Where do you serve?

Ok, this is a short one.  Comment if you will.  The question is where do you serve? Where are you serving? The Gospel is clear.  When we were saved we were given gifts from the Holy Spirit.  These gifts are not for us to use for our own good. 

First off, let’s look at the number one thing. If we are saved, we have been gifted with eternal life.  That alone should motivate us to serve. More than just our salvation, the Holy Spirit has gifted us so that we can have the honor and opportunity to go beyond and serve in a particular role.

One of the most difficult areas to to find folks to serve is the nursery or preschool areas of the church.  Then there are the children and students.  And of course the senior’s of the church.  

How are you serving? Or maybe you are not serving.  

  1. Pray for the Lord to show you how He is looking for you to serve
  2. Seek counsel from leaders at your church
  3. Start this week.  You can find a way to serve that doesn’t take much effort or preparation at all, short term and long term.  Whatever you do, do it this week.  It doesn’t have to be weird.  Simply asking your pastor, “Is there something that the church needs done this week?” can lead to great opportunities.  

If you’d like, share in the comments below with what ways you are serving!

5 Podcasts I Listen to Every Week

So I spend a lot of time in the car.  My commute in the morning takes on average 20 minutes, sometimes longer in the afternoon.  I was taught long ago to spend my commute listening to podcasts or books on tape. The adage was to make the time productive instead of listening to talk radio.  I will say, if you have a radio station that broadcasts your favorite pastors, that counts too.  
However, for this post, I’m going to highlight the 5 podcasts I listen to every week. These aren’t the only podcasts I listen to as I have a long list of podcasts, so more frequent than others, but these are the top 5 podcasts that I listen to every single month.
In no particular order, as there are only 5 on this list, and I listen to all of them equally:

  1. Insight for Living by Chuck Swindoll.  Outside of the weekly sermon, these are the other sermons I listen to regularly.  I really appreciate Chuck Swindoll’s approach to preaching.  The fact that I am continuously challenged by his messages, keeps me coming back for more.  
  2. The Speaker Lab.  You know that I am a speaker. This is where I have learned the trade.  Grant Baldwin gives a down to earth, no excuse teaching that has led to my success as a speaker.
  3. The Art and Business of Public Speaking.  Again on speaking, however, this is an archived podcast, no new material, but all good information.  To dig deeper check out the SCORRE Conference.
  4. Rainer on Leadership.  This is a Leadership podcast that is dominantly focused on the church.  As a volunteer teacher at my church, this podcast helps me to grow as a leader within my church.
  5. Lead to Win by Michael Hyatt.  As a leader in the Navy, I have implemented a lot from this podcast into my leadership structure.  

BONUS:I said that my podcast library is full. Here are a couple podcasts I listen to that are not published daily that I stll listen to once they are listed.

  1. John Maxwell Company Executive Leadership.  Not just for Executives.
  2. Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast – Leads Church.tv, also the same church that launched the Youversion Bible App, commonly known as “The Bible App”.
  3. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
  4. Dad Tired.

There you go, you now have a view of what is on the speakers in my car during my morning and evening commute.  As you can see, most of these are very practical and mostly centered around leadership.  My goal as a leader is not to emulate a specific person, but to learn from other great leaders and establish my own position as a leader.
If you have any favorite podcasts that you would like to share, share them in the comments.  I’d love to see what you are listening to and how you are making your commute more productive.  

The Way we think about Faith is broken

That’s a bold statement.  It doesn’t apply everywhere or by everyone.  Think with me. 
How do you define Faith?
There are those who define faith like Star Wars Force.  Like there is a balance of good and evil.  As if there has to be an equal balance of good and evil.  
Maybe you look at Faith as a mystical power that connects us to God.  You may equate your level of faith, to your closeness to God. “If I could just have stronger faith, my relationship with God would be better.”
Follow me to put our Faith in ourselves and make it better to understand.  When we think about molding our faith, we usually put that with how often we prayer, how often we spend time in the Bible, and how often we look to God for help in our lives.
Check this.  Change the word..
How do you trust someone.  It doesn’t happen over night.  It takes time.  Not alone time, but time with the one who your are building trust in.  
It sounds easy, but takes work.  The more time you spend with God, the more trust or faith you will have in Him.  Time in the Word, Time in Prayer.  When you see His promises, and see His answer, your trust or faith builds up! 
Stop running around a mystical power thought and start building your faith in God the Father.  Spend time with Him everyday.  Read your Bible and Pray.  You’ll see your faith start building.  

3 Steps to a Successful Sunday School Service Project

Really though, when you’ve got it, you’ve got it. But what if you don’t. Sure, you can search through Pinterest, or Youtube for killer Sunday School or Church Service projects, but what happens when you take it to the people?

There are a couple different types of groups. One is the all church Sunday School, and a Small Group Sunday classes.

Regardless of the type of class you are in, the stakes are the same.


So how do we do that? Don’t be stereotypical about it. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen it too many times. This is how it starts: “Okay so we want to organize a service project, to share the Gospel and show people the love of God.” Awesome, people doing God stuff. But what follows often is unsettling. If you have ever googled a list of volunteer projects, you’ve read the same stuff.

– Soup Kitchen
– Nursing Home
– Yard Work

None of these are bad. They are actually very good.

Steps to a Successful Sunday School Service Project:

– Planning is everything. You may have heard, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The same applies here. Get someone to lead the project. Don’t name the project yet. Whether you have a couple folks or a large group, someone needs to lead. Set up a couple get-togethers to get the plans together.
– To go along with planning, once you have decided what you are going to do, you have to make sure you get everything you need to accomplish the project. That includes materials and people. I’m going to tell you the truth. The materials will be the easy part. This goes back to #1. You need someone to lead that can get everyone on the same page and engaged.
– Make it a big deal! It is a big deal! Spread it over social media, make posters, even on word or pages(for Mac people). Enjoy the awesome feeling of doing God’s work!

The only thing I won’t tell you here is what projects to do…you can google it if you are fresh out of ideas…

You really have to tailor it to your group. Don’t be afraid to ask the people in the group. They are God’s workers too and may have just the right project in mind.

If you aren’t the group leader, don’t worry, you can use this to your advantage of coming up with the next great mission project!

The 3 steps I took to regular Bible Reading

By Michael Kelly

Bible Reading.  Whatever you call it, bible study, meditation, whatever you call it you know what it is and you know that you should probably doing it every day.  And if you are like most people, you feel bad because you aren’t reading the bible every day, or every week, or month or years.  
Let me let you know that God is not mad at you, or taking your name off His list.  However, He really wants you to come back to Him.  
Now when I mean my 3 steps to get regular Bible reading, I wish I could say that I read the bible every day, and not missing any day, but that’s not true.  What I mean by regular reading is that you know when you last read.  How many times have you picked up the Bible and remember when you last picked it up. 
I’m going to give you 3 steps to regular bible reading.  This might be every day, maybe every week day, or once a week, whatever regular means to you, this will help you maintain it.  
Start simple.  Don’t try to read from the front to back in 1 year if you haven’t read a whole book yet.  Start with one book.  Which ever you want to start with, start with it and finish it.  
Now if I may suggest, Start with John.  Read though the book of John.  Why do I recommend that? The best way to get started reading the Bible for the long road, is to fill up our faith.  The book of John is all about believing and living!  “Believe and Live!” That’s the cry of John.
Once I started reading John, I added the next step.  I added a Devotional book.  That added a deeper level of my faith.  Whether you pick up a 30 day devotional, or 6 months, or a 365 devotional, maybe even print, online, or in an app, start one.  You won’t look back.  It’s like having your own mentor for your faith.
The last thing that I added was memorizing scripture.  Keep in mind, these 3 steps took almost 6 months.  It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  Start with one verse.  Maybe study it for a month before you move on to another verse.  You can find memorizing plans online.  
Either way, getting in to a rhythm with our Bible reading take work and it’s worth the work.  See where you faith is after just 30 days of reading the bible.. When you see that your faith has grown, give God all the glory!