A Leadership Development System that Works

A leadership development system that works is crucial to the development of your church. Having this system in place at every level is the foundation of your Plan for the Unexpected.

Plan for the Unexpected. Delegation. The Go Commission.
This is a repost of Classic Content

I was introduced to what was then called a delegation system early in my ministry. It was in a chapter of J. David Stone’s book The Complete Youth Ministries Handbook. It was called the Four Phases of Ease and gave four simple steps to equipping others for leadership and ministry.

Four Phases of Ease

The concept is simple. It begins with you doing it and progresses through each step until someone is carrying the responsibility for you.

  • I do. You watch.
  • I do. You help.
  • You do. I help.
  • You do. I watch.

Of course, it’s never as simple as this makes it look. But, you get the idea.

Five Steps of Leadership Development

Dave and Jon Ferguson, in their book Exponential, expanded thinking on this idea in a helpful way by introducing Five Steps of Leadership Development. Their plan moved from a delegation system to a leadership development system by adding one more important step.

Step 1: I Do. You Watch. We Talk.

Step 2: I Do. You Help. We Talk.

Step 3: You Do. I Help. We Talk.

Step 4: You Do. I Observe. We Talk

Step 5: You Do.  Someone Else Observes.

Read You Can Start a Missional Movement that develops his system.

The Lifeshape Square

Mike Breen turbocharged the concept in Building a Discipling Culture. He uses the language of leader and disciple. The square walks through the role and responsibility of each as they move around the square.

The D1 disciple is high in confidence that they can accomplish the assignment. The L1 leader is highly directive.

The disciple starts leading at D2. This usually brings the realization that there is a lot to learn. The leader encourages and casts vision for what they will become.

After gaining experience and encouragement, the D3 disciple begins to grow in confidence while the L3 leader becomes less directive. The D3 is gaining their wings and taking on more and more of the leadership of their ministry assignment.

The leadership development system makes the last turn as the D4 realizes they can fly on their own. Experiencing competence and competence, the ministry is now theirs (and they look for a D1 to develop). The L4 leader moves to the background having handed over responsibility and authority to the new leader.

Do You Have a Leadership Development System?

In a recent tweet, Will Mancini‏ (@willmancini) spoke to the heart of leadership development by writing “When pastors do for the people in a church what the people should be doing for themselves and each other, everyone loses.”

Start your leadership development system today by looking for one person who will watch while you do. Over time you will find that the church can not only survive an unexpected absence in leadership, but it will have a trained cadre of leaders to carry an expanding ministry in your church.

7 Questions to Defeat Discouragement

Discouragement and ministry go hand in hand. I say this after almost 40 years in ministry. Maybe just reading these words discourage you. I hope not because you can defeat discouragement.

The Go Commission Defeat Discouragement

This Classic Content Repost originally appeared on The Pastor’s Mastermind. Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

So, a while back I was at a large gathering of pastors and church leaders. It was a good day. I learned some things, caught up with some old friends, and left feeling encouraged.

But, I left bothered by one thing.

Two of my friends, within minutes of each other, told me that they were discouraged. I understood because I’ve been there, too. Discouragement comes to all of us. Dan Rockwell wrote, “People who don’t get discouraged aren’t human. That’s probably true. I know that people who don’t get discouraged aren’t pastors.

The good news is that you can defeat discouragement.

Answering these six questions might help you.

Why is this bothering me so much?

Be honest with yourself and get to the root cause. Often it really isn’t what you think at first. But, you are unlikely to defeat your discouragement until you really understand why you are experiencing it.

What is God teaching me?

Discouragement is painful. But, God is at work in your life in spite of the pain. He doesn’t waste it. Speak a simple prayer and wait for His answer. Mine goes something like “God, what are you teaching me about my discouragement?”

Who can I talk to about my discouragement?

You don’t have to be alone. Reach out to a trusted friend or mentor and tell them what you are feeling. Ask them to pray with you. They will help.

Help carry each other’s burdens. – Galatians 6:2 (GW)

Starting now, what will you do that makes a change in your mood?

