The Productive Pastor

How well does your ministry use email? Email series can increase engagement and lower the amount of work you have to do. 

 

Front Matter

  1. Ministry Library
    Next year I am creating original video content for Ministry Library. I have been part of their service since the beta days and I can't recommend it more. You can find out more and sign up here (afflilate link). 
  2. Thanks for the iTunes Review & Ratings. 

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-3-53-37-pm

Using Email Series for Greater Engagement

So what is an email series?

Imagine a list of pre-written emails automatical sent to people based on sign-ups. They can be strategically calendared and sent at certain times to hit certain goals. 

How do I build an email series?
I used to be a huge fan of aweber. But lately, I'm recommending MailChimp to people more and more. This does require a paid account. 

After you are set up with automations/sequence, begin dreaming about how you can use email to engage with people in your church. The most common ways are connecting with first-time guests, first-time givers and first time recurring donors. This are three easy programs to implement. 

So what do they look like?

How would you tell someone a story in stages? This is exactly what you are doing with an email series. You can use this to cast vision, tell stories, give information and make big asks. The sky is the limit. 

The benefits.
The biggest benefit to using email series is it only has to be done  once. You can spend a couple of hours writing some great sequences, and then refining them. Plug them into your email service and start experimenting. 

Folks to listen/be aware of.

Bobby Williams interview with Rich Birch on Email Series and Guests.
Amy Porterfield
Pat Flynn (email the Smart way. It's on the homepage). 

Back Matter

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. You can join the Productive Pastor Community on FB also.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

 

Direct download: PP69_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Happy Thanksgiving! This is one of those weeks in ministry where we slow things down a little, spend time with folks we care about and get some serious eating done. So I decided to source some questions and conversation from the Productive Pastor Community on Facebook for the episode this week. If you haven't joined yet, click the link and get access.

you can find full shownotes at

Here are the questions with resource links.

Community Questions

What does a Productive Pastor's day look like? From Stephen Collins.
Resources Mentioned.

Productive Pastor 59. How to have momentum with a future focused calendar.

Productive Pastor 48. Building Guest Systems

 

I need Evernote for Dummies! From Jeff Lawson

Resources Mentioned.

revchadbrooks.com/evernote

Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly

 

I need help with administration and delegation. From Benjamin West.

The Fine Art of Delegation by Michael Hyatt

Back Matter

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. You can join the Productive Pastor Community on FB also.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

 

Direct download: PP68_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:21pm CDT

How well do you and your church do email? I think email is one of the best ways for us to communicate with people...but we need to wade through some legit bad practices first. 

Front Matter

I'm still obsessed with Planning Center's People app. It's a free church database system that links into the rest of the (paid) Planning Center universe. It absolutely makes ministry significantly easier. If you aren't using church management software, or you are looking for a better solution...you need to check out Planning Center People. 

  • Ministry Multiplies...it doesn't add. You need to grow alongside your congregation
  • It helps you build segmented data. This will come in handy later on. 
  • It is customizable. Easily. You can totally build the perfect system with it. 

Planning Center Mastermind Group (on Facebook). 

The 5 Emails You Need To Be Sending

Email is all about strategy. You and your church are (hopefully) already sending emails to people. I want to help you understand how those emails affect things, how our sending method affects open rates and how you can use 5 strategic emails to change your own approach. 

So what's your current email strategy?

I asked folks in the Productive Pastor Community on Facebook. Check out the responses for more information (and ideas). Below are the three strategies I see churches using the most. 

  1. You send emails from a personal account using CC or BC.
  2. Your church uses a mail system like Mailchimp, Aweber or Constant Contact. You send weekly/monthly announcements. 
  3. You use a database that links to a mail service to build strategic email lists. 

5 Email Ideas

  1. Volunteer Thank-You.
    I try to send this every week. Unless you have an untold number of volunteers, this is the one email I think should come from your personal account. I like to thank all of the folks who served this week. It is a great chance to build a little vision and let them dive deeper. 
  2. Giving Emails.
    We just started this email last month. I write a medium length email to everyone who has given that month. In it, I talk about what we were able to do this month, what it means to invest in our community and how we can help folks even more. I like to give them a little bit of future information that won't go anywhere else also. 

    This month we are starting another email JUST to the folks who have started giving in the previous month.

    In each of these emails, we urge folks to begin scheduling their giving and send them a link to do so. 
  3. Group Announcements. 
    I use our database to build segments for special interest areas (demographics or participation in groups). This helps us move folks along the assimilation pathway. 
  4. Intentional Guest Follow-Up.
    I talked a little about this in the episode on Guest Assimilation ( Building Guest Systems | PP48). Using an email follow-up systems really helps staying in contact and informing new folks who have attended your church. 
  5. Email Marketing.
    If you really get deep into follow-up systems, you can utilize email marketing strategy to resource folks before and after events. We will have an entire episode dedicated to this in the near future. 

Back Matter

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. You can join the Productive Pastor Community on FB also.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Direct download: pp67_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

I'm really excited about this episode. Two big reasons. The first is it is the 3rd birthday of Productive Pastor. The second is I am replaying a section from THE FIRST EPISODE. It is all about taking advantage of daylight savings and hacking it to give you some more time back for your morning. 

No long shownotes here, but let's take advantage of what we can to make our mornings great. 

 

Direct download: PP66_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33am CDT

Welcome to this episode of Productive Pastor. We jump away from our typical discussion this week to talk about the relationship between patterns, rhythms, and health in ministry. Also-I share with you some of my recent discoveries about church administration and databases. 

Shownotes can be found at revchadbrooks.com/pp65

Front Matter:

The Productive Pastor Community on Facebook-this is a recent addition to our community. I couldn't be more excited about the conversations already part. Make sure to cruise over and request membership

Have you reviewed and rated on iTunes yet? You can do so right here

Evernote landing page AND Trello landing page for ministry use cases. 

Rhythms, Health and Administration in ministry. 

In this episode, I want to get into some real-talk. Not much material for shownotes, so make sure you listen. 

Episodes Mentioned:
Omar Rikabi on Productivity and Anxiety

Productivity, Call and Soul-Care 

Also-make sure to check out the good folks at Planning Center, especially their Services app. It's free for anyone to use. 

