Take Time to Care

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before, but it’s so important and yet we overlook this often:

People don’t care how much you know until they know much you care.

Read that sentence again. Honestly, has your boss ever called you outside of work hours just to check on you? Does your boss ask about your family or personal life? Answering that question depends on what type of boss you have. The same can be for you and anyone who you oversee. Whether you oversee paid or volunteer staff, if you don’t care for them, they won’t care much for you. I’m not saying to have every person you oversee for dinner every night. I am saying get to know those who work under you. If your team feels cared for, they will support you and give you their best.

Ways to Connect

Simply ask questions about their family.

Send an email sharing a funny story and asking for feedback.

Schedule a time to just hang out and connects a group.

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If you’re anything like me, you like to work hard. When I get in the zone and I’m really focused on a project or goal, I will literally not stop until it is done. My mind starts racing with idea after idea and I start to execute while trying to create at the same time. I love the passion that I have, however, I can easily let my passion become my weakness. There have been times when I looked at the clock and asked myself, “Where did time go?” Maybe that’s just me, but I believe you have felt that way before.

Rest is a strange thing. Let’s say that word together…..REST! It feels good doesn’t it! When you think of rest, what usually comes to mind? Most people may picture themselves sitting on soft sand with a light breeze comforted by the warmth of the sun. Others may think of the mountains or just staying in their home. No matter what you think, you need to rest. Here are some thoughts on rest:

You need rest

If you fill your gas tank up with gasoline and drive and drive and drive and drive some more, what will eventually happen? You guessed it! Your gas tank will end up empty. Which means you will not be making any progress towards your destination because cars need gasoline in order to operate properly. Believe it or not us as humans are pretty similar. You may think you don’t have time to rest or your schedule is too busy, but people make time for the things they really want to do. So instead of watching that t.v. show you watch often, plan some intentional time to reenergize. If you never take time to rest, read the next section to see why you should make time.

Others need you

Did you know that other people depend on you? Whether it’s your job, closest friends, or family, people need you. What good are you to them if you don’t rest? When you’re tired and drained, you start to become inwardly focused. Why? You need rest. Your body starts signaling to you that your losing energy. You’re not as alert and you need some time to recharge. Unfortunately, most of us ignore our body when we feel drained and tired. We keep pushing and pushing our bodies. The difference is when we have 5 to 10 minutes to spare we could choose to rest, but we don’t. We’re either scrolling through our phones which makes us process information at rapid paces or doing something else that wastes energy.

Take a rest often

There is a difference between resting and laziness. I’m not saying to call out of work for a month because you read online that you need some rest. I am saying that you have to fight for you to slow down. If not a week off work, then you can rest throughout the day by taking advantage of your downtime. Just sit without being on your phone. Look at traveling to work as a time to recharge instead of a blitzing speed race. Embrace the little things in life. Bring a cooked meal for lunch so you don’t have to go around town.

I’m not sure what your circumstances are, but I do know you need rest every now and then. Remember, if you choose not to rest, you will be drained and tired doing things less effectively. Think of your daily schedule. Pinpoint possible moments you can embrace as rest instead of wasting much needed energy.

 

 

 

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Why You Need a Family Calendar!

     Last year, I was on a trip for a leadership program. I was in a session on priorities. This session was very in depth on how we choose our priorities by how we spend our time. The good thing is we can shift our priorities if their out of order. The bad thing is many of us will choose not too. 

     Why? We’re lazy. Our “want to” isn’t strong enough. We sit back and let our day go by without planning ahead. Unfortunately, the last thing we plan is family time. We’ll plan our work week before we plan our family week. 

We can start making family-time a priority today by creating a Family Calendar. 

  

     As you can see, I have 5 calendars on my iPhone. The two I want to highlight are the Family and Church Events calendars. Everytime something comes up that I want my wife to know, I plug it in these calendars. The great part is Alison gets a notification right away. Also, if we plan a trip or a dinner, I’ll know immediately if something comes up. I always say, “Well, I’m sorry but I have an appointment.” This helps both of us keep clear communication when things come up. 

     There are some things we don’t put on the calendar. Sometimes we have a random night out or date night. But if you want to put your family ahead of other things, you need to plan and create a system. This system works for us because we always have our phones, we get notified right away, and it’s simple. 

So get a Family Calendar. Plan ahead. Make time for your family. 

What are some other ways you keep track of your family plans?

We’ve Moved to Columbus, MS!

It’s official! Alison and I have moved to Columbus, Ms! I have accepted a position as the Children’s Pastor at Vibrant Church. Columbus is a growing town that’s rich in heritage and has plenty of Southern charm.

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In 1984, Pastor Jason Delgado’s father, Ron Delgado (with his wife Miriam) started Evangel Church. With a new emerging generation, the need to expand staff leadership team became vital. In 2009,  Pastor Jason (along with his wife Rachael and their 3 children) came to Evangel to become Lead Pastors and help advance the vision of Evangel for the future. Evangel is now called Vibrant Church.

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As a 13 year old boy, Jason knew he was called to be a pastor. But his journey to lead Vibrant Church started with Jason serving our country in the United States Marine Corps., then attending seminary and training under one of the country’s most respected pastors, Pastor Tommy Barnett.

