- Last week Mark Driscoll stepped down from the leadership of two organizations he was instrumental in forming: Acts 29, a church planting network and The Gospel Coalition. I’m not the biggest fan of the way Driscoll does things, but I don’t lead a church of thousands, helped plant hundreds of churches, or written multiple books. One of which is the best church memoirs I’ve read. I hope that this is a move of health and balance.
- Been a long-time fantasy football player, and thinking about joining a baseball league. Anyone need one more for their league?
- Valuable or annoying: profiles of pastors looking for a church job and posts from churches with available positions?
- In a month I went from less than 50 subscribers to the email newsletter to over 500. Everybody likes free.
- Christianity Today has a wide-ranging interview with John Piper that covers his famous tweet “farewell Rob Bell.”.
- Seth Godin on the rise of short. Applies to sermons too.
- Young adults not returning to church is a popular topic and rightly so. Jonathan Pearson has a short rundown of a few prescriptive actions.
- Before you approach someone about mentoring you, learn and follow these rules first. via Perry Noble.
- Sucker for “books you should read” posts.
- Friend and fellow pastor wrote a song for our current series.
Curious if anyone pulled any pranks this morning at church.
Fake a power outage, flip the sound off, some intentionally misplaced or misspelled sermon slides. You don’t want to go overboard and risk getting sued, but I’m all for having a little fun.
So did anyone pull a prank today? Or did you have one planned but chicken out?
Let me know in the comments in the meantime some inspiration:
It seems that every other post in my Google Reader account is about young people leaving the church and not coming back. I think those of us in youth ministry saw this coming. Either among our peers or the students that graduated from our ministry, people didn’t come back.
The data is known. The response isn’t.
So what are you doing about it?
Seriously, let us know in the comments.
This is the landing page for a new blog series. You can get the entire series as a Kindle book.
A pastor is a unique profession. Before I got into it I thought my time would used for study, counseling, and creative planning sessions. Sure that happens but I overlooked the relational aspect of ministry. Everything you do from your time with God to how you treat your neighbors comes back to relationships.
If you are just getting started in ministry then read this, or at least skim it. If ministry feels stale and you want to start fresh without trying to find a new job, read this. These 30 tips and practices are born out of personal experience. Things that I did that worked and things that I overlooked and regretted.
Each Tuesday I’ll post another chapter with the links updated here.
- Learn Names
- Ask Every Question
- Pay Attention and Listen
- Don’t Change Anything
- Say Yes to Everything
- Don’t Commit to Anything
- Don’t Bash or Try to Replicate What Was Before
- Meet Your Neighbors
- Meet Other Pastors in the Area
- Find the Hangouts
- Identify and Meet the Connectors
- Have People in Your Home
- Establish a Date Night
- Taxes, Vacation Time, and Other Things to Clarify
- Identify Cheerleaders and Axe Grinders
- Do What You Know
- Be Who You Are
- Plan One Big Thing
- Pre-Emptive Appreciation
- Love Kids and Old People
- Go Home at 5
- Find an Outside Mentor
- Protect Your Sabbath
- Go Through What Was Left
- Get Out of the Office
- Celebrate the Honeymoon
- Take a Risk
- Set Very Broad Goals
- Social Media
- Post Script
I love the thought of getting your feedback on the individual chapters, so let me know what you like and what you didn’t like in the comments.
This is part 3 of a blog series called Finding a Church Job.
I hate networking.
The idea of a room filled with people wearing name tags forcing conversations with strangers puts me in a cold sweat. Identity is your job title and passion is your next project. As an introvert networking is somewhere between root canals and a tax audit.
Obviously I make all this a bigger deal than it really is. My guess is that most of you feel the same way as I do.
If you want to find a church job though you can’t rely only on online job boards you have to network. Since most of us don’t care for the stereotypical version of networking you can do it differently.
You have develop relationships and connections with other pastors. Which means you are going to have to reach out and not just find but create opportunities. Just don’t be creepy about it.
So here are 5 ways to “be” different (once I started I couldn’t stop, I am a pastor) and network for real people.
Leeches. That’s what I think of when going into a networking situation. People that are looking for anyone that can help them get another step ahead. So when you are looking for a job don’t cast a wide net.
Narrow your search down a geographic area, type of role, or type of church. Don’t talk to just anyone but talk to those in that field or area.
When someone comes up to me and says they are looking for a job and will go anywhere it isn’t that I lose interest, but I don’t make the same connections I would if they said they were looking to join a church plant or be a worship pastor.
