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157Episodes

Alan and Trent are pastors helping churches and leaders make a difference and last.

October 11, 2021

Episode 133: No Other Gods

Episode 133: No Other Gods

 

6 potential "false gods" in our ministry
 
Placing people above God
  1. Will cause you to live in fear
  2. Will cause you to stop speaking the truth
 
Placing security above God
 
Placing comfort above God
 
Placing a paycheck above God
 
Placing family above God
 
Placing preference above God
 
 
October 4, 2021

Episode 132: Symptoms of A Critical Church Culture

Episode 132: Symptoms of A Critical Church Culture
 
 
Many of our churches in the United States have developed a critical culture
 
Criticism - a Critical Cricket
                    a Fault Finder
                    an Idea Incinerator
                    a Results Rebel (never good enough)
 
A critical spirit tears down those around us and robs us of our own ability to enjoy life. When we become overly critical, we miss out on the beauty that God has placed in this world. Small blessings go unnoticed, and we stop being thankful. Overcoming a critical spirit requires gratefulness, a willingness to forgive, an accurate understanding of God’s grace (it’s free!), an intentional refocusing of our thoughts, and a commitment to share the truth in love.
 
Complaining - inner 2 year old wants something
 
what happens to a critical church
 
  1. The church is made up of people.  So when people are complainers and critical - it spreads like a cancer. 
 
  1. It runs people off - because it makes people uncomfortable
               folks don't like conflict
               it runs pastors off
 
  1. Some folks will join in because they like gossip - scripture calls it a tasty morsel.
 
  1. A church can gain a reputation of being critical
 
 
 
Overcoming a critical spirit is a matter of sanctification, and we have the Holy Spirit’s help with that .
  1. submit to God,
  2. read His Word,
  3. develop a thankful heart
  4. and pray for grace, we will find that the critical spirit gives up control to the Holy Spirit of Christ.
  5. address the issue
September 27, 2021

Episode 131: Efficiency versus Effectiveness

Episode 131: Efficiency Versus Effectiveness

 

In ministry we have to remember that efficiency can sometimes kill your ministry

  • We are working on God’s timeline and in his power
  • We are dealing with people 
  • Our people need our undivided attention
  • Hearing their story will change your view of them
  • Listening takes time

Are you more worried about the schedule in the bulletin or in allowing God to work and be in charge?

September 20, 2021

Episode 130:Enjoying Where You Serve

Episode 130:  

 

Satisfied?  
 

 

“...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”  verse 4

 

For reading and meditation: Luke 4:1-4

 

We remember Satan is a counterfeiter.  He creates fake items to dangle in front of God’s children as substitutes for God’s real items.  Jesus is truly hungry in this passage and in need of some sustenance.  Satan offers him mere calories - sweet bread. 

 

Jesus knows there is an item far more satisfying than bread.  Jesus knows experiencing God’s presence is really satisfying; a deep down, unbeatable satisfaction.  See Psalm 16:11.  “In Your presence is fullness of joy.”  The one Hebrew word translated fullness of joy (soba) refers to real satisfaction.  Jesus knew remaining in God’s presence was His source of real satisfaction.  He would not forfeit the beauty of real satisfaction to experience the fleeting satisfaction of eating a few sweet calories of bread.

 

Have you and I eaten some of Satan’s sweets when we were hungry?  How satisfying was it for you?   Those in Christ look to God to satisfy them.  It is in His power and by His strength we stand, move, and have our being.  It is our intimate walk with God that sustains.  Let’s not forfeit our walk with God for one sweet bite of a fake.

