Social Media Veterans Invited to High-Level Group

Social Media Veterans Invited to High-Level Group

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Many churches, well experienced in the social media space, are looking to improve their model and better leverage their impact. Tim Nations speaks to veteran social media users, inviting them to the upcoming Social Media and Communication Innovation Lab. This Leadership Network peer group is designed for larger church leaders to take their digital models, strategies and techniques to new levels.  In this 5-minute interview, Warren Bird talks with Tim Nations about this new group series starting May 2014.

Social Media and Communications  InnovationLab | Launching May 1-2, 2014

Warren BirdBy Warren Bird on March 12th, 2014
Warren Bird, Ph.D., research director at Leadership Network, with background as a pastor and seminary professor, is author or co-author of 26 books for ministry leaders including Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin. His most recent titles are  Next: Pastoral Succession that Works and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller.  Some of Warren’s recent online reports include “Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard“, “The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches,” and “Pastors Who Are Shaping the Future.” Follow him on Twitter at @warrenbird.
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Source: http://leadnet.org/social-media-veterans-invited-to-high-level-group/
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7 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ST. PATRICK

7 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ST. PATRICK
Resurgence »    Dead Guys     Church History     Culture

Nothing to do with beer.

  1. He was one of the greatest missionaries who ever lived.
  2. He considered himself “a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful, and most contemptible to many.”
  3. He was actually more of a blue man (not sad, but the color), than a green one.
  4. As a teenager, he was stolen from his home and sold into slavery for six years in Ireland. He would later return to preach the gospel there.
  5. Satan attacked him violently in his sleep to the point where he couldn’t move.
  6. Legend has it that he contextualized and used shamrocks (an already-sacred symbol in Ireland) to teach people about the Trinity.
  7. He begged God to grant him to die a martyr’s death, even if it meant being torn limb from limb by dogs or pecked to death by birds. (Maybe St. Patrick inspired Alfred Hitchcock?)
RECOMMENDED READING

The Confession of St. Patrick, by St. Patrick

St. Patrick: One of the Greatest Missionaries Who Ever Lived,” by Mark Driscoll

Get to Know St. Patrick,” by Mark Driscoll

Happy St. Patrick’s Day,” by Amy Hall

What Evangelicals Can Learn from St. Patrick,” by Russell Moore

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Source: http://theresurgence.com/2013/03/17/7-things-you-might-not-know-about-st-patrick

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Two Truths for Coping with Suffering

Two Truths for Coping with Suffering

by Charles R. Swindoll

Job 2:3–62 Corinthians 1:3–7

I have found great help from two truths God gave me at a time in my life when I was bombarded with a series of unexpected and unfair blows (from my perspective). In my darkest hours, these principles become my anchor of stability, my only means of survival. Afflicted, confused, persecuted, and rejected in that situation, I claimed these two truths and held on to them like wild waves, strong winds, and pounding rain grabbing hold of the mast of a ship at sea. God took me through the consequences and kept me from becoming a bitter man.

Because they worked for me, I pass them on to you. At the risk of sounding simplistic, I would suggest that you not only write them down where you can read them often, but also that you might commit them to memory. The day will come when you will be thankful you did, I assure you. They have scriptural support, but I’ll only list a couple of verses for the sake of brevity and clarity.

Here is the first truth to claim when enduring the consequences of suffering: nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. Whatever occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved (Job 2:3–6). We may not know why (we may never know why), but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who guides our lives. He is, in no way, surprised by it all. Before it ever touches us, it passes through Him.

The second truth to claim is this: everything I endure is designed to prepare me for serving others more effectively. Everything. Because my heavenly Father is committed to shaping me into the image of His Son, He knows the ultimate value of this painful experience (2 Corinthians 1:3–7). It is a necessary part of the preparation process. It is being used to empty our hands of our own resources, our own sufficiency, and turn us back to Him—the faithful Provider.

And God knows what will get through to us.

“Nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father.”  — Chuck Swindoll

Adapted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

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Source: http://www.insight.org/resources/devotionals/two-truths-for-coping-with-suffering.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20DailyDevo%20%28IFL%20-%20Chuck%20Swindoll%27s%20Daily%20Devotional%29&utm_content=FaceBook

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5 Requirements for Being Used by God

5 Requirements for Being Used by God

By 

Clay Pots

If you’re a Pastor or church leader of any kind, you most likely found yourself in that place because you want God to use you. And chances are, you want God’s help releasing and freeing other people to be used by God as well for both ministry and mission.

The question is, what kind of person must I be to be used greatly by God? 2 Chronicles 16:9 says,“The eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them.”
If you want God to use you greatly, here are five things you need to do to make yourself usable by Him.

1. Keep your life clean.

The first step to being used by God is always personal cleansing. Without exception, when you find someone whom God is using in a great way, they’ve dealt with the personal sin in their lives before God.

