Tag Archive - management


What Do I Do First?

If you are leading in a local church setting, chances are there are moments when you feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things that are screaming for your time and attention.

There are staff to lead, volunteers to recruit and develop, a budget to manage, mission trips to plan, a building to take care of, people who are in crisis that need counseling, prayer and care, a board to meet with, people to get into groups and disciple, kids and students to invest in, and oh yea there is this thing called weekend worship service that comes every 7 days that you need to prepare an awesome message for all while being awesome at everything else. The list literally goes on and on. Most people in ministry that I talk to express that they feel like their job is never done.

So, with so much screaming at you to get done, how do you know what to do first?

What’s the worst thing that would happen if it didn’t get done?

I mean really. What would happen if you decided that you simply weren’t going to give attention to that thing that’s screaming at you for attention? What if you just said, “No, I’m not going to do that right now?”

Are you doing something that someone else could or should be doing?

Is it possible that everything is coming back to you to do because you’ve unknowingly adopted some poor behaviors? Are you pushing decisions down (letting others make decisions) or pulling decisions up (taking away decision making responsibility from others). Are you delegating tasks to others and empowering them to make their own decisions within the framework of the direction your moving and the values of the team?

Realize you can’t do everything at once

This may sound elementary, but you’ve got to come to the realization that you simply can’t do everything. You can’t be everything to everyone. You aren’t Jesus. Jesus is Jesus. Learn to evaluate the highest priority problem and then come up with a plan to solve it. Involve others in the solution and provide direction to them. Then move on to the next problem and repeat. While doing this you can learn to solve multiple problems at the same time through teams of other people all while seeing the big picture.

Posted in Leadership


Leadership Summit 2016: Horst Schulze

CEO of the Capella Hotel Group and the Founding President of the Ritz Carlton, Horst Schulze was back at Leadership Summit talking about putting the customer first.

  • There is confusion about the difference between leadership and management
  • To be successful in business you have to be more sufficient to the market you serve than your competition, but to do that you have to know what your customer wants. You also have to be more efficient than your competition.
  • The Customer wants:
    1. No defect in the product
    2. Timely delivery
    3. To be treated well
  • It doesn’t matter what kind of store or product you have, if you deliver great hospitality you will win, because you are showing people that they matter.
  • This is accomplished by great leaders who have great management skills
  • Mass production led to the rise of management skills
  • Managers think…employees do
  • Management should manage process and products
  • Leadership cares and involves people
  • Leadership align people and take people to a destination
  • Don’t hire people for functions, hire them to be a part of thought, a purpose, or a dream and they have to know what that is on the first day.
  • Human beings cannot relate to orders and directions they relate to motive and objectives
  • Giving people more than they want isn’t efficient
  • There are 56,000 mistakes in 1 mill transactions of the average business
  • Efficiency is not cutting costs. Efficiency is cutting unnecessary work.
  • Removing defects is the greatest opportunity for efficiency

Posted in Leadership


Why Crisis is a Leaders Best Friend

If you lead in a church long enough eventually you’re going to face a crisis. It may be a staff crisis, a financial crisis, a moral crisis, a personal crisis or even a crisis of faith. One of the differences between good church leaders and great church leaders is that while good church leaders manage through crisis a great church leader never lets a serious crisis go to waste.

1. Crisis is an Opportunity for Change

Crisis is neither good or bad, it’s simply an opportunity to change things. In fact the best leaders know how to create healthy crisis in order to build a sense of urgency within people and the organization that can lead to change and forward movement.

2. Crisis Defines Reality

Crisis is a barometer. It helps you understand where you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are as a church, a staff team, and a leader. But you have to be willing to see it. You have to be willing to avoid deflecting blame, criticism, and begin to listen and take personal responsibility. Crisis will show you what you’re really made of, and it will show you what your team and the organization you lead is made of as well.

3. Crisis puts a Spotlight on Leadership

When crisis hits, all eyes are on the leader. Crisis is an incredible opportunity for leaders to build trust by delivering results and following through.