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. You can join the Productive Pastor Community on FB also.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Direct download: PP65_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm CDT

What does it mean to pull off something impossible? This episode, I sit down with my WIFE. Meredith is a beast at many things; two of them being 1. Endurance Sports and 2. Systems and implementation. This year she is training for the Texas Ironman. I wanted to sit down with her and have her talk about what it is like to attain the unattainable. 

shownotes at revchadbrooks.com/pp64

We talk about:

  • what the productive pastor means to her.
  • how it has changed things. 
  • What an Ironman is. 
  • How training plans change everything. 
  • How training plans can assist with systems.
  • What does it mean to tackle a big project.

It was great to get Meredith on the show.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. You can join the Productive Pastor Community on FB also. 

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Direct download: pp64_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Do you ever struggle with known weaknesses? Or do you feel that you don't have an adequate knowledge of something that keeps coming up in ministry? The solution is self-education. In this episode, I am sharing how each of us can create a ministry self-education plan.

Shownotes at revchadbrooks.com/pp63

 

Front Matter:

Productive Pastor Community FB Group.
I'm excited about this. For the last few months, I have been thinking about creating an online place to facilitate more productive pastor conversation. I've fallen in love with Facebook Groups and have seen the level of community and increased effectiveness for them. I have a few folks lined up to help serve as administrators in this group and I am super excited to see what it will allow ALL OF US to do together.

Monday Moments
As I am trimming up the last few things on the new worksheet, I really wanted to release a different resource specifically focused on Monday Moments. This is a topic I get tons of feedback and questions around. If you are curious, check out the podcast episode totally around Monday Moments.

Using Monday Moments for Better Preaching | PP 38
[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/DR0000_0383_01.mp3" title="Using Monday Moments for Better Preaching" artist="Productive Pastor 38" ]

Creating a Ministry Self-Education Strategy

I remember the last thing I wanted to do after seminary was read another book. Actually, I am lying to you. I had a STACK of books I wanted to read. I made it through around 3 of them until I realized much of what I wanted to read had absolutely nothing to do with practical ministry. It has been 6 years and I still haven't finished the stack. But I have read plenty of books that weren't in the stack.

What is a ministry self-education strategy?

This is one of the secret places that many of us forget about. We don’t understand the power that self-education holds for us. For some ministry leaders, their entire career has been crafted by self-education. For others, we have had the privilege of bible college, undergraduate university, seminary or even beyond.

What both have in common is the power of continued self-education.

Great leaders are always going to be learning.

You can either try to do this by accident or happenstance…or you can begin building a pro-active strategy of self-education for ministry. A good ministry self-education strategy is built around intentional learning AND creating the environment for accidental and serendipitous learning.

What do you want to learn?

What are the parts of ministry you just don't feel prepared for? A few years ago, I knew I would need to learn more about discipleship. So I called folks I felt were good at it. I asked them for their recommendations. I set up internet filters to pick up articles by folks I knew I wanted to learn from. I began building a 6-month plan to learn more about discipleship...specifically discipleship in church plants and from a missional perspective.

What is the growing edge you need to be standing on?

Your ministry self-education tools

Reading
We need to be reading. I've said enough about this and I will continue to say it. Leaders are readers and readers are leaders (yes, I used that...I know it's cliched, but it's so true).

I divide my intentional reading into 3 buckets.

Devotion
Scripture Study/Theology
Leadership

I did an entire episode on how I organize my reading notes.

How To Read for Maximum Effectiveness
[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/PP26.mp3" title="How To Reading for Maximum Effectiveness" artist="Productive Pastor 26" ]

I also wrote a blog post on using Trello for organizing your reading list.

Why You Need To Build a Trello Reading List (and how to do it).

Listening
If you aren't taking advantage of high-level audio content right now, you are missing out. We are in the middle of an audio renaissance and amazing leaders and creators are sharing their BEST STUFF for free on podcasts. I listen to shows about Christian Leadership, Culture, Story-Telling, Marketing and much more. I occasionally share my favorite podcast episodes on the blog.

1. Find a podcast you like. Ask the host/producer who they like?
My big secrets? Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield. I've learned TONS from them, their networks and guests.

2. Take advantage of the “related” or “other’s like” option in the podcast application. That will help you out. Poke around on google. You’d be surprised how many amazing podcasts are out there you can learn from.

Coaching
Do you have a coach? I have one and I couldn't imagine ministry without my coach. It's a little expensive, but it is an investment. My friend Isaac Hopper wrote about his experience hiring a ministry coach here.

Why I Hired a Clergy Coach

I am also a big fan of coaching programs from The Rocket Company and Church Fuel. I've used both of them with tremendous success.

Conferencing
This is typically what most of us do. We might even get a budget to go to a conference a few times a year. I think conferences can be good, but we don't take advantage of them. Think more about the power of conferencing...using the times and locations as a way to network together, learn, share information and make new contacts that can help you in your ministry journey. Or maybe you get together a group of leaders together to share information more frequently. Start your own private FB group, a monthly skype call or anything else.

 

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Direct download: PP_63_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Have you ever wanted to write a book? In this conversation episode, I sit down with my friend Tom Fuerst and told us the story of how he wrote his first book. Tom is a pastor at Christ Church in Memphis, Tennessee and is one of my favorite people.

You can find the shownotes at revchadbrooks.com/pp62

Here is what we talk about:

  • How Abingdon approached Tom.
  • The given specifics.
  • The timeline of writing and submitting a book.
  • If you want to write a book, you need to teach studies and preach sermons.
  • Learn to keep your notes and research. There is your book work right there.
  • Do double duty with the notes you take.
  • The Adam Hamilton method of writing a book.
  • Busy pastors maximize their time.
  • Do you have something special to say?
  • The power of vulnerability in telling stories and writing books. (and preaching sermons)
  • Let's tell a story about how absolutely wild scripture can get.
  • Don't be boring.
  • Write the introduction first by telling a story.
  • Tom doesn't use Evernote.
  • How Tom manuscripts his writing (and his sermons).
  • Write a book in a way that is actually Christian.
  • Don't neglect your family.
  • The timeline of actually writing.
  • Utilizing time off, contracts and taking a writing leave.
  • Why writing isn't Tom's thing.

Links

Tom on Twitter @Thom1st

Tom1st.com

Underdogs and Outsiders (Cokesbury)

Back Matter

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

 

Direct download: Tom_Fuerst_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Welcome back! I spent last week at the New Room Conference put on by my good friends at Seedbed. As always, I had a great time interviewing folks for the Threshing Floor and learning TONS. In this episode, I want to show you how to have a great conference experience.

