Mon, 28 December 2015
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Productive Pastor!
In this vacation-centric episode, I share about the differences between relaxing and replenishing and why we need to build then into our schedules.
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Relaxing Vs. Replenishing
Over the last few months I have been asking myself serious questions about what is relaxation and what is replenishing. Many of us get to this point in ministry and it is helpful to revisit the question of relaxing vs. replenishing often. Taking a few minutes to clarify relaxing and replenishing is helpful and enough to give us tremendous margin.
Define the Difference
What is relaxing and what is crashing? I ask myself that often. I have learned watching 4 hrs of Netflix on the couch isn't relaxing...it is crashing and crashing isn't a healthy long-term strategy. Relaxing is what puts us into equalibirium...what it takes for us to breathe deeply again and be rested. Replenishment involves the activities that energize us and help us to live and lead to our full potential.
What's At Stake?
What are you great at? When are you at your best? Now let me ask you this question. Are you willing to lose that part of your life and ministry?
That's what at stake. Whenever we live out of a place with no relaxation or replenishment we can get into dangerous places quickly. It makes us start "shooting from the hip" and not leading strategically.
Define What Relaxes You and What Replenishes You
This will be different for each person. Take out a sheet of paper and start making a list of each of these two categories.
Build The Two Into Your Schedule
Both of these are different activities and require different things. Think first about the difference.
How do you now fit these into your schedule? Some of these are daily, others are weekly and we also schedule longer breaks throughout the year.
Thu, 10 December 2015
In this episode of Productive Pastor I am going to walk through a year-round sermon preparation calendar. So many folks ask me how they can find the time to get ahead in their preaching, and this is the best way I can think of. The first few parts of it are more production oriented and the last half is very specific about sermon preparation.
Creating a Sermon Preparation Calendar
Many times I hear from people about their desire to have more time to plan and prepare ahead in regards to preaching. This episode I want to share with you a way you can create a whole year vision for preaching, stay on top of things AND still have time for the rest of ministry.
Remember, the things we feel we don't have time for are often the things we don't have the time to NOT do.
Once a year take a few days to think about the next year of preaching. Get away for a few days by yourself or with anyone else who teaches at your church. Bring along whatever you think will be helpful. I usually bring my journals from the year, my bible (duh), a few interesting books that have impressed me and a single volume commentary. Also, bring any demographic resources you might have, survey data AND a record of the last couple of years of preaching.
This will help you prayerfully discern the direction your preaching could take for the next year. Often, as soon as this is done it works great to have a brain-storming session with the larger Sunday morning ministry team.
Think of the ideas you have had a couple of weeks out from a Sunday that could have been easily accomplished if you would have had the time. We have all had them...and they usually end in regret because the only thing stopping us is time.
One of the benefits of planning in advance is being aware of what is coming up. If you plan out...you will find these moments of inspiration strike when you DO have the time.
The quarterly meeting is where you can talk about the environment, the schedule for preaching series and the details that allow all of your teams to be working on Sunday. As far as the preaching goes...it helps you begin to develop trajectory, the specific passages and the intended response.
The art of being aware of what you are preaching will help you so much.
The best way to always have the time to be working ahead in sermon preparation is to build in time to be aware of what's coming up. Your church, your teams and yourself will appreciate the effort.
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