Category Archives: Church

Continuous Motivation: How An Individual Always Makes It To Church

For those that often attended church, have you notice individuals who always seem attend church at all times? I’ve witnessed several individuals that have always made the attempt to make it to church. Whether there being a snow storm, or some sort of difficult situation, they always made it. I would on occasion ask myself what made these individuals so on point to have a perfect attendance?

One of these individuals is this very kind lady who is past her 50’s. She’s very active in the church community, and people love her. She would often bring home-made meals to serve out at the end of service, and people were so appreciative of her doing so.

I remember asking her what made her get involved into the community. At first to her it didn’t appear she felt she wasn’t that involved and needed more involvement , but her response was she was a self-motivated person. She refused to look at the boring side of church or the negative, but rather had her focus on how everyone could grow and learn to be better.

I enjoyed her response and asked how can other individuals become self-motivated themselves to keep on going on a consistent basis?

When that desire of going to church often starts to whine down, the best thing we should do is not think for ourselves but think for everybody else. What I mean by this, many church attendees love going to church not only to receive the blessing of God, but they enjoy seeing other people they care about as well. They are aware that as long as they made it, they are doing well and if anything possible, they are there to help them with anything they may be in frustration with. To word it all together, it’s a group of family.

If you ever felt demotivated and have the lack of participating in church, the best move to do is to start thinking about what you can do for them. Once we have that thought, we become more into the community and this helps everyone grow into a family bond.

For those individuals in your church community, what do you think makes them very loyal to the congregation? They always carry out positive energy into the crowd and what can you learn from them?

Stories Make a Bigger Impact

Ever found yourself remembering about a great story from a motivational speaker weeks after you’ve listened to it? And you question yourself why is it that you remember this but not a lecture with bullet points on a slide show presentation?

The answer is simple: telling a great story sticks to even long after it was told, and as leaders, when we want our team to succeed, these stories can make a huge impact towards them.

Having scheduled meetings with the team, we always tend to write down what is needed in our improvements. There are members I’m sure of that really can’t hold that long of an interest and what we must do in order to get their attention up is telling them a story that can relate to what is needed or what we’re doing.

There’s a science about the magic of listening to stories. I was reading an article that mentioned about this and it mentioned that our brains are somehow wired to story-tell and captured what they’re saying and we tend to put it into an image. It then forms into a connection where we then try to relate to and this is how it begins to make an impact on us.

To make our team capture our stories more further, make sure to keep it simple. Making it simple reduces all the stresses of capturing difficult terms or nouns we are trying to explain to them.

How has telling stories related to a project your team is working on improved their performance? Would you rather consider this form of strategy more than the usual bullet point presentation?

Dealing with our Failures

I’m sure most of us through our lives have failed once, the problem however, is how do you come to admitting it to your team? What are the first words you say to your team and how do you bounce back from it?

In churches or the business organization, it probably is about the most embarrassing thing to say up in front of your team with all eyes on you and have them note we didn’t accomplish it or are on a pitfall. So what do we do?

We all have to note that part of becoming a great leader is to willingly admit to your mistakes. We can’t hide them because they will build up and cause havoc amongst you and your team. Especially with pastors. Many pastors at church I have noticed will not acknowledge their errors with the congregation due to the fact many members may leave, and want to make believe that the church has a firm standing.

I think that’s not the case. Once we admit that we have failed in front of everyone, the congregation will not get up and walk away. Instead since we are a team, this creates a tighter bond and much stronger motivation planning out how to bounce back up.

And how do we bounce back up?

Well we already establish ourselves to be motivated so that’s done. The next thing to do is to strategize what we are looking to aim for. What are the goals for the month? The year? Three years from now and how are we going to do it? Is everyone committed to be on board? When planning out, we have to be specific and give details in order to not come across failure again.

Another thought we have to keep in focus is not to listen to those who keep bringing us down (naysayers). If some of the members of the team left and decide to talk about the rest behind their backs, don’t listen to them. Listening to them will only cause more fuel to fail.

