A Letter to RLC, Read Everything

A Weekend Wrap Up>>>

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.


1. GET IN A GROUP. It is not too late. Check out the RLC website here to learn more>>> www.experiencerlc.com/life-groups/

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.

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Why Pete Wilson is Rocking the Ministry Community

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Physical symptoms. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. 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?”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

So, where do you stand with all this?

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57 Leadership Quotes from Nick Saban

1. You have the ups. Sometimes you have the downs.

2. The #1 thing needed to win is mindset.

3. “Win” to me means What Is Important Now.
4. Process which defines what you need to do to accomplish the vision you have.

5. You need work ethic and discipline to execute it every day to be successful.

6. The process is clearly defined but where do you fail? The discipline to execute.

7. Discipline is “here’s something I need to do that I don’t want to do.” Can you make yourself do it?

8. I’m not interested in what you feel like doing.

9. We’re interested in the choices you’re going to make to accomplish the vision you have.

10. Can you stay focused on the vision you have or constantly affected by the circumstances you’re in?

11. The feelings come from the circumstance. The vision has to be the motivator for the choices you make.

12. What sacrifices am I willing to make? What skills I am willing to develop?

13. Everyone has the right to fail. But if you go on the field and don’t do your job, the whole team suffers. You don’t have the right to make everyone else fail.

14. If we have a team full of champions we’ll have a chance to win a championship.

15. There’s no “I” in team. There’s an “I” in win.

16.Intensity is mental energy.

17. Be where you’re feet are. How do I affect the circumstances right now.

18. There’s no substitute for knowledge.

19. No one can respect you if you don’t have knowledge about what you’re supposed to do.

20. Mediocre people don’t like high achievers. High achievers don’t like mediocre people. You must keep everyone on the same standards.

21. Everyone’s got to be positive. Glad to be here.

22. You can affect other people with your body language and energy level.

23. People have to be responsible for their own self-determination.

24. I worked for Bill Belichick for four years. It was a great learning experience.

25. He defined everyone in the organization’s job. He defined the goals of the organization.

26. My job as the head coach is to do the leadership to develop the relationships to do their job.

27. Bill Belichick determines the expectation and the standard.

28. Everything was defined.

29. Somebody defines the expectation and then you have to be accountable to it.

30. Do Your Job.

31. People have to be willing to work and execute on a regular basis.

32. Work is about investing your time and not spending your time.

33. Perseverance – you have to have the ability to overcome adversity to be a good competitor.

34. There can be no great victories in life unless you can overcome tremendous adversity. – Woody Hayes

35. You have to be relentless in how you go after things.

36. Leadership is your willingness to help someone else for their benefit. Leading people for your benefit is manipulation.

37. You have to be someone somebody wants to emulate.

38. You have to care about other people.

39. You have to be willing to serve someone else.

40. Sometimes your presence is really important. Everyone has time to do that.

41. Don’t ever miss the opportunity to say, “Good job”.

42. With ever “Thank You” comes an IOU. “I owe you my very best.”

43. Play-off games are 60-10 games. 60 minutes to play the game and 10 minutes to live with it for the rest of your life.

44. A leader really emphasizes and reinforces the principles and values of the organization.

45. Don’t ever discount the importance of 1-on-1.

46. You lead better if you do it one person at a time.

47. I try to talk the three people individually a week who do everything right.

48. There’s a lot of books written on success. There’s not a lot of books written about how to stay successful. It’s about consistency.

49. Tradition is always under construction. You never get there.

50. Success is momentary. Enjoy it. It’s over. What’s next?

51. To be successful you always have to build.

52. Everything’s about you. It’s not about me. Make it about the individual. Everybody’s self-absorbed.

53. All I hope for, tell me you want to graduate and you want to be in the NFL. Then I can say, “How’s that behavior helping you do that?”

54. The individuals make the team what it is.

55.Do you want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak. Happy for a day, play golf. Happy for a week, go on a cruise. If you want to happy for life, ask If I didn’t show up today would anybody miss me?

56. Pride in performance is really important in being successful.

57. God bless you all. Good luck to you. And Roll Tide!

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Leadership Lessons from Great College Coaches

Blog Past from BRIAN DODD>>>
Research shows over 70% of all six-figure income earners consider themselves avid sports fans. This makes a lot of sense. Sports involves measurable results, wins and losses, conflict resolution, team building, pressure, player development, strategy, perseverance, and pushing yourself to do more than you thought you were capable of.

