WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED FROM THEIR PASTOR?

 

WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED FROM THEIR PASTOR

 

 Pastor X was going into his first church with excitement and freshly drawn plans to blast his church off the map. Well, that’s how it began and within a couple years the new church turned into work, long hours and desperate measures for the pastor to keep up. Feeling the need to focus, Pastor X asked with a sigh of exasperation, “What does my church need from me the most?” “What do I focus on?” “What do people need from a pastor?”

 

 

GIVE YOUR PERSONAL TESTIMONY

 

The Superman pastor who leaps over tall buildings, stops speeding trains and deflects bullets off his chest is dead. The pastor who explains his own struggles of falling asleep in an early morning prayer meeting, admits he is asking God to make him a better pastor, asks for payer when he is sick and is transparent will gain more traction than Superman

 

Think humble. I am not better. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. Let’s all work together to please God and let’s work as a team to get where we ALL need to be – will find people willing to circle around you. 

 

Give your personal testimony of grace, your personal testimony of forgiveness and your personal testimony of healing.  Be human.

 

 

GIVE PRIME TIME

 

This doesn’t mean to give ALL your time. Give people your ear, your eyes and your understanding. When you are there be ALL there. Don’t be checking your phone while talking to them, don’t be looking somewhere else and definitely don’t keep looking at your watch.

 

 WHEN YOU ARE THERE BE ALL THERE

 

Give each member their hug for the day, compliment their promptness, and thank them for their faithfulness appreciate them for their prayers. Make each minute count by making valuable moments when you are with them. You can’t give everyone equal time but you can give them quality time with you are with them.

 

 

 

EXEMPLIFY PRAYER

 

Prayer is as necessary to a pastor as oil to your car engine. Slow down, spend time with God, and rest in His presence. Seek God and His presence will come; if you seek an experience with God you may wait indefinitely but seek a relationship with God and He will meet you when you mention His name.

 

 FIND A PLACE, IDENTIFY HIS PRESENCE AND GIVE JESUS YOUR PRAISE

 

Make prayer a priority at church, at home and in your personal life. Encourage your church to pray at church and at home. Announce special times of prayer and give time in each service for praying for one another. 

 

 

LOVE PEOPLE

 

People can discern between a pastor who is doing his job and a pastor who loves his people. It is no mistake the Pastor is compared to a caring shepherd in the Gospels. A pastor who loves his sheep will tell them, show them and disciple them. A pastor may not be able to make every hospital call, spend unbridled time on the phone or casually talk to the guy who has nothing going on today. But he can express care, respect, and thankfulness to everyone.

 

 

What do you think people want from their pastor?

 

 

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

 

Three Things Pastors Are Afraid Of

A CHURCH MEMBER WILL UNLOAD ON THEM RIGHT BEFORE SERVICE

Let’s face it Pastors go to the pulpit with a lot on their mind. Announcements may not have been made. They forgot to acknowledge a special guest in the service. The pastor was to receive a special offering for a mission’s project. A song was to be sang before the message. An emphasis was to be given for the children’s ministry. A sermon series introductory video was to be played right after you read your text.

Having a stage assistant can be invaluable even in smaller churches. The microphones are filled with fresh batteries. The microphone is tested and ready for the special song. The video has been set up to play. A note sheet has been placed on the pulpit for announcements and special acknowledgements. The pastor shouldn’t be responsible but a trainee into ministry can be introduced in this position.

If the pastor didn’t have enough on his mind, a church member comes to church ready to unload their pent up emotions and vents right before service. This unbelievable outbreak can harm, influence and overshadow the service. Why not try these?  Stay in your office till ten minutes before service; shake hands with a few people, make your way back to the pulpit and begin service. Position greeters and don’t linger in the lobby before service. Tell someone kindly, “I would like to hear what you have to say; I’m sure it is important but I still have a few hands to shake before service begins.” Smile and walk away. As pastor set the tone and the time for meetings.

A CHURCH MEMBER WILL GET ANGRY OVER SOMETHING THE PASTOR HAD LITTLE OR NO CONTROL OVER

Even the most perfect pastor will have someone get angry with their judgment or with a particular action. Don’t dismay. You are not in this boat alone. Pastors admit about two people get angry with the pastor every year. If the church runs 100 or 200 people and only one or two get upset a year; I’d say you are running a good average. Let’s face it a pastor can’t make everybody happy. In fact, you will go insane trying to make everybody happy. So what is a pastor to do? Let’s look at a few suggestions. (This is a big subject and deserves a blog post dedicated to this one item).

