WDA’s Restoring Your Heart Ministry had a busy and fun week meeting all kinds of counselors, lay leaders and ministers at The American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference.

Our RYH staff and Booth Volunteers were manning the booth from Wednesday to Saturday and had wonderful time telling people about the benefits of RYH for Counselors and Pastors and Leaders.

We redesigned out RYH webpage to provide plenty of information about how the RYH Group Experience can work along a Counselors group setting and also how a Pastor or Leader in the Church can begin a RYH Ministry.

Check out some of Photos on our Facebook Page too! 

 

DVD

Why is Discipleship critical for the church worldwide?  The WDA 2820 Conference DVD provides insight from WDA President Bob Dukes and Restoring Your Heart Leader Jack Larson.  Watch this introductory video and consider getting this conference produced on DVD and suitable for use in many ministry contexts.


Do you want to fail in ministry? Here are 5 sure fire ways to end up burned out.

stress face1.  Focus on the Urgent and Not Important Things
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey points out that many leaders focus on the wrong things. Leaders can be tied up in the Urgent and the Not Important. A good leader learns to focus on the Not Urgent and Important things.

One place this shows up in ministry is training and discipling leaders. As a church planter, discipler, pastor or ministry leader it is very easy to allow the most urgent loudest voices determine your priorities. Jesus pulled away at some of the most urgent times to focus on his men. Train your leaders by focusing on the Important and not-urgent task of investing in a few young leaders. It will pay off down the road.

Solutions: Set some goals and boundaries and ask someone you admire how they handle the brush fires?

2.  Avoid Times of Renewal

I deal with pastors and worship leaders who seem to forget that they work during worship! But rarely have time to worship themselves. Certainly there are times during our worship services that renew us as leaders. If you don’t have additional time to renew, you are in danger of slowly draining your tank.

Solutions: Take time to renew each week. Take a sabbath rest on a morning without your phone. Journal, read, pray, play.

Tim Keller – wisdom and sabbath rest

3.  Forget you have a Family
If you forget you have a family you will end up having to do lots of work later. Just as a workaholic needs his career to make his life meaningful, many pastors find meaning in success in ministry. Families suffer, marriages die, children rebel. On the other hand a family that is healthy can be a blessing to you. Look out! Your wife and children need you! Unfortunately the signs are not always easy to see!

Solutions: Ask your wife how you should change your schedule to spend more time with the family. Then get someone other than her to hold you accountable to this priority.

Answers for Pastor wives = Boundaries in Ministry-

4.  Make sure everything comes across your deskmicromanagement
If you have started a new ministry you may think that your ministry can’t survive without your insight and vision. (Remember #1) Great leaders learn to focus on training people who are able to take the baton and run the race with the team. If you have to review every piece of information, every ministry plan, go to every event, and personally oversee every leader, you haven’t learned to lead.

Solutions: Sit down with your leadership team individually and clarify their responsibilities and what ways you will give oversight. Prepare a contingency plan should things not go according to plan. Determine beforehand what balls you are willing to pick up. People will fail. Let people learn from mistakes. Use the opportunity for their training. Plan debriefing into every project.

Audio clip from John Piper

John Piper – Post – Pastors don’t micromanage your church

5.  Never let anyone know you.

The great american cowboy riding off into the sunset! We love that loner rugged individual. Sorry this isn’t Jesus’ model of leadership. If no one knows you, get ready to fall hard. You are a target! The enemy loves to isolate you from the pack and bring you down. Secret sin. Prideful independence. Isolated pain and hurt. All lead to failure.

Solutions: Pray for a Jonathan or a Barnabus. No one will grow without having a partner and encourager! Cultivate a life that understands the gospel! When I understand that I am both a sinner in need of mercy and a son loved completely by my heavenly father I don’t have to protect my reputation. Freedom and Openness to others only happens when I can take my mask and armor off.

 

So what would you add to the list? What have you seen in your experience? What Solutions can you share?

“The Church is God’s Plan A.”

Many people search a long time for a place or a group where they belong.  Part of the challenge of following Christ is that He calls us to make Him the first priority in our lives.  This can mean a loss of friendships or even conflict between others who do not understand or like our new found “Christianity.”  Some of us have belonged to churches but have not found the type of close knit “community” we were hoping for.  This discouragement can lead to us not seeking to belong to a fellowship of believers.

There are others who have found the most intimate relationships with believers as they gather in small groups. New groups called Gospel or Missional Communities provide a place for not just Life Coaching and Discipleship, but also situations that provide ministry experiences and opportunities to reach out to neighborhoods and communities.  Some people have found great benefit to gatherings of large numbers, where worship celebrations give energy and encouragement and notable preaching and teaching happens to many people.  Contrasting this large dynamic environment we see small community based churches provide close knit relational ministry where no one is a stranger.

There are different reasons for each organization and group, and each also have benefits and challenges.  But whether you like big, small, city, country, monolithic or transcultural, God has no other plan than using the church to build disciples.

