Author: pastorjacobs

7 WAYS TO ENGAGE THE STREAMERS

1. Validate Their Existence

It is easy for pastors to take the decline of in-person attendance personally.

However, if you can learn to embrace this new normal, you may be able to engage the virtual church.

The first step is to simply accept and validate the existence of members who now choose to watch online instead of showing up to a live church service.

Validate their existence by simply starting each service by welcoming the online community.

Speak to the camera as if they are present and let them know that you know they are watching and you appreciate their connection.

Close each service by thanking them for participating and provide them with ways to connect to an online community.

2. Formalize The Online Community

You have validated the online community so now you should formalize its existence.

Create a program that targets virtual members. Do this by creating a job that is specific to supporting this group of members.

Identify someone who is a little bit tech-savvy and give them responsibility for communicating and engaging with virtual members.    

Create a job description for this person that clarifies the role and expectations for supporting and engaging the online community.

For example, this person may be the point person for online Bible studies, Facebook groups, or small group studies.

The primary role of this position is to develop and grow this online community – regardless of their physical location.

3. Determine Who They Are

This may be easier said than done but work toward creating an online participation list.

Try to identify who is a regular participant in the online service and create a contact list for this specific group.

Collect contact information so you can customize communication specifically for online members.

For instance, create an email or text list so you can share information that this group might be interested in.

Send emails or texts to thank them for attending and reminding them of the next church service.

4. Get Them Talking

The streaming audience can and should engage with each other.

Start the conversation by asking folks to simply say Hi and to let the group know that they are there.

Try to interact with the group during the church service and prompt them to react to the teaching.

For instance, ask the group to comment if a Bible verse or a teaching point really hits home for them.

When someone comments, recognize that comment and encourage more conversation.

5. Get Them Involved

The bigger the online community the more jobs there will be to manage it. Seek help from members to support the online group.

For instance, create a greeter role that simply welcomes people to the community.

Or delegate the chat responsibility to someone to keep the conversation going by asking questions and prompting discussions.

Communicate opportunities that are available within the larger church for involvement.

For instance, if the church is hosting its annual picnic, reach out to this group to help with these campus events. These interactions with other members will help them feel part of the church.

6. Solicit Feedback

Your online community will be the best consult for how to make the community stronger.

Reach out to the group with your communication tool and simply ask them how the church can support them.

Create a quick, simple survey to drill down on topics or issues that would benefit a virtual church.

For instance, ask the group for ideas of ways the church can support them or ideas for opportunities for involvement with church activities.

7. Encourage Occasional In-Person Attendance

Most church leaders recognize that some people may never consistently attend in-person church.

However, you may want to encourage the online community to make an effort to attend occasionally to support church programs or events.

Provide information on specific church programs or Bible studies and encourage this community to participate.

The New Norm

The streaming service has become the new norm. For the old-school pastors, this will be a difficult transition

10 STEPS TO BUILD YOUR POWER TODAY! By. Herb Dyer”s Coaching Report,

2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NIV‬    “ For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

1. Set micro goals daily (get them done and celebrate getting them done).

2. Be deliberate about asking for help (…but be willing to help others).

3. Stop the negative self chatter (reach out to a trust advisor and share what you are experiencing). 

4. Acknowledge and promote others for their wins and accomplishments (picture yourself getting recognition for your good work).

5. Share your growth plans with people you respect (be consistent with this communication).

6. Learn from others (but don’t get stuck in comparing yourself with their success). 

7. Schedule “Thinking Time” EVERY Day (bring a pen and pad with you).

8. Incorporate a healthy lifestyle by exercising, eating properly and balancing your work life (budget funds to get professional advice – it works)!

9. Communicate your opinion (make sure your do your due diligence…DON’T rely on the pundits).  

10. Be COLLABORATIVE!

SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE BECOMING A LEAD PASTOR

1. Am I emotionally mature enough to take on myself the rigors of taking the lead role in a church?

Whether it is a new church plant or taking over the lead role from another pastor, a lead pastor has to be emotionally mature enough to deal with the incredible emotional challenges of the ministry.

Lead pastors must have thick skin. They cannot hold grudges against people. They have to learn how to forgive those who betray them or break covenant, and they must also learn to handle adversity and crisis. It is not enough to know how to preach well. Emotional maturity is perhaps even more important than having a good personality and giftedness in the pulpit.


2. Am I theologically competent?

Most new pastors, especially of the independent evangelical/ Pentecostal ilk, have inadequate formal theological training. Before you venture into a lead pastorate, make sure you have enough theological depth to be able to feed the flock of God 52 weeks per year. Pastors cannot get by just on preaching evangelistic messages or their pet doctrinal passions. They have to learn how to expound on the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

In recent decades, there have been many successful pastors who have come out of a marketplace background. Unfortunately, most of them lead the church more like the CEO of a secular corporation than as a shepherd of the flock of God. Having business acumen and administration is necessary, but administration without theological depth produces a church that has great marketing and impressive crowds and programs, but superficial disciples.