As leaders, when we fail, we should most importantly learn from it. This is how leaders become great. We build experience and gain knowledge if the path we are taking is the correct one to succeed. And what I love about this is that when we start to admit to our failures and learn from them, we then will gain more respect from our team or congregation, and that strong bond will be difficult to break.

To conclude, as leaders, how do you handle yourself when wanting to admit to your team of your failures? Do you address everyone about it at the same time or individually have them aware of what’s going on? If you’ve already had them aware, what was the experience like bouncing back up?

One important thing to keep note is that we shouldn’t be afraid to fail. Robert Kennedy quotes:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Act of Acquiring Skills

A great quote that I’ve read earlier this week stated that the greatest ingredient of mastering a skill is time. And this is true to what new things we want to gain. However, with the few people I’ve spoken to, many came that they don’t have the time to do a certain thing because they have a job, kids, and all these other excuses. But I believe in reality, we all can find that time to focus on something.

What’s so true is that if we have time to sleep, to eat, to be on the phone and surf the net, then we have the time to focus on a skill we want to acquire. What I mean by this is that we should tend to get up a little early or go to bed a little late just to make time for that skill or project we want to get.

Someone recently asked me about ways they could improve with their skills in music. I answered them with just by listening to music, getting a better understanding of the rhythm, and practicing on a drum pad that will be of good use. I additionally told him that when he comes home from work he can get out the practice pad and just practice away. But his response was: I don’t have the time.

I explained to him that he does have the time, it’s just he doesn’t know how to use it properly. If the only time he practices is when the whole group reunites, then there’s a major problem. Why? Because reason being is that he’s not making a major contribution within himself.

The time when we make the most of our skills is when we are on our own. You will be stuck and will find it difficult and uncomfortable when everyone passes you by because they’ve all made a contribution within themselves. And the results will be holding everyone back when it comes time to perform.

He quickly understood and took hold of the concept. If they don’t have that much time of their own to make, make it happen!

On a weekend for example, out of work coming home and the wife says we’re going to a family picnic. I’m sure he can find ten minutes of that time to practice on his own. It’s by applying at least just a small portion of his time to focus on something. In the end, that small portion he did will turn out to be a big result. The 80/20 role correct?

When we’re really into gaining something within ourselves, making time for it doesn’t become a problem. It’s a matter of motivation and discipline I think. If they can’t find the time, then I think it’s because they really don’t want to acquire something new. Not only will they hold back or hurt those around them, but will also most definitely hold themselves back.

As I come to conclude, how do you use your time to focus on a skill you want to acquire? Have your results been successful? And how did you overcome the obstacle of patiences, for those who aren’t patient? Time is very important and we have to understand that the more time we give to something the more likely the great results will be.

Guiding Leaders: Giving the Helping Hand in Situations

As leaders, how do you give guidance to other leaders that may be stuck in a certain situation they can’t move forward? You witness them trying to come up with ways of how the problem can be handled, but as a result, he gives in and reacts to the same degree one of the members gave him.

During the weekend our church had a big event going on. Many families from out of state were going to attend and friends invited relatives to come as well. The worship band leader was assigned to decide what will be on the list to play for the public. We all came to agreement of the list, however, one particular member did not agree with what he had decided.

The playlist they had was completely different for what he had in mind. He argued that the ones for this event should be different because it was a special occasion. The music leader cooperated with him but his response did not move him to make any changes.

Getting close to the special event, the same person who didn’t agree to the playlist had gathered himself a new music group without asking the worship leader about it first. The outcome was upsetting. Everyone felt it wasn’t fair and it was rude and disrespectful. He told me he didn’t know what to do because the way he pictured playing music for this event was different than what the worship leader has assigned.

Quickly the worship leader became aware of it, and resulted in being upset and with the mood of not going any longer to the event.

I took notice and I had to act quickly, but the question is-how can I motivate another leader and come with ways for him to handle these situations without authorizing him?

I didn’t want to demonstrate that he is a leader that is weak, rather I wanted him to be aware of areas he needed improvement. As leaders, there’s always continuous need for improvements. I contacted him and discussed to him how can he work things out with that member that disagreed with him. We gathered ideas and he agreed.

I later came communicated with our member that disagreed with the worship leader. I made him aware that I knew about what was going on. Our discussion included that we had to be fair for everyone, nobody is an individual and we are all apart of a team. Next I told him if he wanted to be a leader, he has to learn how to follow first. His reaction quickly came to agreement, as I finally told him to call and discuss with the worship leader, how the separate music group can work with the existing worship group.

On that day it worked out well, there was no problems, except for some technical difficulties at the start, but overall everyone came to the same mindset.

As leaders, how has your experience been like guiding other leaders to lead? Has the outcome been positive or negative? What can you learn as you move forward to becoming a better leader?

“It’s Just Not For Me”- Youth Quiting the Church

For any of you that are in your youth years or already past it, do you find yourself not attending church anymore? What I mean to this is that I found out that many people either have stopped or started attending church in their youth years. Not sure if there’s a name for this type of situation, but I’ll just call it the make or break point for church members. Why do I say this? It’s because many that I’ve seen at this point of age either stop attending church, wonder off with bad influencing people, get into heavy drug usage and years later come back to testify they were wrong about their doings and try not repeating the process. On the other hand there are also other people who as a child never grew up attending church, but as they grow into their youth, they become so intrigued with the things of God they start getting involved in church activities. So the question is what is it that made some youth stop attending church?

I’ve mentioned that most quit church and end up with the wrong crowd ending in bad consequences, but you’d have to excuse that if that isn’t you, it’s just how I’ve seen it before and there are different reasons why you or other youth quit attending church.

I have several friends I grew up with and most of them have attended church as a child, however, as soon as a vast majority of them grew into their youth, they all decided to quit attending. During the time we would all gather up and discuss through drinks and coffee, we would bring up memories of the good times as kids we had, especially when we were at church. So the question would pop up, why did you stop?

Some of the reasons I jotted down were:

  • They felt demotivated
  • Too much drama
  • Being relevant
  • Lack of reverence

I didn’t number these because these are all very good reasons, but one that really stood out to me is that it’s true, too much drama in the organization even wanted me to stop attending. When we all discussed about what sort of drama they were referring to, they would bring up issues such as the love relationships exploding and getting everyone involved in it, or how one of the church member’s kid was involved with gangs but she goes up to the alter describing how God uses her kid in tough times. It all looks hypocritical in their eyes and it’s one of the main reasons why they all decided to not attend church any longer.

Are there any other reasons you may have stopped attending church after your youth? If you know of any other people that stopped attending, what do you think are some of their reasons why they decided to quit church? To avoid having the youth quit church, what can be done? Any steps your church or you have made?

Gossiping: How It Dissolves A Community

Whether being at a church or at work, we have to acknowledge that gossiping brings down the organization. I heard it best as being the “cancer” of the organization, and it shouldn’t be tolerated and removed immediately. It’s probably happened to us all, where we somehow get sucked into their circle, and hear it continuously day after day that we don’t know what to do about it, eventually we start joining in on their conversations.

Richard Steele states that fire and swords are slow engines of destruction, compared to the tongue of a gossip. We see it everywhere from television, magazines, and radio; it’s what keeps the entertainment industry going, but how do you handle a gossiper?

Several years ago at our church, we had a much larger congregation than what we have now. Everyone had a very great vibe, the enthusiasm was there and it really did seem close to perfect. We had visitors coming in and considered themselves already members because they were quickly attracted to the organization. Guest speakers from other countries would come visit and pastors from other churches as well.

As this congregation grew to a substantial size, we have to note that it becomes much difficult when it comes to dealing with what each individual has to say, and not everyone comes from the same background. We gave roles to people who we thought were trustworthy and had great skills in dealing with situations. The results went well, everything seemed stable until we had one new member who stood out from all of them.

