Tag Archive - player

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5 Keys to Growing your Church in 2019

I’ve never met a church leader that didn’t want things at their church to to change for the better. They want more people to say yes to following Jesus, they want people to become better friends with God, and they want their churches to think more about people outside of the church than those already in it.

The trouble is while most church leaders want this year to be better than the last, they don’t want to do anything different.

I’ve said this many times before, people (including you…and me) always want to change their circumstances, but they never want to change their lives. But everything gets better when we get better. Families get better when fathers and mothers get better. Students get better when educators get better. Organizations get better when leaders get better. And churches get better when church leaders get better. But better doesn’t happen by trying harder, it happens by trying different. It happens through change…but change is painful. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. It’s always easier and more comfortable to stay where you are than to change and move forward. But if you want to grow at some point you’ve got to stop doing what’s easy and start doing what’s right.

So, to that end, here are a couple ideas that will help you create change this year at your church…and maybe even in you.

Create Accessibility

One of the greatest changes you can make in your church to get different results is to make Jesus and His teachings more accessible to people who don’t know Him. Another way to think about this is to ask yourself or your team, “How accessible is everything at your church to people who are unfamiliar with Jesus and the Church?” How accessible is your website, signage, language, parking lot, building, kids and student ministries, worship services, and teaching to people who are unfamiliar with Jesus and His Church? Most churches simply make it too hard for people to meet and follow Jesus. They don’t do it on purpose, they’ve just forgotten what it is like to be unfamiliar with Jesus. And guess what will happen when you create more accessibility to Jesus? More people will meet Jesus…and isn’t that kinda the point?

Lean into Constraints

You probably have a list of reasons (or excuses) why you can’t grow. Barriers to the future or anchors to the past that are keeping you from getting to the future. Make a list of your top 5 constraints and figure a way through them or around them. You constraints may even be the thing that help you innovate and come up with a solution you would have never otherwise come up with on your own. To that point, one of the top 3 reasons the church I serve at went multisite 6 years ago is because the original location was nearing a point where it would be fully maximized. Today we’re reaching more people for Jesus than ever because we had a facility constraint that forced us into a new solution (multisite) that is helping us reach new people for Jesus than we ever would have or could have at that one original location. Your biggest constraints may just turn out to be your best friend.

Allow Hope to Die

Stop hoping things are going to change at your church. Hope doesn’t change or produce new results at your church. Action does. Specifically, new action. Hope is not a strategy. Too many church boards and church leaders are sitting around praying and hoping that Jesus would do something new and powerful in their church this year when He already did something new and powerful 2,000 years ago on the cross. He’s simply waiting for those same church boards and church leaders to have the same kind of courage He did and lead things forward. 

Draft some new Players

If you want new results at your church, then it may be time to shake up the team a bit. New team members bring new experiences, expertise, ideas, and questions with them that aren’t currently on your team. You become who you hire and sometimes one or two new team members can help shift the entire locker room on a team.

Listen to Fresh Eyes

Sometimes you simply need fresh eyes, someone from the outside to help you see things differently. Sometimes you need an outside voice to say some things that you want to say but can’t. And sometimes you’re just stuck and need help. If that’s your church, then maybe the best step you can take to change things at your church is to engage the Unstuck Group. We help churches grow their impact through church consulting and coaching experiences designed to focus vision, strategy and action.

Taking new and different action will get you different results. And if you need a little help getting unstuck then connect with us at the Unstuck Group, we can help this next year be the best year of ministry you’ve ever experienced!


Posted in Leadership

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Why Teams don’t Play up to their Potential

This past weekend my wife and I went to Arkansas to see the Florida Gators play the Razorbacks. That makes 4 SEC stadiums and counting now (it’s a bucket list thing). The Gators were favored by more than a field goal. They had the talent to win. They had the defense to win. They should have won. But they didn’t. Instead, they lost 31-10. I’m not bitter about it though…but I do need to confess that it usually takes me a couple of days to get over a loss. Especially one like this.

We had a great experience going to the game. It was a great game day atmosphere, we were there with some good friends, we had good seats, ate good food, and the Arkansas fans were more than hospitable. The outcome was just disappointing. It was like the Gators were trying to phone this one in. They didn’t look like themselves. It’s like they didn’t even get off the bus! I don’t mind losing if they leave it all on the field but they just didn’t play up to their potential.

Ever been a part of a team like that? A team that doesn’t play up to their potential? It happens for all kinds of reasons:

Poor Preparation

Sometimes teams just aren’t prepared to play the game. They haven’t had enough practice and game-like repetitions. Sometimes they don’t have a clear strategy that tells everyone what to do next. Sometimes they’re not emotionally or mentally prepared. When the whistle blows and the ball is kicked it’s too late to prepare. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to get their players prepared to play.

Not Playing to the Strengths of the Players

Sometimes coaches don’t play to the strengths of the players they have. You can’t just go out and clear your roster and get new players. You have to play the game with the players you have. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to be willing to make adjustments to their preferences and play to the strengths of their team.

Recruit based on Potential

Some of the worst recruiting is based on potential. When you add a team member hoping they’re going to develop into a superstar your making a dangerous wager. Potential is a 4-letter-word. Recruit based on what players have already produced, not on what you hope they’ll produce. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to recruit players who have already demonstrated competency.

