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Archive for the ‘productivity’ Category

Ye shall know them by their fruits.- Matt. 7:16 (KJV)
We are known by what we produce.  The Bible refers to this as our fruit.  Our fruit serves as evidence of our effort.  The fruit shows that we put our best forward and here is what was produced by our faithful and obedient efforts. 
Our fruit is broken down by quantity and quality:
  • Quantity: much or little [John 15:5]
  • Quality: good or bad [Matthew 7:17-8]
God intends for us to be both faithful and fruitful.

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“Teamwork is not a preference, it is a requirement.”
Coach John Wooden

Losing isn’t the worst thing that can happen for a team.  Losing the sense of togetherness and teamwork can be more detrimental to a team than a series of defeats or a losing season.  We need to see how to keep the teamwork as a priority.  Teamwork is about the entire team working as a team.

  • Motivate PeopleEncourage: Get people motivated to work together.  Look into team-building exercises.  Structure fellowship time.  Work in some out-of-the-office activities or outings for the entire team and heir families.
  • Maintain Progress– Ensure: With a collective purpose and people motivated to pursue goals together, keep track on progress.  Keep the bottom line in view, but ensure that what your team has set out to do is being worked as a priority.  Saving costs does you no good if it costs you clients and contracts.  See what progress is being made towards goal and record it every step of the way.
  • Measure Performance – Evaluate: Work on seeing the bigger picture.  Get beyond your department. See how your team has impacted others.  Take a long, hard look at where you started and where you ended up.  Did you get things done as a team? Evaluate your results and performance. 
Do for others what you would like them to do for you– Matthew 7:12 (NLT)

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The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5 (NKJV)
Prior to taking on any work for the day, I say you should both pray and plan. Pray that God protects, provides for and prospers you in this very day to be a wise steward and servant of all that the Lord has bestowed upon you. Plan your day based upon your morning devotion,devouring God’s Word. Plan your actions for the day based upon reading and reflecting upon God’s Word.
  • Pray: At least 15 minutes prior to working
  • Plan: At least 15 minutes prior to working
  • Preview: Look over your calendar, daily agenda and to-do list; set your priorities

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“When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.”
– John Wesley
Does your ministry generate an appropriate response from its members and others? How would you know?
Here are some signs of to see if your ministry is on fire or simply slowly burning out:
  • What gets stirred up? [Good feelings or bad memories?]
  • What gets sparked? [Community or confrontation?]
  • What gets started? [Good works or good grief?]

If your ministry is producing negative sentiments, then you need to infuse some positive changes that will turn things around quickly before you lose more and more people.

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Servitude

“Serve the Lord with gladness…”- Psalm 100:2

What is “servitude?” Servitude is your service attitude. It’s not merely your attitude about serving. It includes your attitude about those you serve- customers, clients, congregants, etc.- and your attitude that you portray while serving.

Are you hot or cold? Hot means you are on fire and fired up. Cold is where you have lost the burning desire to do more and have settled on simply getting it done to be done with it.

We say we believe. We say we are willing. Saying it isn’t showing it. What most of the realm of Christendom has sadly settled upon as being a “born-again believer” profile leaves a lot to be desired. It amounts to a lot of words and very few works.

Check yourself. What is your servitude?

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Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.- Matthew 7:20 (ESV)
When it comes to ministry and business, we see a lot of people gauging success by results. The results let the people know what came about due to their efforts. The results come in various forms. Most assuredly, the results can be numeric and measured in quantitative terms. Also, results can also be identified as qualitative with intrinsic value. Yet, many may not understand or recognize the essence of their results.
Results are generated by effort, usually the work related with delivering a service or product through our ministry or business. Our efforts lead to results. We put in the work and expect to see results based upon what we have invested into the work. However, we must be realistic about our results in order to not repeat mistakes and to implement innovations based upon lessons learned in the field.
Our results can come about from what is intentional and what is incidental.
  • Intentional: These are the results that we have set as targets from the onset of the project or venture. They are the results that we have set up as measures with benchmarks and time-sensitive checkpoints for status and progress reports. These results speak to our ability to reach identified goals within a prescribed period of time with a certain allotment of resources. Obtaining intentional results deals with deliberate actions for desired outcomes. Our intentional results help us identify where we hit and missed targets along the way, allowing us to also identify internal and external factors that impacted the results. For instance, an external factor such as a recession and economic downturn can have drastic impacts on fee-based services and the acquisition of “new” business for service providers. Therefore, in reporting on results, the team and its leadership should research factors-whether internal or external- that impacted whether results were achieved or not.

  • Incidental: Results such as these stem from what occurs in the process of conducting business. Typically, these are unplanned and unexpected results that occur while delivering services and achieving desired results. For instance, your program may be designed to reach the children of low-income families and you discover that, in the process of doing so, you are able to assist single-parent households and at-risk students at the same time. You didn’t intend to do so, but you were able to reach such people due to the broader audience you were seeking to reach. Such incidental success should be recorded and reported along with your intentional success, seeking to replicate similar success in the future as part of an intentional plan.

