Podcast 008 – Seven Ways to Handle Stress

Practical conversations to turn the dreams for your organization or yourself into a reality! This week we are discussing The 7 Ways to Handle Stress:

Episode Breakdown
Remember to Pray – 1:44
Have an Attitude of Gratitude – 4:28
Keep Safe Outside Voices – 8:36
Have a Healthy Team – 12:25
Be Organized – 17:04
Have Distraction Free Family Time – 21:24
HAVE FUN – 24:58

Check out the Living Beyond the Dream Podcast on other platforms: ***Spotify
***iTunes

Thanks for watching! Make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram! @michaelscarlton /// @iamtylerlong

Podcast 006 – Start With the Why

“Living Beyond the Dream Podcast” – Practical conversations to turn the dreams for your organization or yourself into a reality! In this week’s podcast, we are discussing the importance of starting with the why in your organization!

Podcast Questions and Times:
Why is your “WHY” so important? – 0:50
How did you come up with your “why” for Bloom Church? – 2:10
How do you get your team to buy into your “why”? – 3:45
How do you consistently communicate the “why” externally? – 8:30
How has making the “why” a primary focus at Bloom affected your volunteer base? – 13:15
If you have been communicating the “what” more than the “why” how do you turn the ship around? – 20:25

Check out the Living Beyond the Dream Podcast on other platforms: ***Spotify
***iTunes

Podcast 004 – Change Happens One Degree at a Time


Practical conversations to turn the dreams for your organization or yourself into a reality! This week we are discussing how changes in your organization happen 1 degree at a time!

Podcast Questions and Times:
Why is the word “change” scary? – 1:08
Change becomes the new normal – 2:20
What is important to understand about change? – 3:10
How do you decide what needs to change first? – 4:45
How do you avoid internal push back when introducing change? – 6:28 Avoiding external push back when introducing change – 7:36
How do you overcome the fear of making a change? – 10:46
The only constant in a healthy organization is change – 13:35

Check out the Living Beyond the Dream Podcast on other platforms: ***Spotify
***iTunes

MARRIED TO THE VISION

As a leader God has placed a vision in your heart that is unique to you personally, to your church, and a vision that is effective to reach your community.  That vision is the “WHY” that drives your organization.  It is the reason why people get out of their beds early to serve, why they give to their church, and why they tell their friends and family about the church they love so much.  They understand what their church is uniquely about and not only that but they have personally experienced it!

Vision is like the gas in the engine of your organization.  Yes you have the tangible elements of the mission, systems, staff, and structure, but none of those things are going to get you very far without the fuel that is the vision.  The reality is people do not rally around service times, they do not rally around buildings, and sadly they rarely rally around the directions of the writers of the Bible.  But they do rally around a vision that takes those things and clearly explains why we do what we do and how that impacts real people in our communities.  That is the vision that God has placed in your heart as the leader.  That is the fuel to get the engine of your organization running and to keep it going.  That is the “WHY” that people rally behind and sacrifice for.

Unfortunately most leaders over time forget the importance of their mission and start focusing more and more on the engine and less and less on the fuel.  They allow modifications to take place that have nothing to do with where they are going and allow outside hands to tweak the organization in ways that suite them personally, but doesn’t benefit the organization moving forward.  The greatest understanding a leader must have is this.  We are married to the vision God has given our church and we never cheat on that vision under any circumstances! Too many leaders are unfaithful to their vision and that single thing is what is killing their organization more than anything else.  They are creating a culture of infidelity when it comes to the vision of their church where anything goes. If we know anything it is that an affair strains a relationship more than anything else because it rocks trust to its core and without trust people will not sacrifice in ways that an organization needs for it to succeed.

Now as leaders we don’t cheat on the vision intentionally, but what happens is we start to focus more on the tangibles of our present and less on what we are building and where are we going.  So we start letting things like money dictate our decisions, talent run the show, and strong personalities have a deciding opinion even though it is contrary to our vision.  We are scared that if we say “no” that they will dismantle our engine and leave us broke down on the side of the road. What we don’t realize is we are already broke down because we have no fuel we are just distracted by all their modifications that are just a false sense of progress.

So where do we go from here so that we can be 100% committed to the vision God has given us?  Here are three things to help us move forward:

1. Physically write out your vision.

You have to clearly state why you do what you do.  How can you stay faithful to something you don’t even know what that something is?  Gray areas are organizational killers! We must simplify and clarify what we are about as an organization. Before you do anything else block out time in your schedule to figure out your vision!  You can also read my post here to help you clarify your vision.

