Fri, 5 June 2015
Summer is HERE!!!
Summer means all sorts of awesome things. One of them is vacations. But let's be honest...most people in ministry don't vacation very well. This episode of the Productive Pastor is about how to take a great vacation and to not worry about the things that usually keep ministry leaders from taking vacations.
1. First #productivepastor tip: Go to the doctor. Don't be stubborn like Chad. I can't imagine how much time and energy I have wasted over the last couple of months because I am stubborn and I didn't want to spend 1 hour with my doctor.
2. Winners of Called by JD Walt.
A big thanks to ALL OF YOU who have been rating and reviewing the podcast on iTunes. It is a huge help.
3. Michael Hyatt: Getting the Most Out of Evernote.
Awesome Vacations and Exactly How to Make Them Work
How well do you vacation? My wife and I have only taken a handful in ten years. We go on trips with family...but we have only gotten away, just the two of us, 3 times in 10 years. That includes our honeymoon. This year we decided to fix this problem.
The first step is taking a great vacation is getting over the idea in your head that ministry people aren't allowed to be gone for over a few days. Your leadership needs to have your back. This will help you get into the right headspace. A theology of vacation is much like a theology of sabbath. They are purposeful and necessary. I was totally floored when one of my leaders told me, after my last vacation, "You are acting like yourself and that is exactly who we need you to be."
You need to decide or figure out what relaxes you. Vacations can be replenishing or retreat. What are the things that will contribute to that? This is part of developing the "why" of your vacation. Trust me, just doing this sort of thing in your head will help you get into vacation mode quicker.
Tips on Making Vacation Work
1. Take 2 Sundays off.
2. Clear your tasks 1.5 days before you leave.
3. Take 1 day back to recollect (not do).
4. Tell people you are going on vacation.
5. Find space for your creative mind to flourish.
Remember to sign up for the Productive Pastor Insider List. Get a great FREE productivity resource and the inside scoop every other Friday.
Thu, 21 May 2015
Welcome to the very first "sub-episode" of the Productive Pastor. Occasionally I will have either more content than I really can release or I end up getting connected (usually through a listener) to someone who can really add quality conversation to an episode.
I've been thinking about this for a few weeks and had a great interaction with Nathan Bledsoe (@revnayte) on twitter and he brought me into a conversation with his friend John Allen (@revjohnallen). John had some super interesting things to share about meetings and I recorded a quick conversation with him.
Trust me, you will want to listen to this.
John really shares about the pastoral heart in meeting leadership and what it means to keep people engaged during meetings.
Thanks so much for coming on the show. Trust me, you will want to listen to this.
Sun, 17 May 2015
Do you enjoy meetings? I have a love/hate relationship with them. I have worked in places with great meetings and horrible meetings. Now that I am in charge of most meetings, I want to make them part of a positive leadership experience for others.
1. Back to Fridays.
2. iTunes review and rating.
Making the Most of Meetings
Meetings can be a drag or an incredible tool for leadership. Think back to the places and experiences where you have had great meetings and bad meetings. What did you learn to do (or not to do)? What environments were great for meetings and what were crummy?
If you put all of this work in and still don't have a plan for afterwards you are going to miss out on all the great work you have done.
Sun, 26 April 2015
One of the parts of the Productive Pastor I love doing is big ideas and big vision. But sometimes life needs to be taken in smaller chunks. The day to day is where we grind things out. So on this episode I want us to talk about two related ideas; list making and bottle necks.
Me and the Geek.
Lists and Bottlenecks
I think lists are the backbone of productivity. You have to be aware of what you are doing.
There are two kids of lists.
1. Forward projecting
2. Task Catching
Forward projecting lists are acquired from working downwards from a larger project. These are the action items of something much larger. Some of these tasks might be repeatable, or a one time task. Forward projecting lists are great because you can brain storm the necessary items, get input from others (which you are doing) and then find the holes. You don't necessarily have to do this in order, just be able to organize them when you are ready.
Task catching lists are something we all need. Let me ask you this-you are walking down the hall at church on a Sunday morning and someone catches you to ask you a question. They bring up a few things you need to remember for Monday morning. How do you remember them? Everyone needs a task catching method.
Bottlenecks are the place things slow down on your list. It might be a specific type of task or a person a task is designated to. In every project you will hit bottlenecks. For solo pastors, we have to be really honest with ourselves in how we can cause bottlenecks.
Two things help us with bottlenecks.
1. Healthy systems. (Check out Michael Lukaszewski on episode 19. He's a systems jedi).
Fri, 27 March 2015
Do you have big rocks in your schedule? Or do you just do everything in the order it comes in?
We are going to talk about making sure the right things are scheduled and scheduled first in this episode.
5 Most Popular Productive Pastor Episodes
1. 17 Why You Need a Production Calendar
Social Media Redux
This last week I worked on being more intentional with my personal social media scheduling and was able to increase Productive Pastor downloads by 300%. Trust me, we can never stop being intentional enough with our social media scheduling. It free's us up to actually be social and interact with people.
Scheduling the Big Rocks
Have you ever seen the illustration involving a jar, big rocks, pebbles, sand and water (or some variation). The basic idea is when we put the big (ie: most important) things in first we are able to get everything else in. This episode we are going to talk about how to schedule those big rocks.
1. What Matters Most?
3. Weekly Planning
I think the week is the time during our strategic productivity that provides the best results. If we can rock the week-we can do anything. Sit down with your big rocks and determine how much time they will take to accomplish. You are going to schedule that time first.
4. Build Your Workflow
1. Meetings/Things that Don't Move.
Volunteer Rocket: I have been using this program for the last two months and I can't tell you how much it is affecting our ministry design at Foundry. It is expensive, but I would buy it all over again.
Fri, 13 March 2015
Welcome to the 29th Productive Pastor. This episode is all about social media scheduling and how that might affect transparency and honesty. I also give a social media scheduling sheet at the bottom of the shownotes. This whole episode came from this instagram picture from a few months back.
While I am not scheduling a month in advance right now, I totally believe in mapping out social media scheduling. My friend David Lyell asked a great question and I promised I would hit it up in a future episode. Well now you have it!
Thanks for all the great folks who shouted out about the last episode with Omar and Michelle. They got open and honest with us and it really resonated with people.
I also want to thank Michael Romans for this awesome tweet.
Project Management Links
We did a couple of episodes on project management in season two and I found two great links this week about project management tools. I want to share them with you, I think both are great ideas for how to actually manage a project.
How to use Social Media Scheduling (and not lose your soul)
I believe highly in social media scheduling, just for the sake of productivity, much less for intentionality. Many people argue that doing great social media takes to much time, but with scheduling you can take care of it in a few minutes a week. Let's break this into the Why, What, When, Who and How.
Simply Measured for Facebook
So how do I use this sheet?
Fri, 27 February 2015
Fri, 13 February 2015
Today I interview one of the top leaders in ministry in the modern world, Carey Nieuwhof, the pastor of Connexus Church in Ontario, Canada. This episode is full of absolute gold.
I wanted to have this conversation with Carey because of his unique situation in ministry. He has served in the same town for decades and has some of the same people with him since the beginning. I let Carey tell you the nuts and bolts of this story. Here are the questions I used to guide our conversation.
1. How did your approach to productivity shift as your ministry changed?
The part of our conversation I appreciated the most was when we talked about proactive vs. reactive. It has been a topic on my mind lately and I imagine I will be devoting a future episode to the topic.
The Back Matter
Fri, 16 January 2015
Welcome to the third season of the Productive Pastor. I am really excited about this season and I want to share a few things with you before we jump into the episode.
New Content: I am working up a great way to feature different folks in the productive pastor community. One of the things I am fascinated with is other peoples work flows and space. Look for the "How I Pastor" series coming out soon.
New Resources: I am committing myself to putting together 3-4 new resources this season for you and give them away. Most of these are in development right now.
How to Read for Maximum Effectiveness
Most of us in ministry are readers. If not, you need to be. Readers are leaders and leaders are Readers. It is a cliche...but totally the truth. The best pastors and ministry leaders are the ones constantly learning.
Reading can easily be a drag. We don't know what to read or how to go about retaining the information. There are services out there giving you book summaries...but let's be honest. Most of them are barely passable.
Maximizing your reading is all about developing a system for reading.
What really opened my eyes up over the last 6 months was a series of articles by Ryan Holiday.
Let me be honest with you. I first read these articles in the summer and spent to much time digging around the rest of Ryan's archives. But the secret I found really isn't a secret. Tons of other people manage to read an inordinate amount of material and keep ahead of it...all while managing other jobs.
The secret to reading for maximum effectiveness is to intentionally (and strategically) plan your retention.
1. Map out your reading.
2. Find a time.
3. Have a system.
4. Process your reading.
This sounds laborious, but imagine what it can be like in 10-20 years when you have an extensive research library you can search, right at your fingertips and it is your own thoughts.
The Back Matter
The Bookshelf: Over the last two weeks I have been reading 2 great books I want to recommend.
Michael Lukaszewski (episode 19) has a great new company called Church Fuel. Their main product is a year program focused on systems. It looks great.
Our next episode will be a conversation with several people about call, time management and how their own personal theological development of productivity has affected their life.
Fri, 21 November 2014
Rich Birch on Project Management
Rich and I talk about project management and what it looks like for church leadership to learn about project management and why it is vital to ministry.
Our conversation focuses around 3 questions.
1. What is your organizational sweet spot?
2. What do ministry leaders need to not just understand, but rock project management?
3. How can a leader get their feet wet with project management?
We talked about these books to help people begin to rock project management.
Rich also shares about his passion for excellent announcements in worship and offers the Productive Pastor community a great free resource. You can grab it at unseminary.com/chad
Over the last few weeks you might have missed the Productive Pastor Podcast (at least I hope you did). Last week I shared this email with the folks signed up for the insider list. What I realized is I had lost my motivation, the "why", of why this podcast matters tremendously to me.
As I was contemplating this I read a blog post entitled "How I Went from Mad to Motivated". The quote that stuck out the most to me was this...
“Once I woke up from that false perspective – the perspective that the other stuff was more of a distraction at the time than anything else – I got mad at myself. Then I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to get back on the horse - the right horse. I was motivated."
So I did what I normally do. I made a list. I made a list of why many different things mattered to me. I realized many things I really care about had dropped off the map.
So the podcast will be back. In January. With amazing new stuff and a great interview to kick off the new season. In the interim I will be producing some great new additions to the Productive Pastor community.