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Five Best Mother’s Day Brunches in Louisville

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Five Best Mother’s Day Brunches in Louisville

Mother’s Day calls for taking mom to brunch after church. Here are my five favorite brunch spots in Louisville:

o   Proof

o   Bristol

o   Dittos Grill

o   Ramsi’s

o   Grale Haus

What are your favorite brunch spots in Louisville? Did I miss any?

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and at Sojourn we’ll have free family photos after each service, in addition to flowers and tea for all the women in attendance. Come join us for church and then head to a tasty brunch after.

How Sojourn Does Women’s Ministry

Amanda Edmondson is my Executive Assistant at Sojourn Community Church, and Midtown Campus Coordinator for our Women’s Ministry. Amanda is my guest blogger this week at DanielSojourn.com:

At Sojourn, we acknowledge that both men and women are created in the image of God yet created differently; for this reason we have Sojourn Women. Over the past two years I have had the honor to co-labor with Nora Allison, with the guidance of our elders, and to think how to best help and serve our women.

Doing women’s ministry is challenging.  Add in a large multisite church and well, it’s still challenging!  We desire for our women not to be separate from Sojourn at large but to be very much a part of it. We pray that our women would be about God and what he created us for—to know him and to make him known.  This must work itself out in different ways, by each of our different women.

Regardless if she loves the color pink and wears pearls or prefers neutrals and flip flops, we desire for the women at Sojourn Community Church to be strong women whose knowledge and love of God constrains them to serve in their homes, places of work, where they play, and in their community.

How We Do This…

We pray, not only for the women at Sojourn, but for the church as a whole.  We ask the Lord to show us what the needs are. We are constantly meeting with women, hearing their hearts and doing life with them. It’s the only way for us to be able to assess how we need to grow spiritually as women.

Two years ago, we realized that too many Sojourn women didn’t know how to study their bibles apart from following a prepared study guide.  Convinced that, in order to know God deeply and personally, we must be learning about him directly from him, we started teaching women, both individually and corporately, how to sit down and study the Bible for themselves.  Now we regularly offer a class called Methods, teaching women how to ask questions of the text in order to rightly understand it and apply it.  Part of being a strong woman is being able to feed yourself on God’s word.

Multisite…

We are one church with four campuses.  Each campus has different strengths and different needs. In order to best utilize our gifts and help women at each campus grow, we plan Sojourn-wide (global) events, as well as specific  campus events/training.  Our global events are for all Sojourn women regardless of which campus they attend.  These events include our Fall One-day Retreat, our Spring Week-end Retreat and Women’s School (more info on Women’s School here).

Campus specific events/training would include our Methods classes, Christmas Gift Exchange, SEED projects, and Doctrines classes. We are gifted with many women who are capable and willing to teach and lead other women, which makes planning and implementing at a multisite much easier.

Sojourn Women is for all women in all walks of life.  As we continue to grow as a church we desire for the women of Sojourn in each season of life to be about God and His fame.

In all our planning, evaluating of events and teaching, we want to keep Christ central, making much of the Lord and less of ourselves, and maintaining our unique identity as women created in the image of God.

Visit the Sojourn Women blog here

4 Best Practices For Church Staff Assistants

While I’m on vacation, I asked a few Sojourn ministry leaders to keep the conversation going here at DanielSojourn.com. These are men and women who are leading us forward. Some of their work is behind the scenes, but it is all appreciated by me, by all the Sojourn pastors and by the many lives they have touched.

This week you’ll enjoy the perspectives of Amanda Edmondson. Amanda is a leader in Sojourn Women, our women’s ministry. She is also my Executive Assistant, and I can promise you that so much of what goes “right” at Sojourn is because of Amanda’s organizational skills, humble spirit, hard work and ingenuity.

Today she writes about what she learned as an Executive Assistant:

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When I came on staff at Sojourn Community Church just over two years ago I quickly realized that there was very little information out there for people in my position not to mention an organization that is constantly growing/changing, and a multisite church. Coming from a heavy training environment in my previous job, I was quickly discouraged to learn that I was building the plane in the air.

