Archives For Equip

I have long heard that public speaking is ranked as one of people’s greatest fears-usually higher than their fear of death. Recently, I became aware that many people share a common fear of certain technology as well — the fear that they’ll never get it. Oddly enough, two of those great fears converge in our modern setting for public speaking and PowerPoint (or any other presentation software).

Unfortunately, many presenters and audiences share that same fear of the dreaded PowerPoint. Some presenters don’t even know where to start when it comes to PowerPoint. Some audiences fear Death by PowerPoint.

Frits Ahlefeldt death-by-presentation

I have been speaking with and without software for over thirty years. I’d like to offer some encouragement and suggest a few simple, but powerful, principles to save your next presentation.

Can We Talk?

Allow me to slip into motivational mode for a bit. Often our fear is based on the unknown or the worst possible outcome. It may help to realize that most of our fears are much worse than the reality could EVER be. I heard a great acronym that can help take the teeth out of fear. F E A R = False Evidence Appearing Real.

Sometimes we allow fears to paralyze us into inaction. Some fears in our life are good. They keep us from doing foolish or dangerous things. Other times fear keeps us from the success and effectiveness that we were destined and designed for.

The other major cause of fear is the unknown. We don’t fully know or understand something, so we’re unsure and unskilled. Learning new concepts and new skills can be solid ways to “punch fear in the face” (as Jon Acuff would encourage us to do). To overcome the fear of the unknown, sometimes learning new skills is all we need.

Overcome Your Fear of Technology

One of the reasons that Bill Gates and Microsoft are as wealthy as they are is that they have created a product that is generally intuitive and relatively easy to use. I realize some readers will laugh hysterically at that while other readers will find great comfort in those words. Continue Reading…

Draw Closer to God in 2018

December 27, 2017

“let us draw near to God 
with a sincere heart and 
with the full assurance that faith brings”

Hebrews 10:22

Invest 28 Days to Develop Confidence and Consistency In Your Personal Prayer Life

Time_with_God_Cover_for_Kindle from siteTime with God is a 28-day journey designed to draw us closer to God by

  • Focusing on the nature and character of God
  • Praying with the Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication pattern
  • Praying the Scriptures
  • Praying our own personal prayers.

Time with God is written for people who love God and long to spend time with him but need help.

New Year SPECIAL

Free eBook Downloads and Discounted Print Bundle

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Complete the form below to receive the eBook or printable pdf version of Time with God and the Encourage and Equip Monthly Newsletter with inspiration and resources to help grow closer to God in 2018.

 

Free eBook Downloads

 

Discounted Bundle:

Autographed Book Bundle including:

1 Personally Autographed Time with God Paperback Book

Time with God Bookmark to keep your place

1 4-Page Personal Prayer Helps Folder to keep in the book or in your Bible

1 Downloadable eBook version for your Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or PDF reader

ONLY $15.00 INCLUDING STANDARD SHIPPING

Why I wrote the book!

Time_with_God_Cover_for_Kindle from sitePersonally, I have often found it helpful to have a variety of resources available to help me stay focused during prayer. I share this not because I am a spiritual giant. Rather, I often find it such a struggle to stay focused in prayer that I have had to discover or develop tools to help.

I have found three resources, or methods, immensely helpful in developing confidence and consistency in my own prayer life. In this book, I weave all three of those methods together for a powerful combination.

At the heart of Time with God, is a desire to help develop the habit of communicating with God in practical and powerful ways. Practical, because I will balance four different aspects of prayer. Powerful, because we will use God’s Word as the basis for many of our prayers.

This book is filled with Scripture verses translated from the original languages that have been reworded into prayers. They are chosen to help us nurture and develop our focus on God and our love for him. As you get more comfortable with the concept, it will revolutionize the way you read the Bible on your own.

Here are just two sample prayers:

Adoration
Your unfailing love is better than life itself; my lips will praise you! So, I will bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in your name.
—Modified from Psalm 63:3

Confession
Please forgive me for not allowing your love to flow through me. So often, I am not patient or kind. Forgive me for times when I envy, or brag, or am proud and seek my own way instead of what’s better for others.
—Modified from 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

What Do You Think?

December 1, 2017

Can I ask for your help?

Yes! I really do want to know what you think.

If you attend a church at all, I’d really appreciate hearing your thoughts and experiences. That means if you lead in, serve in, or even just show up occasionally to a local church, your thoughts and experiences could be a tremendous help to me and others working hard to help people love God and love people.

Please just click on the image or the link below.

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D652QCZ

What To Expect

Nothing to buy! No political banter. No new scandals. No promises to make the next year AMAZING!!!!

