EPISODE #57 – CREATING AND CELEBRATING WINS TO BUILD MOMENTUM
In this episode the boys talk about the importance of celebrating wins along the way in Replanting. Why is this necessary? Because the work of Replanting is hard and difficult.
Here are some of the highlights
- Celebrate small steps and wins
- Find something to celebrate each weekend
- Be sure to celebrate missional activity-even if it starts small
- Celebrate changes in attitude and heart
- Celebrate being part of something bigger (especially if you are part of a denomination)
- Celebrate steps that your church is taking toward the accomplishment of your vision
- Get someone outside your church to come in and help you see things you can celebrate
What wins are you celebrating? We’d love to hear from you-send us an email, a photo or a story.
Fun Razorback Football Twitter
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Check out the show notes below for more detail. Show transcripts are an approximation of the podcast, audio should be consulted for exact detail.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Celebrate. Good times. Come on. Yeah. All right, Bob, in 2020, it seems like the Arkansas Razorbacks have just decided to make this their year.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:14] We have, and we took it to old miss this last weekend, which was awesome. And Jimbo, I here’s the debate in my mind, we either have a much improved football team. Or it’s just another 20, 20, 20, 20 events.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:30] My favorite, have you, do you follow the Arkansas Razorbacks on Twitter?
Bob Bickford: [00:00:34] No.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:35] Oh, you need to, man. They have been, they’ve been burned. So after, uh, you guys beat Mississippi state, they trolled Mike Leach with some really creatively thinking about pirates or something. and then after beating Ole miss they, they had a Thomas the train , yeah.
Trolling the lane train for all, miss. I mean, really the, the, you gotta follow you, look for it and put it in the show notes for us. Some of the fun things that the Arkansas, whoever they have do and Twitter , is, is related to whoever’s doing Wendy’s Twitter, right? there’s there’s some good, funny snarky stuff going on with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
I’ve been enjoying seeing what they’ve done after each win. Um,
Bob Bickford: [00:01:17] one of my favorites. One
JimBo Stewart: [00:01:20] of my favorites. Wasn’t from them was somebody else said the Ole miss quarterback just threw another pass and I intercepted it.
Bob Bickford: [00:01:27] Well, it was amazed. So we’ve got, in our congregation, deacon, Jerry is from Mississippi state. And he, he talks like he’s from Mississippi, which is awesome. I love it. And then two of our younger guys, Parker and Mike are graduates of old miss. And so we’ve had both of them back to back, right. So I texted deacon, Jerry and Ken was giving him some business about the game.
And then I text texted Mike and Parker. On Saturday and was kind of, you know, razzing them about the game. And so we have a good friend really friendly rivalry going , in our church, the groves church with some sec football stuff. So it’s been a lot of fun lately.
JimBo Stewart: [00:02:07] Oh, that’s excellent. Well, speaking of celebrating, I think it’s a good thing to talk about as we continue on in the process of talking about change leadership and what changed leadership looks like.
And so going through, I won’t recap all of the steps that we’ve talked about, but we’ve talked about, stop and pray. We’ve talked about building a team, defining and confronting reality. we’ll list out all the steps that we’ve come to at this point. In the show notes, but one of the things I think is really important at this point, Bob and John Cotter points this out and others point this out is the importance of creating momentum through some easy wins.
it can feel a little bit sell, like. A big vision is really exciting and can kind of get you going, right off the bat. But because it’s big vision, it may take you a really long time to actually accomplish and get to that vision. And. Sometimes what happens is people get discouraged along the way because they feel like it’s just not happening fast enough, not really getting where we said we were going to go.
And I think there can be a really good benefit having some small wins along the way.
Bob Bickford: [00:03:24] That’s all right, you got to tee things up. And I mean, this thing about your child, you celebrate their first few steps before you celebrate their first few steps. You celebrate the fact that they’re staying thing or that they’ve pulled up on the coffee table.
And then the next thing you know, they’re running through the house and you’re probably not celebrating that, or you’re just trying to keep up and catch them. And so same thing can be true with our, our revitalizations, our replants we’re going to move from, from. Inertia to motion and it’s going to be some starts and stops and it’s going to be some struggles.
So we have to encourage our church to keep going. And even when they miss it, miss it, we just need to celebrate the try. Right? Hey, we try. We actually, uh, we got together. We organize, well, we prayed. We. You know, we try and, I think it’s super important for morale, right? Just to help people understand that, look, we weren’t doing anything.
And so the win here is that we did something. Yeah. And that’s, it helps people stay engaged and stay encouraged.
JimBo Stewart: [00:04:27] Yeah, I think it’s similar to like what Dave Ramsey talks about when he does his thing with debt snowball. He, he tells you don’t try to get super complicated and calculate the best and you know, what, or which is the highest interest rate and going after that.
