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What is Gospel-Driven Productivity?

If life on earth is just preparation for the new heaven and new earth, why would we spend so much time, money, and brainwidth on things that aren’t going to last and instead focus all of our efforts on building for a retirement that will never end?

What About the Mundane?

Yes, the oil needs to be changed, the conference table has a big scratch and needs replacing, and your middle child needs help on her math homework. But is there anything in this list that can’t be done out of a spirit of eternal responsibility, faithfulness, and stewardship? Am I the only one who sees the connection between present obedience and eternal rewards? When we look at the menial tasks of daily living, do we do them knowing God is watching and waiting to reward us for being productive in all things, large and small?

Don’t Efficiency and Effectiveness Matter?

When it comes to productivity, I used to think only in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. But, if that’s where productivity ends, all I’d have wound up with are a lot of to-do lists converted to “to-done” lists. Gospel-driven productivity contains efficiency and effectiveness as elements, but the core of Clean Slate is not so much about getting more done in less time, rather being found faithful in the face of the Father.

The Aim of the Game

Jesus never told parables that ended in “well done, good and efficient servant”, did He? While Paul does command us to be fruitful or effective, God is the ultimate judge of what was effective or not. He will be the one to weigh both motives and outcomes and promises to reward us accordingly.

If we look at individual scriptures, we’ll find efficiency (Prov. 21:5, Eph. 5:15-16, Matt. 25:14-30, etc.). We’ll find effectiveness (1 Cor. 16:9, Philemon 1:6, Phil. 1.22, etc.). Heck, we’ll even find excellence & zeal, (Col. 3:23, Eph. 6:7) right? But, I believe if we comb the entirety of scripture, we’ll see something much more sizeable, significant, and simple as we seek God’s definition of productivity. Here’s my definition from a biblical perspective:

Gospel-driven productivity: Right things, done well, in God’s power and timing, for His glory.

Productivity happens when faithful followers take extreme ownership of the stewardships God has entrusted to them and in gratitude for what Christ has done and will do (2 Cor. 5:10), work diligently at them. It involves everything that comes across our desk, our phones, our inboxes and beyond.

What are you doing regularly at work, at home, and elsewhere to ensure you’re doing right things well in God’s power and timing and for His glory?

Mission Trip Report: Geico Land?

As March came to a close, Seasons of Life Ministries packed all of our gear into a big truck and made a 4 hour journey to Tennessee!

Coincidence?

Pastor Bill Requardt has been leading a growing church through 2 years of transition and invited us to bring the live parable “That Day” to his church. West Hills Christian Church is a small denominational church on the Tennessee/Virginia line. In fact, Bristol is featured in this Geico Commercial: whether you live in Bristol, TN or Bristol, VA you can save a lot of money by switching to Geico.

Universal Story Geico Doesn’t Know…

Both Pastor Bill and I agreed: whether you live in Bristol, TN or Bristol, VA you can save a lot of waste at the judgment seat if you’re living every day with eternity in mind. So, it was fitting that the latest rewrite of the That Day script opens with main character Dan Matthewson telling his story in terms of 3 words – “‘why‘ are you here?”, “‘what‘ do you do about that?”, and “‘how‘ do you do what God’s called you to do along the way?'”

With pews that haven’t been this crowded in years, the Sunday, April 2 church service opened with worship leader Dani Gibson singing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and Dan Matthewson, Joe the Shoeshine Guy, Juanita the Cleaning Lady, and eventually Jesus Christ taking the spotlight… and the judgment seat. Not only did I get to play all of the above characters (and more), I also got to watch the crowd’s reactions in real time. There were smiles, laughs, tears, a few elbows and pokes, and many pensive looks of introspection. By grace, viewers were clearly moved.

Based on our conversations afterward, some were also awakened and motivated to live more intentionally for Christ’s kingdom, rather than their own. Big win. Praise God.

“We really were uplifted!!!! Thank you for Blessing us!!”

Mission – Invest & Invite

West Hills brought us to Tennessee in order to create some buzz and a big event to which their members could invite people. Pastor Bill, his wife Holly, the elders, and members were diligent in inviting people from the surrounding community. From where I stood, I could see about 30-35 new guests attending – with a church that typically runs about 100-120 attenders, it sounds like this was a very successful outreach.

An Investment in Prayer

Here’s how you can pray for West Hills Christian Church:

  • that many of the guests who came to see That Day return,
  • that many of the returners come to saving faith in Christ and
  • that all begin to really connect the dots between their days and that Great Day (2 Cor. 5:10, 1 Cor. 3:12-15, Rom. 14:10).

Our Hope Forward…

This year, we hope to reach 10,000 people with the message of “living every day with eternity in mind.”

That Day is “step 1” in that process: engaging eyes and ears with the story of eternal rewards – it’s about why each of us is here living from Point A (birth) to Point B (judgment). It’s mission/purpose/destinationOnce people start thinking about why they’re here, it’s time for the second question: What?!

Part 2 of That Day is Clean Slate – either a conversation, a live workshop, series of webinars, or even leader training on “what do I do with what I now know about where I’m headed?” Clean Slate dives into God’s order, the nature of work and accountability to God for that work, two sections on neuroscience for dummies, and a comprehensive workflow process that helps people develop a plan or roadmap between point a and b.

