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When to Invest in a Young Leader and When to Ignore Them

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Like it or not, millennials are making their way into leadership roles in churches across America. As they take their newfound place in church leadership many of them are looking for someone to invest in them and help develop them as young emerging leaders.

Experienced leaders are always going to have more opportunities available to say yes to than capacity to meet them. This is true in leadership and this is true in developing young talent. You have to make a choice. So, choose wisely. How do you know who to invest in and who to ignore?

Young, naïve, and inexperienced talent doesn’t bother me. But young talent that is void of the following four intangibles scares me to death.

Talent

Skills can be trained but talent is developed. Talent is something you have or you don’t have. It’s something you’re born with or is gifted to you by the Holy Spirit. You get the gifts you’re given. For instance, if someone has been given the spiritual gift of leadership, it can be developed and that art can be perfected over time through study and practice. Others without the spiritual gift of leadership may learn leadership skills but they’ll never have the talent to lead at the same level as someone with a leadership gift. I’m looking for young leaders who are very talented.

Capacity

In a world where everyone gets a participation trophy and kids are taught that they can do anything and be anything they want to be in life; what I’m about to say isn’t going to be very popular. But it will be true. While different people may have similar talents, they may have different capacities. The Bible is clear that while many people may get similar or even the same gifts, that they are given in different measure. So, no you can’t be anything you want to be, but you can be the best you that you’re designed to be. That being said, I’m looking for young leaders who have a high capacity.

Teachable

In the book of James, he Bible teaches us that “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  You can’t give something to someone who doesn’t want to or isn’t ready to receive it. (both matter by the way). You can’t teach someone who isn’t teachable. I’m looking for young leaders who demonstrate a teachable spirit.

Effort

It’s okay for a young leader not to have an answer, but it’s not okay for that same young leader to not go find the answer. It’s okay for a young leader to fail and not get everything right the first time. It’s not okay for a young leader to not try as hard as they possibly can to succeed. I’m looking for young leaders who demonstrate tremendous effort.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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How to Fund the Strategic Plan at your Church

Talking with the leadership team at your church about money can be tough. Changing the way you spend it is even harder.

If you have a strategic plan you’re working with your leadership team to implement, it’s important to start a healthy conversation about finances to effectively navigate this touchy subject together.

Every day, you and your team make decisions about how to allocate your funds. You decide which aspects of your ministry are critical to your growth, and which can be cut. Your church’s future–and the fate of your strategic plan–will be greatly influenced by how you direct your resources.

It isn’t unusual for a church to create a strategic plan, then fall short of actually funding it. The leadership team might work together beautifully to create a strong plan and commit to working it, but too often, they find themselves locked into ineffective or foolish budgeting patterns. Eventually, they might find that their vision is only partially funded…or they might set it aside altogether.

That’s why at the Unstuck Group we’ve created Funding Your Strategic Plan, a practical guide full of insights and conversations that will help you and your team assess your church’s budget with a critical eye,  develop an effective, vision-minded budget around your growth engines, and change the way you and your staff direct your available resources.

Funding Your Strategic Plan will help you dissect the types of expenses in your plan, identify missing links and hidden dollars, and learn the difference between wise and foolish budgeting. We’ll teach you the ropes of Zero-Based Budgeting and show you how to utilize your existing assets to generate extra income for your church. You’ll also learn how to talk about money to your congregation, increase their generosity, and get started with a capital campaign.

Ready to dig in? You can get a copy of Funding Your Strategic Plan in the TonyMorganLive.com store,


Posted in Leadership

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How to Choose the Next Board Members at your Church

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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. 

1. Timing

The best way to get to know potential new Board Members is up close and over time. Which means you’ve always got be “dragging the magnet through the sand” and developing people. If you’re a new church start up I wouldn’t recommend inviting people to a Board role until after the first 3 years. It takes at least that long to establish the vision, see who’s actually going to be with you, and start building a culture. Otherwise they’re just going to bring all of their ideas from their old church. This goes for people who are new to an established church as well…give them enough time to acculturate to your church. You can get yourself into trouble if you invite people to leadership too soon.

2. Volunteering

This one may seem like a no brainer, but if they’re not already a part of a volunteer team leading somewhere, not just volunteering, but leading somewhere then you need to pass.

3. Giving

If they’re not already generously supporting the ministry of the church financially then you need to pass on them. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one because church people get weird when the topic of money comes up, but trust me, if they’re not giving they’re not with you, and you don’t want someone on your Board that’s not with you.

4. Trust

If the Sr. Pastor doesn’t trust them then you’ve got to pass on them. That may seem shallow, but no Sr. Pastor wants people on their Board that they can’t or don’t trust.

5. Need

Have you stopped to ask, “What do we need on our Board right now?” With what we’re going through, where we’re going, the personalities on the Board currently, what’s needed in the next Board Member?

6. Protect

If they’re not going to help protect the staff, the vision, the doctrine, and build and protect the unique culture of your church, then they’re not the right next person to be on your Board.

7. Power

They’re not chasing a title, a role, or a seat of influence or power. They understand that power is given to serve others not push people around.

Follow this link to learn about the “4 Stages that Church Boards Go Through”

What else would you add to the list? Leave a comment!


Posted in Leadership

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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

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Thank you for making June another great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! June in Arizona means no more sitting outside and blogging…it’s so hot they’re cancelling flights at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport because the smaller regional jets can’t get enough lift with the excessive heat to get off the ground! So thank you Jesus for air conditioning!

