Category Archives: Resources

Conflict-photo

Facing Conflict at work? 6 Skills to help you through

One of the hardest things, I deal with is helping worship leaders work through conflict and brokenness in their churches.  If you have spent any time around the church you will realize that conflict resolution skills and experience are a must for a team.  People will hurt you! People will disagree with you! People will sin!

The challenge for the worship leader is to develop and maintain a healthy relationships with all the staff that he works with regularly as well as the others in leadership at his church.  Whether you serve at a church of 100 or 4,000, the skills that will help you survive the certainty of conflict are essential.

Here is my short list.

Meet regularly with a colleague outside your situation. Don’t do this alone!  If you have opportunity to meet with other like minded leaders do it.  Don’t meet with an opposite sex leader, recipe for disaster there.  You don’t need to confide in you co-worker or assistant.  The best place to begin isn’t your wife either!  Take time to find another worship leader or person you trust and begin to talk regularly about the stresses and challenges of your work.

 

Humble Yourself! Remember The enemy is roaring lion!  You are a target! Don’t ever forget that!  The evil one wants to make you completely unfruitful and unproductive, angry, hurt, bitter and toxic.  Remember and memorize this verse.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV)

Learn about conflict  read a few good books and take a class or two!

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
Related Article from Peacemaker Ministries: Accountability: The Mark of a Wise and Protected Leader

 

Develop good boundaries No one needs to be taken advantage of.  If you find yourself, in a hurtful and abusive situation you need to know how to recognize it and deal with it.

Boundaries: Henry Cloud and John Townsen

Safe People: 

Necessary Endings

 

Remember Sin and conflict is not always intentional!  One of the most important things I have learned over the years is that people are sinners!  People and leadership teams don’t think! People and leadership teams are unwise  and sometimes People and leadership teams are intentionally sinful!

One of the best books to read about his concept is Bold Love by Dan Allender.

 

Choose Joy! You will grow to be like Christ!  I hate it when i grumble to my wife about some issue that is bothering me. (yes I’m also prone to talk to my wife)  She looks at me and says, “you’re gonna be so shiny.”  As much as it bothers me, she is right!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)

It is my prayer that you never have to encounter a situation at your church and ministry that causes conflict and pain, but you will!  Don’t despair!

Jesus hasn’t left his throne! He is praying for you! You are not alone!

 

Life Coaching

The Art of Life Coaching

When I consider what it looks like to fulfill the great commission I can get overwhelmed.  Jesus commands us to make disciples, bring them into fellowship in the Church, and provide places for them to grow to maturity.  In my life context, I have been considering how to be part of Jesus plan by investing in people who share a love for creativity and art.  This whole Atlanta Arts Network idea is at root a movement of artistic believers who understand the need to grow in their faith to live out the vision of Christ.  But getting my mind around how this works in just my own local church is daunting at best.  This is why my focus at first has been on a few leaders both in my church and also in Atlanta.

While this blog isn’t about our methods of building a ministry or the over all philosophy it is important to remind myself at times that Atlanta Arts Network is a Network.  Made up of individual churches who are capturing a vision to build arts communities.  For this to happen I am praying for a grass roots movement of individuals who love creative people and love to invest in them.

I am convinced that one of the tools that must be embraced for this to work is Life Coaching.  For a pastor or lay person to begin to see artists join the community of Christ, they must first know how to determine where a person is in their spiritual journey.  They must also know where they need to go next.  I serve in a larger ministry, Worldwide Discipleship Association, that has been building mature disciples for 40 years.  One of the tools we use is called Life Coaching.

For Arts Communities to grow in our churches we will need creatives who have a heart to pour their lives into others.  Life Coaching teaches how to make this happen.  But what do you have to know to be a life coach? I think there are five points that are helpful to remember.  Relationship, Promise, Faith, and Plan.

Life Coaching is Relational.  

WDA* believes that it all starts with Relationships!  Relationships take time.  Time is the critical component for discipleship and Life Coaching.  Jesus called the disciples at first to come and see.  He went into their world. (John 1:38-40)

Life Coach’s know God’s promises.

Jesus understood that they needed to know the promises of God. They would have heard his pronouncement that the kingdom of God was in their midst.  (Luke 4:16-18)

A Life Coach has to have faith in God.  

Jesus begins the great commission by stating that He is the one with authority.  It is not faith in myself, but trust in Him.  He the King is building people to Christlikeness.  He is the one who also will be with me! (Matthew 28:18-20)

Life Coaches have to have a plan.