Front Matter:

Earlier this month I build an AMAZING whiteboard at the house. If you follow me on instagram, you've probably already seen it! I did it using a melamine shower board from Home Depot. I also bought a few different marker packs from amazon. I finished it up by mounting it with screws on the wall and gave it a quick coating of Turtle Brand car wax. Super easy project and it provided TONS of killer benefits.

 

 

My big project for the day. $12 whiteboard. 6x4 and erases wonderfully.

A photo posted by Chad Brooks (@revchadbrooks) on Aug 31, 2016 at 5:17pm PDT

 

Thanks to MPWinky for the fantastic iTunes Review and Rating. If you haven't left one yet, you can do so right here. It helps out the podcast get to more and more folks.

How To Have A Great Conference Experience

A couple of years back, I wrote a few blog posts on enjoying and learning from conferences. They continually get traffic and folks always love them...so I wanted to combine the content for this episode of Productive Pastor.

How To Make The Most of a Conference
4 Ways To Have a Great Conference Experience (and not drive your team crazy)

Map Our Your Schedule
Do you know what you are going to do during the conference yet? Make sure to look at the calendar and schedule. Knowing how you want to spend your time beforehand is helpful. For bigger conferences, this can be a game-changer.

Find a Note-Taking Setup
I used Evernote heavily for the first time during a conference. I attended Exponential in 2010 (one of those HUGE conferences) and went to around 24 sessions in 3 days. I couldn't have held all of the information in without Evernote. Between folders, geo-tagging and importing pictures...Evernote is an absolute essential for conferences. 

Take Advantage of Relational moments
Between sessions, I typically like to socialize. Sometimes...I even end up skipping sessions in order to mingle a little more. Conferences are a great time to meet other ministry leaders or meet other folks who have influenced you. People tend to be pretty open at conferences...so you never know who you can rub shoulders with. I once made fun of myself to Alan Hirsch and Will Mancini when they were behind me in a food truck line. I was absolutely mortified. 

Define Your Takeaways
It's always tempting to come back from a conference and change everything. Want to know a secret? Our teams HATE this. Instead think of a few things you can internally set as goals and one thing you can share with a team member. 

When You Get Home
A few days after I get home I like to do a few things. I go through my notes, take snapshots of handwritten items and drawings, insert them into Evernote and generally clean my notes up. I also shoot a quick note to the folks I interacted with at the conference (I need to start taking notes of who folks are...I'm worried I'll leave out folks after last week). 

Back Matter

Episode 60 was about building a sermon engagement strategy. As a follow up-I wrote about the two main embedding strategies for audio content on Wordpress sites. 

Sermon Audio Embedding

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Direct download: PP61_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46pm CDT

Do you want to keep folks focused on Sunday? You need a sermon engagement strategy...and I'm going to help you build one! It is a chance to make the sermon stretch past Sunday.

Front Matter
iTunes Review and Rating.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-10-47-20-am

Building a Sermon Engagement Strategy

Engagement is the magic word. Remember, this is about making the sermon stretch past Sunday. Engagement helps folks interact, share, invite and participate. Engaged folks will serve, give, grow and be part of the mission. Sermon engagement will help you and your ministry work on discipleship every day of the week.

Carey Niewhof on engagement:
The Fully Engaged Church Podcast: Carey Niewhof on Engagement
5 Reasons Engagement Will Drive Almost All Future Growth.
Why People Are Attending Church Less Often with Will Mancini (if you listen/read to any of these...make it this one. And check out the shownotes.)

So let's look at the 5 building blocks to help you with your sermon engagement strategy

The Sermon Preview
The sermon preview is a strategic blogpost designed to introduce people to your sermon. It isn't some wild concept, or quick version of the sermon. It's about marketing and it will serve as the anchor point for your whole content strategy for sermon engagement.

JR Forasteros sermon preview links

My older preview's (using Series Engine) hosted on my site.

Current preview's (using Smart Podcast Player) on the church website.

Images
We've all seen scripture and quote images on social media. Most folks are making them via a text app on their phone. I currently love typorama for making images. Canva.com is also great. I wrote this blog post a few years ago. It still has good information as far as theory and making a good image. Making Great Worship Graphics on the Cheap

Podcast
If you aren't podcasting your sermon, you need to start. Folks are engaging with podcasts all throughout the week. I'm working on more information further down the line on ministry podcasting, so keep your eyes open. 

Podcast Plugins:
Series Engine

Smart Podcast Player

Video
In the last few years, video has become more and more important. The awesome this is that anyone can do it. Your phone can put out great videos. 

Think about these types of videos:
Instagram stories/Snapchat
Quick teaser videos 
Full sermon video
Trailers

Here is the mic I use for phone videos.

Sermon Engagement Calendar
Curious what this looks like as part of a social media schedule?  Here is the sermon engagement calendar I made up. sermon-engagement-calendar. It has suggestions and best practices on it. 

Back Matter

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. This week I’ll be sending out some more additional information about doing a future focused audit and building your calendar.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Direct download: PP60_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47pm CDT

Do you struggle with future-focus? In this episode, I share how I am tackling that EXACT problem. Stay tuned and learn about creating a future focused calendar.

Front Matter

I am almost done with the new sermon worksheet AND an accompanying eBook. This will be an incredible free resource I've been working on for the last few months. 

5 Tell-Tale Signs Your Congregation is Inward-Focused. Carey Nieuwhof. 

iTunes review and rating. Thanks for leaving such incredible feedback! 

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 5.46.37 PM

How To Have Quality Momentum With a Future Focused Calendar

So what exactly is future focus? 

Future focus is the ability to pro-actively keep a schedule focused on leading your team, organization, ministry or church further toward the missional vision God has called you to. 

Intentionally investigating and creating future focus is all about creating awareness that leads to action. This isn't done outside of the context of mission and strategic vision. Over the last few months, I've increasingly frustrated personally with what my schedule has looked like. My realizations have come because of dissatisfaction with how I'm spending my weeks. I'm a big fan of auditing my schedule, so I decided to tweak what I was doing in order to learn what exactly has been going on (that I can control). 

Paper vs. Digital

Many of us keep a digital calendar on our computer or some other device. I couldn't live without my iPhone reminding me of what is coming up each day. But digital devices didn't have the ability to really look back and investigate effectiveness. I wanted a paper solution (since my daily work is usually done on paper anyway) to look back on from a week long view. I pulled out my week dominator planner I funded a few years ago on kickstarter. It's perfect. (if you want to see pictures of how I've been using this, make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. I'm doing a bigger write-up with pictures this week. It will be the only place you can grab it.)

