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Overcoming Leadership Lids of Competency and Character

lid can

If you lead long enough, eventually you’re going to hit a leadership lid. It happens when you reach your capacity in a particular area. But what you do next has the potential to make or break your leadership future. Ignore it, deny it, make excuses about it, or refuse to acknowledge and deal with it and you’ll undermine your impact. Face reality and you’ll create a window of opportunity to grow and break through your leadership lid.

Two common leadership lids that leaders run into are the lids of competency and character. To be an effective leader it takes both and if you’re in a growing church or organization at some point you will be seriously challenged by both of these lids. 

Your Competency has the Potential to outpace your Character

  • If you’re highly competent, at some point your competency will lead you to a place where your character is tested. You’ll be tempted to take a short cut or lead out of a skill set instead out of who you are. If you are a church leader, you’ll be tempted to rely on your experience and your gifts instead of the One who gave you those gifts.
  • No amount of competency can compensate for a fatal flaw in character.
  • Competency may get you somewhere, but character will keep you there.
  • This always leads to a spiritually empty, powerless leader who ends up compromising and failing to accomplish what Jesus could have done through them.
  • People will only follow you because of who you are for so long. At some point you have to deliver, you have to lead them somewhere.

When your Character is Challenged

  • Pretending you know something you don’t or you can do something you can’t is a character issue. Pretending is rooted in pride, and God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
  • Your character can be measured by the degree to which your public life (the you everyone sees), personal life (the you only those closest to you see), and private life (the you only you see) align. That’s the real authentic you. The more you can align your public, personal and private life the more authentic leader you will be and the more character you’ll lead with.

Character is no Substitute for Competency

  • People aren’t going to follow you just because you’re a good moral person; and just because you’re a high character person doesn’t mean you’re a leader. They may respect you as a person but they won’t follow you. Those are two different things.
  • You have to actually be really good at what you do. You’ve got to have the ability to, get stuff done, produce results and get people from where they are to where God wants them to be.
  • People didn’t follow Jesus simply because He’s a high character guy, they followed Him because He’s a brilliant leader. He started the greatest movement in history. He was and is leading people somewhere.
  • People will only follow you because you’re good at what you do for so long, if they discover you’re not a person worth following, they’ll bail.

When your Competency is Challenged

  • Don’t be afraid to get the brutal facts and define reality.
  • Listen to new voices outside of your tribe.
  • Get coaching by those ahead of you.
  • Learn new methods, don’t just try harder.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Top 10 Church Leadership Posts from 2016

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Thank you for making this past year a great year here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! I recently finished counting down my Top 10 most popular blog posts from 2015 and if you missed any of them, here they are all in one nice tidy little place for you! Happy reading! And I hope these posts help you make vision real!

#1 4 Bad Habits that Young Church Leaders Need to Break

#2 3 Expectations that Young Church Leaders Need to Change Today

#3 What Growing Churches do Differently

#4 7 Core Issues that your Church needs to Address is 2016

#5 Why People Volunteer at Some Churches but not at Others

#6 Campus Constants for Multisite Churches

#7 How to Keep Easter Guests Coming Back

#8 Why Some Churches Win but Most Lose

#9 Where there’s a Huddle there’s a Team

#10 If it’s Not on a Screen it’s Not Multisite


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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How to get People to Follow You

mountain climbing

Leadership can be a funny thing. It’s more than just influence. And while anyone can learn leadership principles the Bible teaches us that leadership is a spiritual gift. The easiest way to tell if you have the spiritual gift of leadership is to look and see if people are following you. But how do you get people to follow you?

Moral Authority

Church leaders can’t lead at a very high level very long without leading with moral authority. These leaders are who they say they are and who they appear to be. They don’t ask people to do something that you aren’t willing to do yourself.

Competency

You might be able to fake it for a while, but eventually your level of competency will catch up to you. If you want people to follow you then you’ve got to actually be able to do your job. You have to know what you’re doing. You have to deliver. And as your level of responsibility and authority goes up your capacity to learn has to go up as well.

