PP 34: Keeping Important Goals in the Front of the Pack

PP 34: Keeping Important Goals in the Front of the Pack

Have you ever hit a personal or organizational rut? They are easy to get into if you aren’t paying attention to goals and project management. This episode is all about staying focused on the forward momentum you have identified as the most important.

I want to point out listeners to the new podcast management plugin I am using (from the always brilliant Pat Flynn). It’s called the Smart Podcast Player and it is awesome. You can access the entire archives at productivepastorpodcast.com

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 Keeping Important Goals In The Front of the Pack

When was the last time you felt stuck? Personally or organizationally? It happens. I have seen myself or places I have been part of leading get stuck plenty of times. One of the primary causes of getting stuck is loosing sight of what really matters. It is no secret how important I feel goal setting and goal focused leadership is. I think goals are the secret to staying out of slumps or if you are in one, getting out of the slump quickly.

But just having goals isn’t enough. You can easily make goals boring and mundane. I believe the best goals are focused around forward momentum and missional innovation.

Google is famous for it’s 20% rule for staffing and the best innovation has come out of it. You can read about it here. Even if Marissa Mayer is true, innovation must always be happening. So if you are functioning off of great (and community built goals) and still getting slumpy…I would begin asking the innovation questions.

Here is why you need to keep your goals at the front of the pack.

1. Lead with goals (not responsibilities): Goals are what control you-not others thoughts about “what” you should be doing.
2. Keep you centered: Goals give you an anchor point.
3. Keep you safe: Goals should always be created in community and shared in community.
4. Any goal centered organization is going to stop being a goal centered organization: Think of how this changes your organizational structure. What does it teach volunteer leadership that will help them in their vocational life?

How to Start Being Goal Focused

  • Establish small and medium sized goals
  • Groupthink
  • Do it personally
  • Hit your goals publicly
  • Begin building goal based systems

Mentioned:
Why Your #1 Goal Must Be Front and Center: Time Management Ninja
How To Create an Energy Management List and Why Every Leader Should Have One: Carey Nieuwhof
What Effective Pastors Do With Their Time: Thom Rainer
The Rocket Company: Volunteer Rocket

Previous Episodes:
Building a Priority Based Schedule
Getting Out of a Slump

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Avoid worship catastrophe with the Jurassic Park principle

Avoid worship catastrophe with the Jurassic Park principle

As a geeky kid growing up in the early 90’s, nothing hit my radar quite like Jurassic Park. (well…maybe Wayne’s World). I remember when the cool guy who helped me earn my Science merit page in Boy Scouts took me to the opening night of the movie. I had already read my paper back copy of the book several times and was excited about seeing the story brought to the big screen. Jurassic Park was a movie that EVERYONE saw.

I think there is an important lesson church leaders can learn from Jurassic Park when planning worship. I would even go so far as to say it is a timeless message. It is a lesson both worship leaders and scientists creating large and destructive living beings from fossilized DNA should understand. I call it the Jurassic Park principle.

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD.

You never know when things might get out of control.

Maybe your lighting crew can make a holographic depiction of the Death Star and your Youth Pastor can make it into an illustration on the one Sunday they teach at traditional worship…but should you really?

Maybe you really are getting into ancient liturgy and your community has gotten down reciting the Apostles Creed, but jumping straight into the Rite of Constantinople might go over their heads.

You have a great preaching illustration taken from The Age of Ultron, but the last movie most of your congregation saw in the theater was Driving Mrs. Daisy, will it truly work?

For younger ministers, there is a huge temptation to delve off into unknown creative waters when leading our congregations in worship. We might have seen something cool at a conference or around the internet and think it will be the thing that catapults our worship into truly skinny jean worship leader status…but are we willing to experiment at the expense of those we worship with? How far does that truly lead our churches into a deeper and more incarnational aspect of faith?

