You Know You Need A Sabbath When…

Post by Pete Scazzero

You know you need a Sabbath when:

  1. The only time you are alone is in the bathroom.
  2. It takes you over thirty minutes to fall asleep because your mind is racing about things you forgot to do.
  3. You think rest is standing still in traffic.
  4. You go to check your e-mail for a moment and are still there an hour later.
  5. You cannot remember anything you ate the last 3 days.
  6. You drove upstate for an hour and had so much on your mind that when you arrived, you are not sure how you got there.
  7. You don’t know what day it is.
  8. You find yourself jealous and angry when someone else is enjoying life.
  9. When you can’t remember the last time you sat down to eat breakfast
  10. When you tweet during movie, text during dinner, read e mail during meetings and classes, and learn about your spouse’s day from Facebook.

Sabbath is as countercultural, radical and prophetic as it was 3500 years ago when God invited the Israelites to stop, rest, delight, and contemplative Him for one 24 hour period each week.  Listen to this free sermon I recently gave at New Life on “Sabbath: The Foundation of our Work” from Deuteronomy 5:12-15.

Pete_Scazzero_web-300x200Pete is the Founder and Teaching Pastor/Pastor at Large at New Life Fellowship Church, a large, multiracial, international church with seventy-three countries represented. Pete is the author of two best-selling books: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Nelson, 2006) and The Emotionally Healthy Church (Zondervan, 2010). Connect with Pete on Twitter @PeteScazzero and find out more about Emotionally Healthy Spirituality at http://emotionallyhealthy.org.

Symptoms of the False Self

Post by Pete Scazzero

In my sermon yesterday at New Life, I preached on “Listening to the Small Screen” out of Colossians 3:9-14. God calls us out of living a “pretend life” that accumulates as layers over us as a result of our families of origin and our culture. To find love, value, and worth, we often become people God never intended. Part of the gift of salvation in Christ is a deliverance from our false selves into our true selves in Christ, living out our unique “sealed orders” from Him.

Paul calls us “not to lie to one another” (Col. 3:9) which can be translated, “Don’t be false with one another.”  The following is the brief assessment I shared during the message.

The degree to which we are living out of our false, or pretend, self exists on a continuum that ranges from mild to severe.  We are all in process, including myself. Use the simple assessment below to get an idea of where you fall on the continuum. Note each one that describes you.

False Self-Assessment

  1. I am reluctant to admit my weaknesses and flaws to others.
  2. I look for the approval of others more than I should
  3. I am highly “offendable” and defensive when people criticize me.
  4. I often become harsh and impatient when things are moving too slowly or my expectations are not met.
  5. I say “yes’ when I would rather say “no”.
  6. I beat myself up when I make mistakes.
  7. I have difficulty speaking up when I disagree or prefer something different.
  8. I have a number of people I am struggling to forgive.
  9. My fears often cause me to play it safe “just in case.”
  10. My body is more often in a state of tension and stress than relaxed.

If you checked two or three statements, you may be living out of your false self at times. If you checked four to five, you probably have a moderate case of pretending to be somebody you are not. If you checked six or more, you want to receive this as a gentle wake up call to a deeper journey with Jesus!

Pete_Scazzero_web-300x200Pete is the Founder and Teaching Pastor/Pastor at Large at New Life Fellowship Church, a large, multiracial, international church with seventy-three countries represented. Pete is the author of two best-selling books: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Nelson, 2006) and The Emotionally Healthy Church (Zondervan, 2010). Connect with Pete on Twitter @PeteScazzero and find out more about Emotionally Healthy Spirituality at http://emotionallyhealthy.org.

How Do Young People Become Influencers?

At The Global Leadership Summit 2013, our team asked people to send in any questions they had for the Summit speakers. We had a great response as questions rolled in through Twitter. Now its time to reveal the answers…and they are worth watching.

Watch and learn from Joseph Grenny as he answers the questions: How do young people become influencers?

Do you have any questions for the 2014 Summit faculty? Send us your questions through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #GLS14Q for the chance to have one of the Summit faculty answer it at Summit 2014.

3 Ways to Lead Through Easter

Post by Tommy Bowman

1. Prepare For Attacks

Our enemy wants nothing more than to stop you, your team and your church in your tracks during this week. He wants to leave you drained, confused and doubtful. Why waste the time being surprised? Why waste energy being blindsided? Instead, be ready and stand firm. We serve a mighty warrior and a strong deliverer. Prepare for these attacks. (Also, read this letter to church leaders from Mark Driscoll to your team.)

2. Take A Risk

The church invite has received a bad rap the past decade. And while I value relational intelligence, there is no greater season to take a relational risk and give out an old fashioned church invite to a friend. At Mission, we call this week #RiskWeek. Maybe it’s at your Starbucks or favorite breakfast spot. Perhaps it’s just a walk across the street. Take a risk.

