Jonny sits down with John Finkelde... on another continent of course, to talk about how to manage your ministry time.
And, since we are in somewhat of a summer mode, and... I am on sabbatical - this is all you're getting!
Now... listen to episode 128! :-)
Karl Vaters, a small church pastor from Fountain Valley, CA, has been joining us as a regular contributor to the 200churches Podcast for almost two years, since August of 2013! Karl has some big, bold news about his future in blogging on the subject of small church ministry - you should read it here before you listen to this episode!
Then, enjoy this episode with Karl, who talks with us about taking ministry outside of the four walls of the church, and how to be creative in doing so. We also talk philosophy of ministry throughout much of the conversation. This will inspire you and encourage you to know and believe that your small church ministry can make a HUGE impact for the Kingdom of God, not only in your community, but beyond!
Enjoy this episode as our gift to you!
Karl and his wife spent a week, just a few days ago, vacationing on beautiful Canandaguia Lake, a mere 25 minutes from where I (Jeff) was the entire time - and we never knew it! I have been helping my elderly parents in Avon, NY - and haven't seen his vacation pics on Facebook, when he was a short drive away from me... Oh Karl, my heart grieves for the lunch we missed together...
Here are the questions we answer on this episode of the 200churches Podcast. Thanks everyone for contributing great content!
From Scott Dalen, Underwood Lutheran Church, Underwood IA:
Question: In past episodes, you've talked about identifying, training, and mentoring leaders within the congregation. I'm excited by this idea and want to implement it within my congregation, but I run into the odd situation of being substantially younger than many of the people that I hope the mentor/coach. Any advice on how to navigate this situation?
From Zac Harrel:
I would like to hear him speak on how a young pastor can speak into the life if members who are older. What does discipleship look like in this context? It is hard because you know they have much more life experience and you know your calling to lead. What advice would he have?
From Scott Tuttle, Wellspring Church, Granada Hills CA:
Here's my question: How would Dan work with a "staff" that is completely volunteer (key leadership roles all being volunteer)? What would a schedule look like if he had very limited time with them because they work full time in the secular world as well as leading in key places in the church? Holding them accountable, inspiring them, releasing them, etc.? What would he do with the limited time he has with them to help serve them so they might best serve their calling in the church? What's most important in his opinion?
From Rob Tarnoviski, Bethel Philadelphia Mills, PA:
Dan, you are a man of great intelligence & spirituality. How on earth do you put up with Jeff & Jonny? (Due to the hateful nature of this question, we did not share it with Dan, but share it here to humiliate Jeff's friend from Philly...)
From Patrick Norris, Bridges Church, Winston Salem NC
1. How do you get "unstuck" as a church?
2. What are some key ideas for "closing the back door?"
3. How do you know if a "closed door" is closed for good or just needs more time?
From Roger Funk, Synergy Fellowship, Arvada CO
How do gifting and capacity go toward determining size of ministry?
I have a friend who is a part of a large mega church. When I go to visit
him, I can barely keep up with him for a few days. I come home blessed and
exhausted. It just seems like he has an energy level and capacity for
leadership that I just do not have. I am trying to learn to be content with
the gifting and capacity that God has given me. But I would love to hear a
discussion on gifting and capacity.
From Virgil Vice:
My question to him is, how do you identify, recruit and train leaders in a small and rural church environment? How do you develop discipleship in a small church that has never had any?
From Gary Floyd:
I think a lot of small church pastors feel inferior to pastors of larger churches. Dan has always served as an associate/executive pastor, never as the lead pastor. Therefor, my question for Dan would be: How has he found fulfillment and contentment in that role?
From John Finkelde:
What's been his biggest mistake in ministry? What would he do differently in raising his family?
you are pastoring a small church somewhere...
62 people show up on a Sunday...
you are 90 minutes from the closest metro area...
you only have one or two leaders in your church...
you just don't have a very big population to draw from...
you're having a hard time getting volunteers...
you're right on the edge financially...
there's no college in sight that might provide young people to help...
Then... What do you do?
What are some steps you can take to create some forward motion in your church?
In this episode, #125, Jeff and Jonny share four solid steps you can begin to take today to help you accelerate. These four steps will, as it were, step on the gas in your church as you seek to reach your Kingdom potential as a congregation, no matter the size!