LET’S FACE IT A PASTOR CAN’T MAKE EVERYBODY HAPPY

Firstly, make sure your communication of events, programs and ideas are given plenty of air space. The church bulletin, announcement screen, flyers, postcards or website should be informative and announced in advance.

Secondly, build a circle of protectors around you. Make a few decisions as Pastor, make most decisions as a team. This is called insurance. The board decided. The committee decided. The vision team decided. You may need to call a special church meeting but make sure everyone has the proper information before the meeting. Some meetings we discuss but don’t vote – it gives time to process the information and make a more informed decision the next meeting time.

Thirdly, treat everyone with respect. IF someone is angry don’t give a church member the luxury of dragging you into the fight, Smile and say, “Well…..” as Bethel Family Worship Center, Pastor Russell Hylton, suggests.

A CHURCH MEMBER WILL QUESTION MY INTEGRITY

Pastors want to get it right. They may suffer from depression because they can’t get it right every time but Pastors know that if they lose their integrity they lose the ministry. That’s right. In the ministry the moment integrity is gone then usually the church board will declare the Pastor incompetent and he will be terminated. Pastors know they aren’t perfect even though they try very hard to be perfect. They try to preach better, lead better and shepherd better but most guard their integrity because they know they could lose their spouse, their family, their church, their income and mostly, their intimate relationship with God. Let’s guard our heart by put security protections in place. Have a pastoral friend you can talk to. Date your wife. Read the Bible and pray daily. These are just a few safeguards that protect the heart. 

LET’S GUARD OUR HEART BY PUT SECURITY PROTECTIONS IN PLACE

In my office I have a picture of my wife’s and my wedding picture, is a picture going to save me from a closed door impurity – No, but it is one more hurdle that is in place to make it more difficult to lose my integrity. Integrity is the most valuable thing a pastor possesses and he must guard it with everything he has.

But what happens when someone misjudges a situation and questions your authority? Lies were conjured to judge Jesus – let’s look at his response.  He answered them not a word. There will be a time when you will speak in your defense but to speak in haste or angry only deepens the problem. Wait – sometimes giving the accuser enough time and he will trap himself with his own lie. Trust in God to speak up for you. God is very angry when people misjudge a man of God. Let God make the first move. Pray with your leaders. Humble yourself – arrogance will lose every battle. Stephen, when stoned in Acts 7, had the face of an angel, possible one of the most impacting moments in Paul’s later conversion. Let your leaders and congregation see Jesus in you.

Pastor, what are you mostly afraid of?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling.

FIVE THINGS WE MUST NOT CHANGE IN THE CHURCH

Change is inevitable–it will come for the better or for the worse. Change comes when we want to, we need to or we have to. Some churches are changing (for the better or for the worse) because they need to. Let’s be honest, in thousands of churches across America the “builder generation” is paying the bills and the “millennials” are still unfaithful.

While traveling across the United States thousands of churches with large or small congregations are making incremental changes trying to address the needs of an ever changing culture. Many changes in color, design, methods, approach, and outreach are being seen in churches who are passionate about reaching a new generation. Many churches are still operating in the 80’s with their myriad of programs no longer pursuing their purpose and lacking passion. Change will come and not all change is bad but not all change is good.

There are however, some essentials to never lose grasp of and I’ve compiled a short list of value elements in the church that should be the bedrock of our faith, I call them the CHURCH UNCHANGABLES.

 

A SINNER FRIENDLY CHURCH SHOULD NOT MEAN WE ARE A SIN FRIENDLY CHURCH.

All churches should be friendly to sinners. Let’s face the facts, if we want a sinner to come to church and give their heart and life to Jesus then we must be friendly to sinners. Jesus himself was a friend to sinners, see Luke7:34  The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! Although, being gluttonous and winebibber was a slam against him, a friend to publicans and sinners, is a compliment. Though the Phariseedical crowd refrained from touching, talking or eating with sinners, Jesus encouraged it.

Yes, the church must be sinner friendly. However, to reach the unchurched we must not forget to stand strong against the evils of this day and the sins held socially acceptable. We must uphold God’s standard of righteousness.  Sinner friendly doesn’t mean we muddle in the same puddle. While some churches quit the call for repentance, we must not slide down the same abyss. Sin should be defined and declared while giving opportunity for a repentance prayer. A healthy church warns of sin and reveals the Savior.