Depending on your answer to the first question, you will see a page with 3 or 11 questions. Typically, people can reply to all the questions in under 3 minutes. Some people choose to share a little more in depth, but that is completely optional.

You can remain completely anonymous unless you would like to be informed as the project develops.

You will not need a #2 pencil and you can leave your books open during the survey but please close the browser tab with the cute kitten videos. I don’t think any survey can compete with kittens.

Thank you so much for your help. Please feel free to share this with your church friends and family. I have over 450 responses so far. 1,000 would be awesome and extremely helpful. 10,000 would be even more bettererererer.

Thank you!

Image Credit: Changered DepositPhoto.com ID: 37320541

 

 

If you’ve ever worked or volunteered much at a church, you know there are many aspects of ministry to balance.  It can be overwhelming and balls can get dropped.

There are four major components to my personal philosophy of ministry.  There will be aspects of ministry that may not be included here, however, the following helps me organize my thoughts and efforts.

 

Image credit: 6kor3dos DepositPhoto.com/11826108

 

Focus

Based on John 10:10, as well as ministry and life experiences, I am convinced that in any Christian endeavor two supernatural beings are always at work. God is at work to promote life and our enemy is at work to thwart life and growth and sabotage spiritual progress. Therefore, we need to actively choose to focus our attention on what God is doing in any given situation rather than on what Satan is doing. I am firmly convinced that our attitudes in life are greatly controlled by the one on whom we set our focus. That is the one we actually serve. Therefore, my personal philosophy of ministry is to first maintain my own focus on what God and what he is doing and then to help others stay focused upon God and be an asset to what He’s doing in their lives.

Feed

In the practical outworking of the above principle, I see God entrusting a flock to a pastor’s or teacher’s care with the expectation of their being returned to Him having been well fed, strengthened and protected. Col 1:27-29 speaks of bringing the flock to maturity for God in Christ’s strength. Eph 4:11-16 paints a picture of believers being equipped for works of service so that the body would be a built up, unified, mature, loving and growing organism. I believe these goals are best achieved by sound biblical instruction given in an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion.  Efforts will likely include:

  • Opportunities for people to evaluate where they are in their walk with God along with suggestions and resources to grow during the upcoming season.
  • Expository preaching of Bible books and occasional topical, yet expository, messages.
  • Relevant and engaging teaching during Sunday School/Adult Bible Fellowship or other opportunities (seminars, webinars, workshops, conferences, etc.)
  • Small Groups that help people discover God’s word and his people in a deeper way.
  • Specialized small groups designed to offer a forum for the questioning and a support for the struggling.
  • Well-planned prayer meetings would also help maintain focus in, and excitement about how God is working in and through the various ministries of the church.

Find

The choice of the word “find” for ministry to unbelievers is deeply rooted in my philosophy of evangelism. I often view the evangelist as a kind of spiritual midwife. We are not the parent, but we are there to aid in the birthing process. The relationship of the pre-natal child and the parent has long been established and the midwife would not think of doing anything to hinder that relationship. Therefore, rather than striving for a decision or to manufacture spiritual sensitivities, prayerful efforts should be made to discern those in whom God is already working and seek to be an asset in that process.

We need to teach evangelism as a lifestyle proving ourselves good stewards of God’s grace. Teaching on evangelism should be careful to equip the experienced without overwhelming the novice. Telling people about God’s involvement in our lives should be a natural outflow of a child in love with her Father.  We must also reinforce the truth that we are in partnership with God and not resemble a multi-level-marketing strategy.

While many choose to focus their efforts on the saved or the unsaved, I am greatly indebted to training from Child Evangelism Fellowship who taught that you may never really know where your audience is spiritually. Therefore, each Bible teaching should include a point of application for the saved and a point of application for the unsaved.

Family

I am thoroughly convinced of the communal nature of the Body of Christ.  Not only does God save us, he also adopts as children into his family where we can be encouraged, nurtured, and developed to maturity.  The sheer volume of “one-another” passages in the Bible clearly show that Christian fellowship is not just a nice fringe benefit but an essential dynamic of God’s plan.

Hebrews 10:19-25 also show how this should be a key component of our regular gatherings.  I am concerned that this could be a missing ingredient in many churches in our day.  Beyond the obvious reason of meeting to worship God, the author of Hebrews helps us to realize one of the purposes of meeting together is to encourage one another.  We are to follow Jesus’ example and come together to serve rather than be served.  Interestingly, if everyone comes together with that mindset each member will leave having served and having been served as well.

