Christ for all Nations
International House of Prayer Saddleback Church 21 MUST-KNOW LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES FROM RESPECTED LEADERS LIKE JACK HAYFORD, Marriage LARRY STOCKSTILL, RICK WARREN, JOYCE MEYER, ED STETZER AND MANYToday OTHERS Teen Mania MAY // JUNE 2014 Antioch Community Church Joyce Meyer Ministries The Ramp Youth With a Mission Cityteam The Potter’s House EQUIPPING CHRISTIAN LEADERS TO GROW The New Life Community Church Dream Center
CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES THAT ARE MOST INFLUENCING THE 21ST-CENTURY CHURCH
Antioch Community Church Association of Related Churches Bethel Church Christ for all Nations Cityteam Convoy of Hope The Dream Center Empowered21 Gateway Church International House of Prayer Joyce Meyer Ministries LifeChurch.tv MarriageToday New Life Community Church OneHope The Potter’s House The Ramp Saddleback Church Somebody Cares International Teen Mania Youth With a Mission LifeChurch.tv OneHope Gateway Church Somebody Cares International
Association of Related ChurchesBethel Church Convoy of Hope Empowered 21
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c o n t e n t s V o l . 3 2 // N o . 3
M a y // J u n e 2 0 1 4
MINISTRIES AND CHURCHES 10 | MINISTRY TODAY 21
God takes pride in the benevolent works of all of His children, but not all churches and ministries are the same when it comes to their ability to influence others. Enter the Ministry Today 21, a list of 21 churches and ministries that are influencling the 21st-century church that highlight our special May/June issue.
12 | LIFECHURCH.TV
30 | CHRIST FOR ALL NATIONS
48 | YOUTH WITH A MISSION
14 | ONEHOPE
32 | INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PRAYER
48 | CITYTEAM MINISTRIES
18 | GATEWAY CHURCH
34 | SADDLEBACK CHURCH
50 | THE POTTERâ€™S HOUSE
20 | SOMEBODY CARES
38 | MARRIAGETODAY
50 | THE DREAM CENTER
22 | ASSOCIATION OF RELATED CHURCHES
40 | TEEN MANIA
50 | NEW LIFE COVENANT CHURCH
(Technology and Innovation) (Missions)
24 | BETHEL CHURCH (Healing)
26 | CONVOY OF HOPE (Humanitarian Aid)
28 | EMPOWERED21
(Holy Spirit Empowerment)
MinistryToday May // June 2014
(Prayer/Intercession) (Pastoral Influence) (Marriage Ministry) (Youth Ministry)
42 | ANTIOCH COMMUNITY CHURCH (Missions/Young Adults)
44 | JOYCE MEYER MINISTRIES (Media/Bible Teaching)
(Compassion Ministry) (Inner-City Ministry)
8 | MINISTRY OUTSIDE THE BOX
3 reasons to consider mobile apps for your church
46 | THE RAMP
Shelley Paulson /IHOP-KC
Training for Pastoral Care in the 21st Century July 24 – 26
Redeemed Lives Equipping Conference & Seminar Series Hosted by the Vineyard at Tuttle Crossing – Dublin, Ohio (outside Columbus)
Learning to engage in the public conversation concerning gender and to equip Christian leaders to provide pastoral care for those seeking help. A 3-Day Equipping Conference Training Christian leaders to use the 5 Redeemed Lives Pastoral Courses* July 24 – 26 $250 (without start-up materials) *Those with Master’s Degrees in Theology or Psychology may apply to rewrite the RL Pastoral Course for their particular ministry settings
Topics covered: • Launching Your Own RL Pastoral Course • Interviewing Candidates To Assure Success • Building a Ministry Team • How to Use the RL DVD Material in a Group Setting
2-Night Seminar Series
Pastoral Care in the 21st Century: The Conversation on Gender between Church & Society July 24 – 25 $30
Topics covered: • Contextualizing the Battle for the Gospel in the 21st Century • Engaging the Post-Culture War Gender Conversation in the Public Square • Defending the Rights of All People for Self-Emancipation • Advocating for the Rights of Christians without Bashing the Gay Community
Mario Bergner founded Redeemed Lives twenty-five years ago, during which time he wrote and developed five pastoral courses used in churches worldwide. He is the author of Setting Love In Order, which has been translated into eleven different languages. He was a contributing author to the Christian Educator’s Handbook on Family Life, and has published articles in Leadership Journal, Good News Magazine and the Living Church. Mario is also an Anglican pastor and planted Hope Anglican Chapel in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Trinity School for Ministry, and is a PhD candidate at Trinity College at the University of Bristol, UK. Teaching will also include three leaders who have lead Redeemed Lives pastoral courses, Val Kuthe, Dawn Zeller and Julie M. Andrews.
Register and pay online at www.redeemedlives.org/equippingseminar or contact us by email email@example.com by July 11.
More Information: redeemedlives.org vineyardtc.org
Vineyard Church at Tuttle Crossing 5400 Avery Rd. l Dublin. OH 43016
PO Box 451
Ipswich, MA 01938
c o n t e n t s V o l . 3 2 // N o . 3
M a y // J u n e 2 0 1 4
54 | 21 MUST-HAVE PRINCIPLES
Strong leaders, especially in the church, are influential. They are people of character and wisdom. They are teachable, and they are servants. With the help of some ministerial heavyweights, Ministry Today’s special May/June issue will explore some must-have traits of today’s Christian leaders.
55 | LONGEVITY
66 | PERSONAL CARE
80 | SERVANT LEADERSHIP
56 | WISDOM
68 | GROWTH SYSTEMS
84 | HANDLING PRESSURE
58 | FAMILY CARE
70 | AVOIDING PEOPLE-PLEASING
86 | GROWING LEADERS
60 | MINISTRY PASSION
70 | TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
88 | ENCOURAGEMENT
60 | MULTIPLYING LEADERS
72 | INFLUENCE
88 | IMPLEMENTING A VISION
62 | VISION CASTING
74 | HEART OF A LEADER
64 | STAFFING
76 | RESPONDING TO CRITICS
66 | LEADERSHIP TRANSFERENCE
78 | CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
By Jack Hayford
By Larry Stockstill By Nelson Searcy By Rick Warren By Ed Stetzer
By Kyle Searcy
By Mark Driscoll
By Doug Stringer
By Thom S. Rainer
By Larry Barker
By Ron Edmondson By Dale Hudson
By Lori Wilhite/Brandi Wilson By Andy Stanley
By Michael Youssef
By Bob Rhoden
By Brad Lomenick By Isik Abla
By Dan Reiland
By Dave Williams
90 | KINGDOM CULTURE
Women: Invaluable leadership gifts By Justin Lathrop
By Joyce Meyer
Ministry Today (ISSN #0891-5725) is published bi-monthly by Charisma Media, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746. Periodicals postage paid at Lake Mary, FL 32746 and at additional entry offices. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product (Canadian Distributing) Sales Agreement Number 40037127. Subscription rate is $24.97 for six issues and $39.97 for twelve issues. Canadian subscribers add $5 per year for postage, other countries add $10 per year for postage, payable in advance in U.S. currency only. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Ministry Today, P.O. Box 6102, Harlan, IA 51593-1602. Send undeliverable Canadian mail to: 1415 Janette Avenue, Windsor, ON N8X1Z1. © 2014 by Charisma Media. For advertising information call (407) 333-0600. Nothing that appears in Ministry Today may be reprinted without permission. PRINTED IN THE USA
MinistryToday May // June 2014
Also available in Spanish.
MODEL. shepherd. servant. steward. seer.
Learn the Four Faces of a Leader, and move your church forward with Jesus-centered leadership.
MyHealthyChurch.com Toll Free: 855.642.2011 /MyHealthyChurch @MyHealthyChurch
Ministry Outside the Box V o l . 3 2 // N o . 3
3 REASONS TO CONSIDER MOBILE APPS FOR YOUR CHURCH
Publisher/Executive Editor STEVE STRANG firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor SHAWN A. AKERS email@example.com
With the world moving to mobile, churches are beginning to tap into the new lingua franca to better engage with their congregations. Because mobile apps offer a tailored and highly engaging experience to the individual user and account for 80 percent of the time average Americans spend on their smartphones, churches have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with their members. But with the average church budget getting tighter every year, is a mobile app really worth the money? When most think about buying a new piece of technology, the natural reaction is to put on the brakes. Up-and-coming innovations are usually expensive, difficult to troubleshoot and outdated quickly. However, there is good news. A mobile app is not merely a piece of technology but an investment. Here are three reasons why:
2) Your congregation is using smartphones. People are not only using smartphones to access content during the week, but they’re also using them in church on the weekends. In many churches, it’s just as common to see members reading Scripture on their phones as it is to see them reading out of a traditional paper Bible. According to a survey conducted by Tyndale College and Seminary, more 8
MinistryToday May // June 2014
Editorial Director MARCUS YOARS
By Santiago Jaramillo
1) A mobile app can cut print costs in half. Printing bulletins for each service every Sunday is not only costing churches money, but also time and manpower. Unfortunately, anyone who cleans up after a service can tell you that most of those bulletins are either getting left behind or tossed in the recycling bin right after the closing prayer. But consider this: By encouraging attendees to access the bulletin via their mobile app, a church could potentially print half the previous number of paper bulletins, saving money and the environment.
Chief Operating Officer JOY F. STRANG
than 74 percent of churchgoers read the Bible electronically, as proven by the popular YouVersion Bible app that has been downloaded tens of millions of times in 100 languages worldwide. The world has shifted to mobile as its primary communication medium and will not wait for the reluctant to catch up. 3) Your congregation is busy. After the sanctuary empties at the conclusion of weekend services, life happens to even the most well-meaning attendees. Missed event registration deadlines, forgotten outreach opportunities, even skipping the sermon for the member who hit the snooze button one too many times— these are realities churches must take into consideration. With features like push notifications, one-touch “save-tocalendar” options, and sermon media, an app enables churches to continue communicating interactively with their busy congregations well into the week. A mobile app for your church functions as a digital accountability partner for those seeking to be more involved. Pixeden/Webdesigner Depot
Editorial Assistant SEAN ROBERTS
Advertising Manager ANN MARIE KELLY firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Traffic Coordinator SHEILA PEREZ email@example.com Art Director Graphic Designer Production Manager Production Coordinator
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600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746 Phone (407) 333-0600 • Fax (407) 333-7100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: ministrytodaymag.com EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS: Brandon Cox, Jimmy Evans, Rob Hoskins, David Ireland, Karen Jensen, Daniel Kolenda, Ron Luce, Robert Morris, Ron Phillips, Jim Raley, Kyle Searcy, Greg Surratt, Barbara J. Yoder POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Ministry Today, P.O. Box 6102, Harlan, IA 51593-1602. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Six issues $24.97; twelve issues $39.97. Canadian subscribers add $5 per year, including GST. Other countries add $10 per year, payable in advance in U.S. currency only. If you have moved, received damaged or duplicate copies/missed issues, experienced billing problems, want to renew or need additional subscription information, call (800) 829-2547, go online to ministrytodaymag.com (to subscribe), e-mail email@example.com, or write Ministry Today, P.O. Box 6102, Harlan, IA 515931602. Foreign subscribers call (515) 237-3640. ADVERTISING POLICY: We make every effort to be sure advertisers operate with the highest principles and credibility. But advertising in Ministry Today does not imply editorial endorsement. MAILING LIST: We make a portion of our mailing list available to reputable firms. If you would prefer that we not include your name, call (800) 829-2547, write to us at 600 Rinehart Rd., Lake Mary, FL 32746 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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10 MinistryToday May // June 2014
MarriageToday Teen Mania Antioch Community Church Joyce Meyer Ministries The Ramp Youth With a Mission Cityteam Ministries The Potter’s House New Life Covenant Church Dream Center
21 CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES THAT ARE MOST INFLUENCING THE 21ST-CENTURY CHURCH
ost churches and ministries, no matter what the size, can be proud of their kingdom accomplishments. A servant’s heart and attitude know no favoritism in God’s eyes, and He surely takes pride in the benevolent works of all His children. However, not all churches and ministries are the same when it comes to their ability to influence others to make an impact for the kingdom. Enter the Ministry Today 21—a list of 21 churches and ministries that are influencing the 21st-century church. In our special May/June issue, we unveil these 21 unique ministries, all of which have become models for others to emulate in the ministry world today. This is not a list ranking the 21 best churches or ministries. The Ministry Today 21 was created as a resource for pastors and ministry leaders from which to glean ideas that could possibly enhance their own kingdom efforts.
