Ministry Tips and Tools: Thoughts on Spiritual Leadership

Kenneth Gangel writes, “The Christian leader understands that he functions to facilitate the ministry of others. He does what he must do in order that they may do what God has called them to do.”

Eph 4:11-12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

The main call on leadership is found in Ephesian 4: 11 and 12. The fivefold ministry is to equip believers to do the work of the ministry. We, as leaders, are called not to make converts only, but more importantly to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Not to make members for our church or ministry but to make disciples for Christ and release them for ministry. The church as a whole has emphasized making converts, but too many of these saved persons are being left on their own and, when tribulation comes, they falter because they have not been discipled. That is why the American church is so weak. We stopped making disciples and moved into entertainment and “feel good” teaching. We need to go back and train people and release them for ministry so that the kingdom of God is advanced: not just our church or ministry but the Kingdom of God!

Leith Anderson writes “The Church is caught in tensions. Our society is changing, economic, business and political realities are in constant flux. As a people, we feel this pressure ceaselessly. Yet as individuals, we resist change, feeling more secure with a stable environment. This constant pressure from society to change and the tendency for individuals to resist change create tension.

Matt 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

There is no doubt that we live in a time of great chaos. We sometimes wish we could go back to the time when things seemed more stable in our lives. Because of that we sometimes resist change of any kind in our church. We would like to be like a ship moored in the harbor. It is safe, nothing can affect it. But in reality, ships were not made for harbors, but for the open sea where there are strong winds and large waves that bring danger. As Christians, we must do what Jesus told us. “Go”. Not to sit and wait. But to go and preach the gospel to all. We must go outside our church and comfort zone and share boldly the love of God by our actions and words.

Kennon Callahan writes “The watershed question for many people in many congregations is….Do we believe that our best years are behind us, or do we believe that our best years are before us. Either way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

1 Cor 2:9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

As leaders, we must believe in what God called us to do. We must have a passion for the call on our lives. If we do not believe in what we are doing, no one else will. It is our leadership and enthusiasm that people will follow. Too many times, leaders let past success hold them back as they try to stay in an old anointing. God is on the move and we must move with him. We must act on the revelation God gives us today.

Leith Anderson: “Great leaders excel amid adversity. Do not resent tough times. Do not mark off the days until problems will be over. It is in hardship that we learn endurance. It is in adversity that we have our greatest opportunities to lead.”

I remember when I first read James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. I thought I had misread that! It is in adversity that we grow as we learn to trust God for our solutions. Every successful ministry has had some failures. But we learn from our mistakes and move on with God. Ministry will have highs and lows. At one time God is blessing and things are flowing smoothly, at other times things slow down and problems are everywhere. Where we grow most is during the difficult times as God continue to mold us into the persons He needs for the next upward move in our lives. As leaders, we must remain positive as God moves us to new ministries. Many people ask God to make things easy for them. A better prayer would be to ask God to make you a better person.

I am reminded of 2 Thess 1:3-4 as Paul wrote about the Thessalonians: We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

As the Thessalonians we must have a good report as we go through difficult times in our ministry.

Peter Drucker: “There is no correlation between potential and performance. There are lots of people with potential that do nothing with it. What counts is performance. Great leaders do something.

James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

As leaders, God has called us to be doers, not triers. We are called to be steadfast in our calling. One religious way that I have seen leaders avoid taking action on a problem is this phrase. “Let pray about it” Yes, I say, “Let pray about it” As you know I am in favor of prayer, but most of the time what they are really saying is “let us hope the problem goes away before we meet again”. Yes, pray about it, but act on the problem. Problems do not go away on their own. One must act under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but act we must.

In the next Tips and Tools, I will start a two part teaching on the Spiritual Gifts found in Roman12:4-8. I will be sharing on the positives and negatives of these gifts and how someone with one gift might offend another with a different gift.

Keep your thoughts on Christ and the promises he has for you,
Bishop Bob Coulter

The book I recommend this month is The Richest Man who ever lived by Steven K. Scott

En Español: Disfruta del viaje # 1 y 2

Disfruta del viaje # 1

(desplácese hacia abajo para la parte 2)