Be a tourist 

Be a food critic

Be a tour guide 

Be a chamber spokesperson 

September 13, 2021

Episode 129: When It‘s Time to Restructure

Three elements to consider
  • constitution
  • bylaws
  • Policies and procedures
 
Constitution is broad and covers governing values and principles.
  • The overarching thought is " who we are?"
  • Relates to a person
  • changes on rare occasions in big moments when married, or become a parent... or experience a tragedy.
  • for a church big moments can cause a shift and need to re-identify a church.
    • time after a scandal
    • years of conflict
    • merger
    • a season of explosive growth
 
Bylaws are the specific governing properties that arise from the constitution.
  • The overarching thought is "how do we do this? "
  • Relates to the skeletal system
  • Should be reviewed often and amended or changed every few years.
    • Have laws changed?
    • Has culture shifted? - ex. fewer business meetings
    • Has leadership changed?
    • Is the structure effective?
    • Was something not addressed that should be addressed?
    • Are you following them, which is technically a legal requirement.
 
Policies and procedures
  • The over-arching thought is "what is important to us?"
  • Cover the ever-changing details of church operations
  • Relates to the skin and organs
  • should be examined yearly for effectiveness
    • should be maintained by church leadership
    • should be available and affirmed by leadership
    • protect people within the church and the church itself
    • define roles and responsibilities within the church
 
Remember:
  1. Organizational structures are not forever - one reason the Bible doesn't give us an exact structure.
  2. Don't over complicate our documents: Constitution is like a page or two, bylaws a few pages; policies and procedures are much more comprehensive, but also most easily changed.
  3. Use a team to evaluate, don't just trust yourself
  4. Remember you are legally responsible to follow your constitution and bylaws.
September 6, 2021

Episode 128: Lengthening Out Your Pastor‘s Tenure

Episode 128: Lengthening Out Your Pastor's Tenure

 

6 Questions to consider in increasing pastor tenure in your church
  1. Can you pay your pastor enough to keep him?
  2. Can the power paradigm shift?
  3. Are there unaddressed trust issues?
  4. Does the pastor fit your context?
  5. Are you making it hard for your pastor to leave?
  6. Are you taking a stand against harmful voices in the church?

 

August 30, 2021

Episode 127: Can it be Revitalized?

Episode 127: Can it be Revitalized?

 

The buzzword in church life is revitalization.  Everyone is talking about it because it's a huge need. 
 
So We need to talk about revitalization
 
  1. Churches need to be honest about their situation and their numbers.  When was the last time your church had a baptism?  When was the last time your church welcomed a new member?  When was the last time your church welcomed a new baby to the church family?
  2. Churches need to make a decision- what are they actually willing to do and change? 
  3. Then the church has to commit to follow through
  4. Churches need some outside help to show them reality and possibilities.
 
Churches in decline need to face some hard realities
 
Revitalize - the long term plan to renew their health through a change of vision and strategic change.  Need a plan
 
Replant - A church can relaunch with a new name and plan - but they must have a partnering church to
a.  foster
b. adopt
c. financially support
 
Repurpose - Creatively steward facilities for the continued glory of the larger kingdom of God
 
So start now and look at your church - do you need revitalized in some way?
August 23, 2021

Episode 126: 6 Pastor’s Who Won’t Likely Endure

Episode 126: 6 Pastor's Who Won't Likely Endure

 

6 types of pastors who will struggle to endure
 
  1. The know it all pastor.
  2. The self-centered pastor.
  3. The lazy pastor.
  4. The emotionally unintelligent pastor.
  5. The unspiritual pastor.
  6. The isolated pastor
 
Some corrective actions...
  • Be teachable
  • Know Yourself
  • Work hard
  • Love your family and your flock
    • Can't love who you don't know
  • Remember you are on a spiritual journey
  • Build relationships and accountability with other pastors
August 19, 2021

Interview with Stephanie Morcom about ministering to those struggling with addiction

Dealing with addiction?

 

Reach out to Stephine here

August 16, 2021

Episode 125: Separation Anxiety

 
 
 
Episode 125: Separation Anxiety
 
We see it all the time in ministry. - someone who has been very involved in the church.  Suddenly they begin to distance themselves from everyone. 
How do you handle this separation?  
 
Is it important or not? 
 
Satan loves to separate us from our family.  
 
We will never get to the right places until we listen to the right voices.
 
Most of the time we wait too long to ask.
 
We don't want to offend.