5 Ways to Finish the Year Strong

5 Ways to Finish the Year Strong

 

by Steve Backlund

 

Long distance runners plan to have a “kick” at the end of their races. They train and prepare to sprint toward the finish line, knowing how they finish will almost always determine the result of their race. With this analogy in mind, here are five ways to finish this year strong:

 

Clean up any relational messes – “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Take the initiative to bring healing to relational hurts. When we say, “I am so sorry for how I have contributed to this...”, we give God a great opportunity to defuse any anger or offense in our relationships.

 

Take inventory of your spiritual life - “But the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12). It was not in the spectacular spiritual events that Elijah was recalibrated, but it was in quieting his spirit to hear the “still, small voice” of God. As we spend extra time with the Lord to listen and re-evaluate our priorities at the end of the year, we give Holy Spirit the opportunity to speak God’s love to us and help redirect us from any negative tendencies in our lives.

 

Send powerful messages to the important people in your life – Take time to tell people what they mean to you. Find ways to say “thank you” to those who are serving you and making a difference in your life. These acts of kindness will make a bigger difference than you know.

 

Make a list of what you did well in the year – Don’t just dwell on what you could have done better in the year, but celebrate your successes and what you did right. The devil is called the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10). He constantly wants to accuse us of what we are not and where we still fall short. God’s heart for us is not to listen to the devil’s accusations, but to rejoice in the progress we are making in Him.

 

Find ways to take positive steps towards the goals you had for the year – Most of us have some goals for the year that we did not complete. As we draw to the end of December, it is a good time to revisit these goals and take some active steps towards greater momentum in these areas. For instance, if we did not eliminate as much debt as we purposed to do, then pay something extra toward the debt’s principal (even if it is very small). Or, if you wanted to write consistently for a blog but didn’t make as much progress as you'd hoped, contact someone who has written a blog and ask them to pray with you about a strategy to write more in the coming year.

 

I see God empowering you with an incredible spiritual “kick” as you finish off 2016 and welcome 2017. Bless you much.

 



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

The Incessant Talker Is Approaching You

The Incessant Talker Is Approaching You
 

An Excerpt from Help! I'm a Pastor

by Steve Backlund

SCENARIO:

Pastor Vair E. Fair values interaction and input from people in meetings he leads. It usually has gone well in the past, but that was before Don Dominator started attending his church. Don has a very powerful personality, and he loves to talk. It is not unusual for him to go on ten-minute verbal marathons at home groups and in meetings – often taking the conversation off topic. Also, Mr. Dominator always seems to be the first person to speak in any group setting. People like Slowie Processor and Moses Stutterer never seem to get a word in when Don is in the room. If you were Pastor Fair, what would you do?

LIES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SCENARIO:

  • People who talk too much cannot be a significant part of the church.
  • There are no solutions concerning someone who loves to talk.
  • If someone does not talk much, it means they have nothing important to say.
  • I do not have the ability to lead meetings if there are strong personalities there.

LIFE AND LEADERSHIP CORE VALUES TO CONSIDER:

  • I build a culture of feedback in my ministry that I lead by example.
  • I proactively anticipate challenges that could occur in the future.
  • I pursue relationships with the strong influencers in places I am called to lead.
  • I believe people’s negative qualities are usually immature characteristics of
  • positive qualities in their life.
  • I help people understand how their behavior impacts others.

DISCERNING WHAT GOD IS DEVELOPING IN ME:

  • I am learning how to lead small group meetings at a higher level.
  • I have the opportunity to discern in a higher way how to have freedom without the same people dominating a meeting.
  • I get to grow in inspiring and connecting with different personalities.

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TAKING ACTION:

  1. Is Don aware of his tendency to excessively talk?
  2. How much training do we provide our leaders on leading small group meetings?
  3. Is this situation exposing insecurities in me regarding me being a strong leader?
  4. What can I learn from experienced small group leaders?
  5. How can I structure meetings to avoid long-winded talkfests?

PRACTICAL STEPS TO CONSIDER:

1. Improve your leadership training on how to lead small groupsSmall group leadership training is a must for healthy experiences in these groups. This training should cover topics such as planning, building trust, nurturing growth, growing a leadership team, delegation, handling common problems, etc. There are many books and online resources to help with this. Also, it is good to have all small group leaders meet once or twice a year for a refresher training and to share with each other what is working and where they need help.

2. Partner with the strong influencer to improve meetings – One of the best strategies with any challenging person in group settings is to ask the person to partner with you to help the meeting flow better. This sends an “I need you” message to the person and helps him or her see the bigger picture. “Don, I love your enthusiasm to participate at such a high level in our small group. As you can probably see, people like Slowie and Moses don’t share much. I want so much to help them grow in their confidence to share what God is giving them. Would you help me?”

3. Learn how to decrease the likelihood of people regularly dominating meetings – This can be done by: a) giving ground rules for what sharing will look like – “Keep your comments to two minutes or less,” b) If the dominating person keeps talking, interrupt him as they catch their breath and say, “That’s a good point. Slowie, what do you think?” c) If he interrupts someone who is talking, hold your hand up and say, “Sorry, Don, Moses was talking first.” Turn to Moses and say, “Moses, now what were you saying?” d) Meet privately with the talker after the meeting to share in love what you saw happening and why you did what you did. Note: we need to be secure in our leadership. Our goal is not to prove to others we are a good leader but to actually believe we are a good leader.

DECLARATIONS:

  • My leaders and I are skilled facilitators of small group meetings.
  • I really help incessant talkers know how to succeed in small groups.
  • I am able to successfully lead different types of people.


