Monday, September 27, 2010

Running the race together!

Dear leaders,

This wed Sept. 29, 2010 Karen and I will reach the amazing mile stone of 20 years of marriage. Wow! What a truly wonderful journey. In a time when marriages involved in ministry are under an all out assault from the enemy. Believe it or not according to Charisma magazines poll of ministers the divorce rate is 50%. Karen and I have watched several dear couples we were close to walk away from their marriages. Many just allowed ministry to destroy their marriage or they simply grew apart. In honor of 20 years with my sweetheart I wanted to focus this 3M blog on “Running together to the finish line.” You see we believe that we are called to run together!

Our wedding: I will never forget looking to the back of that little church in Eagle Lake, FL upon the most gorgeous woman in the world. As she walked towards me on her father’s arm down that aisle I began to weep. How could this angel be marrying me? Her smile, her beauty, her sophistication, and her grace was overwhelming. Not to mention….. On that day September 29th, 1990 I started a journey with my lady. Twenty years ago I had no idea what it meant to be a husband. I had yet to truly even learn what true love meant. Karen would not only become my best friend, but she would teach me so much about life, God, and love. Karen would be the one that would teach me how to chase Jesus, how to have grace, how to develop a devotional life, and how to establish boundaries. God brought her to me and she has always been way more anointed. Our entire marriage we have been in ministry. In fact while we were dating I accepted my first fulltime position as a youth pastor near Tampa, FL. Due to the fact that the church also had a retirement community for pastors on sight we were continually encouraged (harassed- Lol) to get married. So we moved our date to Sept. We moved into a small and very old house that was owned by the church. Karen made that little house a home. I remember we tried so hard to clean the 30 year old dingy green carpet, and the mildewed walls. HAHA! I remember us asking the church to change the carpet in that old parsonage. One elderly fella (everyone in the church was over 60) on the board told us our carpet in the parsonage was better than his homes carpet, and we could just live with it. Back then I was as green as the carpet and didn’t know how to stand up for issues. Those were the days. We found out six months after we were married that our son had been conceived. I got home from a college class and Karen greeted me at the door with the news. I remember telling her to sit down and not move for 9 months. While those days were tough financially, and also geographically we had fun together. During those early days Karen was very shy in large gatherings and she would force herself to be a public figure. The thought of speaking publicly petrified her, but at the same time she knew God was going to use her. As small child her mother would tell her over and over someday God is going use you greatly. I remember the first few times she spoke she would break out in blotches from her nerves. Yet, she kept pushing forward. She would say to me “the girls must be told that they are all beautiful princesses.” She knew she had a message for a generation of girls that had to be spoken. She knew my secret. While on the outside walking in bold confidence I dealt so strongly with insecurity and fear. She made up her mind to help me get thru that in my life. To this day when I speak at a gathering she is the first to greet me with-“Sweetheart, that was awesome.” I can’t imagine being married to someone who would tell their minister husband or wife- You could have done better, or you went too long. In fact Karen still laughs at jokes she has heard 10,000 times. You see we learned a long time ago that we would be each other’s biggest fan! I still send her roses wherever she speaks and I always have them attach a bottle of Pepto-Bismol for her stomach. Now it has become a small sign of “look where you have come from baby!” That reminds me I need to call the florist today as Karen gets ready to go to Idaho on Thursday to speak. Let me give you 20 rules for marriage in ministry. These all can be applied to marriages, but my main goal today is to speak into the lives of those preparing for ministry.