Again, in this episode, we refer to Dan Reiland's tremendous book on training volunteers to be leaders: Amplified Leadership!
We have been wanting to have Jen on the podcast for a long time, and we've finally done it! Jen shares her heart and her philosophy of Children's Ministry as she talks with Jeff and Jonny about why working with kids is so crucial in the local church.
This would be a great episode to share with your children's workers, but it's geared toward the pastor, you! We wanted to give you some food for thought, as you consider your own role in leading and encouraging your kid's workers in your 200church. Your leadership of them is pretty significant, both to them personally, and to the effectiveness of their ministry.
Research has shown that most Christians today came to their faith sometime between the ages of 4 and 14. We call this the 4/14 window. How much time do you spend interacting with and thinking about the people in your small church who fit into this age window? Jen gives us all some great things to think about!
This is an interesting and engaging conversation between colleagues and friends! Enjoy!
Click on the image below to buy Melissa's book on Amazon - this is the book that Jen refers to in this episode.
Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Long Beach, CA for my denomination’s national council. I have been pastoring a church in the Christian and Missionary Alliance for almost three years, and the conference gave me an opportunity to learn more about the family I have become a member of and also gave me a chance to hear from our denominational leaders about the future of our movement. I’m writing these words crammed into row 18 of a tiny plane, and my heart and mind are full from everything I experienced these past few days. I am both filled and exhausted, and usually that combination means that God has been at work in me.
As incredible as council was, however, I still found myself struggling throughout the week to fully immerse myself in the movement of the Spirit that was taking place. It was easy for me to pick up and obsess over a certain choice of words a speaker would use, or a turn of phrase in a worship song. I found myself often taking a position of cynicism rather than openness and experiencing tension instead of joy.
I have spent my whole life in the church. I was the proto-typical pastor’s kid—four services a week, janitorial work, set-up and tear-down crew for every potluck—and even when I left home for college I never wandered far from a body of believers. In some ways I suppose it’s a boring story. Grew up in church. Stayed in church. Now pastoring a church. And even though it’s a lot more complicated than that—I’m interesting and unique, I swear!—the reality is that I’ve been around the whole “church” thing since before I can remember, and I am pretty committed to staying around for the long haul.
But as much as I love the church, I have also been damaged by her. As committed as I am to the church, she’s also loaded me down with some baggage. But while I think I’ve always known that I have church stuff that I carry around, I saw the true extent of what that means in California this week. It manifested itself in my posture of cynicism. Sure, the denomination is doing great things, but it’s still just bureaucracy masquerading as Kingdom. It showed up in the way I held back during worship. Look at these lyrics. Zero depth. Smells like spiritual manipulation. It even affected my interactions with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Really? That haircut and those glasses? #churchplantercliche. Admittedly, that last one is spot on, but it’s still not the right posture to take.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you grew up in church, you have at least a little bit of baggage. Yours might not be as heavy as mine, and it might manifest itself in very different ways, but if you’ve been committed to the Body for a long period of time, you’re carrying something around. I think it’s inevitable because the Church is made up of people, and all people are broken. I like to say that we’re all broken people with sharp edges, but we all have a need to be close to others. The closer we get, the more likely we are to incur wounds, and also to give them. This happens in families and with friends, and it also happens in the church. It is the legacy of Adam that these wounds happen, but the promise of Christ that our wounds will be healed. What that means is that while baggage from the church is inevitable—we need to be together even when it hurts—it is the hope of the Church that we carry each other’s burdens.
This week, the Church helped me carry the baggage that I had picked up in church. The Church manifested itself as my wife, who gently showed me my hard edges and loved me anyway. As church members sharing meals and life with me and helping me see a better way forward. In the love of new friends who have their own stories of baggage and release, and through old friends who know my frustrations and quirks but are always for me, regardless. And while I still struggled with the cynicism that grows from almost three decades of wounds incurred at church, I was also able to see the beauty and the promise of the Church through those who walked alongside me.
Cynicism didn’t win this week. My baggage didn’t weigh me down. I experienced the Spirit in new and fresh ways and had my heart challenged and encouraged by so many speakers and seminar leaders advancing the Kingdom all over the world. Through the grace of God in me and shown to me by others, I left council refreshed and ready. Ready to help carry baggage and bandage up wounds. Ready to be the Church. Ready to act on the work that God has done in me.
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