Just Say No: Building Margin In Ministry

When’s the last time you said a definitive “no”? Or, is that two letter word simply not a part of your vocabulary? Many of us in ministry don’t know how to utter or stutter the word. Why is it so hard? If we did say no, who would understand, affirm, and/or accept our response? Much of the time when a “no” is stated it comes out of our anger and frustration about one too many requests for our time and energy. Or, we say no because we’ve run out of time to say yes once more. So, when have you said “no” for a good reason, a thoughtful reply that comes from a place of wisdom and strength deep within? We can’t build margin in our lives without a clear sense of calling, giftedness, and reasonable expectations. Let’s dialogue about when, how and why a “no” might be best used a majority of times rather than rarely, or worse yet: never.

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia became the founding president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI) on July 1, 2003. LTI is a ministry which focuses on the spiritual formation needs of leaders and the spiritual discernment processes of leadership teams in local church and parachurch ministry settings nationwide. He is the author of several books, including Broken and Whole (IVP, 2016), Outstretched Arms of Grace (LTI Publication, 2015), Path of a Beloved Disciple (LTI Publication, 2014), Wellspring (LTI Publication, 2014), Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way (IVP, 2012), the Baker Best-seller Becoming a Healthy Church.

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How does externally focused ministry influence the evangelistic effectiveness of the church?

Many of the statistics today have the church in decline. We read about the “nones” (those who choose not to identify with any faith tradition) and the exodus of the “dones” (those 2.7 million per year who have been faithful and active church members in the past but now are de-churched by choice). Recent surveys also point to the fact that people attending church only twice a month consider themselves regular attenders. So are there any churches shattering these trends and seeing success in people coming to faith in Christ? You might be surprised.

Eric Swanson is missional lead specialist for Leadership Network. He has a passion for engaging churches worldwide in the needs and dreams of their communities. His passion is seeing local churches impact spiritual and societal transformation. He is adjunct professor at Denver Seminary and is co-author of four books including The Externally Focused Church and To Transform a City, along with numerous articles.

Eric and his wife Liz have three married children and eight grandchildren, and live just outside of Boulder, CO.

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PRC with Ken Sande

Bill Nicoson —  June 16, 2016

Relational Skills Can Get You Upstream of Conflict

Having mediated hundreds of church splits and forced pastoral exits, I’ve never seen a pastor lose his pulpit because of poor Hebrew skills. Poor technical skills (exegesis, preaching, leading, etc.) can certainly weaken pastoral ministry, but they will seldom destroy it. When a pastor is forced to leave a church, it is almost always because of conflict and relational failure, either with a leadership team, a spouse or a church faction. In this Pastors Resource Call  we will look at six core relational skills that can help pastors get upstream of conflict and build a relationship in their family and church that restore the joy of ministry and provide a compelling witness to the transforming power of Jesus and his gospel.

Ken Sande was the founder of Peacemakers which he led for over 30 years. In 2011, he sensed that God was calling him to shift his focus from resolving conflict to preventing conflict by building healthy relationships. He began to develop and teach a concept called“relational wisdom” or simply “RW.”

He also had the privilege of serving as an Editorial Adviser for Christianity Today’s Building Church Leaders, Managing Your Church, and Church Law and Tax panels. He is a Certified Christian Conciliator™, as well as a Certified Emotional Intelligence Instructor, trained through TalentSmart.

In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, hiking, and skiing in the Beartooth Mountains just south of his home in Billings, Montana. He and his wife Corlette are members of Great Plains Gathering (PCA), a church plant dedicated to bringing the hope and peace of the gospel to the Native Americans in our community.

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PRC with Lance Witt

Bill Nicoson —  May 18, 2016

Developing Spiritually Healthy Teams

Everyone wants to enjoy their ministry team environment! Whether your ministry team is all volunteer, all paid or a mix, it should operate in an environment that is healthy spiritually and conducive to leading the church in a healthy way. Sometimes as leaders we forget how important it is for us to be proactive about caring for our team’s spiritual well-being.

On this PRC, Lance Witt will share practical ideas and strategies for building spiritually healthy teams. What kind of leadership does it take to raise the spiritual temperature of your team? What does true team community look like? How can you build a team covenant that gives guidance to your work together? You won’t want to miss this conversation with Lance!

Lance Witt, founder of Replenish Ministries is often called a “Pastors pastor.” He has served for over thirty years as a pastor, twenty as a senior pastor. He also served as an executive and teaching pastor at Saddleback Church. Lance helped develop and lead the 40 Days of Purpose and 40 Days of Community campaigns.

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PRC with Neil Cole

Bill Nicoson —  April 22, 2016

Christians Should Be Revolutionaries! We Should Be Bringing A Revolution To Our World.

Doing good can be the enemy of being good. Neil Cole has always been one of our favorite PRC guests. He always pushes the envelop in causing pastors to think about their trajectory as pastors and leaders. In today’s world it is more important than ever to stay on mission. Neil’s new book One Thing is all about staying on task. He will interact with many different cultural mores and provide thoughtful guidance into how the scriptures ask us to live in the world today.

As author Neil Cole dramatically points out, it’s all about One Thing. It’s a revolution of love! Grounded in the love found in the new covenant, this book passionately calls the church back to its true spiritual roots and provides tangible examples of how that was done in the past and how we can do it today. One Thing offers an alternative that is biblical, effective, subversive, and loving all at the same time.

Neil Cole is a prolific author. He describes himself as the father of three, the husband of one, author, coach and spiritual director. He makes his home in Long Beach, CA and is a UCLA Bruins fan.

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