Trust

Trust is the fuel that leadership runs on. When trust is high there is an environment for momentum, wins are celebrated, and people follow leadership because they believe in the leader and where the leader is taking them. When trust is low skepticism runs high, progress comes to a screeching halt, and the tenure of the leader is short-lived. 

Relationship

Relationships are built up close and over time. But they can be destroyed in a moment. People follow people who love them, listen to them, are vulnerable with them and exercise authentic humility. Lead out of your weakness and you’ll never run out of material, and people will be able to relate to you.


Posted in Leadership

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3 Shifts for Healthy & Growing Churches in 2017

Is the church you’re leading everything you once dreamed it would be? Every week at The Unstuck Group, we hear from pastors who are disappointed with their church’s current state. It’s not that they haven’t made an incredible impact! But they recognize a need to refocus.

Every church has a compelling purpose, even if it’s been lost, derailed or delayed.

God calls ordinary leaders to spark significant change in His kingdom. The Bible is literally littered with stories of every day people who God used to lead this incredible movement of change called the Church. I believe that God has placed you in the leadership seat you’re in at your church to help it become everything God has dreamed up for it to be. So let me ask…

What are the significant changes you’ve been considering for 2017? The team at The Unstuck Group asked that question to several hundred church leaders a few weeks ago, and three important shifts came up most frequently in their responses:

  1. Rallying Around a New Vision
  2. Reorganizing the Leadership Structure
  3. Simplifying the Discipleship Pathway

We agree those are important shifts. In fact, they’re some of the most common changes our team helps churches make, and we’d love to help you make them as well.

So, we’re hosting a webinar to help you make these shifts in 2017!

Join Tony Morgan, Carey Nieuwhof, Gabe Kolstad and myself on Monday, Jan. 23 at 1pm EST for the free webinar:

“Leading Change: 3 Shifts for Healthy and Growing Churches in 2017″

We’re going to be unpacking the stories of change at some great churches and sharing key steps to help you make make those 3 big shifts around vision, leadership, and your discipleship pathway. You’ll walk away with the insight you need to lead your church forward.

Space is limited, so follow this link to register now and save your spot!


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing, Testimonial

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Why I Love Working at Sun Valley Community Church

When I was a freshman in High School I prayed a prayer, begging God to let me to be a part of helping thousands of people meet Him. It’s crazy to think that all of these years later God is answering those prayers.

Every year at Sun Valley Community Church we share wins from the previous year of ministry and I thought I’d share them with you. I hope this is encouraging to you, inspires you, and prompts you to pray for the ministry of Sun Valley.

Ministry isn’t all about the numbers, it’s about life change. That’s why I’m excited about these numbers, because they represent lives that are being changed.  These numbers below represent stories of people who Sun Valley has helped meet, know and follow Jesus.

  • 1,034 people said yes to following Jesus
  • 799 people were baptized
  • 506 people strengthened their marriage through our marriage ministry
  • More than 3,800 people attended a Sun Valley Campus for the first time
  • More than 2,000 people are a part of a volunteer team
  • More than 3,300 people are a part of a small group where they’re building great friendships centered around Gods’ Word
  • We’ve ministered to more than 1,600 kids and students every week
  • More than 300 people went on a short-term mission trip
  • 76 families paid off more than $750,000 of debt through our financial ministry
  • More than 1.6 Million Dollars went outside the 4-walls of Sun Valley Community Church to help people all over the world meet, know and follow Jesus
  • We opened our 5th Campus on Christmas Eve with more than 1,900 people in attendance and 30 people said yes to following Jesus!

You’re allowed to celebrate right along with us. The Kingdom of God is taking ground through the ministry of Sun Valley! It’s humbling and exciting to see prayers I prayed years ago as a freshman in High School answered all of these years later. So pray big prayers and take big risks, because we have a big God, and He still does big things! I’d encourage you, if the Lord brings us to your mind, pray for us as we continue to help the thousands who don’t yet know Jesus meet, know, and follow Him.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation