Tag Archive - humility


Bringing your Blind Spots into Focus

Have you ever experienced someone talking on speakerphone or face-timing in public? This has happened to me twice lately. In both cases not only was it distracting and rude to everyone around these people but they were totally unaware of how obnoxious their behavior was and how others perceived them in the moment.

That’s usually how blind spots work. They show up at work, at home, in our casual friendships, and in our most meaningful relationships. Everyone sees them but us. That’s why they’re called blind spots. But just because you have them, doesn’t mean you can’t bring those blind spots into focus. Here’s a couple tips to try out this week.

Get Outside Help

If you really want to begin to bring your blind spots into focus you’re going to need help. You can’t do this alone, because you don’t live on the other side of you. You know your thoughts, intentions, and motivations. You know what you mean when you do what you do. Others just experience what you do. Ask other people that you trust and who know you and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth what your blind spots are…and then don’t fight back…just listen.


Discovering your blind spots requires humility. It means listening more than talking. It means looking introspectively at you instead of at others. It means working on you instead of a project or your team. And it inherently means you’re going to have to come face to face with some things about yourself that aren’t going to be pleasant or easy to face down.

Pay Attention to Pain

Pain is an incredible gift from God. It tells us that something is wrong and needs to change. When you experience pain in a relationship or at work one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is, “What did I do to contribute to this problem?”

“Rule of 3’s”

If someone tells you something once, it’s easy to brush it off as his or her isolated opinion of one unique interaction with you. If a theme gets developed and it comes up more than once, say three times, then pay attention to it. Maybe it’s not everybody else maybe it’s you.


Once you’ve been made aware of a blind spot you have a choice, and the choice hinges on courage. You can choose to ignore it or you can choose to do something about it. But be warned, if it’s really a blind spot it’s going to be really tough to work on, because it’s not going to come natural. That’s why it’s a blind spot. But without courage you don’t simply choose to be blind you choose to stay blind.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing


How your Church can Produce more Leaders

Leadership scarcity is one of the most significant lids that prevent growth in churches today. While many churches are providing great leadership content and training in the form of conferences, classes, or coaching groups few are actually producing more leaders. There is more to developing leaders than providing good leadership content. It doesn’t happen without these 5 key underpinnings. 

1. Humility

It takes a certain amount of humility to develop young leaders. It’s a choice you make to give tasks and responsibility away and allow others to gain experience knowing they won’t do it as fast as you would, as well as you would, or the way you would. 

2. Believe in People

You have to believe in people in order to empower them and develop them through coaching. If you’re like me and you have a tendency to see opportunities to strengthen organizations and people then believing in people is not going to come very natural to you. You can’t approach developing people from a negative or pessimistic viewpoint. You have to choose to look for and see the best in people, encourage them, and help them build upon their strengths.

3. Time

Leaders can’t be microwaved. It takes getting people practice and preparation, encouraging them while they’re on the field and then coaching them up afterwards. In other words it doesn’t magically happen in a moment but in a series of moments up close and over time.

4. Shift your Focus

If your church is going to produce more leaders it means you’re going to have to shift your focus from doing ministry to developing people. Churches that build leaders don’t pay their staff to do ministry (outside of specialty skill roles), but rather to invest in people, build teams, and lead people to do ministry.

5. Scout for Talent

Most churches are anti-leadership organizations. They have a tough time attracting, developing, and keeping leaders because most churches are consumed with preserving the past while leaders are consumed with moving towards the future. That’s why you have to work hard to become a talent scout. Leaders see leadership in others; they can smell it, because they understand it at an intuitive level. It’s their job to constantly be looking for small glimpses of leadership in people and fuel those by celebrating them. Because what you celebrate gets repeated.

I’d like to give a special shout out to the Central Ministry Staff Team at Sun Valley Community Church for the leadership conversation that led to this blog post! I love leading with you guys!

Posted in Leadership


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 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.


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


Why Churches Don’t Grow: #5 A Leadership Void

This is the final post in a series of blog posts that I’ve been sharing about the 5 key contributors that lead to 80% of churches in America being stuck or in decline. These key contributors have been observed repeatedly in our work with churches at the Unstuck Group. While churches get stuck and decline for all kinds of reasons, these 5 key contributors are the consistent culprits.

