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5 Ways Successful Church Leaders Think Differently

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Successful church leaders naturally think differently than the majority of church leaders. It’s one of the things that set them apart. The good news is you can learn to think just like them.

#1 They think about who they’re trying to Reach instead of who they’re trying to Keep

Another way to say this, is that they’re consumed with the mission that Jesus gave the church. To reach the nations. They make decisions based on who they are trying to reach not who they’re trying to keep.

#2 They think about Solutions instead of Problems

They don’t focus on problems and everything that could or does go wrong. Instead they focus on solutions and figuring things out. You could even say they’re optimistic in their thinking (either by nature or by choice).

#3 They’re Strategic Thinkers

They’re not just satisfied with having a clear picture of the future (vision), they want to act on it and build a roadmap to get there (strategy). They plan their work and work their plan. Which consequently their preparation allows them to be flexible when new opportunity arrives, or they meet unforeseen roadblocks.

#4 They Involve the Team

They’re not obsessed with coming up with the best idea. They’d rather be able to execute the best idea than get credit for it. They know the team out performs the individual, so they involve their team in great thinking.

#5 They Don’t Dwell on Failure

It’s not that they completely ignore failure, they don’t. They learn from failure. It’s just they don’t dwell on it. They pivot away from what didn’t work and move on quickly to the next thing.


Posted in Leadership

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Why the Sky is NOT the Limit for Young Church Leaders

sky

The sky is not the limit for your church leaders, it’s just not. And we do them a disservice to feed them lines and fill their heads with ideas that just aren’t true. It’s one thing to tell a young leader that you believe in them and encourage them, it’s another to just lie to them. Sometimes in our attempts to encourage young leaders we move past encouragement into falsehood. In doing so we set them up for disappointment and sometimes failure.

In Proverbs 13:12 the Bible teaches us that, “Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick.” In other words, hope that doesn’t end in real results can destroy someone. So we need be careful what direction and expectations we set on young leaders, because if it doesn’t come to fruition we can ruin them.

We’d be better off to encourage them to understand that their limit is their limit and go have fun testing their limits. When young leaders find their limits and live within what Jesus has wired them up to do they’ll experience more peace and produce more fruit!

Truth is, the sky is not the limit for young leaders, there are real limiting factors that they are or will experience, here are just a few.

1. Gifting

The Scriptures are clear that not everyone gets the same gift (and leadership is clearly defined as a spiritual gift in the Bible that not everyone gets). There are different gifts, God seemingly loves diversity and has created a system that pushes us towards one another instead of away. For the Church to be its best we need to bring our best together and lean into each other’s areas of gifting and brilliance!

2. Capacity

The Scriptures are also clear that not everyone gets the same measure of gifts. Some have a greater capacity than others. It’s possible that two people may have a teaching gift, but one may have a great measure of that gift. You get how this works.

3. Approach

Now this is something that young leaders can actually control. They can control the approach they take. They can decide if they are going to have a great attitude or not, they can choose how much effort they are going to put forth, they can choose to submit to those in authority over them or not, and they can choose be teachable or not. They can choose their approach.

4. Opportunity

I’ve heard it said that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. You can call it providence and blame all of your opportunities or lack of opportunities on God or you can take personal ownership of your life and go make your own opportunities. Now I’m not a “demon behind every bush” kind of guy, but I don’t want to not give credit to God when it’s due either. Some opportunities are self-made while others are God given. Whichever come your way take advantage of them because not everyone gets the same opportunities.

5. Resources

Some young leaders simply have greater resources at their disposal. These resources give them a disproportional leg up over their peers. Some have access to greater preparation, development and coaching. Some have access to more finances which allow them greater margin. Still others have access to deeper personnel bench to deploy. Recourses are a limiting factor for growing leaders.


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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How Church People can Wreck a Church Plant

spiritual growth

New churches reach new people, right? That’s the prevailing thought. Unfortunately, the prevailing thought doesn’t always prevail. I’ve talked to plenty of church planters who were excited to plant and reach new people in a new community only to open their doors and find their new church flooded with disgruntled church people who left their old church hoping that this new church would be more of what they want and meet their needs better.

There’s a lot wrong with that picture, and it would take a much higher word count than I have to use in this short blog post to fully unpack. Perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome in that scenario (which is super common by the way) is that all of those people coming from other churches are coming with their own agenda and expectations of what they want from you.

So, what do you do when your new church plant is flooded with disgruntled church people from other churches that hope you’re going to be the perfect new church for them (by the way some people make a career out of that…it’s called church hopping)?

Be Clear about the Vision

Vision both attracts and repels at the same time. The clearer you can be with unique vision that God has given you, the more likely it is that the right people will stay, and the right people will go. Don’t be naïve, there are, “the right people,” for both of those options. They key is consistently and creatively weaving your vision into everything you do so people are confronted with it early and often. The earlier they opt in or opt out the better off you will be and the better off they will be. If your vision is to build a church of disgruntled church folks and try to make them happy, then by all means embrace them (and let me be the first one to say good luck). But if the vision is to reach people who are unfamiliar with Jesus with the Gospel, then let them go, and let them go quickly.

