I’ve been on vacation most of this past week (I interrupted my vacation for one day on Wednesday to kick-off a new Tampa Coaching network but more on that later). One of the ways I relax on vacation is through reading. This time, in addition to my usual non-fiction list, I decided to throw in some fiction books – particularly some from the Mystery category (my favorite!). So here are a few that I recently read:
(Disclaimer: Please don’t be legalistic, I am not endorsing everything in these books…you’ve been warned):
Back to vacation – only four more days before we head back to the city!
P.S. I’m always looking for new fiction authors – if you have any recommendations just let me know!
Lesson #4 – Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
Rick used to tell us, “If you aren’t failing at least once a day, you aren’t trying hard enough.” I’ve heard Woody Allen put it like this, “If you don’t fail now and again, it’s a sign you are playing it safe.” Notice that the difference between Rick and Woody comes in the frequency of failure. Rick said “once a day!” That’s a lot more failing than “now and again.” But both of these successful men, from completely different walks of life, understand the importance of this universal principle – Failure begets success. The more often you fail at something new, the more you are growing.
I like to tell my staff, “I expect you to fail at something new every day.” Now, if they are failing at the same thing every day, we have a problem. But if they are actually failing at something new every day, I just might promote them. Why? Because that’s evidence that they are pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones. They are proving their willingness to take on new challenges.
What have you failed at today? What did you fail at yesterday? If you can’t think of anything, maybe it’s time to stretch yourself a little. Do something new. Push past what you know. Try harder than you’ve ever tried. Go ahead… fail! When you do, you will be putting yourself on the path to great effectiveness and success.
Lesson #3 – You Are Blessed To Be A Blessing
Rick taught me The Principle of Generosity. This principle states that you are blessed to be a blessing. God wants to work through you. He wants the blessings He pours into your life and ministry to flow out of you and bless others. Picture a living river, being fed from the source and giving out to the tributaries. If you just take God’s blessings for yourself and never pass them along, you become more like a stagnant pond.
Not only does Rick teach this principle, he models it. During my years at Saddleback, I witnessed his extraordinary generosity many times over. He was constantly giving away books and materials to pastors who couldn’t afford to buy them. He was always pouring free stuff into the community. When we had conferences, he made sure that price didn’t keep pastors who needed the information from being able to be there – We always sold thousands of tickets to people who could legitimately pay and also gave away thousands to those who couldn’t.
I’ve really tried to take this principle to heart. Through Church Leader Insights, I have made intentional efforts to model generosity. God has blessed me, The Journey and CLI greatly, so it is my responsibility to let that flow through me and back out to you. That’s why we give away almost $7000 worth of free materials every week to church planters. We recently gave away more than $50,000 worth of Evangelism Seminars, and our free reports are packed with information we could sell but would rather give away. And you know what? God continues to bless us even more. I’ve learned that you can never out-give God.
This kind of mindset has exponential results. I understand and model The Principle of Generosity because of Rick. Hopefully, in some small way, you will take to heart and model The Principle of Generosity because of me. Who will learn The Principle of Generosity because of you?
Every day, ask yourself: “How can I use my blessings to bless others?” Just imagine the ways God would move if we all committed to being flowing rivers.
P.S. – Speaking of giving away free stuff, if you haven’t had a chance to download the free “Maximizing Summer” special report yet just click here to get it! The information will really help you grow through the summer and set yourself up to have great momentum in the fall!
Did you know that there are barriers to people being baptized? It’s true and that’s the topic of this months free Church Leader Insights Podcast. I’m particularly proud of this podcast. And I can say that without one once of arrogance as….I’m not even on this month’s podcast! Instead, Roy hosts Bob Franquiz for this insightful and practical podcast.
I believe that baptism is the most new testament way of going public with your faith. Yet, a lot of people hold off on the decision to be baptized. Why? That’s what Bob Franquiz discusses in this new podcast. Bob is a three time alumni of my coaching networks, a certified CLI traniner (he’s doing a Fusion event in Connecticut soon) and the Pastor of Calvary Fellowship in Miami Lakes, FL. My huge thanks to Bob for sharing his insights!
Bob is also one of the guys who pushed me to enter the blog world (I’m grateful, I think). He was blogging back before it was cool. Here’s a few of my favorite posts from his blog:
I hope you enjoy the podcast! If you have suggestions for future topics, just let me know by commenting below or using the Ask Nelson button on the right —–>
P.S. Why not take a moment right now and subscribe to our free podcast using iTunes or your favorite MP3 tool. This way you’ll never miss an issue! Here’s the step by step directions on how to subscribe to the Church Leader Insights Podcast
When I was working at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren, I heard him say time and time again, “As long as there is one unchurched person in the Saddleback Valley, we must keep reaching out as a church.”
Rick understands the importance of making evangelism a priority, or as I like to say, the importance of “staying outwardly focused.” It’s all too easy for us to get busy with the demands that direct our days and let the unchurched people who fill our communities slip to the backburner. But those people are the very reason our churches exist! If we don’t intentionally make it a priority to reach them, we are doing them a disservice and falling short of our responsibility to God.
As you think about how you can make evangelism a priority in your church, remember that evangelism is never an expense – It’s always an investment. Every dime you spend to reach a new person is an investment in God’s kingdom. Every bottle of water or pack of gum you hand out as part of a servant evangelism project is an investment. Every postcard you mail to promote a new series is an investment. God has commissioned us to take His truth to the corners of the earth, and that commission starts in our own neighborhoods and communities.
