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Archive for the ‘ministry’ Category

Okay, folks, it’s on again.  It’s an election year without a doubt.  The political groundswell is up and running with a lot of fanfare, especially in those little local elections.  It’s here again.  Obviously, that means there will be a whole lot of hype.

What kind of hype? I believe that any of us who have lived through the longsuffering agony of election years in the past have some understanding of the grandstanding that usually comes along with such a period.  Political muscles are flexed, in particular by those who work for candidates in PR and publicity, offering an appearance by their candidate here and there for this worthy cause or that one.  Usually, these folks are more pesky than anything that the politician may say or do.  They work the nerves of some folks in the church and community who toil by the sweat of their brow to do good, only to have some cheesy photo op replace the goodwill that the good folks seek to do.

Let’s look at it beyond the media hype that can be generated by candidates rolling up their sleeves and pitching in to pass out food to needy families or to sit and read before a classroom of wide-eyed and attentive elementary school children.  Yes, the camera flashes snap and the video is rolling, but we cannot become caught up or thrown off by such media frenzy during such times.

Some of this can help despite all of the seemingly unnecessary hype that comes along with it.  Political campaigns have a following of dedicated supporters who fund and man such large scale and long term endeavors.  We can benefit from a candidate coming down with his entire entourage and offering some helping hands in the name of getting out there among the people to gain votes for themselves and increase the visibility of their own campaigns.  Believe it or not, these volunteers can provide the necessary manpower to boost our efforts to reach more and serve more.

Weigh your options.  If you truly cannot stomach some would-be politician coming to your event to make himself or herself appear to be on the same level as the people, only to run off to Washington or Sacramento, or just down to city hall, and never be heard from again, then don’t bother.  Don’t accept the help or the hype.  However, if you think that the partnership could shed some light on your cause and make the evening news, you may want to think it through thoroughly.

They want the hype.  They need it.  They want the media to come out and snap photos of them doing good in the neighborhood.  Their campaign desperately needs to be seen as something vital to the needs of the community.  When they come, they come with a whole lot of hype.  However, they can also come with a whole lot of help.

27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that—whether I command see you or whether I remain absent—I should hear that you are standing in one spirit, by contending together with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28 and by not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of their destruction, but of your salvation—a sign which is from God. – Philippians 1:27-28

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Commit your works to Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
-Proverbs 16:3

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
– Proverbs 16:9

I don’t care if it’s a business or a ministry, even a small group or just some friends getting together to do some good work within the community, you need to start from your heart.  That’s where you get the commitment that you will need to endure any such work.  It will have to come from deep within you.  It will have to start in and come from the heart.

The Bible says so in Proverbs as we see in the verses above.  It comes up in other places in both the Old Testament and New Testament.  Don’t get it wrong.  The Bible is certain to cover such a matter as this due to its importance to success of any such venture in faith.  After all, the Lord’s name is on the line any time that we step out there with the blood of Jesus Christ covering us.  Other folks are looking.

Other writers have shared the importance of a leader having a heart for his or her work.  Check out how Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell deal with matters of the heart.  Steve Marr used Proverbs to publish a daily devotional for business professionals called Business Proverbs.

No matter how much you may try to rationalize otherwise, if your heart isn’t in it, you can bet the rest of you isn’t too into it either. Get your heart into it or get out of it. 
God doesn’t want you giving Him a half-hearted effort.  What He did that towards us? Would we praise Him with our whole hearts still? Would we still sing songs of Zion to His glory? Think on that.

Get your heart into before you even get started.  Let God have your best by putting your whole heart into it.  He has already give you His best in Jesus Christ.  Go on and get your heart into whatever you will do in His name.

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Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! – Proverbs 23:4 (NKJV)

The Word is clear.  We can be blessed with riches at birth or through some hard work.  Nevertheless, we should not work ourselves to the point of exhaustion for a few more dollars here and there.  Imagine what would happen if we just did what we were required to do and nothing else.  Imagine using your gifts and talents to the maximum capability for yourself and you family.

