Thursday, November 12, 2009


Recently a number of challenges have caused me to do some real honest evaluations in my life and seeking the Lord in a number of different ways. In the last few months the Lord has brought me to a place of doing something that I have not really done often nor was I ever really taught about in church and that is in the area of fasting.

I read jentzen Franklin's book on the subject and was challenged greatly. Recently I challenged my staff to set aside one day a week to fast and seek God concerning the many challenges our church is facing.

I am learning to grow in this area but am discovering already how awesome it can be.

I am curious......

Do you fast?
How Often?
What type of fasting have you done and how long?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gathering The Fragments

Years ago I was flipping channels when I came accross Jeses Duplantis. I was not real familiar with his ministry at the time but I remember like yesterday what he said. Speaking of Jesus feeding the 5 thousand Jesse focused on the "Gathering of the fragments". He shared how God told him that there were fragments wasted in his ministry that could help him do more with what he already had. He told his office to turn off lights whenever leaving a room among other things. In 1 month they lowered their bill by $5000 dollars. During these tough financial times it should cause us to look closely at areas we can be better concerning God's money. I have made changes to my health care without putting my family in jeapordy, shaved some things that were pleasing to me but did not accomplish the mission, took advantage of some other opportunities and basically by December will save us $2000 a month and with things being what they are, that is huge for us. Where are the fragments in your ministry?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Money Matters

Over the last year our church and I am sure many others have experienced some major changes concerning financial contributions. Many families in my church have experienced 30%+ in income loss and some much more! Recently I have had to prayerfully make changes in my personal finances as well as the church while making sure that the ministry that matters does not stop. I am grateful for what God has shown me during this process.
I am curious: Have you experienced substantial decline in finances?
What changes did you make and how?
What things did you refuse to change because it was too important?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What determines Success in Ministry

Every pastor wants to have a successful ministry. Sadly, many compare themselves to the highly visible leaders of large ministries and feel like a failure in comparison.
The size of your ministry does not determine the level of your success.
• Too many pastors have led large ministries while tragically failing personally and morally.
• Too many have sacrificed their families all in the name of “church growth.”
• Too many have lost their personal passion for Jesus while leading His church.

The most successful pastors may not be the ones that others read about, but the ones who faithfully love Jesus and serve people.

Do the Small Things Daily
When working with pastors, many are often looking for a “big win.” They want to have a big community event, a big servants’ banquet, or a big series that runs attendance higher. While all these can be effective, I encourage consistency in the small things daily.

I’ll compare it to football. Most championship teams win games on many four-yard, six-yard, and eleven-yard gains. They might win one game a season on a last second hail-Mary pass, but most games consistently succeeding at the basics.

The same is true in ministry. Successful ministries are built on Christ by leaders who do the small things daily:
• They return calls and emails promptly.
• They show up on time.
• They pray for God’s guidance.
• They love and serve people.
• They study hard and preach passionately.
• They have a consistent and strong work ethic.
• They follow through on commitments.

You could hope for the perfect mailer, plan the killer youth event, or pray for a news story to build your church…or you could move the ball forward one play at a time doing the small things with integrity daily.

Successful When No One Knows
You can be successful today when few people know anything about your ministry. You are successful when you:
• Live daily with integrity.
• Pursue Christ with all your heart.
• Preach your best sermon to a very small crowd.
• Visit the sick in the hospital.
• Cry with the parents who just lost a child.
• Forgive the church member who wronged you.
• Give privately to someone in need.
If your ministry ever becomes “well known” and people call you an overnight success, you can thank God privately that they couldn’t be further from the truth. Deep down, you’ll know you’ve been seeking God for years and serving Him faithfully when few people were watching.

