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April 2008
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June 2008

How to be a DREAM Employee (Pt.5)

Here is the fifth and final point ... MAKE a difference in someone’s life It’s great to ‘Do your Job with Excellence’, to ‘Relate to People Well’, to ‘Enjoy your Work’ and to ‘Accept Feedback”. That’s a good foundation for being a DREAM employee. But you need to go beyond that. Ultimately, what we’re all looking for is to make a tangible difference in the lives of other people. No doubt, we can do that by doing these other four things well but there are a few other ingredients that are important. · Ask God to use you to positively... Read more →

How to be a DREAM Employee (Pt.4)

Here is the fourth tip ... ACCEPT feedback · Be open and teachable. Avoid any attitudes of pride and arrogance. One of the characteristics of wise people is their openness to feedback and instruction. One of the characteristics of fools is their lack of openness to feedback and their arrogant belief that they’re ‘okay’ (see Prov.9:7-9; 10:8, 17; 15:31-32; 29:1). Never stop being open to instruction and feedback. Open your ears and listen! Be open to correction. Listen to and take on board the feedback of others. Ignore it and you’re headed into deception. Be open to feedback, even criticism.... Read more →

How to be a DREAM Employee (Pt.3)

Here is my third recommendation ... ENJOY your job · See the value and importance of what you are doing. Think highly of your work. If you don’t love what you’re doing, go and do something else! Seriously - the best career advice you can ever get is to do something you love to do and get people to pay your for it. The truth is that what you’re doing is very important. It’s significant – even if it may not be prominent. · Choose to be a joyful person. Smile more. After a while, you come to realise that... Read more →

How to be a DREAM Employee (Pt.2)

Here is step 2, if you want to be a DREAM employee: RELATE well to other people · Be a friendly and considerate person to everyone you work with and for. The greatest commandments are to love God with all our being and to love our neighbour as ourselves. The very heart of the concept of ‘love’ is an ‘others focused’ approach to life. It is about looking outside of ourselves and then seeking to be a blessing to others. This has nothing to do with personality (introverts vs. extroverts), as much as it does with the orientation of our... Read more →

How to be a DREAM Employee (Pt.1)

Most of us spend a great deal of our time at work. Work is part of God's purpose for our lives. It is not part of the curse. It was God's plan for us right from the beginning. He has designed us to be most fulfilled and most joyful when we are making a contribution. We are called to serve others and to make the world a better place. Every employer is looking for the 'dream employee' (sometimes many of them!) to help their organisation fulfil its mission. For us as Christians, we should seek to be that dream employee,... Read more →

Why Men are Happier Than Women

With our annual men's conference about to start, I thought some male/female humour would be a bit of fun for today's blog post. Enjoy! WHY MEN ARE HAPPIER THAN WOMEN The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. Car mechanics tell you the truth. Same work, more pay. Wedding dress $5000. Tuxedo rental - $100. One mood all the time. A five-day holiday requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness, If someone forgets to invite you, he or... Read more →

Communicating to Change Lives (Pt.7)

The fifth and final question I ask is … 5. “How will I say it?” [The Method] Be practical. If the goal of preaching is changed lives, then application is the primary task of preaching! Knowledge doesn’t change the world, but action does (Luke 10:37. James 1:22). Interpretation of the Bible (what it means) is not enough. We must bring people to application (what they are to do). Exhortation without application leads to frustration. Jesus came to give life, not just information. Always aim for a specific action (Matthew 28:20). Tell them why – explain the benefits. Show them how.... Read more →

Communicating to Change Lives (Pt.6)

The fourth question I ask is … 4. “Who is talking?” [The Messenger] This makes me have a good look at myself. In many ways, as a communicator, you are the message. How you speak is very important – your personal style. Your personal style is a combination of your personality and your attitude. This has a big part in determining the impact of your message. The basic elements of communication are message content, body language and voice quality. Communication experts tells us that effective communication is 7% content, 55% body language (things such as eye contact, a smile, gestures,... Read more →

Communicating to Change Lives (Pt.5)

The third question I ask is … 3. “What will I say?” [The Message] Once you have established your purpose and formulated an objective statement, you are ready to do your research and prepare the content of your message. Purpose first, then content and outline. Ask yourself what the Bible say about this subject or the audience’s needs. We don’t have to make the Bible relevant. It already is! We have to show its relevance by applying it to people’s needs. Gather information on your topic from Bible study, personal experience, and other resources (books, articles, statistics, research, or advice... Read more →

Communicating to Change Lives (Pt.4)

