Small-Town Pastors' Conference - Episode 21


October 8-10th, 2018, I attended the RHMA Small-Town Pastors’ Conference. RHMA stands for Rural Home Missionary Association. This conference was held in Lancaster Pennsylvania.
It was a great conference. Why? Well, I want to share some of the reasons I enjoyed it – who was there, what I learned – and then encourage you to consider attending the next one. There is on scheduled for April 8-10, 2019 in Morton Illinois. Morton is about 10 miles southeast of Peoria.
The primary speakers for the event were Ed Stetzer, Dr. Eugene Habecker, Jared Wilson, and Jason McConnell. All the speakers spoke to the heart and to the situation of the small-church small-town pastor.
Often when a small church pastor attends a typical pastors’ conference, they feel out of place because so much of the information is geared towards large churches and their staff. This is not the case at the RHMA conference.
But for me, the real highlight of the conference was meeting other small-church pastors. These are hard working men.  They love Jesus and they want their congregations to love Jesus as well. Many I met are bi-vocational, and some are second career pastors, much like myself. I really liked getting to know these men and I have since kept up with a couple of them.
The stats say that the over half the churches in the US have less than 75 people. Around 90 percent are less than 250. That means the number of small-church pastors is huge. Sadly, many of us function alone.
When I work out of my church and look out the window, all I see are a few cows of a small dairy farm. I have to drive a distance to meet other pastors.
But when I attend the RHMA conference, I am surrounded by many men in the same situation. We talk, we share ministry and it is encouraging and it is my favorite part of the conference.
Let me share a few things I learned from a select few of the speakers. I attended Dr. Habecker’s seminar on Courageous Conversations and forgiveness in Pastoral Leadership. The bulk of his seminar covered the Forgiveness Cycle. You can learn more about this in his book The Softer Side of Leadership: Essential Soft Skills That Transform Leaders and the People They Lead.
I have a friend who is an executive coach. He works with CEOs and CFOs of major corporations. What is the primary thing he helps these C level leaders with? Soft skills.
I coach small-church pastors and some missionaries. What is a topic that eventually comes to the surface? Soft Skills.
What are soft skills? A simple definition is “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.”
All of us, no matter how gracious we may be, need to improve in our soft skills. Consider picking up Dr. Habecker’s book, The Softer Side of Leadership to learn how these impact your world of ministry. Or you want some personal coaching on soft skills, email me and we can address these skills through Christian Leadership Coaching. Mark@coachingchristianleaders.com
Ron Klassen had a seminar titled Maximizing The Strengths of the Town and Country Church.
Ron recommended some great resources – David Ray’s book, The Big Small Church and the work of Christian Schwarz. I have links to these in the show notes.
Part of Ron’s seminar included four points on maximizing the relational strength of your church. Here they are:
  1. Focus on personal relationships more than the quantity of relationships. I love this and if you think about it, a pastor’s ability to focus on personal relationships is a strength of a small church.
  2. Be intentional about making intergenerational relationships a centerpiece of your church’s ministry. My only question here is the demographics I face and maybe you face. Much of my church is older. Sometimes we have young people for a season. So my question is, “What is the necessary step prior to this one that either holds the younger people in the church or draws them to it?” I think this is a great topic of a future conference or a podcast episode.
  3. Emphasize the advantages of relating with people from all walks of life and encourage your congregation to be purposeful about doing it. This point reminds me of the time, early in my ministry at the rural church where I serve. A farmer, by the name of Gordon, asked me to help him get the hay in. At the time Gordon was using the small bails. Now I am a chubby pastor who sits behind a computer all day. This work almost killed me. I think my flush face and hard breathing scared Gordon because he has never asked me back. Thankfully he also changed to the big bales and can now get it in with a forklift. In my church, I have farmers, bricklayers, electricians, AND I also have computer programmers and government contractors. I need to find a way to relate to all of them. Without being killed by the experience.
  4. Finally, design the worship service to reflect the relational bent of the congregation. Ron gave the examples such as adding a sharing and praying time and adding a personal touch to the greeting and announcements. These are simple changes any of us can do.
The final session I want to share was that of Jared Wilson. He spoke on the subject of Ministry in Hard Soil.
Instead of sharing the details of his talk, I want to share just a few points he made.
Early in his session, he asked an important question:
Is joy a dominant theme in your ministry?
So is it? Is joy the dominant theme in your ministry?
 Later, as he spoke on Ezekiel 37, Jared said, “The purpose of Christianity is not to make good people better but to make dead people alive.”
I’ll add my two cents here. There is a lot of making good people better and only a little of making dead people alive in the church today. How do we make dead people alive? The answer is Jesus and His gospel.
Jared presented several points on doing ministry in hard soil. Here is one that stood out to me.  Hard soil requires hardy prayers. I like that. And it makes me wonder if I am praying enough.
I have not mentioned all of the speakers. If you would like to hear the entire conference, recordings were available for purchase. I am not sure how long they will offer them, but I would encourage you to go to RHMA.org and ask if you can purchase the full set.
Thanks to RHMA for a great conference. I look forward to the next one in Lancaster.
Don’t forget the one in Illinois in 2019. Go to RHMA.org for more information
Thanks for listening to Coaching Christian Leaders. Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or where ever you get your podcasts.
As I mentioned, I am a small-church pastor, but I also have a Christian Coaching Practice that focuses on small-church pastors. If you are a small-church pastor email me at Mark@CoachingChristianLeaders.com. I would love to walk alongside you as your coach. So, feel free to email me about any question you may have about the coaching I provide.
Thanks again, and I will speak with you soon.

