Community Impact Day 2013

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For the past six years NewPointe Community Church has shut down regular church services on a Sunday morning and went out into the community to be the church by serving others.  One of the core values at NewPointe is Serving Others, so it’s important to put into practice what we value.

Once a year all of the campuses of NewPointe find projects in their local communities and people volunteer to give of their time, talent and energy to serve our schools, villages, nursing homes, non-profit organizations and individuals that are in need.

This year we had nearly 1,900 people serving in four different counties in Northeast Ohio.  I serve as Campus Pastor at our Millersburg location and we had over 250 people serving on 29 projects throughout Holmes County.

One of the projects this year was with the Humane Society in the Glenmont area.  Their property was run down and in need of repair and over 20 volunteers spent 4-5 hours working on cleaning, painting, weeding and fixing things.  There is still some work to do, but that team made a huge dent in what needed to be done.

Another project was for a lady that had a kidney transplant that rejected, so she is back to doing dialysis.  She has not been able to take care of her property, so a team of volunteers stained her deck, landscaped her property and did multiple other projects to improve her home.  It was a total transformation of her property.

We also had three team go to local nursing homes to visit with residents and to provide two church services to residents.  I was able to visit with two elderly gentlemen and the one man talked with me for several minutes and then I asked him if I could pray for him.  He said yes and I prayed for him and his health and his family.  When I finished I noticed he had tears in his eyes.  He said that he doesn’t normally cry but that had been happening more lately.  I asked him if he and his wife have a church home.  He said they do not go to church.  I told him he is welcome anytime when he is feeling better.  I left information about the church and my name so he could talk to his wife.  Who knows what God is going to do with that.

There are so many more stories that happened on Sunday.  We don’t want this to be just a onetime event, so we are planning to have local serving opportunities throughout the year.  As we find people and organizations that we can help, we will spread the word and organize work days to help out our community.  We are calling it the Helping Hands Team.  If you want to be on the email list to be notified of projects, you can email me at cstutzman@newpointe.org

There is no better feeling than when you serve someone else.  Let’s be known as the church that serves.

Don’t Recruit, Develop

I work on the staff of a multi-site church.  We have three locations and will soon have a fourth.  One of the big challenges in any growing organization is people development.  In the non-profit and church world we often talk about recruitment and finding the right people and adding them to our ministry teams.  Many of our staff have been asking for help in recruiting better.  This is vital as you have more people attending the church, that means more children and teenagers and adults to lead.  That takes a lot of volunteers to do it well.

I think that trying to be a better recruiter is the wrong mindset or perspective.  As I think back on my last 10 years in ministry I don’t think I would call myself a good recruiter.  If that is your mentality, you tend to focus on what people can do for you and help serve in your ministry.  Every person you meet you are evaluating to determine if they could be a good fit in your area of ministry.  People sense that pretty quickly and are often turned off by that.

The right mindset or perspective is to think about people development.  In order to attract people to your ministry there needs to be several things in place:

  • First it starts with your own personal development – If you are not growing, you will not be able to attract and develop other people.  In order to grow, you must have a plan.  I like to use a Life Plan model that I discovered in the book “Becoming A Coaching Leaderby Daniel Harkavy.  This plan looks at all the important areas of your life and helps you develop a set of goals in each area and then helps you take action on those goals.  Michael Hyatt has a great article and resources on his website about this Life Plan system, check it out here – Life Plan

 

  • Second, you need to identify your inner circle – This is the group of people that get the vision and mission of your ministry and are actively involved.  This could be key leader’s or people that have influence and are willing to tell you the truth.  This is the group of people you should meet with regularly and invest in.  Do a book study with them, ask them questions and involve them in your decision making process.  These are the people that will attract and invite others to join them in the vision and ministry.

 

  • Third, you need to regularly meet with people one-on-one – I first learned this in the business world.  I worked as a banker early in my career and learned quickly that people will do business with me and even pay a little more interest or higher fees if they like me and feel that I am serving them well.  I would take people to lunch, golfing etc and get to know them and their families.  I would meet them at their business or home to make it more convenient for them.  Now when I meet with people one-on-one I don’t go in with the mindset of getting them to volunteer, its more to get to know them and let them get to know me.  I have the mindset of how can I serve this person and help them grow.

 

  • Fourth, you need to be willing to ask – Depending on how my meetings go with people I ask them to consider serving, giving or joining.  I don’t do this too early in the relationship, however I will mention things that I think they would be good at based on what they talk about.  Once I have built a rapport with someone I am not afraid to make a big ask and challenge someone, but only when I have change in my pocket with them.