Be Courageous

Courage is the prerequisite for Biblical leadership. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to say yes to following Jesus and lead other people to go there with you. Humility is the other side of that coin by the way, in fact humility is courage before it’s needed. As a planter you’re going to need a significant amount of courage to lead yourself and others somewhere you’ve never been. It takes courage to say no to people when everyone thinks they know what the next best step for the church is or the next great ministry you should start. Especially when fear wells up in you that people may leave if you don’t appease them. It will require courage to say no to good opportunities in order to say yes to the best opportunities and it will require courage to say no to short cuts that may get you somewhere quickly but erode your leadership in the long run.

Be Slow to Appoint Leadership

Go slow, go slow, go slow, go slow. Don’t appoint a leader too quickly, especially in the early moments and years of a plant. It takes time to build culture and create owners instead of fans. The earlier you invite new people to be on a Board or prominent leadership role the more likely those people are going to come with their own agendas and have the potential to highjack the vision. You’d be wiser to invite outside trusted pastors to serve on an external board until you have time to establish the culture and develop internal board members. You’d also be wise to spend time developing a core team of people prior to launch who will serve as ministry volunteers and leaders.


Posted in Leadership

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4 Keys to Great Church Staff Coaching

coach

Just because coaching doesn’t come natural or easy to everyone doesn’t mean your team shouldn’t receive good coaching. You can get better results out of your team by giving them better coaching. Here are 4 steps you can take over the next 30 days to get better results out of your team!

#1 Stay Positive

People you’re coaching need hope. I’ve never gotten a better performance or better results from someone in the work place by yelling at them, but encouragement on the other hand has produced all kinds of great results. Sometimes people just need someone to believe in them and be given an opportunity.

#2 Be Consistent

Consistency in coaching is key. Coach ahead of time by giving them as many “game like reps” as possible, encourage them while they’re “playing the game,” and review and break down “game tape,” afterwards.

#3 Be Clear

When coaching be specific and include as much detail as you believe is helpful. Eliminate information overload and confusion.

#4 Don’t Say Everything You See

Don’t be afraid to say the hard things. But say them in increments that people can receive them in. Prescribe in doses that they can digest and act on. Get them moving in the right direction. Don’t’ worry about solving everything at once.


Posted in Leadership

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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

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Each month I curate the top 10 most popular blog posts I’ve shared recently. These are the articles that got had the greatest engagement in the past month. They were the most visited, shared, helpful or disagreed with. At any rate, thanks for staying in contact with me through engaging in the content on this site, I hope it’s been helpful to you! In case you missed any of them here they are all in one nice tidy place for you!

Why Video Teaching Will Work in Your Town Too

When I consult with churches that are considering going multisite one of the key exercises I facilitate with their team centers around how they are going to approach preaching in their weekend worship services. It’s a big conversation and a decision that has significant implications to the model and approach that churches take when it comes to multisite.

How to Make Guests Feel Uncomfortable at your Church

It’s uncomfortable for a person who’s unfamiliar with God and church to go to church for the first time. Often times they feel as though they’re taking a huge risk by even showing up. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that churches do to make guests feel even more uncomfortable when they go to church for the first time. Here are just a few…

[Repost] How to get Easter Guests to Come Back to your Church

A couple of years ago I wrote a post on how to get guests who come to Easter services at your church to come back to your church. It went on to be one of the top 10 most popular posts on my blog that year. With Easter weekend coming up I thought I’d share it with you again in an effort to help you think through any last minute opportunities to leverage Easter to its fullest at your church and help guests come back.

The Difference between Preparation and Planning

Do great organizations prepare for the future or do they plan for it? The answer is, “yes.” To be clear preparation and planning are not the same thing, and great organizations become great by doing both.

4 Ways Churches Misspend Money

Churches get funny when it comes to money. Generally, churches have a hard time talking about money publicly and few have a clear generosity strategy. When it comes to financial planning and actually spending money in a way that gets them to the vision God’s called them to, the majority of churches I’ve interacted with are all thumbs.

8 Reasons Why People Don’t Volunteer at your Church 

I’ve never worked with a church that has said they don’t need more volunteers. But I’ve worked with a bunch of churches that have trouble getting people to volunteer and stay engaged volunteering.

6 Signs that you’re Leading a Healthy Church

Jesus is into results. I know I’m going to lose a lot of readers at those 4 little words. But I really believe it’s true. Read the scriptures and Jesus actually has a plan that He’s working to make everything new and fix what we broke. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul talk about it in terms of producing “fruit.” That’s the Biblical language ascribed to producing results.

How to Choose the Next Board Members at your Church

If you’ve led in a church for any length of time you can probably tell some stories of experiences you’ve had with dysfunctional Church Boards. Church Board become dysfunctional for a variety of reasons and there are some basic steps you can take to avoid a dysfunctional Board. The first step is to avoid inviting the wrong people to the Board. In writing this post I’m assuming that you’re already vetting potential Board Members based on the letters the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus about selecting church leaders. 

What do you do when you Don’t Agree with your Pastor?

If you work on staff at a church, chances are at some point you’re going to disagree with your pastor. That’s okay, you’re human, it would be naive to think you’re always going to agree with your pastor. But what you do with that disagreement is where things can get really messy. Messy for you, and messy for the church.

Building a Winning Culture at your Church

In a day where everyone gets participation trophies the idea of winning or losing when it comes to church has become a foreign concept. In fact, I think most churches have become afraid to win. I’m not talking about a game. Church isn’t a game. It’s about something far bigger than that. Much more is on the line. It’s about heaven and hell. The fact is people are dying and going to hell and that’s simply unacceptable.


Posted in Leadership
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