The Productive Pastor (general)

This is a big day for The Productive Pastor! This episode is sponsored by the good folks at TrainedUp.church. If you are looking for a thoroughly modern way to utilize video in your church training, they've built a turn-key solution for you. Make sure to check them out! In today's episode, we've got Scott Magdalein, Founder of TrainedUp on the podcast to talk about his life, why he created TrainedUp and how it can help hot rod your church and ministry.

Front Matter

You Have to Show Up. Every. Day by Zak Slayback 

Why Successful People Spend 10 Hours a Week on "Compound Time."  by Michael Simmons

My Conversation with Scott Magdalein

  • Scott's background
  • What local church situation made Scott create TrainedUp
  • The power of consistency in solving small issues.
  • What is TrainedUp
  • What successful churches are doing to be successful in TrainedUp.
  • It's all about being consistent. Yet again.
  • How Scott stays productive.
  • How self-awareness has changed things.

Make sure to follow Scott on twitter (@scottmagdalein) and on Youtube (I love Boat Fam!)

Back Matter

Are you listening to my daily podcasts on Anchor? It’s a fantastic new medium.

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

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

[smart_podcast_player]
Direct download: PP83_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45pm CDT

Over the last week, folks all over the country have had their eyes on the Texas and Louisiana coast as Hurricane Harvey made landfall. In the last year, I've lived through a 500 year flood and been part of two other disasters. Living through a disaster in tough. Leading through a disaster seems impossible. So I sit down with my friend Rev. Donnie Wilkinson, one of the pastors at Broadmoor United Methodist in Baton Rouge, La. Donnie prayed for me while I was pastoring during a disaster. Little did I know, in just a few months, Donnie would be leading recovery efforts while his church was affected by the flooding in Baton Rouge of 2016.

Pastoring During a Disaster

This is bigger than you can handle. Trust us. During this season, you will need to do a leadership and church triage. Afterwards, you need to take a break and long term sabbath.

Stresses During a Disaster

  • It's tough to see your people hurting.
  • We find financial and giving stress.
  • Disaster takes a toil on our bodies and they show the stress
  • We have to begin asking ourselves the questions "What's the best use of my time?"

Self-care During a Disaster

  • Have a bedtime.
  • Don't neglect prayer and scripture
  • Your productivity will be the product of your prayer life.

Leadership During a Disaster

  • There are more resources at your church than you know.
  • Your job is to identify and release people for their best purpose.
  • Have a process to dialogue and allow others to make decisions

Leveraging Influence During a Disaster

  • No one knew when this was happening? We weren't in the news cycle.
  • Have can you tell great stories?
  • What does it mean to connect people to places of impact?

 

Direct download: Productive_Pastor_81_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm CDT

I’ve been absolutely FALLING IN LOVE with Anchor.fm these past two weeks. Today, I decided to create a more Productive Pastor style episode for them and to share it here with you. Also, this is a heavy shownotes anchor, so it makes perfect sense to drop it right here.

 

Pastors are in the content creation business. Think of what we write or create each week. We typically have at least one sermon (if not more) and it might be delivered in several different places. We are also writing letters, articles, blog posts, creating written systems and many other forms of communication. AND, we find ourselves podcasting and being intentionally social online as well. I’d say we have a pretty heavy load of content creation to keep up with.

Keeping Up with Content Creation

Here is how I have learned and shared with others about not just keeping up with content creation, but completely owning it.

Content creation isn’t just a “shoot from the hip” activity. You’ve got to realize there is an executable process to lead to success.

To completely own content creation, you are going to need a few super powers.

  1. Brain Power.
    This is all about recurring action. What can you do to consistently be coming up with new ideas? I’ve found reading to be tremendously helpful. I also swear by my time in the shower, by myself in my pool and taking walks without headphones. Those are the absolute best for me. You’ve got to be a learner above all.
  2. Remembering Power.
    Thinking about new things and connecting dots will be worthless if you don’t have a way to get everything all down. You’ve got to have a way to notate and remember. I rely on two things. My notebook and Evernote. They have both saved me so many times I cannot even count. Write down everything. Come up with a system that helps you with recall. As digital as I am, I have found that my notebook is significantly more helpful and creative. Once I have a project going, I will give it a few pages of space and just come back time and time again to it.
  3. Editing Power.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day and whatever you are working on won’t be great in one pass. Remember, good stuff doesn’t happen in one shot. You need to be consistently sculpting and growing and pruning whatever it is you are working on. It might just mean a couple of passes or it might take a month of work. Typically, the more important, the longer the time.
  4. Community Power.
    Remember, all communication is designed for outward action. It isn’t supposed to stay with you. The medium of delivery and your own interaction with whatever community it is matters tremendously. It has to be designed for them and you need to be interacting.
  5. Curating Power.
    You’ve got to resource people and also realize all of your hard work doesn’t just live once. You need a plan of curation, of learning when and how and why to interact and reseed your old content. We live in the age of content, so people take in old information much easier if it contributes to the larger story of the community.
Direct download: Keeping_Up_With_Content_Creation_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14am CDT

