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the day after catalyst

This past week I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days hanging out at Catalyst. As always it was an incredible opportunity to connect with friends from all over the country and hear from some incredible leaders who are influencing all of Church-World. Below are some of the highlights and take-aways from my notes. If for some reason you missed it purchase the DVD’s…seriously…it was that good this year.

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Posted in Leadership

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human trafficking in the city my kids are growing up in

Since moving to Atlanta, Georgia three months ago God has thrown the issue of Human Trafficking in front of me more times than I would have liked. And while I’ve been familiar with it from a distance for some time now, it seems God will no longer allow me to be a casual observer. It has come to the point where I can’t ignore it and I have had to wrestle through not only what I’m going to do about it, but in the role I find myself in, what I’m going to lead others to do. I confess I have much to learn on this subject…and much to do. So while this may be my first post on this issue, I can assure you that it won’t be my last. This is too big of an injustice for the Church, and for me to remain silent on any longer.

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Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Clarifying Collaboration

If collaboration were only about working together, it would simply be called working together. But collaboration is far more complex than that. Collaborative Leadership by its very nature is an invitation to ownership and the developmental process of the people within the organization. The Collaborative Leader is generally more interested in asking the right questions that drive the right conversations than they are about barking out orders, directives, and spouting answers. They are skillful at bringing people along with them through engaging conversations and allowing them to come to the right answers, or perhaps better answers than any of us would come to alone. This leader is after buy-in, ownership, and the heart of their team. Collaborative Leaders invite their team to the table and are genuinely interested in relationships, developing and investing in their people, and engaging in dialogue that is not merely about getting greater productivity out of the work that is being accomplished, but also about the work itself. But with all that has been written on the topic of collaboration there is still much confusion about what it is. This brief list is a stab at clarifying what collaboration is by describing what it isn’t.

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Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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Creating and Leveraging learning opportunities Part-2

As I round out this list that I began the other day and reflect on it, I find myself thinking, “It just doesn’t seem that difficult to me.” After all these are things that any leader can do, right? But why do so few actually seem to employ such simple tactics? There’s probably a grocery list of reasons, including the excuse of simply being too busy. But at the foundation of it I believe lays an addiction to progress that is rooted in basic insecurities that are found in many leaders (and “regular” people too by the way). Often times as leaders we are so wound up in advancing the mission of the organization we’re leading, that we forget the most important resource we have is our people. And the most important step you can take in advancing the mission of your organization is developing the people on your team.

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Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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Creating and Leveraging learning opportunities Part-1

U.S. Companies invest 100’s of millions of dollars annually into the development and education of their employees in the hope that as their workforce grows, so will the company bottom line. Most Pastors however feel as though they can’t compete with the level of training that is done in Corporate America with both external and internal corporate trainers, massive learning institutes that are unique to their specific industry, and well funded and well tuned employee development plans. In fact, while a large majority of Pastors feel as though they have the responsibility to develop and train their Staff or their lay leaders, they are often left feeling discouraged, under resourced and poorly equipped to do so. So how can we in the Church World best create and leverage learning opportunities for our teams? While the list that follows may seem familiar, as you dig into it you’ll find that this isn’t as easy as it first may seem. After all, if developing people were so easy everyone would do it wouldn’t they?

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Posted in Leadership, Staffing