Tag Archive - power

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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

Thank you for making September another great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s great staying connected with you through social media and hearing that these articles have been helpful. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

What Separates Good Church Leaders from Great Church Leaders?

Over the past 20+ years of full-time ministry and 5+ years of consulting with churches and coaching church leaders around the country there are a few characteristics that I’ve observed that separate good church leaders from great church leaders.

8 Reasons Why People Don’t Volunteer at your Church

I’ve never worked with a church that has said they don’t need more volunteers. But I’ve worked with a bunch of churches that have trouble getting people to volunteer and stay engaged volunteering.

When to Invest in a Young Leader and when to Ignore them

Experienced leaders are always going to have more opportunities available to say yes to than capacity to meet them. This is true in leadership and this is true in developing young talent. You have to make a choice. So, choose wisely. How do you know who to invest in and who to ignore?

5 Reasons Why Churches Avoid Developing a Strategy

Churches avoid developing a strategy for all kinds of reasons. Many are tied to not wanting to use “business practices” in the church or not being “spirit led.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus has a strategy, and your church should too!

A Sneaky way to Change the Culture of your Church Staff Team

Here’s a low investment example of a sneaky way you can start changing the culture of your church staff team and ultimately your church.

Why Churches Decline and Die

Church decline can be avoided and even turned around. If your church is stuck or in decline I’d encourage you to start a conversation with the Unstuck Group. They have proven track record of helping churches get unstuck. Here are a couple big reasons, in no particular order, why churches decline and die.

You Get what you Tolerate

I talk to church leaders all the time who dream about how they wish their church were different. But I rarely talk to church leaders who are willing to take action and do something with all of that wishing. Just like in parenting, any relationship or social construct, in church leadership you get what you tolerate. If you tolerate bad behavior, you’re going to get bad behavior.

7 Questions to Help your Church determine the Location of your next Multisite Campus

If you church is thinking about launching a new multisite location in the next 18 months I’d encourage you to seriously think and talk through the following 7 questions with your Sr. Leadership Team to help you determine the next right location.

The Difference between Preparation and Planning

Do great organizations prepare for the future or do they plan for it? The answer is, “yes.” To be clear preparation and planning are not the same thing, and great organizations become great by doing both.

The Tension between Leadership and Power

A little bit of power can go to your head. Give some people a uniform, a title, or a little bit of authority and they can become a little overbearing and overzealous (the movie Mall Cop comes to mind). People often confuse power and leadership. I get it, leaders by perception have all the power and leaders often misuse power. But leadership and power are not the same thing.


Posted in Leadership

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The Tension between Power and Leadership

A little bit of power can go to your head. Give some people a uniform, a title, or a little bit of authority and they can become a little overbearing and overzealous (the movie Mall Cop comes to mind).

People often confuse power and leadership. I get it, leaders by perception have all the power and leaders often misuse power. But leadership and power are not the same thing.

Power doesn’t make you a Leader

Just because someone has a little bit of power doesn’t mean they’re a leader. They may have a title, the authority to tell others what to do, or even decision-making responsibility but it doesn’t mean they’re a leader. We’ve all met small minded people who get a little power and authority only to throw it around in a manner that repels everyone around them. No one wants to follow that person. That’s because they’re not a leader.

Power reveals Character

I’ve heard people say that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don’t buy into that, rather I subscribe to the idea that power simply reveals the character of the person wielding it. What you do with the power (whether you have a lot or a little) you have is a reflection of the kind of person you truly are.

Power is a Tool

Power is simply a tool, nothing more, nothing less. Some use power well…others not so much. It can be used to build up or tear down. It can be used to serve others or serve yourself. With it you have the ability to empower others or be controlling.

Power is a Last Resort

Making a power play to get people to follow you should always be a last resort. While statements like, “I’m your boss,” “I’m your parent,” and “because I said so” may work from time to time they don’t endear followers to you.


Posted in Leadership

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The Power of Showing Up

There is incredible power in simply showing up. This is true in parenting, it’s true in coaching, it’s true in teaching, and it’s true in leadership. Over the years I’ve observed many church leaders who overestimate the potential of a pivotal moment and underestimate the power of faithfully showing up every day. When you show up daily, your leadership ends up showing up over time.

While there are some moments in leadership that matter more than others, one of the things that separates good leaders from great leaders is that they show up and approach every moment with the same vigor. So here are 5 principles of how great leaders show up every day:

Moments are more important than a Moment

Your most meaningful relationships, trust, culture, and influence. While all of them can be destroyed in a moment, none of them are built in a moment but in a series of moments over an extended period of time.

Follow Through

Never underestimate the power of following through and doing what you said you were going to do. Delivering on time and on target on mundane everyday deliverables will take you further than you think.

