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The #1 Reason The Marriages Of Church Leaders Are Failing

It’s sad to hear about marriages failing, it’s sadder to hear about Christian marriages failing and it’s the saddest to hear about the marriages of Ministry LEaders failing. Real Talk!

The Surprise Wedding

Check out this surprise wedding from my man @RyanLeak it is absolutely awesome… I don’t think I’ve ever watched a 30 min. YouTube video from start to finish besides Kony, that was until this video. It’s crazy to see this come together as I remember having conversations with Ryan as he was planning an entire wedding, all by his lonesome. (Crazy and Awesome at the same time)

Check this video out, let it inspire you, encourage you and just make you smile as you watch a true love story unfold on the screen

Succeeding While Doing The Wrong Thing

right thing

Sometimes people confuse success with doing the right thing. They justify doing the wrong thing by saying, “I must be doing something right, its working” or “God must be in it, it’s growing.” As ESPN Analyst Lee Corso says, “Not so fast my friend!” You can totally think you are doing the right thing and appear to be having success, but actually you are doing the wrong thing and setting yourself up for a bigger fall.

If you don’t know whether what you are doing is “Right or Wrong,” seek God and ask the people around you. Not the “yes” men and women around you, but the people that will tell you the truth, those that will call out right and wrong, those that will tell you that you are being prideful and those that will tell you that your thinking needs to be re-calibrated. Ponder This: Do your closed doors look different than your open windows?

The unfortunate thing about success or the appearance of success is it overshadows weaknesses and encourages justification of the negative influences of your life, career, organization, ministry, marriage, parenting etc.

Don’t be fooled by asking yourself the questions, “Am I succeeding? or Is it working?” Instead, look in the mirror and ask yourself this question when making decisions, “Am I doing the right thing?” Remember you might be Succeeding While Doing The Wrong Thing!

Succeeding While Doing The Wrong Thing is another word for FAILING.

It’s always the right time to do the right thing.

Changing Generations As We Point Them To Jesus – Watch Me!

Watch this… Watch Me!

The Future of Success

If you want to understand your place in the future economy, watch and listen to this video.

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. 

How To Turn Your Marriage Around In 10 Days

My friend Pastor Phillip Wagner is releasing a new book for relationships. The title says it all, “How To Turn Your Marriage Around In 10 Days.” Phillip is the Sr. Pastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles. Phillip and his wife Holly are known around the world for their work with couples and relationships.  With a 27 year marriage with Holly under his belt, Pastor Phillip says initially he thought he was immune to the ups and downs of a regular marriage—his marriage was going to be different.  After realizing every marriage takes works, he decided to create a simple guide with 10 easy steps for frustrated or lifeless marriages to follow to turn their relationships around.

According to psychologist Kevin Lehman, the average marriage in America lasts seven years.  This is one of the reasons Phillip realized every marriage needs work, and every spouse has to be prepared to roll up their sleeves to make it better.  With 10 daily steps outlined in chapters, Wagner will walk you through the details of Priorities, Honor, Admiration, Trust, Forgiveness, Change, Connection, Needs, Play and Dreams.

Phillip believes at the end of the 10 day phase, you could have turned your marriage around, or at the very least, be on the right path toward a thriving marriage.  The essence of the book is not a magic pill, but rather a blueprint for couples to embrace and implement real change.

To learn more about How to Turn Your Marriage Around in 10 Days and hear thoughts from Phillip, visit www.philipwagner.com, like him on Facebook or follow him on twitter @philipwagnerLA.

Check out the book trailer below to hear Phillip’s snapshot of his new book “How To Turn Your Relationship Around In 10 Days.” The book releases on October 28th and I will be doing a promo the day after the release. If you would like a chance to win a signed copy, simply retweet my tweet from @scottwilliams in case you didn’t know: Learn How To Turn Your Marriage Around In 10 Days  – a new book from @PhilipWagnerLA #Turnitin10 http://bitn.us/REfrI3

Pastors, Leaders, People… Stop Having Affairs!

It truly breaks my heart every time that I hear about people having affairs; especially those who have been entrusted with a leadership role.  It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the President, Politicians, Teachers, Pastors, Coaches, Worship Leaders, Sports Superstars…  These individuals who have been blessed and entrusted with the responsibility of leadership influence should hold that influence tightly, lightly and responsibly all at the same time.

Honestly, as a pastor this selfish cheating mess is probably one of the most frustrating/irritating areas to counsel people through; especially when the individuals don’t seem to understand the impact of their selfish actions. Not only do they not realize the impact, but they would have probably continued if they hadn’t gotten caught. This tragedy can also be one of the most rewarding areas to celebrate/praise on the other side, through total repentance and legitimate restoration.

