5 Powerful Outcomes of Doing June's Declarations Experiment

5 Powerful Outcomes of Doing June's Declarations Experiment

by Steve Backlund

Our annual 30 Day Declarations Experiment is starting on June 1. We have received some of our strongest testimonies from this event where we challenge people to do an "experiment" of making at least 100 declarations a day for a month.

Here are five powerful outcomes we believe you will experience from participating in this event:

1) You will learn how to inspire yourself more – Good sports coaches energize their teams with zeal and confidence through what they say. They cause their players to rise above past defeats, apathy, fear, and many other disabling attitudes. We too have the privilege of infusing ourselves with victorious tenacity through coaching ourselves with declarations. As we learn to inspire ourselves, we will have greater ability to inspire others. (To learn more about inspiring yourself, read my recent blog “Can You Inspire Others If You Cannot Inspire Yourself?”, here: http://ignitinghope.com/blog/inspiring-yourself).

2) You will become more convinced of the value of speaking life – "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit" (Proverbs 18:21). Those who love what? Those who love the revelation that “life is in the power of the tongue” will eat the fruit of their past words. When we believe our words actually create life, we will increasingly and purposely declare life-giving words to our circumstances, to others, and to ourselves.

3) You will increase your influence of others – There are many reasons this will happen. First, your favor will enlarge because you will walk more in your true identity as a child of God. Secondly, your declarations will increase your hope for others, which will ultimately expand your influence. (Remember, our hope level determines our influence level.) Lastly, you will further the Ezekiel 37 anointing of bringing life to dead-looking situations through declarative prophesy.

4) True strongholds will be demolished in your life – The greatest strongholds blocking the purposes of God are belief systems in the minds of Christians (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). In Judges 6, the future of the nation of Israel was locked up in the thinking in Gideon's mind. As his strongholds of victimhood, pessimism, and insignificance were pulled down, the nation ultimately was saved. The beginning point of this demolition was when Gideon heard the angel's declaration that he was mighty warrior (Judges 6:12). We are not to wait for an angel or anyone else to speak to us, but through declarations we can begin and sustain the process Gideon experienced – witnessing true strongholds crumble.

5) It will break you out of spiritual routine – Too often we don't intentionally explore new aspects of Christian living. We do the same things every day, year after year, and wonder why things are not changing. You most likely have heard that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing continually and expecting a different result. The 30 Day Declarations Experiment is a great opportunity to break out of spiritual ruts and experience a new opportunity in your life.

We trust you will be blessed by this year's Declarations' Experiment and declare “freedom” over you. Please feel free to pass this blog on to others who would benefit from it.


The Declarations Experiment starts June 1! 

Registration is FREE!


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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Can You Inspire Others If You Cannot Inspire Yourself?

Can You Inspire Others If You Cannot Inspire Yourself?

by Steve Backlund

In 1 Samuel 30, David inspired himself when his men were wanting to kill him. This is a great example of David’s ability to positively influence himself, which was the foundation that enabled  him to inspire the problematic men who gathered to him – men  who ultimately became his mighty men (“everyone who was in distress . . .  debt . . . and discontented gathered to him…” 1 Sam 22:2).

I believe the key to radically inspiring others is to be able to radically inspire yourself. If I am not excited about me, then why should other people be inspired by me? And if I cannot inspire myself and others, then I will most likely need to use negative motivational tools like guilt, condemnation, manipulation, withholding love, and other such non-empowering leadership techniques in order to “lead” and influence people.

So how do I inspire myself? Here are four keys to become the most self-inspired person you know:

  1. Use the power of declarations – It’s impossible to think a lie when you’re speaking the truth. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing.” Speaking life is the greatest way to move from apathy and passivity to enthusiasm and energetic forward movement. Begin to prophetically declare truth over yourself, your circumstances, and the into the atmospheres around you on a regular basis; you’ll be astounded at how powerfully things will change as inner-unity is established in what you are believing through the words you are declaring!

  2. Feed on motivational speakers – I have noticed that I can transform my emotional state almost instantaneously by listening to someone like Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyers. These aren’t the only speakers I listen to, but I’ve identified them and others as vital voices to keep me inspired. Your thinking, and consequently your emotions, create powerful signals that change the landscape of your brain. Igniting Hope Ministries is committed to being a high-level motivational ministry for you. And we believe as you feed on our content and allow it to transform the landscape of your brain, it will inspire you in great ways as well.

  3. Learn to act more enthusiastic than you feel – Enthusiasm is an emotional muscle that we can strengthen through "exercising" it. As we intentionally bring ourselves more fully into the environments we are a part of, we will find enthusiasm increasingly becoming a habit, and thus we will feel more inspired. Make a point of engaging fully in all that you have going on today, choose enthusiasm and the higher perspective when presented with the option to think negatively, and see how quickly inspiration levels increase – not only for you but for those around you also!

  4. See passivity and apathy as great enemies – Much of the Body of Christ is passive and fatalistic because of bad doctrines that believe if God wants something to happen, He’ll make it happen apart from us. It also results from a false humility that shrinks back because of a fear of pride and a fear of failure. This creates an uninspiring lifestyle that will not motivate people to the level we would hope for. Remember, faithfulness is not just showing up, but it is  how we think before we show up and how we think when we show up. What does it look like to actively partner with what the Lord is doing in and around you in this season? So often we hear people quote the phrase, “More of God and less of me,” but what if we embraced our God-given identities in His image and began declaring, “All of God and all of me”?  Something tells me we would change the world in great and mighty ways!

Our own lives are the training ground for being a person of great inspiration. This is the season to inspire ourselves so we can stir passion in others like never before!


Steve 2016.jpg

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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Should We Expect Things to Get Worse on Earth?

Should We Expect Things to Get Worse on Earth?

by Steve Backlund

 

Years ago I sensed the Lord tell me, "Steve, your prayers and your beliefs are opposed to each other. You believe for great kingdom advancement in the prayer meeting, but believe the devil will advance his purposes on earth more than God is advancing His. You are positive during the time of prayer, but pessimistic after prayer. You actually expect things to get worse on earth. Why is this?"

"Lord, that is a good question. Let me think about this."

After pondering this through the years, I have come to the conclusion these are the reasons why I expected things to get worse on earth as time moved forward:

  1. Not Understanding the Fruits of Kingdom Advancement – Jesus instructed us to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Our assignment is to believe for heaven's benefits to invade earth,  lessening the curses being experienced on earth! As the kingdom advances, these things will decrease: poverty, sickness, disasters, mental disease, divorce, infant mortality, racism, addictions, accidents, etc. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 gives us great insight on what to expect as we see the kingdom advance.

  2. Believing Things Are Supposed to Get Worse on Earth in the End Times – If we believe this, we will be neutralized to pray "on earth as it is in heaven"  prayers of faith. Most Christians in my generation have been negatively impacted by an "escape from earth" eschatology concerning the end times. This has worked against us understanding kingdom perspectives in significant ways. If you want to establish yourself in a more hopeful end-time theology, I suggest you start with the book Kingdom Horizon by Robert Fraser.

  3. Overemphasizing the Power of the Devil – Many Christians have beliefs that actually attract unnecessary spiritual warfare. "If I am not under attack, I must not be a threat to the devil," "Higher levels, higher devils." Remember, kingdom advancement will bring greater peace and safety (I Timothy 2:1-4). Certainly martyrs, who are at the beginning point of kingdom advancement experience the ultimate persecution, but it will get less and less from that point on. We are to believe for increased protection as our spiritual journey continues. If, however, we are believing for demonic attack, we will experience it at levels never intended for us.

