Set Your Pace

Posted in Books, Personal Growth, Rest & Refreshing, Solitude, Stress by PCraig on October 10, 2013

I’m taking our Elders through the book Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft this year in our monthly meetings.  In today’s reflection, we focused on the leader’s pacing (not just walking back and forth in your living room).  Our attention was concerning the attitude of most people today on their lives: “I’m so busy.”

Jesus was the most influential person to ever walk this planet and yet I don’t think of Him as being in a hurry.  When I read about Jesus, it’s hard to picture Him as stressed out, in a fizz, and running in every direction like I am often times.

A while back, I had a pastor friend of mine say that he had been told by a Christian Psychologist, Dr. Richard Dobbins, to take time off every quarter of the year.  That pastoring a large church was an extremely intensive career and so he said you need to rest and replenish each quarter.  Since hearing that, I’ve really tried to plan quarterly breaks where I can be refreshed and rejuvenated.

God instituted the Sabbath for a reason.  Here’s the four practices that Kraft gives in his book that he tries to follow:

  1. Take a full day off each week and limit my work hours.
  2. Plan a full day alone for spiritual retreat on a monthly basis.
  3. Make sure I have some fun each week doing things that make me laugh.
  4. Limit the number of evenings I am not at home.

I heard someone say, “If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you may not be as bright as you think you are.”

If Jesus took His disciples away to rest and retreat, God created a Sabbath day, and health, spiritual, and mental experts agree that you need to control your pace, then who are you and I to argue?  Are you setting your pace?  Does your schedule honor God?

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Ten Stupid Things

Posted in Books, Church Growth, Leadership by PCraig on November 18, 2010

Thought I would share another book report with a clever title: “Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing.”  Besides the humorous title, the book makes some very good points concerning what can hinder the advancement of God’s Kingdom through the local church.  So, you ask, “Craig, what are the ten stupid things?”  Here they are:

  1. Trying to Do It All
  2. Establishing the Wrong Role for the Pastor’s Family
  3. Providing a Second-Rate Worship Experience
  4. Settling for Low Quality in Children’s Ministry
  5. Promoting Talent over Integrity
  6. Clinging to a Bad Location
  7. Copying Another Successful Church
  8. Favoring Discipline over Reconciliation
  9. Mixing Ministry and Business
  10. Letting Committees Steer the Ship

 There are several things that God used in this book to get my attention, but the one I’ll share surrounds the leadership question.  Throughout the book, Geoff Surratt, refers to the importance of developing leaders.  The longer I am in ministry, the more convinced I am that this is essential.  You can’t grow past what you cannot sustain and you cannot sustain without leadership.  Our staff is spending hours talking about this topic right now and envisioning new ways to empower leaders in our church. 

 What is your next step in leadership?  Is God calling you to something bigger than yourself, but right now you’re too scared to jump?  What great thing might happen if you did?  Get positioned right now to hear God and obey His voice for what He wants to do through you in 2011.  How do you get positioned?  Shut everything else off and get alone with God, let Him speak, then get up and obey.

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What’s In Your Soup?

Posted in Books, Leadership, Relationships by PCraig on November 11, 2010

One of the things I enjoy most about cooler weather coming is soup!  How about you, do you enjoy hot things when it’s cool outside?  A recent book I read was called SOUP, and no it wasn’t about cooking.  It contained a recipe for success for anyone in any position, delivering a powerful message on how the quality of your career, business and team is determined by the quality of your relationships. 

Relational ties are crucial to success.  The author, Jon Gordon, makes the point that “people follow the leader first and the leader’s vision second.”  In other words, if you are not a person people will follow, the vision will never be realized.  He further says, “It all comes down to relationships.  You need to have great relationships with your team if you want to build a winning team.” 

The book makes many good points that are transferable to the church, business or living a successful life.  It’s a short fast read, but the points are worth mulling over for while.  Here’s a final question: what are you doing to nourish your soul?  Are you putting in the right ingredients into your marriage, career, ministry or life to get the results you desire?

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Book on Finances

Posted in Books, Finances by PCraig on November 4, 2010

I’ve had some people ask from time to time about the books I read, so I thought I would write about a few I’ve read recently. 

Because of the numbers of people suffering from debt in our culture, I am always looking for good resources on the topic of finances.  One that is a newer book is “I Was Broke But Now I’m Not” by fellow Hoosier, Joseph Sangl.  This is probably one of the most concise, yet informative books on debt reduction I’ve ever read.  And, it’s not boring!  In my opinion, the greatest strength of the book is the topic of budgeting.  It’s one of those yuck subjects to many, but Sangl makes it easy to understand and implement. 

In addition to the information contained in the short book, Sangl has several helpful resources on his website that are free!  Here’s the website:  www.josephsangl.com

Do you have budget challenges?  Are you trying to get out of debt?  Check out this resource.  Also, we’re going to be teaching a class on this topic in January in our Crossroads University lineup, so watch for it.

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