Antioch Community Church Association of Related Churches Bethel Church Christ for all Nations Cityteam Ministries Convoy of Hope The Dream Center Empowered21 Gateway Church International House of Prayer Joyce Meyer Ministries LifeChurch.tv MarriageToday New Life Covenant Church OneHope The Potter’s House The Ramp Saddleback Church Somebody Cares International Teen Mania Youth With a Mission LifeChurch.tv OneHope Gateway Church Somebody Cares International
Association of Related ChurchesBethel Church Convoy of Hope Empowered 21
Christ for all Nations
International House of Prayer May // June 2014 MinistryToday 11 Saddleback Church
Main: LifeChurch.tv Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel Right Top: LifeChurch.tvâ€™s Church Online has redefined ways that believers can be united in worship each week Right Bottom: As far as churches go, LifeChurch.tv has raced to the forefront of digital technology and the art of leveraging new media
12 MinistryToday May // June 2014
TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
he church isn’t contained to a building, and no one better exemplifies this than LifeChurch.tv, a church that meets weekly in locations across the U.S. and globally online. Following a vision from God of creating a new church model, Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel and a handful of others launched LifeChurch.tv in 1996. The church is based in Edmond, Okla., with 13 additional locations throughout the state; however, LifeChurch.tv also currently operates campuses in New York, Texas, Tennessee and Florida and is one of America’s fastest-growing churches. Beyond these physical campuses, LifeChurch.tv’s unique online church ministry has literally redefined the ways believers can be united in worship each week. Church Online is available at over 61 different times throughout the week, making the current worship service and teaching accessible in a variety of time zones. Furthermore, LifeGroups even meet online or on Facebook, giving participants unique ways to engage with others interested in discipleship and small group study. “As a church, we’ll do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll need to do things no one is doing,” says LifeChurch.tv Pastor and Innovation Leader Bobby Gruenewald. “That’s why we’ve taken an unconventional approach to using creative media.” With a solid mission to help individuals, families and small groups become fully devoted followers of Christ, LifeChurch.tv has developed online tools for discipleship, including video series, podcasts, apps and ready-made social media content that can be used to study the Bible and draw people into conversations about the gospel. Led by Gruenewald, a media and communications team pays the utmost attention to graphic design, user-friendly functionality and continual ingenuity that provides fresh ways to engage people with the truth of God’s Word. It also ensures LifeChurch.tv stays on the forefront of technology and has enabled it to become a true leader in innovation. LifeChurch.tv provides numerous resources for worship, discipleship and spiritual growth—such as the YouVersion Bible App, Church Online platform and Church Metrics—free of charge. This unorthodox gratis model has produced an unprecedented cycle of generosity from users that supports LifeChurch.tv’s efforts. It enables it to continue to sustain creativity and produce original tools that allow people in various stages of their spiritual journeys to learn about Christ and apply His teachings to their lives. With ambitious goals that extend beyond the four walls of a church building or even the confines of a computer screen, LifeChurch.tv has seen denominational and legalistic barriers broken down under a banner of uniting believers. In 2013, nearly 6 million people visited Church Online, with more than 9,800 reportedly making a decision for Christ. At the forefront of digital technology and leveraging new media to reach people for Christ, LifeChurch.tv is able to bring the gospel message to many who have become disenchanted with the idea of church and to some who wouldn’t otherwise engage in traditional worship. —Lindsay Williams
May // June 2014 MinistryToday 13
neHope recently reached its billionth child with the story of Christ. Yes, you read that right—that’s billionth with a b. And yet that milestone is only onefourth of its goal to see 4.2 billion children and youth reached with the gospel—a jaw-dropping target the ministry set a few years ago in its Vision 2030 statement. Plans for the coming year d e m o n s t r a t e O n e H o p e ’s ambitious outreach. Working in nearly 100 countries, its 2014 agenda includes the recent launch of its Spanish-language version of Incredible Islands, a children’s digital ministry tool that combines games, real-life application, educational content and Scripture. Among other digital developments is OneHope’s
14 MinistryToday May // June 2014
Above: OneHope, under the dierction of Rob Hoskins, has set a goal to reach 4.2 billion children and youth with the gospel by 2030. Right: Bob Hoskins with students in El Salvador. OneHope has reached over a billion youth and children since 1987.
free Bible App for Kids, which debuted last Thanksgiving and saw 1 million copies downloaded in its first week. Last year, OneHope partnered with the U.S.-based nonprofit My Broken Palace to offer an app designed for at-risk youth. For an organization that began with the creation and distribution of print resources, its willingness to adapt to 21st-century realities offers a model for ministries everywhere. “There’s some sort of digital component we’re going to have in place by next year with 30 percent of all our programs around the world,” says President Rob Hoskins. “We’re constantly trying to measure [bandwidth] so we’re not moving too far ahead of the market but we’re not falling behind either.” Hoskins credits the origins of such forward-looking strategies to his father, Bob, who founded the ministry in 1987. But it all began in the 1960s, while the Hoskins family OneHope
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was based in Lebanon and the elder Hoskins tried to stage traditional crusades to reach Muslims. “That’s where we, as a family, got into literature evangelism,” Rob Hoskins says. “We designed correspondence courses that we now call pre-evangelism. Through newspaper ads, my father enrolled more than 450,000 young people in 22 Arabic-speaking countries.”
Not surprisingly, then, when Rob approached his father a decade ago to explain OneHope’s need to reach illiterate young people through film, the ministry’s founder nodded amen. Unveiled in 2005, The GodMan film is now available in 10 different versions, contextualized for various regions. OneHope has screened the movie for nearly 73 million youth in more than 60 countries. “Innovation is a combination of hearing the Holy Spirit and being willing to do things that aren’t presently being done,” Rob Hoskins says. The reallocation of resources to visual mediums isn’t the only change OneHope has made. In recent years, it dropped its long-time Assemblies of God affiliation to become nondenominational, hoping to connect with Christians from more diverse backgrounds. OneHope now works with more than 21,000 churches and ministries—partnerships Hoskins sees as integral to spreading the gospel. The ministry has placed an even stronger emphasis on this component in the past nine years, after discovering the ineffectiveness of its outreach in Swaziland. Hoskins recalls
Above: Rob Hoskins with his wife, Kim, and daughters Diandra and Natasha at a school distribution in El Salvador—only one of the 145 countries where OneHope has worked Right: Rob Hoskins and his wife, Kim, share the Book of Hope at a school presentation in Rwanda in 2006 Below: Rob Hoskins spends time with children attending a OneHope program. OneHope uses books, film, apps and other mediums to share the gospel with children.
God showing him that the ministry’s generous distribution of materials in that African nation had made little societal impact. Flourishing promiscuity there had yielded the world’s highest HIV/AIDS rate. The Lord has revealed that OneHope needed to do two things to bring about societal transformation: improve field research and collaborate with others. Besides innovation, Hosk ins believes OneHope’s ot her core st reng t h is it s u ns wer v i ng m ission to prov ide God ’s Word to children across the world. Although its flagship Book of Hope now appears in 142 languages, he says it couldn’t stay wedded to a single — Ken Walker Bible storybook. 16 MinistryToday May // June 2014
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Gateway Church GENEROUS LIVING
Life. Teaching from personal experience, Morris presents a biblical message of blessing that speaks in terms not only of abundance but also supernatural power. The Blessed Life is also weekly television program that reaches more than 90 million homes in the United States and into more than 200 countries around the world. The church is known for its annual Gateway Conference, where thousands of pastors, leaders and ministry staff come together to hear from God, to rejuvenate and to receive ministry insight and training. “Many churches look to Gateway in terms of the way we do ministry and our healthy church environment,” Swicegood says. “They reach out and ask how a growing church can have a healthy balance of ministry, family and seasons of rest.” In the technology realm, Gateway serves up “The Table,” a tool that helps churches prov ide their members w ith rea l-time engagement, community and discipleship. Offering self-assessment tools, personal s one of the nation’s top 10 largest growth opportunities and an online giving congregations, Gateway Church in the mechanism, the social platform is designed Dallas-Fort Worth area is influencing to bring the church to the people 24/7 and the 21st-century church through its extenoperates on smartphones, tablets and the Web. sive ministry, global missions and innovative Additionally, Gateway places a significant technology that it offers for the benefit of the focus on Paul’s teaching “to the Jew first” church worldwide. Above Left: Volunteers from (Rom. 1:16; 2:10) and considers that teaching The church partners with 173 ministries Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort to be one of the cornerstones of the church. in 47 countries, says Lawrence Swicegood, Worth shop for food supplies for the church’s missions ministry. As Swicegood says, the Great Commission Gateway’s executive director of media. calls every believer to be involved in taking the “Collectively, these ministries reach tens of Inset: Gateway Senior Pastor gospel into all the world—to the Jew first and millions of people worldwide,” he says. “We Robert Morris’ then to the Gentiles. are providing leadership training, pastoral “The church has a full-time Jewish pastor, guidance, financial aid and various ministry offers a monthly Messianic service at its main campus, and support. It’s very important to us to partner with pastors and partners with Jewish and Messianic ministries throughout ministers already doing great work in those cities and countries the world,” Swicegood says. “One of our missions is to reach, around the world.” help and engage with the Jewish people because God’s hand Swicegood says God is moving in the world and that the of blessing is upon them.” work of the Holy Spirit is evident as lives are being changed and In his recent annual report message, Morris said he large numbers of people are being saved and baptized. was amazed by how God moved in 2013, sharing that Gateway, a multicampus church listed as the 24th fastest-growing church in America, began in 2000. It has since the year brought 4,775 professions of faith in Christ, a 21 percent increase in weekly attendance and $13 million donated grown to more than 26,000 active members. “Although hundreds and thousands are being influenced, through Gateway Global, the church’s giving arm. “We never want to forget the vision of Gateway is being we really focus on the individual in everything we do,” Swicegood says. “We believe every number has a name, every met as people are getting saved, healed, set free, discipled, equipped, empowered and ser ving,” Morris told his name has a story and every story matters to God.” The church is probably best known for the best-selling book congregation. “It gives us the faith to move forward!” —Troy Anderson of its founding senior pastor, Robert Morris, called The Blessed
18 MinistryToday May // June 2014
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Somebody Cares International HUMANITARIAN AID
Left: Somebody Cares volunteers helped to prepare packages to be shipped to Asia for victims of the 2004 tsunami Top Right: Somebody Cares International founder Doug Stringer washes the feet of a Haitian pastor Bottom Right: Doug Stringer founded Somebody Cares International in 1994
n 1994, Somebody Cares International was officially formed as the outreach arm of Turning Point Ministries International, which began ministering to the lost on the streets of Houston, Texas, and has since become a global force that unites the body of Christ around tangible expressions of the love and compassion of Christ. When Somebody Cares began its outreach efforts in Houston, churches gathered citywide to provide food, material goods and the Word of God—complete with the distribution of 50,000 New Testaments. A billboard campaign invited people to seek help anytime—day or night—by calling a local number. Today, Somebody Cares stretches across the U.S. and into other nations, with centers and chapters in seven states, a presence in four international countries, and more than 30 national and international ministry partners. In all, it’s a vision that’s expanded further and impacted more lives than its founder, Doug Stringer, could ever have imagined. “It’s very humbling,” Stringer says. “This ministry was really born out of a desire to be in the presence of the Lord. When we started, I didn’t have these visions of grandeur. I just wanted to be obedient. And simple obedience is the highest form of worship to God.” “The heart of any community should be the church,” he continues. “If the church is awakened and becomes the tangible expression of Christ, then the soul of the community will be impacted.” Somebody Cares has been there—and remained relevant—in the aftermath of some of the biggest natural global disasters of the past 15 years. When a major tsunami hit Southeast Asia
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in late 2004, Somebody Cares partnered with local churches in Houston to provide more than $200,000 in cash and in-kind donations to the affected areas. Doors were opened to Somebody Cares partners for crisis relief in parts of Indonesia that were previously closed to Christians. Then when Hurricane Katrina left parts of the Gulf Coast devastated, Somebody Cares played a major role in the relief effort by facilitating the distribution of $30 million of in-kind gifts and donations. It also aided more than 250,000 evacuees in the city of Houston. Following the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Somebody Cares International, through a network of churches and ministries, helped to deliver food, shelter supplies and medical supplies to survivors. It also sent medical teams to administer care to survivors. “Somebody Ca res’ reach is beyond a chu rch or denomination,” says Gideon Stanley, CEO of Grace Software solutions in Houston, which partners with Somebody Cares. “The ministry is affecting emerging leaders and leaving tangible deposits that affects the next generation.” Furthermore, Stanley says, the ministry’s existing leadership provides an inspirational model for others who are watching and learning along the way. In a nutshell, compassion evangelism is the ministry’s greatest thrust, with a goal of bringing true transformation to communities and cities around the nation and worldwide. With a large network of volunteers reaching out to the poor and hurting, Somebody Cares has become the hands of feet of Jesus. — Shawn A. Akers Somebody Cares International
Association of Related Churches CHURCH PLANTING
lthough Greg Surratt didn’t start out with many specifics in mind, his v ision of sta rting 2 ,000 churches has created one of the most fruitful church-planting networks in the nation. The Association of Related Churches (ARC) numbers more than 400 affiliates today, with partnering congregations
In addition to church pla nts in the U.S., ARC maintains initiatives in Irela nd a nd in one other undisclosed location. “We’ve planted less than 10 so far,” Smith says of its overseas work. “But our goal has really been more about building relationships with existing networks to share our launch model.”
