New York Times bestselling author and National Community Church founding pastor, Mark Batterson, discusses what many leaders—especially church leaders—have struggled with over the last two years: Discouragement.
He shares his personal ups and downs, how he’s motivated himself and stayed encouraged, what he’s learning about habit formation personally and when it comes to church attendance, and how to reframe the future.
Welcome to Episode 463 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
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Recently I’ve been using an app from our friends at Gloo called Thryve to add texting into my marketing, and it’s been really useful. Now, I’m really excited to teach churches how they can use Thryve to do the same thing.
Thryve makes it incredibly easy to send texts to individuals or groups. But it’s so much more than that. Thryve is made to help churches send devotional series, answer common questions, get more prayer requests, send surveys and even collect stories of life change.
And because everything is managed from one shared message inbox, you and your team can access messages from your phone or desktop. That means you can assign prayer requests, respond to messages, track new visitor follow-up, and more. Your whole team can see and respond to every interaction from one place. That means human-to-human service for everyone.
When you use Thryve with other tools you already use, it’s even better. Integrations with leading church management systems are already available, and more are being added all the time. This is why Thryve is the leading church texting solution.
Thryve also offers an extensive template library of done-for-you texts. At the click of a button, you can turn on text series for advent, new guest follow-up, your marriage and prayer ministries and so much more. The best part? It’s completely free to get started.
Go to thryve.io today to sign up for a FREE, 14-day trial so you can connect with your church community.
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Insights From Mark
1. As a leader, you have to set the tone and pace
Mark’s the founding pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. As one might expect, leading a congregation in America’s Capitol through one of the most contentious and divisive eras of American politics is no walk in the park. Plus, the pandemic shut down Washington, D.C. (and their church’s ability to gather) longer than most cities.
As a leader, how does one stay encouraged (and encourage others) when so many people are looking to you for direction? Mark said he found inspiration in Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote about thermometers and thermostats. “A thermometer reflects the temperature around us, but a thermostat can change the temperature.” Likewise, leaders shouldn’t seek to reflect the temperature of culture but instead should be the ones who shift the atmosphere toward something more gracious and peaceful.
2. Leaders need to be historians and futurists
Mark says optimism must be grounded in something bigger than yourself. And one way of doing that is to be a student of the past. A leader must remember the past to avoid making the same mistakes. Additionally, a leader must also keep their eyes on the future.
Mark says one of the benefits of being a spiritual leader who believes in the Bible’s authority is that Christians know how the story will end—the defeat of evil and the total victory of Christ. Therefore, looking toward the future, while being honest about the past, gives a leader context for leading in the present without losing hope.
3. Successful spiritual formation requires successful habit formation
Mark’s new book, Do It For a Day, is all about forming helpful habits while breaking bad ones. According to Mark, habit formation is more than just living a more productive or healthy lifestyle; it’s also about spiritual formation. The rhythms of our daily spirituality are dependent on the habits we internalize. Mark says there are three ingredients to developing a new habit—the behavior must be measurable, meaningful and maintainable.
If you can stick to that behavior for 30 days, Mark believes it can become ingrained into your day-to-day life. As people scramble to adapt to new routines due to our “new normal,” you couldn’t find a better time to reevaluate the habits, both healthy and unhealthy, that undergird your spirituality.
Quotes from Episode 463
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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Simon MacRae and Darcy MacDonnell
COVID was brutal on restauranteurs, and many didn’t make it. Enter Simon MacRae and Darcy MacDonnell, who launched not one but two successful restaurants during lockdown. Not only did The Common Stove and Picnic thrive, but they launched them in a small town famous for not being able to sustain fine food ventures. They explain how they not only kept afloat, but grew, and attracted a top-level staff in the service sector in the midst of The Great Resignation.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 464.