Tuesday is for Training::Coaching Network Begins

I have been told by many people that “leaders are learners” and that “if you stop learning, you stop leading effectively.” I am embarking on a year long journey that I have been wanting to do for many years now–I joined a coaching network for senior pastors. I have been kicking around going back to school and get a Doctorate in Ministry, but the cost and distance learning would be prohibitive at this time. So, an online tele-coaching network really fit the bill for me.

I am really excited about how God is going to use this network to stretch me and make me a better leader! I believe that I am really in the prime of my ministry life right now and I want to “sharpen the ax” to get the most out of these years on into the end of my ministry career. I know that I have so much to learn about how to be an effective leader, pastor, and follower of Christ.

The format of the coaching network is a monthly ninety minute teleconference call where Nelson Searcy coaches us senior pastors (I don’t know how many are actually in the network). After the call, we are required to turn in our notes as homework as well as do a lot of reading and work through several resources each month.  There is also a mid-month Q & A phone call to help us apply what we are learning. I am really excited about the one day, on site visit, where we get to meet with and learn face to face from Nelson.

I chose this particular coaching network because of it’s focus on Church Health and Church Systems. Much like the body has many systems that (when healthy) make us grow and thrive; the body of Christ has systems that when healthy help the church grow to her full potential. This systems approach is so nice because it can be used anywhere in any ministry context or community. Belle Glade, to say the least, is a very different ministry context that even a few miles to the east or west on the coasts of South Florida; so I am excited to be able to apply the principles of this systems approach to our context at First Belle Glade. I think we are going to see the benefits of me being in this network very quickly here in Belle Glade at this church. It really believe it is a win/win for me and the church to both grow over the next year like we have never grown before.

So tell me, what are you doing to grow in your life right now? In what areas?

Ed Stetzer – How to Get Involved in Disaster Relief: Helping Before and After a Disaster

Here is a great article on how you can get involved in Disaster Relief. We are entering the heart of the hurricane season around here in South Florida and just missed Hurricane Irene. However, millions of people were not so lucky as she moved north along the Atlantic Coast. I pray for our friends and neighbors who are picking up the pieces today after a horrific weekend of storms. May we take and apply some of these principles and make a difference after these events. We may have a few more major storms come through this season…remember Hurricane Wilma came through Belle Glade very late in the season.

Ed Stetzer – How to Get Involved in Disaster Relief: Helping Before and After a Disaster.

First Day of School in Belle Glade

We have our first day of school under our belts down here in South Florida! Taylor said he had “the best first day ever!” That is funny if you know our tender-hearted Taylor. He cried on his first day in Ozark and Carthage in all four grades, “just because mom cried and I didn’t want her to be alone.”

Tuck walked into Kindergarten like he owned the place. His teacher stuck out her hand to shake his hand and he kind of high fived her….classic. Here are some pics from yesterday.









Willow Creek, Homosexuality, and the Future of Evangelical Response

I guess it always pays to be on time from coming back at lunch at The Summit.  We missed a huge announcement yesterday from Bill Hybels on the withdrawal of Howard Shultz from the schedule of the Summit because of an online petition claiming Willow Creek is “anti-gay.” I felt like Hybel’s response was one of the best responses I have heard in a long time concerning homosexuality and the Church.

Patrick Lencioni was amazing as a last minute fill in talking about being vulnerable in leadership.  He broke out principles from his latest book called “Getting Naked.” Looks like a great book for sure!

Here is Hybel’s graceful announcement/response to the last couple of weeks.  Total class act!

[tentblogger-youtube MFhSfr13Y6o]

I really liked what Ed Stetzer wrote on his blog concerning the announcement.  Here is a portion:

Much could be said here, but let me briefly suggest five principles to consider about the issue of homosexuality and evangelical churches:

  1. The issue is not going away and you cannot ignore it or seek to downplay your views.
  2. The culture sees this as a “justice” issue– Christians discriminating on the basis of immutable characteristics.
  3. Though it is easy to make the case (in the church) that homosexual practice is incompatible with scripture, it will be exceedingly difficult case to make in today’s culture.
  4. Building bridges and showing grace and love is needed, lacking, and essential when dealing with people with different views and values.
  5. At the end of the day, all evangelicals (including centrist evangelicals like those at Willow Creek) will still have to deal with an issue that the world perceives as narrow and bigoted.

Pray for Willow as they are in the media this week– that they will make much of Jesus, will continue to stay true to the scriptures, and will show grace in the process.

Ed Stetzer – Willow Creek, Homosexuality, and the Future of Evangelical Response.

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

I have been going to the Leadership Summit since way back in the 90s while I was in seminary. It has always been an awesome time of learning and the Lord always seems to speak to me in buckets. I am praying that this year is no different as I head to West Palm Beach to attend the simulcast with my new staff. I am really excited about hearing from the Lord as well as learn from these great leaders.

Here is the highlights from last year’s Summit.  It was absolutely amazing and came during a really crucial time in my life as well as a very difficult time in my life.

[tentblogger-youtube 4RHn1ZyjNq4]

One of my favorite speakers from last year was Jeff Manion. God really used him mightily to hang in there and push through a very difficult time in my life and ministry. I am grateful that I pushed through and God has brought us here to South Florida to help the Church in Belle Glade. I say “Church” in capital letters, because the revival is not going to break out in just one church, but in the entire “Church” here in the Glades. I prayed this morning with a group of pastors in this town for revival to come and it start with us individually as well as in our churches.

[tentblogger-youtube RZimFf9Wx4g]

I wonder which person, talk, or phrase God is going to use the next two days to lead me in this next season? We will see!