Have you ever thought about the future you would love to have for you or your ministry? Many times we can wander about individually or organizationally. This episode, I want to talk about the idea of a preferred future. This is an amazing tool that can help you strategically plan at every level.

Front Matter

The Productivity Project with Chris Bell | Pat Flynn Smart Passive Income

Stress is the Enemy of Creativity | by Christian Miller 

Chaos Killers Episode 77 

Avoiding and Attacking Procrastination Episode 52

The War of Art | Steven Pressfield 

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers | Adam Grant

The Preferred Future

Why do we have many of the problems in personal leadership AND in the direction of our churches/ministries?

We don’t know what the future holds, how we are playing a part in it, and have lost this idea of promise.

The greatest purpose comes hand in hand with the greatest preparation and process.

This immediately makes us think pretty seriously about call. What is the mission we’ve been given, how does it interplay with our giftedness and ability, and what if we are being asked to do something specific? It is a theological exercise, immediately drawing folks out of themselves.

The Preferred Future is an exercise and tactic to work through towards what you believe is your mission. In scripture, the entire journey from Abraham to Joshua is about preferred future. The sweet spot lies when leaders and churches can prayerfully work through the hard vision process to understand their God-given preferred future. In any strategic planning, understanding and discovering the preferred future is a must. It gives you a baseline to work back from.

The second, and potentially toughest, part of the preferred future is understanding your current reality. Many folks never get past this point. When we don't have any accurate picture of where we are now and how we got there, we can never move forwards towards the future. Many churches stay stuck in the past because they don't even see their current place. Often times, a clear picture of our current reality allows us to discover our squeeze points. It helps us to find the lids we need to lift in our selves and organizations to get to the preferred future. It's the hard work and sweat equity we put in our own improvements.

Direct download: PP79_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42pm CDT

Are you still learning? That's a big question because most of our immediate answer would be a resounding YES!

But are we really?

I want to share with you the why of deliberate learning and hopefully jump off your battery towards more strategic learning.

Front Matter:

I want to thank Craig Finnestad for his book From the Waters Edge. You can pick up a copy here.

 

Never Stop Learning

Let's get into the nitty gritty.

What happens when we quit exercising something?

I learned this month. I started lifting weights with a coach using the starting strength method. The first day was absolutely terrifying. My legs were shaking, I couldn’t do the final lift because of mobility issues, and my coach was scared for me to go home on my motorcycle.

At best, I hadn’t used those muscles in a specific way in 20 years. Most likely, I had never actually used them before. But since then, I have become significantly stronger, more mobile and agile and now look forward to my 3 weekly sessions.

When we quit learning, we quit growing. When we quit growing, we will atrophy and our ability to do anything remotely strenuous will die.

One of the most dangerous things you can do in ministry is to stop learning. It will stop your personal growth, your leadership potential, and your church. Much of reading is simply brain massaging, making it work to its top capacity.

I want to share with you 5 places we can use to enhance our learning, but taking it in a totally different way.

  • Reading
  • Podcasts
  • Magazines
  • Youtube
  • Medium

Back Matter

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

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

Mentioned:
Mapping Innovation: a Playbook for Mapping a Disruptive Age

Carl Pullein: Youtube channel 

Direct download: PP78_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:09pm CDT

Do you ever feel like you've lost control?

It's time to conquer the chaos and become a chaos killer. Over the last few months, I've gotten a little too familiar with chaos and what it takes to climb out of it. But we aren't going to talk about the dirty side, instead, I am going to share with you what it means to capture the chaos and keep it contained (so it can never come get you.)

Front Matter

It's about doing, not tweaking by Carl Pullein This is a fantastic article on Medium (one of my new favorite content sites). The biggest takeaway we can all grab from it is realizing in this new world shipping, instead of perfection, reigns.