 

SINNER FRIENDLY DOESN’T MEAN WE MUDDLE IN THE SAME PUDDLE

 

WHY WE MEET SHOULD NEVER CHANGE BUT WHEN AND WHERE AND WHAT SHOULD CHANGE REGULARLY

If we lose our WHY then we cease to be a church and self-create into a business, a party, a club or social gathering. Our WHY–Jesus lived, died, resurrected and coming back again must never change. Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

THE WHY DRIVES EVERYTHING IN THE CHURCH

 

Bringing people to Jesus, baptizing them and teaching them is WHO we are and that must never change. But there are a few things we can change; times, days, methods, places, and opportunities are variables. Recently our Wednesday Adult Bible Study starting serving dinner at 6:30 pm, with Bible Study at 7:00 pm has consistently gathered the most response. That may change in time but at this present time we are investing more into the Bible Study with handouts, food, praying together, and celebrating with communion. We changed the method and still hold up highly the WHY. 

 

REGULAR TIMES OF PRAYER SHOULD NOT CHANGE TO SEE YOU NEXT SUNDAY.

Can I bluntly ask? Why are we ashamed of bringing the congregation into corporate prayer? A deacon or an usher can quietly bring a disruptive saint to the back but we value the privilege of having corporate, community prayer. Leading each person who wants to pray into a side room may embarrass the seeker more when they are with people they don’t know, probing into their personal life. Why not let a friend slip an arm around them and pray with them while they stand at the end of the service? Or invite everyone to come forward to pray as a body, the people of God kneeling together, and watching God work through the lives of people. Where is the prayer room? Do you and your staff meet regularly for prayer? When does the church body pray over the needs of the church body? Is there a regular time in the morning worship for prayer? Why not?

A pastor with a church of 600+ people confessed to me, while we were drinking coffee at Starbucks, “I haven’t called the people to prayer for six years.” The “big churches don’t do it”, “you might lose control”, or “there may be emotional outbreaks” are detrimental imaginations. The following Sunday a time of prayer, to come up front and pray, was given after the end of the message and over 250+ people responded. When the pastor and I met again at Starbucks, he confessed, “It was like revival, a real refreshing.”

PERFORMANCE AND PERSONALITIES SHADOWS GOD’S PRESENCE

The presence of God in a church service compared to when God is not present in the church service is perfectly compared to having church with no electricity and having church with electricity. Can we examine our worship times and ask the question, “do we do church without electricity?” The presence of God can easily be overshadowed by performers who desire to sway the crowd with gyrations and musical entrees. The scriptures warn us “no flesh should glory in His presence.” God’s presence is of great value. When God comes to church everything else develops, grows and matures. Yes, there are levels of His presence in every service yet personalities lowering the level of His presence “grieves the spirit.”

CAN WE EXAMINE OUR WORSHIP EXPERIENCES AND ASK THE QUESTION,

“DO WE DO CHURCH WITHOUT ELECTRICITY?”

 

CULTURE SHOULD NOT BE THE DRIVING FORCE BUT CHRIST JESUS IS THE DRIVING FORCE

To define the church by the crowd might increase the numbers – to define the church by Christ will disciple the numbers. Culture gives birth to entitlement belief systems and maybe even, unfaithful members but a genuine Christ Jesus experience births committed, loyal and faithful members. Culture defined worship is compared to a making a plumber the captain of a war ship because both have experience with water. Christ Jesus brings wisdom to the table. Christ Jesus beings insight and direction to the board room. Christ Jesus brings a driving force into the auditorium. People can see the difference, feel the difference and know the difference.

 

LET’S CHANGE THE CHANGEABLE AND CONTINUE TO CHAMPION FOR THE UNCHANGABLES.

You may not agree with my list of unchangebales or you could add a few more but at least give it deep and complete contemplation. The better way could be standing in front of you right now.

 

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling.

HAVING A VISION TO CREATE INFLUENCE

Nothing is more depressing than having a vision or dream and the ending result is one of financial loss, dignity despaired and failure. Been there–done that and got the T-shirt. To lose ground and find yourself a million miles behind is not the greatest line for a bestseller but sometimes we lose and sometime we gain.

