Archive - Family RSS Feed

0

5 Foundational Leadership Lessons I Learned from my Dad

dadholdinghands

Father’s Day always provides a great opportunity to reflect on the kind of Father you had growing up and of course the kind of Father you would like to be yourself. In thinking about my Dad this weekend there were so many lessons that he taught me that came to mind, and fortunately, many things I still have to learn from my Dad. And while every father and man has their deficiencies to be sure, my dad has been an accelerant in my life and leadership by consistently allowing me to stand on his shoulders. Dad, I love you, and I’m so grateful that you’re in my life! So here are a handful of leadership principles that I learned from my Dad.

1. Great Leaders make themselves Available to the Right People

Even though he worked for the Department of Defense with the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon etc. etc. he wasn’t an absentee father. Dad was always there. Even if it meant getting up at 4:00am to commute into D.C. to get to work early so he could be home in the evenings. He was at the soccer games, the wrestling matches, and we always sat down for a family dinner. Dad proved his love for us with his presence.

2. Great Leaders know that Failure doesn’t have to be Final

When my girlfriend and I made some poor choices in High School instead of blowing up and sacrificing me to Jesus, he took me in his room opened up the Bible and we walked through the story of David and Bathsheba. He spoke hope into me by sharing with me that God still called King David a man after his own heart, and that God wasn’t done with me either.

3. Great Leaders Strategically Target Their Audience

Some of the most memorable moments I have of my father are of fishing trips that we took together. It was there that I learned that a leader needs to learn to read the subtle nuances of the environment he is in, understand his audience, and use the right method, tools, and techniques to get the desired results.

4. Great Leaders Admit Their Mistakes

In the early years of our marriage, like many couples, Lisa and I really struggled and had to face down some pretty hurtful issues in our lives and relationship. In that process we had a conversation with my Mom and Dad where we told them about our struggles and how some of it was rooted in some behaviors I learned growing up in our home. With tears in his eyes he looked at my wife and me and apologized to us both. How many guys ever get that kind of gift from their father?

5. Great Leaders Empower people by Believing in them

My dad isn’t a perfect man, who is? But one thing I have never once questioned about my father is if he believed in me or not. I always knew, and know today that he is proud of me. That kind of belief breaths a safety and security into people that frees them up to risk and attempt great things. It’s amazing to have someone in your corner cheering you on in life.


Posted in Family, Leadership, Testimonial

2

7 Indicators that You’ve Found the Ideal Ministry Spouse

Marriage1

In ministry your spouse can make you or break you. It may be cliché but it’s true, behind every great Ministry Staff Member is a great ministry spouse…and you can’t have one without the other. So whether you’re already married or you’re still searching for the right person, here are a couple traits you should be looking for in the ideal ministry spouse.

1. They’re Flexible

When you’re in ministry, you’re constantly “on.” Ministry doesn’t always abide by the family schedule. Crisis doesn’t always happen in people’s lives and the church according to plan.

2. They’re Comfortable being Independent

Ministry is a calling (profession) that requires long hours at times, especially during holidays that are traditionally family moments. Finding someone that understands the importance of having you around the kids and the family but is also able to run the household while you’re not available is essential.

3. They Embrace the Church you work at

Great ministry spouses believe in you and they believe in what you’re doing. It’s more than a job to them too. They don’t want to just see you succeed they want to see the church you’re leading succeed. They find creative ways to be involved in the church you’re leading that fit their personality and reach out to the staff and volunteers. They’re an extension of you.

4. They’re Your Biggest Fan

Ministry can really knock the wind out of you at times. Great ministry spouses know how to shoulder your burdens and comfort you in the low moments, and they’re the first ones to celebrate you in the good moments.

5. They’re Assertive with Boundaries

While being supportive they also have the ability to be firm, be honest and clear about what they need from you, and know when it’s time to call an audible for a date night or vacation. They make you want to be “better,” they bring out the best in you, and call you on your stuff.

6. They’re Safe

Even though you’re not going to share everything with them about your job, you’re going to share most things with them. Great ministry spouses are trustworthy, hold sensitive information to themselves well, and act as a stabilizing voice in your life.

7. They Understand the Pressure of Ministry

Ministry carries with it unique spiritual, emotional, time, and social pressures. Great ministry spouses “get it.” They help you carry and even diffuse that pressure.


Posted in Family, Leadership, Staffing

2

9 Reasons I’m Still Married after 20 Years

Anniversary20th

Lisa and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. And while sitting on a white sand beach under an umbrella overlooking the ocean (don’t hate) we talked about these 9 reasons why we’re still married, and legitimately enjoying our marriage more than ever, after 20 years. We hope there are a few ideas in here that may help you have a more intimate friendship with your spouse.

#1 We Prioritize Each Other

We decided a long time ago that our friendship is more important than any other friendship we have. We choose to say no to girls or guys weekends away in order to say yes to time together. I’m not saying Lisa never goes out with her girlfriends or I never go fishing with some guys, but what I am saying is our time together comes first.

