Are You In A Good Mood Today?

Are You In A Good Mood Today?

One Sunday, a man decided to sleep in, and soon his pretty wife came in to wake him.

“Time to get up,” she said. “It’s time to get ready for church.”

“I don’t want to go to church,” mumbled the man. “Give me three good reasons why I should go.”

“Well,” replied his patient wife, “number one, the Bible says you should; number two, your family needs you to go with them, and number three, you’re the pastor!”

God has appointed some people to be leaders and ministers who are out in front of the people, leading the way. From reading the Bible we can see that God expects more out of leaders and ministers than the people that follow them.

As leaders and staff people, we have specific duties and tasks that need to be done at certain times. The sound man must be ready to mix a good sound during rehearsals and during the service. Children’s ministers must be ready to teach the little ones when they walk in the door. Greeters must have a smile on their face when they go to the door. And the pastor must be ready to lead the service whether he feels like it or not.

King Solomon said, “An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives; you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that. Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re like spring rain and sunshine.” (Proverbs 16:14-15, MSG)

As leaders and staff people, we don’t have the luxury of being in a bad mood or have a bad day where we blow off the people around us and lose control of what we say and do. We can’t cancel the services just because we aren’t in the mood, or are having a difficult day because of something.

We have all been around people who have significant mood swings so that you don’t know from day to day what you will find. These type of people are difficult to work with, and even harder to follow if they’re in a leadership position. People who are moody and not even-tempered are undependable in crisis or pressure situations. They do not have the capability to withstand the pressure and think clearly to determine what needs to be done.

When the Apostle Paul got saved, he was a young hot-head who liked to argue and debate the Scriptures, and in Jerusalem he “ran afoul of a group of Hellenists—he had been in a running argument with them—who plotted his murder. When his friends learned of the plot, they got him out of town, took him to Caesarea, and then shipped him off to Tarsus. Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for awhile.” (Acts 9:29-31, MSG)

Much later in life, he had developed into a steady leader and minister. In the light of predicted hard times and imprisonment as he again went to Jerusalem, he stated that “. . . none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24, NKJV)

A leader or staff person who is even-tempered and not moody will provide the following to the people:

  • It gives hope to the people.

  • It helps to eliminate fear in the people.

  • It gives them a role model to imitate.

  • It encourages the people’s faith in God.

  • It gives the people a glimpse of what they could become.

Today let us ask God to help us be even-tempered leaders and ministers so that we can be effective in ministry and make a difference in people’s lives.

~ Mood Quotes ~

* No man is free who is not master of himself. 
– Epictetus

* The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’ – Billy Graham

* I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work. – Pearl S. Buck, author

~ Discussion Questions ~

* Can you identify some trigger points that change your moods from good to bad? Or from bad to good?

* How do you change your mood from bad (unproductive, self-centered) to good (productive, and pleasant to others)?

* What moods have you conquered in your Christian life that had ruled you, but now you are in control of them?


Are you Really That Good?

Are you Really That Good?

Some years ago, a superintendent in a particular denomination asked a number of young ministers how long they preached. Some said they preached 45 minutes, some said an hour, and some even said an hour and a half. Whereupon the superintendent responded to them by saying, “I only have one question for you who preach a long time. Are you really that good?”

This man didn’t questioning their calling, but he did question their skill level. A calling can be received from the Lord in an instant but operating in that call successfully often depends upon growing and developing in the necessary knowledge and skills.

Psalms 132:17, NKJV – There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.

“The word rendered “to bud” means to grow, or to shoot forth as a plant, or as grass grows; and then it may be applied to anything which shoots forth or grows. The allusion here would seem to be to a horn as it shoots forth on the head of an animal. So David would be endowed with growing strength; would have the means of defending himself against his enemies, and of securing victory.” – Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible

God promised to help David develop and grow into what he had been created to be. It would not happen overnight, but as he developed and grew in knowledge and skills, he could walk in his God-ordained calling and place. David was anointed to be king but a number of years passed before he operated in his calling as king of Israel.

Moses was called to deliver Israel but it took 40 years to develop him so he could operate in his calling. Jesus was the Son of God sent to redeem mankind from their sins, but it took 30 years of developing and growing so that He could successfully fulfill the plan of redemption that only took 3 days. The Apostle Paul was a mighty missionary, but it took a number of years for him to develop and grow so that he could successfully convey the message of Christ to the Gentile world.

It takes time to develop in knowledge and skill so that a person can fulfill the basic requirements of their job well. Yet getting the basics down is one of the most neglected items that people pay attention to in their quest to be a part of the team. All too often their focus is on a difficult or complicated move designed to impress those around them, but doesn’t achieve a whole lot.

The Necessity of Having Good Skills

A person on a team must demonstrate a good set of skills, on both an individual as well as well as on a team level.

In a church or ministry setting, staff people must have certain skill levels to manage their own lives so they are not a hindrance on the ministry team. At one ministry, bill collectors were repeatedly calling to try to catch one of the staff people who did not pay their bills. Their lack of skill in financial management caused undue stress and embarrassment upon the ministry and their fellow staff members, and took time away from productively dealing with necessary ministry tasks.

