What is Next?

Today’s uncharted territory leaves many wandering what tomorrow may bring. Jim Laudell mentions three red flags as cautions for tomorrow, mentions the greatest asset of the past and points to directional markers for tomorrow in this week’s podcast.

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A challenge is an opportunity to prove your previous training

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Changes Churches Made Last Week

In unprecedented times, churches in America made changes, to adapt to the unpredictable future. These four changes may rewrite how we look at church methods.

Highpoints Podcast

With the compliant closure of many American churches  compassion is beginning to exceed seating capacity 

A relational, creative gospel is being birthed

Fifteen Days – Special Edition

Finding yourself at home without your normal routine and relationships may be considered as an uncomfortable repose but can this fifteen day “stay at home” be considered as a needed solitude and sabbatical? 

Can we have a slow down and not a melt down?

What can we learn from the Word of God?
Will God speak into our lives?

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Highpoints Podcast

In our solitude can we learn from the Word of God? Will God speak into our lives?

I Made A Mistake

What happens when you make a mistake? I did and wish I didn’t but I tried to make the best out of it. I’ll tell you what my mistake was and give a few suggestions on how NOT to make the mistake I made.

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It is not that you will go through life never making a mistake but that you go through life with the intention to not make another one.

What Does it Take to Become an Efficient Leader?

What does it take to become an efficient leader? How do we know if we have arrived? Is it success? Money? Position?

Efficiency is not a position, financial status or even extreme productivity. In this weeks Highpoints Podcast, our host, Jim Laudell will uncover the secrets to being an Efficient Leader.

Highpoints Podcast #5

Respect is not a reaction but a lifestyle

When You Have Been Criticized

It was a harsh criticism and mostly undeserving but it struck through the heart. It may not had been taken seriously but it was someone we expected better. Even though it was over 25 years ago, I still remember how the bite hurt for a few months.

When criticism comes your way, it can make you feel devalued, disrespected and unappreciated; however, not all criticism should be treated the same. Criticism comes through various means and varied approaches, so the response to criticism varies; one answer for all does not apply.

Let me suggest a few action steps if criticism bites today:

Examine the criticism. Is it an attack against a decision you made and not all parties are on the same page? If so, no matter what side you are on, criticism will come. Stand for the right and continue to live with a smile on your face. If the criticism attacks an unchangeable feature, understand the nature of the attack, find grace to live without bitterness and continue to live patiently. If the same criticism thrown at you, others have received, most likely, nothing will change to suit the critic, continue to live forgiving.

Evaluate the criticism. Is the criticism coming from a person you love? Did it come at a heated moment? Was it intentional? Did it come from someone who does not know you? Evaluate the person’s value to you, close friend, anonymous source, a person in your group?

 

Rate criticism on a scale of one to ten. One being, criticism from a person I don’t know and ten being a criticism from a person who loves me much?
If one to four, IGNORE,
Five to eight, ADAPT and
Nine to ten CHANGE.
Is the critic a “known” critic? Everyone knows the critic lives with a chip on his or her shoulder or an axe to grind, give them a one.

 

Estimate the criticism. Are you offended? Is the criticism well deserved? Was it a courteous criticism? Are you willing to listen to creative criticism? Estimate the amount of criticism you will accept and the amount you will reject. Can you tell if the criticism is constructive criticism or destructive criticism? Can you accept ideas from others? What do you do when others do not agree with you? How you handle criticism tells a lot about you as a person.

Entertain the criticism. The worse becomes the worst when we engage an army, enlist recruits, play the story over in your mind and entertain the critic by how bad we feel.. Live by the philosophy, “you can hurt my ears but you can’t touch my heart.” Find a place to put your criticism before you go home. Hang up your jacket before you leave the office, placing all the criticism in the pockets, you will feel better when you get home.

Lastly, enlarge your heart by praying for your critic and  praying for yourself. Pray specifically for joy and peace. Pray because God understands criticism. When David was criticized by Shemei in 2 Samuel, he cursed, criticized and cast stones but David responded with an amazing answer, It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day. Leave criticism in God’s hands, it may be God will turn it around for the good.

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

THE SMALL CHURCH PASTOR AND HIS STRUGGLE

Every Pastor, whether the church is large or small, struggles to some extent with the pressures of performance. Whether we like it or not our attendance and our offerings growl like an angry Doberman at our conscience biting at our credibility, our character and our capability.

Our credibility will be questioned, “Where’s all the money going?”
Our character, “We need to pray more.”
Our capability, “We used to run more people.”

The small church pastor doubles as janitor, care taker, maintenance worker, and often, bi-vocational. His schedule his full, he feels he doesn’t have enough money or enough time to spend time with his family. Several Pastors, personally confessed of feeling incompetent and discouraged.
Without seeming redundant or condescending, there is, and should be, a relief valve. What we need is more than a day off, a coffee break or a vacation but we do need to see what God sees. To capture the heights of His understanding and to gain His approval. Without sounding simplistic, God’s evaluation of my ministry in incredibly important.
Here are three insights to reveal “Does God understand my struggle?”
THERE ARE SEASONS. 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. Not only are there different seasons but there are different ministries. God may have you at your location to plow the field, the next pastor may sow the seed and the next pastor may yield the harvest. Or, one pastor may experience all three seasons – wait for it.
1 Corinthains 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. Don’t despair in the season of cold, when plowing is tedious and tiresome; plow in anticipation of the harvest.
Take Away: Understanding the rise and fall of attendance and offerings are usually seasonal. Summer slump and Christmas holidays can be devastating to a small church but early Spring and Fall usually provide an upswing. Plan your greatest events during the months you typically see your increase.

THERE ARE GOD MOMENTS Isaiah 43:18-19 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. A “God Moment” is an unbelievable intervention causes you to celebrate, “It couldn’t have happened unless God did it.” Call it a breakthrough or revival or a windfall but it was absolutely a moment in your ministry when no one or nothing but God could have brought the results you received.
Take Away: Continual and tenacious prayer proceed breakthroughs. Step into the secret closet of prayer. Talk to God about the lows of your ministry. Ask Him to give you strength to go through the nonproductive days. Be willing to wait for God’s intervention.

THERE ARE LOVE LESSONS For me, a love lesson, is when it strikes me with the truth, God loves me and accepts me. In my failures, my lack of performance, and in my insufficiencies, He continues to accept me. There are times of tears and times of celebration, high and lows, success and failure but in each there is God’s love for me. Comparison to others will never solve the ache in my heart for approval. Approval only comes from God. Allowing God to express His love, even, without success, in monumental. You may feel all alone but in those quiet nights of reflection God whispers, “I love you.” Give your ministry to Him and He will see you through.
Take Away: Comparison with other ministries will get you down. Look to Jesus for the church He has entrusted you with. Allow God to reveal the vision He has for your congregation. Understand God’s approval of you is not based on your performance or success.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of 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 professional advice.