#2 We Calendar Together

We have four kids. One plays volleyball, one is in orchestra, one plays soccer and one is 3 years old. We’re busy. Not to mention I’m in full time local church ministry, I do consulting with the Unstuck Group, and Lisa is going back to school to change careers. Did I mention we’re busy? But who isn’t? The difference is we calendar on a regular basis and run our calendar instead of allowing our calendar to run us (most of the time). Our friendship is our greatest priority. So we sneak breakfasts together when we can, we spend time on the patio out back after the kids go down, we go on dates…just the two of us, and we drop each other texts throughout the day.

#3 Keep the Lights on in the Bedroom…

Our bedroom life is more enjoyable today than it was 20 years ago. Of course the 20 years of experience doesn’t hurt. Along the way we’ve had to learn to talk about what we are comfortable with and uncomfortable with, what we enjoy and what we don’t, how to serve one another, be vulnerable with each other, and talk honestly with each other. And, yes, there were times that we even had to schedule bedroom time. The bottom line is if you don’t like each other outside of the bedroom, you’re not going to enjoy one another in the bedroom. By the way one small bit of advice: if you don’t like your bedroom life there’s no one to blame but the two of you, because you’re the only ones in there. You may not be able to change what’s been done to you in the past, or what you’ve done in the past and what you’ve brought into your marriage, but you get to choose how you move forward in the future.

#4 Vacations…with NO Kids

We go on vacation every 5 years without the kids (sometimes we sneak a night here or there in between). I’m a bit of a planner and for those who know me, you know that my wallet can be a bit a little tight at times. So we save up for 5 years and then go on a big vacation, just the two of us. It’s a great feeling to go on vacation and do what we want to and not worry about money or a big credit card bill that’s looming out there, because we planned for the vacation! And it prioritizes each other. I like my kids, but I like time alone with my wife.

#5 We Asked for Help when we Needed Help

I’ve written many times about the struggles Lisa and I had early on in our marriage. There’s a reason we didn’t have kids during the first 8 years of our marriage, we didn’t treat each other very well. But we got help. At different points we both demonstrated the embarrassing humility, and courage it takes to be vulnerable, put ourselves out there and ask for help. Which meant spending a lot of money on counseling. We were blessed to have trusted friends and mentors who believed in us, cared for us, and invested in us. It was expensive, it was hard, but it was worth it.

#6 We Don’t have Intimate Friendships with people of the Opposite Sex

This may sound a bit old fashioned and uber conservative but we don’t have serious friendships with people of the opposite sex. For example if I’m out of town and the battery dies on the minivan she doesn’t text the neighbor without including me, or their spouse in the text. Note to self: get used to group texting. We don’t go out to meals with the opposite sex, we don’t ride alone in the car with people of the opposite sex and even at work if I’m meeting with a woman alone at work I’m in a room that has a glass window in it.

#7 We Choose not to Compare our Marriage to Others

Social media has made it easy to play the comparison game when it comes to marriage. It’s easy to become enamored with what things appear to be like in someone’s marriage and become frustrated with your own. Lisa and I often remind ourselves of something our Pastor, Chad Moore said, “Don’t compare the image others are projecting to the reality you are hiding.” Instead we choose to compare ourselves with the standards that the Bible describes for love, friendship, and marriage. It’s no coincidence that when you do things the way God designed life to work how well life works.

#8 We Take Care of our Bodies

Neither one of us will ever be accused of being supermodels. My knees hurt when I run…so I don’t. My wife on the other hand has done the Chicago Marathon, the Air Force Marathon, and a litany of other races. She can run me into the ground, but I exercise on a consistent basis. It’s important that each of us stay in decent shape. We want to look attractive for our spouse. Each person has a different idea of what “attractive” means, and so we talk about what each other likes and do our best to meet those ideas.

#9 We Take Care of our Souls

It’s hard to love someone else well if you don’t love yourself well. That’s not selfish it’s Biblical. Jesus even said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” And so we give room to each other to take care of our souls. That may mean simple things like time alone golfing or fishing, time at the spa, going through a Step Study at Celebrate Recovery, going to church together as a family, encouraging and talking about each others spiritual journey…soul care.


Posted in Family, Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Testimonial

0

5 Articles from June that will Help Your Church Make Vision Real

viewfinder

Thank you for making June an incredible month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hearing that these articles have been helpful. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

#1 “7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Church Leaders”

It’s much easier to identify poor leadership in others than it is in yourself. We have a tendency to judge our leadership based on our intentions and the leadership of other based on the results.

An old Russian Proverb says it this way, “The eye cannot see the eye.”

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to observe all kinds of different Church Leaders who are leading in different sizes and “flavors,” churches. No matter the size or the flavor of the church I’ve seen the following 7 habits come up over and over again. So in no particular order, here are 7 common bad habits I’ve seen in Church Leaders over the years:

#2 “10 Signs Your Church is Headed for Decline”

When I was young my Aunt purchased a brand new car. I didn’t have a car yet so even though it wasn’t red and it had 4 doors instead of 2 I thought it was really cool. And because she had a car and I didn’t she by default was cool too.

