Pastor Jason's Twitter Feed

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My view from 10,000 feet

As I'm sitting here in my plane flying back to Kansas from Indiana I have some thoughts going through my head. As I look out the window I can see a wide scope of the area. I can see things from up here that those on the ground have no idea are coming. It got me thinking about this past week, and some things in currently dealing with in ministry life. 

I had the opportunity to officiate the wedding of a very good friend yesterday. In my message to them I encouraged them to continue doing the things that led them to their wedding day. I challenged them to pursue God first. Pursue growing themselves & each other into the people God has called them to be. And I challenged them to pursue keeping the promises they made on their wedding day. 

Why is it that when we look at marriage from a 10,000 foot view it seems simple? We can take a Good guess at what's coming, how we should deal with them, how we should contain our anger & jealous & discontentment. We know what we should do when we look at marriage from this elevated perspective. But when you're on the ground level, caught up in the daily chaos that is marriage...we can get caught off guard. When have have stopped intentionally pursuing God, pursuing growth, & pursuing the promises...the unthinkable can happen. And it will, unless we constantly remind ourselves that there is a different perspective, one that sees the whole landscape. One that is from a God who loves us more than we love ourselves & wants us to succeed more than we could dream of. Why don't we trust that perspective more?

To my newly wedded friends, don't drift. Be intentional. Always remember there is another perspective, another way to look & approach things. 

To my friends struggling in marriage. Believe that God knows it. God sees it. God feels it. God sees the broader landscape. God wants to restore, but it requires you to place yourself under His desires for you & your relationship, not doing your own thing anymore, but rather His thing. You can't do it on your own, You CAN do it with God & some life changes. Believe that. 

Always Believe,

Jason

Monday, November 11, 2013

Viral Communication

During my first season of ministry here in Kansas I have had the opportunity to utilize leadership principles to grow a church and grow future church leaders.  I have also had the opportunity to work alongside a dear friend and mentor that I am trying to soak up as much knowledge as I possibly can during our time together.  One of my focuses for this next season of my life is to be more intentional about my writing and sharing ideas and strategies that I feel could help someone in the local church or in secular leadership venues.

I wanted to stay by sharing something simple that I have been teaching several people lately, and that is an approach to communicating effectively with your target audience.  At our core, we all have a message to share; something that we want others to know or something we truly believe could help impact other lives.  The difference is whether we ever get up the nerve to share or not.  If we do decide to share our message or our experience, the approach is critical to the success of your message.

ENGAGE:
It all starts with how you engage.  You have a short amount of time to engage your target or you lose them.  If you don't engage it doesn't matter how good your content is, you've communicating to a disengaged ear.  You've lost your opportunity b/c you didn't engage effectively.  Whether in sales, or in preaching, or in simply sharing your heart with someone...you have to engage.  It all starts with finding a common ground, getting on the same level as your target.  Get buy-in to YOU before you get buy-in to what you have to say.  When your target believes they can relate to YOU, you are more likely to engage them to relate to what you're saying.  Don't sell anything to people...just meet them where they are and engage their needs.  The simple fact is that the common ground is where you can get everyone on the same, level playing field.  Get people engaged before you even bother with content.

EQUIP:
Once you've engaged your target audience, start equipping them with the information they need to make an informed decision.  Whether in sales, in leadership, or in preaching the goal is to get people on board with a common mission or idea...that what you are saying has benefit in their lives and could impact them if they would apply.  Equip them with relevant content that they can apply.  Information with no practical application just leads to head knowledge, not life-change.  So you have to ask yourself what the win is...is it to increase your target audience's knowledge base, or to help them change their life?  It's your call...I prefer to be a part of God's story in changing lives...not just making people smarter.  Either way...decisions are birthed from data and information that they can apply.  It is your responsibility as the communicator to equip them with the information and help them connect the dots to the way it applies to their life.

EXTEND:
Now that you've engaged, and equipped them with knowledge, it's up to you to close the deal.  In sales, as in leadership...the reason many fail is b/c they don't ask for the sale...they don't present the Gospel.  They give great content and information, but they don't lead people into a decision that gets results.  To me...this applies directly to church leadership.  My role as a communicator is to reach disconnected people.  People that are un-saved, un-churched and un-used.  I want to reach them so that they can be restored.  Once they are restored, I want to release them to do what God has called them to do.  BUT...it will never happen if I don't extend a challenge.  A simple application point or next step that leads them down the path of a decision that could very well change their life.  It's all about the extend.  Without it, you will have engaged people that love listening to you speak, love the information you provide them with, but walk in and out of your presence without ever making decisions to improve and get better.

So...what do you do with this?  I have no idea.  I think applies to each of us who communicate in different ways.  Missionaries, Pastors, Teachers, Salespeople, even employers.  If you want to get results...give it a shot.  This simple strategy worked for guys like the Apostle Paul, and Jesus brother James, take a look at Jesus' communication and you will see one of the most engaging communicators in human history.

So...can you engage, equip, and extend in a way that leads to results?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Speaking This Sunday @ Grace Mounridge in Kansas

This Thursday my family will be traveling out west to visit Grace Community Church in Moundridge, Kansas.  While there we will be interviewing with the search team, elder team and hopefully meeting a ton of people excited about what God is up to in and through this church.  When I asked what topic I should focus on to preach I was given the suggestion of 'how to deal with uncertainty', which is interesting consider that pretty much explains life in the Rains family right about now.  We have taken a huge step in faith trusting in a HUGE God to deliver us exactly where He has planned for us to be all along.  Here are some thoughts that I am working on for this weekend at Grace Moundridge...Come Wide Open, Come Expecting, Come Ready To Be Challenged.

In its purest form, uncertainty reveals the necessity for faith.  But what exactly is faith?

We often define faith very poorly in our culture.  Even Webster's Dictionary has over 15 different definitions for this simple word...faith.  How do we know how to overcome uncertainty in life with faith if we don't even know what the definition is?  If only there was a Biblical definition of faith...

Check this out.

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

There's your definition.  But what the heck does that mean?  That doesn't really bring a lot of clarity to mind personally.  Let me give you how I have taken this Biblical definition and practically applied it to my own life.  

I believe that faith is simply this..."I BELIEVE THAT GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS, AND THAT HE WILL DO WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO."

How's that for a definition?  What if...in our times of uncertainty, we lived believing that God was exactly who He said He was and that He would come through the way He said He would.  Now, it may not look anything like the way we expect, but do you really believe that God is good?  That God is in control?  That God could love you...the way you are RIGHT NOW, not some future cleaned-up version of you?  Do you believe that He's your creator, your sustainer, the giver of all grace, and that every good and perfect gift comes from Him?  Do you believe that?  

How would that impact our times of uncertainty?  Maybe...just maybe...in those times of uncertainty things seem shaky and unstable because we have falsely defined our faith by our ability to bring God into our life situations instead of using our life situations to bring us closer to God!  It doesn't matter how MUCH faith you have...it doesn't ride on you or your ability...your faith all rides on the person your faith is in!  He's bigger than all your uncertainty.  BELIEVE THAT!

That's enough for one sitting.  See y'all Sunday.

Humbly In His Grip

Pastor Jason