Tag: visionary shepherd

Man balances on rock at sunset

The Balancing Act: How to Juggle Ministry and Family

Is it possible to balance the demands of our ministry and the needs of our family?  How can we walk the tightrope between being “on-call” for our congregation’s needs and getting rest to be able to meet those needs?  If we work 60+ hour weeks, what is left to give our family?

Bryan Dyson, the former CEO of Coca-Cola, once gave a commencement speech in which he made this analogy:

“Imagine life as a game in which you juggle some five balls in the air. You name them work, family, health, friends, and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that ‘work’ is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

In my own life, I have labeled the balls somewhat differently, but I certainly agree with and embrace the analogy.

Replant pastors are juggling so many balls, it may feel nearly impossible to label which ones are glass and which are rubber.  But those labels may reveal the difference between a successful juggling act and a floor full of broken glass.

man balances on tightrope

Struggling with Juggling

While identifying the balls can be helpful,  most can agree the hardest part of juggling isn’t knowing the type of balls in the air.  It’s keeping them all in the air.  While you can drop some of them, the show is certainly more successful if you can keep them going.

As pastors, there is often a feeling of immediacy to every demand– it can all feel like there is an emergency around every corner.  “I have to help this person, be at that hospital, take care of this facility need, get that bill paid, go to this event, get to that game…” The list is endless.  And that’s just it– there is always something else to do!

So how do pastors learn how to juggle?

man juggles balls in air

It’s All About the Timing

On Episode 116 of the podcast, JimBob discussed the answer to this very question and came up with eight ways to balance family and ministry. 

  1. Attend your children’s events.  No matter what your child is interested in, whether it be theater, a sporting event, or debate club, your attendance at their event is important to them.  You need to prioritize attending these events.  They will always remember looking in the stands or in the audience and seeing their biggest fan out there rooting for them.
  2. Keep dating your wife.  Date night doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be a lavish dinner at a swanky steakhouse.  It can be just taking a drive to a local park for lunch while the kids are in school and having a picnic of McDonald’s cheeseburgers.  It can be breakfast at a local diner on a Saturday morning. If you have small kids, find friends who have kids at similar ages and trade weekends with each other.  They watch your kids one weekend, you return the favor the next.  The important thing isn’t where you go or what you do– it’s that you take time to do it.
  3. Speaking of your wife, remember that the church hired YOU.  Your wife is like any other church member.  She should be able to choose where to serve in the church that benefits her God-given talents and abilities.  Your wife is not called to be every ministry’s lead person.  Rest assured, if you push her to be involved in everything, you will have a burnt out support partner and you will both suffer because of it.
  4. Remember to keep a Sabbath– and it won’t be Sunday.  Sunday is a work day for pastors.  You have to be diligent about creating a Sabbath on another day of the week, a day where you are off duty and can truly find rest.
  5. Take a vacation!  You need a couple of weeks AT MINIMUM to recharge and reset from church life.  Trust that God has everything under control and allow your fellow ministry leaders to handle everything while you are gone.  Be diligent about setting a boundary for your time off with your family. 
  6. Have a rhythm to your time with your family.  Carve out specific times that are solely for your family.  Be very careful not to let anything interfere with that.  Your family will know that the specific family time is important to you and they will feel honored that you have set it aside for them.
  7. Find time to do something physical.  Much of the work of pastoring and shepherding is mental and emotional.  Your brain and your spirit are occupied in this work 100% of the time.  You need to balance that with physical activity that lets your brain rest while your hands work.  Some pastors find this time at the gym, others find home improvement projects helpful.  Anything that allows you to rest your mind but engage your physical body.
  8. Most importantly, be PRESENT.  Don’t just be “there,” be fully present and engaged when you are with your family.  If you need to turn off notifications for that time, or set your phone aside, do it.  There is a myth out there that we multitask.  We can’t.  Our brain actually has to stop and start each task, which takes MORE time, not less.  You cannot be present with your family and also present with your phone and your social media.  You need to choose one– and by this time, you should realize it should be your family.

Man balances many demands

Sometimes, You Gotta Drop the Ball

The truth is, there will be times in ministry when you have to drop the balls.  You aren’t Superman, but more than that, you aren’t God. You can’t juggle the needs of your entire congregation, your facility, your other job (if you have one), your community, and your family without occasionally needing to put down everything and focus on just carrying the very fragile, very important glass ball until you are ready to start juggling again.