  4. Not Believing Things Are Actually Getting Better on Earth – Only those who take a very short term view of history would actually believe things have been getting worse. During the last few hundred years, the major indicators for kingdom advancement have been improving. In our next blog, we will share some of these.

Should we expect things to get worse on earth? No! If we do, we will actually be part of the problem by unwittingly prophesying problems that kingdom advancers will have to work against.

Expect more on this topic in  coming weeks.

 

Unreasonably Optimistic,

Steve


Recommended Resource:

Divine Strategies for Increase


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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

12 Phrases That Empower Others

12 Phrases That Empower Others

from The Culture of Empowerment: How to Champion Others
by Steve Backlund

 

“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 the power of life in our words. Here is a list of words that will create great 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. “Win-win” language – “You help me so much. What are the two most important things I can do to help you see your life dreams fulfilled?” 
  8. “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.” 
  9. “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.” 
  10. Prophetic destiny language – “You are being prepared for bigger influence in the days ahead. This position you have now is training you for those things.” 
  11. “You’ve got what it takes” words – “You can do it! Nothing is impossible for you!” 
  12. 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

"My goal is not to build a big church, but build big people." – Bill Johnson

 
 

Steve 2016 2.jpg

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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

7 Ways to Walk and Live Confidently

  7 Ways to Walk and Live Confidently

by Steve Backlund

 

“Now this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

God has called us to walk in spiritual confidence. Even so, at times we all have situations where we don’t feel as confident as we would like to be. Here are seven keys for you to increase the confidence that you have in Him:

1) Get your identity from God, not your past!

If we don’t know who God says we are, we are going to have a difficult time having confidence in this life. If we get our identity from our past, we will be plagued by doubt and inner weakness. God does not define us by our worst day, the worst thing that has happened to us, or our worst mistake. Corrie ten Boom put it well when she said, "God has taken our sin. He has thrown it into the sea of forgetfulness, and He has posted a sign that says, 'No fishing allowed’" (Micah 7:19). We are not who our past says we are, we are who God says we are – no longer slaves, but children and heirs! (Galatians 4:7).

2) Realize everyone battles some level of insecurity.

Have you ever thought about the fact that God does not hide the insecurities of those he used in the Bible? He doesn’t just play us the ‘highlight’ reel, but He delights in every part of their story and journey with Him. Every great person has battled, or is battling, some level of inner doubt about who they are and what they can do. How encouraging it is to know we are not alone, even though it may feel like we are the only one dealing with insecurity sometimes. The enemy uses insecurity and comparison to have us focus on who and what we’re not; imagine how differently our outlooks and responses to situations would be if we took those opportunities as a challenge to discover and declare who and what we actually are!

3) Understand perfect love casts out all fear.

1 John 4:18 reveals that God’s love is the antidote to fear and insecurity. This is a twofold process: first, as we experience God’s love in our own life, we naturally become more confident in life;  secondly, as we focus on whole-heartedly loving and meeting the needs of those around us, we will be less prone to shrink back in introspection.  Introspection is a very ‘me-centered’ way of life, marked with comparison, shame, and continual critiquing. Self-awareness, on the other hand, makes for an ‘us-centered’ way of life – a lifestyle marked with an awareness of our needs and the needs of those around us, confidence, and intentionality in what we have to offer that adds value to the relationship.

4) Deal with legitimate guilt in your life.

It’s safe to assume that most of you, our readers, are absolutely sincere in your heart to please God and to love people, but I do want to mention that it is difficult to walk in confidence if we are running from God in our lives and doing our own thing. With that said, it is important to also realise that many lack confidence because they haven’t learned how to deal with the devil’s accusations about things Jesus has already forgiven us for. Do we, at times, need to walk out the consequences of poor choices, or address bad fruit that we have allowed to develop in our lives? Of course. Does that mean we need to isolate ourselves out of guilt and shame? Definitely not! God does not ‘bench’ us until He deems us perfect enough to get back in the game (although that’s what the enemy would like us to think); He wants us on the team, always! God dealing with legitimate guilt in our lives is never from a place of punishment, but from a heart of restoration and empowerment – it’s Him coaching us from the sidelines, calling out, “You can do this! You were born for this! I am with you every step of the way!”

5) Be filled with the Holy Spirit – He gives confidence!

Consider Peter: an unconfident fisherman, who denied Christ three times who was then baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. It was after this powerful experience that he became one of the most bold, confident people who has ever walked on the planet! Holy Spirit is the greatest encourager, continually working in and through us to become who we were created to be in all its fullness. As we pursue deeper encounters in the Spirit and believe for fresh fillings, we too will walk in greater confidence – living a vibrant life with hope, boldness and purpose!

6) Understand your assignment.

Negative comparison with others greatly hinders spiritual confidence. No one else will ever be a better you than you. Do you want to know what the great news about that is? It means we aren’t called to be like everyone else! The gifts that you carry, the way that you think, how you communicate, your personality – they’re all purposefully created and endorsed by God in fulfilling unique assignments only you can carry out in touching people’s lives and reaching hearts.  Take time to discover what your unique assignment is: for this week, for this season, for your life. Once we have clarity on what our assignment is, as well as what it isn’t, confidence will naturally follow because we will be doing what we’re supposed to be doing – living in the heart of God’s will.

7) Believe your past prayers are working!

“Now this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). If we actually believe that our prayers are working, we will have greater confidence. It is impossible for us to pray and have nothing happen; God is always working on our behalf, whether it is seemingly ‘behind the scenes’ or in overtly obvious ways. He is continually narrating ‘God stories’ in our lives, weaving His faithfulness, covering, and love into a tapestry of splendor. When we look at circumstances through the lens of our past prayers, then we will have confidence God is moving powerfully in the seeming uncertainties that we are facing.

In closing, I have a word for those who are reading this blog: I see you are entering a new season of confidence. I see God is touching you and healing you of insecurities and releasing boldness over you for the days ahead. You are important in what he is doing around the world!

Abounding in confident joy,

Steve


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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Four Key Ways To Connect With God

Four Key Ways To Connect With God

Hearing God's Voice and Cultivating Friendship with God

by Sarah Gerber, Igniting Hope Team


As a child, I always wanted the most wonderful best friend. Someone I could play with all the time, who would understand me, and who I could have a lot of fun with! And as someone who loves quality time, I wanted someone there who I could always talk to. The reality is we are all wired and created for deep connection – and God loves to have that with us.

While I was blessed with some beautifully close friends growing up, my dream for a best friend began to be fulfilled in the most satisfying way when I really gave my life to Jesus. He became the “most wonderful best friend” I always dreamed of as a kid. The difficulty along the way though, came with communication. I knew He was drawing me close to Him but I didn’t always know how to relate to or understand what He was communicating to me. How could I really connect with God? How do I know when He is speaking? Are the ideas in my head mine or the Lord talking? These are questions that we’ve all asked at one point or another in our relationship with God. The truth is God loves to communicate; His relationship with us is His number one priority. And the best part? We get to have lots of fun with Him in the process!

My quest for connection with God really exploded when I was introduced to the teachings and writings of Mark Virkler in the late nineties. This new tool called journaling revolutionized my time with God. I practiced tuning in to the “spontaneous flow of thoughts” that came into my mind when I asked God an open ended question, and engaged with my imagination with the eyes of my heart.