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

5 Habits of Highly Ineffective People

5 Habits of Highly Ineffective People

by Steve Backlund

Stephen Covey wrote the best seller Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Conversely, here are some habits for anyone who wants to be highly ineffective (or wants to know what habits to avoid on a journey towards greater effectiveness):

Impulsiveness – Emotion-based decisions need time for confirmation before being finalized. Whether it is “falling in love”, making a major purchase, or some other big decision, it is wise to find ways to protect yourself from bad choices. We can do this by having good accountability in our lives, by setting aside time for prayer and Bible reading, and by invoking a 24 hour, one week, or one month rule of refusing to make a major decision within that time period.

Laziness – It has been said that the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people find ways to do what they don’t want to do, while unsuccessful people won’t find those ways. We all have many things we don’t want to do, but those who don’t advance in life tend to prioritize play before responsibilities.  

Victim Mindsets – Blaming others for our lack of progress blocks us from seeing the pathways available to us for forward movement in our lives. One of the ways to overcome such tendencies is to read stories of people who have overcome great odds in life to do great things, such as Helen Keller or William J. Seymour of the Azusa Street Revival.

Mistreating People – Those who put goals above quality relationships will invariably hurt others. When we aspire to be great regardless of how it impacts others, we are not successful people. People on their death beds rarely say, “I wish I would have made more money or been in the office more.” On the contrary, people at the end of their lives often wish they would have loved their family and others in a greater way by cultivating relationships more.

Ignoring Spirituality – As a person of faith, I have come to the conclusion that ignoring the spiritual side of life will eventually have negative consequences. If you are looking for a place to begin to activate your spirit in a great way, I recommend reading one chapter every day from the book of Proverbs in the Bible. It is a gold mine of wisdom.



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

It's Not Fair!

It's Not Fair!

An excerpt from Let's Just Laugh at That For Kids

by Steve Backlund
 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done." Philippians 4:6

 

Have you ever thought you don’t get as much as others do? Or do you believe "My parents let my brothers and sisters do more than me." Or you think "My friends get more than I do" or "The teacher gives other people special jobs, and I never get to be chosen!” As you think about these things, the warning light in your mind may begin to flash. “What about me?!” You feel something rising inside of you. Now it’s fighting to get out of your mouth, and then these words cannot be held in any longer: “It’s not fair!” As you say this, the siren sounds. Quick action is required. You pull out your weapon of choice — the Laughter Boots. You slip them on your feet and start stomping that lie to dust!

The Truth:

If we are only looking for things to be equal, life will never seem fair. There are several Bible stories that may not seem fair to us. One is when David goes to battle with 600 hundred men (1 Samuel 30). The battle is so long and hard that 200 hundred men had to rest by a stream. They left the others to fight. Later, the 400 men came back victorious. David asked for the treasure they won to be shared between the 600 men. Some of the fighters may have asked, “Why should these lazy men get anything?” They complained because they had done the work while the others rested. Still, David demanded it to be shared evenly. Fair does not always mean equal. Even Jesus didn’t spend the same amount of time with each of His disciples, but He knew what they needed. Jesus had twelve disciples, but He spent more time with the three. If we look at what we don’t have, life will never seem fair. Jesus might not give us what someone else has, but He always gives us what we need.

What Can I Say?

• God always has the best for me.

• My life is special and unique. It will look different than anyone else’s.

• I choose to think more about what I have than what I want.

What Can I Do?

• Refuse to compare – Comparing yourself to another person can steal your joy. Instead, don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything (Philippians 4:6-7). Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. You will be amazed at how much better things will be.

• Treat people well – It starts with you. You get to change your world by treating people around you with honor (Luke 6:31). As you do this, you will often find people treating you more fairly. If you are waiting on someone else to treat you right first, then fairness may never happen. What is one thing you can do today to treat someone else well? Consider doing something like putting an encouraging note around your family’s dinner plates or on their pillows before bed.

• Celebrate the good stuff – Do a happy dance over something you are grateful for. Sometimes we can have the most amazing things right in front of us and not realize what we have. If you’re with family and friends, go ahead and have a party. Blow up balloons and put up decorations. There are plenty of things to celebrate. Invite your parents to enjoy the party with you.



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUN

Steve 2016 2.jpg

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

5 Ways to have a Better Christmas this Year

5 Ways to have a Better Christmas this Year

 by Steve Backlund


Yes, Christmas is just around the corner. It's time to prepare for a great time with God and loved ones, and to celebrate together! There are many different ways to have a great Christmas this year, but here are five suggestions:

1. Pray about it – "You have not because you ask not" (James 4:3). Our prayers are powerful and effective. When we ask God to bless our Christmas time, it causes things to happen that would not have happened if we had not prayed. When you agree with a loved one in prayer for a glorious Christmas, the power of prayer increases (Matthew ‪18:19).

2. Find ways to be less stressed – There are so many good things to do during the Christmas season, but we cannot do them all.  Often, when we don’t plan ahead of time, we find ourselves impulsively saying “yes” to too many things or taking on too much emotional responsibility for the happiness of others. The few weeks before Christmas are a good time to pull out your calendar to get a clear idea of what your true priorities are during this holiday season.

3. Bless the poor – One of the best things a family can do is to give to and/or serve the poor during the holiday season. Christmas is the season for giving and it is good to give beyond what we give to our immediate families. Find someone less fortunate than you and bless them in some way. It will make Christmas extra special. 

