health

Peak Pastors Group

Spread Eagle Peak – August, 2019

Nobody “gets” the life of

a pastor like a pastor.

Join a growing group of pastors on the new Peak Pastors Facebook Group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/peakpastors/

This group exists to #encourageencourageencourage the local pastor, their families and teams in 4 essential areas… heart, soul, mind and strength.

Every post focuses on one of these aspects… the heart is for family, the soul is all about spiritual growth in Christ, the mind is about teachability and growth as a leader and strength is about getting and staying healthy physically.

We have never needed to lead in

community more than today.

Let’s face it, we are all living and leading in a new normal. Let’s make the new normal look more like a collaborative effort than ever before!

I need you. You need me. We need each other and this is a good thing, even a “God-thing!”

Please, join us on the new Peak

Pastors Facebook Group today…

and invite a pastor friend to join

you!

Listen to the Wise

Who are you listening to through this season?

The voices we listen to shape us.

The voices we listen to seep into our minds and then mold our attitude, perspective, and find their way into our conversations and then inform our decisions and, ultimately, our actions.

Are you in an echo chamber of our own voice or very small circle of voices? Would you say that your own biblical world view has been challenged, stretched or grown through this season?

I’ll ask it again, who are you listening to through this unsettled season of crisis?

The way of fools seems right to

them, but the wise listen to advice.

Proverbs 12:15

Here are some voices I have been listening to and recommend to you, not because I agree 100% with everything being said, but because I want to be challenged, stretched and to grow as a follower of Jesus and leader in His Church…

Unbelievable Podcast with Justin Brierley…

Ravi Zacharias on the Ben Shapiro Show…

CNLP Bonus 21 | Crisis Leadership. Special Panel on Best Practices for Crisis Leadership and Finding Hope with Jud Wilhite, Kevin Queen and Tricia Sciortino https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnaFN7zGTi4

3 Simple Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Break in the Crisis by Carey Nieuwhof https://careynieuwhof.com/3-simple-ways-to-make-sure-you-dont-break-in-the-crisis/

BE THE CHURCH

We have an

unprecedented

opportunity to BE THE

CHURCH, to be the hands

of help and voice of

hope for Jesus.

What are you preaching on this Sunday? The series of messages I’m working on is simply, BE THE CHURCH.

I’m drawing from Acts 2:42-47 and then Acts 4:42-47 and we will be encouraging and challenging with some very practical and daily ways to BE THE CHURCH now and in the new normal.

Here are some very practical things we are working on at The Church at Bradenton…

How to be real help and real hope:

1 – DO HOUSE CHURCH

2 – Pray with and for people.

3 – Encourage, encourage, encourage!

4 – Donate to FELT (Feeding Empty Little Tummies).

5 – Check up on single moms, widows and elderly in your neighborhood and our TCAB family.

6 – Partner with your community. i.e. Give to our local food bank and give to your church food pantry.

7 – Give to your local church so we can continue to be hands of help and voice of hope.

8 – Pray with and for people.

Share your thoughts and how you and your team are being the hands of help and voice of hope where you live and lead! #encourageencourageencourage

Here is a helpful article with helpful links on catching up with the challenge curve that the average church is facing in this season… https://careynieuwhof.com/8-ways-to-lead-in-the-new-digital-default-church/

Prayer Partners with Saint Patrick

Guest Blogger: Pastor Steve Rennick

Steve in Hezekiah’s Tunnel

A New Approach to Praying with

a Prayer Partner

This guest blog post comes at just the right time. Share this hope-building perspective on prayer from Pastor Steve Rennick with someone today!

When I came to Christ on my 14th birthday my first pastor told me, “Steve, you’ll never make it on your own. You have to read 5 chapters of your bible every day. You have to kneel beside your bed and pray out loud every day. You have to attend church every time the doors are open. And you have to lean into our youth group. Do you hear me, Steve? You’ll never make it on your own.”

Those were (and still are) sage words of wisdom. I took them to heart. And, my pastor was right. I would not have made it on my own.

Today, some 40+ years later, I still cannot make it on my own. After bible college and seminary — following years of youth ministry, overseas missionary work in rural East Africa, and leading a large multi-service & church-planting congregation — now more than ever…

I cannot make it on my own.

To my surprise God is bringing some “new” prayer partners into my life. At a time when I needed it most I stumbled onto a prayer thought to have been written (or inspired by) Saint Patrick of Ireland.

Pat’s life is an amazing odyssey (kidnapped, human trafficked, converted to Christ, escaped, called back to his captors with the Gospel) which is worthy of your time to read. However, his heart-felt prayer has helped me even more than his life story!

Today, Pat has become one of my

Prayer Partners!

His prayer helps me to pray in the awareness of the living presence of Jesus. I hope he and his prayer might help you, too.

Here is my own “adaptation” of what is popularly known as
“The Breastplate Prayer” of St. Patrick of Ireland.

“I Arise Today” … an adaptation of “The Breastplate Prayer” by Saint Patrick

I arise today through the …

Strength of heaven,

Light of sun,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of wind,

Depth of sea,

Stability of earth,

Firmness of rock.