Key leaders within the ARC organization (from left): pastors Joe Champion, Chris Hodges, Rick Bezet, John Siebeling and Greg Surratt
giving up to 2 percent of their annual offerings to fund the cause. Last year, that generated $3 million in funding for ARC, which provides grants of up to $50,000 to help launch new churches. If needed, the association provides an additional $20,000 of support to a new church for the first six months. It also offers coaching and other church-planting resources. The net work pla nted nea rly 75 churches last year. Although it is only one-fifth of the way toward the fulfillment of its vision of 2,000 congregations pla nted, ARC still hopes to reach its goal by 2020, says Operations Director Michael Smith. 22 MinistryToday May // June 2014
Many churches sponsored by ARC are independent, but a number maintain some level of relationship with an existing network or denomination. The association, though free of any direct ties, has close relationships with a number of denominations. Su rrat t, pa stor of t he mu ltisite S e acoa st Chu rch i n Ch a rle ston , S.C., says that ARC’s methods have changed over the years, though its original vision has remained intact. W hen the association formed, its selection process revolved a round relationships. Today, he says, the organization more easily recognizes God-given abilities in church planters
and is able to train them for ma ximum kingdom impact. “Any of the 12 to 15 people on the lead team could lead it right now,” says Surratt, who replaced the late Billy Hornsby as president two years ago. “I am currently the president, not because I am the most talented or gifted person for the job, but mainly because the other guys felt that I was at a station in life where I could take on more responsibility. The ARC is the most collaborative organization I have ever been associated with.” The association’s decentra lized process helped it withstand the shock of losing Hornsby, who died in March 2011 after a diagnosis of terminal cancer the previous autumn. Hornsby, the former teaching pastor of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Ala., had joined with Surratt and four other pastors to form the organization. The f ledg ing net work prov ided $25,000 a nd a pledge of monthly suppor t to R ick Bezet a nd Ch ris Hodges, pastors from Bethany World Prayer Center, to plant churches in Little Rock, Ark., and Birmingham, A la., respectively. The funds gave Bezet and Hodges the confidence they needed to start their churches, a nd bot h h ave si nce blos somed into megachurches. Author a nd chu rch pla nter Ed Stetzer calls ARC one of the most influential of the emerging networks, with a reputation that exceeds its primary reputation for church planting. “It’s more tha n that,” says the president of LifeWay Research, who pastors a two-year-old church plant near Nashville, Tenn. “It is a community of churches and pastors that have a passion for life-giving churches and ministries. My prediction is that it will continue to grow in influence.” —Ken Walker Maggie Bowles
Bethel Church HEALING Above: Bethel Church Senior Pastor Bill Johnson
t Bethel Church Redding, Senior Pastor Bill Johnson and his son, campus Senior Leader Eric Johnson, believe in the power of miraculous healing. In fact, it’s probably safe to say nearly everyone at the congregation in Redding, Calif., believes this too. Why wouldn’t they? The church known worldwide as the birthplace of the Jesus Culture phenomenon is also the location— perhaps even the American epicenter—of innumerable instances of what many believe are actual physical healings and other miracles. “We are seeing the miraculous happen often—on the streets, in businesses, in hospitals and at the church,” Eric Johnson says. “It’s one of our mandates—to raise up a generation of people who believe in the impossible. People are taking risks. They believe in the impossible. They believe God wants them to heal every person they come in contact with. They are taking great risks and contending for breakthrough.” Youth pastor Tom Crandall says he believes the “thousands and thousands” of healings at Bethel are part of God’s promise in Acts 2:17 to pour out his Holy Spirit in the last days. He notes this manifestation of the Spirit’s power comes as the church is aligning itself with contemporary prophet Bob Jones’ belief in a last days “billion soul harvest.” “The billion soul harvest is a prophetic word that Bob Jones had,” Crandall says. “We believe that God has given a prophetic word that a billion souls are going to come into His kingdom. If we are going to have 1 billion souls come to the Lord, we are going to need 100 million leaders to help facilitate a billion-soul harvest.” This culture of revival and physical healings at Bethel has been ongoing for nearly two decades and has transformed the
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former Assemblies of God congregation into a church with a global impact. The church’s most famous m inistr y is Jesus Cu lt u re, a n internationa l Christia n revivalist youth ministry. First launched in 1999 as a local youth conference, the ministry has expanded rapidly in the years since. The ministr y— which operates the popular record label, Jesus Culture Music—is a “movement with the purpose to ignite revival in the nations of the earth.” In recent years, the church has become well known for countless reports of physical healings. The church offers the Healing Room ministry, wh ich i s ma i n ly held on Saturday mornings and involves hundreds of volunteers from the church, Eric Johnson says. Crandall says thousands of physical healings have occurred. “There are crazy miracles that happen,” Crandall says. “There is not a week that goes by that I don’t hear about somebody getting healed of ca ncer a nd other diseases somewhere in the world that is connected to us. Miracles, signs and wonders are not a Bethel thing. It’s a kingdom of God thing. It’s available to all who will believe God and take risks.” Another ministry at Bethel is Sozo, which is focused on helping people get well in the areas of inner healing, Eric Johnson says. “We have a campus that i s c a l led Tr a n sfor m at ion Center here in Redding that people from all over are able to come and receive this kind of help and care,” Johnson says. “Transformation Center houses numerous avenues of helping people get well in various conditions and situations.” —Troy Anderson Bethel Church
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Convoy of Hope HUMANITARIAN AID
t the intersection of U.S. 65 and I- 44, the crossroads of America connect in Springfield, Mo., a place where passion meets need and hope meets healing. This junction forms the ideal location for the corporate offices of Convoy of Hope, a faith-based internationa l huma nita ria n relief organization whose strategic location allows for the rapid transportation of goods—mostly loads of food and additional relief supplies—to be transferred to and from the ministry’s main warehouse on a weekly basis. Convoy of Hope wa s founded in response to personal t r a g e d y. T h e D o n a l d s o n family was inspired to start the organization after recalling the immeasurable comfort a nd support they received from family and friends when their father was killed by a drunk driver in 1969. They wanted to provide tangible ways to meet t he needs of ot hers e x per ienc i ng t ra gedy a nd suffering due to circumstances out of their control. The Donaldsons’ vision has served more than 63 million people since Convoy of Hope bega n in 1994. Pa rtnering w ith chu rches, businesses, gover n ment a genc ie s a nd other nonprofits, the ministry is one of the first to respond in times of crisis and aggressively tackles issues of poverty and injustice both domestica lly and internationally. “Poverty robs people of hope,” says Convoy of Hope’s national spokesperson, Jeff Nene. “Our goal is not to just give people
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food, water and supplies. Our goal is to give people hope, to give them a view into a life beyond poverty. If we just give people food, it does nothing for them long term. If we can give them hope and show them ways they can get beyond poverty, that gives them a new outlook on life and a vision for the future.” Meeting a person’s basic needs of food, water a nd clothing not only provides muchneeded perspective, Nene says, but it also brings dignity and opens the door for the gospel. “Je s u s fe d t h e p e op l e , meeting their physical needs, while at the same time He ministered to their spiritual needs,” Nene says. “When you take the opportunity to meet someone’s physical needs, they are likely more receptive to your concern over their spiritual needs. It is easier to listen to the stor y of Christ when our bellies are full and we have clothes on our backs.” Convoy of Hope has been at the forefront of disaster relief since its inception. Not only has the organization rallied among the first responders when disaster strikes around the world, but it continues to deploy suppl ies a nd workers on the ground to facilitate ongoi ng ef for ts to rebu i ld entire communities and instill hope where extreme despair remains, long after national media has lost interest. Social media has become a valuable tool that enables Convoy of Hope to share the results of its work to inspire others to get involved.
“We are able to show photos of children we are feeding, share videos of a disaster scene and tell the stories of families who have come to a new relationship with God,” Nene says. “It gives us an amazing tool with which we can report tangible results back to our donors and partners.” Nene i s encou r a g ed by each of the ways in which the church is living out the truth of Scripture throug h active kingdom work. “We are excited to see the church as a whole [burdened for] the world outside the four walls of their church buildings,” he says. “The 21st- cent ur y chu rch is a chu rch that is involved in showing compassion and building communit y in the neighborhoods that surround them. We see churches meeting people’s needs and touching people’s lives—a ll before a family ever sets foot into a church building.” —Lindsay Williams
Above: Convoy of Hope’s team is among the first to respond with clean-up efforts around the globe following major weather events
Convoy of Hope
A“I’M COMFORTABLE RETIREMENT A PASTOR, NOT IS SOMETHING AEVERYONE FINANCIAL PLANNER. SHOULD SINK INTO.
benefits consultant understands me.” If life itself is a journey, then financial planning is a road on the journey - and one that needs to be carefully navigated. At MMBB Financial Services, we’re a ministry that offers, among other services to the faith-based community, financial planning - we understand where you need to go as well as where you’re coming from. In other words, we’re with you every step of the way. Our benefits consultants will create a plan that is tailored to meet your financial needs - the financial needs of a pastor, which means affordable benefits. And we’ll help you develop sensible strategies that can lead to a comfortable retirement - one that is richly deserved. To find out more, visit us at MMBB.org/journey. Or call 1-800-986-6222. And by the way, we’re happy to involve wives, husbands, and family members, too, in your financial plan. After all, it’s not just your financial well-being that we want to help secure.
A Financial Services Ministry
REAL PLANNING, REAL SOLUTIONS. THAT’S OUR CALLING.
HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERMENT
Above: Ossie Mills was named global director of Empowered21 in January
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ith 2.9 billion unreached people in the world, Oral Roberts University President Billy Wilson says Empowered21’s “big vision is bigger than all of us.” “That vision is that ever y person on earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033,” says Wilson, who co-chairs Empowered21. “And so as we head toward the 2,000-year anniversary of Acts 2, the Day of Pentecost, the question is: What could this movement do together around the world?” An outgrowth of the Azusa Street Centennial, E m p o w e r e d 21 i s a r e l a t i o n a l n e t w o r k functioning on all six inhabited continents that brings together cha rismatic a nd Pentecosta l bel ie ver s to help sh ape t he f ut u re of t he Spirit-empowered movement. T h r o u g h E m p o w e r e d 21 , W i l s o n s a y s Spirit- empowered leaders a nd believers a re working to connect the next generation to the power of the Holy Spirit and to take the gospel to every person on earth. “We believe ever y person on ea rth should have the opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ,” Wilson says. Ossie Mills, the executive vice president for Un i ve r s it y A d v a nc e me nt a t O r a l R ob e r t s Universit y, was named the global director of Empowered21 in January. It’s an appointment he does not take lightly. “I m honored to serve this important movement, which has become very important to the vibrancy of the Spirit-empowered community,” Mills said. Through Christian media, church planting and the global prayer movement, Wilson says he believes Empowered21’s vision could become a reality by 2033. “Amazingly, in our generation in 2014, every geopolitical nation on earth now has someone in it, as far as we know, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, prays in the Spirit and believes in the gifts of the Spirit,” Wilson says. “This is unprecedented in the history of the world.” —Troy Anderson
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Christ for All Nations EVANGELISM
n 1974, an evangelistic organization was born out of an unknown preacher’s desire to reach the people of Africa for the Lord. Only 100 people showed up to the first event hosted in Gaberones, Botswana, but news of physical healings that happened during the crusade spread across the city. By the time the final meeting rolled around, Reinhard Bonnke preached to a packed stadium, and thousands came forward not only for healing but also for the salvation found in Jesus Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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The soul-winning dynamic of Christ for all Nations (CfaN) hasn’t changed in 30 years, but the number of souls saved through the ministry has. More than 74 million have come to Christ in Africa through CfaN’s efforts—and more than 6 million people attended a five-day crusade in Nigeria alone. I n 2 011 , B o n n k e a p p o i n t e d 2 9 - y e a r - o l d Daniel Kolenda as his successor, and the ministry hasn’t skipped a beat. But getting souls saved is only part of CfaN’s mission, Kolenda says. “What most people don’t realize is that more than half of our effort and expense goes into the follow-up system—because Jesus did not say, ‘Make converts,’ but ‘Make disciples of all nations,’” he says. “Our tested and true system prioritizes the discipleship of these new converts by connecting them with local churches that have been trained to follow up on every new believer. We have seen this marriage of discipleship and evangelism shake entire nations!” Africa, of course, isn’t CfaN’s only focus. The ministry has held crusades in Malaysia, the Philippines,
Reinhard Bonnke (left) passed the leadership baton to Daniel Kolenda as CfaN continues its soul-winning quest
Indonesia, Singapore, India and South America. And beginning in September 2013, with Orlando, Fla., as its first host city, CfaN launched a schedule of crusades for the United States. The next stateside event is set for July 18 in Miami, Fla., and others are scheduled for Greensboro, N.C., and Long Island, N.Y., later this year. In addition to holding many large-scale evangelistic crusades per year, Christ for all Nations is committed to training up a new generation of Holy Spirit-empowered soul winners. The ministry has published more than 190 million books in 104 languages, the majority of which have been given away free of charge. Christ for all Nations also conducts its School of Evangelism, Fire Conferences, online correspondence training and in-church personal evangelism training around the world. The ministry produces an internationally syndicated television program and has thousands of followers on Facebook. Cleary, Bonnke’s vision established years ago—to “plunder hell and populate heaven for Calvary’s sake”—is still relevant today. —Shawn A. Akers Oleksandr Volyk, CfaN
Many around the world, including children, are receiving physical healing during Christ for all Nations crusades. Over 74 million have come to Christ in Africa through Cfan’s efforts.