For instance, I would envision myself walking on a beach with Jesus – this gave my mind something to focus on as I listened. During this time, I learned about the significance of the sanctified imagination God intended for us to engage with, and while it can be used by the devil, that was never its original intent. The teaching was solid, with the checks and balances of submitting your journaling to spiritual oversight and the guideline that what you received was in line with Biblical truth and the heart of God displayed in His word. Fear was replaced with faith as I journeyed on this new adventure. It was like someone opened the curtains to a window of communion with God that I never knew existed before. My spiritual life took off and I never looked back.

Throughout my journey in communicating with the Lord, I have found four vital ways to connect with Him:

1) Hearing

There are two avenues in hearing God; one is from the outside and the other is from the inside. Though I have never heard God audibly with my physical ears, this is a legitimate way that God speaks to people. More commonly though, He speaks through the thoughts of our minds. One of the simplest ways to discern if what you are receiving is from the Lord is when the words are encouraging, affirming, full of love, and delivered with the Spirit and heart of God that is displayed throughout the Bible. Many times you will hear something you know you would never have thought of on your own. What you hear may bring you conviction but it will NEVER bring condemnation (Romans 8:1).

Jesus said, “My sheep HEAR my voice” (John 10:27). For a little fun, try this exercise to help familiarize yourself with what “hearing” could seem like: Sing the “Birthday Song” in your mind without any physical utterance or motion. Easy, right? Just as you can hear your own voice in your mind, you can just as easily hear the voice of the Lord speaking. People often ask, “How do I know it’s the Lord and not my own thoughts?” Great question! We believe that when we are seeking and asking God to speak to us, He will (Jeremiah 29:13-14, Matthew 7:9-11). We believe more in who God is and His desire and ability to speak to us, than we do our own weakness or in the devil deceiving us. As with anything, the more you practice the more you “hear”!

2) Seeing

There are seers and there are those that see. Seers have a gift to see the spiritual realm like others see the physical realm. They can see angels, demons, colors and atmospheres. They are very aware of what is unseen and it seems natural to them because they’ve always been that way. Then there are those that see. All of God’s children have eyes to see, and our ability to see increases with trusting and believing, and of course, practice! Everyone can “see” because we all have an imagination given to us by our creator God and we have the Holy Spirit who communicates through the “eyes of our heart” (Ephesians 1:18). With the Holy Spirit, we can see with our spiritual eyes using our sanctified imagination.

Try this exercise with me: Close your eyes and imagine your bedroom at home. See your bed, your closet. Now imagine walking to your bathroom; can you see the shower, the sink, your towels? Now ask Jesus to show you what the Holy Spirit is doing in your room. Write it down. This is a great exercise which allows you to use your imagination and then give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to reveal Himself to you.

3) Feeling

When I was a child, I was sensitive to spiritual and emotional atmospheres but I didn’t know it. Being an “atmosphere sponge” was so normal and a part of who I was in my everyday life that I couldn’t discern if what I was feeling was me or the environment around me. Because I was focused more on “hearing” and “seeing” in the beginning of my journey in connecting with the Lord, those are the muscles that have been strengthened in me the most. Intrinsically, I am a feeler which I’ve come to realize was a main connection point to God as a child, although at the time I didn’t realize it. Now, as an adult, I have found connecting to God in this way to be invaluable.

After I learned about spiritual sensitivity and discernment, it provided a grid through which I could process my experiences. Now I can look back on much of my history and realize how significantly the various atmospheres I was in impacted me. Have you ever been in a room where you felt agitated or anxious and you weren’t feeling that way before you entered that room? People who are “feelers” may be easily affected by their environment, but through the Holy Spirit, you don’t have to be victims to them. Instead, you can learn to victoriously shift atmospheres in partnership with the Spirit of God.

People who carry and steward this gift of discernment also often connect with God through sensing His presence and acknowledging whatever it is He is doing in a room, a home, a city, region, or country (1 Kings 8:10-11, Luke 1:41). If you want to grow in this area, next time you are in a church service, pay attention to the spiritual atmosphere in the room before and after worship. Take note of the specific thing the Lord is doing in the room by feeling and sensing what has been accomplished during worship.

4) Inner Knowing

Ever had that feeling where you just know that you know? My dad has a strong “inner knowing” gift. I've seen him many times working on a project where he’ll run into a problem he doesn't know the solution to when, all of a sudden, he’ll get a strong impression or have an idea in his spirit; before you know it, the problem is resolved and everything comes together beautifully! People who have this inner knowing often know things are going to happen before they do. They can’t explain how they know but they just do. And it happens just as they knew it would.

People who major in “inner knowing” often have a hard time realizing that it’s God’s way of speaking to them and through them because it’s such a normal thing for them that’s always been that way. This connection with God  may not always come in a moment of worship or prayer either, but at random times throughout life. This can sometimes make people feel that it is disconnected or unrelated to God, but the truth is that this is a very legitimate spiritual language that one can grow in, steward, and strengthen as your relationship with the Lord continues to develop. Your spirit will bear witness with God’s Spirit in you as He communicates (Romans 8:16).

AN Example of Each

Here is an example of how all of these ways to perceive God work together: I might be spending time with God and the first thing I see is a picture, which is then accompanied with thoughts that fill my mind as I’m seeking the Lord about what He wants to say to me. As I’m writing these ideas, I may then be filled with the feeling of faith and hope over what He is communicating to me. This then could be coupled with an idea or an inner knowing about what God is going to do with this area in my life. These are common ways that God speaks to us and we can use them all in one moment.

We may find that we are stronger in one of these areas more than another, but the goal is to increase our capacity in each of the four areas so that our language and connection to God is fluent and fluid in our everyday lives.

God loves connecting with you! I bless you to enjoy a deeper and clearer connection with God than you’ve ever had before. May you experience fun, friendship and His deep love as you explore the realms of connecting with your Best Friend – the one who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).


Recommended Resources

Book, workbook, and DVD series by Wendy Backlund

Book, workbook, and DVD series by Wendy Backlund

Devotional book by Steve Backlund

Devotional book by Steve Backlund

 
Soaking CD by Wendy Backlund

Soaking CD by Wendy Backlund

 

Nobody Wants Flabby Beliefs

Nobody Wants Flabby Beliefs

A Post About Beliefs Training

by Steve Backlund

Think about the belief systems you’re carrying around and operating out of right now. The good, the bad, the indifferent. Now I want you to imagine them as a person – your very own “pseudo-YOU”. What would they look like? What countenance would they have? Do they draw people in with their radiating hope and healthy physique, or are they hiding in the corner, overwhelmed, negative, out of breath, and more than a little “squidgy” around the edges?

Nobody wants “flabby” beliefs. In fact, I have a dream that beliefs training will become more popular than physical fitness training. In reality, working out our beliefs is more important than working out our bodies. Why? Because our future experience will largely result from our current beliefs!

Every Lent we choose to fast negative and un-biblical beliefs we have about ourselves, God, circumstances, and others, while feasting on God’s truth in these areas of our lives. This is the basis for our annual Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast (many of you likely have already joined us for this powerful time!). You can strengthen your plan for a fantastic 2017 with this 40-day, online “renewing the mind school” and watch what happens when you accelerate transformation by believing truth instead of lies (Romans 12:2).

As part of Level 4 of the Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast (NFPF), we offer Beliefs Training help people develop strong, fit, healthy beliefs, though there are very limited spots left for this year's fast in Level 4. If you're interested in receiving beliefs training sessions from the Igniting Hope team, click the button below. Please note that Beliefs Training sessions won't begin until after the fast finishes on April 9. 

Here’s five things to know about Beliefs Training:

1) It utilizes the Beliefs Assessment to help identify faulty beliefs.