How I Build

I decided 5 categories will keep up with the majority of my tasks.

  • Forward
  • Maintenance
  • Catch-Up
  • Family/House
  • External

If you want to build a future-focused calendar, make sure to give yourself 3-4 normative weeks. Nothing out of the ordinary (as much as you can help it)!

  1. Start with your appointments
  2. Add in blocked out time slots (I put my Monday admin block, Podcast recording, etc)
  3. Time for goals and medium level project work. 
  4. Start building in how these regulated tasks fit into your categories. 

I build my calendar with black ink. As tasks come up during the week, I change things up. Blue ink gets new appointments added in. Red ink tells me where something changed my schedule. 

Back Matter

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. This week I'll be sending out some more additional information about doing a future focused audit and building your calendar. 

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

 

 

 

Direct download: PP59_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:17pm CDT

So what makes a ministry leader unproductive? It might be a little different than you expect. Today we are talking about the habits of unproductive pastors. 

Front Matter

Our new interview format is going great! I've heard great things from folks with last week's episode with Dave Shrein. Make sure you check it out. This week I have spent PLENTY of time listening to Dan Carlin's podcast Hardcore History. His recent series entitled "King of Kings" is a fascinating look into the world of the ancient near east. For anyone who teaches the Bible, it would be a great resource to utilize. 

We have had some great iTunes feedback. I want to thank these reviewers for their support of the show. If you haven't, please review the Productive Pastor on iTunes. You can do so right here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 2.29.42 PM

7 Habits of Unproductive Pastors 

They Aren't Incarnated
Think about John 1:14 at what it means for Jesus to dwell among us. That means we have to be embodying the dwelling of Jesus in the places we are called to and the people we are called to lead. It can be tough sometimes, but not leading from the standpoint of love can be pretty gnarly. 

They Don't Know What They Are Doing
As leaders, we need future focus. This is about building a planned strategic schedule. I've done an entire episode on this idea. 

Building a Priority Based Schedule | PP3

They Can't Differentiate Between Urgent and Important
There is a huge difference between what's urgent and what's important. We can fill our life with the urgent and never touch the important! We have to develop the skillset to begin weeding out the unnecessary urgent. 

They Don't Delegate
Delegation is one of the hardest and most important skills for any ministry leader to develop. Full honesty...I'm terrible at it. Folks know it and even joke about it. The best resources on delegation come from Michael Hyatt. Here is a search query on all of his delegation content. Make sure to check out the podcast episodes. 

They Don't Know Their Personalities and Strengths
I am a big fan of two resources to help leaders understand the way they are wired. The DiSC test and Strengthfinders 2.0. Spend the money, invest in the tests and learn about how you will lead, relate and schedule better. Bonus points to those who also lead their teams through these resources. 

They Can't Keep The Future in Focus
I've been focusing energy on this lately. I've been personally asking myself the question about how much future work I am doing. Remember that maintenance can't maintain. It won't end well.

They Don't Have Routines 
I'm a big proponent of a morning routine. It is an absolute for me. You will find this is a regular habit for the folks with the highest degree of capacity and influence. 

 

Direct download: PP58.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

I am excited about this episode of Productive Pastor. I am *attempting to start running weekly episodes. The odd weeks (outside of the older episode structure) will be interview and conversation focused. Our first episode with this new format will be Dave Shrein. Dave is a social entrepreneur who has led in the communication sector for years. I wanted to grab Dave and have a conversation about marketing in ministry and what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset with Dave Shrein

  • Arizona vs. Louisiana
  • Church and Social Media
  • From worship leader to entrepreneur
  • Church technical arts and marketing
  • What has God wired you to do in order to communicate with specific people?
  • Marketing and Church
  • Love people and generate the ability to love them even more
  • God has created people in our community who are waiting to hear from us.
  • Making a bigger impact by acting like a 30,000 ft leader.
  • God using everything He has done in your life to prepare you for this new move
  • The Church world has a lot to learn and a lot to redeem
  • The Mindset of an Entrepreneur
  • Clouds and Dirt
  • The Rhythm of going up and going down
  • Visioning and Executing
  • The power of resourcefulness
  • The audacity that Jesus is going to do it
  • Doing the chores
  • Lean upon the people with the gifts and resources that you don't
  • Be aware of what is out there
  • What does it mean to have unique gifts and abilities?

Mentions:

Jon Acuff's Books

Carey Nieuwhof | Why We Need More Entrepreneurial Church Leaders, Not More Shepards 

Find out more from Dave at:

DaveShrein.com

getmoredonenow.com

Church Marketing Podcast

@daveshrein

Direct download: PP57.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Welcome back to Productive Pastor. In this episode, I share some amazing workflow templates I've built out and use constantly in Evernote

Front Matter
How To Find Your Most Productive Hours. Trello Blog

I read this a couple of weeks back and I was amazed. It gave such a great pathway to creating an experimentation plan to learn your most productive hours and days. You need to check this out. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 6.00.50 PM

A big thanks to our iTunes Reviewers for this episode. If you want to hear your name on the podcast, just leave a rating and review. You can do so right here. 

Organizing Workflow Templates in Evernote.

I'm a big fan of templates AND Evernote. You can hear more about them in these two episodes of Productive Pastor

Up Your Productivity With Templates. Productive Pastor 6

[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/Episode006.mp3" title="Up Your Productivity With Templates" artist="Productive Pastor 6" ]

Managing Your Week With Evernote. Productive Pastor 49

[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/DR0000_0421_01.mp3" title="Managing Your Week With Templates" artist="Productive Pastor 49" ]

I love building out workflow's inside Evernote because of these three things

Repetition Builds Response

  • It gets in your brain
  • The workflow becomes a rhythm

Having Effectiveness Systematized is Worth It

  • Saves time
  • Let's you keep more balls in the air (and not drop the ones you are responsible for)
  • It can make handing tasks off easier

Creativity

  • Just working through it keeps your mind clearer
  • Learn other ways to organize and clean up things
  • The boundaries invite expression. 

Shared Evernote Workflows/Templates

Sermon Sheet
Sermon Production Checklist
Weekly Tasks Blank (my weekly list)
Contact Sheet
Journal Sheet
Bible reading
1000 Questions to Ask of the Text (episode 2)
Preaching Rocket and it's 4 questions
Facebook Contact Workflow (Hacking Facebook Lists for Ministry Effectiveness)
Event Evaluation

 

Back Matter

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

If you want more of my writing and other free content, you can subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider List.