May // June 2014 MinistryToday 31
International House of Prayer PRAYER
he n c h a r i s m a t ic m i n i s t e r M i k e Bickle gathered 20 people to launch the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC) 15 years ago, he helped plant the seeds of a 24/7 prayer movement that exploded worldwide. Since its humble beginnings in a storefront location at a former strip mall, IHOPKC has helped launch hundreds of prayer groups. Its web-streamed prayer room and initiatives like the Luke18 Project, a program that aims to train at least 10,000 young leaders to plant prayer furnaces in the hardest and darkest places in the world, help inspire the church to complete the task of world evangelization. Nea rly 1,000 sta ff intercessors ser ve at IHOPKC , the majorit y under 30. Most of those devote 50 hours a week to ministr y and prayer at least four hours a day, six days a week . Se vera l t hou sa nd st udent s have completed three- or six-month internships or have taken classes at International House of Prayer University. In add it ion, hu nd reds of chu rch leaders, ministries a nd other g roups v isit the ministry’s headquarters annually to learn how they can start or strengthen prayer groups in their local areas. While no one maintains an accurate count of the number of full-time intercessors spanning t he ea r t h , Da n iel L i m , IHOPKC ’s ch ief executive, is confident the amount numbers in the thousands. —By Ken Walker
Mike Bickle (left) helped to plant the seeds of a 24/7 prayer movement that became IHOPKC 15 years ago
Hundreds of church leaders visit IHOPKC annually to learn how to strengthen their own prayer groups
Many students have completed internships at IHOPKC
32 MinistryToday May // June 2014
Photos courtesy of IHOP_KC/Steve Willis and Shelley Paulson
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Saddleback Church PASTORAL INFLUENCE
few years after founding the PEACE Plan, pastor Rick Warren and his Saddleback Church congregation decided they wanted to be the first church in history to take the gospel to every nation. In the 11 years since the beginning of the PEACE Plan, the 37,000-member church has sent 21,000 members to nations around the world. “Jesus said, ‘Go and make disciples in every nation,’ so we said why don’t we do that,” Warren told his Lake Forest, Calif., congregation in a recent sermon. “We didn’t even know how many there were. We looked it up. There are 196 nations in the world. “On Nov. 10, 2010, we went to nation 196—a little island in the Caribbean called St. Kitz, with only 35,000 people. No other church in 2,000 years has done that besides Saddleback Church. This is a history-making church. It’s like saying, ‘We are going to be pioneers,’ and we did that.”
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In 2012, Saddleback launched a campaign to plant a dozen churches in “base camps” throughout the world with the goal of reaching every remaining unreached people group. The goal has since been expanded to 16 churches and Saddleback has opened churches in cities around the world, including those in Hong Kong, Berlin and Buenos Aires. Around the globe, there are 12,000 people groups; 6,000 of those have less than 2 percent of Bible believers in their populations and about 3,000 have no known church anywhere, says Tommy Hilliker, Saddleback’s membership pastor. The effort is part of the PEACE Plan, Warren’s 50-year vision to mobilize 1 billion believers to copy Jesus’ model of ministry and tackle the five “global, evil giants” of spiritual emptiness, self-centered leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and illiteracy and lack of education.
Above: Rick Warren (in black) and the congregation of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., developed the PEACE Plan to be the first church to take the gospel to every nation in the world
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“The ‘P’ stands for plant churches because the No. 1 problem in the world is spiritual emptiness– people need Jesus,” Hilliker says. “We want to plant churches around the world to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. The second global giant is lack of leadership. The ‘E’ stands for equip servant leaders. There are a lot of self-serving leaders. ‘A’ stands for assist the poor. One of the top problems in the world is poverty. ‘C’ stands for caring for the sick. ‘E’ stands for educating the next generation.” Wa rren—whom polls have identified as America’s most influential spiritual leader and the author of The Purpose Driven Life, the best-selling hardback in American publishing history–believes the church can make dramatic progress in not only solving many of the world’s most perplexing problems, but fulfilling the Great Commission too. It is part of what Warren calls the “Decade of Destiny”—a goal to mobilize a network of churches globally to reach these unreached people groups. —Troy Anderson
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Above: The second ‘E’ in PEACE stands for educating the next generation, something Saddleback Church is certainly doing Right: Rick Warren prays for a child in Rwanda receiving medical treatment Below: Refinery, Saddleback Church’s first permanent student ministry facility
Trent Adams ; Scott Tokar, Jack Barry /Saddleback
A Watoto Children’s Choir from Africa is coming to a city near you. With pounding drumbeats, energetic dance moves, and inspirational true-life stories of lives transformed, these former ophans will share the hope they’ve found in Jesus. Don’t miss this opportunity to share their message of Jesus’s love for the least of these with your congregation and city.
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Youth services at the Ramp
The Ramp YOUTH MINISTRY
fter more than 20 years in full-time m i n ist r y, worsh ip leader a nd minister Karen Wheaton returned to her hometown of Hamilton, Ala., and was struck by the immense apathy she witnessed in the community’s youth. God prompted her to get involved, so she began pouring into teenagers through the Ramp, a ministry she founded to awaken a generation to the purposes of God. Through conferences, a school of ministry, special events, broadcast programs, a church and a weekly gathering, the Ramp lives out its threefold mission to awaken, equip and send teens—the last of which sets it apart from similar organizations engaging students. “If the impact of the Ramp stays only in Hamilton, Ala., then we are failing in our mission,” Wheaton says. “God’s heart beats for an entire generation, not just for a remnant or a select few. God’s heart is a global heart, and we have a responsibility to send students into all the world.” The Ramp Church provides those on the local level with opportunities to engage in worship and teaching on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. —Lindsay Williams
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Teen Mania YOUTH MINISTRY
ince 1986, Teen Mania Ministries has been cha lleng ing you ng people to live for something g reater tha n themselves. The organization’s commitment to see teenagers fully engage in the purposes of Christ rema ins steadfast today through its Global Expeditions mission trips, Extreme Camps and popular Acquire the Fire events, which have seen more than 3 million youth attend to date. Teen Mania works hard to ensure spiritual growth doesn’t end once students return home from an event. The organization has built
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a n app to lead st udents t h rou g h a d i s c iple s h ip process built on a gaming paradigm that allows users to gain access to additional features and content the more t he y eng a ge w it h the app. In addition to events and missions opportunities, Teen Mania offers educational prog ra m s, i nclud i ng it s Honor Academy internship, a yearlong learning experience for high school graduates and young adults created to provide leadership training and spiritual development. Moreover, the organization’s School of Worship provides
a second-year program for those specifically interested in music. Meanwhile, Teen Mania’s Center for Creative Media caters to young professionals with a desire to express t hei r fa it h t h roug h t he med iu m s of tele v i sion , graphic design, film and ot he r for m s of med i a . T hese st udent s prov ide d i r e c t m e d i a r e l a t io n s support for Teen Ma nia while ga ining inva luable on-the-job experience. “We believe young people ca n cha nge t he world,” says Teen Mania’s founder, Ron Luce. “It runs deep in
our DNA. ... We’re doing everything we can to raise up a young army who will change the world for Christ.” To f u r t h e r s u p p o r t this v ision, the ministr y announced in February an expansion that will include a relocation to Dallas, Texas, and a name change to Teen Mania International to go into full effect by the end of the year. “We are headed to Dallas with our eyes focused on the 1.5 billion teenagers whose lives and character will be shaped by culture or Christ,” Luce says.” —By Lindsay Williams Erin Lubin/Gary S. Chapman
WELCOME TO THE NOISE Inside your youth group’S head
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Students of Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, prepare for a missions trip
Antioch Community Church MISSIONS & YOUNG ADULTS
immy Seibert, senior pastor of Antioch Community Church in Antioch Community Church has trained many to Waco, Texas, believes everybody is called to missions. evanglize the world through missions As pastor of the 3,000-member church founded on a vision of planting churches and sending missionaries into the world, Seibert says he believes Jesus has called all believers to help fulfill the Great Commission. “When we decided to focus on the unreached of the world, it caused us to do church differently,” says Seibert, author of the book Passion and Purpose: Believing the Church Can Still Change the World. “We weren’t just trying to be a great American church. We were trying to train and disciple our people in such a way that they could reproduce the kingdom of God anywhere in the world.” Seibert, along with his wife, Laura, and a group of friends who shared their vision for a missions-based church, founded Antioch Community Church in 1999. Before that, the same group of people had started a missionary training school; planted churches in Russia, Mongolia and Uzbekistan; and formed an international missions organization called Antioch Ministries International. The church gained international attention in 2001 after the Taliban arrested two of its young missionaries—Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, who were rescued by U.S. Special Forces after they had spent 104 days in a harsh Afghani prison. The church has grown from one small service to several services of more than 3,000 people each. Members of the church have helped bring tens of thousands of people to Christ locally and throughout the world. “I believe with all my heart that the church is the hope of the world,” Seibert says. “People are hungry for Jesus, but what people need is discipleship and a genuine, authentic community that lives that out. ” —Troy Anderson
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Antioch Community Church
Joyce Meyer Ministries MEDIA OUTREACH/BIBLE TEACHING
he global impact of Joyce Meyer Ministries is nearly immeasurable, but the numbers certainly speak for themselves. Meyer, who considers herself more of a practical Bible teacher than a televangelist, has written more than 100 books that have been translated into more than 100 languages. Her television and radio programs are broadcast to millions around the world in more than 70 languages. The ministry has embraced the exponential value of social media. Meyer’s Facebook page has garnered more than 5 million likes and she has more than 2.5 million followers on Twitter. Believers can access her Enjoying Everyday Life digital magazine at joycemeyer.org. “The opportunities that God has made available through media in these times is truly amazing,” Meyer says. “Social media has opened a door to share the gospel with people who may not have had the chance to hear the message 10 years ago.”
—Shawn A. Akers
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MarriageToday MARRIAGE MINISTRY
Top: Jimmy Evans and his wife, Karen, have been successful with MarriageToday for over 30 years Inset: Marriage Today’s frequent conferences give couples a chance to strengthen their marriages
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o one has to tell Jimmy Evans about the spiritual crisis facing marriages in this day and age. Through their ministry, MarriageToday, he and his wife, Karen, have been laboring diligently to help reverse the downward trend for more than 30 years. W hat keeps the Eva ns’ ministr y relevant for the 21st-century church a re the innovative ways in which MarriageToday reaches couples with the message of God’s uncompromised design for matrimony. It makes resources available for churches and ministries, including CDs and DVDs, simulcasts of select organization conferences and pastoral training. These form only a few of the strategies MarriageToday uses to fight the battle in Satan’s attack on traditional marriage and the family.
“The world is so deceived these days in the area of marriage,” Jimmy Evans says. “Our No. 1 goal, through television, print and the Internet, is to reach every person and to let them know that God’s design for marriage is still alive and well. The quest of MarriageToday is to reach the masses with this message. “Jesus told us that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.’ As we go forward, it’s our heart that marriage between and a man and a woman not be taken for granted.”
One of the ministry’s visions is for every church to be a marriage-building church. Evans is hopeful, saying there are thousands of churches already using MarriageToday’s resources. “Most churches don’t even talk about marriage, and there are many reasons for that,” he says. “We want every church and every pastor to feel qualified to teach their members just how important marriage is.” I n a dd it ion to it s t r a d it ion a l m a r r i a g e of fe r i n g s on s u bj e c t s such as finances, sex and intimacy, family dynamics and spirit u a l g r ow t h , M a r r i a g eTo d a y i s developing pre-marriage and blended marriage resources. MarriageToday hosts two annual simulcasts, with the most recent held MarriageToday
at Gateway Church in Southla ke, Texas. The conference was simulcast to churches in 47 states and five countries. Gateway Church has been a financial supporter of MarriageToday for many years. As Senior Pastor Robert Morris says, “We believe they are addressing one of the root issues facing society today. Not only are they addressing the issue, they are equipping local churches to do the same.” In 2013, MarriageToday held its first pastors’ conference at Gateway. The conference is becoming an annual event. The gathering is designed to train pastors in marriage ministry and for pastors to take monthly classes to become certified in MarriageToday materials to develop marriage ministries in their local churches.