Change up your routine. Do something fun. Get out of town for a day. It’s amazing what a small shift in our outer environment can give new perspective.

When will I quit stewing over this?

I remember that someone once said to set a time limit hen we are depressed. The same idea can work for discouragement.

I like what Jon Bloom wrote about lingering in discouragement:

“If we linger in discouragement it can be costly. Its sense of defeat and hopelessness saps us of energy and vision. It can consume a lot of time. It can keep us from doing what we need to do because we don’t want to face it. And it can even be contagious, weakening others’ faith.”

What can I say to myself that will shift my thinking?

Self-talk is powerful. Writing and repeating a short mantra can help you redirect your thoughts from discouragement.

Robert H. Schuller was a master at this. Maybe this one can help you overcome your mountain of discouragement.

“When faced with a mountain, I WILL NOT QUIT! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine with God’s help!”

I hope these six questions help you defeat discouragement. I’m sure you have some good ideas that would help all of us. Would you post a comment here or in The Go Commission Facebook Group?


Other Recent Posts:

10 Reasons for a Pastor’s Platform

6 Benefits of Reading for Personal Growth

Manage Your Calendar So It Doesn’t Manage You

10 Reasons for a Pastor’s Platform

Spread Your Message As Far As Possible

A pastor’s platform is an essential communication tool. It used to consist of the stage at the front of the room. She was elevated so that everyone could easily see her. Today’s platform is a bit more elaborate. It’s probably even more important. Yet, most pastors seem to be ignoring it.

The Go Commission Pastor's Platform

What is a Platform?

PC Magazine defines it as “an online marketplace that places one party in touch with another.” Maybe the idea of a marketplace isn’t appealing to you. Try this definition from Jeff Goins. “A platform is a ‘stage’ that gives you and your message leverage and visibility.”

Simply put, a platform is a place to launch a message. Our message of making disciples needs to be launched as far as we can send it.

Pastors share the most important message in the world. It is so important that Jesus instructed us to take it to the ends of the earth. That requires a big platform.

It is now possible for every pastor to fulfill this command by building a platform. I am regularly in instant contact with people from almost every continent. Not long ago no one would have thought I could do that without leaving my recliner.

Reasons to Build a Platform

There are many reasons a pastor’s platform is so important. Here are a few:

  1. Take your message to places you cannot physically go.
  2. It is a Best Practice for today’s pastor.
  3. Promote an event, book, sermon series – anything you want to publicize.
  4. Welcome guests to your church.
  5. Post your sermons.
  6. Offer discipleship opportunities.
  7. You can offer online courses on any topic you want.
  8. They maximize your time.
  9. Create better communication systems.
  10. Team building.

Michael Hyatt expresses it plainly when he says “Platforms are how you communicate today.”

Do you want to start or improve your platform? I’m starting a free group so that we can help one another. Click the picture for more information.


Signup for the free pastor's platform mastermind group.





6 Benefits of Reading for Personal Growth

Why You Need to Read

The benefits of reading will do more for your personal growth than almost anything else. I caught the reading bug when I was quite young. It happened when my neighbor, Connie, loaned me The Tower Treasure. It’s book one in the Hardy Boys series. I read it in two hours and went back to see her for book two. A couple of my early ministry mentors also drilled the need to read into my DNA. I am forever grateful to Rev. David Grubbs and Rev. Forrest Plants for their encouragement to read.

The Go Commission Benefits of Reading

These days my shelves are overflowing with books. My wife gives me “that look” every time a new package comes from Amazon. But, I would not be able to accomplish all I do if I had not developed a reading habit.

Benefits of Reading

I was listening to the Ray Edwards Podcast the other day. He detailed a good list of the benefits of reading. I’ve adapted it and added a few of my own to the list.

Reading helps keep you current.

Pastors need to be able to see the culture, identify issues relevant to the church, and help congregants know how to exercise their faith in response.

Reading provides material for your communication responsibilities.

Pastors constantly speak and write. Reading will help you do both at a higher level.

Reading books exercises your brain. 