What might seem really cool to us and a few others could be the theological equivilent of unleashing a pack of velociraptors in the sanctuary. Remember the most important word in Worship Design is context. Sometimes innovative things will match our ministries well. Other times we need to step back and realize something might not be best for our church. This is all part of the process of discernment. Our job as leaders, whether music, logistics or preaching is to present Christ to people and facilitate the worship of the Triune God in the most approachable and accessible way for the people we worship with.

Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

 

Productive Pastor 33: Awesome Vacations and Exactly How to Make Them Work

Productive Pastor 33: Awesome Vacations and Exactly How to Make Them Work

Summer is HERE!!!

Summer means all sorts of awesome things. One of them is vacations. But let’s be honest…most people in ministry don’t vacation very well. This episode of the Productive Pastor is about how to take a great vacation and to not worry about the things that usually keep ministry  leaders from taking vacations.

Front Matter

1. First #productivepastor tip: Go to the doctor. Don’t be stubborn like Chad. I can’t imagine how much time and energy I have wasted over the last couple of months because I am stubborn and I didn’t want to spend 1 hour with my doctor.

2. Winners of Called by JD Walt.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 8.51.58 AMA big thanks to ALL OF YOU who have been rating and reviewing the podcast on iTunes. It is a huge help.

3. Michael Hyatt: Getting the Most Out of Evernote.
Michael Hyatt is responsible for many of the things I do…and Evernote is one of them. His latest podcast episode is about interesting uses for Evernote. I found it incredibly helpful. If you want to get into Evernote for the first time, get the free download and pick up a copy of Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials. It is totally worth it. 

Awesome Vacations and Exactly How to Make Them Work

How well do you vacation? My wife and I have only taken a handful in ten years. We go on trips with family…but we have only gotten away, just the two of us, 3 times in 10 years. That includes our honeymoon. This year we decided to fix this problem.

The first step is taking a great vacation is getting over the idea in your head that ministry people aren’t allowed to be gone for over a few days. Your leadership needs to have your back. This will help you get into the right headspace. A theology of vacation is much like a theology of sabbath. They are purposeful and necessary. I was totally floored when one of my leaders told me, after my last vacation, “You are acting like yourself and that is exactly who we need you to be.”

You need to decide or figure out what relaxes you. Vacations can be replenishing or retreat. What are the things that will contribute to that? This is part of developing the “why” of your vacation. Trust me, just doing this sort of thing in your head will help you get into vacation mode quicker.

Tips on Making Vacation Work

1. Take 2 Sundays off. 
Yep. Get out of town for more than 1 Sunday. It will be tough, but it gives you the space to actually decompress. If this is impossible for you…it is a personal and organizational leadership issue. You need to be developing other leaders and teachers anyway.

2. Clear your tasks 1.5 days before you leave.
No one likes rushing till the last minute. If you are planning on leaving town Friday morning, have all of your tasks and work done by Wednesday at noon. This gives you an additional 1.5 days to take care of ministry items that tend to drop in our lap. If you end up not being busy, it will just help you clear your head earlier.

3. Take 1 day back to recollect (not do). 
I am a fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Part of his method involves a collection phase. Use your first day back to collect all of the things that are now due. It will help you jump back into things better than instantly carving away at the first issue on the pile. Taking a recollection day at work allows you to strategize your time.

4. Tell people you are going on vacation.
I have never had an issue with people bugging me when I am out of town (for work or pleasure). The reason why? I let them know I will be gone. The last few times I have traveled I haven’t had a single issue. Once I get back, I hear from people…but generally people my age (I’m 35) respect being out of town.

5. Find space for your creative mind to flourish.
Remember when I told you to decide if your trip was going to be replenishing or retreat? Make sure you spend the time doing the things that will make this vacation exactly what you want it to be. I read, but do whatever relaxes you. Don’t “work” any. If I had an idea for a sermon or another work related item, I just wrote it down in an evernote notebook I made exactly for the purpose. I processed it when I got back in town.

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