 

  • Fifth, Don’t get discouraged when people are not ready – Some people are not ready to make a commitment.  People have been burned before or are over committed and need to say no to some other things before they can say yes to you.  Keep meeting with them and investing in them, even if they are unwilling to commit.  If you think long-term you will end up with some great leader’s.  The best leader’s are often reluctant to jump right in.

 

  • Lastly, when someone joins your team know how to lead them – Some people need lots of attention and coaching.  Others need little supervision and just occasional encouragement.  Leader’s, though want to be able to make decisions and be a part of the process.  Knowing how to lead each person is vital to their growth and level of commitment.  You cannot lead everyone the same way.

More people will join your team because they like you than any other reason.  Knowing this is huge, because if you are not likeable or approachable it will be difficult to attract people around you.  If that is a struggle for you find some resources that can coach you on being likeable.  A great book on that topic is The Likeability Factorby Tim Sanders.  You also need to make sure that your ministry or organization is organized and well run, because people will get very frustrated if you are flying by the seat of your pants.  That may feel exciting to you, but you will lose a lot of volunteers if you don’t pay attention to details and strategy or if you don’t execute well.  Part of that is allowing gifted volunteers to lead you in areas you are weak.  That takes humility, but it can make a huge difference in the people you attract.

Lead On

 

The Secret to Great Leadership

 

What do the greatest leaders, husbands, wives, parents, friends, bosses, politicians or pastors have in common?  I believe they get the idea of serving people.  Servant leadership has been around for a very long time, it was the way Jesus led and many of our best leaders throughout history got it as well.  Robert Greenleaf said it well: “The true test of a servant leader is this: Do those around the servant leader become wiser, freer, more autonomous, healthier, and better able themselves to become servant leaders?”  Would the people you lead say that about you?  Would your spouse say that about you?

The main thing that keeps us from serving the people around us is our ego.   Selfishness is the destroyer of relationships and leaders.  One of the keys to becoming a better leader, husband, wife etc is to be humble.  Here are two great definitions for humility: Ken Blanchard – “People with humility don’t think less of themselves; they just think about themselves less.”  Fred Smith – “People with humility don’t deny their power; they just recognize that it passes through them, not from them.”

The other thing that keeps us from serving others is fear.  We fear losing control, being taken advantage of, not being heard, being rejected, failing, looking stupid and on and on.  To battle against these fears we need to practice unconditional love.  Think about the way you love your child.  You don’t only love them when they perform well, you love them no matter what.  That is called unconditional love, and that is what makes a leader great. In a business setting this means telling people the truth, being direct and yet gentle.  It means having the courage to challenge someone and do it it a gentle way.  It means you actually care about the people you lead and know them as a person.  It means you listen well and admit when you are wrong.

I came across this great acronym SERVE from the well known Chick-fil-A organization.  This is the guide they use in all their management and leadership training.  I think it is a great tool to use for our personal mission statements and for any business.  Here it is:

  • S stands for See the Future – Having a clear vision of where you want to go is crucial.  Whether that is for your business, your family, your marriage or your church.  Once a clear vision is established, goals and strategies can be developed to help get you there.
  • E stands for Engage and Develop People – In order to engage and develop the people you have influence with you need to know them.  This means understanding what their goals are and helping them get there.  It also means understanding what speaks to them, what they care about.  To engage someone you need to pay attention to them and listen.  This is where the idea of mentoring comes in, walking along side someone to help them get better.  It can also be coaching someone on how to improve in certain areas.
  • R stands for Reinvent Continuously – This means on a personal level are you learning, growing and getting better?  The greatest leaders I know are constantly reading, listening to someone speak, spending time with mentors and coaches to sharpen their wisdom and skills.  Everyone should have a personal development goal every year. This also applies to your organization or relationships.  Helping the people you lead grow and reinvent themselves helps your organization grow, the same can be said for a marriage.  It is also important to remain flexible through this process and understand that if something is not working, stop doing it and try something else.
  • V stands for Value Results and Relationships – Both are critical for long term success.  You can have it both ways if you are a servant leader.  When you have high expectations for results and relationships your influence goes up, because the people around you know that you care about them and yet expect the best from them.
  • E stands for Embody the Values – This is all about building trust.  Do your actions line up with the talk?  Do you live consistently with the values you profess?  Where there is trust there is strength and health.

Serving the people you influence is hard work, but the rewards are well worth it.  Be strong and courageous and lead by serving well.

 

Two Boys Making A Difference – Alex & Dominick

Recently NewPointe Community Church started a campaign called 2 coats.  This idea came from one of our creative staff members in our children’s department.  We partnered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters on the goal of coming up with 300 coats.  That was the beginning of some amazing stories.  Let me share two stories that have challenged me and encouraged me.  I want to introduce you to two young boys; Alex who is 7 years old and Dominick who is 6 years old.

