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Oklahoma City Pastor Preaches A Candid Sermon About Racism and The Gospel

Religion is Dead: The Gospel & Racism from Frontline Church on Vimeo.

Oklahoma City Pastor Josh Kouri (Frontline Church) speaks very candidly about race, racial IQ, the system, justice, peace, racism and The Gospel.

Real Talk… Definitely worth your while.

Win A FREE Copy Of MichaelJrComedy’s “Laughing On Purpose” DVD

The trailer above is just a short clip of the comedy special that my man @MichaelJrComedy filmed at Gateway Church. Let me first say this, Michael, last name Jr. is a friend of mine, he’s the real deal, a great man of God and he just happens to be hilarious. Secondly, let me say that his comedy makes my entire family laugh, my kids were 8 and 12 when they saw him for the 1st time and not only were they cracking up but the content was perfect for them.

That’s what makes him so great is his unique ability to connect with the entire family, any race, any background, any situation and make them laugh, all while keeping it clean. Recently my 5th grade son Jayden was telling me about an interaction that he had with a girl that he has a mutual liking with at school, He said “She looked at me and gave me the lizard look face.” LOL If you don’t know what the “Lizard Look Face” is, you will have to get a copy of Michael Jr’s “Laughing On Purpose” DVD Special.

MichaelJr’s “Laughing On Purpose” DVD is rightfully titled, because it’s comedy with a purpose. The major bonus to anything that MichaelJr does is the fact that there is always a message, a purpose and something meaningful to walk away with. MichaelJr has a comedic gift and he freely gives it away to people in homeless shelters, prisons, youth facilities and countless under-served groups.

“A gift isn’t a gift until you give it away.” ~@MichaelJrComedy

With multiple appearances on late night television, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central, Willow Creek Leadership Sumit, Bishop TD Jakes MegaFest and almost every large comedian church or event in the country, my man Michael Jr. has definitely made a name for himself. His family-focused, laid-back style is pure comic genius, and “Laughing On Purpose” first solo comedy special on DVD.

“Laughing On Purpose” is an outstanding comedy concert was filmed at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX. Michael’s brilliant comedy is matched by high production values, with a project that was filmed in an excellent venue with a warmly appreciative, engaged audience. It’s now available for purchase at Wal-Mart. (that’s when you know that you are big-time) If you buy it at Wal-Mart go through the self-checkout line because those other lines are way too long. (Wal-Mart hire some more cashiers, now, please)

WIN A FREE COPY OF “LAUGHING ON PURPOSE”

I have 3 Copies of “Laughing on Purpose” that I will be giving away randomly and winning is very simple, as a matter of fact it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

Winning is easy as 1 – 2 – 3

  • 1. Follow @MichaelJrComedy on Twitter (If you are already following him, thanks for being an over-achiever)
  • 2. Go to @MichaelJrComedy’s Facebook page here and like it. (If you already like his page, thanks you’re an over-achiever
  • 3. Re-Tweet my tweet about winning a copy of the “Laughing On Purpose” DVD (BTW- I’m @scottwilliams).  Here is the tweet to copy and paste, or you can simply find @scottwilliams on twitter and re-tweet it.  “Win A FREE Copy of @MichaelJrComedy’s “Laughing On Purpose” DVD http://bitn.us/MjrLaugh  (you can add a little flavor to your tweet, or re-tweet just make sure I’m copied and it has the above info.)
  • Note: Winners will be selected from random tweets and those who complete steps 1-2-3

Thanks and if you don’t win go buy it at Wal-Mart, good luck on finding a short check-out line.

 

7 BIG Mistakes That Church Leaders Make

7mistakesOften times leaders are not always measured on their wins or successes, but rather their mistakes and failures. A leader is supposed to have wins, therefore they are often times overlooked; however those mistakes stick out like a sore thumb.

