Category Archive: LIT2011

LIT Here Today!

 

Hey Friends,

I am very grateful you read this blog. It is my prayer that it adds value to your walk with the Lord and to your leadership. I was going to do a video blog but could not get the program to work! Computers! Today is LIT Knoxville and I am very excited. I know that many of you pray for me and for that I am grateful.

Today is a day to pour it on! Pray for the conference today. Pray for God to move in power. Pray He gives gifts and anointing to everyone there. Pray leaders are encouraged and equipped to go back home and see their churches grow. Pray for the Worship Leaders and all the rest of the volunteers. Pray for each of the speakers:

  • Dr. Dale Henry
  • Pete Wilson
  • Bruce Frank
  • Chris Stephens

Pray we hear the voice of God and give His Word to all there. I believe this day will be used of God to change lives. If you add value to a leader you multiply the ability to help people. I really do covet your prayers and believe God will show up in power.

Counting on you,

Pastor Chris

 

Leadership’s Dark Side!

 

Hey Friends,

I have been doing some meditating, thinking and evaluating on leadership and the future of the LIT Conference. I have been thinking some troubling thoughts. This is a partial list I am compiling on lessons I am learning about leadership and helping others:

1. Most people don’t want help.

2. Most leaders do not accept the responsibility of, and for, the church or organization.

3. Many leaders are scared of the future, people, change, anyone different (they are seen as a threat, not help), church members.

4. Many leaders have a scarcity mindset.

5. Many leaders are leading from fear and not from faith.

6. It is impossible to help those who do not want it.

7. It is extremely difficult to claw your way out of the box you grew up in.

8. Many leaders are defending their preferences as the Bible.

9. There is not as much pragmatism in the Church as I used to think there was.

10. There is no bottom line in most churches.

Remember that this is the dark side of leadership. With 9 out of 10 churches plateaued or declining, there is a problem. I believe the Lord’s desire is for His Church to grow. How about you? Since it is not, I conclude that there is a leadership problem. The list above is just a start of trying to determine some of  the problems. You’ve got to know where you are to see your way to move ahead. Are you ready to move forward? Are you ready to walk by faith and live the Word? Are you ready to risk it all for the sake of the call? Jesus did, and so did His first followers. They left a pattern, or example, for us to follow.

Will you prepare for the next level of leadership or put your head in the sand? The Lord has revealed in His Word what His will is. Will we do it?

Love you and I’m praying for your continued growth and influence.

Chris Stephens

P.S. Hope to see you on May 12 at the LIT Conference to expand your vision and dream life.

 

How Many Really Want To Grow or Improve?

Hey Friends,

I am really wrestling with this question: HOW MANY PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO GROW OR TO IMPROVE? We all know that you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped, but we sure try, a lot! This is a very difficult topic for me. I am desperate to grow personally and to help others grow, but what can I do for those who just don’t want it? NOTHING! This rips my guts out. I just can’t stand it. I am talking about church members and leaders of other congregations.  I am now beginning to see why 90% of churches are plateaued or declining. There is no doubt, this breaks the heart of God!

Many of the leaders of churches have grown accustomed to no growth and no change. I have dealt with many pastors who are scared about the future or even scared of the church members. Shouldn’t the leaders of the Army of God be used to steady change and transformation? Shouldn’t salvations and baptisms be a weekly or daily deal? We have spent years fighting for the Bible and its authority, but when it comes to our ministry or leadership we backstroke! Christians should never crawfish!

I believe it is the will of God that the greatest leaders on the planet be in His Kingdom! He is calling us to grow and to get better, yet so many have fallen asleep and are lying in a rut. The Lord said, “Wake up O sleeper…” Dormant power and gifts are in you, and it is the will of God that they come out and that they be used. This requires faith and walking outside of your comfort zone. It requires attending conferences, acquiring mentors, or reading books that will add value to your leadership.

One day we will all stand at the Bema Seat of Judgment and give an account of what we did with what He put into us. Few of us seem to even be concerned about this event. The Apostle Paul was very concerned about this day.

Are you ready to grow?

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P. S. This Thursday, May 12, we will be having the Lit Conference at Faith Promise. LIT is all about helping you grow to the next level.

 

Get LIT in Knoxville!

Hey Friends,

The LIT Conference is just over two weeks away and I can’t wait. It is going to be an amazing day for any leader who invests the time to be better. Last year several marketplace leaders showed up and were blessed to the max. This weekend I am going to invite leaders from Faith Promise to attend. I did this year what I did last year, giving pastors and church leaders the first shot. I wanted to let you know of the opportunity.

Church leadership is exactly the same as any other leadership. It is like “business ethics.” There is no such thing as business ethics – there is just ethics. Most of the illustrations for the day will be about ministry but they will apply to any believer in any position of leadership. If you are in leadership, or want to be, this will be a day that will add value to you. We each have to decide how we spend our time and I believe this will be time well spent.