The conference is also designed to strengthen ministry leaders’ marriages. “Most ever y leading pastor that I come in contact with watches our program and has been touched by our ministry,” Evans says. “Indeed, we are feeding pastors regarding their own marriages.” One of MarriageToday’s biggest goals in its quest to help reverse the crisis of divorce is developing what it calls “marriage missionaries.” Evans says his team are looking to take their message into the inner cities, into prisons and to military and law enforcement personnel. The Eva ns’ television prog ra m, MarriageToday With Jimmy & Karen, is broadcast weekdays on Daystar, the Word Network and CTN. —Shawn A. Akers May // June 2014 MinistryToday 47
Youth With a Mission MISSIONS
hen Loren Cunningham launched Youth With a Mission in 1960, his inspiration came from a vision he had received four years earlier while on a college summer break. Cunningham found himself looking at a map of the world, alive and moving. He could see all seven continents and waves crashing into their shores. Then the waves turned into young people, some younger than him. These energetic missionaries were witnessing to people outside bars and on street corners, and they were preaching as they went from house to house. Histor y would demonstrate its divine inspiration. Today, Youth With a Mission, known worldwide by its acronym Y WA M, trains more than 25,000 short-term missionaries annually at its Discipleship Training Schools, then sends them out to places like this summer’s World Cup soccer competition in Brazil. Some of those disciples will return to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics. However, it isn’t just young people who ma ke up Y WA M, which numbers 18,000 staff members in more
Loren Cunningham (second from left) launched YWAM in 1960
than 180 countries. Evangelists in their senior years have also joined this global force whose mission is to “know God and make Him known.” — Ken Walker
Cityteam’s discipleship movement has led to almost 1 million converts
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ityteam, a 13-year-old discipleship movement, has become one of the most shining examples of the Great Commission ever seen. When Jesus said to His friends, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20), Citytev am’s model is most likely what He had in mind. Initiated in 2001, the ministry has helped plant almost 29,000 churches in 50 nations and has won almost 1 million converts—a third of them Muslims. With an international staff of only 11 people, Cityteam has worked through a far-flung network that includes church planters working for little more than reimbursement for travel and Bible purchases. Cityteam’s iDisciple basic training seminars are helping to train, equip, coach and mentor people worldwide to disciple unreached men and women and mentor them to disciple others, so as to disciple the globe. It’s the Great Commission done right, done well and done faithfully. —By Ken Walker Thelma Black | Cityteam
serving those in need since 1957
The Potter’s House MEDIA/FILM
ishop T.D. Jakes’ vision for expanding his ministry beyond his Potter’s House pulpit in Dallas, Texas, originated with the 1998 stage version of his seminal “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” teaching. Taking that teaching and stage play to the silver screen catapulted his ministry to new heights. “That was God’s timing,” Derrick Williams says of the invitation Jakes received from influential Holly wood producer-director Reuben Cannon to transform the play into a movie. After the film’s release in 2004, a sequel followed in 2012. Other films, like Jumping the Broom (2011), Sparkle (2012) and Black Nativity (2013), drew mainstream audiences. They also opened the door for the Dallas pastor to produce mid-April’s Heaven Is for Real, based on Todd Burpo’s best-selling book. In addition to garnering online support for the films, TDJ Enterprises hosted screenings at venues nationwide and marketed its latest film to churches and faith-based organizations. Its further support of the Christian film market includes Paula Patton (l) and Laz Alonso starred in last year’s debut of the International Faith and Family Jumping the Broom Film Festival. —Ken Walker
The Dream Center COMPASSION
atthew Barnett has repeatedly said, “Compassionate people don’t just wake up overnight. They make themselves available to be put in situations that require them to be compassionate.” Celebrating its 20-year anniversary in 2014, the Dream Center forges into the future as it continues to fill the needs of 50,000 individuals and families each month. The Dream Center has become a tireless and timeless spiritual healing center, taking in at-risk teens, human-trafficking victims and the destitute and introducing them to the gospel. It provides mobile hunger relief, medical programs, foster care intervention programs, job-skills training and life-skills counseling. Through programs such as Serve24, a 24-hour outreach into some of the darkest areas of Los Angeles, the Dream Center continues to make a huge impact on the 21st-century church. In essence, as its website says, the Dream Center works to meet people where they are in order to bring them hope and a way off the streets. —Shawn A. Akers
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The Dream Center is celebrating its 20-year anniversary in 2014
© 2010 Screen Gems, Inc. | The Dream Center
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New Life Covenant Church INNER-CITY MINISTRY
astor Wilfredo De Jesús’ vision for New Life Covenant Church is simple: to be a church for the hurting that reaches people for Jesus. The church’s methods for doing so, however, are far more involved. The Assemblies of God church in Humboldt Park, Ill., an inner-city suburb of Chicago, sports 160 different compassion ministries reaching some of the most disenfranchised people in the metro area—the homeless, the poor, prostitutes, drug addicts, unmarried pregnant teens and gang members, to name a few. “Compassion ministry has nothing to do with building your church; it has everything to do with what Christ has called us to do in Matthew 25,” De Jesús told the AG’s Enrichment journal. In 1997, before De Jesús became lead pastor at New Life, the church opened an interim housing program funded by a local agency called River of Life. It became the first of
New Life’s plethora of compassion ministries, with a goal of rehousing women with children who are homeless within 120 days by focusing on client stabilization, assessment and referral to community resources. Soon to follow was New Life’s Dream Center, which houses ex-prostitutes and drug addicts; a teen center for runaway girls; and Manna for Life, a program that feeds more than 200 families every Saturday. —Shawn A. Akers
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ick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., once wrote, “One of the most desperate needs in the world today is the need for quality leaders. ... Everything rises or falls on leadership.” The Bible reaffirms this in Proverbs 28:2 when it says, “A nation will be strong and endure when it has intelligent, sensible leaders” (GNT). Strong leaders, especially in the church, are influential. They are people of character and wisdom. They are teachable, and they are servants. They provide vision, motivation and encouragement, and they produce other leaders. They respond to critics with love and compassion, and they don’t cave in to overwhelming pressures around them. In this section of Ministry Today’s special Ministry Today 21 issue, we will explore some must-have traits of today’s Christian leaders. Ministerial heavyweights like Jack Hayford, Larry Stockstill, Rick Warren, Thom Rainer, Ed Stetzer, Michael Youssef and Joyce Meyer, along with others, share some invaluable principles that characterize the godly leaders of today’s church. While there are many other principles that could have made the list, the staff of Ministry Today hopes you enjoy reading these 21 principles of godly leadership and take them to heart.
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Principle No. 1
Longevity RENEW YOUR STRENGTH FOR A MINISTRY THAT ENDURES By Jack Hayford
artin Luther pressed the point that if we’re not at the foremost edge of the spiritual struggle, we’re really not in the battle at all. All of us want to be on the cutting edge. I know I do. That’s why I struggled so intensely during a time of great physical pain and bewilderment. I wondered if I would simply become a worn-out relic or become an able recruit for the move of the Holy Spirit today. The Holy Spirit gave me God’s timeless promise from Isaiah 11: “In that day ... the Lord shall set His hand again the second time” (v. 11, emphasis added). While meditating on that prophetic statement, these words came: “Stand fast in faithfulness! You will be a participant in what I am about to do.” I k new t h is word wa s Dreams and visions—God’s value and place for a l l who w i l l accept heavenbor n desig ns — a re before the eyes of the ingredients of a time- promised to the Spirit-filled a watching world. less ministr y—one always sa int. However, we a lso 5) Respond passionately ava i lable to God ’s time- need to observe disciplines to God’s love for the lost. less principles. Touched by that are clearly enunciated in Joh n d ied when h is ca r this hope, I sought guide- His Word. was smashed on the freelines for a “second time” 3) Commit to cultivating way. However, only three visitation: body ministry. Ephesians months before that hap 1) Pursue an intimate 4:11 names the five office pened, John had received walk with God. The Bible ministries, not so much to Jesus when one of my pasuses the word know, as in identify them as to under- tor f r i e n d s l e d h i m to “Adam knew Eve his wife,” score t hei r pu r pose: to Christ as the first convert to mean more than acquain- release the people of God in his new pastorate. I wept tanceship. This signifies the into liberty, wholeness and when I hea rd that stor y, intimate experience a hus- effective ministr y. Those reminded of the preciousband and wife share during we serve tend to see them- ness of individual souls and i ntercou rse. T he hu ma n selves as unworthy of min- the eternal loss that abides figure of sexual union as istry potential. We must see as the horrible alternative a na logous to a spirit ua l them as God saw Gideon to salvation. That one soul relationship with God can and serve them as potential r e k i n d l e d a p a s s io n a t e sound mystical, but it helps “mighty ones of valor.” response in my soul. me hear God’s call to press 4) Seek faith -fully to 6) Walk an unswer vtoward Him—to know Him. build marriages and fami- ing pathway of integrity. Such passion can lead to a lies. I hyphenate the word Answering a call to integrity new intimacy with Jesus. faith-fully because I believe must be more than just an 2) Targe t a li fe wi th the Holy Spirit is calling emotional reaction to failures design and discipline. God every one of us who leads to we hear of too often among told Moses, “See to it that gain a faith-filled conviction leaders. We need a practical you make them according about our society. God isn’t recognition of the necessity to the pattern which was done with it yet! The Spirit’s of total accountabilit y in show n you” (E x. 25:40). power can redeem the fam- the everyday matters of our Without designs for life— ily as an institution again. leadership. direction born of the Spirit— He can raise new models to 7) Keep an unabashed serving becomes hit or miss. gloriously assert the family’s openness to supernatural
ministr y. The Lord calls us to do more than simply accept a doctrine of supernatural ministr y. He also calls us to the risks of its dynamic—to live in constant availability to His miracle presence. 8) Respond to the Great Commission. For effective worldw ide m issions, we need a blending of 21stcentur y contemporaneit y with first-century enthusiasm. The Lord is calling us to stir our congregations to vibrant action and participation in world missions. We need fresh strateg ies and a new, truly sacrificial approach to budgeting for our intensified outreach to the world. J a c k H a y f o r d is the founding pastor of the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., where he served as senior pastor for more than three decades. He is also founder of the King’s University in Los Angeles, Calif., and the author of more than 100 books. May // June 2014 MinistryToday 55
Principle No. 2
The 7 Characteristics of Wisdom WISDOM By Larry Stockstill
aying the foundation and building the structure of any spiritual house require g reat w isdom a nd sk ill. In building his empire, Solomon discovered seven pillars, or facets, of wisdom that were necessary. In the New Testament, Paul ca lled himself a “wise master builder” (1 Cor. 3:10, NKJV), and Jesus said that a wise man builds his house on a rock (Matt. 7:24). I have seen many ministries, a nd even indiv idua l Christians, spring up and flourish for a season, but because of a lack of wisdom, they were not sustainable and ultimately failed. But a brief review of Solomon’s early days (before pride, greed and lust captured his heart) will reveal the seven characteristics of wisdom that his kingdom displayed. 1) The Heart of Wisdom The Lord gave me a verse that I memorized and have used constantly for the last 25 years: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). In other words, wisdom is a heart attitude. 2) The Word of Wisdom This is the second pillar of w isdom: God w ill g ive you a word of wisdom that will bring instant clarity and closure to a difficult problem. The word of wisdom is listed as the first of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:8
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and is critical in the solving of difficult problems. Daniel received a word for Nebuchadnezzar, Joseph received a word for Pharaoh, and you too will receive a word. 3) The Team of Wisdom Wisdom can spot, select and develop a group of people into a winning team. Solomon knew this and “had 12 deputies over all Israel, who provided for the king and his household; each man had to provide for a month in the year” (1 Kings 4:7, NASB). Nineteen verses of this chapter in 1 Kings talk about all the people Solomon surrounded himself with. Because of them, his military might was so invincible it was never challenged. 4) The Blessing of Wisdom Solomon’s team produced abundance, and they obviously understood how to ha ndle finances well. Managing money wisely is a skill God rewards. But many churches and individual Christians seek greater blessing instead of greater wisdom in stewardship. God supplies our needs, but we lack the wisdom to maximize His provision. 5) The Peace of Wisdom Peace results from order. Because Solomon had both the finances and the affairs of the kingdom in order, the entire nation lived in peace. Confusion—the opposite of order—is not of God. Many people, however, live in a constant state of confusion. Lack of planning, punctuality, provision and purpose leads to continual upheaval.
6) The Creativity of Wisdom Solomon spoke of things no one else had ever had. His metaphors and proverbs, songs and poems, and botanica l a nd zoolog ica l w isdom were u nending. Jesus, too, moved in this creative wisdom. He told parables that remain unmatched in their ability to make complex truths simple. 7) The Promotion of Wisdom Wisdom will promote you— and that is why it must begin w ith humilit y. People from everywhere came to hear the wisdom of King Solomon. His wisdom far exceeded the men of the East, whose intellectual reputation was great. L a r r y S t o c k s t i ll is director of Surge, a global church-planting initiative.
Above: King Solomon faced many difficult leadership decisions
Principle No. 3
Love Your Family FAMILY CARE By Nelson Searcy
et me put you on the spot: How much do you love your family? I’m not talking about a passive, feelings-based love, but a love that is active and engaged— a love that truly honors the Lord you are following. Consider the question this way: How intentional are the decisions you make about your family life? Do the concerns of ministr y crowd out time and energy that should be focused on your spouse and children? In rea l it y, bus y ness a nd ministry demands are not to blame here; the real culprits are disorganization and a lack of intentionality. Do you have safety measures in place to protect your relationships with your family members? Do you have a strategy for safeguarding your personal and family integrity? No pastor plans to find himself in a marital or parenting crisis, but too many end up there because they don’t plan not to. With a little intentionality, you can keep your spouse and children from being sacrificed on the altar of ministry. You can actively latch onto one commitment that defines the renegade life: Love your family. W hat does t h is ac t ive love look li ke? How ca n you intentionally love your family in a way that creates an authentic, happy home env i ron ment? How c a n you grow your relationship
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with your spouse into the deep, intimate partnership it shou ld be? A ll worthy answers fall under the canopy of three important concepts: boundaries, hedges and hard work. Boundaries Bounda ries a re simply g u idel i nes t hat i nd icate where one thing ends and something else begins. They can be thought of as rules you put in place to safeguard and deepen the relationships that exist within them. One of the sing le best ways to love your family intentionally is to set up boundaries between various areas of your life. Hedges W h i le bou nda r ies a re proactive rules you set to make sure things work well internally, hedges are protective barriers you build to keep out the onslaught of attacks that will inevitably come your way. Boundaries exist to preserve and bolster what’s within them; hedges exist to keep the bad stuff— the poison, the negativity and the temptation—at bay. A s you beg in pla nting hedges in your life, remember to plant them higher, wider and thicker than you thin k you need to. Build them so high, so thick and so w ide t hat you wou ld have a ha rd time getting around or through them if you tried.