My 8th grade science teacher, Doug Bench, has spent countless hours studying the brain. These days he’s known as “The Brain Training Guy.” His research shows that learning something new every day helps keep the brain healthy into old age. Reading widely in different genres will give your brain the exercise it needs.

The folks at Serious Reading agree: “Studies have shown that reading has strong positive effects on the brain. By staying mentally stimulated, you can prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because, keeping your brain active prevents it from losing power. The brain is a muscle and like other muscles in the body, exercise keeps it strong and healthy. Similar to solving puzzles, reading books is a great way to exercise your brain and keep it healthy.”

Reading expands your worldview.

We need to see the world from other people’s perspectives. Books like Donna Thomas’ Become a World Changing Family and Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner did that for me. Of course, there are many more substantive books you could choose that will help expand your worldview.

Reading stimulates new ideas. 

I love new ideas that come to me as I read.

Reading reduces stress.

The UK Telegraph stated that “Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds, according to new research.”


What are you reading?


TGC Facebook Group



Finding God in Daily Life

The Daily Examen

Finding God in our daily life is one of the key disciplines for spiritual growth. Henry Blackaby reminds that “God is always at work around you.” While this is true, it is equally true that many often lack the awareness of his activity. St. Ignatius Loyola created a simple exercise called the examen that helps in finding God in our daily life.

The Go Commission Spiritual Disciplines Finding God

This article is part of a series of articles on Spiritual Disciplines.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, in her book Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, writes that “the examen provides a way of noticing where God shows up in our day. It is a practice that attends to what we might otherwise miss in the press of duties and busyness.”

How the Examen Helps Us

The Upper Room clarifies that the examen helps us:

  • Acknowledge sad or painful feelings and hear how God is speaking to us through them.
  • Overcome a pessimistic outlook by encouraging us notice the good in each day.
  • Tell the truth about who we truly are and what we need, rather than who we think we should be.
  • Become aware of seemingly insignificant moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.

The Examen Outline

There are many different ways to approach this spiritual discipline. Most are some variation of this outline.

  1. Plan to spend a few moments in prayer, usually near the end of your day. You may want a journal to record reflections.
  2. Acknowledge your awareness of God’s presence.
  3. Review the day to identify something for which you are grateful.
  4. Reflect on the activities of your day. The questions below will guide you.
  5. Pray into the insights that you have gained.
  6. Look with hope for new tomorrow.
  7. End with the Lord’s Prayer

Examen Questions for Finding God

Here are some questions that will help you as you reflect on your day. They are copied or modified from several sources.

  • For what moment am I most grateful? Least grateful?
  • When did I see evidence of God’s presence?
  • What were the highs—what was most life-giving? What were the lows—what was most life-depleting?
  • When did I give and receive the most love today?
  • When did I give and receive the least love today?
  • Where have I felt true joy today?
  • What has troubled me today?
  • Have I noticed God’s presence in any of this?
  • When today did I feel the most discontented, uncomfortable, and the least like myself?
  • When did God seem absent in my life today?

Looking for Hope

After reflection, it might be that the first step on pathway toward hope will be to seek forgiveness. The Holy Spirit will guide you if this step is necessary. God is always ready to forgive and give you a new start.

Would you like to learn more about finding God? Click this link for information about a free opportunity to explore spiritual disciplines will help you do just that.


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Manage Your Calendar So It Doesn’t Manage You

How Calendar Rules Help You Stay on Track

The skill and discipline to manage your calendar is an essential leadership tool. I don’t know any pastor who feels like they are accomplishing everything they wish they could. Our to-do lists are often endless and they start over every Monday. How often have your felt like your calendar was managing you rather than you maintaining the ability to manage your calendar? Calendar rules will help.

The Go Commission Manage Your Calendar

This article is a repost of  classic content.

My pastor taught me to divide the day into three sections for morning, noon, and night. His philosophy was to work 14 of those sections and take 7 of them off. It’s a rule that ensures that we balance rest and work. But, it doesn’t address all the things we need to work through to be sure our calendar doesn’t manage us.

