Tag Archive - vacation

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How to Manage the Tension between Work and Rest

In the beginning, even before the fall of mankind, God created both work and rest (you can check out Genesis 1-3 for all the details). Both were helpful, both were holy, and both were enjoyed by and benefited man. After the fall of mankind everything was messed up, including mankind’s ideas and inclinations about work and rest. This tension still plagues us today, including church leaders. Our tendency in different seasons of leadership is to lean into one or the other more than we are designed to. And if not caught early it can do damage to our souls and ultimately the ministries that we are charged with leading.

Work

  • Personal ambition: When our ambition for growth as church leaders surpasses our ambition for God, there’s a problem.
  • High Expectations: When fast-charging and high-driving church leaders have set their vision and expectations higher for themselves and their ministries than God does, there’s a problem.
  • Selfish Gain: When we become consumed by our work and our identity as church leaders becomes rooted in our work rather than in God, there’s a problem.

Rest

  • Discouragement: When church leaders fall into discouragement and shrink back because things aren’t going the way they think they should be going, there’s a problem.
  • Emotional Weight: When church leaders pick up and begin to carry the emotional weight of the team, the outcomes of the vision, and the expectations of people in the church, there’s a problem.
  • Laziness: When church leaders over spiritualize the concepts of faith and dependency upon the Holy Spirit to work and avoid working hard themselves, there’s a problem.

When our hearts call too much for one or the other, something is off in us. We’ve been chasing after something that we were never intended to pursue. It should be an indicator to us that it’s time to return to the mission and return to God.

Photo Credit: CyboRoZ via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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5 Articles to Help You Make Vision Real

Craziest thing just happened. You helped make the month of August the highest trafficked month on Helping Churches Make Vision Real! If I haven’t said it lately, thank you! It’s fun to see the comments and interaction through social media each month about the content and articles that are posted here! It’s always good to hear that the content is helpful! So thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

1. What the Church can Learn from Southwest Airlines about Volunteers

I was recently on a Southwest Airlines flight and witnessed one of the most amazing volunteer moments I’ve ever seen. When it came time for the midflight snack of pretzels and peanuts a woman on the flight stepped up and volunteered to pass out the snack. And here’s the amazing thing…they let her! No application, no waiver, and no complex training classes. They simply handed over the basket of snacks and said go for it! Watching this whole thing go down I couldn’t help but think about how difficult we make it for people in the church to volunteer. Here are a couple of observations from that moment that I think are worth the church considering.

2. A Large Multisite Church in Phoenix is Looking for a Campus Pastor

I’m pleased to announce a new Staff Search. Sun Valley Community Church, is beginning a search for a Campus Pastor to serve on our Tempe Campus. Sun Valley began as a church plant in 1990 in Chandler, Arizona. Over the years Sun Valley has grown into a large mult-site church in the Phoenix metro area. Currently there are three campuses located in Gilbert, Tempe and Casa Grande with a total weekend attendance of over 5,500 people. Sun Valley was recently named by Outreach Magazine as one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America. The Tempe Campus is the result of a merger in October of 2011 with Bethany Community Church. In the merger Sun Valley acquired a 16-acre, 8 building campus with over 100,000 sq. ft. under roof. Since the merger the campus has doubled in attendance and at present attendance is over 1,000. When fully utilized the campus capacity will accommodate 7,000 people. Sun Valley was recently featured in a new book by Leadership Network about church mergers: Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work. To learn more about that story click here Part-1 and Part-2.

3. A Leadership Conversation with Larry Osborne

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a post entitled “Making Small Groups the Hub of Your Ministry” that I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at NorthCoast Church with Larry Osborne and his team to talk about Leadership and Small Groups. If you don’t know already, NorthCoast is an outlier when it comes to small groups and you need to get to know these guys. While the norm across the nation is hovering at about 50% of weekend worship attendance in groups, NorthCoast is shattering that norm and boasts just over 90% of their weekend worship attendance in groups. That was enough for us to get on a plane and spend some time learning from these guys. While that original post focused on Small Groups these are some of my take aways from the conversation that had broader implications for pastors and leaders.

4. Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

If you missed the 2013 Global Leadership Summit, then you missed some great content, great speakers, and incredible ideas that have the potential to shift your thinking when it comes to leadership. This really was one of the best Leadership Summits I can remember. But no worries! Now you’ve got all the notes to every session right here at your fingertips for free! Hope you enjoy!