Vídeo en Inglés: https://youtu.be/OVnN9lqfXxo

Hoy quiero compartir una enseñanza sobre cómo disfrutar la jornada. El apóstol Pablo dice en Fil 4:11 “No que hable porque tenga escasez, pues he aprendido a contentarme cualquiera que sea mi situación.” Pablo había llegado a un punto en su vida en que no importaba cual fuera la circunstancia, el estaría contento. ¿Podemos decir lo mismo?
 Jesús dijo en Juan 10:10 dice que: “el ladrón no viene sino para robar, matar y destruir. Yo he venido para que tengan vida y que la tengan en abundancia.” El ladrón, Satanás, intentará robar tu gozo por el ministerio; pero a través de Cristo podemos tener abundancia de vida que te dará paz y alegría.  Una de las mejores ilustraciones de la paz es una imagen de una tormenta feroz sobre una costa de mar con una paloma dormida en su nido en el hueco de una peña. La paz de Cristo es una que a través de las tormentas de la vida, nos deja esa paz interior, una paz que sobrepasa todo entendimiento.
Dios quiere que tengas una vida satisfactoria y una que te llene de paz y de gozo.
 Si no tienes gozo en tu ministerio, revise a ver si se salió de curso con la visión que Dios te dió.  Debes gozar de lo que estás haciendo. Esto no significa que no tendrás problemas. Todo ministerio tiene problemas pero Dios siempre muestra la salida al problema.
 Sin embargo, si nunca tienes gozo o contentamiento en lo que haces, me pregunto si estás haciendo lo que Dios realmente te llamó a hacer. Recuerde, Satanás te dejará hacer muchas cosas buenas que te gastarán y nunca lograrás hacer lo que Dios te pidió.
En otras palabras ¿estás haciendo cosas para complacer a otros, o a tu carne, o Dios realmente te llamó al ministerio que estás haciendo? Si usted está tratando de cumplir los deseos de otra persona o tus propios deseos, nunca tendrás verdadera paz y alegría.
 Lo primero para mantener el gozo en tu ministerio, es mantener una relación fresca con Jesucristo cada día. Debemos tomar tiempo de quietud cada día para poder oír a Dios hablar a nuestro espíritu.
 Muchos años atrás, oí esta enseñanza sobre disfrutando la jornada. Hay unos 16 puntos que cubriré sobre esto en las próximas dos enseñanzas. Hoy es la primera parte y la próxima ocasión terminaré la enseñanza. Espero que esta enseñanza te ayude como me ayudó a mí.
 Tareas:
 Primero debemos cuidarnos de ser orientados hacia tareas. Sí, es importante que alcancemos nuestras metas, pero no a costo de abandonar la relación en el camino. Realmente nosotros los hombres debemos velar por esto. Somos por naturaleza orientados a la tarea.  No se vuelvan tan orientados que nos olvidamos de disfrutar el viaje. Por ejemplo, sé que esto nunca le sucedería a usted, pero me ha sucedido a mí. Nos vamos de vacaciones y estoy determinado a no parar hasta llegar a nuestro destino. Pero mis hijos pronto me recuerdan que esto no funciona porque tendremos que detenernos cada rato para ir al baño.
Recordemos que el ministerio tiene que ver con personas, tenemos que ayudarlos a disfrutar la jornada también.
Una forma de hacerlo es celebrar victorias en el camino. Ec: 3:4 “Hay tiempo de reír y tiempo de bailar” Eso me suena como celebración a mí. Tome tiempo para celebrar metas cumplidas y victorias ganadas. Esto es especialmente importante para la mayoría de la gente que trabaja con usted, sobre todo en una iglesia con motivación de siervo.  Personas que tienen motivación de siervo, son más orientados hacia la tarea, por lo tanto en algún momento no ven la visión general. Así que celebre con ellos cuando  alcance una meta. Esto los motivará para la próxima fase del proyecto.
Decisiones:
 Cuándo tome una decisión, no tenga prisa. Ore y recuerde que Proverbios 11:14b dice “Pero en la multitud de consejeros hay seguridad” siempre busquen consejeros piadosos, no consejeros seculares.  Salmo 1:1 nos dice: Que no anduvo en consejos de malos”. Nunca aporte una solución secular a un problema espiritual.   Recuerde no obstante, que usted como líder es el responsable por la decisión, si la decisión sale mal, tome responsabilidad de ella y corríjala con prontitud.
 Criticos:
  Como líderes, tendemos a huir de la crítica. Todos sabemos que las escrituras dicen que Satanás es el acusador de los hermanos. El problema es que a veces Satanás esta correcto. Así que, escuche la crítica constructiva. Especialmente de los hombres y mujeres que están en tu junta.
Sin embargo, no significa que se acerque a personas que nunca ven nada bien, nunca son positivos siempre son críticos y causan problemas en el ministerio. Esas personas son las que uno debe confrontar y pedír que se arrepientan o  déjelos ir.
 Recuerdo una vez una señora me pidió Consejo; Ella tenía otra mujer que siempre era la primera en aparecer en el ministerio, era una que trabajaba duro y hacia mucho por el Ministerio. Su problema era que esta mujer siempre le contradecía y socavaba su autoridad. Ella me preguntó qué debia hacer. La respuesta, que nunca fácil fue confrontarla y si ella no se arrepentía, quitarla  del ministerio. Ella la enfrontó y luego tuvo que removerla. El resultado fue que el ministerio creció rápidamente siendo que esta mujer era la que estaba jalando a los demás hacia abajo. Cuando ella salió, otros libremente tomaron el relevo he hicieron aún más. Como líder debes confrontar a quienes estén causando conflicto y si no lo haces, otros seguidores que saben lo que está pasando, te verán como un líder débil y se pasarán a otra cosa.
 Conyuges:
 La segunda relación más importante sobre la tierra, despues de Jesucristo, es su cónyuge. Si tienes uno, mantenga la relación fresca diariamente. No descuides a tu esposa(o), pensando que son espiritualmente fuertes y pueden manejar las cosas que vienen contra la familia. Cristo envió a los discípulos 2 x 2. Este es nuestro socio de por vida. Mantenga su relación fuerte.  Satanás tratará de romper esta relación.
Hombres, les recordaré a 1Pedro 3:7 “Ustedes, maridos, igualmente, convivan de manera comprensiva con sus mujeres, como con un vaso más frágil, puesto que es mujer, dándole honor por ser heredera como ustedes de la gracia de la vida, para que sus oraciones no sean estorbadas.”
Algo interesante, no he visto ninguna escritura que diga mujeres, vivan con los hombres con entendimiento. Creo porque las mujeres son mejores en sus relaciones que los hombres. Tal vez entienden a los hombres demasiado bien. Sólo un pensamiento,
La próxima vez terminaré la enseñanza, deseo te ayude a disfrutar tu jornada.
Obispo Bob Coulter
Book I would recommend:

Aligere su Equipaje = Traveling Light

Traveling Light by Max Lucado

Disfruta del viaje #2

Vídeo en
Inglés
: https://youtu.be/HjnSty_2A-4

En mi último “Consejos y Herramientas,” comencé a enseñar “Disfrutando la Jornada.” En esa enseñanza escribí que lo primero que necesitas para disfrutar la jornada es tener tiempo a solas con Dios diariamente y así ir construyendo tu relación con él. Entonces escribí sobre la trampa de estar tan orientado a las tareas que usted ignore y hiera a la gente alrededor de usted. Ministerio tiene que ver con gente. En tercer lugar, conseguir dirección divina antes de tomar decisiones, mientras recuerdas que, como líder usted es responsable por las decisiones que tomes. Si tomas una decisión equivocada admítalo, corríjalo y siga adelante. En cuarto lugar, escribí sobre las críticas. Todos los líderes reciben críticas y todos deben escuchar la crítica constructiva. Por último, hablé de nuestra relación con nuestros cónyuges. Nuestros cónyuges son nuestros ayudantes y como con nuestra relación con Cristo, debemos seguir intencionalmente construyendo una relación íntima con ellos y no los demos por sentado.
Hijos: Ef. 6:4 ustedes, padres, no provoquen a ira a sus hijos, sino críenlos en la disciplina e instrucción del Señor. NBLH.                                                                                                                                           Tomen  tiempo para mostrarle a sus hijos que son importantes. Satanás le gusta atacar al eslabón más débil que a menudo es el tiempo que pasamos con nuestros hijos. Es importante que mantengamos un equilibrio entre nuestra vida, Ministerio, y familia. Una buena guía para el uso de tu tiempo es, primer, tu tiempo personal con Dios, en segundo lugar, las necesidades de tu familia; en lo físico, emocional y espiritual; y por último tu tiempo para el Ministerio. Muchos hijos cuyos padres están en el Ministerio a tiempo completo sienten que sus padres están más preocupados por otros que por ellos ellos. Asegúrese de que si les promete algo cúmplalo. Lo que haces habla más fuerte que lo que dices.
De tí mismo: Marcos 6:30-32   30 Los apóstoles se reunieron con Jesús, y Le informaron sobre todo lo que habían hecho y enseñado. 31 Y El les dijo: “Vengan, apártense de los demás a un lugar solitario y descansen un poco.”Porque había muchos que iban y venían, y ellos no tenían tiempo ni siquiera para comer. 32 Y se fueron en la barca a un lugar solitario, apartado. NBLH                                                                        La escritura nos muestra que Cristo sabía que después de Ministrar los discípulos necesitarían descanso. Si siguen repartiendo y no reciben, se queman y se vuelven inefectivos. Lo tu inviertes es lo que va a salir. Trabajando 24-7 puede parecer espiritual, pero en realidad es un pensar religioso y la manera de Satanás quemarte antes de tiempo. Tome tiempo para refrescarse. Una estadística interesante que leí es: “Una semana de vacaciones aumenta el ministerio por un año.”
Intimidad: especialmente con los que trabajan con y para usted. Líderes, ustedes necesitan conocer las necesidades de su gente, así pueden orar por ellos efectivamente. Como líder, es su responsabilidad orar por su pueblo. Usted no puede orar por ellos efectivamente si no toma tiempo para conocerlos a ellos y a sus familias.
Números: Usted haga lo que Dios lo mandó a hacer y El añadirá los números. Muchos tienen expectativas que no son realísticas.                                                                                                                                                   Muchos piensan que cuando inicien un ministerio, la gente correrá  a su ministerio. Pero la realidad es que llevará tiempo para que usted pueda construir un equipo que podrá ministrar efectivamente a la gente que Dios tiene para usted. Muchos éxitos de la noche a la mañana se tomaron diez o quince años. Pero según eres fiel a Dios en lo poco El te dará mucho. Recuerde que es asunto de hacer discípulos. Dios tiene ovejas que oirán tu voz. Les animo a poner su tiempo, dinero y esfuerzo en hacer discípulos y así desatar su Ministerio. Recuerde, ovejas engendran ovejas. No pastores. Muchas veces pasamos demasiado de nuestro tiempo, dinero y esfuerzo tratando de atraer gente a nuestra iglesia y descuidamos hacer discípulos. La mayor parte de nuestro esfuerzo en traer gente a nuestra iglesia nos traerá en ves cabras, no ovejas. Cabras causan confusión y desunión.
Amigos: Necesitas amigos con quien usted pueda relajarse y no hablar de trabajo. Tome tiempo para cultivar amigos que sean confiables y que te acepten por quien eres.
Ministerio: Como líder, usted es responsable de cumplir con Efesios 4:11-12 11 Y El dio a algunos el ser apóstoles, a otros profetas, a otros evangelistas, a otros pastores y maestros, 12 a fin de equipar a los santos para la obra del ministerio, para la edificación del cuerpo de Cristo. NBLH                      Necesitas liberar a otros para el ministerio si vas a crecer. Sus métodos pueden ser diferentes a los tuyos pero pueden ser igual de efectivo. Sin embargo, hay una trampa que deseo advertirles – lo que yo llamo  complejo de Judas. Estas son personas que se transfieren a tu ministerio que reclaman identificar con tu visión y parecen ser cristianos maduros. Permíteles que caminen contigo por lo menos seis meses a un año antes de ponerlos en una posición de liderazgo. ¿Por qué? Porque no sabes qué bagaje traen con ellos. También necesitas asegurarte que su teología concuerde con el tuyo. Muchos ministerios han sido arruinados porque líderes pusieron las manos demasiado ligero sobre personas que se transfirieron a sus ministerios.
Comunique: Uno de los mejores trucos de Satanás es romper la comunicación entre el líder y los líderes, y romper la comunicación entre líderes y sus seguidores. Es una herramienta de guerra. Una de las primeras cosas que el enemigo trata de hacer es romper la comunicación entre el soldado raso y los generales para que reine la confusión en las filas. Como líderes, debemos permitir que cada líder sea sincero con nosotros y hable la verdad en amor. Como líderes tenemos que mantener la visión ante la gente para que sepan hacia donde los están llevando.
Prioridades: adhiérase a la prioridad de Dios para el día. Establezca su prioridad diariamente en cuanto a cómo usar su tiempo. Si no controlas tu tiempo, otro lo hará y perderás la prioridad de Dios para ese día.
Los de Afuera: Tenga una mentalidad de Reino. Le animo a que diezme en otros ministerios. Tenga un programa de misiones que anime y ayude a ministerios domésticos y foráneos. Dios te regresará en bendición lo que siembres en otros.
Dios: Recuerde que todo comienza y termina con Dios. Si usted no está tomando el tiempo para escuchar a Dios, para escuchar esa tierna voz suave, estarás frustrado y no habrá ninguna alegría.
La próxima vez David Rinehart será nuestro orador. David estará compartiendo sobre un nuevo ministerio que todos ustedes pueden ayudar a equipar a sus compañeros de ministro de TMCI compartiendo qué libros te han ayudado en tu ministerio.
Disfrute la Jornada,                                                                                                                                                          Obispo Bob Coulter
Libro que yo recomiendo: Traveling Light por Max Lucado