20 Rules for Marriages in Ministry:
• Remember, that God never asks us to put the call of ministry ahead of our marriage or children. You see Karen and I believe that marriage done right causes the right kind of ministry. We have fun in ministry. The ministry has allowed us to go and see what we could have never done leading a “normal” life. The ministry has allowed us to accomplish dreams and goals. It is a awesome adventure.
• In ministry it is critical that you never allow the ministry to be a mistress. I remember early in years of marriage I would go to the office late at night, study late at night, and many times use the church as an excuse for being less than focused on my family. Over time I began to realize that the ministry is “constant,” and I that I must draw lines to protect my home and marriage.
• Never allow anyone outside your spouse to be your biggest fan. No one gets that spot. That is reserved parking for the love of your life. Make sure to step outside the mirror and keep an eye on your wedding photo. There are two people in that photo- not one! In other words it is your job to see the person who chose to stand with you that day. Make sure you continually take the time to praise your spouse.
• Guard your home from the continual attack of what is aptly called “the tyranny of the urgent.” You see people always need us. Most of the time people forget that you are a normal family. Somewhere in discipleship 101 that chapter gets left out. So it is your job to say “WHOA.” It is your job to turn the phone off. It is your job to guard the special occasions, and also regular days of life. Your spouse doesn’t mind sharing you, but there is a limit! Be the first one to say, “I would love to help you, but I can’t today. My family needs me!”
• Guard your marriage from the “office chatter.” In other words do not always talk about the church or the people. Instead, talk about each other. Remember, shepherds must always guard the sheep door. Learn what it means that when you are home- BE AT HOME!
• Guard your bedroom. You see Karen and I made up our mind early that our bedroom was a place of solitude and rest. We decided early on that no one else belonged in our room. That means we only talk about us, our family, and our dreams.
• Guard intimacy! OK- here we go! Intimacy in marriage must never stop. Your must make sure the flames of romance stay lit. Enjoy each other. That is God’s really cool plan. REALLY COOL! Sex is pure!
• Serve each other! I think in ministry we serve so many that we forget that we must serve each other. I wasn’t very good at this when I first got married. Many times it is what we see modeled by our parents that determines how well we serve. We come home from the office tired and ready to vegetate. Men in ministry especially have a tough time with this. We lead at the church, but we follow at home. Maybe it is because we get tired and for some reason think we have done enough. At some point the light came on for me. I needed to help around the house. I needed to get up early with the kids. It is not only unfair to not serve our spouses and kids, but is also a great romance killer.
• Stay enamored with each other. Have secret moments that take place in public. Karen and I have little signals and sayings that we share with each other in the biggest of crowds. It is our way of saying “we may be among hundreds or thousands, but we are really one and in love with each other in the crowd.” When she walks in the room it catches my breath. My eyes meet hers and I really don’t care who else is there. I am enamored with her.
• Some of the most dysfunctional marriages are in high profile ministries. They have “Image management vs. authentic living.” They put on the masks in public. So we have made up our minds early that we must show honor, love, and respect in public, and in private. We do not ever bring reproach or offense upon each other. We also do not allow people to cross a line in any manor towards our marriage. We believe that we are Christians first before we are ministers. When you are public people for some reason people think they know you and your spouse. They may even think they can speak into your lives from an outsiders point of view. Learn how to keep offense out of your marriage.
• HAVE FUN! Make sure the most fun you could ever have can only be found in the arms of your spouse. Learn how to get off the spinning world and have a vacation. Our spouses must see that when we are together nothing else matters. This is very hard in ministry. That is about setting boundaries. Also, laugh together, dance together, play together, and enjoy your time together. I will cover this more at the end of the blog. Remember, you were created for each other’s pleasure and joy! Go on dates. Use the 7-7-7-7 plan. Every 7 hours connect with each other, Every 7 days have a date, every 7weeks plan a getaway or really long day, and every 7 months take a long vacation!
• Pray together! This took me a long time to truly appreciate. I didn’t understand the power of agreement as a couple. In fact you really don’t understand this until you walk through tough times. Your children must see that you pray together. They must see that you walk as one as believers. When you pray together get real, and be honest. Disciple each other in the things of God. But don’t condemn! Instead push each other towards the savior.
• Never stop believing in each other’s dreams. In fact the more you believe in each other’s dreams the more your dreams will become one.
• As the priest of my house I must always be willing to serve, develop, and minister to my family first. Learn the power of washing each other’s feet. Learn the power of having a family covenant.
• Realize you married to each other and not the ministry. Jesus is married to the church not you. In other words realize “without the ministry- you are ok.”
• Keep the front door locked! In marriage it is absolutely critical that you are givers and great stewards of your finances. You see we believe we do not have to be broke, because we are in ministry. That means we have to plan for the future- use wisdom in spending- and always be tithe payers. This rebukes the enemy from your home. That means also that when it comes to finances make decisions together. Debt is a love killer. That means when spending don’t use the “God Card,” but rather “agreement plan.” Walk in agreement.
• In ministry we must also learn the power of sharing our spouse. This is hard. Above I talked about the importance of separating from people, but we must also realize that in some parts we belong to the people. If there is balance in the marriage then this isn’t usually a problem. Guard jealousy! Guard walking in tension. In fact God wants his best from you on all occasions. That means when things are tough at home take time to fix it. Karen and I have a rule that we never bring an argument into the pulpit. We fix it.
• Train together. Learn how to work out together. This is awesome in every way.
• Guard your tongue- Ok let’s get honest! When you spend your life using words to continually share the message and vision as a professional speaker- you thus can use the same tongue for evil. You’re a trained orator! That means your tongue can be a double edged sword. Be careful how you speak to your spouse. A huge love chiller is to demean, demand, demoralize, or denigrate your spouse! Build each other up. Don’t criticize. Do not allow yourself to become the church member that destroys churches. Guard being negative. Guard against expecting and demanding more from your spouse than they deserve. You don’t own each other! You are called to build each other up at all times.
• Leave the office! Drive home slow! Pull in the driveway! Get out of the car! Be ready to be life to the ones that matter most!