My profile on Shout Life reads like my other online professional profiles.  As a poet, author  and consultant, I am juggling my time, doing my best at balancing  online content and updates.  I use Lulu.com for my print-on-demand and e-books.  Most of what I have written and published so far has been faith-based and inspirational poetry.  Words from the Underground was my most secular works of poetry that was influenced by my work in street ministry in San Diego.    Additionally, I have an online storefront for my accessories and gear at http://www.zazzle.com/lifepath08 .   Join the network of support through Life Path Consulting Services.    Subscribe to Prayer Pages our weekly newsletter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

I am working hard.  There’s a pair of new books due out next month, both poetry with different themes.  I am launching another aspect of the business consulting services component and expanding Life Path Publishing’s offerings beyond poetry and guidebooks.  I am busy with work, but I refuse to overwork myself in any pursuit to become rich.

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Social networking is still the fastest-growing active social media behaviour online, increasing from 36% of global Internet users to 59% managing their profile on a monthly basis by the end of 2011…Facebook has 845 million active users –  http://thesocialskinny.com/100-more-social-media-statistics-for-2012/

Recently, the world’s largest social network made news when it released an initial public offering to become a publicly traded stock.  That’s not the big news.  The big news has more to do with the potential that lies within social networking as well as social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  That’s the big news for those who proclaim the Good News.

Use Facebook for your ministry.  Set up a profile.  Find friends online.  Share the profile link via email with your ministry members or congregants.  Add the link to your Facebook to your email signature or link the Facebook button to your website or blog.

Here are some simple strategies for Facebook usage for ministry:

  • Post upcoming events and invite ‘friends of friends’
  • Share inspirational verses and passages through status updates
  • Upload photos from events like mission trips or church outreach activities
  • Start Facebook groups for prayer, Bible study or salvation Q&A
  • Set up a fan page for members to get updated information on church or ministry activities

Facebook has a lot of potential.  Use it to your advantage to advance the gospel.  Spread the Good News throughout cyberspace by using Facebook as a steward of the Good News.

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This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
Woe to the foolish prophets
who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
– Ezekiel 13:3 (NIV)

Everyone who is speaking about vision isn’t being honest about it.  They claim to be prophets of profit or visionaries of victory.  It sounds good, but it seems worthless.  Some are called gurus.  Believe it if you dare.  They are false prophets.

They are able to lead people in a particular direction, but they do not seem to be able to accomplish true success.  Yes, they are able to have small victories and have moments of progress.  However, they have little beyond the rhetoric that they spew or the sound bites that they play repetitively throughout the airwaves.  According to Ezekiel’s prophecy, they are foolish and following their own spirits, having seen nothing at all or from the Lord.

Don’t be found in that category.  Lead as God leads you.  Whatever God gives you to do, articulate that vision.  Put it in words so that others can grasp the depth and the concept of the vision.  Put it in visuals where others can see the vision for themselves.  Articulate your vision with all that you have within you.

Most importantly, share the vision that God gave you just the way that God gave it to you.  Don’t abridge or edit it for political correctness or popularity, not even prestige.  It’s not about you or how you feel.  Your opinion doesn’t even matter.  You accept it from God and make others aware of what God gave you.  Confirmation will come from God through others who speak up and say that it sounds a lot like what God had been sharing with them or what they had been reading in their daily devotional reading.  Give it to others like God gave it to you.

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. – Matthew 25:31-33 (NIV)

On the Day of the Lord, the Lord will judge the people.  He will come in his glory “and all the angels with Him,” sitting up His glorious throne.  At that time, He will judge the works of us all as believers.  Here, in the Gospel of Matthew, it is written that He will have all the nations gathered before Him.  I do not mean to offer a deep discussion on or explanation of eschatology, but I must share that the sheep and goats are of the Lord’s flock.