Hard Work Providing well for your family is a major component of loving them—and hard work is key to being able to provide well. As a pastor, you have been called to minister to God’s people with an
excellence that reflects His own. You have a higher, more intense responsibility to work hard and do your work well than just about anyone else. By choosing to be committed to work, you may miss some games, but it’s OK. You don’t have to be at every one. As long as your family is in its rightful position in your life, you will actually be setting a strong example for your kids when you do have to miss their activities from time to time. You will be showing them that you are
working hard for them and for the kingdom. From The Renegade Pastor © 2013 by Nelson Searcy. Published by Regal Books, www. regalbooks.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Above: Pastors must put family in its rightful position in their lives
Principle No. 4
Ministry Passion HOW TO REIGNITE YOUR PASSION FOR MINISTRY By Rick Warren
assion is what energizes life. It turns the impossible into possible. In fact, if you don’t have any passion in your life, ministry will become boring, dull, routine, monotonous. I’ll go so far as say if you don’t have passion in your life, you are not living— you are merely existing. God made you to live a passionate life and to serve Him and His people with vitality, with vibrancy, with energy, with enthusiasm. He wants you to have this in your life. If it’s true that’s the kind of life God meant for us to live, then life is meant to be enjoyed, not merely endured. Sadly, however, countless thousands of pastors and ministry leaders are simply enduring, holding on for the ride and hoping to survive until death without blowing it too badly. I want to share with you a few ways to reignite your passion for life and ministry.
living and leading—the more passionate you become because purpose creates passion. Why are you living? Why are you leading? Answering those questions will drive you forward with renewed passion.
1) Redefine Your Purpose Passion and purpose go together. The more purpose-driven you are—the more you know your purpose for both
3) Nourish Your Soul So many pastors I know are great at preparing and delivering sermons, but they’ve become so busy or distracted or
2) Realign Your Schedule If you’re overworked, you’re going to lose your passion. We all need a balance between rest and work, between input and output. The Bible tells us there is a rhythm to life, that there is time and purpose for everything—a time to work and a time to rest; a time to strive and a time to have fun. If you have no fun in your life, you’re going to burn out. If you have no rest in your life, you’re going to burn out. If you have nothing but constant work from morning till night and you’re a workaholic, you’re going to lose your passion very, very quickly.
discouraged that they’ve fallen away from the routine of spending time alone with God and His Word to feed and nourish their own souls. Romans 12:11 in the Amplified Bible says, “Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” 4) Share Your Faith Yes, you preach or teach weekly or write devotionals or share the Word in some other capacity on Sunday. But your inner passion will be renewed as you personally share your faith in Jesus with others, and almost nothing reignites passion more quickly than a conversation that leads to Jesus. So, redefine your purpose, realign your schedule, nourish your soul and share your faith. Your passion will reignite, and God will use you as never before! R i c k W a rr e n is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches.
Principle No. 5
Multiplying Leaders THE NEVER-ENDING NEED TO MULTIPLY By Ed Stetzer
astors of growing churches know a ll too well the old adage of there being two sides to every coin. The excitement and energy of a growing congregation brings with it new needs and a constant demand for more people to help carry out the ministry.
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When the attendance and financial numbers are lack ing, pressure increases on the pastor and staff to solve every problem, run every small group, set up every service and clean every toilet. The stress can become so heavy that growth feels more like a crisis than a blessing.
Having a leadership crisis is not exclusive to the church (take a look at Congress), and neither is it a new issue. The Moses Problem J e t h r o , M o s e s’ f a t h e r - i n - l a w, comes for a visit. Perhaps it’s not too
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surprising he has an opinion on how his son-in-law is running things. In this particular case, however, the in-law advice is pretty good (just like I’m sure my future sons-in-law will say of me). The narrative provides a clear beginning and end. At the beginning, Moses has a problem. It’s a leadership problem, and it’s a big one. Moses is leading a group of millions literally by himself. Jethro comes right out and asks, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” (Ex. 18:14, NIV). Moses tries to explain his role as arbiter of millions, but his answer falls short. Jethro is quick to correct him, saying, “What you are doing is not
good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone” (vv. 17-18). W hatever it was, Jethro clea rly saw that Moses’ lifest yle was not sustainable. Because he believed in the mission of Moses and the Israelites so much, Jethro offered a new suggestion: multiplication (and in this particular case, he wasn’t harping about wanting more grandkids). He encouraged Moses to select honorable, wise and godly men who could be taught a basic interpretation of God’s laws and instruction. The end of this story is a good one. Moses listened to Jethro, the leadership grew, his stress lessened, and his fatherin-law went home.
God’s Solution The very burden of multiplying leadership is a burden the pastor should not carry alone. The church should have a culture of multiplication. Multiply disciples, ministries, groups and churches. Multiply everything. Discipling and multiplying leaders must be a central part of every pastor’s ministry and every church’s focus. Multiply the leaders, and share the burden each step of the way. Multiply leaders who multiply leaders. Implement discipleship-fueled multiplication in your church, and you may find you have a two-headed coin that comes up winning every time. E d S t e t z e r is president of LifeWay Research.
Principle No. 6
Vision Casting COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CREW By Kyle Searcy
bout 20 years ago, you might have seen me with a cape and a huge S on my chest that stood for Super pastor. Well, maybe not literally, but you might have wondered if I thought I could run meetings faster than a speeding preacher, plow forward more powerfully than a locomotive and leap ministry issues with a single bound. You probably know the routine: Our church had plateaued at a few hundred people, and I was the reason. I did almost everything: counseling, coordinating, leadership of all meetings—you name it. If our church was to change, I needed to change. Since I have my pilot’s license, God used my knowledge of that realm to teach me more about my primary role in the church. Simply put, He focused my attention on three aspects of flying:
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1) the need to communicate with the controller, 2) how to navigate the plane and 3) the importance of speed and altitude. As a pastor, I came to realize I needed to 1) keep in touch with “the cont rol ler”— God—t h roug h prayer and study, 2) prayerfully and creatively navigate through the grid of our church’s vision and 3) determine the pace and spiritual altitude of the congregation. As God gave me this metaphor to help me in my role as pastor, I was immediately cured of “hero-itis.” I identified leaders to take on some of my responsibilities and gave each person clear guidelines for proper decision-making. Once the team was developed, I thought flying the church forward would be easy. Within months, however, we
began to take a nosedive. Eventually, I discovered a huge disconnect between the church’s key leadership and myself. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t see what I saw. Then I realized they didn’t have my vantage point. My cockpit view and flight instruments gave me clarity on where we were and where we were going, but my team did not have the same insight, which caused a much more turbulent flight than any of us wanted to experience. I realized I had to do more than fly. I had to effectively communicate with the crew! Below are three proven ways you ca n reg u la rly com mu n icate w it h your leadership: 1) Authentic feedback. How are we doing? Our team learns a great deal from our victories, defeats and struggles along
the way. We must communicate with leaders openly about our journey. This process becomes most useful as the team owns the victories and defeats as a united crew rather than singling out one person to receive credit or blame. 2) Clarity. Where are we? How far along in the journey have we traveled toward our goal? Are we on track? Will we even be able to reach our goal? Communicate the answers to these
questions with specific examples of the next steps the team needs to take. 3) Vision. Where are we going? The vision must remain pure and emphatic in all you do. I help my team look beyond the intricacies of ministr y activity and see the big picture. I try hard to paint a picture that evokes a clear image. Landing your church or ministry in a united mission will require effective
delegation and communication. As the senior leader of your church— and its vision—you need to aviate and navigate, and by all means, don’t forget to communicate. K y l e S e a r c y has a passion for developing a new generation of leaders. He serves as senior pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, Ala., and Norcross, Ga.
Principle No. 7
Staffing HOW TO ORGANIZE CHURCH AUTHORITY By Mark Driscoll
t Ma rs Hill, we have th ree offices of leadership: elders, deacons and members. But we have an ever-increasing number of “courts.” These courts are given authority to make certain decisions. For example, sheep-focused leaders at a local church function as courts that decide on matters like church discipline cases, who has been converted and is ready to be baptized, who should and should not marry, who should and should not divorce, who should become a member or deacon, and who should lead community groups and redemption groups. Simila rly, f lock-focused leaders across our entire church function as courts that decide on such things as our benefits package, human resource policies, real estate negotiations, sermon series, budget details and how we organize specific ministries. From Small to Big In the early days of Mars Hill, we had very few courts. We met in one location with not many people, and our court of elders met weekly to make most decisions for the entire church.
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In time, as the church grew, this single court became literally impossible to uphold. Today, things are far too complex for such a simple structure, and it will only become more complex if Jesus decides to keep adding more people and churches to our family. Most churches reportedly consist of 70 to 80 people, which is about all a dedicated pastor can care for. For a ministry to grow, the leader needs to stop trying to care for all the people persona lly as a sheep-focused shepherd. Instead, he needs to start ensuring they are all cared for by becoming more f lock-focused and raising up other shepherds who are sheep-focused. Caring Well The truth is, although I sincerely loved the people of our church, they were not as well cared for then as they are now. I have limited energy, experience and expertise. The longer I am in ministry, the more deficient I feel and the more certain I am that I’m no Jesus. Today we are blessed to have various courts led by specialists. I was a
generalist doing my best, but I could not care for our people and raise up leaders until we established courts w ith leaders who were specia lists training other specialists to make various decisions for the well-being of our people. As Paul says, we are a body with ma ny pa rts, a nd we a ll need one another. In Authority and Under Authority What courts require from leaders is humility and trust. We have to be humble enough to be under authority as well as in authority, deferring to other leaders and courts in areas that are not our jurisdiction. And we have to trust that Jesus is over all that is Mars Hill and that the Holy Spirit is in every leader at Mars Hill. In the end, a big church is a lot like a big family. It’s more complicated, for sure. But it’s nice to have brothers and sisters and a lot of leaders who love and care for the people. M a r k D r i s c o l l is the founding pastor and the current preaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash.
TWO NE W BOOK RELEA SES
Reporters ask candidates “Is the Bible Relevant in the World of Modern Science?” Governor R.W. Smith’s answer stuns a reporter — Excerpt from So ~ You’re a Christian Politician Reporter: Governor Smith, I can understand that you chose this campus for your announcement because of its forward looking space program. However, you profess to be a devout Christian—how do you reconcile the current knowledge of space with the archaic flat earth and earth centrist concepts put forth by the church in the Galileo’s era? Isn’t the Bible a little out of date? RWS: That is an excellent question and I will answer it by first asking you a question. Look at the large NASA photo of the earth taken from space on the side of this assembly hall. Now, I am going to describe that photo to you and ask you a question about my description of it. Reporter: OK, please do… RWS: The earth seems to be hanging on nothing in space. I see white clouds floating just above its surface. I see the circle of the globe as if it were marked out by a compass. I see the boundary between day and night on this beautiful blue marble. Would you say that is an apt description?
Reporter: It seems to be in order, what is your point? RWS: Now, I’m going to read you a description from a book describing the very earliest phase of space exploration. • He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth on nothing. • He binds up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. • He holds back the face of his throne, and spreads his cloud on it. • He has compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. (JOB 26:7-10)
My question for you is to explain how this amazing description of the earth hanging in space was written in the Bible by the patriarch Job thirty-five hundred years ago? He even wrote about the earth being round (compassed) rather than being flat. Reporter: I can’t explain it—it is sort of amazing.
So ~ You’re a Christian Policitian? gives a ‘Reader’s Digest’ type EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the book Waters of Creativity. The Duck Investigative Team in their book Waters of Creativity captures the DRAMATIC DETAILS of twelve high stakes, presidential style debates between secular scientists and Christians with scientific credentials.
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Principle No. 8
Leadership Transference LEAVING A LASTING LEGACY By Doug Stringer
e are at a pivotal juncture in history where the torch of leadership is passing to a new generation. In times past, spiritual leadership was handed down from generation to generation as a matter of course. The younger generation recognized the value of gleaning from the life experiences, wisdom and counsel of the former generation, thus receiving their impartation, blessing and favor. In ou r fa st-paced i ndependent culture, we are hard-pressed to see that kind of mentoring at work today. But there is a new generation of leaders who not only needs it but also wants it from us. In the days of Elisha, a guild of prophets and sons of prophets recognized the mantle of leadership and fathering that was upon that great man. They found themselves limited, and they wanted to go where they could expand and build. They asked Elisha’s blessing to go. He was then asked to go with them. When they lost the Ax Head (2 Kings 6:5), they asked Elisha for wisdom
and guidance. He simply asked them to take him to where they had lost it. Likewise, there are times when we may lose our edge, get cloudy in our vision or find our passion waning, and we need to reflect on where we lost it. There are so many champions of the faith who have paid a price, made sacrifices and laid foundations for us to build upon. They have left a lasting legacy for us and the new generation of leaders. We need to do the same for those coming after us. Our true legacy comes not from the sermons we preach or how many people follow us on Twitter. It’s not the size of our church or our ministries. The lives we live before we enter the portals of eternity will determine the true influence we have and what will be left behind us for the next generation. Our God is looking for leaders who live lives of humility, holiness, honor and honesty. Our private posture affects our public position. It’s what we do and who we are behind closed doors, when no one else may see us, that determines the
power of God in us—or the lack of it—in public. Our private choices have public and corporate consequences. May we be reminded that our legacy is not preserved in brick and mortar but in the lives of those we are called to serve. While men reach for thrones to build their kingdoms, Jesus reached for a towel to wash men’s feet. While men pursue exalted and high places, Jesus, the exalted One, left His highest place to pursue men on earth below. If we are to leave a lasting legacy and transfer the mantle of leadership to the coming generation, then we must be committed to more than building our own kingdoms. May we be like Samuel, who represented a new generation of righteous judges and prophets. Likewise, may we call forth the new generation of leaders to walk into their destinies. D o u g S t r i n g e r is founder and president of Turning Point Ministries International, which birthed an international movement known as Somebody Cares.