This entire blog was written to encourage you the reader in God’s plan for your marriage. The devil hates healthy marriages. He hates it when you set a pure example. The enemies goal is to destroy your marriage so others will lose hope. Most of all the enemy can’t stand that you like each other. A few months ago Karen and I decided to start a new adventure. We started jogging together. It is one of the coolest things we have ever done together. We talk, laugh, complain, cry, dream, pray, and plan together on the track in the morning time. Not only has it helped us get in shape, but our marriage has gone to a whole other level. I would not give our mornings up for anyone. In fact we are pretty selfish about our mornings. We won’t plan meetings or appointments during our morning runs. It is our time. It is a daily date! There are more mornings where we simply enjoy each other’s company, and other times we do war with the devil. We fight for our children, finances, ministry, and friends. We pray for miracles for upcoming services. We encourage each other. So I challenge you as a couple to find something consistent that the two of you can do together. GUARD IT! You deserve each other. Our goal is at the end of the next 20 years we will be able to say- “the first 20 was incredible, but the last 20 was indescribable.”

So to my gorgeous wife I say, “Thank you baby!” You turned me into a man, and pushed me to understand true love. Thank you Jesus for my bride of my youth that will someday be my bride of my old age! Together we are unstoppable! A part we would just be half of a perfect plan! God Bless you! Pat

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Precepts for Revival

Dear Friends and Leaders,
I have watched lately as God is stirring churches to go deeper than they have ever gone in him. We have been seeing crazy physical healings and spiritual awakenings. It seems that we are living in a day of refreshing, outpouring, and miracles like not seen in generations. How have we arrived at this place? Maybe it is the political atmosphere of our nation. Maybe it is the financial crisis in our nation, or maybe the fear of terrorism. I am not sure, but I have learned that really it is about the leader. Yes, people can hinder a move of God, but God’s leader has to strive for a deep walk with Jesus. We all want miracles and we all desire to see the lost saved. True revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that he shows up. God is searching the land for places that His Dove can land. Most of my ministry I have felt like the weird one. That isn’t an insecure statement, but rather a reality. You see Karen and I have always been hungry for more. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t at times got lethargic, or that we have not gone through dry seasons. It seems that God continually shakes us. God simply won’t allow us to get comfortable. During one season of ministry God put on my heart the following teaching. You see I desire to see Acts 2 today in our services. I am reminded though that the first thing that happened to those 120 revolutionist in the upper room was UNITY. They were all desperate. They were all trusting. They were all ready to die for Christ. They were all awaiting His return. They were all simply hungry! They were in one mind and one accord. Read the precepts below. These are just a few precepts that will teach you concerning what will stop or bring a spiritual awakening. These are the days when dry bones will live again!

