5 Ways to Live When You’re Tired

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It’s the week after Easter. As a pastor, you are tired. Mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally and relationally.

There’s a good chance that you have been preaching almost every week since January 1st. The summer isn’t here yet, so you know it will be a little bit longer before you get a week off of preaching.

The problem is this: you have very little left to give mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, but most of all, spiritually. 

In light of this reality, let me give you ___ ideas to finish the ministry year strong.

  1. Take care of your soul. Pastors spend so much time helping others that we often fail to help ourselves and care for ourselves. Read something soul stirring, something that challenges you and has nothing to do with leadership or your upcoming sermons. Read something just for you. Over the Easter weekend, I read John Ortberg’s new book Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You. Sometimes I read something from John Piper or  Charles Spurgeon. One of my favorite’s for this is Mondays with My Old Pastor: Sometimes All We Need Is a Reminder from Someone Who Has Walked Before Us.
  2. Take your day off. This can be hard to do after Easter. There are people to follow up with, new believers to disciple, people who need to get connected on a serving team or in community. There is a lot to do. You also have volunteers who are tired and sometimes, because you are so tired (and your spouse is tired) you are both on edge and not being at home helps to keep the peace and is easier on things. Don’t fall for that trap. Deal with the issues that come up at home, deal with the heart issues of delegating things. Know that you have all the time you need to accomplish all you want to accomplish. Notice I didn’t say, “all you need to accomplish.” You have time for your day off and accomplishing everything else, you just need to plan better.
  3. Plan your vacation well. You should be taking some time off this summer and when you do, don’t make the mistake of just showing up for vacation and hoping you relax. You need to plan it. How much relaxing are you going to do? I would challenge you to not take phone calls, look at emails, twitter, instagram or facebook. When we go on vacation I hand my phone to Katie, she changes all my passwords for email and social media and then we leave. It is great. I am able to engage with my family fully. Also, what are you going to read on vacation? I’ve said before that pastors need to read more fiction to let their brains take a break. Last year I read all of Daniel Silva’s books and this year I’m working through a series by Vince Flynn.
  4. Be prepared for your vacation. I usually try to take a retreat overnight before vacation. For this reason, I find that the first 2-3 days of vacation and my summer preaching break I am on edge, I have a hard time letting go of ministry, what has happened and engaging with my family. I try to get away for a night, spend time in silence, reading my bible, journaling through the past year, confessing sin, listening to the Holy Spirit about my heart. This is a time that is not sermon or vision focused, it is about my heart. By doing this, I am able to let go of many things that have weighed me down so I can engage with my family and truly rest in the summer.
  5. Spend time with friends or doing something you enjoy. Because of how busy the spring is for ministry, activities, and dealing with sickness, you have probably not spent a lot of time with friends or done the activities you enjoy. Maybe it has been too cold to get outside where you live and you feel it. Take some time for this. Call up those friends and make dinner plans. Set time aside for a hike, gardening, a bike ride or whatever you love that you haven’t been doing.

One of the reasons many people burn out is we don’t think through or work hard at rest and recharging. I think it takes more work to rest than it does to do anything else. We have to focus on it, engage it and let go of other things for it to happen. Rest, recharging, will not just happen. We will not just stumble into it. If you are a pastor, the fall that is coming up is too important for you to limp into it because you failed to make the most of your summer. Don’t make that mistake.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Having a hard time getting going this morning.
  • Most Monday’s feel like that, but Easter has a way of taking it out of you.
  • If you’re a pastor and struggling today, here are some ideas to help you.
  • Blown away by God’s grace to Revolution Church this weekend.
  • The Stations of the Cross on Friday were incredible.
  • Love exposing our church to a practice they haven’t done before.
  • I loved hearing from people who have done the stations with us before talk about how powerful they are doing them again.
  • Yesterday was incredible at Revolution.
  • We had 2 baptisms and 7 people take the step of beginning a relationship with Jesus.
  • That never gets old.
  • We had over 100 kids yesterday in Planet Rev.
  • Praying God’s timing speeds up so we can find a full-time kids director.
  • If you know of someone who would be a good fit or is interested in the position, let me know.
  • Loved hearing Davin and Derrell’s story as they got baptized.
  • Humbled by how God uses our church in the lives of people.
  • We kicked off our series on the book of Galatians yesterday.
  • I think the timing of this book will be incredibly helpful for our church as we continue to live in God’s grace.
  • It feels good to be back preaching through a book of the Bible.
  • That is definitely my favorite way of preaching.
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen to it here.
  • Over the weekend, I started to read John Ortberg’s new book Soul Keeping
  • So good.
  • It reminds me of this fantastic book.
  • Both are much needed reading for pastors.
  • We have our kids homeschooling end of year celebration tonight.
  • Should be fun.
  • I told someone I met over the weekend that we homeschool and he asked, “You can have tattoos and do that?”
  • So funny.
  • One of the things that was cool to see yesterday was to see some people we had invited to church come.
  • Such a cool feeling.
  • You hope, you pray and then when they are there, you pray really hard that something hits them.
  • And that the preacher doesn’t say anything stupid.
  • I’ve been working through my book and I am about 50% done.
  • Excited to keep working on it and see what God has in store for it.
  • Last night Katie and I sat on the back porch talking about it and reminiscing of where we came from in the past 5 years.
  • Crazy to think where we are as a church now.
  • I have my next coaching appt. with Brian Howard today.
  • I can’t begin to describe how helpful this has been.
  • Time to get back to it…
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Links for Your Weekend Reading

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Mark Driscoll on 3 pieces of advice for Easter.

Please pray for your preacher this week. This is not a normal week for them. They have already been running hard since the new year started and are exhausted, overwhelmed, and probably have a lot going on in their personal life that is taking their energy in addition to the ministry. Give them some grace and space. Encourage them. Let them know you are praying for them. Do all you can to take any other duties off of them this week.

Justin Taylor on Christianity is the world’s most falsifiable religion and has survived.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on I’ve earned my place in heaven.

The New York Times reports: But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

Russell Moore on Same sex marriage and the future.

So what should we do? Well, precisely what we should have done before and after Roe. We should recognize where the courts and the culture are, and we should work for justice. That means not simply assuming that most people agree with us on marriage. We must articulate, both in and out of the church, why marriage matters, and why its definition isn’t infinitely elastic.

Daughter Performs “Youth” (love this band)

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5 Things a Pastor MUST Do on Easter

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Sunday is the super bowl of the church year. We love Easter. It is the hope of our salvation and our world. In most churches, attendance will be higher than any other time of the year. Most unchurched people will be there than any other week of the year.

Here are 5 things a pastor MUST do on Easter:

  1. Check your heart. Confess your sins, keep yourself pure going into Easter. Make sure your heart is ready for what is ahead.
  2. Talk about the resurrection. You will be tempted to be cute and talk about something else for fear everyone knows about the resurrection. Don’t. The resurrection is our only hope. Without, Jesus is still in the grave. Sin and death can defeat us. The world will not be made right without the resurrection. Marriages cannot be saved, addictions cannot be defeated, identities cannot be changed.
  3. Challenge them. Don’t be afraid. Take your skirt off, step up to the plate and tell them, “Today is the day.” For some, they need to be challenged to come back. For others, they need to be challenged to follow Jesus. Men love a challenge. Don’t miss this. Don’t be cute and miss the men.
  4. Invite them back. I’m amazed at how many church services I’ve been to an no one invited me back next week. Tell them, “I look forward to seeing you back next week.” Be friendly, walk around and say hi to people. Lead the way in how your church should be welcoming.
  5. Put as much effort into next week as you did this week. Easter was great and you will be tired, but people will be back at your church on April 27th. Put as much effort into that. Hopefully you started a new series on Easter that they want to hear part 2 of. Be ready.

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Easter @ Revolution Church

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If you could change one thing in your life and you knew it would work and knew it would be the right thing, what would it be?

Everybody has something they want to change, something they wish were different.

It isn’t that we can’t think of something. Our problem even isn’t a problem of desire to change.

The problem for many people is that they change the wrong thing. 

Sunday we are kicking off a brand new series on the book of Galatians called ChangeWe will be looking at Galatians 1:1 – 5 if you want to read ahead and looking at how Jesus rescues us. But to rescue us, we need to know what exactly he is rescuing us from. This is where many people run into problems: they aren’t sure they are a sinner, they aren’t sure what they would change, they aren’t sure what is broken in their life.

Here are a couple of things happening I want you to know about:

  • Paul is teaching a new song this week called Grace so GloriousThis a powerful song that fits perfectly with our theme on Sunday and this series. Listen to it here and be ready to sing this powerful song.
  • The Stations of the Cross is on Good Friday, April 18th from 6 – 7:30pm. This is a powerful night of considering the cross and what Jesus did in our place.
  • We are having a baptism on Easter Sunday. If you have not taken this important step and would like to, or if you have questions about it, you can go here.
  • Be inviting people for Easter. Shoot them a text, make a call, an email (send them this), or send them an invite on Facebook.

Lastly, we are praying that Easter will be packed. This is a good thing because that means more people hear about the saving good news of Jesus.