4. Take time to feed your spirit – The Christmas story is incredible. As we bask in its reality and truths, we will ignite a fresh work of the Spirit in our lives. Find a way to spend extra time in His presence or attend something special to connect personally with God this time of year, like a Christmas Eve candlelight service.  

5. Focus more on heart connections than on having the perfect Christmas – This season is about relationships (first with God, then with our families, and others). Don't let perfectionism rob you of the special bonding moments available during the holidays. 

At Igniting Hope Ministries, we’re praying you and your family have the best Christmas yet.



 

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

 

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

5 Ways to Become Thermostatic Instead of Being a Thermometer

5 Ways to Become Thermostatic Instead of Being a Thermometer

by Steve Backlund

 

Thermometers diagnose the temperature, while thermostats set the temperatures. Influencers are "thermostatic" people who create a higher level of experience for those connected to them. Here are five things to know to activate the thermostat within you.

1. Know the faith walk is believing and then seeing – I used to only believe something was true once I saw it in my experience. For instance, I would not believe I was an influencer of nations until I actually saw that I was influencing nations. God told me, "That is not how this all works. You must believe to see, not see to believe." Faith is believing something is true even before we see it in our experience.

2. Know things don't immediately change when you set a new temperature on your thermostat – It would be foolish to say, "This is not working!" thirty seconds after you set a new temperature on the thermostat. It takes time for the environment to catch up to the new setting. Likewise, our experiences will catch up to our beliefs and the waiting time is called "faith."

3. Know we cannot get our beliefs  from our feelings or our past experiences  – These are the two main ingredients of "thermometer living": 1) We don't deny the past,but we cannot get our beliefs from it, and 2) we acknowledge the facts of what is happening, but we believe in truths that are higher than the facts of our experiences.

4. Know that what we renew our minds with today radically influences what we will experience tomorrow – Romans 12:2 says to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  How we renew our minds now creates future experiences. If we only renew our minds with what has happened, we will repeat what has happened. Thermostatic people intentionally meditate on and believe the promises of God even when their experiences are saying something totally different.

5. Know "life is in the power of the tongue" – Those who don't upgrade their language will have more difficulty being thermostatic. Our words are containers of life or death (Proverbs 18:21) and they become a directing force in our lives (James 3:2-5).



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

Empowering Truth

Empowering Truth

by Wendy Backlund

 

"Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).

For the most part, our minds have been trained to view life from the perspective of our past as mere mortals.  It is up to us to train our brains to see life from the perspective of the spirit and to view ourselves as resurrected beings.

We obtain eternal life when we have faith in Christ and His resurrection. But we have a transformed life when we have faith in our resurrected life.

I am passionate about becoming more aware of the things of the spirit and recognizing that I am more spirit than flesh. Romans 12:2 says that we are transformed by renewing our minds. This means that to be transformed into the fullness of our new creation, we must have new belief systems. We learn to base our new identity on the Word of God, not past experience that was gained from this natural realm.

If we want to become empowered to live out our destiny, we will need confidence, boldness, and courage. These traits do not come from what we have done, but they come from what we believe we can do. Empowerment comes from not only knowing our identity, but also believing in our delegated authority. Empowerment from others will eventually manifest when we feel empowered by the Word of God.

Feeling empowered entails having a renewed mind concerning the truth about our capabilities as new creations. Our identity is linked to understanding that we are children of God. Being a child of God means we learn through process and failure just as human babies do. Human babies do not "do" shame and guilt unless their parents teach it to them inadvertently. Learning to walk in the spirit is a process and not a one-time event. When a baby is born, we do not expect him/her to walk, talk, or do math from birth. But we do know that all these abilities are built into the baby in creation. We offer grace and help while they are in the process of learning to do these things.

Many Christians talk about being a new creation, but it is just a theology to them. When asked what it means to be a new creation, often they cannot explain what they have become. They think that if they fix the old creature, it can somehow make them into a new creature. Do you see the dilemma? They think they are caterpillars required to act like butterflies. So they keep working on their caterpillar identity, trying to make themselves capable of flying by cutting off their feet.

So what are you? If we are resurrected with Christ, then we are not supposed to just try to act like Him, but believe like Him. We are not as He was here on earth, but the scripture in 1 John above states that we are as He is right now.

It is time to rehearse what we are in our imagination. Use the Word of God to discover truths about our new identity. Make a determined effort to challenge every thought that robs you of confidence, boldness, hope, or courage. What beliefs will encourage and inspire you?Think on these things.



WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund is an author and speaker. She, along with her husband Steve, have a unique ministry that ignites hope, joy, and victorious mindsets into people's lives. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, equipping people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Social Links:
Website: wendybacklund.com
Facebook: Wendycbacklund
Twitter: Wendycbacklund
Instagram: Wendycbacklund
Contact: info@wendybacklund.com

Touching Faith

Touching Faith

An Excerpt from the book Living From the Unseen
by Wendy Backlund


“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body,
already dead (since he was about a hundred years old),
and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the
promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith,
giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what
He had promised He was also able to perform.”
Romans 4:19-21

I love how God speaks to me. He will drop a thought in my mind, and then wait to see if I will be noble enough to search out all the riches within that thought (Proverbs 25:2). One of the most wealthy thoughts that has come to me is “I do not need to do anything different, I just need to attach great faith to what I am already doing.” This powerful truth has two aspects that I want to discuss.

The first is learning to recognize what kind of faith we are unconsciously attaching to our actions, circumstances, or people. This was made real to me one day while getting ready for a counseling session with a certain person. I was dreading the meeting, and God asked me why. I explained to Him that the person I was meeting with was not very teachable and was very prone to defensiveness and anger.

