Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Imagine a church staff where each person's primary vision is to attain the likeness of Christ. Picture working with this group of people: Not only do they each fulfill their responsibilities but they are earnestly reaching for Christ's humility. When they see something wrong or flawed, they do not become accusers. Rather, they meet the need with Christ's redemptive prayer life; they correct each other, when necessary, in the love and meekness of Christ. They are committed to possessing unoffendable unity in their relationships, both with those whom they serve and those who serve them. Is there any doubt that with such a team God could change the world?
Before you say the above is impossible, I'm actually describing my pastoral staff during the years prior to my retirement. The key had been their participation in In Christ's Image Training. While no one on staff was perfect, and we still had to correctly match individual gifts with ministry needs, the compelling vision for each person was to truly become Christlike.
In Ancient Times
According to the dictionary, a staff is "a group of assistants to a manager, executive, or other person in authority" (The American Heritage Dictionary). Originally, however, a staff was not a team of people, but a strong, straight branch cut from a tree and sanded smooth. The purpose of the staff was for support and balance, and it was also used as a weapon to protect the traveler. From this simple origin, we can better understand the genesis of the word staff and how it came to represent those who support a leader. Just as a staff provided strength, balance and protection, so a leader should find these same qualities in those who serve as his or her staff.
Of course, when we talk about leader/staff relationships, my main focus is leadership in God's kingdom. Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us that the Lord appoints individuals to serve His people. The idea that somehow leaders are not needed in God's kingdom is a reaction to the failures and abuses of the past. What we need are godly, humble leaders, not self-gratifying or abusive leaders. We need individuals whose transcendent goal is personal conformity to Christ. Such leaders should be supported by individuals who can work with, and also under, leaders placed in authority.
Amazing Power in a Godly Staff
The benefit of a godly staff is profound; it is a principle key to releasing the power of God in a church. Remember when the Almighty appeared to Moses in the burning bush? The Lord told Moses to cast his staff to the ground. Immediately, the rod turned into a dangerous snake from which Moses fled. Rather than being a source of protection for Moses, his staff became a threat. My first point is this: if a staff has not been touched by God to serve a particular leader---if it still harbors jealousy and selfish ambition (see James 3:16)---then it has the capacity to suddenly turn into a serpent, with tongues that spread poison.
However, in the above story the Lord told Moses to pick up the serpent, and as he did, it returned again to being a staff. When we lay our staff at the feet of God, that staff will be different when the Lord tells us to lift it, and this is my main point. When God gives you the staff He has chosen, there will be supernatural power accompanying it. In fact, listen to what the Lord said to Moses: "You shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs" (Ex. 4:17).
The Holy Spirit placed an anointing not only upon Moses, but upon his staff---and it was with his staff that he worked miracles! Repeatedly, the Israelites' deliverance from Egypt did not come through Moses alone, but God released miracles, signs and wonders through Moses' staff! Moses pointed the staff, struck the waters with the staff and waved it up at the sky; the staff was the instrument through which divine power manifest.
Not only that, but from that point on Moses' staff was called by an additional name. It was now called the "staff of God" (Ex. 4:20; 17:9). Oh, I pray this is a revelation to your heart! It is not enough for a man or woman of God to be anointed---their staff must become the staff of God. It is here, in the oneness of Christ, where the staff of God attracts Heaven's greatest blessings and power.
Written by Pastor Francis Frangipane, Advancing Church Ministries, www.Frangipane.org
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
A friend of mine from the East Coast, Derrick L. Miles, has written a new book. It's called Superhuman Performance, and it comes out next week! It is a book/ministry/business after my own heart, as it speaks to people about discovering their gifts. It goes one step further and connects giftedness with career satisfaction and choices.
Check out this preview video for the book's launch (directed towards leaders and managers):
You can learn more about Derrick and this book at www.MilestoneBrand.com. Enjoy!
Posted by Krista Dunk, www.KBWomen.com
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
If you’re like me and you grew up in church, you may be familiar with the passage “The truth shall set you free.” Regardless of what your religious beliefs are, I think there’s some wisdom in this for us as Fundraisers.
Speaking the truth may require you to shift your thinking. If you’re stuck in a poverty mentality, you run your nonprofit on a shoestring, and you believe that it makes you a more worthy nonprofit, then you really need to learn to speak the truth! These beliefs keep you stuck in a place of lack, and that’s not a good place for fundraising!
The truth is that your organization was started to do something worthwhile and make a difference in this world. Whether you’re feeding the hungry, protecting clean water, or preserving history, you’re really about changing lives. That’s the first piece of truth you must believe in.
Also, you must accept that if your organization is doing something worthwhile, it's worthy of receiving donations. Lots of donations. BIG donations. I'm astounded at the number of people who view their organization as "just a little nonprofit" and don't see it as equal to other nonprofits. They say things like "Our mission isn't sexy like _______." "We don't have major donors like _______ does." "We can't get the media's attention like _______ does." Do you see the stinkin' thinkin' here? When you think like this, you are actually setting the course for the future. You're dooming your nonprofit to remain small. Here's the truth: your nonprofit is just as worthy as any other nonprofit out there. So start acting like it.