As a leader, this is why I am so excited about the start of college football season. This weekend, there were some great leadership insights provided on various pre-season shows. Listed below are the coaches and their quotes along with an application for any leader who may be reading this post.
The following are 21 Leadership Lessons From Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney And Others From College Football’s Opening Weekend:
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban>>>

Leadership Development Is A Process – “Are we doing the things we need to do to get where we need to be?”

The More Great Leaders You Have The Better Your Team Is – “If you have a good staff they have good relationships with the players.”

People Need Clear Expectations – “It is so much better if you can define what people need to do to be successful.”

Team Chemistry Is A Process – “It is always a work in progress to get the team chemistry you want on your team.”

You Increase Confidence By Delivering Results – “Every player on the team has confidence in certain other players that they can do things in certain critical situations…That’s what happens when you win a team over. You win their confidence.”

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney>>>

Great Leaders Are Continual Learners – “I always kept learning and growing and preparing.”

Be Great At Whatever You Are Doing – “You have to prepare for your opportunities. You never who’s watching. Bloom where you’re planted. Be great at whatever it is you’re doing and people will take notice of that.”

Preparation Gives You A Chance For Success – “It #4 (Deshaun Watson) is in the game we got a good chance…Nobody’s going to prepare harder.”

Great Teams Have Competitive Depth – “Defensively, one thing that’s going to help us is we’re going to have more competition than we had last year at certain positions. I love that when you have good competitive depth.”

You Never Have To Recover From A Good Start – “One of our team goals is to win the opener.”

Preparation + Passion = A Good Start – “We must prepare with relentless passion to be the best we can be on September 3rd.”

Do Not Confuse Teaching With Criticism – “Coaching can be viewed as criticism. It’s not really criticism. It’s really teaching. Most of the time when you’re teaching some guy did something incorrectly you’re trying to fix.” – Coach Saban
Develop A Culture Of Insulation – “Our culture of insulation helps with that (overconfidence).” – Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman

Smart Leaders Know Their Limitations – “There are some physical limitations. It is a wall.” – LSU head coach Les Miles on his players doing the Lambeau leap

At The Edge Of Uncomfortable Is Greatness – “The first thing of an extreme workout is to make them extremely uncomfortable.” – Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez

Focus On Today And Tomorrow – “Think downfield but play locally.” – quarterback guru George Whitfield

Successful Leaders Manage Crisis Well – “Teach them how to win in an uncomfortable situation.” – Whitfield

What Separates Great Players Is Intelligence – “He’s a great thinker. His football IQ is what separates him from most players.” – Coach Swinney on Watson

Great Teams Must Continually Fight Complacency – “Coming off a national championship is always a challenge.” – Coach Saban

There Is A Difference Between A Job And A Calling – “I don’t feel like I have a job. This is what I’ve always wanted to do in life.” – USC head coach Clay Helton

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Everyone Has A Calling or Life’s Pursuit

One time, my wife and I wanted to surprise our two girls who were five and seven at the time by taking them to an indoor water park for Christmas. The park was about two hours away from our home and the whole way both my girls kept asking me where we were going. “Come on daddy, tell us where we’re going.” They wouldn’t stop asking. Neither my wife nor I wanted to tell them because it was suppose to be a surprise. Therefore, we just kept saying, “Don’t worry, you’ll love it. You’re going to be so thankful once we get there.” Finally, we arrived at our destination. When we pulled into the parking lot, even though it was snowing outside, you could look through the Plexiglas walls at families with their swimsuits going down slides, playing in the water, and floating down the lazy river. We expected both our girls to start screaming with delight. However, to my wife and my dismay, both girls were silent. When we looked back to see what was going on, both of them ha were frozen with their mouths wide open. They were so excited they were speechless. Needless to say, they were thankful and that still stands out as one of the best Christmas’s we’ve ever had.

