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Archive for the ‘strategy’ Category

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? – Luke 5:4 (NKJV)

Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?. . .  – Luke 5:8 (NKJV)

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’” – Luke 15:31-32 (NKJV)

It’s hard getting people back into church.  It is certainly no easy work. 

You can lose things along the way.  You can lose focus.  You can even lose some degree of faith.  Unfortunately, you can also lose people.
There is a way to get some people back into church.  You can get them back with some effort. 

Recover those who you lostGet men back into church.  Keep youth engaged in service and Sunday school.  Turn those hangers-on into holly rollers.

If you fail to make the effort, you can hardly expect them to return.  Make the effort.  Get people back into church.

 
Here are some simple starting points for getting them back into church:
  • Develop a Hit List:
    • Identify those who signed up and have never shown up
    • Identify those who no longer show up
    • Identify those who show up every now and then
  • Make Contact
    • E-mail the group with an appeal to return to church
    • Phone those who no longer show up or who show up every now and then
    • Schedule a home visit for those who signed up and never showed up
  • Measure Your Progress
    • Measure your contacts
      • Who
      • When
      • What resulted from the contact. . . message, conversation, etc.
    • Make connections
      • See who shows up (measure over a month or two)
      • Follow up with those who said they would but never did
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence
of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
– Luke 15:10 (NKJV)

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“I shape my own destiny.” – Laurie Beth Jones
Your special events are only as special as you make them.  Sadly, if your approach and attention to your special events resemble your regular routine, then you need to assess your readiness to make it a success.  You make special events a success by making them special.  You make them special by adjusting your approach to them.
  • Preparation: How you prepare will impact how you perform.  If you are lackluster in preparation, don’t expect to tap into some hidden gem of enthusiasm and energy that wasn’t present before it is time to perform.  Go full strength with your preparations.
  • Promotion: You have to talk it up and take it up a notch. You are to talk it up to get others talking about what’s coming.  If you don’t show any enthusiasm about what you are putting on, then you won’t see many people rushing to get there.  Talk it up and take it up.  Introduce something new.  Innovate it.  Put a new spin on an old idea. Let it wow your audience.
  • Presentation: Small budgets don’t have make your events small-scale ventures. Get others to partner and support your efforts.  Look at your vendors for discounts.  Do you always use the same caterers or order from the same local restaurants? Ask for a discount and offer premiere signage.  See where you can cut costs without cutting corners.  Keep your presentation flawless and fantastic.
Remember: You shape your own destiny.

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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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Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!
– Proverbs 6:6 (NLT)
Some people are full of ideas. Ideas just pop into their head all of the time. Inspiration and creativity spark inside their minds and they jot down something in a notebook or journal, even on their Blackberry or iPhone. They’re simply full of ideas.
I empathize with such people, for I am one of them. However, as I reviewed some notebooks from a few years back and got drawn in deeper and deeper into my own notes and ideas, I realized that I was full of ideas and need to convert more of my ideas into innovations. I would imagine that that’s the case with many others who share my flaw.
The Bible is full of verses that speak of productivity. Yes, I said productivity. Look at Psalm 1:3, John 15:8 and others that speak of fruitfulness, prosperity and service. Even as salt and light, we are called to produce something that leads to others glorifying the Father based upon what they see in us. Proverbs points out that the “lazybones” should look at the ant and take in the wisdom of such a creature who needs no supervisor or manager and is productive, being considered wise.
Here are some steps for converting your ideas into innovations:
  • Find Initiative: Get an idea about how to get started, but by all means get started and soon.
  • Focus Intensity: Keep your focus on doing and doing it right. Don’t get so intense that you get distracted or detoured doing other things. Keep your intensity focused on the right things.
  • Fortify Infrastructure: Build beyond a “one hit wonder.” Dream about other ways to enhance or expand your idea. Broaden the scope of your vision and build a structure that allows for it to grow and expand into a possible enterprise.
  • Formulate Innovations: Could your sermons become podcasts on iTunes or articles for online e-zines? Could you write a how-to article for your church or community newsletter on the topic? Could you blog or tweet regularly on related and relevant subjects centered around your idea? Think it out, and then plan it out. If you plan on going anywhere but where you currently are, you are going to need a map.

I pray that this is helpful to those who are full of ideas and inspired to convert those ideas into innovations.

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Information has “inform” as its root word.  The point of giving information out to people is to inform them.  If you are distributing information, be sure to be informative.

In you information dissemination, be certain to use both a Medium and a Message.

  • Medium: How do you get in touch with people? What do you use to reach people with your message? Is it online and off-line? How frequent do you use it? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask when considering your medium.
  • Message: your message needs to inform.  Let it be clear and concise.  Make it short and succinct.  Eliminate all of the clutter of jargon and eloquence and say it straight and plain.

if you seek to inform people, put them in the loop and keep them in the loop.

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Failing to plan is planning to fail.– Alan Lakein

When it comes to planning, there just some things that need to be in place before moving forward.  We have to look at our planning regimen carefully and understand that how we plan will have an impact on how our plans turn out.  Truly, our planning needs to be done properly in order for things that we plan to turn out properly.

  • Pray prior to planning.
  • Plan in phases.
  • Put together an inventory of what you already have.
  • Prioritize what you need.
  • Project what costs, risks and liabilities are involved.
  • Partner with those who can help you make progress.
  • Put your vision in plain, understandable writing (no jargon).
  • Place your vision in plain view for all to see as a reminder.
  • Picture what success will look like.
  • Publish your results.

As you go forward, you may see that there is more that you can do with your planning.  This is just a short list to help you get started and identify some basics that will help you move towards success.  Remember: success is determined by how you define it for yourself.

Promoting Success, Providing Support

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Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.- Proverbs 26:4 (NIV)
 
Yes, it is true that Jesus said that we are not to call our brother a fool. The caveat to that teaching is a study of context that speaks about the anger in which we use such words rather than simply inserting some euphemism that says what we meant in code. Jesus was teaching about judgment and anger in Matthew 5:22. However, the Proverbs are clear about identifying the foolish actions that separate the fool from the wise and prudent. Obviously, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we see it as a duck. If it acts foolish and sounds foolish… It is what it is.
 
The words of Solomon teach us that fools act differently. In fact, Solomon teaches us through Proverbs that a fool is wise in his own eyes. Answering a fool according to his folly requires you to get on that fool’s level. In other words, what you are doing is addressing the fool by the same foolish ways that he uses. I picture it like this: a wise man and a fool get into a verbal argument, hurling insults at one another and calling each other fools. How do you identify the wise man from the fool? Exactly! The precise problem is what it projects to others, especially the fool himself. You just justified his argument to some degree by what you did in response to him. Such actions on our part kill the power of our witness.
 
With those who choose to go about things foolishly, I say simply show them another way by example. If they are foolish, they’ll keep doing what they’ve always done just for the sake of it. If they have any degree of common sense, they’ll see how you go about things differently and at least inquire of what makes you different. Keep in mind that you can win someone over by killing them with kindness, showering and smothering them with lovingkindness. Catch more flies with the sweet honey of your lips rather than poisoning them with the venomous vinegar.

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