There will be some great leaders communicating throughout the day. All those who will be speaking will be used to help anyone there.  We look forward to hearing from:

  • Pete Wilson, Lead Pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville and Author of, Plan B
  • Bruce Frank, Lead Pastor of Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville
  • Dr. Dale Henry, Founder and President of Your Best Unlimited, who will bless everyone
  • Dr. Chris Stephens, Lead Pastor of Faith Promise Church and Founder of MinistryRx and LIT Conferences, who will be leading the day

There will also be some heavenly worship and some creative elements throughout the day. I promise that anyone who attends will be glad he or she did. The cost is minimal and the time is one day for you to enrich your future and your leadership potential. This is a day for you!

Hope to see you at LIT2011 Knoxville on May 12! 

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

How Are You?

Hey Friends,

Let me ask you a question: How Are You? During the Lit Conference in Nashville @Michaelhyatt asked us, “How is your heart?” Both are great questions deserving definite reflection. If you are like me, you tend to ignore how you really are! There is too much to do and the Church must go on. That’s right, not the show, but the Church. The two are radically different, but that is a blog for another day.

I am going to make a statement that I thought I would never make:

 LEADERSHIP WILL TAKE A TOLL ON YOU IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL!

Maybe I can say it now that I have turned 50. I have noticed something lately. I am growing more impatient with people and I am saying things to people that previously I would never have said. My question is, why? Do you ever notice changes in you? We all probably need to pay closer attention to these vessels God gave us.

I love what Nehemiah said: “I consulted with myself.” Do you ever consult with yourself? I do it all the time. Recently, I asked a close friend if he had seen any difference in my behavior. He said he had. This caused me to spend more time in prayer asking the Lord what the problem was. I did something else today that I have never done. I spent a little time with our church counselor. Her name is Ann Slimp and she is great. She gave me some great things to think about. I’m betting we all need some help from time to time.

What was the conclusion? Well, first I am seriously stressed and not completely sure why. No doubt I have to learn to rest and cut IT off. I have to take my Sabbath seriously and allow myself to just sit and enjoy. I am committed to learn to STOP my internal “to do list” that urges me on day and night.

I want to finish this race for Jesus and run every lap. I know you want to do the same thing. We must all learn to take care of ourselves. As we get older we have to change how we work. Honoring God has many facets. Are you?

Sharing my heart,

Pastor Chris

P.S. I hope you don’t miss the LIT Conference on May 12 at Faith Promise.

 

Complexity Kills

Hey Friends,

Now, after 30 years of ministry, I am able to see some things that I used to be unable to see. Some things only time reveals – or maybe I’m just the slowest learner on the planet. I have noticed that as the Church grows, everyone wants to complicate it. Have you ever noticed that? I’m not sure why our tendency is toward complexity, but it is. The problem is:

COMPLEXITY KILLS MINISTRY!

 

Trust me in this. We like the charts and the graphs. We love the flow charts and the diagrams. There is nothing wrong with them IF they are simple. Somehow we think simple is for simpletons! It is NOT! Simple is for genius leaders. If you keep it simple, everyone can get it. The more complex a process is, the fewer people there are who get it. If your staff doesn’t understand what it takes to join the Church, no one else does either. Do you have a 12-page questionnaire for a volunteer to fill out before he or she can help park cars?

PLEASE don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying we don’t need strategy, structure, plans, diagrams etc… JUST MAKE THEM SIMPLE! At the end of the day, people are our priority and not the plans. The plans are for the people. A lot of people in ministry want to stay in their offices and create plans… and never go out to the people. Many in the ministry live in the theoretical, not the practical. If you don’t believe me, just visit a seminary.

Senior leader, God has called you to lead the charge. Don’t let those around you complicate the ministry. Every now and then you have to pick up the “dog” by the collar and shake off the ticks and fleas. Everyone around you will add complexity and things that take away from the vision and mission. It is the leader’s job to cut off the complexity and anything hindering the vision of reaching people.

Just a thought!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. Remember the LIT Conference in Knoxville is all bout helping you with your leadership and passion.

 

Encouragement Goes a Long Way

Hey Friends,

I have to tell you about a phone call I just had with @DrBradHenson of Four Rivers Church. This guy is rocking Paducah. He was at the LIT Conference in Nashville. That day I spoke about speaking the Word over your congregation and God got a hold of him. He is now speaking to his congregation about Easter. He told them they would have 1,000 people on Easter. He said the church was shocked. Got to love his faith.

He usually has 4 services but for Easter he is planning 11. Now that rocks! The church is multi-site and runs about 600. They are planning for 3 new locations out of the Easter miracle. We need more pastors like Brad with faith and courage to stand up and believe God to advance the Church and the gospel.

He made my day by telling me how God moved on him during the LIT Conference. He also said he was going to send a team to the LIT Conference in Knoxville. He said when he saw the price of the ticket and the speakers, it was worth much more than the price paid. That was the reason for starting LIT – to add value to leaders and see God raise up leadership and faith. I believe Pastor Brad will hit 1,000 on Easter. Pray for him and the amazing vision God has given him.

