Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Recharge

Today, I went to work and forgot my charger at home. It's the end of the day and I only have a little battery left. As soon as I get home, I will charge it up so that I have access to its use as soon as possible. Have you ever felt like my phone? Losing power, light dimming, running out of energy, seemingly about to die and not be of any good use to anyone?

There are two important steps I'm going to take for my phone that would be good for you to take as well to get your charge back:
  • First, I will plug it in to the power source:
In the same way, when you're losing energy, you need to plug back in to your power source. In the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy and the joy of the Lord is your strength. The way to plug in is to find your way into the presence of the Lord. How do you get there? Prayer, reading the Word, praise, worship, meditation, fasting. These activities energize, refill, and recharge you. There are certain activities that you engage in that drain you and others that charge you. Find the things that energize you and recharge your battery.   
  • Second, I will let it rest:
Sometimes, we burn out because we won't rest. I challenge you to be fully present in whatever it is that you're doing. If you're playing, totally commit to playing; if you're working, totally commit to working; if you're exercising, totally commit to exercising; if you're praising, totally commit to praising... if you're resting, totally commit to resting! With my phone, if I charge it while also using it, it is going to take much longer for the device to fully charge than it would if I would leave it alone to its charging. Rest, rest, rest! 

Now, I have two sets of questions for you to think about:
  • How do you recharge? What builds you back up again? Where do you gain your energy from?
  • What is blocking your rest? What distracts you from being fully present when you rest?

Matthew 11:28-30New Living Translation (NLT)
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”


1 Peter 5:7New Living Translation (NLT)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 





Thursday, September 11, 2014

My best isn't good enough


Have you ever felt like you were giving your best effort, but that effort was not good enough? How frustrating! I remember in my undergraduate work in college taking a Business Law class. I once had aspirations to be a lawyer, so I was extremely excited about the content. We were going to spend much of our time studying contracts. I happily went to class, did the homework, engaged in the discussions, studied hard, and when I took the tests, I repeatedly received low grades - mostly Ds to be exact. This was uncommon for me. I'm not proud of this, but I must honestly admit that at that point in my life, I typically only put in a little work and received As and Bs, so this was a different experience for me. I was working hard - giving my best - and almost failing the course. Consequently, I took the course again with a different teacher and I'm glad to report I received an A the 2nd time around - but, I think I learned more from the D.

What a life lesson! There are days now where I feel like I felt in that Business Law class while engaging in ministry, administration, career, fatherhood, marriage, etc. While passionate about what I'm doing, sometimes my best just isn't good enough. Sometimes I don't have enough time, knowledge, energy, or experience and some things fall short and go undone. So, what do you do when your best isn't good enough? I have three suggestions:

1. Know that you're in good company.

Throughout the bible and throughout history we find many stories of great individual success stories that often eclipse the back-stories of extreme failure in the same individual. We could run down the list of amazing failures who we know as amazing successes, but you've seen all of that before. The takeaway is that you cannot learn to be great without experiencing some failure. Strength is born out of struggle. So, even if you feel like your best is not enough and you're falling short, know that you're in good company.   

Romans 3:23 (NKJV) confirms this truth when it states, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  

2. Don't stop trying.

This, or some variation - don't give up, keep going, try again, etc. - seems to be the advice that I tend to default to in almost every situation. We can't afford to give up. I've heard it said that "failure is not an option." I beg to differ, failure is absolutely an option - an option that I have found myself selecting time and time again. What is not optional when tasked with accomplishing a task God has asked you to do is quitting! You may fail, but you cannot quit. It can be so frustrating to give your all and still not measure up to what is needed, but that does not give you an excuse to stop giving your all. When the good effort that we offer doesn't work, we have a tendency to stop offering good effort. Don't get lazy! Don't let your frustration stop your efforts. 

Galatians 6:9 (KJV) validates this advice as it encourages: "let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
3. Stop relying on your best.