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Simple Tools to Build Your Church - Episode 20

Hugh Plappert is a businessman, an innovator, and a man who loves Jesus Christ. And Hugh loves to help churches grow and disciple their people.
Today, Hugh will share how his product, ChurchGrowthinaBox.com is a great tool that will help both small and large churches reach people and disciple people.

Hugh Shares

Resources

Church Growth in a Box Website
Upcoming Webinar - How to Launch a Disciple-Making Year without Hours of Meetings. Tuesday, November 6th, 11:00 am Central Time.

Closing Thoughts

 If you are the pastor of a small church and need some support, some coaching, then contact me. YouMark@CoachingChristianLeaders.com.
can reach me at 
Over the past month, the leaders I have spoken with have talked about work-life balance, avoiding burnout, and how to navigate through tough situations. If these ring a bell with you, please contact me. I would be honored to walk with you and coach you.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast.  You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app.

How to Uncomplicate Discipleship - Episode 19

Today we visit with Dr. Warren Haynes, the author of the book Discipleship Uncomplicated
Dr. Haynes is the National Director of Contextualized Leadership Development for Gateway Seminary. His work puts him at the forefront of leadership training and disciple-making.
Today he shares from his book, Discipleship Uncomplicated.

He shared

  • His faith story and how it links to his current work - 00:45
  • His position as the National Director of Contextualized Leadership Development for Gateway Seminary - 3:30
  • The intended reader of his book, Discipleship Uncomplicated - 5:44
  • Why his book is unique - 5:30
  • An example of real-life disciple-making - 9:40
  • A definition of a disciple - 11:40
  • Eight principles of disciple-making - 13:45
  1. Love God, Love People
  2. What’s Your Name?
  3. Let’s Pray
  4. This is for You
  5. Let Me Share a Story; Tell Me Your Story
  6. Come with Me
  7. Gather People
  8. How to Multiply Leaders
  • The difference between being a disciple and making a disciple - 18:00
  • Why is it important in the disciple-making process to help or care for people. - 20:55
  • The four types of stories we can use to inspire people - 24:20
  1. God’s Story
  2. Our Story
  3. Biblical Stories that Apply to Today
  4. Life Stories
  • The impact of storytelling - 25:45
  • How a small group can use his book - 30:24

Contact Information

His email: whhaynes@gmail.com

Resources

His website; www.warrentalks.com

Closing Thoughts

I help pastors build healthy churches. Lately, my emphasis has been working with small churches. If you are the pastor of a small church and need some support, some coaching, then contact me. You can reach me at Mark@CoachingChristianLeaders.com
Over the past month, the leaders I have spoken with have talked about work-life balance, avoiding burnout, and how to navigate through tough situations. If these ring a bell with you, please contact me. I would be honored to walk with you and coach you.
Also, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast.  You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app.