I quickly reached out to other churches to learn from them. It was helpful to take other peoples’ best practices and apply them, but working at Sojourn, we all wear multiple hats. For me one of those hats is being Daniel’s Executive Assistant.  Over the past two years I’ve developed a list of my top four best practices that have worked for me.

1. Boundaries-Set boundaries in proximity and time.  When you’re off be off. Don’t check emails on your day off; don’t respond to emails late at night.  When you do this you create a bad habit and it is one that is hard to break. You will also set an expectation that if others e-mail you late at night they can get a response from you that night.  Don’t be afraid to communicate these boundaries. When Daniel has something he wants to add to my to do list when I’m off he will email me instead of call me.

*I have accountability for this. My natural tendency is to be a workaholic so I have friends who will text me and ask me if I’m working when I should be resting or having fun.

2. Time Management/ Scheduling- A large part of time management is scheduling. I take an hour every Sunday to plan out my week. I plan when I’m going to spend time in the Word, exercise, eat, rest, and meet with women outside of work. During that time I write out my to do list for the week so that I know what I have to get done. Then I plan my time accordingly.  I’m naturally a laid back person so staying organized is key for me to prevent stress or burnout.

One of the weightiest aspects of my job is to guard Daniel’s time. My eyes are always on his calendar. I want to help protect his time so that he is able to be present where he is. One way to guard his schedule is by syncing his work schedule with his family schedule. What’s most helpful for me is to stay in contact with Daniel’s wife to get updated schedules as well as informing her and clearing dates with her for any overnight trips, evening, or night meetings.  I want to make sure Daniel has time to spend with his wife and children, and time to rest.

*I use Action Method to stay organized. They have an online resource that’s compatible with my iPhone and iPad. I use it to organize Daniel’s and my own action items for various events, meetings and general responsibilities.

*For Daniel’s Calendar we us Google Calendar. It’s most convenient because it’s easy to share and easy for him to access on his computer or phone.

* Managing email can be challenging. Before I even come in the office I’ll take 20 minutes at home to organize my email for the day. I have three categories I use to label them.  Those categories are

  • “Need Answer”
  • “To Do”
  • “Respond”

I will then create a priority list of which to respond, based on time sensitivity of the content in the email.  If it’s something that will take some time to get an answer on, I will try to respond just to communicate with that person that I’m working on getting them the information they need.

3. Fail Forward/Be Teachable-I learned when I worked in sales I couldn’t be afraid to fail. The same applies in being an Executive Assistant.  The biggest difference for me coming on staff was that I could no longer measure my success through sales numbers. In this role there is rarely a way to measure what is going well. Much of what I do as an Executive Assistant is behind the scenes so no one except Daniel and our team really know what I do. I can’t depend on people’s affirmation to measure if something is working.

I’ve learned that I have to ask Daniel and not just wait for him to tell me. We are always experimenting with new methods so before I become too invested in a method I like to ask Daniel and the team to know if it’s helpful.

4. Rest-When I first came on staff Daniel told me, “We work really hard, but we also rest hard.” I had no idea what this meant until I was overwhelmed and exhausted from not resting. I schedule a day (some weeks a night) of rest. This has been really helpful in allowing me to stay sane but also to be excellent and to be present where I am. When I say rest I’m not laying on the couch all day or reading my Bible for 12 hours straight. Rest for me looks different each week. I usually evaluate how I need to rest by asking myself this question:

“What is my need, and what will be most glorifying to God?”

I’ve learned that as I rest I’m able to focus and be driven by God’s glory, not my to do list at work.

These four practices have worked for me but they may not be the best for you and your boss.  Evaluate what is going well and what needs improvement and go from there. There are a lot of books out there on organization, management, and time. Do your research and experiment to find what works for you, your boss, and your organization.

Pastoral Residency: The Good, The Bad & The Life Changing

Jonah Sage is Connect Director at Sojourn Community Church, and guest blogger this week at DanielSojourn.com:

From March 2011 through May 2012, I served as the Pastoral Resident of Sojourn’s Midtown campus. Below are my thoughts on the good, the bad, and the life changing lessons I learned during that time.