Everything was cool until she forgot to change the oil. Truth be told, she never changed the oil. From the day she drove the car off the lot to the day it died (which was much, much sooner than it should have), that car never experienced a single oil change. Routine maintenance wasn’t her strong suite. And most of us are just like her. We put off going to the doctor for our annual check-up, we postpone going to the dentist for our 6-month check up, and yes we put off routine maintenance on our automobiles.

We just keep going until it hurts enough that we are forced to stop and go in for a check up.

Unfortunately most church leadership teams operate the same way. They put off routine check ups and maintenance until it’s too late and decline starts to set in. What if there were early warning signs (flashing lights on the dashboard) that helped indicate that trouble was ahead? In my experience Coaching Church Leaders and Consulting with Churches across the country I’ve seen the following 10 indicators of an impending decline over and over again.

#3 “5 Common Hiring Mistakes that Churches Make”

Recruiting and hiring a new team member can be exciting! Hire the right person and the whole team benefits. When you invite the right person to join your team not only is there an infusion of new talent, but also new ideas, fresh eyes, and a new well of experiences to go to. One new hire can literally improve the performance of the entire team. On the other hand, hire the wrong person and the ministry at your church could be set back for years.

Churches are notorious for making well-intentioned bad hires. At most churches the hiring process usually goes wrong for one of the following 5 reasons.

#4 “Discovering the Leadership Culture at Your Church”

While many churches may have a list of Core Values that they’ve built, very few churches that I’ve come across have taken the time to do the hard work of defining and clearly articulating their Staff Values or Leadership Culture that they’re trying to build at their church.

Culture is tough to define. It’s the elusive, soft stuff in the organization that’s more on the art side than the science side of leadership. It takes hard work to articulate it. But it’s a must for any church that wants to actually be intentional about building a particular staff leadership culture. A clearly defined culture allows you to make decisions, hires, and take any number of other steps at a faster pace. After all as Peter Drucker famously said…

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Peter Drucker –

Interested in discovering the Staff Leadership Culture at your Church? Start here. Gather your Sr. Leadership Team together and spend some time wrestling with the following two questions and build some lists together.

#5 “Work Hard Give Your Best & Put Family First”

How do I balance family and ministry? It’s a conversation I’ve had over and over again as a church staff member. I’ve heard church staff express deep frustration and anxiety over this question. They want to give their best to their ministry calling and yet sometimes feel like they’re sacrificing their family to follow Jesus. But then again doesn’t following Jesus mean you take care of and lead your family well? When you’re on staff at a church it means working weekends and often times being gone multiple nights of the week at meetings when church members are available. Further, many church staff members feel like they’re on call 24/7 to meet the needs of church attenders. You can see how ministry staff members can quickly feel tension over the whole balancing work and family, especially young church staff members who are just starting out and trying to figure it out.

At Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the privilege of serving at) we’ve defined our leadership culture with 7 clear distinctives. If you’re interested in learning more about them you can follow this link. One of them states:

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Family, Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

0

Work Hard Give Your Best & Put Family First

teetertotter

How do I balance family and ministry? It’s a conversation I’ve had over and over again as a church staff member. I’ve heard church staff express deep frustration and anxiety over this question. They want to give their best to their ministry calling and yet sometimes feel like they’re sacrificing their family to follow Jesus. But then again doesn’t following Jesus mean you take care of and lead your family well? When you’re on staff at a church it means working weekends and often times being gone multiple nights of the week at meetings when church members are available. Further, many church staff members feel like they’re on call 24/7 to meet the needs of church attenders. You can see how ministry staff members can quickly feel tension over the whole balancing work and family, especially young church staff members who are just starting out and trying to figure it out.

At Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the privilege of serving at) we’ve defined our leadership culture with 7 clear distinctives. If you’re interested in learning more about them you can follow this link. One of them states:

Effort: We work hard; give our best and put family first.

Recently I used Periscope (I’m learning to use this new social networking tool) to share a leadership tool we use to train this concept and explained it a little more. In fact you can follow this link on your mobile device to watch it. Or you can check out a few of the highlights below:

  1. God is not opposed to effort, but He is opposed to earning. God is into results and effort…it’s all throughout the bible. He’s just not into earning.
  2. You don’t have to die for the Church; Jesus already did that. The Church doesn’t need another Savior we already have one. He’s doing just fine by the way.
  3. All Work and no Rest Leads to Burnout You’ve got to figure out a way to refuel daily, weekly, monthly and annually.
  4. Productivity = Working Hard + Resting Well It’s not work vs home. It’s not either or. You can’t have great results at work and poor results at home or visa versa for very long. Home affects work and work affects home.
  5. Rest FOR Work not Rest FROM Work. In John 15 Jesus talks about abiding in Him…resting in Him so that we will produce fruit.
  6. Laziness is Dangerous! When you retreat from meaningful work and meaningful relationships it will lead you to a dangerous place.
  7. Take Personal Responsibility! No one is responsible for your schedule but you. Don’t play the role of a victim when it comes to your schedule.

Photo Credit: navonod via Compfight cc


Posted in Family, Leadership, Staffing
Page 1 of 1312345»10...Last »