I believe LIT Knoxville will be the same as Nashville. It will be a day for leaders to grow and be encouraged. Imagine 1,000 Brads reaching their full potential in the Lord. Pray with me and help me get the word out for the Knoxville conference. I believe God will be pouring out His favor and anointing for His servants. Are you ready to be blessed?

Together we can make a huge difference for the Kingdom!  Hope to see you on May 12 for LIT2011 Knoxville!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Reflections on LIT2011 Nashville

Dear Friends,

I would like to share with you a great blog written by Gary Balser about the LIT Conference in Nashville last week.  Gary is a businessman who volunteered and was able to view the conference from a different perspective.  He came away renewed and refreshed and emphasized that the conference was not just for pastors and church staff, but for business persons and leaders alike. Thanks, Gary, I couldn’t agree more.   Here is what he had to say:

Not Your Normal Conference

Yesterday I was given the privilege to serve at the LIT Conference in Nashville.  My job was minimal in that I was just a Greeter and Parking Attendant, but once completed I was afforded the opportunity to sit in on sessions.

I know the intent was tageted at stressed, frustrated, and new pastors, but something hit me as I listened to the teaching and the theme of the day.  As an entrepreneur and small business man, every word applied to ME.  Mentally, when the word “Pastor” was mentioned, I felt like the speakers were saying, “Businessman, Entrepreneur, or Adventurer” and it resonated strongly to what I am going through.

Like many pastors, we put in 50-60 hour weeks, deal with stressful situations, worry about budgets and income and increasging our attendance (sales).  With each speaker, I thought, “This would be a great seminar fo any small business owner, but necessary for any Christ-following business owners or someone thinking about starting a business. 

So here’s the deal, go to LIT Conferences and click on the Knoxville tab for the May 12th conference.  I know of conferences where you pay over $1,200 plus travel and do not get as much value as you will for this $49 conference.  The sessions will give you insight, excitement, strength, and a new passion to continue the venture even where the economy, family issues, money and stress have impacted your original thought.

As a Christ follower and businessman, I am once again excited with the passion I had pursued and it was all due to this one day conference.  I encourage you to sign up now for LIT2011.

It will be the BEST money spent in 2011.

 

Do You Get Naked?

Dear Friends,

Hey, an odd question for you: DO YOU GET NAKED? Today I was talking to a pastor friend of mine, Scott Cagle, of North Star Church in Knoxville. He gave me a very strong thought he had heard from a South African Pastor: “Either you get naked before God in your prayer closet or he will strip you naked in public.” What do you think about that? I have to agree with it.

One of the things we should hope to accomplish daily in our prayer closet is to be laid bare before God. In Hebrews it says, “We are all open and laid bare before the eyes of the One that we have to do.” God sees us no matter how hard we try to cover up. So, let’s not try, and let’s get real and serious before Him every day and allow Him to show us – us. This is one of the great antidotes for our pride. It would also help if He would reveal Himself to us. A good dose of God always seems to right our perspective. How is your time in your prayer closet? Are you allowing other things to rob God of His time with you? The enemy will throw anythng he can at you to keep you clothed and out of the closet.

The enemy would love to see you and me fall in public. He wants to discredit us and would laugh at any humilation we might endure. But, if we get naked before God on a daily basis, God can build us into the leaders He as called us to be. We all believe prayer should be a priority, but few of us actually live it. Every survey with pastors shows that daily prayer is NOT a priority. I know you want to be a great leader and you want to walk with our Lord. Prayer is priority number ONE.

Just a thought for you.

Love Ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. Please pray and help get the word out about the LIT Conference in Knoxville on May 12. Be there!

 

Mega-Thank You

 

Hey Friends,

I just wanted to say a huge “Thank You” for all you did for the LIT Conference  in Nashville. Many of you who read or listen to this blog did so much to help. You all prayed and helped me get the word out and I am truly grateful. The day was amazing and God moved in a miraculous way. Pastors and church leaders were encouraged and impacted by the Holy Spirit. Only heaven will record all that God did.

The speakers were all great. One of the attendees named Trevor Davis, a pastor from Memphis, said: “I have never been to a conference where everyone of the speakers hit a home run.” The conference was held at Cross Point Church in Nashville. Their pastor, Pete Wilson, did a great job preaching on faith and leadership. David Landrith, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church, preached on the need for rest. What a great message. Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, shared an amazing message on guarding your heart. Finally, Dr. Dale Henry of Faith Promise flew in to share a wonderful message to all the leaders assembled. I am grateful for these men and for them giving their time to wash the feet of leaders in the Kingdom of God.

I am so thankful for the staff of FPC that also helped get the word out. Many of the staff gave their day to drive to Nashville and helped in so many ways. Several of the ministry assistants were also there all day. I am sure those ladies could run our Nation. What great leaders. I was blown away by the work of my personal assistant, Gloria. She worked 70 hours a week for weeks leading up to the conference. I am blessed to have her work with me.

This blog is just to say thank you and I think we make a great team. The Knoxville LIT Conference is coming on May 12. I’m praying for over 500 to be there for the day. I guess we are not done yet…

Love ya,

Pastor Chris