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First Impressions

First impressions

Ushers and greeters are your church’s first impression.

I’m sure you have all heard the saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression. It is true in your personal life, and it is true in your church.   An area of serving that is often overlooked in churches is that of Usher.  Not everyone can be an usher. Just as not everyone can be a worship leader, work in child care, repair the building, or preach the sermon. We each have our unique God given gifts, and that includes people who are wired to be good ushers. I love how well Dan Reiland outlines the importance and “how to’s” of the usher ministry in the article below.

“Your Usher Ministry”

by Dan Reiland

One of my favorite ministries to lead is the usher team. Their role is so important, but often undervalued, undertrained, and less than organized.

The ushers are a huge force in setting the tone for worship and helping to prepare the people to hear and respond to the Word of God.

I’m pulling a portion of the training notes for our usher team and adapting for this article. If you would like the full usher training manual (free) CLICK HERE!

An usher is a spiritual ambassador for the local church – God’s ordained and organized body of believers. The usher serves as a “first representative” of Jesus Christ for a worship service. Though we thoroughly enjoy the creative edge of our worship services, make no mistake, this is a holy event where God is meeting with His people.

From the tabernacle in the Old Testament to the temple and synagogue in the New Testament, God’s presence and the teaching of His word is of supreme importance.

Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Mark 1:21-22

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. John 8:2

Who Can Serve as an Usher?

Not just anyone can be an usher. In the same way that not just anyone can sing in the choir, work in children’s ministry or lead a small group. The right gifts, passion, and ability make a big difference.

As you recruit new ushers keep spiritual qualities, characteristics and usher responsibilities in mind. Please make sure you work in coordination with your section leader or a service leader rather than practicing “random recruiting.”

The fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 is a solid guideline for a good usher. This is not about perfection, but a heartfelt motive and desire to live a life of a spirit-filled believer.

Qualifications of an Usher

• You understand the vital role of the usher ministry.

• You enjoy and care about people.

• You possess a servant heart.

• You are committed to the vision of “your church name.”

• You are supportive of the leadership at “your church name.”

Responsibilities of an Usher

1. Committed leadership

• Prepare yourself spiritually.

A good usher comes prepared mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This is not to be seen as a duty, but a privilege to connect with God as part of your preparation. Don’t feel like this requires an hour of Bible study before you show up. God is far more interested in the commitment of your heart than the amount of your time. Take a few moments at home to connect with God and ask Him to use you as a representative of His love and an agent of His redemptive plan.

• Take initiative!

This is huge. The cardinal sin of an usher is to not pay attention. At all times watch what is going on in your section and jump in to handle it. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask your section leader. The only wrong choice is to do nothing. Never assume “someone” else is taking care of the need. Pay attention, take initiative, and make it happen!!

• Absorb the pressure of the moment, don’t transfer it.

Most of the ministry of an usher is pure joy. Seriously, it’s a lot of fun. But on occasion there are moments of pressure when someone is upset or something isn’t working right. In these moments never transfer the pressure to the person entering into their worship experience. You are the leader. You absorb the pressure. Get help if you need it, but never make the issue their problem. You help deliver a solution.

• Own your section, lead your section, shepherd your section.

This is exciting. In an average environment with average ushers, once the seats are filled the ushers relax and mentally check out. As a leader you are empowered to take ownership of the area of seats you serve in and give leadership where needed. Think of your area like you are responsible to do everything in your power to ensure that all those people have the best opportunity possible to connect with and hear from God. You can shepherd the people by getting to know them, praying for them, learning their names, and meeting appropriate needs.

• Follow the direction of your head usher.

All good leaders are good followers. It is important that you follow the leadership of the person responsible to lead you. Be supportive and encouraging. Offer suggestions if you have good ideas, but don’t be overly sensitive if your ideas aren’t used. Your head usher will do his or her best to serve and lead you and the rest of their team well.