In short, I was expecting very negative results from this meeting. God then quietly said, “If that is your faith for this appointment, I do not want you to go.” I was stunned because I knew He was not telling me not to go, but to change my faith for the meeting. In order to do that, I had to “see” differently. When I became receptive to seeing the meeting through the eyes of my spirit, I realized I had limited the meeting to the natural realm. 

He began to remind me that I carried a spirit of revelation that could influence her thoughts and emotions. I was able to see myself walking in the substance of love and grace, which would enable her to feel accepted and teachable. Once I saw the potential for the meeting, I got excited and attached great faith to what would be accomplished. As a result, it was a great meeting! 

Now when I have feelings of dread, I recognize that I have attached negative beliefs to the situation. Too often, we accept feelings of dread because it seems reasonable. But it is just a signal that we have made conclusions based on the natural realm rather than the supernatural realm.

This principle is not just for things that seem spiritual. For instance, soon after the counseling meeting that I mentioned above, God asked me why I often procrastinated and dreaded vacuuming my carpet. I thought about it and became aware that I believed vacuuming was time consuming and hard. This belief was based on my unpleasant experience as a young girl vacuuming our large family home. I purposely began changing my belief about vacuuming. I began to see it as easy. When I actually timed myself, I discovered that (in the house I lived in) it only took ten minutes! I also began using the time while vacuuming to pray in the spirit and began to love it! This experience taught me that just because something feels true, it does not mean it is true.

Changing what you believe about something will change the feelings attached to it. Are you dreading a meeting, a responsibility, or even an entire day? Ask God to show you what belief has caused this dread. Then allow Him to show you what it can look like through the eyes of your spirit. As we learn to recognize when we are attaching negative faith to our life, it can be a fun adventure. I love the results of freedom from dread to life!



ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund is an author and speaker. She, along with her husband Steve, have a unique ministry that ignites hope, joy, and victorious mindsets into people's lives. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, equipping people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Social Links:
Website: wendybacklund.com
Facebook: Wendycbacklund
Twitter: Wendycbacklund
Instagram: Wendycbacklund
Contact: info@wendybacklund.com

5 Ways to Improve Your Decision Making

5 Ways to Improve Your Decision Making

by Steve Backlund



Decision making is certainly a big part of our lives. I recently read the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions a day. Most of these are small ones, but that is still a lot of decisions!


In Proverbs, we frequently read about prioritizing wisdom. One aspect of wisdom is the ability to make decisions that lead to joy and peace rather than to stress and chaos.
 

"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her" (Proverbs 3:13-18).


These are great promises in finding wisdom and understanding. Assuming that our decisions are based on the Bible and not on our feelings or what is popular in culture today, we are blessed when we base our decisions in relation to the timeless principles of God’s Word. With this reality as our foundation, here are five ideas on how to improve your decision making:
 

  1. Implement the 24 hour rule – Impulsive decision makers fail to consider the long term implications of what they are deciding to do. They base their choices on the emotions they feel in the moment, rather than on seeing how saying yes or no fits into bigger priorities already made. To avoid making impulsive decisions, say, "Let me get back to you tomorrow after I have had more time to think about this. If it is a bigger decision, even more time will be needed.
     

  2. Only takes big risks if you have a big story from God – The Bible is filled with big risk takers. For instance, Joseph only committed to marrying a pregnant Mary after he had a powerful dream from God on the matter. We too will receive a "story" from God to do what is seemingly illogical.
     

  3. Find ways to “date” your decision before you “marry” it – I tell leaders to "date" people with lesser responsibilities before they "marry" them with a big title in their ministry or organization. This principle can be carried over into decision making as well. One way to do this is by deciding in your spirit what you are going to do, and then giving God time to fully confirm before you announce your decision to others.
     

  4. Clarify all your options – Anxiety about making decisions can be decreased by clearly identifying our options. Once we know what we can do, it will start a process of elimination that will help lead us to the best decision.
     

  5. Make your decision in faith – Once you have done all you know to do to make the highest choice, then decide in faith. Double-mindedness is the enemy of great decision makers and great influencers. We can build the "muscle" of making decisions in faith by releasing high-level beliefs in smaller decisions we make (i.e., giving or not giving to a need, going or not going to a meeting, etc.).



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
 

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

10 Characteristics of Empowering Meetings

10 Characteristics of Empowering Meetings

from the newly released book The Culture of Empowerment

by Steve Backlund 

Teammates are encouraged and empowered when they get to participate in meetings that are life-giving, strategic, and encouraging. The benefits of being part of a team that consistently has empowering meetings are limitless. 

In our previous blog, w discussed the 13 Characteristics of Non-Empowering Meetings. (PUT LINK HERE)

 This week, we want to highlight the positive characteristics of empowering meetings. 

CHARACTERISTICS OF EMPOWERING MEETINGS:

1. Proactive planning and communication takes place. 

2. Time is regularly set aside to celebrate testimonies of team members'  successes and wins.

3. Attendees are given opportunities to influence the quality of meetings by participating in various aspects of the meeting (e.g. opening or closing the meeting, sharing testimonies, facilitating a discussion, or leading a team building exercise, etc.).