The Private Cost of Visible Success
If you are quietly faithful for years, God may expand your ministry. One day, many will want a ministry like you have. But not everyone is willing to do what you did to have what you have. You and those closest to you will know:
• The sacrifices you’ve made.
• The pain you’ve endured.
• The hard decisions you’ve faced.
• The loneliness you’ve felt.
• The fear you’ve overcome.
• The weight you carry.
Every private painful memory you carry will draw you closer to the One who suffered and died for you. Your “public success” won’t mean nearly as much to you as your private devotion to Christ.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"What IF"

• WHAT IF the early church had been full of people who drove their “luxury camels” to church…but became angry when someone mentioned giving?
• WHAT IF the early church had decided to simply study what Jesus said but not apply it?
• WHAT IF the early church had the attitude of, “we love a small crowd…so don’t tell anyone about Jesus coming back to life. I know He commanded us to tell…but let’s keep it a secret because we don’t want to get too many people?”
• WHAT IF the early church had been more passionate about their comfort than conforming to who Christ called them to be?
• WHAT IF the early church had decided their primary responsibility was to be political, thus organizing protests against the Roman government for occupying their land?
• WHAT IF the early church had required only “religious professionals” to be in ministry?
• WHAT IF the early church had decided to yell and scream at the Romans for acting like Romans?
• WHAT IF the early church had decided their primary call was to save the environment rather than the ones living in it?
• WHAT IF the early church had substituted their personal preferences in place of the words of Jesus?
• WHAT IF the early church had been more obsessed with Robert’s Rules of Order rather than the Scriptures?
• WHAT IF the early church had been focused on the cross on the wall rather than the cross Jesus called them to carry?
• WHAT IF the early church had instructed the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 that He was a little out of hand…and that his movement hadn’t been voted on by the church board.
• WHAT IF the early church had been full of people but weren’t actually willing to do anything to reach people far from God?

WHAT IF…WOW…so glad the early church listened to Jesus and did what HE said…or else we would have been in a lot of trouble!

Perry Noble

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Five Commitments to developing Trust in your church leadership

As I shared yesterday, these are thoughts from Catalyst Conference that I attended a few weeks back. Hope you enjoy

Occasionally they are gaps between what we expect people to do and what they actually do.

I expected ______ but you gave me _______.
we choose what to put in this gap.

We either assume the worst or believe the best.
What we see determines what we believe.
Who I am determines how I respond to others.

A culture characterized by trust produces people that are trustworthy!

If you are unwilling to trust you will never know who you can't trust until you trust them. The longer you refuse to trust the longer untrustworthy people can hide in your organization

Trusting is risky. Refusing to trust is riskier.

Developing a culture of trust begins with the Leader. Trust and suspicion is telegraphed from our actions & ideas about our trust. Quit sitting on mistrust. Don't give a barrel of response to a spoon full of mistakes.

Are you beleiving the best or assuming the worse in those on your team?

Five commitments to developing a culture of Trust

1. When there is a gap between what I expected and what I experienced, I choose to believe the best.

2. When other people assume the worse in you I will come to your defense.

3. If what I experience begins to erode my trust I will come directly to you about it.

4. When I am convinced that I will not be able to fulfill my commitment I will come to you ahead of time.

5. When you confront me about the gaps I've created I will tell you the truth.

Andy Stanley

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

10 Things I have learned in 50 years of Leadership

I recently attended "Catalyst" conference for Next Generation Leaders. This week i will be sharing some of my experiences from this event. Each year they give the Catalyst Lifetime Achievement Award to a very distinct leader. This year they gave it to Chuck Swindoll. At Catalyst Chuck Swindoll spoke a powerful word on Leadership:

10 Things I have learned from 50 Years of Leadership:

1. It is lonely to Lead
2. It is dangerous to Succeed
3. It is hardest to lead at home
4. It is essential to be Real
5. It is painful to Obey
6. Brokeness and Failure are necessary
7. Attitude overshadows Actions
8. Integrity eclipses Image
9. God's way is always better than mine
10. Christ-likeness begins and ends with Humility

To hear a man who has led for 50 years was quiet breath and his words of wisdom given to 12,000 Next Gen leaders with most of them being between the ages of 20-30. I love the fact that there are leaders with many years of wisdom who are willing to share with Next Gen leaders even when they do not understand or agree with how Next Gen leaders sometimes lead.