Find the connectors in your area. The people who host meet-ups or seem to know everyone else.
A piece on the changing nature of seminary as published by the Christian Standard.
I am a statistical anomaly. I am a young minister who went to seminary almost immediately after receiving my undergraduate degree. More and more, people like me are opting to bypass seminary and go directly into full-time ministry.
Some of these individuals have been spectacularly successful. The incredible stories of new churches being planted and existing ones becoming vibrant again make me think about the time, effort, and resources spent on a seminary degree, and I wonder: Was it worth it?
Has a world of blogs, conferences, and books made a seminary degree obsolete?
You can read the rest of the piece at the ChristianStandard.com
So I need some help. I have to figure out to get teenagers to embrace a missional mindset.
So here’s the deal: I lead a mid-sized Student Ministry at a very fast growing church that is preparing to open our first campus in a multi-site strategy. Specifically the challenge is our high school group. We have a tight-knit group that is understandably concerned about not seeing their friends and losing what they have.
The plan is to do small groups at each campus but on different nights with combined big events happening somewhere between monthly and quarterly. If we can get into it I think we will be fine, just trying to get there. Talking to others who have done this the key is getting students to embrace a missional mindset. That’s the what, I need help with the how.
A few thoughts I have at this point:
- Clearly casting the vision repeatedly
- Allowing students to have a say by presenting options
- Creating student leadership teams that have influence over programming
You can jump into the larger conversation on the importance of seeking criticism in ministry here.
As I understand it a meltdown at a nuclear power plant doesn’t happen without warning. Prolonged and unchecked reactions build up over a period of time on the way to disaster, however there are plenty of opportunities as it happens to stop things from becoming catastrophic.
Criticism becomes a problem when it is ignored or avoided.
Throughout this series the overarching issue has been that we don’t like to be criticized. This fear is what leads to something really damaging and painful.
Rookie Pastors looking to develop their leadership can’t just seek criticism they have to be intentional.
Figure out a system of some kind that forces you to ask for honest feedback on a regular basis. This may take the shape of something formal, but more than that I think it is an attitude.
After each sermon seek someone out. At staff meetings let those you serve with speak into what you are doing. Before you send out a mass email let someone else review it. These practices may not lead to immediate results, but over time they will. The feedback you receive may not be crucial to your leadership but the humility you exhibit will.
People make passing comments. An email. It gets back to you second-hand.
You decide not to pursue it further citing that they were blowing off steam. You reply to their email and take their lack or response for reconciliation. Or since they didn’t come to you directly you decide not to sink to their level.
Leaders lead. The criticism that hurts does because of the immature way it is delivered or due to the immature way it is received. Be mature and have the conversation you’ve been avoiding.
- Pastors.com is promoting the free eBook this week and SermonCentral.com has reposted my Top 10 Mistakes by a Rookie Pastor post.
- A Youth Ministry veteran on what it takes to survive long term.
- Last week I decided I needed to know what my students were talking about and I read The Hunger Games. Well I ended up reading all three this week. Good story that obviously draws you in, but I thought the ending was a little lazy. What did you think?
- Jon Acuff with a quick test for your blog/book/song.
- “Pain has a way of making you honest” – Rob Bell
- Once again Skye Jethani makes you think: Chrstianism leads to Atheism.
- A Rookie Pastor should always be recruiting volunteers here are few ways to change the process up a bit.
- There’s no such thing as leaving well.
- Rachel Held Evans is a great writer who pushes the conversation in Christianity in a healthy way. I shared part one of why she left the church and I had some pushback from those in the Rookie Pastor community. I wasn’t agreeing with everything she put forth but we have to be able to listen. Here is why she came back.
- Short one today, hopefully like a lot of you I’ve got things to do before Easter. Let’s bring it, the tomb is empty so act like it.
You don’t have to be miserable, in fact you should love being a pastor.
As we roll out our church’s new website we are doing video bios for the staff. To spice things up our Creative Arts Pastor decided to have each staff member say something funny and serious about every other staff member and then edit these into our self introductions. Good idea that I’ll link to once it goes public.
His about me was that I get the Lost references he makes, hence “Not Penny’s Boat” written on my hand.
It was fun to make. It will be fun for our community.
Truth proclaimed. Salvation explored. Discipleship pursued. Community fostered.
Fun had and joy experienced.
If you aren’t having fun, I wonder if your community is?
When was the last time you had fun being a pastor?