Tag Archive - lessons

2

6 Lessons I’ve Learned from 6 Years of Multisite Church Leadership

Nearly 6 years ago Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the honor of serving at) adopted a multisite strategy to deliver growth to new areas and reach new people with the Gospel. That one decision changed everything.

Since that time, we’ve grown from one campus to five (with more to come) and we’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way. Some of those lessons, as you would expect, we’ve learned the hard way. Here’s a few that stand out.

1. Starting is the Easy Part

Starting new multisite campuses is actually the easy part. Starting something new is usually exciting, attracts new people, and typically has some kind of momentum associated with it. Those are all things that make church leaders salivate. However, managing all of the complexities of inter-campus relationships, communication, decision making, reporting, influence, and building an effective central service team that serves the campuses is the more difficult part. It’s one thing to start a new multisite campus, it’s another thing all together to adopt a multisite mindset.

2. Communication is Complicated

The lines of communication can get really complicated in a multisite setting. Who needs to know what when and in what sequence are things communicated to which audience? Creating feedback loops from the campuses back to central services is key to help the central service team understand what’s working and what’s not and what the campus teams need from them to be successful. It’s also just as important to cascade communication through campus pastors to the campus teams. Add to that now you’ve got to figure out how all of the campus staff relate not only to central services but also to other campuses. As you can imagine it can get a little complicated.

3. Decision Rights can be Confusing

Knowing who makes what decision can become really confusing. When a campus begins making decisions that the central team believes they should be making or the central team makes decisions that affect every campus without fully understanding the impact at the individual campus level or getting the right campus level staff on board first, things can get tense. Clearly understanding who makes what decision and how decisions get made help dissolve the complexity of multisite.

4. Culture is King

One of the biggest questions that a church needs to answer before it goes multisite is, “Do we have a culture worth replicating?” In expanding and replicating your culture through a multisite strategy it’s not uncommon for churches to confuse policies and people. Here’s what I mean, your people (staff, leaders, volunteers, and attenders) transfer your culture to new locations. Policies, systems and structures may support your culture, they may even institutionalize it to a certain degree, but they don’t replicate it. Your people carry your culture.

5. Approach Matters

Yes, there are a lot of different ways to do multisite. There are a number of different approaches and models. But not all approaches are created equal. Some are more successful than others. For our purposes, I equate success with people saying yes to follow Jesus and life change…and I always figure more people meeting Jesus is better than less. There are some very concrete reasons why only 15% of churches that go multisite ever get past 3 campuses. There are also very concrete reasons why churches like LifeChurch.tv find so much success. Some approaches are more successful than others.

6. People Development is Difficult

The growth of your church has the potential to outpace the rate at which you can develop people. In other words, people don’t grow or develop as fast as your church, and multisite will expose that. One of the greatest challenges that multisite brings with it people development. So, as much as you may want to hire from the inside there are going to be times where you’re going to have to hire experienced talent from the outside to keep up with growth and new challenges that growth brings.


Posted in Leadership

0

5 Foundational Leadership Lessons I Learned from my Dad

Father’s Day always provides a great opportunity to reflect on the kind of Father you had growing up and of course the kind of Father you would like to be yourself. In thinking about my Dad this weekend there were so many lessons that he taught me that came to mind, and fortunately, many things I still have to learn from my Dad. And while every father and man has their deficiencies to be sure, my dad has been an accelerant in my life and leadership by consistently allowing me to stand on his shoulders. Dad, I love you, and I’m so grateful that you’re in my life! So here are a handful of leadership principles that I learned from my Dad.

1. Great Leaders make themselves Available to the Right People

Even though he worked for the Department of Defense with the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon etc. etc. he wasn’t an absentee father. Dad was always there. Even if it meant getting up at 4:00am to commute into D.C. to get to work early so he could be home in the evenings. He was at the soccer games, the wrestling matches, and we always sat down for a family dinner. Dad proved his love for us with his presence.

