Hello RLC! We had an amazing weekend at RLC and I wanted to share with you a few things to celebrate!
1. SATURDAY SERVE DAY. This past Saturday we had a great time serving our awesome city. We serve breakfast to the homeless at the Salvation Army, served at the Family Enrichment Center, sang to and visited people at Fern Terrace, and did landscaping at Hotel Inc. Al these organizations are constantly serving our city and it was an honor to serve them. You are never closer to the heart of God than when you are serving someone else. Thank you to everyone for helping RLC make Saturday such a special day.
2. ONE DECISION FOR CHRIST SUNDAY! The first part of our vision is for people to “KNOW GOD”. Without knowing Him, nothing else works. Jesus said that a good shepherd will leave the 99 and go looking for the one lost sheep. Then, when finding it, will rejoice more over the one than the whole other 99. We celebrate every time someone takes that first step in their faith journey. Praise the Lord!
3. BAPTISM SUNDAY. I had the honor of baptizing three amazing people yesterday afternoon. We believe that salvation is a personal, private moment between you and God. However, at some point that decision needs to be public. That’s what baptism is, going public with your faith. Such an honor to celebrate with these amazing people and their families.
4. BABY DEDICATION. Did you see that precious family on stage Sunday during the second service? RLC loves the Brooks family. We were able to enjoy the special moment of dedicating their newest addition, Mia Charolette Brooks. It was a beautiful moment and one of my favorite things to do as a pastor. Thank you Brooks family for the opportunity.
5. LIFEGROUPS. I am hearing so many great reports of our LifeGroups. Thank you to everyone of our leaders for working so hard and to everyone who attends each week. God is at work in your life and you are going to take some amazing next steps in your walk with God this semester.
2. GET INVOLVED IN NEXT STEPS. Have you been to next steps? What are you waiting for? It’s one of the main things we do at RLC and happens every Sunday during the first service in Hope Cafe! Next week is week one and is the perfect time to get onboard!
3. ONE THING TO STOP. In our message yesterday, we talked about “Stopping” one thing that was hindering you from telling the story God wants you to tell. The best way to make that stick is to tell your LifeGroup this week. Find some accountability and encouragement from those closest to you.
If you have not already heard, Pastor Pete Wilson of Crosspoint Church in Nashville, Tn resigned just a little over a week ago. What made this resignation so unique was why he resigned. It was not due to an addiction, moral, or ethic failure. It was something that most people ministry are familiar with but rarely talk about, burnout.
Nine days after his public announcement, I have personally talked with six different ministers who have been rocked to the core by what Pete did. The reason why is simple but staggering, because they are in the same boat too. Pete has thrown the curtain back on something that has become an epidemic among leaders today. We know how to lead churches and businesses well but have no idea how to lead ourselves. Our churches and businesses are growing and thriving while we are slowly dying and wondering if the pain will ever stop. I applaud Pete’s willingness to confront such an issue. I believe God is using this difficult moment to reveal the hearts of so many who are hurting and desperately need help.
The purpose of this blog is to be a sort of online mentor for anyone wishing to grow in their lives. Because of this, I talk about various random topics that I hope will cause you to think, be encouraged, inspired, and maybe even grow in your pursuit of excellence. That being said, many people are on the brink or have already fallen overboard into the sea of burnout. You know it. It is time to come clean.
Here are some of the signs that you may be experiencing burnout or emotional exhaustion:
Chronic fatigue. In the early stages, you may feel a lack energy and feel tired most days. In the latter stages, you feel physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted, and you may feel a sense of dread for what lies ahead on any given day.
Insomnia. In the early stages, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep one or two nights a week. In the latter stages, insomnia may turn into a persistent, nightly ordeal; as exhausted as you are, you can’t sleep.
Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention. Lack of focus and mild forgetfulness are early signs. Later, the problems may get to the point where you can’t get your work done and everything begins to pile up.
Physicalsymptoms. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or headaches (all of which should be medically assessed).
Increased illness. Because your body is depleted, your immune system becomes weakened, making you more vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems.
