Thursday, January 31, 2013

Leaders Are Examples

Have you ever been told  “Do as I say, not as I do!” when I was a teen it made me mad. I still don’t like it when leaders think there is a different set of rules for themselves than the rules for the people they lead. In1Corinthians 11:1 Paul let’s us know that leaders should be examples by writing “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” The starting place for any leader is to give themselves a check-up from the neck up and examine their integrity. Integrity is uprightness of character. It’s honesty. It’s lining up with God’s Word. For people with integrity, their word is their bond. When they say they’ll do something, they do it. Promises matter. And what they say they believe is reflected in their actions.

To lead in ministry you don’t have to be right all the time—which is a relief for me, because I flunked the perfection test a long time ago. But you do need to give up the desire to have people think you’re always right. Admit it: you like having people think you’re right. It’s just human, especially when we’re leaders. We think it builds confidence in the troops when they see us make decisions and stick to our guns. Except we aren’t always right. We’re wrong a lot.  And people don’t admire leaders who are too proud or scared to admit they don’t know it all. When you’re willing to let others know you—the real you—then you’ll have integrity. But if your leadership depends on people not knowing what you believe, or what you do when you’re flipping through the cable channels or surfing the net, then you’ll never be an effective leader.

You’ve got to get your own house in order before trying to lead others.
Are you willing to be a leader who doesn’t just talk about integrity but lives it? This kind of leader desires to become examples, worthy of being imitated.
What and who we are shapes what we do. Christ Jesus did not tell His disciples to believe in Him but to follow Him. (Mark 2:14) The key to being His sheep is following Him. John 10:27 tells us “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 12:26  also says “Whoever serves me must follow me.”
You may have heard me teach about the five duties of a shepherd from1 Peter 5:2-4. It says “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers --not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. In these verse we see five main duties or descriptions of a shepherd                                             1. Feeder
2. Care giver or tender
3. Overseer
4. Willing and eager to serve
5. Example
What qualifies you to do the top four and truly be a leader is your willingness and desire to be an example. Being an example is more important than talent. 1Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” Titus 2:6-8  says “…encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
Children need role models, so do the adults we lead and the staff we direct!

If leaders are to desire to be examples, what should we be examples of: First we should be an example of Christ Jesus and be a follower of Him.
Salvation is the starting place, not the end. The great commission isn’t to go make decisions but disciples. It’s simple we must be a disciple to make disciples.
A follower is more than a believer they are also a doer of the Word. John 14:15 is very plain Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
Whatever requirements to serve we have on our worker applications they should me modeled in our own lives. I desire that my life and choices show I have been
born again, that I’m in agreement with my church’s Statement of Faith. (Agreement means practice)  It’s always the correct choice to practice what we preach, to live the Bible twenty-four, seven!  To me holiness is not just saying no to wrong things, it’s saying yes to the right things. It’s always the right thing to model being a giver. Make it a practice to run from the appearance of evil just like the real thing. If you’ve heard any of my leadership lesson or read any of my books you know I believe your family is your greatest sermon. Leaders must have your home life in order. I love Proverbs 28:2 it says “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.” This begins with evaluating daily if Christ is truly king of our hearts and our choices. A question I ask myself on a regular basis “Has there ever been a time in my life where I have been more in love with Jesus than I am right now?” If I can ever say yes, I fix it!

Secondly we should be an example of “flowing with authority” or being submitted to the leadership above you. Lot of leaders claim to be loyal to their Pastor and leadership but the proof of this attitude is reflected in your actions. You’re really not loyal to your leader if you treat his or her representatives differently than you treat them. It’s always the right thing to say no to sowing seeds of discord. Sharing a non-Biblical opinion with others can be a form of this. I have found gossip is never a good thing. Being teachable is also a form of submission to authority. Fighting change is not standing with authority. Going where you’re needed to go is an example of one who is under authority. Jesus said if you have seen Him you have seen the father can that be said of us if people see us they also see those we represent and serve?

Third we should be examples of commitment and faithfulness. It takes time to establish relationships. Every time I commit more and practice being faithful to establish deeper relationships I grow as a leader. Helping others find their fit within your team will help them make and model commitment. Kids today as well as adults need an example of consistency. Always come when you are needed. (It’s sad you can stick out in ministry by being on time. My mom always taught me early is on time. Dependable people can be leaned on. The question here can you be leaned on for no matter what? Go to church. Ministry is like a checkbook you have to make deposits before you can write checks. Model faithfulness to take in as well as to give out! Desire to be an example for others.
Be an example to your workers what you want them to do, be an example to parents what you want them to do also. Model to the kids what you want them to be and give them the word on it! It’s up to each leader to make their “want to” the same as what is expected and what is right. 