2. Core tasks

In each of these areas you will receive practical hands-on training.

• Help people find a seat.

This seems obvious, but there is an art to it. The art is all about making people, especially new people and people far from God, feel comfortable. Their insecurities can rise and their feelings of self-consciousness prevent them from connecting with God.

Imagine what it feels like to walk into an unfamiliar restaurant or other environment and not know what to do. Do I seat myself or do I wait to be seated? Who do I talk to if I have a question? Who do I tell if I have special circumstances? (e.g. potential medical condition)

Your job is to move toward and engage people quickly and with confidence to help them know what to do. Don’t leave people hanging. Let them know that you can handle anything they need, and that you are the one that can make this a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Don’t make them come to you and ask. You approach them with confidence and a smile. Take charge with grace and poise.

• Collect the offering.

On a divine level, the offering is part of worship. It is the opportunity for worshippers to express their love, trust and obedience toward God. On a practical level, the financial needs of a large church are significant. Your smooth and coordinated execution of an offering can and does impact the resources that fund the Kingdom. On a security level, this is one of the most detailed functions of an usher.

You will be trained in the actual physical process for receiving an offering in a live session.

You will receive detailed training that will help us ensure compliance with legal guidelines and practical security issues.

• Assist in the execution of special moments.

Many churches are known for creativity in their worship services. From motorcycles to doughnuts, to tractors and bottles of coke, you just never know what may be coming down the aisles! Some of the special moments are fun, some are crazy, and some are deeply spiritual. Things like crossing a bridge, writing in journals, or taking communion. The service of an usher is crucial to these moments being leveraged toward life-change.

We are depending on your flexibility. Don’t get flustered when last minute changes are made. That will happen. Just keep positive, stay flexible and know that creativity is at work “making the magic” that makes all the difference.

• Get an accurate people count.

Why does this matter so much? Why must these numbers be so accurate? Why can’t we just make a good estimate? The answer is that every number represents a person. We want to be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us and therefore it matters that we know how well we are reaching people. Just like in the book of Acts, they counted, recorded, and celebrated how many people were saved . . . we count too!

• Re-set and clean up the auditorium.

People will leave papers, cups and “stuff”. The glamorous part of an usher’s ministry is cleaning up after each service. In addition, supplies such as Bibles and pens are replenished.

Remember, many hands make light work. If all ushers jump in and help, it takes about 10 minutes.

3. Common sense

• Maintain proper appearance and personal hygiene.

• Show up on time.

o Section leaders 40 minutes before the service. o Ushers 30 minutes before the service.

• Read the bulletin – get informed, stay informed.

• Wear your name tag.

• You are not required to usher every Sunday, but when you are on the schedule, give it 100%.

• If you are on the schedule and can’t make it, it is imperative that you call your section leader.

• Smile, talk to people, and learn their names!!

Yes, there’s more, and as mentioned, you can have the complete training booklet – CLICK HERE!

Happy Ushering!!


Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  – 1 Corinthians 12:20-25

My New book…HandShake

Handshake

Let your handshake reflect confidence

I am currently in the finishing stages for a new book titled Handshake: What the Great do that Others Don’t. As I stated, we are in the finishing stages, and plan to have the book completed early in January 2011. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing excerpts with you from the book, and I would love your feedback.

The book highlights different characteristics or choices associated with “the great” by examining the biographies of various highly successful people. Today’s excerpt is a glance into Chapter One and the reason why the book is titled Handshake. I sincerely look forward to your comments.

… After a few months of working with Brown’s Janitorial, my boss asked if I would be willing to work on a Saturday morning.  Needing the extra money, I said yes.  I met my boss at his home, and together we got in his truck and began to drive to a different location.  I had no idea where we were going until we pulled up to this large home and I asked him, “What are we doing here?”  He responded “This is Frank Colapinto’s house, and he hired us to help him move some items out of his garage today.”   Up to this point I hadn’t been thrilled about working on a Saturday, but knowing I was about to meet Frank Colapinto made it all worth it.