2. Physically write out your “HOW”.

Now that you know your vision you need to figure out “HOW” you are going to achieve that vision.  This needs to be what your organization does and you need to keep it simple.  No more than 4 or 5 things.  A healthy church cannot be a ministry buffet and have more events going on than the event center  in your city.  You have to write out only what you are about, how you will achieve that, and build from there.  Maybe start extremely small and grow from there.  Like we are only going to focus on our Sunday service for the next 6 months until that is solid and then add the next step.  But simplifying your “HOW” keeps the vision clear and your people unified.

3. Your vision becomes your litmus test.

Everything is ran under the filter of your vision.  Every idea, every ministry, every opportunity, every lead team member, every staff member, etc…. If it doesn’t marry seamlessly with your vision then it is a no go.  That sounds harsh, but unnecessary modifications just mess up your gas mileage and keep you from going the distance that you were created to go!

4. Be willing to lose people.

You will lose people when you say no! Brace yourself and expect it, but you are losing people that are not helping but hurting the organization.  We as leaders have to be ok with losing a few to gain many.  The reality is that the people you lose need to find a church with a vision that they can rally around just as much as you need people to rally around your vision.  In losing people you are actually benefiting them and yourself because a healthy organization is not a forced relationship.  When we lose people that are not sold out our vision the mood rises, the growth starts happening, and the momentum takes off!

I would love to hear your thoughts below…. What are the biggest compromises that hurt your organizations vision?

3 Questions to discover your Vision

MP3 Version at the bottom

I get asked by many pastors and leaders a lot the “HOW” question.  How are you growing? How do you get more people to attend your church? How do you grow your client base? How do you grow your organization?

With Leaders we are obsessed with the “HOW” because we want that next level, we want that growth, we want that expansion, but that CANNOT be our first question we ask!

The first question that has to be answered is the “WHY”.  Why do you do what you do? What is going to separate you from every other organization? What is your vision? What does this look like?

You cannot just have a blanket statement or a generic answer like “Well I am called to pastor a Church”. Ok that is great, but what does that Church look like? Having a generic answer without being able to answer the why is like someone saying they want to be a writer.  Thats great but what are you going to write about?  Are you going to write biographies, teaching materials, or romance novels?  Are you going to write books or blog posts?

You have to get more specific with your calling.  There is so much uniqueness with people and you have the ability to impact those people that will connect with your heart, but first you have to ask the “WHY” question because that’s your Vision.

3 Questions that help you discover your Vision

1. What am I just naturally good at?

Ask yourself what are you or what is your organization just naturally good at? Now this question is not answered by what you think you should be good at?  See many times we find ourselves playing the clone game where we look at other organizations and try to be carbon copies.  It doesn’t work that way.

So ask yourself what are we gifted at? Where are we excellent or heading that way?

2. What am I passionate about?

You have to enjoy what you are doing or you’re wasting what is already precious time in a very short life.  Do NOT pursue something because it is a good idea, but pursue something because you’re passionate about it!  Good ideas will never fulfill you and they will never give you the resolve to be successful.  John Maxwell said perfectly “Passion provides the fuel in a person’s life to keep them going!”.  If you are not passionate about something you will burn out and quit!

3. What will work?

Now I know you may think that is the million dollar answer, but you should know the demographic or market well enough that you can see where the needs are not currently being met.  If you don’t have that understanding you have not put in the due diligence to succeed because success takes a TON OF WORK. Understand the people you are trying to reach and see where their needs are not being met and thats how you reach a group of people who are not currently getting their needs mets.

When these three answers come together it is like magic.  That is the vision!

Like the Bible says “Without vision the people will perish” or as other translations say “run wild”.  If you do not answer the “WHY” your organization will run away from you and you will be left picking up the pieces.

You MUST answer the “WHY” before the “HOW”!

Overwhelming Vision!

 “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Ephesians 3:12

This scriptures speaks so much power and truth into our lives.  Yes because of what Christ has done for us we are able to have a restored relationship with God, but if we do not have faith in Jesus that we can step boldly into Gods presence then we will sell our self short.

I read a quote by Steven Furtick that has really been running through my head he said “The size of your vision isnt determined by who God is it will be determined by who you believe God is- and whether you have the courage to respond accordingly”

God is God and nothing we can say or do will change how glorious he is, but God will not force himself on you.  He will not force his dreams, his plans, and his will on your life.  He will stir your spirit, but you have have to boldly through faith walk into the presence of God and take hold of the vision he has for you.

Be overwhelmed by the plans God has for you, but don’t stop there.  Walk in your dreams and unlock your God given destiny!