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Posted 5/8/15 at 1:56 PM | Ron Edmondson

Three Steps to Be an Expert Disciple of Jesus

Jesus was specific about what it takes to be a good disciple. This isn’t a guessing game.

If we want to mature in our walk with Christ, we should pay close attention.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Here are three steps to be an expert disciple:

First, we must deny ourselves

Jesus is not saying here that we should not own anything. Or want nice things. He is asking us to line our desires with His desires — even when they conflict with our desires. He is asking us to prioritize our life — with God and others in mind. (The first and greatest command — and the second is like it.) In denying ourselves, we are to look to Jesus and not unto our own abilities. Trusting Him when we can’t find our way without Him. That apart from Him, we can do nothing. Deny our fears. Deny our inabilities. Deny our sinful temptations by the power of the Gospel. Deny me — for Him — knowing I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. FULL POST

Posted 5/6/15 at 2:53 PM | Ron Edmondson

7 Examples of Shallow Leadership

Growing in our leadership abilities — including growing in the knowledge of leadership and the relational aspect of leadership– should be a goal for every leader.

Sadly, many leaders settle for status quo leadership rather than stretching themselves to continually improve. They remain oblivious to the real health of their leadership and the organizations they lead. They may get by — people may say things are “okay” — but it isn’t excellent.

I call it shallow leadership.

Perhaps you’ve seen this before in leadership. Maybe you’ve been guilty of providing shallow leadership. For a season, at least. I certainly have.

Still wondering what shallow leadership looks like?

Here are 7 characteristics of shallow leadership:

Thinking your idea will be everyone’s idea. You assume everyone is on the same page. You think everyone thinks like you. You stop asking questions of your team. You stop evaluating. FULL POST

Posted 5/5/15 at 3:31 PM | Ron Edmondson

7 Suggestions for Planting a Church or Revitalizing in a New Community

I am consistently asked for suggestions I have for moving to another city to plant a church or revitalize a church.

I planted once in my hometown, so I am very familiar with that community, but I also planted a church in a city in which I didn’t know anyone well, so I have some experience in that area too. In my present church, I moved to a city where I knew only one other couple.

Recently someone who was about to move to a new city to minister asked a very good specific question.

What advice would you give me that people don’t always give?

Good question. It made me think. I don’t know that any of these are original, but I don’t hear them talked about as much as other suggestions.

And, I think the things I would do would be the same in any ministry position.

Here are 7 suggestions for moving to another community to minister:

Have a prayer team – There should be a group of people praying for this community, the church, and the leaders on a daily basis. I have a personal prayer team and organize teams to pray for special events. Bathe every move in prayer.
FULL POST

Posted 4/29/15 at 12:12 PM | Ron Edmondson

5 Ethical Things to Know When Blogging About Struggles in Your Current Position

I had an interesting question recently:

Do you have a “7 ethical things to know if you are going to blog while serving in a local church” blog post?

Although not always as succinct as that one, it’s actually a fairly common question. Basically, how should you blog about — or more popular — speak about problems in leadership when the problems exist where you are currently leading?

When you don’t agree with leadership, but you don’t feel released from your position, is there anyway to ethically talk about that?

Well, I would say first and foremost: BE CAREFUL!

That’s a slippery slope. You should know the risks in advance. People likely read your blog that you don’t think read your blog. (And, your other social media also.) I previously blogged about ways I blog about current leadership problems. FULL POST

Posted 4/28/15 at 1:54 PM | Ron Edmondson

5 Things Every Leader Needs to Hear

Sure I’m a leader. So this may appear to be a self-serving post. I understand — and accept — the risk.

The fact that I am a leader, however, gives me a certain credibility in speaking on behalf of leaders.

I wrote this post several years ago, but decided to edit it and post again. More convinced than others.

I recently returned from encouraging dozens of church planters in Chicago. One of these planters has worked for several years without seeing a single person come to faith in Christ. Yet, I saw first hand the good work the church is doing in a very hard community. Others have seen their work grow only to have the world change again as a third of the church moved away in one year.

I was reminded again — there are certain things that every leader needs to hear that fuel his or her passion for leading.

This is true regardless of whether or not the leader is considered a “good” leader. In fact, sometimes a mildly successful leader can transform into a superior leader simply by receiving these words of encouragement. FULL POST

Posted 4/27/15 at 11:52 AM | Ron Edmondson

5 Bad Reasons to Plant a Church

I love church planters. I moved into church revitalization and part of the concern I had for doing so is that I might not have a foot into church planting. That would be tough for me. After two successful plants and having worked with literally hundreds of planters, I think it’s in my blood. (Interestingly, I learned a few years after my first plant that my mom served on the core of a church plant during her years before marriage. It’s truly in my blood.)