We got out of the truck, and Mr. Colapinto greeted us at the front of the garage.  He shook the hand of my boss and then looked to me.  He stuck out his hand, and I quickly responded by putting my hand out to greet him as well.  As we proceeded with the handshake he looked at me and said, “Frank Colapinto.”  I had never had anyone greet me by saying their first and last name, and I also have never heard anyone say their name with such confidence, self assurance and pride.  It was just a “Handshake” but it changed my life forever.

He showed us a few things that he wanted done and then he left to run some errands.  The man I had admired from a distance said only two words to me but I will never forget them.  Not necessarily what he said, but how he said it.  A few hours later, after we were done with the work, I remember driving in the truck and thinking to myself, “could this be it…could this be the reason for his success?”  Could it be that the only thing that separated Frank Colapinto from many others was confidence?  Can something that small make that big of a difference?  It was the only conclusion I could come up with, so I did it.  I decided right then that from now on, when people asked me my name or I was introducing myself to someone I would say with confidence, “Chris Sonksen.”

For some strange reason that handshake made me believe that greatness was possible for anyone who wanted it.  That it wasn’t reserved for the elite or the upper class, but that what separated the great from everyone else wasn’t necessarily talent or skill, but it was choice.  For Frank Colapinto it was the choice of confidence that he displayed and a belief in himself.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.”

Peter T. Mcintyre quotes

When it’s scary… don’t look down.

staying on Higher ground

Those on Higher Ground will make courageous decisions

Excerpt from: In search of Higher Ground

There are many lessons to be learned from individuals throughout history who have displayed great Courage. From the forefathers who founded this country as, “One nation under God,” they had Courage. To the many men and women in the armed forces who have given their lives for their country, they have had Courage. For the Firefighters and Police Officers who have given their lives to protect and serve others, they have had Courage. For entrepreneurs, dreamers, and  inventors who have shaped  our country’s free enterprise, they have had Courage. For the great leaders our nation has and have had in the past, they have had Courage.

Courage is a great thing! For anyone who has a personal Higher Ground, courage is not an option, it is a must. Whatever mountain you are climbing, whatever dream you are dreaming, Courage must be something that is placed in your backpack as you journey up to this place we have called Higher Ground. Courage is what causes you to blast through the obstacles and opposition you will face. Courage keeps you going when nothing else will. It is the antidote to your fear and the prescription to your insecurities. Your success in life will be marked by the amount of Courage you have. Without Courage this country does not have freedom. Without Courage this nation does not have peace. Without Courage, electricity would not have been discovered, cars would not be driven, and airplanes would be a word that would only be foreign to you and me. Without Courage television would not have been made, Disneyland would have never existed, companies would have never began, and a man would have never walked on the moon. Courage built our country and it will build your dreams and help you reach Higher Ground.

In my own life, Courage is what has kept me going when facing different obstacles and pressures. Many times fear grips my heart and uncertainty of the future causes me to doubt, but it is Courage that keeps me going. Courage at the very core is always the same. What I mean is that it does not matter who you are or what dream you are attempting to live out, there is a kind of Courage that is necessary for everyone. The kind of Courage I am speaking about is the same kind necessary to be the President of the United States in times of crisis. The same kind of Courage that an owner of a company must have when facing difficulty. The same kind of Courage necessary for you to reach your highest potential or for you to make a dream a reality. Let me break it down for you and show you how Courage is lived out for someone like you who is seeking Higher Ground.

As I have mentioned before, the church where I Pastor is in the middle of a building project. Anyone who has been part of any building project knows that there are several challenges that are faced each day. One of the greatest challenges is finances. A great deal of money is necessary to buy the land and to build. A church is a non-profit organization so raising funds can become very difficult. Finding lenders who will finance your project can become extremely difficult.