15 Things That Will Stop or Hinder Revival

• Leader, where there is no integrity there will be no authority. If God doesn’t trust you he won’t chase you. Signs and wonders should follow!

• If opinion of man far outweighs the direction the spirit to lead. Fear of man - position or passion - title or testimony? You see we don’t need title when we have a testimony! I love what Oswald Chambers said. “Find a man that fears man and he will fear everything, but find a man that fears God and he will fear nothing.”

• Your desire to entertain leaves no room for people to enter into God’s presence. We must do outreach, but we must also teach people to enter in!

• Your fear of manufacturing the Spirit or offending people will hinder God’s direction. You have to trust HIM! You have to make up your mind that people must have an encounter to truly change. Your job is to create the right atmosphere.

• You are building your kingdom in which there is an end! In his kingdom - this leads to building on personality instead of God’s reality-two kingdoms will clash.

• Your support staff lacks ability to lead or doubts yours. Reacting instead of acting upon! Where there is no respect God will not grant responsibility. You can’t lead where you refuse to go! Your team is watching you. Whether they are older or younger staff they have chose to follow your leadership.

• Your desperation level is overwhelmed by your perspiration level! Your schedule has cancelled your appointment with God! Your prayer closet has become a rare closet. There are times where you must hide away with God.

• Your spiritual level and depth is on the shallow end. Go deep. Jer. 33:3 tells us God has secrets for you. Fresh revelation awaits the hungry.

• When you don’t realize a closed door is not correcting you but a correction of direction. Rejection many times is not rejection but protection. Don’t lose heart for the vision when your plan doesn’t work. Hold on and believe. Keep crazy faith! Faith with wisdom is unstoppable. Remember, it is impossible to please God without Faith! Heb. 11:1

• Your home is not a refuge due to the refuse. We must guard our homes. Your family has to see someone real. I honestly believe that God builds our homes before he builds are ministries or churches. Ask your family if they want to be pastored by you. Their response will determine what you must change.

• Offenses have destroyed the defenses. Hurts have taken over your life. You must lay down the offenses. They will destroy your passion.

• Controlling spirits are out of control. Make sure you confront what must be confronted.

• When you do not realize the calling of God without the timing of God will result in the absence of God! You can’t make it happen.

• Boxing God in and refusing to box with the enemy.

• When Spiritual gifts are never unwrapped. Read 1 Cor. 12 and 14, Romans 12, and Galatians. God has huge next level gifts for you and those who are called to greatness.

15 Ways To Set The Stage For Revival and Reformation

• Sometimes we Clean house-don’t protect rotten fruit, we must produce new fruit. Realize that there is a time when we as a leader have to purge our team. Check your team and make sure they are hungry for a move of God.

• Set the climate and secure the environment. Open the door for deep worship and make the house a safe place.

• Refuse to live in the land of lost dreams or pettiness will prevail.

• Preach repentance, refreshing, reaction, and a call to responsibility. Sheep want to be led. If you preach these things with love and compassion there is no stopping the vision.

• Resign in the spirit - allow God to pastor the church. Lean not on your understanding. When I made the decision that God was a better shepherd than me our church exploded. I remained the lead pastor, but I put God in charge.

• Develop strategy - setup diameters with parameters. Guard - establish the groundwork. If God is going to bless the house you have to get things in order. Prepare the people to love the lost, welcome the hurting, and develop the desperate. Remember: God will not stick a healthy baby in a sick incubator.

• Serve your way to the holy of holies. The priest should be the biggest servant of all. What does this mean? Continue in the attitude of gratitude. Show people what it means to be humble, but bold. Live a place of being the least!

• Find a resting place and hiding place for you the leader. Never allow anyone to have your private time. If you preach or lead without a prayer life you will become a salesman. Paul said- “I am not a peddler of the gospel.”