4. Laughter is a norm in team meetings.

5. Leaders draw out thoughts and ideas from quiet team members. 

6. Attendees understand how the meeting fits into the bigger purposes of the relationship or organization.

7. Leaders express gratitude for the team members and have a great ability to make people feel valued.

8. Individuals are celebrated frequently, including those who are behind-the-scenes.

9. Leaders give regular, constructive feedback. 

10. Meetings have time set aside for people to respond to the question, “Is there any other business we need to cover?"



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
 

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

5 Ways to Empower Your Children

5 Ways to Empower Your Children

by Steve Backlund
 

Having the stewardship of raising and influencing children is an honor and a privilege. As parents, pastors, and teachers, we have an opportunity to speak powerfully into their lives and influence them. Here are five quick ideas to empower your children to do what they thought they could never do: 

1. Regularly tell them who they are – Your words are more powerful than you know. Take advantage of important times (bedtime, while driving, etc.) to let them know who they really are. In my book The Culture of Empowerment, I state that empowering leaders speak to their people much more about who they are more than just telling them what to do. We can empower our children similarly by speaking life-giving identity statements over their lives. As we increase in speaking positive encouragements over our children, we will see them grab a hold of these truths and believe in themselves more each day. 

2. Help them review their prophetic words – As a parent, you have the privilege of providing times for them to receive prophetic words. To make this happen, I suggest asking others to give your children prophetic words. Record or write these words down and begin to discuss, review, and pray for these words with them on a regular basis. 

3. Have others "adopt" your child – Wise parents recruit others to be positive influences on their children. This could be other adults, or it could be a teen or an older child who can mentor your child. These individuals will be able to impart impactful words to your children. In addition, they can be a strength to you in helping you deepen the relationship with your children. 

4. Train them to be responsible and respectful – Faithfulness and honor are two qualities we want our children to have. They are pivotal and needed to open future doors of opportunity and favor for their lives. These qualities don't just automatically happen, but they are the result of God – anointed parenting. 

5. Expose them to the greater needs – Take your children on a mission trip. Have them help you feed or love on the homeless. These types of activities help our children to truly know they are bless, and it will also help them to understand the Biblical truth that true empowerment is to serve the needs of others. 



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

13 More Characteristics of Non-Empowering Meetings

13 More Characteristics of
Non – Empowering Meetings

from the newly released book The Culture of Empowerment

by Steve Backlund
 

Following last week's blog on the  14 Characteristics of Non - Empowering Meetings are 13 more characteristics of non-empowering meetings. May this check-list allow you to upgrade to another level in your team meetings. 
 

1. The leader crams too much into the meeting and needs to rush through things to fit everything in. 

2. Those in attendance do not feel safe to contribute and give feedback, feeling unsure as to whether they would be treated with respect and honor for doing so. 

3. There is an inherent climate of fear over having a different opinion than that of the leader. 

4. The leader projects an "I have it altogether" persona and feels unapproachable. 

5. The leader fails to create a vision for how the meetings fit into the higher purposes and goals of the organization leaving the attendees in confusion. 

6. The leader does not value people's time, thus creating an atmosphere of discouragement. 

7. The meetings include surprise announcements that blindside team members without notice. 

8. The leader does not anticipate or speak into the anxieties, questions, and concerns the teammates may have.

9. The majority of the meetings are too predictable with little or no room for creativity and discovery. 

10. The leader blames subordinates for problems prevalent in the organization. 

11. Feedback from the teammates regarding their experience in the meeting is rarely pursued and addressed.

12.  The leader ignores negative attitudes from team members allowing the toxic atmosphere to continue. 

13. The meetings exclude any form of recap of previous meetings or follow-up. 



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

5 Things to Know Before Election Day

5 Things to Know Before Election Day

 by Steve Backlund

 

The 2016 United States presidential election is fast approaching. Years ago, I had a man in my church who would answer the phone with the words, “What do you know?” As we phone heaven in prayer regarding America, we may well hear those words from the Heavenly Father. The more we know about His perspective, the more peace we will have and the more influence we will possess.

Here are five things to "know" and establish deep in our spirits, particularly for American voters as we approach this important time:

Our Votes are Important – We have been given the privilege of participating in a democratic society. Your one vote in national or state wide elections may seem small and insignificant, but it is not. As God’s people, we are trusted as one of the many He is guiding to have His purposes accomplished in all areas of life including the elections. So research about the candidates, seek God’s wisdom, and vote in righteousness, but also cast your votes in faith that it will make a difference.

Prayers for Our Political Leaders are a Part of Our Calling – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 are verses to inspire us to create chain reactions that lead to national peace and great salvation in our countries. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” We are called to channel our emotions concerning our leaders first into prayer and thanks, and then into action as God directs regarding the state of our country.

We Are to Release the Opposite Spirit of This World – We can sense much agitation and polarization between people right now. However, we are not to fight with the world’s weapons of hate, name calling, pessimism, and fear; we are to fight with love, wisdom, hope, listening, supernatural wisdom, Holy Spirit power, the display of transformed lives, and speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). As we seek to have the opposite spirit of the world, it is important to be careful what we say on social media. Here is a good piece of advice: don’t write or say everything you feel.

Hope is an Unstoppable Force – Our hope level will powerfully impact our influence level. First, we have the blessed hope of eternal life. This is a good time to remind ourselves that our true home is not of this earth. Secondly, we can take strength from the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 where Ezekiel’s hope and prophetic ministry caused circumstantial dry bones to come alive. Ultimately, the question is never how dry the bones are, but whether someone believes the bones can live. We rightly try to stop national "bones" from getting dry, but we know our greater battle is to keep hope alive in our hearts (Hebrews 10:23, Romans 15:13).

