Tag Archive - lance witt

1

Getting Your Church Staff Team Unstuck

You can have a great vision, but if the team isn’t healthy and high-performing, the church won’t experience health and growth.

More than ten years ago (gosh that’s hard to believe) I started The Unstuck Group. This was after being a part of several great teams both before and during my life in ministry. My sophomore basketball team wasn’t so good. I cheer for some teams that aren’t so good. (I’m looking at you…the Cleveland Browns.) But, when it comes to my workplaces, I’ve been on winning teams.

I think my experience being a part of great teams clouded my perspective about helping churches get unstuck. I thought all we had to do was help churches align around vision, strategy and action plans. If we did this, it would lead to healthy, growing churches.

In many cases, that was true. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in every situation. What I learned was this—

you can have a great vision, but if the team isn’t healthy and high-performing, the church won’t experience health and growth.

For the first 10 years of The Unstuck Group, we’ve been solely focused on church health, but that’s about  to change.

A couple of years ago I started talking with my long-time friend Lance Witt about helping us design a process to help teams get unstuck. Since then, he’s written a phenomenal book on that topic. The book addresses both the health and performance of becoming a high impact team.

Then, last December, a group of us got together and started to map out a new process to help teams live out the principles Lance wrote about in his book. We designed Unstuck Teams to address these aspects for having a higher impact team:

Any leader worth his or her salt will pause right now a do a little self-assessment. Which of those six areas are a strength in your leadership? Which of those six are weaknesses? Here’s a hint. Your team will reflect your leadership in all six of these areas.)

In my experience, it’s rare to find a team that’s firing on all cylinders in each of these areas. I’ve worked with teams who are healthy, but lack in the area of performance. I’ve worked with teams who appear to be getting results, but team is not healthy and relationships are strained.

In some instances, it wasn’t about health or performance at all. Instead the culture was  toxic or the structure wasn’t well-defined. Employees didn’t know who was responsible for what. Some didn’t even know their own roles and responsibilities. As you can imagine, none of these gaps set the team up to have a significant impact. And when the team is not right, the church will never be healthy.

After designing the Unstuck Teams process, Lance joined our staff full-time. I wish Lance could join every team full-time. He not only writes and trains leaders on these topics, he lives them out. Lance is an incredible leader. (I would use that “he’s smoking what he’s selling” cliche, but Lance is from Colorado. I don’t want you to take it literally.)

Over the last six months, Lance and the team have been fully developing the tools to address the six aspects of high impact teams. Then they started test-driving everything. That included piloting the new Unstuck Teams process with four distinctly different churches. Our entire team gathered in Phoenix this past December to get a preview as well. I know I’m biased, but it’s an unbelievable process.

This probably will not shock you. My strengths as a leader are around performance, systems and structure. I really have to work hard at the health side. I have to be intentional about what it takes to create the right culture. I can lead in those areas, but it’s not my natural wiring. I have to really discipline myself about how I invest my leadership capital in those areas. I want to make sure those aspects of our team don’t suffer.

My suspicion is that you are no different than me. In some of these areas you have strength as a leader. In some of these areas there is weakness. Those areas of weakness can prevent your team…and your church…from having its greatest impact.

Over the next weeks and months, you’re going to hear more of my voice on this topic. You may get tired of hearing my voice on this topic. I’m willing to take that risk. I know the health and performance of the team will dictate a church’s Kingdom impact.

In other words, if your church is stuck, it might be because your team is stuck. You don’t have to remain there. Let us help you take a step forward in your leadership while we help your team get unstuck.

Through the Unstuck Teams Process, we can guide you to lead staff teams that love working together and get stuff done—spiritually, emotionally, and relationally healthy, as well as productive and high-performing

You can learn more what the Unstuck Teams Process would look like in your church here. If you’re interested in starting a conversation, let’s talk.

Tony Morgan is the Founder and Lead Strategist at the Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He’s written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.


Posted in Leadership

0

5 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for making November one of the highest trafficked months of the year 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 6 Things I Bet You Don’t Know about your Pastors’ Wife

One of the least thought about people in the church today is a Pastor’s wife. While leaders get all the attention and accolades their families and private lives are thought of very little by the public. In fact in a moment in church history where we are inundated with volumes of leadership ideas and training very little is written about pastor’s wives. I recently sat down with Lisa, my wife, and asked her about her experience being married to a full-time pastor for the past 18+ years. Here is some of what she had to say…

#2 A Leadership Conversation with an Executive Pastor at a Church of 20,000+

One of the most incredible and successful churches in America is one you’ve probably never heard of. Like many churches Christ’s Church of the Valley started in the living room of the founding pastor, in this case Don Wilson. Now over 30 years later CCV has a weekly attendance of more than 20,000 people located across 6 campuses. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Ashley Wooldridge who serves as the Executive Pastor at CCV and talk leadership and multisite. Here are a few of the highlights from the conversation.