This final advice is humbling, yet eventually encouraging to grasp. Left alone to our own abilities, we are likely to fail over and over again. It is not until we allow God to add His extra to our ordinary - His super to our natural - His above to our average, that we will ever be able to fulfill the purposes of God in our lives. God loves to use insufficient people, organizations, systems, processes, places, and things. Using something that is not enough on its own demonstrates His greatness. When God uses me with all of my issues, it communicates to those who know me that it must be God at work. God is not intimidated by our issues, shortcomings, struggles, or weaknesses. So, today I challenge you to offer your best, but rely on God's best - His anointing, which gives us the ability to do what we could not do on our own. 

Here are a few NKJV scriptures to reinforce your reliance on God rather than self:
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9: And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
  • Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • Matthew 19:26: But, Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Submitted by: Pastor Razel Jones

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You fit the description

Deuteronomy 28:12-13New King James Version (NKJV)

12 The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.

Last week, I went to a neighborhood park in Kentwood and played with my daughter while a team from our church met about some upcoming events. At one point, I went back to sit with the group working on the event. A few minutes later, two police officers approached the picnic table where we sat. As they approached, we asked "what's up?" 
One of the officers responded, "we received a call and we're looking for someone here in the park - can I see your ID?"
There, I sat, the African American male at a table with 4 African American women and 2 babies. As we sat, about two weeks into the tragedies in Ferguson, a flood of thoughts entered my head. As I reached for my drivers license, I stated, "so, I fit the description, huh?" 
The officer answered, "yes, you do."
I gave my ID and the officers realized that I was not who they were allegedly looking for. Thoughts continued to enter my mind. The main thing I wondered is what that description really was that I fit to those officers. Was it, black male? Bald? 5'6"? Did I look dangerous as I sat at a picnic table with my church leaders? Did I look like a criminal as I was pushing my daughter on the baby swing? How did I fit the description? This was a description that was not favorable for me to fit on this particular day. In their eyes, I wasn't a pastor - I wasn't an author - I wasn't a Christian - I wasn't a husband - I wasn't a father - I wasn't a human resources professional - I wasn't an MBA - I wasn't a consultant... I was a suspect.  
In contrast, Deuteronomy 28:12-13 shares a description we should all want to fit. The passage describes a group of highly blessed people. People who's work is successful; people with enough resources to lend to others in need; people who are in-charge leaders who have attained a level of honor and prestige and rank in their fields. 
How do you get to the point where you fit this description? The secret is found in the last part of the passage: if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 
As I thought about this contrast, I became a little sad to think that even if you heed the commandments and live a life that is pleasing to the Lord, people still may not see you in the same light that the Lord sees you in. Even if you've done nothing wrong, you may still simply be a suspect. 
I challenge you today to fix your sights on living to gain status with God rather than status with man. Peoples' perceptions of you may be inaccurate; they may see you in the wrong light; they may judge you without knowing who you are, but it is not peoples' perceptions of you that matter. What really matters is how God sees you and our text tells us that if you do what He says, He will bless you well beyond what any person could ever do for you. Not only that, He will cause you to be in a position to be a blessing to people who have had the wrong perception of you. Hold on to the promises of God! Living for Him is worth it! Without Him on that day in the park, I would have said more than I should and would have probably reacted in a way that would have caused more problems for me. With Him, I knew who I was and didn't feel the need to prove anything. Do you know who you are? Do you fit the description of a blessed person of God?   

Deuteronomy 28:12-13New King James Version (NKJV)

12 The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.

Spiritual Disciplines Consecration

As we prepare for Increase 2014 on October 3-5, 2014, our church has begun a consecration focused on improving our spiritual disciplines in a variety of ways. We will consecrate and discipline ourselves everyday of the month of September. We would love for you to join us in this Consecration. Below are the instructions:

  • Sundays - Increased worship (corporate and individual)
    • Come to church worshiping, worship and then worship some more in the evening.
  • Mondays -Increased meditation
    • To meditate is to engage in thought or contemplation - to reflect
    • Spiritual introspection
    • Clear your mind of the clutter and give space for God to speak to you without interruption 
  • Tuesdays - Increased prayer & fasting - fast from midnight - 6:00 p.m. 
    • Preferably just drink water. If that's not possible, add juice and/or fruit.
  • Wednesdays - Increased bible study
    • Study a passage of scripture - dive into it - look words up, think thoroughly, search for revelation knowledge and understanding.
  • Thursdays - Increased bodily exercise
    • Discipline yourself to take care of God's temple, that is, your body through physical exercise.
  • Fridays - Increased corporate prayer (15 minute prayer call at 6:30 a.m. EST)
    • Start your day with a corporate time of prayer.
    • Prayer call line - dial 1.605.475.3200 and enter access code 563087#
  • Saturdays - Increased administration (handle some business that you've been needing to handle, but haven't been getting to)
    • What administrative task have you been needing to do, but haven't gotten around to it? Discipline yourself to work on it today. Whether working on your resume, writing the song, book proposal, managing your calendar, planning an upcoming event, handling an assignment for school, for church, for work - whatever it is, today is a day to make progress towards completion of those administrative tasks that haven't been getting completed in your life. 
More information is coming soon about Increase 2014. In the meantime, stay consecrated and keep moving forward towards the actualization of your vision. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Out of control

Sometimes, life can feel like it is spiraling out of control. Compounded trouble can place extreme weight on our shoulders and before we know it, our lives have shifted from trying to actualize our vision to simply trying to figure out how to deal with the massive weight we carry from day to day. Many people have given up on thriving; it can feel overwhelming enough just to try to survive. Let me give you four strategies for getting a handle on this chaos so that you can refocus towards your pursuit of destiny:

1. Choose your battles wisely.

Only engage in battles that are worth fighting. These are the battles that will help you in the war. If winning a battle doesn't help you get closer to your destiny, it isn't worth fighting. Many times we work hard to prove a point and once proven, we find it doesn't really matter anyway. This is a waste of energy and effort. It is important for you to learn how to do what you can and it is equally important that you don't try to do what you can't. There are battles to fight (fight the good fight of faith) and there are battles that you don't have to fight (stand still and see the salvation of the Lord) - choose wisely!

2. Avoid isolation.

As I have experienced myself go through stressful situations and as I have coached others through stressful situations, it has become very clear that it can be dangerous to isolate yourself when dealing with stress. While, it sometimes feels that this is the thing to do and sometimes you don't want to burden others with your problems, the bible is clear in teaching us that we're not islands. Isolation is a breeding ground for out-of-control thoughts which lead to nonproductive actions. If you have a positive support system (church, family, friends, etc.), let your support system provide support. If you don't have a positive support system, pray for and seek a church family and/or a group of positive people doing positive things with which to spend your time.

3. Posture yourself for your future.

Develop a worldview of being future-facing. Spending too much time dwelling on your past can be counterproductive. In the same way, focusing on the stress and pain presently facing you can be a negative practice. I challenge you to always ask yourself: "What have I learned from what I've been through that could help me now?" and "How can I recover and grow from what I'm facing right now and use it to advance to my future?" Everything you're going through and everything you have gone through will develop something in you that you will need later. All things work together for the good of them who love the Lord - so, focus forward; your future will be better because of your experience.

4. In order to gain control, you must lose control.

If your situation seems out of control, perhaps that is because the wrong person has the controls (in case you're wondering, that wrong person is you). There's an incredible peace to be gained by giving your problems to God. We are instructed to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us. Your situation will remain out-of-control as long as you are trying to control it - when you give your pain, your worry, your anxiety, your stress to God, your situation will feel and become better. Let go and let God have His way!

Submitted by: Pastor Razel Jones

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Progress Report

In my school days, I remember receiving assessments in the middle of a semester to let me know how I was doing in classes. These progress reports gave an indication of what my next moves needed to be in order to achieve success in the rest of the semester. The word "progress" is defined as forward movement toward a destination. Today, it is my hope that you are making progress towards being who God says you are. Your destination (destiny) is the place your movement must be aimed towards. 