Al Ells, of Leaders That Last Ministries, introduced me to the idea of calendar rules. Calendar rules are boundary statements that help us manage our calendar. Ells defined calendar rules as “a discipline that guides your time.” After listening to him, I realized that I have some calendar rules. But, I hadn’t called them that or thought them through in the way he presented them.

One of the calendar rules that I have is to get out of town once per quarter. It might be a vacation, an out of town meeting, or a trip to visit family. Keeping this rule helps me release the stress of my day to day responsibilities.

Another rule I follow is to use all my vacation each year. I’ve known too many pastors who work continually and burn themselves out. One retired pastor I know had a rule that he never socialized on Saturday evening. He used the time to relax and prepare his mind for the heavy responsibilities on Sunday.

Ells suggested that calendar rules can be written for during the week, weekends, quarterly, annually, phone calls, email, social media, games, weddings, baptisms, and funerals. You might want to develop rules about sermon preparation, meetings, community service, or study.

You have more to do than you can get done. Calendar rules will help you keep your priorities and your sanity.

Click Here for the Calendar Rules Worksheet

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Spiritual Growth Bibliography

How to Maximize Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth Bibliography

A List Compiled by my Friends and Me

Reading for spiritual growth is important to all pastors and church leaders. Recently, I asked my email list to suggest their 2 or 3 favorites books to include in a spiritual growth bibliography. Below is the list they provided. I may have missed a few of the suggestions, but I’ve tried to include them all, even if they weren’t directly on topic. These are the books that helped people’s spiritual growth, plus a few of my suggestions.

Spiritual Growth Bibliography The Go Commission

Spiritual Growth Bibliography

Neil Anderson: Victory Over the Darkness

Arbinger Institute: Leadership and Self-Deception

Mark Batterson: Circle Maker

John Bevere: Killing Kryptonite

Henry Blackaby: Experiencing God

Deitrich Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Discipleship

Cynthia Bourgeault: The Wisdom Jesus

Sam Bruce: Spiritual Formation: Forming Your Relationship with God, Transforming Your Relationships with People

Walter Brueggemann: Living Toward a Vision: Biblical Reflections on Shalom

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun: Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest

Francis Chan: Crazy Love

Francis Chan: Forgotten God

H.B. Charles, Jr.: It Happens After Prayer

G.K. Chesterton: Heretics

G.K. Chesterton: Orthodoxy

Henry Cloud & John Townsend: Boundaries

Henry Cloud & John Townsend: How People Grow

Douglas Connelly: The Bible for Blockheads

Wayne Cordeiro: The Divine Mentor

Larry Crabb: Inside Out

Jim Cymbala: Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

DC Talk: Jesus Freaks: Martyrs

Wesley L. Duewel: Touch the World Through Prayer

Dick Eastman and Jack Hayford: Living and Praying in Jesus’ Name

John Eldredge: Sacred Romance

Steve Farrar: Battle Ready

Margaret Feinberg: Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God

Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

Richard Foster: Freedom of Simplicity

Richard Foster: Prayer

Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin: Spiritual Classics

Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith: Devotional Classics

Garry Friesen, J. Robin Maxson: Decision Making and the Will of God

Thomas H. Green, S.J.: Opening to God

Craig Groeschel: The Christian Atheist

Craig Groeschel: Soul Detox

R. Creech,‎ Jim Herrington,‎ Trisha Taylor: The Leaders Journey

Bill Hull: Conversion and Discipleship

Bill Hybels: The Power of a Whisper

Bill Hybels: Too Busy Not to Pray

Kyle Idleman: Not a Fan

Skye Jethani: With

Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck: A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants

Tim Keller: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith

Dennis Kinlaw: The Mind of Christ

Brother Lawrence: The Practice of the Presence of God

Kevin Leman & Kevin Pentak: The Way of the Shepherd

C.S. Lewis: Mere Christianity

C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters

Peter Lord: Hearing God

Jeff Manion: The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions

James Earl Massey: Spiritual Disciplines: A Believer’s Openings to the Grace of God