Alex made the decision to start saving money earlier this year to donate to the church to help buy a playland at the Canton Campus.  He diligently saved all the money that came his way and had built up a nice stash of $101.01.  While talking with his parents about the money, he thought that maybe instead of saving for the playland, he could use the money to buy coats for the 2 coats campaign  His parents thought that was a great idea, so they went to Old Navy to buy some coats.  After he purchased the coats someone else from the church found out what he did and called Old Navy to let them know about Alex and NewPointe Community Churches 2 coats campaign.  Old Navy loved the story and agreed to give a 30% discount on other coats our church would purchase the following week.  They called the discount the Alex Discount.  They also talked about making a donation to 2 Coats as well.  The same person that called Old Navy also called Fox 8 in Cleveland and they loved the story as well and are coming down this week to interview Alex and Old Navy.  Amazing how one child can make such a big difference.

Dominick also has a great story.  He is turning 7 on November 27th.  While his parents were planning his birthday party, he told them that instead of presents from his friends he wanted to make a donation to a local good cause.  They started looking for some place to make a donation and they had several options, but then the church announced the 2 coats campaign.  Dominick immediately thought it would be great if his friends would bring coats instead of presents and he would donate them all to the program at church.  They mailed out invitations announcing the coats donations and had a chance to share with several parents that Dominick had thought of this himself and about NewPointe and the vision to help people in need.

These two boys are great examples to us all about being generous and showing compassion to other people in need.  I am sure there will be more to each of these stories and there are many others brewing as a result of one idea that inspired many others to be generous.  We collected money to buy more coats at Old Navy over the weekend, and will be announcing that total this coming weekend along with the update on how many coats we have been able to give to Big Brothers & Big Sisters.  The campaign runs until November 27th, so their is still time to join in.  To contact NewPointe click Here

 

Nuggets from James

This morning I spent about a half hour reading through the book of James. What amazing truth and incredible wisdom. It was such a refreshing and challenging time that I thought I would share a few nuggets that really brought some renewed focus to my faith.

  • Compassionate Service – What a Christian does really matters – A good bit of James has to do with our actions.  How we treat other people, the way in which we listen and speak to other people, the way in which we serve other people.  The idea of compassionate service can only happen with a transformed heart.  On our own we tend to do the selfish thing, but when we are plugged into God and filled with His Spirit, we can love people unconditionally.  James reminds us that we are called to serve others.  The measuring stick of our commitment is not our lip service, but our life.  Here are a few principles James teaches us:
  • Selfish motives prevent a servant’s ministry
  • Following rules cannot save us, but following Jesus can
  • A lifestyle that costs nothing is worth nothing
  • A faith that is only in my head is dead
  • A worthless past is resolved by a present that works
  • Careful Speech – What a Christian says matters.  The way in which we speak and the words we use reflect what is inside of us.  The words we use have great power.  James calls it the tongue, and it can dispense both blessing and cursing.  Here are some things James shares with us on this idea of taming the tongue:
  • The tongue is a spiritual meter.  If we can bridle it, we can bridle the whole body.  It becomes the gauge for our maturity.  Our faith will never register higher than our words.
  • The tongue is like a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder, or kindling wood.  It starts things in motion.  If we control it, we can guide our lives, just as a bit directs a horse and a rudder steers a ship.
  • The tongue is powerful.  Like a huge fire, it can ruin or bless our entire lives.  This power was meant to send us down the rigfht path, not to kill us.
  • The tongue can reveal what sort of wisdom we harbor inside.  A good tongue protects our integrity.  James asks:  Is yours a good guard or a bad one?  Does it create peace or reveal hypocrisy
  • Consistent Growth – How a Christian changes matters.  James calls us to be patient, just like a farmer who patiently waits for his harvest.  The farmer knows that if he picks the corn too early, he will miss out on some of the grain.  It’s the same way with us.  Spiritual growth is a process, not an event.  We grow daily, not in one day.  We are either growing or declining.  Our goal as followers of Christ should be to grow in our faith, in our character development and in our influence with others.  Here are some thoughts about growth:
  • Growth takes work and effort
  • Growth means you have to stretch out of your comfort zone
  • Growth means learning something new or developing a deeper understanding.
  • Growth takes focus, you can’t drift or get distracted.
  • Growth takes accountability, it accelerates when someone is watching.
  • Growth means learning from the past.
  • Growth takes action, practicing what you now know.
  • Growths means gratitude for past blessings from God.