Check out this episode!

Teach Kids to Fall in Love with Jesus - Episode 18


Why is it essential that kids fall in love with Jesus? What must be done to ensure children and youth retain their faith as they grow up? How do you teach and disciple young people? These are some of the questions Ben Palacz and Tony Trussoni answer today on Coaching Christian Leaders.
Both of these men share their expertise in family ministry.

They Share

  • How they ended up in Family Ministry – 1:00
  • How to define Family Ministry – 3:20
  • How to connect with the parents – 5:00
  • Ensuring faith retention – 6:20
  • How family ministry can reach different ages – 7:40
  • Why Christ must capture their hearts – 10:00
  • Should children ministry be separated from adult ministry – 11:30
  • The role of the Senior Pastor in family ministry – 15:00
  • The purpose of the Theological Family Ministry Podcast – 17:30
  • What the podcast covers – 19:20
  • The role entertainment plays in youth ministry – 21:00
  • Teaching Kids and Youth the Message of the Text Episode 40 – 24:00
  • How to offer the opportunity of salvation to young children – 26:00

Resources Mentioned

The Theological Family Ministry Podcast
Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids, by Jack Klumpenhower

Contact Information

Their email: thetfmpodcast@gmail.com

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for listening to this episode of Coaching Christian Leaders.
Please subscribe to Coaching Christian Leaders and never miss an episode. You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app. Also, visit our Facebook Page and leave a review there or join the conversation. 
Finally, join the Coaching Christian Leaders team. You can do so by clicking HERE.  I send an email to all team members when a new episode is released. This email includes the show notes and Member Only Resources. I will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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The Call to Equip

Ephesians 4:11-12 is straightforward. Church leaders are “to equip the saints for the work of ministry...” And this equipping has its own purpose – to build the body of Christ. 

The intent of this equipping, "building up the body of Christ," is not to grow the church numerically. Rather it is to build the church up in the "unity of faith and the knowledge of Jesus Christ." See verse 4:13

I recently asked my Lutheran friend, "What are the various parts of a church?" He answered with terms like nave and narthex. What I meant to ask was, “What makes up a church?" or, "What are the facets of a church?”

A church is not primarily a building. It is a group of people who have come together to worship Jesus Christ. God then creates offices and gives gifts to believers. Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12 

I believe these offices and gifts are lived out in the church as discipleship, service, worship, leadership, and outreach. So, how do you equip these? How do you equip a congregation to worship? How do you equip a leader to lead worship? How do you equip a church to do outreach? How do you equip a leader to lead outreach? .......

I am a pastor who leads a small church. I am also a leadership coach who focuses my coaching on small church pastors. Small church pastors know that they must equip. They also know that resources are limited. When you have 80 men, women, and children in attendance, there are only a few to equip.

Being small is not necessarily a negative. Where a large church can hire an outreach pastor, a small church pastor can teach personal evangelism. Where a large church may use paid staff to provide the worship music, the small church can use its people, even children, to provide worship music.

I will have more on this subject in the future. For the moment though, remember that God has called you to equip. Take some time over the next few days and evaluate your church. Where do you need to equip others? Then pick one and focus your efforts there. 



If you are the leader of a small church and are interested in personal coaching click HERE and schedule a complimentary coaching session. Let's talk and see if coaching is for you.

Using Creativity to Share Christ - Episode 17


God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use people to share His Son, Jesus. That outreach starts in the local community and involves teamwork and creativity.
Today we meet a man who is doing all of the above - Dale Kline. Dale is the Creative Pastor and a Campus Pastor for Lifesong Church. Dale will help us understand the leadership role of campus pastor and also understand the place creativity plays in ministry.