3. Am I organizationally competent?

Being theologically trained is not enough. I have found that most pastors have no clue in regard to formulating a church budget and administration. It doesn’t matter how anointed you are or how good a preacher you are! Administration is needed to harness the anointing and create systems in the church for the proper implementation of church vision.

To illustrate this point, God created natural laws within complex systems and framed the physical world before He placed living creatures and humanity on the earth (Gen. 1). Hence, there was an organized, systemic foundation before there was human activity.


4. Is my spouse emotionally and spiritually prepared for such a task?

Many go into the pastorate without weighing the toll it will take on their spouses and children. I have found that the wife of a male lead pastor is one of the neediest people in the body of Christ. Many have never been adequately prepared for the high demands people will place on their lives and families. These spouses should expect that people in the congregation will want to visit their home, call whenever they are in need, and expect them to drop everything when they have an emergency. People in the congregation expect the wife of the lead pastor to function as the “mother” of the church and will get offended if the spouse does not give them adequate attention!

God calls a couple into the pastorate, not just one-half of the marriage. (Also, I do not generally believe it is a good idea for single people to enter into the pastorate, since they will be faced with numerous sexual temptations, especially from other needy single people who want their counsel and oversight.)


5. How do I know that God is calling me into the pastorate?

Perhaps the most important question a potential lead pastor can ask himself or herself is this: “Did God really give me this assignment?” When the trials and stresses related to church ministry come their way, they will seriously consider abandoning the pastorate if they are unsure of their divine calling.

6. Do I have in place sufficient mentors who can walk with me and gauge my progress? Every lead pastor should have several mentors in their life. Not only do they need other seasoned, successful lead pastors, but they will need mentors regarding their psychological health, finances and physical health, plus legal advice in setting up a proper board of elders, trustees, bylaws and ongoing minutes. These mentors should have a trusting relationship with the lead pastor and be allowed to speak honestly into their life, or else it will be a waste of time for both parties.


7. Do I have a sufficient support system of peer relationships and friends? Every leader learns quickly that it can get lonely at the top. Lead pastors desperately need a constellation of other godly peers in the ministry and a tight-knit social community they can relax with and pray with that is not always talking about the challenges of the ministry. Lead pastors need a regular mental break from the rigors of ministry, and they cannot do it alone.


8. Have I taken the time to meet with the other lead pastors in my region to get advice? If I had to do it all over again, I would have met with and received the advice of every cooperative lead pastor in my community before I planted our church. They would have been able to give me the lay of the land, share their experiences related to the specific challenges of that region, as well as become potential friends and a part of my support system in the ministry.

(After eight years, I actually did start a monthly pastors’ covenant support group with about 12 local area pastors that became an incredible source of unity and strength for us all!)


9. Do I have a proper business plan for financial sustenance? The old Pentecostal adage was to just obey the calling of God and trust God for the finances. Of course, that is the primary foundation. But having a proper business plan for the church is absolutely necessary in this complicated world fraught with financial scandal, strict IRS regulations and enormous complexity regarding present economic realities.


10. Do I have a proper philosophy of ministry that matches my calling and personality? Every lead pastor has a different personality, gift mix and method of ministry. Pastoring a church should never be a cookie-cutter approach that exactly mimics other successful leaders. Lead pastors who attempt to lead just like one of their ministry heroes are usually headed for failure and/or great disappointment. There is only one you; every leader is unique and must flow properly in their gift mix in order to be effective.

Some helpful questions to start off with include: What is my personality type? (Am I an introvert or extrovert?). What are my motivational gifts? (Read Romans 12:4-8.) What manifestations of the Spirit usually accompany my ministry? (Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-8.) What fivefold ministry function do I operate in? (Read Ephesians 4:11.)

In closing, I wish someone gave me articles like this in the early 1980s before I got married and entered full-time church ministry. It would have saved me a lot of unnecessary heartache and trauma!

10 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED A BUSINESS BY SILVIA PENCAK

1.Branding can wait

In the early years of my business I was obsessed with branding. My first website took over 10 months to get done, my graphics always had to be top notch, my focus was to grow my idea into the “next big thing”. This ate loads of my time, energy and resources, taking me away from where my focus SHOULD have be. It’s important to understand that as you’re building a business, you can’t make it bigger than it is.

There will be time to focus on this, but the time is not when you are trying to get your business off the ground.