She was very polite and generous. Every time you asked her for something her response would be positive, but there would be this other side of her outside the organization. Calling other members and gossiping about other members around her with who did what, when it happened and why she thinks it happened. It was nonsense, the reaction of other people would be to avoid joining in on the conversation but the problem is that they soak all the negativity in, and they soon start to do the same as well.

The counselors of the church were aware of the problem but it seems they didn’t confront the problem with her because they were afraid drama would spill all around, but my thoughts are they have no clue that gossips can bring down an organization quick.

Gossip soon created barriers within the organization. Some members would look at each other differently, with the mentality of the ‘he said she said’ thinking due to the fact they’ve soaked up so much gossip. The vibe and enthusiasm were different. At such a rapid rate, the church seem to have lost its momentum and half the members started heading their separate ways.

The leader found out who the main person was bringing in the gossip and it was confronted with her. She didn’t take it in too nicely and soon headed out her own separate way. The problem here however was that she still kept in touch with existing members of the organization. By doing this she was implanting negativity to take inside the organization. Soon after, the same affect started happening again where gossiping started to rise and no one was aware of where it mostly was coming from. Again the organization started dissolving quickly. This time it did ruin some great relationships within people. It’s sad to see some people go because of false rumors they thought were true yet are the victim of this spreading.

The problem here is that a gossiper is only good at gossiping. You cannot stop it, no matter how you look at it. Perhaps if a gossip is gossiped about, that may turn the tides a little, but overall you have to take the approach of a gossip seriously.

The leader had just about enough of all this going on. One of the ways gossiping was handle was that they removed her and anyone else associated or still in communication with her. Perhaps it’s a tough thing but in order to get ride of this, we have to cut the process in which gossiping is being flown. Before they asked those close and in communication with her to be removed, they confronted them all individually asking to please stop any form of communication with her. Some agreed while others continued; they were asked to leave. Now the organization is bouncing back up with a right mentality and strong bond with one another.

I think one of the methods that could’ve stopped the spread of rumors is we have to confront a gossiper as soon as they spill. Not doing so in time, will result in dissolving of the company or organization quickly. If they continue after being confronted against, they have to be removed, and tell those in communication with them to avoid gossiping as much possible.

What do you do when you see gossiping taking place in your business or organization. Do you confront it quickly or best avoid it? What have been your past experiences when dealing with a gossip? Has the outcome affected you deeply and those around you? It’s something we should be prepared to handle.

Addressing the Issue

I taught myself music growing up. My father would look through his set of Cd’s he had, and play them throughout the day. Some said how is it that I taught myself music so well? Only response to them was that the amount of music I used to listen to. I’d grab drum sticks and started hitting whatever I could see and turn it into a rhythm. My mother would always get upset with me because of the damage caused onto the furniture, and therefore I was given a practice pad soon moving to my very own drum set. As I got older, I began to have more confidence to step up and participate with the worship ministry at church. At the time we had two drum musicians, they would take turns, one plays Sundays, the other during the week. I don’t recall what happened, but some issue erupted between them. One started coming in less and less while the other began to be demotivated. We had another newcomer who just joined the team, but with his incredible drumming talent, he was often nervous. This at the time was the beginning for me.

It began right when we started prayer for offerings, I’m not sure what our drummer wanted to do. I think he wanted to use the restroom real quick, but that’s a long walk so he wouldn’t be back on time (I apologize also because I forgot this man’s name. I think it was Mario). My father comes up to me and says “Get up there, you can do this, you’re ready.” Now I’m sure many of you think these are motivating words and I would start getting in the mood, but I really was nervous. It was about the only time I can recall I felt completely nervous and indecisive if I should go up on stage and play in front of a huge crowd. The crowd knew who I was, but standing in front of them with all eyes on you is about nerve-racking as it gets.