Pastor Jason met his beautiful wife, Rachael, while serving in ministry in Phoenix. They have spent over a decade in ministry together and have been blessed with three amazing kids: Ava, Nathan, and Trace. Pastor Jason holds a BA in Religious Studies and a ThM (Masters of Theology).

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Alison and I ask for your prayers as we get settled in. With our first baby due in September, being in a new location, and meeting new families we’d love for you to partner with us in prayer. We have met so many wonderful families in Hattiesburg and we will miss them dearly. So many families have blessed us as we served at West Point. However, Alison and I are together in unity with our decision. God is so faithful even when we don’t have all the details. I am so thankful that God is using me and my wonderful wife to minister to families.

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3 Ways I Created Margin

In such a fast paced world, we tend to multitask everything in our lives. I am guilty of watching tv while on my iphone. As a young leader, I tend to blast through work and storm towards the next thing. Lately, I’ve started to notice that I’ve missed some things that really matter. Slowing down the pace of life is good every now and then. Creating margin or space can clear up your time and mind. Instead of running like the energizing bunny day in and day out, having some type of margin in your life can make a huge difference.

Here are some small yet effective things I’ve done to create space in my life:

  1. I deleted all social media off my iphone. I access them on my mac instead. This gives me space so I’m not always checking things. I can get small amounts of rest instead of constantly searching for “news feeds.”
  2. I do nothing on my days off. Friday is my day to do zero work. I do work extra hard on Thursday so I can take a full day off.
  3. Lastly, I created a vision list. This list is full of things I want to do whether it’s work or a personal achievement. I have items for this year all the way to 2017. Why? So I can create space. I can’t do everything right now. Sure, the plan may change by next year, but at least I have some visible goals.

I encourage you to get some time alone and think of ways you create space in your life. Share some things that you do to create margin below. What are some things you can let go of?

3 Things Young Leaders Want

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Being a young leader, I have just started my journey leading others. I have many lessons to learn. I have some mistakes to make. I am in the “Freshman” stage of leadership. With that said, here are some things us young leaders want from veteran leaders:

A Response

If you share your email or contact information, then respond when someone contacts you. There have been leaders that I’ve reached out to who shared their contact info but never responded so I stopped following them. On the other hand, there have been leaders I’ve reached out to who shared their contact info and responded so I follow them. Don’t ask for people to comment or email you and you don’t respond back. If a young leader reaches out to you, respond to them. We need help. We need someone who has been there and done that.

A Mentor/Coach

Remember how you felt when you first started leading? We need that voice of wisdom in our ears as well. A coach teaches and molds their team. A coach drives the best out of their players. Paul taught Timothy. Jesus did the same to his disciples. Who have you been mentoring lately?

Humility

Just the other day, I met a man at an event and asked him what does he do. He looked at me in amazement that I didn’t know who he was. He then started naming all the titles after his name. I can’t tell you much about him because I stopped listening. I want to follow a humble leader not a bunch of titles.

What are some qualities you look for as a young leader?

If you’re a veteran leader, what are some things you do to leading younger leaders?

Don’t Blow Up On Your Spouse

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Being a husband or wife, I’m sure you’ve read the books about balancing marriage and ministry. I did too. In fact, I was completely prepared going in to my first full time ministry position. I was sure I planted all those tips in my mind. I was making sure my wife was being loved while I was leading other people. I had everything under control. Until it happened…….

One evening after a hard day of work. You know those mentally draining days that make you tired? Well, I had one of those. So on the drive home, I was still frustrated. I pull up the car and get in the house. I said hey to my wife, Alison, and I sat on the couch. As I’m sitting there, my wife started asking me question after question. You know the questions every spouse asks like “How was your day?” and “How are you doing?” I reluctantly answered. Then she said something………..the sad thing is, I don’t even remember what she said. Whatever it was, it triggered something inside of me that I had been holding all day long. It was waiting to come out like a lion from a cage. I completely blew up……….I was aggressively talking my head off. My voice was raised. I just let her have it! I went all out.

Afterwards

My wife looked at me and simply said, “Whatever happened at work has nothing to do with me.” When she said that, I felt the size of a pea. I was embarrassed. Out of all the books I read, I did exactly what I told myself I wouldn’t do. I let work follow me all the way home from my mouth out to my wife. I couldn’t believe it. I sat down and ask for her forgiveness. She lovingly forgave me.

Lesson Learned

Your spouse in not a mind reader. You have to communicate in order for them to fully gain where you’re coming from. I can’t expect Alison to automatically know my feelings or thoughts if I don’t express them. We put unsaid expectations on our spouses. We shouldn’t do that. If we do, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

Alternatives

Here are some ways I could of handled that situation differently:

Hey babe, I’ve had a rough day. Can you give me a moment to calm down?

Hey Alison, I’m still upset from work. I just wanted you to know that just in case I seem different.

**You can taking a longer route home to help you calm down**

**When you get home, go in your room, close the door and pray**

What are some ways you communicate your feelings to your spouse?

Why You Should Do Infuse

Jim Wideman is one of the best leaders in the world. He’s an author, speaker, leadership guru, and so much more. Jim offers a leadership program called Infuse. This 6 month coaching program will change everything you do in how you lead others. I was skeptical at first because one can always be nervous about the unknown.

Here is what I can tell you:

Jim Wideman is all about growing leaders. He has been called to do just that. His resume speaks for itself. Just “google” his name and I’m sure you’ll get a good idea of who he is.

I started Infuse March 1, 2015. With such a close starting date, one might think “How can this possibly impact you in such short time?” Well, Jim also has Coaches who are at your disposal. These 15+ high level leaders are Infuse Alumni. Some of these Coaches were in the very first Infuse! (I’m in Infuse 10) These coaches range from Campus Pastors to veteran ministry leaders. Think of all the fire power willing to help you.

The Good News

With just two months passed, my leadership skills have soared. My team is definitely stronger. Recently, I gained a defense lawyer who wants to serve in a leadership position in our Children’s Ministry. I never thought I could lead such high level people. Brother Jim always says, “If you’re a level 3 leader, you can’t lead a level 4.” So I understood that I needed to increase my capacity as a leader. Also, I needed to increase my level. I would avoid hard working and busy people. I’d make excuse for them because they were too busy. Now those are the ones I want on my team! I have the confidence to lead. I have 3 lawyers serving in Children’s Ministry. I have 2 public school teachers on my team including a JROTC High school instructor. I want high level leaders on my team! Infuse has helped me to understand the process of leadership. Through priorities and coaching, I have leaped years of knowledge in just a few months.

The Not so Good News

Infuse is not a quick fix pill! There are some people who quit infuse. Why? Because Jim is not going to baby you and check on you every hour of every day. He is there for you. If you ask Jim a question, he will respond quickly. The Coaches are there for you. If you ask a Coach a question, he or she will answer you quickly. But YOU have to do the work. I grew because I worked hard. I reread everything Bro Jim told me. I paid attention and took notes in our video chats. I have 5 Jim Wideman books on leadership, time management, and structure. Will you grow if you do infuse…Yes! Will it be easy….no. Ministry never stops so expect emails from Infuse while your in a meeting or doing life. You’ll learn how to manage your time to be effective for Christ. I have 4 months left in Infuse. I’m excited to keep learning because I don’t know everything. I’ll keep you posted.

Do Infuse. Grow as a Christ follower and a leader. Be who you were called to be. As Jim says, “Everyone does better with a coach.”

Here is more info on Infuse: http://jimwideman.com/infuse/

Have you done Infuse? What did you get out of it?

Have any questions? Ask them below.

Pull the Plug

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This week, I’ve made it a goal to go to the gym more. I’ve been slacking on my exercise so I knew I needed to step it up. Yesterday, I woke up at 5:00am and went to the gym! It was great. I was executing the plan. However, this morning was a little different. As soon as I woke up at 5:00am, I had a headache. I rolled out of bed and took some headache medicine and starting contemplating whether or not to go to the gym.

I had to stop myself and say “REALLY?!?!” I have a headache and I’m trying to go work out. I believe sometimes we try to pass our limits! Yes the work must be done but at what cost? I knew it wouldn’t be a smart idea to workout with a headache, but yet there I was at 5:20am still thinking about going. I then realized that I need to rest. My mind is saying GO but my body was saying NO! So I got back in bed and laid down.

We have to pull the plug every now and then. The work will get done. Take care of your body. You can’t work at your best if you’re not feeling your best. I had to remind myself that today.

Do you ever pull the plug every now and then or do you push your body to dangerous limits?

What’s Your Temperature?

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As I’m writing this, I have tissue stuffed in my nose and a cough drop in my mouth. It’s 11:43pm and I’m still awake. Why? Because I feel a cold coming on. I can feel my throat becoming more soar by the hour. Easter is just around the corner and I’m fighting sickness.

I think this is a great time to check my temperature. I have Kidz Blitz coming Good Friday and Easter service that Sunday. With big events around the corner, I can’t afford to be sick. But I’m not talking about my body temperature. I’m talking about my spiritual temperature. When we have a plan and it gets derailed by choice or inadvertently, what’s our first reaction? Do you worry? Or is your first reaction a prayer to your Heavenly Father?

Just the other day, I had a possible volunteer text me 10 minutes before service started that they did not want to serve in Children’s Ministry. Can you imagine what that felt like? Someone who I was pouring into and taking time to pull towards growing suddenly wants out! Ouch! My first reaction was to thank God.

Let me explain, I’ve really been praying for God to send me people who truly love children and who want to be a part of my team. I believe God answered my prayer with that volunteer choosing not to serve with me. I want people who want what I want! If you don’t have a heart for children, then you can join the choir or another ministry. I offered some other ministries she could possibly serve in. I wasn’t angry at her. I was happy that she knows her passion is not with children. Now don’t get me wrong because some people don’t know their passion. Some people need to be exposed to things to help them discover their spiritual gifts. However, once they discover, we can move forward with helping them find the area that best suits them.

How do you handle being sick and working at the same time?

What’s your first reaction when things go wrong?