 

A Little Kneeology …. Luke 22:19…… “Do this to remember me.” Mike Swearingen

A Little Kneeology ….    Luke 22:19……   “Do this to remember me.”   

These are very familiar words, spoken by Jesus as He share what we have come to know as the Last Supper or the Lord’s Supper and I think words that we may have heard so many times in our lives as Christians that we have actually taken them for granted.

  However, recently my spirit was stirred in a moment of meditation that without a doubt we have reached a point in the history of our nation that we are truly being called to remember just who Jesus is and what He has done for us, and who we are required to be as followers of Jesus Christ.   Not only is time for us to remember but equally important for us to help others remember.  We are in an era of the gospel being altered and watered down and even polluted to the point that some are preaching for folks to do the very best they can and God will understand or even preaching that there is no hell and if there was, God is so full of love that He would not condemn anyone to hell.  First of all there is a hell and God does not condemn us, our sin and disobedience condemns us.  Our ministries must be focused on proclaiming the truth of the gospel and the teachings of Jesus Christ.  We must be focused on reaching out not only to non-believers but to those who have fallen for the untruths that have been preached from pulpits who have sold out to the itching ears instead of proclaiming truth at the cost of popularity.  Ministries must examine purpose and move from existing for the purpose of perpetuating the existence to perpetuating the Kingdom.  It is a time in our history that we must examine everything that we are doing and bring it all in line to proclaiming the truths of God and perpetuating the Kingdom.  It is a time for us to not just mimic the words that speak of an unchanging God but to go back in history and be reminded how God has responded to rebellion and disobedience of not only the nations but mostly the people who claimed to be His.   We are at a time when we must revisit the basics, before denominations and various individual doctrines, such as remembering the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer, The Beatitudes, remembering the lessons taught to us by Jesus that we might live the life that pleases God and as we remember, teach them to others.  We have to face the fact that nothing will save this nation until we start remembering and then live out the remembrance.  Everything we do must focus on reviving those who have strayed and introducing Christ Jesus to those who have yet come to know Him, first as Lord and then as Savior.  I, for one, am examining everything I do so that my efforts are aimed at bringing folks to the point of remembering  who, what, and why.

NOTW,  Yours In Christ Jesus,   Bro. Mike

Ministry Tips and Tools: Effective Ministry – Enjoying the Journey part 2

In my last Tips and Tools, I began teaching Enjoying the Journey. In that teaching I wrote that the first thing you need to enjoy the Journey is your quiet time with God daily, continuing to build your relationship with Him. Then I wrote about the trap of being so task oriented that you ignore and hurt the people around you. Ministry is about people. Third, get Godly input before making decisions, while remembering that, as a leader, you are responsible for the decision you make. If we make a wrong decision admit it, correct it and move on. Fourth, I wrote about critics. all leaders receive criticism and all of us must listen to constructive criticism. Lastly, we discussed our relationship with our spouses. Spouses are our helpmates, and, as with our relationship with Christ, we must intentionally continue to build an intimate relationship with them and not take them for granted.

Children: Eph: 6:4 says “and you fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”. Take time to let your children know that they are important. Satan likes to attack our weakest link which often is time with our children. It is important that we keep a balance between our Ministry life and Family. A good guideline for the use of your time is first personal time with God, second, your family needs; the physical, emotional and Spiritual and lastly ministry time. Many children whose parents are in full time ministry feel that their parents are more concerned about others than them. Make sure that if you promise them something you follow through. What you do speaks louder than what you say.

Self: Mark 6: 30-32 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. NKJV

The scripture about shows us that Christ knew that after ministry the disciples needed rest. If you keep giving out and do not receive, you will burn out and become ineffective. What you put in will come out. Working 24-7 may sound spiritual, but in reality it is religious thinking and Satan’s way to burn you out before your time. Take time to refresh yourself. An interesting statistic I read is:

One week’s vacation increases ministry by one year.

Intimacy: Especially with those who are working with and for you. Leaders, you need to know the needs of your people, so that you can pray for them effectively. As a leader, it is your responsibility to pray for all your people. You cannot pray for them effectively if you do not take the time to know them and their families.

Numbers: You do what God calls you to do and he will add the numbers. Many people have unrealistic expectations.

Many people think that when they start ministry, people are going to flock to their ministry. But the reality is that it will take time for you to build a team that will be able to minister effectively to the people God has for you. Most overnight successes take ten to fifteen years. But as you are faithful with little God will continue to give much. Remember it’s about making disciples. God has sheep for you that will hear your voice. I encourage you to put your time, money, and effort into making disciples and releasing them for ministry. Remember sheep begat sheep. Not shepherds. Too often we spend all our time, money, and effort trying to attract people to our church and neglect making disciples. Most of our effort in trying to attract people to our church will bring in goats, not sheep. Goats cause confusion and disunity.

Friends: You need friends with whom you can relax and not talk shop. Take the time to cultivate friends that are trustworthy and accept you for who you are.

Ministry: As a leader, you are responsible to fulfill Eph 4:11-13 and He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

You must release others for ministry if you are going to grow. Their methods might be different from yours but just as effective. However, there is one pitfall I would warn you about – what I call the Judas complex. These are people who transfer into your ministry who claim to identify with your vison and seem to be mature Christians. Let them walk with you at least six months to a year before putting them into a leadership position. Why? Because you do not know what baggage they are bringing with them. You also need to make sure their theology agree with yours. Many ministries were ruined because leaders laid hand on people who transfer into their ministry too quickly.

Communicate: One of the greatest tricks of Satan is to break the communication between leader and leaders and to break the communication between the leaders and their followers. It is a tool of war. One of the first things the enemy tries to do is to break the communication between the foot soldier and the generals so that confusion will reign in the ranks. As leaders, we must allow each leader to be candid with us and speak the truth in love. As leaders we must keep the vison before the people so that they know where you are leading them.

Priorities: Stick to God’s priority for the day. Set your priority daily as to how you will spend your time. If you do not control your time, someone else will and you will miss God’s priority for you that day.

Outside: Have a kingdom mentality. I encourage you to tithe into other ministries. Have a missions program that will encourage and help domestic and foreign ministries. God will bless back what you sow into others.

God: Remember, we Begin and End with God. If you are not taking the time to hear from God, to listen to that still small voice, you will be frustrated and there will be no joy.

Next time David Rinehart will be our guest speaker. David will be sharing on a new ministry that you all can help in equipping your fellow TMCI minister by sharing what books that have help you in your ministry.

Enjoying the journey,

Bishop Bob Coulter

Book I would recommend: Traveling Light by Max Lucado

Ministry Tips and Tools: Effective Ministry – Enjoying the Journey part 1

 

Today I want to share a teaching on how to Enjoy the Journey. Apostle Paul says in Phil 4:11 not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content” Paul had come to a point in his life that no matter what the circumstance he was content. Can we say the same?

 

Jesus said in John 10:10 say that: “the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly” The thief, satan, will try to steal your joy for ministry; but through Christ we can have an abundantly life that will give peace and joy. One of the best illustrations of peace is a picture of a raging storm on a sea coast with a dove fast asleep in its nest in the hollow in the sea cliff. Christ peace is a peace that through life’s storm, he gives us that inner peace, a peace that passes all understanding.

God want you to have a life that is fulfilling; one that will give you peace and joy.

If you do not have joy in your ministry, check and see if you got off course with the vision God gave you. Because you should have joy in what you are doing. It does not mean that you will not have problems. Ever ministry has problems but God always show you the way out to the problem.

If however, you never have joy or contentment in what you doing, I question if you are doing what God really call you to do. Remember Satan will get you doing a lot of good thing and wear you down, and you never get around doing a God thing.

In other words are you doing thing to please others or your flesh or has God really called you for the ministry you are doing? If you are trying to fulfill someone else wishes or your wishes, you will never have true peace and joy.

The first thing in keeping joy in your ministry is keeping your relationship with Jesus Christ fresh daily. We must take quiet time every day to let God speak into our Spirit.

Many years ago, I hear this teaching on Enjoying the journey. There are 16 points that I will cover over the next two teaching. Today is part one and next time I will finish the teaching. I hope this teaching will help you like it helped me.

Tasks:

 

First we must guard against being tasks oriented. Yes, it important that we reach our goals, but not at the expense of forsaking relationship along the way. We men must really watch this. We are by nature task orientated. Do not become so designated oriented that we forget to enjoy the journey. For example, I know that this would never happen to you, but it has happen to me. We are leaving for vacation and I am determined not to stop until we get to our destination. But my children would soon remind me this was not going to work as we had to always stop several time for restroom breaks.

We must remember ministry is about people, we are to help them enjoy the journey also.

One way we do that is to celebrate victories along the way.  ECL: 3:4 there is a time to Laugh and A time to Dance. That sound like celebration to me. Take time to celebrate goals meet, victory won. This is especially important as most people who work with you, especially in a church, have servant motivated. People who are servant motived are more task oriented and therefore sometime to not seen the overall vision. So celebrate with them when a goal is reached. This will encourage them for the next phase of the project.

Decisions:

When making decision never be in a rush to make a decision, pray about and remember Proverb 11:14b says   “But in the counselors there is safety” Always seek Godly counselors, not secular counselors. Ps 1:1 tells us not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Never bring a secular solution to a spiritual problem. Please remember however, you as the leader are responsible for the decision, if the decision goes wrong, take the responsibility for it, and correct promptly.

Critics:

As leaders, we tend to shy away from criticism. We all know that scripture say that satan is the accuser of the brethren. The problem is sometime satan is right. So, listen to constructive criticism. Especially those men and women who are on your board.

However, I do not mean to get close to those people who never see anything right, they are never positive always critical and causes trouble in the ministry. Those people are one you must confront and get them to repent or have them leave.

I remember one time a lady ask me for advice; She had another women who was always the first to show up at the ministry, was a hard worker and did a lot for the ministry. Her problem was this woman would always contradict, and would undermine her authority. She asked me what she should do. The answer, which never easy, was to confront her and if she did not repent remove her from the ministry. She did confront her and then had to remove her. The result was that the ministry grew rapidly as this woman was pulling everyone else down. When she left the others freely took up the slack and did even more. As leader we must confront people who are causing conflict, if you do not the other followers who always know what happening will view you as a weak leader and move on to something else.

