SUMMARY

I have felt stuck recently.

 

There are moments that I feel overwhelmed by all that I feel inspired to do.

 

There are moments that I feel guilty that I have not been cranking out lots of lessons each week

 

But I cannot seem to get moving.

 

As I have prayed, what occurs to me is a need for an overall and long term strategic plan.

 

That will serve as the greater context for my lessons and others online aids.

 

It will briefly state the deepest motivations that God has put into my heart.

 

Please forward this to the best intercessors that you know.




INTRODUCTION

I find myself at a season when I must gain much more CLARITY about the will of God for my life and especially online ministry.

 

This strategic plan will become a central, simple and compelling motivation to guide my thoughts, plans and actions.

 

I have had plenty of time and energy but I have failed to make progress on the many projects that I had planned to be doing when I got to this apartment in Ennis.

 

I have collected and organized the possible lessons to put online. Those include the following.

 

Let’s Pray Better about why and how to pray more effectively.

Thanking God Often about prompts toward genuine gratitude to God daily

Remembering God’s Love about simple meditations related to Holy Communion.

 

Plus there are MANY more that I will not list here.




PAST

In the past I have written many online articles, made many blog posts, preached many sermons, shared hundreds of links, published large mind maps, published short videos and slideshows.

 

Over the decades I have studied time management and personal productivity. I have learned much about project management to get big chunks of the overall plan done and task management to juggle the action steps for each week and day. But most of those lessons came from those who worked for huge corporations that already had a BIG picture strategic plan to offer the context for the workers.

 

I have studied startups for businesses and nonprofits. They emphasize the importance of carefully defining the mission, vision and values. ALL the plans and choices need to root back to these simple summaries that can be stated on a few pages.

 

Since the year 2000 I have started but not completed many business plans. I could not handle guessing the future financials. But there were great questions to think about the purposes, priorities, and audiences that gave me many insights.



PRESENT

Recently I have been writing far more in my journal than normal. I have been seeking to get in touch with what I want at the deepest levels. I have been writing about my passions, concerns, burdens, divine guidance, biblical motivations, and much more. I have filled many pages and I am starting to see the complex mosaic of my internal life.

 

I have recently collected links to strategic planning templates.  Each one is different yet they are all similar. Pray for me to invest lots of high quality time dealing with them. Then I need to craft a version for me that uses the best of those.

 

I have an abundance of notes from the previous work that I can weave together in a way that suits my current season.



WHY

There are several reasons why this is essential these days for me.

 

Every week I think of yet another creative way to minister online. I put the short name of that option on one of my many large online mind maps. It would take me 300 years working full time to develop all of those if I never get one more creative idea.

 

I do not have an internal filter to say YES or NO to such options. And even for the ones that are the most appealing, I do not have a wise way to put them into a logical sequence.

 

Over the years people have told me to just do something. And that is what I did but there is no unity, harmony, direction or purpose to the many online units. And there is no core blueprint to guide taking the many ideas on the mind maps and making them into online realities.

 

Some online teachers say you must focus on your audience. Get to know exactly who you will serve. Research their problems, questions and pains. Then offer products and services to help them. That is wise. But there are many and various audiences that I care about and by choosing one I am ignoring others. But a deep seated purpose could help me sort this out.

 

There is a saying that a mist in the pulpit leads to a fog in the pews. When I am super clear about the purpose and direction of my ministry then I can share it will others most effectively.



HOLISTIC

Recently I talked with a man that works for an evangelism ministry. We had a long and lively conversation. I had many links and resources to share with him. Personal evangelism is his world and he knows many people like him. He and others like him assumed I was one of his tribe. While we resonate with personal evangelism, it is not the whole picture for me. Evangelism without discipleship is incomplete in my book.

 

I lived at a homeless shelter for 3 years and I preached at a church for homeless people. There was an unstated assumption that ALL they needed was evangelism, Bible sermons and food. But very few experienced major life changes. There are deep internal wounds and complex personal issues that need to be addressed.

 

I worked as the house manager of a sober house for 2 years. The assumption was that all they needed was to attend 12 step meetings and get an entrance level job. They were not offered career counseling to cope with the stress of an entry level job. Nor were they pushed to do a fourth step personal inventory that dug into the internal issues that motivated them to abuse drugs. So 90 percent relapsed and went back to drug addiction.

 

I worked at a seminary for 12 years. There there the assumption was that if the students read enough books, attended enough lectures and wrote enough papers they would become great Christian leaders. Yet there was very little emphasis on spiritual formation, community service, or prevailing intercession. The missionary students that I gravitated to were willing to make practical applications of the book learning.

