August 29th, 2013 | No Comments »

Subscribers to The Palmer Perspective receive a weekend newsletter that focus, not on church or theology, but simply personal growth; a topic to which I’m devoted. Today’s post is this past Saturday’s newsletter. To get this newsletter and be automatically added to blog giveaways and contest and get my e-book, Scandalous: Lessons In Redemption From Unlikely Women, SUBSCRIBE in the box below this post or in the upper right-hand corner.

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You’re going to fail if you don’t bet on yourself.

This past week I heard the story of Reginald “Reggie” Hudlin. Hudlin is a screen-writer, director, producer, and former CEO of BET. He is also a graduate of Harvard University, but he was born and raised in East St. Louis, one of the most dangerous cities in the country.  Hudlin’s most recent credit was as producer of Django Unchained and his first was House Party.

As you can see, Hudlin possesses an incredibly creative mind and has accomplished much in his field.
Hudlin tells the story of selling his very first script. The script was hand-written on legal paper, but that wasn’t all that strange at the time. As a struggling creative, Hudlin caught the bus and bummed rides with friends to get to and from pitch meetings and to connect with artists and studio executives. He was broke and did whatever he had to do to make rent. 

Then, all of Hudlin’s hard work payed off. He sold his first script. He only made $2,500, but for him that $2,500 was a fortune. But now Hudlin had a choice to make. He’d made enough money to either buy a used car or purchase a computer. 

Hudlin went with the computer.

As convenient (and fun) as it would be to have a car – or even to spend the money celebrating with friends – Hudlin opted to invest in himself. He says, “I figured with a computer, I could sell a lot more scripts.” He bet on himself. He invested, not in his comfort, but in his goals.
My life as a pastor and BeachBody coach gives me a front-row seat to people saying they want to make changes or move ahead, but we typically don’t mean it. We often fail to realize that making changes means investing in ourselves. When the next step cost money, time, or more effort than we first imagined, we bail, quit, or try to opt for the cheapest option.  Then we turn up shocked when investing nothing and doing nothing got us nothing.

Truthfully, though, those who invest in their goals are the people who meet them.

Suppose you want to grow spiritually, what lengths are you willing to go to? Will you spend money on those books, that retreat, or the time and money to find a spiritual director?  Will you wake-up earlier or delete unnecessary events from your calendar in order to carve out focused time with God?

If you want to get fit, are you ready to revamp your nutrition, work with a coach, and pay the monetary and physical price?

If you have goals, how does your life reflect movement toward those goals? And I say this so that you’ll know this: You can do anything!

All it takes is a willingness to invest in yourself. I think you’re worth it.

Tell us, what one thing can you do TODAY to invest in yourself?

January 22nd, 2013 | 9 Comments »

Leadership can kill your spiritual life. Since becoming the senior staff person in an organization I’ve injected my reading and development with a tremendous dosage of leadership material.  I’ve been to conferences, read books, watched webinars and basically immersed my life in leadership. This has been both good and necessary. But there is a sense – as a Christian leader – that it’s all a bit too much.

Here’s what I mean.

Many of the teachers I’ve learned leadership from over the past two years are pastors themselves. Their books are about leadership; their blogs, their tweets, their conferences are all about leadership – which is both needed and good. I’m not throwing stones. But here comes the “but”….

What about “following?”

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June 21st, 2012 | 4 Comments »

Your preacher might be better if they could focus on preaching. It had to be said! Truth is, many churches require so much of their pastor that they hardly have anytime to prepare to preach.

Preparing to preach isn’t always difficult, but it is time consuming.

There’s language study, historical/critical review, prayer, devotional time in the text, reading, reflecting, constructing, importing creative elements, story-building, writing and delivery. Preaching takes time, so does visitation, prayer for the sick, staff meetings and leading, building use and facility concerns, other teaching responsibilities during the week, and hosts of other activities. Some preachers have to handle all these activities themselves, so it’s no wonder some preachers serve up yesterday’s leftovers from the pulpit. It’s easy to flip open the latest book and harvest 3 points here and 5 suggestions there, call it a sermon and go home.

 

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March 8th, 2012 | 4 Comments »

I’m sick of it! Permit me to rant for a moment!

And if you’re a pastor/preacher/minister, you’re likely sick of it too. You’ve seen all the tweets and articles in magazines that act as if the pastor is a singular human in their organization, capable of creating and sustaining wonderful health and growth all by his or her own lonesome.

 

Here are some of the doozies I’ve heard lately:

  • As the pastor, you should be the happiest person in your church.
  • Pastor, what’s your staff culture? Remember, you set the culture for your staff.
  • If you don’t have 5 evangelistic relationships going on, how can you expect your congregants to have any?

On and on the lists go. It all adds up to this: As the leader of your organization you’re expected to have a great family, exercise daily, be studied in theology, history, culture, music, Bible and the local and national news. You’re also solely responsible for the culture and spiritual growth of your staff and congregation, as well as their intellectual and emotional health and growth. By the way, how up-to-speed are you on fund-raising and systems-thinking and strategy- implementation? What about addiction, co-dependency, visitation, guest-services, and community activities. Oh, before I forget, don’t you have a sermon to preach this weekend?

The problem with these little maxims is that they are partly true. As a pastor and leader, you do carry some level of responsibility for all these things. Yet there are so many things to be responsible for that no human can do them all well. I don’t mean to be snippy, just realistic. I pastor in the real world with real-world limitations. And many church leaders I know are stuck in systems that they are handling with as much hard work and determination they can muster. And still others, face challenges that they cannot overcome. There are simply more considerations than some evangelical leaders understand when passing down their leadership maxims. While these considerations run the risk of being labeled excuses, for many people it’s the water they swim in. In nearly 20 years of working near, around and in churches, I know these considerations to be depressingly true.

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February 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Have you  noticed how the good folks over at The Weather Channel get far too excited about hurricanes! You’ve seen them. Jim Cantore, standing in boots, winds gusting while reeds sway in the background. Alexandra Steele covering the action with eyes glistening. If you didn’t know better, you’d think they were giddy about some beach city on the verge of destruction.
Why are they so exhilarated?

They live for hurricanes!

This is what they got in the biz for; why they went to school. 85-degrees and partly cloudy doesn’t quicken the pulse quite like a Cat 5. So when there’s a tropical depression turned tropical storm turned hurricane, it’s no wonder that they go nut-burgers when the tempests begin to rage.

So what’s your hurricane? Do you have one?

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