Tag Archive - competition

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4 Big Reasons Why Church Teams Win or Lose

Not all church staff teams are created equal. Not only are different people gifted differently, but they’re gifted with a different measure or capacity of each gift they have. Some teams are built skillfully and intentionally to reach a particular vision while others are a collection of talented people, others still end up being a gathering of players that may love Jesus a lot and are good at caring for His Church but may not be put together and assembled to win. And friends, make no mistake about it, we are in a high stakes game where there are winners and losers and eternity hangs in the balance. There’s too much at stake to take a passive care taker approach to “church.” There are a lot of reasons why teams win or lose, but there are four reasons that consistently stand out when it comes to church staff teams.

Ability and Gifting

Spiritual gifts are given by God through the Holy Spirit. Abilities and skills however can be taught. For example, the Bible describes leadership as a spiritual gift, however anyone can learn and develop leadership skills. However, no amount of training can make up for a lack of gifting. Great teams are built with people who are gifted by Jesus and then work to develop those gifts.

Strategy

Strategy answers the question, “How are we going to accomplish the vision?” Great churches don’t just have big dreams and catchy vision phrases, they have a clear strategy to accomplish that vision. They know how they’re going to get it done…and they do.

Mentality

How does the church think? What is the mindset of the staff team? Are they aggressive problem solvers or do they default to taking care of and protecting what Jesus has entrusted to them. Do they leave the 99 to go after the 1?

Culture

Culture is that squishy stuff in a church that’s hard to get your hands around and define. It’s reflected in the language of the church, the way people who are a part of the church dress, the filter they use to make decisions and so on. Culture can be defined as the sum total of the attitude, values and behaviors of a church. Culture trumps intention, ideas or plans because it becomes the gravitational pull of the church.

Average teams excel in 1-2 areas.
Great teams excel in 2-3 areas.
Championship teams excel in 3-4 areas.

What kind of team are you building? What kind of team are you on?


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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How to Say No to Ministry Opportunities and Why You Should

As the ministry you’re a part of grows, you’re going to have more opportunities available to you. Good opportunities. Some of them great opportunities. But just because you’re given some great opportunities doesn’t mean they’re the right opportunities.

One of the more difficult things you’ll ever do as a leader of a growing church or organization is to learn to say no to good opportunities.

Does it get you Closer to the Vision?

The clearer your vision the easier it is to say yes…or no, to new opportunities. The first question you need to ask yourself when presented with a new opportunity is, “Does this get us closer to the vision that God has given us?”

Is it an Upgrade?

It’s not enough for it to simply be better. The real question is if you say yes to this opportunity will ti be significantly better? Is it a serious upgrade? Will everything get better if you say yes to this opportunity? Is the return much greater than the investment?

Does it Create Competition?

Would saying yes to this new opportunity create competition? Would you be creating competing systems that cannibalize resources and actually become a limiting factor to future success? If you say yes to this new opportunity what are you saying “no” to?

Does it Overextend You?

By saying yes to this opportunity will you overextend yourself? Will you overextend your HR capacity, facilities, volunteer teams, financial margin, or systems and structures? Are you willing to live with yourself if it all goes wrong? Is it worth it?

Is it Worth it?

As church leaders our job isn’t to keep shareholders happy or keep a strong bottom line. The ROI (return on investment) we’re tasked with is “life change.” Will more lives be changed through the Gospel if you say yes to this opportunity?


Posted in Leadership

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How Ministry Jealousy can Ruin Easter at your Church

With Easter just a few days away, churches across the country are working hard to leverage this weekend as an opportunity for attenders to invite their friends who are unfamiliar with Jesus to Church in hopes that they will say yes to following Jesus. A lot of time and energy goes into Easter services at most churches. But next week, when Easter has passed, and everyone in church-world begins talking about what happened at their churches, how will you feel when that other church in town had more people in attendance than your church did? How will you feel when the church down the street had more people say yes to following Jesus than your church did?

While I’ve never met a church staff team that explicitly said they were competing with other churches, I’ve met a lot who have acted like it. In fact, in a previous post about churches that claim they’re not in competition with each other but act like they are, I wrote:

“Competing with other churches only makes sense if you’re going after people who already know Jesus. And there is no shortage of people who don’t know Jesus.”

A couple of weeks ago Matt Willmington, a friend of mine who serves on the Executive Team at Thomas Road Baptist Church located in Lynchburg, Virginia, posted a couple of questions on his social media timeline that got me thinking more about this and should get you thinking more about this as well.

#1 Do you downplay the gifts of other people?

