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Everything is an Interview

communication

Everything is an interview. Everything. College football players get this concept drilled into them by their coaches. They’re challenged to be proud of what they put on tape. Every Saturday they play a game and those game tapes essentially become their resume for a job interview to get to the NFL.

But life is bigger than football; even for those of us who are a little obsessed by it. And in every interaction you have in life and in your work place, everything is an interview. And if you don’t view it that way, you may miss your next opportunity.

Scouts are Always Scouting

Talent scouts are always looking for talent. Great churches are always looking for great talent. At conferences, meals, passing conversations, simple introductions, or any opportunity to network scouts are always scouting. If you’re good at your job then people are always going to want you to come do that job with them. It never bothers me when other churches are looking at staff members on my team. They should be, they’re talented people. It bothers me when that doesn’t happen. That’s when I get nervous.

Eroding or Building your Brand

Everything you do either builds or erodes your “brand.” Every social media post you make. Every project you deliver on time, on budget, past time or over budget. If you’re a youth pastor and you get back from camp on time, or late. If you do what you say you’re going to do, or not. In every interaction you’re building a brand that certain people are attracted to and others are repelled by. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. By no means would I endorse image management, rather I’m talking about agreeing with Jesus about who He has wired you up to be and living as the best version of your self at all times, in all settings.

Moving Up, Out, or Staying Put

With every action you take in your current job you’re either building trust with your supervisor or losing it. You’re either demonstrating that you can be given more responsibility, less responsibility, or you can handle the scope of work you’re currently at right now. The great news is you get to choose your attitude, the manner with which you approach your work, other team members, and to a great deal the results of your work.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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Why Church Health Matters and 14 Ways to Measure It

A few years ago, Tony Morgan and The Unstuck Group set out to help pastors get a clearer understanding of the health of their churches, believing access to a better scorecard for ministry would show pastors where they were making an impact and where their churches might be stuck. That desire led to the first edition of Vital Signs.

Tony has just released the 2016-2017 edition of Vital Signs: Why Church Health Matters and 14 Ways to Measure It. And here’s why I think you should grab a copy:

When you can honestly and accurately acknowledge unhealthy areas of your ministry, you can address them to move forward. That’s what this eBook is all about; bringing your leaders together around reality so you can improve it. This new edition includes updated benchmarks based on a research pool of 200+ churches across the country, a new metric, and stories of what some of the Top 10% churches are doing differently. If you happen to have read the 2014 edition of this resource, you’ll find plenty of new content in this updated edition.

Here’s what the Vital Signs eBook can help you accomplish:

  • Assess the full health of your church with 14 key metrics
  • Discover which aspects of your ministry fall within the Top 10%, Average, or Bottom 10% ranges based on 200+ churches
  • Unite your leaders around a shared definition of your church’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Move from diagnosing health to setting new direction for your church

If you’re ready to understand the true health of your church, I hope you’ll grab a copy of Vital Signs: Why Church Health Matters and 14 Ways to Measure It. I really believe it can provide the perspective you need to assess your health, establish your starting point, and build a plan for the future.

Click Here to Get Your Copy of Vital Signs

Also, included with the eBook this time around is a FREE Vital Signs Report — This customized report will automatically calculate your metrics and provide a summary of your results. It’s the first step for every client of The Unstuck Group and a $199 value on its own. But it’s free when you purchase the eBook.


Posted in Leadership

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Why Teams don’t Play up to their Potential

gators-v-arkansas

This past weekend my wife and I went to Arkansas to see the Florida Gators play the Razorbacks. That makes 4 SEC stadiums and counting now (it’s a bucket list thing). The Gators were favored by more than a field goal. They had the talent to win. They had the defense to win. They should have won. But they didn’t. Instead, they lost 31-10. I’m not bitter about it though…but I do need to confess that it usually takes me a couple of days to get over a loss. Especially one like this.

We had a great experience going to the game. It was a great game day atmosphere, we were there with some good friends, we had good seats, ate good food, and the Arkansas fans were more than hospitable. The outcome was just disappointing. It was like the Gators were trying to phone this one in. They didn’t look like themselves. It’s like they didn’t even get off the bus! I don’t mind losing if they leave it all on the field but they just didn’t play up to their potential.

Ever been a part of a team like that? A team that doesn’t play up to their potential? It happens for all kinds of reasons:

Poor Preparation

Sometimes teams just aren’t prepared to play the game. They haven’t had enough practice and game-like repetitions. Sometimes they don’t have a clear strategy that tells everyone what to do next. Sometimes they’re not emotionally or mentally prepared. When the whistle blows and the ball is kicked it’s too late to prepare. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to get their players prepared to play.

Not Playing to the Strengths of the Players

Sometimes coaches don’t play to the strengths of the players they have. You can’t just go out and clear your roster and get new players. You have to play the game with the players you have. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to be willing to make adjustments to their preferences and play to the strengths of their team.

Recruit based on Potential

Some of the worst recruiting is based on potential. When you add a team member hoping they’re going to develop into a superstar your making a dangerous wager. Potential is a 4-letter-word. Recruit based on what players have already produced, not on what you hope they’ll produce. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to recruit players who have already demonstrated competency.