Dale Shared

  • His Faith Story – 0:45
  • His role as Campus Pastor of LifeSong Church Worcester Campus – 2:35
  • The Four Types of Campus Pastors – 6:10
  • Why his role is important – 9:15
  • The pitfalls of this model of church – 11:30
  • His role as the Creative Pastor – 15:30
  • How even a small church can create a unified and effective message – 19:20
  • How to create MindShare in your church marketing – 24:00
  • The Composition of the Creative Team – 27:58
  • How to plan for large events – 30:00

Contact Information

Dale's email: Dale.Kline@lifesongonline.org

Resources

The Four Types of Campus Pastors (And Which One You Need) by Danny Watterson  https://www.vanderbloemen.com/blog/the-4-types-of-campus-pastors-and-which-one-you-need
The Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson
The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months, by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for listening to this episode of Coaching Christian Leaders.
Please subscribe to Coaching Christian Leaders and never miss an episode. You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app. Also, visit our Facebook Page and leave a review there or join the conversation. 
Finally, join the Coaching Christian Leaders team. You can do so by clicking HERE.  I send an email to all team members when a new episode is released. This email includes the show notes and Member Only Resources. I will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out this episode!

Hope for Combat Veterans and Their Families - Episode 16


When a combat veteran returns home, the war doesn't end.  An enemy, unseen to us, continues to attack. But this battlefield is spiritual, not physical. And the wounds suffered are divorce, addiction, homelessness, and even suicide.
Reboot Combat Recovery is making a difference. This 12-week faith-based course helps combat veterans rebuild their lives and experience a breakthrough in their personal battle with combat trauma.
In this episode, we sit down with Bryan Flanery, the Engagement Coordinator for Reboot Combat Recovery. Bryan is a combat veteran, a man who struggled with PTSD, and a graduate of Reboot. 
He shares his story, his victory over hopelessness, and the great impact Reboot Combat Recovery made on his life.

Bryan Shared:

  • His faith story - :40
  • What he would've missed had his suicide attempt been successful - 6:25
  • The mission of Reboot Combat Recovery - 8:45
  • The symptoms of PTSD and the impact it makes on the extended family - 10:50
  • How the Reboot Combat Recovery course helps with healing - 16:25
  • What to expect the first time you attend - 22:00
  • How much it costs - 23:00
  • Group size - 24:40
  • Who can host the course - 26:50
  • The impact this course is making in the lives of veterans and their families - 28:00

Resources

Contact Info

Closing Thoughts

Please visit https://rebootrecovery.com to learn more. At this website, you can find a group near you, learn how to start your own group, and how to support Reboot.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Coaching Christian Leaders.
Please subscribe to Coaching Christian Leaders and never miss an episode. You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app. Also, visit our Facebook Page and leave a review there or join the conversation. 
Finally, join the Coaching Christian Leaders team. You can do so by clicking HERE.  I send an email to all team members when a new episode is released. This email includes the show notes and Member Only Resources. I will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time. 


Check out this episode!

Moving a Community Toward Christ - Episode 15


God uses people to accomplish His purposes. And God is using Adam Feldman in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Adam is a community leader, a lead pastor, an author, and a coach.  He is the lead pastor of Metanoia Church. He is the author of two books, Journaling: Catalyzing Spiritual Growth Through Reflection and Addressing the Spiritual Formation Needs of a New Church. He is a coach who works with church planters. And he is a recognized community leader as the chair for The One EC Recovery Project.

