pastoral ministry

Mailbag: Weird Prayers, Prayer Walks and What Would Jesus Pray

Brief Overview:

In this final episode in our month long series on prayer, Matt and Tal answer five of questions they are most frequently asked questions church leaders have about prayer:


Your Questions About Prayer:

  1. When is the best time to pray?

  2. What resources on prayer do you recommend the most?

  3. How do I fit everything in that I need to pray for?

  4. Any recommendations on corporate prayer meetings?

  5. What do we think of [approach to prayer that you don’t like]?

How To Pray For Your Church

Brief Overview

In this third episode in our month long series on prayer, Matt and Tal walk through four critical questions every pastor needs to ask as they create a plan to pray for their church:

 

Questions For Your Prayer Plan:

·         Who am I praying for?

·         When and where am I going to pray for them?

·         What am I going to pray for them?

·         Who else can I develop to pray with me?

10 Questions Smart Leaders Ask About Coaching

Brief Overview

All month long, we’ve been talking about the benefits of hiring a coach. This week, we’re answering your questions to help you make fully informed decisions: 

Questions Answered In This Episode

  • Why has coaching for pastors become so popular?

  • Is there research to back the benefits of coaching?

  • What’s the difference between counseling and coaching?

  • What’s the best question to ask a prospective coach?

  • Why doesn’t coaching work for some people?

  • How does Five Factors Coaching work?

  • What’s unique about Five Factors Coaching?

  • Who is Five Factors Coaching designed to help?

  • What kind of commitment is involved with Five Factors Coaching?

  • Why did y’all start Five Factors Coaching?

The Secret of Great Coaching

Brief Overview

When ministry leaders hire a coach, what should they be looking for? Certification helps but in the same way that seminary degrees can’t guarantee the effectiveness of a pastor, coaching certification doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. If you want to hire a great coach, look for these three priorities in their coaching:


Priorities of Great Coaches:

  • Clarity - Great coaches help you focus and establish goals where it matters most.

  • Momentum - Great coaches have a clear path of success that leads you where you want to go.

  • Results - Great coaches help you reach your goals that keep you leading well for a long time.

Resources

How To Find The Right Coach For You

Brief Overview

“Is that coaching?” “No, that’s not coaching.” “Here’s what coaching looks like.” This is the conversation among church leaders when it comes to coaching, and it’s largely unhelpful. The truth is there are three primary ways to coach leaders and you should choose the approach that is most helpful to you right now.

 

Types of Coaches:

  • Mentor - Coaches who have been successful where you are struggling. Priority is on information that shows you how they achieved success.

  • Pastor - Coaches who care for you as you lead. Priority is on confirmation of God’s love for you and his calling on your life.

  • Trainer - Coaches who put you in the best position to succeed. Priority is on their dedication to helping your reach your goals.

Vic Doss on Losing 50 Pounds, Leading College Students and Why He Loves Oprah

Brief Overview

Matt sits down with Vic Doss from Watkinsville First Baptist Church to talk about leading college students, what’s missing in evangelical politics and the holistic transformation that took place in Vic’s life over the past 12 months.

Listen To Learn:

  • How Vic lost 50 pounds in a year

  • The moment Vic decided to stop using his phone for a month

  • How a church of 200 people has become a spiritual home for more than 2,500 college students since 2006.

  • The one question church leaders should be asking about politics

Should I Use A Smartphone?

Brief Overview

In the last of four episodes on how healthy leaders use their smartphones, Matt and Tal answer listener questions about the challenges and benefits of smartphone use.

Here are the questions Matt and Tal answer:

  • Is smartphone addiction a real thing?

  • What’s available to protect me from porn on my smartphone?

  • Should I ask people in our church not to use their phone when I preach?

  • Any tips on social media fasts? Are they helpful or just a placebo?

  • What are the spiritual benefits of healthy smartphone use?

  • Should I ditch my smartphone?. 

Take a (One-Day) Digital Detox

Brief Overview

In the second of four episodes on how healthy leaders use their smartphones, Matt and Tal talk through the details of taking a 24-hour break from your smartphone. They talk about why we get hooked on our phones, the benefits of taking a 24-hour break from our phones and how to take the next steps to freedom.


Benefits of a Digital Detox:

  • Freedom from FOMO: The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a problem compounded by the way our phones tap into our neurochemistry. A consistent break from your phone disrupts that connection and helps to create healthier phone habits.

  • Freedom from Overwork: Show us the person who is always on their phone, and we’ll show you a person who is working more than they should.

  • Freedom for Praying: Few challenges are more difficult to overcome than disconnecting from the constant distraction of your phone to make room for focused times of prayer.

  • Freedom for Play: When you have an entire day disconnected from your phone, you find time to enjoy unhurried opportunities for fun and leisure with family and friends.

Your Relationship With Your Smartphone? It's Complicated!

Brief Overview:

In the first of four episodes on how healthy leaders use their smartphones, Matt and Tal show you the possibilities of using your smartphone in a different way. In the face of increased concerns about the holistic impact of smartphone use, healthy leaders are reimagining their relationship with their phone.

Benefits of Better Smartphone Use:

  • Heightened sense of security and gratitude. Research shows that smartphone use increases the risk of loneliness and depression. Mentally healthy leaders limit the time they spend on their phone.

  • Improved sleep. Your phone emits a level of radiation that disrupts the quality of your sleep. Physically healthy leaders keep their phone in another room at night.

  • Better connections in relationships. Our relationships are damaged by decreased eye contact as we scroll our phones. Relationally healthy leaders set boundaries on their phones when they’re spending time with people. 

  • Better able to hear God. Your phone creates an untold number of distractions from the time you spend listening to God through the Scriptures and responding in prayer. Spiritually healthy leaders consider the cost of using your phone to fuel your relationship with God.

  • More productive at work. Your productivity will increase and you will feel better at the end of the day if you are not glued to your phone. Vocationally healthy leaders limit their access to work-related apps on their phone. 

Are You Addicted To Work?

Brief Overview:

In this last installment of our series on work, Matt and Tal answer five questions that church leaders should wrestle with related to how much they work. We live in a world that celebrates ‘the hardest workers in the room’ but when does our hustle become a problem? What are the warning signs that we are becoming addicted to work? How do we put Pandora back in her box if our schedule is out of control and our heart is out of alignment with the way of Jesus?

Evaluation Questions:

  • Do you get more excited about work than your family or anything else? Misplaced love is a symptom of addiction.

  • Do you take work with you to bed, into the weekend and/or on vacation? When work spills into parts of life not intended for work, you squeeze out critical components of your health.

  • Do you believe it’s ok to work long hours if you love your work? Would you believe it's ok to excessively drink or play video games just because you love it?

  • Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop working to do something else? If you get irritated when someone asks you to stop doing something, that’s a sign your body and soul is becoming hooked.

  • Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships? We dare you to ask your spouse or children...

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