#3 Replenish: Leading from a Health Soul

Lance Witt served 20 years as a senior pastor and five years as the executive pastor at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. A couple of years ago Lance released his book Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul. It’s a great book for church leaders. It’s so good, in fact, that we have our Leadership Coaching Networks at the Unstuck Group read it for the conversation we have about personal health. If you’re in ministry, I strongly encourage you to order this book today, you won’t regret it. Here are a couple of key ideas that stood out to me.

#4 What Makes a Great Campus Pastor a Great Campus Pastor?

Leading in a multisite setting I’m often asked by other church leaders, “What makes a great Campus Pastor a great Campus Pastor?” Often times when a church is thinking about moving to a multisite model the last thing they’re thinking about is who is going to be their next Campus Pastor. They’re stuck on logistics and most just assume they’ll stick an existing up and coming staff member on the next campus and hope for the best. That’s great IF you have the right person on the team already, but this can also be a fatal flaw. Trust me, I know and I’ve lived it. So here are 7 things I’m looking for when I’m looking for a Campus Pastor.

#5 The Best of Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit Pt-1

In the past I’ve regularly taken a large team to the annual Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, this year was a little different. Thankfully the Global Leadership Summit is available digitally even after the live event! We previewed the talks and selected the best two from this years event to share with our team. The first talk was from Joseph Grenny, Co-Founder, Vital Smarts: Social Scientist for Business Performance and New York Times bestselling author.

Photo Credit: justin fain via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

0

Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul

Lance Witt served 20 years as a senior pastor and five years as the executive pastor at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. A couple of years ago Lance released his book Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul. It’s a great book for church leaders. It’s so good, in fact, that we have our Leadership Coaching Networks at the Unstuck Group read it for the conversation we have about personal health. If you’re in ministry, I strongly encourage you to order this book today, you won’t regret it. Here are a couple of key ideas that stood out to me.

“We have neglected the fact that a pastor’s greatest leadership tool is a healthy soul.”

#1 Outward Success

Outward success in a church is easy to measure. The number of first time guests, people who say yes to Jesus, baptisms, people in small group bible studies, people volunteering, giving, weekend attendance and so on can (and should be) be measured. When those numbers are up and to the right there is a perception of success. After all who doesn’t want to see all of those metrics I just mentioned growing in their church? These are good things. But while numbers tell a part of the story, they don’t tell the whole story.

#2 Self-Deception

When things are going well it’s easy to believe our press clippings and give ourselves more credit than we actually deserve. We’ve all seen this happen in superstar athletes, high-powered business leaders and yes-even pastors. While there is certainly some credit that should be given due to exceptional performance and results the temptation is to deceive ourselves into believing that we are the cause of the success; that without us, success would not be reached. Be careful of self-deception and pride, the Scriptures say it precedes a fall.

#3 Neglect your Soul

Let’s be honest, it feels good to succeed. It feels good to see progress. It feels good when you hear people telling you what a good sermon you preached or what a good job you’re going leading the church. It feels good. But it’s possible to chase that feeling at the neglect of your own soul. It’s possible to fall more in love with church growth than the church. It’s possible to run to the Scriptures more frequently to find a sermon to preach than to personally spend time with God and hear his voice. It’s possible to neglect your own soul while doing soul work.

#4 Relational Isolation

Relational isolation is a choice. You’re as lonely as you want to be.

In his book Leading on Empty author Wayne Cordiero puts it this way: “Solitude is a chosen separation for refining your soul. Isolation is what you crave when you neglect the first.”

When we experience numerical success in our church, chose to believe our press clippings, pursue more success in ministry at the neglect of our own souls, and get ourselves in a place where we are lonely we have followed a recipe that leads to the downfall of our lives and the ministry that the Lord has entrusted to us.

“Having talked to some whose ministry has come crashing down around them, I can tell you the convergence of outward success, self-deception, soul neglect, and relational isolation creates the perfect storm for disaster”


Posted in Spiritual Formation