The second question I ask is … 2. “What am I trying to say?” [Purpose] Purpose is basic and central in preaching. You need a well-understood, clearly articulated and biblically justifiable purpose for your message. It is on this that you plan and execute everything you do when you preach. Whatever you do in a sermon, you should do consciously and deliberately to achieve some purpose. Everything should have its objective and you ought to know what that is. Your purpose may be to inform, to equip, convince, or to motivate. It addresses what people should learn, believe, disbelieve or... Read more →

Communicating to Change Lives (Pt.3)

Every time I prepare to speak, I ask myself five questions. Let’s begin with the first question. 1. “Who am I speaking to?” [The Audience] When preparing to speak, I always start with my audience. Who am I speaking to? The first question is not “What do I speak on?” It is “Who am I speaking to and what are their needs?” The goal of teaching is to move people from where they are to where they need to be. Where do we start? Where they are! We should always begin with: the patient, not the medicine; the student, not... Read more →

Communicating to Change Lives (Pt.2)

Jesus was a master communicator and therefore he is our model for preaching to change lives. Jesus was the greatest speaker, teacher and communicator who ever existed. He spoke to large audiences in places like the synagogues, the mountainside, the seaside, and in the streets. He addressed small groups such as the Pharisees who liked to debate him, the disciples who wanted to learn from him, and his friends such as Mary, Martha and Lazarus who conversed with him about their daily needs. He also spent time one-on-one with people like the Samaritan woman and the rich young ruler. Jesus... Read more →

Communicating to Change Lives (Pt.1)

A healthy growing church has good leadership and good teaching. It is well-led and well-fed. There is clear vision and change is occurring in people's lives. Teaching heats up the church’s values. It is like a rudder that steers the church in the right direction. What do you want to see happen in your church? Teach it into existence. Teaching is an important factor in church health and growth. Preaching and communicating the message of Christ is to be a vital part of every church and ministry (see Luke 4:18. Mark 16:15. Acts 2:42. Romans 1:15. 1 Corinthians 9:16. 1... Read more →

The Canaanite Genocide

One of the challenges of reading the Old Testament is gaining an understanding of the Canaanite genocide. When the nation of Israel went into the Promised Land of Canaan, God commanded them to kill all of the people living there, including women and children. they were to show them no mercy Most people see this as an expression of the judgment of God on these people for their pagan beliefs, practices (including child sacrifice), and sins. A few questions surface: Is the God of the New Testament the same as the God of the Old Testament? Jesus came full of... Read more →

A Leader's Survey

One of the challenges a pastor faces, especially of a large church, is the inability to know and relate with every person who is part of the church. One way to get a bit of pulse on how your leaders or congregation are going, in addition to spontaneous impromptu conversations from time to time, is through the use of a survey. We did an online anonymous survey quite a few years ago and found it very helpful. It gave us some good insight as a leadership team into how we can serve our church better, as well as in helping... Read more →

The Challenges of Ministry (Part 3)

Let's continue today with some more thoughts about how to face challegnes coming your way ... 3. Don’t go it alone. Please don’t face your mountains alone. Yes, many times they are burdens are issues that you alone fully understand and have to deal with. But gather a few climbing companions. It’s amazing how our resilience and our endurance increase when we have others with us on the journey. Build a close network of friends and climbing partners (‘safe’ and trustworthy people). 4. Draw on God’s grace. Notice I said, “Draw on” not “Ask for”. Why? Because God always makes... Read more →

The Challenges of Ministry (Part 2)

What do you do when facing challenges? Here are a few things that have helped me along the way ... 1. Believe that your challenges have the potential to make you strong. The very process of facing and dealing with life’s challenges is how we become strong people. You can’t develop ‘strength’ without pressure and without a degree of stress (and sometimes even pain). The hard times can make us strong. "Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." [African Proverb] How we think about our challenges is vital. The quality of ‘resilience’ is the ability to successfully meet and surmount... Read more →

The Challenges of Ministry (Part 1)

This is my twenty-ninth year of active involvement in church leadership, both as a volunteer and as a staff member. People often ask me how I enjoy what I do – church ministry. I have a common answer – “I find ministry very fulfilling and I also find it very challenging.” On the fulfilling side - what an honour and a privilege to be used by God to make a difference in someone’s life; what a joy to see people come to Christ and grow in their faith, and what a wonderful thing to see teams of people working together... Read more →

Qualities of A Great Assistant

Yesterday we talked briefly about the power of partnership. As a leader, one of the key partnerships that have helped me is that between myself and my Personal Assistant, Sue. We have worked together for over twelve years now. It's been a great relationship and Sue has helped me to be much more effective and productive in my ministry life. What are some of the qualities of a good assistant? Here are my top 3: 1. Good People Skills. Church work is all about people. The ability to relate well to a wide variety of people is essential, as is... Read more →