God Has a Specific Word and Assignment for You in This Season – In times of challenge and crisis, God’s answer is always calling out and sending a man or woman into an assignment. Even though we don’t want to minimize the importance of government, God’s solutions don’t start there. As we look through Scripture, we see unlikely people incredibly used by the Lord to turn things back to vibrant spirituality in the nations. The powerful assignments for today are not just for a chosen few, but are for every single one of us (whether what we do is visible to others or not). So what is God saying to you? What is your calling in this hour? As you are able to put language to what you believe you are to do (and more importantly be), then strength and purpose will arise in you to be an answer for today.


For more reading on this topic, read our previous blog, 10 Lies Not to Believe in This Election Season.


“We must train our soul and body to trust our spirit” – Wendy Backlund

Join us for Feasting on the Spirit with Wendy Backlund! Wendy Backlund is hosting a 28-day online devotional of intentionally growing our spirits. Register for Feasting on the Spirit to receive a daily email revelation and activation from Wendy Backlund. Topics including, "Giving My Spirit a Voice", "Stop Acting and Start Believing", and "The Power of Blessing." Let your spirit journey in Heavenly places, transforming mind, soul, emotions, and body from the inside out. Be prepared to be transformed. 


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

14 Characteristics of Non-Empowering Meetings

14 Characteristics of

Non-Empowering Meetings

by Steve Backlund

 

We have all been in team or committee type of meetings that were productive, fun, and empowering. We have also probably attended bad meetings with dysfunctional leadership and behaviors by attendees. Those latter meetings are no fun and are often extremely non-empowering in nature. 

In order to improve the meetings we lead or can influence, I have listed 14 characteristics of non-empowering meetings. It is a good list to use as a "check-up" for your official gatherings.

CHARACTERISTICS OF Non-empowering meetings:

1. The leaders speak down to people.

2. Strong personalities dominate the conversation and flow of the meeting.

3. Those attending the meeting have little or no ability to influence the leader or organization.

4. Non-leaders are seen more as slaves and servants of the vision, rather than dreamers and co-laborers.

5. Leaders give the impression their negative attitudes and poor performance result because they are a victim of their low-quality team and subordinates.

6. There is little or no proactivity concerning how to involve people in the meeting.

7. The meeting purpose is unclear.

8. Little or no action plans are developed as the result of meeting.

9. Team members regularly forget important things from previous meetings.

10. There is little or no focus on the personal or family lives of those in the meeting.

11. Leaders are insecure, creating intimidation concerning strengths of others in the meeting.

12. Team members are competitive with each other and do not have a vision for the importance of making the team stronger.

13. People do not feel inspired to come early or on time.

14. New people are not acknowledged or introduced.


STeve's NEW BOOK:

The Culture of Empowerment


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

Healing from Hurts in the Church

Healing from Hurts in the Church

from the soon-to-be-released The Culture of Empowerment
by Steve Backlund

Many Christians have had negative experiences with church leaders. Instead of being empowered, they were not honored for who they were. These situations cover the spectrum of small irritations to major abuses. Whatever the situation may be, God’s love and power can “heal the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1) to experience hope again, and His love can “restore our soul” (Psalm 23:3) to emotional wholeness.

If this has been the case for you, I would like to repent before you on behalf of any hurt you have experienced from church leaders. I have written a brief letter to you representing your past church leaders, expressing this repentance, and then asking for your forgiveness. I believe God will use it to bring healing to the hearts of many.

Before I share this letter, I want to clarify that some of the hurts that people believe leaders caused them actually could have resulted from their own wrong perceptions of what was actually happening. I have been a church leader for many years, and I have had various situations where people accused me of being unloving or controlling, but it was actually not the case at all. These perceptions of me resulted from the person’s own unresolved issues, and often from a lack of understanding concerning the many factors church leaders have to consider in making decisions or creating policies. With that said, in other situations, I realize that I was insensitive to the people around me.

Also, this letter is not meant to be a substitute for any needed personal interaction in dealing with offense and conflict, but for cases where that’s not possible, it can provide a powerful step in internal healing and give freedom from past hurts. Even if you’re able to meet in person with a leader who has hurt you, going through this forgiveness process will be very beneficial.

 

Dear Beloved,

I am so sorry that I hurt you. Please forgive me for not believing in you more, for being insensitive to your needs and feelings, for saying hurtful things, for not apologizing when I was wrong, for sending you the message that you were a failure, for making you not feel valued, for not trusting you, for not hearing your story, for being abusive in any way, for focusing more on what you could do for the church than on how I could help you thrive in every area of life, and for letting my fears and insecurities affect how I treated you. I’m sorry if any of these things caused you to live a life of feeling unsafe under leadership, caused you to believe you must perform well to be loved, caused fear in you, or caused you to be restricted in anyway from being fully you. I regret these things very much. Again, please forgive me.

Love,
Steve Backlund

Now it is your turn. We recommend taking some time with the Lord as you read through this letter. It is a powerful thing to acknowledge your pain with God in remembering the situation, the people involved, and how you felt. Let the words of the letter impact your heart as you read it. If there is forgiveness to release on your part, use the prayer of forgiveness below to help you release it. If you would like to, you can choose to imagine the person standing in front of you to assist in engaging your heart with the process.

Here is a prayer of forgiveness for you to pray concerning past leaders:

__________________ (Say the name of the leader you believe has hurt you in any way), I forgive you for hurts I experienced under your leadership. I release you from my judgments concerning this. I pray that you will be blessed in your relationship with God, in your family, and in your ministry.

In Jesus’ name,  Amen.