4. Crisis is a Catalyst for Innovation

Crisis creates opportunity for innovation. New ideas thrive in crisis. Problem solvers come alive when pressure is applied and they’re faced with daunting circumstances.

5. Crisis Infuses Courage

Comfort is the enemy of courage. When things are going smoothly and everything is routine it takes very little courage (faith) to lead a church. Crisis jump starts the kind of courage it takes to lead a church.

Change doesn’t happen in a church that’s stuck simply because the leader says things must change. A crisis, or a perceived crisis, has to be great enough to provide enough pressure that will help everyone be ready for change.

Posted in Leadership


Leading Through Change: What Game is Your Church Playing?

On a regular basis at Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the honor of serving at) we get the staff together from all three campuses for leadership development and training. This past week one of our Lead Pastors, Chad Moore, shared about the different games that churches play. I thought I’d share with you some of the key take-aways and learnings. Do you know what game your church is playing? Follow this link to learn more about the “4 Stages of a Church Staff Team.”


“When the organization changes, there are changes within the organization.”

1. Never forget, growth changes everything

  • A small church, mid-sized church, and large church are completely different animals.
  • There is a big difference between an organizational shift and a cultural shift…and often times it’s hard to see the difference.
  • Leaders who are leading through significant growth and change are typically accused of being unloving, unkind, or uncaring.

2. 4 Games that Churches Play

Game #1: The Track Star The track star performs alone. They may train with others and their score may affect an overall team win, but they operate by themselves. This is the solo pastor.

Game #2: Golfing Buddies The primary value is the relational feel of the team. The score doesn’t matter. High performers and low performers can still play the same game together and have fun.

Game #3: The Basketball Team Basketball is a team sport not a friendship sport. It requires working together, trusting one another and sharing the ball.

Game #4: The Football Team Football can be a dangerous game if you think you’re still playing track, golf, or basketball. In the game of football there are highly specialized roles and teamwork is essential.

3. The Two Biggest Challenges of Game Change

  • Relational overload: You know that the game has changed when you find yourself spending a lot of time managing relationships.
  • Increased miscommunication: Exponential growth increases complexity.

4. How do You when know You’re Stuck and the Game needs to Change?

  • You’re focused on the past instead of the future (fear instead of faith)
  • You’re continually hanging around the 19th hole with the same people (same staff / same volunteers)
  • You tend to value the experience more than the results (protection instead of progress)
  • You tend to value your personal role more than the mission (instead of asking what’s best for the church I ask what’s best for me)

Photo Credit: Mariano Kamp via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership


Managing the Tension between Leadership and Vision

Believe it or not there is a tension between leadership and vision. Your ability to gain the hearts of people and get them to follow you to a desired future.

Here’s a tool that will help you begin to understand where your team members are at and at the same time help you identify your next steps in leading each of them.

It starts with asking 2 simple questions. But they’re two questions that a majority of leaders are too afraid to face an honest answer to.

#1 Has your team bought into you?
#2 Does your team believe in where you’re going?

Crew Leaders:

Crew Leaders are all in. They’ve bought into you, and they’ve bought into where you’re going. Not only will they go with you if you lead them, they have the potential to join you in leading others to go along with you.

Crew Members:

Crew Members are loyal. They believe in you, they’re just not sure about the direction the ship is sailing. Good leaders know how to leverage the trust that they’ve built over time with their crew and recast the vision.


Stowaways want to go where you’re going, that is to say they believe in the vision. They’re just not sure you’re the one they want to follow there. The most important thing you can do with Stowaways is take the time to relate to them. As a leader you have to build trust with the people you’re leading because trust is the foundation of leadership. But be ware these are the most dangerous members on your team, because if they don’t buy into you as the leader you aren’t going anywhere.


Pirates don’t believe in where you’re going and they don’t want to go there with you. The best thing you can do with Pirates is counsel them out of your church. Or in Pirate lingo…have them walk the plank!

So do you have the courage to work through this exercise? Where do your team members plot out on this chart? More importantly, are you leading each team member they way they need you to?

Posted in Leadership
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