It’s not about your past or your status in the world your your talent. God uses small vessels, plain vessels, and even broken vessels. But He will not use a dirty vessel. 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you’ll be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” (NLT)

2. Keep your eyes open.

One of the most misunderstood words in leadership circles is the word vision. We think of vision as prediction, but none of us can know the future the way God does. Vision is seeing God at work in your present situation and moving with Him. It’s about getting in on what God is doing in the world and being a part of it where He has placed you.

If you make up your own vision, you’re already off course. The psalmist said, “Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.” (Psalm 105:4 MSG)

3. Keep your heart grateful.

God uses grateful people. Further, gratefulness is one of the keys to longevity in ministry. Doctors refer to gratitude as the healthiest of all emotions because of its physical benefits. If you don’t stay grateful, you’ll become cynical.

Paul said, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11 NIV) We need to constantly remind ourselves what a privilege it is to serve Jesus. Never get over the things that God does in, through, and around us entirely because of His grace.

4. Keep your purpose firm.

Remember the basics. You were planned for God’s pleasure, formed for God’s family, created to become like Christ, shaped for service, and made for a mission! These aren’t just good points for teaching others or for leading a church. These are the purposes for which God made you!

One of the verses that has kept me going through all the years of my ministry is Acts 13:36, “David served God’s purpose in his own generation.” That’s my desire! And that’s my desire for you.

5. Keep your mind on Jesus.

Meditate on this verse, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.” (Hebrews 12:2 MSG)

God’s purpose for your life is far greater than your problems. Don’t give up when it gets tough. Go to Jesus. Keep your mind on Him!

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Source: http://pastors.com/be-used/

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The 10 People You DON’T Want on Your Staff

The 10 People You DON’T Want on Your Staff (and What You Can Do With Them)

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I work with church leadership teams literally every day of my life. It is absolutely one of the most joyous things I have the privilege of doing. When you get a group of passionate Christ-followers unified around a compelling mission and vision who also possess the desire, gifts, talents, abilities and resources to move it forward, few things are as exhilarating.

As thrilling as this type of leadership culture is, the opposite is equally as frustrating. When leadership teams needlessly stall the advancement of mission and vision over C-issues, it becomes truly maddening.

Yes, maddening. My heart breaks for pastors in these types of churches because they simply have no chance.

John Maxwell was right when he taught that a leader’s success is determined by those closest to them.

The following is a list of 10 People You Do Not Want on Your Church Leadership Team. Pastors, these individuals will ensure you and your church have little chance of success.

1. The ’80s Man.

This person continually celebrates the achievements of the past (sometimes long, long ago) and views those methods as the only ways to advance mission and vision.

The ’80s Man has not had a new thought since the ’80s. Rick Warren says, “You have to learn to honor the past without perpetuating the past. We all are products of our past but not prisoners of it.”

2. The Devil’s Advocate.

First, the devil does not need any help.

Second, I do not want to be in a room with people who tell me why something will not work. I want to surround myself with people who bring solutions and help make things work.

3. The Cannibal.

This is the person who feels it is their job to keep everyone else accountable. They simply eat people alive. They do not foster accountability. They foster cannability.

4. The “No” One.

This is the person who leads with “No” rather than “Yes.” They have to be convinced to agree to even the most minor leadership decisions.

It just becomes exhausting getting them on a train which has already left the station.

5. The Feeler.

The Feeler has no idea why they are against the ministry initiatives. They just are, even though no one else has any concerns.

There is a caveat here—any experienced leader has had times when something doesn’t feel right in their gut. You should trust this feeling. When this happens, humbly say, “I know this doesn’t make sense, but something just doesn’t feel right here. What do you think?”

This approach is healthy. The problem comes when a person says this about each and every issue.

6. The Chauvinist.

This person dismisses the value and perspective women can bring to leadership.

7. The Enemy of the State.

This person is the worst. They are against the pastor.

There is nothing worse than a person who is not for the pastor and does not do everything within their power to help the pastor succeed.

Also, give your pastor a raise!!! How much—MORE!!!

8. The Union Rep.

Rather than acting like a leader, they choose to represent the dissatisfied and disenfranchised of the church. The Union Rep uses phrases like, “A lot of people are telling me,” or, “There are many people in our church who … .” Ignore the Union Rep and their fabricated statistics.

9. The Hunter.

The Hunter likes to put heads on their wall and notches on their belt. This person tells stories of previous leaders they have “held accountable” or put in their place.

Be wary of this person. You are likely next on their list. They will try to convince you they know more than you, are better connected than you and have a deeper understanding of scripture than you.

They are laying a trap. The Hunter is on the prowl for their next trophy kill. Do not let it be you.

10. The Genius.

The Genius knows more about each and every subject than anyone else. The challenge with The Genius is you cannot teach someone something they think they already know.