John Mason: Enemy Called Average

Robert McGee: The Search for Significance

Erwin McManus: Wide Awake

Reggie McNeal: A Work of Heart

Thomas Merton: Contemplative Prayer

Joyce Meyer: Battlefield of the Mind

Patrick Morley: Man in the Mirror

Henri Nouwen: In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

Arlo F. Newell: Receive the Holy Spirit

Henri Nouwen: Spiritual Direction

Henri Nouwen: The Wounded Healer

John Ortberg: The Life You Always Wanted

John Ortberg: Soul Keeping

Basil Pennington: Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form Eugene Peterson: Under the Unpredictable Plant

Eugene Peterson: Working the Angles

Doug Pollock: God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally

David Putman: Detox (for the Overly Religious)

Jim Putman, Bobby Harrington: DiscipleShift

Robert Quinn: Build The Bridge As You Walk On It

Dennis Rainey: Stepping Up

Richard Rohr: Falling Upward

JC Ryle: Holiness

Oswald Sanders: Spiritual Leadership

Pete Scazzero: Emotionally Healthy Relationships

Pete Scazzero: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Ruth Shinness: Pray Strategy Resource Book

Jerry Sitter: A Grace Disguised

James Bryan Smith: Hidden in Christ: Living as God’s Beloved

James Bryan Smith: The Good and Beautiful God

James Bryan Smith: The Good and Beautiful Life

James Bryan Smith: The Good and Beautiful Community

Charles Solomon: Handbook to Happiness

Charles Solomon: The Ins & Out of Rejection

Gilbert W. Stafford: The Life of Salvation

Gilbert Stafford: Theology for Disciples

Andy Stanley: How Good is Good Enough

Andy Stanley: The Principle of the Path

Steve Strobel: The Case for Christ

Chuck Swindoll: Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Howard Thurman: Deep is the Hunger

Howard Thurman: Meditations of the Heart

Elmer L. Towns: Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough

Lance Wallnau and Bill Johnson: Invading Babylon

Rick Warren: Dynamic Bible Study Methods

Rick Warren: The Purpose Driven Life

Donald Whitney: 10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health

James Wilhoit: Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered

Dallas Willard: The Divine Conspiracy

Dallas Willard: The Great Omission

Dallas Willard: Hearing God

Dallas Willard: Renovation of the Heart

Dallas Willard: The Spirit of the Disciplines

Flora Slosson Wuellner: Prayer, Stress, and Our Inner Wounds


What’s missing from the spiritual growth bibliography? Add your favorites in the comments.

Here’s the PDF Version


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Protect Sunday Mornings

How to Maximize Spiritual Growth

Five Things I Wish I Had Known

Protecting Sunday Mornings

A Guest Post by Rev. James L. Sparks

Protecting Sunday mornings is a challenging responsibility for any pastor. Managing people is often a distraction from more important things. It’s even worse when what Marshall Shelley calls “Well-Intentioned Dragons” show up, too. This description from the book by that title makes it clearer. “Every church has sincere, well meaning Christians who leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don’t intend to be difficult; they don’t consciously plot destruction or breed discontent among the members. But they often do undermine the ministry of the church and make pastors question their calling.”

The Go Commission Protecting Sunday Mornings Guest Post

I hope you enjoy this guest post by Rev. James L. Sparks, Pastor Emeritus of North Avenue Church of God, Battle Creek, Michigan, as he share how he went about protecting Sunday mornings.

The lady approached me with her finger wagging in my face and I knew I was in for a lecture. It was a Sunday morning with only a few minutes before I was due to meet with the worship team and enter the sanctuary. It was very tempting to pretend I didn’t see her, but I was an instant too slow and she began her tirade. “Dennis just walked past me and didn’t even speak to me,” she said. “I want you to tell him not to ignore people.”

Now I was faced with a problem. It was easy to say, “Yeah, sure,” and walk away, but she needed to learn a lesson, so I said, “Dennis is our Children’s Pastor. It’s Sunday morning and he’s probably doing his job: caring for children. Unless you’re three feet tall or smaller, he’s being paid to ignore you in order to focus on children.” I paused. “Not everything is about you.”

I leaned over, kissed her cheek, and said, “Now I have to gather for my thoughts for worship. I suggest you do the same.” And I walked away.