If we don’t diagnose where we are at, it’s difficult to know how to get to where we’re going. The Beliefs Assessment is designed to help you identify faulty beliefs so you can develop a great plan of attack in replacing lies with truth.

The Assessment includes questions to assess the beliefs you have about yourself, God, your circumstances, and others. We've set these up as four education modules for this year's NFPF, enabling you to not only measure your “success” and progress in establishing more healthy, godly beliefs in these areas throughout the forty days, but also in the months and years to come as you continue to receive more teaching and grow in this life-changing way of renewing your mind.

2) It provides a prescription for you personally.

Just as doctors prescribe different remedies to different patients based on their individual needs, the Beliefs Trainer also provides those participating in the Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast with different prescriptions.

We’ve developed Beliefs Trainers who will partner with you to create a plan to work out your beliefs, much like a physical trainer would. Beliefs Trainers will help you become proactive in your thinking and identify specific biblical beliefs to work on throughout the NFPF. They will not "fix" your life or respond to every crisis, but they will be there to help target consistent negative beliefs in your life and replace them with positive, biblical ones. They will also equip you with various tools to renew your mind, with the ultimate goal of coaching you into achieving breakthrough in a key area in your life.

3) It connects you with a rhema word from God for you.

There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated “word” in the New Testament; one is logos and the other is rhema. The Logos is the overall Word of God in our lives, while rhema refers to the spoken word. Rhema literally means an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically). God often “speaks” to us through specific scriptures or parts of the Bible, making them real to us so that we use them as a sword to advance and get victory in our lives (Ephesians 6:17).

I used to renew my mind with feelings and my past experiences because that’s what I thought truth was. Now, I renew my mind with the truth of God’s Word as He continues to upgrade my thinking year after year. The Beliefs Trainer will also help you to identify rhema words in your life, words that will be keys in opening the doors to personal victory!

4) It utilizes the content of the Fast and Feast at its highest level.

Increased hope is the evidence that we’re believing truth. Our hope level, then, determines our influence level – he who has the most hope has the most influence. The 40 Day Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast is full of powerful truths and resources to transform your life, no matter which level you sign up for. The benefit of having a Beliefs Trainer as a level 4 participant, however, means that you will be equipped to utilize this material at its highest level, thus radically increasing the benefit of the NFPF.  

In addition to the incredible tools offered in the Fast and Feast, those who sign up for levels 3 and 4 of the NFPF will also have access to new videos and some of our best mind renewal tools, as well as the opportunity to participate in a live webinar with me.  

5) It gives God a lot to “work with” in your life.

Signing up for a Beliefs Trainer does not guarantee a life changing experience, but it dramatically increases the likelihood that it’s going to happen! “Getting in the ring” and being willing to learn is often all God needs in order for us to see the transformation we’ve been longing to experience in our lives. He can work with a little, and He can work with a lot – we just need to be willing to give Him what’s in our hand (or, in this case, our mind).

Here’s what I know: we get saved because we believe in Jesus, but we’ll have transformation because we believe like Jesus. We want to partner with you to go on a radical renewing the mind journey! Let’s work together to see “flabby” beliefs become a thing of the past and, in turn, live out strong, fit, healthy beliefs that not only transform our lives, but the lives of those around us.


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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Spiritual Strength Training, Part 3: Working Out Our Spiritual Muscles

Spiritual Strength Training, Part 3

Wendy Backlund

 

“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete” (Romans 12:2).

PART THREE: Working Out our Spiritual Muscles

As I inched my way further along in my weight loss journey, God ended up saying, “I want you to stop dieting and for the next three or four months I want you to begin to make declarations that it’s easy for you to lose weight.” I would imagine and declare things like, “My body’s a fat burning machine,” and, “It’s easy for me to lose weight.” As much as I’d like to report that He just magically made it disappear, I did have this divine convergence where I discovered, after my daughter suggested I see a holistic doctor, that I was allergic to so many of the foods I was eating which was a large contributing factor in why I couldn’t lose weight. He put me on a special diet. And it worked! My success didn’t mean I didn’t have to do something different (often, we still need to partner with God by changing our actions), it just meant that before I did it, I had to actually imagine and believe something different. Hope began to rise up and a confident, joyful expectation that good was coming soon became my renewed belief system – and that is when the change happened.

God told me once that I was no longer to create my identity from my past but from my future. I was to be like children who looked to their parents for their potential and abilities. So instead of getting my identity from my current state, I had to focus on what I was becoming. In order to live from our future and receive the full benefit of how God created us, we need to take advantage of the power of imagination. We can do this by allowing God to paint a picture of our future as a supernatural being. See yourself enslaved to righteousness, successful in everything you do, full of favor, wisdom, power, and confidence. Imagine yourself able to change atmospheres and seeing sickness flee from the glory of God that you carry. In other words, look at your Heavenly Father and “see” your future.

We all say, "Amen" when someone starts taking care of themselves, going to the gym, and lifting weights because they want to strengthen their body. Yet God says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10). We need to have a discipline of joy in our lives. If you want longevity and health, spiritually and emotionally, you have to make joy a priority.

When you first learn to lift weights you don’t say, “This feels fake! I tried to lift 300 pounds and it didn’t work!” And yet we tend to think, “When I laugh at lies, it feels fake.” No, it’s just rusty! It’s a muscle to build. I know this because I had to work it out in my own heart first. When I was laughing, I would often laugh on the inside until God said to me, “Wendy, there’s no health benefits to laughing on the inside. That’s why you’re weak and tired all the time.” So, I got serious about it, and still to this day when I catch myself laughing on the inside, He will remind me, “Laugh out loud!”

Renewing our mind isn’t optional when it comes to living a victorious, powerful life. It’s spiritual strength training that tears down strongholds and develops the discipline needed to continually walk in the truth of who God has called each and every one of us to be!


Steve&Wendy090.jpg

ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund, along with her husband Steve, is from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Wendy and Steve have a unique ministry that ignites hope, passion, joy, victorious mindsets and healthy relationships. They were senior leaders of renewal churches from 1991 to 2008 (Round Mountain, Nevada, and Weaverville, CA). The Backlunds travel regularly ministering to churches and leadership teams. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, author, and teacher, enabling people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Learn more about Wendy and her teaching at wendybacklund.com.

For more resources from Wendy, click the links below:

Three Ways to Approach Your Days Ahead

Three Ways to Approach Your Days Ahead

by Steve Backlund

It’s that time again. We’re all too familiar with it – the Christmas festivities are over; the New Year has been ushered in; and now momentum is being built and schedules are ramping up to see our goals for the year established. Each of us has things to do in the days and weeks ahead. There are meetings to attend, assignments to fulfill, secret place times with the Lord to be prioritized, and various other happenings. How we think and talk about these future events will dramatically impact the quality of our experience and our capacity to bring our best in every situation.

Here are three alternative ways we can approach our schedules in the coming days, weeks, and months:

1) With Foreboding and Worry – Hope is the confident, joyful expectation that good is coming. Foreboding is an expectation that bad is coming. Worry is imagining life without God, rehearsing a future without expecting God’s promises to manifest themselves in powerful ways.

Just as meteorologists seed clouds to bring about rain, I used to seed the clouds of my future with pessimism. I would think and say things that reflected inferior beliefs. For instance, if I had a meeting with a challenging person, I would release dread into the spiritual clouds concerning that meeting. This lack of victorious thinking hindered how much God could do.

The truth is, God is always bigger than any circumstance, He always turns up, and He is continually looking to establish His grace and power in every context. When we align our beliefs with this powerful reality, it not only enables us to partner with His higher perspectives but it also makes a way for us to influence and empower those around us to do the same.

