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.
Thu, 29 October 2015
First- let me just say how excited I am about the 4th season of The Productive Pastor. It is going to be amazing; high level, step by step content AND great interviews with ministry leaders from across the spectrum.
How Batching Rocks Your World
Batching is the process of matching similar projects and tasks together and executing them one after another. Batching help us in many ways; it helps us work through tasks quicker, better and more efficiently. You don’t lose track and you find yourself actually being able to do more of them in a shorter amount of time.
Batching saves us in many different ways; emotionally, creatively, our workspace AND with supplies.
In short-batching will change your life.
Here is how you can add batching into your workflow.
Batching (especially according to your own work patterns) will let you accomplish task based work significantly more efficiently and leave you time to be the best ministry leader you can be.
Tue, 27 October 2015
Productive Pastor Season 4 LAUNCHES on Friday.
Get a quick preview of what we are going to be talking about in the upcoming season.
Mon, 10 August 2015
On this episode I come back to content originally recorded for Episode 28. My friend Omar Rikabi is a United Methodist pastor in the Dallas area. He spent years in college ministry and transitioned to the local church just over a year ago. Omar gets open about his journey and how productivity provides stability to help him in his overall life.
A big thanks to Steve Murphy and Rodmanprice for their iTunes review and ratings.
Mon, 3 August 2015
Welcome to the Productive Pastor. We are doing something a little different with this episode. The main conversation is a replay from the latest Threshing Floor Podcast. I host this show along with two of my great friends. Joshua and I have been having conversations about leadership and when it gets tough. We recorded one of these, and I am sharing a section of it today with you. If you liked what you heard, check out the full episode here.
Leading in Tough Situations
1. Center Yourself
2. Know Your Growing Edges
Ministry Library is a fantastic resource I subscribe to. They create amazing videos of book summaries and other leadership resources. Brian contacted me and wants to share a great resource about leading with our listeners.
Also, in September I am releasing my first premium product. People have been asking me to do this for years and now is the time. It will be all about sermon planning and preparation. Keep your eyes peeled for future information. If you want to be the first to find out about ANYTHING-sign up right here.
Sat, 20 June 2015
Have you ever hit a personal or organizational rut? They are easy to get into if you aren't paying attention to goals and project management. This episode is all about staying focused on the forward momentum you have identified as the most important.
I want to point out listeners to the new podcast management plugin I am using (from the always brilliant Pat Flynn). It's called the Smart Podcast Player and it is awesome. You can access the entire archives at productivepastorpodcast.com
Thanks to our most recent iTunes review and ratings!
Keeping Important Things In The Front of the Pack
When was the last time you felt stuck? Personally or organizationally? It happens. I have seen myself or places I have been part of leading get stuck plenty of times. One of the primary causes of getting stuck is loosing sight of what really matters. It is no secret how important I feel goal setting and goal focused leadership is. I think goals are the secret to staying out of slumps or if you are in one, getting out of the slump quickly.
But just having goals isn't enough. You can easily make goals boring and mundane. I believe the best goals are focused around forward momentum and missional innovation.
Google is famous for it's 20% rule for staffing and the best innovation has come out of it. You can read about it here. Even if Marissa Mayer is true, innovation must always be happening. So if you are functioning off of great (and community built goals) and still getting slumpy...I would begin asking the innovation questions.
Here is why you need to keep your goals at the front of the pack.
1. Lead with goals (not responsibilities): Goals are what control you-not others thoughts about "what" you should be doing.
How to Start Being Goal Focused
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