Risk is involved in every dream and causes us to shrink back and not reach for the vision we have in our heart. Passion, dreams and visions come short of reaching the high point of the mountain–there must be a secret formula or method. We read books, follow blogs, create goals and scan the internet for the key to riches, fame and success only to meet with failure and desperation.

What would happen if we didn’t change the process but absolutely changed the foundation of our vision? Want to grow a church? Want to start a ministry? Want to write a book? Want to begin a nonprofit organization? Whatever the vision is we must begin with the foundation if we will get the process to have the preferred outcome.

When you build a house, you must never ignore how important the foundation is to the safety and proper construction of the house. You can pick out the most amazing lighting; choose beautiful cabinets and have a stunning floor plan but without the correct and proper foundation the house is a shambles and decreases in value.

We all agree the greater the vision the greater the influence–the power of persuasion increases with an exponential vision. Let’s take a look at Habakkuk 2:1-4 on establishing a vision.

Habakkuk 2:1-3 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will come; it will not tarry. 

 

VISION BEGINS WITH FAITHFULNESS IN MY ESTABLISHED WORK OR CURRENT MINISTRY

Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower…

Work begins now. A visionary is established under accountability. A man or woman with vision will work hard. They aren’t the people who are looking for something else to do so they may get out of the trap they feel they are in. Just because a man or woman doesn’t want to work where they are now isn’t reason enough to quit and pursue their far flung ideas. These are tough words but we must stick with what we are doing if we are to see the vision become clearer into focus.

IF VISIONARIES AREN’T WORKING NOW

IT IS DOUBTFUL THEIR VISION WILL WORK LATER

 

You may be in a struggle right now. You may not like your home, your church or your job but stay with it. God has placed you in the fertile soul of discomfort not to move you but to speak to you. The only way some people listen to God is when they are uncomfortable.

 

LISTEN TO GOD’S VOICE – WAIT FOR HIM TO SPEAK TO YOU

Habakkuk 2:1 …and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Visions are born in the moments of prayer. Spending time in the presence of God will settle your unsettledness. God will speak in the midnight when you thought it was all over.  Being uncomfortable is a passing feeling but being in the presence of God comes a developed peace. God given visions are worlds apart from a self-given vision. God knows me better than I know myself and God gives greater visions I couldn’t accomplish on my own.

While starting a youth camp in Texas the need was great – $1000 was in the bank account and over $20,000 would be needed within five days. Not Five months but five days. The vison was God given, the peace was heaven sent and on Friday more than enough funds were collected to pay the debt and that happened for over 23 years. Having God speak assures us of the outcome.

A GOD GIVEN VISION

Birthed in Prayer

Proceeded by Peace

Financed by Faith

Verified by His Word

 

WRITE THE VISION

Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Let’s cut to the chase – the clearer the vision is written the clearer the outcome will be.  Write the vision clearly, spell it out specifically and put it on the calendar.

 

A VISION THAT IS NOT WRITTEN IS NOT A VISION – IT’S JUST AN IDEA

Pull out a piece of paper and begin be creating a list of definite questions, purposeful direction and daily interaction. Simplicity is my code word – the flow of words and idea works best in the arena of simplicity; personally I use these five questions:

WHO is involved?  Who might help and who may be a contact person?

WHAT will it cost? What does it involve? What amount of time will I personally devote to it each day? What quote or scripture drives me each day? What devotional am I reading right now?

WHEN will I schedule it? When will it appear on my calendar and my daily worksheet? When is the finish date? (The finish date is extremely important even if you have to guess the approximate time of completion. If there is not a due date then the vision will drag on without accomplishment).

WHERE will I work on it? (Having a go to place is absolutely a must). Where might I find support? Where may I go for answers? Where do I go to keep the dream fresh on my mind? Where will I post a picture or visual stimulator to keep the dream alive?

WHY is this important to me? “Why” is the driving force of your vision. Take some time and seriously and quietly pursue the answer – why do I want to accomplish this vision? Of all the questions to answer this is ultimately the make or break of your vision. If vision casting the “why” must be dramatically, indefinitely and consistently repeated to those following.

After you have written the vision down “make it plain upon the tables.” Chart it or picture it and place it in a prominent location where the “visual vision” is seen often.  There will be plenty of excuses and many good reasons why you can’t go on but a “visual vision” creates excitement, brings determination and draws out the best in you; … that he may run that readeth it.

