Category Archives: Ministry

Confessions of a People-Pleaser

No one wants to admit they are a people-pleaser. The hyphenated word brings such negative connotations, like having no spinning platesbackbone, not thinking for yourself, or being a doormat, allowing everyone to walk over you.  But I’m a pretty opinionated person, I think for myself quite well, and don’t bend over and let others walk on me–but I realized I was still trying to please people.

I realized I was living in this state of mind after reading this familiar verse: Gal. 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

I had read this verse a hundred times. It’s even underlined in my Bible. Every time I would read it, I would think, “Oh, yeah, those people who try to please others… they have no idea!” and then one day I realized… I’m “those people.”

I think the reason I tend to be a people-pleaser is because my personality type is one that says “people are the priority.” I’m passionate about meeting people, connecting people, watching people figure out who they are, that sometimes I try to control situations where people are present. (which is often in my line of work.) Whether it be a life group I lead, the adult leaders at SWITCH, someone I’m mentoring/counseling–I want so badly for people to be pleased with whatever situation they are in, that inevitably, I become a people-pleaser. The pressure of pleasing people was like spinning hundreds of plates and not letting one of them fall. Why did I feel like I was responsible?

But recently, I realized a simple truth: Making sure people are pleased is not my job!

I’m not in control of their reactions. I can’t sway them one way or the other. If someone doesn’t like the way things are going it’s not my fault–nor should I take it personally, thinking “if I had just done more I could have made them like things”… (All of this makes sense to me in my brain… sorry if you don’t understand, but getting it out is good therapy.)

Realizing this truth has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I would say I probably enjoy my job more because I’ve learned how to just be myself and not worry about trying to control others. I would say I’m becoming more of who I really am, unhindered by the the pressure of trying to please everyone. I’ve been freed, and life on the other side of people-pleasing is pleasantly care-free.

Thanks for letting me talk that out. I feel better now. What about you? Do you find yourself trying to please people? Share your thoughts.

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I-D-L-E

I was reading in 2 Thessalonians this morning when this scripture stuck out to me:

“Stay away from all believers who live idle lives…”

The word that struck me was idle.

We hear all the time to stay away from sin, and remove sin from our lives: “Don’t do this, this, this, or this.” But what about the sin of not doing anything?

Idle–(Adjective) Not working or active. Habitually doing nothing or avoiding work; lazy.

Out of all my 23 years of living I’m convinced the enemy’s greatest strategy on the believer is not to lure us into sin, but to keep us from moving at all. As believers, we know about sin. We are well versed in how to confess it, renounce it, stay away from those who live in it and walk blameless lives living under the grace of our Savior, thinking we’ve made it. But deception still lurks in dark corners, keeping us blind to our inactive behavior.

Being a beliver doesn’t just mean we’re forgiven of our sins. Being a believer should mean we’ve surrendered to a glorious relationship that is so wonderful we can’t help but remain active in our excitement. But unfortunately that is not the case for so many of us. I feel as if Christianity has been reduced to a “get-out-of-hell-free” card. We accept Christ’s salvation and then that’s it, like a pail of water sitting stagnant all summer long, stinky, unmoving, ineffective.

I’m guilty of this myself. The reason the scripture above stuck out to me was because it hit me square in the face. I’ve become idle. I’ve allowed the deception to blind me, thinking that if I just don’t sin than I’m a good Christian. But my prayer for myself and others who may see themselves in this is that we won’t allow laziness to to creep into our walk with Christ. That we will allow our fervor and love for Christ to move us forward, not in legalistic duty, but in passionate desire to please our God.

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I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

These are the notes from my breakout session at #orange09. Very challenging stuff! 

 

Eternal roaring—what your saying on the inside isn’t coming out but it’s so good that is should… Do you ever feel this way?

 

There are significant lies about the kind of roar we should have in ministry that we as women believe:

  • I have to be:

Stronger, bolder, more courageous

  • I have to work:

Harder, longer, smarter, be the best

  • I must:

Chokes back tears/ push down emotions

 

What are we trying to prove?

 

Princeton business survey:

Women are more assertive, bold, take more risks than their male counterparts

 

But what about LOVE! That is what we are gifted at!

 

If someone followed me around for a year, would they say my collective roar is a roar of LOVE?

 

4 Distinct Areas to look at as women in leadership

 

  • Living into our unique leadership style:

Never stop growing

Become professional listeners

Become professional encouragers

Never try to be someone we’re not

Discover your strengths

Find helpful language to describe yourself and then share it with others. Discover who we are

Discover our unique spiritual gifts

Personality types

Celebrate the uniqueness of others

Never make your leadership about YOUR leadership

                        This is about the kingdom

                        This is about others

                        Root out selfishness

                        Work through our wounds

                        Find comfort in my own skin by realizing it is not about me anyway

  • Creating a healthy rhythm of life

What season of life are you in? My life, my challenges, my unique experiences /Celebrate your seasons!/Live into your season, stop apologizing for your seasons…

Knowing what your values are //the kind of life we’re trying to lead//what are my priorities?