I know people may say Scott you are naive and it can happen to anybody, but I say this with all the humility I can muster up “IT DOESN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN TO ANYBODY!” I read through 1 Corinthians 6 again today and I don’t care what version I read, The Message, New Century or NIV, they all communicated the same thing.  Run, Flee, Your Body Is A Temple, You Were Bought By God For a Price. As Christ Followers and especially as Christian Leaders; we don’t get to pick and choose how we act. We are held to a higher standard and if we can really do all things through Christ who gives us strength; I have to believe that “all things” encompasses honoring our covenant vows before God and to our spouse.

None of us are perfect, we all sin, we all fall short, we all know right from wrong and I would argue that even a non-believer understands that they are not supposed to cheat on their spouse. Marriage is serious, Treat It As Such!

A word to Pastors, Leaders or anyone else who is cheating, flirting or going down that road: Stop, Flee, Run and Pray.  Proverbs 5:5 talks about the adulteress woman this way, “She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death; she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.” So many end up on the primrose path and don;t even realize how they got there. You can’t get there, if you don’t go near there.

Satan doesn’t have any power over you, only the power to deceive.  If you’re choosing to go down this road of deception, ultimately Satan is Playing you like a drum and Pimpin’ you like a prostitute!

Pastors, Leaders, People…  Stop Having Affairs!  Thank You!

This Policy Will Devastate Your Organization

Organizations tend to live and die by their Policy and Procedure Manuals.  There are policies and procedures for literally everything.  Just think about your organization and the number of policies and procedures that guide what you do.  Some policies and procedures are written, while others may simply be spoken or understood organizational mores.

There is one policy that in my opinion is the most devastating to an organization.  It’s the Behind Closed Doors Policy! You won’t find this written in your organization’s policy and procedure manual; however you will find it written on the faces of organizational leaders around the globe.

Some behind closed door meetings are appropriate and necessary.  There are many different types of Behind Closed Doors Policies that are detrimental to an organization, just ask Mr. Enron and Mrs. AIG. The Behind Closed Doors Policy that I’m referring to is this — What I say to you in your face is different that what I say about you behind closed doors.  This policy is a killer and often times it’s implemented without even realizing it.  This policy is born out of The Fundamental Flaw Of Leadership, which is rooted in not shooting straight with team members and not allowing them to know where they stand.

I remember changing supervisors one time at a particular job and my new supervisor brought me in his office and said this “Do you want to know what people say about you when you are not in the room?  Well here it is and proceeded to share.” That’s a great starting place and develops an Above Board Policy.

The policy that I have always incorporated into the culture of my various teams in ministry, non-profit and in corporate America is simply this:

  • 1.  You will always know where you stand and never have to guess.
  • 2.  I won’t say anything behind close doors that I have not or am not planning on saying to your face.
  • 3.  I will be gracefully-brutally honest with you and when necessary, in front of the entire team. (this is not an issue of correcting in public; however some issues are are more effectively handled in a public setting, especially when the public group is involved)

Behind Closed Doors Policies born out of an unwillingness to openly confront the brutal facts and they are detrimental to the health and wealth of an organization.  Replace your Behind Closed Doors Policy with an Above Board Policy.  The Above Board Policy always lets people know where they stand and reduces the potential for the detrimental types closed door meetings.

Open The Door and Release The Potential!

Have you experienced negative implications of a Behind Closed Doors Policy?  Share your thoughts on Behind Closed Doors Policy and Above Board Policy.

The Importance Of Being A People Connector

I’m a connector, and I love connecting people to people and people to opportunities.  What I mean by that is that I love connecting like-minded people to other like-minded people.  I also love connecting great people to mutually great opportunities.

I feel that we’re made to connect, as we are connecting beings.  Even introverts have a desire to connect with people; they just appreciate their time, space and alone time.

It’s important to be a connector of people, as these connections help the world go around.  Some people-connections lead to great job opportunities for others.  Other people-connections lead to college students choosing this university or that university.  Then you have those connections that lead to meaningful relationships that eventually turn into a marriage.

Some of the most meaningful people-connections are those connections that lead to people far from God visiting a friend’s church, or hearing a friend witness. Those connections ultimately lead to an intimate connection with Jesus and a life that’s forever transformed.

No matter how you slice it, connections matter — Be a connector.

Do You Think Being A People Connector Is Important?  Share your thoughts and experiences?

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