Tag Archive - gift

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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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Is Treating People Differently the same thing as Favoritism?

Should church leaders treat all people in their church the same way? Most people I’ve run across in church-world cringe at this kind of a question and come to the conclusion that if you don’t treat everyone the same then you end up playing favorites as a leader. What if I told you that playing favorites is exactly what good church leaders do?

People are Unique

If you really believe that each individual in your church is unique then why wouldn’t you treat them uniquely? If we follow the Apostle Paul’s assertion that the Church is the Body of Christ and each person has a unique role to play (elbow, hand, foot, etc.), then why would we treat everyone the same? Why would we expect everyone to act the same if they are created to perform different functions and produce different results?

Not everyone should Sing on Stage

This is probably the easiest example I can think of, and if you’ve been in a church for any length of time one you can probably relate to. I’m sure you’ve been to a church where there was someone on stage singing (leading worship) who simply wasn’t very gifted. They were flat or sharp. Perhaps they were awkward and uncomfortable on stage. Simply put they shouldn’t be on stage leading worship. But because most churches would rather not hurt one person’s feelings by telling them the truth (that they can’t sing very well), they keep them on stage and turn a lot of people off to Jesus.

Not everyone is a Leader

The bible describes leadership as a spiritual gift, a gift that not everyone gets, and a gift that’s given in different measure to different people. As a result, leadership by its very nature is exclusive. After all could you imagine everyone in your church trying to lead? It would be chaos. Your church should treat leaders differently. Church leaders shouldn’t invest their time developing people who don’t have a leadership gift to be someone they aren’t gifted by God to be. You can disagree with me and call it favoritism if you want to, but I would call it being a poor steward.

What about Money?

This is where things get really testy in church-world. Should church leaders treat people who have the capacity to make a significant amount of money and be generous with it differently than other people? Well if we follow this same line of thought then the answer is an obvious yes. Why is it that an entire “industry” has been built around one spiritual gift (leadership) in church world and it’s okay to make a big deal about that but we ignore people with the gift of generosity? Why is it wrong to invest in people with the gift of generosity and help develop them their gift?

I could go on…but you probably get the point.


Posted in Leadership

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Leadership can’t be Taught in a Classroom

I’ve never worked with a church that said they didn’t need more leaders. No, many churches, even healthy growing churches I’ve worked with mention two big hurdles that they feel are holding them back from accomplishing the vision God has given them; leaders and money. In fact I’ve been surprised to hear in recent conversations the amount of churches searching for an off the shelf solution that they can plug and play in their church in a hope that they will develop more leaders.

There is probably more accessible, solid leadership content available to the church leaders today than ever before. But even with the wealth of legitimately excellent leadership content available at their fingertips, it doesn’t seem like churches are producing any more leaders than they have before. One reason that is the case is that churches continue to buy into a couple of fundamental flaws when it comes to thinking about leadership development.

Leadership isn’t Information

Leadership isn’t learned in a classroom, by reading books, or by sitting around drinking coffee or whatever your beverage of choice is and pontificating about leadership ideas and principles or worse, arm chair quarterbacking other leaders. Leadership is learned by leading. It’s something you simply can’t understand until you do it, you have to exercise that muscle to develop and strengthen it. The Bible teaches us that, “knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). If information was the same thing as maturity then the most mature people walking around when Jesus was walking the Earth were the Pharisees. They knew more about the Scriptures than anyone and they ended up having Jesus crucified. Not very mature huh? Leadership is a lot like love. You can’t say you love someone and not act on it…it has to show up at some point. Or you don’t love them.

Leadership isn’t a Program

Leadership can’t be developed using an off the shelf curriculum or program that you plug and play at your church. You are the leadership development program at your church. Leaders don’t build followers they build leaders. Stop using leadership programs as a crutch and excuse because you don’t have time to do this. If you’re the leader then lead…and build other leaders.

Leadership Skills can be Acquired

Even if you don’t have a leadership gift you can develop, practice, and perfect leadership skills. You can acquire new skills…even leadership skills.

A Leadership Gift can be Developed

According to the Bible, leadership is actually a spiritual gift (Romans 12:6-8). A gift not given to everyone, and to those it is given to, it’s not given in equal measure. But that gift no matter how great or small can be developed and grown.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Leadership Is Not What You Think It Is

Leadership isn’t what you think it is. It isn’t a title, power, influence or being in charge. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you’ll be respected or honored for it. It isn’t a position on an organizational chart and it can’t be taught in a classroom. Contrary to popular belief in a majority of churches being a great communicator doesn’t make you a great leader. It’s more than simply having the insight to know what the next right step to take is.

It’s something you either have…or you don’t. And just because you have it doesn’t mean you have as much of it as another leader. In Romans 12:6-8 the Bible defines leadership as a spiritual gift.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

If I don’t have the gift of giving does that mean I don’t have to be generous? If I don’t have the gift of mercy does that mean I don’t have a responsibility to act mercifully? If I don’t have the gift of encouragement does that mean I have an excuse for not encouraging others? If I don’t have the gift of serving does that mean I don’t need to put others before myself and serve them?

Of course not… 

If you are in a position of leadership you have the responsibility to develop your leadership skills even if you do not have a significant leadership gift.

Is everybody a leader? No. Not according to the Bible. But everyone can learn leadership skills and become a better leader. And when leaders get better, everything around them gets better.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Don’t let your Organizational Chart Hold you Back

A friend of mine at the Unstuck Group shared a thought with me the other day that really resonated with me. He said, “Never let a box on an organizational chart define your level of influence in the organization.” My first thought was…”I wish more people thought like this!”

I’ve seen so many leaders, both young and old, limit themselves and limit their churches because of they way they think about their role, title, or box they sit in on the organizational chart. The problem is when you allow yourself to be limited by where you find yourself on an organizational chart you’ll always be limited by your organizational chart. This kind of thinking is a sure fire way to never grow or advance as a leader.

If you need a “Title” to Lead then you’re not a Leader

If you’re waiting for someone to give you a title or a particular box on the organizational chart to lead then you’re probably not a leader. Leaders naturally lead, because that’s who they are. I’m not saying leaders are bullies or that they don’t understand submission to authority that comes with being a part of an organizational chart. But boxes on organizational charts don’t box leaders in from being who they are.

Leadership is a Gift not a Position

The New Testament describes leadership as a spiritual gift, not a position on the organizational chart. Not everybody has that gift and it’s not given in equal measure. Positional leadership is the lowest form of leadership. If people only follow you because you have a title, you’re their boss, or you sign their paycheck then they’re not going to follow you very far or for very long.

Leadership is Acknowledged not Appointed

If you’re sitting around waiting for your opportunity to get in a particular position on the organizational chart before you start leading, you’re going to be waiting around for a long time. Leadership isn’t something that you get appointed to; it’s something that gets acknowledged for as you do it. So start leading where you are. Be faithful where you are right now today.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing
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