My new youtube channel: Chad Brooks In this, I'm sharing a little more about life (alongside my wife Meredith). I already have two ironman texas vlogs and a timelapse or two up.

Chaos Killer

Chaos is in a direct relationship to capacity. When your capacity is hit to it’s maximum, in any area, and pushes pass it, then chaos invades your entire life and slowly begins to take it over. Like the raptors in Jurassic park, it is finding the weakest link in your defense system. Once in, it is capable of taking down the strongest place in your life.

There are three posts of chaos keeping: space, schedule, and soul. Each of these forms a protective element to keep those chaos raptors from destroying your life and sneaking in.

The 7 habits of Unproductive Pastors | PP58

Space
What do the physical spaces of your life look like? They serve as an almost instant reading of how we can let chaos overtake us. One of my favorite differences between total destruction and total creativity is Casey Niestat's studio. One day my office, study, studio, whatever will look like this. 

 

Schedule
What do you allow to run your day? Does your schedule run you or do you run your schedule? There is a big difference. The spaces you live and work in are a visible reflection of the chaos and how it orders your life. Chaos fills in all of the untended gaps and takes up space with distractions, reminders, and methods of life suck. 

Schedules need a buddy. That buddy's name is goals. The listlessness we can experience in life is the best bud of chaos. Remember that. 

I've been loving Michael Hyatt's new book Living Forward

Soul
How are you taking care of yourself? If you are run-down and ragged out, things aren't going to work out well. Your single, greatest defense system is a regular, rhythmic and routine time of prayer and scripture. Remember the twenty-mile-march. 

Building a Bible Reading Routine | PP55

Back Matter

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It's an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It's absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community. 

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_77_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

I wanted to take a quick episode to do a study retreat recap and talk about some awesome things happening in Productive Pastor world

Front Matter

iTunes Review and Rating

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 7.41.16 PM

If you were one of the reviewers, make sure to contact me at twitter. @revchadbrooks

Study Retreat Recap (and more).

In episode 73, I talked about my upcoming study retreat. I was super excited to take this retreat. I learned several things on my retreat. 

  1. Go to a place that inspires you. It was really easy to study at the Lanier Theological Library. Almost perfect. 
  2. Being by yourself for that length of time is really odd. I was surprised how tough it was. 
  3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule. 

Sermons that have reach

Over a year ago I started working on a new version of my sermon worksheet. It has taken me ages to update this resource because I am making it 100x better. I am shooting for it to be out in April. 

Podcasting Sermons

I have been getting more and more emails from people wanting to start podcasting their sermons. I TOTALLY believe this is a great idea for any church. I've started writing material to help anyone start podcasting, including buying equipment and what services they need to use. 

Christians Go To Podcasts To Say Things They Can't Say In Church (from NPR)

 

Direct download: pp75_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14pm CDT

What's Up! Today we are talking about that little-used shortcut feature in Evernote. Evernote shortcuts are the best! This episode is all about the 5 best notes to have sitting in your shortcuts.

Front Matter

5 Must-Have Notes in your Evernote Shortcut List

Daily Journal
I first started this daily journal habit years ago. It's really quick. I note the day, weather, location, scripture and where my emotions are at. I learned this from Michael Hyatt. It's the first thing I do when I sit in front of my computer in the morning.

My Weekly Template
This is simply my always-working-on template for running my week. Currently, it isn't as task based as it used to be. Right now it is keeping track of some repetitive pieces of contacting that are important to me.

Sermon and Sermon Series Ideas
I have ideas in here that are YEARS old. I mean YEARS. All the way back to seminary. I don't do big fleshing out in here...but I get the ideas out of my head to the level I will quit thinking about them. I might not ever use them, but I am letting that part of my brain work and wonder.

Things I Need to Do
Ok. This one can seem really weird. I have a running task list...most of them are medium levels of importance. This is a strategic list and it works hand in hand with my weekly and daily to-do list, especially when it comes to strategic tasks.

Yearly Goals
This is the newest. I made some pretty big goals for 2017. This note isn't for working through these goals, just marking major milestones and bigger thoughts. I use this note to refer back to my goals pretty frequently, if not every day.

I hope these notes help you develop your own Evernote shortcut list.

Back Matter

Do you use Evernote and Trello? I have specific sub-pages setup for all my content relating to both of these. You can find them at revchadbrooks.com/evernote and revchadbrooks.com/trello.

