Sunday Review…

Yesterday was great.

Been a long time since I’d preached – 5 weeks. Never going to leave it that long again.
I was ready to share the message…hoping that people were ready to listen.

Highlights…
…more new people than ever before
…it’s a great buzz when you know you are preaching a gospel message and there’s people out there who need to hear it
…atmosphere was kicking
…worship team – you did an amazing job
…tried out a few others of the team up front – love seeing people stretched. Always amazing to discover what’s inside someone when you push them a little – you know who you are – you did a great job!

Challenges…
…keeping up the momentum
…getting feedback from people – hey Xcel Darlington, never be afraid to leave some comments on here or drop me an email if you want
…keeping everyone on board

This weeks message on Turning Points was a great message to preach. The way Jesus wants people to experience a turning point with him and does all he can to help them – we can learn a lot form him. Our desperateness to see people have that turning point can often be the very thing that stops them.

Jesus understood people frame of experience. Was not pushy, just gently challenging them in their thinking but always demanding a response.

Next week…getting excited for the message. A challenging word for Christians and non-Christians alike. How we treat people who come to church in a quest for truth…there is a great exchange that takes place when someone meets Jesus as Saviour.

Jesus handles people with such love and care it’s incredible.

Xcel Darlington…you need to bring people.

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What Do Winning Teams Have?

In this final part of TEAM CHURCH series I spoke about 2 qualities that winning teams have. Qualities that are not special skills, not just found in world-class players, qualities that can be the difference between winning or losing. Qualities that are more easily caught than taught.

HUNGER

It’s a craving
It’s something inside of you
You have to fill it
It can make you feel uncomfortable
If you are hungry & not able to fill that hunger you can get agitated
you were created to meet your hunger

If you have a big enough passion for something it’s amazing how you will find a way to do it. How is your hunger/passion for God? Is it strong enough to keep you going when others say stop?

The right hunger…

Is powerful
Makes you do things that you might not normally do
It’s attractive
It’s contagious
It’s inspirational
It requires faith

You need the Holy Spirit in your life to create a hunger for God that can help you be ALL these things.

Hunger/Passion creates MOMENTUM

The trouble with momentum…
It’s difficult to actually get some
You have to start doing something first to create any
It’s easily lost if you don’t keep control of it

Was really concerned that I didn’t overdo the emphasis on Massive March and the focus on growth too much. After all, in my opinion growth is the by-product of you & I living out a God-filled life – one that is hungry for the things of God, not the trappings of the world, one that is moving forward in God and not stagnant. If we live this way – we are attractive, contagious and inspirational – who wouldnt want to find out why our life is like that?

For more thoughts check here, here, here and here. Tell me what you think.

Help Keep the Momentum

As Pastor of Xcel Darlington last Sunday was a good Sunday. We saw 90 people in attendance. Not a huge amount of people, not even the most we have ever seen but I sensed a difference. Momentum.

If you are part of Xcel Darlington think about Sunday before Sunday and what you can do to help keep the momentum.

Here’s what I saw…
…expectancy. People getting to Church earlier, if only by a couple of minutes. It makes a difference in setting the tone of the meeting. Help keep the momentum by coming early, ready to worship and give God your best.

…people bringing people. You want to help keep momentum. Bring someone. Connect with people outside of a Sunday. Keep inviting, even when they say no. One day they might say yes. Xcel Darlington is a great example of what Church can be like and change a person’s perspective.

…the preaching series. Not to blow my own trumpet by I think this has helped to create momentum. People have plugged into the series and kept coming back for next instalment. Help keep the momentum by committing to be there for the next one and think about who it might help and bring them along.

…great teams. People loving people. Great people, serving, doing whatever it takes to make the Church experience the best it can be. Our worship team, our venue team – thank you for playing your part.

…you. Help keep the momentum by coming to Xcel Darlington as often as you can. I know from my own experiences that it’s not always easy but I believe God will honour you for it.

What will you do to help keep the momentum? Plus…don’t forget this Sunday is the last part of the ‘Destiny: Get Locked On’ series. 11am. Dolphin Centre, Darlington.

5 Ways to Gain Momentum [3]

Hope you are getting something from these posts. Gaining momentum is a tough challenge. Here are my final thoughts which could help…

4. Stick to it.
Sticking at something is not easy. It is however the difference maker. They say that doing one thing for 21 days makes it a habit. I don’t know how true that is but if you want it become a part of your lifestyle you must stick to it. Don’t let it drift. Don’t let the time get stolen by other stuff. For it to move from being a good intention to a value it must stick.

It means not letting failing now and then stop you.
It means not allowing other more trivial things deflect you from the path you wish to travel.
It means making adjustments along the way, not waiting until its too late.

5. Become accountable to someone.
To gain momentum having someone to whom you are accountable is extremely important. Most people do not make it on their. John Maxwell says that one is too smaller a number to achieve greatness.

Behind every ‘overnight’ success is a team of people keeping them on track.

You need someone in you world who can ask more than ‘how’s it going?’ They need to be able to tell when you are wrong, challenge your actions, as well as help you when you are struggling, pick you up when you fall.

Even Solomon understand that 2 are better than 1. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves”. [Eccl 4:9-12]

To gain momentum: get an accountability point in your world.

What do you think?

5 Ways to Gain Momentum

To gain any kind of momentum you have to first get some movement. This can be the most difficult part of the process as it may have been some time since you moved in the direction you want to move.

You can have great vision and dreams but those alone will not create success. They are just the destination. Like any journey, getting started is the key to success.

Here are some thoughts that might help…

1. Choose one thing you can do.
Too many people spend too much time focusing on the areas they struggle in. You need to spend less time there. Don’t worry about what you cannot do and concentrate on one simple thing you can do.

“I will do today what I can do today to enable me to do tomorrow what I can’t do today”. [Craig Groeschel]

Choosing one thing takes away so many excuses. You don’t need a list of things to change, just one item and then put every effort into being successful in that one thing.

Be like William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army…
‘I do promise God that I will rise early every morning to have a few minutes – not less than five – in private prayer…. I hereby vow to read no less than four chapters in God’s Word every day. I will cultivate a spirit of self-denial, and I will yield myself a prisoner of love to the Redeemer of the world’

2. Don’t set such high expectations.
Some might say that if you aim high, even if you don’t reach that height at least you may have still reached higher than if you hadn’t aimed that high. The alternative is that you may just become demotivated by the failure and give up at the first hurdle.

For example, reading the Bible in a 6 months is a great goal but what do you do when two months in you are already behind. Do you just give up? It may be a step too far but how about one chapter a day, or getting up 15 minutes early to spend some time with God praying about one specific thing.

These can really help produce the momentum you desire and they can work for anything, not just spiritual matters.

I Appreciate What You Do

5 words that can make a huge difference to someone on your team. Appreciation fulfills one of the greatest needs that everybody has – recognition for what we do.

It’s easier than we think, it doesn’t need to be something grand.

A simple shake of the hand and thank you will often suffice. It’s a point of contact initiated by you, the leader, to the team member that speaks volumes – it says I’ve seen what you are doing, and you did a great job.

It doesn’t need to be public but that certainly adds power to it. Giving thanks privately is good but to occasionally single people out in front of the rest of the group, although more tricky, can add value to the thanks being given.

Appreciation brings confidence to the recipient. If you only ever interact with your team to tell them whats wrong all the time you will create an envirnoment of negativity and resentment, particularly towards you. True, genuine appreciation goes against the culture and works to create momentum, continued support and a strong team mentality.

When giving thanks, make sure you don’t have your favourites. That certainly won’t help that individual, plus it won’t do you any favours either.

Passing the appreciation test is easy really. As a leader just make sure you are consistent, honest and a great encourager of everybody. Once is not enough, make it a lifestyle of looking for the best in people ALL the time and celebrating that with them and the rest of the team.

Tell me – do you think you pass? do you think you team leader passes?