“Let us encourage one another” is not just an empty or fluff command.  Webster defines encouragement as “to impart courage.”  Then defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, and difficulty.”  This is exactly the spirit the author is trying to instill in his readers.  As we encourage each other, we are to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  I can’t help but wonder what God could do in our world through bands of believers who regularly leave our gatherings encouraged by the body and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Get Your Message Heard

October 18, 2017

A few years ago, I felt a stirring deep within that God was getting me ready for something new.

Change isn’t always easy.  Overcoming fear or procrastination can make Goliath seem like a cub scout.  But like the expression goes, sometimes it’s “Change or Die!”

Image copyright: iqoncept DepositPhoto.com ID: 5078752

I wasn’t quite sure what it would look like and where He would lead but it was clear that something new was coming.  I knew that God had given me a message to share.  Somehow, I had a sense that it would include writing and maybe speaking.

Over the next couple of years, I spent a lot of time seeking God and learning new skills.  In many ways, I am still learning and still on that journey.  Let me share some of the people and resources that have helped me tremendously.

Writing

I attended a workshop with John C. Maxwell and Michael Hyatt about Continue Reading…

Read the Bible? Me?

April 27, 2017

You might ask, how does someone go from not reading any kind of book for six years and then start reading the Bible? Allow me to share my story.

Continue Reading...

Have you ever sat in a conference listening to a speaker and thought to yourself, albeit humbly, “I could do that… and probably even better.”? But, there you sit in the audience while someone else was picked to speak.

I have been on stage since high school as an entertainer, a trainer, and currently, a pastor. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to consider speaking at conferences. I have much to learn, but fortunately, I now have expert help in my corner.

Photo by kasto. DepositPhotos Image ID:48763103

Photo by kasto. DepositPhotos Image ID: 48763103

Maybe you’re a church leader who teaches regularly, a business person who gives in-house presentations often, or a writer longing to promote your works. Since you’re reading this, chances are you have something to offer and you long to spread your influence beyond your own organization.

If speaking at conferences is your goal, you need to develop a speaker proposal that will make you stand out from the crowd. Continue Reading…

A lot of people find spending time in prayer particularly challenging. They carve out some time. They muster up all their self-discipline and courage, get on their knees, and then say, “OK, what do I do now?!”

Personally, I have often found it helpful to have a variety of resources available to help me stay focused during prayer. I share this not because I am a spiritual giant. Rather, I often find it such a struggle to stay focused in prayer that I have had to discover or develop tools to help.

I have found three resources, or methods, immensely helpful in developing confidence and consistency in my own prayer life. In this book. I weave all three of those methods together for a powerful combination in Time with God: Develop Confidence and Consistency in Your Personal Prayer Life.

This book is designed to serve as a resource to help us grow closer to God and to build confidence and consistency in our personal prayer lives. Primarily, we need to remember that prayer is simply spending time with God. Unfortunately, we can complicate it so much that we get confused, insecure, bored, or distracted. Continue Reading…

The Supreme Court delivered another major decision today. Some of my friends will be Partying like it’s 1999 and other friends will be thinking “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”. What an opportunity to Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Matt Wade's Picture of the U.S. Supreme Court

By UpstateNYer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • To those who are celebrating, may you enjoy your new freedom to move around the country and the rights that accompany it. Please be patient with those who will be processing what this will mean in the long term. I’ve seen people in both camps voice concerns over the impact.
  • To those who mourn today, my other friends, who are wondering how this decision will affect your ministries or churches, can I share a few thoughts?

Continue Reading…

Help for Writers

December 16, 2014

Although, I have much to learn, I’d like to share with you some of the influences that have helped me tremendously in my own writing and I’m sure will be a great help to you wherever you may be in your own development as a writer.  I especially wanted to let you know about an online course that is currently accepting new students.

Photo:  Leszekglasner Deposit Photos 18383043

Photo: Leszekglasner Deposit Photos 18383043

About a year ago, I began sensing that God was leading me in a new direction. I wasn’t sure what that direction would look like or where He would lead, but I stepped out in faith. As some time passed, I began to realize that writing would somehow play a part in that future direction.

I had developed a particularly meaningful and well-received sermon over the years and thought that might form the basis for a book. The thought was equally exciting and terrifying! As I started to develop the thought, I realized that although I had written some articles over the years, I had never entertained the thought of actually writing a book! After all, just reading a book took some effort for me. (I remember John Trent one time remarking that “I’ve written more books than I’ve read.”)

So, I knew nothing at all about writing a book, I set out to learn as much as I could. Continue Reading…