With modern technological advances, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations have become the norm of trainings and conferences. It is almost a given that someone will pop in their flash drive and fire up a multi-slide presentation for the audience to sit through. Some people even add the bells and whistles where the text scrolls up into view or fades in and out with music playing in the background or videos embedded here and there.
Power up your presentations with what really matters. Offer some compelling and interesting content.
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This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
– 1 Timothy 3:1 (NKJV)
Some versions of the biblical text use the terms: bishop, overseer, elder, or leader. The pastoral epistles address two similar offices of the Christian church: elder and deacon. Both have similar requirements and responsibilities.
Let’s be honest. There is no quick fix or single handbook to answer it all. You will not find any bullet-pointed list or single-paged tip sheet that gives you every conceivable issue that falls at the feet or in the lap of the pastor. You had better be up on things in order to withstand what comes at you as a pastor, preacher, spiritual leader, deacon, or lay leader. You need to stay prayed up, studied up, and girded up. You need to stay up on certain things to make it through the day.
Preparation is vital. There is no substitute for preparation. Ask John C. Maxwell. He shares about his first pastoral experience and the blunders that he made due to his own naivety and inexperience. In layman’s terms, he just wasn’t prepared for everything that came his way. He made mistakes just like many young pastors, but he learned from each experience as he shares in many of his books like The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
C.H. Spurgeon offers a sensational pastoral preparation in his timeless classic The Soulwinner. Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church also stands out as a modern masterpiece for establishing and leading a Christian church. Like I said, there is no single source that will supply the would-be pastoral leader with the exception of the Word of God.
To prepare to pastor, here are just a few key pointers once you have prayed and stayed in constant prayer about your calling to serve in such a Christian capacity:
- Study: Read the pastoral epistles of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. These offer essentials for preparation from the perspective of Paul who mentored both Timothy and Titus.
- Serve: Serve in a variety of capacities that fit with your spiritual gifts. Teach the Bible, lead an outreach ministry, work on a community service project, or minister to the homeless or senior citizens. Find your ministry and fulfill your ministry.
- Seminary (or Theological School): Get into a steady stream of seminary classes. Gain the knowledge and techniques, but also glean from those who are already in the trenches. Listen to what they share. Match that up with what you have studied and what you have seen as you serve.
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“To be or not to be…”
“Beware of the Ides of March…”
“Something is afoul in Denmark…”
“Et tu, Brute?…”
We can say that we don’t put much stock in what others have to say, but our own actions dispel that notion. Attend any seminar throughout the nation, listen to any speech on the radio or TV, or read any editorial in your local newspaper and you will see that many of these same people use quotes from others to drive home their point. The quotes may serve as accent points to highlight the theme and meaning of the author’s point.
Test the theory. Visit quotations page on the Web to see quotes available by subject or topic. See how you may be able to use quotes and add some color to your presentations and reports. Include some background information that helps shed light on the quote’s connection to your topic or theme.
These words seem like something good to share to break the ice and open a speech:
• How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.
• Inactivity is death.
• I find capitalism repugnant.
Be sure to study up the author of the quote. You do not want to quote someone who was totally opposed to government and bureaucracy when you go to endorse a political candidate. Inform yourself with as much information as possible related to the author and the context of your quote.
The quotes above come from: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Fidel Castro. It does matter where you get your material from.
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I met a girl a couple of weeks ago. She gonna tell me, “If you want to get acquainted with me and my son, you’ll have to take him to Disneyland.”
I went to pick her up the next day and here she got four more kids. I said, “Who kids are them?”
She said, “Them Bebe’s Kids.”
Presenters and trainers have to have a knack for knowing how to connect with other people. You need to make a connection with people in the audience when you present.
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I recently picked up a copy of Raving Fans. It is the book that falls somewhere in the mix with Blanchard and Bowles other collaborations. Part of what I discovered was that customers have wants and needs that have to be met and exceeded in order to make them fans. You truly have to read the book and get an idea for the concept. However, all who train others on how to deal with and work with customers and vendors should try to flip the script as they teach and train staff and volunteers on serving others.
What do I mean? Flip the script!
Set up trainings that involve role plays and scenarios based upon actual customer complaints in your industry. Are you running a volunteer-driven homeless shelter or youth center? Get your staff and volunteers geared up to truly help people by working through some real-life situations. Try to work in some time where staff and volunteers are imagining things through the eyes of the customer. Help them to gain insights into how to serve from the heart with real understanding.
What about the script?
Look at the scripted lines of responses in outdated handbooks that most nonprofits and churches have on their shelves. Walk through your telephone script for soliciting donations for your organization. Have your staff and volunteers hear it read aloud, and then let them see it acted out. Next, have them read a printed copy of the script, and then use a red marker to alter the script. Collect them back and review them together as a team. See how far off you or your team may be when it comes to customers… I mean fans.
Flip the script
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