Direct download: PP56_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Do you struggle with Bible reading? Even folks in ministry have problems with a Bible reading routine. No matter what your 9-5 is, I want to help you out in this episode of Productive Pastor.

Front Matter
I’ve spent the last week on vacation. It was AMAZING. Many of my listeners know my Dad is also a pastor. We spent the week talking and reflecting about how hard vacations can be in ministry. There are some great new resources out about vacationing.

Michael Hyatt on How To Vacation Like A Pro

Carey Nieuwhof on Why Driven People Suck at Vacations (and 5 Ways To Fix it). 

Awesome Vacations and Exactly How to Make Them Work

 

 Building a Bible Reading Routine

 

Let’s be honest. How well do you do with daily Bible reading? Yes. Even in ministry some of us stink at it. My own journey was all over the place until I found the 90-day bible plan. You can check out Why I Read the Bible Every 90 Days for a little more information. But I still felt like I stunk at it. Stuff just was janky…and I felt like I had holes missing. I needed a better bible reading routine

So a few years ago I began modifying a reading strategy I learned from Mike Slaughter of Gingumsburg Church. I want to share this with you.

Why A Bible Reading Routine Makes Sense

  • It helps you collect your thoughts
  • Lets you realize when, where and how you are reading
  • You realize when you are behind, not reading or hitting pretty heavy seasons
  • It’s about the 20 mile march.

Why I Read Systematically

  • To gain greater clarity of the Biblical Narrative
  • Because I love and function inside of a Biblical Theological framework
  • I want to look back on a life of study and reading
  • It helps me dig deep into what I might not regularly.

My Own Personal Bible Reading Routine

I use a pretty standard pattern. Every morning, after my 90-day read, I pull out my notebook and I make a quick outline. My paper is simply divided up into Date, Passage, and two larger section. The first is simply titled “observations” and I use it to note whatever I observe. Remember, this is done in rhythm with a larger read, so my observations are sometimes running thoughts. The second section is for application. I tend to ask myself two different questions, “What questions is this making me ask?” and “What do I need to do in order to respond?”. This is a pretty simple pattern for me. Sometimes my read takes 15 minutes and sometimes I catch myself doing around 45 minutes.

DOWNLOAD: basic bible reading sheet

 

Back Matter

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

If you want more of my writing and other free content, you can subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider List.

Direct download: PP55_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Are you forgetful? I know I am. This episode focuses on overcoming forgetfulness. We dig a little into what makes us forgetful and how we can get around AND correct it. 

Front Matter

Thanks for engaging so much on social media! The Productive Pastor is getting BIGGER AND BIGGER each week. You can connect with me at @revchadbrooks on all social media networks. 

Free resources
Folks have been asking about updates for my sermon worksheet and other sermon content. The good news is I am entering into the final stages of revision on updated sheet and content package. If you want to find out more about the sheet, get it for free AND be part of the early list for Sermons That Have Reach, just subscribe to the early-bird list here

I've been writing more focused productivity content through my Insider list. If you want these articles before anyone else gets them, you can sign up for the Productive Pastor Insider list here. I'll shoot you my daily planning sheet for signing up. 

iTunes Review and Rating
Whenever anyone reviews and rates the Productive Pastor on iTunes it is HUGE. I love to thank the folks who review and rate each episode. If you haven't, you can review and rate right here. A big thanks to Pastordow this episode. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 6.39.38 PM

Overcoming Forgetfulness

Just like I said in the episode, and I'll say it again here, I am incredibly forgetful.  need to get it under control. So I started doing some research into the causes of forgetfulness and how to overcome it. 

7 Common Causes for Forgetfulness- Harvard Health
This article gives several reasons, but most of the research focused on medication and a few other causes that didn't make much sense for me. 

What Causes Forgetfulness in Young People? 7 reasons you keep losing your keys explained. - Bustle
This really opened up my eyes. What I read was so important for folks in ministry. We need to realize the schedule many of us keep is incredibly unhealthy and contributes to a lack of productivity and a heightened amount of forgetfulness. 

Overcoming Forgetfulness part 1: Health

  • We need to realize our capacity for life, stress and information
  • We need to learn when we reach capacity.
  • We begin creating and preserving workspace, time and emotional energy. 
  • We begin building the ability to eliminate decisions. 

Always Wear the Same Suit: Obama's Presidency Productivity Secrets- Fast Company

Overcoming Forgetfulness part 2: Reminders and Rhythms

  • Learn to build a rhythmic schedule. Focus on your weeks.
  • Put stuff in the way. Literally.
  • Build cognitive and physical inbox and outbox systems. Beginners? Look at Bullet Journaling.

 

Direct download: PP54_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:02pm CDT

Welcome back! In this episode, we are talking about 5 tasks to gain serious traction. I'm STOKED to share them with you!

Front Matter

  1. Where are you learning right now?
    For many folks, the summer is a time to take things a little slower, relax and focus (I know...the two don't necessarily go together). I want to hear WHERE you are learning things this summer. Tweet to me at @revchadbrooks to let me know. 
  2. 5 Podcast Episodes. 
    I'm curating a new list of my FAVORITE podcast episodes. I release it every Friday, so make sure you check it out to keep up with some really interesting podcasts from across the world. Check out the first post here
  3. Ratings and Reviews. 
    I want to make a shout out here to jmcanally. Thanks for the review and rating on iTunes. 

Five (first thing) Tasks to Gain Serious Traction

What exactly is traction?
Traction gives you the footing you need to move forward in a slippery or uphill situation. These are all about gaining serious traction in a few quick, intentional moves. 

  1. Check facebook for birthdays and then text the person. 
    Everyone hits up facebook for the birthday greeting. Go the extra mile and text the person. They will love it. 
  2. Write 1 person (from your ministry) a day. Out of the blue. 
    Handwritten notes are POWERFUL. Leverage this every single day. Write someone each day just because. Tell them how you appreciate them. 
  3. Text 5 families or persons and let them know you are praying for them. 
    I keep a running prayer notebook. I wrote about how and why I do it here. I let 5 different groups of people know a day I am praying for them (and make sure you actually pray for them). 
  4. Tackle the biggest task on your list. 
    Remember. This is all about traction. By now, you should be rearing and ready to go. Take care of the biggest and most important thing first. 
  5. Make tomorrow's list (at the end of your work day). 
    The very last task of the day should be creating your list for the next. Keep it short, simple and focused. 

