CNLP 463: Mark Batterson on How to Stay Motivated and Encouraged in Church Leadership, Habit Formation and Reframing the Future

Dec 16, 2021

CNLP 463: Mark Batterson on How to Stay Motivated and Encouraged in Church Leadership, Habit Formation and Reframing the Future

CNLP 463: Mark Batterson on How to Stay Motivated and Encouraged in Church Leadership, Habit Formation and Reframing the Future           CNLP 463: Mark Batterson on How to Stay Motivated and Encouraged in Church Leadership, Habit Formation and Reframing the Future          


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New York Times bestselling author and National Community Church founding pastor, Mark Batterson, discusses what many leaders—especially church leaders—have struggled with over the last two years: Discouragement.

He shares his personal ups and downs, how he’s motivated himself and stayed encouraged, what he’s learning about habit formation personally and when it comes to church attendance, and how to reframe the future.

Welcome to Episode 463 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Recently I’ve been using an app from our friends at Gloo called Thryve to add texting into my marketing, and it’s been really useful. Now, I’m really excited to teach churches how they can use Thryve to do the same thing.

Thryve makes it incredibly easy to send texts to individuals or groups. But it’s so much more than that. Thryve is made to help churches send devotional series, answer common questions, get more prayer requests, send surveys and even collect stories of life change.

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Go to thryve.io today to sign up for a FREE, 14-day trial so you can connect with your church community.

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Do It For a Day by Mark Batterson

Access Mark’s FREE Download 7 Steps to Setting Life Goals

Win the Day by Mark Batterson

National Community Church

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson


Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

The Anointing by R.T. Kendall

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Atomic Habits by James Clear

B.F. Skinner’s Theory of Operant Conditioning


Oura Ring

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof

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Insights From Mark

1. As a leader, you have to set the tone and pace

Mark’s the founding pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. As one might expect, leading a congregation in America’s Capitol through one of the most contentious and divisive eras of American politics is no walk in the park. Plus, the pandemic shut down Washington, D.C. (and their church’s ability to gather) longer than most cities.

As a leader, how does one stay encouraged (and encourage others) when so many people are looking to you for direction? Mark said he found inspiration in Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote about thermometers and thermostats. “A thermometer reflects the temperature around us, but a thermostat can change the temperature.” Likewise, leaders shouldn’t seek to reflect the temperature of culture but instead should be the ones who shift the atmosphere toward something more gracious and peaceful.

2. Leaders need to be historians and futurists

Mark says optimism must be grounded in something bigger than yourself. And one way of doing that is to be a student of the past. A leader must remember the past to avoid making the same mistakes. Additionally, a leader must also keep their eyes on the future.

Mark says one of the benefits of being a spiritual leader who believes in the Bible’s authority is that Christians know how the story will end—the defeat of evil and the total victory of Christ. Therefore, looking toward the future, while being honest about the past, gives a leader context for leading in the present without losing hope.

3. Successful spiritual formation requires successful habit formation

Mark’s new book,  Do It For a Day , is all about forming helpful habits while breaking bad ones. According to Mark, habit formation is more than just living a more productive or healthy lifestyle; it’s also about spiritual formation. The rhythms of our daily spirituality are dependent on the habits we internalize. Mark says there are three ingredients to developing a new habit—the behavior must be measurable, meaningful and maintainable.

If you can stick to that behavior for 30 days, Mark believes it can become ingrained into your day-to-day life. As people scramble to adapt to new routines due to our “new normal,” you couldn’t find a better time to reevaluate the habits, both healthy and unhealthy, that undergird your spirituality.

Quotes from Episode 463

We're not trying to get back to normal, we're trying to get back to the supernatural. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet Sometimes the greatest opposition to what God wants to do next comes from those who are on the cutting edge of what God did last. - R.T. Kendall Click To Tweet The people we criticize today will be the people who coach us tomorrow. Click To Tweet If you live off of compliments, you're going to die by criticism. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet Truth is found in the tension of opposites. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet Let God be as original with others as he was with you. - Oswald Chambers Click To Tweet Never lose a holy curiosity. - Albert Einstein Click To Tweet A low view of God is the cause of 100 lesser evils. A high view of God is the solution to 10,000 temporal problems. - A. W. Tozer Click To Tweet You can please some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet No matter what you say, it's never enough and it's always too much. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet Either we're building altars to God or we're building monuments to ourselves. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet Every ology is a branch of theology. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet If you stay humble and stay hungry, there's nothing that God cannot do in you or through you. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet Part of what makes habit formation meaningful is when you do it for someone else. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet Your strong hand represents the gifts and abilities that God's given to you. The weak hand represents those things that don't come naturally. @MarkBatterson Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 463

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Achieving your goals should not be left up to sporadic motivation and focus.

Far too many leaders rely on periodic motivation and focus to help them achieve their goals. As a result, we can fall into a dangerous cycle.

The most threatening aspect of this cycle is that the longer you spend in it, the harder it is to set ambitious goals and believe that you’re going to achieve them—you start to let go of your dreams just so that you can achieve something. Without a system to get the most out of each day, your goals and dreams are suffering.

Take complete control of your time and priorities to build the life you really want with the At Your Best Course. It gives you 7 strategies to master productivity so you can get the most out of each day and make consistent progress toward your goals.

Learn more and enroll here.

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Next Episode: Simon MacRae and Darcy MacDonnell

COVID was brutal on restauranteurs, and many didn’t make it. Enter Simon MacRae and Darcy MacDonnell, who launched not one but two successful restaurants during lockdown. Not only did The Common Stove and Picnic thrive, but they launched them in a small town famous for not being able to sustain fine food ventures. They explain how they not only kept afloat, but grew, and attracted a top-level staff in the service sector in the midst of The Great Resignation.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 464.

CNLP 463: Mark Batterson on How to Stay Motivated and Encouraged in Church Leadership, Habit Formation and Reframing the Future


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