Some of those around me started encouraging me, and finally I chosen to go. When I sat down, it was a great feeling, but I still felt nervous because I didn’t know what songs they had lined up. As they started singing, I quickly caught up with the rhythm; a 6/8 drum beat for my readers that are drummers. I began to gain more confidence, and as I finally got through worshiping, I observed around and noticed I had a broad view of the crowd.

This is just a little background of how I started my life playing music, but I’d like to share with you that musicians see everything. They may be distracted by getting so emotional into the music, but we see everything. What do I mean by everything? Everything as in seeing people’s attitude, the drama going on, kids causing trouble and the changes that have been made.

My number one thing; besides looking at our music group if they had failed a note, is I always had my eye on are people loving the way I’m playing? When we look into the crowd we see everyone’s body language and facial expressions. By reading these I had a good amount of knowledge if they were enjoying this or not. Sometimes I would watch the newcomers stand still not engaged at all, and that’s where I would try my best even more. It felt kind of like a ‘let me impress you’ feeling. When I saw them enthused and engaged into the music, I felt really good having the thought they’re enjoying what I’m doing. On some occasions it would be difficult for me to change a person’s attitude if they came in depressed or upset. Normally if they showed up with those signs, I always did my best because it’s what people come to church for right? To look for guidance and seek a positive spirit from others and God.

Being up front seeing when the girl I had a crush on was an advantage also. When I saw her walk in, she’d look at me and smile. I’m sure the whole crowd saw me blush at the moment because I was just madly in love with her at the time. There’s the disadvantage also because you’re looking at the entrance door hoping that some person doesn’t come in and once you know it, they come right in when least expected.

Apart from seeing everyone’s facial expressions, I saw how not solving people’s issues with one another distracted them from being involved at church. Especially with the girls within the youth. I saw one group sitting next to each other on one side, while the rest bunched up on the other side, I knew there was something going on. This is how gossiping started and bullying would go on without their parents knowing. Some women at our church also faced problems, they’d greet everyone except for that one person to avoid confrontation with. Only question I ask myself is why didn’t our musicians say anything? Do they keep it in to not make the issue much worse or do they not know how to address the problem?

Everyone didn’t say much either when big changes started happening at church as well. We knew a few people have made decisions not to be involved in our organization anymore, it affected two members in our music group. They enjoyed being around them but not being able to see or speak with them created motives to leave as well.

In a leadership prospective, it’s most likely you will come to a time where you can’t see what you’re team is doing, how do you make your team address the problem to you? One of the ways we handled these situations was having a sit down meet in the office to discuss matters. Another way was after the service was over, they’d make a personal phone call to the leader stating what happened.

What methods have you used in which your team can feel confident and kept confidential about it? Is there one person that has ‘your eyes’, and mentions every detail to you? These are some of the aspects to think about.

Difficulty of Giving

Has anyone had a hard time giving? Giving as in giving your time and effort? Giving your earnings? Giving all that to an individual or organization? The problem that exist with me when I give is that my mind makes it difficult that when I give I won’t receive anything in return. But isn’t that the law of sowing and reaping? When we give we will receive something greater in return.

You may ask well what makes your mind so influenced by not wanting to give? There are some factors to say but I’ve always had in mind that keeping your earnings, you build yourself more. Why should I give a person a particular set of cash flow when they aren’t going to invest it well within themselves? Another reason is those around me.

“The way you shape your life determines who you revolve your life around with.” That’s a famous quote I read and it’s true. Most of the people I revolve myself with are completely greedy. Knowing they have a great set of assets, they will not use it only to the minimal use as possible. This subject is very strong and I’m looking forward talking more about it in the near future. But, as I’m reflecting on giving, I had to change.

One of the ways I had to change is firstly change my attitude towards it. I had to put my mind in a positive mood and adapt to it because if we’re giving with the wrong attitude, we’re not sowing properly. To sow means to plant and expect a positive outcome. If we’re giving out of anger that trait carries that attitude and others will notice resulting perhaps in a negative outcome. Secondly what I had to do was inspire myself to keep giving. Listening to many audio of speakers with great success, they all said in order to succeed in life, one of the keys for it is to give back. Either giving it to charities or church, give to a place that may use it for great benefits.