But, I’m concerned.

Can I change gears in the conversation that quickly?

I seem to find some planters — or want-t0-be planters — who are in it for the wrong reasons. The fact is we need people called to ministry in the established church. We need them in church revitalization. Not everyone needs to be a church planter.

But, the bigger issue is that without the right reasons, if we are not careful, a church plant could become just a part of a growing fad and no ultimate good will come from it. And, that’s not good for the planter or the Kingdom. FULL POST

Posted 4/24/15 at 2:21 PM | Ron Edmondson

7 Things You May Not Know But Need to Know about Your Husband

I recently wrote a post about 7 things you may not know about your wife. It was a popular post and I committed to write a companion post for the wives.

Here are 7 things wives need to know — but may not know — about your husband:

His ego is more fragile than you imagined. I know, you’re probably tired of hearing about the male ego. I get it. But, it hasn’t gone away and, frankly, the world isn’t too kind on our ego. We see the jokes on every sitcom and commercial about how inadequate we are at times. But, there’s not a man with a soul that’s alive that doesn’t want to be admired by the woman in his life. Not one.

He is very visual. Very. More than you are probably thinking. You see his eyes roam. That’s a natural reaction for him. He doesn’t have to work on it. Now he has responsibility over his eyes — not the girl who attracted them — but if there’s a pretty girl around, he probably saw her long before you did. And, he likely battles staring more than you will ever understand. FULL POST

Posted 4/22/15 at 2:26 PM | Ron Edmondson

4 Realities to Help Discern a Vocational Call to Ministry

Discerning a call to vocational ministry can be a tiring and trying experience.

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with numerous young people and couples who are possibly experiencing a call to full-time, vocational missions or ministry. They don’t always know what they are supposed to do — usually not — but they know their vocation is to be a part of the mission of Christ.

Talking with people at this stage of life is one of my favorite things to do. It fuels me in ministry to help others process their call.

Having also wrestled through this issue years ago with two teenage sons makes this something very personal to me. Obviously I have my own experience in this area of wrestling through a call to vocational ministry. My wrestling was a 10 year process.

The counsel I gave my boys came to me suddenly one day. I’m not pretending it was inspired, but it certainly is a product of my personal experience and time spent with God struggling through this issue. I’ve used this teaching many times since then. FULL POST

Posted 4/10/15 at 9:47 AM | Ron Edmondson

7 Reasons You May Not be Achieving Your Dreams

I recently I posted 7 steps to achieve your dreams. I love helping people attain their God-given visions.

It occurred to me that there may be an additional post needed.

The fact is that more people will look back on their life and wish they had done more with their life than they did.

I heard someone once say something like, “If you’re not careful, your “hope to do’s” will become your “wish I had’s”. I have many of those areas in my life. I want the next phase of my life to be different.

Here are 7 reasons you may not be achieving your dreams:

You have no dreams – You may have some but you’ve never recorded them. You never set some tangible goals that get you closer to your dreams. Only then can you analyze them and organize them into reachable and attainable dreams. FULL POST

Posted 4/9/15 at 11:46 AM | Ron Edmondson

7 Steps to Achieve Your Dreams

I love and encourage dreaming.

I think dreaming is healthy for our emotional well-being. It’s a process that helps us accomplish great things personally and for God.

We are told we serve a big, creative God, whose thoughts will always be bigger and better than ours. We are to walk by faith. We are to trust God into the unknown. Dreaming should be natural to believers. Dreaming stretches the vision of churches and organizations, it fuels creativity, and many great opportunities develop first as a dream.

The reality is –‘however — that more people have dreams than attain them.

Perhaps you have dreams you have yet to accomplish. I certainly do. One reason dreams never come true is that we don’t have a system in place to work towards them. I love to be an encourager for people with great dreams, so with that in mind, here are some steps to help you move towards reaching your dreams:

Identify your dream – This is where you list specifically what the dream would look like. Obviously it needs to be attainable. If your dream is to create a new moon you may be disappointed, but don’t be afraid for it to be a stretch either. For example, suppose your dream is to be to be an author. That’s a dream you can accomplish, but it may not be realistic to write the nextPurpose Driven Life. FULL POST

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