Loss of appetite. In the early stages, you may not feel hungry and may skip a few meals. In the latter stages, you may lose your appetite all together and begin to lose a significant amount of weight.
Anxiety. Early on, you may experience mild symptoms of tension, worry, and edginess. As you move closer to burnout, the anxiety may become so serious that it interferes in your ability to work productively and may cause problems in your personal life.
Depression. In the early stages, you may feel mildly sad, occasionally hopeless, and you may experience feelings of guilt and worthlessness as a result. At its worst, you may feel trapped, severely depressed, and think the world would be better off without you. (If your depression is to this point, you should seek professional help immediately.)
Anger. At first, this may present as interpersonal tension and irritability. In the latter stages, this may turn into angry outbursts and serious arguments at home and in theworkplace. (If anger gets to the point where it turns to thoughts or acts of violence toward family or coworkers, seek immediate professional assistance.)
Signs of Cynicism and Detachment
Loss of enjoyment. At first, loss of enjoyment may seem very mild, such as not wanting to go to work or being eager to leave. Without intervention, loss of enjoyment may extend to all areas of your life, including the time you spend with family and friends. At work, you may try to avoid projects and figure out ways to escape work all together.
Pessimism. At first, this may present itself as negative self-talk and/or moving from a glass half-full to a glass half-empty attitude. At its worst, this may move beyond how you feel about yourself and extend to trust issues with coworkers and family members and a feeling that you can’t count on anyone.
Isolation. In the early stages, this may seem like mild resistance to socializing (i.e., not wanting to go out to lunch; closing your door occasionally to keep others out). In the latter stages, you may become angry when someone speaks to you, or you may come in early or leave late to avoid interactions.
Detachment. Detachment is a general sense of feeling disconnected from others or from your environment. It can take the form of the isolative behaviors described above, and result in removing yourself emotionally and physically from your job and other responsibilities. You may call in sick often, stop returning calls and emails, or regularly come in late.
Signs of Ineffectiveness and Lack of Accomplishment
Feelings of apathy and hopelessness. This is similar to what is described in the depression and pessimism sections of this article. It presents as a general sense that nothing is going right or nothing matters. As the symptoms worsen, these feelings may become immobilizing, making it seems like “what’s the point?”
Increased irritability. Irritability often stems from feeling ineffective, unimportant, useless, and an increasing sense that you’re not able to do things as efficiently or effectively as you once did. In the early stages, this can interfere in personal and professional relationships. At its worst, it can destroy relationships and careers.
Lack of productivity and poor performance. Despite long hours, chronic stress prevents you from being as productive as you once were, which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list. At times, it seems that as hard as you try, you can’t climb out from under the pile.
1. Take an inventory. Make a list of all the situations that cause you to feel stressed, anxious, worried, frustrated, and helpless. Don’t rush through it. It’s not a race; it’s a process. Also, you cannot move forward until you know where you are.
2. Locate. After taking an inventory, locate the highest stress options and eliminate.
3. Just say “no.” While you’re “recovering,” avoid taking on any new commitments or responsibilities.
4. Delegate as many things as possible, even if the person you’re delegating to may not do them as quickly or as well as you would.
5. Control your devices. Gadgets, such as iPads, computers, and smart phones, can consume large amounts of your time and energy. Turn them off as much as possible.
6. Socialize outside your professional group. This can provide fresh perspectives, stimulate new ideas, and help you discover previously undiscovered resources.
7. Resist the urge to take work home. Enough said.
8. Get a better view of counseling. Gone are the days of misguided views on counseling. Have a professional counselor in your life is a very healthy thing to do.
9. Rediscover your passion. How long has it been since you did something purely for the joy of it?
10. Rest. It took you a long time to get this way. I will not get better overnight. Embrace the process and rest, rest, rest. The world will keep spinning, I promise.
No matter how much you love church, it can get predictable. Most people actually don’t think that’s a bad thing. I love being able to know what to expect, especially when I’m thinking of inviting friends. The problem is when you get so use to church that you quite expecting God to speak to you. Doing an “out of the box” series like this gives us the opportunity to refresh our perspective.
