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Change!?!, Leadership

Goals for 2016?

It’s a tradition that many people laugh about— making New Years resolutions. It works for some to improve their lives, but for many it does not. What’s your experience with New Years resolutions?

Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and author of the book, Platform, says that the average person makes the same New Years resolution 10 separate times without success. Even after a heart attack, only 14 percent of people make any lasting changes around diet or exercise. Change is hard!

But here’s some good news! Dr. Gale Mathew did a study of 267 participants over a few years. She learned that you can increase your chances of success by 42% simply by writing down your goals. WOW!

So, I would first encourage you to begin 2016 by praying and asking God what it is God would want you to be about or do. Next, write these plans down so that you find greater faithfulness to God, your work, family, friends, and even yourself in the New Year.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

God bless you!

Jeff

Books / Readings, Community, Leadership

An Intriguing Quote

We all run across quotes by others that get our attention. Here’s one that struck me today:

“the moment you hand power over to other people, you get an explosion of curiosity, innovation, and effort.”

This comes from the book, The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It, by Joshua Cooper Ramo.

I was taught by my parents that if something is going to be done right, you have to do it yourself. Were any of you taught to think in this way? Yet, in some of the committees I’ve served on, I’m amazed at the creativity that develops when we let go of ego and just focus on creating the best thing possible. The results can be amazing sometimes, and the event/thing can turn out far better than if I had done it by myself.

Can you resonate with this?

What quotes have stimulated you recently?

Church Planting, Community, Leadership, Ministry Formation, Missional

Veritas Leadership Structure

So the last time that I wrote anything for Emergent Brethren I mentioned our Monthly Rhythm for our gatherings. I shared about our desire to live out (as individuals and as a community) the OUT, UP, IN 3 Dimensional life of a disciple of Jesus. As I began to do some more thinking about this triangle, our monthly rhythm and our core values, I also became aware that this triangle could guide how we structured the leadership of Veritas as we move forward. Below you’ll find a document that I have written to lay out what the Veritas Leadership Structure will look like taking into consideration our Core Values and our Monthly Rhythm. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, ideas, etc……

Leadership Structure of Veritas

“Role Descriptions” of Elder Team (including the Church Planter/Pastor)

Commission Elder:
Vision: To see that we at Veritas serve and bless people in real and practical ways.
1. Partner with Pastor Ryan on planning OUT events, activities, and gatherings. (Getting Artists for 1st Friday, Musicians for 3rd Friday, connecting with Non-Profits to serve with, etc…)
2. Plan (with Pastor Ryan) the monthly OUT Sunday (currently 1x a month)
3. Train, meet, resource, and network with the Missional Communities OUT Leaders.
4. Develop ways, ideas, and dreams of getting OUT into the world and blessing it and means of getting the word out about Veritas.
5. Meet monthly with Pastor/Church Planter and Elder team.

Communion Elder:
Vision: To create regular opportunities of relevant worship experiences, not as consumers but participating in and creating the worship that is taking place, with people connecting worship on Sunday with their worship on Monday through Saturday.
1. Partner with Pastor Ryan on planning the Corporate UP Gatherings (2x a month), the sermon series planning, and what each Missional Community is “studying” during their UP Gatherings.
2. Train, meet, resource, and network with the Missional Communities UP leaders.
3. Develop in Partnership with Pastor Ryan a discipleship process for Veritas.
4. Creating, Overseeing, and working on teams that help the Corporate UP Gatherings come together. (Musical team, Children’s Ministry Team, Multimedia Team)
5. Meet monthly with Pastor/Church Planter and Elder team.

Community Elder:
Vision: To help Veritas become a community full of love, grace, compassion, and mercy, following in Jesus’ footsteps.
1. Partner with Pastor Ryan on planning IN events, activities and gatherings that strength the relational community.
2. Train, meet, resource and network with the Missional Communities IN Leaders.
3. Create, Oversee and work on a Hospitality Team for our Corporate UP Gatherings.
4. Plan (with Pastor Ryan) the monthly IN Sunday (currently 1x a Month)
5. Meet monthly with the Pastor/Church Planter and Elder team.

Collaboration Elder:
Vision: To see that Veritas honors and glories God in the areas of stewardship and strategic development.
1. Partner with Pastor Ryan on funding initiatives.
2. Develop Community Room as a consistent revenue stream
3. Serve as Treasurer to collect and deposit offering (work with supportive church book keeper). Eventually the Collaboration Elder will oversee an “in-house” financial team responsible for keeping the books, and all financial matters. Helps develop the budget in partnership and in conversation with the elder team (including the Pastor/Church Planter.
5. Meet monthly with the Pastor/Church Planter and Elder team.

Church Planter/Pastor of Veritas:
Vision: To live out, embody and help the Veritas community to live out and embody the mission and vision of being a “Missional Community of Authentic Worshippers.”
Role Description for Church Planter/Pastor

•Spends time in Theological reflection (UP)
•Spends time in Spiritual disciplines and prayer (UP)
•Spends time in reflection, and discernment regarding the church and the culture (OUT)
•Encapsulate the community with the biblical narrative (UP)
•Teaches and guides the community through encounters with Scripture, rather than information alone (UP)
•Develops opportunities to engage the context of the neighborhood, and to personally be a neighbor (OUT)
•Develops and unleashes the core leadership to the fullness of their potential (IN)
•Facilitates learning/discerning environments (IN and UP)
•Develops the ability to prioritize missional essentials for the team and able to let other things go (IN, UP, and OUT)
•Models interdependent style of leadership (IN)

•Spends time becoming a Student of scripture (UP)
•Spends time becoming a Student of culture (OUT)
•Is Relationship oriented – ability to engage in genuine and authentic conversation (OUT and IN)
•Is a Risk taker for the Kingdom, where mistakes are allowed (OUT)
•Develops a Strategic discipleship plan that calls the congregation to be ministers to others (UP)
•Engages with a Spiritual director, ministry mentor, and support team for growth and accountability (UP)
•Has Healthy self-awareness; self-learning (IN, UP)
•Develops Courage (OUT)

Elders meet at least monthly. The monthly meeting will include prayer, sharing from each Elder about what is going on in their area of responsibility (UP efforts, IN efforts, OUT efforts, and Administrative details- financial report, etc…), vision plans, dreaming together, and strategic planning for the future. Elders are responsible for the day to day, month to month work of the church. The Church Planter/Pastor is part of the Elder Team, has a vote within the Elder Team and is ultimately accountable to the Elder Team. The Elder Team is also responsible for the yearly church budget.

Community Gathering- The Elders convene a Community Gathering twice a year with the entire community to share vision for the future, reports from each Elder about progress in their areas of responsibilities, and the Collaboration Elder presents the Budget for the Community to vote on. These twice a year Community Gatherings happen in April and October (right now during the IN Sunday Gathering.)

Church Planting, Community, Leadership, Spiritual Formation

Veritas Monthly Rhythm

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Over the last few months at Veritas we have been sharing the diagram that is above during our worship gathering time. We had started just with sharing stories of how we had been a blessing in the world, how we had lived out the kingdom in word and deed in the past week, and where God was leading us to live missionary lives. Then I realized we needed more than just the stories of being missional, and then I added how we were growing in our Christian journey. We shared stories of what God was teaching us through our times of individual and corporate prayer, worship, bible study, life in the world, and experiencing God in places where we didn’t expect him to be.

Not too long after starting these discussions during our worship gathering I saw this triangle in material put out by 3DM called Lifeshapes. The idea is that “we are created to be three-dimensional beings; when one dimension is missing or suppressed, the other two do not work as they should. If we do not have all three elements of the Triangle- the Up, the In, and the Out- we are out of balance and we will wobble through life.” (Taken from “Building a Discipling Culture” by Mike Breen and Steve Cockram) I realized that we were sharing stories and instances of living OUT, and UP lives, but were neglecting the IN part. So we began taking 10-15 minutes each worship gathering to hear and tell stories of our UP, IN, and OUT lives.

As I have been looking at the triangle, I have also realized that it fits our 3 Core Values very well..Safe, Spiritual Search (IN), Missional Kingdom Life (OUT), and Authentic Worship Expression (UP). I also began to wonder what it would look like if not only individuals lived out the OUT, UP, IN in their lives, but what it would look like for a community to live this out together in a corporate fashion. So for the past month to a month and a half we have been living out as a community this rhythm taken from the triangle.

So our monthly rhythm looks like this (most of the time)

1st Sunday of the month is our OUT Sunday. We take our time that Sunday to serve the community of Lancaster in some way as well as missionally engage with people. Last week we were asked by Occupy Lancaster to lead a Bible Study.

2nd and 4th Sunday of the month is our UP Sunday. We take time those two Sundays to engage in musical worship, prayer, discussion, Scriptural reflection, and dialogue. (not that we don’t “worship” during the other two Sundays of the month…since everything is worship.)

3rd Sunday of the month is our IN Sunday. We take this Sunday to focus on our community and developing the relationships within the Community. This might take the form of a Brunch, a discussion related to what is happening within the life of our community, a time to talk about the direction/future of Veritas, or some other community gathering. (Not that we don’t build community when we serve together and worship together)

Since this is really new to us, I am waiting to see how we grow, develop, and live out the mission God has called us to by using this missional rhythm of OUT, UP, and IN. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, ideas, suggestions, and questions about our Monthly Rhythm.

Leadership, Ministry Formation

Free Webinar on Leadership — “How We Do It” 9/27

A while back, I wrote about participating in webinars, and how distracting it can be trying to participate from your office vs. being at a conference. Yet, price-wise, there’s a big difference between sitting in your office and traveling to attend an event and pay a registration fee.

Leadership Network is putting on another free webinar next Tuesday, September 27th, at 10 a.m. EASTERN time. This year’s theme for The NINES is “How We Do It”. Each of the speakers has just FIVE minutes to tell us how they do it… with nine main themes: Family, Staff, Time, Vision, Money, Discipleship, Grace, Physical and Emotional Health, and Preaching.

This year’s NINES features 99+ speakers, and will last a little over 9 hours. They are planning a full day of input for you. I’ll probably be in and out with my participation. But, they have a great line-up of speakers!

To get people to sign-up in advance, they are giving away a $1,000 church leaders library to one lucky registrant as an incentive. Seriously. This is one killer book collection. Authors include many NINES speakers like Dave Ferguson, Leonard Sweet, Ed Stetzer, Philip Nation, Reggie McNeal, Mark DeYmaz, Scott Wilson, Carey Nieuwhof, Hugh Halter, Bruce Miller, Eric Swanson, Rick Rusaw, Neil Cole, Matt Carter, Darrin Patrick, Bob Roberts, Pete Briscoe, John Bishop, Dave Gibbons, Dave Browning, Amy Hanson, and Shannon O’Dell. 50+ church leadership books, in fact. It could be a great asset to you, your staff and church team!

Here’s the link you can look at for the library they are giving away: http://bit.ly/mYFTKh

Here’s the link where you can register for the conference:http://thenines.tv

If this looks interesting or you participate, please let me know! I plan to participate part of the 9 hours.

Jeff

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