Spouse:

The second most important relation you have on earth, next to Jesus Christ is your spouse. If you have one, keep your relationship fresh daily. Do not neglect your spouse, thinking that they are spiritual strong and can handle things that come against the family. Christ sent the disciples out 2×2.This is our partner for life. Keep your relationship strong. Satan will try to break this relationship.

Men, I will remind you of 1Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. NKJV

 

Interesting, I have not seen any scripture that tell women to live with men with understanding. I believe that because women are better at relationship than men. Perhaps they understand we men too well. Just a thought.

 

Next time I will finish the teaching, I pray it will help you enjoy your journey.

Enjoying the journey,

Bishop Bob Coulter

Book I would recommend: Traveling Light by Max Lucado

 

Kneeology: making all things new?

A Little Kneeology ….    Revelation 21:5 (Msg)  And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Isn’t amazing how we as Christians speak so much of “things being made new”, new life, fresh start, new beginnings.  Recently as I was on a trip into a neighboring state, being a little bored with driving, I began to read the names of churches posted on their signs.  So many of them had to do with the “new” or “fresh” starts of life, meaning of course, that in and through Christ Jesus there is a new life or new beginning.

True enough. However, that brings us the question, “If it is all about new beginnings or being made new” why do we hold on to so much of the past?  Holding on to the past seems to range from dusty artificial flower arrangements donated by someone long ago to the refusal to change music or any new way of doing things.  In fact, so many churches seem to be so glued to the past that they actually discourage growth and change.  Far too often we hear those deadly words, “We have always done it that way” or “We never did that way before.” Seven deadly words.

I know of churches that have even changed their name to something much more “timely” in order to attract more people but still refused to change their way of doing things only to result in futility.   I am the first to remind folks that God’s Word and His message for the world is still the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow and so is His personality and expectations of His people.  However, we must package that same message in such a way that it can reach the people.  Likewise, our ministries and calling may have been pronounced upon us from God and certainly He meant for us to carry out that calling, however we must .  Sometimes that “however” means that we examine and re-examine the effectiveness of our delivery.  If we are not getting through to folks in one manner, try another.

Regardless of what name we use for our churches and ministries, regardless of how “catchy” the may seem or how big the signs are, what will matter the most is the fact that what is on the inside has to match what was implied on the outside.  The Word reminds us that there has to be a separation from the old for the new.  Let us be more than just users of snappy terms and names but be purveyors of the new life changes that come through people knowing Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives and make things new.

We need to express the new beginnings, not just in name alone, but in evidence of the experience and that should be reflected by our actions and spirit. We need to remember that the definition of insanity is all about doing the same old thing over and over and thinking we are going to get different results.  Just thinking.

NOTW,  Yours In Christ Jesus,   Bro. Mike

Bishop Coulter: Are we on the offense or defense? … Just a Thought

Dear TMCI Family,

At the sendoff meeting for Bishop Pele’s Samoa medical team (they leave for Samoa on Friday, June 26), TMCI prophet Hayst Harrold preached a great and timely message. He said, “Too often we listen to the Devil and go to God and tell God what the Devil said.” His point is that we’ve got it backwards. We should go to God, listen to Him, and then tell the Devil what God said.

Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

God has given us two great offensive tools: His Word and prayer. When circumstances come against us, do we rehearse the problem to God or do we speak forth the word of God to the circumstances?

The situation in this nation will not change unless God’s people, you and I, start boldly speaking the word of God to the situations in our communities, cities, state and country. Too often we, as the church, have sat idly by wringing our hands and wishing that things would change. But the reality is, nothing will change until the church wakes up and take its rightful position in the country.

We need to boldly speak God’s Word against the evil we see around us. We need to boldly share the good news of Jesus not only by our words but, more importantly, by our actions.

The families of the nine people slain in Charleston, South Carolina have given us an example of how a Christian acts in a crisis. They prayed for God’s grace, extended that grace to the murderer and out of love called for change in the nation.

We, too, must have the courage to speak out boldly to our sphere of influence. This nation has been sliding into immorality for many years, but recently the immorality has increased rapidly. It is time for us to exercise the tools that God has given us (His Word and prayer) to change this nation.

I am reminded of TMCI’s Scripture for this year: Isa 60:1-3 Arise, my people! Let your light shine for all the nations to see! For the glory of the Lord is streaming from you. 2 Darkness as black as night shall cover all the peoples of the earth, but the glory of the Lord will shine from you. 3 All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see the glory of the Lord upon you. (TLB)

There is a great darkness over our nation. It is time for the church to arise and let the light of Jesus shine through us. People are looking for the light of truth which only the church has. Let us go boldly forth and speak boldly to the evil in our nation and bring new life back to our beloved country.

Now is the time for all believers to go and speak what God is saying to the mountain of immorality in the United States, believe and see God’s salvation for this nation.

Speaking what God says,

Bishop Bob Coulter

P.S. It is the summer months and the finances are low at TMCI because of the investments we have made into the Kingdom in Africa and Mexico. If the Lord lays on your heart to give an extra offering this summer it would be greatly appreciated.

A Little Kneeology …. John 8:36 (Msg) So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.

A Little Kneeology …. John 8:36 (Msg)  So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.

Evidence of the presence of one being one with Jesus Christ is that of freedom. Just how free are we?  In our witness to others about the presence of Christ within our lives should demonstrate genuine freedom, not just words speaking of such.  We need to examine our lives and when we do, for the most of us, we will find that we have not taken advantage of this offer of freedom that is supposed to come through Christ Jesus.  Even with great intentions we often tie ourselves up in bondage.

