End of Year Review (and putting the best foot forward) | Productive Pastor 2018

End of Year Review (and putting the best foot forward) | Productive Pastor 2018

How many of you have taken part in a year-end review? I’m pretty sure many of us have been thinking about them, taking part in them, and possibly working on our own reviews. I spent the week reflecting on a few things, and I want to share them with you. I’ve also put together two worksheets for you to use for a personal review and for a team review.

This episode is sponsored by the awesome folks at TrainedUp.church. Make sure to check them out for the best mobile volunteer training system out there. If you didn’t catch it, we recorded an episode earlier this year with their founder Scott Magdalein.

The List
The Procrastination Doom Loop

Yearly Dream Sheet. Team Sheet.

Yearly Dream Sheet. Personal Edition.

Links Mentioned

Why You need to ask yourself tough questions. 

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Advent 2017

Advent 2017

Over the last few years, a growing number of churches have started celebrating Advent. Historically, this is a part of Christmas you find more liturgical/sacramental traditions (Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Catholic, Orthodox, etc), but lately baptist or non-denominational churches are starting to hang out with the Advent party.

And I think that is totally awesome.

Advent is a pretty big thing to me. It was a big part of my own faith development in my 20’s, and it still plays a special part of my life today.

So what I want to do is resource you and anyone else with an Advent question in this post.

We will start with my own Advent story.


Podcast Episodes
Over the years, The Threshing Floor has produced a special advent episode yearly. These are some of our most popular episodes. In each one, we talk about various Advent practices and traditions and sometimes have special guests.

Advent 2014
Advent 2015 Solid Country Gold, Advent, and JD Walt
Advent 2016a Waiting, Advent, and Tetherball
Advent 2016b Anticipating, Advent, and Aleppo

Scott Magdalein, TrainedUp.church, and Hot Rodding Volunteers

Scott Magdalein, TrainedUp.church, and Hot Rodding Volunteers

This is a big day for The Productive Pastor! This episode is sponsored by the good folks at TrainedUp.church. If you are looking for a thoroughly modern way to utilize video in your church training, they’ve built a turn-key solution for you. Make sure to check them out! In today’s episode, we’ve got Scott Magdalein, Founder of TrainedUp on the podcast to talk about his life, why he created TrainedUp and how it can help hot rod your church and ministry.

Front Matter

You Have to Show Up. Every. Day by Zak Slayback 

Why Successful People Spend 10 Hours a Week on “Compound Time.”  by Michael Simmons

My Conversation with Scott Magdalein

    • Scott’s background
    • What local church situation made Scott create TrainedUp
    • The power of consistency in solving small issues.
    • What is TrainedUp
    • What successful churches are doing to be successful in TrainedUp.
    • It’s all about being consistent. Yet again.
    • How Scott stays productive.
    • How self-awareness has changed things.

Make sure to follow Scott on twitter (@scottmagdalein) and on Youtube (I love Boat Fam!)

Back Matter

Are you listening to my daily podcasts on Anchor? It’s a fantastic new medium.

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Keeping Up With Content Creation | Anchor Episode

Keeping Up With Content Creation | Anchor Episode

I’ve been absolutely FALLING IN LOVE with Anchor.fm these past two weeks. Today, I decided to create a more Productive Pastor style episode for them and to share it here with you. Also, this is a heavy shownotes anchor, so it makes perfect sense to drop it right here.

My Anchor Channel

Pastors are in the content creation business. Think of what we write or create each week. We typically have at least one sermon (if not more) and it might be delivered in several different places. We are also writing letters, articles, blog posts, creating written systems and many other forms of communication. AND, we find ourselves podcasting and being intentionally social online as well. I’d say we have a pretty heavy load of content creation to keep up with.

Keeping Up with Content Creation

Here is how I have learned and shared with others about not just keeping up with content creation, but completely owning it.

Content creation isn’t just a “shoot from the hip” activity. You’ve got to realize there is an executable process to lead to success.

To completely own content creation, you are going to need a few super powers.