2. Presents the Gospel in a fresh way.
People are use to seeing a preaching ascend to the stage preach the Gospel. That’s what churches do. They don’t expect churches to show movies.
3. Forever makes these movies markers for the Gospel.
Elf, The Polar Express, Avatar, The Hunger Games, The Help, and The Guardian are just some of the movies we’ve used in the past to tell the story of the Gospel. After using these movies I’ve been told my many people that every time they watch these movies, they think of how we used it to tell about Jesus. I love that. The next time you watch “Elf” at Christmas time you’ll think of Jesus. #winning
4. Speaks to unbelievers.
Hollywood sometimes spend in excess of $200 million on movie projects. We get the benefit of that amazing budget to tell God’s story. I’m continually amazed at how God uses modern day parables to show people who He is.
5. Surprises believers.
Over the years we’ve had several well meaning Christians criticize this evangelistic method. We’ve learned now to simply say, “Just come on and bring a friend. You’ll see.” What they find is people who they’ve been praying for years to see saved, give their lives to Christ every time. Many of these former doubters will come up to me later and say, “I totally get it now.”
6. Shakes off that religious spirit.
It’s hard to watch “Elf” or “The Help” in church and still have a religious criticalness.
7. Who doesn’t like movies?
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like to watch movies. Everyone’s tastes are different but everyone like movies. They’re just fun.
8. Who doesn’t like popcorn?
I mean, really. You get free popcorn and a drink for three straight weeks at church. You can’t loose.
9. Our “At The Movies” series makes inviting people to church a little easier.
Ever wonder why it’s easy to invite people to a special presentation? Because it’s a special presentation. If you invite someone to church, they will possibly put you off. If you invite them to something special that only happens once a year, the law of scarcity comes into effect. The added bonus is we might watch their favorite movie.
10. Our “At The Movies” series helps us live out one of our church’s chief values: “We will do anything short of sin to reach people with the life-giving message of the Gospel”.
We believe the message of the Gospel is so important that we will risk offending Christians to reach the lost. Our goal is not to intentionally offend others but to win people. When you read about Jesus, it appears the only people He offended were stuffy Christians who couldn’t see past their own noses. That’s not us. We only have a limited time on this Earth. We want to reach as many people as possible.
Everyone has an opinion, just ask them. The problem is not if we have an opinion but what do we do with it. Many people need a place to express themselves so bad they end up on social media saying things that get them and others in trouble.
That’s one of the many things I love about journaling. I have a place to rant, celebrate, and just verbally explode all over a page. The best part is, no one knows about it.
Need a moment to express yourself? Grab your journal and begin writing.
Here are a few statements you can add to get started:
1.”One thing I’m tired of seeing in the world is ___________________.”
2.”If I gave people a secret glimpse into my ___________________, what they’d find inside is ___________________.”
3.”I think people might be inspired by my story about ___________________.”
4.”I have SO many great tips on how to___________________.”
5.”For years, I’ve been saying, “I ought to write a book about ___________________.”
Still celebrating our great weekend and the four people who gave their lives to Christ!!!! It’s such an honor for God to trust us and send people who need Him in our direction.
You’re making a difference RLC.
Here are a few things I wanted to share with you this week:
1. SERIES PREMIERE. This past weekend we began a series that I know is going to change people’s lives forever. It’s impossible to encounter the Word of God and remain the same. We talked about how God specializes in using ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things.
We also talked about the importance of seizing the opportunity of a lifetime during the lifetime of the opportunity.
Allow your heart to be broken by the things that break God’s heart.
Some of the most important time you’ll spend in your life is time spent seeking God.
If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.
God can turn your misery into your ministry.
To view the message or download the message notes, click here.
3. NEW PODCAST. Many of you have been asking when my new podcast “Better Every Day” will be released. We’re working hard on it and have even begun releasing some pilot episodes. Keep checking back to this blog for more information.
That’s all for now. It’s going to be a great week. See you this weekend.
I am a pastor, leader, speaker, blogger podcaster, and lifestyle coach. I help leaders who want more out of life achieve joy, progress, and fulfillment by taking a step by step approach toward becoming all we are meant to be.