After you have completed this forgiveness process, ask God to fill you with His love for this leader. Ask God to reveal to you how He sees that person. Then release a prayer of blessing over them. We are also aware that one of the prevalent mindsets that can be established under apparent disempowering leadership is the victim mindset. This mindset believes we are the victims of another’s leadership, a victim of their choices, and that our future and destiny is determined by them. We can break free of victim thinking by renewing our minds with the truth. One way to do this is to make Biblically-based faith declarations.

We are so thankful when healing takes place through forgiveness. And we also rejoice that God not only heals, but also He powerfully turns all things for good in our lives. We are believing that for you on your journey to greater wholeness and increased influence. 



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

 

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

5 Keys to Jump-Start the Prophetic in Your Life

5 Keys to Jump-Start the Prophetic in Your Life

by Steve Backlund

"Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy" (1 Corinthians 14:1). This is such an amazing verse. It tells us to pursue the relational love discussed in 1 Corinthians 13 for our lives, and then to desire spiritual gifts to operate through us. The word "desire" comes from the Greek word meaning "to burn with zeal." We are literally to have a fiery zeal for spiritual gifts to flow through us. (See 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 for a list of gifts to desire.) Why does God want us to desire these gifts? So we can be a super Saint? No, the best reason is so we can be a conduit for someone else's miracle. We are called to bring supernatural encounters to other people.

1 Corinthians 14:1 goes on to say we are to especially burn with zeal to see prophesy flow through us. Why is this the case? One reason is this: If something is going to happen, something must be spoken. This principle started when God said, "Let there be light" in Genesis 1. 

What can we do to see the prophetic flow through us in greater ways? Here are five ways to jump-start the prophetic in your life: 

1.  Be the most encouraging person you know – New Testament prophetic ministry is based on 1 Corinthians 14:3: "But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men." As we purpose to encourage people with the good things we see in their lives, we create a great foundation for healthy prophetic ministries. 

2.  Ask God to supernaturally anoint your encouragement to others – "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13). When we ask the Holy Spirit to enter into our encouragement, He will prompt us with thoughts directly from Him. 

3.  Be overflowing with the Bible – The strongest words we can speak are Bible promises and proclamations of biblical truths. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). It is a powerful thing to share an encouraging truth from the scripture that is burning in our hearts for a person.

4.  Be natural in your delivery – Don't use King James language or become weird in your prophetic ministry. Simply say something like, "As I was thinking and praying about you, I heard something I believe will be a blessing to you." Avoid overly using "God told me to tell you this" or similar phrases. 

5.  Trust the impressions you get – Take note of unusual coincidences, pictures in your mind, feelings that you get, or Bible verses that come to mind. If you get something that seems a bit bizarre or too good to be true, you could preface what you say with, "This may sound a little crazy, but I am hearing this." 

Our prophetic words should never rebuke or expose the faults of someone, but it is to call out the gold we see inside of them. For more information on the prophetic ministry, we recommend Kris Vallotton's book Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry.


Recommended Resource:
Let's Just Laugh at That!


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

5 Stumbling Blocks to Good Listening

5 Stumbling Blocks to Good Listening

from the soon-to-be-released book The Culture of Empowerment

by Steve Backlund

(this teaching is a chapter written by Steve's brother, Phil Backlund)
 

Listening is probably the most over-estimated personal communication skill. So what mistakes do people make in listening? Below are 5 listening stumbling blocks that most of us have seen or experienced (or have done ourselves). They are not the result of conscious choices – they usually are things we really don’t think about consciously. 

1. Not staying focused on the speaker – Since many things in communication situations compete for your attention, it is very easy to lose focus. It takes work to keep your attention on a speaker. Check yourself on occasion. Ask yourself, “Am I really paying attention?” “Do I really understand what they are saying?”

2. Not eliminating noise and distractions whenever possible – Noise is anything that impacts your listening behavior. This could include physical or external noise (cell phones, side conversations), physiological noise (like being tired or hungry), and psychological noise (biases or prejudices). It takes energy to pay attention, and we are prone to be easily distracted by other noises.

3. Daydreaming – The average person talks at a rate of about 125 to 175 words per minute, but you can listen at a rate of up to 450 words per minute. This means that you think faster than you listen, so it’s easy for the brain to attempt to multitask. When you daydream, you come in and out of the listening process, lapsing into fantasy thoughts. Not daydreaming becomes especially difficult when you are not particularly engaged in what the others are saying.

4. Jumping to conclusions – This happens when you think you know what’s about to come next. It’s easy to make assumptions in order to predict what follows. Once your mind gets moving in a direction, it tends to keep going.

5. Focusing on the perceived negative attributes of the speaker – Sometimes you are unable to hear the message when you can’t get past different physical, cultural, or ethnic characteristics of your speaker. Have you ever instantaneously judged a person by the way she looks or the accent he has? Have you decided that you can’t possibly listen or learn from this person? Listening takes practice! Awareness of these common mistakes in listening can help prevent you from making them.