 

Direct download: PP53_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Are you good at procrastinating? I'm a champ. In this episode, I am going to tell you what I have learned about avoiding and attacking procrastination. So let's jump straight in. 

Avoiding and Attacking Procrastination

The first step to understanding the motivations behind procrastination is realizing it lives first in the realm of fear. Fear is an absolutely catastrophic element of life. When we delve into the realities of what we are scared of, we begin understanding the motivations behind why we individually procrastinate. 

By continuing to allow fear to reign in life, we will begin leading from the perspective of fear. When that happens, we will be tied to bad leadership practices and a recipe for a serious "not getting things done" problem. 

Avoiding Procrastination

No one leads well out of the shalom zone. 
We need to get serious about learning what puts us at peace. This is about habits that rule us. 

Productive Pastor 5: A Conversation with JD Walt about Sabbath

Build rhythms to help you stay relaxed and focused.
How are you building your time to be focused when you need to be and relaxed when you need a break? 

Organize your work time to plow through trouble and focus on fun. 
This is pretty basic Productive Pastor stuff. The time you spend doing things really matters. Know when you work the best and make sure that time is carved out. 

Attacking Procrastination

Build your schedule focused on goals and effectiveness. 
We all say we have priorities. But our schedule really tells us what matters. When we never have time for the most important things we will never get them done. Are you intentionally placing time in your week to hit your goals? Make sure that happens. 

Learn to ask yourself "What's at Stake?"
This is a huge one for me. It will almost always get my butt back in gear. People who avoid procrastination are future focused. They realize what's at stake and make sure it happens. 

Break things up into approachable goals.
The best example I can think of this is the space race. I spent time reading this week all through Wikipedia and realize every single mission and a purpose and they all contributed to the larger goal of putting a human on the moon. Seriously. Do you realize how daunting this had to have been? If you are hitting a wall, break it up into easy chunks. 

Thanks for listening and I hope this prepares you to avoid and attack procrastination. 

Articles Mentioned

Fear of Failure: Psychology Today 

Why you procrastinate, and how to stop it. Now. | Forbes

15 practices of leaders who lead by fear | Brian Dodd 

 

Direct download: pp52_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Do you use systems? When I talk about systems do you struggle to understand what it's like to build and implement them? In this episode we are going to talk about developing systems that work. 

Front Matter
Don't miss out on the 50% sale the Rocket Company is doing right now for Giving Rocket. Their content has been amazing lately. I've LOVED the free content they've been giving away around the sale. 

I've been digging getting tagged in conversations on facebook about Productive Pastor. Keep it coming!

Also, a big thanks to Country Parson Hugh for the iTunes review and rating. 

Developing Systems that Work

1. Decide.
What behaviors do we need/want?

So what’s the difference between a good system, a bad system and an effective system? An effective system is one intentionally designed for achieving specific outcomes. Getting a good idea of your current situation and your (intended) future situation is an important step. 

What environments/behaviors/actions can we control to better improve a specific situation? I recommend doing this as a team and just starting to discover the holes and to what depth they go to in your ministry? 
 
2. Decide
What will make this system effective?

At this point, the job of you and your team is deciding what will actually make this system work well. You ask questions of culture and context at this point. You realize how simply moving things around might seriously change things. 
 
3. Delegate
Who and how will we run this system?
 
Remember, systems are about creating a replicative pattern for folks to follow you as they join in ministry leadership. Developing how the system will be implemented will affect who you get to run this system. For us, external systems are usually run on paper and in person and internal systems take advantage of digital technology. 
 
The easiest (and most effective) system most churches need to build is a visitor follow-up system. So gather your team and make a system! Make sure to let me know about it. 
 
 

 

 

Direct download: PP51mp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Welcome to the 50th Episode of Productive Pastor! I am going to help you learn how to discern big goals in this episode...but until then, there is even more awesome stuff I want to share with you.

 

  1. Productive Music.
    Lately, I have been fascinated with the music people use to get into a productive zone. I've shared a few articles on the Productive Pastor Facebook page. Share with me what music keeps you in a productive mindset on twitter. I'm @revchadbooks.
  2. iTunes Review and Ratings. 
    We've had two great reviews over the last couple of weeks. A big thanks to these listeners! You can leave one right here.
  3.  Giving Rocket May special.
    So my friends at The Rocket Company are giving away some great (FREE) training this month AND heavily discounting Giving Rocket, one of their core coaching programs. I have spent over 1k on Giving Rocket and it is absolutely worth every penny. If you want to be part of this special training, subscribe to my insider list right here. I give away my daily worksheet through the list AND you will have quick access to these amazing videos.
  4. How To Discern Big Goals

    I hear from folks constantly needing help about goals. Some people need helping creating systems and checklists and others have a tough time actually filtering what is worth being a goal. Let me take you through three movements of  how to discern big goals.

    1. Questions.
      Think about these things. Here are the first questions I use...and I'm sure you can come up with more.
    • What would radically change things?
    • What holes exist currently?
    • What problems repeatedly arise (handle this proactively)
    • What would give us a new "normal"?

          2. Dreams
         
    Take the time to think about what could be. Think about what a new future reality could look like. 

    •  What would the environment of completing this goal look like?
    • What would be different?
    • How would it be different?

         This is the space where you think about what manipulating and changing parameters could do. 

           3. Implementation
           Now begin putting these things together. I'm a big fan of sitting down and taking a massive amount of notes. Don't        worry about building it into systems and pathways yet. 

    • Step your goal back. 
    • Begin creating steps
    • Find mini-goals
    • Discern if your main goal is way too big. How can you transform this into a reachable win?
    • What are the bottlenecks in your way? How can you fix them?
    • What do you need to do to cause the dreams to happen.

    Mentioned and Recommended Episodes

    Lists and Bottlenecks

    Digging yourself out of a hole

    Project Management

    Rich Birch on Project Management

Direct download: PP50.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm CDT

Did you know you can use Evernote to order and organize your week? I use Evernote for nearly everything and the two tasks that I can't imagine NOT using it is ordering my week and ordering my contact list. 

Front Matter

iTunes Reviews. THANKS!!!
Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 9.59.57 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Productive Pastor in Google Play Store.

Managing Your Week in Evernote

I use Evernote to manage my daily repeatable tasks. I make mention of several previous episodes and I will link them in the bottom of the shownotes. For me, Evernote is an amazing tool to keep up with the small tasks I do every week on the same exact same day. I am always curating my weekly work template for the best effective use of my time, energy and mind space. This is what I am currently using my focus days for.  