Just think about how many of us might preach on a regular basis about the freedom that comes through Jesus Christ as our Lord but then allow our ministries  and work to tie us down to the point of exhaustion or even burnout.   How free are we when our every thought and worry is all about our individual ministry?  How free are we when we are not trusting enough to allow others to make decisions concerning our ministries?  How free are we when we feel that no other person can carry out the demands of our ministry?  And then there is yet the question, how free are we when we are so busy with our ministry that it distracts us from worship and time with our God?

We must remember that one of the most often used tools of the enemy is that of busyness and aimed at our ego, creating a bondage.  Even when we are in the midst of “working for the Kingdom” and seeking to do good, we can get so caught up in the bondage that results from our thinking that the growth of the Kingdom depends totally on us and our doing it our way.  We have the promise of Jesus that, if we will surrender to Him, He will take this burden of bondage from us and yoke up with us with a much lighter yoke.

The greater witness is not in our being busy for the Kingdom but the fact that we will not allow the cares of the world to tear us down and not living a life of fret and worry.  One of my daily prayers is that of asking the Lord to keep me focused on the freedom that He offers.  Of course as it offered, it is up to us to claim it and enjoy it.  For example, folks ask me often about the mission that we provide to the needy, homeless and street people of our community, such as funding and those things we need.  We could spend a great deal of time and energy worrying about it all but the most simple answer is, “As long as the Lord supplies our needs then we know that it is within His purpose for Rushing Wind Fellowship and when the funding and provisions are no longer, then He is ready for us to move to something else.”  That belief and faith provides a great deal of freedom from worry.  If it is up to Him, we just have to be good stewards.  It is His call.   We do not waste any time trying to hammer square pegs into round holes.  Consequently, freedom reigns.

NOTW,  Yours In Christ Jesus,
Bro. Mike

Ministry Tips and Tools: Effective Ministry part 7: Keys to Successful Secondary Leadership

I had a request for Rev. Lillian Spearman to teach on “Keys to Successful Secondary Leadership.” She wrote, “I believe this would bless pastors and their secondary leadership teams.”

As you know from one of my previous teachings, a good team helps the leader and the ministry grows. So having a team around the leader is important. A strong secondary leadership is important to having an effective ministry.

Below are some of my thoughts for secondary leaders:

The first responsibility of the person in secondary leadership is to pray for the leader, the leader’s family, and the ministry every day. Not just weekly or monthly, but daily!

The second most important responsibility is to understand what the vision of the leader is. Make sure that you understand it and can support it. If you cannot support the vision, resign and move on. By staying, you will only cause confusion and perhaps conflict in the ministry. If you cannot support the vision, you are out of place in your calling and need to move so God can put you where you will be most effective for the kingdom.

The third thing is to make sure you know what your area of responsibility is. Know your boundaries and make sure you do not overstep your boundaries. This is very important if you have multiple staff people. You must know where your boundaries are so that you do not stray into someone else’s area of ministry. If you start operating in someone else’s area of responsibility, it will cause conflict. If you need something from another ministry area, ask the leader of that area for what you need. Do not ask someone who works for them. Clear communication between the staff is essential to keep conflict from happening and to keep the staff moving toward the same goal for fulfilling the vision the leader has laid out.

As a secondary leader, it is your responsibility to help the leaders to fulfill Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, NKJV

In order for your ministry or church to grow, you must equip the members and release them to minister outside the church walls. We must remember that old saying, “Shepherd don’t beget sheep, sheep beget sheep.” If you want your ministry to grow, you must make disciples of Christ and release them to community.

One of my pet peeves is I see the American church as a whole spend a lot of money to attract people to their church and then entertain those people instead of making disciples. May I suggest that God’s method is to equip them and send them out into the community? I believe that if we spend money on equipping people and sending them out rather than on advertisements, we would win the community for Christ. Sheep beget sheep, so when the people you trained and sent out bring someone to church they will bring other sheep that will hear your voice. When you advertise, you get a lot of goats who are unteachable and cause strife. Just a thought.

On a personal level the secondary leadership should be in the Word on a daily basis;

Eph 4:13-15 says: till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, NKJV

We must become mature Christians and we do that by being in the Word daily, so that we are not fooled by every wind of doctrine. (Christian fads) We are to test the spirits. We are called to protect our people from false teachers so it is important that we know the Word of God.

As a secondary leader you must speak the truth in love.

Eph 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — NKJV

Good leaders do not want their secondary leaders to be “yes people”. If you do not agree with what is being proposed by the leader, speak the truth in love, be candid with the leader and explain why you do not agree. Share alternative solutions. You should do this in private or in a staff meeting. Once the decision is made, however, whether you agree with it or not, it is your responsibility to do your best to make it work. Never, and I say never, disagree in public with the decision or even say you do not agree with the decision. If the decision does not go well, it is not time to criticize the leadership. It is time to come back together and figure what you can do to solve the problem.

It is interesting that leadership grows closer and stronger through adversary when together they get the victory over tough situations. The good times are good, but it is in adversity that the team grows. (2 Thess 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,) NKJV

As secondary leaders, you must grow in your gifting. Never think you have arrived. Look for new ways to fine tune your giftings and to find new ways to minister. You need to continually learn new ways to improve your service. Remember God is not stagnant. He is always on the move and we must move with Him. We must build on our past, but must not stay in the past.

Another thing a secondary leader must have is a positive attitude. People do not respond well to people with negative attitudes. I am not talking about being Pollyannaish about life. We must be realistic, but we must continually look for ways to make the vision succeed. When presented with opportunities, we must think positively and ask ourselves how can we make that happen?

Lastly, we must realize it is in the everyday activities that the vision and ministry succeed. The decisions we make today will make us tomorrow. We must be committed to the process and diligently perform our duties. Anything we do we must do with excellence. Always remember, that we are working for Christ and the advancement of His kingdom. So let us do all things with excellence.