Besides that…it’s still great to stay 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 posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

By the way…if you look closely you’ll notice that 3 out of the 10 most popular posts this month have to do with volunteering…hopefully churches are catching onto the fact that volunteering is their “leadership development program” at their church.

It would be Easier if your Church Didn’t Grow

Ministry would be a lot easier if your church didn’t grow. I know that most church leadership books, blogs, and conferences are designed to give you the inspiration, principles, training, and tools to help your church grow; but If you really knew the truth about how hard it is to actually grow a church, you probably wouldn’t want to do it. Just think about how much easier it would be if your church didn’t grow. There’s all kinds of difficult things you wouldn’t have to do.

6 Signs that you’re Leading a Healthy Church

Healthy churches produce results and you can know if your church is healthy by the results it’s producing. And while I’d quickly admit that none of the items on this list guarantee a healthy church, you probably can’t lead a healthy church without these things.

Dumbest thing that Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Do

But just because someone has a high E.Q. doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to be a good leader. They may be talented but that doesn’t make them good. Those are two very different things. No amount of emotional intelligence will compensate for a fatal flaw of character. Void of character a high E.Q. will drive leaders towards manipulation instead of leadership.

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.

10 Keys to Managing Change in a Church

Many churches I talk with want different results; they actually want to see more people meet Jesus and follow Jesus this year than last year. Unfortunately, they just aren’t willing to change, let go of old tactics and take a different approach.

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.

5 Foundational Leadership Lessons I Learned from my Dad

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.

Should your Church Start New Campuses or Plant New Churches?

Church planting has been a time-tested strategy to reach new people in new cultural contexts. Church planting works best to reach people who are culturally and/or demographically different than us, where a different approach than the way we do church would be the most effective. Starting new multisite campuses on the other hand works best for people who are geographically closer, and both culturally and demographically similar to us where the same approach to the way we do church would be the most effective. In other words, it’s not one or the other, it’s both-and. It’s about what approach is going to be the most effective in reaching people with the Gospel. However, there are some significant differences between adopting a planting or a multisite model.

Leadership Lessons I Wish I Understood as a Young Leader

5 Leadership Lessons for Young Leaders based on my experiences training for a triathlon.

What is a Campus Pastor?

In August, 2012, Leadership Network released a report stating that over 5,000 churches are now multi-site churches (churches that meet in more than one location for worship). It’s a growing trend that first began with mega-churches, but has now expanded to churches of all sizes. With this new trend a new staff role has emerged, that of “Campus Pastor.” While a lot churches are still trying to figure out this new role, here are 6 things that great Campus Pastors do:

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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Why the Internet will Strengthen, not Kill the Church

Ever since the modern internet hit the scene in the 1990’s (thank you Al Gore…smile) doomsday Church Leaders have been fretting that it would be hurtful to culture, the Gospel and the movement of the Church.

Nothing could be further than the truth.

The last time there was a technological advancement of this magnitude the printing press was invented, which helped propel the Gospel in an unparalleled manner at the most opportune time of the Protestant Reformation. For the first time in history the average person (who was literate) could actually read the Bible for themselves in their own language! It was legitimately world changing.

The internet and this highly technological culture that we are living in has the same potential to catalyze the movement of the Gospel in a way not seen since the Protestant Reformation.

The Bible App

The Bible App, developed by the good folks at Life Church has been downloaded and installed more than 200 million times. When YouVersion launched there were 12 versions of the Bible available in 2 languages. Today there are more than 1,200 versions of the Bible available in more than 900 languages! YouVersion is working to make God’s Word available to every person on Earth, no matter where they live or what language they prefer.

Video Teaching

The internet and technological advances have fueled video teaching, which has propelled the multisite movement not only in North America but around the world. Each week more than 100,000 people attend a Hillsong Church Campus in one of more than 25 locations in more than 12 countries around the world.

Internet Evangelism

The internet is creating a unique and interestingly safe place for people of other spiritual backgrounds to investigate Jesus’ claim to be the only path to God. Thousands of Muslims, in particular, are saying yes to following Jesus as a direct result of intentional internet evangelism.

Technology and the internet are creating opportunities to fuel the Gospel that haven’t even been thought up or leveraged yet. My hunch is if Jesus walked the Earth today instead of reading someone’s account of the sermon on the mount (Matthew 6) we’d probably be watching it firsthand on YouTube.

Forbes recently ran an article entitled, “Five Signs That Stores (Not E-Commerce) Are The Future Of Retail”

  1. All But One Of The Top Ten U.S. Retailers Are Physical Chains
  2. Stores Are More Profitable Than E-Commerce
  3. Amazon Purchased Whole Foods
  4. Millennials And Generation Z Prefer Real-Life Stores
  5. Online Retailers Are Being Eaten By Legacy Retailers

In this new cyber-age the Church isn’t going anywhere. It is going to take ground, not lose it. You and your church just need to figure out how to leverage this new opportunity. While technology and the internet can enhance and catalyze the growth of the church in new ways it isn’t going to replace the church. Even with global work place trends towards automation the Church will remain, interestingly enough, distinctly human. A place where real people can interact with other real people about the most important conversations and topics life has to offer. But what technology can do for the Church is:

  1. Create new ways for all people on the planet to engage in the Bible
  2. Build new ways to deliver biblical teaching across the globe
  3. Provide opportunities to get quality, accredited biblical training online anywhere in the world
  4. Create new, easily accessible, safe space for people to connect with other people and engage in dialogue about God and His principles

What other opportunities are you seeing or sensing that may be next for the Church to take hold of and leverage for the sake of the Gospel? I’m interested in your thoughts and ideas…leave a comment!


Posted in Leadership
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