Church will always take as much as you are willing to give.  Church work can be a ravenous beast, and you can never feed it “enough.”  There will always be work that needs to be done and ministry that needs to be led.  But there are very rarely true emergencies that require your immediate attention, even though it may feel like it. (Marriages don’t end at 11:30 pm when they finally call you for help– that marriage will last until tomorrow when you can get to them.) You must be willing to prioritize your time and set boundaries that allow you to keep your family- and your sanity- intact.

Dying plant

Growing From Seed to Soil- Proclamation and Explanation

I am the world’s worst plant person.  Whatever the opposite of a “green thumb” is, I have two of those.  In fact, I may have two whole hands of them. I once won a prize at a women’s event where each woman got an arrangement of various sizes based on a game we played.  I won the game, but my prize was this absolutely gorgeous potted plant.  The look on my friend’s face was sheer terror.  “I can’t let you take that home,” she said. “You have to let me take it to my house for you.” I said, “No way!  I won it!”  “Suit yourself,” she said.  Then as I walked outside with the big plant in my arms, she walked behind me and yelled, “Dead plant walking!  Dead plant walking!” the whole way to the car, like my plant had been condemned to die on death row.

She wasn’t wrong. I could lie to you and tell you I tried to keep it alive; that I watered it, tended the soil, gave it plant food, sang to it, and called it by name. But the truth is, the plant died within a few weeks due to nothing less than complete neglect on my part.  And that’s how it goes with every plant I bring home, filled with hopes and dreams of a lovely plant sanctuary or an awesome vegetable garden.  Within a few weeks, the seeds have dried up and my plants have withered because I failed to take them any further in their growth process.

Often, pastors can fall into the same struggle. While they have no problem spreading the seeds of the Word, they sometimes fail to cultivate that seed into something deeper.

PLATFORM MINISTRY- PLANTING THE SEED

For pastors, the place they generally plant a seed is the pulpit, whether it be sharing the Gospel or sharing vision for the congregation. From there, the church may also post on social media or a website, and perhaps put up signage around their building.  This is referred to as, “platform ministry.”  In some seminaries, this is thought of as “proclamation.” We use this avenue to proclaim “big-picture” ideas, exegete scripture, and broadcast  powerful messages from the Word of God.  

The pastor who is skilled at platform ministry will most likely be a gifted communicator.  He will succeed at carving out time for his sermon preparation, and the church’s website will not only be up to date with the newest technology, but will also be consistently updated with new events and new ministries. 

In the most extreme version of someone gifted in platform ministry, the pastor will be an influencer of his congregation and may operate more like a CEO than a shepherd.  The church will have multiple events, always attempting to do better than the time before. The pastor may  isolate himself for study and will not get to know the people he is leading.  He may  lack authentic relationships within his church, and his congregation will see him as inaccessible or  inauthentic.

TABLE MINISTRY- CULTIVATING THE SEED planting a seed

Churches also have what’s referred to as a “table ministry.”  While this can mean a literal table, it doesn’t always.  These are deep, connective conversations that happen within fellowship with one another.  The table ministries of a church are where the seeds of life transformation germinate and are cultivated into deep-rooted life change. Churches may call these types of ministries connect groups, family groups, D-Groups, or one-one-one discipleship. In table ministry, the congregation will learn to “do life” together– bearing one another’s burdens and struggles. When seminaries teach this subject, it’s thought of as “explanation” (as opposed to proclamation). In this area, we take the message from the platform and break it up into smaller pieces so it’s easier to understand.  

A pastor who is skilled at table ministry is typically excellent at hospital visits, praying for his congregation, counseling people, and looking at the details of people’s lives.  He will be a shepherd to his flock, ensuring that they don’t stray away and discerning their spiritual health.

Unfortunately, in the extreme, this pastor is not without faults.  Because he fails to cast vision, his people are more likely to be tossed by every new wind of doctrine that comes along. His desire to appease everyone will cause him to be conflict-averse. Because he has not taken the role of a leader,  he will become simply the “marry and bury chaplain,” instead of the pastor he needs and is called to be. watering a plant

EITHER/OR or BOTH/AND?

When we look at platform versus table ministry, we might be tempted to compare the two and decide one is more important than the other.  We may wonder which is better– the preacher who can communicate change effectively, orr the pastor who ministers to the families in his congregation?

But do we have to choose?  Of course not.  One is not more important than the other.  We must have the catalyst for life change, but we must also cultivate that into lasting transformation. Doctrinal teaching is biblical, and important.  But so is relational disciple-making.  

So how do we succeed at both platform and table ministry?  How do pastors cast a vision and see the large picture while also knowing each of their congregation members well enough to know the details of their lives? 

The answer is the role of what Jimbo Stewart calls the “Visionary Shepherd.” A visionary shepherd is one who effectively communicates the God-given vision for his people while also loving his congregation and caring for them.  The best example of this Visionary Shepherd? Jesus. (Sometimes the “Sunday school answer” is also the right answer!)  Look at the Great Commandments in Matthew 22:37-40: “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’”

Jesus reminds pastors that loving Him with everything is the greatest thing you can do as a pastor. But He also says loving people is just as important.  Preaching the gospel AND living the gospel, both, at the same time. Always.  (No one said being a pastor was easy.  If they did, they aren’t a pastor and have never been one.  Stop listening to them for advice on pastoring.)

Churches can, and should, have both a successful platform ministry and a successful table ministry.  Before you can cultivate a garden, you must have a seed.  But a seed will dry up without proper care and maintenance.  Even I know that.  

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sing to the dead fern in the corner.  I know it won’t bring him back, but at least I can pretend I tried.

Do you need help with your platform ministry?  Get in touch with our partner, One Eighty Digital at https://oneeighty.digital/. They can help you optimize your online presence to be the best it can be! 

EP 143 – PLATFORM AND TABLE MINISTRY

Replant Bootcamp
Replant Bootcamp
EP 143 - PLATFORM AND TABLE MINISTRY
/

Hey there Bootcampers, thanks for joining us!  Today we begin unpacking the concept of ministry from the platform and the table.  Lean in, listen up and share your insights and feedback.

  • Platform Ministry: anything that is broadcast from the pulpit, stage, website, social media
  • Table Ministry: relational interaction, conversation that occurs in an informal setting.

Platform ministry can catalyze life change and transformation. Table ministry cultivates and sustains transformation.

When we depend on platform vs. table we can often isolate, stay busy with sermon preparation and be away from people.

In our present church culture, we believe, that we’ve adopted more of a Platform than Table ministry approach.

Truth-we gravitate toward one of these more than the other.

Do you know which one is your default?

We’d love to hear from you, drop us a line, leave a voice mail and share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Do you need help with your Platform (Web Presence) ?  Our great sponsors, One Eighty Digital can get you up and going quickly. Check them out today, let them know you are a Bootcamp listener.

Continue reading

EPISODE #94 – CAUTIONS FOR SHEPHERD LEADERS

Replant Bootcamp
Replant Bootcamp
EPISODE #94 - CAUTIONS FOR SHEPHERD LEADERS
/

The guys are back in action after celebrating the 4th of July! They talk about favorite fireworks, Bob nearly getting arrested and Jimbo’s near death experience with a church member who loved him some fireworks.

In today’s episode the guys get down to offering some key cautions for Shepherding Pastors as they lead their congregation.

Here are the quick points, give them a listen and give us your feedback.

Cautions for Shepherding Leaders

  • Lead at a pace faster than you might normally prefer
  • Realize that you may not ever have a unanimous consensus around decisions – If God has spoken, move forward
  • Shepherds may become “flock” focused rather than “Father” focused – get away from the flock (congregation in order to hear from God and get His vision
  • Bring courage with your calm and clarity as you lead. Expect pushback and proceed when God has clearly spoken about His direction for your church.
  • Be ready to deal with negative and divisive people who persist in their criticism, negativity and antagonism-do this according to Colossians 1:28-29. Proclaim the gospel, warn and teach.
  • Know your time frame- a Shepherd Leader may be tempted to stay beyond the time of his effectiveness-be sensitive to God’s leadership and direction if it is time to go.

Have a question? Can we help? Drop us a line or give us a call and we’d be happy to connect with you.

 

 

As always we want to thank our great sponsor over at One-Eight Digital, they can help you with all your website needs, contact them and let them know you’re a bootcamp listener.

Show notes are powered by Descript and are an approximation of the content. Consult podcast audio for accuracy.

Continue reading

EPISODE #93 – CAUTIONS FOR VISIONARY LEADERS

Replant Bootcamp
Replant Bootcamp
EPISODE #93 - CAUTIONS FOR VISIONARY LEADERS
/

Welcome back to the Bootcamp! Bob is another year older and Jimbo confesses he feels old too, but hey let’s jump in and get started. Today the guys are talking leadership and vision today and outlay some cautions for Visionary Leaders.  Have a question or comment?  Drop us a comment, send an email or leave us a voicemail with our questions or feedback.

 

Cautions for Visionary Leaders

  • Some Visionaries can be impulsive
    • Sit on big ideas for a day or two to make sure
    • Make big decisions with a team with feedback – not alone
    • Spend time praying about it
    • Consider times to lead the group in groupthink and let others pitch their ideas first
    • Don’t try to persuade them to go with your idea
  • Some Visionaries can be big on ideas while weak on execution
    • Make sure you are making a executable plan – with steps – and deadlines
    • Make sure to have a follow up process – be clear on who is responsible for what
  • Some Visionaries struggle to prioritize people over progress
    • You will most likely need to lead change at a slower pace than you desire
  • Some Visionaries struggle with longevity in ministry
    • Revi/replanting takes 5-7 years – stick it out
    • Don’t lead the church to make a major change and then bail

 

In today’s connected culture your church needs a functional and strategic web presence.  Our great sponsor One Eighty Digital can get your Church a website up and running in the right direction.

Show notes powered by Descript are an approximation of the verbal content, consult podcast audio for accuracy

Continue reading

EP #42 THE THINKING OF A REPLANTER: VISIONARY SHEPHERD, ORGANIZATIONAL AWARENESS, TACTICAL PATIENCE

Replant Bootcamp
Replant Bootcamp
EP #42 THE THINKING OF A REPLANTER: VISIONARY SHEPHERD, ORGANIZATIONAL AWARENESS, TACTICAL PATIENCE
/

The guys are back talking about the characteristics present in Replanters.  Listen as they break down stories of the bacon-y greatness of Shoney’s Breakfast Buffet, and the important characteristics of Replanters.

 

Visionary Shepherd: “A Visionary Shepherd has the ability to sense and see God’s next steps for a congregation and the capacity to lead the church forward as a loving shepherd. He is patient, wise, strategic, and relational.”

 

Organizational Awareness: A replanter with Organizational Awareness is adept at understanding how power dynamics work within the church, anticipating how changes would be received, recognizing where change may produce friction, and showing an awareness of how current practice and changes affected their position within the community in which they served.

 

Tactical Patience:Tactical patience is the ability to skillfully implement change at a pace that is appropriate to a specific congregation’s health and needs. It is about having the discernment of knowing when something must be changed and how it should be changed.

 

For an example of a lapse of organizational awareness listen to EP #20 “How not to change the name of a Replant.”

 

Book Recommendations for these Characteristics

 

Embers to a Flame by Harry Reeder III

Leading Major Change In Your Ministry by Jeff Iorg

 

Fun Links

 

Shoney’s Restaurant

Send Jimbo some Wright Brand Bacon

 

Need a great website? Checkout our sponsor One Eighty Digital

Episode #26 – ?BOOTS ON THE GROUND HIGHLIGHT ? with Min Lee

Replant Bootcamp
Replant Bootcamp
Episode #26 - ?BOOTS ON THE GROUND HIGHLIGHT ? with Min Lee
/

Joining the guys on the bootcamp is Min Lee, Replant Pastor of LA City Baptist Church

Min is a Korean-American Pastor, replanting a predominately Hispanic Church in Boyle Heights. He learned about the church from his Director of Missions // Associational Missional Strategist who asked him to join him in visiting the church.

On his very first visit to the church he was asked to lead a song in Spanish, he also prayed in Spanish and taught them a Bible study in English. They kept inviting him back and eventually called Min to be their Pastor.

What did you do first?

  • I asked for help from other churches and pastors in the area.
  • I prayed, we prayed for God to work.
  • I got out and began to meet people in the neighborhood, introducing myself and the church.

What are some of the challenges you faced?

  • Everything is so new!  There is a big learning curve.
  • There is a cross cultural challenge-there are not many instances of a Korean Pastor leading a Hispanic church.

What have been some of the most helpful things for you?

  • I’ve learned to ask for help-and God has provided!
  • Churches have partnered with us to do events like VBS.
  • We’ve had help remodeling our facilities.

What resources have been helpful to you?

  • The Replanter Assessment provided by NAMB and the Replant Team.
  • The training materials and coaching that are available for me as a Replanter.

What advice would you offer Replanters?

  • Go slower and go with God-bring the congregation along with you. Get counsel as you lead the body toward the vision of a renewed and Replanted Church.  
  • We can look back into Christian history and see God using people cross culturally to present the Gospel-so be bold and be courageous, see each person and people group through the eyes of Christ.

