Panic or Pivot - Your choice! THIS CRISIS IS AN IMMENSE GIFT. The crisis is not good, but you can USE it for good.
This crisis has taken the whole world by storm. Almost every country is implementing some form of lockdown lasting 2, 3 or more weeks. Many of the things that we used to do, we can no longer do. So, in order to get things done we are changing. Doing things differently. Some work. Some don't. Some work much better than before.
That is the key. If you are willing to pivot, and see this as an opportunity (and please don't read that I am saying this crisis is good - people are dying and suffering - it is terrible), but, if you are not caught in the terrible part of this crisis, you might discover things that you are doing differently now that you want to continue to do after the crisis has been averted. And that is the gift.
So often we get stuck in a rut, doing things that we have done for years because we...
Before you speak, there are three things in your life that tell people whether they should listen to what you have to say or disregard you entirely:
Your walk with God;
If your walk with God is a struggle, or you are in rebellion...
If your marriage is poor and you and your spouse do not get along...
If your children have rebelled against your teachings and do not follow the Lord...
Then people will sense the disconnect between what you are saying with your mouth and what your life is saying, and not pay attention.
Leaders will argue that their walk with God, their marriage and their children are all in their private life and are not anybody's business. But that is never true. People know what is happening in those three areas by watching you, your reactions, your body language, your spouse and his/her reactions to you, your children's lives and your children's reactions to you. By looking at those things, they already know...
STOP!! You need silence! It is essential for your mind, spirit, ministry, and your relationship with God.
How often do we push on because people need us, there are too many meetings, demands, expectations and our days seem never ending until we fall into bed only to get up the next morning and do it all over again?
That may seem like a productive way to use our days, but in reality, not only does our productivity plunge with a schedule like that, but we are essentially telling God that we've got this ministry thing ourselves. We can handle it. We have the answers.
The only way to be truly effective is to set time aside. Time for silence. Time to listen. Time to hear the voice of our God calling to us. Time to worship. Time to admit we don't have the answers and we are simply servants of the most High God.
If you don't regularly have times like this in your schedule, time to start. In fact, as soon as I finish writing this, I am going...
It isn't often that I get to introduce my hosts, but I'd like you to meet Pastor Jay, his wife and children. For security reasons, I am not giving their full names. But when I last went to India, this family, whom I had never met, treated me like a king.
They gave me a room in their apartment, fed me, set up a series of meetings that were so well organized, all I had to do was show up and everything was done. Pastor Jay drove me hundreds of miles, translated all my seminars and made sure that when we were on the road we had a comfortable place to stay.
For the last seminar, his wife and children took a many hour train ride to join us. His son shot video and his wife helped translate. They were truly a blessing.
They have set the example for how to treat a brother from another country and I look forward to working with them in the future as we all pray for the blessing of pastors, churches and the nation of India.
Thank you Pastor Jay,...
Often, as we prepare for a presentation, we equate the amount of preparation with the impact of the presentation.
I was always taught to do the work, put in the preparation, to do the details, plan and if I was willing to work hard enough the results, the impact would reflect the time and work that I had put in. There is some truth to that. Clearly, we have a responsibility to do our best with the gifts, abilities and opportunities that God has given.
At the same time, though it seems pedantic to state this, the results are not up to us, but are in the hands of the Holy Spirit as he moves on the hearts and minds of the listeners.
So, what insures the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit? Our humility, prayer, and dependence. This cannot be something that we simply take for granted. It must be something that is consciously acknowledged each and every day, and especially as we anticipate sharing the truth of God's...
Everyone says that teens are the hardest group in the world with which to communicate effectively.
I think everyone is wrong. Teens are eager to have good, solid information and advice, in order to run their lives in such a way that they don't make the mistakes of the previous generations. That means they want to listen to you! They want to hear what you have learned!
There are just a few things that they ask for when you give them what you know. Here are three of the most important:
Passion and energy
If you surround the wisdom that God has given you with these three things, they will listen and they will remember what you said.
"Love your wife as Christ loved the church... then, as partners, raise your children to love and follow the Savior." These were my words to them over 2 days of seminar.
Those these men and women did not have a lot of education, they certainly weren't ignorant of the Bible. They had been taught theology, Bible study habits and many other things, but for some reason - cultural - they had not had the Biblical teaching on marriage and family.
"Nothing like this is being taught here!" pastors said after attending our seminars.
I'm sure that somewhere in this region others are teaching these Biblical truths, but nobody in the 6 seminars that I gave had heard them. In fact, at the end of every seminar, most wanted copies of the notes so they could teach the truths to their congregations. Talk about a great ROI! When I was able to teach 100, and each one of them was able to teach 100, I was essentially teaching 10,000!
So what did it take to get here?
1.5 years of preparation. 26 hours of flight. 1 night sleeping on the floor. 4 hours of driving.
But the impact - incredible, family changing, church changing, village changing and with the power of God nation changing.
5 seminars, each two days in length. Approximately 100 pastors are expected, along with their spouses and elders. Day 1 covers "Godly Marriage". Day 2 is about "Raising Godly Children". Our goal is to give pastors what they need, in order to be effective in the ministry. A close walk with God, a good marriage and children following the Lord are essential.
Those 500 pastors will then teach 50,000 people in their churches. Talk about a great EROI - Eternal Return On Investment!
A few days ago, we delivered our first seminar and the response was overwhelmingly positive! My translator, who is also a pastor, called the senior pastor for our next seminar and told him that he must personally contact each pastor who was planning to attend and insist that they bring their spouses and elders, because this seminar was so important.
Each time I have spoken I have taught practical ways...