2) With Passivity – When we are passive, we have a “whatever will be, will be” attitude. We are basically emotionally neutral to an event, meeting, or to a new day. We don’t have any big expectations in the positive or negative. We believe faithfulness is simply showing up.

When we allow ourselves to passively approach our days ahead, it’s not long before we often find ourselves established in a cycle of allowing life to “happen to us,” rather than positioning ourselves in a way where we “happen to life.” We are God’s empowered people. He wants us engaged and proactive in everything we do. Having high expectations isn’t simply wishful thinking – it’s taking dominion over every circumstance, taking ground where the Lord has given us influence, and joining our “Yes” with heaven’s to see His Kingdom established in mighty ways.

3) With Hope and Faith – This is the highest level of preparation and approach to engaging with what is in front of us to accomplish. Just as I mentioned earlier, hope is the confident, joyful expectation that good is coming. Faith believes something is happening in the positive, even when it is not seen. Those who function in these mindsets understand that faithfulness is not a matter of simply showing up, but in how we think before we show up (and how we think while we’re there). They positively seed the clouds of their future through thoughts and declarations like, “Tomorrow is going to be a great day,” or “This meeting is going to change the world.”

Expectation is another word for faith. When Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith, let it be to you,” it could be translated, “According to your expectation, let it be to you.” I don’t want to be in the habit of expecting negative things to happen, or even nothing at all – I want to stir up the expectation to believe great things will occur in the days ahead. Diligently establishing this as our automatic approach to life will create greater inner victory in us, and will bring increasing breakthrough to those around us.

Join with me in declaring these higher truths over the next 30 days and see how powerfully hope, faith, and expectancy can transform your mind, heart and circumstances:

  1. God always shows up!

  2. Great things are happening even when I can’t see it!

  3. As I engage with God’s higher perspectives, difficult circumstances are being transformed!

  4. I make great decisions!

  5. I experience victory and God’s goodness every day – in my life and in the lives of those around me!

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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Spiritual Strength Training, Part Two: Process, Progress, and Motivation

Spiritual Strength Training, Part Two

by Wendy Backlund

“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete” (Romans 12:2).

Click here to read Part One of this three part series from Wendy Backlund on training your spirit.

Part two: Process, Progress, and Motivation

Upon embarking on this journey of renewing my mind with truth, God began to show me how often I was doing things in the wrong spirit, with no faith. In fact, I was operating out of the opposite of faith. I would continually live a life of sacrifice and obedience to what God was saying to do, but my belief system was never at work. I worked for God, but I wasn’t partnering with Him. I would say things like, “Okay, you want me to be a teacher and speak, but I’ll just prove to you that it won’t work, that I can’t speak,” instead of attaching faith to it. Now don’t assume I’m telling you this is always easy – we’ve been working on our belief systems for twenty years! Some strongholds that need to be broken down will crumble as quickly as they were erected, others may need much more time, and that’s okay. Be okay with the process; God’s okay with process. Just notice the milestones, notice the improvement, and keep going!

Renewing your mind is a lifelong commitment. You never stop learning when it comes to discovering and walking out God’s truth for your life. Even a year ago – after preaching this message all over the world, all the time – I still had strongholds to do with a particular belief system that needed breaking down. When we first started traveling, I put on a lot of weight. It finally got to the point where I decided, “I’m going to lose this weight!” I’m naturally a researcher, so I looked up women my age and how to lose weight, and all it did was convince me that women my age can’t lose weight. The “experts” all said it was partly because of our lifestyle, and partly because of a metabolism issue, mixed in with what seemed like a million other reasons! But even then I would say, “I’m determined – I’m going to lose weight,” so I started dieting and was hardly eating anything and still not losing an ounce. I was totally frustrated and felt like I should be dead from lack of food, when finally God said, “Wendy, why are you trying to do something you don’t believe you can do?” And that’s when the penny dropped.

He said, “When you try to do something you don't believe you can, you are actually opposing yourself.” Our subconscious can actually cause resistance and we end up sabotaging ourselves with our belief systems. He said, “The more inner unity you have, the more powerful you are.”  Think about what it’s like when you hear a note that has such perfect frequency that it touches your heart and resounds throughout your entire being. That’s what we want to do with the Word of God; we want every promise, everything He says, to come into such inner unity that it continually resounds within us. Years ago when Bill Johnson used to come to Nevada in the 90s and speak, people would come up to Steve and me and say, “Did you hear what Bill said? That was so powerful; it rocked my world!” And I would think to myself, “We said that! How come it didn’t rock your world when we said it?!” It wasn’t until years later when God started speaking to me about inner unity that He brought that to my mind and said, “Remember when that happened? It was because Bill had greater inner unity with what he was saying, and the more inner unity you have with a promise the greater weight and authority it carries when you speak it.” That’s the goal of the Word – we don’t want to memorize it, we want to have inner unity with it.

One of the greatest tools that helped me to establish greater inner unity was learning how to celebrate my progress. God had me focus on what my thoughts were doing to my body which made me realize I would lose motivation every time I entertained condemning thoughts like, “Oh no, I’m back to where I started. I knew I hadn’t changed.” You can literally feel the energy draining out of your body when you think like that, but when you look at it differently and say, “Oh wow, I did stumble and fall, but I didn’t stay down as long this time!” and you celebrate your progress, it actually motivates you to keep changing! In response, God said, “I only want you to have thoughts that motivate you to keep changing. Get rid of all the thoughts that make you want to quit.” Our thoughts are meant to be motivators, and when we allow them to do just that, they become our greatest friend rather than our biggest foe.


Recommended Resources by wendy


ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund, along with her husband Steve, is from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Wendy and Steve have a unique ministry that ignites hope, passion, joy, victorious mindsets and healthy relationships. They were senior leaders of renewal churches from 1991 to 2008 (Round Mountain, Nevada, and Weaverville, CA). The Backlunds travel regularly ministering to churches and leadership teams. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, author, and teacher, enabling people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Learn more about Wendy and her teaching at wendybacklund.com.

For more resources from Wendy, click the links below:

5 Reasons to Cut Negativity Out of Your Life

5 Reasons to Cut Negativity Out of Your Life

by Steve Backlund

Igniting Hope’s annual Lent 40 Day Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast begins on March 1. Can you believe this is already our fourth year hosting this life-changing event?! Add to that an exciting new format, and we know this is going to be the best Negativity Fast yet. Our team can’t wait to see the breakthrough and momentum that will be established in your lives, simply because of your willingness to say “Yes” to this exciting process of exchanging negativity for positivity!

Here are five reasons why we believe embarking on a negativity fast is going to be the best decision you make all year:

It Gives God Something Powerful to Work With in Your Life –

Few things are guaranteed in life, including the promise that your life will be radically changed by doing the fast/feast, but what I can tell you is your choice to participate in it exponentially increases the chances of it happening! As we give God something like this to work with in our lives, He has the habit of supernaturally multiplying it for His glory and our benefit. Rest assured, God will use your yes even if you initially feel ill-equipped to succeed. He is the great empower-er; He’s not waiting on us to impress Him, He’s simply looking for surrendered hearts and minds through which He can do His best work.

It is An Investment in Your Future –

Any partnership entered into with God, and any investment made in bettering ourselves, will always attract a positive return. Maybe the option of attending a ministry school is off the table in this season in your life. Maybe you aren’t able to sign up for those workshops or conferences you’ve been wanting to attend. No matter the reasons, whether it be financial, time, or various other constraints, you can treat the Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast as a “mini school” that will equip you with truths and tools you need to impact your future in a positive way. Even if you are in such a school or season of intentional equipping, our fast/feast will only serve to bless, reinforce, and add value to what God is already doing in your life!