Knowing the importance of rest

Knowing the importance of my unique capacity //am I pushing myself too much?

  • Forging Healthy Relationships with Male counterparts and Female counterparts

Men

            Seeing myself as a team player// “I have something to contribute to the team.”

                        Build bridges to the spouses of married team members //

                        Pick the battles you will fight!

                        Be wise with boundaries

                        Have a healthy sense of HUMOR!!

            Women

                        Avoid competition and comparison                        

Cultivate Friendship with female counterparts

Keep confidences—don’t gossip, don’t listen to gossip

Celebrate the successes of other women and grieve with the losses

  • Handing our story to other women

                        Invest!! Invest in a girl and she will do the rest

                        Encourage

Develop

Hand over the keys—leadership

 

A roar that is competitive is different than a roar that is secure in who God has called us to be.

 

Be a woman of exceptional, extravagant, and selfless love! 

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Day 1 Highlights

Precon 1–Volunteer Dilemma–people will follow a passionate leader! Relentless Passion –I’d do this with or without you, so you might as well join in!

Precon2—reThink Social Media—@Human3rror is the genius on web design and social media. I felt cool getting to sit next to him at lunch. He’s got quite a story and a really good heart. Question: how can you start using your blog in ways it was never intended?

Precon3—Refining your systems…. This was a hard talk to follow since it was getting late in the afternoon.

Bloggers Lounge—Got to chat it up with @coffeewithchris (YP) and @kevinconley (kdimin) two really cool ministry guys.

Session #1—worship with FeeBand and speaker Reggie Joiner (he started reThink and the Orange conference)—God doesn’t care about the picture (speaking about the picture perfect family) he cares about taking the family full of imperfections and leveraging it as a platform to show his restorative and redemptive power.  Are our unrealistic expectations actually limiting what God wants to do in our lives? In the lives of the families in our ministries?

A full day. Another one tomorrow.

#orange09 attendees: what are some of your highlights?

All others: Do you think our expectations limit how we allow God to work in our lives? 

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Compound Influence

I was never good at math. Writing was always my better subject. But recently I’ve been thinking about compound interest.

The equation for compound interest is: P = C(1+ r/n)ntWhere:    P = future value    C = initial deposit    r = interest rate (expressed as a fraction: eg. 0.06 for 6%)    n = # of times per year interest is compounded    t = number of years invested

Get it, right? Ok, so maybe that is a little hard to understand. (Except for you really smart weirdos…)

Here is a better definition:

Compound interest is interest earned not only on an original investment, but on its accrued earnings as well.

So I started to think about ministry and leadership, and saw that not only can you compound INTEREST, but you can also compound INFLUENCE. This started happening in our ministry. 

  • First we started with a small group of high-impact volunteers (5 to 6) (High-impact volunteers are those people in your ministry who have the ministry instincts that others just don’t. They usually have great people skills and lead out of a natural ability.)

  • Second we started meeting with these leaders once a week, or twice a month to develop, cast vision, and give away leadership responsibilities.
  • As they started to lead we saw our influence compound.

Instead of directly leading 60 to 75 adult volunteers, we only lead 5 to 6. Which in turn lead teams of 10 to 12.

Want to get more volunteers for your ministry? Learn how to compound your influence.

How does this apply to you? Even if you don’t serve in ministry, we all have influence. How can you compound your influence in your individual spheres? 

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Orange '09

I leave for the Orange conference on Tuesday. I’m excited to meet with some other blogging friends and hook up with other youth pastors and ministry leaders.

While at the conference I will be updating everyone on all the good stuff. Please follow my daily updates here at annameadows.com as well as on Twitter @Anna_Meadows

Here are the breakout sessions I’ve signed up for: Any one else joining me at the conference?

The Volunteer Dilemma

reThinking Social Media

I am Woman. How Do I Roar?

How to Stop What’s Working…to Do What Works Better

Fine Tuning Your Systems

INFLUENCE: Is There Anything Bigger Than The Church? Mobilizing the Next Generation

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Orange ’09

I leave for the Orange conference on Tuesday. I’m excited to meet with some other blogging friends and hook up with other youth pastors and ministry leaders.

While at the conference I will be updating everyone on all the good stuff. Please follow my daily updates here at annameadows.com as well as on Twitter @Anna_Meadows

Here are the breakout sessions I’ve signed up for: Any one else joining me at the conference?

The Volunteer Dilemma

reThinking Social Media

I am Woman. How Do I Roar?

How to Stop What’s Working…to Do What Works Better

Fine Tuning Your Systems

INFLUENCE: Is There Anything Bigger Than The Church? Mobilizing the Next Generation

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