There have been many times that we have continued our journey even though we could not see the road in front of us. Hiring architects and engineers before we owned the land, because we knew that for various reasons we needed to move quickly. Moving forward with our permit process without having all the financing in place. The list goes on and on of various times in which the road was unclear, but we needed to move forward. That’s where Courage comes in. Courage to move forward even when things are a little unclear. Most people make the mistake of waiting until there is no risk involved before they proceed. They create the largest safety net possible and wait for all questions to be answered before continuing their journey up the mountain. I agree with President Lincoln when he said, “Good things come to those who wait, but only what’s left over by those who hustle.”

Every great leader, dreamer, inventor, founder or Higher Ground seeker has to have the courage to make the tough decisions. Sometimes we are blessed with the luxury of waiting, contemplating, and seeking advice. Other times the decision must be made immediately and you have to have the courage to make it. That is not an easy thing to do, because no one wants to be wrong. However, the reality in decision making is part of the process for anyone who is on the road to Higher Ground. It has been recorded that former President Eisenhower nearly blew it on D-Day because of his fear to make a tough decision immediately. Before his decision to react he was quoted as saying, “No matter what the weather looks like, we have to go ahead now. Waiting any longer could be even more dangerous. So let’s move it!” He proved himself a great leader when he made the toughest decision in his military career and he made it quickly.

Throughout my life there have been tough decisions that had to be made. Sometimes I was right but often I have been wrong. That’s part of decision making, you gather the information you can, seek the advice that’s available, and you make the decision with courage. I have found that the right decision can become wrong when it is made too late.

Edmund C. Lynch, the founding partner of Merrill Lynch, said, “If I made a decision fast, I was right 60% of the time. If I made a decision carefully, I’d be right 70% of the time, but it was always worth it.” You are not always going to be right. When you are wrong, admit it. Correct it if possible and move forward, but do not be afraid to make the next tough decisions that comes your way. T. Boone Pickens once said, “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready, aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome.’ You must be willing to fire.”

Years ago, I was put in one of those situations where I had to make a tough decision. The decision centered around the standards that need to be lived out by my staff and leaders. As I shared these guidelines with my staff and leaders, it was received well by most, however, there were one or two individuals who struggled with the guidelines. They met with me and shared their opinions, but I knew in my heart the decision I made was the right one. Looking back, I would have made the same decision, but I would have approached it differently. Unfortunately, one of the individuals left my leadership and the organization as a whole. I deeply regret this person’s decision because I care for them and enjoyed their contribution to the team. Tough decisions are part of being a leader and part of the journey toward Higher Ground. Bill Marriott Sr. expressed his view of decision making by saying, “Men grow making decisions and assuming the responsibilities for them.” Be willing to admit when you are wrong, but never lack the courage to make the tough decision.

David Mahoney said that the worst mistakes he ever made were because of the decisions he failed to make. In 1966 he was the head of Canada Dry. The stock was selling at a low price of $11 per share and with about 2.5 million shares outstanding, he could have bought the entire company for $30 million. About twenty years later, he would have been worth about $700 million.
The decisions a person seeking Higher Ground has to make will include:
• FINANCIAL,
• PERSONAL,
• STAFFING,
• VISION,
• MISSION,
• HIRING,
• FIRING,
• RISK TAKING,
…and the list goes on.

You gather the information possible, seek advice when available, but don’t be afraid to make the decision necessary. Courage to make the tough call will quickly mark you as a leader or follower, it will separate you from being a dreamer to being a doer, from a mountain observer to a mountain climber.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”
– Win Borden

Connecting with Visitors

receptionist on phone

Follow Through is Key in Connecting with Visitors

Statistics show that the majority (91% on average) of the first time visitors to your church will never return. There are many reasons for this…

  • not feeling welcome
  • uninteresting services
  • child care issues

One main reason is simply lack of follow through on our part.  I recently came accross this article at www.churchgrowthideas.com

Does Your Church Use Welcome or Visitor Cards?