If you have any of these 10 people on your leadership team, you have several options:

1. Develop them.

Let’s best honest. I have most likely been every one of these 10 people at some point in my leadership, and probably you have as well. We all started somewhere and can still get better as leaders.

Therefore, this is the best option. No one is perfect, and if they are teachable and have the passion to become a better leader, you can develop them.

2. Confront them.

Remind them of what your church in general, and this team in particular, is trying to accomplish. Show them where they can be part of the solution.

3. Wait.

Most teams have a length of service. Hopefully, they will just rotate off soon.

4. Pray for God to remove them.

This is the passive and often healthiest approach.

5. Remove them.

Rather than just praying God removes them, please know sometimes you are the answer to that prayer. This is where courage is needed to have the hard conversation.

Your thoughts? 

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Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.

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Source: http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/173233-brian-dodd-10-people-you-dont-want-on-your-staff-and-what-you-can-do-with-them.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=clnewsletter&utm_content=CL+Daily+20140312
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Millennials Most Godless and Politically Independent Generation

Millennials Most Godless and Politically Independent Generation

Added by Matthew Stinson on March 8, 2014.
Saved under Matthew StinsonOpinionU.S.
Tags: 
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Millennials – people aged 18-33 – are often described as entitled, coddled, and whiny, most notably by people who are not Millennials. Whether the previous labels are fair or rubbish is up for debate, but a study by the Pew Research Center has added a new list of adjectives for the Millennial generation: godless, politically independent, distrustful, broke, and optimistic.

The survey was conducted Feb. 14-23, 2014, among 1,821 adult Americans, including 617 Millennials and compared to previous studies dating back to 1990. The two other groups compared against Millenials were Gen Xers, aged 34-49, and Baby Boomers, aged 50-67. An important distinction for Millenials is that demographically approximately 43 percent of them are non-white, the highest share of any generation.

Millennials are easily the most godless generation of Americans, with 29 percent saying they are not affiliated with any religion and 11 percent saying they do not believe in any god at all, as compared to Gen Xers who are 6 percent atheist. As faith goes, only 58 percent of Millennials are sure of their beliefs, compared to 69 pecent of Gen Xers.

In addition to being the most godless generation, half of Millennials identify themselves as politically independent. “It’s not that they don’t have strong opinions,” said Paul Taylor, co-author of the report, but rather that they stray from party affiliation. While perhaps not labeling themselves as liberals or Democrats, Millennials tend to vote that way, especially on social issues.

Same-sex marriage continues to be a hot-button issue for Americans, but not so much for Millennials who now support its legalization by a whopping 68 percent. The two biggest factors standing in the way of same-sex marriage becoming legal under federal law in the US are tradition and the Bible. Being young, which Millennials are, makes it easier to detach from tradition, and if Millennials have a tendency not to believe in the Bible, it must follow that they are more accepting of marriage equality.

Millennials are also the most “plugged-in” generation. They are linked to each other through social media and they spend a large portion of their time online exchanging ideas and gathering information as the internet expands everyday. This may explain why they are also the least trusting generation. Gone are the days when celebrities, politicians, and world figures could escape the scrutiny of truth. All humans are flawed in one way or another, and those flaws are now broadcast on the 24-hour news cycle and are constantly going viral online. Books, like people, can also be flawed, which might explain why Millennials just aren’t as into the Bible as older Americans due to readily-available information.

Readily-available information might also explain why Millennials support the legalization of marijuana by 69 percent, as they are unburdened by false claims and retro paranoia. However, their views on gun control and abortion are nearly identical to older generations.

Millennials also are coming into adulthood in one of the worst economies in decades. They are also burdened by incredible student loan debt, as the fight to land and keep a job is a brutal one. Perhaps this is where the “whiny” label comes from. After all, Millennials grew up being told that they could do whatever and be whoever they wanted if they worked hard. For many though, the American dream is becoming harder and harder to capture. A side effect of being broke is that most unmarried Millennials (69 percent) say they would like to get married, but lack the finances to do so.

With all that being said, Millennials remain optimistic about the future, with 49 percent of them saying America’s best days are ahead. For that to be true though, the economy must drastically improve. The Millennial generation being politically independent and not overly bound to specific beliefs in God might go a long way to aid in that endeavor.

Opinion By Matt Stinson

Sources:

Palm Beach Post
Christian Post
Detroit News

Source: http://guardianlv.com/2014/03/millennials-most-godless-and-poltitically-independent-generation/

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Let Us Be Peacemakers

After watching the new movie, “Son Of God” at the evening of the Ash Wednesday, I think more  and more about what Jesus taught us on the Mount (Beatitudes). Jesus commends us to be poor in spirit, thirst for righteousness, merciful, be peacemakers, and joyful as sons of God. Let us remember what Jesus did and wants us to do as His true disciples during the Season of Lent.

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Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

– Matthew 5:1-12 ESV

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