What movements have you recently made in your life? Are those movements taking you forward or backwards? Progress begins with honest self-reflection. Today, I encourage you to look over the recent moves you have made in your life and genuinely examine if your movement is taking you closer to or further away from the destination that God is calling you to. 

We all spend a lot of time hoping for progress, but oftentimes progress can seem to be elusive. Have you ever been in a season in your life where it felt like you had made no forward movement towards your destination for quite some time? 

Progress really is not as hard to attain as we sometimes make it out to be. The etymology of the word progress breaks the definition of the word down to pro (forward) and gressus (to step). It is from the Latin "progressus" which simply means to step forward. I believe many of us are often off the mark with our self examination and we mislabel ourselves as individuals who are making no progress because we have not arrived at our destiny. This is likely to be an inaccurate analysis. It is easy to lose site of the progress you have made by focusing on the distance you still have left to go towards your destination. Your progress is not about your arrival at destiny - it is about your stepping forward towards destiny. In fact, that's what the whole of salvation and right living is about - stepping forward towards destiny. It is a process of progress.

As you examine yourself, you must diagnose if your recent movement has taken you closer to destiny or not. Does that relationship take you closer to or further from destiny? Does that decision carry you in the right or wrong direction? Is that choice bringing you one step closer to or one step further away from your destiny? If you are not moving closer to destiny, there is a simple solution - just take a step forward! If you feel you're not making progress, it's crucial that you determine what you are going to do about it. 

Tonight, I spoke with one of our church leaders and I asked the question, "are you making progress?" The answer was, "some". I continued investigating and we discovered that for this leader, she would feel progressive if three things happened. One of those things was to get up earlier in the morning. She immediately set an alarm for earlier and instantaneously - BOOM! - she made progress. It was as simple as that - she took a step forward - not a sprint - not a flight; she didn't even exactly reach the destination by doing what the goal was but, she took a step forward. This is a change in how we grade ourselves; this is a change in how we measure our progress. If we assess ourselves based on the true definition of the word, "progress" rather than our idealized image of the meaning of the word, we would win more; we would be less discouraged, and make much more progress.

Finally, once you make progress, study your success. What did you do right? What worked? Once you discover the patterns of your success, apply them again and continue your success - keep progressing - keep stepping forward all the way to your destination. I heard Andy Stanley say, we typically don't study our own success. We study our failure and other people's success, but not our own success. If we would learn to pay attention to what we do right, we would perpetuate our success rather than our failure. 

Today, as you assess your progress towards destiny, I encourage you to pay attention to what is right about you, instead of only focusing on what is wrong with you. My prayer for you is that you take steps forward all the way to your destiny. Don't discount the progress you are making towards your destination. 


Philippians 3:16New Living Translation (NLT)
16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.  



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Handling the Father's business

Luke 2:49-50New King James Version (NKJV)

49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

The past two years have been a flurry of activity for me. I enrolled in an intense MBA program hoping to gain business skills that would benefit our church as well as myself personally. After about a half a year in the program, we welcomed our first child, Kayden, to the world. In the midst of all of that, I received a promotion at work that came with more duties. In addition, I had the joy of preparing and/or performing marriages or vow renewals for around 10 couples. All in all it has been a wild ride and there have been times during the journey that I haven't been able to be fully present at Victory Life.

I just want to take this time to say, thank you for sticking with the ministry and the vision during this transitional time. I strongly feel that we are now on the verge of a great breakthrough for the ministry and the sacrifice we have all made over the past two years is about to be rewarded. 

I have come away from the program with new tools to apply to the ministry that will assist us on the business management side and will help facilitate the actualization of the vision that is set before us. 

We are going to do ministry business better. We will continue to grow in our understanding of the needs of the various market segments in our target markets and we will strengthen our activity fits and make sure that the activity fits are aligned with the vision, mission, and BHAG of the ministry. It makes many uncomfortable, but the truth of the matter is that church is business; it is the Father's business. I want to encourage those on board with the vision of Victory Life to be about the Father's business; commit to serving the Lord through the ministry in excellence and be on-point with your ministry activities. I appreciate all that each of you do to actualize the vision of Victory Life. Let's be about the Father's business together!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Baptism - what & why is it?