I have had the opportunity to both work in leadership positions and provide leadership consulting for publicly traded corporations, political entities, correctional organizations and ministries. In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to speak at conferences and consult with churches all around the world. Over these years, I have made and witnessed many leadership mistakes. As I look at mistakes in the the context of ministry leadership, there are 7 common mistakes that seem to be prevalent among ministry leaders:

7 Mistakes Church Leaders Make

  • 1. Blame It On Ministry- Ministry leaders will blame their unwillingness to make tough decisions on the fact that “It’s Ministry” or “I know they are not doing so and so, but we are a church.” Yes it might be a church or a ministry role; however that’s no excuse for not holding people accountable, expecting excellence and demanding a high level of performance. If secular leaders are expected to perform, shouldn’t ministry leaders be held to even a higher standard… Not only perform, but perform w/ integrity! Don’t Blame It On Ministry!
  • 2. Copy Cat- Often times ministry leaders try to replicate what they see popular churches, ministries or pastors doing. Don’t get me wrong it’s important for ministry leaders to learn from what other successful ministries are doing and apply those ideas, concepts, practices, systems and theories contextually to their ministry. The problem with Copy Cat’s is they listen to a pastor at a conference or see something another ministry is doing and try to 100% replicate it, without understanding the history, context and DNA behind those decisions, practices or systems. Don’t be a Copy Cat!
  • 3. Only Learn From Within Christian/Ministry Circles- Ministry leaders make the mistake of limiting their learning circles; they only learn from other christian leaders, christian books, other pastors, church leaders etc. Ministry leaders should open up their arsenal to learn from what industry and major corporations as well.  Specifically, as it relates to leveraging technology, leadership principles, HR practices, talent search and understanding customer service.  In most cases, industry is normally 10+ years ahead of the strategies/practices that ministries are implementing.  Industry, including the sports industry can teach ministry leaders a lot of valuable information; ministry leaders must be willing to seek and learn.  If we open our eyes, we can find those God moments an learning all around us. Don’t Exclusively Learn From Within Christian/Ministry Circles!
  • 4. Hire The Wrong People- Just because Johnny was successful at so and so church and has so and so seminary degree; doesn’t mean he or she is the person that is going to take your ministry to the next level.  Don’t limit your hires to individuals that only have ministry experience. Don’t hire someone simply because they have a good heart or because they were a good volunteer. Every hire is of extreme importance to the success of the ministry, take your time and give each hire the time and effort they deserve!  Don’t Hire The Wrong People!
  • 6. Think They Own Their Staff – Just because your staff members have signed on the dotted line and accepted their calling to work for your ministry doesn’t mean they can’t leave and go somewhere else. Often times ministry leaders can get bent out of shape because a team member decides to leave their ministry for another ministry. The reality is this – the staff are not yours in the first place, you must learn to live with an abundance mentality and God will send you more than enough great team leaders. If someone wants to move on, create an environment where they can come to you openly about their decision without repercussion. If God is the one doing the “calling,” He can pick up the phone and call a team member to a different ministry at any time. The staff are not yours, they’re God’s, your ministry is not yours, it’s God’s. Don’t think that you own your staff!
  • 6. Trade Success For Learning – Success can be the greatest impediment to future success. Success overshadows failures and covers up blind-spots. As ministry leaders have more success, they tend to have the attitude of: “What can I learn from so and so? What can so and so teach us, look at where we are?” Ministry leaders must be lifelong learners and not allow their success to be a substitute for learning, development and growth. Don’t trade your success for learning!
  • 7. Don’t Seek God- This one should be common sense; however many times a leader will make a huge decision without taking any time to seek God.  Seeking God Should Always Be Part Of The Equation!

Share your experiences or thoughts on any of these 7 mistakes! Feel free to add more to the list.

New Position- Director Of Spiritual Development (Tampa, FL)


tcc logoNew Search-
 Director Of Spiritual Development /Pastor/

ChurchThe Crossing Church

Location– Tampa, FL

Some Details– In April of 2005, members of Crosstown Community Church and The Pointe Church merged to form The Crossing Church. Crosstown had been searching for the right Senior Pastor to fulfill the calling God had placed on it; the Pointe Church was a rapidly growing church who had outgrown their facility and was in need of additional space. God aligned these two churches and formed one amazingly strong and balanced church. The Crossings Church is a multi-site ministry located in beautiful Tampa, Florida with an avg. weekly attendance of 5,500.