5. Leadership Lessons from a Family Vacation

Like many families this summer, we did a family vacation. Lisa and I had the opportunity to take the kids (all 4 of them now) for an incredible week in the mountains! Like any leader, it’s tough for me to just “turn it off.” So…upon reminiscing, here are five leadership lessons that parallel our time together we had as a family this summer.


Posted in Leadership

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Leadership Lessons from a Family Vacation

Like many families this summer, we did a family vacation. Lisa and I had the opportunity to take the kids (all 4 of them now) for an incredible week in the mountains! Like any leader, it’s tough for me to just “turn it off.” So…upon reminiscing, here are five leadership lessons that parallel our time together we had as a family this summer.

1. The Best Teams have Fun Together

We hiked together, rode go-carts, played miniature golf, taught the girls to play Settlers of Catan, wrestled, snuggled, roasted marshmallows on a fire…the list goes on an on. Bottom line is…we did a lot of stuff to build memories and have fun together. The best teams I’ve ever been around have those same dynamics. They work hard at the work they’re doing, but they also work hard at building memories and having fun together.

2. Spend One-on-One Time with Your Most Important Players

One of the more exciting things for me was to do some one-on-one time with each of the kids. I got to take each of the girls to the driving range and putting green (yes they’re learning to play golf, and love it…shout out to The First Tee), and then just sit and hang at Starbucks. Lincoln, he’s easy at this age, just take him out for ice cream and he’s your best friend forever. Great leaders always intentionally invest individual time in their most promising players.

3. Make Space to Work on Yourself

Each day on vacation I got to spend a little time working on me. Whether it was exercising (I don’t like it, but I need it), or reading, I made space to work on me. The best leaders I’ve ever been around build time into the rhythm of their work to invest in their own personal development and growth.

4. Remember that Sometimes Leadership is just Messy

It rained almost every afternoon on vacation. Which was perfect for getting muddy on the trails (see the picture above). The reality is leadership isn’t always as crisp and clean as everybody makes it out to be. While you can study the science of management, leadership is an art. And like any art it can be messy, it can surprise you, it can turn out beautiful, there are moments that are discouraging, and there are moments of great triumph.

 5. Build Time to just Rest

One of the most glorious things about vacation? Let’s all say these two little words together: sleeping in! Believe it or not sleeping in or taking a nap could be the most spiritual thing you do all week. Simply put, if you run your life wide open with the pedal to the metal, you won’t be running for very long.


Posted in Family, Leadership

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leadership lessons i was reminded of on vacation

This past week I took some time off to come up for air and hang with the kids while they were on their fall break. We had a great time watching movies, wrestling, playing games, doing yard work (yes I love doing yard work), sleeping in, having fires, fishing, hiking and camping (yes for real tent camping). Below are a couple of leadership lessons I was reminded of while I was relaxing with the family!

A Change of Scenery can Change Your Perspective

It was great getting out of the desert for a bit and hanging out in the trees up at Woods Canyon Lake! It’s funny how many times we forget this simple lesson as leaders but it’s essential to remain healthy and creative as a leader to put ourselves in different environments to keep us looking at things from a fresh perspective.

Enjoy the Journey

It was eerie being woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of elk bugling in the distance (they sound like whales). But that morning when I came out of the tent to get the fire going I was met by 3 elk about 50 yards from our tent. I quickly got the kids out of the tent and we just sat there taking it in for a few minutes before breakfast. If you can’t enjoy the scenery along the journey, you’ll never enjoy the destination once you get there (if you do).

The Right Work can be Refreshing and Gratifying

I know it’s weird, but I love doing yard work. I got to trim the pygmy date palms, overseed the yard and get rid of the weeds in the decomposed granite (all of my friends in the desert understand). When you’re playing the role on the team that you were created for all of the sudden your work becomes satisfying, refreshing, and meaningful.

Always have a Plan-B (and C, D, E, & F)

We ended up leaving the campground a day early due to the weather report; I actually had 1 bar (big shout out to Verizon). Good thing we did because our friends who stayed up there in a RV said they woke up to hail and ice on the ground. Sometimes as a leader you’ve got to know when to go to plan-B, be flexible, and sometimes even call it quits.


Posted in Family, Leadership