  1. Brain Power.
    This is all about recurring action. What can you do to consistently be coming up with new ideas? I’ve found reading to be tremendously helpful. I also swear by my time in the shower, by myself in my pool and taking walks without headphones. Those are the absolute best for me. You’ve got to be a learner above all.
  2. Remembering Power.
    Thinking about new things and connecting dots will be worthless if you don’t have a way to get everything all down. You’ve got to have a way to notate and remember. I rely on two things. My notebook and Evernote. They have both saved me so many times I cannot even count. Write down everything. Come up with a system that helps you with recall. As digital as I am, I have found that my notebook is significantly more helpful and creative. Once I have a project going, I will give it a few pages of space and just come back time and time again to it.
  3. Editing Power.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day and whatever you are working on won’t be great in one pass. Remember, good stuff doesn’t happen in one shot. You need to be consistently sculpting and growing and pruning whatever it is you are working on. It might just mean a couple of passes or it might take a month of work. Typically, the more important, the longer the time.
  4. Community Power.
    Remember, all communication is designed for outward action. It isn’t supposed to stay with you. The medium of delivery and your own interaction with whatever community it is matters tremendously. It has to be designed for them and you need to be interacting.
  5. Curating Power.
    You’ve got to resource people and also realize all of your hard work doesn’t just live once. You need a plan of curation, of learning when and how and why to interact and reseed your old content. We live in the age of content, so people take in old information much easier if it contributes to the larger story of the community.



Anne Samoilov – My Simple Content Creation Method    
I stumbled across the article years ago. It started me thinking very differently about communication and how I utilize it. Plus, it helps you keep up with tons of content creation.

Why You Need a Production Calendar | PP17

Why You Should Keep a Notebook | PP44

Churchless | Carey Niewhof episode 24
Check out the entire episode and the shownotes for so much great content around the idea of engagement.

If you came from Anchor and like this content, I’d love for you to check out Productive Pastor. This is typical of the work I do and I’ve got plenty of listeners who aren’t in ministry that find it helpful.

Taking Advantage of Daylight Savings (to reset your morning) | PP66

Taking Advantage of Daylight Savings (to reset your morning) | PP66

I’m really excited about this episode. Two big reasons. The first is it is the 3rd birthday of Productive Pastor. The second is I am replaying a section from THE FIRST EPISODE. It is all about taking advantage of daylight savings and hacking it to give you some more time back for your morning. This isn’t about getting into work earlier, but setting yourself up for the best possible day. It will help you with focus and productivity. It will help with energy.

The only drag is many of us have a hard time waking up early. This is where the daylight savings hack comes into play. Use that extra hour and instead of struggling to adjust on Sunday and next week, keep your body in the same rhythm and use that extra hour for YOU.

No long shownotes here, but let’s take advantage of what we can to make our mornings great.

Managing Your Week with Evernote | PP 49

Managing Your Week with Evernote | PP 49

Did you know you can use Evernote to order and organize your week? I use Evernote for nearly everything and the two tasks that I can’t imagine NOT using it is ordering my week and ordering my contact list.

Front Matter

iTunes Reviews. THANKS!!!
Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 9.59.57 PM







Productive Pastor in Google Play Store.

Managing Your Week in Evernote

I use Evernote to manage my daily repeatable tasks. I make mention of several previous episodes and I will link them in the bottom of the shownotes. For me, Evernote is an amazing tool to keep up with the small tasks I do every week on the same exact same day. I am always curating my weekly work template for the best effective use of my time, energy and mind space. This is what I am currently using my focus days for.

Monday -> AM. Sabbath. PM. Visitor Contact, Team Communication, Basic Administration and Sermon Preparation.
Tuesday -> AM. Administration. PM. Long Range Planning and High Impact Projects. Staff Meeting
Wednesday -> AM. Sermon Preparation. PM. Meeting with People.
Thursday -> AM Sermon Preparation. PM. Writing and Medium Projects
Friday -> Sermon Preparation. PM. Projects and People

So each day gets a checklist of repeatable tasks. Honestly, these lists get pretty sparse as the week goes on. I try to reserve Mondays and Tuesdays for these type of tasks.

I also use Evernote to keep up with one of my main goals. I try to stay in contact with 2-3 new people a day and 5-7 existing church folks a day. On Monday, during my weekly planning session, I build a list of the people I am going to make contact with during the week. For the ones that get a phone call (around 5 a day), I put their name and phone number into my weekly note. That way, I don’t have to hunt for the number. I just click on it inside Evernote on my phone. It makes the call and I can go down my list. This sounds super simple…but it is SO EFFECTIVE.

Thanks for managing your week with Evernote!

Mentioned Episodes:

PP45| Maximizing Ministry With Evernote.

PP3 | Building a Priority Based Schedule

PP6 | Up Your Productivity With Templates

PP37 | How Batching Rocks Your World

Do you want to get the best in Evernote training? Check out Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials toolkit. He has three different levels of Evernote training and use cases. You can pick it up here.

Here are all my posts and episodes about Evernote.

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