Need a website?  Checkout the great resources from our great sponsor, oneeighty.church

Episode #12 – Redeeming a Church’s Bad Reputation with BOOTS ON THE GROUND GUEST Carey Long

Replant Bootcamp
Replant Bootcamp
Episode #12 - Redeeming a Church's Bad Reputation with BOOTS ON THE GROUND GUEST Carey Long
/

Carey Long, Pastor, Northside Baptist Church, Slidell LA

Q:  What are some practical ways we can help change our church’s reputation/image in the community?

This is a complicated and layered question.

A bad reputation is not built, nor is it fixed overnight.

Discover/Ask: what has our church done that has created a bad reputation in the community?

A way to learn what the community thinks of your church: FourFold Panoramic Assessment by Keelan Cook

Ask the community: “If our church was to be an asset to this community what could we do?”

Consider your church’s history: repent and make reconciliation where possible.

Own and repent of past sins.

Process with your people the findings of your community assessments about your church’s reputation.

A name change is not a strategy to jettison your church’s bad reputation.

Keeping the name is at times, a more powerful picture of the Gospel and the power of forgiveness and redemption Jesus brings to us and the church.

Salvation doesn’t erase our past, it changes it.

Changing a church’s reputation involves changing the church’s culture.

The Pastor’s leadership is key in helping to change the church’s reputation.  

Pastoral involvement in the community along with some church members is key.  As your people engage in the community people get a new image and experience with your church.

Utilize your church’s facilities to bless the community.

Changing the image or reputation of your church takes a long time.

At times, you may need to help correct mis-information about your church in the community proactively.

Let God be your defender, it’s His church.

You will rarely win over the critics who will not engage with you.  You can win over the folks who will interact with you as you patiently help them see what God is doing in your church.

Seek the welfare of the community: Jeremiah 29:7

Engage your community with no-strings attached.

 

 

Episode #9 – The Luter Replant Legacy Part 1 with Dr. Fred Luter (Boots on the Ground Highlight)

Replant Bootcamp
Replant Bootcamp
Episode #9 - The Luter Replant Legacy Part 1 with Dr. Fred Luter (Boots on the Ground Highlight)
/

This is the first episode of a 2-part ? BOOTS ON THE GROUND HIGHLIGHT ?about Dr. Fred Luter Jr. and his son Fred “Chip” Luter III. In part 1 we will hear from Dr. Fred about his replanting journey at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and in part 2 we will hear from Chip and his journey to replanting with Idlewild in Tampa.

Dr. Fred Luter starting pastoring Franklin Avenue Baptist church 33 years ago when most people suspected the church was about to die. Local ministry leaders even told Pastor Fred that he was the wrong choice and he just needed to bury the church. Years later Franklin Avenue is a powerful testimony to God’s faithfulness through Dr. Fred who eventually became the first African-American President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

33 years of pastoral ministry has given Pastor Fred some great wisdom and we are excited to share it with you. Here are a few highlights:

  • The key to pastoral ministry is faithfulness to who God has called you to be and where he has called you to serve.
  • One of the greatest challenges in many dying churches is to remind them that the WORD of GOD works. Pastors must be faithful to the Word.
  • Replanters must be VISIONARY SHEPHERDS that have TACTICAL PATIENCE: Pastor Fred shares about taking 2-3 years to move Franklin Avenue from funding their church through selling chicken suppers to faithful and biblical giving.
  • Replanters must have a MISSIONAL FOCUS and GOSPEL ORIENTATION: Fred shares how he had a creative and missional strategy to engage the men in his community that were not coming to church through watching a pay-per-view boxing match. He then followed this up with personal evangelism and discipleship.
  • Replanters must make their families a priority. Pastor Fred has held hard to regular time off on a weekly basis to invest in his marriage and his kids.

Vocabulary word of the day –  Lagniappe

If you enjoyed this episode please share it with your friends, subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast platform, and leave us a rating.

Our sponsor, One Eighty Digital, just launched two new products that we think could really help your church. The first is called Launchpad, it’s an all-in-one custom branding and website bundle developed specifically for planters, replanters, & revitalizers who need to get things moving quickly. The second is Church Quicksite. It was created for churches working with tight budgets and can help get them an amazing new church website in as little as 1 week at a really affordable price. Check out OneEighty.Church to learn more about these special new offerings and how OneEighty can help your church Move Forward!

© REPLANT BOOTCAMP | Website by OneEighty