Finally, you must believe that no matter what you hear on the news about the economy, there are people out there who want to support your cause and are willing to make a gift. (If you need to, read that sentence again and again.) It’s true. I heard from a client just the other day, that they reached their campaign goal already this year (and it’s just barely November!) and are in great shape to start 2012. Another client started 2011 with a cash surplus because they did so well last year during the holidays. I’m here to tell you that you are no different. You can do this too.
The success in fundraising happens when you use best practice fundraising techniques with a positive outlook, and you expect good things to happen.
Once you learn how to recognize and speak the truth, I bet you’ll find it incredibly freeing, and you’ll find fundraising to be easier and more fruitful.
Sandy Rees, CFRE, is a coach, consultant, and trainer who shows nonprofit organizations how to raise more money and grow their Boards. For free tip s on how to raise all the money your organization needs, visit www.getfullyfunded.com.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Am I in the right business? Is this the work God has called me to? Am I in the Lord's will with my plans and goals? These questions are a common theme within the community of faith-based business and professional women, and they are important to ask. As businesswomen of God, we truly want God's answers. When they remain unanswered, an inner frustration, lack of commitment, stress and uncertainty can occur.
I've been in this place of uncertainty myself. Synonyms (and symptoms!) for "uncertainty" include:
If you find yourself in this situation, there is hope! Here are some truths to contemplate, affirmations and helpful tips:
- God has established a work for your hands and favor is found there. (Psalm 90)
- As one of God's people, the Holy Spirit has given you gifts to be used for His purposes.
- You have unique talents, abilities and aptitudes that come easily to you. This is by God's design!
- When you cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit, you will get direction and revelation.
- The work God has for you will always make a meaningful difference in others' lives.
- We have to be careful about listening to and following "worldly wisdom" systems and goals. It may seem right and good, but it leads to a separation of our path from God's.
- God's will can be permissive, meaning He allows us to continue in something even though it's not His first choice/plan A for us. We can seek Him for His perfect will.
- Examine what your heart's cry is for others and what motivates you at the core.
- Only God can reveal His plan to you. Searching for your purpose apart from seeking His face will be another source of frustration.
I pray that this information helps you today. As you may, or may not know, I have a special book that deals directly with this topic - God's people who are searching for their gifts and calling. To read more, visit the book's website at http://www.stepoutandtakeyourplace.com/.
You are blessed and called of God!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
As I pressed the button on the TV remote, I entered a chaotic war zone, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. All day, I sat planted on the couch feeling that I had to watch everything, see every interview and hear everyone’s story of their lost loved one. My heart felt that I owed it to those people to share their pain. Because all airports were shut down that day, my husband started his 18-hour drive home in a rental car that afternoon. It seemed like a small inconvenience for our family compared to what others were going through.
Every American has a 9/11 story just like this to tell, although some stories are much more intimately connected to, and came face-to-face with, the tragedy. Many Americans also share another common 9/11 thread – prayer.
“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14
Millions of people prayed that day: We prayed for survivors to be found, families to reunite, for justice, for healing, and for God’s mercy. Some people may think, “Why pray afterward when the damage has already been done?” Good question, but it really is necessary. Why? Prayer authorizes God’s hand to work on our behalf. Prayer makes a difference. Prayer changes things. Prayer helps us refocus our priorities and find answers. It’s a natural action with supernatural implications.
As you and I remember the heartbreak, heroism, loss and significance on 9/11’s 10th anniversary, please also remember to pray. Have a conversation with God for a few minutes while you’re in your car, while you’re on a walk, when you wake up first thing in the morning, while you’re in the shower, as you cook, as you rake leaves or mow your grass, etc.
Not sure exactly what to pray for? Suggestions for prayer topics:
· Pray for the people who are still suffering because of their loss and still have emotional trauma.
· Pray that plots for future destruction, such as 9/11, are thwarted beforehand.
· Pray for a covering of peace and safety on cities and schools.
· Pray for leaders to be led by God’s Spirit when making decisions.
· Pray for peace and healing for our land.
What could God be waiting for you to pray for, right now?
By Krista Dunk, In remembrance of those who died on September 11th, 2001.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I am very excited to announce a fabulous event happening this fall. November 14-18, Breakthrough Conference 2011 is coming! It is a 5-day virtual women's ministry conference with 10 amazing speakers that have 10, must-know teaching sessions for women of God. Since this is a virtual conference, you can participate from anywhere via your computer!
Learn more and register at www.BTconference.com.
For the past year, God has really been showing me how much we're missing - knowledge and wisdom we need to know as His people. Our lack of knowledge is hindering us in many ways, including in our emotional, spiritual, mental, physical/health, financial and relational areas of life. All of these hindrances also keep us from stepping out and taking our places within His plans and purposes (our calling).
Breakthrough Conference helps you, women of God, to breakthrough where you've been stuck, reveal practical steps to move forward with and will encourage you to take hold of all that God has established for you!
- Attend the conference for ONLY $12. Yes, shocking, I know :-). Register today at http://www.btconference.com/.
- Partner with this event by becoming a promo partner. Promo partners earn $5 from every ticket sold that they've referred. Simply sign up as one of our affiliates here: http://www.eventbrite.com/affiliate-register?eid=2060686569&affid=7517445. Then spread the word and invite women of God to the event using your affiliate link.
- Become an event sponsor and get your products and services in front of over 25K+ Christian women. If this is your target market (or women in general), this will be a great opportunity for you! Sponsorship info: www.BTconference.com/sponsors.htm.
Posted by Krista Dunk