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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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4 Ways Good Shepherds Lead Differently

sheep

Never be afraid to ask people to follow Jesus. Whether it’s joining a volunteer team, going to marriage counseling, publicly being baptized, financially supporting the ministry of the church or a whole list of potential other steps someone could take to follow Jesus. Never be afraid to challenge people…because it’s for their good. When people follow Jesus, joy follows them. This is what it means to be a good shepherd. But good leaders know that you can’t lead everyone the same.

Lost Sheep

The painful truth for most shepherds to face is in order to lead them you’ve got to actually be around them. Do you have any relationships with lost sheep? Do you have any lost sheep in your life? If not, you’ll never be others oriented. Love them and be normal!

Stinky Sheep

Here’s the thing about stinky sheep, they complain about everything. That’s why they’re so stinky. Good shepherds never allow whiners to keep them from winning.

  • Are they ignorant? If they’re unaware then be kind and explain things to them in order to bring them along.
  • Are they obstinate? Some sheep don’t care about understanding, they just want things their way. These sheep may need you to listen but don’t bend.

Leadership by its very nature is confrontational. The leader is tasked with taking people somewhere they haven’t been. By its very nature it requires conflict and confrontation. When it comes to conflict and confrontation hired guns run. Owners pull the gun and take on the wolf.

Newly Found Sheep

New sheep are the momentum engine of your ministry. They bring life, fun and excitement. New sheep find other new sheep. But here’s the thing about new sheep. They’re messy. They don’t know the behavioral rhythms and norms of the flock yet. They need to be celebrated and then guided and led. They need to get connected to relationship and responsibility. The faster you can make people feel a part of it the faster they’ll be a part of it. 

Long-Time Sheep

Long-time sheep are the backbone of the ministry at your church and provide stability to the ministry of your church. These sheep need you to remind them what it was like to be a new sheep. They need you to put stories of new sheep in front of them over, and over, and over, and over again.

*Each month the Staff Team at all Sun Valley Community Church Campuses gather together for worship, fun, a meal and some training. The core content for this blog post came from one of those recent trainings by Chad Moore, the Lead Pastor at Sun Valley.


Posted in Leadership

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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

viewfinder

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!

10 Insider Focused Ministry Names

I wrote this post 5 years ago. It came out of a conversation that I had with a Leadership Coaching Group I was facilitating for Church Staff and it’s remained a fan favorite.

How Many People should your Church have on Staff?

It’s a big question that most churches are asking. The answer may surprise you.

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.

It’s Time for the Church to take a Different Approach to Leadership Development 

There are three prevailing thoughts about leadership development that I’ve been noticing in churches across the country and I’m not sure any of them are really going to work the way we think they will.

How do you know When it’s Time to Leave your Church?

Most people don’t stay at one place of employment their entire lives. If you work at a church, chances are you probably won’t work at that church the rest of your life. Most likely at some point you’re going to leave to go and start or work at another church. There are all kinds of reasons why church staff leave the church they work at to go work another church. Some of those reasons are solid and make a lot of sense. Some of them as you could guess, not so much.

Changing the Culture at your Church

“Culture” is the latest buzz word in church world. Everyone seems to be talking about how to build a healthy culture and avoid a toxic one. But how do you know what your church culture actually is and how can you change it if you don’t like it?

The Difference between a Shepherd and a Leader

I love helping churches and leaders get unstuck and make vision real. In fact out of all the stuff I get to do with churches and leaders one of the things I enjoy the most is Leadership Coaching. Recently I had the incredible opportunity to spend a day coaching a group of Pastors and Church Leaders from Australia (unfortunately their cool accent didn’t rub off). One of the topics we spent time digging into was the difference between shepherding and leading in relation to why some churches are stuck while others move forward. Here are couple of thoughts from the conversation.

11 Questions to Ask Yourself about Soul Care and Personal Fulfillment

People perform at their best when they are in a role that plays to their personality and gifting. They have more fun, experience greater fulfillment, and produce better results. The soul is actually at greater rest when it finds the rhythm it was designed for. But it requires a tremendous amount of sober-mindedness. That is, knowing who you are, knowing who you’re not and doing what’s best for the whole. This means, among other things, being willing to play the part you were designed to play instead of striving for the top spot on the team. So how do you get a healthy dose of sober-mindedness in your life without experiencing a bunch of pain? Honestly taking a few moments to answer the following questions is a great start!

How the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor Roles Work Together

The relationship between the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor can make or break a church staff team and has profound impact upon the overall ministry of the church. Get this right and you’ll end up getting a lot right. Get it wrong, and well, it’s going to be tough sledding.

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. 


Posted in Leadership
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