And there are ways that make. More mathematical sense than his debt snowball, but what his debt snowball process of paying off, whatever the lowest balance is first does it gives you that when it gives you that emotional win or with weight loss, right? If it’s, if you got to lose 60 pounds, Then that seems like such a daunting number, but if you’ll, if you’ll think through, okay, I need to lose five pounds over the next two weeks or the next month, or are you set kind of some more realistic attainable, you know, things that happen a little faster than it is gives you something to celebrate along as you go, even in.
Alcoholics anonymous. They’ll talk about starting out with just one day at a time. Don’t worry. About 10 years of sobriety. Don’t worry about whatever. Just want let’s just today. How did, how did today? Can we find a win and, and so finding a way. Is that you can to create that and things that, you know, you can win at.
And when it just trying, like you said, you know, Clifton has been talking a lot about what he’s been doing at Linwood. And I think he’s done a great job of this early on was a church of three people when he got there. And so he got some partners to help them have some pretty quick easy wins with doing a movie night and a free garage sale at the church and ways that.
And I love the way Clifton puts it. We don’t do those events to get the church, to come the community, to come to our church, but to get our church into the community. And if that’s the win, then you do those things and you can celebrate that man, praise God. We were able to do that. Praise God. We were able to see this happen through that ministry event.
And it becomes not only easy wins, but it also gets your mind off of internal things and starts to point you in an external focus.
Bob Bickford: [00:06:36] Right. In many ways , the church has it’s either felt like it’s it just been surviving and you really don’t. I mean, I guess in some ways, you know, if you’re in a really bad spot, that that is a win.
Oh my gosh, we survived. Right. you know, if we’re lost at sea, if the plane isn’t a nosedive, if we, you know, spun out and hydroplaned on the highway and we didn’t die, then we celebrate that. But, but most churches are not experiencing the radical swings of life and death on a given Sunday. They’re just kind of experienced the monotony of just church as it is.
So they don’t celebrate much. Right. And in these smaller wins, these doing new things and people staying together or people planning and being a part of it, seeing people get active that haven’t been active in a while, or seeing actually some people will be blessed in some ways is, is just a great way to get forward momentum, uh, happening in your car.
and it’s not just business for business sake. It is. It is doing something within purpose and intentionality of a greater goal of reactivating that church towards the proclamation and the demonstration of the gospel.
JimBo Stewart: [00:07:44] Yeah. I think it’s seeing. Change happen in the heart of the people, through the action of service.
I know real early on a big win for us was an event we were able to do at a local apartment complex. And I had, I had worked hard to really prepare our people for what does it look like to actively pursue and do this in the right way? And I’ll never forget a lady in her sixties. Coming to me, really with tears welling up in her eyes of joy telling me that she had shared the gospel for the first time in her entire life.
And she didn’t see, but it gets saved there. Wasn’t revival breaking out. But. That’s that’s a huge deal to see somebody who’s been going to church for pretty much their entire life and had never really taken and that step. And even though we didn’t see someone get saved that night because of what she did and something changed in her heart.
Because she took that step. And so we celebrated that when asked her to share that testimony before the church of what it was like to be nervous and, and to feel like, man, this is so scary, but to actually get out there and do that and give the members ownership of ministering to that community where God has put that church and celebrating it as a win, it just moves everything in the right direction.
Bob Bickford: [00:09:10] Yeah. So we’ve been talking about. You know, we’ve kind of hinted at missional wins, but there are some even more practical kinds of wins that it can be experienced in the early life of where we plan. So for instance, um, taking, uh, a nursery room that has never been used, uh, in the last 10, 15 years, cleaning it out and getting rid of all the dangerous toys, all the spiders, putting a new, fresh coat of paint in there, buying some new toys and, you know, some new.
fixtures and furnishings and getting it ready. And then actually seeing kids go into that room is a big win. And so some guys I’ve seen they’ll, you know, they’ll, they’ll celebrate a guy, here’s the vision we’re going to, we’re going to have some young families Condon. Sometimes it’s the young families already there because the pastor is the one who brought the kids.
Right. And so it’s like, Hey, we need to kind of get this room ready. And. And then, so the church goes up on a Saturday, they paint the building, they clean, you take pictures of that. And I just encourage you guys, man, take pictures of that. Take video of that. Show that to the church Sunday, with that in the newsletter that the bullets on whatever you can do.
Okay. Celebrate the fact that you guys have now prepared a place for young fans. And we used to bring their kids, whether it be loved or they’ll feel safe, et cetera. And that’s a win. The church gets behind that and they feel good about that. So you, you. You’ve moved them from nothing to something. Yeah.
I’m the same thing where, you know, maybe you have, created a welcome center and it could be as simple as a table in the lobby, right. With some good information and it’s a coffee or gift or something, that’s a win as well. You could run a Facebook ad and then you find that maybe some people saw that and they came to your church.
Celebrate that as a win. I think there’s some small things on the way towards missional activity. Like a member has never shared their faith to share their faith or to do an outreach event like a movie night or a free garage sale or a trunk or tree, those sorts of things. Um, the church that’s not been doing anything begins to move towards something by small steps of accomplishing little things along the way.
And so, so however we can structure those. Those wins are super important. And my, my encouragement to the guys listening is start with a small one, start with an easily attainable one, and then move up from there progressively. And so you’re not just planning one of these a year. You’re planning several of these over the quarters that you’re going to experience.
And, and the really that gets the church moving gets the church, doing something.
JimBo Stewart: [00:11:56] Yeah, I think if you could find something. Every Sunday to celebrate. Now that doesn’t mean you have to have an event every Sunday. One of the great things for not all of our listeners are Southern Baptist, but one of the great things about being Southern Baptist is the cooperative efforts of missions.
And. And here’s the there’s, there’s some pretty quick easy wins if you give to any Armstrong. And if you give to Lottie moon, a man, if you got to do that, man, pull, pull those out of the hat and celebrate that we are a part of. A missional group that is sending. And if you’re not Southern Baptist, you need to be a part of some network that does that.
Whether that’s your denomination or a mission organization that you partner with, some of your finances need to go out into things that have nothing to do with your church. And these are ways that we can celebrate. Very easily. It’s just by demonstrating what it means means to steward the resources God has given us well to be John mission.
And so if you’re, even if you are a part of Southern Baptist or you’re not, and you’re trying to figure something out, maybe there’s a church plant and your community and your city and your area, right. Or something like that, that you could. You could pull up some money and help serve somebody. There’s a church right now.
I’m consulting with that needs to be replanted said they’re struggling financially. They’re struggling with attendance, but okay. Got a great interim guy there who has served our association well and a serving in that church. And he had them take up a love offering for a church planter. Last week and was able to really bless that church planter in a, in a, in a way that you’d be surprised the church that size was able to do it.
And he did a great job of really maximizing that win of what it, what it is today. Just move forward in kingdom work. You said something bottom line echo. You said that these wins, uh, are on the way. To where we’re trying to go. And that would be one thing I would encourage you to make sure of is that the wins that you are cultivating and celebrating are actually moving you towards your end goals, where you’re trying to get to that vision that you’ve already communicated, makes sure that these things are moving us in that direction.
Don’t fall into the trap of just celebrating things, just to celebrate them. I think we should celebrate as much as we can possibly celebrate. Man, create a culture of celebration of constantly pointing to where God is at work, because this is hard, difficult, and slow work. And we need to make sure that we stay as encouraged as possible along the way.
Bob Bickford: [00:14:41] Yeah. The, the worst thing you can do, or one of the, one of the challenging things is, um, is to set so high a bar. That, that you never attained anything or you set too high, but are you try you miss? And then you get mad about it or frustrated by it. And, uh, or like you mentioned, you, you could, you could set wins or goals.
You’re making gains, but they’re not leading you towards your overall mission. So the, I think the guys will do well just to, we all do well just to kind of thing. Okay. Where, where do we feel like we want to go as a church? What has God called us to do. I understand that put, put that down in writing kind of good stuff, information about that, and then reverse engineer from there and to say, well, we’ll be one of the very first easy steps for us to start heading in that direction.
Right. Well, how could we, how could we achieve one? Step towards that goal. And again, if you’re, if you’re challenged in thinking through that and you feel like you have been in the mix of the, the, the church for so long that you’re having a hard time seeing that you could make even a step in that right direction, sit down with a friend and other replant or a church enter, or your associational, missional strategist, or your state convention revitalization.
A leader. There’s plenty of guys out there that can help you. And one of the things that’s really super great about our relationships in the Southern Baptist convention of Southern Baptist is we have guys who we can reach out to that are for us and that want to help us and what I have seen. And I think what I have benefited from is just a bunch of brothers who are for me and believe in me and want to see us succeed.
As a church and it’s sometimes really helps to take, to get an outside, perspective and view of what my church is doing and what God’s called us to do. And then a guy can say, Oh yeah, I totally agree. Here are three things I think you could do right away right now to move in that right direction. And what’s true for, up for me, Jimbo is I’m dealing with the weight of pastoral ministry.