The Lord will separate each of us based upon our attitude and actions related to the poor, the imprisoned, the hungry and others.  He will pass judgment on how well we loved our neighbor.  He will not measure our actions based upon something that He has hidden from us.  He is a righteous judge.  After all, He is the Good Shepherd.  He will separate the sheep from the goats.

Which side will you stand on when the Lord judges the ways of men? Will you be among the sheep? Or, will you be among the goats? Will you be on the right or the left? Which will it be?

Take into consideration the entire chapter 25 of Matthew.  Consider how well you are preparing for the Lord’s coming day.  Read it and the prophecies related to the day of the Lord.  Read up on Joel and Zephaniah’s prophecies about the day of the Lord.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 (KJV)

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“The greatest self-delusion is the belief that the outlook for a product improves the more resources are poured into it.” – Peter Drucker, Managing for Results


Pet projects present a problem.  You can find yourself pouring good money after bad time after time.  You can lose your mind as you lose your shirt.  That can really shake up your ego, especially if your ego is tied into the project.

Drucker pointed out the failure of the Ford Edsel in Managing for Results.  He considered the automobile “the most publicized American product fiasco.” He shared the Edsel as an “investment in managerial ego” amid six other “problem children” mentioned within the eleven major categories of business products.  Forget the Edsel as poor example of American ingenuity.  Think of it as an endeavor in egotism.  Ford kept trying over and over again, but America was not buying the Edsel.

Imagine what would happen if the CEO decided to oversee a project that he felt intimately attached to despite the all of the analysis and findings by the research team.  What would become of the nonprofit that allowed its chairman of the board to serve as the lead on a youth mentoring project without ever having mentored a single soul? Think about how it would be if your pastor decided to run the culinary ministry when he could never manage to boil water without scalding himself.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
Ego can cause some real disasters.  It can get us into some territory where we do not belong at all.  Watch yourself before your ego leads you down the wrong road. 

Try reading some of the titles listed below to keep you on track with your goals:

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 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.  When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. – Mark 3:7-8 (NIV)

Jesus was oftentimes called the Master.  The Master healed people.  The Master helped people.  He was the Master.

For he had healed many,
so that those with diseases
were pushing forward to touch him.
– Mark 3:10 (NIV)

He ministered as the Master.  He taught and touched people.  He drew a crowd even when He was trying to withdraw.

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. – Mark 5:21 (NIV)

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“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

Things are good, but we know that they could be better.

Your ministry might be growing, but there also could be some growing discontent that you have not dealt with inside of your ministry or small group.

You could be experiencing a new sense of direction as your people feel a sense of a lack of leadership from you.

You could be on your way to banner year, but at the same time you could also be watching the bottom fall out from under everything that you have built throughout your career.

Don’t let things going good allow you to mistake the fact that there could be better things out there.  Do not overlook what you have and what you have to do.  Maintain the proper perspective on both your purpose and the task of pioneering new trails and pathways as a leader.  Moses could have gotten out of Egypt and to the Promised Land if he had just left all of those stiff-necked people behind, huh? Right? Imagine that.

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Bear ye one another’s burdens,
and so fulfil the law of Christ.
-Galatians 6:2 (KJV)

Christians are to bear one another’s burdens.  It is the way of Christ.  That’s what He did, right? Remember WWJD? Was that just a fad? Or, did you really take that to heart?

Bear ye one another’s burdens. . .

Wow! That’s heavy.  Literally, it is heavy due to what it really means.  We are to carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters.  We are to feel their pain.  That means that we should empathize with others.  We are not called to simply stand off to the side and sympathize with them, feeling bad for them and going on. 

God wants us to live with the burdens of others as if they are our own.  If your brother suffers from addiction, you should live with it.  Even if you have never indulged, you are to suffer with your brother and sister as well as seek a remedy as if it were your own life in a shambles.  The same goes for homelessness, adultery, selfishness, greed and other things.  We need to share with our brothers and sisters.

Let’s be Christlike about it.  He went out of His way for us.  He suffered for our sakes.

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