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4 Big Reasons Why Church Teams Win or Lose

finishline

Not all church staff teams are created equal. Not only are different people gifted differently, but they’re gifted with a different measure or capacity of each gift they have. Some teams are built skillfully and intentionally to reach a particular vision while others are a collection of talented people, others still end up being a gathering of players that may love Jesus a lot and are good at caring for His Church but may not be put together and assembled to win. And friends, make no mistake about it, we are in a high stakes game where there are winners and losers and eternity hangs in the balance. There’s too much at stake to take a passive care taker approach to “church.” There are a lot of reasons why teams win or lose, but there are four reasons that consistently stand out when it comes to church staff teams.

Ability and Gifting

Spiritual gifts are given by God through the Holy Spirit. Abilities and skills however can be taught. For example, the Bible describes leadership as a spiritual gift, however anyone can learn and develop leadership skills. However, no amount of training can make up for a lack of gifting. Great teams are built with people who are gifted by Jesus and then work to develop those gifts.

Strategy

Strategy answers the question, “How are we going to accomplish the vision?” Great churches don’t just have big dreams and catchy vision phrases, they have a clear strategy to accomplish that vision. They know how they’re going to get it done…and they do.

Mentality

How does the church think? What is the mindset of the staff team? Are they aggressive problem solvers or do they default to taking care of and protecting what Jesus has entrusted to them. Do they leave the 99 to go after the 1?

Culture

Culture is that squishy stuff in a church that’s hard to get your hands around and define. It’s reflected in the language of the church, the way people who are a part of the church dress, the filter they use to make decisions and so on. Culture can be defined as the sum total of the attitude, values and behaviors of a church. Culture trumps intention, ideas or plans because it becomes the gravitational pull of the church.

Average teams excel in 1-2 areas.
Great teams excel in 2-3 areas.
Championship teams excel in 3-4 areas.

What kind of team are you building? What kind of team are you on?


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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Are you more concerned about your Bible Study or your Neighbor?

bible

I’ve mentioned before that at Sun Valley (the church I have the privilege of serving at) we routinely gather the staff from all of our campuses together for a time of worship, celebration, communication, training…and of course a good meal. Recently we had the opportunity to spend some time with Dale Peterson who serves as the Executive Director of the Eagle Brook Association. Here are some of my notes from the conversation.

  • The demand for people to know Christ is greater than our current capacity…so what are we going to do?
  • Acts 2:
    • The first church was a megachurch
    • They grew numerically daily
    • Will you be a church where people follow Jesus and a church that I can actually invite my friends to
      • People don’t invite people to things that are average
      • You can’t hire average people because average people get average results
    • Spend time with God
      • If you know God’s heart you’ll make decisions based on God’s heart for people
    • Connect in Community
    • Serve Others out of our giftedness
    • Life Generously
  • BUT what the church wants:
    • Bible study and that’s not bad, unless it stops there
    • Fellowship with people that look and act like us
    • Help out (out of guilt)
    • Give 2.5% of their income to make sure their favorite ministry programs happen and the pastor gets a paycheck so we can keep the doors open
    • 80% of churches in America are plateaued or declining and see 1 conversion a year
    • 3,500 churches in America die every year…last year was the first year church planters kept up with the death rate so it was a zero sum game
    • And there are more people on earth than ever before…the harvest is greater than it’s ever been
    • Passion alone is not enough to motivate the church to go and reach people for Jesus
    • Most Christians are more worried about their bible study than their neighbor
    • Most Christians are sitting around praying and waiting for God to do something at their church…and He did 2,000 years ago…stop praying and do something
    • Most people in ministry are relegated to zookeepers…they feed the church and clean up after it…but the church has nothing to offer outsiders
    • People drive by the church and never think the church has anything to offer them
    • Vision statements don’t change the church
    • Churches that get it done build the right kind of culture
  • Building a vision culture
    • Beliefs: foundational beliefs, what we’re wiling to die for…just a couple (let’s not be willing to die for everything) there’s things we’re willing to die for, there’s things we’ll defend, and there’s things we’ll discuss
    • Values: (beliefs and values answer the question of who are we) – these are the desired behaviors that we’d like the whole church to act like…then we create ministry programs that produce the behaviors that we value most
    • Purpose: Why…Reunited in relationship with the Father (lost people are what Jesus cares about) Matt. 22
    • Mission: What we do…Matt. 28 (reach)…the front door into the church
    • Strategy: How we do it here (is this still working?…and how do you know?)
    • Goals: tell you where you’re going and when you’ll get there
  • How can 3,500 churches die every year while doing their bible studies when there are 7billion people on the planet

Posted in Leadership

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The Principles & Practices That Can Help You Lead an Unstuck Church

Last spring, we released our first ever online course. Ultimately, we felt like pastors were facing ministry challenges they weren’t prepared to address. So, we wanted to create a convenient resource to equip you to win.

We’ve loved getting to serve the community of leaders taking this course together, and we’re excited to announce that Fall 2018 enrollment for the Leading an Unstuck Church Course is now open!

We want to invite you to be a part of this experience.

Addressing 12 core issues where churches get most often get stuck, the Leading An Unstuck Church Course walks you through how to staff for growth, how to develop more leaders, how to establish healthier finances, how to enhance your weekend services and eight more essential lessons to help you lead an unstuck church.

