loveworshiplovelife


Norwegian Pearl
March 27, 2008, 7:50 am
Filed under: Family, vacation | Tags: , , ,

Andrea & I are taking a vacation starting on Saturday. We are going on a cruise. We are so excited to just get away and relax. I am also excited about the ship we are sailing on. It’s one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ships, it’s the Norwegian Pearl.

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Thanks C3 Volunteers!
March 26, 2008, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Church, Connections | Tags: , , ,

logo-low.jpgI know it’s a little late but I wanted to say how proud I am of all of the volunteers at C3 Church and the impact you all made this last Sunday. Of course everyone knows it was Easter and we were expecting a lot of people checking out C3 Church for the first time. Just like Pastor Byron, Pastor Barry and Pastor Travis shared on their blogs, Sunday was a huge success. We had 718 people in attendance and plenty of first time guests. None of it could have happened without the couple hundred volunteers that worked so hard on Sunday. You all are making a lasting impact on East Orlando like never before. God has given the vision for C3 and you are helping it come to pass. Let me just say Thank You! You make my job as Connections Pastor such a joy and pleasure! Thank you God for C3 Church!



A Supporting Role Pt. 4
March 24, 2008, 9:08 am
Filed under: Church, Personal | Tags: , , , , ,

This post will be the last in a series of posts dealing with my views on how to make the most of your position as a Pastor in a supporting role. I know my last post in this series was particularly lengthy so I promise not to be as wordy in this post.

The last three posts dealt with our calling number one, becoming a yes man number two and number three, loyalty. This last post is going to deal with the attitude of “whatever it takes”. Unless you have the previous three pieces of the puzzle down this fourth and final piece is going to be difficult for you. The attitude of “whatever it takes” ties in directly to the way that you view your calling.

If you view your calling as a call to a specific area only, then when your Senior Pastor asks you to do something out of your area you are going to freak out and have the attitude, “that’s not my job”. This is what happens many times in churches where a support Pastor feels called only to “his” area. This also fosters an atmosphere of a support Pastor forming his “own” little church within a church because he is so attached to his own little group of people or ministry. This also hinders unity within the staff and hinders the vision from being accomplished. If you have your call in the proper perspective you will have an attitude to do whatever it takes to get the vision accomplished even if that means doing jobs that might not “fit” within what you perceive as your mission within the church you serve.

I have been blessed to have an example of this kind of attitude by a close friend and brother that serves with me on the Management Team here at C3 Church. My friend’s name is Travis Conrad. I really aspire to be like him as I have seen him operate as a member of the Pastoral Staff with a tremendous attitude to do whatever it takes. Travis is currently serving as the Community Groups Pastor, Youth Pastor, Children’s Pastor and heads up our set up and tear down crew. He has also been in the role of Education Pastor, College Pastor, Singles Pastor and probably some role I am forgetting. My friend works so hard for C3 week end and week out. I have never, and I say never, have heard him complain one time about how hard he works or how many jobs he has. I know my friend spins many plates at the same time but he always has a great attitude to do whatever it takes to accomplish the vision at C3 Church. This is the kind of example of what it means to be a Pastor in a support role with the proper perspective on your calling. Travis is called to work for C3 Church not just an area of interest or skill set.

So take a look at your calling, your desire to be a yes man, your loyalty to the Senior Pastor and the vision of the church and check your attitude to do whatever it takes if you want to have a fulfilling job as a support Pastor. Do I claim to know everything there is about being a Pastor in a support role? No. Do I get everyone of these points right all of the time? No. But I believe that part of my role and responsibility as a Pastor at C3 Church is to continue to improve so that the vision is carried out. When your Senior Pastor sees that you are doing your best and have the vision of the church as your priority he will allow you to grow as you serve. Your Senior Pastor will help you when you don’t get it right and will encourage you as you continue to improve in your role. No one is perfect and your Senior Pastor knows it but when you have your role as a support Pastor in the proper perspective your Senior Pastor will be your biggest cheerleader. Not only that but you will have the satisfaction to know that you have done your best for the Lord. How could any of us give anything less to our God who gave everything for us?



Happy Easter!
March 22, 2008, 9:01 am
Filed under: Church, LOVE, Personal | Tags: , , ,

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Happy Easter everyone. Our Lord who died for us is RISEN! We are no longer a slave to our sin but we are free because of His sacrifice on the cross and now we have eternal life because He rose from the dead after three days! Thank You Jesus!



A Supporting Role Pt. 3
March 21, 2008, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Church, Personal | Tags: , , , , , ,

In my last two posts we talked about how you as a Pastor in a supporting role must first decide if you are called to the ministry and the vision of that ministry in which you serve. Then we looked at how you should be a “yes” man for a more fulfilling perspective on the part that you play as a support Pastor. Now I want to do a little more puzzle working as we look at what it takes to be that “yes” man that your Senior Pastor needs to help make the vision for the church or the organization come to pass. Let’s take a look at loyalty.

I believe that loyalty is the most, and I mean the most valuable gift you can give to a Senior Pastor or the leader of your organization. Without the loyalty of the leadership team that a Senior Pastor has supporting him, he will not be able to fully realize the vision that God has given him for the church that he leads. Now you might say that is a bold statement and that God can accomplish His work (“if it is of God”) even if the staff is not supportive. If that is your view and your attitude then I call you blind and arrogant, but you are partially correct. You are correct in the part that God will make sure He gets it done but it will probably be without you, not in spite of you. If that is your attitude then you are not loyal and you can not fulfill the role of a yes man. Now let’s get back to loyalty.

If I were to survey 100 Pastors in a supporting role and ask them if they are loyal to their Senior Pastor and the vision that he has for their church I would probably get 100 answers of “yes I am loyal to my Senior Pastor and the vision he has for the church”. There is a funny thing about loyalty though. I believe that nine times out of ten loyalty can only be fully realized by adversity. Only when the road becomes bumpy and there is some cost to be paid for a vision can loyalty really be seen.

Having been a part of a leadership team of a church that has transitioned from a traditional church model to a relevant church model, I have seen my share of “bumpy” and endured the “cost” of that vision. I call the types of battles that Pastor Byron and the staff have fought as we transitioned C3, the “Crucible of Change”. If you want an X-ray machine that will show if everyone is loyal then run them through the “Crucible of Change”. Change will show you every time what people are truly made of. Now I said “everyone” a few sentences ago when referring to people’s loyalty or lack thereof. When you take a church through the changes that C3 went through it will literally test every single person and their loyalty to the vision that God has given you. Would I recommend that you do this at your church? Transitioning a church to reach the unchurched and unsaved by becoming a more relevant model is a vision that God can only give a Senior Pastor and staff. It is a vision that the Senior Pastor and staff must be fully committed to and convicted to accomplish if it is to be successful. Like I said it will test every person but the benefits of seeing the unchurched and unsaved come to know the Lord are as the commercial says, “priceless”. For Pastor Byron and the leadership team, we had no choice but to follow God’s leading and vision that God had given us. This became a true test of loyalty.

Usually when it gets tough there is cost involved, loyalty will either show up or not. It is at this point. whether you as a support Pastor will take a loyal stand with your Senior Pastor when a person or group of people try to undermine and undercut the vision that God has given him and the leadership team. This will be the defining moment of your position, this will be your “crucible of change”. When pressure is applied the weakest parts will always break. When it comes time to withstand the pressure will you be loyal or not? This will also be a confirmation of your true calling to a church and a vision or if you are in it for selfish reasons.

Loyalty is never free. It costs to give it. It forces you to pick a side and take a stand. Taking a stand might cost you friends and relationships that you thought were strong. Taking a stand might mean you will no longer be thought of as the “nice” one on staff. Taking a stand will definitely change the way people look and think about you. But unless you are willing to take a stand and support the God ordained leader placed over you, you’ll never have a fulfilling support role on a leadership team. Having loyalty to your Senior Pastor and the vision shows you have character and conviction and that you believe in your calling. I think that this is why it is such a rare thing. Loyalty costs, so I think that true loyalty comes from a deep love of Christ and a love for His church and a deep love for the shepherd that God has placed to lead His church.

As a Pastor in a support role the true expression of love for your Senior Pastor is the loyalty that you give to him. It is what will help him accomplish the vision that God has given him and loyalty is part of the living sacrifice you give to God which is a spiritual act of worship. Without loyalty you will never be the Pastor in the supporting role that God meant you to be. With loyalty you will become a supporting Pastor that feels fulfilled in your work and will see God’s vision accomplished through you. You will be a “yes” man to your Senior Pastor and you will be a “yes” man to God.

Loyalty means everything!



A Supporting Role Pt. 2
March 20, 2008, 8:45 am
Filed under: Church, Personal | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday in my blog we established that the first piece of the puzzle in a successful and fulfilling role as a support Pastor is to be called to the church or organization and the vision of the church or organization that the Senior Pastor, CEO or whoever leads the organization puts forth. Let me just say from the outset, if you are not called to be a part of the church or organization and you are where you are at just for a career builder or to make your resume look better until the “big” opportunity comes along then just get out now. It will not work. It’s not about you, it’s about the work of Christ and the vision He has given the church through the shepherd He has placed to oversee that particular flock. If you view where you are at as just a stepping stone then save yourself and the leadership of the church heartache and grief and leave. I know those are strong words but I have seen this scenario play out and what I am going to share in this blog will not work if you are not in your position for the right reasons.

With that being said let’s tackle the next piece of the puzzle. I know this phrase has negative connotations but I believe it doesn’t have to if viewed from the proper prospective. As a support Pastor you should be a “yes” man. Let me explain. If you are called to a church and vision then you should do everything in your power to cause that vision to come to pass. The “vision caster” is the Senior Pastor or the head of the organization. Then it stands to reason that you as a supporting role should do everything in your power to make the vision of the vision caster a reality. That means it’s time to be a yes man. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for your opinion on issues to be heard. That time and place will be set by the Senior Pastor and at those times he will appreciate your input and opinion. Let me also say that there is never, and I mean never any reason to be disrespectful or rude as you are giving your input. The Senior Pastor is your spiritual leader and your boss and there are lines that Biblically and professionally that should never be crossed.

Here is where the yes man comes into play. Once you have given your input or opinion it is up to the Senior Pastor to make the decision about a particular issue not you. If the decision is made that is contrary to your input or opinion you then should own it just like it was yours. In reality if you are called to a church and its vision it is not about you so you get on board and carry out the decision the Senior Pastor has made as if it were your own. Someone might say that’s not right, what if the Senior Pastor is wrong? Unless it is unscriptural or immoral then it is your duty to come under your shepherd and support him in his decision. This is the Biblical precedent that has been set by God. Ultimately the Senior Pastor answers to God and gets his direction from God. So if it’s not the best decision God will show him and everything will be alright. We all are human and make mistakes. Your Senior Pastor is human and will make mistakes as well but it is up to you to help him out when he does and give him the freedom to grow and learn just like we give ourselves. You can only do this if you give your Senior Pastor the most important resource that he will ever have being in the lonely position that he occupies. That is your loyalty. Your loyalty is the foundation of your devotion to the Senior Pastor and that is what makes a “yes” man precious and valuable and a GOOD thing to the work of Christ and the Senior Pastor at your church.

We will get into loyalty and what that means tomorrow.



A Supporting Role Pt. 1

Pastor Byron has written many blogs about leadership and in fact is in a series of blogs right now sharing specific examples of good leadership principles for Senior Pastors and others that are in a leadership role. Pastor Barry our Executive Pastor has also written blogs dealing with leadership principles. I thought it might be helpful to write some blogs that deal with the proper perspective that a Pastor that is in a support role should have about himself and the role in the ministry in which he serves. Having a support role in the middle of a church in transition has a different perspective than say a Senior Pastor or even an Executive Pastor. Having a healthy perspective about ones role as a support Pastoral position is essential for the health of the church and the vision that God has given the Senior Pastor.

Yesterday in a staff meeting Pastor Byron expressed his views on how a Pastor should view his “call to ministry” to the church or ministry in which he is serving. I totally agree with Pastor Byron’s view on this subject and I think that it is the first and most vital piece of the puzzle of a fulfilling and successful role as a support pastor. The first basic question that a support pastor must answer is what ministry or vision has God called you to?

Now you might be thinking I am talking about trying figure out if you are called to youth ministry, children’s ministry, worship ministry, education ministry etc.. That is not what I am talking about. I do believe that God gives everyone specific talents and gifts that you as a person would feel very comfortable working with to advance the cause of Christ. There is nothing wrong with knowing your strengths and using them but I think we create a box that we think that God can only work in with skill set that we posses. Take a look at Moses. The Bible tells us that when God called Moses to lead the children of Israel to freedom from Egypt that Moses recognized that his skill set did not exactly match up with what God had in mind. In fact the Bible tells us that Moses was slow of speech. This could have meant that he stuttered or might have been terrified of speaking in public. Even with Moses’ skill set, God used him to be a statesman for the children of Israel and proclaim the message of God to the supreme leader of Egypt to “Let my people go.” So all that to say this. I don’t believe that God calls us to specific areas such as youth, children, music etc. as much as I think he calls us as Pastors to a ministry (church or organization) or vision he has given the Senior Pastor that is over us.

I know that this is contrary to how a “view to a call” is traditionally subscribed to but I think that this is the reason that so many Pastors in a support role pick up and move around to so many different churches and are frustrated in their roles in the ministries that they find themselves. So the first key to a fulfilling role as a support Pastor is to recognize what church, organization or vision that God has called you to, not necessarily what area or skill set you think that you are best suited for.