The frustrations of us not being where I want us to be the pastoral care and counseling load, the challenges of normal family, life cars, breaking down, kids, misbehaving, you know, me being inside sensitive with my wife and all those sorts of things. And so I can get in a place of personal defeat that caused me to stay in a place of pastoral defeat.
And when I’m that place, I need a brother. Who’s engaged in ministry to come alongside me, who can see things that I can’t see about my situation in my
JimBo Stewart: [00:17:29] church. Yeah. That’s so important to get an outside perspective on that. Obviously there’s a benefit in getting outside perspective on things we can improve if we’ve become nose blind.
Um, but also if we’ve become discouraged, there can, there can be such a blessing in a Barnabas. That can come and just be encouraging and just say, Hey, let me, let me just point out some things that maybe you’re not seeing, that that can be celebrated, that God is already doing that. or some things that you could do that wouldn’t be difficult and wouldn’t take a whole lot of, of capital or, or.
Time and that you could, you could do as easy wins to help. And sometimes some of those are, emphasis things. And so I think facilities are a good thing to find some wins in, but don’t fall into the trap of only. Updating facilities , sure. That as you are doing the facility stuff, that you’re also doing missional stuff that you’re doing, discipleship stuff, that there are our thing.
Cause ultimately if your facilities disappear, your mission doesn’t change. But. Part of what you have at the moment, most likely as a facility in need of lots of deferred maintenance. And I don’t know about you, but in some of those difficult times, I found some and energy just in being able to see some things get improved physically.
And I thought, man, if nothing else. At least, at least I’m leaving these facilities better than I found them.
Bob Bickford: [00:19:02] Here’s an easy one. If your church smells like an old basement or dingy a house, get some air freshener and fresh on that bad boy up. That’s that’s a real, that’s an easy win for like three bucks.
Okay. Then the next wind, it attack one of the rooms that you just, you know, that everybody has dumped something in. And clear that out, like just small things along the way. We’ll really start to make a big difference. I think that the things, um, that I see guys do that, that are challenging for them. And I see this in my own kids, when they were in the house, they have so much city, they get overwhelmed.
And they don’t do anything yet. Then when I try to suggest as the pair, as a parental consultant, right. I come into their life. I kind of survey the scene and I hear that they’re emotional and they’re frustrated and they’re overwhelmed and blah, blah, blah, blah. And at that point, I’ll just say, have you thought about doing this one thing?
And so most of the time it takes me saying that in about 15 different ways. In order for them to, to agree, to even open their mind to the possibility they could do something different. Well, I just want to say as pastors, as we get there too. Right. And , I’ve talked to brothers and I’ll suggest a couple of things to them and man, it’s just like, okay, here we go.
For the next hour, I’ve got to suggest, you know, Intermittently here are two or three things that you consider, could consider to help move the church forward are things you can celebrate and I’ve got to Wade through , You know about an hour’s worth of frustration from them perhaps. And so if you’re the frustrated brother who here, let me say this in grace, get over it quickly.
It’s just like, get over it. We’re on the same day. I’m for you. The Dom is for you, your church planning friend is for you, JimBo and I are for you. We’re for you. So get over it. And start moving forward. And even if in, in, cause here’s the reality, you’re not seeing your, you and your church, aren’t moving forward because you’re in a mindset where you can’t see anything good.
Right. So take the good that someone else sees and take a step. Hmm, and try it. And if you want to call me wrong, I’ll buy you lunch. Like you try it and it doesn’t work. I’ll buy you lunch and then tell you that. I’m sorry. But the reality is sometimes we can be such negative. Nancy’s we get into a, you know, a place where we just don’t want to try anything.
We just want to complain. You can say this, don’t do that. I mean, don’t be that guy, right?
JimBo Stewart: [00:21:43] Suck it up, buttercup.
Bob Bickford: [00:21:46] There you go, I should say negative Ned too. So I don’t want to always almost pick on Nancy. Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: [00:21:51] Yeah. Negative Ned, bring up the passage. I love to bring it to my kids and Philippians where Paul says do all things without grumbling and complaining.
It’s a good, but no, as you need to find somebody to vent to, if that’s what you needed to do, if that’s what you need to do in order to build the, and get over it, then find somebody, a safe person to vent to, but make sure that that’s in the process of helping you move things forward and figuring out those things to do.
Uh, in fight as many things to celebrate as you possibly can find as many ways to celebrate those things, as you possibly can have other people share testimonies on stage, have them do the closing or opening announcements and say, Hey, before I get those announcements, I just want to tell you, I had the opportunity to love my neighbor well this week or, or whatever, whatever it is, find ways to publicly communicate and celebrate those wins in as many ways as you can put it in your sermon, put it in the newsletter.
Put it on your social media, figure out ways to make sure that people know that what we’re doing. There’s hope here and removing in the right direction.