Monday -> AM. Sabbath. PM. Visitor Contact, Team Communication, Basic Administration and Sermon Preparation.
Tuesday -> AM. Administration. PM. Long Range Planning and High Impact Projects. Staff Meeting
Wednesday -> AM. Sermon Preparation. PM. Meeting with People.
Thursday -> AM Sermon Preparation. PM. Writing and Medium Projects
Friday -> Sermon Preparation. PM. Projects and People

So each day gets a checklist of repeatable tasks. Honestly, these lists get pretty sparse as the week goes on. I try to reserve Mondays and Tuesdays for these type of tasks. 

I also use Evernote to keep up with one of my main goals. I try to stay in contact with 2-3 new people a day and 5-7 existing church folks a day. On Monday, during my weekly planning session, I build a list of the people I am going to make contact with during the week. For the ones that get a phone call (around 5 a day), I put their name and phone number into my weekly note. That way, I don't have to hunt for the number. I just click on it inside Evernote on my phone. It makes the call and I can go down my list. This sounds super simple...but it is SO EFFECTIVE. 

Mentioned Episodes: 

PP45| Maximizing Ministry With Evernote. 

PP3 | Building a Priority Based Schedule

PP6 | Up Your Productivity With Templates

PP37 | How Batching Rocks Your World

 

Direct download: DR0000_0421_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:38pm CDT

Do you struggle with how to contact, assimilate and lead visitors into part of your church? This episode is ALL ABOUT building guest systems in your church. I sit down with my friend Rev. Allison Sauls. Allison isn't a normal guest, but she leads Foundry with me! We break down the systems we have built over the last 9 months in starting a new church and the lessons we have learned.

Front Matter

From the Vault:
Building a Priority Based Schedule| Episode 3

[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/Episode_3.mp3" title="Building a Priority Based Schedule" artist="Productive Pastor 3" ]

JD Walt and Sabbath | Episode 5

[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/Episode_005.mp3" title="A Conversation with JD Walt about Sabbath" artist="Productive Pastor 5" ]

Giving Rocket: Get ready for their 50% off sale THIS MAY. Trust me. This is one of the best resources and coaching products I have ever purchased.

 

Build Guest Systems

The Benefit of Systems
Systems are a repeatable progression of tasks. It's all about a mindset.

Episode 19: Michael Lukaszewski on Systems

[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/PP19_mixdown2.mp3" title="Michael Lukaszewski on Systems" artist="Productive Pastor 19" ]

Assimilation Systems

Our larger framework is based all around collecting guest information. We do this in two ways.

  1. We have a great connection card. This is the only handout we ever give people. Connection Card Back Connection Card Front (Download links)
  2. We can collect families names based off of kids check-in. This is an amazing tool most folks don't utilize.
  3. We give away a tumblr/mug. It depends on the season, but folks absolutely love getting a gift like this.

Check out my post on using Trello to streamlining Church Assimilation with Trello for more details.

Email Systems

We use aweber.com. I love it. To use an email system, you have to have a paid account somewhere. Mailchimp charges a few dollars for this, but I have been using aweber for a pretty long time and I'm familiar with it. One of the best explanations of using an email series for guest systems is from Bobby Williams. He was a guest on Rich Birch's Unsemianry podcast and explained how his church used them.

Facebook Systems

I've outlined my strategy for using Facebook lists and leveraging them for ministry here.

1st time Giving

I'm a big fan of The Rocket Company's What Happens When You Give booklet. You can purchase it here.

Direct download: PP49_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:33pm CDT

In this episode of The Productive Pastor we talk about having a proactive vs. reactive strategy for ministry. One of the dangers of a non-strategic approach to ministry is simply spending all day reacting to emergencies, facilities, office issues and a multiplicity of other things (much less the actual work of ministry, which is about response).

Front Matter

Trello Week

  1. Productive Pastor 46 | Organizing Ministry with Trello
  2. Why You Need To Build a Trello Reading List (and how to do it). 
  3. Streamlining Church Assimilation with Trello. 
  4. Creating a Collaborative Sermonflow.

iTunes Review and Ratings

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 4.58.15 PM

Proactive vs. Reactive Ministry

Beginning to plan ministry in a proactive way is all about a mind shift. We individually decide to lead and pastor from a proactive point of view. We don't do this to get out of reactive situation, but to allow ourselves the absolute amount of margin we need for when we DO need to react to emergency situations. This point of view is the biggest difference (I feel) between healthy, vital ministries and struggling and declining churches. If you feel you can necessarily lead others proactively right now, begin leading yourself proactively.

I constantly ask myself if I am leading from a proactive or a reactive position. Understanding this proactive vs. reactive shift is tremendously important and one of the key tasks I am always checking myself for.

What does this change?

  • simply waiting for ministry to happen
  • always running ragged
  • not having the ability to think ahead

What do we learn?

  • We learn to prioritize
  • We learn to build a schedule

Eugene Peterson, The Pastor. (amazon link)
The Importance of Scheduling (productivitist)

How to we begin a proactive ministry

  • We make the decision
  • We begin the process of goal scheduling
  • We schedule time for forward momentum

I hope this episode has been helpful. Make sure to interact on social at @revchadbrooks and use the hashtag #productivepastor.

Direct download: PP47_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Over the last 6 months I have finally found the project management tool I've been looking for for YEARS! Trello is perfect for ministry.

I was looking for a project management solution that could accomplish these tasks and requirements.

  • Worked well for visual thinkers
  • Free (or low cost)
  • allowed for multiple users (high degree of collaboration)
  • easy to move items around
  • crazy flexible
  • high degree of "hackability"

After doing some research (and seeing some instagram posts), I realized Trello was probably the perfect tool for mine and my teams needs. 

Organizing Ministry with Trello

I am currently using Trello for many tasks. Here is a breakdown of 4 of them. 

Sermon Series Preparation
Every sermon series at our church has a Trello board. We use the "copy board" feature as a template and start with a standing key of questions. Using Trello in this manner, our entire team has a map of where the sermon preparation is at, language we can use for other ministries and the different passages the preacher is choosing to use. I attach my own research note from Evernote in an individual card if someone wants to see more information. 

New Member Assimilation
At Foundry, we struggled to keep track of multiple 1st, 2nd and continuing guests. We built an intentional contact system, but struggled to implement it without access to a church database. After seeing another church utilize Trello for assimilation, we built the perfect system for Foundry. It utilizes a checklist feature available in Trello (so we are constantly re-making the checklist). Because cards are moveable, when someone has attended the 2nd time...they get moved into the 2nd time column. We then are able to consistently move folks through our system and stay in great communication with them. 