• Build expectation – let your steering wheel be faith- plant vision - be the first one to experience God’s outpouring!

• Color outside the lines! Do things only dreamed about by others. Faith is the key. Ask God to show you ways to touch lives in your sermons, outreach, staff, and vision.

• Love people like no one else is willing. If you will live your life like others won’t, You will change lives others can’t. You may build the vision on the less desirable, but over a period of time with patience and discipleship those same people will become the greatest you could have desired. People who have been rescued always stay close to lifeguard.

• Your circle of influence must never become a cycle. To be pregnant with a vision the cycle must stop. Show me you friends and I will show you your future. Get around the great! Chase those who have something to teach you. Avoid those who could rob you of the next level.

• Break through the wall - Psalms78- every runner hits the wall. When you hit the wall it doesn’t mean God is done with you, but rather God you are being called to push through the wall. The wall usually comes in to play when you are in your 3rd, 5th, and 10th year in a location. You have to press through.

• Go after intimacy to stop illegitimacy. Operate outside of carnality. Guard the anointing. Guard what you say, do, and see.

• Stay in the book of Acts. Remember, Physical eyesight always will limit spiritual vision.

I pray these little concepts help you in a special way. God is waiting to pour His Spirit out in a powerful way. He just needs you to set the stage. Let’s touch a generation. This is our time! Bend Us O’ Lord! Sincerely, Pat Schatzline

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Preaching the Gospel and Preparing the way!

Preaching the Gospel and Preparing the way!

I remember years ago sitting in my Homiletics class in college. Homiletics is the preaching or administering of God’s word. I don’t know why they do not just call it “preaching!” LOL! At any rate I remember hearing my professor share all of the times he had made mistakes and the pitfalls of preaching. I thought “there is no way I would do that- I am way sharper- way more cooler” boy was I wrong. You see preaching Gods word is so sacred. I personally believe that when I am writing a message it is a mixture of Jesus and I communicating as one. Although there have been times where he was silent and vice versa. In the day and age if internet drive thru sermons, and podcast duplication there seems to be a void in finding leaders who will simply hideaway and get a “Now Word.” What do I mean? There is something so powerful in getting that Rhema word from the throne room. A word that drives your Spirit to go deeper. A word that leaves the writer’s pen (or keyboard) smoking from use. There is nothing more satisfying to a true preacher than to finish a message and know this message will transform the hearer, and release a time released capsule of self evaluation.

I am reminded of how Jesus woke up each day. He had a mission! He started with prayer. Then he knew he had to Preach the good news. It burned in him. He waited for moments when the people were ready to hear and he would climb a rock, or jump in a boat. He was not to be distracted! It was his mission.

Luke 4:42-44, At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Jesus ignored the phone calls, text, and emails. He was focused on a plan. There have been times where I felt something wasn’t right in my Spirit. It was if a anxious anxiety was all over me. Karen usually realizes what is up first. She has said to me on numerous occasions "you need to go write a message." The anxiousness I was feeling was really a tugging by the Holy Spirit to get busy- He had a message for me. I would finally give in- go pray/ write and come out of the furnace with a hot message. By the way it was the last earthly spoken words of Jesus before his ascension:

Mark 16:15-18, He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

I love what Spurgeon used to say- “Put a little fire in the sermon or put the sermon in the fire!"

Smith Wigglesworth was a simplistic man. He would write seven sermons- preach them for seven years- the throw them away and start over. Now we know that would never work today in a generation that must be entertained. In fact preaching is a combination of orator proclamation- sensitivity to Gods voice- dramatic art- and idea development. There should always be a sermon in you.

2 Timothy 4:2-5, Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

I want to give a few cue’s on how to best deliver your on fire message. These are simple, but I believe they will also guide you into becoming someone that causes others to realize you have something to say. God wants to use. He has placed His kiss upon you. Remember Romans 11:29. His gifts and calling are irrevocable.

Preaching for change:
• Remember when you begin a message or sermon- have in mind what your end result should be. In other words when you begin a road trip you need to know where your gonna end up or your just strolling in oblivion. Dream out your altar. See the people responding. This allows you to stay on point in your message. It will help guard from having a wondering pen. I challenge you to know in the beginning what it is you want to say. Also honor the time your given.
• Have fun. Preaching is fun. Sure it is normal to be nervous, but you don’t have to say it. You see those sitting out there are not judging you. They don’t need you to say your nervous. It makes the room awkward. Instead just begin to flow.
• Also never respond to your surroundings. That means crowd size should never determine motivation or passion.
• Minister from your Spirit man. If you truly studied and you developed your thought God will honor your study.
• Trust God Spirit. He will lead you. So many times we get up to speak and we try to make excuses for what god has told us to share. God doesn’t need your help in apologizing.
• When you begin your message prepare your opening according to your audience. If it is a familiar audience that knows your heart you can most always dive right in. In the situation where you’re a newcomer give the message time to grow. Take a few minutes and be funny or be open about you the speaker. This sets others at ease. I continually fight the fire burning in me when I get up and have to remember some of the wood in the audience is wet. So it is my job to get the wood stacked correctly. There have been times where the Spirit of God is moving so awesomely that I can step up and hammer the message immediately, but most of the time the people need to know the doctor they are giving permission to operate on them.
• When writing your message- be mysterious. Meaning lead them down a path that is getting more narrow. People love anticipation. In fact when writing your title don’t always give away your conclusion. Establish the thirst formula. The thirst formula is pushing people to get closer to the well as you keep pouring the salt in their mouth. I have heard young preachers give their entire message in the first three minutes and all anticipation leaves the room as the young leader goes full circle to where he began. BORING!
• When writing your message look for moments to give the audience a breather. It can be by a story, illustration, or dramatic pause. Here is what I found works for me- as Gods word is sinking in I will at times bring the scripture to life with a personal life story. You can almost hear the average hearer say- OH! That is what the scripture means. I also love to use illustrations in the flow of the word- It allows the hearer to experience the “In the moment” understanding. Guard though- too many distractions- AND I HAVE DONE THAT- it will cause you lose track. If you lose track then you better know the listener in the chair is way lost! LOL. Illustrations should compliment and never hinder. They should be simplistic, but real. Your audience enjoys capturing a memory. Most people won’t remember the story, but the illustration sticks in their psyche, and if you bring it right- IT STICKS IN THEIR SPIRIT.
• There are so many times of sermons: Expository (The speaker walks thru usually one text and brings it to life), Manuscript/ story- (The speaker brings to life a message that has been written out in detail), Topical- The speaker flows in different directions, but is focused on bringing one main topic or series to life, Illustrated sermons- This is the dramatic interpretation of a message, and lastly- the- OUTLINE sermon- The speaker generally makes a simple outline and runs with it. Why would I call it the Outline sermon? I guess for me it simply will not work. I have tried it, but I usually chase rabbits, get off course, and most of the time go way too long. It works for some speakers, but not me. I have to manuscript. It allows me to stay focused. Now I will say that when I am doing a leadership teaching- at times I can flow thru an outline. There are many preachers who find a scripture and just go- they don’t plan- they don’t lay it out- and they usually don’t grow a church.
• When writing your message prepare for areas to hover for a while. There are times where you need give room to elaborate or follow the leading of the Spirit.
• Make sure your very organized in your notes. Be able to see them clearly, and make each page easily accessible.
• Every speaker has speaker mentors. Find three-four leaders you can learn from. You will take something for yourself from each leader. In time those leaders may change. Be willing to evolve as a speaker. What used to work for you may not work anymore. Just be sure to never lose your passion and replace it with pandering. I have had many speaker mentors. Each taught me new levels of speaking. After a period of time you will eventually become your own speaker.
• That being said- listen to the Holy Spirit while you’re talking. You can feel God at times interrupt your message. He may tell you to stop and give the call for change.
• The call for change is a moment you must guard to never miss. You can preach your way out of a move of God.
• When speaking always do your best to be up! Never preach from a bad experience or hurt. You will poison the crowd. That means get free before you get up. Never allow the platform to be a bully pulpit, but at the same time you must speak with authority and power.
• Ride the roller coaster. In other words don’t speak flt lined. Flow with the spirit, your emotions, and wisdom. There are “moments in a message” that create memories. Watch for the moment.
• When you trip over yourself make it a fun moment. Everybody appreciates someone who can laugh at themselves.
• People want encouragement and reproof. Everybody knows they need to change, but it is better for you for them to discover that.
• Also, if you’re married- have your spouse be your biggest fan. Never enter the pulpit when stuff isn’t right between the two of you. Fix it! Then preach. Remember to never embarrass your family. That means avoid sharing hurting or private stories. If you plan to use something that could potentially harm your family ask permission first. As your kids get older that don’t always appreciate your stories. LOL. Trust me I know.
• Realize everyone out there won’t listen to you. Never just focus on the ones who dont seem connected with you. Focus on the hungry. The hungry will determine the Spirit you preach from.
• Don’t beat people to death. Instead lead them shepherd to fresh grass.
• When you get ready to close build momentum for the monumental moment of change. Get people excited. Prepare their hearts for change.
• Your preaching must be true to who you are as a leader. Remember, most likely your family and friends are in the room. They know when your being real. Use your real voice.
• Be real- people can see a phony coming from a mile. Be honest at all times. Never lie in the pulpit or the Spirit will lay dormant.
• Ignore interruptions (like a crying baby) or if you have to make a joke and help everyone else relax with the intrusion. Don’t condemn. You look like the bad guy. Plus embarrassing others only allows the enemy to fill the room with anxiety. In fact most interruptions are not intentional. This is where training leaders comes into place.
• Don’t preach for a reward! Preach for the Kingdom. God will bless you in due time. You’re not a salesman.
• Never be crude for shock value. It simply diminishes your influence. Be professional and sharp.
• It is ok to be transparent, but also remember you’re a leader. We must guard against ever giving the audience permission to do something we should have defeated in our lives. Be above reproach. I never bring my family or marriage down to the lowest common denominator.
• When your speaking always honor the leadership of the house. Do as your asked or you will never be asked to do again.
• In your message make sure you have the compassion of Jesus, boldness of Simon Peter, and worshiping heart of John. It is critical the people see you worship during the time before you begin. Get on your face. Be exuberant. Don’t be stoic! It isn’t pretty to look at.
• When you get done with your message- leave it all on the field. You did your best. That is what matters. Never invite a failure Spirit in.
• When you get done be ready for the crowd- show humility, but also show strength. Give praise to Jesus, but accept compliments with humility and graciousness.
• You can touch the world, but first you must touch the carpet!
• Remember it has to be fun!
• Get them in the altar. Be simple in your invitation but bold! Realize it is not your place to judge whether the people want to come to the altar. It is your place to prepare the way and open the door. Don’t miss the moment. Eternity will tell the story.

I remember hearing a powerful story years ago. There was a pastor who shepherded a congregation in a small mid-western town. In all of those years of pastoring in that little town only one person had gotten saved. It was young boy who came to the altar. The young boy eventually moved away. The preacher eventually became discouraged and left town defeated. Years later the now retired old preacher was in a service that a young preacher was ministering and sharing his heart for Africa. After the service the young preacher came up to the old preacher and introduced himself. The young preacher told the old minister that years and years ago his father was saved in his church as a boy. He shared that his father was the first to accept Christ in his family. He hugged the old preacher and thanked him for his faithfulness. The young preacher left and continued itinerating. He eventually made it to Africa to be a missionary. The missionaries name was David Livingston the great martyred missionary who brought revival to Africa.

Team I hope this helps you prepare to win a generation. There is more to come in lesson #2 of 3M!

1 Corinthians 9:16, Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! I can’t wait to hear you bring it!

Sincerely, Pastor Pat