Lastly be an example of excellence in ministry. Always be prepared, study to show yourself approved. Learn and grow constantly you have to model this to others if you want them to do the same.  It’s up to you leader to give others an example to follow. No matter what your title, you are not really a true leader if you’re not an example. Remember a leader must set the pace. A leader must be honest.  A leader must be loyal. A leader leaves no one behind without a helper.

Being the example you need to be qualifies you to: feed, care for the flock,  oversee and be willing and able to serve.  Your integrity fuels your ability to be the example you need to be to others to be the leader you desire to be!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If you are in Kidmin you should watch this!

Not only should you watch this but you should look into having Yancy come do a Family Concert, A Kids event, A Preschool Praise Party or a workshop or seminar for your worship teams and bands. If you are using Standard Publishing VBS have Yancy come during your VBS and do a special service. She's also available for Camps, Retreats, Special Days, Woman's Events, Parenting events and more.. Visit for more details.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Here's A little Something for Mom's In The Ministry

Here's a guest post from one of my favorite people, my number one daughter and favorite singer and worship leader- YANCY

What lessons have you learned growing up in ministry that you want to pass on to your child? What advice do you have for other moms in ministry?

I grew up a preacher’s kid. Yeah, yeah, I know often times that is filled with negative connotations but for me it’s been a great thing. As look back on my life I can very gladly and openly say that I had a great life. I had two parents that loved me and did everything in their power to teach, guide and train me in the way I should go. My life as a preacher’s kid was a happy one. I found it filled with many positive opportunities I would have never gotten any other way. I accepted Christ when I was seven and knew from an early age that God had called me to do music. Because of that dream I’ve been working hard at my music for most of my life. Because of what I felt God had called me to do in my life it required me to have a relationship with Him. The church is where I found a place to belong. A place to serve and a place to use my gifts. 

I am now a mom myself. My son, Sparrow, will be two in February. I can’t believe how much time flies. It’s been an amazing and joy-filled almost two years. I am also in ministry. I travel doing family concerts at churches all over the country and throughout the world. I have many different CD’s, DVD’s and devotionals that focus on different ages like preteen and preschool. I train kidmin worship leaders through workshops and articles. I write and produce the music for Standard Publishing’s VBS and help with Plus, I serve in my local church on a couple different worship teams.

I can be honest and say most days I feel like I’m at least ten to fifteen “things to dos” behind. Everyday I wake up with the idea that I can accomplish so much in my day only to realize that I am not Super Woman and by the time I do some Mommy things with Sparrow and around the house my work to do list is well, not going to get accomplished like I thought.

So, at this stage in the game as I reflect on the many things my parents did right and follow their model as I parent Sparrow here’s a few things I want to share:

1.    Include your kids. It wasn’t just Dad’s ministry but something we did as a family. Every Saturday I’d go to the church with Dad growing up and help prepare the classrooms and kid’s ministry for Sunday morning. Whether it was straightening chairs, filling buckets of candy, making Visitor packs or many other tasks I was right there in the middle of it and spending time with Dad in the process. When Dad traveled to conferences we’d either all go as a family or take turns going on special trips with Dad. Sparrow travels with me to all my concerts and he loves to play with cables and plug stuff in and he’s awesome at carrying a megaphone. 

2.    Make special focused time for your kids. Time with Mom was many shopping trips. Time with Dad was usually a lunch or dinner. The point is they made special, dedicated time that was about me.  They made me feel important in their world. One of my biggest challenges is stopping to acknowledge Sparrow when I’m in the middle of responding to emails. But I’ve read that if you want your kids to share important stuff with you then you need to not ignore them when they try to talk to you.

3.    Allow your kids to experience, try and fail in protected environments. My parents were super strict with what we watched and listened to when I was young. In our teen years they were great about taking us to the non-Christian concerts we were interested in and allowing us to see the world in a controlled environment. They were with us when we smelled pot or saw people gorging in PDA. It was a controlled environment and we were able to see how ridiculous someone is that’s drunk or living a lifestyle that is not God honoring. In those environments it made us only want to live holy…instead of wondering what the world was like, we saw it with our parents. Even on into making some career choices. My parents helped guide me to seek God and listen to His voice to guide my steps. They let me make the decisions. Great lessons learned at young ages on how listening to God’s voice and doing what He says always pays off.  I want to help Sparrow make Godly choices as he navigates his life. I want Him to learn to hear God’s voice and obey what He says.