It Will Address the Primary Root of Your Negative Emotions and Negative Circumstances –

What we believe ultimately impacts what we experience. If we try to change our circumstances without changing our beliefs, the chances of experiencing long lasting change will be unlikely. As we address the lies contributing to our negative emotions, we increase our inner victory, and ultimately see greater breakthrough in our circumstances (Romans 12:2; 3 John 2).

It Will Give You an Opportunity to Transform the Beliefs of Others –

Inviting others to engage in rising to new levels of freedom and transformation, and seeing that played out in their lives in ways big and small, is one of the most rewarding roles we could ever play. Over the past four years, we have seen many people embark on the fast/feast together; some even lead entire groups in fasting negativity and pessimism, and then feast on truth and biblical optimism. As you seek to draw others into this experience, you will be helping people to address the real issues in their lives, significantly impacting the trajectory of their futures. You will also strengthen your own experience by learning to communicate the fast’s truths to different types of people.

It’s A Small Commitment With a Big Return –

Whether you choose to make the most of the free level or you take advantage of the highest level with video appointments with one of our beliefs trainers, we believe you will find that the small time commitment every day will make a big impact! We have received countless testimonies over the years from people who found breakthrough in self worth and love, walking by faith, and even in employment and finances (click here to read testimonies from years past). Your breakthrough is closer than you think! In fact, it’s waiting on the other side of negativity and fear. Accelerated transformation by the renewing of your mind is yours for the taking. Fast lies, feast on truth, and ignite hope in 2017, and experience for yourself all that God can do with your yes!

You can learn more about this year's fast here, or sign up by clicking the level images below.


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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Spiritual Strength Training, Part 1: Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Circumstances

Spiritual Strength Training, Part One

by Wendy Backlund

“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete” (Romans 12:2).

Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Circumstances

I used to assume that because I was a Christian, it automatically meant I operated out of hope. I was wrong; it was really just a theology of hope. Then, when Steve and I realized the connection between hope and the renewing of our minds, after years of thinking we were powerless victims to our circumstances, our lives literally began to transform before our eyes. Fast forward two decades and we can unequivocally say Romans 12:2 actually works – it transforms you, it transforms your circumstances! Developing a lifestyle of uncovering lies that have become strongholds in your life and replacing them with God’s truth about those circumstances is one of the most valuable processes you will ever invest in.

If the truth sets you free, then a lie will restrict you. Truth empowers you. So the question is, is what you’re believing empowering you? Or do you constantly feel like a mouse on a wheel, always running yourself ragged but never feeling like you’re getting anywhere? We were never supposed to be victims to our circumstances; our role is to create a mindset where we actually begin to do the works of God, naturally. Don’t try to do the works of God without changing what you believe, because you’ll get tired. I’ve tried it as a leader, I’ve tried to look like a good Christian and it was hard work!  But when I started  focusing on what I believed, I did something different. The first question most of us ask when something isn’t working is, “What am I doing wrong?”  The bigger question we should be asking ourselves though is, “What am I believing when I’m doing it?”

Is it possible that life is more than survival, performance, or whatever we have narrowed it down to in order to feel like we are successfully living? Yes, it is! God wants us to take every thought captive that exalts a person, circumstance, or emotion over God’s promises. He isn’t against our hopeless thoughts because they disgust Him, but because He knows that our thoughts become fortresses and carry a force in the unseen realm that affect our everyday lives.

God isn’t against our hopeless thoughts because they disgust Him, but because He knows that our thoughts become fortresses and carry a force in the unseen realm that affect our everyday lives.
— Wendy

I used to work up the emotion of hope for hopeless circumstances because I thought it would prove that I trusted God. Every time I felt hopeless, I would try to subdue the emotion and take it captive. It was a never-ending battle of forcefully trying to subdue hopelessness. If we continue to force ourselves to have hope or “feel loved” without first changing what we truly believe, we will live in a constant battle within ourselves. We will be in a perpetual state of subduing ourselves because “forcing” the emotions of hope and faith is temporary! We do not want to subdue emotions, but we want to change the thoughts (strongholds) that are producing our emotions. We must change the beliefs that govern our emotions.

If we can build negative strongholds that exalt themselves against the truths of God, then we can build positive strongholds around the knowledge of His goodness, power, and love. We can intentionally develop healthy inner strongholds for our identity, acceptance, and abilities. How do we do this? The answer is simple. Let’s take the belief that we are “favored by God and man” as an example. To build this belief as a “stronghold” in our minds, we first need to ask God to reveal every thought that would resist this belief and ask Him to reveal the truth in each of those areas. Then, we need to consciously look for scripture and circumstantial proof that indicates we do have favor. We need to rehearse and declare them until a new stronghold is erected.

By taking truths that we intellectually believe, and making them into strongholds through declaring, meditating and receiving revelation, we can be sure that new, healthy responses and emotions will automatically follow!

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this Spiritual Strength Training series with Wendy.


spiritually strength train with steve & wendy –

The Negativity Fast & Positivity Feast


Steve&Wendy090.jpg

ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund, along with her husband Steve, is from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Wendy and Steve have a unique ministry that ignites hope, passion, joy, victorious mindsets and healthy relationships. They were senior leaders of renewal churches from 1991 to 2008 (Round Mountain, Nevada, and Weaverville, CA). The Backlunds travel regularly ministering to churches and leadership teams. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, author, and teacher, enabling people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Learn more about Wendy and her teaching at wendybacklund.com.

For more resources from Wendy, click the links below:

Four Overrated Attributes of Success

Four Overrated Attributes of "Success"

by Steve Backlund

"So it was, when they came, that (Samuel) looked at Eliab and said, 'Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!' But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart'” (1 Samuel 16:6-7).

Consider this: Society is often relentless in setting the standard for what "success" looks like in our culture. Beauty, popularity, and wealth are three standards that automatically come to mind, and the monumental influx of social media that streams into our daily lives on a moment-by-moment basis not only supports but also perpetuates these standards at an unprecedented rate. But what if there was another way to define success? God's measurement for success is different than man's. This week at Igniting Hope, we have decided to unpack four attributes that seem to define success in our culture, but all too often miss the mark:

Good Looks –

Our society's worship of beauty and the value it places on being handsome or sexy creates unhealthy emotional stumbling blocks and mindsets for many. Comparison begins to creep in and soon our worth begins to get wrapped up in conforming to counterfeit versions of other people. Certainly it is not wrong to want to look our best, but being obsessively consumed or preoccupied by our appearance will rob us of committing time and energy to our spirituality, character, and relationships. When we prioritize these as primary focuses in our lives, they become keys for us to live as fulfilled people where true beauty radiates from the inside out. That is the ultimate success!

Number of Followers –

Whether it is the size of our churches, how many Facebook friends we have, or the number of Instagram followers we are connected to, know that these are not infallible measurements of success. God isn't as interested in the quantity of our influence, as He is in the quality of our influence!  If we operate out of excellence and integrity, and continually trade in mediocrity for high quality, our impact will last through generations, no matter how many people we are reaching today.

Owning Fancy Things –

There is nothing wrong with having nice, expensive possessions, but if we are using them to prove something to ourselves and to others, then we have a problem. Success is not a goal to be attained, but rather a state of being. If we need something outward to validate us, then we have fallen prey to the wrong definition of success. Wisely guarding our hearts and faithfully stewarding what God has placed in our hands, no matter how big or small, valuable or invaluable it may seem to the world, will always result in success in God’s eyes.

Being a Recognized Speaker or Leader –

In my book, Let's Just Laugh at That, one lie we laugh at is this: "Heaven's best places are reserved for speakers and worship leaders." When we read that, it does seem ridiculous, but too often we overemphasize the importance of leaders and underemphasize the importance of those who faithfully and diligently work behind the scenes. Lasting success is rarely accomplished in isolation. It takes vision, unity, humility, and a willingness to contribute our best in every context and application in order to see the goal accomplished. Seen or unseen, your role matters!

People tend to look at the outer appearance, but God looks at the heart. Let's be faithful to steward our own hearts well, and let's celebrate and encourage those who so often find themselves devalued by our culture's priorities. Set a new standard of success in the lives of those around you!


Welcome to a 40 Day School for Renewing Your Mind

Sign up for free! Click the image above to register and learn more.


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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Overcoming Crisis Overload

Overcoming Crisis Overload

by Steve Backlund

For those who have served in any level of management or leadership, you are likely familiar with facing and handling multiple crises in a day. Though written for church leaders, this excerpt from Steve Backlund's Help! I'm a Pastor can lend guidance to anyone serving in a leadership position.

SCENARIO

Senior Pastor Cynthia Sincere of Peace Ministries does not know if she can take another phone call or read another email about what is happening in the lives of her leaders and church attendees. Yesterday, she got a call from the wife of an elder saying she is leaving her husband. The day before, the men’s ministries leader admitted to a serious pornography problem. Today, she heard two people in the church are suing each other because of a business deal that went bad. Cynthia tells her husband, “Everyone’s lives seem to be falling apart in our church! What is happening?” If you were Cynthia, what would you do?

LIES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SCENARIO

  • If I am sincere, I will never experience any difficulties in life.
  • Churches making a difference should expect constant negative spiritual attacks on its leaders and people.
  • There is nothing we can do to decrease the amount of troubles the people of our church face.
  • Pastors who have a series of difficult circumstances in the church should just quit.

LIFE AND LEADERSHIP CORE VALUES TO CONSIDER*

  • Core Value  #1 – There is always a solution for every situation I face.
  • Core Value #10 – I create opportunities for those in my church to encounter God in powerful ways.
  • Core Value #17 – I thrive in uncertainty, difficulty, and unresolved situations because I have “word” from the Lord.
  • Core Value #74 – I have at least one person in my life with whom I share the deep things of my life with (things such as disappointments, weaknesses, dreams, fears, and longings).
  • Core Value #60 – God works all things together for good in my ministry.

DISCERNING WHAT GOD IS DEVELOPING IN ME

  • I am learning how to release hope in the most difficult circumstances.
  • I have the opportunity to draw near to the Lord for His strength.
  • I get to feel the pains of people and to “weep with those who weep.”

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TAKING ACTION

  1. How can we strengthen the intercession of our ministry?
  2. Is the Holy Spirit showing me any spiritual roots for what is happening?
  3. Does our ministry focus more on the devil’s attacks or God’s protection?
  4. What steps can we take to increase our ministry to those who are hurting and going through difficulty?
  5. What am I supposed to do to help those in crisis? What am I not supposed to do?

PRACTICAL STEPS TO CONSIDER

  1. Realize that long-standing issues seem to surface in a grace and empowerment culture – Is it possible that issues do not actually come to the light until people are in environments where they will be loved and restored? Could it be ministries with wisdom, love, and the power of God attract people who are ready for their deep breakthrough? If this is true, then having people in our church struggling is often a compliment to us, not an indication that something is wrong.
  2. Revisit your beliefs about blessing, suffering, mystery, and protection – There are two opposing theological beliefs which complicate the leading of our ministries through challenging times. The first is an overemphasis on Satanic attacks – with the subtle, problem-causing belief that spiritual people will always be under attack. The other is the belief those close to Jesus will not face challenges in life – which often disconnects us with the pain people are experiencing. It is best to believe that as the kingdom advances there will be less curses and more blessings in our midst. As we battle with crisis in our ministry, we trust God to meet the need before us, but we also remain relentless to see our ministry live in the abundant life Jesus bought for us (including the blessing and protection of the Lord).
  3. Take care of yourself – Have people pray for you and your church. Do not feel you have to be the answer for everyone’s needs, but equip and activate people to be a strength for others. Realize some issues have been in existence for a long time, and it does not require an emergency response from you. Remember, the phrase “It came to pass,” and be glad it does not say, “It came to stay.”

DECLARATIONS

  • We have a powerful ministry of restoration.
  • We love people through pain and difficulty.
  • Our ministry increasingly sees people walk in blessing and protection.

*The Core Value numbers correlate to those listed in the 80 life and leadership core values in Help! I'm a Pastor.


Recommended Leadership 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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Arise and Shine

Arise and Shine

by Wendy Backlund

The secret to thriving in life isn’t the ability to avoid being caught up in issues, but the ability to know who you really are in the midst of whatever life brings your way. The truth is, you don’t find yourself in good situations because of sheer luck, but because of who you are, what you carry, your experience, your gifts, your perspectives, and your approach to things. Let’s say you lost your job tomorrow. Would your reaction be one of fear, believing that it was pure luck that got you there in the first place? Or, despite the initial shock,  would you respond knowing that it’s who you are that got you the job and that means there’s always another opportunity around the corner? Many times, we attribute everything bad that happens to us as proof that we are inadequate and are failures. However, when something good happens, we often attribute it to chance. We think, "I didn't deserve it, so I can't reproduce it." Not knowing who we truly are, combined with a fear of what might happen in the future, is the reason we find ourselves wilting in life rather than thriving.

We are the light! I love where it says in Isaiah 60, verse one, "Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light and Kings to the brightness of your dawn.”  

I used to focus on the fear aspect of the "deep darkness” and miss the whole point. Deep darkness is an opportunity for us to shine. Even in this recent election, we could say, "Deep darkness is covering the United States!” Instead, we should know this hour is an invitation for people to finally arise and shine; it doesn't matter who becomes the president because kings and nations will come to our rising! It's not in our leader's hands, but ours! If we know who we are, we can create a stronghold of thriving!

The strongholds of the enemy used to occupy so much of my focus that it twisted my ability to see the potential a stronghold established in God could have. I used to think, “He’s got San Francisco in His hand, yet the people have been in sin for so long in that area that there’s such a deep stronghold of darkness.” Then one day God said, “You know Wendy,  every time you take communion, you are building a stronghold for righteousness. Every time you worship together as a church, you are building a stronghold in your city because if evil people can build a stronghold by doing evil, then righteous people can build a stronghold by being righteous.”

We have become so focused on what the enemy is doing that we have forgotten to recognize what we’re called to be, and who we are. We’re not called to be victims to darkness. The darkness is a victim to us! We were born to thrive!


Steve&Wendy090.jpg

ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund, along with her husband Steve, is from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Wendy and Steve have a unique ministry that ignites hope, passion, joy, victorious mindsets and healthy relationships. They were senior leaders of renewal churches from 1991 to 2008 (Round Mountain, Nevada, and Weaverville, CA). The Backlunds travel regularly ministering to churches and leadership teams. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, author, and teacher, enabling people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Learn more about Wendy and her teaching at wendybacklund.com.