You are known by your fruit. In other words, your results tell a lot to others about what you have to offer and what you are able to achieve. If you have grant funding or donors, you need to be able to share about your results. In the case of business, where you have investors, stockholders or other interested parties, you should be able to explain your results in layman’s terms. Demonstrate good stewardship by reporting on your results, recognizing what you achieved and whether your results were intentional or incidental.

People know you by your fruit. People know you by what you produce.

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He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.- Psalm 1:3 (ESV)
As believers, we are expected to be both productive and prosperous. We are to produce fruit and prosper. The same can be said for our endeavors, whether they be business or ministry. God wants us producing fruit and prospering.
Productivity is more than just sheer numbers. You can be productive by serving a small niche and spreading the love of Christ though your service quality. People will see your light. What you produce by providing quality service becomes evidence of your earnest efforts. You produce fruit and become known by your fruit.
Prosperity should not become confused with wealth and riches. That stems from a flawed and narrow view of what God offers us when we are faithful and obedient. We receive countless blessings from God based upon His grace and mercy. Yet, we prosper by growing. We are to grow closer to God and deeper in our faith for starters. As we increasing become more and more blessed, we must increase in our thankfulness and joy for being blessed with even the so-called “little” things.
Get on the path. Become productive and prosperous day by day, mediating on His Word and staying clear of the wrong path in life.

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By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

– John 15:8 (NKJV)

We are called to impact lives through what we do for others based on the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. The good news of the gospel message is Jesus Christ.

Ministry is a demonstration of action-oriented faith when people utilize their spiritual gifts to serve one another. Our service in ministry is about meeting needs and bringing glory to God the Father. The bottom line of our ministry actions is the application of biblical principles and precepts.

The goal of ministry is to produce fruit. This is the result of faith and work combined. By putting biblical principles into practice, our faith is exercised. Faith leads us into action. Our actions are the visible display and demonstration of our faith before the eyes of the world on a daily basis.

Ministry is about glorifying God. In order to glorify God, we are expected to bear fruit. We are considered productive as Christians if we have been fruitful. We become fruitful in our lives through both our attitudes and actions that reflect and resemble Christ. By living our lives at the standard set by Christ, we live at a standard above the world. It is through our daily living that we will be able to impact and influence life bound for change and repentance.

Meeting people where they are does not mean leaving them there

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Creating Fishers of Men:

 

Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”-Mark 1:17

Practical Applications

 

  • Relevance

“fishers of men”

Jesus shared something that these fishers understood.  They knew about fishing.  Now they needed to learn about fishing for men.

  • Realism

“. . . I will make you…”

Having an understanding that we need something bigger than us to change us helps us to embrace the change as it starts and continues.

  • Relationships

John 1:35-46; 2:1, 11

When you have experienced a previous encounter with Jesus, you can be led into a deeper relationship with as you leave your nets and livelihood behind to follow Him.

  • Reputation

Mark 1:14-15

Jesus had already been preaching in Galilee.  They knew about Him.  Now they could get to know Him.

  • Resourcefulness

“Follow Me…”

The resources are conditional. We must follow Jesus in order to be made into more than we ever imagined and all that He expects of us.

  • Recognition

Matt. 4:20, 22; Luke 5:11; John 2:11

Jesus had more than charisma.  He had more than character.  He was the Christ, the Anointed One.  He was the Messiah.  He was the Son of God.  He was Immanuel, “God is with us.” People saw it and recognized something different about Jesus.  He shared that these men would no longer be recognized as smelly fishermen but saintly fishers of men.

Jesus offered these men aspects of what we all should offer others as they join our ministries.  He offered them a new way of approaching their walk in life through a calling.

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The basis of life is people and how they relate to each other.
John C. Maxwell, Be a People Person
Early on, when I started managing, I found myself in a mess. John Maxwell and Peter Drucker became my best friends to rely upon in those early days. Be a People Person certainly got my attention and helped me understand how to effectively work on myself in order to effectively lead and manage teams of people and deliver results. I learned a lot through the book and shared much of what I learned with others who struggled to survive the responsibility of management.
My experience has taught me a few certainties. One certainty that I have learned about management, whether it is for-profit or nonprofit, is that management can be a mess. It can become a mess if you let it. The management mess can be by decision or de facto. However, once it becomes a mess, it takes some serious work to untangle it all.
Typically, the management mess comes down to two major factors: people and paperwork. The people person may not be the most organized person so they lose as much credibility as paperwork. The pencil-pusher and policy-upholder may know the manual upside down and inside out, but they may leave a lot to be desired when it comes to relating to others. You have to know your strengths and work on your weaknesses. If you only work within your strength, you will always have a lop-sided performance. You will do what you love and avoid what you don’t do well. There’s no escaping what it requires to become effective.
Here’s a short list of management titles that I have found useful:
  • Covey, Stephen, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
  • Blanchard, Ken and Spencer Johnson, The One Minute Manager
  • Drucker, Peter, The Effective Executive
  • Briner, Bob, The Management Methods of Jesus
  • Burkett, Larry, Business by the Book

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