Mon, 28 March 2016
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).
iTunes Review and Ratings
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?
What do we learn?
How to we begin a proactive ministry
I hope this episode has been helpful. Make sure to interact on social at @revchadbrooks and use the hashtag #productivepastor.
Sun, 13 March 2016
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.
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
New Member Assimilation
Social Media Schedule
Sun, 28 February 2016
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.
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Maximizing Ministry With 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
5 Ways to use Evernote for maximizing ministry.
Sun, 14 February 2016
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)
Rhodia (amazon link)
Muji (amazon link)
Why keep a notebook?
Here is my blank notebook page.
Sun, 31 January 2016
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.
Organize Top Priorities
Fri, 15 January 2016
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;
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.
Top 5 Downloaded Episodes.
Productive Pastor Preaching Playlist
Art of the Sermon Podcast
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.
Sermons That Have Reach Mailing List (signup to get the newest version of my sermon worksheet).
Sun, 29 November 2015
In this episode of the Productive Pastor we hear from Rev. John Jay Alvaro, Senior Pastor of Spring Creek Baptist Church, about his unique sermon note process. John Jay has also created a fantastic resource about his process called "Creating Outside the Lines: Searching For A Visual Homeletic."
We talk about the visual process of sermon delivery John Jay practices and how he found his way to it. We talk about what it means for a congregation to give their pastor the space to find new ways to communicate. Ultimately, this isn't about a delivery tactic, but instead a process of public creativity and holy presentation.
Fri, 13 November 2015
Welcome to the 38th episode of the Productive Pastor. It's a great, jam-packed time!
This week I am sharing part of my "Sermons That Have Reach" content. If you have using my sermon planning worksheet or have listened to the podcast for very long, you have heard me talk about a "Big Idea" or a similar concept. The Monday Moment takes this strategy and amplifies it.
2.Threshing Floor Episode 50. I host this podcast with two of my best friends. We are hitting our 50th episode next week-it will be featuring JD Walt, sower-in-chief of Seedbed.
3. Productive Pastor Insider-Evernote, Death and Text-Messaging.
Using Monday Moments for Better Preaching
Monday Moments help us develop many different parts of our sermons. They affect the visuals, how we plan our messages and how we preach. They give us a guiding center (alongside our guiding text for the day). They help us develop repetition and focus in how we preach. They give people a literal phrase to repeat as they contemplate the message.Using a Monday Moment is a key preparation AND presentation device. It will help you plan and communicate better. The moment will help the people in your pews better internalize the message and remember it throughout the week.
The Preparation Pyramid
Think of this as a pyramid, with 4 floors.
Basement: Larger Biblical Truth
I hope this introduction to Monday Moments will help you gain clarity over your preparation and communication. It is such an amazing tool.