BAPTISM


In just a few hours, we will have our 3rd Baptism service as a church family. August 3 at Hemlock Park in Big Rapids, in the Muskegon River at 10:45 a.m.


Why is it important? 


Baptism is an outward expression/sign of an inward truth for the believer. Baptism demonstrates to the world that you are serious about your connection to Christ. Through baptism, we connect with Christ in his life, death, burial and resurrection. The old you is left in the water as your sins were cast into the sea of forgetfulness, and the new you emerges from the water! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


Baptism is defined as: 


  • a ceremonial immersion in water as an initiatory rite or sacrament of the Christian church.
  • an action of initiation, dedication, etc. 
  • a purifying experience. 

Here are some scriptures to think about concerning Baptism:


  • Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
  • Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
3 distinct methods/names to be baptized in, in each of these scriptures: 1. in the name of Jesus Christ 2. in the name of the Lord 3. in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

More importantly, many results are listed after the baptism:
  • Forgiveness of sins
  • Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit
  • Being with the Lord/Waiting on the Lord
  • Observing the Word of the Lord
  • Dwelling with the Lord always
Some additional results include:

  • Connection with the body of Christ everywhere
  • Renewal
  • Cleansing
  • Fresh start!
We have 3 candidates who have signed up for Baptism this Sunday. Feel free to join us at the Baptism service to celebrate with these as they experience one of the greatest days of their lives!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

From I can't live without you to I can't live with you!


Hebrews 13:4a NLT

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.


Lately, I've been interacting with a lot of engaged and newly married couples. It is fun to watch the union of two people who want nothing more than to be together. In those stages, individuals seem to feel like they can't breathe without the other. Our focus can be entirely on the other person and during single life, individuals often feel like life will be incomplete if they do not get married to that person who has captured their attention and their heart.

As relationships continue, a transformation in this mindset can occur. Often, you see married couples who want nothing more than to be apart. In those stages, individuals seem to feel like the other person is smothering and suffocating them and impeding their ability to breathe. Focus seems to shift to self and during married life, individuals often feel like life will be incomplete if they do not find a way out of the marriage and away from the person who once captured their complete attention and total heart.

What a drastic change!

So, how do we avoid this transformation from feeling like you can't live without your person to feeling like you can't live with your person? Here are 3 suggestions:

1. Keep your connection. 
  • Stay connected spiritually - Pray together, read the bible together, do church life together, build each other up spiritually and encourage your person's spiritual growth. These activities keep Christ as the central focus of your marriage. Chances are much greater with the pursuit of Jesus as a shared goal in your marriage.
  • Stay connected emotionally - Share thoughts, share feelings, share reactions, comfort each other, work to bring joy to each other. Communication is essential. Communication kills conflict and communication keeps you connected, so develop strategies to ensure healthy communication in your marriage.
  • Stay connected physically - Remember when you couldn't keep your hands off of each other when it was leading to sinful activity? Now it is time to keep your hands on each other. Don't let the bedroom lose its passion; it's up to you to keep the passion in your relationship. Part of the pre-marital intrigue with sex is that you're breaking the rules... and for some reason (mostly, our sinful nature), that can feel exciting. Once you're married, you have to incorporate new ways to bring excitement into your physical connection.  
2. Build in some space.
  • Marriage doesn't mean you stop having a life; it actually can, and should, enhance both of your lives. You just have to find ways to make sure that your individual lives are helping fulfill the shared goals of your merged life. You are indeed living for your person, but part of living for that person involves some self-care and progress towards your individual goals as well. Your person won't be happy with you if you aren't happy with yourself. 
  • In marriage, you spend a lot of time together. In order to keep that time as something you both look forward to, you have to build in some time apart. Give your person something to look forward to - your person can't ever miss you if you never go away. In fact, if you never go away, your person is going to begin to dread seeing you coming. Develop a hobby - spend some time with the right friends - go after a positive pursuit that your person can support - spend some time with yourself. I always tell people, every now and then you need to take yourself on a date. If you don't like spending time with you, why would anyone else? 
3. Don't stop trying. 
  • Whatever it took to get your person, it will take double to keep your person. Make every effort to make your person's life better. If you sent flowers pre-marriage, send more flowers during marriage; if you took each other out on dates pre-marriage, do more dates during marriage; if you kept yourself looking good pre-marriage, don't start looking a mess during marriage. Successful marriages require determined effort.  
  • In marriage, there is a new golden rule - Do unto your person as they want you to do unto them! Love your person the way he/she wants to be loved. Love shifts and it takes effort to keep up with the changing demands of your spouse. What your person needs during marriage may be something totally different than what was needed before marriage. Don't get frustrated and stop trying to keep up with new needs - keep trying. You won't always succeed, but you need to always try. Discover, what Chapman calls, your love language - and, the CURRENT love language of your person. Once you discover it, speak that language to your person. Whether words, acts, gifts, time, or touch - speak their language. (For more information on Chapman's love languages and to take the love language assessment, visit http://www.5lovelanguages.com/)
Prayer: Today, I pray for the success of our marriages. Marriage is sometimes challenging and frustrating, but it is also beautiful and rewarding. Lord, help us to experience the best of marriage and to overcome the pitfalls that attempt to steal the joy of our marriages. Give us strategic ideas to make our marriages successful. Empower us to be successful in our pursuit of good and healthy marriages and help us to always glorify You through our care and love for our spouses. We ask for your help; we thank you for our opportunity; and we believe You for our success. We pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen.  

Contributed by: Pastor Razel Jones



Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Language of Leaders

The Language of Leaders:

For all leaders going after success, check your progress against these important leadership steps towards actualizing any vision:

1. Know your vision. 
  • Where are you going? What are you doing? What problem are you solving? What need are you meeting? 
2. Develop a strategy to accomplish the vision. 
  • How are you getting there? How are you doing it? How are you solving it? How are you meeting the need?
3. Get buy-in into vision and strategy.
  • Find out who is with you - not just who is there, but who is down for the cause. 
  • Who wants to go where you're going - do what you're doing - solve what you're solving and meet the need you're meeting? 
4. Get to know your team.
  • What talents, skills, and strengths do the people surrounding your vision bring to the table? What does each individual specialize in? What can you ask her to do that will end in success? What shouldn't you ask him to do so that he does not fail?
  • Show them the real you so that they will open up and show you the real them. Authenticity is comfortable around authenticity - realness respects realness. 
5. Learn what motivates yourself and your team and provide the motivation.
  • What is it that makes you want to keep moving forward? Feed that to yourself. 
  • What is it that makes your individual team members want to keep moving forward? Feed that to your team.
6. Strategically align your team's individual talents with your corporate strategy. 
  • How can what your team members specialize in help get your vision where it is trying to go? 
7. Celebrate small victories.
  • What went well? 
  • When a piece of the vision takes shape, make it a big deal. 
  • When an individual successfully applies their talents to the strategy, make it a big deal.
8. Measure progress and give feedback balanced with grace & truth. 
  • What should we start doing?
  • What should we keep doing?
  • What should we stop doing?
9. Correct issues and keep it moving. 
  • What is the poison trying to attack your strategy? Remove it.
  • What is the bottleneck? What's making progress come slowly? Open it up. 
  • Have tough conversations. 
  • Make sure that leaders are leading - if they're not, correct them or remove them.
  • Find the root cause of the issue - ask "why" repeatedly to get to the root cause of the issue.
10. Never give up - actualize your vision!  
  • Success isn't easy or everyone would have it. 
  • Work hard, then put in hard work. 
  • When you want to stop, start.
  • Quit quitting - stop stopping - give up on giving up - do not not do!
  • Keep going until you see in your reality what you saw in your mind. 

Contributed by: Pastor Razel Jones