Pastor Jason's Twitter Feed

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Love My Church

This past two weeks has been a challenging one for me personally. I flew home from a wedding in Indiana so I could continue work at Grace Crossing while my family stayed back and spent time visiting family in Indiana & Illinois. 

As much of an introvert as I am I found myself going nuts alone! I missed hearing my kids screaming "hello daddy" when I walked in the door from the office. I missed my wife just asking how my day was. FaceTime is great, but not the same. 

I eventually needed to initiate some opportunities & respond to some invites to spend time with people in our Grace family. I have been so grateful to those that have welcomed me into their homes for dinner, gone on sonic runs just to get out & even those who went on walks or talked on the phone with me this past couple weeks. 

It was a great reminder for me that even those of us who don't mind being alone, were simply not designed to live an isolated life apart from people. We are created to live life together. That's why relationships are so vital to the health of a church & also to the health of its leaders. I'm a firm believer that a leader has no chance of leading effectively in a way that is sustainable without healthy & balanced relationships. I have not always achieved success in this area of my leadership...but I am grateful to have the relationships that I do here in Kansas. 

Let's all focus on advancing our relationships with one another. We've got some pretty stellar people at Grace with some amazing lives just waiting to be shared. Thanks again for letting my family be a part of your stories. 

Always Believe. 

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?