Because of this, we want to make room in our parking lot for them by doing a couple of things:

  1. Carpool if you can.
  2. If you volunteer and arrive early, park on the east side of the school to open up more spots in the main parking lot.
  3. You can also park on Keesal Ave., east of the school.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

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New Song for Easter | Grace So Glorious

So excited for Paul to teach this song on Sunday:

Listen to it and come ready to sing loud.

If you want some great worship music, check out these albums from the writers of this song, Elevation Worship: Only King ForeverNothing Is WastedFor The Honor, and Raised to Life.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump… [Afternoon Edition]

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  • Just now getting this up.
  • I spent all day working on my computer as it decided to not work this morning.
  • Which now puts me about 7 hours behind schedule on Easter week.
  • Not cool.
  • As Katie and I often say, “I’m practicing sovereignty.”
  • Got to spend some extra time praying today and being reminded that God is in control of all this.
  • I continue to be overwhelmed by God’s grace to Revolution Church.
  • We continue to grow every week.
  • I looked out yesterday and thought, “Where did all these people come from?”
  • This week, we are going to put out every chair we have available.
  • Praying we run out.
  • Wrapped up our All In series yesterday and taught on the great commission and how Revolution does church.
  • I think most people want to know that their church has thought through why they do things.
  • Anyone who told me yesterday they don’t like something about Revolution, they followed by saying, “But it makes sense why we do what we do.”
  • I love talking about the vision of Revolution.
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here.
  • Blown away by all the people praying for Revolution Church this week and for other churches in our city.
  • Praying that it causes people to see their prayer lives go to new levels.
  • After so many weeks doing topical sermons, I’m so excited to kick off our series on Galatians on Sunday.
  • Expository preaching definitely is our bread and butter.
  • We’re also celebrating baptisms on Sunday.
  • Not to late to sign up if you want to take that step (you can do so here).
  • Spent the weekend reading the new book Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches.
  • So many great things for pastors to think through and how to protect their church from drifting.
  • Yesterday was Judah’s birthday.
  • Hard to believe we only celebrated his first birthday with us.
  • It was super fun and he was totally overwhelmed.
  • Hope he felt our love in it.
  • I’m also going to write his birthday letter this week.
  • Lots of emotions in that.
  • If you haven’t made plans yet, make plans to join us at Revolution on Good Friday for The Stations of the Cross.
  • It is powerful.
  • We’re doing a Seder this Thursday with our MC.
  • Expecting to be stretched as an MC.
  • I haven’t done one since I was in Jerusalem 14 years ago.
  • Also excited to go see Captain America this week with the guys from my MC.
  • Definitely needed this week.
  • I’m behind, so back to it…
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Change Starts in 1 Week!

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What is something everyone needs, but few know how to get?

And usually when we need it… it’s too late.

Some people make more rules, trying to force it. Others give up because it seems too hard or just out of reach.

It’s discipline, perseverance, it’s daily choices, both big and small. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy.

No matter what it is, what we all need is Change. 

Join us at Revolution Church this sunday as we kick off Change.

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Links for Your Weekend Reading

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Brandon Hilgemann on 5 mistakes pastors make on easter and how to avoid them.

Resurrection Sunday is next week. It will be a big day in churches around the world, so be careful to avoid these five mistakes pastors can easily make.

Kenny Luck on Sexual atheism.

In a recent study conducted by ChristianMingle.com, Christian singles between the ages of 18 to 59 were asked, “Would you have sex before marriage?” The response? Sixty-three percent of the single Christian respondents indicated yes. In my 30 years of youth and adult ministry experience, this is as unfiltered, direct and honest as a question and answer can be. It is equally honest to say that nearly nine out of 10 self-proclaimed single Christians are, in practicesexual atheists. In other words, God has nothing to say to them on that subject of any consequence or, at least, anything meaningful enough to dissuade them from following their own course of conduct. It is the ultimate oxymoron. A person who at once believes in a wise, sovereign and loving God who created them and all things, can also believe simultaneously He should not, cannot or will not inform their thinking or living sexually. It reminds me of those famous red letters in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46, NIV). There is disconnect between identity and activity.

Tim Challies on Why “how many people go to your church” is a bad question. Great perspective.

Instead of going to the easy question of, “How many people go to your church?” why don’t we ask things like this:

  • How have you seen the Lord working in the lives of the people in your church?
  • What evidences of the Lord’s grace has your church experienced in the last few months?
  • What are you excited about in your church right now?
  • Who are you excited about in your church right now?
  • What has the Lord been teaching you?
  • Who have you been discipling recently? Tell me about some of the future leaders at your church.

Joel Miller on Internet porn and the decline of faith.

Since the early 1990s, there has been a significant uptick in Americans abandoning their faith. After crunching the numbers, one researcher says contributing factors such as upbringing and education only explain part of the increase. What about the rest? Could it be related to porn?

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