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It’s Time for the Church to take a Different Approach to Leadership Development

learner

There are three prevailing thoughts about leadership development that I’ve been noticing in churches across the country.

First, churches are complaining that their leadership bench has become pretty thin. If God gave them a new opportunity they’re not sure they’ve got the leadership depth to say yes. I get this, I’ve also observed that the leadership bench in the American Church is becoming pretty thin. It really concerns me.

Second, churches are scouring the landscape for an off-the-shelf solution like a class or some curriculum that they can use to magically build a deeper leadership bench at their church. This one is frustrating for me. Yes, there are leadership principles that can be learned and content that can support leadership development but, when are churches going to wake up and learn that leadership development doesn’t happen in a classroom?

Finally, I’m seeing more and more churches hire young, inexperienced, and untrained staff members who attend and love their church but have no bible training or ministry experience. Then they basically throw them to the wolves and hope they’re going to somehow magically work out.

I think it’s time for churches to take a different approach to leadership development.

Optimism

You can’t play a good game with a bad attitude. It’s a true statement when I encourage my 10-year-old son with those words before a practice or game and it’s a true statement in church leadership. Your attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference and when it comes to leadership development in the church it can be the difference between you developing a deep bench or starving your church of good leadership. You’ll always find what you’re looking for and if you’re looking for deficiencies you’ll find them. A critical spirit is a guaranteed way to discourage and put a lid on growth in others. Leadership development is optimistic by its very nature, because you’re helping someone become something that they’ve never been before, and while blind belief won’t make them become a leader they’ll never become a leader if you don’t believe they will.

Encouragement

You’ve probably read about social experiments that have been done to test the correlation between expectations and performance. In one such study teachers were told that a group of students they had in their classroom had tested incredibly high at the beginning of the year. However, these teachers were duped. These students weren’t gifted, but the fact that the teachers believed they were influenced the way the teachers viewed and behaved towards the group of students. When tested at the end of the year the students that the teachers believed were gifted actually outperformed the rest of the class. Sometimes people behave the way you treat them. If you want to build leaders, then start treating them like leaders. Encourage them through your words, actions, attitude, and approach to become what they’re not.

Opportunity

The thing about leadership is you can’t learn it in a classroom. Leadership development is an immersive, hands on learning experience. To get better at it you’ve got to get reps. The first ministry leadership opportunity I ever had scared me to death. As a freshman in college my pastor asked me to teach a Jr. High Sunday School Class. He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and took a risk on a young guy. It paid off, and the next opportunity came along, and the next. That’s leadership development. You throw a young promising leader in the deep end of the pool and see if they can swim. If they don’t make it, you jump in, make sure they don’t drown, coach them up and give them another shot. If they do make it, you coach them up and throw them into a bigger pool.

Coaching

So, what do you do after you give a young promising leader an opportunity to have some responsibility? You coach them up. Coaching involves turning on the game tape and reviewing how things went. Great coaches reinforce what went well and redirect what didn’t. They start with reinforcement because they know that’s how consistent culture is built. What gets noticed and celebrated gets repeated. Then when it comes to parts of the project that didn’t go as well good coaches assume the best intent and redirect what went wrong.


Posted in Leadership

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11 Questions to Ask yourself about Soul Care and Personal Fulfillment

soulcare

People perform at their best when they are in a role that plays to their personality and gifting. They have more fun, experience greater fulfillment, and produce better results. The soul is actually at greater rest when it finds the rhythm it was designed for.

But it requires a tremendous amount of sober-mindedness. That is, knowing who you are, knowing who you’re not and doing what’s best for the whole. This means, among other things, being willing to play the part you were designed to play instead of striving for the top spot on the team.

So how do you get a healthy dose of sober-mindedness in your life without experiencing a bunch of pain? Honestly taking a few moments to answer the following questions is a great start!

  1. What gives you Energy? What fills you up? I’m not talking about sitting around and binge watching Netfilx. What do you do that really fills you up?
  2. What do you need More of in your Life? We’re not talking about a winning lottery ticket here. But it may mean more rest, vacation, a greater challenge at work, more investment in your most meaningful relationships, or something else.
  3. What do you need Less of in your Life? Debt, relational drama, pressure, conflict, etc.
  4. What must Change in your Life? There may be some habits or behaviors that need to change, or you may need to change the way you approach your schedule.
  5. What Must you do? What do you have to do? What is it you were created to do? It would actually be a personal value violation if you didn’t do it?
  6. What Could you do? Are there things you could do because of your capacity, experience, and talent but aren’t the best things for you or the team for you to do?
  7. What Should you do? You may not be doing it now, but you know you should. You may even have been putting it off for some time.
  8. What must you Not do? If you’re really honest what are you doing that you shouldn’t be? You’re not the best at it, or by doing it your preventing (enabling) someone else from doing what they’re created to do.
  9. What do you Care about? What do you really care about, what really matters to you?
  10. What do you Dream about? What are your hopes and dreams that are worth chasing after?
  11. What do you want your Legacy to be? At the end of the day what do you want to leave behind and be known for? What do you want to start that outlives you?

If you want to build some accountability into this you could share this list with a friend, the two of you work on it separately and then share the results with each other.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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How the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor roles Work Together

Business agreement - Senior and young male executives shaking hands at office

The relationship between the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor can make or break a church staff team and has profound impact upon the overall ministry of the church. Get this right and you’ll end up getting a lot right. Get it wrong, and well, it’s going to be tough sledding.

There are some basic no brainer things that make a great Lead and Executive Pastor partnership and of course trust is at the foundation of it.