I arise today through … 

God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s hosts to save me.

Afar and anear,

Alone or in a multitude,

Christ shield me today.

Christ with me, 

Christ before me, 

Christ behind me,

Christ in me, 

Christ beneath me, 

Christ above me,

Christ on my right, 

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, 

Christ when I get up,

Christ in the heart of all who think of me,

Christ in the mouth of all who speak of me,

Christ in the eye of all who see me,

Christ in the ear of all who hear me.

I arise today … through … 

the mighty strength of Christ.

May you also arise today through and in the mighty strength of Christ!

Beat March Madness

March Madness isn’t just a basketball tournament. For pastors, it’s the annual (and sometimes exhausting) ritual of getting ready for and playing at our best during “The Big Dance” known as the Easter Season.

Let’s face it, the pressure to

perform is on.

If we aren’t careful, it can get the best of even the most seasoned veterans.

How do you avoid this as a leader?

For too long it has been a disturbing badge of honor to live and lead by “burning the candle at both ends.” While there are days when we have to get up early and stay up late to get it done, this shouldn’t be the indefinite lifestyle of a healthy leader.

Here’s Tip #1 – Get more sleep!

The truth is, when someone is perpetually exhausted, eventually there are poor life and leadership choices being made.

“Rest isn’t weakness.” – Carey Nieuwhof

Find out more at https://careynieuwhof.com/why-leadership-is-so-exhausting-and-what-to-do-about-it/

We’ve all been there when we haven’t gotten enough zzzz’s. We get “cranky,” and our creativity decreases along with our attention span. Poor eating and drinking choices increase as we try to get more energy in all the wrong ways when what we need is more “shut-eye.” 

Not convinced? Check out this link to a great article on the correlation between rest and productivity by Michael Hyatt – Why People Who Sleep Longer Achieve More

It’s simple. If we want to be at our best for the Lord, our families, lead teams and the people we serve, then we must choose to be well-rested.

We might even take an elusive “power-nap” every now and then.

New York Times best-selling author and all around life and leadership guru Jon Acuff challenges us…

“In a world that praises busyness,

rest is an act of bravery.” 

Refuse to live and lead exhausted. Don’t give into the March Madness of ministry during any season. 

REST WELL.

Pack Light, Pack Right 4

Pack Light, Pack Right 4 – The Pastor’s Strength

Let’s face it, pastors aren’t exactly known for physical fitness.

Peak Pastors is committed to helping you grow in your physical fitness so that you can lead your family and local ministry in a more holistic and healthy way.

This is where Trail Fitness Guides like

Kelly & Polly Barcol come in!

The final piece of our heart, soul, mind and strength strategy is being encouraged, challenged and held accountable concerning this temporary “temple” that are our bodies.

Our Trail Teams (small cohort groups) will have the opportunity to meet monthly with Trail Fit Guides like Kelly & Polly who will lend their experience and expertise to our groups.

Add to this the encouragement and accountability from the other members of your Trail Team, and, with some perseverance, you might just get into the best shape of your life!

Be inspired and challenged by Crossfit Winnersville in Valdosta, Georgia (https://www.facebook.com/crossfitwinnersville/) and Crossfit Checkered Flag in Daytona Beach, Florida (https://www.facebook.com/CrossFit-Checkered-Flag-106134717577003/). Be sure to “Like” these pages!

Looking to provide an opportunity to grow faith and fitness in your community? Check out https://faithrxd.org/ and discover what starting a chapter in your area might look like!

Some may say that, “bodily exercise profits little.” This may be true in comparison to our ultimate soul health. However, don’t miss the simple fact that it does, in fact, profit!

It’s time to get in shape, pastor…

heart, soul, mind and strength!

What do you do to get and stay in shape? Share your thoughts here or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/peakpastors/

Pack Light, Pack Right 3

Pack Light, Pack Right 3 – The Pastor’s Mind

I’ve got so much to learn.

The longer I have lived and led the more I realize that I don’t often even know the things I don’t know. You know?

Great leaders have always championed learning. Check out some of the suggested learning leader resources below for a few examples to help stretch you! (You don’t have to agree with everyone. But, you would be amiss not to learn from them.)

Rick Warren put it this way…

“All leaders are learners. The

moment you stop learning, you

stop leading.”

Here are a couple of his very challenging TEDx Talks hosted in Orange County, California – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFdRFhVQwvU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPqNtOrTdlU

Leaders are learners. You know this.

Peak Pastors is dedicating to helping

you DO this, to learn to learn.

So, let’s learn from one another! Let’s question and challenge and spur and resource one another on to be stewards of the gray matter God has loaned to us.

Here are three of the podcasts I have been listening to recently. I love these because they interview leaders who learn from leaders!

Share your resources below or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group Page!

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast – https://careynieuwhof.com/mypodcast/

Ask NT Wright Anything Podcast – https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Ask-NT-Wright-Anything/Podcast

Unbelievable Podcast with Justin Brierley – https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable

Share some of your go-to learners below!

Pack Light, Pack Right 2

Part 2: The Pastor’s Soul

“For the soul to be well, it needs to be with God.”

– John Ortberg, Soul Keeping

Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg

Somewhere in the preparing and preaching, in the teaching and training, the visioning and visiting, counseling and caring for the local church is the soul of a pastor… and it needs keeping.

The second essential thing to pack light and pack right for pastors is a healthy soul. We want to help pastors focus on their own soul health, namely, their personal relationship with Jesus.

After all, without a healthy soul, grounded and growing in a purposed relationship with Jesus, pastors simply cannot be who and what they long to be in the home, the church or community. What was it Paul said?

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)

This is where our future Pioneer

Trail Teams will come in!

Be on the lookout for more information about small groups of pastors that will be forming in the months to come. Our first groups will be Pioneer Trail Teams who will help us blaze the trail of these cohorts of pastors, learning together more about what it means to encourage and hold one another accountable in the four essential areas of heart, soul, mind and strength!

Nobody “gets” the life of a pastor like a

pastor (and their spouses!).

Until then, join in our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page by pastors, for pastors! Invite others to join you and encourage, encourage, encourage.

If you haven’t already read Soul Keeping by John Ortberg, you simply must pick it up and put it in your daily carry pack! IT IS A MUST READ AND MUST APPLY. Check it out at http://www.johnortberg.com/book_type/books/ or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Keeping-Caring-Most-Important/dp/1491521619

How do you care for your soul, pastor? Share your insights below or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/peakpastors/?source_id=440477556480460

Pack Light, Pack Right

Part 1: The Pastor’s Heart

Packing light and with the right tools of the trade is key to going the distance in both the high country and on the trail of life and leadership.

Peak Pastors is designed to help you do just this; to not merely lead better, but to BE better… to grow as followers of Jesus, spouses, parents and as leaders. We will do this by filling our packs with the essentials needed for optimal health in 4 essential areas… heart, soul, mind and strength.

Let’s break this down taking one essential at a time…

The Pastor’s Heart – This is all about family!

Every pastor I have known has struggled to invest in what I have always called their “home church.” No, not the local church they and others call home.

This is about the worship center

of the home… building healthy

relationships as spouses,

parents, & raising Christ-centered kids.

We all know the truth about home and ministry life. When we aren’t relationally healthy in our home life, we won’t be relationally healthy and effective in our church leadership life. However, when things at home are healthy, I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is no summit I can’t reach!

Together, let’s discover practical ways to invest in our marriages and parenting in the middle of what can all-too-quickly become the craziness of ministry life.

Speaking of which, here you go! Check out 3 Reasons Winning at Home is Easier than Winning at Home by Carey Nieuwhof @ https://careynieuwhof.com/3-reasons-winning-at-work-is-easier-than-winning-at-home/

So, how do you keep your heart focused on your home life? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread here or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/peakpastors/

Simplify Part 2

We live and lead in a noisy world.

For most pastors (and leaders of any organization) there is no shortage of people giving their advice, opinion and, of course, constructive criticism. Add to this a non-stop stream of voices on social media, email and text, it quickly becomes non-stop noise.

How can you get control of this and infuse your life and leadership with less of this noise? Here are 3 simple steps…

Take control of the Who.

Unsubscribe to all email lists, subscriptions, podcasts, youtube channels, social media follows, etc, except those that you actually use weekly. I have unsubscribed some incredibly influential people simply because my leadership “sponge” (and gray matter!) is already on information overload. I think it’s called “too much of a good thing.”

Take control of the What.

You can’t always control what shows up on your news or social feeds, who calls or texts you on your phone, etc. However, you can control whether you are watching or listening to these devices in the first place.

Deliberately plan daily no-device down time. Carve out time for study in the Word and prayer. Schedule time with someone; a family member or core team member. Keep all devices out of sight. You will come to love this time and the world will go right on without you and your world will vastly improve because of it.

Take control of the When.

Whenever possible, choose to do what needs done first and connect with who needs connected with before entering the cyber world in any forum. In other words, prioritize who and what matters to you and your team.

I’ll be honest, I check my email early in the work day, usually first thing when I get to the office. If someone has connected and I need to respond, I can put it on the list. Then, it’s time to disconnect and check in with staff and spend some time doing what needs done. Later in the afternoon, usually after lunch with some core people and some more no-device down time, I check my emails again and respond.

When it comes to social media, writing and scheduling posts like this and checking out whats going on with the few I actively follow, it happens early or late, but the day belongs to people.

Simplifying is hard.

It won’t ever just “happen.” We have to borrow from the wisdom of sages like the late, great Dr. Dallas Willard who said to Dr. John Ortberg, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” When it comes to overcoming complexity and quieting the multitude of voices speaking into our lives, the same advice holds true.

Be ruthless.

Need some more insight into this? Two podcasts that lend some expert advice on this area of personal life and leadership management are interviews by Carey Nieuwhof with Rebekah Lyons https://careynieuwhof.com/episode303/ and Dr. John Otberg https://careynieuwhof.com/episode307/ .

While you’re at it, check out The High Impact Workplace at https://careynieuwhof.com/hiwtools/

Hope this helps encourage and equip you, your family and team!