My next tips and tools will be on characteristic of a good leader. (This was mistakenly sent out of order in May. Refer back to: https://www.tmcimissions.org/?p=366)

Be Blessed,

Bishop Bob Coulter

The book I would recommend: the 17 essentials Qualities of a Team Player by John Maxwell

Ministry Tips and Tools: Effective Ministry part 6: Fundraising for your Ministry

Today I would like to talk about money for ministry.

1 Tim 6:10 says: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. NKJV

Please note it says the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, not money. Money is a good thing, especially when it is used to further the kingdom of God. In order for your ministry to succeed, you need money.

Now I understand that a majority of all TMCI ministers support their own ministries and that is fine if you feel God called you to do that. But I encourage you to let others sow into your ministry so that they can be blessed.

Remember in Luke 8:3, it tells us that Jesus had people who supported him.

Let me say first, if you are a church, you need to teach on tithing. God’s method of supporting the local church is through the tithe. We must teach the people that when they tithe, God will bless them (Mal. 3:8-10). We do our people a disservice if we do not teach on tithing. One of the most effective ways I have seen tithing taught is by allowing people in the congregation to testify of how God blessed them because of their tithing.

Fund raising is a concern for most ministries. The need for finance is one the most common prayer request on the TMCI monthly reports. All TMCI ministries are ‘faith based’ ministries which means, first and foremost, we rely on God to provide resources which He usually does through His people.

The most effective way to have people give to your ministry is to look for friends, not just donors. Making friends means that you take the time to learn what is going on in their lives. Show them that you care about them as individuals. People know when you just look at them as an opportunity to get their money. The best way to make friends is to be one.

We should build a life style of caring for and communicating with those who support us. We should share about what God doing in our lives, but it is equally important to learn from our donors what’s going on in their lives so you can pray more effectively for them. It is important that we pray for our supporters us and their families. Send a card or words of encouragement to them. Send greetings on their birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions in their lives or the lives of their families.

Please remember those who give to you view themselves as part of your ministry, so make sure you acknowledge and thank them for their gift and update them on your activities as well.

Remember most people are not good communicators so if they do not correspond with you do not get discouraged because you have not heard from them. Above all, do not remove them from your list because you never know how many are praying for you.

Communication is the critical part of maintaining friends. If they are not in your immediate area, when you visit or pass through their area stop in to visit them. Call them from time to time. Skype is a tool that God gives us to talk face to face with our donors. Consider using this tool as a way to maintain your friendships.

If your donors live close to your ministry, get them involved physically (if possible) in your ministry. Keep them involved with frequent updates.

Some important methods of communication are:

Website   We strongly suggest that you have a website for your ministry. The website should state your vision and give frequent updates on your ministry. The website also provides opportunity to reach out worldwide. One ministry reported that they are receiving monthly donations from Australia. If you do not have a website, and would like help in creating one, we suggest Cheryl Eaton, our TMCI webmaster, who has helped many TMCI ministries get started. Her email is [email protected] .

We also strongly suggest a quarterly newsletter. The newsletter should state your vision and ministry activities for the preceding quarter. Send your newsletter to relatives (even those second and third cousins), your insurance agent, doctor, dentist, hairdresser, etc. In other words, send it to everyone you know! If you minister in a church, send it to the pastor and missions committee.

Suggestions for the newsletter:

  1. Show what you’ve been doing by brief positive articles of interest to your readers

  2. Include your schedule of ministry dates or your goals in the coming months

  3. Have a prayer list of needs for your ministry

  4. Have fun and make your newsletter fun and interesting.

  5. Keep it to one or two pages.

Don’t expect much response at first; many people will wait to give until they know that this is not a whim but a genuine ministry.  Continue to send quarterly newsletters, using e-mail and regular mail.  Keep in mind, however, that some older people may not have email so you will need two lists – one for email and one for snail mail.

We encourage you to look for Christian businesspeople or organizations that will help your ministry. If you get an appointment with a businessperson, make sure you have a brochure and information you can leave: something that clearly states your vision and ministry. Have lists of people who will give you a good recommendation. You probably will be given half an hour to give your presentation, but be prepared to present your ministry in five minutes. If you do not get a commitment at the first meeting, find out when you can contact them for a decision and make sure you call at that time, not before or after.

Grants are another way to fund your ministry; however we discourage new ministries from seeking grants since the process can be time consuming and many organizations that give grants do not accept unsolicited applications.  After your ministry is established (has a track record) people may consider giving you a grant.

If you decide to apply for a grant we suggest that hire an experienced grant writer; perhaps someone will volunteer or hire a grants writer who will work on a contingency basis (fee or percentage when the grant is received). You will have a better chance of obtaining a grant if your ministry meets a social as well as spiritual need.  If you decide to apply for grants, TMCI will provide all information needed to prove your tax exemption

Other method of passive fund raising is having an offering box at your ministry location. Have your vison statement on a sign by the box so people will know what you are doing.

Several ministries have incorporated a business into their ministries to help fund the ministry. For example, some ministries have thrift stores that help support their ministry. However, keep in mind there is a cost to start a business and it might fail. It also may take away ministry time if you do not have help.

Recently, I have seen some of our people sign up with organization such as Go Fund Me. I have heard that many have succeeded in reaching their goals. These organizations usually charge somewhere between 5 to 8%. But they seem to be effective.

The most effective fund raising method is to make friends of the ministry and maintain that friendship. Next time I going to teach on: keys to Successful Secondary Leadership which was requested by Rev. Lillian Spearman

Be Blessed,

Bishop Bob Coulter

The book I would recommend is:

Friend raising: building a Missionary Support Team That Lasts by Betty J. Barnett