  • You can’t allow triangulation; the Lead and Executive Pastor need to stay connected and on the same page. I’d recommend a weekly touch base meeting to help solve this.
  • You can’t have a “good cop / bad cop” situation. You don’t want the staff to love the Lead Pastor and fear the Executive Pastor. Executive Pastors remember that fear doesn’t make people want to follow you. On the other side of the coin, Lead Pastors can’t delegate all of the tough decisions and execution to the Executive, the church needs your leadership not just your direction.
  • A better analogy for a healthy partnership between a Lead and Executive Pastor is more like a mom and a dad leading a family together through mutual submission to one another. Leading in their area of brilliance and submitting in their areas of weakness.
  • The Executive Pastor needs to support the Lead Pastor publicly and when needed appropriately challenge them privately.

And if you’ve ever wondered what the basic lanes are that the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor should be running in here are 4 things that each role can’t delegate away:

There are 4 Things the Lead Pastor can’t Delegate

  1. Leadership
  2. Teaching
  3. Vision
  4. Culture

There are 4 Things the Executive Pastor can’t Delegate

  1. Strategy
  2. Execution
  3. Leading the Sr. Leadership Team
  4. Daily Train, Develop & Coach the Culture

Posted in Leadership

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New Leadership Coaching Networks this Fall from the Unstuck Group

It’s Time to Take Your Next Steps as a Leader

Leadership Coaching Networks with Tony Morgan and The Unstuck Group equip you with toolsbest practices peer support to help you lead more effectively.

Now Reviewing Applications for Fall 2018
This fall, we’re inviting you to join Tony Morgan and the team for a coaching experience to help you lead an unstuck church.

Two of our most popular coaching network topics—Unstuck Church and Unstuck Multisite—are back this fall, with cohorts in multiple locations. But we’re also introducinga brand new coaching network to help you build healthier, higher performing teams. Learn more and apply below.

Each of our Fall 2018 Coaching Networks is a 7-month, collaborative coaching experience that includes 3 group gatherings2 exclusive webinars2 one-on-one coaching calls and ongoing access to a private Facebook Group.

Space is limited! We will only accept 7 churches in each cohort. Read on to learn more about each network.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where do I feel stuck? 
    If some aspect of ministry leadership has left you feeling stuck, you’re not alone. That’s the whole reason why we do these networks! We will equip you with what we are learning is working in churches across the country. And we’ll help you put what you learn into action.
  • Do I know my next steps to grow in effectiveness as a leader?
    Effectiveness is developed, not gifted. Even champion athletes have a coach. Inviting an outside perspective is the best way to pinpoint the areas where you need to grow and take a next step.
  • Am I being discipled myself?
    Teaching, modeling and coaching—according to Scripture, it takes all three to make disciples. Churches and ministries routinely rely too heavily on teaching. Books, conferences and podcasts provide great teaching and models, but where are you being coached?

We’re only reviewing applications at the early bird rate until Aug. 3Take a look at the networks and feel free to email with questions.

Join a network of 350+ other church leaders who have participated in one of Tony Morgan’s coaching networks. You get priority access to Tony and other consultants from The Unstuck Group—during the coaching network and beyond.

But can we be honest? That’s not even going to be your favorite part.

We probably haven’t stressed enough the value of the peer network in years past. We always ask for feedback from participants at the end of the experience. Every single time, participants tell us that the community they built with fellow church leaders was a defining component.

We’re leaning into that this time. Can’t say why we didn’t think of this sooner—We now have a private Facebook Group to connect our coaching network participants and facilitators for ongoing community and access even after the network ends.


Posted in Leadership

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[FREE Webinar] The Campus Pastor Role: What Makes it Work?

multisitemap

July 24, 2:30 p.m. EST
45 min. webinar + 15 min. live Q&A

Webinar hosted by Tony Morgan, Jason Anderson (Eagle Brook Church),
Jeff Henderson (Gwinnett Church) and Chris Surratt (Lifeway)

Far too many churches find themselves “multistuck” because they don’t hire the right leader for the campus pastor role.

Or even worse—many end up splitting into multiple churches (unintentionally) as the result of misunderstanding how this role should function in a healthy multisite church. We’ve mentioned before that we’re seeing too many churches fail with their multisite strategy because they don’t get the campus pastor role right.

And it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’d love to share what we’re seeing working—best practices, pitfalls to avoid—and technology lets us do that. Let’s circle up on a free webinar.

We’ve even invited a few friends to join us for a practical discussion:

  • Jeff Henderson is lead pastor at Gwinnett Church. That’s one of the North Point Ministries campuses.
  • Jason Anderson is a campus pastor at Eagle Brook Church in Minneapolis. (He’s also married to Amy Anderson, The Unstuck Group’s director of consulting. That couple has a lot of multisite leadership experience between the two of them.)
  • Chris Surratt is one of our consultants at The Unstuck Group. He also serves at LifeWay, and previously served in two large multisite churches—SeaCoast in South Carolina and Cross Point in Nashville.

Plus! We’ll dig into the reasons why our team almost exclusively recommends video teaching in multisite churches, personality types and strengths that are really well-suited for this role, and red flags someone isn’t a good fit long-term.

And, we’re saving the last 15 minutes of the webinar for live Q&A—which always proves to be a fun, candid and practical part of the event.

Tony Morgan and all three panelists have experience as campus pastors in churches with decades of success using a multisite strategy to reach more people in more places with the Gospel.

Register today to join us! You can download a free Sample Campus Pastor Job Description immediately after registration.


Posted in Leadership
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