Principle No. 9
5 REASONS PASTORS SHOULD TAKE A SABBATICAL By Thom S. Rainer
he word sabbatical has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It has one meaning in the academic community, another meaning in its biblical usage, and still another in many secular settings. For the purpose of this article, I define sabbatical in simple terms. It simply means “time off for rest and/or study.” The time can be a few days, a few weeks or, on rare occasions, a few months. The pastor is given paid leave for rest, rejuvenation and deeper study. In truth, I would love to see churches of all sizes provide this gift to their pastor, even if it’s only for a few days. In my work with lay leaders and pastors, I have a pretty good view of both perspectives, and I am convinced more lay leaders need to insist their pastors take regular breaks, even beyond vacations. Allow me to provide five reasons for my rationale:
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1) A pastor has emotional highs and lows unlike most other vocations. In the course of a day, a pastor might deal with death, birth, deep spiritual issues, great encouragement, petty criticisms, tragedies and illnesses. The emotional roller coaster is draining. Your pastor needs a break—and a break with no distractions. 2) A pastor is on 24-hour call. Most pastors don’t have an “off” switch. They go to sleep with the knowledge they could be awakened by a phone call at any time of the night. Vacations are rarely uninterrupted. It can be an exhausting vocation, and a sabbatical can provide a welcome time to slow down. 3) Pastors need time for uninterrupted study. Such study doesn’t usually happen at church or home. There is always the crisis or need of the moment. But church members expect sermons that reflect much prayer and study, and the pastor’s schedule often works against that ideal. A sabbatical can offer much-needed—and uninterrupted—study time. 4) Pastors who have sabbaticals have longer tenure at churches. Though my information is anecdotal, I do see the trend. And while I cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship, I feel confident that pastors who have sabbaticals are much more likely to stay at a church because they are less likely to experience burnout. 5) Pastors view the time off as an affirmation from their churches. I have heard from many pastors who share with me a sentence similar to this one: “I know my church loves me because they give me a sabbatical.” Pastors need affirmation. Sabbaticals can accomplish that goal. I estimate that only about 5 percent of churches offer sabbaticals. In almost every case where I am familiar with a sabbatical being offered, the relationship between pastor and congregation is very healthy. I do think at least one of the reasons is the sabbatical. T h o m S . R a i n e r is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Principle No. 10
DOES YOUR CHURCH KNOW THE PROCESS FOR GROWTH? By Larry Barker
n churches today we have vision statements that are meant to rally the troops to carry out God’s Great Commission. And while vision has the ability to excite people, rally them and urge them to join in the game, vision statements are worthless without a game plan.
What is your process of discipleship, and does everyone in your church know how to get from point A to point B? Vision needs an easy step-by-step reproducible process to ensure progress toward its fulfillment. Every member should know what that process is and be able to explain it to others. Churches should be good at welcoming people, inviting people and building relationships with people outside the church. One problem is that when they are ready to join the team, there is often no system in place to show them the step-by-step process for greater involvement. Notice the way Paul gave Timothy a system when he said, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2, KJV). When a church understands its unique vision—and here’s a hint: If members cannot articulate it easily, they don’t understand it—then you can begin the process of developing a system to carry out that vision. The system should always serve the vision, protect the vision and help carry out the vision. L a r r y B a r k e r is director of North American missions for the Baptist Missionary Association of America. Used by permission.
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Principle No. 11
Transformational Leadership TRANSFORMING YOUR MINISTRY By Dale Hudson
transformed ministry comes from transformational leadership. Transformational leadership happens when a leader raises team members to higher levels of motivation and effectiveness. They can do this in four ways: inspiration, motivation, execution and trust. Transform Through Inspiration Tra nsformationa l leaders create a n inspiring vision, and an inspiring vision comes from: hh Clarifying your purpose—why you do what you do hh Core values the team will be committed to hh Creating a picture of what can be Transform Through Motivation Transformational leaders motivate people to buy in and own the vision. Help them do this in the following ways: hh Talk about the vision often—remember, vision leaks. hh Tell the stories of individuals and families who are being impacted by the vision. hh Teamwork—show people the part they play in making the vision a reality. Transform Through Execution Transformational leaders develop plans to make the vision a reality. They take the next step and deliver the vision. To do this, they: hh Lead through changes that need to be made. hh Lay out goals that will take people to the vision.
Transform Through Trust Transformational leaders build ever-stronger, trust-based relationships. To build these kinds of relationships: hh Find out your team members’ personalities, love languages, developmental needs and goals. hh Focus on helping them grow, meet their goals and achieve their dreams. hh Feedback—create a culture where feedback is not only received but asked for. Everything rises and falls on leadership. The natural overflow of transformational leadership is transformed ministry. D a l e H u d s o n is director of children’s ministries at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach, Fla. He was recently named one of the top 20 influencers in children’s ministry.
Principle No. 12
Avoiding People-Pleasing BE MORE THAN JUST NICE By Ron Edmondson
was talking with a leader recently who is an incredibly kind and gentle person. She’s smart, hardworking and loyal. She’s a relational leader and usually brings out the best in people, so she’s had success in leadership. However, she is currently experiencing problems in a position she undertook recently and asked for my help.
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In ta lk ing throug h the specific situation, it became obvious she has one weakness, and it is currently affecting her entire team. It’s a common weakness among leaders. At times, most of us will struggle in this area. Her weakness? She is too nice! A few team members are taking advantage of this woman’s niceness
by underperforming in their roles. She hasn’t challenged the problems, even though she knows she should. She’s losing sleep over it but doesn’t know what to do. I advised my friend to take off her “nice hat,” at least temporarily, to address the few people causing the majorit y of the problems that are Lightstock
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impacting the entire team. As hard as it will seem at first, in the end it will be a blessing for the entire team and my leader friend. Here are three problems with being too nice as a leader: 1) It’s bad for the leader. The leader ends up stressing over the wrong things. Instead of worrying about the big picture, the leader is focused on a few problems with usually only a few people. The leader feels unsuccessful, even like a failure at times, as the team achieves less-than-desired results. 2) It ’s bad for the organization. The team suffers because a few people mess up the system or everyone else. 3 ) I t ’s b a d f o r t h e p e r s o n taking advantage of the leader’s niceness. Enabling bad behavior is never good for the underperforming team member. It keeps him or her from identifying their full potential and from realizing personal success. If you are not careful, you can become everyone’s friend but nobody’s leader.
The sooner you handle the problem (and the problem people), the sooner things will begin to improve for everyone. R o n E d m o n d s o n is a church planter and pastor with a heart for strategy, leadership and marketing, especially geared toward developing churches and growing and improving the kingdom of God.
Principle No. 13
3 WAYS TO LEAD WITH INFLUENCE By Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson
f we are going to lead with influence, we’ve got to first make sure we are following Christ—that we are imitating Him. While whole books can and have been written on this subject, we’re going to look at just a few ways in which we need to imitate Christ. 1) Be consistent in your own personal devotion and spiritual growth. This is sometimes one of those tricky areas for those of us in ministry. The question isn’t “What do we do?” We know what to do. We’ve heard or taught dozens of lessons on this very subject. We know we need to be reading the Word and tucking it in our hearts. We know we need to be pulling away for intimate time with God, developing and deepening that relationship. The real question is “Are we doing what we already know we should do?” 2) Serve well. We are all quite well-versed in the fact that Jesus was a servant. We see Him helping people, healing the multitude and washing the dusty feet of His disciples. He served God; He served others. Just look at a few references right out of Acts: “The God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus” (Acts
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3:13, NLT); “God raised up his servant, Jesus” (Acts 3:26); and “Through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:30). Sometimes we are tempted in leadership to feel as if serving is nothing more than a sacrifice. We serve because we love God and know He has called us to serve, but our hearts feel little more than duty-bound. We see serving as labor rather than loving God and loving others. 3) Be moved by compassion. On occasion, you might hear Southern women like us say, “I don’t give a hoot.” This is the very kind way a sweet-tea-drinking Southern gal might communicate “I don’t care.” All leaders have, somewhere in the back of our minds, what we lovingly refer to as a give-a-hooter. You know, that part of us that cares deeply about people. No matter the reason, sometimes we find ourselves with broken give-a-hooters. Remember, as with everything else we do in life and leadership, compassion will flow out of our intimate connection with the Lord. If you feel as if your givea-hooter is broken, spend some time with Christ. Pray for the ability to see the people in your ministry with the same eyes He does. Ask Him to ignite a deep love for His children in your heart and life. Seek a renewed compassion for the people He has called you to serve. L o r i W i l h i t e serves alongside her husband, Jud, who is senior pastor at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nev. B r a n d i W i l s o n helped plant Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tenn., with her husband, Pete, who serves as senior pastor. Excerpted from the book Leading and Loving It: Encouragement for Pastor’s Wives and Women in Leadership by Lori Wilhite & Brandi Wilson. Copyright © 2013. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Principle No. 14
Heart of a Leader
STOP AND ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION By Andy Stanley
et me ask you a question: How are things with your heart? Not your career, your family or your finances, but your heart? Chances are you’ve never stopped to consider your heart. And why should you? There are meals to fix, calls to return, interviews to prepare for and bills to pay. If at the end of the day you’re all caught up with these things and someone asks, “How are things?” you can smile and sigh and say, “Fine.” But this is a more important question. And yes, it is an awkward question. But why? Perhaps because we so rarely stop to monitor our hearts with these kinds of questions. Growing up, it was never encouraged. As children,
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we were taught instead to monitor our behavior. In other words, we were taught to behave. If we behaved properly, good things happened, regardless of what was going on in our hearts. If we misbehaved, not-so-good things happened. Pain, embarrassment, fines and spankings are generally considered effective ways to focus an individual’s attention on his or her behavior. Consequently, you and I have become much better at monitoring our behavior than our hearts. Whatever your job, there are some things you just won’t do. Not because you don’t want to, but because of the professional ramifications. Perhaps there are some words and phrases you won’t
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“In an era of increasing religious apathy, here is a book that is helpful, challenging, and timely.” —ED STETZER
he single fastest-growing religious group of our time is those who check the box next to the word none on national surveys. And most churches are doing virtually nothing to reach them. If you long to see growth in your church that is the result of lost people entering into the family of God, this book is where you should start.
• • • JAMES EMERY WHITE (PhD, Southern Seminary) is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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use, in spite of the fact that they would accurately convey what you’re feeling. I’ll bet there are some people you pretend to like because it is beneficial to you. But a l l t h is pretend ing ca n be problematic because pretending allows you to ignore the true condition of your heart. As long as you say the right thing and do the right thing, you’re tempted to believe all is well. So let me ask you again: How are things with your heart? This question would be easier to answer if it weren’t for a world full of outside influences that have the power to disrupt the rhythm of your heart. Most are subtle. Some may even appear to be necessary as protection from further disruptions. Over time, you develop habits that slowly erode your heart’s sensitivity. Much of this is understandable. But at the end of the day, there’s no way around the
truth: Your heart is out of sync with the rhythm it was created to maintain. These disrupters that throw your heart out of sync won’t automatically work their way out of your system without any effort on your part. Those things that disrupt the rhythm of the invisible heart linger. If left alone, some will linger for a lifetime. After a while, we come to accept these disrupters as part of us, part of our personalities. And so we catch ourselves saying, “That’s just the way I am.” But you weren’t always that way. And those closest to you know it. Maybe you’re due for a heart exam. A n d y S t a n l e y is a best-selling author and senior pastor of of North Point Ministries, in suburban Atlanta, Ga. Adapted from It Came From Within, copyright © 2006 by Andy Stanley. Used by permission of Multnomah Publishers Inc. All rights reserved.
Principle No. 15
Responding to Critics
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO CRITICISM? By Michael Youssef
ll leaders are subject to criticism. Much of that criticism is unjust, cr uel, dest r uct ive a nd even anonymous. It’s hard to know how to respond to such unjust criticism. Should you answer it? It takes a great deal of wisdom and spiritual maturity to know how to respond to unjust criticism as Jesus would. How to Respond to Unjust Criticism When His opponents criticized Him for doing good on the Sabbath, Jesus responded with calm logic and sound biblical reasoning. When they criticized Him for allowing His disciples to eat with hands that had not been ceremonially washed, He bluntly called them hypocrites, quoted Scripture
and showed how the religious leaders placed man-made traditions above the commandments of God (Mark 7:1-23). But very often, Jesus simply refused to respond to criticism. Sometimes the best reply to a false accusation or unjust criticism is silence. When the Critic Is Right But what about those times when the criticism we receive is justified—and constructive? What about those times when someone cares enough to criticize us for our own good? Let me suggest to you a three-step approach for sifting the criticism you receive as a leader so that you can learn and grow from the constructive criticism that comes your way.
