December 2006

Avoiding Unnecessary Stress

Because stress is unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease your negative reactions to stress. Following are activities to help you do this.

Managing time

Time management skills can allow you to spend more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.

To improve your time management:

  • Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself.
  • Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time.
  • Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
  • Manage your commitments by not over- or undercommitting. Don’t commit to what is not important to you.
  • Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines

This article comes from but is very good for everyone.  Be Blessed

There is little argument to the statement, “Structural design determines organizational effectiveness.”  This means that the current structure of most churches prevents them from being effective in making disciples.  Discipleship happens in community which values relationships above administrative checks and balances. Most churches have an administrative council structure that functions to regulate the personnel, finances, worship and facilities. This usually constitutes a lot of meetings and people hours. Ministry effectiveness is often measured in how much was collected vs. how much was given in mission and outreach.  How many people attended vs. how many people had their lives transformed in worship this week?  As disciples shouldn’t we be asking how many non Christians did you meet this week and share the gospel?   How much time did you spend on praying for people outside of the church?  How many meals did you share with people who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ? 

A Discipleship Council that focuses on disciple making disciplines, non committees, would be more effective.  Can these administrative functions be handled by a small ministry team of three –five men and women?   This would free up everyone else to engage in discipleship.  We live in a busy world with multiple schedules and expectations.  If our primary priority is to make disciples we must find time to engage in building the relationships in the places where we live our lives.  Soccer games, PTA, bowling, at work, in our neighborhood, with our family and at the local coffee shop.

Leaders within the Disciple Making Movement must examine their structure for disciple making effectiveness.  Do so with prayer and humility.  For some people you will be attacking their sacred cow.

Still Searching for Answers

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How do we know that we are making disciples?  What are the activities in the congregation that are producing disciples?  These are questions that I am wrestling with. Making disciples is not a classroom process for intellectual engagement.  I fear that too many of our churches view making disciples in that way.  Making disciples is about lifestyle, world view and realignment of priorities.   Jesus modeled compassion for the left out, the lost and those marginalized.  He walked among the people and actually touched their lives. He taught the disciples from this real life, every day, ordinary encounters with the people.  In the market place, on the streets, on the hillside and in their homes Jesus embraced the people that the pop culture society in the first century rejected.  Our world view must be through the lens of a compassionate Savior and not a market driven economy.  Jesus won people’s heart by relationship not by marketing, telephone trees or email campaigns.  This means spending time in the kitchen over a cup of coffee, sitting in the schools to support the learning process and being in the places where the people workout their ability to live in this world.  I am tempted to spend a night in a shelter and visit
New Orleans for a week.  I am tempted to purchase bears for all of the newborns in our county for a day and then walk the oncology floor to share a moment of hope.  I am tempted to fix hot chocolate in the back of my van and sit at the busiest bus stop in
West Baltimore to give cups to everyone riding the bus during the winter.  My life’s work is about serving on behalf of Jesus Christ. Is this a clergy call or the call of every disciple? 
The disciples realigned their priorities to kingdom building and then their careers.  Many times we see where the two were interwoven.  Why don’t the people who claim to be disciples in the 21st Century realign their priorities to place kingdom building first in their lives.  Is everything else more important?  If so why?  Why aren’t our lives conformed to being disciples if we claim to have finished a disciple making process?  I have not immediate answers but I am searching.

William T Chaney Jr
West Baltimore UMC

Jeremiah 33:14-16
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of
Israel and the house of
Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days
Judah will be saved and
Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

God always fulfills His promises, even if it takes a while.  This text instructs us to be prepared for the coming of Christ because it is a promise of God that will not be denied. The anticipation of the Messiah requires preparation. The promise included the Messiah, “executing justice and righteousness”.    That means we must prepare our hearts, minds and lives to embrace righteousness and God’s justice or we will be left behind n God’s Kingdom. I do not believe that God wants any of His children to be left behind but when we are more fully committed and involved with the popular cultures attitudes and behaviors around Christmas we are positioning ourselves to be left behind.

When shopping becomes more important than prayer
We are in jeopardy of being left behind

When receiving gifts is more important than serving those who are in need
We are in jeopardy of being left behind When our Christmas feasts are more important than fasting
We are in jeopardy of being left behind

When our Christmas religious rituals distract us from noticing and caring for the lonely and forgotten neighbors in our community           
We are in jeopardy of being left behind.

Justice is our outreach to other people and righteousness is our reaching to God through Jesus Christ in our lives. Justice will be offered to those who are serving the least of these in God’s kingdom and not inwardly focused on themselves. Righteousness is our upreach to God. Our right standing with God is about our hearts seeking Him in Spirit and in truth.  It is more about our heart relationship with God than our worship rituals. Seeking not to be left behind

Rev. William T Chaney Jr
West Baltimore UMC

Luke 21:36The Message     

So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.” 