2. Great Leaders know that Failure doesn’t have to be Final

When my girlfriend and I made some poor choices in High School instead of blowing up and sacrificing me to Jesus, he took me in his room opened up the Bible and we walked through the story of David and Bathsheba. He spoke hope into me by sharing with me that God still called King David a man after his own heart, and that God wasn’t done with me either.

3. Great Leaders Strategically Target Their Audience

Some of the most memorable moments I have of my father are of fishing trips that we took together. It was there that I learned that a leader needs to learn to read the subtle nuances of the environment he is in, understand his audience, and use the right method, tools, and techniques to get the desired results.

4. Great Leaders Admit Their Mistakes

In the early years of our marriage, like many couples, Lisa and I really struggled and had to face down some pretty hurtful issues in our lives and relationship. In that process we had a conversation with my Mom and Dad where we told them about our struggles and how some of it was rooted in some behaviors I learned growing up in our home. With tears in his eyes he looked at my wife and me and apologized to us both. How many guys ever get that kind of gift from their father?

5. Great Leaders Empower people by Believing in them

My dad isn’t a perfect man, who is? But one thing I have never once questioned about my father is if he believed in me or not. I always knew, and know today that he is proud of me. That kind of belief breaths a safety and security into people that frees them up to risk and attempt great things. It’s amazing to have someone in your corner cheering you on in life.


Posted in Family, Leadership, Testimonial

1

Leadership Lessons from a Family Vacation

Like many families this summer, we did a family vacation. Lisa and I had the opportunity to take the kids (all 4 of them now) for an incredible week in the mountains! Like any leader, it’s tough for me to just “turn it off.” So…upon reminiscing, here are five leadership lessons that parallel our time together we had as a family this summer.

1. The Best Teams have Fun Together

We hiked together, rode go-carts, played miniature golf, taught the girls to play Settlers of Catan, wrestled, snuggled, roasted marshmallows on a fire…the list goes on an on. Bottom line is…we did a lot of stuff to build memories and have fun together. The best teams I’ve ever been around have those same dynamics. They work hard at the work they’re doing, but they also work hard at building memories and having fun together.

2. Spend One-on-One Time with Your Most Important Players

One of the more exciting things for me was to do some one-on-one time with each of the kids. I got to take each of the girls to the driving range and putting green (yes they’re learning to play golf, and love it…shout out to The First Tee), and then just sit and hang at Starbucks. Lincoln, he’s easy at this age, just take him out for ice cream and he’s your best friend forever. Great leaders always intentionally invest individual time in their most promising players.

3. Make Space to Work on Yourself

Each day on vacation I got to spend a little time working on me. Whether it was exercising (I don’t like it, but I need it), or reading, I made space to work on me. The best leaders I’ve ever been around build time into the rhythm of their work to invest in their own personal development and growth.

4. Remember that Sometimes Leadership is just Messy

It rained almost every afternoon on vacation. Which was perfect for getting muddy on the trails (see the picture above). The reality is leadership isn’t always as crisp and clean as everybody makes it out to be. While you can study the science of management, leadership is an art. And like any art it can be messy, it can surprise you, it can turn out beautiful, there are moments that are discouraging, and there are moments of great triumph.

 5. Build Time to just Rest

One of the most glorious things about vacation? Let’s all say these two little words together: sleeping in! Believe it or not sleeping in or taking a nap could be the most spiritual thing you do all week. Simply put, if you run your life wide open with the pedal to the metal, you won’t be running for very long.


Posted in Family, Leadership

3

14 lessons from 14 years of marriage

While I’ll give it to you that speaking out of 14 years of marriage is not nearly the same as speaking out of the experience of some who have 25, 30, or even 40 years of marriage, it does at least get me out of the gates and past the level of novice. So while by no means have I arrived, we have traveled enough ground together that I’m able to speak from some really exciting wins and conversely some painful losses as well. So here are 14 simple lessons, in no particular order that I’ve learned in the past 14 years of marriage (and yes, all 14 of those years are to the same woman).

Continue Reading…


Posted in Family