What Are Your Priorities?

I was looking through some old Evernote’s and saw one of my first notes when I came to Element Church to start my new position.That was almost two years ago now. It was a kick list of everything I needed to work on with the ministry personally. I started the list with my four “values” priorities:

  1. Love people
    1. This should never change. We are in the people business. God has called us to the people we serve.
  2. Cast vision
    1. As the Family Pastor I take the overall vision of the church and cast specific vision for each of the areas I lead.
  3. Celebrate the past
    1. When you take a new position the temptation is to come in and change everything just for the sake of change. I spent time celebrating what was done in the past rather than tearing anything down. One of the best honor moments we had was celebrating a staff person who was moving out of kids into another area. I bought flowers and had the teachers present them and pray over her in front of all the kids. This brought honor to her, my pastor and the church knew I was for them. I didn’t do everything right with this but that is maybe the one thing I did do right.
  4. Evaluate for the future
    1. Lists are a good way to think through what needs to be changed. One of the best practices is to walk around and see things through the eyes of a new person. Now I wouldn’t suggest carrying a clipboard or iPad to write those down as that can be intimidating (I made that mistake).

I thought that was a good reminder and sent those four to some of my staff. What are thoughts? How about your priorities, what are they?



The “body” of a perfect children’s worker

What does it take to be the “perfect” children’s minister, leader or volunteer? Well first off, there is no such thing, so you can breath a sigh of relief. If I was building one from scratch, here’s what I would include.


A leader once told me that “leaders have to worship with one eye open”. That means we always have to keep on eye our our sheep and lambs (kids, volunteers, parents and others). Leaders have to see things that others don’t. “Never walk over a piece of trash on the ground” is what we used to say. In the same way leaders don’t walk past a problem they can solve.


The first part of this is about keeping an open ear to hear feedback from parents, volunteers and kids. Listening can help us take the spiritual temperature of our ministry area. Secondly we must make sure we are hearing the word because faith comes by hearing. What does God’s Word say about your situation? What are you saying about it? Lastly, God is speaking through the person of the Holy Spirit, are you listening? Like Samuel make your cry: “Speak Lord for your servant is listening!


Here’s where we get in trouble. Often we are writing checks with our mouth that our life can’t cash. Death and life are in the power of the tongue so keep a watch on your words. Are you building up or tearing down with your words about… parents? kids? difficult volunteers? the youth pastor? the lead pastor?


Is your mind renewed? It won’t stay that way no more than your hair will stay combed. I confess everyday that I have the mind of Christ. I believe and speak that “I am creative because I am made in the image of God who is the creator of all things.” I also like to say “my memory is sharp and keen“. Finally, we need to be sure our mouth is always adorned with a great big smile.


There is a lot to be said about heart. I think the most important is to have a heart that follows after God. When we follow His heart we don’t have to ask for more passion, love, or anything else. His heart comes with all that we need equipped and fully loaded. I know people like to say “I have a heart for Africa” or “I have a heart for kids”. We need to say “I have God’s heart”!


The Bible says that God will bless the work of our hands. That means to me, the more I work, the more opportunity He has to bless. You’ve heard the old adage “work smarter, not harder”? I like to say “work smarter and harder”. Someone paid me a great compliment the other day: “You are one of the hardest workers I know.”


You need thick skin to be a leader for the long haul. Notice I said thick skin, not thick head. I think the only way to do this is to learn to walk in love. I like to pray 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and put my name in wherever it says “love”. There is nothing I can’t bear when I’m walking in love. One step out of love is a step into sin.


Our feet have to do with our spiritual position. In the Old Testament we see many times of them being told to take off their shoes and wash their feet when entering a Holy Place. In the New Testament the armor of God tells us our feet are tied to who we share with others. Our relationship with Him correlates directly with our ability to share with kids and families.We have to be sure that we are walking in God’s grace and righteousness and not in our own.