Also, for anyone wanting to get their Evernote shortcuts or any other Evernote related skills honed better, you need to check out Brett Kelly's Evernote Essentials.

We are starting a new idea in the Productive Pastor Community in March. We are reading Eugene Peterson's book Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral IntegrityIf you haven't jumped into the Productive Pastor Community, this would be a great time.

Direct download: PP74_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51pm CDT

Do you work backward? I love it. Working backward means choosing to start with a preferred future in mind, not a problem to solve. You need to try it!

Find the shownotes at revchadbrooks.com/pp72

Front Matter:

I'm super excited about how episode 71 (Deep Work with Isaac Hopper). It is turning into our fastest downloaded episode ever! I have some amazing interviews scheduled and parallel content for this spring. You don't want to miss it.

Have you checked out Ministry Library yet? I'm creating some super practical video content for them this year. The only way to get it is to become a subscriber. It is a super worthwhile investment in your ministry. Sign up through this link and help support Productive Pastor.

The Benefit of Backwards

Working backwards is all about having and understanding the idea of preferred future. This is a key concept in leadership. It focuses on vision instead of problems. Working backwards simply means identifying the qualities of this preferred future that you have the ability to control. Here are the keys to working backwards

Have whiteboard days and hustle days.
These are some of my favorite tools. Both of these tactics including gathering your best dreamers AND doers together to plot out this preferred future. When you have action steps in place, it means drilling down and getting the work done. These are a huge tool.

Work from the perspective of a preferred future. 
Getting this idea into your imagination is key. Understand you are going to strategically design steps backwards from this preferred future. You aren't moving forward to fix problems. You are stating a future reality and scheming through which steps will get you there. And I literally begin working backwards. Inside this flow, you are able to consistently realize and create the situations to move forward.

Get into the space of the future by asking intentional questions. 
In order to find this pathway, don't initially think actions. Think about the emotions. What questions help you set the stage?

Then begin creating the system design. 
Once you properly understand the emotion, you will be able to start realizing what the previous (next) step should be. If you get stuck, you go back into questions of emotion. When you are done, you will find that you have answered questions before people have ask them, come up with super clear steps for people to take and covered all of your bases.

Back Matter

Archive Episode: Building a Priority Based Schedule

Reading: Deep Work, This is Service Design Thinking and Design a Better Business: New Tools, Skills and Mindset for Strategy and Innovation

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider. You can join the Productive Pastor Community here.

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

 

Direct download: PP72_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:06pm CDT

How often do you build deep work into your schedule? Do you even know what deep work is? In this episode, I sit down with my buddy Isaac Hopper and talk about deep work. Isaac isn't a stranger to the podcast, having been a guest before and being a moderator in the Productive Pastor Community. I was excited to grab time with him and talk about such an important topic.

 

Deep Work

Deep Work is the action of scheduling long amount of time, for a distinct purpose. As Cal Newport says it gives the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.

The question we kept asking ourselves was this, what if deep work wasn't the last work, but the first work? What are the handful of things we as ministry leaders should be concentrating our best efforts and energies on?

Here is our short list of what can/should be constituted as deep work:

  • sermons/preparation
  • scripture/prayer
  • reading/study
  • vision
  • writing

Most leaders do not necessarily need to fit all of these elements in, but picking 2 or 3 should be sufficient to grow in leadership. These will be contextual topics, depending on your place of ministry, your unique gifts and the specific leadership situations you find yourself in. Just like a to-do list, your focus items should fit on a post-it note and written with a sharpie!

The biggest lesson is finding the time for deep work happens around ministry leaders understanding what it means to control their calendar. This is the item in which we need to be the most responsible. We talk about how pastoral care fits into the equation and what it means to spread this out across the entire week, instead of attempting to fit all of it during one workday.

You can find more about Isaac (and his fantastic writing) at isaachopper.com

Resources Mentioned

SermonSmith on Spurgeon

Lectures To My Students- CH Spurgeon

Deep Work-Cal Newport

Tools of Titans- Tim Ferriss

Church Unique- Will Mancini

God Dreams- Will Mancini

Back Matter

I’m working with Ministry Library this year creating exclusive video content. I’ve been a user since the very beginning and I use their content constantly personally, with my staff, and in leadership training. Your monthly membership fee gets you access to all of their content.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

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

Direct download: pp71_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

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