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August 2015 Newsletter

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Joel Comiskey's new book: 2000 Years of Small Groups 
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Ebook:  2000 Years of Small Groups 

New: 27 videos on cell church from Joel Comiskey
There are 27 videos on all aspects of cell church (with downloadable resources) on Ministry Grid. Check it out.

Free Ebook byJoel Comiskey and small group health assessment
Free Ebook from Joel Comiskey (Making Disciples in the 21st Century Church). Joel's book is available at the end of the Thriving Small Groups Assessment. There is no catch to this. We are not asking for your contact information or trying to up-sell anything. At the end of the assessment, you will also discover the health of your small groups. I think you'll find both of this free resources extremely helpful. 

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August Schedule
August 15, 2015: West Covina, California. Cell seminar in the church, "Ministerios Jesucristo es el Senor" (Spanish). Contact person: Rigoberto Banuelos

Major 2016 JCG Event 
--We will have our annual JCG event in the Elim Reseda Church, on February 27, 2016. Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering in Spanish and simultaneous English translation will be available. Place it on your calendar/

  
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Healthy Leadership

by Joel Comiskey

The medical profession talks a lot about preventative medicine. The goal of preventative medicine is to keep patients out of the hospital, rather than offer them medicine once they are already inside.  

Pastors, coaches, and cell leaders also need preventative "medicine" to stay healthy over the long haul. I'm referring to helping leaders live a healthy Christian lifestyle to avoid major problems from occurring, such as burn out, immorality, depression, or spiritual dryness. 

We talk a lot about making disciples through cell ministry, and I promote this. Yet, if those who are discipling others (pastor, coach/supervisor, cell leader) are not taking care of themselves, their ministry will soon lose its cutting edge effectiveness. Often the leader will simply quit. The excuse might be "I'm too busy," but often the real reason has to do with dryness with God, conflict at home, burn out, or spiritual attack.

It's important to remember that leaders are first and foremost human beings, not human doings. Those who are coaching and caring for leaders need to first prioritize the leader's spiritual life, emotional well-being, marriage, and family. When the whole-person is cared for, there is a far greatest chance that the leader will continue to bear fruit over time.   

Sadly, some pastors and coaches are very demanding, controlling, and put ministry success before relationships. They pressure leaders to multiply cells, fulfill goals, and make the church grow. But what happens after the goal is reached? How many leaders and cells are going to be around for a long-time to come?  Remember that ministry is not a 50-yard dash; it's more like a marathon. Ministry takes place over a life-time, and only the healthy leaders make it long-term. The unhealthy ones quit for a variety of reasons.  

Whenever I coach pastors, I try not to jump right into ministry. I don't immediately ask them about their goals, their new multiplications, or their discipleship equipping. I first try to start with their own lives. During the coaching session, I try to cover:   

  • personal devotional time
  • relationship with spouse, relationship with family
  • day off, vacation time
  • prayer covering

These areas might not be the urgent "right now" needs in the church's life or the ministry of the pastor. Yet, if a pastor is so busy that he fails to spend time with his wife, for example, he will surely suffer in his ministry sooner or later. 

During the month of August, we'll be exploring the topic of the healthy leadership. Key leaders will blog on this topic, sharing their convictions and experiences. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up HERE.  

  •  Week 1 (August 09-15); The general theme of keeping leaders healthy. Start with God. This is where it starts. A leader needs to know how to go to God both for spiritual power but also for restoration when things get hard.
  • Week 2 (August 16-22); Relationship with those closest. A leader's emotional, spiritual, and physical health depends to a large part on relationship with spouse and family. We must prioritize this area.
  • Week 3: (August 22-August 29); Leaders can burn out by not stopping and resting one day per week. Leaders also need regular vacation time to unwind and be with famly. 
  • Week 4: (September 06-September 12); Prayer covering. Peter Wagner's book, Prayer Shield, is a must-read. Leaders are more effective when that have a team of prayer warriors lifting them up in prayer.    

What is your reaction to healthy leadership as the priority above ministry? Do you practice this? Please comment here.   

Joel Comiskey