Tag Archive - resources

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Why Knowledge isn’t the Key to Team Leadership

You don’t have to be the best at everything to lead the best team. I’ve seen church leaders of the past lead based on titles, having the most experience and knowing the most on the team, having the right answers, and being an expert authority. Church leadership is changing, and I think it’s changing for the better. Church leadership of the future is based on the leader’s ability to build the right kind of team culture that attracts high capacity team members. It takes humility, trust and the ability to give leadership away, not just keep it to yourself and tell everyone what to do.

If you have to know everything or be the one with the greatest expert knowledge on the team then eventually you will become the lid to growth.

While you don’t have to know everything, if you’re the leader you still need to be able to provide your team with the following 4 keys that unlock team success.

Clarity

Great leaders provide clarity to the team so that everyone knows where they’re going and what the objective and deliverables are. Clarity and pace are directly linked to one another. The greater the clarity the faster the team can move.

Resources

It’s really difficult to do a job without the right tools. Great leaders give their teams the tools, time and resources needed for them to succeed at their jobs.

Alignment

Great church leaders provide alignment for their teams. They coordinate all of the individual working pieces of the team into one direction. They have the ability to focus the finances, staff, volunteer teams, ministry calendar, communications, weekend services, and the discipleship pathway to move the entire church in one direction.

Care

In church-world our work is unique. It’s not about the bottom line or shareholder value. It’s about life-change. It’s distinctly spiritual work. Great church leaders understand this and they care for their teams along the way. They invest in them, they don’t just use them to get stuff done.


Posted in Staffing

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What Volunteers Want From Your Church

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written on developing effective volunteer teams at your church then you’ve probably heard me say that I’ve never met a church leader who said that they had enough volunteers. In fact, the opposite is typically true. Having too few volunteers is one of the most frequent complaints and pressure points I hear from church leaders. Most of the time it’s not due to a lack of effort or trying. It’s usually due to taking the wrong approach with volunteerism in the church.

That being said, below are 5 things that the people who volunteer at your church expect from you. They may say it or not, but they want it. And if they don’t get it, it will probably keep them from volunteering at your church.

1. Easy Process

Joining a volunteer team should be easy, but unfortunately at most churches you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to serve. Have you said yes to following Jesus? Have you been baptized? Are you a member of the church? Have you filled out a volunteer application? Have you been through a volunteer interview? Have you been through training first? Sounds exhausting…not very easy. While you probably need to know Jesus to lead, you don’t need to know Jesus to serve. Develop an easy process for people at your church to serve and I bet you’ll end up enlisting more volunteers and developing more leaders.

2. Clear Communication

This one doesn’t have to be that difficult but you wouldn’t know that by the way many churches behave. Following up with people in a timely manner isn’t a strategy, it’s simply polite and the right way to treat people. Let volunteers know where they need to go the first time they serve, what time they need to be there, who will meet them, what to expect their first time and then thank them afterwards and ask the about how their experience was.

3. Meaningful Ministry

Joining a volunteer team gives people the opportunity to do something meaningful with their lives! Most people don’t volunteer because they dream of managing administrative details but because they want to make a difference in people’s lives. Do the administration for them so they have a great experience ministering to people!

4. Be a Part of the Team

Everyone wants to be a part of a team where they feel valued and have friends. Volunteering is quickly becoming one of the first steps that people take at a church. It’s so much less intimidating to join a volunteer team than it is to show up to a stranger’s house and talk about your feelings and the bible. Volunteer teams are a great way to help new people get connected to your church and build new meaningful relationships!

5. Resources and Training

No one likes to be put in a position where they feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. One of the easiest ways you can build trust with volunteers is to give them basic training and resources to help them be fantastic at what they’re doing.


Posted in Leadership, Volunteers

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Vision is a Destination not a Statement

Vision is a destination, not a statement. Many churches spend an incredible amount of time wordsmithing pithy vision statements instead of providing a clear picture of where they’re going. What a majority of churches view as their vision statement is usually a mission statement.

Mission Answers the Question: Why do we exist?

This is the timeless answer to why your church is on the planet in the first place. We don’t get to pick our mission Jesus did that for us. That’s the whole, “go and make disciples,” part. But we do get to pick language that contextualizes it for our culture.

Vision Answers the Question: Where are we going?

This is the next hill that needs to be taken. Vision typically changes every 3-5 years. Vision changes because once you get there and have taken then hill, there’s always the next hill to take.