 

A VISUAL VISON IS THE REMINDER TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

 When Habakkuk received the Word from God to “make it plain upon the tables” we could say, “engrave it in stone.” A permanent fixture, not to be easily removed, promoted the vision every day when Habakkuk passed by the “engraved vision.” When the vision becomes your vision it will be as concrete as the “visual vision.” A “Visual Vision” will be the motivating force giving you energy and vitality “…that he may run that readeth it.” Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, writes, “Our reach must exceed our grasp.” Nothing can replace a visual reminder to spur us on to action.

 

WATCH IT BLOOM

Waiting and watching can be agonizing. Waiting for the phone to ring with a book proposal being approved. Patiently diving into writing page after page. Weeks and months seem to drag by as people in the congregation slowly begin to accept and implement the vision. God knows that patience is need as God speaks to Habakkuk in chapter two and verse 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Planting flowers in late winter or early spring, praying the late frost away, preparing the soil, and watering on dry days seem to be mundane and a deterrent to progress but let the rain do its thing, let the sun do its thing, let the warmer spring days do its thing and the flowers will bloom.

 

WAITING FOR MATURATION IS TIME WELL SPENT

 

There may be days of failure but press on, nights of fear and anxiety but press on anyway. There will be days you want to quit but press on. There will be days you will think, “What difference will it make,” but press on. Let the night turn to day, watch the flowers bloom through the process of rain, sun and soil, watch the project rise and give it to mature.

There is a time that is appointed for the vision to become reality. Many have turned away right at the moment of surprise. Failing to see intentionality blend with time for an overwhelming response to your efforts combined with God’s calendar, “for an appointed time.” It is coming. It will show up. It will happen.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling.

BECOME A PERSON OF INFLUENCE

manFirst in a series of a multi-blog post on Influence

In the world of influence there are dreamers, tinkers and winners. Dreamers are the people who wish, pray, hope and play the mental lottery hoping to get the winning ticket. Tinkers are the people who toy with the idea, experiment with numbers and sidetracked with “shiny objects.” The winners are those who want to jog, so they jog today, they buy the outfit, they read about “safe” jogging and they put “jogging” on the calendar. A winner does what they are dreaming and what they are tinkering with.

 

THE SECRET TO SUCCESS IS STILL HARD WORK AND THAT’S NOT A SECRET

 

EMPOWER YOUR STRENGTHS

List your strengths and weaknesses. What happens next happens every time we mention winners. We judge ourselves with too many weaknesses to become a winner. But let’s be honest—we all know our weaknesses, but we all know our strengths. Instead of concentrating on our weaknesses and gauging how we will fix, eliminate or diminish our weaknesses, let’s concentrate on our individual strengths God has given us and let’s empower it.

Empower your strength by finding avenues to exercise it. Buying into your strengths will yield a better harvest then trying to pull out every weed that grows in the field. Funding weaknesses and discovering a strength in the mix leads to trouble as placing the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If your strength is the gift of communication begin to research how to better communicate to your circle of friends, family and business associates by planting visual pictures of your strengths at work.

Send a card for their birthday

Text a “happy” note each day

Use Twitter as an encouragement tool

Contact someone you haven’t heard from in a while

Discern the needs of others and lift their spirit

 

When your strength is communication and you invest in people’s lives the weakness will become weaker and the strength will become stronger. Just as muscles grow stronger through exercise so personality strengths become stronger through use.

 

DON’T WASTE A LIFE—INVEST IT

 

EVALUATE THE PAST

Answer these questions cover a period of time – maybe a week. Your greatest influence may well be found in this process of self-evaluation.

Where did I find the most satisfaction?

Where did I influence people?

Where is my heart headed?

 

When do I get the most done?

When do I influence others the most? (Time of year and event)

When do I know I did my best?

Who are my friends who tell me the truth?

Who is my mentor?

Who most influences me?

 

What is my life’s major dream?

What do I love the most?

What am I doing daily to reach my dreams?

 

Why?–most important question of all.

Why do I do what I do?

Why am I not influencing others?

Why don’t I start today?

 

When we carefully and prayerfully examine and evaluate our life we might get discouraged but would you be willing to change if you knew you could actually close next year being encouraged because your field of influence grew?

Pray this prayer with me, Lord, increase my territory, enlarge my boundaries, fill me with more of you, through my humility and strength in you I can do all things. AMEN.

 

Coming next: Become a Person of Influence- Little or Much?

 

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counselling.