It’s such an improvement I had, and giving hasn’t been a hard issue with me. The thought of putting the time or money on someone, and they result using it for bad use isn’t nothing to worry. I know perhaps no one may see it but when ever I have those assets to give, I truly give it with a great positive feeling.

Take the time to give. There are people I know that don’t take advantage of giving, and are too insecure about it. Gather your thoughts and find ways to give either by giving the time to coach someone about life, business or give funds putting in my that those funds will grow into a bigger outcome.

Our Company Culture cont.

What shapes a company’s culture? Have you found out yet? Earlier this week I wrote about the top three keys I think make and shape a company’s culture. The first post was about values. I had so much to say about it because I believe it makes a large portion up of how it shapes the culture. Have you found out what the values of your business or organization are?

The second key that makes the culture of a company is vision. We have to have an aim and believe ourselves going for it. When we have no vision of where we want to go, we become lost. Everyone that is on board will dive out because there is no direction.

When vision is planned, don’t get too carried away with the dream that it starts to look as a fantasy with the rest of the team-members. I think it should be reachable, consistent, and realistic.

Churches for example tend to set a vision but may never achieve it. Reasons because those visions are far out of reach and unrealistic.

Before we made huge changes, my church tended to fit in the category. We had a vision. Our vision was to get a bigger building that everyone could attend. The size of this place was seen as having 100 acres. I’m thinking to myself, is that even possible? Of course the leader always has to share his vision with his members in order to move forward, but this casted vision seemed out of the ball park. I think we had to be realistic here and cast a more reachable vision. The members all agreed, they all believe in this vision and hoped on board. Throughout the year it was mentioned consistently, and people were motivated by it. They kept inviting other people to hear the greatness. They were excited knowing that their vision was such a positive feeling.

As we got through the year we kept on hearing what we were aiming for. A downside started turning, people were starting to get tired of it. In my opinion, I think most of these members started getting frustrated of the usual hearing and the leader never taking any action for it. The reason being because the vision felt like a direction that isn’t reachable. People started to hop out of the boat, we had to look at the vision the church was aiming for. Dramatic changes had to be made and the vision had to be re looked at.

The third and final key that shapes the culture of a company I think is to invest in your team. When we invest in our team we are showing them that we care for them, they mean a lot to us and they are our assets. Now I know some of you may say, “But why should I invest in my team when they don’t do nothing on their part?” Well you hired them, doesn’t that make you a fool for that process?

Investing in them brings loyalty, it’s similar to recognition towards them. So you may ask what I mean by investing? We don’t invest in them by inviting them to barbecues or giving them discounts from our own company, that’s relevant to taking advantage. We invest in them with ways they can improve their skills being used at work. Meaning we send them off to seminar or courses and we pay for them. This type of investment towards them acknowledges that the leader cares for them and wants their strong qualities to be improved.

In organizations, when the leader cares, he doesn’t fear the risk of regrets. You are family, and when the leader sees you having a difficult time, he will see that. Example being the leader at our church. He invested in our musicians. Hired a music teacher to further improve them. When those musicians gain more skills, they invested back into the leader by bringing loyalty and commitment. However, not all of them had that in thought. One of the members was having an awful time. He was struggling financially. There was a day where we went grocery shopping and left those purchases on his door step. It felt really good that we made that happen so he had food to feed his kids. Closer into the year he made the choice to leave the organization. He took those skills gained and left nothing behind him. Asked if the leader regrets giving him the time and investment, he said no because he knew in the future it would pay off. The whole congregation took notice and respect for the leader grew at a high level. The culture in the air felt warm and loving. They all were taught that when we give, we may not expect nothing in return, but our lives are that much better each and every day.

Values, vision, and investment are what make the culture of a place. What has your company visioned striving for? Has the leader invested in their team? Going back to our precious post, how were you valued at a company? And lastly what makes the company culture where you are at?