Tag Archive - trust


The Difference between Credibility and Ability

There’s a big difference between ability and credibility. I’ve had conversations with many young leaders who think they should get a shot at an opportunity or they deserve be promoted because of their ability. But what many young leaders fail to understand is that real leadership is recognized not appointed.

This is not about “paying your dues,” but rather figuring out 3 big leadership lessons…

  • Learning to be Patient: the art of timing is essential in leadership
  • Submitting to Authority: you can’t be in authority without learning to be under authority
  • Delivering Consistently Over Time: building the credibility to lead, not just having the ability to

Ability is an unrealized ceiling that you have based on your potential.

Just because you have the ability to doing something doesn’t mean you have done it or that you will do it. You have an upside because someone sees something in you. You have the potential to deliver, but you haven’t delivered yet…at least not consistently over an extended period of time. You’ve shown flashes of greatness but can you deliver that day in and day out?

Credibility is what you have when you demonstrate ability over time.

What makes you credible is the fact that you’ve delivered consistently over time. People know what to expect from you. You show up over and over and over again. You are consistent with what you deliver over and over and over again. You know it and everyone else knows it. People know you can do a job, because you’ve proven it.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing


How to get People to Follow You

Leadership can be a funny thing. It’s more than just influence. And while anyone can learn leadership principles the Bible teaches us that leadership is a spiritual gift. The easiest way to tell if you have the spiritual gift of leadership is to look and see if people are following you. But how do you get people to follow you?

Moral Authority

Church leaders can’t lead at a very high level very long without leading with moral authority. These leaders are who they say they are and who they appear to be. They don’t ask people to do something that you aren’t willing to do yourself.


You might be able to fake it for a while, but eventually your level of competency will catch up to you. If you want people to follow you then you’ve got to actually be able to do your job. You have to know what you’re doing. You have to deliver. And as your level of responsibility and authority goes up your capacity to learn has to go up as well.


Trust is the fuel that leadership runs on. When trust is high there is an environment for momentum, wins are celebrated, and people follow leadership because they believe in the leader and where the leader is taking them. When trust is low skepticism runs high, progress comes to a screeching halt, and the tenure of the leader is short-lived. 


Relationships are built up close and over time. But they can be destroyed in a moment. People follow people who love them, listen to them, are vulnerable with them and exercise authentic humility. Lead out of your weakness and you’ll never run out of material, and people will be able to relate to you.

Posted in Leadership


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 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.


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


3 Reasons it’s Good for Church Staff Members to Leave their Church

Through coaching and consulting relationships I’ve had the privilege to work with a lot of Church Staff out there in church-world. One of the more common questions I’m asked by Church Staff Members is, “How do I know when it’s time to leave my church?”

It’s not always a simple straightforward conversation, it’s complicated and often nuanced. And it’s never a decision that should be made lightly. Truth is, there are probably a lot of reasons a Church Staff Member might leave a church. Some of them are valid; some of them are not so valid. But if you’re a Church Staff Member and you’re considering leaving your church, below are three great places to start in the conversation.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation. Someone on the church staff is frustrated due to the lack of vision at the church or they don’t agree with the vision and they feel that it’s their job to challenge the leadership and point out their flawed ways. If as a church staff member you can’t get on board with the vision of the church or there is such a lack of clarity of vision that it’s leading to a deep level of frustration then it’s time to find a leader and a vision to follow that you believe in.

God’s Call

If you’re sure that God is calling you to something else, then that’s a fantastic reason to leave a church. But before you start waving around the “God’s will card,” you better be sure that it was God’s voice you heard talking and not that pizza you had last night at 1:00am.

Loss of Trust

If for some reason you lose trust in the leaders that you’re following, or if they lose trust in you it can make it exceptionally difficult to remain on staff at that church. Trust is the fuel that leadership runs on. When it’s eroded you can forfeit the right to lead or be led. And while most will contend that trust is earned, it’s actually something that someone chooses to give.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


10 Keys to Guarding the Gate to your Sr. Leadership Team

So who gets to be on the Sr. Leadership Team at your church? Is it based on who’s been there the longest? Is it based on who has the “in” and best relationship with the Sr. Pastor? Is it done, like Congress, by ministry representation so every ministry is represented? While all those things aren’t bad things in and of themselves, they aren’t necessarily strategic. And they certainly won’t move you any closer to accomplishing the vision that God has for your church. Here are 10 characteristics that you should be looking for when you’re thinking about adding someone to your Sr. Leadership Team.

1. Big-Picture Thinking

They think about the church before they think about their ministry. They understand that everything affects everything. If I’ve got a Youth Pastor who Youth Ministry is their first filter, they can’t be on the Sr. Leadership Team. The church has to be the primary filter before any one ministry.

2. Strategic

They naturally think about steps, movement, and alignment to vision. They’re strategic about how to get from here to there. They have a leadership intuition and can appreciate and move back and forth between the art and science of leadership even though they have a natural bias for one or the other.

3. Leadership

They have a leadership gift. While leadership skills can be coached and developed, the Scriptures are clear that leadership at its essence is a gift from God. I hate to burst your bubble, but everyone isn’t a leader.

4. Vision

They’re a stakeholder and vision carrier in your organization. They don’t allow the vision to be relegated to just the Sr. Pastor. They’re constantly asking themselves, “What did I do today to advance the vision of the church?”

5. Culture

They embody the culture of your church, or the culture you’re trying to create in your church. They embrace and live out the unique values of your church in their personal life not just their work life.

6. Team Builder

People are already following them. They have the ability to attract, recruit and develop teams of people to accomplish things that no one person could do alone. They are already moving people in a coordinated effort towards a destination. They don’t simply delegate tasks they empower people.

7. Execution

They actually get stuff done. They have demonstrated the ability to turn ideas into reality. They communicate action steps clearly, meet deadlines, and deliver on their promises. I’ve got to trust this person. I’ve got to know if I pass them the ball they’re going to catch it, turn up field and get a first down.

8. Likability

I put this one on the list at the risk of sounding shallow, but I’ve got to actually like the people that I’m leading with. If they don’t pass the “I like you” test, it’s not happening. Highly talented people can mess up a locker room if there’s not good chemistry between them and the rest of the team.

9. Biblical Requirement

They’ve got to meet the Biblical requirements for pastoral leadership. After all we’re not building a corporation, we’re shepherding the body of Christ. What we are doing is intrinsically spiritual and those leading the church need to meet the spiritual requirements to sit in that seat.

10. Humility

Humility is the context in which all the other fruit of the spirit thrive. They must have a teachable spirit and be a life-long learner. They need to be able to lead with the right questions, not just the right answers. Humility provides a pathway to access the true person and essentially is linked to trust. And the best Sr. Leadership Teams run on trust.

Interested about learning more about Sr. Leadership Teams? Check out my interview with Tony Morgan about his book “Take the Lid Off Your Church: 6 Steps to Building a Healthy Sr. Leadership Team”

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership, Staffing
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