I challenge you to insert the name of your community into Rick’s quote. Write it out and put it on your desk, so that your focus comes back to local evangelism every day…
“As long as there is one unchurched person in _________________________, we must keep reaching out as a church.”
P.S. – Reaching out to ‘serve others’ is always a sure way to make an impact. Click here see how one church made a big statement in their community by helping people offset outrageous gas prices. Remember, it’s an investment. BTW, Mike McGown, the pastor of the church featured in the article, is a coaching alumni who is doing a great job in Houston, TX!
Last week, I had the opportunity to spend some time with my friend and former boss, Rick Warren. Being back in the zone with Rick made me start reflecting on some of the key things that he has taught me over the years– both when I was at Saddleback and since starting The Journey. This week, I’m going to pass some of those great lessons along to you, in a new blog series called, “Lessons Learned From Rick Warren.”
Lesson #1: Pastors change the world.
As pastors, you and I have much more influence than we may realize. When we stand up to teach, we have the opportunity to speak into people’s lives in a way that no other community leaders can. Just think about it – Government leaders may have influence over laws and political issues, but not over individual hearts. Business leaders may have power in their area of expertise, but they don’t have the opportunity to speak truth to many people. And if they did, who knows what that “truth” would be? You and I, on the other hand, are uniquely positioned to stand on God’s Word and instill His truths into the people in our churches, in a way that can change them completely.
So, you and I are God’s catalyst for changing the world. It works like this – Change a few individuals and you can change a group. Change a group (an entire local church) and you can change a community. Change a community and you can change a city. Change a city and you can change a nation. Change a nation and you can change the world!
As you go through your daily routines and rigors of ministry, work with purpose! You have a big calling… The calling to change the world one person at a time!
P.S. – Check back tomorrow for the second “Lesson Learned From Rick Warren.” Here’s a teaser: It will help you reach more people!
A few days ago I wrote about the Myth of the Summer Slump and argued that summer is the perfect time to reach new people and to creatively connect people to your church. I proposed that you have to learn to do one of two things:
Plant in the summer or beg in the fall!
The response to this post has been incredible with so many people asking for more! In response, our team went to work and we have produced a brand new report for you (my huge thanks to Roy and Jennifer!).
In this new 15 page report, you’ll learn:
- How to experience more first time guests during the summer months than ever before
- How to design creative outreaches that will take your evangelism to the next level
- How to design creative sermons that draw in more people during the summer
- How to multiply your impact by connecting summer events to your summer sermons
- How to connect more new people through summer small groups
- How to use the summer to develop new small group leaders
- How to use the summer to connect people in small groups that would not previously join a group
I can’t wait to hear your feedback. You can post comments below or contact me using the “Ask Nelson” button on the right. If you missed the original post, you can read “The Myth of the Summer Slump” by clicking here. Oh, one more thing – if you find this report helpful will you share it with others or direct people to this post? Thanks in advance!
P.S. If you missed my earlier report entitled Healthy Systems, Healthy Church then you can join the 2000+ others who have downloaded it by Clicking Here to Download Healthy Systems, Healthy Church Report.
“THERE ARE RISKS AND COSTS TO A PLAN OF ACTION, BUT THEY ARE FAR LESS THAN THE LONG-RANGE RISKS AND COSTS OF COMFORTABLE INACTION.”
— John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
This truth applies to every area of our lives – and to every area of our churches. As you rest and rejuvenate today, think about where you are leaning toward comfortable inaction and what you need to do to get ready for a summer of effective ACTION!
Today we are doing one big combined worship service at The Journey. When you have multiple services and especially when you have multiple locations, I think its important 2 or 3 times a year to bring everyone together for one big service. This does several things:
- It allows you to communicate vision to everyone at once
- It allows the attendees to see the ‘entire church.’
- It rewards your staff (one service is easier than six).
- It gives momentum
- It allows for extras (we offer an optional pre-service Worship Concert)
- It builds connectivity (some of the smaller services or new locations really feel like they are part of something big)
- It’s exciting to see everyone in one place
In addition to Memorial Day, I’ve found that the Sunday closest to July 4th is another good time for a combined service. We sometimes do one the first Sunday of the year too, depending on how the calendar falls. While we usually ‘take off’ the weekend after Christmas, many people tell me that’s a great time for a combined service. When would be a good time for you to bring everyone together?
Whatever services you are having today I hope they are great!
Jason Hatley, The Journey’s Pastor of Worship Arts, is doing a free Webinar on Wednesday, June 4 on the Top 3 Worship Leader Challenges. I’ve heard him teach this live and I highly recommend it. You can sign up for The Top 3 Worship Leader Challenges Webinar here.
Here’s how Jason describes it:
Join us in this live WEBINAR without ever having to leave your office or home! Webinar participants will need a phone and a computer with Internet access to participate.
Every Worship Leader faces the challenges of planning creative and impactful worship services, working seamlessly with the Lead Pastor, and developing the leadership skills to lead their ministries effectively both now and in the future.
Join Jason Hatley for this first-ever Worship Leader Insights Webinar, (Pastor of Worship Arts at The Journey Church in New York City) as he teaches proven lessons on how to overcome the Top 3 challenges that Worship Leaders face, including…
• How to develop a personal growth plan to ensure leadership effectiveness at the highest level
• How to Maximize the Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship
• How to plan life-transforming worship services each week
• Plus much more!
You can sign up for The Top 3 Worship Leader Challenges Webinar here.
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