Do you minimize or suppress the gifts of other people on your team and at other churches or do you celebrate them? Do you have the ability to submit to others in their area of brilliance?

#2 Do you question the motives of others?

Do you question the motives of other ministries that are successful? Do you ever think to yourself, “There’s no way they can be this successful and be clearly preaching the Word of God,” or, “They must be watering down the Gospel.” Are you skeptical of others ministry success or can you easily celebrate it?

#3 How do you feel when others experience a win?

How do you feel when other people do a better job and are more successful than you are at what you do?

#4 Do you truly rejoice when others succeed in ministry?

Do you have the ability, as the Scriptures teach us, to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice?

#5 Do you pray for others success?

That other church in town that has momentum, do you pray for their success or secretly hope they’ll implode? That really talented church leader who seems to succeed at everything they do, do you pray for their success or do you secretly hope they’ll self-destruct their ministry?

I want you to know that I’m praying for your church this Easter. I’m praying that people who call your church home take a spiritual step and they invite their friends that don’t Jesus to attend Easter services with them. I’m praying that you and your team do a fantastic job at articulating the Gospel in a clear and compelling manner. I’m praying that many people say yes to following Jesus. And I’m praying that you can celebrate not only the wins that your experience at your church this Easter, but the wins that other churches experience as well. Because when any church wins the “Big C” Church wins.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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6 Keys to Successful Small Groups

The other day the consulting team at the Unstuck Group was having a conversation about how to help churches get unstuck when it comes to the disciple-making ministry at their church. In particular we were discussing Small Groups. In the conversation Chris Surratt who runs SmallGroup.com and serves as a Ministry Consultant with the Unstuck Group mentioned 6 great questions that churches should be talking about if they want to have a successful small group ministry.

#1 Is the Sr. Pastor a Champion for Groups?

The churches that I’ve observed that have best small group ministries have a Sr. Pastor that isn’t just a public fan of groups but they are personally in a group. They lead with moral authority by not just saying do as I say but they personally model biblical community in groups. Having a hard time convincing your Sr. Pastor to join a group? Then follow this link to a post that will help.

#2 What’s the Competition?

Churches that have a ministry menu mentality usually have the most difficult time building a successful groups ministry. The more ministry opportunities that you offer such as midweek classes, prayer services, and so on the more choices people have. The more choices they have the less likely they’re going to choose being in a group. By offering a ministry menu churches are unknowingly undermining their group ministry.

#3 Is there a Key Leader?

Who wakes up everyday thinking about Groups at your church? It doesn’t have to be a full-time staff member; it could be a high level volunteer leader. But either way one thing that all churches that find success in their groups ministries have in common is a key point person who is responsible for groups.

#4 What’s the Win?

At the end of the day what are the expectations for groups at your church? What are you hoping happens through groups? What’s the point of groups at your church? Put a clear target on the wall and then build a plan to move towards it.

#5 Is it in the Budget?

Just like you can tell what’s important to a person by looking at their “check book” you can tell what’s important to a church by what they resource and budget for. Churches that find success in their groups ministry budget for success.

#6 Is it Scalable?

Is it easy for new people to get into a group? Do you have enough leaders to accommodate new groups that are starting? Do you have experienced group leaders who can offer coaching to leaders who are just starting out? If the answer to questions like these are no then you’ve got a system issue somewhere and you’re going to have a difficult time scaling as the church grows.

By the way, follow this link if you’re interested in picking up Chris’s new book Small Groups for the Rest of Us.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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The 2 Most Important Ingredients of a Winning Team

You’ve probably heard this popular African Proverb before:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

The reason this statement has become so popular and “gone global,” is that it resonates with us at a core level. We inherently know that it’s true; not just from a tactical team building framework, but this is the way God designed life to work.

If you’ve ever played on or been around a winning team you know how much fun it can be. You also know that winning teams are rare, only one team wins the championship each year. You also know that winning teams don’t just happen on accident. They’re built with great intentionality. So as you’re in the process of mixing the right ingredients to build a great team, make sure you mix in the 2 most important ingredients to building a winning team:

Trust

Trust is built up close and over time. It’s more given than earned. But it’s given to people who have a proven track record, because the best predictor of future success is past performance. We know what to expect from each other and trust that we are each going to play our role at a high level.

Humility

While great teams are composed of great players, those great players know how to keep their ego in check. Great players are great not just because of their talent level, but they put the team first. Which means they do what’s best for the team instead of what’s best for themselves or their career. They’d rather be a role player on a championship team than a star on a mediocre team.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing
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