New Course: The Folk Hymn Guitar Method by Blayne Chastain

Friends,

If you want to improve your guitar chops and master some old hymns at the same time, this course is for you!  I love Blayne and he is a great music leader/teacher.  This is an online course for a great price!

He teaches his favorite chord shapes, fingerpick/strum patters and “riffs” to help play & sing songs like “Amazing Grace” “Be Thou My Vision” “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”  “Fairest Lord Jesus” “For the Beauty of the Earth” and more… BTW He does a great job with up-close video angles to help grasp and master the licks. Check it out!

Click here to visit his site…Screenshot 2018-05-15 22.29.00.png

Happy playing!
Scott

Check it out! MAST. (Monday after Sunday Team)

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Podcast interview – scroll to bottom to hear the interview

Last week I had the opportunity to join the MAST. team in their studio in Longmont, CO to record a podcast about Spiritual Freedom in leadership!  14 years ago I helped co-found Grace Church in Fort Collins, CO.  I remember someone saying that church planting is a lot like building a 747 mid-flight.  That is true. It is putting the pieces together in reality … not in a lab.  It has its joys but also fears.  There is the possibility of great success and failure.  But for many of us, with all that soul care, there is not a great deal of self-care.   With all the strategy, people and projects, we pastors, find ourselves physically and spiritually exhausted.  Our spouses exhausted. Our children on the back burner.

It is hard to know spiritual freedom in our leadership.  It is hard to be transparent.  It’s a challenge to reveal our needs.  It is a challenge to do self-care while serving so many people every week.  And so, many times, Mondays come around and pastors are depleted. They need to be reenergized. Refilled.  That is what Mast. is all about!

Now, there are lots of resources out there.  And I am excited to have this resource that Michael Behmer (owner and founder of Aspen Christian Counseling in Colorado) has created for soul care professionals.   MAST.   MAST. is an audio journal, written, recorded, produced and delivered monthly to subscribers working in ministry, missions and various forms of soul care. 

Every month since the first of the year I’ve gotten an email from MAST. letting me know there’s an new journal, full of entirely new content, available for me to listen, read, take from, and repurpose as I see fit.  It is fantastic.

Here are a few Issues to check out:

You can subscribe today  www.mastjournal/com/get-started

4 Liberating Truths…

There is not a week that goes by, in my life, that’s not marked by a struggle with control, fear, empty joy, and trying to prove myself to others. This week I was reading from the book Everyday Church and was encouraged by these following liberating truths set out by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

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FOUR LIBERATING TRUTHS… (pg 75)

Excerpt from Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission

By Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

The following four liberating truths about God (“ four Gs”) target nearly all our sinful behavior and negative emotions.

1) God is great, so we do not have to be in control. We often want to be in control, so we dominate, manipulate, or overwork people. Or we fear things being out of control, so we worry. But God is sovereign. He is in control. Things may not always go the way we want, but God is in control, and he uses everything that happens to us for our good.

2) God is glorious, so we do not have to fear others. We often sin because we crave the approval of other people or fear their rejection. The Bible calls this the “fear of man” (Prov. 29: 25). We live to please other people, or we are controlled by peer pressure. The Bible’s answer is the fear of God. God is the glorious one whom we should fear. He is the one whose approval matters most, and he is the one whose approval we have in Jesus Christ.

3) God is good, so we do not have to look elsewhere. Sin often leads to pleasure, but its pleasures are empty and temporary. Only God brings true and lasting joy. The pleasures of sin are quick and immediate. So we need faith to turn to God for lasting joy.

4) God is gracious, so we do not have to prove ourselves. Many people act out of a desire to prove themselves. On the surface they may look impressive because they achieve many things or live good lives, but when things go well they are proud, and when things go badly they are crushed. They may look down on others because this makes them feel better about themselves or become bitter when their hard work is not rewarded in the way they want. It is also this desire that makes us determined to win an argument. The good news is that, while we can never justify ourselves before God, God has justified us through Jesus Christ. Jesus has done it all, so we have nothing left to prove.

 

 

THE WAY OF THE ESSENTIALIST

“The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials, and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.

The way of the Essentialist is the path to being in control of our own choices. It is a path to new levels of success and meaning. It is the path on which we enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Despite all these benefits, however, there are too many forces conspiring to keep us from applying the disciplined pursuit of less but better, which may be why so many end up on the misdirected path of the Nonessentialist.”

McKeown, Greg. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (p. 7). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Who are leaders?

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Dan Allender gives a great definition of a leader in his book Leading with a Limp.