Missed Opportunities

Leadership can be a lot like sports and life; you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Most opportunities are missed in life because people don’t show up and take them.

The Next Right Thing

Sometimes you need to stop worrying about the next big thing and just do the next right thing. It may be less glamorous, it may seem like it won’t get you as far as fast as you want to go, but it will help you build the necessary character, discipline, and practices that will get you there.

Faithfulness

Be faithful with what you’ve been given and you’ll probably be given more. If you’re familiar with the Bible you’re probably familiar with this principle. Don’t underestimate the power and faithfulness that comes from showing up every day.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Why Wise Church Leaders don’t Say everything they See

Ever say something you wish you could take back? Sure. Everyone has. Whether it’s something we regret saying to a spouse, to a child, to a friend, or in the workplace to a coworker. Everybody has said something they wish they could go back and say differently…or…not say at all.

Many of us are not aware of how powerful our words are and how they affect the people around us. The best church leaders I’ve ever been around understand this and they exercise discipline with their words.

Wise church leaders understand the power their words have to shape culture and as a result craft them carefully.

Leaders don’t Say Everything they See

Just because God has allowed you to see it doesn’t mean you need to say it. You may see things that need to improve. You may see where the church needs to go in the future. You may see team members that need to change. But wise church leaders don’t say everything they see. They say what people can handle. They say what people need to hear in order to help them move in the direction they need to go.

Leaders understand their Whisper is a Shout

The words of a leader have an inordinate amount of weight to them. If you’re a leader then your whisper becomes a shout very quickly. Similar to the power a father’s words have to a family. Wise church leaders understand the power and weight of their words and they are selective about how they use their words.

Leaders Kill Hallway Conversations

When leaders get in the habit of having passing hallway conversations they unintentionally build a culture of misalignment, competition, and create a bottleneck for decision making. Hallway conversations train your team that every decision needs to go through you. Worse hallway conversations create an environment where people go to you for a decision before a meeting and then walk into a meeting and say, “well I spoke to the leader and they said this…” Wise church leaders redirect hallway conversations to the right people and the right environments for decisions to be made.

Leaders don’t Speak to Everyone the Same Way

If you’re a parent you get this. Just like you don’t talk to each of your kids the same way you don’t talk to everyone on your team the same way either. Leaders also don’t speak to every audience the same way. A wise church leader learns to say the same ideas out loud to different audiences such as the church Board, their Sr. Leadership Team, the church Staff, Volunteers, and the whole church with a different voice.


Posted in Leadership

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Tearing Down Leadership Idols in the Church

A quick Google search on “Church Leadership” will turn up literally over 170 million links. That’s a lot of content to dig into on church leadership. For all of the talk about church leadership out there today it sure seems that the church is pretty leadership poor. I know some folks down in Texas that would say that churches have a bad case of “big hat, no cattle.” Another way to say it would be that churches are all talk and no action when it comes to leadership.

With that said, there really are some leadership idols that many church leaders buy into that need to be torn down.

“Leadership is Influence”

If leadership was simply influence than my kids are the best leaders in my house. They’ve influenced the kind of car (or land yacht) I’ve purchased, the house we live in, our grocery budget and so on. While influence is a part of leadership, it’s not leadership. The Bible doesn’t define leadership as influence; it defines leadership as a spiritual gift. Not everybody has it.

“We need to Hire more Staff”

The church of America has been lulled into this idea that they have to hire more staff to do the ministry at their churches. Hiring another staff member may be the worst thing you can at your church this year. Your church most likely doesn’t need more staff to do ministry, rather your existing staff need to learn how to delegate, empower, and develop your church body to stop just coming to the church but be the church. Your church is full of competent and highly talented people who actually get paid to perform complicated jobs. Chances are they have a lot to offer at your church too. 

“Preachers are Leaders”

Just because you’re a gifted communicator doesn’t mean you’re a gifted leader. It means you’re a gifted communicator. Young church leaders are taught (more by the prevailing church ministry model in the U.S. than by the Bible) that if you want to lead in a church then you have to do it from a stage, and if you’re not a gifted communicator then your not a gifted leader. That’s simply not true. Leadership is not just about inspiration and instruction (what happens from a stage). It’s also about being up close and over time with people and taking them from where they are to where they need to be. There’s more to that than stage. And frankly I’ve seen some fantastic preachers who can’t lead themselves or anyone else out of a wet paper bag.

“Leadership is Power”

Great leaders don’t simply amass and wield great amounts of power, rather they have the uncanny ability to share power and give it away to others. Barking out orders doesn’t endear people to you. You get more when you give, even in the economy of leadership.

What are other “leadership idols” you’ve seen in churches? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your insights!

Photo Credit: Pondspider via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership
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