This course will help you take your next steps as a leader by removing barriers to growth and giving you confidence to tackle these challenges as your face them.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what you’ll get with the course:

  • Access to Tony Morgan and our consulting team to coach you and answer your questions as you work through each lesson
  • 12 practical online lessons and training videos  to help you take your next steps
  • Discussion guides to lead conversations with your team
  • Specific next step action items for you to put what you learn into practice
  • Access to a private Facebook group with live Q&A events hosted by Tony

Check out the details and the FAQ’s for info on how to enroll.

Whether you lead a large church, a small church or somewhere in between, this course will equip you with biblical wisdom and practical know-how to lead your church towards sustained health.

Join our community of leaders to help navigate this journey.


Posted in Leadership

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8 Characteristics of a Great Campus Pastor

multisitemap

I wrote my first article about multisite churches eight years ago, it was entitled, “Why 20 Churches Went, Didn’t Go, and Still Might Go Multisite.” The article was based on a conversation with a group of Executive Pastors from large churches across America that I had been asked to facilitate. Since that time, I’ve written over 40 articles about multisite churches and I’ve learned a few things along the way from leading in a multisite church and making mistakes, finding success, as well as learning from other great multisite churches.

There’s a lot that goes into building a successful approach to multisite. However, in my experience there’s one thing that stands out above all the conversations and arguments that take place over the next location, financial and staffing strategies, live verses video teaching, branding, culture, decision rights, and what ministries you should replicate at each new location. The Campus Pastor. That’s because people make decisions and replicate culture. That’s something structures, policies or even systems can never do. Policies, structures and systems may institutionalize or support your culture, but people build and replicate it. Get the right people and the right people will lead you to the right solutions.

So with that in mind, here are eight characteristics that you need to be looking for in your next Campus Pastor.

#1 Culture: They fit your organizational “DNA.” They embody and champion the mission, vision and values of your team.

#2 Communication: Depending on your teaching model, they don’t necessarily need to be able to teach from the stage, but they do need to be a good communicator. They need to be able to speak with your church’s “voice” and have the capacity to inspire people and motivate movement.

#3 Relationships: They’ve got to have great relational skills. This may sound shallow, but people need to like them. If they don’t like them then they won’t like your church. This means they have to have a pretty high E.Q. and be good with people.

#4 Leadership: To be a Campus Pastor they not only have to be a gifted leader, but they need to have a proven leadership track record of building and leading teams. They need to be able to show how they’ve led through others by not only delegating tasks but empowering decision making.

#5 Driven: Being a Campus Pastor isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. If you’ve ever wanted to be a Campus Pastor, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it. Campus Pastors need to be mentally tough and have a certain amount of grit to lead through the tensions of moving people from where they are to where they need to be. They need to be able to execute and deliver, not just pontificate about ideas.

#6 Start Date: They’ve got to be able to join your team at least 6 to 12 months prior to the launch of the new location. It’s going to take that long for them to be a part of building the core team, staff team and deal with launch details. I’d encourage you to give them an even longer onramp if they’re being hired in from the outside and need to learn and embrace your culture.

#7 Community: They’ve got to be willing to live in and/or engage the community where the new campus is going to be.

#8 Second-Chair: Great Campus Pastors are wired to serve as a second-chair leader. They don’t need to be the vision caster but they need to believe in and be a vision carrier.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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How to Coach the Best Performance out of your Team

football

I wish coaching could solve every staff performance issue. I wish a little post game conversation would always turn into great results. I wish getting some team members a few more, “game like reps,” would improve their performance. I wish.

Unfortunately, coaching isn’t always the solution. There are some team members who can’t or won’t receive coaching and need to be coached out instead of being coached up. But how do you know how to respond to each unique team member?

High Performers

Some high performers not only produce great results, but they welcome and respond to coaching. They’re always looking for ways to grow and improve their game. They have the talent required to perform at a high level and the character necessary to receive coaching and respond well. These team members are fun to coach. They’re the kind of people who do a lot with what you give them, and then ask for more. These people just need you to empower them and keep coaching them up.

There are some team members who are insanely talented and have the capacity to deliver great results but lack the character necessary to receive and respond well to coaching. They may be a great talent but have really poor chemistry with the rest of the team. These are the kind of team members that you need to intervene with quickly and keep on a very short leash. They need to be provided with clear and quick consequences or they can mess up the entire chemistry of the team. No amount of competency can overcome a fatal flaw in character.

Low Performers

Not every low performer needs to be coached out. There are many factors that impact poor performance. They may not have been given the right resources to succeed, they may have been placed in a role that doesn’t play to their strengths, or they may simply be young and inexperienced. If they have the character it takes to receive and respond well to coaching and have good chemistry with the team then coach them up instead of coaching them out.

Sometimes you can’t avoid coaching a team member off of your team. It’s part of your responsibility as the coach or leader to not allow low performers to remain low performers. If a team member is constantly shifting blame to other people or circumstances for their poor performance, if they have a poor attitude, if there is poor chemistry with the team, if there is a character problem, if they don’t respond well and respond quickly to coaching it’s probably time to coach them out instead of coaching them up.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing
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