Ministry staff people must also develop team skills where they learn to flow with fellow team members, understand and appreciate each other’s roles, and work together to achieve extraordinary results.

Determine to Grow and Develop Your Skill Levels

As Christians involved in ministry, we need to constantly grow in our knowledge of God’s Word and His ways. Yet there is much more to be learned. Developing good work ethics, maintaining a servant attitude, listening to your leaders, and handling pressure are absolutely vital in being a successful part of a ministry team. Dealing with natural things while maintaining a spiritual attitude is paramount to staying involved in the ministry team. Too often people think the Lord will make up what they lack, and make no attempt to learn new skills. The Lord will help you learn new skills so that you can do the work that is required of you. However, God’s help is no substitute for a person’s unwillingness to learn or inability to do the basic work requirements assigned to them.

Set goals to do things that will increase your knowledge and skill levels so that you can continue being a vital part of the ministry. Going to seminars or the library to get knowledge, doing extra practice, and learning to stay steady under pressure are things you can do to improve your skill levels and add value to the team!

~ Skill Quotes ~

“A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” ― Larry Bird

“All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners… Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they’re not learning, they’re not growing… not moving toward excellence.” – Denis Waitley

~ Discussion Questions ~

  • What do you feel are your main strengths and skills?

  • Who have you admired for their skill levels in what they did, that you said to yourself, “I want to be like that?”

  • What are the next steps you should take to grow and develop in your skills so that you can fulfill your place on the team?

  • Who would you like to get to help you grow and develop in your skill levels


Getting Ready For Increase!

Getting Ready For Increase!

Isaiah, the great Messianic prophet, spoke of the future of Israel . . . “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.”1

We can see that this is in reference to the Jews after they return from captivity, and a prophecy of increase in their nation after they had resettled in their own land! Listen to what happened after Isaiah spoke this prophecy . . . “Those that first came out of Babylon were but 42,000 (Ezr 2:64), . . . and yet above 500 years after, a little before their destruction by the Romans, a calculation was made by the number of the paschal lambs, and the lowest computation by that rule (allowing only ten to a lamb, whereas they might be twenty) made the nation to be nearly three million.”2 What an increase! What an explosion of growth!

Prophetically this also speaks of the Church. We know the history of how the Church began, exploding from 120 followers in the Upper Room to over 3,000 people from many different nations! This all happened in one day on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41)! Shortly thereafter there another 5,000 people became believers over and above those we read of before (Acts 4:4). From there the Church expanded rapidly into Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. Yet that is still not the whole picture, for these verses speak not only of the early Church in its beginning, but to the Church of every generation until the return of Jesus Christ!

The Holy Spirit Also Spoke To Us Today

These verses reveal that God has plans of increase for us, just as He did for Israel and the Early Church. Therefore, we must prepare our attitudes and actions so we are ready for the increase that God is speaking about!

In our organization, we may be in the beginning stages of increase and expansion. God wants us to continue to increase spiritually and numerically. A year ago things may have looked very different than they do now. Yet we are only beginning to tap our growth potential, and the growth outlook for us continues to be very positive.

We must learn how to practically handle increase and expansion so it is not a burden. Obviously, we must first ask God for His help and wisdom. Thereafter, we must focus on forming teams and developing systems to take care of the needs of people, have proper organization, and fulfill the vision God has given to us.

Teams With One Focus

We must focus on building teams that work together to accomplish the vision of LifePointe. No team members can be the superstar, or as they say in sports, a “ball hog.” A team is only great when the members adjust their attitude and efforts from individually being better than others to helping the whole team to be better. Increase comes as the result of efforts by many people working together for the same cause.

A team member who is out of their place is not able to help and do their part as required. Thus the whole team suffers. Team members who operate in their place are in a position to support and assist in the overall mission of the church.

Systems That Work

We must also put systems and guidelines in place that will help staff and volunteers know what to do, and also to organize the process of daily administration and special events. Systems are needed to take care of people’s needs, take care of finances, take care of facilities, and prepare for the growth of the congregation. Even simple things such as a first time visitor follow-up system is important.

Without good teams and proper systems in place, increase can turn into chaos and confusion. So, let us prepare for increase by depending upon the supernatural ability of the Holy Spirit, and also by developing teams and organizational systems.

1 Isai.54:2-3, NKJV

2 Matthew Henry Commentary

~ Increase Quotes ~

* God wants His children to move out of the land of not enough, through the land of just enough, into the land of more than enough.” – Mark Hankins

* “There seems to be an invisible reservoir of abundance in the universe that can be tapped into by obeying certain spiritual laws.” – Norman Vincent Peale

~ Discussion Questions ~

* What areas do you need to make adjustments so you can experience increase in your personal life? What adjustments do you need to make to flow with increase in our organization?

* What areas do you feel are ready and developed for increase in our organization? What areas need to be developed?

* What organizational systems can you think of that are necessary in handling increase in your areas?