Saturday, December 31, 2011
If you are leading a volunteer workforce, you are in good company. The US Department of Labor reported that this past year (ending September 2011) that there were 62.8 million people that were actively volunteering in some organization. These people came from all walks of life, all economic classes, some college, some not, all races, both genders, young and old.
On average they spent about 52 hours in the past year volunteering, about one hour a week.
While you may not remember all these numbers, remember the "one hour a week".
Studies have shown that in about an hour, the average volunteer can be fully trained to perform the job for which they are assigned. The church jobs that volunteers fill range from some simple jobs like handing out the weekly bulletin or folding chairs to more complex tasks like supervising a nursery or leading worship.
What is unfortunate is that all too often, we don't give these volunteers the one hour of training that they need. This is unfortunate because the church is one big volunteer-run organization. Since the day of Pentecost, the vast majority of the leaders in the Church have been volunteers. Volunteers provide the invitation, the hospitality, the teaching, the training, the development and also the governance of most churches.
When training is inadequate, volunteers don't get the opportunity to fully understand the importance of their role. Without proper training they can't lead and without leadership the mission suffers.
Fortunately the best people to do the training is volunteers. We just need to give them the opportunity and let them know it is a priority; let them find the one-hour to train. Let them lead.....62.8 million can't be wrong.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The church is told to "make disciples". Jesus demonstrated that one of the ways to be effective in developing disciples was to actually spend three years with just twelve of them. Jesus and his disciples were together in the desert, on the mountains, in boats during the storm and through some difficult times.
Often there may be short cuts we can embrace but typically while we may be convinced we are being efficient, we aren't necessarily effective. I lived in Mexico for almost three years and I learned that particularly in Latin America, developing relationships takes time. It takes time and effective leadership that allows us to transfer skills and a passion for people. To effectively train and disciple others we need to provide feedback, offer suggestions and demonstrate support.
If our objective in ministry is to train and develop others that are to become effective in ministry then we are following the Biblical mandate. Christ gave us (who are called to lead in ministry) "to equip His people people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Eph 4:12)
Now that's being effective!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I certainly understand why they are making the claim, they are trying to communicate clearly that they are extending every effort to accomplish a task.
Most of us understand that 150 percent is arguably impossible. One of the things I teach as well is that 100 percent is also not a good objective when it comes to church processes, procedures and systems. A more reasonable objective is to achieve 90 percent of what is desired as the additional effort to achieve it all requires a huge expenditure of resources, both capital (money) as well as time that can be better used on other endeavors. In fact studies have shown that often 90 percent of the desired result can be accomplished with as little as 10 percent of the effort: A 90/10 solution.
Let’s assume that you are leading a church that is looking into a computer system that has capabilities that include children check-in, small groups, membership, giving and volunteer tracking. Being a good leader you assemble the heads of various ministries, announce to them that you are going to be purchasing and/or developing a new system that handles the handful of tasks you have already identified and invite them to become a member of the selection and implementation team.
After a few meetings, the newly assembled team now has some very specific requirements that includes all of the above plus: historical giving information, archived membership information, a social-media interface that provides both Twitter and Facebook updates, a project management system, the ability to track an unlimited number of designated funds, the ability to record prayer requests, track class registration, import and display family and individual photos and another twenty or so desirable attributes.
If the team was actually insistent about achieving all of their objectives including a desire for the resulting system to be so flexible that anything forgotten can be easily added on in the future, they would find that the cost of implementing the 100 percent solution would be extremely expensive.
However, if they selected a solution that would hit the ground running and provide 90 percent of all of the desired attributes, the costs would be about 10 percent of the 100 percent solution.
It is actually pretty simple to understand that the first 90 percent of almost any project can be accomplished or implemented with about 10 percent of the effort. This applies not only to church computer systems but also decisions that we make on a daily basis. A chef may take a trip to his favorite market possibly in a different city to select exactly the right cut for a dinner party while those of us with more modest expectations can stop at the local grocery store and find something already cut, packaged and priced at a much lower cost.
This 90/10 approach also applies to church construction, video and audio equipment, furnishings and publications. It is much better stewardship of resources to understand that being able to provide a 90 percent solution is not only much more economical but also allows other projects, ideas and ministry wishes to be considered and funded.
Give 100 percent to those things that are clearly directed by the Lord. Do 100 percent discipleship, encourage 100 percent unity, and develop 100 percent parents. Do more ministry by embracing a 90/10 solution for those things that are desired but not needed.
Reprint from Church Executive Magazine http://churchexecutive.com/archives/the-9010-solution September 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
In the real game of life, the Creator has told us what the rules are. Jesus summarized them as just two: Love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Here is how it goes. We’ll use the story out of Mark 10:
The Rich Young Ruler
As He (Jesus) was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"Why do you call Me good?" Jesus asked him. "No one is good but One-God.
You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother."
He said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth."
Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, "You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me." But he was stunned at this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" But the disciples were astonished at His words. Again Jesus said to them, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
So they were even more astonished, saying to one another, "Then who can be saved?"
Looking at them, Jesus said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God."
Some will say that Jesus says this because the man was very unique and that he was looking to the law, trying to earn his salvation. Some will say that the idea of the man being told to give up everything he had to follow Jesus was the exception, not the rule.
I doubt that is the main reason for this passage. I believe, these verses are not about the exception but the rule. Let’s look again at the passage and find FIVE RULES that Jesus emphasizes
- LIVE A MORAL LIFE – Jesus said, “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother." It is the moral code that provides the guidelines for ourselves, our families and our society. This has been the foundation of the Jewish and Christian communities; these are those guidelines that have been given to us by our Creator.
These moral guidelines are also the bedrock of this nation. John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
- JESUS LOVES US! We are His creation. He loves us unconditionally. At this time every good religious Jew was trying to earn salvation by works. Jesus points out this very clearly with Nicodemus. You need to be born again, a new work via the Holy Spirit.
- FORESAKE ALL ELSE: giving to the poor, giving up everything to follow Jesus, having treasure in heaven is the rule….Jesus mentions these often:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters -- yes, even his own life -- he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26-27).
"In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33)
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it" (Matthew 13:44-46).
"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it" (Luke 9:24).
"Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it" (Luke 17:33)
- Jesus say’s FOLLOW ME: This is not an empty challenge but the opportunity for a great reward. Jesus had said it earlier to some fisherman: “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22)
- Finally…ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD. Jesus was challenged by His disciples.Jesus had made the comparison of a camel going through the eye of a needle to a rich man entering the Kingdom of God, and the disciples wanted to know then who could be saved? Jesus assures them however that with God, all things are possible. Jesus would soon be entering Jerusalem to pay a price that He didn’t owe, to pay a debt that we couldn’t pay. All things are possible with God.
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