September 24, 2009 by Bill · 1 Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized

Does your church use welcome cards or visitor cards for people new to your church? They can be a key tool to help you connect with new people in your church.

I have attended many different churches over the years and have found that not all churches use welcome cards or visitor cards. By welcome and visitor cards I mean the cards that allow a visitor to fill in their details if they want to know more, or if they want to be contacted.

The most basic of these cards, which are also the least imposing, ask for the visitors name, phone number and more recently e-mail address. Some of the more detailed cards can also ask for prayer requests, what information the person is interested in, marital / family status, address and more. My personal preference is a card that sits sort of in the middle, with all the details on the basic card, plus a section for prayer requests and possibly asking what sort of information the person wants to know. The additional information can always be found out later.

I reckon that a lot of the time the person who fills out a card is not a new visitor. They are often a person who has attended the church a few time, and now is ready to learn more and want to engage more with the church. Well, at least that’s how I have always used them.

Follow Up is Key

One of the keys to making the best use of your welcome and visitor cards is to follow up with the people who fill them out. If you don’t follow up on them then the cards are really not even worth the paper they are printed on…

A few months ago I attended a church with some friends. I filled in the visitor sheet because I wanted to learn more and they had the option to join the pastor for a pizza lunch. I had been following the pastor’s blog for a while and thought I would be really interested in learning more about the church and the pastor.

Unfortunately there was never any follow up from that church. I had to wonder if the lack of follow up happened often and how many people were never able to connect at that church and went searching elsewhere.

The visitor card or welcome card can be a key tool that you use to connect with people new to your church. If used incorrectly though it can isolate and actually push people away.

So, ask yourself this, “how well are we following up with visitors?”

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word “succeed,” you find that it simply means to follow through.”

– F.W. Nichol

“Your road to success is paved by your habits” Part 2

Walt Disney had the Habit of Persistency

Walt Disney had the Habit of Persistency

This is the second part of a two part series about habits that lead us to success.  As I shared in the last blog, the habits you create today will shape the person you become tomorrow.  The reason we know that is because greatness is never found in the big event it is found in the daily practices.

To accelerate yourself to a new level of leadership you must simply apply the daily habits that will take you to the top.  Successful people and Unsuccessful people do not vary much in skills or abilities.  Successful people are simply willing to practice the daily habits that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.  Their not better, they are just more willing.

Here’s a quick look at last weeks habits:

1) The habit of hard work
2) The habit of personal growth
3) The habit of being on time
4) The habit of staying organized

Now let’s take a moment to look at the remaining habits that will help lead you to success.
5)  The habit of productivity
We waste so much time during the day and we probably don’t even know it.  We waste time on projects someone else could do more efficiently.  We waste time because we are unorganized.  We waste hours “shooting the breeze” with co-workers.  We waste time because of our inability to stay focused.  The fact is we waste a lot of time in our average work week.  My challenge to you is to discover the area where you waste time and begin changing your process.  When you work, work hard, stay focused and get the job done.  My former professor use to say “It’s not that your just too busy, it’s that your unproductive.”  Learn to be productive

6)  The habit of integrity
At the foundation of your success is this attribute called integrity.  Without it, you are simply a person who has skills and abilities but is sure to fail.  I recently shared the stage with author and speaker Tim Elmore who explained that character is like an iceberg.  When you look at an iceberg you are only seeing 10%, the remaining is under water.  The 10% you do see represents your skills and abilities, the 90% you don’t see represents your character.  What matters most is not the ability it’s the character.  Without it failure is sure to follow.

7)  The habit of persistency
A former general once said of his men “We are not stronger then any platoon we have faced, we simply hang in there a few minutes longer.”  A success habit is persistency.  The drive to hang in there just a little longer then the next guy.  When you think of people like Walt Disney, who approached over 400 lending institutions before he found one that would give him a loan.  Or Dr. Seuss who was rejected by over 100 publishers before his first book went to print.  You begin to realize that a success habit is the ability to never quit.  To hang in there just a little bit longer.  The road to success cannot be found without the quality of persistency.