 

During the past 40 years I have never been mentored. I have been coached a few times briefly. It amazes me that the corporate world embraces mentoring and coaching Yet it is rare in the body of Christ. There are lots of Bible verses and presidents in church history, if we had eyes to see.

 

God delivered me from alcohol abuse, drug abuse, promiscuity and a New Age cult at 23 years old. I have been a zealous disciple of Christ since my rebirth on January 16, 1977. I have had to go to many parachurch organizations to satisfy my deep desire for spiritual growth. Most church members seem satisfied with what they get there. But the Bible offers so much more than a pastor can pack into a sermon and even a Sunday school class or small group Bible study.



FUTURE

I am not totally clueless about how the Lord Jesus Christ is guiding me.

 

I do know that in the coming weeks, months and years I will be teaching and preaching online. I will be using those methods to share the wisdom, insights and understandings that God has granted to me. There are times that I feel very energized to preach on a certain part of the Scriptures. There are other times that the Holy Spirit connects the dots between some verses to show me new spiritual light. Lord willing, in the future I will have developed a way to go with the flow. I will gracefully get those promptings online easily in an orderly way. That will bless others long after I had published them.

 

I will surely continue to share links to resources that are intended to equip Christian leaders. These will be offered both to individuals as needed, as well as some kind of an online orderly database.

 

Besides connecting people to resources I want to connect them to other people. So there will be online membership communities that are interactive.

 

Sooner or later I will be conducting online interviews with Christians and sharing them. Over the decades I have met a wide variety of people. I have asked them lots of probing questions. They have opened up to me. I have been blessed by this. I have wanted to share this and someday I will begin to record and share those interviews. Most interviews on TV and the radio are of super stars in their fields. I have learned that ordinary people have inspiring and insightful tales to tell.

 

I want to have lively discussions online about theology, apologetics, current events, Bible doctrines, demographic trends, missions matters, and more. This will not appeal to most people. But there are a few that will gravitate to this. Plus we need a user friendly sounding board where Christian leaders can share and get feedback. It is written that iron sharpens iron. But that cannot happen when a Christian is isolated or just talking into the echo chamber of like-minded people.



BLESSED

God has bountifully blessed me in the following ways.

 

Receive a social security retirement  income

Live in a peaceful apartment

Have the hardware, software, online services and techie knowledge to use them  

Have had a wide range of previous experiences

Have done an abundance of online research

Have an abundance of notes from previous projects

Have contacts with lots of intercessors

Have the health and strength to keep moving forward

Have a calling on my life that I cannot deny or ignore

Have testimonies of answered prayers from impossible situations

Have a complex batch of inspirations on how to minister online



HOPE

Here is what I hope will be parts of my future as God answers many prayers.

 

Have an initial strategic plan that is reviewed and revised periodically

Have projects based on the strategic plan, that unfolds in an orderly way

Have active relationships with accountability partners, to stay on track

Have active relationships with intercessors, that God uses mightily

Have active relationships with advisers, that God uses to give valuable inputs

Have active relationships with donors, that God uses to keep growing the ministry

Consistently publish new educational modules online

Gracefully grow interactive online membership communities

Develop synergistic systems to effectively market the various offerings

Effectively grow large email lists that are segmented according to interest

Afford to pay coaches and consultants as needed

Raise up and support the volunteers to help with the many projects as they mature

Increase the income streams of donations, sales of digital products and memberships




PRAYER

I request your best prayers.

 

Please pray earnestly for me now and later.

 

What I need now and until my last day is much prayer.

 

My father is 94 years old. Both of my grandfathers lived to be 83. I do my best to take care of my health. I eat as healthy as I can afford and I exercise nearly every day. SO I expect to live to be at least 80 years old.

 

I am now 64 years old. SO what I am seeking from God at this season is His guidance in how to best move forward in the coming years and even decades. I want a strategic plan to guide my choices and commitments to projects. It will determine who I reach out to and what I offer them. It will be used to enroll supports so that we will travel this adventure together with me.

 

The strategic plan will be reviewed and revised as needed. But I need such core structure to guide me and to help me enroll then guide others.

 

May God guide me to use the strategic planning templates to both stimulate new thinking and have a context for my previous thinking.

 

May I both focus on this for as long as is needed to get it to a suitable place of completion and not get stuck here in excessive planning.

 

One of my weaknesses is to plan excessively and postpone productivity too much.

 

May God grant me victory over my tendencies of perfectionism and procrastination.

