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Three New Ministry Tools I Can't Live Without

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I am a busy leader.  

Kicking Monday in the face requires having the right tools in my tool belt.

Here are three new ministry tools that I LOVE and I cannot live without:

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  1. Evo - I have tried every organizational tool on the planet to no avail: Google Cal / Planners / Writing on My Hand... Nothing worked.  Then I discovered Evo - this is a gamechanger! 

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    What makes Evo different is you first take a free Brain Type assessment that helps you understand your brains natural rhythms (I tested out as an Explorer -- spot on!)

    Then you download the free Evo App and get your Brain Type's Evo Planner

    It.  Is.  Amazing. 

    My Evo Planner tells me exactly WHAT to write WHERE plus my App scans each day's writings to better assist me in being the best me possible!   

    The only negative is Evo's clunky website -- It looks like something from the Dharma Initiative on LOST.








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  2. Breeze - Our church was recently named the 11th Fastest Growing Church in America.  We have a LOT of guests who come through our doors across 4 worship experiences.  Tracking and connecting with guests is a huge hurdle.  We've tried software like Fellowship One (confusing and clunky), Planning Center (better, but still hard for volunteers to navigate), etc.

    Enter Breeze.  I have a hunch that Breeze was developed as a start-up from a Planning Center ex-employee -- it is very similar, yet WAAAAAY more easier for volunteers to navigate, more intuitive, and 75% cheaper than Planning Center.

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  3. Aplos - Clumsy name (sounds like a disease) with outstanding service.  Aplos is Life Church's new accounting service with industry-leading online finance management tools plus a personal off-site Bookkeeper that creates robust integrity for our donors. 

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    Our bookkeeper is Miguel -- super cool guy who has patiently walked us step-by-step through a process for creating stronger accountability and systems inside our Finance Department. 

    Aplos easily links with Gusto for payroll services and I can't speak highly enough of these ministry tools.

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How to Build Stronger Men in 2020

I love organizations that feature strong, robust names: Resolute. Fearless.

I figure if you have something to say, be bold about it!

That's part of what attracted me to author and speaker Vince Miller's ministry, Resolute.

Vince told me:

"The problem is not all the bad things men are doing, but rather the kind of men we are developing. So let's build better men!"

Exactly.

Vince is this week's guest on the Fearless Leadership podcast.

Grab it now:

 


Tuesday Night Bible Study - 2 Samuel 5 - 10

God With Us | 2 Samuel 5-10
(Parallel Section: 1 Chronicles 11-19)

Overview

David finally became King of Israel about 15 years after being anointed as the successor to King Saul by Samuel the Prophet.

Under David’s leadership, Israel experienced many military victories and also enjoyed material blessings from God.

David established Jerusalem as his capital and the center of worship for the nation by moving the Ark of the Covenant there.

David wanted to build a house for God (a temple), but instead God assured David that He would build David’s “house” (David’s legacy).

The Lord would work through a descendant of David to build God’s house, and also would establish David’s lineage on the throne of Israel forever.

  1. Read 2 Samuel 2- 1. Read 2 Samuel 2-4; 5:1-5

    • What is the difference between the throne of Judah and the throne of Israel?
    • After David had possession of the throne of Judah, why did it take several additional years for him to take the throne of all of Israel?
    • Why do you think God made David wait so many years after Samuel anointed him to receive the throne?


  2. Read 2 Samuel 6:1- 2. Read 2 Samuel 6:1-13; 1 Samuel 6:1 13; 1 Samuel 6:1 13; 1 Samuel 6:1-12; Exodus 25:12 12; Exodus 25:12 12; Exodus 25:12-15; Numbers 4:5- Numbers 4:5-6, 15

    • How did David and the men with him transport the Ark?
    • Where did they probably get the idea of moving it on an ox cart? (see 1 Samuel 6:1-12)
    • How should they have transported it according to Exodus 25:12-15, and Numbers 4:5-6, 15?


  3. Read 2 Samuel 6:12- 3. Read 2 Samuel 6:12-23; 1 Samuel 18:17 23; 1 Samuel 18:17 23; 1 Samuel 18:17-19:17; 2 Samuel 3:12 19:17; 2 Samuel 3:12 19:17; 2 Samuel 3:12-16

    • Who was Michal and how did she become David’s wife? (see 1 Samuel 18:17-19:17; 2 Samuel 3:12-16)
    • What insights do you get from the text about the health and quality of Michal and David’s marriage relationship?
    • What do you think could have been going on inside of Michal that triggered her to despise David and respond to him like she did?