Part 3 is a deeper dive into “how” each individual’s time, treasure, and talents apply to walking that path from point A to point B. It’s where coaching and discipleship have always come into play. For nearly 10 years now, we’ve been focused on “thinking out loud” with others in one on one discipleship about their walk with Christ.

Spread the Word!

We’d love your help to move this forward – prayer, share, and support:

Prayer – Pray that God opens doors with those who’ve seen That Day and we’re invited to do more of this kind of engagement. Pray that Aarron continues to refine the story and tell it well.

Share – help us get as many eyes and ears on the That Day teaser video as possible. Share it on your social media channels.

Support – join Seasons of Life Ministries as a monthly partner and help bring That Day and Clean Slate to churches and organizations who value the alignment of vision, strategy, and execution and who want to make the right impact for God’s kingdom and glory. Setting up the next That Day Leader’s Lunch only costs us a few hundred dollars – maybe you’d like to help sponsor one? Click or tap here.

3 Steps to Victory Over Tyranny of the Urgent

What’s Killing YOUR Productivity?

As more people come to me for advice on productivity, the most common issue I’m asked about is this:
“urgent things keep intruding on important things” a.k.a., “distractions & interruptions”
My best response is God’s response:
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds. (Prov. 27:23a)”
Not the answer you were looking for? I’ll elaborate…

Meet Your Sheep

You’ve got stuff to do… That’s your flock.

You may not have actual sheep like Solomon’s audience 2,500 years ago. But, you do have a flock of “P.R.I.O.R.” commitments: Projects, Responsibilities, Ideas, Opportunities, and Relationships. For these God will hold you accountable and reward you (2 Cor. 5:10). Therefore, “knowing the condition of your flocks and giving careful attention to your herds” is of critical importance to you.

Gut Check:

Some translations even render this phrase “be diligent to know the state of your flocks”.  So…
On a scale of 1 to 10, how diligent are you right now in knowing your state of flock?

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Two Needs Worthy of Your Prayer and Participation

Here’s a quick note on two special needs for Seasons of Life that are pressing and promising:

Bring That Day to the Kineo Leader’s Conference:

     This is a conference for church leaders where I will have opportunity to bring That Day directly to our target market – pastors who want to see their people more engaged in living everyday with eternity in mind.
     They represent churches from 7 states including IN, LA, VA, and GA. This could be very big for the kingdom and for Seasons of Life. Funding this will allow me the bandwidth to bring my A game to pastors really dedicated to kingdom building. In order to provide this special P/R performance for them at no additional burden to their respective churches, we’re inviting you, our key supporters to contribute to bringing That Day to their day.
     Could we do it for free as a “marketing write off”? Sure, under normal circumstances, but right now it’s just not financially feasible to do much pro bono work until things really stabilize later in the quarter. So, we’re praying a few people might band together to help “prime the pump” with us. Would you be one of them?

GTD Training, Atlanta

     I’ve been practicing a lot of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) methodology for a little over 10 years now and teaching key pieces of it for a few years through Clean Slate.
     GTD is the gold standard for personal productivity training and in 2017 will be in cities including Mumbai, Edinborough, Dublin, Tokyo, and… Atlanta. They will sell out and I only get one chance to get their certification before they’re off to another city.
     Their blessing (and branding) could open a ton of new doors for us with our Clean Slate workshop, not only in churches, but also in businesses. Your help in getting me there in part or in full would be greatly appreciated.
     The training is $600 and will (always does) sell out.
     I’d love for you to pray about helping us with these two specific opportunities as urgent and important needs. To give, use our online portal here.
 

in Christ,

AP

You Want Better? You’d Better…

What’s Your Better?

At the end of 2016 nearly 100% of Americans wanted 2017 to be better. But, which better?
The prayer requests I got sounded like “clarity & direction”, “make the right decisions at work”, “be more fully present in key relationships” (wife or significant other, kids, extended family), “stay in the word”, “stop playing catch up at work and actually get ahead”. What were yours? Crushing it yet? Didn’t make any? Read on…
This year, about 41% of Americans made New Year’s resolutions. Almost 45% of those people will make it 6 months or more on those resolutions. In other words, while a lot of people are interested in change, not everyone is committed to lasting change in their lives. Even fewer actually achieve it.

Two Kinds of People – Which Are You?

Some of you are really active people – you do a lot of stuff. Others are highly productive people – you get a lot of stuff done. But, I firmly assert that God doesn’t want either. I believe God doesn’t want us to settle for merely doing more stuff. He calls us to something better: getting the right stuff done in His power and His timing with right motives. How about you? Comment below.

You can be in one place alone: on track or off track. If you’re on track, good for you. Just know you have an enemy who wants you off track and will do all in his power to get you there. The great news is, God has an order and a power (grace) designed to get you back on track every time you’re off. The most productive people have plans in place designed to help them get back on track as quickly and often as possible. Are you one of them?

This week, I’m offering a free webinar under the Clean Slate banner: “Re:gaining Productivity”. So, whether you’ve lost momentum or just want help keeping it, I’m here to partner with you in the process with biblical solutions to real world problems.

Is that worth 45 minutes of your time? What I’m covering hasn’t just changed my life, it’s helping people, churches and businesses keep the main thing the main thing. If that’s important to you, click here and register for Thursday’s webinar.

in Christ,

AP