Most church staff can’t articulate the next hill their church is taking. They don’t’ know the target on the wall they’re shooting for. One way to begin to bring clarity to the vision at your church is to simply ask the question,

“Where would we be in 3-5 years if our church faithfully lived out the mission Jesus has given us in the context of our community, unique culture of our church, gifting and passions of our Sr. Leadership, and resources that God has given us?”

Doing the serious work to answer this question will help you put a target on the wall to hit. Getting crystal clear on this will have a “trickle down” effect on every decision made in your church over the next 3-5 years. It will allow you to:

  1. Set goals and measure results.
  2. Determine how to allocate resources and budget.
  3. Help you understand how you need to structure your staffing model.
  4. Bring alignment to ministries.

Posted in Leadership

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Leadership Lessons I Wish I Understood as a Young Leader

Lately I’ve been thinking about some leadership lessons. You know…the “I wish I knew then what I know now” kind of stuff. See I’ve had a lot more time to think recently. That is, thanks to my wife for registering me for a triathlon this Fall. She said it was something that “we could do together.” She’s the one who races in the family. I’m the one who visited 5 different Starbucks cheering her on while she ran the Chicago Marathon. But it’s been interesting, as I’ve been training how many of my experiences have paralleled lessons that young leaders need to internalize and learn early, or risk potentially derailing their leadership journey before it really gets going.

So in no particular order here are 5 Leadership Lessons for Young Leaders based on my experiences training for a triathlon.

#1 Young Leaders have a Tendency to Overestimate their Capacity

When I started training for this triathlon I thought I’d pick it right up. After all I played varsity sports through out High School, have been pretty active as an adult, and heck I even lift weights pretty regularly. Well that was before I got in the pool and almost swallowed half of the water as I attempted to swim laps. Young Leaders are notorious for believing they can do more than they actually can. If you’re a young leader and ready to change the world, don’t be discouraged it may be in there; it just needs to be developed over time. You’re not nearly as good as you’re going to be if you keep working on it over time.

#2 Young Leaders Need to Learn Internal Fortitude is the Muscle of Leadership

I’ve got to be honest. There are days I don’t feel like training…I’d rather sleep. And there are moments when I’m running, or biking, or swimming that I’d rather just stop. But I don’t. And if you’re a young leader you need to soak this next statement in. The will to keep moving forward in the face of adversity, to find a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way; this is what separates “Big L” leaders from the weekend warriors. Not a lot of people will say this, this way, but there are a lot of ridiculously talented leaders out there (more talented than me) that fell by the wayside because they simply lacked the internal fortitude to take another step forward. They allowed their leadership muscle to atrophy.

#3 Young Leaders Need to be Given the Right Resources

I can’t believe all the gear that you “need” to run a triathlon, it’s a complete grocery list! Shorts that you can swim, bike and run in. Shoes that you can run in and another pair that clip into your bike. A helmet for your bike ride (we didn’t wear helmets when I was a kid…just saying). Oh yea, gotta have a bike, and I’m not talking about the BMX bike you had as a kid. A special watch for training where you can measure you distance, pace, calories spent and will probably tell you what time it is on Mars at any given moment. You get it. But why don’t young leaders get that there are real leadership skills that can be and need to be acquired and honed over time? If you’re a young leader and aren’t being developed where you are, then you need to take responsibility for your own growth. Listen, the majority of talented and experienced leaders out there aren’t going around looking for people to invest in. They’re up to their elbows creating the future! You’re going to need to find a leader who has what you want and chase them until they catch you. Remember leaders press into people who press into them.

Continue Reading…


Posted in Leadership

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And We Have a Winner!

I’m pleased to announce that Tim Stevens who serves as a Youth Pastor at Georgetown Christian Fellowship in Ontario, Canada has won my latest give away of a brand new copy of  “Leadership Essentials” a DVD Teaching Collection from Craig Groeschel. In this collection of leadership lessons, Craig Groeschel candidly applies his own experiences in life with God, ministry, and relationship to provide us with a solid foundation on which to build our leadership.

Like free stuff? From time to time I give away free resources from people and organizations that I believe in. If you are interested in being eligible to win these resources all you have to do is sign up to receive my blog posts directly to your email inbox. Winners are always randomly selected from the subscribers list! You can subscribe here if you’d like!


Posted in Leadership
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