In the late 1980s, I was asked to direct a series of prime-time TV specials from Lakewood Church featuring pastor John Osteen. The producer who invited me was his son Joel, who at the time was producing his dad’s TV program and leading the media ministry for the church. In 1982, Joel left Oral Roberts University at the end of his sophomore year to help his father launch the growing TV ministry nationally. For the next 17 years, Joel produced his father’s program, growing it into one of the world’s most successful media ministries.
During that time, Joel and I became close friends as well as colleagues. I was invited back many times, and after Joel took the helm as senior pastor at Lakewood, we created a new TV outreach, which would become the most watched inspirational program in history. To date, his TV broadcasts reach 10 million U.S. households each week.
Autumn is coming before we know it! If your church staff is like most, you are gearing up to start your fall planning.
Here are some things to consider as you put your planning down on paper:
1. Why do you do what you do? For every event or series you put on the calendar, ask yourself “Why?” If you answer, “Because we always have the ladies' tea the second Saturday in November,” it might be time to change your traditions.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is this: “Do you have any sample performance evaluation forms you can send me?” To be honest, I do have samples, but I never send them.
Why don’t I send them? Well, let me ask you: Have you ever seen a traditional performance evaluation system that actually improves performance? Probably not. To my knowledge, no such form exists. You don’t need a sample form. Instead, you need to lead well.
There’s a perpetuating myth in leadership circles that every good leader does annual performance reviews. That’s not true. You can be a great leader without going through the agony of filling out your annual HR evaluation forms.
Sitting at the airport in Singapore en route to home. After Sydney, we flew to Melbourne and had a lovely time with Pastor Kevin Conner and his wife, Rene. Now 86 years old, Pastor Kevin is a good friend of our ministry and has been a mentor of sorts to many of us through his teaching and writing.
Over dinner I was reminded of the many times this humble man of God has impacted my life and the lives of many others. Once, we asked him for his greatest tip for successful living. His reply was one word: Discipline. I couldn’t forget that learning moment with him.
When you think about it, discipline sounds very similar to disciple. I don’t know where we get the idea that in order to be a follower of Christ, we won’t need this important word that affects every facet of life.
The highest level in the prophetic realm is the office of the prophet.
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. —1 Corinthians 12:28
The prophets will have the strongest utterances because they speak by the spirit of prophecy, the gift of prophecy, and also out of the strength of the prophet’s office. They have the grace to speak messages that go beyond words of edification, exhortation, and comfort.