For more resources from Wendy, click the links below:

How to Have a Horrible 2017

How to Have a Horrible 2017

by Steve Backlund

 

Over the past month, we at Igniting Hope Ministries have been giving keys for having the best year yet in 2017. These can be found in our daily hope injections (daily videos found on our Instagram and Facebook pages). Now for a little bit of fun, we thought we’d share five sure-fire ways to have a horrible 2017 (along with a few keys to turn it around):

1) Complain a lot

Make sure to give voice to every negative thing you feel. Don’t hold anything back. Do your best to make people around you know that they and others are the reason for your unhappiness.

Listening to and giving room for every thought to take up residence in your daily life, without regard to what you know to be the truth, gives the enemy ample opportunity to wreak havoc on your mindsets, identity, and relationships. Not only that, victim mindsets begin to take root and powerlessness prevails. Align yourself with the truth, especially when it feels the least true. In time, your feelings will follow, victim mindsets will be a thing of the past, and living powerful and free will be your new normal!

2) Do only what you feel like doing –

Don’t think long-term, but make all decisions based on whether it makes you happy now. Don’t be concerned if it negatively impacts others or your future happiness.

Living only for the here and now may be gratifying in the moment, but you will quickly discover that it allows for very little momentum to be built for your future. What goals and dreams do you long to see come to pass in the next year? Be a dreamer! Cast vision! Set priorities and goals to see them fulfilled. When you have the end goal in mind, you realize that self-discipline, hard work, and sacrifice are the necessary by-products of a person pregnant with vision for their future. It may not always be easy, but it will definitely be worth it!

3) Watch/read the news more than you feed your spirit –

Make it your priority to feed on world news more than reading the Bible or connecting with the things of God.

World news is often questionably biased and inaccurate,  and one thing we can rely on is that it almost always focuses on what’s going wrong in the world, rather than what’s going right. This carries with it an undertone of fear and division, leading you to think that the problems presented are insurmountable and bigger than any one person or group of people can handle.

The reality is, our thoughts about a problem are usually a bigger problem than the actual problem! We are called to be thermostats, not thermometers. Consistently feeding your spirit on God’s Word and His truth will not only give you a Kingdom perspective, but it will empower you to create Kingdom culture wherever you go – a culture focused on hope and unity.

4) Be selfish –

Don’t find ways to help others. Be sure to hoard your time, your money, and your gifts.

An orphan mindset assumes there is only so much to go around, therefore, I need to protect what is mine in case there isn’t enough. We need to remember that God is not only a God of abundance and multiplication, but He is also the ultimate loving Father. When we acknowledge Him as such and step over the threshold from orphanhood into the fullness of our identities as sons and daughters, selfishness falls away and in its place, generosity resides.

When we give of ourselves, when we share what we have with others without reservation, it enables us to live out of the overflow of God’s goodness and provision. Our relationships flourish and we soon discover that life lived with an open hand adds immeasurably more than we could ever give away! Generosity is an invitation to feast on the richness of all that life has to offer.

5) Value tasks/goals above relationships –

Believe that heart connections with people are not as important as getting things done.

When your vision becomes more important than the people in your life, especially those you are leading, they become a commodity at your disposal. In the end, you may achieve some great success, but who will you have to enjoy it with if it is at the expense of your relationships?

You add value to people when you make it a priority to value them. The goal should not be to become a person of success but a person of value. It is when we make that distinction that we open the door to becoming great influencers. When that happens, success will naturally follow.


Recommended Resource


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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pursuing Miracles But Facing Disappointment

Pursuing Miracles But Facing Disappointment

by Steve Backlund

 

We pray this excerpt from Steve Backlund's church leadership book, Help! I'm a Pastor, would offer keys and encouragement to you as you pursue miracles and healing in your life and the lives of those you lead.

SCENARIO

Pastor B. Healed leads a charismatic church and believes in divine healing. However, she and her church are not seeing people healed. They have been pursuing healing like never before – sermon series, fasting, Bible studies, declarations – but no one is getting healed. In fact, one of their key church leaders recently died of a disease they were sure God would heal. Pastor B. Healed is tired of not seeing results and feels like giving up on healing. If you were Pastor Healed, how would you move forward?

LIES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SCENARIO

  • I do not have what it takes to lead this church into healing ministry.
  • God is using sickness to build our character and teach us something.
  • God has sovereignly chosen our church to not have a healing ministry.
  • No one with a powerful healing ministry ever struggled at first to see healing.

LIFE AND LEADERSHIP CORE VALUES TO CONSIDER

  • Core Value #7 – My team and I pursue spiritual fathers and mothers we mutually respect.
  • Core Value #10 – I create opportunities for those in my church to encounter God in powerful ways.
  • Core Value #17 – I thrive in uncertainty, difficulty, and unresolved situations because I have a “word” from the Lord.
  • Core Value #52 – I am a God-pleaser, not a people-pleaser.
  • Core Value #73 – I intentionally associate with people who are stronger than me in key areas of life and ministry so I will become stronger in those areas.

DISCERNING WHAT GOD IS DEVELOPING IN ME

  • I am learning perseverance that will serve me well when the breakthroughs come.
  • I have the opportunity to receive an upgrade in my view of God.
  • I get to grow in leading people into finding keys to seeing healing released.

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TAKING ACTION

  1. Am I convinced it is God’s will for us to walk in health? Do my doctrinal beliefs in any way limit what we are experiencing?
  2. What are some things God is doing for me as I wait for breakthrough?
  3. Who can I meet with that is seeing breakthrough in healing?
  4. What healing Scriptures am I standing on that I know are true no matter what?

PRACTICAL STEPS TO CONSIDER

  1. Pursue the Healer, not just healing – Do not let your pursuit of breakthrough distract you from the Lord of the breakthrough. Use this time to seek Him more than just the manifestation of healing. The more you know His heart, the easier it will be to believe Him for what Jesus paid for (Isaiah 53:5-6). God will not withhold healing from you because you are bad. He will not heal you because you are good. He will heal you because of what Jesus has done.
  2. Put yourself in environments where healing is happening – Many things in the Spirit are better caught than taught. Consider being a part of a conference, healing school, and/or mission trip that focuses on activating believers in the supernatural and in healing. Many of these happenings have a time of impartation that can catalyze someone into more of the miraculous. Bill Johnson says, “If signs and wonders aren’t following you, follow them until they follow you.” If you connect with a speaker or group, consider bringing them to your church to activate and equip your people.
  3. Lead your church by example by taking risks and praying for people – The culture of a church is shaped from the top down; so as you take risks, it will be imparted to your church. Some of the greatest healing revivalists prayed for hundreds of people before they saw someone healed. John Wimber taught on healing at his church every week for over two years before they saw their first person healed. There has to be a relentless tenacity when pursuing healing. Randy Clark says, “The price you pay for a healing ministry is to push past the disappointments.” Remember: Healing is not our idea, healing is God’s idea. We are not trying to convince Him. He is trying to convince us. When someone steps out and prays for someone, even if they do not experience healing, celebrate the risk, not just the testimony. Make sure to celebrate every testimony publicly.

DECLARATIONS

  • Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still likes to heal.
  • I have authority to heal because of what Jesus has done.
  • Our church is a magnet for healing, and people around us constantly get healed.

 
 

About Help! I'm a Pastor

Help! I Am a Pastor addresses many common situations in church life that few seem really prepared for. It gives tools to successfully addressing these happenings with humor, healthy beliefs, and divine strategies.

The truths presented will help every church leader become more proactive in his or her leadership, plus be able to equip their teams with the core values necessary to create healthy ministries. This book includes 80 life and leadership core values and 50 real-life scenarios of everyday church life.


Steve and Wendy 2016.jpg

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 podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.


Stay Connected to Steve and Wendy!

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.