 

May I make many bold action steps when the time is ripe and may God give me victory over my fears of rejection, failure and success.




NEXT

Along this journey I will need to enroll and work with accountability partners. Today I do not have the clarity to state what I need to be held accountable for in the short or long terms. Pray for God to guide me to both get clear about the long term and big picture parts as well as the practical goals, objectives and tasks needed each week. Those will be communicated to a few accountability partners who God will use to keep me from getting stuck like this again.

 

The strategic plan will not suddenly come together. There are many parts that need to be considered and woven into a whole. As it is written it will be subject to improvements both initially and in the years to come. SO even now I plan to put key parts of the strategic plan online in chunks well before it is polished and ready to share with strangers. I will invite selected people to read it so that they can pray over it and comment. I will invite the advice of those who have led churches and parachurch organizations as well as missionaries. I want the inputs from those with a variety of experiences, education, spiritual gifts, personality types, theological perspectives, etc.

 

At the start of this long message I mentioned the 3 sets of lessons that are inside my heart and want to be expressed soon. As a reminder they are as follows:

 

Let’s Pray Better about why and how to pray more effectively.

Thanking God Often about prompts toward genuine gratitude to God daily

Remembering God’s Love about simple meditations related to Holy Communion.

 

Also inside my heart are all the executive management and vision casting parts that I mentioned here. They want to come into order.

 

Inside of me this feels like a massive log jam. It is like hundreds of logs floated down a river and they got tangled up so that none of them can move. I hope that a strategic plan will be used by God to unjam these and get me unstuck.

 

Previously what the Lord prompted me to do was to make a website that I call Brother John’s Workshop. On that site I could use it as a place to show and tell the various projects that are in different states of completion. It might serve as a place to get prayers and advice to keep them moving along until I was ready to share them with the public. Pray for that website to become a reality soon.

 

Previously the Lord prompted me to make a short video daily. This is called a vlog. It is like an update about any and all parts of my life. All the materials here in this long text document could be presented as a many short vlog entries. Also there would be messages of a more personal nature about my likes, dislikes, health, experiences, etc. Long ago I felt the Lord prompted me to aim for 30 vlog messages in 30 days and then 60 messages in 60 days and 90 messages in 90 days. When I reach 90 messages then it would be a deep seated habit. The internal stuck stuff could not build up.



CONCLUSION

This is a very long message. It would take about 8 pages to print out. I greatly appreciate you and each person other that has read this far. It is not a common kind of update. But this is where I am at today. This kind of message is best addressed to an executive business coach that is a strong Christian. I do not know such a person today. But, surely if I searched online I could find one. However, I could not afford their fee. Maybe, God will guide me to find a person to sponsor such a fee or find a coach that would work with me for free. That is worthy of your best prayers.

 

If you know such a person that could help me as an executive coach or sponsor that fee then please reply.

 

When I have studied how to launch an online course called an ecourse they stated that you need to start with an email list of 10 thousand as a minimum. They made a big deal of a person that started with only 2 thousand subscribers and within a few months got to an income stream to afford to quit their corporate job. Well today I have much less than 1 hundred individuals that I sent this out to today. So your prayers and feedback are super important to me these days.

 

It would be a HUGE help if you would PLEASE share this with the best intercessors you know. More than executive coaching what I need is much prevailing prayer. There is a spiritual warfare facet of why I have been stuck. I do not want to blame the devil for all my troubles. But when this finally gets going it will be used of God to send the light of Christ to dispel much spiritual darkness.

 

PROMISES

There are many ways to pray. And one way to pray is to claim a promise in the Bible and stand on it by faith. It is called standing on the promises. The Bible says that God does not lie and that He watches over His word to perform it.

 

The promises of God are yes and amen. The New Covenant is based on promises that are the inheritance of the children of God.

 

There are some very big God sized requests here. But nothing is impossible with God and through Christ I can do all things.

 

I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness so I expect that all these things will be added to me.

 

I ask for wisdom and it is written that God will grant me His wisdom when I request it.

 

God began a good work in my life and He carry it to completion.

 

God sent His only Son as the Savior. If He gave such a glorious gift will He not also give lesser gifts to accomplish His will on this earth to evangelize, disciple and equip many people?

 

What is a Bible promise that comes to your attention related to this message?

 

How can I best pray and request others to pray about these matters?

 

Do you have comments, suggestions or questions?

 

Please feel free to reply.

 

Also you can print this out to take with you to the prayer closet.

 

You can forward this to intercessors.

 

Shalom

Brother John

 

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