost be said for the summer. I’m not talking about the heat in Arizona, but I am talking about students are getting ready to go back to school, 40 Days of Hope is just around the corner, and VBS starts tomorrow. Get ready, it’s just like New Years – well a new school year, small group year, and students are moving to the next grade level. Leaders, are ready? I don’t mean do you have lessons planned. I mean are you spending time in prayer about the upcoming year. Let’s commit this year to be a year our ministries are saturated in prayer. Remember, it is God’s work we are doing. Let us do the work with God’s power and His Spirit.
Hope you enjoy the video,
Leaders and friends,
More and more I am realizing all of our POWER topics are relational – Prayer is clearly about a relationship with you and God, but some of the most meaningful times of prayer I have had were with others. Outreach is nothing if it is not about relationships. This week in our Sunday message we will be reminded that worship is a lifestyle. Even within that lifestyle there is a corporate part of worship and therefore a relationship side of worship. Equipping is about training others – totally relationship. And then there is Relationship - Often times as leaders we rely more on studies, programs, curriculum, or events to influence the life of others. Those things can have great value – but, relationships, personal contacts are the demonstration we truly care about others.
I continue to pray God will use you in a powerful way,
A Trip to the Dump
What are you reading? It has been said, “Leaders are readers.” If you are reading a great book please let me know. I am reading an inspiring business book – “Switch – making change when change is hard.” I am realizing how important it is for leaders to help bring about change. I also understand sometimes the head and the heart don’t want to change at the same pace. Talk to a person who has been smoking for 20 years and you can explain to them the health hazards and the money that has gone up in smoke. They will likely tell you, “You don’t think I know that. It’s hard to change.” Leaders, what do you see in your life that probably should change? What is your support program for making the change? How can your class, your table, your committee, or your ministry be a support and encouragement to meet your goals for change? How can you be a help to others as they attempt to make changes?
Thanks for your leadership – I am praying for you,
This week’s leadership video
It is 108 degrees. What do you do when it is that hot? NO!!!! Not leave town. You get together with a few of your people from your life groups, ministry groups, tables, Sunday School classes, and you see how they are doing. It is time to get together in smaller groups, and to look around for new people for your groups. Did you know most people who move to Phoenix do so in the Summer? Summer is not the time to shut down, it is the time to look around. One reason you are leaders is because you have a natural ability to stay engaged when others disengage, and you have a God-given ability to care about people. Let me encourage you to use this summer as a time to look around your work, your schools, your neighborhoods, and even the church, to find people who would give anything to have a small group – a LIFE group of friends to do life with.
Thanks for being leaders,
The Least of These, My brothers
Summer is near – thanks for a great year. For some your life groups may be ending or the ministry you are part of is ready to take the summer off. I would like to ask you a huge favor. Would you consider helping in Children’s Ministry in one of two ways:
- Is there someone in your small group you could personally ask to help in children’s ministry for the summer?
- Could you volunteer to help a couple of times a month in one of our children’s classrooms?
Thanks for your help with this matter – Summer is an extremely busy time of new people checking out North Ridge and our Children’s programs. You can make a large difference in the life of a child.
Here is your video for this week. Learning to Fail
Don’t you love this time of year? Life is simple, things move slowly, everyone around you is happy. Actually, that is not my reality, how about you? Everyone seems to have allergies, school seems busier than ever as the year is winding down, vacations are being planned, finances tend to be tougher than normal. One lesson leaders learn early, or they become frustrated early, is that the need for strong leadership doesn’t slow down because things get busy. I know many of your are overwhelmed because you care and are dedicated. Thanks so much for your dedication. Understand God works best when we feel the weakest. Let other leaders be aware of your challenges so they can pray for you, and so they may help see the solutions God has for you. We are in this together.
Thanks for loving Him,
Watch your words
Two important things:
- Have a very Blessed Easter – it many still not be too late to contact someone and invite them to join you this year for one of the Easter services.
- What are you doing to increase your dependency on Christ? As leaders and followers of Christ we are challenged to grow in our dependency on Christ. Ask God to lead you to understand what it means to daily depend on Him. It was a growing experience for the disciples to learn to depend on God; we ought not think there is a short-cut for us.
For those leading a Life Group – remember next Sunday begins our two week series on Outreach – we are calling it “Scandals: Stories that Rocked the Church”. You can pick-up the booklets at the Life Group table in the courtyard on Sunday, and can view the lesson online later this week.
I hope the leadership video is an encouragement to you:
Integrity – The Whole Truth
I shocked someone the other day when I pointed out that in much of the world even today marriages are arranged by families. “That can’t be,” was the reaction. “How can they really love each other.” We put so much emphasis on feelings instead of choices. Leaders put more emphasis on choices than on feelings. Love is choice – but for most of leadership is also a choice. Are you aware you have friends who are right now ready to step up and be a leader? This could be in a Sunday School class, a men’s or women’s ministry, the youth department or children’s ministry. It actually might be part of the mission program or the facilities area. They are ready to step up. Why don’t they? Probably because they are not convinced there is a real need. Some of you may be thinking, “A real need? What do I have to do to communicate there is a real need?” Actually it might cost you a cup of coffee and 45 minutes of time. That is where you sit with someone and share about your ministry. You share what God is doing, and what God could do if just, “A couple more people stepped up.” And after you’ve shared how excited you are about your ministry, you ask, “How would you like to help me?” People want to know they are needed and that their service is going to make a difference. They don’t get that from a bulletin flyer or a 40 second announcement on Sunday morning. They get it from talking to someone who is excited about ministry. Don’t just lead others IN a ministry, lead others INTO a ministry.
Pick your name
Reminder Life Group Leaders and Adult class leaders: On Easter the Outreach small group material will be available at the Life Group Table in the courtyard.
Two important points – Easter is around the corner – did you have some people you can encourage to be part of our SMILE team. Serving Many In Little Experiences. You can’t imagine what a difference a quick smile and “hello” does for a person coming to church. If you are aware of someone who would be great at this, get them signed up. These are really non-threatening ways for new people to get involved. Greeters, Parking Posse, Ushers, and more; with big SMILES make a give difference.
Secondly, the Sunday after Easter we are beginning our second two week POWER series. It is titled “Scandals” – stories from the church. Pastor Mike will be doing week one of the series and I will be doing the second week. Also, all the Life Groups will be doing a two week series on outreach. Believe me, each time Jesus did outreach to the lost it created a Scandal in the religious community. You will want to learn about some of these scandals.
Thanks for serving – Hope the video encourages and motivates,
Are You Doing Things To Be a Better Leader?