Out of these 5 key contributors, this next one carries the most weight. The greatest crisis facing the modern day church is a crisis of leadership. The modern day Church simply doesn’t attract, develop, or keep leaders. Leaders by their very nature are change agents. Because the unstated goal of most churches is to preserve the past, church leaders find themselves fighting the family instead of fighting the enemy. I thought that building a list of indicators to help you understand that your church has a leadership problem would be the lazy way to go with this post. Anyone can take shots at the church and build a list of everything the church does poorly when it comes to leadership. Instead I’ve built a list of what leadership traits I’ve noticed are most needed in the American Church today:

1. Courage

The majority of churches that I work with aren’t stuck because their pastors don’t know what Jesus wants them to do next. Often times they just need a competent and experienced outsider to confirm and say out loud what the Holy Spirit has already been saying to them. They simply need an infusion of courage and clear steps to get where Jesus wants them to go. If you’re leading a church let me encourage you. Please, obey what Jesus is asking you to do. Please, lead your church where Jesus wants you to go. There’s too much on the line not to.

2. Tenacity

The church desperately needs an infusion of leaders who hang onto the vision in an unwavering manner; leaders who have the steadfast tenacity to stay with it until it gets done. Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t back down, don’t let go. There’s too much on the line not to.

3. Development

The Gospel doesn’t need to be defended it needs to be unleashed. And for the church in America to turn the corner and be the movement Jesus has intended for it to be it’s going to take current leadership to unleash the next generation. Not just hand off the church to the next generation of leaders through good succession planning but legitimately unleash them by preparing them and turning them loose. There’s too much on the line not to.

4. Humility

Let’s be honest, neither you nor I have all of the answers for the challenges facing the church today. It’s going to take humility on our part to invite new voices into our lives, to be a lifelong learner, to give away our leadership credits to others, and to play our part in the Body of Christ that we play best so others can be their best. Humility is courage before it’s needed and at the same time it’s the chief virtue and the soil that all the other fruit of the Spirit grow up in. It is absolutely a necessity in leadership in the church today. There’s too much on the line not to.

Photo Credit: alexcoitus via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership


The Humility Test: Can you Admit when you’re Wrong?

The look on Richard Sherman’s face near the end of the Super Bowl last night is priceless. You know the moment. The score was 28-24. Seattle had the ball, 2nd and goal from the 1 yard line with 24 seconds left on the clock. Score a touchdown (gain just 1 yard in 3 attempts) and they go down in history as repeat Super Bowl Champions. Running Back Marshawn Lynch had been his normal beast mode self and everyone in the stadium, including the New England Patriot’s Defense, was sure he was going to get the hand off. It would have been the right play call. Instead Pete Carroll dials up a quick slant pass that Patriot rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted to seal the win for New England.

It was an impressive defensive play to win the game. But what was more impressive was what Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks had to say about the play call after the game.

“It’s a miraculous play the kid made to get in front of the route…I told those guys, that’s my fault, totally.”
Pete Carroll, Coach of the Seattle Seahawks

Worst play call in Super Bowl history? Maybe. I’m not a Seattle fan and I still hated the call. But I loved Pete Carroll’s response.

Lead long enough and you’re going to make a wrong call. And everyone watching is going to see it. And what you do next matters. How a leader responds to failure is important. Perhaps even more important that the failed decision itself. Everyone is going to experience failure and setback, that’s not unique to you. Not everyone is going to rebound. And the defining difference doesn’t begin with a blind dogged determination to get back up but a personal ownership of the failure while you’re still down. Can you admit you were wrong? Can you learn to forget the failure but never forget the lesson? Your team isn’t looking for a perfect leader, that person doesn’t exist. But do want to follow an authentic leader.

Do you have the humility to admit it was your fault and then get back up and try again? Another NFL season will be here next year, and I imagine we’ll see Pete Carroll on the Seattle side lines coaching up his team trying to get them back to Super Bowl 50.

Will you get back up and try again?

Posted in Leadership
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