Five Qualities of an Effective Communicator

He walked into the room without shaking anyone’s hand, came quickly to the podium conveying to the crowd he was in a hurry. He spoke quick and terse with a know-it-all attitude. He went over his allotted time without apology making exaggerated claims of his success then briskly walked out the door.

The chatter around the room after his presentation was a mix of relief and anger. Relief that he was finished and gone – anger that he was brazen and narcissistic.

Communication is one of the most important qualities within the element of being an author, pastor, business person or speaker. Yes, as illustrated above, there is a lot of difference between a speaker and a communicator.

A communicator doesn’t become prolific in well versed words, flaunting his education and attitude to gather or collect an audience but rather takes an interest in people while dissecting hard truths and offering small pieces as a dainty delicatessen. A communicator builds a friend list, tells stories and cares for people while probing their emotions and thoughts.

 

Here are my suggestion for Five Qualities of an Effective Communicator

 

LEANING

Our body language speaks louder than our words.

Multitudes of studies have been done on body language and slumping, twiddling, texting and a far off look are adverse body styles to communication. Leaning into the person, hanging onto their words with a soft smile and a gentle nod brings attention to an all new level. Social media has reversed communication into words and videos but real communication “leans into” the conversation.

Keeping in mind that personal space is necessary, so look away briefly, don’t stare and don’t make them feel uncomfortable by leaning too much. As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “An arch consists of two weaknesses, which, leaning on each other, become a strength.”

 

LEARNING

There is never a person so bright that there can’t be another light bulb in the room.

Teaching and learning should go hand in hand. Asking questions during a conversation is needful for receptacle learning. Agreeing, debating (not arguing) and questioning develop a well-rounded conversation. “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t,” states Bill Nye.

Becoming emotionally and uniformly attached to the conversation (not the personal exactly) brings learning to the forefront and helps us retain the details of the conversation.

 

LISTENING

God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason someone once quipped.

Painful but true. We are dedicated talkers and many love listening to their own self talk. Listening is a skill – an important skill. Listening bonds friends, brings relationships to the table and develops on going communication. Andy Stanley teaches, “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.”

Listening without charging into our answer but remunerating the answer quietly and purposefully after we have fully listened demonstrates great respect for the speaker.

 

LOOKING

Eye contact may be the most important communication ability we possess.

Looking away does more damage to the attention span than most any other distraction in the communication process. To look intently and interestingly is an art and must be perfected by communicators.

Someone once said, “Looking into someone’s eyes changes the entire conversation.”  A long stare is uncomfortable so look away occasionally but not long enough to lose the train of thought or the line of thought.

 

 LIKING

To communicate is the first step of friendship.

We won’t personally like everyone we speak to but if we communicate with them long enough there should and most likely will be a thin thread of truth to where we might find common ground. You might not personally like them but like something they say. Like has variables and levels and definitions but they all involve people.

 

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

One Step

They expect that God is going to make the way plain and open before them, miles and miles ahead; whereas He has promised to do it only step by step as they may need. – J.R.M.

You have taken the first right step there may be another then another but keep your hand in the hand of the Savior, follow the Shepherd closely that you may hear him whisper. Lean upon His breast and listen to his heartbeat. Step cautiously as you walk among vipers yet faithfully as you walk with Christ.

The Damascus Road is your experience of enlightenment. Listen, look, and believe is the simple process of faith. Don’t jump quickly, don’t make a quick decision, don’t run to a rash judgement. No, quietly and purposely walk with the Lord of your life and he will gently and purposely show you where to put your foot down.

God will shine a light for the next step, his word will guide, his spirit will guide, his presence will guide. Isaiah broadens our understanding when he writes, you will hear a voice in behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it. My sheep know my voice – He speaks clearly- listen and prepare to obey.

You may not have the future revealed to you but you will have your next step before you. Don’t let fear paralyze your steps, take one step of faith and walk in His s everyday presence.

Four Things A Husband Needs to Know About His Wife

Thank you for making this post the most read and most commented since I have began blogging. What do you think?

JIM LAUDELL

11lAfter nearly 36 years of studying my wife I can say with a hearty proclamation, “There is yet so much to learn.” My wife, along with other women in the world, is intriguingly and meticulously created with unique features defining her as woman. No wonder Adam, when wakened from a deep sleep, cried out, “WHOA! MAN!” – Thus, woman.
There is so much more to learn yet there are a few explicit details that emerge fitting the generalities of women. This isn’t a blueprint – it is merely one man’s observation of God’s female creation. Though this is written for men’s information; I know there are women reading this who will print it, post it and may actually hang it on the mirror for their husband to read, and read and re-read.

She is Unique – She Needs Your Love

Perhaps the Bible explains this the best way. She is…

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Use What You Have

freeLet’s just face it – we don’t start out with much. And most of what we do is relatively small compared to what we would really like to do. We have big plans with little resources. We have big dreams with little results. we take baby steps instead of giant steps.

Most of the time when we decide towards a faith venture or some exploit we decide to begin calculations of what we don’t have. We add up our debt, our depreciation and our decrease. We subtract from hope, faith and patience. We substitute fear, bad dreams and the sweats. But what if we used what we have.

The simple instead of the complex, the small instead of the large or the minute compared to the exhaustive.

Let’s examine all the Bible characters that started small:

Abraham and his staff

Moses and his rod

David and his five stones

The difference is they started small with a big God.

There was not a selective power in the rod, the staff or the smooth stones but the power was found when these faithful followers gave to God what they had to do what God has asked them to do. Giving before receiving; believing before the answer and small happens before big happens. David’s faith was not in the five smooth stones but in a great, big God. Yet, he simply gathered from the brook what he knew to do.

Maybe God wants you to do something, something big but you don’t have what it takes to make it happen. Why not count, add up and put together what you do have and give it to God. David ran towards the giant and you can too with just the little you have. A little talent, a little writing, a little prayer, a little conversation, a little…well, you get the picture. Take what you have and let God in it.

The difference with you starting small is you have a big God.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

The Big Question

2e52dd1d53Maybe it is time we define, “worship.” Maybe our self-made worship is more about us and our feelings than it is about drawing near to God and exalting and adoring the Lord God. Maybe we have turned our worship service into a self-serving manipulation of God turning the spotlight on my life rather than His glory. Maybe, just maybe, we need to define worship by going back to the Bible and seeing what God really desires.

When God created man it was for the dual purpose of fellowship and expression. Fellowship was the heartbeat of God for mankind to know and experience the love of God on an everyday basis. Expression was to manifest His glory upon them and within his creation; upon them for influence to reach for the souls of men and within them for personal hope and peace. When the glory of God illuminates upon a man He will influence others to righteous living. When the glory of God resides within a man, he will walk in integrity, transparency and peace.

When Adam and Eve sinned they lost fellowship and expression; they lost the everyday fellowship with a loving God and they lost the glory of God upon and within them. After their sin, God began earnestly looking for them and God asks the BIG QUESTION, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). The first question God ever asked, and the most heart wrenching, the man and woman He created were gone; he sorrowfully asked, “Where are you?”

The BIG QUESTION needs to be asked today, “Where are you?” Are you living in everyday fellowship with a loving God and is the expression of His glory upon you and within you? God is looking for you, pursuing you so He might show His lavish love by everyday fellowship and supremely pour His glory upon and within you. He wants you to come to Him. He wants to be with you. “Where are you?”.

Let’s do a checkup. The following reveals the emptiness of living without the presence of God in our life:

 

  1. Frustration, anxieties and other emotional downfalls
  2. Provokes a man to live close on the edge of failure
  3. Friction at home escalates
  4. Financial pressures abound
  5. Emptiness creates larger vacuums
  6. Our heart becomes weary
  7. Complaining instead of worship flows from our mouth
  8. Our song, joy and dance is gone
  9. People problems become prevalent
  10. Life becomes complex and worrisome
  11. Fear is substituted for faith
  12. Weakness in our Spirit
  13. Job related problems increase
  14. We begin to withdraw from others
  15. Our attitude becomes obnoxious and defensive
  16. We cower from the presence of God
  17. The Word of God becomes boring
  18. Life is increasingly boring
  19. Depression and discouragement
  20. Loss of Hope

The good news is that one step in His direction and He will come running towards you. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. The opportunity for more is within my grasp. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. When you hunger for more, thirst for more, it is your initiative that brings God’s blessings. His glory is poured out upon a man who enlarges his capacity by total surrender of heart, mind, soul and body. The empty self gains the fullness of His glory. He is ever longing to speak to you, bless you, fill you, heal you, restore you and love you.

His presence is waiting for you now – He wants fellowship and to express His glory – to overflow you with His love and His glory.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.