3. Plan For Rest

The temptation will be to report back to the office and ride the wave of momentum from Easter. And I’m telling you that you will be fried. You need a sabbath day of rest. You need a day to rest the parts of you that you are called to love God with; our heart, soul, mind and strength. Too often we miss our moments of reflection which lead us to acknowledge the presence of God in our lives. Our intimacy with God, as leaders, cannot afford to miss these moments. Plan for rest.

tommy_bowman1Tommy  is the Directional Leader at Mission Church in the suburbs of Chicago. Tommy’s passion is to take proven leadership values and principles from the business world and implement them into the world of church and church teams. Connect and learn more about Tommy at tommybowman.me or @tommybowman.

 

Read It Right

Excerpt from Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick

I have a friend who works for a leader who is known for being remarkably driven and unusually intense. I asked my friend one time, “Isn’t it hard to work for someone so demanding? How do you deal with it?”

I’ve never forgotten his answer.

He said, “Well, I used to have a tough time with it for sure and still do sometimes. But we had one conversation that changed everything for me. See, most of our communication happens by e-mail. And one time after he had sent me a few e-mails in a row telling me things I needed to fix and things I needed to work on, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went to him and said, ‘I don’t feel like I can do anything right, man. I don’t feel like you like me. I feel like a failure.’

“And that’s when he explained to me, ‘The problem is, you’re not reading my e- mails right. You’re misrepresenting my tone in your mind. Of course I believe in you. Of course I like you. If I didn’t, you wouldn’t have a job. E-mails are tricky. You can’t see my face when you’re reading an e-mail. So here’s what I want you to do. From now on I want you to read any e-mail I send you like I was smiling when I sent it. ’Cause that’s the way I feel about you.’”

I wonder how much our lives would change if we started reading God’s Word like He was smiling when He wrote it?

Of course the One who created us believes in us. Of course He likes us. Why else would we be here? Yes, there are things He is working on in us. Yes, our sin is serious and needs to be addressed head-on. No, God is not satisfied to leave us like we are, and sometimes this involves direct confrontation. There are some tough, almost unbearably stark statements in Scripture, calling us to repent, to return, and to walk in the ways of God. There are warnings and consequences, explained in no uncertain terms. The Bible isn’t a book of butterfly kisses and sweet nothings.

But even God’s correction is meant to convince us of His love. Contrary to the condemnation and accusations of the chatterbox, even when God calls us out on something we’re doing wrong, His purpose is to raise us up. Never to beat us down.

Everything changes the day you realize that not only does God love you but He actually likes you too. Not just because He has to. But because He wants to.

The God who made you is constantly smiling over you, and that ought to make you smile like a first grader opening his change purse on grilled cheese day. Furthermore, it ought to empower your perspective in every battle you face. How can you lose when a God who feels this way about you is fighting for you?

This is an excerpt from Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Learn more about the book at http://www.crashthechatterbox.com

Setting And Tracking Your Personal Goals

Post by Tommy Bowman

Today I took a much needed break from everything. I went and sat at places where nobody knows my name. I used the day to force myself to stop thinking about work and take a hard look at myself; the state of where and who I am and the state of where and who I want to be.

My life seems to flow best when I use the flow of the church where I lead. Therefore, January, May, & September are my reset months. And with February 1st around the corner, it’s time to set my personal goals from now through May 1st. Here’s what I do and hopefully it helps you:

1. Align

Make sure your goals align with the values that you hold to. This may seem obvious but too often we aim to accomplish things that are at the core of who other people are or who other people expect us to be. Make sure your goals are driven by your core values.

2. M.A.R.C.H. 

You’ve probably heard of the SMART method for goal setting and it’s a great method. But after I read Jim Collins’ Great By Choice, I came up with the M.A.R.C.H. criteria for goal setting.

  • Measurable – Can you measure the goal?
  • Attainable - Does the goal promote effort?
  • Requiring Faith - Does the goal promote faith?
  • Clear - Is the goal specific?
  • High & Low Bounds - Does the goal promote discipline?

3. Record 

Write down and record your goals somewhere. This is easy and important. This sets your intentions into motion.

4. Review

It’s important to review your goals on a regular basis. Knowing where you stand will inform how you need to act. There is a new app that I am using to accomplish this. It’s called Strides. When you review your goals be sure to know why you’re ahead, on target and even behind. This will also inform the next action that you need to take.

5. Shoosh!

You know the feeling, right? When we tell someone a dream, plan, or goal that we have, we tend to let the announcement let us off the hook. When we do this, we are feeding the holes in our identity versus promoting growth. If someone isn’t going to be a partner in you accomplishing your goal, don’t tell them.

So based on my last point, I’m not going to share the goals I’ve set. But I’d love to hear how you set and track goals!

Tommy  is the Directional Leader at Mission Church in the suburbs of Chicago. Tommy’s passion is to take proven leadership values and principles from the business world and implement them into the world of church and church teams. Connect and learn more about Tommy at tommybowman.me or @tommybowman.