If you are like me, you struggle when getting started on most projects…
If you are like me, you are often paralyzed with doubt, anxiety, and soul-crushing fear when getting started on most projects. I have yet to do something significant that doesn’t involve some roadblock along the way. It might be from an outside source or more often for me, within me. Perfectionism, questioning my talent and abilities, or the constant reminder of my past failures – take your pick.
The question isn’t what will sidetrack me or you, but what will we do THIS time. Let’s just act like last time doesn’t matter because this time it doesn’t. The project you are working on right now doesn’t know your record or your history. Just do your best this time.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 getting released earlier this month and the trailers for Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok picking up traction, I thought it was time to put together some thoughts on my favorite films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Becuase there are so many I will just put them in Tiers, not a numerical order because who has time for that.
A Tier: (ordered by release date)
Iron Man – It started the rebirth of Marvel movies fantastically.
Captain America: The First Avenger – Finally Chris Evans found a decent superhero to play.
Thor – As a long time Thor fan, this was all that I could have hoped for.
The Avengers – This was perfection. In my opinion a near flawless film in introducing all of the characters and offering fantasy with humor.
Captain America: The Winter Solider – Fantastic!
Ant-Man: This was a delight! I had not bothered to watch it in the theaters expecting it to be average at best, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Iron Man 2 – This barely makes this Tier. In light of how good the other films have been this seems lacking.
Thor: The Dark World – Very good film, but far from great.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 – This won’t be popular with some (Jack), but I didn’t love it. I don’t know what it was, but it was great to me.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron – It didn’t have the magic that the first did. I just found it trying to get too much done in a couple of hours. Also, why am I watching Captain America and Iron Man having chopping firewood contest?
Captain America: Civil War – Again, good, but just not great.
Iron Man 3 – Really? This movie is total buns.
N/A (I haven’t seen these)
The Incredible Hulk – I have seen parts of this one with Norton and I have never found myself wanting to finish it.
Doctor Strange – I’m truly ashamed that I haven’t watched this yet.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – I’m working on it!!!
Last week, Tim Tharp and I got the opportunity speak to Small Churches at the Orange Conference. What an honor and privilege to be able to share what God has been doing in our community. I wanted to highlight the Pivots again for anyone who might have missed them (my wife reminded me that I talked way too fast…sorry about that).
- Pivot #1: Priorities
- From advocating for Adults to championing for Children
- Who gets the most time, energy, and money at your church? If you are like most churches – then it is Adults. Adults will get what they need. Kids need someone to speak up for them. Who is championing Children and Students being a priority in your church? If you don’t make kids a priority then no one will.
- Small Churches make the greatest impact when – we put Children at the center of our church
- Pivot #2: Strategy
- From a mindset of Scarcity to Sufficiency
- Feeling like we don’t have enough isn’t an emotion reserved for small churches. Everyone wants more – more volunteers, more space, more money! But what if we believed that we had enough of what we needed to make a difference in people’s lives. HOW we use what we have, our strategy, is more important than the quantity of our resources.
- Small Churches make the greatest impact when – we believe we have enough
- Pivot #3: Focus
- From focusing on our congregation to focusing on our community
- I’m not sure when exactly it happened – but at some point, during my last few years in ministry, I realized that I spend the majority of my time caring for and managing the business of ministry. Maybe I should say the BUSYNESS of ministry. When did we stop making time for people that needed help the most? It wasn’t a deliberate shift away from my community, but it will take intentional effort to get back to serving my congregation and community.
- Small Churches make the greatest impact when – we look beyond the confines of the Sanctuary – into the needs of our community
- Pivot #4: Perspective
- How we see other churches in our community from competition to colleagues
- This might be the hardest lesson for leaders and pastors. If we are honest, most of us have been trained that for our church to succeed, other churches in our community must fail. If you are like me you often see the church down the street as competition. Quickly my energy is spent trying to build my Kingdom instead of working to build God’s Kingdom. Guess which one will last?
- Small Churches make the greatest impact when – we realize that when any church in our community wins our entire community wins
I hope that this was helpful. I can’t tell you how cool it was to be able to share about some of the ways that Wrightsville First United Methodist has been utilizing these principles to transform our church. If you would like more information about the Breakout you can find me at – kirkhagan(at)gmail.