  4. Read 2 Samuel 9:1- 4. Read 2 Samuel 9:1-13; 1 Samuel 19 & 20 13; 1 Samuel 19 & 20 13; 1 Samuel 19 & 20

    • Who was Mephibosheth?
    • Why did David proactively seek him out? Why do you think David was so gracious to him? (see 1 Samuel 19 & 20)


  5. Read 2 Samuel 10:1- 5. Read 2 Samuel 10:1-5; Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 20:4; 1 Samuel 24:1 5; Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 20:4; 1 Samuel 24:1 5; Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 20:4; 1 Samuel 24:1-8

    • What happened to the delegation that David sent to show kindness to the King of the Ammonites?
    • Why do you think the Ammonites treated them this way? (see Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 20:4)
    • Why do you think David was sensitive to his men’s embarrassment and took steps to minimize it?
    • Why is it so hard to wait patiently on God’s timing?
    • How can you make sure you are doing this God’s way instead of your own?

Create a Culture by Design, Not Default

"Create a culture by design, not default"

(Walt Disney)

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Since our very first Informational Meeting eight years ago this week (!), Life Church has chosen to be known by what we are for, not what we are against.

Our culture is the secret sauce.  We're all about Jesus: dangerously, obsessively, undeniably Jesus.

Culture determines behavior.  In order to be the church we dream of, we must fight for our culture -- our unique flavor that propels us forward to reach the lost at any cost.

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This is why I am committed to raising up a generation of fearless leaders in the Church. 

The Church is worth fighting for.  We must always rally around our shared heartbeat if we are to extend that passion into the world.

Being a Culture-Keeper requires thick skin and calcium in the spine. 

Agendas must always be eclipsed by the Culture Code of your organization.

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"For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and motivates us, because we are absolutely convinced that He has given His life for all of us.

This means all died with Him, so that those who live should no longer live self-absorbed lives but lives that are poured out for Him—the One who died for us and now lives again."

(2 Corinthians 5:14-15, The Passion Translation)

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Heading into 2020, I have been working on codifying our original Culture Code.  The words are nearly exactly the same, the passion is as present in my bones as on Day One, and now it's been distilled into 4 easy-to-remember big ideas.

For what it's worth, here is Life Church's 2020 Code:

  1. HONOR: We are a generation of honor and integrity. We do not gossip. No insider politics. We are not competing with any churches. Full of honor and integrity, we will do the right thing even when it hurts. Our heart is to out-love, out-serve, and out-give those who misunderstand us.

  2. HUMBLE:  We will be known for what we are for.  We will speak vision and life over our people. We choose to leverage humor over hammer. We will lift up the life-giving power of Jesus Christ rather than using our platform to condemn.

    Movements move. We are not Atari, we are Apple, joining God's audacious movement of changed lives.  We will always maintain a posture of learning new methods.  We will always narrow the focus in all we do.  We think steps, not programs.


  3. HUNGRY: We are united under one vision -- to reach the lost at any cost.  To reach the people no one else is reaching, we will do the things no one else is doing.  We will do anything short of sin to reach people far from God.  We will aggressively defend our unity and vision.

    The church is a rescue organization, not a social club.  We will not cater to personal preferences in our mission to reach this region.  This is not a Yacht Club.  We are more concerned with the people we are trying to reach than the people we are trying to keep. We are only as "deep" as the last person we served!


  4. HUSTLE: Don't just stick your toe into the water -- Cannonball!  We do it right and do it big! Greatness is never on sale.  We believe undistracting excellence honors God and inspires people.  We place a disproportionate value on creating a worship experience that boldly celebrates Jesus and attracts people far from God.

    We are all about the numbers.  Every numbers represents a person.  Every person represents a story of life-change through Christ.  Tracking metrics measures effectiveness.  We will unapologetically celebrate life-change!

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Free Downloads & Resources for 2020

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I love encouraging and equipping Church Leaders like you with insanely-practical resources.

Leadership is hard but the load gets a bit lighter when you have friends cheering you on!

That's why I started FearlessLeaders.net.

It is an honor and a joy to be a small part of God's larger Kingdom advancement!

Here are some we gave away in 2019 that you can have to use right now in 2020:

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Never, Never, Never Give Up on Your Dream (Here's Why)!

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin...”

( Zechariah 4:10 )

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6 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, I WAS THE ONLY STAFF MEMBER OF A 9-MONTH-OLD CHURCH START-UP.

My worship pastor had just quit and moved back to Florida.

We were meeting in a local elementary school as a portable church stuck at 60 people.

I was angry, discouraged, and our baby church was homeless.

A phone call completely out-of-the-blue from a Lydia of Thyatira (see Acts 16) led to a walk-thru of this former golf store in the shadow of Freeland, Michigan.

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GOLF MANIA HAD BEEN IN AND OUT OF BANKRUPTCY FOR YEARS.  

The latest owner had grown so frustrated at the lack of customers plus mounting bills that he abruptly locked up the facility one day and walked away, never looking back. 

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Bankruptcy is a funny thing: everything in Golf Mania was frozen in time.

The show room was still stocked with expensive golf gear.  

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Receipts were strewn everywhere from freshly-fired employees who never bothered to clean up.  

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WHEN YOU TRAIN TO BECOME A CHURCH START-UP SPECIALIST, YOU ARE SKILLED AT ALWAYS SEEING THE POTENTIAL IN EVERY PROBLEM.

The facility and furniture were exquisite.   

I couldn’t believe this facility was just sitting here unused! 

This facility was chock full of potential!

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The facility tour was in December of 2013.

It would take eleven long, drawn-out-months before we could begin gathering inside the old Golf Mania.

2014 was a year of vision-casting to a dwindling audience, pleading with the Landlords to take a risk on our church start-up, never taking No for an answer with city officials concerned about Zoning, and intense fundraising.

I could have given up.

I felt like giving up.

Yet I didn’t.

 

Elisha said,
“God’s word:
Dig ditches all over this desert valley. Here’s what will happen—you won’t hear the wind, you won’t see the rain, but this valley is going to fill up with water and your army and your animals will drink their fill. This is easy for God to do!” (2 Kings 3)

THE WORD IMPOSSIBLE IS NOT IN GOD’S VOCABULARY!

If He has called you to it, He will see you through it!

Do not despise the days of small beginnings.
Do not give up when you are in the very situations that are ripe for a miracle of God.

Once we opened the doors on a 24/7 leased facility (it was a huge step of faith; we could not afford the monthly rent at that point and I was scared!), the floodgates of blessings were poured out.

People started showing up.

Lives starting changing.

The facility was simply a tool for ministry… and our perseverance was paying off.

We were praying for God to fill our worship space in 3 years…
…and He literally did it in just 3 months!

Never give up.
Fight tooth-and-nail.
Kill the doubts in your head before the Liar kills the dream in your heart.

In 2008 I attended EntreLeadership for the first time. Dave Ramsey said every time you read the story the turtle always wins. Every time.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL SAID IT BEST…

The great day finally arrived, and after the school's fanfare and acclamation, Sir Winston Churchill stood to his feet, acknowledged the introduction, and gave the following address, which is quoted in full:

'Young men, never give up.
Never give up!
Never give up!!
Never, never, never-never-never-never!'"

 


Merry Christmas from Team Herron

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Christmas was magical at the church I love!  

Sunday we saw 17 new Christ Followers in Midland and Saginaw and celebrated 6 more baptisms... Which puts us at exactly 50 baptisms in 2019!

Christmas Eve we were PACKED at 3pm and saw 20 people respond to the Gospel.  5pm was fun too with more lives transformed by God's grace.

I am so thankful to be part of a healthy, thriving, fun church family!

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Jesus came for you...

A Child has been born for us; a Son has been given to us.

The responsibility of complete dominion will rest on His shoulders, and His Name will be:

The Wonderful One!
The Extraordinary Strategist!
The Mighty God!
The Father of Eternity!
The Prince of Peace!

(Isaiah 9:6, The Passion Translation)

 

As a Christmas BONUS, here is the video we shared Sunday and Monday at Life Church, filmed on-location in Jerusalem!

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