I can’t count the times my mentor reminded me of the importance of Sundays. He had me memorize the mantra: “A preacher who approaches the pulpit without meticulous preparation of himself and his message is guilty of a blasphemous dereliction of duty.” As preachers, who are also pastors, guard our approach to that task zealously. And it’s not always easy.

One Sunday morning, the praise team was leaving the chancel and I picked up my Bible and prepared to preach. A young lady in the praise team leaned into my ear and said, “I want to talk to you this week.” I quietly said, “Just call me for an appointment.” Then, as she passed by, she said, “I want to tell you why I’m leaving the church.”

The next words out of my mouth were supposed to be the opening words of the sermon. But I couldn’t speak for several minutes. I was flabbergasted. When she later called and came in to see me, I told her why her remark was not only unkind, but rude.

Here’s my point: people need to be taught. No person enters a group knowing the rules of community; a club, a school, a group…or a church. Far too many folks have been allowed to speak without understanding how their words affect others. They need to be taught.

I’m not convinced that every person needs to be confronted about every inappropriate behavior, but the pastor who doesn’t protect himself and his congregation during the act of worship is “guilty of a blasphemous dereliction of duty.”

Share your comments about about protecting Sunday mornings in the comments below or in our Facebook Group.

How to Maximize Spiritual Growth

The 40 Days of Lent Are a Good Time to Start

Lent is a perfect time to maximize spiritual growth. Throughout church history God’s people have dedicated the 40 days of Lent to self-examination, penitence, and self-denial in order to grow closer to Christ.

The Go Commission Maximize Spiritual Growth

Of course, spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a plan. Former University of Alabama football coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant once said, “Have a plan. Follow the plan, and you’ll be surprised how successful you can be. Most people don’t have a plan. That’s why it’s is easy to beat most folks.”

You can maximize lent for spiritual growth by implementing a few simple ideas.

A Daily Growth Habit

Leadership expert John Maxwell says, “You cannot change your life until you change something you do every day.” That makes sense. People who grow spiritually learned long ago that daily effort has a compounding effect.

A macro goal might be to maximize spiritual growth during the 40 days of Lent. A micro goal is a daily one accomplished by breaking the macro goal into small daily goals.

Dr. B.J. Fogg calls them Tiny Habits. They are the small behaviors that can defeat resistance to change and promote growth.

Fogg suggests that there are three things that change behavior. One is to have an epiphany. But, epiphanies are rare and are dependent on an external event outside of one’s control. He suggests the leveraging of the other two things: a change of environment and taking baby steps.

Fogg suggests four steps to developing tiny habits:

  • Get Specific. Make your goal clear.
  • Make it easy. Start small and the new behavior can grow over time.
  • Identify a trigger behavior. The trigger should be an already firmly established event that you already do consistently.
  • Celebrate. Build a small celebration into your routine. It might be as simple as saying “Woo! Hoo!” after completing your new habit.

Here is the tiny habit recipe and examples:

The recipe: After I [existing habit], I will [new behavior].

Example: After I eat lunch, I will read a Bible verse.

When the new habit is anchored into a routine it can be expanded. Reading a verse becomes a paragraph, a paragraph becomes a chapter, and so on. The expansion of the tiny habit will produce the momentum for the behavior change a person wants to establish.

You can learn about the method here TinyHabits.com and Dr. Fogg’s Ted Talk.

Be Intentional

The second idea to maximize spiritual growth during Lent is to be intentional about it. The first practice of intention is to start. Following the strategy of tiny habits, one simple macro goal can get you started on your plan to maximize your spiritual growth.

John Maxwell, in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential, shares this helpful chart.

From Accidental Growth to Intentional Growth

Accidental GrowthIntentional Growth
Plans to Start TomorrowInsists on Starting Today
Waits for Growth to ComeTakes Complete Responsibility to Grow
Learns Only from MistakesOften Learns Before Mistakes
Depends on Good LuckRelies on Hard Work
Quits Early and OftenPerseveres Long and Hard
Falls into Bad HabitsFights for Good Habits
Talks BigFollows Through
Plays It SafeTakes Risks
Thinks Like a VictimThinks Like a Learner
Relies on TalentRelies on Character
Stops Learning After GraduationNever Stops Growing

Use a Good Resource

The third idea to maximize spiritual growth during the upcoming 40 days of Lent is to use one or two good resources. Here are some of my favorites.

Rethinking Easter will help you develop a plan to help the whole church grow. It’s free for the next few weeks. I encourage you to use it.

Holiness: A Lenten Devotional is a new resource written from the perspective of the Church of God (Anderson), but it will be helpful to anyone who wants to focus on the virtue of holiness as their growth goal.

40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond  is a daily devotional that I have enjoyed using. It available in paperback and Kindle editions.

40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond Paperback Edition

40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond Kindle Edition

My friend Dr. John Davey provided this plan for his congregation last year. It will give you some good ideas for you and your church.

Pennway Church of God Spiritual Growth Ideas for Lent

What will you do to maximize spiritual growth during the 40 days of Lent?


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Rethinking Easter Outreach Ideas


10 Rethinking Easter Outreach Ideas

From Big Event to Big Impact

Rethinking Easter begins now. It is one of the most important days of the year for the local church. And it’s only 11 weeks away. Here are 10 rethinking Easter ideas to help you start planning.

Rethinking Easter Church Marketing Plan for Big Impact

Take Advantage of Church Marketing University’s Rethinking Easter Module

Ryan Wakefield, of Church Marketing University, has a very helpful online course to help transition Easter from simply being a big event to a season of big impact.

Don’t miss this course! Ryan is offering it free for those who jump in now.

Gather Ideas to Make Easter Great

One of the challenges is to make Easter feel fresh for your congregation. It’s way too easy to replay last year’s calendar. Easter needs to be exciting for everyone, not just your first time guests.

Most of us aren’t original creatives. We borrow and adapt good ideas from others. I’ve found it helpful to spend a little time reading about what others are doing. I pin the good ones to my Pinterest Page.

My Easter Ideas for Churches Pinterest Page

Get Ready for Company

What happens at your house when company is coming? I imagine it’s the same as at my house. A lot of cleaning!

The same needs to happen at the church. Clean it up. Spruce it up. A walkabout both inside and outside to create a checklist of issues to address might prove helpful.

Get the Word Out with Social Media

We created a hashtag to brand our Easter activities last year and put it on all our social media posts for several weeks. A lot of people noticed and followed.

What hashtag could you use this year?

Invitation Strategy

One way to make it easier for your members to invite others is to give them an invite card. Canva has a page full of ideas that can be modified to make them.

Canva’s Church Invitations Page


I been thinking lately that churches need to start thinking like online entrepreneurs when it comes to marketing. A landing page and an email list are essential for them. Why not for the church, too?

I’m developing a course to help church leaders do the same. Click the link if you want me to let you know when it is ready.

Link for Email course.


This is the easiest to implement. You people know how to pray. A few ideas passed to them each week in the bulletin with ramp up the prayer time.

Better yet, why not write a prayer for the whole church to use?

Easter Sunday

The Vanderbloemen Search Group suggested sending everyone home with a lily. What fun! They have six more good ideas in their blog post.

7 Ideas to Make Your Easter Service Memorable

Make the Gospel Clear

Easter is all about Jesus. It is the perfect time to focus on Him. Above all else, we need to make a clear call for people to come to Christ.

Have a Clear Guest Follow-up Strategy

Rethinking Easter is about more than Easter Sunday. A good follow-up strategy will include a clear next step for your visitors to take.

What do you want your Easter visitors to do next?

This needs to be crystal clear. Rethinking Easter Module 3 has a lot of great ideas to help. I hope you will take advantage of the ideas present there.

Rethinking Easter is a free module from Church Marketing University. I want to especially thank Ryan Wakefield for making this available to my readers.

You will also receive all the information you need to determine whether or not purchasing the course is right for your church. In full disclosure, I will receive a commission if you use my link. It won’t cost you any more to do so.


Click For Rethinking Easter


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