The Role- The Director Of Spiritual Development is a high level leadership role within The Crossing Church and serves a member of the Lead Team. The primary responsibilities for this role include providing leadership and direction for all “Growth Ministries”: Assimilations, LifeGroups, Equipping, Missions and Large Events.

If you are interested or have questions any question, please contact Nxt Level Solutions by emailing Nicole@NxtLevel.net or submit your resume here. All information/correspondence is held in confidence between you, Nxt Level Solutions and The Crossing Church. Should your church is interested in this type of search for your church, feel free to contact me personally Scott@NxtLevel.net.

Cutting Down Ministry Trees With Dull Axes

I have worked with and talked with countless ministries, Senior Pastors and staff teams from around the world. Every one of these groups have a desire to grow, a desire to be efficient and a desire to be productive. Every ministry tries different strategies to foster growth, efficiency and productivity. The most over-looked strategy to propel growth, efficiency and productivity is “time off and rest.”

In all seriousness, Sr. Pastors should try to find themselves in the sweet spot of preaching between 35-40 weekends per year (no more.) If they are preaching more than that, they probably aren’t raising up any other leaders/teachers, they probably don’t have adequate relationships with other Sr. Pastors, they are probably stifling the organizational growth culture and they are setting themselves up for burnout and failure. In addition to time off, an appropriate sabbatical policy should also be in the mix as well.

When it comes to the staff, some cultures only allow staff to take off 2 ministry weekends a year. Seriously, that is absolutely ludicrous if the ministry truly desires to grow, while increasing efficiency and productivity. The staff need to rest and there is not a staff member on the planet that is so important that they can’t take more than two weekends off. If they are perceived to be that important, they probably aren’t leading because they should be able to raise other leaders up to keep the ship going in their absence. Staff should take off no less than 4-6 weekends a year and ideally 2 of those weekends should be back to back. You must know your culture and know your rhythms.

The same thing is true for high capacity volunteers, especially those that volunteer multiple services and in multiple ministries. These individuals generally have demanding full-time jobs and need to rest, rejuvenate and recuperate, in order to increase their productivity. It’s up to the staff and ministry leaders to know the various rhythms and be in tune with when to encourage and sometimes demand volunteers take some time-off.

If you want to grow, be productive and efficient, you must schedule time to rest, time to refresh, time to energize and time to do absolutely nothing. Stephen Covey refers to this as sharpening your axe. He tells the story of someone so busy cutting down trees that they don’t take time to stop and sharpen their axe. The person who takes the time to sharpen their axe will cut down more trees. Some ministry staff, Sr. Pastors and volunteers are cutting down ministry trees with dull axes.

Sometimes the most important times to take off and rest is when it’s the craziest and the furious ministry storms are coming at you 100 mph.

23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:24-27

What kind of man is this? He is “Jesus” the kind of man that took time to rest. Just as Jesus said to his disciples, I will say to ministry leaders “The reason you and your staff are not taking time off is because you are of little faith, you have so little faith that you don’t think the ship can float with out you or your team guiding the ship.” Get some rest, have some faith and watch how smooth your ministry ship will sail. Sailing to the shores of efficiency, productivity, growth and a bonus island called “health.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences. 

Stand For Something! Chick-fil-A Day and Antoine Dodson

In life we have the daily opportunity to profess who we are, what we are about and what we stand for. I happen to be typing this post on the day that has been deemed as “Chick-fil-A Day.” This is the day to support the traditional American Family values as professed by the Christian Faith.

Chick-fil-A recently came under fire for a statement that President Dan Cathy made to the Baptist Press about their organization’s support of the traditional family unit. Cathy was quoted saying this,

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” ~Dan Cathy

I’m not going to go into a lot of details, arguments or small talk on the subject… I will sum this up very succinctly. I was told this as a young man, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Chick-fil-A is standing for something. This facebook page in support of Chick-fil-A shows hundreds of thousands are standing with them.

Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where people seem to be more focused on what and who they are against rather than what and who they are for. We must stop focusing on what we are against, and begin focusing on what we are for. We must Stand For Something!