Now is not the time for us to go to sleepNow is the time for us to wake up and not continue in the complacency of our past Now is not the time for us to go to sleepNow is the time for us to wake up and proclaim to the world “Prepare ye the Way of the Lord!” Now is not the time for us to go to sleepNow is the time for us to reject the hypnotizing effects of the popular media culture and adopt a Kingdom mindset prepared to serve the least, left out and the lost in the name of Jesus 

Now is not the time for us to go to sleepNow is the time for us to wake up and educate the people that people are dying from the HIV/AIDS epidemic right here in
Baltimore Now is not the for us to go to sleepNow is the time for us to wake up and let this community know that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.  Now is not the time for us to go to sleepNow is the time for us to wake up and chart a vision for high impact personal ministry where you live This is a wake up call for the worldThis is a wake up call for the United States

This is a wake up call for your state

This is a wake up call for your city 


This is a wake up call for your community, especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ.   Wake up          Get up                   Look up Wake up and see the Magnificent Savior
Get up and share the Good News that Jesus Christ is coming
Look up to see the Star shining in the east that will lead you to the Savior

Wake up          Get up                   Look up 

Wake up to discover the plans that God has for you
Get up and be diligent in pursuing God’s purpose for your life
Look up for the faith to achieve God’s plan for you 
Wake up          Get up                   Look up 

Wake up and live by faith
Get up and walk by faith
Look up and embrace the faith that has brought you a mighty long way

Waking up to Advance the Kingdom

Rev. William T Chaney Jr


West Baltimore UMC


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10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.Luke 16:10

We live in a world that emphasizes, bigger is better, faster is better, the more you have the more successful you are etc…..  The thought of starting small and growing an organization is diametrically opposed to the popular philosophies that encourage a sense of entitlement to everyone. Everyone came into this world with nothing and will leave this world with nothing. The real question is what you will do with what you gain during your life.  Will you share all that you have or will you are self centered and horde all that you gain?   Yes this is a daily life issue for Christians but it is also a leadership challenge to those who are leading a ministry, mission, choir, and committee or ministry team. This scripture speaks to the integrity of a leader which is the most essential quality in Christian leadership. It is more essential than the place in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the position title, visioning capabilities, charisma or communication skills.    Results are the product of leadership and as I have coached pastors many times in new church start settings, I have been able to observe and learn that results do not come on our project timetables, They come in God’s time.  

The choir may not have more spirituality after one workshop. Don’t get discouraged, do not give up, be faithful.  The leaders may not catch the vision after 9 months of teaching and preaching.  Do not get discouraged, do not give up, be faithful.  The trustees may not have a solution for every problem. Do not get discouraged, do not give up, be faithful. People may not respond to your message the way that you think they should and in fact they criticize your every statement for grammar to the point they miss the blessing.  Do not get discouraged, do not give up, be faithful. Being patient and waiting on God for the fruit of your labor may not be easy but it is essential if you are going to reap a harvest of blessing. Don’t Give Up –  Be Faithful

World AIDS day is today.  This is an opportunity for everyone to join in doing something to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS, eliminating the stigmas that have in the past accompanied HIV/AIDS and showing compassion to people living with AIDS or family members who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS.    The question many Christians are asking is “what should I do?”  The church has been deafeningly silent on HIV/AIDS, and as a result most Christians have ignored the growing epidemic.  They do not speak to their friends and co-workers about HIV/AIDS fearing that it may appear they have AIDS or knows someone who does.  Many Christians have tuned out the cries of the orphans in Africa who are left by parents who died of AIDS.  Christians, especially in the US are blind to the pain and suffering, blind toward the injustices dealt to those living with the disease, and blind to how it is killing people of color disproportionately with the rest of the world’s population.  The myths include: 

  • HIV is the same as AIDS
  • HIV only affects gay men and drug users
  • People over 50 don’t get HIV

These are just three of The Top 10 Myths About HIV/AIDSEducate yourself and others so that you do not promote the pain and suffering that our brothers and sisters are already experiencing.  World Vision writes, “This is a challenge laid at the feet of each and every person on the planet who considers compassion a virtue, and particularly to those who believe there is a God who cares for and identifies with those who suffer in silence.” Therefore, they offer suggestions for “5 Things You Can Do”:

1. Pray!
2. Learn more about AIDS.
3. Get involved.
4. Give generously, and encourage others to follow your example.
5. Advocate for our leaders to put children first
  1 Thessalonians12: May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.  13: May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.   Be Strong and Courageous

Pastor William T Chaney Jr