The Good

The purpose of a Sojourn residency is to set aside time for specialized training in the field of pastoring and/or church planting. Training, as opposed to teaching, focuses on the man’s character and his ability to successfully and efficiently perform his duties. The pastors wanted to know how competent I was and whether or not my character corresponded to the biblical requirements of a pastor. Coming into my residency, I had a head filled with knowledge from books and seminary classes. I had been taught well but had yet to put that knowledge into action.

For most of my life, I got by without trying very hard. It took pastor Daniel about five minutes to see that in me and then another thirty seconds for him to confront my sin. He learned how to bring out the best in me and that often involved critiquing my lackluster work. My pastors helped me learn how big my plate really was, where I am gifted, and their affirmation gave me confidence in God’s call on my life.

They showed me places where my life and my beliefs were in conflict. I believed God was in control, for instance, yet lived like everything was up to me. How could I say God was in control and yet be filled with so much anxiety? How could I say Jesus’ perfect life and death in my place forever secured my worth as a son of God yet constantly fight to prove myself to others? The pastors lovingly (yet firmly) helped me get truths like these down from head and into my heart, hands, and feet.

The Bad

I was both intentionally and unintentionally pushed past my limits so I could learn how to fail. Managing my residency alongside a new marriage, full-time seminary classes, and ministry responsibilities frequently tempted me to enter the fetal position. I went for months averaging four hours of sleep.

My role was, at best, ambiguous within the organization. Outside of my direct report, no one really knew what I was doing. When word would get out that I did something well, other ministry leaders would come and ask me if I could help them on a project. Wanting to impress everyone, I always said yes.

Between my sin and Sojourn’s poor staff communication, a perfect storm of anxiety and fatigue swelled in my life. The long nights turned into long weeks. Early mornings reviewing Hebrew, off to class, a lunch meeting, a class, an afternoon meeting, a walk with my wife, a counseling session, homework, kiss my wife goodnight, a quick snack, homework, sleep, repeat. Needless to say, this pattern eventually began affecting the health of my soul.

The Life Changing

Several pastors saw what was going on. They saw the way my eyes would well up when I was asked, “So how are you doing?” During a lunch with pastor Mike Cosper I was certain I was going to be fired. I was certain I had underperformed for the last time. Instead, he confessed ways Sojourn had failed and asked for my forgiveness. He spoke into the lies I was believing, he confronted my sin, and he described a healthier way to live. He affirmed my gifts and calling. And then he gave me a week off.

I got in my car and wept. I was stunned by the humility of my pastors. I was thankful for the example they were setting for me. Most of all, I was grateful for the reality that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection freed me from needing to prove myself. Pastor Mike reminded me that I was safe and approved as a gift of God’s grace, not as a result of working myself into the ground.

I learned more in one year as Sojourn’s pastoral resident than I did in three years as a theology student. As a result of intense testing, great successes and heart breaking failures, I have a clearer picture of pastoral ministry and a greater desire to shepherd God’s people than ever before. I love God more than ever. I desire to know and be like Jesus more than ever. My residency program changed me forever and I count it as one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.

3 Tips For Being A Good Church Intern

While I’m on vacation, I asked a few Sojourn ministry leaders to keep the conversation going here at DanielSojourn.com. These are men and women who are leading us forward. Some of their work is behind the scenes, but it is all appreciated by me, by all the Sojourn pastors and by the many lives they have touched.

This week you’ll enjoy the perspectives of Jonah Sage. Jonah has served diligently as my research assistant and with many other assignments, such as helping to get Sojourn New Albany off the ground last fall. God has big plans for Jonah, which we enthusiastically support. Currently, Jonah has just become our full time Connect Director.

Today he writes about what he learned as an intern. If a Sojourn internship interests you, learn about it and download the application packet here.