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Chick-fil-A: their business model, commitment to excellence, leadership development and because they stand for something. The fact that their food is amazing is just a nice bonus. My family will eat Chick-fil-A today, tomorrow, next week, next year… probably until the cows come home. (pun intended)

Even, Mr. Hide Your Kids and Hide Your Wife Antoine Dodson stands with Chick-fil-A. Dodson was quoted as saying,  ”

“If I want a Chick-fil-A sandwich I’m gonna have a Chick-fil-A sandwich… So you can run and tell that.”

Check out Antoine’s video regarding Chick-fil-A below:

What do you think? Share your thoughts on Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A Day, The Drama, Antoine’s Video or whatever else you would like to share. 

The Ripple Effect

I remember when I was a young child I used to enjoy throwing rocks in a pond near my home and I was always amazed at how that one little rock could send ripples throughout this huge body of water. As I’ve gotten older I’ve seen the ripple effect of good/bad decisions, good/bad coaches, good/bad investments, good/bad leaders and the list goes on and on. The ripple effect is all around us and some ripples are larger than others. Let’s take a look at a ripple.

The Setting: The middle of the vast open-land in Tanzania where the Maasai Tribe resides. Small home/hut made of mud, leaves, vines and trees. Imagine the most national geographic, late night infomercial w/ flies buzzing around image that you can conjure up.

The Story: 14 year-old Saruni (shown standing in the door of his home… mother to the right) who stands 6’1” becomes a part of compassion child development project TZ-505 and gets a sponsor. He walks several miles each way to school and attends both church and school at the same place the compassion project is located. Saruni grows in his understanding of the Lord and gives his life to Christ. He influences his sisters by his change and they become Christians as well. Mom eventually becomes a Christian and the father is the only non-Christian in the immediate family.

The Ripple Effect: Saruni becomes a part of Compassion International; a sponsor invests 5 quarters a day into his family, education and life. Saruni becomes a Christian and the Ripple Effect is Saruni’s entire family with the exception of his father will spend life on the other side of this earth with Sweet Jesus. Saruni’s mother’s #1 prayer is for her husband’s salvation and for him to one day become a Christian.

Saruni’s “dream Big think Bigger” mindset is to one day become a Doctor and to positively impact his country. The Ripple Effect of someone just like you and I investing 5 quarters a day into the life of a Tanzanian Child, A Tanzanian Family, A Tanzanian Community, a Tanzanian Tribe and The Kingdom of God is farther reaching than we know.

We will all make some kind of ripples… The type of ripples you make in your life, your family, your community and the lives of others are all based upon your decisions. Choose Wisely!

Throw 5 quarters a day in the pond of life, by choosing to sponsor a child from Tanzania and the Ripple Effect will go to the edge of the pond and beyond.

Share your thoughts on The Ripple Effect and the lasting impact of decisions.

(Powerful Video) Sunday Is Coming!!!

Powerful Video…  Watch, Listen & Share your thoughts.  Sunday is Coming!

Rock The City

Pastor Mike McClure Jr. & “THE ROCK” Church “Rock the City” pt 1 from Pastor Mike McClure Jr. on Vimeo.

As a church consultant I get the opportunity to work with churches of all types and see all types of strategies of sharing the gospel. I love to see Pastors and Churches do creative things to specifically reach their community, as every community has their unique set of challenges. This short film was a response to the violence, job layoffs, and all the drama the city of Birmingham, Alabama has endured over the past year.

Twenty-eight year old Pastor Mike Mcclure Jr., reaches back and draws inspiration from “Malcolm X & Dr. King” to inspire all of Birmingham to get involved and make a difference.

Share your thought on this video and share other creative things that you have seen Pastors and Churches do specifically geared to the unique challenges of their community,

The Job Experience [Official Music Video by @MaliMusic]

Mali Music – The Job Experience [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] from Anthony Brooks on Vimeo.

Check out this music video by @MaliMusic, listen to the lyrics, embrace the story line and feel the cinematography. What do you think about this song and this video? What stood out to you, what moved you? Share your thoughts!

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