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Step 1: Listen. Those who practice the leadership style of Jesus are good listeners. They are willing to hear what others say, even if it’s painful to listen to it. Our critics may be telling us what we need to hear. Step 2: Ask yourself, “Is it true?” It’s hard to receive criticism. It takes great maturity to drop our defenses and listen to someone criticize us without interrupting or defending ourselves. In ou r fa l len nat u re, we resist u nplea sa nt t r ut h. T hat’s why t he most common response to criticism is denial and even counterattack. We don’t want to consider the possibility we are wrong. For some of us, the very thought of admitting “I was wrong” is almost unbearable. We can know if criticism is justified if we honestly
search our hearts. Step 3: Seek counsel. When analyzing criticism, it’s helpful to go to a few close, trusted friends for counsel. Ultimately, it helps to remember the words of the apostle Paul: “It is the Lord who judges me” (1 Cor. 4:4). If we are confident that we have put God first in our lives, then we won’t have to waste precious time defending ourselves against our critics. M i c h a e l Y o u s s e f , P h . D . , is founder and president of Leading the Way With Dr. Michael Youssef. Taken from The Leadership Style of Jesus. Copyright © 2013 by Michael Youssef. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. www.harvesthousepublishers.com. Used by permission.
Principle No. 16
Character Development MADE LIKE HIM By Joyce Meyer
hat is so important about character?” you may ask. Cha racter is importa nt because it determines the image that is presented to others. Paul tells us in the Bible that we are to be transformed into the image or likeness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In Galatians 4:19, Paul wrote, “My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (molded) within you” (A MP). That means we are to be transformed into Christ’s character. Be Christlike When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Gen. 1:26, NKJV), this image does not refer to physical likeness but to character likeness. God did 78 MinistryToday May // June 2014
not mean that we were going to look like Him physically. He meant that we were going to take on His nature, His character, as reflected in His Son, Jesus. The greatest goal of every believer— and certainly those of us who want to be used by God in positions of leadership— should be Christlikeness. We should want to handle situations the way Jesus would handle them and treat people the way Jesus would treat them. We should want to do things the way He would do them. That should be our goal. Molded Into His Image According to the Bible, God is the Potter, and we are the clay. We are like a hard, cold lump of clay that is not very pliable or easy to work with. But God puts us on His potter’s wheel and begins to refashion and remake us because He
doesn’t like what we have become and sees us becoming something better. God keeps working and working on us, trimming away this little bad attitude and that wrong mindset, remolding and reshaping us until gradually we are transformed into His image—from glory to glory.
J o y c e M e y e r is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. Excerpted from the book Leader in the Making: Essentials to Being a Leader After God’s Own Heart by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2001. Reprinted with permission of Joyce Meyer Trade. All rights reserved.
Principle No. 17
Servant Leadership YOU MIGHT BE A SERVANT IF ... By Bob Rhoden
he term servant leader has become commonplace whenever pastors and ministry heads gather. Indeed, every ministry leader can quote Jesus’ famous words: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Mark 10:43, NIV). But what does it actually mean to be a servant in our line of work? With due apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, let me suggest that “You Might Be a Servant If ...” 1) You walk into a room and say “There you are!” rather than “Here I am.” Zacchaeus was surprised when Jesus called him by name and said, “I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5). Admittedly, Zacchaeus’ tax collection practice was nowhere near the kingdom of God. But Jesus wanted to make a difference for him and the people he was fleecing. 2) Who gets the credit doesn’t matter. Ever wonder how speechwriters feel when the person giving the speech gets all the accolades? Or what about the lineman who makes the block that opens the hole for the running back to score a touchdown? The disciples asked Jesus if they should put a stop to someone who was casting out demons because the person was not part of their tribe (Mark 9:38). Were they 80 MinistryToday May // June 2014
saying it is better to leave a person in bondage if we can’t claim the victory for our group? Jesus, though, told them to leave him alone. What mattered was the Lord’s name was preached. 3) You are recognized more for your serving than your title. In 1982, Valley Forge Christian College, outside Philadelphia, was on financial life support. Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft, a prominent educator who was then 70 years old, agreed to be the president for a salary of $1 per year. On a windy autumn day, he pulled on some work clothes and began raking leaves near the front of the campus. As two men approached, they asked where the administration building was. He smiled and pointed them in the right direction. Sometime later in the day, Dr. Ashcroft returned to his office wearing his normal suit and tie. The two men saw him and couldn’t resist asking, “Aren’t you the person we saw raking leaves?” “Yes, I am,” he replied. “That’s one of the things I get to do these days as president.” Over the next couple of years Dr. Ashcroft—yes, he was the father of future Attorney General John Ashcroft—inspired others to join the effort to help keep the school open. Today the college is strong and vibrant, carrying out its mission. 4) Your actions don’t require a rearview mirror. As we know, Jesus never second-guessed His decision to wash the feet of the disciples who would later hurt Him through betrayal, denial and doubt. Learning to cope with disappointment and hurt inflicted by our colleagues is simply part of Leadership 101. How do you stack up? In the game “You Might Be a Servant If ... ,” do you show yourself a servant? B o b R h o d e n , a former pastor and district superintendent who is now an executive presbyter with the Assemblies of God, is the author of Four Faces of a Leader (My Healthy Church, 2013), from which this article is condensed with permission.
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Principle No. 18
8 TIPS FOR RESISTING THE PRESSURE OF LEADERSHIP By Brad Lomenick
a m a sked consta ntly by you ng leaders, “How do you handle the responsibility of leading something like Catalyst?” The reality is, anyone who leads a church, leads a company, leads a com mu n it y, leads a nonprof it ministry, leads a team or even leads a family feels and knows the pressure of responsibility. And responsibility is part of leadership—always. So, how do we correctly live with the pressure of responsibilit y and leadership? For me, it always begins and ends with the issue of stewardship. The whole idea of stewardship relates back to the concept of watching over
something for someone else—taking care of something you don’t own. Ultimately, this means having a very clear understanding of your role. Are you the owner or simply the steward? Here a re a fe w t hou g ht s on stewardship and how it relates to leading whatever movement, organization, community, tribe or team you’ve been given: 1) Hold things with an open hand, palms down. Picture that in your mind, then compare it with its opposite—holding things with a closed fist, palms up. 2) You don’t really own it. God does. 3) You don’t deserve the credit. It’s not meant for you.
4) It’s not about you. You are not the reason for the mission and vision of the organization or community you are leading. Those you’re serving are. 5) You must step up when needed. It’s not about you, but as the leader, the buck has to stop with you. 6) Be generous. Be others-focused. 7) Remember that building a movement is not your job. That’s God’s work. 8) Model the vision and mission. B r a d L o m e n i c k is president and key visionary of Catalyst, a movement purposed to equip and inspire young Christian leaders through events, resources, consulting and community.
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Principle No. 19
GOOD LEADERS RAISE GOOD LEADERS, NOT JUST FOLLOWERS By Isik Abla The greatest leader that ever lived, Jesus Christ, summed up the first lesson on leadership and discipleship in two words: “Follow Me.” These words of the Creator of the universe made an amazing impact in the hearts of people since they were asked to follow them over 2,000 years ago. “Follow Me” is a simple command. Yet, it is a command, not a question. One must decide whether or not to obey this command. Jesus told His disciples as He is telling us today: hh Do what I do. hh Love the way I love. hh Forgive others as I do. hh Show mercy as I do.
hh Obey me as I obey My Father. Today we see great leaders who created g reat leaders, not simply followers. Their love and commitment to the cause and passion prompts others to follow their example. The apostle Paul said, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.” This is exactly what Jesus was referring to in His simple command, “Follow Me.” The church needs great leaders who are great followers of Christ and imitating His example in every way—whether in their daily lives, in the office or in the pulpit. We need leaders who, when they ask others to follow Christ, provide an example of their own commitment to follow Jesus.
Discipleship is breaking bread together through His example. Discipleship is leaders washing the feet of others as Jesus did. Discipleship is teach ing fol lowers not on ly a theoretical side of the Word, but also a practical side of that manifests in actions. Jesus sent out 12 to do the work He was doing. Discipleship is teaching the Word. When all of the disciples became great leaders, they made an incredible difference in this world. I s i k A b l a hosts a live call-in TV program broadcast throughout the Middle East and Europe. The programs are reaching millions of Muslims for the gospel of Christ.
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Principle No. 20
Encouragement By Dan Reiland
ncouragement is a kind of fuel. It enables people to try harder, reach farther, dig deeper and hold on longer than they previously thought possible. Leadership without encouragement is like running without shoes. You can do it, but it doesn’t feel good and you won’t last long. If a leader truly wants to engage a follower, he must practice the intentional and consistent art of encouragement. This is non-negotiable. I’ve never met anyone who received too much encouragement. In nearly three decades of ministry leadership, during which I have traveled to well over 100 churches and talked with thousands of ministry leaders, I’ve never heard of anyone quitting because he or she was over-encouraged. In contrast, the No. 1 reason people throw in the towel is because they did not receive enough encouragement. John
Maxwell has said, “Encouragement is 51 percent of successful leadership.” I believe that. Without this leadership lifeblood, even the most inspiring vision won’t take hold in people’s hearts. Encouragement is a core component of hope. It helps people believe they can have and can contribute to a better future. It bolsters their courage when they would otherwise shrink back. The importance of being a great encourager can’t be overstated. If you think your ability to encourage needs improvement, allow me to offer some advice that will point you in the right direction: If people don’t come to you, go to them. Don’t be bashful. Just walk right up to them and share a few words that will lift them up. D a n R e i l a n d is executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Ga.
Principle No. 21
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Implementing a Vision By Dave Williams
nce you have a vision for your life, your business, your church or your ministry, it’s time to turn the macropicture into microsteps that propel you toward the vision’s fulfillment. Faith goals are brushstrokes in the broader masterpiece. There is great power in microstepping toward your macropicture. Faith goals put feet to your vision. Without faith goals, your vision is just a dream. In 52 days, Nehemiah accomplished what people said couldn’t be accomplished in years (Neh. 6:15). With the power of faith goals, he led the people to build a wall around Jerusalem. Your vision can be big and general, but a goal should be small and actionable. Faith can only go after specific things. Faith is the substance of things 88 MinistryToday May // June 2014
hoped for—meaning specific, concrete things. Faith cannot be activated without specifics. Without faith goals, life is aimless. Nehemiah 9:28 tells the story of the children of Israel. They rested too long and “did evil.” They accomplished one faith goal but didn’t set the next one, so what did they do? They did evil. Faith goals take you closer to fulfilling a great vision you have for your life—an invisible thing God wants for you. D a v e W i l l i a m s is a teacher, and trainer to successful leaders in life and ministry. From The Art of Pacesetting Leadership © 2014 by Dave Williams. Published by Decapolis Publishing, www.decapolispublishing.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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K I N G D O M
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Women: Invaluable Leadership Gifts What gifts could you be missing by not engaging women in your church?
here’s been a long-standing debate about women in leadership in ministry. This is not new, although the way the debate has found its way online makes it feel like it is new. But really, this conversation has gone on for decades and, if you ask me, we have made very little progress. Both sides use Scripture to defend their positions. Both are fully convinced they are right. Both assume God is on their side. And very few have ever won someone to the opposing side. To be honest, I’m tired of arguing about it. In fact, I don’t think I want to engage in the debate any longer. What I want to do, instead, is celebrate the gifts women everywhere are already bringing to the table. None of these qualities are exclusive to women, nor do all women possess these traits. But in my many years working in and around churches and with pastors, I’ve encountered many women who have brought these invaluable traits to the table, and our teams would have been worse off without them. 1) Empathy. I’ve worked with women who have the ability to empathize with situations, people and circumstances in a way that seemed foreign to me and to many of my colleagues. In fact, there were times when it seemed these women had a sixth sense for what was happening beneath the surface of a conflict or problem or the tension in a meeting. Using their skills of empathy, the women I’ve worked with have been able to navigate those delicate circumstances to achieve a more positive outcome for all. 2) Multitasking. I don’t mean multitasking in the simplest form of the word. I’m not talking about the ability to walk and talk at the same time. I’m talking about the ability to focus on many different objectives, to see things in a nuanced way and to notice the connections between things that someone else might have missed. This is so vital to the church environment, because no matter what we’re working on, there are always multiple layers involved. 3) Gentleness. Many of the women I’ve worked with have had the incredible ability to communicate a message in such a way that truth is not sacrificed, but neither was
gentleness. Both in public communication and interpersonal communication, I’ve seen hearts softened to a difficult message because of the gift a woman had to communicate in a palatable way. 4) Passion. Just because the women I’ve worked with in ministry have been gentle, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been passionate. In fact, one of the things I love about working with women in the church is that they’re full of ideas and thoughts and aren’t afraid to share what they’re thinking. The passion they have is like a strong engine that keeps the vehicle moving, even when things get hard. 5) Relational savvy. Pastoral ministry is incredibly relational, and unless we have people on our leadership team who are gifted with cultivating and developing relationships, our church will suffer. Of course, relational savvy isn’t limited to women, but I’ve watched countless women in ministry be able to navigate difficult relational problems in the workplace, and I wouldn’t want to miss out on this quality. 6) Optimism. Women tend to be more optimistic than men. They tend to look at the glass as half-full and to seek opportunities even in the worst circumstances. This is not just my opinion. It’s proven to be true. Recently Forbes published an article called “Why Women Entrepreneurs Are More Optimistic Than Ever,” based on research that demonstrates women have high hopes and aspirations for the future before us, especially in business, and are making great strides based on optimism that propels them toward risk. 7) Integrity. I have to say, in my experience, women seem to demonstrate a higher degree of integrity than men. Although I’ve worked with all kinds of men and women who have incredible integrity, I’m grateful for the way the women on our teams are open and receptive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and tend to point us back to Jesus.
We should celebrate the gifts women everywhere are already bringing to the table
90 MinistryToday May // June 2014
J u s t i n L a t h r o p is founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership and MinistryCoach.tv, all while staying involved in the local church.
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