Follow…or Not

In John Chapter 6, Jesus gives some teaching that is described by many of his disciples as a hard teaching and his disciples started grumbling. By disciples I’m not talking about the Twelve, but about the larger masses. It said that at this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 

So we have a situation in Jesus’ ministry where, because of his teaching, people were leaving. Just think about that for a second. Even Jesus had people leave because of his leadership because of his teaching. 

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Processes vs People

I’m continuing in my new transitional role here in a situation where the long-term pastor has left and we’re currently in the assessment phase. I usually carve out the first three months as the assessment phase which looks at the history, the current reality, the demographics of the church and the community, and the ministry health. I actually just rolled out a survey on the basic level of church health; a simple survey just asking for feedback from the congregation on all the different areas of ministry. 

This assessment phase we block out the three months for it just to make sure we’re not rushed and we’re not jumping to conclusions, but right away I start to notice trends and patterns in the life of the church. There are two things that I’ve noticed here and find interesting. 

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Starting A New Ministry

I’m about to start a brand new transitional ministry going to a church where a long time pastor is no longer there and the church decided they wanted a time of intentional transition before going to search for the new pastor, which is wise. Whenever there’s been a long-term pastor and if there’s been a little bit of a crisis in there, that helps, or doesn’t help, that makes it even more important. 

It’s been interesting as I’ve done transitional ministry for these past seven and a half years, I have learned things I would import if I was ever to go into a regular long-term pastorate again. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is how to assess and how to evaluate the current reality in a church. 

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Business vs Ministry

One of the Internet marketing fellows I follow online made this comment: He said that starting a business is the best personal development course you’ll ever take. And he talked about the stuff you learn and who you become, the pressures you face, the problems you solve and overcome, the goals you accomplish- all that.

And I got to thinking about that principle and the things I’ve learned in the business world. I got thinking “Well what about being in Christian leadership?” That’s a pretty high level of personal development as well for a lot of the same reasons- for the problems you solve, the pressures you face, the things you learn, who you become. It’s all kind of the same.

I’ve moved from pastoral ministry into business and back and in fact I find myself in a place right now where somehow I am trying to navigate this situation where I’m in business as a consultant serving churches. And I also have my online work and my Internet marketing and all that stuff. So I’m in both worlds.

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What Is Your Trajectory?

Good day. Usually I record in my office on a nice little USB microphone right next to the computer, but today in preparation for a bit of a road trip where I might not have access to my nice little setup, I’m doing a podcast through my phone. I actually did a test a few minutes ago using the phone jack and the mic I would use if I was talking on the phone, and it really didn’t sound that great, so I’m doing this directly to the phone mic, which theoretically should be better. Anyway that’s the background if the audio is worse than usual, you’ll know why. 

I had the privilege just in the last few weeks to attend two very significant services, at least significant for those churches and the individuals who were the focal point because one was an ordination service, a recognition of someone’s call to ministry. And our in our circles, that’s what the ordination is and they’ve proven themselves and it’s a public recognition of that. And then I was also at an installation service, an induction service for the fella who was picking up after me in a transitional role I just completed. 

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