Tag Archive - words

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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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10 Insider Focused Ministry Names

The language we choose to use is important because it both reflects and builds culture at the same time.  And one of the most obvious ways to tell if a church is insider focused or outsider focused is the language that they choose to use. It either says that the church is “inclusive” or “exclusive.”

In helping churches get unstuck and make vision real I’ve run across a number of insider focused ministry names. In fact here’s a link to a post with a free tool that you can use as you begin to evaluate your own ministry names and language you’re using in your church. Remember it’s always more important to be clear than clever. Here’s a quick list of 10 insider focused ministry names to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

Nation2Nine: A Young Adult Ministry in a church targeting people age 20-29. While it may be clear to people inside the church what this is, it doesn’t say anything to people outside of the church.

Romeo: “Real Old Men Eating Out,” a once a week gathering of old men who eat out together and talk about God’s Word together. Acronyms are the quintessential example of insider language. If your name or brand needs an explanation it’s not clear enough.

Men on Fire: A Men’s Ministry at a church. The only problem is people outside of the church don’t think the same way or have the same filter as people inside the church. While “church people” notoriously talk about being “on fire” for Jesus, that brand may elude to something different in the minds of people outside of the church.

Chicks with Sticks: A Quilting Ministry in a church. Yes this is real. This one came from one of the participants from a recent Leadership Coaching Network that I led. It was too good not to include in this list. Let’s just say people outside of the church aren’t thinking the same things as people inside of the church when they see this ministry name.

Girlfriends Unlimited: A Women’s Ministry in a church. Again while this may be clear to people inside the church any single 20-something young man is going to sign up for this one in a heartbeat. What young man who doesn’t know Jesus doesn’t want to sign up for unlimited girlfriends?

XYZ: “Extra Years of Zest,” a ministry to Senior Adults. This is another example of an acronym that doesn’t mean anything to anyone who isn’t an insider.

Body Builders: A Bible Study at a church. It may seem cute but when an outsider sees that name they’re probably going to be asking you where the gym is.

MOPS: “Mothers of Preschoolers,” a ministry to mothers of preschoolers…or is it a cleaning ministry? Again…acronyms are dangerous.

Equally Yoked: A Marriage Ministry at a church…or an egg ministry. Outsiders have no idea what the scriptures say so be careful about using Biblical names like this.

JAM: “Jesus and Me,” the name of a Student Ministry at a church…cute…just not clear.

I’d love to hear other examples that you’ve run across in your ministry experience, so leave a comment.


Posted in Leadership