4.    My parents blessed us. They didn’t spoil us, but they did bless us. When I was a kid my parents didn’t have much to go around so spoiling wasn’t an option. My Dad is a giver   though and he strived very hard to be loving and giving just like our Heavenly father is. He said He doesn’t’ want to get to Heaven and have God asked why He didn’t do more to help his kids answer the call of God on their life. Even as I write this that is a humbling statement. I am so blessed to have such giving parents that sacrificed so we could take the dance and music lessons we took. They made sure we had great keyboards, guitars, drums, lawyers or whatever was needed for that season. I want to be giving like that to Sparrow. I want to support Him as He dreams the dreams God has for his life. I want to teach him that God provides for all of our needs!

5.    Love God, Hate Sin. Both my parents repeated things over and over to us through the years. Of course, sometimes I rolled my eyes hearing the same stuff again but you know what, it stuck with me. Those things got down in my heart and are here to stay. One of those things was “Love God, Hate Sin.” It’s an old 80’s CCM song by Mylon LeFevre. My Mom signed every birthday card and letter at camp with those four words. It’s kind of funny and I’ve already started signing things to Sparrow the same way. If I can get those four words down in his heart as he makes the wise choice then I think we’ll be off to a good start.

Happy New Year! Many blessings on you, your family and your ministry in 2013.

Learn more about Yancy at

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Roll Tide!

What a wonderful way to begin a New Year if you are an Alabama fan! My Congratulations to all the players and coaches and fans everywhere. There is a lot of life lessons you can take away from this team...

1. To win consistently takes extreme focus and sacrifice.
2. It also takes support and encouragement from your family and teammates.
3. You can't rest on past accomplishments you have to keep your prospective right and get better every day.
4. Play as a team you'll be better than your own abilities alone
5. Work hard
6. When folks leave reload...people want to be a part of a vision and strategy
7.Enjoy the win but get back to work...

Thank you guys for a terrific season and for winning back to back National Championships!
Roll Tide!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Keeping Your Technology Tools From Becoming Toys- Part 2

Here are five more ways I keep my technology tools from becoming toys...

6. Know when it’s time to pick up the phone rather than type. Emails can be a huge time waster. That’s why I refuse to type when I need to talk also if someone asks me a question that I’ve already answered in a book I refer them to my book. I also do this with books others have written.

7. Whenever possible I allow people who know a certain program to show me how it works rather than me learn by trial and error. I am thankful for all the Young Guns God has placed in my life. Folks like Sam Luce, Spencer Click, Kenny Conley, Matt McKee and my son-in-law Cory from These guys have taught me tons about technology and I will always be grateful to them. Just the other day Matt got me up and running on Prezi and I’ve now made over a dozen presentations. I remember telling Spencer that I was wanting to create a task management application as I began to describe what I wanted it to do he told me there was already one out there and introduced me to Things. Sam has saved my bacon on more than one occasion on how to use certain apps and programs. Develop a support team around you to help you stay in the know on what’s out there. Sometimes it’s not what you know that counts it’s who you know! Network with others on what they use, how they use it and then ask them to show you how to use it also.

8. Master time management. If you have not read my book “Beat The Clock” you should. In it I give four steps to effective time management Planning, Preparation, Evaluation and Delegation. Most everyone I know does the first one that’s writing down in your calendar how you want to spend you time. The second step is a difference maker that’s when you break all the events and projects into steps and reminders. This is also where I use my best friend the appointment to set aside time to do what only I should be doing. This is also where I count on my other good friend Mr. Priority to keep these steps in the right order. Next is the missing link to time management evaluation where you identify how you are actually spending your time. You are the only one who can identify where priorities are out of line and where you have wasted time. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 28:2 When a country is rebellious it has many rulers but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order. Wow-that’s a game changer for me and has to become a way of life. The last step is delegation this is where you help others learn to manage their time and use some of it. At the end of the day all of us only have twenty-four hours. That’s why we want to do all we can to become better time managers and then bring folks along with us to get more done. I have found through the years that there are people in my life and ministry who need to be needed more than I need the help. God is a God of mutual benefit He’ll bless them and you and expand and bless the kingdom all at the same time.

9. Always are on the lookout for a better way to do things. Be open; be teachable to new ideas and new technologies. Every time I hear about a new devise, program or app I ask how can I use this in my ministry. I like to say it this way I’m not married to anything but Julie, if there’s a better way to do something I want to do it. All of us must keep improving; we must keep learning and not be afraid of technology. God has allowed all of us to live at this time in history for a reason I want to take advantage of everything I have access to further the gospel and the cause of Christ. It is up to each of us to study to show ourselves approved so we can be workmen who are not ashamed!