ABOUT PHIL BACKLUND

Phil Backlund received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Master’s degree in Speech Communication from Humboldt State University, and he earned his PhD in Speech Communication from the University of Denver. He had an academic position at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, taught at Utica College, and recently retired as a Professor of Communication Studies at Central Washington University. Phil loves teaching, and firmly believes that as a teacher, one of the most important gifts he can give his students is the ability to communicate effectively in public and in small groups, both in interpersonal and intercultural contexts. He values building international goodwill and has worked and taught in Hong Kong, Macau, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Pakistan. Phil and his wife, Judy, have three children – Shane, Ryan, and Matthew – and are involved in their community, serving on a number of boards over the years. Family is important to Phil, and he very much enjoys his wonderful children and grandchildren. He is very pleased to be involved with this project with his brother Steve.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

 

6 Different Ways to Approach Halloween

6 Different Ways to Approach Halloween

 

by Steve Backlund

 

As it is true with many things in life, there is not just one way to approach Halloween. There are different factors which would impact our philosophy towards this day. These include our God assignments, the culture of our geographical area, the season of our lives, and what we hear God saying for us to do specifically. In Romans 14:5, Paul states that we should be "fully be convinced in our own mind" about such things like the Sabbath. Similarly, we each need to become convinced of how we are to observe Halloween and seek to refrain from criticizing those who have a different conviction or belief than we do. 

Here are six different ways we can approach Halloween:

1. Fully embrace every aspect of the Halloween culture  This approach would ignore any of the controversial aspects of Halloween (occult, witches, sensual costumes, etc.) and believe that our freedom in Christ allows us to not be in bondage to fears of any negative consequences concerning Halloween.

2. Use it as an evangelistic opportunity to influence the parents and children participating in Halloween – There are many ways to do this including giving prophetic words, giving words of knowledge, putting salvation literature in candy bags, or other creative ideas that God gives you. 

3. Call it a pagan satanic activity and not get involved at all – For some, simply ignoring Halloween would be part of God's plan which has them focusing on higher things. 

4. Create an alternative gathering such as a Harvest Party, a Holy Spirit Renewal Party, etc.   This would help parents with children who want to participate in Halloween activities but do not want them to do so in non-Christian environments. 

5. Hold an intercession prayer gathering   "Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more" (Romans 5:20). Because there is so much "sin" happening on Halloween, it provides a great opportunity to receive grace to release great grace through prayer, worship, declarations, and in prophetic acts.

6. Seek to restore the purpose of All Hallow's Eve - Here is one article showing the history of Halloween: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/halloween_1.shtml

Father, we thank You for confirming to us how we are to approach Halloween. We declare and believe You will show up powerfully on October 31st. 



ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

10 Phrases that Empower Others

10 Phrases That Empower Others

from the soon-to-be-released The Culture of Empowerment
by Steve Backlund

 

Proverbs states that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). It is true that death is in the power of our words, but the greater truth is that there is a power of life in our words. Here is a list of words that will create greater life around us:

 

1. Encouraging words – “You are making a difference around here.”

2. Positive identity words – “You are a person of great strategic insight. This gifting is taking our organization to higher levels.”

3. Specific thanksgiving words – “Here are three reasons I appreciate you: 1) You make people feel valued in your presence, 2) Your belief in me has been a great strength to me, and 3) Your prayer and worship life inspires me.”

4. “I understand you” words – “I know it’s important to you that I keep my room clean so here is my plan to do this more consistently.”

5. “I see you” words – “I notice how you always make new people feel welcome and included.”

6. “I need you” words – “I just wanted to let you know that we really need you here. You make us so much more successful.”

7. “I am proud of you” words – “I was thinking today of how proud I am of you. You are reliable, you do things with excellence, and you represent us so well.”

8. “You are significant and important” words – “You are important. What you do is connected to a bigger purpose and plan. We would not be nearly as successful without you.”

9. “You’ve got what it takes” words – “You can do it! Nothing is impossible for you!”

10. Hope-filled words – “There is always a solution. I don’t know what it is, but God has one for this situation.” 

The Culture of Empowerment book will be released in the next few weeks. We will be posting on our blog when the copies become available for purchase. I pray that you will be able to apply these "10 Language that Empowers" phrases daily to empower those around you to a higher place. 


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

 

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.

 

 

5 Little Things that Make a Big Difference in Family Life

5 Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Family Life

by Steve Backlund

I remember as a young leader, when I walked through the door of my house, the Lord spoke to me saying, "Steve, now your REAL ministry begins." I found that true ministry overflows from how we do our closest relationships.

Do you want to upgrade your family life? Here are 5 small things that will dramatically increase the likelihood of greater blessing in your family life: 

1.  Focus More on Listening than Speaking – God has given us two ears and one mouth. That should tell us something :-) We can take our listening to the next level by asking good questions that will draw feelings and desires out of people, by reflecting back on what you heard being said, by giving our full attention to the one who is speaking, and by responding in words and actions to the needs and desires expressed. There are many classes on public speaking, but not many on listening. Let's take our "really hearing others" to another level. 

2.  Be Quick to Say "I was wrong" and "I am sorry" – When we take ownership for our mistakes, it builds trust and deeper heart connections. As we admit our wrongs and demonstrate a heart and plan not to repeat negative behaviors in our relationships, we will find people are drawn to us in greater ways. 

3.  Prioritize Quality Time with Family – It has been said, "The family that prays together, plays together, talks together, and laughs together will stay together." Let's not put social media "friends" or personal pursuits ahead of our family. 

4.  Learn and Seek to Meet the Love Languages of Each Family Member  – The five love languages are the acts of service, gifts, touch, words of affirmation, and quality time. As we understand these, it gives us a key way to say "I love you" to those most important to us. 

5. Pray Over Your Family Members Out Loud – It may be awkward at first for some, but it is the key for a strong spiritual atmosphere in the home to pray for one another.  

My youth pastor told us  to "never stop starting." If we find ourselves slipping in areas like eating together, praying over our children, or saying "I love you" then just start over again today. Besides our relationship with God, our relationship with our family is the most important part of our lives.


RECOMMENDED RESOURCES


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcastYouTube ChannelFacebook pageTwitter, and Instagram.