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5 Articles that will Help You Make Vision Real

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Thank you for making May a great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hearing about how helpful different articles have been. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

#1 “4 Indispensable Truths about the Art of Planning”

All of us have been in planning meetings before with a team that seemed to have had a break through moment. You know, that moment when everyone says, “Yes! That’s exactly the direction we need to move, and that’s exactly how we need to get there from here!” There was energy, excitement and unity as everyone left the meeting. But the more time that passed after the meeting dismissed the more that energy that was there faded and the less movement towards actualizing the plan took place. In fact a large majority of planning meetings don’t actually provoke much real change in most churches and organizations. Here are 4 reasons why many of your plans aren’t really getting you anywhere:

#2 “Leadercast 2014 Recap”

If you missed the 2014 Leadercast, then you missed some great content, great speakers, and incredible ideas that have the potential to shift your thinking when it comes to leadership. But no worries! Now you’ve got all the notes to every session right here at your fingertips for free! Hope you enjoy!

#3 “Take the 2014 Church Budgeting Survey”

Participate in the survey & get a free copy of the Executive Summary! Get answers to questions like:

  • What percentage of our budget should go towards Staffing, Operations, Ministry, and Missions?
  • How much debt do churches of similar size carry?
  • Do these percentages change as the size of our church changes over time?
  • How do different churches go about building their annual budget?

#4 “New Leadership Coaching Networks Launching this Fall”

Over the last 3 years of working with The Unstuck Group one of the most rewarding and enjoyable things I’ve had the opportunity to do is facilitate leadership coaching networks for Sr. Leaders serving in local churches around the country. I’m excited to let you know that I’m receiving applications for my next coaching network beginning this fall. Be sure to get your application in before the deadline of August 15. A couple of the spots have already been filled so space is limited!

#5 “Helping Your Church get Unstuck”

Churches get stuck for all kinds of reasons. It’s okay to get stuck, it’s just not okay to stay that way. There’s too much Kingdom potential on the line. That’s why 2014 needs to be the year that your church finally gets unstuck! At the Unstuck Group we help churches grow their impact through church consulting and coaching experiences designed to focus vision, strategy, and action. At the Unstuck Group we don’t just offer consulting solutions. We help churches get unstuck!

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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Why Shared Leadership is Better Leadership

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Leadership is a gift that is meant to be shared. It’s how leadership is both best developed and best exercised. Shared leadership is not for everyone though. It requires a tremendous amount of personal security and deep levels of trust at the highest levels of the organization. But if you can master shared leadership then you’ll move at a pace you never thought was possible.

1. Shared Leadership Attracts Better Leaders

Leaders are attracted to leadership opportunities, organizations in which they’ll be able to exercise their God-given gift. When you’re willing to share real leadership decisions and influence with others all of the sudden your ability to attract top talent to your team goes up dramatically.

2. Shared Leadership Keeps Better Leaders

Keeping leaders in today’s economy is tough. Especially when young up and coming leaders want more influence and more responsibility. Well, why not give it to them? Figure out what only you can do and do that. Then give the rest away. The more leadership you’re able to share the longer you’ll keep other leaders at the table and by the way you’ll end up keeping more leaders at the table as well.

3. Shared Leadership Generates Better Decisions

The team truly does outperform the individual every time. In a shared leadership model you afford yourself the luxury to not have to shoulder the burden of being the best at everything…and let’s face it, we all know you’re not the best at everything…so stop pretending. In a shared leadership model you get to lead in your area of brilliance and submit in areas of weakness and allow others to shine. Sounds kinda Biblical doesn’t it?

Photo Credit: C!… via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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How Centralizing Ministry is Crippling Your Church

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Many churches are enamored with the idea of centralization. Internally you’ll even hear churches talk about ideas like efficiencies, being streamlined or getting rid of redundancies.

In many multisite churches it’s even common to hear the term “Central Services” thrown around, a workgroup that is essentially designed to do away with redundancies and duplication of efforts between campuses. For instance, having one business department instead of staffing a business department or function on every campus. Seems smart right?

While at first pass centralization may seem like an efficient approach to greater ministry impact and moving further faster, it’s not always the best thing for the advancement of the mission of the church. In fact here are 6 ways well intentioned churches are unknowingly crippling their ministry impact for the sake of centralization.

1. Slows Decision Making

In a centralized system decisions get pushed up in the organization instead of down. It forces high-level staff members to deal with low-level problems. And it takes decision making away from those on the front line who are closest to the problem and probably know the most about it. Whenever Sr. level leaders are dealing with the wrong issues it slows the pace of any church or organization

2. Makes Communication Cumbersome

When communication has to be filtered through one person (the gatekeeper), or funneled through a chain of people you’ve got problem on your hands. Layers of bureaucracy, policy, and multistep communication chains slow progress towards the mission. And it creates more opportunities for miscommunication, misrepresentation, and misinterpretation of decision-making and actions to be taken.