Why does God choose to use the “church”?  Just how does Jesus continue His ministry through what seems to be such a disorganized and fractured institution?

Jesus knew that we would be here today!  He prayed for us as well as His disciples in his last meal with them before He went to the cross.

17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:16-21)ESV

Ministries such as WDA serve the church worldwide to build Christlike character and teach those men and women to do the same, following a process and plan we see Jesus doing in His ministry.

“Jesus had a plan for building mature leaders. He equipped them, addressed the obstacles that hindered their growth, and commissioned them to do the same for others. But we need to remember that these leaders fulfilled His commission by planting churches. Disciple building that produces maturity takes place in the church. The Church is God’s Plan A. There is no Plan B.

This doesn’t mean that parachurch organizations such as WDA aren’t strategic in disciple building efforts. Seminaries, Bible schools, and denominational and interdenominational missions are of vital importance. Most scholars believe these are part of the Church as ex- tensions of local churches or coalitions of churches, and we agree. But we also believe maturity occurs best in spiritual community, overseen by skilled leaders. For this reason, local churches must be mobilized and equipped to help people grow to maturity.” [Maturity Matters by Bob Dukes, p118.]

Read more about how God uses the church in building Christlike maturity in believers.

Maturity Matters by Bob Dukes

 

Life Coaching Category

When I consider what it looks like to fulfill the great commission I can get overwhelmed.  Jesus commands us to make disciples, bring them into fellowship in the Church, and provide places for them to grow to maturity.  In my life context, I have been considering how to be part of Jesus’ plan by investing in people who share a love for creativity and art.  This whole Atlanta Arts Network idea is at the root a movement of artistic believers who understand the need to grow in their faith and to live out the vision of Christ.  But getting my mind around how this works in just my own local church is daunting at best.  This is why my focus at first has been on a few leaders both in my church and also in Atlanta.

While this blog isn’t about our methods of building a ministry or the overall philosophy, it is important to remind myself at times that Atlanta Arts Network is a Network, made up of individual churches who are capturing a vision to build arts communities.  For this to happen I am praying for a grass roots movement of individuals who love creative people and love to invest in them.

I am convinced that one of the tools that must be embraced for this to work is Life Coaching.  For a pastor or lay person to begin to see artists join the community of Christ, they must first know how to determine where a person is in their spiritual journey.  They must also know where they need to go next.  I serve in a larger ministry, Worldwide Discipleship Association, that has been building mature disciples for 40 years.  One of the tools we use is called Life Coaching.

For Arts Communities to grow in our churches we will need creatives who have a heart to pour their lives into others.  Life Coaching teaches how to make this happen.  But what do you have to know to be a life coach? I think there are four points that are helpful to remember:  Relationship, Promise, Faith, and Plan.

Life Coaching is Relational.  

WDA* believes that it all starts with Relationships!  Relationships take time.  Time is the critical component for discipleship and Life Coaching.  Jesus called the disciples at first to come and see.  He went into their world. (John 1:38-40)

Life Coaches know God’s promises.

Jesus understood that they needed to know the promises of God. They would have heard his pronouncement that the kingdom of God was in their midst.  (Luke 4:16-18)

A Life Coach has to have faith in God.  

Jesus begins the great commission by stating that He is the one with authority.  It is not faith in myself, but trust in Him.  He, the King, is building people to Christlikeness.  He is the one who also will be with me! (Matthew 28:18-20)

A Life Coach has to have a plan.

Jesus modeled for all of us how to help people grow to maturity.  He spent 3 years taking time in relationship, teaching content, helping them apply truth and holding the disciples accountable, praying for and with them, as well as creating situations where they could put into practice what He was teaching them.

WDA Life Coaching is a great tool for anyone who has a heart to help someone grow but might not know how to go about it.  It takes time to invest in someone else. It will cost us.  In the process, I learn to remember God’s promises, live by faith and follow His plan.

Sure, not everyone feels like they are gifted as a disciple maker.  There are those who might be called to pursue making disciples as their primary calling.  For the artist, Life Coaching is an art too!  For us to be part of God’s work in our churches, we will need creativity in how to make disciples.  It might not be a formal program but it might be one person who God has brought into our lives.  It might be a musician who plays in worship.  It might be someone who shares a similar love for our form of art.  It might also grow to a community of artists who are living in community together, creating, serving, loving and contributing to the flourishing of our world.

What do you think?  How could life coaching be part of the life of the artist?  What ways do you see that you could invest in the lives of others? What benefits to your church could there be if you and other creatives began to share this kind of life together?

 

Buddy Eades is the Coordinator of Atlanta Arts Network which is part of the church ministry of WDA.

The Atlanta Arts Network exists to connect artists and worship artists, to encourage people who create and share art and cultivate a love for the arts as well as to aspire artists in the context of Christian community. 

Learn more about Life Coaching and check out the manual here.

This blog first posted on Atlanta Arts Network