That experience reminds me a lot of the Father of Faith, Abraham. Of all the amazing stories in the Word of God that speaks to us about the calling God placed on men’s lives, Abraham is probably my favorite. Can you imagine God coming to you and saying, “I’ve got something great for you to do. Follow me.” You might say, “Where are we going Lord?” God would answer, “I’m not going to tell you right now. You’re not ready and it would spoil the surprise anyway. It’s going to take a while to get there but trust me, you’re going to love it.” That’s basically what God said to Abraham. Here’s what God said in Genesis 12: 1- 3 (NIV),

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”


I think another translation that puts it a little more in our modern day vernacular is The Message translation. Look how it says the same passage:

God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you. I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing.  I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.”


The word “Go” or “Leave” or “Get Thee Out” (KJV)in Hebrew is the word halak which literally means to “walk” or “to continually come on”. I like the last one that says to “continually come on” because it reminds us that answering the calling of God is not a one-time thing. The book of Galatians says there is always a battle between the flesh (our carnal nature) and the spirit (that part of us that wants to pursue God). We must continually deny our fleshy desires and say yes to the call that God places on all our lives.

Within all of us is a unique gifting and calling. God made you for greatness. You are a “10” at something. It reminds me of the movie “Chariots of Fire” when the runner said, “When God made me, he made me fast and when I run I feel His pleasure.” God made you to do something and when you do it, you can feel His pleasure. There are many ways to discover this unique gifting and calling in your life and while we all have a special plan from God there are some things which are universal to us all. We are called to do personal missions and corporate missions in the Kingdom of God. Today we’re going to talk about three different corporate missions that we all need to fulfill in our lives as modeled to us in the story of Abraham.

The first calling that was given to Abraham and to us all was the calling to FOLLOW BY FAITH.

Genesis 12:1 (RSV) says, “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.'” The first calling God placed on Abraham’s life (and ours as well) was to simply follow. A retired pastor once said to me, “The greatest message Jesus ever preached to us pastors was when He called the disciples. He said, “Follow me and I will make you.” The greatest calling we can fulfill is to simply follow God and trust His leading. The Bible says that God’s Word is a “Lamp unto my feet.” God doesn’t always give us enough light to see the whole journey. Many times we have just enough light for the next step. That takes a lot of faith. However, God will never cause us to stumble or slip as long as we follow his leading.

The second calling given to Abraham and to us as well was the calling to serve. The next thing God says to Abraham is “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great” (Gen 12:2-3). Have you ever wondered why God does things? I do all the time. Not out of a desire to question God but rather to learn His nature so I can more fully recognize Him at work. Why do you think God wanted to bless Abraham? Another way to say this is, “Why does God want to bless us?” You can see it all throughout the Word of God. God always blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. The calling that God places on all our lives is not so that we can build our own kingdom. The calling of God is always a calling to serve. No matter what gives us a passion and gifting to do, it is always to serve the Body of Christ and reach those far from Him. One of our highest callings is to serve others.

The final calling we will discuss is the calling to be a blessing. The next thing God said to Abraham was “I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3). One of the chief responsibilities in the life of every believer is to add value to others. If you are not adding value to others you are subtracting value from yourself. We were not called to be an island unto our self. We were called to add value to the world around us with our gifts, with our time, and with our attention. The real beauty of how God uses His church is that in His hands, God can use just about anything to make a difference in the life of someone else. He just needs someone willing to be a blessing.

God has a unique gifting for us all. Just because you do not see it’s redeeming value does not mean it isn’t there. I served a church one time where there were few elderly women who were very discouraged. They thought they had “outlived their usefulness” and God couldn’t use them anymore. The pastor said to them, “What do you like to do?” They answered that they met every week and crochet together. He told them, “There you go. God can use that. Just figure out how.” These ladies decided to try that out. What they did was amazing. They found out the local paper had a section that would post when new babies were born in the community. What they began to do was crochet little socks for these newborn babies then go by these houses to congratulate the new parents and present them with the little socks as a gift. Since these ladies were all grandma’s they would instantly fall in love with these little babies and many times began to help out these new, exhausted mothers. During these visits they would be able to pray with the new parents, provide guidance, and even help them reconnect with their families. After two years over 15 new couples had begun attending church because of these elderly women who felt like they had “outlived their usefulness.” God has a plan for your life but it’s going to take the faith to step out and purse it. He’s also called you to be a blessing in the lives of others and to serve everyone around you. By doing this, we are fulfilling the greatest calling of all, to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus in this world.

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