Jesus modeled for all of us how to help people grow to maturity.  He spend 3 years taking time in relationship, teaching content, helping them apply and holding the disciples accountable, praying for and with them, as well as creating situations where they could put into practice what he was teaching them.

WDA Life Coaching is a great tool for anyone who has heart to help someone grow but might not know how to go about it.  It takes time to invest in someone else. It will cost us.  In the process, I learn to remember God’s promises, live by faith and I can follow his plan.

Sure not everyone feels like they are gifted as a disciple maker.  There are those who might be called to pursue making disciples as their primary calling.  For the artist, Life Coaching is an art too!  For us to be part of God’s work in our churches, we will need creativity in how to make disciples.  It might not be a formal program but it might be one person who God has brought into our lives.  It might be a musician who plays in worship.  It might be someone who shares a similar love for our form of art.  It might also grow to a community of artists who are living in community together, creating, serving, loving and contributing to the flourishing of our world.

What do you think?  How could life coaching be part of the life of the artist?  What ways do you see that you could invest in the lives of others? What benefits to your church could there be if you and other creatives began to share this kind of life together?

 

To learn more about Life Coaching and Worldwide Discipleship Association visit our ministry website at disciplebuilding.org

The Atlanta Arts Network exists to connect artists and worship artists, encouraging people who create and share art and cultivate a love for the arts as well as aspiring artists in the context of Christian community. 

 

American Pickers – a picture of God’s Restorative Work

American Pickers on TwitterHave you ever watched American Pickers.  I wonder how these guys see what is valuable underneath all the dirt and junk they seem to sift through.  One thing I realized is that both those guys know what to look for and can see the value underneath the decay.  Sometimes I have trouble seeing the value of people when the outside gets in the way.  Just last week I was sitting beside a homeless man who came to Sunday school after our “community breakfast.”  At first I felt wonderful that I was being such a good follower of Jesus, offering a seat and then sharing my bible.  Then I began to notice that he hadn’t taken a bath an a while.  God doesn’t care if we are a broken mess.  Actually His plan for all eternity has that in mind.

God’s Art: unique and yet in need of restoration

From the first breath breathed into the nostrils of the first man Adam, God spoke that it was good. We like Adam were created in the image of God. Yet in the book of Genesis we hear of humanities fall from grace to ruin.  Like a piece of art, once beautiful are in a state of decay without any value like an old painting in a forgotten attic.  The glimpse of humanities glory is now distorted by sin and death, misery and despair.

Jesus sees our value even if others don’t

If we are spiritually dead in our sin, our only hope comes as someone picks us out of the attic, blows off the dirt, remembers what we once were and starts the process that will result in our bring fully restored to our former beauty.

Re-created for Good works

Every person who has experienced the love and grace of God and the forgiveness only offered because of Jesus death and resurrection will grow to see that not only has the Master Artist committed to restore he also has created you for good works.

God’s Poem

For  we are his workmanship,  created in Christ Jesus  for good works,  which God prepared beforehand,  that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

In Ephesians 2:10 we are told that all Christians are God’s Workmanship, created for good works in Christ.  We are living letters, 2 Corinthians 12:3, who communicate the message of God’s love to others.  Michael Card takes this idea of our being God’s “work” using the word “poiema”, and also pointing us to the word translated epistle or letter.  All those who are created and re-created now live as God’s art who live in a new way.  We seek to please him by how we live, doing good works.

Part of a bigger project

Not only are we doing good works, these good works and our restoration have always been part of God’s plan.  Ephesians 2:10 continues to say that these good works, “have been prepared beforehand for us.”  Now the big picture comes into view. God from all eternity, seeing the big picture, orchestrates a drama unlike anything we can conceive.  He creates a piece of art that captures all the complexity a Master Artists can give. We are workmanship, God’s art, who have been created to do good work that only God wants for us to do!

The beginning of a Collaborative work

What does this look like for the Christian?  This means that my purpose in life is not all up to me.  I am part of a bigger and more wonderful plan of God.  This plan is so beautifully complex that it takes my dreams, abilities, and gifts into account where I am able to pursue my God given calling and at the same time be part of His larger plan to bring restoration, beauty, wholeness and peace to a broken world.

This makes me excited to not only start my day but to want to talk to God about what plans and good works we can collaborate together to accomplish.

Learn More:

OS Guiness – The Call

Atlanta Arts Network Resources page

NT Wright – Surprised By Hope