“A leader is anyone who has someone following her. If anyone looks to you for wisdom, counsel, or direction, then you are a leader. If there is one little girl who looks at you and says, “Mommy,” then you are a leader. If there are fourteen high-energy boys holding aluminum weapons and screaming that they want to be first to hit the ball that rests on a rubber T-ball frame, then you are a leader.

It takes only one child grabbing your finger with a small, sometimes-trembling hand to signify that you are a leader. And from your child’s birth to the day you pass from this earth, you will continue to make life-shaping decisions as a parent. And of course it’s not just parents who lead with such power and influence. Anyone who wrestles with an uncertain future on behalf of others— anyone who uses her gifts, talents, and skills to influence the direction of others for the greater good— is a leader.

No one is a mere follower. If you are a follower of God, for instance, then you are called to lead. Every believer is called to help someone grow into maturity— and such is the core calling of a leader.”

Check out his book 

 

 

 

Grace Changes Everything

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A passage from Forgotten among the Lilies by Ronald Rolheiser (quoted in Common Prayer) :

“If the Catholicism that I was raised in had fault, and it did, it was precisely that it did not allow for mistakes.  It demanded that you get it right the first time.  There was suppose to be no need for a second chance.

If you made a mistake, you lived with it and, like the rich young man, were doomed to be sad, at least for the rest of your life.  A serious mistake was a permanent stigmatization, a mark that you wore like Cain.

I have seen that mark on all kinds of people: divorcees, ex-priests, ex-religious, people who have had abortions, married people who had affairs, people who have had children outside of marriage, parents who have made serious mistakes.  There is too little around to help them.

We need a theology of brokenness.  We need a theology which teaches us that even though we cannot unscramble an egg, God’s grace lets us live happily and with renewed innocence far beyond any egg we may have scrambled.  We need a theology that teaches us that God does not just give us one chance, but that every time we close a door, he opens on for us.”

Eight significant “Time-Drainers” for leaders!

Originally posted by Thom Rainer

“The greatest gift you could give me is more time.”

The statement was made half jokingly by a pastor. Of course, he didn’t think I could create days with more than 24-hours. But he was busy, overcommitted, and worn out.

He is not alone.

What if I told you I could help you get 10 or more hours of your week back? That’s like having an extra three weeks a year. In order to make this quest a reality, let’s look at some of the greatest time drainers of pastors and staff, with suggestions about improving each of them.

  1. Regularly scheduled meetings. How many hours do you spend each month in meetings you feel obligated to attend? Probably a lot. Solution: Ruthlessly evaluate all of your mandatory meetings. You can probably eliminate two or more. And never add a regularly scheduled meeting without eliminating another.
  2. Add-on meetings. “Pastor, can we get together this week to talk about something?” How many times have you received similar requests? Think of the time expended scheduling the meeting, going to the meeting and, possibly, following up on the meeting. Solution: Say no. Tell the person you will talk about it right then. The conversation will likely be shorter than five minutes.
  3. Non-productive meetings. Have you ever ended a meeting thinking it was a total waste of time? Or perhaps most of the meeting was a waste of time. Solution: Never go into a meeting without a clear and specific agenda. Also, have a definitive ending time. Don’t go one minute beyond that time.
  4. Telephone calls. Many of you are constantly answering the phone. You get started on one project, only to be interrupted. Solution: Get a second phone number to share with church members. There are some services and apps that offer a free number. I use Google Voice. Any call to Google Voice goes to voicemail, where I decide later how I will handle the call.
  5. Social media complexity. Some of you pastors and staff are constantly interacting with church members on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of time spent on this task is 10 to 15 hours week. Solution: Stop it! You have no obligation to respond on social media. Get rid of the guilt trip and get your time back.
  6. Old school secretaries. The world of support staff has changed dramatically. If you have a secretary who is still in the 1990s or 2000s, you are wasting a lot of time. That secretary provides you no efficiencies. Solution: Get a productive assistant. If your church cannot afford one, check into a virtual assistant. I personally like EAHelp. I will expand on this issue in my next post.
  7. Time in the car. Depending on your hospital visits or commute, you could spend a lot of time in your car. Solution: If possible, select a specific day to do hospital visits, so that you are not interrupting your other days continuously. Also, make the most use of your time in your auto. I love Audible books by Amazon. For less than $10, I choose a new book every month. My learning curve has gone up yet again!
  8. Counseling. I know one pastor who counsels over 20 hours a week. Needless to say, he is burning out as he counsels and carries out other responsibilities. Solution: Most of you pastors and staff are neither trained nor equipped to do counseling. Stop it and refer requests to those who can do the ministry better. Limit your counseling to one-time sessions and to times for spiritual counseling.

Time is a gift from God. It is not to be wasted or abused. Go through these eight items again. Do you see some areas where you can gain back time? Are there some other insights you can provide us?

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