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3 Tips for Being a Good Church Intern

Shortly after joining Sojourn, I began volunteering on the Sermon Research team. This turned into an internship focused on researching with Pastor Daniel. After a year, I was offered entrance into Sojourn’s Pastor Residency Program, I began receiving preaching opportunities, and recently accepted a full time position on Sojourn’s staff. Over the last year, I’ve had dozens of young men ask me what the secret to being a good intern is and what they should do to make the most of an internship. Below are three simple suggestions that will aid your development, sober your expectations, and help you truly bless your church.

1.  Make sure an internship is the right decision for you.

Not everyone who desires to be in vocational ministry should be an intern at a local church. Internships often require more time than you expect, are harder than you expect, and are more ambiguous than you expect. This means that an internship isn’t the best place to figure out what you want to do. This also means that an internship isn’t the best way to fill up the extra ten hours you have free in your week.

There are financial considerations involved in your decision, too. If you are planning on raising support during your internship, think about the pool of people you will be asking for money. Consider, for example, how raising support for an internship could impact a church planter. Will the people who supported your internship also be willing/able to support you as a church planter? If you are not raising support, does your life circumstance (family, school, debt etc) afford you the time to work alongside your internship?

In short, an internship is not the golden ticket into vocational ministry so don’t force it. When it’s a good fit, an internship is beautiful. When it’s not, it’s not. Get advice from people you trust and ask for their honest feedback. It may not be the best decision for you right now, and that’s OK.

2. Commit to being a blessing to your church.

The goal of your internship should be to bless your church through sacrificial service. Put another way, your goal should be to make your boss’s life easier. The best way to ruin your internship is by creating more work for the man or woman you are under. See an internship as an opportunity to bring something to the table, not simply to take something from it.

Often times, people will view an internship as an opportunity to spend time with a pastor or church leader who will mentor and develop them. This is certainly part of an internship, but not in the way most think it is (see point 3 below). Philippians 2:3-4 was my inner mantra as an intern:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

If your desire as a church intern is to be noticed, if you view your internship as a stepping stone to further your career, or if you view your internship as ultimately being about your development, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Commit to being a blessing to your church and consider the desires of others more important than your own. Here are a few practical tips:

  • always show up early (at least 10 minutes)
  • learn how your boss takes their coffee
  • so long as it doesn’t require you to sin, do what’s asked of you without complaining
  • every so often, ask how you are doing and what you could do to be a blessing

When you’re a blessing to those you work for, they will be sad to see you go. When you create more work for them and arrogantly believe certain types of work are beneath you, they will be glad when your time is up. Be faithful with whatever tasks you are given, keep your head down and serve. Your internship isn’t about you, it’s about being a blessing to your church.

3.  Pay attention. More is caught than taught.

Some see an internship as an opportunity to work alongside their favorite pastor and the expectation is that they will have a year of close, focused instruction. Most pastors, though, have a 50 hour+ job and a family at home. If you are expecting your internship to be about your own development, led by your pastor of choice, you may be disappointed. If you go in with your eyes open, though, you will be stunned how much you can learn. During your internship, every conversation, every meeting, every assignment is an opportunity to learn.

With Daniel, I asked him after meetings if he had five minutes to talk. When he had time, I would ask him questions about the meeting. I would ask him why he set the agenda the way he did, what his thought process behind a certain line of questioning was, what he was trying to communicate to the team and so on. I kept a running list of questions I had and when there was time (in a car ride or during lunch, for instance) I would ask one or two.

In every situation, ask yourself what you can learn. If there are multiple interns, try to meet with one of them regularly to process what you’re learning together. Every moment of your day is an opportunity to learn. The lessons may not be handed to you in a neat, formal package, but it’s all right there in front of you. You will catch more in a one year internship by paying attention and asking questions than you could ever be taught in that time.

Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said that the one who is faithful with a little will be faithful with a lot. An internship is a great opportunity to learn how to be faithful. I am grateful for my internship experience—it literally changed my life. My prayer is that the above suggestions could play a small part in helping your internship do the same for you.

Questions

-What were the best and worst parts about being a church intern for you?

-What are you looking for out of an intern?

-Who do you think should pursue a church internship?

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