Individual Superstars

You can’t win games when individual superstars aren’t willing to play their part on the team so the team can succeed. If you have players that don’t’ understand when the team wins they win, then they’ll never win. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to get their individual contributors to play as a team. If they can’t, then the Coach has to get them off the team. 

What are some other reasons you’ve seen teams not play up to their potential? Leave a comment!

*Photo Credit: my iPhone


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

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Thank you for making October another great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s fun 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!

10 Insider Focused Ministry Names

The language we choose to use is important because it both reflects and builds culture at the same time. And one of the most obvious ways to tell if a church is insider focused or outsider focused is the language that they choose to use. It either says that the church is “inclusive” or “exclusive.”

How Many People Should your Church have on Staff?

Before you buy into the idea that you need another staff person at your church, think again. That just may be the worst decision you make at your church this year.

Why Big Weekend Worship Services are Not the Goal

It’s really interesting to me that the modern church has fallen in love with a practice that the New Testament doesn’t actually prescribe anywhere, weekend worship services. But don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m a big proponent of churches providing meaningful, engaging and relevant weekend worship services. Not because that’s the mission of the church, but because it’s the most effective strategy in North America to expose people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words large weekend worship gatherings are a strategy, not the mission.

Why More People Don’t Meet Jesus at your Church

One of the things we’ve learned through our experience and research at theUnstuck Group is that churches in America are only baptizing around 5% of their weekend attendance on average annually. In other words a church of 500 is seeing an average of 25 people take the step to be publicly baptized on an annual basis. We can do better than that. We must do better than that. But it is going to take facing down these big 5 issues that prevent more people from meeting Jesus at your church.

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.

The Difference between Micromanagement and Accountability

I’ve never met anyone who likes to be micromanaged. Unfortunately I’ve observed many church staff teams who confuse micromanagement and accountability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a young church staff member express frustration and cry out about the injustice of being micromanaged when their supervisor was simply holding them accountable for basic results. On the other hand I’ve seen church staff members micromanage other staff and even volunteers while claiming that they were just trying to hold people accountable to results and outcomes.

Why Wise Church Leaders Don’t Say Everything they See

Ever say something you wish you could take back? Sure. Everyone has. Whether it’s something we regret saying to a spouse, to a child, to a friend, or in the workplace to a coworker. Everybody has said something they wish they could go back and say differently…or…not say at all. Many of us are not aware of how powerful our words are and how they affect the people around us. The best church leaders I’ve ever been around understand this and they exercise discipline with their words.

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.

Why Firing People who work at your Church Sucks

Changing Church Staff can be a terribly painful experience. Exiting a Church Staff Member costs the church more than just money. Trust is often eroded; people frequently leave the church during these times, and ministries typically lose momentum. Firing a Church Staff Member should always be a last resort option.

Should your Church spend more Energy Reaching or Keeping People?

It’s commonly said that you can tell if a church is insider-focusedor outsider-focused by how they make decisions. Do they make decisions based on whom they’re trying to keep or whom they’re trying to reach? Oh, if it were only that simple.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Bringing your Blind Spots into Focus

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Have you ever experienced someone talking on speakerphone or face-timing in public? This has happened to me twice lately. In both cases not only was it distracting and rude to everyone around these people but they were totally unaware of how obnoxious their behavior was and how others perceived them in the moment.

That’s usually how blind spots work. They show up at work, at home, in our casual friendships, and in our most meaningful relationships. Everyone sees them but us. That’s why they’re called blind spots. But just because you have them, doesn’t mean you can’t bring those blind spots into focus. Here’s a couple tips to try out this week.

Get Outside Help

If you really want to begin to bring your blind spots into focus you’re going to need help. You can’t do this alone, because you don’t live on the other side of you. You know your thoughts, intentions, and motivations. You know what you mean when you do what you do. Others just experience what you do. Ask other people that you trust and who know you and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth what your blind spots are…and then don’t fight back…just listen.

Humility

Discovering your blind spots requires humility. It means listening more than talking. It means looking introspectively at you instead of at others. It means working on you instead of a project or your team. And it inherently means you’re going to have to come face to face with some things about yourself that aren’t going to be pleasant or easy to face down.

Pay Attention to Pain

Pain is an incredible gift from God. It tells us that something is wrong and needs to change. When you experience pain in a relationship or at work one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is, “What did I do to contribute to this problem?”

“Rule of 3’s”

If someone tells you something once, it’s easy to brush it off as his or her isolated opinion of one unique interaction with you. If a theme gets developed and it comes up more than once, say three times, then pay attention to it. Maybe it’s not everybody else maybe it’s you.

Courage

Once you’ve been made aware of a blind spot you have a choice, and the choice hinges on courage. You can choose to ignore it or you can choose to do something about it. But be warned, if it’s really a blind spot it’s going to be really tough to work on, because it’s not going to come natural. That’s why it’s a blind spot. But without courage you don’t simply choose to be blind you choose to stay blind.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing
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