10. I apply the sabath principle to social media and stuff I elect to do and don't have to do. After each six weeks I schedule one week off. It's been a huge difference maker for me and has helped me use the break to elevaluate my focus. Need some help to break away try the app..."Taking A Break"

I’ve been told the only difference from an adult and a child is the price of their toys. We are the only ones who can keep our tools from becoming toys. Where have you allowed technology to spend your time rather than save you time?

As you walk out these steps I believe you can get a handle on it and bring it under control to accomplish more for God and His purposes.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Keeping Your Technology Tools From Becoming Toys

I am so thankful for the tools I get to use in the ministry. I remember the good old days they really weren’t that good in the tool department. Since I’ve been ministering to kids a lot has changed with technology. When I started photocopiers had not yet been invented. I made publications with individual press on letters, an exacto knife, and rubber cement and then ran then off on a mimeograph machine. I now use three computers (one laptop for church and one laptop and a iMac for JWM), an ipad2, and an iPhone, every single day. I have multiple backups and I also use the cloud as well as drop box. I have an AT&T media package and also a Verizon mifi so I have both major networks. On top of that I tweet, I text, I Facebook, I use CM Connect, I have 11 email accounts, and I also use instagram. (And yes I have my own iPhone and iPad app be sure and download it free in the iPhone app store.)
I’ll never forget the day I got my first computer. It was a Commodore 64. I remember thinking this is amazing; I’ll never need anything more than this. At first it seemed like a time waster, entering all the names and info to create a database. Then it happen I hit command S and was able to sort that data base just how I needed it and I’ve been hooked ever since. I am proud to say I have never owned a PC and went straight from the Commodore 64 to the Mac. I can’t imagine doing ministry these days without all this technology. Not only has it changed a lot it’s still changing and I hope it will continue to get better and more powerful and useful in the future. But how do you keep these tools of the trade from turning into toys and distractions and time wasters?

Here are the first five of ten things I do to keep the electronic tools I use to stay a blessing and not a curse...

1. Turn off all sound notifications for texts, emails, tweets and other social media apps and set an appointment to check your devises. During work I set a time three times a day. I’ve found not hearing the notifications help me to stay on task. Even with the visual notifications of Mountain Lion I can ignore those better than the beeps, dings and bells and keep working. If it’s time sensitive I have them call me and tell me they sent what I’m waiting on.

2. I do not have non-work email accounts on my work devises. I am very thankful that I have the privilege of being bi-vocational (both vocations just happen to be ministry related) I never want the church that I serve to feel they are not getting my best. I don’t work on Jim Wideman Ministries stuff during my office hours at the church. (I wrote this article at 8:01PM not AM) Not having personal or JWM email accounts on my church machines keeps me focused. I also only post on church Facebook and twitter accounts during office hours.

3.  I turn my cell phone on silent went I’m in my office and use my office phone for all calls. (I make personal calls only on my cell phone when I’m on break or at lunch.) I know I’m weird but I still have a home phone number. I put my cell phone on a charger when I’m home and do not use it except when I’m mobile or it’s an emergency.

4. While we’re talking about calls here’s a great personal policy to adapt I try to limit all business calls to three to five minutes unless it’s a phone appointment and I schedule those from fifteen to thirty minutes. I learned this trick from a pay phone I saw years ago that had a sign on it that said: Business Phone-please limit calls to three minutes. I remember thinking, “The phone on my desk is a business phone.” It’s been a helpful practice to follow.

5. Maybe because it’s my age or the fact that I am a workaholic but I do not have any games on my ministry devices except games I can use in programing a service. I know what you are thinking…Jim you don’t have small children, your right but I have a grandbaby and when he gets old enough to need to be entertained I’ll give him his own devises. But just like I think it’s important to take back some of the time we have to minister to our family I also think we need to return to rocking it old school and talk in the morning, at night, when we’re at the house and when we go somewhere.

More to come...

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

From all of us here at Jim Wideman Ministries we would like to wish you a happy and healthy New Year! 
Happy 2013.
 I'm excited about what 2013 has in store. 
I'm taking a break from the conference trail in 2013. I have only a few speaking engagements booked so that I can concentrate on my health, my family, my church, and infuse.
Thanks for reading my blog, my books, being a member of theClub and following me on twitter, facebook and instagram. 
May God's best be yours in 2013!