Adam Shared

  • His faith story - 2:00
  • His decision to plant a church in Ellicott City, Maryland - 4:20
  • About the flood that devastated Ellicott City .and One EC Project - 7:22
  • Why is community involvement is important to him - 10:50
  • About his work as a church-planter coach - 14:00
  • Some coaching steps for church planters - 15:40
  • Insights on how to replant a church - 18:50
  • Details about his book Addressing the Spiritual Formation Needs of a New Church - What
    spiritual formation is and why it is important. - 20:34
  • Details about his book Journaling: Catalyzing Spiritual Growth Through Reflection - 25:17
  • What makes his book different - 30:00
  • Some tips on how to get started in journaling - 32:15

His Books

Journaling: Catalyzing Spiritual Growth Through Reflection
Addressing the Spiritual Formation Needs of a New Church

Contact Information

Adam@AdamLFeldman.com

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for listening to this episode of Coaching Christian Leaders.
Please subscribe to Coaching Christian Leaders and never miss an episode. You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app. Also, visit our Facebook Page and leave a review there or join the conversation. 
Finally, join the Coaching Christian Leaders team. You can do so by clicking HERE.  I send an email to all team members when a new episode is released. This email includes the show notes and Member Only Resources. I will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out this episode!

God is Here! - Episode 14


Pastor Jim Hosey shares his experience with revival. On February 3, 1970, God showed up on the campus of Asbury College. Revival broke out, it lasted over 180 hours and then spread throughout the United States and beyond.
Jim shares his personal experience at this revival in Wilmore Kentucky as well as the movement of God later in Tennessee.

Books

One Divine Moment by Robert E. Coleman
Spontaneous Revivals: Asbury College 1905-2006 Firsthand Accounts of Lives Transformed by Robert Kanary and Kyle Shroeder
Halls Aflame: An Account of the Spontaneous Revivals at Asbury College in 1950 and 1958, by Henry C. James and Paul Rader. This book documents a different revival that took place in 1950 and 1958.

Movies

A Revival Account: Asbury 1970
Asbury College Revival 1970

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for listening to this episode of Coaching Christian Leaders.
Please subscribe to Coaching Christian Leaders and never miss an episode. You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app. Also, visit our Facebook Page and leave a review there or join the conversation. 
Finally, join the Coaching Christian Leaders team. You can do so by clicking HERE.  I send an email to all team members when a new episode is released. This email includes the show notes and Member Only Resources. I will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.
  

Check out this episode!

Develop a Sexual Integrity Plan - Episode 13


Dr. John Thorington of Restoring Hearts Counseling shares his expertise in counseling teens, couples, and church leaders who struggle with sexual addiction and other compulsive behaviors.
Dr. Thorington is a licensed professional counselor. He is also certified as a Sexual Recovery Therapist by the American Association of Sex Addiction Therapy. He holds four degrees—a BA in Religion and Psychology, a Master of Divinity, a Doctor of Ministry degree, and an MA in Community Counseling.
John works as a pastoral counselor at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO, and has 29 years of experience as a pastor in the local church. He is able to offer confidential, specialized help to pastors. He is also the author of the book Pure Teens: Honoring God, Relationships, and Sex

Dr. Thorington Shared

  1. His testimony - 1:00
  2. The focus of Restoring Hearts Counseling - 3:10
  3. The widespread nature of sexual addiction, especially pornography within the church - 4:40
  4. What tweens are and why is social media bad for them
  5. The intended reader of this book Pure Teens: Honoring God, Relationships, and Sex - 6:13
  6. The purpose of the Sexual Integrity Workouts at the end of each chapter - 10:55
  7. Steps a teenager can take to create a battle plan to stay porn free - 11:40
  8. How a pastor can struggle with porn - 16:00
  9. His three-day intensives for pastors and their spouses - 17:50
  10. The follow-up that is provided - 21:30

Contact Info

 John's email is John@restoringheartscounseling.com

Resources

His book Pure Teens, Honoring God, Relationships, and Sex
He also recommended The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for listening to this episode of Coaching Christian Leaders.
Please subscribe to Coaching Christian Leaders and never miss an episode. You can subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcheriHeartRadio, and most any podcast app. Also, visit our Facebook Page and leave a review there or join the conversation. 
Finally, join the Coaching Christian Leaders team. You can do so by clicking HERE.  I send an email to all team members when a new episode is released. This email includes the show notes and Member Only Resources. I will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out this episode!