3. Creates an “Us vs. Them “ Mentality

Whenever “we” have to wait for “them” to make a decision, and “they” don’t understand what “we” are dealing with on the frontline because “they” are somewhere back at a centralized headquarters it creates an “Us vs. Them” mentality.

4. Undermines Innovation

In any organization or church one of the most important sources for innovation and creative problem solving is the frontline employee or volunteer. Centralization takes away power from that individual to creatively solve their own problems and as a result people don’t learn how to think, rather they’re trained to just take orders. As a result creativity and innovation begin to dry up.

5. Requires very little Trust

When someone doesn’t need to be trusted to think and act through the filter of the culture of the church or organization it’s demoralizing. Conversely it’s an empowering thing to know that one is trusted, it boosts one’s spirit and often encourages them to rise to the occasion and actually increase the level of their game. Trust is the fuel that the best leaders and churches run on and if you’re not careful centralization can begin to erode trust and damage your culture.

6. The Gospel was Never meant to be Controlled

Ultimately the dance that church leaders do regarding centralization vs. decentralization comes down to an issue of control. And the Gospel was never meant to be controlled or managed it was meant to be unleashed.

Photo Credit: JustinJensen via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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Don’t Take my Word for it

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A couple of weeks ago I shared that my next Leadership Coaching Network will be beginning in October. I’m currently receiving applications and the network will probably fill up before the end of summer.

I understand that it’s one thing for me to share all the details and benefits from participating, but why take my word for it? That’s why I recently caught up with a couple of past participants to get their input on their experience with the network.

“The coaching and leadership conversations we had over six months with Paul elevated my leadership in the church as much as any experience I’ve had. I gained valuable tools and strategies for developing the leaders under my care. Additionally our discussions provided a strong foundation for understanding why healthy churches grow, and the time to personalize theory to our specific ministry situation. Paul’s personal ministry and leadership experience and wisdom ensured each coaching session was a valuable experience!”
Micah Hutchison, Executive Pastor at Harvest Community Church in Mesa, AZ

“This coaching network with Paul was one of the most beneficial experiences of my ministry life. The network gatherings were fun, challenging, and full of leadership exercises that provided me with tools to lead more effectively and move people towards a focused goal. I highly recommend this experience!”
Ira Towns, Executive Pastor at Atlantic Shores Bible Church in Virginia Beach, VA

“The coaching network with Paul strengthened my understanding of team leadership, personal development, and organizational health! This experience has been a huge help to me in my role as a leader within the local church!”
Caleb Cambell, Executive Pastor at Desert Springs Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ

Interested in Joining Us?
Here are all the details about the leadership coaching network in Phoenix. My teammate at The Unstuck Group, Tony Morgan, is facilitating a similar network in Atlanta

Complete the coaching network application and pay your initial deposit to hold your space. The deposit will be your first month’s fees. The next Phoenix and Atlanta networks will start in October 2014. The deadline for your application is August 15, 2014.


Posted in Leadership

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Leadercast 2014 Recap

If you missed the 2014 Leadercast, then you missed some great content, great speakers, and incredible ideas that have the potential to shift your thinking when it comes to leadership. But no worries! Now you’ve got all the notes to every session right here at your fingertips for free! Hope you enjoy!

1. Becoming a Beyond You Leader

Andy Stanley, author and Lead Pastor at North Point Community Church walked through 3 ways to become a leader that makes an impact and leaves a legacy that goes beyond you.

2. The Wake of a Leader

Best selling author and leadership psychologist, Dr. Henry Cloud, talked about the wake that leaders leave behind them as they travel towards the future.

3. 4 Characteristics of a Good Leader

ArchBishop Desmond Tutu challenged leaders to imagine a world where leaders didn’t make decisions based only on strategy or economics, but what was best for everyone involved.

4. Nothing Prepares Your for Leadership as much as Experience

First Lady Laura Busch was interviewed about her experience in the White House and having a first hand seat to watching world changing decisions happen every single day.

5. Legitimate Leadership

Best selling author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell discussed 3 characteristics that legitimize any given leader as someone worth following.

6. The Dream of a Leader

Bill McDermott, Co-CEO and Executive Board Member of SAP challenged leaders to find, keep, and chase their dream.

7. Leadership is a Practice not an Event

Leadercast concluded with leadership expert and best selling author Simon Sinek who challenged leaders to lead with courage.


Posted in Leadership
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