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Relax and Refocus

Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper is not a matter of straining for some high mark. While we always pursue excellence – what is excellent for a baby church can look quite different than excellence for a more mature church.
Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper does require consistency from leaders. On a constant basis, people come to church anticipating something meaningful, relevant and life impacting. The people then leave celebrating some positive outcome. In preparation of good church, our mind should be focused. It is not wise to do pre-service counseling or spend time on unnecessary things. Focus on church – good church. Athletes talk about getting in “the zone.” A similar thing needs to happen as we are getting ready to have good church. Getting in “the zone” actually helps a person be more relaxed. Perhaps it is that faith sense – everything is going to be ok.

Growth isn’t always viewable

In all churches, there will be winter seasons where the growth is root growth – below the surface. Those seasons are necessary. As a leader, regardless of the season, focus on the long-term objective, and keep progressing. A leader cannot come across as up today and down tomorrow. In addition to the church’s winter seasons, every leader will have seasons of personal stress and distress. Whatever is happening around you, a posture of doubt, uncertainty, or defeat cannot be taken to the pulpit. Mentally speak faith to yourself. The late T.W. Barnes told me there were times when he would say to himself, “Tom, stop thinking like that . . . and stop NOW!”
Inside you may be a boiling caldron of frustration, but publicly be a rock of consistency. Keep your focus!

Part of relax and refocus is doing as Steven Covey put it, “Keep the main thing the main thing.” Some of the things that help me relax and refocus are:

  1. Getting off the platform and out among the people.

    At times I sit on the second or third pew for most of a service. I don’t feel strongly about having to be on a platform. Whether on a platform or near the back, I am comfortable with the fact that I’m the pastor.

  2. Lighten up!

    (Those who know how tightly wound I am are falling out laughing at that statement right now). Pastor, it helps if you can laugh at yourself as well as at some of the crazy things that happen at church.

  3. Handle “situations” as quietly as possible.

    On one occasion, we had a fellow visit who tremendously enjoyed our music and liberated praise. This gentleman was dressed in an Elvis Presley sort of leisure suit straight out of the late 1960s. He chose to sit on the front pew and commenced to not only join in dancing before the Lord, but to also make quite a spectacle of it. He was spinning and whirling. I mean he was really rocking the place. Soon almost every eye was on him and if that dancing man was praising Jesus, he was the only one in the building. After watching for a bit, I did my own bit of dancing right over to where he was spinning and whirling – got in step with him and whispered in his ear, “You are making a bit of a spectacle of yourself; come on back over here to the front pew or I’ll have the ushers seat you somewhere else.” Together, he and I danced over to the front pew. He behaved the rest of the night.

    1. The music could have been shut down in order for me to handle the matter by telling him from the pulpit to sit down. To have done so would have deflated what was to that point, a rather interesting night. The problem was addressed and most people didn’t even know it had been taken care of.
  4. Don’t take your personal frustrations to the pulpit.

    A friend in South Louisiana said his wife rebuked him after one service by saying, “Ronnie, tonight you preached out of your ‘mad’ and not out of your anointing.” People tend to know when we are preaching out of our “mad.” Just don’t do it!

While no single thing in this is particularly problematic, being off a bit here and a bit there causes a church service to be less effective.

Surely, my story about the day our own “Elvis came to church,” puts you in mind of an experience you have seen similar to the day “Elvis came to church,” . . . was it handled well or . . . how might it have been handled better? Funny things happen in Apostolic churches – you’d as well laugh.
My latest book Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper is ready to ship – I am keeping the pre-order option open until Tuesday morning so you can gain access to the bonus material.  If you want access to my five videos doing further training on “Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper” and the digital version of the book – instantly in your hands order it today from here:
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