Take a moment to review these seven habits.  Decide which one is your greatest weakness, then begin to work them out in your life, if you do, you will begin your personal journey that will lead you to success.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:

“Successful people just discipline themselves to do what they don’t like to do
so they can get what they want.”
Richard Biggs

Unlock the power of your potential

Unlock your potential with the help of other people

Unlock your potential with the help of other people

Solomon, the ancient man of wisdom once wrote “As iron sharpens iron, so friends shape friends.”  This is true in life and in business!  One of the greatest tools you have to unlock your potential is other people.  It is people in your life that will sharpen you, challenge you, teach you, equip you and launch you toward success.  If you want to achieve greatness you cannot do it on your own.  John Maxwell writes “One is too few of a number to achieve greatness.”

Let me give you some simple ways to tap into the lifeline of people and allow them to take you to new heights:

1)  Other people’s knowledge
One piece of great knowledge could make a difference for a life time.  It can save you money, time, energy or even heartache.  So find knowledge at any cost!  Gain it through books, mentors, articles, teachings, conferences or those superior in your field.  Don’t be foolish by staying the same, learn and grow and watch what happens!

2)  Other people’s energy
Find people who are good at what you are not good at and let them do it for you.  Delegate your weaknesses so that you can focus on your strengths.

3)  Other people’s successes
You can dramatically improve the quality of your results by studying the successes of others.  There are people in your field of expertise that are better then you.  They have been down the road you are traveling and they have done it well.  Tap into their source and methods for success.  Learn from their victories!  They have paid a high price to get where they are at, why not learn from them and save yourself time and trouble!

4)  Other people’s failures
Ben Franklin once said “Man can either buy his wisdom or borrow it.  By buying it, he pays full price in personal time and treasure.  But by borrowing it, he capitalizes on the lessons learned from the failure of others.”  Your success may come from studying the failures of others.

5)  Other people’s ideas
You will be amazed at how many great ideas people have and how much they can help you develop yours.  People want to be a part of developing a vision and find satisfaction in developing a life.  Let people pour their ideas into yours and the results could be tremendous.

6)  Other people’s contacts
Each person you have a relationship with knows people that you don’t.  People that could help you develop your dreams and goals.  Using other people’s influence may connect you to the right people.

If you want to reach the top you cannot do it alone!  Don’t be so egotistical that you don’t seek the wisdom, knowledge and experience of others.  Allow people to help you move up the ladder of your dreams and you will get there much quicker!

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

“If you are not happy with any part of your life, say, “I am responsible” and get busy changing it.”
Brian Tracy

Leaders vs. Followers

There is a great difference between leaders and followers

There is a great difference between leaders and followers

There is a great difference in the attitude and actions of leaders and followers.  The response to hardships, the communication skills, the level of loyalty, the understanding of teamwork, the ability to complete the task, the organizational disciplines, the desire to learn, the risk-taking factor, time management, people skills and the list goes on and on.

A few years ago I received this e-mail describing to me the difference between leaders and followers.  My hope is that it will challenge you to evaluate the degree of your leadership!  Encourage and challenge the people around you by e-mailing to a friend or passing it around the office.  Maybe you can lift the leadership lid of someone you know today!

When leaders make a mistake, they say “I was wrong.”
When followers make mistakes, they say “It wasn’t my fault.”

A leader works harder than a follower and has more time;
A follower is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.

A leader goes through a problem;
A follower goes around it and never gets past it.

A leader makes and keeps commitments;
A follower makes and forgets promises.

A leader says “I’m good, but not as good as I ought to be;”
A follower says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”

Leaders listen;
Followers just wait until it’s their turn to talk

Leaders respect those who are superior to them and try to learn something from them;
Followers resent those who are superior to them and try to find chips in their armor.