Individual Superstars

You can’t win games when individual superstars aren’t willing to play their part on the team so the team can succeed. If you have players that don’t’ understand when the team wins they win, then they’ll never win. It’s the responsibility of the Coach to get their individual contributors to play as a team. If they can’t, then the Coach has to get them off the team. 

What are some other reasons you’ve seen teams not play up to their potential? Leave a comment!

*Photo Credit: my iPhone


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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Leadership Summit 2016: Patrick Lencioni

Leadership Summit favorite, Bestselling Author and Founder of the Table Group, Patrick Lencioni, gave a great talk presenting new content about what to look for and how to be an ideal team player.

The Ideal Team Player

#1 Humble

  • More interested in others than yourself
  • Lacking self-confidence is a violation of humility
  • The recognition of that which is true
  • Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself it’s thinking of yourself less
  • Pride is the root of all evil and humility is the antidote to pride

#2 Hungry

#3 Smart

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Common sense around people
  • If you’re intelligent but don’t treat people well you’re not smart

It’s easy to identify the following 3 kinds of people and weed them out:

  • The Pawn = Humble but not hungry or smart
    • Not effective on a team
    • They need our prayers but probably don’t need to be invited to be on our teams
  • The Bulldozer = Hungry but not humble or smart
    • Leave a trail of dead bodies behind
  • The Charmer = Smart but not humble or hungry

If a person has 2 of these it can create serious problems in the organization:

  • Accidental Mess-Maker = Humble & Hungry
    • They care about people and want to get things done
    • They ruffle people’s feathers but their intentions are good
    • Not smart about how they deal with people
  • Lovable Slacker = Humble and smart
    • They are lovable and usually do just enough work to stay around but don’t help the team and don’t go above and beyond
    • You like them but they don’t perform
  • Skillful Politician = Smart and really driven but not humble
    • This one is the most dangerous
    • They know how to make themselves look humble
    • Charming and driven but not humble
  • How to help your team get better at this:
    • Help people be honest about what they’re good at and what they’re not good at
    • Develop your people – you have to have the courage as leaders to consistently hold people accountable and then people will either get better or they’ll leave on their own. You’re not doing anyone a favor by not calling them on their stuff.
  • Hire the right people:
    • Change the hiring process a little bit – we over emphasize technical skills and abilities
    • Behavior always rises to the top
    • Get people out of the office to see them in the real world and see how they deal with real human beings
    • Ask people questions more than 1 time
    • A big part of humility is forgiveness…can you ask for forgiveness, give and receive forgiveness?
    • Stop doing silo interviews…a bunch of people interview them together
    • Scare people with sincerity: “we’re fanatical about humility, hungry, and people smarts…we’re so serious about it that if you’re not, you’re not going to like working here and we’re not going to like working with you.”
  • People who are workaholics are missing something in their heart and trying to find their identity in their work

Posted in Leadership

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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

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.

Humility

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

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Why Selfish Players Lose But Sometimes Win

If you’ve ever been on a team you know that from time to time you’re going to come across a ball-hog. You know the type, a selfish player whose goal is to become a human highlight reel in order to get to the next level. They don’t care about the team or respect the game. In fact they use the game and the team to get what they want, which usually means notoriety and the admiration of others. The sad truth is that this doesn’t just show up on the field or on the court but it shows up on church staff teams as well.

1. Selfish Players Wear Everyone Out

It’s exhausting to have a selfish player on the team. They have to talk in every meeting, their idea has be the one that is used, they have a tendency to blame others when things go wrong, and the coach has to handle them with kid gloves. An exorbitant amount of energy gets put into managing around these players’ and it’s usually tolerated because of the talent they bring to the table. But the reality is no matter how appealing it may look to have that talent on the team, eventually the price you pay in keeping them on the team ends up wearing out the team.

2. Losing with a Selfish Player Accelerates the Process

Losing is no fun for anyone. But it gets worse when you have a selfish player on the team. When you have a player that has to be the center of attention and the game starts slipping away and you begin to lose, that player simply becomes more of who they already are. They pass less, they take shots earlier in the shot clock, and they get visibly upset with other players. If you’ve got a selfish player on the team and the game goes south, everyone else on the team will have the tendency to give up and throw the towel in faster due to the lack of morale on the team.

3. Selfish Players Win Sometimes

You can win with a selfish player. In fact depending on how talented the player is you can win a lot of games with a selfish player. But you can’t win championships with a selfish player. Players on championship teams have to give up their own interests and ego and become a role player on the team for the betterment of the team. Many churches are stuck because they have an incredibly talented player that has carried the team on their back, but has taken them as far as they can on their own. To move forward will mean taking a new approach and playing a role on the team instead of carrying the team.

4. Great Players Make Good Players Better

The greatest single determining factor between a good player and a great player is that good players play their role and carry their load, while great players not only play their role but they elevate everyone else’s game by the way they play. They find the open player in transition; they know how to distribute the ball and who to get it to in what situation. They know when to push the tempo and when to slow things down. When things go wrong they gather the team together and look everyone in the eye and encourage the team to get on the same page. They don’t shrink back under pressure and in clutch moments not only do they want the ball, but the other players on the team want them to have the ball.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing