Mon, 18 July 2016
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.
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
Why I Read Systematically
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
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Mon, 4 July 2016
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.
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.
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
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
What Causes Forgetfulness in Young People? 7 reasons you keep losing your keys explained. - Bustle
Overcoming Forgetfulness part 1: Health
Overcoming Forgetfulness part 2: Reminders and Rhythms
Sun, 19 June 2016
Welcome back! In this episode, we are talking about 5 tasks to gain serious traction. I'm STOKED to share them with you!
Five (first thing) Tasks to Gain Serious Traction
What exactly is traction?
Mon, 6 June 2016
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.
No one leads well out of the shalom zone.
Build rhythms to help you stay relaxed and focused.
Organize your work time to plow through trouble and focus on fun.
Build your schedule focused on goals and effectiveness.
Learn to ask yourself "What's at Stake?"
Break things up into approachable goals.
Thanks for listening and I hope this prepares you to avoid and attack procrastination.
Mon, 23 May 2016
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
Sun, 8 May 2016
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.
Sun, 24 April 2016
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.
iTunes Reviews. THANKS!!!
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.
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.
Sun, 10 April 2016
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.
From the Vault:
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[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
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Our larger framework is based all around collecting guest information. We do this in two ways.
Check out my post on using Trello to streamlining Church Assimilation with Trello for more details.
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.
I've outlined my strategy for using Facebook lists and leveraging them for ministry here.
1st time Giving
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