2. Focus on what you’re good at

Running a business you know nothing about, or even worse, don’t enjoy, will completely drain your energy. You might end up making good money at it (just like I did), but at the end you will find out that you’re more stressed than happy. I’ve seen way too many entrepreneurs close the doors of their business simply because the results couldn’t bring the satisfaction necessary to keep it going. Before you invest your time and energy into a business, make sure that it’s something you’re passionate about as well as something that fills the needs in the market place.

3. Get better!

None of us were good when we started. It takes time, action and persistence to improve. Do whatever it takes to get better at the important tasks. Become one of the best in your industry, choose to learn, grow, apply and share your knowledge and experiences with others out there. Choose to focus on personal and business growth and you will never run out of goals to pursue.

4. Guard your boundaries

It’s easy to fall into a trap of endless work. In the early stages of my business I remember saying to my family: “Just one more project, just one more hour.” But right after there was another project to focus on and another hour of work. Set and guard your boundaries. Be focused when it comes to building a business, but don’t compromise when it comes to your family or your own well-being. Take time off from your business without any guilt, because you know that when the time comes to get back, you will give it your best.

5. Hard work doesn’t equal results

This is where I see many of my clients get trapped. They tend to be busy, thinking that business equals productivity. It does NOT! Being productive is all about focusing on the right activities and getting them done. Productivity is about results. Tangible and measurable, the ones that move you forward to the next level. You truly don’t have to work hard. Your goal is to learn how to work smart. I don’t have time to go into depth on the topic of productivity today, but let me know if this is something you’d like me to address in one of my upcoming posts and I’ll see what I can do…

6. Marketing matters

None of us wants to be salesy (ok, maybe some do, but you know what I mean). Yet, how in the world do you want people to buy from you if they don’t know about you? They’re not going to wake up one morning yelling “I’ve never heard of Silvia, but I know that I must find her and work with her!”

You have the solution for people. It’s up to you to get the message out to them – loud and clear. People need you, they just don’t know about you yet.

7. Networking is not overrated

I’ll be honest with you. I’m NOT a networker. I’m an introvert, when in groups, I tend to stay in the background, observing. In fact, I attended so many events without ever connecting with the right people, that I began to think that networking didn’t work. But I was wrong!

You see, as an introvert, I’m not the “one-time girl”. I’m the “let’s-get-to-know-each-other girl” who takes the time to build relationships and connect. This means that it takes time for me to connect, but once I do, it usually lasts long. Even today I have in my network people I met when I first started my business. We might not chat every day or week, but the bond is there. We’re ready to refer people to each other, support and help each other when needed.

What is your network? Who do you know that can help you? How can you help them? If you don’t have a network yet, how can you turn it around and start building one? Discover my top 7 networking tips for introverts.

8. Shiny objects drain your budget

I’m at the stage in my business, where I don’t buy every book that comes out, every binder that promises to make me millions in a week or anything else that doesn’t line up with my goals. I’ve realized that the reason I used to waste my money on staff that never moved my business forward was simply a lack of direction in my business. Let me explain.

Without having set goals and an action plan, everything I came across online sounded like it could fit my business or life. Yes, I wanted better marketing, better networking, more money, more sales, better clients, better software, the best gadgets, and everything else. Once you put things into perspective and designed a plan on HOW you’re going to build and grow your business, everything else becomes irrelevant. If somebody’s selling a program to teach you how to write a best-seller, but your focus is on setting up your website, the best-seller is a distraction, with nothing in common with your current goal.

9. Hire a mentor and do as advised

I was actually pretty smart about this one because I knew from the beginning that I needed a mentor. I was humble enough to understand that learning from someone more experienced would help me create results faster. But one thing I failed to do was to do what was advised (shhh!). I was hurting my business as I was still trying to do it “my way”.

Why do you hire a mentor if you’re not going to follow as they guide you? Here’s a thought… You have someone else to blame if it doesn’t work! I was actually spending money so that I could blame someone else if my business failed. How pathetic! There was a day where I had to face my own insecurities and either stop working with mentors or start following their advice.

If you know me, you know what I chose. If you don’t know me yet, here it is… I AM working with mentors and I AM following their guidance. And I highly recommend that you do the same.

10. Celebrate your accomplishments

This is my final, but very important point for today. Recognize and celebrate your accomplishments, write them down to make it easy to get back to them later. I used to have a separate folder on my computer where I would store all my client’s testimonials, thank you’s, pictures of gifts as well as my own notes. I now store this information in my “Gratitude Board” notebook in Evernote, but it’s still the same idea. I come here often when I need to remind myself why I do what I do, why I need to keep going and keep improving. Take time to celebrate. You’ve worked hard, you created the results and you need to learn to enjoy the moment.