There are so many ways to instantly communicate with anyone right at your fingertips. But despite this age of heightened connectivity, an increasing number of couples come to me citing device usage and social media as an issue in their relationship. Excessive device usage acts as a barrier to quality communication, which leaves partners feeling ignored or unimportant.
Many of us have experienced sharing a significant story with someone and they grab their cell phone halfway through the conversation. Attempting to share the highlights of your day with your partner but they have their nose buried in their Facebook feed? Trying to relay a story about your son but your partner is flipping through Instagram?
Well, the message seems clear – their phone is more important than you are at this moment. Over time, this can be very problematic, leading to feelings of rejection and separateness. You may even start to believe, “Why bother?”
Recent research indicates how cell phones are affecting our relationships. In a study titled “My life has become a major distraction from my cell phone,” Meredith Davis and James Roberts suggest that the overuse of cell phones can lead to greater dissatisfaction within our most important relationships. According to their study, which included 145 adults, excessive device usage decreased marital satisfaction.
Church consultants can be very valuable and effective for churches if they are used well. Today we discuss when to get one, what to look for , ad what the outcome should be.
Some highlights from today’s episode include:
- If a church is having a consultant come in and the senior pastor isn’t involved, that’s a red flag.
- The primary benefit of a church consultant is having some look at the church with outside eyes.
- Church consultants can bring to your church new ideas.
- A consultant who can diagnose without providing a solution is a worthless consultant.
- Hiring a church consultant means a church at least wants to change the status quo.
- Don’t wait until it’s too late to bring in a church consultant.
The seven points we cover are:
- Understanding what a consultant is and does
- Grasping the importance of the true client
- Looking through outside eyes
- Looking for fresh ideas
- Getting our head out of the sand
- Re-starting the vision cycle and dreaming again
- Rejecting the status quo
I read the Bible in a year for the first time in 2010. I was a sophomore in college, a Biblical Studies major, and was pretty sure I had never read some parts of the Bible in my entire life. I figured it was a good time to try reading through the Bible in a year for the first time. So I did it. It was great, but it wasn’t easy.
After reading through the Bible in a year for the first time, I decided I would try to do it every other year (so every even year). When it comes to reading and studying the Bible, I prefer to read a small passage and dig deeply into it, so reading a bunch of text in one day is stretching for me.
I read through the Bible successfully in 2010, 2012, and 2014, but I failed in 2016. In the past, I have read the Bible in a year by reading it chronologically. This year, I am using this five-day plan, which offers some flexibility in case you miss a day during the week. I love that this plan gives some Old and New Testament each day, which should make it easier than the chronological plans which don’t give you any New Testament until late in the year.
So, if you’ve started a Bible reading plan for the year, you need to be ready for what happens when you fall so far behind on your reading plan, and you realize you aren’t going to read the Bible in a year.
What do we do when we fall so far behind on our Bible reading plan we “fail?”
First, don’t be discouraged.
You aren’t a terrible person if you fall three weeks behind on your Bible reading plan. Life happens, and sometimes we fail to make Bible reading a priority.
We’ve all received hurtful emails.
We’ve all received email that makes our mouth drop open and say “What?!” Here’s a real email I received a few years ago.
Thanks so much for canceling church services on Sunday 12/25. You’re helping me win the war to make Christmas just another day. Why let that Jesus guy get in the way of presents and Santa? Great decision. Now if I can get the Baptists and Catholics on board!
In your debt,
Yes, this is a wildly “out there” example, but it’s a real email. And it’s my only one from Satan!
If you had been sitting beside me at that moment, you might have said: “Dan, this is an easy one, it’s a ridiculous email. Just press delete. It wasn’t even addressed personally to you. It came to 12Stone, and you were asked to respond.” That would have been wise counsel.
This email didn’t cause me to lose any sleep, but I was part of the team that made that decision about services on Christmas, (and having a gazillion Christmas Eve services instead). So oddly perhaps, it felt just a little personal.
But what about the email that really gets to you? When the hurtful email is serious, real, and from someone you know, it requires a response.
We are tempted to fire off a retaliatory shot. Or end up hurt and shrink back in our leadership, especially if the email is from someone with authority. The email that really hurts are the ones that come from someone you know, even a colleague or friend.
What do you do?
5 Action-Steps to handle a mean-spirited email:
Thank you to our sources for this week’s blog posts:
The Gottman Institute – How Your Smartphone Might Sabotage Your Relationship
Thom S. Rainer – Does Your church Need a Church Consultation
Millennial Evangelical – What to Do When You Fail Your Bible Reading Plan
Dan Reiland – How To Handle a Mean-Spirited Email