Leaders feel responsible for more than their job;
Followers say “I only work here.”

A leader says, “There ought to be a better way to do this;”
Followers say, “That’s the way it’s always been done.”

If you are a leader then you have to learn to respond like a leader.  Don’t be a leader with follower traits or your leadership will be weakened.  Read this article one more time and ask yourself “Am I a leader acting like a leader or am I a leader acting like a follower?”

Until Next Time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.
Try to be better than yourself.”

William Faulkner

Chris Sonksen is a celebrated Motivational Speaker and Published Author; the Lead Pastor at one of America’s fastest growing churches (South Hills Church in Corona California); and the founding member of Celera Church Strategy Group. Celera offers pastor support, teaching, training and mentoring programs that equip pastors who want to learn how to grow church attendance through evangelism using proven church growth techniques.

Soaring with your strengths

Discover where you are naturally gifted and invest your time in it

Discover where you are naturally gifted and invest your time in it.

Maybe you have heard the saying “people don’t burn out in their strengths, they burnout in their weaknesses.”  This is true! When you and I love to do something we usually don’t burn out in that area of our lives, it’s when we involve ourselves with areas of weakness that we are quick to be drained.  When we participate in areas that we don’t have a natural gifting or passion we find ourselves burning out and trying to figure a way out.

My son loves to play baseball and as many American children, has high hopes of playing in the Major Leagues.  He is not interested in any other sport except baseball.  He would play baseball day and night if he could.  I have also noticed that of all the other sports he has sampled, baseball is where he is most naturally gifted.  It is where his passion is strongest!  Now because he is passionate, loves the game and has some gifting in the area of baseball it is rare to see him burnout and say to me “Dad, I don’t want to play baseball.”

In any organization, church, company or team it is important for the leader to discover the areas of strengths for themselves and for the individual team members. The last thing you want to do is to have you or any of your team members spending a large amount of time on something your not good at and that you don’t even like to do.  Below are two simple rules to follow that will help you to move in the right direction of placing you and your team members in areas where you will receive the greatest amount of results.

Rule #1 –  Discover what you love to do and do it with all your heart
When evaluating where you or your team members spend the majority of your time you must ask yourself “What do I love to do.”  What is it that brings the most joy to my life? What I suggest is that you take out a piece of paper and write down your “likes” and “dislikes.”  Exhaust everything that comes to your mind and write it down.  You will find that there are things that you love to do and that you couldn’t imagine ever burning out in those areas.  For me personally, I love to communicate but I don’t love to administrate.  I love casting vision, but I don’t love carrying out the details.  The more I place my energy in the things I love the happier I am and the more effective I am!  Find what you love to do and spend more time doing it.

Rule #2 –  Discover where you are naturally gifted and invest the majority of your time in it.
Michael Jordan is known as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.  He is most known for his career with the Chicago Bulls and the incredible ensemble of players they had in the 90’s.  But do you remember when he retired from Basketball and tried his skill at Baseball.  In his own words it was the worst mistake of his life.  He is a Basketball player not a Baseball player.  He has a God given gift in a specific sport and he does his best when he stays within his gifting.  It is important for you and your team members to operate inside of their gifting.  What is it that God has designed you to do…what is your gifting?  You and your team members will be happier and more successful when you operate in your area of strength.

Chances are there is two or three things that you do very well and most importantly you love to do.  Discover those areas and spend the majority of your time doing them.  Your personal life and the life of your team will reach its potential when it operates with these two thoughts in mind…what do I love to do and what am I good at?

Until Next Time,

Chris Sonksen

QUOTE FOR THE DAY

“When you’re passionate, you’re focused, purposeful and determined, without even having to try.  Your body, mind and spirit are all working in unison towards the same goal.”                                                                   Marcia Wieder