Master Calendar
We didn't want to keep a gigantic (and public) master calendar. Instead, each month has a column in Trello and each even it's own card. We are then able subscribe in iCal or Outlook to have each event inside our personal calendars. 

Social Media Schedule
I used to keep a paper social calendar, but Trello provides a great way to allow multiple people to work on the same schedule. 

 

Direct download: PP46_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33pm CDT

Do you use Evernote? If you don't, this episode is all about maximizing ministry with Evernote.

It's no secret how much I think Evernote is a crucial ministry tool. I have spoke about it quite often, but have never devoted a full episode to this AMAZING app.

[smart_track_player url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/productivepastor/pp45.mp3" title="Maximizing Ministry with Evernote" artist="Productive Pastor 45" ]

Maximizing Ministry With Evernote

Starting Evernote

The first suggestion I always make is to download the (free) desktop Evernote app. This makes it substantially easier to use. Then, get your evernote email address and find a clipper app for your browser. This biggest secret is to simply USE Evernote.

How I use Evernote
I am dropping information into Evernote constantly.

  • If I need to remember more than 1 time.
  • I save .pdf's and pictures
  • checklists and templates
  • long range documents

5 Ways to use Evernote for maximizing ministry.

  1. Staff Meetings
    I set up a note with the word "staff meeting" and the date in the title. I then take notes as normal. Whatever I need to drop into the note I can, urls, documents or just notes. 
  2. Sermon Planning
    This is where I get ALL UP IN Evernote. I start a notebook with the sermon series. Every sermon gets a note and then there is a random catchall for the series. I am constantly dropping things in these folders. It helps me built up a cohesive library for my preaching.
  3. One on Ones
    They can be discipleship meetings or meetings with staff. I simply use the persons name as a note and date it. Whatever I need to make note of, to remember or refer back to...it's there.
  4. Reading Notes
    I did an entire episode (26) about how I keep my reading notes. I take some time after I've finished a book to enter my notes. There is also a way to get kindle highlights into Evernote. 
  5. Group Documents
    I know other people use google docs for this sort of work, but Evernote works better for me BECAUSE YOU CAN SEARCH IT. Sorry for the screaming. But it has saved my neck more times than I can imagine. 
Direct download: pp45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36pm CDT

I am a HUGE notebook fan. This shouldn't be a secret to my friends and regular listeners. If you want to keep up more with my notebookery...you can get a glimpse at instagram.com/revchadbrooks. So in this episode I am going to be sharing with you WHY you need to be keeping a notebook, some of the reasons I do and how you can set up your notebook as a modular time/project tracker.

First-I want to thank Brett Byford for his awesome review/rating in iTunes.

 

 

 

Why You Need To Keep A Notebook

My notebook journey has been wild. It all started out with my trying to keep up with life and ministry. I have gone through plenty of different types of notebooks. Here are some of my favorites.

Moleskine (amazon link)
Like many people, Moleskine provided the entry point into keeping a notebook. I used their paperback versions and the soft covers for years. Ultimately, they fell apart quicker than I could use them.

Rhodia (amazon link)
Rhodia makes some great notebooks. The paper is excellent and they have around 59,987 sizes. I use them for quick jots around the house and for sketching out larger things. I don't keep up with them afterwards, just tear the sheets out and throw them away.

Muji (amazon link)
I use this specific size and paper type. They make other options, this is what works for me.

I'm also a big fan of Field Notes Brand, Seedthoughts from Seedbed and Leuchtturm1917.

Why keep a notebook?

  • to capture information
  • you can build a blank slate for your day and calendar
  • keeps information in front of you
  • keeps you present (be THE PERSON who is always taking notes! Trust me on this one).

Here is my blank notebook page.

File Feb 14, 6 38 23 PM

Related Links:

Why I Keep A Prayer Notebook
Why Pastors Need to be (Information) Hoarders. 

 

Direct download: pp44_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:45pm CDT

Welcome back to the Productive Pastor. We have a great episode in store for you today.

Have you ever found yourself in a hole or a slump? The good news is digging yourself out of a hole is easier than you think. It's about awareness and  intentionality. We are going to dive headfirst into the issue and hopefully finish standing on solid ground.

 

Digging Yourself Out Of A Hole

Confront the Spiritual Issue.
The more I think about anxiety, fear, procrastination and depression...the more I see a link between our schedules and our spiritual life. When we get into a shaky place, we lose our sense of purpose and our understanding of call. Sit down, hit up some prayer and begin discerning what the bigger issues are that brought you to this place.

G.T.D Bankruptcy. 
I am a big fan of David Allen's classic Getting Things Done. You might say it started it all! David Allen talks about taking a schedule bankruptcy. This is when you mark off a day or so and just build an account of everything that is outstanding. Once you are aware...pick the things you can just throw away and quit worrying about. Chances are, the damage is already done from putting it off.

Organize Top Priorities
What are the things you absolutely need to get in place in order to dig yourself out of a hole?

  • Are you about to get fired or lose major influence?
    Not really (maybe really?). What are the bottlenecks that are causing the anxiety. It can be a major project or just something you have been putting off. You need to get these done. Line out the projects and attack them.Related Episode: How To Destroy a Massive To Do List

  • What are the regular things that need to happen?
    Regular, repeating tasks are key. They make you feel great to get checked off. I utilize a template system in Evernote to organize my repeating tasks.Related Episode: Up Your Productivity With Templates

  • Fill in what's restful. Don't discount the necessity to take rest in order to refuel and replenish yourself. You absolutely need to be doing these things.

Preventative Care

  • Pomodoro-I use the Tomato Timer web app.
  • Strategically plan your week.
  • Learn to know what matters most.
Direct download: PP43_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm CDT

This episode I sit down my friend Isaac Hopper and we have a conversation about productivity AND parenting. Tons of listeners have asked for a conversation like this. Isaac is a United Methodist Pastor who leads a church, leads a family and is finishing a PhD in England while living in Indiana. I would say Isaac has practical productivity down. 

Isaac and I talk about a few things such as; learning productivity, how to office from home and what it means to be present with your family and lead them well. 

Isaac writes at isaachopper.com. His recent posts mentioned are;

Ministry Blogs and Podcasts You Should Follow
Why I Hired a Clergy Coach

Direct download: PP42_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:24am CDT

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